Mario Kart Arcade GP

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Mario Kart Arcade GP
Mario Kart Arcade GP logo.
Mario Kart Arcade GP logo
Developer Namco[1]
Publisher Namco[2]
Release date USA October 10, 2005
Japan November 19, 2005
Europe 2005
Australia 2005
Genre Racing
Arcade system Triforce

Mario Kart Arcade GP is an arcade game featuring Super Mario and Pac-Man characters. It is the fifth installment of the Mario Kart series overall and is the first in the series that released for the arcades. There are two types of models: one without the "data card" dispenser and slot, and one with both. A follow-up called Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 was released in 2007. The game runs on a modified version of the Mario Kart: Double Dash!! game engine.



All controls are used to select in-game menu options.

  • Steering wheel
  • Accelerate and brake pedals: If pressed quickly, the brake pedal can also make karts jump and power slide if pressed twice. A Rocket Start can be performed by hitting accelerate on the green light.
  • Item button, at the center of the steering wheel.
  • VS cancel button - Used to cancel opponent searching

Playable characters[edit]


How to play[edit]

Mario Kart Arcade GP flyer
An arcade cabinet for the game Mario Kart Arcade GP
The system

To play the game, the player has to insert a certain amount of money or tokens into the game or in some cases, swipe a special card such as a Timezone Powercard. First, they can adjust their seat within the time limit by moving a lever near their feet and sliding to any position on the arcade machine. After that happens, the player can choose a character to play with. Then they have to take a picture of themselves within the time limit: if the player didn't take the picture; a countdown starts to force them to take it. The Photo taken will frame the player's face with Mario's hat and mustache. When that is done, the player will pick a mode on the screen; "Grand Prix" or "Time Trial"; again within the time limit.

If the player picks "Grand Prix";, they can pick any cup to play within the time limit. But if they pick "Time Trial", they attempt to beat a race-time record in one of the 24 courses in this game with the Triple Mild Mushrooms. If the player picks a cup, they cannot play a locked course: they have to play the available courses in the cup to unlock the other reversed courses. After that, a roulette of basic items comes up, and if the player stops the roulette, they receive the items in the rows whenever they get an Item Box. When that's over, the item descriptions show up, and the player attempts to learn how to use it.

Then, the racing starts. If the player places first, they will move on to the next course, and if they receive any lower rank, they must redo that same course. Either way, they have to pay the machine in order to race again.


It has been requested that more images be uploaded for this section. Remove this notice only after the additional image(s) have been added. Reason: icons for all items

Unlike the other Mario Kart games, Mario Kart Arcade GP has 93 items, of which 72 are new. Some drivers can obtain special items that other drivers cannot obtain, much like Mario Kart: Double Dash!! The player can use only three per race, and each track has a different selection of items to use. Completing a certain cup unlocks a new item.

Item categories[edit]

Items in Mario Kart Arcade GP can be placed into several categories based on their effects.

Category Description
Lock-on shot Targets an opponent with a reticle and homes in on them.
Shoots forward Travels forward in a straight line.
Drops backward Drops on the ground behind the kart.
Shoots backward Travels backward in a straight line.
Shoots forward or backward Travels in a straight line either forwards or backwards.
Melee Attacks opponents at close range.
Status Affects the user's kart.
Other Unique items that do not fall into the other categories.

Basic items[edit]

Basic items are those which are available to all characters. Starter items are available from the beginning of the game, while prize items are awarded for winning races. The Dash Mushroom is an exception, as it is only available during Time Attack mode and during the first race on Rainbow Downhill.

