Mario Kart Arcade GP

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Mario Kart Arcade GP
Mario Kart Arcade GP logo.jpg
Mario Kart Arcade GP logo.
Developer(s) Namco Bandai Holdings
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Release date USA October 2005
Japan Q4 2005
Europe 2005
Australia 2005
Genre Racing
Control pad

Mario Kart Arcade GP is an arcade game featuring Mario and Pac-Man characters. It is the sixth installment of the Mario Kart series and is the first in the series that released for the arcades. Since its release in 2005, it has received much criticism, often concerning the often high costs players would have to pay. There are two types of models: one without the "data card" dispenser and slot, and one with both. These story mode cards were another source of criticism. Despite the negative feedback, a sequel called Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 was released in 2007.



All controls are used to select in-game menu options.

  • Steering Wheel (smaller than the average car wheel).
  • Accelerate and Brake pedals.(If pressed quickly the Brake Pedal can also make Karts jump and Powerslide if pressed twice) A Rocket Start can be preformed by hitting accelerate on the green light.
  • Item Button, at the center of the steering wheel.
  • VS Cancel Button - Used to cancel opponent searching

Playable Characters[edit]


How to play[edit]

Mario Kart Arcade GP flyer.

To play the game, the player has to insert a certain amount of money or tokens into the game or in some cases, swipe a special card such as a Timezone Powercard. First, they can adjust their seat within the time limit by moving a lever near their feet and sliding to any position on the arcade machine. After that happens, the player can choose a character to play with. Then they have to take a picture of themselves within the time limit: if the player didn't take the picture; a countdown starts to force them to take it. The Photo taken will frame the player's face with Mario's Hat and Moustache. When that is done, the player will pick a mode on the screen; "Grand Prix" or "Time Trial"; again within the time limit.

If the player picks "Grand Prix";, they can pick any cup to play within the time limit. But if they pick "Time Trial", they attempt to beat a race-time record in one of the 24 courses in this game with the Triple Mild Mushrooms. If the player picks a cup, they cannot play a locked course: they have to play the available courses in the cup to unlock the other reversed courses. After that, a roulette of basic items comes up, and if the player stops the roulette, they receive the items in the rows whenever they get an Item Box. When that's over, the item descriptions show up, and the player attempts to learn how to use it.

Then, the racing starts. If the player places first, they will move on to the next course, and if they receive any lower rank, they must redo that same course. Either way, they have to pay the machine in order to race again.


The system

Unlike other Mario Kart games, Mario Kart Arcade GP has over 100 items, of which 72 are new. Some drivers can obtain special items that other drivers cannot obtain, much like Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.

Basic Items[edit]

  • Basin: A normal tin pan; it locks on to another racer and bashes them in the head.
  • Boo: Causes whoever is hit by it to slow down for a brief period.
  • Needle Bomb: Flattens tires.
  • Square Tire: Makes whoever hits it slow down and lose control.
  • Big & Small Tire: Changes size of tires.
  • Time Bomb: A time bomb, It goes off in 15 seconds. Hit other drivers to transfer the bomb to them.
  • Green Shell: A normal shell, it can be thrown in a straight line to knock over other karts.
  • Tornado: Hits foes and launches them into the air.
  • Banana Peel: Mario Kart's classic item, it is left on the track for other racers to slip on.
  • Tacks: When run on, lets one of the rival's tires get flat temporary.
  • Sticky Oil: Causes wheels to get sticky.
  • Cream Pie: A pie, tossed backwards. The screen of the target is covered in whipped cream, obscuring vision. Similar to the Blooper in Mario Kart DS.
  • Thunder Stick: A rod used for close combat, it does not shrink other drivers like in other Mario Kart games.

Prize Items[edit]

Special Character Items[edit]

Mario and Luigi
  • Star: Become Invincible.
  • Hammer: Can hit rival. Gives damage when hit.
  • Fireball: Strong item that shoots forward or backwards.
  • Chain Chomp: Gives damage to all kart that hits.
Donkey Kong
  • Barrel: Strong item that shoots forward or backwards.
  • 10T Hammer: Can hit rival. Gives damage when hit.
  • Giant Banana: Giant banana. Spin out when hit.
  • Conga: Dance to conga rhythm.
  • Egg Body : Become invincible.
  • Wacking Fan : Can hit rival. Gives damage when hit.
  • Rolling Egg : Strong item that shoots forward or backwards.
  • Tongue : Steal rival's item with a tongue.
Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man
  • Power Ball : Become invincible.
  • Quack Hammer : Can hit rival. Gives damage when hit.
  • Rally X : Smoke appears. Spin out when hit.
  • Galaga : Galaga appears. Rival will be abducted.
  • Pooka : Strong item that shoots forward or backwards.


