|First appearance||Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (2004)|
|Latest appearance||Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (spirit cameo) (2018)|
- “I'm with Mario all the way! Today, Sis...I'm going to punish YOU, you hear me?”
- —Vivian, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
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 inconsistently depicted as either a transgender woman, or as a male-identifying cross-dresser; 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. 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.
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.
As she has to be fought before joining Mario's party members in Chapter 4, Vivian is the only party member with an entry in Mario's Tattle Log. If the player looks through Professor Frankly's trash can after fighting the Shadow Sirens without tattling them, Vivian's Tattle is found, while Marilyn's and Beldam's are absent. This may foreshadow that Vivian joins the party while Marilyn and Beldam are fought later, since only Tattles of one-time enemies are found in the trash.
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). However, Vivian never refers to herself this way.
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 contain a version closer to the original. The Italian version more explicitly identifies Vivian as a trans woman; 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. In the Japanese version, while in the ground with Vivian, the player is able to open the pause menu at any time, even when in a cutscene. If the player does this during Vivian's tutorial, the game will softlock after the tutorial.
Profiles and statistics
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
|Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door enemy|
|Max HP||10||Attack||1||Defense||0||Location(s)||Boggly Woods|
|Fright?||0%||Gale Force?||0%||KO?||0%||Moves||Shade Fist (1), Fiery Jinx (1 HP to both characters, Piercing)|
|Log||One of the Shadow Sirens and Beldam's youngest sister. She's so cute, she's able to infatuate anyone.|
|Tattle||That's Vivian. She's the youngest of the three Shadow Sirens. Max HP is 10, Attack is 1, and Defense is 0. She doesn't seem all that noteworthy. Uh… She is kinda cute, I guess… She might even be cuter than I am… I guess… …Uh… What am I thinking?|
- "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?"
Attacks and Stats
- Initial: 15 HP
- Super Rank: 20 HP
- Ultra Rank: 30 HP
|Name||FP Needed||Effect||Action Command||Attack Power||Move Rank|
|Shade Fist||0||Sets enemies on fire with a burning punch.||After three lights flash, player presses the mystery button shown (,, or ).||Initial: 3
|Veil||1||Hides Mario in the shadows to avoid enemy attacks.||Player presses the 5-button / 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 ,,, and that appear on the screen.||Super: 5
|Infatuate||4||Blows a kiss to all enemies to confuse them if effective||When a heart appears above an enemy, player presses .||N/A||Ultra Rank|
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
- 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
Super Smash Bros. Brawl sticker
|Name||Image||Artwork from||Effect in The Subspace Emissary|
|Vivian||Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door||[Energy] - Attack +5|
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate spirit
|Name||Image||Series / game||Type||Class||Strength / effect(s)||How to obtain||Spirit battle|
|Vivian||Paper Mario Series||Primary (1)||Advanced||Shield
|Spirit Board||Clear Mr. Game & Watch||
||Luigi's Mansion (Battlefield)||Paper Mario Medley|
Names in other languages
|German||Barbara||A given name|
|Italian||Ombretta||A common given name, meaning "little shadow"; shared with Twila and Bogmire|
|Her name since Super Paper Mario. The first hangul character (불, bul) means "fire".|
|Spanish||Bibiana||Vivian. Also a reference to Bibiana Fernández, a Spanish trans actress.|
- Francesca Di Marco. Cultural Localization: Orientation and Disorientation in Japanese Video Games. Retrieved September 27, 2016. (Archived September 21, 2021 07:46 UTC via Wayback Machine)
- Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door From Japanese to English. The Mushroom Kingdom. Retrieved June 13, 2008.
nepsaty123 (February 28, 2011). ペーパーマリオＲＰＧを実況プレイ！ part１３. YouTube. Retrieved March 30, 2014. Beldam: 「ヒッヒッヒッヒィ・・・
いちおう 名のって おこうかねぇ
"Hee hee hee heeee...
It's not even worth giving you our names,
but I guess we can.
"The Shadow Sisters Three!?"
Beldam: 「コラッ！ ビビアン！！
なに いってんだよ あんた！
What do you think you're saying!?
We're the Shadow Trio! Trio!!
Where are there three sisters!?
Aren't you male!!!!!!?"
Vivian: 「ゴメンナサイ～ お姉さま
"I'm sorry, dear sis'.
Beldam: 「つい・・・ じゃないよ！
"You just... nothing!
Because after this,
I'm absolutely punishing you!!"
