Rainbow Road

From the Super Mario Wiki, the Mario encyclopedia
Jump to navigationJump to search
This article is about the race courses from the Mario Kart series. For the similar-looking race courses from Mario Kart Arcade GP and Mario Kart Arcade GP 2, see Rainbow Coaster and Rainbow Downhill. For the course from Super Mario 64 and Super Mario 64 DS, see Rainbow Ride. For the stage in Super Smash Bros. Melee, Brawl, and Ultimate, see Rainbow Cruise.
Rainbow Road in Mario Kart 8.
Rainbow Road in its appearance in Mario Kart 8

Rainbow Road is the final course of the Special Cup in all Mario Kart games and serves as the ultimate course in terms of difficulty in each game in which it appears. Each game features its own different iteration of Rainbow Road, but the courses all share the "Rainbow Road" name. Starting in Mario Kart 7, Rainbow Road courses from previous games have reappeared as classic courses alongside the new ones. Mario Kart Tour is the only mainline game in the series to not introduce its own completely original Rainbow Road outside of remix courses, though it does feature some returning Rainbow Roads as classic courses.

As their name suggests, these courses are made of rainbow-colored surfaces, usually metallic or glass, that are either one color or change their color as racers drive on them, depending on the game. Many of these tracks are transparent. Starting in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, the surface on each Rainbow Road (including the returning ones in Mario Kart 7 onward) creates a unique metallic sound when racers drift, hop, or perform a sharp turn on it. Starting in Mario Kart 7, some of the Rainbow Road courses have sections of the race track that are not rainbow-colored. Rainbow Road typically appears to be floating in deep space or the Earth's atmosphere, although the Rainbow Road in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and the remade N64 Rainbow Road and SNES Rainbow Road in Mario Kart 8 instead hang suspended in a starry night sky above a landscape. The course often contains few or no railings, putting racers at risk of falling off the track, and each Rainbow Road also contains its own unique hazards. Due to these obstacles, Rainbow Road is among the most difficult courses in each Mario Kart game; it also often one of the longest.

Rainbow Road has also made some appearances in other games outside of the Mario Kart series, as well as in The Super Mario Bros. Movie.

History[edit]

Mario Kart series[edit]

Rainbow Road has appeared as multiple incarnations throughout the Mario Kart series:

