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This article is about the Nintendo character. You may be looking for the DiC Cartoons version of Bowser, King Koopa (DiC Cartoons) . You can also go to the disambiguation page, Bowser (disambiguation).

"I don't like it, I think this Peach Crown is crazy. Makes me wanna breathe fire!"
—Bowser speaking a full sentence[4]

King Bowser Koopa Sr. (大魔王クッパ Daimaō Kuppa?, , lit.“Great Demon King Koopa”) in English also Lord Bowser, King Koopa (commonly in other media) is the main antagonist of Nintendo's Mario franchise and is the archenemy of Mario. Bowser most commonly kidnaps Princess Peach, with whom he has unrequited love for, so he can make her his queen. He is the leader of the Koopa race. Although Bowser has joined forces with Mario in a few games, he repeatedly kidnaps Princess Peach and attempts to conquer the world and the Mushroom Kingdom with his Koopa Troop since his first appearance in Super Mario Bros..

There are a few instances of Bowser being heroic and working alongside the efforts of the Mushroom Kingdom when a greater evil is present, such as Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, Super Paper Mario, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, and Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, in which he inhales Mario and Luigi, but they end up helping him.

As the central villain of one of the world’s most popular video game franchises, Bowser is easily one of the most recognizable video game villains ever, though he has comic-relief roles in most of the RPGs. Bowser has a son called Bowser Jr. and had seven children called the Koopalings in older games.

Profile[]

Physical description[]

Bowser SMB Booklet

Bowser as seen in the Super Mario Bros. Instruction Booklet.

Bowser differs greatly from the rest of the Koopas, who appear mainly as bipedal tortoises. His iconic features include a large, spiked shell, horns, razor-sharp teeth, and a shock of red hair. In addition, while most Koopas appear to be herbivorous and prefer fruits and vegetables as their diet, Bowser, due to his sharp teeth, prefers meat, particularly from victims he hunts down and captures (with his carnivorous side confirmed in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story), though he has, on occasion, consumed vegetation, as well. He is physically powerful, can breathe fire like a dragon, and is said to have skills in black magic, as he teleports off the Bowser's Star Reactor battle place when beaten.

Bowser's physical size tends to vary from game to game In most games, he is very large, presumably standing more than eight feet tall but there are exceptions. In Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, he is barely bigger than Mario.

According to Prima's Super Mario Galaxy guide, the appearance of Bowser and the Koopas are also based on kappa of Japanese mythology, although this has not been officially stated by Shigeru Miyamoto.

Bowser's appearance has evolved over time. In the box artwork for Super Mario Bros. he has an appearance similar to that of an ox in homage to Journey to the West antagonist Gyū-Maō ("Ox Demon King"), with bluish face and scales, yellow hair and black eyebrows, as well as a less reptilian face. With the contribution of Yoichi Kotabe, Bowser is redesigned between the release of Super Mario Bros. and the release of the Famicom version of Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels. During this redesign he is given blue eyes, as well as red hair and red eyebrows. Despite that, some artwork for Super Mario Bros. 3, while featuring Bowser's redesigned appearance as well as the blue eyes, retains the yellow hair and black eyebrows while also showing him wearing a cape. His eyes are changed to red again in Super Mario World. The brown rings around the spikes and horns are first seen in Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars and are seen again in Super Mario 64, though in the latter game the horns and spikes are yellow. In Super Mario Sunshine, Bowser's appearance is very similar to the current appearance, with a few minor inconsistencies, such as his plastron traveling all the way up his neck.

Bowser's appearance does not always follow the design of the time, and the same illustrations were often modified when used in subsequently released material. Two illustrations made by Yoichi Kotabe were slightly modified and colored with different colors. The first image is used in the manual of Super Mario Bros. 3, with Bowser having red hair and eyebrows and closed eyes, but also in the Super Mario Bros. pinball machine, with him having blue eyes, and in Super Mario Bros. Mushroom World, with him having blue eyes and holding a wand. There is even a version of it in which he has red eyes. The second image is used in the promotional pamphlet of Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, in which Bowser has yellow hair, yellow eyebrows and blue eyes, without rings around the spikes, and in other artwork related to that game, in which he has red eyes, hair and eyebrows, orange claws on the feet and with white rings around the spikes. Similarly, graphical limitations in the original Super Mario Bros. lead to Bowser not having hair. His in-game model in Super Mario 64 has feet which are not padded, although in artwork for that game, he has padded feet. Similarly, in Super Smash Bros. Melee, his feet are not padded, although in his Classic mode trophy he has padded feet. Furthermore, in the Paper Mario series and in artwork for the Mario & Luigi series, he has black eyes like the other characters, in the first three Mario & Luigi games he lacks foot pads and Paper Bowser's spike rings are absent until Paper Mario: Sticker Star.

