“We just love being mean!!”
The Koopalings (also known as Bowser's Minions and occasionally called the Koopa kids) are a clan of seven siblings that act as the leaders of the Koopa Troop under Bowser. They serve as the tertiary antagonists of the Mario series. The Koopalings mostly appear as bosses in various SNES-era Mario series games before going on a nine-year hiatus after Hotel Mario, reappearing once in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga in 2003, and then being redesigned for 2009's New Super Mario Bros. Wii, which has since been followed by numerous appearances as both bosses in the Super Mario platformers and playable characters in various spinoffs.
While the Koopalings were originally depicted as Bowser's children in both the games and various media released after their debut in Super Mario Bros. 3, it later fell into disuse. When Bowser Jr. was introduced in 2002, it caused confusion about the nature of Bowser's parenthood, and while some sources such as the Prima Guide of New Super Mario Bros. Wii (in which all eight Koopas appeared) referred to Bowser Jr. as a "bothersome Koopaling", other sources treated him independently from the Koopalings. Finally, in a 2012 interview with the American magazine Game Informer, Shigeru Miyamoto explicitly stated that Nintendo's "current story is that the Koopalings are not Bowser's children", officially leaving Bowser Jr. as his only offspring.
The Koopalings are listed below in their original order:
Concept and creation
The Koopalings were modeled after the design team of Super Mario Bros. 3, and they were all named after famous musicians by the game's North American localizers, since they were not given distinct names in the original Japanese version. In the Japanese version of Super Mario World, only their first names were adopted, dropping the Koopa surname, as was done in many subsequent games (both in English and Japanese). The Koopalings were all given different names in the cartoons, purportedly because Nintendo of America had not released their own names yet, forcing the writers of The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 to come up with their own names.
The word "Koopaling" itself is likely a combination of the name "Koopa" with the diminutive suffix "-ling", which is often used to denote younger, smaller or inferior versions of the full name, which aptly describes their relation to Bowser. Similarly, their original Japanese name, "Kokuppa" is essentially "Little Koopa" (which is what the retainers serving the kings call them) or "Child Koopa". The English name also evokes such words as "fledgling", "hatchling", "youngling", or even "underling", and may be a mere portmanteau between one of them and "Koopa".
Super Mario series
Super Mario Bros. 3
The first appearance of the seven Koopalings was in Super Mario Bros. 3 where they are the main antagonists of the game, together with Bowser and Boom Boom. Here, the Koopalings were ordered by Bowser to use their airships and armies to conquer the various lands of the Mushroom World. Each Koopaling, after attacking a kingdom, stole the ruler's magic wand and transformed that ruler into an animal of some kind (or in the case of Pipe Land's ruler in the NES version, a plant).
Mario and Luigi battle a Koopaling every time they travel through a heavily-guarded airship. The battle against the Koopalings consists mostly of dodging the Koopalings' leaps and magical blasts from their stolen wand. It takes three stomps on the head or nine fireballs in order to defeat a Koopaling. Unlike Bowser, they are immune to hammers. Once defeated, that Koopaling retreats into their shell, flies away and drops their magic wand. After Mario or Luigi picks it up, the airship vanishes and that world's king is restored.
The Koopalings played the same role in Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3, with Morton, Lemmy and Ludwig each given an extra e-Reader level. Larry also attacks Grass Land and turns its king into a Cobrat. In addition, if the player manages to defeat Bowser before defeating the other Koopalings, a cutscene plays when the player arrives at their respective world's castle that shows them ambushing the king, stealing the wand, and then departing shortly before Mario arrived.
Super Mario World
After traveling through a Koopaling fortress, Mario or Luigi would battle a Koopaling, who would need to be bashed on the head three times, or in Iggy and Larry's case, knocked into the lava to be defeated. Morton, Ludwig, and Roy can also be defeated with a dozen fireballs. After a Koopaling was defeated, a captured Yoshi's Egg would be rescued and the path to a new area would be opened.
Once defeated, Morton, Ludwig, and Roy went spiraling into the background wall (signified by a puff of smoke), while Iggy, Lemmy, Wendy and Larry all fell into the lava. Afterwards, Mario or Luigi would totally destroy their castle in a variety of different ways. The narration heavily implied their complete demise, though this was added for flavor by the localizers - the Japanese text for each castle was originally uniform for each victory and did not even refer to them by individual name (in International versions, a rematch can also occur by holding L & R at the castle's rubble).
