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Super Mario Kart

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Super Mario Kart
640px-SMK BoxCover2

Super Mario Kart boxart.
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Released September 1, 1992
Genre(s) Racing
Mode(s) 1-2 players
Platform(s) SNES

Super Mario Kart (abbreviated SMK) is the very first video game in the Mario Kart series, made for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Players race go-karts as one of eight characters from the Super Mario series and aim for the gold.

Gameplay

Super Mario Kart can be played by one or two players. All gameplay uses a forced split screen view. In single player mode, the top part of the screen displays the course in behind-kart view, while the bottom half of the screen can either display a rear-view mirror perspective, or an overhead view of the whole track, displaying where all the racers are at the moment. In multiplayer, the bottom screen is assigned to the second player's view.

Controls

  • SNES B.svg - Accelerate, Rocket Start
  • SNES A.svg - Use items, stop item roulette
  • SNES Start - Pause/Select
  • SNES Select - Switch view
  • SNES Pad - Steer/Navigate menu
  • SNES X.svg - Switch view
  • SNES Y.svg - Brake
  • Def L.svg/Def R.svg: Drift/jump

Modes

Single Player Modes

Mario GP

Super Mario Kart Award Ceremony

Super Mario Kart Award Ceremony. You get a trophy AND champagne bottles!

The first single player mode is Mario GP (later known as Grand Prix), in which one player races seven computer-controlled drivers. Engine classes of 50cc, 100cc, and 150cc are available, but 150cc must be unlocked by beating the game in 100cc difficulty. Larger engines result in faster vehicles and as such a greater level of difficulty. There are four cups to select: the Mushroom Cup, the Flower Cup, the Star Cup, and the Special Cup. The Special Cup must be unlocked by winning gold in the other three Cups, in 100cc mode. Each cup consists of five tracks, and the player must finish the race in fourth place or better to advance to the next track. Racers ranked fifth to last are "RANKED OUT" and forced to either use a continue to try again if applicable, or retire and end the game. If the player presses SNES A.svg & SNES Y.svg at the same time, the selected character will be small until the player presses the buttons together again.
Mario GP scoring process

In order to win the cup, the player must have the highest total number of points at the end of the fifth track of the cup. Points are awarded at the end of each track, as follows :

  1. 9 points,
  2. 6 points,
  3. 3 points,
  4. 1 point.

Ending the cup as 1st to 3rd gives the player the gold, silver or bronze cup respectively, while ending 4th do not award any cup. The character is shown during the award ceremony near the podium, crying while first three cpu racers celebrate and rejoice, with a special theme played and a text displayed on-screen. No cup is awarded in this case, and therefore the player must restart the entire cup, in hopes of achieving a better performance.

Time Trial

Time Trial mode has the player race through one track of his own choice, with the racer of its choice, in an attempt to set a record for best lap or overall course time. SNES hardware being what it is, the times reached are deleted as soon the console is turned off. All items are taken out in this mode, and so the times achieved rely solely on driving skills. If the driving session is perfect (no falling, spin out or offroad), the ghost can eventually reappear on following session, allowing the player to further improve his driving skills.


Multiplayer Modes

Mario GP

Mario GP mode plays just like the single player version, but with one less computer-controlled driver. In order to proceed to the next track, only one player must rank in the top four. The first player will receive a Game Over if they rank out three times, and the other player continues alone. 

Match Race

Match Race mode (later known as VS. Mode), pits the two players in a one-on-one race on any track.

Battle Mode

In Battle Mode, two players choose from four battle arenas specially designed for battle mode and try to pop the three balloons surrounding the other player (representing their lives) by hitting them with items such as Koopa shells or banana peels. The last player with at least one balloon wins.

Racers

The eight available drivers can be classified by four attributes: top speed, steering, strength and acceleration. The eight characters are grouped in pairs, each pair sharing the same stats and having the same bonus to a particular attribute. Here are the racers :

Name Picture Stats Group
Mario
SMK Mario

The main character of the Mario series; he has balanced stats. As an AI opponent, he can use an unlimited number of stars.

Both him and Luigi are good for beginners.

The Bros.
Luigi
SMKluigi
Mario's brother and secondary protagonist in most games ; like Mario, he has balanced stats. Luigi also has an unlimited star supply when he's controlled by the AI. The Bros.
Princess Peach
MKToadstool

The princess of Mushroom Kingdom, whom Mario ventures to save from Bowser, Peach has the best acceleration stats along with Yoshi, but smallest top speed overall. When controlled by the AI, she uses an unlimited number of poison mushrooms.

Peach and Yoshi are perfect for beginners and players with offroad habits.

