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FAQ by American Arsenal

Version: 2.02 | Updated: 03/13/2005

        A Full FAQ, version 2.02 / March 13, 2005
            By American Arsenal <americanarsenal4 (at) gmail (dot) com

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                       ~  D O U B L E   D A S H ! !  ~

             TABLE OF CONTENTS

         I.  Introduction
             a.  Contact Me
        II.  Game Basics
             a.  Controls
             b.  The Basics
             c.  Items
       III.  Characters and Karts
             a.  Characters
             b.  Karts
        IV.  Course Strategies
             a.  Mushroom Cup
             b.  Flower Cup
             c.  Star Cup
             d.  Special Cup
         V.  Multiplayer
             a.  Balloon Battle
             b.  Shine Thief
             c.  Bob-omb Blast
        VI.  Unlockables
       VII.  FAQ
      VIII.  Revision History
        IX.  Legal Disclaimer
         X.  Closing

   Made a purely cosmetic change.  New track headers.  Yum.

     I ------------------------------------------------------ INTRODUCTION

 Welcome everyone to my latest guide, this one covering the best Mario Kart
 game since the last one, Double Dash!!  I am the artist formerly known as
 Merca formerly known as Vash the Stampede, and this is a rewrite of my sixth
 guide, covering the game introduced in the previous sentence.  That's right, I
 said "rewrite", meaning that I recently went over what was once a
 piece-of-crap-guide and redid everything, making it into a better-than-it-was-
 before-but-still-not-so-great-guide.  But that's just me putting myself down
 as always.  Anyhoo, I tend to ramble on way too much in these introductions,
 so I'll make this a first and shut up.


   - American Arsenal

a.  Contact Me

 Need to get in contact with me?  That's cool, so long as you follow some
 simple rules.  Feel free to send any questions, comments, hate mail or
 anything else of the sort to americanarsenal4 (at) gmail (dot) com.  However,
 I highly suggest reading through the FAQ before asking a question--if it's
 answered within the confines of this document then you shouldn't expect a
 response.  What that means is that if you are too lazy to check through the
 FAQ by pressing Ctrl + F and searching for whatever it is that you're looking
 for, then I'm too lazy to reply.  Also, do not ask me any questions about
 something that I may not have covered yet, as I probably don't know anything
 about it and would rather not have it spoiled for me.  One last thing: when
 sending me an e-mail, be sure to put something along the lines of "Mario Kart"
 in the subject.  If you fail to comply, your mail will be promptly deleted.
 Sound good?

 In short...

 E-Mail: americanarsenal4 (at) gmail (dot) com

 Please only contact me if it's pertaining to something that isn't already in
 the guide, otherwise I'll be left with no prerogative but to eat your face.

     II ------------------------------------------------------ GAME BASICS

 This nice little section will cover all of the basic information you need to
 know before playing Double Dash!!  Just think of it as a condensed version of
 the instruction manual, only written by yours truly instead of whoever writes

a.  Controls

 Control Stick - Steer
   Surprisingly enough, you can use this little gray stick to steer your
   vehicle.  Tilt it to the left to veer left and vice versa.

 C-Stick - Nothing
   Like I said above, it doesn't do anything!

 Start Button - Pause
   Tap this button during play to pause the game and display the controls,
   complete with a diagram of the controller!  Cool beans!

 A Button - Accelerate
   Hold this button down to gain speed and move from a snail's crawl to maximum

 B Button - Brake
   The B Button has two different functions. Pressing it while accelerating
   will apply the brakes.  On the other hand, pressing it whilst you are
   stationary allows you to back up.

 X and Y Buttons - Use Item
   Pressing either of these buttons will let loose whatever item your hind-
   seated character is currently holding.

 Z Button - Switch driver / item user
   This button will switch the driver to the item handler and vice versa.  In
   co-op mode, both players must press this button simultaneously for it to

 Left and Right Triggers - Drift
   If you push these buttons together, you can drift, or slide, around a tight
   turn.  It's a very useful skill that you'll need to learn to use
   effectively.  In co-op mode, the triggers have a different use for whoever
   is controlling the rear character:  the Slide-Attack, a quick ramming move
   good for smashing nearby karts.

b.  The Basics

 All the basic stuff you should already know / be able to figure out.  Even so,
 this is a good place to look if you're a Mario Kart newbie.


 When you first boot up the game, three options will appear below:

 Start Game
 Pretty self-explanatory, I should think.  Select this and you'll be taken to
 another screen, asking how many players you want.  Choose from one to four,
 then select the mode you wish to play; either Grand Prix, Time Trials, Versus,
 or Battle (Multiplayer only).

 This option will display not only your record scores for each cup in Grand
 Prix mode, but also your fastest time trial runs for each and every course.
 Pretty cool!

 There are several things to fiddle with here, complete with an array of
 different results depending on what you select:

   * Sound:  Whichever you want.  If you have surround sound, go for that,
     Otherwise, it's either Stereo (like me) or Mono (only one speaker).
     Default is "Surround."

   * Volume:  Does the exact same thing as hitting the "Vol +" button on your
     TV's remote control.  Pump it up if you've got bad ears.  If not, leave it
     be, as the recommended sound level is just fine.  Default is

   * Rumble:  Want the controller to vibrate ever-so slightly when you're hit
     with a turtle shell or collide with another kart?  If so, leave this
     option on.  Default is "On."

   * Time Trials Ghost:  Your choice here determines whether or not a ghost of
     your best time in each course will appear during a Time Trial race.
     Default is "On."

   * Vs. Item Box:  The various options here decide how the item boxes will
     appear during a Versus Mode race.  Default is "Recommended."

   * Vs. Laps:  During a Vs. race against a buddy, you can use this option to
     set the number of laps per race to anything from a single to lap to as
     many as nine.  Default is "3."


 Turn on the game and make some snap decisions to get playing ASAP.  Sooner or
 later, this is what you'll see.
 |     _                          |
 | #1 |_|[]            Time: #### |
 |      2                3        |
 | **                         ____|
 |                           |    |
 | ** 4                      |    |
 |              8            |  5 |
 | **                        |    |
 |                           |____|
 | **                          ___|
 |                            /   |
 | #6                        |  7 |

 1 - Position
     This displays the current place you're team is in (1st being the best and
     8th being total suckiness).

 2 - Current Item(s)
     This small box shows what item(s) your racers are currently holding.

 3 - Timer
     Here you'll see a timer showing how long you're taking.

 4 - Top Four Karts
     On the left side of your screen are the top four pairs/karts.  It should
     be your goal to always be on here.

 5 - Track Map
     A map of the course layout, complete with little icons for each individual
     kart.  Great for seeing how far ahead (or behind) you may be.

 6 - Current Lap
     Shows how many times you've raced around the course out of how many total
     times you need to finish the race.

 7 - Miles Per Hour
     Displays how fast you're going.

 8 - Your Kart
     No explanation needed, I shouldn't think.


 Grand Prix
 This is the main single player mode.  After choosing one of three initially
 unlocked cups, you get to race against seven other karts in four races.
 Depending on how you place, you'll gain a certain amount of points; the better
 you do in the race the more points you'll receive.  The top three point
 scorers after all four races receive trophies, while the other five karts are
 laughed at and referred to as losers.

 Time Trial
 In this mode, it's just you racing against the clock--there are no other karts
 to slow you down.  Your goal here is to finish a single course as fast as
 possible.  To aid you with this, each character on your kart is given one, and
 only one, Mushroom.  Make sure you conserve these and only use them when
 needed, otherwise getting the best time possible won't be easy.

 This is a multiplayer mode, meaning that the only karts on the road are those
 controlled by human players.  With that as an exception, everything else is
 similar to a Grand Prix race.

 Another multiplayer mode, Battle lets you choose one of three different
 mini-games to challenge your buddies in:  Balloon Battle, Shine Thief, and
 Bob-omb Blast.  Check out Chapter V for more in-depth details on those.


