Lightning Cup

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The Lightning Cup logo in Mario Kart 8.

The Lightning Cup (referred as the Thunder Cup in Mario Power Tennis and in the Mario Kart: Super Circuit and Mario Kart 7 instruction manuals) is a cup in the Mario Kart series, as well as Mario Power Tennis. Its first appearance is in Mario Kart: Super Circuit where it was placed between the Flower Cup and Star Cup. It is absent in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, but since Mario Kart DS, it makes its reappearance as a retro cup with tracks from past Mario Kart games. Thus, the Lightning Cup's history as a nitro cup in Mario Kart: Super Circuit makes it the only cup in the entire Mario Kart series to be both a nitro cup and a retro cup. The emblem of the cup is the Lightning. It mainly features courses from the Star Cup and the Special Cup, though Mario Kart DS featured a sole course from the Mario Kart: Super Circuit Lightning Cup and Mario Kart Wii featured a sole Flower Cup course. The length and difficulty of the courses in this cup tend to be on par with those in the Special Cup. In Mario Kart 7 and Mario Kart 8, the final course of the Lightning Cup is a past Rainbow Road, very similar to how Special Cup's final course is a new Rainbow Road. The table below lists every course in the Lightning Cup by course order and game installment.


Game Course 1 Course 2 Course 3 Course 4
Mario Kart: Super Circuit Luigi Raceway
Luigi Circuit
Sky Garden
Sky Garden
The preview image for Cheep Cheep Island from Mario Kart: Super Circuit
Cheep-Cheep Island
Localized Sunset Wilds course icon.
Sunset Wilds
Mario Kart DS Screenshot of Choco Island 2
SNES Choco Island 2
Banshee Boardwalk as it is seen in Mario Kart DS
N64 Banshee Boardwalk
Screenshot of <small>GBA</small> Sky Garden
GBA Sky Garden
Screenshot of Yoshi Circuit
GCN Yoshi Circuit
Mario Kart Wii SNES Mario Circuit 3
SNES Mario Circuit 3
Peach Gardens
DS Peach Gardens
DK Mountain
GCN DK Mountain
N64 Bowser's Castle
N64 Bowser's Castle
Mario Kart 7 KoopaCapeMK7.png
Wii Koopa Cape
GCN Dino Dino Jungle
DS Airship Fortress
SNES MK7.png
SNES Rainbow Road
Mario Kart 8 / Mario Kart 8 Deluxe MK8-Course-DS Tick-TockClock.jpg
DS Tick-Tock Clock

MK8-Course-3DS PiranhaPlantSlide.jpg
3DS Piranha Plant Slide
Piranha Plant Pipeway
MK8-Course-Wii GrumbleVolcano.jpg
Wii Grumble Volcano

MK8-Course-N64 RainbowRoad.jpg
N64 Rainbow Road

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit Jolly Workshop course icon from Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit
Jolly Workshop
Chain Chomp Stadium course icon from Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit
Chain Chomp Stadium
Ember Island course icon from Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit
Ember Island

Trading Card info[edit]

The Lightning Cup card from the Mario Kart Wii trading cards

"You'll be glad to see that all four tracks in the Lightning Cup have made a big comeback! All feature updated graphics and all the fun you can handle. And two of them, GCN DK Mountain and N64 Bowser's Castle, offer up all the challenge you can handle!"




Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese サンダーカップ
Sandā Kappu
Thunder Cup
Chinese 閃電盃 (Traditional)
闪电杯 (Simplified)
Shǎndiàn Bēi
Lightning Cup
Dutch Bliksembeker Lightning Cup
French Coupe Éclair Lightning Cup
German Blitz-Cup Lightning Cup
Italian Trofeo Fulmine Lightning Trophy
Korean 번개 컵
Beongae Keop
Lightning Cup
Portuguese (NOA) Copa Relâmpago Lightning Cup
Portuguese (NOE) Taça Relâmpago Lightning Cup
Russian Кубок молнии
Kubok molnii
Lightning Cup
Spanish Copa Centella Spark Cup


  • In Mario Kart: Super Circuit, this is the only cup in the game to not feature a Bowser's Castle course.
  • Mario Kart 7's Lightning Cup is the only retro cup not to have at least one course from Mario Kart 64.
    • It's also the only Lightning Cup to have more than one course from the Special Cup.
    • Similarly, Mario Kart 8's Lightning Cup is the only retro cup not to have at least one course from either Super Mario Kart or Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.