Princess Peach, as depicted in promotional artwork for Super Mario 3D World.
|First appearance||Super Mario Bros. (1985)|
|Last appearance||Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury (2021)|
|Created by||Shigeru Miyamoto|
|Designed by||Shigeru Miyamoto|
|Occupation||Princess of the Mushroom Kingdom |
Ruler of Mushroom Kingdom
Princess Peach[a] (originally called Princess Toadstool in North America) is a fictional character in Nintendo's Mario franchise, created by Shigeru Miyamoto and introduced in the 1985 original Super Mario Bros. installment. She is the princess and ruler of the Mushroom Kingdom, where she resides in her castle along with Toads.
Being the lead female character in the series, Peach's role is often being the damsel in distress or the donor, who can help Mario. She is occasionally playable character in mainstream games like in Super Mario 3D World. In Princess Toadstool's Castle Run and Super Princess Peach, she was the protagonist and player character.
She is one the most known female protagonists in video game history and has remained a popular character since her first appearance. Her numerous appearances led her to be the female character who has appeared the most in video games.
Concept and creation
Princess Peach's initial appearance was drawn by Shigeru Miyamoto. Miyamoto later asked Yōichi Kotabe to redraw Peach with his instructions. He had asked Kotabe to draw her eyes to be "a little cat-like". With Kotabe's influence, Princess Peach changed considerably throughout her gaming system. Peach was not a playable character in New Super Mario Bros. Wii because a satisfactory mechanism to use her dress was not found. However, she has made an appearance as a playable character in Super Mario 3D World, and she is also the main protagonist in Super Princess Peach, and is a playable character in most Mario spin-offs such as Mario Party, Mario Kart, Mario Tennis, and Mario Golf among others.
Design and characteristics
Princess Peach has long, blonde hair (except in Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, Super Mario Bros. 2, and Super Mario Bros. 3, where she is depicted in-game with brown hair), blue eyes, tall frame, an hourglass figure, and a rosy complexion. She generally wears a pink dress with a ruffled hemline, short puffy sleeves, a frilled collar, and a pannier-style overskirt. Her accessories are red high heels, opera-length white evening gloves, a sapphire blue brooch, sapphire blue earrings, and a gold crown adorned with sapphires and rubies. Her hair is sometimes pulled back into a ponytail, first in Super Mario Sunshine and later in the Mario Kart and Mario Sports games beginning with Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour respectively. In sports games, she wears pink athletic clothing, most commonly either short shorts and a sleeveless T-shirt or a short sleeveless dress. She also wears a light pink sundress in Super Mario Sunshine. It is worn with a sapphire ring and a gold bracelet.
In Japan, Princess Peach's name has always been Peach (ピーチ姫, Pīchi-Hime, Princess Peach) since her debut in the original Super Mario Bros. in 1985, but she would go on to be renamed Toadstool in the English-language manual. The English version of Yoshi's Safari, released in 1993, marked the first usage of the name "Peach" in the Western world, although she would go back to being named "Toadstool" when mentioned in Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3, released in 1994. In Super Mario 64, released in 1996, she uses both names in a letter addressed to Mario, with "Peach" being used for her signature. From the 1996 game Mario Kart 64 and onward, the name Peach was kept unchanged for the English version of games in the franchise.
Peach's personality is generally sweet and well-mannered. In most games, she is portrayed as selfless, perky and generous. Typically, she does not show an aggressive nature, even when she is fighting or confronting her enemies. This, however, varies slightly from game to game.
One of Peach's most common traits during her playable appearances is her ability to temporarily float in the air with her large skirt, and later on, with her parasol. This was first featured during Peach's first playable appearance in Super Mario Bros. 2. This ability has also appeared in Super Paper Mario, all of her playable appearances in the Super Smash Bros. series, and Super Mario 3D World.
In Super Princess Peach, Peach shows wild mood swings from joy, gloom, calm, and rage, each of which gives her a special ability. These changes in emotion are most likely attributed to the "strange powers" of Vibe Island mentioned in the game's booklet. In Super Princess Peach, she shows Bowser that she is capable of defending herself.
Although frequently often kidnapped by Bowser, Peach is willing to have him team up with her and the Mario Bros. when a bigger evil threatens the Mushroom Kingdom. The Paper Mario series reveals that she can sometimes show a more bratty behavior, which dissipates after a short time. Apart from Mario, who is her main love interest, she has occasionally shown a very friendly behavior towards Luigi.
