|“||I'll get those plumbers!||„|
|~ King Koopa during the intro to The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3|
|~ King Koopa to his son, Cheatsy.|
King Bowser Koopa, better known as King Koopa, Koopa, King Dad, and various other aliases, is the main antagonist of all three cartoon series' based on the Super Mario Bros. video games, as well as the titular protagonist villain of King Koopa's Kool Kartoons. He is the tyrannical ruler of Dark Land, the leader of the Koopa Pack, the father of the Koopa Kids and the arch-nemesis of Mario, Luigi, Princess Toadstool, Toad and Yoshi. He is (somewhat loosely) based on Bowser from the original games.
He was voiced by the late Harvey Atkin in all of his animated appearances, and portrayed by the late Christopher Collins, who also voiced Cobra Commander, Beetle, Sandman, Starscream, D'Compose, and Mr. Burns, and later Patrick Pinney, who also played Sylvester (in Robot Chicken), in King Koopa's Kool Kartoons.
The Super Mario Bros. Super Show
In the first series, King Koopa appeared regularly as the main antagonist of every episode (with the only exception being "Love 'Em and Leave 'Em", where he is replaced by Queen Retunda). In this series, King Koopa is portrayed as almost having complete control over the Mushroom Kingdom, however (as established by the intro), due to the untimely appearance of the Mario Bros, he was unable to take complete control by kidnapping Princess Toadstool. Throughout the series, Mario and Luigi would traverse the Mushroom Kingdom with Princess Toadstool and Toad searching for a way to defeat Koopa whist liberating various areas he had or was planning on conquering. Throughout episode to episode, the threat King Koopa posed to the world often shift, as, in some instances, he would only appear as a minor annoyance while in others he would conquer or come close to destroying cities, towns or even planets.
In nearly every episode, King Koopa adopted various different aliases based on what he was doing or planning on doing to expand/enforce his rule, with almost all of said aliases being a parody of a real life figure or a famous fictional character. Some of the most notable of these aliases being Count Koopula, Professor Kooparity, The Pied Koopa, Dr. Koopenstein, Koopenstein's Monster, Koopfinger, The Sheriff of Kopingham, Koopa Nemo, Koop-zilla, Darth Koopa, Koopa Kahn, Blackbeard Koopa, Al Koopone, Koop Tut, Billy the Koopa and Robo Koopa. Sometimes, he would wear a costume without an alter ego or disguise himself to impersonate others. Towards the end of every episode, Koopa would be defeated and would loose whatever stronghold of the Mushroom Kingdom he had, although he always managed to evade capture, usually by the aid of a Magic Potion.
The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3
In the sequel series, it is established that, sometime between the events of the two series', Mario and Luigi managed to defeat and subsequently imprison Koopa inside a Banishment Zone before sealing it off with ten thousand bricks, freeing everyone from his rule before returning to Brooklyn. However, to everyone's shock, Koopa somehow escaped his imprisonment, completely ditching his alter-egos, and launched a massive attack on the Mushroom Kingdom using his new Doomship, also introducing the world to his Koopa Kids; Bully, Big Mouth, Cheatsy, Kooky, Kootie Pie, Hip and Hop. After the Mario Bros. came out of retirement to fight him, Koopa continued to devise new plans to expand his rule over the Mushroom Kingdom, however, knowing how his past direct confrontations with the plumbers had gone in the past, Koopa operated almost all of his schemes through his minions and children and dropped his use of aliases entirely.
While his goals of taking over the Mushroom Kingdom remained the same, Koopa's methods of doing so became noticeably stranger than what he had done in the previous series, such as when he tried to have his children capture Prince Hugo the Huge by transforming them into giant ninjas so he could turn the Prince into a poodle or when he tried to use a magical artifact called the Doom-Dancer music box to force everyone in the Mushroom Kingdom to dance. On top of wanting to conquer to Mushroom Kingdom, Koopa expanded his goals to include the real world on a regular basis as well, although he likely only wanted to do so in order to spite the Mario Brothers. Aside from attempting to rule both the Mushroom Kingdom and the real world, a variety of Koopa's appearances involved him trying to teach his children how to become villains like himself, such as when he broke infamous criminal "Crime Wave" Clyde out of prison and hired him to teach them how to be criminals, or trying to please them (specifically Kootie Pie) at the expense of others. Like in the previous series, King Koopa would always be beaten towards the end of the episode, supposedly being fully defeated in the episode "Super Koopa" (although this is only because it was the last episode produced).
