Wario Land


Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 has been one of my favourite games since it was first released. I won't bore you with my personal history but naturally that spun into an appreciation for the greater Wario land series, though the original is still the one that means the most to me.

Most specifically, I became a big fan of the game's villain - Captain Syrup.

Now, if you proclaim to the internet that you have an invested interest in a fictional lady, you're going to be accused of being sexually attracted to her but you might be surprised that this is not the case for me!

I think there are a collection of reasons, but they probably include the fact that she is less sterotypical than your average pirate and was implied to be male right up until you meet her in the final battle - A concept she shares with Metroid hero Samus Aran, and no doubt that surprise endeared her to a lot of players too.

Over the years this appreciation manifested as me drawing a lot of art of Captin Syrup and her Sugar Pirate crew, so here is a comprehensive collection.


Here are most of the miscellaneous pictures I've done.

You can see the first (unpublished) picture which was done before I found official art of the character, and the uncoloured one was my own attempt to update her design which was never finished because I drew it right before Syrup was revealed to return in Wario Land: The Shake Dimension with a new design!


Throughout the first two Wario Land games Captain Syrup is accompanied by her gang of pirates, sometimes called the "Brown Sugar Pirates" sometimes the "Black Sugar Gang" and once the "Kitchen Tool Pirates." I tend to just refer to them as the Sugar Pirates because it's a neutral compromise and I dread to think what black sugar actually is...

Wario Land was a game with very strong theming and the pirates worked well because they were clearly defined as part of the same group. It's tough to tell what Mario monsters are specifically affiliated with Bowser, but all of the pirates either wear a bandana or display the skull symbol somewhere.

In Wario Land: The Shake Dimension Captain Syrup's new design gives her an emblem that is a lot more stylised than the classic skull. I think it's still supposed to be skull-like, but also looks a bit like an octopus. Whatever it is, it's more unique than a basic skull so I now use that when I'm drawing pirates.

And here they are! I think I have every clearly defined pirate from the first two Wario Lands here. I draw them because they will probably never return, so these characters can now only live on vicariously through fan artists such as myself.

You might have noticed some unfamiliar names here.

The sad truth is that most of these characters never got official English names and mixing Japanese and translated names rubs me the wrong way a little bit so I came up with my own proposed names for some of the cast.

In the highly unlikely event they do get official names I'll be happy to change them, but this is just frivolous fan art, no harm in making up some stuff of my own, eh?


In an effort to strengthen Captain Syrup's theming (something I consider extremely important in building memorable fictional characters) and also make her more relevant, I've investigated some Wario Land elements in my own way.

This selection was formatted this way so it could be best displayed on Twitter, and is a reimagining of the final boss fights in Wario Land II.


Everybody knows that you can't call yourself an aficionado of a particular Nintendo character without making a speculative Smash Bros moveset for them (unless they're already in the game (but even then, some people like to reimagine them!))

My general opinion is that making fan movesets is a fruitless endeavour. The game designers aren't going to see your work and even if they do, they certainly aren't going to use your unsolicited ideas. Plus, if you come up with the perfect moveset that you're really attached to and the character finally does earn a spot as a playable fighter, they probably won't live up to your superior idea and you run the risk of being disappointed by your favourite character!

Lucky for me, Captain Syrup has such a vanishingly small chance of ever appearing in another game ever again, over the years I was able to safely go ahead and put together not one, not two, not even three but now four different moveset concepts!


The first big Smash project I did was Super Smash Bros Chaos, a not-very-well-named roster made up of all the characters I wanted to see playable after the release of Super Smash Bros Brawl.

This included a large number of existing fighters but also a wide variety of newcomers, all of whom I presented with a possible moveset.

Naturally, Captain Syrup was high on the list and here is that entry presented with its original description.

Shake It: Inspired by the Bottomless Coin Sack that Syrup stole in Wario Land: The Shake Dimension, this move has her not wasting the coins (which doesn't really make sense) by substituting a regular sack from the game. She shakes it to damage enemies and maybe an item will pop out now and then.

Dangerous Boomerang: One of the Captain's main henchmen is the 'rang throwing Ducks, D.D. (Dangerous Duck) so here she throws one herself (Not the only boomerang wielder I know, but it would have been just as easy to give her a cutlass and there are entirely too many sword users as it is.)

Drop Anchor: In Wario Land II Wario has to drop the anchor of the SS Teacup and here Syrup throws it out herself to damage opponents and latch onto ledges (quite a lot of my newcomers have tether recoveries for some reason.)

