|LEGO → System → Super Mario|
Bowser’s Castle is a recurring location in the Mario franchise, present ever since the release of Super Mario Bros. in 1985, and varied in its appearance, but the most common phenomena in these castles were fire and lava. It was common for them to feature artwork in Bowser’s image, namely statues and paintings, and spikes became a recurring decoration as well. Bowser was usually the last foe in the castle, holding either Toad or Princess Peach hostage, and the method for defeating him varied from title to title, from collecting a battle-axe behind him to tossing him into a spiked bomb.
It involves a fair amount of lava, represented mostly as red, but the four towers of the set all have orange lava pouring out of their alcoves. Bowser stands in the castle’s centre on a brown bridge that leads into a grey entryway shaped like him.
In order to defeat Bowser, Mario first has to stomp on the two switches to the left and right of his bridge, pushing the giant statue’s arms out of the way. He can also stomp on the time block and the ? block next to the switches if he so pleases. Afterwards, Mario has to step on the action tile in front of the brown bridge and turn back and forth repeatedly, which plays an intense song, triggers a gear that upsets the bridge from underneath, and slowly causes Bowser to approach Mario. (If the statue’s arms are still in the way, turning back and forth on the action tile simply does nothing.) Bowser then falls over, and Mario has to stomp on the action tile on his shell ten times to vanquish him.
To the left and right of Bowser’s statues are two two-storey towers, one carrying Boo and another one carrying Dry Bones. Boo’s tower is rotatable; Mario can gather coins as he carefully spins on the tower’s plank. Dry Bones’s tower, meanwhile, has a flipper holding him, and Mario simply has to stomp on the other side of the flipper to knock out his foe. Both towers feature black flags with a white silhouette of Bowser’s face on them.
Before the castle’s entry is a platform on which Mario can leap to avoid the lava, and behind that platform is a flipper that Mario can leap on to knock out the Lava Bubble that it is carrying.
All four of the figurines included are brick-built figures. Bowser is the largest one and requires ten stomps to defeat, making him the toughest of all the Super Mario foes. His arms and his tail are adjustable, but his legs and feet are not. His bipedal minion is Dry Bones, who likewise has adjustable arms but immobile legs and feet, but requires only one stomp to defeat. By default, he hangs out at the tower with the flipper. The other minion is Boo, a cubic figurine who is invulnerable to stomps, but Mario can collect coins by spinning the platform that he occupies. The last minion is the likewise cubic Lava Bubble, who guards the castle’s entry, and (unlike in the video games) Mario can defeat it by stomping on it once.
- This is the largest and most expensive of the regular Super Mario sets, barring 71374 Nintendo Entertainment System, which is part of Expert.
- Another ‘boss battle’ set