Bowser is a recurring enemy in the Mario Series. His goal is to defeat Mario and get Peach, but he fails every time. Of course, this has driven him mad, although he has been seen working with Mario in the past. He is Battle Royale's most severe grappler.
As of Tier List 3, Bowser is ranked 16th. It's unknown if Bowser really deserves that spot, though. On the list, his 5-95 matchup was used, but not his 95-5. His dominance in strength is unmatched: Nobody deals the damage Bowser deals. His grabs are deadly, his KO power is nasty good, and overall, he's a good character to deal damage. However, there is nothing good about Bowser when he's edgeguarding, at a distance, or trying to approach. He has to be up close and personal to do anything, and that's where he suffers.
In The Battle Arena, Bowser is the one who founded the Arena. He convinced Master Hand to start it, and tries to get as many minor heroes and any villain to join him. However, he is soon defeated by Ganondorf, who takes away Bowser's position. He then takes a small group of villains who were willing to stay with him and forms his own army, in which he forms with the Koopa Troop.
Pros and Cons
- Up Taunt: Bowser leans back and roars to the air, arms as his side, fists clenched.
- Left Taunt: Bowser 'barks' at the opponent while biting in their direction. He bites a total of five times.
- Right Taunt: Bowser punches his left hand twice, and then lets out a small roar.
- Down Taunt: Bowser breaths a small amount of fire while facing down-forward, letting out a roar.
- Jab: Bowser quickly swipes at the opponent with his claw. If the Standard Attack button is pressed again, Bowser will quickly swipe again. This attack is Bowser's fastest, and also one of his safest, so it will likely be used as a poking tool or a quick damage dealer for most Bowser players. It's hard to combo out of this move, so uses for combo's are limited. It's easy to combo into, though, since it has minimal startup. An excellent move for Bowser overall. The first swipe deals 5%, and the second swipe also deals 5%.
- Dash Attack: Bowser performs a running headbutt. The ending lag on this move makes punishing it easy, so it's recommended that Bowser players only use it as a punisher. The startup is pretty slow, but this move has gained a significant buff: Throughout the beginning animation (until Bowser actually attacks), this attack actually has super armor, something rare for a simple dash attack. Once the attacks comes out, though, Bowser can be hit, so projectiles that deal multiple hits can eat right through this move, as well as long lasting moves such as Kirby's Inhale. Highly recommended to only be used as a punisher against certain characters. The attack deals 14%.
- Forward Tilt: Bowser punches straight forward. Before the attack comes out, if the player tilts the controller up or down, Bowser will aim in that direction, allowing him to hit airborne or certain crouching opponents, respectively. The tilted version deal less damage, however. While this move has some startup to it, it's still an excellent "get off me" attack that gives Bowser some space. The end of this attack has IASA Frames, so if the opponent blocks, you can get another attack off, although this is a bad idea for pressure. Using Whirling Fortress out of this move is recommended. A highly defensive move for an offensive character, which greatly helps. The attack deals 11% straight, and tilted (up or down), it deals 10%.
- Upward Tilt: Bowser swipes upward with his claws. A very solid anti-air attack, if anything. While having good range for an anti-air, it's main use will be as an anti-air. It doesn't have any other practical uses, and considering Bowser's poor aerial game, resulting in a poor counter to other aerial games, having one is very helpful. A solid move for what it's used for, but not much else. The attack deals 12%.
- Down Tilt: Bowser swipes the opponent twice, while crouching. Another excellent poking tool, although this one is only good against grounded opponents. Unless the opponent is extremely close to the ground, Bowser will miss them, since he's crouching. If used when the opponent is on the ground, Bowser should be safe, though. How often that will be due to Bowser's poor aerial counters is debatable, however. Both hits deal 6% for a total of 12%.
- Forward Smash: Bowser leans his head back and smashes forward with brute strength; so much strength, the initial impact deals damage by itself, while the actual hit deals another. This move has been radically changed from Brawl. The move is not only slower on startup, but it also has even more ending lag than before. While (if fully charged) the opponent should still not be able to punish it, it's very easy to punish regardless. What makes this move useful is the pure terror of its damage. Fully charged, it can break any shield, minus an unscathed King K. Rool's. Uncharged, it can still break almost half of the casts' shields instantly. The duration is so long, you can't sidestep this attack. Shield grabbing it is almost impossible, thanks to the stellar shield knockback. Comboing into this move means instant trouble for the opponent due to its insane damage, but it's one of the most risky moves in the entire game. Uncharged, the first hit deals 14% and the second deals 32%; charged for a total of 46%; charged, the first hit deals 20% and the second hit deals 40% for a total of 60%.
