This article is about Bowser's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. For other uses, see Bowser.

Bowser (Koopa in Japanese) (クッパ, Kuppa) is the primary antagonist of the "Super Mario" series. His SSB debut was in Melee and he returns in Brawl. Currently, he is 25th in Tier list, improving much from his position in Melee, because of his Bowsercide, Koopa Hopping technique, grab releases chain grabs and great KO potential. However, his mediocre tournament results, vulnerability to infinite chain grabs, and very poor match-ups clocks him at the top of the D-Tier.


In addition to being the largest character model in the game, Bowser is the heaviest playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. This makes him difficult to KO, yet an easier target to hit. Because of his heavy weight, Bowser's recovery has significant horizontal range but marginal vertical movement. He also has the ability to crawl, but due to his large size, it is very inefficient in avoiding incoming projectiles or other attacks. As with other large characters, Bowser's strengths lie in his KO ability and not his speed. He sports a wide variety of powerful attacks both in the air and on the ground. For example, Bowser's forward smash is a high-priority KO move that has such high knockback that it is able to eat through almost any super armor frames. However, this KO ability comes at the price of high lag, both on startup and ending. Due to his average speed and reliance on power KOs, Bowser can struggle somewhat in the low damage game as he lacks diverse ways of racking up damage on the opponent. This can be remedied with his neutral special, Fire Breath and his advantage of 10 frames when ground releasing and 30 frames when air releasing makes him able to do great chain grabs or combos into his strongest attacks. He can also regrab anyone by ground releasing except Donkey Kong (because of Donkey Kong's unusual short ground release animation). The Fire Breath serves the multiple roles for Bowser such as racking up damage on the opponent as well as preventing an opponent's approach and a functional edge guard. Bowser also has a potent Sacrificial KO, the Flying Slam. This move allows Bowser to grab an opponent, then leap into the air and fall back to the ground with Bowser on top of them. Thus, the opponent will always be KOed first. If this move is used through a Blast Line, both Bowser and the opponent will be KOed. Given Bowser's difficulty racking up damage, this can be a useful move when the opponent is far ahead of Bowser in the damage count. However, opponents can control Flying Slam when Bowser is at higher or even equal damage, preventing "Bowsercide", or forcing it. Bowser's standard attack can even cancel out incoming projectiles, including Samus' and Lucario's standard specials. This is effective as it allows the player to conserve Bowser's shield as well as provide quicker reaction times after blocking enemy projectiles.

However, given Bowser's extreme heavyweight and decent falling speed it makes him also open for infinite chain grabs like Wario and Dedede's infinite chain grab due to his extremely large size and weight. His horizontal recovery is worse than Donkey Kong's Spinning Kong and it also give poor vertical distance.

Changes from Melee to Brawl

Bowser has been buffed from SSBM to SSBB. Overall, he is much faster, but slightly weaker. His up aerial is faster, but shorter ranged. His side tilt and up smash both have more range. His side smash now hits twice as well as doing 14% more damage. On the downside, its knockback has decreased slightly, and it does very little damage or knockback if hit from very close or from very far. Bowser's air speed and jump height have both increased. His down smash is much easier to trap with. Bowser is lighter than he was in Melee, but he is still by far the heaviest character in the game. As for specials, Bowser Bomb hits while leaping upwards and has faster falling speed. Whirling Fortress goes higher in midair, and Fire Breath can be aimed up and down. Lastly (in terms of special moves), Bowser has a new side special move, the Flying Slam.

Bowser's purely cosmetic changes are a new voice actor (Eric Newsome), different sounds in his tilts and jab, and more realistic roars (as opposed to his usual cartoonish roars). He also has two new color swaps: brown and a combination of black and white.


Ground Attacks

  • Standard Attack - Two quick claw swipes. 5% per swipe.
  • Dash Attack - Running headbutt. 11%.
  • Strong Side - Punches while leaning his body forward. Can be aimed up or down. Similar to Wario 11%.
  • Strong Up - Swats the air above him. 12%.
  • Strong Down - Claw swipes while crouched. Does two hits. First hit is 14%, second is 11%. High knockback for its kind.
  • 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 48% damage). This makes it the most damaging side smash in the game. If used correctly this can prevent shield grabbing.
  • 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. Very high knockback. 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 - 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.

