Luigi vs. Tails: Who is the best sidekick??

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(credit goes to FaisalAiden of Deviantart)

Hello people of Florida gamers. After a lot of hiatus and a failed attempt at a FAQ, I come back with something I had promised and now I’m going to do it. I’ve decided to throw aside biases for a few to do a second character vs. character debate to find out who is the best. Today I have two of the best well known sidekicks in gaming. Luigi, the shy, ghostbusting brother of Mario and Miles Tails Prower, the super smart fox with a knack for airplanes in the shadow of his friend Sonic the Hedgehog. This will be decided similar to the first one from before, let’s get started.

Backgrounds

Luigi:
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Luigi is one of the first main characters in the Mario series. While Mario got his start on the Donkey Kong Arcade games and led on to having about 3 to 4 of them made, Luigi was first mentioned in the arcade game Mario Bros as the brother to the plumber and was playable by a second player. Now at this time, he was just a pallete swap of Mario’s sprite in the game. Luigi did not get his green color until 1985 in the critical acclaimed Super Mario Bros where he was clothed in green and white and still available as a second player. Luigi got his first playable experience in the brutal Lost Levels game where you could go a single game with Luigi. Luigi would not get his modern green and blue look until the american version of Super Mario Bros 2 and since then he has kept the same look. Luigi has followed Mario through nearly adventure, always having his brother’s back but not every adventure included Luigi. Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine, 2 of Mario’s biggest adventures did not have Luigi at all. Why???
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(Luigi getting a Power Star)

Luigi is known for being in the shadow of his brother and has mostly been seen as a support character but in the past years, he has been seen enjoying much larger roles such as traveling the universe in the Galaxy games, and even getting some DLC of his own on New Super Mario Luigi U. Luigi has been shown to be able to fight but he isn’t that great at it. Through all the years, Luigi has always faced his fears and his list of accomplishments is quite remarkable for a plumber who flinches at the site of goombas.
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Miles Tails Prower:
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Our little friend Tails here started out as Sonic’s new best buddy in Sonic The Hedgehog 2 for the Master System but his true first appearance to the world was in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for the Genesis/Mega Drive. He was the silent type, following Sonic through every level, collecting rings and even helping fighting the bosses. Tails is obviously a fox with his two tails to which he could fly with them although this ability was not used until Sonic The Hedgehog 3 a few years later. He has a deep admiration for Sonic ever since they met and sees Sonic as his older brother and a mentor with a dream of being as cool as he is someday. Tails has played the support role through all of Sonic’s adventures from the start but not all of them just saw him in the background. In Sonic 3/Knuckles, Tails was fully playable and had his own gameplay, Sonic Adventure 1 had him flying through stages and in Sonic 2 he was shooting badnicks in a walking tank. Tails has a high IQ for a fox his age and uses his knowledge to build all sorts of machinery. His most notable creations are his Tornado planes.
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(Look at that thing, don’t want to be on the receiving end of that do you?)

Tails can be shy at times and is not always confident in his abilities. He has shown to hold his own but tries to use other means to solve a problem. In recent years, Tails has taken the back seat once again in Sonic’s adventures but he is still loved by the Sonic fanbase and is not going anywhere anytime soon.
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(Look at those cute eyes)

Who has the better Abilities/Skills?:

Luigi:
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Luigi has a lot of abilities closely related to his brother. Like Mario, Luigi has access to many different powerups. He can use items like Mushrooms to grow larger or Fire and Ice flowers to throw balls of Fire and Ice. He can use many items like the Starman to gain invincibility or use Boo Mushrooms to turn invisible for a short time. Cape Feathers give him the ability to fly and he has been shown to be able to ride Yoshi as well as Mario can. It is unknown if he can use the Metal Cap or Invisibility cap from Super Mario 64 although it is sorta implied through the Smash Bros series that he can use the Metal Cap. He can also jump much higher than Mario but he also has poor traction, causing him to slip.
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Luigi is a capable ghost hunter. Using the Poltergust 3000, Luigi can clean house of ghosts with ease by using his flashlight and vacuum to take care of whatever is in his way. Luigi has been shown he can be the capable fighter time to time. He has been in all the Smash Bros games and holds his own quite well using moves similar to Mario but with his own original moves tossed in. He has shown to have an even wider array of moves from the Mario and Luigi series of games ranging from shell attacks, hammers, meteors, and so on. He can also throw special green fireballs while racing in Mario Kart Double Dash but in future games most noticeably in Super Smash Bros games he shoots green fire. Hell, he can even fire himself like a missile across long distances. That is a neat attack if you ask me.
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Tails:
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Tails has been shown to have similar abilities to Sonic. He can spindash and roll into a ball to gain speed to hit enemies. He can push himself to a decent speed by using his tails as propellers but he tires quickly. By using these tails to fly, he can hover short distances in the air or cross large gaps, but by using the special Jet Anklet, he can increase his flying speed, enabling him to cover more distances with ease. He can do a spin attack using his tails as well. Tails can use the power of the Super Emeralds to obtain his own Super Form where he leads a Flicky army of death that is basically a huge game breaker in Sonic and Knuckles.