Course Games Description
SNES Rainbow Road.
Rainbow Road
Super Mario Kart
Mario Kart: Super Circuit
Mario Kart 7
Mario Kart 8 (The Legend of Zelda × Mario Kart 8)
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart Tour
A simplistic, yet challenging course that debuted in Super Mario Kart with narrow paths and tight curves. The road is made of tiles in all colors of the rainbow (although red was replaced by pink in Mario Kart 7), arranged in horizontal bars, while the environment appears to be in the starry depths of space (or a starry night sky in Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Mario Kart 8, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe). Star Thwomps appears as the course's primary obstacles, which can spin out racers by touch unlike regular Thwomps, and as of Mario Kart 7, their stomps causes the course to wave, allowing drivers to trick on them.
Rainbow Road MK64.png
Rainbow Road
Mario Kart 64
Mario Kart 8
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
The longest course in Mario Kart 64, taking at least two minutes per lap to race on; in Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the course instead has a single lap split into three segments. This iteration's road is translucent and arranges its colors in bars, but features no tiles (this is changed in Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, where the course is tiled similarly to SNES Rainbow Road but the colors are arranged diagonally). The course also features guard rails shaped like stars, and the environment takes place in outer space with a smiling star and neon sign images of the character (in Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the course takes place above a city in the night sky, and the neon signs are replaced with fireworks). Chain Chomps will occasionally run into the drivers, although in Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, they instead bounce on certain wavy pathways.
MKSC Rainbow Road Starting Line.png
Rainbow Road
Mario Kart: Super Circuit Similar to Mario Kart 64, the Rainbow Road introduced in Mario Kart: Super Circuit is translucent and has its colors arranged horizontally. The course takes place in outer space, with Bowser's Castle from Paper Mario clearly visible in the background. The course's guard rails are bouncy ramps, allowing drivers to make large shortcuts at certain parts with well-timed Mushroom boosts. Obstacles range from falling stars that hurt the racers, to thunder clouds that make them shrink.
A birds-eye-view of Rainbow Road in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
Rainbow Road
Mario Kart: Double Dash!! A long course with many elevations and turns, this iteration from Mario Kart: Double Dash!! takes place above a city which resembles Mushroom City, in the night sky. Its road features its colors in gradients, and is tiled and reflective. It features a vertical tube that shoots drivers high upwards, not unlike cannons. Occasionally, collectible Stars will scatter on the road, granting racers invincibility.
Rainbow Road (DS)
Rainbow Road
Mario Kart DS The Rainbow Road from Mario Kart DS is the first Rainbow Road to arrange its colors in a vertical fashion, and also features long, vertical tiles. Like previous incarnations, this version takes place in outer space. Uniquely, this course features two loops, prior to the introduction of anti-gravity in Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: a vertical loop, and a corkscrew loop. Both loops are laced with Dash Panel boosts to prevent drivers from falling.
Rainbow Road
Rainbow Road
Mario Kart Wii
Mario Kart Tour
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Booster Course Pass)
The iteration from Mario Kart Wii features many twists and curves, as well as many opportunities to trick. In Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the course is also set entirely in anti-gravity. Like previous versions, it also takes place in outer space, with Earth visible below the course; falling off the track will cause drivers to burn up in the atmosphere before Lakitu picks them up. The course also features Star Bits and a Launch Star from Super Mario Galaxy. It is also the first iteration to feature Star Rings.
Rainbow Road
Rainbow Road
Mario Kart 7
Mario Kart Tour
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Booster Course Pass)
Mario Kart 7's incarnation is a long, three-segmented course that takes place in outer space like previous incarnations, this time including portions on a planet ring and even on the moon, making it the first Rainbow Road to feature parts that are not rainbow-colored. In Mario Kart 7, the part on the moon functions similarly to an underwater section, while in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, it is an anti-gravity section. The course also features several opportunities for gliding.
Rainbow Road
Rainbow Road
Mario Kart 8
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
The iteration from Mario Kart 8 takes place on a space station in outer space, above another planet's atmosphere. This iteration of Rainbow Road appears more artificial compared to previous versions, and features several satellites floating around, as well as another space station with conveyor belts, which then leads to a split path. As with most courses in Mario Kart 8, it features several anti-gravity segments.
RMX Rainbow Road 1 in Mario Kart Tour
RMX Rainbow Road 1
Mario Kart Tour A remix course based on SNES Rainbow Road, thus featuring the same tiled road design and the same environment as the course normally has in Mario Kart Tour. Its layout is shaped similarly to a squared-off figure eight, but the middle paths that would normally cross each other are instead glider sections with floating meteors.
Rainbow Road course icon from Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit
Rainbow Road
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit Due to the nature of Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit using a remote-controlled car and augmented reality, the course layout design for this incarnation of Rainbow Road depends on what the player has set up. Aside from that, this course features Star Rings for the racers to drive through, as well as a magnet obstacle at the fourth gate. This version of Rainbow Road reuses the music from N64 Rainbow Road, as it appears in Mario Kart 8.
RMX Rainbow Road 2 in Mario Kart Tour
RMX Rainbow Road 2
Mario Kart Tour A second remix course based on SNES Rainbow Road. This Rainbow Road features a bunch of Mushroom Trampolines, and some elevation.

While Mario Kart Arcade GP and Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 do not feature any courses with the Rainbow Road name, two similar courses appear in the games' Rainbow Cup, namely Rainbow Coaster and Rainbow Downhill. Both courses feature a tiled road with rainbow colors high in the night sky, starting out at a space station with floating items and warping to a cloudy environment with beanstalks at daylight akin to GBA Sky Garden (which, in the third and fourth rounds, is instead an undersea environment in Mario Kart Arcade GP, or ruins of an above-clouds sanctuary at night in Mario Kart Arcade GP 2).

F-Zero X[edit]

Rainbow Road
Rainbow Road in F-Zero X
Main article: N64 Rainbow Road § F-Zero X

F-Zero X features Rainbow Road as a racetrack. It is based on the Rainbow Road from Mario Kart 64.

F-Zero GX also has a track similar to Rainbow Road called Phantom Road, which does not take place in a starry night sky or deep space like most Rainbow Roads, but rather in a psychedelic cybernetic void. In addition, the track has only one color that constantly shifts through the color spectrum rather than the traditional rainbow-looking appearance. Earlier builds of the track that remain in F-Zero AX retain the Rainbow Road moniker, most likely as a nod to Rainbow Road in F-Zero X.

Mario Hoops 3-on-3[edit]

Rainbow Road
Towers floating over the clouds, where Rainbow Road takes place, in Mario Hoops 3-on-3
Main article: Rainbow Road (Dribble Race course)

Rainbow Road is the unlockable third dribble race from the "challenges" section in the basketball game Mario Hoops 3-on-3. However, this Rainbow Road floats above the clouds and around a clock tower, and not much of the course is fully seen when playing.

