From Gamehiker Wiki

Bowser in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga.
Bowser Koopa
Species Koopa
Hair color Red
Eye color Black
Relatives Bowser Jr. (Son)
Voiced by Isaac Marshall (1996)
Scott Burns (2001-2008)
Frank Welker (2003-2006)
Eric Newsome (2007-2008)
Kenneth James (2008-Present)
Debut Super Mario Bros.

Bowser is the arch-rival of Mario who is known as the definitive villain of the Mario series. Although preceded by Donkey Kong and followed by many more, he has remained a steady character in the series. He is the ruler of the Koopas, but not all of them. His home tends to vary from game to game, but he is popularly placed in Dark Land or some variation thereof. It would not be unreasonable to assume he has a number of castles and fortresses dedicated to him all around the world. Not only that, but he sports a variety of weapons and devices. Notable mentions are his submarine, Koopa Cruiser, his many airships, tanks, and battleships, and his favorite - the Clown Copter. He also has a number of children who work for him (Ludwig, Roy, Morton Jr., Wendy, Iggy, Lemmy and Larry) and a son named Bowser Jr..




Bowser was raised by Kamek to be the definitive Koopa King. In Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, Kamek had a vision predicting that the newly born Mario Brothers would one day defeat the new king. Though he had succeeded in kidnapping Luigi, Mario went with the yoshi clan to save the toddler's lost brother. After many failed attempts to defeat the yoshis, it at last came down to Baby Bowser's very own nursery. After being defeated soundly, Kamek enlarged the spoiled koopa prince. Once more Baby Bowser was defeated, so Kamek put the baby on his broom and flew away, vowing revenge.

In Yoshi's Island DS, Baby Bowser was one of the babies kidnapped by the future versions of himself and Kamek. After starting a fight with his future self, Baby Bowser was knocked out of the castle. Baby Bowser joined Yoshi's group for the last four levels of the fourth world until Future Kamek retrieved him. His special ability was spitting fireballs. He later rejoined Yoshi's group to "guide" them through Bowser's castle.

Bowser as a baby.

However, he feared Yoshi's group wanted to steal his treasure so he attacked them. He was defeated and retrieved by Kamek, who later accidentally dropped him to Baby Wario's raft. The two started a fight, due to Baby Wario having looted the future Bowser's treasure. The ending revealed that Bowser was one of the seven "star children", born with one of the seven stars that had fallen from the heavens.

A slightly older Prince Bowser appears in Yoshi's Story and the past storyline of Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time. In these games he looks somewhat older and has improved speech, especially in the latter game. The first game had Bowser turning Yoshi's Island into a storybook and stealing the Super Happy Tree until he was defeated by a group of baby Yoshis. In the latter Bowser had started his hobby of kidnapping Princess Peach when she was still a baby, but the Baby Mario Bros. constantly opposed him. He also loved to steal Yoshi Cookies from Yoshi's Island. Prince Bowser appeared frequently throughout the game and at one point even teamed up with his adult counterpart to battle Mario and Luigi at the Thwomp Volcano.

The NES/Super NES Years

Bowser's classic appearance

In time Bowser grew into his more well-known adult form. Bowser battled his old enemies again in Super Mario Bros. after he had successfully launched a campaign against the Mushroom Kingdom. He had captured a number of fortresses and captured the Princess Peach along with many of the mushroom retainers. Using his magic, he had turned most of the kingdom into blocks and other objects and turned some of his own minions into clones of himself to guard the retainers. He was, eventually, foiled and the princess was rescued, who was able to undo his magic.

He once more tried the same plot in Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, but with the same outcome. In Super Mario Bros. 3 he put his mighty fleet to good use. With the seven Koopalings acting as his 'generals', he seized several different kingdoms around the Mushroom Kingdom. While the Mario brothers sought to foil his plans, he in secret kidnapped Peach. The duo traveled to Bowser's own home in the Dark Land to foil his evil plot. In all of the early games Bowser could be defeated with fireballs or hammers, but the easiest way to defeat him was simply by tricking him into falling into lava.

Not yet out, Bowser busied himself with other affairs. In Super Mario World, he once more brought the Koopalings out so as to conquer Dinosaur Land and kidnap the yoshi's eggs (possibly as revenge on the yoshis for their opposition during his childhood). Opportunity presented itself when the Mario brothers and Peach came there to vacation. This only proved to be his undoing when the plumbers joined up with the yoshis to foil his plans. He then set his eyes on Jewelry Land in Yoshi's Safari, bringing his children along yet again. Mario and Yoshi teamed up and stopped the menace once again, marking the last of Bowser's attempts on other lands.

He once more returned to his princess-nabbing ways in Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, but was foiled when Smithy's gang took over his castle. He and his koopa troop traveled around to try and reclaim his fortress, but their numbers dwindled quickly. When he arrived at Booster's Tower, where Peach had ended up, he reluctantly joined forces with Mario by initiating him and his friends into the 'Koopa Troop'. With his brawn, they eventually were able to stop Smithy, at which point Bowser went his own way to rebuild his fortress. In Tetris Attack, he appeared as the final boss (replacing the character Corderia from the original Panel de Pon), but only on Hard difficulty and above, which extended his feud with Yoshi to the present day.

