Rival

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It has been requested that this article be rewritten and expanded to include more information.

The rival[1] system is a recurring mechanic in the Mario Kart series where one or more computer-controlled opponents are given a massive advantage to ensure the point standings in the tournament grid are always close. Some implementations of the system may also dictate the rank order of the entire grid and not just the CPU closest to the player. It is usually enforced through rubber band AI, a racing game convention where opponents get a speed boost (often beyond what the ingame statistics for the character would allow) when they fall too far behind the player. Rival characters may be given other advantages such as recovering faster from hits and getting better item probability.

History[edit]

Super Mario Kart[edit]

The rivals always finish in a particular order. In this case, though, Princess got a lower spot than normal.

In Super Mario Kart, rivals contain one very fast driver, one fast driver, one medium driver, one slow driver and three very slow drivers. It is notable that when one of the three slowest drivers gets hit, that kart will keep its place, while when one of the faster cars gets shot, it will usually resume its previous place very quickly unless unable to catch up fast enough before the race ends. For this reason, the drivers (except the human racer) will (if unaffected) always finish in the exact same order. Also, if the player tries to hit an opponent, the opponent jumps over the item a majority of the time. Also, the rivals are not determined in pairs, so that even if Donkey Kong Jr. is Mario's rival, Mario will not be Donkey Kong Jr.'s rival, as shown in the table below.

The rivals for each driver are always the same, the list will be in the order the line up for the first race. It is possible to change the order if the rivals can't recover their place at the end (for example, if someone is playing as Luigi and Yoshi finishes last, Yoshi will then become one of the three slower drivers while everybody takes the next position up). It happens mostly on 100cc and 150cc.

The rivals are determined by the current points standing, meaning that if Yoshi was still only second to the player, he will boost back to first position from the start.

Character Rival Order
Very Fast Fast Medium Slow Very Slow
Mario from Super Mario Kart
Mario
Donkey Kong Jr.
Donkey Kong Jr.
Princess from Super Mario Kart
Princess
Yoshi
Yoshi
Luigi
Luigi
Toad from Super Mario Kart
Toad
BowserSMK.png
Bowser
Koopa Troopa
Koopa Troopa
Luigi
Luigi
Yoshi
Yoshi
Mario from Super Mario Kart
Mario
BowserSMK.png
Bowser
Koopa Troopa
Koopa Troopa
Princess from Super Mario Kart
Princess
Donkey Kong Jr.
Donkey Kong Jr.
Toad from Super Mario Kart
Toad
Princess from Super Mario Kart
Princess
BowserSMK.png
Bowser
Toad from Super Mario Kart
Toad
Mario from Super Mario Kart
Mario
Donkey Kong Jr.
Donkey Kong Jr.
Luigi
Luigi
Yoshi
Yoshi
Koopa Troopa
Koopa Troopa
Yoshi
Yoshi
Koopa Troopa
Koopa Troopa
Donkey Kong Jr.
Donkey Kong Jr.
Princess from Super Mario Kart
Princess
BowserSMK.png
Bowser
Mario from Super Mario Kart
Mario
Toad from Super Mario Kart
Toad
Luigi
Luigi
BowserSMK.png
Bowser
Mario from Super Mario Kart
Mario
Luigi
Luigi
Princess from Super Mario Kart
Princess
Yoshi
Yoshi
Donkey Kong Jr.
Donkey Kong Jr.
Toad from Super Mario Kart
Toad
Koopa Troopa
Koopa Troopa
Donkey Kong Jr.
Donkey Kong Jr.
Toad from Super Mario Kart
Toad
BowserSMK.png
Bowser
Koopa Troopa
Koopa Troopa
Luigi
Luigi
Princess from Super Mario Kart
Princess
Mario from Super Mario Kart
Mario
Yoshi
Yoshi
Koopa Troopa
Koopa Troopa
Luigi
Luigi
Yoshi
Yoshi
Princess from Super Mario Kart
Princess
Mario from Super Mario Kart
Mario
BowserSMK.png
Bowser
Donkey Kong Jr.
Donkey Kong Jr.
Toad from Super Mario Kart
Toad
Toad from Super Mario Kart
Toad
Princess from Super Mario Kart
Princess
Donkey Kong Jr.
Donkey Kong Jr.
Mario from Super Mario Kart
Mario
Yoshi
Yoshi
Luigi
Luigi
Koopa Troopa
Koopa Troopa
BowserSMK.png
Bowser

Mario Kart 64[edit]

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Mario Kart 64 and most of the subsequent installments (beside Mario Kart: Super Circuit) until Mario Kart 7 employ a simpler variation where one or two random opponents are selected at the start of a tournament to be of much greater skill than the other racers. Rival racers have strong rubberband AI.

