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Mario Kart 8 is an upcoming Mario Kart game for the Wii U, releasing in Japan on May 29th, both North America and Europe on the 30th and the 31st for Australia. The game is the eighth installment in the mainstream series, and eleventh overall in the Mario Kart series. Anti-gravity, a new feature for the Mario Kart series, has been confirmed. Bikes, gliders, and underwater driving are also confirmed to return. Buggies have been confirmed to join traditional karts and bikes as a new class of vehicle. On March 7, Nintendo confirmed that a special Mario Kart 8 Limited Edition will be released in PAL regions, which includes a copy of the game and a Spiny Shell Trophy. 
The gameplay maintains the traditional elements as most Mario Kart games, mostly from the two recent installments from the Wii and 3DS respectively. The karts, featuring a similar design to Mario Kart 7, maintain the hang-glider and underwater features from the previous game, while bikes make a return, albeit handling similar to the karts this time around, both can be customized with, according to an interview, more customization options.. Also, like Mario Kart Wii, twelve racers are present in normal races.
The newest feature for the series is anti-gravitional segments, that not only allow for more dynamic track design, but allow racers to drive across the side of a track and upside-down as well. These tracks have been described as more narrow when compared to previous Mario Kart tracks, specifically those from Mario Kart Wii. For the fourth time in the series, courses from previous Mario Kart games will be included, and both the game's anti-gravity mechanic , as well as Mario Kart 7 's "air, land & sea" mechanic will be incorporated into these retro courses, much like the retro courses in Mario Kart 7. An aesthetic change includes the kart headlights turning on in a dark area.
It has been confirmed that there will be Miiverse integration, which will allow players to share their replay videos and comment on others' videos, in a feature called "Mario Kart TV". When in anti-gravity, if a racer bumps into another racer the kart spins rather than just bumping and the racers receive a speed boost. Coins, introduced in Super Mario Kart and returning in Mario Kart: Super Circuit and Mario Kart 7, also return for this game, and like Mario Kart 7 the player can only collect up to ten coins at one time. Another change is that in 2-player mode, the screen will split down the middle vertically instead of the horizontal split used in the other console Mario Kart games, a feature that was originally intended to be in Mario Kart 64 but was removed from the final game.
So far, 24 playable characters have been confirmed for Mario Kart 8. 7 of these characters (the Koopalings) are playable for the first time in the series.
* - New characters
- A bike body that resembles the Bolt Buggy
- An orange body that slightly resembles the Mach Bike
- A yellow and blue scooter-like body
- A body that is similar to the Zip Zip
- A body similar in build to the Wario Bike
- A body shaped like a rocket
Buggy-type bodies are confirmed to be in the game.
- Tires similar to the Standard
- Tires similar to the Monster
- Skinny tires with a white and red stripe pattern, similar to the Slim tires
- Skinny, red star tires
- Wooden wagon tires
- Tires with green lines, similar to the Slick tires
- Small red tires
- Sponge-like Red Monster tires
* - Changes color depending on the character
So far, 19 tracks have been confirmed, consisting of 12 new tracks and 7 retro tracks, featuring one track from Mario Kart: Super Circuit, one from Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, one from Mario Kart DS, one from Mario Kart Wii, and three from Mario Kart 7. As with the retro tracks from the 3DS installment, the retro tracks in this game will feature altered sections that incorporate the game's hang-glider, underwater, and anti-gravity features.
Sunshine Airport, a new course that takes place in an airport surrounded by islands.
- Mario Circuit, a course shaped after a Möbius strip which is a chain of floating islands where Princess Peach's Castle is located.
- Bone Dry Dunes, a course filled with giant bones and boats.
- Cloudtop Cruise, a sky course with beanstalks and airships similar to Sky Garden and Airship Fortress.
- Sunshine Airport, a course set on the runaways and terminals of an airport.