In the Super Smash Bros. series, he had various palette swaps (4 in Super Smash Bros. Melee, 6 in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and 8 in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate). His red palette swap in Melee and Brawl, and to a certain extent Nintendo 3DS / Wii U, was based on one of his palette swaps in Mario Golf (although the latter two games also had it resembling Bowser's in-game sprite from the NES version of Mario is Missing!), while his blue palette swap was based on how he appeared on the Japanese box art for Super Mario Bros. His white appearance in Brawl and gray appearance in Nintendo 3DS / Wii U was likewise based on Morton Koopa Jr. prior to his New Super Mario Bros. Wii redesign. His green appearance was based on one of his palette swaps from Mario Golf, his in-game sprite for Super Mario World, and to a certain extent his appearance in the DiC cartoons and Nintendo Comics System and his in-game sprite from the original Super Mario Bros. game. His blue palette swap in Nintendo 3DS / Wii U was primarily based on the bluish Bowser's Brother from Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, although it also to a certain extent resembles a palette swap of his from Mario Golf.

As another trait exclusive to the Super Smash Bros. series, Bowser's body has better defined scales and muscles; in Super Smash Bros. Melee, he has defined biceps, and his limbs and tail are a gold-brown color. Starting from Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Bowser is less bulky and slightly scalier, better resembling his appearance in contemporary Super Mario games. Starting from Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U, Bowser is also upright and even less detailed than before. In Ultimate, Bowser retains his upright posture, though his color scheme is darker and more monotone (traits taken from Melee), while his horns, spikes, hair, and scales feature simple detailing (traits taken from Brawl).

Although Bowser does not generally wear clothing, there are a few instances where he does: The Japanese artwork for Super Mario Bros. 3 depicts Bowser wearing a purple cape. In addition, Bowser, or, rather, King Koopa, frequently uses disguises in the DiC cartoons (mostly based on pop-culture icons), and in Mario Party 2, similar to how the playable characters wore themed outfits befitting the various boards (i.e., a Pirate for Pirate Land, a Cowboy in Western Land, a Space Cadet in Space Land, an archaeologist in Mystery Land, and a Witch/Wizard in Horror Land), Bowser wore various outfits and adopted aliases befitting the themes of all the game boards except for Space Land (as he instead just pilots a space vehicle without wearing an actual costume). In addition, in a few cases when he is about to marry Peach, such as Super Mario Adventures, Super Paper Mario, and Super Mario Odyssey, he wears white Groom's outfits having each time different features such as the shoes, or lack thereof, and the bowtie. In Mario Tennis Aces, Bowser receives his own tennis outfit, which is a black T-shirt with orange flame designs on it, accompanied by red kneepads. In Mario Kart Tour, Bowser received a Bowser (Santa) variant as a High-End driver in the 2020 Winter Tour. For this variant, Bowser wears a Santa hat, a red and white collar, and has Christmas lights on his shell. He also carries a red and green present and a white sack for this variant.

Personality and traits[]

"Mario! How dare you disturb my family vacation?!"
—Bowser speaking a full sentence[5]
Oldest Bowser Concept

One of the earliest concepts of Bowser.

Bowser SMB Classic

An early concept of Bowser kidnapping Peach.

When Bowser was created, he was a typical villain without much personality beyond simply wanting to take over the world and the Mushroom Kingdom. Later games started showing various different aspects of Bowser's character, depending on the nature of the plot. While his platformer role continues to be that of a simple antagonist, his Mario Party antics typically depict him being more angry, childish, and mischievous than dangerous, and his portrayals in the RPGs ranging from a threatening, yet humorous (a part that diminishes in more recent installments of the Mario & Luigi series) villain to a playable anti-hero. Even when Bowser is acting as a protagonist in a game, however, he continues to insist he is an evil, malevolent character, and his reasons for helping Mario are typically for his own selfish agendas. Before a battle, Bowser often releases a loud, full-throated roar as intimidation. Like Wario, Bowser is usually thought of as unintelligent, but can be cunning and deceptive as well.

Bowser's personality is explored most extensively in the various RPGs, starting with the first one, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, in which Bowser loses his castle to another villain. As well as the grief he expresses over his castle, Bowser is shown to be as sad as the other playable characters about Geno's body breaking down, and at one point, his boasting takes the form of a haiku. He was also shown to be very concerned about his self-image, as he was shown to be very reluctant to divulge exactly what he meant by having "bigger fish to fry" than kidnapping Princess Toadstool, even considering lying about "taking a vacation" to avoid the humiliation of admitting to his being forced outside of his own castle. As in later RPGs, however, most of Bowser's actions in the game are self-centered, with his motivation for working with the protagonists ranging to reclaiming his stolen castle, kidnapping Peach himself, or preventing another villain from taking over the world, which he himself desires. This last reasoning is also behind Bowser's alliance with Mario and the others in Super Paper Mario, after the somewhat oblivious Koopa is reminded that he cannot conquer anything if Count Bleck's genocidal plan on all worlds comes to fruition. While Bowser is shown to take pride in his villainy and boasts of being a quality "final boss" throughout the adventure, he seemingly sacrifices himself to save Mario and the others, and even argues with his rival O'Chunks to save himself while Bowser held the crumbling roof above them (although it is later revealed that they both survived). He is also shown to be as horrified as the rest of the party when witnessing Sammer's Kingdom's destruction (deeming such an evil act as "overkill"), and when learning of King Olly's true aim of wishing genocide upon Toads, Bowser expressed disgust at the goal and made clear that, while he has done his fair share of evil and nasty stuff, even he would never attempt to outright exterminate Toads; a sharp contrast to his attitude in the Super Mario Galaxy games, where he is willing to create his own galaxy at the expense of the universe, as well as in Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, where he threatens to destroy the paper world.