Blast Bomb: Straight from Wario Land II these special bombs send opponents directly upwards on a column of fire, but are always thrown directly in front of Syrup (unless you use it in the air!)

Final Wish: I did want her recovery to originally involve using the magic lamp to disappear in a puff of smoke and appear somewhere higher up, but instead opted to use the stolen magical artifact only for her Final Smash, in which she summons the genie who drops bolts of lightning down onto the playing field.


My second set of newcomer considerations was for the "Smash Ballot" project, to coincide with the public ballot that fans could vote in to determine the final DLC character in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS/Wii U.

After finishing the set, I once again went back to Captain Syrup with a few more ideas I think would work for her, still trying to make each special move a direct reference to something from the Wario Land series.

Here it is with my original notes.

NEUTRAL Derived from - Wario: Master of Disguise.

I just really wanted somebody to have an extendable boxing glove attack! I was trying to think of a way for this to function by having it deal no damage but lots of knockback, but then by also having a long range might make it too overpowered.

SIDE Derived from - Wario Land: The Shake Dimension.

I was running out of ideas by this point but something involving a treasure bag, either swinging it around in a circle or overhead, might be nice.

GRAPPLE Derived from -Wario Land II.

I also really like the anchor aesthetic and wanted to fit it in somewhere. I originally had it as a side special but - get this - it latches onto an opponent and pulls them towards you! Like Scorpion! Then I realised that was just a long range grab so I adjusted it to be one.

UP Derived from - Wario Land II.

Again I was trying to move away from mechanical things and up specials as tether recoveries had been removed from the newest Smash games without fanfare so I came up with this. Inspired by her getaway balloon and looking a little like Mario's cape, it's a piece of cloth (maybe a sail?) which billows open to lift you up and can be closed again like Peach's parasol, but only once.

DOWN Derived from - Wario Land.

I spent ages trying to make this look like a mechanical shark, or even a bear trap, but nothing was coming out right. Eventually I figured a bomb would work in the same way as Syrup does use lots of them, but I couldn't draw it buried for some reason! A trap move, it's essentially like Snake's down smash which buries a bomb in the ground that can either be set off by stepping on it or remotely detonating it. It was designed from a "buried treasure" angle but I couldn't get the drawing to work for me.

FINAL Derived from - Wario Land.

I just remembered I didn't draw the effects I was going to here. It's mostly the same as the last time I did this, except I wanted to genie to generate spinning balls of energy, as the Shake King does in The Shake Dimension. I also wanted to jazz up his design.


Unlike the previous entires, this new concept was not planned ahead of time.

It was only after I had completed the SMASH 150 that I realised I hadn't engaged in what had now become tradition: The Captain Syrup moveset.

I went all out with this one, using fully coloured images all the way through and even offering several alternatives just to show what kind of possibilities there were!

The result was quite a lengthy explanation which I have recreated here.

For this set I attempted to stick as closely as possible to attacks and abilities only used in Wario Land games that Syrup appears in and - as far as I could - by Syrup herself.

Counterfeit Coin - Wario Land
In the first Wario Land game the exit door in each level needs to be unlocked by dropping a coin into a slot. Often this has already been done for you but sometimes Wario actually needs to pony up the cash and pay his own way through. This coin throwing ability is a pretty overlooked one, but it can actually be used as an attack! Of course, there's no good reason for Captain Syrup to throw away perfectly good money so here she uses a fake token.

Escape Bomb - Wario Land 2
I've used this basis before, but it functions a bit differently here. The bombs that Syrup drops in one of her fights in Wario Land 2 send a column of fire along the ground which will catch Wario and throw him out of the room. Here it produces a wave of flame that travels along the ground. Charging it up will produce a huge bomb (like the one she uses to escape the castle in the first Wario Land game) which, naturally, produces a larger, stronger flame.

Wish - Wario Land
In the final fight against Syrup in Wario Land, the captain commands a huge genie who is too high up for Wario to stomp on. The key to this battle is for Wario to throw the magic lamp around until it lands the right way up, at which point a puff of smoke pops out and can be used as a platform up to the genie's head. The smoke then turns into a miniature genie who floats around blasting magic onto the ground. That concept manifests here with Syrup producing a magic cloud from her lamp and riding it upwards then, at its peak, it bursts into a lightning bolt.

Alarm Clock - Wario Land 2
I struggled for something to put here but it kind of works. The beginning of Wario Land 2 shows Syrup's pirate gang breaking into Wario's castle, stealing his treasure, turning the taps on and leaving a big alarm clock in a back room somewhere. For this attack Captain Syrup pulls out the alarm clock which, after a certain amount of time, will go off, sending out shockwaves.

