Dry Bowser (also known as Bowser Bones and Skeletal Bowser) is an undead, skeletal version of Bowser, debuting in New Super Mario Bros. Dry Bowser was accidentally created in New Super Mario Bros.'s first castle, when a short fight between Bowser and Mario ended with Bowser being dropped into a pit filled with lava. Unlike previous occasions, the lava reduced the once-mighty king to a skeleton, leaving his son, Bowser Jr., temporarily in command of the Koopa Troop. Dry Bowser is then fought in the first castle in World 8.
Since appearing as an unlockable driver in Mario Kart Wii, Dry Bowser has made recurrent appearances as a separate character from Bowser, notably in the Mario & Sonic series. Dry Bowser has a terrifying howl combined with the rattling of bones from his entire body. This can especially be heard in the Wii version of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games when the player faces him in Ice Hockey.
Super Mario series
New Super Mario Bros.
In New Super Mario Bros., Bowser becomes Dry Bowser when he falls into lava after being defeated in World 1. He later appears as the boss of World 8's castle. He drops in from the ceiling and falls apart, but reassembles and is ready to fight.
To defeat Dry Bowser, Mario must dodge his attacks, which include breathing small flames and throwing his own bones, and wait for him to make a high jump. Mario must then run under Dry Bowser and hit the Skull Switch, destroying the bridge and throwing him into a very deep pit; when he finally hits the ground, his whole body falls apart. If Mario (or Luigi) has a Mega Mushroom as his backup item, then the player can use this item to simply jump on Dry Bowser, who then quickly crumbles in defeat.
At the final battle of the game, Bowser Jr. is present with the disassembled Dry Bowser. He tosses his father's skeleton into a cauldron, which causes Bowser to revert to his original form, albeit larger.
If the player uses the Warp Cannon that leads to World 5 found in World 1 before taking on the castle, Bowser's demise will appear unexplained, as he is never seen falling into the lava before appearing in his Dry Bowser form in the first World 8 castle.
Super Mario 3D Land
Dry Bowser returns in Super Mario 3D Land as the boss in the castle stages of the Special Worlds. His battle tactics are similar to False Bowser, but they have several subtle differences. For example, he breathes blue fireballs at Mario while approaching him as opposed to the False Bowsers' method of breathing fireballs while stationary. He also attempts to hit the hero with his skeleton tail and slam the ground (creating shockwaves). Once Mario hits the switch, the bridge collapses, sending Dry Bowser into the lava. Dry Bowser is fought in the castles of Special 1, Special 5, and Special 8, in the same worlds as his normal world counterparts.
New Super Mario Bros. 2
Dry Bowser reappears in New Super Mario Bros. 2 as the castle boss of the World Star, the final special world which is unlocked after beating the final boss. He behaves the same as his other counterpart in World 6, which marks the first time Dry Bowser becomes a larger size (excluding using a Mega Mushroom in Mario Kart Wii). The only difference in the two boss battles is that he is faster than Bowser and the platforms are smaller. Unlike the original battle, Peach's cage is nowhere to be seen. His eyes turn blue before he shoots his blue fireballs, and this is the only game where this happens.
Mario Kart series
Mario Kart Wii
Dry Bowser makes his first playable appearance in Mario Kart Wii. He is a large-sized driver along with his living counterpart, Bowser. However, it seems more reasonable that Dry Bowser would be a lower weight class, as he lacks all matter other than bones. It is likely that his size qualifies him to be in that class, seeing that weight doesn't always matter when it comes to the large karts (for example, King Boo, Waluigi and Rosalina also look as if they should be in a lower weight class, but are too tall to fit in the medium size karts). He has a more terrifying roar than Bowser in this game, mixed in with several bone rattling sounds, which make up his sound effects throughout the game. He can be unlocked by beating all the Wii cups on 150cc with at least 1 star ranking. He is the Time Trial ghost of Grumble Volcano and GBA Bowser Castle 3.
