This is a question I’ve asked myself a number of times in the past. And no doubt it will rage on for a while yet. But who exactly is Mario’s sidekick?
For me, there are only two possible options. Luigi and Yoshi. Luigi has been around since the start and Yoshi has only sporadically been Mario’s accomplice (in the grand scheme of things). So which is it?
I think we need to really analyse exactly what a sidekick is if we want the answer. To me, and in most comic-book and video game lore, a sidekick is someone that aids the main protagonist. However, according to Wikipedia a sidekick is a subordinate and not necessarily an aid to their work, as in they can just be a companion.
“A sidekick is a slang expression for a close companion or colleague (not necessarily in fiction) who is, or generally regarded as, subordinate to the one he or she accompanies. Some well-known fictional sidekicks are Don Quixote’s Sancho Panza, Sherlock Holmes’ Doctor Watson, The Lone Ranger’s Tonto, The Green Hornet’s Kato, Shrek’s Donkey (and sometimes Puss in Boots as well), Sonic’s Tails (And occasionally Knuckles the Echidna as well) and Batman’s Robin. (DC Comics)”
Notice from the above excerpt from Wikipedia, it mentions Tails for Sonic but doesn’t mention Mario’s sidekick? Mario is an infinitely more recognizable character than Sonic so why not use him in this example?
Because nobody knows who Mario’s sidekick is, that’s why.
For me, I like to think that Yoshi is Mario’s real sidekick and this is based primarily on the fact that he helps Mario in his adventures. Whereas Luigi is always a second playable character that doesn’t interact with Mario or aid him in any way. In most, if not all, previous Mario games, Luigi has been either absent from the game or Player Two. Mario Bros 1, 2 and 3 and Super Mario World being prime examples.
And usually, this is turn based. Mario gets a go and then Luigi gets a go. Sure they can work together like this to complete the game but they don’t work side-by-side. This is why I don’t think Luigi is Mario’s sidekick.
The homie Yosh, however, aids Mario in his quests, even if that means being sacrificed for an extra bit of distance on Mario’s jumps. You actually need Yoshi in a lot of cases.
So for me, it’s Yoshi.
What do you think? Any ideas? Let me know!