Animal Crossing is the fourth and final course in the Crossing Cup in Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. The course is included with the Animal Crossing × Mario Kart 8 downloadable content package for Mario Kart 8. The course is located in an unnamed town from Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Similar to how Excitebike Arena changes layout every time it is played, Animal Crossing changes season every time it is played, although this has little effect on the course and is mostly just a visual change.
In offline play, except for Time Trials, it is possible to select the season by holding down a shoulder button before the race starts if the player is using the Wii U GamePad, the Classic Controller (Pro), or the Wii U Pro Controller. Holding selects spring, holding selects summer, holding selects autumn, and holding selects winter. This code returns using the same button combinations in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. When playing in Mirror Mode, the code is inversed: holding selects spring, holding selects summer, holding selects autumn and holding selects winter.
The course starts out next to the Town Tree, Town Hall, and Able Sisters' shop before crossing over a bridge and into a forest area with many trees; crashing into a tree if the season is summer causes a fruit to fall to the ground, which functions like a Mushroom, giving a speed boost to the first racer to drive over it. After this, a right turn comes up leading to a left turn and then a Glide Ramp, which goes over a small river and into another part of the town with a fountain whose water can be tricked off of and floating balloons with Item Boxes attached to them. Many houses can been seen in the background here.
The track then goes straight, until a hill turns left and onto the beach with shells that can be knocked aside. The track then curves left and back up a hill which goes past Nook's Cranny, and onto a bridge with a Dash Panel on it which crosses over the hill that was descended earlier. At this point, players may fall to the lower section of the track; if they do, then they will get picked up by Lakitu and brought to the next section of the track. In this section, the track curves right, the museum can be seen in the background, and Mr. Resetti occasionally pops out of the ground, acting as a hazard, unless the season is winter, in which case Snowboys instead appear as obstacles, functioning like Snowmen. After this corner, there is a left turn to the finish line.
Differences between seasons
There are subtle differences in the track between seasons.
The music also changes depending on the season.
References to the Animal Crossing franchise
As this course is based upon the Animal Crossing franchise, it also features various references to those games. They are listed below:
Animal Crossing characters
Mario Kart 8 Original Soundtrack liner notes
"We received orders to come up with something bright and cheerful that would suit looking at cherry blossom in the spring. I think we've achieved it with that winding electric guitar line, wouldn't you agree? The playful trombone part is something you can only hope to capture in a live performance."
"This is a title I have an emotional correction with, so I really put my heart and soul into working on this arrangement. I started with the summer version of the Animal Crossing background music and found that it was rather like a puzzle, working out which instruments and motifs would suit each season. For this track, I went with a gypsy folk swing feel to give that sense of energy you get in the summer."
"I thought the slightly melancholy feeling of an autumn sunset would suit Animal Crossing perfectly. I hope you'll enjoy the warm tones of the accordion and guitar combining."
"I was really stumped as to what kind of motifs to use in the night sequence. I decided to vary the type of drumsticks and the playing method for each season, and also used different types of bass. I really hope you're able to notice this variation of tones here."
Names in other languages