Super Mario Kart

From the Super Mario Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
"SMK" redirects here. For information about Super Mario-Kun, see here.
Super Mario Kart
SMK BoxCover2.jpg
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Platform(s) Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Virtual Console (Wii, Wii U)
Release date SNES:
Japan August 27, 1992
USA September 1, 1992, (re-released May 20, 1996 as Player's Choice)
Europe January 21, 1993
Virtual Console (Wii)
Japan June 9, 2009
USA November 23, 2009
Europe April 2, 2010
Australia April 2, 2010
Virtual Console (Wii U)
Japan June 19, 2013
Europe March 27, 2014
Australia March 28, 2014
USA August 6, 2014
Genre Racing
Rating(s) SNES
ESRB:ESRB K-A.png - Kids to Adults
Virtual Console
ESRB:ESRB E.svg - Everyone
PEGI:PEGI 3.svg - Three years and older
CERO:CERO A.png - All ages
ACB:ACB G.svg - General
Mode(s) 1-2 players
Media SNES.png Cartridge
Media DL icon.svg Digital download
Wii U:
Media DL icon.svg Digital download
Super Nintendo:
Wii U:

Super Mario Kart is a racing game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and the first game of the Mario Kart series, as well as the game that sets precedents to kart racing games. It was first released in 1992 and re-released in 1996 as a Player's Choice title. It was re-released on the Wii's Virtual Console in Japan on June 9, 2009, North America on November 23, 2009, and in Europe and Australia on April 2, 2010. Super Mario Kart was re-released again on the Wii U's Virtual Console in Japan on June 19, 2013, Europe on March 27, 2014, Australia on March 28, 2014, and in North America on August 6, 2014. Part of the game is heavily based on another succesful game, Super Mario World.


Character selection screen.

The game features eight playable characters from the Mario series, such as Mario, Yoshi and Bowser. However, some other characters from the series acts as obstacles in the game's tracks, like Thwomps, Monty Moles, Piranha Plants and Cheep Cheeps. Boos don't act as enemies, but both as item and as part of the Ghost Valley tracks' background.

As stated in the game's manual, Lakitu is the owner of all the racetracks, thus overseeing all races. It sometimes appear on the track, first to start the race, then when the player is going backwards, making him noticing, and when they falls in water (fall down in Rainbow Road and Ghost Valley tracks) or go out of bounds Lakitu transports the racer back to track at the price of two Coins.

Button controls[edit]


  • B Button - Accelerate, Rocket Start
  • A Button - Use items, stop Item Roulette
  • Start Button - Pause/Select
  • Select Button - Switch view
  • +Control Pad - Change option during the Menus/Steer
  • X Button - Switch view
  • Y Button - Brake
  • L / R - Drift

Wii U[edit]

  • B - Accelerate, Rocket Start
  • A - Use items, stop Item Roulette
  • + - Pause/Select
  • - - Switch view
  • DPad/Lanalog - Change option during the Menus/Steer

Modes of play[edit]

Mario GP[edit]

The first race of the Mario Kart GP is about to start.

The Mario GP is the main mode for Super Mario Kart. Here, players can race against seven (six in two-player mode) other CPU-controlled opponents in a five-course cup. The four best drivers will receive Driver Points for placing in the top four: first place gives the player nine points, second gets six, three points for third and only one for fourth, while fifth and below take zero points. If players get fifth or below, they can try again using one of three limited lives. If they get it four times, the mode is over. A single extra life can be earned by placing in the same position three times. The maximum score in a GP cup is forty-five, obtained by winning five times. The three best drivers will move on to the award ceremony where they can receive their trophies. Third place gives the player a bronze trophy, second gives them silver and gold for the winner (the player can watch the ceremony only when they place first: however, the beta version has animations for second and third). Each race is five laps long. If the player wants a better challenge, they have to hold A Button and Y Button at the character selection screen: their character will be permanently small, as under effect of a Lightning or a Poison Mushroom, until the player presses the buttons again. They will be slower in that state.

