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Editorials & Features from the Marioverse

The Evolution of Koopa

Article originally written by BultWolf 3 for Super Mario Portal ( on 13th of October, 2004.


I’m sure that as far as we can remember, Mario has had enemies, and it has almost always been the same ones, Bowser and his army of turtles known as Koopas. It seems like every game that has Mario in it, there’s some reference to Koopas. Also, Koopas have evolved quite a bit over their existence in the videogame world, this article will help describe how they have changed over the years.

In the earliest days, Koopas, like everything else, was in really bad graphics. They had long necks and walked on all fours. They never lost their shells, as in several super Nintendo games, but rather hid in their shells and went back and fort in between to barriers, and they still repeat this action to some extent. Their shells came in two colors, red and green, having little meaning besides variety, some also had wings, and that’s about it for the basic Koopa. There were also several other kinds of Koopas that took on different natures, such as lakitu's and hammer bros. And eventually, there came a crew of Koopa bosses. As we all know, Bowser was one of them, but he also had 7 children who were bosses that fought against Mario for their father, Morton Jr., Iggy, Lemmy, Roy, Larry, Ludwig, and Wendy. His children were beaten and finally all killed in Super Mario World, but Bowser would live on just as strongly as Mario.

On that note, we move onto the super Nintendo. By now Koopas have ranged a bit more in colour, adding blue and yellow shelled Koopa's, and as long as they wear shells they stand on their hind legs. Also, if Mario jumps on them he can take their shells and use it as a weapon. On that note, I say that if you are riding Yoshi the colour of the shells affects what will happen when Yoshi spits them out. If Yoshi spits out a red shell, it turns into fire, if he swallows a blue shell Yoshi can fly if it’s still in his mouth. While Yoshi is has a yellow shell in his mouth, when he jumps and lands down again he kicks up dust that can hurt any nearby enemies, and the green shell has no other effect besides being able to shoot out. There are also quite a few more “special Koopa's” at the coming of the Super Nintendo, such as Chargin Chuck, MagiKoopa, and Sumo Bro. But what’s new about the Koopa's is more than just their looks, now they even drive cars in races around the Mushroom Kingdom! And lakitu's also helped with the racing. They do even more things in future games and systems.

As of the N64, the Koopa's have changed their originally orange skin to a light shade of yellow, and they’ve gone back to only having red and green shells. Speaking of shells, instead of Koopa's being drivers in Mariokart, Players can use Koopa shells as weapons. Now, in the coming of the N64, the Koopas do all around less fighting and more sport and recreational activities, such as Tennis and golf. Not that Koopas aren’t still enemies, in Paper Mario there was a wide variety of Koopa troopa's and other Koopas that fought for Bowser, and there was also a village of Koopas who aided Mario in that game, ones especially were Kooper and Parakarry. There wasn’t a whole lot more than that, Nintendo didn’t make a whole lot of games that involved Koopa's during the N64 era.

Finally we get to the Game Cube, the newest Nintendo system with the newest Koopa's. Those turtles didn’t change their role in the Mushroom Kingdom a whole lot except for the fact that they’re all in better graphics. They made a few appearances in SSB: Melee and acted a lot like they used to back in their beginning, except they were in better graphics! The Koopa's were also drivers once again, in Mario Kart: Double Dash a Koopa and a Para Koopa where there along with their own custom race car! That’s about it for Koopa's so far, there are going to be new ones in the Paper Mario sequel, and who knows what the future will bring to life of the Koopa's!

- Article Writer, Bultwolf3


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