Dry Bowser

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Dry Bowser

Artwork for Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games
General information
Species Dry Bones
Enemies Mario, Luigi
Portrayed by Kenny James (2008-present)
First appearance New Super Mario Bros. (2006)
Latest appearance Dr. Mario World (2019)
“Y-you just knocked over Dry Bowser like he was nothing!”
Bowser, Mario Party: Island Tour

Dry Bowser (also known as Bowser Bones, Dry Bones Bowser and Skeletal Bowser) is an undead, skeletal version of Bowser and also his father, debuting in New Super Mario Bros. Dry Bowser was accidentally created in New Super Mario Bros.'s first castle, when a short fight between Bowser and Mario ended with Bowser being dropped into a pit filled with lava. Unlike previous occasions, the lava reduced the once-mighty king to a skeleton, leaving his son, Bowser Jr., temporarily in command of the Koopa Troop. Dry Bowser is then fought in the first castle in World 8.

Dry Bowser makes an appearance as a unlockable driver in Mario Kart Wii, classified as a Large-sized character. He also appears as a separate character from Bowser in the latest Mario games. Dry Bowser has an extremely horrifying howl combined with the rattling of bones from his entire body. This can specially be heard in the Wii version of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games when the player faces him in Ice Hockey. In certain regions of Mario Party: Island Tour it was revealed that Dry Bowser is actually Bowser's father. Dry Bowser is the king of the Dry Bones as Bowser is the king of the Koopas.


Super Mario series

New Super Mario Bros.

Mario fighting Dry Bowser in New Super Mario Bros.
Dry Bowser, as seen in World 1 in New Super Mario Bros.

In New Super Mario Bros., Bowser becomes Dry Bowser when he falls into lava after being defeated in World 1. He later appears as the boss of World 8's castle. He drops in from the ceiling and falls apart, but reassembles and is ready to fight.

To defeat Dry Bowser, Mario must dodge his attacks, which include breathing small flames and throwing his own bones, and wait for him to make a high jump. Mario must then run under Dry Bowser and hit the Skull Switch, destroying the bridge and throwing him into a very deep pit; when he finally hits the ground, his whole body falls apart. Fireballs are useless against him. If Mario (or Luigi) has a Mega Mushroom as his backup item, then the player can use this item to simply jump on Dry Bowser, who then quickly crumbles in defeat. A Blue Shell can also be used to slam against him three times.

At the final battle of the game, Bowser Jr. is present with the disassembled Dry Bowser. He tosses his father's skeleton into a cauldron, which causes Bowser to revert to his original form, albeit larger.

Oddly enough, if the player uses the Warp Cannon that leads to World 5 found in World 1 before taking on the castle, Bowser's demise will be unexplained as he was never seen falling into the lava and yet he still is in his Dry Bowser form in the first World 8 castle.

Super Mario 3D Land

Dry Bowser in Super Mario 3D Land.

Dry Bowser returns in Super Mario 3D Land as the boss in the castle stages of the Special Worlds. His battle tactics are similar to False Bowser, but they have several subtle differences. For example, he breathes blue fireballs at Mario while approaching him as opposed to the False Bowsers' method of breathing fireballs while stationary. He also attempts to hit the plumber with his skeleton tail and slam the ground (creating shockwaves). Once Mario hits the switch, the bridge collapses, sending Dry Bowser into the lava. Dry Bowser is fought in the castles of Special 1, Special 5, and Special 8, in the same worlds as his normal world counterparts.

New Super Mario Bros. 2

Dry Bowser in New Super Mario Bros. 2.
Mario fights Dry Bowser in World Star.

Dry Bowser reappears in New Super Mario Bros. 2 as the castle boss of the World Star, the final special world which is unlocked after beating the final boss. He behaves the same as his other counterpart in World 6, which marks the first time Dry Bowser becomes a larger size (excluding using a Mega Mushroom in Mario Kart Wii). The only difference in the two boss battles is that he is faster than Bowser and the platforms are smaller. Unlike the original battle, Peach's cage is nowhere to be seen.[1] His eyes turn blue before he shoots his blue fireballs, and this is the only game where this happens.

Dry Bowser's face is used as the icon for the Impossible Pack, a downloadable course pack for Coin Rush mode, despite not appearing in any of its levels at all.

Mario Kart Wii

Dry Bowser, driving through Grumble Volcano in Mario Kart Wii.