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(Credit to unknown artist)

Tails’ main abilities come from his knowledge of machinery, most notably airplanes. He can build airplanes that run on the power of the Chaos emeralds, hoverboards to race with, a walking tank that can fire off deadly ammo and then transform into a working car, and much much more. Tails can build communicators and even watercraft if needed. Tails is also a very skilled driver who can avoid pretty much any rush hour traffic as noted in Sonic Adventure 2. Tails has some fighting ability but his skills are more long range as seen in the Sonic Riders, Sonic and Sega All Stars Racing series of games, Sonic Battle, and Sonic Chronicles. He prefers not to fight unless it’s absolutely necessary.
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(Tornado 1 and Tornado 2, a few among Tails’ vast amount of machines that he’s built)

Overall:
I think Tails has the advantage over Luigi in skills and abilities. Tails is smarter and can think critically and make decisions to outsmart Luigi. While Luigi has a lot of powerups, without them, he doesn’t have much to bring to a fight while Tails could easily bring out his planes, or his mech or just beat Luigi in a math competition. But I think both Luigi and Tails have really cool abilities and skills that suit them well in their respective universes.

Who had the better solo game(s)?

Luigi:
(Note: Mario is Missing is not going on here). When the gamecube first came out, fans wanted a new Mario game but instead they got Luigi. Luigi was not saving a princess or anything, but he was exploring a haunted house in search of his famous brother. Luigi’s Mansion as we all know is an adventure game in which Luigi finds out he won a mansion in a contest he didn’t enter and arrives at the mansion and realizes the place is haunted after wetting himself. Armed with a vacuum cleaner from a guy named Professor E. Gadd, Luigi sets off to rescue Mario.
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Luigi’s Mansion focuses on Luigi as he travels through the mansion’s 4 areas searching for clues to find Mario, catching ghosts, and keeping his cool. Throughout the game Luigi encounters portrait ghosts, ghosts that E.Gadd had kept in a gallery and a giant Boo named Boolossous came and freed all the ghosts. At the end of each area is a boss ghost until you reach the final area of the game where King Boo has Mario captive in a painting. Luigi’s Mansion is a fun game to pass time and has a charm to it to which adds to the game’s personality. With catchy music, memorable ghosts, and a lot of quirky humor, Luigi’s Mansion is a fun game for any fan of the Mario series.
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Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon had our green hero returning to the ghostbusting scene. I have personally not played it but the story evolves around this place called Evershade Valley where E.Gadd is studying friendly ghosts but when the Dark Moon shatters and the pieces scatter, the ghosts become hostile. It looks very decent to me and I can’t wait to play it.

Luigi also had this past year some of his one spotlight as DLC for New Super Mario Bros Wii U as part of Nintendo’s Year of Luigi. This extra package focuses on Luigi alone as he traverses through 80 plus new levels by himself and is available as download or you now buy it as a separate game entirely.
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Tails:
Tails has had a few titles to which he was the main star. In Tail’s Skypatrol for the Game Gear, Tails finds himself on a mysterious island and gets into conflict with an old woman named Wendy who threatens to turn any dissidents on the island into crystals. The gameplay is similar to the style in the normal Sonic series but Tails is suspended in flight mode and the screen auto scrolls with the goal just to complete each stage. Tails has a stamina meter and the player has to watch it constantly so he doesn’t fall to the ground, causing him to lose a life. The game itself is fun but a lot of fans looked past it due to it being really easy and having issues and the Game Gear itself was hard to deal with due to it’s screen.
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Tails and the Music Maker was an educational game for the Sega Pico in which Tails taught children about music through mini games. Not much else to say here.

Tails Adventure for the Game Gear is different depending on if you have the Japanese version or the Western version. The Japanese story is much more detailed but basically in both, Tails finds an island which he claims for himself but a Flicky tells him the island is being invaded. In this game, you backtrack and solve puzzles, giving the game an RPG like style of gameplay. Out of all of Tail’s games, this one is liked the most.
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Overall: Luigi takes this one easily. While I love Tails’ solo adventures, Luigi’s games are just bigger and easier to play them. To play Tails’ games, you either need a Game Gear with the games or a Pico, or Sonic Adventure DX and unlock Tails’ Adventure and Skypatrol.

Who has fared better in recent years?:

Luigi:
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In the days since the Gamecube, Luigi has been in the spotlight quite a bit taking bigger and more prominent roles. He helped Mario collect power stars through the universe in the Galaxy games, travel through new lands in all the New Super Mario Bros games including his New Super Luigi U. He has been inside Bowser’s body and helped Mario go through a dreamworld in Bowser’s Inside Story and Dream Team respectfully. His solo game got a sequel Dark Moon and he is scheduled to be in a Dr. Mario remake as the main character. Luigi is more popular now than he ever has been.