Aerial Attacks

  • 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. High knockback. 15% damage.
  • Up Aerial - Swings his head upward, biting the air above him. 17% damage.
  • Down Aerial - Retracts into his shell and spins himself into the ground. Limited shockwave if hits the ground. It can Meteor Smash when hit by the last hit, but it's weak and overall not recommended. 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.
  • Up Throw - Bowser tosses foe upwards, retreats into his shell, and spins, damaging the foe with his spikes. 10% damage.
  • Down Throw - Sets opponent on floor, then flings himself forward, performing a body slam on his opponent. 13% damage.

Special Moves

Bowser's Special Moves
Melee Brawl SSBWU/3DS Ultimate
Standard Special Fire Breath
Side Special Koopa Klaw Flying Slam
Up Special Whirling Fortress
Down Special Bowser Bomb
Final Smash Giga Bowser Giga Bowser Punch

In competitive play

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
Subspace bowser

Bowser in the SSE

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 and decides to help the heroes take down Tabuu. The sight of Master Hand lying on the ground seems to trouble Bowser, probably because Bowser was really the only smasher accomplise who was loyal to Master Hand, unlike Ganondorf and Wario.

Exclusive Stickers

These stickers may be used by only Bowser or a select few including Bowser:

  • 1-Up Mushroom: [Leg] attack +4
  • Bowser (DDR:Mario Mix): [Throwing] attack +20
  • Bowser (Mario Kart 64): [Weapon] attack +13
  • Bowser (Super Paper Mario): [Arm] attack +23
  • Coin: [Specials: Indirect] attack +4
  • Dice Block: [Arm] attack +8
  • Dr. Mario: [Head] attack +18
  • Koopa: [Body, Spin] attack +10
  • Lakitu (Mario Kart Super Circuit): [Leg] attack +13
  • Luigi & Baby Luigi: Launch power +5
  • Luigi (Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga): Launch power +23
  • Mario & Luigi: [Flame] resistance +19
  • Mario & Yoshi: [Specials: Indirect] attack +13
  • Mario (Mario Kart DS): [Leg] attack +22
  • Mega Rush Badge: [Specials: Direct] attack +8
  • Mushroom: [Arm, Leg] attack +5
  • Peach (Mario Superstars Baseball): [Slash] attack +5
  • Peach (Super Mario Bros. 2): Launch resistance +29
  • Peach (Super Princess Peach): [Weapon] attack +23
  • Rawk Hawk: [Arm] attack +5
  • Red Fire: [Flame] attack +26
  • Super Mario Bros.: [Arm, Leg] attack +15
  • Waluigi (Mario Superstar Baseball): [Specials: Indirect] attack +8
  • Waluigi (Super Mario Strikers): [Slash] attack +15
  • Yoshi (Mario Party 2): [Launch] resistance +35
  • Yoshi (Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door): [Throwing] attack +5
  • Yoshi (Yoshi Touch & Go): [Arm, Leg] attack +8

Palette Swaps


Bowser's palette swap in SSBB


  • A male voice saying "Bowser!"

Trophy Description

The king of the Koopas and Mario's eternal rival. He breathes fire, hurls hammers, attacks from vehicles like the Koopa Clown Car, and uses all sorts of weapons in hopes of taking out Mario. As his size suggests, he's immensely powerful. His son Bowser Jr. is a chip off the old block who spends his time creating trouble for Mario.

  • Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo)
  • Super Mario Sunshine (Nintendo Gamecube)


  • 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.
  • If you jump and then land as Bowser, the screen shakes slightly.
  • Bowser, along with Marth, are the only characters without a new piece of music used as his Credits song.
  • Despite commanding an army of Koopa Troopas and Goombas in The Subspace Emissary, Bowser has no attacks that has anything to do with Koopas and Goombas. This is noticeably different from King Dedede and his Waddle Dee Toss.
  • Despite being buffed between Melee and Brawl, and because of the increase of characters, Bowser has actually dropped from 23rd in Melee to 25th in Brawl. This is a moot point, however, as being 25th out of 39 characters is a far cry better than 23rd out of 26 characters.

External links

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