"How many Bowsers does it take to unscrew a lightbulb? Ha ha, only one, and he's dying to plunge Mario into darkness!"
Bowser has always populated his army with eccentric and memorable baddies to stand in Mario's way. More than once, he's enlisted the help of the Koopalings, seven "miniature Bowser"-like siblings who love to wreak havoc in the Mushroom World by kidnapping Princess Peach, conquering lands, and generally taking what isn't theirs. The oldest of these is Ludwig von Koopa, who shares his name and hairstyle with a well-known composer.
Ludwig is one of the most cunning and dangerous Koopalings. In Super Mario Bros. 3, he and his siblings assault Mario with blasts from magic wands they stole from the Mushroom Kings. Thanks to his massive girth, Ludwig can, like his brother Roy, hit the ground hard enough after jumping to create an earthquake that briefly paralyzes the plumber if he's not airborne. Super Mario World goes a step further and gives the Beethoven-haired Koopaling his own unique attack pattern: he hurls fireballs from his mouth, then tucks into his shell and spins along the ground to knock Mario off his feet. The New Super Mario Bros. titles reveal a battle style similar to that of his first appearance: he shoots fireballs from his magic wand and tries to stomp on his adversary's head.
Ludwig's abilities may differ between games, and are sometimes demonstrated by other Koopalings, but no matter when or how he's fought, he's sure to compose as much trouble as he can for the hapless plumber.
Selected game appearances
- Super Mario Bros. 3 (1988)
Game Boy Advance
- New Super Mario Bros. Wii (2009)
¹ no ReMixes in database
- Super Mario Wiki - "Ludwig von Koopa"
- Super Mario Bros. 3 instruction manual
- Super Mario World instruction manual
- Nintendo Power Strategy Guide: Super Mario Bros. 3