The N64/Gamecube Years

Bowser being defeated by Mario

Bowser was back in full force in Super Mario 64, when he seized Princess Peach's Castle after she had invited Mario over for some cake. He took the castle's 150 Power Stars and hid them in the castle and lands connected by paintings. When Mario, Wario, and Luigi went in the castle, they were quickly captured. But he was, eventually, defeated, after Yoshi endeavored to free the three mustachioed heroes and save the princess. With his new magikoopa commander, Kammy Koopa, he next targeted Star Haven in Paper Mario and the stole the Star Rod. He raised up Peach's Castle with his flying fortress and kicked Mario out. But his nemesis was able to gather up the seven Star Spirits to nullify the Star Rod, so that Mario could defeat him. In the final battle of Luigi's Mansion, Bowser appears as the "final" boss, but it turns out to be King Boo hiding in what seems to be a duplicate of Bowser's body. Luigi must knock off Bowser's head by shooting his spiked balls at him in order to lure King Boo out. Oddly enough, Madame Clairvoya foresees Bowser's presence and implies that he died in his last battle with Mario. Sometime later, his son Bowser Jr. posed as Mario on Isle Delfino in Super Mario Sunshine. Bowser had told his son, Bowser Jr., that Princess Peach was his mother. Bowser helped his son fight Mario on Corona Mountain, but was ultimately defeated.

Surprisingly, Bowser was not responsible for Peach's lost voice in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. This did not prevent him from coming along with the brothers to stop the culprits. He took the Mario Brothers along on his Koopa Cruiser to Beanbean Kingdom, but they suffered a crash thanks to Fawful. Shortly after, he ended up suffering a blow to the head losing his memory. Popple, the thief, took the amnesiac Bowser under his wing, naming him 'Rookie'. After a few run-ins with the brothers, Bowser regained his memory, but not soon enough to stop Cackletta from possessing him. After Cackletta's spirit was defeated, he was brought back home in a box. He was once more overlooked in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, when the X-Nauts kidnapped Princess. He set off on his own quest to capture Peach himself (who only 'he is allowed to kidnap') and did prove instrumental in stopping Grodus, even though he fought and was defeated by Mario at the end.

Bowser in action.

Bowser's attempt to kidnap Peach at an amusement park failed when Mario defeated him in the form of a pinball in Mario Pinball Land. In Yoshi Topsy-Turvy Bowser attacked Yoshi's Island once more, and the havoc he caused led the spirit Hongo to transform Yoshi's Island into an isolated picturebook in order to trap Bowser, a reversal of what he had done to the island during his own infancy. However, Yoshi was able to satisfy the wishes of all the island's spirits and defeat Bowser himself, at which point Hongo agreed to restore the island to normal.

In Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix, Bowser steals the Music Keys from Mario and Toad after they've collected them, then takes them back to his castle for a secret plan of his. Mario and Toad follow and steal the keys back, then engage him in a dancing duel. Despite whipping out some impressive breakdancing, Bowser is smashed through the ceiling. In the end, it turns out that he only wanted the Music Keys to cure his tone deafness. Mario takes pity on him and uses the Music Keys to put music in his soul.

The DS/Wii Years

Bowser succeeded in kidnapping two of his greatest threats, Mario and Luigi, with the aid of the Vibe Scepter in Super Princess Peach. However, this time Peach was able to hunt Bowser down in his stronghold on Vibe Island and battled him in order to free the plumbers. They at first fought one-on-one, with Bowser using the Vibe Scepter to power himself up with various emotions until Peach was able to defeat him. However, he then said Peach had much to learn and transformed into a giant, using more standard attacks (although he would also attempt to heal himself using a variant of the Calm vibe) but he was defeated after Peach hurled several bob-ombs into his face.

The adult Bowser also showed up in Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time. When trying to capture Peach he wound up being tossed back in time and teaming up with his younger self to battle the brothers at Thwomp Volcano (but neither Bowser knew that they were actually the same person). At the end he accidentally swallowed the poison mushroom that once was the bigger Princess Shroob. He became even more powerful with it and barraged Mario and Luigi with nonstop attacks, never giving either a chance to fight back. However each attack the brothers dodged or deflected wound up hitting the Princess Shroob's ghost until she was destroyed, and Bowser was restored to normal (then promptly defeated). The sequel revealed that Bowser actually kept the surviving Shroobs cryogenically frozen in a hidden area of his underground vault.

In New Super Mario Bros., Bowser once again takes a backseat to Bowser Jr. who goes off to capture Peach himself. Bowser was the boss of the castle in World 1, where he was defeated in the old bridge trick that resulted him falling into lava and apparently dying, leaving behind only his skeleton. Bowser's skeleton, also known as Dry Bowser, appears as the boss of World 8. After he was defeated in the battle, Bowser Jr. threw the skeleton into a pot to revive Bowser. Although the two teamed up against Mario in Bowser's Castle (at the end of the second part of World 8), Bowser Jr. was defeated first, allowing Mario to slide under Bowser and remove the bridge. Bowser was seen afterwards being dragged back home.

