Nintendo ‘Paper Mario’ 2024 US remake includes transgender character ‘Vivian’

The remake of Nintendo’s “Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door” features a transgender character in the new U.S. version of the game.

According to a review of the game by Nintendo Life Magazine, the Nintendo Switch character Vivian, known from the original version of Paper Mario released in 2004, was born male. Vivian is featured in the video game as a villain with her sisters, Marilyn and Bedlam in their fight against Mario. Vivian eventually goes off on her own due to her sister’s bullying and their tendency to repeatedly call her a “boy.”

In the first Japanese version of the game on Game Cube, Vivian, a purple ghost wearing a pink and white striped hat, reportedly tells players about her struggle with gender identity, but it was omitted from versions of the game sold in the U.S., according to The National Desk.

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The English translation of the game released in 2004 claimed that Vivian was reportedly bullied not because she was transgender, but because she was “ugly,” the New York Post reported.

The new version of the game for the Nintendo Switch platform in the U.S. now includes rhetoric about Vivian’s gender identity and validates the character as transgender.

“Truth is, it took me a while to realize I was their sister… not their brother,” Vivian tells players. “Now their usual bullying feels heavier.”

Vivian isn’t the first transgender character to make waves in the video game world.

A video game series that is marketed to children came under attack last year after announcing an update that would allow characters to have double mastectomy scars and chest binders.

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“The Sims 4,” which calls itself “the ultimate life simulation game” on its website, allows players to give characters “top scars” that come from breast removal surgery.

“Howart’s Legacy,” a Harry Potter video game, features a transgender character named Sirona Ryan.

A Nintendo sign is seen outside Nintendo’s official store in the Shibuya district of Tokyo, on Jan. 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

“Took them a second to realize I was actually a witch, not a wizard,” Sirona Ryan, a character who owns the Three Broomsticks tavern in Hogsmeade, tells the main character.

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Some well known characters also recently underwent a transgender rebrand in the comic world.

Danni Maolly, a character in the Archie Comics universe, has been turned into a transgender woman in the new comic to make the series “a little bit more queer.”

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