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Giga Bowser

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This article is about Giga Bowser in general and his appearance as a boss. For his regular appearance, see Bowser.
For his appearance as Bowser's Final Smash, see Giga Bowser (Final Smash).
Not to be confused with Giant Bowser.
Giga Bowser
Official render of Giga Bowser, white background removed by uploader.
Giga Bowser trophy from Super Smash Bros. Melee.

Symbol of the Smash Bros. series.

Giga Bowser across the series

A boss in Melee
Ultimate
Universe Super Smash Bros.
Point worth 100000
Location Final Destination (Melee)
Molten Fortress (Ultimate)

Giga Bowser (ギガクッパ, Giga Koopa), is the gargantuan and powered-up version of Bowser. He first appeared as the hidden final boss in Super Smash Bros. Melee's Adventure Mode and as one of the final opponents the player must face in Event Mode. He eventually made his semi-playable debut in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as Bowser's Final Smash. Having debuted in the Super Smash Bros. series, Giga Bowser is considered a part of the Super Smash Bros. universe, even though the character he is based on, Bowser, is from the Mario universe.

In Super Smash Bros. Melee[edit]

In Adventure Mode[edit]

Giant Bowser's transformation.

In Melee, Giga Bowser appears as a hidden final boss. To encounter him, the player must reach the final stage of Adventure Mode on Normal difficulty or higher and defeat him within 18 minutes. If done correctly, a new cutscene will be shown after Giant Bowser is defeated - his KO'd trophy will return to the stage and be struck by lightning, causing it to come back to life as Giga Bowser. Defeating Giga Bowser leads to the completion of the Adventure Mode; defeating him without using a continue rewards the player with his trophy.

In Event 51: The Showdown[edit]

Giga Bowser also appears in Melee's final Event Match, alongside Ganondorf and Mewtwo. The match is similar to his appearance in the Adventure Mode, but with the presence of two teammates. Clearing the Event Match allows the player to use Final Destination as a Versus stage, as well as rewarding Final Destination's trophy; as an added bonus, clearing the match without losing a stock rewards the player with an exclusive Notice.

Unlike most other bosses, Giga Bowser has a damage percentage as opposed to HP (in both of his appearances) and takes knockback; the player must KO him by knocking him offstage as opposed to merely attacking him.

As a playable character[edit]

Although winning with Giga Bowser usually crashes the game, he can sometimes "appear" on the Results screen.

If the game is hacked through the use of the debug menu, it is possible to use Giga Bowser as a character. Giga Bowser is mostly functional, and his name is even displayed on the Jumbotron in Pokémon Stadium (as "G-Bowser"). Internally, Giga Bowser is known as GKOOPS. He posseses 20 units of knockback-based armor.

Due to a lack of victory poses to display for him on the results screen, the game will usually crash if Giga Bowser wins a match, due to a panic event being called.

When the game is played on the Dolphin emulator and panic events are deliberately suppressed, when Giga Bowser wins a match, the game will not freeze, and the results screen will appear. The game, however, will display Sheik's name in red, and Giga Bowser's stock icon will be a Target. The announcer, however, will properly say Giga Bowser's name.

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. 4[edit]

As a Final Smash[edit]

Giga Bowser in Brawl.

Giga Bowser makes his debut as a semi-playable character in the Smash series as part of Bowser's Final Smash. When the Final Smash is activated, Bowser transforms into Giga Bowser, allowing players to take advantage of his increased power and range, as well as different hitbox properties. While Giga Bowser does not flinch during this transformation, the transformation only lasts ten seconds.

Outside of this appearance, as well as his related trophy, Giga Bowser does not make any other appearances in Brawl, and SSB4.

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

As a Final Smash[edit]

Main article: Giga Bowser Punch

In Ultimate, due to full-moveset transformation Final Smashes being removed, Giga Bowser forgoes having a full moveset, instead acting akin to the Dragoon, where he teleports to the background and allows the player to aim a punch. The punch deals 40% damage, and causes an instant Screen KO for opponent(s) at 60% damage or greater.

