Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

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Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
Mario Kart Double Dash!!.jpg
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Platform(s) Nintendo GameCube
Release date Japan November 7, 2003
Europe November 14, 2003
USA November 17, 2003
Australia November 19, 2003
Genre Racing
ESRB:ESRB E.svg - Everyone
PEGI:PEGI 3.svg - Three years and older
CERO:CERO A.png - All ages
USK:USK 0.svg - All ages
Mode(s) Single player, multiplayer
Media CD icon.png Optical disc

Mario Kart: Double Dash!! is a racing game developed and published by Nintendo for the GameCube. It is the fourth installment of the Mario Kart series overall. This game marks the debut of Toadette. This game is the first and currently only game in the series that features the ability for two players to ride on a kart aside from the Mario Kart Arcade GP series (hence the game's title): one to drive and one to use items.

New features[edit]

As with every new Mario Kart game, Mario Kart: Double Dash!! shows several new features, granting a new style of playing for the users. Apart from that, there are two characters per kart; the number of playable characters was increased to join the race. As implied in various Mario series games, Mario Kart: Double Dash!! contains many elements to unlock as well. By beating the cups available in every engine level, the player unveils other hidden levels, Karts, and other playable characters in the game. Furthermore, there is a more dynamic selection of karts: Every kart has specific stats that distinguishes from the others, as well as capturing their respective character's style; for instance, Mario's kart, the Red Fire.

Items are the main element presented in every Mario Kart game, and Mario Kart: Double Dash!! is no exception. These are obtainable via Item Boxes, where characters can receive any standard Item or a Special Item. The latter is an item that a specific pair of characters can receive, while all others cannot. Additionally, Power-ups dropped on the course will instantly effect the kart that would pick on it as a Banana, a Koopa Shell or a Mushroom or Star. The effects of certain items have changed considerably as well.

Another notable change featured in the game is the point system given to the racers after a competition in Grand Prix mode. From Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, this new system is used for the newer Mario Kart installments that were developed after this one. Also, players cannot retry a failed race in Grand Prix mode, as opposed to Super Mario Kart, Mario Kart 64, and Mario Kart: Super Circuit. Users have to continue racing until finishing a cup to see the overall results. The following chart shows the difference of the point spreads from previous games to Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.

This is also the first Mario Kart game to feature 3D models for the characters, whereas in previous Mario Kart games, the characters were pre-rendered sprites.

Point Spread Comparisons
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th
SMK + MK64 + MKSC 9 6 3 1 0 0 0 0
MKDD 10 8 6 4 3 2 1 0


Because of the team mechanic, Mario Kart: Double Dash!! includes a wide number of playable characters, all of which have appeared in previous Mario games, with the exception of Toadette. The game features eleven newcomers, the most introduced in any Mario Kart game to date. Characters are divided into three classes depending on their weight: Light, Medium, and Heavy. There are eight default teams and two unlockable teams, a total of ten teams and twenty individual characters which can be combined in any way, giving 190 possible character combinations.


Starting teams[edit]

Unlockable teams[edit]

* - indicates a new character to the Mario Kart series.
** - Mario Kart: Double Dash!! is Toadette's first appearance in the overall Mario franchise.

Unlocking criteria[edit]
Unlock Criteria
Toad and Toadette Win the 100cc Special Cup.
Petey Piranha and King Boo Win the Mirror Star Cup.

Supporting characters[edit]

Typical gameplay in Double Dash!! with Lakitu counting down to the start of the race. To get a Rocket Start, the player must press A Button when "START" appears.
Toadsworth, driving in the Parade Kart during the award ceremony at Peach Beach.

In addition to the twenty playable drivers, numerous other Mario series characters play supporting roles in the game as well. Lakitu reprises his role as the referee of the game, meaning that he signals the start of each and every race and battle with his signature starting lights, alerts players when they complete a lap around the track, tells the drivers when they're going in the wrong direction, waves the checkered flag to finish the race, and returns drivers to the track if they land themselves in a dangerous predicament (i.e. falling off the track). Other characters who make cameos include Shy Guys, Piranha Plants, Cataquacks, and Dinosaurs. Toadsworth drives the winners of a cup around Peach Beach in the Parade Kart. Piantas and Nokis from Super Mario Sunshine cheer the racers on in some courses and join them at the award ceremonies.


Mario Kart: Double Dash!! has various controls for racing and menus. Each button on the controller represents a different ability while the player is racing or battling.

Menu controls[edit]

  • Control Stick - Move
  • A Button - Accept option/Save Game (At the Options Screen)
  • B Button - Go back
  • START/PAUSE Button - Open Start Menu (at title screen)

Race controls[edit]

The controls for single play, and co-op play, respectively.

