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1. Wannabe Oil Tycoon
What if Bowser stopped trying to mess with the Mushroom Kingdom and started messing with our own world? He actually tried to do this by becoming an oil tycoo.
In the MCA Records compilation album White Knuckle Scorin’, there was a bonus Mario comic. And in that comic, Bowser hatched a wild scheme to turn the dinos in Dinoland into fossil fuel so that he could join OPEC (no, really).
At the time, Peach told him he was too dumb to make it as an oil tycoon. But frankly, this sounds like one of Bowser’s smarter schemes.
2. He Ran a Hotel Chain
You might have thought Bowser was evil before. But he was never more sinister than when he had his own chain of hotels.
In the game Hotel Mario, Bowser conquers much of the Mushroom Kingdom and transforms it into a chain of gaudy hotels.
This is played for laughs, but the fact that Bowser is driving people from their land in order to make a cheap buck with ugly hotels is really sinister and feels a bit more like the history of America than the history of the Mushroom Kingdom.
3. Flooding the Earth With Hairdryers
What if the real global warming threat was Bowser? That is the general plot of the little-known game Mario Is Missing.
In this game, Bowser plots to flood the earth by melting Antarctica, which he's going to do with a whole bunch of hairdryers.
Considering one of Bowser’s primary abilities is breathing fire, we can only conclude the hairdryer scheme is due to his extreme laziness.
4. Secret Furry
Is Bowser secretly a furry? Not all the time. But on special occasions, he shows us his fursona as a giant cat.
In Super Mario 3D World, Bowser uses a Super Bell to transform himself into a giant cat. If that’s not weird enough, he called himself Meowser.
This would probably be the weirdest version of Bowser if not for the existence of Bowsette.
No judgments on the furry kink, Bowser. But you might want to have Kamek delete your browser history before you fall into the lava.
5. Equal Opportunity Invader
Bowser is mostly known for his constant attempts to invade the Mushroom Kingdom. But we eventually found out that this scary bad guy is a real equal opportunity invader.
For example, he invades the Sprixie Kingdom in Super Mario 3D World. And in Super Mario Odyssey, he invades the Cap Kingdom and several other kingdoms in his ongoing quest to marry Princess Peach against her will.
Maybe this dude should invade the Sexy Singles Kingdom and call it a day.
6. Size Matters
How big is Bowser? In Super Mario Bros., he is only a bit taller than Mario’s grown form. In later games, though, different methods turn him into a titanic threat.
For example, he is somehow a giant (often called “Super Bowser”) near the end of New Super Mario Bros. Wii, but defeat returns him to normal size.
And in Super Mario Galaxy 2, the Power Stars make him into a giant once more. Depending on the game, Bowser can go from being a bit tall to looking like a reject from Attack On Titan.
7. Death and Resurrection
In earlier games, we just took it as a given that Bowser keeps coming back after his apparent death. But in New Super Mario Bros., we get to see the surprising death and resurrection of this fearsome foe.
In that game, Bowser actually falls into the lava and emerges as a skeleton version known as “Dry Bowser."
When this form is turned into a pile of bones, Bowser is seemingly dead. But thanks to his son using a magic cauldron, Bowser is eventually resurrected into his familiar form.
8. Single Dad
For the most part, we look at Bowser and see a scary threat to the Mushroom Kingdom. But when you look at this scary turtle man, you’re also looking at a single father.
Canonically, Bowser only has one child: Bowser Jr. The Koopalings were once portrayed as his children, but Shigeru Miyamoto retconned that.
Bowser tricks his son into thinking Peach is his mother, but we never find out who the real Baby Momma is. Sorry, Bowser...your child support is in another castle.
9. He Has a Brother!
Players have fought with many of Bowser’s family members in the different Mario games. But have you ever fought with Bowser’s brother?
In Super Mario Bros. 2: The Lost Levels, you fight a different Bowser who does not transform into a minion when defeated (like all the fakes do).
You can tell he is different by the different coloration. And we know this is Bowser’s younger brother based on some Nintendo character books that came out back in the '90s.
10. Many Fake Bowsers
The original Super Mario Bros. followed a simple pattern: at the end of each world, you fought with Bowser and killed him. You’d then get the disappointing message that your princess was actually in another castle.
But how does Bowser keep coming back if you’re dropping him into the lava over and over again?
As it turns out, those other Bowsers are fakes created by the actual Bowser’s dark magic. Only the one guarding the real Princess is the actual Bowser.
11. Powerful Magician
Depending on the game, Bowser mostly comes across as a smaller (most of the time) and chattier Godzilla. But he was originally conceived of as a powerful wizard.
The original Super Mario Bros. instruction manual clarified that Bowser is a powerful magician who transformed most of the Mushroom Kingdom into things like the blocks Mario destroys.
This means that Bowser secretly had some major magic mojo, but the series eventually abandoned this idea.
12. Time Traveling Shenanigans
Bowser is paranoid enough that he doesn’t really trust anyone but himself. Which is why he’s not above using time travel to team up with himself.
In Yoshi’s Island DS, Bowser travels from the future to team up with his baby self. This was part of a scheme to harness the power of the Star Children, but Bowser eventually got pissed off enough at his younger self to kick him out of Bowser’s castle.
13. He’s a Star Child
Some of the side story Mario games give us weird details about Bowser’s background. And one of the strangest details is that he is a star child.
Yoshi’s Island DS reveals that Bowser is one of the star children, which is a group of youngsters packing major power.
This helps to explain why the character is so deadly, even from a very young age.
14. Enemies Since Childhood
The original Super Mario Bros. made it seem like this was the first clash between Mario and Bowser. But would you believe they have been enemies since childhood?
In the prequel Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island, we see Baby Bowser meeting Baby Mario for the first time.
He fights Yoshi and Baby Mario, getting a little help from the wizard Kamek along the way.
15. Different First Appearance
The actual appearance of Bowser has changed quite a bit over the years. And if you were to look at his first appearance, he’s downright unrecognizable.
As drawn by Shigeru Miyamoto for the Super Mario Bros. box art, Bowser looks more like a grey orc that borrowed Donald Trump’s hair.
It wasn’t until later designers pointed out that he should look more like a turtle that Bowser began looking more like he does today.
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