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Wario first rose to fame as a burly nemesis to Mario, with his name, a portmanteau of "Mario" and warui (a Japanese word meaning "bad" or "evil"), reflecting this role. While originally little more than an evil Mario, following his failure to collect the six Golden Coins, he developed a personality independent of Mario as a greedy, unhygienic glutton who scopes for any opportunity to make a quick buck. These pursuits range from searching for treasures in the Wario Land games to forming microgame enterprises with a host of eccentric associates in the WarioWare series.

Though also associated with Waluigi, their precise relationship is unclear, with them either being brothers or just dastardly buddies. Their partnership is solely restricted to Mario spinoff games, with Waluigi never actually appearing in a game where Wario has received top billing.

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