The 'Shroom:Issue XXXI/Fading into Obscurity
Welcome to the first-ever edition of Fading Into Obscurity, where I will talk about some of the lesser-known characters in the Mario games. This also includes characters that don't appear in enough games, even though they have potential to, like this month's subject.
The kids made their debut working alongside their Koopa King daddy in Super Mario Bros. 3, by changing all of the rulers of the Mushroom Kingdom's seven regions into animals (or other Mario enemies in the Super Mario All-Stars and Super Mario Advance remakes). Their names... Well, this is perfect time for a roll call!
Each Koopaling would pilot one Airship, which serves as the final level in every world except World 8, where Mario (or Luigi) must make his way across the cannonball-Rocky Wrench-Bullet Bill-infested flying contraption. In battle, the Koopaling uses his or her magic wand to fire energy blasts at the Mario Brother. Once defeated, the kid flees, and leaves his wand behind. Mario will then use the wand to change that specific world's king back to his original form.
The Koopalings once again came back in Super Mario World, helping Bowser in his conquest to take over Dinosaur Land. Those hooligans kidnapped seven of Yoshi's friends, and trapped them in eggs, hiding them in a castle. The kids had different and varying types of battling here: Iggy and Larry had to be pushed off a single platform into the lava below; Morton and Roy had to defeated with a stomp to the head three times; Wendy and Lemmy pretty much had a "Wanted!" (a minigame from Super Mario 64 DS and New Super Mario Bros.) style boss battle, where Mario had to guess the real Koopa Kid in a crowd of fakes; and Ludwig... well... he had a much different approach: three stomps to the head does him in, but he breathes fire! And he jumps! Wow.
Even though Mario and Luigi always foil Bowser's plans, Bowser will always come back for more, and he will always drag his children into his schemes. The Koopalings posed as threats once more in Yoshi's Safari, where they had giant robots (!!!), and again in Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga, where, under Bowletta's command, tried to stop the Mario Bros. from reaching the big boss him- her- ITself.
And after that... we never saw them again...thanks to a certain little brat that was recently introduced at the time...
Yeah, you know who I'm talking about.
Since Bowser Jr.'s appearance, the Koopalings were not seen much anymore... It's such a shame, really. They had sooo much potential.
I mean, they could have made great playable characters in the Kart/Golf/Tennis/spin-off games! Heck, they were supposed to be bosses in Super Princess Peach, but they got scrapped at the last minute! They had some good-looking sprites, too (see the 'Beta Elements' article here if you want to take a good look for yourself.) New Super Mario Bros. would've been a great place for the seven terrible children to make an appearance, but... Yeah, Nintendo wanted to have Bowser Jr. the Koopa King's one and only son. What, did Bowser ground the Koopalings for 10 years or so just because they failed so many times in trying to beat Mario? In lieu of their long absence, that sounds like a pretty good explanation to me.
Thankfully, Nintendo didn't forget about the reptilian rugrats, because recent news of the upcoming New Super Mario Bros. Wii confirms that the Koopalings will, without a doubt, return! They'll be there are end-world bosses, too! Oh yeah, Bowser Jr. will be there as well. Yippee. I can see it now: Bowser, BJ, Iggy, Roy, Larry, Lemmy, Wendy, Morton, and Ludwig all going against Mario (and maybe Luigi and two Toads) as one big evil family! Yes... this will be the beginning of the revenge of the Koopalings...
Tune in next month, where we will be talking about everyone's favorite alien, Tatanga! Until next time!