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Luigi preforming the Negative Zone move

I had been trying to beat All-Star mode with every character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and it was finally Luigi's turn. I never really played much with him, since I figured he was just Mario with a slightly different (and more awkward looking) move set. He did silly stuff like blindly running while slapping the air in front of him and I wasn't even sure what his final smash did, if anything at all. To my surprise though, he wasn't bad at all to play with, and I actually liked him more than Mario, not entirely sure why, I just had better luck with him or something. I was up to the second to last fight where you have to fight every Pokémon character in the game, and finally got a smash ball. I hit "B" near some Lucario and Ivysaur. Luigi began to glow with inverted colors and dance around while chanting some kind of gibberish.

Everything inside the glow, including Lucario and Ivysuar, was also in negative color. I couldn't move Luigi from his dance, so I prepared for a beating from the two Pokémon, but to my surprise they did not attack. Ivysaur began walking on two legs and taking steady damage and Lucario just began falling over and over again, getting up and falling. Well, after Luigi's dance was over, I knocked them away easily and played through the rest of the game until I received Luigi's final smash trophy.

I was eager to see the explanation of that weird move. The trophy showed four Luigis in the positions of his dance, Mario was in the middle—asleep, and they were all in that reverse-colored bubble. The trophy was called "Negative Zone" and this was the description: Luigi's Final Smash. "As exotic music plays, he performs a dance befitting a sorcerer's incantation. A barrier envelops him, negatively impacting all in his area. Random effects include getting launched, sleeping, moving in slow motion, tripping, fainting, and losing attack power. This technique is a reflection of the dark side he embraced in his brother's shadow."

"World -1" title screen

What? I stared at the last line, "A reflection of the dark side he embraced in his brother's shadow." Luigi had a dark side? I looked into this further on the internet and gave it some thought. Luigi's been there since the very first Mario Bros. but it's always been called that. Mario Bros. Luigi's always been the second guy, the weaker or slower, or more cowardly guy, even when he's in the lead of the game, he's shown as a coward. Why does he allow Mario to take the lead, what could have happened to him to make him so easily scared? Well, while looking online, I discovered a glitch in the original Super Mario Bros. game that is actually called the "Minus World" because when entering this level, the title is shown as "World -1." But obviously, it could also be called a negative zone.

On a NES, this takes you to an endless ocean where the only end is losing all your lives. But there are minus worlds up to -8, none of them ever intentionally programmed into the game, only accessible through hacking. In these levels, a player may experience all sorts of hellish sights, like multiple princesses often floating over pits, and a headless Bowser which throws hammers. At the base of the screen, Koopas walk through the brick platforms. The same happens when you hack a flagpole into world 8-4, though these levels have fully formed names, there are times when colors are inverted, or negative, as seen through Luigi's bubble. They go up to 8-9 when Mario enters a black room and immediately dies due to "time up." As I said, these levels were never coded into the game, but rather formed there.

Glitch world 8-6

It is just random garbage code, jumbling together to make a playable game. Is this where Luigi is when not being played? It would explain his new trick, and the why he's so often scared, as if traumatized. Forced run this gauntlet over and over again while Mario is bathed in glory for running his far easier levels all the time. I think it's safe to say that Luigi’s anger is now greater than his fear, and he’s learned to further control glitches like those he was forced to live through. Negative zone is Luigi forcing other characters to endure glitches and he’s only getting better. How much longer until Luigi graduates from glitch to full virus? And how much choice did Nintendo have when they named 2013, "Year of Luigi?"