Mario Kart (series)

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Mario Kart
Mknew.PNG
The current logo used from Mario Kart DS to present.
Mkold.PNG
The main logo used from Super Mario Kart to Mario Kart Arcade GP 2, and also the beta logo for Mario Kart DS.
First Installment Super Mario Kart (1992)
Latest Installment Mario Kart 8 (2014)
Number of Installments 11 (8 main, 3 arcade)
Parent Series Mario
Infograph showing the eight main installments in the Mario Kart series.

The Mario Kart racing games are a large franchise series in Mario games; one Mario Kart game has appeared on almost every Nintendo system since the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. With a total of eleven titles in the series, Nintendo has inspired many later cartoon-styled racing games among many gaming companies. These games are: Super Mario Kart, Mario Kart 64, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Mario Kart: Double Dash!!,' Mario Kart Arcade GP, Mario Kart DS, Mario Kart Arcade GP 2, Mario Kart Wii, Mario Kart 7, Mario Kart Arcade GP DX, and Mario Kart 8.

The Mario Kart series has been very successful. It is referenced in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door by Luigi, who, while telling Mario about the races on Circuit Break Island, briefly mentions racing in karts previously.

Games[edit]

Title, Original Release and System Synopsis
Super Mario Kart

SMK BoxCover2.jpg

Super Mario Kart was the first Mario Kart game released. The game has a total of eight playable characters and 20 different racecourses to select from, all of which have five laps due to their short length. This is the only title featuring five courses per cup, whereas all later installments only consist of four. Additionally, this is currently the only installment of the series where courses feature five laps as opposed to three in subsequent titles (possibly due to the shorter lengths of each of the tracks). Super Mario Kart is also the only Mario Kart game to feature Donkey Kong Jr. as a playable character; he is replaced by Donkey Kong in all subsequent titles. Koopa Troopa is also playable in the game, but did not reprise this role until Mario Kart: Double Dash!! as he was replaced by Wario in Mario Kart 64 and its successor. Though the game is on a 16-bit system, it features three-dimensionally rendered surroundings, giving the graphics depth and a more realistic feel. This particular Mario Kart game is heavily influenced by Super Mario World, with some graphics and locations taken directly from the sidescroller. Yoshi's tongue noise from Super Mario World is also present, as is a computer-generated "hoomph" for Donkey Kong Jr.; actual voice acting was not yet possible. Super Mario Kart was later re-released on the Virtual Console for 800 points.
Japan 1992
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Mario Kart 64

MK64 Cover.png

Mario Kart 64 was the first 64-bit Mario Kart game, which allows for fully three-dimensional graphics, such as the course layouts. The courses, instead of being flat, now have different forms of terrain. However, it still uses 2D sprites for the characters and items. The game features 16 normal race courses, as well as four battle courses. Mario Kart 64 was later re-released on the Virtual Console for 1,000 points. This is the first Mario Kart game to have Donkey Kong and Wario as playable characters which would also continue in future installments, although there is still a total of eight drivers to choose from.
Japan 1996
Nintendo 64
Mario Kart: Super Circuit

MKSC.jpg

Mario Kart: Super Circuit (known as Mario Kart Advance in Japan) is the first Mario Kart title to be brought to a handheld gaming system. It is compatible with the Game Boy Advance (now with the Nintendo DS as well), and is a 32-bit game. It is highly influenced by its two home console predecessors, especially Mario Kart 64. VS mode is not playable in single player. In VS mode, the only courses to choose from are the four SNES courses. The players all play as different colored Yoshis. The game featured eight playable characters once more, all of whom are in Mario Kart 64. A total of 20 racecourses (plus the 20 courses from Super Mario Kart) could be selected from. This is the first Mario Kart game to have a feature that allows players to swap Ghost data (via the use of a Game Boy Advance Link Cable).
Japan 2001
Game Boy Advance
Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

Mario Kart Double Dash!!.jpg

Mario Kart: Double Dash!! was the fourth game released in the franchise. The game brings back the eight playable characters from Mario Kart 64 and Mario Kart: Super Circuit as well as the return of Koopa Troopa from Super Mario Kart and introduces many new features, including 11 new playable characters (being Daisy, Birdo, Baby Mario, Baby Luigi, Paratroopa, Diddy Kong, Bowser Jr., Waluigi, Toadette, Petey Piranha, and King Boo). One difference is that there are two drivers per kart, in contrast to all other games in the Mario Kart series; this allowed characters to hold more items simultaneously. Another new feature is Special Items: each pair of drivers has their own unique Special Item that only they could obtain, with the exception of King Boo and Petey Piranha, who could obtain any Special Item except Luigi's Green Fireballs, and the Birdo Egg. Mario Kart: Double Dash!! features 16 racecourses, as well as an All-Cup Tour, unlocked by beating the 150cc Special Cup. There are 20 different characters to select from, except that they are all partnered up. In total, there are 190 possible combinations of teams. It is also the first game that has uniquely designed karts for each character, rather than just color variations. The only exception is the Parade Kart, which can be used by any character of any weight, and its colour does not change no matter what combination of characters the player uses.
Japan 2003
Nintendo GameCube
Mario Kart Arcade GP

Mario Kart Arcade GP logo.jpg

Mario Kart Arcade GP was the first Mario Kart title released into an arcade. Though many of the same elements from previous games are still featured in this game, it is entirely unique from the rest at the time. This game features a total of 11 playable characters; 8 are from the Mario series, while the remaining three are from the Pac-Man series. This is the first Mario Kart title to feature third-party characters. It also features 12 racecourses to select from, with two in each cup. It is notable for having many more items than other Mario Kart games.
USA 2005
Arcade Machine
Mario Kart DS

Mario Kart DS Box (North America).png

Mario Kart DS is the fifth mainstream installment in the Mario Kart series, and is the second title to be released on a handheld gaming system. Unlike Mario Kart Double Dash!!, this game returns to one-person driving and does not feature Special Items. The game features 64-bit graphics, and included an all new Mission Mode, for which the player needs to complete missions within certain time limits. This game features 13 playable characters: eight default racers, four unlockable racers, and one only available for racing via Download Play.

This game is also the second in the series to feature racecourses encountered in earlier titles (the first was Mario Kart Super Circuit, which included all Super Mario Kart tracks). All of the bosses in this game come from Super Mario 64 DS.

USA 2005
Nintendo DS
Mario Kart Arcade GP 2

Mario Kart Arcade GP 2.jpg

Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 was the second Mario Kart title released in arcades. It features the same playable characters as Mario Kart Arcade GP plus Waluigi and Mametchi. This title also features something different from the last arcade release: unique Karts for each playable character, just as Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Mario Kart DS, Mario Kart Wii, and Mario Kart 7 did. This game features a total of 16 racecourses.
Japan 2007
Arcade Machine
Mario Kart Wii

Mkwii.jpg

Mario Kart Wii is the sixth mainstream game in the series. A new feature in Mario Kart Wii is Bikes. Bikes allow the players to do Wheelies, speeding them up temporarily. Also, the players can do Tricks as they jump off certain ramps to get a short boost when landing. This is also the first game to feature races with up to 12 competitors. Another new feature is the Mario Kart Channel. This channel, installable on the Wii Menu, allows players to check rankings, race ghosts, and compete in tournaments. Similar to the Retro racecourses, the game also has five Retro battle courses. One Retro battle course is featured from each of the past five games in the series, in addition to five all-new battle courses. Mario Kart Wii has 25 playable characters, with 32 courses to choose from, 16 being new and 16 being retro. Unlike the past titles, this is the first game to have a size system used instead of a weight system, although the two are somewhat similar. Mario Kart Wii is the only game in the series with save files (however, since the Wii U allows for different users for each Mii, this technically acts as save files for Mario Kart 8).
Japan 2008
Wii
Mario Kart 7