Mario Kart: Super Circuit[edit]

Mario Kart: Super Circuit features a preset order of CPU opponents from slowest to fastest exists for each character in Grand Prix mode. In Quick Run mode, the orders are reversed, except in the first track of each cup. When playing Grand Prix in multiplayer, the rival order depends on the first player's character.

Player Fastest CPU 2nd Fastest 3rd Fastest 4th Fastest 3rd Slowest 2nd Slowest Slowest CPU
Mario Donkey Kong Bowser Luigi Yoshi Peach Toad Wario
Luigi Wario Toad Yoshi Mario Peach Donkey Kong Bowser
Peach Luigi Bowser Donkey Kong Yoshi Mario Toad Wario
Toad Peach Luigi Yoshi Mario Wario Donkey Kong Bowser
Yoshi Peach Luigi Toad Mario Wario Donkey Kong Bowser
Donkey Kong Yoshi Bowser Toad Luigi Peach Mario Wario
Wario Bowser Donkey Kong Yoshi Mario Luigi Peach Toad
Bowser Donkey Kong Peach Mario Yoshi Toad Luigi Wario

Mario Kart 7[edit]

Mario Kart 7 returns to a system similar to Super Mario Kart, although more simple as two characters are set instead of single characters followed by another single character, etc..

Each character's rivals will never change; for example, Bowser will always appear in a Grand Prix if the player is playing as Mario. However, if a set character is supposed to be unlockable, the set character is replaced by a default character until the unlockable character can be used. That will make the default character a third rival that occasionally appears in the race. The only exception to this is Wario, who does not have a third rival due to both of his main rivals being starting characters.

Character Rivals Third Rival
Sprite of Mario Metal MarioSprite of Bowser Sprite of Peach
Sprite of Luigi Sprite of Daisy Sprite of Mario Sprite of Yoshi
Sprite of Peach Lakitu Sprite of Donkey Kong in Mario Kart Wii Sprite of Toad
Sprite of Yoshi Wiggler Sprite of Toad Sprite of Donkey Kong in Mario Kart Wii
Sprite of Bowser Sprite of Mario Sprite of Rosalina Sprite of Luigi
Sprite of Donkey Kong in Mario Kart Wii Sprite of Wario Sprite of Koopa Troopa Sprite of Bowser
Sprite of Toad Sprite of Rosalina Sprite of Peach Sprite of Koopa Troopa
Sprite of Koopa Troopa Sprite of Yoshi Shy Guy Sprite of Luigi
Sprite of Daisy Sprite of Peach Sprite of Wario Sprite of Luigi
Sprite of Wario Sprite of Luigi Sprite of Mario None
Sprite of Rosalina Honey Queen Sprite of Peach Sprite of Toad
Metal Mario Sprite of Bowser Sprite of Rosalina Sprite of Mario
Shy Guy Sprite of Toad Lakitu Sprite of Koopa Troopa
Honey Queen Sprite of Koopa Troopa Metal Mario Sprite of Yoshi
Wiggler Shy Guy Sprite of Yoshi Sprite of Bowser
Lakitu Sprite of Donkey Kong in Mario Kart Wii Honey Queen Sprite of Mario
Mii icon, from Mario Kart 8. Sprite of BowserMetal Mario Sprite of Mario

Mario Kart 8 / Mario Kart 8 Deluxe[edit]

Mario Kart 8 uses a Rival system similar to its predecessor, with several alterations. A set rival system is present only in the Grand Prix mode of the game; all other modes, including single player VS and battle are not affected and have randomized CPU opponents. Furthermore, only the original characters from the E3 build of the game receive a set system of rivals (Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy, Yoshi, Wario, Donkey Kong, Bowser, Koopa Troopa, Waluigi, Toad, and Toadette). The rest of the playable characters do not have a rival system of any sort, and all of their opponents in any modes are randomized. If there is more than one player participating in a Grand Prix, the first player's character determines whether there is a rival system or not, and what specific rivals the game gives the character. If other players choose the rival characters, the rivals are replaced by another, random character.

