King Bowser Koopa Sr.
King Koopa, Giga Bowser, The Sorcerer King, Daimaō (in Japan, translates to Great Demon King), King of the Koopa, King of Awesome, Your Touchiness, Monsieur Turtle Bits
Super Mario Bros.
King of the Koopa Troop, the ruler of his Castles, ruler of World Bowser
Powers / Skills
Breaths fire, throws hammers, super strength, grows to large size, shoots and summons meteors, spins in shell, can roll around in a boulder, ground pound.
Oppressing the small and weak, ruling, taking candy from babies, knitting
Kidnap Princess Peach, take over the Mushroom Kingdom, kill the Super Mario Brothers, help Mario and his friends to defeat Smithy (Super Mario RPG: Legend of Seven Stars), help Mario and Princess Toadstool to defeat Super Dimentio (Super Paper Mario).
Type of Villain
Evil Ruler, Archenemy, Dictator
|“||Did somebody page the king of awesome?||„|
|~ Bowser from Bowser's Inside Story|
|“||Hear this! I will kidnap Peach OVER and OVER again until I pull it off! Failure isn't an option! And neither is giving up! I'll be back! Mario! Green 'Sta- I mean, Luigi!||„|
|~ Bowser from Dream Team|
King Bowser Koopa, also known (in Japan) just by his surname Koopa, is the main antagonist of the Mario series. He rules over the turtle-like Koopa Troopa race and is constantly striving to expand his kingdom by conquering the Mushroom Kingdom, although his plans are always spoiled by his arch-enemy Mario. He's in love with Princess Peach, and his attempts of conquest always include kidnapping her in one form or another.
|“||I'm huge! Even scarier up close, huh?||„|
Bowser's looks and personality have, as with most early Nintendo characters, slowly evolved over time. Most of his defining characteristics have remained the same, though. His most recognizable features are his spiked shell, red mane, and spiked cuffs, which except for the mane have been prominent features of Bowser in all of his appearances. One point of debate over the time has been Bowser's size, which seemed to vary in every one of his appearances. Most of the time, he is about twice the size of Mario. Plus, His personality varies depending on his role in the plot. In the main platformers, where he is the main villain, he has a very dark, brutal and serious disposition. In the RPGs, he shows some more amusing sides of himself, as he is shown to have a talent for sarcastic wit, works very hard to live up to the "evil king" image, and very often displays a shortsighted lack of common sense. The most prominent part of his personality, however, is his confidence. When he decides to help the other denizens of the Mushroom Kingdom against a common foe, it is mostly because of his own ego. In his mind, the only one allowed to kidnap Princess Peach, destroy Mario and/or conquer the world is himself, and he flies into a rage when other villains attempt to usurp his position as "the biggest, baddest brute around".
So far, Bowser appeared as the villain in many Mario games, but also made appearances as either a minor villain or even hero in several other games. As with most major Nintendo characters, he appears in most of the sport and party games of the Mario franchise. His stats in those games make him obviously powerful, but a little slow. In a few RPGs he also sometimes team with up Mario and Luigi.
He is the main villain and final boss of most sidescrollers and all 3D platformers (although Bowser Jr. is the main villain of Super Mario Sunshine at first). At the end of a few of them he seems to die (such as Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario 3D Land, where he falls into lava, Super Mario 3D World, where he explodes in a fireworks explosion, and New Super Mario Bros. Wii, when a castle falls on top of him), one such death near the beginning of the game he is revived on-screen by Bowser Jr., but at the end of most, is shown to survive. The chronology of much of these games, if any, is unknown.
He is said to be "soundly defeated" (presumably killed, given the way it was said) by Mario prior to the events of Luigi's Mansion, but was presumably revived by Bowser Jr. before Super Mario Sunshine.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
In Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, Bowser seems like the main villain at first, as he kidnaps Peach. However, when Smithy emerges as the true antagonist and takes Bowser's Keep, Bowser and his minions try to take it back (though many desert him). He eventually joins Mario's team so he can get his castle back, and helped destroy Smithy and his followers.
Bowser makes an appearance as the "Final Boss" in the video game; Luigi's Mansion. Sometime before the events of Luigi's Mansion, it's been implied that Bowser was killed. When King Boo was about to confront Luigi, he decided to use Bowser's body as a vessel to destroy his rival. After King Boo was defeated, Bowser was "revived" and decided to continue his various schemes to defeat the Mario Bros, and kidnap Princess Peach.