Mario-Kart-7-Box-Art.jpg

Mario Kart 7 is the seventh main installment in the series. Wi-Fi play is utilized to exchange Ghost Data or to race. New features introduced into the Mario Kart series are the ability to glide, drive underwater, and build customizable vehicles with unlockable parts instead of using premade vehicles. Eight racers compete once again instead of the twelve racers seen in Mario Kart Wii. Retro race tracks also return and, for the first time ever in the series, racers can see the race in first-person view and race with the motion sensor. The game also introduces the community mode for online play, where players race with customizable rules.
Japan 2011
Nintendo 3DS
Mario Kart Arcade GP DX

MKGPDX.png

Mario Kart Arcade GP DX, the third Mario Kart title released for arcades, was developed by Namco Bandai Games in partnership with Nintendo. It features the return of gliders and underwater racing from Mario Kart 7. The game's new playable characters (for the arcade series) are Bowser Jr., Rosalina, Metal Mario, and Don-chan. However, Ms. Pac-Man, Blinky, and Mametchi do not return. It was released in July 2013 in Japan and Winter 2013 in North America. [1]
Japan 2013
Arcade Machine
Mario Kart 8

Box NA - Mario Kart 8.jpg

Mario Kart 8 is the eighth main installment in the series. The title's main new feature is anti-gravity, which lets racers drive along walls and ceilings, allowing for more alternate paths in courses. Also, features from past installments (such as bikes from Mario Kart Wii, and gliding and underwater driving from Mario Kart 7) make an appearance. Another new feature is the ability to switch between traditional and motion controls on the Wii U GamePad by touching a button on the touchscreen during gameplay. ATVs, a new type of vehicle, appear alongside karts and bikes. This game introduced nine new characters to the spin-off series, including the seven Koopalings, who made their playable debut. Mario Kart 8 features the largest amount of playable characters, with 30. It is the first of the main installments to use highlight reels for the award ceremony rather than using the traditional cinematic cutscenes from the previous Mario Kart games. It is also the first Mario Kart game on a home console that allows more than one player to pick the same character of their choice, disregarding a glitch usable in Mario Kart Wii.
Japan 2014
Wii U

Cancelled games[edit]

The German magazine Big N claimed that a Virtual Boy installment of the Mario Kart series, tentatively named VB Mario Kart, was in development.[2] The only known media report of it is Big N's August 2000 issue, which listed it among various other cancelled Virtual Boy projects.

New features[edit]

Every main Mario Kart game following the first installment has introduced new gameplay features to keep each game from feeling the same.

Characters[edit]

Playable characters[edit]

The series has spawned a total of 44 playable drivers in the main console/handheld installments, along with five third-party characters in the Arcade GP series and Miis from Mario Kart Wii onward. If one includes the multiple-colored Yoshis and Shy Guys and Mario Kart 8 downloadable characters, there are 68 playable drivers in total. Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Yoshi, Toad, and Bowser are the only characters to have been playable in all titles. Also, Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Bowser are the only characters to be classified as the same weight class in every Mario Kart title, and this means Peach and Yoshi are the only ones to appear in all games to switch between the weight classes in the games (they are a middleweight in all console games, excluding Mario Kart 64, and a lightweight in the handheld games and Mario Kart 64). Out of all these characters, Toad is the only one to be both a default and unlockable driver, being available from the start in all games except Mario Kart: Double Dash!!. Wario and Donkey Kong have been playable in every title since Mario Kart 64, and since then other characters have been playable in all main games after their respective Mario Kart debut, namely Princess Daisy, Rosalina, and Miis. Waluigi is the only playable character in the series to have been classified in all three weight classes (he is a middleweight in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and Mario Kart DS, a heavyweight in Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 8, and a lightweight in Mario Kart Arcade GP DX).

Character SMK MK64 MKSC MKDD MKAGP MKDS MKAGP 2 MKW MK7 MKAGP DX MK8
Baby Daisy X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg1 X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Baby Luigi X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg1 X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Baby Mario X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Baby Peach X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Baby Rosalina X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg1
Birdo X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg1 X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Black Shy Guy X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg2 X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg5
Black Yoshi X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg5
Blinky X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Blue Shy Guy X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg2 X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg2 X mark.svg Check mark.svg5
Blue Yoshi X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg5
Bowser Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Bowser Jr. X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg1 X mark.svg Check mark.svg1 X mark.svg
Cat Peach X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg5
Daisy X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg1 X mark.svg Check mark.svg1 Check mark.svg1 X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Diddy Kong X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg1 X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Don-chan X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg
Donkey Kong X mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Donkey Kong Jr. Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Dry Bones X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg1 X mark.svg Check mark.svg1 X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Dry Bowser X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg1 X mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg5
Fire Mario X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg3 X mark.svg
Funky Kong X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg1 X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Honey Queen X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg1 X mark.svg X mark.svg
Ice Luigi X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg3 X mark.svg
Iggy X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg1
Isabelle X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg5
King Boo X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg1 X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg1 X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Knight Don-chan X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg3 X mark.svg
Koopa Troopa Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Lakitu X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg1 X mark.svg Check mark.svg1
Larry X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg1
Lemmy X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg1
Light Blue Shy Guy X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg2 X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg5
Light Blue Yoshi X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg2 X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg5
Link X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg5
Ludwig X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg1
Luigi Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Mametchi X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Mario Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Metal Mario X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg1 Check mark.svg3 Check mark.svg1
Mii X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg14 Check mark.svg1 X mark.svg Check mark.svg1
Morton X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg1
Ms. Pac-Man X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Orange Shy Guy X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg5
Orange Yoshi X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg5
Pac-Man X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg
Paratroopa X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Peach Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Petey Piranha X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg1 X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Pink Gold Peach X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg1
Pink Shy Guy X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg2 X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg5
Pink Yoshi X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg5
R.O.B. X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg1 X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Red Yoshi X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg2 X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg3 Check mark.svg5
Rosalina X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg1 Check mark.svg1 Check mark.svg3 Check mark.svg1
Roy X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg1
Shy Guy X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg2 X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg1 X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Strawberry Don-chan X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg3 X mark.svg
Tanooki Mario X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg5
Toad Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg1 Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Toadette X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg1 X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg1 X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg1
Villager X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg5
Waluigi X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg1 Check mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg1 Check mark.svg
Wario X mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg1 Check mark.svg1 Check mark.svg
Wendy X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg1
White Shy Guy X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg2 X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg5
White Yoshi X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg5
Wiggler X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg1 X mark.svg X mark.svg
Yellow Shy Guy X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg2 X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg2 X mark.svg Check mark.svg5
Yellow Yoshi X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg2 X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg5
Yoshi Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg

1 - The character is unlockable
2 - The character is only playable in VS Mode or DS/3DS Download Play
3 - The character is downloadable
4 - As in Mii Outfit A and Mii Outfit B
5 - As an Add-On Content

Weight/Size and Effects[edit]

The eight classic playable racers that have been playable since Mario Kart 64. Characters are often divided into different classes based upon their size and weight.

Throughout the Mario Kart series, a common element in almost each game is the weight of different characters. Characters have been classified by their weight. Up until Mario Kart Wii, the three weights were "Light", "Medium", and "Heavy". In Mario Kart Wii, however, the main element was the size of the character, split in three categories: "Small", "Medium", and "Large". Different weights and sizes have different effects on racing.

Please note:

  • In Super Mario Kart, characters are classified in four classes with no official name.
  • In Mario Kart DS, weights of characters are not classified in categories, but more exact weights are given to characters.
  • In Mario Kart Wii, bikes are usually lighter than karts, due to their smaller size. However, some bikes are heavier than Karts, especially when size classes are taken into account.
  • Also, in Mario Kart Wii, Miis can be small, medium, or large depending on their height and weight.
  • In Mario Kart 7, there are two extra classes known as Feather, before the Light class, and Cruiser, between Medium and Heavy.

Feather/Light/Small[edit]

Characters in this classification are easily knocked aside by their heavier opponents. Feather/Light/Small characters have high acceleration, but low top speeds. When off-road, they lose a very minimal amount of speed. In some games, however, a lightweight can own a kart that has a high top speed, but low acceleration.