For some reason (likely technical restrictions), the Koopalings' in-game sprites differ drastically from their game artworks. The Koopalings generally use the palettes intended for the Koopa Troopas (yellow for Ludwig and Lemmy, blue for Roy and Iggy, red for Wendy, and green for Morton and Larry); the Koopaling who comes closest to being colored correctly is Larry, who uses the green palette. Additionally, the game's cast roll uses alternate color palettes for three of the Koopalings: Morton gets a teal palette, the same one applied to the Buzzy Beetles' in-game sprites; Ludwig gets a pinkish-purple palette more appropriate for the shells of Roy and Wendy; and Roy gets a grey palette that would fit Morton's shell. Furthermore, for unknown reasons, Iggy uses Larry's hairstyle despite having his own style present in the game's graphics, with the correct style only being used during the game's cast roll.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
The Koopalings made a surprise return in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, serving as bosses in seven of the game's worlds. They also make an appearance in the game's opening sequence, hiding in a cake as cake toppings that the Koopalings presented Princess Peach with. Bowser Jr. also appearing alongside the Koopalings. The seven Koopalings all sport what seems to be replicas of the magic wands from their first appearance, while Bowser Jr. has a miniature Koopa Clown Car of his own. In the first seven worlds, Mario and his friends would have to ascend a tower in the middle of the world, at the top of which the Koopaling of that world waited. When defeated in battle, the Koopaling then jumps away after their defeat, much like Bowser Jr. in the original New Super Mario Bros., setting up a rematch at the castle at the end of the world. Upon catching up with the Koopaling again, Kamek appears and adds a new element to the battle, such as replacing the floor of Larry's room with one that shifts up and down, giving Lemmy an even larger ball than before or even flooding the room Wendy is in. Also, the Koopalings have been given voices in this game, it also gives much deeper voices to Roy, Morton and Ludwig as opposed to the cartoons, where they all have higher voices.
After the credits, they are shown helping Bowser get back up (with the exception of Larry, who is being gestered by Bowser Jr. to get up upon his arrival). When he does, however, Bowser's castle falls on top of all of them. Bowser can be heard moaning in pain after that.
In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Larry is in World 1, Roy is in World 2, Lemmy is in World 3, Wendy is in World 4, Iggy is in World 5, Morton is in World 6, and Ludwig is in World 7.
While in Super Mario Bros. 3 Morton was the boss of a desert level, Roy was the boss of a sky level, and Ludwig was the boss of a pipe level, these have all been slightly switched. Roy is the boss of a desert level, Ludwig is the boss of a sky level, and Morton is the boss of a mountain level (replacing the pipe level). Also, Iggy's giant level is replaced with a jungle level. Larry, Lemmy, and Wendy each retain their level themes (grass, ice, and water, respectively).
New Super Mario Bros. 2
The seven Koopalings reappear in the game, New Super Mario Bros. 2, as the main antagonists. Five of them (Roy, Iggy, Wendy, Morton, and Ludwig) serve as the castle bosses of the first five main worlds, while the two others (Larry and Lemmy) are the bosses of the castles in two of the special worlds.
They use the Koopa Clown Car to kidnap Princess Peach, as seen in the intro, where Mario and Luigi fly around for coins while the Koopalings capture the Princess. After Mario and Luigi safely landed, the Koopalings crash onto the floor, making the Mario Bros. lose their Super Leaves. They show them Princess Peach and fly away, with Mario and Luigi closely behind them.
One of the Koopalings is seen at the beginning of each world, where they run to the tower with Princess Peach. After defeating the Reznors in the Tower, the Koopaling of this world comes down with a chain, laughing or taunting Mario and then disappearing again, running to their castle. After the castle fight, the next Koopaling awaits with Princess Peach, only to run away to the next world. They are also seen with the Koopa Clown Car to turn Mario into stone in the final castle by blasting a bright light. After Bowser's initial defeat, the Koopalings attempt to aid Bowser by making him grow bigger, although this only resulted in them being knocked down by Giant Bowser. During the credits, they are seen trying to carry the defeated Bowser with the vehicle, but his weight pulls them down, scattering them all on the floor and on trees.
In this game, Roy is in World 1, Iggy is in World 2, Wendy is in World 3, Morton is in World 4, Ludwig is in World 5, Larry is in World Mushroom, and Lemmy is in World Flower. On a side note, when all Koopalings are in the Koopa Clown Car, the 5 Koopalings that are required to be fought (Roy, Iggy, Wendy, Morton and Ludwig) are within the car, while the two optional Koopalings (Larry and Lemmy) are holding onto the outside of the car. The New Super Mario Bros. 2 guide mistakenly calls Iggy Koopa Larry Koopa.
