Larry, Morton, Wendy, Iggy, Roy, Lemmy and Ludwig
|First appearance||Super Mario Bros. 3 (1988)|
|Voiced by||Lani Minella (2009-present; Larry, Morton, Wendy and Lemmy)
Mike Vaughn (2009-present; Iggy and Ludwig)
Dan Falcone (2009-present; Roy)
Amada Anime Series: Super Mario Bros.
Masaharu Satō (Larry and Iggy)
Miyako Endō (Morton and Wendy)
Naoki Tatsuta (Roy, Lemmy and Ludwig)
The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World
James Ransken (Cheatsy "Larry")
Dan Hennessey (Big-Mouth "Morton")
Paulina Gillis (Kootie-Pie "Wendy")
Tara Strong (Hop "Iggy" and Hip "Lemmy")
Gordon Masten (Bully "Roy")
Michael Stark (Kooky "Ludwig")
The Koopalings (コクッパ Kokuppa ), later renamed Bowser's minions (クッパの手下 Kuppa no Teshita ) in Japan and Europe, are a group of seven fictional characters in Nintendo's Mario franchise. Their individual names are (in order of age, oldest to youngest) Ludwig von Koopa, Lemmy Koopa, Roy Koopa, Iggy Koopa, Wendy O. Koopa, Morton Koopa Jr. and Larry Koopa. They first appeared in the NES game Super Mario Bros. 3, and again in the Super NES games Super Mario World and Yoshi's Safari, and Mario & Luigi:Superstar Saga. Following these appearances, however, they were not seen in any major roles until years after in the Wii game New Super Mario Bros. Wii. They were originally conceived as a replacement for recurring appearances of series villain Bowser; series creator Shigeru Miyamoto tasked the designers of Super Mario Bros. 3 with creating Koopalings, and the seven best designs were chosen as the basis for the characters. Their names and appearances are based on music, particularly rock and roll.
They have made several appearances in other media, most notably in the cartoon The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, which featured entirely different names for the Koopalings due to them not having official names at the time of its airing. Since Super Mario Bros. 3, they have received positive reception, with critics citing them for adding variety to the series' villains compared to when the series merely featured Bowser multiple times. Critics bemoaned the lack of the Koopalings in many games, commenting on how it has taken more than fifteen years for them to get another major appearance, as well as criticizing Bowser Jr. for replacing them.
The Koopalings were originally created to be Bowser's children, as it was mentioned in Japanese Super Mario Bros. 3 instruction books as well as early materials. This portrayal was generally accepted by both Japanese and western gamers and media for a long time. However, their role was slowly retconned when Bowser Jr. made his debut, because they were called subordinates in the Japanese version of Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 and Bowser's minions starting in New Super Mario Bros. Wii. This has confused the fans about whether the Koopalings are part of the family or not, although series creator Shigeru Miyamoto has confirmed that this is currently not the case. According to the North American website for New Super Mario Bros. U, the Koopalings are also siblings.
Concept and creation
The Koopalings were conceived by various game designers who were challenged to come up with new bosses for Super Mario Bros. 3; the favourite drawings loosely based on members of the design team were chosen for the seven Koopalings. Most of the Koopalings are distinguished by their wild punk hairstyles. Though they were not originally given individual names, the localizers at Nintendo of America gave them names based on musicians and celebrities. Iggy's name comes from Iggy Pop; Morton's name comes from Morton Downey, Jr., while the star-shaped mark on his eye resembles KISS guitarist Paul Stanley's makeup; Lemmy's name comes from Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead; Ludwig's name and hairstyle comes from Ludwig van Beethoven; Roy's name comes from Roy Orbison, as do his horn-rimmed glasses; Wendy's name comes from Wendy O. Williams; but while many sources claim Larry was named after the American talk show host Larry King, his name actually comes from U2 drummer Larry Mullen, Jr. The names of the Koopalings in the DiC-made The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 show were made due to the fact that none of the Koopalings had names yet, meaning they received a set of different names. Nintendo of Japan has adopted the use of the Koopalings' first names starting with Super Mario World.
The Koopalings first appeared in the NES video game, Super Mario Bros. 3, where they each conquer one of seven kingdoms in the Mushroom World, transform their kings into various creatures, and steal their wands. After being defeated, they would again appear in the Super NES video game Super Mario World, where each Koopaling captured a Yoshi egg and lay in wait in a castle in each of the game's seven worlds. They have also made appearances in other Mario titles, including Hotel Mario, Yoshi's Safari, and Mario is Missing!. Since Hotel Mario, they had been absent in the series until the 2003 Game Boy Advance video game Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, where they served as mini-bosses in the last stage. Though they were intended to have appeared in Super Princess Peach, but they were ultimately removed from the game. When Electronic Gaming Monthly brought up the Koopa Kids and why they weren't in the Wii game Super Mario Galaxy, director Yoshiaki Koizumi commented that he didn't feel that they fit in it well. Aside from brief mentions and a cameo appearance of one of the Koopalings in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, they once again were absent in the series until the 2009 release of New Super Mario Bros. Wii, acting in a similar capacity to their roles in their first two games. The Koopalings once again returned in New Super Mario Bros. 2 as the main villains. Like in the previous Mario platformers, one of them is fought at the end of each World. The Koopalings made a return in New Super Mario Bros. U with their own airships and they play the same role as before.