Game Feather/Light/Small Characters
Super Mario Kart Koopa Troopa · Toad
Mario Kart 64 Princess Peach · Toad · Yoshi
Mario Kart Super Circuit Princess Peach · Toad · Yoshi
Mario Kart: Double Dash!! Baby Mario · Baby Luigi · Bowser Jr. · Diddy Kong · Koopa Paratroopa · Koopa Troopa · Toad · Toadette
Mario Kart DS Dry Bones · Princess Peach · Shy Guy · Toad · Yoshi
Mario Kart Wii Baby Daisy · Baby Luigi · Baby Mario · Baby Peach · Dry Bones · Koopa Troopa · Toad · Toadette
Mario Kart 7

Feather: Koopa Troopa · Lakitu · Shy Guy · Toad
Light: Princess Peach · Princess Daisy · Yoshi

Mario Kart 8

Baby Mario · Baby Luigi · Baby Peach · Baby Daisy · Baby Rosalina · Lemmy Koopa · Toad · Toadette · Koopa Troopa · Shy Guy · Lakitu · Wendy O. Koopa · Larry Koopa

Medium[edit]

Medium characters have a equal balance of weight, top speed, and acceleration. When they go off-road, they lose a moderate amount of speed, contrary to that of its corresponding weight classes. In some games, however, middleweights can own a kart that has low speed and high acceleration, or a kart that has high speed and low acceleration.

Game Medium Characters
Super Mario Kart Luigi · Mario · Princess Peach · Yoshi
Mario Kart 64 Luigi · Mario
Mario Kart Super Circuit Luigi · Mario
Mario Kart: Double Dash!! Birdo · Luigi · Mario · Princess Daisy · Princess Peach · Waluigi · Yoshi
Mario Kart DS Luigi · Mario · Princess Daisy · Waluigi
Mario Kart Wii Birdo · Bowser Jr. · Diddy Kong · Luigi · Mario · Princess Daisy · Princess Peach · Yoshi
Mario Kart 7 Luigi · Mario · Mii
Mario Kart 8

Peach · Daisy · Yoshi · Mario · Luigi · Ludwig von Koopa · Iggy Koopa

Cruiser/Heavy/Large[edit]

Cruiser/Heavy/Large characters can easily knock most opposing racers aside. They have high top speeds, but very poor acceleration. When they go off-road, their speed greatly decreases. In some games, however, a heavyweight can own a kart that has a low top speed, but high acceleration.

Game Cruiser/Heavy/Large Characters
Super Mario Kart Bowser · Donkey Kong Jr.
Mario Kart 64 Bowser · Donkey Kong · Wario · Mini Bomb Kart
Mario Kart Super Circuit Bowser · Donkey Kong · Wario
Mario Kart: Double Dash!! Bowser · Donkey Kong · King Boo · Petey Piranha · Wario
Mario Kart DS Bowser · Donkey Kong · R.O.B. · Wario
Mario Kart Wii Bowser · Donkey Kong · Dry Bowser · Funky Kong · King Boo · Rosalina · Waluigi · Wario
Mario Kart 7

Cruiser: Donkey Kong · Rosalina · Wiggler
Heavy: Bowser · Honey Queen · Metal Mario · Wario

Mario Kart 8

Donkey Kong · Waluigi · Roy Koopa · Rosalina · Metal Mario · Pink Gold Peach · Wario · Bowser · Morton Koopa Jr.

Engine Class[edit]

The Engine Class (also referred to as Engine Size) is an important factor in the Mario Kart series, determining the speed of Karts. Super Mario Kart introduced 50 cubic centimeter (cc) and 100cc Karts (and 150cc Karts were unlockable). Starting with Mario Kart 64, 150cc Karts were available at the start of the game. As larger engines increase speed, Karts are more difficult to control. In Grand Prix mode, an increase in engine class also increases the computer player difficulty. In Vs. Mode of Mario Kart DS, Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 8, the Engine Class doesn't control the difficulty of the computer drivers, but the option CPU Level does. Each Cup can be raced with different Engine Classes; completing a Cup with a certain Engine Classes sometimes unlocks other Cups, drivers, or battle stages.

Mirror[edit]

Mario Kart Double Dash!!'s Luigi Circuit, in Mirror Mode.

Appears In: Mario Kart 64; Mario Kart: Double Dash!!; Mario Kart DS; Mario Kart Wii; Mario Kart 7 and Mario Kart 8

The Mirror class (EXTRA in Mario Kart 64; 150cc Mirror in Mario Kart DS and commonly refered as Mirror Mode) is a bonus engine class in which all tracks are mirrored. As a result, left becomes right and vice versa. All vehicles use the 150cc engine size in this engine class (100cc in Mario Kart 64). Most environmental hazards remain untouched, but there are some exceptions, such as with Toad's Turnpike, in which the cars on the road are traveling towards the kart racers instead of along with them, making them harder to dodge.

Courses[edit]

Each main Mario Kart game has at least 16 courses distributed among 4 or more cups. Super Mario Kart has 4 cups with 5 courses each, being the only game in the series with this format. Mario Kart 64 has since introduced the standard of having 4 courses per cup. Mario Kart: Super Circuit has 20 courses among 5 cups to allow for the inclusion of all 20 of the original courses from Super Mario Kart. Since Mario Kart DS, there have been two Grand Prix sets for the player to choose from: the Nitro Grand Prix, consisting of 16 new courses, and the Retro Grand Prix, consisting of 16 retro courses selected from previous installments of the series. In total, the main series has spawned 136 courses.

In every one of the main games (excluding the Mario Kart Arcade GP sub-series), there has been at least one Mario Circuit, one Bowser's Castle, one Rainbow Road, one ice-themed course, and one beach-themed course, with Mario Kart 64 onward including at least one desert-themed course. Unless one counts Koopa Cape or Dolphin Shoals as beach-themed courses, Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 8 are the only games to not introduce any beach-themed courses.

Items and effects[edit]

Items (main series)[edit]

Throughout the races of the Mario Kart games, racers can pick up items out of Item Boxes. These items differ from game to game, but the following are complete lists of all the items from the main series. Items randomly shuffle in the Item Roulette after characters run into an Item Box. Tapping the item button decreases the amount of time it takes for the Item Roulette to select an item. If players do not select an item right away by pressing the item button, the computer automatically selects an item. The item chosen is influenced by the player's place in the race. Generally, racers closest to last place receive better items, and vice versa (this does not apply to computers). After the item is selected, players can press the item button to use it. In Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and onwards, certain damages such as being flipped, squashed or being picked up by Lakitu after falling off of the course makes players drop their item on to the road (for others to use/get hit by), or lose it all together. In Mario Kart 8 the player will not lose their item they are carrying if they fall off the track.

Item SMK MK64 MKSC MKDD MKDS MKW MK7 MK8
Banana Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Banana Bunch X mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg***** X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Birdo Egg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg* X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Blooper X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Bob-omb X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg***** Check mark.svg* Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Boo Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Boomerang Flower X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Bowser Shell X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg* Check mark.svg***** X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Bullet Bill X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Chain Chomp X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg* Check mark.svg***** Check mark.svg***** X mark.svg X mark.svg
Coin Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg*** Check mark.svg**** Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Crazy Eight X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Fake Item Box X mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg***** Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Feather Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Fireballs Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg* X mark.svg Check mark.svg** X mark.svg X mark.svg
Fire Flower X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Giant Banana X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg* X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Golden Mushroom X mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg***** Check mark.svg* Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Green Shell Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Heart X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg* X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Lucky Seven X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg
Mega Mushroom X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Mushroom Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Poison Mushroom Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Potted Piranha Plant X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
POW Block X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Red Shell Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Spiny Shell X mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Star Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Super Horn X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Super Leaf X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg
Thunderbolt Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Thunder Cloud X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Triple Bananas X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Triple Green Shell X mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg* Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Triple Mushroom X mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Triple Red Shell X mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg* Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Yoshi Egg Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg* X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg

* - Special Item in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.

** - Only in Mario Kart Wii online tournaments.

*** - Only in the Mario Kart DS Mission Mode.

**** - Only in the Coin Runners battle game from Mario Kart Wii.

***** - Found in the game's data.

Check mark.svg - Item present in the game.

X mark.svg - Item not present in the game.


