Mario Kart Arcade GP

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Mario Kart Arcade GP
Mario Kart Arcade GP logo.jpg
Mario Kart Arcade GP logo.
Developer(s) Namco Bandai Holdings
Publisher(s) Nintendo
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 Mario and Pac-Man characters. It is the sixth installment of the Mario Kart series 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.



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

  • Steering Wheel (smaller than the average car wheel).
  • Accelerate and Brake pedals.(If pressed quickly the Brake Pedal can also make Karts jump and Powerslide 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.
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 Moustache. 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.


Unlike 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!!

Basic Items[edit]

This article is under construction. Therefore, please excuse its informal appearance while it's being worked on. We hope to have it completed as soon as possible.

Item Type Description
Basin Basic A normal tin pan; it locks on to another racer and bashes them in the head.
Boo Basic Causes whoever is hit by it to slow down for a brief period.
Needle Bomb Basic Flattens tires.
Square Tire Basic Makes whoever hits it slow down and lose control.
Big & Small Tire Basic Changes size of tires.
Time Bomb Basic A time bomb, It goes off in 15 seconds. Hit other drivers to transfer the bomb to them.
Green Shell Basic A normal shell, it can be thrown in a straight line to knock over other karts.
Tornado Basic Hits foes and launches them into the air.
Banana Basic The series' classic item, it is left on the track for other racers to slip on.
Tack Basic When run on, temporarily flattens one of the rival's tires.
Sticky Oil Basic Causes wheels to get sticky.
Pie Basic A pie that can be tossed backwards. The screen of the target is covered in whipped cream, obscuring vision.
Thunder Stick Basic A rod used for close combat.
Rain Cloud Prize This cloud locks onto another racer, raining on the track and making it harder for the driver to steer.
Thundercloud Prize Stronger than the rain cloud, it causes a massive thunder storm.
Snow Cloud Prize This cloud freezes another racer.
Off-key Speaker Prize Plays music.
Trash Can Prize Slows down speed when hit.
Laughter Bag Prize Laugh at opponents as a taunt.
Mustache Pen Prize Scribbles on opponent faces.
Banana Shot Prize Spins out enemies.
Tox-Banana Shot Prize Spins out and shakes wheel.
Dash Bazooka Prize Rival Kart will dash when hit.
Jump Seal Prize Prevents jumping for a time.
Item Seal Prize Prevents item use for a time.
Black Shell Prize A shell that explodes on impact.
Fire Cracker Prize Explodes when hit.
Smokescreen Prize Blinds racers who pass through the area of effect.
Shield Prize Protects from the rivals attacks.
Reflect Shield Prize Reflects attacks.
Absorbing Mushroom Prize A special item that lets the player get items from rivals.
Giant Mushroom Prize Makes the player grow into enormous size.
Invisible Mushroom Prize Turns the player invisible.
Slimy Mushroom Prize Turns slimy to dodge easier.
Heavy Mushroom Prize Causes the player to become heavy.
Horn Prize Plays a loud noise.
High Beam Prize Flashes blinding lights.
Magic Hand Prize Steals items.
Dizziness Virus Prize Picture is blurred when hit, can hit other karts to pass on.
Wheel Virus Prize Wheel shakes, hit other karts to pass on.
Time Bomb (L) Prize Attaches to foe and goes off in 15 seconds, hit other cars to pass on.
Triple Green Shells Prize Three green shells circle the user until they are all thrown.
Triple Basin Prize Shoots three Basins at once.
Triple Boo Prize Shoots three Boos at once.
Triple Square Prize Shoot three Square Tires at once.
Triple Needle Prize Shoot three Needle Bombs at once.
Triple Pen Prize Shoot three Pens at once.
Triple Tornado Prize Shoot three Tornados at once.
Triple Black Shells Prize Shoot three Black Shells at once.
Triple Banana Prize Shoot three Bananas at once.
Triple Smokescreen Prize Shoot three Smokescreens at once.
Triple Tack Prize Shoot three Tacks at once.
Triple Pie Prize Shoot three Pies at once.
Star Special (Mario and Luigi) Makes the user temporarily invincible.
Hammer Special (Mario and Luigi) Damages rivals upon contact.