 This technique is incredibly useful for taking sharp turns.  By pressing and
 holding either the left or right trigger (or both) during a turn and you'll
 slide around the corner without losing your momentum.  Master this skill an
 you'll become a much better driver.

 With this tricky move, you can actually get a speed boost while drifting
 around a turn.  There are two different ways to perform it:

   * Single Player:  During a drift, tilt the Control Stick in the opposite
     direction of the turn (e.g., if you're turning left, tilt the stick to the
     right).  When the sparks on the wheels turn red, that's your cue to tilt
     the stick back in the other direction.  Once the sparks become blue, stop
     drifting to gain a short-lived turbo boost.

   * Co-op:  While the front character performs the drift, the back character
     should tilt the stick in the opposite direction of the turn.  Once the
     sparks are red, push it back to the other side and wait for the sparks to
     turn blue.  When that happens, the front character should end the drift to
     activate the turbo.

 Rocket Start
 During the countdown right before the actual race begins, you can get off to
 a quick start by pressing A when the light turns green.  This can be somewhat
 difficult to perform, but practice makes perfect (as if you've never heard
 that before).  The most effective method to pull off this technique is to wait
 for Lakitu's hand to start moving after the light turns green, then press the
 A button just as his hand falls.

 Double Dash!!
 This move (the game's namesake) can only be performed in co-op mode.  If both
 the players (the person controlling the front character and the person in
 control of the rear rider) properly execute a Rocket Start (see above)
 together, a Double Dash!! will occur.  It's basically the same thing as a
 Rocket Start, only much more effective.

 Stealing Items
 There are three different ways to steal an item from an opposing kart, but
 they only work if your rear character doesn't currently have an item.

   * Crash into an opposing kart while using a Mushroom
   * Crash into an opposing kart while using a Star
   * Slide attack another kart (co-op only)


 The newest addition to the Mario Kart series is inclusion of two characters
 per kart.  Not only does each character have a special item unique to them,
 but they also have specific weight conditions, limiting that character to
 certain sized karts.  During a race, one character will serve as the driver
 while the other deals with items and whatnot.  To have the driver and item
 user switch places, simply press Z.  Now, what is the point of switching
 places?  Well, if you're rear character already has an item in hand, you can
 switch so that the character who was previously driving can grab one.  Also,
 you may want to take advantage of a certain character's special item.


 In the Grand Prix mode, you don't need to take first place in every race to
 win.  Instead, you gain a certain amount of points depending on which place
 you come in.  Ideally, you'll want to get first in each race, but it isn't
 required to obtain the gold trophy for the cup.  Anyway, here's a list of each
 rank you can come in and the amount of points it yields:

 1st Place - 10 points
 2nd Place - 8 points
 3rd Place - 6 points
 4th Place - 4 points
 5th Place - 3 points
 6th Place - 2 points
 7th Place - 1 point
 8th Place - 0 points

c.  Items

 By driving over one of the many multi-colored boxes scattered around each
 individual track, you'll acquire an item that can be used in the race to gain
 an advantage over your opponents.  Item boxes usually only provide one item
 each, but if you hit a double item box (which looks like two normal item
 boxes smashed together) both your front and rear character will obtain an


 These items, which can be either dropped behind you or tossed ahead, will sit
 on the track until something--be it yourself, another racer, or a projectile
 of some sort--collides with it.  Any kart that drives over a banana peel will
 spin out, so be on the look out for these along the course and avoid them like
 the plague.


 A very useful item, indeed.  As with the banana peel, you can either propel
 this ahead like a torpedo or fire it behind.  Now, the most apparent use of
 these shells is to hit other karts with them.  Once shot, a green shell will
 zoom ahead in a straight path until it hits a wall, at which point it'll
 ricochet off anything else until it strikes a kart, causing it to spin out,
 or a banana peel, causing the shell and the banana to disappear.  However,
 another interesting use of shells such as this is to divert homing shells
 (see below).  If a red shell is on your kart's tail, a small icon will appear
 to inform you of this.  At this point, toss a green shell behind you to knock
 out the attacking shell and save your skin.


 Now here's an item and a half for you.  At first, the red shell may just seem
 like a prettier version of the green shell, but in reality it's actually a
 much more useful item.  After tossing it either forward or behind, it will
 automatically home in on the nearest kart and smash into it.  Unlike the green
 shell, it doesn't require any aiming and can be unleashed right away with
 minimal effort to the same effects.  She's a beaut to use, and can also knock
 away oncoming projectiles the same way as the green shell.


 These bad boys can be either your best friend or your worst enemy.  The role
 of this spiky blue shell is to bypass all other karts and head straight for
 the guy in first place.  If that's not you, it's all good.  However, if you
 happen to be the frontrunner when one of these is unleashed you might just be
 screwed, as evading a spiny shell is about as difficult as, well, something
 really difficult.  Yes, that was lame, I know.  By the way, when this explodes
 on the lead racer's kart, it'll result with a massive shockwave, so any
 nearby karts will also feel the impact.  Unfortunately, this item never seems
 to show up unless you really suck (e.g., are in 5th place or worse), making it
 almost nonexistant to someone as awesome as I am at this game.


 Ah, here's an interesting item, indeed.  Basically, it's like an item box,
 only a slightly different color, and instead of giving anyone who hits it an
 item it'll force them to spin out.  I find that a good place to leave one of
 these is around a place with a lot of normal item boxes or at the top of a
 ramp.  The former should be self-explanatory, but the latter is a good idea
 because if another kart hits one right at the top of a ramp, they won't have
 enough steam to make it over the ensuing jump, this screwing them over quite


 Use one of these li'l guys during a race to gain a short-lived speed boost
 that is perfect for cutting across areas of the track that would normally slow
 you down.  Even better, these sometimes come in groups of three.  Lovely.


 Anyone who's ever played one of the older Mario games (anything before Mario
 64, I suppose) will know what this valuable item does--makes you invincible!
 When you've used a star, not only will your kart speed up, but you'll also be
 able to ram other karts, knock them aside, and steal items from them.  As if
 that wasn't enough, any item that hits you (or that you hit) will be rendered


 Arguably the most effective item in the game, using a lightning bolt will zap
 all seven other karts on the track, shrinking them and drastically reducing
 their speed.  Also, they'll all drop whatever items they're carrying at the
 time.  Nice!  Sadly, this item, like the spiny shell, only tends to show up
 when you're at the bottom of the heap.

     III -------------------------------------------- CHARACTERS AND KARTS

a.  Characters

 Note that I've paired each character with their default partner for the sake
 of simplicity (and also because they have the same special items).  You can
 pair up whoever you want to.


 Fun game for the GBA.  Both Mario and his tall, thin, and green-clad brother
 fall into the medium weight class, and pilot karts known as Red Fire and
 Green Fire respectively.  Their special item is a trio of Fireballs that,
 when released, will disperse and nail any racer stupid enough to be in the


 These two rambunctious simians cruise around in the DK Jumbo and Barrel Train
 karts.  Their special item is a huge banana peel that works exactly like the
 smaller ones, only it's much more effective because it's so much larger!
 Another nice advantage of their super-large banana peel is that it is a lot
 difficult to remove from the road.  By this, I mean shells often explode when
 they hit one of these, instead of removing it.


 These pretty princesses ride around in the Heart Coach and Bloom Coach
 vehicles, both of which just so happen to be mid weights.  Their unique item
 is the heart, and using it surrounds your vehicle with a magical aura.  During
 this period of time, any item that hits you will have no effect and will
 become theirs to be used.


 Yoshi is a Super Mario mainstay, but Birdo may be a character that you don't
 recognize.  It first appeared in Super Mario Bros. 2 (aka Doki Doki Panic),
 where it served as a boss enemy.  These reptilian characters drive the Turbo
 Yoshi and Turbo Birdo karts, which are both middle weights.  Their special
 item is a giant egg that homes in any racer. When it hits anything (it doesn't
 even have to be another racer), it'll drop three random items that you can


 Riding around in the light weighted Koopa Dasher and Para Wing karts, these
 two can hold three green or red shells at once.  Though it may not sound like
 much, having three red homing shells at your disposal can really turn the tide
 of a race.


