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Updated: 11/13/2005

Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

This guide was written by, and is copyrighted to, Ryan Parra. If you 
have any questions about the guide, or if you would like to ask my 
permission to use this guide elsewhere, then email me at 
ChaosUnit22@aol.com, or Instant Message me at ChaosUnit22. Don't use 
this guide and claim it as your own. If you want to use it, ask me 
first. Even if I say yes, you still have to give me the credit.



Mario Kart: Double Dash!! is the latest installment in a series of 
Mario Bros. multiplayer racing games. Like most good games specifically 
intended for multiplayer festivities, this game has no real plot, other 
than, "One day everyone in the Mushroom Kingdom decided to get together 
and race". If you're a fan of the Mario Kart series, you'll recognize a 
lot of things from the older games, like favorite items such as the 
Spiny Shell, or characters like Mario and Bowser. New to this game is 
the fact that you have two players in one kart. You can even have a 
friend over and race co-op with him/her or you can take control of both 
racers by yourself. Additionally, each character pair gets his/her own 
set of Special Items to use. As you play, you'll unlock new modes, 
characters and karts. 


Characters & Karts.

This section describes the playable characters and their karts. Note 
that with the karts, only pure statistics and no real background 
information is given. Also, many of the karts, and some of the 
characters, must first be unlocked. Since each car holds two players, 
remember that a character cannot ride in a kart with a smaller weight 
class. Additionally, characters cannot ride higher-weight class karts 
unless accompanied by a character that matches the kart's weight class. 
Each character and each kart has its own weight class, with the 
exception of one special kart that can hold any weight combination of 


Mario & Luigi.
It should be no surprise to anyone as to why the ever-famous stars of 
Nintendo have appeared in this game. Both Mario and Luigi are medium-
weight racers.

Donkey Kong & Diddy Kong.
These apes love bananas, hence why they wield the mighty fruit as a 
Special Item. Donkey is a heavy character, though Diddy is a 

Daisy & Peach.
Daisy is new to the Mario Kart scene. Like Peach, she is a medium-
weight character, though its interesting to note Peach was a light 
character in her 64' version.

Koopa & Paratroopa.
These enemies from the Mushroom Kingdom seem friendly now. Both can use 
a barrage of either Green or Red Shells. Additionally, both are light 
characters (probably aided by Paratroopa's lofty wings).

Baby Mario & Baby Luigi.
These babies are as expected, lightweight characters. Though they're 
still in diapers, they seem able enough to drive karts and even control 
the ferocious Chain Chomps!

Yoshi & Birdo.
Ooh, look. Yoshi got a girlfriend. Birdo hasn't appeared in a game for 
a while, but proves to be an able driver. Yoshi, like Peach, was a 
lightweight but now is a medium-weighted character, as is Birdo.

Bowser & Bowser Jr.
Bowser is well known as being the monstrous nemesis of Mario. His son 
is Bowser Jr., an equally troublesome Koopa. Bowser is obviously a 
heavy character, though Bowser Jr. is a light character.

Wario & Waluigi.
Like the Bowser family, these guys are evil and sneaky. They are also 
quite dangerous (to themselves and others) with their arsenal of Bob-
ombs. Wario is a heavy character while Waluigi is a medium-weight.

Toad & Toadette.
These stars from the previous Mario Kart game appear as unlock-able, 
hidden characters. Actually, Toadette is completely new to racing. Both 
of these guys are lightweights. 

King Boo & Petey Piranha.
These two troublemakers are also hidden characters. While they are both 
heavy (how does a ghost weight anything?!), they are interesting 
because of their Special Item. Rather than using their own, these two 
can randomly acquire any other player's item when they snag an Item Box 
(in addition to any regular item). This includes Mario's Fireballs, 
Toad's Super Mushrooms, Donkey Kong's Giant Banana and more. 
Nevertheless, the better the item, the farther back you have to be in 
rank to get the item. Both of these characters appeared in relatively 
recent games; Luigi's Mansion and Super Mario Sunshine, respectively.


