in Project M
|Base game appearance||Brawl|
|Moveset inspiration||Bowser (SSBM), Bowser (SSBB)|
|Alternate costume||Dry Bowser|
Bowser is currently ranked 41st out of 41 characters on the official tier list, ranking himself as the worst character on the tier list, the same Melee placement ranking 26th out of 26 characters and a somewhat larger drop from his Brawl placement of 33rd out of 38.
In Project M, Bowser keeps most of his characteristics from Brawl and Melee. He is both the largest and heaviest character, but still has a somewhat high dash speed for his size, and his powerful attacks are offset somewhat by lag or awkward animations. His only recovery move, Whirling Fortress, maintains its strong horizontal capabilities while still being weak vertically. However, in Project M, Bowser's offense has been greatly buffed, giving him better damage, armor, additional shield damage, and less lag on many of his moves, making him excellent at dealing burst damage and, consequently, a terrifyingly dangerous force when he's in control of the match. Bowser's armor mechanic allows him to absorb the knockback and flinch effects from attacks of various strengths while performing certain moves, as well as during his dash, crouch, and crawl. As a result, Bowser can nullify what would otherwise be a potentially combo starting move, or simply plow straight through an attack intended to stop Bowser from advancing. Additionally, the damage buffs on his attacks now allow Bowser to outprioritize stronger attacks if his armored moves aren't appropriate. Even though he is a slower character, Bowser has high speed in some areas: besides his above-average dashing speed, Bowser Bomb can be cancelled before Bowser reaches its peak, allowing for quick follow-ups into the air that are impossible to achieve with his normal jumps.
The keystone of Bowser's combo potential is Koopa Klaw, which returns from Melee with some reworking. Instead of providing Bowser with a pummel, Koopa Klaw is now purely a grab, and now gives Bowser a down-throw option which spikes when used in the air while knocking grounded foes down, setting up a highly advantageous tech-chase. Bowser can use his down-smash or the quake hitbox on his up-smash to hit foes attempting to roll into him; the latter can keep foes close for another Koopa Klaw. Foes attempting to get up in place can easily be hit with a forward-smash, and its lingering hitbox and armor can easily circumvent the invincibility and weak hitboxes on get-up attacks. Meanwhile, foes who roll away from Bowser can be chased down thanks to his surprisingly high dash speed, which can outpace all but the quickest and farthest rolls. The versatility and numerous setups Bowser has off of this tech-chasing option, combined with his armor, shield-damaging capabilities, and highly damaging attacks, allow Bowser to easily dominate opponents who attempt to play defensively in close quarters with him. The forward- and back-throws off of Koopa Klaw, while nowhere near as useful as the down-throw, can set up an edgeguard when used from the ground, and at low percentages, lead well into all of his aerials. While Bowser's ordinary jump is often too slow to serve this purpose, using a cancelled Bowser Bomb can let Bowser quickly chase foes into the air at low heights.
Bowser has other setups at his disposal. Whirling Fortress remains a stellar out-of-shield option that can let him get the upper hand out of a defensive situation, and its first hit has lower knockback to keep damaged foes close enough for a combo. Fire Breath keeps its buffs from Brawl and remains a great tool for trapping foes too far away for melee attacks. It also now has a bite hitbox in its ending animation, punishing foes who attempt to DI close to him to punish the ending lag. Bowser Bomb is now a much safer move; in addition to its new cancelling capabilities, it is more damaging, it is armored (especially during its descent), and upon landing, it produces a shockwave that serves the same purpose as Fire Breath's bite, making the move harder to punish from the ground. The shockwave can lead into most aerials, an up-tilt, or a down- or up-smash.
However, Bowser's high gravity, large size (almost double that of his Brawl counterpart), and high weight make him susceptible to attacks and combos. Despite his speed in some aspects, he remains easy to out-maneuver, as he has relatively poor air speed. In addition, Bowser possesses one of the longest jump squats of the cast, leaving him with one of the slowest wavedashes in the game, though not the shortest. While it is difficult to send Bowser far due to his weight and moves with armor frames, it is fairly easy to send him off the bottom of a stage or gimp him, as he suffers from a predictable recovery that does not cover much vertical distance.
With his new buffs alongside his old weaknesses, Bowser is played best when used offensively enough to get in close range to opponents, but defensively enough to punish a foe instead of trying to start a combo himself. Bowser's new offensive tools can allow him to get KOs more easily than ever off of an opponent's mistakes, but his increased size and poor recovery necessitate that the player keep from making mistakes themselves.
Changes from Melee to PM
Likely as result of his poor competitive dominance in the previous games, Bowser has been heavily buffed in the transition to Project M. Many of his attacks are both quicker and more powerful. He has received widespread armor of varying levels depending on the move, and in addition some of his favorable traits from Melee such as the Koopa Klaw and Fortress Hogging return.
While his tournament viability is only moderate, his results are better than ever before.
- Bowser now roars during his on-screen appearance.
- Bowser's third idle pose from Brawl now replaces his down taunt, and he additionally emits a roar from his Super Mario 64 incarnation, which is also his Wii Remote selection sound in Brawl. Giga Bowser also has this taunt, but instead uses his own roar.
- Bowser now has a unique victory theme, which is a rock version of the prelude to his final battle theme in Super Mario 64.
- Bowser now has his own series symbol consisting of an icon of his face usually associated with him in the Mario series.
- Bowser is approximately twice as large as he was in Brawl; this gives him more reach in his attacks, but also makes him more vulnerable.
- Bowser retains his longer arms from Brawl, giving his arm attacks more reach.
- Bowser is slightly heavier (117 → 118), increasing his endurance but making him more susceptible to combos.
- Several of Bowser's moves and animations now have varying levels of armor; his crouch, crawl, and dash attack give him light armor while his neutral aerial grants him medium armor and Bowser Bomb gives him medium and heavy armor. All of his smash attacks grant variable armor from light to super armor depending on how long they are charged.
- Many of Bowser's attacks do much more damage and knockback than either of his past incarnations and now deal shield damage.
- Bowser's jump squat is reduced (8 frames → 6).
- Spot dodge keeps its long duration but has more invincibility frames, dodging attacks more effectively.
- Neutral attack has less start-up and ending lag.
- Jab damage has been swapped, with the first hit now dealing the most damage.
- Forward tilt's clean hits deals 4% more damage and has slightly less ending lag. It also retains its longer reach from Brawl.
- Forward tilt's late hit deals 4% less damage.
- Up tilt has a longer hitbox duration and significantly less ending lag.
- Up tilt now has a clean and late hitbox, with the latter dealing 5% less damage.
- Down tilt has less start-up and the second hit, now optional and activated by a second button press, deals 2% more damage; this allows Bowser to either launch the foe with a single hit to then follow on, or punish shielding or crouch canceling foes with a second hit.
- Dash attack deals 1% more damage and has slightly less ending lag. It also now has light armor during its start-up and initial hit (frames 1-12).
- Forward smash has less start-up, a 1 frame longer hitbox, and deals 2% more damage and knockback, making it the strongest side smash in Project M. It has medium armor when charging on frames 0-19, heavy armor on frames 20-38, and super armor on 39-60.
- Forward smash has slightly more ending lag.
- Forward smash now deals flame damage and an explosive effect on hit.
- Up smash has less start-up and ending lag, and the second hit has a longer hitbox duration. The second hit also now meteor smashes and can hit opponents on ledges.
- Down smash has less start-up and ending lag.
- Down smash's final hitbox deals 4% less damage.
- Up smash and down smash now have light armor when charging on frames 0-19, medium armor on frames 20-38, heavy armor on frames 39-57, and super armor on frames 58-60.
- Neutral aerial has less start-up and landing lag, slightly less ending lag, and auto-cancels earlier. It also now has medium armor on frames 5-8.
- Forward aerial retains the slashing trail from Brawl indicative of its sweetspot. The sweetspot also deals 2% more damage and knockback, while the sourspot deals 1% more. It also interrupts earlier.
- Up aerial deals 6% more damage and has less start-up, albeit slightly slower than in Brawl.
- Back aerial's clean hit deals 4% more damage while the late hit deals 1% more. It also has a significantly longer hitbox duration and auto-cancels earlier.
- Down aerial has faster start-up and significantly less ending lag.
- Down aerial deals 3% less total damage.
Grabs and Throws
- Pummel deals 1% more damage (3% → 4%).
- Pummel is now a bite similar to the Koopa Klaw pummel.
- Forward and back throws have stronger knockback.
- Down throw deals 4% more damage (12% → 16%).
- Fire Breath retains its ability to be angled from Brawl. Bowser now also bites in front of him when the move is stopped, hitting foes attempting to punish the move's ending lag.
- Flame canceling has been removed.
- Back throw with Koopa Klaw is much more powerful, dealing 4% more damage and KOing near edges more reliably. Bowser can now also perform a down throw with it which meteor smashes foes when used on the ground, allowing him to tech-chase with it on the ground and KO foes when used over an edge; when performed in midair, it will spike opponents.