In Yoshi's Island DS, Kamek brought Bowser back in time to find the seven star children whom had been born with the seven stars, as presumably it would grant Bowser great power (ironic, considering that Bowser was actually one of the star children). Bowser was the game's final boss, fighting the Yoshis in anger after they defeated his past self. Kamek then grew him to giant size, but he was still defeated.

Bowser in paper form.

Count Bleck captured both Bowser and Peach in Super Paper Mario and forced them to marry in order to fulfill the prophecy of the Dark Prognosticus, and open a Void that would consume all worlds. Bowser enjoyed the marriage, but was accidentally teleported to the Bitlands after Luigi intervened. Bowser remained there and occupied an empty castle with his troops until Mario arrived and destroyed it in Chapter 3-1. Mario was able to defeat Bowser in one-on-one battle. Afterwards Peach talked him into joining their party. Thus Bowser became one of the four legendary heroes who were destined to undo Bleck's prophecies.

Bowser was separated from the others after they were all sent to the Underwhere by Dimentio between Chapters 6 and 7. Bowser was locked in an Underwhere prison, with no idea how he got there. He eventually broke free and made his way to the Underwhere Road, which is where Mario found him in Chapter 7-2. Bowser at first thought Mario was engineering some trick to separate Peach from him and battled Mario again. After another defeat, Bowser was convinced that this was no trick and rejoined Mario's party. Bowser later went one-on-one with O'Chunks in the big battle of Chapter 8-1. Afterwards Bowser stayed behind with O'Chunks to hold up the falling ceiling while the others moved on. Both of them were saved from a crushing demise when the floor collapsed beneath them. Bowser proceeded to join Mario and the others in the game's final battles.

Bowser returned to the villainous fore in Super Mario Galaxy, where he attacked the Comet Observatory during its passing in the Star Festival. He stole several Power Stars and seven Grand Stars, using them to power fusion reactors throughout the universe. He then staged a siege against Toad Town, stealing Peach's Castle with the princess in tow and transporting it to the center of the universe, where he had intended to use the reactors to create new galaxies that he would use to bring the rest of the universe under his and and an unwilling Peach's control. With the help of Rosalina, Mario chased Bowser and Bowser Jr. down, reclaiming the Grand Stars to power the Comet Observatory, and battling Bowser twice along the way. Mario flew the observatory to the center of the universe and dueled Bowser across two planets and within the heart of a supernova. After Bowser's defeat, the supernova collapsed upon itself to create a black hole. The Lumas arrived and closed the hole, while Rosalina sent Mario, Peach, Bowser, and Bowser Jr. back to the Mushroom Kingdom. Stunned and worn down by his near-death experience, Bowser simply watched as the festivities began anew.

Bowser's Inside Story

In Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, Bowser crashed a meeting at Princess Peach's Castle in regards to the Blorbs epidemic. Bowser argued that he had a right to be there, but after seeing Mario and Luigi were also present he was enraged and battled them. He was swiftly defeated, with some help from Peach's wish power in conjunction with Starlow's star power, and was promptly kicked out of the castle. Bowser wound up in the Dimble Woods, where a disguised Fawful (whom Bowser did not recognize from the previous game) sold him a Vacuum Shroom that Bowser immediately ate. It also seemingly sent Bowser into a trance and caused him to inhale everyone in Peach's conference room, including the Mario brothers, Peach and Starlow.

Bowser awoke in Cavi Cape with no recollection of what had happened after he ate the Vacuum Mushroom. Fawful no longer had any need for him and no longer saw him as a threat, especially after Bowser was defeated with ease by Fawful's lieutenant, Midbus, while he took over both Peach and Bowser's castles. So Bowser set off on a quest to reclaim his castle and gain revenge on Fawful. At the same time, Mario and Luigi were exploring his body with the aid of Starlow in order to find Peach. Bowser was completely unaware of all the people within his body, although Starlow began communicating with Bowser under the alias of Chippy in order to try and help him. They were able to clear his Flame Pipe, which allowed him to breathe fire again. He also received aid from Monsieur Broque, who sold him items and lent him his "dog" Broggy if Bowser collected all of the Blitties. Bowser also occasionally found some minions still loyal to him that were trapped in cages, who would rejoin him after being freed.

Along the path back to his castle, Bowser met with his minions Private Goomp, Sergeant Guy and Corporal Paraplonk, who were apparently the only minions to evade capture. They had mounted a cannon to fire at the castle, but first Bowser hunted down a Banzai Bill himself after dealing with a farm of Wigglers. However, the castle then came after him due to the jets Fawful installed and crushed him. During this near-death experience, the Mario Bros. were able to pump him with adrenaline in the Rump Command, which caused Bowser to temporarily become a giant and fight his own castle. Soon he stormed the castle, only to find that Fawful had converted it into a Fawful Theater, and his minions whom had been converted by Fawful no longer remembered him. He was enraged and then forced to fight Midbus as the main attraction in the Fawful Theater.