Image Name Description Appearances
BananaMK8.png Banana The banana is a staple in every Mario Kart game. It can be held behind players' karts and dropped on the racecourse, and anybody who hits it spins out on contact. When thrown forward, the player's current speed and altitude determines how far it will be thrown. In Mario Kart 64 and Mario Kart: Super Circuit, if players slow down just when they are about to drive over a Banana, they do not slip; the indication of success is a musical note appearing above the racer's head. All Games
BananaBunch MK64.png Banana Bunch This is essentially the same as the Banana, but there are five of them. When first activated, the bananas trail players' karts and can then be dropped or thrown one at a time. Mario Kart 64
MKDD BirdoEgg.jpg Birdo Egg Each egg drops three items after hitting a racer, acting identically to the Yoshi Egg in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!. They act like more powerful Red Shells, and contain Mushrooms, Stars, Bananas, Green Shells, or Bob-ombs. If they do not hit any kart, they will break and release three items by themselves. Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
BlooperMK8.png Blooper Bloopers obscure the view of players by squirting ink on the screen. This item affects every racer that is currently ahead of the player. If the player is affected by a Blooper, the player's Items stat determines how long the ink stays on the player's screen. The lower the player's Item stat is, the faster the ink goes away. If players are affected by a Blooper, they can use a Mushroom or drive onto a Boost Pad, or drive into underwater in Mario Kart 8 to get rid of the obstructive goop. Mario Kart DS
Mario Kart Wii
Mario Kart 7
Mario Kart 8
Bob-ombMK8.png Bob-omb The Bob-omb stays on the track, and it explodes after a restricted period of time. If it is thrown forward, the Bob-omb waits until another racer passes near it to explode by them. Any driver who is in the blast radius and surroundings blows or spins. If a racer holds it behind them (ala Mario Kart Wii) and an Item such as a red shell hits them, it immediately explodes like it usually does. In Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, the Bob-omb is the special item exclusive to Wario and Waluigi, and to King Boo and Petey Piranha; although it can be used for all characters during Battle Mode.

Bob-ombs also appear as unique items in the Battle Mode game, Bob-omb Blast. They are given colors that match the player numbers, and only affects opposing players when thrown.

Mario Kart: Double Dash!!*
Mario Kart DS
Mario Kart Wii
Mario Kart 7
Mario Kart 8
BooMKDS.jpg Boo Boos are ghosts from one of the many haunted houses in the Mushroom Kingdom. In Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Boos slow down the race leader upon use, compared to the other games, where he simply leaves the leader alone and takes their item. The target that is chosen is the one with the most powerful item, including Mushrooms. However, if no other racers have items, the Boo does not steal anything for the player. Another benefit to Boo is the fact that players become translucent upon using it, meaning that they can pass right through other drivers and certain obstacles, including items. In addition to being immune to attacks, the Boo item also allows players to drive through rough terrain without losing speed.

Notably, Boos are absent in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and every title since Mario Kart Wii, possibly because of the inclusion of King Boo in the two mentioned games.

Super Mario Kart
Mario Kart 64
Mario Kart: Super Circuit
Mario Kart DS
BoomerangFlowerMK8.png Boomerang Flower The Boomerang Flower is an item that debuted in Super Mario 3D Land, which transforms Mario into Boomerang Mario. This allows him to throw a boomerang at enemies and reach items from far away. In Mario Kart 8, it allows the user to throw the boomerang three times when used. Mario Kart 8
Mkdd bowsers shell.jpg Bowser Shell The Bowser Shell is the item used exclusively by Bowser, Bowser Jr., and by King Boo and Petey Piranha. This monstrous shell goes in a straight line, just like a normal Green Shell, bumping on walls and obstacles, capable of knocking over Karts, or destroying other items that it collides with. Unlike a Green or Red Shell, the Bowser Shell does not disintegrate if it collides on a kart. It keeps spinning around after several bumps, where it breaks apart. When the Bowser Shell collides with another special item, it rebounds. Mario Kart: Double Dash!!*
BulletBillMK8.png Bullet Bill Upon using a Bullet Bill, the player turns into a Bullet Bill, and follows the track automatically. The Bullet Bill is very fast, and boosts the player faster than any other item. The duration of the Bullet Bill depends on how high the player's current place is; the closer the player is to last, the longer the duration. It is possible to steer the Bullet Bill, but only slightly. This feature allows players to "home in" on other racers as they are flying right past them. Mario Kart DS
Mario Kart Wii
Mario Kart 7
Mario Kart 8
Chomp.PNG Chain Chomp The Chain Chomp is a special Item used only by Baby Mario and Baby Luigi, and by King Boo and Petey Piranha as well. When used, a Chain Chomp appears on the front of the kart, pulling the vehicle ahead at a very fast speed, sweeping away any karts and most items in its path. After a limited period of time, the Chain Chomp breaks away from the kart and continues down the track until it eventually vanishes. It is very similar to the Bullet Bill item, except that players are not invulnerable when they use this item. Of course, if the player gets hit by any items, the Chain Chomp breaks free before the time limit has even ended. It was set to appear in Mario Kart DS, but the player can not receive it even in the kiosk demo. Mario Kart: Double Dash!!*
CoinMK8.png Coin The Coin item lets the player's character gain a pair of coins in order to prevent being spun around if the driver bumps with another kart while having zero coins. The coin also increases the player's speed slightly. In Mario Kart 7 and Mario Kart 8, a maximum of ten coins can be collected in a race at one time. Super Mario Kart
Mario Kart: Super Circuit
Mario Kart 7
Mario Kart 8
Crazy8MK8.png Crazy Eight The Crazy Eight is similar to the Lucky Seven from Mario Kart 7; it gives the player all items granted by the Lucky Seven itself, plus a Coin. Mario Kart 8
Fake Item Box - Mario Kart Wii.png Fake Item Box Fake Item Boxes can be placed on the stage anywhere, similar to Bananas. They can also be dragged behind the kart. When hitting a Fake Item Box, the player rolls over, which is similar to the effect of a Green Shell. Like the Banana, the tilt of the control stick determines how far it is thrown. When a Fake Item Box is set on the track, the player can distinguish it by looking for the telltale question mark inside the box. In most games, the Box has an upside-down question mark. In Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and Mario Kart Wii, there is an occasional red flash added. In Mario Kart DS, there is simply no question mark, and they did not rotate either.

In Mario Kart 64, players cannot throw this item forward, but it can block items. However, it loses the ability to block items in later Mario Kart titles.

Mario Kart 64
Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
Mario Kart DS
Mario Kart Wii
FeatherSMK.png
Feather The Feather gives the player a spin jump which is higher than a normal hop. It is useful for jumping over obstacles, and taking shortcuts over the barriers and voids during races. It was planned for Mario Kart 64 but was removed. Super Mario Kart
Fireball.JPG Fireball In Super Mario Kart, only CPU-controlled Bowser can receive this item. They act very similar to Banana Peels.

In Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, they are Mario and Luigi's special item, known as Red Fireballs and Green Fireballs, respectively. Petey Piranha and King Boo use Fireballs as well, but they only receive red ones. These items can be shot both forward or backwards. In Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, they at first appear as a single fireball, but they split into five smaller fireballs after thrown, which can hit multiple karts at once. The fire balls can bounce off walls.

Fireballs appeared lately in Mario Kart Wii, used by Dry Bowser as an ability which he spits out three fireballs against his opponents to make them to spin out of control. This item appeared only during one of the game's online tournaments.

