Ludwig von Koopa
Ludwig von Koopa (known as Kooky von Koopa in the cartoons) is the oldest of the Koopalings, a clan of seven siblings that act as leaders of the Koopa Troop under Bowser (originally considered his children). He is also their self-proclaimed leader, and is hinted in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey to be of a high enough rank to directly receive orders from and give status reports to Bowser. As shown since the Super Mario Picture Books, Ludwig is a conceited show-off, with the recent official bios also underlining his intelligence. In terms of physical appearance, his most notable traits are his large, wild, blue hair, his overbite on the upper snout and his eyebrows that are kept at a peculiar angle, conferring a serious, mature look. He resembles and was named after composer Ludwig van Beethoven.
Super Mario series
Super Mario Bros. 3
In Super Mario Bros. 3, Ludwig is the boss of Pipe Land. He is the eldest of the Koopalings and Bowser's second in command. He steals the blue magic wand of Pipe Land's king, whom he turns into a Piranha Plant or Yoshi in the original and Super Mario All-Stars versions of the game, respectively.
In battle, he is able to generate earthquakes that stun Mario after landing from jumps, furthermore he attacks generating magic blasts with his magic wand and retreats in his shell both after being hit by Mario and as a form of attack among the others, this being his unique trait in the game.
The GBA remake, Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3, expands Ludwig's role slightly with the (originally Japanese-only) e-reader level Koopaling Confusion, where he hides out at a docking area for maritime vessels. If the player takes the bottom route to fight Ludwig, he will fight Mario or Luigi in a flat cabin, and will end up being defeated in one stomp by either of the Mario Bros. However, if the player goes to the end of the armada, they will fight Ludwig in a cabin with an uneven floor, and he will require the usual three stomps to be defeated. His level acts as the penultimate level to the final e-reader level card (counting Bowser's Airship 1 and Bowser's Airship 2 as one level).
Super Mario World
After he was defeated by Mario, Ludwig was assigned to occupy the fourth castle of Dinosaur Land, located in the Twin Bridges, in Super Mario World. This is the only time in the Super Mario series where he is not the last Koopaling to be fought.
During his battle with Mario, Ludwig utilizes a unique combat strategy: spitting fireballs, sliding around in his spiked shell, and occasionally making huge leaps. Mario or Luigi can stomp on him three times, hit him with twelve fireballs, or use a combination of the two methods. After defeating Ludwig, Mario destroys his castle by detonating explosive charges near the bottom of the building, sending it flying into a nearby hill which is subsequently bandaged in the spot where it gets hit. The text that accompanies this suggests that he isolated himself to compose Koopa symphonies, at least until Mario showed up to ruin his work; however, this was added by the localizers, as the original Japanese version uses uniform text for the defeat of all seven Koopalings and does not even use individual names for them.
Ludwig is the only Koopaling whose battle is not reused for another Koopaling. Also, like the others, his in-game design does not match official artwork: in his case, he uses the palette intended for the yellow Koopa Troopas, despite the existence of more appropriate palettes in the game's graphics, such as that used for the green Koopa Troopas, or the teal palette used by Buzzy Beetles and Morton in the cast roll, the latter of which would have matched up with his Super Mario Bros. 3 palette. Furthermore, in the game's cast roll Ludwig uses an alternate color palette, a lighter-skinned pinkish-purple palette with which would fit the shells of Roy Koopa and Wendy O. Koopa as they appear in game, and matched Roy's Super Mario Bros. 3 palette. For unknown reasons, his cast roll sprite depicts him with the same teeth as Morton's teeth.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
Ludwig and the other Koopalings reappeared in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, after six years of absence, now alongside Bowser Jr. His physical appearance remains relatively unchanged, though Ludwig's shell is now blue instead of green, and he is depicted with blue hair in-game.
He first appears in the opening scene, where Ludwig, Bowser Jr. and the other Koopalings jump out of a cake at Princess Peach's birthday party. They trap her inside it by throwing the cake on her. They then flee on their Airship. Mario, Luigi, Yellow Toad, and Blue Toad travel through the Mushroom Kingdom to defeat them, as well as Magikoopa and Bowser, and save Princess Peach. He appears as both the fortress and castle boss of World 7.
The stage for the fortress battle is a straight ground with a pit on both sides. When he sees Mario, he will look away and snicker. When battling him at his tower, before reaching him, he conjures a blue fireball from his wand which slowly homes into the players. He is the fastest to cast a spell out of all the Koopalings. After that, he then jumps really high and Flutter Jumps above them whom he is trying to stomp on. After landing, Ludwig then conjures another homing fireball if he is not stomped on. When jumped on, Ludwig retreats back to his shell and spins it to the left and right of the stage in an attempt to hit the players (accompanied by his homing fireballs if it has not made contact with anything yet). When he is stomped on 3 times, he is defeated and retreats to his castle.
The stage for the castle battle consists of three separate, rising platforms which Magikoopa activated with his magic. The platforms rise up and down during the fight and the sides move in unison while the middle does not. Falling between the spaces between the platforms results in losing a life. The characters do not get affected by the platforms rising (the players jump normally as if the platforms are not even rising at all, only the background moves).
