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Guide and Walkthrough by Kirby021591

Version: 1.1 | Updated: 06/27/2005

Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
-------------------------

Copyright 2004-2005 Brian McPhee

Author: Brian McPhee
E-mail: Kirby0215@aol.com
Most Recent Update: June 27, 2005
Originally Created: August 8, 2004
Version: 1.1

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------Table of Contents--------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Section 1*

Introduction*
Controls*
Items*
Characters*

Section 2*

The Karts
Grand Prix*
Mushroom Cup*
Flower Cup*
Star Cup*
Special Cup*
All Cup Tour*
Mirror Mode*
Time Trial*
Secrets*

Section 3*

Multi-Player Mode*
FAQ*

Section 4*

Credits and Legal Information*
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NOTICE: For those of you who care...  This is really the third "walkthrough"
that I ever wrote.  You see, I gave up on this one halfway through in December
of 2003.  So after I had five walkthroughs out, I figured this might be a good
guide to revive.  This was made in 2003, when I knew hardly anything about
writing these, but it has since been rewritten with new content added to improve
the quality of the guide.  Also, the latter section is from 2004, but some of it
is also changed around.  Sorry, but I was too stupid to make a table of contents
then.  So I thought I'd make one now using my asterisk system, which has worked
so well as of late.  Also, this last sentence is by a 2005 update in April...
Anyways, this sentence, from my June 27, 2005 update, is here to say that I've
rewritten parts and added in new pointers to bring this guide up-to-par with the
rest of mine (and new formatting is thrown in).  Really, this is a fantastic
game, and my old guide did not do it justice.  This update really adds a lot,
from an actual guide through the track to a spiffy character section makeover.
Enjoy.

================================================================================
=================================Introduction*==================================
================================================================================

Hello!  Unless you didn't read the title above, this walkthrough is for the
latest installment in the Mario Kart series, Double Dash!!  This is the fourth
in the series; the first was on the SNES, called Super Mario Kart, and another
on the N64, called Mario Kart 64.  The third was on the GBA and it was called
Mario Kart Super Circuit.  This game is for the Nintendo Game Cube (GCN), and
the walkthrough follows all default settings on the controller.  I must say, as
much as I liked Mario Kart 64, this has to be the best in the series.  With a
slew of new characters, you and a partner now ride doubled up on the same kart.
The front character drives while the back character mans the items.  This
results in great multiplayer and a fantastic single player, too.

So what's there to know about a racing game anyway?  Well, if you're reading
this right now, you either checked it out to make fun of geeks who write
walkthroughs, or you are simply lost on the tracks (pun!).  Well, I'll have you
know this game actually, unlike most of the previous Mario Kart games, has many
more secrets than just a "Special Cup".  And some of them are quite challenging,
such as Mirror Mode...  Also, Mario Kart: Double Dash!! features a fun battle
mode in which you can drive about using items to defeat opponents.  There's
everything from chucking Bob-ombs around the arena to playing tag with your
karts.  And plus, the seats are filled by all your favorite Mario characters.

Now then, you must learn the basics of the game.  Here is the story:

All right, I admit it; there is no story.  It's just a bunch of Mario characters
satisfying their need for speed.  But still, there is much to learn, and, to use
this guide, you must unlearn all else that you have learned, padawan.  Let's
start with controls.

Even though this is a pretty small guide, I do have a tip for navigating it.  If
you pressed, oh, say, CTRL and F simultaneously (or Apple and F if you're using
a Mac), a Find/Search Box appears.  Type in the name of the section you want,
asterisk (*) and all, and click "Find/Search."  You'll be taken first to the
Table of Contents and then to the beginning of that section.  This should help
you cut to the chase, so to speak.

================================================================================
===================================Controls*====================================
================================================================================

The controls certainly aren't complicated, but there are a few advanced moves
that you can make use of.  They could mean the difference between coming in
first place and placing in fifth.

                         +----------------------------+
                         |    Single Play Controls    |
                         +----------------------------+

Control Stick: Steer or to control to where an item is thrown.  When throwing
items, you have two choices for direction.  You can either hurl them forward or
backward, and doing this involves tilting the control stick in the respective
directions.  When you tilt it left or right, you will turn (just how much so
depends on just how far the control stick is tilted).

L or R Button: In combination with the Control Stick, you can "drift".  Drifting
left requires the L Button, and right the R Button.

Z Button: Switch the rear and front characters.  Remember: the front character
drives and controls the kart while the rear character uses items (X/Y).  If you
get two items at once, for instance, the front character will have one item.
So,
it would be a good idea to switch him to the back after the other item is used.

X or Y Button: Use an item, or taunt at the opponents if you have no item.
Using the Control Stick, you can direct the item forward or backward.

A Button: Hold this down to accelerate.  You need to keep it pressed constantly
or you'll slow down to a stop.

B Button: Enter reverse mode, or brake.  Braking has its uses when you are
approaching an edge or something like that, but it isn't used that often.  If
you aren't driving and you press B, you'll back up.  This is useful if you're
jammed against a wall.

Start Button: Pause the game, of course.  From there, you can choose various
options from the menu.

                         +---------------------------+
                         |    Co-op Play Controls    |
                         +---------------------------+

----------------------------------Front Player----------------------------------

Control Stick: You use this to steer.  Titling it left will let you turn left,
and the same applies to the right.  The more you tilt it in any one direction,
the more you turn.  At times, wide turns require a full tilt, but 90-degree
turns are best suited to short turns.

L or R Button: The drifting buttons...  When turning, it is possible to "drift,"
which I explain below.  Press L as you turn left to drift left; R as you turn
right to drift right.

X or Y Button: Pass along item to rear player.  In this way, you can avoid
switching the controlling character just to use an item.

A Button: Hold this button to accelerate.  And by "hold," I mean keep it
pressed.
If you should take your finger/thumb off the A Button, you'll rapidly lose speed
until you aren't moving at all.

B Button: Brake or reverse.  While moving, the B Button serves as a braking
device.  Slowing down and stopping is useful only a handful of times, but it can
be necessary to prevent falling over a cliff or off a bridge.  When you're not
moving, pressing B causes you to move backwards.  If you're jammed against a
wall, this is a good way to get back in the game.

Start: This pauses the game (oddly, only Player 1 can do this).  So, depending
on who has the first controller, the menu is yours to search.  Since the first
player is the first driver by default, I'll list it here, although Player 1 can
pause the game from the rear seat, too.

----------------------------------Rear Player-----------------------------------

Control Stick: This is used to direct in which direction you throw an item –
forward or backward.  Just how much you tilt forward depends if you send it
flying or if you drop it.

L or R Button: Perform a Slide-Attack!  If you collide with another kart while
doing this, you might steal their item.  That's a might, though, because
lightweights have trouble pulling this off.  Generally speaking, slide attacks
work on opponents of equal or lesser weight.

X or Y Button: Use items.  Make sure to direct where the items go with the
Control Stick for maximum effectiveness.  If you do not have an item, this
button is used to taunt opponents, or make an annoying/obnoxious gesture at
them.

A Button: Double Dash!  That is, at the start of a race, wait until the Lakitu's
light to turn green.  Then press A at the same time as your partner to get a
major boost of speed at the start of the race.

B Button: Use items.

----------------------------------Both Players----------------------------------

Z Button: Both players press Z at the same time to switch positions.  As always,
the front character drives the car while the rear character throws items and
performs lesser tasks.

Now that we know, try playing in Time Trials (Go to 1 Player mode, then choose
the second option) and play in an easy place like "Baby Park", a level on
Mushroom Cup.  Of course, the controls are simple, and I will now explain more
advance controls.

                               +----------------+
                               |    Drifting    |
                               +----------------+

I mentioned drifting a few times up there.  When turning on corners, you would
normally lose speed, but you don't if you drift.  Here's how!  When turning,
shift the Control Stick left or right, depending on the turn, and press either L
or R, which correspond to the turn as well.  In other words, press L or R while
turning.  This is called a Power Slide.  Hitting someone while doing it is fun
and fun-ctional (pun!).  It's just that easy!

                             +--------------------+
                             |    Turbo Boosts    |
                             +--------------------+

-----------------------------------Mini-Boost-----------------------------------

This is a tad complicated, but it shaves tons of time off if mastered.  Mini-
Boosts are performed while drifting.  Remember, drift by pressing L or R as you
turn (L if turning left, R if turning right).  As you drift, immediately tilt
the control stick in the direction opposite that in which you are turning (i.e.
if you are turning right, tilt left).  This will cause red sparks to fly from
your wheels.  When you're seeing red, tilt the control stick in the opposite
direction and then turn it back one more time.  The sparks should now appear
blue.  When you release the control stick and start driving straight again,
you'll receive a short boost of speed.  Although they don't make that much of a
difference and some might not think they're worth the effort, they are
collectively useful.

---------------------------------Bigger Boosts----------------------------------

The much less complicated turbo boosts are performed at the beginning of the
race to give you an early start.  real In Single Play, press the A Button just
as the signal turns green at the start of the race.  If timed correctly, you'll
take off with a Rocket Start.  In Co-op Play, if both players press A at the
same time when the light turns green, it is a Double Dash, far superior to a
Rocket Start (it's as if two worked at the same time).  However, if one player
in Co-op Play does not press A at the right time, you can still perform a Rocket
Start if one of you did it correctly.  The other boosts come from outside
sources, such as tracks and items.  Also, you can make a sort of boost after
being dropped by Lakitu back onto the course (Lakitu retrieves you should you
fall off) by pressing A at the right moment of landing.

                              +------------------+
                              |    Race Items    |
                              +------------------+

---------------------------------Items Overview---------------------------------

Finally, there is using items.  Items are one of the more interesting aspects of
Mario Kart games, and they are (in my opinion) what make this racing series
better than others.  At any given place in a course, there will be a multicolor
3-D box either stationary or moving, that when touched by a player disappears
(coming back in a few seconds) and an item is "randomly" given to the player.
Now, I have theories about this "random" bit.  You get certain items when you
need them.  For instance, you only get Baby Mario's special item when you're in
sixth place or so.  Nevertheless, there are many items, and each character has a
special item.  So, you just need to know that items are mostly randomly
selected,
but you will get certain items when you're in dire straits (for example, eight
placers tend to get Lightning often).

---------------------------------Stealing Items---------------------------------

When racing amongst characters like Bowser and his son, you'd expect that some
thieving would take place on the racetrack.  Not only would you gain an item,
but it would also have the added bonus of depriving an opponent of it.  Well, it
is very possible to steal items from opponents.  In fact, there are three ways
to steal items.

- The first is to use an item called a Star.  This makes you invulnerable for a
short period of time, and if you touch an opponent while invulnerable, you send
them spinning and steal their item if they have one.

- The second way is to use a Mushroom to accelerate, and then blast through an
opponent's kart.  They'll be stunned for a very brief period of time, but they
will lose their item(s) if they have any to lose.

- The third way is to Slide-Attack an opponent with an item.

If the opponent you rob has two items, you take the item the Rear Character
holds, and the item the Front Character holds spills onto the road.  I guess you
could call it highway robbery (talk about punny)!

================================================================================
=====================================Items*=====================================
================================================================================

A mastery of items is vital to being a great competitor.  Let's say that you are
cruising down the tracks to the finish line in first place.  Nothing can stop
you now!  But suddenly, a blue explosion envelops you, causing you to be stunned
for a few seconds.  The second and third place drivers catch up and beat you to
the finish line.  Yes, items can make all the difference in the outcome of a
race, and this is what distinguished a game like Mario Kart from other racing
titles – there's more strategy than just driving.

Items are contained within multicolor boxes that have ? marks on them.  Drive
through these (they come in pairs and singles) and a flashing roulette sort of
box appears above.  It slows down to show an item that you get "randomly."  Now,
although the game often gives you certain good items in times of need (i.e.
look!
Baby Mario just busted out a Chain Chomp and returned to first place!), they are
usually determined randomly.  The item that it stops at is the item you get.

The double ? Blocks give you two items at once – one for the front driver and
one for the rear driver.  If you collect one ? Block at a time, the item goes to
the front driver, but if the front drivers switch, then they can both be holding
items at the same time.  You can hold up to two items at a time.

Some items are a collection of singular items.  For instance, Triple Mushrooms
is counted as one item, even though it can be used three times.  Needless to
say,
items add both challenge and ease to the game, depending on your point of view,
and really make Mario Kart a unique series.  But what kind of items are there?
I'm going to answer my own question yet again...

                            +---------------------+
                            |    Regular Items    |
                            +---------------------+

Trap Box: An inverted item box that appears more red than multicolor, this is
just what its name implies – a trap.  They lure players into hitting them in
hopes of getting an item, but they will tumble after hitting it instead.  Try
dropping these in crowds of item blocks for maximum effects.

Green Shell: Koopa Troopas are the backbone of the Koopa Troop, Bowser's army.
Even before Super Mario Bros., they appeared as the "Shell Creeper" in Mario
Bros., an arcade game.  Well, if one was to jump on a green-shelled Koopa
Troopa,
its shell would be yours to kick.  The same concept applies here.  In this game,
you can launch green shells forward or backward, and they will ricochet off of
walls and barriers until it either hits a player (including yourself), or it
falls off the course.  Colliding with certain items can also destroy it.
Hitting players causes them to spin out of control and lose massive amounts of
speed, but it requires either luck or good aiming on your part to let them hit a
target.

Red Shell: In Super Mario Bros., not all Koopa Troopas were green.  The red-
shelled ones were actually smarter than green-shelled ones because they would
not walk off cliffs.  Well, Mario could kick their shells around after de-
shelling them with a jump, but they acted just like green shells in Super Mario
Bros.    In this game, though, they act differently, attesting to the
superiority of red over green.  Red Shells home in on the player either behind
or ahead of you, depending on which way you launch the shell, and slow down the
opponent it strikes by causing them to crash.  It can be destroyed just as
easily as green shells, and it cannot hit walls.  This is a reference to Super
Mario Bros. 2 (USA) in which red Turtle Shells dissipated when they hit walls.

Spiny Shell: These are commonly red, but for this game, they chose the rarer
blue color.  Spinies are creatures that Lakitu, a Koopa that rides a cloud,
hurled down at Mario and Luigi to rough them up.  They were immune to their
awesome jumping abilities due to their spiked shells, but they were not
resistant to fireballs (just the opposite of Buzzy Beetles).  In this game, add
wings and you have perhaps the best item you can get.  These shells fly above
the stage at great speeds and collide with whoever is in first place.  There is
no way to stop it.  Upon impact, a blue explosion is occurs, toppling everything
in the vicinity.  If used correctly, you can hit multiple opponents at the same
time, or even yourself.  This will be your favorite item when you're in second,
but your least favorite item when you're in first.

Banana: Donkey Kong and his nephew Diddy (plus an assortment of other Kongs that
are loosely related) are often chasing King K. Rool and his Kremling underlings
to reclaim their stolen bananas and relatives.  The occasionally lazy and
definitely laid-back Donkey Kong would like nothing better than to sit back in
his hammock and drink banana milkshakes or eat banana-related products all day,
but frequent video game appearances interfere with that.  In this game, a banana
peel is the most annoying item in the game.  When you run over it, you swerve
out of control.  It is the replacement for oil spills, an "item" included in
Super Mario Kart (although Bananas have always been in the Mario Kart series).
They can be launched forward or backward, and will remain where they are until
hit by a player or a shell (or a few other items).

Mushroom: Mario is the hero of Mushroom Kingdom, and, as one would expect, his
games are appropriately filled with mushrooms.  The Magic Mushroom, later
renamed the Super Mushroom, made Mario turn into Super Mario, a taller, more
resilient version of himself.  On the other hand, 1UP Mushrooms made Mario gain
a life so that players could try again if they failed, and there were even
Poison Mushrooms in the Japanese version of Super Mario Bros. 2 that made Mario
shrink or lose a life.  And in Mario RPG games, Mushrooms are used to heal.
But,
with all the various other Mushroom references aside, Mushrooms are very useful
and highly underrated in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!  When used, you get a brief
boost of speed.  This can allow you to soar over gaps for shortcuts, ram into
opponents to steal their items, or just pass ahead of enemies.  But, these are
nothing compared to...

Triple Mushrooms: Simply three mushrooms, each usable at different times.  In
old Mario games, the only advantage to getting three mushrooms in a row would be
to raise your score (each power-up being worth 1000 points apiece).

Star: Based off the item that first appeared in Super Mario Bros. under the name
"Starman," these stars bounced about until Mario or Luigi caught them, making
the catcher invincible for a brief period of time.  It was always great fun
plowing through enemies as Invincible Mario.  Later, in Super Mario World, the
name of these items changed to "Super Star," and now it's just "Star."  And,
keeping with a tradition started in Super Mario Bros. 3 in which stars were
considered better than other items, Stars have become increasingly prevalent in
Mario games.  In Super Mario 64, you could collect 120 Power Stars and use their
magic to open locked doors.  Mario Party games focus on collecting Stars to
determine winners of each match.  Even the RPG's have star-related quests, such
as collecting the "Stars" (Super Mario RPG), the "Star Spirits" (Paper Mario),
or the "Crystal Stars" (Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door).  But, with all
this rambling aside, let's get to their function in Double Dash!!  Stars do the
same in this game as they originally did.  That is, they make you invincible for
a short time.  Also, you increase speed.  Try hitting other players while you've
got your star on.  You might just end up with an extra item...

Thunderbolt: This item, with seemingly no Mario background at all (aside from a
few obscure references, such as lightning being in the background of the final
boss fight in Super Mario Bros. 2 (Japan) in remakes), first popped up in Super
Mario Kart.  Later, it was even used by Mallow, one of Mario's sidekicks in
Super Mario RPG.  But, Super Mario RPG came after Super Mario Kart.  With
backgrounds aside, this has amazing effects.  It shrinks all the other players
but yourself, and sometimes others who get out of it, and makes them slower and
smaller.  This is an advantage, so you can speed up ahead of them and squish
them, leaving them flat like pancakes.  Also, it should be noted that you tend
to get this item when you're really falling behind (like in eighth place).  It's
a means to help you catch up with opponents.

Remember now that some item boxes are doubled up, and if you touch them you gain
two items ( touch them with one item and you'll gain another).  Now for special
items!

                            +---------------------+
                            |    Special Items    |
                            +---------------------+

Fireballs: These have been in most every Mario game since the arcade days.  With
a few flame obstacles in Donkey Kong aside, Mario Bros. was the first game to
feature "Fireballs."  If Mario and Luigi took too long to defeat the enemies in
the sewers of Brooklyn, these rolled on in from the sides to finish one brother
off and decide a winner.  But, fireballs became helpful in Mario's next
adventure – Super Mario Bros.  When Mario touched a Fire Flower, not only did he
his outfit mysteriously change, but he could shoot fireballs from his hands!
Fire Flowers continued to be used by Mario (and even by enemies.  In Super Mario
Bros. 3, the Fire Brothers were able to shoot fireballs just as well as Mario)
for future games.  It was not discovered until the game "Super Smash Bros." that
Luigi could also launch green fireballs (although an interesting glitch on the
NES Super Mario Bros. 3 allows you to fire green fireballs in Toad's Houses).
Depending on which person is leading, you'll get either three green or three
orange/red fireballs that, when launched, branch off and roast all players they
come in contact with.  Mario and Luigi use them.

Giant Banana: Um, well, it's a, it's sort of like a, uh, big banana.  Seriously,
though, Donkey Kong got one large banana each time he defeated a boss in his
classic Donkey Kong Country game for the SNES that pulled him from the depths of
video game obscurity.  In Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, these discarded banana
peels make for dangerous obstacles.  Larger and thus easier to hit, they release
miniature bananas when hit and cannot be destroyed by shells.  These can be used
only be Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong.

Heart: As reader pelolep@yahoo.com points out, Hearts served as the basic units
for your life meter in the American version of Super Mario Bros. 2, thus
"protecting" you.  I think that's the best Mario connection this item has,
although I think that the Heart item is more of a cutesy specialty item designed
for the princesses than a reference to the life meter of earlier adventures.
Hearts will orbit the kart and absorb all items thrown their way.  It only fades
when the users have two items.  If used correctly, it can be like a ceaseless
Super Star (alliteration, sort of).  But don't get too cocky; Spiny Shells can
and will penetrate the barrier.  The users?  Why Daisy and Peach, of course!  To
counter this item, just hit them with two shells in succession.  An easy fix,
huh?

Triple Shells (Green/Red): This is one of my favorite specials.  It allows you
to carry three of either red or green shells at a time, each launched at your
discretion.  I'll have to say, though, being hit by something will cause you to
lose all but one.  Paratroopa and Koopa use them.

Chain Chomp: A classic enemy made famous in Super Mario Bros. 3, but appearing
huge for the first time in the first level of Super Mario 64, he is Mario and
Luigi's first pet.  Actually, that's not true, but it is used by Baby Mario and
Baby Luigi.  You'll love it as Chain Chomp leads you through the level at 70 mph
while crushing all who dare cross his path.  He eventually releases you and
starts walking himself, making him an invaluable special.

