Koopa (species)

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Not to be confused with Koopa Troopa.
This article is about the Koopa species as a whole. For other uses of the word "Koopa", see Koopa.
Artwork of Koopa Troopa from Super Mario Party
A Koopa Troopa, the most common and basic type of Koopa
First appearance Super Mario Bros. (1985)
Latest appearance Super Mario Bros. Wonder (2023)
Variant of Shellcreeper
Notable members
Yoshi-dear, that baby is going to cause disaster to befall the Koopas. So give him here before you accidentally get hurt!”
Kamek, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island

Koopas (once "the Koopa")[1] are a category of turtle-like creatures that form the Turtle Tribe (also known as the Koopa clan or Koopa tribe). There are many different types of Koopas, the most common being Koopa Troopas; they are specifically named for the species that Bowser belongs to due to an inconsistency in localization.

Most Koopas operate in a hierarchy-based grouping system. Bowser is the leader of a large army of minions, which has invaded the Mushroom Kingdom many times and has control over most of the Koopas in the Super Mario franchise, beginning in Super Mario Bros., where, according to an interpretation of the story of the game's Japanese manual[2] during the English localization that saw Koopa (クッパ) as the name of the group of turtles instead of the name of Bowser, they were known for their "black magic."[3] Said interpretation has since been rectified, with Koopa being acknowledged to be the Japanese name of Bowser,[4] but the concept of Koopas as a group of turtles in the West remains,[5] while Nintendo of Japan consistently refers to Koopa as the name of Bowser and to the Turtle Tribe (カメぞく) as the group to which the various turtles belong.[6] Many of these same Koopas are members of the Koopa Troop and have different tasks in the organization based on the abilities of their particular class. For example, Koopa Troopas tend to be assigned as basic foot soldiers alongside Goombas due to their lack of specialized offensive capabilities, while Magikoopas are often given advisory roles due to their magical abilities and gift of foresight.

However, not all Koopas are allied with Bowser. Some Koopas, such as the Koopa Troopas of Koopa Village, live peacefully inside the borders of the Mushroom Kingdom, while others, such as Koopa the Quick in Super Mario 64 and the Roving Racers in Super Mario Odyssey, simply hold no allegiance and operate independently.

Koopas in general are based on the Shellcreepers from Mario Bros., as evident by various enemies being tentatively named and designed after Shellcreepers in development documents of Super Mario Bros.[7] Mario Mania indicates that Koopa Troopas and Koopa Paratroopas were previously Shellcreepers.[8] At least one source, Perfect Ban Mario Character Daijiten, lists Shellcreepers among the Turtle Tribe while simultaneously stating that they are the roots originating the whole Turtle Tribe.[9] Additionally, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U states that Koopa Troopas (referred to simply as "Koopas" in English versions) are apparently evolved from Shellcreepers.[10][11][12]


Boom Boom[edit]

Boom Boom in Super Mario Run.
Boom Boom in Super Mario Run
Main article: Boom Boom

Boom Booms are a Koopa species similar to Bowser's. Booms Booms are very large and most have spikes on the back of their shells. The only difference seems to be the connected plastron (the underside of the shell) that Boom Booms have. They have huge arms, which they use to attack by flailing them, although in some cases their arms are replaced with wings. Aside from the main Boom Boom, a female Boom Boom named Pom Pom has been shown. They appear in boss battles in games like Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario 3D Land, New Super Mario Bros. U, New Super Luigi U, Super Mario 3D World, and Super Mario Maker 2.

Buzzy Beetle[edit]

NSMBU Buzzy Beetle Artwork.png
Main article: Buzzy Beetle

Buzzy Beetles are found generally in caves and other dark areas. They are known to be immune to fireballs, and they can climb on walls and ceilings, and they can drop from ceilings if Mario or others approach them closely enough. As with Koopa Troopas, Buzzy Beetles hide inside their shell if Mario or others stomp on them, letting their shells be used.

Other Buzzy Beetle species

Chargin' Chuck[edit]

Artwork of two Chargin' Chucks from Super Mario 3D World.
Chargin' Chucks with and without helmets in Super Mario 3D World
Main article: Chargin' Chuck

Chargin' Chucks are a type of Koopa who wear gridiron football gear. They have a variety of attacks and sports based weaponry, such as damaging baseballs and footballs. Chargin' Chucks first appeared in Super Mario World. They have similarities to Boom Boom, and like the Hammer Bros. and their variations, Chargin' Chucks often appear as duos, or sometimes even larger groups.