As in Super Mario Galaxy, most other platformers leave Bowser as a typical, run of the mill villain, as does the RPG Paper Mario: Sticker Star. The original Paper Mario also casts Bowser as the main antagonist; however, like Super Mario RPG that came before it, this portrayal is more well-rounded, introducing a humorous side to Bowser alongside his evilness, and revealing that he has a crush on Peach. Bowser's affection for the princess is later showcased in Super Paper Mario, with the two being forcibly wed in the game by Count Bleck; while the princess disavows the ceremony, Bowser happily and persistently acts as if they are indeed spouses. Bowser's relationship with Peach also comes into play in Super Mario Sunshine, in which Bowser Jr. apparently believes her to be his mother, although at the end of the game, Bowser sadly admits that he had lied to his child about his parentage. Aside from this, Bowser has never shown remorse for his troublesome actions and the havoc they often cause, but he is often saddened by his own losses. In Super Mario Galaxy, his only regret is his failure to create his own realm, and in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, he is dismayed at having to damage his own captured castle while trying to reclaim it from Fawful. By contrast, in Mario Party 4, Bowser grudgingly gives the player a present and wishing them a happy birthday as he leaves in shame, moving one of the Koopa Kids to wonder if there might be more to Bowser than he leads others to believe, as Bowser claimed to be somewhat happy. Despite the presence of offspring, no mate of Bowser has appeared in any story, and his only known relationship is his marriage to a reluctant Princess Peach in Super Paper Mario.

Unlike the platformers and the other Paper Mario titles, Bowser's role is reduced to a dim-witted, bumbling comic relief villain in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, where he encounters frequent comical failures in his attempts to collect the Crystal Stars before Mario. The first two Mario & Luigi titles also cast Bowser as a comical recurring villain, with Partners in Time having him team up with Baby Bowser, whom he did not even recognize as being his infant self. Despite being the central character of Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, the third Mario & Luigi game reveals nothing new about Bowser's character, but it does provide an overview of his personality to date. His reasons for saving the world from Fawful and the Dark Star involve pride, selfishness, and possessiveness toward Peach, as well as a stated interest in taking over Fawful's plans for himself. He is extremely conceited and boastful about himself and his accomplishments, and he resents having to ask nicely for help from Starlow. He acts as a leader to his troops, and even forgives three of them for defecting to Fawful and allows them back in the Koopa Troop. In the remake, it also elaborates on Bowser's crashing the emergency meeting, revealing that he did so because his kingdom also was affected by the Blorbs outbreak. Bowser's usual rashness and his penchant for destruction and violence come to a head when he flies into a rage upon discovering that Mario and Luigi had been aiding him inside his body the entire time (believing they were partying around inside him) and attacks them, only to be promptly defeated, mere moments after the three of them had worked together to save the world.

In Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, while retaining much of his personality from the previous game, he was given more competence and made into much more of a serious threat; he has Kamek disguise himself as Princess Peach to drop the Mario Bros.' guard, presuming they would try to pursue Peach, and later backstabbed Antasma, anticipating the latter would try to the same on him in turn. He later implied similar designs with his Paper self, and vice-versa, in Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam. However, he surprisingly was willing to work under Master Hand and have an equal partnership with Doctor Eggman. In Paper Mario: Color Splash, Bowser, owing to his being possessed by the black paint for most of the game, was given a far darker personality, namely making clear his intention of "painting the world black", and even going as far as to drain Peach's color and hang her colorless form up for display; when Mario and Huey arrived to fight him in his chambers, he even cracked a dark joke about Peach claiming she was "framed" when he caught her sending messages to Mario. It was also revealed that he deliberately sent a drained Toad via mail to Peach and Mario in order to lure them, and specifically Peach, over to Prism Island so he could abduct her. However, after Mario weakened the black paint's hold on Bowser enough for the latter's usual self to surface, Bowser is deeply and understandably confused as to Mario's presence, clearly unaware of what he was doing all this time.

Bowser can be quite amiable sometimes, with his harsh and raging demeanor softening up towards his minions, and is even capable of being civil to foes in some degrees. He shows genuine affection and pride for his son; both he and his paper self were vehemently angry at Mario, Luigi, and Paper Mario for defeating Bowser Jr. and Paper Bowser Jr. in Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam. In Super Mario Odyssey, along with planning his forced wedding with Peach extensively (wearing a tuxedo, having his mane groomed, and having her wear the stolen Lochlady Dress), he even comments on Mario's costume before their final battle. Depending on the clothes worn, this could prompt anything from a humorously scared response (as seen with the Skeleton Suit, Zombie Outfit, and even costumes like the Clown Outfit and Boxer Shorts) to a genuine compliment on his dress sense, though he will always note that Mario wasn't invited regardless. In Super Mario Party, he participates in the party with no malicious tricks or intents (not even having Kamek, who he put as a judge, tip the scales in his favor) and congratulates the player who becomes the Superstar in a rare form of good sportsmanship. In Paper Mario: The Origami King, Bowser expresses disgust at the way the Folded Soldiers treat him and his minions, to the extent where he pleads them to put down his minions and set him free.