- Koopa Klaw can no longer bite opponents, weakening its damage potential. It can also no longer be held indefinitely; Bowser will automatically perform the forward throw a few seconds after grabbing the opponent.
- Forward throw with Koopa Klaw is now a head smash.
- Whirling Fortress has much less knockback on its first hitbox.
- Bowser Bomb's descending hit deals 4% more damage is much stronger, and can be canceled with a jump before the apex when used from the ground, letting Bowser perform followups on foes knocked into the air. It can still grab ledges from both sides as in Brawl so it can be reliably used from the stage to then be edge-canceled, equipping Bowser with a deadly edgeguard in this move. The landing hitbox deals 2% more damage, and the move now produces a large shockwave on Bowser's sides, making its landing harder to punish. It also now has medium armor on start-up and landing, and heavy armor when Bowser begins to descend.
Giga Bowser remains Bowser's Final Smash in Project M. However, by holding a shield button at the character selection screen, it is possible for Bowser to start and participate as Giga Bowser permanently during the match, similar to how Zero Suit Samus was playable in Brawl. Starting from v3.0, Giga Bowser can now receive knockback in addition to damage, as well as now being vulnerable to status ailments like sleeping or getting buried, though his moveset has been improved to compensate for this, and he still cannot be grabbed. In 3.6, he gained the ability to pick up items and use the majority of them. Giga Bowser's main flaw is that he is extremely prone to combos because of his size and weight. His duration when summoned via Final Smash was also increased to almost twice as long. In addition to receiving most of Bowser's changes, some changes to Giga Bowser include:
- Dashing now produces hitboxes in front of Giga Bowser's feet, which repeatedly inflict 3% damage while weakly pushing enemies forward. His heavy landing also produces a 6% damage hitbox that sends any close grounded opponents straight up.
- Koopa Klaw forward throw deals 5% more damage (15% → 20%).
- Landing with Bowser Bomb produces an enormous quake hitbox that affects all grounded opponents (no matter the platform in which they are standing) near him, similar to Venusaur's Earthquake in Melee.
- Bowser Bomb hits opponents powerfully in different directions depending on when they get hit; at the apex of Bowser Bomb, they are sent upwards; while Giga Bowser is falling at any other point of the attack, they are spiked; if they are on the ground and directly below Giga Bowser, they are buried and then sent horizontally.
- Down throw now involves Giga Bowser forcefully slamming his opponent into the ground, which is faster than the original throw, and hits nearby characters.
- Down throw deals 2% less damage (16% → 14%).
- Vulnerability to knockback now leaves Giga Bowser heavily susceptible against combos due to his large size, especially against juggling.
- Whirling Fortress is not intangible during startup, instead granting Giga Bowser heavy armor.
- Giga Bowser has his own on-screen appearance, where he roars while bathed in flames.
- Ending the match as Giga Bowser will now make him appear that way on the results screen, using the same victory poses and clapping motion as the regular Bowser. His name is now properly displayed on the jumbotron on the Pokémon Stadium stages and the results screen if he wins. The announcer also has a separate voice clip for Giga Bowser's name.
- Giga Bowser has two new victory poses, replacing Bowser's roar and claw swipes. One of them has him in a crouching position. The other has him biting rapidly similar to his side taunt.
Changes from PM to P+
FAF: First Actionable Frame
IASA: Interrupted as soon as
BKB: Base Knockback
KBG: Knockback Growth
(Taken from https://projectplusgame.com/changes/2.0)
- Weight: 118 → 113
- Jump Startup Time: 6 → 5
- Empty Landing Time: 6 → 5
- Jab 1 & 2:
- Jab 1: Adjusted animation so that the first frame of hitboxes hit in front of him rather than completely to the side.
- Jab 2: Startup 8 → 6
- Up Tilt:
- Added 3rd hitbox to sweet spot to match sour spot. Matches sourspot’s KB but retains sweetspot’s angle.
- Up Tilt interpolation glitch has been fixed.
- Down Tilt: Armor removed.
- Forward Smash: Armor comes out 3 frames earlier.
- Up Smash:
- Landing Hitbox active frames 22-25 → 22-23
- IASA 40 → 42
- Down Smash:
- Hitboxes no longer clank
- Low Hitboxes pulled in slightly, X Offset -9.4/11.2 → -8/9.8
- Up Air: Damage 23 → 22
- Standing Grab: Startup 9 → 7, Total animation frames 36 → 31
- Grab boxes:
- Outer Grab box X Offset: 14.175 → 15.8
- Middle Grab box X Offset: 11.7 → 10.0
- Inner Grab box X Offset: 7.2 → 6.2
- Size 2.73 → 3.23
- Dash Grab:
- Inner grab box size increased in size to fix dead zone
- IASA 52 → 48
- Up Throw: KBG 110 → 118
- Neutral Special (Firebreath → Fireball):
- Firebreath replaced with Fireball (similar to Yoshi's fireballs during his final smash, Super Dragon). Fireball takes roughly 13 seconds to fully recharge, is lost on death, and does not recharge on the respawn platform.
