Bowser, also known as King Koopa, is a video game character and the primary antagonist of Nintendo's Mario series. In Japan, the character is known as and bears the title of .
Bowser is the leader and most powerful of the Turtle-like Koopa race, and is the evil archnemesis of Mario and other characters throughout the Mario series, beginning with his first appearance, in the game Super Mario Bros. His plans usually involve kidnapping Princess Peach and attempting to conquer the Mushroom Kingdom. Since his debut, he has appeared in almost every Mario series game.
Bowser was the creation of Nintendo designer and producer Shigeru Miyamoto. Miyamoto had first envisioned Bowser as an ox, basing him on the Ox King from the Toei Animation film Alakazam the Great . However, Nintendo designer Takashi Tezuka pointed out to Miyamoto that the character looked more like a turtle than an ox. Despite popular misconception, Bowser is, in fact, supposed to be a turtle, not a dragon. (Though an early advertisement flyer for the arcade version of the game did refer to "conquer[ing] dragons" as part of its gameplay.) Miyamoto and Tezuka then began to work together to define Bowser's appearance. Since the character was in the turtle family with the Koopa Troopa, the two began to base his new appearance on them, creating a new illustration. In his final design, Miyamoto commented that he could make Bowser "look cool now".
Miyamoto named him Daimaō Kuppa. Kuppa came from the Japanese name for , gukbap, a Korean dish. Miyamoto had also considered the names Yukke and Bibinba, also Japanese names of Korean dishes ( yukhoe and bibimbap respectively). Interestingly enough, the Korean name for the character Bowser/Kuppa is not Gukbap, but Kupa, which is essentially a phonetic round-trip translation. Kuppa is also said to be a pun on kappa. The name was anglicized Kuppa rather than Koopa in the Japanese versions up until the release of Super Mario World.
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Official Site: Nintendo
Researched by: Grover Junior