- Up Smash: Bowser gets on all fours and looks up, charging his shell. He then strikes upward with his shell, then gets up. This is easily Bowser's safest Smash attack, and while it isn't... totally safe, the opponent can have a hard time punishing this, given how said opponent reacts. Surprisingly useless as an anti-air; this works much better in combo's and, as seen below, his Up Throw. If charged, this move can be devastating, but getting it to full charge and landing it is tricky. Still a great move overall; uncharged, it deals 22%, and charged, it deals 29%.
- Down Smash: Bowser goes into his shell and spins. This attack has a very minor vacuum property to it, although it's nothing notable. Similar to his Down Aerial, this move only counts as one hit in combo's, making it very helpful to end them. The attack is also relatively fast, making it a good attack to punish. Not only that, but the overall damage you will get from this attack - pre-scaling, of course - will always be the same; the damage each hit deals will add up to the same total. Unfortunately, if this move is blocked, the opponent can easily punish Bowser. Not only is this move unsafe due to its ending lag, but each individual hit takes longer to hit than in Brawl, so can opponent can easily Shield Grab Bowser. Still a very solid move overall, albeit very risky. Uncharged, the attack deals 20%, and charged, it deals 27%.
- Neutral Aerial: Bowser goes inside of his shell and spins around twice. Has a sweetspot during the second spin. A decent attack to end combo's with, although actually comboing into this move is difficult, considering Bowser's weak aerial game. It's a pretty good attack for shield poking, and can be a decent edgeguarding attack - while being risky to use off-stage by itself - but aside from those (and an occasional hit), this move doesn't have great use. The attack deals 10%; the sweetspot deals 6%.
- Forward Aerial: Bowser slashes forward with his claws. For the most part, this is the best move to use as Bowser while in the air. The range on this move is stellar, and it makes as an excellent poking tool, as it has fast startup; while the attack is relatively unsafe if Bowser touches the ground during this move, the knockback, be it on a clean hit or a shielded one, is good enough so that most characters can't punish it. It isn't totally safe, and (especially against certain characters) should be used with caution, though. The attack deals 11%.
- Backward Aerial: Bowser attacks backwards with his shell. This is a surprisingly decent edgeguarding tool, although the attack itself lasts a very long time and can easily be punished if Bowser misses. On stage, the move has received a massive buff from Brawl: Bowser no longer falls on his back if he touches the ground while using this move. This makes it much safer, although Bowser can still only hit behind him. As the move does have a fair amount of startup, the opponent can get in front of Bowser before it actually comes out. Overall, it's a decent move, and probably Bowser's best aerial option after his Forward Aerial. The attack deals 13%.
- Up Aerial: Bowser strikes upward by... attacking upward with his shell. The startup on this move is horrendous; it's one of the slowest moves in the entire game, excluding King K. Rool's moves. To make matters worse, until the move finishes, if Bowser lands on the ground, he will fall on his hand and have to re-adjust himself. It is a very powerful move, though, and if it catches the opponent, they will 'pay'. The knockback and damage are very high. All in all, another decent move. The attack deals 16%.
- Down Aerial: Bowser quickly goes inside of his shell and, turning upside down, spins multiple times. The total amount of hits this move deals is 6; if timed perfectly, when Bowser hits the ground, the opponent will be sent away, dealing a 7th hit. The first 6 hits, in combo's, count as one hit total, so as far as scaling goes, this move does wonders. However, comboing into and out of this attack is nearly impossible due to the poor knockback, hitstun, and recovery. If Bowser does hit the ground, he is wide open for attack, should the opponent block. This move does come out quickly, though, so reacting to it is hard, at least. If Bowser misses, though, he can be incredibly easily punished. The 6 hits each deal 2%, and the seventh hit will always deal 3% for a total max of 15%.
- Grab: Bowser stretches out his hands and grabs the opponent. Generally average range. His dash grab has Bowser lunge for the opponent; he will fall if he misses, making this move very unsafe. The range, however, is vastly improved from the normal grab. Bowser's pivot grab is the most useful of his grabs, as it's very safe, with great range.
- Pummel: Bowser headbutts the opponent. Slow, but powerful as far as pummels go. Deals 3% per pummel.
- Forward Throw: Bowser leans his head down and throws the opponent forward. Unlike previous Smash games, Bowser can act immediately out of this move, making it extremely useful. As Bowser is not a character who can chain grab, however, his combo's are limited. As the knockback on this move does not increase, however, a simple Forward Throw -> Forward Tilt can result in a nice K.O. The throw deals 8%.
- Backward Throw: Bowser lifts the opponent above him, and then throws him backwards, towards the ground. You can also act immediately out of this throw, however the only option you have out of this move (as far as combo's are concerned) is a Down Tilt. Good for damage, but not much else. The throw deals 9%.
