Bowser, as he appears in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story
|First game||Super Mario Bros. (1985)|
|Created by||Shigeru Miyamoto|
|Voiced by (English)||Video games
Isaac Marshall (1996–2001)
Scott Burns (2002-present)
Eric Newsome (2007-2008)
Kenny James (2008–2009)
|Voiced by (Japanese)||Naoki Tatsuta (BS Super Mario Collection)
Akiko Wada (Super Mario Bros.: Peach-Hime Kyushutsu Dai Sakusen!)
Masaharu Satō (OVA trilogy)
Takanobu Hozumi (Japanese dub of the Super Mario Bros. film)
|Live action actor(s)||Dennis Hopper (Super Mario Bros.)|
Bowser, also known as King Koopa, or Lord Bowser, is a video game character and the primary antagonist of Nintendo's Mario series. In Japan, the character is known as Koopa (クッパ Kuppa ) and bears the title of Daimaō (大魔王 lit. "Great Demon King" ). His Japanese name was also romanized Kuppa in earlier materials.
The leader and most powerful of the turtle-like Koopa race, Bowser is Mario's archnemesis, usually kidnapping Princess Peach and attempting to conquer the Mushroom Kingdom. Since his debut, he or his son Bowser Jr. has appeared in almost every Mario series game.
Bowser was the creation of Nintendo designer and producer Shigeru Miyamoto. Miyamoto had first envisioned Bowser as an ox, basing him on the Ox King from the Toei Animation film Alakazam the Great. However, Nintendo designer Takashi Tezuka pointed out to Miyamoto that the character looked more like a turtle than an ox. Despite popular misconception, Bowser is, in fact, supposed to be a turtle, not a dragon. (Though an early advertisement flyer for the arcade version of the game did refer to "conquer[ing] dragons" as part of its gameplay.)  Miyamoto and Tezuka then began to work together to define Bowser's appearance. Since the character was in the turtle family with the Koopa Troopas, the two began to base his new appearance on them, creating a new illustration. In his final design, Miyamoto commented that he could make Bowser "look cool now".
Miyamoto named him 大魔王 クッパ Daimaō Kuppa. Kuppa came from the Japanese name for 국밥, gukbap, a Korean dish. Miyamoto had also considered the names ユッケ Yukke and ビビンバ Bibinba, also Japanese names of Korean dishes (육회 yukhoe and 비빔밥 bibimbap respectively). Interestingly enough, the Korean name for the character Bowser/Kuppa is not Gukbap, but 쿠파 Kupa, which is essentially a phonetic round-trip translation. Kuppa is also said to be a pun on 河童 kappa.
In the early 3D Mario games, Bowser is voiced by Isaac Marshall. Marshall's voice for Bowser consisted of various roars, grunts and growls. Marshall continued to provide his voice until Super Mario Sunshine in 2002, when he was replaced by Scott Burns. Burns was the first to provide spoken dialogue for Bowser. However, voice clips done by Marshall were used in some later games for Bowser's roar. Most recently, Bowser has been voiced by Kenneth James in games such as Super Mario Galaxy, Mario Kart Wii, and Mario and Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story.
In the Super Mario Bros. film, Bowser, known as King Koopa at the time, was portrayed by Dennis Hopper. Makeup artist Jeff Goodwin tried to make Bowser look strange-looking, but not so much that it was obvious what was wrong with him. To accomplish this, he removed the eyebrows from the character, a trick he utilized on actor Gary Oldman in the film Track 29. He also gave Bowser red stipple on his eye sockets, while hair stylist Michelle Johnson designed his hair with a ruffle head hairdo. Koopa is given an elongated tongue, which was designed by putting a fake tongue on Dennis' tongue, using computer generated graphics to make it seem like it was slithering. At the end of the film he appears in a realistic "de-evolution" to dinosaur form. This effect was designed and created by Rob Burman of Sticks & Stones Design Studio.
Bowser is portrayed as the "King of the Koopas", the race of turtle-like creatures that co-exist with the Toads that inhabit the Mushroom Kingdom. In many games, particularly the RPG series, there are some Koopas who tend to be friendly towards Mario, whereas the Koopas that are evil or are followers of Bowser are labeled "Koopa Troopas". Bowser is prominently known for his repeated kidnappings of Princess Peach. Although Bowser is the main antagonist, he has allied with Mario in a few games. Bowser's abilities vary greatly. One of his most common abilities is his fire breathing and his strength. Bowser currently has eight children. Seven of them, the Koopalings, debuted in Super Mario Bros. 3, where they function as bosses at the end of every one of the game's worlds. The seven kids reappeared as bosses in Super Mario World (having castles instead of airships), Mario Is Missing!, Yoshi's Safari, Hotel Mario and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, where they played the role of minibosses . Super Mario Sunshine introduced an eighth child, Bowser Jr., who wreaked havoc on Isle Delfino. Post-Super Mario Sunshine, Bowser Jr. continues to play a role in his father's evil schemes, and cooperates with Bowser as a main antagonist in New Super Mario Bros.