Yoshi's Egg: When Yoshi swallowed an enemy, either he gulped it or it sent right
back out as an egg.  Similarly, Yoshi was locked in an eggshell by Bowser in
multiple games, including his debut title, Super Mario World.  Well, in this
game, Yoshi has been swallowing some very strange things, because his special is
an egg full of items.  Like Red Shells, they home in on enemies and explode,
releasing the content onto the road.  What items will come out?  Generally,
things like Mushrooms and Stars pop out.

Birdo's Egg: Birdo was an easy enemy to beat, because her greatest strength was
also her greatest weakness.  She spat eggs at Mario and the gang, but in
response, they jumped onto the egg and threw it right back at her.  Although
Birdo could change colors to shoot fireballs as well, she is most well known for
her egg-spitting habits.  And it was established in Super Mario RPG when Birdo
was a surprise mini-boss in Nimbus Castle that she was born in a pink-splotched
egg similar to that of Yoshi.  Now that she's been reintroduced to the Mario
scene as a quasi-love interest for Yoshi, she's taken to mimicking his style.
It is the same special as Yoshi's Egg, only pink.

Bowser's Shell: Have you noticed the last few items all have used possessive
apostrophes?  Anyway, this is the shell to end all shells.  If it was possible
to de-shell Bowser, the result would be this.  A giant green spiked shell
ricochets across the tracks randomly, crushing all in its path.  It cannot be
destroyed easily, and it has an amazingly long life span; it bounces about for
multiple laps in some tracks!  But, it will slowly lose speed Only Bowser Jr.
and Bowser himself can use it.

Bob-omb: These enemies first appeared in a game called "Doki Doki Panic," and
thus in Super Mario Bros. 2 (USA) when it was translated to the states.  Walking
explosives, Bob-ombs have since appeared consistently in all of Mario's more
popular outings.  In Super Mario 64, we are introduced to pink Bob-ombs that
want to help you overthrow Bowser, and Paper Mario marked the first occasion
that players could control a Bob-omb, Bombette.  But, in Mario Kart: Double
Dash!!, the anti-heroes Wario and Waluigi can toss around explosives for short-
term traps that will explode, hitting all characters in the area.

Super Mushroom: These golden mushrooms can be used multiple times, making
them even better than Triple Mushrooms.  They belong to a secret character
duo, and so I will not reveal who uses them, yet...

Some items are dropped onto the ground as a result of other items.  Be careful
of how you use these, although items like bananas or stars you find free-
floating on the ground help you, others like Bob-ombs and bananas don't help you
at all.  Items spilled onto the ground fade away after time.

I also want to mention that you can switch characters so that different combos
can be used.  For instance, use Bowser Jr. and Luigi, and you can use Bowser's
Shell as well Fireballs, depending on the character's positions.

Now you know all but four of the characters, and in Characters I will tell
you who they all are.  Stay tuned because in the section after that I'll
actually give you useful information!

================================================================================
==================================Characters*===================================
================================================================================

This is a pretty much useless section for all you who want just game info, and
if you don't want to see this section, press Ctrl + F button on your computer
(Apple + F if you have a Mac) and type in "The Karts" with the star.  If not,
read the section.  Really, this section contains long, boring bios on all the
various playable characters, and it's more than you'll ever want to know about
all of them, unless you're a Mario enthusiast as am I.

-------------------------------------Mario--------------------------------------

The character the game is named after, Mario is a big player in the video game
realm.  Having appeared in more games than any other character on any platform,
Mario was popular from the first game he appeared in.  It was called Donkey
Kong,
and it was about a carpenter name Jumpman who hiked up a construction site to
rescue his girlfriend, the Lady.  Primitive arcade graphics dictated how Mario
looked.  Because hair was hard to animate, he wore a cap.  Overalls gave his
arms a crude suggestion of movement, and his side burns helped to differentiate
his ears from his face.  A mustache covered his mouth for just that reason, and
his overalls appeared red because it was an easy color to generate.  And Jumpman
was named for his amazing jumping abilities; he leaped over barrels and other
hazards thrown his way by nemesis Donkey Kong, and in the end retrieved his
girlfriend, who presumably dumped him later on.

For the inevitable sequel to the popular game, Donkey Kong Jr., Jumpman was
renamed Mario Segali after the Nintendo of America building landlord who
apparently bore resemblance to the pixilated hero.  Donkey Kong Jr. had DK's son
rescue him from a cruel, whip-wielding Mario, but Mario was completely excluded
from the third installment of the Donkey Kong series.  Instead, he starred in a
game with his name in it – Mario Bros.  Because Mario could travel in pipes, his
job as a carpenter was replaced by a plumbing profession.  And Mario, plus his
brother Luigi, had to clear out the sewers of Brooklyn using the jumping skills
that made him famous.  But Nintendo was not satisfied yet, even though Mario's
games had been popular.  Mario was ready to go in a bold new direction – the
NES.

Yep, Mario came out in style for the system's launch with the instant classic,
Super Mario Bros.  In it, Mario defeated the King of the Koopa, Bowser, and
rescued Princess Peach Toadstool, setting a trend for many future games.  Mario
popularity skyrocketed, and a trilogy was underway.  His most popular game for
the NES was the best-seller – Super Mario Bros. 3.  Oddly, this was Mario's most
popular adventure for the old Nintendo Entertainment System, and yet few new
elements of it continued in the series.

The American Super Mario Bros. 2 was rather odd.  Because Nintendo didn't want
to release the repetitive Japanese version of SMB 2in the states, they took a
Japanese only game called Doki Doki Panic, made the main characters into Mario,
Luigi, Peach, and Toad, and called it Super Mario Bros. 2.  The original was
about an Arabian family rescuing kids from a storybook from a giant frog named
Mamu.  While Nintendo kept all the enemies the same for the most part, with a
name change to Mamu to make him "Wart," they changed the ending of the game.
Apparently, Mario was dreaming the whole thing.  This attests to an egotistical
and gratifying interior, even if subconscious, under Mario's humble plumber
exterior.  Or maybe Mario just had one too many Mushrooms that day.  He does
love his "Magic Mushrooms"...

With Yoshi as his trusty steed, Mario appeared in Super Mario World to greet an
adoring public.  Though it was not as insanely popular, it did spawn a sequel
that some would say is the best platform game in existence – Super Mario World
2:
Yoshi's Island.  It is of particular interest to us because it attempts to
explain the origins of the plumber.  The Koopa Troop has intercepted the stork
as it delivered Mario and Luigi to their mothers (a Magikoopa has foreseen the
trouble Mario will cause Bowser), but they only manage to capture Luigi and the
hog-tied stork.  Mario escapes to find Yoshi, who plays Baby Mario's ride until
Yoshi can defeat Baby Bowser and set the stork on its way.

Disestablishing the previously established fact that Mario and Luigi were from
Brooklyn, the stork flies them to a house in the Mushroom Kingdom where the
parents receive their new children.  Another discrepancy here: Mario and Luigi
are portrayed as twins.  But, previous and future games always clarify that
Mario is older than Luigi, and not just by a few minutes.  But, Nintendo has
made it clear that, for the Mario series at least, they do think of a grand
linking storyline for Mario because it limits their creativity or some jazz like
that.  In other words, they apologize for mistakes, but don't expect better.

Mario got a voice in Super Mario World 2 when he shrieked like a banshee, but it
was in Super Mario 64 that he really started to exercise those vocal cords.
Voiced by Charles Martinet, Mario's quips included many stereotypical Italian
quotes, such as "Mama mia!" and various Yahoo! Sounding phrases.  But, Mario is
an Italian stereotype in the good way (otherwise, Bowser would be swimming with
the fishes).  But, Super Mario 64 did more than give him a voice.  It was
Mario's first grand 3-D adventure, and he went solo this time to rescue Princess
Toadstool from the confines of the Mushroom Castle, which Bowser had taken over
and locked up using the Power Stars that protected the castle.  In a game that
some claim to be the best ever made (I think this is going too far, but it was a
great game), Mario could potentially retrieve 120 of the Power Stars and then
conquer Bowser in the skies, just as he did in Super Mario Bros.  In the end, he
even gets to eat cake with Princess Peach.  Luigi was not invited (although
Luigi, Wario, and Yoshi appeared as playable characters in the port of SM 64,
Super Mario 64 DS).

Mario revived his RPG business later on in the lifespan of the N64 – in 2001, to
be precise.  A rift between Square-Enix and Nintendo (caused because of Square's
releases on the Playstation) caused Mario's previous RPG, Super Mario RPG: The
Legend of the Seven Stars for the SNES in 1996, to have no true sequel, but
Paper Mario was as close as it will ever get.  Bowser ascended to the skies and
stole the Star Rod, an object that can grant the wishes of its user (it is used
by the Star Spirits to grant the wishes of the good).  Using it, Bowser became
invincible, and Bowser nearly killed Mario in a battle at the beginning of the
game.  Mario recovered, however, thanks to the intervention of the Star Spirits'
energies, and went on to rescue the seven spirits from the minions Bowser
entrusted them with.  With all seven, they created an attack called the Star
Beam.  Coupled with the prayers of the people of the Mushroom Kingdom, it
disabled the Star Rod long enough for Mario to kick Bowser to the curb and
restore peace to the world.  However, what makes Paper Mario so interesting is
that the characters look like cardboard cut-outs in a charming and artistic
graphics style.

The Game Cube marked a rather humbling beginning for Mario in Luigi's Mansion,
but he soon got to appear in Super Mario Sunshine.  In it, he receives the help
of a tropical breed of Yoshis and FLUDD, the Flash Liquidizer Ultra Dousing
Device created by Professor E. Gadd, as he goes on vacation with Princess Peach
(and no Luigi in sight).  But when they arrive, Mario is promptly arrested.
Shadow Mario, someone dressed as Mario, had polluted Isle Delfino with slime and
nasty creatures that lived in it, and Mario was framed.  His punishment?  Clean
up the slime.  But as he did so, Peach was kidnapped.  As it turns out, framing
Mario was all part of the plan of... Bowser Jr.!  Yes, Bowser's eighth son
framed Mario to steal the princess.  Upon restoring his good name, Mario takes
off to Mount Corona, an active volcano on the island, where he defeats Bowser
Jr.
and his father, Bowser, who coaxed his son into working for him.  After a
shocking display of emotion with a damaged FLUDD, Mario and Peach can enjoy the
rest of their vacation.

With a third RPG added to his repertoire, Mario was not stopping after Mario and
Luigi: Superstar Saga.  Though he was technically only a co-hero, Mario still
tried to defeat the evil witch Cackletta, who had stolen Peach's voice.  His
fourth RPG, though, was a real sequel.  Called Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year
Door, Mario is scheduled to meet Peach at Rogueport for a vacation when she
disappears.  As it turns out, she was stolen as part of an elaborate plot for
world domination by the tech-savvy X-Nauts, whose leader plans to use Peach's
body as a vessel to revive an ancient demon.  Mario managed to defeat both of
them, however, and he does it all with origami and papery goodness.

And all the while, Mario has time to throw terrific parties, hit the tennis
courts, play golf, take up an assortment of various professions, and race in
wild kart games.  And of course, Mario has a few new sports titles coming soon
(or already released, depending on when you read this guide), including a Dance
Dance Revolution game, Mario-style.  Not to mention his part-time jobs as mascot
of Nintendo.  Can you think of a cooler plumber?  Didn't think so.

-------------------------------------Luigi--------------------------------------

Luigi is Mario's little brother, and he's the one who added the "Bros." to the
titles of all your favorite games.  Luigi's first appearance was a playable one
in Mario Bros. in arcades in 1983, two years after his brother's glorious debut.
Even then, Luigi was not exactly garnering the spotlight.  Had the game been
changed to "Mario and Luigi" or a similar title, then the Mario series probably
would've gone much differently.  However, it didn't quite work out like that.

Luigi was a pallet swap that Player 2 controlled in Mario Bros.  Wearing green
because it was an easy color to generate in the day, Luigi used the same sprite
as his brother with slight changes.  And unlike Mario, whose fashion choices
changed with each of his early games, Luigi stuck to the same general concept –
green and blue.  Although he deviates from it occasionally, Luigi has been
consistent.  Then there's his seemingly simple name.  In Japanese, there is very
little distinction between the "r" and "l" sounds.  So, the Japanese word
"ruiji" could be pronounced just like Luigi's name.  And "ruiji" means "similar"
in Japanese (which Luigi is.  He basically entered life as Mario with different
clothes), not to mention the fact that Luigi is a common Italian name.  Many
video game characters (at least for Nintendo) have puns in their names, and
Luigi is no exception.

Any way you slice it, at least Luigi shared screen time with his older brother
in Mario Bros.  Come Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo Entertainment System,
Luigi was the rarely seen Player 2 of the game who was only playable if you were
taking turns in a two-player game.  This marks the beginning of a long series of
overlooked appearances for the green man.

Luigi received more of an identity in Super Mario Bros. 2.  In the Japanese
version, Luigi was differentiated from his brother by having a higher jump,
slower running, and less traction with his boots than tightly controlled Mario.
In the American version of the game, Luigi had the highest jump up the lot,
complete with a strange bicycle kick as he jumped, but his upper body strength
was lacking.  He plucked vegetables slower than Mario but faster than Peach, but
all of them were beat by fast-picking Toad.  The tendency for Luigi to be a
better jumper but weaker fighter than Mario continues to this day, right up into
the Super Smash Bros. series and remakes of the classic trilogy.  Also, SMB 2
(USA) gave Luigi his own sprite, and it was the first game to establish Luigi as
taller than Mario, which still holds true today.

But, Luigi went back to sharing a sprite with Mario in another adventure in
Super Mario Bros. 3.  A step back for Luigi, but at least he got to compete with
his glory-hog bros. in a battle mode reminiscent of Mario Bros. in the game.
Luigi played second fiddle again in Super Mario World, and his infant self was
basically the damsel in distress waiting to be rescued in Super Mario World 2.
In fact, Luigi was also excluded from Mario's Game Boy adventures, the better
part of Super Mario RPG, and Super Mario 64.  But, one game changed all that.

Yes, I refer, of course, to "Mario is Missing!", an edutainment (education +
entertainment = edutainment) title that should never be played by mortals.
Basically, Bowser kidnapped Mario, and it was up to Luigi to use his advanced
knowledge of world geography to track down Bowser and prevent him from melting
the polar ice caps.  And he might as well rescue Mario while he's at it, too.
Mario headed another edutainment title around the same time called "Mario's Time
Machine," in which he must right the wrongs Bowser has done in the past by
filling in the blanks in history class.  As you can see, this was not a chance
for Luigi to shine, but instead a slap in the face.  Geography has yet to help
him since.

Luigi's next big appearance was in Mario Tennis.  It's right around now that
Nintendo started to try to right the wrongs that had for so long cast Luigi to
the side.  How did they do this?  Why make him more like Mario, of course!
Luigi received his own version of Princess Peach as Nintendo reintroduced
Princess Daisy from Super Mario Land, and his own rival in Waluigi.  Of course,
neither of them was or is nearly as popular as Peach and Wario, but it's a
start.

Then, we have Paper Mario.  In Nintendo's hilarious new RPG, Luigi got to hang
around Mario's house for the entire game, venturing out once into Peach's castle
for the Prologue.  If Mario spin jumps in the right place in their room, he can
find a secret compartment where Luigi keeps his diaries.  Though they contain
mostly embarrassing and trivial tidbits detailing Luigi's boring life as a
homebody, Luigi does write that, although it's fun racing karts and partying,
maybe he liked giving Mario the spotlight too much.  Maybe he could have a game
of his own, with his name in the title...

That wish came true only months later when the Game Cube was released.  Luigi's
Mansion was one of the launch games, and it starred... Luigi!  In it, the L man
won a contest he didn't even enter, and the prize was a brand new mansion.
Mario decided to check it out first, but he had yet to return.  So, Luigi
ventured into his forest-surrounded mansion to find a dark, gloomy dump.  Upon
entering, he finds that it is haunted.  But, armed with the Poltergust 3000,
supplied to him by eccentric Professor Elvin Gadd (E. Gadd, egad, puns), he was
able to vacuum up ghosts inside as he searched for his brother.

This led to the ultimate realization that a pack of Boos had tricked him into
coming, and that their leader, King Boo, had imprisoned Mario within a portrait.
Luigi braves scores of ghosts to reach King Boo, who is masquerading as Mario's
archrival in their boss fight!  What a surprise it is for the player...  But,
Luigi was able to force King Boo out of the costume with reverse suction and
bombs, and King Boo was ultimately captured.  Taking Mario's picture out of the
Secret Altar, E. Gadd uses a machine he has to free him.  Mario is spat out and
hits his head, which causes Luigi to laugh for the first and only time in the
game.  Luigi's Mansion supposedly takes place all in the course of one night.

Since then, Luigi's been much more recognized in Nintendo's games.  Mario's
third RPG was entitled "Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga," and Luigi played co-hero
to his older brother.  Luigi's involvement is not intentional, though.  Toad
informs a showering Mario that Peach is in trouble.  Mario dresses quickly and
runs through the laundry line, which Luigi is attending to at the time.  Luigi
is hopelessly tangled up with Mario, and Mario moves on with his brother in tow.
Luigi plays an active role in the game, even dressing as Princess Peach at one
point to fool witch Cackletta (oddly, Luigi mentions having dressed up as a
bridge during one chapter of his adventure in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year
Door.  Starting a trend, hmm?).

Luigi continued to appear in Mario's many party titles, but he also had a grand
adventure in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door.  Or, at least that's what they
say.  The game focuses on Mario the entire way through, but Luigi pops up in
Rogueport for breaks from his adventure after each chapter ends, and he's always
eager to report his travels to Mario.  Luigi even has an assortment of partners
who journey with him, and they sometimes correct Luigi, who tells the story
without all of his various blunders included.  But, because Luigi's adventure is
only said-so, we'll never get to experience it all, unless Nintendo sees fit to
make a Paper Luigi.  That might go the way of Super Mario Land; Luigi could take
over Mario's RPG franchise...  But that's just thinking out-loud on my part.

Luigi now enjoys a growing fan base, even if it he had to develop a fear of the
dark to get it.  Luigi's infant self is even a playable character for the first
time now.  Talk about appreciation.

----------------------------------Donkey Kong-----------------------------------

An interesting character...  Donkey Kong first appeared in a game of the same
name.  For some reason, he kidnapped a lady and brought her to the top of a
construction site, leaving it up to her devoted boyfriend – Mario – to save her.
Of course, Mario wins (like usual), and Mario is a bad winner.  DK's name has a
bit of video game myth surrounding it.  It is a popular urban legend that
Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Mario, Link, Donkey Kong, and many other
characters, thought that "Donkey" was English for "stupid."  Add Kong, which is
an ape name since the film King Kong, and you've got this character.  Regardless
of whether this is true or not, the next game was named after DK's son.

Yep, Donkey Kong Jr. was released later.  In it, Donkey Kong was captured by
Mario, and it was up to Donkey's son to rescue him from cruel, whip-wielding
Mario, using vines and such.  Junior even appeared in a game in which he did
math, an edutainment title.

(Oddly, Donkey Kong Jr. appeared as a playable character in Super Mario Kart,
but not Donkey Kong.  Furthermore, junior appeared in Mario Tennis for the N64,
but was replaced by DK in Mario Kart 64.  Oh well.)

Donkey Kong Jr. sat out the third game in the DK arcade trilogy, though, as
Donkey Kong became a flower's worse nightmare.  Yes, Mario was fazed out of the
series altogether, and it was now up to Stanley the Bugman, a devoted insect
exterminator, to keep DK from lowering himself to the plants in a green house by
spraying bug spray at the ape.  A great new arcade game that would continue the
series, right?

Well, I guess Mario makes the game, because Stanley the Bugman never appeared
again, and Donkey Kong disappeared for a long time, too.  Relegated to simple
cameos in games like Mario Tennis for the NES, Donkey Kong sat out for a long
time.  Then came the Donkey Kong Country trilogy.

A sleek, hip, tie-wearing Donkey Kong emerged from video game obscurity to
appear in SNES game Donkey Kong Country in 1994.  The Donkey Kong who appeared
in the arcades in 1981 was a muscle-bound brute, and even 3-D character models
cannot explain the difference in looks.  So, how did Rare, who now owns DK's
rights, explain this difference?

By introducing a grizzly old coot named Cranky Kong.  Cranky claims to be the
original Donkey Kong who threw barrels and kidnapped maidens in arcade games,
and now his lousy grandson/son (the precise relationship varies with the game)
has inherited the family moniker.  The exact relationship between Cranky and
Donkey is yet to be determined, but the new Donkey Kong is either Donkey Kong
Jr.
or junior's son.  In any case, the "new" Donkey Kong appears in Mario Kart:
Double Dash!!

So the trilogy was kicked off.  Donkey Kong and his nephew/little buddy (again,
the familial status changes from game-to-game) Diddy Kong are the stars of
Donkey Kong Country.  As it so happens, the Kremlings, a band of reptilian
baddies led by King K. Rool (pun on cruel or rule, depending on how you look at
it) steal their banana hoard.  Cranky Kong taunts them a bit before Donkey and
Diddy decide to prove themselves as video game heroes and reclaim their stolen
bananas.  The result is a wildly popular game.