Item Type Category
Basin Starter Lock-on shot
Boo Starter Lock-on shot
Needle Bomb Starter Lock-on shot
Square Tire Starter Lock-on shot
Big & Small Tire Starter Lock-on shot
Time Bomb (S) Starter Lock-on shot
Green Shell Starter Shoots forward
Tornado Starter Shoots forward
Banana Starter Drops backward
Tack Starter Drops backward
Sticky Oil Starter Drops backward
Pie Starter Shoots backward
Thunder Stick Starter Melee
Rain Cloud Prize Lock-on shot
Thundercloud Prize Lock-on shot
Snow Cloud Prize Lock-on shot
Off-Key Speaker Prize Lock-on shot
Trash Can Prize Lock-on shot
Laughter Bag Prize Lock-on shot
Mustache Pen Prize Lock-on shot
Banana Shot Prize Lock-on shot
Tox-Banana Shot Prize Lock-on shot
Dash Bazooka Prize Lock-on shot
Jump Seal Prize Lock-on shot
Item Seal Prize Lock-on shot
Black Shell Prize Shoots forward
Fire Cracker Prize Drops backward
Smokescreen Prize Drops backward
Shield Prize Status
Reflect Shield Prize Status
Absorbing Mushroom Prize Status
Giant Mushroom Prize Status
Invisible Mushroom Prize Status
Slimy Mushroom Prize Status
Heavy Mushroom Prize Status
Horn Prize Other
High Beam Prize Other
Magic Hand Prize Other
Dizziness Virus Prize Lock-on shot
Wheel Virus Prize Lock-on shot
Time Bomb (L) Prize Lock-on shot
Triple Green Shells Prize Shoots forward
Triple Basin Prize Shoots forward
Triple Boo Prize Shoots forward
Triple Square Prize Shoots forward
Triple Needle Prize Shoots forward
Triple Pen Prize Shoots forward
Triple Tornado Prize Shoots forward
Triple Black Shells Prize Shoots forward
Triple Bananas Prize Drops backward
Triple Smokescreen Prize Drops backward
Triple Tack Prize Drops backward
Triple Pie Prize Drops backward
Dash Mushroom Other Status

Special Items[edit]

Special items are those which are specific to certain characters. Each character has six special items. All special items must be unlocked by winning races.

Item Character Category
Star Mario and Luigi Status
Hammer Mario and Luigi Melee
Fireball Mario and Luigi Shoots forward or backward
Chain Chomp Mario and Luigi Lock-on shot
Block Mario and Luigi Drops backward
Special Coin Mario and Luigi Status
Star Mark Banana Donkey Kong Status
10T Hammer Donkey Kong Melee
Barrel Donkey Kong Shoots forward or backward
Giant Banana Donkey Kong Drops backward
Conga Donkey Kong Other
Delicious Banana Donkey Kong Status
Shell Body Bowser Status
Flaming Tender Bowser Other
Bowser Shell Bowser Shoots forward or backward
Thwomp Bowser Drops backward
Bullet Bill Bowser Shoots backward
Meat Bowser Status
Wario Car Wario Status
Stretch Punch Wario Melee
Bob-omb Wario Drops backward
Snot Bomb Wario Shoots forward or backward
Fart Gas Wario Drops backward
Garlic Wario Status
Miracle Mushroom Toad Status
Mushroom Hammer Toad Status
Mushroom Powder Toad Drops backward
Poison Mushroom Toad Shoots forward or backward
Sick Mushroom Toad Shoots backward
Fine Mushroom Toad Status
Egg Body Yoshi Status
Whacking Fan Yoshi Melee
Mystery Egg Yoshi Drops backward
Rolling Egg Yoshi Shoots forward or backward
Tongue Yoshi Other
Melon Yoshi Status
Power Pill Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man Status
Quack Hammer Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man Melee
Rally-X Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man Drops backward
Galaga Boss Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man Shoots forward
Pooka Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man Shoots forward or backward
Fairy Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man Status
Princess's Drink Peach Status
Frying Pan Peach Melee
Piranha Plant Peach Drops backward
Peach's Bird Peach Shoots forward or backward
Heart Peach Other
Cake Peach Status
Monster Shield Blinky Status
Monster's Hammer Blinky Melee
Flare Ball Blinky Drops backward
Petit Monster Blinky Shoots forward or backward
Ghost Morph Blinky Status
Monster Pill Blinky Status


Grand Prix[edit]