The Dino & The Princess
Toad
MKToad
Trusty sidekick of the Mario series, Toad's driving specialty is his excellent handling. As with Peach when controlled by the AI, Toad hurls an unlimited amount of poisonous mushrooms. The Small Guys
Yoshi
464px-MKYoshi
Mario's trusted pal who gives Mario a ride through Dinosaur Land, and eats enemies with his long tongue. His acceleration is matched only by Peach. When controlled by the AI, Yoshi hurls an unlimited number of eggs on the track. The Dino & The Princess
Bowser
MKBowser
Main antagonist of the Mario series who commonly kidnaps Peach. Heaviest driver and highest top speed of the game : Bowser and DKJr are the perfect choice for the SMK experts, and most of the world time trial records are achieved with them. As an AI character, Bowser spits fireballs on the track with no limit. The Showdown
Donkey Kong Jr.
DKJRMK
Son of the original Donkey Kong (now known as Cranky Kong) and protagonist of the game "Donkey Kong Jr.", this is his only Mario Kart appearance. He was replaced by his own son (also named Donkey Kong) in all later titles. His stats match Bowser's. As an AI character, he can spit banana skins on the track with no limit. The Showdown
Koopa Troopa
MKTroopa
One of Bowser's minions who attempts to halt Mario on his quests. The Koopa Troopa is similar to Toad in that his handling ability is among the best in the game. When placed as an AI character, he will attempt to attack the player with an unlimited number of green shells. The Small Guys

Tracks

Super Mario Kart features twenty tracks total, divided into four cups of five each. Tracks with numbers are part of series, which means that all tracks with the same name but different numbers will be set in the same universe, and as such share the same name, background, track elements, enemies and music theme. This was due to the SNES hardware limitations of the time, that did not allow the original Mario Kart game from having all-distinctive courses. The game could only handle 8 different universes, and Rainbow Road is the only one which has an entire universe for its own, having exclusive background, enemies (Rainbow Thwomps), name and theme song.

Mushroom Cup Flower Cup Star Cup Special Cup
SNES Mario Circuit 1 map
Mario Circuit 1
SNES Choco Island 1
Choco Island 1
SNES Koopa Beach 1
Koopa Beach 1
SNES Donut Plains 3
Donut Plains 3
SNES Donut Plains 1
Donut Plains 1
SNES Ghost Valley 2
Ghost Valley 2
SNES Choco Island 2
Choco Island 2
SNES Koopa Beach 2
Koopa Beach 2
SNES Ghost Valley 1
Ghost Valley 1
SNES Donut Plains 2
Donut Plains 2
SNES Vanilla Lake 1
Vanilla Lake 1
SNES Ghost Valley 3
Ghost Valley 3
SNES Bowser Castle 1
Bowser Castle 1
SNES Bowser Castle 2 map
Bowser Castle 2
SNES Bowser Castle 3 map
Bowser Castle 3
SNES Vanilla Lake 2
Vanilla Lake 2
SNES Mario Circuit 2
Mario Circuit 2
SNES Mario Circuit 3 map
Mario Circuit 3
SNES Mario Circuit 4
Mario Circuit 4
SNES Rainbow Road
Rainbow Road

World Records

Like all other Mario Kart games, Super Mario Kart has its own Time Trial World Records. Here is a list of the current times for each course.

Track Name Time Player Date
Mario Circuit 1 0'56"10 Sami Cetin 08-10-2014
Donut Plains 1 1'08"59 Karel van Duijvenboden 09-06-2009
Ghost Valley 1 0'59"22 Oliver Segarra Gonzalez 05-01-2011
Bowser Castle 1 1'25"37 Guillaume Leviach 8-24-2014
Mario Circuit 2 1'01"90 Florent Lecoanet 04-13-2014
Choco Island 1 0'52"95 Karel van Duijvenboden

Oliver Segarra Gonzalez

12-11-2011

01-01-2012

Ghost Valley 2 0'57"86 Guillaume Leviach 03-23-2014
Donut Plains 2 1'22"78 Guillaume Leviach 01-19-2014
Bowser Castle 2 1'38"13 Oliver Segarra Gonzalez 11-27-2011
Mario Circuit 3 1'24"67 Oliver Segarra Gonzalez 08-30-2011
Koopa Beach 1 0'45"83 Tyler Worley 01-31-2010
Choco Island 2 1'02"61 Guillaume Leviach 01-19-2014
Vanilla Lake 1 0'47"77 Florent Lecoanet 11-15-2009
Bowser Castle 3 1'26"66 Karel van Duijvenboden 09-20-2009
Mario Circuit 4 1'29"90 Guillaume Leviach 01-26-2014
Donut Plains 3 1'13"43 Guillaume Leviach 03-30-2014
Koopa Beach 2 0'52"80 Guillaume Leviach 12-11-2011
Ghost Valley 3 1'12"27 Sami Cetin 05-04-2014
Vanilla Lake 2 0'46"21

Ha Nyan

Guillaume Leviach

02-02-2014

05-11-2014

Rainbow Road 1'23"78 Karel van Duijvenboden 01-01-2011

Battle stages

Super Mario Kart has its own Battle Mode dedicated stages to battle on. They are no circuits.