Initially, Peach's first apparition in 1985 consisted in being a NPC. Peach was captured by Bowser and Mario had to rescue her. However, the game suggests that Peach is not helpless as she is the only person capable of breaking the curse hanging over the Mushroom Kingdom.
Mostly playable, her roles vary between damsel in distress and protagonist, like in Super Mario Run. She became first playable in Super Mario Bros. 2 and was at the center of her own story in 1990 with Princess Toadstool's Castle Run. Her most prominent role being in 2005 with the release of Super Princess Peach on the Nintendo DS, where Peach had to save Mario, Luigi and Toads from Bowser.
- Mami Yamase (Super Mario Brothers: The Great Mission to Rescue Princess Peach!)
- Miyako Endō (Amada Anime Series: Super Mario Bros.)
- Jeannie Elias (The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!)
- Tracey Moore (The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World)
- Kathy Fitzgerald (Mario Is Missing!)
- Jocelyn Benford (Hotel Mario)
- Leslie Swan (Super Mario 64, Mario Kart 64, Super Mario 64 DS, Super Paper Mario)
- Asako Kōzuk (Japan-region Mario Kart 64, Mario Party, Mario Party 2, Mario Kart: Super Circuit)
- Jessica Chisum (Mario Golf)
- Jen Taylor (Mario Tennis, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Mario Hoops 3-on-3, Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time, Yoshi's Island DS, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games)
- Nicole Mills (Super Mario Strikers, Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, New Super Mario Bros.)
- Samantha Kelly (Mario Strikers Charged, Mario Kart Wii)
Peach is portrayed as the princess of the Mushroom Kingdom, where she was born and currently resides. Within her castle are Royal Guards known as mushroom retainers. In Super Mario RPG and Paper Mario, a cabinet minister or chancellor is part of the Mushroom Kingdom government. Her father, the Mushroom King, though mentioned in the instruction manual to Super Mario Bros., has never made an appearance in the mainstream games. A Toad character suggested to be Peach's grandmother appears in Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, implying that Peach may be part-Toad.
Peach first appeared in Super Mario Bros. where she has been kidnapped by the series main antagonist, Bowser, many times since. In Super Mario Bros. 2, she was a playable character. She, along with Mario, Luigi and Toad was summoned by the inhabitants of Subcon to save their dreamland from the evil Wart. Peach's main ability was that she could hover for a limited time after jumping left or right. This skill allows her to easily make jumps over areas larger than other characters could. In Super Mario Bros. 3, the Koopalings use their magic wands to turn the Mushroom Kings into various animals. Hearing of this, Princess Peach asks Mario and Luigi to grab the wands back in order for the Mushroom Kings to be changed back into their true forms, all while sending them items while they were on their quest and providing them with power-ups after completing each level. She was eventually captured herself and later saved by Mario. In Super Mario World, she, Mario and Luigi were having a vacation in Dinosaur Land when Bowser once again kidnapped her.
In Super Mario RPG, Peach, as Princess Toadstool, was one of Mario's party members, along with Mallow, Geno, and Bowser. Princess Peach's abilities are similar to Mallow's on which she relies heavily on skill usage, but her skills are more support-based than Mallow's. Her main weapons in the game are gloves, which she uses to slap enemies or household items like a parasol or frying pan that she uses to smack foes with. She is slightly quicker than Mario in this game, though. In Super Mario 64, Peach invited Mario to her castle for a cake, but before Mario arrived at the palace, Bowser came and took control of the Power Stars. He trapped Peach in the stained-glass window over the entrance of the castle. In Paper Mario, Peach invites Mario to her castle, but as soon as he meets with her, Bowser lifts her castle into the sky and throws Mario out a window. She is a playable character in the scenes after Mario has rescued each of the seven Star Spirits. In Super Mario Sunshine, Mario, Peach, Toadsworth and an entourage of Toads went to Isle Delfino on Peach's private plane. However, Bowser Jr., in the disguise of Shadow Mario, had filled the island with graffiti. He then kidnapped Peach, claiming her to be his mother. Princess Peach was taken once again in New Super Mario Bros. In Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time and Yoshi's Island DS, Baby Peach (her infant form) makes appearances.
