Ludwig von Koopa
“Quite an exciting game isn't it? I'm glad to know that we have such powerful enemies helping us out. We have more guys helping us besides these... but don't tell Mario.”
Ludwig von Koopa (known as Kooky von Koopa in the cartoons) is the oldest member and presumed leader of the seven Koopalings. This group is closely loyal to Bowser and were originally depicted as his children, with Ludwig serving as his second-in-command and presumed heir to the Koopa throne. However, games released after the Koopalings' debut in Super Mario Bros. 3 usually downplayed or ignored the idea that they were Bowser's children, and Super Mario Sunshine later introduced Bowser Jr., who appeared to take on the role of Bowser's protégé and second-in-command. The Japanese version of New Super Mario Bros. Wii confirmed that Junior ranked higher than Ludwig and the other Koopalings, and in a 2012 interview, Shigeru Miyamoto stated that Nintendo's current story was that the Koopalings were not Bowser's children.
Like the other Koopalings, not much of Ludwig's personality has been revealed, though it is known that he is highly intelligent and arrogant. The Super Mario Adventures comic revealed that he enjoys video games, and the English localization of Super Mario World stated that he likes to compose "Koopa Symphonies", much like his namesake, Ludwig van Beethoven, who may have also been the inspiration for the Koopaling's hair design. In battle he displays feats such as making earthquakes and magic blasts, spitting fireballs, shooting lightning blasts from his hands, and the ability to teleport from place to place. Ludwig even has the ability to flutter jump like Yoshis or levitate.
Super Mario series
Super Mario Bros. 3
In Super Mario Bros. 3, Ludwig is charged with taking over Pipe Maze. Easily doing so with the aid of his Airship and armies, Ludwig steals the wand of Pipe Maze's king, whom he turns into either a Piranha Plant or Yoshi, depending on the version of the game. He and Roy are the Koopalings that can make people freeze, just like the Sledge Bro.
Boarding Ludwig's airship, Mario manages to fight his way to Ludwig's cabin, where he engages the Koopa prince in battle. In battle, Ludwig goes into his shell and tries to roll into Mario. Though fast and capable of making stunning earthquakes and magic blasts, Ludwig is defeated and his control over Pipe Maze comes to an end. Mario moves on to World 8, where he would soon defeat Bowser.
The GBA remake, Super Mario Advance 4, expands Ludwig's role slightly with the (Japanese-only) e-reader level Kokuppa ni Damasareru na!, where he hides out at a docking area for maritime vessels. If the player takes the bottom route to fight Ludwig, he'll fight Mario or Luigi in a flat cabin, and will end up being defeated in one stomp by either of the Mario Bros. However, if the player goes to the end of the armada, they will fight Ludwig in a cabin with an uneven floor, and he will require the usual three stomps to be defeated. His level acted as the penultimate level to the final e-reader level card (counting "Kuppa no Hikōsen Zenpen" and "Kuppa no Hikōsen Kōhen" as one level).
Super Mario World
During his battle with Mario, Ludwig utilized a unique combat strategy: spitting fireballs, sliding around in his spiked shell, and occasionally making huge leaps. Mario or Luigi can stomp on him three times or hit him with a dozen fireballs or a combination of the two methods. Ultimately, he was defeated a second time by Mario who destroys Ludwig's castle by detonating explosive charges near the bottom of the building, sending it flying into a nearby hill. Subsequently the hill is bandaged in the spot it gets hit. The text that accompanies this suggests that he isolated himself to compose Koopa symphonies, at least until Mario showed up to ruin his work. However, this was added by the localizers.
Ludwig is the only Koopaling whose battle wasn't reused for another Koopaling. Also, like the others, his in-game design don't match official artwork: in his case, the sprite is coloured orange.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
Ludwig and the other Koopalings reappeared in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, after six years of absence, now alongside Bowser Jr. His physical appearance remains relatively unchanged, except for his shell, which is now blue instead of green, and his sprite now has blue hair.
