When it comes to silly scoundrels in games, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in the Bowser family. Between Bowser and his clan of adopted Koopalings, and his son Bowser Jr., they’ve all gone to some ridiculous lengths to make trouble for Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and other Mushroom Kingdom residents. One might wonder then what the heck drove Bowser into such a perpetual fit of anti-Mario-ism? Well, one need only look into Bowser’s past to he was a mere toddler with a strange and somewhat mad overseer. In other words, Baby Bowser of Nintendo’s Yoshi series.
The world was introduced to Baby Bowser in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island. Even at such a young age, little Bowser was filled with plans of world domination. So, when his caretaker, the overzealous but dedicated Kamek, had a vision of Mario and Luigi thwarting those plans, Baby Bowser directed Kamek to kidnap the baby brothers. As magical as Kamek was, he only succeeded in obtaining Baby Luigi; Baby Mario ended up in the care of the dinosaur-like Yoshis. And so, one Yoshi was tasked with ferrying Baby Mario across its island in order to save Baby Luigi.
As much as Baby Mario needed Yoshi, Yoshi’s presence during the final rescue proved problematic. Because once Baby Bowser learned of such a fun mode of transportation, he wanted to take Yoshi to ride him all by himself! Of course, Yoshi wasn’t going to let that happen, and a battle ensued. But Baby Bowser was in over his head. If it wasn’t for his selfish silliness, perhaps the whole fight could have been avoided. Or…not. After all, Baby Bowser was unceremoniously woken up by, ahem, Kamek.
Despite his defeat, Baby Bowser was not about to give up. He returned in Yoshi’s Story to get his revenge, which he achieved by stealing the Yoshis’ Super Happy Tree, the source of all their happiness. Adding to all the nonsense, he also turned their entire island into a pop-up book! For whatever reason, his world domination plans took a back seat to exacting the silliest sort of revenge. Considering what Bowser’s future would bring, it does make one wonder if he was ever any good at making plans in the first place. With how poorly his attempts went with the Yoshis, it’s amazing that he just didn’t give up and go open his own frozen yogurt shop or something!
Giving credit where credit is due, Bowser did instill a never-give-up attitude in his son, and he certainly never gave up in his early days. As misguided as Bowser might have been as a grumpy toddler (and remained as an adult, to varying degrees), he seemed fully onboard with playing the villain from the get-go. Or, was he? Sure, Baby Bowser wanted to take over the world, but what little kid doesn’t? Kamek was the instigator in Yoshi’s Island, after all.
Hmm. Considering that the whole plot really was set in motion by Kamek, perhaps I’ve chosen the wrong silly scoundrel here?