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Mario Kart Month: Mario Kart 8 Character Profiles: Koopalings Galore

Posted by Jake Shapiro

Our profile series concludes with the new MK8 contestants

With Mario Kart's ever-expanding roster of eligible drivers, it can be tough to keep track of them all. When you're out there on the crowded raceway, how are you supposed to tell your Birdos from your Koopa Paratroopas? Have no fear: Nintendo Life is here to help you with handy character profiles on every racer in this May's hotly-anticipated speedfest. After introducing the veterans and the more recent additions to the series, in this final feature we take a gander at the plethora of brand new racers in MK8.

Baby Rosalina

First appearance: Mario Kart 8, 2014

Karting record: One for eight. She’s a newborn babe.

Racing style: Featherweight

Home track: None. Mario Kart 8 seems to be far less reliant on characters’ “home tracks” than any previous entry in the series.

Career highlight: None yet. Baby Rosalina is a spin-off character created specifically for Mario Kart 8. Why they would invent Baby Rosalina when there are countless other candidates who already exist in the Mario universe, no one knows. When will Goombas finally get a racer? What about Jimmy T. from WarioWare?

Pink Gold Peach

First appearance: Mario Kart 8, 2014

Karting record: One for eight. Newly forged for MK8.

Racing style: Heavy metal

Home track: None, aside from Fleshy Peach’s home courses.

Career highlight: None. Unless you count her 007 cameo, she’s another MK8 invention, this time to match Metal Mario. It’s pretty hardcore to be metal, so Nintendo lets you know she’s still feminine: she’s not just Gold Peach or Metal Peach, she’s Pink Gold Peach, lest you forget she’s a girly girl beneath that metallic husk.

Iggy Koopa

First appearance: Super Mario Bros. 3, 1988

Karting record: One for eight.

Racing style: Cruiser, between medium and heavy

Home track: In a way, Bowser’s Castle could be seen as Iggy’s home course, too. But there’s been fiery debate over whether the Koopalings are actually Bowser’s children, or mere minions. Bowser Jr. is not happy he was kicked out of Mario Kart in favour of the Koopalings.

Career highlight: Iggy recently dyed his hair green for the Koopalings’ New Super Mario Bros. Wii redesign in 2009, after wearing his natural rainbow-coloured hair for years. He’s the skinniest of the Koopalings, fittingly named after proto-punk pioneer Iggy Pop. In NES Remix 2 players must defeat Iggy while wearing a frog suit. Not to be confused with the wondrous Iggly from Animal Crossing.

Roy Koopa

First appearance: Super Mario Bros. 3, 1988

Karting record: One for eight.

Racing style: Heavy is as heavy does

Home track: See Iggy

Career highlight: It’s a nice change of pace to see a manly man in the Mario universe wear pink. Nintendo painted Roy’s pink shell purple for his New Super Mario Bros. Wii redesign, but he still retains the hot pink head and spiffy sunglasses, which are a nod to Roy’s namesake, the rockabilly legend Roy Orbison.

Lemmy Koopa

First appearance: Super Mario Bros. 3, 1988

Karting record: One for eight.

Racing style: Featherweight

Home track: See Iggy

Career highlight: As cheesy as some of the Koopalings seem, Nintendo is more heavy metal than you think. Lemmy is named after the lead singer of iconic English metal band Motörhead, one of the earliest contributions to the New Wave of British Heavy Metal in the late 1970s and early ‘80s. Lemmy is the smallest Koopaling, and has a penchant for rubber balls.

Larry Koopa

First appearance: Super Mario Bros. 3, 1988

Karting record: One for eight.

Racing style: Light

Home track: See Iggy

Career highlight: While he originally had four visible fangs, Nintendo de-toothed him for his New Super Mario Bros. Wii redesign, so he appears slightly more friendly. Larry is perhaps the most generic Koopaling of all, which is precisely the reason he was named after Larry Mullen, Jr, the drummer for U2.

Wendy O. Koopa

First appearance: Super Mario Bros. 3, 1988

Karting record: One for eight.

Racing style: Light

Home track: See Iggy

Career highlight: The only lady in the sausagefest of Koopalings, Wendy’s defining character trait is “she’s a woman.” Ironically, she’s named for feminist punk singer Wendy O. Williams, leader of the New York City shock rock group the Plasmatics, known for constant nudity and blowing stuff up onstage. The Plasmatics also did a collaborative record with Lemmy’s namesake band, Motörhead!

Ludwig von Koopa

First appearance: Super Mario Bros. 3, 1988

Karting record: One for eight.