As a boss[edit]

Giga Bowser as he appears as a boss in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Giga Bowser appears as a boss in Classic Mode for Mario, Captain Falcon and Sephiroth. In the final stage, Bowser initially appears instead of a boss; once he is KO'd, a cutscene plays where he transforms into Giga Bowser, similarly to the final stage of Melee's Adventure Mode at high difficulties. A Maxim Tomato appears for recovery as the battle begins. This does not happen in Sephiroth's route, as he fights Giga Bowser straight away. Unlike Melee, Giga Bowser almost never flinches from attacks, and the player must deplete his HP to defeat him, as opposed to being launched off the screen, just like every other boss. Following Smash 4, he utilizes Bowser's moveset from Brawl. Additionally, he moves slower as his attacks now have much more startup lag.

Giga Bowser's location in World of Light

In World of Light, Giga Bowser is first fought in the Molten Fortress sub-area of the Light Realm map, and then fought again during the Final Battle like every other boss. The player faces him on the Final Destination stage, while the Giga Bowser theme is playing. Unlike other boss battles, defeating him will release the regular Bowser as a playable character from Galeem's control, instead of both appearing separately on the map (as is the case with Ganondorf and Ganon). He's fought for a second time during the true final battle with Galeem and Dharkon. During the battle's second phase, Giga Bowser is the second Light Realm boss to appear on screen, which might indicate him being the second boss in the game.

While difficult, because his armor is no longer unlimited and instead has a threshold of 95 knockback units, it is possible to make Giga Bowser flinch or even launch.[1] Hero's Hatchet Man is one move that can launch him, as well as countering many of his single-hit attacks (some slow or multi-hit counters like Peach's, Palutena's, and Greninja's are unable launch Giga Bowser); Mii Swordfighter's Blade Counter will cause Giga Bowser to flinch and cancel his attack, even if the retaliating hit doesn't launch him. Since his attacks do less damage on lower difficulties, the player will need to use stronger counters (e.g. Joker's Tetrakarn) or to counter his stronger attacks like forward smash. This allows the player to see his knockback animations, double jump, aerial up special, and ledge options. If Giga Bowser is hacked to have a regular increasing damage percentage (see below), standard attacks at high damage can also break the knockback threshold.

All move names are sourced from the Japanese Dairantō Smash Brothers SPECIAL Official Guide. As there are no official English localized listings for the moves, many of the names used here reflect the Japanese names for certain subjects.

Move Damage Description
Continuous Scratch
(連続ひっかき)
6% (Hit 1), 8% (Hit 2) Scratches twice with his claws.
Koopa Back Fist
(クッパ裏拳)
18% Lunges forward and delivers a punch surrounded by dark flames. Based off of Bowser's forward tilt attack.
Ceiling Scratch
(天井ひっかき)
16% (close), 15% (mid), 12% (far) Performs an arcing overhead slash with his claws. Based off of Bowser's up tilt attack.
Bull Head
(ブルヘッド)
28% (sweetspot), 18% (sourspot) Headbutts the opponent, creating an explosion. Based off Bowser's forward smash attack from Melee to Brawl.
Rising Spike
(ライジングスパイク)
18% (rising), 10% (landing) Lays in a prone position, then sends his body flying upwards, stabbing the opponent with his spiked shell. Based off of Bowser's up smash attack. Shell has invincibility frames from frame 30-36.
Buzzsaw
(バズソー)
2% (hits 1-5), 6% (final hit) Retracts into his shell and spins around, creating blades of razor-sharp wind around him. Based off of Bowser's down smash attack from Melee to Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS.
Koopa Breath
(クッパブレス)
2% (early), 1.4% (late), 0.8% (latest) Breathes a large stream of flames. Based off of Bowser's Fire Breath.
Diving Press
(ダイビングプレス)
20% Grabs the opponent, jumping into the air and spinning around before slamming them to the ground with a body press. Based off Bowser's Flying Slam.
Spinning Shell
(スピニングシェル)
2% (first hit), 10% (multihits) Retracts into his shell and spins around rapidly. Based off of Bowser's Whirling Fortress, specifically the Melee incarnation which had a strong first hit. Limbs are intangible from frames 28-80.
Koopa Drop
(クッパドロップ)
4% (headbutt), 16% (falling), 10% (landing) Jumps into the air, slamming down with a powerful hip drop. Based off of Bowser's Bowser Bomb.