Single play[edit]

  • A Button - Accelerate/Rocket Start (Start of race)
  • B Button - Brake/Reverse
  • Control Stick - Steer
  • L Button/R Button - Drift/Powerslide (Hold)/Mini-Turbo (Release)
  • X Button/Y Button - Use item/Stop Item Roulette/Sound horn
  • X Button/Y Button + Control Stick - Throw item forward or backward
  • Z Button - Switch characters
  • START/PAUSE Button - Pause/Resume

Co-op play[edit]

  • A Button - Double Dash!! (Start of race)
  • A Button/B Button/X Button/Y Button - Use item/Stop Item Roulette/Sound horn
  • L Button/R Button - Slide-Attack
  • Z Button - Switch characters (both first and second players must hit the switch button at the same time)

Game modes[edit]

Mario Kart: Double Dash!! contains sixteen new racing courses added, along with six new battle courses. Each racecourse contains its own difficulty and gimmicks. Up to four players can play in all the modes, excluding Time Trial mode, where only one is required. In addition, the users can play independently or in cooperative mode, a unique style of gameplay only featured in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.

Grand Prix[edit]

In Grand Prix Mode, the player needs to win the cups against computer-controlled opponents. The difficulty level against CPU racers changes in each of the four engine classes, which are the following:

  • 50cc - Easy. The minimum top speed is low for all karts and CPU racers have a very limited selection of items. Any kart will take the 1st and 2nd place positions.
  • 100cc - Normal. The minimum top speed is fairly average, while CPU drivers have a wider selection of items: they may use Red Shells to shoot it to the player in front of them. Lightweight karts are never in the top positions.
  • 150cc - Hard. The minimum top speed in the karts is high, and CPU drivers have a wider selection of Items, most notably, the Spiny Shell's addition. In this level, CPU drivers can take down players using the items against them. Additionally, all characters race in mixed teams. CPU-controlled heavyweight karts usually take the top positions, with middleweight cars very rarely taking the top positions.
  • Mirror - Very Hard. Similar to 150cc engine class, however all the tracks are mirrored. CPU-controlled heavyweight karts usually take the top positions, with middleweight cars very rarely taking the top positions.

There are mainly four cups in Grand Prix mode, each one with four stages to race. These cups bear their difficulty levels as well as the race courses within. The most basic is Mushroom Cup with simple courses and few gimmicks.Special Cup, on the other hand, contains long and gimmicky race courses. All the race courses have three laps, except Baby Park, which has seven because of its short length, and Wario Colosseum, which has two due to its great length (unlike in Mario Kart 64, where Wario Stadium had three laps).

Special Cup is an unlockable cup. It is unlocked when players beat 100cc Star Cup.

Mushroom Cup Flower Cup Star Cup Special Cup*
Luigi Circuit
Mushroom Bridge
Sherbet Land
Wario Colosseum
Peach Beach
Mario Circuit
Mushroom City
Dino Dino Jungle
Baby Park
Daisy Cruiser
Yoshi Circuit
Bowser's Castle
Dry Dry Desert
Waluigi Stadium
DK Mountain
Rainbow Road

* is unlockable

A fifth cup, the All-Cup Tour is the conglomeration of all the cups in the game. It is unlocked after players beat the Special Cup in 150cc. The 16 tracks are played through one after another in random order, with the exceptions of Luigi Circuit always appearing first and the Rainbow Road always appearing last. This cup does not appear in other racing modes.

In GP Mode, two players can join a race, as themselves or in Co-op play. Players can play Grand Prix mode with two players in different karts or in co-op mode for two to four players.

Time Trial[edit]

In Time Trial, a single player races courses over a set number of laps to record the fastest completion time. Before racing, adding the player's name entry will register their records available. When a race starts, the characters will have two mushrooms in hand for speed boost. The best time elapsed in a lap and a race on a specific track will be saved after completing the race. Once a race is completed on a course, the user is able to compete against either their Ghost from the current Ghost data or the Staff Ghost within the stage. Otherwise, if a race is failed, the Ghost data will not be saved. The Ghost data recording can be disabled in the Options screen menu. Each Ghost save is worth five blocks on the GameCube Memory Card.


Two teams are ready for battle at Cookie Land in Bob-omb Blast.
Mario and Luigi battling Bowser and Bowser Jr. in Bob-omb Blast.

A traditional mode that has presented throughout all Mario Kart games. Two to four players can compete against themselves using a variety of items (including all the special items) on the new battle arenas found in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!. Unlike Mario Kart 64 and Mario Kart: Super Circuit, the players no longer transform into Mini Bomb Karts and/or Bob-ombs after being taken out, and instead just vanish.

Battle courses[edit]

In Battle mode it is possible to play in three sub-modes:

  • Balloon Battle: The classic battle style which consists of popping opponents' balloons to score, using the items from the Item Boxes. In Mario Kart: Double Dash!! the players can even "steal" balloons from their rivals, using a Mushroom to dash into them or hitting with a star. This new feature has been kept for future Mario Kart games. In Co-op play, the rear player can also take away opponents' balloons while doing a slide-attack.
  • Shine Thief: In Shine Thief, players must retrieve a Shine Sprite dropped on the course and keep it in hand until time runs out. On the other hand, players who couldn't retrieve the treasure can use items against whoever has the Shine to force them to drop it. If using a Mushroom, a Star or a slide-attack (Co-op Play), a Shineless player can steal the Shine directly from its owner. The Battle mode Shine Runners from Mario Kart DS was based on this sub-mode.
  • Bob-omb Blast: Characters use Bob-ombs to hit their opponents and score stars to win. The bombs can be obtained by running over an Item Box, which only contains Bob-ombs. Every character can hold up to five of these explosives, and can throw them forwards or drop them backwards. Any kart that makes contact with an opponent's bomb or gets blown up by the explosion will lose stars. For two players, competitors need three stars to finish the battle, while for three or four players, they need four.
Unlocking criteria[edit]
Unlock Criteria
Luigi's Mansion Win the 150cc Mushroom Cup.
Tilt-A-Kart Win the Flower Cup in Mirror Mode.


