News Article

New Super Mario Bros. U Director Explains Why Peach Isn't A Playable Character

Posted by Andy Green

She's just not suited for it

New Super Mario Bros. U is the latest instalment in the New Super Mario Bros. series and allows you to play as Mario, Luigi, Toad and even your own Mii. Previous Mario sidescrollers – like Super Mario Bros. 2 on the NES for example – have allowed you to play as Princess Peach as well, but she's since been dropped and hasn't appeared once in the current 2D Mario series.

Speaking to games™ the Wii U title's director, Masataka Takemoto, revealed why this is the case, saying she isn’t as well suited as the pair of plumbers and their mushroom mates.

In Super Mario Bros 2, Princess Peach had her own unique moves and animation. In this series, we want all the players to have the same moves and animations as Mario, and Princess Peach isn’t suited for that.

So there you have it. What do you think? Would you like to see Princess Peach return as a playable character in a Mario sidescroller? Let us know in the comments below.


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User Comments (96)



Marios-love-child said:

She probably isnt playable because that would mean they'd have to come up with a whole new storyline for the game.

She cant save herself after all



TrueWiiMaster said:

I agree with the developer about Peach not really fitting NSMB, but I still wouldn't mind seeing a new Mario side-scroller where there were 4 different playable characters, each with different abilities or advantages.

Also, what other side-scrolling Mario games featured Peach as a playable character? The article says "Previous Mario sidescrollers – like Super Mario Bros. 2 on the NES for example – have allowed you to play as Princess Peach as well", but I can't think of any besides SMB2.



Dogpigfish said:

Excellent dlc idea. I would pay to add her and get her notorious floating ability. Explaining why she is duplicated in the story would be interesting, but they could use Daisy. They have a huge cast of likeable characters (unlike Sonic). Just do it Nintendo, too many missed opportunities.



JustTheTrick said:


Super Mario Bros 2 was first released in 1988 - 24 years ago!!

and is everyone forgetting Super Princess Peach?

Obviously a slow news day



MasterGraveheart said:

Y'know, all four characters in SMB2 had their own unique traits, yet Luigi and Toad are treated similarly to Mario in terms of attributes. If you don't want to make it Peach, then how about Daisy? She's never been no a side-scrolling adventure, so there's no precedent. I don't care if it's a matter of her being clone-ish. Put her in some sporty-looking gear and go from there.

Also, I support the idea of Peach being DLC.



ShadJV said:

Sexist!!! She can do anything the bros can do, only in high heals!!!

Kidding though. It's hard for me to picture her shooting fireballs, for one. @Marios-love-child they don't have to change the storyline too much, maybe just have to reclaim her castle or Bowser is holding Yoshi's for ransom or something. If they really wanted to make her playable, it wouldn't be hard to change up the story, it's not like story is integral to the series.



TrueWiiMaster said:

Yeah, I knew about that (it looked pretty interesting actually), but I'd hardly call that a Mario game.

Oh yeah. I'd actually forgotten about that, though I agree that calling Super Paper Mario a 2D sidescroller is clutching at straws.



ThomasBW84 said:

@WesCash I think the same defence was made when two toads were playable in New Super Mario Bros. Wii. I think it's a bit of a cop-out, personally, but if the games are good I think most let it go.



Auracle said:

TBH, I thought that Princes Peach would be playable in 3D Land after seeing a few of the postcards. No surprises, though.
@Dogpigfish - You just had to take a stab at Sonic, huh. Well, no matter. That's just your opinion.



C7_ said:

The thing is that in smb2, different characters took the place of needing unique power-ups. This sort of happens again in SM64DS when all the characters pick up the same power-up, but do different things.

If they were to put Peach in, or indeed any other character with different stats, they would need to design levels with all of that in mind as well as 'nullify' power-ups to accentuate their differences rather than give them all an easier time with floating when one of them could already float. I can see why they decided to stick with the same characters as last time, but it'd be neat to see something like that in the future.



Robin_Aisaga said:

If princess peach was a playable character it would probably be awkward... And who will be kipnapped by bowser?!



Morpheel said:

It would be unfair for the non-peach players if she was playable.
You all need to remember that this time all the players play at the same time, so they must be equal in abilities.

Just like Bowser.



Adam said:

Also, unique playable characters intrudes on power-up territory. Peach can already outglide the squirrel suit. They would need to rethink power-ups if each character played differently. I would be interested to see the results.

As to the storyline, they have already done a game with Peach as a playable character. This is not an unsolvable problem. And the whole dream world thing is no more cliche than damsel in distress, maybe less so since they are upfront about Subcon being a dream and don't leave it for a surprise revelation. ...not that avoiding cliched stories should be a concern for Mario at all.