Bowser is often dishonest and treacherous, as well as sadistically enjoying doing really horrid things. While Bowser is not beyond keeping his word, he frequently does break it. Bowser will not hesitate to dispose of those who have outlived their usefulness to him. These sorts of justifications are commonly employed logic for Bowser to get-away with nearly anything as far as he is concerned.

While his range of emotions varies from game to game, it is his nearsightedness, frustration, anger, arrogance, and contempt that typifies Bowser in all his appearances, whether he is a reluctant protagonist or a straightforward villain who cares only about conquering lands and destroying his opposition.

By contrast, in Mario Party 4, Bowser grudgingly gives the player a present and wishes them a happy birthday as he leaves in shame, moving one of the Koopa Kids to wonder if there might be more to Bowser than he leads others to believe, as Bowser claimed to be somewhat happy.

Relationships[]

Main article: Bowser/Relationships

Powers and abilities[]

Bowser has many powers from dark magic that include teleporting, causing shockwaves to come out of his jumps, Fire Breath, charging, and transforming victims.

Bowser has been shown to cause fiery rain in Super Mario World and New Super Mario Bros. U, while in Super Mario 64 and New Super Mario Bros., Bowser can produce blue flames that home in on Mario. Bowser is very proud of his fire breath, and is immensely displeased to find himself temporarily unable to use his flames in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story. In the PC version of Mario is Missing!, Bowser is said to be invulnerable to fireballs, however this is not the case in most other games. Similarly, while lava defeats Bowser in many games, including the original Super Mario Bros., or New Super Mario Bros. (in which it transforms him into Dry Bowser), he appears to be resistant to it in other games such as New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

Timeline[]