Goo-Goo Buggy.
Weight Class: Light
Speed *
Acceleration *****
Weight **

Rattle Buggy.
Weight Class: Light
Speed **
Acceleration ****
Weight **

Koopa Dasher.
Weight Class: Light
Speed **
Acceleration ****
Weight **

Para Wing.
Weight Class: Light
Speed *
Acceleration *****
Weight **

Barrel Train.
Weight Class: Light
Speed ****
Acceleration **
Weight ***

Bullet Blaster
Weight Class: Light
Speed ****
Acceleration ***
Weight *

Toad Kart.
Weight Class: Light
Speed **
Acceleration ****
Weight **

Toadette Kart.
Weight Class: Light
Speed *
Acceleration *****
Weight **

Red Fire.
Weight Class: Medium
Speed ***
Acceleration ***
Weight ***

Green Fire.
Weight Class: Medium
Speed ****
Acceleration **
Weight **

Heart Coach.
Weight Class: Medium
Speed **
Acceleration ****
Weight ***

Bloom Coach.
Weight Class: Medium
Speed ***
Acceleration ***
Weight **

Turbo Yoshi.
Weight Class: Medium
Speed **
Acceleration ****
Weight ***

Turbo Birdo.
Weight Class: Medium
Speed ***
Acceleration ***
Weight ****

Waluigi Racer.
Weight Class: Medium
Speed ***
Acceleration ***
Weight ***

Piranha Pipes.
Weight Class: Heavy
Speed ****
Acceleration **
Weight ***** 

Boo Pipes
Weight Class: Heavy
Speed **
Acceleration ****
Weight *****

Wario Car.
Weight Class: Heavy
Speed ****
Acceleration **
Weight ****

DK Jumbo.
Weight Class: Heavy
Speed ****
Acceleration **
Weight ****

Koopa King.
Weight Class: Heavy
Speed *****
Acceleration *
Weight *****

Parade Kart.
Weight Class: All
Speed ****
Acceleration ***
Weight ****
Note: This glamorous golden kart, unlocked at the very end of the game, 
can hold any combination of characters.



When racing, you can use several items to help you get to first place. 
They vary from defensive or power-up items to offensive attack items. 
Each character even comes with his/her own set of Special Items, 
something new to the Mario Kart series. To get an item you need to 
drive through the Item Boxes that appear across the stage. 

Item Box.
Touch this colorful box and it will randomly give you an item to use. 
The item you get depends largely on your position. For example, if 
you're in first place, you'll most often get simpler items like Green 
Shells or Bananas, but you'll never get a Star or a Spiny Shell. 
Likewise, if you're in dead last, you'll have a much better chance of 
getting those rare items. If you are already holding an item, you can't 
grab an additional item.

Double Item Box.
Occasionally, you'll find an Item Box that's actually two boxes stacked 
together. This simply lets both of your characters to hold items; when 
the rear character uses the item, they'll switch places with the driver 
so that they can use their item. Other than that, Double Item Boxes 
work exactly like regular Item Boxes.

Dropped Items.
When a character holding an item gets hit by something strong (like an 
explosion) or goes off course too far, they will drop their item. There 
are other ways to get dropped items to appear, such as by hitting the 
Mushroom Karts in certain stages, or by using the Yoshi's/Birdo's Egg 
item. By touching a dropped item, it will affect you instantly. Some 
are beneficial, like the common Mushrooms, but others you'll want to 
avoid, like dropped Bob-ombs. 

Standard Items.

Bananas are most common when your in the lead, or close too it. When 
used, the Banana will be left on the path as a hazard; any kart that 
drives over one will slip up and spin out of control. Bananas are most 
strategically placed around curves, especially if there is no guardrail 
along the outer curve to stop a Banana-purged kart from tumbling into 
nothingness. Bananas can also be used to block other items like shells, 
and they can be thrown forward or backwards.

Green Shell.
Another common sight when in the head of the pack is the Green Shell. 
When fired, these Koopa shells will travel along a straight path, 
bouncing off the edges of the stage until they hit something or 
someone. When it strikes a player, Green Shells will cause them to 
tumble and lose a lot of speed. Be careful though, since a bouncing 
Green Shell can ricochet right back to you. Green Shells can also be 
launched backwards.

Red Shell.

Red Shells are similar to Green Shells, but have one added benefit. The 
have homing capabilities and will pursue the kart in front of you until 
they are hit. However, a Red Shell does not bounce, so if it hits an 
obstacle, it will shatter. Red Shells can be fired backwards to, but 
will lose their homing capabilities this way. Another interesting fact 
about the Red Shell is that if you have one behind you, you will hear 
an alarm and you'll get a picture of the Red Shell on the bottom of 
your screen. This can help you prepare for dodging it.

