Dark Land

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Not to be confused with Dark Realm.
Dark Land
Bowser's Castle
First appearance Super Mario Bros. 3 (1988)
Latest appearance The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023)
Greater location Mushroom World
Ruler Bowser
Inhabitants Koopa Troop, Bob-ombs, Rocky Wrenches, Boomerang Brothers, Boom Boom, Fire Brothers, Hammer Brothers, Sledge Brothers, Podoboos, Cheep-Cheeps, Venus Fire Traps, Piranha Plants, Koopa Paratroopas, Boos, Koopa Troopas, Para-Goombas, Micro-Goombas, Angry Sun, Roto-Discs, Thwomps, Hot Feet, Dry Bones

Dark Land[1][2] (also known as Koopa Kingdom in The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3)[3] is Bowser's kingdom and the Koopa Troop's main base of operations in Super Mario Bros. 3. A stark contrast to the rest of the Mushroom World, Dark Land is a wasteland-inspired area untouched by sunlight, filled with skulls and flames. It is shown to be south of Ice Land and to the north of Sky Land in Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3.


Super Mario Bros. 3[edit]

Dark Land
Bowser's Castle
Game Super Mario Bros. 3
Level(s) 11
<< List of worlds >>

Dark Land (alternatively Castle of Koopa[4] or Bowser's Castle[5]) first appears as the eighth and final world in Super Mario Bros. 3 and its remake. Large numbers of tanks and airships patrol these lands, which most levels take place on, with only two standard Action Scenes in the entire world. Additionally, one of the areas in the map is so dark that it appears to be completely black, except for a circle of light around Mario or Luigi. It is shown to be south of Ice Land and to the north of Sky Land in Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3. This is the only world in the game that does not have any Toad Houses, Hammer Brothers patrolling the map, or Spade Panels in it.

It is possible for the player to enter Dark Land via Warp Zone (notably, both Magic Whistles from Grass Land can be used to reach Dark Land without restoring any of the kings).

Level information[edit]

Level Preview Summary
World 8-Tank SMB3 SNES Tank Screenshot.png One of the tank levels and the first level of Dark Land, this is an autoscrolling level with many cannons that fire cannonballs and Bob-ombs.
World 8-Ship SMAS SMB3 World 8-B Screenshot.png Another autoscrolling level with many cannons, this time on ships over water.
World 8-Hand Trap Hand Trap level A group of three levels that contain many traps.
World 8-Jet SMAS SMB3 World 8-A Screenshot.png Another autoscrolling level, though this one moves quicker, has small platforms, and takes place in the air.
World 8-1 SMAS SMB3 World 8-1 Screenshot.png The first of two standard levels in Dark World, this level has many Turtle Cannons and pipe platforms.
World 8-2 SMAS SMB3 World 8-2 Screenshot.png The second of two standard levels in Dark World, this level reintroduces the Angry Sun from Desert Land.
World 8-Fortress SMAS SMB3 World 8-F Screenshot.png The fortress level which is made up of a maze of doors and traps.
World 8-Tank SMAS SMB3 World 8-ST Screenshot.png Another autoscrolling tank level with many cannons and enemies.
World 8-Bowser's Castle The final battle between Mario and Bowser, in the Super Mario All-Stars version of Super Mario Bros. 3. The final level of the game and is where King Koopa is keeping Princess Toadstool captive.

The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3[edit]

Dark Land
Dark Land in The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3
“QUIET! You wanna wake the dead? You don't want Koopa to find out we're in his kingdom, do ya?”
Mario, "Do the Koopa"

As it is home to Bowser and the Koopalings, Dark Land appears in quite a few episodes of The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, where it is depicted as a gloomy wasteland. Lava-filled caverns are shown to be beneath the surface of Dark Land in a few episodes as well. However, most of what goes on within Dark Land happens either near or inside Kastle Koopa.

The episodes with this world shown as the title card are "Never Koop a Koopa" (with Grass Land's music), "Do the Koopa", "Crimes R Us", "Recycled Koopa" and "Super Koopa".

Not counting episodes in which all the Dark Land scenes were restricted to events within the perimeters of Kastle Koopa, Dark Land appears in the following episodes:

  • Reptiles in the Rose Garden: In order to give Kootie Pie rulership of the United States of America as a birthday present, Bowser transports the White House, along with everyone inside, to Dark Land. Bowser later sinks the White House to the bottom of the Mushroom Sea. However, Mario managed to raise the White House to the surface, and with Luigi's help, was able to return the building to its proper spot to Washington, D.C.
  • Mind Your Mummy Mommy, Mario: Luigi, Princess Toadstool and Toad travel through Dark Land via a Steam Cloud Balloon to recover Prince Mushroomkhamen's stolen sarcophagus, only for it to get flung into a tower of Kastle Koopa by a Mushroom Kingdom twister. Luigi then uses the remnants of the Steam Cloud Balloon to construct a steam powered mummy sled, which he, Princess Toadstool and Toad use to escape from Kastle Koopa, and subsequently, Dark Land.
  • Princess Toadstool for President: After discovering that Bowser in ahead in the polls for leadership over the Mushroom Kingdom only by using a Nice Guy Potion, Mario and Luigi travel to Dark Land in order stop Kooky and Cheatsy from making another dose before the election. Upon arriving in Dark Land, Mario and Luigi are pursued by Rocky Wrenches in tanks, which chase them through a pipe into a lava-filled cavern. From that point, Mario and Luigi then have to deal with Fire Chomps, Hot Foots and a Fire Snake before making it to Kastle Koopa.
  • Never Koop a Koopa: When Bowser announces that he is giving up his evil ways, he donates Kastle Koopa to Princess Toadstool. Deciding she wants to turn Kastle Koopa into a retirement home for elderly Mushrooms, Princess Toadstool travels to Dark Land with Mario to check the place out. However, Luigi is wary of the whole thing. He and Toad travel to Dark Land after Mario and Princess Toadstool, where they wait in a boat on the Mushroom Sea for their friends to return from Kastle Koopa. When Mario and Princess Toadstool fail to come out after waiting for a long time, Luigi drags Toad into the Mushroom Sea, and both enter Kastle Koopa via a drainpipe. Discovering that the whole ordeal turned out to be a trap, the group of four reunite and later escape from Kastle Koopa after obtaining Raccoon Power.
  • Do the Koopa: Princess Toadstool discovers a map leading to the Doom Dancer Music Box, which is hidden in the underground Temple of Gloom. Mario, Luigi and Toad accompany Princess Toadstool to Dark Land, but they are immediately spotted by a Dry Bones, who heads to Kastle Koopa to warn Bowser of their arrival. As Bowser is sick, he orders Bully, Big Mouth, and Cheatsy to follow the Dry Bones, who leads them to where the heroes are traveling. Mario's group brave the cavern's many traps and ultimately make it to the Temple of Gloom, where they succeed in obtaining the Doom Dancer. However, a trap set up by Bully causes Mario to lose the Doom Dancer, which winds up in Bully's hands. Bully then brings uses the Doom Dancer's power to bring everyone back to Kastle Koopa, where Bowser, who is unable to hear well due to his cold, takes the Doom Dancer from Bully. Bowser then uses the Doom Dancer to force everyone in the Mushroom World to dance forever, but the Mario Bros. foil his plan.
  • Recycled Koopa: The Koopas are ordered to dump all their garbage, and the place they do so is in Princess Toadstool's Castle. Mario, Luigi, Princess Toadstool and Toad manage to steal one of the Koopa Kids' wands to remove all the garbage and send it back where it came from. The heroes believe the Koopas will try again and spy on them with Luigi's Plumber's Periscope, and see the Koopalings dumping garbage down another pipe leading to the Real World.
  • The Venice Menace: Although Dark Land is unseen in this episode, Bowser's intention is to scare all the humans out of Venice so that he can warp the entire city to Dark Land and turn it into a water park for Kootie Pie.

Nintendo Adventure Books[edit]

Dark Land is the setting of the fourth Nintendo Adventure Book, Koopa Capers, where Bowser has a magic carpet bring Luigi to the kingdom to help (whether he wants to or not) in the search for Wendy O. Koopa after the Koopaling disappears. The two main areas of the region that can be explored in the book are a gloomy and trap-filled fortress, and a highly volcanic area known as the Magma Pits.

In the proceeding book, Pipe Down!, Dark Land (though here referred to as Dark World) is mentioned once by Ludwig von Koopa, who states that he intends to take his new ballet, Dribbling Beauty, on a seven-year tour of the kingdom.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie[edit]

Dark Land as seen in The Super Mario Bros. Movie
The Dark Lands in The Super Mario Bros. Movie

In The Super Mario Bros. Movie, after Mario and Luigi are accidentally separated from each other in the Warp Zone after traveling through the mysterious pipe, Luigi ends up in the Dark Lands,[6] also formatted as Darklands,[7][8] where he briefly searches for Mario before being chased by many Dry Bones. Luigi enters a castle that is surrounded by a lava moat and appears abandoned at first, but he is captured by two Shy Guys and a Snifit, who bring him to Bowser in the Shy Guy balloon. The Dark Lands are portrayed as a dark and dreary forest with lakes of lava, infested with bats and hostile Dry Bones. According to Toad, the area is under the control of Bowser.



