From the Super Mario Wiki
The Special Cup logo in Mario Kart 8
The Special Cup is the final cup in Super Mario Kart, Mario Kart 64, and Mario Kart: Double Dash, as well as the last of the Nitro cups since Mario Kart DS. In Mario Kart: Super Circuit is it the last of the "standard" courses with the Extra cups being unlocked after and Extra Special Cup being the final cup. In Super Mario Kart, the player may unlock it by winning all three cups in 100cc (though it will be unavailable for the 50cc class); in Mario Kart: Super Circuit it is available by winning the four previous cups, each by class; in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, it appears after the player finished first in the Star Cup in 100cc; from Mario Kart DS onwards, it is unlocked once the player claims a gold trophy in the Star Cup. Special Cup consists of long, difficult courses. It normally has a Bowser's Castle course in all games except the first two games and always ends with Rainbow Road. Bowser's Castle is the penultimate course before Rainbow Road. The emblem of the Special Cup is currently a crown (seen to the right), although in Mario Kart 64 and Mario Kart Super Circuit it is represented by the letter "S", the initial of "special." In Super Mario Kart it is a combination of the three emblems used for the Mushroom Cup, Flower Cup, and Star Cup.
List of Courses
Mario Tennis Open
The Special Cup reappears in Mario Tennis Open. In this game it is called the Champions Cup. It is the last cup in World Open tournament series. Players can unlock this cup when they clear the Banana Cup. When players clear this cup, their character earns a star rank, which boosts their stats and grants them access to the Star Open tournament series. The court played here is the grass, clay and hard courts in Mario Stadium.
winning the Champions Cup
Names in other languages
- Since Super Circuit, every Mario Kart had a Bowser castle as the 3rd track.
- Before that, the third course was ghost themed.
- Mario Kart 64 is the only game in the series that does not require the player to unlock the Special Cup in order for it to be playable.
- In the Chinese version of Mario Kart 64, the Special Cup is called the "iQue Cup", named after of the home console iQue Player, which is not available outside China.
- The Special Cup is the only cup that doesn't use an item usable in the Mario Kart series as its emblem. Previously, the Leaf Cup and Flower Cup used emblems that were not Mario Kart items until Mario Kart 7 was released.
- In Mario Kart 8, the Special Cup, Egg Cup and Triforce Cup are the only cups with no underwater sections.
- For the first three Mario Kart games, the Special Cup had one ghost-themed course: Ghost Valley 3, Banshee Boardwalk, and Broken Pier, respectively.
- This is the only Nitro Cup in Super Mario Kart, Mario Kart 64, Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, and Mario Kart Wii without a character's circuit/raceway.