Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story (JP) is the third installment in the Mario & Luigi series and the second to be released on the Nintendo DS.

It was developed by AlphaDream and featured, for the first time in the series, Bowser as a playable character, with the babies from Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time no longer present. The game was announced at E3 2009.

The game was later remade for the Nintendo 3DS in 2019 under the name of Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr.’s Journey.


Mario and Luigi are controlled together while Bowser is controlled separately. While not in battle, the A and B buttons will make Mario and Luigi jump, respectively. Bowser, on the other hand, can be controlled with the X and Y buttons, which will allow him to punch and breath fire. The touchscreen and mic is used in various mini games.

In Bowser's Inside Story, Mario and Luigi will trek through Bowser's body after being engulfed by him and subsequently shrunk while under the control of Fawful.

Bowser, on the other hand, will travel throughout the Mushroom Kingdom in order to reclaim his castle. Bowser's segments are open world while Mario and Luigi's parts are sidescrollers in a similar vein to Super Paper Mario.


The overworld for Bowser, and the Mario Bros. are different. Mario and Luigi actually travel inside Bowser's body in a sidescrolling setting reminiscent of classic Mario platformers. Each section inside Bowser's body is small and the brothers can easily traverse the body via the map. However, in one pint during the game, the Bros. gain the ability to traverse outside of Bowser's body.

When controlling Bowser, on the other hand, the player is given much more freedom. Rather than be constricted to only left and right, the player can go in any direction they wish. Oftentimes Bowser will be too weak to perform a certain action such as pulling something towards him, so the brothers will be required to enter a certain part of his body and stimulate body parts (such as muscles) so that he'll be given enhanced abilities. Occasionally an event will occur in Bowser's body that will prevent him from performing actions that he normally can such as breathing fire, so the brothers will have to inspect his body and find what's wrong and fix it.


Battles will be triggered when either the Mario Bros. or Bowser touches an enemy. There are no random enemies in the game. Fighting enemies and consequently defeating them will result in experience points. Once you receive a certain amount of experience points, your character will level up. After each level up, the amount of points he'll need in order to level up again will rise.

Battles are turn based as in the previous titles. Mario and Luigi will fight together during battles but Bowser will fight alone. Like on the world map, the A and B buttons are both assigned to Mario and Luigi. During the course of the game the player will find special attack parts that will give the characters special attacks. These special attacks can be found in blocks marked with an "A", though Bowser's parts can be collected by saving his minions and Blitties. Each of the attacks use SP, which can be refilled by using Syrup.

Fighting with Mario and Luigi is similar to the other titles. The player chooses an action for each character from six different categories, and following this they'll execute the action, whether it be to attack an enemy, escape, or use an item. Attacks can become more potent by pressing either the A or B button (depending on the character) at the exact moment that they connect with the enemy.

For example, if Mario is assigned to jump on a foe, the moment his shoe touches the enemy the player is required to press the A button in order to deliver more damage than he normally would. A new option is available called Bros. Badges. As in previous games, badges can be purchased in shops and found throughout the game's world. In this game, when each brother's bar during battle meets in the middle, they are able to execute a command that will benefit them. The bars only increase when they are able to time their attacks so that they deliver more damage.




Main Characters

  • Mario - The protagonist in red and older brother of Luigi.
  • Luigi - The protagonist in green and younger brother of Mario.
  • Princess Peach - The Mushroom Kingdom ruler or princess.
  • Bowser - The villain who inhales everybody at the beginning of the game.
  • Starlow - The little star-like creature who helps Mario and Luigi along in their adventure.
  • Fawful - The main villain who is going against everybody.

Minor Characters


Main article: List of enemies in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story


These are all the bosses in the game. Bosses entirely covered in ball mean that it is a giant boss fought by Giant Bowser.

