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This article is about the character. For the video game, see Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story. For the CEO of Nintendo of America, whose last name is Bowser, see Doug Bowser.

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— Bowser

Bowser is the primary antagonist of the Super Mario franchise. He made his debut appearance in Super Mario Bros. He is the most powerful member of the turtle-like Koopa race. Bowser has a son named Bowser Jr. and seven Koopalings as his underlings. Bowser's ultimate goal is to kidnap Princess Peach and conquer the Mushroom Kingdom. In his earlier appearances, Bowser was named King Koopa.


Super Mario series[edit]

Super Mario Bros.[edit]

Super Mario Bros. (1985) depicts Bowser's very first appearance - as the final boss.

In his first appearance, Bowser appears at the end of each of the eight worlds (Level X-4). However, the first seven worlds, consist of Fake Bowsers, which are common enemies disguised as Bowser. These areas are "dungeon stages" and are characterized by white brick platforms, ample lava and spinning bars of fire. Bowser waits at the end, on a bridge over a pool of lava. By grabbing the axe at the right end of the bridge, Mario or Luigi can cut the rope at the end, collapsing the bridge and sending Bowser into the pit of lava below. Alternatively, Bowser can also be defeated by repeatedly shooting him with fireballs (jumping on Bowser doesn't damage him, but instead damages Mario due to the horns on his head). Due to graphic limitations, the in-game Bowser does not seem to have hair, although the official artwork for the game, as well as the remake in Super Mario All-Stars, depicted him with it. Bowser throws silver hammers in Super Mario Bros., similar to the Hammer Bros. (except thrown in volleys).

Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels[edit]

In Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, Bowser appears and behaves identically as in the first game, Super Mario Bros..

Super Mario Bros. 3[edit]

In Super Mario Bros. 3, Bowser returns with a new plot and a new look. For the first time in the games, players saw Bowser with a mane of red hair, a look that has remained with Bowser ever since. This time, Bowser only appears at the end of the final level: his castle at the end of World 8, where Mario and Luigi have to trick him into crashing through his floor in order to defeat him (although he could also be defeated with several fireballs).

Super Mario World[edit]

In Super Mario World, Bowser appears only as the boss of the last level: his castle in the Valley of Bowser. Bowser's children, the Koopalings, again make an appearance. Here, Nintendo introduces something that would continue to be associated with Bowser through the rest of his video game appearances to date: Bowser riding the Koopa Clown Car. Fireballs now proved to be useless, and the player had to defeat him by stunning his Mechakoopas and tossing them back at him.

Super Mario 64[edit]

In Super Mario 64, Bowser invades Peach's castle and imprisons its inhabitants in the walls with the magic of the stolen Power Stars. Mario tracks Bowser down by collecting the stars, one by one. In each of his three encounters with Bowser, Mario must defeat him by catching him by the tail and tossing him into the spiked bombs stationed around the arena where the battle against Bowser takes place.

Bowser also appears in Super Mario 64 DS, having a similar role. This time, Yoshi, Luigi, and Wario join the adventure to rescue.

Super Mario Sunshine[edit]

In Super Mario Sunshine, Bowser cons his newly-introduced son, Bowser Jr., into disguising himself as Mario and painting the resort of Isle Delfino with graffiti. The plot ultimately ends in Bowser Jr. kidnapping Peach. The young Koopa explains to Mario that Bowser told him Peach was his mother. In the end, Mario battles both Bowser and Bowser Jr., both in a giant onsen, high atop Corona Mountain. When Mario wins, the father and son watch from a distance, and Bowser apologizes for his deception; his son dismisses it, saying he already knew and only wished to fight Mario again, which pleases Bowser. Once again, Bowser has grown much larger than he has been in previous games.

New Super Mario Bros.[edit]

In New Super Mario Bros., Bowser is both the first boss (Bowser Jr. is a miniboss in the first world) and final boss. He is fought the same way as in the original Super Mario Bros. (except the axe is replaced with a generic switch which performs the same function), but this time, the lava he falls in disfigures him into a Dry Bones-esque skeleton. The reanimated Bowser skeleton, also called Dry Bowser or Skeleton Bowser, is later fought in the second castle in world 8, before Bowser Jr. resurrects his father in a potion-filled cauldron just in time for the game's final showdown. In this showdown, Bowser is larger than he was in the first fight, a bit more cunning, and will attempt to lunge at the player when the player gets behind him.

Super Mario Galaxy[edit]

Bowser reprises his role again as the primary antagonist in Super Mario Galaxy. With a large armada of airborne pirate ships, Bowser and Bowser Jr. descend upon the Mushroom Kingdom to kidnap Princess Peach in order to establish a new galactic empire among the stars. Bowser's ship armada rips Peach's Castle from it's foundations and rockets it into space, nearly killing Mario in the process as he attempts to save the princess. Despite their efforts to conquer the galaxies by stealing stars to power their machinery, Mario defeats him. In the ensuing chaos and wreckage of Bowser's former planet, a destructive black hole is formed but the Lumas manage to stop it, allowing Mario and friends to return home safely to the Mushroom Kingdom. Bowser and son survive and although discontent, Bowser appears to at least be relieved to be alive.

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars[edit]

Bowser as he appears in Super Mario RPG

In Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, Bowser again kidnaps Peach, and his castle and the battle with him serves as the game's introduction stage. Afterwards the sword Exor takes over his castle and sends Bowser across the world. Bowser reluctantly teams up with Mario, Peach, and their two new friends Mallow and Geno in order to get his castle back. To avoid embarrassment, Bowser tries to make Mario believe that he is joining the Koopa Troop, not vice versa; in RPG fashion, Bowser is portrayed following the fighter archetype as he is geared toward physical strength rather than magic attacks, though this can be altered by level up bonuses. This, along with the newly released Super Paper Mario, are the only games in the series in which Mario and Bowser have intentionally worked together, aside from Superstar Saga, and the only Mario RPGs in which Bowser becomes part of Mario's party. Bowser is often shown to have immense jealousy toward any other villain who is a powerful authority figure besides him, such as Cackletta, Smithy, Count Bleck, and Grodus, and will occasionally, if necessary, work with Mario to help defeat said villain. An example of said jealousy can be seen in Superstar Saga when Cackletta makes herself known. Bowser remarks: "You! You're the fiend that stole Peach's voice! How dare you pull off such a cool evil plan?"

Paper Mario series[edit]

Paper Mario[edit]

Bowser appears as the central villain of Paper Mario. In this adventure, Bowser steals the Star Rod, a device that grants wishes, and uses it to lift Mushroom Castle into the sky. The Star Rod makes Bowser especially powerful, enough so that with it he was able to easily defeat Mario in the game's opening (marking the first, so far only, time that Bowser has ever defeated Mario), so Mario has to collect the powers of the seven Star Spirits before he can fight him again. Bowser's partner in crime in this adventure is Kammy Koopa, a female Koopa witch. Also, it is revealed that Bowser has a crush on Peach after reading pages in the Koopa King's diary, which would be one reason why he constantly kidnaps her.

Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door[edit]

Bowser, as he appears in Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door.

Both Bowser and Kammy Koopa return for Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, in which they play more of a comedic role than a villainous one. Bowser is enraged when he discovers that someone other than he has captured Princess Peach and sets out on a mission of his own to find her as well as collect the seven Crystal Stars. He does so after being informed by Kammy about Mario's quest to collect them, and presumes that they would make the perfect world-conquering tools: however, he is beaten to the punch at every turn. He is playable in this game, though only in his own side scrolling stages that came up occasionally between chapters. These stages humorously mimic those Mario ventured through in the original Super Mario Bros., and later on became the basis for the game's sequel, Super Paper Mario. Bowser and Kammy finally catch up to Mario in the game's final moments, crushing the leader of the X-Nauts, Grodus, in the process. Ironically, the ensuing fight gives Grodus a chance to steal Peach away to the chamber of the Shadow Queen. Ironically, in Super Paper Mario, Bowser is one of the four heroes of the prophecy that would save the dimensions from sheer destruction. His role in the prophecy also involves him marrying Princess Peach (the prophecy foretold a monstrous king marrying a pure-hearted princess), which caused the Chaos Heart to awaken. The marriage is forced on them by Count Bleck and his assistant Nastasia. After getting married, they are trapped in Count Bleck's castle. Numerous people try to get them out but fail. Peach falls from the sky into Flipside. Bowser lands in the Bitlands. On World 3, Bowser becomes playable. He is the slowest out of Mario, Luigi, and Peach. His attacks, however, do more damage than the others, making up for the speed reduction. He can also breath fire. At the end, he has an epic battle with O'Chunks, resulting in the ceiling falling in.

Super Paper Mario[edit]

In Super Paper Mario, Princess Peach is forced to marry Bowser by the mysterious Count Bleck and Nastasia. However, the union between them reveals the Chaos Heart, which would produce The Void that would threaten all of existence. He reluctantly joins up with Mario and Peach (as well as Luigi, who joins later on) to stop the evil Count Bleck and his minions.