Characters racing in Versus mode.

Versus (for two to four players) allows racers to select their characters and karts, and compete among themselves on the tracks. It's also possible to play in versus mode through a LAN connection where more than four players can join a competition. Additionally, there are some versus options found in the Option menu to change the mode's gameplay:

  • Number of Laps: The number of laps set over all tracks, ranging from one to nine. If one lap is chosen, the beginning of the race will start as a Final Lap with Final Lap Fanfare Music.
  • Items: The variety of items given to the racers can be changed to:
  • Recommended: Default way in obtaining certain item by racer's place.
  • Basic: Powerful items like lightning bolts or stars are rarely obtainable.
  • Frantic: Items such as bananas and green shells are absent.
  • None: No items to use at all.

Co-op play[edit]

Supporting the main feature in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! upon two-racers-one-kart, Cooperative Play (also said Co-op Play) lets two players control their respective character in a kart, one being the driver and the other as the item thrower. While playing in Co-op mode, the players' characters can perform special moves that a single player cannot make. The rear character can perform a slide-attack to steal an item from their rivals while messing up the rival's vehicle's controls. Both players can even double the power of the Rocket Start by pressing the A Button button at the same time. This special boost is the Double Dash!!.

Notice the table seen below excludes Time Trial because Time Trial is only for single player.

Co-op Play Modes
Players Grand Prix Versus Battle
(P1-P2) Check mark.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
(P1-P2) vs. P3 Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
(P1-P2) vs. P3 vs. P4 X mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg
(P1-P2) vs. (P3-P4) Check mark.svg Check mark.svg Check mark.svg


Selecting a kart by characters' size
Weight Pairings Kart Selected
Light Light Light Kart
Medium Light Medium Kart
Medium Medium
Heavy Light Heavy Kart
Heavy Medium
Heavy Heavy

Twenty-one karts are available in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, notable for having different designs and appearances. There is one kart for each character, plus the Parade Kart. Every kart has three ratings, rated by the number of stars. The maximum amount is five.

  • Acceleration: How quickly a kart can achieve its top speed.
  • Speed: The level of top speed when the kart goes forward.
  • Weight: The weight of the kart.

Just as the characters are classified according to their weights, karts are split into three groups in size with some general characteristics:

  • Light: Lightweight karts show a nice acceleration but poor top speed and low weight. They can be easily bumped away by heavier karts. They do not lose a lot of speed when they go off course.
  • Medium: Medium-weight vehicles show average top speed and acceleration. Some karts within this group have slightly varied stats, though.
  • Heavy: Heavyweight karts have the highest level of weight among the karts, capable of knocking away light and medium-weight vehicles. Many of these show high top speed, although their acceleration and off-road are fairly poor.

Each combination of characters will also determine the class of kart that will be used for the race. The table to the top right means the resulting vehicle according to the size of the characters.

An exception to this rule is the Parade Kart, which all the characters, regardless of weight, can drive. It is unlocked by completing All-Cup Tour in Mirror Mode.

Kart stats[edit]

These are the kart stats that are displayed in-game.

* is unlockable

Unlocking criteria[edit]
Unlock Criteria
Green Fire Win the 50cc Mushroom Cup.
Bloom Coach Win the 50cc Flower Cup.
Para Wing Win the 50cc Star Cup.
Bullet Blaster Win the 50cc Special Cup.
Rattle Buggy Win the 100cc Mushroom Cup.
Waluigi Racer Win the 100cc Flower Cup.
Toad Kart Win the 100cc Special Cup.
Turbo Birdo Win the 150cc Flower Cup.
Barrel Train Win the 150cc Star Cup.
Toadette Kart Win the Mushroom Cup in Mirror Mode.
Piranha Pipes Win the Star Cup in Mirror Mode.
Boo Pipes Win the Special Cup in Mirror Mode.
Parade Kart Win the All-Cup Tour in Mirror Mode.
Actual stats[edit]

The stars shown on the vehicle selection screen are slightly less precise than the actual values used by the game; Speed and Weight each have 9 distinct values rather than 5, and Acceleration has many values that don't necessarily line up with the menu stats at all. Furthermore, there's a hidden Off-Road stat that determines a vehicle's top speed in most off-road terrains, such as grass. Weak off-road patches, like the yellow sand in Dry Dry Desert, reduce the kart's top speed by a fixed ~8.0 mph (13 km/h). While karts don't have individual Mini-Turbo values, all small karts' Mini-Turbo boosts last 1/2 second, all medium karts' 1/3 second, and all large karts' 1/6 of a second.

