Fake Bowser

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This article is about Fake Bowsers from Super Mario Bros.. For information about the Fake Bowser in Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, see Bowser Clone.
Fake Bowser

Artwork of a Fake Bowser in Super Mario 3D Land.
First appearance Super Mario Bros. (1985)
Latest appearance Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. (2020)
Species origin Various

The Fake Bowsers are clones of Bowser who are actually standard enemies that were transformed into the likeness of Bowser via his black magic. Fake Bowsers made their first appearance in Super Mario Bros..


Super Mario series

Super Mario Bros. / Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels

Mario has to fight seven Fake Bowsers (one in each castle) before he can reach Bowser's Castle and fight the real one. Hitting a Fake Bowser with fireballs reveals that they are really just common enemies disguised as their king with a spell (presumably put on them by Bowser). These enemies are a light gray (some mainly so they could be displayed against the black background), however. The enemies and their attributes are:

Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels additional worlds:

The You vs. Boo section of Super Mario Bros. Deluxe:

In Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, Fake Bowsers also appear in Worlds 8-4, 9-3, and D-4, along with the real Bowser. Unlike the other Fake Bowsers, these Bowsers have more of a mint-green body with a brown muzzle instead of the normal color. This type of Bowser is a magical copy of the real one; it also breathes fire and throws hammers in all levels encountered except in World D-4, where it is a Spiny which breathes fire, just like the one at the end of the level.

Super Mario All-Stars

In Super Mario All-Stars, they also lack their alternate coloration and look identical to Bowser. Because of this and the fact that this Bowser is the only Bowser that appears in World 9, players unaware of the original version of the game have mistaken them for the real Bowser. However, one means of distinguishing them from the real Bowser is the music that plays; the real Bowser's music is different. On a side note, all the Fake Bowsers in Worlds 9-D only throw hammers in the Super Mario All-Stars remake. Strangely, the real Bowser in World D-4 also only uses hammers, unlike in World 8-4, where he uses hammers and spits fire.

Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3

In Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3, a Fake Bowser appears as a boss in the e-world level "Classic World 1-4", where it plays a similar role to that played in Super Mario Bros., though it looks identical to the game's real Bowser. It is revealed that the Fake Bowser is a Goomba after being defeated.

Super Mario 3D Land

Screenshot of Fake Bowser from Super Mario 3D Land.

Fake Bowsers appear in the Nintendo 3DS game, Super Mario 3D Land. They have Tanooki tails like Tanooki Mario, and they attack in a similar way as in Super Mario Bros., breathing several giant fireballs from a far place and jumping, except not in a two-dimensional stage, since the game is a 3D platformer Mario game.

However, unlike in Super Mario Bros., only two Fake Bowsers appear: one in World 1-Castle and the other in World 5-Castle; they are also immune to Fire Mario's fireballs (and basically any other kind of projectile). In order to defeat a Fake Bowser, Mario or Luigi has to press a switch at the end of bridge to make it collapse and send the Fake Bowser into the lava. After falling into the lava, the Fake Bowsers bounce upwards and show their true forms with a Super Leaf beside them. The Fake Bowser in World 1 is actually a Goomba, and the one in World 5 is actually a Magikoopa.

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga

A Fake Bowser makes a cameo appearance in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. It is seen in a special area inside Bowser's Castle which is a side-scrolling level imitating a Super Mario Bros. level. The Fake Bowser appears at the end of that level. The Bowser appears to be made of cardboard and Mario must run underneath him and hit the Ax to make him fall.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Bowser next to False Bowser.
Main article: False Character#False Bowser

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, a False Bowser is the Shadow Bug copy of Bowser. False Bowser makes his first appearance at The Lake. After Fox McCloud and Diddy Kong defeat him, he dissolves. He is seen several more times throughout the game, antagonizing the other heroes.



  • Although not discretely noted, Bowser??? in Paper Mario and the Bowser "mech" in Luigi's Mansion used by King Boo may be classified as Fake Bowsers.
  • The World 3 and C (SNES version of Lost Levels only) Fake Bowsers are the only Buzzy Beetles and Bullet Bills that can actually be killed by fireballs.
  • For some reason, killing the actual Bowser with fireballs at the end of World D-4 turns him into a Spiny. This was corrected in the SNES remake.