Super Mario Kart (CPU only)
Mario Kart: Double Dash!!*
Mario Kart Wii (CPU only)
Mario Kart 7
Mario Kart 8
FireFlowerMK8.png Fire Flower When using the Fire Flower, players can throw fireballs backward and forward for ten seconds after it's used or when the player uses ten Fireballs. When characters are hit by one of the fireballs, they will spin out and lose a coin. Mario Kart 7
Mario Kart 8
Mkdd giant banana.jpg Giant Banana The Giant Banana is the signature item used by Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong, as well as King Boo and Petey Piranha in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! The Giant Banana is much larger than a regular banana, making it harder to avoid. If a kart collides with one, it spins out much longer than a normal Banana would make. After someone hits the Giant Banana, the Giant Banana breaks up into three normal Bananas. Only certain items can destroy it. Mario Kart: Double Dash!!*
GoldenMushroomMK8.png Golden Mushroom The Golden Mushroom allows the player to perform indefinite boosts of speed for a limited amount of time until it disappears. In Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, the item appeared as a Special Item under the name Super Mushroom, and could only be received by Toad, Toadette, King Boo, and Petey Piranha. This item usually only appears when the racer is behind by a fair bit. Mario Kart 64
Mario Kart: Double Dash!!*
Mario Kart DS
Mario Kart Wii
Mario Kart 7
Mario Kart 8
GreenShellMK8.png Green Shell One of the classic staples of the Mario Kart series, the Green Shell is a projectile that when thrown, goes in a straight line, knocking over any target that gets in its way. It ricochets when it bumps against walls or certain obstacles, eventually breaking after several bumps. In games before Mario Kart Double Dash!!, however, Green Shells, rather than breaking apart, flip over and fall off the screen. In Super Mario Kart, they slow down and eventually stop, only disappearing when a racer hits it. In Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Green Shells can be held and thrown backwards, but they move slower when shot backwards. In Mario Kart DS and Mario Kart Wii, when thrown backwards, the shell moves slightly slower before the shell moves fast, and in Mario Kart 64, Mario Kart 7 and Mario Kart 8, the shell moves very fast when thrown backwards like they fire forwards. All Games
Normal heart.jpg Heart When the Heart item is used, a pair of Hearts surround the kart, protecting against any items dropped on the track. When the kart collides with an item, one of the Hearts absorb it, and gives it to one of the racers for them to use, unless both are already holding an item. After absorbing two hits, the effect of the Heart item disappears. If the driver falls off the course, or gets struck by a Thunderbolt, the hearts in use disappear. Also, this item cannot protect the user from Spiny Shells, Chain Chomps, and Bob-omb explosions (but it can absorb the Bob-omb itself). The Heart is not timed-based, meaning that it does not expire on its own. The Heart is the special item used by Princess Peach and Princess Daisy, and is also used by Petey Piranha and King Boo. Mario Kart: Double Dash!!*
MK7 Lucky7.png Lucky Seven When the player uses this item, they gain a Banana, Red Shell, Green Shell, Blooper, Mushroom, Star, and a Bob-omb that revolve around their kart until used. In the VS and battle mode of Mario Kart 7, it is possible to select that only Shells, Bananas, Mushrooms, or Bob-ombs are items in the battle. If a Lucky Seven is used, only these items appear around the kart. Mario Kart 7
Mega Mushroom Artwork - Mario Kart Wii.png Mega Mushroom The player's character becomes bigger and is able to crush other characters throughout the duration. The driver also becomes immune to most other items, except for powerful items such as Bullet Bills or players utilized with Stars that can still knock enlarged characters aside. Getting hit by Lightning shrinks the enlarged players back to their normal size, as opposed to making them tiny or even being immune to it. Mario Kart Wii
MushroomMarioKart8.png Mushroom Mushrooms have appeared in every Mario Kart game so far. By using the item, users get a temporary boost of speed, allowing them to go through rough terrain at ease. Also, charging into another driver while using the boost results in knocking them aside, regardless of how light or heavy the player's Kart is. Braking is very difficult while using a Mushroom. It can offer a slight increase in handling for the duration of the boost, but it does not slow the kart down. In Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, using a Mushroom allows the player to steal or drop an item directly from other driver. This technique can also be made in the Battle modes from recent games, although this is for stealing Balloons or Coins. All Games
PoisonMushroomSMK.png
Poison Mushroom An item used only by Princess Peach and Toad when CPU Controlled in Super Mario Kart. It gets thrown onto the track and once anyone touches it, they shrink players, not unlike using a Thunderbolt. Super Mario Kart (CPU Only)
PiranhaPlantPotMK8.png Potted Piranha Plant An item also seen in Super Mario 3D World, which allows the Piranha Plant to eat any enemy and reach items. In Mario Kart 8, it can bite other racers, collect coins that are on the track, and give the user multiple speed boosts. Mario Kart 8
POW Block - Mario Kart Wii.png POW Block The POW Block works against the drivers who are ahead of the player that has the Item. After used, a POW Block image appears over the drivers, which compresses itself gradually until it disappears. Then, all the drivers ahead of the player spin around, losing their Items as well. The POW Block item does not show any effects for the airborne vehicles. Mario Kart Wii
RedShellMK8.png Red Shell This is one of the classic staples from the Mario Kart series. The Red Shell is a homing projectile which chases after the driver who is before it to knock the kart over. The Red Shell can also be thrown backwards, although it goes in a straight line when shot in that direction. In Mario Kart Super Circuit, the driver drops the shell instead of throwing backwards. However, the dropped red shell reacts when another driver passes near to it, and chases after the nearer kart. Homing Red Shells can be stopped using a Green Shell, a Banana, or another Red Shell as a shield. In Mario Kart: Double Dash!! they can also be dodged if the driver uses Powersliding. Upon hitting a wall or obstacle, the Red Shell breaks; however, in games prior to Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, it flips, and falls off the screen.

Red Shells are different in Mario Kart 64, since they always follow a straight line, often hitting walls during the process. Starting with Mario Kart Double Dash!! though, the Red Shells began to follow the whole track until they reached their target.

All Games
SpinyShellMK8.png Spiny Shell When used, the Spiny Shell navigates along the track until it homes in on the player who is currently in first, flipping the player's kart into the air. In Mario Kart 64, Mario Kart Super Circuit, Mario Kart 7 and Mario Kart 8, the Spiny Shell flips any karts that are on its path, until it reaches and knocks out the leader of the group. This shell tends to break if it bumps against walls.

In Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Mario Kart DS, and Mario Kart Wii, the Spiny Shell appears with wings. Unlike the past versions, where the Spiny Shell slides like a Red or Green Shell, the winged version flies at a very great speed, going directly to the player that is in first place. After hovering over the driver for a few seconds, it explodes immediately, sending the kart flying and destroying the items that the player is holding. Any other driver who is found near to the blast zone is sent flying, bowling over, or spinning out as well. The Spiny Shell is nearly impossible to avoid, but by using certain items like the Star, Boo, Bullet Bill, or even a Mushroom, it is possible to not be affected by the item when it explodes. In Mario Kart 8, the Spiny Shell can easily avoid by using the Super Horn.

Mario Kart 64
Mario Kart: Super Circuit
Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
Mario Kart DS
Mario Kart Wii
Mario Kart 7
Mario Kart 8
StarMK8.png Star The classic Star grants to the player invincibility against every item as well as a great speed and power to knock other karts over. It also nullifies any off-road effect, which enables players to travel off-road without any speed loss. All Games
SuperHornMK8.png Super Horn The Super Horn, when used, emits a shockwave that destroys items and flips over racers. Mario Kart 8
SuperLeaf-MK7.png
Super Leaf The Super Leaf gives racers a Tanooki tail, so they can spin and whip others with it. If one goes under water, the tail serves as propeller. If the player spins while drifting they will skid, making it harder to control the Drift. When used, the Super Leaf lasts for 10 seconds, or until the player is hit by an item. Mario Kart 7
LightningBoltMK8.png Thunderbolt When a driver uses the Thunderbolt, a lightning strikes all opponent racers that are not invincible, in a Bullet Bill, or falling off the course, causing them to spin around, as well as shrinking and slowing them down during a certain amount of time. Shrunk drivers are vulnerable to be flattened or knocked apart by a driver that is not affected by the Thunderbolt. In Mario Kart 64, Boos, Stars, Mushrooms and Thunderbolts could not be used while the racers are tiny. In Mario Kart DS and Mario Kart Wii, the amount of time the players stay tiny depends on their rank; the lower the rank, the less time they stay shrunk. In recent games, any items in possession are lost when hit by the lightning.

Beginning with Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, tiny players never get squished, but they do get pushed around easily by the normal sized racers. In Mario Kart 7, the effect of being squished after a Lightning strike is reintroduced.

