Vivian is a major character in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. She originally worked as a member of the villainous 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; however, due to the age rating the localizers were aiming at when translating Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, this is lost in the English version, and she is described only with feminine pronouns.
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.
When Mario prepares to leave Rogueport with Princess Peach after having defeated the Shadow Queen, Vivian is about to tell Mario that she has a crush on him, but decides otherwise, saying that she thinks he and Peach will make a good couple. Later, Goombella's e-mail to Mario reveals that Vivian has returned to Beldam and Marilyn, who both have ended their villainous activities and promise to never mistreat Vivian again.
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, Admiral 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.
Super Smash Bros. series
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Vivian appears in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as an Advanced-class Shield-type primary 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.
Vivian is best characterized by her shyness. Throughout the game, she is unable to stand up to Beldam and her cruel nature, constantly taking the blame for things that are really Beldam's own fault. She develops herself in Chapter 4 when she decides to join Mario and leave her family after he shows her an act of kindness. In the Palace of Shadow, Vivian gains the confidence to battle Beldam as payback for all the abuse she suffered. She is still loyal to Beldam, though it is mostly out of fear or dislike of getting punished by her.
Unlike her sisters, Vivian is actually caring and kind. She wonders if it is bad to do away with Mario and his partners in Chapter 2, and she is a forgiving person, going back with her sisters in the epilogue (despite all the trouble Beldam caused). She seems to have a fondness for jewelery, because when she finds Flurrie's Necklace, she quickly took it, and was upset when Beldam took it from her. Due to how much Beldam calls her sisters "lovelies", Vivian refers to her clan as the "Shadow Beauties" when introduced, much to Beldam's anger.
In the Japanese version of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Vivian is implied to be a transgender girl. While various other characters and narrative text describe Vivian using masculine terms such as otoko ("man"), and otōto ("little brother"), Vivian initially describes the shadow sirens as san shimai "three sisters", and routinely uses the feminine first person pronoun atai. However, in Super Paper Mario, Vivian's Catch Card describes her using the term otoko no ko, a Japanese-language term that can interchangeably refer to a feminine-presenting man or a crossdressing man, rather than "transgender" (which is identical in Japanese to the English-language word) or okama (a term for an otherwise masculine man who dresses as a woman, sometimes used as a slur to refer to trans women, even in family-friendly media at the time).
In the English and German localizations of the game, explicit reference to Vivian being either transgender or gender non-conforming is removed, as are references to her using male pronouns. Consequently, Beldam's insults towards Vivian that utilize masculine terms in the Japanese version are changed. However, all other localized versions of the game explicitly retain the transgender portrayal. The Italian version additionally makes Vivian's transgender identity even more explicit; her description as a party member states that "She used to be a man, but now she's a woman and proud of it," a sentiment that she reiterates during her initial appearance.
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
Attacks and Stats
One of the Shadow Sirens, Vivian suffers from a bit of an inferiority complex. Press to hide with Mario in the shadows. When hiding, nobody can find you.
Player's Guide information
Vivian is one of the Shadow Sirens that work for Sir Grodus, but she joins Mario when he shows her an act of kindness. Though she suffers from an inferiority complex, she's perhaps the best partner in the game. Press the X Button to pull Mario into the shadows, where nobody can find him.
Super Paper Mario Catch Card
Super Smash Bros. series
Super Smash Bros. Brawl sticker
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate spirit
Names in other languages