Boss HP EXP Coins Location Fought by
Bowser (first time) 25 0 0 Peach's Castle Mario & Luigi
Midbus (first time) 79 0 0 Cavi Cape Bowser
Broque Monsieur 158 30 0 Plack Beach Bowser
Stone Blooper 300 150 50 Plack Beach Bowser (statue)
Mario & Luigi (blooper)
Scutlet 280 200 50 Flame Pipe Mario & Luigi
Broggy 198 60 0 Plack Beach Bowser
Wiggler 540 340 150 Dimble Wood Bowser
Durmite 326 300 120 Nerve Cluster Mario & Luigi
Bowser's Castle 535 380 200 Dimble Wood Giant Bowser
Midbus (second time) 950 550 350 Bowser Castle Bowser
Alpha Kretin/Beta Kretin 20 per ball
700 200 Flab Zone Mario & Luigi
Bowser (second time) 1,215 1,000 500 Toadley Clinic Mario & Luigi
Tower of Yikk 508 1,800 800 Blubble Lake Giant Bowser
Wisdurm 1,610 2,800 600 Energy Hold Mario & Luigi
Fawful Express 885 3,500 1,000 Bowser Castle Giant Bowser
Bowser Memory M & Bowser Memory L 730 (M)
845 (L)
1,500 (each) 350 Memory Banks Mario & Luigi
Chakron 9,999 0 0 Plack Beach Mario & Luigi
Shroobs (optional) 500 (each) 900 300 Bowser Castle Mario & Luigi
Junker 1,445 6,000 900 Peach's Castle Garden Mario & Luigi
Blizzard Midbus 2,041 6,500 1,200 Peach's Castle Airway
Dark Star 1,248 9,999 2,000 Airway Mario & Luigi
Super Peach's Castle 1,488 7,500 2,000 Peach's Castle Garden Giant Bowser
Dark Fawful & Vacuum Helmet 1,736 (Fawful)
1,200 (Helmet)
7,500 (Fawful)
220 (Helmet)
1,600 Peach's Castle Bowser (Fawful)
Mario & Luigi (Helmet)
Dark Bowser 1,000 0 0 Peach's Castle Bowser
Dark Star Core 1,560 (Main)
250 (Glasses)
156 (Appendages)
0 0 Peach's Castle Mario & Luigi

Gauntlet Bosses

These bosses are fought by Mario & Luigi in the Gauntlet, inside the Challenge Node.

Class # Boss HP Coins
#1 Durmite X 575 1,000
#2 Alpha Kretin X/Beta Kretin X 135 per ball
#3 Wisdurm X 2,380 4,000
#4 Bowser Memory MX & Bowser Memory LX 2,500 (MX)
3,000 (LX)
#5 Junker X 3,080 9,000
#6 Dark Star X 4,030 12,500
#7 Bowser X 7,155 25,000

Other Characters

  • Globins - A species that lives in Bowser's body. There are many types.


Special Attacks

Attack Cost Obtained by
Bowser Specials
Goomba Storm* 6 SP Freeing the Goombas in Dimble Wood.
Shy Guy Squad 8 SP Freeing the Shy Guys in Bowser Path.
Koopa Corps 10 SP Freeing the Koopas in Blubble Lake.
Bob-omb Blitz 12 SP Freeing the Bob-ombs in Bowser Castle.
Magikoopa Mob 15 SP Freeing the Magikoopas in Peach's Castle.
Broggy Bonker 20 SP Finding all 15 Blitties and giving them to Broque Monsieur.
Mario & Luigi Specials
Green Shell* 3 SP Finding all 10 attack pieces in Trash Pit.
Fire Flower 4 SP Finding all 10 attack pieces in Pump Works.
Jump Helmet 6 SP Finding all 10 attack pieces in Flab Zone.
Yoo Who Cannon* 7 SP Given by the Blue Paratroopas after Mario & Luigi learn how to use Blue Shells.
Super Bouncer 7 SP Finding all 10 attack pieces in Energy Hold.
Mighty Meteor* 8 SP Given by Dr. Toadley's intern after the Dark Star's blockade is destroyed.
Spin Pipe 10 SP Solving Kuzzle's first puzzle at his house at Plack Beach.
Snack Basket* 14 SP Finding all 10 attack pieces in Dimble Wood.
Magic Window 18 SP Defeating the optional Shroob boss at Bowser Castle.
Falling Star 20 SP Finding all 10 attack pieces in Peach's Castle (seven are found in one particular block, while the other three are found in invisible blocks, marked on the map).

(*) = required



The game has been well received. Both Nintendo Power and IGN rewarded the game with a 9.5/10, both stating that Bowser's Inside Story was the best of the Mario & Luigi series. Nintendo Power went as far as to say that it was the best of all the Mario role-playing games, which includes the first three Paper Mario games and Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. GameDaily gave the game an impressive 10/10, noting that there were very few faults with the title.

Within four months Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story became the best selling Mario RPG of all time.

Names in Other Languages

Names in Other Languages
Language Name Meaning
Spanish Mario & Luigi: Viaje al Centro de Bowser Mario & Luigi: A Journey to the Center of Bowser
French Mario & Luigi: Voyage au centre de Bowser Mario & Luigi: A Journey to the Center of Bowser
German Mario & Luigi: Abenteuer Bowser Mario & Luigi: Bowser Adventure
Korean 마리오&루이지 RPG 3 쿠파 몸속 대모험 Mario & Luigi RPG 3 A Great Adventure to Bowser's Body

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