Wario sat in his chair. The rain pounded on the thatched roof of his tower. The record player was stuck on a loop, but the effort required to stop it was simply more than the man was willing to expend. Every night. Each and every night the same.
When was the last time anything made sense? When did everybody start killing each other? Since when did his life involve great wars and emotional sacrifices and relics of unimaginable power? The life Wario once had made sense. He was greedy and generally unpleasant to be around, but it was those familiar traits that had endeared him to those around him. Did Mario hate him? Did Luigi and Peach and the whole gang despise his presence? No… He was a part of that whole gang, and during those days, he was truly allowed to be himself.
Wario chose to isolate himself after everything fell apart. To continue trying to make sense of this new world would be completely fruitless, Wario reasoned. Wars? Death? Robotic appendages? No, Wario had no place in a world like that. Especially not a world without…
Wario threw his hand to his face, groaning a low, miserable noise. Don’t think about him, he thought. Don’t think about that world. That world is gone now and it can never come back. This is your world now. This is your tower and this is where you spend your days. So why, then, does he waste time with these unwanted guests? Why does he listen to the stories they have and the pointless banter they come to share? And that kid… Where had he seen that kid before? It didn’t matter. The star stone was gone now. Wario no longer had any right to call himself the chosen one, whatever the hell that was ever supposed to imply.
The chosen one… How exciting it was to hear those words for the first time! Some grand adventure surely waited on the horizon! Before that day, Wario was a joke, but perhaps, for the first time in his life, he would be somebody worth caring about. Maybe he wouldn’t be the crazy garlic guy for once, but some kind of… hero? Of course, none of that happened. It was all a chaotic mess and at the end of it all, Wario wound up losing the one thing he would give every piece of gold and every star in the night sky to salvage.
Too much wizard beer, Wario thought, downing yet another can at a startingly rapid rate.
You could have saved him…
And there it was. That thought that had continually and relentlessly haunted Wario for the past decade. Wario had no idea what he could have done. Maybe he truly was powerless to stop the chain reaction that concluded with the untimely death of his beloved. After all, compared to those other guys, Wario had no power of his own. He couldn’t fire chi through the palms of his hands, or fly around just by thinking, or put into practice some majestic and forbidden form of ninjitsu. He was just a burly man with a mean punch. But… maybe that could have been enough.
It was because of this legendary sacrifice that the Shadow Koo’s recent activity infuriated Wario so. For the past ten years, Wario could at least justify his loss with the simple truth that it brought the chaos to an end at last. Lives that had previously been lost were miraculously returned and some semblance of order could finally be established. He was a martyr, Wario thought.
But it’s happening all over again. Organizations are forming, just as they did then. People are killing each other. Completely senseless. So what about the noble sacrifice, then? Did it really put a stop to anything? Did it really save any lives? No, of course not. Wario realized now that he had been a fool to ever think it would change things. No, it was merely delaying an innevitable return to chaos. A twig jammed in the gears of fate, only able to halt its nefarious mechanisms until the moment it is snapped in two and the prophecy is once again allowed to have its way with the world.
Wario suddenly heard the wind howl much louder, the rainfall more audible than before.
Is that damned door open again?
Wario threw his can aside and slowly, pathetically pulled his own weight from the seat in which he had spent every day moping for the past ten years. His joints were hesitant to cooperate, struggling under the pressure of Wario’s outrageous physique, which had grown only worse throughout the duration of his self-induced exile. With a shaky hand, he held a firm grip on the side table for support, managing barely to hoist himself to a proper standing position. In that moment, Wario felt about twenty years beyond his age.
Opening the door from his room confirmed what he had suspected to be the case; the damned door was open again. How many flights of stairs was it to the bottom? Oh, that’s right, it was two thousand on the nose. Was it that wind that blew open the door this time? Or perhaps it was an assassin, arriving at last to put an end to the shriveled remains of Wario’s miserable existence. Maybe Chuck Quizmo was just fucking with him. If Wario had a say in who he’d be neighbors with for the rest of his life, Chuck Quizmo would be at the very bottom of his list. He just could not stand that little shit.
Down, down, down he went. Further and further and further into the darkness as the cacophany of natural forces grew louder and louder and louder. In moments like these, Wario wondered why he ever thought hiding himself at the very top of a gigantic wizard tower was a sound idea. Out of all the people in the world he hated, Wario probably hated himself the most. Every decision he ever made seemed intricately engineered to come back and haunt him in the future.
