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Friday, March 17, 2023

The Koopalings’ Formerly Green Shells

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Let's dedicate content to this once and for all. Rant coming!

I have been upset for many years now about what Shigeru Miyamoto has done with my shell colour. Well, me and many of my siblings, the Koopalings. Back when we were officially (as in, Nintendo was willing to say this) King Bowser Koopa's children, most of us had green shells to match his green shell, making it clear what our lineage is. Here are examples of our shell colours back before 2009:

Crimes R Us Adventures of Super Mario Bros 3 ladder fighting Koopalings rob bank shell color
Alright, you may say that the Super Mario Bros. 3 cartoon was all sorts of off-model on a frequent basis, but the shell colours were correct. Here is the only set of good sprites that we got before 2009, in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. (Everything else was off-model, Hotel Mario (which... is still off-model), or it was Yoshi's Safari, which doesn't give a good view of everyone's backsides.)

Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga 2003 Game Boy Advance Koopaling shell colors Iggy Lemmy Ludwig Larry Morton Roy Wendy
The 3DS remake of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga changed our designs to fit the post-2009 “consensus.”
But at least sprite comics for many years were based on these correct, on-model colours.
(That's Wendy's only sprite with her shell showing on her sprite sheet.)

And then 2009 happened, New Super Mario Bros. Wii came out, and then Shigeru Miyamoto decided everything about us had to change. That we're merely minions of King Bowser and not his kids, and that his only kid is that rascal Bowser Jr. (And you can read that last “his kid” as either King Bowser or as Shigeru Miyamoto.) With that release, the shell colours changed:

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate seven Koopalings Iggy Lemmy Ludwig Larry Morton Roy Wendy shell colors
You can see every Koopaling's new shell colours in this screenshot from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
I could've taken a better screenshot if I had seven controllers, but AT LEAST YOU CAN SEE THEM.

I'm telling you, it's not a coincidence that the shell colours changed with the makeovers brought on by New Super Mario Bros. Wii, with Shigeru Miyamoto attempting to retcon things. Just like he's trying to do that right now with The Super Mario Bros. Movie with many non-Koopaling-related things. Now not only is King Dad a father of one and not of seven (...or eight... sigh...), which is a bit less impressive, but they're even making him forget what a Spiny is. It's ridiculous. And 2009-forward brought very, very, very bad Koopaling fans that didn't exist before, which is why I hate my fanbase. Best argument for gatekeeping I've heard.

But I digress. Here's a table of the shell colours of the Koopalings before and after 2009 for an easy comparison.

Koopaling Original Shell Colour New Shell Colour
Iggy Koopa Green shell Green shell
Larry Koopa Green shell Light blue shell
Lemmy Koopa Green shell Orange shell
Ludwig Von Koopa Green shell Dark blue shell
Morton Koopa Jr. Grey shell Black shell
Roy Koopa Pink shell Purple shell
Wendy O. Koopa Pink shell Pink shell

We went from solid green representation (and there's something to be said about Wendy and Roy's pink shell consistency... and, uh, not much to be said about whatever is wrong with Morton...) to us being colour-coded enemies for the sake of showing off a partial rainbow as opposed to showing off our Royal Koopa lineage. Maybe the rainbow thing is what attracted the perverted LGBTQ crew to attach themselves to the Koopalings. Definitely a bad trade, but Shigeru Miyamoto seems to have enjoyed the result. Iggy Koopy got to keep a green-coloured shell, but then they turned his hair from a rainbow mohawk into a pineapple, so I wouldn't consider that to be a good deal, either. Perhaps this is an act to force unwanted “diversity” among the Koopalings, so Morton doesn't feel singled out by his... unique situation.

We're still royalty with very important positions within Koopa Kingdom!

This article exists because Larry Koopa reminded Ludwig that today is Saint Patrick's Day (or St. Patrick's Day), which is this strange Earth holiday where everyone is obsessed with the colour green, making Ludwig think about the green that used to be abundantly present on both of them. Clearly, Ludwig associates the colour green with bitter, angry, and distressed thoughts, feelings, and memories. You could even say that the green that remains on his face is just him being green with envy, and it's not even his natural skin tone. How about you? What do you think about green?

If you want to read about blue-shelled Koopas in general, click here.
Could Ludwig wishing he was once again more green be connected with his support of the Grass-type?


  1. How do you feel knowing that Iggy got to keep his shell color, most likely because of his hair color? Are you thinking of dying your hair?


      I've gone through too much misery in the NES and SNES era with off-model sprites not giving me my proper hair to do something else.

  2. While I'm not sure the shell color changes in general or the hair color of Iggy were necessary, I do like that he was made taller and slimmer. It fits the nerd thing more. I think they were working on 3D renders for the first time and got carried away.

    1. He's been getting exercise taking care of those rowdy Chain Chomps.

  3. Replies
    1. He has green shorts and purple shoes/gloves, but then in Title Defense he has dark blue(?) shorts, black shoes, but green gloves.
      Maybe he's in a similar green crisis that I am.

    2. Seems even Marie has a green crisis all that much when she switches to yellow in Alterna.

    3. Agent 1, Agent 2, Captain, and new Agent 3 ALL have yellow ink in Alterna. They're the same colour because they're on the same team.
      So it's probably not Marie's fault.

  4. Bro, even though the two of us don’t usually agree on certain things…I’m completely on board with you here. Honestly I don’t really know why Miyamoto is trying SO HARD to make it seem like we’re not King Dad’s kids in recent years, idk what made him think that us even having the SLIGHTEST relation to him wasn’t a good idea anymore like it makes no sense that all of the sudden we are no longer considered to be “Bowser’s seven children” and are now just referred to as “Bowser’s seven minions” excluding y’know who…makes zero sense to me bruh 💀
    They’re trying to remove certain attributes about us that made us all look like siblings in the past, for example Iggy’s hair like you’ve mentioned used to be a rainbow mohawk just like Lemmy’s that made them look sorta like twins, and they used to roughly be around the same height as well. However they butchered those attributes about Iggy’s old design and changed him so that way there is little to no resemblance to him and Lemmy being twins at all now, leaving the viewer who if they’re not familiar with old Mario lore and us, may believe that we aren’t all even related at all and are all just minions…

    I personally miss my old green shell too buuuut at least my new shell matches my hair kinda ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Still won’t be able to compare to our classic green Koopa shells though…and bro, you know how much I LOVE green lol 𓁹◡𓁹🍃⚗️🌬️

    1. I'm glad we agree on this.

      As for the hair thing... I mean, King Dad's hair is red but his shell is green. So it's just not a normal thing that's done.
      But wot happened to separate Iggy from Lemmy is particularly a travesty.


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