Luigi's Mansion[edit]

In Luigi's Mansion, Bowser is first mentioned by Madame Clairvoya, who tells Luigi that Bowser has been "soundly defeated" by Mario, and speculates that King Boo might have revived him, suggesting that Bowser was presumed destroyed following his latest clash with Mario. His demise is an unconfirmed event however, as the Bowser-like entity of Luigi's Mansion, although possibly Bowser, is never identified, and is merely piloted as a suit by King Boo, who is the final boss and ultimate villain of the game. Interestingly enough, at the end of the game, the Bowser-like spirit is also trapped in the painting with King Boo.

Mario & Luigi series[edit]

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga[edit]

In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, he tries to kidnap Peach, but the evil bean witch, Cackletta, has gotten there first and stolen her voice, and so ends up in a complicated adventure to help Mario and Luigi (the latter whom Bowser barely recognizes in the game) get her voice back so he can kidnap her. At first, he is merely part of the tutorial in which Mario learns the basics of the battle system. Initially, his new Koopa Cruiser gets destroyed by Fawful, Cackletta's servant, causing him to fall into a cannon in the Beanbean side of Stardust Fields. Tolstar, the self-proclaimed king of Stardust Fields, decides to let the Mario Bros. pay 100 Beanbean Coins in order to release Bowser, who is stuck in the cannon. This eventually leads to a fight between Tolstar and the Mario Bros., which ends with one of the Starshade Bros. firing Bowser out of the cannon. Later, Bowser becomes a rookie servant of a strong-throated thief named Popple as a result of a concussion-induced amnesia. As "Rookie", Bowser fights by throwing hammers and breathing fireballs at Mario and Luigi, similar to his attacks from Super Mario Bros. He can also perform two Bros. Attacks with Popple. The first involves him performing a powerbomb-esque move on Popple, sending out shockwaves. For the second, he sets Popple alight and throws him at either Mario or Luigi. When Bowser finally realizes who he is, he is holding on to the Beanstar he and Popple were trying to steal at time, which breaks apart into four pieces and sends Bowser falling back down to Stardust Fields. Ultimately, Bowser becomes possessed by the disembodied spirit of Cackletta. This fusion of Bowser's body and Cackletta's soul produces Bowletta, a gender-vague villain with brute strength and magic powers. Bowletta also states that Bowser's body is a very powerful and destructive tool for her plans. Bowser is eventually freed when Mario and Luigi destroy Cackletta's spirit for good.

Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time[edit]

Bowser appears again in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, arriving at Peach's Castle in the present to kidnap Princess Peach (who was actually Princess Shroob in disguise, trying to take over the Mushroom Kingdom in the present). However, upon his escape, Bowser accidentally falls into a time-hole into the past, where he encounters his younger self at Thwomp Volcano. His dull-wittedness is shown in this game as he is the only character in the game who meets his younger self without a hint of recognition (though Bowser does mention that Baby Bowser reminds him of himself when he was younger, and he was never told about the time aspect). The Bowsers at first bicker and insult each other, the older claiming that the younger will amount to nothing and the younger claiming that the older was raised by Chain Chomps. Shortly thereafter, the older takes the younger as an apprentice and they fight against but of course lose to the Mario Bros. In the end they are separated by an attack by the Shroobs. The older calls to the younger to always become stronger and more evil, with the younger promising to someday become stronger and more evil than the older Bowser. Bowser winds up unconscious back at present day Peach's Castle. He then eats the Elder Princess Shroob's mushroom, creating Shrowser. Although this is the game's final battle, it is more of a minigame than an actual boss battle, as the Mario Bros are required to dodge or deflect a number of his attacks at the Elder Princess Shroob in order to defeat her, which they do.

Yoshi's Island DS[edit]

Bowser also appeared in the Nintendo DS game Yoshi's Island DS as the game's main antagonist. In this game, Bowser travels back in time in search of seven legendary stars that can apparently give him the power to rule the universe. The search for these stars lead Bowser to kidnap babies all across the planet thinking that the stars are located in the hearts of certain babies. Bowser appears as the game's final boss, right after his younger self.

Super Princess Peach[edit]

In Super Princess Peach, Bowser, after hearing about a mysterious and powerful artifact hidden on Vibe Island, decides to search for said artifact, and he consequently also builds his summer villa there. Eventually, Bowser finds the artifact, the Vibe Scepter, which is capable of controlling and manipulating the emotions of others. Bowser proceeded to entrust a Goomba with the Vibe Scepter and then ordered this Goomba to lead a brigade of Hammer Brothers to attack Princess Peach's Castle. Bowser's raiding party succeeds in capturing Mario, Luigi and several Toads. Unfortunately for Bowser, his Goomba minion proved incapable of handling the Vibe Scepter's power and ended-up casting a spell over Vibe Island, unleashing chaos throughout. After all of the Toads and Luigi are rescued, Princess Peach and her umbrella ally, Perry, can face Bowser who, with the power of the Vibe Scepter, can increase his power; regardless, Bowser is still defeated and Mario is freed by the princess.


