Mario Kart: Super Circuit

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Mario Kart: Super Circuit
MKSC.jpg
Developer(s) Intelligent Systems
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Platform(s) Game Boy Advance, Virtual Console (Nintendo 3DS, Wii U)
Release date Game Boy Advance
Japan July 21, 2001
USA August 27, 2001
Australia September 13, 2001
Europe September 14, 2001 [1]
Virtual Console (3DS) (Ambassador Program)
Australia December 15, 2011
Japan December 16, 2011
USA December 16, 2011
Europe December 16, 2011
Virtual Console (Wii U)
USA November 13, 2014
Genre Racing
Rating(s)
ESRB:ESRB E.svg - Everyone
PEGI:PEGI 3.svg - Three years and older
CERO:CERO A.png - All ages
Mode(s) Single player, multiplayer
Media
Wii U:
Media DL icon.svg Digital download
Game Boy Advance:
Media GBA icon.png Cartridge
Nintendo 3DS:
Media DL icon.svg Digital download
Input
Wii U:
Game Boy Advance:
Nintendo 3DS:

Mario Kart: Super Circuit is the third installment in the Mario Kart series and was released for the Game Boy Advance. The game is known under the name Mario Kart Advance in Japan. This game combines the elements from the previous Mario Kart games and contains all the courses from Super Mario Kart. Mario Kart: Super Circuit was released on July 21, 2001 in Japan, August 27, 2001 in North America, and September 14, 2001 in Europe. Mario Kart: Super Circuit is also the first handheld Mario Kart game. Mario Kart: Super Circuit was re-released on the 3DS's Virtual Console exclusively to Nintendo 3DS Ambassadors in Australia on December 15, 2011, and in North America, Europe, and Japan on December 16, 2011. Mario Kart: Super Circuit was re-released again on the Wii U's Virtual Console in North America on November 13, 2014. This is the only Mario Kart game where the international and Japanese titles differ. Mario Kart: Super Circuit is the only Mario Kart to be developed by Intelligent Systems; the others (excluding the Mario Kart Arcade GP series, which have been developed by Namco, and Mario Kart 7, which was partially developed by Retro Studios) have been developed by Nintendo EAD. Additionally, this is the last Mario Kart game where the drivers are sprites rather than models.

Gameplay[edit]

The character selection screen.

The objective in this game is to place first in the races, as with most racing games. Each race has eight contestants. As in other Mario Kart games, players can drive through Item Boxes which contain items, which can aid the players. On the course, coins are collected to increase a player's top speed. If the player has zero coins, they spin out if they come in contact with another racer. Fifty-five coins are found on each course.

This game has five cups, and each has four new race courses. These cups are the Mushroom Cup, the Flower Cup, the all new Lightning Cup, the Star Cup, and the Special Cup. If players collects 100 coins in a certain cup, they unlock the Extra Cup version. These cups contain all of the courses from Super Mario Kart making this game have more courses than any other Mario Kart game in the series. If the player manages to collect a gold trophy on all of the Super Circuit cups, the background for the title screen changes to a sunset. If the player manages to obtain a triple star ranking for all Super Circuit cups, the title screen's background changes to a night time setting. In addition to the aesthetic changes, the intro's theme also changes.

Controls[edit]

Menu controls[edit]

  • +Control Pad: Select
  • A Button: Confirm
  • B Button: Cancel
  • Select Button: Access options for certain modes

Game controls[edit]

  • +Control Pad: Steer left or right
  • A Button: Accelerate (pressing the button when the light turns green lets the player do a rocket start)
  • B Button: Brake
  • R Button: Hop and Power Slide (when holding for a few seconds, the player gets a mini-turbo)
  • L Button: Use Items, stop Item Roulette
  • B Button + +Control Pad: Drive backward
  • L Button + +Control Pad up or down: Shoot Item in certain direction
  • A Button, B Button + +Control Pad left or right: Quick sharp turn left or right
  • Start Button: Pause game
  • Select Button: Horn
  • On the character selection screen, if the player presses the L Button button, the character the player is on fires a green shell. If the player presses R Button, the character hops. If the player presses Select Button, the characters honk their horn. However, the horn doesn't work if Random is selected.

