Bowser, once again, kidnapped Princess Peach and taunts Mario to rescue her. Bowser can be heard throughout the castle at points taunting Mario on his progress. Bowser is confronted in three different levels, in which, he is defeated by Mario at all times. It wasn't until the third and final battle where Bowser is put down for good.
Bowser is first fought in this level after getting 8 Power Stars (in Super Mario 64) or 12 (in Super Mario 64 DS). Bowser is fought on a large circling platform requiring Mario to grab him by the tail and spin him toward any of the bombs outside of the arena. Bowser's primary attack is a fire breath that has very short range. Mario simply needs to avoid Bowser's fire breaths and throw him once at one of the bombs to end the battle.
In order to get to Bowser for the second fight, Mario must first go through Dire, Dire Docks and obtain the first Power Star there (which involves boarding Bowser's submarine). After making through the levels, Mario will come across Bowser once more. The same elements apply here from the first battle: Grab Bowser by his tail and spin him once at one of the bombs around the arena to defeat him. However, Bowser some new tricks one mainly being him rocking the platform back and forth when he stomps on it.
The third and final fight with Bowser can be accessed by first collecting 70 Power Stars (80 in Super Mario 64 DS) and making it through the level. Bowser puts up much more of a fight in this final battle now using shockwaves forcing Mario to jump over them with timing. Bowser also breathes fire that can even follow Mario around for a few moments. Also, Bowser now requires three hits into the bombs to defeat him. After two hits, Bowser destroys most of the arena making it into the shape of a Power Star which makes throwing him into the bombs and avoiding his attacks more difficult. Eventually, Mario is able to defeat Bowser once and for all and dons the Wing Cap before flying away with the last Power Star.
- For the first two battles, Bowser is the only major boss in the games that require only one hit to defeat.
- The technique to toss Bowser has become popular even outside of the series. The Super Smash Bros. series even refer to this move as the "64 Throw".
- A short clip of Mario spinning Bowser around in Super Mario 64 is shown by F.L.U.D.D. in Super Mario Sunshine which is considered the spiritual sequel to Super Mario 64.