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Koopas (JP) (fully named Koopa Troopas) represent a consistent group of turtle-like creatures. There are many different types of Koopas, the most common being Koopa Troopas. Most Koopas seem to operate in a hierarchy-based grouping system. Bowser is the leader of the Koopa Troop, which has invaded Mushroom Kingdom many times and has control over most of the Koopas in the Mario series, beginning in Super Mario Bros. where, according to an interpretation of the story of the Japanese game's manual[1] during the English localization that saw Koopa (「クッパ」) as the name of the group of turtles instead of the name of Bowser, they were known for their "black magic."[2] Said interpretation has since been rectified, with Koopa being acknowledged to be the Japanese name of Bowser,[3] but the concept of Koopas as a group of turtles in the West remains,[4] while Nintendo in Japan consistently refers to Koopa as the name of Bowser and to the Turtle Tribe (「カメ族」) as the group to which the various turtles belong.[5] Many of these same Koopas are members of the Koopa Troop and have different tasks in the organization based on the abilities of their particular class. For example, Koopa Troopas tend to be assigned as basic foot soldiers alongside Goombas due to their lack of specialized offensive capabilities, while Magikoopas are often given advisory roles due to their magical abilities and gift of foresight.

However, not all Koopas are allied with Bowser. Some Koopas, such as the Koopa Troopas of Koopa Village, live peacefully inside the borders of the Mushroom Kingdom, while others, such as Koopa the Quick in Super Mario 64 and the Roving Racers in Super Mario Odyssey, simply hold no allegiance and operate independently.

While English versions of the Wii U version of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U states that Koopas are apparently evolved from the Shellcreepers of Mario Bros.[6][7], the Japanese text exclusively mentions Koopa Troopas.[8]

Species

Boom Boom

Boom Booms are a Koopa species similar to Bowser's. Booms Booms are very large and most have spikes on the back of their shells. The only difference seems to be the connected plastron (the underside of the shell) that Boom Booms have. They have huge arms, which they use to attack by flailing them, although in some cases their arms are replaced with wings. Members of this species include Boom Boom and a female Boom Boom named Pom Pom. They appear in boss battles in games like Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario 3D Land, New Super Mario Bros. U, New Super Luigi U, Super Mario 3D World, and Super Mario Maker 2.

Bowser's species

Main article: Bowser

Not much is known about the species of Koopa to which Bowser belongs. The exact name is also unknown; the members are most often simply referred to as "Koopas," with the Perfect Edition of the Great Mario Character Encyclopedia (「パーフェクト版マリオキャラクター大事典」) simply grouping the members of Bowser's Royal Family under a group known as Bowser's Group (「クッパ」).[9] The only known members in the games are Bowser, Bowser's Brother, Bowser Jr., the Koopalings, and the Koopa Kids. The unique feature of this species is that the plastron is formed by plates covering the belly and is detached from the carapace, which is spiked. However, when they duck into their shells, the flesh between the belly plates and the carapace is no longer visible, as if the shells featured a fully attached plastron. Like the very similar Boom Booms, members of this species of Koopa stand upright, and are typically much larger than most types of Koopas upon reaching adulthood. Even as a child, Bowser Jr. is almost as tall as a full-grown Koopa Troopa.[10] However, Lemmy Koopa is actually almost as small as Toad[11] while his younger brother Larry is bigger in size[12][13], showing that some variability in size exists among Koopas belonging to Bowser's species. These Koopas are known for their strength, sometimes the ability to breathe out flames, and durability, even as children, as well as magical powers; they typically are the leaders of the Koopa race. Koopas belonging to Bowser's species do not have a beak, instead having a fleshy muzzle, and some also have horns. A particular feature, shown by Baby Bowser in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island and Ludwig von Koopa in Paper Mario: Color Splash, is that the eyes display yellow eyeshine in the dark, implying that they may possess night vision. Shigeru Miyamoto initially intended for Bowser to look like an ox, hence a few of the physical characteristics, such as the horns. Members of this species alongside Boom Boom's species are also shown to possess teeth, with it also being strongly implied if not directly shown that the species possess a carnivorous diet due to Bowser, Bowser Jr., and the Koopalings eating meat at various points, as well as Bowser and Bowser Jr. both explicitly expressing disgust at eating vegetable matter, although despite this, they had little problem ingesting Mushrooms.