New Super Mario Bros. U
The Koopalings return, along with Bowser Jr., and Kamek, in the Wii U title New Super Mario Bros. U. The Koopalings aid Bowser in capturing Peach's castle. In addition, they also travelled beyond Peach's castle to the neighboring regions in order to ensure that the Mario Bros. don't return to the castle. Like in Super Mario Bros. 3, each Koopaling has a personal airship, though this time, the ships have been stylized in their own designs, but all the ships have their heads for the bow and their coloured shells on top. They're bosses in castle levels once again, but they are fought in their airships, which are accessed via a cannon from the castles. While Larry, Iggy and Ludwig retain their magic wands, Lemmy, Morton, Wendy and Roy don't have them this time around, and instead use various weaponry (e.g. Roy uses a handheld Bill Blaster during his battle) much like in Super Mario World. In addition, Larry, Morton, Wendy, Iggy, and Lemmy fight Mario in the cabin area of their airships, while Roy and Ludwig fight Mario on the crows nest of their airships.
Lemmy is the Acorn Plains boss and thus the first Koopaling to fight, followed by Morton who is the boss of Layer Cake Desert, (which is his first time as a desert boss since Super Mario Bros. 3), Wendy as the Frosted Glacier boss, Larry as the Sparkling Waters boss, Iggy to be the boss of Soda Jungle, much like how he was the boss of World 5 in New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Roy as the boss of Rock-Candy Mines, leaving Ludwig as the final Koopaling to fight, like in the previous New Super Mario Bros games, as the boss of Meringue Clouds.
After Bowser was defeated, the Koopalings attempted to get Bowser to jump to safety on his own beat-up airship. However, Bowser inadvertently destroyed the ship while attempting to board it, with the Koopalings clinging to Bowser's tail, while Bowser himself held on to Bowser Jr's Junior Clown Car.
New Super Luigi U
The Koopalings return in New Super Luigi U. Unlike most other aspects of the game, they act the same way as they do in New Super Mario Bros. U. At the beginning of each castle, a stone face of the Koopaling with glowing eyes will appear on a wall, but is only for decorative purposes.
Amada Anime Series: Super Mario Bros.
The first appearance of the Koopalings outside of video games was in the Japanese-exclusive Super Mario anime series, which was an adaptation of three fairy tales. In the Mario version of Momotarō, they appeared as the minions of Bowser, who was portrayed as the stories' ogre. The Koopalings also appeared as minions of Bowser (now the Wicked Queen) in the adaptation of Snow White ("Shirayukihime").
The Koopalings are fought within the first three volumes of the Super Mario-Kun, but they are rarely seen unless there is a volume based on a game they have appeared in.
In The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World produced by Nintendo and DIC Entertainment, the Koopalings (sometimes referred to as the Koopa kids) were featured as recurring villains, replacing Mouser, Tryclyde, Fryguy and Clawgrip from The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!. They appeared in these cartoons under altered names. This is probably due to the show's creators using the Japanese version of Super Mario Bros. 3 as a reference and as the Koopalings weren't named in that game, the show creators simply created names and gave the Koopa kids (as they were called) personalities to match these names. In these cartoons, the relationship between Bowser and the Koopalings was interpreted as more of a powerful father spoiling his bratty children. They did things such as try to get his attention, gain his appreciation, and even plot against him. Cheatsy (Larry) and Kooky (Ludwig) seemed to be Bowser's favorites out of the bunch, which somewhat follows older game material.
The Koopalings were recurring characters in Valiant's Nintendo Comics System imprint. Here, their personalities were somewhat similar to their animated series counterparts, though they had their original names and appearances. While Wendy and Lemmy each had solo appearances (the former in Fins and Roses, and the latter in The Buddy System and The Revenge of Pipe Ooze!) their siblings only appeared in the story Bowser Knows Best (where the group abduct Princess Toadstool for Bowser as a Father's Day present) and the short Get Kooped Up With the Nicest People! (where they and Bowser are shown vacationing in a resort called Klub Koopa).
Nintendo Adventure Books
The Koopalings appeared throughout the Nintendo Adventure Books, often aiding Bowser in his latest scheme, though they would occasionally strike out on their own, as was the case with Ludwig in Pipe Down! and Iggy in Brain Drain. The only book in which all seven appeared together was Koopa Capers, which has Wendy steal her brothers' wand so she can fuse them with her own to make a super wand that, along with minions loyal only to her, would allow her to usurp her father.
In the books Iggy was the Koopaling featured the most, often appearing as the main threat due to whipping up a new invention like the GLOM, Monster Mixer and Synapse Switcher. Larry was used the least, his only noteworthy role in the series being ambushing Mario and Yoshi in an entirely skippable sequence in Dinosaur Dilemma.
