Pros and Cons
- Heaviest character in the game. This means, despite easily falling off the bottom blast line, he's very hard to knock around.
- Flying Slam can easily result in a Sacrificial KO which is very hard to escape from. Because Bowser is on top, this will result in an automatic victory if the opponent has one stock remaining. Can be used as a grab, even in the air, for high damage, and has very little lag if it hits.
- Strong attacks with incredibly high priority.
- Forward Aerial comes out incredibly quick.
- Up Air is one of the strongest Vertical killers.
- Fire Breath comes out quickly, can be angled, and has almost no lag, making it a good way to stop approaches and build a little damage.
- Bowser Bomb has Super Armor frames and hits on the way up as well.
- Can Crawl.
- Can perform Koopa Hopping.
- Great horizontal recovery.
- Good killer moves.
- Good at edgeguarding.
- Good dash speed and jumping height for a heavyweight.
- Forward smash has super armor frames.
- Forward Smash, when fully charged, deals 46% damage, making it one of if not the most powerful non-Final Smash moves, the most highly prioritized basic attack, and the strongest Forward Smash in the game. In addition, the knockback is of such a level, it can pierce through super armor frames (ie Snake's up-b) sending characters flying regardless of position or recovery skill used.
- Powerful throws.
- Good air speed.
- Fire breath can be used to edge guard.
- Flying slam, used on the ground or in mid-air, doesn't have much lag, especially for a Bowser move.
- Down Smash sucks in opponents, but has ending lag.
- Even when Fire breath is used for a long time, it won't completely deplete.
- Largest character in the game, making him very easy to hit.
- Poor grab range.
- Easy character to combo & juggle.
- Many of his moves are shorter ranged.
- Poor vertical recovery.
- One of the slowest walking speeds.
- Recovery can be caught under stage lips.
- Players caught in the Flying Slam can affect Bowser's side-to-side movement in midair, either forcing or preventing a Sacrificial KO.
- Most attacks have large ending and starting lag.
- Poor comboing ability.
Changes from Melee to Brawl
- New Side Special move: Flying Slam.
- Fire Breath can be aimed up and down.
- Jump not as short.
- Up Smash has longer range.
- Up Air is faster, but shorter ranged.
- Super Armor on Forward Smash.
- Faster overall character.
- Bowser Bomb hits while leaping upwards.
- Falling speed while using Bowser Bomb is faster.
- Forward smash does about 14% more damage than in Melee.
- Increased air speed.
- Forward smash hits twice.
- Different roars.
- New voice actor: Eric Newsome.
Role in the Subspace Emissary
Bowser first appears after Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong chase down his troops, who had stolen their bananas in order to lure them to him. Bowser confronts the two and transforms DK into a trophy with a Dark Cannon, but not before DK punches Diddy away. Bowser chases him down, and has a Shadowbug clone of him fight Diddy and Fox. After defeating the clone, the real Bowser attempts to turn them into trophies, but they manage to dodge the shot. Although Diddy is eager to fight Bowser, Fox knows that they're no match, so he grabs Diddy and makes their escape. While continuing his chase, he is told by Ganondorf to hunt down King Dedede, who had stolen Wario's trophies. He also transforms Zelda/Peach into a trophy, and after having another Shadowbug clone of him copy her, orders her Shadowbug clone to attack Mario and Pit/Link and Yoshi. Bowser and his troops attack King Dedede's castle, where Dedede is hiding. Bowser steals Peach/Zelda's trophy and evades Mario and Pit's attacks. After this, he returns to the jungle and transforms Diddy into a trophy and sends his Shadowbug clone to clone the trophy. He flees after Falco Lombardi attacks him and destroys his Dark Cannon. He is next seen with Ganondorf on the Subspace Gunship. They destroy the Halberd, but fail to stop Kirby from destroying the Gunship with a Dragoon. Fleeing into the Subspace, Bowser is betrayed by Ganondorf and turned into a trophy. He is eventually brought back to life, and after being defeated by King Dedede, beats up Ganondorf's trophy for revenge. Bowser then notices the downed Master Hand, then decides to help the heroes take down Tabuu. The sight of Master Hand lying on the ground seems to trouble Bowser, showing that he may respect Master Hand.
Single Player Event Matches
- Description: Now there are TWO greedy kings? Having a buddy doesn't change their natures.
Event 6: Bowser Bros. - The player (as Bowser) must make it to the end of Mushroomy Kingdom before the Marios do.
- Description: Want to see what it's like to be Mario? Survive as you race to the flag!
- Description: Three beasts are in the tyrant's town! Facing them is a lone figure... R.O.B.
- Description: It's the eight challengers from Melee! What's different between then & now?
Event 40: The Final Battle - As any character, you must KO Bowser, King Dedede, and Ganondorf.
- Description: Bowser, King Dedede, and Ganondorf...A battle with the bossiest of bosses!
Two Player Event Matches
Co-Op Event 1: Two Trouble Kings - As Mario and Kirby, you need to KO both Bowser and King Dedede.
