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2013 in Review: With Super Mario 3D, We Demand of Nintendo, "Let My Princess Go"

Will Princess Peach and Rosalina be allowed to journey with Mario on a more permanent basis, or are they doomed to return to passive roles?

Article by Nadia Oxford, .

There probably isn't a single person alive that plays the mainstream Super Mario games for story alone, but that doesn't excuse the series from delivering plot points that are outright insipid.

Sure, "Save the Princess" is tradition. But what are all the booming songs and bottle dances from Fiddler on the Roof for, except to tell us traditions can change? Can anyone honestly say they want to see Princess Peach and the stewardess of the stars, Rosalina, return to passive roles after playing Super Mario 3D World for the Wii U?

The 8-Bit Adventure of Princess Peach Toadstool

There was some surprise when word got out that Princess Peach would be a playable character in Super Mario 3D World. Honestly, there shouldn't have been any surprise at all: Super Mario Bros. 2 demonstrated 25 years ago that Her Majesty is capable of taking her of herself whenever she has a mind to.

Wait -- that trip to Subcon did happen, right?

Even if Mario simply had a vivid dream about a pro-active Princess, being able to play as her seemed like a natural progression back then. It wasn't uncommon for NES sequels to fly off the rails with big-name sequels like Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, or The Legend of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. Subcon already comes off as a bizarre suburb of the Mario universe, where jumping on enemies does them no harm and the fire hydrants are painted yellow instead of red. By comparison, the Princess's participation seems downright normal.

But Mario returned to the Mushroom Kingdom in Super Mario Bros. 3, and traditional Mario mechanics returned with him, docile Princess included. But hey, at least she lived on her own for a while there before Bowser tucked her under his arm and spirited her away,

Yes, We Have No Peaches

Super Mario Bros. 3's "Bowser kidnapped Princess Toadstool after all!" twist was kind of fun in 1990; after all, most of its earliest players were still at an age where getting punked over and over by Dr Wily in the Mega Man games was still entertaining. But the twist also marked the start of a trope. Aside from being let out of her castle to participate in the Mario Party games, some Mario Kart races, Super Paper Mario, and a sports event or two, Princess Peach would not adventure alongside her beloved Mario until 2013's Super Mario 3D World.

What's especially disappointing is Peach should have been on the playable character roster since local multiplayer debuted with 2009's New Super Mario Bros. for the Wii. But instead of gathering the old Super Mario Bros. 2 crowd together again, New Super Mario Bros. gave us Mario, Luigi, Toad, and… another Toad.

2012's New Super Mario Bros. U for the Wii U likewise gave us Mario, Luigi, the battle-Toads, and even the dopey little wretch Nabbit. Nintendo also had an answer for why Princess Peach kept company with Bowser instead of joining in on the adventure.

"In Super Mario Bros. 2, Princess Peach had her own unique moves and animation," New Super Mario Bros. U's director, Masataka Takemoto, said in a November 2012 interview with games™. "In this series, we want all the players to have the same moves and animations as Mario, and Princess Peach isn’t suited for that."

In a separate 2012 interview with GameSpot, current Mario series producer Takashi Tezuka let slip another reason why Peach keeps unwilling company with Bowser in New Super Mario Bros. U instead of puncturing Goombas' eyeballs with her three-inch heels: Sitting around is just what she does.

"The things we feel like we've already promised the gamer is that Peach will be kidnapped by Bowser, and Mario will move from left to right," he said. "We know that's what people are expecting! [Laughs] We know that there are all types of Mario games, as you said. So for us, with the New Super Mario Bros. series, we don't really need to mess with it. This is what people want."

Press On, Proactive Princesses

However, Super Mario Bros. Wii U is a more basic Mario game -- perhaps to a fault. Super Mario 3D World, on the other hand, revisits a unique world previously only seen in 2011's Super Mario 3D Land for the 3DS. It's not the creative leap Super Mario Bros. 2 is over the original Super Mario Bros., but simply playing the game makes it evident the developers were focused on shifting the franchise on its axis.