Paper Mario series
In the Paper Mario series, Bowser is the main villain of the first Paper Mario, using the Star Rod to become invincible. Mario rescues the Star Spirits and gains the power to counter Bowser's Star Rod and defeat him. He is sent flying into the distance when his machine explodes from the intensity of the battle.
Paper Marion: The Thousand-Year Door
In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, he plays a more minor role, with the player controlling him in an event after each chapter and he is always one step behind Mario. He inadvertently foils Grodus's threats when he falls through the ceiling, and attacks Mario without giving him time to heal, but Mario defeats him, knocking him out.
Super Paper Mario
In Super Paper Mario, Bowser is kidnapped by Count Bleck, who forces Peach to marry him to create the Chaos Heart. Bowser is presumably released by Dimentio soon after, and joins Mario's team, since he can't rule the world if it is destroyed. He is one of the four heroes of the Light Prognosticus (other three being Mario, Peach, and Luigi). He is temporarily killed by Dimentio along with Mario and Peach, bur returns. Bowser seems to become more noble when he apparently sacrifices himself to save Peach, Mario, Luigi, and his enemy O'Chunks (after beating him in a duel in Castle Bleck), and was supposedly crushed, but survived since his weight caused him to fall through the floor. Bowser helped Mario and Peach destroy Dimentio and save all worlds. He does not seem to turn evil again after this, as he returns to Flipside with Mario, Peach, and Luigi quite a while later.
Paper Mario: Sticker Star
However, in Paper Mario: Sticker Star Bowser tries to steal the Sticker Comet, and ends up powered up by a Royal Sticker. Though oddly he has no lines in this game, he is the main antagonist. After being defeated by Mario, he later tries to steal the Sticker Comet again, to no avail.
Mario & Luigi series
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, Bowser tries to help Mario and Luigi get Peach's voice back when it was seemingly stolen by Cackletta, during which Bowser quickly became an enemy of Fawful. After a cannon blast, Bowser spent half of the game with amnesia as Popple's assistant Rookie, and the other half possessed by Cackletta as Bowletta. When the Mario Bros. destroyed Cackletta, Bowser was restored to normal.
Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time
In Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, Bowser kidnaps Princess Shroob, who is disguised as Princess Peach, but his weight causes him to fall through the floor and into a time hole, where he pairs with his younger self to fight the Mario Bros. As a result of the Bowsers' defeat, Bowser falls in a time hole and is knocked out, where he is powered up by the spirit of Elder Princess Shroob. Bowser is defeated when the Mario Bros. trick him into destroying Elder Princess Shroob.
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story
In Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, Bowser is (for the first time) the main protagonist, fighting against Fawful (with the Mario Bros. powering him up from within after Fawful tricked him into eating a Vacuum Shroom causing him to inhale the Mario Bros., among others) to take his castle back and rule the Mushroom Kingdom himself. Eventually Bowser defeated the Dark Star, which had taken the form of Dark Bowser, and when Fawful self-destructed and forced Mario, Luigi, and the others out of Bowser, Bowser fought them but they defeated him and put him in intensive care. Despite this, Peach and the Mario Bros. send him a cake for saving the world. As to be expected, Bowser has the highest Pow and HP stat in this game, but is slowest of the playable cast.
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team
In Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, in contrast to the previous Mario & Luigi titles Bowser has a much larger role. He is actually the real main antagonist although he initially seemed to be the secondary antagonist. For the majority of the game, he works alongside Antasma, seemingly the main antagonist. They team up when Antasma offers to give Bowser power to defeat the Mario Bros. By stealing the Dream Stone, Bowser and Antasma gained a powerful fortress, Neo Bowser Castle, and Bowser kidnapped Peach.
Mario and Luigi tracked down Bowser and Antasma. They battled Bowser in his dream world, where he powered up to an enormous size only to be defeated by Mario and giant Luigi. Bowser was later found holding on to Antasma while Antasma gloated that this time the outcome of the final battle will be different, as Bowser is assisting him. Bowser unexpectedly flung Antasma to the ground, betraying him and showing off his more malicious side. He said that he had been "playing him like a bat fiddle" the whole time, and left him to be destroyed by the Mario Bros while using the Dream Stone for himself. When the Dream Stone was destroyed, Bowser inhaled its dust to transform, but the Mario Bros. defeated him, returning him to normal and sending him flying into the distance, although he survived, and remembered Luigi's name (all through the four Mario & Luigi games he calls him "Green Stache").