- Description: Now there are TWO greedy kings? Having a buddy doesn't change their natures.
Co-Op Event 8: All Mine! - As Wario and Bowser, you both need to collect 2,000 coins together
- Description: Money! Money makes the world go 'round! Gather 2,000 coins and eat something good!
Co-Op Event 20: Final Showdown Together - As any two characters you must alternate between KOing Wario, Dedede, Wolf, Meta Knight, Ganondorf, and Bowser.
- Description: A fierce battle with nasty rivals! You can't lose now!
- Standard Attack - Two quick claw swipes. 5% damage each swipe (so up to 10%).
- Dash Attack - Running headbutt. 11% damage.
- Strong Side - Punches while leaning his body forward. 11% damage.
- Strong Up - Swats the air above him. 12% damage.
- Strong Down - Claw swipes while crouched. Does two hits. First hit is 14% damage, second is 11% (total of 25% damage).
- Side Smash - Rears back and then performs a very strong headbutt. Two hits. Fully charged first hit does 14% damage, second hit right after does 32% (total of 46% damage).
- Up Smash - Pounces on all fours and jumps straight up, hitting with his shell. Opponents who only shield his jump will be hit by him landing. Full charged does 28% damage.
- Down Smash - Retracts into his shell and spins. Limited suction. Multi-hit attack that does up to 29% damage fully charged.
- Ledge attack 1 - Quickly spins onto the stage, then retreats back a bit. 8% damage.
- 100% ledge attack - Slowly climbs onto stage, and does a quick claw jab. 10% damage.
- Floor attack - Slams body forward, then back. Does two hits. Both hits do 6% damage.
- Trip attack - Gets up while facing backwards, and does a claw swipe that brings him facing forward. 6% damage.
- Neutral Aerial - Spins around inside his shell. 13% damage.
- Forward Aerial - Swats forward rather quickly. 13% damage.
- Back Aerial - Thrusts out his shell behind him. 15% damage.
- Up Aerial - Swings his head upward. 17% damage.
- Down Aerial - Retracts into his shell and spins himself into the ground. Limited shockwave if hits the ground. Multi-hit attack that does up to 23% damage.
Grabs & Throws
- Pummel - Hits foe with his head. 3% damage.
- Forward Throw - Launches foe forward using his head. 10% damage.
- Back Throw - Turns around, and tosses foe forward. 10% damage.
- Down Throw - Sets opponent on floor, then flings himself forward, performing a body slam on his opponent. 13% damage.
- Up Throw - Bowser tosses foe upwards, retreats into his shell, and spins, damaging the foe with his spikes. 10% damage.
Up: Roars (same as Melee, but smoke comes out)
Side: Bites in front of him 5 times.
Down: Dances precariously on one foot, as if he's about to fall.
Emerges from a wall of flames.
- Victory Theme: Mushroom Kingdom Theme
- Steps forward, builds up a little and roars.
- Spins around in his shell and comes out laughing.
- Takes two steps forward while swiping with his claws twice.
- Roars in his normal matter.
- Giga Bowser (Melee)
- Whirling Fortress.Bowser spins and reach to the ground.
Snake's Codec Message
Colonel Campbell: Careful, Snake! That’s the great and terrible Bowser!
Snake: Bowser? Looks like a cheap movie monster.
C: Hardly. Bowser leads an entire army of monsters. But I’d worry more about his claws and fire if I were you.
S: Doesn’t look that tough to me. Seems to be kind of slow, actually.
C: Well he is the king of Koopas. It’s only natural he’d be slow. But that’s only because he’s the heaviest fighter here – by far. He’s a powerhouse of destruction. Careful he doesn’t flatten you.
- In the Smash Bros. DOJO!! update of April 14, 2008, the last piece of trivia given was, "For the final portion of The Subspace Emissary, you’ll only be able to use the characters you’ve revived. If you don’t bother to save any characters along the way, you’ll have only five characters (King Dedede, Ness, Luigi, Kirby, and Sonic) at your disposal for the final showdown." In reality, Bowser is one of the characters that would have to join you. This was a minor mistake that was made by Sakurai.
- Also revealed in the Smash Bros. DOJO!!, Bowser was actually loyal to Master Hand, unlike Ganondorf who was planning to betray Master Hand and Wario who just didn't really care about the Master Hand. Coincidently, Bowser doesn't like Ganondorf.
- If you jump and then land as Bowser, the screen shakes.
- Altough he doesn't take knockback as Giga Bowser, he still takes damage. However, if he jumps past the upper Blast Line and gets attacked, he still gets Star KOd.
- While using Giga Bowser Transformation on stamina mode, Bowser cannot die, instead his HP just reaches zero and he immediately changes back to normal Bowser. After transforming back, one hit will kill him, as if he had one HP.
- Bowser's credits theme, Giga Bowser (Melee), is one of only two that are from Melee. (Marth, using Fire Emblem (Melee), is the other one.) Every other character has a theme from Brawl.