It's not illogical, then, to fear the Princess (and by extension, Rosalina) will be put back to bed for future Mario games. Will Nintendo say, "All right, you had your exotic twist, now it's time to go back to basics?"

That would be an unfortunate move, not to mention a nonsensical one. In terms of basic gameplay, Peach's floating abilities make her an excellent character choice for beginners in need of a gentle landing. On a more political level, cutting her would be a blow for women players, a group that's understandably feeling slighted by today's industry.

That said, the return of Peach and Rosalina, as well as the threat of another long hibernation, needn't be a political or gender issue. Keeping them as active characters is simply common sense. Again, is anyone out there tapping their foot and glancing at their watch, counting down to the moment when we might see the royal members of the Mario series locked up again? Isn't it nicer to just let everyone play together?

Even if Nintendo has a mind to return Peach to passiveness, it had best bring along a net and a rabies pole. Their little kitty has tried on claws, and she evidently enjoys using them.

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Comments 43

  • Avatar for CK20XX #1 CK20XX 3 years ago
    If Peach were to remain playable, it would force the stories to be more dynamic, which would in turn force the levels to be more dynamic since Super Mario is a series that communicates through gameplay more than it does through cutscenes. I'm sure lots of people would enjoy seeing Peach help to rescue the kings of the mushroom worlds, and it could be a golden opportunity for Bowser to try more of a skirmish with his tanks, airships, and navy too. Even back in Super Mario 3, his destructive forces pretty much stayed parked in World 8 instead of being put to use.
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  • Avatar for sam-stephens #2 sam-stephens 3 years ago
    It's really hard to design a platform game around Peach. 3D World did a decent job by kepping the platforming more enemy and puzzle based. Had the level design been more like its handheld cousin 3D Land, Peach would just not fit. If Peach were to have a more active role in the gameplay however, I think she should have her own series, like Yoshi's Island and Wario Land, that creates unique gameplay challenges different than that of Mario's. Of course this has been tried before with Super Princess Peach. It would be interesting to see a sequel or similar title to that game.
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  • Avatar for LilSpriteX #3 LilSpriteX 3 years ago
    I don't understand why everyone, including the developers, assumes that Peach has to control differently from Mario (besides the fact that her float is awesome). Luigi controls the same as or differently than Mario depending on the game. The Tanooki Suit is different depending on the game. "We don't want any floating" is a silly justification for excluding the Princess.
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  • Avatar for Ohoni #4 Ohoni 3 years ago
    I like Peach well enough as a character, she was my goto in Mario 2, and I often play her in the Kart games (Rosalina was my main in the Wii version), but I don't see what the big deal is. There are plenty of other characters to play as. There's nothing wrong with the princess being in the castle, the game needs a proper Macguffin.
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  • Avatar for SatelliteOfLove #5 SatelliteOfLove 3 years ago
    When she does end up the damsel in distress, the results are tongue-in-cheek and creative, so it's not like a 'staus quo" any more.
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  • Avatar for LBD_Nytetrayn #6 LBD_Nytetrayn 3 years ago
    @SatelliteOfLove Sometimes; New Super Mario Bros. 2 was absolutely lazy in this regard.

    @LilSpriteX I think they said it was a matter of expectations: People see Peach, they expect her to float. I think it was likened to Wario and his shoulder-ram once... which is spotty, looking at Super Mario 64 DS.

