Cannon (Mario Kart series)
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A Cannon or Launch Cannon is a track feature seen in various tracks in the Mario Kart series. It is a somewhat uncommon feature that appears in a few courses throughout the series. It launches racers at very high speeds to another section of the course. Cannons take on different forms, such as pipe cannons and the more common barrel cannons. In Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Mario Kart DS, and Mario Kart Wii, all cannons make racers immune to all items, including Lightning Bolts, Bloopers, Thunder Clouds, POW Blocks and Spiny Shells, while in Mario Kart 7 onwards, players are no longer immune to any items. In Mario Kart DS and Mario Kart 7, cannons start with a Dash Panel.
Mario Kart series
Mario Kart 64
Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
Cannons make their first appearance in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! where they are featured on three courses: DK Mountain, Daisy Cruiser, and Rainbow Road. In DK Mountain, the cannon takes the form of a barrel cannon, most likely to suit the Donkey Kong theme of the track. In Daisy Cruiser, the cannon takes the form of an orange exhaust pipe. In Rainbow Road, the cannon takes the form of a long, vertical tube going straight upward.
Mario Kart DS
Cannons return in Mario Kart DS, having two appearances; one in Waluigi Pinball and another in Airship Fortress. In Waluigi Pinball, the cannon takes the form similar to that of a pinball launcher. In Airship Fortress, the cannon takes the form of an actual cannon rather than a barrel cannon seen in many other courses.
Mario Kart Wii
In Mario Kart Wii, cannons are a bit more commonplace, as they appear in three Wii courses (DK Summit, Maple Treeway, and Rainbow Road) and one Retro course (GCN DK Mountain). Also, in the retro track N64 DK's Jungle Parkway, the Dash Panel acts like a cannon. Both DK Summit and Maple Treeway use a barrel cannon, both of which are located near the beginning of the tracks, while Rainbow Road uses a Launch Star design, to fit the Super Mario Galaxy theme of the track. In DK Summit and GCN DK Mountain, the cannons have the initials "DK" on the sides, while in Maple Treeway, the cannon has no designs on the sides.
Mario Kart 7
In Mario Kart 7, cannons do not appear in any of the new courses, due to the introduction of gliding. However, the returning DS Waluigi Pinball, Wii Maple Treeway, and DS Airship Fortress all retain their cannons, albeit now using glide ramps. When a player goes through one of the cannons, they are unable to steer while gliding. Players are also no longer immune to items in any of these cannons, so it possible to be hit and have to be rescued by Lakitu.
The pipe in GCN Daisy Cruiser no longer works as a cannon but only as a simple trick ramp, making Mario Kart 7 the first game in the series to remove a cannon from a retro track.
Mario Kart 8 / Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe use cannons occasionally. Mario Kart 8 is the first Mario Kart game to add a cannon to a retro track (in this case, replacing the long route in N64 Yoshi Valley with a Cannon). Aside from the aforementioned retro track, Sweet Sweet Canyon uses a doughnut themed cannon near the beginning of the track, while Cloudtop Cruise uses an actual cannon to launch racers into the clouds, similar to that of Airship Fortress. Like Mario Kart 7, these are glider segments.
There are additional gliding segments that work like a cannon as they launch racers at a high speed and the gliders can barely be controlled: they include the first gliding section in Sunshine Airport, which launches racers off the runway and onto an anti-gravity platform; the second gliding section in Rainbow Road that takes racers off the second satellite; and the second glider segment in Big Blue to transition from the second to the third segment. Unlike previous games, it is now possible to perform Tricks while being launched.
Mario Kart Tour
In Mario Kart Tour, a silver barrel cannon is used on 3DS Rainbow Road R to launch drivers off the planet section. Like the cannons in Mario Kart 7 and onward, this cannon makes use of a gliding panel. Additionally, DS Waluigi Pinball, DS Airship Fortress, Wii DK Summit and Wii Maple Treeway retain their cannons, complete with the Glide Ramp from the previous version.
Mario & Sonic series
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games
In the Wii version of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, a cannon is included as part of the reworked layout for Mario Circuit featured in the individual and team versions of Dream Ski Cross. When characters are launched from the cannon, player are able to perform longer series of tricks that give them a speed boost upon landing.
Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games
In Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, a cannon appears to launch players to the top of the new Mushroom Bridge layout in Groove Pipe Snowboard.