Nintendo's reasoning makes sense, but I would still like to see New Doki Doki Bros. U featuring Peach and others some day.



njechranjec said:

Okay, because of the comment section - I found out that there is actually a Super Princess Peach game for the DS. Thanks people!



shinpichu said:

Didn't they explain a long time ago why they had to go with two generic Toads as P3/4?

Actually, I'd kinda like it if they did the multiplayer like in Kirby RtDL, where you could play as one of four unique characters, or a Kirby palette swap.



Klunk23 said:

I don't know if i'd like playing as her in mario sidescrollers. But i would love it if she were a playable character in Super Mario 3D land



TooManyToasters said:

In this case they need to include her in Mario Galaxy 3, with her own unique moveset akin to SSB Brawl. XD



bofis said:

Super Princess Peach is one of the most underrated games on DS and my wife's personal favorite. She is continually upset when NSMB doesn't let you play as Peach or anyone else besides the Mario Brother and differently-colored toads. I see no reason why having additional move options or behaviors would hurt the gameplay, especially since you can only play other characters in multiplayer anyway.



Ryno said:

Nice cop out. Bowser took Princess Peach floating ability away and there is your Super Mario Bros. story line for Peach. How easy was that?



Smitherenez said:

They are just lazy. They can put her in the game with ease! Give her a floating ability and voila: You got yourself an easy mode for the less experienced player!



Rect_Pola said:

Why not? They've made spiritual successors of other past marios, why not OUR SMB2? I say, go back to Sarasaland. Put Daisy on the pedestal and Luigi technically (i.e. humor potential) leading the charge with Mario, Peach and Toad. And THIS time (since they wouldn't be fettered by the classic manner one crosses the Mushroom Kingdom) you can make each character play differently.



Rect_Pola said:

Also, is there a reason they used 2 color coded toads than the usual Toad and Toadette?



Yosher said:

It doesn't have to be Peach, just any character besides generic Toads would be nice. Heck, make 2 separate play styles for 2 sets of characters, and throw in Mario, Luigi, Peach and Daisy. This series, fun as it may be (I do enjoy the series quite a bit after all), is lazy as heck. That's the vibe I'm getting from this stuff anyway.



SMW said:

I'll never understand why each character needs to play the same. Technically Luigi SHOULD play differently and why can a random Toad jump as good as Mario. What happened to Mario being the best jumper in the Mushroom Kingdom?



The_Fox said:

So why couldn't they just have taken away the glide ability she had in SMB2?



Geonjaha said:

Hur Dur Sexism.
Honestly though its Super Mario Bros. - why is anyone even complaining about not being able to play as Peach?



MrWalkieTalkie said:

I want Wario & Waluigi to be playable but even I question how they will get Waluigi's long, lanky body to animate just like Mario, Luigi, & Toad.



Lunapplebloom said:

@MasterGraveheart I like the sound of that idea. Wouldn't be any different from the brothers or toads then if she didn't wear the dress. A sports outfit will do.

I can see why they didn't, but wouldn't mind if they made the characters have different abilities the next time around.



FJOJR said:

I actually would like the characters to have their abilities from Mario 2 back in the NEW series. Mario & Luigi have their uniqueness in the the Galaxy games and Mario 64 DS.



Banjogeek said:

I still don't know why they keep the two Toads it seems very lazy to me you have all these characters and only use Mario and Luigi it seems like Sega has been rubbing off on Nintendo.What I mean by that is they haven't made a game with any other Mario character besides Mario,Luigi,and toads in a Main series game in a while.Sega has been loosing it up by adding Tails and Metal Sonic in Episode 2 though.



Ren said:

that's a BS excuse. By that logic then Luigi shouldn't be there either. actually even toad had different abilities. "it's Super Mario Bros." doesn't mean anything. Just like it's beer, it's corn chips, it's clothing, it's perception of images, it's peoples' roles in life, it's getting a properly paying job, it's voting, it's being treated like a human. Sexism is never ok, doesn't matter if it's selling gumballs. It doesn't mean people are evil but it's worth recognizing for what it is and being aware, or even cynical about it if you have to be. So their used to making games of boys saving girls and they just can't make it work to have her there in their heads. Shes just another character template to slap over those sprites, why is it suddenly about 'sticking to her abilities' JUST for her? Is it really about the PRINCESS' abilities? or about a 'womens abilities'? I'm not that bothered but it's another lazy thing from an old fashioned company. Is it that hard to hire anyone under 40 for your design team?