This time Bowser was able to defeat Midbus and was treated to a feast, seemingly as a reward. However, the feast caused Bowser to become suddenly obese, and he became stuck in his own floor because of it. At this point Fawful used a special device to swipe Princess Peach out of his body, with Bowser being astonished to learn she was in him all along. He was then provided with a special treadmill that literally burned off all of his calories and restored him to normal, although it also caused him to set off the Bob-Omb Storage Depot and be sent flying. At the same time, he learned of Fawful's plan to use Peach to awaken the Dark Star. Bowser set out to stop Fawful and use the Dark Star's power himself. He barged into Dr. Toadley's clinic and battled the Mario Brothers (whom had temporarily escaped his body) there. He also learned that the three Star Cures were needed to reach Fawful.

Bowser sending his Goombas into battle.

Bowser made his way towards the Dimble Woods in an attempt to beat Mario and Luigi to the first Star Cure, but they actually retrieved it within his body. An FYIbird told him the location of the next Star Cure, at which point Bowser realized that he had found that Star Cure and hidden it within his underground vault. He traveled there and met with Private Goomp, Sergeant Guy and Corporal Paraplonk again. Bowser found the Star Cure within the safe after fighting off the Fawful Express and swallowed it to deliver it to "Chippy". However, at this point his minions betrayed him and locked him in the safe, as Fawful had bought them out. The safe was left in a pile of trash in Peach's castle until it was burst open after Mario and Luigi defeated the Junker there.

Although he was free again, Bowser suffered from intense back pains. Mario and Luigi then returned to his body and fixed his back, which caused him to become more springy and flexible to the point where he could roll around as a spiked ball. Using this new ability, Bowser was able to storm the castle and confronted Fawful just as he was draining Peach's power to fuel the Dark Star. Bowser defeated a powered-up Midbus and then thought that he defeated Dark Fawful, at which point he inhaled the Dark Star's cure, which gave him heartburn. Mario and Luigi hunted down the core within his body and drove it out, although it copied enough of Bowser's DNA to begin transforming into a Dark Bowser. At the same time, Bowser still had to contend with Fawful, who turned Peach's Castle into a mech fighter that Bowser had to turn into a giant again to defeat.

Bowser then entered the castle and crushed Dark Fawful in a one-on-one battle. Soon afterwards, Dark Fawful was sucked up by the Dark Bowser, causing it to reach full power. Bowser then began to pursue the Dark Bowser, and just as the final battle was beginning Bowser started to get the idea that Chippy wasn't the only person trapped inside of him. Bowser was able to swallow the Dark Star Core after Dark Bowser spit it out, and it was eventually defeated by Mario and Luigi. With this accomplished, Bowser was able to KO Punch Dark Bowser into submission. Within his body, Dark Fawful soon self-destructed, which caused Bowser to vomit out everyone he had inhaled. He then discovered to his fury that Chippy was in fact Starlow and that the Mario Bros. had been within him all along. Bowser proceeded to battle the Mario brothers and received another brutal defeat while the end credits ran.

Afterwards, Bowser recovered in his castle while set on remodeling the castle as his next project. He also gave Private Goomp, Sergeant Guy and Corporal Paraplonk another chance in his army. Starlow then came to Bowser with a present from the princess, which he only opened in private after sending all his minions off to their work. It was a cake to thank Bowser for his help, adorned with figures of Peach, Mario and Luigi.

Further DS/Wii Adventures

In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Bowser had Bowser Jr. and the Koopalings work together in order to capture Princess Peach using a giant cake, which they then brought to his castle to the eighth world. Mario, Luigi and two Toads fought through the Koopalings as well as Bowser Jr. and Kamek across eight worlds before confronting Bowser in his castle. Initially, Bowser fought them in the traditional manner on a bridge with a switch that destroyed the bridge behind him, and what appeared to be Peach being held in a cage above it. However, after the switch was activated and Bowser fell into the lava, this Peach was revealed to actually be Kamek in disguise, who used his magic to turn Bowser into a giant.

The giant Bowser chased Mario down, smashing through parts of the castle and spitting out giant fireballs, until finally Mario stepped on a larger switch by the real Peach that drained the castle's lava and Bowser with it. After the credits, the young Koopas were seen carrying Bowser, who as back at his normal size, back to the castle only for it to collapse on top of them as they neared it, presumably due to all of the structural damage that Bowser had caused in his giant form.

Bowser prepared another galactic conquest in Super Mario Galaxy 2 when he stole the Power Stars and used their power to become a giant. He then attacked the Mushroom Kingdom and captured Peach again, then retreating into space. Bowser showed up as the boss of every even-numbered galaxy. He attacked Mario on a planetoid battlefield by punching the planetoid and later blasting his fire breath. However, Mario was able to hurt him by ground-pounding small meteors to fire them at him. After being beaten each time, he would revert to normal size but retreat to another galaxy while warning Mario that his master plan was still in affect.