Vivian: 「うぅっ・・・」 "Sniff..."
nepsaty123 (February 28, 2011). ペーパーマリオＲＰＧを実況プレイ！ part１３. YouTube. Retrieved March 30, 2014. Goombella: 「『ビビアン』よ
これといった とくちょうは ないみたい
それにしても カレって なかなか
One of the Shadow Trio, and the youngest sister
...I mean, brother.
Max HP: 10
Attack power: 1, Defense power: 0
Seems there's nothing special here
nevertheless, 'he' is quite
Possibly, maybe even
cuter than me...
Jeez, I wonder what
I was thinking."
Goom Goom's quest Goom Goom: 「おお！ これは かわいい・・・
"Oh! This one's cute...
but you... which (gender) are you...?
You are a male... right...?
In short, this one is male!"
inu651225 (October 23, 2010). スーパーペーパーマリオ 全カード集｛ネタばれ注意｝. YouTube. Retrieved July 28, 2015. Catch card: 「『ペーパーマリオＲＰＧ』に
火の魔法を 使う キュートな オトコのコ
"A partner of Mario's who appeared
in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door.
A cute boy who uses fire magic,
Vivian was one of the enemy group called the Shadow Trio."
- In the French version, Vivian uses the name "L'Obscur Trio de Sœurs" ("The Dark Trio of Sisters"), to which Beldam retorts "Quoi! Viviane! Qu'est-ce que tu racontes? L'Obscur Trio! Tout court! Où tu vois tres sœurs, toi? Tu es un garçon!!!!!!" ("What! Vivian! What are you talking about? The Dark Trio! Period! Where do you see three sisters? You're a boy!", with "garçon", "boy", being written in red font for extra emphasis). Vivian apologizes and starts to try to argue her case, but Beldam cuts her off and threatens punishment for her words (Vivian says "Désolée, Marjolène. Enfin...", "Sorry, Beldam, [but] let's just say...", and Beldam cuts in with "Il y n'a pas de « enfin »!", the equivalent to "there is no 'but's"). ~ Frigiel. (August 13, 2012). Paper Mario : La Porte Millénaire Let's Play - Episode 4. YouTube. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
- In the Spanish version of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, during her Tattle for Vivian ("Bibiana" in the localization), Goombella originally uses feminine terms for Vivian ("la más pequeña") but then corrects herself and uses the masculine version ("el más pequeño") instead: "¡Es Bibiana! La más pequeña del Trío... Bueno... EL más pequeño [...]". ~ TheMegajorn. (September 15, 2012). Paper mario la puerta milenaria parte 8 español. YouTube. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
- In the Italian version, Vivian attempts to introduce the group as the "tre sorelle ombra", "Three Shadow Sisters", but Beldam reproaches her, insisting that they are the gender-neutral "Trisdombra", calling her a liar and asking her how they could be described as "three sisters" ("Ma quante scempiaggini dici, fanfarona di un'Ombretta? Siamo il Trisdombra! Imbecille! Ti sbugiardo davanti a tutti! Spiegami: come facciamo ad essere tre sorelle? Avanti!"). Vivian admits that Beldam and Marilyn are the real sisters, but says she feels like a woman too and is proud of it ("Siete due sorelle, è vero... Ma anch'io mi sento una donna e sono fiera di esserlo diventata!"), which Beldam waves off with the disparaging comment that Vivian probably thinks she's the prettiest too, and deserves to be punished ("E magari credi anche di essere la più bella, eh? Meriti una punizione!"), causing Vivian to slump to the ground with a sigh. ~ TheGamerDani. (May 23, 2012). Let's Play Paper Mario:il Portale Millenario parte 14 - Trisdombra e Spirù. YouTube. Retrieved December 28, 2013
- Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door Official Nintendo Player's Guide, pg. 16
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate spirit
- "When @mantisdeimatica and I were playing our first round to get to know the content and tone of the game, and we reached the part where ビビアン appears and their gender identity is revealed, we immediately looked at each other and said, 'in Spanish, it can only be Bibiana.' Obviously. It was just handed to us on a silver platter, darn..." ("Cuando @mantisdeimatica y yo estábamos haciendo una primera partida para conocer el contenido y el tono del juego y llegamos a la parte donde aparece ビビアン y se revela su identidad de género, inmediatamente nos miramos y dijimos, "en español solo puede ser Bibiana". Obviamente. Es que estaba servido en bandeja, joert..."). Twitter. Retrieved September 15, 2023.