    As for Luigi, he's never been consistent in that department, so they probably think they can get away with it more easily. Or simply underestimate us.
    @CK20XX Totally agreed. One reason I loved the NES/Super NES era of Mario so much was that they did so many different things with largely the same premise, often swapping out who you were rescuing.Edited December 2013 by LBD_Nytetrayn
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  • Avatar for jeremy.parish #7 jeremy.parish 3 years ago
    @LilSpriteX I don't think Peach's exclusion from NSMB was because of floating mechanics; I think it was stated as being a result of the difficulty of modeling her dress' physics. Meh. Effort.
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  • Avatar for Ohoni #8 Ohoni 3 years ago
    @LBD_Nytetrayn Well yeah, Luigi only had "flutter physics" in SMB2, but he existed before and after that as "just another Mario". Toad never jumped differently, wasn't his thing radish pulling speed or something? With Peach she's GOT to have the float.
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  • Avatar for sam-stephens #9 sam-stephens 3 years ago
    @LilSpriteX What would be the point if Peach controlled the same as Mario? Why even include her at all if she is identically the same as Mario. Is it for the sake of political correctness or storytelling? Peach (and Toad and Luigi) should always be unique for the sake of game design.
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  • Avatar for jeremy.parish #10 jeremy.parish 3 years ago
    @sam stephens Surely it can't be so difficult to understand why girls might want to play as a girl sometimes? Given how frothingly you're melting down about the possibility of a character that isn't of your own gender simply being included as one of a quartet of options, you should be able to relate to their feelings.
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  • Avatar for nadiaoxford #11 nadiaoxford 3 years ago
    @sam stephens I'm afraid I don't understand why people say, "We can't do that! That's political correctness!" as if they expect it to end an argument.

    I would understand, "We can't include Peach as a regular! That'd jack up the price of the game by $20,000!" or, "We can't have Rosalina as a playable character! Everyone who played the game would become infected with flesh-eating bacteria!"

    But no, "That's political correctness!" Yeah, if that's what you want to call being inclusive and mindful of players other than males. Either way, what's the big deal?
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  • Avatar for sam-stephens #12 sam-stephens 3 years ago
    @jeremy.parish
    I do not mean to sound like I am melting down. I do not care if Peach is of my own gender or not. What I am discussing is this focus on gender issues in video games and the idea that a Mario games would be better if the player avatar were female. It seems that no one discusses anything in actual design terms these days.

    "Surely it can't be so difficult to understand why girls want to play as girls sometimes." I certainly understand, but this is a social/marketing topic, not one that I feel is relevant to the quality of Super Mario Bros. as a game.
    @nadiaoxford

    I never questioned why developers can't have female avatars in their games nor did I say that these comments were specifically about political correctness. I was asking why, from a purely design perspective, does it matter if Peach is a playable character or not. For Super Mario 3D World the answer is easy; it's because she with her unique movement, allows for a more emergent design space. The same is for Toad and Luigi. But I think to say that Peach, Toad, and Luigi should be in the game soley for visual reasons mistakes form for function.
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  • Avatar for davidgreenwood80 #13 davidgreenwood80 3 years ago
    Honestly, while "captured princess" is an overused trope, what bothers me about Peach is just how hapless and pathetic she is in most of these games. Bowser shows up and she's always like "oh nooo" and practically falls over. Like she never even puts up a fight. THAT'S the real reason I'm glad she's playable again. (Of course, the Paper Mario games gave her a bit more actual character).

    And don't tell me "it would be hard" or "peach just wouldn't fit". It's practically a palette swap, you can wear any color you want while stomping goombas. If I can be a dude with a cheeseburger for a head in Runner 2, I can be Peach in a Mario game.
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  • Avatar for nadiaoxford #14 nadiaoxford 3 years ago
    @davidgreenwood80 Agreed. Peach was a captive through Thousand Year Door, but her interactions with TEC were interesting.

    By contrast, she kind of zoned out when Bowser Jr pinpointed her as her mother. Good God woman, this baby space reptile is saying you gave birth to him, and you're not going to issue a single denial or say anything beyond "Ohhh?"
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  • Avatar for jeremy.parish #15 jeremy.parish 3 years ago
    I will never cease to be amazed at the length some boys will go to in order to rationalize their jealous resentment at the prospect of someone allowing girls into their pillow fort, long after they should have outgrown that.
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  • Avatar for LBD_Nytetrayn #16 LBD_Nytetrayn 3 years ago
    @Ohoni Then put her in overalls, says I! If the dress is the problem, then do away with the dress! It's not like she never wears anything else, anyway.