Hammer Bro[edit]

Main article: Hammer Bro
Hammer Bro in New Super Mario Bros. U

Hammer Bros. (or Hammer Brothers) are a type of Koopa that stand upright, wear helmets and shoes, and throw hammers at passerby. There are various similar Koopas who throw other objects at their opponents, such as the Boomerang Bros., Ice Bros., and the Fire Bros., the latter of which used to spit their projectiles from their mouths, but now pull them from thin air, like the others. All of these Koopas have similar shell patterns (though they are color-coded by type: Hammer Bros. wear green armor, Fire Bros. wear red, Boomerang Bros. wear blue, Ice wear light blue, etc.) and beaks that are lighter in color than the rest of their face, both of which sets them apart from Koopa Troopas, which are also slightly smaller.

Other Hammer Bro species

Koopa (Bowser's species)[edit]

Official artwork of Bowser, Bowser Jr., and the Koopalings on an Airship.
Various members aboard an airship
Main article: Koopa (Bowser's species)

Koopas (not to be confused with Koopa Troopas or the Turtle Tribe in general) are a large species that is generally shown with bipedal posture, a spiked shell that is separated between the front and back, and lumpy, fleshy muzzles. As the species Bowser belongs to, many of his traits and abilities are later shown by others, such as the ability to breathe fire. Most examples of them are specific named characters rather than generic enemies. They physically have the closest resemblance to Boom Booms and Sumo Bros.

Most variants of Bowser's species are offshoots of Bowser himself.

Koopa Troopa[edit]

Main article: Koopa Troopa
Artwork of Koopa Troopa from Super Mario Party

Koopa Troopas (often shortened to plain Koopas and occasionally to Troopas, Japanese ノコノコ Nokonoko) are common enemies in the Super Mario franchise. While some are peaceful, Koopa Troopas are usually displayed as foot soldiers of the Koopa Troop under the direct leadership of Bowser. They typically have no special offensive abilities like Hammer Bros. or Lakitus. Throughout the Super Mario franchise, Koopa Troopas have appeared as both quadrupedal creatures (four legged) and bipedal (walking on two legs). Since their debut in Super Mario Bros., Koopa Troopas have appeared in almost every game, usually as enemies, but also as playable characters in numerous spin-offs. They are also partners for Mario in the first two Paper Mario games.

Other Koopa Troopa species


Lakitu in New Super Mario Bros. U
A Lakitu as seen in New Super Mario Bros. U
Main article: Lakitu

Lakitus are goggled Koopas who ride clouds through the skies, and which can occasionally be found snorkeling in water and hiding behind walls or in pipes. Unlike most Koopa species, they do not have snouts or beaks, but flat faces with round noses. Their shells are also unique in their circular patterning. To attack, Lakitus typically throw unlimited numbers of Spiny Eggs at their opponents, and some will also dangle 1-Up Mushrooms from fishing poles to lure their targets closer.

Other Lakitu species


Artwork of a Magikoopa in Super Mario 3D World
A Magikoopa as seen in Super Mario 3D World
Main article: Magikoopa

Magikoopas (referred to as Kameks in the European localizations and as Koopa Wizards in the Super Mario World television series) can cast spells and fly on broomsticks. They are generally considered to be high-ranking members of the Koopa Troop. They wear glasses and wizard's garb: typically blue robes and hats, though Magikoopas specializing in different forms of magic sport different colors. Aside from their heads, which have slightly larger beaks than those of their normal counterparts, little is known about the Magikoopa's external structure due to their robes. Kamek is a notable Magikoopa.

Other Magikoopa species

Rocky Wrench[edit]

Rocky Wrenches' Koopa-like appearance in Super Mario Bros. 3.
Main article: Rocky Wrench

Rocky Wrenches are enemies and pop out of manhole covers on airships at random. They were stated to be a mole-like type of Koopa during Super Mario Bros. 3,[13][14] and have been redesigned to greatly resemble Monty Moles (which are in turn based off Rocky Wrenches) as of New Super Mario Bros. Wii.


Artwork of a Spike from Super Mario 3D World.
A Spike in Super Mario 3D World
Main article: Spike

Spikes are small Koopas who either stand still or walk around. When Mario or an ally of his comes by, however, Spikes throw spiked balls or bars to harm the character. More specialized variants, such as Snow Spikes and Stone Spikes, also exist and throw their namesake projectiles instead of metallic, spiked balls.

Other Spike species


Spiny artwork from New Super Mario Bros. 2
A Spiny in New Super Mario Bros. 2
Main article: Spiny

Spinies (Japanese トゲゾー Togezō) are four-legged Koopas known for their spiked shells. They appear to have a symbiotic relationship with Lakitus, another Koopa variant which throw Spiny Eggs at their opponents.

Other Spiny species

Sumo Bro[edit]

Main article: Sumo Bro
Sumo Bro

Sumo Bros. (or Sumo Brothers) are a type of Koopa with similarities to Sledge Bro and Chargin' Chuck. They pound their foot to create thunderbolts that explode upon impact with the ground. Despite fitting within the Hammer Bros. naming scheme in most languages, they are generally depicted as unrelated. Sumo Bros. first appeared in Super Mario World.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese カメ一族いちぞく[15][16]
クッパ一族いちぞく[17] (All Night Nippon Super Mario Bros.)

