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Super Mario RPG (2023)

Bowyer Forest Maze Boss Guide - Super Mario RPG

Nathan Garvin

At the end of the Forest Maze area you’ll be confronted by the source of all the arrows raining down from the sky in the region - a ne’er-do-well named Bowyer. Just make your way northwest from the final save point (near where the hidden treasure containing Red Essence was located) and you’ll find the mentally unstable villain celebrating his 1,000th shot, and planning to fire off 1,000 more! His rampage will be halted by an unlikely hero, and when Bowyer gains the upper hand Mario and Mallow will join in! Bowyer is a significant step up in difficulty compared to previous bosses, but this page will help you triumph by providing tips and strategies for defeating Bowyer.

How to Defeat Bowyer in the Forest Maze

Easily the most powerful foe you’ve faced in the game up to this point, Bowyer is a real threat. Not only does he employ a powerful Static Electricity attack, but this googly-eyed worm will also use his arrows in a rather unconventional manner - by shooting various buttons that lock the corresponding commands on your controller! You’ll want to have full HP and FP when you start this fight, and ideally, you’ll come stocked with 10x Mushrooms. You’re going to need healing in this fight, there’s just no two ways about it.

The first two rounds are free, with Bowyer introducing the button mechanic in the second round, but he won’t actually use them until you’ve had two full turns. With any luck, you’ll be able to deal 80~ damage per turn, which is a good start on shaving down his 720 HP. You’ll need to take advantage of these opportunities to attack when you can, as some turns you’ll need to spend healing.

(1 of 3) After your first turn, Bowyer will threaten to “even the odds” by disabling various buttons.

Bowyer - Attacks and Special Abilities

As mentioned earlier, Bowyer has a potent Static Electricity attack that he’ll regularly use, dealing 10-25 HP or so to the entire party. Geno is especially vulnerable to this, and since he’s only got 45 HP you’ll need to feed him a Mushroom every time he’s hit by this. Mario and Mallow can withstand it a bit better, but you should consider healing them when their HP drops below 30. You cannot block or mitigate damage from this attack.

The main mechanic at play during this battle is the aforementioned buttons. After your first turn, Bowyer will put three buttons on the stump you’re fighting on, Joy-Con-ButtonY, Joy-Con-ButtonX and Joy-Con-ButtonA, conforming to the buttons on your controller. Bowyer will periodically shoot arrows and hit one of these buttons, which prevents you from inputting that command during battle. For example, if Bowyer deactivates the Joy-Con-ButtonA button, you cannot perform normal attacks. If the Joy-Con-ButtonY button is deactivated, you cannot use Special abilities. Finally, if the Joy-Con-ButtonX button is blocked, so you won’t be able to use items. Note that this doesn’t mean you can’t earn damage bonuses when you attack, so if the Attack option is blocked, still try to press Joy-Con-ButtonA at the correct time to power up your skills! If you can’t use Specials, heal via Mushrooms, and if you can’t use items, you’ll need to rely on HP Rain. Which buttons end up being targeted depends on your actions - use too many items and Bowyer will disable items. Likewise, if you use normal attacks or Specials, Bowyer will eventually target those. These counters appear to be separate and their tallies are cumulative, so the duration of a particular button being disabled depends on how much you’re using other buttons. Bowyer can only disable one button at a time… well, for most of the fight, anyway.

(1 of 4) Bowyer’s main attack, fittingly enough, is to shoot an arrow at a target, dealing moderate damage.

Bowyer also has a standard attack where he shoots an arrow up in the air. It’ll go offscreen for a moment before dropping down on a character, dealing moderate (25~) damage. This is the only attack you can block, and it often follows a Button Disable.

Finally, Bowyer can put characters to sleep via his “Goodnight” attack, which… is just him shooting an arrow up in the sky and hitting a character with it. It won’t deal damage, but it does inflict the sleep debuff. This debuff lasts a few rounds and will not be dispelled if the character is hit with Static Electricity, and Bowyer isn’t above using this on consecutive turns. This is why it’s a good idea to heal proactively instead of letting Bowyer chip away at you.

Attacks and Abilities Attack Type Description
Arrow Physical Bowyer shoots an arrow up in the sky, which then plummets and strikes a character for moderate damage. Usually follows a Button Disable.
Button Disable Special Bowyer shoots an arrow into the sky, which lands on one of the buttons, disabling that action from being performed.
Goodnight! Special A special arrow that deals no damage, but puts its target to sleep.
Static Electricity Special Hits the entire party with lightning, dealing low to moderate damage.

(1 of 3) You should be fine sticking to regular attacks whenever they’re not prohibited,

Bowyer - Stats and Weaknesses

Bowyer’s 720 HP is enough to keep him in the fight for a while (likely at least 7 turns, but realistically you’ll spend some time healing). It doesn’t help that Bowyer isn’t weak to any attacks or elements, so this is just going to be a slugfest without much finesse. You can’t even use Toad Assist during this fight, due to Bowyer’s odd notions of “fighting fair”.

HP Weaknesses Resistances
720 None None

When you can perform normal attacks, just use those. With some good timing, you should be able to easily deal 80+ damage around this way. When your normal attacks inevitably end up blocked, switch to Specials. Geno’s modestly named Geno Beam can deal 60-70 damage if you time it right, while Mario’s Jump is also a decent staple. We typically refrain from using FP with Marrow, preferring to use him to heal, instead. Remember to heal proactively, you really don’t want to get behind while fighting Bowyer.

Keep up the pressure and Bowyer will eventually decide that even his own notions of “fair play” are overrated and he’ll lock all the buttons, prompting you to retaliate with the newly-unlocked Triple Move, “Star Riders”. Just press the Joy-Con-ButtonMinus button to activate this, which should end the fight.

(1 of 2) Once sufficiently weakened, Bowyer will lock all button,

Once sufficiently weakened, Bowyer will lock all button, (left), forcing you to finish him off with the newly unlocked Triple Move - Star Riders. (right)

Bowyer - Rewards

Defeat the crazed caterpillar and you’ll earn 60 Exp (split three ways, of course) and 50 coins. You should also score a Flower Box for your victory here, and you’ll be able to lay claim to the second star, which prompts Geno to explain who - or what - he is. Good news! Your goals align, and Geno will formally join the party. You’ll also be able to use Triple Threat attacks going forward.

Your next destination is ultimately [Moleville], but there are a few diversions you can get into along the way, including:

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  • Guide Release
    17 November 2023
  • Last Updated
    28 November 2023
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Super Mario RPG is a wonderful and whimsical remake of the 1996 classic Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. You’ll need to assemble a group of heroes (starting with Mario of course!) to embark on a quest to repair the wish-granting Star Road! Along the way you’ll encounter enemies from the Smithy Gang, and you’ll unlock access to a whole cast of nostalgic playable characters, from Princess Peach to Geno the puppet to the adorable Mallow.

This guide includes everything you need to make your way through the Super Mario RPG remake. Whilst this game is a faithful remake of the original, the game developers, ArtePiazza, have also included some fun post-game match-ups for those who are looking for an extra challenge and a departure from the OG game! We’ve got walkthroughs for the following:

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