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Sunshine Airport is the first course of the Star Cup in Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and is the first airport course in the Mario Kart series. It takes place in an airport on an unknown island. Airplanes can be seen parked and taking off. Sunshine Airport is themed and named after Super Mario Sunshine. Shine Sprites are visible throughout the course. The course physics are altered in 200cc, with the ramps with Dash Panels propelling racers at a shorter distance. The aircraft standing around the airfield are based on a variety of different aircraft, ranging from the Boeing 737 to 747, to 777 or even 787 jets, alongside Airbus A320, A330 and other aircraft.
The course begins in the terminal. After a hairpin turn, players will exit the terminal by taking a jump onto the apron. After this, there is a small jump over a conveyor belt, after which the track proceeds under a plane. Once passing under it, a ramp leads to a raised track which then turns left. The track then splits into two alternate paths; one where a jump can be taken onto the wing of another plane, proceed through it and come out on the other wing, or one where the jump is not taken, leading the player to drive under the plane. Shortly after, players will take a left turn, and then hit some Dash Panels leading to a Glide Ramp, where a plane flies over the lead racer. This plane changes every lap. The gilding section travels up into an anti-gravity platform suspended in the air, which loops around a three-quarter turn. Several Spin Boost Pillars are present here. Afterwards, racers hit a Glide Ramp and enter another gliding section. Players descend, land on a helicopter pad outside the terminal, then turn left and re-enter the terminal. There is one last right turn to the finish line.
When under a flying plane, sounds in the game become muffled.
References to the Mario series
Mario Kart 8 Original Soundtrack liner notes
"This was the first track on Mario Kart 8 I was responsible for, and I had a great time working on it. The combination of the gorgeous graphics and the sheer silliness of racing around an airport made it really exciting. I was aiming to create music with a fresh, airy feel, to give you a taste of southern seas and tropical sky."
Names in other languages