Final Wish
Naturally the Final Smash should be a big genie summon. I think was can all agree on that.

Smash Attacks Options
I had a couple of ideas for how smash attacks could work. The first is to swing the anchor (an item from Wario Land 2) which is appropriately nautical but kind of suggests that Syrup is very physically strong, but the fact that she has never been fought hand-to-hand would suggest otherwise. The other idea - and my favourite one - is for her to use her magic lamp to summon big genie fists. Granted, it's a bit Bayonetta-ish but with seventy characters, I don't think a little bit of overlap will ruin anyone's day.

In fact, I've always associated Captain Syrup with the magic lamp, even though she only used it once. I think it's one of the reasons I liked her so much.
She's a pirate, but instead of using standard pirate fare like cannons and cutlasses, or incongruous robotics like other final bosses (though she did that exact thing the very next game) she used a piece of treasure against you.
I loved the notion that she steals so much treasure that the occasional magical artefact would show up and would become part of her defensive arsenal. I tried to integrate the lamp fully into her design above, but here I explored that a bit further - using only treasure that originated in Wario Land games, of course.

Merfle Syrup
A throwable item, this little jar will smash on impact and either create a puddle of sticky syrup on the ground, slowing down anybody who walks through it, or land on an opponents head whereby their motion is hindered until it shakes off. (Technically this doesn't have the be the "treasure" Merfle brand, it could just be Syrup syrup and used in any other moveset!)

Magic Carpet
From the ending of Virtual Boy Wario Land, this can either be a dashing side special or a recovery.

Glass Slippers
From Wario Land Shake, the joke in that game was that there is only one and it is therefore useless, but I've added a second one here so that the pair can function as either a recovery or some sort of magical spin kick.

The other possibility, though probably far less likely, is to come up with a brand new way for Captain Syrup to fight. It has happened for a few Smashers so I thought I'd at least offer a possibility.
Once again I wanted to shy away from classic pirate imagery so instead continued the theme from the very first Wario Land. Captain Syrup's base of operations in on Kitchen Island, a place whose regions are all based on mealtime - Mt. Teapot, Stove Canyon etc, even Captain Syrup's pirate ship is the SS Teacup. So I gave her a big knife and fork to use as weapons! Functionally similar to a sword but different enough to be noteworthy, I think.

Since Ultimate is getting a lot of mileage out of Echo Fighters (a practice I definitely endorse) I wondered how the trend might fit into this proposal.
I actually think it's just about possible to squeeze a Syrup Echo out of Zelda by replacing the glow of Zelda's magic with colourful puffs of smoke (from the lamp) and replacing the Phantom with the Mechagoom but I wasn't prepared to draw all of that, I'm afraid!

However, if I was pitching Captain Syrup as a character, I feel like offering an accompanying Echo and thereby getting two characters for the price of one (in a manner of speaking) might give her a better chance of being accepted. And, since we know Ashley isn't playable and Mona has the most similar size and build, I thought she'd be a good fit. I've shown how the Adventure Scheme could be altered to make Mona representative of the WarioWare series in general, using a Diamond City coin, the iconic Wario Bomb, the Wario Watch and Orbulon's Oinker.

Not necessarily a bad scenario, but it would certainly deflate me a little if this ended up being the case. But I do think that a Captain Syrup costume would be suitable for any type of Mii Fighter!


The name of a game is a tiny little detail that has no bearing on that games quality...but I really don't like the name Super Smash Bros Ultimate.

It is appropriate (for now) but any of those supreme, final words like Ultimate, Universe, Infinite, Forever etc. sound more like a 2005 Flash fan game (and there's probably a good chance there was precisely such a game called Ultimate.)

In Japan it's known as Super Smash Bros Special and I much prefer that. There are lots of other games that use the Ultimate suffix, but Special is much more unique and, wait for it....Special.

Anyway let's get back to business. With the most recent entry in Smash Bros now finally, finally over, it's time to revisit Captain Syrup once again with what I think is my greatest (and probably final or...dare I say...Ultimate) moveset to date!

By coincidence it is mostly themed around the original Wario Land, but I never had to scrape for ideas or references, it seemed to come together quite naturally.

By now you've seen me say "cannons and cutlasses" quite a few times, suffice to say that this time around I want to maintain the idea of Syrup carrying the magic lamp as her primary weapon. Not for every single attack (I don't think bludgeoning people with it is very appropriate) but shown as an integral part of her moveset.

