Pauline (initially known as Lady or the Lady in Japan) was Mario's original girlfriend and the original damsel-in-distress in the arcade game Donkey Kong who was captured by the orginal Donkey Kong. She is one of the few damsels in the Mario series who is not a princess, but simply a normal citizen of the Mushroom World.
 Donkey Kong series
 Donkey Kong
Pauline made her debut appearance in the 1981 arcade game Donkey Kong as the very first damsel-in-distress in any video game made before that time.
Pauline is the girlfriend of a carpenter, Mario (originally known as Jumpman), and is kidnapped by his pet gorilla Donkey Kong. She is taken up onto a building and loses various objects (such as her purse and her umbrella, which can be collected for bonus Points) on the way. Mario then climbs up the building, avoiding all the hazards in the way, to rescue her. However, when Mario reaches the top of the building, Donkey Kong will grab Pauline and take her higher up, forcing Mario to do another level. After four Levels, Donkey Kong will be trapped and Mario will remove the rivets from the platform, plummeting Donkey to his doom. Pauline and Mario will finally be reunited and they will share a special moment together.
Pauline appeared in the Mario Breakout mode of Pinball, where she was held on many blocks breakable by Mario, and had to be caught by him before she hit the floor to win.
 Donkey Kong (Game Boy)
Eventually, Pauline was given a complete redesign and was featured in the Game Boy version of Donkey Kong, also known as Donkey Kong '94. In this retelling of Donkey Kong, Mario pursues the big ape (and his son Donkey Kong Jr.) as he carries Pauline across a variety of locales (the original city setting is only the first world visited). Once more, Pauline is eventually rescued by Mario. The two are then shown in a Mushroom Kingdom setting where Pauline supplies Mario with a Super Mushroom so he could catch a falling Donkey Kong, although the attempt almost failed when Donkey Kong apparently fell on top of and crushed Mario. They then had their photo taken at Rocky-Valley.
 Mario vs. Donkey Kong series
 Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis
Pauline made her next reappearance twelve years after Donkey Kong '94, in Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis. The games starts out with the grand opening of the Super Mini Mario World Theme Park, where Pauline is Mario's guest of honor. While their relationship status went unmentioned in the game, the manual states that Mario and Pauline are simply great friends at this time.
The original Donkey Kong's grandson, also named Donkey Kong, is now working at the Mario Toy Company, and when he sees Pauline, he becomes infatuated and presents her with a Mini Donkey Kong. However, when she chooses Mario's proffered Mini Mario over his gift, Donkey Kong becomes enraged and kidnaps Pauline. Mario eventually defeats the heartbroken ape with the help of his Mini Marios, and Pauline makes peace between them all by accepting Donkey Kong's Mini.
 Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again!
Pauline appears again as the victim of Donkey Kong's kidnapping antics in Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again!for the DSIWare. Once again, Pauline is assisting Mario in the Super Mini Mario World Theme Park. Donkey Kong waits in a line to buy admissions tickets only to arrive at the front when the tickets are sold out, Donkey Kong becomes furious and pushes his way through a crowd of Toads and kidnaps Pauline in his rage. Mario attempts to stop this, once again ripping Pauline's dress in the process, however Donkey Kong escapes to the roof with Pauline. Mario then sends the Mini Mario toys in pursuit of Donkey Kong to rescue Pauline.
Mario eventually reaches the top floor, where he opens a door to find Pauline by a window in a small room. However Donkey Kong turns the lights off and makes a break for it through the window with Pauline, and Mario once more gives chase through another round of floors that the Mini Mario toys must navigate. Once Mario makes it to the end of these floors, he finds Pauline in a similar room, but this time she is holding a clipboard and standing happily next to Donkey Kong, some Toads and the Mini Mario toys. She informs the confused Mario that the Mini Mario toys have passed the test run, revealing that Donkey Kong had kidnapped Pauline to test the performance of the toys and she is completely fine and happy. Mario shrugs it off seeing as he had such a great time traversing the theme park with his Minis, and all is well.
 Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem!
Pauline returns once again in Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem!. Mario and Pauline are welcoming customers to the Grand Opening of a third Mini-Land Amusement park outdoors by giving away new Mini Pauline toys to the first 100 customers. Donkey Kong, excitedly charges his way to the front wanting a Pauline Mini toy for himself, but when he arrives Mario sternly tells him that they are out of stock. Donkey Kong becomes upset and enraged, and kidnaps the real Pauline instead, heading into the theme park. Mario once again gives chase immediately with assistance from the Mini-Land toys.
After navigating the Minis though all the theme park's attractions Mario locates Pauline standing just below a ferris wheel she welcomes her hero Mario warmly before Donkey Kong surprises them both by jumping from the top of the ferris wheel to scoop Pauline up once again forcing Mario to pursue him through more of the theme park's areas.
Finally after chasing Donkey Kong again, Mario finds Pauline once more under the ferris wheel this time however when Donkey Kong appears to confront Mario, Mario presents him with a gift Mini Pauline toy Donkey Kong is overjoyed and Pauline even finds it sweet that all this was over him just wanting a Pauline toy. Pauline makes her way to the ferris wheel now that everyone is happy followed by Donkey Kong, Mario and the Minis to enjoy a ride in celebration of the happy ending.
 Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move
Pauline reappears in Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move. She runs a mini toy themed carnival with Donkey Kong where they open a game arcade using the mini toys. Pauline is not kidnapped in this game, but hosts the Minigames mode and is seen simply congratulating players on their scores alongside Donkey Kong at the end of certain modes.
Her face appears as an icon in the Mini Target Smash game in Minigames mode, smashing a Pauline target can cause the player to lose 100, 200 or 300 points depending on the targets positioning, making her target the only one the player is supposed to actively avoid because of it's negative result. Unlike other targets in the game mode however Pauline's is clearly red. Mini Pauline toys also takes a more active role in this game, although they are the last toy to be unlocked they are still available for play and use fairly early in the game and can be used it all modes except Minigames mode where only Mini Mario is playable. Like most characters in this title, Pauline herself takes a background role and leaves the spot light to the Mini toys and Mini Pauline.
 Saturday Supercade
Pauline appeared as a regular character in the Mario series episodes within the Saturday Supercade show produced by Ruby-Spears. Voiced by Judy Strangis, Pauline played the role as Mario's assistant or partner and is often seen to be alongside him in the various episodes. The two worked together to capture Donkey Kong throughout the series. Pauline can also be seen helping Stanley the Bugman in another episode.
Her appearance in this show appears to based on her earlier artwork that was provided on the original Donkey Kong game as seen by her blonde hair as opposed to her future brown colored hair, as well as her general face design.
 Character Depiction
 Current Appearance
Originally, Pauline's design was nothing more than a blonde woman (with hair similar to Princess Peach's design) wearing a torn pink dress and pink, ankle-strapped pumps.
Currently, Pauline is depicted as a lavender-eyed woman with long, flowing burgundy hair, and pale skin. She has large, slanted eyes with long, defined eyelashes and eyebrows that are dark, curvy, and thin out as they extend. She wears a lot of makeup - namely, violet eye shadow, red lipstick and nail polish. Unlike most females from the Mario series, Pauline is quite tall, as seen in Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis. Regarding her face and hair, her appearance is very similar to that of Captain Syrup from the Wario series.
When Donkey Kong was released for the Game Boy, Pauline was given a complete redesign, far more drastic than most other character redesigns. Her dress was now red instead of pink, with more details, such as being ribbed at the chest and halt-necked. Like before, it was ripped by Donkey Kong in the struggle. Her shoes were changed from pink to black, and were describable as Mary Jane styled pumps with a stiletto heel. She also wore beaded, gold earrings with an oval extension that was also gold.
Pauline got her current appearance in Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis. The only changes made to her outfit from the original redesign are that she now has a golden bangle on her left arm, a bow knot at the back of her dress strap, ankle-strap pumps replacing her previous Mary Jane style, and red finger nails. This was the first game that showed Pauline's dress before becoming ripped. It is shown to end just above her ankles and appears to loosen two-thirds the way down her legs to slightly frill out.
As for the final decision on how the name Pauline got finalized in this case, when Donkey Kong was localized for the North American and international market, the name was decided for the Lady in the same way Mario was chosen for Jumpman. Although the name Pauline was first used in the Donkey Kong cartoon segments from the 1983 Saturday Supercade TV show, it wasn't used officially by Nintendo until the Nintendo Entertainment System version of Donkey Kong, where the character was addressed as Pauline in the manual. The name Pauline was not used for the character in Japan until the 1994 Game Boy version of Donkey Kong.
 Relationships with Other Characters
Mario and Pauline's relationship was confirmed to be romantic during the Donkey Kong arcade game and its remake, soon after Pauline was dropped as Mario's girlfriend and replaced with Princess Peach. However, in the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series, it is stated that the two are now close friends, implying they both got over their break-up amicably. Pauline also seems to take an active role in the Mini Mario and theme park business. At first in Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis acting as a VIP guest at the ribbon cutting ceremony, then she was revealed to be actively invested, testing the toys in Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again! and finally in Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem!, it is shown she has become active enough in the theme park venture to be present once more and has had the Mini Pauline toy modeled after her. Furthermore, Mario is shown to still be protective over Pauline rescuing her from Donkey Kong each time she is kidnapped without fail despite not being romantically involved with her. Pauline is also shown still speaking to Mario in a way that implies admiration, such as calling him her hero.
 Donkey Kong
Donkey Kong has a strange relationship with Pauline. It is made obvious early on that Donkey Kong has a strong infatuation with the woman fueling his kidnappings. These actions seem to occur through childish mood swings when he doesn't get what he wants, when taken by Donkey Kong, Pauline seems very frightened but, is quick to forgive him once he has calmed down. It is implied she finds his crush on her sweet but is genuinely scared of him when he becomes angry and kidnaps her. The two appear to be on friendly terms most of the time with occasional spats. It is however shown in Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis that while kidnapped Donkey Kong keeps Pauline is a room lined with gifts, food and treats so that she is comfortable and later he is remorseful for his actions. Overall Donkey Kong and Pauline are on good terms; Donkey Kong only occasionally putting their friendship on rocky ground through jealous and greedy actions. Pauline also seems skilled at soothing his rages.
 Other Appearances
 Cameo Appearances
Pauline makes small cameo appearances in Nintendo Monopoly and Donkey Kong Jenga. She also makes a cameo in Nintendo Land, where she is seen in the background while playing the Donkey Kong's Crash Course attraction.
 Game Appearances