Everybody thought that the Koopa Kids had been kicked out of the Super Mario character roster once Bowser Jr. ascended to the throne, but as has been noted over the last few months, the kids are back in the upcoming New Super Mario Bros. Wii. With the game approaching release, newer demo builds are popping up for the press to play, bringing more details on how the children fit into the mix. Here's a snippet from the oft-linked 1UP Retro Gaming Blog explaining how the kids are alright.
At our group demo today, we faced off against a couple of the Koopa Kids, Iggy and Larry. If I remember correctly, Iggy was the boss of the World 3 castle, and we faced him as a full group of four. Larry was the boss of World 1, and I faced him while playing alongside Nintendo's Bill Trinen. (We lost, tragically -- that annoying little pause when another player dies has been reduced to a split-second, but it's still in the game, and it still throws off my timing.) And we saw Roy Koopa, too, but only from afar: As we wandered across the World 2 map, Roy was lurking atop the castle at the end of the world, daring us to face him down. (In levels where the boss had been beaten, that world's respective Koopa Kid wasn't visible on the map -- a nice little touch.)
That's not where the fanservice ended, though. Each boss battle we saw began with Kamek the Magikoopa whisking into the room on the his broomstick and ensorcelling the room. In Iggy's case, that meant transforming the platform into ice, which made dodging Iggy's bouncing ball and his spinning shell incredibly difficult. (Adding to the peril was a respawning power-up mushroom that would occasionally float onto the screen and make a beeline for the pits on the sides of the room, tempting imprudent players to chase after it instead of paying attention to the more immediate threat of the Koopa Kid.) Larry's room was equally dangerous, with portions of the floor constantly rising and falling as the villain leapt about, spinning in his shell and flinging magic spells from his scepter.
Yes, I like where this is headed. It's been said that Nintendo's top creative talent has not understood why the fans have been barking for Bowser's spawn to return instead of Bowser Jr., and if that is true then I find it disappointing that some of the most creative people in the business cannot see how a collection of seven distinctive characters with their own unique characteristics and personalities stand above a single character that is practically a carbon copy of his father.