Bowser is consistently portrayed as attempting to take over the Mushroom Kingdom, but in early games he was called King Koopa.

What kingdom was King Koopa already the king of?

  • 37
    The Koopa Kingdom?
    – Molag Bal
    Jun 14, 2016 at 14:10
  • 43
    I just made it up. Let me edit Wikipedia real quick and then write an answer. The answer will reference Wikipedia, and Wikipedia will reference the answer.
    – Molag Bal
    Jun 14, 2016 at 14:14
  • 11
    @amaranth, xkcd.com/978 Jun 14, 2016 at 20:33
  • 15
    What is King Kong king of? Jun 14, 2016 at 20:44
  • 31
    Back then we didn't worry about such things. He was big, he shot fireballs across levels, and he had castles. That made him a king. End of story.
    – coteyr
    Jun 14, 2016 at 20:54

3 Answers 3


He was the ruler of the Koopa... his army. "Koopa" translates from Japanese as "Turtle Tribe".

Most Koopas seem to operate in a hierarchy-based grouping system. Bowser is the leader of the Koopa Troop, which has invaded Mushroom Kingdom many times and has control over most of the Koopas in the Mario series. Many of these same Koopas are soldiers in this army and have different tasks in the organization based on the abilities of their particular class.

The original game manual describes him "Bowser, King of the Koopa"

OG Bowser.

Not to get overly semantic, but Bowser would not have to be a sovereign leader for him to be called king. The second definition of KING is:

a person or thing regarded as the finest or most important in its sphere or group

The MarioWiki (linked above) also mentions that some of the Koopa are not aligned with Bowser and live in the Koopa Village,

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, simply hold no allegiance and operate independently

  • 4
    I guess he could be a feudal lord, with his own army independent of any wider government.
    – Molag Bal
    Jun 14, 2016 at 14:17
  • 7
    Wait, you could use fireballs to kill Bowser?? All these years of running under a jumping Koopa King... Jun 14, 2016 at 17:02
  • 12
    "Koopa" does not translate from Japanese to "Turtle Tribe". When Japanese Wikipedia, for instance, says "クッパ=カメ一族", what is being said is that "Koopa" is the name in English for what is referred to in Japanese as "Kame-Ichizoku", or "Turtle Clan". In Japanese, "クッパ" ("Koopa") is used almost exclusively to refer to Bowser himself. The name クッパ is thought to derive from the Japanese pronunciation of the Korean dish usually written as "gukbap" in English, but also written as "kukpap".
    – recognizer
    Jun 14, 2016 at 17:55
  • 5
    you mean like the king of pop?
    – coburne
    Jun 14, 2016 at 18:00
  • 6
    @Mat'sMug Yes, if you can manage to make it to him with a fire flower, I believe he takes 8 fireballs to die, just like the seven false Bowsers. The fire flower death is the way you know that he's not a false Bowser (the others revert to their true forms after a fire flower death).
    – fluffy
    Jun 15, 2016 at 3:55

http://legendsoflocalization.com/super-mario-bros/manuals/ has the original game manual for Super Mario Bros.

The story provided in that manual states that King Koopa is king of the Koopa, an army of magical turtles.

Super Mrio P=Brothers Story

Bowser, King of the Koopa

  • 2
    You might want to provide an actual quote (or a screenshot) rather than just paraphrasing.
    – Valorum
    Jun 14, 2016 at 14:31

Super Mario Bros 3 portrays him as being king of the Dark Land.

Source (from Wikipedia):

When the brothers rescue the seventh king, the letter they receive reveals that Bowser has kidnapped Toadstool and is holding her captive in the castle of his own kingdom, Dark Land. The brothers travel through Dark Land, enter his castle, and defeat Bowser in a battle.

Picture of the letter from both the original SMB3 and the All-Stars remake.

enter image description here

  • is there actually a source for this wikipedia content?
    – phantom42
    Jun 15, 2016 at 2:59
  • xkcd.com/978 I guess ;)
    – Zommuter
    Jun 15, 2016 at 6:03
  • I found images from level guides for SMB3 referring to World-8 as "Dark Land", but I can't tell if they're added by the community or if they were there in the original Nintendo Power guide. I can check when I get home from work though, I know exactly where I left it. Jun 15, 2016 at 13:20
  • 3
    I looked at the original manual for Super Mario Bros 3 and it refers to the Dark Land as one of the 8 kingdoms of the Mushroom World. The rulers of each of the other 7 kingdoms was transformed and replaced by one of Bowser's children, so the idea that the Dark Land is Bowser's kingdom isn't contradicted by the manual, but it is also never explicitly stated. When you add in the fact that he refers to the castle there as his castle, you're left with a pretty good argument that the Dark World is his kingdom. Jun 16, 2016 at 12:25

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