Mario Plush Bowser
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4 Fun Facts About Bowser
1/ Bowser Was Originally An Ox, Not A Giant Turtle
Bowser may look like a demon turtle these days, but it wasn’t always the case. Shigeru Miyamoto, designer of Mario and the gang, wanted to base the appearance of his new game’s main villain on an ox. More specifically, the Ox King from the movie Alakazam the Great was the main inspiration for the original concept. His final design made it to the official box art of Super Mario Bros. in Japan. It is Takashi Tezuka, a designer at Nintendo, who pointed out that Miyamoto’s “ox” had the body of a turtle. Mario Plush Bowser
It is Yoichi Kotabe who we have to thank for Bowser’s distinctive features. An artist at Nintendo, he was asked to create new illustrations for the Mario series. Remembering Tezuka’s comments, he and Miyamoto worked together to come up with a new design for Bowser, one which is not only based on a turtle, but which makes a lot more sense story-wise. After all, he was already the king of the turtle-like Koopas, so why not make him look like the rest of the family? Mario Plush Bowser
2/ Bowser’s Current Appearance Is Similar To A Japanese Demon
Even though Mr. Miyamoto has never confirmed it himself, some sources such as the Prima Super Mario Galaxy strategy guide have theorized that Bowser’s current appearance could be based on that of a kappa, a Japanese demon. In the mythology, the kappa are turtle-like creatures that lure people into lakes and rivers and pulls them. Throughout Japan, these legends used to be told to children to warn them of the dangers of lurking near the water. When looking at illustrations of a kappa, such as the one above, it’s easy to see the similarities between “koopa” and “kappa.” Mario Plush Bowser
The Japanese legend resurfaces again in Super Mario World as Kappa Mountain, as the home of the Yellow Switch Palace. The mountain has a small lake in the middle, similar to how a kappa has a small water-filled depression on top of its head. Official sources at Nintendo deny that Bowser is based on a kappa, but the similarities are still very interesting.
3/ Bowser Is Named After A Korean Dish
Bowser’s full name in Japan can be translated as “The Great Demon King Koopa,” which is admittedly a lot scarier than “Bowser.” What is less scary however is that the “Koopa” part, or “Kuppa” in Japanese, is based on the name of a Korean dish. “Kuppa” is the Japanese name for “gukbap,” a soup-like dish with rice, which sounds delicious but lacks the intimidation factor. Miyamoto himself has said that he considered two other names for the character: “Yukke” and “Bibinba.” The first one is based on “yukhoe,” a raw beef dish similar to steak tartare, while the second one is based on “bibimbap,” a dish of rice and sautéed vegetables. Mario Plush Bowser
As for “Bowser,” it was only introduced in the anglicized version of Super Mario Bros. Nobody seems to know just who is responsible for the translation, just that the first mention comes from the game’s instruction booklet.
4/ Bowser’s First Scheme Was Downright Evil
The instruction booklet for Super Mario Bros. teaches us a lot more about Bowser than just his name. While Bowser’s usual schemes these days consists of kidnapping Peach and a very vague desire to “take over the world,” his first apparition was much darker story-wise. The game tries to portray Bowser as a powerful user of black magic, but the implications make him look like a genocidal maniac. Mario Plush Bowser
Here’s the exact quote from the manual: “The quiet, peace-loving Mushroom People were turned into mere stones, bricks and even field horse-hair plants…”. BOTW Switch Case
That’s right, the Toads are all turned into bricks, the very same bricks that you, as Mario, spend the whole game breaking for extra points. Was Mario aware of this detail the whole time? Or did Bowser knowingly omit this part of his ploy, letting Mario accidently slaughter thousands of Toad over the course of his rescue mission? Bowser goes right past “cunning” and straight into “evil” territory with this one. Mario Plush Bowser
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