Super Mario World
In the final cartoon series, King Koopa and the Koopa Kids, after being banished from the Mushroom Kingdom yet again, somehow managed to escape into Dinosaur Land. As stated by Luigi in the episode "Mama Luigi" as Mario, Princess Toadstool and himself attempted to take a vacation in Dinosaur Land, Koopa attacked and kidnapped the Princess, although he was defeated thanks to Yoshi and they decided to stay in Dinosaur Land as a result. Koopa's goals are portrayed on a significantly smaller scale than in previous appearances, as he is only ever shown trying to take control of Dinosaur Land, particularly Dome City, although it has no real benefits for him. In his last appearance in "A Little Learning", King Koopa was left in his bedroom as it was rapidly filling with lava, meaning that he could have potentially met his demise, although this remains unconfirmed.
In Other Media
King Koopa's Kool Kartoons
In the short lived spin-off series, King Koopa, in live action form, takes over a television studio with the help of his troops (children dressed as Koopas) and starts his own program in which he both shows cartoons (all of which being public domain) gives out prizes to the children in the audience. In this series, while Koopa retains the majority of his personality and appearance from Super Show, elements of these were changed to make him more believable as a live action character.
Nintendo Comic System
In the Nintendo Comic System comics, King Koopa (who, in later issues, would simply be called Bowser) again serves as the main and most recurring antagonist of the Mario themed issues (all of which based on The Super Mario Bros. Super Show). Despite most of his appearances focusing on him trying to defeat the Mario Bros. or take over the Mushroom Kingdom, a handful of comics would focus on King Koopa trying to sell his products, stating allegedly true facts about the Mushroom Kingdom, etc.
In "The Legend" the tale of how Mario and Luigi first came to the Mushroom Kingdom and defeated King Koopa is shown.
In "Just Desserts", King Koopa creates a mirage machine and uses it to create a mirage of an oasis in order to lure the Mushroom King into a trap whilst he and the Mario Bros. are stuck in a desert. Upon getting the King to swim in the phony oasis, King Koopa turns his machine off, taking the King back to his desert fortress before trying to ransom him off for ten million Koopabits. However, the brothers fail to understand the instructions on the ransom note, causing King Koopa to angrily raise his fortress from under them, leading to Mario destroying his mirage machine and causing his fortress to explode.
In "Piranha-Round Sue", King Koopa turns the Mushroom King into a chameleon using his magic wand, and, at the same time, his Piranha Plants send an extremely powerful plant named Piranha Sue to retrieve the Green Gecko Gem, a powerful gem with the power to generate a force-field around the one wielding it, so they can be free from his rule. After Mario retrieves a wand, Piranha Sue steals both it and the Greek Gecko Gem from him and Toad and claims that she will rule the world, although Koopa then appears and chokes her. Koopa, upon getting his hands on the gem, deems it a cheesy trinket and notices that the name "Brooklyn Plumbing Novelty Company" inscribed on the wand that Piranha Sue stole. Koopa then presumably punishes Piranha Sue for attempting to betray him.
Beauty and the Beach
In "Beauty and the Beach", Koopa assumes control of a beach island under the alias "Ka-Hoopa" and tricks the native Toads into throwing bombs into the island's volcano in order to scare off the Trouters near the island. After Mario, Princess Toadstool and Toad wash ashore (their boat having been destroyed by the Trouters) they encounter King Koopa, who casually explains what he had been doing and that the Toads will be turned into an army of Fryguys by the volcano before leaving stating that the volcano will erupt in a matter of minutes. On his boat, King Koopa is shocked to see that the volcano didn't erupt like he planned, due to Mario diverting the lava using bamboo pipes.
Magic Carpet Madness
In "Magic Carpet Madness," Koopa prank calls King Toadstool while he is tending his garden, his trip to the phone causing him to track mud across the castle's carpet, which Princess Toadstools then scolds him for. After Princess Toadstool calls a carpet cleaner, Koopa sends three Pidgets to the castle under the guise of carpet cleaners, while he fills the cleaner with Flying Carpet Juice. Koopa watches from a window and later the roof as Toadstool flies out of her castle's skylight, then into the air. However, Koopa's plan falls apart when the hypnotized Princess Toadstool crashes into his blimp. Koopa is last seen whining on the ground, having crashed into the ground and formed a hole.
Bedtime for Drain-Head
In "Bedtime for Drain-Head," King Koopa kidnaps Toad (although this happens prior to the story), however, a sleepwalking Mario, believing himself to be his favorite comic book hero Dirk Drain-Head, breaks in to his Castle and beats him up to the point where he calls a truce to avoid being beaten further. Koopa, Toad and the still sleepwalking Mario head back to Toadstool's Castle, where King Koopa is seen serving the king, Wooster, and Toad grape sodas with little umbrellas upon Luigi and Princess Toadstool's arrival. The king then commends Mario by giving him a slap on the back, waking him up, and Koopa, realizing that Mario had literally beaten him in his sleep, storms off with everyone else, leaving Mario alone to continue reading his Dirk Drain-Head comics.