Mario is Missing!
In Mario is Missing!, the Koopalings aid Bowser in his plan to melt Antarctica, thereby flooding the Earth. Presumably, they also headed each of the "Koopa critters" that were being deployed to steal the artifacts around the world. A Koopaling would guard the corridor of Bowser's fortress and battle Luigi, who was searching for his missing brother.
In the Super Nintendo version of Mario is Missing!, only Ludwig, Roy and Iggy appear, although Larry and Morton are mentioned in the manual; in the PC version of the game, Lemmy and Morton are the only ones not appearing. Cut dialogue in the latter version, however, implied that Lemmy and Morton were considered to be implemented as bosses. Also in the PC version, instead of stomping the Koopalings a few times, Luigi defeats them with a single blast from a Fire Flower that he gains after locking each door on a floor. The PC version is also the only major appearance of the Koopalings where they actually intelligibly speak in-game, until Mario Kart 8.
In Yoshi's Safari, the Koopalings once again aid Bowser in the conquest of a kingdom, this time Jewelry Land. In this game, the Koopalings attack Mario by using giant mecha weaponry. It would take various shots from Mario's Super Scope to beat a Koopaling, thus forcing it to hold up a white flag of defeat.
Larry, Wendy, and Morton were also given plush toys as part of the Yoshi's Safari plush set (along with Mario, Yoshi, and Bowser).
In Hotel Mario the Koopalings each guard one of seven hotels scattered throughout the Mushroom Kingdom. Mario adventures through each hotel and reaches the Koopalings' rooms to battle them. Their hotels are passed in this order:
Mario & Luigi series
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
“Koopalings! Your time has come!”
After getting into Bowser's Castle, Mario and Luigi fight the Koopalings in their respective rooms, usually needing to complete some sort of challenge in order to battle them. Additionally, the last three (Roy, Wendy, and Larry) use a special Time Bob-omb in battle. If the Mario Bros. failed to end the battle successfully in 9 turns, the Bob-omb's timer would reach zero and it would explode, resulting in an instant Game Over. While the Mario Bros. ventured through the castle they encountered the Koopalings in the same order as in Super Mario World (Iggy, Morton, Lemmy, Ludwig, Roy, Wendy, and Larry). After being defeated, each Koopaling left a warp point for the Mario Bros. None of the seven Koopalings had any lines of dialogue.
Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam
“"I thought we were operating as a collective trust!"
Mario Kart 8
The Koopalings made their spin-off debut appearance as unlockable playable characters in Mario Kart 8. This also marks the first appearance overall of the Koopalings as playable characters. Lemmy, Larry, and Wendy are classified as lightweight characters, Iggy and Ludwig are medium weight, and Morton and Roy are heavyweight. The Koopalings get their own emblems similar to Bowser and Bowser Jr.'s in this game.
The parts used by the Koopalings receive extra details, but as with characters such as Metal Mario, Pink Gold Peach, Bowser, Donkey Kong, certain Mii, Yoshi and Shy Guy colors as well as downloadable characters, this mainly consists of unique frames for their Standard Karts, Standard Bikes, Standard ATVs and Super Gliders. In addition to these, all the Koopalings, unlike the other characters, have Pipe Frames with unique colored steering wheels and exhaust pipes as well as Landships which are based on their personal airships from New Super Mario Bros. U.
CPU-controlled Koopalings, as well as Bowser, may use the Landship as their vehicle of choice aside from the Standard bodies and the Pipe Frame.
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U
The Koopalings make their Super Smash Bros. series debut as unlockable (default in the Wii U version) newcomers in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U, as seven model swaps of Bowser Jr. They all have their own voices and are acknowledged as separate fighters by the announcer (similar to how Alph is a "separate" fighter from Olimar). Each Koopaling drives a specific-colored Junior Clown Car that have yellow eyes instead of black like Bowser Jr.'s version. They all fight identically, however.
Because each Koopaling is a model swap of Bowser Jr., they all have been resized to match him in height (and, to some extent, their in-game heights from games such as Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World), and they also use Bowser Jr.'s animations, but some retain their unique properties; for example, Iggy is thinner than the others.
The order Bowser Jr. and the Koopalings are scrolled though (by pressing ) is similar to the order the Koopalings are fought in Super Mario Bros. 3 (except Roy and Morton, which switched spots), starting with Bowser Jr., then Larry, Roy, Wendy, Iggy, Morton, Lemmy, and Ludwig.