In Super Princess Peach, Peach had to save Mario, Luigi, and Toad from Bowser. She has a talking parasol named Perry who transformed from a real boy and can be used as her weapon. In Super Paper Mario, Peach is hypnotized by Nastasia into marrying Bowser, in order to unleash the destructive Chaos Heart. Count Bleck was the one who wed Peach and Bowser, but since he was not authorized to perform the act of marriage, the marriage itself was unofficial (however, Bowser continued to believe in his marriage to Peach). Peach is later rescued by Mario and manages to convince Bowser to join their cause in stopping Bleck. In Super Mario Galaxy, Peach's castle was lifted into space by Bowser, who wanted Peach to rule the universe by his side. She was brought into Outer Space, along with Toads, and Mario had to go through different galaxies to save her. In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Peach is kidnapped on her birthday by Bowser Jr. and the Koopalings. She is later rescued by Mario, Luigi, Blue Toad, and Yellow Toad. She is also in Super Mario Galaxy 2 when Bowser kidnaps her and puts her in the center of the universe. Mario and Peach then get the final Grand Star, before the Comet Observatory from the first Super Mario Galaxy shows up, and Rosalina is heard thanking Mario for watching over the Luma that he had found. The Luma returns to the Comet Observatory, taking Mario's cap with him before the Comet Observatory transforms into a starship and leaves. Eventually, Mario and his companions return to the Mushroom Kingdom, where a large cake stands in front of Peach's Castle and Starship Mario sits in the sky above. Princess Peach also has appearances in New Super Mario Bros. 2 as well as New Super Mario Bros. U. She appears in Super Mario 3D World as a playable character who can float temporarily in midair; however, she is the second-slowest of the five playable characters, with only Rosalina having a slower running speed.
Appearances in other games
Princess Peach has appeared in nearly all of the Mario spin-off titles. Since the first Mario Party, Peach has appeared in every single installment.
In the Mario Kart series, she is in the light category in Super Mario Kart, Mario Kart 64, and Mario Kart: Super Circuit; since Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, she is in the medium category of characters with the fastest acceleration, the lowest top speed, and the best off-road ability to take the shortcuts on each course. Her special item in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! involves two hearts temporarily rotating around her kart, giving her whatever item they collide into. She shares her special with Daisy, her best friend. Mario Kart 8 introduces Pink Gold Peach, a metallic version of Peach similar to Metal Mario.
In the Mario Tennis and Mario Golf series, she is labeled as a "Technique" character and has one of the lightest hits. She is a captain in the games Mario Superstar Baseball, and Mario Super Sluggers and specializes in pitching. She is a playable character in Super Mario Strikers and its sequel, Mario Strikers Charged. Peach is fast, agile, and has good passing skills. She appears in the first Mario basketball game, Mario Hoops 3-on-3, for the Nintendo DS, and is a technical type (good at taking shots). She appears in the crossover sports game, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, where she is a skill type character. She also appeared in Mario Sports Mix in 2011, where she is a playable character.
Peach also makes appearances in Super Mario Maker. A Peach costume can be unlocked and worn through a Mystery Mushroom, and Peach makes cameos in the 10-Mario challenge and the 100-Mario challenge, being kidnapped by two Goombas. After the completion of the 100-Mario challenge on normal or higher difficulties, Mario rescues Peach at the end.
In the Super Smash Bros. series, Peach first appears in Super Smash Bros. Melee, the second game of the series. She has the unique ability to float for seconds, much as she can in Super Mario Bros. 2, an advantage which is balanced by the fact that she is one of the lighter fighters and in Super Smash Bros. Brawl her ability has been decreased since Melee and making launches in Brawl can prove to be quite difficult. However, Peach's float is one of the main elements of her game, as it allows her to combo players from above and dodges horizontal attacks. It serves as an amazing horizontal recovery. Her attacks include the Peach Bomber (where she leaps forward, twirls and rams her rear into her opponent which causes an explosion); her forward throw (a massive slap that launches players at higher percentages); her parasol; using Toad as a human shield; using golf clubs, tennis rackets, and frying pans as sub-weapons and pulling turnips from the ground. Her Final Smash in Brawl is unique in that it does not launch opponents outright. Instead, it puts them to sleep and spawns peaches across the battlefield that restore Peach's health. Additionally, in the Subspace Emissary story mode, Peach is a very prominent character, being present throughout most of the storyline. Peach returned in the recent installments released for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, as well as Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Appearances in other media
In the cartoon series by DiC, she is always referred to as Princess Toadstool, since the name Peach had not been used in the western world until Yoshi's Safari in 1993, and she had red hair instead of yellow. (This may have been due to the original NES games from her early appearances depicting her with red hair, due to technical limitations). Unlike in the video games, she is occasionally seen using power-ups such as the Tanooki Leaf. She is voiced by Jeannie Elias in The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! and Tracey Moore in the two follow up series, The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World.
