Bowser's Castle (Mario Kart 8)

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Bowser's Castle
The exterior of Bowser's Castle.
Appears in Mario Kart 8 (2014)
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (2017)
Cup(s) Special Cup
Based on World 8
Online play Available (Wii U until early April 2024, Switch)
Music sample
Atsuko Asahi

Course map
Mario Kart 8 / Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Map of Bowser's Castle in Mario Kart 8.Map of Bowser's Castle in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
Staff ghost(s)
8 Nin★Polly
2:23.872 Bowser's head icon in Mario Kart 8Badwagon body from Mario Kart 8StandardThumbnail of Bowser's Super Glider (with 8 icon), in Mario Kart 8.
8DX 150cc Nin★Polly
2:21.980 Bowser's head icon in Mario Kart 8Badwagon body from Mario Kart 8StandardThumbnail of Bowser's Super Glider (with 8 icon), in Mario Kart 8.
8DX 200cc Nin★Mark
1:40.953 Dry Bowser's icon, from Mario Kart 8.Flame Rider body from Mario Kart 8SlimBowser Kite glider from Mario Kart 8

Bowser's Castle is the third course of the Special Cup in Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. This incarnation is heavily based off the Bowser's Castle levels from recent Super Mario platformers, particularly those seen in Super Mario 3D Land, New Super Mario Bros. 2, and Super Mario 3D World. It appears to be themed after a steel foundry, particularly the inside of the castle and the lava that merely resembles a hot molten iron. It also contains more obstacles, such as Bowser Statues that shoot lasers (similar to Super Mario Bros. 3), swinging spiked balls, large rolling boulders, and Lava Geysers. One of the most notable features is the giant, fiery moving statue in a shape of Bowser himself that constantly punches the forked road to create ripples on the track.

Several minions of Bowser, such as Hammer Bros., Fire Bros., Boomerang Bros. and Dry Bones, are seen patrolling inside the castle, sometimes cheering for the drivers, while a number of Bowser's Airships, taking their design from the Super Mario Galaxy games, are seen floating around its exterior. The castle seems larger than most of its previous incarnations and has a more upbeat rock theme for its music, like the ones in Mario Kart: Super Circuit.

Course layout[edit]

Bowser's Castle, from Mario Kart 8.
The course as seen from the starting line

The course starts in the entrance of the castle. As soon as the drivers enter the castle, they see a statue of Bowser pointing to the right (signaling where to turn), along with several Bowser Statues that shoot lasers at the drivers on laps 2 and 3. After a left turn and a right turn, drivers enter an anti-gravity section. Along the way lies the ramps that the drivers can perform Tricks on, but with extreme caution, as there lie sets of Fire Bars and a Spinner. After these sections lies the square U-turn that leads to the forked road where the large Bowser Monument is. Each road curves down and around into a cavernous space with a Glide Ramp leading out of the castle. Lava Geysers gush out from the lava pit and hit drivers that collide with them. There is a slight turn left and then another U-turn, where incoming boulders launched from one of the castle's cannons will attempt to knock over any racers. After these turns lies a split path, one part of which has a ramp, and the finish line. The starting banner on the top features a fiery Mario Kart logo with a pair of Burners going out from above.

This is the only Bowser's Castle that has a giant Bowser statue that does not breathe fire. Instead, it just punches the two paths of the main road.

During the countdown to the race, the castle's portcullis is seen being raised. This is one of six courses (the others being Twisted Mansion, Electrodrome, Mount Wario, Excitebike Arena, and Piranha Plant Cove) to have an opening animation during the countdown.


  • Players can use a Mushroom to boost through the black grass before the finish line.

Mario Kart 8 Original Soundtrack liner notes[edit]

"In this title, this is actually more like an fortress than a castle - it has a really aggressive feel. For the background music we went for a very direct approach, and you might even think it's a bit too in-your-face. We wanted the music to clearly signal that there is a big bad boss lurking here."


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese クッパキャッスル
Kuppa Kyassuru
Bowser Castle
Chinese (Simplified) 酷霸王城堡
Kùbàwáng Chéngbǎo
Bowser Castle
Chinese (Traditional) 庫巴城堡
Kùbā Chéngbǎo
Bowser Castle
Dutch Bowsers Kasteel Bowser's Castle
French Château de Bowser Bowser's Castle
German Bowsers Festung Bowser's Fortress
Italian Castello di Bowser Bowser's Castle
Korean 쿠파 성
Kupa Seong
Bowser Castle
Portuguese Castelo do Bowser Bowser's Castle
Russian Замок Боузера
Zamok Bouzera
Bowser's Castle
Spanish Castillo de Bowser Bowser's Castle