Super Mario RPG - All Bowser's Keep Puzzles and Riddles Guide

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Super Mario RPG - All Bowser's Keep Puzzles and Riddles Guide
Discover all the secrets in Bowser's Keep in Super Mario RPG.
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The Super Mario RPG Bowser's Keep puzzles and riddles are bound to cause headaches. That's because of the main objective, which requires you to clear several rooms, along with all the challenges therein. Naturally, some are easier than others, though you could still expect a few restarts. Here's our guide to help you complete the Bowser's Keep puzzles in Super Mario RPG, which includes Dr. Topper's quiz, the triathlon riddle, action courses, and more.

Table of Contents [hide]
  • How to complete all Bowser's Keep puzzles in Super Mario RPG
    • Battle Courses in Bowser's Keep
    • Action Courses in Bowser's Keep
      • Action Course #1
      • Action Course #2
    • Puzzle Courses in Bowser's Keep
      • Puzzle Course #1: Coins, Green Switches, and Ball Solitaire
      • Puzzle Course #2: Dr. Topper's Quiz, the Barrel Test, and the Triathlon Riddle
      • Dr. Topper's Quiz correct answers
      • Barrel Test tips
      • Triathlon Riddle correct answers

How to complete all Bowser's Keep puzzles in Super Mario RPG

To complete the Super Mario RPG Bowser's Keep puzzles, you have to clear all the challenges in four out of six rooms. The courses you can find therein belong to the following categories:

  • Battle Courses - These are the most straightforward. You'll have to go through a corridor with a gauntlet of sorts, fighting several enemy mobs that you've encountered recently in the campaign. You can expect roughly eight encounters.
  • Action Courses - These are platforming activities where you need to reach the exit. You can't fall down into the lava, and you can't get hit by enemies or projectiles. You're limited to 10 attempts for the entirety of the course (which has three challenge sections).
  • Puzzle Courses - These involve riddles, quizzes, and other brain teasers.

If you're not keen on tackling a particular course, you can press the minus button (i.e. "-") to exit back to the main area. In any case, after clearing a single course, you'll reach a small room with a treasure block. You can earn various rewards, such as Rock Candy and powerful weapons (i.e. the Drill Claw for Bowser and the Star Gun for Geno). Once you've completed your fourth course, you'll be able to continue to the inner recesses of the castle.

You need to clear four out of six challenge rooms in Bowser's Keep.

Battle Courses in Bowser's Keep

As mentioned earlier, the Battle Courses in Bowser's Keep are the most straightforward. You just need to take out multiple enemies as you make your way through the corridor. We suggest bringing Mallow along since his Thunderbolt ability can make quick work of entire packs. As for the enemy mobs, these include Bloopers, Star Crusters, Stingers, Chained Kongs, and more. You might even encounter a Comeon (i.e. chest mimic) and Vomer (i.e. skeletons that can only be destroyed by special attacks).

Gallery Battle Courses just consist of one combat encounter after another.

Action Courses in Bowser's Keep

We feel that Action Courses tend to be somewhat more difficult than the rest. This is due to wonky controls and the limited number of tries that you have per run. Likewise, don't forget that you can't fall or get hit by anything. Still, here's what you can expect if you're keen on trying these.

Action Course #1

This includes the following challenge rooms:

  • The first room has transparent platforms that flicker before turning invisible. You'll need to be mindful of where you move, though you can check where the mobs are walking.
  • The second room requires you to cross a lava pool by using small platforms that float around.
  • Lastly, the third room is akin to the classic Donkey Kong video game where you have to reach the top while avoiding the barrels being thrown by a monkey.
Watch out for the barrels in this Donkey Kong throwback.

Action Course #2

This includes the following challenge rooms:

  • The first room, as usual, has a lava pool, and you have to use the floating platforms to get across.
  • The second room is a dungeon cell with several Bob-Ombs. You have to step on the metal ball and roll it to reach the door on the opposite side. Also, the controls are reversed, so tilting the thumbstick to the right will move Mario and the ball to the left.
  • As for the third room, it also has floating platforms and a lava pool.
Action Courses tend to be frustrating since you need to cross lava pools by jumping on small platforms.

Puzzle Courses in Bowser's Keep

These courses have the Super Mario RPG Bowser's Keep puzzles, and there are plenty of them. These are separated into two courses with three challenges each. Bear in mind that outright failing in a particular challenge will cause you to restart from the beginning.

Puzzle Course #1: Coins, Green Switches, and Ball Solitaire

For the Coins Puzzle, we simply imitated what Dr. Topper did. For instance, if he jumped to hit the block four times, then we also hit the block four times.

As for the Green Switches Puzzle, the goal is to jump on switches that will also cause all adjacent ones to get pushed downward. We've marked the ideal ones to jump on with star icons in the image below. To be more specific:

  • First row (closest to entrance): Third from the left.
  • Second row: Leftmost switch.
  • Third row: Rightmost switch.
  • Fourth row (closest to exit): Second from the left.
The solution to the Green Switches puzzle.