In the castle, unlike the tower battle, his fireballs no longer home in, but instead they split into four and it takes more time to cast them. He uses his Flutter Jump ability to get to another section of a platform. Players can tell in which platform he is going to land due to his legs being visible in the screen, Flutter Jumping for a few seconds before landing. When Ludwig is hit, he slides around in his shell, but he will only slide on the platform he is on, rather than sliding to another platform. He also spends a very limited amount of time in his shell. When he is hit two times, he shoots out another four fireballs after he casts his first set of fireballs. When finally defeated, Ludwig falls off-screen and Mario gets the key to World 8. If Mario hits Ludwig at a certain angle the third time, both Mario and Ludwig fall into the abyss, causing Mario to lose a life.
Although Ludwig fell during his castle battle with Mario, he later is seen along with the other Koopalings getting Bowser back up, only to have Bowser's castle fall on top of all of them.
Ludwig is one of the only two bosses fought in the same order as Super Mario Bros. 3 (the other being Larry, who was the first one Mario fought in both games).
Ludwig has an audible voice in-game for the first time. He is portrayed by Mike Vaughn, who gives Ludwig a much deeper voice than the cartoon series' actor.
New Super Mario Bros. 2
Ludwig, alongside the other Koopalings, reappears in New Super Mario Bros. 2. He is the boss of World 5-. He once again looks away and snickers before battling Mario. In his battle, Ludwig uses his Flutter Jump ability to grab one of the five chains hanging from the ceiling to attack Mario with three blue fireballs, while Mario has to use the five gray pipe cannons on the floor to blast himself against Ludwig fast enough. After that, Ludwig falls onto the floor and gets dizzy. Then Mario can jump on his head. After stomping him once, he starts to shoot four fireballs. After two stomps, the chain Ludwig hangs on starts to swing, making it harder for Mario to hit him but still shoots four fireballs. After another stomp, Ludwig is defeated, leaving the key to World 6.
Ludwig rejoined his companions at Bowser's castle, where they attempted to petrify Mario with their Koopa Clown Car's petrification device. He also aided Bowser alongside the rest of the Koopalings by causing him to grow larger, but it resulted in him and the others being knocked into a lava pit by Bowser due to his increased size. He and the other Koopalings survived, however, and attempted to help Bowser by airlifting him with the Koopa Clown Car, but this resulted in it crashing due to it being unable to handle the combined weight of both them and Bowser. Ludwig was some distance away from the crash site with his head down, apparently sulking.
New Super Mario Bros. U / New Super Luigi U / New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
Ludwig, along with the rest of the Koopalings, Bowser Jr., and Bowser, appears in the Wii U game New Super Mario Bros. U and its Nintendo Switch port, and serves as the final Koopaling boss to be fought, specifically in the world Meringue Clouds. He once again turns and snickers before battling Mario. His boss battle, like Larry and Iggy's, involves him using his magic wand, and like Roy Koopa, his battle takes place in the crow's nest.
In battle he levitates in the air while making two clones of himself, and all three Ludwigs will blast fireballs at Mario before dropping onto the ground. If one of the clones is jumped on, it will simply disappear. There are four ways to find out which is the real one. The one that is the real one fires three fireballs, while the clones fire two. The clones keep their eyes half-open, and tend to assume the real Ludwig's pre-battle idle pose while not levitating. The real Ludwig will also drop to the ground last, after the clones, as well as laugh while dropping. Finally, Mario always looks at the real Ludwig if he can see him directly, just as he does with the other bosses. When the fight starts off, after shooting their fireballs, the clones disappear before landing. After the first stomp, the clones do not disappear. After the second stomp, not only do all three Ludwigs shoot faster, but swap positions, though the real Ludwig still shoots three fireballs. After being stomped on three times, Ludwig falls out of the crow's nest and off-screen, and his airship is destroyed by Mario. He is last seen hanging from Bowser's tail along with the other Koopalings as they all fly away on Bowser Jr.'s heavily damaged airship at the conclusion of the game.
Ludwig has his own personalized airship, with his face as the bow, and his blue-colored shell at the top. The stern of his ship has a green color design, similar to his former shell color from past appearances. Like most of the airships, Ludwig's airship is equipped with a propeller at the back of his ship as well as another one placed just beneath the crow's nest. The airship is equipped with two cannons, one on each side. There are also orange lids on top of the cannons used for closing and opening the cannons. The airship has a unique feature. The hull is rimmed with green, and there is a balcony-like platform at the base of its mast. Like Roy, the interior of Ludwig's ship is unknown since the player never gets the chance to enter the cabin and instead fights Ludwig at the crow's nest.
Additionally, in the fastest possible route to complete New Super Mario Bros. U, Ludwig is the only Koopaling that needs to be fought.
Strangely, one of Ludwig's laughs is higher-pitched than his normal voice.
Ludwig and the other Koopalings return in New Super Luigi U. Like the other bosses, Ludwig is fought in the same way and the same world as in New Super Mario Bros. U. He is the boss of Ludwig's Block-Press Castle.
Super Mario Maker 2
Ludwig appears alongside the other Koopalings as a placeable enemy in the final update for Super Mario Maker 2, being available in every game style except the Super Mario 3D World style. Ludwig receives an original sprite for his appearance in the Super Mario Bros. style, as well as a new Super Mario World sprite. Ludwig attacks by shooting three to five beams at once, as well as flutter jumping. When given wings, Ludwig can float in the air for longer and shoot two waves of magic.