- While uncharged, Bowser has access to a bite attack.
- Side Special (Koopa Klaw):
- Fixed a bug where character actions wouldn’t update if thrown from a buffered Koopa Klaw throw. As a result, this slows down the fastest possible throw by 2 frames.
- Grounded Version: Cleaned up GFX timing.
- Aerial Side Special:
- Down Variant: IASA 51 → 45
- Down Variant: BKB 40 → 20
- If you hold the B button upon punching, Bowser will gain a small boost of momentum in the opposite direction of the punch.
- Fixed a bug where it could not do damage to opponents that were too close to the ground.
- Up Special (Whirling Fortress): Grounded initial hit KBG 85 → 80
- Ledge Jump IASA 4 → 7
- Crawl and Crouch armor reduced from 80/52.333 → 50/33
- Bowser’s armor while charging smashes now works properly.
- Missed tech rolls given slightly more distance.
- Costumes & Aesthetics:
- New Dash and Run animations
- Dry Bowser alt costumes now have blue fire effects.
- Eye animation adjustments made on back air, up air, and forward air.
- Sound quality of voice clip used for down taunt improved.
v2.0 - v2.28
- Bowser fits properly on the Training pause screen.
- Bowser's crawl speed has been increased.
- Bowser's knockback armor strength was increased slightly on dash attack's startup, up smash's charge, down air, and up throw to correspond with the tumble threshold.
- Neutral air adjusted in animation and timing to be autocancelable in a short hop.
- Down air hitboxes adjusted to be more like Melee in positioning, but pull opponents into the hits much better.
- Whirling Fortress can properly meteor cancel.
- Bowser's spot dodge animation and invulnerability adjusted.
- Bowser's sound effects cleaned up on first jab.
- Down air causes more shield damage on the landing hit, but less shield damage on the multihits.
- Dash attack now hits a second time; when Bowser lands on the ground .
- Dash attack's cooldown reduced.
- Back aerial autocancels notably sooner.
- Dash grab has Bowser lunge notably further.
- Dash grab's startup was changed to look identical to the dash attack's one.
- Pivot grab range increased.
- Grounded Bowser Bomb's horizontal drift can now be controlled slightly during the jump cancel window - Bowser can gain or lose a distance of about a width equal to himself.
- Bowser Bomb's quake hitboxes were slightly increased in size.
- Corrected a mistake where crawl armor was much stronger than light armor when not moving.
- Removed armor on Whirling Fortress, back aerial, and down aerial.
- Neutral aerial timings and cooldown reverted to those of v2.1.
- Forward aerial knockback base greatly reduced; its knockback growth was compensated for percents over 115%, but not sufficiently.
- Back aerial knockback slightly reduced.
- Giga Bowser significantly revamped.
- Bowser's armor matched to the Project M standard of Light, Medium, and Heavy armor. The majority of Bowser's Armor was already adhered to this standard, and remained unchanged.
- Converted Bowser's crawl armor to light armor.
- Forward tilt's startup homogenized between angles.
- Forward tilt knockback base reduced, but knockback growth compensated for percents over 115%.
- Back aerial's hitboxes repositioned and resized to closer match Melee's placements.
- Up aerial's knockback angle slightly lowered.
- Ledge attack knockback reverted to set knockback (v2.1's knockback).
- Fire Breath reaches slightly further, but drains faster to a much smaller minimum range, and recharges a bit slower.
- Grounded Whirling Fortress's initial hitboxes reduced in size. To compensate, the hitboxes' damage degrades slightly slower, and the hitboxes enlarge briefly when it does so.
- Bowser Bomb's landing graphics enlarged to match the new hitboxes.
- Up tilt initial knockback stats increased to match Melee's. Frame timing adjusted so that the move degrades sooner, when Bowser is swiping above his head.
- Forward aerial's hitboxes restructured into a tipper format. The inner “flub” hitboxes have damage and knockback approximating Melee's hitboxes, while the tipper hitbox has damage and comparable knockback to PM v2.5's forward air.
- Fire Breath's hitboxes redone. They now start with lower damage but gain damage as they travel, being strongest at the tip, so it's better to use the move from a distance. Grounded foes are now pushed down and out of the flames.