Shogakukan published between 1992 and 1994 a manga named Otenba Pīchi-hime, with a plot revolving around a younger version of the princess. From February 2006 to March 2007, the magazine Famitsu DS+Wii published a comical manga based on the Super Princess Peach called Peach no Daiboken!? created by Kazumi Sugiyama.
Peach has made cameo appearances in non-Mario games as well. She is a playable guest character in the GameCube ports of the Electronic Arts games NBA Street V3 and SSX on Tour. Peach made a minor appearance in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, in a painting in Hyrule Castle. A Princess Peach kart toy appears and can be driven in the Labrador and Friends version of Nintendogs. Peach made a cameo in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, appearing in a picture sent to Mr. Write from the goat in the animal village. The photo is of Peach with the name "Christine" written underneath the picture. She appeared at the King Dedede battle arena in Kirby Super Star, as well as in the minigame Megaton Punch. In Kirby Super Star Ultra, she is once again seen at the Dedede arena. Her crown appears in Pikmin 2 as an item to be collected, although it is labeled "Unspeakable Wonder". She does not appear personally in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, but Cranky Kong does make some indirect references to her in some of his Monkey Museum ramblings.
In a poll conducted on the Japanese website of Super Smash Bros., Peach was ranked as the 2nd most requested character for Super Smash Bros. Melee with 66 votes. In a poll conducted by Official Nintendo Magazine, Princess Peach was voted by readers as the second greatest female character; the magazine stated that "some might view her as being a bit useless but we'll let her off as rescuing her is always so much fun". In 2011, readers of Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition voted Princess Peach as the 44th-top video game character of all time. In a popularity poll conducted by Redex website in 2020, Peach was voted as the 2nd most popular character from the Mario Kart series.
Actress Brie Larson expressed her love for the character, stating "I'm just excited about the idea of pushing for a Princess Peach solo game. I think it's just been too long. Let's put Peach up there, let's give her her time to shine". SyFy included Peach as one of the "Greatest Video Game Heroines of all Time", stating " it’s great to have tough female characters like many of the others on this list, but it’s great to have one that embraces the power of being a high femme". GameDaily described Princess Peach as an "ideal woman that's as sweet as can be" in their list of "babes that should or shouldn't meet your mom". The website ranked her forty-eighth in their list of Top 50 Hottest Game Babes claiming that she is "the quiet 'quick, come and rescue me' type, but in Mario Strikers Charged she's all action with a hot sports outfit and shows the boys who's boss". IGN editor, Matt Casamassina, stated that Nintendo would be "taken aback" by her outfit, which he describes as more revealing than any outfit she's ever worn. IGN rated the character an 8 out of 10 in the worth-saving index on their article "Mario's Ladies: The Princesses of Mario Galaxy”. The New York Times claimed that Princess Peach had "grit as well as grace" and that her "peachiness did nothing to upset the apple cart of expectation: she may have been athletic, smart and strong, but she was also adorable." The article claimed that Peach was what "once-unisex, postfeminist parents are shooting for." Gaming Debugged listed Peach 1st place in their top "10 Video Game Princesses", calling her "The Duchess of princesses" and indicating "She might seem prim and proper in pink, but she’s definitely the top princess in our kingdom". Manolith listed Princess Peach as one of the characters on their "25 Hottest Female Videogame Protagonists" list, especially citing her Strikers outfit. S. Williams of Momzone magazine declared Peach "gaming's lone female role model," citing the character's unceasing humility and gutsy charm. UGO ranked Peach ninth on their list of the "Top 11 Girls of Gaming". She is ranked 10th in Electronic Gaming Monthly's Top Ten Video Game Politicians list. In 2007, Princess Peach landed on Forbes magazine's Wealthiest Fictional People list, with a fortune of approximately $1.3 billion. Kotaku dedicated an entire article to Peach titled "Princess Peach Was The Best Character In Super Mario Bros. 2". Peach was included on GameDaily's list of hottest blondes in video games; they cited her appearances in sports games such as Super Mario Strikers and SSX on Tour (in Mario Smash Football, she wears a pink midriff-baring crop top with pink shorts). They listed the "damsel in distress" as one of their top 25 video game archetypes, using Princess Peach as an example of this due to her frequent kidnappings. Polygon ranked 73 fighters from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate "from garbage to glorious", placing Peach as the 4th.