Bowser as he appears in Mario Kart DS.

Bowser also appears in secondary Mario games. In these games, Bowser is not usually the main villain, but rather a playable character. Bowser has appeared in every Mario Kart game since the debut title, Super Mario Kart. He also appears in the sport games, such as Mario Golf, Mario Tennis, Mario Superstar Baseball, Super Mario Strikers, and Mario Strikers Charged. In Super Mario Strikers, Bowser is not playable, but was made a playable character in Mario Strikers Charged. He is the heaviest character that wields excellent power but is generally the slowest.

In Yoshi Topsy-Turvy, Bowser is terrorizing Eggland. Its inhabitants, the Egglings, fled to Yoshi's Island, where Bowser gives chase. After Bowser has finally caught up with the Egglings and kept them in place with a spell, Hongo the Book Spirit locks him away in the Forbidden Pop-Up Book. However, he also trapped all of Yoshi's Island in the book as well, forcing Yoshi to try to lock Bowser away himself to convince Hongo to let his island out of the book.

Bowser appears in Super Smash Bros. Melee, a game that features Nintendo characters fighting each other. He is one of the most powerful fighters in the game, but has little speed and mediocre jumping ability. His background symbol is the Super Mushroom, which is also used by Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Dr. Mario. His attacks include: Fire Breath, Koopa Klaw, Bowser Bomb, and the surprisingly quick Whirling Fortress in which he retracts inside his shell and spins to cover horizontal distance. His bulk also allows him to perform a belly-to-belly bodyslam. He also appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, however it is alluded that he may play differently than he did in Melee as Brawl's official website stated that Bowser "has a slightly different flavor this time around". Bowser can transform into Giga Bowser as well. He has also been confirmed to play a part in the Adventure Mode, Subspace Emissary. A video shows that Bowser's minions (some Goombas, Koopa Troopas and a Hammer Bro) have stolen Donkey Kong's bananas, leading DK and Diddy to pursue them.

In the Mario Party games, however, Bowser is the main villain. He's even introduced a new character in recent games named Koopa Kid. It has not been directly stated whether Bowser is the father of Koopa Kid, but this is suggested in Mario Party 6 when he says "Koopa Kids, you have failed me! That's it, no playing with your Mario action figure for a month!"

Bowser is also one of the contestants to appear in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games. He has the highest power level out of all 16 characters, but has very low speed and skill.

Appearances outside of video games[edit]

Bowser's first appearance in any Mario media outside of the games came in the obscure Mario anime movie, Super Mario Bros.: Peach-Hime Kyushutsu Dai Sakusen!. Here, he was voiced, oddly enough, by deep-voiced Japanese female soul singer Akiko Wada. Bowser was then featured as the villain of all three of the Japanese folk tales adapted for the Super Mario Bros. 3 OVA films, even the Evil Queen in Snow White ("Shirayukihime").

Before American game players could even consider him a regular in the games, Bowser was the regular antagonist for The Super Mario Bros. Super Show. Although he usually went by the "King Koopa" moniker, Bowser frequently took on a new alter-ego, depending on whatever the episode was parodying or its theme. Although he had only appeared in one game released thus far in North America, Bowser not only commanded his own troops, but also those of Wart from Super Mario Bros. 2.

Bowser, as he is depicted in The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3.

In this series, Bowser was drawn completely different from the artwork for the games. Here, like the in-game sprite of Bowser in the first game, he had no hair and instead he had wore a crown on the top of his head. He also had green scales all over his body, except his belly, which was colored a darker shade of yellow than in the game artwork. Bowser also never appeared to breathe fire (though he did hold fire in his hands and was able to control it). Also in the first series, he used an array of weapons called Koopa Scepters that could turn whatever it blasted into something else, such as bricks or ice. In spite of the discrepancies from his official game artwork appearance, this version of Bowser frequently appeared in Mario merchandise over the course of the cartoons' run. Interestingly, Bowser's character design closely resembles Wart in his body and crown.