Vehicle Top Speed Off-Road Acceleration Weight Top Speed (mph, km/h) Off-Road 1 (mph, km/h) Off-Road 2 (mph, km/h) Accel Time (s)*
Red Fire 5 5 4 5 56.4, 90.8 48.3, 77.7 32.2, 51.8 2.80
Green Fire 7 4 3 4 57.2, 92.1 49.1, 79.0 31.0, 50.0 3.22
Heart Coach 4 6 6 5 55.9, 90.0 47.9, 77.1 33.4, 53.8 2.42
Bloom Coach 6 4 5 3 56.8, 91.4 48.7, 78.4 31.0, 50.0 2.58
Turbo Yoshi 4 5 6 6 55.9, 90.0 47.9, 77.1 32.2, 51.8 2.42
Turbo Birdo 6 4 4 7 56.8, 91.4 48.7, 78.4 31.0, 50.0 2.96
Goo-Goo Buggy 2 9 9 2 (1 in Battle Mode) 55.1, 88.7 47.1, 75.8 37.0, 59.5 1.61
Rattle Buggy 1 9 9 2 54.7, 88.0 46.7, 75.2 37.0, 59.5 1.61
Toad Kart 3 9 8 2 55.5, 89.3 47.5, 76.4 37.0, 59.5 1.70
Toadette Kart 1 9 9 2 54.7, 88.0 46.7, 75.2 37.0, 59.5 1.61
Koopa Dasher 2 8 8 3 55.1, 88.7 47.1, 75.8 35.8, 57.6 1.63
Para-Wing 1 8 9 3 54.7, 88.0 46.7, 75.2 35.8, 57.6 1.58
DK Jumbo 8 2 2 8 57.6, 92.7 49.5, 79.7 28.6, 46.0 3.66
Barrel Train 8 7 3 5 57.6, 92.7 49.5, 79.7 34.6, 55.7 3.37
Koopa King 9 1 1 9 58.0, 93.3 49.9, 80.3 27.4, 44.1 3.90
Bullet Blaster 8 1 4 1 57.6, 92.7 49.5, 79.5 27.4, 44.1 2.84
Wario Car 7 3 1 7 57.2, 92.1 49.1, 79.0 29.8, 48.0 3.72
Waluigi Racer 5 9 5 6 56.4, 90.8 48.3, 77.7 37.0, 59.5 2.69
Piranha Pipes 8 7 2 9 57.6, 92.7 49.5, 79.5 34.6, 55.7 3.63
Boo Pipes 2 9 9 9 55.1, 88.7 47.1, 75.8 37.0, 59.5 1.57
Parade Kart 7 3 4 7 57.2, 92.1 49.1, 79.0 29.8, 48.0 2.86

Acceleration measured as time taken to get from a standstill to 70% of maximum speed. All tests were done at the same exact starting time on the same course. Margin of error ±0.02 seconds.

Staff Ghosts[edit]

This game introduces the possibility to race against Staff Ghosts, Ghosts created by Nintendo as the main ghosts of the course. They can be unlocked by achieving a certain time on the respective course. Below is a table showing all Staff Ghosts and their respective times.[1]

Course Unlock Time Time Characters Kart
Luigi Circuit 01:29.000 01:26.277 Luigi Mario Red Fire
Peach Beach 01:23.000 01:20.404 Peach Daisy Heart Coach
Baby Park 01:14.000 01:11.108 Baby Mario Baby Luigi Goo-Goo Buggy
Dry Dry Desert 01:53.000 01:50.755 Birdo Yoshi Turbo Yoshi
Mushroom Bridge 01:34.000 01:31.458 Koopa Paratroopa Koopa Dasher
Mario Circuit 01:44.000 01:41.384 Mario Luigi Red Fire
Daisy Cruiser 01:55.000 01:52.207 Daisy Peach Heart Coach
Waluigi Stadium 02:02.000 01:59.658 Waluigi Wario Wario Car
Sherbet Land 01:28.000 01:25.904 Baby Luigi Baby Mario Goo-Goo Buggy
Mushroom City 01:53.000 01:50.663 Paratroopa Koopa Koopa Dasher
Yoshi Circuit 02:02.000 01:59.886 Yoshi Birdo Turbo Yoshi
DK Mountain 02:15.000 02:12.639 Donkey Kong Diddy Kong DK Jumbo
Wario Colosseum 02:24.000 02:21.106 Wario Waluigi Wario Car
Dino Dino Jungle 02:03.000 02:00.908 Diddy Kong Donkey Kong DK Jumbo
Bowser’s Castle 02:47.000 02:44.690 Bowser Bowser Jr. Koopa King
Rainbow Road 03:19.000 03:16.476 Daisy Peach Heart Coach


Upon running over a single Item Box or Double Item Box, the characters receive a power-up.
Upon running over a single Item Box or Double Item Box, the characters receive a power-up.
Upon running over a single Item Box or Double Item Box, the characters receive a power-up.