 These two infants have tricked out their cribs, creating the Goo-Goo Buggy and
 Rattle Buggy vehicles.  When you use their special item, an enlarged Chain
 Chomp will appear and drag your kart along behind it, causing any karts it
 hits to spin out.  Pretty awesome, although it only shows up when you're are
 not doing so well in a race.


 The Koopa King is Bowser's vehicle, while Junior rides around in the Bullet
 Blaster.  Their unique item is pretty much a massive version of the Green
 Shell item, albeit more powerful; it takes a lot more to destroy the thing.


 Okay, so Waluigi is the worst name ever in the history of the world.  There is
 no contesting this.  Anyhoo, him and his buddy Wario both ride around in ugly
 purple cars.  Their unique item is known as the Bob-omb, and it is a powerful
 bomb that can take out multiple karts with a single blast.


 These two mushroom people ride around in the Toad Kart and Toadette Kart,
 respectively.  Their unique item is a golden mushroom, and using it grants
 unlimited speed boosts for a short period.  Very cool, and a terrific way to
 make up some lost time.


 Riding around in the Boo Pipes and Piranha Pipes vehicles, these two
 characters have the most unique special item there is--they don't have one!
 Their special is simply a randomly-chosen special item of one of the
 characters listed above.  More of a wildcard than anything else.

b.  Karts

 Depending on which characters you select, only certain karts will be
 available, as characters cannot ride in a kart smaller than they are.  For
 example, Bowser can't fit into Jr.'s tiny Bullet Blaster.  As such, you
 should take to mind what kind of kart you want to be driving before choosing


 While lightweight karts have relatively low top speeds, they tend to have
 terrific acceleration, allowing them to reach their max speeds in a hurry.
 Unfortunately, they can easily be pushed around by larger karts, a deadly
 downfall in some cases.

 Goo-Goo Buggy
 Speed       : *
 Acceleration: *****
 Weight      : **

 Rattle Buggy
 Speed       : **
 Acceleration: ****
 Weight      : **

 Koopa Dasher
 Speed       : **
 Acceleration: ****
 Weight      : **

 Toad Kart
 Speed       : **
 Acceleration: ****
 Weight      : **

 Toadette Kart
 Speed       : *
 Acceleration: *****
 Weight      : **

 Bullet Blaster
 Speed       : ****
 Acceleration: ***
 Weight      : *

 Barrel Train
 Speed       : ****
 Acceleration: **
 Weight      : ***

 Para Wing
 Speed       : *
 Acceleration: *****
 Weight      : **


 Medium karts, are you may guess, are average karts with all-around statistics.

 Red Fire
 Speed       : ***
 Acceleration: ***
 Weight      : ***

 Green Fire
 Speed       : ****
 Acceleration: **
 Weight      : **

 Heart Coach
 Speed       : **
 Acceleration: ****
 Weight      : ***

 Turbo Yoshi
 Speed       : **
 Acceleration: ****
 Weight      : ***

 Turbo Birdo
 Speed       : ***
 Acceleration: ***
 Weight      : ****

 Bloom Coach
 Speed       : ***
 Acceleration: ***
 Weight      : **

 Waluigi Racer
 Speed       : ***
 Acceleration: ***
 Weight      : ***


 Consider heavy karts the exact opposite of the lightweights--they don't
 accelerate too fast, but once they reach their top speed they can't be beat.
 Also, they have no trouble knocking around anything smaller than them.

 DK Jumbo
 Speed       : ****
 Acceleration: **
 Weight      : ****

 Koopa King
 Speed       : *****
 Acceleration: *
 Weight      : *****

 Wario Car
 Speed       : ****
 Acceleration: **
 Weight      : ****

 Boo Pipes
 Speed       : **
 Acceleration: ****
 Weight      : *****

 Piranha Pipes
 Speed       : ****
 Acceleration: **
 Weight      : *****

  * NOTE - The Parade Kart, an unlockable vehicle, fits into all three weight
    classes, so I didn't list it.  It's stats are as follows: 4 speed, 3
    acceleration, 4 weight.  Thank you and goodnight.

     IV ------------------------------------------------ COURSE STRATEGIES

a.  Mushroom Cup

                          L U I G I   C I R C U I T


 Although the shortcut behind the Chain Chomp is a great way to avoid fire and
 get a leg up on your opponents in Grand Prix mode, it's actually faster to
 skip it.  To get the most bang for your buck, I suggest using your two
 allotted Mushrooms when ascending the hill after the second jump; once in the
 first lap and again during the second or third, it's your choice.  Also, it is
 absolutely integral that you take advantage of the speed boosts on the two
 gray ramps during those lengthy turns leading into the jumps.  Make sure you
 hit each and every pad to achieve the best time possible.  However, you
 can't ride up too far on those ramps, otherwise you might slip off onto the
 blacktop and lose some serious time. Obviously, if you make some sort of minor
 slip up (e.g., not getting the Rocket Start or hitting the Chain Chomp),
 you'll want to restart.  That's just common sense.


 Right off the bat, you'll begin on a short straightaway that ends in a speed
 booster pad.  From there, the road will curve ever-so slightly to the left and
 lead right into a series of item boxes, one of which you should try to grab.
 Just past there, the path will swerve back to the right, leading past the
 gigantic Chain Chomp.  Colliding with this chained menace will cause your
 vehicle to spin out, so stay to the far side of the road.  Ahead is a lengthy
 left turn, where you should drift onto the gray ramp to take advantage of the
 various speed boost pads.  Also, try to pick up another item box along the
 way; some of them spill over onto the ramp.

 After the final boost pad on the ramp, veer back down to the left, off the
 ramp and prepare for the mini-jump ahead, aided by another speed boost, this
 one actually on the road.  This is a terrific place to leave behind a Banana
 Peel or Fake Item Box, mind, as there's not much room to maneuver.  At the
 bottom of the jump, you'll land back on the same road as you begin, only this
 time you're going the opposite direction.  Keep in mind that there will be
 a barrier dividing the sides of the road on 50cc, but it's absent in 100cc and
 150cc.  In addition to curving just a smidge to the right, the pavement here
 also goes uphill, so now would be a terrific place to use a Mushroom or Star
 if you have one.

 En route to the top of the hill, you'll pass another grouping of item boxes,
 so stock up if need be.  At the peak, the road will bend to the right, leading
 through another set of boxes, and then finally into a sharp left turn.  As
 with last time, it's a great idea to ride up onto the gray ramp, so as to use
 the speed boosts to pass up any frontrunners.  Be sure not to veer too high on
 the ramp, however, as you don't want to slip off onto the blacktop to the
 right of the ramp.  The finish line is barely a Koopa Shell away from the last
 boost pad, so make a beeline to it and the race is over.


 Behind the Chain Chomp
 After driving off the mini-ramp right at the beginning of the course, there is
 a somewhat hidden road directly to the right of the item boxes ahead.  It
 leads behind the massive Chain Chomp, preventing any possible danger there,
 and also provides another opportunity to grab an item box.

 Pit stop!
 At the peak of the hill after the second mini-ramp, the road branches off to
 the right, leading behind a wall.  There are a few double item boxes over this
 way, so it's hardly a bad idea to try this shortcut out, especially if you're
 in the lead.

                             P E A C H   B E A C H


 As with the first track, the main shortcut here (head left at the bottom of
 the hill and go off the ramp) isn't nearly as fast as taking the normal route.
 There are two effective ways to use your speed-boosting Mushrooms here; either
 to cut through the rising tide on the beach or during the uphill climb after
 you get off the beach, right before the finish line.  Unlike the actual race,
 there aren't any Cataquacks to bother you, so as long as you can keep out of
 the water (unless you're powering through it with the aid of a Mushroom),
 nothing should impede your progress.