Finally at the sixth galaxy, Mario found Bowser's Galaxy Generator, his final base which was shown to be attempting to swallow the Comet Observatory as a new power source. But Mario was able to find him and fight him first. Mario beat him in the same way as usually, at which point he tumbled into a black hole. But then, just as Mario was about to grab the Grand Star, Bowser popped up and grabbed it, then chasing Mario into a black hole until Mario shot enough meteors into him to defeat him. During the ending credits, Bowser was seen at the Mushroom Kingdom, reduced to miniature size (although this seemed to still be enough to terrify the Toad Brigade's captain).

The 3DS/Wii U Games

Bowser captured Peach again in Super Mario 3D Land. The primary twist this time was that a sudden storm stripped the Mushroom Kingdom's Tanooki Tree of its Super Leaves, and most of them empowered parts of his army. Bowser himself did not use a Tanooki Tail, but he had two minions (a Goomba and a Magikoopa) use Tanooki powers to act as his decoys in his castles at the end of the first and fifth worlds. They used the same attack pattern as Bowser, who in this game was acting on a 3-D version of the Super Mario Bros. battle. Bowser usually stayed on a bridge over lava and attacked from afar with fireballs, while sometimes jumping into the air. Mario (or later, Luigi) would have to go around him and get to the end of the bridge. Instead of the original axe, there was a giant button with Bowser's insignia which destroyed the bridge and dropped Bowser into lava.

Peach made an attempt at escape, but Bowser was able to recapture her. Mario finally faced Bowser in World 8's castle and successfully dropped him into the lava. Bowser was somehow able to escape and quickly grabbed Peach before Mario could reach her, instead setting up a cardboard cut-out to fool him. Bowser retreated in into his second, larger castle at the end of World 8. There, they fought a much more expansive battle where Bowser also tried hitting Mario with spiked balls and barrels. Mario reached the end of the bridge and dropped Bowser into lava, but he almost immediately resurfaced and began shooting larger blue fireballs at Mario while chasing him up the crumbling tower. Mario was able to hit one last switch which dropped Bowser again, and he was hit by a piece of rubble which ensured that he fell into the lava. Bowser made a small appearance during the ending credits, where he tried balancing himself on a Goomba Stack in an ineffectual attempt to snatch Peach back from Tanooki Mario, only to wind up falling over. He then appeared in the Special Worlds as Dry Bowser. He was faced as the boss of the first and eighth castles, and in the first castle he held Luigi prisoner. Dry Bowser used blue fireballs and shockwaves to try to hurt Mario or Luigi, but he was still beaten the same way, by destroying the bridge beneath him. Once the latter castle was completed, Bowser (back in normal form) was shown to have captured Peach again. World 8's second castle then had to be replayed with some differences, as Bowser had faster attacks and a more potent whitish-purple fireball instead of the blue one. Regardless, it still had the same end result as the prior battle, and Bowser was beaten once again.

Bowser appeared again as the final boss of New Super Mario Bros. 2, where it was the Koopalings who kidnapped Peach for him. He was faced in the World 6 castle, where initially he was beaten in the classic Mario Bros. manner by destroying the bridge to drop him into lava. However, this time the Koopalings quickly used their magic wands to make him into a giant. The giant Bowser tried to attack Mario until Mario reached a switch on the roof which sent Bowser plummeting. Afterwards, Bowser was restored to normal size, and the Koopalings tried dragging him away with the Koopa Clown Car, except that his added weight was enough to tip it over. He also appeared as the boss of the World Star castle, in Dry Bowser form (despite his original form being safe the last time it was seen). The following battle was simply a harder version of the fight from World 6, and once more he was defeated.

Bowser was also featured as the main villain of New Super Mario Bros. U, in which he engineered an airship invasion of the Mushroom Kingdom with the Koopalings. He took over Peach's Castle while kicking out Mario and his friends. He was battled there at the end of the eighth world. Following the trend of the other games, he was first defeated by destroying his bridge and dropping him into lava. Kamek then proceeded to turn Bowser into a giant and chase Mario and/or his allies up the castle. This time, the giant Bowser could be damaged by hitting him with the Koopa Clown Car after taking it from Bowser Jr., or otherwise he could be worn down by fireballs. Bowser once again winds up weighing down the Koopalings in their escape attempt.


Bowser is known for his immense strength and brawn. He is also a slow and lumbering creature. He displays a variety of abilities throughout the games, such as simple feral physical attacks with his claws or shell, or fire breath which ranges depending on the game from spitting out fireballs or breathing out a jet of flame. His size also seems to vary between games, although this may be alotted to the growth magic that Bowser is shown to use in Yoshi's Island DS and Super Princess Peach. The original Super Mario Bros. manual also describes him as having magic abilities which he uses to transform the denizens of the Mushroom Kingdom, although such magic is rarely ever actually seen being used by Bowser in the games.

