How Nintendo Continues to Fail Princess Peach When It Really Counts

Underutilizing of the franchise’s greatest characters since 1985.

When Nintendo promised exciting things and a multitude of surprises leading up to the release of Super Mario Odyssey last fall, fans of the longtime series speculated 2017 may be the year for Princess Peach to step out of the ‘damsel in distress’ trope and be given some agency for once. Rumors continued to be fueled as wedding-themed Amiibo were announced with box art that hinted at Peach unlocking her wedding dress attire (this was later confirmed to be an additional costume for Mario himself). 

Image via Giphy

Once again, that proved to not be the case. Before you get your pitchforks out, I understand that Peach has been a playable character in many, many Nintendo games. She’s even starred in her own DS title, Super Princess Peach (let’s be honest, this game was a lame, overly-gendered attempt to pander to what Nintendo thought girl gamers wanted in 2005 by lowering the difficulty, not really being able to get a game over and being as dull as ever).

Image via Giphy

As such a staple in series like Mario Party, Mario Tennis, Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros, she remains cuckolded into this trope more antiquated than the graphics of the original Super Mario Bros. For the many faults the Wii U had, Super Mario 3D World understood the importance of including her as a fully fleshed out main character. 

Image via Giphy

What Nintendo should’ve done is take a page from the Paper Mario series and allowed Peach to have some playable screen time and — in the 21st century — be able to fend for herself when a giant baddie tries to force her into marriage. What’s more (spoilers ahead if you haven’t finished Super Mario Odyssey), Peach shows up in each world declaring that she’s ready to take life into her own hands and adventure around the different worlds. 

With a setup like that, Nintendo could’ve easily created some Peach-themed moons that only she and Cappy’s sister, Tiara, could find. Not only would it add to the re-playable aspect of the game, but it would allow for some independence with one of Nintendo’s most notable female characters. 

Image via Giphy

In this year’s re-release of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, we were reminded of how Nintendo can let their male lead share the spotlight with their female counterpart. The narrative of one of the best puzzlers this decade is seamlessly interwoven between Toad rescuing Toadette and Toadette taking center stage to save Toad. 

With the amount of love Nintendo’s poured into Super Mario Odyssey to ensure it has countless surprises, callbacks to previous games in the franchise and enough challenges to flex even hardcore completionists’ skills, I’m hoping Nintendo is planning to release some girl power-themed DLC to bring the narrative up to 2018’s standards. 

What do you think about a Princess Peach-themed DLC for Super Mario Odyssey?

1 comment

  1. Actually, Peach’s “journey” around the world is what killed the chances of ever seeing Peach in action again. Bigoted SJWs liked that Peach rejected™ Mario and Bowser over a lousy jealousy-fueled cockfight prior to “travel” around the world, and found all of it, even the definitely-not-casual outfits she used during that stupid “journey”, as much more “empowering” than her actually kicking ass and be the heroine. To them, a woman who makes a “trip” around the world (right after disproportionately and rudely “scolding” a pair of jealous men) to “find her inner self” only to return to her ordinary life is more independent that a woman who escapes from captivity or outright defeating her kidnapper herself before he even attempts to capture her. Nintendo did not take it very well, apparently they had a much different point of view and decided NOT to let us see Peach and Tiara “adventuring” around the world (I can’t blame them, loitering and cheesily gushing over random stuff from the place you visit instead of actually participating and being active isn’t really an “adventure”), her travelling outfits never returned either. Nintendo preferred Toadette as the franchise’s “girl-power” character, exactly because she got the chance to empower herself in CaptainToad: Treasure Tracker just like Peach did in Super Mario 3D World, but unlike Peach, decided to stay that way and not get demoted to her former portrayal or turn into a poser, like Peach did in Super Mario Odyssey (well, that and that Nintendo apparently thinks Daisy and Rosalina aren’t as important). She’s now playable in a New Super Mario Bros. U re-release, in Super Mario Run and even in the upcoming Super Mario Maker 2.

    Let’s face it. Peach is a lost cause. She chose raunchiness and vanity over empowerment and determination, and as long as there still are SJW who think her frivolous “journey” is “girl power”, she will never be allowed to be a genuinely strong and heroic woman. Toadette, Daisy and Rosalina already defied stereotypes in a much nicer, better, more successful way. Those are the strong women in the Mario universe. Full stop.

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