He first appears in the opening scene, in which Ludwig and the rest of his siblings jump out of a cake at Princess Peach's birthday party, then trapped her inside it by throwing the cake at her and runs away. Mario, Luigi, Yellow Toad, and Blue Toad travel through the Mushroom Kingdom to defeat them, as well as Kamek and Bowser, and save Princess Peach. He is later implied to have commanded the Airship to leave without Bowser Jr., causing Bowser Jr. to chase after it and Mario to board it the second time. He appears as both the fortress and castle boss of World 7.
The stage for the fortress battle is a straight ground with a pit on both sides. When he sees Mario, he will look away and snicker.
When battling him at his tower, before reaching him, he conjures a blue fireball from his wand which slowly homes into the players. He is the fastest to cast a spell out of all the Koopalings. After that, he then jumps really high and Flutter Jumps above them whom he is trying to stomp on. After landing, Ludwig then conjures another homing fireball if he is not stomped on. When jumped on, Ludwig retreats back to his shell and spins it to the left and right of the stage in an attempt to hit the players (accompanied by his homing fireballs if it hasn't made contact with anything yet). When he is stomped on 3 times, he is defeated and retreats to his castle.
The stage for the castle battle is three separate, rising platforms which Kamek activated with his magic. The platforms rise up and down during the fight and the sides move in unison while the middle does not. Falling between the spaces between the platforms results in losing a life. It is strongly noted that the characters do not get affected by the platforms rising (the players jump normally as if the platforms aren't even rising at all, only the background moves).
In the castle, unlike the tower battle, his fireballs no longer home in, but instead they split into four and it takes more time to cast them. He uses his Flutter Jumping ability to get to another section of a platform. Players can tell in which platform he is going to land due to his legs being visible in the screen, Flutter Jumping for a few seconds before landing. When Ludwig is hit, he slides around in his shell, but he will only slide on the platform he is on, rather than sliding to another platform. He also spends a very limited amount of time in his shell. When he is hit two times, he shoots out another four fireballs after he casts his first set of fireballs. When finally defeated, Ludwig falls off-screen and Mario gets the key to World 8.
Although Ludwig fell during his castle battle with Mario, he was seen along with the other Koopalings getting Bowser back up, only to have Bowser's castle fall on top of all of them.
It is worth noting that he is one of the only two bosses fought in the same order as Super Mario Bros. 3 (the other being Larry, who was the first one Mario fought in both games).
Ludwig has an audible voice in-game for the first time. He is portrayed by Mike Vaughn, who gives Ludwig a much deeper voice than the cartoon series' actor.
New Super Mario Bros. 2
Ludwig, alongside the other Koopalings, reappears in New Super Mario Bros. 2. He is the World 5 castle boss. He'll once again look away and snicker before battling Mario. In his battle, Ludwig uses his flutter jump ability to grab one of the five chains hanging from the ceiling to attack Mario with three blue fireballs, while Mario has to use the five grey pipe cannons on the floor to blast himself against Ludwig fast enough. After that, Ludwig falls onto the floor and gets dizzy. Then Mario can jump on his head. After stomping him once, he starts to shoot four fireballs. After two stomps, the chain Ludwig hangs on starts to swing, making it harder for Mario to hit him but still shoots four fireballs. After another stomp, Ludwig is defeated, leaving the key to World 6.
Ludwig survived the encounter, and rejoined his companions at Bowser's castle, where they attempted to petrify Mario with their Koopa Clown Car's petrification device. He also aided Bowser alongside the rest of the Koopalings by causing him to grow larger, but it resulted in him and the others being knocked into a lava pit by Bowser due to his increased size. He and the other Koopalings survived, however, and attempted to help Bowser by airlifting him with the Koopa Clown Car, but this resulted in it crashing due to it being unable to handle the combined weight of both them and Bowser. Ludwig was some distance away from the crash site with his head down, apparently sulking.