Player Opponent(s) Player Opponent(s) Player Opponent(s)
Mario's head icon in Mario Kart 8 PeachBowser's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Yoshi's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Toad's head icon in Mario Kart 8Donkey Kong's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Bowser's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Mario's head icon in Mario Kart 8Luigi's head icon in Mario Kart 8
Luigi's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Mario's head icon in Mario Kart 8Daisy Toad's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Koopa Troopa's head icon in Mario Kart 8Waluigi's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Donkey Kong's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Bowser's head icon in Mario Kart 8Wario's head icon in Mario Kart 8
Peach Toad's head icon in Mario Kart 8Donkey Kong's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Koopa Troopa's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Yoshi's head icon in Mario Kart 8Toad's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Wario's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Mario's head icon in Mario Kart 8Daisy
Daisy PeachWaluigi's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Toadette's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Yoshi's head icon in Mario Kart 8Wario's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Waluigi's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Luigi's head icon in Mario Kart 8Toadette's head icon in Mario Kart 8

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe uses the same system, although more characters have been given rivals.

Rival Order
Player Opponent(s) Player Opponent(s) Player Opponent(s)
Mario's head icon in Mario Kart 8 PeachBowser's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Baby Mario's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Bowser Jr.'s head icon in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.Baby Peach's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Lemmy Larry
Luigi's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Mario's head icon in Mario Kart 8Daisy Baby Luigi's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Baby Mario's head icon in Mario Kart 8Baby Daisy's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Larry Lemmy
Peach Toad's head icon in Mario Kart 8Donkey Kong's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Baby Peach's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Baby Mario's head icon in Mario Kart 8Baby Daisy's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Wendy DaisyPeach
Daisy PeachWaluigi's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Baby Daisy's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Baby Peach's head icon in Mario Kart 8Baby Luigi's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Ludwig Iggy
Rosalina's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Toad's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Baby Rosalina's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Toadette's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Iggy Ludwig
Tanooki Mario's icon from Mario Kart 8 Cat Peach Metal Mario's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Pink Gold Peach's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Roy Morton
Cat Peach Tanooki Mario's icon from Mario Kart 8 Pink Gold Peach's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Metal Mario's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Morton Roy
Yoshi's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Toad's head icon in Mario Kart 8Donkey Kong's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Wario's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Mario's head icon in Mario Kart 8Daisy Inkling Girl Inkling Boy
Toad's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Koopa Troopa's head icon in Mario Kart 8Waluigi's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Waluigi's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Luigi's head icon in Mario Kart 8Toadette's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Inkling Boy Inkling Girl
Koopa Troopa's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Yoshi's head icon in Mario Kart 8Toad's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Donkey Kong's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Bowser's head icon in Mario Kart 8Wario's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Link's icon from Mario Kart 8 None
Shy Guy's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Yoshi's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Bowser's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Mario's head icon in Mario Kart 8Luigi's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Male Villager's icon. Isabelle's icon, from Mario Kart 8.
Lakitu's head icon in Mario Kart 8 None Dry Bones's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Koopa Troopa's head icon in Mario Kart 8Dry Bowser's icon, from Mario Kart 8. Female Villager's icon. Male Villager's icon.
Toadette's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Yoshi's head icon in Mario Kart 8Wario's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Bowser Jr.'s head icon in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Peach Isabelle's icon, from Mario Kart 8. Female Villager's icon.
King Boo's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. None Dry Bowser's icon, from Mario Kart 8. Dry Bones's head icon in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Mii icon from Mario Kart 8, with access to amiibo Racing Suits. None

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Tip #2: Watch the Computer Rival": "During the Grand Prix, you'll see after two races that a computer rival is consistently in first place or second place behind you (assuming you're first!). This rival is the one to gun for in future races to make sure he doesn't steal your lead.". Mario Kart: Double Dash!! Prima strategy guide, page 11