Mini-Turbo

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The Mini-Turbo in action as seen in Mario Kart Wii. In most games, the charging of Mini-Turbo is indicated by blue sparks igniting from the rear wheels.

The Mini-Turbo[1][2], also known as Turbo Slide, Boost Slide, Slide Boosting, or simply a Boost, is a technique used in the Mario Kart series, it consists of a short speed boost following a successful drift. It appears in every game in the series since Super Mario Kart.[3] Especially in the games in which Mini-Turbo is manually charged, several consecutive Mini-Turbo boosts can be immediately charged one after the other in order to maintain an higher speed; said technique is known as snaking due to the need to alternate the directions of the drifts on straightaways, creating peculiar waving lines.

Charging methods[edit]

Boost counter[edit]

What is commonly known as boost counter[4] is a value which is meant to start at 0 when a drift begins and gradually increase while drifting, at a rate that can vary depending on certain conditions. When a certain threshold value is reached, an event happens, which might either be a cosmetic event (sparks appearing indicating that the full charge of a degree of Mini-Turbo is near) or the charge of a certain degree of Mini-Turbo (either Mini-Turbo, Super Mini-Turbo or Ultra Mini-Turbo). Once drifting ends, the counter resets and the degree of Mini-Turbo charged is released.

Manual charging[edit]

This method of Mini-Turbo charging relies on the player steering toward the outside of the turn, then toward the inside and then toward the outside again during a drift to charge a Mini-Turbo.[5] After the first time the player correctly steers toward the outside of the turn, there are visual indicators coming from the driving wheels that the Mini-Turbo has been half charged, either a different colors of the letters or sparks coming out of the tires. When the Mini-Turbo is fully charged, said indicators change color again. After charging it, the Mini-Turbo is released by releasing the drift button.

History[edit]

Super Mario Kart[edit]

Charging method boost counter[4]
Charging rate 1 unit per frame the first 20 frames[4]
2 units per frame the following frames[4]
Thresholds 128 units full charge of Mini-Turbo[4]

The Mini-Turbo boost is introduced in Super Mario Kart (where it is technique documented only in the official guides[3] and improperly commonly known as Boost[6]), using the boost counter as charging method. Said counter is increased every time a combination of three buttons are pressed: B Button, R Button or L Button, +Control Pad left or +Control Pad right.[4] The counter is reset to 0 and the Mini-Turbo is released when this combination of buttons is no longer pressed.

According to the Nintendo Official Guidebook of Super Mario Kart, the Mini-Turbo leads to a speed increase of 2-3 km/h, where the maximum speed in normal roads ranges from 120 km/h to 135 km/h.[3]

There is no animation associated to the charging of the Mini-Turbo, but during the release the kart animation stops and the engine revs up.[6][7]

In addition, the boost is somewhat able to skip off-road surfaces, similar to the Mushroom.[4][6][7]

Mario Kart 64[edit]

Charging method manual charging
Boost duration 14 frames[8]

In Mario Kart 64 Mini-Turbos are now officially documented in the manual and their charging method is changed to manual charging.[5] Said charging is denoted by a change in the color of the smoke trails (which resemble letters V and E) that come out from the rear tires, from white to yellow to indicate an half charge and from yellow to orange to indicate a full charge. The release has no animation associated and is denoted by drivers shouting. Unlike in other games, the Mini-Turbo in Mario Kart 64 does not grant an instant boost. Instead, it slightly increases the player's top speed for several seconds. If the speedometer is activated, it can be seen increasing to higher speed and the engine will also rev up.

Mario Kart: Super Circuit[edit]

Charging method boost counter
Charging rate currently unknown, presumably the same of Super Mario Kart
Thresholds currently unknown, presumably the same of Super Mario Kart

Mario Kart: Super Circuit fully resuses the Mini-Turbo mechanics of Super Mario Kart, both in terms of charging and in terms of reduced slowdown in off-road terrains.

The main difference is that in Mario Kart: Super Circuit there is an animation associated with its release, with blue flames bursting from the exhaust and an associated sound.

Mario Kart: Double Dash!![edit]

Charging method manual charging
Boost duration dependent on the Mini-Turbo in-game statistics

Mario Kart: Double Dash!! reintroduces the manual charging of Mini-Turbo boosts, with the difference that in this game steering toward the inside of the turn is not needed. The charging is indicated by a change in the color of the sparks coming from the wheels of the kart from yellow to orange to indicate a half charge, and then blue to indicate a full charge. There is a small animation associated with the release, with flames from the exhaust pipes and small yellow sparks coming from the rear wheels, along with a sound effect and call by the driver who is behind. In co-op, the player who is driving must press the R Button or L Button button to drift while the back player must tilt the Control Stick to left and right; however, in single-player or non-co-op VS modes, each player controls both parts. In this game, a Mini-Turbo in-game stat is introduced, that indicates how many frames the Mini-Turbo boost lasts. As an example, all large karts, such as the Koopa King, have a Mini-Turbo boost that lasts 10 frames, while the small karts and the Parade Kart have a Mini-Turbo boost that lasts 30 frames.

