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This article is about Bowser's appearance in Super Smash Flash 2. For general information about the character, see Bowser.
Bowser
in Super Smash Flash 2
SSF2 Bowser
Mario symbol
Bowser's official pixel art.
Universe Mario
Stock icon SSF2 Bowser head
Availability Starter
Weight class Heavy
Final Smash Giga Bowser
Tier B- (26)

Bowser is a veteran starter character in Super Smash Flash 2. He was originally shown during the initial planning phases of the game, going through several different design iterations before finally resurging after being revealed at the end of the second McLeodGaming Direct. His sprites are custom-made and based on his appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and his moveset and voice clips are taken directly from the same game. His color and dash animation come from Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.

Bowser is currently ranked 26th on the current tier list. Bowser's moves have great range and strength, with all of his moves either dealing large amounts of damage, KOing his opponents early or generally putting his opponents in a disadvantageous position, most notably his up special Whirling Fortress, which can easily break shields. Bowser also possesses an incredibly strong grab game: he possesses a combo throw in the form of his up throw and his forward throw, which can KO opponents at high percents. His down throw can situationally chain grab and lead into damaging follow-ups and his back throw can be used to position foes offstage and set up for an edgeguard. In addition to this, he possesses Flying Slam - a powerful command grab which can be used to equalize stocks via a sacrificial KO, and a hitbox which can set up for good combos. Finally, Bowser has extremely powerful edgeguarding tools, with his forward air, back air and Fire Breath being especially powerful for edgeguarding and Bowser Bomb being able to powerfully punish opponents who do not sweetspot the ledge.

However, Bowser suffers from terrible mobility, as he has the second worst dash speed in the game, and a poor initial dash which gives him no reward for using the foxtrot or dash-boost techniques. This, alongside his mediocre frame data, gives him a poor attack as his grab range is short and Fire Breath is not a reliable projectile. Furthermore, his disadvantage state is terrible - his combo breakers are not particularly reliable, and his landing options are generally poor, leaving him vulnerable to characters with good juggling ability. Adding to that, his status as a heavyweight makes him easy combo fodder. Finally, his offstage game is one of the worst, as his only reliable recovery, Whirling Fortress, does not gain much vertical distance, and does not guard break very easily, meaning Bowser is very easily gimped.

While Bowser does have certain top players who use him, such as Gax and Miracle--7, Bowser's representation is not particularly spectacular due to the nerfs in patch 1.0.3 and the advent of Donkey Kong being a much more powerful character in the Metagame. Bowser's representation mostly revolves around him being used as a counterpick character for specific matchups.

Attributes

Bowser is a heavyweight that has attributes that deviate from other fighters who would be in his weight class, with a moderately fast dashing speed for his size and weight, allowing him to quickly approach his victims.

One main attribute of Bowser is the power he boasts in his moves. Some of the moves in his moveset deal large amounts of damage in a single move, making them good finishers, or deal multiple hits, allowing Bowser to quickly rack up damage to prepare his victims for a finisher, such as his forward smash. His moveset also grants him good anti-air options, mainly courtesy of his up tilt and up smash, which cover a large portion of his upper body and allows him to deny aerial approaches.

His grab game is also incredibly prominent. His forward throw and up throw are both combo throws, letting Bowser start or extend combos, and they can also double up as KO options at high percents. His down throw has the ability to chaingrab, allowing Bowser to trap his opponents and rack up damage without retaliation from them. Finally, his back throw allows him to position his opponents offstage, setting them up for edgeguarding.

This leads into his powerful edgeguarding game, courtesy of his aerials. All of them have moderately fast startup for their speed, and allow Bowser to quickly accumulate damage, or deny aerial approaches, potentially KOing fighters in the process, due to his aerials having respectable power for their speed, most notably with his up aerial.

His special moveset also retains this utility: his standard special move: Fire Breath, is a very powerful projectile and moves very quickly, a quality invaluable to his edguarding game. His side special, Flying Slam, is a command grab, allowing him to bypass shields and use the move as a KOing option, or if he's near a ledge, as a way to equalize stocks by way of a sacrificial KO. Whirling Fortress, his up special move, is a very potent out-of-shield option thanks to its quick startup. Additionally, it deals multiple hits, allowing Bowser to pressure shields easily. He can also move left or right during this time. Lastly, his down special, Bowser Bomb, functions as an incredible KOing option and a useful edgeguarding option against careless recoveries.

However, one of Bowser's major flaws is his status as a heavyweight: despite him having a good dash and air speed for his weight, his dash is the second slowest in the game, and his initial dash is slow, preventing him from benefiting from the foxtrot or dash boost. Coupled with his tall frame and high gravity, Bowser is only sub-par when approaching, and is heavily susceptible to combos and chaingrabs himself. Additionally, his main combo-breaking moves are not very reliable when up against a fighter with good combo ability, such as Sora.

His special moveset is also not as useful either: Fire Breath is rather predictable despite its speed, allowing opponents to easily absorb or reflect it, denying Bowser's main approach or edgeguarding tool, as many of his other moves have terrible range. Despite Flying Slam being a command grab, Bowser suffers moderate endlag, allowing opponents to easily punish him if he misses. Additionally, despite Whirling Fortress having fast startup, it also suffers moderate endlag, much like the rest of Bowser's special moves. Lastly, Bowser Bomb is very predictable, allowing opponents to easily avoid it. His recovery options also worsen his offstage survivability, as his low jumps and the relative lack of vertical distance Whirling Fortress provides do not give him much vertical recovery, leaving him open to gimps.

