Princess Peach of the Mushroom Kingdom, Origin — Character Creation
So what exactly do we need to discuss when talking about Princess Peach. The adorably overpowered Star Child Princess of the Mushroom Kingdom far surpasses the strength of Mario and Bowser but for some reason she desires to be the damsel in distress. That is a topic for another time since today I’m going to be explaining to you how the idea for Peach came to be and though short and may be controversial to many younger readers just remember Peach appeared as the first female video game character when women were still depicted as damsel’s in distress for the most part.
The idea of Princess Peach begins with the creation of Super Mario Bros. where Shigeru Miyamoto the creator of just about every ultra popular Nintendo game series decided that Mario would be in a new platformer that didn’t feature giant Ape’s kidnapping women. He decided on creating Super Mario Bros where Mario and Luigi (if you played 2 players) would have to go through 8 worlds to find and rescue Princess Toadstool.
So the idea of Princess Peach came from the need for Shigeru to give Mario a goal to chase after, rescuing a Princess from the clutches of a villain in this case.
Just remember this was a game from the 80’s where girls weren’t the mainstream audience (though I believe this was due to marketing nonsense of the 80s and 90s) where little girls wouldn’t be found playing video games as much as little boys.
If you’re confused as to why I said “Toadstool” instead of “Peach” it was because at the time she was improperly known as Toadstool outside of Japan and it wasn’t until Super Mario 64 would she be properly named Princess Peach.
Peach at the time of the SMB didn’t have the iconic appearance that she has now; at that time she was depicted as having red hair. This was due to the graphical limitations of the NES. Miyamoto, after it’s release didn’t like the way she looked as she didn’t accurately depict what he envisioned her to be. So he went to Yoichi Kotabe, an illustrator for Nintendo at the time.
He asked Kotabe to redesign her but with the stipulation that she would have cat-like eyes. Before the final appearance was decided she had a few prototypes. One which can be found on the Super Mario Bros. Japanese box art shows her with a long-sleeved dress, no gloves, strawberry-blonde hair and crown jewels of the same colour. Another was found in the 1987 Japanese strategy guide “How to Win at Super Mario Bros.” which showed her as a Toad, wearing a mushroom cap, a simple tiara and a dress similar to Aurora of Sleeping Beauty.
Those prototype looks eventually were put away in favour of the canonical look we have now. Blonde, bright blue eyes, crown jewels of different colours and white gloves. Though this design would be the set in stone she would have different outfits created for her depending on the game she would be found in such as in Mario Tennis Aces and Super Mario Odyssey.
That all said, Peach is by far the most recognizable female video game character to date and I personally very much enjoy seeing her being included in just about every Nintendo game that is released now and in the future.