Amada Anime Series: Super Mario Bros.
The Koopalings were featured in the Amada Anime Series: Super Mario Bros., a set of three Japanese OVAs. In the Mario retelling of the story "Momotaro", Ludwig and the other Koopalings appear as minions of Bowser, aiding him in abducting Princess Toadstool. In "Shirayukihime" (or Snow White), the Koopalings also appear in similar roles; Ludwig ends up being beaten by Mario like the other Koopalings.
Super Mario World: Mario to Yoshi no Bōken Land
Ludwig appeared in the interactive Anime adaptation of Super Mario World. On Chocolate Island, he, alongside Lemmy, Wendy, Larry, Morton, and Roy, ambushed Mario and Luigi at a fortress. He alongside his brothers fought Mario after Wendy nearly fell into lava, but Mario broke open a red block to get a Cape Feather and sent them flying.
Ludwig also appears prominently in The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 and the Super Mario World cartoons produced by DIC Entertainment and Nintendo. Here, Ludwig is portrayed as having a mad scientist-like personality, inventing various gadgets for his father. In the cartoons, Ludwig is renamed Kooky von Koopa and has very messy hair, is smaller in size, has only one spike on his shell, has a usually twisted or crooked tail, possesses an unusual laugh, his eyes are larger and has a vague Germanic accent.
In the Super Mario World cartoon, Kooky appeared exactly the same with the exception of the episode The Wheel Thing, where his snout was colored the same as the rest of his body. His silent appearance in Rock TV colors his snout a lighter shade, as in The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3.
Kooky is voiced by Michael Stark.
Ludwig appears in the Nintendo Comics System's story Bowser Knows Best, and the Super Mario Adventures comic, where he and his siblings aid Bowser in his attempt to marry Princess Peach. Here, he is portrayed as the most cynical of the Koopalings, disbelieving that Princess Peach would ever agree to marry his father. He is also in charge of communication with Bowser through their television.
He makes another short appearance in the Club Nintendo comic "Super Mario: Erholung? Nein, danke!", where he works as a mechanic for KoopAir. The plane he is working on takes off before he even finishes his work.
Nintendo Adventure Books
In Leaping Lizards, either Ludwig or Larry compete alongside five of their siblings in the International Mushroom Games.
In Koopa Capers, Ludwig and his brothers have their wands stolen by Wendy, who disappears with them shortly afterward, intent on overthrowing their father with her own army, and a super wand she intends to create by fusing her own wand with her brothers'. If Luigi, who had been coerced by Bowser into searching for Wendy, tracks her down to her hideout, Bowser and the male Koopalings, who had been following him, will barge in after Luigi, but decide to stave off punishing Wendy for her mutiny if she helps search for the hiding Luigi. When Luigi finally decides to reveal himself, Ludwig is the first of the family to discover him and rush him. If Luigi had acquired Boom Boom's socks earlier in his adventure, he can toss them into Wendy's simmering wand combination potion, which will release magical fumes that knock the entire Koopa family and their minions out for at least a week.
In Pipe Down!, Ludwig appears as the main antagonist, having set up a base in a chamber within Pipe World, complete with a giant, magical pipe organ filled with coins, a performance stage and a Piranha Plant string quartet. After his family refuses to have any part in his new basketball-themed opera, Dribbling Beauty, Ludwig sends a pair of enchanted sneakers to Princess Toadstool, disguised as a gift for her ninety-ninth birthday (in mushroom years). Once the princess puts the sneakers on, Ludwig has them bring her to his lair by playing his organ; with Princess Toadstool in his clutches, Ludwig then forces her to take the starring role of the Prima Slamdunkerina in his opera, which he intends to show all over Dark World as part of a nine-year tour. In the book's best ending, Mario and Luigi track Ludwig and the princess down, destroy his organ, and cause most of his lair to collapse in the process, which manages to somehow cure Ludwig's partial deafness (an homage to the actual deafness of his real-life namesake, the composer Ludwig van Beethoven). While distracted by his newfound ability to hear with perfect clarity for the first time in fifteen years, Ludwig is knocked out when the princess throws a basketball at his head.
Mario is Missing!
In Mario is Missing!, Ludwig, along with a few of the other Koopalings, invades Earth with Bowser as part of a plot to flood the world by melting Antarctica. Guarding a corridor of Bowser's headquarters, Ludwig battles Luigi, who plans on stopping Bowser's plot and saving the kidnapped Mario. He is the last Koopaling encountered in the MS-DOS release, while he is the first in the Super Nintendo Entertainment System release. In the latter, Ludwig appears when Luigi arrives back at the castle after clearing the last of the first floor's cities. Ludwig runs around the castle like mad; however, like the other bosses in the game, he cannot harm Luigi, simply running past him instead. Once Luigi jumps on Ludwig a total of six times, he disappears in a puff of smoke. Defeating Ludwig in combat enables Luigi to move on. In the former, he obstructs Luigi's path while conducting a baton to an unheard beat. Like the others, all he can take is a fireball. He does not appear in the NES release, like the other Koopalings.
