Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga / Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's MinionsFawful first appears in 2003's Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga as the secondary antagonist working for Cackletta, a witch seeking to use the wish-granting powers of the Beanstar for her own ends. She and Fawful, disguised as Goodwill Ambassadors, enter Princess Peach's castle and present a chest containing a device which sprays toxic gas in the princess's face, removing her voice which is sucked into Fawful's Vacuum Helmet. The two then make their escape, leaving the princess unconscious.
When Mario and Luigi, along with Bowser, give chase, Fawful is ordered to attack their ship, the Koopa Cruiser. He fights the Mario Bros. and lays waste to the Cruiser, causing it to crash land near the border of the Beanbean Kingdom. Fawful and Cackletta then capture Prince Peasley of the Beanbean Kingdom, transforming him into a dangerous dragon, and head to Beanbean Castle while the military guard are distracted searching for the prince. They successfully transform Queen Bean into a monster and trick Mario and Luigi into disabling the security system on the Beanstar.
With both the Beanstar and the voice of Peach in their possession, Fawful and Cackletta head for Woohoo Hooniversity to awaken the Beanstar with Peach's voice, said to be the only voice pleasant enough to do this. However, this backfires when the voice irritates the Beanstar, causing it to go mad and wreak havoc. As the villains panic, Mario and Luigi corner them and defeat Cackletta. Fawful comes to her aid and absorbs her soul into his Vacuum Helmet. Before he's able to attack the Mario Bros., however, Prince Peasley arrives and expels him from the building. Shortly after the Mario Bros. fight against the thief Popple and an amnesiac Bowser, they are sent into the sky with the irritated Beanstar and fall off as it explodes. Bowser remembers his identity for a brief moment before being knocked out again, where he is found by Fawful.
After Cackletta's spirit expresses a desire for any new body, Fawful allows her to possess Bowser, creating a fusion called Bowletta. Meanwhile, Prince Peasley attempts to search for the Beanstar's remains while Mario, Luigi, and Peach (who as it turns out, was never attacked and instead was replaced with a disguised Birdo at the beginning) take a trip to the Mushroom Kingdom immigrant community Little Fungitown. Here, Mario falls ill after eating an Invincishroom he won at the arcade. While Mario is ill and Luigi is out finding a cure, Bowletta and Fawful attack and kidnap the princess. Once Mario recovers, they return to Beanbean Castle where Bowletta contacts them demanding the Beanstar pieces if they ever want to see Peach again.
Once they find the Beanstar pieces, Mario and Luigi travel to Joke's End and attempt to trick Fawful with a fake Beanstar, which immediately fails as Fawful steals the real one. Mario follows him to Bowletta, who calls them scheming liars and refuses to release the princess. Mario, however, laughs as a second princess (who is actually a disguised Luigi) enters and claims the kidnapped princess was a fake all along. Enraged, Bowletta and Fawful dump the real princess and kidnap the fake one. However, they soon notice that the "princess" is always covering her face and pretend a terrifying monster is behind her, causing Luigi to turn around and scream, uncovering his mustache. Exposed, Luigi runs away and takes off the dress revealing his overalls underneath. He successfully steals the Beanstar back and jumps off the ship, using the dress as a parachute.
Having lost both Peach and the Beanstar, the villains angrily travel to the Mushroom Kingdom to make use of Bowser's flying castle, with Bowser's minions including the Koopalings believing Bowletta to be Bowser and thus helping her. They use the castle to fire Bullet Bills at Beanbean Castle and the surrounding town, prompting the Mario Bros. to enlist the help of the pterodactyl Blablanadon and travel to the floating castle. After defeating the seven Koopalings, they encounter Fawful, who changes into a pink jumpsuit and now has an antenna on his head. He expresses annoyance at the fact that everything he has done up to this point was not for his own sake, but for Cackletta's, and in the end he was only a servant. He then battles the Mario Bros., who defeat him. However, he attempts to catch Mario off-guard with an electric blast, and is challenged by Prince Peasley, who also receives a shock from Fawful's antenna. Mario quickly recovers from his own shock however, and he and Luigi work together to send Fawful flying out of the castle and into the ocean below.