    Incidentally, I'm all for unique gameplay styles, anyway.
    @davidgreenwood80 That's one thing I love in SM3DWorld: Not only is Peach an active participant, she's the first one in after Bowser makes his move! =D

    Kind of reminds me of the take-charge attitude she had in the Super Mario Adventures comic.

    As for Paper Mario, they at least let Peach be a little awesome. She'd sneak around in the first two, doing things to help Mario and unravel the villains' plans, and in Super, she was full-on playable. A pity Sticker Star had to ruin that streak, along with so much else.
    @nadiaoxford Considering babies are canonically delivered by storks in Mario's world, I'm willing to give her a pass there. I don't know how they do baby business in the Mushroom Kingdom, and as long as there are birds involved, I don't want to know. That's a cultural difference I'm perfectly happy and willing to let lie.

    Back to playable Peach: Even if Nintendo decides to stick her in a tower again, I still wouldn't mind seeing Rosalina take up the Fire Flower again, or even her good friend Daisy.

    Oh, one last thing: The pictures in Super Mario 3D Land at least show that she tries to escape. And think about it: She'd be trying to go backwards from the end, i.e. the hardest part of the game-- no wonder she had the entire army after her.
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  • Avatar for Ohoni #17 Ohoni 3 years ago
    @davidgreenwood80 To be fair, nobody puts up much fight against Bowser, even Mario if Bowser comes for him. The heroic character needs to work his way up to it, pick up some upgrades, face him as the hunter an not the prey. If Bowser breaks into the castle while Peach is drinking her tea, what's she supposed to do to stop him? What would Mario do? Mario's even already there sometimes and can't do a thing about it.
    @jeremy.parish I don't think that's at all called for. Nobody is "rationalizing" anything or saying anything about pillow forts. I have no idea where you're coming from, but you're being very dismissive of anyone who doesn't automatically agree with you.
    @LBD_Nytetrayn Could they put peach in overalls? Sure, they already put her in racing leathers for the Kart games, but the "floaty Peach" mechanic is the whole point in having her. If she doesn't float then why not just have another toad instead, the model doesn't matter. There's no compelling reason for Peach to be an active character, she's the Macguffin, that's her role in the traditional Mario game. If the goal is to just have female active characters then maybe they could bring Toadette in, or Daisy (who's yet to be in a core franchise game), or some new character.

    I don't have any trouble with them adding Peach, like I said she's the one I typically play, I just don't get the obsession with Peach specifically not being in the castle. I don't see why it shouldn't just be left up to Nintendo, or why it deserves any more attention than whether Yoshi is playable or not in a game.
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  • Avatar for GustinHardy #18 GustinHardy 3 years ago
    Avoiding the back and forth in the comments I just want to say that, even as a male, when given the choice, I prefer to play as the female character. I just got Super Mario 3D and have only used Peach. So not only girls like to play as the girl.
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  • Avatar for LBD_Nytetrayn #19 LBD_Nytetrayn 3 years ago
    @Ohoni "Could they put peach in overalls? Sure, they already put her in racing leathers for the Kart games, but the "floaty Peach" mechanic is the whole point in having her. If she doesn't float then why not just have another toad instead, the model doesn't matter."

    Because most people aren't big on generic Toads? Though at least Toadette would have been an improvement there, but no; we got yellow and blue.

    "There's no compelling reason for Peach to be an active character, she's the Macguffin, that's her role in the traditional Mario game."

    She's an icon; people like her, believe it or not. And some people like it even more when they can play as her.

    "If the goal is to just have female active characters then maybe they could bring Toadette in, or Daisy (who's yet to be in a core franchise game), or some new character."

    As I mentioned before, along with Rosalina, who was also mentioned in the main article. It doesn't HAVE to be Peach, but she's the top female lead in the franchise, plain and simple.

    "I don't have any trouble with them adding Peach, like I said she's the one I typically play, I just don't get the obsession with Peach specifically not being in the castle."

    It's old and tired would probably be the main thing. They can do more and better things with her specifically, and it really doesn't matter who is in the castle.