In battle, Ludwig uses a large robot with four legs, a spiked shell and a retractable head (in which Ludwig himself is stationed). Two cannons are attached to the head. The robot's weak spot is a large red area which Ludwig normally guards with the robot's head. However, as he has to move while he shoots, the red spot often becomes temporarily visible, allowing Mario to destroy it. After the robot explodes, the pieces salvage themselves together into a fighter style mech, which has fists that fly off to attack Yoshi and Mario. Once this robot is also destroyed, Ludwig concedes defeat.
In Hotel Mario, Ludwig appears as the boss in Ludwig's Thump Castle Hotel in Ludwig's Frantic Lab. In this game, Ludwig displayed the previously unseen ability to teleport and shoot blast of lightning from his hands. Ludwig is slow and primarily changes floor via teleportation, though he will take the opportunity to take Mario or Luigi in an elevator if he comes across them. If this happens, he shows no mercy and puts a gluttonous end to them, though at least he has the dignity to keep their cap in his stomach. Despite these new powers, Ludwig is still defeated by the Mario Bros.
Mario & Luigi series
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
After years of absence, the Koopalings finally made a reappearance in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, acting as guards in Bowser's Castle during Bowletta's invasion of the Beanbean Kingdom. He is the fourth Koopaling to be fought, like in Super Mario World.
Once the Mario Bros. enter his room, Ludwig attacks them by moving inside his shell, which they have to jump over quickly, or else they will have to start over from the beginning. However, Ludwig sometimes fakes the brothers out. Afterwards, Ludwig jumps into the air. Mario and Luigi, confused, attempt to leave the room, only for Ludwig to return, roar angrily at the Mario Bros., and proceed to rush into them to attack them.
Like in Super Mario World, Ludwig attacks Mario and Luigi by shooting balls of fire and zooming around in his shell in battle, as well as a spinning attack like Iggy. Defeating him lowers the spikes preventing Mario from hitting a switch, raising a platform and allowing the Mario Bros. to continue to Roy.
Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam
Ludwig reappears in Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam. He first appears in Doop Doop Dunes with Larry, Wendy and Roy where they capture Mario, Luigi and Paper Mario. In the Twinsy Tropics Dungeon, as Mario & co. head to the pipe that leads them to Bowser's Castle, they are stopped by Larry and Ludwig, telling them they need a pass to enter. Ludwig and Larry then briefly attack the Mario gang inside the pipe until Starlow unleashes a "Supernova Sparkle" attack. Afterwards, Ludwig and Larry exit out of the pipe and proceed to fight Mario & co. Ludwig and Larry are quickly defeated and forced to retreat. Ludwig is encountered one last time on top of Neo Bowser Castle, alongside the rest of the Koopalings. Ludwig briefly claims that he is a leader, to which the other Koopalings deny and as Ludwig attempts to explain what they are as a group, he realizes that he should be focused on beating Mario and gets ready for combat. Ludwig and Larry then battle Mario & co. one last time. After the battle, Ludwig utters some last words, saying that he has been dethroned, just before exploding.
In both of the boss battles against Ludwig and Larry in the main story, Ludwig draws Battle Cards from his deck, one at a time. In order to use them, he and Larry must collect Dark Star Points by successfully damaging Mario, Luigi, and Paper Mario. The Battle Cards are drawn in a specific order and when the last card is used, Ludwig begins the cycle again by drawing the first card.
When both Koopalings attack, Ludwig always makes the first move. They either retreat in their shell and attack the Mario Bros. first and then Paper Mario, or they try to hide behind a giant bomb that some Shy Guys try to deliver to the Bros., or they attack with their magic wand. In the latter case, Ludwig always attacks the Mario Bros. When both of them are defeated, he does not attack and sticks to using his Battle Cards.
Ludwig and Larry are also summoned by Dry Bowser in the Boss Battle Ring after Wendy and Roy have been defeated; in this case, the two Koopalings do not gain Dark Star Points, and Ludwig no longer uses Battle Cards.
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions
In the remake of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions, his battle is changed significantly, in addition to him now having dialogue. The battle itself is similar to that of Shrowser from Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time and Thunder Sass from Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, as Ludwig does not let the bros. attack. Ludwig will create a giant ball of magic and shoot it into the air, which slowly comes down on a brother. As the orb falls, Ludwig will fire smaller blasts from his wand, which need to be blocked by hitting them with the bros.' hammers. Once the giant ball gets low enough, the targeted brother must hammer it to make it fly back into Ludwig, instantly knocking him out, ending the fight.
Ludwig also appears in the added on alternate story mode Minion Quest: The Search for Bowser as a Ranged-type ally. He first appears on the Hoohoo Mountain where he and Lemmy try to find Bowser together after Fawful attacked the flying Koopa Cruiser and made it explode. Later, he and the other Koopalings get brainwashed by Fawful and try to conquer the Beanbean Kingdom afterwards. Ludwig is returned to normal after Captain Goomba defeats him in Bowser's Castle. His stats spread includes having high POW and DEF, but his strength mostly lies in DEF.