As a playable character[edit]

Much like in Melee, Giga Bowser can only be played via hacking or modding. However, his moveset is significantly restricted, including the removal of dashing, dash attack, down tilt, neutral aerial, and down aerial. However, despite these changes, Giga Bowser retains Bowser's more primeval moveset from Brawl, such as the older back aerial.

Changes from SSB4 to Ultimate[edit]

Giga Bowser has been significantly nerfed from Smash 4 to Ultimate. Unlike in his previous appearance in general, many attacks have been made much slower, possessing a significant amount of start up lag, ending lag, and landing lag, as well as his jumpsquat being the slowest to jump in the game. These changes—few of which are positive—make his attacks very easy to avoid, making it among Giga Bowser's weakest appearances in the series. However, he still possesses a significant amount of passive knockback-based armor, meaning that he can often counterattack most punish attempts with ease, as well as be extremely hard to launch without counters.

General changes[edit]
  • Nerf Super armor is no longer unlimited, now being 95 units of knockback-based armor.
  • Change Up taunt and down taunt animations have been altered.
  • Change Aside from the roar he makes during his boss intro, Giga Bowser no longer has voice clips during gameplay.
Ground attacks[edit]
  • Nerf Giga Bowser's walking speed has been significantly reduced.
  • Nerf Giga Bowser can no longer run; by extension, he can no longer use dash attack.
  • Nerf Down tilt has been removed.
  • Nerf Giga Bowser can no longer grab outside of Flying Slam.
  • Nerf Neutral attack's frame data is significantly slower (hit 1 startup: 8-11 → 25-28, hit 2 startup: 10-12 → 15-17)
  • Nerf Neutral attack's angles have been changed, overall making it easier to DI (hit 1: 83 → 80, hit 2: 361 → 45)
  • Nerf Neutral attack's knockback has been reworked to make it connect more consistently, though it overall KOes considerably later (hit 1: 20 WBKB → 70 FKB, hit 2: 20 BKB / 110 KBG → 70 BKB / 55 KBG)
  • Buff Forward tilt deals more damage (14% → 18%)
  • Nerf Forward tilt deals more base knockback, but with knockback growth severely reduced (28 BKB / 110 KBG → 80 BKB / 35 KBG)
  • Nerf Forward tilt is much slower (startup: 12-16 → 41-44)
  • Buff Up tilt's hitboxes have been reworked, all of which deal much higher damage, up to 16%
  • Nerf Up tilt's knockback has been reworked, though it overall KOes later (30 BKB / 100 KBG → 65 BKB → 60 KBG)
  • Nerf Up tilt is much slower (7-12 → 32-38)
  • Buff Forward smash deals considerably more damage (24%/20%/18% → 28%/18%)
  • Buff Forward smash deals much higher base knockback (45 BKB → 100/85 BKB), albeit with knockback growth compensated (72 KBG → 25/35 KBG), though it is still absolutely capable of achieving a one-hit KO.
  • Nerf Forward smash is much slower, now taking around a second to come out (29-41 → 60/54-64)
  • Buff Up smash deals significantly higher base knockback (35, 60 BKB → 105, 100 BKB), with knockback growth compensated (65, 60 KBG → 35 KBG). Like Forward smash, it is still capable of achieving one-hit KOes regardless.
  • Nerf Up smash is significantly slower, and the landing hitbox now only lasts a single frame (17-23, 31-33 → 33-36, 48).
  • Nerf Up smash deals much less damage (26%, 10% → 18%, 10%)
  • Buff Down smash deals much higher base knockback (40 BKB multihits, 30 BKB final hit → 35 BKB multihits, 110 BKB final hit), but with knockback growth significantly compensated (50 KBG multihits, 130 KBG final hit → 40 KBG multihits, 20 KBG final hit)