Turtle Tribe

Bowser Tribe

Turtle Tribe


Chinese (simplified) 喏库
乌龟族[20] (Super Smash Bros.)
Wūguī Zú
龟族 (Mario Party Superstars)
Guī Zú

Derived from "喏库喏库" (Nuòkù'nuòkù, Koopa Troopa)

Turtle Tribe

Turtle Tribe

Chinese (traditional) 烏龜族[21] (Mario Kart Wii)
Wūguī Zú
庫巴一族[22] (Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary)

Turtle Tribe

Bowser Tribe

French Koopa
German Koopa
Italian Koopa
Tribù delle Tartarughe (Super Mario Bros. manual)
Turtle Tribe
Korean 거북족[19]
Turtle Tribe

Portuguese Koopa
Russian Купа

Spanish Koopa
(Los) Koopa
(The) Koopa


  1. ^ Super Mario Bros. English instruction booklet, page 2.
  2. ^ Super Mario Bros. Japanese instruction booklet. The line in particular is 「強力な魔法を操る大ガメクッパの一族」 which, due to the various meanings of 「の」, can be interpreted as both the tribe of the great turtle Koopa who uses powerful magic or the Koopa tribe, great turtles who use powerful magic. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  3. ^ Super Mario Bros. North American instruction booklet, page 2.
  4. ^ History section of the Official Home of Mario. Note how the rectified story of Super Mario Bros. now states The Mushroom Kingdom was the peaceful home of the Toads until the day Bowser and his wicked minions invaded. Using powerful magic, Bowser™ transformed the Toads into bricks and quickly conquered the land. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  5. ^ Bowser's bio in the Official Home of Mario states The king of the Koopas dreams of ruling the Mushroom Kingdom, and only Mario and his brave friends stand in his way!. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  6. ^ As can be seen both by this diagram of the Koopa Troop on pages 88 and 89 of the Super Mario Zen Hyakka (「スーパーマリオ全百科」, Super Mario Complete Encyclopedia)Media:SMCE pages 88 89.png and the current bio of Bowser in the Mario Portal.
  7. ^ Nintendo (September 14, 2015). Nintendo Digital Event @ E3 2015. YouTube. Retrieved October 18, 2021.
  8. ^ M. Arakawa. Nintendo Mario Mania Player's Guide. Page 13. "These fighting turtles first appeared in Mario Bros. as Shellcreepers, then became Koopa Troopas and Koopa Paratroopas in the Super Mario Bros. series."
  9. ^ Perfect Ban Mario Character Daijiten. Page 55.
  10. ^ "The Koopa is apparently an evolved form of this veteran of Mario Bros." – Shellcreeper trophy from the NTSC Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
  11. ^ "A true veteran from way back in Mario Bros., this guy even predates Koopas, which apparently it evolved into." – Shellcreeper trophy from the PAL Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
  12. ^ Treat4567 (December 28, 2014). [スマブラWiiU] フィギュア 全716種まとめ. YouTube. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  13. ^ 「モグラようなカメぞくあなからニョキッとてきてスパナをげてくる。飛行船ひこうせん乗組員のりくみいんだ。」 ("Mole-like members of the Turtle Tribe. They will pop out of a hole to throw their spanner. They are the maintenance crew of the airship.") - Super Mario Bros. 3 Japanese instruction booklet, page 38.
  14. ^ "Rocky is a turtle who kind of looks like a mole. He will suddenly appear and start to throw wrenches at Mario." - Super Mario Bros. 3 English instruction booklet, Page 37.
  15. ^ Super Mario Bros. 2 Disk System instruction booklet, page 3.
  16. ^ Super Mario Bros. 3 Japanese instruction booklet, page 35.
  17. ^ All Night Nippon Super Mario Bros. instruction booklet, pages 6 and 7.
  18. ^ Super Mario Bros. 3 Japanese instruction booklet, page 38.
  19. ^ 해머를 던지는 거북족의 엘리트, 전망 좋은 높은 곳을 좋아하는 것 같다.(Hammer-throwing Elite of Turtle Tribe. He seems to like high place with good view.), from card description of Hammer Bro from Super Paper Mario
  20. ^ In-game profile of Mario from Super Smash Bros.. "在人们的印象中,马力欧一直是一个用特殊的跳跃技能与乌龟族战斗的水管工。" (In people's impression, Mario has always been a plumber who used special jumping skills to fight with the Turtle Tribe.)
  21. ^ Official traditional Chinese website for Mario Kart Wii. Retrieved December 18, 2021.
  22. ^ Official Chinese website for the Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary. Retrieved February 7, 2021.