A live portrayal of the cartoon version of Bowser was featured as part of the Ice Capades that same year. Here, he is portrayed by Christopher Hewett (a point so obvious that one of the hosts of the show points out that he "looks like Mr. Belvedere"), wearing a rather poor costume with no mask. Even more obscure than his Ice Capades appearance was Bowser's role as, ironically, the host of a short-lived children's show. King Koopa's Kool Kartoons featured a man wearing the same Bowser costume as the one at the Ice Capades, except this time, the costume actually had a mask that resembled King Koopa's face. In each episode, this man would play public domain cartoon shorts for a live audience of children and would then give them gift certificates and/or various NES products. The show was only broadcast in Southern California during the holiday season of 1989.

Bowser's next media appearance was as the regular antagonist in the Mario comics published as part of the Nintendo Comics System, which used the same design as the cartoons. In "The Buddy System," Bowser's full name is shown to be King Bowser Koopa.

Back in the world of Mario's cartoons, Bowser continued to antagonize the Mushroom Kingdom regularly on The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, this time with the help of the Koopalings. Although Bowser liked to think of himself as a really nasty villain, he cared very much for his children, often doing whatever he could to please them (especially the constantly-whining Kootie Pie). It has often been said in press material, such as the DVD releases of the show, that Bowser had been stuck in a place called the Banishment Zone between the events of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show and those of The Super Mario Bros. 3, but such information is never actually stated in the shows themselves. Bowser would stay the main villain on the Super Mario World cartoon, although there his appearances there were less frequent.

Bowser returned to American-published comics with a manga-like serial based on Super Mario World that ran in Nintendo Power throughout 1992. The storyline to Super Mario Adventures was apparently inspired by the aforementioned anime movie, as it also featured Bowser intending to marry Princess Toadstool in order to take over her kingdom. This time, he had also captured many Yoshis and had a hypnotist Magikoopa brainwash them into carrying his gigantic wedding cake. But even after having the same Magikoopa hypnotize the Princess into agreeing to marry him, Bowser still did not emerge victorious.

King Koopa (center) along with several Goombas from the Super Mario Bros. film

Books based on the 'choose your adventure' theme were then released, in which the reader guided various Mario characters through some sort of adventure. Bowser was almost always the villain in the books, scheming a new plan for power.

As simply “Koopa”, he was then featured as the villain of the Super Mario Bros. movie, where he was the tyrannical ruler of the parallel-universe city of Dinohattan. In the movie, Koopa - portrayed by Dennis Hopper - had the appearance of a human evolved from a Tyrannosaurus rex. Not content with ruling one (rather small) pocket dimension, Koopa was constantly in search of a piece of meteorite that would bring him to Earth to begin conquest of mammalian humanity. In the end, not only does Koopa fail in his attempted takeover, he is also zapped by his own de-evolution guns, first de-evolving him into a T-Rex, and then into a puddle of primordial ooze.

Strangely, the official novelization and the Golden Books adaptation of the Super Mario Bros. film refers to Princess Daisy's father, the original king of Dinohatten who King Koopa usurped, as King Bowser.

Cameo appearances[edit]

  • A giant Bowser also cameos in the Super Nintendo Entertainment System port of the original SimCity when a monster disaster strikes, parodying Godzilla.
  • Bowser appeared in the Nintendo Entertainment System version of Tetris, playing an accordion alongside other Nintendo characters such as Samus, Link and Pit.
  • He appears in Super Mario Strikers as a disruption. He tilts the field, breathes fire, and throws items around randomly.
  • Talon (who resembles Mario, and even has an "M" on his hat on official game art) and Malon both wear Bowser-like brooches in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. In the Castle Courtyard, which is where Link meets Zelda, portraits of some Mario characters can be seen through one window. One portrait is of Bowser.
  • Bowser also was briefly mentioned in Gex: Enter the Gecko for the PlayStation (although, ironically, there was no mention of him in the Nintendo 64 version).
  • An image of Bowser appears on a box of matches in the game Pikmin 2 for the Nintendo GameCube. This appearance would make sense because Bowser has been known to breathe fire.
  • A radio-controlled toy Bowser in a kart can be found or unlocked in Nintendogs. The toy tends to frighten dogs.
  • In the game Tetris DS, level 10 of Standard mode features Mario fighting Bowser as a backdrop. This is repeated every 20 levels afterwards (levels 30, 50, 70, and so on).
  • In the South Park episode "Imaginationland III", a green Bowser can be seen as one of the evil characters getting ready to fight the remaining good characters.

Alternate forms[edit]

False Bowser[edit]

Main article: False Bowser

False Bowser is the name for enemies disguised as Bowser in Super Mario Bros. Fire Mario or Fire Luigi can use the fireballs to reveal the disguised enemy. They are, in order of: 1-4--Goomba, 2-4--Koopa Troopa, 3-4--Buzzy Beetle, 4-4--Spiny, 5-4--Lakitu, 6-4--Blooper (jelly fish), and lastly 7-4--Hammer Bro., the only enemy who does not appear as gray and white as they fall into the lava (with the exception of King Koopa himself).