Dry Bowser makes his first playable appearance in Mario Kart Wii. He is a large-sized driver along with his son, Bowser. However, it seems more reasonable that Dry Bowser would be a lower weight class, as he lacks all matter other than bones. It is likely that his size qualifies him to be in that class, seeing that weight doesn't always matter when it comes to the large karts (for example, King Boo, Waluigi and Rosalina also look as if they should be in a lower weight class, but are too tall to fit in the medium size karts). He has a more terrifying roar than Bowser in this game, mixed in with several bone rattling sounds, which make up his sound effects throughout the game. He can be unlocked by beating all the Wii cups on 150cc with at least 1 star ranking. He is the Time Trial ghost of Grumble Volcano and GBA Bowser Castle 3.

Dry Bowser was the only CPU opponent in the second tournament of March 2009, where he attacked the player by firing fireballs at them throughout the race in the Mario Kart 64 version of Bowser's Castle. This competition has since been repeated twice.

Dry Bowser features a good off-road (tied with Toadette) and mini-turbo (tied with Wario, Koopa Troopa, and Dry Bones) bonus, which makes vehicles like the Flame Flyer and Phantom perform a bit better off the track, along with getting a slightly better mini-turbo after a drift.

Mario & Sonic series

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games

Dry Bowser's appearance in the DS version of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games.
Dry Bowser and three Dry Bones, in the Wii version of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games.

Dry Bowser makes his second spin-off appearance in the game, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games. He appears as the last rival character in the Festival Mode for the Wii version and in the Adventure Tour for the Nintendo DS. The player meets Dry Bowser in the event of Ice Hockey, where he is the captain of a team of three Dry Bones while he participates as well in the event as the team's goalkeeper. Once the player's team manages to beat him, he chases his team, since he thinks that it is their fault that they have lost. However, if the player loses, Dry Bowser and the Dry Bones will do a victory dance and laugh evilly. There is a Dry Bowser costume that Miis can purchase in the store. Dry Bowser works for Bowser and Eggman trying to kidnap the Snow Spirits in the Adventure Tour in the DS version as the Boss of Super Sonic Downhill and again in Curling Bowling just as the player reaches Bowser and Dr. Eggman.

Although this is the second Mario spin-off to feature both Bowser and Dry Bowser, only Bowser is a playable character in this game, unlike in Mario Kart Wii where they are both playable.

It is possible in the Wii version to face Dry Bowser in Ice Hockey as Bowser whilst in the DS version they appear to be allies.

Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games

Dry Bowser returns as a rival in the London Party Mode of Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games. He is faced in the Dream Long Jump event. After the player beats him, they receive a Sticker. Also, the music that plays when playing against him is the same as the previous title. The player can also unlock a Dry Bowser suit for the Miis.

In the 3DS version's story mode, Dry Bowser appears at the beginning of the story for the second part of the Mario story. He and a Dry Bones challenge Mario and Luigi in the Sailing - 470 event. After their defeat, only Dry Bones is seen in the ending. Dry Bowser was somehow left out of the ending.

Mario Tennis Open

Dry Bowser, as seen in Mario Tennis Open

Dry Bowser appears as a playable character in Mario Tennis Open. Unlike Bowser, Dry Bowser is classified as a Defense-type player.[2] He can be unlocked after the third difficulty level of Ink Showdown, Inksplosion, is completed.

Character Description


Dry Bowser's personality is similar to Bowser. He is a cruel and ruthless villain, and his roar is even more terrifying than Bowser's.

Physical appearance

Dry Bowser is simply a skeletal version of Bowser, though there are some significant changes in not only color but also in shape. The most noticeable feature is his nose, which has morphed into a beak-like shape. Dry Bowser's shell is a charcoal gray with dark red ridges, as opposed to his counterpart's standard green. His horns are longer and more curved and his eye sockets are more triangular with thick bone where Bowser's eyebrows used to be. Like Dry Bones, Dry Bowser's eyes are small glowing pupils. The once black and shiny collars around his neck and arms have been scorched and turned a dull dark red, and his hair has been taken up in a ponytail similar to the hairstyle of Bowser Jr.


As an undead version of Bowser, Dry Bowser has largely the same abilities, most notably his fire breath, while also possessing the near-indestructible nature of Dry Bones. His fire breath has appeared blue in some games. Dry Bowser also has the ability to throw bones at his foes and stomp on them with a high jump. Dry Bowser is also notable for his large howl that can raise lava in New Super Mario Bros. 2.