Bowser's first appearance was in Super Mario Bros. as the main villain who kidnaps Princess Peach and as the final boss with several false versions of him appearing as lesser bosses, usually requiring the player to cut the bridge he stands on with an axe in order for him to be defeated. He reappears in Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, which uses the same battle style. He appears in Super Mario Bros. 3, and along with the seven Koopalings, he transforms the kings of seven worlds into various different creatures and eventually capturing Princess Peach yet again. Bowser and his seven underlings reappear in Super Mario World, where they conquer Dinosaur Land and kidnap Peach while she and Mario are on vacation on Yoshi's Island. He makes his first 3D appearance in Super Mario 64, where he takes over Peach's castle and steals 120 Power Stars, scattering them through various worlds linked using the castle. He returns in Super Mario Sunshine, in which his son, Bowser Jr., who is disguised as an evil version of Mario, kidnaps Peach. Bowser himself eventually appears in the final boss battle of the game. In New Super Mario Bros., Bowser is the boss of the first world, featuring a battle similar to that of Super Mario Bros.'s. After being defeated, he falls into lava and becomes a skeleton. He is eventually restored by Bowser Jr. and acts as the final world's boss along with his son. In Super Mario Galaxy, Bowser steals Power Stars from Rosalina's Comet Observatory and kidnaps Peach, taking her to the center of the universe to recreate it, with the intention of taking over the universe. He also appears in New Super Mario Bros. Wii as the final boss and main villain of the game. Bowser will return in the upcoming sequel Super Mario Galaxy 2, though his role is unknown.
Bowser appears as a child in various games. Known as Baby Bowser, he antagonizes the Baby Mario brothers and various members of the Yoshi species. He first appears in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island where Kamek predicts the brothers will become problems in the future, so he attempts to kidnap them. He appears yet again in the sequel Yoshi's Story, stealing the "Super Happy Tree" from a group of Yoshis. He appeared yet again in Yoshi's Island DS as a playable character to recover his castle. He made an appearance in the Mario role-playing game Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time as an antagonist.
Bowser makes various appearances in the Mario RPGs. In Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, he allies with Mario to regain his castle, which is stolen by the main antagonist, Smithy. In Paper Mario, he is the primary antagonist, stealing an item called the Star Rod and using it to empower himself. He is a lesser antagonist in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door and a minor playable character, and is a major playable character in the sequel Super Paper Mario. He plays minor antagonistic and supporting roles in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, where he aides Mario and Luigi in battling the witch Cackletta, eventually losing his memory and becoming the thief Rookie under a character called Popple. Its sequel, Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, features Bowser as a minor supporting character and antagonist. His most recent appearance was in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, where he is one of the three main characters and is often cited as the starring character.
Bowser appears as a playable character in the Mario Kart series and various Mario sport titles, such as Mario Golf, Mario Tennis, and Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games with its sequel Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games where he is one of the two main villains (with Dr. Eggman) in the Adventure Mode (Nintendo DS version only). He also appears frequently in the Mario Party series as both a playable and non-playable character. Bowser is a selectable character within Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. A form not featured in any other game is called "Giga Bowser", a darker and more monstrous form with added power elements to his attacks. This form is an unplayable boss character in Melee, whilst in Brawl, it serves as a playable transformation.
Bowser's first appearance in any Mario media outside the games was in the Mario anime film Super Mario Bros.: Peach-Hime Kyushutsu Dai Sakusen!, in which he is voiced by Akiko Wada. He then appeared in the Super Mario Bros. 3 OVA films. His first American appearances were as the antagonist in The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, and Super Mario World which were produced by DiC Entertainment productions, in which he is voiced by Harvey Atkin and the character is typically referred to as "King Koopa" rather than Bowser, and has a different color scheme. In the series, he is one of the characters able to talk.
Bowser also appears as the antagonist in the Mario comics published as part of the Nintendo Comics System. He is the villain of the Super Mario Bros. film, where he is played by Dennis Hopper and is a human descended directly from dinosaurs living in the parallel-universe city of Dinohattan (the film's version of the Mushroom Kingdom). He is killed in the climax when Mario and Luigi devolve him into primordial slime. Bowser was played by Christopher Hewett in the 1989 Ice Capades.
Due largely to the success of the Mario franchise, Bowser has become one of the most iconic and easily recognizable video game antagonists of all time. He frequently appears in lists for greatest video game antagonists. IGN placed him at #10 (out of 10), Gamepro placed him at #9 (out of 47), and MMOABC placed him at #4 (out of 10, with 4 additional honorable mentions). GameSpot listed him at #9 in their "Top 10 Video Game Villains" article, stating "Of all the villains to make an appearance on this list, Bowser...has got to be the most interesting," later adding "While some people say Bowser's life may have gotten into a rut, the man has simply refined his game down to an everyday thing. He's focused, he's dedicated, and worst of all, he's patient." Bowser ranked in the first slot on Game Daily's top 10 Nintendo characters that deserve their own games list, explaining if Yoshi and Wario get their own games, Bowser should too due to his being one of gaming's most nefarious villains. In GameDaily's top 10 Smash Bros. characters list, he ranked sixth. GameDaily also included him in their most persistent video game villains list. In a later article, they listed the "evil mastermind" as one of their top 25 video game archetypes, using Bowser as an example. However, Bowser has been also rated as the 4th biggest douchebag in gaming history by Screwattack, who said that he wants to "take Mario down". IGN editor Craig Harris described Bowser as being a household name.
