Nintendo has been doing things behind our backs again. Well, not really — companies adjust video game character models pretty often, usually between console generations or as graphics engines improve. But people can get pretty protective of particular character models. Some people prefer Sonic's sprite in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles as it's a little pointier and has smaller eyes, and Pikachu started shedding weight between Pokémon Red & Blue and Pokémon Gold & Silver.
So, with this in mind, we have a question for Nintendo — why do you keep making Pauline shorter?
Super Mario variety blogger @MarioBrothBlog is known for spotting the weird and wonderful from the Mushroom Kingdom. And the other day, he shared a handful of Pauline's character models since her return in 2017's Super Mario Odyssey. And there's a suspicious trend amongst them — each one is smaller than the last!
Okay, we think we can understand why Pauline is so tall in Odyssey. She lives in New Donk City with other, actual life-sized humans. Not that we're suggesting that Mario isn't human, of course, but everyone is taller than Mario there. It makes sense, in a weird way. She's almost double the height of the Italian plumber
So when Pauline returned for Mario Kart Tour, it made some sense to bring her height down a bit. A head and a shoulder shorter is quite a lot though, don't you think? Perhaps there wasn't a car model big enough, and it would probably be a bit unfair if Pauline got a Jeep when everyone else had little karts. She also appeared in Mario Tennis Aces around this time, and though we don't have a shot of her next to Mario (we like this Mario scale, to be honest — how many Mario's tall are you sounds better than feet, inches, centimetres, etc.), we can see in this Tumblr blog post from nintendos-pauline that she's at least taller than Princess Peach and Daisy.
But Nintendo wasn't quite done with Pauline's verticality, oh no. Pauline tees off with the rest of the Mario cast in Mario Golf: Super Rush, along with a fetching new golf outfit. Seriously, it's just lovely. But once again, Nintendo has shrunk her character model down — this time but just half a head. So she is now only about two-thirds of a head taller than Mario. Nintendo has essentially chopped Pauline in half over the course of a few years.
Yet that's not entirely the case. Pauline debuted waaaaaay back in 1981 arcade classic Donkey Kong, and she's actually been in a number of Mario games since — most notably, the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series. She first appeared in Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis, and her appearances in these games seem to have her at a similar height to Peach — and her height in the most recent Mario Golf game. You can see for yourself in this shot of Pauline, Mario, Donkey Kong, and many others in Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars:
So, Nintendo isn't really shrinking Pauline, but just bringing her back to her original height, perhaps? Pauline's tall character model from Odyssey stands out because she's got that Mario cartoon-style design, but she's as tall as all of the humans in New Donk City. It was also her first appearance in a mainline Super Mario game. And don't forget the 2021 craze over Resident Evil Village's break-out star, Lady Dimitrescu. We're pretty sure Mayor Pauline isn't nearly 3 metres tall, but this seems to be a trend!
Pauline will probably be staying close to her Mario Golf height in the future, but hey, at least we can look back fondly at the time we found out Mario was a hell of a lot smaller than human beings. New Donk City was fabulous, wasn't it?
I would love a Mario game that is set all in Brooklyn with Pauline as a main character.
We got a glimpse of it with Odyssey, but I would love a whole game involving that.
I think it honestly depends on the game and the aesthetics. In odyssey I think they were trying to make her fit in with the new donkers. In Mario kart I feel like thEy may have used Rosalina as a base for her height because Daisy and Peach are shorter than her. In golf I can’t really say. Maybe just to make her a hair taller than Daisy and Peach?
Because at a certain point Nintendo figured out if Mario starts talking to Pauline in the Mario Movie, he wouldn’t be talking to her face.
Bowser is constantly changing size to fit the scene of a game.
To be fair, we are talking about characters in the Mario universe. You know? The one with all kinds of size changing mushrooms?
I honestly even wonder if some characters have a canon height cause they clearly grab a mini mushroom here or a mega mushroom there between games.
