Giga Bowser (ギガクッパ, Giga Koopa), is a gargantuan and powered-up version of Bowser. He first appeared as a 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. Despite Bowser being a part of the Mario universe, Giga Bowser is considered part of the Super Smash Bros. universe, having debuted within the series.
In the Adventure Mode
In Melee, Giga Bowser appears as a hidden final boss. To encounter him, all previous stages in the mode have to be completed in under 18 minutes and on Normal difficulty or higher and no continues. If done correctly, a new cutscene will be shown after Giant Bowser is defeated - his trophy will return to the stage and be struck by lightning, causing it to come back to life as Giga Bowser. Then Giga Bowser opens his mouth, and the fight begins (with the trophied Giga Bowser who is now a real life Giga Bowser). Defeating Giga Bowser leads to the completion of the Adventure Mode; defeating him without using a Continue also rewards the player with his trophy.
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.
In both of his appearances, Giga Bowser has a damage percentage as opposed to HP like other bosses; this forces the player to deliberately KO him by knocking him offstage as opposed to merely attacking him.
As a playable character
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.
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.
As a playable character
Main article: Giga Bowser (Final Smash)
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 or SSB4.
Differences between Bowser and Giga Bowser
Arguably the most dramatic transformation between Bowser and Giga Bowser is the 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. This larger frame also leads to Giga Bowser being considerably heavier than Bowser, and when fought in Adventure Mode, he is also given a handicap to make him even more difficult to KO. Adding to this, Giga Bowser also has access to some super armor, making it difficult to get him to flinch at some attacks. Giga Bowser cannot be grabbed, inhaled by Kirby, or egg laid by Yoshi.
As a transformation of Bowser, Giga Bowser's moveset is identical; his attacks, however, 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. His fire breath move is invincible. In addition, some 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.
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.
Unusually, if Giga Bowser captures an opponent with Koopa Klaw, he can bite his opponent, but no damage will be inflicted unless the opponent is as big as Donkey Kong or Bowser or powered up with a Super Mushroom. In addition to this error, Giga Bowser's fastfalling speed is identical to his ordinary falling speed.
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, sharper fangs, claws and shell spikes, a less-rounded snout, larger horns, spikier hair, a differently shaded shell, larger feet, soulless eyes, and a darker skin tone.
Trophy Description (Melee)
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