Traditional items from Super Mario Kart through Mario Kart: Super Circuit appear in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! with a bunch of new power-ups to change a race drastically, such as stealing the opponent's place or item by using a Mushroom or reducing the racers to small size with the rare Lightning. The rear character obtains a determinate item by running into an Item Box. However, Double Item Boxes give items to both the rear character and driver. The variety of items depends on the kart's place. Leader racers tend to receive basic items such as Bananas or Green Shells, while those going under fourth place can receive rare items like a Star or a Spiny Shell.

Items are classified in two forms:

  • Standard: Drivers can obtain these types of items when they go through an Item Box or Double Item Box.
  • Special: Some drivers obtain a special item that other drivers cannot obtain by an Item Box. When a character holds a special item, the second character cannot obtain another special item via Item Box.

Standard Items[edit]

  • Green Shell – When shot, Green Shells go in a straight line, bouncing off the track walls and knocking into anything it touches, such as an item or another kart. It can be shot forwards or backwards.
  • Red Shell – Red Shells home in on the nearest kart. It can be thrown backwards as well. However, when shot backwards, it acts like a Green Shell. Red Shells cannot bounce, however, and they break if they hit a wall.
  • Spiny Shell – When shot, the Spiny Shell heads to the kart that is in first place. Once it hits the kart, it creates a blue explosion. The characters in the kart lose any items if hit and are sent flying directly upwards. Other karts can get hit if they are in the blast radius. This item does not appear in Battle Mode.
  • Mushroom – A Mushroom gives the kart a brief boost of speed. If used properly, it can be used to take shortcuts and to steal (or drop) items from another kart.
  • Triple Mushrooms – A bunch of three Mushrooms that give the drivers three boosts of speed. If characters who hold the Mushrooms get hit by an item, some of the Mushrooms fall get dropped and they end up with only one Mushroom left.
  • Banana – When placed, a Banana peel stays on the track until a kart touches it, causing it to spin out. Bananas can be used as shields to break homing items such as Red Shells; however, they can not be dragged behind the kart like in past games, making this technique harder to execute than before. It can either be thrown forward or dropped backward.
  • Star – When applied, the kart that used it becomes invincible against any item. It also boosts the speed and handling of the kart, and negates the effect of terrain that would otherwise slow the cart, for example, the shallow water on the Peach Beach track. The kart is also capable of knocking out any rival kart and stealing their items just by driving into them.
  • Lightning – When used, Lightning shrinks, slows, and removes the items of all rival karts. If shrunken, drivers hit by an item while holding an item will drop said item.
  • Fake Item Box – At first sight, it looks like a normal Item Box, but upon closer inspection it is red with an inverted ? symbol. When used, it stays on the track until a kart hits it and spins out. The only way to get rid of these blocks is to run into it, so it can not be used to block homing items. Otherwise, this item eventually vanishes.

Special Items[edit]

Main article: Special Item (Mario Kart: Double Dash)
  • Fireballs (Mario & Luigi) - A set of five red (Mario) or green (Luigi) Fireballs capable of ricocheting off walls. When they hit another kart, the kart will spin out and slow down. They can be thrown either forwards or backwards.
  • Heart (Princess Peach & Princess Daisy) - A pair of hearts that will surround the kart, absorbing the impact of any item that collides with the kart except for Chain Chomps, Spiny Shells, Stars and Lightning. If used correctly, racers can absorb the item dropped on the road and use it against the other players; this includes most other Special Items. The Hearts have no time limit for use, though since there are only two Hearts only two items can be absorbed. If both characters are holding items when the Heart absorbs an item, the item will disappear.
  • Yoshi Egg / Birdo Egg (Yoshi & Birdo) - A green (Yoshi) or pink (Birdo) egg. They work similarly to a Red Shell, chasing after a kart and knocking it out when collision occurs. After colliding, these eggs randomly let out three items that could be a Banana, Green Shell, Mushroom, Star, or Bob-omb. However, if an Egg takes too long to find a kart, the Egg will break apart but still let out three items.
  • Chain Chomp (Baby Mario & Baby Luigi) - A huge Chain Chomp is summoned and boosts the kart's speed frantically for a certain period of time, while the Chain Chomp knocks out other karts and drops their items onto the ground. After use, the Chain Chomp leaves the kart and goes following the path until it disappears. It has the same use as a Bullet Bill does in other Mario Kart games, except the Chain Chomp can be disconnected from the kart if the kart gets hit by any item.
  • Triple Shells (Koopa & Paratroopa) - An arsenal of three shells, either Green or Red, that can be used to knock other karts. If the character gets hit by another item while holding the Triple Shells, the character will lose all but one shell.
  • Giant Banana (Donkey Kong & Diddy Kong) - Giant Bananas can be littered either forward or backward, staying on the road until a kart collides with it. Drivers will lose control, while the Giant Banana splits into three normal Bananas scattered into a triangle in that area.
  • Bowser's Shell (Bowser & Bowser Jr.) - A humongous shell shaped like Bowser's shell that acts like a Green Shell, going in a straight line, and bouncing around the track, destroying items and knocking over other karts, dropping their items onto the ground. It can be thrown forwards or backwards. Curiously, Bowser's Shell tends to bounce from other special items.
  • Bob-omb (Wario & Waluigi) - When used, a Bob-omb stays on the road until a kart passes near it in order to explode and blow up any kart around. If no kart is around the Bob-omb explodes after a few seconds. It can be thrown forward or littered backward.
  • Golden Mushroom (Toad & Toadette) - Gold Mushrooms provide the drivers multiple boosts of speed in a row in a period of time. However, it seems to have a time limit; once the first boost is used, the subsequent boosts need to be used before the item disappears.