In Super Mario RPG, the weapons Bowser can use include the Chomp Shell, Chomp, Hurly Gloves (which he uses to toss Mario at the enemy), Spiked Link and Drill Claw. As for his armors, Bowser has the Happy Shell, Courage Shell, Fire Shell and Heal Shell that he can gain and equip throughout the game. He additionally can learn the following special moves:

  • Terrorize- Bowser summons a Big Boo which attacks enemies and could inflict them with the Fear status.
  • Poison Gas- Bowser summons a Mokura that will poison the enemies.
  • Crusher- Bowser summons a thin jagged rock that emerges from the ground beneath an enemy. Can cause great damage and even moreso if timed.
  • Bowser Crush- Bowser summons a giant, ghostly-looking Mecha-Koopa to crush all enemies onscreen.

In Bowser's Inside Story, Bowser's primary commands in battle revolve punching enemies, spitting a jet of flame and curling up so that enemies land on his spiked shell. He also gains two abilities that he can only use outside of battle. One is a ground pound-like attack. The other, after Bowser's back is fixed and makes him more flexible, allows Bowser to curl up into a spiked ball and roll around as well as up several walls. Bowser used a similar spiked ball maneauver in the final battle of Super Mario Galaxy.

Within the Smash Bros. games, Bowser is shown as one of the slowest but most physically powerful characters. The following are his special moves:

  • Standard Special Move: Fire Breath- Bowser breathes out a jet of flame, as in Super Mario 64 and most later games.
  • Side Special Move (1): Koopa Klaw- Bowser strikes at the enemy with his claw. If the opponent is close enough, Bowser will also grab them, at which point he can either gnaw on them or simply toss them. This move is only in Melee and replaced within Brawl.
  • Side Special Move (2): Flying Slam- This appears to be similar to the Koopa Klaw, as Bowser swipes at the enemy with his claw. However, once connecting he will leap into the air with the opponent in his hands and smash them down onto the ground beneath him. This move is added in Brawl.
  • Up Special Move: Whirling Fortress- Bowser retracts within his shell and spins around in the air, causing damage to anyone he hits.
  • Down Special Move: Bowser Bomb- Bower leaps down to the air and then slams down with great force, similar to a usual Ground Pound/Hip Drop move. This is based on Bowser's attack pattern in Super Mario Bros. 3.
  • Final Smash: Giga Bowser- Bowser temporarily transforms into Giga Bowser, which is a much larger, more grotesque and more powerful version of Bowser. He can still receive damage, but will not flinch from attacks. Giga Bowser originally appeared as a secret boss in Melee, and Bowser can only transform into him by using a Smash Ball in Brawl.


Despite his evil ways, Bowser has often joined with his enemies in various sporting events, although in some instances he still acts as an antagonist.

Even in the friendly sports environment, Bowser finds ways to stir up trouble.

Bowser has also had notable roles in the intro movies of the various sports movies, where he usually serves as a foil for Wario and Waluigi. In Mario Tennis 64, he shows up when Wario and Waluigi confront Mario and Luigi, easing the tension by seeming to demand that they simply play tennis. In Toadstool Tour, Bowser goes on a rampage and pursues the Wario Bros. in his Clown Copter after their golf ball gives him a black eye, chasing them to his castle where all three are accidentally caught in his Bob-omb blast.

They instead ally with each other in Mario Power Tennis, where Wario and Waluigi stumble onto his secret training facility. He then submits them to a brutal training regimen and then sends them to attack the Mario Bros. in a tennis game using Bob-ombs, with Bowser supporting them from the sky firing Bob-ombs from a miniature airship. However, the Mario Bros. and eventually all the tennis players in the audience band together to deflect the bob-ombs until Bowser, Wario and Waluigi are sent blasting off again from their own bombs.

In the Challenge Mode of Mario Super Sluggers, Bowser backs his son's invasion of the Baseball Kingdom. After Junior loses a baseball game to Mario's friends, Bowser steps up to challenge them instead and reveals his Bowser Castle. After losing the first time, he will claim he was not ready and then ask for a rematch. After being beaten again, he nearly began preparations for another rematch when Peach offered to let them play baseball with them. He then reluctantly attended the following dinner and after the fireworks ceremony was sabotaged by Wario and Waluigi, Bowser came from nowhere to save Mario by deflecting an incoming Bullet Bill with his own bat.

Bowser also appeared as a playable character in the board game-themed crossover games Itadaki Street DS and Fortune Street.

Mario Party

He also appeared as an antagonist in the Mario Party games. He usually had the same role in every Mario Party game; he had his own space on the board where he would torment anyone who came near, surrounded by a gaggle of miniature lookalike Bowsers known as Koopa Kids, and he almost always had his own unlockable board as well as a storyline role.

Within the first Mario Party, Bowser interferes with the characters' adventures until they come to his stronghold at Bowser's Magma Mountain. After the board was completed, all the stars earned came together to form a large star which defeated Bowser. However, he then proceeded to shatter the Eternal Star into several pieces and deface it with graffiti. He also stole all the stars that had been collected between Mario and his friends, distributing them to his Koopa Kid lieutenants. After all the stars were recollected, they formed a larger star that sent Bowser and the Koop Kid flying while entering and repairing the Eternal Star.