Lastly, this Bowser's Keep puzzle in Super Mario RPG requires you to kick one metal ball in a given direction by pressing the "A" button. The one you select will destroy the one it hits, and it will move one spot beyond that. As such, it's important to consider which ones you'll interact with as the number of orbs decrease.

Gallery The Ball Solitaire puzzle (left) is all about being mindful of which orb you'll kick, as the rest disappear (right).

Puzzle Course #2: Dr. Topper's Quiz, the Barrel Test, and the Triathlon Riddle

Dr. Topper's Quiz correct answers

The Dr. Topper's Quiz in Super Mario RPG has 12 questions selected randomly out of a pool. You need to get eight of these right to reach the the next area. Here are the questions that you can expect, as well as the correct answers:

  • Who is the ultimate enemy in this adventure? Smithy
  • What was Toadstool doing when she was kidnapped by Bowser? She was looking at flowers
  • What color are the curtains in Mario's house? Blue
  • Where was the first Star Piece found? Mushroom Kingdom
  • What was Mallow asked to get for the Frog Sage? Cricket Pie
  • Who is the famous composer at Tadpole Pond? Toadofsky
  • What words do Beezos use when they sing? La dee dah
  • How many legs does Wiggler have? Six
  • Where was the third Star Piece found? Moleville
  • In the Moleville Blues, it's said that the moles are covered in what? Soil
  • What is Raini's husband's name? Raz
  • Mite is Dyna's what? Little brother
  • How many underlings does Croco have? Three
  • What's the password in the Sunken Ship? Pearls
  • What's the full name of the boss at the Sunken Ship? Jonathan Jones
  • Booster is what generation? 7th
  • How long have the couple inside the chapel been waiting for their wedding? 30 minutes
  • What's the chef's name at Marrymore? Torte
  • The boy getting his picture taken at Marrymore can't wait for what season? Skiing
  • The man getting his picture taken at Marrymore hates what? Getting his picture taken
  • Speardovich is what? A boss
  • What did Carroboscis used to be? A carrot
  • How much does a female beetle cost? One coin
  • What does the Red Essence do? Gives you strength
  • What does Belome really like to turn people into? Scarecrows
  • Who helped you up the cliff at Land's End? Paratroopas
  • What's the name of Jagger's sensei? Jinx
  • What do Jinx, Goomba, and Culex have in common? They live in Monstro Town
  • Who is the famous sculptor in Nimbus Land? Garro
  • What does Birdo come out of? An eggshell
  • What color is the end of Dodo's beak? Red
  • Who is the leader of The Axem Rangers? Red
  • What is the 4th selection on the Menu screen? Items
  • What technique does Bowser learn at Level 15? Crusher
  • Mario, Mallow, and Peach's Triple Move is called what? Healing Rainbow
Gallery Dr. Topper's Quiz requires you to answer several questions correctly.

Barrel Test tips

For this Super Mario RPG Bowser's Keep puzzle, you'll need to guess the correct number of barrels. The stacked barrels you see when you first enter the room will change. You're then given 10 seconds to count the barrels in the first room, and 20 seconds for the second room.

Because of the time limit, we suggest taking a screenshot by pressing the capture button on your Switch controller. Then, press the home button to exit back to the console's dashboard. Go to System Settings -> Data Management -> Manage Screenshots and Videos. Go to the individual screenshots and count the number of barrels. Because the game is temporarily paused, you should have ample time.

Remember to take a screenshot so you can count the barrels via the console's settings panel.

Triathlon Riddle correct answers

For the Super Mario RPG Triathlon Riddle in Bowser's Keep, you have to talk to four NPCs: Boo (ghost), Goo (goomba), Bones (skeleton turtle), and Kipp (fish). They'll tell you how they fared in the triathlon. Based on contextual clues, you then need to talk to them in the correct order (i.e. the one who finished first up to the one who finished last). You'll then speak to Dr. Topper once you're sure about the order.

Here are the clues so you'll know how each competitor fared:

  • First place: "I outdid <other NPC> both on my bike and in the final rankings."
  • Second place: "I fell into fourth place during the bike race, but I finally ended up in the same place as I did in the swimming event."
  • Third place: "I placed the same in the swimming and cycling events, but two others beat me in the marathon."
  • Fourth place: "I came in third for swimming, and never did better in the events after that."
Gallery Read each participant's statement (left), then decide on the correct order (right).

Take note of each NPC's statement, and make sure you've got the correct answer when you talk to Dr. Topper. If your guess is correct, you'll reach the room with the treasure block. Lastly, assuming you're done with the challenges in four out of six rooms, you'll eventually arrive at another part of the castle. This leads to a couple of boss fights so you can conclude this portion of the campaign.

In any case, these are the tasks and solutions for all Bowser's Keep puzzles in Super Mario RPG. Don't forget that more secrets await Mario and the gang, such as the Hidden Treasure Chests.