Petey Piranha and King Boo have the ability to obtain any special item, excluding Luigi's Green Fireballs and the Birdo Egg.

Note: Although special items can only be obtained by the characters they are assigned to, if a player is holding a special item, another player can steal it by colliding with the player holding the item while under the influence of a Mushroom, Star, or Slide-Attack. Also, any character can get any special item in Battle Mode. Finally, in Co-Op Mode, the driver can pass a special item to the person in the back.

Driving techniques[edit]

Drifting and mini turbo[edit]

Main article: Drift

Drifting prevents racers from losing speed in turns or from going off the course. By keeping pressed the controller's R Button button (or L Button button), and tilting the stick to sides, racers make the kart turn around. While drifting, racers can gain a momentary speed boost by tilting the control stick to the sides, opposite to a corner's direction. The kart then produce sparks on its wheels. Doing this two times more, racers make the sparks become orange, then blue, and then releasing a mini turbo right after the racer lets go of the R Button (or L Button) button.

This tactic can be used to perform the snaking (continuous power sliding) and elude homing hazards such as Red Shells.

Rocket Start[edit]

Main article: Rocket Start

A Rocket Start is a speed boost given to a kart when a race starts out. To perform, racers just have to press the A Button button to accelerate right when Lakitu's lights turn green. Players also can perform a Rocket Start if racers repeatedly tap A Button while Lakitu counts down to the start of the race.

Double Dash!![edit]

The Double Dash!! in action.

The Double Dash is similar to the Rocket Start. Although it is more powerful, it can only be performed in Co-op Play. Both team members can press the A Button button at the same time right when Lakitu's light turns green. Upon being done perfectly, the kart bolts farther, leaving out a blue trail as a result.

Item steal[edit]

Donkey Kong uses the Slide-Attack, which can be used to steal items from opposing racers.

Item stealing is snatching a power-up directly from the rival's hands in a kart. There are three ways to steal an item as long as the player's rear character holds no items. Items can be stolen when the rear racer uses a mushroom or a star to hit an opposing kart and snatch the item that one of the rivals have. In Co-op Mode, the player's rear character can use the Slide-Attack to knock other rivals and take their items away. However, if the rear character knocks a rival kart with two players holding an item, the character can get the rival rear character's item, while the rival driver drops the other item onto the track.

LAN Mode[edit]

Title screen in LAN play

Using the Nintendo GameCube Broadband Adapter (sold separately) attached to the game system, in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! it is possible to play via Local Area Network (LAN), using up to eight Nintendo GameCube systems connected to a hub device, or also using two consoles connected together through a cross-cable, where more than four players can join a race locally. This means that up to eight users can play independently with their friends using two or more GameCube systems with the Mario Kart: Double Dash!! game discs on.

After connecting the systems to the hub, the players should turn the systems' power button to begin. The LAN Mode option appears on screen to confirm the selection. Once LAN Mode is selected and confirmed on all participating game systems and the connections have been established, the Select Mode displays. Players may proceed by pressing controller's A Button button, the LAN Mode title screen displays to enter to play.

In the LAN Mode title screen there are three options:

  • Start Game: Begin Versus LAN play.
  • Select Mode: Adjust LAN setup options. This allows to the users to choose the modes of play:
    • Game Mode: Select one of these game modes available: Versus, Balloon Battle, Shine Thief, or Bob-omb Blast. Only in Versus mode the number of laps on the tracks and the engine classes can be changed.
    • Order of Courses: Choose the way in which courses or stages will be selected: Random, All courses, one course or All-cups (only for Versus)
    • Co-op: Enable or Disable Cooperative Mode
    • Screen Division: This option won't be available if there is more than four Nintendo GameCube systems in use.
  • Quit LAN Mode: Stop playing LAN Mode

Unlike the local multiplayer, the players' characters are chosen at random, each time a race begins.

Toad and Toadette can be selected, providing they have been unlocked on one of the memory cards. Petey Piranha and King Boo however are never picked, even if they have been unlocked on one of the memory cards.

The karts that are picked is the one that belongs to the driver. If their respected kart has not been unlocked on one of the memory cards, then they use their respective partner's kart (eg Luigi uses Mario's kart). The exception is that if a small character is paired with a large character then the large kart is used instead. This means the Piranha Pipes, Boo Pipes and Parade Kart can not be used in LAN mode.