- Dash length very slightly shortened.
- Dash grab reverted to pre-2.6 animation and tweaked for readability. Bowser grabs slightly later, but grab range should now match animation properly.
- Neutral aerial's knockback stats reduced to be closer to Melee's.
- Back aerial's IASA timings delayed to match Melee's.
- Whirling Fortress edgehog behavior changed to no longer auto-snap to ledges; it requires more finesse to fortress hog now.
- Grounded Whirling Fortress initial hitboxes further shrunk and later hitbox coverage restructured to match the animation better.
- Aerial Koopa Klaw has slightly less horizontal movement.
- Forward aerial now has a claw trail that traces the sweetspot's arc.
- Aerial Whirling Fortress hitboxes redone to reduce vertical coverage but slightly increase horizontal reach.
- Whirling Fortress animation has slight tweaks for polish.
- Aerial Fire Breath hitboxes have unaltered knockback behavior, but have the scaling damage of the grounded version and no longer flinch at the tip.
- Giga Bowser can now be damaged normally. As compensation, his moveset was improved and his Final Smash duration almost doubled.
- First hit of down tilt deals 13% damage, regardless if it hits at the tip.
- Landing shockwave from up smash deals more damage.
- Dash attack now only hits once.
- Late hitbox of up tilt deals less damage.
- Second hit of down tilt deals less damage.
- Up smash deals less damage when jumping.
- Down smash deals less damage.
- Up smash hit stats have been altered.
- Bowser is 6% smaller.
- Shield size: 16 → 15
- Dash Initial Velocity: 1.1 → 1.3
- Walk Acceleration: 0.05 → 0.07
- Walk Maximum Velocity: 0.65 → 0.75
- Dash attack IASA: 49 frames → 54 frames
- Armor reduced.
- Initial hit trajectory: 80 degrees → 70 degrees
- Late hit trajectory: 80 degrees → 55 degrees
- Hit degrades to weak hit one frame earlier.
- Forward tilt startup: 11 frames → 9 frames
- Initial damage: 15%/14%/13% → 14%/13%/12%
- Late hit added that makes it one frame more active but deals 4% less damage with no extra shield damage, 0 base knockback, and 100 growth.
- Disjoint on hand hitbox is reduced while body hitbox is enlarged.
- Up tilt's initial hit degrades 1 frame sooner.
- Late hit damage: 11% → 8%
- Trajectory: 80 → 110/70
- Base knockback: 55 → 40
- Down tilt has armor indicator for light armor.
- All smashes have light armor while charging.
- Charge time now determines how strong the Smash’s corresponding armor is. Scales from light armor (no charge) to super armor (full charge). While Bowser now has access to super armor, it takes him a much longer startup to achieve the armor strength he had on his smash attacks in v3.5, particularly the side smash.
- Forward smash start up: 34 frames → 30 frames
- One less active frame and armor frame.
- Tipper hitbox now comes out a frame later and slightly reduced in size. Body Hitbox enlarged.
- Lunging movement reduced.
- Knockback reduced. Base 50 → 60, Growth 100 → 70.
- Minor tweaks to explosion graphic placement.
- Up smash startup: 15 frames → 12 frames
- IASA: 50 frames → 46 frames
- Removed intangibility in favor of Armor (Frames 13-18) that degrades one step on frame 15 (to possibly no armor).
- Re-arranged hitboxes to give slightly better sweetspot coverage.
- Down smash startup: 13 frames → 10 frames
- IASA: 68 frames → 60 frames
- Tweaked positioning and Resized repeating Hitboxes to give Bowser better body coverage without effectively increasing range.
- Final Hit adjusted:
- Damage: 10 → 6
- Trajectory: 90 degrees → 120 degrees
- Base knockback: 40 → 50
- Knockback growth: 140 → 168
- Neutral aerial armor reduced to medium armor and activates 2 frames later to match hitbox startup.
- Forward aerial knockback matches Melee's forward aerial. Hand hitbox is now 25 base and 99 growth while tip hitbox is 35 base and 92 growth, where they both used to be 50 base and 75 growth.
- Up aerial knockback curve redone to favor lower base and higher growth.
- Base knocback: 50 → 25
- Knockback growth: 96 → 112
- Down aerial lowest hitbox size reduced.
- Down throw made weight independent.
- Flame Breath has larger hitboxes but drains quicker and hits in very slightly later intervals.
- Koopa Klaw startup: 16 frames → 12 frames
- Graphical tweaks and new sound effects for claw attack.
- Armor removed.