The 2017 remake, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions, features an additional mode with its own story taking place alongside the original. It centers around Bowser's minions and their quest to find their master after being separated from him by Fawful. This mode brings in a few elements that debuted in later games such as Bowser's Inside Story such as Mechawfuls, mechanical robots designed after Fawful, despite this game canonically taking place before their official debut in 2009.
Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time
Despite his villainous role in the previous game, Fawful is not hostile in his minor appearance in the 2005 sequel, Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time. He has no relevance to the plot of the game, which instead centers on an alien army called the Shroobs invading the Mushroom Kingdom of the past. However, Fawful can be found running a secret shop called Fawful's Bean 'N' Badge in the sewers of Peach's Castle of the present. He never encounters Mario and Luigi as adults, and can only be reached by Baby Mario and Baby Luigi, who he doesn't recognize. His primary purpose is to sell badges in return for Beans (as opposed to other shops which accept coins). He also seeks visions which aid the Baby Mario Bros. (and the adult Bros.) on their quest, and references the previous game by ranting about the two "bad red and green men" who lay waste to his plans and overheated his ship with jumping and hammering, swearing revenge on them and commenting that the babies look similar (but not realizing they are the same characters). This also foreshadows his role in the next game.
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story / Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey
Fawful returns in the third game, Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, as the main antagonist. He once again disguises himself to sell suspicious mushrooms to residents of the Mushroom Kingdom, spreading a disease called The Blorbs, which causes the body to swell up into a balloon. This however, was only part of a more elaborate plan to get Princess Peach and the Mario Bros. into a meeting to discuss a possible cure. Bowser also shows up and is defeated by Mario as usual. Princess Peach, with the help of a Star Sprite named Starlow, sends Bowser into the nearby forest where he is met by the disguised Fawful and tricked into eating another odd mushroom. As Bowser begins feeling odd from eating the mushroom, Fawful laughs and flies off on his hovercraft. Bowser goes into an uncontrollable rampage and inhales everything in sight, returning to Peach's Castle and inhaling everyone in the meeting room, including Mario, Luigi, Starlow and Peach. He then falls unconscious, and is taken away by Fawful and his new pig henchman Midbus.
Bowser wakes up alone in a cave after Mario and Luigi stimulated his nerves from the inside. Starlow makes contact with him under the alias of "Chippy," and Bowser reveals that he has no memory of being under the mushroom's effect. He eventually runs into Fawful once again, who explains his plans to take over both Peach's and Bowser's castles. Bowser, angered at the idea of losing his castle, attempts to chase Fawful but is cut off by the burly Midbus. Bowser attempts to battle Midbus but begins to feel weak from the mushroom he had eaten earlier, and Midbus tells him to come back when he's stronger.
Meanwhile, Fawful easily takes over Bowser's castle, brainwashes his minions and remodels it into a theater where he performs on stage for the Koopa Troop who have been brainwashed into idolizing him. When Bowser arrives, he is escorted as a VIP guest to the theater, where Fawful has him again battle Midbus in a cage fight. This time, however, Bowser emerges victorious and Fawful calls a group of Boos to escort the Koopa King to the VIP room where a banquet of his favorite foods await. Happy to indulge, Bowser eats until he is full, and attempts to leave, only for the Boos to insist he keep eating. Once he eats so much he can't move, he falls into the floor and gets stuck. Meanwhile inside his body, Mario and Luigi find Princess Peach, but she is soon taken by energy from Fawful's ray gun, which he is using on Bowser from the room below. Revealing a change of plans, Fawful says he needs the princess now, and eventually she ends up on top of Fawful, who struggles to lift her body due to being physically weak. Bowser falls all the way down onto a treadmill, which is set to the highest speed, allowing Bowser to burn off all his fat while Fawful and Midbus leave. Bowser, on fire after burning off the fat, jumps off the treadmill and realizes he's next to several crates of Bob-Ombs. The resulting explosion sends him out of the castle.
