Bowser Impostor

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This article is about the Bowser Impostors from Super Mario Bros.. For information about the Bowser copy in Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, see Bowser Clone.
Bowser Impostor
Tanooki Bowser.png
Artwork of a Bowser Impostor in Super Mario 3D Land.
Species Origin Koopa
First Appearance Super Mario Bros. (1985)
Latest Appearance Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (2014, cameo)

Bowser Impostors[1] are various standard enemies that were transformed by Bowser's black magic into duplicates of himself. They first appeared in Super Mario Bros.


Super Mario series[edit]

Super Mario Bros. / Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels[edit]

Mario has to fight seven Bowser Impostors (one in each castle) before he can reach Bowser's Castle and fight the real one. Hitting a Bowser Impostor with fireballs reveals that they are really just common enemies disguised as their king with a spell (presumably put on them by Bowser). Some of these enemies are colored light gray (because of the castle's gray color palette), however. The enemies and their attributes are:

Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels additional worlds:

The You vs. Boo section of Super Mario Bros. Deluxe:

In Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, Bowser Impostors also appear in Worlds 8-4, 9-3, and D-4, along with the real Bowser. Unlike the other Bowser Impostors, these Bowsers have more of a mint-green body with a brown muzzle instead of the normal color. This type of Bowser is a magical copy of the real one; it also breathes fire and throws hammers in all levels encountered except in World D-4, where it is a Spiny which breathes fire, just like the one at the end of the level.

Super Mario All-Stars[edit]

In Super Mario All-Stars, they also lack their alternate coloration and look identical to Bowser. Because of this and the fact that this Bowser is the only Bowser that appears in World 9, players unaware of the original version of the game have mistaken them for the real Bowser. However, one means of distinguishing them from the real Bowser is the music that plays; the real Bowser's music is different.

On a side note, all Bowser Impostors in Worlds 9-D only throw hammers in the Super Mario All-Stars remake. Strangely, the real Bowser in World D-4 also only uses hammers, unlike in World 8-4, where he uses hammers and spits fire.

Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3[edit]

In Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3, a Bowser Impostor appears as a boss in the e-world level "Classic World 1-4", where it plays a similar role to that played in Super Mario Bros., though it looks identical to the game's real Bowser. It is revealed that the Bowser Impostor is a Goomba after being defeated.

Super Mario 3D Land[edit]

Screenshot of a Bowser Impostor from Super Mario 3D Land.

Bowser Impostors appear in the Nintendo 3DS game, Super Mario 3D Land. They have spikey Tanooki tails, and they attack in a similar way as in Super Mario Bros., breathing several giant fireballs from a far place and jumping around the stage.

However, unlike in Super Mario Bros., only two Bowser Impostors appear: one in World 1-Castle Icon.pngCastle and the other in World 5-Castle Icon.pngCastle. They are also immune to Fire Mario's fireballs and any other projectiles. In order to defeat a Bowser Impostor, Mario or Luigi has to press a switch at the end of bridge to make it collapse and send the Bowser Impostor into the lava. After falling into the lava, Bowser Impostors bounce upwards and show their true forms with a Super Leaf beside them. The Bowser Impostor in World 1 is actually a Goomba, while the one in World 5 was a Magikoopa.

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga[edit]

A Bowser Impostor makes a cameo appearance in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. It is seen in a special area inside Bowser's Castle, which is a side-scrolling level imitating a Super Mario Bros. level, and appears at the end of that level. The Bowser Impostor appears to be made of cardboard, and Mario must run underneath him and hit the axe to make him fall.

Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games[edit]

A Bowser Impostor appears as a boss in Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, specifically in the Mario version of Dream Figure Skating. The appearances of the stage and its boss are based off Super Mario 3D Land. He chases the team across a giant collapsing bridge, spitting fireballs at them. The team must hits four buttons at the same time to cause the Bowser Impostor to fall into lava, where he turns into a Goomba and a Super Leaf.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U[edit]

According to one of the randomly generated tips in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Bowser's eighth alternate coloration in these games is based upon the Bowser Impostor that appears in World 8-4 of Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels.[1]


Name in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese 偽クッパ
Nise Kuppa
Fake Koopa
Spanish Bowser falso Fake Bowser
Russian Поддельные Боусер
Poddel'nyye Bouser
Fake Bowser
Korean 가짜 쿠파
Gajja Kupa
Fake Koopa


  • Although not discretely noted as such, Bowser??? in Paper Mario and the "Bowser" used by King Boo in Luigi's Mansion seem to be similar bogus Bowsers.
  • The World 3 and C (All-Stars version of The Lost Levels) Bowser Impostors are the only Buzzy Beetles and Bullet Bills that can actually be defeated by fireballs.
  • In the All-Stars version of The Lost Levels, Bowser Impostors that appear before the end of the stage were given Bowser's normal palette instead of the minty-green and brown palette used in the Famicom Disk System release.


  1. ^ a b "A Bowser Impostor?! In Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, Mario fights a blue fake Bowser before the real thing. That blue fake is his eighth color in this game!" - Super Smash Bros. for Wii U Tips