- IASA: 57 frames (aerial) and 48 frames (grounded) → 44 frames (both)
- Reduced horizontal burst movement.
- Claw attack damage from base to tip: 11%/11%/12% → 12%/12%/10%
- Claw attack trajectory: 70 degrees → 65 degrees
- Forward throw damage: 20% → 15%
- Forward throw trajectory: 80 degrees → 74 degrees
- Forward throw has 55 base knockback and 50 growth from 92 base and 29 growth, making followups much harder at higher percentages.
- Whirling Fortress initial hit base knockback: 90 → 70
- Knockback growth: 80 → 85
- Aerial version's repeating hits damage reduced by 1% each.
- Bowser Bomb vertical distance slightly reduced.
- Giga Bowser now has a hitbox on his landing animation that hits close grounded opponents straight up, and some of his attributes (particularly attack and movement speed) have been adjusted to reflect Bowser's changes in this version.
- Bowser Bomb hits opponents powerfully in different directions depending on when they get hit; at the apex of Bowser Bomb, they are sent upwards; while Giga Bowser is falling at any other point of the attack, they are spiked downwards; if they are on the ground and directly below Giga Bowser, they are buried and then sent horizontally.
- His shield can no longer break.
- Side taunt no longer does any damage.
- New character portraits.
- His name is now properly displayed on the jumbotron on the Pokémon Stadium stages and the results screen if he wins. The announcer also has a separate voice clip for Giga Bowser's name.
- Inner body hitbox size increased on Forward tilt
- Initial hit damage increased by 2%: 15%/14%/13% → 17%/16%/15%
- Knockback compensated
- Linger hit damage increased by 1%: 10%/9%/8% → 11%/10%/9%
- IASA: Frame 3 frames sooner → 38
- Initial hit damage increased by 2%: 15%/14%/13% → 17%/16%/15%
- Animation tweaked further on Up tilt to enlarge sweet spot range
- Sweet spot base knockback reduced: 55 → 50
- Sweet spot knockback growth reduced: 120 → 112
- Knockback growth increased on Forward tilt: 70 → 80
- Forward smash light armor is now medium armor
- Armor activates 3 frames sooner: 31 → 28
- Transitions to heavy and super armor earlier when charging (charge frame 19 and 38 respectively).
- Initial Flub hitboxes matched to sweet spot on Up smash.
- Down smash starting lag reduced: 10 frames → 7 frames
- Final hit adjusted
- Damage lowered: 23 → 18
- Trajectory: 90 degrees → 125 degrees
- Base knockback: 50 → 75
- Knockback growth: 96 → 88
- Final hit adjusted
- First actionable frame is 6 frames sooner on Forward throw
- Neutral Special (Flame Breath) adjusted
- Flame cancel removed
- Start-up reduced by 6 frames; cool-down reduced by 3 frames
- Flames are non-clank
- Minimum flame breath time reduced by 5 frames
- Maximum angle upward increased: 50 → 55
- Side special (Koopa Klaw) adjusted
- Aerial momentum reworked to be more consistent with ground movement
- Adjusted stick sensitivity on grabs to match regular throw sensitivies
- Forward throw angle changed: 74 → 77
- Growth: 50 → 40
- Down throw added
- Grounded version powerfully meteor smashes for tech-chases and can KO near the ledge
- Aerial version is a spike
- Aerial momentum on Whirling Fortress altered to aid in Fortress Hogging: 0.02 → 0.035
- Frame removed on Jab 1 swing animation
- Increased momentum on Dash attack, Dash grab, Under 100 Ledge attack, Forward and Backward rolls, and Tech rolls to better match 3.5.
- Tech roll tweaked to be more ambiguous to which way Bowser has teched
- Air dodge positioning adjusted to correct unintentional waveland difficulty
Up to date as of version 3.6.
