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|3D Dark Bowser render.|
Dark Bowser is a dark version Bowser, and he is the transformation result of the Dark Star stealing and absorbing Bowser's DNA. He first appeared in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story as the final boss for Bowser (and, to a larger extent, the final boss of the game).
When the Dark Star was gathering DNA from Bowser's body, Mario and Luigi tried to stop it before it succeeded. The brothers fought hard to defeat it, but apparently, it had already absorbed every piece of DNA that it needed, and it transformed into Dark Bowser, although in a ghost-like state because he was incomplete. The only parts missing were the legs, which it obtained by inhaling Dark Fawful, thus completing his form, and becoming solid in the process. He flees from Bowser, but when Bowser finds him in the secret tower of Peach's Castle, they both execute flame breath attacks that clash with each other, initiating the prologue to the final battle. Bowser overwhelms Dark Bowser and the fight commenced. Bowser overwhelmed his dark form, who gets away. Later, Dark Bowser unleashes a dark hurricane over the Mushroom Kingdom, trapping Broque Monsieur, the Blue Paratroopas and several Toads and Goombas in bubbles. Bowser was the only one who could defeat him, as he was his doppleganger.
After taking enough damage, Dark Bowser fell to the ground; he is was fully healed by ingesting Dark Fawful and grew larger. Bowser attacked his stomach so that he spat up the Dark Star Core and caused Dark Bowser to shrink. Bowser then inhaled Dark Fawful, which Dark Bowser attempted to counteract it with his own inhaling technique. As Bowser pulls Fawful into his belly, the Mario Brothers faught Dark Fawful. After several turns of fighting Dark Fawful, he escaped and return back into Dark Bowser's body, forcing the process to be repeated. Only upon Dark Fawful's defeat did Bowser give his shadowy doppelganger the final blows. Once defeated, Dark Bowser dissolved, leaving only the Dark Star, which rises into the air and explodes, restoring the Mushroom Kingdom to normal.
At some point in the future, Madame Broode, who just overthrew Bowser and became ruler of the Koopa Troop, created a new version of Dark Bowser using dark magic with the help of a brainwashed Kamek and sent him to attack the Mario Bros. and Bowser from time to time. Eventually, he was defeat by Bowser, causing the doppleganger to disintegrate into ashes.
Dark Bowser is the real final boss of this game. He throws dark meteors from the sky at the player and spits blue lava balls at them. He can pound the platform, causing it to lose balance, as well as warp across the battle.
Dark Bowser does not actually appear in the game, but he is Bowser's tranformation after regular Bowser is defeated by Mario.
Dark Bowser makes his return as the secondary antagonist in New Super Mario Bros. 3. Unlike Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, he isn't the one made by Fawful, but this one was made by the Broodals' boss, Madame Broode, who had recently overthrown Bowser and became queen of the Koopa Troop. While the Broodals have their own airship, Dark Bowser pilots what was Bowser's airship, and ambushes the player at the beginning of the Seaside Dimension, the middle of the Food Dimension, and the end of the Volcanic Dimension.
In Seaside Dimension's Attack of the Dark Airship, Dark Bowser's attacks include shooting dark energy from his hands and throwing hammers, as well as leaping into the air. You have to attack him with either fireballs, the Mega Mushroom transformation, shell attacks, and any other attack, to defeat him.
In Food Dimension's Dark Bowser Returns, Dark Bowser's boss battle involves him riding Bowser's former Koopa Clown Car equipped with large cannons, which he uses to blast dark energy at the player. He will also try to ground pound, sending a shockwave through the floor that will knock Mario, Luigi, or Bowser into the Electric Fence on the walls of the room. He will also periodically throw Bob-ombs and Mecha-Koopas, which the player can use against Dark Bowser. After the boss battle, Dark Bowser is thrown out of the damaged Koopa Clown Car, and the Mario Bros. and Bowser ride on it to escape from the airship until it crashes onto an island in the Food Dimension.
