How often do you compare Japanese and American video game box art? Toybane has been taking a close look at the two different covers of Nintendo's Super Princess Peach for the Nintendo DS and has come away with some interesting observations regarding the message each box art sends to those who see it.
In a complete role reversal, the storyline for “Super Princess Peach” involves Mario and the gang being kidnapped by Bowser. Yet the original Japanese cover portrays Peach clearly stuck in the same state of “distress” she has been in since 1985. The cover shows her with her mouth agape and her eyes widened with fear. But if she isn’t the one in need of help, then why is it she appears so helpless? The only answer, it seems, is that Peach has gone only from being distressed because she needs a man to rescue her, to being distressed because there is no man to rescue her. The message communicated by the cover is that, left to her own, Peach is just a helpless girl who doesn’t know what to do.
While I've commented on Peach's unusual gameplay and the possible interpretations behind it, the message given off by the box art completely missed me. I never thought that Peach looked helpless on the box, but was instead actually giving off an expression of concern. Mario and Luigi have been kidnapped, after all. What else would she be but concerned for their safety? The fact that she eventually rescues our heroes in the end shows that she clearly is not helpless.