|Neutral attack||6%||Bowser swipes at the opponent twice.|
|Forward tilt||↗||17% (clean), 11% (late)||Bowser extended his arm and delivers a backhanded punch with impressive knockback. This move can be angled up or down. Bowser's left arm is intangible while the hitboxes are out.|
|→||16% (clean), 10% (late)|
|↘||15% (clean), 9% (late)|
|Up tilt||13% (early), 8% (late)||Bowser swats in an upwards arc his left claw. This move deals good knockback and can set up combos well. Similar to the forward tilt, Bowser's left arm is once again intangible while the hitboxes are out.|
|Down tilt||13%||Bowser slashes along the ground with both his claws. The second attack is optional by pressing the attack button again, though Giga Bowser is forced to perform both swipes.|
|Dash attack||12% (ram), 8% (fall)||Bowser tackles the opponent. Has light armor during the initial frames of the attack.|
|Forward smash||26%||Bowser rears back for a short moment, and hits incredibly hard with his head. If this move it connects, an explosion occurs. Strongest forward smash in Project M, acting as a great finisher at low percentages. Has medium to super armor depending on the length of its charge. Unfortunately, it has rather massive starting lag.|
|Up smash||20% (leap), 12% (landing)||Bowser jumps upward, hitting opponents with his spikes of his shell. Causes an earthquake when coming down. Opponents who avoid the leaping hitbox can still be hit by Bowser whenever he lands, during which it inflicts a meteor smash. Has light to super armor depending on the length of its charge. Bowser's shell is intangible while the hitboxes are out.|
|Down smash||2% (hits 1-6), 6% (hit 7)||Bowser spins around in his shell, doing great damage and hitting multiple times. Has light to super armor depending on the length of its charge.|
|Neutral aerial||13%||Bowser spins around in his shell. Has medium armor during the first loop.|
|Forward aerial||16% (sweetspot), 13% (sourspot)||Bowser slashes forward with his left claw. The glowing area is the sweetspot.|
|Back aerial||17% (clean), 10% (late)||Bowser thrusts his shell backwards. Contains high landing lag.|
|Up aerial||23%||Bowser strikes upwards with his head. Causes serious damage and knockback, being the most damaging up aerial in the game.|
|Down aerial||2% (hits 1-9), 3% (hit 10), 5% (landing)||Bowser spins downwards, hitting multiple times with the spikes on his shell, capable of meteor smashing opponents.|
|Pummel||4%||Bites the opponent. A fairly slow pummel.|
|Forward throw||10%||Bowser tosses the opponent forwards.|
|Back throw||10%||Bowser violently throws the opponent backwards.|
|Up throw||1% (hits 1-8), 2% (throw)||Bowser tosses the foe upwards, retreats into his shell, and spins, damaging the foe with his spikes. Has great knockback.|
|Down throw||16% (hit 1), 0% (throw)||Bowser places the opponent on the floor and then body slams them. This throw contains set knockback.|
|Floor attack (front)||6%||Bowser leaps forward to strike with his head, then back to kick behind, and finally gets up into standing position.|
|Floor attack (back)||6%||Bowser gets up while swinging his right hand around.|
|Floor attack (trip)||5%||Bowser gets up while swinging his right hand around.|
|Edge attack (fast)||8%||Bowser quickly spins onto the stage while inside his shell, then retreats back a bit.|
|Edge attack (slow)||10%||Bowser slowly climbs onto stage and does a quick claw swipe.|
|Neutral special||Fire Breath||1-3% (flames), 3% (bite)||Bowser lets out a stream of flames that can be angled up or down. Over time, the flames it loses its range, but gains slightly more power.|
|Side special||Koopa Klaw||15% (throw), 10% (claw tip), 12% (claw body)||Bowser grabs the opponent to then throw them either forward, backward, or downward. If no one is grabbed, Bowser does a forceful swipe that deals vertical knockback. The aerial version of the downward throw spikes opponents. Giga Bowser cannot perform the down throw.|
|Up special||Whirling Fortress||Ground: 13%/10%/8%/6%
Air: 10% (hit 1), 2% (hits 2-6), 1% (hits 7-11)
|Bowser spins rapidly in his shell to gain height. This move can be used for edgehogging.|
|Down special||Bowser Bomb||25% (drop), 10% (landing body), 7% (shockwave close), 4% (shockwave far)||Bowser leaps diagonally into the air and plummet downward, creating a shockwave that damages nearby foes. If performed in the air, Bowser performs straight downward without initiating the leap. Has medium armor during the jumping animation and when hitting the ground, and heavy armor when he begins to descend. The grounded version of this move can be cancelled by performing a midair jump before Bowser reaches the apex of the jump.|
|Final Smash||Giga Bowser||Varies||Bowser transforms into an enlarged, much more powerful version of himself, which uses elemental effects such as fire, electricity and darkness during most attacks. Lasts for roughly 24 seconds. Giga Bowser himself can receive damage and knockback, though he becomes significantly heavier and is immune to grabs.|
In competitive play
Most historically significant players
See also: Category:Bowser players (PM)
- American Bowser - Ranked 38th on the PMRank 2019.
- Malachi - Won Blacklisted 5 with solo Bowser, now ranked 8th on the PMRank 2022
- Nogh - Ranked 5th on the PMRank 2022, secondaries Bowser.