Baby Bowser[edit]

Main article: Baby Bowser

Looking simply at the release dates, Bowser's first run-in with Mario is Super Mario Bros. However, if one looks at the storyline of the video games, Bowser and Mario's first meeting is in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. This game takes place before any of the other adventures. In fact, Mario, Luigi and Bowser are all still babies. Kamek, a Magikoopa who seems to be a sort of parental figure for Baby Bowser, divines that the delivery of two twin brothers will end in tragedy for the Koopas, so he flies off on his broomstick to intercept the stork on his way to drop off Baby Mario and Baby Luigi. Though Kamek is the primary villain in the game, Baby Bowser is the game's final boss. After Kamek accidentally wakes Baby Bowser up from his nap, Baby Bowser crushes him. He mistakes Yoshi for a donkey and attempts to force Yoshi to let him ride him. After being defeated, Kamek's last-ditch attempt at victory is casting a spell that makes Baby Bowser grow to colossal proportions, destroying the castle in the process. Yoshi defeats him nevertheless.

Interestingly, the earliest appearance of Baby Bowser was not in a game, but rather in the cartoon series The Super Mario Bros. Super Show. In the episode in question, "Two Plumbers and a Baby", the adult Bowser dresses and behaves as a baby, wearing a bib, bonnet, and diapers, and calls himself "King Goo Goo Gaga Koopa". He plots to turn people into babies using the Fountain of Youth and make them into slaves. At the end of the episode, he himself falls into the fountain, turning himself into a baby. Upset, he walks off, swearing revenge. Baby Bowser later appeared in an episode of The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 called "Toddler Terrors of Time Travel". Here, the adult Bowser and his son, Ludwig von Koopa attempt to travel to the past to prevent Mario and Luigi from ever coming to the Mushroom Kingdom, but the Mario Bros. and Toad stow away on the Doomship in an attempt to stop them. As a result of some turbulence caused by the Koopa King's lack of patience, Ludwig's time-travel device de-ages the bodies of him, Bowser, Mario, Luigi, and Toad into baby bodies (their minds are not affected by the change, as evidenced by the fact that they can still speak normal English). The design of this version of Baby Bowser is inconsistent between these two appearances and, of course, looks nothing at all like the later Nintendo designs.

Baby Bowser reappears in Yoshi's Story. The Yoshis must fight the young king in his private chambers, where he is keeping their Super Happy Tree.

Though Baby Bowser looks a lot like Bowser Jr., the characters are separate. However, it's presumable that the developers' design for Baby Bowser later influenced Bowser Jr.'s design. Bowser Jr. has a bandana around his neck, as often depicted in Super Mario Sunshine, in which it is blue and sports a design that looks like Mario's mustache. He uses it to transform into Shadow Mario. Later on, though, Jr.'s bandana had a design of a red lip with sharp teeth. This design was used in the later spin-off games, and the games ahead of that as well. Baby Bowser either does not have a bandana, or has a blank one (as seen in later games like Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time).

In Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, Baby Bowser (who is sometimes called "Prince Bowser" and now, having presumably aged a bit since Yoshi's Island, more closely resembles Bowser Jr.) appears at the beginning of the game trying to abduct Baby Peach (and thus the game reveals that his constant kidnappings started happening long before the events Super Mario Bros.), only to be thwarted by the Baby Mario Bros. Because the alien invaders known as the Shroobs are considered a major threat to both Bowser and the Mario Bros., they team up temporarily. Shortly after the present-day Mario Bros. travel to the past, Baby Bowser resumes causing trouble for them, like stealing the two recovered pieces of the Cobalt Star and taking credit for saving Yoshi's Island. Later, at Thwomp Volcano, the present-day Bowser and the young Bowser meet, arguing about who gets to claim the volcano as a new castle. They eventually team up against the Mario brothers and the Bros.' younger versions, fighting in a similar piggyback style. An eruption blasts the duo out of the volcano. Bowser winds up back in present day Peach's Castle, while Baby Bowser ends up inside the Shroob Mother Ship. When it gets shot down, he completes the Cobalt Star and is turned into a mushroom by the Elder Princess Shroob as a result. He is eventually restored by Baby Luigi's tears at the end of the game. Also as a note, Baby Bowser treats Baby Mario and Baby Luigi like little kids (making himself sound like an adult), calling them "stupid". This could be because he is older than the tots, which can be assumed from his perfected grammar usage, when compared to his infantile speech patterns in Yoshi's Island. Baby Bowser is voiced by Dolores Rogers.