Super Smash Bros series
Super Smash Bros. MeleeBowser makes his debut as a playable character in Super Smash Bros Melee. He also appears as one of the bosses in Classic Mode. After defeated, he reverts back into a trophy, however, the Trophy begins to fall apart, revealing a new form of Bowser; Giga Bowser.
Super Smash Bros. BrawlBowser returns as a playable character in Super Smash Bros Brawl. Bowser gains a more realistic design in this game, but is relatively more closer to his design from his series of origin. He also gains the Final Smash; Giga Bowser. He also appears as a major antagonist in the story mode; the Subspace Emissary.
Bowser appears as a recurring boss in the Super Smash Bros: Brawl story, Subspace Emissary, where he serves as the secondary antagonist alongside Ganondorf. Unlike Ganon and Wario, Bowser is truly loyal to the army, as Ganon wishes to usurp control of the army, while Wario doesn't care about the army's objective. He is second-in-command to Ganondorf who works for the Master Hand. He, along with Wario set out to find and capture several of the Smash Bros characters. Bowser first appears in the DK Jungle confronting Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong. He has a special gun that'll turn any character into a trophy. He aims it at Diddy but DK super punches him far away and gets turned into a trophy instead. After finding Fox McCloud, Diddy finds a Bowser trophy laying around but it was a fake and it dissolves into little shadow bugs. The real Bowser appears and attacks the two but they escape.
Later in the game, Bowser runs into Kirby and whichever princess he saved from Petey Piranha. Bowser turns that princess into a trophy and has the shadow bugs turn into a dark clone of that princess. He then takes the princess aboard the Halberd and leaves the clone to deal with Kirby and other characters. He then receives a transmission from Ganondorf to go to King Dedede's castle and retrieve the other princess trophy. Browser does so and with his Koopa troops, they storm the castle, knock out King Dedede and take the princess trophy. He is pursued outside the castle by Mario, Link, Pit, Kirby and Yoshi but he escapes and retreats to the Halberd.
With the princesses successfully captured, Bowser goes after Diddy Kong again and this time, turns him into a trophy. He goes after Fox but the fox is too fast for the ray gun. Bowser is then attacked and his gun is destroyed by Fox's ally, Falco Lombardi. The two then bring Diddy Kong back to life and Bowser flees but not before having the shadow bugs form a giant Subspace Diddy Kong and has it attack the trio.Bowser is seen later aboard a giant subspace warship with Ganondorf. The heroes, all reunited, fly toward the ship and Ganondorf open fires on the ships but Kirby destroys the core of the ship; causing it to explode. Ganondorf and Bowser retreat into subspace in time. As the villains head to meet the Master Hand, Bowser is betrayed by Ganondorf and turned into a trophy by him and pushed aside. Ganondorf and Master Hand meet and are both betrayed by the true villain of subspace, Tabuu. Tabuu knocks the Master Hand unconscious and turns Ganondorf, along with all the heroes into trophies.
Miles away, King Dedede, Ness and Luigi are brought back to life and they enter subspace and bring the heroes back to life. Halfway through, they find Bowser's trophy and revive him. Bowser reawakens and attacks the trio and King Dedede engages in battle with him. Dedede wins and Bowser is turned back into a trophy. The same thing happens again but Dedede shuts him up and tells him that Tabuu is the real enemy. Bowser then reluctantly joins the groups of heroes. When the rest of the heroes are revived, Bowser finds Ganondorf's trophy and continuously beats it in vengeance and storms off. Bowser then joins the heroes in the fight against Tabuu and they defeat him.
Super Smash Bros. 4Bowser returns as a playable character in the video game; Super Smash Bros 4, both for the Wii U and 3DS. Unlike his more realistic Brawl design, Bowser now sports a more brighter and cartoonish design that's even more close to his Mario games' design (though his scales and hair are still more detailed than in the Mario games). Bowser is also more athletic, as well and stand straight up as apposed to him slouching in the previous Smash Bros games, which is also close to his appearance in more recent Mario titles. He also retains Giga Bowser as his Final Smash.