New Super Mario Bros. U
Ludwig, along with the rest of the Koopalings, Bowser Jr., and Bowser, appears in New Super Mario Bros. U, and serves as the final Koopaling boss to be fought, specifically in the world Meringue Clouds. He once again turns and snickers before battling Mario. His boss battle, like Iggy's and Larry's, involves him using his magic wand, and like Roy Koopa, his battle takes place in the crow's nest.
In battle he levitates in the air while making two duplicates of himself, and all three will blast fireballs at Mario before dropping onto the ground. If the duplicate is jumped on, it will simply disappear. There are four ways to find out which is the real one. The one that is the real one fires three fireballs, while the duplicates fire two. The duplicates keep their eyes half-open, and tend to assume the real Ludwig's pre-battle idle pose while not levitating. The real Ludwig will also drop to the ground last, after the duplicates, as well as laugh while dropping. Finally, Mario always looks at the real Ludwig if he can see him directly, just as he does with the other bosses. When the fight starts off, after shooting their fireballs, the clones disappear before landing. After the first stomp, the duplicates don't disappear, making it a little harder on which is the real Ludwig. After the second stomp, not only do Ludwig and his duplicates shoot faster, but swap positions, but the real Ludwig still shoot three fireballs. After being stomped on three times, Ludwig falls out of the crow's nest and off screen, and his airship is destroyed by Mario. He is last seen hanging from Bowser's tail along with the other Koopalings as they all fly away on Bowser Jr.' heavily damaged airship at the conclusion of the game.
Ludwig has his own personalized airship, with his face as the bow, and his blue-colored shell at the top. The stern of his ship has a green color design, similar to his former shell color from past appearances. Like most of the airships, Ludwig's airship is equipped with a propeller at the back of his ship as well as another one placed just beneath the crow's nest. The airship is equipped with two cannons, one on each side. There are also orange lids on top of the cannons used for closing and opening the cannons. The airship has a unique feature. The hull is rimmed with green, and there is a balcony-like platform at the base of its mast. Like Roy, the interior of Ludwig's ship is unknown since the player never gets the chance to enter the cabin and instead fights Ludwig at the crow's nest.
Additionally, in the fastest possible route to complete New Super Mario Bros. U, Ludwig is the only Koopaling that needs to be fought.
Strangely, one of Ludwig's laughs is higher-pitched than his normal voice.
New Super Luigi U
Ludwig and the other Koopalings return in New Super Luigi U. Like the other bosses, Ludwig is fought in the same way and the same world as in New Super Mario Bros. U. He is the boss of Ludwig's Block-Press Castle.
Amada Anime Series: Super Mario Bros.
The Koopalings were featured in the Amada Anime Series: Super Mario Bros., a set of three Japanese OVAs. In the Mario retelling of the story "Momotaro", Ludwig and the other Koopalings appear as minions of Bowser, aiding him in abducting Princess Toadstool. In "Shirayukihime" (or Snow White), the Koopalings also appear in similar roles; Ludwig ends up being beaten by Mario like the other Koopalings.
Ludwig also appears prominently in The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 and the Super Mario World cartoons produced by DIC Entertainment and Nintendo. Here, Ludwig is portrayed as having a mad scientist-like personality, inventing various gadgets and doo-dads for his father. In the cartoons, Ludwig is renamed Kooky von Koopa, has somewhat messier hair, is smaller in size, has only one spike on his shell, has a usually twisted or curved tail, and also possesses an extremely bizarre laugh. Kooky is not the oldest Koopa Kid, as that position is taken by Bully. His personality is different too, as he doesn't ever listen to classical music and is never portrayed as a composer.
In the Super Mario World cartoon, Kooky appeared exactly the same with the exception of the episode The Wheel Thing, where his snout was colored the same as the rest of his body. His silent appearance in Rock TV colors his snout a lighter shade, as in The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3.
"Baby Ludwig", or more appropriately, Baby Kooky, has made his first appearance in The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 episode, "Toddler Terrors of Time Travel" , which had Kooky, as well as Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Bowser, regressed to infant states due to a malfunction with a time machine.