All Games
Thunder Cloud Artwork - Mario Kart Wii.png Thunder Cloud When drivers obtain this item, the Thunder Cloud forms over their heads. Then, they automatically receive a constant, minor boost of speed. They can also drive off-road without losing speed. However, after a set amount of time, the Thunder Cloud strikes lightning at drivers, shrinking them similarly to the Thunderbolt. The cloud, however, can be passed onto another racer by bumping their kart before the lightning strikes, giving the opponent the cloud. It can be passed as many times as possible before the lightning strikes. It also gets destroyed if the driver goes into a cannon or uses an item such as the Star. Mario Kart Wii
TripleBananaMK8.png Triple Bananas These are almost the same as the Banana, except there are three of them. They are similar to the Banana Bunch, except there are less Bananas. Just like the Banana Bunch, when activated for the first time, the bananas follow players' karts and can then be dropped or thrown one at a time. The Items stat available in Mario Kart DS increases players' odds of getting a triple instead of a single. Triple Bananas follow the same physics as single Bananas. In Mario Kart 8, when a triple variant is used, the three bananas rotate around the driver's vehicle instead of trailing the vehicle upon usage, similar to the Triple Green Shells or Triple Red Shells. Mario Kart DS
Mario Kart Wii
Mario Kart 7
Mario Kart 8
TripleGreenShellsMK8.png Triple Green Shells A set of three Green Shells orbit the kart of the driver. These can be used either as an offensive tool or a protective shield against other certain items as incoming Red Shells. In Mario Kart 64, the shells could be only shot forwards, but in the recent games, the shells can be thrown backwards as well. In Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, these Triple Shells are the special item for Koopa Troopa and Paratroopa (as well as for Petey Piranha and King Boo). In the game, characters hold the Shells with their hands. If the kart gets hit with another item on the road, the character drops the shells, having one left. Mario Kart 64
Mario Kart: Super Circuit
Mario Kart: Double Dash!!*
Mario Kart DS
Mario Kart Wii
Mario Kart 7
Mario Kart 8
TripleMushroomMK8.png Triple Mushrooms This is basically the same as a Mushroom, but in triple form, meaning the player can use it three times. A higher Items stat, for the games that have it, means the player obtains this more often. In Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, characters hold the Mushrooms with their hands. However, if the kart gets hit with another item on the road, the character drops the mushrooms, having one left. In Mario Kart 8 when a triple variant is used, the three Mushrooms rotate around the driver's vehicle upon usage similar to the Triple Green or Red Shells. Mario Kart 64
Mario Kart: Super Circuit
Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
Mario Kart DS
Mario Kart Wii
Mario Kart 7
Mario Kart 8
TripleRedShellsMK8.png Triple Red Shells A set of three Red Shells orbit the Kart of the driver. They can be used as an offensive or defensive tool. In Mario Kart 64, the shells could be only shot forward, but in the recent games, the shells can be thrown backwards as well. In Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, these triple Shells are the special item for Koopa Troopa and Paratroopa (as well as for Petey Piranha and King Boo). In the game, characters hold the Shells with their hands. However, if the kart gets hit with another item on the road, the character drops the shells, having one left. Mario Kart 64
Mario Kart: Super Circuit
Mario Kart: Double Dash!!*
Mario Kart DS
Mario Kart Wii
Mario Kart 7
Mario Kart 8
Egg.PNG Yoshi Egg In Super Mario Kart, Eggs are used by CPU-controlled Yoshi. Yoshi either drops Eggs or throws them forward. Any karts that are hit by an Egg spin out.

Eggs are special items used by Yoshi in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!. They function identically to the Birdo Egg. King Boo and Petey Piranha can use this item as well, but they receive only the Yoshi Egg. These Eggs home on rival karts, much like a Red Shell. Unlike the Red Shell, though, Eggs stay on the track if there are no karts to home on. When an Egg hits an object, it breaks and lets out three items on the track. Eggs contain these items: Mushrooms, Stars, Bananas, Green Shells, or Bob-ombs. They break by themselves eventually if they do not hit any kart, but they still release 3 items.

Super Mario Kart
Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

Items (arcade series)[edit]

Item MKAGP MKAGP 2 MKAGP DX
10T Hammer* Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Absorbing Mushroom Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Banana Peel Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Banana Shot Check mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg
Banana Train X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Barrel* Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Basin Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Beam Hand Stick X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Big & Small Tire Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Black Shell Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Bob-omb* Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Boo Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Bowser Shell* Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Broken Wheel X mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Car Horn Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Chain Chomp* Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Conga* Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Cream Pie Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Dash Bazooka Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Dash Propeller X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Dizziness Virus Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Driver Virus Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Egg Body Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Egg of Mystery X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Energy Drink X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Fake Item Box X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
F.L.U.D.D. X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Fire Cracker Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Fireball* Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Flaming Tender* Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Flare Ball* Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Frying Pan* Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Galaga* Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Ghost Morph* Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Ghost Shield* Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Giant Banana Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Giant Mushroom Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Gold Banana X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Gold Basin X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Gold Shell X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Gold Triple Banana X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Green Shell Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Hammer* Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Heart* Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Heavy Mushroom Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
High Beam Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Invisible Mushroom Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Item Seal Check mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg
Jumbo Gummy X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Jump Seal Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Laughter Bag Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Magic Hand Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Magnet X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Mario Coin X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Metal Mushroom X mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg
Mini Mushroom X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Miracle Mushroom* Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Monster's Hammer* Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Mouse Catcher X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Mouse Cracker* X mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg
Mushroom Hammer* Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Mushroom Powder* Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Mushroom Check mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg
Mustache Pen Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Needle Bomb Check mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg
Nose Glasses X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Off-key Speaker Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Ojama Frame X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Ojama Kanban X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Ojama Seal X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Paintbrush X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Paper Mushroom X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Peach's Bird* Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Petit Monster* Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Pie Bazooka X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Pie Kart X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Piranha Plant* Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Poison Mushroom* Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Pooka* Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Porcupuffer X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
POW Block X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Power Ball* Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Power Yo-Yo X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Pun Mike X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Quack Hammer* Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Rabbit Ear X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Rain Cloud Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Rally X* Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Rampaging Top X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Red Shell X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Reflect Shield Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Rolling Egg* Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Saggy Gummy* Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Scuttle Bug X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Shell Body* Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Shield Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Slimy Mushroom Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Smokescreen Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Snot Bomb* Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Snow Cloud Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Spike Ball X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Spiny Shell X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Square Tire Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Star* Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Sticky Oil Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Stretch Punch* Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Super Mike X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Tacks Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Thunder Cloud Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Thunder Stick Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Thwomp* Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Time Bomb (L) Check mark.svg Check mark.svg X mark.svg
Time Bomb Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Tongue* Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Tornado Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
Tox-Banana Shot Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Trash Can Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Triple Banana Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Triple Basin Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Triple Black Shell Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Triple Boo Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Triple Gold Shells X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Triple Green Shells Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Triple Needle Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Triple Paintbrush X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Triple Pen Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Triple Pie Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Triple Porcupuffer X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Triple Smoke Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Triple Square Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Triple Tack Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Triple Tornado Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Whacking Fan* Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Wario Car* Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
Wheel Virus Check mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg
Whisker Missile X mark.svg X mark.svg Check mark.svg

* - Driver-specific item.

Check mark.svg - Item present in the game.

X mark.svg - Item not present in game.

Techniques[edit]

Throughout the Mario Kart series, there are various techniques that will help the drivers get to the finish line during each race. There are nine of them in all and each one holds a special ability for the vehicle.

Rocket Start[edit]

A demonstration on how the Rocket Start is used in Mario Kart 8.

Appears in: All Games

The Rocket Start allows the driver to gain an early lead when a race starts and it is very helpful in Time Trials to make the first lap the fastest. By pressing and holding the acceleration button during the countdown, the vehicle's engine will rev up. When the light turns green and the final beep sounds, the vehicle will receive a speed boost out of the starting line, giving them an advantage. If they time it just right, then the driver performs a Super Rocket Start. When a wheelie is used in Mario Kart Wii, then it becomes a Wheelie Rocket Start. However, if a driver is too early on timing and holds down the button for too long, the vehicle's engine will burst and they will get a dud start, requiring a few seconds to get back up to normal speed.