Buzzy Beetle

Main article: Buzzy Beetle

Buzzy Beetles are found generally in caves and other dark areas. They are known to be immune to fireballs, and they can climb on walls and ceilings, and they can drop from ceilings if Mario or others approach them closely enough. As with Koopa Troopas, Buzzy Beetles hide inside their shell if Mario or others stomp on them, letting their shells be used.

Other Buzzy Beetle species
  • Big Buzzy Beetle
    • Big Bony Beetle
  • Bony Beetle
    • Big Bony Beetle
  • Buster Beetle
  • Buzz-Bomb
  • Magmite
    • Magmus
  • Noko Bombette
  • Para-Beetle
  • Heavy Para-Beetle
    • Spiky Parabuzzy
  • Spike Top
  • Shiny Buzzy Beetle
  • Small Buzzy Beetle
  • Stone Buzzy
    • Dark Stone Buzzy

Chargin' Chuck

Main article: Chargin' Chuck

Chargin' Chucks (sometimes referred to as Koopa Quarterbacks or Koopa Football Players) are a type of Koopa who wear American football gear. They have a variety of attacks and sports based weaponry, such as damaging baseballs and footballs. Chargin' Chucks first appeared in Super Mario World. Like the Hammer Bros. and their variations, Chargin' Chucks often appear as duos, or sometimes even larger groups.

Hammer Bro

Main article: Hammer Bro

Hammer Bros. (or Hammer Brothers) are a type of Koopa that stand upright, wear helmets and shoes, and throw hammers at passerby. There are various similar Koopas who throw other objects at their opponents, such as the Boomerang Bros., Ice Bros., and the Fire Bros., the latter of which used to spit their projectiles from their mouths, but now pull them from thin air, like the others. All of these Koopas have similar shell patterns (though they are color-coded by type: Hammer Bros. wear green armor, Fire Bros. wear red, Boomerang Bros. wear blue, Ice wear light blue, etc.) and beaks that are lighter in color than the rest of their face, both of which sets them apart from Koopa Troopas, which are also slightly smaller.

Other Hammer Bro. species
  • Amazing Flyin' Hammer Brother
    • Calm Amazing Flyin' Hammer Brother
  • Boomerang Bro
    • Beanerang Bro
    • Circus Bro
    • Dark Boomerang Bro
    • Goomerang Brother
    • Paper Boomerang Bro
  • Business Bro
  • Calm Hammer Bro
  • Chariot Bro
  • Chomp Bro
  • Dark Hammer Bro
  • Fire Bro
    • Dark Fire Bro
    • Paper Fire Bro
  • Ice Bro
  • Juggler Bro
  • Limbo Bro
    • Elite Limbo Bro
  • Paper Hammer Bro
  • Sledge Bro
    • Shady Sledge Bro
  • Small Hammer Bro
  • Sumo Bro
  • Yo Bro

Koopa Troopa

Main article: Koopa Troopa

Koopa Troopas (often shortened to plain Koopas and occasionally to Troopas, Japanese ノコノコ Nokonoko) are common enemies in the Mario series. While some are peaceful, Koopa Troopas are usually displayed as foot soldiers of the Koopa Troop under the direct leadership of Bowser. They typically have no special offensive abilities like Hammer Bros. or Lakitus. Throughout the Mario series, Koopa Troopas have appeared as both quadrupedal creatures (four legged) and bipedal (walking on two legs). Since their debut in Super Mario Bros., Koopa Troopas have appeared in almost every game, usually as enemies, but also as playable characters in numerous spin-offs. They are also partners for Mario in the first two Paper Mario games.