Hat mario For information on Bowser's
appearances, click here.
Game Role Year Console Notes
Super Mario Bros. Final boss 1985 Nintendo Entertainment System Fought at the end of World 8-4
VS. Super Mario Bros. Final boss 1986 VS. System Same as in Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels Final boss 1986 Family Computer Disk System Fought at the end of World 8-4
Super Mario Bros. Major character 1986 Game & Watch Featured in the game's plot but not fought in-game
I Am a Teacher: Super Mario no Sweater Sewing design 1986 Family Computer Disk System Featured as one of the possible sewing designs
All Night Nippon: Super Mario Bros. Boss 1986 Family Computer Disk System Fought in the World 8-4 from Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels
Super Mario Bros. Special Boss 1986 PC-8801, Sharp X1 Fought at the end of each castle
Super Mario Bros. 3 Final boss 1988 Nintendo Entertainment System Fought at the end of World 8-Bowser's Castle
Super Mario Bros. / Duck Hunt Final boss 1988 Nintendo Entertainment System Retains his role in the Super Mario Bros. re-release
Alleyway Cameo 1989 Game Boy The eighth and final bonus level features several bricks of Bowser's design.
Tetris Cameo 1989 Nintendo Entertainment System Makes a cameo along other Nintendo characters in the results screen, shown after clearing the Type B mode
Super Mario Bros. Boss 1989 Nelsonic Game Watch Referred to as "Koopa Dragon" in the instruction leaflet
F-1 Race Cameo 1990 Game Boy After winning the ninth and final course, a series of Nintendo characters are shown and lastly Bowser
Super Mario World Final boss 1990 Super Nintendo Entertainment System Fought in either Front Door or Back Door at the end of Valley of Bowser
Super Mario Bros. 3 Boss 1990 Nelsonic Game Watch Named "Koopa Dragon" like in Super Mario Bros. for the Nelsonic Game Watch
Super Mario Bros. / Duck Hunt / World Class Track Meet Final boss 1990 Nintendo Entertainment System Retains his role in the Super Mario Bros. re-release
SimCity Antagonist 1991 Super Nintendo Entertainment System A giant monster who attacks the city in the Tokyo, 1961 scenario
Mario Roulette Icon 1991 Arcade Landing on a Bowser icon causes the player to lose a round
Super Mario World Boss 1991 Nelsonic Game Watch Referred to as "Koopa Dragon" like in other Nelsonic Game Watch titles
Mario Teaches Typing Antagonist 1992 MS-DOS
Super Mario Bros. & Friends: When I Grow Up Character 1992 MS-DOS Appears in the Attorney / Judge and Business Executive pages
Super Mario Kart Playable character 1992 Super Nintendo Entertainment System First appearance as a playable character
Mario is Missing! Main antagonist 1992, 1993 MS-DOS
Yoshi's Cookie Playable character 1993 Game Boy Only playable in VS mode
Yoshi's Cookie Playable character 1993 Super Nintendo Entertainment System Only playable in VS mode
Mario is Missing! Main antagonist 1993 Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Mario is Missing! Main antagonist 1993 Nintendo Entertainment System
Super Mario All-Stars Final boss 1993 Super Nintendo Entertainment System Main antagonist and final boss of the Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, and Super Mario Bros. 3 remasters
Yoshi's Safari Final boss 1993 Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Mario is Missing! Main antagonist 1993 Mac Same as the MS-DOS version
Mario's Time Machine Main antagonist 1993, 1994 MS-DOS
Mario's Time Machine Main antagonist 1993 Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Mario's Early Years! Fun with Numbers Non-playable character 1993 PC
Mario's Early Years! Fun with Letters Non-playable character 1993 PC
Mario's Early Years! Preschool Fun Non-playable character 1993 PC
Mario Undōkai Non-playable character 1993 Arcade Raced as an opponent in a 100m sprint
Mario's Time Machine Main antagonist 1994 Nintendo Entertainment System
Hotel Mario Final boss 1994 Philips CD-i
Mario's Early Years! Fun with Numbers Non-playable character 1994 Super Nintendo Entertainment System Same as in the PC version
Mario's Early Years! Fun with Letters Non-playable character 1994 Super Nintendo Entertainment System Same as in the PC version
Mario's Early Years! Preschool Fun Non-playable character 1994 Super Nintendo Entertainment System Same as in the PC version
Super Mario All-Stars + Super Mario World Final boss 1994 Super Nintendo Entertainment System Same as Super Mario All-Stars but with the added inclusion of Super Mario World
Mario's Game Gallery Cameo 1995 MS-DOS Featured as a game piece in Checkers and as a card in Go Fish
Mario's Tennis Playable character 1995 Virtual Boy
Mario Clash Cameo 1995 Virtual Boy When earning 700,000 points, a graphic of Bowser bordering the Nintendo logo is shown, and he says "Astonishing!".
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars Playable character 1996 Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Super Mario 64 Boss 1996 Nintendo 64 Bowser is fought in three different locations: Bowser in the Dark World, Bowser in the Fire Sea, and lastly Bowser in the Sky, where he is the final boss.
Tetris Attack Final boss 1996 Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy Final boss in VS mode; also fought in the "special stage" and "last stage" of Stage Clear mode
Mario Teaches Typing 2 Antagonist 1996 Microsoft Windows, Mac
Mario Kart 64 Playable character 1996 Nintendo 64
Game & Watch Gallery Antagonist 1997 Game Boy Featured as the antagonist in the Modern version of Oil Panic
Super Mario 64: Shindō Pak Taiō Boss 1997 Nintendo 64 Same as in the original Super Mario 64
Game & Watch Gallery 2 Playable character 1997 Game Boy One of the playable characters in the Modern version of Ball
Wrecking Crew '98 Final boss, unlockable playable character 1998 Super Famicom Fought in the final stage; unlocked as a playable character upon being defeated.
Mario's FUNdamentals Cameo 1998 Microsoft Windows Same as the original Mario's Game Gallery release
Game & Watch Gallery 2 Playable character 1998 Game Boy Color Same as in the original Game Boy version
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Cameo 1998 Nintendo 64 One of the visible pictures from a window of Hyrule Castle; the medallion worn by Malon depicts Bowser's face.
Mario Party Non-playable character 1998 Nintendo 64
Game & Watch Gallery 3 Enemy 1999 Game Boy Color An enemy in the Modern remake of Mario Bros.
Super Mario Bros. Deluxe Final boss 1999 Game Boy Color The final boss of both the Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. for Super Players variations
Mario Golf Unlockable playable character 1999 Nintendo 64 First appearance as an unlockable playable character; unlocked by completing character match #7.
Mario Golf Non-playable character 1999 Game Boy Color
Mario Artist: Paint Studio Cameo 1999 Nintendo 64DD Featured as various character stamps
Mario Party 2 Non-playable character 1999 Nintendo 64
Picross NP Vol. 6 Cameo 2000 Super Famicom Featured as the "L" puzzle in Character mode
Mario Tennis Playable character 2000 Nintendo 64
