“We just love being mean!!”
The Koopalings (called Bowser's minions in Europe in the New Super Mario Bros. games, and occasionally called Koopa Kids in the cartoons) is the name of a group of seven siblings that closely serve Bowser. The Koopalings often act as high-ranking leaders of the Koopa Troop and 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 their inclusion in the recent New Super Mario Bros. games, starting with 2009's New Super Mario Bros. Wii.
The Koopalings were originally considered to be Bowser's own seven children, but while this idea was explored in various media released after their debut in Super Mario Bros. 3, it later fell into disuse. Then, 14 years after the Koopalings made their debut, Bowser Jr. was introduced during their 9-year hiatus, causing confusion about the nature of Bowser's parenthood. While the Prima Guide of New Super Mario Bros. Wii referred to Bowser Jr. as a "bothersome Koopaling", other sources treated him independently from his Koopaling "siblings". Then, in a 2012 interview with the American magazine Game Informer, Shigeru Miyamoto explicitly stated that "our 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 the order they are fought in Super Mario Bros. 3. It should also be noted that in one of the Prima Guides, it is stated that Boom Boom is the "forgotten Koopaling", however nothing else links him to the group.
Larry Koopa has been stated to be the youngest of the Koopalings (although Iggy and Lemmy are called the youngest in the official Super Mario World player's guide). In the cartoons, he's the middle child. He seems to have an interest in sports, such as how he plays tennis with a fireball in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, although he hasn't appeared in any sports game. He has also shown to be bad-tempered or bratty in New Super Mario Bros. Wii. His main color representation is sky blue, and he wields the orange magic scepter. Larry is known as Cheatsy Koopa in the cartoons, because he will try to win by any means, legitimate or otherwise. In Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World, his shell was colored green and his hair was white. In Mario Kart 8, he is described as "Koopa army's special attack squad leader."
Morton Koopa Jr.
Morton Koopa Jr. is the second Koopaling fought in Super Mario Bros. 3. He is the largest Koopaling, with an angry personality and brutality to match. In the cartoon, he is smaller and is the second oldest. He is also the only Koopaling to have a brown skin tone, rather than the yellow tone of the others. The Jr. is simply included as a homage to the man he was named after, Morton Downey Jr.. His main color representation is black, and he wields the red magic scepter, or magic gun. Morton is known as Big Mouth Koopa Jr. in the cartoons, due to his talkative nature, and often talks for long amounts of time, only to be stopped by one of his siblings. In Super Mario World, his shell was colored green and his skin was yellow again. In Mario Kart 8, he is described as "unrivaled/invincible tough guy."
Wendy O. Koopa
Wendy O. Koopa is the only female Koopaling. She is considered a spoiled brat with a quick temper in the cartoon series, often going into a rage over little things. Instead of the spiked bands the other Koopalings wear, she instead wears two large, circular gold bracelets, along with a spotted bow, a necklace, and high heels. She really wants to become queen. Her lips also differ from the others, as they are plump and pink. Regardless of her feminine traits, she is stated to be a tomboy. She is one of the two Koopalings with no hair (the other being Roy) and the only other not bearing any visible teeth or fangs (the other being Lemmy). Wendy was known as Kootie Pie Koopa in the cartoons. Her main color representation is pink, and she wields the purple magic scepter. She is named after Wendy O. Williams, lead singer of the punk rock band The Plasmatics. In Super Mario World, her shell was a shade of deep red. In Mario Kart 8, she is described as "overthrow/beat-down princess" and a "speed queen".
Iggy Koopa is a hyperactive, demented, and unpredictable Koopaling. His two significant characteristics are his glasses and his height; he is shown to be the tallest, thinnest, and fastest of the Koopalings. In the cartoons, he is known as Hop Koopa and is the twin brother of Lemmy Koopa (Hip Koopa); together, they are the youngest members of the family. He is also shown to be somewhat of an inventor and a mechanical genius, and one of the smartest Koopalings, alongside Ludwig. Iggy Koopa appears to have a pet Chain Chomp, which assists him during his battles in New Super Mario Bros. Wii and New Super Mario Bros. 2. Iggy's main choice of color is yellow-green, and he wields the yellow magic scepter. In Super Mario World, his shell was colored blue and his hair was white. In Mario Kart 8, he is described as the "trickster with the black-framed glasses".