Baby Bowser is a playable character in the Nintendo DS game Yoshi's Island DS. His character design is the same as in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, except with minor tweaks to make him look more like Bowser Jr., likely to show that he had aged over the original game. He is available after World 4-5, but only appears in certain levels, with the ability to breathe fireballs to melt ice or destroy enemies. At the end of the game, he is also revealed to be the final boss, alongside his adult self who had traveled back in time.

He briefly appears in Yoshi Touch and Go. When Yoshi and Baby Mario get over 3000m/y in challenge mode, instead of Kamek swooping down and taking the baby, he will knock them both off the screen and Baby Bowser will be seen sitting on the broomstick, laughing with Kamek.

Giga Bowser[edit]

Main article: Giga Bowser
Giga Bowser's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

Super Smash Bros. Melee marked the first appearance of the character named Giga Bowser. Giga Bowser looks quite different compared to regular Bowser. He is about twice as large as Bowser (except for Event 51 where he is slightly smaller than Adventure mode), with a more monstrous appearance and a body that is proportionally different. Giga Bowser's manic eyes also contrast with Bowser's more concentrated facial expression. Giga Bowser's tail is plated, longer and has more spikes on it, as does his shell which has an aqua coat instead of green. His jaws hold more teeth than Bowser's, and he has bigger horns which look bull-like. Also, instead of having a red mouth and tongue like Bowser, Giga Bowser has a purple mouth and tongue. Giga Bowser's shell is rather different to that of normal Bowser, being scaled and a more blue tint. Giga Bowser's shell's spikes are consiterably longer and sharper. His overall color is somewhat darker.

He appears when one clears Adventure mode on 'Normal' difficulty or harder in under 18 minutes without using a continue. He also appears as a trophy. After the player defeats Bowser in Adventure mode under 18 minutes, Bowser's trophy floats back up to the arena, is hit by a lightning bolt and transforms into Giga Bowser (This process is seen in the opening titles, but Giga Bowser is not actually seen). In Event Match 51, called "The Showdown", pits the player against Giga Bowser, Mewtwo and Ganondorf. Although a variant of a Mario character, Giga Bowser is specific to the Super Smash Bros. series, and has the Super Smash Bros. logo as his symbol rather than the Mushroom symbol used by Mario characters.

Gameplaywise, Giga Bowser has the same moveset as regular Bowser (although obviously with extra range and power). However, some of Giga Bowser's moves include extra elemental effects (for example, his forward smash causes an explosion, while his down smash can freeze the player). Oddly, Giga Bowser's weight varies considerably between the two times he is fought - he can take well over 300% damage in Adventure Mode, but in Event 51 he weighs only as much as regular Bowser. Giga Bowser can also do any defensive maneuvers Bowser can (such as rolling), but for an unknown reason he will almost never shield the player's attacks. Finally, Giga Bowser cannot be grabbed, and therefore is also not affected by special moves that grab (such as Kirby's Swallow, the grab part of Bowser's Koopa Klaw, Captain Falcon's Falcon Dive, Ganondorf's Dark Dive, and Yoshi's Egg Lay) and not affected by Mewtwo's Confusion.

Giga Bowser reappears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as a temporary transformation of Bowser, serving as his Final Smash attack. When Bowser transforms, he is struck by a lightning bolt similar to the transformation in Melee. While Giga Bowser still takes damage from other attacks, he does not flinch from them, thus making him impossible to KO (unless he falls off the stage on his own). However, Bowser can only stay in this form for about 13 seconds before transforming back.

General information[edit]

Powers and abilities[edit]

One of Bowser's main abilities is the ability to breathe fire like a dragon. In the earlier Super Mario titles, Bowser only breathes bursts of fire, but games such as Super Mario 64 show him being capable of breathing streams of fire as well.

In Super Mario Bros., Bowser can toss hammers, an ability which has seen a few reappearances. In Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, Bowser tosses a couple of hammers at the start. In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, they are his primary attack while he is teamed up with Popple. In New Super Mario Bros., his Dry Browser incarnation throws bones in a similar manner. In Super Princess Peach, Bowser throws hammers with magic.


In the RPGs, Bowser's personality is very comical, portraying him as being very oafish, nearly bumbling, although he is considerably more evil when he is the central villain. He even occasionally is shown to be a crybaby when under pressure, such as being stuck in a cannon in Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga or when he was unable to break into Booster's Tower by himself. However, he is still Mario's enemy and while he is not the final boss in most of the Mario RPGs (except for Paper Mario and powered up by Princess Shroob in Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time), he is a boss in all of them.