Players race in 24 courses in six stages with each stage having four courses and a challenge; the first two are forward, last two are similar but with changed gimmick and environment, (e.g. Mario Highway is set on sunset instead of daytime, Bowser's Castle has blocks that block several parts of the track) and a challenge that is specific to each stage. Each race involves a six-kart dash to the finish (one player and five CPU players). The goal of each race is to finish in first place within the time limit. Once the player wins a race for the first time, they are rewarded with the next race in the stage. When completing the fourth stage, the player is rewarded with an item. Afterwards, a "challenge game" stage comes up, and are just like Missions from Mario Kart DS which they must complete to earn a special item exclusive to the character and finish the stage. If the player is unable to complete the challenge, they won't receive the trophy of that stage. If so, the player must complete a race within the cup in first place to try the challenge again. In Special mode, "+ Items" are unlocked after each win, and in 150cc unlocking items goes back to the former, but the item unlocked is a "Triple item".

Coins can be collected through out races to increase top speed. Prior to Special mode, their effect helps in completing the race more quickly. During Special mode and beyond, the difficulty of the races outweighs the effect of coins giving them very minimal use.

Three items are set in each course randomly, but on the fourth course however, the player is given a chance to pick three items to use during the race from their collection. During the first three courses of the Rainbow Stage, the player is first given no items to use, then only able to use Thunder Sticks, and finally only able to use Dash Mushrooms. Three items of the player's choice are used during the fourth course. In Special mode, three items are chosen for every race including all races on Rainbow Stage.

Note: The Rainbow Stage can only be unlocked if the player finishes the first five cups (Similar to the Special Cup in Mario Kart: Super Circuit).

Once the player has completed the Rainbow Stage for the first time, Special mode is unlocked. In Special mode, the player can win "+ Items" which are upgraded versions of their weapons while still taking the same item slot. The rivals also become much harder and several courses will have much more gimmick. The first two courses on the Special mode are also changed to reverse mode (not to be confused with the Mirror engine class as the course in this mode is simply played backwards) while the last two courses are played normally.

Once Special mode is completed, 150cc mode is unlocked and all racers have gold karts. The character's last special item will be a "+ Item" after beating Robot Mario on Special mode. Difficulty is slightly easier and "Triple items" will be unlocked rather than "+ Items". This mode does not play like the usual 150cc mode in the main series, but rather like 200cc mode from Mario Kart 8 (which was not released until nine years after Mario Kart Arcade GP). Robot Mario and other challenges prior are not played on this mode, rather only six "Triple items" are unlocked after completing each stage.

Once 150cc mode is completed, 150cc Special mode is unlocked where the races are the same as Special mode, but on 150cc. Difficulty is the same as Special mode where racers are much more difficult and the final six "Triple items" are unlocked after the six stages are completed. Challenges, like before, are not played.

Once 150cc Special mode is complete, a unique credits screen is shown with a message at the end saying "Grand Prix Mode complete! Thank you for playing!!". Afterwards, both 150cc and Special mode are able to be replayed with all weapons unlocked.

Time Trial[edit]

The player races on one of the 24 courses to try to appear in the top ten.

Note: The Rainbow Stage is automatically available in Time Trial, regardless of the players Grand Prix stats.


When the player inserts credits, the game starts an opponent search for a limited time (something like Bark Mode in Nintendogs) which, when other players start opponent searching, links the two people together for a VS Match. Up to four people can link together. Unlike Grand Prix, a VS race takes place with four karts per race and each player gets three items at random. If less than four people gather for a race, then CPU players are added to make up four karts.


Mario Cup[edit]

This cup is set on a tropical beach. On the last two races, the course changes from daytime to sunset for Mario Highway and night time for Mario Beach.

The challenge game involves the player rolling a giant watermelon to the goal (a reference to Episode 8 of Gelato Beach from Super Mario Sunshine).

Winning this cup will give the player an invincibility item.

Mario Highway from Mario Kart Arcade GP 2
Mario Highway
Mario Beach from Mario Kart Arcade GP 2
Mario Beach

DK Cup[edit]

The cup is set on a tropical jungle. During the last two races, the courses go through a downpour of rain.

The challenge game has the player eliminate 15 Koopa with a Hammer.

Winning this cup will give the player a whacking item.