MrWalkieTalkie said:

BTW, Everyone: The two Toads apparently do have names as stand-alone characters! The Yellow Toad is apparently named Ala-Gold, and Blue Toad is supposedly called Bucken-Berry!



jedisquidward said:

@Marios-love-child Is that really to much to ask for? I've wanted Peach to be playable ever since NSMB Wii. Maybe they could collect "Mushroom Crystals" or something? That would explain going to all the different locations when they could just go directly to Bowser's Castle.



Marios-love-child said:


Of course it's not too much to ask (if you're asking me on a personal level). My point was that they never change the storyline of the Mario games, its always the same old Bowser kidnaps Peach, Marios must rescue her - rinse and repeat

to be fair the storyline isn't something that bothers me, I buy them for the gameplay not the storyline but I know a lot of people are growing tired or the same thing each and every time



theblackdragon said:

@Ren: i love you for that comment.

Toadstool had her drawbacks in the original SMB2, y'know — she was the slowest out of the four characters and had the least strength iirc. If they think her hovering ability would be too much of an advantage, put back in her slow speed and limited strength to balance them all out. all I'm seeing from that interview quote is sheer laziness. if that's their honest-to-goodness reasoning behind not having put her in as a playable character, he would've been wise to have kept his mouth shut on the topic.



Morpheel said:

Well, if people wants to play as Peach so badly, just make a Mii that looks like her and play as her.
I mean, unless Nintendo somehow blocked the ability to play as a female Mii or something. Because you know, Nintendo is filled with misogynist weirdos like that. /sarcasm



Buob said:

All I'm seeing is people screaming "Nintendo is Sexist!"


Sure, I'll admit that the Mario games have been cut-and-paste copies of every other Mario game ever, but boy-saving-girl does not mean they're sexist. They just need help coming up with another plot that does not involve Peach getting kidnapped.



ThreadShadow said:

I understand they wanted a level playing field, and that's fine, but guess what, in Super Mario Bros. 2 Toad and Luigi played differently too, it wasn't just Peach, er Princess Toadstool. Why can they be divested of their mechanics but Peach can't?

Anyway, I'm tired of it. I want a New Super Mario Bros that features Mario and Luigi, and Peach and Daisy, and throw in a couple Toads in case a couple guys don't want to play the girls. Just make them available.

Also, here's an idea. If Peach is so much more stuck to her previous gameplay mechanics, then why not make a four-player Mario featuring Mario, Luigi , Peach, and Toad, with all the abilities each had in SMB2? You've got to work together using your abilities to get through. Peach (float), Luigi, (high/floaty jump) etc. etc..



Buob said:

ThreadShadow wrote:

If Peach is so much more stuck to her previous gameplay mechanics, then why not make a four-player Mario featuring Mario, Luigi , Peach, and Toad, with all the abilities each had in SMB2?

Because Peach would always be lagging behind since she's the slowest of the characters.



TheN64Dude said:

We don't want to be creative and give people their own movements let alone abilities, we want everything to stay the same so we can develop faster.



MeloMan said:

I can see for the NSMB on portable consoles, but I'd expect her to have made it in NSMBU at least, but no... two toads. I can understand the "sameness" theme they're going for, it's just that the toads aren't as visually pleasing, especially since there's two of them. If it was just one toad, and THE Toad at that, I don't think anyone would mind that at least. Meh, I'm sure Nintendo does have plans in the future to return Peach the platform world (post-Super Princess Peach).



NintyMan said:

I think Peach would have been an interesting playable character since she would have basically joined with Mario and Luigi to reclaim her castle from Bowser, but I'd rather have Wario. Wario could fit in well in a mainstream Mario game; just look at Super Mario 64 DS.



TrueWiiMaster said:

Wow. I didn't think people would actually consider this sexist. It seems to me that the developer is simply saying that if they put Peach in as a playable character, people would expect her to have her usual "princess" powers, and they want every character to be the same in NSMB games. Basically, if they put her in with her powers, they'd be making a different game than they want to make, and if they put her in without her powers, people will complain. And personally, I think it would be REALLY weird to see Peach get fire power or put on a squirrel suit.

What I don't understand is why there's no Toadette (there's not, right?). Having her in there would completely destroy any sexist implications, and wouldn't cause any problems with special abilities.



TrueWiiMaster said:

"in Super Mario Bros. 2 Toad and Luigi played differently too"
None of the characters played as differently as Peach. As I remember, she was the only one with actually special abilities.



bezerker99 said:

It's Nintendo being lazy. They could have implemented her but that would have meant actual work.



