A lot of younger games fail to know their gaming history. For example, some people believe that any woman Mario rescues is Princess Peach. They know not of Princess Daisy of Sarasaland's first appearance in 1989. They know not that Princess Toadstool and Princess Peach are the same woman. They also know not of Pauline, Mario's original damsel in distress. The brunette in the red dress was kidnapped by Donkey Kong in 1981's arcade smash, Donkey Kong. What little we knew about her at the time came from the arcade game's cabinet and not the actual game itself. Over a decade later she made her second appearance in 1994's Donkey Kong expansion for the Game Boy, playing the same role as the kidnapped woman. Once again her character was neither expanded nor featured.
Now Nintendo has reached back into the vault and pulled Pauline into the twenty-first century. The original monkey magnet will appear in the upcoming Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis for the Nintendo DS. Nintendo has released plot details that confirm her presence.
It seems folks love those Mini Mario toys. So much so that the Mario Toy Company has expanded the line to include Mini Donkey Kong, Mini Toad and Mini Peach figures to the series. With all these toys bringing him more money than he knows what to do with, Mario decides to fulfill his lifelong dream and open a theme park called Super Mini Mario World.
The opening-day crowd includes Pauline and Donkey Kong, who immediately falls head over heels for the lovely lass. The proud ape tries to show off his Mini DK toy to Pauline, but she picks the Mini Mario toy over his and the jealous Donkey Kong becomes enraged. He smashes the displays, destroys the toys and takes Pauline to the top floor of the amusement park. Players must find Pauline and save the day.
Pauline is one of those characters who, at one time, was of pivotal gaming importance, and yet we know next to nothing about her besides her habit of being snatched by Donkey Kong and her love of red dresses. She is the reason the original Donkey Kong game is set into motion. Her role in the Kong/Mario/Pauline love triangle provided the purpose for Mario's first adventure, after all. If Donkey Kong had climbed to the top of the construction site by himself, do you think Mario would have given chase? Most likely not. As the only character from the original arcade game who did not rise to fame and fortune, she's earned a greater role in the Nintendo collective. Pauline deserves to be more than just a gaming footnote, and it would seem that her long-deserved moment in the spotlight in just a few months away at long last. Welcome back, Pauline, and watch out for that gorilla. As was the case twenty-five years ago, he has his eye on you.