Similar to the other fighters, they are also subject to Pit's Smash Taunt, Palutena's Guidance. However, other than their full name when identified by Palutena, all the conversations are the same. They also have their own titles in the Boxing Ring monitor for the Wii U version. It should be noted, however, that them possessing their own titles and attributes is only the case in International versions; in the Japanese version, they actually share the same title as Bowser Jr., which is 「万能のチャリオット」 (or "all-purpose chariot").
Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition
The Koopalings return as bosses to fight at the end of each world in Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition. Additionally, they reappear during the final battle alongside Bowser and Bowser Jr., riding in the Koopa Clown Car with Bowser. The combination of the Koopalings and Bowser is treated as a single enemy, and is named Bowser and His Minions.
Unlike most other enemies in this game, the Koopalings are one of a kind enemies who can't be recruited by normal means. Instead, the player has to defeat them at their special world airships in order to recruit them. Upon joining the player as allies, the Koopalings stop appearing as enemies, and instead, get replaced by generic enemies for their castles and airships. Also, the player is not able to part ways with any of the Koopalings, nor can they be depowered.
As of version 2.0, each of the Koopalings have received two different transformations, with each one having them be paired with one or more generic enemies. This in return, gives them a sub-attribute, along with altering their Awoken Skill. The transformations can be switched at any time by using the proper transformation items, but once the player has transformed the Koopalings, it is impossible to revert them back to their original forms.
Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
Ludwig, Larry, Roy, and Wendy appear as playable characters in Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. In the 3DS version, they can only be used in certain events; Larry plays Equestrian, Wendy plays 100m Freestyle, Roy plays Beach Volleyball, and Ludwig plays Table Tennis. The Koopalings once again speak in-game, and again, their voice clips are reused from Mario Kart 8.
Iggy, Lemmy, and Morton do not appear as playable characters, but there are unlockable Mii costumes based on them. There are Mii costumes based on Ludwig, Larry, Roy, and Wendy as well.
Iggy and Larry appear in Mario's Early Years. Iggy is in the alphabet, and Larry comes out of a pipe if the player chose the correct answer, saying "I like your choice". Iggy also makes cameo appearances in Super Scope 6 and Super Mario Sunshine. In the former, he is shown riding a missile and chasing a plane piloted by Mario, while in the latter, an image of Mario fighting him in Super Mario World is briefly shown during F.L.U.D.D.'s scan.
The Koopalings were originally going to appear in Super Princess Peach as boss characters in the order of Super Mario World, though they were dropped from the final version of the game for unknown reasons. According to the unused sprites, Roy, Wendy's, and Morton's shells were apparently going to be colored green like their brothers, rather than their original pink and grey coloration (respectively).
The Koopalings are briefly mentioned as Bowser's children in his trophy in Super Smash Bros. Melee, but only Bowser Jr. is mentioned in the Super Smash Bros. Brawl trophy, while Ludwig alone appears as a Sticker.
In Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games and Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, costumes that are based on the Koopalings can be unlocked in that game, and are unlocked in the same order as the Koopalings were fought in New Super Mario Bros. Wii.
The Koopalings make a cameo appearance in Mario Kart Arcade GP DX on banners in the Aerial Road and Sky Arena tracks.
The Koopalings appear in Super Mario Bros. 3 challenges in NES Remix 2. An entire challenge is dedicated to beating all the seven in a row in the order they were fought in Super Mario Bros. 3. In addition, Iggy and Larry have their own challenges. Iggy has to be defeated with the Frog Suit, while Larry has to be defeated while Mario is small.
All the Koopalings look relatively similar to Bowser and Bowser Jr., but lack horns on their head. Morton has a unique darker complexion, and three have heads that are not green in colouration (Morton's head is white and Roy's is pink while Wendy's head matches the rest of her body's yellow coloration). Three of them (Larry, Wendy and in part Iggy) have blue eyes much like Bowser in Super Mario Bros. 3 (but while Bowser's eyes were changed to red, the Koopalings' eyes remained blue). Originally, Ludwig, Morton and Lemmy's eyes were merely black dots, however the former two have since been shown to have thin dark grey irises. All of them have pointed claws on their hands. All the Koopalings have various distinguishing features, such as varying numbers of teeth protruding from their snouts and unique hair styles and colours. Oddly, their sprites in Super Mario World gave them all white hair and colouration that did not match their artwork. All of them, like Bowser, have ribbed padded stomaches.
