Princess Peach Toadstool (ピーチ姫, Princess Peach), simply either Princess Peach or Princess Toadstool (depending on the era and region), or casually just Peach or the Princess, is a character from the Mario universe, and is usually seen as Mario's damsel in distress and love interest. She has been known as "Princess Peach" since Super Mario 64 (although the first time the name was used outside of Japan was in Yoshi's Safari); prior to that, she was known as "Princess Toadstool" in Western territories.
Princess Peach has been a mainstream Mario character since her first appearance in Super Mario Bros., in which Mario had to rescue her from the clutches of the evil Bowser. She usually takes on the role of the damsel-in-distress, though she has been known to help out Mario on several occasions. For example, in Super Princess Peach, it's her turn to save Mario, Luigi and Toad from Bowser. She resides in her castle along with many Toads, which are her loyal servants. Her first playable appearance, however, was in Super Mario Bros. 2, where she had to help save the dream world known as Subcon along with Mario, Luigi and Toad. She has also appeared in Mario spin-offs such as Mario Kart, Mario Party, Mario Tennis, and Mario Golf. Peach also had a starring role in Super Mario 3D World as a playable character, where she, along with the Mario Bros. and Toad, travel to the Sprixie Kingdom to try and save the Sprixie Princesses from Bowser, who took over their kingdom.
Much like Bowser, Peach has shown certain defining character traits depending on the game and adaptation. While many mainstream adaptations do not depict Peach with prominent character traits, some games such as Super Mario 64 and the RPG spinoffs depict her as a wise ruler and the voice of reason among Mario's companions. Super Mario Odyssey, in fact, depicts Peach as an independent-minded and adventurous woman by having her defy the common trope of her and Mario sharing a romantic ending, as she chooses to go on adventures and see the world after her rescue rather than accept Mario's (or Bowser's) marriage proposal. Peach often shows a playful side, much like Mario himself, and the Super Smash Bros. series builds on this by depicting her as flirtatious and "sassy" in her taunts and victory poses, finding amusement in battle and victory.
In Super Mario 64 and the English version of Mario Kart 64, Peach was voiced by now-former Nintendo of America localizer Leslie Swan, and in the Japanese version of the latter game and the first two Mario Party games, Asako Kozuki voiced Peach. Starting with Mario Golf, Jen Taylor voiced Peach in majority of Nintendo 64 and Nintendo GameCube titles, including Super Smash Bros. Melee. After Nicole Mills temporarily replaced Taylor in 2005, as well as a brief return of Leslie Swan in Super Paper Mario, Samantha Kelly portrayed Peach in Mario Strikers Charged, alongside recycled voice clips from Super Mario Strikers by Mills. Although some of Taylor's voice clips are used in later few games, Kelly has fully replaced the former as the voice actress of Peach as of Super Mario Galaxy and Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
While Peach is briefly mentioned in Mario's biography, and one of the stages is Peach's Castle, she physically does not appear in the game in any capacity. A popular rumor claims she was planned to be playable in the game along with Bowser, King Dedede, Mewtwo, Marth, and many other characters, before being cut for space/time constraints. However, unlike the aforementioned four characters, no definitive official source has ever been found that proves Peach was ever planned to be included as a playable character.
As a playable character
Main article: Peach (SSBM)
Peach appears as one of the fifteen starter characters available in Melee. She is based on her early appearance from the Nintendo 64 era, notably Super Mario 64. Her neutral special Toad is a counterattack, her side special Peach Bomber is a butt bash that can produce a fiery explosion and can also be used repeatedly in the air, her up special Peach Parasol is a recovery move that allows for a slow descent after it is used, and her down special Vegetable has Peach pull out a turnip, with its facial expression denoting its power. The turnip's power is determined at random, and Peach even has a chance to pluck a Bob-omb or a Mr. Saturn from the ground. Peach can also briefly float in the air by holding the jump button down. Peach is considered by professional players to be amongst the best characters in the game, and so is placed sixth on the current Tier list.
Main article: List of SSBM trophies (Super Mario Bros. series)
As a playable character
Main article: Peach (SSBB)
Peach returns as a veteran in Brawl, with her design now based on her recent appearances in the Mario series, starting with Super Mario Sunshine. Her moves have been virtually unchanged from Melee, with a few minor buffs and nerfs. Her new Final Smash attack, Peach Blossom, involves her lulling all grounded opponents to sleep while dealing damage as well. Samantha Kelly, her voice actress at the time of the release of Brawl, now voices Peach.
Main article: List of SSBB trophies (Super Mario Bros. series)
Additionally, Peach appears as multiple trophies in the game:
As a playable character
Main article: Peach (SSB4)
Peach was confirmed to be playable in Super Smash Bros. 4 on September 12, 2013. She was the third female character to be announced for the game after Samus and Wii Fit Trainer. Her facial structure appears more similar to her home series than her past Smash Bros. appearances and her dress has been made more stylized and less detailed. Her hair is also lighter and more brightly-shaded. She now has new attack effects, such as a ribbon swirling around her during her up smash. Like Mario, Luigi and Bowser, her design is based on her appearance from recent Mario games at the time of Smash 4's release, such as Super Mario 3D World and Mario Kart 8.
Peach was buffed overall in the transition from Brawl to SSB4. Her ground game has been improved thanks to stronger smash attacks and a faster Peach Bomber. Her forward aerial, dash attack, and back throw were also given more knockback, granting better KO options. However, her Vegetable special was moderately nerfed, as they take longer to pluck, weakening her projectile game. Her slow movement speed also gives her a disadvantage against fast characters, and her light weight and floatiness makes her easy to launch. Nonetheless, Peach ranks 20th out of 55 on the tier list, at the bottom of the B tier. While viewed as a solid pick for competitive play, she lacks noteworthy tournament results to speak of, even with her few dedicated players.
A Peach wig is also available as a headgear for all Mii Fighter types.
Peach (Tennis Outfit)
As a playable character
Main article: Peach (SSBU)
Peach returns as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. This is Peach's first appearance in Super Smash Bros. where she is not a starting character. Her Echo Fighter, Daisy, also debuts in this game.
The Peach wig also returns as a headgear for all Mii Fighter types.
Names in other languages