Vivian is a major character from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door for the GameCube. Vivian originally worked as a member of the Shadow Sirens, alongside her sisters, Beldam and Marilyn. Later, Vivian defects from the Shadow Sirens and joins Mario as his fifth party member. She is consistently put down by her oldest sister, Beldam, and has had a poor relationship with both her sisters for quite some time when Mario meets her. Although she suffers from an inferiority complex throughout the events of the game, she learns to respect herself as she travels with Mario. In the original Japanese version of the game and some translations, Vivian is depicted as transgender, identifying as female but, due to the age rating the localizers were aiming at when translating Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door[1], this is lost in the English version and she is described only with feminine pronouns.

History

Paper Mario series

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

Vivian's first appearance in the game is during the interlude following Chapter 1, during which she and her two sisters are sent by Sir Grodus to ambush Mario in the Boggly Woods. When Mario arrives there, however, he learns that the picture they were to use to identify him was misplaced by Beldam, who is quick to blame Vivian for the loss. Mario is forced to battle the sisters when he comes to claim Flurrie's Necklace, which Vivian had found in the woods. Upon her defeat, she departs with Marilyn and Beldam, leaving the necklace behind.

After Mario's name and appearance are stolen by Doopliss, Vivian appears in Twilight Town alongside her sisters, who plan to defeat Mario using a Superbombomb. When the weapon turns up missing, however, Vivian is once again blamed and sent to find it. When Mario finds the bomb and returns it to her, it turns out to be broken, but she gives him a kiss to thank him for his help and, after learning of the theft of his identity, resolves to return the favor by helping him, unaware that he is truly Mario. Using her powers, Mario eventually learns Doopliss's real name, and the duo corners him at the top of Creepy Steeple.

Upon learning Mario's identity, Vivian is reluctant to assist in the ensuing battle, though she returns to his side after two turns, having decided that he treats her better than her sisters and is more deserving of her help. Following Doopliss's defeat, Mario stands up for Vivian when she is questioned by his other partners; she ultimately thanks him by handing him the Ruby Star and thus joins Mario's team.

At the very end of Mario's adventure, Beldam and Marilyn end their villainous activities and promise not to mistreat Vivian again. When Mario is preparing to leave Rogueport, Vivian is about to tell Mario that she has a crush on him, but decides otherwise, saying that she thinks he and Princess Peach will make a good couple.

Super Paper Mario

In Super Paper Mario, Vivian appears as a Catch Card won by winning the Duel of 100 in the Sammer's Kingdom. Francis also has a Vivian plush doll and there is a painting of her along with Goombella, Koops, Flurrie, Yoshi, Bobbery, and Ms. Mowz in Mario's house. Like Mario's other past partners, there is unused sprite data for Vivian, suggesting that they were originally going to appear in Super Paper Mario, but were removed during development.

General information

Gender

In the Japanese version of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Vivian is a transgender girl. Other characters, as well as narrative text, describe Vivian using masculine terms such as otoko "man", and otōto "little brother". However, Vivian initially describes the shadow sirens as san shimai "three sisters", and routinely uses the feminine first person pronoun atai. This continues in Super Paper Mario; Vivian's catch card describes her using the term otoko no ko "boy".

In the English and German localizations of the game, all masculine descriptions of Vivian are removed, and she is referred to with exclusively female pronouns. Consequently, the nature of some of Beldam's insults towards Vivian was altered, as they originally focused on her masculinity. However, all other localized versions of the game explicitly retain the transgender portrayal.

Powers and abilities

Outside of battle, Vivian possesses the same ability Lady Bow has in Paper Mario, but Vivian's works differently, as instead of literally turning invisible, Vivian can pull Mario into her shadow, where they can hide. This allows them to get past objects that move over them and avoid sight from enemies and their attacks. Vivian possesses the strongest magic of any partner in the game.

Profiles and statistics

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

Enemy stats

On-field tattle

Mario is only able to use Tattle on her in Chapter 2.

  • This is the youngest sister of the three. The oldest one REALLY picks on her, huh? I don't know whose picture they're talking about, but you think she really lost it? – Goombella

Attacks and stats

HP
  • Initial: 15 HP
  • Super Rank: 20 HP
  • Ultra Rank: 30 HP
Attacks
Names FPs Needed Effects Action Commands Attack Powers Move Ranks
Shade Fist 0 Sets enemies on fire with a burning punch. After three lights flash, player presses the mystery button shown A, B, X, or Y). Initial: 3
Super: 4
Ultra: 5
Initial
Veil 1 Hides Mario in the shadows to avoid enemy attacks. Player presses the 5-button A/B combo that appears on the screen. N/A Initial
Fiery Jinx 6 Deals fire damage to all enemies, piercing defense. It also burns them. Player presses the 5-button combo of A, B, X, and Y that appear on the screen. Super: 5
Ultra: 5
Super Rank
Infatuate 4 Blows a kiss to all enemies to confuse them if effective When a heart appears above an enemy, player presses A. N/A Ultra Rank

Super Paper Mario Catch Card

  • Card Type: Rare
  • Card Description: It's Vivian from the last Paper Mario adventure. She was a great friend once she split from her sisters.
  • How to Obtain the Card: The Duel of 100 in Sammer's Kingdom needs to be completed in order to obtain all Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door partner cards from King Sammer.

Super Smash Bros. series

Vivian has made a couple of appearances in the Super Smash Bros. series. She has mostly made appearances as a collectable in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. She is a sticker in the former and a Spirit in the later.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Vivian appears as a sticker that can be used in the Subspace Emissary by any fighter. The sticker increases the attack power of energy-related attacks by 5 points.

Name Artwork from Effect in the Subspace Emissary
Vivian Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door [Energy] - Attack +5

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Vivian appears in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as an Advanced-class Shield-type spirit. Fighters equipped with the spirit have reduced weight during battles. In the spirit battle, the player faces an invisible Mr. Game & Watch on the Battlefield form of the Luigi's Mansion stage.

No. Image Name Type Class Slots Stats Ability Acquisition
98
Vivian.png
Vivian Shield ★★ 1
  • 1,981—7,926
  • Brawn Badge: 848—3,392
  • Protection Badge: 1057—4,230
Weight ↓
  • Purchase from the Vault Shop for 1000G
  • Battle via Spirit Board

Trivia

  • During the battle with Vivian, she can use Fiery Jinx when her HP is low, but when Vivian joins Mario's party, she has to be Super Ranked to learn that ability. Additionally, her Fiery Jinx cannot be Superguarded.
  • Vivian is the second of four characters in the Paper Mario series (with Lakilester being the first, Bowser being the third, and Luigi/Mr. L being the fourth) to battle Mario before joining his party.
    • For this reason, Vivian is the only party member in Mario's Tattle Log.
      • If the player looks through Professor Frankly's trash can after fighting the Shadow Sirens, Vivian's Tattle is found while Marilyn's and Beldam's are absent. This foreshadows that Vivian joins the party while Marilyn and Beldam are fought later, since only Tattles of one-time enemies are found in the trash.
  • If the player performs Veil's stylish command after all enemies are defeated, no Star Power is awarded.

References

  1. Francesca Di Marco. Cultural Localization: Orientation and Disorientation in Japanese Video Games. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
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