LAN connection[edit]

In this way, two to eight Nintendo GameCube systems are connected to an over-the-counter 10BASE-T hub. The LAN cables used to connect every game system to the hub must be compatible, otherwise, the connection won't be carried out. Every Nintendo GameCube system has to have attached their Nintendo Broadband Adapter, and the Mario Kart: Double Dash!! game disc in hand, one per system. At last, the number of GameCube controllers used depends on the number of players present.

Cross-cable connection[edit]

Unlike LAN connection, where it uses a hub to connect GameCube systems to it, the Cross-cable connection requires of only two GameCube game systems connected between themselves, through a 10BASE-T hub-compatible cross-cable. The rest of the required equipment is similar: A Mario Kart: Double Dash!! game disc per system, the Nintendo Broadband Adapter attached to the game system, and the number of GameCube controllers regarding how many players participate.


  • When using an incompatible LAN cable with the Hub in use, or using another type of cable different to the cross-cable to connect two systems directly.
  • A LAN cable is not fully inserted into the Hub or any game system.
  • A LAN cable was removed during the transfer of data.
  • Any game system was turned off or the game system's RESET button was pressed in the process.
  • When some device other than a Nintendo GameCube is connected to the Hub.
  • When a Hub or LAN cable not compatible with the 10BASE-T standard is being used.
  • When more than eight Nintendo GameCube systems have been connected.

Differences in multiplayer races[edit]

There are several differences that players can notice in split-screen mode, most likely to preserve the frame rate.

All Courses

  • Item Boxes have a brighter checkerboard texture, as opposed to clearer checkerboard texture.
  • Boost Pads look slightly different.

Peach Beach

  • The Daisy Cruiser in the background is absent.
  • At Peach Beach and Daisy Cruiser, the Piantas are absent
  • Before the finish line, the Pianta statue fountain is replaced by a Power Star

Dry Dry Desert

  • In the area with two large sandy hills and three small sandy hills, the Item Boxes are removed from the small hills.
  • Some of the Pokeys are missing.

Mushroom Bridge

  • There are no whirlpools in the water.
  • Princess Peach's Castle doesn't appear in the background.
  • The Wiggler Bus at Mushroom Bridge is only five body segments long, as opposed to being ten body segments long.

Mario Circuit

  • There are fewer Goombas and Piranha Plants at Mario Circuit.

Daisy Cruiser

  • The umbrellas are absent.
  • Areas formerly blocked off by cones are instead blocked off by slightly raised walls.
  • The moving Item Boxes do not move, and can spawn Double Item Boxes.
  • The colorful banners above the curved staircase are removed.
  • There are no shadows at Daisy Cruiser.
  • The inside of the ship has no lights on the ceiling.
  • There are less Item Boxes in the dining area.
  • In the dining area, the tables that aren't used as obstacles are absent.
  • There is no trapdoor over the entrance to the shortcut area.
  • At the shortcut area, the colored pipes are removed. Additionally, in that same area, the large fan isn't in the tube, despite the fact that players can still get fired out.
  • Near the end, there are no life rings.

Waluigi Stadium

  • The rings of fireballs on the ramps are absent.
  • The metal Piranha Plants do not move their jaws.
  • The moving arrow signs are absent.
  • The Jumbotron is absent.

Sherbet Land

  • There are only two moving Item Boxes at each end of the tunnel, as opposed to being three.

Yoshi Circuit

  • The Piranha Plants are missing.
  • The Sunshine, the Daisy Cruiser, and the Yoshi Helicopter do not appear.

DK Mountain

  • Boulders are less common.
  • At the cliff area, one of the Item Boxes is absent.

Wario Colosseum

  • The rings of fireballs on the ramps are absent.
  • In the area with five Item Boxes in a row, one of them is removed.

Dino Dino Jungle

  • In the area where there are Item Boxes on the trunks, the Item Boxes are removed.
  • In the area between the dinosaur's feet, there are only two Item boxes, as opposed to being four.
  • There are less dinosaurs.
  • In the alternate route area, there is only one Double Item Box instead of two.
  • Near the end, before the finish line, there are only two moving Item Boxes instead of four.
  • The crystals and pillar formations in the tunnels are removed.

Bowser's Castle

  • Four of the six Thwomps are absent.
  • The Lava Bubbles are removed.
  • In the circular room, three of the six rotating fireballs are removed.
  • The Bowser statue shoots fireballs at a slower rate.

Rainbow Road

  • At the second sharp turn area, one of the Item Boxes is removed.
  • The buildings below are absent.
  • All the floating items are removed.


For a complete list of media for this subject, see List of Mario Kart: Double Dash!! media.
Audio.png Title Theme - The title theme
Title Theme (MKDD).ogg
File info
Audio.png Main Menu - The main menu theme
Main Menu (MKDD).ogg
File info
Having trouble playing?

Beta elements[edit]

Main article: List of Mario Kart: Double Dash!! beta elements

The models of the characters are from Super Smash Bros. Melee, and Mario and Luigi are seen in this trailer of a very early build of the game, driving separately, each in a simple, blue kart.


