Everything’s Coming Up Peachy

Nintendo fans and fans of underdogs alike were able to have their cake and eat it too when the popular gaming company announced that 2013 was officially the “Year of Luigi”. The year, which stretched into 2014, celebrated Mario’s oft-overlooked younger brother by giving him a slew of new games and generally showing the green mustachio a lot more love than he’s probably had in decades. Now that the plumber’s party has died down, some people are wondering “what’s next?” Well, wonder no more! Fans of the Mushroom Kingdom and its inhabitants have quickly decided that this year’s festivities will feature much more royal clientele. Yes, 2015 is slated to be the “Year of Peach”.

Though at the moment the Year of Peach is entirely unofficial and driven by fan input—seemingly inspired in no small part by the efforts of Tumblr user nintendopoe—there is some really good reasoning for it. In fact, it’s the same exact reasoning behind the Year of Luigi: 2013 happened to be the 30th anniversary of Luigi’s first appearance (Mario Bros.) and now 2015 is the 30th anniversary of Princess Peach’s first appearance (Super Mario Bros.) as well. I wouldn’t argue that every character deserves a special year dedicated to them. I think we can all do without the “Year of Toad”, for example, despite how much people seem to love Captain Toad Treasure Tracker. However, Peach is such an integral part of the universe (what would Mario be doing if not saving her? Or Bowser, for that matter?) that it would most certainly be a shame for Nintendo to let this chance slide.

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Nintendo’s Other Princess

Female representation in video games is something that I’ll always be looking at. I’ve looked at it since I got my Pokémon: Red Version game and wondered why I couldn’t play as a girl, and even before then when I watched my mom play Metroid 2 and stared in wonder while Samus traversed the depths of her home planet of SR388. While many series warrant a look, the series that has continuously kept me watching with the evolution of its female characters is no doubt the Mario series of games.

Mario Party 9 Princess Peach Princess DaisyAs to be expected, the lovely Peach is often at the forefront of the conversations and why not? Arguably, she’s the main female of the series and the main love interest, so of course she’d be under the most scrutiny. In the past years she’s become so much more than the unseen damsel offering the hero cake; she’s become a hero in her own right. She’s come to star in her own game and is even starting to get recognized more prominently in other Mario games such as Paper Mario and the upcoming Super Mario 3D World. Though many of these things in and of itself are still problematic (see: the execution of Super Princess Peach), it’s still an important step that she’s actually becoming a character rather than remaining an object for players to obtain. And I like Peach, I really do, but she has never been my princess. That title belongs to the oft-overlooked Daisy.

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