Ludwig appears in the Nintendo Comics System's story Bowser Knows Best, and the Super Mario Adventures comic, where he and his siblings aid Bowser in his attempt to marry Princess Peach. Here, he is portrayed as the most cynical of the Koopalings, disbelieving that Princess Peach would ever agree to marry his father. He is also in charge of communication with Bowser through their television.
He makes another short appearance in the Club Nintendo comic "Super Mario: Erholung? Nein, danke!", where he works as a mechanic for KoopAir. The plane he is working on takes off before he even finishes his work.
Nintendo Adventure Books
In Leaping Lizards, either Ludwig or Larry compete alongside five of their siblings in the International Mushroom Games.
In Koopa Capers, Ludwig and his brothers have their wands stolen by Wendy, who disappears with them shortly afterward, intent on overthrowing their father with her own army, and a super wand she intends to create by fusing her own wand with her brothers'. If Luigi, who had been coerced by Bowser into searching for Wendy, tracks the female Koopaling down to her hideout, Bowser and male Koopalings, who had been following him, will barge in after the plumber, but decide to stave off punishing Wendy for her mutiny if she helps search for the hiding Luigi. If Luigi had acquired Boom Boom's socks earlier in his adventure, he can toss them into Wendy's simmering wand combination potion, which will release fumes that knock the entire Koopa family and their minions out for at least a week.
In Pipe Down!, Ludwig appears as the main antagonist, having set up a base (complete with a giant pipe organ, stage and Piranha Plant string quartet) in a chamber in Pipe World. After his family refuses to have any part in his new basketball-themed opera, Dribbling Beauty, Ludwig sends a pair of enchanted sneakers to Princess Toadstool, disguised as a gift for her ninety-ninth (in mushroom years) birthday. Once the princess puts the sneakers on, Ludwig has them bring her to his lair by playing his organ; once the princess is in his clutches, Ludwig forces her to take the starring role of the Prima Slamdunkerina in his opera, which he intends to show all over Dark World as a part of nine-year tour. In the book's best ending, Mario and Luigi track Ludwig down, destroy his organ, and cause most of his lair to collapse, an act that actually has the beneficial effect of curing Ludwig's partial deafness. While distracted by his newfound ability to hear with perfect clarity for the first time in fifteen years, Ludwig is knocked out when the princess throws a basketball at his head.
Mario Is Missing!
In Mario Is Missing!, Ludwig, along with a few of the other Koopalings, invades Earth with Bowser as part of a plot to flood the world by melting Antarctica. Guarding a corridor of Bowser's headquarters, Ludwig battles Luigi, who plans on stopping Bowser's plot and saving the kidnapped Mario. He is the last Koopaling encountered in the MS-DOS release, while he is the first in the Super Nintendo Entertainment System release. In the latter, Ludwig appears when Luigi arrives back at the castle after clearing the last of the first floor's cities. Ludwig runs around the castle like mad; however, like the other bosses in the game, he cannot harm Luigi, simply running past him instead. Once Luigi jumps on Ludwig a total of six times, he disappears in a puff of smoke. Defeating Ludwig in combat enables Luigi to move on. In the former, he obstructs Luigi's path while conducting a baton to an unheard beat. Like the others, all he can take is a fireball. He does not appear in the NES release, like the other Koopalings.
In battle, Ludwig uses a large robot with four legs, a spiked shell and a retractable head (in which Ludwig himself is stationed). Two cannons are attached to the head. The robot's weak spot is a large red area which Ludwig normally guards with the robot's head. However, as he has to move while he shoots, the red spot often becomes temporarily visible, allowing Mario to destroy it. After the robot explodes, the pieces salvage themselves together into a fighter style mech, which has fists that fly off to attack Yoshi and Mario. Once this robot is also destroyed, Ludwig concedes defeat.
In Hotel Mario, Ludwig appears as the boss in Ludwig's Thump Castle Hotel in Ludwig's Frantic Lab. In this game, Ludwig displayed the previously unseen ability to teleport and shoot blast of lightning from his hands. Ludwig is slow and primarily changes floor via teleportation, though he will take the opportunity to take Mario or Luigi in an elevator if he comes across them. If this happens, he shows no mercy and puts a gluttonous end to them, though at least he has the dignity to keep their cap in his stomach. Despite these new powers, Ludwig is still defeated by the Mario Bros.
