The lighter side of real estate

Real-Life Bowser’s Castle: Jump on this Deal Before Mario Does

Have you ever wanted to know how much Bowser's Castle costs? Grab some gold coins and come inside.

David Cross

Content Editor

232 articles, 24 comments

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Bowser’s Castle is one of the most recognizable bad-guy pads in gaming history. It’s hard to forget the first time you saw the massive, comically menacing structure, and knew you’d have to guide Mario through its maze-like levels filled with spinning columns of fire and dastardly koopas.

If you’re lucky, you made it through the castle unscathed and rescued her pinkness Princess Peach. At the same time, if you didn’t rush, you would have glimpsed Bowser’s minimalist lifestyle. Musing about Bowser’s old-world décor, the Movoto Real Estate team came across a problem. What happens to Bowser’s Castle after he’s defeated?

We assumed it would go back on market and sell for a hefty chunk of change—if you could find a buyer, that is. What we learned was that while Bowser’s Castle isn’t cheap, compared to other castles it’s relatively affordable. A second, and more interesting fact, was that the Koopa King’s real-life abode would be the tallest building in the world.

How many gold coins?

If you could find a buyer willing to live in what amounts to an often-attacked volcano, he or she would have to cough up $455,000. What would this buy? About 2,900 square feet of living space spread out through 212 stories.

If you’re keeping track, Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, stands just 160 stories tall.

The funny part is that while Bowser’s Castle is huge, its height is spread over just six rooms. So, the castle’s future owner should love—and we mean love—double high Cathedral ceilings and feeling infinitesimally small.

Secret Unlocked

To come up with a price for Bowser’s Castle, there were three major hurdles we had to jump over (while avoiding our own flying koopas):

  • Picking a version of Bowser’s Castle
  • Finding a comparable property
  • Figuring out the size of Bowser’s Castle

Stage 1: Movoto v. Our Childhood

While Bowser’s pad has not appeared in every Mario video game, it has shown up in many of the main series games and just as many of the spinoff series such as the Mario Kart racing series.

When it came time to pick what castle to value, we chose the castle in Super Mario Bros. 3. While not as hip as later incarnations, it is the castle we spent the most time battling through. This 8-bit gem holds a place in our childhood that other versions can’t touch.

Stage 2: Movoto v. The Real-Life Desert Castle

Because location is a major factor in real estate, we needed to know the site of Bowser’s Castle–other than saying it’s somewhere in the Mushroom Kingdom. To come up with a real-life location we turned to the game. Bowser’s Castle is surrounded by a lava moat and desert.

Translating this into the United State’s topography, we assumed if the giant turtle-like creature were real, his castle would be located in a harsh, preferably ungodly hot environment.

With an annual high over 120 degrees, Death Valley fit the bill.

Lucky for us Death Valley had a secret of its own—a castle hidden within.

Owned by the National Parks Service, Death Valley Ranch, also known as Scotty’s Castle, is a 32,000 square foot Spanish-Mediterranean villa built by Albert Mussey, but named after his friend Walter Scott. The National Park Service picked up the compound in 1970 for $850,000. Today that would equate to $5,027,000.

We used Scotty’s Castle to calculate the cost of Bowser’s real-life digs.

Boss Fight: Movoto v. 2D Video Games

The second piece of information we needed was a way to gauge the dimensions of Bowser’s Castle. We used everyone’s favorite plump plumber to figure this out.

Because Mario’s size has changed from video game to video game, we honed in on Mario’s debut on the silver screen. In 1993, “Super Mario Bros” opened in theaters. The film starred a diminutive 5’6 Bob Hoskins as Mario.

Once we knew Mario’s “people size,” we estimated he was the same basic shape as a brick in the video game. From here we were able to extrapolate the size of Bowser’s Castle based on the number of bricks in each of the level’s six rooms.

This, however, only gave us the height and length of the stony structure. That’s nice to know, but to create an evaluation we still needed a depth.

Have you tried to figure out depth in a 2D game? There’s a lot of guesswork. Our solution? We estimated how buff Mario would be.

It turns out he has a respective 18-inch shoulder width. This way he can run, jump, and spit fireballs to his heart’s content without worrying about getting stuck.

Of course, there’s a reason Bowser’s face adorns the entrance to the mega-castle. It’s his home, after all. This means the castle was designed with the Koopa Commander in mind, not a chubby red-clad plumber.

Time for an assumption: Bowser is about three times Mario’s size. After we laughed at the villain’s girth, we figured out the depth of Bowser’s Castle would be about 60 inches—a hilariously slender building if there ever was one.

Credits: Looking for a Home Buyer

If you know anyone who’s on the market for a koopa-infested castle in just about the hottest place on earth, give us a call. We’ll accept gold coins in lieu of dollars.

The Movoto blog is a service of Movoto Real Estate. If you’re looking for a new home, keep us in mind. We have up-to-date real estate listings and local agents throughout the country. When you want to take a break from browsing homes, you can keep coming back to read awesome blog posts like this one.

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posted on: September 5, 2012
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