Then came the sequel.  "Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy Kong's Quest" introduced
Dixie Kong, but it came at a high price; not only did the Kremlings, now in
pirate getups (King K. Rool is now "Kaptain K. Rool"), steal the banana hoard,
but they kidnapped Donkey Kong to prevent resistance.  Cranky Kong opens his
big,
retro video game enthusiast's mouth, and Diddy and Dixie end up saving Donkey
Kong and the bananas.  How embarrassing for DK...

Both Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong were kidnapped in the third installment of the
series, Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie's Double Trouble, and it was up Diddy's
girlfriend and the tubby ape she was babysitting to rescue them from a new,
mechanized Kremling army.  This time, King K. Rool changed his name to Baron K.
Roolenstein.  In any case, DK himself plays a very minor role in the game – he's
the he-damsel.

Game Boy re-releases with the same basic plots made up the Donkey Kong Land
series.  In the first game, Cranky argued that DK's SNES adventure wouldn't have
been nearly as popular if it were in black-and-white and on an 8-bit system
like,
oh say, the Game Boy.  Donkey and Diddy take the bait, and so they are tricked
into playing a very similar game with a few new worlds and far worse graphics.
Cranky, you see, in a parody of old-school gamers, those who claim that video
games were better in the olden days.

The rest of the Donkey Kong Land series follows suit, and this set the stage for
a bold new adventure for the increasingly large Kong family in Donkey Kong 64
for the N64.  K. Rool's up to his usual antics, but he's kidnapped a good deal
of Donkey Kong's extended family this time.  This includes new characters Tiny
Kong, a shameless Dixie Kong knock-off, Chunky Kong, the older brother of DKC 3
character Kiddy Kong, and Lanky Kong, whose relations to other Kongs is obscure.
Rescuing them and using their abilities will allow DK and crew to destroy K.
Rool's cannon that he plans to use to destroy Kong Island.

Aside from usual appearances in Mario's spin-off games like Mario Party
(unfortunately, DK was removed as a playable character in Mario Party 5 in
exchange for his own space) and Mario Kart, DK has a series that really took
off.
The Donkey Konga series uses drums and rhythm to guide DK through levels.  It is
quite odd, really, that the most primitive instrument is the most innovative
video game.  Although DK doesn't go on many huge adventures anymore, he's found
a happy place in a few games as he gradually becomes more and more
Mario-related.

-----------------------------------Diddy Kong-----------------------------------

Diddy entered life in 1994 in Donkey Kong Country.  Donkey wanted to shirk work,
and so he got Diddy to guard the banana duty for "video game hero training."
Naturally, the hoard was stolen on just that stormy night by the Kremlings, and
Cranky Kong would never let either of them live it down.  It was time for Diddy
to prove himself as a true video game hero and retrieve the banana hoard with
the help of Donkey Kong.

It is interesting to note that Diddy's name is a code – Down, Y, Down, Down, +
Y.
The same is true of Donkey and Dixie.  But, for the first four playable Kongs –
DK, DK Jr., Diddy Kong, and Dixie Kong – all have the initials DK.  This holds
true for the fifth Kong in Japan – Kiddy Kong, who is named Dinky Kong in Japan
– but not in the US.

Essentially the Luigi of the game, Donkey and Diddy switched off when the other
was hit.  Donkey Kong got all the credit, though, and Diddy didn't seem to leave
much of an impression on the Kremlings.  So, in the prelude to Donkey Kong
Country 2, Donkey Kong was abducted by a new, pirate-themed Kremling army, and
it was up to Diddy to save his uncle/friend.

Joined by his "friend," Dixie Kong, who Cranky calls his girlfriend whenever the
opportunity presents itself, Diddy made his way through enemy territory to reach
Kaptain K. Rool (remember, the Kremlings are now a band of pirates), whom he
soundly defeated in his aircraft.  The game played much like DKC, but Diddy and
Dixie could work together and alternate to reach new places and incredible
heights.

Still impressed by Donkey Kong's performance in the first DKC, and now fearing
Diddy, the Kremlings decided to kidnap both Donkey and Diddy Kong AND their
banana hoard in Donkey Kong Country 3.  Dixie Kong decided to go looking for
them when she realized they were kidnapped, apparently by a cyborg named KAOS.
Picking up Kiddy Kong, whom she was meant to baby-sit, the two sail around the
Northern Kremisphere (too punny for words...) to defeat KAOS, who is actually
(surprise, surprise) a robot powered by the collective brain power of Diddy and
Donkey Kong, explaining why it's so easy to beat (burn!).  The true villain
exposes himself, King K. Rool dressed as a mad scientist named Baron K.
Roolenstein, and Dixie soundly kicks his reptilian hide despite his discharged
electricity and fancy machinery.  So, Diddy Kong was rescued by his girlfriend
and a toddler.

But he wasn't out.  Diddy Kong joined Donkey for the Donkey Kong Land trilogy on
the Game Boys, and even he fell for Cranky's tricks.  But, Diddy would also
appear in two other big titles on the N64.

In Donkey Kong 64, Diddy was the first Kong to be rescued by DK.  With a jetpack
and a peanut-launching gun, Diddy was a great addition to the crew, even if he
had to share a barrel with Tiny Kong, the shameless knock-off of his girlfriend
Dixie.  Diddy also got to play the guitar, making him a pretty cool monkey.

Then there's Diddy's other N64 title – Diddy Kong Racing.  Diddy and many other
miscellaneous characters made up for that game, but including Rare characters
such as Banjo (without Kazooie) and Conker (without the cursing).  Diddy's game
on the side may have introduced Wizpig, a terrible character truly, but it was
just a racing title.  Donkey Kong Racing was going to be released for Game Cube
using such animal buddies as Expresso or Rambi, but it died out quickly.

Diddy, who proved his musical abilities in Donkey Kong 64, also got to appear in
the Donkey Konga series.  Well, so did several other Kongs, I guess.  Drumming
away, Diddy is pretty darn cool.  He is slowly joining more Mario games, such as
this game and Mario Power Tennis.  I'd say that Diddy has successfully replaced
Donkey Kong Jr., but the resilient junior might pop up again someday...

---------------------------------Princess Peach---------------------------------

What a classy dame; she lets Bowser race and his son race on the same track as
her.  Nonetheless, there's more to her than just being kidnapped.  But not much
else...

The pretty princess in pink is kidnapped a lot.  But, Mario hasn't always been
with her.  Originally, his girlfriend was named Pauline (named after the damsel
in distress in "Perils of Pauline."  But, Mario presumably dumped her in favor
of rescuing Princess Toadstool of the Mushroom Kingdom in Super Mario Bros., or
perhaps the plumber was dumped.  We never really heard the details.

Toadstool was the only person who could undo some black magic of the Koopa Troop
that transformed the residents of her kingdom into common objects such as stones
and horsehair plants (whatever those are).  Abducted by Bowser to prevent her
from doing so, it was up to two stalwart plumbers – Mario and Luigi – to beat
down Bowser and let her be free.  They succeeded, and Mario got a kiss.  From
then on, Mario and Toadstool were on friendly terms.

Toadstool sends Mario nice letters throughout his journeys in Super Mario Bros.
3 containing helpful items and pieces of advice.  But, just as Mario has
liberated the last region of the Mushroom World, Bowser sends him a letter!
Toadstool has been kidnapped, and Bowser is holding her hostage in Dark Land!
Never fear, though; Mario can handle it.  And that he does, freeing Toadstool
yet again.  Toadstool makes a lame joke in reference to Toads, her humble
servants, and the game ends.

(Mario did stray from Toadstool once, though.  In Super Mario Land, Mario
rescues Princess Daisy of Sarasaland.  But, rather than upset their
relationship,
Daisy is looked at more as a match for Luigi nowadays.  She was reintroduced in
Mario Tennis for the N64 along with Waluigi, a rival for Luigi, as part of
Nintendo's grand equalizing of Mario and Luigi.)

So, now that Mario and Toadstool are great pals, they decide to go on vacation
together, dragging Luigi with them for the heck of it.  But, just before Super
Mario World begins, Peach is kidnapped!  Shocker!  So, Mario rescues her again.
Poor Bowser, who kidnaps her in Super Mario World, must feel like a real loser.

At the beginning of Super Mario RPG, Toadstool is flung to the far-off Booster's
Tower during Mario and Bowser's climactic battle when a giant sword crashes
through the castle's roof.  Mario lands at his house, and he travels around the
land to rescue her.  After safely returning her to her castle, she decided to
accompany Mario, Mallow (partner), Geno (partner), and Bowser (yes, he was a
partner!) to help them defeat Smithy, the master of that giant sword who wants
to wreak havoc on the world.  Bowser wants to defeat Smithy to reclaim his
castle.  Toadstool proves to be a great asset to the team with her healing
powers.

Toadstool got to be on more friendly terms with Mario in Super Mario 64.  She
invites Mario over for some cake, signing her letter "Peach."  And she has been
referred to as Princess Peach, her first name, after since.  Speaking of which,
she was kidnapped in Super Mario 64, too.  But, Mario alone rescued her that
time.

Bowser tried again to abduct the princess in Paper Mario.  But even making
himself absolutely invincible with the magical Star Rod could not prevent Bowser
from losing in the end.  Mario and Peach can even enjoy fireworks as Bowser's
castle explodes and everyone celebrates with a parade.

Peach was kidnapped yet again in Super Mario Sunshine.  Vacationing with Mario
to the paradise Isle Delfino, she was abducted by "Shadow Mario," a Mario
doppelganger.  This happened as Mario was cleaning up a mess (this was his
punishment for a crime he did not commit; Shadow Mario covered the island with
goop and framed Mario, who then had to clean it).  Only by collecting the Shine
Sprites, the source of power for Isle Delfino, could Mario venture into Mount
Corona where he confronted Bowser and Bowser Jr.  Bowser Jr., Bowser's eighth
child (the other seven are those accursed Koopalings), had been tricked into
thinking that Peach was his mother and that Mario was holding her captive, and
so he dressed as Shadow Mario to frame the plumber and take off with his "mama."
Of course, Mario kicked both their hides.  Afterwards, the real vacation began.
And poor, confused Bowser Jr. realized that Bowser had tricked his son to get
cheap labor out of him.

In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Peach has decided to go to Rogueport for
a vacation of sorts, and Mario is invited.  Vacations normally don't bode well
for the princess, though, and I wouldn't be surprised if she ended up kidnapped
by someone.  But, will it be Bowser?  Oh, I can't stand the suspense!

---------------------------------Princess Daisy---------------------------------

The princess of Sarasaland fell into the depths of video game darkness after a
temporary moment in the sun.  In 1989, Super Mario Land came out for the Game
Boy.  Princess Daisy was kidnapped by an alien named Tatanga, and Mario just
couldn't resist saving her.  Although the entire game is basically a diversion
(see Wario's bio), Daisy did get her fifteen minutes of video game fame.  For
some strange reason, the archaeologist/princess in the Super Mario Bros. movie
is named Daisy, but Peach.  But, it really doesn't matter considering how bad
that movie was (don't e-mail me about that comment!).

Daisy then disappeared for years.  But, she finally returned to the Mario scene
in Mario Tennis for the N64.  Her new purpose in life?  To serve as a possible
match for Luigi, of course.  Daisy immediately began to appear in Mario's party
games, ranging from her tomboyish appearance in Mario Party 3 to acting a sort
of cameo as an alternate costume for Peach in Super Smash Bros. Melee.

Daisy rules over a kingdom that consists of a desert (Birabuto), water (Muda),
Easter Island look-alike (Easton), and an Asian sector (Chai).  She has a red
crown and quite the tan, at first.  She lost the flower in her hair from Super
Mario Land in her reappearance, and Mario Party 4 changed her look altogether.
She became pale, gained a bit of a potbelly (in comparison to Peach), and her
face became different (bug-eyed and separated features).  After all, Nintendo
doesn't want anybody mistaking Daisy for the cuter of the two princesses.

-------------------------------------Koopa--------------------------------------

Oddly, all generic Koopas you play as have green shells, but playable Koopa
Paratroopas are red-shelled...  Koopa is actually the Japanese name of Bowser,
but that's not the point.  "Koopa" has since become a shortened form of the name
"Koopa Troopa," which are the turtle enemies from Super Mario Bros.  But, oddly,
a similar enemy called a "Shell Creeper" appeared in Mario Bros. before there
ever was a Koopa Troop.

In Super Mario Bros., green-shelled Koopa Troopas walked forward.  They turned
around if they collided with something solid, but they would march themselves
down a cliff if there was one there.  If Mario jumped on one, their shells could
be kicked to bulldoze through other enemies.

Although the Koopa Troopa did not appear in Super Mario Bros. 2 (no SMB enemy
did), its shell did.  It was a red shell called a "Turtle Shell," however, and
it dissipated when it hit a wall.  Koopa Troopas also appeared the same in Super
Mario Bros. 3, though Mario gained the ability to pick up their shells in that
game.

Not only was Mario given the ability to throw their shells up in Super Mario
World, but two new developments came about.  First, Super Mario World was the
first game to show Koopa Troopas walking upright.  Second, they introduced two
new colors – blue and yellow.  Blue-shelled Koopa Troopas often kicked their
shells at Mario, while yellow ones could become invincible if they tucked
themselves into their shells.  Furthermore, each Koopa Troopa had a different
property when swallowed by Yoshi.  The green could just be spit out, but the
others could be spit out for fireballs (red), used to let Yoshi fly (blue), or
be used to cause tremors when Yoshi jumps (yellow).

Koopa Troopa was a playable character in Super Mario Kart, but that was before
the immense popularity of Wario.  According to the Mario Kart 64 instruction
booklet, Wario stole his kart.  This is especially interesting because, in the
beta version of the game, they were considering replacing Koopa Troopa with a
Magikoopa in Mario Kart 64.  Both were excluded, as it turns out, to make room
for Wario.  Even Mario Kart: Super Circuit for the GBA, which boasts having
twenty old tracks, does not let you play as Koopa Troopa in past tracks, and
even Donkey Kong Jr. in Super Circuit has been replaced by Donkey Kong.  But,
that would change in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!  Also, it should be noted that,
although Koopa Troopa did not physically appear, his shells were items
throughout the Mario Kart series.  This goes for many other games, too, like
Super Smash Bros. Melee.

Super Mario 64 had large, upright Koopa Troopas that resembled this one more,
only bigger and fatter.  If stomped, their shells could be used to surf over all
surfaces, even lava.  While they weren't necessary to beating the game, they
were pretty cool and useful at times.  And in future titles, Koopa Troopas in
various incarnations persisted in being enemies, whether it was in an RPG or
their electric counterparts in Super Mario Sunshine.

Koopa Troopa is an increasingly social character.  Mario Power Tennis features a
green playable Koopa, and Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour for the Game Cube.  It also
has a winged counterpart, the Koopa Paratroopa.  I guess that they wanted to
distinguish them from each other further than just wings, and so the shell
colors have changed.

-----------------------------------Paratroopa-----------------------------------

Koopa Paratroopas are winged versions of Koopa Troopas.  Although they appeared
only in red and green in Super Mario Bros., Koopa Paratroopas appeared blue and
yellow in Super Mario World.  But, all generic Koopa Paratroopas that are
playable in games like Mario Kart or, recently, Mario Power Tennis, have red
shells.

Green Koopa Paratroopas were not very intelligent in Super Mario Bros.  Like
their grounded counterparts, green seems to be lesser than red, and they could
only bound forward aimlessly (there are a few occasional exceptions, but this is
the general rule).  Red Koopa Paratroopas, however, could actually control
themselves in flight.  They often hovered up and down in an area in an attempt
to block Mario's jump.  The result, though, was usually Mario bouncing off the
poor Paratroopa and onto the next ledge.  When jumped on, Koopa Paratroopas lose
their wings, or at least they do in the original.

Paratroopas appeared consistently throughout Mario's side scrolling adventures,
save Super Mario World 2, and has landed itself in RPG's on multiple occasions.
But, the common enemy first appeared playable in Mario Tennis on the N64.  Since
then, they've been steadily appearing in more "party" games, like Mario Kart:
Double Dash!!

-----------------------------------Baby Mario-----------------------------------

Baby Mario and Mario in the same game?  Unbelievable!  Well believe it!  Baby
Mario first appeared in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island.  In it, the Koopa
Troop foresees just how much trouble Mario and Luigi will cause them, and so an
infant Bowser's assistant, Kamek, intercepts the stork as it delivers the
babies.
Kamek fails to capture Baby Mario, though, and the tiny tyke falls down into
Yoshi's Island, Dinosaur Land, and right onto the back of a Yoshi.

Baby Mario does little more than cause trouble for Yoshi, though.  During the
adventure, Baby Mario acts as luggage, and a hit to Yoshi results in Baby Mario
floating off his back in bubble form (crying as he does so), and then Yoshi must
retrieve him.  But, Yoshi and Baby Mario proceed to fight Baby Bowser to rescue
the stork and Baby Luigi, and it is successful.  Even though Baby Mario isn't
really responsible for the victory, it marks his first defeat over the Koopa
Troop, and definitely not his last.

So, the stork flies off with Baby Mario and Luigi in tow, and the babies are
delivered to the door of a house in the Mushroom Kingdom.  The game ends with
two hands, those of the parents, lifting Baby Mario and Baby Luigi.  This
disestablishes the fact that the Mario Bros. are from Brooklyn, and also SMW 2
would have them as twins.  While it is technically possible for one twin to be
older than the other, it's a bit of a stretch.  All games before and after SMW 2
state that Mario is older, and more so than just a few minutes, than Luigi.

But don't count the toddler out yet.  Baby Mario returned as a playable
character in Mario Gold for the N64.  Despite his size (his diaper was replaced
by miniature overalls), Baby Mario swung clubs with the best of them.  He would
also reappear for Mario Tennis (N64) and Mario Kart: Double Dash!! on the Game
Cube.

-----------------------------------Baby Luigi-----------------------------------

At the beginning of Super Mario World 2, the stork was delivering two future
heroes to their parents in the Mushroom Kingdom.  But, Kamek, a minion of Baby
Bowser, flew in and ambushed the stork and Baby Luigi.  Baby Mario, though, fell
down to Yoshi's Island where he teamed up with a Yoshi.  So, Baby Luigi and the
hog-tied stork were left as bait to lure in Baby Mario in an infant Bowser's
castle.

At the very end of the game, after Baby Mario and Yoshi had pelted Baby Bowser
unconscious with eggs, Baby Luigi and the stork were rescued.  They then flew to
their homes where Mario and Luigi would grow up into part-time plumbers with
amazing leg muscles.

If you think Luigi had it bad, then think of how bad Baby Luigi had it.  His
only appearance was as a he-damsel in distress, the Princess Peach of the game.
Baby Luigi had appeared, and would disappear, just as his infant brother did,
for quite some time.  But, Baby Luigi would have to wait longer than his brother
– a total of eight years – before he saw the light of day again.  Mario Kart:
Double Dash!! marks his first appearance since Super Mario World 2, and his
first appearance as a playable character.  According to the manual, he was too
shy to appear in front of audiences.

-------------------------------------Yoshi--------------------------------------

To understand where Yoshi, that lovable dinosaur from Super Mario World, came
from, you must look back into 1984.  A game called Demon World was released on
the Famicom.  Essentially, it was a clone of Pac-Man.  The game starred a green
creature named Tamagon, who looks like a cross between Yoshi and a goldfish, who
had to clear the maze of demons as he swallowed dots and fought against Satan
himself.  Also, the walls were painful to him for some reason.

Don't worry if you've never heard of it.  The game never left Japan due to the
Christian imagery, and Nintendo did not want to upset a largely Christian
population at a time when American customers could make or break them.  In fact,
Nintendo hasn't gotten over its fear of upsetting the Christian gaming community
today, either.  In the Japanese version of Super Smash Bros. Melee, Tamagon has
his own trophy.  He does not in the western versions of the game.

So, did Tamagon, a squat version of Yoshi with fins, influence the look of
Yoshi?
I think so, especially since the two make the same sound when they hatch from
eggs.  So, while Tamagon himself didn't make the cut as a western video game
character, Yoshi did in 1991.  He appeared in Super Mario World, one of the
premiere games for the new Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES).  Yoshi is
an instant hit.

In Super Mario World, the vacationing plumbers find an egg in the forest on
Yoshi's Island shortly after Peach is kidnapped by Bowser.  It turns out to be
Yoshi, one of the local dinosaurs that the island is named after (or that are
named after the island).  Yoshi was locked in his egg by someone named Bowser,
whose airship (from Super Mario Bros. 3) crashed into the waters of Dinosaur
Land.  Bowser set up his forces here, and he kidnapped seven of Yoshi's friends.
They, too, were trapped within eggs, and the eggs were guarded by each of
Bowser's seven children in fortresses at the end of each region of Dinosaur
Land.