  • Nerf Down smash is significantly slower (18-34 multihits, 36 final hit → 48-75 multihits, 80-83 final hit)
  • Nerf Down smash deals less damage (3% multihits, 13% final hit → 2% multihits, 6% final hit)
Aerial attacks[edit]
  • Nerf Neutral aerial and down aerial have been removed.
  • Nerf Forward aerial deals less damage (14% → 12%)
  • Nerf Forward aerial is much slower, but the hitbox duration has been increased overall (8-11 → 28-35)
  • Nerf Forward aerial deals less base knockback (50 BKB → 30 BKB)
  • Nerf Forward aerial has increased landing lag, being 61 frames.
  • Buff Back aerial has a landing hitbox lasting 1-4 frames and high knockback overall.
  • Nerf Back aerial deals less damage (16% → 15%)
  • Nerf Back aerial is slightly slower but has a much larger hitbox duration (10-14 → 17-34)
  • Nerf Back aerial has increased landing lag, being 67 frames.
  • Nerf Up aerial deals much less damage (18% → 13%)
  • Nerf Up aerial deals more base knockback but less knockback growth, making it KO much later in tandem with the damage changes (60/80 BKB/KBG → 70/50 BKB/KBG)
  • Nerf Up aerial is a bit slower (22-26 → 31-35)
  • Nerf Up aerial has increased landing lag, being 57 frames.
Special moves[edit]
An icon for denoting incomplete things.
  • Buff Fire Breath has slightly increased range and deals a bit more damage further away (1% → 1.4% mid-range)
  • Buff Flying Slam deals much higher base knockback with knockback growth compensated (80/50 BKB/KBG → 110/35 BKB/KBG)
  • Nerf Flying Slam is much slower (14 → 43)
  • Nerf Flying Slam deals less damage (22% → 20%)
  • Buff Whirling Fortress now deals 50 fixed knockback, making it connect more consistently.
  • Buff Whirling Fortress's final hit deals more knockback (50 BKB/KBG → 80/65 BKB/KBG)
  • Nerf Whirling Fortress now deals two hits and less damage overall on the ground (19% total → 12% total at most).
  • Nerf Whirling Fortress is much slower (starting frame 6 → starting frame 27)
  • Buff Bowser Bomb deals more base knockback (45 BKB → 70 BKB) with knockback growth slightly compensated (75 KBG → 60 KBG); the landing hit has also been significantly buffed (60/72 BKB/KBG → 120/40 BKB/KBG).
  • Nerf Bowser Bomb is much slower, though each hitbox's duration has been slightly increased (11, 38/32, 1-2 → 33-34, 62/32, 1-3)
  • Nerf Bowser Bomb deals less damage (4%/23%/18% → 4%/16%/10%)

Spirit[edit]

No. Image Name Type Class Slots Base Power Max Power Base Attack Max Attack Base Defense Max Defense Ability Series
1,097
SSBU spirit Giga Bowser.png
Giga Bowser
Neutral
★★ 3 1655 6700 813 3289 692 2802 Fire Attack ↑ Super Smash Bros. Series

Differences between Bowser and Giga Bowser[edit]

A size comparison between Bowser and Giga Bowser in Melee

Undoubtedly the most dramatic transformation between Bowser and Giga Bowser is the clear difference between their sizes; Giga Bowser is almost twice as large as Bowser, and even if Bowser is under the influence of a Super Mushroom, Giga Bowser is still slightly larger than him. Visually, Giga Bowser has more pronounced physical features than the normal Bowser; aside from the aforementioned size, Giga Bowser has longer and less-bulky limbs with more toned muscular regions, sharper fangs, claws and shell spikes, a less rounded snout, larger horns, spikier hair, a more realistic shell, larger feet, bloodshot eyes, and a darker overall skin tone.