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey
Along with the other Koopalings, Ludwig appears in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey, in the game's new side story Bowser Jr.'s Journey. He is one of two Koopalings to not be fought, the other being Lemmy. In the beginning, as a test to see Bowser Jr.'s fighting abilities (largely due to Bowser Jr. deciding to just travel with a Mechakoopa over finding the actual ingredients for the blorbs), has Captain Goomba, Captain Koopa, Captain Boo, and Captain Shy Guy fight Bowser Jr. After Bowser Jr. passes his tests, Ludwig and the rest of the Koopalings (besides Lemmy) go with to find the ingredients for Skeletone Formula:D. At Dimble Wood, Ludwig grew suspicious that someone was watching him, and also had gnawing concerns that something bad was happening at Bowser's Castle, and departed the group to investigate, although he was also annoyed with Bowser Jr. not listening to him.
It is eventually implied that Beef had disposed of Ludwig, however Ludwig managed to pose as Beef after tricking him with a decoy and then locking him in a Bob-omb storage room while crafting his disguise afterward, consequentially also learning key details about the BFF's plans, though he was forced to help knock Iggy off a cliff to remain in-character in front of his "allies.", and silently felt remorseful for attacking Iggy. He eventually reveals himself, with his admitting he deliberately used himself as bait to lure Kaley into a trap. Ludwig apologises to Bowser Jr. for leaving his side, but becomes proud of him when he learns that he has started to mature and seeks to help the minions, at which point Ludwig rejoins Bowser Jr.'s side for the rest of the game.
As the team closes in on Bowser's Castle, they are ambushed by the Best Fitness Friends, now alongside the real Beef, which shocks Ludwig. Ludwig gets into a pose-off with Dieter, although he along with Bowser Jr. then get badly beaten up by the group, who also threatened to throw Wendy into the lava. Luckily, the four flag captains come to the rescue and they help Ludwig and the others drive off the Best Fitness Friends.
In the ending, Ludwig and Bowser Jr. proceeded to pose with each other during the resulting festivities of the defeat of Fawful's forces.
Super Smash Bros. series
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Ludwig appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as a sticker using his artwork from Super Mario Bros. 3. When equipped, it increases the power of explosive attacks by 8. This makes him the only member of the Koopalings to appear in the series prior to Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS.
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U
Ludwig (alongside the other Koopalings) appears as a playable character accessible via Bowser Jr.'s alternate costumes in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. He is unlockable in the former game and available from the start in the latter. His attacks and statistics are identical to Bowser Jr.'s, though he is referred to by his own name by the announcer and has his own voice clips. Ludwig can also appear in place of Bowser Jr. in All-Star mode (like the other Koopalings).
Like the other Koopalings, he is actually driving a mass-produced version of the Junior Clown Car (as noted by the yellow light bulbs that serve as its eyes). The rim and propeller of his Junior Clown Car are colored blue (his signature color). He also reuses his voice clips from his appearance in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, thus he is voiced by Mike Vaughn.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Ludwig (alongside the other Koopalings) returns as a playable character accessible via Bowser Jr.'s alternate costumes. He is once again an unlockable character, like in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS. Just like in the previous game, his attacks and statistics are identical to Bowser Jr.'s, though he is referred to by his own name by the announcer and has his own voice clips. Unlike in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U, all seven Koopalings (Ludwig included) now use their magic wands for any occasion where Bowser Jr. would use his hammer. These occasions include all corresponding attacks, their side taunt, and one of their victory poses.
Unlike other Koopalings, as well as Bowser Jr., Ludwig is currently fought in only one Spirit Battle (Toy-Con Car).
Mario Kart series
Mario Kart 8 / Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Ludwig von Koopa, alongside the rest of the Koopalings, appears as a playable character for the first time in Mario Kart 8, where he is an unlockable character. This time, he is voiced by David J. Goldfarb. His nickname in a Japanese Nintendo Direct for Mario Kart 8 is ｢目立ちたがりの悪役ヒーロー」, or "Showoff Villain-Hero" (localized as the "Conductor of Chaos" or "Showy Anti-Hero"). Just like Bowser and the other Koopalings, his emblem is shown to be a deep blue silhouette of his own head on a black background.
Ludwig is a middleweight racer, giving him relatively balanced attributes for most of his stats. He is used for the Staff Ghost for 3DS Piranha Plant Slide, making it a reference to Ludwig being the boss of Pipe Land in Super Mario Bros. 3. Ludwig also has a business which appears as a sponsor in this game called Ludwig Painting.
Ludwig's main color for his Standard parts and Pipe Frame is his signature blue, and his secondary color is green. The color scheme selection of his other parts is also based on blue, making it similar to that of Blue Miis. Exceptions to this are his Sneeker and Sport Bike.
Mario Kart Tour
Ludwig appears in Mario Kart Tour as a Normal character, being very easy to unlock. His special item is the Dash Ring and he is the only male character to obtain it. In the closed beta test, however, his special item was the Double Bob-ombs.
Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition
Ludwig appears in Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition as a Fire attribute character. He is the World 7-Castle and World 7-Airship Boss. Ludwig will join the player when ★World 7-Airship is completed. His Skill is Ludwig's Volcano, which changes all Orbs into Fire Orbs.