Donkey Kong Jungle from Mario Kart Arcade GP 2
DK Jungle
Bananan Ruins from Mario Kart Arcade GP 2
Bananan Ruins

Wario Cup[edit]

This cup is set on a big city. During the last two races, the time will change from day time to night time.

The challenge game is set in Diamond City, but the player must drive backwards.

Winning this cup will give the player a backward item that has an effect similar to a Banana.

Diamond City from Mario Kart Arcade GP 2
Diamond City
Snow Panic from Mario Kart Arcade GP 2
Snow Panic

Pac-Man Cup[edit]

This cup is set on a peaceful mountain on Pac-Land. This is also the first cup to introduce warp doors. During the last two races, several parts of the course will have more grass that slows the player down.

The challenge game makes the player jump over the monsters' electrical lines.

Winning this cup will give the player a healing item.

Pac Mountain from Mario Kart Arcade GP 2
Pac Mountain
Pac Labyrinth icon from Mario Kart Arcade GP 2
Pac Labyrinth

Bowser Cup[edit]

This cup is set on Bowser's own castle. During the last two races, Kamek will use his magic to put blocks that block several parts of the course, making the course narrower.

The challenge game has the player fight a giant Bowser. When playing as Bowser, he is replaced by Mecha-Bowser.

Winning this cup will give the player a straight-throwing attacking item.

Bowser's Castle from Mario Kart Arcade GP 2
Bowser's Castle
Castle Wall from Mario Kart Arcade GP 2
Castle Wall

Rainbow Cup[edit]

The Rainbow Stage is only unlocked if the player completes the first five stages.

This cup is set in space, similar to Rainbow Road from the original series. A warp door transports the player to sky world that is similar to Sky Garden. During the last two races, the warp door will bring the player to an underwater environment instead while still having the same track layout.

The challenge game has the player race against Robo Mario.

Winning this cup will give the player an item that only exclusive to that character.

Rainbow Coaster from Mario Kart Arcade GP 2
Rainbow Coaster
Rainbow Downhill icon from Mario Kart Arcade GP 2
Rainbow Downhill


Although the gameplay was praised, the game was reviewed negatively for its high cost. Critics noted the lack of play from the video game and made it face huge amounts of criticism at its release.[citation needed]


Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 was released in 2007 (also for the arcades). It features more gameplay elements than its predecessor, including more characters such as Waluigi and Mametchi. It received positive scores and critical acclaim, unlike the previous game which was criticized for the high price. Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 was followed by two more games: Mario Kart Arcade GP DX in 2013, and Mario Kart Arcade GP VR in 2017.


Main article: List of Mario Kart Arcade GP staff

Pre-release and unused content[edit]

Three unused images meant to test mechanics such as the camera can be found in the game's files.


For a complete list of media for this subject, see List of Mario Kart Arcade GP media.
Final Lap
Audio.svg Mario Cup
File infoMedia:MKAGP Mario Cup Final Lap.oga
Audio.svg DK Cup
File infoMedia:MKAGP DK Cup Final Lap.oga
Audio.svg Wario Cup
File infoMedia:MKAGP Wario Cup Final Lap.oga
Audio.svg Pac-Man Cup
File infoMedia:MKAGP Pacman Cup Final Lap.oga
Audio.svg Bowser Cup
File infoMedia:MKAGP Bowser Cup Final Lap.oga
Audio.svg Rainbow Cup
File infoMedia:MKAGP Rainbow Cup Final Lap.oga
Help:MediaHaving trouble playing?

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese マリオカート アーケードグランプリ
Mario Kāto Ākēdo Guranpuri
Mario Kart Arcade Grand Prix


  • Mario Kart Arcade GP is the first Mario Kart game to be developed by a third-party company (Namco, now Bandai Namco) and the first to have non-Nintendo characters.
    • It is also the first Mario Kart game to be first released in the United States.
  • During the final credits, items such as the Golden Shell, Golden Banana, and other unrecognizable items can be seen in a 10x10 square that were never put in the game. They were also not in the second game, but rather in Mario Kart Arcade GP DX which was not released until seven years after Mario Kart Arcade GP.


  1. ^ In-game credits
  2. ^ Amusement Journal Entry

External links[edit]