Powers and Abilities
Although the entirety of his abilities largely changed over time and varies a lot from game to game, mostly due to the magical artifacts he steals, most of his basic abilities stayed the same, which would run down to fire breath and tremendous strength, due to his size. He's also able to use his spiked turtle shell for an effective combination of attack and defense. In his earlier appearances, he apparently also had the power to wield black magic, although this has largely been dropped from his later appearances. In Super Smash Bros: Melee and Super Smash Bros: Brawl he has also shown the ability to transform into a larger and more monstrous form of himself, called Giga Bowser, although this ability is likely not to be considered canon, due to the nature of the two games. Bowser's Inside Story provides a new explanation to his size fluctuations: When his life is in danger, adrenaline surges through his body and grows him to a gargantuan size, in which he can better fight battles against giant foes. He can also jump at certain lengths and heights of tremendous portions.
The following additional powers are simply these for certain games:
- Shape-Shifting (Super Mario Bros.: The Rescue of Princess Peach, anime movie)
- Teleportation (Super Mario 64)
- Flight (Super Mario Galaxy 2)
ActionsThroughout the series, Bowser has always been seeking to massively expand his power, which he mostly tries to accomplish by acquiring magical artifacts and the resulting conquest of whatever it allows him to conquer. In addition to this he almost always kidnaps Princess Peach, whether she has any actual relevance to his plan or not. This is due to him being in love with her, and the fact that Peach possesses a unique ability called Heart Power that is a genetic mutation passed down by the royal Toadstool line that enables the possessor to channel their emotions into magical power. Although he often reaches his goal of conquest, he is always stopped by his archenemy Mario, which made him build both deep hatred, but also deep respect towards him. This respect mostly shows when he is forced to cooperate with him, which usually happens when a force more evil and more powerful than himself appears (as was the case with Smithy, Cackletta, or Count Bleck). In those situations he usually swallows his pride and sacrifices himself to help the heroes and save what he intends to conquer.
Super Mario Bros. Movie
Main Article: Bowser (Super Mario Bros. the Movie)
Main Article: Baby Bowser
Bowser when he was younger. He's been a recurring antagonist in the Yoshi's Island series.
Giant Baby Bowser
After Baby Bowser has been by Yoshi, Kamek would use some of his magic to make Baby Bowser giant size.
Giant BowserBowser's most recurring form, in many games Bowser will use different items, like the Star Rod in Paper Mario, in order to increase his size, the smallest is double his normal size and the largest is bigger than a castle.
King BoowserIn Luigi's Mansion, King Boo used Bowser's body as a vessel, as well as assist King Boo during his confrontation with Luigi. Fans often refer to this form as King Boowser. It was hinted that Bowser was killed sometime before the events of Luigi's Mansion, but ended up being revived in after Luigi defeated King Boo.
Bowser using the Frog Suit, giving him the ability to breath under water and swim faster.
Bowser using a Fire Flower, giving him the ability to shoot fire from his palms.
Bowser using the Super Leaf, giving him the ability to fly.
Fire Raccoon Koopa
A Mixture of Fire Koopa and Raccoon Koopa, using both the Fire Flower and Super Leaf.
Main Article: Dry Bowser
An undead version of Bowser. Bowser later created another Dry Bowser as his own separated character.
Metal BowserA more durable form of Bowser used by obtaining a Metal Box. Bowser uses this form in the Super Smash Bros. series, and also in Mario Party 2.
- Main Article: Giga Bowser
In the Super Smash Bros. series, Bowser gained a new form of himself that grows about three times his normal size and his power is increased immensely. In Melee, Giga Bowser appeared in the final Event Match along with Mewtwo and Ganondorf. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Giga Bowser appears as the final smash move of Bowser.
Main Article: Bowletta
In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga after the defeat of Cackletta, Cackletta's ghost ended up possessing Bowser resulting in creating hybrid known as Bowletta.
Main Article: Shrowser
In Mario & Luigi Partners in Time, after Mario, Luigi and their baby counterparts defeated Elder Princess Shroob, her ghost possessed Bowser, forming the hybrid; Shrowser.
- Main Article: Dreamy Bowser
After using the Super Bell on himself, his cat ego resembles more of a tiger than a cat, but still enables him to climb on walls with cat claws, on the second round in his form, he eats four Double Cherries to create four fake Meowsers.
- Dark Bowser
- Dry Bowser
- Mecha Bowser
- Bowser Jr.
- Koopa Troopa
- Giga Bowser
- Super Mario Bros. creator Shigeru Miyamoto mentioned in an interview that Bowser's original design was inspired by an ox, but was later changed to a turtle.