    "I don't see why it shouldn't just be left up to Nintendo, or why it deserves any more attention than whether Yoshi is playable or not in a game."

    Yoshi is a different story, I'd say. As for it being up to Nintendo? It is, ultimately, which is why this has gone on for so long.

    On a more personal note, SMB2 was the first big release after I got into gaming, and not long after that, there were cartoons and comics and the like which basically depicted not just Mario, but him, Luigi, Toad, and Peach as a group, a team. Seeing them together again as a unit in SM3DWorld some 25 years later has been nothing short of delightful, and I hope not to wait another quarter-century for it to happen again.

    To turn the idea on its head, imagine if, say, they dumped your favorite Ninja Turtle and replaced him with Venus (just as an example; pick another super team if it works better for you). That's sort of what this has been like in the intervening years.

    I get why they've done it, I don't fault them for it, but I think Mario is at his best when he's got back-up from Luigi, Toad, and yes, Peach.
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  • Avatar for Windwhale #20 Windwhale 3 years ago
    "This is what people want"
    No, I never wanted that Mr Tezuka. I always prefer no story (like in DK:Jungle Beat) over bad story with embarassing plot devices (every main Mario game).

    Nintendo's constant damseling always made me feel uneasy and guilty for still getting enjoyment out of their games. It is also long overdue for Nintendo to let Zelda be the hero in her own series - Say what you will about the quality of the CD-i games, but at least they did give her the titular role twice!

    @sam stephens Political correctness is actually suppose to be a GOOD thing, you know. I would rather be called politically correct, than being a racist, misogynist or homophobe.Edited 3 times. Last edited December 2013 by Windwhale
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  • Avatar for sam-stephens #21 sam-stephens 3 years ago
    @Windwhale
    I never meant to say that this discusion was specifically about political correctness. I was asking what any of this has to do with good game design. Video game journalist have spent more time writing about Peach's presence in Super Mario 3D World than what her unique abilities mean for the gameplay. That is to say, worrying about Peach's gender is superficial from a designers point of view. Nintendo's game designs are functionalist. They probably care little that she is a female. What's important is that she can float, a specific physical jumping behavior in a game that is designed around jumping and physics.
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  • Avatar for Windwhale #22 Windwhale 3 years ago
    @sam stephens My point is that gender issues and the tone of a game do matter. A game's presentation and it's implications are part of the experience. And having Peach portrayed as a defenseless victim in almost every past Mario is simply sexist and this is what this article is about. So why change the subject? There are surely other articles and forum topics about game mechanics and jumping physics in Mario games all around the internet. And I do not know whether Nintendo's designers do care about problematic portrayal of gender roles or not, but they should.
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  • Avatar for Makgameadv #23 Makgameadv 3 years ago
    Thanks for pointing out the Super Mario Bros. 3 twist. At least they tried with the story of that game where Mario's objective is to save the Mushroom Kings, and Peach doesn't get kidnapped until after world 7.

    Bowser Jr. kidnapping Peach in NSMB was a funny nod of a joke with him following in his fathers footsteps at first, but got carried away into parody by later games.
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  • Avatar for sam-stephens #24 sam-stephens 3 years ago
    @Windwhale
    "There are surely other articles and forum topics about game mechanics and jumping physics in Mario games all around the internet."

    Unfortunately, there really is not that much. In fact, I could probably only name of few voices who write about such things at all.

    "A game's presentation and it's implications are part of the experience."

    I think you overestimate the effects presentation
    has on the experience of players. The assumption here is that the player experience is inherently gendered. Like David Bordwell in film studies, I do not think that gender plays an important role in the psychological comprehension of video games. There has been no evidence to support such an idea. Instead, I think it's more helpful to study how players engage with video games. So, with Super Mario Bros., players don't notice gender as much as they pay attention to the gameplay challenges that are more of a strain on the brain. Players focus on gaps to jump, enimies to avoid, and flagpoles to top. This perspective is both more psychologically accurate, measurable, and universal; describing how all players approach gameplay challenges regardless of race, gender, or nationality. Could Nintendo allow Peach to be a player avatar in every Mario game? Sure. But my question still stands: Why is this important in understanding game design?
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  • Avatar for Windwhale #25 Windwhale 3 years ago
    @sam stephens "Why is this important in understanding game design?"