He then invaded Mario Land while the others were arguing over the proper name for it in Mario Party 2. He appeared in each board with a different disguise matching the theme of the level, and in each case he was defeated by the board's Super Star. His alternate forms were Captain Bowser in Pirate Land, Bowser the Brash in Western Land, Black Hole Bowser in Space Land, Sphinx Bowser in Mystery Land and Wizard Bowser in Horror Land. After being defeated in each of these forms, he had his Koopa Kids kidnap and replace Toad and lure Mario's friends into his own land he created, Bowser Land. At the end of the stage, he battled the winning Super Star in a Super Mario 64-inspired battle but then turned into Metal Bowser when the Super Star attempted to pick him up. But after receiving a star from the others, the character received the strength to toss Bowser into the atmosphere, causing him to lose his metal form and be knocked out upon landing.

Bowser takes a break from his usual role as final enemy in Mario Party 3, where he is instead comic relief. He appears after each Star Stamp is earned and attempts to challenge the player character to a battle for the Star Stamps, but in each instance he usually arrives too late or is ignored, and at one point he is accidentally sent flying by Daisy. When the time came for the final Star Stamp, Bowser challenged the player character to a battle only to find that the Mischief Star Stamp had already been stolen by Waluigi. He accused Waluigi of stealing his idea and battled him, but surprisingly lost to Waluigi. He then asked the player character to avenge him by defeating Waluigi. In Mario Party 4, he showed up after the player's character had collected all of their birthday presents. Bowser claimed to have stolen the presents and then made the player character compete at Bowser's Gnarly Party against three others and then battle him. After being defeated, Bowser fled and "accidentally" dropped his own present for the player, a bizarre-looking object. The Koopa Kid revealed that Bowser did not really steal the presents and that this was his way of doing a good thing for the character on their birthday.

One notable insight into Bowser's character was given, however, in Mario Party 5. He traveled throughout the dream lands of the Dream Depot and wreaked havoc in hopes of making his dream came true. But Mario (or one of his friends) challenged Bowser on each level and eventually defeated Bowser in one last battle. This actually made Bowser happy, as it fulfilled what he had wished for: a worthy opponent.

In Mario Party 10, he is playable in a special Bowser Party mode.

Other Appearances

Video Games

  • Within the Super Nintendo version of SimCity, Bowser can appear as a natural disaster, shown as a giant attacking the city in parody of Godzilla.

Super Smash Bros.

Bowser appears a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. In Melee, Bowser is the final boss of Adventure Mode, and under special conditions, a giant and monstrous version of Bowser known as Giga Bowser appears as the final boss after Bowser. In Brawl, Bowser can turn into Giga Bowser as his Final Smash.

Brawl: The Subspace Emissary

Bowser's Smash Bros. appearance.

Bowser appeared in Brawl's "The Subspace Emissary" as part of the Subspace Army working with Ganondorf in hunting down various characters and turning them all into trophies. He first had his men steal Donkey Kong's banana horde to lure him into the open. After Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong reclaimed the bananas, Bower ambushed them with a Dark Cannon. Donkey Kong was able to send Diddy flying to safety but in the process was himself turned into a trophy. Bowser was accompanied by a swarm of shadow bugs that initially took on the form of a shadowy version of Bowser. After Fox McCloud and Diddy Kong defeated this fake Bowser, the real Bowser attempted to attack them with the Dark Cannon, but they escaped his grasp.

Bowser later attacked either Princess Zelda or Peach (whichever princess Kirby had rescued in the first level) and turned her into a trophy as well. Ganondorf then sent Bowser to King Dedede's castle to retrieve the trophies that Dedede had stolen from Wario. Bowser and his men attacked by destroying the roof of the castle but were only able to find one trophy (that of the other princess), as the rest were hidden beneath the rubble. After escaping from Mario and Pit in his Koopa Clown Copter, he returned to the swamp area and succeeded in turning Diddy into a trophy, but Falco Lombardi then arrived and destroyed Bowser's Dark Cannon. Bowser escaped, again in the Koopa Clown Copter, while Fox and Falco defeated a giant Shadow Diddy and proceeded to revive Diddy.

Bowser was then seen at Ganondorf's side riding the giant battleship from the entrance to Subspace to take over the world. But after the battleship was destroyed by Kirby, Ganondorf and Bowser retreated into Subspace, where Bowser was betrayed and turned into a trophy by Ganondorf. Bowser was later revived by Dedede, and, after Dedede defeated him in battle, he showed Bowser that the true enemy was waiting for them in the Subspace World. Bowser then reluctantly joined with the heroes for the final battles, but not before he had some fun for himself beating around the Ganondorf trophy.