Super Mario Galaxy 2[edit]

Rainbow Road in Super Mario Galaxy 2

In Super Mario Galaxy 2, Rainbow Road appears in both missions of the Rolling Coaster Galaxy, but it is quite different compared to its previous appearances: it is curved and appears to be made up of rainbow tiles instead of the colors simply being contiguous, more similar to the Rainbow Road from Super Mario Kart in which the track is also made up of rainbow tiles. The road is also accompanied by several platforms shaped like both mushrooms and squares with different colors. Despite taking place in space, this Rainbow Road features a cloudy sky as a background. Mario or Luigi must roll a Star Ball along this Rainbow Road, avoiding several obstacles like towers and Bob-ombs. They can earn two Power Stars for finishing the course, one for the normal mission and another for collecting 100 of the 110 Purple Coins. The music played on Rainbow Road is an arrangement of "Slider" from Super Mario 64.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS[edit]

Main article: Rainbow Road (stage)
A stage in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS based on Rainbow Road from Mario Kart 7.
The Rainbow Road stage in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS

Rainbow Road appears as a stage for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, based on its Mario Kart 7 incarnation. Like Port Town Aero Dive from Super Smash Bros. Brawl, it is a moving stage where players fight on a platform that flies around the course, which also occasionally lands on the course itself. While on the ground, Shy Guys can drive by and damage any fighters in its way, like in the Mario Circuit stage from the previous game.

A Rainbow Road also appears in Rosalina & Luma's announcement trailer, where Mario, Luigi, Peach, Bowser, and Donkey Kong are all racing each other (driving karts from Mario Kart 8) only to be suddenly interrupted by Kirby on his Warp Star, followed by a Luma and Rosalina. This Rainbow Road slightly resembles the incarnation from Mario Kart DS.

Paper Mario: Color Splash[edit]

Rainbow Road
Rainbow Road in Paper Mario: Color Splash

Rainbow Road appears in Paper Mario: Color Splash, leading directly to Black Bowser's Castle. The road is formed after all six Big Paint Stars are retrieved. Luigi drives Mario and Huey over to Black Bowser's Castle via his kart as the road is too slippery to walk on. Eventually, all but Huey (who elects to stay behind to ensure the black paint does not seep into the ocean when Black Bowser's Castle falls down) escape the castle and return to the road. While comforting Mario about Huey's decision, Luigi indicates that he knows Huey will probably be back as promised as the former has "fallen off Rainbow Road more times than [he] can count."

The Super Mario Bros. Movie[edit]

Rainbow Road in The Super Mario Bros. Movie
Rainbow Road in The Super Mario Bros. Movie

Rainbow Road[1] appears as a location in The Super Mario Bros. Movie, leading towards Bowser's Castle. After Mario, Princess Peach and Toad convince Cranky Kong to recruit the Great Kong Army for a raid on Bowser and his army, the heroes speed off a ramp on karts in the Jungle Kingdom that lands them on Rainbow Road. The Koopa General warns Bowser of the impeding planned raid, prompting Bowser to order an ambush on the heroes. Koopas on karts ambush the heroes on their drive down Rainbow Road, prompting an immense battle between the two forces. The Kongs are captured by the Koopas, while the Koopa General becomes a Blue Shell and strikes Donkey Kong and Mario causing an explosion that sends them spiraling down into the ocean below them. Meanwhile, Peach and Toad manage to escape the attack and retreat to the Mushroom Kingdom.

At one point, Mario hops from one segment of the road to another directly below, a possible reference to the Mario Kart 64 Rainbow Road shortcut. Additionally, when the characters jump off a large ramp and land on the road, a rendition of the Rainbow Road music from Super Mario Kart briefly plays.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese レインボーロード
Reinbō Rōdo
Rainbow Road

Chinese (simplified) 彩虹之路
Cǎihóng zhī Lù
彩虹桥 (prior to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe)
Cǎihóng Qiáo

Rainbow Road

Rainbow Bridge

Chinese (traditional) 彩虹之路
Cǎihóng zhī Lù
Rainbow Road

Dutch Regenboogbaan
Rainbow Track
French (NOA) Route arc-en-ciel
Route Arc-en-ciel (Mario Kart Wii)
Rainbow Road
French (NOE) Route Arc-en-ciel
Rainbow Road
German Regenbogen-Boulevard
Rainbow Boulevard
Italian Pista Arcobaleno
Via Arcobaleno (Super Mario Galaxy 2)
Rainbow Track
Rainbow Road
Korean 무지개 로드
Mujigae Rodeu
Rainbow Road

Portuguese (NOA) Avenida Arco-íris
Rainbow Avenue
Portuguese (NOE) Estrada Arco-Íris
Rainbow Road
Russian Трасса Радуга
Trassa Raduga
Rainbow Track

Spanish Senda Arco Iris
Rainbow Path

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Super Mario Bros. Movie | Everything Number One . YouTube. Retrieved May 5, 2023.