Fireball Special (Mario and Luigi) Sends fireballs forward or backwards at will.
Chain Chomp Special (Mario and Luigi) Damages all rival drivers upon contact.
Barrel Special (Donkey Kong) Sends a barrel forward or backwards at will.
10T Hammer Special (Donkey Kong) Can hit a rival. Gives damage when hit.
Giant Banana Special (Donkey Kong) Rivals spin out if this touches them.
Conga Special (Donkey Kong) Dance to conga rhythm.
Shell Body Special (Bowser) Makes the user invincible.
Flaming Tender Special (Bowser) Can hit a rival. Gives damage when hit.
Bowser Shell Special (Bowser) Strong item that shoots forward or backwards.
Thwomp Special (Bowser) Get stomped when the player drives under it.
Wario Car Special (Wario) Become invincible.
Stretch Punch Special (Wario) Gives damage when hit.
Snot Bomb Special (Wario) Strong item that shoots forward or backwards.
Bob-omb Special (Wario) Explodes when hit.
Miracle Mushroom Special (Toad) Become invincible.
Mushroom Hammer Special (Toad) Can hit a rival. Gives damage when hit.
Poison Mushroom Special (Toad) Strong item that shoots forward or backwards.
Mushroom Powder Special (Toad) One of the mushroom effects appears.
Egg Body Special (Yoshi) Become invincible.
Whacking Fan Special (Yoshi) Can hit rival. Gives damage when hit.
Rolling Egg Special (Yoshi) Strong item that shoots forward or backwards.
Tongue Special (Yoshi) Steal rival's item with a tongue.
Power Ball Special (Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man) Become invincible.
Quack Hammer Special (Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man) Can hit a rival. Gives damage when hit.
Rally X Special (Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man) Smoke appears. Spin out when hit.
Galaga Special (Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man) Galaga appears. Rival will be abducted.
Pooka Special (Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man) Strong item that shoots forward or backwards.
Frying Pan Special (Peach) Can hit a rival. Gives damage when hit.
Peach's Bird Special (Peach) Strong item that shoots forward or backwards.
Piranha Plant Special (Peach) Eats player's item.
Heart Special (Peach) Steals rival's item.
Ghost Shield Special (Blinky) Become invincible.
Monster's Hammer Special (Blinky) Can hit a rival. Gives damage when hit.
Petit Monster Special (Blinky) Strong item that shoots forward or backwards.
Flare Ball Special (Blinky) Blind enemy with a flash bang.
Ghost Morph Special (Blinky) Can scrape through rival's kart.
Driver Virus Special A virus that causes whoever is hit to slow down. The virus can be transferred to other drivers. Looks like the blue virus from the NES game Dr. Mario.
Dash Mushroom Special Gives the player's kart a small boost.


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 depending on how many people join:

No. of Players No. of CPU Total Karts
2 Players 2 CPU 4 Karts
3 Players 1 CPU 4 Karts
4 Players 0 CPU 4 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
Mario Beach

DK Cup[edit]

The cup is set on a tropical jungle. During the last two races, a rain will occur at the courses.

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

Winning this cup will give the player a whacking item.

DK Jungle
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
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
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
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
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 (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. An update to Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 titled Mario Kart Arcade GP DX was also released.


Main article: List of Mario Kart Arcade GP staff

Pre-release and unused content[edit]

Main article: List of Mario Kart Arcade GP pre-release and unused content


For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Mario Kart Arcade GP.


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  • The billboard for this game appeared in Shroom Ridge in Mario Kart DS.
  • Mario Kart Arcade GP is the first Mario Kart game to be developed by a third-party company (Namco, now Namco-Bandai) and the first to have non-Nintendo characters.
    • It is also the only 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.

External links[edit]