@Aurumonado Bowser is constantly changing size in general. Just look how often he grows big for some reason
Yeah honestly, characters changing height happens a lot in Mario games. Sometimes even in the same game (not counting Super Mushroom size changing); Luigi has two different heights in Super Mario Galaxy for example, one for his NPC model, and one for his player model. Peach is also relatively inconsistant in this department, as is Bowser.
Whatever the case, honestly I'm just glad they brought Pauline back in the first place. Now I just hope she will become more of a main cast member at long last. Hoping she'll make it into Strikers as well, she'll certainly make it into my team. Was hoping she would be added into Mario Kart 8 Deluxe as well, but I think that ship has long since sailed unfortunately.
It's Nintendo - gameplay first, logic second
Easily explained: Mushroom Kingdomification. It happens if you spend enough time with Mario and the toads..
It's probably down to practicality. In Odyssey's case she matches the New Donkers. But it also makes sense for a mandatory NPC to be noticeable from a distance. (Unlike say Captain Toad or Peach posted game where finding them is an optional goal)
So having her being much bigger than Mario makes sense from a design perspective in Odyssey. In the other games where she's playable it makes more sense for to be around the same size as similar proportioned characters like Peach.
I think this is the first time Nintendo Life has covered a SupperMarioBroth Twitter post. They're a great account, I highly recommend everyone to go Follow them. I thought I knew a lot of obscure Mario trivia until I followed. Almost every single post is some crazy think I had never heard of before. They're super nice, too. It's a very professional account despite the fact it's just a fanmade thing. I wouldn't expect a social media manager doing this sort of thing for money would even try as hard as SupperMarioBroth, so you have to respect the dedication.
I didn't play the last Mario Golf but Pauline being only 1 hat taller than Mario feels wrong. My bet is on they are slowly peachfying Pauline so that she is about average female size in Mario universe
How do we know it's not Mario getting bigger?
I mean the Mario universe isn't exactly known for consistently, just look at Bowser basically changing sizes with every game hes in.
It can be annoying though I still miss laras t1ts..
@MrGawain That's what a Scully Box is for.
Marios growing tall
All I know is I love Pauline’s size and character model in Odyssey. It was perfect.
At least we still have Rosalina, idk if her night has changed tho.
She's just skipping the Super Mushrooms
I read this as "Nintendo, why do you keep making Paulie Shore?" which had me very confused for a moment
Removed - unconstructive
They’re introducing Baby Pauline by stealth and hoping no one will notice.
Soon she’ll be on par with the other Baby characters, and people will think that’s how she always was, because the changes between each iteration are imperceptibly small. It’s the classic boiling a frog trick.
But we’re not frogs*, Nintendo! We see can see exactly what you’re up to!
*Except for Mario. Mario is sometimes a frog.
At 5 feet 3 inches, i can relate 🙈
Damn near every Super Mario character has changed their size at some point.
That's just some games have big Mario and some don't. Odyssey didn't have any super mushrooms, so of course Paulline was a lot taller.
Probably just for the sports/kart games, where it'd be weird if Pauline was like twice the size of Peach and Daisy.
Doesn't really matter in New Donk City since you never see them in close proximity to each other.
Same reason Bowser is closer in size to Mario in those games than he is in Mario 64 or Bowser's Fury.
TBH she just got back to her original size. Look at her height in Mario vs Donkey Kong games.
There is also that instance with her and Peach in that StreetPass-puzzle animation, though that one is the most likely normalised.
The answer to this article's question is so mundane and obvious it's painful.
Is kinda funny when you play as Pauline in Mario Golf: Super Rush on Speed Golf mode and you run towards the other human, she is so small compared to when she stood by them in Odyssey. It kinda makes you wonder what they think about their mayor now... lol
It it so jarring comparing the models with each other. Tour and Odyssey are similar, but Golf just went down harder than the sales of the new Battlefield!
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