Mushroom Gorge is the third course in the Mushroom Cup from Mario Kart Wii. The course is located on a mountainous zone with tall mushrooms rising over cloudy abysses, where racers have to use some of them as platforms to pass certain gorges. Characters travel the course mainly on land; however, in the middle of the route, they enter a cave where they find a pit full of mushroom platforms. Players can drive two different ways over these mushrooms to cross the cave. Red mushrooms causes drivers to bounce, so players can elaborate a trick while they are in the air to get a small boost of speed later. The green-capped mushrooms, however, do not cause vehicles to bounce. Some Goombas appear serving as obstacles on the track.
Mushroom Gorge reappears in Mario Kart 7 as a retro course of the Shell Cup. The course's layout shows some changes from its first appearance, including a blue-colored bouncy mushroom for the gliding function, the removal of two mushrooms at the beginning of the course, and Grand Goombas at the end of the track.
The track begins on a dirt road. There is a curving wooden bridge when the player reaches there and there are item boxes for the player to take. After the item boxes, there is a single red mushroom that the player can use a trick on to gain momentum. Before this mushroom, other mushrooms can be seen. In between the road to the bridge and mushroom is an abyss the player can fall into.
After the mushroom is a left turn in which the player has a choice to take the longer, but safe path or the more dangerous, but short path with the mushrooms on them. The path the A.I. will usually take is the mushroom path, which has several red mushrooms and some green mushrooms. Before the mushrooms is a ramp with a boost panel on it so that the player can perform a trick and boost on the red mushrooms. The alternate path is a curving path that first swerves to the left and then to the right, back to the normal track. It has item boxes and boost panels there to help the player or to throw the player off course.
After the mushrooms or the alternate path, there is an entrance to a cave. In the cave, the road turns left and into an abyss with mushrooms all over. The player also has two paths to take, and both involve the use of the mushrooms in the track. One path on the right is normal while the one on the left will take the player to a greater height. Both paths have green mushrooms, red mushrooms, and item boxes for the player to use and both paths won't have much of a time difference between them.
After the mushrooms is the end of the cave and the last turn, which is a U-turn left. Goombas are on this part of the track, either helping the player with the coughing up of their mushrooms or hindering the player by running into them. On the extreme left is an abyss for players not careful who are using a mushroom to cut through the grass in this part of the track. After the Goombas is the finish line and another lap.
In Mushroom Gorge, there is a shortcut that will allow the player to speed past the regular curving route and get a boost, although it requires a Mushroom, and is recommended for Time Trials. After starting the race with a turbo boost, the player should head to the left. After the player has headed left, they'll see that there's no fence and that there's a crevice. As soon as the player is a few lengths away from the crevice, use a Mushroom to get a boost. The player will be flung onto a large Mushroom. Perform a trick, bounce on the other giant Mushroom, perform a trick, and the player should land back on the pathway.
This shortcut was responsible for Mushroom Gorge becoming infamous as the site of the "Mushroom Gorge Glitch": where the first mushroom is used to let the kart/bike crash into the wall. Moving left for a while then drops the player onto the track before the finish line. Because of this, the deliberate shortcut and two mushrooms were removed in Mario Kart 7.
Also, by the last U-turn, if the player cuts across the grassy patch with some sort of speed boost and doesn't fall into the crevice, there is a time gain of a second or two. Using a mushroom to get across the crevice has also been recorded. In Mario Kart 7, this can be done with the glider, but is much harder and costs time.
"This is the first course to offer a multitude of tricks, as well as precarious edges and bottomless drops to avoid-or jostle your opponents into! The trick here is to figure out the quickest route when the course branches into two different paths, all the while avoiding the roaming Goombas, staying on the dirt track, and using the famous giant mushrooms as trampolines!"
The second tournament of June 2008 was a Time Trial of Mushroom Gorge. However, the course had to be driven through backwards. Ramps were added to the beginnings of the mushroom paths (or else it would be impossible to land on them without falling off). The same tournament later appeared as the second tournament of June 2010, the first tournament of December 2011, and the second tournament of February 2013.
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