15 facts you didn’t know about Mario Kart

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div> Squealingtires and screeching turns, competitive drivers with sweaty palms and laser focus, crowds alternately screaming profanities andgritting teeth from the starting light to the photo finishits not NASCAR or Formula 1. This isMario Kartat its best.

With a large cult following for each of the five console releasesfrom the 1992 Super Nintendo classic to the Wii UsMario Kart 8Mario Kartcould arguably be one of the greatest video game franchises of all time.

Whether theyraced defensively with heavyweights like Bowserorpreferred to claim the throne as Princess Peach, fans ofMario Karthave spent 25 years gathering around a TV screen competing for the gold. As an ode to one of our favorite video games that has truly stood the test of time, we have gathered a few little-known facts about the legacy of Mario Kart.

1) Mariowasn’t even included at firstand neither was racing

Image via Mario Wiki

The Mario character we know today didn’t actually appear in Super Mario Kart until nearly fourmonths after Nintendo started development. According to an interview between Nintendo’s fourth president, SatoruIwata, and the game’s leaddevelopers, the entertainment company originally imagined a plain man in overallsin the first prototype, sans Mario’s trademark mustache.

The developers explained that their top objective was to make a game where two driverscould be displayed separately on the screen at the same time. Only after that initial prototype did racing enter the equation and Mario made his firstappearance.

At first, no racing was involved. It was just two karts moving around freely, explained Nintendos Shigeru Miyamoto (who would go on to serve as an acting director after Iwatas death). Then we noticed that it looked neat if you stopped one car and looked at the other car flying by. We decided to see what it would look like with Mario in one of the karts, and everyone thought that looked even better. A quarter century of racers agree.

Battle mode came along a bit later, with the signature balloon poppingin the plans from the early days.

2) The game features Nintendo’s groundbreaking Mode 7 graphics

Photo via GalgenTX/Flickr

It may not look like much compared to its glossier cousins on Wii and Wii U, butSuper Mario Kart had some of the most visually striking graphics of its time.

The original game featuresSNES Mode 7 graphics, which allow viewers to scale and rotate the background without the need for separate background images for each frame and viewpoint. The Mode 7 graphics were a great advantage for Nintendo’s games, offering viewers amock-3D experience before that technology was really feasible. Mode 7 graphicsallowed users to feel like they were in a 3D experience due to the manipulation of their environment, even though it was technically 2D.

3) Super Mario Karts commercials in the 90s were peak 90s

Take a WrestleManiaannouncer, add in some compelling race footage, paste in some dynamic word art for catchphrases like WILD and MADNESS, and turn the whole thing up to 11. The result is this intense and certainly “DYN-O-MITE” commercial for Super Mario Kartthat absolutely screams (sometimes literally)90s aesthetic.

4) Yoshi, Bowser, and Donkey Kong Jr. are made to be bullies

GIF via 1980s-90s GIFs/Tumblr

Competition between players can be fierce as fire when it comes to Mario Kart. Once a player zooms past another, expect relentless tauntingboth from the player IRL andfrom the character in the video game.

<span style=”font-weight:;” 400;”>Typically, when Mario or Luigi pass their opponents, youll hear a car honk as they fly by. However, Yoshi, Bowser, and Donkey Kong Jr. were given character-specific taunts that are more than just the semi-friendly honk. In later games, that taunting expands to include a few other characters like Daisy, Mario, and the Miis in Mario Kart 8.

5) In Japan, Princess Peach and Bowser celebrate a win with Champagne

Screengrab via DidYouKnowGaming?/YouTube

The 1992 Japanese release ofSuper Mario Kart features Princess Peach and Bowser celebrating their victory by chugging a bottle of bubbly, leaving Princess Peach a bit flushed afterward. However, when the game arrived in North America, Nintendo nixed the scene to adhere to national standards about the depiction of the consumption of alcohol. Instead the two characters tossthe bottle up into the air.

6)Lakitu owns all the race tracks

Screengrab via Sibsy/Deviant Art

Lakitu, the yellow guy in a turtle shell who controls the tracks and calls the shots, owns all of the race tracks in Super Mario Kart.

In the original 1992 instruction booklet, Lakitu greets players, letting them know he runs this track. The cloud-bound turtle observes players as they race through the courses, and behind the scenes, he is making sure the tracks are clean and prepared for the next race.If your racer goes out of bounds while racing, Lakitu willsubtract two coins and set you back on the track.

7) ForMario Kart 64, Nintendochanged names and ads from the original version

Screengrab via Buzzfeed

The Japanese version of Mario Kart 64 featured Mario-themed ads from big-name brands like Marlboro. When the game headed across the Pacificto the U.S., the ads had to be changed soNintendo wouldnt face legal actions.