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
After years of absence, the Koopalings finally made a reappearance in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, acting as guards in Bowser's Castle during Bowletta's invasion of the Beanbean Kingdom. He is the fourth Koopaling to be fought, like in Super Mario World.
Ludwig attacks the Mario Bros. by moving inside his shell, which they have to jump over quickly. However, Ludwig sometimes fakes the brothers out, meaning they had to be observant. Afterwards, Ludwig jumps into the air. Mario and Luigi, confused, attempts to leave the room, only for Ludwig to return, roar angrily at the Mario Bros., and proceed to rush to attack them.
Like in Super Mario World, the eldest Koopaling attacks Mario and Luigi by shooting balls of fire and zooming around in his shell, as well as a spinning attack like Iggy. However, Ludwig is no match for the brothers' teamwork and was ultimately beaten. Defeating him loweres the spikes preventing Mario from hitting a switch, raising a platform and allowing the Mario Bros. to continue to Roy.
Mario Kart 8
Ludwig von Koopa, alongside the rest of the Koopalings, is set to appear as a playable character in Mario Kart 8. This game will mark his first appearance as a playable character. His emblem is shown to be a deep blue silhouette of his own head on a black background, much like Bowser's is.
Super Princess Peach
Ludwig was originally going to appear in Super Princess Peach, although he was taken out of the final game with the rest of the Koopalings. It appears that he could breathe fire like in Super Mario World, and that he could cackle haughtily.
Like the other Koopalings, Ludwig has yellow and tan skin and a green head. He also has a four-ribbed, padded stomach and padded feet. His facial features are defined, having shaped cheeks, a high nose, a low jaw, and deeply curved lips; his features are most similar to Roy's, although he is unique in having one beaver-like tooth in the upper center of his snout. He has a round head and small, circular eyes, like Morton. Ludwig is average in height to most other Koopalings, as he is taller than all of his siblings (except Morton and Iggy), Princess Peach, Bowser Jr., and the Mario Bros., but shorter than Bowser. In a few games, he appeared around as tall as Rosalina. His body is like a wider version of Larry's. Ludwig is best known to have large, wild, blue hair (although it was colored white in his sprites for Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World due to graphical limitations, similar to Larry); aside from slight color differentiation his hairstyle is the same as Flurrie's. He also has small, blue eyebrows. Ludwig's shell was originally green and was once grey in Hotel Mario, but is now blue with light orange rings surrounding the multiple, short spikes. Ludwig wears the same metal, spiked cuffs as the other Koopalings. His redesigned shell also bore a close resemblance to his NES sprite, which was a dark shade of green.