Remember how in classic Kirby games King Dedede would only brandish his mallet for a single attack, but it's always in his hand in Smash? That kind of thing.

In the previous set I had it strapped to her side with a sash. That could still be the case here, though it could also stay hidden unless specifically in use, there just happens to be a lot more moves that use it this time around.

One thing I never previously did with my movesets was offer colour variants. I never saw the point since the functionality was the important thing and I don't mind what alternate schemes are available. That said, I tend to stick to the default colours anyway when I'm playing so it rarely crosses my mind.

This time however I thought it would better complete the set to add some outfit references and cater to those that like them!

1 - Captain Syrup's most modern look comes from Wario Land: The Shake Dimension. Purple is often used for thief/trickster characters, isn't it?

2 - Her "original" colour scheme that never appeared in the monochrome Game Boy games but showed up in rare official art from the era.

3 - Based on her in-game sprite from the Game Boy Colour version of Wario Land II. A swarthier skin tone for a well-travelled pirate!

4 - Based on Queen Merelda from Shake Dimension. It's always worth making sure you have some basic red/blue/green schemes.

5 - Based on Princess Shokora from Wario Land 4. Referencing other notable ladies of the Wario Land games is a good way to acknowledge the series as a whole.

6 - Virtual Boy. Captain Syrup did not appear in Virtual Boy Wario Land but it's an oft neglected entry in the series and I wanted to pay tribute to all of them.

7 - Rudy the Clown from Wario Land 3. This entire design is lifted from Gamtos the Great. I thought it was fantastic and hopefully he doesn't mind!

8 - Gold! Princess Peach and Captain Falcon set a precedent for gold colour schemes in Smash, and it's more than appropriate for the cash collecting captain!

BATTLE ENTRANCE: Entrance animations were always a fun way to add an extra bit of character to a character, having them arrive via a well known vehicle or warping into battle using a technique from their home series.

Unfotunately a lot of the them these days amount to "jump onto stage" or "emerge from special effects vortex."

I've got Captain Syrup's clamshell bed opening up before she hops out, well rested and ready for battle (it also makes up for that dreadful clam bed drawing above.)

BASIC ATTACKS: I am not of the opinion that every single attack needs to be a reference, so I'm happy for the Captain's basic arsenal to be made up of physical attacks.

In the Wario Land series she is never fought directly, and has a knack for escaping a situation so it could be argued that she's a bit of a coward, but that trait has never been explicitly stated and I wanted to make her seem strong and confident so a few punches and kicks seem appropriate.


In my previous concept I included magically generated genie fists as a possible type of smash attack, though admitted it was comparable to Bayonetta's smashes.

But there's plenty of overlap in attack types throughout Smash Bros and I think Bayonetta is defined by more than her giant limb conjuring (and who knows how long they can keep securing her rights?) so I think this is fine, and really gets across Syrup's tactics of calling in support when an encounter escalates.

I decided to stick to hands exclusively, I'm not sure the genie's stubby little legs would look as powerful emerging from the ether on their own.



The first special attack is a fairly basic projectile.

Syrup rubs the lamp and a burst of magical smoke will pop out and shoot along the ground, not dissimilar the Terry's Burn Knuckle.

This is, however, a direct reference to Wario Land's final boss, where the genie's main method of attack is to flick these projectiles from his fingers before they chase Wario along the ground.

As the neutral special, this is the one Kirby would copy.

I would rather see Kirby wearing a hat as a first priority, only attaining hair when there is no other alternative so I wanted to stick with just the bandana for this.

By itself though it looked a little plain so adding the earrings (which I have been drawing noticeably oversized for this series) really adds that extra bit of detail needed.


The side special is a teleport move similar to Zelda's Farore's Wind or Metaknight's Dimensional Cape.

The move will cause Syrup to shroud herself in smoke from the lamp before reappearing again.

If you simply tap the button she will reappear in the same location she started at. This is the fake-out version of the move and does no damage.

However, if you hold down the attack button the Captain reappears somehwere else (and you do have some amount of influence in which direction you travel) while the original cloud of smoke bursts to reveal a bomb!

This is somewhat unique since the "reappear" part of the technique is not the part that does damage. I don't know how well it would actually play in practice but I like its unorthodox nature.


So far every one of my moveset schemes has had completely original attacks. Some might be similar, or derived from the same reference, but I have never lifted one tecnique wholesale from one moveset to another.


It's probably one of the less exciting moves in the set but it works.

A cloud of magical smoke is generated from the lamp which Syrup rides upwards before it explodes in a bolt of lightning.