Vs. Mode[edit]

This mode is two-player only: the players can race each other like if they were in a GP, only that they can freely choose the track where to race in. The game keeps track of wins and loses of each player.

Time Trial[edit]

This one-player mode have the player to race through five laps of the selected track the fastest they can without items. The five faster times are recorded, as well as the fastest lap and the characters used, for each track.


Battle Mode

Another two-player mode, it is completely different from a normal race and adds some variety to the game. For this mode, there are four square-shaped tracks that are the only selectable. The player's goal is using the items to pop the opponent's baloons. Each player has three baloons that cann't be recovered in any way. The first to pop all the opponent's baloons wins.


Super Mario Kart has eight available drivers, divided into statistically identical pairs of two. These four categories have no official name, but are referred in the manual as different classes. Later Mario Kart titles categorize characters into weight classes to organize their stats.

Acceleration Top Speed Weight Handling
Medium Medium Medium Medium
Acceleration Top Speed Weight Handling
High Medium Medium Low
Acceleration Top Speed Weight Handling
Low High High Medium
Acceleration Top Speed Weight Handling
Medium Low Low High


Racing courses[edit]

The game has 20 race courses and 4 battle courses, the first being divided in four cups. The tracks are named similar each other, the ones with the same name having the same theme and obstacles.

Name Varities
SNES Mario Circuit 1 map.png Mario Circuit Terrain: Sandy

Obstacles: Oil - The player spins out upon contact (works similar to a Banana but lasts indefinitely).

SNES Donut Plains 1.png Donut Plains Grassy

Obstacles: Monty Moles - The player will be slower when a Monty Mole attach to them.
Water - The player will fall. They can make it to the terrain by solo, but quickly, as Lakitu will soon come.

SNES Ghost Valley 1.png Ghost Valley Terrain: Wooden

Obstacles: Falling walls - Once hitted, it will fall, letting the player fall off the track if not aware.

SNES Bowser Castle 1.png Bowser Castle Terrain: Stone

Obstacles: Thwomps - The player will spin out if smashed.

SNES Choco Island 1.png Choco Island Terrain: Chocolatish

Obstacles: Piranha Plants - The player will once again spin out if touch these.
Chocolate Lake - The player will have handling problems and will be sligthly slower with this.
Ramps - These ramps make the player jumps, either being a possible shortcut or being an hazard.

SNES Koopa Beach 1.png Koopa Beach Terrain: Beachy

Obstacles: Cheep Cheeps - Player spins out when touching these bouncing fishes.
Deep water - The player actually has to drive on shy blue water: however, when they go in the deeper blue water, they will fall.

SNES Vanilla Lake 1.png Vanilla Lake Terrain: Icy

Obstacles: The terrain is icy, thus the player have less traction.
Icy water - The player has simply to beware about the water in these tracks.
Icy blocks - These blocks are present on tracks: the player has to touch them to make them disappear, but will slow down. These blocks are to destroy as they block the path to the finish.

SNES Rainbow Road.png Rainbow Road Terrain: Rainbowy

Obstacles: There aren't any walls, so the player can fall from everywhere.
Rainbow Thowmps - The player can spin out simply by touching them.

Battle courses[edit]


* - Do not appear in the Battle Mode.
** - Do not appear in the Mario Kart GP Mode.


The rivals always finish in a particular order. In this case, though, Princess got a lower spot than normal.

Super Mario Kart has a different rival system from the rest of the series; the rivals contain one very fast driver, one fast driver, one medium driver, one slow driver and three very slow drivers. It is notable that when one of the three slower drivers gets hit, that kart will keep its place, while when one of the faster cars gets shot, it will usually resume its previous place very quickly unless unable to catch up fast enough before the race ends. For this reason, the drivers (except the human racer) will (if unaffected) always finish in the exact same order. Also if the player tries to hit an opponent a majority of the time, they jump over the item.

The rivals for each driver are always the same, the list will be in the order the line up for the first race. It is possible to change the order if the rivals can't recover their place at the end (Eg. If someone is playing as Luigi and Yoshi finishes last, Yoshi will then become one of the three slower drivers while everybody takes the next position up).

