Cannon (Mario Kart series)

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This article is about the course element in the Mario Kart series. For other uses of the term "cannon", see Cannon (disambiguation).
Overview of Maple Treeway
A Cannon in Maple Treeway

A cannon or Launch Cannon[citation needed] 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, they no longer make players immune to any items. Since Mario Kart 7, cannons start with a Glide Ramp, whereas in previous games, they started with a Dash Panel.


Mario Kart series[edit]

Mario Kart 64[edit]

In Mario Kart 64, Dash Zones serve as a predecessor to the cannon, as they function very similarly in the sense that they launch racers to another segment of the track, albeit to a lesser degree than cannons. They appear in two courses: Royal Raceway and D.K.'s Jungle Parkway.

Mario Kart: Double Dash!![edit]

Cannons make their first appearance in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! where they are featured on three courses: Daisy Cruiser, DK Mountain, and Rainbow Road. In Daisy Cruiser, the cannon takes the form of an orange exhaust pipe. In DK Mountain, the cannon takes the form of a Barrel Cannon, most likely to suit the Donkey Kong theme of the track. In Rainbow Road, the cannon takes the form of a long, vertical tube going straight upward.

Mario Kart DS[edit]

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[edit]

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 as its cannon, 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[edit]

In Mario Kart 7, cannons do not appear in any of the new courses, though 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 is 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[edit]

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. DS Waluigi Pinball, Wii Maple Treeway, Wii DK Summit, Tour Singapore Speedway, GCN DK Mountain, and Wii Rainbow Road also return in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, retaining their cannons. 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.

GCN Daisy Cruiser returns in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, retaining its removal of its cannon from Mario Kart 7. In addition, the end of the long ramp of N64 Royal Raceway no longer works like a cannon, and is now a regular glider ramp, preceded by a couple of Dash Panels. Tour Athens Dash and Tour Vancouver Velocity have also had their cannons removed, being replaced with standard gliding sections.

Mario Kart Tour[edit]

In Mario Kart Tour, a silver barrel cannon is used on 3DS Rainbow Road R to launch drivers off the planet section. The aforementioned cannon returns in Singapore Speedway T, where there are two present. Like the cannons in Mario Kart 7 and onward, this cannon makes use of a gliding panel. In the normal and R variants of Vancouver Velocity 2, a red and yellow circus cannon with a lit fuse appears in Rogers Arena and launches the player to the autumn section of the course in the normal variant and appears in the autumn area to launch players into Rogers Arena in the reverse variant. A similar blue circus cannon appears in Singapore Speedway and its reverse variant, launching players to the top of Marina Bay Sands. The wooden cannon design is used in Athens Dash 1, 1R, 1T, and 2R.

Additionally, N64 Yoshi Valley, GCN DK Mountain, DS Waluigi Pinball, DS Airship Fortress, Wii DK Summit, Wii Maple Treeway, and Wii Rainbow Road retain their cannons, complete with the Glide Ramps, although GCN DK Mountain, Wii DK Summit, and Wii Rainbow Road introduced the Glide Ramp in their Mario Kart Tour versions. Similarly, N64 Royal Raceway and GCN Daisy Cruiser kept the removal of their respective cannon sections from their respective reintroductions in Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 7.

As drivers reach a certain distance while gliding from a cannon, any projectiles thrown forward, such as Green Shells, Bananas, and Ice Balls, move at a higher speed than usual. As well, cannons can launch drivers who are inside a Bubble at an abnormally high speed (particularly in Vancouver Velocity 2 and its R variant) which lasts even after landing, potentially helping them zoom past opponents who are driving normally.

Mario & Sonic series[edit]

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games[edit]

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[edit]

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.