 As with the opening course, Peach Beach also begins with a short-lived
 straightaway.  Directly following this is a gentle downhill ride that curves
 to the right, leading through some item boxes and onto the beach.  From here,
 there are two choices; left or right.  On the first or second laps, only go
 left if you've got a Star or Mushroom.  After leaping the large ramp, you'll
 need a speed boost of some sort to power through the shallow water on the far
 side.  However, on the third lap the water drifts away, leaving a narrow path
 for you to drive through.

 If you don't have a speed-boosting item, the easiest (and quickest) path is
 the one to the right.  Don't bother sticking to the stone road--just cut
 across the sand, avoiding the various Cataquacks (the red and blue creatures
 with duck bills) at all costs; get too close to one and it will toss you into
 the air, sucking away valuable time.  Also, steer clear of the water, as it'll
 only slow you down.  On the far side of the beach is a tiny cavern where some
 item boxes reside.  Try to snatch one as you zoom by, then swerve to the right
 along with course as you head back onto the beach.

 Again you'll want to avoid the Cataquacks, so stay this time to right, closer
 to than stone path than before.  Once you've driven past the Cataquacks, drift
 hard to the left as you turn back onto the road.  You'll head up a hill rife
 with moving item boxes, hopefully you'll get a Banana Peel or Fake Item Box
 here, as this is the perfect place to leave those things.  At the top of the
 hill is a short sprint to the checkered finish line!


 To the left!
 At the beginning of the downhill slope at the start of the track, you can
 actually turn left just before the item boxes and drive into a pipe.  This
 pipe will spit you out in the same location, but it will also allow you to
 grab a double item box.  Not the most useful "shortcut" as it slows you down,
 but a cool little thing to experiment with nonetheless.

 To the left... again!
 Following the downhill ride toward the start of the course, you'll have two
 paths to take once you reach the beach.  Heading right is the obvious way, but
 taking the left path can save you some time.  However, going this way only
 works if you have a Mushroom or Star, unless you're on the third lap, in which
 case it will work even without.  Anyhoo, once you've hurdled over the giant
 booster ramp, you'll land on a small island.  Head for the small strip of land
 connecting this island to the main beach and, if you've got a Mushroom or
 Star, use it now to speed right through the water that would otherwise slow
 you down.  On the third lap, the water is no longer there, so you're free to
 go without any speed-boosting items.

 Around the fountain
 Right after the uphill climb directly before the finishing line, you can turn
 to the left and drive around the fountain, nabbing yourself a double item box.
 Like the first shortcut for this level, it doesn't do much to speed you up,
 although it does provide some possible ammunition.

                               B A B Y   P A R K


 The main thing you need to do in the Baby Park to get a good time is learn how
 to successfully take the turns.  The idea is to start drifting a bit
 prematurely, allowing you to slide around the central median with little space
 between it and your kart.  Other than that, just stay near the median the
 whole time, as opposed to driving in the center of the road--that will only
 slow you down.  As for your Mushrooms, there really isn't any way to use them
 here, so apply them during a straightaway or after coming out of a turn.


 Hands down, Baby Park is the most simplistic course in the game.  The stage is
 comprised of an oval, and nothing more.  Do to it's incredibly short length,
 you actually need to circle the course seven times (seven laps), as opposed to
 the three laps required for normal stages.  The best way I've found to take
 the U-turns on this course is to drive toward the turn at an angle and start
 drifting around early, allowing you to slide just past the middle barrier and
 into a comfy position.  Also, since the stage is so small and all eight karts
 will be rather close together, be sure to make the most of your items.  As
 another result of the stage's diminutive size, chances are there will be a
 plethora of Banana Peels and Fake Item Boxes laying around, so drive carefully
 and use them to stop weapons that may be homing in on you from behind.

                          D R Y   D R Y   D E S E R T


 The best way to make use of your Mushrooms in this oh-so dry desert is to cut
 across the dark areas of sand near the beginning of the track, so that you
 don't have to bother with the various turns.  In addition to that, make
 absolutely certain that you don't get swallowed up by the quicksand or one of
 those cyclones.  Either one will completely kill your time.


 Following a straightaway that leads under an arch and right to some item
 boxes, the road curves to the right, so drift through some more item boxes,
 then get ready for four quick upcoming turns; right, then left, right, then
 left again.  Drifting around these tight corners is almost necessary,
 otherwise you might slip out into the sand, which would drastically slow you
 down.  From there, a short straightaway is in order, although you'll need to
 stay to the left, far away from the cyclone.  Get too near it and you'll be
 engulfed, losing some precious time.

 Not far past the cyclone is another interesting obstacle:  a pit of quicksand.
 Driving right through won't do at all, so curve around the lip of dirt at the
 top, either to the left or to the right.  However, if you drive too
 haphazardly around this lip, you'll probably slip into the quicksand.  At that
 point, the only thing to bail you out will be a Mushroom or Star, so be
 extremely careful here.  Additionally, the small lip of road around the
 quicksand is an awesome place to drop a Banana Peel or Fake Item Box, as each
 kart has to take this route.

 Once you reach the other side, grab an item box and look out for the brownish
 cactus enemies.  They like to form arches, so drive through what little space
 you're given with care and you'll come into a large open area with some sand
 dunes.  Simply drive straight through, swerving around the cactuses and
 avoiding the dunes, as well.  Another pair of cactuses guard the path to the
 finishing line, but they won't do much as you ride right past.  Take the right
 ahead gently, then following the mostly straight road toward the finish line!


 Cut through the sand
 Right at the beginning of the track, there are several turns you're forced to
 make.  However, if you've got a Mushroom or Star, you can easily skip those
 and cut through the dark portions of sand.

b.  Flower Cup

                         M U S H R O O M   B R I D G E


 Like many other courses thus far, some of the shortcuts will in fact lead to
 slower resultant times.  On the Mushroom Bridge stage, don't bother trying to
 climb the sand path after the first tunnel--even with the aid of a Mushroom it
 will still slow you down.  However, taking the railing on the bridge at the
 end of each lap is a must.  If you tend to fall off, be sure to practice up;
 without this shortcut, getting an extremely fast time is impossible.  When it
 comes to your Mushrooms, you're free to use them at any point in the track.
 Personally, I like to use them while inside the second tunnel, but that's just


 The first thing you should notice about this course are the various cars and
 other vehicles in addition to the eight karts.  Fortunately, most of the cars
 move slowly enough that they can be avoided with ease, though your kart will
 spin out if you slip up and collide with one.  Furthermore, be extra careful
 around the vehicles that resemble bombs.  Why?  'Cause they're bombs!  Also,
 the red cars carrying mushrooms can be bumped without penalty--they'll even
 drop speed-boosting Mushrooms that you can grab!  Sweet!

 Almost immediately, this course swings into a left turn, bringing you into a
 tunnel.  Try to grab an item box as you dash through this straightaway, but
 don't stick your neck out if it's too close to a car.  At the end of the
 tunnel, you've got two choices as you barrel along to the left.  You can
 either continue along the main road (recommended) or you can ascend the uphill
 dirt path to the right.  The latter can prove a valuable shortcut, but only
 works well if you've got a Mushroom or Star to help push you up the sandy
 path.  Without such an item, this path will only slow you down.

 Okay, so assuming you went left, the road will ease into a nice straightaway
 before kicking back to the right.  Make good use of your drifting ability
 here.  Following that is another short but sweet straight section that'll
 bring you into a second tunnel.  Be sure to snatch an item box here, as it'll
 help a good bit to have some ammunition so close to the finishing line.  Just
 past the item boxes, the road curves to the left, so drift a bit to prevent
 your kart from smashing into the far wall.

 Outside, you'll need to turn left just a bit to align yourself with the
 upcoming straightaway across the bridge ahead.  Now, there are two ways to get
 across the bridge:  the fast yet dangerous path or the slower but much safer
 route.  It's up to you.  The slow but safe route is the obvious way to cross
 the bridge--just drive right across it.  There are some item boxes to grab and
 you'll have to dodge a bit of traffic, but beside than it's smooth sailing.
 On the other hand, the other way requires you to actually drive up onto the
 red arched railing on either side of the bridge.  While there are speed
 booster pads all the way across, making for a great way to take over the lead,
 it's quite easy to fall off into the water below.  Doing so would drastically
 slow you down, so it's a gamble.  I suggest only taking the aforementioned
 route if you've tried it before and are confident in your ability to get
 across.  Either way, the finish line is just on the other side of the bridge.