JebbyDeringer said:

yeah that's BS. SMB2 didn't require different levels for the Princess. I can see how in multiplayer it might affect things but so what. She is slower but can float while Mario can make up for it with his faster jumping.



Ren said:

@ TrueWiimaster. Not true they played very differently. Luigi jumped much higher than the rest but was very slippery on his feet. Toad was the "quickest" manuvering but jumped VERY short and couldn't move as fast overall, Peach was slow moving but hoovered around. Mario was an even balance of them all, slightly shorter jump. Very unique, each one.

ok, people. Sexism and Misogyny are different things. Because something is sexist doesn't mean that there is a massive plot to kill women everywhere; but there IS a deeper ingrained bias in almost all of us that is there and takes recognition to try and change. It's not a big misogynist plot to not have Peach there, but it is clear that she has always been a weaker, frightened, helpless, lady that is a prize for Mario. And the ONLY woman in the Mario universe. What is she for? a wife? cooking? Sex? (mario gets a kiss now and again, that's why he destroys worlds of thousands of creatures to get to her?)

Lets say that somehow you think she's very independent, capable and useful in the Mario lore and she's even gotten a little bit of playable character roles, but for a new tripleA game on the new console they decide to cut someone (for ANY reason). of course it's the woman who goes first.
because then they can save her and the 'abilities' will be even and easier to level across characters (Miis' included).

This is SEXISM, meant it or not. doesn't hurt the game much, but in a tiny subtle way (or not so subtle as this is played by millions around the world) this affects the way we all think about women and the way Nintendo asserts it's treatment of Women as PEOPLE. Capable, thinking, intelligent people not confused, scared, tripping over while being chased, sex objects, helpless, captured damsels waiting curled up in a corner to be saved by meatheads. Is that what ANY woman is really like, people? I love video games too, but please don't tell me they inform your real views about the world!

Nintendo isn't portraying them badly, right? just leave them out entirely, since women don't really exist anyway, what's the big deal?



Morpheel said:

And still, this is the very first main "Mario" game (not counting 2 because that was a reskin of another game) where you can play as a girl (or a non white blue-eyed person now that we are there), and they play just like Mario and Luigi.



Wonder_Ideal said:

@Ren - You said that Peach is the only woman in the Mario universe. Aren't you foregeting Daisy, Toadette, Birdo, and Wendy; a few from the main series. And then there's Bow, Vivian, Goombella, Ms. Mowz, and Madame Flurry, who are all playable in their respective Paper Mario games. Those are just a few examples.



Auracle said:

Peach isn't playable in NSMBU and suddenly Nintendo is sexist. Following this logic, we could say Nintendo is hateful to fat people because Wario wasn't playable.



Super-Mario-Fan said:

Peach have been a great character to have in NSMBU. You don't really have to change the story that much. Nintendo could really make something out of these things and im sure it will be a hit. They need something different.



TrueWiiMaster said:

Like I said, Peach is the only one with an actually special ability. Mario's balanced, and Luigi and Toad are basically Mario with better jumping and speed respectively. Only Peach can float.

As for the other stuff you said, there seems to be a flaw. Maybe it's just me, but I never thought of being kidnapped by a huge dragon tyrant as a sign of weakness. Peach isn't portrayed as weak or helpless, just as the victim of an evil force.

Nintendo's overall portrayal of women isn't negative. Don't forget that they were one of the first companies to have a main character be female (Samus). There have also been several games in which Zelda played the role of more than just a damsel in distress, and in Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, the starting main character (you can choose to play as her brother later) is a princess who demands to fight alongside everyone else.

Also, about that "ONLY woman in the Mario universe" comment, there are a few other female characters, namely Toadette and Daisy (many more in Paper Mario). And don't forget that, aside from small enemies, the only male characters in the Mario Universe are Mario, Luigi, Bowser, Toad, and that old Toad who rarely appears. 3 females and 5 males, one of which is the top bad guy. It's not as unbalanced as you seem to think.

And Nintendo didn't cut anyone. Peach was only ever in ONE main series Mario game, and it wasn't even originally a Mario game. Mario games have always starred the Mario Brothers, with NSMB throwing in generic Toads for multiplayer purposes.



Linkuini said:

I figured the reason we have the blue and yellow toads instead of some other thing was so it could be an homage to the colors of the super famicom logo. I thought that was kinda neat, but apparently I'm the only one.

