Who is Bowser?Edit
Bowser may not have been Mario's first villain (that honor belongs to Donkey Kong), but he's damned sure Mario's best villain. Wherever Mario has gone since the days of the original Super Mario Bros., Bowser has been there. If there's a princess to kidnap, Bowser will be there. If there's a Kart to drive, Bowser will be there. If there's a tennis racket or golf club to swing, Bowser will be there. Bowser is as big a part of the Mario series as the main man himself, and even though he's a klutz at times, Bowser is a grade A villain. It's impossible to imagine Mario having any other villain than Bowser. No matter what form Bowser takes, no matter what vehicle he's driving, no matter what game it is that Mario stars in, Bowser will surely be right on Mario's tracks waiting for the right chance to strike, and when it does, you can bet that you'll be in the middle of yet another legendary game involving Bowser, Mario, and the hundreds of other enemies and characters within the Mushroom Kingdom. As much as Mario has evolved as the main character in the Mario series, Bowser has evolved as the villain, and both are still going strong after being in the business of kicking the crap out of each other for over 20 years.
"I'm lightning in a bottle! I'm earthquake in a can!" -Bowser
Bowser's Contest HistoryEdit
Win-Loss Record: 22-11
Summer 2003 Contest - East Division - 5 Seed
- Eastern Round 1 --- Defeated (12) Ness, 74164 [75.07%] - 24627 [24.93%]
- Eastern Quarterfinals --- Defeated (4) Yoshi, 55510 [56.34%] - 43021 [43.66%]
- Eastern Semifinals --- Lost to (1) Cloud, 33381 [29.97%] - 77991 [70.03%]
- Extrapolated Strength --- 17th Place [29.97%]
Summer 2004 Contest - Hyrule Division - 7 Seed
- Hyrule Round 1 --- Defeated (10) Guybrush Threepwood, 61731 [82.99%] - 12652 [17.01%]
- Hyrule Quarterfinals --- Lost to (2) Mario, 23302 [29.35%] - 56098 [70.65%]
- Extrapolated Strength --- 18th Place [28.88%]
When Bowser first came to the contest scene in 2003, most expected him to lose to Yoshi in the second round, and some even thought that Ness would take him down. Bowser quickly put all of this to rest after he kicked the crap out of Ness and scored a respectable victory against Yoshi before finally being steamrolled by Cloud's 2003 championship run. Bowser did not fare as well in 2004, but that's because CJayC thought that putting Bowser against Mario in a "good match on paper" would be interesting. Had Bowser not been stuck against Mario in the second round, he may very well have gone to the Sweet 16 again.
Bowser isn't the strongest character in the field, but he is a perpetual top 20 character that will always do well in a balanced bracket. 2003 was the perfect example of this, and should Bowser be placed in a balanced bracket once again, Bowser's fanbase of over 20 years could very well allow him to do the same again.
Spring 2005 Contest - Mushroom Division - 1 Seed
- Mushroom Round 1 --- Defeated (8) Pyramid Head, 65599 [83.88%] - 12606 [16.12%]
- Mushroom Semifinal --- Defeated (4) Sigma, 57527 [78.07%] - 16160 [21.93%]
- Mushroom Final --- Defeated (3) Revolver Ocelot, 54099 [65.99%] - 27878 [34.01%]
- Final Four --- Lost to (1) Sephiroth, 39385 [40.45%] - 57978 [59.55%]
- Extrapolated Strength --- 3rd Place [40.45%]
In past contests, Bowser never got a chance to truly show how powerful he could be. He got stuck in the same half division as Cloud in 2003, and was stuck in the same fourpack as Mario in 2004. However, come Spring 2005, Bowser practically stole the show. In his first two matches, he made Pyramid Head look as weak as Guybrush Threepwood before absolutely destroying the main villain of the Mega Man X series (Sigma was under 20% for a time during the match). The same Mega Man X series that GameFAQs considers to be the best Mega Man series of them all.