 Up the hill, around the traffic
 Once you exit the first tunnel, keep your eyes on the lookout to the right for
 a patch of sand leading upward.  Drive up there (preferably with the aid of a
 Mushroom or Star, otherwise it'll only slow you down), then make a slight left
 adjustment and drop back onto the track, effectively shaving off a small bit
 of time.

 Atop the bridge
 After exiting the second tunnel, edge to the left and instead of driving
 across the bridge like normal, drive up onto the red railing to the side.
 There are speed boosts o' plenty up here, but it's really easy to slip up and
 plummet, so be careful.

 Through the pipes
 Just to the left of the finish line, you can turn left and drive through a
 pipe which will spit you out not too far ahead.  However, you'll also be able
 to nab a double item box using the pipe, so it's not bad decision in the

                           M A R I O   C I R C U I T


 Since this is one of those courses without any true shortcuts, there really
 isn't a whole lot you can do to decrease your time.  The best way I've found
 to use your Mushrooms is to cut over the grassy corners on the final stretch,
 just before the finish line.


 Not unlike most other levels, the Mario Circuit begins with a short
 straightaway leading through a group of item boxes.  Just after those is a
 wide left turn that you should drift around.  A similar right turn will follow
 that, and then the road will turn to the left and head uphill, past a Chain
 Chomp hanging around on the left.  Be sure to stay on the far right side of
 the road in order to avoid it's wrath.  Atop the hill you'll find another
 series of item boxes, followed directly by a quick right into a tunnel.

 Inside, the road immediately swerves back to the left, then gradually switches
 back toward the right again.  Once outside, you'll be treated to a nice short
 straightaway through a sandy area with Piranha Plants to either side.  If one
 of them is able to so much as knick your kart, you'll spin out, so be sure to
 stay in the center of the road.  Drift left around the U-turn ahead, then zoom
 through a group of item boxes and drift back to the right.  Some unhappy
 Goombas occupy this area, but they're rather large and crashing into them
 isn't a problem.

 Additionally, there always seems to be a surprising amount of Mushrooms laying
 around here, so grab them and exploit their use to cut some corners.  After a
 quick left followed by another fast turn, this one to the opposite direction,
 you will swing back around onto a straightaway, with the finish line at the

                           D A I S Y   C R U I S E R


 In addition to the obvious things (don't fall in the pool, restart if you have
 any trouble in the room with the moving tables, etc), there are a few other
 things to take note of.  For one, it is absolutely necessary that you stay out
 of the pit in the room following the moving table area.  About your Mushrooms,
 there are a few different ways to apply them.  If you aren't particularly apt
 at getting through the table room unscathed, that is a worthwhile place to use
 them.  Additionally, I like to use mine as I ascend the stairs at the tail end
 of the track.


 Right from the get-go, you need to start turning to the right in order to
 align yourself for the upcoming turn.  Not long after, the track kicks back in
 slightly, so veer a bit to the right and do your best to grab an item box,
 though it may be tricky because they're always on the move.  Just past the
 boxes, you'll want to drift to the left in anticipation of the upcoming turn.
 At the bottom of the stairs, curve to the right around the swimming pool,
 staying as close as you can to the pool to speed things up a bit.  On the far
 side are some stairs that you need to descend, but don't drift down them,
 otherwise you'll collide with the railing on the right and lose speed.

 Make a left turn at the bottom and head inside the ship.  Following a short
 straightaway, you'll come into the trickiest area in the level.  Turn left and
 start driving toward the room's exit on the far side of the room, but watch
 out for the tables, which are constantly moving.  If you're able to reach the
 other side of the room unscathed, be ready for a hard right turn, followed up
 by two hard lefts.  Try as hard as you can to stay out of the pit after the
 first left, since falling in won't speed you up if you don't know what you're

 Anyhoo, taking another right will lead back out onto the deck, where you want
 to veer to the left.  Just ahead is a right turn that you'll want to drift
 around, as well as some boxed items.  Next you'll get to ride along a
 short-lived straightaway, then drive up a set of stairs.  From the top, the
 finish line is just a smidgeon to the right.


 Into the pit
 In you fall into the pit after the room with moving tables, all is not lost.
 Drive ahead (follow the signs) and grab the double item box, then ride into
 the large red fan and you'll pop out on the deck.

                         W A L U I G I   S T A D I U M


 Since there are no "true" shortcuts in this stage, we'll have to exploit a few
 other little things in order to achieve a good time.  First off all, there is
 one specific turn where you need to curve around a pool of muddy water.
 Instead of that, simply power through with the aid of a Mushroom.
 Additionally, it's possible to save a bit of time on the first few turns of
 the course (the ones right after jumps) by holding down the triggers and the
 direction you want to drift in even before you land.


 Waluigi Stadium begins with a beeline to a ramp; driving off this take you
 right through some item boxes.  Try to align your kart with a box before going
 off the jump to ensure that you get one.  Also, be ready to drift slightly to
 the left as soon as you land, since you'll want to be in prime position for
 the following dash across some speed bumps.  Curve to the right prior to
 riding up the massive ramp ahead and leaping the gap below with the aid of
 some speed boosts.  Keep in mind that the very top of ramps such as this one
 are perfect places to leave behind Fake Item Boxes or Banana Peels.  If
 another kart hits one of these at the top of the ramp, they'll fall into the
 pit, losing a ton of time.

 Before you even land, hold down the triggers in preparation to drift around
 the corner ahead.  Just past that is a second jump--try to nab the floating
 item box along the way.  When you land, zoom down the straightaway toward the
 group of item boxes ahead, then pull a swift drift to the left.  Be sure to
 avoid the nasty black-brown watery stuff, it's sure to slow you down a lot
 more than you want.  However, if you've got a Mushroom, you can easily use
 that to dash through and make up some lost time.

 Anyway, take advantage of this straightaway to raise some havoc with any
 weapons you may have.  Pull a quick drift to the left at the end, then get
 ready to head through the "obstacle course."  Although this part is indeed a
 straightaway, there are several figurative hurdles you'll need to hop.  First,
 Piranha Plants will pop out of the seemingly harmless green pipes, looking to
 get in your way and force your kart to spin out.  Not good, so swerve right,
 left, and right again to dodge them.  However, you also need to look out for
 rotating flames that have set up shop in the center of the track.  Be sure to
 steer clear of them as you swerve back and forth as well.

 At the end of that troublesome stretch, drift a bit to the left, then watch
 out for attackers on the straightaway before you.  Following that, drift right
 and stay away from the watery muck that I mentioned before.  The first right
 turn shouldn't require any drifting, but the left turn afterwards does.  Swing
 back into place and sprint for the ramp ahead.  Once you land on the opposite
 side, the checkered flag is within reach.


 Cut the corners
 Although not a shortcut per se, using a Mushroom to cut through certain watery
 turns this stage entails can give you a slight edge on the other racers.

c.  Star Cup

                            S H E R B E T   L A N D


 As a track with no shortcuts, there are really only two ways to utilize your
 two allotted Mushrooms.  The first is to cut the corners on certain turns and
 use the speed boost to power through the snowbanks.  Works pretty well.  The
 other way to use them is simply to gain some speed on a straight shot or to
 get past the Shy Guy area.