SNES Battle Course 1
Battle Course 1
BC2SNES
Battle Course 2
BC3SNES
Battle Course 3
BC4SNES
Battle Course 4

Items

Image Item Name Function Does Not Appear In
SMKBanana Banana Peel

Can be dropped on the track, or thrown in front of the driver. Any racers who run into it will spin out (unless using a Star or Boo). Can also be dragged behind the player to block turtle shells coming from behind.

Nothing
SMKCoin Coin These coins are found on track and in item boxes. They slightly increase the speed of a kart. Battle Mode
SMKFeather Feather Allows the player to make a big jump, and provides it the ability to perform several shortcuts by jumping over walls or empty gaps. Nothing
SMKBoo Boo This item allows a racer to turn invisible temporarily and steal an opposing player's item. Mario GP
SMKGreenShell Green Shell This Koopa shell can be thrown either forwards or backwards at other racers and makes them

spin out if hit.

Nothing
SMKRedShell Red Shell Improvement of the Green Shell, this one homes in on the player directly ahead. Nothing
SMKThunderbolt Thunderbolt Best and rarest item in the game, it shrinks every other player on the track. When shrunk, racers are vulnerable. Racers return to normal at the order of ranking they had when the lightning struck, reversed. Battle Mode
SMKMushroom Mushroom Gives the player a short, single speed boost similar to zippers, that can be used to cut through terrain, gain seconds, or be used upon jump bars for very big jumps. Nothing
SMKStar Star As in every Mario game, stars make players temporarily invincible. They can't be harmed or slowed down in any way except falling, run faster and make others spin out on contact. Nothing

Items are either offensive and supportive and are picked up when driving over a yellow ? Block sitting on the track. The probabilities of receiving a particular item are dependent on the place the player is in, with more powerful items such as Stars and Thunderbolts given when the player is further back.

The exception to this being the CPU players, who all have an unlimited amount of a certain item, such as Princess Toadstool and Toad's Poison Mushrooms, Mario and Luigi's infinite stars or Bowser's Fireballs.

Gallery

For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Super Mario Kart.

Soundtrack

For this game's soundtrack, see Soundtrack:Super Mario Kart.

Trivia

  • This is the only game in the Mario Kart series that has a two-player maximum for multiplayer. Later games would allow up to four players (or eight) to play at the same time.
  • This game did not feature any unlockables other than the 150cc engine class and the Special Cup for the 100cc and 150cc classes.
  • In the Western manuals, the vehicle known as a kart was incorrectly spelled with a "C" when talking about the number of remaining karts which can decrease by one by restarting a race after giving up or placing 5th-8th.
  • In Mario Kart: Super Circuit all the tracks from Super Mario Kart can be unlocked. However they are known as "Extra Tracks" and the gameplay is the exact same as it normally is in Super Circuit. (The characters, items and graphics are still the same)
  • This is the only Mario Kart game on which cups have five courses instead of four. This excludes the Extra Cups in Mario Kart: Super Circuit.
  • This is the only Mario Kart game where Donkey Kong and Wario do not appear as playable characters (both characters having not been created yet at the time the game was released), and this is also the only Mario Kart game in which Donkey Kong Jr. is a playable character. The eponymous game having been a failure, the character was scrapped in future games.
  • The Poison Mushroom that is used only by CPU-controlled Toadstool and Toad is not a true Poison Mushroom in most cases. Unlike other games, it shrinks the driver who hits it while at normal size, but enlarges the driver back to his/her normal size when small. It takes on more of the appearance of a Golden Mushroom with red spots than an actual Poison Mushroom seen in Super Mario Bros : The Lost Levels (japanese Super Mario bros. 2),which is indigo and bears a skull.
  • The 3D-like textures featured in the game (Mode 7 texture mapping) were an advanced process in the time, and as such the game cartridges had superior quality hardware to cope with the game's needs.
  • Because of the game storage limitations, both Mario and Luigi share the same body textures, with a simple color palette swap for differencing the two characters. Only their faces have distinct tiles.
  • The original japanese version of the game features Peach or Bowser drinking from a Champagne bottle on the podium at the end of the cups, should they win. Due to the alcohol-consumption policies running at the time in the western world, this ending was removed in both American & European versions of the game, and replaced by a Super Mario Bros. vine coming out of the bottle.
Mario Kart games
Main Titles Super Mario KartMario Kart 64Mario Kart: Super Circuit
Mario Kart: Double DashMario Kart DSMario Kart WiiMario Kart 7Mario Kart 8
Arcade Titles Mario Kart Arcade GPMario Kart Arcade GP 2Mario Kart Arcade GP DX

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