So, since Mario and Luigi had to rescue Peach anyways, they decided to defeat
Bowser's children along the way.  Yoshi proved to be invaluable in their
adventure.  The traditional Yoshi that we all know and love is green, but Yoshi
is also the term for an entire race of dinosaur creatures.  Red, blue, and
yellow Yoshis also populated Dinosaur Land, and each had a special ability.  Red
Yoshis turned that which it ate into fire, blue used eaten objects as fuel to
fly, and yellow Yoshis used it to weigh them down for quake stomps.  And
speaking of which, Yoshis have elastic tongues that they release to wrap around
enemies and swallow them.  Yoshi can digest practically anything, or spit it out
if Mario so desired.  And eating berries yielded strange results.  Yoshi could
release a cloud that rained down coins or Mushrooms if he ate enough berries of
certain colors.  And, if Mario needed to reach a high ledge, Yoshi could jump
and Mario could jump off Yoshi for a sort of double jump.  Yoshi was also
resilient to dangerous surfaces; he could walk across Munchers without taking
any damage.

Yoshi did not go unnoticed by fans.  An instant success, he joined the crew for
Super Mario Kart and soon got puzzle games starring him – Yoshi, Yoshi's Cookie,
and eventually Tetris Attack.  Originally a game called "Panel du Pon," Nintendo
replaced the fairy characters with Yoshi and characters like Raphael the Raven
and Lakitu.  The vertical block-matching game might have been a cheap rip-off of
a Japanese-only title, but so was Super Mario Bros. 2, right?

But a year before Tetris Attack ever appeared, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's
Island came out.  Hailed as the greatest platform game by some, the Yoshi herd
was responsible for rescuing Baby Luigi and letting the stork go on to deliver
the baby brothers.  Yoshi was able to transform into several toy-like vehicles
in the game, but only the Yoshicopter ever reappeared (it makes a cameo in the
Yoshi Circuit right here in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!).

Also in 1996 was Super Mario RPG.  Yoshi played a small role in the game,
though.
Hanging out on Yo'ster Isle with a pack other Yoshis, the trusty steed gained a
one-time rival in Boshi, a black Yoshi.  Only with Mario's help was Yoshi able
to best Boshi in the Mushroom Derby, a competitive, one-on-one racing
tournament,
which made Yoshi the boss.  But, much like George Washington, Yoshi gave up his
power shortly after receiving it (his only act was to make the Mushroom Derby a
fun race in which everyone ran.  Also, no gambling).  Winning the race could
earn Mario three Yoshi's Cookies, which could be used to summon Yoshi to the
battlefield.  Yoshi swallowed enemies, releasing an item for Mario.  This was
the extent of his appearance, though.

1998 marked the beginning of an all Yoshi franchise.  Yoshi's Story, as the game
was called, had a vindictive Baby Bowser steal the "Super Happy Tree" from
Yoshi's Island, and he then flattened the island into storybook form.  How would
a pack of multicolor Yoshis stop the pint-sized titan?  By eating fruit, of
course.  Finding fruits in looping levels was not very successful, apparently,
and the only-Yoshi franchise sort of died out.

Yoshi was matched up with Birdo, a supposedly female dinosaur from Super Mario
Bros. 2, in Mario Tennis on the N64, and he would be paired with her again in
Mario Kart: Double Dash!!  However, Yoshi partnered with Koopa Troopa in Mario
Power Tennis.  Birdo is supposed to be a girlfriend of Yoshi's, but I think some
characters are best left single.

Yoshi's next big appearance was on the Game Cube, but the traditional Yoshi did
not appear.  Instead, a tropical breed of Yoshis appeared on Isle Delfino as
nearly extinct, high-pressure spitting dinosaurs.  With juices matching their
body color gushing from their mouths, they were almost as effective as FLUDD.
And, just like in Super Mario World, getting on Yoshi added drums to the
background beat of the area.  This tropical breed was probably endangered
because they couldn't enter water.  Doing so made them dissipate, but they
turned green before doing so.  Interesting.

In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, a nameless baby Yoshi hatches from an
egg while Mario is in the floating city of Glitzville, and Mario gets to name it
(it also has a randomly generated color).  It's a little hellion, but it joins
Mario as a partner.  Mario's sort of like its mother/father or something, and
the baby Yoshi is really attached.  At the end of the game, he continues Mario's
legacy as a fighting champion by wrestling in the Glitz Pit under the name "The
Great Gonzales Jr." (Great Gonzales was Mario's stage name).

Today, Yoshi joins all of Mario's outings and a few of his adventures.  His
first appearance on the Nintendo DS was in Super Mario 64 DS, and he saved
Mario,
Luigi, and Wario in it.  He did appear in Super Mario 64 to give out 100 lives
to Mario if he could reach the castle's roof (only achievable if he had all 120
Power Stars), but that's old news.

-------------------------------------Birdo--------------------------------------

Birdo first appeared in a game called Doki Doki Panic.  Often the end-of-the-
level mini-boss, Birdo came in three colors.  Pink Birdo shot eggs at the
heroes,
and they had to catch the eggs and throw them back at her.  Red Birdo sometimes
shot fireballs, sometimes eggs.  Green/gray Birdo shot only fireballs, and the
heroes had to throw blocks or vegetables at her three times.  When defeated,
Birdo released a Crystal Ball that could be used to finish the level.

So, Birdo became a Mario character when Doki Doki Panic was changed to Super
Mario Bros. 2.  She was exactly the same, but soon became an icon for SMB 2.  As
a side note, the GBA re-release of the game, Super Mario Advance, featured
"Robirdo" as the third boss.  Essentially a gigantic, robotic version of Birdo,
it was defeated by chucking its huge eggs back at it.  It could also cause
tremors when it jumped.

As a note of interest, Birdo has always been a female character in Japan.  But,
when translating things to English for western releases, the translators really
messed things up.  First, they confused the names of Birdo and Ostro, the
ostrich enemy in World 4.  Furthermore, the writer of the instruction booklet
wrote that Birdo is actually a male transvestite that enjoys being called
"Birdetta."  However, Birdo is female.  This was just a stupid remark from one
of the writers of the manual.

With brief cameos in Wario's Woods and Super Mario RPG (as a mini-boss for the
bird-obsessed Valentina, even though Birdo isn't actually a bird), plus in
various other non-Mario-related games, Birdo fell under the radar for thirteen
years.  She finally reappeared full-force in Mario Tennis for the N64 as a love
interest for Yoshi.  Since then, Birdo has been appearing on-and-off in Mario
games, from Mario Kart: Double Dash!! to Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga.

-------------------------------------Bowser-------------------------------------

The King of the Koopa...  Bowser is Mario's recurring rival, and he's either a
fierce enemy or a big joke (or both), depending on the game.  Bowser first
appeared in Super Mario Bros.  He is the king of a "dark tribe" called the
Koopa,
later renamed the Koopa Troop, and he felt the urge to invade the Mushroom
Kingdom.  Using his Koopa black magic, he transformed the residents of this
seemingly peaceful place into blocks, stones, and even horsehair plants, oh my!
Only Princess Peach Toadstool could undo the magic, but he kidnapped her.  Now
he just had to build up his forces.

One castle was stationed at each "world" of the Mushroom Kingdom.  Little did
Bowser know that Mario and Luigi were out to free the princess.  Each castle
they visited, though, only contained a Mushroom Retainer, a.k.a. a Toad.
"Bowser" was at the end of each castle, but fireballs could burn the costume,
revealing that the Bowser at the end of Worlds 1-7 were actually common soldiers
in disguise.  But the eighth world held the real Bowser, and Mario or Luigi was
able to defeat him.  Set up on a bridge over a pool of lava, the brothers had to
bypass the titan and his obstacles – Podoboos, flame chains, hammers – to reach
an axe.  Pulling it out of the block it rested in caused the bridge, which was
strapped onto the axe by a thin rope, to fall into the lava.  Bowser would also
fall, and so Mario/Luigi rescued the princess.

Bowser returned in Super Mario Bros. 3 with the entire family.  Yes, his seven
children – Larry, Morton, Wendy, Iggy, Roy, Lemmy, and Ludwig – decided to cause
trouble.  Bowser was not officially connected with his children's mischief at
first, though.   Each child, collectively known as the "Koopalings" or "Koopa
Kids," invaded a region of the "Mushroom World," the lands surrounding the
Mushroom Kingdom.  They stole the wands of the seven kings there and transformed
them into animals.  Then they paraded about their airships.  Mario and Luigi
traveled to each of these lands and defeat each Koopaling to restore the king to
his normal form.  But, after defeating Ludwig von Koopa, the seventh and final
Koopaling (also the oldest), Mario got a letter from... BOWSER!  It said that he
had stolen Princess Peach Toadstool while Mario was out returning the wands to
the kings, and he challenged Mario to try to rescue her from his home, Dark
Land.

Mario fell for the trap and entered Dark Land.  After facing an onslaught of
tanks, the Koopa navy, and the Koopa air force, Mario reached Bowser's Castle.
At the end, Mario found a much different Bowser from Super Mario Bros.  The new
look of Bowser has stuck since then.  Originally, Bowser was hunched over with
no mane, a weird smile, and white spikes.  He was also about as tall as Super
Mario.  The new Bowser was huge, with yellow spikes and an awesome red mane.
But, despite Bowser's newfound might, Mario could still beat him by tricking the
king into busting through his floor.  Bowser lost again.

Apparently, the airship of the Koopalings had crashed in a strange place called
Dinosaur Land.  From there, Bowser and his children swiftly but secretly spread
into the circular Dinosaur Land, imprisoning the locals and building fortresses.
But, as fate would have it, Mario, Luigi, and Peach decided to take a vacation
to Dinosaur Land after their stressful Super Mario Bros. 3 adventure.  Bowser
wasted no time.  He abducted Peach, leaving no signs of his presence, and left
the Mario Bros. wondering where she went off to.  But, Mario and Luigi stumbled
upon a large egg that Bowser had imprisoned Yoshi in, and Yoshi told the
brothers of his plight.  Armed with a pair of magic capes given to them by
Yoshi,
Mario and Luigi methodically defeated each Koopaling (in a new order – Iggy,
Morton, Lemmy, Ludwig, Roy, Wendy, Larry) before they could face Bowser in a
neon castle in the Valley of Bowser.

Bowser appeared scarier than ever with sharp teeth, a sinister demeanor, and
white spikes on his back.  He fought in his aircraft – the Koopa Clown Car – and
threw down various objects, including Mechakoopas, robotic enemies he had made.
Mario or Luigi had to throw them back up at Bowser eight times before he was
defeated, and Peach, Mario/Luigi, and Yoshi plus friends enjoyed the rest of
their vacation to Bowser's dismay.

Super Mario World 2 reflects back to Bowser's childhood.  As an infant, Baby
Bowser had an advisor Magikoopa named Kamek whom he trusted above all others.
Really, Kamek is the one who molded Bowser into the fiend he is today.  Kamek
was able to use his magic to foresee all the trouble that Mario and Luigi would
cause the Koopa Troop, and for that reason he intercepted the stork to kidnap
Baby Mario and Baby Luigi.  Unfortunately for Kamek, Baby Mario fell down to
Yoshi's Island, which happened to be below at the time, and right onto the back
of a Yoshi.  And try as Kamek may, Yoshi and Baby Mario were able to reach Baby
Bowser's castle and defeat the kiddy king.  Baby Bowser tried to get revenge on
the Yoshi clan in Yoshi's Story, but he was defeated because the Super Happy
Tree dropped fruits that the Yoshis used to beat him up.

In 1996, Bowser and Mario actually became partners.  During the beginning of
Super Mario RPG, Peach is kidnapped and Mario and Bowser are fighting in
Bowser's Keep.  Suddenly, a giant sword (the hilt being named Exor, the blade
being named Neosquid) crashed through the roof and sent the three flying.  Peach
landed in Booster's Tower far away.  Bowser landed in an unknown location, and
Mario was shot into his house.  Later on in Rose Way, Mario saw Bowser and his
troops marching onward to find a way back into the castle (the sword destroyed
the bridge to it).  As Mario progressed in his adventure, Bowser eventually lost
all of his troops (they went AWOL on him), and he was crying (not making this
up)
at the base of Booster's Tower, unaware that Peach was above on the balcony.
When Mario came across Bowser, he composed himself and asked if Mario (along
with Mallow and Geno, his partners) would join the Koopa Troop.  Mario agreed.
You see, Bowser had as much to gain from beating Smithy, the person who stole
his castle, as Mario did.  After all, he wanted his castle back.

Bowser's next big game was for the N64.  In Super Mario 64, Peach invited Mario
over for cake.  In the interval of time between Mario getting the invitation and
Mario arriving, Bowser swept into the Mushroom Castle, abducted Peach, and
locked up the doors so that they required Power Stars to access.  The paintings
in the castle were actually portals to different worlds, such as Bob-omb
Battlefield or Whomp's Fortress, and Bowser planned to use the Power Stars to
not only open the portal but to release the infinite monsters within to create
an army he could use to conquer the Mushroom Kingdom.  When Mario got his hands
on the Power Stars, though, he used them to reach Bowser in three separate
areas.
The first two fights got him keys to the basement and second floor,
respectively.
The third fight defeated Bowser, taking his star power, and rescuing Peach (also
saving the kingdom from a potential invasion).  Bowser got to watch the ending
sequence with his minions in disgust.

Then came Paper Mario.  This time, Bowser and his new advisor, Kammy, flew up to
Star Haven and stole the Star Rod.  They then imprisoned the Star Spirits.  The
Star Rod grants the wishes of the user (it was originally used by the Star
Spirits to answer the wishes-upon-a-star of the people of Earth), and Bowser
used it to make himself invincible.  He raided the Mushroom Castle, lifting it
up from the roots and taking it to the skies (Luigi was able to escape the
castle as the ground began to shake).  Mario fought Bowser for Peach, but Mario
could not compete with the might of the Star Rod.  Mario nearly died after being
cast out the window and falling a great distance to the ground, but the Star
Spirits used their energy to save Mario and contact him.  If he could save them,
they could negate the effects of the Star Rod.  To this point, Mario defeated
Bowser's minions – the Koopa Bros., Tutankoopa, Tubba Blubba, General Guy, the
Lava Piranha, Huff N. Puff, and the Crystal King – to rescue the Star Spirits.
And with the power of the Star Beam that they taught him coupled with the
prayers of the people of the Mushroom Kingdom, Mario was able to temporarily
deactivate the Star Rod.  In that time, Mario defeated Bowser, even with the
power boost provided to him by a machine Kammy used, and reversed the power of
the machine to blow up Bowser's Castle.  The Mushroom Castle fell to its
original location, the Star Rod was returned to Star Haven, and Mario was a hero
yet again.

King Boo used Bowser's reputation to scare Luigi in Luigi's Mansion, but Bowser
himself did not show up in the game; only his costume did.  Bowser's next
appearance was at the end of the game in Super Mario Sunshine.  Coaxing his
eighth child, Bowser Jr., into framing Mario and abducting Peach while he
relaxed in a slimy pool atop Mount Corona was a welcome change for the King of
the Koopa, although he did fight, and lose to, Mario.  In Mario & Luigi:
Superstar Saga, Bowser gets his body stolen by the evil witch Cackletta, forming
"Bowletta," but I won't even comment on that freak.  Bowser was similarly
humorous in the next RPG he starred in, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door.  He
fought Mario as the second-to-last boss in a last ditch effort to do something
important, but all he does is let Grodus escape with Peach.  Super Mario 64 DS
marked Bowser's first new appearance as his fierce, evil persona, but that was
just a port of one of Mario's earlier adventures.

And that doesn't count Bowser's role as a villain in Mario Party games.  In
games like Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and Mario Power Tennis, though, Bowser is
always the strong but slow character.  Bowser is a pretty popular villain, but
he isn't Mario's only adversary.  Bowser joins the ranks of the below characters
as final bosses in Mario games (listed by number of games):

King K. Rool, Wario, Donkey Kong, Wart, Syrup, Baby Bowser, Rudy, Mario (he
technically was a villain in a Mario game – Donkey Kong Jr.), Tatanga, Smithy,
King Boo, the Golden Diva, the Black Jewel, Cackletta, and the Shadow Queen.

The list contains characters from Wario and Donkey Kong games, but they are
Mario characters.

-----------------------------------Bowser Jr.-----------------------------------

Bowser has eight children.  The first seven were introduced in Super Mario Bros.
3 as (in the order of age) Larry Koopa, Morton Koopa Jr., Wendy O. Koopa, Iggy
Koopa, Roy Koopa, Lemmy Koopa, and Ludwig von Koopa.  As you may be able to
tell,
they are named after musicians/American celebrities.  For a while, these losers
joined Bowser in his various endeavors.  That all changed in 2002.

Super Mario Sunshine was Mario's first big adventure on the Game Cube.  Mario,
Peach, and Toadsworth were vacationing to the tropical paradise Isle Delfino,
but Mario was promptly arrested upon taking the ferry to the island's mainland
(Delfino Airstrip is out in the ocean).  Why would they arrest Mario?  He was
accused to vandalism and various other crimes, and he was held responsible for
polluting the island.  Not only did Mario supposedly cover the island in slime
and goop, but he also was said to have caused the Shine Sprites, the source of
power in Isle Delfino, to have abandoned Shine Gate.

Mario is punished by being forced to clean up the messes that have been causing
problems lately all over the island.  But, as he does so, he becomes aware of a
character named "Shadow Mario," who carries with him a paintbrush that he uses
to spread the slime!  He framed Mario!  And soon, Shadow Mario would kidnap
Peach, escaping by boat to Pinna Park, an offshore amusement park.  Mario
follows and finds a giant mechanical Bowser duplicate – Mecha Bowser.  Using
FLUDD to launch rockets, though, is enough to destroy the robotic beast.  And
then Shadow Mario appears with Peach!  Shadow Mario reaches for his face and
takes off a mask to reveal...

BOWSER JR.!!!!  Everyone seems so shocked that Bowser has a son, even though
Mario has personally defeated seven of them on multiple occasions already.  But,
Bowser Jr. explains why he framed Mario.  It was to rescue his mama, Peach!
Huh?
Yes, he believes that Peach is his mother, and that the wicked Mario was keeping
her in bondage.  Bowser Jr. is a bit confused...  He takes off with Peach, but
Mario would find the little fellow again atop an active volcano overlooking
Delfino Plaza...

When he arrives, he finds a gigantic Bowser and Bowser Jr. swimming in a slimy
pool with Peach standing on the sidelines.  When Mario arrives, they fight.
Bowser uses his flame breath and all his normal tricks, while Bowser Jr. uses
his toy Bullet Bill Blaster to attack.  Using the Rocket Nozzle of the FLUDD to
pound the supports of the pool, though, Mario is able to capsize the pool and
defeat the father-and-son duo.  Bowser and Bowser Jr. appear to be on a ship
during the ending sequence.  Bowser, feeling guilty, admits to Bowser Jr. that
Peach is not his mother.  Bowser Jr. confesses that he's since figured this out,
but he claims that someday, he's really going to get that Mario.  Bowser
chuckles and says something along the lines of "That's my boy!"

Bowser Jr. has yet to reappear as a villain, but he has been playable in Mario
Power Tennis, Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour, and Mario Kart: Double Dash!!  Is he
an up-and-coming villain, or will he go the way of Tatanga and Smithy and be a
one-hit wonder?

-------------------------------------Wario--------------------------------------

A cheesy villain in cahoots with the three little pigs.  That's how Wario was
introduced to the public.  Now, you might think that his name is a simple flip
of an M to get Wario, but that's not the case.  The name is, like Luigi's name,
a pun.  In Japanese, "warui" means "bad."  So, warui + Mario = Wario.  But, just
who is this "bad Mario"?

In Super Mario Land, a mysterious alien named Tatanga kidnapped Princess Daisy
of Sarasaland.  Mario rescued her, delivered her to safety, and then returned to
his home – Mario Land (Nintendo never explains where this corny "Mario Land"
came from, but let's be glad that it has yet to reappear).  But, to our alarm,
Mario Land has been invaded by Wario!  The whole incident with Tatanga was just
to get Mario to leave his castle long enough for Wario take over!  Because as we
all know, Mario cannot resist such a tempting rescue.  Mario claims that Wario
has always been jealous of Mario (although the Nintendo Power comics on the
subject show that Mario apparently bullied Wario), and now Wario wants to get
the best of him.

Mario was forced to clear out the six zones of Mario Land to find six golden
coins (as the name of "Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins" suggests) that can
be used to access Mario's castle.  The coins are guarded by six nameless bosses,
but one of them is an alien that closely resembles Tatanga.  Anyways, back to
the castle...  After clearing a few simple obstacles within, Mario finds Wario
in a throne room.  Wario can use all of Mario's power-ups, but Mario manages to
defeat the fiend, reclaiming his castle and all.

Wario became an instant hit.  He soon starred as the villain in Mario vs. Wario
(a release only in Japan), but that was a minor title.  Wario's Woods was
released in 1993, and it pitted Toad against Wario, who had fiendishly upset
peace in Pleasant Woods.  Also in 1994, a game called "Wario Blast: Featuring
Bomberman!" was released for the Game Boy.  In it, Wario took on Hudson's
character, Bomberman.  It is interesting to note that Wario has since taken an
interest in explosives.