The game received favorable reviews, getting an average score of 87.20% in GameRankings based off 73 reviews and an average score of 87 based off 68 reviews in Metacritic.[2][3]

Spencer McIlvaine of Nintendo Life gave the game 9 stars out of 10, praising the game as being a worthy successor to the Mario Kart franchise, despite that it has less innovation than the other games. He concluded with "Nevertheless, the game has lost some of the edge that it had in its first two outings and shows fewer innovative ideas here. This time around the game was mostly about better graphics and less buggy programming with a few gimmicks thrown in like having two drivers instead of one. As a result, Double Dash is not the most recommended Mario Kart game in the franchise. But compared to other games in general it’s still one heck of a ride."[4] Tom Bramwell of Eurogamer gave the game a score of 9 out of 10. He praised the game for adding more content, especially the online LAN mode. He wrote, "In my opinion, it's not a better game than the original Super Mario Kart, but it is the closest anyone's ever come, and one of the finest pieces of electronic entertainment ever developed." He also stated that rating Mario Kart Double Dash!! was the hardest thing he did because he always wanted to write about it.[5]

On the contrast, Edge Magazine UK gave the game a 5 out of 10, criticizing the game of "not being a racing game any more".[6] Fran Mirabella III of IGN gave the game a score of 7.9 out of 10. He criticized that Mario Kart Double Dash!! felt very similar to Mario Kart 64 and although it gets the job done that it felt that it had wasted potential. He praised the multiplayer for being superb.[7]

Mario Kart: Double Dash is the 2nd best-selling game for the Nintendo GameCube, right behind Super Smash Bros Melee, with approximately 7 million copies sold, 3.8 million copies in the United States[8], and over 802,000 units in Japan, as of December 31, 2009.[9]


Main article: List of Mario Kart: Double Dash!! glitches

Permanent upside-down car[edit]

This glitch only works with the Parade Kart. The player should go to a place where they can get smashed by the course obstacle, such as the Thwomps in Bowser's Castle or the blue dinosaur in Dino Dino Jungle (Bowser's Castle is preferred because the Thwomps are stationary). This glitch best works for two players, as timing is needed. One player should drive underneath a Thwomp, while the other should receive an explosive power-up, either a Spiny Shell or a Bob-omb. When received, the player should fire the item at the correct moment, blasting the kart into the air and getting smashed under the floating Thwomp. After falling down, if done correctly, the player will remain such, which is upside down. Note that the player is invincible in this position and the player can only revert to normal position if Lightning strikes them and a Thwomp afterward.


Main article: List of Mario Kart: Double Dash!! staff

Executive producer[edit]

  • Satoru Iwata


Chief director[edit]

  • Kiyoshi Mizuki


  • Yasuyuki Oyagi
  • Futoshi Shirai
  • Daiji Imai

Assistant director[edit]

  • Kentaro Tominaga


For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.

References to other games[edit]

References in later games[edit]

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese マリオカート ダブルダッシュ!!
Mario Kāto Daburu Dasshu!!
Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
Spanish Mario Kart: Double Dash!! -
French Mario Kart: Double Dash!! -
German Mario Kart: Double Dash!! -
Italian Mario Kart: Double Dash!! -
Korean 마리오카트 더블대시!!
Mario Kateu Deobeul Daesi!!
Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

Easter Eggs[edit]

  • In the Japanese version, players were able to submit special codes in Time Trial mode as part of a contest. In the NTSC version, these codes can still be accessed by pressing L-R-L-R-X-Y-X-Y-Z during the menu after a race in Time Trial, although these serve no purpose.


  • In the European and American boxart derived from this artwork, Luigi's "L" on his cap is noticeably backwards. This is probably just a minor mistake by the artist.
  • This is the first Mario Kart game to feature unlockable characters and karts, which would be featured in every later game in the series.
  • This is the only game in the Mario Kart series to have unlockable battle courses.
    • This is also the only game in the Mario Kart series where Toad is an unlockable character.
  • Unlike future Mario Kart games, when doing a turbo on a curve, the orange flame comes before the blue one.
  • Just like in Super Mario Sunshine, if players check certain race tracks, they will see other courses or vehicles. For example, Mario Circuit's Peach Castle can be seen in Mushroom Bridge.
  • This is the only home console Mario Kart game not playable on a Wii U (Super Mario Kart is on the Wii U's Virtual Console, Mario Kart 64 can be downloaded from the Wii Shop Channel using the Wii U's Wii Menu function, and Mario Kart Wii is reverse compatible with the Wii U).
  • The song Peach Beach was released in Nintendo Sound Selection Vol.3: B-Side Music, making it the only song from the game to be released on a sound track.
  • This is the only Mario Kart game to feature trees, mountains, and certain walls with eyes.
  • The PAL version lacks an in-game language option; the language is decided based on the language the console is set to. This would later become the standard of all games for the Nintendo DS, Wii, 3DS, and Wii U.


  1. ^ [1]
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  3. ^!!
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  6. ^ Edge, page 98
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External links[edit]