While most of the Koopalings originally had green shells, redesigns introduced with New Super Mario Bros. Wii gave them all unique shell colours. Other aspects of their preexisting designs were also tweaked, such as Iggy's hair being green rather than multicoloured, and their heights and builds being more varied, with Iggy now the tallest, followed by Morton, Ludwig, Roy, Larry, Wendy and finally Lemmy, who was the runt of the litter in their original appearances as well. Their tails also became visible in their official artwork starting from New Super Mario Bros. Wii, having only been seen in some sprite depictions until this point except for Iggy. In their appearances in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U, because they are model swaps of Bowser Jr., all of the Koopalings appear roughly the same height as one another, most notably with Roy, Iggy, Morton and Lemmy (although Iggy is still thin).
All the Koopalings' designs were modified in the DIC cartoons, although they were still recognizable.
The Koopalings' individual personalities have not been fleshed out much besides being childlike, their desire to cause mayhem, and their loyalty to Bowser (their unexplained subservience to Bowletta in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga notwithstanding). However, there were some hints in various supplementary materials. Some of the personalities changed between localizations. For example, Roy in the American localizations was depicted in a manner similar to a bully (which also earned him the name "Bully" in the DIC cartoons), but the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 3 instruction booklet and Super Mario Advance 4 e-Reader cards give him a calm and collected demeanor. The original manual also gave each of the Koopalings several quirks unique to each of them that hinted at their individual personalities with some speeches uttered by them; however, the official English translation toned down several of these quirks or removed them altogether. Although loyal to Bowser, they also did not wish to be on the receiving end of Bowser's rage if they failed a task, as evidenced by Larry's reason for why he and the other Koopalings will not give up the kings' wands easily to Mario, as he stated that the alternative would be to get yelled at by Bowser. Prior to their descriptions in the New Super Mario Bros. Wii websites, they were given distinguishing characteristics in The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 and the Super Mario World cartoon, as well as the Nintendo Comics System and Nintendo Adventure Books (which were different, but had some similarities). In Mario Kart 8, the Koopalings seem to have better speech capabilities than Bowser, as they can be heard saying their names at several points, and even yelling one or two-liners.
The Koopalings each have varying abilities, but in general, the Koopalings are capable of using their shell as both a method of defense and a method of offense. In addition, they are all capable of jumping very high, and are all skilled in magic, frequently using magic wands as a weapon. While only Ludwig and, according to the artworks of the Nintendo Power Super Mario World Guide, Iggy and Larry spat fireballs in Super Mario World, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga revealed that all Koopalings have this ability. Despite that, they are weak to fireballs, though their exact limit has varied between taking multiple fireballs to take down, or being one-hit knocked out by a single fireball. Similar to Bowser, they also have a tendency to survive dangerous hits. This is especially evident with their defeat in Super Mario World, where Larry, Wendy, Iggy, and Lemmy were dunked into lava by the Mario Bros., and each Koopaling later had their castles collapse on them, in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, where they alongside Bowser and Bowser Jr.,ended up surviving being crushed by Bowser's falling castle, and in New Super Mario Bros. 2, all them were accidentally knocked into the lava twice, once by a gigantic Bowser, and then from a gigantic Dry Bowser.
In terms of talents unique to individual Koopalings, they seem to know their own spells. While most of them simply cast a colorful shot of magic that slowly flies in a straight line, Wendy instead creates glowing rings that ricochet off the surfaces of the room, and Lemmy creates bouncing circus balls that can knock the Mario brothers into a bottomless pit. In every game in the Super Mario series outside of Super Mario World, Lemmy is always seen in battle balancing on top of a big yellow circus ball covered with starry patterns. Ludwig could create earthquakes with his descents in Super Mario Bros. 3, an ability that was taken away from him ever since New Super Mario Bros. Wii, but kept by Roy and Morton. Ludwig was given the ability to flutter jump in the New Super Mario Bros. games instead. In Super Mario World, Roy and Morton were able to walk up walls and ceilings and drop down at will.
While the Koopalings are almost always considered seven Koopa youths in villainous right-hand roles, they were originally introduced in Super Mario Bros. 3 as Bowser's own children, with some official material from Nintendo of Europe using the term "offspring" or the equivalent in other languages to strongly suggest that they were natural children. They were also shown to have a family dynamic with him in Mario cartoons, books and comics produced at the time. In both game material and other media, they helped their father in his evil plans, typically acting as mini-bosses who ruled over various conquered areas. However, despite the relationship, a line from Lemmy in the Japanese manual implied that they do not live with Bowser.
