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The technique was given a name in the instruction manual for Mario Kart 64.
Performing the Rocket Start too early will result in the kart stalling, so proper timing is needed, or you can get a really bad result.
Depending on the difficulty level, a varying number of computer opponents will utilize the rocket start. On lower difficulties, very few computer opponents will utilize the rocket start, giving every racer that uses the rocket start a massive advantage over them. As the difficulty increases, more opponents will utilize the rocket start. On Mirror Mode, very few opponents will stall at or drive out of the starting line.