Racing style: Cruis’n USA

Home track: See Iggy

Career highlight: Naturally, Ludwig is named after famous German composer Ludwig van Beethoven, and his hair follows suit. Ludwig seems to be the leader of the Koopalings, with the highest intelligence of them all and a single tooth. He was Bowser’s second-in-command until Bowser gave birth to Bowser Jr, who demoted Ludwig to #3. At least Ludwig has more time to work on his symphonies now.

Morton Koopa Jr.

First appearance: Super Mario Bros. 3, 1988

Karting record: One for eight.

Racing style: Super heavy

Home track: See Iggy

Career highlight: Morton stands out among the Koopalings for the star-shaped birthmark on his face and the fact that he’s the only Koopa with dark skin. It is unknown whether there’s a Morton Koopa Sr. in the Mushroom Kingdom. Morton is named after the singer-songwriter Morton Downey, Jr, pioneer of the tabloid talk show television format.


Mario Kart 8’s new racers lack in the variety department, but at least it’s a fun chance to break out the Super Mario Bros. 3 artwork. You can snag Mario Kart 8 on store shelves and on the Wii U eShop on 30 May.

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User Comments (104)

Yosher

#1

Yosher said:

Ugh, Baby Rosalina and Pink Gold Peach... I wish they'd stop creating characters for spin-offs and picked fan favourites. There's lots of characters they could've chosen but noooo, more palette swaps.

I do love the Koopalings, though. When I don't pick Yoshi, I'll go with Larry and Iggy. And Roy for the times I want a heavyweight.

Xiao_Pai

#3

Xiao_Pai said:

despite the Rosalina's not having their own stage, was it just me or did I hear Galaxy music on one of the tracks? (I think it was the new rainbow Road, not sure...)

unrandomsam

#5

unrandomsam said:

Are there definitely no unlockable characters ? (Or has these articles potentially spoilt it for people).

yoshi5852

#6

yoshi5852 said:

Baby rosalina is O k but pink gold peach and koopalings thats 8 character spots for useless characters because of that theres no dry bone diddy kong and etc,,,

sinalefa

#9

sinalefa said:

@unrandomsam

I feel there may be some unlockable characters, which have been kept secret as part of the usual embargo. If not, that would make it the first MK since Double Dash to lack secret characters.

Miss_Dark

#10

Miss_Dark said:

im pretty sure that not all characters have been revealed yet, do you really expect them to give you ALL the information?

Ttimer

#11

Ttimer said:

I like Baby Rosalina, she is cute and shows her popularity. People only hate because they were used instead of other characters, but whatever the world isnt ending because of that. And the pink gold peach it also shows their popularity, because three people can play as peach.
Just one question, why is rosalina a heavy weight?

lerobadey

#12

lerobadey said:

I also wondered recently when goombas were going to appear, but then I remembered they don't have arms (I know Boo don't have legs and was in, however he could control an adapted kart).

User1988

#13

User1988 said:

I'm excited about Pink Gold Peach and Wendy. Wendy for her awesome pink shell and PGP for that super sweet car!!

DreamyViridi

#14

DreamyViridi said:

@sinalefa - I think Mario Kart 7 had all of its characters revealed, iirc.
@Ttimer - I'm guessing for the same reason Waluigi is a heavy weight, their height. Both are pretty tall and might not have enough leg room in a medium kart, I guess.
Some people have wanted the Koopalings for quite some time now so that's good. Unlike the majority of everyone else, I'll give the other two newcomers a go. If I end up hating Pink Gold Peach later, it'll be because she'll be overused in online races. Otherwise, I'm willing to give Her Royal Shininess a chance!

unrandomsam

#15

unrandomsam said:

@Miss_Dark I don't usually read about stuff I know I am getting. To me "every racer" means what it says. (Otherwise I would have expected them to say it is the initial lineup).

DestinyMan

#16

DestinyMan said:

I've warmed up to Baby Rosalina, but I still find Pink Gold Peach very odd. The Koopalings are better than the baby characters and metal characters any day since they at least have unique personalities. I think I might mainly play Lemmy and Ludwig. Strange how Ludwig isn't a heavyweight like Morton and Roy even though in SMB3 he could shake the floor like Roy. I guess Nintendo thought there were already too many heavyweights and trimmed Ludwig down a little.

And as far as new characters, I wouldn't bank on it, but it would be unusual to have every single character in Mario Kart 8 revealed before release as that hasn't happened for a new Mario Kart in years. Then again, Nintendo willingly spoiled Rosalina as the secret fifth playable character in Super Mario 3D World, which would have been a huge surprise if left intact.