Game modes[edit]

Mario Kart: Super Circuit has four different game modes. All are accessed by the single player except VS and battle modes. Up to four players can participate using the Game Boy Advance Link cable with even a single game cartridge. However, all players using single cartridge mode are limited to selecting Extra Mushroom Cup using only Yoshi and different colors of him.

Grand Prix[edit]

Players participating in a race at Peach Circuit.

In this mode, one or two players race against the CPU. The player chooses a cup and plays the four courses it contains. The player earns points by placing within the first four positions. When finished in fifth place or lower, the player must restart the race. The player is able to restart a race three times, with three race flags representing the lives. When the flags run out, the player is unable to restart the race. When playing with two players, if one racer finishes in the Top 4 and the other does not, they both move on to the next race. At the end of the cup, the player with the most points wins. There are 3 different speeds to choose from, each with varying difficulty.

  • 50cc - This engine size is the smallest engine size. Karts go at a slower pace than other engine sizes. Computers rarely use items against the player. This engine size is best suited for beginners.
  • 100cc - A slightly larger engine size. Karts go slightly faster than 50cc, but not as fast as 150cc. Computers use items more often against the player. This engine size is better suited for intermediate players.
  • 150cc - The largest engine size. Karts go at their fastest. The computer regularly uses items against the player, such as frequently throwing Red Shells, using Boos, or even tossing a Spiny Shell. This engine size is best suited for expert players.

Ranking[edit]

The final Grand Prix result screen.

Depending on a player's performance in GP, the player can achieve one of the following eight ranks:

  • Triple Star: The player must score first consistently in the GP races.
  • Double Star
  • Single Star
  • A: The player has collected all 36 points.
  • B: The player has collected at least 30 points.
  • C: The player has collected at least 25 points.
  • D: The player has collected at least 20 points.
  • E: The player has not fulfilled the above stated requirements.

Several factors account for a hidden score, which then translates to a rank.[2]

  • The more coins collected, the higher the score.
  • The player's time on each lap. Points are rewarded depending on the time and are never deducted.
  • The more times and longer players hit the brakes, the lower their score. This does not count if players brake to avoid a slip from a Banana Peel.
  • The more times and longer players let go of the acceleration button, the lower their score.
  • Using Triple Red Shells, Stars, and Lightning Bolts decreases the score, with the Star decreasing the score the most.
  • If Lakitu must pick up the player, the score is lowered. Initiating the mini-turbo at the correct time will negate it somewhat, however.
  • The more times players hit enemy racers or obstacles, their score is lowered. Hitting walls slightly decreases the score more.
  • Getting hit by items lowers the score.
  • Using one life for a retry severely decreases the score.
  • Being offtrack decreases the score.
  • Starting the race with a boost increases the score.
  • Initiating more drift mini-turbos increases the score.
  • Passing an item box while already having an item (but not deployed yet) increases the score.
  • Picking certain characters can also affect the score, giving bonus points. This is because some have less grip on the road than others, so the game rewards characters with the least grip the most points.
    • Bowser (45 points)
    • Wario (40 points)
    • Donkey Kong (40 points)
    • Mario (30 points)
    • Luigi (30 points)
    • Princess Peach (10 points)
    • Toad (10 points)
    • Yoshi (0 points)

Time Trial[edit]

One player can race against the best times on each course with no CPU opponents. After beating a best time, players can save Ghost data onto each time trial course. Whenever the player races on that course again, the player's Ghost mirrors movements of the saved data. Ghost data can also be downloaded from other players using the Game Boy Link Cable. Players are given a Triple Mushroom for use during Time Trials. Players also have the option to view their Ghost data using the Records option. Players can either turn their Ghost on or off during Time Trials using the Select Button before selecting the mode.