Before the contest, Revolver Ocelot was believed to be a possible threat to Bowser. Come match time, Bowser nearly doubled him. But Bowser's shining moment was actually in his loss. In 2003, Bowser failed to break even 30% on Cloud. As such, who could have expected Bowser to break 40% on Sephiroth? Not only that, but Bowser was actually winning the match early on and was in a 500-500 tie before finally going under. There are many reasons posed for this, but the most viable is likely Bowser not being rightfully represented by the 2004 stats. Due to the SFF against Mario, he was simply given his 2003 strength as canon. this left the door wide open for Bowser to be massively underestimated by the 2004 stats, and he more than proved it come the Spring 2005 Contest. One could argue that Sephiroth simply bombed, but his 10% overperformance against Liquid puts a monkey wrench into all of these claims.
Whether or not Spring 2005 Bowser is the true Bowser remains to be seen, but we'll find out soon enough. Bowser's division in the Summer 2005 Contest features Ryu and Tidus, and if he gets past them, he'll likely have to go against Solid Snake. Spring 2005 suggests that Bowser can win all of these matches, but we'll have to wait and see.
Summer 2005 Contest - Dream Division - 3 Seed
- Dream Round 1 --- Defeated (6) Chun-Li, 66227 [65.9%] - 34269 [34.1%]
- Dream Semifinals --- Defeated (2) Ryu, 53964 [58.98%] - 37536 [41.02%]
- Dream Finals --- Defeated (1) Kirby, 43392 [52.12%] - 39857 [47.88%]
- Elite Eight --- Lost to (1) Solid Snake, 50191 [49.41%] - 51387 [50.59%]
- Extrapolated Strength --- 10th Place [33.49%]
After many a person claimed that Bowser's Spring performance was a fluke, he came out in this contest and somewhat validated it while also proving that his adjusted 2004 value was incorrect. Not only did he mow over Chun-Li and the favored Ryu, but he won the division before taking Snake himself to the limit in the match that Bowser would ultimately lose. Granted had Bowser performed fully up to his Spring 2005 potential he could have won against Snake, but he was also up against a possible MGS3 boost. It'll be interesting to see if Bowser can keep this up as the contests pass.
Summer 2006 Contest - Time Division - 4 Seed
- Time Round 1 --- Defeated (5) Leon Kennedy, 66925 [55.45%] - 53772 [44.55%]
- Time Semifinal --- Lost to (1) Crono, 50986 [42.56%] - 68821 [57.44%]
- Extrapolated Strength --- 18th Place [35.37%]
Though Bowser performed very well in the villain's contest, his performance there is a statistical outlier. What we saw from Bowser in 2006 seems to be the best we'll get under normal settings. The bright side is that one could argue Crono's *huge* percentage bleed against Bowser predicted Crono's end a bit early.
Summer 2007 Contest - Division 2 - Fourth Group
- Division 2 Round 1 --- 2nd place, 39225 [28.62%] - Ryu, 49754 [36.30%] - Mewtwo, 34197 [24.95%] - Toad, 13895 [10.14%]
- Division 2 Round 2 --- 3rd place, 32529 [24.07%] - Auron, 48423 [35.83%] - Ryu, 35350 [26.16%] - Shadow the Hedgehog, 18842 [13.94%]
Before the contest began, Bowser was looked at as a favorite to advance out of Division 2 with Cloud, but there were a few who still had their doubts because of those old Favorite Mario Character polls in which he performed poorly. Because of triple Nintendo SFF in round 1, people conceded that Bowser probably wouldn't win first place over Ryu, but he would easily beat him out in round 2. After all, he put up 58-59% on the Street Fighter icon just two years ago.
Well, Bowser didn't beat Ryu in round 1, and he didn't even threaten him. As a matter of fact, he let Mewtwo do some serious damage to him with the after school vote and came closer to the Koopa King than he came to Ryu. This left people a little concerned about his chances in round 2, and for good reason. Bowser couldn't hold the lead on Ryu beyond the first freeze, and he didn't even put up much of a fight in the process. Despite the fact that he is considered a near elite, he couldn't show that strength in this format. This has got to be the most disappointing contest for him to date.
