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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 to SMK) is the 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.


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 displays the course, while the bottom screen can either display a rear-view mirror perspective, or an overhead view of the whole track, displaying where all the racers are currently. In multiplayer, the bottom screen is assigned to the second player's view.


  • 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


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 by unlocked by finishing as first place for all four of the cups in 100cc. Larger engines result in faster vehicles and a greater level of difficulty. There are four cups to select: the Mushroom Cup, Flower Cup, Star Cup, and Special Cup. The Special Cup can only be unlocked by winning the other three Cups in 100cc. Each cup consists of five tracks, and the player must receive fourth place or better to advance to the next track. Places five through eight are given the "RANKED OUT" title. If the player ranks out three times, they will receive a Game Over. If the player presses SNES A.svg & SNES Y.svg at the same time, the selected player will be small until the player presses the buttons together again.

Time Trial

The second mode is Time Trial, in which the player races through one track in an attempt to set a record for best lap time or course time.

Multiplayer Modes

Mario GP

The first multiplayer mode is Mario GP, which 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 is required to 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

The second mode is Match Race (later known as VS. Mode), which is a one-on-one race on any track.

Battle Mode

In Battle Mode, two players choose from four levels specially designed for battle mode and try to pop the three balloons surrounding the other player with items such as Koopa shells or banana peels. The last player with balloons wins.


The eight available drivers can be classified by four attributes: top speed, steering, strength and acceleration:

Name Picture Stats Group
SMK Mario
The main character of the Mario series; he has balanced stats. When he is an AI opponent, he can use an unlimited number of stars. The Bros.
Mario's brother and secondary protagonist in most games; like Mario, he has balanced stats. He can also use an unlimited number of stars when he is controlled by the AI. The Bros.
Princess Peach
The princess of Mushroom Kingdom, and usually the one whom Mario ventures to save from Bowser, Peach has the best acceleration stats along with Yoshi. When controlled by the AI, she will use an unlimited number of poison mushrooms. The Dino & The Princess
A non-major character in the Mario series who usually offers help to Mario on his quests. His driving specialty lies in his excellent handling. As with Peach when controlled by the AI, he will hurl an unlimited amount of poisonous mushrooms. The Small Guys
Mario's trusted pal who assists Mario by giving him a ride, and eats enemies with his long tongue. His acceleration is matched only by that of Peach. Whilst controlled by the AI, Yoshi can hurl an unlimited number of eggs on the track. The Dino & The Princess
The main antagonist of the Mario series who commonly kidnaps Peach. His driving specialty is his heavy weight and unmatched top speed. As an AI character, he can spit fireballs on the track with no limit. The Showdown
Donkey Kong Jr.
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 and 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
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


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 have similar elements. Rainbow Road is the only one which does not have any numbers.

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



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



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

Battle stages

Super Mario Kart has its own Battle Mode and four different battle stages to battle on.

SNES Battle Course 1
Battle Course 1
Battle Course 2
Battle Course 3
Battle Course 4


Image Item Name Function Does Not Appear In
SMKBanana Banana Peel

Can be dropped on the track, or thrown in front of you, where any racers who run into it will spin out, unless they are using a Star or Boo. Can also be dragged behind you to block turtle shells coming from behind.

SMKCoin Coin These coins are found on track and in item boxes. They slightly increase the speed of a kart. Battle Mode
SMKFeather Feather It allows the player to make a jump, not just one of those weak drift hops, providing the ability to perform several shortcuts. Nothing
SMKBoo Boo This item allows a racer to turn invisible temporarily and a Boo steals an opposing player's item. Mario GP
SMKGreenShell Green Shell This Koopa shell can be thrown either forwards or backwards at other racers and will make them

spin out

SMKRedShell Red Shell This shell acts like like the Green Shell, but instead it homes in on the player directly ahead. Nothing
SMKThunderbolt Thunderbolt It shrinks every other player on the track. The lead players are always last to return to normal. Battle Mode
SMKMushroom Mushroom Gives the player a short speed boost that can be used to cut terrain. It can be used with a Feather for big jumps. Nothing
SMKStar Star This item makes players temporarily invincible. They can't be harmed in any way except falling and can make others spin out. Nothing

Items consist of both offensive and supportive types that are picked up when driving over a yellow ? Block sitting on the track.  The type of item received is generally 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 is the CPU players that in some cases have an unlimited amount of a certain item, such as Princess Toadstool and Toad's Poison Mushrooms or Mario and Luigi's infinite stars.


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


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


  • 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 game with each cup having five courses in it (as opposed to 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 and this is also the only Mario Kart game in which that Donkey Kong Jr. is a playable character.
  • 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 that is indigo with a skull.
  • It features advanced graphics for the time thanks to its use of Mode 7 texture mapping.
  • There is a banned ending where Peach or Bowser will drink from a Champagne bottle. This was removed in every version except the Japanese version.
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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