Quick Run[edit]

Quick Run is a one player VS mode, unique to Mario Kart: Super Circuit, that enables players to race on any tracks they unlocked with no restrictions or regulations. Players can choose what engine size they want to race on, with the difficulty level alongside with the speed. Players can alter the number of laps, appearance of coins, and item boxes by pressing Select Button before accessing this mode.

VS[edit]

Menu for Single Game Pak mode.

VS mode is basically a Quick Run mode with two to four players. This mode cannot be accessed by only one player. CPU players are turned off in this mode. The game counts how many times the player won or lost against other players. Players can play with multiple game cartridges or just a single cartridge via Game Boy Link Cable. When using a single cartridge however, players are limited to their choices. Players will use a different colored Yoshi. Player 1 will be Green, player 2 red, player 3 light blue, and player 4 yellow. Aside from that, the only courses available are four SNES courses: Mario Circuit 1, Donut Plains 1, Ghost Valley 1, and Bowser Castle 1.

Battle[edit]

Battle Mode

Just like VS mode, Battle mode cannot be played with only one player. The player participates with one to three other players in attempt to pop each other balloons using items. Also seen in VS mode, the game counts how many times the players won or lost. When a player loses all of their balloons, the player turns into a Bob-omb. The Bob-omb can make it more difficult for the other players by either picking up item boxes or blasting into their karts.

Characters[edit]

The title screen with all eight playable characters.

All playable characters from Mario Kart 64 return, and there are no newcomers, making this the only Mario Kart game to not introduce any new drivers. As in all previous games, they also race in the same go-karts, but with different sizes and colors that suit each playable character. Also, as in all previous games, each racer is classified into three categories: lightweight, middleweight, and heavyweight, each class with their own advantages and disadvantages. Additionally, in VS play with a single cartridge, all players use Yoshi, with each being a different color.

Many other characters appear in the game as nonplayable. Some can help out, such as Lakitu, who can pull characters out of the water, and Boo, who serves as an item. Other characters are mainly there to serve as obstacles to racers, and many hinder the racers by making them spin out.

Drivers[edit]

Characters are divided into three classes depending on their weight: Light, Medium, and Heavy. Characters' acceleration and weight stats are viewable at the player select screen, although the acceleration stat is erroneously referred to as "speed".

Lightweights are generally characterized by having high acceleration, but low top speed. They are knocked easier by heavyweights and middleweights and skid easier. Peach and Toad share the same stats as having the most acceleration and the least weight in the game, and Yoshi offers slightly less acceleration for slightly better weight.

Middleweights are classified by their all-around stats. They do not excel at anything, nor do they have any significantly low stats. Mario and Luigi, the only middleweights, share the same stats.

Heavyweights have very high stats in top speed and weight, but suffer from low acceleration. They also skid less than karts of lighter weight. Bowser offers the most weight and top speed in the game but the worst acceleration while Wario and Donkey Kong have slightly worse weight and top speed in exchange for slightly higher acceleration.

Non-playable[edit]

Items[edit]

Mario Kart: Super Circuit features eleven of the fourteen items from Mario Kart 64, with no new additions, also making this the only Mario Kart game to not introduce any items. Like past games, items are found in Item Boxes and are typically used to hinder opponents and assist players who obtain them.

