The Bowser Challenge is a challenge in Super Smash Bros. Melee issued mostly to advanced players in certain tournaments, to beat a team of three Bowsers on Fountain of Dreams. The challenge was originally developed by the Superfriends crew of Southern California, and posted by HugS in February 2005.
There is no well-known equivalent to the Bowser Challenge in either SSB64 or Brawl, though the concept would be simple to carry across: a fight against a team of the heaviest character on one of the smallest legal stages.
- 4 stock, no time limit (matches are expected to last no more than 2 minutes).
- Team attack is off.
- The Bowser team must be composed of three players; no CPUs. The players do not have to main Bowser but they should be of above-average skill.
- The challenger may use any character.
- The stage must be Fountain of Dreams, the main reason being that it makes hit-and-run or spamming techniques unviable.
- No items.
- Self-destructs on the Bowsers' part count as KOs in favour of the challenger.
- The ultimate goal is for the challenger to defeat all three Bowsers.
Sometimes humourous rules are included, such as "taunting at the same time after KOing the challenger", "doing something of hilarity", or "pressing X, Y, X respectively on the winning screen".
While the match can seem very lopsided in favour of the challenger due to Bowser's glaring weaknesses (especially against faster characters such as Marth and Fox), the three Bowsers can easily cover most of the stage in hitboxes, giving the challenger very little opportunity to attack safely. Combined with Bowser's weight requiring lots of damage to be delivered before a KO is plausible, the match itself is considered extremely difficult (if not impossible) to win, provided that the Bowser players are semi-competent. Another disadvantage is that friendly fire is not on, allowing the Bowsers to take a considerably more aggressive fighting style against the opponent than in actual matches.
The difficulty is clear in Smashers of all skill levels. In one tournament, famed Melee player Ken Hoang couldn't even get a single KO in the match; at this same tournament, Captain Jack, who was notable for successfully defeating Ken's Marth in friendlies, only got 4 KOs, as Ganondorf.
There is no official evidence that proves that a professional has won a Bowser Challenge. In the present, the current record is 5 KOs out of 12, which is held by multiple players.