But the real accomplishment of 1994 was commandeering the Super Mario Land
series on the Game Boy.  Super Mario Land 3: Wario Land was released, and it
would be the last SML title.  In this adventure, Wario was the main character,
not Mario.  And Wario was down in the dumps; he had lost his castle and the
riches in it.  Yes, it was SML 3 that really delved into Wario's greedy nature.
Luckily, though, Wario heard that a priceless golden statue of Princess Peach
was on Kitchen Island, held by Syrup, captain of the notorious Black Sugar
Pirates.  Wario traveled through the island to find Syrup Castle.  But, Wario
(and probably the player controlling him) were surprised to find Syrup was a
woman (especially since the manual refers to her as a man).  But, even with help
from a mystical genie, Syrup was no match for Wario's brute strength, and Wario
finally got the statue.  But, in the ending sequence of the game, Mario swoops
in, thanks Wario for finding the statue, and makes off with it.  Well, easy
come,
easy go, I guess.  He did get to keep the genie's lamp, and he wished for a
castle of his own.

In 1995, the Virtual Boy had a Wario game in store for it that used the same
magic hat power-ups as SML 3 was released.  Of course, the Virtual Boy was a
very unpopular system, and it was not widely played.  But, in the game, he
visited the Awazon River basin (obviously a pun on Amazon, only the "m" is
flipped over to make it Wario-ized).  While there, he found hoards of treasure
in a cave the natives guarded, and he only had to play through fourteen levels
to reach it.

But, a more popular game was soon in store for the greedy anti-hero.  With
riches amassed from his trip to the Awazon River basin and a castle from Super
Mario Land 3, Wario was living the good life in style.  But, he awoke one day to
find that his riches had been stolen!  And it was the Black Sugar Pirates who
stole it!  Wario chased them right back to their castle, and Wario was able to
defeat Syrup, reclaim his pilfered riches, and return to his castle.  This game
was not named for Mario at all.  It was entitled "Wario Land 2."

Wario was sucked into an orgel, a Dutch instrument, in Wario Land 3, by a
mysterious force.  When Wario collected five such instruments, he could revive
the force that had summoned him.  But, as it turns out, this force merely
brought Wario there to be revived, and was actually a creepy clown named Rudy.
Wario managed to defeat the demented clown, though, and escape the strange
world.

In 2001, Wario was featured in Dr. Mario 64 as a playable character in the story
mode.  At the height of flu season, everyone wants Dr. Mario's megavitamins, but
they were stolen by mad Dr. Scienstein to cure a weakened Rudy.  While Dr. Mario
goes on to defeat Rudy, Wario is concerned with Scienstein.  Wario has
aspirations of selling the cure-all pills for major money.

The Game Boy Advance featured Wario Land Advance for all of his fans.  Reading
the newspaper one day, Wario learns that a pyramid was recently discovered.  A
legend recalls that Princess Shokora was put under a spell that made her
eternally sleep (Zelda II, anyone?) within her pyramid.  With money in mind,
Wario takes off to the pyramid.  He clears the various routes to reach Shokora,
but she is guarded by the one who cursed her, the Golden Diva.  Wario, who seems
to fight many female villains, soundly defeats her, freeing Shokora of the curse
and earning himself some money.

Wario World came out for the Game Cube in 2003.  Amongst Wario's treasure was a
terrible black jewel, and it envelopes his castle and treasures.  It's up to
Wario to defeat the Black Jewel and win his stuff back.  It's been Wario's most
recent great adventure.

And then came WarioWare, Inc.  This fledgling company was started by Wario after
he heard the news of a popular video game called Pyoro recently.  Realizing that
there was money to be made in the video game company, Wario bought a computer in
hopes of creating his own best-selling game.  Each WarioWare game featured many
five-second micro-games that range from such simple tasks as waking up a
sleeping man to more complicated ones like defusing bombs.  All of Wario's games
in the WarioWare series have been popular – in Diamond City and in real life.

As you can see, Wario is quite independent of Mario now.  But, he appeared in
Mario Kart 64 in 1997 (in fact, Wario's voice was heard for the first time in MK
64), and has been appearing in all Mario-related outings since the N64 hit it
big.  And something rather interesting happened in Mario Tennis on the N64...

------------------------------------Waluigi-------------------------------------

The brother of Wario who made a sudden appearance in Mario Tennis on the N64 in
2000.  Instantly bypassing years of obscurity that other characters like Daisy,
Birdo, or even Donkey Kong had to suffer through, Waluigi became one of the
regulars in Mario Party/Kart/Golf/Tennis and related games.  He quickly entered
into Mario Party 3, appeared in Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour in 2003, and has
remained in each series.

But, how does Nintendo explain Waluigi's sudden appearance?  I mean, surly we
would know if Wario had a brother, right?  Nintendo confirmed that the two are
brothers inadvertently in Mario Power Tennis by having a match between the
"Mario Bros. and Wario Bros."  Back on topic, Nintendo explained away in
Waluigi's trophy in Super Smash Bros. Melee.  According to it, Waluigi spent the
time that Wario used to invade Mario Land and go on other profitable adventures
in training.  Yes, he was honing his tormenting skills to be a great annoyance
to the Mario Bros.  And although there is some animosity between Waluigi and
Luigi, who are supposedly the same age, they really aren't "rivals."

Now, you might be thinking that they just took Luigi's name, added "wa-" in
front, and called it a name, right?  Wrong!  Waluigi's name is a pun, too.
Remember, "warui" means "bad" in Japanese, and "ruiji" means "similar."  So,
Wario + Luigi = warui + ruiji = Waluigi.  Note that there is little distinction
between "r" and "l" sounds in Japanese.  And to make things all the punnier,
Waluigi is an anagram of Japanese word "igiwalu," meaning "bad person."

So far, Waluigi hasn't appeared in any "real" game; he just participates in
parties.  His bad fashion sense, his reversed L, his sudden appearance, his
annoying accent, and his seemingly stupid name all contribute to why many
dislike him.  I'm not his biggest fan, really, but he deserves a break.

Waluigi appeared in 2000 around the time when Luigi was gaining ground, so to
speak.  In order to right the wrongs that had cast Luigi to the side, Nintendo
revived Daisy and created Waluigi for Mario Tennis (which also served the
purpose of providing Peach and Wario with Doubles partners.  Birdo and Donkey
Kong Jr. were resurrected for similar reasons).

-------------------------------Secret Character 1-------------------------------

The first of the four unlock-able drivers is a long-time Mario character since
the NES.  Below is a trivia fact that pertains to the character.  If you know
who it refers to, then you can figure out who the character is.

This character was the last playable character in an NES game; the game this
character appeared playable in on the NES was the last game to be released for
the NES.  Who is it?

-------------------------------Secret Character 2-------------------------------

This is a brand new character designed to appear in this game.  Partner of
Secret Character 1, here's a trivia fact that might help you identify the
character.

This character appeared each time Mario received a new upgrade in Paper Mario:
The Thousand-Year Door.  This character also has fondness for Punio from the
same game.  Who is it?

-------------------------------Secret Character 3-------------------------------

A more recent addition to Mario's universe, this character was a final boss in
one game.  Below is a trivia fact.  If you know who it refers to, you can figure
out who this character is.

Upon getting Mario's Shoe, Glove, Letter, and Star, Madame Clairvoya was able to
see into the future.  She misidentified this character as Bowser upon seeing all
four of these items.  Who is this misidentified character?

-------------------------------Secret Character 4-------------------------------

This character, partnered up with Secret Character 3, appeared even more
recently than its partner.  It was the boss of a few early levels in the game it
appeared in.  Below is a trivia fact that might clue you into as to who this
character is.

This character seems to like windmills.  This character is the first playable
character of its race, but this is not the first game it was playable in.  Who
is it?
---                                 --------                                 ---

- I'd like to thank spacepope4u, who has the Mario Series Character Guide here
on GameFaqs, for much of this information.  I learned tons of information from
his guide.  It's very nicely written; I recommend it to any Mario fan.

So now you know everyone is, unless you didn't get the secret characters' trivia
information.  Moving on, let's actually talk about... the game!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   __________________________________________________________________________
  /                                                                          \
 /                                                                            \
||--------------------------------Section 2*----------------------------------||
 \                                                                            /
  \__________________________________________________________________________/

================================================================================
===================================The Karts*===================================
================================================================================

I didn't lose anybody, did I?  Good; I thought for sure when I called you all
idiots you'd stop read- wait, wrong walkthrough, sorry.  Anyways, every
character has a weight classification - Light, Medium, or Heavy.  Here's where
everyone stands.

Light Characters: Diddy Kong, Koopa, Paratroopa, Baby Mario, Baby Luigi, and
Bowser Jr.

Medium Characters: Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy, Yoshi, Birdo, and Waluigi.

Heavy Characters: Donkey Kong, Bowser, and Wario

You can combine any two characters and get a kart that corresponds to their
weight class.  To determine two characters' collective weight class, you must
only know this:

                      +---------------------------------+
                      |    Character Weight Addition    |
                      +---------------------------------+

Light Character + Light Character = Light Kart
Medium Character + Light Character = Medium Kart
Medium Character + Medium Character =Medium Kart
Heavy Character + Light Character = Heavy Kart
Heavy Character + Medium Character = Heavy Kart
Heavy Character + Heavy Character = Heavy Kart

                             +-------------------+
                             |    Light Karts    |
                             +-------------------+

Light karts are my personal favorites.  Excelling (sound-alike pun!) in
acceleration but lacking in top speeds, light karts allow for quick recoveries.
They lose little speed when they drive off the course, and will be able to get
right back into the race if they slip up or are hit by an item.  However, all
karts are equal or heavier than them in weight, and this means that they can get
pushed around easily.

                             +--------------------+
                             |    Medium Karts    |
                             +--------------------+

Medium karts are average in all areas.  That is, they lose some speed when
driving off the course, but not that much.  Their acceleration and top speeds
are both rather high, but not exceptionally so.  They recover from crashes and
spins fairly quickly, and they should be fairly good to you.  Race with them and
discover your strengths.  Then move onto one extreme or the other (or stick with
medium karts).

                             +-------------------+
                             |    Heavy Karts    |
                             +-------------------+

If given hours to race in a straight line, heavyweight karts would win at the
end.  You should be able to decipher two things from that statement: 1)
heavyweights have higher top speeds than other types of karts, and 2)
heavyweights have the worst acceleration of the karts.  Both statements are
true.
They accelerate very slowly, but will eventually reach speeds that other karts
cannot achieve.  However, they lose almost all their speed when they drive off
the course, and getting hit or crashing will make them start all over again in
acceleration.  Turning is very debilitating, too, and so you'll need to be
drifting often.  For these reasons, you'll have to be an expert to play as these
characters and do well.  Just stay on the track and you're unstoppable in
theory,
but items, turns, and obstacles will prevent you from reaching top speeds.

                              +------------------+
                              |    Kart Stats    |
                              +------------------+

Not all karts were made equal.  Not only does the collective weight class of
your drivers affect game play, but your kart does, too.  There are really four
things to consider in choosing the kart that's right for you: acceleration,
speed, weight, and weight class.  Note that the difference between weight and
weight class is that 1) weight class is your engine type, and it affects your
speed loss on terrains, and 2) weight is good to know for bumping into
opponents.

                         +---------------------------+
                         |    Name: Title of Kart    |
                         |    Speed: Top Speed Rating|
                         |    Acceleration: XL Rate  |
                         |    Weight: Bumping Power  |
                         |    Class: Weight Class    |
                         +---------------------------+

Here's the setup for each entry.  I warn you in advance that the names of some
karts could give away the secret characters.  To learn how to unlock some of the
karts and other things, see "Secrets."  Note that all categories are judged on a
scale of 1 to 5 stars (except class, which is based on weight class – Light,
Medium, or Heavy), one being the lowest and five being the highest.  Also, the
karts are sorted first by weight class, light to heavy, and then further
arranged alphabetically within their weight class.  All information here is
provided by the game.  Also, note that Parade Kart is counted in each class
because it can be driven by all classes.

                         +---------------------------+
                         |    Name: Barrel Train     |
                         |    Speed       : ****     |
                         |    Acceleration: **       |
                         |    Weight      : ***      |
                         |    Class       : Light    |
                         +---------------------------+

                         +---------------------------+
                         |    Name: Bullet Blaster   |
                         |    Speed       : ****     |
                         |    Acceleration: ***      |
                         |    Weight      : *        |
                         |    Class       : Light    |
                         +---------------------------+

                         +---------------------------+
                         |    Name: Goo-Goo Buggy    |
                         |    Speed       : *        |
                         |    Acceleration: *****    |
                         |    Weight      : **       |
                         |    Class       : Light    |
                         +---------------------------+

                         +---------------------------+
                         |    Name: Koopa Dasher     |
                         |    Speed       : **       |
                         |    Acceleration: ****     |
                         |    Weight      : **       |
                         |    Class       : Light    |
                         +---------------------------+

                         +---------------------------+
                         |    Name: Para Wing        |
                         |    Speed       : *        |
                         |    Acceleration: *****    |
                         |    Weight      : **       |
                         |    Class       : Light    |
                         +---------------------------+

                         +---------------------------+
                         |    Name: Parade Kart      |
                         |    Speed       : ****     |
                         |    Acceleration: ***      |
                         |    Weight      : ****     |
                         |    Class       : Light    |
                         +---------------------------+

                         +---------------------------+
                         |    Name: Rattle Buggy     |
                         |    Speed       : **       |
                         |    Acceleration: ****     |
                         |    Weight      : **       |
                         |    Class       : Light    |
                         +---------------------------+

                         +---------------------------+
                         |    Name: Toad Kart        |
                         |    Speed       : **       |
                         |    Acceleration: ****     |
                         |    Weight      : **       |
                         |    Class       : Light    |
                         +---------------------------+

                         +---------------------------+
                         |    Name: Toadette Kart    |
                         |    Speed       : *        |
                         |    Acceleration: *****    |
                         |    Weight      : **       |
                         |    Class       : Light    |
                         +---------------------------+

                         +---------------------------+
                         |    Name: Bloom Coach      |
                         |    Speed       : ***      |
                         |    Acceleration: ***      |
                         |    Weight      : **       |
                         |    Class       : Medium   |
                         +---------------------------+

                         +---------------------------+
                         |    Name: Green Fire       |
                         |    Speed       : ****     |
                         |    Acceleration: **       |
                         |    Weight      : **       |
                         |    Class       : Medium   |
                         +---------------------------+

                         +---------------------------+
                         |    Name: Heart Coach      |
                         |    Speed       : **       |
                         |    Acceleration: ****     |
                         |    Weight      : ***      |
                         |    Class       : Medium   |
                         +---------------------------+

                         +---------------------------+
                         |    Name: Parade Kart      |
                         |    Speed       : ****     |
                         |    Acceleration: ***      |
                         |    Weight      : ****     |
                         |    Class       : Medium   |
                         +---------------------------+

                         +---------------------------+
                         |    Name: Red Fire         |
                         |    Speed       : ***      |
                         |    Acceleration: ***      |
                         |    Weight      : ***      |
                         |    Class       : Medium   |
                         +---------------------------+

                         +---------------------------+
                         |    Name: Turbo Birdo      |
                         |    Speed       : ***      |
                         |    Acceleration: ***      |
                         |    Weight      : ****     |
                         |    Class       : Medium   |
                         +---------------------------+

                         +---------------------------+
                         |    Name: Turbo Yoshi      |
                         |    Speed       : **       |
                         |    Acceleration: ****     |
                         |    Weight      : ***      |
                         |    Class       : Medium   |
                         +---------------------------+

                         +---------------------------+
                         |    Name: Waluigi Racer    |
                         |    Speed       : ***      |
                         |    Acceleration: ***      |
                         |    Weight      : ***      |
                         |    Class       : Medium   |
                         +---------------------------+

                         +---------------------------+
                         |    Name: Boo Pipes        |
                         |    Speed       : **       |
                         |    Acceleration: ****     |
                         |    Weight      : *****    |
                         |    Class       : Heavy    |
                         +---------------------------+

                         +---------------------------+
                         |    Name: DK Jumbo         |
                         |    Speed       : ****     |
                         |    Acceleration: **       |
                         |    Weight      : ****     |
                         |    Class       : Heavy    |
                         +---------------------------+

                         +---------------------------+
                         |    Name: Koopa King       |
                         |    Speed       : *****    |
                         |    Acceleration: *        |
                         |    Weight      : *****    |
                         |    Class       : Heavy    |
                         +---------------------------+

                         +---------------------------+
                         |    Name: Parade Kart      |
                         |    Speed       : ****     |
                         |    Acceleration: ***      |
                         |    Weight      : ****     |
                         |    Class       : Heavy    |
                         +---------------------------+

                         +---------------------------+
                         |    Name: Piranha Pipes    |
                         |    Speed       : ****     |
                         |    Acceleration: **       |
                         |    Weight      : *****    |
                         |    Class       : Heavy    |
                         +---------------------------+

                         +---------------------------+
                         |    Name: Wario Car        |
                         |    Speed       : ****     |
                         |    Acceleration: **       |
                         |    Weight      : ****     |
                         |    Class       : Heavy    |
                         +---------------------------+

So now you know all there is to know about karts, except how to unlock them, of
course.  For information on that, see "Secrets" in Section 3.

================================================================================
==================================Grand Prix*===================================
================================================================================

Now know that there are four modes of play.  The first and foremost is used to
unlock most secrets.  You can play Grand Prix mode with up to two players, but
it is easier in my opinion to play with one player (in two-player, the screen is
divided to show both players, thus limiting your line of sight).  Grand Prix
mode is a race between eight karts, each with two characters, on different
courses in one of five cups.  There are only three cups at first; two are
secret,
but more on them later.

The goal in Grand Prix mode is to have more points than any of the other
players.
Having the most earns you the Gold Trophy, proof that you owned the opponents.
There are also Silver and Bronze Trophies for second and third place, but they
don't help you unlock secrets.  The goal of each race is to drive around it and
lap the course a certain number of times, usually three.  If you are in front,
you are in first, and so on.  You use items and superior driving skills to beat
the others to the finish line.  But, it ultimately matters who crosses the
finish line the third (alternately, second or seventh in two courses) time
first.
In other words, it's a race.

There are four modes of Grand Prix, but only three are available to you at
first.
These three are 50 cc, 100 cc, and 150 cc.  The higher the number, the more
difficult it is.  The cups are also progressively more difficult.  The cups at
first are the Mushroom Cup, Flower Cup, and Star Cup.  But, though good driving
and skillful item usage is the key to victory, the matter is a bit more
complicated then just racing around.  There are also points.

Here's the point system in Grand Prix.  Whoever has the most points at the end
is the victor.  It adds a great deal to the strategy of the game.  For example,
it is the fourth race and you have 30 points while your following opponent has
24.  You know that you can place at least in fourth place and still win
automatically.  Also, take note that you ALWAYS win a cup if you tied with
another player.  This helps make things a bit easier; in ties, human players
always win.  Why is this so?  To make the game easier, I suppose.

Whoever has the most points at the end of the final race is the first place
winner (and second-highest and third-highest points come in second and third
place, respectively).  The award ceremony takes place on the island in Super
Mario Sunshine, Isle Delfino (specifically, in a section of Delfino Plaza).
Notice the Nokis and Piantas in the background.  They were the indigenous
peoples of Isle Delfino in SMS.  Anyways, you can enter your initials, too, as
if it were your high score.  To help you calculate how you need to place to win
it big, here's a chart on points.  It holds true for all cups of all modes.

                           +------------------------+
                           |    The Point System    |
                           +------------------------+

                          +--------------------------+
                          |     First Place: + 10    |
                          |     Second Place: + 8    |
                          |     Third Place: + 6     |
                          |     Fourth Place: + 4    |
                          |     Fifth Place: + 3     |
                          |     Sixth Place: + 2     |
                          |    Seventh Place: + 1    |
                          |     Eight Place: + 0     |
                          +--------------------------+

================================================================================
=================================Mushroom Cup*==================================
================================================================================

The beginner's cup relates to Mushrooms, a recurring theme in Mario games (aside
from stars).  It is very easy, introducing you to all the basics of the game.  I
find it funny that Luigi gets the most basic course of them all.  Ha!

                           +------------------------+
                           |    #1 Luigi Circuit    |
                           +------------------------+

------------------------------------Overview------------------------------------

Luigi's Circuit is a pretty simple course (the most, in fact, of the game).  Ads
for Luigi's Tires are posted all around, and there's even a Chain Chomp present
to beat you down.  But, you'll still find yourself pulling ahead of the pack
quite easily.

-------------------------------------Guide--------------------------------------

Rocket Dash/Double Dash forward at the start of the race to reach a boost pad.
It leads you down a slightly curving road; tilt the control stick to the left
slightly.  You'll pass through a few item boxes, but be sure to stay on the left
side of the road to avoid an upcoming obstacle.  Now drift right after you pass
a Chain Chomp, large black enemies that Mario first faced in Super Mario Bros.
3,
to the right to reach the curved side of the road.