 Since this course is set in a nice winter wonderland, there are a few new
 things introduced that are important to know about.  Portions of the track are
 made of ice rather than snow or asphalt, you need to be wary of turns, as you
 might slide further than expected and hit the wall.  Also, there are some Shy
 Guys training for the Ice Capades in the first area; avoid them or spin out.
 Simple enough.  Finally, at the end of the course, there are some blocks of
 ice.  Avoid these like the plague, as hitting one will freeze your character.
 Recovering from being frozen takes even longer than recovering from a spin

 A right turn prior to a quick left curve will start this snowy course off.
 Try as you will to avoid driving up onto the snowbanks to either side of the
 road--they'll slow you down, much like the water or sand seen in previous
 tracks.  Next, you'll want to drift to the right when you reach the icy
 portion, although it's important that you avoid the freezing water all the way
 to the right.  Past the Shy Guys, through the gate ahead, are some item boxes
 that pave the way to a long, winding right turn.  Make sure you steer clear of
 the icicle in the center of the road, then be ready for the path to switch
 directions (it'll turn to the left).

 Ahead is a sharp right that you're advised to drift around, then a small left
 turn and some item boxes lead the way to another turn to the right.  Progress
 forward a little and you'll come to a wide open area that is slick as ice
 (most likely because it is ice).  Stay as far away from the ice statues
 blocking the way as you can, since hitting a single one will kill your time.
 A few small turns is all that stands between you and the finishing line,
 though, so keep up the pace!

                           M U S H R O O M   C I T Y


 My preferred way to expend the provided Mushrooms is to take the small strip
 to the right of the item boxes at the tail end of the course (see the
 shortcut entitled "Avoid the traffic" for more details on that).  Although
 you'll need to use both Mushrooms in one lap, this path will cut down on the
 overall time.


 Returning from the Mushroom Bridge track seen in the Flower Cup is the
 traffic.  As with before, oncoming vehicles are bad, but the bomb cars are
 even worse.  Whatever you do, stay away from them.  Fortunately, the Mushroom
 cars have also returned.  Bump one as you drive past and it'll spit out a
 Mushroom that you can use to gain a quick speed boost.

 Right off the bat you'll want to veer just a little bit to the right and align
 yourself with one of the item boxes in front of you.  Just behind them is a
 wide right turn that you need to drift around, followed by a nice little
 straightaway that is a perfect place to use any speed boost items you might
 have recently acquired.

 A sharp right turn ahead will lead to another similar turn, only this time off
 to the left.  Make sure you avoid the pillar in the center of the road, and
 head straight forward, making a right turn at the very end.  A left turn just
 in front of you will lead to some item boxes, and a slight adjustment in the
 direction of the road to the left.  The street will curve around a little,
 ending in a very wide left turn, for which I encourage you to utilize your
 drifting capability.

 A left turn into some oncoming traffic is preceded by a long straightaway.
 There are a ton of cars coming your way, so stay on the white line in the
 center of the road and try to swerve around them as they near you.  Make it to
 the end of this road without getting completely smashed by the ridiculous
 amounts of traffic and you'll locate the finishing point at the end.  If the
 heavy traffic is causing too much trouble, however, there is an alternate
 solution.  Instead of turning left after the item boxes, stay on the right,
 as there is a small strip of road you can use.  Unfortunately, it's quite
 muddy and will actually slow you down.


 Through the buildings
 When you reach the junction where you can either turn to the right or head
 straight, continue on forward and look to the right.  Nestled amongst the
 buildings is a pink road that'll allow you to cut ahead.  Unfortunately,
 there's not a whole lot of room to maneuver using this path, so I can't
 suggest using it.

 Avoid the traffic
 Toward the end of the stage, after a series of item boxes, you turn left onto
 a highway filled with vehicles coming straight toward you.  Instead of going
 that way, it's actually possible to turn right after the items and take a
 small strip of road across.  However, unless you have a star or mushroom,
 this path will slow you down.

                           Y O S H I   C I R C U I T


 In this stage, the most obvious use and the best use of your Mushrooms are one
 and the same.  Toward the beginning of the course, you can turn off to the
 right and use a speed boost to clear a jump, really cutting down on the total
 time taken.


 A winding turn to the right is what this nifty track greets you with.  It'll
 soon change so that the road is heading to the left, however, so you need to
 be ready to turn without falling off the edge into the water below.  In the
 little tunnel just ahead is another winding right turn which is followed by a
 small adjustment to the left.  You'll soon be changing direction again,
 though, so don't get too comfortable.

 In the next tunnel will be a long winding right turn which, of course, changes
 to the left when it spews you back outside.  After some more item boxes you'll
 be changing directions yet again (back to the right).  This turn will end
 rather abruptly, so you'll probably go careening into the wall if you aren't
 expecting it.

 After that left turn, the road will again revert back to the right and send
 you downhill.  Weave to the left to ensure that you don't smash into the bed
 of flowers at the bottom.  A small left is the warning you get for the
 upcoming right turn that is very, very wide.  Drift like a madman here,
 otherwise you'll most likely slide up the ramp and towards the wall (not

 A quick left awaits you just after that mammoth turn just before, but it will
 soon turn off to the right for another really wide turn that you'll need to
 drift around.  Some item boxes lay just before a left that leads into a right
 curve that will finally return you to this level's starting point.


 Through the grass
 Once you pass the first two turns, you can either continue along the road into
 an open tunnel or turn right onto the grass and head for the gap in the wall.
 If you have a Mushroom, you can use it to boost over the chasm and gain a few
 seconds on your opponents.  Keep in mind, however, that trying this without a
 Mushroom or Star will result in you losing some time, as you can't make the
 jump without one.

 Off the road
 After coming out of the long, winding tunnel, use a Mushroom or Star and drive
 straight ahead, right off the cliff.  If you look closely, the grass forms a
 faint jump, allowing you to enter a secret road underground.

                             D K   M O U N T A I N


 Yet another stage with no true shortcuts.  Regardless, there are still several
 ways to use those Mushrooms in your hot little hands.  After taking a ride
 through the way cool barrel cannon, you can turn to the right of the jumps
 ahead and cut (somewhat) across the road.  Additionally, you may want to use
 the Mushrooms to power up the hill directly at the beginning of the stage.
 Both methods are effective.


 You'll immediately start heading uphill on a winding path that first curves to
 the right but quickly changes to the opposite direction and then back to the
 left again.  Tricky.  At the top of the hill is a wide right turn that leads
 you into one of the trademark DK canon barrels.  Of course, this bad boy sends
 you flying way across the jungles below to the next section of the track.

 Now heading downhill, drift to the right and go off the jump right in front of
 you.  A few bumps later, you'll want to make a quick right just prior to a
 similar turn to the left.  A wide turn to the opposite direction awaits you
 when you return to the grassy jungle-like area.  Of course, things don't get
 any easier from here; a super-sharp U-turn lurks just ahead.  Make sure you
 drift, otherwise you'll have some major trouble with this part.

 Another U-turn is subsequent, only there are no rails or anything this time,
 so if you mess up you just might fall into the chasm below.  Not cool.  A
 quick turn to the left will take you onto a narrow bridge suspended over a
 huge gorge.  Enjoy the pretty view, but try not to fall off, eh?  On the far
 side is your destiny:  the finishing line!

d.  Special Cup

                         W A R I O   C O L O S S E U M


 Although it's as obvious as can be, it must be stated:  take the multi-colored
 ramp over the chasm toward the end of the track instead of driving around.
 That's just common sense, buddy.  As for your Mushrooms, there really isn't
 any place that's significantly better to use them.  On any straightaway or
 while coming out of a turn tend to be good places, however.


 A simple left turn is straight ahead, and it leads to a large ramp with some
 speed boosters on it.  Try to align yourself so that you are in the middle
 when you reach the top, allowing you to grab the item box as you soar up to
 the road above.  A slight turn to the right followed by another one to the
 left will lead to another ramp, where you should again center yourself before
 you get to the top.

 A long curving left turn is the first thing you'll encounter on this part of
 the stage.  After it are some item boxes and a third immense ramp.  You'll
 land inside a circular cage with the road just ahead.  A very long left turn
 is just before you.  You'll be spiraling down around the central pillar.  At
 the bottom are some more item boxes that lead into an upward ascension and a
 turn to the left, which you should drift around.