Mario & Sonic series
Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
Ludwig makes his first playable appearance in the Mario & Sonic series, not counting his Mii costume in both Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games and Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, in Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. In the Nintendo 3DS version, Ludwig is only playable in Table Tennis. He is the only Koopaling to be a default character. He is shown to be high in skill, and average everywhere else.
Ludwig does not appear in the Wii U version, but the aforementioned costume based on him returns.
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
Ludwig reappears as a Technique-type guest character in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, this time exclusive to the Fencing event.
Paper Mario: Color Splash
Ludwig makes his Paper Mario series debut in Paper Mario: Color Splash. He appears in Fort Cobalt, where he battles Mario on his warship, the "Super Ludship". In the battle against him, the projectiles fired by the warship's cannons can be tossed back using the Tail Card. After the first hit, Ludwig orders two Koopa Paratroopas to come and help him; if they are defeated but the ship is not further damaged, two more Paratroopas come at the beginning of each turn. After the ship is damaged two times, Ludwig orders two Spikes to help him; those Spikes immediately draw out spiked balls to be thrown at Mario and stay on the ship. This means they cannot be directly attacked by Mario, who must instead use the Tail Card to toss the spiked balls back at them. Furthermore, the damaged cannons fire a projectile with a low trajectory, causing it to roll on the floor before reaching Mario.
When Ludwig’s warship is hit three times by its projectile, it sinks and leaves Ludwig in the water. He then enters his submarine, the Super Ludsub, which can fire missiles. Using the Balloons Thing Card, the submarine can be carried out of the water and onto the fort’s floor. However, if a Replica of the Balloons is used, Ludwig will fire a missile at the Balloons Replica, rendering it useless. If Mario does not use the Balloons, Ludwig will attack with one missile. On the next turn, Ludwig will not attack. On the turn after that, Ludwig will instantly defeat Mario with a "Meteor Missile Storm", sending out 6 missiles, each dealing 35 HP of damage if the attack connects. The first one can be blocked or deflected with the Tail, but the rest are unavoidable.
If Mario uses the Balloons but does not attack the Super Ludsub, the balloons will eventually pop, the submarine will fall on the floor and Ludwig will start attacking again with missiles, although this time he will not resort to a Meteor Missile Storm, instead attacking with one missile at a time. When Mario destroys the submarine, Ludwig takes a lot of damage, and proceeds to fight on his own by performing a shell spin; sometimes he will attempt to hit Mario on the rebound from the first attack. After the battle, he admits defeat and his minions hand over the blue Big Paint Star.
In the game code, it is revealed that the Super Ludship too is supposed to have a final attack that instantly defeats Mario, the Lud-Cannon Blast, that is hinted by Ludwig, likely a few turns before, with a sentence that implicitly suggests the player to use the Tail Card. Acording to the game's data, the Super Ludship would fire many projectiles dealing 25 HP of damage each; in the final game, there does not seem to be a way to trigger the event that leads to said final attack.
Among the Koopalings in Paper Mario: Color Splash, Ludwig is the only one who specifically says that he has operated on his own: desiring to fight the world-famous Super Mario at least once, he used the blue Big Paint Star to lure Mario in his base.
Ludwig's appearance in the game is largely based on his artwork used in the Encyclopedia Super Mario Bros. and in other material released for the Super Mario Bros. 30th Anniversary. As such, not only does he have black eyes, like many other paper characters, but his eyebrows are black instead of blue. His initial pose while he introduces himself is also derived from said artwork. At the beginning, when he is in the dark, his eyes also display eyeshine.
Dr. Mario World
Other appearances and references
Super Princess Peach
Ludwig was originally going to appear in Super Princess Peach, although he was taken out of the final game with the rest of the Koopalings. It appears that he could breathe fire like in Super Mario World, and that he could cackle haughtily.
NES Remix 2
Since Super Mario Bros. 3 appears in NES Remix 2, Ludwig appears as a boss in some stages along with the rest of the Koopalings.
In the Super Mario Mash-Up Pack in Minecraft, Ludwig appears as a playable skin along with the rest of the Koopalings.
Ludwig is included (along with the other Koopalings) as a Boss in the Boss Deck of Monopoly Gamer. He is the seventh Boss in the deck.
Mario Tennis Aces
Like the other Koopalings, Ludwig has yellow and tan skin and a green head. He also has a four-ribbed, plated belly and padded feet, wears the same metal, spiked cuffs as the other male Koopalings and he is average in height, being taller than Lemmy, Larry and Wendy but shorter than Roy, Iggy and Morton. With earlier official material showing him as shorter than Mario, Mario Kart 8 shows that he is still shorter than most of the other middleweight characters, but, much like the other Koopalings, varies in height between games. Ludwig's shortest modern appearance is in the Mario & Sonic series, and his tallest is in Paper Mario: Color Splash. His facial features are defined, having shaped cheeks, a high nose, a low jaw, and deeply curved lips with a complete set of teeth as revealed by Super Mario Adventure Game Picture Book 2: Mario and Baby Yoshi (「スーパーマリｵぼうけんゲームえほん 2 マリオとチビヨッシー」), Super Mario World, when leaping during his boss fight, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, and in the Super Mario Bros rendition of Super Mario Maker 2. He has a round head and small, circular gray eyes, like Morton. Paper Mario: Color Splash also reveals that his eyes present the tapetum lucidum, as eyeshine can be seen when he is partially in the dark while entering the room on his Super Ludship. The traits that differentiate Ludwig from all the other Koopalings are his single overbite on the upper center of his snout and large, wild, dark blue hair, with a hairstyle similar to that subsequently used for Flurrie. He also has small, blue eyebrows, typically kept at an angle to confer him a serious tone.
