The Koopalings (known as Bowser's Minions in the PAL version of Super Smash Bros. 4) are a clan of seven siblings that follow Bowser and are recurring villains in the Mario series. Their individual names are Larry Koopa, Morton Koopa Jr., Wendy O. Koopa, Iggy Koopa, Roy Koopa, Lemmy Koopa, and Ludwig von Koopa. While initially unnamed in their original Japanese appearance, Dayvv Brooks of Nintendo of America gave each of them names after famous musicians, with the exception of Larry Koopa.
The Koopalings first appeared as bosses at the end of the first seven worlds in Super Mario Bros. 3, and later reprised their roles similarly in Super Mario World and appeared in multiple spin-off games and other adaptations of the Mario franchise. Following their appearance in Hotel Mario, they ended up vanishing from the series, barring a relatively minor reappearance in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. Bowser Jr. was also introduced in Super Mario Sunshine during this absence, being described as Bowser's son and heir to the throne. The Koopalings, however, later returned alongside Bowser Jr. in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, and they have remained as frequent bosses in the sequels to the New Super Mario Bros. series, as well as Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam. Their resurgence in popularity later led to their playable debut in Mario Kart 8.
The Koopalings were originally described as Bowser's children and depicted as such in other media. However, this backstory was eventually discarded and they have only been referred to as particularly high-ranking minions of Bowser's following their reintroduction after Bowser Jr.'s debut. Shigeru Miyamoto also later stated in a 2012 interview that Bowser Jr. is an only child, further distancing the relationship between Bowser and the Koopalings; despite this, re-releases of games featuring the Koopalings have not made an attempt to change this backstory. Super Smash Bros. 4 later made light of this confusing relationship, with Pit's Smash Taunt for the characters noting that their Junior Clown Cars are mass-produced as opposed to Bowser Jr.'s personalized vehicle; Viridi also notes that the relationship between the Koopalings and Bowser is "a real mystery". Recent official materials by Nintendo implies that the Koopalings' relationship with Bowser is intentionally kept ambiguous.
Larry (ラリー, Larry) is the youngest of the Koopalings. He is the first one fought in Super Mario Bros. 3, and that fact has led to speculation that the Koopalings following him are ordered by age. However, the order varies in several later games, starting with Super Mario World, where Iggy is fought first and Larry is fought last (Larry reprises his role as first later in New Super Mario Bros. Wii). Larry is associated with grassy plains in most of the games he appears in. Larry's rear-facing mohawk-like hair and shell are colored electric blue, and he has large blue eyes. He is the second smallest Koopaling, after Lemmy. He is currently voiced by Lani Minella, and he is thought to be named after either Larry King, a famous radio and television host, or Larry Mullen, Jr., the drummer for the Irish rock band U2, though Dayvv Brooks in an interview stated that "he just looked like a Larry." The title given to Larry in the Boxing Ring is "The Youngest" in the Wii U version.
Roy (ロイ, Roy) has a design typical of a "bad boy", having shades and being heavily associated with heavy weaponry (such as his Bill Blaster from New Super Mario Bros. U). He is the fifth Koopaling fought in Super Mario Bros. 3, serving as the boss of the sky world. Roy's environmental associations are among the most inconsistent of the Koopalings, having been grassy plains, the desert, and a cave. He has a purple shell, a pink head, and wears hot pink shades. He bears two fangs, like Larry. He is voiced by Dan Falcone, and is named after American rockabilly singer Roy Orbison, who also served as the inspiration for his shades. The title given to Roy in the Boxing Ring is "The Cool One" in the Wii U version.
Wendy (ウェンディ, Wendy) is the only female Koopaling. She's heavily associated with tropical locations and water, even having an attack that shoots life saver rings in Super Mario Bros. 3, where she is the third boss. She is the third smallest Koopaling, after Larry and Lemmy. Wendy wears a pink bow with polka-dots, pink heels, golden bracelets on her wrists (instead of spiked wristbands like her cohorts), pink lip-stick, and a bead necklace; she's the only Koopaling with accessories that aren't shades or glasses. She has full lips (unlike her associates), blue eyes, and a pink shell. Voiced by Lani Minella, she is named after Wendy O. Williams, lead singer of the American punk band The Plasmatics. The title given to Wendy in the Boxing Ring is "The Bold Beauty" in the Wii U version.
Iggy (イギー, Iggy) is the first Koopaling to be fought in an equal number of instances to Larry: in Super Mario World and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. Before New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Iggy's hair was the same as Lemmy's, being a rainbow-colored mohawk, and his eyes had multiple rings within them that made him look hypnotized. From New Super Mario Bros. Wii on, Iggy's hair has been neon green and is shaped similarly to a palm tree. Iggy is commonly associated with jungle and forest areas (matching his color scheme), and is implied in New Super Mario Bros. Wii and New Super Mario Bros. 2 to be a mechanical genius with great agility. Iggy wears glasses and his irises are surrounded by blue loops (remnant of his older design's eyes; his eyes are also the largest of the Koopalings'), and his shell is green with purple accents. Iggy has a longer shell than his cohorts, and is taller than all of them. Voiced by Mike Vaughn, he is named after Iggy Pop, lead singer of the American rock band The Stooges. The title given to Iggy in the Boxing Ring is "The Laughing Prankster" in the Wii U version.
