Koopa's Theme

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"Koopa's Theme"

"Koopa's Theme" in Super Mario 64
Composed by:
Koji Kondo
First appearance Super Mario 64 (1996)
Latest appearance Super Mario Bros. Wonder (2023)

"Koopa's Theme"[1] is the musical theme composed by Koji Kondo for Super Mario 64 that plays when fighting Bowser in Bowser in the Dark World and Bowser in the Fire Sea. The theme's title uses Bowser's Japanese name, despite the soundtrack releasing in the West both physically in 1996 as well as in Super Mario 3D All-Stars in 2020.

Reuses[edit]

The following list does not include ports or remakes of Super Mario 64.

Game Description
Minecraft: Wii U Edition / Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition / Minecraft: New Nintendo 3DS Edition / Minecraft "Koopa's Theme" is included as a part of the music for the Super Mario Mash-up.
Super Mario Odyssey "Koopa's Theme" can briefly be heard during the cutscene when Mario captures Bowser at the end of the game.

Arrangements[edit]

Super Mario series[edit]

Super Mario 64[edit]

In addition to the original theme, Super Mario 64 features a short arrangement of "Koopa's Theme", "Koopa's Message",[1] consisting of the first four notes of the main riff of "Koopa's Theme" followed by Bowser's laugh, which plays when Mario first enters the Mushroom Castle at the beginning of the game and whenever he tries to enter an inaccessible door. The same four notes played on church organ are also heard at the beginning of "Ultimate Koopa",[1] the theme used for the final battle against Bowser.

This arrangement returns along with the original theme in Super Mario 64 DS and Super Mario 3D All-Stars.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii[edit]

In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, an arrangement of "Koopa's Message" plays if two Bowser or Bowser Jr. panels are flipped over in Power-up Panels.

Super Mario Odyssey[edit]

In Super Mario Odyssey, an electric guitar arrangement of the main riff of "Koopa's Theme" is included in "Break Free (Lead the Way)". An 8-bit arrangement of "Break Free (Lead the Way)" can be heard exclusively through the Music List by fulfilling at least three of Jammin' Toad's requests.

The English version of "Break Free (Lead the Way)" returns as a playable track in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, where it can be played on any Super Smash Bros.-series or Super Mario-series stage.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder[edit]

In Super Mario Bros. Wonder, an electric-guitar arrangement of the first four notes of the main riff of "Koopa's Theme" plays in the opening when Bowser merges with Prince Florian's castle.[2]

Mario Tennis series[edit]

Mario Tennis (Nintendo 64)[edit]

In the Nintendo 64 version of Mario Tennis, an arrangement of "Koopa's Theme" plays in the Bowser Stage mode, as well as during matches on the Bowser Court.

Mario Tennis (Game Boy Color)[edit]

In the Game Boy Color version of Mario Tennis, an arrangement of "Koopa's Theme" plays during the Two-on-One minigame.

Mario Tennis Open[edit]

In Mario Tennis Open, an arrangement of "Koopa's Theme" plays during matches on the Bowser's Castle court.

Mario Tennis Aces[edit]

In Mario Tennis Aces, a medley arrangement of "Koopa's Theme" and "Koopa's Road" plays during the final boss battle against Bowcien.

Mario Kart series[edit]

Mario Kart: Super Circuit[edit]

In Mario Kart: Super Circuit, the theme heard in Bowser Castle 1, Bowser Castle 2, Bowser Castle 3, and Bowser Castle 4, titled 「クッパキャッスルコース」 (Kuppa Kyassuru Kōsu, Bowser Castle Course) in the compilation soundtrack Nintendo Sound Selection Vol.2: Loud Music, is an arrangement of "Koopa's Theme". It is much faster than the original version and adds a chugging bassline. The second half of the arrangement also features a unique melody.

Audio.svg クッパキャッスルコース - The arrangement heard in Mario Kart: Super Circuit
File infoMedia:MKSC-Music-BowserCastle.oga
Help:MediaHaving trouble playing?

Mario Kart DS[edit]

In Mario Kart DS, a new version of the arrangement heard in Mario Kart: Super Circuit with different instrumentation plays in GBA Bowser Castle 2.

Audio.svg GBA Bowser Castle 2 - The arrangement heard in Mario Kart DS
File infoMedia:MKDS-Music-GBA-BowserCastle2.oga
Help:MediaHaving trouble playing?

Mario Kart Wii[edit]

In Mario Kart Wii, a new version of the arrangement heard in Mario Kart: Super Circuit with slightly different instrumentation can be heard in GBA Bowser Castle 3.

Audio.svg GBA Bowser Castle 3 - The arrangement heard in Mario Kart Wii
File infoMedia:MKW-Music-GBA-BowserCastle3.oga
Help:MediaHaving trouble playing?

Mario Kart 7[edit]

In Mario Kart 7, a new version of the Mario Kart: Super Circuit arrangement with slightly different instrumentation can be heard in GBA Bowser's Castle 1. Additional percussion is added to the instrumentation when the player is driving at top speed while in first place.

The former arrangement returns in Mario Kart Tour, where it can be heard in GBA Bowser's Castle 1, GBA Bowser's Castle 2, GBA Bowser's Castle 3, GBA Bowser's Castle 4, and RMX Bowser's Castle 1.

Audio.svg GBA Bowser's Castle 1 - The arrangement heard in Mario Kart 7
File infoMedia:MK7 GBA Bowser Castle 1.oga
Audio.svg GBA Bowser's Castle 1 (Frontrunning) - The arrangement heard in Mario Kart 7
File infoMedia:MK7_GBA_BowserCastle1_Frontrunning.oga
Help:MediaHaving trouble playing?