Betrayal Most Proper
In "Betrayal Most Proper," when the king's adviser Wooster supposedly commits treason, he is kidnapped by Koopa Troopas and brought to Koopa's Castle, where he feeds Koopa and his minions so much junk food that they become overweight and enter a state of hibernation.
Duh Stoopid Bomb!
In "Duh Stoopid Bomb!," King Koopa, along with several minions and an incognito Toad, attend a meeting in which a Shy Guy presents the Stupid Bomb, a device that releases a gas that makes anyone inhaling it stupid for several hours. A Snifit later tells Koopa that Mario and Luigi set off a Stupid Bomb they took on themselves. At first, Koopa is displeased by the news but then is happy, explaining that they will probably set off more bombs on the rest of the population. Koopa then presents the Smart Bomb, a bomb that will not only reverse the effects of the Stupid Bomb but will also make the one who inhales its gas highly intelligent. Just then, the Snifit takes one of the bombs and explodes it on his hands, and, using his newfound intelligence, usurps Koopa and dumps him into Fryguy Kindergarten, where he is crowned by a group of over-excited Fryguys.
In "Cloud Burst," Koopa is seen explaining to an amassed army in World 3 that he has recently been robbed of several Koopabits and even his crown and that they should be on the lookout for the traitor, who is later revealed to be Lakitu and his cloud/partner Fluffy. While on a mission to reclaim Princess Toadstool's stolen crown, Mario runs into Koopa (who is wearing a hat) and several minions. As Koopa interrogates Mario for the location of his crown and money, Luigi, up above, pulls an escape hatch on Fluffy open, causing himself, the Lakitu, and all the stolen items to fall to the ground, Lakitu bonking Bowser on the head and knocking him unconscious.
The Buddy System
In "The Buddy System," King Koopa plans to blow up the underground's main water pipe in order to start up a taxi service to replace the soon-to-be-useless underground. However, due to Lemmy's stupidity, the plan fails as he uses four bombs on the wrong water pipe, and the catastrophic explosion causes King Koopa and a nearby Mario to be blown toward a Mouser colony. The Mousers then capture the pair, chaining them together, and Koopa (after the mice call Mario the more intelligent of the duo) explains his plan. However, the Mousers then show him the real main water pipe, and even blow it up as a demonstration to how they would do it, flooding the underground.
King Koopa then attempts to escape using a Warp Pipe, but Mario explains that the pipes shut off after the water reaches a certain level. Both Mario and Koopa then head back and work together to shut off the water main, and, once this is done, the emergency drain activates. Upon reaching the above ground, Mario and Koopa fight, using a plunger and a tree branch respectively, however, Lemmy then interrupts the fight by bringing in another bomb, and he clumsily drops it; the bomb misses the duo, but cuts the chain keeping them together. King Koopa then angrily chases after Lemmy.
It's Always Fair Weather
In "It's Always Fair Weather," Koopa is seen storming around the Mushroom Kingdom fair grounds, annoyed that he is being mistaken for Luigi inside a Bowser suit at the dunk tank. Koopa then notices a group of hot air balloons, and decides to take out his anger by using his helicopter's propeller blades to blow them away. However, they are then rescued by Mario, who transforms into Raccoon Mario for the first time. After landing, Mario is given a kiss by Princess Toadstool, although, the lovestruck plumber stumbles into Koopa, causing him to lose his raccoon abilities. Despite this, Mario is still able to defeat Koopa by activating the cyclone once more, ironically sending him flying into the pool for the "Douse the Bowser" attraction.
The Revenge of Pipe Ooze!
In "The Revenge of Pipe Ooze!," Koopa supervises Lemmy's ambush test, which they decide to do at the Annual Dirk Drain-Head Role-Playing Game under the disguise of hotdog vendors (their only form of disguise being fake mustaches). The Mushroom King and Toad, cosplaying as Pipe Ooze and Muck respectively, head over to their hotdog stand where Lemmy and Bowser knock them out and steal their costumes, Lemmy deciding to ambush Mario, who is role-playing as Dirk Drain-Head.
Later, Koopa uses a catapult to launch Lemmy at Mario, questioning why his son isn't paying taking in his "evil villain lessons." However, the ambush fails, and Koopa attacks a Piranha Plant who insulted his son earlier. Koopa then takes Lemmy onto a pipe and orders him to attack, however, when Lemmy asks if he can role-play first, Koopa yells at him, but then apologizes, granting him two minutes to have fun. Koopa then assists Mario and Luigi in their attempt to act out Dirk Drain-Head #287 by beating up Koopa. Once this is over, Luigi (who recognizes Pipe Ooze to be Koopa instead of the king) convinces him to help him get Mario's spirit back by pretending to be afraid of him, since Luigi's being Dirk attracted several fans. The ruse works, and Mario proceeds to beat up Koopa. Lemmy and Koopa then leave their costumes and sneak away. Lemmy asks if attacking his own father counts toward passing the ambush test, and Koopa tells him that it does, also giving him extra credit for attacking a close family member. The two then head off to get some food and rest.
Tanooki Suits Me
In "Tanooki Suits Me," after stealing art from the Mushroom Kingdom's art gallery, a group of Mice sell the art to Koopa for fifty Koopabits, however, unknown to them, the art was far more valuable and Koopa actually intended to sell the art to Wart for a higher price. Upon sending the Mice away by telling them that the police were knocking at the door, Koopa prepares to sell the stolen art to Wart for five million Koopabits. Unbeknownst to Koopa, Mario (who had accidentally turned himself into a statue using his Tanooki suit and was mistakenly stolen) transforms back into Tanooki Mario and, not recognizing the plumber in his Tanooki form, Mario convinces Wart that the paintings and statues are actually worthless products from the Apook Corporation, and that they will transform into raccoons as well in a few minutes. Angered by the revelation, Wart fights with Koopa while Mario escapes with the stolen art on a forklift.
Koopa if often dishonest and treacherous. While Koopa is not beyond keeping his word, he frequently does break it. Koopa will not hesitate to dispose of those who have outlived their usefulness to him. As seen in the episode Crimes R Us, Koopa's justification for turning on Clyde is that he, had his fingers crossed when he agreed to split everything stolen equally, thus allowing Koopa to cut Clyde out of the deal later on; These sort of justifications are commonly employed logic for Koopa to get-away with nearly anything as far as he is concerned. His exact traits shift wildly though from episode to episode. He even takes on other villains and becoming an even bigger threat to the land they were targeting.
Differences from Bowser
- The most obvious difference from his video game counterpart, King Koopa's design is based heavily on Bowser's sprite in the original game and consists largely of the color green, although Bowser looks nothing like this in the manual or following games. He also lacks hair and wears a golden crown and only wears two spiked collars instead of five.
- King Koopa does not possess the ability to breathe or shoot fire, one of Bowser's most notable traits, and instead uses his various magic wands or minions for long ranged attacks. In the intro to Super Mario World, he notably throws a fireball at the Brothers while escaping.
- While Bowser is usually portrayed as having a deeply rooted infatuation with Princess Peach, King Koopa is never shown as having this trait and instead would rather kill or sell Princess Toadstool off if he saw no need in having her around, something that Bowser would never do.
- While it has been confirmed that Bowser is not the father of the Koopalings (although it is possible that, while he is not their biological father, he could've adopted them) King Koopa is seen as the biological father of the Koopa Kids.
- Although Bowser has never fully succeeded in conquering the Mushroom Kingdom, during the Mario Bros. Super Show, King Koopa actually did have control over a large portion of the Kingdom until he was defeated by the Mario Brothers.
- In order to use the Mario Brother's power-ups, King Koopa had to use a special pendant created by Kooky and be in the real world, however, as shown in games such as Super Mario 3D World, Bowser can use them just as easily as the brothers can.
- King Koopa, in Super Show and the Nintendo Comic System, lead members of the 8 Bit Club as part of his Koopa Pack instead of Wart, while Bowser has no association with the group.
- Bowser, despite his cruel nature, is shown in games such as Super Mario RPG and Bowser's Inside Story to actually care about the lives and well being of his minions, although King Koopa rarely treats any of his minions with kindness or respect outside of Mouser on some occasions.
- King Koopa is shown to be extremely cowardly on various occasions, and almost always runs when confronted by the Mario Brothers (particularly in the later cartoons), while Bowser almost never runs from a confrontation with the Mario Brothers.
- In the Nintendo Comics System, it is implied that King Koopa is either affiliated with or the owner of the Apook Corporation, a company that creates and sells most of the Mushroom Kingdom's commercial products, due to the fact that the name "Apook" is "Koopa" spelled backward.
- Despite this implication, Mario and his allies use products from the Apook Corporation on multiple occasions, making it possible that Koopa truly is unrelated to the company.
- Coincidentally, King Koopa's plot to marry Princess Toadstool in the Super Show episode "Do You Princess Toadstool Take This Koopa....?" parallels Bowser's similar plan in Super Mario Odyssey.
- In the episode "The Adventures of Sherlock Mario", the character Herlock Solmes, when asked about Koopa, states that he is a cross between a lizard and an inferior species of toad, has a brain smaller than a peanut, holds the world record for flunking kindergarten the most times and wet the bed until he was twelve. Whether all this is true or not is arguable, as Solmes was trying to insult Koopa, although Mouser implies that his deductions had a degree of accuracy.
- In Mario Golf for the Nintendo 64, one of Bowser's costumes is based on King Koopa's color scheme. This also happens in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate where King Koopa's color scheme appears as one of Bowser's alternate costumes.