Yosher

#18

Yosher said:

This IS the full roster. Every character on this page alone is unlockable, plus 5 others. I find it very strange that they revealed every character too, but this definitely is the final roster unless they have DLC planned or something.

@FalconPunch Those are all great ideas, but I would've been happier if there were even more veteran characters rather than palette swaps. Regarding new characters I think Kamek is overdue on a playable role as well, seeing as he was originally supposed to be in MK64.

DestinyMan

#20

DestinyMan said:

He would be pretty quirky, but I would like it if a Goomba was a racer. He may not have arms, but King Boo could drive a kart without legs, and Goomba also played baseball without arms, so it could be possible.

A WarioWare character would be great, though I would rather have Mona than Jimmy.

Characters I think would be great would be Nabbit, Kamek, Dixie Kong, Hammer Brother, and Professor E. Gadd. It is disappointing they're not bringing back Diddy Kong at least. The Donkey Kong series has grown a bit since the days of Mario Kart Wii and 7 and so I think there should have been more DK representation.

Dark-Luigi

#21

Dark-Luigi said:

Man, the roster would've been so much better...

The Koopalings a good, but PGP? Really? What's next, fire peach, or Tanooki peach?

I'll be playing Iggy.

Maelstrom

#22

Maelstrom said:

The koopalings seem unnecessary, but are a welcome addition nevertheless. I can officially say this is the first game I want DLC for. I wouldn't mind buying new tracks and characters at all, provided they aren't more pink gold peaches and are fixed up for the Wii U.

Shugo

#23

Shugo said:

For the record, "pink gold" is a real thing; it's a mix of gold and copper alloy often used to give a reddish/pink tint to jewelry. So it's actually kind of creative when you think about it. It's at least more interesting than if they just did "Metal Peach".

While I do agree that it's a slot that could've been filled by a number of other characters, I am glad to see Peach take on a more 'hardcore' weight class. Hopefully someday we'll see Green Gold Luigi so I don't have to go middleweight to use my favorite character...

I also can't complain about the Koopalings because then I'd be eating my words from Mario Kart 7's launch. Back when I was complaining about that roster, I said "an easy choice would've been the Koopalings, and how cool would it be if they included all seven?". Guess I should be careful what I wish for.

nomeacuerdo

#27

nomeacuerdo said:

I don't like the metal characters, they could be just a palette swap, and I hate the baby characters, they're annoying.
I would love a goomba and maybe the nabbit.
Also, it looks that this is the full roster, look at the selection screen on the nintendo direct. What you're suposed to reveal is the different cart parts, like in MK7.

Finally, I think that implementing paper mario characters and paper mario style racing would be a f* win

unrandomsam

#29

unrandomsam said:

@Fireninjastar At least in Tennis Open I think he is. (Perfect counter to those left handed mii characters with everything spin or boo). I nearly always used him.

SavoirFaire

#30

SavoirFaire said:

I find the lack of King Boo disturbing...

Hopefully we get an article on the forgotten racers that didn't get a nod in MK8. I am still hopeful for DLC (and expect that to generate a lot of heated discussion if it does occur).

I'm not big on metal or baby characters but I can understand they have their fans. What about Fawful for a lightweight? He'd make a good New racer, as well as Bowser Jrs mom ;)

Giygas_95

#33

Giygas_95 said:

"He was Bowser’s second-in-command until Bowser gave birth to Bowser Jr..."

Lovely thought...

I'd have to say Morton is my favorite Koopaling although I don't really know why. How about you guys?

Dr_Corndog

#36

Dr_Corndog said:

Despite all the hate it gets, I reall like MK8's roster--except, of course, for Baby Rosalina and PGP.

ledreppe

#37

ledreppe said:

@Yosher

I wish Nintendo would listen to fans more often and get their input into games, rather than the 'we know best' attitude.

iescalie

#38

iescalie said:

They should include the kongs. It would be cool to play as diddy kong and the other kongs.

Chubblings

#41

Chubblings said:

@Mizore If I am correct, you heard the Gusty Garden Galaxy music at the end of the Mario Kart 8 Trailer (Uploaded on December 18 2013, you can find it on Nintendo's YouTube channel).

unrandomsam

#43

unrandomsam said:

@ledreppe The basic gameplay is usually ok they just don't seem to bother with level design or balancing just release it when it is not ready. (Or even a fair amount of length).

Squid

#48

Squid said:

I feel like the only one on the planet not bothered by Pink Gold Peach or Baby Rosalina. Heck, I even guessed Baby Rosalina would get in, I don't see what the problem is.