The rivals are determined by the current points standing, meaning that if Yoshi was still only second to the player, he will boost back to first position from the start.

Character Rival Order
Very Fast Fast Medium Slow Very Slow
Mario Donkey Kong Jr. Princess Yoshi Luigi Toad Bowser Koopa Troopa
Luigi Yoshi Mario Bowser Koopa Troopa Princess Donkey Kong Jr. Toad
Princess Bowser Toad Mario Donkey Kong Jr. Luigi Yoshi Koopa Troopa
Yoshi Koopa Troopa Donkey Kong Jr. Princess Bowser Mario Toad Luigi
Bowser Mario Luigi Princess Yoshi Donkey Kong Jr. Toad Koopa Troopa
Donkey Kong Jr. Toad Bowser Koopa Troopa Luigi Princess Mario Yoshi
Koopa Troopa Luigi Yoshi Princess Mario Bowser Donkey Kong Jr. Toad
Toad Princess Donkey Kong Jr. Mario Yoshi Luigi Koopa Troopa Bowser


Super Mario Kart was born out of the idea of making a two-player racing game following F-Zero, which was exclusively single-player [1]. The prototype initially only featured a generic "guy in overalls". The decision to include Mario characters and concepts was made three to four months in development, when the developers added Mario driving one of the karts because they were curious about how the game would look, and decided that it looked better [1]. The battle mode was implemented because the developers thought it would be a good idea to include a form of one-on-one battles that didn't involving competing for ranks during the races [1].

Beta Elements[edit]

Main article: List of Super Mario Kart beta elements

In addition to the above, a prototype cartridge of the game features several differences, such as the presence of animations on the podium screen when the player ranks 2nd or 3rd place, a music track for Vanilla Lake 1 that does not appear in the final build and a different Battle Course 3 set in Choco Island.


Super Mario Kart met with very favorable reviews. The game was placed 32nd in the 100th issue of Nintendo Power's "100 best Nintendo games of all time" in 1997.[2]. In the book, Guinness World Records: Gamer's Edition for 2009, Super Mario Kart was placed as the #1 best console game. The game was placed 33rd in the 200th issue of GameInformer's "Top 200 Games of all Time" in December 2009. The game was awarded the Most Critically Acclaimed Mario Kart Game by Guinness Book of World Records Gamer's Edition 2009 - 2014.

Super Mario Kart is the 3rd best selling game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, selling 8.76 million copies worldwide as of December 31, 2009.


Main article: List of Super Mario Kart staff

References to other games[edit]

References in later games[edit]


For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Super Mario Kart.


Main article: List of media from Super Mario Kart


Main article: List of glitches in Super Mario Kart

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese スーパーマリオカート
Sūpā Mario Kāto
Super Mario Kart
Spanish Super Mario Kart Super Mario Kart
French Super Mario Kart Super Mario Kart
German Super Mario Kart Super Mario Kart
Italian Super Mario Kart Super Mario Kart
Korean 슈퍼마리오 카트
Supeo Mario Kateu
Super Mario Kart


  • In every version of Super Mario Kart, every character has a winning animation that involves a bottle of champagne. In the Japanese version, Bowser and Peach/Toadstool drink champagne in their said animations, which goes against Nintendo of America's policy on the depiction of alcohol, as it was considered inappropriate for younger children. Instead, they just toss and catch the bottles in the Western versions.
  • This is the only game in the Mario Kart series to have 5 courses per cup, as opposed to 4 in later games (not counting All Cup Tour in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!).
  • This is also the only game in the Mario Kart series where Wario and Donkey Kong do not appear and the only game in the Mario Kart series where the Spiny Shell does not appear.
  • There is a prototype cartridge that belongs to a collector with some differences from the final. [3]


  1. ^ a b c Iwata Asks: Mario Kart Wii (accessed March 22 2012)
  2. ^, retrieved 6/4/2009
  3. ^