Drive along it toward the bottom, passing through each boost pad as it goes,
until you've passed through the final one.  By this time, you should have a new
item from the item boxes you passed through.  Now go left, descending into the
main track, to catch another boost pad forward.

Drive forward here, slightly turning with the track, to reach a few item boxes.
Be sure to have used your last item by this time.  After a small curve, you'll
reach another line of item boxes.  Collect them and drive forward to the
concrete.  Turn onto it and pass through a few boosters to reach the main track.
Pass over the checkered path and make two more rounds to complete the course.

                               -----------------
                               Alternate Route 1
                               -----------------

After the Chain Chomp, you'll reach a curved part of the track that I advise
using the boosters to path.  Instead of using the boosters, you can take a more
direct path by making a sharp, drifting turn left and driving forward.  I
personally do not like this strategy.  It can be replicated at the end of the
guide before the finish line by that booster-filled curve in the track.

                               -----------------
                               Alternate Route 2
                               -----------------

After the Chain Chomp, and also before the end of the race, you'll reach two
curves in the tracks that have boosters along them.  If you drive up these
slopes, you'll reach a short side road that you can drive along.  Since there
are no boosters along it, it really is a waste of time.  It is only good if
there's total mayhem on the ground level, such as a Chain Chomp item being used,
etc.  Note that the first such side road ends at some grass, reducing your
speed.
The second such road ends in an abrupt fall that leads into a fence before the
finish line.  Ouch.

                               -----------------
                               Alternate Route 3
                               -----------------

I only suggest this if you have a Mushroom or Star.  When you see the Chain
Chomp ahead, drive between the fence and the flower here (from Super Mario World
2) to go behind the Chain Chomp.  You will lose speed here, but using a Mushroom
or a Star will not cause you to lose speed, and you can cut through the turn.
Also, there's a road behind the Chain Chomp if you don't want to cut across the
dirt here.  Neither are very good shortcuts.

----------------------------Strategic Trap Locations----------------------------

- Right after each boost pad.  If you drop them in the rough center, computers
will speed right into them, crashing into them and losing speed afterward.  It
is most effective after single boosts, but it can be useful in the series of
many boosts.

                           +-----------------------+
                           |    # 2 Peach Beach    |
                           +-----------------------+

------------------------------------Overview------------------------------------

Set in scenic Isle Delfino, this is clearly a reference to Super Mario
Sunshine's Gelato Beach (meaning "Ice Cream Beach" in Italian) due to the
Cataquack population.  Or, I would say this, but it also appears to be on the
outskirts of Delfino Plaza.  Oddly, there are also some crates characteristic of
Delfino Airstrip here, too.  So, this is probably just on the edge of Delfino
Plaza with Cataquacks (note that they only appeared red and blue in SMS.  In
this game, a purple one can be seen) and like things thrown in for obstacles.
Also, you can see Daisy Cruiser in the distance, another race track.  You'll
notice several elements of Super Mario Sunshine, including its architecture,
races, and beach theme.  Note that water is found here, but the lighter it is
colored, the shallower it is.  You have to go in the dark water to sink, which
Lakitu reacts to by lifting you out.  Still, it's a waste of time, and water in
general slows you down.

-------------------------------------Guide--------------------------------------

Drive forward from what was hopefully a turbo start to reach a turn into a few
items.  Drift right across the turn to reach a fork in the road.  Take the right
path onto the beach.  Now drive forward, turning slightly to the left as you go,
and you'll find several red duck enemies called Cataquacks.  Bumping into them
sends you flying straight up and then falling down.

Continue forward, just off the water, to reach a large arch.  Drive through
under it, collecting item boxes, to turn slightly right to a straight segment of
the beach.  Steer clear of the water, drive forward to avoid Cataquacks, and
drift right onto a large main track.  Center yourself along this segment of the
track to collect some of the moving item blocks.  Then continue forward to reach
the finish line.  This course takes three laps.

                               -----------------
                               Alternate Route 1
                               -----------------

This course has several alternate routes.  Most of them involve sacrificing time
for items.  The first is pretty obvious.  After reaching the first turn that
results in passing through a few item blocks, continue forward to reach a small
peninsula that slightly turns right.  At the end, you'll take a booster ramp
through a double item box to reach a stretch of water.  Depending on your
timing,
either a sandbar will be revealed that you can ride across on quickly (this is
quite uncommon; the water recedes very slowly), or the water will be present and
you'll slowly drive through it to land.  Drive forward to the arch, rejoining
the regular guide at the second paragraph.

This route has its good and bad points.  The only reason that you would take it
is to either get the double item box or possibly save time.  It has the
potential to be a shortcut, but only if the water recedes.  This is mostly
random and requires great luck, but it can be done as a good way to cut through
the Cataquack-filled main track.  But, most of the time it is covered by a very
thick or somewhat thin layer of water that will slow you down.

                               -----------------
                               Alternate Route 2
                               -----------------

If you are leading the rest of the pack but need a double item box quickly, this
is for you.  After you pass the finish line, go forward until you see a small
gray path go left.  Do not turn right like you normally would.  Instead, drive
forward and make a sharp, drifting turn left into the pipe.  You'll be spat out
less than a second later through a double item box.  This is good in two
situations.  If you are trying to get that double item box, use the warp pipe.
If you are trying to avoid a red shell or a similar item, try dodging it by
retreating into a pipe.

                               -----------------
                               Alternate Route 3
                               -----------------

This is another time-for-item route in which you take the long way to reach an
item.  As you are approaching the finish line, you'll notice a large gray statue
of a Pianta (called the Grand Pianta Statue), the locals of Isle Delfino, to the
left (it is inaccurate, though, because the original was not a fountain).  If
you make a sharp turn left and drive around the statue in a circular motion, you
can collect one of two double item boxes and take the next opening out to the
finish line.  If you are leading the others by a mile, this could be a good
idea.

                               -----------------
                               Alternate Route 4
                               -----------------

This is not an "alternate route," per se, but you should be aware that you have
two options at one point.  When you reach the beach segment of the level with
the Cataquacks walking along it, note that you can either drive along the beach
through the droves of enemies as I specify in the guide, or you can drive right
a bit to find a narrow stone pathway.  Driving along it is smart for two
reasons.
First, you can avoid the Cataquacks.  Second, although the first segment of the
path is curving and not as direct, the second part is a straight path that leads
into the turn with the sliding item boxes before the finish line.  This path is
much more direct.  The disadvantage would be that you miss out on a few item
boxes under the arch.  Note that it might be wise to drive along the first patch
of beach until you must turn right slightly, and then take this stone path for
the second patch of beach.  This is the most effective combo, in my opinion.

----------------------------Strategic Trap Locations----------------------------

- Right after the arch, there is a turn into a short alley with several item
blocks moving across it.  Drop a banana/trap box shortly after the turn.
Unsuspecting players will turn in and hit it.  Works like a charm...

- In the narrow lane with the moving item blocks just before the finish line,
drop a trap.  Trap boxes work well because players will try to collect them.  If
they see it beforehand, though, they might try to swerve out of the way, often
colliding with the wall.  It's a win-win situation.

- If you are playing a human player who you know to use one of the alternate
routes, leave a trap at the end of that route.  For instance, if they use
Alternate Route 3, leave a banana in the opening between the wall and the statue
that leads to the finish line, etc.

                            +---------------------+
                            |    # 3 Baby Park    |
                            +---------------------+

------------------------------------Overview------------------------------------

Baby Park is dedicated to Baby Mario and Baby Luigi.  As such, it is filled with
references to the early games of the plumber brothers.  You can see the
Yoshicopter, one of Yoshi's toy transformations from Super Mario World 2 over
the starting area.  Many babyish objects appear, such as cloud and sun Ferris
wheels, but sharp-eyed players will notice Shy Guys, Kamek, Hookbill the Koopa,
Baby Bowser, and others in the scenery.  As for the track itself, it's the only
course in the game that requires more than three laps.  It is ovular in shape,
and requires two turns to make a lap.  But, seven laps are needed to clear it.
Since the course is so small, items tend to clutter up quickly with traps, and
shells and other items will be ricocheting around the arena.  It really gets
quite hectic, making this course deceptively simple.

-------------------------------------Guide--------------------------------------

Drive forward.  Notice that Baby Mario and Baby Luigi are shown in diapers –
their original appearance.  Anyways, this empty road will have items scattered
over it soon.  Even so, I recommend staying to the right.  You'll come to a
turn,
which forces an item box upon you (the idea is to get you to flood the track
with items).  Now here comes the turn.

Turns are the main difficulty of the track.  I suggest staying to the right on
the road so that you can make a narrow turn.  Of course, drift here; it is an
extremely wide turn and definitely the hardest one in Mushroom Cup.  Hold the
control stick all the way to the right, hold R, and turn.  If you see items in
your way, which you will if playing past the second lap, either make a narrower
turn or stop drifting and manually turn.  Now go forward down another road,
avoiding more traps and taking an item box, to drift turn again.  Go straight
afterward to the finish line.  This course takes seven laps in all to complete.
As a result, you're likely to lap other players (be more than one full lap ahead
of them).

----------------------------Strategic Trap Locations----------------------------

- Pretty much anywhere is an effective trap location.  In this course, anyone
and everyone will fall victim to at least one trap.  But, reserve trap boxes for
lines of item boxes and use bananas during turns.  When drifting, you have less
control over steering the kart, and the players will drift right into traps.
Not only will they mess up, but they'll be facing right and have to straighten
themselves afterwards.

                          +-------------------------+
                          |    #4 Dry Dry Desert    |
                          +-------------------------+

------------------------------------Overview------------------------------------

In Paper Mario for the N64, the second Star Spirit was imprisoned in Dry Dry
Ruins in Dry Dry Desert.  Once the site of an equally dry kingdom of Squeeks
(mouse creatures from Super Mario World 2), the desert-dwelling nomadimice have
since settled there at Dry Dry Outpost.  But, even though this track is named
after an area in Paper Mario, it shares more in common with Shifting Sand Land
in Super Mario 64.  That is, this track has Tweesters, desert tornadoes, and
Pokeys (living cacti) to get in the way, but it is also home to quicksand and a
gigantic Piranha Plant.  But, it does have Egyptian-like ruins, which could be
interpreted in either way.  This is the hardest course of Mushroom Cup, but it's
still pretty easy.

-------------------------------------Guide--------------------------------------

Take off from the start and drive down a long road to reach a turn.  Turn right
and then go left after a short straight section, being sure not to enter the
sand.  The sand will slow you down, and there are also Pokeys there to hit you.
Then quickly turn right and then left, drifting if possible.

So, after those possibly drifting turns, you'll see a Tweester, Mario tornadoes
(technically, Tweesters have faces, but let's just call them that), by a few
item blocks.  Turn left from there and stick to the left; you'll collect item
boxes and avoid the tornado, which will suck you up and be quite a bother and
time-waster.

Drive forward to find a huge pit of quicksand leading down into a Piranha Plant
in the center.  You now can turn left or right.  Either way you go (probably
left), drive around the turn, not entering the quicksand, and you'll reach a few
pillars with hieroglyphs on them.  Pass by them to reach two Pokeys.  They will
bend over in an arch; pass under the left one for a double item block.

Then go forward, avoiding a Pokey, to reach a bump.  Drive left of it to avoid a
Tweester to the right, and then pass by a few bumps to find two more Pokeys.
Just avoid them and turn ahead to the right to reach a semi-straight path to the
finish line.  Two more laps will complete the level.

Note: The Tweester changes location throughout the laps.  It will appear shortly
after the finish line in the second lap, and it appears by the right side of the
quicksand pit during the third lap.  For this reason, you should take the left
branch.  It can also appear before the finish line by the bumps toward the end
of the second lap; it changed location often.

----------------------------Strategic Trap Locations----------------------------

- Right before Pokeys, especially the ones guarding a double item block.  Either
they will swerve out of the way into sand, barely move to hit the Pokey, or will
collide with the trap.

- The best place to put a banana/trap box is during the turn in the quicksand
pit track fork.  If they hit it at the right angle, they'll tumble into the
quicksand, possibly into the center.  If they avoid it, they could enter sand or
the quicksand.  It's all good for you.

- Try placing them during the starting turns.  If they hit them, they could
swerve into Pokeys, into sand, or into the Tweester!  Plus, these turns lend
themselves to drifting, which makes dodging these pitfalls all the harder.

- Not as effective, but placing them after the bumps in the track after the
quicksand pit can work, too.  Players won't be able to see them, and they might
fall victim to them.  In conjunction with Tweesters and Pokeys, it makes for an
effective trap.

================================================================================
==================================Flower Cup*===================================
================================================================================

The intermediate cup.  Flower Cup is an increase in difficulty from that
Mushroom Cup, but it shouldn't give you trouble.  If it does, then you need to
spend some time practicing.  This cup is a great introduction to mini-boosts and
other uses for drifting, and it is a pretty good cup, all and all.

                          +--------------------------+
                          |    #5 Mushroom Bridge    |
                          +--------------------------+

------------------------------------Overview------------------------------------

It's another busy day here at the Mushroom Bridge.  It's a busy route taken by
many in a circular path around the place, and it has several "good" alternate
routes.  The cars are interesting.  One says "Moo Moo Farm," a reference to an
old track from Mario Kart 64.  Probably named after this famous track, there is
also a Moo Moo Farm in Pokémon Silver/Gold/Crystal where Miltanks are kept.
However, I think the truck refers to the old track, not the pocket monsters'
farm.  One truck has a Magic Wing on it, which was an item in Super Mario Bros.
3 that Mario could use to fly over an entire level.  One bus advertises Peach
Beach, another track, and another "Star Track," a pun on Star Trek (but also a
reference to the sixteenth course).  You'll find a Paratroopa mail delivery
truck, the same with the Magic Wing on it, which is from Paper Mario (the
whirlpools in the water may be caused by the Bloopers who live in the sewers in
Paper Mario, as well).  There is also a Wiggler-shaped vehicle, presumably a
bus,
that is green, a reference to the Wiggler that appeared on Gelato Beach in Super
Mario Sunshine.  There's even an old-school Mario truck.

Note: Be on the lookout for two other types of car – cars that look like bombs
and cars that look like mushrooms.  If you bump into the bomb car... boom!  You
will get caught in an explosion.  Bump into a mushroom car and... vroom!  A
speed-up (yes, I realize that was totally corny) comes out as a Mushroom.  Also,
do not hit other cars in general.  You'll spin out of control if you do.

-------------------------------------Guide--------------------------------------

Take off and drive forward to a slight turn to the left.  Drift into a tunnel,
avoid cars, and you'll exit.  See the mushroom car?  It should be in the area.
If you hit it, a Mushroom appears on the course.  Drive into it for a speed
boost forward.  Drift right into a turn to the right and you'll approach a new
tunnel.  Enter.

Head left slowly, collecting item from the boxes randomly sprinkled about, to
reach the exit of the tunnel.  Drift left shortly to reach the bridge.  Only a
few obstacles remain...  Straighten yourself up and drive forward, collecting
item boxes as you go, and pass the cars/obstacles to reach the finish line.
Lather, rinse, and repeat twice.

                               -----------------
                               Alternate Route 1
                               -----------------

Right after the checkered line, you can turn right into a small trail that leads
into a pipe.  It spits you out from another pipe through an item box and into
the tunnel.  It's a good shortcut if you need an item quick, but I'd wait until
you actually entered the tunnel.  This does take up some time.

                               -----------------
                               Alternate Route 2
                               -----------------

After the first tunnel, you can drive straight over a very steep slope.  You'll
slow down as you go up to what looks like a Toad's House from Super Mario Bros.
3, and then fall over the gap.  If you use a Mushroom from the mushroom cars or
your own mushroom, this can actually be a worthwhile shortcut.  Otherwise,
you'll slowly climb up it wasting time, although you are safe from cars.

                               -----------------
                               Alternate Route 3
                               -----------------

This is an interesting "shortcut."  It might save you time, but that's only
because it bypasses the cars.  After the first tunnel, and I mean immediately
afterward (get ready to yank that control stick left), you'll find an opening to
the sidewalk.  That's right; pedestrians aren't safe in Mushroom Bridge, even in
their designated walking places!  If you miss the first opening, which might be
a good idea because of how hard it is to get in, you can slip into the sidewalk
area later; just watch the left rails for an opening.  The sidewalk is an easy
path that beats traffic, but it has one disadvantage – you must make an abrupt
turn at the very end or you'll crash into the wall there.  You'll turn into the
second tunnel.

                               -----------------
                               Alternate Route 4
                               -----------------

Definitely the hardest shortcut to make use of, but this is a very good one –
the best, in fact.  I do not suggest taking it if you have a comfortable lead or
could take one in the foreseeable future, but if you want to risk falling off
the bridge, take this.

When you reach the bridge part of Mushroom Bridge, you'll notice that the side
beams slope upward as very narrow paths with booster pads on them.  Yes, you can
actually drive up the sides, being extremely careful to drive straight, and
boost your way over traffic and other hazards through an item box to a nice
downward slope to the finish line.  This really puts you ahead if you use it
correctly, but it can also make you lose the race because you fall into the
water, requiring Lakitu to rescue you.  For this reason, use it only when
necessary.

----------------------------Strategic Trap Locations----------------------------

- If you are playing with a human player that tends to use the sidewalk
(Alternate Route 3), try dropping traps on the sidewalk toward the end (in the
second half).  It's fairly narrow, and they'll probably get hit.

- Pretty much everywhere, especially tunnels in the center, is a good place to
plant traps, in theory.  Cars and other hazards cause people to drive in odd
places, and there's always a chance of them being forced into either a car or a
trap.

- The center of Mushroom Bridge is the best place to set bananas/trap boxes.
Since it's a two-lane bridge, players will avoid your traps only to drive into
slow-moving cars!  And if you're really lucky, they could even hit the trap and
slide into a car... like a bomb car.  This hardly ever happens, but it did to me
once.  Very effective, I must say.  This works to an extent in the less-crowded
tunnels, too.

                           +------------------------+
                           |    #6 Mario Circuit    |
                           +------------------------+

------------------------------------Overview------------------------------------

This is a great course.  Said to be the main track in Mario Kart, it is the best
track of Flower Cup, in my opinion.  Set up a lot like Luigi Circuit, this
course has the Mushroom Castle (or a prop) from Super Mario 64, a Chain Chomp,
Goombas, and Piranha Plants – the usual fare for Mario's adventures.  Possessing
many wide turns, it is very easy to use mini-boosts here.  Hooray for Mario
Circuit!

-------------------------------------Guide--------------------------------------

Take off from the start to drive a straight line before reaching a few item
boxes.  Take one and then drift left, attempting a mini-boost as you do so.  Do
the same to the right and then drive forward to see a Chain Chomp.  Drift around
that curve, stay to the right of the road to avoid the Chain Chomp, and drive
the semi-straight road to a tunnel.  Pick up an item box outside while you're at
it.

Make short drifts through the curves here to emerge outside.  Center yourself in
the road (otherwise, the Piranha Plants will try to hit you), and then drift
along the U-turn (this is a great mini-boost opportunity).  From there, drift
right to find a pack of Goombas.

These classic Mario enemies have been around since Super Mario Bros.  Drive over
the bumps, avoiding the Goombas, and you'll have to drift left in the center of
the road (to avoid Piranha Plants) to reach the finish line.

                               -----------------
                               Alternate Route 1
                               -----------------

This occurs when you see the Chain Chomp.  If you have a Mushroom or a Star, use
it to drive behind the Chain Chomp, cutting through the grass.  This is a more
direct route than taking the turn, but it should not be performed if you have no
speed-up item; the grass will slow you down and the Chain Chomp might reach you.

----------------------------Strategic Trap Locations----------------------------

- In the area with the many Goombas, especially after the bumps.  There are
enough hazards there already, and adding a few cannot hurt anyone but your
opponents.  The center is the best place to set traps, but almost anywhere
works.

- When you see Piranha Plants, try leaving traps in the center of the road (this
is most effective in groups of traps).  Players may try to avoid them and fall
victim to the Piranha Plants.

- At the end of U-turns or otherwise wide turns.  Especially in higher CC's of
play, opponents tend to drift around turns like this.  When drifting, your
mobility is greatly limited, and they may fall victim to a well-placed trap.
Try the center of the road.

- Try setting them in the right half of the road where you see the Chain Chomp.
Players will have to choose between hitting the trap or the chained menace to
the left.  It is a good place indeed.

                          +-------------------------+
                          |    # 7 Daisy Cruiser    |
                          +-------------------------+

------------------------------------Overview------------------------------------

Since when did Daisy have her own cruiser?  Well, I suppose Peach got a resort
in this game, and fair is fair.  But, Daisy does seem to have a cruise ship that
connects between Peach Beach, Isle Delfino, and somewhere else.  You'll see
Piantas resting aboard, a dining room, and a pool.  Unfortunately, the ship
seems to rock with the waves, and the result is moving tables and item boxes.
It's a pretty easy track, though, and has some nice shortcuts in it.