As Giga Bowser's larger frame implies, he is considerably heavier than Bowser; when fought in Adventure Mode, he is also given knockback-based armor to make him even more difficult to KO; a subtractive threshold of 20 KB in Melee, and a non-subtractive threshold of 95 KB in Ultimate. Adding to this, Giga Bowser also takes minimal hitstun from attacks, making him effectively unable to flinch from some attacks due to making them unsafe on hit. Just like Master Hand and Crazy Hand, Giga Bowser cannot be grabbed, inhaled by Kirby, or egg laid by Yoshi, severely limiting combo options outside of those started from attacks. In order to compensate for Bowser's ordinary sub-par recovery, Giga Bowser's Whirling Fortress grants significantly more height, and it also has 26 invincibility frames; its large hitboxes also give multiple pseudo-invincibility frames after this, making it a very safe move and arguably one of the safest in the series. It is faster than his Frame 7 Jab, sitting at Frame 5, making it one of the best out of shield options in the game, on top of his already formidable shield game padded by the grab immunity. If Giga Bowser captures an opponent with Koopa Klaw, he can bite his opponent, but the pummel will whiff on Yoshi, and Pichu if mashed too fast. It can also whiff on the first hit with a few specific characters, although these circumstances can be rare. In addition to this error, Giga Bowser's fastfalling speed is identical to his ordinary falling speed, making landing difficult.

As a transformation of Bowser, Giga Bowser's moveset is identical to his and he usually has passive super armor. His attributes, however, are significantly altered. His attacks are considerably stronger in power and knockback. Some of Giga Bowser's attacks also have different properties as a result of his transformation; Fire Breath, for instance, does not run out or become weaker the longer it is used, as well as having a longer range (in Ultimate, it can carpet the entire surface of Final Destination; however, unlike his past appearances, his fire runs out after a period of time.). In addition, many of Giga Bowser's attacks are given unusual hitbox properties: his claw-based attacks (side tilt, up tilt, down tilt, edge attacks, forward aerial, forward throw, and back throw) all have a darkness hitbox; his shell-based attacks (his up smash, neutral aerial, back aerial, down aerial, and up throw) all have electric hitboxes; his horn-based attacks (his forward smash and pummel) have explosion effects; and his down smash has freezing properties, as does Whirling Fortress when used on the ground.

Trophy Description (Melee)[edit]

Giga Bowser's trophy in Melee
Giga Bowser
An even more imposing figure than the original King of the Koopas, Giga Bowser is roughly twice the size of his scaly, fire-breathing, spike-studded, Super Smash Bros. Melee counterpart. Predictably, this monstrous creature's offensive and defensive powers are a grade higher than those of regular Bowser. Good luck defeating this colossus!
GameCube: Super Smash Bros. Melee 12/2001

Gallery[edit]

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name
Japan Japanese ギガクッパ, Giga Koopa
UK English Giga Bowser
France French Giga Bowser
Germany German Giga Bowser
Spain Spanish Giga Bowser
Italy Italian Giga Bowser
China Chinese (Simplified) 巨兽酷霸王
Taiwan Chinese (Traditional) 巨獸庫巴
South Korea Korean 기가쿠파, Giga Koopa
Netherlands Dutch Giga Bowser
Russia Russian Гига-Боузер

Trivia[edit]

