Fake Bowser

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This article is about the fake Bowsers from Super Mario Bros.. For other uses, see Fake Bowser (disambiguation).
Fake Bowser
Artwork of a fake Bowser in Super Mario Run.
First appearance Super Mario Bros. (1985)
Latest appearance Super Mario Run (2016)
Tail Bowser

A fake Bowser (also called Bowser Impostor or Bowser's decoy) is a standard enemy that was transformed by Bowser's black magic into a duplicate of himself. They first appear in Super Mario Bros.


Concept and creation[edit]

The reason for the fake Bowsers in the original Super Mario Bros. is due to the fact that, while the game was still in development, 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, while defeated Koopa Troopas and Buzzy Beetles turn into upside-down shells), 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.[citation needed]


Super Mario series[edit]

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

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:

Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels additional worlds:

  • World A: Goomba - fire (FDS) / Red Koopa Troopa - hammer (SNES)
  • World B: Green Koopa Troopa - fire (FDS) / Green Cheep-Cheep - hammer (SNES)
  • World C: Buzzy Beetle - fire (FDS) / Bullet Bill - hammer (SNES)
  • 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, although Bowser's Brother is now green and looks identical to his twin.

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 a Super Leaf 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 Bros. Special Boss 1986 PC-88, X1
Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 Boss 2003 Game Boy Advance
Super Mario Run Boss 2016 iOS, Android


Name in other languages[edit]

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


A cardboard Bowser in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga.