No, this is not a shameless plug that I'm being paid for or anything, but my honest review of Nintendo's first cell phone game: Super Mario Run! It was around mid-December when the game first came out that I spotted Bowser on the Featured page of the App Store on my iPhone 6S+! That resulted in my instant downloading with eager anticipation. I was very curious to see how Nintendo's first foray into developing for foreign hardware would turn out. Okay... I was probably more eager to see what Bowser would be like, but that last statement was still true!
At first, I was very underwhelmed like a lot of other gamers were, and nearly gave up on it! The free version of the app is very limited. It only allowed you to play the first 3 levels of the game, despite there being 24 levels in the full version of the game. These first three levels were very easy and simple, and didn't even leave you with much satisfaction in beating them. Most unbelievably though, Nintendo teased by only letting you play the first 30 seconds or so of World 1-4, the first Bowser's Castle! To play any further involved a hard paywall of $10 (USD). Aside from some simple builds allowed in the decorative Build Mode, and maybe a chance to play the (surprisingly fun) Toad's Rally mode, the free version barely scratched the surface of what the game offered. I found it to be pretty poor advertising in a way, because I didn't even have much satisfaction to even be motivated to pay the $10 to see what the rest of the fuss was about. Honestly, the only reason I did so, was because I wanted to fight Bowser and see what he looked like, lol. However, there probably wasn't a whole lot of others like me out there that would do this!
I was pleasantly surprised that the full version of the game was a lot better than the free version. I continue to be amazed how Nintendo was able to duplicate the ultra-responsive and tight controls they are known for. Despite me playing on a third party's hardware, this game feels exactly like any other Mario handheld game I would expect. Instead of lugging around a rather large Nintendo 3DS everywhere, I can have access to this Mario game, any time, any place.
Well... mostly... Another big shortfall is Nintendo's paranoia in forcing you to be constantly connected to the internet to be able to play (for apparent anti-piracy reasons). In January, I was on a multi-hour plane trip and wanted to play the game, only to remember that I wasn't able to without a constant signal. A friend of mine takes the underground subway to work each day, which loses cell phone reception between each stop, and would have his play interrupted. He mentioned he likely wouldn't get the game for this reason alone. One must endure a lot of frustration to be a loyal Nintendo fan, as they often make "business decisions" that seem to hinder, rather than help themselves. Super Mario Run may turn out to be an experiment that was a success, in spite of itself.
Ever since purchasing the full version of the game, I have been putting in a good 2-3 hours a week into it rather consistently. I am surprised by how challenging the game is, compared to how it started out. It's not a frustrating type of challenge either, but a rewarding one. I've unlocked all the characters in the game, won-over 3,700 Toads, and I'm in the process of collecting all the pink, purple, and black coins in the game. I've done this in 5/6 Worlds already, and it's been very difficult. The Toad's Rally is also a real hoot, and I almost exclusively play Bowser's Gunship level, as you get all the colored Toads if you win, plus it's a very fun level that I'm very good at. I'm also amazed at the agility of each of the unique characters, and how you have to use strategy for each one (in the case of the colored coin-collecting).
I believe the attraction of most video games comes in the sake of accomplishment. I am very much feeling that with this game, and am getting some pretty worthwhile rewards! For example, check out this wicked Bowser Statue I unlocked this weekend, or this really cool Gold Bowser Statue you can get from getting a My Nintendo account going. I have the Bowser Statue guarding Princes Peach's castle, while the Gold Bowser Statue keeps the Toads on the island to the south in check. Bwa ha ha! I've never seen Bowser assume this pose before, but he sure looks tough! I'm going to have to try hunting for a higher-resolution render of this...
The Nintendo Switch is Here!
March 3, 2017
Happy Nintendo Switch launch day! It's always a very special day when a new Nintendo console first launches! I remember agonizing waits when I was younger - like the summer of 2001 prior to the launch of the GameCube - counting down every day before launch. I would make thousands of posts on various Nintendo forums just to help the time go by. It felt like an eternity! Somehow this wait didn't feel as long though. Maybe it was the late official announcement in October 2016 (or early launch depending on how you look at it).
This launch is also a simulataneous worldwide launch as well, meaning everybody on Planet Earth has the chance to enjoy the next generation of Nintendo games at the same time! It is Nintendo's 7th major home console, and honestly, I feel pretty good about this one! When I watched the First Look at Nintendo Switch official video released back in October, I was instantly impressed and excited! First of all, I love the name they settled on. I have personally hated the names of the last three Nintendo consoles in a row. The Nintendo "Dolphin" got renamed GameCube (sounded so kiddy), the Nintendo "Revolution" was renamed "Wii" (sounded even more kiddy), and "Project Café" was renamed Wii U (what the heck does that even mean!?) When it came to the looks of the last three systems, I much disliked the oddly-shaped, lunchbox-like look of the GameCube, with its thick handle I knew I'd never have to use. The Wii was the only exception of the last three systems that I didn't mind. The Wii U looked almost identical to the Wii, which makes it easy to believe how so many people thought it was nothing but an add-on to the Wii.
Although "Reggie" (President of Nintendo of America, and the one that gives all the major announcements and presentations) once said that "the name doesn't matter", personally I disagree. The name and look of a console is what forms the company's image amongst consumers. The last three Nintendo home console launches either had a kiddy name, a kiddy look, or (in the GameCube's case) both! While the majority of Nintendo's market share is geared towards families with kids, there are still old retro gamers like me around that remember Nintendo's glory days of the 80s and 90s! Back then, Nintendo seemed to have a mass appeal, and was considered much more "cool" than the more family-friendly version of today which caters mostly to kids. Something feels much more hipster about the Switch!
But it's not just the look of the console and the name that I like, but how creative and innovative it is! Nintendo has always set itself apart from its competitors with its risk-taking and creative ways of reinventing how to play video games. The idea of combining a home console and portable system I think is a pure stroke of genius! It will really keep Nintendo focused on just one system that can be enjoyed in both manners, and it could also mean that more first-party games can be developed and released more frequently to keep the entertainment coming! I mean, you know you got a lot of potential when your competitors are praising you on launch day!
As for me, I plan to wait a bit before picking up a Switch of my own (shocking, I know!) Although I was one of the door crashers for the Nintendo Wii back in 2006, I had waited until Super Smash Brothers for Wii U came out 2 years after the Wii U launched before I finally picked one up. It is the Super Mario franchise, and a certain cool-looking dragonturtle villain, that makes me a lifelong loyal fan of Nintendo. Since the wait for Super Mario Odyssey looks to be until the end of the year, I feel that I'm not quite in a rush just yet. Besides, I have a huge stack of video games to play that I haven't even started yet, and I'm also aggressively trying to save up for my first property purchase aimed for about a year out from now.
Since this is a Bowser- and Koopa-focused website, who can forget the incredibly cute Nintendo Switch Parental Controls video released at the beginning of this year which showed Bowser being a good parent to his son Bowser Jr. The production and animation quality was astounding! This is likely the best 3D depictions of the Koopa royalty to date! Not only did Bowser & Bowser Jr. look great, both were very adorable in their own ways. Bowser may be a bad guy, but he's proven to be a very good and loving (single) father!
New Bowser Shrine Affiliate - SMB3.com
September 4, 2016
The Bowser Shrine is now happily in affiliation with SMB3.com! It's an excellent fansite dedicated entirely to Super Mario Bros. 3 for the original NES! The site has a great breakdown of all the enemies, bosses, items, suits, and worlds that exist in the game, as well as all the references and media surrouding the game. It's a great trip down memory lane for sure. Super Mario Bros 3. was one of the highest selling video games of all time for a great many years. It also holds a special place in my heart, as it was the game that really defined Bowser as a character looks-wise!
Talk about a clear night-and-day difference! The original SMB instruction booklet was basically just a black-and-white copy of Bowser's 8-bit in-game sprite, and only had profile view of him. The artist's rendition in the Super Mario Bros. 3 manual had Bowser facing directly at the viewer, so that it was easier to visualize what Bowser looked like in 3 dimensions.
Also, Bowser's in-game sprite in Super Mario Bros. 3 was significantly improved over his last sighting in the original Super Mario Bros. This was impressive, because it was done on the same platform as the previous game, but perhaps the developers were more familiar with the hardware and squeezing the most they could out of it:
On top of all this, the game was notoriously hard! You were lucky if you were even able to get to Bowser in the game, to see him in all his final glory! Bowser himself was also quite hard to defeat, as you had to outsmart him rather than outmuscle him. This was the moment where Bowser introduced his "Bowser Bomb" attack (Down + B in Super Smash Brothers), which was a King Koopa-sized ground pound able to pulverize blocks!
Man, all this talk about the game has me suddenly wanting to play it!
• 1 link to SMB3.com added to the Links section under "Mario Universe Fansites"
Nintendo Owns My Wallet
September 3, 2016
So I was at the mall the other day, and I walked by a video game hobby and retro store called GameCity again. I have never walked out of a GameCity as rich as I was walking in, and never left one without owning another Bowser-related piece of merchandise I didn't own before!
"Maybe the streak will end this time," my inner voice said:
Gee, I would sure be easy to bankrupt if tempted enough times! Yup, I bought another one of those massive 24" x 36" framed wall posters. I even bought another poster twice this size that I will need to find a huge frame for. Jeez, I'm going to run out of wall space in my house in no time!
Affiliate Contest - Calling All Writers!
August 22, 2016
Do you fancy yourself as an eloquent writer that's a little short on cash for your favourite video games? Well fear not! Bowser Shrine affiliate Gaming Reinvented is holding an original article-writing competition for your chance to win $200.00 in a gaming shopping spree!
Have you always wanted to write an opinion-piece for an issue you felt strongly about, or wanted to give an in-depth review of a latest release from Nintendo? Then get those eager fingers tapping away! The trick is write something unique that can't be seen anywhere else. That will give you the highest chance of winning over the judges.
Mario on the World Stage
August 21, 2016
Did anyone watch the Closing Ceremonies of the Rio De Janeiro Summer Olympics during the handing over of the Olympic flag to host city Tokyo for the 2020 Summer games? They played a 90-second teaser clip as a preview (is Hello Kitty really going to be their official mascot? Haha!) Towards the end of the video, it showed the Prime Minister of Japan anxious that he was going to be late for the Closing Ceremonies in Rio. At the end of the video, he morphs into Mario, and takes a warp pipe through the core of the planet. Then in the live feed, a huge warp pipe appears in the middle of the Olympic stadium, and he reappears, transforming back into the Prime Minister! It was really cool and creative! Nintendo must have been featured for about half of their official video for the world to see!
Nintendo always seemed to support the Olympics a lot with their "Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games" series. It's really cool that they got a chance to advertise one of their most beloved franchises with the eyes of the world watching like that. Although, who doesn't know of Mario by this point? The character is as recognizable as Mickey Mouse! And hopefully, Mario's arch nemesis is at least equally-recognizable as the prime baddy!
"Bowser Fan Fiction" Subsection Reorganized + 2 New Bowser Fan Fictions!
August 14, 2016
Just like that, things have gotten back on track. It's been 28.5 months since I have done a meaningful content-based update on The Bowser Shrine. Although I have done updates in that period, they were more to announce new link affiliates, share something quick I found online, or just blog-like updates. It's been far too long since something new has shown up related to the almighty Koopa King!
In yesterday's update, I stated with great relief how I had finally figured out an old challenge that kept my website only one-layer deep at all times. This meant that all my PHP files had to be kept at the root-level "public_html" folder, or all my relative links would break. Finding the PHP variable to point to the DOCUMENT_ROOT has solved this puzzle. I knew something of the sort would have to exist, but it would take a fair bit of research and testing. I figured it would be a bit of a frustrating search, and probably pretty time-consuming. This weekend I had a fair chunk of time to dedicate to such a quest, so I decided to go for it. Already, those efforts are starting to bear fruit!
This backend code change has allowed me to reorganize the Bowser Fan Fiction section to have each story as its own subsection! This allows for a much cleaner look, rather than posting all the stories in one massive page. Also, a fan by the name of Cyndi H. wrote in some absolutely massive fan fictions that would likely take hours to read. This was my incentive to have this rewrite done, but unfortunately, I never got around to it during all this time. I don't even want to admit how much time has really gone by since I finally got this submission uploaded, as it's far too shameful!
I have so much work to do in order to "get with the times" so-to-speak. Many subsections of The Bowser Shrine have not been updated since the 2007-2008 timerange. While modernizing these sections is important, there are still a lot of old fan submissions I'd like to get through first. Having the ability to create multiple subsections henceforth will now make that task much easier.
But for now, enjoy the efforts of Cyndi H.'s two new fan fictions! She's quite a strong and passionate writer, so you will likely be taken on a wonderful journey each time! Thank you for your patience all this time Cyndi!
I have successfully installed my new 480 GB solid state drive, and got most of my programs reinstalled now, including my local WAMP server! Another huge recovery was in porting all my Thunderbird emails I had since the website started! I pride myself on being very good at archiving and keeping backups. I had a local copy of all emails exchanged with my official email through the website ever since it was first started. I didn't know that in some folders on the server, the emails were not being kept! Had it not been for my local drive backups, they may have even been lost! I have some old fan submissions that haven't even gotten uploaded yet, so it would have been a shame if I lost these old emails!
This archiving sense that I pride myself on will show its value soon. I still maintain a wealth of rare physical and digital media related to Bowser that I don't think I've seen anywhere on the internet (or at least not anymore). Once I get myself caught up with a lot of things, I can't wait to share it freely with the world!
Today I made a big breakthrough on an old puzzle I wasn't able to crack ever since making my first PHP site (I only use it for includes to be honest). I could only get my includes to work by using relative paths (all you Linux or file system enthusiasts will know what I mean!) I was trying to figure out how to use absolute paths for everything instead. It was a bit tricky, but I finally got it working. Maybe some major coders out there will roll your eyes thinking this is easy street. These changes were all done in the backend, and should not be noticed, or that means that something broke, lol. If you do notice something broken, definitely send me an email so that I can fix it!
I don't know, I think I've always been a better designer than a coder. I like to keep things simple, and maintain a "less is more" design approach. Perhaps I am just biased, but I am horrified at modern web design lately. I can never find anything on most pages these days, and it's very frustrating!
With the ability to branch out into subpages now, I can finally get to some old fan submissions from long ago that have taken far longer than I ever want to admit to get done. I think I will start on that long overdue task tomorrow.
I couldn't help but share it, because I think the folks at this channel do a great job, and have some pretty decent production-quality to their videos! Nothing beats having a video with supporting media to back up each fact from each Bowser game or sighting. It certainly saves your eyes from doing a bunch of reading!
When it comes to all these facts, I find the first few that involve Shigeru Miyamoto's initial conception the most interesting. What kind of terrestrial creature on Earth could you even compare Bowser to? He is such a unique, creative, and interesting character.
I'll embed the video below for your viewing convenience, but definitely click the "YouTube" logo inside it once you're done to link to their YouTube channel and the rest of their video game fact episodes!
Happy Bowser Day 2016!
August 4, 2016
Happy Bowser Day 2016 to all Bowser fans across the world! Today is August 4th, or 8-4, which is the first time you faced the real Bowser in World 8-4 in the original Super Mario Bros.! Show your appreciation for the King of all Koopas by playing a Mario game, drawing him, writing fanart, etc...
I've already done one of those things today. I bought myself an Intuos Pro (Medium) drawing tablet, and tried it out just now by doodling a Bowser face. As you can see, an artist I am not (at least by nature). These are all memorized lines from my childhood yet, and like riding a bike, I've never forgotten them. It was also my first time drawing on a tablet while looking forward at the computer screen, so maybe it's not a bad first attempt!
I've always wanted to practice art and get better at it. I find it challenging because it doesn't come naturally to me. Like any skill though, I think you can get better with practice!
I may have overdone it with last year's Bowser Day, where I searched for new fanart for days after, and then started getting a burning pain in both wrists (when my tendinitis first started). The things I do for my obsession, lol!
Operating System Reinstall
July 5, 2016
I just thought I would check in again! I'm doing a lot better since my last update. I credit rest the most to this improvement. I'm not even wearing the wrist splints to type anymore! You see, us Canadians have a very fleeting summer to enjoy, before 6 months of cold winter starts up again. I've been spending quite a bit more time offline lately, and even *gasp* outside! I think this has probably helped the most for my wrists to start to finally heal up.
I am currently reinstalling my operating system, and all my programs, to install a new solid-state hard drive that is 4x bigger than my last one! I pretty much was only allowed to install one PC game at a time on my old one, as that was all the space I had available! Now after doing this, I probably won't have to be so chintzy with my space. I will have to reinstall WAMP (localhost server) again, and figure out how I got all this working in the first place, hehe!
It will also give me the chance to try out Windows 10 for myself before the free upgrade window passes. I will admit, I don't exactly like change very much, and I was perfectly happy with my Windows 7, but I'm willing to at least give it the benefit of the doubt for a short while.
See you on the other side!
April 30, 2016
I am wearing two heavy-duty wrist splints as I type this that prevent my wrists from bending in any direction (up, down, even left-and-right). In early August of 2015, I started getting sharp twinges and pain in the pinky side of both wrists while I was typing at work like normal. I type all the time as part of my job as a server administrator (SysAdmin), and I never seemed to have any issues before. It was so weird how it was suddenly giving me problems, but all RSIs (Repetitive Strain Injuries) are known for creeping up on the one afflicted by it. They also have the tendency to become chronic and long-term. The technical medical term for this is tendinitis (or perhaps progressing to tendonosis) of the Flexor Carpi Ulnaris. I've probably learned more about hand anatomy and other medical info than I would have ever liked to, haha!
Perhaps surprisingly, this is the second time I have had an RSI. The first time I got it was when I was 19 and going to technical school. This was also the time in which I was an active professional Super Smash Brothers Melee player. I was also working part time at a call center doing technical support. Back in those days, I was going to school full-time, working part time, smashing when I wasn't doing the last two aforementioned activities, and maybe sleeping somewhere in there too, lol! I started getting a dull ache in the pinky side of the right wrist, and it even affected my Smash game. Yes, I was one of the first to get injured playing Smash Brothers, all you young whippersnappers!
It was actually just last weekend I read the sad story of the current Smash pro "Hax", who suddenly had to pull out of "Smash Summit II" just before it started due to hand pain. Even worse, because the issue seems to be worsening for him, he may even have to retire. "Hax" is only 21, and was having quite a lucrative professional gaming career up to this point. Unfortunately, when such an issue starts to affect your day-to-day quality of life, it obviously isn't sustainable. It must be all these Fox players with their insane technical skills, abilities, and APMs that are getting injured, but I was a Bowser pro and I still somehow got injured, lol. I have played against current pro Smash Brothers player Mew2King before, and even he is having a recurring finger pain issue. This seems to be becoming more and more of a problem for the professional Smash Brothers community as the skills and demands to compete at this level grow and grow.
About a year ago, I made a "Hiatus" update saying that my chronic eye strain problem was getting really bad, and I would have to take it easy for a while until it settled down and stabilized for a while. About 2 months later around "Bowser Day", I returned to updating as normal. What's kinda funny is that it was around this time where I was surfing for days viewing all the new Bowser artwork for Bowser Day 2015 when I suddenly started having issues. Coincidence?
As you may have noticed though, it's been 9 months since then, and there have been small and quick updates inbetween now and then. This time, instead of declaring that I may be taking a planned break for an unknown amount of time, I just want to disclose that I'm dealing with the problem, and that it is one of the prime reasons why updates have remained slow or non-existent for 2016. I'm currently attending regular physiotherapy to try to fix the issue, and trying to rest up when I can. The last time I had this 10 years ago, it sort of went away on its own after enough rest and buying a split keyboard (the same keyboard I still use). I'm hopeful that this will be a similar story this time around with enough patience.
This might be yet another wake-up call that my body is pretty unhappy with me spending basically all of my waking hours on computers (work & personal). I do stay active and do at least 30 minutes of exercise 4 times a week, but I still spend a lot of time sitting and using a PC. What's interesting is that I can't see how this current wrist issue can be linked to my eye issues directly. The common factor amongst those two issues is the excessive use of computers. This is likely to become more of a problem as the digital era continues to expand and evolve. More people are spending more time in front of digital devices than they used to. All I can advise is, if something starts to hurt after doing something for a while, stop doing it! If your eyes hurt reading your phone, give them a rest. Same goes for your hands if you're playing video games or typing and what not. This is a type of problem you absolutely do not want.
I probably should have revealed that I was battling this issue many months ago, but like the previous problems I have had to deal with, I was overly optimistic that I could resolve the issues quickly or even just work through them. Now I've basically settled for a "I'll do what I can" plan. If nothing else, I'll try to aim to have some sort of written update at a minimum of once a month. I still have so much work to do on this website, and it's so frustrating to have these issues - combined with an overall lack of free time - that keep me from being able to work on it.
March 16, 2016
In my last mini- (more like micro-)update, I hid the unfinished links on the lefthand menu bar so it didn't look like the website had the "under construction" feel to it. On at least a few occassions in the past, I asked if anybody knew any SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tips, or how to increase your rank in Google search results. I was showing up way down the list on page 5 or 6 for the search term of "bowser" for a few years now. I tried doing some improvements over the years, but nothing really seemed to help much. I certainly didn't expect my last tiny update to do anything on that front.
To my shock and amazement though, I now show up at the top of page 2 for the keyword "bowser" just like that! I never would have thought hiding a few "coming soon" links would make such a difference! It's as if I found some key part of Google's latest ranking algorithm. That increase of status excites me, because it seemed like I haven't been getting any traffic at all for years now. More traffic means more people to keep me on my toes, and to prod me into finally getting out some long overdue updates!
Hidden Unfinished Links
March 3, 2016
I built most of The Bowser Shrine that you see today after graduating from college way back in 2006 before landing a job as a SysAdmim - a job I still hold today. I released The Bowser Shrine while it was unfinished, because I knew I would be busy with my new job going forward, and I wanted to show everybody what I was working on. That was 9 years ago. My getting back to finishing the site has always seemed like a work-in-progress.
I kept some of the sections that I had planned to do visibly greyed-out on the left hand menu to show that the site was still under construction, and to shame myself to get around to finishing them. I guess that shaming never worked quite as well as I thought. I've chosen to hide the links for now, just so that the site doesn't have that "under construction" feel. I'm by no means suggesting that I don't plan to do those sections, I just have no timeline on when that would be.
I remember plenty of people warning me that full-time work takes a lot out of you, and that it's called "full time" for a reason. It's not even like school, where you often get long breaks between semesters and stuff to regain your sanity for a while. What also makes it hard is the same type of work which would be done to work on this site is the same type of work that I do 40 hours a week. More on that point later.
New Bowser Shrine Affiliate
February 14, 2016
Happy Valentine's Day! The first update of 2016 on TBS is yet another new affiliation.
The Bowser Shrine has a new friend in Undertale Forums. If you like the wild and wacky world of Undertale, stop on by to chat with like-minded folk!
• 1 link added to the Links section under "Video Game Sites"
Happy New Year!
December 31, 2015
I'll be heading off to a New Year's party in the next few minutes, but I first want to wish all you Koopaholics out there a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2016 first! Stay safe everybody!
Another New Bowser Shrine Affiliate
December 26, 2015
The Bowser Shrine is now friends with Pokemon Trainer, which is a Pokemon fansite with news, artwork, sprites, and more!
• 1 link added to the Links section under "Nintendo-related Sites"
December 25, 2015
I just want to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas today! Hopefully SantaBowser was once again good to you for another year!
New Bowser Shrine Affiliate
December 21, 2015
The Bowser Shrine has now affiliated with Gaming Reinvented, which attempts to give you a fresh dose of video game journalism without any bias/slant towards any one system or company. There is quite an impressive amount of content to be found, so give it a look!
• 1 link added to the Links section under "Video Game Sites"
9-Year Anniversary + Milestone Birthday
December 18, 2015
Seemingly in the blink of an eye, another year has gone by. I launched The Bowser Shrine on the eve of my 21st birthday on December 18th, 2006. I remember absolutely everything I did that day as clearly as ever. That was 9 years ago now. At the same time, I myself have existed for 30 Earth revolutions around the sun. It's going to be quite strange representing my age as 3x going forward.
Yes, my 20s have now been lived, and that era or chapter of my life has been written. I have a range of emotions during this transition. Mostly, I'm not quite sure what to think. Maybe it hasn't hit me yet. I guess what I'm most shocked about is how quickly the last decade went by. It seemed like only yester-year that I was leaving my teens. In fact, mentally I still feel like I'm between 18-21. It's only my body that has aged.
Technically we all age in lockstep, but it's the perception of time that can change. The old saying "time flies when you're having fun" definitely applies here. It has been a fun ride the last 10 years, but it all went by so fast. I hear it only gets worse from here on that front, as one year as a percentage of my entire existence will be a smaller and smaller number with each passing year.
One thing that I'm quite relieved by is that throughout all the years of my life, I haven't changed all that much. I have remained relatively consistent when it comes to my interests. I have a pretty powerful long-term memory, and can clearly recall almost every year of my life that I've been self-aware, as well as my thoughts and feelings at the time. I can still remember what it was like to be 4-5 years old, and how even at that young age, I had the intense fascinations that I still attain today. My dramatic interest in Nintendo, with their captivating franchises and unforgettable characters, has always been with me as far back as my memory goes. The company has that similar type of magic touch like Disney has.
It's been frustrating to not seem to be able to find the time required to bring this project to where I've envisioned it all this time. My interest in the Koopa King has never diminished, only my free time has. I still haven't seemed to properly balance the busy-ness and responsibilities of adult life. There have been other challenges as well over the years, some of which I have shared. At least these days, there seems to be many other good sources out there for getting all the information and material we seek. The internet has grown so much larger compared to when I first launched this website.
Unfortunately, it has been another year with not too much progress to show, but it's also slightly deceiving. In the background, I have worked on two decently large updates on separate streams. None of them are as large as an entire code rewrite - which my site still desperately needs - but I still believe they offer quite a bit of value! Through enough time and effort, I believe I have found some rather rare stuff related to Bowser, and eventually I will be able to share it in one convenient place!
But for now, it's time to celebrate my existence day, and then another week after that is Christmas, and the busy holiday season. We'll see if I can get any further on one of the updates I've hinted at above. I'm not promising anything, but I'd like to get at least one of the two done by year's end.
Another New Bowser Shrine Affiliate
September 21, 2015
It only took 3 days to make another affiliate! Glacier Gaming is an independent video game site that offers interesting news and honest reviews to all of its readers. Take a tour of what they have to offer!
• 1 link added to the Links section under "Video Game Sites"
1 New Bowser Shrine Affiliate
September 18, 2015
The Bowser Shrine and Nintendo Castle are now affiliates with each other! Nintendo Castle provides Nintendo news as well as game guides, videos, original articles, and a plethora of other Nintendo inspired works.
• 1 link added to the Links section under "Mario Universe Fansites"
I did some more research on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) recently, and it appears that Google now highly recommends that one's site is mobile-aware. Gone are the days that the majority of people surf the web on a PC sitting on a desk. Now you can surf while on your phone/tablet on the couch! This definitely makes sense to me, and it is likely why my site has been hurting in the rankings the last few years. However, making the site mobile-aware will likely mean an entire rewrite from the ground-up. Hmm, invest my limited free time in that, or in getting back up to speed with updates? Decisions, decisions!
Affiliate Button Update
September 14, 2015
When I made my first attempt at designing an affiliate button for The Bowser Shrine, I quickly discovered how difficult it is to fit everything in the 88px * 31px resolution standard! I wanted to make the button the same look-and-feel as the current black-and-blue design scheme of the site, so I made a blue Bowser face icon, and I tried to fit in the same font as I used in my banner at the top (called "Gunship" on free font downloading sites).
No matter how hard I tried to fit in the letters, I couldn't get the full-out spelling of the website to appear legible, so instead, I wrote the letters TBS as an acronym for The Bowser Shrine. In doing this, I must have violated some sort of unwritten rule which stated never to use a created acronym that has never been previously defined! I was hoping the Bowser face icon would be enough of a clue that it was a Bowser site, but the more hints offered, the better!
Ahh, so much better in my opinion! What's funny about this font is that it's another fancy gaming font, but it was very crystal sharp at low font sizes. In searching for some free fonts to download, I came across the Counter-Strike font.
A weird glitch happened after I installed the font and actually played Counter-Strike. All the fonts in the game were hypersized and messed up! I actually had to land up uninstalling the custom font =(
The funny thing now is seeing all the affiliate sites that had directly linked to the button hosted here (preferred), or saved a separate copy of it on their site. That split seems about 50/50. I'm not sure what it's worth to chase down the other webmasters to update to this new button.
I also took a browse through my list of links to see how frequently the other affiliate fansites were making updates. To my surprise, they have about the same update frequency as here, which would be pretty much "infrequent at best"!
So not much of an update today, but at least it's something!
This incredible animation was created by the very talented Thelombax51! I cannot believe how amazing it came out. It looks like it was released officially by Nintendo!
Happy Bowser Day 2015!
August 4, 2015
Happy Bowser Day 2015 to all of you Koopaholics out there! Today is August 4th, or 8-4, which is the first time you faced the real Bowser in World 8-4 in the original Super Mario Bros.! Show your appreciation for the King of all Koopas by playing a Mario game, drawing him, writing fanart, or spending a whole bunch of money like I just did at my local Game City recently...
These door-sized posters are 36" x 24" if you can believe that! They are huge! The Bowser plush is 13" tall as well, and looks so awesome!
Just a quick update on Bowser Day! I've been working on a proper update for the past few weeks, and have probably put about 10 hours into it so far. *SPOILER* I'm getting caught up on every official SSB4 image that has been released to date (in the highest resolution of course!)
Until then, I'm going to enjoy all the wonderful new fanart that comes out on this day!
May 31, 2015
I promised that if there was ever a time in the future when I knew that I wouldn't be able to get any updates out for a while, that I would at least declare it, rather than keep everybody waiting and hoping. My last unannounced hiatus was between August 2009 and November 2012, and was much longer than I had anticipated. The last time around was due to chronic tension headaches that I've had since March 2006 which were not abating, which made doing a lot of extracurricular computer activities difficult. This time around is unfortunately due to health again, but for a slightly different reason. A second chronic issue that I've been battling with since August 2012 is severe eye strain. It's hard to say whether or not these two issues are linked.
I've been using computers in some way, shape, or form pretty much since I've been in diapers, and I've loved everything about them all my life. Naturally, I made a career out of it and landed up as a Linux Server Administrator for a provincial health insurance company, which I am still doing now, and have been doing for over 7 years. This means 40 hours of staring at some sort of visual display every week, plus all my extra time on my iPhone, home PC, etc. I'm not sure if all of these hours caught up with me, or if there is something about current display technologies my body can't handle as well.
I seem particularly sensitive to LED monitors. After building a $3,300 computer in December 2011, I bought a top-of-the-line Samsung LED monitor, plugged it in, and felt seasick the second I looked at it. No matter what the brightness, I always felt queasy looking at the thing. I felt so bad using this monitor that I eventually sold it to a colleague at work for -60% off in like-new condition, who is still using it to this day without difficulty.
About 8 months later, I started having trouble with LCDs as well. I'm using a Dell UltraSharp U2410 both at work and at home, and it's the best monitor I've ever owned. Unfortunately, I will still feel unwell after using it. After not too long, I experience aching/cramping eyes, motion/sea-sickness, visual headaches, photophobia, etc. My iPhone 5 gives me this too, but it comes on even faster. Every medical practitioner I have seen scratches their head. I have seen both an optometrist and an ophthalmologist this month alone, and both flat out told me they are not sure what is causing my issue. It is suggested to try a neurologist next (suspected issues similar to migraine sufferers).
I am actually typing up this update on a 15.5" CRT that I found in the basement running at a paltry 1024 x 768 px. The Bowser Shrine does not even format correctly at a resolution this small, and I have to use a horizontal scroll bar to see everything, lol. I am doing this just as an experiment to see if any good comes of it. This is the most drastic change I have tried so far when it comes to my experimentation. Unfortunately, I have no information as to why all this is happening, so I'm left to figure this out on my own.
Hopefully I can figure something out quickly. The problem appears to be worsening, which is a bit scary. It is potentially career-threatening, so I'm trying to explore all available avenues at this time. If anybody has any tips or advice that might help, by all means, send them my way!
Mario Party 10 Releases!
March 20, 2015
Is this really my first update of 2015? In fact, the first quarter of 2015 is nearly over, yet I still catch myself writing 2014 sometimes when writing out dates! Wow does time ever go by fast for me! If only this perception of time occurred for me like this while I was agonizingly waiting for the next Mario game to release, once-upon-a-time!
As I'm sure you already know, Mario Party 10 released in North America today. It's hard to believe Nintendo has pumped out ten different iterations of this game, and managed to keep it fresh each time. MP10 has a special "Bowser Party" mode, in which a fifth player can control Bowser using the Wii U GamePad. This is a really cool idea that should have come out a long time ago in my opinion! Honestly the reason why I usually skipped over most Mario Party titles (and just downloaded the cool Bowser renders of course) was the inability to play as my favourite character! Whenever I would play, he would usually just steal my stars and stuff and cheat me out of victory at the last possible moment. Despite this, I never loved the rascal any less!
Despite SSB4 having been out for 4 months now, amazingly I have not played it at all in 2015 yet. Actually, I haven't even turned on my Wii U this year yet! It once started making these awful grinding noises in the middle of the night once that woke me up and really scared me! I unplugged it, and I guess I forgot to plug it back in, lol!
The more accurate explanation (aside from just normal adult life busy-ness) is that I've been waiting for another shipment of the GameCube adapter so that I could play SSB4 with a proper controller! The Wii U Pro controller is surprisingly passable, but Nintendo created the greatest controller of all time 13 years ago with the Gamecube controller. Why change a winning formula?
I do not understand this company at all. There is an unbelievably high demand from serious Smash Brothers players wanting to use the Gamecube controller (with the adapter of course), yet Nintendo either refuses to acknowledge this, thinks they know better, or dropped the ball entirely. I'm predicting some sort of strange mix of all three.
It's always been frustrating being a Nintendo fan. They very much seem like a one-step-forward, two-steps-backwards company in my eyes. You almost have to be a masochist to continue being patient and be willing to put up with disappointment after disappointment. If it weren't for their unique and creative characters that I can't get out of my head to this day, I likely would have given up on them long ago.
So I guess MP10's release today was just an excuse to check in here with a written update. I was working on a large update over a year ago that would have really helped get some progress going. Unfortunately, I got sick in the middle of working on this update, and lost all that momentum. Sometime soon, I'm just going to have to get back on that horse (Yoshi?) and finish what I started!
8 Year Anniversary!
December 18, 2014
Today, The Bowser Shrine turns 8, as its creator turns... 29! What is happening to my youth!? I only have one year left of my 20s, eek!
It's hard to believe my still-unfinished website remains so. The year went by so fast, and sadly was pretty empty of any content-related updates. Again I apologize for this. It's been a busy year with work, and finding free time has been rare.
A priority in the coming updates - even more so than content - is to fix some of the code on the site. I'm years behind in my SEO (Search Engine Optimization) research, but I've noticed The Bowser Shrine slip further and further down the pages and ranks of Google when doing the very relevant search of "bowser". Perhaps this is related to some algorithm updates on Google's behalf, or more likely due to site inactivity. Even when I was more active though, I was noticing my drop in rank, which suggests that there's something about my old code that Google's algorithm isn't fond of.
I did plan a large update for the anniversary, but with it falling in the middle of a work week, that was a bit too optimistic! With the rest of the year tied up in holiday festivities, hopefully I can find some time to get to some real updates for once!
MagnuM's Musings of SSB4
December 17, 2014
My lack of Wii U was solved pretty darn quick. On the day Super Smash Bros. for Wii U was released, a colleague sitting right beside me had stepped out of the office, only to return brandishing a brand new copy of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (along with the special collector's metal box). Suddenly a thought triggered as to what I was thinking not totally being involved in a major Super Smash Brothers release, just as I had done in every other release past. On my lunch break, I immediately picked up a copy of the newly released game, even inquiring about the GameCube adapter (more on this later!). After work, I picked up a Wii U, Mario Kart 8, two Wii U Pro Controllers, and a Yoshi Amiibo, and drove to my friend's house to get in some Day 0 action!
At this point of the night is where I had my "Nintendo, you're killing me here!" moment. All I wanted to do was play my brand new Smash Brothers game on my brand new Nintendo system! In the old school days of the NES, one just had to hook up the console, pop in a game, press power, and go. My have times changed.
First of all was the pretty complicated setup. Honestly, even I was pretty intimidated by it, and I wondered how parents managed! Once everything was finally hooked up, I powered on the system, only to discover that I was forced to update right off the bat! Well that's fine... it would be good to be up to date from the beginning. Should only take a couple of minutes right? Well it took 30 minutes just to download the updates. I stood there with my friend watching it, thinking it would be quick. Then it took another 10 mintues after that to install. After that, I was forced through agonizing forced menu setups that I wished I just could have skipped: Mii creations, system settings, parental controls. After that, I had a "Day 0" update to apply to the game. By the time we were finally able to play the game, it had taken 2 hours. We timed it. Honestly, this is totally the "first impression" stage of a new system, and my experience left a lot more to be desired. I just imagined what awaits very eager and impatient children on Christmas Day that just want to play their dang new gaming system!
Finally I was able to play this game! My first few characters chosen were Bowser, Charizard, Bowser Jr. (In that order). That should come as a surprise to absolutely no one! My first most-pleasing impression was "this is not Brawl". I'm sure I share that sentiment with many. Just like Sakurai had claimed the speed or "feel" of the game is somewhere halfway between Melee and Brawl. I totally agree with this suggestion.
Being out of luck without a GameCube adapter, my friend and I fell back on the Wii U Pro Controllers. Although it definitely took a lot of getting used to at first, surprisingly it's not nearly as bad as I thought. After switiching the default Sheild/Grab butttons, it felt very similar to a GameCube controller, just with the C-stick and buttons switching places. I still hit the wrong button from time-to-time, but this is just to tide me over until I can get that legendary GameCube adapter
Honestly though, how the heck did Nintendo manage to underestimate the demand for using GameCube controllers in such colossal fashion? I'm hearing stories of adapters being scalped online and marked up hundreds of percent in price! Really Nintendo, did you think we would have rather used your Gamepad or Wii Motes with a game this advanced and involved? Gosh it can be so frustrating to be a Nintendo fan with how often they seem to drop the ball. I am still hunting for this adapter, only hoping they are manufacturing more!
As stated in my release day update, I did attend "Smash University" at the University of Alberta for the highly anticipated "Day 1 Tournament". This is a unique time where the slate is basically wiped clean when it comes to skill/experience, because everybody sucks! The game is brand new and has to be learned and mastered. This isn't entirely true though, since the 3DS version had come out about a month before, and both games are quite similar. Then there are the hardcore gamers who were playing it since the midnight release all the way up to the tournament on Saturday to try to get as much XP as possible. It was fun times for sure! My Bowser made it to about middle-of-the-pack in the tourney results. There was even a Melee tournament still going on simultaneously, so I got to relive my old stomping grounds.
I've been pretty amazed by my addiction level to the game since its release. My younger brother has been acting as my sparring partner as he always has, and we just can't seem to put the game down! So many hours have already been sunk into smashing and not-doing-Bowser-Shrine-updates =p
My early impressions of Bowser are mixed. He is definitely improved in a very many ways. I love his assortment of kicking moves! I am absolutely addicted to his hilarious forward smash (Flying Dropkick). Plowing that move into your opponent is almost a guaranteed KO. I'm a bit concerned though on the front that Bowser was originally rated as middle-of-the-pack in Brawl, before falling down the slope-of-no-hope back to near Bottom Tier. Something nags at me suggesting that this could be the case again. While Bowser matches up fine against other powerful and large opponents, it seems that he could be countered by small and fast characters, or characters that out-range him. I am having tremendous trouble beating a Shulk opponent. Perhaps that character has just way too much going for them and is top tier.
Well, that's my SSB4 musings for now. I hope you found them... amusing (couldn't help myself! XD)
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U Releases in North America!
November 21, 2014
As I am posting this, the clock has struck midnight for Friday, November 21, 2014 - the release date of Super Smash Bros for Wii U. I imagine all retailers are now experiencing their doorcrashing midnight release. Heck, I practically live right across the street from a Best Buy, which makes buying my electronics pretty convenient!
It seemed like not long ago that I remember system/game launches seemingly taking forever to finally arrive. In my summer holidays before high school, I remember spending an entire summer chatting about the upcoming release of the Nintendo GameCube on the VGF Forums. The wait was agonizing. I remember how unimaginably excited I was when E3 2001 came that summer, and I got to see what Bowser looked like in Nintendo GameCube graphics for the first time (and in FMV cutscenes!) Back then, the graphical leaps were staggering. Waiting until December 3rd, 2001 for Super Smash Brothers Melee felt like a torture test, and the wait was totally worth it.
In my older years, it's hard to believe the time went so quickly. I really cannot fathom that Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is completed and available now. This has been a very busy year for me and the time has gone by unimaginably fast (in my experience). In fact, around my last (real) update around April is where I had left off when it came to my knowledge, following, and research of the game. I was falling behind on it, and wanted to spend a huge chunk of time all at once catching up. Until this occurred, I deliberately was avoiding any spoilers about the game entirely, so I could be shocked by them all at once. Well, I waited until the eve of the game's release before being hit with all the megaton updates all at once! I am SO excited for what this game has in store! You already know about all the big news, but I'll list the features that exicte me the most that I had learned today!
- Charizard is a fully playable character, and not tied in with a "Pokemon Trainer"
- Bowser Jr. is a fully playable character, and all of the Koopalings are optional "costumes/skins" that play the same
- A mode that makes 8-player simultaneous smashing possible!
- NO TRIPPING! (Seriously, which brainiac came up with this idea in the first place in Brawl?)
- A game speed inbetween Melee and Brawl
- A promise of better game balance
I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before, but I actually used to be a semi-professional Super Smash Bros. Melee player from about 2002 - 2008 (peaking around 2006). I say semi-professional because I was not paid to play the game, but funded my own way to some big tournaments in North America. Ahh, those were the days. Here is a short bio somebody wrote once:
I of course had a lot of personal bias playing my most favourite character of all time, but to be a Bowser main in any Smash Bros. game to date was reserved only the most masochistic types out there. Bowser was a bottom-tier character that played way too slow and laggy and was practically unusable in any competitive play. Few would usually endure such frustration, but it was my love for the character that kept me going. Eventually I became pretty good at one point. I even discovered a pro Bowser edgeguarding tactic called "Fortresshogging".
But oh how the mighty have fallen since! The picture in my bio was actually taken almost one year ago at a "Smash Bros. drop-in" at the University of Alberta, which is normally held every Saturday. These days, the turnouts are around a stunning 60-100 people! The Smash Community was never that large when I was active. I was pulled out of "retirement" to compete in a Bowser vs. Bowser moneymatch by a rising Bowser pro from the rival city of Calgary in my province this January. With a huge crowd watching, he beat me... fair and square. A lesson learned to never come out of retirement to show how bad you've gotten over years of not practicing, lol.
Such an exciting release of such a flagship game for Nintendo really brings me back into the land of nostalgia. Believe it or not, I don't actually own a Wii U yet. Perhaps I'll buy myself one for Christmas as a gift to myself for how hard I've been working all year. I do however plan to go to "Smash University" this Saturday to experience this new game with the rest of the local Smash community. Such a rare opportunity is too exciting to pass up.
I know I'm way behind on SSB4-related media on The Bowser Shrine, and have a lot of catchup to do. Sometime in the unforeseen future, I will hunt down the highest-resolution official screenshots/renders of Bowser from this game, to keep them all for you in one convenient spot.
... and I guess I'll have to add Bowser Jr. and the Koopalings to that list!
Enjoy the new Super Smash Bros. everybody!
Happy Bowser Day 2014!
August 4, 2014
Happy Bowser Day 2014 to all of you Koopaholics out there! This was a great idea started a few years ago in which every August 4th (8-4) is dedicated to celebrating everything Bowser! World 8-4 in the original Super Mario Bros. is of course where the real King Bowser Koopa first revealed himself to the world. So show your appreciation for the Koopa King by playing a Mario game, drawing him, writing fanart, or anything else Bowser-related you can think of!
My favourite part of Bowser Day is actually seeing all the great new fanart made of him. I still do not have a "Bowser Fanart" section for The Bowser Shrine yet. It was a planned section when I first started off this ambitious project. Back around 2006, there didn't seem to be such a wealth of social media services out there like Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, etc that exists today. Now it's very easy to make fan groups and share your ideas with like-minded people. Existing art services like DeviantArt also grew and improved, and now a search for "bowser" yields an overwhelming 88,000 results! It almost seems like having my own section of fanart hosted here would be redundant and unnecessary with that much Bowser art readily available.
All of this actually pleases me quite a bit. One huge goal of The Bowser Shrine from the beginning was to increase Bowser's popularity, or at least showcase this fantastic character to those who may not have discovered him yet or wished to know more about him. Nintendo's uncanny ability to maintain their popularity through multiple generations with their delightful characters and franchises seemingly does that job for me however. Perhaps Bowser was always much more popular than I had originally thought all along.
Apologies for letting time get away from me again, as it has been months since I last checked in. It's really amazing how fast it flies by. Again the cause for this is mainly general life busy-ness. I still have a ton of SSB4 news and updates to catch up on. I also unfortunately don't have an update for today either; I was distracted by all the new Bowser art! =)
Anyways, enjoy the rest of Bowser Day! Today was actually a national holiday in Canada, so it honestly felt like a government-mandated day off to spend on this joyous occasion! Speaking of Canada, our national date standard is actually DD-MM instead of MM-DD in the American system. Does that actually mean that there can be a 2nd Bowser Day in Canada every April 8th? Pretty please? =p
4 New Bowser SSB4 Screenshots
March 31, 2014
I have concluded another very thorough sweep of all of the Super Smash Brothers 4 screenshots released to date, scrutinizing each one for glimpses of our mighty Koopa King! I found 4 new images this time, and they have all been posted to the Bowser SSB4 Screens subsection!
I apologize for yet another super-rushed and tiny update for the second month in a row. It has once again been a busy month for me. This busy-ness isn't strictly with work either, for all-work-and-no-play-makes-MagnuM-go-crazy! I went on a snowboard trip to Jasper, Alberta, in the Canadian Rockies 2 weeks ago, and I'm now packing to go on yet another snowboard trip to Whistler, British Columbia! As yes, this is how I've been spending some of my weekends instead of working on The Bowser Shrine, tsk tsk!
Really though, I'm literally reminded on a daily basis of all my unfinished work around here. On my screensaver at work, I have a slideslow of all my pictures in my "My Pictures" folder. What's in that folder? Why it's exclusively full of high-resolution Bowser and Charizard renders of course! It's a constant reminder that a large update to the Bowser Renders section is long overdue. Before that even happens though, I believe an update to the Bowser Master Game List is even more necessary! Using that list will allow me to organize the renders in chronological order of the respective game's release. I have completed half of my update to that section over the last little while, and I need to come back to finish the rest.
Anyways, I have gained one more affiliate to The Bowser Shrine:
Yoshi's Moon is a fan site dedicated to Yoshi: the cute boots-wearing dinosaur/dragon from the Mario games! There is quite an impressive wealth of Yoshi media here such as renders, soundtracks, Flash games, cartoon episodes, and wallpapers! I must admit that Yoshi is my 2nd most favourite Mario character after Bowser, and if Bowser isn't selectable in a Mario spinoff title (such as Mario Party), Yoshi is always my next pick!
• 1 link added to the Links section under "Mario Universe Fansites"
1 New Bowser SSB4 Screenshot
January 31, 2014
This single, small, and rushed update is unfortunately the only one I could get to this month. It's been a pretty busy start to the year so far for me. Hopefully things will settle down a bit next month so I can produce a lot more new content!
I just want to wish all you Koopaholics out there a Happy New Year and a prosperous 2014! This year, 2013, was overall a pretty decent year for me. The theme could perhaps be "improvement".
Starting in the back half of this year with my "Back to Business" posting, I was able to complete 15 small updates to The Bowser Shrine. While still a long way from where I need to be, it is quite an improvement over the personally coined "Bowser Shrine Dark Ages" from 2009 - 2012 in which virtually no updates occurred due to a variety of issues. After getting settled in with my new computer build and reinstalling my developing environment, I was able to resume where I left off. I have much bigger hopes and plans for 2014, so stay tuned!
Stay safe everybody while you ring in the new year! It is my hope that everyone's lives become richer in 2014, and I'm not strictly talking monetarily here, but rather the many other different (and arguably more important) facets of wealth (e.g. family, friends, health, etc)
December 25, 2013
The staff at The Bowser Shrine (a.k.a. MagnuM =p) wishes everyone a very Merry Christmas! Hopefully SantaBowser put many Nintendo 3DS/Wii U games under your tree this morning!
Happy 7 Year Anniversary!
December 18, 2013
The Bowser Shrine was launched on my 21st birthday, 7 years ago today. If you do the math, I turned 28 today! Where does the time go these days? It seems to go by faster the older you get!
I guess The Bowser Shrine was always a work-in-progress, even since it went live. My earliest version just had basically the main page and design, which I'm still using today. From there I built up all the content, with greyed-out links for other sections that I wanted to complete.
I never would have thought that 7 years after its release that I still wouldn't have completed the entire website the way I had envisioned. I guess I always had high ambitions for the site, but underestimated the amount of time it took to complete all the work! Oh well, I'm glad that I released what I did, because originally I was planning on only releasing the website when it was 100% complete. If I had stuck to that plan, then perhaps even what you've seen the past 7 years wouldn't have seen the light of day!
I did plan to make a large update today - specifically with the Bowser Master Game List and the Bowser Renders section - to get up to speed with present day. However, since "present day" today had a different meaning (more like "gift day" =p) with birthday ceremonies and what not, it will have to wait a few days longer. I do have some free time coming up with the holidays and what not, and can finally get to some large, more significant updates!
Could this image suggest that Bowser's back is impervious to attack from above if he is in the crouched position? I sure hope so, as after Bowser has been a low tier character in the last two iterations of Super Smash Brothers (Melee and Brawl), he needs all the help he can get to be a competitive character at the tournament-level!
I also resized all of the screenshot's thumbnails in the Bowser SSB4 Screens subsection to be 250 X 250 px so that they appear sharper while browsing. A minor change that perhaps wouldn't really have been noticed if I didn't mention it! =p
New "Bowser SSB4 Screens" Subsection + 3 New Screenshots!
October 31, 2013
I hope everybody is having a spooktacular Halloween!
Apparently whining about my Google PageRank must have worked, as I now have consistently showed up on Page 2 for the keyword search of "bowser". Did I find the next SEO breakthrough perhaps? =p
Yes, The Bowser Shrine is getting old and outdated, and needs a huge design overhaul, but that's a very time-consuming thing to do! In the meantime I'll have to trim my ambitions so that I can keep small updates coming. Going forward, I am mostly going to focus on the Bowser Renders section, as well as posting new screenshots of Bowser in the next Super Smash Brothers Instalment. The Bowser Screenshots section was getting quite messy for this, as it's basically just a huge dump of all screenshots containing Bowser in every Mario game all on one page. Scrolling all the way to the bottom to see the latest Super Smash Brothers 4 (SSB4) screenshots was getting too inconvenient!
To solve this for the meantime, I decided to move all screenshots of Bowser in SSB4 (which includes both "Super Smash Brothers for Wii U" and "Super Smash Brothers for Nintendo 3DS") from the Bowser Screenshots section to its own subsection called Bowser SSB4 Screens! You'll notice it on the left hand pane indented underneath Bowser Screenshots. This will be the go-to place for new screenshots of Bowser in the next Super Smash Brothers! Also inspired by the Bowser Renders section is the larger 250 X 250 thumbnails - 3 to a row - which make browsing the screenshots so much easier! I am a big fan of large thumbnails (especially when online shopping or similar) so that you can find what you want quickly.
Returning is the new colour-coding system I am trying:
Orange tiles represent pre-existing screenshots updated with a higher resolution image
Blue tiles represent brand new screenshots
I have also added 3 new screenshots I have recently found.
• Bowser SSB4 Screens subsection created with larger 250 X 250 thumbnails and new colour-coding system
• Screenshots of Bowser in SSB4 have been moved from the Bowser Screenshots section into this new subsection
• 3 screenshots added to the Bowser SSB4 Screens subsection for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
Anyone ever notice all the Koopa King cruelty in all of these Sakurai daily updates? Want proof? How about:
Not so much an update, but a broadcasted question out to anyone that might be an expert on this important subject:
For a very long time now, I have noticed that The Bowser Shrine does not do very well in search engine results. Because of this, viewership has plummeted, and I'm convinced the only visitors I may be getting these days are people that have the site bookmarked that are checking back from time-to-time. Heck, nobody seems to e-mail me anymore, and all I seem to get is spam. Although my counter to the right counts sessions instead of hits (try repeatedly hitting refresh, it should not go up), most of the numbers may be from automated bots or spiders. I think the amount of fan e-mail I get is a more reliable indicator.
In a Google search for "bowser" for example, The Bowser Shrine finally shows up on page 4! That is pretty unbelievable, as this is an entire website dedicated to King Bowser Koopa's honour! I would like to think my site is pretty relevant to that search string! Instead, a toy train site is listed above mine, as well as pet products, a smartphone browser, an artist, a comedian duo, a library, an even a brand of beer! With so many irrelevant search results, nobody is going to look on Page 4 expecting a site like this to show up. The most I ever scan is 3 pages when doing a Google search, and only if the results I'm seeing are very relevant. On Bing, I show up far down Page 3. Am I doing something wrong?
Results are much better if "bowser koopa" or "king bowser" is searched for instead, where The Bowser Shrine shows up in the middle of Page 1. However, I think most people will just search for the character's first name, so it's more important to nail the "bowser" keyword. I have always had META tags in my code (although these are almost obsolete by now). I'm not sure why I seem to be punished so badly on PageRank.
I have also noticed that right after doing an update, The Bowser Shrine seems to bubble back to Page 2, before falling back down to Page 4. Perhaps that is due to inactivity, however, I've noticed sites above mine have been unchanged and static for a long time. I dunno, maybe it's a good indicator that it's time to do another update! If I can tell that I'm not getting visitors, then I must admit it's hard to be motivated to keep pumping out updates if I'm not sure if anybody is even seeing them!
If anyone has any ideas, hints, or has any experience in the matter, by all means, send me an e-mail to the address in the image below:
(Gosh, all this effort to prevent spam, and I'm still inundated with it anyway! )
September 15, 2013
I have reviewed all outstanding affiliation requests that have been sent to The Bowser Shrine, and have added affiliation links to impressive-looking fansites with great content. Most of them are still updated and maintained, which is a major bonus. These link swaps really help to share and build viewership between both fansites. Also, having more external links that link back to a website help to increase the rank of that site in most search engines.
Here is a brief description of each new Mario fansite I have affiliated with:
YoshiArt was first launched way back in February 2001, and still remains the largest Yoshi fansite on the internet (similar to how The Bowser Shrine is the largest Bowser fansite on the internet)! Just like The Bowser Shrine, the webmaster hand-coded most of it in HTML, CSS, and PHP. I think it has a great overall design, and it also has some great ideas for the Fan Art section which I am very interested in. Unfortunately it has gone multiple years without an update now, and might be considered dead, but at least the content that still remains online is very good!
The Mario Bros is a very large fansite dedicated to the Mario Bros. franchise and it's games. It has tons of content related to Mario and friends, and still looks like it's updated and maintained regularly.
Boo Mansion is quite an aesthetically-pleasing and active Mario universe fansite that offers tons of news and media.
Mario Mayhem has an impressive amount of links and content. You'll find Mario game info, downloads, sprites, interactive games... there's so much Mario stuff that it's mayhem!
Mario Legacy is another fan-run site related to everything Mario! It offers information and news on all things to do with Super Mario and Nintendo games. There are no dates on any of the updates on the main page, so it's hard to tell if the site is still active or not. It still has quite a bit of content available though!
Stardust Fields A Mario fansite based mostly around fanmade submissions like fan fictions. It also has a forum and an IRC chat.
• 8 links added to the Links section under "Mario Universe Fansites"
I have quite a lot of other stuff on my plate to get to for the rest of September, and likely won't be able to do another update until next month. Sorry folks, that's just how she goes sometimes! At least this time by mentioning it, proper expectations can be set.
One screenshot is just a larger 1080p resolution version of one I already had posted. Another features Bowser fighting Samus. The Mario Wiki user "YoshiKong" cut Bowser out of the screenshot and posted it as Bowser's in-game model. I think it looks pretty cool, but since it isn't exactly an official media release by Nintendo, I'll just keep it in the Bowser Screenshots section for now. It might technically be considered a "Bowser Sprite" even, but I haven't started that section yet.
The other two pictures came as a result of Peach's unveiling on the Official Site - Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U. I'm pretty puzzled why characters that we already know are a shoe-in for inclusion in the next Smash Bros. because of their existance in every other Smash Bros. game as well as their importance to their respective franchise are being "revealed" as being in the game. Oh well, at least it adds an element of suspense, and keeps the new Bowser screenshots coming!
The Bowser Screenshots section is still messy and is still using the old system of just a blue border for any new or updated screenshot. Just scroll right to the bottom once it opens to find all the new stuff.
The following is the most significant update to The Bowser Shrine in nearly 5 years! In this update, I focused on what is easily my most important section on The Bowser Shrine (and my most favourite!): the Bowser Renders section! This section contains all of Nintendo's official artwork of The Koopa King, and serves as our blueprint to his design. By getting the largest-available renders in existence of Bowser, things like creating fan-made wallpapers — for instance — are so much easier! Too often these renders are shrunken down by the website hosting them to save space/bandwidth, or to fit the unique purpose of the website. Once an image has been shrunken down like that, it can never be blown back up to its original resolution and quality. If nothing else, my mission will always be to collect the highest-quality renders of Bowser there is, and host them all here on The Bowser Shrine in one convenient location!
So there was my mission statement for this update. Building off the last update yesterday in which I widened the webpage with a 1280 X 1024 resolution minimum, I had to do some further adjustments when I noticed a horizontal scrollbar on older computers of mine that actually ran this resolution! As a result, I fixed the width of The Bowser Shrine at 1255 px. That way, the page stretches right to the corners of the browser when viewed on a 1280 X 1024 native resolution monitor
The next greatly positive thing I did was redesign the Bowser Renders section to take full advantage of this increase in real estate! The most exciting change is how I increased the size of the thumbnails from 150 X 150 → 250 X 250. If you go to the section, you will see a huge difference. I have always loved having large thumbnails for quick browsing and scanability. I don't know about you, but when I'm shopping online, I don't want to have to squint on a page of a bunch of items to try to hunt down what I'm looking for. With these larger thumbnails, finding the Bowser render you're looking for will take no time at all!
The other useful change I did to Bowser Renders was adding a new colour-coding system. Before I was just surrounding images with a thin blue border when they were new/updated, but on some images, this was very hard to spot! Instead, I have coloured the background of the image, making it look like a tile. The following is the new colour-coding system when trying to determine was has been updated:
Orange tiles represent pre-existing renders updated with a higher resolution image
Blue tiles represent net-new renders
As you'll see when you go there, it's a bit of a mess right now with all sorts of background colours splashed everywhere. That's because I'm finally getting this super-important section up to speed and current! It is my hope for it to soon be the #1 most official place to get ultra high quality official Bowser renders.
Thankfully it seems there is a lot greater help these days keeping all the Marioverse media and information current, organized, and up to date. A lot of this I credit to the Super Mario Wiki, which is the most invaluable resource I have. A lot of these contributions are due to the hard work and dedication of one user in particular: YoshiKong. I have now established contact with him, and he has immediately proven to be the most useful source I have ever discovered! For an example of the fruit he has beared, the official SSB4 Bowser render is now hosted on The Bowser Shrine at a resolution of 5120 X 5120 and a whopping 16 MB PNG file!
I would reveal the method of obtaining this privileged material, but then I'd have to throw you in Bowser's Dungeon! I hope you can understand. Just keep checking back on The Bowser Shrine for the latest!
• Maximum width of The Bowser Shrine fixed at 1255 px
• Bowser Renders section redesigned with larger 250 X 250 thumbnails and new colour-coding system
• 11 updated renders added to the Bowser Renders section
• 8 new renders added to the Bowser Renders section
My next update will continue on the work of this update, which is getting the Bowser Renders section up with the times! My next critical task is updating the Bowser Master Game List so that I know the order of release of all of the Mario games since 2006. Yes, it really has been that long since I updated this section...
August 28, 2013
Now I tell ya, what kind of Mickey Mouse webmaster uses Comic Sans as their default web page font? Oh... XD
I have changed the default font of The Bowser Shrine from Comic Sans to the much more readable Verdana font, and also enlarged the font from 12px to 14px. I have enough chronic eye strain issues as it is, never mind a hard-to-read webpage of mine!
The other change I did was widen the webpage from 1024px to 1280px. Nobody out there has a monitor with a native resolution of 1024 x 768 anymore, and if you do, it's time to treat yourself to a new monitor! The Bowser Shrine was loading as a skinny vertical bar on my 24" Dell Ultrasharp U2410 Widescreen monitor at 1920 x 1200. Instead of changing the zoom level constantly, I decided just to make everything bigger!
I hope everyone likes the new changes to make their Bowser Shrine viewing experience an even more pleasant one!
Luigi Confirmed for SSB4
August 7, 2013
Luigi was confirmed as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U... shocking... Oh well, with the news comes a new Bowser picture!
Don't worry, I'll find and post a larger res version once it becomes available.
The Super Mario Wiki has been an absolutely invaluable resource for me in gathering Bowser media over the last few years. This is largely due to the work of one submitter named YoshiKong. This user finds so much highly detailed Bowser renders and screenshots that I am not able to find anywhere else on the internet!
For example, I looked all over the major gaming sites for that Bowser fighting Captian Olimar 1080p gem in today's update, and was not able to find it anywhere. I must try to get into contact with this individual somehow to ask if he's willing to share his media-gathering secrets!
One thing quickly became apparent early on in my lifelong quest of collecting all the highest-quality Bowser media the internet had to offer: often times, the best images would be in the most obscure and unlikely places! This has proven true time and time again. When a new Mario game was still in development, often times Nintendo would release many screenshots, renders, videos, etc to generate early interest for the game. Usually, large video game media websites like IGN and Gamespot were the safe picks for the best quality collection of this media.
Oh IGN, what has happened to thou? I am years behind in my video game research, and haven't really been keeping up for a long time, but it really saddens me to see how IGN has deteriorated. Every UI change they would do to their homepages I would always loathe, and now I am on the verge of tears of frustration every time I visit their site. I'm completely lost in the busy-ness of everything there. There are no links to get to the Games section to filter by title. Usually I would have to resort to just using their built-in search engine, or even a Google search, just to get to the game I want to look for images. Oh well, IGN would always watermark all their screenshots anyway, and they would often resize the original way lower than necessary. GameSpot was always better.
Regarding the media for what I colloquially term "Super Smash Bros 4" (which includes both "Super Smash Brothers for 3DS" and "Super Smash Brothers for Wii U"), Gamespot offered high-quality screenshots in 720p, which is perfectly acceptable and appreciated! Days later however, I stumbled across a Sakurai interview about SSB4 character selection on Polygon that was shared by a friend on FaceBook. Slipped in at the bottom were some screenshots of the game I have seen before, but when I went to click the expanding arrows, the image got massive!
Now this new Polygon website I discovered is even more useless to navigate than IGN is even. Modern web developers seem totally noob about how to create an intuitive user experience. With a ton of effort, I eventually found a link that contains high-resolution screenshots for Super Smash Brothers 4 courtesy of Polygon.com. I must give credit where credit is due. Nearly all the images in today's update come from there, including some random ones I found in a Google Images search. This is a very biased website, so if the screenshot does not contain the Koopa King somewhere in it, you'll just have to find it yourself =p
As for Bowser's in-game model in Super Smash Brothers for Wii U, one cannot complain at all! I really love the new changes they've done to him! First and foremost, he stands in a much more upright bipedal posture, allowing him to (finally!) run properly! There are several images of him midway into a dash. I always found it so silly how they made Bowser slide on his feet in both Melee and Brawl! It's as if he waxed his soles up before every match or something! This just showed pure laziness to me on the side of the animators, and the game even felt just plain incomplete as a result! Now Bowser is properly animated, and I couldn't be happier.
What's even more epic is how Bowser is seen to be laying down some huge dropkicks in some screenshots! Seeing the big brute plowing his opponent with his massive feet is nothing short of hilarious!
My first reaction to a few of the initial Bowser screenshots I saw were that he looked a bit too colourful and "toony". Some of the screenshots seemed to not have his scaly texture as well defined, and almost looked like he was covered in nothing but base colours. I even thought he was cell-shaded for a while. This all may just be due to his new light-coloured scales, which I'm sure I'll get used to. One thing is for sure however, I cannot wait for this game! I do not own a Wii U yet due to the lack flagship titles, but once Smash Bros. is available for sale, it will be another "take my money" moment for Nintendo.
(I really have to reorganize that Bowser Screenshots section eventually! It's getting too big and messy!)
I have a gap of 4 years to catch up on between the SSB4 media I just posted, and the time I was last actively keeping up with Nintendo and the Mario franchise. For my next update, I will likely focus on getting my favourite section up to date: "Bowser Renders". After that, I will focus on catching up with fan e-mails. Don't worry, despite migrating computers at the beginning of the year, I still have everybody's ancient old e-mails still flagged for follow-up, and will handle them in chronological order.
Official SSB4 Bowser Render
July 21, 2013
Just a short and sweet update for today. I must admit, there was no better way to bring me out of the woodwork than for me to see the first images of Bowser as seen in the new Super Smash Brothers for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS! I distinctly remember the last two times I got to experience this (at E3 2001 with Super Smash Brothers Melee, and on a Super Smash Brothers Dojo update in 2007 with Super Smash Brothers Brawl). Seeing Bowser in Melee for the first time in a Super Smash Brothers game on the GameCube was nearly a religious experience for me! They made Bowser look so tough, rough, and badass with an updated look and a very scaly-looking impenetrable hide! With Brawl Bowser, they made his look even scarier by giving him pretty freakish-looking gums and wrinkles on his snout. To be honest, I didn't really like this older-Bowser look in Brawl, and I really am a fan of the new direction they've given his character design.
I have not lowered my standards when it comes to finding the most closest-to-source renders possible of the Koopa King. I believe I have found about as close to the official SSB4 Bowser render there is. It weighs in at a gigantic 3000 x 2647 pixels! I absolutely love zooming right in and seeing the astounding detail put in by the incredible artist who whips up these amazing renders! Behold, the official SSB4 Bowser render!
The first thing that I noticed right away was his very interesting-looking scale colour. Bowser's primary scale colour has differed throughout the years. In his super-realistic Nintendo 64 renders (still my favourite version of Bowser to date), he had a bold orange scale colour. On the GameCube, his scale colour was more of a light orange with a lot of yellow mixed in. His Melee look had his scales so dark orange that it almost looked brown or tawny. This colour in his SSB4 look I almost find hard to describe. It seems like light orange with a hint of brown mixed in. I for one like it!
I also like the appearance of his scales. The texture seems like it would feel sort of like leather. It seems like a tough hide, but also highlights a lot of his musculature and power. His belly scales look squishy and bumpy and a different firmness than his primary scales. I also like how his crocodilian-like snout is smooth. Makes him look a lot younger than old geezer Grampa Bowser in Brawl!
I love all the details put into his fiery hair as well! This is the most realistic Bowser mane I have ever seen! You can see each individual strand when zooming in at the source resolution. Lastly, the detail of his shell, his dagger-sharp teeth, his razor-sharp claws, and his hard spiky metal cuffs and collar all look fantastic! I always love when a new high-qualtiy render of Bowser comes out for a new Nintendo game. I am so much in love of his unique character design and look. There's really nothing else in the world like him!
This small update is my first real media update since November 16, 2008. I have a heck of a lot of catching up to do! Right now I'm mostly focusing on the flurry of new Super Smash Brothers media that has recently been released over the past month. My next update (which I planned to fit in today) will be to upload all of the SSB4 screenshots of Bowser there have been to date (and you know the policy: highest-resolution, quality, with no watermarks (if possible)). I already have all the media downloaded, I just have to organize it and upload it.
This is my first official update on my new computer that I migrated to at the beginning of this year. It was a very smooth migration and everything is stable and running great! One thing I didn't install until just this weekend was my development environment and web server. I remember my initial install being tricky when I first started work on The Bowser Shrine in 2006, and I once again struggled to get everything to work properly running off localhost (I landed up installing a product called WampServer that includes a proper install of the latest version of Apache, PHP, and other web services). I was getting an error during the installation of WampServer related to a missing Microsoft Visual C++ Package dependency, but I finally figured it all out and have a properly-running local webserver now! I don't know why they make all this stuff so complicated sometimes!
It took me a lot longer than I thought to be able to return to the regular Bowser Shrine updates that I promised. The biggest reason for this is the ongoing challenge with my eyes. It's still quite uncomfortable to stare at a computer screen for long periods of time because my eyes start to ache like crazy when the ciliary muscles get tired of holding the same focus point for so long. I'm still attending vision therapy to try to strengthen these muscles and improve my threshold. This issue can be considered yet another RSI, because it's directly related to excessive computer use, and will settle down when I take a long break. What makes things difficult is that my full-time job involves looking at a computer screen all day long, so the only computing hours I can cut back on are my personal hours, which is disheartening. Interestingly enough, my 7-year-long problem with tension headaches and feeling spaced-out has greatly improved this year, and I attribute that to the frequent cardio exercise I now undertake several times a week. It's also possible that my vision disorder I described above could have been the cause of the headaches all along. I remain optimistic that I will continue to improve as time goes along.
This is also my first real update on this fansite since November 16th, 2008. Take it as a sign of good faith that I remain committed to continuing my work on this very important personal project of mine. It's so hard to believe that so much time has passed since then! All I did today is update my Links section. Unfortunately, the only work done was removing all the dead links that have collected since my last real update almost 5 years ago. It's sad that many of these great fansites eventually withered and died, eventually ceasing to exist. I'd say I axed over half the links that I originally had. I guess in the days of social media like FaceBook and Twitter, fansites are a dying breed. I mean, look what happened to this one!
Now that my code environment is up and running on my current computer (I'm now using NotePad++ for coding instead of Dreamweaver), updates should be able to come much easier. I plan to scale back my ambitions for the near future to make smaller and more frequent updates instead of really large but less frequent ones. A good place to catch up on is with a lot of the recent Bowser renders and screenshots there have been over the years. As for Mario video game-playing, I am still years and years behind. How bad is it? I actually still haven't opened and played the first Super Mario Galaxy yet... yeah... It's still on a very large "To Do" list that I'm maintaining.
I'm shooting for another update tommorrow, so stay tuned!
Dead links of inactive websites removed in the Links section
Wreck-It Ralph Review
November 5th, 2012
I can still remember my initial shock in June of this year when I learned that the one and only King Bowser Koopa would be appearing in a Disney movie later this year. At first I thought it was a joke, but then I saw the trailer. Once I did, my response to Disney was basically "Shut up and take my money!" (or in this case, quarters!)
Wreck-It Ralph gives a clever nod to anybody that was born or grew up in the '80s or '90s, and remembers video and arcade games in their early, simply days. The film focused mostly on arcade games, as an arcade was a central part of the plot. There are more references and cameos included in this movie than you can hope to shake a stick at! (This review is spoiler-free)
I think it's pretty clear that the movie's target audience is gamers like you and I that grew up during the NES and SNES eras. Almost all of the film's marketing has all the cameo characters frequently shown in the posters, trailers, tv spots, etc. Strangely enough, in a long list of official posters released for the movie, Bowser is strangely absent on all of them. As you may have expected, all of the officially licenced characters have a fairly minimal cameo role, and this is all done during the first few minutes of the movie. Act I, or the first 30 minutes of the movie, is its strongest by far, with lots of laughs and a great showcasing of classic characters that must have cost a fortune to lock up the rights to use!
Focusing on Bowser, since this is a Bowser fansite and all (and there's no bias here of course =p), all the moments he is on screen is magical. They chose to go with Bowser's most current look (the more "bubbly" version of Bowser during the GameCube and Wii era). The animation is easily the best of Bowser ever done, being done by Disney's animation studio and all! Reading some of the movie's notes yesterday, apparently Nintendo coached the animators and developers frequently to ensure they stayed true to the character. At first, early depictions of Bowser had him too small by comparison to other characters like Zangief. The final version of the movie has him quite accurately-sized.
Since Bowser is so huge, colourful, and such a recognizable character, he sticks out in almost every scene he is shown in. Although he does not talk, he is seen in the left side of the frame almost the entire time Zangief is delivering his hilarious dialogue. What's also funny is that he can be seen sipping this tiny little styrofoam cup of coffee the entire time, only to spit it out when Ralph mentions he doesn't want to be a bad guy anymore. The classic fireball sound as Bowser unleashes his flamebreath is AWESOME!
What also made the experience so magical is that the movie is in 3D. As a result, Bowser's model pops out in a way that's nearly lifelike! After the "BAD-ANON" support group of bad guys adjourns, Bowser is still spotted in the background of several scenes in the gaming universe's Game Central Station.
Any Bowser fanboy truly couldn't have asked for more when it came to this movie. Amazingly, Bowser is the ONLY character from the Super Mario franchise that is represented. Apparently Nintendo was asking for too much in licencing fees to even have Mario or Luigi get any screetime at all, and they do not appear anywhere in the movie. Even supporting characters like Yoshi do not appear. The Mario universe's representation is all Bowser (or "King Koopa" as some still refer to him as) here, and he does his job very well!
Again, it is so amazing that Bowser even made it into this movie! Wreck-It Ralph was mostly parodying arcade games like Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Pac-Man, etc. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't ever remember a "Super Mario Bros." arcade game that had Bowser featured as the bad guy. Maybe the original Donkey Kong with "Jumpman", sure, but I can't think of an arcade game that featured Bowser. I'm not complaining in the least of course, but after so many years of feeling like Bowser was always getting the short end of the stick, it was hard to believe he was given so much recognition here! I love it! Hopefully he will gain even more fans!
This movie is definitely a must-buy for me when it comes out on Blu-Ray, so I can screencapture all of Bowser's great cameo moments. I'm fairly happy with the amount of screen time he got, and he seemed to fit in quite well with the rest of the baddies. Honestly, much of the Bowser moments can be seen in the trailers and tv spots, as he is seen mostly in the first 10 minutes of the movie only.
As a Bowser diehard, I couldn't have asked for more than what Disney produced. Well, of course a whole movie about Bowser would be even better, but I can't be greedy! Major kudos to Disney for a great family film and a touch of nostalgia. It was a fun night at the movies!
The Bowser Shrine Dark Ages: 2009 - 2012
November 4th, 2012
Since I do not have the ability to change the past, I must label the years 2009 - 2012 as "The Dark Ages" here on The Bowser Shrine. This was a period in which no new real updates occured, and for a while, I even ended communications, as was described in my megaupdate below. All I can do from here is move forward, and I certainly have my work cut out for me.
Doing a quick search, it doesn't look like there have been any other competing Bowser fansites that have taken up the slack. It's possible that it all rests with me, and I'm willing to take on that responsibility. Over the years I've been absent, I have increased my computer skills even further with my work as a server administrator (now doing web administration). I feel I still have plenty to offer if you are patient with me (as you all already have been).
As a sign of good faith, I have spent all of today personally answering every e-mail that was sent my way over the past 3 years. I am now fully caught up, and it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought. After hitting the "Send/Receive" button, about 700 e-mails flooded my way. About 500-600 of them were total spam sent by bots, about 19 seemed like hate mail, but the rest were common questions and e-mails I would have gotten anyway. Again I apologize for disappearing off the face of the internet like that for such an extended period of time. I will not do that again, and if things change, I will at least communicate any absences in advance. I am back to frequently checking and answering all e-mail that comes my way.
As stated in my update below, I am planning to return to regular updates here on The Bowser Shrine in early 2013. The rest of 2012 will be spent migrating nearly 6 years of data to a new PC, and install a local Apache webserver on it again. My domain host has always been HostGator, which has been absolutely fantastic (and has such an adorable mascot!).
It's entirely possible that I may even decide to redesign The Bowser Shrine from the ground up. Call it a Bowser Shrine 2.0 if you will. What made updates so slow from the beginning was that I did not have a proper Content Management System (CMS) in place. I had coded the entire website from scratch, and by hand. This is great control-wise, and it certainly looks pretty, but it often becomes tedious to manage. A lot of the sections I've been planning will almost require some sort of CMS, as it would be suicide to try to do it manually.
In a few hours I will be seeing "Wreck-It Ralph" with a large group of friends. I am very excited for it, and will post my review afterwards. What I am so impressed by is how (this is not a spoiler, as it was announced ahead of time) Bowser is the only character from the Super Mario series that will be represented. Apparently greedy Nintendo asked for too much money for the licencing to use Mario and/or Luigi, and the creative team couldn't find a good place for them anyway, so it's Bowser all the way! This will definitely help his exposure, and may even gain him some new fans! He looks great in the movie too!
Stay tuned for my full review!
Hey, this is awesome. It's like I'm back or something... =p
The Bowser Shrine Hiatus Explained
November 3rd, 2012
The last time The Bowser Shrine was given a proper update was on November 16th, 2008, nearly 4 years ago. After 9 months went by, I wrote an update basically summarized as "I've been busy". While that is true, there is a lot more to it than that. This is a notification that I should have made years ago.
In my last update, I stressed that The Bowser Shrine was not dead, but my results (or lack thereof) to back that up proved otherwise. For almost 4 years the site wasn't quite dead, but on life support, basically kept online in its existing form with no new signs of activity. How have I been through this whole time? Well I'm alive, and I'd like to say "and well" too, but I've honestly been a lot better. I think it's about time I come clean about this, so here's my story:
(*WARNING!* Incoming personal rant!)
One thing I have always tried to avoid, or at least limit, is the inclusion of personal details in my updates. In hindsight, this probably would have been a good idea to do, as it would have explained the long delays between new content being updated. Even posting something such as "still busy" would have been better than nothing. In the past, I was not forthcoming about these personal details to avoid having people become worried about me. Ironically, this became a self-fulfilling prophecy, as my long silence did worry people.
Early work on The Bowser Shrine began as far back as March of 2005, while I was still taking computer programming in college. It was then that I created a "proof-of-concept" involving an early beta of the site's design, and started writing a lot of the sections (chiefly under the "Bowser Info") section. The Bowser Shrine does not use any templates of any sort; it is all coded by hand by yours truly! My Bowser Shrine project was done on the side of a full college course load, in which I would often endure all-nighters (usually due to my own procratination) working on labs/programs/homework. All this time was usually spent hunched over my laptop at a little table.
Now I just happen to be much taller than average at 6 foot 4 inches, and weigh about 190 pounds or so. For years I remember the advice to "sit up straight" and use proper ergonomics and all that. I already had one repetitive stress injury (RSI) scare a few years earlier with some tendonitis that developed in my right wrist from constant typing and from holding the mouse wrong (on top of excessive computer use). I was unaware that as I was doing all this work, another monster RSI was developing.
A few times as far back as 2005, when I was up half the night working on the early version of The Bowser Shrine, I remember the headaches beginning after long coding sessions. I just attributed it to fatigue, and ignored them. These headaches started out quite mild, but became more and more frequent with time.
March of 2006 was the "straw that broke the camel's back" moment. Still obsessed about Super Smash Brothers Melee at the time (I played the game semi-professionally traveling to different tournaments on the West Coast of North America), I was enjoying a very long gaming session at my best friend's house on a Saturday night. The game is so addictive, even to this day. My friend and I must have fought each other 1 vs 1 for about 10 straight hours, sitting on the edge of his bed - probably with horrible posture.
When I woke up the next morning (Sunday), my head and neck suddenly became very tight, and everything around the room looked weird. It felt as if I were still dreaming, and not fully awake yet. Everything appeared wavy and odd, and it reminded me of being slightly drunk. I thought I was just getting a weird flu of some sort, and monitored my symptoms for the next couple days. By then, I started to get crushing headaches, as if I were under 100 feet of water with pressure imploding my head from all directions. When I went to my doctor and explained my symptoms, a CAT scan was ordered for the same day, as I was showing symptoms that could have been caused from a brain tumour. Thankfully this scan proved negative, and I passed all other major medical tests too. This made me relieved that nothing was seriously wrong, but nothing could explain the tight tension headaches and brain fog/cognitive disfunction I was now experiencing. It was regarded as a medical anomaly or enigma - seemingly idiopathic.
Unfortunately this issue became chronic, affecting me on a daily basis. For years I swept the internet constantly, trying desperately to find answers to what was plaguing me. Nobody in the entire world (or at least internet) seemed to have both my symptoms of tension headaches and feeling spaced-out at the same time. It was either one, or the other, but never both. With very little information to go on, finding a treatment plan was very challenging
Pain can be a great motivator, and people will often do everything in their power to escape it. In my desperation, I landed up spending tens of thousands of dollars over the years through various therapies and treatments to try to find something that would at least lessen the symptoms. This is on top of the high taxes us Canadians pay for our public health care system (which only wanted to "treat" me with pharmaceuticals as a "solution", which I would have none of).
The efficacy, or cost/benefit ratio of all this is impossible to determine, but I would like to think much of this helped at least a little bit. At the very least, I learned a tremendous amout of information that I wouldn't have otherwise. You may have heard of the saying "life is a journey" before. This is totally true. This issue of mine is definitely a curveball that has been thrown at me, and has been the single biggest challenge of my life so far.
These chronic headaches often make me feel "spaced out", or if I am drunk 24/7 (and believe me, it's not as awesome as it sounds!). As a result, it affects my ability to focus. Despite this, I "solidered on" through them in 2006, 2007, and 2008, still pumping out a few updates on The Bowser Shrine, and trying my hardest to not let them get the best of me. It was hard enough as it was to continue working a full-time job as a server administrator to pay for my high medical expenses at the time.
When symptoms worsened further in 2009, I felt I needed to simplify my life as much as possible, and reduce all unnecessary stress. Sadly, The Bowser Shrine was part of this "simplification". I only meant to do it for a short period of time, and didn't want to make a big deal about it. How easily it can be to underestimate such things.
During this unannounced hiatus of further Bowser Shrine progress, I deliberately went into an avoidance strategy so I wouldn't have to face disappointed fans. For over 3 years I made a point not to even bother checking my e-mail. This was totally wrong to do, and I apologize profusely for doing this. Hardly a day went by during this time when I didn't think about The Bowser Shrine and the amount of Nintendo fans I let down. It caused me to become very depressed, which didn't help my situation any. During my total breakdown of communication, some people naturally thought the worst (that I had died). I would say this was totally irresponsible of me. It's quite ironic that I didn't want to worry people by sharing these personal problems, yet I caused that worry to happen with others to an acute degree
I truly can not believe how quickly time has passed. What I remember as years seem to go by in months. To my perception, it feels like only 4 months have passed, not 4 years. Perhaps this is part of adult life and affects everyone the same way, or maybe it just comes with always been kept busy.
Thankfully the news gets better from here (mostly). In the past 3 years, I have noticed that I have been improving, albeit slightly. This year I have seen the most improvement with my headache symptoms. I attribute this to me becoming a lot more active - working out 2-3 times a week - and trying to strengthen my core muscles so I can maintain better posture during my excessive computer usage.
Unfortunately, my excessive computer usage has caused yet another RSI that also began suddenly. On a Saturday in late August of this year, I suddenly felt nauseous and unwell while on my computer, causing me to voluntarily quit using it for that weekend. The symptoms worsened throughout the following work week to include dry/red eyes, aching eyes, and vision headaches (different from my primary ones). Now I had 2 different types of headaches simultaneously!
Thankfully, the cause for this new problem with my eyes appears to have been found by my optometrist. It looks to be a problem with my binocular vision - potentially a congenital issue that was worsened and expedited by my constant arms-length focusing with long-term computer usage. Equally fortunate is the fact that it is a fairly treatable condition, with a decent prognosis, although at the expense of money and time. I have been scheduled for nearly a year of vision therapy to correct this issue, which I have already started, with symptom-relief taking as long as a few months.
When asking my optometrist if this was "the smoking gun" that was causing my headaches all along, she said it was definitiely a possibility, but didn't want to give me any false hopes. My instructions are to focus on this vision therapy, and monitor my other symptoms for improvement. I am being fully compliant with this, as it is absolutely no fun to feel sick while using a computer. I have been using a computer (excessively) since 2 years old. It is my passion, and I have no intentions of ending that.
(End of personal rant)
Hopefully this will offer a good enough explanation as to why updates have not occurred for more than 4 years. It is challenging enough to balance a full-time job working 40+ hours on computers as it is, along with the responsibilities of adult life, and finding time for projects such as these - never mind having a breakdown in health on top of all of that. These health problems have plagued me daily for over 6 and a half years now, and I won't bother describing the hell it has been - from the physical pain, depression/anxiety, and the disappointment of feeling like a shadow of my former self.
The good news is that I am improving, and I feel my stress-tolerance is too. I have a clear plan for treating my latest vision problems, which has the potential to improve my headache problems automatically. This is very encouraging, as I feel that I will be able to return to "business as usual" in a few months, when I can first begin to achieve some partial symptom relief. This means I am hoping to return to regular updates here on The Bowser Shrine in 2013. I have recently built a brand new computer, and my project to end off 2012 will involve migrating everything over to it over the next several weeks. You can also consider this megaupdate a broadcasted response to everyone that has been e-mailing me the last few years.
My intent from the beginning was to have the largest Bowser fansite in the entire world, and I remain committed to that goal. This has always been an ambitious project due to the amount of work required for a single person to do. I am quite proud of what I have been able to produce so far, it just takes me a very long time. I released The Bowser Shrine to the internet on my 21st birthday, even though it was incomplete at the time, and still is. After working on the project for a year up to that point, I eventually wanted to just get it out there so people could see what I have done, and I had my "greyed-out links" as planned future sections.
At this present time, I'm sure it would be a tough argument to still claim "world's biggest Bowser fan" with my near online invisibility over the last 4 years. Let me assure you that my passion, addiction, and obsession for King Bowser Koopa has not waned in the slightest. It has been there for as long as I can remember, and I'm sure will last me the rest of my lifetime. I ask for your forgiveness and understanding of my situation, and I deeply apologize if you feel if I have turned my back on you, or let you down. I sure hope I will be able to make up for all of that, but I definitely have my work cut out for me.
I know myself too well by now not to set deadlines, or make promises that land up in disappointment, but I can definitely assure you one thing: As long as I am alive, The Bowser Shrine will always remain online, and will never go "dark". I will also never "sell out" by placing ads all over the place, selling the site or charge for its content, or even accept donations. I'm perfectly willing to fund the website and domain myself, and have the means to do so for years to come.
You have all been tremendously patient with me so far, and here I am asking for even more time! I am very excited for what I can still deliver in the future on The Bowser Shrine. I've been using the internet since its infancy (at least mainstream-wise). As a result, I still have ultra-rare renders and images of Bowser from the mid-to-late 90s that I can assure you doesn't exist anywhere else anymore. Even a lot of the stuff I have already produced I have seen circulating around the net over the years (renders, content, even entire sections of my page). Just Google "The Bowser Shrine", and you will see duplicated content that has sprung up (without my permission). I'm guessing people ignored or didn't read the "No contents of this website may be reproduced without written permission" part in my disclaimer *sigh*
Thanks for reading such a long update as it is. To reward such dedication, I will share another project I had worked on and completed before The Bowser Shrine. Bowser has always been my all-time most favourite character ever, but another that comes in at a close 2nd is Charizard from the Pokemon series (also from Nintendo!). I swear Nintendo owns my soul (and pocketbook!).
In 2003 I released "Charizard Tribute", which was a music video done to honour Ash's Charizard (who was left in the Charicific Valley to train in the Johto series). I watched the Pokemon anime religiously to follow my other lifelong love, Charizard. This is another example of my extreme dedication I have towards characters that I really like. This project was a lot easier, because it did not involve post-release maintenance like updates. Once I completed making "Charizard Tribute", I felt like I did the best job I could, and there was nothing I felt I would have changed about it. I can also proudly announce that as of this writing, it has been uniquely viewed more than half of a million times (just like the Bowser Shrine almost has).
Here is the embedded YouTube link to "Charizard Triubte" below, enjoy:
Long Period of Inactivity
August 10th, 2009
Well, after thinking that a stretch of 3 months between updates was the longest there would ever be here on The Bowser Shrine, it has now been nearly 9 months since my last update. Feel free to totally not believe anything I say anymore. I will stop making promises that I am unsure if I could keep. As I've stated before, I really hate to make excuses, or talk about any offline stuff unrelated to The Bowser Shrine. However, after such a long stretch of people seeing nothing happening here at all, it is about time everyone hears from me to avoid the impression that the site is dead.
2009 has been a very busy year for me. This is the first time I have worked a full-time job for more than one year. It isn't like grade school or college where you get a long summer break between years/semesters. I really do miss those. In the work world, you get about 3 weeks vacation to use in a year, instead of the 2-4 months one is used to from school/college summer holidays. I've already almost depleted my accrued holiday time for 2009 on two great trips this summer. Last month, I took a trip to Las Vegas with about 10 other friends for a bachelor party for about 4 days, which was totally awesome. And yesterday, I just came back from an amazing 2 week vacation to London, England, and I also got to visit Paris for a day during that time. It's been an expensive summer for me for sure, but I really felt that I've needed it.
I've been pretty serious about my career this year, but that has come with the cost of a good deal of my free time and online life. As I once stated in an earlier update, 90% of what you see on The Bowser Shrine was created while I was inbetween jobs for a few months. All I've managed to do since then it seems was maintain a few simple media updates. It takes a long, concentrated effort from me to construct the subpages exactly as I envision them. Another thing which perhaps is holding me back is that I have the tendency to be a perfectionist with a lot of things. This means that I don't feel comfortable working on something I really care about unless I feel like I can do the perfect job (e.g. ensuring I am completely engaged and in the mood, have had plenty of sleep, etc). This causes a tendency of procrastination if those certain requirements aren't met. Basically, I'll admit that there were some times when I could have definitely worked on The Bowser Shrine in some instances over this past stretch, but was either too tired from the work week before, or not feeling engaged enough. I often wish I didn't work this way, although in the past it has produced some pretty incredible results which I may share later. This kind of inconsistency can be very frustrating.
This site is by no means dead, and I do apologize for the inactivity and lack of updates. I'm sure you're sick of hearing me apologize and make excuses, and just want results. I can definitely understand that, but I just really want to make sure that I maintain the same degree of quality I have kept so far. I am still totally obsessed with Bowser, and will make sure I finish building my shrine for him. Believe me when I say that the guilt of going so long without any update at all has been eating me away from the inside. It is quite hard for me to believe that nearly 9 months passed by so quickly. It honestly just felt like only a couple of months. I'm not sure where the time goes for me anymore
I have noticed that my unique hit counter has spun to over 200,000 visitors now. That is extremely impressive, and it was only one year ago where it had just passed the 100,000 mark. It seems like word-of-mouth might be getting around, and I hope that the visitors that do come are satisfied with what I have so far. I still have so much more planned though (e.g. the gray links), I just wish I had the free time to do it!
As for when you're finally going to see an actual update on The Bowser Shrine for 2009, I can't make any promise. I will try to maybe get one in for this month of August, but unfortunately I have a large list of things to do which are probably higher-priority, and I pretty much only have weekends to do a lot of this stuff. It just seems like it never ends when it comes important real life stuff that I need to get done! When that update finally does come, I will definitely try to make up for that ridiculously long stretch, and maybe even make it worthwhile somehow. I just hope that update can be delivered sooner rather than later.
Take care now!
Another Media Update
November 16th, 2008
As a preview for this update, this one will mostly feature plenty of new/updated media. We're mostly talking about new renders, screenshots, etc. Unfortunately I didn't quite have time to get to the latest mailbag questions, and fan fictions that have been submitted recently. These usually take the longest, and I am planning a separate mass update to finally catch up. I've recently had 3 mailbag submissions over the past couple months, and a backlog of about 8 fan fictions dating back to even last year! I will maybe try to post a fan fiction a week or something to finally catch up on this, because I've really felt guilty for making everyone wait so long. Alright, lets get this update going!
So I went Paintballing with some friends a couple months ago one weekend and just happened to fix my gaze upon the rule board that I'm sure is often deliberately overlooked (LoL at "No head shots" being scratched out!). To my astonishment, in the lower right hand corner of the board was an image of a bipedal, spikey-back turtle-like character just like Bowser! Upon closer look, I couldn't believe just how similar this creature was to the Koopa King! He had 3-toeclawed feet like Bowser, a rippled soft stomach like Bowser, a spikey tail and back like Bowser, and even armcuffs like Bowser! The only thing that looked a bit different obviously was his head and face. This character definitely looked pretty serious and mean with his scoped paintball gun and his... train conductor hat? Haha, I thought the parallels that could be drawn to Bowser were pretty remarkable, and this character must serve as the enforcer of the rules, and discourage non-compliance! Anyways, I thought this was really cool.
If you thought that was cool, check out what my good friend GimpyFish62 did for Halloween this year. Using a stencil, Gimpyfish was able to carve a pumpkin in the shape of Bowser's face, and light it from the inside with a candle so it could be clearly seen! Is this cool or what!? It is so accurate and finely detailed, it's almost a perfect replica of the Koopa King's mug! Bowser's lit face almost looks life-like; it's almost scary! I don't even know where the reference must have come from, as I cannot recall any sort of render where his face looked like this from this angle. Anyways, I thought he did an amazing job, and I'm sure everyone else who saw it on display loved it as well.
Next, at long last I have finally found a larger resolution image of the crouching Bowser render! After months and months of searching everywhere, I finally found it on the Mario Party DS Official European site, which was done in flash. It was a few months ago while I was at work that I found the image, and it was through following the external links at the bottom of the Mario Party DS entry at the Super Mario Wiki. After clicking on the official European Mario Party DS site, I finally found the crouching Bowser render sliding in after I clicked the "Minigame Madness" header. As you could imagine, I was extremely excited to see this, but knew looking at the background that I had my work cut out for me
I knew that it would take a lot of very precise work and time to extract this Bowser render from it's background, and leave a clean edge. I unfortunately had my very accurate mouse (Intellimouse Explorer 3.0) that I normally use for graphics and gaming wear out, and I had to take the time to find a suitable replacement (eventually picked up the Microsoft Habu Gaming Mouse by Razer). During this time, it turns out that somebody else must have also come across this render on the flash site, and already moved forward in cutting out the image, and posting it on the Super Mario Wiki. It was then that I had about 3 dedicated Bowser searching fans e-mail me almost at the same time stating that they had finally found the mysterious crouching Bowser render. Although I had found it quite a while earlier, (but just hadn't edited it myself yet and posted it), I still wanted to shout out to the eager ones that also found it and e-mailed me. They were (in order of e-mail reception time): nintendweeb64, Brittany Webb, and Jake Meadows.
The artist who cut out the Bowser render and posted it on the Super Mario Wiki did a great job, although upon closer look, I was able to tell that it was cut out from somewhere (the edges were jagged, and Bowser's claws may have been shaved down a bit). I was also able to see small evidence of the blue background as a thin 1 px border around the image. This is being very picky, as the image still looks very good, and looks almost official. I saw this as a challenge though, and thought that I could get the image even cleaner and smooth looking. I knew to do this, however, I would have to cut out the render pixel by pixel, in very time-consuming work. I decided to give it a shot.
Good grief, the process was like a paleontologist excavating a dinosaur! And since Bowser kind of looks like a dinosaur, I kind of did feel like a paleontologist in a way! Anyways, it took a very long time, but I cut out the Bowser render pixel by pixel, and believe I have an even more refined render to display and share. So now, I bring to you, my version of the ferocious-looking crouching Bowser render. Comparing it to the current Super Mario Wiki crouching Bowser render, I hope you will agree with me that I got it a little bit sharper looking and more accurate, although the differences are very slight (especially against a white background). Hopefully in the future, an even higher resolution version of this render could be found. Nintendo still must have the original stored somewhere, or else they wouldn't be able to use it on all of their promotional material. This Bowser render has got to be one of my absolute favourites, and it was totally worth the time extracting it as accurately as possible. The way how he's crouched down in a near pouncing position, with that mischievous cheek-to-cheek grin across his face, is just priceless. He looks almost like a linebacker in Football! Perhaps they'll reuse this render if they ever plan in making a Mario Football spinoff game!
I would have to say that the "Bowser renders" section is my favourite section of The Bowser Shrine so far. I love seeing so many different character artwork drawings of Bowser, or the even more detailed and realistic computer generated renders of him. It's great seeing how often Bowser's depiction will go through certain phases or versions, yet still remain accurate and true to the original character. I had found another character artwork drawing of Bowser that I never saw anywhere on the internet before in my instruction manual to Mario Golf 64. It displayed a confident fist-pumping Bowser holding a golf driver in his other claw. I decided to scan it in high resolution, and then carefully edit and clean up the image, ready to post it as an unofficial render. Since the image was fairly small and was in an instruction manual, and I did the scan in high resolution, a lot of the grains and material the paper was made of are visible, albeit slightly. I have also found several higher-resolution Bowser render versions than ones I already had on The Bowser Shrine, and have updated them accordingly. I also even did a few updates of some renders that were the same resolution and size, but didn't have a watermark that a specific website put on them. Look for the blue-bordered thumbnails in the Bowser Renders section to find new/updated Bowser renders now available on The Bowser Shrine!
Some great fan screenshots from Super Smash Brothers Brawl have also been posted for this update, and are available for viewing in the Bowser Fan Screenshots section. Jeff Sikkema offered a few interesting shots, one of Giga Bowser staring into the abyss, and another of a smaller Bowser getting his head stuck in the mouth of a larger Bowser! Must have been some lucky timing with some of these. Holy Aura Dragon also submitted five funny screenshots that are bound to amuse. For example, one had Bowser offering to shake a paw, which looks pretty hilarious seeing Bowser acting nice and all. He has a look on his face like "put 'er there pal!", as he coughs up some smoke. You really have to wonder what his intentions are! Do you trust him? I also loved the one which has Bowser looking tough and gruff, with an intimidating glare that's as if he's saying "What are YOU looking at!?". Doesn't Bowser just do the best poses and impressions?
Alex Hobbs also submitted a second wallpaper of retro touch, which included Mario versing Bowser in World 8-4 of Super Mario Brothers. The wallpaper is sort of like a screenshot, with the Super Mario Bros. title screen pasted above. It is a small wallpaper, only 800 x 600 pixels, so it would probably work best as a centered wallpaper, instead of titled or stretched. That way, it won't get in the way of your icons.
As for other media updates, I have also added a few screenshots I have come across that I didn't have posted on The Bowser Shrine yet. I have included 3 small screenshots to the upcoming Mario & Luigi RPG 3 (tentative title), which will have Bowser as a fully playable character from the beginning! All 3 images are pretty small and rough, and eventually I'm sure there will be higher quality and larger images available closer to release date. Other games with added official screenshots include: Super Mario 64, Mario Kart 64, Mario Tennis, Mario Kart Arcade GP, Super Mario Galaxy, and Super Smash Brothers Brawl. I have also added a larger resolution, and clearer image of the Mario Kart 64 box in the Bowser Box Art section.
Lastly, I have added a link to Mario Resource, formerly known as Nintendo DS Resource. I remember stating that the webmaster had planned to expand the coverage to include all Nintendo consoles and handhelds on my Links page when it was still Nintendo DS Resource. It looks like this would be the result. Mario Resource is a fan site devoted to bringing news and information about Mario, Mario games, and Mario media. Like a lot of fansites *hint* *hint*, it is still under ongoing construction, but is updated quite frequently (ok, they've got me on that one!).
Whew, we've finally reached the end of another enormous update. Actually looking back, I really don't have a huge quantity of new content, and the update probably felt bigger and longer than it actually is. The extraction of the crouching Bowser render and searching for new screenshots is what probably took up most of the update time. I'm beginning to wonder if it's actually taking me as long to write the update notification post than it is to actually do the update! My goodness, my updates just keep getting longer and longer it seems! Many apologies to your eyes for having to read so long and hard.
As stated earlier, be on the lookout for another update coming soon to catch up on several fan fiction and mailbag submissions. When is "soon" from me? Time will tell. Next weekend I will be at a big Super Smash Brothers Melee tournament, which has quite a few big names coming, including my good buddy CAOTIC from Australia (one of the top Melee Bowser players in the world like myself). It should be fun, I cannot wait.
*Scrolls up* Just look at this update! All those words... it's not even a short story anymore, it's a novel! What did I write here my life story!? When am I going to get it that I need to make shorter and more frequent updates? Once again, sometimes I just need to learn to
(Image of MagnuM's "Bowser Powered" SmashBoards signature)
100,000+ Hits and Even More Words to Read than Last Update
August 16th, 2008
I'm back with probably the largest update I've ever done on this site this time! I'll try to keep future updates smaller and more frequent instead of posting a short novel like I have with my last few. Just reading and getting through this update notification alone may take you a good 10-15 minutes alone. Alright, here we go!
The Bowser Shrine has currently hit another significant milestone! My hit counter now reads over 100,000+ strong! After having such bad luck when The Bowser Shrine originally launched with trying to be indexed on the major search engines like Google and Yahoo, I never thought I would ever see the day of seeing my counter so high. Now as it stands, I'm currently ranked #3 on Google, and #7 on Yahoo for the keywords "bowser koopa". With frequent updates and more external links and popularity, I still think I can get even higher!
I realize that my counter just counts "hits" to the page, and that many of the hits may have come from automated bots or repeat visitors. It still has some sophistication to it however. I believe it will not count duplicate refreshes or revisits to the page in a user's same session. To test this, try hitting the "Refresh" button on your browser a few times and see if the counter goes up each time you do it. Or even try navigating to a few pages and then going back to the home page and see if it goes up. If it is working as expected, it should only be counting unique visits. This makes me confident that I am indeed getting quite a large amount of traffic here and the pressure's on me to keep content coming (this is a good thing!)
There has been one render of Bowser I have been trying to hunt down for months. I originally first layed eyes on it when I was sent a promotional ad via e-mail by Nintendo for Mario Party DS. It was a render of Bowser in the crouching position with a totally mean frown looking like he is ready to pounce! I was able to snag the animation used in the e-mail, and I've actually hosted this Bowser crouching render on The Bowser Shrine. Although I loved this little animation, I really wanted to see it blown up even bigger so I can see even more of Bowser's awesomeness in greater clarity. I've been searching far and low, near and far, up and down, here and there, EVERYWHERE for an official posting of this render on the internet, and have had no such luck in finding it. I was beginning to wonder if this image was even originally used in Mario Party DS, and if it had an individual Bowser render made for it. But oh how I would be tempted and teased later. In future e-mails from Nintendo, I would again see the eyes of the crouching Bowser in little menu bars like this one: This menu bar for "Mario Party DS" comes up every time in Nintendo's monthly newsletter: "Nintendo DS News" under the section "Our Hottest Titles!". I know Nintendo has this render in all its high-res glory and is hiding it from me! How could they torture me like this!?
Then OczBowser comes along and e-mails me some photos of Mario Kart Arcade GP being played. Scrolling through, I find this same render in one of the photo shots, except mirrored the other way! OczBowser told me that he took this screenshot from a YouTube video of a Preview of Mario Kart Arcade GP 2. Could it be that this image was made for Mario Kart Arcade GP or Mario Kart Arcade GP 2, which was a Japan-only release in the arcades? I must have been searching using the wrong keywords for this render! However, upon adjusting my search keywords, I was still not able to find this render. The search continues, but if anyone knows where I can find a high-resolution image of this render, or perhaps has it in their possession, please e-mail it to me! I have aptly titled the filename of OczBowser's picture "Crouching Bowser Hidden Koopa", because that render of him is doing a really good job staying hidden!
Next, hide the children, because you are about to witness the most scariest rendition of Bowser you've ever seen! A few months ago, an artist created a realistic life-like Bowser using digital painting in Photoshop. Bowser has been redesigned by the artist to look like a real animal. Bowser looks more like a large, shelled, bipedal dinosaur, and his colours have been reworked to look more like a natural creature. This new Bowser looks faster, more threatening, and even more hungry than ever. If you're not careful, you may just be eaten by him! This picture is so great that I decided to even include it in the Links section. This is a totally awesome digital work; many kudos to the artist who gave Bowser his life-like makeover!
Last update I spoke about not being able to find any videos of the episodes of the Japanese Super Mario Bros. (Amada series) cartoon. It wasn't long before I received a reply from OczBowser that the episodes were posted at veoh.com. Here are the direct links to all three episodes:
Unfortunately the episodes are in Japanese, since this cartoon was only seen in Japan, and there are no subtitles. So you better brush up on your Japanese, or just watch the video and fill in the gaps like I did. I really enjoyed this series because I thought the Koopalings and Bowser looked the most accurate from their original character drawings from Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World. The episodes were entertaining and had great action too. I was surprised to see Bowser tied up at held at gunpoint in the first episode. This is proof that it is actually Mario that is the villain in this whole series! He's is the evil one in this whole franchise, you've all been tricked! For the second episode, I definitely thought a Bowser-in-drag was pretty weird, but still pretty funny! In the third episode, after getting the insides poked by Mini-Mario causing a massive tummy-ache, poor Bowser gets his horns cut off by Mini-Mario's rapier! Everyone is so mean to Bowser all the time! It's too bad they didn't make more then 3 episodes, because this funny series was great!
Once again, for anyone that has read this far already... I'm impressed! We're halfway through the short novel now! Here are the details for the individual submissions for this massive update:
I received two affiliation requests over the past little while. One is from Nintendo Addict, which is a pretty active Nintendo forum for Nintendo addicts alike to share their ideas and interests. The other is from NintendoLand, which holds a special place in my heart! Launched in 1997, the original NintendoLand was a Nintendo enthusiast website offering fans a nostalgic journey down memory lane. From its great action filled deathmatches, great fanart, and a way too addictive forums, NintendoLand was easily the single most addictive website for me during my teenage years. Through the larger, parent forums VGF (Video Gamers First), I amassed over 3,000 posts (most of them about raving about Bowser of course). Sadly over time, NintendoLand began dying off, and then one day died completely. After years of inactivity, it has been remade by Angry_sun! Check out one of the oldest Nintendo fansites that has existed on the web! Both of these new affiliates are posted in the Links section.
Next is the coolest submission I've ever received! Puma Cub first e-mailed me asking if I had any 3D models of Bowser, and the files to go with it. Aside from the Garry's Mod Mario Pack for Half Life 2, I didn't have any 3D files of the Koopa King's form. However, through many countless searches for Bowser images, I would sometimes see some pictures of Bowser's in-game models from Wii or GameCube games. People must have been reverse-engineering some Mario games somehow to get the actual files used to create the in-game models! Then, through a topic on EmuTalk.net, Puma Cub took the liberty of extracting Bowser's Super Mario Galaxy model! Puma Cub is currently doing a project to get Bowser textured and rigged for Character Studio so that he can be animated. He submitted a screenshot of a textureless Galaxy Bowser model that sort of looks like a clay statue of some sort. The detail and definition of this skinless model is staggering! Bowser's textured Galaxy model is equally impressive, and there is also a very interesting shot of Bowser's wireframe model! It is so fascinating to see the intricate display of thousands of polygons all meshed together to create a detailed, realistic, and fluid character model. Puma Cub, this is an amazing project that you are pursuing. Please keep me updated on your progress!
In the Bowser Box Art section, I have uploaded two larger-resolution box art images for Game & Watch Gallery and Mario Super Sluggers that I found. I also found the Japanese and European box arts for the original Super Mario Bros. The smaller Japanese box art was because cartridges for the Famicom were quite a bit smaller than the large NES cartidges. I had come across these box arts before in the past, but didn't originally post them because of how different Bowser looked. He looked more like a bluish-gray rhino (without the horn) more than anything, and quite different than from even his vague 8-bit sprite in the game. In the end, this was originally made to depict Bowser, so I felt it should be included. It definitely is interesting to say the least. I wonder if this was perhaps how he was originally intended to look? Who knows...
OczBowser also reminded me that I had missed the box arts for Gameboy Gallery 2 (called Game & Watch Gallery 2 in North America), which had Bowser on the cover on both the Japanese and European versions of it. The European version has Bowser climbing over Luigi in order to get a better shot of himself in front of the camera. The Japanese version has Bowser tickling Toad silly. It's strange seeing Bowser nice and playful like this, but seeing that Yoshi is holding that wooden mallet above him, I guess he best be on good behavior! I found a larger version of this box art than the one OczBowser suggested, but the European one he found is nice and large! I added OczBowser to the Fan Contributions section for this excellent find. I'm pretty sure OczBowser is leading the pack when it comes to submissions and contributions to The Bowser Shrine so far. It is very much appreciated, thank you OczBowser!
Next in this collosal update notification post are some absolutely great screenshots from Jessika Stone! She submitted some screenshots from the weird Japanese Super Mario Bros. cartoon "Great Mission to Rescue Princess Peach!", as well as captured some awesome shots of Bowser in Mario Strikers Charged and Mario Power Tennis (mostly of both games' opening FMVs). I am absolutely addicted to Strikers Bowser. He was made with such an aggressive, mean style, and plus he looks so amazingly awesome! There is no celebration more satisfying than when he scores a hat trick and stomps forward giving that evil gruff laugh and then taps his claw extenders with that sinister grin. Jessika got a great shot of this, much to my delight. She also got a lot of cute shots from Bowser in the opening FMV of Mario Strikers Charged! Check them all out for sure in the Bowser Fan Screenshots section!
Rolling right along, Michael Scholze loved the design of Giga Bowser so much he decided to make an extremely cool wallpaper of Giga Bowser from Super Smash Brothers Brawl, and give it to the Bowser community! This wallpaper contains quite a few re-edited screens from Brawl Snapshots. It is really good that all the images were aligned to the right of the wallpaper so that they don't cover up desktop icons and look messy. This beautifully badass Giga Bowser wallpaper is another valuable addition to The Bowser Shrine. Adorn your desktop with it today by downloading it from the Bowser Wallpapers section!
Alex Hobbs submitted two older wallpapers of Bowser from Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door and the New Super Mario Bros. He wasn't sure if both of them were official, but they certainly look official, so I added them to the "Official Wallpapers" section of Bowser Wallpapers. He also made one of Bowser from Super Mario Sunshine. I also added six others courtesy NintendoLife in three common desktop resolutions.
As for what I contributed in all of this madness, I added two official Brawl screenshots that I hadn't posted before, and caught up on the latest Mario Super Sluggers screenshots that were posted on GameSpot. The game will already be available in a little over a week! See I told you it would be just around the corner, and it's almost here now! I also updated two renders for Mario Super Sluggers in the Bowser Renders section, and was delighted finding such a large Bowser render from Mario Super Sluggers on GameSpot!
I'm certain you're dying from eyestrain by now, but we're now reaching the end of this ginormous update.
And I thought the last update was long! Now I REALLY need to shut up!
(Image of MagnuM's "Bowser Powered" SmashBoards signature)
A Lot of Words to Read + Media Galore!
May 31st, 2008
Greetings all, hope you are all enjoying Mario Kart Wii, as well as the warmer weather if you are ever into going outside sometime. I must say I am thoroughly enjoying Mario Kart Wii, and it is fiercely competiting with Brawl for my attention time. One thing Mario Kart Wii definitely has up on Brawl is a more buffed-out online. As fun as the racing wheel is to use, I find myself switching to the GameCube controller when I'm ready to play serious on the harder modes. It just offers much tighter and quicker controls I find. I also like how mini-turbos don't require you to rock the control stick from side to side as you are navigating your turn. Everyone I've talked to has always enjoyed the Mario Kart franchise, and Mario Kart Wii delivers that same fun and addictive gameplay we've loved all these years.
When I first got the game, my first priority (aside from trying out Bowser) was to unlock the new Bowser's Castle. All I can say is Bowser did one heck of a job decking his latest castle out. I would have to say this version of Bowser's Castle has to be one of the coolest-looking and most challenging of the Mario Kart series. The course starts off with the racers driving through a stone statue of Bowser's face with glowing yellow eyes, and his mouth gaping open. This serves as the entrance or mouth to the castle (literally!). Shortly after, the carpeted hallway you enter warps and twists in an attempt to disorient you... it's quite trippy. After your expected thwomps, lava, and other scary things you'd expect to find in Bowser's Castle, an animated stone statue of Bowser belches huge fireballs at you while you try to cross the bridge in the middle of the circuit. The music is also really cool, and even has a hint of the 8-bit retro tunes you would hear while in Bowser's Castle in the original Super Mario Bros.
I would recommend this game as a "must have" for all Wii owners, but then again, any game with Bowser in it is a "must have" for me. If anyone wants to exchange friend codes and race sometime, just send me an e-mail
After just having two solid Mario title releases in a row over the past two months (Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Mario Kart Wii), we will have to wait a bit before the next one rolls around. But fear not, the wait will not be long, as Mario Super Sluggers is just around the corner! The game is the sequel to Mario Superstar Baseball for the GameCube, but will feature Wii-mote controls instead, which will certainly be a very favourable addition. The game is nearly ready for launch in Japan, with the release date for North America tentatively scheduled for about late summer or early fall. You can be sure that any Sluggers media, even remotely related to Bowser, will be swiped and posted here at The Bowser Shrine as soon as it has cooled off from coming hot-off-the-press.
When it comes to Mario character renders that are made for nearly each Mario game due for release, I am always left wondering where a lot of the major gaming sites get them from. Are they directly through Nintendo through some sort of deal perhaps? Too often, a great high-res render will be shrunk down to fit a certain area of a website, watermarked, or cut off through some sort of editing or Flash interface or something. I must know where these images come from, and where they are stored! Does Nintendo have a vault of ultra high-resolution Bowser renders unedited and uncompressed from their original source somewhere? If so, I just may have to plan some sort of espionage mission...
For each new Mario game recently released or upcoming, I always browse either IGN or GameSpot for any new renders of Bowser that may have been generated for the game. Often times I will find one, and high-res to boot, but a lot of the time, no render is posted at either site at all. This is not because the render was never made, as I would sometimes see the render inside the game's instruction booklet or in some promotional art, but not officially posted anywhere. If IGN and GameSpot turn up blank for renders, my next stop is usually at Jeux France, a French video game site that always turns up some rarities and gems sometimes. I'm not sure why it always seems like I have to search some of the most unlikely places sometimes for some of these rarer renders. If THAT place doesn't have it, I've found out my next stop would be to check out any Wikipedia article on the game, and see if there is any concept art posted, or references/external links. Sometimes there will be a link to the game's official website where some interesting stuff can be found. If I'm STILL outta luck, the last place I would think of would be to search at the Super Mario Wiki. I have often found some users post character renders here that I have never seen anywhere in my dedicated scouring of the web looking for the same image. Unfortunately many don't post their source of where they retrieved them from, and I am left dying to find out where they found it. Is there some website out there that I don't know about? I must know where people are finding these rare renders! Don't make me beg now... ... ... *hands together* PLEEEEASE TELL ME!! ... ... ... whoops... I guess I'm begging... my bad...
I commend anybody that has been crazy enough to read this far. Today's update is actually pretty decently sized, at least compared to most of my latest ones:
OczBowser sent in a flurry of screenshots, some from the one of the rarer Super Mario Bros. Japanese Cartoons, and the rest from Mario's Time Machine. These screenshots are from the same mini-series that Brittany Webb took her screenshots from and submitted them, and thanks to OczBowser, I now know the name of this mini-series, as well as some further information. The series is called "Super Mario Bros. (Amada series)", and it was a three-part mini-series released in 1989. I favour this series the most as the animation seems like the best from any other Super Mario Bros. cartoon, and the characters are also based on their official design. You can read more about this mini-series at The Mushroom Kingdom's Mania Section. I would really like to watch this series sometime, but it is very rare and almost impossible to find. Doing a quick YouTube search, I was unable to find anything relevant.
The rest of OczBowser's screenshots are captures from the NES version of Mario's Time Machine. Not too long ago, I answered a question in the Mailbag asking about Bowser's ability to take off his shell, or if it was even possible. OczBowser found a YouTube video of Mario is Missing for the PC in which Luigi pulls off Bowser's Shell in the end. OczBowser warned me that the game was widely regarded as "pretty horrible", and looking at it, I would tend to agree. The game kinda looks like a bunch of high school students whipped it up for a computer project or something. Also, if you watch the video, Bowser's tail (which is green, and was probably referenced from this render by the developers) and shell seem to be connected, and Luigi pulls them both off. I'm not even sure if this game can ever be called official, as it looks like Nintendo didn't even develop it or publish it, but the video is worth it alone just for seeing the hilarity of an embarrassed near-naked Bowser in boxers.
Benjamin Dickens does it again with another great Bowser wallpaper! This one is from Mario Kart Wii, with Bowser's blue-shell tossing render positioned in front of my favourite level in the game, Bowser's Castle. Benjamin even gave Bowser and the kart a nice bluish-neon outline. This is one wallpaper that would look totally bad on your desktop (and by bad I mean good!). It is available in widescreen ratio as well as standard. Check it out in the Bowser Wallpapers section!
djesterdog submitted a mailbag question asking about Bowser's hair. No, he wasn't just asking why a mutated turtle like Bowser has hair in the first place, but rather the difference between his hairdo when he was a youngster, and his hairdo as it exists today. He noticed that Baby Bowser always had his hair tied in a ponytail, rather than grown out into a full mane like adult Bowser. What was the reasoning for this? Did Kamek force young Bowser to wear his hair this way? Or perhaps there is no reason at all for this style decision. Check my answer out in the Mailbag
Next, I was able to hunt down and gather some of the latest Bowser renders from Mario Super Sluggers from Japan, and some other less common ones I came across from Mario Kart Wii. In the two I found from Mario Kart Wii on Super Mario Wiki, one has Bowser standing beside his green Bowser kart with the recycled render of Bowser from Super Mario Galaxy (I hate when they do this, so lazy!), and the other is a render of *WARNING: SPOILER AHEAD* Dry Bowser. Having not unlocked Dry Bowser yet in Mario Kart Wii, I was very surprised when I saw this render, as I did not expect or think he would be in the game. This undead and reanimated boney Bowser is quite scary looking, but cool none-the-less. Interestingly enough, his hair is tied back in a ponytail at the base just like Baby Bowser's. The new render from Mario Super Sluggers I also found at the Mario Wiki has an angry-looking Bowser holding his spiked bat over his head with the look of "I'm gunna knock this ball outta the park!" (he can, and will too!) It is kind of low res at the moment, and I'm not sure where the person who posted this got it from, but I'm sure a much bigger and more detailed render will be released when the game hits North America. Going to the game's official Japanese website, I also took a screencapture of the splash screen, which shows Bowser at the plate who has just hit a line-drive at Mario. This image also looks to be the game's official box art for Japan's release, I posted my screencapture as a non-official render.
Lasty I was able to grab all the latest screenshots from Mario Super Sluggers from Jeux France. I snatched 13 in all, and I'm sure there are many more well on the way. I have dumped them at the bottom of the Bowser Screenshots section (a section I have talked about organizing for about a year now. I'll do it someday...)
(Image of MagnuM's "Bowser Powered" SmashBoards signature)
Super Smash Brothers Brawl & Mario Kart Wii Media Update
April 30th, 2008
Mario Kart Wii launched this past week, which adds another must-have title for every Nintendo die-hard's collection. It was only a month and a half ago that Wii's flagship title Super Smash Brothers Brawl launched, and here we are with another smash hit that will continue to keep us addicted. I've actually just brought the game home myself, so it may be quite possible you won't see me until next month or something, hehe.
After nearly a year, The Official Super Smash
Brothers Brawl Website has finally ended its weekdaily updates as of April 14th. This site served as a great breaking-news-like resource for all the little tidbits of new information about the game that would be released on each weekday prior to its launch. Whether it was the unbearable anticipation for new playable characters or stages, or just laughing at the great snapshots taken and the captions that went with them, the Smash Bros. Dojo was always entertaining. Now it serves as a great database of the features of this great game which can be referred to at any time. This site sure had a lot of great Bowser screenshots that would rack up over the months, swiped by yours truly and posted here at The Bowser Shrine for your viewing pleasure! Now it's up to us to capture Bowser in those screen captures, and thankfully that has been made a lot easier by integrating Melee's "Camera Mode" features into the pause menu. So take some great snapshots guys, or else you'll leave me no choice but to go snap-happy (actually it probably wouldn't make a difference because I'd still do it anyway!)
Today's update consists of more Bowser screenshots, which we can never get enough of:
KoopeEX submitted some wicked screencaptures of Bowser's Badass Brawl Trophy from 3 different angles. I don't think that is the trophy's official name, despite my capitalization of each word to imply it so. However, I think that would be quite the fitting name, wouldn't you agree? I love them KoopeEX, thank you for your submission!
Over this past week I've swept every Mario Kart Wii gallery I know about gathering all screenshots that have a clear picture of Bowser in them. There were a few that I did not include where Bowser was much too small in the background to really be seen clearly or that didn't involve enough of him in the overall shot. Regardless, I've gathered nearly 20 new official Mario Kart Wii screenshots involving Bowser for my ever-growing gallery. I must say, the entrance to Bowser's Castle in this game is AWESOME! It is a stone statue of Bowser's face, and you actually drive into his open mouth, lol.
The Official Super Smash
Brothers Brawl Website had another posting this month of user-submitted fan screenshots from both America and Japan this time. I only found a few involving Bowser from both galleries, and I've included them under the official Bowser screenies again, just like I did with the last ones.
Look for another update to hopefully come quite soon, if I can manage to tear my Bowser-like grip from that Wii steering wheel!
(Image of MagnuM's "Bowser Powered" SmashBoards signature)
Smash Rant + Bowser Screenshots Update
March 31st, 2008
As predicted, Super Smash Brothers Brawl has been dominating nearly all of my free time since it's release on March 9th, 2008. The game is so much fun and so addicting making it impossibly hard to put down! I play Bowser and Pokemon Trainer as my main characters, mostly because Bowser and Charizard are my two most favourite Nintendo characters (actually just favourite characters period!). I'm really having a lot of enjoyment with this game, and might even go so far to say that it's even funner than Melee! I'm just gunna haveta blame Brawl for me hardly getting anything done this month!
As I stated in my last update, Super Smash Bros. Melee was my undisputed favourite game of all time. This masterpiece was so enjoyable and competitive and never got boring even years later. Speaking of competitive, another one of the reasons I enjoyed Melee so much was competing as a semi-professional "Smasher", competiting in Smash Brothers tournaments near and far (I would say semi-professional because I wasn't paid to do it). Those familiar with the professional smash community such as SmashBoards may have been curious about my alias and the way it is spelled, at least when it comes to professional Bowser players. I am indeed the pro Bowser Smasher "MagnuM", dedicatedly representing the coolest character of all time. I have had the privalege of playing the best Bowser players in the world such as Gimpyfish, CAOTIC, Arash, Captain Jack, Gojira, and Ken. If anyone is interested in checking out a few videos from a bit farther back in my Melee Bowser Career, just do a YouTube search for magnum bowser. I'll also post my signature banner I use at SmashBoards at the bottom of this page.
Unfortunately, Bowser was severely disadvantaged in Melee, something I disappointingly found out quite early. He was plagued with a lot of lag, awfully short range, weak moves compared to how powerful he is, was not as hard to KO as he should have been... and the list goes on. However, the ones faithful to Bowser were not deterred by these shortcomings, and strived to take Bowser to his limit, perhaps even becoming a tournament capable character. Techniques like Fortresshogging were introduced to try to give Bowser a competitive edge. Despite the efforts, the best Bowser has been considered on the Melee "Tier List" by general consensus of the best and most experienced Smashers was about the middle of the Low Tier. This was extremely frustrating to me because I had hoped that Smash Brothers would be a game in which you could win a tournament with your favourite character, and there wouldn't be advantaged characters and disadvantaged characters (i.e. tiers). I was practically praying Bowser would be better in Brawl
After a long 6 years of struggling with an under-privaleged Bowser in Melee, the Wii's most highly anticipated flagship title finally launches, along with an updated Bowser. After almost a month of hard play with the game, and especially with Bowser, it still seems too early to tell anything for certain. It is hard to say whether Bowser has gotten better, worse, or has remained about the same. One thing I noticed quite early is that his ground game seemed a lot better than his aerial game, which was pretty much a complete reverse in Melee. Bowser is definitely harder to KO on the sides, but he still seems to be easily KO'd off the top of the stage. Bowser's B-moves seem pretty beefed up, and his side-B snatching body slam is great for catching your opponent off guard (and even pulling a suicide KO if you can pull it off). Still though, to me the big turtle still seems pretty slow and laggy, is way too easy to juggle because of his size, and should deliver more power to his punch. It is hard to say how he'll land up on the stack, although most of the characters, amazingly enough, all seem to be pretty equal in skill and balance.
Wow I spent nearly an entire update just blabbing about Brawl! I'm sure I'll be addicted for quite a while, however my lack of progress and updates on The Bowser Shrine was definitely weighing on my conscience, as it should and constantly is. If anyone wants to play me online in Brawl using Nintendo WiFi, just e-mail me so we can coordinate friend codes.
Today's small update is just uploading the most recent Bowser screenshots that have been posted recently for Smash Brawl and Mario Kart Wii:
On the Friday before Brawl launched in North America, the The Official Super Smash
Brothers Brawl Website posted a large collection of user-submitted fan screenshots. Most of them are quite funny and some of them are pretty cool. It definitely shows off Brawl's robust screenshot feature, which was quite inconvenient to do in Melee with the whole "Camera Mode". Since I'm not sure whether these screenshots would be considered "Fan Screenshots" or not since they were posted on an official site, I'll post them under the official Bowser screenies, at least for the time being.
The latest screenshots of Bowser in Mario Kart Wii have him showing off his in-game motorcycle. It is pretty hard not to laugh seeing Bowser burning it on a bike and going off jumps... just wait until he pulls a wheelie!
(Image of MagnuM's "Bowser Powered" SmashBoards signature)
Bowser Media Update
February 29th, 2008
Happy Leap Day everybody! I'm sure anybody that was born on a leap day is very lucky, as they would probably age 4 times slower than the rest of us!
It appears that I will soon be reaching 50,000 page views at The Bowser Shrine very shortly. This is quite a milestone and I want to thank each and every one of you for checking out my website, and especially to the repeat visitors who frequently return checking for updates that Mr. Procrastinator here doesn't provide often enough.
It's hard to believe, and it has felt like so long, but Wii's flagship title Super Smash Bros. Brawl is just a little over a week away from release in North America. Super Smash Bros. Melee to date is my undisputed most favourite game of all-time. No game could ever capture my interest and keep me addicted for so long as that game did. 6 years later, the game is still not boring, and challenging friends for top smasher just never gets old. Hopefully Brawl can at least meet, and perhaps surpass the high expectations everybody has for it. Just taking the addition of online play alone, I don't think it will have much difficulty doing this.
Today's update was another quick one of catching up with some Bowser media:
Mario Kart Wii will be the next Mario game after Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and launches on April 27, 2008 in North America. Nintendo has had a pretty impressive collection of first-party Wii titles so far, especially for their Mario franchise. I have posted several screenshots of Bowser racing in-game in the Bowser Screenshots section. Bowser's Mario Kart Wii render has him driving a green "Hot-Rod"-like car with flames on it. He is preparing to chuck a blue shell while he has a squinting glare in his eyes. It looks really cool, and it's high resolution so all Bowser's delightful details can be seen.
Whoa, it has been far too long since I posted an update here at The Bowser Shrine! I apologize for the delay, this has been another very busy month for me. I'll try to remember to do more smaller updates rather than fewer large updates, since it makes the site look more active.