Trophies and Stickers

In Melee Bowser, has three standard unlockable trophies along with one of Baby Bowser and one of Giga Bowser. In Brawl, has two normal trophies (one of his normal state and one of him as Giga Bowser) along with Paper Bowser and Wedding Bowser (Bowser in his tuxedo from Super Paper Mario) trophies. There are also four different stickers of Bowser, using artwork from DDR: Mario Mix, Mario Kart 64, Mario Power Tennis and Super Paper Mario. In the 3DS/Wii U games, there are two standard trophies of Bowser that are shared between both games. In the 3DS version, there are also trophies for two forms of Paper Bowser (from Paper Mario Sticker Star) and for Bowser with a Standard Kart from Mario Kart, while in the Wii U version here are trophies for Giga Bowser and Bowser with a Flame Runner from Mario Kart.

    • Along with Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Yoshi, Bowser can exclusively equip the following stickers for the Subspace Emissary:
      • 1-Up Mushroom (New Super Mario Bros.)
      • Bowser (Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix)
      • Bowser (Mario Kart 64)
      • Bowser (Super Paper Mario)
      • Coin (New Super Mario Bros.)
      • Dice Block (Mario Party 8)
      • Dr. Mario (Nintendo Puzzle Collection)
      • Koopa (Super Mario Strikers)
      • Lakitu (Mario Kart: Super Circuit)
      • Luigi (Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga)
      • Luigi & Baby Luigi (Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time)
      • Mario (Mario Kart DS)
      • Mario & Luigi (Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga)
      • Mario & Yoshi (Super Mario Sunshine)
      • Mega Rush Badge (Paper Mario)
      • Mushroom (New Super Mario Bros.)
      • Peach (Mario Superstar Baseball)
      • Peach (Super Mario Bros. 2)
      • Peach (Super Princess Peach)
      • Rawk Hawk (Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door)
      • Red Fire (Mario Kart: Double Dash!!)
      • Super Mario Bros. (Super Mario Bros.)
      • Toad (Mario Party 6)
      • Toad & Toadette (Mario Party 7)
      • Waluigi (Mario Superstar Baseball)
      • Waluigi (Super Mario Strikers)
      • Yoshi (Mario Party 2)
      • Yoshi (Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door)
      • Yoshi (Yoshi Touch & Go)

Other Media

  • Bowser appeared in the Japan-only anime movie Super Mario Bros.: The Great Mission to Rescue Princess Peach. In this version, Bowser kidnaps Peach as in Super Mario Bros.. He also displays shape-shifting powers. At the end of the movie, he becomes a giant and battles Mario. Mario eventually defeats Bowser after he uses a Super Star. In a scene eerily similar to the method of defeating Bowser in Super Mario 64, Mario lifts Bowser up by the tail and spins him around before tossing him away.
  • Bowser also appeared in a three-part anime OVA, which each part being based on a different fairy tale. In the first segment, he was an ogre who kidnapped that segment's version of Princess Peach. In the second segment, Mario was tiny and at one point Bowser tried eating him. However, Mario pokes Bowser's stomach with a needle until Bowser spits him out and runs away. In the final segment, Bowser is dressed as a woman and plays the role of the evil queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. He tries poisoning Peach and later holds her hostage with a knife, but Bowser is defeated by Luigi.
  • Bowser has appeared throughout the Super Mario-Kun manga in slapstick adaptations of the Mario games from Super Mario World onwards, where he is shown as more cheerful and bumbling than actually intimidating.
  • Bowser appeared in the Super Mario Bros. Super Show and its two sequel shows as King Koopa, although he was called Bowser in some later episodes. In this series, King Koopa had a more reptilian appearance and had a variety of disguises that he used in each episode (similar to King K. Rool). In the later shows, his Koopalings also appeared.
  • Bowser also appeared in Nintendo Comics System and Nintendo Adventure Books, his appearance and demeanor based off his cartoon version.
  • He appeared as the main villain of the Super Mario Bros. Movie, once again going by the name of Koopa. In this movie he is actually a humanoid creature who evolved from a dinosaur and was the tyrannical ruler of Dinohatten. He sent out his bumbling cousins Iggy and Spike (named after Bowser minions from the video games) to do his dirty work and also used a special machine to de-evolve any naysayers who challenged his authority. At the end of the movie, he briefly transformed into a dinosaur while attacking Mario and Luigi, but he was almost immediately blown away. He was played by Dennis Hopper.


  • In Japan, Bowser's name is 'Koopa' or "Kuppa" (named after a Korean dish). The regular Koopa Troopas are called nokonoko.
  • In some of the early artwork, Bowser doesn't have his hair.
  • The seven Koopalings were originally assumed to be Bowser's children, which was canon for other Mario works such as the cartoon series and comics. However, in 2012, Miyamoto clarified that the Koopalings are not related to Bowser. Bowser Jr. seems to be his only actual child.
  • Belome says that Bowser tastes repulsive.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the characters of Talon and Malon (as well as Malon's Terminan counterparts Cremia and Romani in Majora's Mask) each wear a golden Bowser brooch, as a strange reference due to Talon being modeled to resemble Mario. A portrait of Bowser can also be seen through a window of Hyrule Castle's garden in Ocarina of Time.

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