Banana BananaSC.PNG Obtained commonly by high-ranked drivers, they can be held on the back or thrown forward or dropped behind. They act as obstacles; drivers running over them will spin. The effect can nullified if the driver brakes upon running over it; success of the action is indicated by a music note symbol coming out from the driver. Any type of Shell or Star effects can destroy them.
Green Shell GreenShellSC.PNG Obtained commonly by high-ranked drivers, they can be held on the back or thrown forward or backward. Once thrown, they can bounce off walls multiple times before breaking; drivers hit by this will spin. Bananas, any type of Shells, or Star effects can destroy them.
Red Shell RedShellSC.PNG Obtained uncommonly by any-ranked drivers, they can be held on the back or thrown forward or backward. If thrown forward, it will target the next high-ranked driver. If not, it will shoot straight instead and break upon hitting a single wall. If thrown backwards, they stay in a fixed position; if a driver goes near one, it will target them regardless of ranking. Bananas, any type of Shells, or Star effects can destroy them.
Mushroom MushroomSC.PNG Obtained commonly by any-ranked drivers, using it grants the driver a great burst of speed within a moment. They can be used to go off-road more easier, and fly further after going over a ramp. They can also be used to bump drivers out of the way; those with no Coins will spin out instead.
Triple Green Shell TripleGreenSC.PNG Obtained uncommonly by higher-ranked drivers, three Green Shells revolve around the driver, shielding from most attacks. They act like Green Shells, but cannot be thrown backward.
Triple Red Shell TripleRedSC.PNG Obtained uncommonly by lower-ranked drivers, three Red Shells revolve around the driver, shielding from most attacks. They act like Red Shells, but cannot be thrown backward in a fixed position to target a driver regardless of ranking.
Triple Mushroom TripleMushroomSC.PNG Obtained exclusively in Time Trial mode. Drivers will have three Mushrooms instead of one. They cannot be replenished once they are all used until the Time Trial is over.
Boo BooSC.PNG Obtained uncommonly by any-ranked drivers, they steal an item from a random driver if available, attacks the first-place driver, and grants invisibility for a moment. The driver is immune to all obstacles and items, and can pass through drivers without bumping, but it doesn't prevent them from losing speed off-road.
Star StarSC.PNG Obtained rarely by low-ranked drivers, they grant invincibility and increase their top speed, acceleration, and handling for a moment. Bumping a driver under this effect will spin them out. They are also used to go off-road without losing any speed and can destroy stage obstacles.
Spiny Shell SpinyShellSC.PNG Obtained rarely by low-ranked drivers, with rarity determined by engine class, they can be held on the back or thrown forward or backward. It makes a continuously loud noise when used. If thrown forward, it will follow the track and targets the first-place driver; subsequent drivers caught in the path will spin out. If thrown backward, they stay in a fixed position to target the first-place driver passing by. Colliding with a wall or a ramp, falling into a pit or water, or hitting a driver with the star in effect can destroy them.
Thunderbolt LightningboltSC.PNG Obtained rarely by lower-ranked drivers, they shrink every other driver not using a Star or a Boo. Shrunk drivers lose speed and the ability to use Mushroom. Shrunk drivers run over by a normal driver will spin out. Shrunk drivers revert back to normal after a set amount of time or if they go into a pit.

Courses[edit]

The game features twenty new courses, and brings back the original twenty courses of Super Mario Kart (but, due to the Grand Prix Format, they are organized in five cups instead of four). However, most courses brought back have the hazards removed found in them such as the Monty Moles in the Donut Plains and oil slicks in the Mario Circuits. The only hazards that have stayed are the breakable blocks in the Ghost Valleys and Vanilla Lakes. The cups containing Super Mario Kart courses are unlocked for usage in Grand Prix Mode by finishing their respective cups consisting of Super Circuit in first place, and then completing them again, while collecting at least 100 coins.

Mario Kart: Super Circuit features 40 race tracks on the Game Card. This is the highest amount of racing tracks in any Mario Kart. However, if Downloadable Content is counted, the honor of the Mario Kart with the most tracks now goes to Mario Kart 8, with 48 tracks (32 pre-installed, 16 downloadable). Super Circuit also has the most Bowser Castles (four from this game's tracks and three from the original's tracks) in any Mario Kart game to date.

Super Circuit tracks[edit]

There are also new courses introduced in Mario Kart: Super Circuit. The player races three laps on these tracks in Grand Prix mode.

Extra tracks[edit]

These courses were originally featured in Super Mario Kart, and are reused in Mario Kart: Super Circuit. The player races five laps on these tracks in Grand Prix mode.