List of appearances by date

Title Role Year of release System/format
New Super Mario Bros. Boss North America:
May 15, 2006
Nintendo DS
Mario Kart Wii Unlockable playable character Japan:
April 10, 2008
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games Boss North America:
October 13, 2009
Nintendo DS
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games Rival North America:
October 13, 2009
Super Mario 3D Land Boss Japan:
November 3, 2011
Nintendo 3DS
Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games Rival North America:
November 15, 2011
Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games Boss Australia:
February 9, 2012
Nintendo 3DS
Mario Tennis Open Unlockable playable character North America:
May 20, 2012
Nintendo 3DS
New Super Mario Bros. 2 Boss Japan:
July 28, 2012
Nintendo 3DS
Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games Rival Europe:
November 9, 2013
Wii U
Mario Party: Island Tour Boss North America:
November 22, 2013
Nintendo 3DS
Mario Kart Arcade GP DX Downloadable playable character Japan:
July 25, 2013
Mario Party 10 Boss Japan:
March 12, 2015
Wii U
Animal Crossing × Mario Kart 8 (Mario Kart 8 DLC) Downloadable playable character Worldwide:
April 23, 2015
Wii U
Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition Boss Japan:
April 29, 2015
Nintendo 3DS
Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash Unlockable playable character Europe:
November 20, 2015
Wii U
Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam Secret boss Japan:
December 3, 2015
Nintendo 3DS
Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Unlockable playable character Japan:
February 18, 2016
Nintendo 3DS
Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Unlockable playable character Japan:
June 23, 2016
Wii U
Mario Sports Superstars Mentioned Europe:
March 10, 2017
Nintendo 3DS
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Playable character Japan:
April 28, 2017
Nintendo Switch
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Spirit Japan:
December 7, 2018
Nintendo Switch
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey Non-playable character Japan:
December 27, 2018
Nintendo 3DS
Mario Tennis Aces (version 3.1.0) Playable character Japan:
July 1, 2019
Nintendo Switch
Mario Kart Tour Unlockable playable character Japan:
September 25, 2019
iOS, Android
Dr. Mario World Unlockable playable character (requires update) Japan:
December 26, 2019
iOS, Android

Profiles and statistics

Mario Kart Wii

Dry Bowser's complete vehicle roster.
  • Size: Large
  • Stats:
    • Acceleration:*/***
    • Top Speed:***/***
    • Off-Road:*/***
  • Site Bio: "If the King of the Koopas wasn't scary enough already, his appearance as a surly skeleton should have the other drivers shaken in their seats!"
  • Prima Guide Bio: "After a little dip in lava, Dry Bowser, King of the Dry Bones, returns invincible! Fortunately though, he's driving the same karts and bikes as everyone else!"
  • Mario Kart Wii Card Bio: "Is this the result of Bowser taking a lava bath? Dry Bowser knows how to turn on the boost juice with effective Mini-Turbos and excellent Off Road handling. Unlock him if you're on a tight track & like to go fast!"
  • Actual Bonuses
    • Off-Road: +6
    • Mini-Turbo: +6

Mario Tennis Open

  • Type: Defense
  • Site Bio: He's a little slow, but Dry Bowser can cover a wide range with his big body. His specialty is powerful strokes and Drop Shots.
  • Bio 2: Though he is rather slow, Dry Bowser's huge body enables him to cover a large part of the court. He is capable of both powerful drives and delicate dropshots.


For this subject's image gallery, see Dry Bowser/gallery.

Names in other languages

Language Name Meaning
Japanese 骨クッパ[3]
Hone Kuppa
Bone Bowser
Chinese (Simplified) 枯骨酷霸王
Kūgǔ Kùbàwáng
Dry Bone Bowser
Chinese (Traditional) 枯骨庫巴
Kūgǔ Kùbā
Dry Bone Bowser
Dutch Dry Bowser -
French Bowser Skelet From squelette ("skeleton") and the French name of Dull Bones, Koopa Skelet
German Knochen-Bowser Bone Bowser, reference to Dry Bones' German name Knochentrocken
Italian Skelobowser Portmanteau of skeleton and Bowser
Korean 좀비쿠파
Jombi Kupa
Zombie Bowser
Portuguese (Brazil) Bowsosso Portmanteau of Bowser and osso ("bone")
Portuguese (Europe) Bowser Esqueleto Skeleton Bowser
Russian Боузер-скелет
Skeleton Bowser
Spanish (Americas) Bowsitos
Dry Bowser (Mario Kart Wii)
Portmanteau of Bowser and Huesitos, Dry Bones' Spanish name
Spanish (Europe) Bowsitos Portmanteau of Bowser and Huesitos, Dry Bones' Spanish name


  • Bowser has previously been seen falling in lava in Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels without showing his apparent demise. In Super Mario 64, Super Mario 64 DS, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Super Mario 3D Land, and New Super Mario Bros. 2 however, Bowser wasn't affected when falling in lava this could have something to do with the varying temperatures of the lava.
  • Before Mario Party: Island Tour's release, fans were already speculating that Dry Bowser might be Bowser's father, the rumors started not long after the release of Mario Kart Wii.


de:Knochen-Bowser it:Skelobowser