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“It’s a race to the finish line! Start your engines!”
Mario Circuit is the name given to various race courses attributed to Mario as his own home course in the Mario Kart series. These courses contain some features associated with the hero, such as his red cap, the Mushrooms he uses; Princess Peach's Castle, Warp Pipes, enemies like Goombas, Chain Chomps, and Piranha Plants, and banners that bear his name. Mario Circuit is usually found in the Flower Cup. Apart from Mario Kart, the Mario Circuit has appeared in other games such as Itadaki Street DS and the Super Smash Bros. series, where it is a stage held for other various purposes.
Mario Kart series
Super Mario Kart
In Super Mario Kart, four Mario Circuit racetracks appear, with a look similar to typical go-kart racetracks, aside from having some obstacles such as Warp Pipes, located normally on the road, blocking the vehicles' path and Oil Slicks that cause vehicles to spin out of control while running over one.
Each Mario Circuit course appears numbered in order of the time it appears: two Mario Circuits in the Mushroom Cup, another in the Flower Cup, and one more in the Star Cup. The first course of the Mushroom Cup, Mario Circuit 1, is the simplest and most basic track in the game, having open corners and few obstacles. In contrast to that course is Mario Circuit 2, the fifth and last course of the same cup. This stage is notable by its great jump before the finish line, where the racers need to cross the zone by getting a speed boost over Dash Panels and jump over speed humps to reach the other side, finally passing the line. Mario Circuit 3, is the last track of the Flower Cup. This course is notable for its sharp curve in the middle of the track, and contains an area where the player must make a sharp turn, potentially getting stuck or slowing down. Finally, there's Mario Circuit 4, the longest of all Super Mario Kart's Mario Circuits. This track contains more sharp bends and obstacles scattered around the track.
The Mario Circuit courses, along with the other tracks from Super Mario Kart, reappear in the Game Boy Advance installment Mario Kart: Super Circuit, as hidden classic race courses. However, in the recent Mario Kart games, only three of these stages reappear. Mario Kart DS features Mario Circuit 1, known as SNES Mario Circuit 1, which is the first course of the Shell Cup. In Mario Kart Wii, Mario Circuit 3 (known as SNES Mario Circuit 3) appears in the Lightning Cup, bearing an enhanced graphical look compared to it in Super Mario Kart. In Mario Kart 7, Mario Circuit 2 appears as the second course of Banana Cup.
Since Super Mario Kart, Mario Circuit has appeared as multiple iterations in the Mario Kart series:
Fortune Street series
Mario Circuit is a playable game board in Itadaki Street DS and Fortune Street. The design of the board is based on Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Mario Kart DS, and Mario Kart Wii, though the route of the track is identical to its appearance in both games.
Super Smash Bros. series
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
A Mario Circuit stage similar to the layout of the Figure-8 Circuit appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The stage has two platforms resembling a jump platform and a road pavement in the center. Shy Guy racers will appear and damage players from both the jump and the central road. However, they themselves can be damaged causing them to spin out and be harmless.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
Mario Circuit appears in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, this time based on the course featured in Mario Kart 8. The stage is a moving stage in which a platform carries the fighters around the track and stopping at various points. Shy Guys are also racing on the track and can damage the fighers if they are hit by them, similar to the Mario Circuit in the previous game.
The Mario Circuit from Super Smash Bros. Brawl also returns in this game.
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games
Mario Circuit appears in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games which is heavily based on the version in Mario Kart Wii and is used for the Dream Ski Cross event with the road now being covered entirely with snow and more ramps being carved out of the snow on the track itself. While the general layout of the first half of the course is identical to it is in the aforementioned game albeit with a much steeper descent, the second half of the track is entirely different, where they are linked by two Warp Pipes which split the track into two, the path on the left has a more wavy shape while the path on the right is filled with Coins but a Goomba and Piranha Plant serve as obstacles. Once the paths join back up together there a few tight downhill turns and Piranha Plants until the racers reach a DK Cannon taking them back to the starting line for a second lap.
Names in other languages