For many of you, February is the month of love, a month where we cherish our loved ones, pampering and doting on them. This sort of mushy stuff is all well and good, but that is not the only type of love. No, there is such a thing as platonic love, between two respected comrades or a teacher and student. This is the type of love that Cackletta and Fawful share, and the reason I felt compelled to write about them for this installment of Building Character.
Perhaps not all of you are familiar with these fine green Beanish individuals. They hail from Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga for the GBA. They are both unrepentant villains, though Cackletta is most definitely the alpha. She is a Beanish witch from the Beanbean Kingdom who stole Peach’s voice for her heinous plot to gain power over the Beanstar. She’s generally nasty and violent, and prone to setting things on fire or striking them with lightning. She pretty much hates everyone and everything with one exception, and that is her lovely minion Fawful. He is the only one she treats with any modicum of kindness or respect, relying on his mechanical abilities and devious intelligence. In Superstar Saga, Fawful is a maniacal scientist who builds various robotic contraptions to hinder the plumber brothers and aid Cackletta. He’s particularly famous for his bizarre engrish catchphrases, such as “Have you readiness for this?”, “I drizzled rage dressing on the country next door. Rage dressing on a salad of evil!” or his constant classic “I HAVE FURY!”. Even though Fawful is the more prominent one, as he appeared in three of the four Mario & Luigi games, he still got his start with Cackletta. And what a start it was.
Cackletta and Fawful are primarily goofball villains, starting off by impersonating traveling dignitaries in their plot to steal Peach’s voice and replace it with explosives (totally what happened, don’t ask). However, the duo proves their mettle in battle more than once, causing Mario and Luigi all sorts of grief. From Cackletta transforming the Bean royalty into monsters to Fawful harassing the bros with his machines and devices, they are a constant thorn in the duo’s side. Both are arrogant and full of rage (fury, even), but they are both better together. Fawful’s greatest moment in the game is where, after Cackletta is thrashed by the brothers and left utterly defeated, he uses his special helmet to vacuum her soul to safety. He then happens upon a weakened amnesiac Bowser and unleashes Cackletta’s malevolent soul to create the most hideous hybrid ever seen in a Mario game – Bowletta!
In her new form, Cackletta is even more powerful, having access to Bowser’s brute strength on top of her arcane magical power. With Fawful at her side, Bowletta almost manages to achieve her desire to get the Beanstar’s power for her own. And just when all seems lost for the twisted witch, she tricks the brothers into thinking her defeated, right before swallowing both Mario and Luigi whole! That manic determination, that never say die attitude is what makes Cackletta such a great villain. She might not be the most three dimensional character in the world, but I respect her for it. Fawful shares that trait with her, and manages to make several other appearances in the series, even headlining the third as the main villain!
Even though Fawful is perhaps my favorite Mario villain, this article isn’t about just him. Cackletta is the (shriveled) heart of the team, but he is the soul. Though they didn’t reach their goals, they never stopped striving for them. But, I’m sure some of you nitpickers are asking “But WHY are they so good together?” Well, I have a simple answer for you. They are good together simply because when they are, they are better villains. Yes, Fawful has the spotlight himself in Bowser’s Inside Story, but what does he really accomplish? He makes Bowser eat Mario and Luigi, sure, but in the end they still save the day. More importantly, without Cackletta, Fawful is lonely and attempts to fill the void with henchmen. But, like a pit of bottomless fury, that void simply cannot be filled. Thus, this Valentine’s Day, think about Cackletta and Fawful. They were great friends and better villains. Plus they managed to cause a ton of chaos and insanity along the way. And in the end, isn’t that what matters most?
Thanks to Brodie for the awesome Featured Image!