Lakitu (Mario Kart referee)

From the Super Mario Wiki, the Mario encyclopedia
Jump to navigationJump to search
This article is about the referee from the Mario Kart series. For the enemy, see Lakitu. For the space from Mario Party: Star Rush, see Lakitu (space). For the characters from Super Mario 64 also simply named "Lakitus", see Lakitu Bros.
Lakitu giving tips in Mario Kart Tour.
Artwork of Lakitu from Mario Kart Tour
Species Fishin' Lakitu[1]
First appearance Super Mario Kart (1992)
Latest appearance Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit (2020)
Latest portrayal Tadd Morgan (2011–present)
“Hi everybody! Thanks for dropping by the Super Mario Kart race track. My name is Lakitu, I run this track, if you need, my help. I’ll be around.”
Lakitu, Super Mario Kart's instruction manual[2]

Lakitu is a character appearing in the Mario Kart series, guiding the race most of the time. He most prominently appears as the referee, holding a starting light with a fishing pole that tells the drivers when the race begins (except in Mario Kart DS and Mario Kart Tour), and signals the drivers what lap or section they are currently on or in (appearing on the left/right side of the player, depending on the race’s final turn to the finish line since Mario Kart: Double Dash!!). Another role he has is signaling the players if they are driving the wrong way. If the driver crosses the finish line at the end of the race, then Lakitu comes in, waving the checkered flag.

Another role Lakitu has is helping out the drivers when they are in a bad situation by transporting them back onto the track. This applies when the racers are falling into a void, a body of water that they cannot drive through, or lava, or when they are going out of bounds of the track. However, as a penalty for falling, they have to wait a few seconds before they can drive again, usually losing some position, and in Super Mario Kart, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Mario Kart 7, Mario Kart 8, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Lakitu also takes up to three of the player's coins if they have any.


Mario Kart series[edit]

Super Mario Kart[edit]

Lakitu first appears as the race guide beginning with Super Mario Kart. In this game, Lakitu displays a yellow flag with an "X" on it if players are driving the wrong way and a signal light to count down the start of the race from top to bottom. Lakitu's sprites in Super Mario Kart are very similar to Fishin' Lakitu's sprites in Super Mario World. While Fishin' Lakitus in Super Mario World have red eyes, Lakitu in Super Mario Kart has green eyes, making him appear similar to a Lakitu in a Pipe.

Mario Kart 64[edit]

Lakitu's reverse sign.

In Mario Kart 64, Lakitu reprises his roles. Their sign for when a player is driving the opposite way in this game is a red, flashing sign saying "REVERSE".

Mario Kart: Super Circuit[edit]

Lakitu reprises his roles in Mario Kart: Super Circuit, also bearing the same "REVERSE" sign from Mario Kart 64.

Mario Kart: Double Dash!![edit]

Artwork of Lakitu in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
Lakitu counting down the start of the race in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.

Lakitu reprises his roles in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!. Occasionally, in this game, a Cheep Cheep will be caught on their device that counts down the start of the race. This is merely a gag, and does not affect the gameplay. This game introduces a U-turn arrow sign to alert players when they are driving the wrong way; this sign becomes the permanent one used in later titles. Also, this game is the first Mario Kart game to have him shown on the left or right side of the player when they cross the finish line to begin the next lap, depending on the course’s last turn. In addition, this game introduces a new signal light that counts down from three going from left to right (right to left in 150cc Mirror).

Mario Kart Arcade GP series[edit]

Lakitu appears in Mario Kart Arcade GP, Mario Kart Arcade GP 2, Mario Kart Arcade GP DX and Mario Kart Arcade GP VR with his original role.

Mario Kart DS[edit]

Lakitu reprises most of his roles in Mario Kart DS, with the exception of not performing the countdown to signify the start of the race. It is instead indicated by numbers appearing on screen.

Mario Kart Wii[edit]

Lakitu reprises his roles in Mario Kart Wii. In this title, Lakitu can be crushed by a Thwomp when signaling the player about going the wrong way. This visual gag does not return for the following installments.

Mario Kart 7[edit]

Lakitu reprises his original role in Mario Kart 7. In races that contain underwater driving, Lakitu sports a snorkeling mask along with his cloud that has a similar pair of goggles. The race tracks that use this are Cheep Cheep Lagoon, Piranha Plant Slide, Wario Shipyard, Rosalina's Ice World, N64 Koopa Beach, GCN Daisy Cruiser and Wii Koopa Cape.