Mario Golf series[edit]

Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour[edit]

In Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour, an arrangement of "Koopa's Theme" plays in Bowser Badlands.

Mario Golf: Super Rush[edit]

Part of the Bowser Highlands theme from Mario Golf: Super Rush is loosely based on "Koopa's Theme".

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games[edit]

In the Wii version of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, an arrangement of the GBA Bowser Castle version of "Koopa's Theme" from Mario Kart: Super Circuit plays during Dream Ice Hockey.

Mario Party 10[edit]

In Mario Party 10, an arrangement of "Koopa's Theme" plays in amiibo Party mode when Bowser's amiibo is being controlled.

Audio.svg Bowser's Theme - The arrangement heard in Mario Party 10.
File infoMedia:MP10 Bowser's Theme.oga
Help:MediaHaving trouble playing?

Mini Mario & Friends: amiibo Challenge[edit]

In Mini Mario & Friends: amiibo Challenge, multiple arrangements of "Koopa's Theme" plays during all the levels in Fire Ride Fortress.

List of Super Mario appearances[edit]

Games[edit]

Work System Year Type Title Credits
Super Mario 64 Nintendo 64 1996 Original "Koopa's Theme" Koji Kondo
Arrangement "Koopa's Message"
Arrangement "Ultimate Koopa"
Mario Tennis Nintendo 64 2000 Arrangement Motoi Sakuraba
Mario Tennis Game Boy Color 2000 Arrangement Motoi Sakuraba
Mario Kart: Super Circuit Game Boy Advance 2001 Arrangement 「クッパキャッスルコース」 (Kuppa Kyassuru Kōsu) Minako Hamano[3]
Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour Nintendo GameCube 2003 Arrangement Motoi Sakuraba
Super Mario 64 DS Nintendo DS 2004 Original "Koopa's Theme" Koji Kondo
Past arrangement (Super Mario 64) "Koopa's Message"
Past arrangement (Super Mario 64) "Ultimate Koopa"
Mario Kart DS Nintendo DS 2005 Arrangement Shinobu Tanaka
Mario Kart Wii Wii 2008 Arrangement
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games Wii 2009 Arrangement
New Super Mario Bros. Wii Wii 2009 Arrangement
Mario Kart 7 Nintendo 3DS 2011 Arrangement
Mario Tennis Open Nintendo 3DS 2012 Arrangement Motoi Sakuraba
Mario Party 10 Wii U 2015 Arrangement "Bowser's Theme"
Minecraft: Wii U Edition Wii U 2015 Original Koji Kondo
Mini Mario & Friends: amiibo Challenge Nintendo 3DS, Wii U 2016 Arrangement James Phillipsen
Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition Nintendo Switch 2017 Original Koji Kondo
Minecraft: New Nintendo 3DS Edition New Nintendo 3DS 2017 Original Koji Kondo
Super Mario Odyssey Nintendo Switch 2017 Original Koji Kondo
Arrangement "Break Free (Lead the Way)" Naoto Kubo
Minecraft Nintendo Switch 2018 Original Koji Kondo
Mario Tennis Aces Nintendo Switch 2018 Arrangement Motoi Sakuraba
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Nintendo Switch 2018 Past arrangement (Super Mario Odyssey) "Break Free (Lead the Way)" Naoto Kubo
Mario Kart Tour Android, iOS 2019 Past arrangement (Mario Kart 7)
Super Mario 3D All-Stars Nintendo Switch 2020 Original "Koopa's Theme" Koji Kondo
Past arrangement (Super Mario 64) "Koopa's Message"
Past arrangement (Super Mario 64) "Ultimate Koopa"
Mario Golf: Super Rush Nintendo Switch 2021 Arrangement Motoi Sakuraba
Super Mario Bros. Wonder Nintendo Switch 2023 Arrangement

Albums[edit]

Work Year Type Title Credits
Super Mario 64 Original Soundtrack 1996 Original "Koopa's Theme" Koji Kondo
Nintendo 64 Original Soundtrack Greatest Hits 1996 Original "Bowser's Theme" Koji Kondo
Nintendo Sound Selection Vol.2: Loud Music 2004 Past arrangement (Mario Kart: Super Circuit) 「クッパキャッスルコース」 (Kuppa Kyassuru Kōsu) Minako Hamano[3]
Super Mario Odyssey Sound Selection 2017 Arrangement "Break Free (Lead the Way)" Naoto Kubo
"Break Free (Lead the Way) Japanese Version"
Super Mario Odyssey Original Soundtrack 2018 Arrangement "Break Free (Lead the Way)" Naoto Kubo
「Break Free (Lead the Way) 日本語バージョン」 (Bureiku Furī (Lead the Way) Nihongo Bājon)
「Break Free (Lead the Way) カラオケ」 (Bureiku Furī (Lead the Way) Karaoke)
「Break Free (Lead The Way) 8bit版」 (Bureiku Furī (Lead the Way) 8 Bitto-Ban)

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese クッパのテーマ
Kuppa no Tēma
Bowser's Theme

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Super Mario 64 Original Soundtrack
  2. ^ Nintendo of America (August 31, 2023). Super Mario Bros. Wonder Direct 8.31.2023. YouTube. Retrieved September 2, 2023.
  3. ^ a b Nintendo Sound Selection vol.2 Koopa <Loud Music>. VGMdb. Retrieved September 2, 2023.