Mario and Luigi eventually find their way to an area of Bowser's body with many warp pipes, allowing them to escape. They find themselves underground beneath Toad Town, and find out Fawful is nearby, searching for an ancient artifact known as the Dark Star, which can also only be awakened by Peach. By the time the Bros. make it to the Dark Star's location, Fawful has already stolen it, laughing and singing a mocking song about his plans to rule the kingdom with its dark powers. They attempt to chase him aboveground to Peach's Castle, but he had already created an impenetrable blockade using the Dark Star's power. At a loss, they confront Doctor Toadley, a doctor who uses a crystal ball to diagnose his patients. However, Bowser, still unaware that Mario and Luigi had been in his body, find them and attack them. They again defeat him, and Toadley informs them that they'll need three Star Cures to stand a chance against the Dark Star and cure the Blorbs. Bowser immediately attempts to go after the three cures, but the first turns out to be inside his body in the possession of a sage named Wisdurm, who had been inhaled. Mario and Luigi obtain it after re-entering his body through a warp pipe. Bowser finds out the second Star Cure is already in his possession, locked in a safe below his castle. Although Fawful had taken it over, Bowser is confident the underground treasure chamber is still intact.
However, to his dismay, he finds that a railway has been constructed directly through his treasure chamber. The Fawful Express arrives on the tracks and several Monty Moles disembark, revealing that this railway project, originally ordered by Bowser, had been bought out by the Fawful Foundation. The train then attempts to run Bowser over, but Mario and Luigi are able to stimulate his body during such a critical moment to become huge and overpower the train, destroying it. Bowser then returns to normal size, finds the safe with the help of his three minions who had escaped brainwashing, Private Goomp, Sergeant Guy and Corporal Paraplonk. However once he opens the safe and retrieves the Star Cure, the three shove him into it, revealing that they too had been bribed by Fawful. Bowser, only having the Star Cure to take out his anger on, eats it, allowing Mario and Luigi to retrieve it. They proceed to find the third, guarded by the sage Chakron atop a mountain, and the three Cures unite to form the Miracle Cure, which cures the Blorbs and grants access to Peach's Castle.
Mario and Luigi eventually encounter a robot made from garbage created by Midbus called Junker, which tries to defeat them but eventually goes haywire, clearing out a garbage pit and destroying a safe, revealing it to be the one Bowser was trapped in. Mario and Luigi decide to re-enter his body and fix his injured back, allowing Bowser to infiltrate the castle and eventually find the room where Fawful and Midbus are trying to awaken the Dark Star. They reveal that the Dark Star has almost gathered enough energy from the unconscious Peach to be awakened, but in the meantime Fawful uses his ray gun to power up Midbus, granting him ice powers, in an attempt to defeat Bowser. However, Bowser still manages to defeat him, but had been stalled long enough for the Dark Star to awaken and Fawful to begin absorbing its power into himself through his Vacuum Helmet. He is unable to absorb it all however, due to Bowser punching him out of the room. Bowser laughs at the satisfaction of finally landing a hit on Fawful, but in doing so doesn't notice the Dark Star approaching him from behind. It enters his body and begins absorbing some of his DNA. Mario and Luigi eventually find it and battle it. They defeat it, however it manages to dissolve into energy which leaves Bowser's body and uses the DNA it absorbed to take on the ghostly shape of a Bowser clone. This dark figure detects the presence of Fawful, who has the rest of the dark power, and leaves to search for him.
When the real Bowser finds Fawful, he is revealed to have gained red eyes and a blue cloak with a spiky collar as opposed to the red cloak he had previously worn. He attempts to transform Peach's Castle into a giant mech to crush Bowser, but the resulting critical condition allows Mario and Luigi to make Bowser giant again to defeat the castle-bot. With the castle out of commission, Bowser re-enters it and faces Dark Fawful. Fawful tells Bowser he has proven to be just as much of a nuisance as Mario and Luigi, which angers Bowser as he hates being compared to his enemies. Bowser battles Dark Fawful, who proves to be more competent against Bowser due to his new dark powers, but is still defeated, losing his form almost completely until he is just a small black blob with his face and bug-like appendages. The tiny bug scurries away as Bowser laughs at how pathetic he looks. However, Starlow (who is still known to Bowser as Chippy and acts as the communication between Bowser and the Bros.) informs him that if Dark Bowser were to find Fawful, he could complete the dark power and become whole.
Bowser follows Fawful, only to find him already being sucked inside Dark Bowser, granting the latter a physical form. Dark Bowser, with his power complete, travels to the highest tower of the castle with Bowser not far behind. With Dark Bowser cornered, he creates a dark storm which spreads across the kingdom. Starlow decides to try and give Bowser confidence by revealing he has backup in the form of Mario and Luigi, who then also shout in agreement. Bowser however, can't hear over the wind, and fights against Dark Bowser. During the battle, Bowser causes his dark doppelganger to spit up the Fawful Bug, allowing Bowser to inhale him. Inside his body, the Dark Star Core powers Fawful up into a larger version of the bug, which battles Mario and Luigi. After destroying his legs, they are able to attack the Dark Star Core and eventually destroy it, rendering Dark Bowser unstable. Bowser is then able to easily destroy Dark Bowser, restoring peace to the kingdom. Fawful, now unstable as well, mumbles about how close he came, but promises to not be evil anymore, only to immediately attempt to destroy Mario and Luigi in a last-ditch kamekaze explosion, which fails and only causes Bowser to spit them up, along with everyone else who had been inhaled. Bowser is angry that Mario and Luigi had been in his body the whole time, and is even angrier when Starlow speaks and he figures out that Chippy had been her the whole time. They go back to their usual fighting, with Mario and Luigi victorious, but Bowser goes back to his castle and eventually receives a cake from Peach, thanking him for his part in stopping Fawful and saving the kingdom. Fawful is presumed dead after exploding, and has not appeared in any future installments aside from remakes.
In the 2019 remake of Bowser's Inside Story, an extra story is introduced, much like Minion Quest from the first remake. Fawful appears as a minor antagonist in this story, which focuses on Bowser Jr., the Koopalings and the rest of the Koopa Troop on their own quest during Fawful's reign of terror. Fawful hires three new henchmen, known as the Best Fitness Friends (BFFs) consisting of Dieter, Beef and Kaley, to assist in some of his schemes. However, they are revealed to have their own agenda and plot to betray him, becoming the true main antagonists of this side story. Despite Fawful's less prominent role, his influence is still seen throughout, including all the creatures and minions he had brainwashed, and his mechanical creations such as Fawfulcopters. The BFFs plot to brainwash not only the Koopa Troop, but Fawful's forces as well.
Personality and popularity
Fawful is a technical genius, but is also somewhat insane. In Superstar Saga he is completely loyal to Cackletta until the very end, where he implies he's at least slightly irritated that all his work was for her sake rather than his own. Regardless, he never lets go of his anger at the Mario Bros. for meddling with him, and begins to have similar annoyance with Bowser in Bowser's Inside Story. He seems to enjoy attention as seen when he performs on-stage and turns Bowser's Castle into "Fawful Theater." The only characters he seems to care or have respect for are Cackletta in Superstar Saga and Midbus in Bowser's Inside Story.
Fawful is notable for speaking in Engrish, with most of his lines being similar to poor translations in older games. One of his most common phrases is "I HAVE FURY!" which is regarded as his catchphrase. He will often use other words in place of "fury" depending on the context. This odd way of speaking has earned him a cult following, and he is a contender for one of the most popular Mario villains behind Bowser and his affiliates, Wario and Donkey Kong. Despite his apparent demise, many fans push for his return and he is a somewhat popular request for multiplayer Mario titles and even Super Smash Bros. He has many parallels with Dimentio from Super Paper Mario such as both starting out as henchmen but becoming the main threat later, using a powerful dark object to eventually become an even more corrupted abomination and in the end being reduced to a head and exploding. The popularity of these two villains also made them popular requests for the crossover Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, which ended up opting to not use characters specific to Mario & Luigi or Paper Mario at all, with the sole exception of Starlow.