    Why is it so important to you to keep changing the subject? Why do you deny the existence of sexism in Mario games? It may not be unbearably omnipresent but it is clearly there.Edited December 2013 by Windwhale
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  • Avatar for sam-stephens #26 sam-stephens 3 years ago
    @Windwhale
    My point has always been that many (including yourself) are very dismissive of games based on very specific, non-gameplay, elements and thus are doing a critical disservice to those games. There is so much to Super Mario Bros; so much that can be learned from it. Yet, so much time has been dedicated to one small aspect of it. Maybe you find the portrayal of Peach to be the most important thing in the world, but the game is not about Peach. Neither is it about Mario nor Bowser. They are trivial parts in a bigger picture that few seem to see.
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  • Avatar for Ohoni #27 Ohoni 3 years ago
    @LBD_Nytetrayn
    Peach is the "top female in the franchise," but she's also got a fairly specific role in it, she's the Macguffin. Her point in being there is to be rescued. If she's not being rescued then you've got to find someone else to rescue, and that's a lot of work. It'd be like if they made Sam the hero of the next Tomb Raider. And if it doesn't matter who they put in the castle, then what does it matter what Peach is doing? Why can't she be the one in the castle? Two birds with one stone.
    @Windwhale, there's nothing "sexist" about Peach's roles in the other Mario games. That's ridiculous. She's the princess, so she tends to get captured. She's never viewed as a sexual conquest, she's a political figurehead. And yes, she's "helpless" when she's captured, but so too is Mario, when Bowser comes a'knocking nobody can do much to stop him, they'd just got to bust into his castle in turn and recover the kidnappee. Besides, if Mario were as sexist as you claim, then why would both blue and yellow Toad be female? That's at leas half the cast of the NSMB games.
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  • Avatar for Windwhale #28 Windwhale 3 years ago
    @Ohoni "she's the Macguffin. Her point in being there is to be rescued (...) there's nothing "sexist" about Peach's roles in the other Mario games. That's ridiculous. She's the princess, so she tends to get captured. She's never viewed as a sexual conquest, she's a political figurehead"

    You seriously need to look up the definition of "sexism". And are you so narrow minded that you cannot see that there could be other possible background stories? There is no actual need for anyone to be kidnapped to have a fun game.

    Some people here seem to identify so strongly with the games they like, that the must defend every aspect about them, no matter how problematic and silly those aspects might be. That is just sad.Edited 2 times. Last edited December 2013 by Windwhale
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  • Avatar for Ohoni #29 Ohoni 3 years ago
    @Windwhale, Sure there could be other stories, but in this case they choose not to. And that's fine. The story they use for core Mario games is that Peach gets kidnapped and Mario has to save her. It's a bit repetitive, but then lots of things about Mario games are, but people like running that same route over and over, so they're going to keep making them.

    Again, there's nothing sexist about it, Peach's gender doesn't really factor into things, she happens to be female but that isn't really important to the plot any more than Mario being male does.
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  • Avatar for LBD_Nytetrayn #30 LBD_Nytetrayn 3 years ago
    @Ohoni I might have gone with the political over sexual thing before, but what was Bowser's line upon kidnapping her in Super Mario Galaxy 2? "Now she can bake cakes for me"? It may not necessarily be sexual (though I've no doubt people can/will/have tie it to that), but that sounds less than political to me.

    As for her "specific" role, it's funny then how often Nintendo breaks from "specific" roles. They've made Mario the villain, they've made DK a hero and a villain, and they've made Peach a playable character and a MacGuffin.

    Point is, they can do whatever they want, which also means they can listen to what people want, and I think more people would rather use her and her awesome floating ability than rescue her from a tower for the umpteenth time.