Summer 2008 Contest - Division 2 - Second Group
- Division 2 Round 1 --- 1st place, 58067 [45.11%] - Phoenix Wright, 30776 [23.91%] - Geno, 21271 [16.52%] - Deckard Cain, 18611 [14.46%]
- Division 2 Round 2 --- 3rd place, 29000 [22.69%] - Liquid Snake, 39084 [30.59%] - Luigi, 35630 [27.88%] - Phoenix Wright, 24072 [18.84%]
Just when it seemed like things couldn't get any worse for Bowser, he went out and proved us wrong. While he had an easy win in round one against three pretty weak characters, he somehow flopped and lost to Luigi in round two. Bowser has been on a slippery downhill slope since his awesome 2005 performances and has looked worse every year since then. Will he be able to turn it around next year?
Winter 2010 Contest - Heart Division - 4 Seed
- Heart Round 1 --- Defeated (13) Frog, 44449 [63.22%] - 25861 [36.78%]
- Heart Round 2 --- Defeated (5) Kefka, 47590 [61.68%] - 29563 [38.32%]
- Heart Semifinal --- Defeated (1) Sora, 28367 [54.70%] - 23493 [45.30%]
- Heart Final --- Lost to (7) Charizard, 37813 [45.27%] - 45711 [54.73%]
- Extrapolated Strength --- 23rd Place [29.78%]
Bowser was able to rebound after not performing up to par over the past few contests. He expectedly defeated Frog and the Dissidia boosted Kefka, but he was able to upset Sora with little problem despite the match not getting much hype until the second round. As impressive as Bowser was in this contest he was no match against Charizard who was lucky to have Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver released on the day of the match.
Summer 2013 Contest - Division 2 - 7 Seed
- Division 2 Round 1 --- 1st place, 18778 [60.55%] - (21) Meta Knight, 7468 [24.08%] - (12) Archer, 4767 [15.37%]
- Division 2 Round 2 --- 1st place, 13455 [41.50%] - (15) Sub-Zero, 9605 [29.63%] - (16) The Boss, 9359 [28.87%]
- Division 2 Round 3 --- 3rd place, 12477 [23.60%] - (11) Mewtwo, 22104 [41.82%] - (1) Sonic the Hedgehog, 18277 [34.58%]
Bowser started the contest quite well, easily winning his match and SFFing Meta Knight by more than what Luigi did in 2010. His performance in the second round was a bit more divisive where he did well against Sub-Zero and terrible against The Boss, with more people feeling it was a The Boss overperformance than both Bowser and Sub-Zero underperforming. Sadly in the third round he was handed the short stick in a SFF match where he lost quite badly to both Mewtwo and Sonic.
Fall 2018 Contest - Division 4 - 4 Seed
- Division 4 Round 1 --- Defeated (13) Gordon Freeman, 22856 [77.39%] - 6676 [22.61%]
- Division 4 Round 2 --- Defeated (12) Charizard, 17096 [56.55%] - 13136 [43.45%]
- Division 4 Semifinal --- Defeated (1) 2B, 17562 [58.19%] - 12620 [41.81%]
- Division 4 Final --- Defeated (2) Kirby, 15211 [53.86%] - 13033 [46.14%]
- Legends Round 1 --- Lost to (5) Crono, 13276 [45.12%] - 16150 [54.88%]
- Losers Round 1 --- Defeated (3) Alucard, 12932 [51.24%] - 12307 [48.76%]
- Losers Round 2 --- Lost to (5) Crono, 12668 [45.25%] - 15327 [54.75%]
Just as in 2010, Bowser was the 4 seed in the division perceived to have the weakest 1-seed. He began by giving Gordon Freeman his most lopsided beating ever as well as the first Round 1 loss since GFNW was first broken. He then proceeded to avenge his 2010 defeat by a convincing margin, swinging more than 11%. Even after these impressive victories many thought that he would lose to Kirby, who was thought to be far stronger now than when they'd last met in 2005, but he instead won by an even larger percentage. He still has a ways to go before he's challenging the Noble Nine, however, as he twice found himself barely able to break 45% on Crono.