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

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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