Roy Koopa is the fifth Koopaling fought in Super Mario Bros. 3. Roy is sometimes depicted in American media as a typical bully who likes beating up others for his own amusement. He is even known as Bully Koopa in the cartoons, and is said to be the oldest sibling in that medium. In a likely reference to the "Real men wear pink" saying, Roy's head and sunglasses are pink, as was his shell originally. He is one of the only Koopalings that does not have any hair (the other being Wendy). His main color representation is purple, and he wields the black magic scepter. In Japanese materials, Roy is shown to speak in a calm and collected manner, so he may have more of a laid-back personality. In Super Mario World, his shell and head were colored lavender purple. In Mario Kart 8, he is described as a "out-of-control turtle heavyweight".
Lemmy Koopa is the smallest of the Koopalings. He has been depicted as an immature, fun-loving child that retains his innocence and immaturity. He is one of the only Koopalings to not bear any visible teeth or fangs (the other being Wendy). His main color representation is orange, and he wields the green magic scepter. Lemmy was known as Hip Koopa in the cartoons and is the twin brother of Iggy Koopa (Hop Koopa), and together, they are the youngest members of the family and mainly were just mischievous instead of evil. Already being clownish from his love of balancing on his rubber ball, it is occasionally inferred he would rather join the circus than try to destroy Mario. He is named after Lemmy Kilmister. In Super Mario World, his shell was colored yellow and his hair was white. In Mario Kart 8, he is described as "number 1 in agility."
Ludwig von Koopa
Ludwig von Koopa has been known to be the oldest Koopaling. He was considered to be Bowser's second-in-command in earlier appearances but is now his third-in-command. He possesses a magnificent intelligence, most likely superior to that of the other Koopalings. He is presumptuous and arrogant, yet the most cunning and ingenious. He is also the cruelest of his siblings, but is still very much into culture; he likes listening to classical music and he is a composer himself, as he apparently composes "Koopa Symphonies" (which are said to be terrible). His main color representation is deep blue, and he wields the blue magic scepter. Ludwig was known as Kooky von Koopa in the cartoons and was the third oldest. He can perform a Flutter Jump in New Super Mario Bros. Wii and New Super Mario Bros. 2, but can levitate in New Super Mario Bros. U. He is named after composer Ludwig van Beethoven. In Mario Kart 8, he is described as the "showoff villain-hero."
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 North American localizers of Super Mario Bros. 3, 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 Toad serving the king calls 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. 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 scepter and transformed that ruler into an animal of some kind (or in the case of Pipe Maze'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 scepter. It takes three stomps on the head or ten 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 the GBA remake, Super Mario Advance 4, 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 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. 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 appears alongside the Koopalings, marking the first time that all eight children have appeared in the same game. The seven Koopalings all sport a replica 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 with Bowser Jr. ordering them to help Bowser get back up. 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, alongside their Magic Wands, reappear in the game, New Super Mario Bros. 2, as the main antagonists alongside Bowser. 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 2 optional Koopalings (Larry and Lemmy) are holding onto the outside of the car. The New Super Mario Bros. 2 guide mistakenly calls Iggy Larry.
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.
The Koopalings survive the battle, and were presumably picked up by Bowser Jr. and were onboard his airship. When the Koopa Troop called a retreat shortly after Bowser was defeated, the Koopalings attempted to get Bowser to jump to safety on the ship. 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 Koopa 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!. Oddly, the names of the Koopalings were altered in The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3. 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. These names were presumably kept in the Super Mario World animated series, which was created after the Koopa Kids were officially named, so as not to confuse viewers.
Also in the show, the order of the Koopalings' ages were altered; see the section Birth Order for more information. Rather than acting as Bowser's highest ranking minions, the Koopa Kids acted directly as his children. They did things such as try to get his attention, gain his appreciation, and even plot against him. Cheatsy and Kooky (Larry and Ludwig) seemed to be Bowser's favorites out of the bunch, which somewhat follows the games. Lemmy and Roy were the only Koopa Kids who closely resembled their game counterparts.
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 travel to Earth with Bowser to aid him in his plan to melt Antarctica, thereby flooding the Earth. Presumably, they also acted as the commanders for 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. All it would take are a few bops on the head to defeat a Koopaling in Mario is Missing!.
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, though they are mentioned in the game's manual. 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, 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 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 a Koopaling would guard a hotel which they had taken over. Mario would have to adventure through a Koopa Hotel and reach their room to battle them. Their hotels were passed in this order:
Despite their efforts, and like in the previous engagements, the Koopalings were defeated. Iggy didn't have his own hotel, but he accompanied Bowser in the final battle.