- Up Throw: Bowser hurls the opponent upward. You cannot act out of this move, so for combo's, this move is generally useless. However, this move comes out on the first frame, making it extremely fast. The knockback is generally poor, so if your opponent is mashing buttons to get out of a grab, Bowser can use this as an excellent reset tool. Unique in its usage as far as throws go. The throw deals 6%.
- Down Throw: Bowser crushes the opponent while he/she is on the ground. This move is famous; not for its usage, but the animation. It does not change here, although it looks much less suggestive than before. Its usage has been greatly buffed; this is a rare throw that has IASA Frames, meaning Bowser can combo out of this move with essentially any ground attack, including his specials. While it is tricky to combo out of, you can get a big reward for doing so. The throw deals 11%.
- Special: Fire Breath. Bowser breathes out a stream fire. The duration of this move is infinite; as long as the player holds down the Special button, Bowser will continue to breathe fire. However, as time progresses, the range of this attack will become smaller and smaller; eventually, the size of the Fire Breath will be about half of the size of Bowser's fist. The overall usefulness of this move highly depends on how "charged" it is. No matter the charge, it can be aimed up or down.
Whenever a match begins, the Fire Breath is always fully charged. The only other time Bowser will get his Fire Breath recharged fully is after he is K.O.'d. The amount of time it takes to recharge depends on how much damage Bowser has taken; anywhere from 0% - 50% will only take Bowser 5 in game seconds to fully recover. 51% - 90% will take 10 seconds, 91% - 300% will take 15 seconds, and anything above that will take 20 seconds. In a Sudden Death match, this begins fully charged, but still follows the general rules, so getting hit once means it will take 20 seconds to fully recover.
Until the attack gets to its weakest point, it can eat weaker projectiles such as Fox's Blaster. This makes it Bowser's only complete counter to projectiles, and even then, it doesn't do much. Still, this is a very helpful attack to have at all times. Bowser doesn't have any other regular attacks that are 100% safe on block, in essence, so having this move helps there. Similar to many of his other moves, each hit (minus the first) is unscaled.
Each hit deals 1-3% at a time.
- Side Special: Dizzy Punch. Bowser reaches out and grabs the opponent. If he successfully grabs the opponent, he throws them onto the ground. He then leans back and performs his standard punch attack from Mario & Luigi Bowser's Inside Story, making the opponent dizzy. Surprisingly, that's all it does (minus damage); this move has very minimal knockback. After a currently unknown amount of time, the opponent will recover from the dizziness, should Bowser not.
The opponent isn't dizzy for very long, but you want to take advantage of every second the opponent is dizzy. While you can't land a fully charged one, you can combo into an uncharged Forward Smash off of this move. Against most characters, that is insane. It's also free damage on King K. Rool, no matter how much damage K. Rool had taken. Almost every single move of Bowser's can work off of this move.
However, since this is a grab special, you cannot combo into one of Bowser's grabs. This prevents Bowser from getting excellent damage from his grabs, which is a shame, as Bowser has excellent grabs. This is when resets come into play. If timed just right, if Bowser Forward Tilts while an opponent is recovering (shaking their head), the attack will miss, and due to that attack's IASA Frames, you can grab right out of it, causing a reset. From here, you can do what you want, although you cannot combo into this move.
Bowser's quick grab animation resembles that of the Flying Slam in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The only similarity with these two, however, is that Bowser has access to the Koopa Hop. Unlike in Brawl, though, this is a one frame trick instead of a glitch, making it much more difficult to take advantage of. If one can master it, though, Bowser's mobility increases greatly.
Overall, this is a very useful move that signifies Bowser's "grappler" status. The grab does no damage, but the punch deals 10%.
- Down Special: Bowser Bomb. If used on the ground, Bowser will leap into the air and forcefully fall onto the ground with a "butt-stomp". Which direction Bowser goes when he leaps into the air depends on which direction the player is holding on the Control Stick; if the player isn't at all, Bowser will leap in the up-forward direction. If his leap catches an opponent, you automatically combo into this move. In the air, Bowser just performs his forceful butt-stomp.
If you can combo into this move on the ground, it does a fair amount of damage. If used randomly, though, it will easily be punished, as this move not only takes a while to activate, but Bowser needs to get back up after the attack, leaving him wide open for attacks. It is possible to combo into this move, so it isn't useless, exactly. This move also makes an excellent edgeguarding tool, as long as Bowser is close enough to the edge. No matter which direction Bowser is facing, if he's close to the ledge, he will grab onto it. If someone is edgehogging and Bowser does not hit them, he will miss; if he does, if he is facing the ledge, he will grab it. If he's facing the opposite direction, he will still miss.
