With just days to go until Super Mario Odyssey hits the shelves, there’s a lot of excitement and buzz in the air. While most of the game will be kept under lock and key until 27 October, Nintendo has made a few things public. One of the bigger revelations made earlier this year, when Odyssey was unveiled, was that Pauline would be making a return. Not only would she be featured in the game, but will fill the role of mayor of New Donk City. Many gamers were surprised at the news. Pauline had stayed in the Donkey Kong series of games, but had never been seen in the Super Mario series, where Princess Peach is the main lady in need of rescue.
Pauline has been featured prominently in marketing for Super Mario Odyssey. Most notably, as the vocalist for the theme song to the game, “Jump Up Super Star” which has even been released on the iTunes Store. It’s funny to think about, but really, Pauline has been around just as long as Mario. They were first both featured in Donkey Kong - all the way back in 1981. Donkey Kong has served as a cornerstone for Nintendo with so much history and lore packed into one game. It was the start for Mario, Nintendo’s first true hit and even resulted in a lawsuit over whether or not the concept of the game was public domain or not.
There is, though, even more history that has been overlooked, at least in my opinion. While the history and development of Donkey Kong, Mario and other characters have been well known and documented in interviews and publications, very little was ever mentioned about Pauline. There is a theory though that she was inspired by a series of films in the early 20th Century.
“The Perils of Pauline” were a set of serial films from the mid-1910s that featured a young woman, named Pauline, falling into all sorts of danger. The dramatic ending of each instalment would always result in her rescue. Though the film looks simplistic today, 100 years ago they proved to be extremely popular. The actress who played Pauline, Pearl White, soon became the most famous silent film star of the day, save for maybe, Lillian Gish. The “Pauline” series was so popular it was remade over and over again, using the same “Perils of Pauline” title. Some of those films made their way over to Japan, where the road to all things Nintendo eventually go. Could these films have influenced the naming of Pauline? It all could be a crazy coincidence, but if that's all it is, its a rather noticeable one.
To see some of the different “Perils of Pauline” films and determine for yourself if that's how Nintendo named the character, check out the video below. It's also filled with some other trivia you may or may not know.
For more things Nintendo, retro or Japan, be sure to check out GTV.