In Volcanic Dimension's Versus Dark Bowser!, the Mario Bros. and Bowser ride the Koopa Clown Car (repaired by Bowser Jr.) and face off Dark Bowser, who has his own version of the Koopa Clown Car. The player must fly the Koopa Clown Car and have Bowser shoot fireballs at Dark Bowser, as well as ram the clown car into Dark Bowser's clown car. He will occasionally shoot beams of dark energy at you, as well as having volcanic debris fall from the sky. In the end, when he is defeated, the trio land onto the airship and hop out of Bowser's Koopa Clown Car, and after which, a weakened Dark Bowser tries to shoot dark energy, but Bowser then spits out a lot of fire, finishing Dark Bowser once and for all as he disintegrates from existence.
Dark Bowser appears as the final boss in New Super Mario Bros. The Roman Worlds. In his first phase, you have to push the buttons on the sides of the bridge to cause bombs to drop on his head, if you hit him 3 times he will fall off of the bridge and come back in a dark version of the Koopa Clown Car. You will have to chase Dark Bowser in his Koopa Clown Car while avoiding enemies and lava pits. sometimes he will throw big versions of Bob-Ombs. You will have to pick up these bombs and throw them at him before they explode. if you hit him 24 times, his Koopa Clown Car will explode. Resulting in Dark Bowser falling into a lava pit. Since Dark Bowser is dead, you are able to escape the Roman World!
Paper Mario: Outbreak of Evil
Dark Bowser makes his Paper Mario debut in Paper Mario: Outbreak of Evil. Dark Bowser appears as the main villain for most of Outbreak of Evil. He first appears in the Prolouge as the tutorial boss, disguised under cardboard armor. After three turns of battle, the armor breaks, revealing that he has become Dark Bowser. He immediately OHKO's Mario with his Dark Fire, then kidnaps Peach as for a then-unknown reason.
Dark Bowser is missing for most of the story, mostly sending Bowser Jr., Kamek, Kammy, the Koopalings, and King Goomba to get the Keystones. Despite Bowser Jr., Kamek, Kammy, and Roy managing to steal the Amber Crystal and Ludwig getting the Jade Crystal, Mario gets them back anyway, and Dark Bowser calls them back to protect the only Keystone they have, the Diamond Crystal, aboard their submarine at the Stone Reefs. Morton, Kamek, and Kammy all fail, and Dark Bowser is forced to fight him alongside Bowser Jr.
His stats during the battle are: Max HP of 120, an attack of 7, and defense of 4. He uses claw swipes, dark fire breath, ground pounds, and Dark Minion attacks: Dark Goomba Rain acting like Goomba Storm, Dark Koopaball, acting like Koopa Corps., Dark Bill Brigade, launching seven bullet bills at Mario and co., Dark Bob-omb Squad, acting like Bob-omb Blitz, and Dark Thwomp Drop, in which he tosses a Thwomp on one character. Upon defeat, Dark Bowser spews a wave of dark fire through his submarine, causing it to start sinking. Bowser reverts to normal after this fight.
Dark Bowser X is in the final 5 X Bosses, unlocked after defeating 6 others. He is red instead of blue, and has bright blue eyes, and his stats are now 200 HP, 10 ATK, and 6 Defense. He also has 4 more attacks, Bad Bite, in which he inflicts a random negative status effect on the target if unblocked, Rocket Shell, in which he dashes through both Mario and partner very fast, Dark Shy Shot, functioning like Shy Guy Squad, and Dark Magikoopa Blast, functioning like Magikoopa Mob.
- Dark Bowser is the third final boss in the Mario & Luigi series that is a different form of Bowser, the first two being Bowletta and Shrowser, and the fourth and fifth being Dreamy Bowser and Shiny RoboBowser. However, he is the only one who is not actually Bowser, because he only looks like Bowser, and is actually the Dark Star.
- His voice is a slowed-down version of Bowser's.
- Dark Bowser is similar to the Fright Mask from Paper Mario and its sequel, only with yellow eyes and a darker palette.