Rainbow Road (Mario Kart DS)
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Unlike previous incarnations, this Rainbow Road is unique to the Mario Kart series as it contains a vertical loop and a corkscrew, the only inversions in a Mario Kart course before Mario Kart 8 (excluding half-pipe tricks). Rails border the sides of both inversions to prevent racers from falling off sideways. Those elements may have been added to ensure challenge; players can place items so their opponents can fall off the corkscrew or the loop. However, there are glitches on the corkscrew and the loop. If a player drifts and hits the rail or continues touching the rail it could send the player floating up, putting them off the track (though in rare cases the player may fall onto the corkscrew without being brought back to the correct part of the track). On top of this, this Rainbow Road also has many sharp turns and a helix, not unlike the previous version in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!. Some multi-colored Warp Pipes and Stars appear in space around the track. Additionally, the coloring pattern of this looks different from the previous Rainbow Roads: here, the color stripes on this track are horizontal and follow along it, instead of vertically across the track.
This Rainbow Road, along with its subsequent iteration, has an unique "chiming" sound each time the player passes through the star rings found along the track. It also has a unique low pitched "glistening" sound when the player falls off the course. Another feature shared with the Rainbow Road of Mario Kart Wii is the opening portion of this Rainbow Road's music. On a related note, a portion of its music is used in the "Rainbow Road Medley" music track in the Super Smash Bros. series. It plays on the Rainbow Road stage in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, on the Mario Circuit stage in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, and on any Mario Kart stage in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Like almost all Rainbow Roads, the track is transparent and it takes place in space. The track starts out with three Dash Panels down a steep drop. There are four item boxes laid out across the track and a spiralling bend to the left while going upward, with four Dash Panels close to the left edge. In the spiral is a floating pipe, mostly for decoration. In the spiral, it is very easy to fall or be pushed off. There are four more item boxes at the end of another steep drop with the loop close after. The loop is a vertical loop (a simple loop that just goes upside-down once). A steep incline follows the loop. A right turn comes next with a small drop, four more item boxes, and a sharp turn to the left. The drop prevents racers from being able to race the course backwards. After a short, straight road is a U-turn right. The corkscrew is next, with a slight curve to the right, four item boxes, and another U-turn to the left. With the finish line just ahead, the cycle is started again two more times.
Mario Kart DS
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