Mushroom Cup Mario Circuit 1 Donut Plains 1 Ghost Valley 1 Bowser Castle 1
Flower Cup Mario Circuit 2 Choco Island 1 Ghost Valley 2 Donut Plains 2
Lightning Cup Bowser Castle 2 Mario Circuit 3 Koopa Beach 1 Choco Island 2
Star Cup Vanilla Lake 1 Bowser Castle 3 Mario Circuit 4 Donut Plains 3
Special Cup Koopa Beach 2 Ghost Valley 3 Vanilla Lake 2 Rainbow Road

Mario Kart DS and onward would later have a very similar feature called Retro Grand Prix, which features four cups consisting of tracks from all past Mario Kart games.

Battle courses[edit]

Four new battle courses appear in the game. No Super Mario Kart battle courses return despite all of that game's race courses returning; however, all four of them exist in the game's code and are playable through hacking.

Battle Course 1 Battle Course 2 Battle Course 3 Battle Course 4

Reception[edit]

Mario Kart: Super Circuit received critical acclaim. It scored an average of 91.54% based off 39 reviews in GameRankings and an average of 93 based off 24 reviews in Metacritic.[3][4]

Craig Harris of IGN praised nearly all of the game's aspects and noted that the extra development time of the game can make it outstanding. He ended with, "It's a GBA game with very few flaws -- it's a shame that it didn't quite make the system launch, but the extra wait did the game wonders, and it shouldn't be missed." He gave the game a 9.5 out of 10.[5] Tom Bramwell of Eurogamer gave the game a 9 out of 10. Though he criticized the lack of backlighting due to the GameBoy Advance system lacking it and the pick-up system of Lakitu, he praised the game for being a vast, improved "conversion" of Super Mario Kart onto the GameBoy Advance. He wrote, "It has everything a single player, or indeed a foursome of like-minded console gamers, could ever dream of, and all with the added benefit of extensive replayability. With Super Mario Advance 2 still a way off, Mario Kart Super Circuit is the killer app for GameBoy Advance as of now. Buy it."[6] Joao Diniz Sanches of Pocket Gamer UK gave the game a 9 out of 10. He praised the game for being universally and immediately fun.[7]

Ron DelVillano of Nintendo Life reviewed the ambassador version of Mario Kart: Super Circuit and gave the game a 7 out of 10. Though he noted the game's aging and that the multiplayer is removed in the 3DS ambassador version, he called the game fun and worthwhile to play with.[8].

Mario Kart: Super Circuit is the fourth best selling game for the Game Boy Advance, selling 5.91 million copies worldwide, as of March 31, 2009.

Beta elements[edit]

Main article: List of Mario Kart: Super Circuit beta elements

Early Nintendo Power screenshots showed that the characters had different, "super-deformed" sprites of bigger heads contrasted by smaller karts. The Banana Bunch and Golden Mushroom items were going to be in the game. The unfinished versions can be seen by using a GameShark code. The Banana Bunch won't do anything, and the Golden Mushroom acts like a Mushroom but gives the ability to have infinite boosts even if no item is shown. A Fake Item Box was planned to be in the game but removed for unknown reasons. It has the same functions as a regular Banana.

Staff[edit]

Main article: List of Mario Kart: Super Circuit staff

Mario Kart: Super Circuit was developed by Intelligent Systems, the same company behind the Paper Mario series and the WarioWare series. Takeshi Ando and Yukio Morimoto directed the game while the executive producer was Hiroshi Yamauchi. The Donkey Kong 3D model used in the pre-rendered sprites was provided by Rare Ltd..