Paper Mario Boss 2000 Nintendo 64 Recurring boss fought in different parts of the game, like in Super Mario 64
Mario Tennis Unlockable playable character 2000 Game Boy Color Unlocked by using the Transfer Pak with the Nintendo 64 version
Mario Party 3 Non-playable character 2000 Nintendo 64
Super Mario Advance Enemy 2001 Game Boy Advance Bowser is fought as an enemy in the Mario Bros. remake, but he does not appear in the Super Mario Bros. 2 remake.
Mario Kart: Super Circuit Playable character 2001 Game Boy Advance
Luigi's Mansion Indirect role 2001 Nintendo GameCube King Boo uses a Bowser suit during the final boss, and Bowser himself is mentioned a few times.
Super Smash Bros. Melee Playable character 2001 Nintendo GameCube
Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2 Final boss 2001 Game Boy Advance Same as in Super Mario World; also returns as an enemy in the Mario Bros. remake
Super Mario Sunshine Final boss 2002 Nintendo GameCube
Mario Party 4 Non-playable character 2002 Nintendo GameCube
Game & Watch Gallery 4 Boss, enemy 2002 Game Boy Advance Boss in the modern remake of Rain Shower and an enemy in the modern Mario Bros. remake
Nintendo Puzzle Collection Main antagonist 2003 Nintendo GameCube Main antagonist of the Yoshi's Cookie remake
Mario Party-e Non-playable character 2003 Game Boy Advance (e-Reader) Appears in the minigame Spinister Bowser
WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$! Reference 2003 Game Boy Advance The microgame Classic Clash III involves Nintenman (based on Mario) fighting a Bowser lookalike
Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 Final boss 2003 Game Boy Advance Same as in Super Mario Bros. 3
Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour Playable character 2003 Nintendo GameCube Bowser also plays a role in the opening cinematic.
WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Party Game$! Reference 2003 Nintendo GameCube Same as in WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$!
Mario Kart: Double Dash!! Playable character 2003 Nintendo GameCube
Mario Party 5 Non-playable character 2003 Nintendo GameCube
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga Boss 2003 Game Boy Advance Fought as the very first boss, although only by Mario
Classic NES Series Super Mario Bros. Final boss 2004 Game Boy Advance Same as in Super Mario Bros.
Mario Golf: Advance Tour Unlockable playable character 2004 Game Boy Advance Unlocked by using the Nintendo GameCube Game Boy Advance Link Cable with Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour, but only if at least 81 Best Badges have been collected.
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door Playable character 2004 Nintendo GameCube
Famicom Mini Super Mario Bros. 2 Final boss 2004 Game Boy Advance Same as in the original Family Computer Disk System version
Mario Pinball Land Final boss 2004 Game Boy Advance
Mario Power Tennis Playable character 2004 Nintendo GameCube Also plays a role during the opening cinematic
Mario Party 6 Antagonist 2004 Nintendo GameCube
Super Mario 64 DS Boss 2004 Nintendo DS Same as in the original Super Mario 64
Mario Party Advance Non-playable character 2005 Game Boy Advance Acts as the primary antagonist in Shroom City mode
Yakuman DS Unlockable playable character 2005 Nintendo DS A secret unlockable character
Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix Non-playable character 2005 Nintendo GameCube
Mario Superstar Baseball Non-playable character 2005 Nintendo GameCube
Mario Tennis: Power Tour Playable character 2005 Nintendo GameCube
Mario Kart Arcade GP Playable character 2005 Arcade
Super Princess Peach Final boss 2005 Nintendo DS Bowser is the boss of Bowser's Villa; Bowser has two phases in his phase
Mario Party 7 Non-playable character 2005 Nintendo GameCube Antagonist
Mario Kart DS Playable character 2005 Nintendo DS
Super Mario Strikers Playable character 2005 Nintendo GameCube
Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time Boss 2005 Nintendo DS First encountered as a boss with Baby Bowser; final boss as Shrowser
Tetris DS Cameo 2006 Nintendo DS Appears in level 10
New Super Mario Bros. Boss; final boss 2006 Nintendo DS Second form is Dry Bowser; boss of World 1; final boss of World 8 along with Bowser Jr.
Mario Hoops 3-on-3 Playable character 2006 Nintendo DS Unlockable; can be unlocked by getting at least Bronze in the Normal Star Tourney
Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 Playable character 2007 Arcade
Super Paper Mario Playable character; boss 2007 Wii A boss in Chapter 3-1: When Geeks Attack; available after defeating Bowser in Chapter 3-1; after Chapter 6-1, Dimentio will disband the party including Bowser; Bowser can be re-recruited in Chapter 7-2: The Sealed Doors Three
Mario Strikers Charged Playable character 2007 Wii
Mario Party 8 Non-playable character 2007 Wii Antagonist
Itadaki Street DS Playable character 2007 Nintendo DS Unlockable character; can be unlocked through playing Tour Mode
Super Mario Galaxy Boss; final boss 2007 Wii Boss of The Fiery Stronghold, Darkness on the Horizon, The Fate of the Universe
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Playable character 2007 Wii
Mario Party DS Final boss 2007 Nintendo DS Antagonist; final boss of Bowser's Block Party
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Playable character 2008 Nintendo DS
Super Smash Bros. Brawl Playable character 2008 Wii
Mario Kart Wii Playable character 2008 Wii
Mario Super Sluggers Playable character 2008 Wii Team captain
Super Smash Bros. Brawl Playable character 2008 Wii
New Play Control! Mario Power Tennis Playable character 2009 Wii
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story Playable character 2009 Nintendo DS First playable appearance in Mario & Luigi game
Super Smash Bros. Brawl Playable character 2009 Wii
Mario Clock Non-playable character 2009 Nintendo DSi
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games Playable character 2009 Wii
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games Playable character 2009 Nintendo DS
New Super Mario Bros. Wii Boss 2009 Wii
Super Mario Galaxy 2 Boss; final boss 2010 Wii
Super Mario Galaxy 2 Boss 2010 Wii
Super Mario All-Stars Limited Edition Boss; final boss 2010 Wii Same roles in Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels and Super Mario Bros. 3
Mario Sports Mix Playable character 2010 Wii
New Super Mario Bros. Wii Coin World Non-playable character 2011 Arcade
Super Mario 3D Land Boss; final boss 2011 Nintendo 3DS
Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games Playable character 2011 Wii
Fortune Street Playable character 2011 Wii
Mario Kart 7 Playable character 2011 Nintendo 3DS
Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games Playable character 2012 Nintendo 3DS
Mario Party 9 Final boss 2012 Wii Antagonist in Story Mode; final boss in Bowser's Block Battle
Mario Tennis Open Playable character 2012 Nintendo 3DS
