Fake Bowser

From the Super Mario Wiki, the Mario encyclopedia
Jump to navigationJump to search
This article is about the fake Bowsers from Super Mario Bros. For other uses, see Fake Bowser (disambiguation).
Fake Bowser
Artwork of Bowser from Mario Party 8 (also used in Super Mario Run)
Artwork of a fake Bowser in Super Mario Run.
First appearance Super Mario Bros. (1985)
Latest appearance Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. (2020)
Variant of Koopa
Tail Bowser

A fake Bowser (known as Bowser's decoy in NES Remix) is a standard enemy that was transformed by Bowser's black magic into a copy of himself. They first appear in Super Mario Bros.


Concept and creation[edit]

The concept of fake Bowsers came about during development of Super Mario Bros.. Since all enemies have their sprites flipped upside-down when they are defeated (except for Piranha Plants, which simply disappear, and Bullet Bills, which stay rightside up), one of the programmers accidentally inserted an upside-down Koopa Troopa shell when portraying Bowser's death animation as if he were defeated with fireballs. The developers liked this idea, and as a result, this idea was extended to most of the Bowser battles in the game.[1][better source needed]


Super Mario Bros. / Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels[edit]

A fake Bowser
A fake Bowser in Super Mario All-Stars.

In Super Mario Bros., the seven fake Bowsers are placed in each castle, with Bowser's Castle containing the real one. Defeating a fake Bowser with five fireballs reveals that they are really just common enemies disguised as Bowser. The enemies and their abilities are the following:

Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels additional worlds (in the Super Mario All-Stars version, the final fake Bowser is now replaced with the actual Bowser):

  • World A: Goomba - fire (FDS) / Red Koopa Troopa - hammer (All-Stars)
  • World B: Green Koopa Troopa - fire (FDS) / Green Cheep-Cheep - hammer (All-Stars)
  • World C: Buzzy Beetle - fire (FDS) / Bullet Bill - hammer (All-Stars)
  • World D: Spiny - fire (FDS)

The "You VS. Boo" challenge of Super Mario Bros. Deluxe:

Like Bowser, the blue Bowser's Brother in World D-4 is also a fake revealed to be a Spiny when defeated with fireballs, and only breathes fire. In Super Mario All-Stars, both of these fakes are replaced with the real ones that only throw hammers, although Bowser's Brother is now green and looks identical to his twin. Due to All Night Nippon: Super Mario Bros. also featuring Worlds A-D, all of the fake Bowsers from those worlds return, including the fake Bowser's Brother in World D-4.

Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3[edit]

In Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3, a fake Bowser appears as a boss in the World-e level Classic World 1-4, where it plays a similar role to that played in Super Mario Bros., though it looks identical to the game's real Bowser. It is revealed that the fake Bowser is a Goomba if it is defeated with fireballs.

Super Mario 3D Land[edit]

While typical fake Bowsers do not appear in Super Mario 3D Land, variants powered by Super Leaves known as Tail Bowsers make their first appearance.

Super Mario Run[edit]

In Super Mario Run, fake Bowsers appear at the end of the fortress levels in Worlds 1, 3 and 5. They are a Goomba, a green Koopa Troopa, and a Buzzy Beetle, respectively.

Game appearances[edit]

Title Description Release Date System/Format
Super Mario Bros. Boss 1985 Nintendo Entertainment System
Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels Boss 1986 Family Computer Disk System
Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 Boss 2003 Game Boy Advance
Super Mario Run Boss 2016 iOS, Android


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese にせクッパ[2]
Nise Kuppa
Fake Bowser; shared with Bowser Clone
Dutch Nep-Bowser Fake Bowser
French Faux Bowser Fake Bowser
German Falscher Bowser Fake Bowser
Italian Falso Bowser Fake Bowser
Korean 가짜 쿠파
Gajja Kupa
Fake Koopa
Russian Поддельный Боузер
Лже-Боузер (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)
Poddelny Bouzer
Fake Bowser
Spanish Bowser falso Fake Bowser


Cardboard Bowser
A cardboard Bowser in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga.
  • The World 3 and World C (original) fake Bowsers are the only Buzzy Beetles that can be defeated by fireballs (outside of Super Mario Bros.: Peach-hime Kyūshutsu Dai Sakusen!), and the World C (All-Stars) and "You VS. Boo" 2-4 (Deluxe) ones are the only Bullet Bills that can be defeated by fireballs.
    • The World A and World C fake Bowsers in All-Stars are the only fake Bowsers whose true forms are right-side-up instead of upside-down.
  • In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions, an exaggerated cardboard Bowser suspended by a pair of ropes over a bridge is seen at the end of a special area inside Bowser's Castle, which is a side-scrolling level imitating a Super Mario Bros. castle. Mario must move underneath the stationary object and touch the axe to make it fall.
  • If the player beats Bowser's Sky Scuffle with any character barring Bowser Jr. in Mario Party: Island Tour, Bowser will reveal that the "Bowser" they defeated had been a decoy, which may have been a reference to the fake Bowsers.