In other media
The Koopalings made their first animated appearance in the Super Mario anime OVAs, released in 1989. In the animated cartoon series The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 produced by DIC Entertainment, the Koopa Kids were given different names based on their given personalities. Their ages are also changed. From oldest to youngest, they are Bully Koopa (Roy), Big Mouth Koopa (Morton), Kooky Von Koopa (Ludwig), Cheatsy Koopa (Larry), Kootie Pie Koopa (Wendy), and Hip and Hop Koopa (Lemmy and Iggy respectively). After this, they appear in another animated cartoon series Super Mario World with the same names, though they more closely resemble their portrayals in the video games. Aside from their names and personalities, they look slightly different and serve their father King Koopa (as Bowser was called in the series) differently compared to their video game counterparts. Instead of their subordinate role, they act directly as his children, and do things such as seek his attention, and even plot against him. They also appear in the Nintendo Adventure Books and comic books.
Each Koopaling has had three voice actors in different media.
|Super Mario anime (1989)||USA cartoons (1990–91)||Games (2009–present)|
|Larry Koopa||Masaharu Satō||James Rankin (as Cheatsy)||Lani Minella|
|Morton Koopa Jr.||Miyako Endō||Dan Hennessey (as Big Mouth)||Lani Minella|
|Wendy O. Koopa||Miyako Endō||Paulina Gillis (as Kootie Pie)||Lani Minella|
|Iggy Koopa||Masaharu Satō||Tara Charendoff (as Hop)||Mike Vaughn|
|Roy Koopa||Naoki Tatsuta||Gordon Masten (as Bully)||Dan Falcone|
|Lemmy Koopa||none||Tara Charendoff (as Hip)||Lani Minella|
|Ludwig von Koopa||Naoki Tatsuta||Michael Stark (as Kooky Von)||Mike Vaughn|
Since their appearance in Super Mario Bros. 3, the Koopalings have had mostly positive reception, being referred to by Nintendo as common knowledge of the Mario series due to their appearance in Super Mario Bros. 3. Their popularity amongst fans led to them being reused for the Super NES sequel, Super Mario World. Nintendo Power listed each Koopaling as one of the reasons to love Nintendo, describing them as some of Nintendo's most beloved villains. They cited their eccentric designs for the quality of their personalities. The Koopalings were named the 19th best Mario villains by GameDaily. GamesRadar editor Henry Gilbert described the battle at the end of each world in Super Mario Bros. 3 as a "special affair"; he also praised them for adding variety to the series compared to Super Mario Bros., which featured Bowser as the last boss of each castle. IGN editor Lucas M. Thomas echoed these sentiments, stating that the Koopalings brought their own looks, mannerisms, and methods of attack. Specifically, he described the battle with Lemmy Koopa in Super Mario Bros. 3 as unique and memorable, while also describing Ludwig Von Koopa's battle in Super Mario World as distinct from the others. In another article he listed the Koopalings as one of the characters he wants in Mario Kart 7, especially Wendy O. Koopa. Fellow IGN editor Jesse Schedeen featured the Koopalings in the "Big Boss of the Day" feature, describing them as popular bosses in video games.
Joystiq editor James Ransom-Wiley called their reappearance in New Super Mario Bros. Wii a welcome addition, stating that it should boost the quality of the bosses. Fellow Joystiq editor JC Fletcher described them as a draw for New Super Mario Bros. Wii for some fans, also praising the three dimensional designs of the Koopalings. During an interview with Super Mario Galaxy director Yoshiaki Koizumi, Electronic Gaming Monthly noted that they were hoping for the Koopalings to return in it. Destructoid editor Conrad Zimmerman stated that the Koopalings were his favourite characters from Super Mario Bros. 3, and added that with regard to the musical references in the Koopalings' names, he doubted that anything similar would be seen in this day and age. GameSpy editor Ryan Scott listed the Koopalings as one of the reasons why Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World were quality video games. He also praised New Super Mario Bros. Wii for the inclusion of the Koopalings. The GameSpy staff listed the Koopalings as some of their favorite bosses, stating that they have much more charm than their "dopey successor", Bowser Jr.
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