Drift[edit]

Appears in: All Games

Drifting allows the player to cut through sharp corners. Prolonged drifting induces sparks, blue causing a Mini-Turbo and orange/red causing a Super Mini-Turbo boost. In Mario Kart Wii only karts perform Super Mini-Turbo boosts, but in Mario Kart 8, bikes can also perform these techniques.

Mini-Turbo[edit]

Appears in: All Games

Mini-Turbos allow racers to get a small boost after drifting for a long time. Mini-turbos save time and improve the acceleration. If they drift even longer, then they can perform a Super Mini-Turbo.

Slipstream[edit]

Yoshi slipstreaming in front of Baby Peach at Luigi Circuit in Mario Kart Wii.

Appears in: Mario Kart 64, Mario Kart DS, Mario Kart Wii, Mario Kart 7, Mario Kart 8

Slipstreaming is a type of speed boost. To perform it, the racer must trail behind another racer for a moment. If done correctly, the racer will suddenly go faster with blue lines surrounding them.

Wheelie[edit]

Appears in: Mario Kart Wii, Mario Kart 8

The Wheelie is a technique unique to bikes in Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 8. It gives them a small boost in speed. This technique can be useful if the bike is on a straightway or if the bike is going to get hit by a POW Block. It is also featured in Mario Kart 8, where it does not provide a speed boost and is purely aesthetic.

Slide-Attack[edit]

The Slide-Attack in action as seen in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.

Appears in: Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

The Slide-Attack is a technique that can only be used in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!. When used, it will attack the kart to the left or right. This allows the player to steal an item from an opponent.

Trick[edit]

Appears in: Mario Kart Wii, Mario Kart 7, Mario Kart 8

Tricks allow racers to give themselves a speed boost when the vehicle jumps off a ramp or a hill. To do a trick, just jump off on a ramp or a hill and when the player successfully does a trick, the vehicle will receive a speed boost.

Spin Boost[edit]

Appears in: Mario Kart 8

The Spin Boost is a speed boost that only appears in anti-gravity mode in Mario Kart 8. When both drivers bump into each other, they spin around, resulting in a speed boost for both drivers, and when a driver bumps into a specific kind of obstacle, the driver spins around, resulting in a speed boost for the driver.

Double Dash!![edit]

The Double Dash!! in action as seen in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.

Appears in: Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (Co-Op Only)

The Double Dash!! works in the same manner as the Rocket Start, but with two drivers in a kart. Both players must wait for the light to turn green, and press the A Button button to trigger the effect. The kart receives a big speed boost out of the starting line when a race begins, giving them a bigger advantage.

Modes[edit]

Throughout the Mario Kart series, there have been several games that feature different modes of play. The standards featured in each game are 50cc, 100cc, and 150cc. Other modes of play are also available. Different types of Battle Modes allow players to battle against each other in different competitions. Grand Prix Mode features different types of tournament classes as well, such as the Nitro and Retro Grand Prix.

Grand Prix[edit]

Appears in: All Games

The first race of the Mushroom Cup Grand Prix is about to begin at Luigi Circuit in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.

The Grand Prix (known as Mario Kart GP or simply Mario GP before Mario Kart: Double Dash!!) is a game mode in the Mario Kart series. In this mode, eight drivers (or twelve in Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 8) race a series of courses from a certain Cup and get points depending on their position when reaching the finish line. In Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Mario Kart DS, Mario Kart Wii, Mario Kart 7 and Mario Kart 8, there was an additional ranking system rating the quality of a player's race performance. After all of the tracks are finished, points are summed up and the three drivers with the most points get Gold, Silver, and Bronze Cups at the award ceremony. Finishing a Grand Prix race with a certain score sometimes unlocks other Cups, drivers, or karts and bikes. Starting with Mario Kart DS, the cups were seperated into two categories: Nitro, which featured new courses, and Retro, which used courses from previous titles.

Nitro Grand Prix[edit]

Appears in: Mario Kart DS; Mario Kart Wii; Mario Kart 7; Mario Kart 8

In Mario Kart DS, Mario Kart Wii, Mario Kart 7, and Mario Kart 8 (and technically, all past Mario Kart games as well), there is a section of the Grand Prix mode called Nitro Grand Prix. It is one of two sections of the Grand Prix mode. In the Nitro Grand Prix, there are four different cups to choose from: The Mushroom Cup, the Flower Cup, the Star Cup, and the Special Cup. This section of the Grand Prix contains sixteen brand new courses.

In Mario Kart DS and Mario Kart Wii, in order to play the Star Cup, the player must place first in the Mushroom Cup and the Flower Cup (it does not matter which order). Then, in order to play the Special Cup, the player must place first in the Star Cup. By placing first in the Special Cup, the player will unlock something depending if it is played on 50cc, 100cc, 150cc, or 150cc Mirror.

For Mario Kart 7 and Mario Kart 8, in order to play the three remaining cups, the player must claim first place in the Mushroom Cup. Also, once the cup is unlocked, it is available for all engine class.

Mario Kart: Super Circuit features a fifth cup in its Grand Prix, the Lightning Cup. In addition, Mario Kart: Double Dash!! also features a fifth cup known as the All-Cup Tour; in this cup players race through all sixteen courses in the game in a random order, though Luigi Circuit will always be the first course and Rainbow Road the last.

Retro Grand Prix[edit]

Appears in: Mario Kart DS; Mario Kart Wii; Mario Kart 7; Mario Kart 8.

A new feature in Mario Kart DS that appears in all subsequent games is the Retro Grand Prix. It is a selectable section in Grand Prix mode. In Retro Grand Prix, all racecourses are from past Mario Kart games. Within the Grand Prix, there are four cups able to choose from: The Shell Cup, the Banana Cup, the Leaf Cup, and the Lightning Cup.

To match the new additions each game introduces, retro tracks often receive changes in layout and detail when they reappear. In Mario Kart Wii, ramps and pipe tricks were added in many tracks to allow the racers to perform tricks, many of which were placed on newly created shortcuts. Mario Kart 7 added gliding and underwater sections to many returning tracks to make use of the game's new features. Some retro tracks in Mario Kart 8 make use of the anti-gravity feature, as well as the returning gliding and underwater driving and, unlike Mario Kart DS, Mario Kart Wii, and Mario Kart 7, most of the retro courses now have remixed orchestrated background music and underwent dramatic changes to their race track and background settings, making them set in a completely different setting.

In order to play the Leaf Cup, the player must place first in the Shell Cup and the Banana Cup. And in order to play the Lightning Cup, the player must place first in the Leaf Cup. By placing first in the Lightning Cup, the player will earn an unlockable, depending on the engine class - 50cc, 100cc, 150cc, or Mirror. In Mario Kart 7 and Mario Kart 8 however, the player must place first in the Shell Cup first to unlock the next Retro Cup and once unlocked, it's available for all engine classes.

A similar feature appears in Mario Kart: Super Circuit, where all of the racecourses from Super Mario Kart reappear in five cups of four courses, as opposed to the original four cups of five courses. These are the Extra Mushroom Cup, Extra Flower Cup, Extra Lightning Cup, Extra Star Cup and the Extra Special Cup.

Time Trial[edit]

Appears in: All Games

A time trial run at Waluigi Stadium.

Every mainstream Mario Kart game features a Time Trial mode. In this mode, players race through the set amount of laps for each course in the fastest time that they can. In Super Mario Kart and Mario Kart 64, every course is playable; in other games, only unlocked courses can be raced on, with more courses being unlocked as the player races on them in Grand Prix. Also, players start out with a certain amount of Mushrooms, depending on what their item status is. In games without item statuses, the player starts out with a Triple Mushroom. In Mario Kart 8, if the player lets the timer max out (9:59.999), the trial will end, and the times for each lap are split evenly. [3]

Battle Mode[edit]

Appears in: All Games

Battle Mode is a game play mode in the Mario Kart series. Some games have multiple battle modes. In Battle Mode, the objective is to defeat all the other players. All games feature Balloon Battle, and some of the more recent additions in the series have additional modes. Until Mario Kart Wii, Battle Mode did not have a time limit, unless one excludes the Shine Thief mode of Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and Shine Runners from Mario Kart DS.