  • Driver Virus: A virus that causes whoever is hit to slow down. The virus can be transferred to other drivers. Looks like the blue virus from the NES game Dr. Mario.
  • Mushroom: Gives the player's kart a small boost.


Grand Prix[edit]

Players race in 24 courses in six stages with each stage having four courses; the first two are forward, last two are similar but with changed gimmick and environment. (e.g. Mario Highway is set on sunset instead of daytime, Bowser's Castle have blocks that block several parts of the track). Once the player win the race, they are rewarded with items to use in other races.

3 items are set in each course randomly. On the fourth course however, the player is given a chance to pick 3 items to use during the race from their collection.

After the four courses are completed, a "Challenge Game" comes up, and are just like Missions from Mario Kart DS which they must complete to earn a special item exclusive to the character and finish the stage. If the player is unable to complete the challenge, they won't receive the trophy of that stage.

Note: The Rainbow Stage can only be unlocked if the player finishes the first five cups (Similar with the Special Cup in Mario Kart Super Circuit).

Once the player completed the Rainbow Stage for the first time, Extra mode is unlocked. In Extra mode, the player can win "+ Items" or triple items. The rivals are also become much harder and several courses will have much more gimmick. The first two courses on the extra mode are also changed to reverse mode (not to be confused with Mirror Mode) while the last two courses are forward.

Time Trial[edit]

The player races on one of the 24 courses and see if the player is one of the top ten.

Note: The Rainbow Stage is automatically available in Time Trial, regardless of the players Grand Prix stats.


When the player inserts credits, the game starts an opponent search for a limited time (something like Bark Mode in Nintendogs) which, when other players start opponent searching, links the two people together for a VS Match. Up to four people can link together.


Mario Cup[edit]

This cup is set on a tropical beach. On the last two race, the course change from daytime to sunset for Mario Highway and night time for Mario Beach.

The Challenge course involves the player rolling a watermelon to the goal.

Winning this cup will gives the player an invincibility item.

DK Cup[edit]

The cup is set on a tropical jungle. During the last two races, a rain will occur at the courses.

The Challenge course has the player eliminate 15 Koopa Troopas with a Hammer.

Winning this cup will give the player a whacking item.

Wario Cup[edit]

This cup is set on a big city. During the last two race, the time will change from day time to night time.

The Challenge course is set in Diamond City, but the player must drive backwards.

Winning this cup will give the player a backward item that has similar effect with Banana.

Pac-Man Cup[edit]

This cup is set on a peaceful mountain on Pac-Land. This is also the first cup to introduce warp door. During the last two race, several parts of the course will have more grass that slows the player down.

The Challenge course makes the player jump over electrical lines.

Winning this cup will give the player a healing item.

Bowser Cup[edit]

This cup is set on Bowser's own castle. During the last two races, a Magikoopa will use it's magic to put blocks that block several parts of the course, making the course narrower.

The Challenge course has the player fight Giant Bowser. When playing as Bowser, he is replaced by Mecha-Bowser.

Winning this cup will give the player a straight-throwing attacking item.

Rainbow Cup[edit]

The Rainbow Stage is only unlocked if the player completes the first five stages.

This cup is set on space, similar with Rainbow Road from the original series. A warp door is present to warp the player to sky world that's similar with Sky Garden. During the last two race, the warp door will warp the player to an underwater environment instead while still having the same track layout.

The Challenge course has the player race against Robo Mario

Winning this cup will give the player an item that only exclusive to that character.


Although the gameplay was praised, the game was reviewed negatively for its high cost. Critics noted the lack of play from the video game and made it face huge amounts of criticism at its release.[citation needed]


Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 was released (also for the arcades). It features more gameplay elements than its predecessor, including more characters such as Waluigi and Mametchi. Unlike in Mario Kart Arcade GP, it received positive scores and critical acclaim, being unlike the previous game which was criticized for the high amount of pay. A sequel to Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 titled Mario Kart Arcade GP DX was also released.


Main article: List of Mario Kart Arcade GP staff

Beta elements[edit]

Main article: List of Mario Kart Arcade GP beta elements

External Links[edit]


  • The billboard for this game appeared in Shroom Ridge in Mario Kart DS.
  • Mario Kart Arcade GP is the first Mario Kart game to be developed by a third-party company (Namco, now Namco-Bandai) and the first to have non-Nintendo characters.
  • This is the first Mario Kart game since Super Circuit in which Princess Daisy does not appear. In fact, Daisy was completely absent from all of the arcade titles aside from cameo appearances.