 Some speed boosters (those colorful panels on the ground) just ahead will send
 you flying over the road, so you need to make sure you are in the middle to
 avoid falling off the edge.  Grab an item box, then take the winding right
 turn ahead, making sure you drift so as not to smash into the walls.

 A long downward drop is what awaits after the turn.  At the bottom is a right
 turn that leads into an oval-shaped area.  If you want, you can go around the
 hole in the middle of this area.  However, the quickest way across is to take
 the rainbow-colored booster ramp straight ahead.  It'll send you flying across
 the chasm and (hopefully) ahead of the pack.

 On the other side is a sharp left turn that leads into another left turn,
 albeit one that isn't so hard.  You'll start heading uphill and onto another
 booster ramp.  Drift left through the open tunnel that is in front of you and
 the finishing line is straight ahead!


 Over the chasm
 This is too obvious--toward the end of the stage, take the multi-colored ramp
 over the chasm instead of driving around it like all the other idiots.

                        D I N O   D I N O   J U N G L E


 In order to achieve a great time in Dino Dino Jungle, you'll need to be able
 to take the bridge shortcut without falling.  Practice a few times beforehand,
 so you know you can do it.  Additionally, it's integral that you head right in
 the cave for two of the laps, making good use of those Mushrooms that you are


 This course will immediately curve to the left.  There are toppled trees all
 over the place, so drive over them if you want, but they will slow you down.
 After the left turn through some item boxes, you'll turn slightly to the right
 and drive towards a large clearing with a dinosaur standing around.  If you
 really want some items, you can try to sneak underneath the dinosaur, being
 wary of his ever-stomping feet.  It's much easier to simply drive around him,

 Past the dino is a small cavern that ends with a left turn that leads into an
 area with a bridge.  When it forks, I recommend taking the right path, as it
 is a more direct route.  Regardless, the left road has some item boxes on it
 that you might want to grab.  Your decision.

 Both bridges lead into a dark cave where a few minor direction adjustments
 lead into a hard right turn that you'll want to drift around.  You'll come
 into a massive open chamber.  There is a wooden ramp to the right, but only
 take it if you have a speed-boosting mushroom to help you get across.
 Otherwise, you'll want to curve around the chasm in the floor using the
 blue-ish path to the left.  Just make sure you drive around the geysers that
 are spewing water all over the place, because they can slow you down
 considerably should you haphazardly hit one.

 After going over a wooden ramp at the edge of the cave, you'll return outside.
 Head across the wooden bridge, veering a bit to the left so you don't smash
 into the dinosaur's head.  In addition to some item boxes, there is also a
 drift-requiring turn to the left.  With that behind you, you'll bounce down a
 few small bumps and past a row of geysers to the checkered flag!


 Under the bridge
 Just after the small cavern that you go into after you see the dinosaur's
 feet, there is a wooden bridge.  Instead of taking the obvious part, turn
 to the left and you'll find a narrow, dark brown portion of the bridge.  It's
 a more direct route than either of the other two, and it also has some speed
 boosters on it!  Just be careful not to fall off.

 Over the bridge
 When you enter the second cave, there is a wooden ramp off to the right.  Use
 this only if you have a Mushroom or Star item on hand, as you'll end up
 falling into a pit without one such item.

                         B O W S E R ' S   C A S T L E


 For one thing, make sure you're aware of and know how to utilize the shortcut
 near the giant Bowser statue.  That's really the only way to significantly
 enhance your time, other than taking turns tightly and avoiding the castle's
 various obstacles.


 Following a quick sprint over the drawbridge and into Bower's Castle, you'll
 want to either veer left or right and grab some item boxes.  Stay to one side
 of the Thwomps crashing down, lest you lose some valuable time.  At the end of
 the hall is a hard left that leads into another corridor with two more
 Thwomps.  Like before, stay to either side (preferably to the left) and they
 won't be able to touch you.

 Another left at the end leads into a fiery chamber with a gaping hole in the
 road before you.  Maneuver around it, making sure you stay as far away from
 any fireballs as you can.  Hit the booster ramp just ahead and you'll soar up
 to a long, winding left turn as you head upwards.  At the top is a room with
 some flames circling around some mechanism in the center of the room.
 Carefully zip through the gaps in the flames to make it through to the other
 side unscathed.

 The end of the room will greet you with another sharp left turn followed by a
 second that will lead up a ramp.  Make sure you stay to the left so you don't
 go ramming into the wall.  A U-turn to the left awaits at the top of the hill,
 so be ready to drift around it.

 A short straightaway will lead through some boxes into a hard left turn
 followed directly by a right U-turn.  At the bottom of the stairs are some
 item boxes and a straight path, but the Bowser statue sitting in the lava will
 be firing balls of red-hot molten liquid towards you, so you'll need to steer
 clear of those.  A right turn will be followed by a semi U-turn to the left,
 then another sharp left turn.

 At this point, you'll be heading away from the flame-spouting Bowser statue
 and towards a multi-colored booster ramp with some item boxes just in front of
 it.  It'll fire you onto a small stone ramp.  Turn to the left and the
 finishing line will be just ahead.


 Over the lava
 In the area where the giant Bowser statue is spewing fireballs at you, you can
 cut across a pit instead of going around it.  After going down the stairs and
 entering said area, you'll see the statue ahead of you.  Head straight for it
 and, instead of turning right like all the other toolbags, you can simply
 drive over the lava because a section of the barrier is missing.

                            R A I N B O W   R O A D


 Don't even bother trying to get a good time on this course until you can drift
 around each and every turn without flying off the edge.  Additionally, the
 strip of road where all the speed booster pads are can really help your time
 if you hit each pad.  About your Mushrooms, there is no best place to use
 them, so expend them whenever you want, be it coming out of a turn to gain
 momentum or on a straight shot.


 Welcome, one and all, to what is hands down the most difficult course in the
 game.  A good portion of the track has no rails on the side, meaning that you
 can easily plummet and lose a good few seconds multiple times per race.  In
 other words, be very careful.  Directly ahead is a rainbow-colored booster
 ramp that'll send you onto the track below.  Make a slight adjustment to the
 right and you'll head through some item boxes.  After those is a U-turn that
 can be very difficult to make without going over the edge.  Make sure you
 drift around it and let off the gas for a little.  Another small straightaway
 will take you to a second U-turn, so you'd better be able to do it well.

 Anyway, you'll now be heading downhill towards a booster ramp.  Go off of it
 and you'll land on the road below. Another set of boosters will drop you to an
 even lower portion of the course.  Fortunately, there are speed boosters all
 along the track, so you can make up a lot of time here if you hit enough.
 Just make sure you stay near the center of the track, as there is no railing
 to keep you from falling off the edge.

 A series of twisting turns are what awaits subsequently.  Again, there are no
 railings, so falling off isn't difficult at all.  Just avoid drifting for too
 long and even let off the gas if need be.  Remember, it's better to lose a
 small portion of time by slowing down then to lose a lot of time by falling

 Once you've finished that part, you'll pass up some item boxes en route to the
 circular teleporter pad ahead.  When you reach it, you'll automatically be
 sent flying upwards.  You're almost out of the woods at this point, so don't
 screw up.  You'll land on a road filled with booster pads, so hit as many as
 you can without risking taking a fall.  The ramp at the end will allow you
 access to the final stretch of road.  A winding downhill turn to the right
 will be your last obstacle.  Just use some quality drifting and it shouldn't
 be a problem at all.

     V ------------------------------------------------------- MULTIPLAYER

a.  Balloon Battle

 Hit your rivals and pop their balloons!  The last player with balloons wins!

 In this mode, each participating kart has three balloons, which serve as that
 kart's health, so to speak.  If you get hit by a shell or other projectile,
 drive over a banana peel / fake item box, or get rammed by someone using a
 Mushroom's speed boost, you'll lose a balloon.  The idea of this mode is to
 keep your balloons safe by dodging these figurative bullets and pop all three
 of your opponents' balloons before they can bust yours.  What's especially
 cool about this mode is that you can get anything out of an item box--even
 another character's special item!  What this means is that someone playing as
 Mario can toss one of Bowser's massive shells or a Yoshi player can strike
 using Wario's Bob-omb!

b.  Shine Thief

 Steal the Shine and flee!  If no one hits you before time's up, you win!