New Super Mario Bros. 2 Boss 2012 Nintendo 3DS Boss in World 6; final boss as Dry Bowser in World 7
Paper Mario: Sticker Star Final boss 2012 Nintendo 3DS Final boss in Bowser's Sky Castle
New Super Mario Bros. U Boss; final boss 2012 Wii U Final boss in Peach's Castle, paired with Bowser Jr. in the second battle
Nintendo Land Mentioned cameo 2012 Wii U Mentioned by Toy Koopa Troopa
New Super Luigi U Boss; final boss 2013 Wii U Final boss in Peach's Castle, paired with Bowser Jr. in the second battle
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Boss; final boss 2013 Nintendo 3DS Boss in Dream's Deep; final boss at Neo Bowser Castle as Dreamy Bowser
Mario Kart Arcade GP DX Playable character 2013 Arcade
Mario Party Fushigi no Korokoro Catcher 2 Non-playable character 2013 Arcade
Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games Playable character 2013 Wii U
Super Mario 3D World Boss; final boss 2013 Wii U Boss in World 1; final boss in World Bowser as Meowser.
Mario Party: Island Tour Non-playable character 2013 Wii U
NES Remix Non-playable character 2013 Wii U Makes various appearances in Super Mario Bros. stages
NES Remix 2 Non-playable character 2014 Wii U Makes various appearances in Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels stages
NES Remix Pack Non-playable character 2014 Wii U Same roles in NES Remix and NES Remix 2
Mario Golf: World Tour Playable character 2014 Nintendo 3DS
Mario Kart 8 Playable character 2014 Wii U
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS Playable character 2014 Nintendo 3DS
Ultimate NES Remix Non-playable character 2014 Nintendo 3DS
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U Playable character 2014 Wii U
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker Non-playable character 2014 Wii U Appears after the ending credits with the same role as 3D World.
Mario Party 10 Playable character 2015 Wii U Only playable in Bowser Party mode; Bowser can be played as an amiibo
Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition Playable character 2015 Nintendo 3DS Unlockable in World 8.
Super Mario Maker Non-playable character 2015 Nintendo 3DS While Bowser is a non-playable character, he has a Bowser costume in Super Mario Bros.
Skylanders: SuperChargers Playable character 2015 Wii U Debut as a Skylander; can be playable if the player has a figure of either Hammer Slam Bowser or Dark Hammer Slam Bowser
Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash Playable character 2015 Wii U
Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam Boss; final boss 2015 Nintendo 3DS Penultimate boss battle with Paper Bowser under the name "Bowser Duo"; final battle under a name Shiny Robo-Bowser
Minecraft: Wii U Edition Skin 2015 Wii U Bowser's emblem appears as a painting
Mini Mario & Friends: amiibo Challenge Cameo 2016 Wii U A figurine called Mini Bowser can be accessed through Bowser's amiibo
Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Playable character 2016 Nintendo 3DS
Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Arcade Edition Playable character 2016 Arcade
Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Playable character 2016 Wii U
Paper Mario: Color Splash Final boss 2016 Wii U Appears as final boss as Black Bowser
Mario Party: Star Rush Final boss 2016 Nintendo 3DS Always appears as the final boss for each board in Toad Scramble; appears as a boss in Bowser's Hit-or-Missile Mania; appears in Bowser's Gauntlet minigames
Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS Non-playable character 2016 Nintendo 3DS Same role as Maker
Super Mario Run Final boss 2016; 2017 iOS; Android Bowser makes various appearances as buildings
Mario Sports Superstars Playable character 2017 Nintendo 3DS
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Playable character 2017 Nintendo Switch Bowser and Dry Bowser are treated as separate characters
Mario Kart Arcade GP VR Non-playable character 2017 Arcade A CPU opponent
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle Final boss 2017 Nintendo Switch Fought as MegaDragonBowser
Minecraft: New Nintendo 3DS Edition Skin 2017 Nintendo 3DS See Minecraft: Wii U Edition
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga Boss; final boss 2017 Nintendo 3DS Same role as Superstar Saga
Super Mario Odyssey Final boss 2017 Nintendo Switch
Mario Party: The Top 100 Final boss 2017 Nintendo 3DS Appears in Bowser minigames; final boss in Minigame Island
Minecraft Skin 2018 Nintendo Switch Same role as other Minecraft games
Mario Tennis Aces Playable character; final boss 2018 Nintendo Switch Not playable in Adventure Mode; final boss as Bowcien in Adventure Mode
Super Mario Party Playable character 2018 Nintendo Switch Holds an exclusive Dice Block: Bowser Dice Block
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Playable character 2018 Nintendo Switch Unlockable fighter; can be unlocked with one of the following: Defeat Giga Bowser in Molten Fortress in Adventure Mode: World of Light, clear Classic Mode as Donkey Kong or anyone in his unlock tree, play VS. Matches with Bowser being the third character to be unlocked
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey Playable character 2018 Nintendo 3DS Same role as Bowser's Inside Story
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe Boss; final boss 2019 Nintendo Switch Same role as New Super Mario Bros. U
Super Mario Maker 2 Boss 2019 Nintendo Switch
Dr. Mario World Playable charcater 2019 Mobile Playable as Dr. Bowser
Mario Kart Tour Playable character 2019 Mobile Classified as a Super driver; other drivers of Bowser are treated as separate characters; makes various appearances in sponsors and badges
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 Playable character 2019 Nintendo Switch
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 - Arcade Edition Playable character 2020 Nintendo Switch Same role as Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
Paper Mario: The Origami King Non-playable character 2020 Nintendo Switch Mario's ally after rescued from Peach's Castle
Super Mario 3D All-Stars Boss; final boss 2020 Nintendo Switch Same roles as 64, Sunshine and Galaxy
Super Mario Bros. 35 Final boss 2020 Nintendo Switch Same role as Super Mario Bros.
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit Playable character 2020 Nintendo Switch
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury Boss; final boss 2021 Nintendo Switch Same role as 3D World; boss in Bowser's Fury as Fury Bowser
Mario Golf: Super Rush Playable character 2021 Nintendo Switch
WarioWare: Get It Together! Cameo 2021 Nintendo Switch Appears in Super Mario Bros.
Mario Party Superstars Non-playable character 2021 Nintendo Switch
Mario Strikers: Battle League Playable character 2022 Nintendo Switch
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope Playable character 2022 Nintendo Switch
Super Mario Bros. Wonder Main antagonist 2023 Nintendo Switch
Super Mario RPG Party member 2023 Nintendo Switch
Mario & Luigi: Brothership Antagonist? 2024 Nintendo Switch

