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Mine Carts, also parsed Minecarts and referred to as simply Carts, are vehicles that are found in several Donkey Kong and Mario games. They often serve as a means of transportation in rollercoaster-type scenarios, where the characters are required to avoid incoming obstacles as the Mine Cart moves them forward.
Donkey Kong franchise
Donkey Kong Country
Mine Carts first appear in Donkey Kong Country, where they are featured in Mine Cart Carnage and Mine Cart Madness. After jumping into a Mine Cart, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong will not have any control over the Mine Cart's speed and can only jump with the Mine Cart. As such, the Kongs must carefully jump over any obstacle, pitfall, or enemy that gets in their path. Krashes are a type of Kremling who ride a Mine Cart in the opposite direction of the Kongs, as an attempt to ram into them.
There are numerous tipped over Mine Carts throughout Mine Cart Carnage, acting as obstacles. These Mine Carts often appear at the dead-end of a rail, or on the very short rails before the level exit.
In Mine Cart Carnage, the Kongs use a single Mine Cart throughout the whole level, and they carry the Mine Cart as they jump. In Mine Cart Madness, they use multiple Mine Carts throughout the level and are able to jump out of them. The main purpose for doing so is to jump into the following Mine Cart positioned at the start of the next railing. Sometimes the following Mine Cart has a Krash in it, who sits motionlessly at the starting point of the rail. By jumping on the Krash, the Kongs can hijack its Mine Cart and ride it.
Mine Carts are replaced by Roller Coasters in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest and Toboggans in Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!.
Donkey Kong 64
Mine Carts reappear in Donkey Kong 64 during the Mine Cart Ride challenges and also during the minigame, Minecart Mayhem. There is a Mine Cart Ride in Jungle Japes, Fungi Forest, and Creepy Castle, which are done by Diddy Kong, Chunky Kong, and Donkey Kong respectively. The main objective of each challenge is for the Kongs to collect 50 coins (or 25 in the final Creepy Castle challenge) while riding their Mine Cart in exchange for a Golden Banana.
Krashes reappear from Donkey Kong Country, and reprise their role as enemies who ride in a Mine Cart. If the active Kong takes damage while in the Mine Cart, they lose some health and a few of their obtained coins. From the Mine Cart, they can also lean either left or right to activate a switch.
In the minigame Minecart Mayhem, the objective is for the Kong to ride their Mine Cart around the different rail paths and avoid crashing into another cart that is carrying a TNT Barrel.
Donkey Kong Barrel Blast
Donkey Kong Country Returns
Mine Carts reappears as a vehicle in Donkey Kong Country Returns and its Nintendo 3DS port, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D in a total of six levels: Crazy Cart, Rickety Rails, Grip 'n' Trip, Bombs Away, Prehistoric Path, and Roasting Rails. They are most common during the Cave world.
Unlike its previous appearances, if the Kongs take damage even once in a Mine Cart, the vehicle is destroyed and the Kongs instantly lose a life. The Kongs usually jump with their Mine Cart just like in the level Mine Cart Carnage from Donkey Kong Country, but in the levels Rickety Rails, Grip 'n' Trip, and Roasting Rails, the Kongs jump out of the Mine Cart. In these levels, the player can move the Kongs while they are airborne. They must carefully move the Kongs back into the Mine Cart, because if the Kongs miss, they fall directly through the track rails and lose a life. The Kongs cannot ride in the Mine Carts with blue crystals, as they bounce off the crystals by attempting to enter the Mine Cart. During the boss fight against Mole Miner Max, the Kongs walk around on some Mine Carts that are filled to the brim with bananas.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Mine Carts make another appearance in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, operating similarly to its predecessor, Donkey Kong Country Returns. However, they can now take up to two hits under normal circumstances, with a third being added with the use of a Crash Guard or in the Nintendo Switch port's Funky Mode. Hard Mode, however, reverts Mine Carts to their Returns incarnation, where taking damage even once will cost the player a life. More camera angles are utilized while riding a Mine Cart, such as a behind-the-back perspective, and unlike before, Mine Carts can be carried into Arrow Barrels. Mine Carts are used in the levels Trunk Twister, Sawmill Thrill, High Tide Ride, and Rocket Rails; unlike in Donkey Kong Country Returns, there are no levels where Donkey Kong jumps separately from the cart.