 A basic game of keep away, the aim here is to have control of the Shine when
 time expires.  Each kart will begin the match equally close to the Shine, so
 it'll be a race to get there first.  Once someone actually grabs it, a 60
 second timer will begin.  To wrestle the Shine out of another kart's grasp,
 you need to strike them with a projectile item, smash into them using a
 Mushroom or Star, or trick them into driving over a banana peel or fake item
 box.  As long as no one is currently in control of the Shine, the timer won't
 move, so you've got as long as you need to battle over control of the coveted
 item.  Whoever is in control of the Shine when time expires is declared the
 winner, so even if you've got it for the first 50 seconds and lose it right at
 the end, you don't get credit for anything.  Tough luck.

c.  Bob-omb Blast

 Use Bob-ombs to blow up your rivals!  The first player to get 3 points wins!

 In this explosive mini-game, every single item box on the course contains a
 Bob-omb and each new box you grab tosses another bomb onto the pile, allowing
 you to hold as many as five Bob-ombs at once!  Now, much like the Balloon
 Battle, your aim is to hit your opponent three times.  However, this time
 around your only ammunition comes in the form of Bob-ombs.  Another thing to
 keep in mind is that once a Bob-omb hits an enemy kart, that same kart will
 flash for a few seconds with temporary invulnerability.  Basically, this just
 prevents you from grabbing three bombs, driving in and tossing them all at
 once, wiping out your opponent in one fell swoop.

     VI ------------------------------------------------------ UNLOCKABLES

 Listed below is each cup in Double Dash!!, along with the rewards for gaining
 a gold trophy in each respective mode (50cc, 100cc, 150cc, and Mirror Mode).


   * 50cc   - Green Fire (Luigi's Kart)
   * 100cc  - Rattle Buggy (Baby Luigi's Kart)
   * 150cc  - Luigi's Mansion (Battle mode stage)
   * Mirror - Toadette Kart (Toadette's Kart, surprisingly enough)


   * 50cc   - Bloom Coach (Daisy's Kart)
   * 100cc  - Waluigi Racer (Waluigi's Kart)
   * 150cc  - Turbo Birdo (Birdo's Kart)
   * Mirror - Tilt-A-Kart (Battle mode stage)


   * 50cc   - Para Wing (Paratroopa's Kart)
   * 100cc  - Special Cup
   * 150cc  - Barrel Train (Diddy's Kart)
   * Mirror - Petey Piranha (Racer), King Boo (Racer), Piranha Pipes (Petey's


   * 50cc   - Bullet Blaster (Bowser Jr.'s Kart)
   * 100cc  - Toad (Racer), Toadette (Racer), Toad Kart (Toad's Kart)
   * 150cc  - All Cup Tour
   * Mirror - Boo Pipes (King Boo's Kart)


   * 50cc   - Nothing!
   * 100cc  - Nothing!
   * 150cc  - Mirror Mode
   * Mirror - Parade Kart

     VII ------------------------------------------------------------- FAQ

 Answers to make-believe questions...

 Well, there is no set in stone "best character combo."  It all depends upon
 what character-specific weapons and kart weight classes cater to your own
 preferences.  I suggest not using two "paired" characters (e.g., Mario and
 Luigi, Peach and Daisy, Yoshi and Birdo, et cetera) as they both have the same
 special items.  Choosing two unpaired racers will provide more firepower.
 Also, take in mind each racer's weight when deciding who to use; heavy
 characters require heavy karts.  Personally, I tend to use a combination of
 Yoshi (his homing egg is sweet) and Paratroopa (three shells at once!), as
 their special weapons are some of the most effective.

 Again, there isn't one particular kart that is overtly superior to all the
 others--it's really more of what you prefer.  For example, I like an
 all-around kart that can do everything, so Mario's Red Fire is usually my ride
 of choice.  However, there are various other factors that can help to decide
 what kart you should use; the Koopa King or DK Jumbo are massive vehicles that
 can push anything else aside while the Rattle Buggy can quickly reach it's
 maximum speed.  Your playing style should determine which kart you select.

 This can be somewhat difficult to perform, but practice makes perfect (as if
 you've never heard that before).  The most effective method to pull off this
 technique is to wait for Lakitu's hand to start moving after the light turns
 green, then press the A button just as his hand falls.

     VIII ----------------------------------------------- REVISION HISTORY

 Care to take a gander at what exactly is entailed in this version?  Go ahead.


 Version 2.02 / March 13, 2005
   Allowed <www.honestgamers.com> and <www.gamerhelp.com> to host this FAQ.


 Version 2.02 / October 9, 2004
   Made a purely cosmetic change.  New track headers.  Yum.

 Version 2.01 / June 25, 2004
   Added in a new Frequently Asked Question.

 Version 2.0 / June 23, 2004
   The entire guide has been redone from the ground-up.  Enjoy!

 Version 1.3 / November 29, 2003
   I added in another hidden path for the Peach Beach course.  Nothing big.

 Version 1,2 / November 27, 2003
   Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  Just added in a few new shortcuts and fixed
   up some older ones.

 Version 1.1 / November 24, 2003
   Added the General Notes to each course description and found some nifty new

 Version 1.0 / November 22, 2003
   The course strategies are now complete!  I've also added in some shortcuts
   to each level, as well as finished up everything in the basics section.
   More shortcuts, and a few more odds and ends that have yet to be 100%
   completed are on the way.

 Version .76 / November 20, 2003
   The course strategies haven't received any work, but I did add a bit to the
   basics section.  The character descriptions are completed, except for the
   secret characters.  Also fixed up some typos that only an idiot such as
   myself could make.  Still to come are the Special Cup strategies, as well as
   the finished version of several other sections.

 Version .75 / November 19, 2003
   The course strategies are nearly complete, as the Special Cup is all that
   remains to be completed.  On the other hand, though, almost every other
   section needs a lot of work.  Still to come are the character descriptions
   haven't been started, nor have the game modes.  Of course, the course
   strategies aren't finished just yet, either.  The FAQ and Unlockables are on
   the way, as well.

     IX ------------------------------------------------- LEGAL DISCLAIMER

 This document is copyright (c) 2003-2005 Chris Noonan (American Arsenal).  It
 is not to be reproduced in any way, shape, or form.  However, feel free to
 download it, print it out for personal use, or send it to your buddies, as
 long as you leave it unaltered and do not make a profit off of it.  Doing so
 would be very illegal, so I suggest that you do nothing of the sort.  One
 final note:  this document should absolutely *NOT* be found on any websites
 with the exception of <www.gamefaqs.com>, <www.ign.com>, <www.neoseeker.com>,
 <www.honestgamers.com> and <www.gamerhelp.com>.  Don't even bother asking for
 permission to use it, as the answer will always be no.

     X ----------------------------------------------------------- CLOSING

 While I'm certain it makes you terribly unhappy (yeah right), it is due time
 to bring this monstrosity of mine to a close.  BUT WAIT!  Before that, I need
 to give a shout-out to everyone who's helped to make this guide possible.

 --- CJayC
     For being cool enough to post my crap on his terrific site (GameFAQs).

 --- IGN.com / Neoseeker.com
     For hosting my FAQs but not stealing them.

 --- ZoopSoul
     Not only is he an awesome writer and a huge inspiration, but I grabbed
     the idea to stick Time Trial Tips in with the Course Descriptions from his
     F-Zero GX FAQ.

 --- The following contributors...
     Nathan Walters, Jared, Luigi Hailer, Trunks757, ScislaC

 And now, since you've got nothing better to do with yourself than read the
 meaningless drabble that is my closing, I will stop talking rather abruptly
 just to spite you

                     T H A N K S   F O R   R E A D I N G ! !

 Oh, and be sure to check out all of my other way cool FAQs:

                     Copyright (c) 2003-2005 Chris Noonan. All rights reserved.

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