NinjaWaddleDee

#50

NinjaWaddleDee said:

For the people wondering about unlockable characters, this is a spoiler.

BEGIN SPOILER It seems that the whole cast has been revealed. You start off with everyone but the koopalings, pink gold peach, and baby rosalina... and that kinda sucks, but whatever. It's been confirmed by IGN and Game Explain. END SPOILER

NinjaWaddleDee

#51

NinjaWaddleDee said:

Also, if there is going to be DLC I really want Petey Piranha and King Boo back in. BEST BROS FOR LIFE!

Jmaster

#52

Jmaster said:

@Tobias95 Please tell me how processing power contributes to having more characters. Higher disc capacity, sure, but the power of the hardware? Do you know how that stuff works?

unrandomsam

#53

unrandomsam said:

@DestinyMan I think Mona is probably my favourite female Nintendo female. (And she is experienced with the banana skin).

@Yosher I really hope they don't do the same thing with Smash Bros (or at least mark it as such). Not so bothered about this (But I can see why other people might be). Maybe getting clicks by being first overrides all other concerns.

ShadJV

#54

ShadJV said:

Feels like such a puny roster despite being the biggest yet. I think the Koopalings are to blame there. As much as I like them, it essentially took up 7 slots for one idea (to be fair, people have their favorite Koopalings and if they added one they probably had to do all). Disappointed that the Direct revealed EVERY character. I really hope they don't do this with Smash...

Aaronzord

#55

Aaronzord said:

I'm not interested at all in the metal/baby characters, but I'm really excited about the Koopalings! Iggy was always my favourite.

Do we really need FIVE babies though? I miss Dry Bones!

ModernMARVEL

#56

ModernMARVEL said:

I'm probably the only person on this planet who likes Baby Rosalina, Pink Gold Peach, and hates the Koopalings.

Splatom

#57

Splatom said:

I wish there would be E.Gadd and please don't kill me Fire Mario and Ice Luigi.

outburst

#58

outburst said:

Why the Pink Gold Peach hate? Surely those who wants a heavy weight Peach would be happy. And Baby Rosalina is just so cute.

People would just complain about everything.

R_Champ

#59

R_Champ said:

@outburst
I almost want to to rock Pink Gold Peach online to troll :3. I'll admit I miss Diddy and King Boo, but with a roster so robust there's still tons to choose from.

Hy8ogen

#60

Hy8ogen said:

I don't get the hate for baby Rosalina. She is such a cutie pie!! Pink gold peach can go suck it for all I care.

Galvanic_Arcvn

#63

Galvanic_Arcvn said:

I actually quite like Baby Rosalina, metal peach still sucks though.

Some of these characters would be better off being alternate skins for the default characters if you asked me.

Mr_Video

#64

Mr_Video said:

Can't say I'll use Pink Gold Peach, but I'll probably switch between Baby Rosalina and Baby Luigi when I feel like using the light-weight class. But I do think that the roster has some wasted potential, Toadsworth, Professor Egadd, Dixie and Cranky Kong would pretty cool in my book.

Bass_X0

#66

Bass_X0 said:

Ugh, Baby Rosalina and Pink Gold Peach... I wish they'd stop creating characters for spin-offs and picked fan favourites. There's lots of characters they could've chosen but noooo, more palette swaps.

Uhh... a palette swap is far far less time consuming to create than to do a completely new character. All they have to do is swap the palette and change the stats. If Pink Gold Peach didn't exist, there would not have been a completely new character model replacing her.

SockoMario

#68

SockoMario said:

MK8 has the worst character roster I have ever seen in a video game.

There, I said it.

Bass_X0

#70

Bass_X0 said:

Baby rosalina is O k but pink gold peach and koopalings thats 8 character spots for useless characters because of that theres no dry bone diddy kong and etc,,,

The Koopalings aren't useless characters at all and they haven't been playable in a Mario Kart game before so they are very welcome. But you would rather have more returning faces? Why is Dry Bones more popular than the Koopalings to you?

GamerZack87

#71

GamerZack87 said:

"Iggy recently dyed his hair green for the Koopalings’ New Super Mario Bros. Wii redesign in 2009, after wearing his natural rainbow-coloured hair for years."
@JakeShapiro Ah, but is it not likely that green is his natural hair colour, and that he's returned to it after years of using rainbow dye? ;)

Also, am I the only one who thinks that Pink Gold Peach should be called Rose Gold Peach?

Bass_X0

#72

Bass_X0 said:

As was said earlier, "Pink Gold" is an actual thing. It would be wrong of them to change the name now.

FJOJR

#76

FJOJR said:

I really hope they start mining some actual new characters. Plenty of characters from the Mario RPGs that beg to be included in these spinoffs.