Ludwig's sprites in Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World show him with white hair due to technical limitations. Similarly, the NES version of the former depicts him with slightly darker skin than the other Koopalings, though nowhere near as dark as Roy and Morton. Similarly, his shell in Hotel Mario is gray-colored. His redesign in New Super Mario Bros. Wii brought minor changes to his appearance. The eyebrows became blue instead of black and Ludwig's shell became blue with light orange rings surrounding the multiple, short spikes instead of green without rings around the spikes. In the Super Smash Bros. series, Ludwig's appearance is mostly unaltered compared to the other Mario characters, including Bowser. In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, however, Ludwig receives a slightly darker and subdued color scheme, while his hair, spikes, and shell receive simple detailing, though his scales remain undefined. These traits are shared with Bowser Jr. and the other Koopalings.
Personality and traits
Ludwig is known to be the eldest of the Koopalings; he is said to be precocious and conceited. In Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga, he gets enraged when ignored by Mario and Luigi, a trait also seen in Super Mario Wisdom Games Picture Book 3: Luigi's Secret (「スーパーマリオちえあそびえほん 3 ルイージの ひみつ」). The same book also displays him as being somewhat of a show-off, both when he introduces himself and when he chases Mario. This latter trait can be also noted when he introduces himself in Super Mario Adventure Game Picture Book 2: Mario and Baby Yoshi, as well as when he performs an impressive display of flips and twirls when riding in bikes or karts in Mario Kart 8, and has been eventually confirmed in his trophy description in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS. In the New Super Mario Bros. series, Ludwig laughs off the threat posed by the Mario Bros. when they face him in his castle, suggesting he underestimates Mario, a trait he himself starts to acknowledge after being defeated in Paper Mario: Color Splash. In Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, after Wendy and Roy's defeat on top of Neo Bowser Castle, Ludwig stated that he was not impressed by their battle. His next words suggest that he thinks of himself as the Koopalings' leader, although the other Koopalings deny this. He also stated himself to have been "dethroned" after losing to Mario, Luigi, and Paper Mario. In the English localization of Paper Mario: Color Splash, he is the only Koopaling to be referred to by his minions as "Your Evilness," a title similar to the ones given to Bowser; in the Japanese version, however, such title is absent. Regardless of his title, in both versions Ludwig is the only Koopaling explicitly stating to have worked just to fight Mario at least once rather than to fulfill Bowser's plans and shows a more humble and respectful attitude when suffering defeat, contradicting previous arrogant depictions. This tendency to act on his own and his secretly humble and respectful attitude slightly matches his Japanese and US blurbs in Mario Kart 8 that call him a "Showoff Villain-Hero" and "Showy Anti-Hero" respectively, and is further confirmed in Bowser Jr.'s Journey where all alone he defeats Beef, one of the Best Fitness Friends, and disguises as him, setting up a trap that nobody else is aware about, not even Kamek or Bowser Jr., only to then say to Bowser Jr., after having revealed his deeds, that he accepts any punishment for what he has done.
On the other hand, he has also been portrayed as the most cynical of his siblings, as he expresses disbelief that Princess Peach would ever agree to marry his father in the Super Mario Adventures comic. In the DOS version of Mario is Missing!, he cracks a joke about light bulbs and darkness at Mario's expense after Bowser discovered the hero's fear of the dark. He also had a horror-themed hotel in Hotel Mario.
Another aspect of Ludwig, not found both in Japanese in-game text and Japanese bios, is his love of classical music and his interests in composing. He waves a conductor's baton in Mario is Missing! and his UK blurb in Mario Kart 8 calls him the "Conductor of Chaos". His bio from the Mario Kart 8 Prima Guide says that he plans to compose his own victory theme should he win the race, and both the Nintendo Comics System and the English version of Super Mario World reveal that he enjoys composing "Koopa Symphonies", although the former goes on to state that they sound horrendous. The book Pipe Down! implied that he was at least partially deaf for a time, as he claims he can finally hear after an explosion "shook something loose in [his] brain". In the 3DS version of Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, his victory animation when he ends up in 2nd or 3rd place has him performing a stationary march, revealing his sense of rhythm. The first game that has lines of dialogue from him specifically related to classical music is the English localization of Paper Mario: Color Splash, where he says that "the first movement begins," as the battle begins, and calls the cannons of his warship "Cannon in Sea Major," with the Italian localization stating in a more direct way that he is a composer. According to graffiti of his hair and the list of the points of interests in Super Bell Subway, Ludwig might also be into art, as there's a place called "Ludwig Painting," also mentioned in the graffiti.