Tails:
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Since the days of Adventure 1,2, and Heroes, Tails has been in the backseat a lot through Sonic’s more recent adventures. In Sonic Rush Adventure, he helped Sonic by building a bunch of watercraft. His backseat roles have included but not limited to: Ali Baba in Sonic and the Secret Rings, Blacksmith in Sonic and The Black Knight, a translator in Sonic Colors, and others to name as well. Tails was in Generations along with his younger self. Tails’ last real playable appearance was in Sonic 2006 without counting the racing games or the Olympic Crossover games. With the newly announced Sonic Boom, Tails appears to be returning to a playable status which is welcoming.

Overall:
Luigi is my choice for this once again. Luigi has been brought out of his shadow and because of it, he is a lot more popular now and it works in Nintendo’s favor as they were happy to give Luigi his own year of stuff. I know Sonic Team will never do that with Tails and while Tails is a staple of the series, he is in my opinion starting to lose his popularity. So that’s why Luigi is picked for this spot.

Accomplishments as many as I can name (Spinoff game accomplishments count too):

Luigi:
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  • Helped save the Princess in Super Mario Bros if you were playing a two player game
  • Helped defeat Wart in Super Mario Bros 2 (USA) despite it being a dream
  • Tagged along in Super Mario Bros 3 if a two player game
  • Tagged along in Super Mario World
  • Saved Mario from a Boo infested mansion and faced his greatest fears and prevailed
  • Helped Mario earn Power Stars in both Galaxy games and even got a whole new game just made for him (for those going for total completion of the first Galaxy game)
  • Was a main character in all New Super Mario Bros games, Super Mario 3D World, Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon, and New Super Luigi U
  • Saved the world with Mario in all  Mario and Luigi RPG games
  • Has participated in every sport possible with his brother
  • Competed in 4 different Olympics
  • Survived Smash Bros 3 times, soon to be fourth
  • Survived Mario Party

Tails:
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  • Saved the world from Eggman with Sonic in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for both Master System and Genesis/Mega Drive
  • Saved the world by himself in Sonic 3/Knuckles if player chose him by himself
  • Kamikazied his Tornado 2 into the Egg Carrier like a boss in Sonic Adventure
  • Faced his fears and saved Station Square in Sonic Adventure from destruction
  • Armed with his mech, Tails helped stop Space Colony Ark from falling in Sonic Adventure 2
  • Created a fake emerald with near the same properties as real ones
  • Fought Eggman to avenge Sonic after his apparent death and won in Sonic Adventure 2
  • Carried his teammates through 10 plus stages in Heroes without complaining and fought Metal Overlord with Sonic and Knuckles
  • Stopped Eggman in all Sonic Advance games
  • Was a blacksmith for Sonic in Sonic and The Black Knight
  • Starred in 3 of his own games and ended up a hero
  • Built a working translator in Sonic Colors to talk to Wisps
  • Teamed up with his past self in Sonic Generations to solve the Time Eater mystery
  • Teamed up with Sonic in Sonic 4 Episode 2
  • Survived a near end of friendship in Sonic Lost World
  • Helped to stop Eggman gain control of Babylon Garden in Sonic Riders and Sonic Riders Zero Gravity
  • Participated in 4 Olympics
  • Survived Sonic Shuffle

Overall: I give both of them this point. There’s so many more minor things I could put but I put the most well known accomplishments these two sidekicks have under their belts. Both of them have done so much that I can’t say one or the other. I’m giving it to both of them.

My Final Thoughts: Both Luigi and Tails are two of the best well known sidekicks around. No matter the hardships they always come back ready to fight harder with determination and perseverance. I believe I have covered all that is needed to make a decision and I promise I kept it as equal as possible. As I said with Mario vs. Sonic, I love both Luigi and Tails and without them, their respective universes would suffer without them. Enough of all this banter, time for the final results!

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My answer:
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Luigi. This was so close, it took me 15 minutes of self debate of who to put on this spot. I couldn’t very well make it a tie cause then the purpose of this would be invalid. I believe that Luigi trumps Tails by so little margin I don’t have much to say because I’m not really sure why I like Luigi more. Tails dies multiple times while running behind Sonic but he never quits, Mario always gets Peach and Luigi is either forgotten about if Daisy isn’t around but he comes back every game ready to go again. I believe these two represent the best of sidekicks and the best of friends. Luigi is Mario’s brother, Sonic is like a brother to Tails, it’s strong bonds like that keep these two going. Luigi is my choice but only by 0.00000001 percent over Miles Tails Prower

Afterword:
All right, up next is a special co review with my good friend Jon Pittenger. We’re covering an SNES classic, Tiny Toons Adventures: Buster Busts Loose.

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2 Comments

Filed under Retro Review, Uncategorized

2 responses to “Luigi vs. Tails: Who is the best sidekick??

  1. I never thought I could care so much about these two annoying characters :p Good stuff!

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