At last, the staircase met the ground, and Wario stood before the world outside. A world that was absolute chaos. A world that hadn’t made sense for a very long time. A world that was so very, very loud at the moment. All Wario had to do was keep that damned door closed. He wanted absolutely nothing to do with anything or anyone who existed outside of his home.
With an obnoxious creak, Wario dragged mighty doors shut once more. Carefully and methodically, he fastened shut the numerous locks he had installed on the damned thing. Let’s see the wind pick locks, Wario thought to himself.
A quick glance around assured Wario that nary an intruder was present in his world. Not unless they’re using some sort of invisibility glove or whatever the hell was out there. No, that’s impossible. Those kinds of things don’t exist in my world…
And back up the staircase of misery, one step at a time. Slowly, so slowly, Wario began his return to sweet isolation. No more guests tonight, Wario sighed. Just Wario time.
His peace of mind was broken. The door creaked once again, and Wario turned to see the outside world forcing itself to be seen once more.
“WHA!?” Wario shouted, stomping down the staircase yet again. “Who’s out there!?” He shouted into the storm. “Where the hell are ya!?”
No response. Wario scowled into the world which had no place for him. Somebody from that world was interfering with his solitude. Some child playing a prank. How dare they? The one and only thing Wario wanted from the world was to be left out of it, and to be denied even this simple luxury? It was unforgiveable. Wario was unable to contain his raw, primal rage.
“KEEP AWAY FROM HERE!!” he screamed into the unmoving darkness. “THIS IS-A MY WORLD! WARIO WORLD!! GO AWAY, DAMMIT!!!”
And the rain continued to fall. His outrage was met on deaf ears. He was going to kill them. Whoever it was, whatever organization they were acting on behalf of, he was going to destroy them fully. He took one step closer to the doorway, squinting into the darkness for a sign of the culprit. And he found it. A fuzzy silhouette in the near distance, staring back at him. Wario took a startled step backwards, fear befalling his face for one vulnerable instant. Immediately, his rage took control once again.
“YOU!!!” he screamed. “I SEE YOU OUT THERE!!!”
And the mysterious person took off running. The tower was surrounded by ocean, there was nowhere for him to run. Wario knew he could catch him. He had plenty of time to wrap his hands around the neck of that little…
But Wario hesitated. How long had it been? This tower had been his entire life for a decade. What would even those first few steps present to him? It was unfamiliar and it was terrifying.
As though having been pushed forward by an unseen spectre, Wario bolted into the unknown, the foreign slap of rainfall bombarding him from head to toe. Already an unfamiliar and unpleasant sensation. Wario looked around him for a sign of the intruder, finding his shadow once again in the distance. And so Wario took off, screaming some incoherent string of curses and wretched exclamations. He swiftly closed in on his target, rolling up his sleeves and clenching his fists tight.
“Yer DEAD, punk!” Wario shouted. “I don’t care who you are or what yer here for! I’m-a gonna end yer life right here and now!”
In that moment, the intruder turned just enough that Wario could make out some of his features. Tall, lanky, a confident posture, and a long, dastardly nose.
It was a figure Wario was sure he recognized. It could be nobody else but him. Wario, mouth agape, stepped closer to the man. He had to be sure. He had to see him clearly with his own two eyes.
“Come,” the figure whispered, turning closer to Wario.
Wario no longer had any doubt. He stuttered quietly, his name unable to escape Wario’s lips. A name he had not dared speak throughout his miserable existence. A name that had meant everything and now meant nothing. The name he could give to the entire world he once loved.
Wario was silenced immediately as the figure plunged into the violent monstrosity of a sea that had been rightfully called the Waters of Madness. Wario, moving only on instinct, ran forward. He was right here, thought Wario, charging at full speed towards the figure’s position. He’s right here!
Completely unaware of who he was or where he was, Wario flew into the sea after his beloved and his entire being was immediately devoured by its thunderous waves. He was neither sinking nor floating. Each of his senses fell silent as Wario was overtaken by unknown forces. In that moment, for the first time in so long, he was able to clearly envision that man. He could see him, tennis racket in hand, waving mischieviously towards Wario. At last, Wario thought, a genuine smile warmly decorating his face. I see you at last… my Waluigi.