Pauline is a super important character in Nintendo’s history. Though the story of Donkey Kong doesn’t seem like much today, the idea of an arcade game having characters with motivation and personality was incredibly novel at the time. Pauline represented a character struggle for Jumpman, and was a key part of the game’s appeal. However, ever since she got the short end of the stick. She started as a damsel in distress. She got replaced by Princess Peach. Her appearances were reduced to spin-offs, and not even the cast-oriented ones like Mario Party or Mario Kart. She was more of a weird historical figure than an active member of the Super Mario cast. But now?
Here she is. The Mayor of New Donk City, as influential as she is glamorous. Pauline’s office totally recontextualizes her absence from the main series. While Mario has been playing hero in the field, fighting for the Mushroom Kingdom and Princess Peach, Pauline has been doing it through legislation, making New Donk City better and improving the lives of potentially millions of people. Pauline’s not a princess, but she does lead. She’s just as much a hero as her Jumpman.
im crying why do i always draw shit that’s too wide to be viewed properly on tumblr i just want to live my life in cinematic 2:1 ratio fuck
anyways this was part of an idea for a bigger thing that i 100% won’t ever finish. it was a lot more sad than this drawing communicates. and had time travel hope magic + punching coffeeshop au-esque tropes in the face.
u know whenever male writers write the gotham city sirens saying things like ‘we’re on the naughty list ;)’ or draped all over each other and there’s always the background innuendo that they’ve had a threesome at some point… like i want that innuendo only applied to the gotham rogues as whole. like give me male rogues leaning on each other when they talk and riddler and two-face saying shit like ‘sorry batman three’s already a crowd ;)’ it’s only fair
Not going to lie, I’m crazy happy to see Pauline in Super Mario Odyssey. I can’t believe she’s appearing in a main Super Mario title as a prominent NPC. That’s very cool! Can’t wait to see how she’s used and if we get any other cool cameos.
I love that she’s mayor of New Donk City, and red suit is a nice touch. The fact that she’s a singer, and sings the theme song is just awesome and perfect.
I only have one concern - she’s always been taller than Mario, but previously it appeared she was closer to Peach’s height or at least shorter than characters like Rosalina (although Pauline’s size has always been inconsistent), but this game slightly redesigns her to be less “cartoon-ish/stylised”. Making her somewhat semi-realistic like the other citizens of New Donk City (although her face and appearance are still more stylised than the other NPCs in her area). This worries me because it makes her proportions very different to other Mario franchise characters and I’m scared this means she’ll never appear past this game, in spin-offs or future titles (as Super Mario games rarely repeat locations as well) because she won’t fit stylistically.
Although, I suppose Nintendo could always re-cartoon her/shrink her down at their own discretion (as lets be honest consistency is not always a big concern to them), to insert her into - oh I don’t know - a kart, a party, or whatever.
However, even with this concern … I’m thrilled to see her, this is an awesome surprise and MAYBE it will be her last appearance for a long time again (I don’t know, I hope not), but if that’s the case its a pretty fantastic one!
Oh! Also the New Donk City purple currency has an image of the city on one side and a profile of Pauline on the other, which is sweet.
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