Other Koopa Troopa species
  • Beach Koopa
  • Big Koopa Troopa
    • Big Dry Bones
    • Colossal Koopa Paratroopa
  • Bombshell Koopa
  • Climbing Koopa
  • Dark Koopa
  • Dry Bones
    • Big Dry Bones
    • Dark Bones
    • Dry Bones Stack
    • Dull Bones
      • Dark Dull Bones
    • Elite Dry Bones
    • Paper Dry Bones
    • Parabones
    • Red Bones
    • Sad Dry Bones
    • Vomer
  • Electro-Koopa
    • Blue Electrokoopa
    • Red Electrokoopa
      • Huge Red Electrokoopa
  • Glad Red Koopa
  • Koopa Paratroopa
    • Colossal Koopa Paratroopa
    • Dark Paratroopa
    • Dreamy Paratroopa
    • Glad Red Paratroopa
    • Heavy Troopa
    • Koopa Paratroopa Stack
    • KP Paratroopa
    • Mad Green Paratroopa
    • Malakoopa
    • Paper Paratroopa
    • Paratroopea
    • Scaratroopea
    • Shady Paratroopa
    • Shiny Paratroopa
    • Tub-O-Troopa
    • Z Koopa
    • Parabones
  • Koopatrol
  • Koopa Troopa Stack
  • Koopeleon
  • KP Koopa
    • KP Paratroopa
  • Mad Green Koopa
  • Mask Koopa
  • Mural Koopa
  • Nokottasu
  • Paper Koopa Troopa
  • Shady Koopa
    • Shady Paratroopa
  • Shiny Koopa Troopa
  • Snooza Koopa
  • Space Troopa
  • State Troopa
  • Stormtroopa
  • Super Koopa
  • Super Troopa
    • Robot Monster Troopa
  • Terrapin
    • Terra Cotta
  • Troopea
    • Elite Troopea
    • Paratroopea
    • Scaratroopea
  • Wereturtle

Lakitu

Main article: Lakitu

Lakitus are goggled Koopas who ride clouds through the skies, and which can occasionally be found snorkeling in water and hiding behind walls or in pipes. Unlike most Koopa species, they do not have snouts or beaks, but flat faces with round noses. Their shells are also unique in their circular patterning. To attack, Lakitus typically throw unlimited numbers of Spiny Eggs at their opponents, and some will also dangle 1-Up Mushrooms from fishing poles to lure their targets closer.

Other Lakitu species

Magikoopa

Main article: Magikoopa

Magikoopas (referred to as Kameks in the European localizations and as Koopa Wizards in the Super Mario World television series can cast spells and fly on broomsticks. They are generally considered to be high-ranking members of the Koopa Troop. They wear glasses and wizard's garb: typically blue robes and hats, though Magikoopas specializing in different forms of magic sport different colors. Aside from their heads, which have slightly larger beaks than those of their normal counterparts, little is known about the Magikoopa's external structure due to their robes. Kamek is a notable Magikoopa.

Other Magikoopa species
  • Dark Magikoopa
  • Gray Magikoopa
  • Green Magikoopa
  • Magifoofa
  • Purple Magikoopa
  • Red Magikoopa
  • Toady
    • Solo Toady
  • White Magikoopa
  • Yellow Magikoopa

Mechakoopa

Mechakoopas are mechanical enemies that bear a slight resemblance to Bowser, and walk with a wind-up mechanism. Mario can stun them by jumping on them. There, Mechakoopas can be held and thrown, but they eventually recover and move again. The bulkier Micro Mecha-Bowsers from Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2 cannot be picked up.