Left: Giant Bowser and normal Giga Bowser. Right: Normal Bowser and Tiny Giga Bowser.
Giga Bowser's victory screen in Ultimate.
  • In Melee there exists an unused sound clip where the Announcer says Giga Bowser's name. This clip can only normally be heard in the Sound Test.
    • As expected, due to Giga Bowser's different names in English and Japanese, there exist two different sound bites, one where the announcer says "Giga Bowser!" and the other "Giga Koopa!". In the NTSC version, the two clips are oddly swapped in the Sound Test; the announcer says "Giga Koopa!" when the game language is set to English and "Giga Bowser!" when the game language is set to Japanese. The PAL version only has the "Giga Bowser!" clip, as expected. Both are used properly if Giga Bowser is hacked to be available on the character select screen, or if he wins a match without the game crashing.
  • The size difference between Bowser and Giga Bowser is approximately equal to one usage of a Super Mushroom or Poison Mushroom, with Giga Bowser being slightly larger when he is shrunk or Bowser is enlarged. Despite this, the two characters' weights do not share the same ratio as the code for changing characters' sizes does, so Giga Bowser will actually be lighter than Bowser in both cases.
  • Giga Bowser was at one point under consideration to be a transformation of Bowser in the Skylanders game Skylanders: SuperChargers. However, he was replaced by the Skylanders-original Molten Bowser.
  • Giga Bowser in Melee, as well as Super Smash Bros.'s Metal Mario and Giant Donkey Kong, are the only boss characters in the Super Smash Bros. series to have their own character data and still use the standard percentage-based damage meter as opposed to a health bar.
    • Every other boss in Melee to use the standard percentage meter (and every boss that does this from Brawl onward aside from the final form of Master Core) is simply a regular character with a modifier attached, while the aforementioned three bosses are actually coded as separate characters.
  • Giga Bowser's design closely resembles that of Ganon's in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, due to them being hulking, monstrous-looking bipedal creatures that sport a mostly green coloration, and similar horns, hair, and tails. The resemblance between the two is best seen in Ultimate, due to Ganondorf reverting back to his Ocarina of Time design, last seen in Melee, in this game.
  • Giga Bowser was created due to Masahiro Sakurai's interpretation of Bowser's 8-bit sprites as a "frenzied, terrifying monster", compared to his modern appearance, which he described as "steadily becoming cuter". Regarding Giga Bowser's appearance in Melee, Sakurai noted that he is a separate character from normal Bowser (hence the usage of his black alternate costume in Adventure Mode), though this is not the case in later installments.[2][3]
  • In Ultimate, although Giga Bowser cannot be normally brought to the blast line, he can still self-destruct by using Bowser Bomb toward the edge[citation needed].
  • Giga Bowser can still come in contact with and obtain a Smash Ball. However, he does not have a programmed Final Smash of his own, as he is not intended to use one (hence his boss battle's lack of Smash Balls). Once used, it will appear as if Bowser is transforming into Giga Bowser, but will then immediately shrink as if reverting back to his regular form, with a green flash accompanying him. However, this Final Smash has no effect whatsoever apart from the green flashes remaining onto Giga Bowser until he is KOed, while he is otherwise unaffected. If Giga Bowser uses another Smash Ball afterwards, another layer of green flashes will appear on him and so on.
  • If Giga Bowser is in a trapping Final Smash, such as Kirby's Ultra Sword, there a few moments where the player can see Giga Bowser revert to a T-pose position, likely because of the lack of animations for Giga Bowser being hit by the attack. Once the Final Smash ends, Giga Bowser will keep spinning in the air, and will stay that way until Training Mode is closed and reopened, or a Metroid is used on him.
    • Similarly, if Giga Bowser is hacked as a playable character and then wins a battle in Ultimate, he appears in his T-pose due to lacking victory animations.
  • Despite making his debut in Melee, none of the fighters that debuted in the same game fight him as their final boss.
  • As of patch 10.0.0, Giga Bowser is the least common boss for Ultimate's Classic Mode, being fought by 3 characters.
    • Mario is the only Mario character to face Giga Bowser as his final boss.
    • Sephiroth is the only character who does not face Bowser before his transformation as Giga Bowser.
  • Giga Bowser is the only boss in Ultimate:
    • That can be launched, albeit only under exceptional circumstances
    • That can be KO'd by passing a blast line
    • That can self-destruct

References[edit]