- Sweet Sweet Canyon, dessert themed course, decorated with references to Princess Daisy and Princess Peach.
- Thwomp Ruins, a ruins course filled with Thwomps.
- Toad Harbor, a course that takes place in a town by the seaside with some similarities to the city of San Francisco.
- Twisted Mansion, a haunted mansion course with an underwater chamber and a dark garden.
- A water park course with a roller-coaster and a Ferris wheel, as well as a museum.
- A city or nightclub course with neon lights and digital billboards.
- A canyon course with several waterfalls and Shy Guys mining crystals.
- An ocean course featuring Dolphins and Dolphin-shaped rock formations.
Development for Mario Kart 8 started in 2012. Some ideas that were scrapped in Mario Kart 8 included a drill that made drivers drive into subterranean depths. The idea was scrapped because the developers thought it was not as interesting as the anti-gravity idea. The anti-gravity concept stemmed from the Wii U being a powerful console, and with the upgraded hardware, the developers wanted to make courses with a 3D plane in mind rather than the 2D plane as the other tracks in the Mario Kart series.
The title, Mario Kart 8, is chosen to represent the anti-gravity mechanic as the "8" used in the official logo resembles the Möbius strip from Mario Circuit.
References to other games
- Famicom Grand Prix II: 3D Hot Rally: The Mario's Motors logo is seen at the starting line of Mario Circuit. In addition, Mario's artwork from the game can be faintly seen above the logo itself.
- Super Mario Bros. 3: Many aspects of Cloudtop Cruise, particularly the airships, are inspired by this game.
- Mario Kart: Super Circuit: Mario Circuit returns as a retro course.
- Super Mario Sunshine: Sunshine Airport has a Shine Sprite in its logo.
- Mario Kart: Double Dash!!: Like in this game, characters hold items in their hands. Dry Dry Desert returns as a retro course.
- Mario Kart DS: Tick-Tock Clock returns as a retro course.
- New Super Mario Bros.: There is a cave in Bone Dry Dunes that's entrance is shaped like the skull of Dry Bowser, a reoccurring boss and character from this game.
- Super Mario Galaxy: An image of a Luma can be seen on an airplane (from Galaxy Air airlines) in Sunshine Airport. Also, part of the cloud-themed track's music is a cover of Gusty Garden Galaxy's music and Sky Station Galaxy's music.
- Mario Kart Wii: Twelve player races and motorbikes return. Grumble Volcano also returns as a retro course.
- New Super Mario Bros. Wii: One of the planes in Sunshine Airport has a logo for Propeller Toad Transport with an insignia of a Propeller Mushroom. The Red Case first featured on the game's box art will return as a North American exclusive
- Super Mario 3D Land: Goomba Towers appear as obstacles in Mario Circuit. A kart body also resembles a Para-Biddybud.
- Mario Kart 7: Gliders and underwater areas return. Music Park, Piranha Plant Slide, and DK Jungle return as retro courses. Customisation returns from this game.
- New Super Mario Bros. 2: Twisted Mansion's entrance has a statue of a Boohemoth above it, an enemy from this game. Bone Piranha Plants also make an appearance.
- New Super Mario Bros. U: The Mecha Cheep returns in this game.
- Super Mario 3D World: There is a pink kart that resembles a cat, as a possible reference to the Cat Mario transformation from this game.