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
After several years absence, the Koopalings make a return appearance in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. During the game, the witch Cackletta who had previously stolen Bowser's body takes control of Bowser's Castle and uses the fortress to attack Beanbean Castle Town. The Koopalings serve "Bowletta" and work to impede the Mario Bros.' progress.
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 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. In the eShop description of the game, the Koopalings are described as "Bowser's seven minions". Each of the Koopalings have varying weights: Lemmy, Larry, and Wendy are classified as lightweight, Iggy and Ludwig are classified as medium weight, and Morton and Roy are classified as heavyweight. Every one of them is used as a Normal Staff Ghost.
On a side note, if any of the Koopalings are CPU-controlled, they are more likely to use the Landship than any other vehicle body.
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 FLUDD'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. In this game, 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).
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 each other and to Bowser and Bowser Jr. However, unlike their boss and his son, the Koopalings lack horns on their head, Morton Koopa Jr. has a unique darker complexion, and three have heads that are not green in colouration (Morton Koopa Jr.'s head is white and Roy Koopa's is pink while Wendy O. Koopa's head matches the rest of her body's yellow coloration). All the Koopalings have various distinguishing features, some of which were exaggerated or changed in the redesigns introduced with New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Originally, most of the Koopalings had green shells, but now they all have unique shell coloration, and their tails are visible in the artwork, having only been seen in various sprites before the release of New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Oddly enough, in Super Mario World all four Koopalings who have hair were platinum blonde or white-headed.
Also each koopaling has a different number of fangs. Iggy and Morton have four fangs, Larry and Roy have two fangs, Ludwig has one fang, and Wendy and Lemmy have no fangs.
Shortest to tallest, the Koopalings height order is: Lemmy, Wendy, Roy, Ludwig and Larry, Morton, Iggy. Lemmy is the size of Toad, Wendy is the height of Mario or Luigi, Roy is around the height of Peach, Ludwig and Larry are tied with Rosalina, and Iggy is taller than Bowser.
The Koopalings' individual personalities have not been fleshed out much besides their desire to cause mayhem and their loyalty to Bowser. 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 Japanese materials give him a calm and collected demeanor. The Japanese manual for Super Mario Bros. 3 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 American 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 king's scepters easily to Mario in Super Mario Bros 3, as he stated that the alternative would be to get yelled at by Bowser. In-game, especially in Mario Kart 8, the Koopalings seem to have better speech capabilities than Bowser or Bowser Jr., 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 also skilled in magic, frequently using Magic Scepters as a weapon. They are weak to fireballs, however, 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. They also have the ability to jump very high, seen after leaving a fortress battle in New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Lemmy has one of the weakest jumps, since it took him 3 jumps to go such a short distance. Ludwig has one of the strongest jumps, enabling him to float like a Yoshi. Iggy jumps the farthest, due to his hyperactivity. Morton jumps the lowest, probably due to his enormous weight. However, it took him five jumps to get to his castle. To add, each koopaling has different ways to jump. For example, Roy jumps up and ground pounds, which has the power to paralyze an enemy.
The Koopalings were introduced in Super Mario Bros. 3 as Bowser's seven children, and were shown to have a family dynamic with him in Mario cartoons, books and comics produced at the time. In both the games and the other media, they helped their father in his evil plans, typically acting as mini-bosses who ruled over various conquered areas. They are shown to be very loyal to Bowser in all their appearances, their unexplained subservience to Bowletta (Bowser possessed by the witch Cackletta) in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga notwithstanding.
In the Japanese manual of the Super Mario Bros. 3, the relationship between the Koopalings and Bowser was both implied and confirmed. The Koopalings' name 「コクッパ７兄弟」 Kokuppa 7 Kyōdai, made them essentially "7 little Bowser siblings", which would imply some level of relation to Bowser.. Meanwhile, Bowser refers to them as 「俺様の息子達」 Ore-sama no musuko-tachi, which equates to "my children" (or, literally, "my sons"), and Larry, Morton and Lemmy refer to Bowser as 「オヤジ」 Oyaji, which is both a term of endearment and a Japanese word for "father" . 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 their related material started downplaying or ignoring the relationship between the Koopalings and Bowser. The material for the remakes and rereleases of Super Mario Bros. 3, including the Japanese manual of Super Mario All-Stars version of the game, more or less mentioned their 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! ambiguously calls the Koopalings Bowser's "bad boys" (Wendy was not shown to be involved in that game), however in the the DOS version's in-game dialogue, the Koopalings refer to Bowser by name rather than with a familial title. Their titles also changed throughout their appearances in Japan. As noted above, the Koopalings were referred to as Kokuppa 7 Kyodai in the Japanese promotional materials and manual for Super Mario Bros. 3. In Super Mario World, they were instead referred to as the Kokuppa 7 Ninshu (rough translation being "7 Man Little Bowser Team"). Similar terminology was used for their most recent appearance in Mario Kart 8, now being called Kuppa 7 Ninshu ("7 Man Bowser Team"). Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga simply refers to them as Kokuppa ("Little Bowsers").