    Going to@sam stephens' thing on gameplay as well, she has more value as a playable character with unique attributes and abilities than she does as an interchangeable stone in the wall of things Mario rescues.

    Not only does she add something tangible to the gameplay experience, but it also helps expand Mario's world beyond running up and down what's largely been the same path like we've been seeing across the NSMB series. When she's not the captive, or at least the sole captive, it seems to make Nintendo flex their creative muscle more for a setting, and so we more often get stuff outside of the Mushroom Kingdom, which keeps things more interesting. Subcon, the Mushroom Worlds, Dinosaur Land, Sarasaland, Mario Land, and now Sprixie Kingdom.
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  • Avatar for Ohoni #31 Ohoni 3 years ago
    @LBD_Nytetrayn Yes, they're free to break the pattern, but the pattern is what makes it a core Mario game. The Luigi's Mansion games is not a core Mario game, Peach's game was not a core Mario game, there is the core franchise and there are spin-off titles, the core Mario games are the ones where Peach gets kidnapped and Mario goes to save her in a platforming adventure.

    Nobody is saying that they can't make more Peach games if there's a market for it, or that they can't include her in future co-op games if they like, just that they don't HAVE to, it doesn't say anything negative about them if they don't.

    I don't really have any problem with people who say "I want Peach to be playable in more than just the dozen or so games she's playable in now," that's fine. I even agree with it to a point. I only have a problem with those who say something along the lines of "that Peach ISN'T in playable everything is a Problem, and Nintendo are bad people for allowing that to happen." She's just a character, she'll be playable in some games, and not in others. That's not a Problem, it's just a thing that has happened.
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  • Avatar for DiscordInc #32 DiscordInc 3 years ago
    @Ohoni "Besides, if Mario were as sexist as you claim, then why would both blue and yellow Toad be female? That's at leas half the cast of the NSMB games."

    I'd love to see a source on that, because that's the first time I've ever heard anyone claim the NSMB Toad's are female.
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  • Avatar for DiscordInc #33 DiscordInc 3 years ago
    I really hope that Nintendo keeps Peach and Rosalina playable in future Mario games. Not only would it be great from a representational standpoint, it would open a world of new gameplay options since they could design stage features around using other characters.

    They don't even need to limit it to the co-op games. There's no reason why they couldn't make a single-player game with multiple playable characters. I mean, they have, but normally you have to beat the game to get to them or it's just Luigi (and sometimes they don't make him play like Luigi either).
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  • Avatar for LBD_Nytetrayn #34 LBD_Nytetrayn 3 years ago
    @Ohoni Well, while LM and SPP aren't core Mario games, Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario 3D World are, so there is that. I wouldn't say their lack of a Peach rescue scenario takes that away from them, either.

    And heck, I'm okay with games lacking Peach entirely, playable or not.
    @DiscordInc I missed that before; pretty sure both are male. Never heard anything say otherwise before this.

    And I agree on the gameplay options. I find that having different characters with different abilities makes replaying stages more interesting.
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  • Avatar for Ohoni #35 Ohoni 3 years ago
    @DiscordInc, why do you assume that they're not female? They both have a female voice actress. Do they need pretty pink bows on their heads to be considered woman enough for you?
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  • Avatar for LBD_Nytetrayn #36 LBD_Nytetrayn 3 years ago
    @Ohoni They don't dress like female Toads, though; they dress like male Toads.

    Voice actor doesn't mean anything, anyway, unless we're to start saying Bart Simpson is really a girl, too.Edited January 2014 by LBD_Nytetrayn
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  • Avatar for Ohoni #37 Ohoni 3 years ago
    @ LBD_Nytetrayn, And what do "female Toads" dress like? we can be reasonably sure that "Toad" is male, and that "Toadette" is likely female, but we have no indication using that sample size what the physical traits are of a male or female Toad. They all have identical faces, Toadette has pink hair and sort of pony tail things, but does that mean that all female Toads need those traits? Does it mean that every Toad who has those traits must be female, even though male humans can also dye their hair pink and wear ponytails? Toadette chooses to wear a shirt under her vest, but that doesn't mean that all female Toads have to dress identically (she's not a Mario Brother, after all). I think you're forcing your own gendered stereotypes on the Toads.
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  • Avatar for LBD_Nytetrayn #38 LBD_Nytetrayn 3 years ago
    @Ohoni My sample size is approximately 23 female Toads and approximately 66 male Toads, totaling roughly 89 Toads altogether (give or take one or two from either gender; I didn't spreadsheet this out or anything) from throughout Nintendo's Mario games (no auxiliary media).

