|“||Did somebody page the King of Awesome?||„|
|“||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!''||„|
King Bowser Koopa (known mainly in Western territory by his first name, and by his surname in Japan) is the main antagonist of the Mario franchise. He is the tyrannical king who rules over the turtle-like Koopa Troopa race and is constantly striving to expand his Koopa Kingdom by conquering the Mushroom Kingdom, although his plans are always spoiled by his archenemy, Mario. He is in love with Princess Peach Toadstool, 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 antagonist, he has a very dark, brutal, merciless, destructive, and serious disposition. In the RPGs, he shows some more amusing and funny 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. However, he most prominent part of his personality 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 dangerous rage when other villains attempt to usurp his position as "the biggest, baddest brute around".
In the RPG games, he is shown to be a benevolent and philanthropic ruler towards his men. In Super Mario RPG, he found two of his men in Monstro Town who had happy lives there, and instead of getting angry and order them to return to his army, he was happy for their lives and wished the best for their lives. Mario and Luigi:Bowser Inside Story showed that while Bowser is mean with his troops, he cares towards them. He rescued imprisoned soldiers who serve him, got angry when he learned thet Fawful had kidnapped his men and even forgave three traitors. In the Paper Mario games, it is shown that Bowser's troops follow him for respect rather than fear. In Super Paper Mario, a Hammer Bro told Peach that Bowser would fry him if he escaped without making sure that his companions are safe.
HistorySo far, Bowser appeared as the villain in many Super 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 destructive and powerful, but a little slow. In a few RPGs, he also sometimes team with up Mario and Luigi.
He is the main antagonist and final boss of most sidescrollers and all 3D platformers (although Bowser Jr. is the main antagonist 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 antagonist 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 antagonist 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 Mario: 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. Bowser is fought as a boss in Chapter 3, but is eventually defeated by Mario.
Towards the end of the game, he inadvertently foils Grodus's threats when he falls through the ceiling of the Palace of Shadows. He then attacks Mario without giving him time to heal. Here, he returns as the penultimate boss of the game alongside his assistant Kammy Koopa. However, Mario defeats him one last time, knocking both Bowser and Kammy out.
Super Paper MarioIn 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 cannot 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 praiseworthy and 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. An interesting thing is that he is portrayed as an anti-hero in this game instead of the usual him being antagonistic.
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.
Paper Mario: Color Splash
Another form of Bowser, known as Black Bowser, appears as the final boss of the game. At Port Prisma on Prism Island, Bowser invades the town and jumps into the color fountain created by the power of the Paint Stars and, with the intent to make his shell a rainbow hue, spins around in the fountain to mix up the colors, only for it to turn into malevolent black paint, which possess him and spreads across the island. After Mario and his companion Huey collect all of the Big Paint Stars stolen by the Koopalings do they have access to Black Bowser's castle, where they rescue Princess Peach and defeat Bowser, ridding him of the black paint and returning him to his normal self.
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 one of the main protagonists, 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 the hospital.
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").
Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam
In Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, Bowser and his Paper Mario counterpart share the spot as the main antagonists. After a magical book brings the Paper characters to the regular world, the two settle their rivalry over the rule of only one Bowser in the world and combine their armies to conquer the Mushroom Kingdom. Although they work together to kidnap both Princess Peaches and defeat the Mario Bros. and Paper Mario, they both find each other very irritating and secretly plan to betray one another once they have succeeded in their goal of getting rid of both Marios.
At the end of the game, the two face the Mario Bros. in their flying castle and combine with each other to create Shiny RoboBowser, although Mario, Luigi, and Paper Mario are able to defeat it. Bowser is knocked back by the destruction of RoboBowser and plummets to the ground below from his castle, dropping the book in the process, while the trio use the book on Paper Bowser and return him to his world, much to his dismay.
Super Mario Odyssey
Bowser is set to appear in the upcoming Mario game Super Mario Odyssey, not alot is known about his role, but so far it seems as if he will be the main antagonist as usual. And the minions are rabbit-looking koopalings.
Mario Party series
Bowser has appeared in every Mario Party game as the primary antagonist. His motive for each game varies, but its mostly to cause misfortune to the players and prevent them from winning. In every game, he is given his own space, which when landed on by a player, Bowser appears and wreak havoc. There are also multiple minigames based around Bowser, where if a player loses, their coins, items, or stars will be taken. From the first Mario Party to Mario Party 7, Bowser was aided by a character named Koopa Kid, but he has since been replaced by Bowser Jr.
In Mario Party 9, his goals are a bit different than his past goals, he tries to collect all mini stars with a machine that he has in his secret base, so that he can decorate his castle with the stars. As usual, Mario and his friends notice his plans, and comes to the rescue, but this time Bowser has backup plans, he will send some of his most loyal minions (The Shy Guys and Kamek) to stop Mario from thwarting his plans. And if somehow that doesn't work, he will create one or two bosses with the mini stars to distract Mario.
Once Mario manages to come up to the castle, Bowser is the final boss again.
In almost every Mario Party game, he shows some sort of remorse, only to come back as the main antagonist again, he will be a playable character in Mario Party 10.
Super Smash Bros. series
Super Smash Bros. Melee
Bowser makes his debut as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Melee. His design resembles his appearance from the Nintendo 64 era. 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. As evidenced by the game's opening, Bowser is also the true main antagonist of Melee, serving as the final boss of the game's Adventure mode.
Super Smash Bros. BrawlBowser returns as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. His design resembles his current appearance. Bowser gains a more serious appears. 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. 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. 4
Bowser returns as a playable character in the video game; Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS. Unlike his more serious Brawl design, Bowser now more closely resembles himself from the Mario games, albeit a bit more feral/aggressive-looking. However, Bowser is shown to be more athletic, as well as stand straight up as apposed to his slouching. He also transforms into 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.
- Main article: President Koopa
- Main article: Baby Bowser
Bowser when he was younger. He has been the recurring antagonist in the Yoshi's Island series.
Giant Baby Bowser
After Baby Bowser has been beaten by Yoshi, Kamek would use some of his magic to make Baby Bowser giant size.
Bowser'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.
In 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.
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.
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.
ShrowserShrowser is Bowser with the power of the Shroobs infused, in the video game Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time. He can still breathe fire in this form but this time he does not give the Mario Bros. and the little brothers any chance to attack. In the beginning of the Shrowser battle Shrowser spews a purple gas out of his mouth which turns into the ghost of the Elder Princess Shroob. The only way to defeat Shrowser since he does not let you attack is to both dodge his small fire attacks and then those will keep flying until they hit the Elder Princess Shroob's ghost and then to use hammers to counter the bigger flames he spews. The ghost princess has a health meter this time around so you don't have to keep guessing on whether or not she's close to being truly dead.
Dreamy BowserBowser's currently strongest form, Bowser takes this form in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team after eating the Dream Stone. This form increases power's size and makes his body glow and turn rainbow colors. Bowser gains many new abilities with this form, and appears to be able to warp reality and make his wishes come true.
Shiny RoboBowserShiny RoboBowser is an upgraded giant version of Bowser serving as the final boss of Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam. It is made up of a giant Bowser, his paper counterpart, and several of Paper Bowser's minions. He can use multiple paper abilities to fight against the Mario Bros., and even use his own Paperizer attack. As the boss takes damage, his armor breaks apart, allowing access to Bowser underneath.
MeowserAfter 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.
- He was voiced by the late Harvey Atkin in the DIC Mario cartoons, by Scott Burns from 2002 to 2007, and by Kenny James since 2007.
- He is one of if not the most popular and well known video game villains.