List of Mario Kart Wii pre-release and unused content
From the Super Mario Wiki
This is a list of pre-release and unused content for Mario Kart Wii.
Concept art for Luigi Circuit indicates that a Blooper-themed hot air balloon was planned to appear alongside the Cheep Cheep hot air balloon, but ultimately did not make it into the game. The final layout of Luigi Circuit is not drastically different from the concept art version. Whereas, Dry Dry Ruins' concept art appeared to be significantly different from the final version. The ruins has a different layout, and there were Thwomp-like obstacles with Mii heads on them planned. Aside from the Yoshi Sphinx, other Egyptian-like structures were planned to be replaced by Miis, such as the paintings, but those ultimately did not make it in the final game.
Concept art for bikes also indicates that a bike based on Mechakoopa, called the メカクッパ DX (mekakuppa DX, translated to Mechakoopa DX), and Lakitu's Cloud were planned to be in the game, as well as early versions of the Magikruiser, which was called the スーパーカメック (Sūpā Kameku, translated to Super Kamek), and the Quacker. The Quacker appeared to have a more organic and feathery look to it compared to the final, toy-like version of it.
As seen in Mario Kart Wii's 2007 E3 trailer, the game has gone under drastic developmental changes before release. Early builds of the game heavily relied on elements from Mario Kart DS (such as a title bearing resemblance to the one found in the previous Mario Kart game), but then the designs changed and the three new items were added to the item roulette in the final version. The model designs for many of the vehicles shown in the trailer, such as Standard Kart S, Standard Kart M, and Standard Kart L were slightly different. Interestingly, character animations were very minimal in what was shown in the trailer, where characters wouldn't even move in their vehicles when going off of a trick ramp. Though only Mario Circuit, Wario's Gold Mine, Moo Moo Meadows, Mushroom Gorge, Luigi Circuit, DS Yoshi Falls, and GCN Peach Beach were shown in the video, very slight course differences were present in all of the tracks. Also Wario is wearing his original long-sleeved shirt instead of his current short-sleeved one he has in the final build.
When all of the files are extracted from this game, a course called "old_mario_gc_b" is found. It is just like GCN Mario Circuit, the fourth course in the Leaf Cup, but the difference is that there is no Chain Chomp, the Piranha Plants are not in Warp Pipes, and the player's icon goes off of the screen as there is no map. There is also another course called "draw_demo". It is supposed to look like Mario Circuit, but the pointers which are supposed to signify where to look in the file for the textures miss slightly, resulting in a graphical mess-up. The filename is similar to others found in the game, specifically "Winningrun_demo" and "Loser_demo". Those courses are the versions of Mario Circuit used when the player wins or loses a set of races, respectively. There is no lap data or route data, so Lakitu will not appear to turn the player around or tell when a lap is completed, same as the other two. The name suggests it was used when a VS race, Grand Prix, or Battle ended in a tie, however note that it is very similar to Loser_Demo. In the final game, ties are broken by player number.
An unused version of Bowser's Castle has also been found in the game's files. This version dates back to earlier in the game's development, and has various minor differences from the final version including different item placements, wonky collision maps and a slightly different setup for the tilting floor section near the beginning.