In an interview, the game's director and designer Hiroji Kiyotake was asked what the idea behind Wario's creation was. He responded: "We imagined Wario as the Bluto to Mario’s Popeye. The truth is, we kind of came up with the idea of the name first, and everything else came after. Since he was a “warui” (bad) guy, he should be Wario. And we had the idea to flip the M upside down. To our surprise, the idea was a big hit with everyone on the team."
Contributed by ProtoSnake