Mario Kart 8 / Mario Kart 8 Deluxe[edit]

Lakitu as he appears in Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe as the referee and filming for Mario Kart TV.
Lakitu as he appears in Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe as the referee and filming for Mario Kart TV.
Lakitu as he appears in Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe as the referee and filming for Mario Kart TV.

Lakitu reprises his role in Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, also introducing his role of filming for Mario Kart TV. This lets the player replay the whole race or the best highlights. Other characters, such as Toads, film for the service as well. If the player fails to finish in the top three, Lakitu appears clapping in place of a trophy on the results screen, and "Nice try!" is shown instead of "Congratulations!". Additionally, if the CPU on an end-of-race results screen happens to get stuck on a wall, then they are pulled by an invisible Lakitu. In these games, Lakitu appears immediately to rescue the drivers without them having to fully plummet off-screen when falling off as they would in prior games. In addition, Lakitu appears in the group photo for the end credits of the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Booster Course Pass.

Mario Kart Tour[edit]

Lakitu reprises most of his roles in Mario Kart Tour, except for counting down the start of the race. He gives out tips to the player on the loading screen of bonus challenges and announces the results in ranked cups. Occasionally, he wears costumes themed after the tour, such as a Halloween costume during the 2020 Halloween Tour, a New Year's costume during the 2020 Winter Tour and Rosalina Tour, a Spring costume during the 2021 Yoshi Tour, and a Summer costume during the Summer Tour.

Lakitu in his New Year's costume debuts in the New Year's 2021 Tour as a playable character, known as "Lakitu (Party Time)" in-game, and features the Lucky Seven as his special item, which marks this Lakitu's first playable appearance.[3]

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit[edit]

In Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit, Lakitu serves as the guide for the tutorials and the referee for the races.

Mario Artist: Paint Studio[edit]

Group artworkMedia:Mario Kart 64 Kalamari Desert.jpg from Mario Kart 64 that includes Lakitu is reused as a premade image in Mario Artist: Paint Studio.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl[edit]

Lakitu, using his artwork from Mario Kart: Super Circuit, appears as a sticker in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

Nintendo Badge Arcade[edit]

Lakitu appears as a badge in Nintendo Badge Arcade in a set based on Mario Kart 8.

Paper Mario: Color Splash[edit]

Luigi mentioning Lakitu in Paper Mario: Color Splash.
Luigi mentioning Lakitu.

While Lakitu does not appear in Paper Mario: Color Splash, Luigi briefly mentions that "Lakitu's not here to save us" while they drive across the Rainbow Road leading to Black Bowser's Castle.

Super Mario Odyssey[edit]

Although Lakitu does not physically appear in Super Mario Odyssey, the Mario Kart TV logo from Mario Kart 8 featuring Lakitu appears on the Racing Outfit.

Profiles and statistics[edit]

Super Smash Bros. Brawl sticker[edit]

Name Image Artwork from Effect in The Subspace Emissary
Lakitu A sticker of Lakitu in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, originally Mario Kart: Super Circuit artwork. Mario Kart: Super Circuit [Leg] - Attack +13
Usable by: Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Peach, Bowser

Mario Kart Tour[edit]


For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Lakitu (Mario Kart referee).

Names in other languages[edit]


Language Name Meaning
Japanese ジュゲム
Fisshingu Jugemu

Fishin' Lakitu

Lakitu (Party Time)[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ジュゲム (パーティ)
Jugemu (Pāti)
Lakitu (Party)
Chinese (Simplified) 球盖姆 (派对)
Qiúgàimǔ (Pàiduì)
Lakitu (Party)
Chinese (Traditional) 球蓋姆 (派對)
Qiúgàimǔ (Pàiduì)
Lakitu (Party)
French Lakitu (soirée) Lakitu (evening party)
German Lakitu (Gala) -
Italian Lakitu (festa) Lakitu (feast)
Korean 김수한무(파티)
Gimsuhanmu (Pati)
Lakitu (Party)
Portuguese Lakitu (festa) Lakitu (party)
Spanish (NOA) Lakitu (fiesta) Lakitu (party)
Spanish (NOE) Lakitu (Fiesta) Lakitu (Party)


  1. ^ a b 「ちなみに本名は〝フィッシングジュゲム〞どうぞよろしくおいします。」(By the way, my real name is “Fishing Jugem,” it’s a pleasure to meet you.). Shesez (July 15, 2022). Japanese Mario Kart is VERY Different - Region Break (sourced from page 1 of the Japanese Super Mario Kart instruction booklet). YouTube. Retrieved July 31, 2022.
  2. ^ Super Mario Kart US instruction manual. Page 2
  3. ^ Post about the drivers of the New Year's 2021 Tour from the official English Mario Kart Tour Twitter account