Well-timed Mini-Turbo boosts can be used to avoid Spiny Shells when they are about to hit the players.

Mario Kart DS[edit]

Charging method manual charging
Boost duration dependent on the Mini-Turbo in-game statistics

In Mario Kart DS Mini-Turbos are again manually charged, although unlike in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, the steering toward the inside of the turn is mandatory again. The charging animation is similar, but with sparks' color reversed from blue, then orange. There is no evident animation following the release, but a small sound is associated with it along with a revving up of the engine (a similar sound as if driving through a Dash Panel or using a Mushroom), along with a wind lines on the screen akin to slipstreaming. Like in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, there is a hidden Mini-Turbo stat that determines how long does a boost last. Karts with higher handling and lower weight tend to have a stronger Mini-Turbo boost, with Dry Bomber being the strongest and the Tyrant being the weakest.

Well-timed Mini-Turbo boosts, possibly accompanied by hopping, can be again used to avoid Spiny Shells.

Mario Kart Wii[edit]

Charging method boost counter[9]
Charging rate 5 units per frame when the lateral component of the directional input is at least 0.5 toward the direction of the turn[9]
2 units per frame in all the other cases[9]
Thresholds 148 units appearances of blue sparks[9]
270 units charge of Mini-Turbo[9]
448 units appearance of orange sparks[9]
570 units charge of Super Mini-Turbo[9]
Boost duration dependent on the Mini-Turbo in-game statistics, Super Mini-Turbo boosts lasting three times as much as Mini-Turbo boosts[10]

Mario Kart Wii reintroduces the boost counter, this time charged exclusively when drifting. The charge rate is affected by how much the player is steering toward the inside of the turn while drifting: if the lateral component of the directional input is more than halfway toward the inside of the turn, the charging rate becomes 2.5 times the charging rate obtained in all the other cases.

The imminent charge of a Mini-Turbo or Super Mini-Trubo boosts is denoted by respectively blue and orange sparks coming out of the vehicle. More vibrant sparks coming out of the driving wheels of the vehicle indicate the Mini-Turbo or Super Mini-Turbo is ready and its release is denoted by flames coming from the exhaust pipes along with a nitrous-like noise and racers shouting.

In Mario Kart Wii only karts can charge a Super Mini-Turbo, which lasts three times as long as than the regular Mini-Turbo.

Furthermore a special Mini-Turbo can be charged while standing still by holding both the jump/brake button and the acceleration button at the same time. It is fully charged in 75 frames and blue sparks indciating its imminent charge are missing. Karts in this case only charge a regular Mini-Turbo and not a Super Mini-Turbo. This kind of Mini-Turbo is released immediately when the jump/brake button is no longer pressed.

Mario Kart 7[edit]

Charging method boost counter
Charging rate currently unknown, presumably the same of Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart Wii
Thresholds currently unknown, presumably the same of Mario Kart 8
Boost duration dependent on the MiniTurbo in-game statistics

In Mario Kart 7, the mechanics remain unchanged from the previous installment, though standstill Mini-Turbo is no longer possible. If racing in First-Person View, the sparks appear from the front wheels instead of rear wheels. The duration of both Mini-Turbo and Super Mini-Turbo boosts is now defined in a dedicated table and directly depends on the hidden MiniTurbo statistics. The characters don't shout from either Mini-Turbo level.

Mario Kart 8[edit]

Charging method boost counter[9]
Charging rate While drifting 5 units per frame when the lateral component of the directional input is at least 0.5 toward the direction of the turn[9]
2 units per frame in all the other cases[9]
While autodrifting 2 units per frame when the lateral component of the directional input is at least 0.5 toward the direction of the turn[9]
0.8 units per frame in all the other cases[9]
Thresholds 135 units appearances of blue sparks[9]
270 units charge of Mini-Turbo[9]
570 units charge of Super Mini-Turbo[9]
Boost duration dependent on the MT in-game statistics

In Mario Kart 8, the boost counter is again used as charging method, reusing the charging rate and thresholds of Mario Kart Wii, with the only exception of blue sparks signaling the incoming charge of a Mini-Turbo boost that now appear when said boost is half charged. Furthermore, the orange sparks indicating the incoming charge of a Super Mini-Turbo boost are missing and the characters shout only from the Super Mini-Turbo. Importantly, unlike in Mario Kart Wii, in Mario Kart 8 bikes can perform a Super Mini-Turbo and the charge continues when the vehicle is detached from the ground, provided that the drift button is held. When a Super Mini-Turbo is charged in anti-gravity mode, the vehicle parts that normally glow blue will change color to yellow, then return to blue when the Mini-Turbo is released.