Gallery[]

Hat mario To view Bowser's
image gallery, click here.

Trivia[]

  • Although Bowser's name is King Koopa in the movie, he is a humanoid dinosaur.
  • His color scheme and crown in The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, and related cartoons, were taken from Wart, as well as the 8-bits appearing among his minions, who served Wart in Super Mario Bros. 2.
  • Bowser is the only Mario villain to appear in all five games of the Mario & Luigi series.
  • Although Bowser's universal conquest plans usually fail, it's fair to agree that it was in Super Mario Galaxy that Bowser definitely posed as a very dangerous and totally genuine threat not only to Mario and his friends but to the whole universe. There, he planned to use the Grand Star to create his own galaxy and conquered many other ones for his planned empire, a plan which nearly culminated with the destruction of the universe as we know it with a titanic black hole created by the Grand Star upon his defeat. Even Mario wasn't able to stop it and it was thanks to the Lumas that the universe was ultimately saved.
  • In the 1980s, 8-bit home consoles didn't have the ability to have sprites that had more than three colors. However, Bowser appears to have four, this is due to his shackles being a result of the black background. Hacking him into any level without a black background will make Bowser's hands look disconnected with his arms.
  • In Super Mario Bros., Bowser only appears at the end of 8-4. In every castle before that, you fight an imposter transformed by Bowser's magic. This is shown when killing imposter Bowser's with fireballs, which have their dying sprites being normal enemies. This idea came from a time in development when one of the programmers changed the dying sprite for Bowser, and was kept in the final game.
  • In Paper Mario: Color Splash, Paper Bowser carelessly mixed the paint of the fountain in Port Prisma, which the black paint corrupted Bowser. Black paint/goop corrupted Bowser again in Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury, after Bowser Jr. painted on his father unintentionally, angering him.
  • In Super Mario Bros. Wonder, Bower uses a Wonder Flower to merged with Prince Florian's castle, which let him allows him to fly.
  • Both in KC Mario and Super Mario-kun, Bowser was referenced to Gamera where one of his attacks in the former was named "Gamera Attack" (ガメラアタック, Gamera Attakku).[6][7][8]
  • Bowser is one of two Nintendo characters to be a Skylander, the other being Donkey Kong.
  • In Luigi's Mansion, the ghostly fotuneteller Madame Clairvoya's seance reveals that Mario had been captured by Bowser; she is surprised by this revelation, as Bowser is believed (at the time) to be dead. This is a red herring, as the true villain is King Boo, using a giant puppet replica of Bowser. Technically, this is Bowser's only appearance in the Luigi's Mansion games.
  • Bowser is the very first villain to be playable in Smash bros.
  • Bowser is based off the Bull Demon King from Journey to the West.

References[]

  1. Super Mario Bros. 3 instruction booklet (1988)
  2. New Super Mario Bros. Wii Japanese official website (2009)
  3. Bowser in Mario Party: Island Tour - "Meh, WHATEVER! The next guard is a close family friend. BWAHAHA!"
  4. Interview with Scott Burns voice of Bowser. What Bowser thinks of Bowsette.
  5. Super Mario Sunshine
  6. Kazuki Motoyama, 1992, Super Mario, Vol.7, Kodansha
  7. Yukio Sawada, 1994, Super Mario-kun, Vol.11, Shogakukan
  8. スーパーマリオワールド(本山版) [必殺技辞典]


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