Rocky Wrench

Main article: Rocky Wrench

Rocky Wrenches are enemies and pop out of manhole covers on airships at random. They were stated to be a mole-like type of Koopa during Super Mario Bros. 3,[14][15] and have been redesigned to greatly resemble Monty Moles as of New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

Spike

Main article: Spike (enemy)

Spikes are small Koopas who either stand still or walk around. When Mario or an ally of his comes by, however, Spikes throw spiked balls to harm the character. More specialized variants, such as Snow Spikes and Stone Spikes, also exist and throw their namesake projectiles instead of metallic, spiked balls.

Other Spike species

Spiny

Main article: Spiny

Spinies (Japanese トゲゾー Togezō) are four-legged Koopas known for their spiked shells. They appear to have a symbiotic relationship with Lakitus, another Koopa variant which throw Spiny Eggs at their opponents.

Other Spiny species
  • Big Spiny
  • Dark Spiny
  • Ice Spiny
  • Sad Spiny
  • Sharpea
  • Shiny Paper Spiny
  • Sky-Blue Spiny
  • Spike Blop
  • Spike Koopa
  • Spikey
    • Oerlikon
    • Spikester
  • Spiny Egg
  • Spiny R
  • Spiny Shroopa
  • Thorny

Trivia

  • Later Koopas in the Mario series have noses resembling early whatnots from The Muppet Show, but their beaks are more bulge than these kinds of species.

References

  1. Japanese manual of Super Mario Bros.. The line in particular is 「強力な魔法を操る大ガメクッパの一族」 which, due to the various meanings of 「の」, can be interpreted as both the tribe of the great turtle Koopa who uses powerful magic or the Koopa tribe, great turtles who use powerful magic. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  2. Super Mario Bros. North American instruction booklet, page 2.
  3. History section of the Official Home of Mario. Note how the rectified story of Super Mario Bros. now states The Mushroom Kingdom was the peaceful home of the Toads until the day Bowser and his wicked minions invaded. Using powerful magic, Bowser™ transformed the Toads into bricks and quickly conquered the land. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  4. Bowser's bio in the Official Home of Mario states The king of the Koopas dreams of ruling the Mushroom Kingdom, and only Mario and his brave friends stand in his way!. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  5. As can be seen both by this diagram of the Koopa Troop on pages 88 and 89 of the Super Mario Zen Hyakka (「スーパーマリオ全百科」, Super Mario Complete Encyclopedia) and the current bio of Bowser in the Mario Portal.
  6. "The Koopa is apparently an evolved form of this veteran of Mario Bros." -Shellcreeper Trophy from the NTSC Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
  7. "A true veteran from way back in Mario Bros., this guy even predates Koopas, which apparently it evolved into." -Shellcreeper Trophy from the PAL Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
  8. Treat4567 (December 28, 2014). [スマブラWiiU] フィギュア 全716種まとめ. YouTube. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  9. page 193 of the Perfect Edition of the Great Mario Character Encyclopedia (「パーフェクト版マリオキャラクター大事典」), in which the various types of Koopas are put in groups according to how they are related.
  10. Size comparison chart
  11. 1993 Nintendo Character Guide Comparison Chart that includes some Koopalings and 1993 Nintendo Character Guide Comparison Chart that includes Toad. Press The Buttons. Retrieved October 14,2015.
  12. 1993 Nintendo Character Guide Comparison Chart that includes some Koopalings
  13. "Bowser's youngest Koopaling, Larry, has taken over the Grass Land." - Nintendo Power Strategy Guide for Super Mario Bros. 3, page 9.
  14. 「モグラようなカメからニョキッとてきてスパナをげてくる。飛行船乗組員だ。」 ("Mole-like members of the Turtle Tribe. They will pop out of a hole to throw their spanner. They are the maintenance crew of the airship.") - Super Mario Bros. 3 Japanese instruction booklet, page 38.
  15. "Rocky is a turtle who kind of looks like a mole. He will suddenly appear and start to throw wrenches at Mario." - Super Mario Bros. 3 English instruction booklet, Page 37.
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