Bowser Castle (Mario Kart DS)

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Bowser Castle
Bowser's Castle
Appears in Mario Kart DS (2005)
Cup(s) Special Cup
Based on Bowser's Castle
Online play Was never available (DS)
Music sample
Course map
Bowser Castle map
Mario Kart DS
Staff ghost(s)
DS Ninten★ひろむ
2:19.661 Bowser MKDS record icon.pngHurricane

Bowser Castle is the third course of the Special Cup in Mario Kart DS. This incarnation has less Thwomps than past Bowser's Castles, with only 4, and there are no lava spouts, unlike in numerous other versions. In the background is a forest consisting of dead trees and dark mountains, as well as a fiery orange sky. It features a rotating cylindrical bridge, a small chamber with a spinning floor, and four moving platforms above a portion of a large lava pit. The entrance to the castle is very similar to the one in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!. Bowser in the Hurricane is the staff ghost for this course.

Part of the music that plays in this course is an arrangement of Dark Land's music from Super Mario Bros. 3. Additionally, the music also includes elements from the music for Airship Fortress.

Course layout[edit]

Bowser driving in the lobby.
The hallway

The players start by passing through a metallic doorway with a statue of Bowser's face above (which plays his laugh on entry). They then pass through a hallway with Thwomps. After climbing two sets of stairs they cross a thin bridge, which has barriers so players cannot fall back down to the hallway below. Next, they enter another circular room, which has a large metal circle as part of the floor that spins counterclockwise, while the racers are going clockwise. Burners from Airship Fortress appear in this room. A hallway with a Thwomp follows. This Thwomp actually moves horizontally out the window, then comes back into the castle. After a right turn and then a left turn, there is a spiral path. If racers aren't careful, they can fall a long way down into lava or back to the beginning of the spiral.

Racers will then encounter two paths; crossing a rotating cylindrical bridge, or driving down to a garden below it. The bridge provides a much faster route to go through, and if they fall off, racers can simply land in the garden, but will lose some time. The garden is partially paved and have grass parts that slows them down. Afterwards, racers will drive through metal grates with a large Dash Panel ramp that launches them to the final stretch that consists of four moving platforms, allowing racers to take a right turn to the finish line. The platforms move from left to right, but aren't difficult to traverse due to their moderate speed. Heavy racers can push lighter racers off during the ending section; however, some of the path has barriers preventing them from falling. The path from the platforms to the finish line is comprised of the same metal grates from earlier.

It is possible to dodge a Spiny Shell in this course. If the player is in 1st place while on the spinning bridge at the same time that someone fires a Spiny Shell, the racer can fall off of the bridge, causing the shell to miss the racer entirely.


  • If players go all the way around the circular room, there is an alternate path which saves time over the regular route. However, the shortcut is sometimes blocked by several burners and a moving Thwomp.
  • There is another shortcut which is only useful on the final lap. With enough speed, it is possible to jump through the gap in the wall at the end and cross the finish line just before the player is counted out of bounds. This requires a precise hop.


There are two missions that take place on Bowser Castle:

  • Mission 6-1: The player controls Bowser, who must drive in reverse across the rotating bridge within 30 seconds.
  • Mission 7-2: The player controls Mario, who must beat Bowser in a single-lap race. During this mission, barriers block off the center of the first hallway, the left route in the circular room, and the route at the end of the rotating bridge. Each Item Box contains a Star, Mushroom, or Triple Mushrooms.


Mario Kart DS[edit]

  • European website bio: "As soon as you cross the entrance shaped like the Koopa king's mouth, you know you're in for a ride to remember. With sliding platforms over pits of bubbling lava and slippery poles where only one kart can cross, Bowser's domain is not one for the faint-hearted."


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese クッパキャッスル
Kuppa Kyassuru
Bowser 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
Spanish Castillo de Bowser Bowser's Castle


Starting in 7th place glitch
Luigi starting in "7th" place
  • If the player starts a race on this course in 8th place, they will be in 8th place on the Starting Grid as usual. However, their placement number in the HUD will read 7th instead of 8th, presumably due to a bug.