Pauline is the very beautiful woman whom Mario must rescue from the eponymous ape in the original Donkey Kong. In the same way Mario was originally called "Jumpman", Pauline was simply referred to as "Lady" in Japan. It was during the game's distribution in North America that she was given the name Pauline after Polly James, the wife of Nintendo of America's warehouse manager, Don James. Following her first appearance in Donkey Kong, Pauline appeared in Family Basic and in Pinball for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Princess Peach, who was introduced in Super Mario Bros., took Pauline's place as the damsel-in-distress in that game, eventually becoming Mario's primary romantic interest in most of the subsequent games in the series.
Pauline did not appear in another game until the 1994 Game Boy version of Donkey Kong, where she was once again taken captive by Donkey Kong and his son. Whereas the original arcade game's cabinet depicts Pauline with blond hair, the Game Boy remake features a redesigned modern Pauline as a brunette, distinguishing her from the blond-haired Peach, wearing a sleeveless red dress with a torn skirt. This version of Pauline makes an appearance in Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis for the Nintendo DS, where she appears as the guest of honor in the opening of the Super Mini-Mario World theme park.
In original Donkey Kong, Pauline's appearance was similar to Princess Peach's, she had blonde hair and was wearing a pink dress. In Game Boy version of Donkey Kong her body figure was different, she was taller, thinner, was wearing a tight red dress, big golden earrings and black shoes and had a brown hair. Nowadays she is wearing a beautiful red dress, golden earrings, a golden bangle on her left hand and black shoes. She also wears a lot of make-up: a purple eye shadow, red nail polish and red lipstick.
Appearances in Other Media
- Pauline appeared in the CBS series Saturday Supercade in 1983, but as Mario's niece rather than girlfriend.
- In the film Super Mario Bros., there is a character named Daniella. Like Pauline, she is Mario's girlfriend with no royalty status.
- Pauline had a small cameo in Nintendo Monopoly.
- In the Nintendo Comics System comic "Cloud Burst", Mario mentioned having an ex-girlfriend whom he compared to Princess Toadstool and Luigi and compared to Bowser. It is possible (though unconfirmed) that this ex-girlfriend was Pauline.