Despite this, however, Peach only managed a D on Destructoid's Gamer's Red Carpet, who called her pink dress "awful", as opposed to Princess Daisy which got a B+ and Rosalina which got an A+. IGN called Peach "all smiles and politeness" however, they also labelled her as the one of the weirdest Mario characters, citing her constant kidnappings. IGN later stated that "when she's not staring blankly at nothing, she can be rather adorable", however the fact that "Mario can heroically collect 120 Power Stars all while saving Peach's kingdom and still get nothing but a cake in return makes us think this might be something of a one-sided relationship."
On August 6, 2014, Nintendo declared that the entire month of August would be the Month of Princess Peach. A parody sculpture of the music video of Wrecking ball by Miley Cyrus including Chain Chomp and Princess Peach has been made by custom figurine artist Kodykoala. In 2020, the character was parodied in an erotic game titled Peach’s Untold Tale. The game attracted millions of views on adult websites.
Princess Peach is considered as an LGBT icon by several journalists. A.V. Club stated that "she became a perhaps unlikely but nevertheless important queer icon". John Walker of Splinter described Peach as a "queer icon", saying "If you polled a room full of non-straight men about the women they consider to be "queer icons," you'd probably hear a lot of "Beyoncé," "Dolly Parton," and "Grace Jones." But there's one name you might not hear that totally deserves a spot on that list: Princess Peach". Gay Times listed Super Princess Peach in their top "9 video games queer people love, from Tomb Raider to Animal Crossing". On March 11, 2010, Brightest Young Things named her "Gay icon of the week", and claiming that "For many, she was your first girlfriend (the “okay I’m never gonna stick it in” kind). As soon as you blew on that Nintendo cartridge and pressed “Power,” you had the ability to zone out, particularly in Mario 2, and just pretend you were the hottest, baddest bombshell who could float, dig down 300 feet of desert sand, and beat mice with sunglasses".
The release of Peachette in Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe led to speculation and theories in fan circles as to how the Super Crown - the name of the new power-up - works within the Super Mario universe. In 2018, an artist published a short comic entitled "The Super Crown's some spicy new Mario lore" on the DeviantArt and Twitter platforms under the pseudonym Ayyk92. The comic shows Mario and Bowser discouraged by the rejection of their proposals to marry the princess, a nod to the ending of Super Mario Odyssey. While Mario tries to cheer up the offended Bowser, he reveals that he is holding the Super Crown. In the last picture, the two walk past the visibly shocked Peach and Luigi. Bowser has transformed into a female character who looks a lot like Princess Peach but has fangs, thick eyebrows and protruding horns on her head, as well as spiky necklaces and bracelets and a black dress. Although the character doesn't have a name in the comic, fans named it Bowsette. The associated hashtag spread quickly on Twitter and reached over 150,000 mentions on the platform within a very short time. The porn sites Pornhub and YouPorn recorded a 2,900 percent increase in searches for the character Bowsette in one day. Ars Technica wrote that Bowsette's popularity was partly due to the contrast with Princess Peach and literally said the fan drawings are more focused on "Bowser's more muscular, less svelte figure. In essence, the approach lets Peach look a little less Barbie-proportioned". ComicBook.com describes the character as a combination of "the cutesy elements of Peach's design with the harder edges and spiky tail of Bowser, making the amalgam of the two characters a delightful artist prompt for fans".
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This little factoid might not be too surprising – after all, Princess Peach has been in the world of Mario since 1985. However, it’s still worth mentioning that Peach is officially the female character who has been in the most games
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