Soundx.png It has been suggested that audio and/or video file(s) related to this section be uploaded. Reason: Dark Land portion of "King Bowser" from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Please upload all related music, sound effects, voice clips, or any videos for this section. See the help page for information on how to get started.
Audio.svg Dark Land - BGM
File infoMedia:World 8 Theme Super Mario Bros 3.oga
Audio.svg Dark Land - BGM (Super Mario All-Stars version)
File infoMedia:SMAS SMB3 World 8 Map.oga
Audio.svg Dodging Danger - Used in Skateboard Scamper and Piranha's Pursuit from Mario Party, which is an arrangement of "Dark Land" from Super Mario Bros. 3.
File infoMedia:MP Dodging Danger.oga
Audio.svg Bowser Castle - Used in Bowser Castle from Mario Kart DS, which is an arrangement of "Dark Land" from Super Mario Bros. 3.
File infoMedia:MKDS-Music-BowserCastle.oga
Audio.svg Bowser Battle - Used in the battle against Bowser from Super Paper Mario, which is an arrangement of "Dark Land" from Super Mario Bros. 3.
File infoMedia:SPM Bowser Battle.oga
Help:MediaHaving trouble playing?

Names in other languages[edit]

Dark Land[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ワールド8 暗黒[9][10]
Wārudo 8 Ankoku no Kuni
カメ帝国 (Super Mario Bros. manual)[11]
Kame Teikoku
World 8: Dark Land (alternatively "Castle of Kuppa"[12] in-game)

Turtle Empire[13]

French Château de Bowser
Pays-noir (The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario Bros. 3 instruction booklet)
Bowser's castle
German Dunkelland
Hungarian Sötétföld (The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3)
Dark Land
Italian Mondo dell'Oscurità[14]
Terra Oscura (The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3)
Castello di Bowser (Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3)
La terra oscura[15]
Dark World/World of Darkness
Dark Land
Bowser's Castle
The dark land
Portuguese (NOA) Terra das Trevas[16]
Land of the Darkness
Romanian Tărâmul întunecat (The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, episodes "Princess Toadstool for President" and "Recycled Koopa")
Regatul Koopa (The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, episode "Up, Up, and a Koopa")
Dark land
Koopa kingdom
Spanish (NOA) Reino de las Sombras (The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3)
Kingdom of Shadows
Spanish (NOE) Castillo de Bowser
Reino de las Sombras (The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3)
Bowser's Castle
Kingdom of Shadows

Dark Lands[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ダークランド[17]
Dāku Rando

Dark Land

Catalan Regne de les Ombres (The Super Mario Bros. Movie)
Kingdom of Shadows
Chinese (simplified) 暗黑之国
Ànhēi Zhīguó
Dark Country

Chinese (traditional) 暗黑之國
Ànhēi Zhīguó
Dark Country

Italian Terra Oscura (The Super Mario Bros. Movie's books)
Terre Oscure (The Super Mario Bros. Movie)
Dark Land
Dark Lands
Polish Mroczna Kraina
Dark Land
Portuguese (NOA) Reino das Sombras
Kingdom of Shadows
Romanian Ținuturile întunecate
The dark lands
Russian Темные земли
Temnyye zemli
Dark lands

Spanish (NOA) Tierras Oscuras
Dark Lands
Spanish (NOE) Reino de las Sombras[18]
Kingdom of Shadows


  • According to Lemmy in the Japanese instruction manual, the kingdom's activity was top secret even to the Koopalings, as he claims Bowser was exclusively in charge.[9]


  1. ^ Super Mario Bros. 3 English instruction booklet, page 34.
  2. ^ Super Mario Bros. 3 North American re-release and European ending.
  3. ^ "Mario: We're levitating the Doomship, back to Koopa Kingdom!" — Up, Up, and a Koopa, The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3
  4. ^ Super Mario Bros. 3 North American original and Super Mario All-Stars International ending.
  5. ^ Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 International ending.
  6. ^ Monopoly The Super Mario Bros. Movie Edition boardMedia:TSMBM Monopoly Board.jpg
  7. ^ Track title "The Darklands" from The Super Mario Bros. Movie (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  8. ^ @universaluk (March 16, 2023). "Wahoo! Mario has entered the feed. Get your tickets now! #SuperMarioMovie". Twitter. Retrieved March 19, 2023.
  9. ^ a b Super Mario Bros. 3 Japanese instruction booklet, page 34.
  10. ^ Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario 3 + Mario Bros. Japanese ending (in kana).
  11. ^ Super Mario Bros. Japanese instruction booklet, page 10.
  12. ^ Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario Collection Japanese ending.
  13. ^ Super Mario Bros. English instruction booklet, page 10.
  14. ^ Super Mario Bros. 3 Italian manual, pag. 34
  15. ^ Super Mario Bros. Enciclopedia, pag. 40
  16. ^ VideoGame magazine, issue 8A, p. 22, Editora Sigla, november/1991.
  17. ^ The Super Mario Bros. Movie Japanese Nintendo webpage
  18. ^ Sonic Channel Gaming (December 1, 2022). The Super Mario Bros. Movie New Spanish TV Spot (#2 Extended) (Credits to Illumination). YouTube. Retrieved March 19, 2023.