I think this encapsulates the whole process of summoning a cloud platform and it manifesting a little magic blasting minion genie rather neatly, without having to actually have the minion.

It also cements the notion that if I ever draw Captain Syrup riding a cloud she will always be sitting in this pose.


Many modern Smash characters have some sort of gimmick built into them, for better or worse. I had never thought about trying to give Syrup a gimmick before but this one just came to me and I think it works really well.

As a direct reference to the treasure collecting mechanic in all Wario Land games (which Wario himself does not reference but it makes perfect sense for Syrup to also carry that torch) she uses the lamp to suck money right out of the pockets of her opponents!

There are other physical ways she could collect the money, but using a lamp vacuum is just a neat way to package it and offers a low-risk area-of-effect so it isn't too hard to collect some cash.

Doing so fills your treasure count, a number next to your player portrait which fills up to 100 (or 300 if you're a true Wario nerd!)

The payoff is when the move is used in the air, since Captain Syrup pulls out a sack of treasure and slams down with it.

Of course, the more money you have the bigger the sack and at its largest level it attains the Bowser Bomb's ability to break shields!

This was originally inspired by Wario collecting up all of his treasure duing the ending of Wario Land, with the number of bags he receives correlating to the amount of cash he has acquired, though it seemed neater to stick to one bag which changes size rather than multiple bags.

Having played the original game recently, I also realised it overlaps with the money multiplier mini-game, where a win involves a big sack of coins landing on Wario's head, squashing him.

As one final visual treat, the type of money obtained from an opponent depends on what game series they are originally from ie: Mario series characters drop gold coins, Zelda series characters award rupees, Sonic has rings, Megaman has bolts etc. Characters who don't have a native currency simply get a "Smash Bros" coin.

I wonder if this would require extra negotiation to be allowed to use that imagery if it doesn't already appear in Smash?


I said I have never duplicated moves across concepts but that is of course completely untrue, isn't it?

Every single moveset I've come up with ends the same way!

Summoning the full genie to lay waste to the entire stage is a pretty obvious conclusion, and most other people use the same idea in their concept movesets.

The exact function isn't really that important. With Final Smashes being a rare occurence (and many of them being cinematic at this point) there's almost no tactical element to their use, so as long as the imagery is right it doesn't matter too much if it's a short cutscene of the genie zapping a collection of opponents or if he physically rains lightning down on the stage.

This also marks the first time I finally drew the full attack, and the full genie design! I always found the design a little bland, but then I suppose it is best that he doesn't overshadow Captain Syrup.

However, that shouldn't stop the game designers from adding their own little flair, should it?

That's why I prefer to see older, more obscure characters in Smash because it allows us to see them in a new light! Captain Syrup has never even had a 3D model and when you think of the detail they added to Peach's simple design, there are a lot of things they could do here!

Unfortunately it's less impressive when modern characters become playable because they just look exactly the same as they always have, with no real room for interpretation.


I never intended to put together a stage concept at first.

I wanted some sort of environmental artwork to serve as the background for the main profile images (as they do on the Ultimate website) and planned to use the Syrup Castle interior from the first Wario Land.

However, this did get me thinking what kind of stages were plausible for this character and I ended up with a simple castle exterior.

You can walk underneath the archways in the "mouth" of the castle, or jump across the Fork Tree to get on top of it. Then maybe lighting occasionally strikes as a stage hazard.

I didn't spend a lot of time theorising about this and in the end this image didn't work very well as a profile background so I ended up going back to the castle interior design anyway!

It's not a heavily thought out stage idea but since I had already drawn it I thought I might as well include it here. If there were a playable Syrup with an associated stage I would hope that it made some reference to Kitchen Island rather than her basic pirate ship from The Shake Dimension.

What I would want to see from The Shake Dimension though is some music! It's a great soundtrack that doesn't even get the proper recognition in current Smash Bros as the track 'Stonecarving City' is simply called 'Ruins.'

And that about wraps it up for this page!

It's reasonable to think I'll return to these characters again in the future, but in what capacity I can't say.

I doubt I'll do another Smash Bros moveset since this one turned out (as far as I'm concerned) so well, but that could all change if Captain Syrup ever shows up in a new game. Some would say a new Wario Land game is already long overdue, and while Syrup has not appeared in every game in the series, I hope she gets taken on as a regular cast member (and hopefully remains a villain, none of this pseudo-ally for me, thank you very much.)

Maybe she could even pop up in a Mario spin-off as part of the extended universe? Unlikely but possible.

Either way a new appearance with some new skills would be just the thing to renew interest in the character and give me more ideas to draw!