Final boss fights are a staple in video games, but not all of them are created equal. Bowser’s boss fight in Super Mario World stands out as a drastic improvement from his previous battles in the franchise.
Growing up, Super Mario was a beloved game series that captivated the hearts of gamers everywhere. While Bowser’s boss fights in Super Mario Bros 1 and Super Mario Bros 3 were significant moments in their own right, they didn’t quite live up to their potential.
Super Mario Bros 1: As a kid, we knew Bowser as King Koopa. He was a huge surprise and looked intimidating at first, but once you realized he just throws a flurry of hammers in an arch, spits fireballs that can be easily dodged, and jumps high in the air, it’s not hard to defeat him. You just need to time yourself to run under his jump, and you pull the axe to have him fall into the lava. In retrospect, it’s very underwhelming.
Super Mario Bros 3: The boss fight in this game was a big improvement. The castle leading up to him set the tone, especially with the Bowser statues that shoot lasers out of their eyes. At first, I thought I had to jump on his head, but I couldn’t beat him. Turns out, you have to trick him into destroying the ground and have him fall off the map. This is a great design that allows for the player to feel clever once they defeat him.
Super Mario World: This game takes Bowser’s boss fight to the next level, and makes for a great finish to the game. Not only is it very cinematic with Bowser appearing from the darkness, and him flying towards and away from the camera, but the battle is well designed. He goes through 3 different phases, varying his attack patterns, and becoming more dangerous. This is also the first time you actually inflict damage onto him to defeat him, rather than having him fall into a pit. But not only do you damage him, you use his own minions to hurt him.
In the first phase, Bowser drops bowling balls on the player, which can be dodged or destroyed. In the second phase, Bowser brings out Mecha Koopas, which the player can pick up and throw at him. This not only damages him but also removes the Mecha Koopa from the fight. In the final phase, Bowser starts shooting fireballs, and the player has to dodge and jump over them while still trying to damage him.
The fact that Bowser goes through different phases makes the fight more interesting and dynamic. You’re not just doing the same thing over and over again, but instead, you’re constantly adapting to the different attacks and figuring out new strategies to deal damage.
Another thing that makes this boss fight stand out is that it’s the first time in a Mario game where the player has to use Bowser’s minions against him. This not only adds to the fun factor but also adds another layer of strategy to the fight. The player has to decide whether to use the Mecha Koopas as weapons or dodge them to avoid taking damage.
If you’re a fan of 2D platformers like Super Mario World, then you’ll definitely want to check out Beware, a cyber space world 2D platformer inspired by games like Donkey Kong Country. To stay updated on its release and any special promotions, be sure to add it to your Steam wishlist today!