"Like the moon over the day, my genius and brawn are lost on these fools." - Bowser Koopa, Super Mario RPG

Bowser Koopa is the notorious arch-villain of the Mushroom Kingdom in Nintendo's series of Super Mario Bros. video games. Born into greatness when the Magikoopa sorcerer Kamek foretold of the young turtle's future, Bowser was raised to be a spoiled brat, his many servants carrying out his bidding for years and years (including the theft of the Yoshis' Super Happy Tree). Upon reaching adulthood Bowser took notice of the princess of the neighboring Mushroom Kingdom, Princess Peach Toadstool, and kidnapped her out of love, devotion, and the desire to enslave her kingdom. He turned the kingdom's citizens to stone and escaped to one of the kingdom's castles with the princess, but fortunately local heroes Mario and Luigi dodged the evil magic, jumped into action, and defeated Bowser. The princess rescued, Bowser slunk away back to his own Koopa Kingdom where, with the aid of a still-unknown female Koopa, he spawned seven children, and then one more child years later (Bowser Jr.). Everyone thought that Bowser had left the Mushroom Kingdom, but then his Doomship attacked the seven Mushroom Worlds and kidnapped the princess, sending the land into chaos once more. Mario and Luigi came to the rescue again, but Bowser is determined in his goal to marry the princess and enslave her kingdom after becoming King of the Mushroom Kingdom. Over the years he launched several more offenses at the Mushroom Kingdom and the neighboring regions of Dinosaur Land and Isle Delfino, but each time he and his eight bratty children have been defeated. Bowser's standard operating procedure is to stage a quick attack, kidnap the princess, and then retreat to the privacy and security of his own Castle Koopa, but on two occassions he has actually invaded the Mushroom Kingdom Castle itself and fortified his defenses to ensure a long stay in the lap of luxury.

One thing that Bowser takes very seriously is the kidnapping of Princess Peach. In Bowser's mind only he is allowed to kidnap the princess, and he takes great offense if anyone else kidnaps her before he can. On three occassions other villains have beaten him to the punch, and each time he has set out on his own quest to rescue to the princess so that he can kidnap her. On one such occasion he even teamed up with Mario to rescue her, although to stroke his delicate ego the Koopa King claimed that Mario had instead joined the Koopa Troop under his leadership.

Bowser's physical appearance has undergone several revisions over the years (much like Mario himself). Initially he was depicted as a large green spikey-shelled turtle, but as time has gone on he's become orange, even larger, and now sports fire-red hair and black spiked leather bracelets. His fire-breathing skills tend to come and go; sometimes he's been able to blow short bursts of flame from his mouth, while other times he can sustain a constant flame blast for several seconds. One thing has remained constant, however - his many spikes and sharp horns ensure that he should never be jumped on. Bowser typically travels on foot, although for long trips he's been known to hop aboard his propeller-driven clown car. At first glance it would appear that Bowser is quite the sportskoopa, having competed against the Mushroom Kingdom in various rounds of golf, tennis, baseball, and racing where his immense size makes him a slower but more powerful character. However, his true motives in taking part in these sporting events is to impress the princess in the hopes that she will consent to marrying him (and allowing him to enslave her kingdom as king).

Much like how Princess Peach was renamed Princess Toadstool for American audiences in 1985, Bowser's original Japanese name is simply "Koopa" (or "Kuppa" in some early Nintendo press materials). He was renamed "Bowser, King of the Koopas" for Americans, but like the princess's name his two monikers merged sometime in the early 1990s to become "Bowser Koopa". The animated Super Mario Bros. Super Show as well as The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World cartoons simply referred to him as "King Koopa" and depicted the king as a Godzilla-type monster. Mucking up matters further is the live-action Super Mario Brothers: The Movie in which he is again known only as "King Koopa" and is portrayed as a human/reptile hybrid by actor Dennis Hopper. Bowser's voice has also varied over the years; his first speaking role was a simple beastly roar in Super Mario Kart, but by the time of Super Mario Sunshine ten years later he had picked up a low-pitched gruffly human speaking voice.

Bowser Video Game Appearances


Did I miss a major appearance? Let me know.