Name issues[edit]

Bowser has been known by different names over the years, much like Princess Peach (formerly named Princess Toadstool). In Japan, he has always been known as simply "Koopa" (or "Kuppa" in transliterating the katakana used to write his name). In the Japanese manual for the original Super Mario Bros., his name is shown to be Daimaō: Koopa ("Great Demon King: Koopa"). When Super Mario Bros. was released outside of Japan, he went by the name of Bowser, King of the Koopas. "Koopa" was given to the turtle enemies (who would be Bowser's direct subjects.)

The American cartoons and the Super Mario Bros. film consistently refer to Bowser as King Koopa or simply Koopa and almost never as "Bowser" (there are some instances where he states his full name as "Bowser Koopa"). In the Super Mario Bros Super Show, Bowser concocts many different schemes and often goes through many alter-egos, referring to himself in names that often mix "Koopa" with the appropriate alter-ego to act as parodies of various different figures in history and fiction, such as Count Koopula (Dracula) and Koopzilla (Godzilla). Bowser's children refer to him mostly as King Dad or simply "Dad" in the cartoons.


In Super Mario Bros. 3, Bowser is for the first time joined by his seven children, the Koopalings. Their names are puns on real-life historical figures and celebrities: Ludwig von Koopa, Lemmy Koopa, Roy Koopa, Iggy Koopa, Wendy O. Koopa, Morton Koopa Jr., and Larry Koopa. On their cartoon shows, their names were changed to Kooky, Hip, Bully, Hop, Kootie Pie, Big Mouth, and Cheatsy, respectively. The Koopalings continued to accompany Bowser for Super Mario World, Mario is Missing!, Yoshi's Safari and Hotel Mario, as well as the cartoon shows, comic books and adventure books. For a while, the Koopalings have seldom made appearances, aside from appearing as mini-bosses in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, but since their return in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, the Koopalings have made recurring appearances throughout the Mario franchise.

Super Mario Sunshine marks the first appearance of Bowser's eighth child, Bowser Jr., who later goes on to serve as his partner in subsequent Mario sports games. Bowser Jr. closely resembles a younger Bowser.

Throughout the Mario Party series, Bowser is accompanied by a seemingly infinite number of little Koopas who resemble him, dubbed "Baby Bowsers" until Mario Party 4, at which point they were called "Koopa Kids". Starting with Mario Party 5, three differently-colored Koopa Kids (Blue, Red, and Green K. Kid) appeared. In the console game, there was only one of each color, but Mario Party Advance featured many in the Koopa Kid mini-games. The real relationship between Bowser and these Koopa Kids from the Mario Party series is unclear presently. It is expected that they simply work for Bowser because they call him "Mr. Bowser". In Mario Party 7, after Koopa Kid has done his deed he says, "I'll bet Mr. Bowser will totally give me a raise after this!"

In an interview of a 2012 Game Informer issue, Shigeru Miyamoto said that the Koopalings are not Bowser's children, retconning their relationship in earlier Mario video games and media.


For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Bowser.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese クッパ
"Koopa", a reference to the Korean dish gukbap, called "kuppa" in Japanese. In older media, Bowser had the alternative titles 「クッパ大王」 Kuppa-daiō and 「魔王クッパ」 Maō Kuppa, meaning "Great King Koopa" and "Demon King Koopa", respectively. In the games, his title is usually 「大魔王クッパ」 Daimaō Kuppa, meaning "Great Demon King Koopa".

Chinese (simplified) 酷霸王
From "酷" (, cool/cruel) and "霸王" (bàwáng, tyrant/despot/overlord). "酷霸" (Kùbà) is also transliterated from the Japanese name, and used for the surname of the Koopalings.[1]

Chinese (traditional) 庫巴
Transliteration of the Japanese name

Dutch Bowser
German Bowser
Italian Bowser
Re Attila (cartoon series)
From Attila the Hun
Korean 쿠파
Transliteration of the Japanese name, although the name originates from a Korean food's name, Gukbap (국밥).

Portuguese Bowser
Romanian Regele Koopa (The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World, most episodes)
Regele Kooper (KidsCo promo for the DiC Mario cartoons. Accessed July 27, 2018.)
Bowser Koopa (The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, episode "Princess Toadstool for President")
Bowser (McDonald's Romania 2016 Happy Meal promotionMedia:McDonaldsRomania2016Banner.jpg)
King Koopa

King Kooper


Russian Боузер
Transliteration of the international name.

Slovenian Kralj Koopa
King Koopa
Spanish Bowser
Swedish Kung Koopa (cartoon series)
King Koopa