Franklin

#80

Franklin said:

Boom Boom, Kamek, Piantas...

Well, as stated in the article, there are countless characters they could use really.

Pink Gold Peach. What a waste of decades of Mario gaming.

Gridatttack

#82

Gridatttack said:

Most disappointing roster ever. Except for the koopalings. They are the only redeeming factor of it. Where is Dry bones? Why not add a hammer bro after it was scrapped from MKW?

AyeHaley

#83

AyeHaley said:

@Yosher Yeah thats pretty disappointing..there are so many characters they could've used this time..Oh well I'm already glad I get to play as friggin WENDY(!), evil seductress extraordinaire.

koelboel

#84

koelboel said:

@nomeacuerdo I might be getting senile, but in the Wii version, didn´t the character selection screen look kinda full? And if you unlocked a new character you got a new row and the fields shrunk to fit the new characters?

StarDust4Ever

#86

StarDust4Ever said:

Baby Rosalina. Who's next, baby Waluigi? Grown Rosie's still ma fav, 4-eva! Golden Peach does look hawt though. Maybe I'll flirt with her on the side if Rosie doesn't mind... :*

Einherjar

#87

Einherjar said:

The most ironic thing ? People tend to hate baby marios cry in Yoshis Island and yet, they all sound like him on here :P
If you want a roster that pleases everyone, youd need to include every major and minor character of the whole nintendo universe in X different forms.
And 90% of them end up unused because balancing them would be a nightmare ;)

CharlieLoneWolf

#91

CharlieLoneWolf said:

I love all these new racers, but I would have loved to race as Professor E. Gadd from Luigi's Mansion. Or II Piantissimo from Super Mario Sunshine. Some more obscure characters, you know? Oh well. Maybe next time. Still hyped as hell for Mario Kart 8!

Genesaur

#93

Genesaur said:

I don't think that rainbow is Iggy's natural colour. Seems to me he's on drugs back in the old days, but his pop smacked some sense into him, and he's stopped dying it rainbow, leaving it to go back to its natural green.

Anyway, Iggy and Ludwig for the win, and all that.

And Wario.

torotoid64

#94

torotoid64 said:

Mario Kart Wii had the best roster hands down Mario Kart 8 however beats all other MK games in every other regard

Alucard83

#96

Alucard83 said:

Why babies? It's like lacking characters. Pink Gold Peach should be as an costume or something. They could've added King Boo or from other Nintendo titles. Simply not a fan of baby type characters (same stuff) My opinion

DdFixen

#97

DdFixen said:

I don't get why so many seem to be complaining about the two newest editions. It's good we get more females in the drivers roster, I think. Besides, wasn't Waluigi made up for Mario Tennis alone? Correct me if I'm wrong here. Btw, the Koopalings are awesome!

StarDust4Ever

#101

StarDust4Ever said:

@Dudemario89 LOL, Mario spent a little bit too much time in rosalina's study when he wasn't collecting stars. Wonder what they were up to when she wasn't reading storybook to the Lumas? :*

Dudemario89

#102

Dudemario89 said:

@StarDust4Ever Rosalina loves Mario , because he powered up her observatory. Waluigi never did anything to Rosalina. He is evil and ugly. Besides I think MarioXRosalina is better than PeachXMario. Rosalina deserves Mario.

StarDust4Ever

#103

StarDust4Ever said:

@DudeMario89 In all truthfulness, PeachXBowser! :o

Think about it. Do you think she would really allow herself to get kidnapped a dozen or more times? It's obvious these kidnappings are planned; Peach and Bowser are a fling. :*

For the longest time, Peach never gave Mario the time of day except to beg for him to go on long and dangerous quests to rescue her. Mario was too dense to see the writing on the wall, but I think Rosalina finally convinced him. As for Luigi, he is just; how should I word this... odd. :p

Proof of fling: They had a son (Bowser Jr, "I won't let you take Moma Peach away!" - Mario Sunshine) and once even got married (Opening sequence of Super Paper Mario) although the marriage was quickly annulled...

PS - I think I've been reading too much fanfiction. ;)

Dudemario89

#104

Dudemario89 said:

@StarDust4Ever Cool facts , Usually I see photos showing peach with link...Also , I noticed that peach is not really kidnapped anymore... Like super mario 3d world , sprixes had been kidnapped. I kinda miss peach being kidnapped...But she always complain and wail everytime she get kidnapped by Bowser but when it comes to super smash bros. series , she fights with courage. Also , yes I seen the bowser jr. Saying , I still have the game.

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