After Super Mario Bros. 3, subsequent games and related material started downplaying or ignoring the relationship between the Koopalings and Bowser. In the Super Mario World instruction booklet, they are described as his kids, but this is not mentioned in the original Japanese version. Remakes and re-releases of Super Mario Bros. 3 (with the exception of the North American version of Super Mario All-Stars Limited Edition) more or less retained their original role. The back of the English-language version of Yoshi's Safari box called them Bowser's "offspring", while the manual for the SNES version of Mario is Missing! vaguely describes the Koopalings as Bowser's "bad boys" (Wendy was not shown to be involved in that game), although in the DOS version's in-game dialogue, the Koopalings refer to Bowser by name rather than with a familial title.
Fourteen years after the Koopalings made their debut, 2002's Super Mario Sunshine introduced a new son, Bowser Jr. Given that the Koopalings had not made a major appearance since 1994's Hotel Mario and Bowser Jr. was being treated independently from his apparent brothers and sister, this caused confusion about the nature of Bowser's parenthood and raised concerns that Bowser Jr. had replaced the seven older characters as Bowser's sole offspring. In their reappearance in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, the Koopalings were given no lines and there was no comment on their relationship to Bowser; however, as mentioned above regarding Super Mario Bros. 3 re-releases, the Japanese and English instruction booklets of Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 again referred to the Koopalings as Bowser's children. In contrast to Super Smash Bros. Melee, only Bowser Jr. was mentioned as Bowser's son in his Super Smash Bros. Brawl trophy in 2008; in fact, the Japanese version is a bit more explicit, using the phrase 「ひとり息子」, meaning "one son" or "only son".
The Koopalings eventually returned after a long hiatus alongside Bowser Jr. in 2009's New Super Mario Bros. Wii. In the game, they worked alongside Bowser Jr., although they do not have any significant interaction outside of the ending, in which Bowser Jr. seemed to try to order Larry to help his father. In the game's Prima material, they were written as Bowser's eight children (counting Bowser Jr. among their ranks), although other sources downplayed their kinship. In a September 2012 interview, Shigeru Miyamoto, speaking with Takashi Tezuka, went on record to say that their "current story is that the seven Koopalings are not Bowser's children", leaving Bowser Jr. as his only offspring with an unknown mother. Since then, it has been clarified that the Koopalings are at least related to each other.
Regardless, Nintendo as a whole doesn't seem to care about withholding or changing existing material that implies or states the Koopalings' role in old games so that it would match their supposed current portrayal, not even when reorganizing and rewriting the description of old games released again through the Virtual Console service. In a Japanese Nintendo Direct for Mario Kart 8, the Koopalings were considered「クッパ大魔王の子分」 ("Kuppa-daimaō no kobun"), or "Great Demon King Koopa's protégés"; in addition, Wendy was referred to as a temperamental princess (localized as the "Speed Queen" or "Princess of Destruction", suggesting it may just be intended as a racing title). While the Koopalings' descriptions in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS do not adequately explain what their group is supposed to be, their guidance conversation in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U lampshades their connection with Bowser and Bowser Jr. by noting the Koopalings' resemblance to Bowser Jr. and calling the relationship between them and Bowser a mystery, indicating that it is rather intentionally kept ambiguous going forward, with new material from Nintendo indeed confirming this hypothesis. In the Encyclopedia Super Mario Bros., the story of Super Mario Bros. 3 is almost a direct copy of the one contained in the original Japanese game manual, but a term that stressed that the Koopalings are Bowser's own children is deliberately removed.
Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam brought a new side to the Koopalings, as they seem more like henchmen to Bowser, calling him Master Bowser, but treat each other like annoying siblings, as seen when Wendy beats up Roy after Roy accidentally broke a rock on her. Larry explicitly calls Ludwig brother, confirming that they are indeed siblings. While Roy feels comfortable enough around Bowser Jr. to call him squirt, he is also intimidated enough when Jr. threatens to tell on him. Ludwig says the he is the leader of the Koopalings, to which Morton, Iggy, and Larry deny, saying they work on a collective trust. Importantly, in the German version, Morton explicitly calls Bowser father and then corrects himself, calling him Master Bowser. In the same version Larry also specifically calls Ludwig bigger brother every time that Ludwig draws a Battle Card and not only at the beginning of their first battle and Bowser Jr. says my dad in front of Roy, showing that he isn't aware that the Koopalings might be his siblings. The other PAL versions, on the other hand, use a more vague Morton's line in which the term Bowser replaces father. An exception is the French version, that uses a direct translation of the Japanese line, saying just Master Bowser. Even though the Italian version is not as explicit as the German version, it has as well has two interesting details in that the Koopalings are known again as Little Bowsers (Bowserotti), a translation of the term ｢コクッパ」 that itself fell largely in disuse in newer games since New Super Mario Bros. Wii, and Lemmy calls upon his daddy after Iggy activates Neo Bowser Castle's main cannon. It is important to note, however, that in the Japanese version all the details about the Koopalings' family relationships are missing, including the latter one in Lemmy's line, and that not even the brotherly relationship between the Koopalings is confirmed, as the Koopalings are just known as clan of the seven Koopas (「クッパ7人衆」) and Larry doesn't call Ludwig brother.