A decent attack overall; most of what it does is outclassed by other attacks of his. Still has its uses, though. The grounded leap deals 2%, and the stomp deals 15%; the air stomp deals 14%.
- Up Special: Whirling Fortress. Bowser goes inside of his shell and spins. Unlike his Down Smash, this is more defensive-orientated; Bowser can move up and left or right while using this move. If used on the ground, Bowser will not ascend, but he can still move. The duration of this is also slightly longer than it was in Brawl, meaning more damage and more shield poking.
As a recovery, it's very bad. Horizontally, it gets the job done, but it is outclassed by moves from characters like Donkey Kong. Vertically, it travels nearly no distance; it is in the Bottom 5 Worst Vertical Recoveries. Offensively, this attack is pretty good, and it can certainly be fit into combo's. If Bowser is in the air when this hits an opponent, on or off the ground, this will hit multiple times.
As a defensive attack, this move shines. This is another excellent "get off of me" attack, all while being long enough so that if the opponent tries to attack Bowser, they will be hit. Unfortunately, this move has a sweetspot, which lasts throughout the entire move, minus the initial beginning. The beginning is the wonderful defensive tool for Bowser, though; minus one or two other attacks of his, he doesn't have any of them, so he needs those!
All in all, this is an amazing defensive tool, if nothing else. It could be better as a recovery, but as an okay offensive tool and a great defensive tool, it's a solid move. The attack deals 21% on the ground and, if all the hits connect, in the air. The aerial version trades hit total for damage; 3 hits that deal 7% each.
- Final Smash: Koopa Clown Car: Bowser whistles, summoning the Koopa Clown Car. He jumps inside, and throws his robotic toys- and bombs- onto the stage.
It's better than Giga Bowser, really. His toys are rather weak but they're great distractions. That and they can't harm Bowser. The bombs are where it's at, though- they deal great damage and explode immediately, and they break the shield on smaller characters, like Pichu and Meta Knight. Not too reliable, as if Bowser can be hit during this entire thing. And it will stop. Not slowly end- STOP.
- Battle Atack: Broggy Bonker: Bowser takes out a mop, and a giant, square dog known as a Blippy appears. Bowser cleans off the dog, the dog jumps, and 16 little Blippies appear and rush through the stage. The giant Blippy tackles forward, and runs off.
It's an okay move. The damage is nice, and the move itself is downright hilarious, as Bowser laughs throughout the entire thing. The only problem is the startup. Bowser can literally be hit throughout the entire process of washing the dog, which takes 8 seconds to do. The Blippies are very hard to hit with, too. This is what Lunch Rush would be if it were nerfed. It's still a nice move, but for three gauges, it's okay.
- Ultimate Smash: Hyper Bowser Bomb (performed by: 360 degree spin on controller + Special Button).
Bowser grabs. If he hits, then he throws his opponent backward. Afterwards, he picks up his opponent and throws them upward. Dizzy, the opponent does nothing. Bowser jumps into the sky, and uses Bowser Bomb. When the Bowser Bomb lands, the opponent is spiked downward, and Bowser crushes them when landing. Deals an insane 130%.
This is not Hyper Bomb. Really. It's also great- Bowser still does his dash when he grabs, for one. The biggest down side is that Bowser's moves that can lead into grabs cannot lead into this. It's difficult to put in combos, but still easy to land, as it comes right out. If used in the air, Bowser throws them to the ground for the same damage he would deal if he threw them backwards.
In the Battle Arena (more detail)
Stage 10 Boss Fight
Bowser's First Rival Battle is against Luigi. Bowser finds Mario and Luigi, and angrily challenges Mario. Mario prepares himself for battle, but Luigi convinces Mario to go on ahead and fight Master Hand. Luigi then finds the courage to hold Bowser off while Mario fights Master Hand. Mad, Bowser yells at Luigi some and the two fight. After winning, Bowser orders some Goomba's to take Luigi away. The Goomba's do so, and Bowser laughs awesomely.
Bowser's Second Rival Battle is against Knuckles. Bowser sees Knuckles training, with his small size yet great power. He approaches Knuckles, laughing, and tells him that he's very impressed. Confused, Knuckles thanks him and resumes training. Bowser then brags about how much better he is than Mario, which interests Knuckles. Knuckles brings up that one of his friends, Sonic, is Mario's biggest rival. This angers Bowser, since he is Mario's rival. He angrily asks where Sonic is, so he can beat him up. Knuckles then prepares to fight Bowser in order to protect Sonic. After winning, Bowser looks at Knuckles and hands him a card. He tells Knuckles that if he's interested in becoming a minion to find him in his castle. Knuckles throws the paper at Bowser, enraging him. Knuckles escapes, making Bowser even angrier.