-------------------------------------Guide--------------------------------------

Rocket start/double dash from the beginning and head right to a ramp leading
downward.  Take it down, turning slightly left as you go, to make a drifting
left turn down a small flight of stairs.

Now drift right around the pool.  You should have an item by now from the item
boxes along the initial ramp, and I'd use them now if I were you.  That's
because more item boxes come up after the turn.  You'll curve around the pool to
reach a small flight of stairs downward.

Take it down to the dining area.  After a brief hallway, you reach them; many
tables either sliding right of left here with the boat.  Avoid these tables as
you drive to the upper-left opening.  Note that item boxes also roll along here,
but getting them is rather difficult.  After the table room, you'll come to an
opening that requires you make a sharp turn into a new hallway.

Make another sharp turn to find a hole.  Drop it if you want to take Alternate
Route 1, but, if not, make another sharp turn afterward, a new item in hand, and
then make another to exit the ship interior to the deck.  Drive forward around
the large turn (drifting can be used here for a mini-boost) to reach two tire
swings.  Drive into one to send it upward (if someone is tailing you, it will
hit them), and then drive up the stairs to find the finish line.

                               -----------------
                               Alternate Route 1
                               -----------------

This occurs when you reach the hole.  I do advise using this shortcut over the
normal run of the level.  Drop into the hole to appear deep beneath in the
engine room.  Drive to the upper-left into the fan here.  You'll be launched
outward into the final turn of the ship before a line of item boxes and the two
tire swings.

                               -----------------
                               Alternate Route 2
                               -----------------

After the initial set of stairs preceding the pool, you can make an extremely
tight turn to drive along a very narrow path around the pool.  While it's
shorter than the other route, it requires some serious skill and you'll run the
risk of falling into the pool.  I wouldn't take it if I were you, but you might
find use for it at times.

----------------------------Strategic Trap Locations----------------------------

- In the center of any of the narrow hallways.

- Place one as you drive down the diagonal path in the dining area with all the
tables.  It will complicate things, making them either go out of their way to
avoid it, hit a table, or hit the trap.

- Right after the first set of stairs that lead down to the pool area.  Most
people won't see them coming.  In fact, pretty much any area after any of the
sharp/wide turns will work out well.

                         +---------------------------+
                         |    # 8 Waluigi Stadium    |
                         +---------------------------+

------------------------------------Overview------------------------------------

In Mario Kart 64, there was a Wario Stadium similar to this.  Now that we have
Double Dash!!, Waluigi takes the stadium for a course of his own.  It is a dirt
track (dark brown dirt will slow you down) with Piranha Plants and flames to hit
you.  It also has ramps with booster pads on them to send you through rings of
fire.  But the main attraction is the jumbo screen, which shows the blunders of
the various players in front of an audience of shifty characters.  Waluigi Kart!

-------------------------------------Guide--------------------------------------

Drive forward over the first ridge for an item box.  Now make a drifting turn
around the next circular track ahead to boost off a ramp into the next part of
the track.  If you went off the center of the ramp, you can take an item box's
contents.

Drift around the next turn and mini-boost to the next ramp.  Boost off it
through a ring of fire, hopefully centered to get an item box, to land a few
yards/meters ahead of the next line of item boxes.  Drive to them after a bump
and then make a slight turn into a narrow alley that leads into the "obstacle
course" of the stage.

Avoid the fire of the flaming object ahead drive right of the next Piranha
Plant.
Running into these Piranha Plants does not hurt you; think of them as a wall.
It will be annoying because you'll have to back up and drive around them, but
you won't spin out of control if you hit them.  Now drive around the next two
Piranha Plants while avoiding flames to reach a few ridges under a flame ring.

You'll reach a turn, but you do not want to drift along it (at least, you do not
want to drift into a mini-boost along it).  Drive within the boundaries of the
track to avoid the brown dirt and you'll turn to a ramp.  Boost off of it to
land by a ridge.  Following it is the finish line.

----------------------------Strategic Trap Locations----------------------------

- After any ramp.  When opponents land, they could very well automatically hit
your trap.  I suggest trying to center them after ramps for maximum results.

- On any ramp.  For some ramps, the players might hit them and fall down to
another part of the course.  Unfortunately, Lakitu will retrieve them so that
they don't have to start over from a previous location or get ahead of
themselves; they will be fished up and placed back before the ramp.

- In the area with the multiple Piranha Plants and "flame triangles."  For
maximum effect, place them along the lines of four ? Blocks, preferably after
them, opposite each Piranha Plant.  Players will have to avoid the Piranha
Plants and may drive into the item boxes and thus into your trap.

================================================================================
===================================Star Cup*====================================
================================================================================

Here's where things start to get somewhat difficult.  It's not overly difficult,
but it's no walk in the park, either.  Beat this cup on 100 cc and you might
just get a new cup...

                           +------------------------+
                           |    # 9 Sherbet Land    |
                           +------------------------+

------------------------------------Overview------------------------------------

Oh no!  The dreaded land of sherbet!  Seriously, I hate this track.  It's a
"winter wonderland" of sorts, although there's nothing fun about it.  Your
traction is greatly reduced (ever heard of snow tires?), which can increase
speed but also decrease your mobility.  For this reason, the cruel designers of
the track decided to thrown in skating Shy Guys, the basic soldiers of Wart's
army in Super Mario Bros. 2 (USA), and Freezies, large chunks of ice from Mario
Bros. that plagued the sewers of Brooklyn.  And that doesn't count the various
other hazards, such as the pool of ice.  I always hate ice-themed places, both
in Mario Kart (the SMK one was awful...) and in other games.  So, let's get this
over this.

-------------------------------------Guide--------------------------------------

Take off from the start and drive into a drifting turn through a line of item
boxes.  Then make another drifting turn complete with mini-boost to a wide, open
area.  Mini-Boost into it around the circular pool of icy water (do not fall in)
to find several blue Shy Guys figure skating in the ice.

Avoid them (they do jump occasionally, but I wouldn't drive into them hoping
that they'll jump in time) and drive forward past a red Shy Guy duo to reach a
tunnel.  Drive in, drifting around a turn for a mini-boost through an item box.
The track now turns left before opening into the outdoors.

Drive around the curves, drifting as you do so, to reach a line of item boxes.
Ahead of them is the main obstacle of the course – the Freezies.  Your racers
and kart will be encased in a chunk of ice if you touch them, and this
immobilizes you for a while.

The Freezies move rapidly when touched, and so it's impossible to give them a
definite position.  The item boxes here move, too.  I do not recommend drifting
here, either.  If you do, you will slide along the ice and be a sitting duck for
Freezies.  But, in any case, avoid them as well as you can, driving in the
direction the arrow points, to pass a final Freezie and reach the finish line.

                               -----------------
                               Alternate Route 1
                               -----------------

A bit after the first tunnel, IF you have a Mushroom or Star, use it and drive
over the next patch of snow right of the main course.  You'll be able to boost
right over it and cut a considerable amount of time out of the race.

----------------------------Strategic Trap Locations----------------------------

- Right after the first set of item blocks, you'll have to turn to avoid falling
into an icy lake.  Though the chances of someone hitting a trap set before the
frigid lake are not great, setting one there can be very effective.  They could
hit it and slide into the lake, essentially knocking them out of the competition
for a lap or so.

- In the area with many Shy Guys.  Again, the area is wide and opponents might
not hit them, but it works out nicely when it does.  For optimal results, place
it in front of the left side of the entrance to the tunnel.  This forces
opponents either into the red Shy Guy pair or your trap.

- In the tunnel, left of the icy pillar.  This forces players to go right of the
pillar outside the main track.

- Obviously, in the Freezie zone.  I suggest placing them in the center where
people would drive, and in bunches.  Also, place them after Freezies to hide
them from view until it's too late.

                          +--------------------------+
                          |    # 10 Mushroom City    |
                          +--------------------------+

------------------------------------Overview------------------------------------

Welcome to Mushroom City, Mushroom Kingdom.  Like Mushroom Bridge, it's a
heavily trafficked area.  You'll find all the same cars as before, but this time
the Wiggler vehicle is much more dangerous; it makes turns.  Also, to confuse
you more, there are several ways to go through the level.  There are essentially
two paths with a limited number of alternate paths, and so I have two guides
through the level.  Remember, hitting the bomb car causes an explosion that will
set you back a few seconds.  Hitting the mushroom car releases a Mushroom onto
the course, and that can be used to get a speed boost.

------------------------------------Guide 1-------------------------------------

Drive forward on the right road.  Yes, there is a "DO NOT ENTER" left road, but
that wastes a few seconds and lets Lakitu bring you back to the surface.
Anyways, go down the right lane a bit to reach a few item boxes.  Then a wide
turn starts.  Drift right along it, ending in a mini-boost, to reach the grand
intersection.  For this route through the level, take the first turn to the
right immediately (a few red arrows point to it).

Item boxes may be "driving" themselves down these busy streets.  In any case,
drive straight ahead for a bit until you are forced to turn.  The Wiggler
vehicle may be driving down this road, which will force you to avoid it.  Here
you reach another intersection.

Turn right and drive down this road.  Make a sharp, drifting turn and go forward
to a few item boxes.  Drive through them, turn around the curves, and you'll
reach another road with item boxes at the end, with three more shortly after
that.  Drive to them, shift to the left a bit to avoid driving into a hole, and
then drive to along this narrow road that eventually widens to reach the finish
line.

                               -----------------
                               Alternate Route 1
                               -----------------

At the end of the second paragraph, I advise that you turn right.  Well, I say
to do this for an extra mini-boost, but you can actually drive forward, drift-
turn, and then turn left into the main road.  Ahead are the item boxes mentioned
at the end of the second sentence of the third paragraph.

------------------------------------Guide 2-------------------------------------

Go forward along the right path (the left path is a trap) to reach a few item
boxes.  By the time you have the item, you should drift and turn into an
intersection.  Ignore the first sign with the arrows and drive straight to the
end.  There, a red sign should point right to turn to a new part of the track.

Drive forward and turn left as soon as you can.  Drive down this little
straightaway, mini-boosting at the end into another small tract of track, and
drift-turn left into the main road.

Drive into the item boxes ahead and drift through this S-shaped turn to reach
three item boxes.  Take one and quickly shift to the left to avoid a large hole
ahead.  Avoid the buses/cars/bombs along this narrow road to reach the finish
line.

                               -----------------
                               Alternate Route 1
                               -----------------

Instead of doing the second paragraph, go forward all the way past more cars
(the regular way is better due to less traffic) and turn at the end in a
drifting mini-boost to reach the main road.  Drive forward a bit to return to
the third paragraph.

                               -----------------
                               Alternate Route 2
                               -----------------

When you are driving up the intersection area (where Guide 1 and Guide 2 become
different), look right for a pink path.  Drive along this S-shaped alley to
reach an exit.  Drive straight out of it and take an opening that an arrow
points to.  Drift-turn left and continue onto the "main road."

----------------------------Strategic Trap Locations----------------------------

- Anywhere that is walled off or on any road that is narrow, in the center.
Also, after drift-able turns.

                          +--------------------------+
                          |    # 11 Yoshi Circuit    |
                          +--------------------------+

------------------------------------Overview------------------------------------

Now this is a superb course.  I like Mario Circuit, but Yoshi Circuit really
takes the cake.  Devoted to everyone's favorite green dinosaur steed and his
semi-dinosaur girlfriend Birdo, Yoshi Circuit is a long, Yoshi-shaped course
full of various Yoshi references.  You'll see the Yoshicopter near the finish
line, and there are various other posters and related items to depict Yoshi and
related characters.  The Daisy Cruiser is also in the background.

-------------------------------------Guide--------------------------------------

Take off from the start and drift around the curve to reach a line of item
boxes.
Now drive forward and drift around the next turn to enter into a wide turn.  It
is very mini-boost compatible.  After it comes a tunnel.  Drift around its
various slight turns to reach an exit.

Drift left into another mini-boost turn.  Another one follows it shortly
afterward, and then you'll reach a few item boxes by Piranha Plants.  Mini-boost
around the next U-turn and then around the next huge turn.  Take the item box
(notice the Yoshicopter) and drift around the next turn past Piranha Plants to
drive to the finish line.

                               -----------------
                               Alternate Route 1
                               -----------------

There are two great shortcuts in Yoshi Circuit, but both require Mushrooms.  For
the first, which is easier to access than the second, make the second turn after
the finish line.  See the grassy arch ahead?  If you use a Mushroom, you can
soar over the watery gap to completely bypass a wide turn.  I highly recommend
using this shortcut is possible.

                               -----------------
                               Alternate Route 2
                               -----------------

I advise practicing this in Time Trial before actually attempting to use it in
races.  The second shortcut occurs after you exit the tunnel, shortly after the
"Turn Left" sign.  Watch the left rail.  It will eventually stop for a little
while.  If you look, there's a tunnel to the left in the ground there.  If you
use a Mushroom with good aiming and timing, you can boost into that tunnel.  It
leads to a point much later in the track (well, not that much later) just before
the U-turn before the Yoshicopter appears.

----------------------------Strategic Trap Locations----------------------------

- In the center of the track after any U-turn.  Most of the time, you can't see
where you're going in a U-turn due to objects obstructing your vision, and they
could easily fall prey to it.

- Toward the end when the rail disappears momentarily (see Alternate Route 2),
right in the center of the track.  If placed correctly, someone could run into
it and slide off the side of the cliff into the water below, requiring Lakitu to
rescue them.  It is very effective, if I do say so myself.

-  Pretty much anywhere that has no rail before the finish line.  This is
especially effective if placed on the left side of the road by the Piranha
Plants, forcing players to either get dangerously close to the water or
dangerously close to the Piranha Plants.

                           +------------------------+
                           |    # 12 DK Mountain    |
                           +------------------------+

------------------------------------Overview------------------------------------

Donkey Kong's track is generally jungle-themed, but the faces on trees and
volcanoes make it much more Mario-styled.  There is a blast barrel here, Donkey
Kong Country-style, and it sends you driving faster than you'll experience
elsewhere in the game – almost 200 miles per hour!  Mostly, the track does not
have to be followed, which makes this track very easy to take shortcuts on.
Although it isn't particularly Donkey Kong-based, it's still a great jungle
level.  Nowadays, Donkey Kong should take what he can get (especially since he
was given the boot as a playable character in Mario Party 5...).

-------------------------------------Guide--------------------------------------

Take off from the start and drive up the winding road, mini-boosting where you
can, to gain an item and reach a barrel.  Yes, you must take it to advance.
Enter and... yahoo!  195 miles per hour!  It is amazing, though, that you could
go from almost 200 to around 50 miles per hour in just a few seconds.  You'll
land on the grimacing volcano.

When you land, drive right with a mini-boost to reach a few item boxes.  After
the first ridge, the track curves around.  This is unnecessary, though; drive
right of the track to go straight down instead of turning, and then alternate to
be by the fence.  This saves quite a bit of time.  Now at the grass, drift
around the turn.

Drift around the next turn for an item box.  You'll also reach a grassy wall
with a hole in the track.  Drive along the left side of the hole (do NOT make
the mistake of driving onto the grassy wall if you're going slowly; you could
fall off into the hole), and then drift around the next U-turn for a few items.

After that, center yourself on the road to reach a bridge.  It rocks left and
right as you drive along it, which makes it rather dangerous to drive on the
sides.  At the end of the bridge is the finish line.  Now you can enter the
barrel cannon twice more!

----------------------------Strategic Trap Locations----------------------------

- Anywhere on the bridge at the end, but the center is the best location.
Players will drive onto the bridge and could very easily hit a trap, and then
spin off of the bridge, depending on how it is rocking at the time.

- Right in front of the barrel cannon.  After all, people do have to enter it,
right?  It's a guaranteed hit, and it's very effective, too.

- On the left wall by the hole in the track once you get off the volcano.
Players will either have to drive into your trap, which may result into falling
into the hole, or will have to fall into the hole.  Everyone wins except them.

- In the center of the road right before the first U-turn after getting off the
volcano.  If you're lucky, the opponent will hit it and slide off the cliff.

- After any ridge in the downhill part of the volcano.  If the player doesn't
fly over it, they'll run into this hidden trap.

================================================================================
==================================Special Cup*==================================
================================================================================

Special Cup is unlocked by beating Star Cup on 100 cc.

                         +----------------------------+
                         |    # 13 Wario Colosseum    |
                         +----------------------------+

------------------------------------Overview------------------------------------

This is such a long track that you're only required to make two laps.  It is
probably the longest track in the game in terms of actual driving (otherwise,
Rainbow Road would win for airtime), but it is still pretty good.  Wario gave up
his stadium for this jumbled metal cage, and I don't blame him.  Let's-a play
Wario Kart!

-------------------------------------Guide--------------------------------------

Take off from the start for a brief straight road to reach a turn.  Mini-boost
from it to reach a ramp.  Center yourself on it to speed through the ring of
fire and take the item box.  Now drive through the short tunnel ahead in a
slightly curving road to reach another ramp.  Center yourself before using it to
take yet another item box.

Drift and boost around the next turn to reach several item boxes.  Take one.
Now drive forward to the ramp, which sends you flying into a giant W.  And after
it is one of the longest turns in the game.  Hold L and the control stick all
the way to the left to efficiently reach the bottom.

Now drive forward on the sideways track, going quickly as not to fall in, and
turn slightly to reach a triple booster set.  Boost along them to reach an
elevated turn.  Mini-boost around it and the next turn to fall under a picture
of Wario pointing down and onto another mini-boost friendly turn.

At the end, you'll see a large circular hole in the track, sort of like the
quicksand pit in Dry Dry Desert.  Drive forward to a ramp, which you should take
to blast through an item.  You'll land on another ramp, which gives you another
boost forward.

Turn left in the tunnel, getting item boxes as you go, to reach a climbing turn
that leads to a ramp.  Use your items beforehand so that you can renew them with
the (double) item boxes at the top of the ramp.  When you land, mini-boost
around the next turn to reach the finish line.

                               -----------------
                               Alternate Route 1
                               -----------------

When you reach the large circular pit, you can just drive safely on the sides,
left or right, to reach the end instead of taking the ramp.  I do, however,
recommend using the ramp.

----------------------------Strategic Trap Locations----------------------------

- On the last speed boosts of ramps.  If hit, they will lose speed and fall down
to be retrieved by Lakitu.

- Conversely, leave a trap after you land from ramps.  After all, everyone has
to take them, right?

- Right after the long, winding turn, drop one on the sideways piece of track.
If someone is hit there, they might just slide off the track.

- Also, dropping one on the huge, winding turn (for maximum effects, drop near
the center of the right side) can be effective, though you might want to save
trap items for the next piece of track on its side.

                        +-----------------------------+
                        |    # 14 Dino Dino Jungle    |
                        +-----------------------------+

------------------------------------Overview------------------------------------

It's another jungle, and thus it falls under Diddy Kong's category of tracks.
Yes, this is a dinosaur-filled jungle, which is a reference to Diddy Kong Racing
on the N64.  Well, in any case, this level is great fun.  It has several
shortcuts in it, and plenty of obstacles.  The dinosaurs will definitely add a
bit to the challenge, but they beg one question...  Who needs Jurassic Park to
see the dinosaurs, anyways?

-------------------------------------Guide--------------------------------------

Take off from the start, centering yourself as not to pass over the logs.  Mini-
boost around the first turn to access a line of item boxes.  Taking them, mini-
boost right to see a giant dinosaur stomping its feet.  You can drive around it,
but I recommend (in the interest of time) that you drive between its legs for an
item box and a shortcut.

You'll then reach a cave that you can mini-boost through to reach a large yellow
bridge.  Mini-boost up it once (it's pretty dangerous, though) and you'll enter
a cave.  Drive through the hieroglyph-filled hallway and mini-boost out into a
real cave.  Drive forward, avoiding the geysers and their spouts, to reach three
item boxes.

Shortly after them is the exit to the cave.  Drive forward, sticking to the left
side of the bridge to avoid that same dinosaur as before, and you'll reach
another line of item boxes.  Take one, mini-boost around a turn, and drive
forward through a few item boxes that are sliding about to reach three geysers.
Avoid the active ones and pass through the finish line.

                               -----------------
                               Alternate Route 1
                               -----------------

When you get onto the bridge, look left of the main bridge (the yellow one) to
see a hidden brown bridge.  It is safer than the yellow bridge in that it is
less trafficked and would have fewer traps on it.  It drives semi-straight,
turning very slightly once, and you'll then rejoin the yellow bridge.

                               -----------------
                               Alternate Route 2
                               -----------------

This also occurs when you reach the bridge.  Look to the right to see a dark red
bridge.  It is very narrow, but you should be able to use it.  Boost on it and
turn slightly to the left as you go to rejoin the yellow bridge.

                               -----------------
                               Alternate Route 3
                               -----------------

When you reach the cave, look right to see a ramp with no boost pad on it.  IF,
and only if, you have a Star or a Mushroom, drive up to the ramp.  Use the item
and fly over the gap to safely cross it.  This not only saves time, but it also
saves you from a potential run-in with geysers.

