Author Topic: What if Pauline is the original damsel-in-distress in SMB instead of Peach?  (Read 185 times)

winstein

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Between the three characters from the Donkey Kong arcade game: Mario, Pauline and Donkey Kong, Pauline has way sporadic appearances. By contrast, Mario has a productive career ever since his 1981 game, while Donkey Kong is a titular character (albeit as a villain) so he naturally had the spotlight until Donkey Kong Country, where Donkey Kong is now a hero and made regular appearances.

When you look back, the game that made Mario a global icon was Super Mario Bros., which eschewed the city setting that came before for a never-before-seen fantastical setting that contains medieval ideas, most notably the fact that a dragon is a villain which the hero must overcome, in order to save a princess. In case you can't already tell, the "dragon" in this case is Bowser and the "princess" is Peach. Because of how famous Super Mario Bros. was, the characters starred in those games will go on to become staples in the Mario universe, which effectively meant that Peach replaced Pauline as Mario's leading lady. This is best seen in the Game & Watch Gallery 2 and 4, where the Modern rendition of Donkey Kong used Peach as the damsel in distress rather than the original Pauline (Donkey Kong is still present). To a lesser extent Bowser replaced Donkey Kong as a main villain but it was not an overhaul since Donkey Kong is still a cultural icon (which made his transition to main character smooth). The main point is: Pauline is more or less forgotten because Peach eclipsed in the same role for Mario.

So here's a hypothetical question that would probably upset a few people: what would happen if in the original Super Mario Bros., Pauline is still used as the person Mario had to rescue, rather than creating a new princess for the purpose? This effectively means reusing a previously established character rather than making a new one. On one hand, Pauline was already established as somebody who wasn't able to do much against a big brute so needing to be rescued is justified. Also, Pauline would have enjoyed a longer period of fame since she would be part of a larger series of popular games. On the other hand, it is easy to identify a classic tale of a dragon kidnapping princess if a princess character were used, so a more regular lady would be difficult to relate to. It's also clear that princesses seem to be enjoyed by a lot of people, if the Disney Princesses are of any indication.

I would like to stress out that this is not about replacing Bowser, not about replacing Daisy or even the Toads. It's basically Pauline replacing Peach only.

Thank you for reading...

...and I apologise for bringing up this hypothesis, especially to those who loves Peach as a character.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2019, 11:35:13 PM by winstein »
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LeftyGreenMario

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Can anyone first provide an explanation for why Peach is used as the new damsel in distress? I actually haven't read about any convincing explanation for the change. I figure Bowser is used instead of Donkey Kong because Bowser is far more menacing and can be more consistently a bad guy (the Donkey Kong character was, after all, a good guy in some games, and the character was depicted more as a clueless and stubborn ape rather than a truly evil character).

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Can anyone first provide an explanation for why Peach is used as the new damsel in distress? I actually haven't read about any convincing explanation for the change. I figure Bowser is used instead of Donkey Kong because Bowser is far more menacing and can be more consistently a bad guy (the Donkey Kong character was, after all, a good guy in some games, and the character was depicted more as a clueless and stubborn ape rather than a truly evil character).
Simple.  Pauline doesn't wear a crown.

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Can anyone first provide an explanation for why Peach is used as the new damsel in distress? I actually haven't read about any convincing explanation for the change. I figure Bowser is used instead of Donkey Kong because Bowser is far more menacing and can be more consistently a bad guy (the Donkey Kong character was, after all, a good guy in some games, and the character was depicted more as a clueless and stubborn ape rather than a truly evil character).
Obviously saving the royal crown makes mario look like a better hero.

Saltman

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Can anyone first provide an explanation for why Peach is used as the new damsel in distress? I actually haven't read about any convincing explanation for the change. I figure Bowser is used instead of Donkey Kong because Bowser is far more menacing and can be more consistently a bad guy (the Donkey Kong character was, after all, a good guy in some games, and the character was depicted more as a clueless and stubborn ape rather than a truly evil character).


Idk maybe it's because a princess is at least marginally better than some generic woman? Besides, I like Peach.

LeftyGreenMario

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They could've made Pauline a princess though, it's not like continuity matters in Mario games all that much

Mcmadness

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Well, Pauline used to be blonde. Maybe she was originally Peach but when they made the DK game on the gameboy they remade Pauline as how she is now.
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Saltman

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"Princess Pauline" doesn't sound as good.

Also yeah a princess probably wouldn't have fit in a game about climbing buildings in a city rather than some weird place with mushrooms everywhere and a castle. DK also would've been weird as the evil king of a castle when he's just a dumb ape with a tie lol.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2019, 10:37:38 AM by Saltman »

winstein

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"Princess Pauline" doesn't sound as good.

Also yeah a princess probably wouldn't have fit in a game about climbing buildings in a city rather than some weird place with mushrooms everywhere and a castle. DK also would've been weird as the evil king of a castle when he's just a dumb ape with a tie lol.
As I have mentioned in the first post, this is not about Bowser being replaced. It's only about reusing a previously established character (Pauline) instead of creating an original one (Peach). So in essence, it means that Bowser would kidnap Pauline.

Besides, Princess Pauline is not too bad, as it's alliterative (like Peach). Certainly better than Princess Toadstool.

Thank you for reading.
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