I got Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games and Super Mario Galaxy over the holidays, and am enjoying both games thoroughly. I still haven't beat Super Mario Galaxy yet so I'm still trying to avoid all of the spoilers!
And speaking of spoilers...
Super Smash Brothers Brawl launched in Japan today, much to the envy of all other Nintendo gamers still waiting for the release in other regions. With the official release of the game, the rumours and speculation comes to an end. All of the unlockable characters, stages and secrets finally revealed to the many internets! Actually, this M3G4T0N update occured a few days ago, when some lucky Japanese gamers were able to get their hands on some early copies of the game somehow, and upload screenshots and videos of their progress through the game as they unlocked everything. By now, the final roster of Smash Brothers Brawl as well as all of the stages are now known. When it comes to the playable characters, I have a few gripes about some that made the cut in the final roster, and some well-deserving characters, and specifically villains, that didn't, but it is still a pretty strong cast in my opinion. When it comes to the stages, I can't help but express my extreme disappointment and frustration with the exclusion of a stage I, and I'm sure many others, deemed a necessity. I guess even talking about something that does not happen still classifies as a spoiler, so if you still want to remain unpleasantly surprised, you are going to have to somehow scan over my outburst in the paragraph below.
HOW COULD THE DEVELOPERS, FOR A SECOND STRAIGHT TIME, REFUSE TO GIVE BOWSER A STAGE!? It is simply unfathomable! Bowser's Castle has been a stage or a level in pretty much every Mario platformer, spinoff, and sports game there has ever been made! I cannot understand why they would not make such a universally recognizable stage as Bowser's Castle! Everybody remembers their first encounter with Bowser in Super Mario Bros. on the lava bridge. Or what about Bowser's doomship in Super Mario Brothers 3? There have been so many interesting versions of Bowser's Castle presented in so many Mario games, the developers could have chose any one of them. For a game which prides itself on representing all the nostalgia from Nintendo's past, this was a colossal oversight in my view. I thought for sure there would be a very dynamic Bowser's Castle stage very similar to a lot of the Metriod stages that were made in the past for Smash Brothers. Now the only next best thing we can hope for is a well-made fan creation in the level editor. Tell me why it is necessary to have 3 Kirby stages, 3 Donkey Kong Stages, 3 Metriod stages, etc, and not have a single stage for Mario's prime nemesis. I will never understand why this must-have stage was forgotten about again, it is absolutely unbelievable.
As for judging how competitive the new Brawl Bowser is, it still seems too early to tell. There are several videos that have been posted of Bowser in action, mostly on YouTube. My good friend Gimpyfish62 was actually lucky enough to play Brawl early, and he posted The Best Brawl Match Ever Recorded in which he spammed the "Bowsercide". This is certainly a welcoming addition to Bowser's arsenal, a good way to lay the smack down on your opponent, and plus it looks so hilarious!
I can really get carried away when talking about Smash Brothers, but there is an update to present too:
I answered two fantastic thought-provoking questions in the Mailbag, both of which generating quite lengthy responses! The first asked about the origin of Bowser's kids, and where they may have come from, as well as if Peach had anything to do with their existance. I'm sure this has been a question you all have asked at some point or another, and we still don't know for sure. That uncertainty leads to all of the rumours and ideas that have been brought forth. The second question I'm sure you all have also asked yourself. Can Bowser take his spikey backshell off? We have never seen Bowser in a Mario game without his shell, but we have seen a few Koopas lose their home in the past (such as in Super Mario World). What would Bowser look like without his shell? Read my takes on these two questions and see if you agree with my predictions, and keep those great questions coming!
I also caught up on all of the Bowser screenshots that have been released for Brawl up to this point, but I should forewarn that I have posted some unofficial screenshots of Bowser seen in the Subspace Emissary. To me, the screenshots don't seem to spoil too much, but if you'd rather not see them just yet, stick with the official media on The Official Super Smash
Brothers Brawl Website.
Lastly, Benjamin Dickens made some neat wallpapers which have been posted under the "Unofficial Wallpapers" section of Bowser Wallpaper. They are designed for widescreen monitors and they look pretty sharp! Thank you for your submissions Benjamin!
It is exactly one year to the day that The Bowser Shrine was first launched to the world wide web! Although its initial release was quite preliminary, with only the main website design up as well as some contact information, I wanted to unveil my project early so that all the Bowser-obsessed fans could have something to look forward to. I've always known that Bowser deserved a large, dedicated fansite honouring his greatness, and after seeing such few Bowser websites over the years, I felt it was time someone payed Bowser the respect he deserves. It is my hope that my website, The Bowser Shrine, can live up to these hefty expectations, and give the Koopa King his full honours. I want it to be overwhelming with Bowser content and media and truly be every fan's number one stop for anything relating to Bowser and/or the Koopa species!
I have been collecting Bowser media ever since I was old enough to figure out how to, and I felt I just had to share all of this passion by providing all of my content and information that I possessed. I had greatly underestimated the amount of time it would take to properly share all this information and create everything. I had originally planned to launch The Bowser Shrine when it was 100% complete, but to do so would have meant even more and more waiting by the Bowser faithful. I decided last year that I would launch what I had at the time and build everything up slowly to completion. Over the past year, I have created most of the informational Bowser content and uploaded much of the official artwork and screenshots that I have collected, but I'm still not even close to finished this project. By my rough estimation, I would say I'm not even half done what I had originally planned to do. It has been frustrating to see such slow progress, and I thought I would certainly at least have all the grey links completed by now. I still have thousands of Bowser fanart pictures to share as well as sprites, music, merchandize, and I definitely need to get a forum going too. You haven't seen anything yet!
The amount of dedication and time that is needed to build and maintain such large fan-sites is probably one of the reasons such few exist. Even when a site is complete, having frequent updates with new media and information is usually rare. I want to try to avoid that, so perhaps slowly building and building on my website may turn out to be a good thing. I find it incredible that I have racked up over 33,000 hits on my fansite just in the first year alone! I bet a lot of it is from eager Bowser fans who have already added The Bowser Shrine to their bookmarks, and are checking frequently for updates; in which I seemingly can only manage to provide about twice or thrice a month. I really want to thank everybody for being patient with me. I guess patience is a requirement when you're a Bowser fan. *Walks over to NOA headquarters banging on the doors* "Where's Bowser's game!? Are you working on it right now!?"
Today's update is mostly a catch-up on media again:
Joey Anderson sent in a screenshot of Talon's Bowser brooch from Ocarina of Time, as well as the Bowser portrait painting that could be seen looking out of the window of the castle room in which you meet Zelda. This was an interesting cameo Bowser made in Ocarina of Time, and I'm glad Joey took these screenshots and sent them in to serve as a good flashback.
DarkCream sent in a painting of Bowser with King Boo that I have never seen before. I'm guessing it may have been from Luigi's Mansion, which I have not played. DarkCream also found a great screenshot of Bowser spinning the heavy hammer from the Hammer Throw competition in the opening FMV for Mario & Sonic at the Olympic games. I was quite impressed with this find and added DarkCream to the Fan Contributions section. Thanks for the submissions DarkCream!
I still have two mailbag submissions and three fanfics to get to. I will most likely look at these on the next update, which realistically will probably happen in the new year with all the fun things that the month of December brings. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Today I updated a bunch of Bowser media I had been collecting over the past couple weeks:
Just when you thought you've seen the biggest and highest resolution Bowser render here yet, I have found the largest by far! This one is of Bowser's character render art for Super Mario Galaxy, and it's a whopping 3500 X 3500! Looking at the "Actual Size" in your image viewer, Bowser pretty much looks life-size! I bet if you were to print it out on a very large piece of poster paper, you could have a life-sized poster of Bowser for your room! I love Bowser's pose in this render as well; such style and attitude! I don't know why it is always at the blogging sites or some other random site that some people always find these huge-resolution Nintendo character artworks. The author at Almost Monumental said that Nintendo released it, but I'm not sure where! Check out this monster-sized Bowser Galaxy render
Also, I got a promotional e-mail from Nintendo announcing the release of Mario Party DS, and in the e-mail was an awesome animated GIF of a spinning Bowser assuming a crouching pose at the end. I thought it definitely looked wicked, and I'm hunting for a high resolution picture of this Mario Party DS render. If anyone knows where it can be found, please let me know, because this render can definitely be considered really high up on the Wanted list!
I also managed to come across an awesome Super Mario Galaxy wallpaper featuring a really tough crossarmed Bowser, isn't he great?
Any other media additions, just look for the blue borders.
I do occassionally, between posted updates, make small modifications to some sections of The Bowser Shrine, that most
people probably won't notice. Most often it is just small design tweaks and what not that I don't really feel necessary to
make a posted update to tell everybody about. Other times, I work for a few hours one day on an update on my local webserver,
and then finish the rest up another day and then upload it. So while there may be large gaps sometimes between posted updates,
usually there are small changes made or work done inbetween.
With today's submission of the following fan submissions, I have only 2 or 3 fairly lengthy fan fictions to review and
upload. After that, I should be up to date with all the e-mails that have been sent to me for a while. Lengthy fanfics are by
no means a disadvantage, it just simply means I will need a larger portion of time to spend reviewing it for uploading. So
please don't be discouraged if your fan fiction is long, it doesn't mean it is any less great!
And now, the update:
Each section now has a "Last Updated" notification explaining when that section was last updated or modified. This is both
a good reminder for myself, as well as everyone else, how recent the information or media on that page is. It will also be a
very good way for anyone to remind me when I need to be on my toes for some sections in which there is new content to be added.
A small change yes, but it serves as a great reminder.
I have recoded my Links page so that it is much more readible and everything is much more aligned.
I've also added one link to a promising new Mario universe fan site named "The Castle of the Hybrid Goomba". The content on the
site is coming for most of the sections, but web development takes a lot of time.
Two great questions for the Mailbag have been answered. I am loving your guy's unique and varied
questions, keep them coming! One question concerned Bowser's minions or accomplices (like Kammy Koopa), and where they might be
when they are no longer seen. The other question was a multi-question, the first asking about the name similarities between King
Koopa (cartoon) and King Bowser Koopa (videogames). The other asked about who Morton Koopa Jr. is named after. These latest
entries brings my grand total to 6, but I'm sure there will be tons more.
Brittany Webb did some great screen captures of Bowser appearing in some Japanese
Super Mario Bros. cartoons as well as the American commercial for Super Mario All-Stars that can be seen at
Retro Junk. These captures are fantastic Brittany, thank you very much!
Now I'm REALLY going to have to restructure some sections of The Bowser Shrine due to how large they have gotten, most
notibly, the screenshots sections, and the fan fiction section, and others. When I first created them, I didn't really give
enough foresight to how everything was going to be organized when it got too large to all fit on one page. I need a much better
directory structure in a lot of sections to 1. reduce the amount of scrolling that is needed to see just certain parts in that
section, and 2. to reduce unnecessary bandwidth sucked up by just throwing everything onto one page. My next upcoming update
will focus on the reconstruction of these sections, before moving on to completing other sections I plan to do on TBS (see
greyed out links). I also have a few more fan fictions to review and upload, as well as tons of new Bowser media to update;
a lot of which coming from the Brawl Dojo!! and other sources.
An Update Long Overdue: The Uploading of Dated Fan Submissions
November 6th, 2007
I've finally found a good portion of free time in one day to dedicate to focusing on reviewing and uploading all of the older
fan submissions I have received over the past few months. Having so many extracurricular demands and interests to pay attention
to can become quite distracting, and makes updates harder to keep up with due to less free time. This is agonizing to me because
I know that people want to see progress on the site, as I also want to see it completed as soon as possible. The grayed out links
on the left (which have been gray for far too long) are just a small number of the sections I plan to do in the near future. I
still have so many aspirations for The Bowser Shrine, you haven't seen anything yet. As for an idea, I have 1,500 fan art pictures
I've collected over the years of Bowser Koopa alone, most found on the fantastic art site
DeviantArt. I guess I've now answered my own question as to why there isn't very many large fansites anymore...
Everything you see on The Bowser Shrine is completely hand-coded by myself, which is the way I prefer to do it. However, this
means it takes longer to process submissions, since they must be customized to meet the site template. Over time I will be able to
become more efficient at this. I know I'm getting many visitors each day, most of which being repeat visitors looking for updates.
I'm sorry I have taken so long lately to act on some of your guy's submissions, I just wanted to really take the time to properly
go through it all. Thank you for being patient, and thank you for your continued interest in The Bowser Shrine! I will certainly
try to keep updates much more consistent and frequent, rather than going long stretches with infrequent large updates.
Whew, glad I have gotten that out of the way! Now without ANY further delay (for once), may I present... THE UPDATE *gasp!*
The "TBS Fan Contributions" section has now been created. This will be the place where I provide credit to the fans who have
submitted new/updated information or media to the site (not including specific fan works like fan fics or fan art). It's my way
of saying "Thanks!" to the people that have discovered these things, and offered to share it, (and also my humble admission to
these people of their impressive rare Bowser searching skills!)
Liam M. sent in the Japanese Box Art of Super Mario Bros. 2, which
interestingly enough shows Bowser with Super Saiyan like attributes (a Dragon Ball Z reference if anyone's been hiding under a
rock for the past decade). These attributes were also given to Bowser as his second costume in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Thanks
very much for this rare gem Liam!
Charkonian Ard sent in an absolutely ginormous resolution render of
Bowser Breakdancing from Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix. This
submission is the higest resolution render of Bowser on The Bowser Shrine to date. The funny thing too is that I remember seeing
this image come up months back while doing my typical weekly Bowser Google Image searches (the obsession!!). Even seeing the image
as the second Google Image hit on the first page, I never paid attention to just how big it actually was! In my experience, most
Google Image searches just retrieve these tiny little images altered by other evil webmasters to fit their website; and not
providing a link to the full res. glory! No excuses though, a deal's a deal. I will provide credit to Charkonian's find, and post
it in the Bowser Renders section. I'm not sure where this blogger from
Press the Buttons was able to snatch this high res.
image, it seems like it may have come right from the source (Nintendo)
Erin Thweatt submitted an AWESOME scan of a fist-clenching, blue-eyed Bowser
render from the Super Mario Bros. 3 Strategy Guide. It replaces a very vague and dark low res. image with a grainy background from
the "Unofficial Renders" section of the Bowser Renders section. I don't believe I have ever seen
this render of Bowser used anywhere else. This is perhaps the best (and certainly the most vividly colourful) Bowser render I have
ever seen. It was great for Erin to scan this in so well, because while I do own a impressive number of Mario games Bowser is in,
as well as magazines and media, I couldn't possibly own everything! This scanned render is a rare gem, and a valuable addition to
The Bowser Shrine!
Stupid M M was clearly not stupid when they wrote "Bowser Meets a Girl
Red Yoshi". This Fan Fiction is written in a play format, separated by parts. It is a
story revealing Bowser's softer side, which he proudly hides reluctantly. It seems the author of the play has a promising talent
in writing for their age. I like how the author made Bowser try to act all tough and reluctant to the love he was receiving from
Rosa, it is so in-character for the Koopa King.
Sticking with the theme of: Sympathy for a Bowser with Heartache, BoomerB157, wrote
"Bowser's Triumph", in which Bowser is successful in defeating Mario, and can
finally focus on gathering the courage to tell Princess Peach his true feelings for her. The story may be short, but it sticks well
to Bowser's character, and the choice of wording is quite good! I'm sure fans will enjoy this well-written short story
Last, but not least, Josh Gonzalez wrote the colour-coded story "Bowser Story!"
about Bowser's uninvited drop-in to the Mushroom Ball. The colour-coding gives a unique personality to each character (Red for
Bowser, Pink for Peach, etc). This is another example of a well-written, well detailed short story. I liked the humour added as
well with Bowser blaming Peach for not leaving the window open for him so he didn't have to crash through it! The fight scene was
full of action as well, it was neat envisioning the details the author provided.
Next update I will process the remaining back-dated fan submissions. Oh yeah, and eventually I have to finish more sections...
A playable demo of Super Smash Bros. Brawl was available at the Entertainment for All Expo (E for All) held at the Los
Angeles Convention Center between Oct. 18-21. There the general public was able to test drive games that had not yet been
released to market yet. Gimpyfish, fellow Bowser diehard and Melee Bowser master, was able to attend this event over all 4
days, and has posted his impressions of the demo at SmashBoards.
In general, most of Bowser's moves have been kept very similar, but he has been buffed up. He has become larger and more
powerful, and is now much more difficult to K.O. He also will not flinch to quick weak attacks. He is noticably faster, or
at least has less laggier moves, and also gets an increase of range. A very interesting move he has been given as well is
the ability to do a flipping body slam to an opponent after grabbing them with the Koopa Klaw (and it looks hilarious!). It
is believed that Bowser can also use this as a suicide move by the edge. All in all, Bowser is shaping up pretty good, but
it all comes down to how the other characters are fine-tuned. Brawl will be slower than Melee, but faster than Smash 64.
Perhaps this slower gameplay will allow power characters to become more effective. It is still very early to determine any
sort of tier lists thus far, but first impressions of Bowser are good.
There is an overwhelming addition of Super Smash Bros. Brawl videos that can be seen from this event, most of them posted on
YouTube. Here's a little list of some of the good videos that Bowser is featured in:
As many had come to suspect recently, Super Smash Bros. Brawl has been delayed. It was originally supposed to launch on
December 3rd, 2007, exactly six years after Super Smash Bros. Melee. Just before Sonic was revealed as the second third
party playable character in Brawl at the Nintendo Fall 2007 Press Conference, it was announced that the Japan release date
of Brawl was delayed until January 24th, 2008. After that, The Official
Super Smash Brothers Brawl Website had TBD beside the official release date leading to the speculation that it would be
delayed in North America as well. Today, a new launch date of February 10th, 2008 for the Americas was posted on the website.
As strange as this may sound, I was very pleased to hear this news. The release date was delayed because the developers
need more time to complete the game. This shows that they truly care about delivering a fantastic title that will be
enjoyed for years to come. Had the game been rushed, it would have shown in the quality and depth of the game. If you can
remember, Super Smash Brothers Melee was originally supposed to be a GameCube launch title, but it was delayed for two weeks
for extra tweaking. Who knows what the final result would have been if it was not pushed back. Also think about what could have
been done with Melee had it been delayed further (the elimination of clones, better character balance with less tiers, etc).
It was pretty much an insult having Bowser as useful as Pichu in Melee, and I'm sure with more time the developers may have been
able to correct Bowser's fundamental flaws as a fighter. If the developers of Brawl do not release future online balance updates,
then they only have one shot at trying to balance the game and keep an even playing field. Having a delay will also allow for more
stages, more characters, and greater overall depth and polish. This delay could mean the difference between a 9.0 and a 9.8 in
reviews. I know you are all just dying to finally get a chance to play the game, and to play as Bowser, just as much as I am.
The developers asked for an extension because they absolutely needed it. Give them the time they need to make this the greatest
Nintendo game of all time. I please ask everybody not to nag for the release of the game and to be patient. Your future self will
I've answered a good mailbag question that asked whether Bowser could be considered a large Fire Bro. Both Bowser and Fire
Bros. can breathe fire, which seems like a pretty rare ability amongst the Koopas. Perhaps Bowser is just a big Fire Bros.! Find
out the answer in the Mailbag! (Keep sending in your questions guys, they are great!)
I've added 24 screenshots to the Bowser Screenshots section for the games Super Mario
Strikers, Super Mario Galaxy, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games. Originally, since I wasn't sure exactly
how I would organize all the of screenshots when I first made the screenshots sections, I decided to dump them all onto one page for
the meantime. Now I am noticing that it's kinda klunky to go in there to look for a certain screenshot, as you have to wait for all
the thumbnails to load, and scroll all the way down the page sometimes. This can be easy reorganized so that bandwidth and time can
be saved. I will most likely organize the screenshots by game in alphabetical order very soon. New screenshots for upcoming games are
coming out all the time, especially for Super Smash Brothers Brawl, and you can bet I'm always there checking for new Bowser
information and/or screenshots (even if he is far in the background in the screenshot). Yes, do not underestimate the obsession...
The Bowser Shrine finally has its first fan fiction submission! "Unsent Letters" by Kevin Koopa
tells the story of Bowser's struggle to tell Princess Peach the truth, and the reason for him constantly kidnapping her. It
reveals Bowser's softer side, his feelings of love and care for the princess, and his desire to be with her to cure his
loneliness. It is an interesting short story that is very well written. The style of writing is quite skillful, and has great
imagery. It really seems like a untold story of Bowser's personal side. I have always imagined Bowser being embarrassed about
his secret crush on the princess, being the supposedly tough, tyrannical ruler that he is. It is like he tries as hard as possible
to hide his soft spot for Peach by continuing to act bad and obnoxious so that his secret doesn't get out. This story is a good
example of just how deep and complex Bowser's character and personality really is. You can find it posted in the
Bowser Fan Fiction section.
I've added two Mailbag submissions asking about Bowser's native language, and whether Bowser could be
considered a Spiny, since he has a spiky shell. I am currently processing some other fan submissions I have received recently, look
for them to be posted soon!
I decided I would go through all of my old Nintendo instruction manuals and strategy guides and stuff to try and find as many
Bowser artworks and renders as I could. Most times there are some rare ones that you can seemingly only find in a hard copy, and
the image doesn't seem to exist online. I have found a bunch which I believe would probably be quite rare, and I have scanned them
all into my computer. It was nearly a good half-day's work to scan everything in, but I sure have a large collection of some of the
rarities when it comes to Bowser images. Over time, I will clean up these scans in photo editing programs, and post
them on The Bowser Shrine (most likely in the unofficial part of the Bowser Renders section.