Morton (モートン, Morton) has the most consistent encountering order among the Koopalings, as he is the second castle boss fought in Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, and New Super Mario Bros. U. He mostly presides in desert or mountain worlds, with the latter's landscape matching his color scheme. Morton is the largest Koopaling, and some of his attacks involve hammers and stomps that cause quakes to show for it. He has very small eyes, a snout like Bowser's, very little hair, a black shell, and is the only Koopaling with skin that is not yellow-orange (his is a dark gray). Voiced by Lani Minella, he is named after Morton Downey, Jr., an American singer-songwriter who founded the "Trash TV" movement. The title given to Morton in the Boxing Ring is "The Enforcer" in the Wii U version.
Lemmy (レミー, Lemmy) is the smallest Koopaling, and is Iggy's twin according to both The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World cartoon series. Lemmy shared Iggy's hairstyle until New Super Mario Bros. Wii, wherein Iggy got a new one. Lemmy, also like Iggy, is often shown to be klutzy and dizzy most of the time, and is normally seen balancing atop or holding an orange ball with stars on it. Lemmy is mostly associated with ice and presides as the boss of ice worlds in two games. He has a rainbow mohawk, orange "bands" on the back of his head, dizzy eyes, an orange shell, and bears no teeth (like Wendy). Lemmy shares many traits with real-world clowns. Voiced by Lani Minella, he is named after the late Ian Fraser "Lemmy" Kilmister, lead vocalist and bassist for English heavy metal band Motörhead. The title given to Lemmy in the Boxing Ring is "Wacky War Machine" in the Wii U version.
Ludwig (ルドウィッグ, Ludwig) is claimed to be the oldest Koopaling in the Super Mario Bros. 3 strategy guide; the same guide also states that he is Bowser's second in command, though this plot point has been rendered invalid with the debut of Kamek and Bowser Jr., his caretaker and son, respectively. He is the last Koopaling fought in his debut and consistently as of New Super Mario Bros. Wii. However, in Super Mario World Ludwig is the fourth Koopaling to be fought, though he is the only one with a unique fighting style. Ludwig is heavily associated with the sky and clouds, presiding as the boss of those kinds of levels in most of the games he's appeared. He is also shown to have enhanced jumping capabilities in New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Ludwig has the most voluminous hair of the Koopalings, and expresses high levels of cunning and skill. He has small eyes (like Morton), blue hair, a blue shell, and bears a single fang from his mouth. He is currently voiced by Mike Vaughn and David J. Goldfarb and is named after German composer and pianist Ludwig van Beethoven. The title given to Ludwig in the Boxing Ring is "Pompous Prodigy" in the Wii U version.
While the Koopalings do not physically appear in-game, they are indirectly mentioned in Bowser's trophy description; as this trophy was written prior to the introduction of Bowser Jr., it directly refers to the group as his own seven children.
Ludwig appears as a sticker.
All seven of the Koopalings appear as playable characters in Super Smash Bros. 4 as alternate costumes for Bowser Jr., who is in his Junior Clown Car. All are named by the announcer and have their own voices and sound clips. Their mass-produced Junior Clown Cars have yellow bulbs for eyes, and their cockpit rims and propellers are colored differently for each Koopaling (Morton's are gray, for example). Their voice clips are reused from the New Super Mario Bros. series. All of the Koopalings also have their own associated trophy, though these trophies are obtained from the Trophy Shop instead of being rewarded after completing Classic Mode.
While some of the Koopalings have different proportions than Bowser Jr. in regards to weight or height, all of them are sized more similar to him in-game, causing some of the Koopalings to look slightly different from their depictions in the official games. However, Bowser Jr.'s reveal trailer appeared to show the various Koopalings more accurately in regards to their actual proportions, though this was later reverted slightly for the final builds of SSB4. To some extent, the Koopalings' sizes in the game could be compared to their earlier in-game appearances in their first few appearances, like in Super Mario Bros. 3 or Super Mario World, where they were nearly all the same size.
In the Nintendo 3DS version, character trophies are outlined in the Trophy Gallery just as fighters are in standard gameplay, provided the option is enabled. The trophies for the Koopalings, despite being random/shop drops, acknowledge their fighter status by giving them properly rendered trophies with outlines.
Trophies in Super Smash Bros. 4
In the 3DS version, Larry's trophy says he is the "leader of the Koopalings, with aggressive tendencies to match." This is corrected in the NTSC Wii U version, but the PAL release retains this and labels him Leader of the Seven Minions.