In the side-by-side graphic above, you’ll see the Japanese versions of the banners that knock off Marlboro, Agip, Mobil1, Goodyear, and 76, and their American counterparts.

Screengrab via tcrf.net

But the ads arent the only change in the American version. Each of the courses also got a new name inMario Kart 64, ranging from subtle shifts like Moh Moh Farm to Moo Moo Farm to more drastic rewrites like Karakara Sabaku becoming Kalamari Desert.

8) A shortcutin Mario Kart 64s Wario Stadium will get you the gold every time

There is a shortcut in Mario Kart 64 that lets you beat this trackin a record-breaking time. Because of the doubled-back nature of the track map, it’s possible to skip huge portions of the track by jumping over the walls. From the early straightaway of mud hills, propel yourself up for a jump, veer to the left as soon as you are mid-air, and if you time it right, you will land milesahead of your opponents.

Its tricky to nail, though: You have to choose the right racer, time it just right, get enough height, and cut the angle in just a way to get over the wall and stick the landing.

If you do this each time you soar in the sky after riding up a dirt hill, you will come out as the winner and finish each loop in a little over a minute. If you get really enterprising, you can find a wayback over the wall you just jumped, making each lap take mere seconds.

9) Super Mario Karts handbook encourages cheating

Screengrab via gamesdatabase.org

Screen peekingwhere you take advantage of a splitscreen video game by scoping out where your opponent is in the levelgets a really bad rap in games like HaloandCall of Duty, butthe Super Mario Kart handbook specifically says that it is OK to look at your opponents screen when competing in Battle Mode. So next time someone says youre breaking the rules and cheating, feel free to pull out this little tidbit to set the record straight.

10) Luigi’s Raceway in Mario Kart 64 has a secret hidden offthe track

Screengrab via DeafRetroVideoGamer/YouTube

The Japanese version of Mario 64 has a collision on the grass outside of the Luigi’s Raceway tracks. In order to get to the hidden secret, a player has to bounce off another player, over a wall, and onto the grass above the tunnel. However, the secret collision was taken out of the game for the U.S. version, so don’t try it at home or else you will go out of bounds.

11)Super Mario Kart takes place in Dinosaur Land

Screengrab via Mario Wiki

Super Mario Kart is actually played in the same universe asSuper Mario World.In the 90s Super Mario World was the first SNES Nintendo title game, and Super Mario Kart borrowed courses from the previous game’s universe.Many assume that Super Mario Kart has an exclusive world, but the game actually revisits courses from Dinosaur Land.

12) Donkey Kong Jr. was in Super Mario Kart, not the O.G. himself.

Screengrab via XNeSkUnX/YouTube

In the Mario universe, Donkey Kong and his many family members have a lot of drama.

There is some confusion between the original Donkey Kong and his family members Donkey Kong Jr., Diddy Kong, and Cranky, but despite the first assumption, Donkey Kong Jr. was in Super Mario Kart. The smaller version of the original Kong had previous roles like an arcade game in the 80s, but after his breakthrough in Super Mario Kart, he was gradually kicked to the curb. Donkey Kong Jr. was dropped from following Mario Kart games and was replaced with Diddy Kong or Cranky.

13) Everything you need to know about Mario Kart Wii is in this spreadsheet

Image via ark42.com

Thisentire spreadsheetbreaksdown the minutiae of Mario Kart Wii:the speed, weight, and handling of eachvehicle and character;the distribution of items in each position; and even the ghost records and unlock times on every course. Some characters, like Rosalina, have a few different ways to unlock them, like with one-star ratings on a set of courses or by connecting with players online and winning races on the now-defunct Wi-Fi Connection servers.

Bless whoever made this spreadsheet.

14) Mario Kart 8 is the first of the series to features animated mustaches

GIF via Gifsoup.com

Mario and Luigi’s mustaches are their most iconic traits, and Mario Kart 8 for Wii U captures the magic with mustache physics. The game features next-gen animation that shows Mario and Luigi’s mustaches moving with the wind as they racethrough the tracks.

15) Mario Karts Thwomp characters are from Japanese mythology

Screengrab via mario.wikia.com

TheThwomps and Whomps, which are animated brick-like blocks in the Mario universethat threaten a player’s path on the track, have roots inJapanese mythology. They were inspired bynurikabe spirits, which are said to appear to block a travelers way.

InMario Kart 64, one of the big blue blocksa Thwomp named Martyis locked away behind bars in Bowsers Castle. Some intrepid players discovered a secret way to unlock him: Drive three counter-clockwise circles around the fire-breathing statue at the beginning of the level, then race a lap backward, then drive three clockwise circles around the same statue. Zoom into the next room to see the bars in front of Marty slowly lift.

Editor’s note: This article is occasionally updated for relevance.

Read more: https://www.dailydot.com/parsec/super-mario-kart-wii-u-secrets-trivia/

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