Personality and traits
Ludwig is the oldest among his siblings; his exact age is unknown, but he is said to be adult-like and conceited. He is also considered to be the cruelest of all the Koopalings. Nevertheless, he is said to be very much into culture: he likes listening to classical music and composes his own "Koopa Symphonies" which, according to the comics and adventure books, are horrendous. In reference to this, he waves a conductor's baton in Mario Is Missing! He was also implied to have been partially deaf at one point (which may have explained why his music was bad), as when Mario caused an explosion that "shook something loose in Ludwig's brain" in Pipe Down! he claimed he could finally hear. Ludwig is possibly the most intelligent of the Koopalings, though he doesn't seem to be as much of an inventor as Iggy. His skill with machines was also implied in the Club Nintendo comic Super Mario: Erholung? Nein, danke!, where he worked as a mechanic for the KoopAir airline service, although he wasn't able to completely maintain Mario and his friends' plane before it took off. He also seems to be into horror, as he had a horror-themed hotel in Hotel Mario. His actions in Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga also suggests that he gets enraged when the Mario Bros. ignore him. He was also implied to be somewhat treacherous, as evidenced by his leaving without Bowser Jr. shortly after Morton's defeat, which also resulted in Bowser Jr. being forced to allow Mario onto his airship a second time when attempting to re-board the airship. Ludwig was also implied in the Super Mario Adventures comics to be skilled at video games, where his brothers and sister were also rooting for Ludwig to get the 1-Up Mushroom. In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, New Super Mario Bros. 2, and New Super Mario Bros. U, Ludwig has a tendency to turn back and chuckle to himself before saying "oh?" prior to fighting the Mario Bros. In the DOS version of Mario Is Missing!, Ludwig focused on light bulbs since Bowser discovered Mario's fear of the dark, cruelly cracking a joke about light bulbs and darkness at his expense. He also had a stereotypical German accent in the CD-ROM Deluxe edition of the game, along with maniacal laughter not indicated in the speech bubbles. Interestingly, he seems to have a very laid-back tone in the original Super Mario Bros. 3 manual, having some eccentric "cool musician" mannerisms and even using the pronoun 「おいら」 oira (highlighted in katakana as 「オイラ」), a version of 「おれ」 ore with rural connotations, of himself in the Japanese manual. In the comics, he has a refined vocabulary to go with his personality (for example, in Bowser Knows Best he remarks that Bowser "desperately needs refinement").
In The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World Cartoons, Ludwig's name was changed into Kooky von Koopa, and was portrayed as a stereotypical mad scientist, whose main purpose was to invent new doomsday weapons and gadgets for his father. He would commonly burst out into maniacal laughter or raise his voice by shouting in the middle of talking and seemed to be very aggressive towards the Mario Bros. Kooky didn't also care much about his hygiene; he never washed or combed his hair.
Powers and abilities
Ludwig is usually portrayed as the most talented and powerful of the Koopalings. In Super Mario Bros. 3, Ludwig shared his attack pattern with Roy; Ludwig could fire projectiles from his Magic Scepter, pound the ground to stun the Mario Bros., and retreat in his shell for both defensive and offensive purposes. Although all the Koopalings in Super Mario Bros 3 frequently retreated into their shells when stomped on by the Mario Bros. Ludwig was the only one of the Koopalings to demonstrate doing so at will, without having to be hit by the Mario Bros. He was given a completely unique attack pattern in Super Mario World, which none of the other Koopalings shared; Ludwig could spit three fireballs in a row (thus making him the first Koopaling to have learned the ability to breath fire) and spin around the room in his shell, after which he could perform a long jump to the other side of the room. Ludwig was given even more new powers in Hotel Mario: he can fire electricity from his hands and teleport in a flash of lightning. In Superstar Saga, Ludwig retained his previous abilities of breathing fire (though not as furiously as the previous time) and spinning around in his shell, but also learned the new ability of spinning like a tornado to attack the Mario Bros., which was also done by Iggy. In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Ludwig learned even more new abilities. He can either blast four fireballs from his scepter at time or fire a single fireball with circling capabilities, and has even mastered the ability of Flutter Jumping, being able to stay in the air for several seconds. His appearance in New Super Mario Bros. 2 has him also expanding on these abilities, utilizing the flutter jump to grab a chain, and then move between the two, and in addition, he can also increase his rate of fire. In New Super Mario Bros. U, similar to Lemmy and Wendy in Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga, he was also revealed to create fake duplicates to fake out the Mario Bros. He also has the ability to levitate, without needing to Flutter Jump. While his appearance in Mario Kart 8 doesn't show his abilities, it is shown he can do a double-flip in the air while performing a stunt.
Official profile and statistics
Bio from The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 Writers Bible
When Koopa's villainous schemes require sheer lunacy, he calls on Kooky. A graduate of Frankenstein University, Kooky loves to construct monsters in his basement lab in Kastle Koopa. He's responsible for many of the new villainous characters in SM3 [sic]. He built the Doomship. Kooky never showers or combs his hair. He sleeps during the day, if he ever sleeps at all. Eats nothing but candy and fried foods.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl Stickers
Names in other languages