----------------------------Strategic Trap Locations----------------------------

- On either side of the large dinosaur.

- On the bridge that the dinosaur has its head against, the left side.  People
are forced to drive there anyways, right?

- On the yellow bridge, especially when it is curving.

- In the cave, left of the last geyser.

- Right before the finish line on the central geyser spout.

                         +----------------------------+
                         |    # 15 Bowser's Castle    |
                         +----------------------------+

------------------------------------Overview------------------------------------

In Super Mario Bros., the fourth level of a world was always Bowser's Castle.
Filled with Podoboos, living fireballs, chains of Podoboos (I call them flame
chains), and other obstacles, they were the final test before fighting Bowser on
a bridge over lava.  Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World had maze-like
Bowser's Castles with alternate routes and everything, and Mario Kart games
always feature a little track through Bowser's humble abode.  If you mess up,
you'll hear Bowser's deep laugh (a la Super Mario 64), and you might just spy a
few Thwomps.  This is an interesting, but rather impossible (how can you fall in
lava and then be fished out, a-okay?) course.

-------------------------------------Guide--------------------------------------

Take off from the start and you'll cross the drawbridge to enter the castle.  I
suggest taking the right route here.  Hug the left wall to avoid the Thwomps and
you'll reach some item boxes before entering a new hallway.  Drift into it.

Hug the left wall to avoid the Thwomps, and then turn left into a room with
Podoboos jumping through the floor.  Drive in either direction, staying within
the boundaries of the track, and you'll reach a ramp.  Boost off of it to a
curving road.

Mini-boost along this to reach a room with a flame chain in it.  If it is
horizontal, save yourself some time by driving through the space between the
flames.  Now turn left and mini-boost into a U-turn.  Drift around it and you'll
reach a few item boxes.  After that, drift around another turn, make a U-turn
with a mini-boost, and you'll start driving down a flight of stairs.

You'll reach the room where a Bowser statue is shooting Podoboos.  Collect the
item boxes, avoiding any flames coming your way, and make a U-turn for some item
boxes to be driving under the statue.  Now turn left and drive forward, avoiding
any Podoboos, and you'll reach a line of item boxes before a ramp.  Boost off of
it and mini-boost left to the finish line.

                               -----------------
                               Alternate Route 1
                               -----------------

This is a very useful shortcut.  When in the room where a Bowser statue shoots
flames, you'll see a U-turn that you must make.  Well, there's an alternative to
that.  If you look left of it, you'll see a break in the rail.  If you drive
over this opening, you'll land on the other side of the U-turn.  A sharp turn
left will save you a lot of time.

----------------------------Strategic Trap Locations----------------------------

- Left or right of the Thwomps in the starting hallways.

- In the U-turn that you must make in the room that a Bowser statue shoots fire
in.

- Right by the item boxes in the room with the revolving flame chain.

- Right at the end of each boost ramp (they will hit it, slide off the ramp, and
need to be rescued by Lakitu).

- Just after you land from either ramp jump.

                          +-------------------------+
                          |    # 16 Rainbow Road    |
                          +-------------------------+

------------------------------------Overview------------------------------------

This is it – the final course.  Every Mario Kart game features a Rainbow Road
(although I liked the one in Mario Kart 64 better than this one), and they are
always long, hard, and fun.  This particular Rainbow Road takes place over
Mushroom City, by the way.  Once you've mastered this track, you will keep
coming back (rhyme unintended).  Now, on with the show!

-------------------------------------Guide--------------------------------------

Take off from the start to drive into a boost pad.  Yes, a lot of the level
takes place in the air.  You'll be launched onto a road made of rainbow, and
you'll want to drive straight down, mini-boosting as you go.  After a turn that
is quite mini-boost-able, you'll have to drift around a U-turn for a few item
boxes and then around the next U-turn (it has no rail, and so drifting is a
life-saver).

Now drive down the road to boost off of the track and onto another long booster.
Boost from it to another and you'll soar to a piece of track titled to its side.
You can use the individual boosters here to increase speed, but it's very risky
for a beginner.  At the end, the track levels itself as you pass under a banana
peel made of rainbow.

Drive forward, turning about each bend, to mini-boost into a set of boosters
that lead to the elevator of the level.  You'll rise up to the top and then fall
down onto another piece of track.  Shift to the left and slowly move right to
catch the first three boosters, and then move to the center to reach the fourth.
You'll speed right to a new part of the course.

This could possibly be the second-longest turn in the game (the turn in Wario
Colosseum is the longest).  Drift around it, holding R and the control stick
tilted fully to the right, and you'll reach the finish line.

----------------------------Strategic Trap Locations----------------------------

- On any of the individual boost pads toward the end (before the big turn).

- In the part of the track that is at an angle with many booster pads on it.
Hit that and they fall right off the course!

- On the S-turn right after the part of the track mentioned above, especially
beneath the Bowser's Shell in the sky.

- On the last part of any boost pad, especially ramps.  If they hit it, they
will tumble down to the city below, and Lakitu will have to rescue them.

- Right after landing from a ramp.  Everyone has to land around there, right?
So, it's almost a guaranteed hit.

- Immediately after landing from the elevator.

- In the center of the final turn.

Now watch the Credits (or press any button to skip them) and be proud.

================================================================================
=================================All Cup Tour*==================================
================================================================================

A sixteen-course race on every single track you have.  This isn't that tough,
because you make amazing comebacks, but it is still there.  To unlock it you
must beat Special Cup at 150 CC.  Beat this on 150 CC and you'll unlock Mirror
Mode.

What's nice about the ACT is that it requires less skill.  That is, you can rack
up points in the easier cups and then just sail through Special Cup getting
mediocre places like 3rd and still win by points.  And usually, about halfway
through the tour, the third place racer will suddenly start winning second
place,
thus reducing your main competitors' scores.

================================================================================
==================================Mirror Mode*==================================
================================================================================

Everything is backwards!  This is essentially 150 CC reversed.  As such, it is
brutally hard.  If you want a guide for it, just think of "left" as "right" and
vice versa in the main guide.  Since you're used to the normal flow of things,
it can be very difficult (150 cc is pretty hard anyways) at first, but you'll
get used to it eventually.  There isn't that much to say, I guess.  But, good
luck!

================================================================================
==================================Time Trial*===================================
================================================================================

You can race by yourself to try to get good times.  This is good for unlocking
the ghosts of the tracks.  A ghost is an apparition that shows how you drove the
last time you played this time trial (if you restart).  But, there are special
ghosts that resemble the producers of the game.  To unlock them, you must get
godly times.  Here's how (you must either get this time or beat it).

                     +------------------------------------+
                     |    Luigi Circuit: 1: 29: 000       |
                     |    Peach Beach: 1: 15: 000         |
                     |    Baby Park: 1: 14: 000           |
                     |    Dry Dry Desert: 1: 53: 000      |
                     |    Mushroom Bridge: 1: 34: 000     |
                     |    Mario Circuit: 1: 44: 000       |
                     |    Daisy Cruiser: 1: 55: 000       |
                     |    Waluigi Stadium: 2: 02: 000     |
                     |    Sherbet Land: 1: 28: 000        |
                     |    Mushroom City: 1: 53: 000       |
                     |    Yoshi Circuit: 2: 02: 000       |
                     |    DK Mountain: 2: 15: 000         |
                     |    Wario Colosseum: 2: 24: 000     |
                     |    Dino Dino Jungle: 2: 03: 000    |
                     |    Bowser's Castle: 2: 47: 000     |
                     |    Rainbow Road: 3: 19: 000        |
                     +------------------------------------+

I suggest making use of all shortcuts that you can for any given track.  Use
Mushrooms wisely, and only use mini-boosts when it is very easy to do so (don't
try to do one and crash into a wall).  Drift along turns, restart if you don't
get a rocket start, and good luck.

================================================================================
====================================Secrets*====================================
================================================================================

To make it easy for everyone, I'm listing all the secrets right here so that you
don't have to search through the walkthrough.  Here they are.

-------------------------------------50 CC--------------------------------------

Mushroom Cup: Green Fire (kart)
Flower Cup: Bloom Coach (kart)
Star Cup: Para Wing (kart)
Special Cup: Bullet Blaster (kart)
All Cup Tour: Nothing

-------------------------------------100 CC-------------------------------------

Mushroom Cup: Rattle Buggy (kart)
Flower Cup: Waluigi Race (kart)
Star Cup: Special Cup (Mode)
Special Cup: Toad, Toadette, and Toad Kart (racers & kart)
All Cup Tour: Nothing

-------------------------------------150 CC-------------------------------------

Mushroom Cup: Luigi's Mansion (Battle Arena)
Flower Cup: Turbo Birdo (kart)
Star Cup: Barrel Train (kart)
Special Cup: All Cup Tour (Mode)
All Cup Tour: Mirror Mode (Mode)

----------------------------------Mirror Mode-----------------------------------

Mushroom Cup: Toadette Kart (kart)
Flower Cup: Tilt - A – Kart (Battle Arena)
Star Cup: Petey Piranha, King Boo, and Piranha Pipes (racers & kart)
Special Cup: Boo Pipes (kart)
All Cup Tour: Parade Kart (kart)

-------------------------------Time Trial Ghosts--------------------------------

Luigi Circuit: 1: 29: 000
Peach Beach: 1: 15: 000
Baby Park: 1: 14: 000
Dry Dry Desert: 1: 53: 000
Mushroom Bridge: 1: 34: 000
Mario Circuit: 1: 44: 000
Daisy Cruiser: 1: 55: 000
Waluigi Stadium: 2: 02: 000
Sherbet Land: 1: 28: 000
Mushroom City: 1: 53: 000
Yoshi Circuit: 2: 02: 000
DK Mountain: 2: 15: 000
Wario Colosseum: 2: 24: 000
Dino Dino Jungle: 2: 03: 000
Bowser's Castle: 2: 47: 000
Rainbow Road: 3: 19: 000

There you have it.  Everything you can unlock.  In case you wanted to know, Toad
and Toadette are lightweights, but King Boo and Petey Piranha are heavyweights.
The special of Toad and Toadette is the golden mushroom, but Petey and King Boo
can use anyone's special at random.  Also, if you get a Gold Trophy in every cup
of every mode, the title screen changes to include all characters.  There is
also a new ending scene (the original was Mario and Peach; the new one is of all
the characters on Mario Circuit).
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   __________________________________________________________________________
  /                                                                          \
 /                                                                            \
||--------------------------------Section 3*----------------------------------||
 \                                                                            /
  \__________________________________________________________________________/

================================================================================
===============================Multi-Player Mode*===============================
================================================================================

So, what's more fun – slide-attacking a computerized opponent or slide-attacking
your friends in Versus Mode?  The second choice?  I thought so.  Here's a run-
down of the multi-player experience, from Grand Prix to Battle Mode.

                              +------------------+
                              |    Grand Prix    |
                              +------------------+

Double your chances of winning by using two players!  Really, this mode is
harder because the screen is divided.  This mode is not available to more than
two players at once.

                                +--------------+
                                |    Versus    |
                                +--------------+

Play against your friends on Time Trial Tracks!  That is all.

                                +--------------+
                                |    Battle    |
                                +--------------+

Okay, this I have to talk about.  There are six arenas and three games.  First,
there is Balloon Battle.  You and your opponents have three balloons.  Pop them
with items to win (you can also use slide-attacks to steal balloons).  Note that
you can steal balloons by using Mushrooms.

Then there's Shine Thief.  It is basically tag, and the "it" is the one with the
Shine.  If you're not hit before time is up with the Shine, you win.  I suggest
using teamwork to corner the "it" if you don't have it.

Then there is Bob-Omb Blast.  Like Balloon Battle, except there are no balloons
and you just use Bob-ombs to score five hits.  This can get kind of cheap when
everyone thinks that you should've been hit by their blast, but I won't delve
into that.  Now, let's discuss the arenas.

                                  -----------
                                  Cookie Land
                                  -----------

In Super Mario World, there was a Cookie Mountain that Ludwig von Koopa built
his fortress upon at the end of the Cheese Bridge.  In the same game, there was
also a Chocolate Island.  Other than that, this is just your run-of-the-mill
Mario arena.

This is a small arena.  You can "surprise" attack enemies by throwing items over
the toppings, This is pretty tough to play on in Shine Thief, and so I'd suggest
running around the outer rim and slipping into the central area if someone's
coming at you.

                                   ----------
                                   Block City
                                   ----------

This is a stripped-down version of a really fun level in Mario Kart 64.  This is
definitely the most intricate of the starter arenas.  There are several roads
that you can take, and intersections are deadly.  As such, Bob-omb Battles here
are great (try throwing bombs over objects), and Shine Thief gives the "it" the
advantage in that they can hide in multiple places.  And fighting can be sneaky
here, too, in Balloon Battles.  If battling, note that there are two dead-ends
by the red and yellow block masses.  If you're being chased, you're a sitting
duck there; steer clear if you can help it (or chase people into it).

                                ---------------
                                Luigi's Mansion
                                ---------------

This is the best arena, in my opinion.  In 2001, the Game Cube was launched.
Among its launch titles was a game called Luigi's Mansion, an adventure starring
Luigi chronicling how the big L rescued Mario from the insidious King Boo, who
tricked the brothers into coming to a haunted mansion that they supposedly won
in a contest they didn't even enter.  They even have pictures of some of the
ghosts from the game along the walls in this trick, from Chauncey to Boolossus
to Madame Clairvoya to the fake Bowser costume that King Boo used to fight Luigi
in on the rooftop of the mansion.

This is a huge course compared to the rest.  There are a series of inter-
connecting hallways in the "basement," and there's also a rooftop area with a
hole that you can use to fall down into the main level.  As a result, it is
ideal for running away in Shine Thief, and it makes for an interesting Bob-omb
or Balloon Battle.

                               -----------------
                               Nintendo Gamecube
                               -----------------

Now here's advertising.  You're battling on top of a gigantic Nintendo Game
Cube,
and a Mario Kart: Double Dash!! disc is in right now.  Also, there are invisible
walls along each side to prevent you from falling off.  Shine Thief and Bob-omb
Blast are fun here because you can see everything at once, and Balloon Battles
are short due to the ease of item use.

                                   ----------
                                   Pipe Plaza
                                   ----------

Mario is a plumber, and that means he wants to own the rest of the characters in
a comfortable setting.  There are four pipes, and they connect with each other.
The ground pipes connect with the grate pipes next to them.  You can take these
pipes to avoid attacks or run with the Shine Sprite.  But, in Balloon Battles at
least, there is a way to be invulnerable.  Thanks to a glitch, if you hit an
item that would normally cause you to lose a balloon, such as a shell, and it
knocks you into a pipe, you'll emerge from the pipe with all balloons intact.
So, you could feasibly stand in front of a pipe and never lose a balloon (except
to certain attacks, like Bob-ombs and Mushrooms).  Have fun frustrating your
friends!

                                 -------------
                                 Tilt- A –Kart
                                 -------------

It's 8-bit Mario jumping from Super Mario Bros. on the NES.  And for some odd
reason, it tilts occasionally, sending item boxes and unwary players tumbling
over the edge.  In Balloon Battle, falling off the edge counts as being hit.
Note that the Shine Sprite will not fall off if untaken.  If you are playing
Shine Thief and you're about to be overtaken by an opponent, drive off the edge.
Items won't stay around for long, and precise aim is the key to victory here.
Bob-omb Blasts are very interesting in this rather large arena.

================================================================================
======================================FAQ*======================================
================================================================================

This game is going to be replaced by a new Mario Kart game on the Nintendo DS,
but I still receive questions from time to time.  Here are answers to common
questions so that you don't have to e-mail me.  If you're certain that your
question isn't answered in the guide, give me an e-mail.

Question: I beat the (whatever) Cup but I didn't unlock (whatever).
Answer: There are two possibilities in this case.  Either you already unlocked
it and cannot unlock it again, or you didn't win the Gold Trophy.  You need to
come in first place to unlock stuff.

Question: How do I play in LAN Mode?
Answer: Do not ask about this.  Just don't.  I don't play in LAN mode, but I
understand this is the mode where you can play with seven friends using two
televisions and two Game Cubes.  I don't know how to do it so do not ask.
Consult the manual if you have a question.

Question: What's the best character combination?
Answer: It all depends on your style of play.  Personally, I use Koopa +
Paratroopa in the Para-Wing.  This is a light combo, because I'm better with
lighter characters.  It's all about how you take to the controls.  Also, special
items can influence your choice.  Paratroopa, for example, has three red shells
as his special.  Pretty nifty, eh?  Then you have characters like Baby Mario,
whose special comes in handy in a sixth place crisis.  And there's also the
question of acceleration versus actual speed.  You should also consider weight
class.  You have to have pretty good control to use heavyweights, while
lightweights allow for quick recoveries if you tend to drive all over the place.

Question: What games do you have guides for?
Answer: Quite a few.  When I wrote this guide originally, I only had ones for
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life,
Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Sonic Heroes before this guide,
listed in order of their original creation.  But, I've added many new games to
my repertoire since then.  You can see the full list here:

http://www.gamefaqs.com/features/recognition/46879.html

Question: Can I use your guide(s) on my site?
Answer: No.  See my legal section for details.

Question: I'm bored, talk to me/what's your favorite color/how old are you/why
is the sky blue/do you have a dog/[other pointless drivel]?
Answer: Do not send me personal questions. Do not send me intentionally stupid
e-mail.  Just don't.  They will not be responded to.  Sorry, but I have better
things to do than talk to complete strangers on the Internet.  My e-mail is
given strictly for helping you with the game if the answer to your question is
not in the guide.  Don't ask me personal questions or otherwise purposely
idiotic questions (i.e. "do you know the muffin man?").  Yes, I may have rather
strict contact rules, but I'm really not that much of a jerk in real life.  Just
like the notice in my Harvest Moon guide, it is just to deter e-mail.

Question: How can I contact you?
Answer: I only take e-mail.  Do NOT IM me, as it will not be responded to.  My
e-mail address is at the top of the guide - Kirby0215@aol.com - and caps don't
matter.  When e-mailing me, please do the following: write in readable English
(I understand most slang and I can look past most misspellings), include "Mario
Kart: Double Dash" in the subject line, ask a question not answered in the
guide,
be as specific as possible, and don't flame me.  I usually respond to e-mail
within a day or two of it being sent, but that might not always be the case.
Also, don't send me Spam, chain letters, "tags," anything that needs to be
forwarded, etc.  If you do send me chain letters or tags, I will block you.
Yes,
I have had problems with repeat chain-senders in the past.  Finally, no, there
is not a limit to the number of questions you can ask me.  BUT LOOK IN THE GUIDE
BEFORE YOU SEND THEM!!!  Thank you.

And please, do not send me additions to the guide or corrections.  The guide is
fine as it is, and it'd have to be a great new tidbit for me to include it.  I
do not want e-mail like "You forgot to put a comma in one place!" or something
like that.  Honestly, I dislike making updates for insignificant things such as
this, which is why I wait a few months to make multiple updates at once.  I'm
hoping that this new update – as of June 27, 2005 – will include everything, but
you never know.  Anyways, onto the legal section...
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   __________________________________________________________________________
  /                                                                          \
 /                                                                            \
||--------------------------------Section 4*----------------------------------||
 \                                                                            /
  \__________________________________________________________________________/

================================================================================
=========================Credits and Legal Information*=========================
================================================================================

I know everybody just skipped down here right away.  This is the best part,
after all.  But let's get real.

                               +---------------+
                               |    Credits    |
                               +---------------+

For credits, I'd like to thank the game makers and myself.  Those are the only
people who helped me write this walkthrough originally.  But lately, some other
people have helped me out.  Let's list them here.

- iain@tormore.plus.com for information on Moo Moo Farm.
- Props to Annainct, who sent me a shortcut tip about Yoshi Circuit.
- Jp_jacket_52, who sent in a tip on Bowser's Castle.
- pelolep@yahoo.com, for explaining the origins of Peach's heart item.
- spacepope4u, a contributor here on GameFaqs.  I learned a lot of info about
Mario from his Mario Series Character Guide, and I recommend it to any Mario
fan.
It's simply the best character encyclopedia on the net.  Check it out.
- Gamefaqs.com for posting my walkthrough.

That's it for now, but there could be more.  Now the legal section!

                            +---------------------+
                            |    Legal Section    |
                            +---------------------+

First, I take no credit in the production, distribution, translating,
programming, or otherwise creating the game.  That credit goes to the various
companies that did make this game.

Second, this walkthrough is Copyright 2004-2005 Brian McPhee.

Third, all trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by
their respective trademark and copyright holders.

This may not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal, private
use.  It may not be placed on any website or otherwise distributed publicly
without advance written permission from myself, Brian McPhee.  Use of this guide
on any other website or as part of a public display is strictly prohibited and
violation of copyright.  Only gamefaqs.com may use this guide.

Maybe I'll revive more of my past walkthroughs, or write new ones.  There's only
one way to find out, though.  Keep reading and I'll keep writing.  See ya later.

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