Thank you for another informative article! I also agree on your "there are not 2 Warios" take. Back when Brawl released I was pretty disconnected to Wario and I didn't think much of the fart jokes, thought the article was probably accurate... it wasn't the image I had of Wario but since I didn't touched anything related to him in a long time, I only played some of the games and I was totally not engaging in anything Wario related... I didn't question a thing. But now- yeah, I agree that article isn't the best. I even believe the article convinced me of a reality that wasn't... very real lol kind of rewritten my memories of him.
Oh, and since you did say days ago you were working on an European perspective on the subject, I was going to offer mine. I don't
remember Wario being played as some sort of evil being back in the day in Spain. If anything, it was more like a (at times chaotic) funny / goofy troublemaker. "When you see Wario, you know he means trouble!"
Let's look at one of the first official ads by Nintendo España:
Known as "Wario"
Big, fat and ugly
Tends to switch his looks
And above all he's bad
His only obsession:
and turning into the main character of every single video game.
Damn pestering Mario?? Truly an evil villain. Another example:
THIS MEANS WAR.
[I can't read everything down there, but the gist is quite simple: ever since Wario appeared, he and Mario declared war on each other. You can either pick the good or the bad guy... or both.]
Let's look at the only Wario cover I could find by the official Club Nintendo magazine:
It doesn't say anything at all about him, but I wanted to show it anyway.
There's also Nintendo Acción, an official Spanish Nintendo magazine. I barely touched these, but their Wario Land 4 review states he's the "anti-Mario" and that's pretty much it. Also this WL4 commercial:
They sting him. They crush him. They bite him. And that's not counting being frozen, or set on fire.
I'm warning you: playing as the bad guy is not easy.
Not exactly a villain role. It focuses on how tough (therefore cool) he is and that's not an easy task.
Now, this is not officially endorsed by Nintendo, but in what way did people see Wario back on the day? Is it "evil", just "like official advertisement"? What does a Spanish video game magazine think of Wario?
Wario wants to be the star
Here the writer describes the game and its features... through a humorous interview with Wario himself. While the "interviewer" can't stop raising his eyebrows every time Wario talks, Wario himself likes to talk big about his game and even badmouths Mario once. It's clearly written as a joke. This almost reads like... official Nintendo material. Wait, why is this so on point like those Wario Japanese interviews?
What's really questionable to me Source Gaming's article is this:
There seems to be a divide in how Wario Land games were marketed in the United States and Japan.
This is something that is actually part of Wario’s design and is never used in American commercials.
the U.S. interpretation of Wario focuses mostly Wario’s greed and wickedness
The difference between Japan’s and America’s Wario is a localization choice.
The author compares American vs Japanese Wario. Sure, fine, but...
That is not to say that I haven’t seen some Japanese users complain about the lack of Wario Land representation, or “powerful” Wario representation in Smash. However, it’s simply not on the scale in the West. I believe the reason many fans in the West have such a hard time accepting Wario’s character in the Smash Bros. series is because a lack of understanding of how the character has been portrayed in Japan.
Wait a sec, how is the America-only characterization a way to generalise how Wario was portrayed in the West
This is my biggest problem with the Source Gaming: the massive American-centric take, as if only the US pov mattered and had any relevance. Truly an "American moment". I can understand why the author came to the "two Warios" conclusion, but this generalization is extremely biased. What about Europe? South America? Australia? It doesn't count I guess.
I admit my research is limited, but I feel like the way Wario was portrayed and seen as in Spain was pretty far away from SG's article. if you ask me, he's pretty authentic from what I can find.