In 2002, Super Mario Sunshine introduced a new son, Bowser Jr., and given that the Koopalings had not made a major appearance since 1994's Hotel Mario, there were concerns that Bowser Jr. had replaced the seven older characters as Bowser's sole offspring. While the Japanese and English manuals of Super Mario Advance 4 referred to the Koopalings as Bowser's children, only Junior was mentioned as Bowser's kid in his Super Smash Bros. Brawl Trophy in 2008, which outdated Bowser's Trophy in 2001's Super Smash Bros. Melee referring to his "seven children". Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga gave them no lines and did not comment on their relationship to Bowser.
The Koopalings eventually returned after a long hiatus alongside Bowser Jr. in 2009's New Super Mario Bros. Wii. The game established that Bowser Jr. was the heir to the Koopa throne, and he seemed to act as the ringleader of the group. Promotional materials downplayed their kinship, such as the website of New Super Mario Bros. 2 referring to the Koopalings as minions, as well as their name change in Japan and Europe to "Bowser's minons" (although the European website for New Super Mario Bros. Wii grouped the Koopalings in with Bowser Jr. as being part of the "Koopa Clan"). In an American September 2012 interview, Shigeru Miyamoto went on record to say that Nintendo's "current story is that the seven Koopalings are not Bowser's children" and that Bowser Jr.'s mother is unknown. Despite this, Nintendo of Japan doesn't seem to care about withholding or changing the existing material that implies or states the Koopalings' role in old games so that it would match their supposed current portrayal. In addition, Larry's official description implies that the Koopalings acted as special forces in the Koopa Troop. The Japanese Mario Kart 8 Direct called the Koopalings 「クッパ大魔王の子分」 "Kuppa-daimao no kobun", which makes them "Bowser's proteges" or "followers".
According to the Player's Guide for Super Mario Bros. 3, Larry is stated to be the youngest of the Koopalings, while Ludwig is said to be the eldest. As Larry is the first Koopaling of the game, while Ludwig is the last, it is strongly implied that all seven Koopalings are fought in order from youngest to oldest, provided the player doesn't warp. However, the birth order for the five middle children has never been officially confirmed.
In The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, an alternate birth order was used; much of this information comes from the Writer's Bible included on the Shout! Factory DVD set. Bully (Roy Koopa) is regarded as the eldest, while the twins Hip and Hop (Lemmy and Iggy Koopa) are the youngest. While Hip and Hop are said to be six-year olds, the rest of their siblings are all teenagers. Although Kootie Pie (Wendy O. Koopa) celebrated her sixteenth birthday in "Reptiles in the Rose Garden", the specific ages of the others was never confirmed. In a behind-the-scenes clip of the cartoon, the Koopalings were shown in the age order of Bully, Big Mouth, Kooky, Cheatsy, Kootie Pie, Hop, and Hip.
The order the Koopalings are fought differ each game they appear in as bosses:
Although in the games themselves did not have the Koopalings actually talk (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), Paulina Gillis/Tabitha St. Germain (Kootie-Pie), Tara Charendoff/Tara Strong (Hop and Hip), Gordon Masten (Bully), and Michael Stark (Kooky).
In Mario is Missing, the Koopalings, as noted above, were given dialogue with full-on voice acting. However, their voice actors 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.
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, who is voiced by David J. Goldfarb. This time, they do say actual words and phrases, besides "NOOOOOOOO!" when defeated in the former games.
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 associated with them. In the latter, a cover of the original version was played when fighting them at the Fortress Levels. In the Castle levels, and their fights from New Super Mario Bros. 2 onward, a slower-paced cover of the theme was played.
Names in other languages