Glitches[edit]

Floating CPU[edit]

A glitch happens in the in middle of Rainbow Road. When players go to the middle of the track, a CPU opponent, in rare cases, floats up and down. [9]

Koopa Beach 1 Glitch Shortcut[edit]

If the player spindrifts after the finish line then aims behind it correctly, that player can perform a glitch were it could count as a lap if they shroomed behind the finish line with a hop. This will work with any character. [10]

Cheese Land Glitch Shortcut[edit]

If the player spindrifts 270 degrees right going behind the starting line, that player could perform a glitch where the player can use a mushroom and a hop onto the mouse to count all three laps if successful. This will work with any character. [11]

References to other games[edit]

  • Super Mario Kart: All previous race courses return with the hazards removed. Coins as a gameplay mechanic has been used in Mario Kart: Super Circuit as well.
  • Super Mario 64: The theme for the Bowser Castle courses is remixed from the Bowser battle music in this game.
  • Mario Kart 64: Many sprites in this game are based off the Mario Kart 64 ones, such as the karts, characters, and the character selection screen portraits. Losing characters in Mario Kart: Super Circuit in battle mode also turns into Bob-ombs, something that is similar to turning into Mini Bomb Kart. Luigi, Peach, Wario, Toad, and the narrator's voices are reused from the Japanese version of this game.
  • Yoshi's Story: Shy Guy Beach is based on the level Shy Guy's Ship from this game. A Blurp from this game also makes a cameo appearance during the awards ceremony.
  • Paper Mario: Peach's castle is seen on top of Bowser's castle just like in this game, in the background of Rainbow Road. The Hammer Bro. seen during the awards ceremony has the same appearance as in this game.

References in later games[edit]

  • Mario Kart DS: This game has borrowed the ranking system of this game. Also, 4 GBA tracks returned to this game (Peach Circuit, Bowser Castle 2, Luigi Circuit, Sky Garden). The Quick Run concept has been reused and renamed as Vs. Mode. The idea of returning older courses originates from Mario Kart: Super Circuit.
  • Mario Kart Wii: Shy Guy Beach, Bowser Castle 3, and Battle Course 3 return in this game.
  • Mario Kart 7: Bowser Castle 1 and Battle Course 1 return in this game.
  • Mario Kart 8: Mario Circuit returns as a retro course in this game.

Gallery[edit]

Main article: Gallery:Mario Kart: Super Circuit

Media[edit]

For a complete list of media for this subject, see List of Mario Kart: Super Circuit media.
Audio.png Title theme - The title theme
Title (MKSC).ogg
1:45
File info
Audio.png Main Menu - The main menu theme
Menu (MKSC).ogg
0:52
File info
Audio.png Multiplayer/Ghost Exchange - The theme for the menu for one of link cable menu's
MKSSmultiplayer.ogg
0:18
File info
Having trouble playing?

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese マリオカートアドバンス
Mario Kāto Adobansu
Mario Kart Advance

Trivia[edit]

  • This is one of the last two games next to Mario Party 3 (and Super Smash Bros. Melee to an extent) to have the Mario franchise use its N64-era art direction, which had been in place since Super Mario 64 in 1996.
  • This is the last Mario Kart game where Princess Peach wears her hair down.
  • This game was going to make use of the e-Reader at one point according to the European website for the game, however the section of the site intended to provide details on the e-Cards has nothing more than a "Coming Soon" notice.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ TMK: Release date info, retrieved 9-20-2008
  2. ^ http://www.gamefaqs.com/gba/371318-mario-kart-super-circuit/faqs/67255
  3. ^ http://www.gamerankings.com/gba/371318-mario-kart-super-circuit/index.html
  4. ^ http://www.metacritic.com/game/game-boy-advance/mario-kart-super-circuit
  5. ^ http://www.ign.com/articles/2001/08/29/mario-kart-super-circuit
  6. ^ http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/r_mksc_gba
  7. ^ http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/GameBoy/Mario+Kart%3A+Super+Circuit/review.asp?c=395
  8. ^ http://www.nintendolife.com/reviews/2011/12/mario_kart_super_circuit_3dsvc
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ [2]
  11. ^ [3]
  12. ^ Mario Kart: Super Circuit - European Gamesite