As for Peach, though, yes, she was playable in Super Mario Bros. 2, but that's a bit of a different game, isn't it? I just have trouble imagining her doing things like wall-kicking, dashing out of cannons, penguin sliding, etc., in a fancy dress, with a higher level of animation than would have been expected back in the 80s or 90s. You could give her the kind of outfit she has in the sports games, but then there's still the fact that she's noticeably taller than the Mario Bros. The difference in height between them and the toads is already arguably pushing it.

When every interview I read about the design of the NSMB games seems to focus on how small details can shape the experience so drastically, I honestly don't see how it is so heinous to see her sidelined again.



SuperMinusWorld said:

Who says we want all the player characters to be the same anyway?? We want diversity! We want the ability to play a Mario game in new ways. We may never know such fun and innovation if this is their mindset. Give us two interesting characters that have unique moves and movements, not these two uninteresting, generic toads.



sinalefa said:

That is a simple excuse like the one they used in NSMBW. They could at least add her in a separate mode, like they did with the Miis.

And the story is no excuse either. In one of the Galaxy games, Luigi can rescue himself, (when you play as him later on) and they even left the same dialogue to make fun of the absurdness, as there are actually two Luigis.

Again, it would have been awesome to replace the second Toad for Peach (or even Daisy) to make it feel as a homage to SMB2. The skills do not need to be there as the game is designed differently. Thankfully Rayman Legends is adding a female character instead of those Teensies, who are as uninteresting as the Toads.



TheDreamingHawk said:

I don't think she would fit in a NSMB2 game, but a 3D mario game. I'd think the yellow toad would should be replaced with Boo.



UnseatingKDawg said:

Meh, these days I'm not too fond of the dumb broad. Seriously, anything pre Super Mario Sunshine in the platformers, she was fine. Then it got bad. Especially with the voice...

But, I guess I should specify more clearly. I don't hate Peach, per se, I just don't care for her in the platformers from Super Mario Sunshine onward. She's a decent character in the Paper Mario and Smash Bros. games, just not platformers. Her voice (to me at least) makes her sound too ditzy. No wonder she keeps getting her behind kidnapped.



MitchVogel said:

BS. They could easily give her the exact same moveset as Mario. Think about it, Luigi and the toads are pretty much just Mario in different skins. Would this be any different? No.



Gamesake said:

The princess is a full head taller than everyone. I guess they could have shortened her if they wanted to shoehorn her into the game without compromising gameplay.



Ren said:

ok, my bad, I should have done my homework; Nintendo is a shining beacon of groundbreaking, progressive thought for furthering womens right's for peripherally allowing a couple made-up women and various creatures with bows on their heads into their games. I guess I forget that the world really is basically equal and people are pretty much just fine without challenging any kind of thinking of a massive, money driven, company looking to market cartoon characters to small children. I'm sure their first thought is always to find ways to further include women as role models.

I forget the age range of people who come here sometimes; time to take a break.



Morpheel said:

I don't think anyone ever said Nintendo was doing anything at all for women's rights.



Banker-Style said:

Nintendo rules of the gender.

Men always rescue women,and always act the hero.

Women always will be helpless,and will always be kidnap by a obese lizard,unless they're Samus Aran.



RadioShadow said:

It always bothered me they didn't add Toddette. She would have worked and added a female player to the game.

But I can't see why they can't include peach and Daisy with different abilities like in SMB2.



FonistofCruxis said:

This isn't a good excuse, they could have just added her without the floating power. Although, Gamesake does make a good point. She might not be well suited to the NSMB gameplay due to how much taller she is than the Mario bros. and the Toads. Also, I would like to see Wario and Waluigi too as playable characters in a future 2D Mario game. They'd be better than Toads.



Capt_N said:

If someone wanted to make an argument about sexism, Mario has Pauline, & Peach, while Luigi has Daisy, & Rosalina. Like Surf City, by Jan & Dean, "2 girls for every guy" kinda thing going on here. Link, well, Link has generally every female(humanoid, & non) in whatever land he's currently in wanting to get their hands on him. & while I may be wrong, I kinda think Nintendo has in the past 12 years, upped the sexualization of some of it's female characters, like at least mainly Samus, & I also feel to some degree Daisy, Peach, & Mona(although I think Mona was introduced only in the past 12 years). Less so Daisy, & Peach than Samus.



MrPuzzlez said:

Either way, somebody besides a second "Toad" could be playable! I dunno, Daisy, Rosalina, Toadette... Maybe even a reformed bad guy! I get tired of them always playing it safe...



-KawaiiHaylee said:

Goodness, Peach deserves to be in a new Mario game! Cuz her getting kidnapped all the time is kinda driving itself into the GROUND! I'm tired of being a blue toad all the time!

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