Overall, Bowser is a heavyweight character with respectable power and speed. However, his susceptibility to combos, which were increased through nerfs in demos, hinder his ability to become a formidable fighter.

Moveset

Ground attacks

Attack Description Damage
Standard attack 1 Does a quick swipe. 6%
Standard attack 2 Does another swipe with his other claw. It does decent knockback but is hard to connect after the first attack. 6%
Down tilt Does a crouching double swipe attack. Good poker and acts like a "get off me" tool. 11% 13%
Down smash Retreats into his shell and rapidly spins in place. Good power however this move is extremely lacking in range. 15%
20%
Forward tilt Backfists forward. Usually a weaker but less punishable attack of his forward smash. Can send the opponent in a weird position if it doesn't kill. 15%
Forward smash Performs a very strong headbutt forwards, creating an explosion at his head. Its power makes it the strongest forward smash in the game, but it is very slow. 34%
45%
Up tilt Swings a claw above him. This move is great anti-air and combo extender. 11%
Up smash Gets on all fours and lunges upwards with his shell. There is a sweetspot on the top of the shell, if hit with the sweetspot it is the strongest up smash in the game. 16%
21%
21%
28%
Dash attack Does a running bite. 12%
8%

Aerial attacks

Attack Description Damage
Neutral aerial Spins around in his shell. The sweetspot can KO opponents at mid-high percentage while the sourspot can help with his combos. 13%
9%
Forward aerial Slashes forward with his claw. Strong tool with decent range. It is good at edgeguarding. 14%
15%
Back aerial Arcs his back, attacking with his shell. Same as his forward aerial except more powerful. 16%
8%
Up aerial Swings his head above himself in an arc. Very strong vertical finisher but slow start-up. Bowser's most damaging aerial. 18%
Down aerial Goes into his shell, flips over, and spins rapidly. A good combo breaker due to its fast startup. It can always lead into a grab. 2%
16%
2%
3%

Grab and throws

Attack Description Damage
Grab Grabs opponent. Has good range. N/A
Pummel Headbutts opponent. It is the most damaging pummel in the game. 3%
Forward throw Throws his opponent forward using his head. Easily reactive due to how long the animation is. Has good horizontal knockback. 8%
Back throw Throws his opponent behind him with his hands 11%
Up throw Throws his opponent up, then grinds them on his shell while spinning around. Bowser's main combo starter. 11%
Down throw Throws his opponent to the ground and body slams them. 7%

Other attacks

Attack Description Damage
Floor attack Retreats into his shell and spins in place. 6%
Ledge attack Sweeps in front of him with his claw. 8%

Special moves

Special move Name Description Damage
Standard special move Fire Breath Bowser releases a fireball, which explodes on contact. In the air, the fireball moves diagonally downwards. Can be angled up and down on the ground. 9%
Side special move Flying Slam Bowser grabs the opponent and performs a flying suplex that can be controlled in whatever direction desired. If Bowser hits with his sour spot, Koopa Klaw, it can lead to some follow ups. 7%
14%
Up special move Whirling Fortress Bowser retreats into his shell which begins to rapidly spin to gain height. When used on the ground, he can slide across the ground very fast and can shield break very easily. 14%
5%
2%
29%
Down special move Bowser Bomb Bowser plummets downwards at a high speed before slamming into the ground in a sitting position. When used on the ground, he will hop into the air first before dropping. 4%
15%
Final Smash Giga Bowser Transforms into a more powerful, bigger, and vicious-looking version of himself. Varies

Misc.

Misc. Description
On-screen appearance Walks out from a fiery void.
Taunts Standard Stomps, throws his head back, and roars. Does 3% and has a windbox.
Side
Down/Up Stands on one foot and flails his arms around.
Idle poses N/A
Victory theme Remix of the flourish that plays when Mario or Luigi grab a flagpole in Super Mario Bros..
Victory pose Sweeps with his claws twice, first in front of him, then behind him.

Changes and revisions

MG icon Main article: Bowser (Super Smash Flash 2)/Changelog

In competitive play

Match ups

Notable players

  • Gax
  • Miracle--7

Tier placement history

Bowser has been ranked 18 of B+ on the first Beta tier list due to taking down stocks easy from his brute strength, combo throw, and a decent kit. However, in 1.0.3.2, Bowser has been significantly dropped, due to his matchups being less powerful, and some nerfs like his running speed. In the current tier list, Bowser is ranked as 26 of B-.

Gallery

Costumes

SSF2 Bowser Costumes (temporal)

Screenshots

Early designs

Misc.

Trivia

  • Steven stated that Bowser, Sheik, and Donkey Kong were his hardest character projects and that Bowser is his proudest accomplishment.
  • In v0.9b, there exists several files relating to Bowser. He has an unused announcer's call, two different variations of a character select portrait (one in the pre-v0.9 style), palette data, and is referenced numerous times in the character code. This is shared with Mr. Game & Watch.
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