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A look into the past and future of Princess Peach.

Image Sources: Nintendo/Nintendo US


In celebration of Princess Peach: Showtime! let's revisit the underappreciated gem that was its predecessor, Super Princess Peach.

Princess Peach: Showtime! will come out on March 22, 2024, featuring The Nintendo franchise Princess Peach as its playable character. The new Nintendo Switch game is set to be an action-adventure game which won’t settle to be just a straightforward platform game given the roster of diverse levels already shown.

The release of this game is very exciting as not only will Princess Peach be a playable character, but she will be the sole protagonist of the game. With the information Nintendo has provided about the story, we know that during Peach’s visit to the theatre, a Sour masked villain decided to try and steal the show. With the help of Stella and the costume department, Princess Peach will be at the centre of the stage, taking on the lead role of the heroine to save the day.

In the promotional pictures, Princess Peach can be seen in several different outfits or personas that would appear to grant her different skills and abilities, similar to how power-ups work. This ability to change outfits can be reminiscent of Super Princess Peach’s mechanics of using her different “vibes” strategically through the game to complete each level. Indeed, while some may not know this, Princess Peach: Showtime! will not be the first console video game to have Peach as the main protagonist.

That title belongs to 2005’s Nintendo DS game: Super Princess Peach. The game first came out in 2005 in Japan and became available worldwide a year later. Super Princess Peach is best defined as “cute”, the colours are vibrant, the music is soft and everything is adorable. Yet, it still is a platform game so it still feels like playing a typical Mario game, which is important because it doesn’t make the game feel lesser simply because it is aimed at a younger female audience.

This was the first time we discovered one of Mario’s worlds through the Princess’ lenses. What was so significant about this game was that this time, Peach had to save Mario and Luigi from Bowser, not the other way around. Super Princess Peach introduced new interesting and creative mechanics. These mechanics are Peach’s parasol, Perry, and Peach’s “vibes”.

In the game, Peach has a companion, Perry. Perry is a magical talking parasol that grants Peach many new moves. Thanks to him, Peach can now glide, hit enemies and much more. To progress through the levels, the player has to purchase new abilities for the parasol from the shop since some levels require you to have some specific abilities. Bowser’s Villa in World 8 has a particularly interesting way of implementing these newly acquired abilities into its gameplay, making it one of the best levels to play. For the more curious, as you play, some of Perry’s backstory will be revealed and explained which is always a bonus.

The other specificity of this game is Peach’s “vibes”. While playing, one can see Peach surrounded by four different hearts on the lower screen of their Nintendo DS. These four hearts represent one of the Princess’s possible moods: joy, gloom, rage, and calm.

Following which option you select, Princess Peach will enter that emotional condition. This will allow her to do something about that emotion and will create diverse interactions across the levels.

This ability is linked to a vibe meter, a meter that can be seen at the top left corner of the screen. This meter will get drained by the player using the different moods. There are a few ways to restore the bar, whether it is by finding blue jewels or by using one of Perry’s skills. And just like for some of Perry’s abilities, you can upgrade your vibe meter via the shop.

Altogether, both these abilities gave a new dynamic addition to the gameplay and made it different from the normal platform levels we get from Mario games. But most importantly, it was truly important to finally have a game from Nintendo, this huge game franchise, where the main character was a girl and a princess.

For once, girls had the opportunity to save someone. And how impacting was it for it to be Mario? Mario is the character who is always saving everyone. The one who is going off on adventures and fighting villains. Some might have seen this game as too girly and kitsch, but it was important to show that one can use their emotions to save the day. Ultimately, Super Princess Peach should be considered a classic from the Mario franchise and deserves more recognition.

All in all, whether it is with the levels, the mechanics or the plot, Princess Peach: Showtime! has big shoes to fill. It will be interesting to see what story Nintendo has come up with this time for their beloved Princess and if there will be any nods to its predecessor.

While it is not the point of this article, it is worth addressing how it took Nintendo 19 years to create and release another female lead game from the Mario franchise. Nevertheless, the important part is that we are finally getting another one. Not only that, but Princess Peach and the other female characters such as Daisy, Harmony and many more are getting more screen time by being playable characters in recent Nintendo games.

It is to hope that Princess Peach: Showtime! will mark the start of a new era and open the door for Nintendo female characters to shine in their own stories.

Edited by Georgiana Madalina Jureschi

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