In Nintendo Power, Larry was stated to be the youngest of the Koopalings (reaffirmed as still true in the North American version of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U), while Ludwig was said to be the oldest. The birth order for the five middle children was not confirmed, although in Super Mario Bros. 3, as Larry is the first Koopaling to be fought and Ludwig is the last, the implication would seem to be that all seven Koopalings are fought in order from youngest to oldest (provided the player doesn't warp); however, Morton is described as "one of the older Koopalings," although this may have been in relation to Larry, the previous boss enountered. The same guide also stated that Ludwig is Bowser's second in command, although this has since been supplanted by characters like Kammy Koopa, Kamek, and Bowser Jr., as well as English versions of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and the European version of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U stating that Larry leads the Koopalings (though this is possibly due to a mistranslation that was corrected only in the North American release of the Wii U version). In Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, Larry calls Ludwig "boss", and Ludwig shows that he thinks of himself as a leader, and even a king.
In The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, this was further contradicted as Hip and Hop (Lemmy and Iggy) are depicted as twins and are believed to be the youngest. Although Kootie Pie (Wendy) celebrated her sixteenth birthday in "Reptiles in the Rose Garden", the specific ages of the others was never confirmed. According to the Writer's Bible included on the Shout! Factory DVD set and brief concept clips of the cartoon, the other Koopalings were all teenagers; Bully was the eldest, followed by Big Mouth, Kooky, Cheatsy, Kootie Pie, and finally Hop and Hip both at six years old. This is seemingly the reference used for the Nintendo Adventure Books, since in Leaping Lizards Morton exclaims “Little brothers are so cowardly!” in regards to Iggy, although this may have been a quip at Luigi's expense (who expressed particular resentment at that remark).
The order the Koopalings are fought differ each game they appear in as bosses:
Although the games themselves initially did not have the Koopalings speak (the DOS version of Mario is Missing nonwithstanding), the Koopalings did have a variety of voice actors in various Mario media.
In the Super Mario anime created in 1989, the Koopalings were voiced by Masaharu Sato (Larry and Iggy), Miyako Endo (Morton and Wendy), and Naoki Tatsuta (Roy, Lemmy, and Ludwig).
In the DIC cartoons, the Koopalings were voiced by James Ransken (Cheatsy), Dan Hennessey (Big Mouth), Tabitha St. Germain (Kootie Pie), Tara Strong (Hop and Hip), Gordon Masten (Bully), and Michael Stark (Kooky).
In Mario is Missing, the Koopalings, as noted above, were given dialogue. However, their voice actors in the CD-ROM Deluxe re-release were not credited.
In Super Mario Advance 2: Super Mario World, the Koopalings did have voices, although they just gave dying screeches when defeated by Mario or Luigi. Additionally, they were all similar monster roars and only Iggy, Lemmy, Wendy and Larry used them.
Starting in 2009 with New Super Mario Bros. Wii, the Koopalings were given voice acting, although it was largely composed of grunts and roars instead of actual dialogue. Larry, Morton, Wendy and Lemmy are voiced by Lani Minella, Iggy and Ludwig are voiced by Mike Vaughn, and Roy is voiced by Dan Falcone.
In Mario Kart 8, all of the Koopalings are voiced by the same voice actors as in the New Super Mario Bros. games, with the exception of Ludwig and Wendy, who are voiced by David J. Goldfarb and Ashley Flannegan respectively. Larry, however, is also co-voiced by Michelle Hippie. This time, they do say actual words and phrases, besides "NOOOOOOOO!" when defeated in the former games.
In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U, the Koopalings have reused their voice samples from New Super Mario Bros. Wii.
In Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, the Koopalings have spoken dialogue for the first time since the Mario's Early Years! series. Their voice clips, however, are reused from Mario Kart 8.
The Koopalings have a distinct theme music composed of several fast-paced beats. This was originally the boss music for Super Mario Bros. 3. However, starting with New Super Mario Bros. Wii, it became more clearly associated with them. In the latter, a cover of the original version was played when fighting them at the tower levels. In the castle levels, and their fights from New Super Mario Bros. 2 onward, a different, slower-paced cover was played.
Names in other languages