Bowser Evolution Updated
July 5th, 2007
I described 3 more recent renders of Bowser in the Bowser Evolution section. It's really
strange because all 3 renders are radically different from each other. Bowser now seems to have bunch of appearances he can be
depicted as. Bowser's Brawl render is very good artwork and looks very realistic, but he's just gotta lose those freakish looking
gums! Brawl development team, if you're listening...
Well, just one day after Bowser was confirmed in the roster for Super Smash Bros. Brawl, his Final Smash has already been
revealed. It is something I had predicted myself ever since learning about Final Smashes, and I'm sure a lot of other people did
too. Bowser transforms into Giga Bowser for a short while, and can wreak havoc for all that stand in his way! It is also hinted
that Giga Bowser may be invincible during this Final Smash.
When normal Bowser transforms into Giga Bowser, he becomes a colossal beast, at least 4 times his normal size, with even larger
and thicker long horns, even sharper dagger-like teeth, longer and more tapered backspikes, and he looks even meaner and more
sinister (plus his gum problems only get worse!). Giga Bowser looks slightly different than the Giga Bowser in Super Smash Bros.
Melee. The differences in Brawl are that his scales are a darker shade of brown, his proportions look a bit different, and his face
is even more psycho and evil. When Bowser summons the power within and begins his transformation... you better run!
(Render image of Super Smash Bros. Brawl Giga Bowser)
Bowser Confirmed For Brawl!!
July 3rd, 2007
You may all release your held breath now and relax, the Koopa King will be returning in Super Smash Brothers Brawl! Although
this is perhaps the worst kept secret ever, that uncertainty was always unsettling. Now the only thing we have to worry about is
hoping that the developers remember to make Bowser's Castle in Brawl so Bowser has his own stage.
Bowser has returned with an updated look, but the reaction seems to be mixed amongst most people. Bowser appears much more
realistic and scary-like than even his Melee look, and Bowser also appears much older. It seems like he also got a haircut, his
scales are a lighter shade of brownish-orange, his claws are much more detailed, and his face just looks plain... weird.
They have made Bowser an old dinosaur indeed, I mean, they pretty much gave him wrinkles on and around his snout. This sort of
gives an even deeper realism and sophistication to him, but he looks well past retirement! The most strangest addition is puffy
swollen looking gums, similar to Giga Bowser's strange-looking mouth. This gives Bowser a very menancing and psychotic look, but
in my opinion, I think it was taking it way too far. I really didn't like the whole Giga Bowser idea, or the look in the first
place, and this new Bowser appears to look similar to Giga Bowser in a few ways. One saving grace is from further away, you can't
really tell that Bowser has seriously inflamed gums.
Now Bowser has always looked cool, but he didn't sacrifice his good looks in the process. I never thought I would say this,
but Brawl Bowser appears to have more of the ugly cool monster look. I'm not too much in favour of Bowser looking anywhere close
to ugly or deformed or gothic or psycho or anything, so I'd definitely have to prefer Bowser's Melee look over his Brawl look. My
favourite Bowser to date would have to be his Super Mario 64 renders in the instruction manuals and on the cartridge. That had a
perfect balance of looks and coolness if you ask me. Ok, this looks like something I should save for the Bowser Evolution section,
which I'll need to update soon, so I'll just stop ranting now. Bowser's confirmed in Brawl, which is awesome, and it looks like
they are hinting of making him a lot better too... which is even better!
I have noticed an inconsistency between browsers when loading up The Bowser Shrine. When I load the page in Internet Explorer,
I've noticed that the menu link spacing looks much different than it does in FireFox; which I've been using to test the page on
my local webserver. The code is exactly the same, but for some strange reason IE decided to add much more spacing between my links
on the left hand side. Surprisingly it still looked okay with all that spacing, but for consistency's sake, I want it looking as
identical as possible to the version I'm bringing up in FireFox. Seeing my webstats, over 75% of my viewers are using Internet
Explorer, so it's best I have the page looking the way it should be! I've modified the code now to keep IE happy... get FireFox
people, it's way better! Another issue I saw with the page was when viewing it in the Wii's Opera browser. The disclaimer at the
bottom was not linebreaking properly, and looked really messy. I've modified it slightly so that it displays properly in the Wii
browser, however, it looks a bit messy now and I'll need to add to it in the future to bulk it up a bit.
Another small tweak I have done is improving my counter to only track unique visitors. So refreshing the page 10 times won't
make the counter go up 10 increments. I find this will be much more accurate tracking of how many visitors have actually come to
check out the site. So yes, the counter is lower now, but it's more accurate. I found a great service called
StatCounter, which is a free yet reliable invisible webtracker, hit counter, and web-stat
service. If you are a webmaster, definitely check this out!
Search Engine Indexing
June 10th, 2007
One month ago, I wrote in one of my May updates that The Bowser Shrine was having trouble getting indexed in search engines
and nobody was finding the site. Although TBS was listed on Google and Yahoo, it would appear on like page 5 or 6; even for a
descriptive search such as "Bowser Koopa". Since that time, I have seeked the advice of other webmasters, contacted other
related websites to do link exchanges and affiliations, and cleaned up some of my code to meet the strictest standards. Wow what
a difference that has made! I am now on the first page of both Google and Yahoo for the search keywords "bowser koopa". I'm
actually not sure I could even get any higher! I'm really pleased of how much improvement I did in the rankings in such a short
period of time. I believe getting more sites to link to TBS is what did the most good, as a huge part of Google's PageRanking
algorithm is how many other related websites link to yours. I've also been including a link to The Bowser Shrine in a lot of
message boards, and that has probably helped traffic as well.
I'm now getting quite a few hits to my counter everyday, and that's really encouraging. Also puts more pressure on me to keep
pumping out updates. I have had the first e-mails come through for a mailbag submission as well as a short fanfic! Look for those
to be posted soon! I'm so glad to be having regular traffic now, so expect a guestbook and a extensive forums to go up in the near
June 3rd, 2007
Unfortunately I'll be a bit busier from now on and updates to the site may be a little less frequent. I really wanted to get
all the grayed-out sections done before things got busy again, but I guess I underestimated how much work it takes to create an
extensive fansite! The Bowser Shrine will not be finished after the grayed out sections are complete, it will continue to build
and grow over time and I will always be updating it. Perhaps the reason why there aren't that many fansites out there is the simple
fact that it is time consuming and a lot of hard work to build and maintain one. It's also possible that everyone basically looks
for somebody else to take the initiative. My major goal with the creation of The Bowser Shrine is to get Bowser the respect he
deserves! I'm sure Bowser has a much larger fanbase than people think, or at least he's on the "Top 5 Favourite Mario Characters
List" of most people, but all I know is that I will never be at ease until Bowser gets a game of his own!
Bowser Strikers Charged Concept Art!
May 24th, 2007
Nintendo just released an awesome character art picture of Bowser in Mario Strikers Charged! They've got Bowser looking quite
mean indeed! Check it out in the Bowser Renders section! All I can say is that I cannot wait for
Alright, so the speculated huge update on The Official Super Smash
Brothers Brawl Website landed up being just a site redesign with the news that updates will occur on every weekday.
There was also a list of composers that gives some hints on which new characters might be included. At the bottom of the page
there is remixed SSBM Menu Music that will most likely be used on the Battlefield stage. So no news on a Brawl Bowser yet, but
looking on the bright side, releasing a little bit of information each day just might make it seem like less of a wait until
the game comes out. I'll be checking the website every weekday to see when we can finally get some information about Bowser in
Brawl. You know he's going to be in it, so don't worry! I can't wait to see what he looks like!
Bowser Fan Screenshots Available!
May 18th, 2007
I have now gathered all of the screenshots I have taken of the Koopa King in Mario games and posted them under the "Fan Stuff"
heading in a link called Bowser Fan Screenshots. I've picked 226 of my best screenshot
captures for you Koopaholics! Most of these screenshots I took over the years using a capture card that my Nintendo system was
hooked up to. There I could take some decent screenshot captures, and I was sure to keep them safe over the years. The best
gallery would be the screenshots for Super Smash Brothers Melee, because of the game's fanastic graphics and awesome camera mode.
Garry's Mod is another excellent gallery, as there is actually a full legitimate Bowser model that can be downloaded for Half Life
2. In the future I will probably have separate sections for these two galleries. Anyways, all the snapshots are really good, and
since all the control is in the hands of the user, Bowser is quite often the center of attention (as he should be!). If you have
any Bowser screenshots you have taken, don't hesitate to share them here on The Bowser Shrine!
Official Smash Bros. Website Overhaul Coming May 21st!
May 17th, 2007
If you go to http://www.smashbros.com, there is a teaser splash page presenting an official Super Smash Brothers Brawl website
called "Smash Bros. Dojo!!". The official Smash Bros. website hadn't been updated since late last year, probably around November
when the last Super Smash Brothers Brawl trailer was released. An image at the bottom of the splash page says "Site Launch in 4
days (Japan Time)". This is exciting news as there is a good chance we will be getting more information about Brawl, such as
more characters revealed, stages, and maybe even an official release date. It's also quite possible we might see early
screenshots of Bowser in Brawl for the first time. You can bet if any images are released, I will post them here at The Bowser
Shrine. I have 226 personal screenshots of Bowser which I have completed processing on. They will be posted under the "Fan Stuff"
heading as Bowser Fan Screenshots. I should have them uploaded by tomorrow.
May 11th, 2007
I have created a really short Bowser Fan Fiction section basically explaining that there
are no Bowser fan fictions to display yet. It took like 5 minutes to do and it fills out the greyed-out links a bit better. I also
added two more links to the "Mario Universe" section on my links page. I am currently processing some more Bowser screenshots
(as if 225 wasn't enough). I'm doing the Bowser Fan Screenshots section now, so I'm
gathering all of my screenshots I've taken of Bowser in Mario games. I expect it to be at least as big, if not bigger than the
Bowser Screenshots section.
I have now gathered all of the screenshots of Bowser I have seen Nintendo release to support their Mario games and have posted
them in the Bowser Screenshots section. I have found most of these images at major gaming
publications such as IGN and Gamespot, or at the official website for the respective game or at Nintendo.com. I chose to include
only the best screenshots of Bowser, where he can clearly be seen and that are unique. There are quite a few screenshots I have
displayed, a whopping 225 to be exact! Good screenshots of already released or upcoming Mario games are important to generate
interest in the game and to advertise. I'm also planning a Bowser Fan Screenshots section,
where fans can send in their screenshots they have taken of Bowser through capturing software or other means. If you can find any
other good official Bowser screenshots for some games, give me a shout!
5 More Unofficial Bowser Renders + Indexing Problem
May 9th, 2007
I have added a few more unofficial Bowser Renders in the respective section. Since I am always
ordering the images by date of release of the game it was made for, I guess it can sometimes be hard to pick out what the new ones
are. I am very close to completing the Bowser Screenshots section containing over 200
screenshots of Bowser! These are just the official screenshots of him too, I plan to also have a
Bowser Fan Screenshots section as well!
Another odd thing has been happening with The Bowser Shrine and search engine indexes. The Bowser Shrine has been around since
December 2006, but months later, I am still very low on the search engine rankings for even descriptive searches such as
"Bowser Koopa". Also for some strange and frustrating reason, my website will intermittently disappear completely from any search
for the title "The Bowser Shrine", and the homepage will disappear when doing a search for the URL "http://www.bowsershrine.com".
When searching by URL, other sections of the page may come up, but not the homepage. I have no idea why this could be happening,
and Google's Webmaster Tools says the site passes everything. I am very lost and confused as to why I can't get a good PageRanking
and why I'm still so far down on the list. I want people to find this site as it has a lot of great things to offer and I've worked
pretty hard on it already. If anyone has any ideas or tips at all, please contact me.
I have now posted my collection of box art images I have seen Bowser on in the
Bowser Box Art section. These box art images are created to support the respective Mario game and
to serve as advertising to generate interest in it. High quality, high resolution box art images are often to hardest to get, as
most box shots you find on the net are just a small preview thumbnail that doesn't enlarge. Some of these box arts I have scanned
myself, others I found on Gamespot or by doing search engine image searches. I have also included box art pictures from other
countries or regions in which Bowser can be seen in. I have posted 27 box art images in total, and I'm sure I have covered most of
the North American boxes at least. If you can manage to find a box shot with Bowser that I have not listed, or a higher quality
image, please let me know!
I have now posted my collection of Bowser Wallpapers I have found from the web and on
official Mario game sites. These wallpapers are released around the same time its respective game is, for fans to adorn their
desktops with! Often high resolution Bowser renders for the respective game is used in the wallpaper, making it look really
sharp and detailed. I have posted 26 Bowser wallpapers, some of which having different resolutions for different desktop sizes.
So, go ahead and download all the Bowser wallpapers you want. I would really appreciate credit or a link to The Bowser Shrine
if you like the wallpapers here. I'm always searching for more wallpapers whenever new Mario games are released, and I will
provide them all here if I find them!
I am always looking to expand my links section and affiliate with other Nintendo sites. If you are interested in doing a link
exchange with The Bowser Shrine, Contact Me! I have added three webpages to the
I finally have some Bowser media available for The Bowser Shrine! I'm beginning to share all my Bowser wealth! I have posted
all of the Bowser Renders I have collected over the years. The images I posted are character
art and renders of Bowser released for a specific game. Nintendo has other Bowser generated images for advertising, box art,
and merchandise, and those will be featured in upcoming sections under the "Bowser Media" heading very soon! I listed 64 images
in total, and I'm sure there are even more out there somewhere.
I was pondering for quite a while about how I would display the images. Since some of these renders are so well done and
detailed, I wanted a way to have comments and ratings and other stuff able to be posted under the image. I was thinking of also
using Coppermine for the Bowser Renders section, but maybe it'll be best for just the fan art section. So I might just leave that
as a future consideration. After all, I already pretty much commented and described most of the Bowser Renders in the
Bowser Evolution section! So feel free to download all the renders you want, in case you've
been missing any. I would really appreciate credit or a link to The Bowser Shrine if you like what you see. I've been keeping a
lot of the rare ones safe for quite some time, now they can be more readily available again!
I beefed up the Links section with some more webpages. I am also still currently researching the best
way to do the galleries, and they will be up very soon! I am starting to affiliate with other sites to get The Bowser Shrine known
and to increase traffic. The Bowser Shrine's link button is shown on the Links page as well.
I once again had to split up a section into two sections after it got too large! I came up with a quick
Bowser Profile page listing a few of his characteristics and attributes. It's still a little
brief right now and I might need a few more suggestions as to what I should have in his profile. Below the profile, I started
doing a Bowser's Appearance 101 pretending that I was describing him to someone who has never heard of him or seen an image of
him before. Once again I went insane with detail and after a while I had enough for a whole separate section. I named this
section Bowser Description.
So basically two new sections for the update today, completing the "Bowser Info" group! I will most likely be adding sections
to this group a bit later, these were just the basic ones I wanted to get up first. Ideas for further sections would be "Koopa Kids"
and "Bowser Quotes" and the sort. So now comes the part where I deliver all of my thousands of Bowser media I have collected and
kept safe and organized over the years! I will need to do a bit of research to find out the best image gallery system to use; I
hear Coppermine is pretty good. I would say at this point I will be 50% done the Bowser Shrine. It feels like the hardest part is
behind me now, so expect a 100% completed Bowser Shrine very soon!
I have now completed Bowser's Evolution, another major section of the site. This section
details Bowser's major concept art and computer renders and how they have evolved over the years while still keeping his basic
design concept consistent. The Mario games that Bowser is depicted in try as hard as possible to make him match the concept
artwork he was given, and with the power of Nintendo's latest systems, the gap is narrowing. Bowser's in game character models are
starting to look more and more like his concept renders. There are lots of great Bowser renders and images to go along with my
descriptions, so this should be a fun section. Full resolution versions of these images will be available soon.
I added an image showing how Bowser's sprites and models have improved over the years at the very top of the
Bowser Depictions section. I also added a little Bowser pointing image for any *NOTES* that
come up in some of the pages under the Bowser Info group, just for a neat touch. It's like a Bowser tip or something.
Bowser Master Game List Complete!
February 25th, 2007
I have now completed the Bowser Master Game List listing every game Bowser has appeared in or
cameoed in over the last 20 years. I came up with 53 seperate game titles that contained Bowser in some way. There is no list this
exhaustive detailing every single Bowser appearance anywhere! I had no references or anything to come up with this massive list,
only memory and game by game research.
I have now completed three major sections for The Bowser Shrine. These sections contain the bulk of Bowser's information as a
video game character. There is quite a lot of information in these sections and I have also included pictures for visual aid and
to accompany the text. I've been working on these three sections for a while now offline on my local Apache server. I wanted to
upload all of them at once, all spruced up and everything. I originally had these three sections all combined into one section
called "Bowser's History", but it was far too much to read for one section and a lot of the information could be divided into
other sections. I'll try to avoid such a mass update at once in the future to keep updates more consistent. Next I will be
completing the rest of the "Bowser Info" sections.
Bowser's Depictions Complete!
February 22nd, 2007
The Bowser Depictions section detailing Bowser's look in Mario games over the past 20+
years has now been completed! This is easily my biggest section yet, at least information wise. Many that know me notice that
I am very detailed, and I really went all out in my detailed descriptions. Bowser has definitely come a long way in his look in
Mario games from his first 8-bit sprite on the NES. Now Bowser's full 3D and high detailed in-game character models are becoming
close to the renders used to illustrate him in the instruction books and concept art. I also have a brief section on cameos Bowser
has made as well as depictions of him outside of Mario games. This section should take a good 15-20 minutes to get through, so have
a good read!
I have now completed the section on Bowser's History, outlining his timeline from childhood
to adulthood as well as his current plans and attempts of world domination. This would be the best known up to date information
of Bowser's backstory gathered from all of the games that have come out in the last 20+ years. This is a fairly large section with
quite a lot of information in it. It took quite a long time making sure my content stuck as close as possible to the facts. There
was some degree of filling-in-the-gaps when it came to Bowser's early childhood, but I believe most of it can be accurate despite
being an educated guess. The whole section could take a good 10-15 minutes to read thoroughly, so take your time and enjoy!
Finally I have some information up about Bowser! In the Bowser Overview section, I have a
brief overview on the greatest video game character ever, at least in my opinion. I describe who Bowser is, what he looks like,
and what drives him. I also briefly touch about his appearances in Mario games. Take a look!
I'm about 60% done the "Bowser History" section, and it is huge! I will most likely be splitting it up into 3 different
sections: Bowser Overview, Bowser History, and
Bowser Depictions. I may also have a featured section about how Bowser's look and renders
have evolved over the years, but how his basic concept remains the same.
About Section Complete!
January 30, 2007
I have the About TBS section filled out now outlining my mission with the Bowser Shrine as well as
reinforcing my Bowser fanaticism. It also describes what to expect and what you can find here at The Bowser Shrine. Check it out!
Today I added a funny Bowser-waiting-for-mail image in the Contact section, and added a
Links section. I just have the Nintendo homepage on for now, but I'll definitely have a lot more
as time goes on.
I added a favicon to The Bowser Shrine so the site can more easily be found when browsed through a bookmarks list. The original
Bowser Face image was red in color and belonged to Gimpyfish62, a good friend of mine and long term Bowser fanatic. He has the image
slapped onto his Wii and DS as a sticker.
Current Site Status
January 8, 2007
I would estimate that I have about 3,000 files related to Bowser featuring renders, fanart, screenshots, music, etc. Did
I ever mention that I was obsessed about Bowser? I plan to share it all on The Bowser Shrine, and I'm excited about doing so.
I am currently of the process of organizing all of the media and gathering it all together so I can share it here on The Bowser
Contact Information Available!
December 23, 2006
I have registered a domain e-mail address so anyone can now Contact Me! I have also opened up a
Mailbag! if anyone wants to e-mail anything that they would like posted with a reply. I hope to be
hearing from a lot of you soon!
So I thought the original shell design with the cyan borders and everything looked a little too 1999, so I have no borders at
all now and added gradient fills to the links and updates headers. I also added a small counter at the bottom of the affiliates
section with a very proud Bowser standing on top. Doesn't he look tough?
The Bowser Shrine is Born!
December 18, 2006
Welcome to the Bowser Shrine! I am MagnuM, and I consider myself the biggest Bowser Koopa fan on the planet! I challenge anyone
to contend against my absolute fanatical obsession for this character! It was disappointing not being able to find many Bowser
fansites anywhere on the internet, so I felt compelled to create the largest and most dedicated Bowser Koopa fansite ever! The
Koopa King deserves it!
I would have liked to have launched a complete fansite with every section 100% completed, but a site as large as I am planning
will take some time to completely build. As for right now, I have only the main page layout and an overall feel for the site
developed, but the sections will come and they will come quite quickly! I just wanted to get the site out there quickly so any
Koopaholics (a little term I coined) can finally rest more easier knowing that there are others like them and there is a major
fansite where they will be able to find anything related to Bowser and the Koopa species!
On the left is all the links and subsections I plan to create for The Bowser Shrine. None of the grey links will work just yet,
as they will only redirect back to the main page. Any links in blue will symbolize a finished section. Highlighting any of the
links will animate the Bowser in the link heading. On the right I plan to place affiliates, but as for now, I just have a fist
pumping Bowser reminding you who's boss! So not much yet, but hang tight, because updates will be large and frequent! Check back
often and stay tuned!