Balloon Battle[edit]

Appears in: All Games

Bowser popping Mario's balloon in Super Mario Kart.
A Balloon Battle at Block Plaza in Mario Kart Wii.

Each player has a certain number of Balloons, with three as the default amount. In Super Mario Kart, players' balloons pop when they are being hit by any item, such as Bananas or Koopa Shells. The last one standing wins. In Mario Kart 64 onwards, balloons were let go after being hit by any item, or after falling off the course before Lakitu picks up the player.

In Mario Kart DS, the system of the mode was slightly changed. Players now have five Balloons, but start out with only one - the rest had to be blown up via Microphone, by holding down Select or by stealing them from players by bumping into them with a mushroom. Only three could be out at a time, and the player would be eliminated if they had no balloons out, even if they had more in reserve. This also marks the first time Battle Mode is playable in single player.

In Mario Kart Wii, the mode was permanently changed, with the battles now timed by three minutes. Also, the score was based on how many balloons popped, and was not a survival game, unlike others. With each balloon lost, the player will give the opposite team a point. If the player loses their three balloons, they will not be eliminated, rather they will receive another three balloons and continue on with the battle, though with one less point. When the three minutes are up, the team with the most points wins.

Balloon Battle in Mario Kart 7 is similar to Mario Kart Wii, but it can be played without teams, and the battles are now timed by two minutes, resulting in a larger variety of balloon colors.

Up to five balloons can be obtained in Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 7 by using a Mushroom to steal other's balloons.

In Mario Kart 8, the mode returns and now retains both the last-man standing and timed features from previous games, as well as being available to both single and multiplayer. However, Balloon Battle is now played on race courses rather than arenas. Players can now change the time limit ranging from one to five minutes.

Bob-omb Blast[edit]

Appears in: Mario Kart: Double Dash!!; Mario Kart 7 (Community Online Only)

A Bob-omb Blast battle, as seen in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

In this mode, all items are Bob-ombs, and players can stack up to five Bob-ombs per character on their kart. When another player is hit by a Bob-omb explosion, that player loses a point (if they have one) and the other player gains it. The player who reaches three points first wins the match (four points in three and four player mode).

Although this mode does not appear in Mario Kart 7, Nintendo has a community of the same name that allows players to play online. This is similar to Balloon Battle except Bob-ombs only appear as items. The code for this community is 05-2097-9533-2225. Players offline, however, can set items so that only Bob-ombs appear; the same can be done in Mario Kart 8 as well.

Coin Runners[edit]

Appears in: Mario Kart Wii; Mario Kart 7

A Coin Runners match in progress at Delfino Pier.

This game mode is similar to Shine Runners; the teams must collect as many coins as they can within the three-minute time limit. There are coins set on the stage from the beginning, and some that drop as the battle goes on. If a player with coins is hit by an item or falls off the stage, they will lose half of their total. The team with the most coins at the end of the time limit wins.

This battle mode has returned to Mario Kart 7 with some minor changes, this time players can only collect a maximum of ten coins within a two-minute time limit, and it can be played without teams.

Shine Runners[edit]

Appears in: Mario Kart DS

Shine Runners replaces Shine Thief from Mario Kart: Double Dash!!. Instead of one Shine Sprite, there are nine Sprites that fall onto the stage. Shines can be obtained by running into them. If hit by an item, the player will lose one shine, which will then drop at a random spot on the stage. After one minute, players with the least Shine Sprites are out for the rest of the battle and another thirty seconds is added to the time limit. This continues until only one player is left and that person will be declared the winner.

Shine Thief[edit]

Appears in: Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

A Shine Thief battle in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.

In this mode, there is a Shine Sprite on the arena which can be collected. As soon as a player has collected the Shine Sprite, a timer starts. The team that holds the Shine Sprite when time runs out wins. Other players can steal the Shine Sprite by hitting the player holding it with any item and then colleting the Sprite themselves. The timer is reset after this, but it starts at a lower level each time. The number of players in the battle determines how long the Sprite must be held; a team must possess it for 60 seconds in a two-player game, 55 for three players, and 50 for four players.

VS.[edit]

Appears in: All Games

Versus (commonly shortened to VS.) is a mode much like Grand Prix, in which players race on courses that are selected by them.

In Super Mario Kart, the mode is called Match Race. In this mode, two players can play against each other in a single five-lap race.

A two player VS. Mode race in Mario Kart 64. Note how the screen is split into half to accommodate the second player.

Mario Kart 64 also has VS. Mode but this time, up to four players can compete in a three-lap race.

In Mario Kart: Super Circuit, the VS mode can include up to four players. If only one Game Card is being used, all players race as Yoshis (not by choice) numerous times, gaining points depending on how many times the player wins. Only four courses can be played: Mario Circuit 1, Donut Plains 1, Ghost Valley 1, and Bowser Castle 1, four of the Super Mario Kart courses. If all players have their own game cartridge, then all tracks are available and all the playable characters are available. It also becomes possible to to turn Item Boxes on or off, set the amount of laps (3 or 5) and also if all players start the race with a Triple Mushroom. Vs. mode is, like previous installments, not available in single player mode. The game also features a Quick Run mode, which shares similarities with VS. mode.

In Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, the mode is mostly the same, except for some additions: all players can choose their racers and karts, and in the options menu, they can set the number of laps on every course and item variety. Additionally, by connecting multiple Nintendo GameCubes (up to eight) over a local area network using the Nintendo GameCube Broadband Adapter, up to sixteen players (two per kart) can play a Versus match at one time. In the Select Mode menu on the LAN mode title screen, players can change the number of laps, course selection, and engine class.

A 4 player VS. Mode race in Mario Kart Wii. The screen is split into four sections to accomodate all four players in this instance.

Mario Kart DS and Mario Kart Wii feature a single-player VS mode, unlike previous installments. Also, unlike previous installments, Vs. mode acts more like Grand Prix mode with custom rules. In Mario Kart DS, the player will select their racer and kart, and then they can change CPU difficulty, course selection (randomly chosen or chosen by the player), engine cc, the winning requirements, and whether to play on teams or not. In Mario Kart Wii, the player selects whether to play in teams or not, their racer and vehicle; if playing multiplayer, then both players select which team to be on. Team members are randomly chosen in both installments. Points are distributed based on standings at the end of the race, and the team with the most combined points wins. In the Download Play version in Mario Kart DS, up to eight players may play; however, if all players are only using one game cartridge, the racers are limited to course selection, and those who don't own the game cartridge must only play as varying colored Shy Guys.

For Mario Kart 7, players can customize the rules to their liking but this time, VS is only playable in multiplayer mode. Like with Mario Kart DS, when playing with others via Download Play, anyone playing that does not have a game cartridge must play as a Shy Guy and cannot edit their karts.

In Mario Kart 8, the mode returns now under the name VS. Race. Players can still play VS. Race alone like in Mario Kart DS and Mario Kart Wii.

Mission Mode[edit]

Appears in: Mario Kart DS

The Mission Mode consists of a series of tasks that appear only in Mario Kart DS. The player must complete each mission in a restricted time, in a determined course with the character that plays in the mission. There are seven levels which have eight missions in each. Completing all the missions on a level results in the player unlocking the last mission of that level, which is a battle against a boss. Mission completion is commonly ranked by how fast the player completes the mission, with C being the lowest and three stars being the highest; after clearing an entire level, a rank will be given based on the average of the grades given in the individual missions. The missions that appear vary from collecting objects, defeating enemies using the items, versus races, and passing through numbered gates.

Awards[edit]

  • Longest Running Kart Game Franchise - Guinness Book of World Records Gamer's Edition 2009 - 2014

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/02/06/nintendo-and-namco-team-for-mario-kart-arcade-game
  2. ^ Big N Magazine. p.19. July-August 2000.
  3. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_4028507405&feature=iv&src_vid=mzuZBJL3jn4&v=xkS_1SVzibg