- Main article: Gallery:Mario Kart 8
- ^ 
- ^ 
- ^ http://www.nintendo.com.au/index.php?action=news&form_name=monthly&month=February-2014&pageID=6
- ^ http://www.gamespot.com/articles/mario-kart-8-limited-edition-revealed-includes-blue-shell-item/1100-6418138/
- ^ a b Mario Kart 8 - details on development time, GamePad ideas, hope for F-Zero - GoNintendo
- ^ Mario Kart 8 at E3 2013
- ^ Mario Kart 8 Team Talk GamePad Features, Track Design And F-Zero @ Nintendo Life
- ^ http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2013/06/mario_kart_tv_will_allow_you_to_share_your_racing_skills_on_miiverse
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Nintendo Direct – 12.18.2013
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac Nintendo Direct – 2.13.2014
- ^ a b Youtube - Mario Kart 8: Course 3 Ghost House Single-Player Gameplay Footage (E3 2013 Wii U)
- ^ Mario Kart 8 E3 trailer
- ^ https://twitter.com/NintendoUK/status/441982678867648512
- ^ https://www.facebook.com/WiiU.co.uk/photos/a.596004050474333.1073741858.351440504930690/599017400172998/?type=1&stream_ref=10
- ^ https://twitter.com/NintendoUK/status/439807507947859968
- ^ https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.490080237763241.1073741827.125686527535949&type=3
- ^ Scrapped ideas led to the anti-gravity idea in Mario Kart 8 - Wii U Daily
- ^ a b E3 2013: Nintendo's Hideki Konno Pulls Back The Curtain On 'Mario Kart 8'
||Super Mario series
||Super Mario Bros. (1985, NES) • Super Mario Bros. Special (1986, PC88) • Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (1986, FDS) • Super Mario Bros. 2 (1988, NES) • Super Mario Bros. 3 (1988, NES) • Super Mario Land (1989, GB) • Super Mario World (1990, SNES) • Super Mario 64 (1996, N64) • Super Mario Sunshine (2002, GCN) • New Super Mario Bros. (2006, NDS) • Super Mario Galaxy (2007, Wii) • New Super Mario Bros. Wii (2009, Wii) • Super Mario Galaxy 2 (2010, Wii) • Super Mario 3D Land (2011, 3DS) • New Super Mario Bros. 2 (2012, 3DS) • New Super Mario Bros. U (2012, Wii U) • Super Mario 3D World (2013, Wii U)
||Donkey Kong (1981) • Mario Bros. (1983) • Mario's Cement Factory (1983, G&W) • Mario's Bombs Away (1983, G&W) • Mario Bros. Special (1984, PC88) • Punch Ball Mario Bros. (1984, PC88) • Wrecking Crew (1985, NES) • Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (1992, GB) • Hotel Mario (1994, Philips CD-i) • Mario Clash (1995, VB) • Wrecking Crew '98 (1998, SFC)
|Ports and remakes
||Donkey Kong (1982, G&W) • Mario Bros. (1983, G&W) • Vs. Super Mario Bros. (1986, Arcade) • All Night Nippon Super Mario Bros. (1986, FDS) • Super Mario Bros. (1987, G&W) • Super Mario All-Stars (1993, SNES) • Donkey Kong (1994, GB) • Super Mario All-Stars + Super Mario World (1994, SNES) • BS Super Mario USA (1997, SNES) • Super Mario Bros. Deluxe (1999, GBC) • Super Mario Advance (2001, GBA) • Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2 (2002, GBA) • Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 (2003, GBA) • Famicom Mini Series (2004, GBA) • Classic NES Series (2004-2005, GBA) • Super Mario 64 DS (2004, NDS) • Virtual Console (2006-current, Wii) • Super Mario All-Stars Limited Edition (2010, Wii) • Virtual Console (2011-current, 3DS)
|Role Playing Games
||Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (1996, SNES) • Paper Mario (2000, N64) • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (2003, GBA) • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (2004, GCN) • Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time (2005, NDS) • Super Paper Mario (2007, Wii) • Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story (2009, NDS) • Paper Mario: Sticker Star (2012, 3DS) • Mario & Luigi: Dream Team (2013, 3DS)