    From studying these samples, I can say that the style of dress the Toads in NSMB wear is distinctly male, at least going by what Nintendo themselves have introduced so far. None of the female Toads featured wear vests bearing their chest as those two do; all female Toads seen in the series are a bit more modest than that.

    However, covering up is not an exclusively female trait, as numerous male Toads also wear clothing which covers their chest. More often than not, this is usually in relation to some sort of profession, or even dressing up.

    Similarly, it's more common for female Toads to show off their hair or even feature a hat decoratively styled similarly to a hairstyle, but it's not an exclusive trait, as males who might sport longer hair (entertainers, usually, but not always) will allow their locks to flow freely, same as human males do.

    So while it's not entirely impossible that the Toads seen in NSMB are female, the franchise's history suggests strongly against that being the case.Edited January 2014 by LBD_Nytetrayn
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  • Avatar for Ohoni #39 Ohoni 3 years ago
    @LBD_Nytetrayn, And of your sample group, how certain are you that the ones you've identified as definitely being "male" definitely were male, and the ones that you believe definitely are female definitely were female? We have no idea what the Toads' body shame mores might be. I don't think I'd ever seen a Toad with a defined bust, so who knows if Toad females even have anything to cover up. I've seen nary a nip slip on any of them, regardless of apparent gender.
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  • Avatar for LBD_Nytetrayn #40 LBD_Nytetrayn 3 years ago
    @Ohoni Well, without going into a full dissection of a biology I'm pretty sure doesn't actually exist and that I'm sure Nintendo is in no hurry to classify beyond the obvious (and I'm skeptical there are any examples of transgender specimens that would be openly acknowledged within the Mario canon), I'm reasonably certain of the classifications beyond those specifically referred to by one gender or the other.
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  • Avatar for DiscordInc #41 DiscordInc 3 years ago
    @Ohoni I assume they are not female because they don't look like the female Toad's we've seen before, and there's no official material saying they are female. Also, like@LBD_Nytetrayn said, a female voice actor does not necessarily means a character is female.

    Now I'm going to skip the biological comparison and talk about gendered stereotypes, since you brought them up anyway. Throughout the history of the entire Mario franchise, Nintendo has always used stereotypical gender signifiers to indicate that when a character is supposed to be female. We know Wendy O. Koopa is a girl, because she has a bow and wears jewelry. We know Toadette is female because she is pink and has pigtails. Bam Bam is female because she is pink and has a bow. Heck, all the female members of Goombario's family have some sort of stereotypical female signifiers (as do the female party members in the game). Because there is this consistent pattern of marking female characters with gender signifiers it means that anything that is not given a gender signifier can be viewed as male as default.

    Now that doesn't mean it isn't possible for a character without a gender signifier to be female. In fact, it would be great if Nintendo actually did do that with the NSMB Toads.

    They didn't do it, by the way. The Iwata Asks for Super Mario 3D Words says that by adding Peach to the game they gave players the option to play as a female character.

    http://iwataasks.nintendo.com/interviews/#/wiiu/super-mario-3d-world/0/6
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  • Avatar for LBD_Nytetrayn #42 LBD_Nytetrayn 3 years ago
    @DiscordInc If you're speaking of the female Boom Boom, her name is actually Pom Pom. I might not have bothered bringing it up, but it only seemed like further evidence to support your argument. =)
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  • Avatar for DiscordInc #43 DiscordInc 3 years ago
    @LBD_Nytetrayn I legitimately did not realize that, but yeah, that is another point for my arguement.
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