Dry Bowser appears in Project M as Bowser's alternate costume. In the game New Super Mario Bros., Bowser falls to his apparent doom in a pit of lava, only to emerge and be fought later on in his skeletal form, Dry Bowser. He is an undead skeleton of Bowser (similar to how Dry Bones are apparent skeletons of Koopas) with an orange tuft of hair and his shell intact, though badly burnt. As of v3.5, Bowser's eyes gain an orange glow during certain attack animations as Dry Bowser. However, Bowser's moveset and sounds remain the same while playing as Dry Bowser.
Giga Bowser now additionally uses recolors correspondent to those of the regular Bowser, including a Giga Dry Bowser alt costume. Disregarding size, shell and tail, the latter costume looks exactly the same as the regular Dry Bowser, though with a more pronounced muzzle and additional spikes protruding from his chest and nose.
Project+ provides several new recolors for both Bowser's default and Dry Bowser costumes. Bowser's new green alternate costume resembles his appearance in Super Mario World, and his new red costume resembles a costume in Mario Golf. The last default costume recolor resembles his appearance on the Japanese cover for Super Mario Bros. Both Giga Bowser and Giga Dry Bowser are affected by the new color schemes. Additionally, Dry Bowser's attacks now use a blue fire effect instead of the regular red fire of his default costume.
Blue: Based on his color scheme used on the Japanese cover of Super Mario Bros., albeit with green body skin instead of blue body skin.
White: Somewhat resembles the color scheme of Morton Koopa Jr.'s in-game sprite from the NES version of Super Mario Bros. 3.
Bright Red: Based on an alternate color scheme used in Mario Golf.
Green: Based on the color scheme of his in-game sprite from Super Mario World, which depicted him with green body skin.
Dark Blue: Based on both a peculiar blue Fake Bowser from Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (albeit with blue body skin rather than brown body skin) and an alternate color scheme used in Mario Golf.
Cyan: Similar to the blue color scheme, but taking more inspiration from the source material such as the black eyebrows and yellow hair.
Dry: Dry Bowser, an undead form of Bowser who debuted in New Super Mario Bros. for Nintendo DS and would sometimes become a separate character in games like Mario Kart Wii.
Dry Black: Possibly based on Red Dry Bones a.k.a. Dark Bones, a variant of Dry Bones that appeared in Mario Superstar Baseball and Mario Super Sluggers.
Dry Green: Possibly based on the Dull Bones enemies from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door and Super Paper Mario.
Dry Blue: Possibly based on the Dark Bones enemies from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door and the Elite Dry Bones enemies from Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga.
Dry Red: May potentially be a nod to how, in games like Super Mario Bros., the fight against Bowser often takes place above a moat of lava that he's liable to fall into, which is what led to him becoming Dry Bowser in games like New Super Mario Bros., as well as the fact that the castle levels in a number of games are often illuminated by the lava within. It may also potentially be based on the Vomer enemies from Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, which have a reddish tint due to their home being Barrel Volcano.
Z-Secret Costume: Dark Bowser: Based on Dark Bowser, a doppelgänger of Bowser created by the Dark Star after it steals some of his DNA in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story. Extra details include black mask-like markings around his red eyes and his hair being more spiked up. Since 2.4, this secret costume has received a minor visual overhaul, namely a scar on the left side of his chest and the mask-like markings being smaller.
R-Secret Costume: Rookie: Based on Rookie, Bowser's alter-ego that he develops after winding up with amnesia in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. The only visual distinction from Bowser is the blue burglar mask he wears.
Giga Bowser Z-Secret Costume: Giga Dark Bowser: A Giga Bowser version of the Dark Bowser Z-Alt. Project+ Ver. 2.4 altered the mask-like markings and placed the Dark Star on the left side of his chest where the scar mentioned above used to be.
Giga Bowser R-Secret Costume: Giga Rookie: A Giga Bowser version of the Rookie R-Alt.
|Playable characters in Project M and Project+|
|Playable characters||Bowser (Giga Bowser) · Captain Falcon · Charizard · Diddy Kong · Donkey Kong · Falco · Fox · Ganondorf · Ice Climbers · Ike · Ivysaur · Jigglypuff · King Dedede · Kirby · Knuckles · Link · Lucario · Lucas · Luigi · Mario · Marth · Meta Knight · Mewtwo · Mr. Game & Watch · Ness · Olimar · Peach · Pikachu · Pit · R.O.B. · Roy · Samus · Sheik · Snake · Sonic · Squirtle · Toon Link · Wario (Wario-Man) · Wolf · Yoshi · Zelda · Zero Suit Samus|