Hot-air balloon

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This article is about the object in the Mario Kart series. For the objects used as platforms in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, see Hot Air Balloon. For the Yoshi transformation, see Hot-Air Balloon Yoshi.
Hot-air balloon
Rendered model of a yellow Hot-air balloon in Mario Kart Tour.
Model of a yellow and orange Hot-air balloon from Mario Kart Tour
First appearance Mario Kart 64 (1997)
Latest appearance Mario Kart Tour (2019)

Hot-air balloons are recurring objects in the Mario Kart series, usually serving as background objects.


Mario Kart 64[edit]

A hot-air balloon first appears in Mario Kart 64 on Luigi Raceway. It has a picture of Luigi on a cyan background. During the race it will lower towards the road, allowing racers to collect the Item Box attached to it, which will always give the player a Spiny Shell regardless of their placement on the race.

Mario Kart Wii[edit]

In Mario Kart Wii, a hot-air balloon appears in Mario Circuit and by extension, the trophy ceremony and the congratulation screen for completing each cup in one engine class. It has a colorful appearance and text that reads "MARIO GRAND PRIX".

Mario Kart 7[edit]

Hot-air balloons in Mario Kart 7

In Mario Kart 7, hot-air balloons appear in Daisy Hills. They either have red and white squares, dark and light blue horizontal lines, or vertical yellow and orange lines. Touching a balloon will cause the player to bounce off it. The hot-air balloon also returns in Luigi Raceway, although the item box hanging below it is a regular item box. In addition, a Mii pilots it.

Mario Kart 8 / Mario Kart 8 Deluxe[edit]

Hot-air balloons reappear in Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, appearing as background objects in N64 Royal Raceway, Mount Wario, and GCN Baby Park. In Royal Raceway, balloons are designed after Princess Peach, Princess Daisy, and Rosalina, and have Toads standing inside their baskets, while the balloons in Mount Wario are designed after Mario, Luigi, and Wario. Colliding with a balloon will slow down the driver slightly.

Mario Kart Tour[edit]

Hot-air balloons reappear in Mario Kart Tour. They appear in all versions of Daisy Hills, DS DK Pass R/T, N64 Koopa Troopa Beach R, Wii Maple Treeway T, all versions of Paris Promenade, 3DS Rock Rock Mountain R, Royal Raceway and its trick variation, Vancouver Velocity R, GCN Yoshi Circuit T, and Wii Koopa Cape R. Yoshi-themed hot-air balloons also appear in the background of N64 Yoshi Valley. They also appear in a Glider Challenge in Yoshi Circuit in the 2019 Paris Tour and a Do Jump Boosts challenge in DK Pass in the 2019 Winter Tour. Landing on top of a balloon gives the player a Jump Boost. Balloons appear in the same patterns as they did in Mario Kart 7, and can also have vertical purple and white lines. In Vancouver Velocity R, the balloons contain Snowpeople; however, the balloons in N64 Royal Raceway no longer contain Toads.