In Ludwig's trophy description in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U, he is considered the most intelligent of the Koopalings, in Paper Mario: Color Splash he even designs his own warship to fight Mario, that he does not manage to fully produce before the latter arrives. He has been given the role of an inventor also in other media, such as the Club Nintendo comic Super Mario: Erholung? Nein, danke!, where he works as the mechanic for the KoopAir airline service. In The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 and the Super Mario World cartoon, Ludwig's name was changed into Kooky von Koopa, and was portrayed as a stereotypical mad scientist, whose main purpose was to invent new doomsday weapons and gadgets for his father. He would commonly burst out into maniacal laughter or raise his voice by shouting in the middle of talking and seemed to be very aggressive towards the Mario Bros. Kooky did not also care much about his hygiene, never washing or combing his hair. By contrast, the comics give him a more refined personality and vocabulary. In Bowser Jr.'s Journey, Ludwig is shown to be somewhat serious and astute regarding sensing off elements, as evidenced by his sound suspicions that someone was watching and stalking them, something very bad has happened to Bowser's Castle, and his promptly leaving the party to investigate. His intelligence and knack for strategy was further showcased when he defeated Beef: knowing full well he did not stand a chance against him in a fair fight, he instead outsmarted Beef by leaving behind a mannequin in Ludwig's likeness and tricked him into shoving it into lava while promptly disposing of Beef from behind via shoving him into the same lava pit, and then creating Beef's costume to replace him.
Ludwig was given a stereotypical German accent in both the official Nintendo Power strategy guide for Super Mario Bros. 3 and the CD-ROM Deluxe edition of Mario is Missing!, along with maniacal laughter not indicated in the speech bubbles in the latter source. In the Italian version of Paper Mario: Color Splash he even leaves Mario speaking in German. Interestingly, he seems to have a very laid-back tone in the original Japanese Super Mario Bros. 3 manual, having some eccentric "cool musician" mannerisms and even using the first-person pronoun 「おいら」 oira (highlighted in katakana as 「オイラ」), a version of 「おれ」 ore with rural connotations. In the Super Mario Picture Books , he uses the arrogant term 「おれさま」 ore-sama to refer to himself; said term, along with the strong but less arrogant 「オレ」 ore, is also used in the Super Mario-Kun manga. He usually uses as his second-person pronoun 「オマエ」 omae, however, in Paper Mario: Color Splash, he instead uses 「キミ」 kimi.
Powers and abilities
Ludwig is usually portrayed as the most talented and powerful of the Koopalings. In Super Mario Bros. 3, Ludwig shared his attack pattern with Roy; Ludwig could fire projectiles from his magic wand, pound the ground to stun the Mario Bros., and retreat in his shell for both defensive and offensive purposes. Although all the Koopalings in Super Mario Bros 3 frequently retreated into their shells when stomped on by the Mario Bros. Ludwig was the only one of the Koopalings to demonstrate doing so at will, without having to be hit by the Mario Bros. He was given a completely unique attack pattern in Super Mario World, which none of the other Koopalings shared; Ludwig could spit three fireballs in a row and spin around the room in his shell, after which he could perform a long jump to the other side of the room. Ludwig was given even more new powers in Hotel Mario: he can fire electricity from his hands and teleport in a flash of lightning. In Superstar Saga, Ludwig retained his previous abilities of breathing fire (though not as furiously as the previous time) and spinning around in his shell, but also learned the new ability of spinning like a tornado to attack the Mario Bros., which was also done by Iggy.
In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Ludwig learned even more new abilities. He can either blast four fireballs from his wand at time or fire a single fireball, each homing in on the player, and has even mastered the ability of Flutter Jumping, being able to stay in the air for several seconds. His appearance in New Super Mario Bros. 2 has him also expanding on these abilities, utilizing the Flutter Jump to grab a chain, and then move between the two, and in addition, he can also increase his rate of fire. In New Super Mario Bros. U, similar to Lemmy and Wendy in Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga, he was also revealed to create fake duplicates to fake out the Mario Bros. He is also shown with the ability to levitate without needing to Flutter Jump. He has also proven to be more acrobatic than most of the other Koopalings being able to jump large horizontal distance with several flips in Super Mario World. While his appearance in Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe does not show his abilities, it is shown he can do a double-flip in the air while performing a stunt. Most of his tricks involve him jumping out of his kart, something he does more than any other characters. His agility is further confirmed in the 3DS version of Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games when he ends up in 2nd place or 3rd place, as in his victory animation he is able to stand on his right hand and spin, spanning two complete circles with his spinning.
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U has Ludwig in his own version of the Koopa Clown Car, as he is a "palette swap" of Bowser Jr., just like the other Koopalings. He can shoot cannonballs, use drills, boxing gloves, wrecking balls, and can even jump out of his Clown Car. Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam shows that he has some decks of Battle Cards that are used in the battle against the Mario Bros. and Paper Mario thanks to Dark Star Points that he and Larry collect by dealing damage to their opponents, showing how ingenious Ludwig is. Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games shows that Ludwig is very skilled in Table Tennis, which has been known to be a patient and strategic game, perfectly suited to him. In Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, Ludwig is shown to be a skilled fencer, implying skills in swordplay. In Super Mario Maker 2, he retains his Flutter Jump and magic spread-shots from the New Super Mario Bros. series, but can now cast his spread shots near-instantaneously like his single magic shot spells in his tower battle in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, no longer requiring a short charge time.
Profiles and statistics
This is a list of all voice actors of Ludwig von Koopa.
Names in other languages