The final battle with Bowser in Super Mario World was described by IGN editor Craig Harris as being clever, but also a "simple cakewalk to complete". Bowser's role in Super Mario Galaxy has been met with significant praise. Eurogamer editor Margaret Robertson commented that after years of being a "comedy villain", that Galaxy put him back at his "scaly, scabrous best"." PALGN editor Chris Sell called him the best boss in Mario Galaxy, stating that it wasn't just because of the battles with him being "superb, screen filling affairs", but also because he is "back to being mean again"." Nintendo World Report editor Aaron Kaluszka commented that battling Bowser has never been "this intense and engaging."" IGN editor Cam Shea praised his physical appearance in Super Mario Galaxy, describing him as "imposing and weighty"." IGN editor Matt Casamassina praised the visual quality of the characters, citing Bowser in particular and mentioning how his "funky red fur waggles in the wind". Game Positive editor Travis Simmons concurred, commenting that his hair "gives him a touch of personality"."
Bowser's role in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story has been met with highly positive reception. He has frequently been referenced as the main character of the game due to his prominence in it. Eurogamer editor Christian Donlan commented that it felt good to play as Bowser, and that "After years of picking a path carefully around threats, jumping out of harm's way, and tackling challengers mostly from above, it's a pleasure to put those cares aside and relish a few hours of spiky, tortoise-shelled power." " Destructoid editor Jim Sterling described Bowser's gameplay in the game as being "far more enjoyable" than the Mario Bros.'s, and that he acts as "brilliant comic relief". He also described the dialogue of the game as being "laugh out loud funny", specifically praising Bowser's ego for helping." RPGamer editor Michael Cunningham praised the game for Bowser "stealing the show", but also decried it for not having enough of him." Nintendo World Report editor Pedro Hernandez called Bowser the "main character" of the game, commenting that the plot and humour of the game makes iconic characters "more enduring, including Bowser." " NGamer Magazine editor Matthew Castle commented that all Mario role-playing games make good use of Bowser, but that this is the first game where Bowser takes the center stage." Game Style editor Drew Middlemas commented that Bowser stole the show, being portrayed as a "creature of pure, blustering ego who reminds us of why he’s one of gaming’s greatest baddies."" N-Europe editor called him the "real star" of the game, calling him a "fantastic character" with "so much more to give than what we’ve seen from him so far, even in the other Mario RPGs." He added that his "foul mood and lack of intelligence" as well as his interactions with other characters are well-written. "
Kombo editor commented that he became a more sympathetic character as the game progresses, adding that his "massive ego pushes him towards heroism"." Wired.com editor Chris Kohler called Bowser awesome, adding that his segments are funnier than Mario and Luigi's." Giant Bomb editor Brad Shoemaker states that Bowser steals the show, commenting that playing as him gives players an inside glimpse of his ego and megalomania." IGN editor Craig Harris described Bowser as the only "core Nintendo character over the past couple decades" to not have a starring role in a video game, and this game acts as his "big break"." 1UP.com editor Jeremy Parish states that Bowser makes the game, describing him as more interesting than Bowser's Inside Story predecessor's partners, the baby forms of Mario and Luigi." GamePro editor Alicia Ashby called Bowser one of the most "lovable characters in the Nintendo universe", and praising Bowser's Inside Story for giving him "much deserved time in the spotlight." GameSpy editor Phil Theobald called him the breakout star of the game, stating that "the gruff, quick-to-anger pro/antagonist is a treat to watch as he continuously becomes infuriated with the incompetence of his minions.""GamesRadar editor Henry Gilbert stated that he is "home to the most drastic change to the formula" in this game, stating that while he is still a "humorously incapable villain", the game allows players to switch between Bowser and the Mario Bros. at their discretion.""
Bowser's baby form has received mixed reception. Worthplaying editor Hugh McHarg praised the supporting cast for stealing the show in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, citing Baby Bowser as a "tinier" example of a quality supporting character." GWN editor Mitchell Saltzman commented that Baby Bowser's crying could be used as a "form of torture"." Game Style editor Gareth Chappell criticized the usage of Baby Bowser in Yoshi's Island DS, commenting that both he and Baby Wario were not usable past a certain point and that it was a waste of the characters." Gaming Target editor David Taylor commented that the two characters feel forced as they do not contribute to the game as much as the other babies do."
|King Bowser Koopa|
King Bowser Koopa is a fictional character from the Super Mario Bros. series of video games, and is Mario and Luigi's arch-nemesis (although he has joined forces with them in a few games). He has repeatedly kidnapped Princess Peach Toadstool and has repeatedly attempted to conquer the Mushroom Kingdom since his first appearance in Super Mario Bros.
Since appearing in Super Mario Bros. Bowser has appeared in almost all of the Mario games such as
King Bowser Koopa's children are collectively known as the Koopa Kids.
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