| Mario Kart series
||Super Mario Kart (1992, SNES) • Mario Kart 64 (1996, N64) • Mario Kart: Super Circuit (2001, GBA) • Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (2005, GCN) • Mario Kart Arcade GP (2005, Arcade) • Mario Kart DS (2005, NDS) • Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 (2007, Arcade) • Mario Kart Wii (2008, Wii) • Mario Kart 7 (2011, 3DS) • Mario Kart Arcade GP DX (2013, Arcade) • Mario Kart 8 (2014, Wii U)
| Mario Party series
||Mario Party (1998, N64) • Mario Party 2 (1999, N64) • Mario Party 3 (2000, N64) • Mario Party 4 (2002, GCN) • Mario Party-e (2003, GBA) • Mario Party 5 (2003, GCN) • Super Mario Fushigi no Korokoro Party (2004, Arcade) • Mario Party 6 (2004, GCN) • Mario Party Advance (2005, GBA) • Super Mario Fushigi no Korokoro Party 2 (2005, Arcade) • Mario Party 7(2006, GCN) • Mario Party 8 (2007, Wii) • Mario Party DS (2007, NDS) • Mario Party Fushigi no Korokoro Catcher (2009, Arcade) • Mario Party 9(2012, Wii) • Mario Party: Island Tour (2013, 3DS)
|| Mario Golf series
||Golf (1984) • NES Open Tournament Golf (1991, NES) • Mario Golf (1999, N64) • Mario Golf (1999, GBC) • Mobile Golf (2001, GBC) • Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour (2003, GCN) • Mario Golf: Advance Tour (2004, GBA) • Mario Golf: World Tour (2014, 3DS)
|Mario Tennis series
|| Mario's Tennis (1995, VB) • Mario Tennis 64 (2000, N64) • Mario Tennis (2000, GBC) • Mario Power Tennis (2004, GCN) • Mario Tennis: Power Tour (2005, GBA) • Mario Tennis Open (2012, 3DS)
||Mario Superstar Baseball (2005, GCN) • Mario Hoops 3-on-3 (2006, NDS) • Super Mario Strikers (2006, GCN) • Mario Strikers Charged (2007, Wii) • Mario Super Sluggers (2008, Wii) • Mario Sports Mix (2010, Wii)
|| Super Smash Bros. series
|| Super Smash Bros. (1999, N64) • Super Smash Bros. Melee (2001, GCN) • Super Smash Bros. Brawl (2008, Wii)• Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U (2014)
| Mario & Sonic series
||Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (2007, Wii) • Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (2007, NDS) • Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games (2009, Wii) • Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games (2009, NDS) • Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games (2011, Wii) • Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games (2011, 3DS) • Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games (2013, Wii U)
||Mario Teaches Typing (1991, MS-DOS) • Super Mario Bros. & Friends: When I Grow Up (1991, MS-DOS) • Mario Is Missing! (1993) • Mario's Time Machine (1993) • Mario's Early Years! Fun with Letters (1993) • Mario's Early Years! Fun with Numbers (1994) • Mario's Early Years! Preschool Fun (1994) • Mario Teaches Typing 2 (1996, MS-DOS)
||Super Mario Bros. Print World (1991, MS-DOS) • Mario Paint (1992, SNES) • Mario no Photopi (1998, N64) • Mario Artist: Paint Studio (1999, N64DD) • Mario Artist: Talent Studio (2000, N64DD) • Mario Artist: Communication Kit (2000, N64DD) • Mario Artist: Polygon Studio (2000, N64DD)
||Mario & Wario (1993, SNES) • Yoshi's Safari (1993, SNES) • Undake30 Same Game (1995, SFC) • Mario's Game Gallery (1995, MS-DOS) • Mario's Picross (1995, GB) • Mario's Super Picross (1995, SFC) • Picross 2 (1996, GB) • Excitebike: Bun Bun Mario Battle Stadium (1997, Satellaview) • Mario's FUNdamentals (1998, MS-DOS) • Mario Pinball Land (2004, GBA) • Super Mario Fushigi no Janjan Land (2003, Arcade) • Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix (2005, GCN) • Itadaki Street DS (2007, NDS) • Fortune Street (2011, Wii)