Dry Bowser was the only CPU opponent in the second tournament of March 2009, where he attacked the player by firing fireballs at them throughout the race in the Mario Kart 64 version of Bowser's Castle. This competition has since been repeated twice.
Dry Bowser features a good off-road (tied with Toadette) and mini-turbo (tied with Wario, Koopa Troopa, and Dry Bones) bonus, which makes vehicles like the Flame Flyer and Phantom perform a bit better off the track, along with getting a slightly better mini-turbo after a drift.
Mario Kart 8
Although Dry Bowser does not physically appear in Mario Kart 8, the Bone-Dry Dunes course has a part of Dry Bowser's head on the cliff face over the cave. As well, an advertisement in Twisted Mansion for "Undead Motors" uses his emblem.
Mario & Sonic series
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games
Dry Bowser makes his second spin-off appearance in the Wii version of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games. He appears as the last rival character in the Festival Mode. Here he challenges the player to the Ice Hockey event, where he is the captain of a team of three Dry Bones while he participates as his team's goalkeeper. Once the player's team manages to beat him, he angrily chases his own team, likely blaming them for the loss. However, if the player loses, Dry Bowser and his team will do a victory dance and laugh evilly. There is also a purchasable Dry Bowser costume that the Miis can wear.
In the DS version of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, Dry Bowser is seen working for Bowser and Dr. Eggman, who are trying to kidnap the Snow Spirits in the Adventure Tours mode. He appears as the boss of the Super Sonic Downhill event (where he is found at the end of Sparkleton, keeping Pola hostage in a cage), as well as in the Curling Bowling event, where he is encountered just before the player reaches Bowser and Dr. Eggman in Blizland, where he is keeping Frosty in a cage.
Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games
Dry Bowser returns as a rival in the London Party Mode of the Wii version of Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games. He is faced in the Dream Long Jump event. After the player beats him, they receive a Sticker. Also, the music that plays when playing against him is the same as in the previous title. The player can once again unlock a Dry Bowser suit for their Miis.
Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games
Dry Bowser appears as a boss in the Legends Showdown mode of Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. As all of the playable characters are about to claim the Legend Trophy, he ambushes them along with Eggman Nega and Rouge the Bat. The player must then face all three of them in the Winter Sports Champion Race event.
Mario Tennis Open
Dry Bowser appears this time as a unlockable playable character in Mario Tennis Open. Dry Bowser, along with Waluigi, are the only Defense-type players in the game. He can be unlocked after the third difficulty level of Ink Showdown, Inksplosion, is completed.
Mario Party: Island Tour
In the game Mario Party: Island Tour, making his first appearance in the Mario Party series, Dry Bowser acts as the fifth boss to be fought in Bowser's Tower, on the twenty-fifth floor, with his minigame Dry Bowser's Brain Bonk. He reuses his voice clips from Super Mario 3D Land.
Dry Bowser is simply Bowser's skeletal form, though there are some significant changes in not only color but also in shape. The most noticeable feature is his nose, which has morphed into a beak-like shape. Dry Bowser's shell is a charcoal gray with dark red spike-rings and scarlet spaces between its plates, as opposed to his counterpart's standard green, red, and black. His horns are longer and more curved, and his eye sockets are more triangular with thick bone where Bowser's eyebrows used to be. Like Dry Bones, Dry Bowser's eyes are black holes with glowing yellow pupils. The once black and shiny collars around his neck and arms have been scorched and turned a dull, very dark red, and his hair has been taken up in a ponytail similar to the hairstyle of Bowser Jr.
As an undead version of Bowser, Dry Bowser has largely the same abilities, while also possessing the near-indestructible nature of other Dry Bones, although Dry Bowser's fire breath is blue, as opposed to Bowser's orange fireballs. Dry Bowser also has the ability to throw bones at his foes and stomp on them with a high jump. Dry Bowser is also notable for his large howl that can raise lava in New Super Mario Bros. 2.
List of appearances by date
Official profiles and statistics
Mario Kart Wii
Mario Tennis Open
Names in other languages