A cart-like vehicle referred to as a lorry appears in the Club Nintendo comic "Mario's Picross". Mario finds the lorry in a pyramid after trying to escape from a Chomp Rock that has been released through a trap door. The plumber jumps into the lorry which immediately begin to move very quickly. Though he can escape from the rock, the rails reach a dead end, making Mario crash through the pyramid's wall.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
In Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, the Minecarts are featured in Moleville Mines. The track consists of two parts: a "3D" maze-like course collecting speed-boosting mushrooms, and a "2D" portion collecting coins. The goal is to clear the mines in the fastest time possible. This marks their first appearance as a minigame in the Mario series.
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, another minecart-themed game appears called Mysterious Mine Carts, in which the brothers split up trying to collecting red and green diamonds while avoiding obstacles all at the same time.
Yoshi's Island DS
Mine Carts appear in Yoshi's Island DS in two levels: High-Speed Cart Race and Quit it Already, Tap-Tap!. When a Yoshi gets on a Cart, it rides the track on its own. Yoshi can jump, but with the momentum of the cart he will always land back in it unless he lands on another platform. A cart is seen in a village hut in Spear Guys' Village Found!, but is blocked off by walls.
Yoshi's New Island
In Yoshi's New Island, a Yoshi is able to transform into a Mine Cart by entering a Whirly Gate in certain levels. The form is controlled using the Nintendo 3DS's gyroscope, while pressing any button causes the Yoshi to jump.
Yoshi's Crafted World
Paper Mario series
Super Paper Mario
As a nod to their Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga appearances, minecarts are present in Chapter 5-3 of Super Paper Mario in the Floro Caverns. This time they are more alike to a roller coaster than an actual minigame. One of the minecarts requires the player to flip into 3-D while riding it to move on through the level. According to The InterNed, the music that plays during the minecart ride is "Truck GO".
Paper Mario: Sticker Star
Minecarts appear in Paper Mario: Sticker Star in Bowser's Snow Fort, where they are treated like an amusement ride famous within Shy Guys. These carts are red and have a Shy Guy face marked on the sides. Mario can again jump with them to avoid gaps and collect coins. Some scraps of the rails must be collected via Paperization. The music played while riding minecarts is entitled "Go Go Trolley!", and is a remix of Super Mario 64 theme "Slider".
Super Smash Bros. series
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
In the stage The Great Cave Offensive in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, the Minecarts from Kirby Super Star make an appearance. The player can ride in them. The player can also push them out of the way.
Mario Kart series
Mario Kart Wii
In Wario's Gold Mine of Mario Kart Wii, minecarts can be seen going along the mine tracks. These minecarts contain gold and have Wario's emblem on the sides. They act as obstacles in some parts of the course, and any player who hits them will be knocked away.
Mario Kart 7
Mario Kart 8 / Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Minecarts return in Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in the remade Wario's Gold Mine, however, they are actually helpful this time, since they are hovering on anti-gravity rails, and thus the players can gain Spin Boosts upon colliding with their wheels.
Mario Kart Arcade GP DX
Mario Kart Tour
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
Mine Carts reappear in Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker acting similarly to how they appeared in previous games. The player is able to throw turnips from these by aiming with the Wii U GamePad's gyroscope sensor. In the Nintendo Switch version, the player cannot use the gyroscope sensor to aim in TV or tabletop mode.
During normal gameplay, this section disables the pointer interaction of the game in every version; however, using co-op mode with two Joy-Con allows Player 2 to interact with the environment on screen normally, and can still fire red turnips from the same place Player 1 can. This allows players to collect more coins that were not previously possible to collect in Mine Cart-based levels.
Mario Party 10
A Mine Cart looking similar to the ones in Donkey Kong Country Returns appears on the eastern side of the Donkey Kong Board in Mario Party 10, where it moves on a circular rail, carrying some bananas. It only has a decorative purpose.
Mini Mario & Friends: amiibo Challenge
In Mini Mario & Friends: amiibo Challenge, minecarts are useful vehicles that carry Mini Diddy Kong throughout his levels. They are spotted on small platforms, and the character can get a ride from these minecarts if fallen inside. However, they cannot be controlled whatsoever, as they follow the paths they are currently preparing to roll on. It is best the player installs girder platforms above the pits encountered on the paths so that the minecarts can follow their ways undisturbed. They stop only after crashing into a ledge, and respawn on the same small platforms aforesaid. Minecarts borrow the appearance they had in the latter Donkey Kong Country games.
Mini Mario & Friends: amiibo Challenge
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