The boost counter can be also increased when autodrifting, although in this case the rate is 2.5 times slower than the charging rate while drifting and the boost is immediately released as soon as the autodrift ends.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe[edit]

Charging method boost counter
Charging rate While drifting maximum 5 units per frame
While autodrifting maximum 2 units per frame
Thresholds dependent on the MT in-game statistics
Boost duration dependent on the MT in-game statistics

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe introduces a third level of Mini-Turbo known as Ultra Mini-Turbo, that is indicated by pink sparks and a pink glow in anti-gravity mode, and grants a boost that is even longer than the one of the Super Mini-Turbo. This kind of Mini-Turbo can only performed if Smart Steering is disabled. Ultra Mini-Turbo also has a slightly different sound effect indicating its charge.

According to an official Mini-Turbo tutorial video released by Nintendo for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, regular Mini-Turbo lasts for 0.621 seconds, Super Mini-Turbo lasts for 1.674 seconds and the Ultra Mini-Turbo lasts for 2.633 seconds. [11]

Exploits/advanced techniques[edit]

New Boost Techniques (NBT)/Zig Zag Mini-Turbos (ZZMT)[edit]

The New Boost Techniques (NBT)[6][7] are special exploits executed in Super Mario Kart and Mario Kart: Super Circuit, among them in the latter game the Zig Zag Mini-Turbos (ZZMT) are the most popular.[12] They stem from the observation that drifting is not actually required to charge the boost counter,[4] and it is also possible to delay the release of the Mini-Turbo boosts.[6][7]

A-tech[edit]

A-tech is one of the main exploits of Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.[13] It consists in releasing the A Button button as soon as the Mini-Turbo boost begins in order to prevent the vehicle from sliding slightly when starting the following drift.[13]

Firehopping, sliding and firesliding[edit]

An exploit found only in Mario Kart 8, firehopping[14] is done by repeatedly hopping in alternating directions after getting a boost of any kind (usually after a Super Mini-Turbo, a Mushroom boost or on Dash Panels), except for Slipstreams, to increase speed during said boost. This exploit requires precise timing to hop after releasing the boost and does not work when riding sport bikes or on downhills. Sliding,[14] more commonly known as demon sliding after Demon, a player in the Mario Kart 8 competitive community, involves consecutive drifts that are immediately interrupted as soon as they are started. The purpose of sliding is to slow down the return to normal speed after a boost. Firesliding[14] serves the same purpose as firehopping, but is performed on downhill segments where fire hopping would slow down the player, and is somewhat similar to sliding. Firehopping, sliding and firesliding are only possible in the original Wii U version, and do not work in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ミニターボ
Mini Turbo
-
Spanish Miniturbo -
French Mini-turbo -
Italian Miniturbo
Turboaccelerazione in scivolata (Mario Kart DS)
-
Turboacceleration during a slide
Russian Мини-ускорение
Mini-uskoreniye
Mini-acceleration

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nintendo of Europe (2005). Mario Kart DS manual. Nintendo of Europe CDN. Retrieved January 18, 2016.
  2. ^ Nintendo of Europe (2014). Mario Kart 8 manual. Nintendo of Europe CDN. Retrieved January 18, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c An excerpt of the Nintendo Official Gudiebook of Super Mario Kart describing the Mini-TurboMedia:SMK NOG Mini-Turbo.png.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Game Resources / SNES / Super Mario Kart. TASVideos. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Official manual of Mario Kart 64. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d e Joe Bernier. NBT (New Boost Technique) Strategy Description. SMK Players' Page. Retrieved January 18, 2016.
  7. ^ a b c d Kanal von Boom3r2007 (January 20, 2008). Discover The Opportunities Of The New Boosting Techniques. Youtube. Retrieved january 18, 2016.
  8. ^ Game Resources / N64 / Mario Kart 64. TASVideos. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Mister Wu (February 18, 2018). Meet the Boost Counter, Mini-Turbo's best friend since 1992!. MKBoards. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  10. ^ Jonathan Aldrich (July 27, 2012). MARIO KART WII Detailed Kart/Character/Item Stats FAQ. GameFAQs. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  11. ^ Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Mini-Turbo Tutorial - Nintendo Switch. YouTube. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
  12. ^ Mario Kart: Super Circuit speedruns. Speedrun.com. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  13. ^ a b Techniques section of the MKDD-opedia. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  14. ^ a b c Ice (Mar 28, 2015). MK8 Techniques Thread. MKBoards. Retrieved May 12, 2018.