Spiny Shell.
Quite simply, the Spiny Shell is the most devastating item in the game. 
One could go so far as to say it's got its own disposition, or sense of 
power. When fired, Spiny Shells rocket across the land and hunt down 
the player in the lead position. They will then home in on their target 
and strike with a devastating blue explosion. Any kart caught in the 
immediate blast radius will lose their items and be hurled upwards, and 
any player that drives through the explosion afterwards will spin out. 
Obviously, such a powerful item is only available to players who need 
it; those in the rear. If somehow you're able to hold on to a Spiny 
Shell and get into first place, the Spiny Shell will turn right back 
around and hit you when you launch it. A Spiny Shell is nearly 
unstoppable. You can only protect yourself from one using a Star 
(which, when your in the lead is unlikely), or by traveling within a 
vortex (the DK Mountain barrel cannon or the Rainbow Road tunnel) when 
the shell hits. Lastly, the Spiny Shell, like the Red Shell, gives 
warning to you by way of a small depiction on the bottom of your 
screen. If you're in first place and you see this, read it as, "You're 
screwed because your about to have an explosive rocket covered in 
spikes and traveling at 200 mph ram into you". Spiny Shells don't 
appear in Battle Mode.

Fake Item.
These nasty traps look just like Item Boxes when set, except they have 
a reddish color to them, and the question mark inside them appears 
upside-down. When another player touches it, they will tumble and 
crash. Obviously, the best place to put a Fake Items is near a cluster 
of real Item Boxes, or anywhere that thy will be hard to avoid. You can 
also give anyone that's tailgating you a nasty surprise by letting this 
loose in their face.

Mushrooms give your kart fuel to go faster, allowing you to get a short 
burst of speed. They are essential for accessing some of the games 
hidden shortcuts, and are all-around useful for getting ahead in a 
race. Mushrooms are also found near Goomba populations and Mushroom 

Triple Mushrooms.
Basically a Mushroom, except you get three. The only real trick to 
using this item is that you should wait until the previous boost you 
use has completely spent itself out before burning the next Mushroom. 
Because the player juggles these items, a traumatic impact will cause 
you to lose all but one of your prized fungi. Triple Mushrooms are most 
common to players in the rear.

This useful power-up makes your kart invincible for a short period of 
time. Not only will you be impervious to any and all other items, but 
you'll also go faster, and you won't be restricted by off-road driving. 
Touch a player while under a Star's influence and you'll cause them to 
bounce backwards, and you'll get to steal any item they where holding. 
The only thing you can't do with a Star is fall of a stage. If you do, 
you'll lose your invincibility. Stars almost never appear unless you 
are in the rear. 

The Thunderbolt is a favorite of those unlucky enough be tailing in the 
race. Use one and all other players will be struck by a bolt of 
electricity. The bolt will cause them to spin out, drop their items and 
shrink. When shrunk, players will move at slower speeds and be 
susceptible to more damage when a full-sized kart collides with them. 
The shrinking effect is only temporary though. Thunderbolts also affect 
other things in a racecourse, like Piranha Plants, who will be dazed 
for a few seconds when the lightning strikes.

Special Items.

Mario and Luigi can pelt balls of flame either forward or backwards, 
which will divide into multiple fireballs for increased effectiveness. 
Fireballs that touch enemies cause them to spin out and catch on fire. 
The fireballs also bounce of walls, so a good place to use them would 
be a narrow path.

Giant Banana.
This jumbo-sized, angry-faced, potassium-filled hazard is used by 
Donkey and Diddy Kong. They work just like regular Bananas and can even 
be thrown forward. Giant Bananas however, are much harder to maneuver 
around and are pretty much indestructible when it comes to being shot 
at by other items (like Green Shells). Additionally, when a player hits 
a Giant Banana, the banana will split into three regular Bananas to add 
to the hazard. 

Heart shields are used by Peach and Daisy. Hearts surround the players' 
kart in a protective shield that will allow them to absorb other items. 
If, for example, you fire a Red Shell at a player using a Heart shield, 
the shell will instead by absorbed by the hearts and be usable by that 
player. Also, if a player using the Hearts runs over a dropped Banana 
or Fake Item, that item harmlessly becomes theirs to use. Hearts last 
until you manage to absorb two items.

Triple Shells.
Like the standard Triple Mushrooms item, Koopa and Paratroopa's Triple 
Shells item simply lets them use three Green or Red Shells at once. 
Green Shells fired in threes can be very unpredictable, while a trio of 
Red Shells should easily get you ahead by a position or two with their 
homing capabilities. While you can't get thee Spiny Shells with this, 
both color shells can be acquired by both Koopa and Paratroopa.

Chain Chomp.
While Chain Chomps can be found naturally tethered within the Luigi and 
Mario Circuit racecourses, Baby Mario and Baby Luigi have their own 
legion of these ferocious beasts. This fun item will unleash a Chain 
Chomp that will drag your kart through the course at a faster speed 
than normal. The chomp, in its destructive rampage, will take out any 
character or trap in your path, so not only is it an enjoyable free 
ride, but it clears the path for you as well. It's impossible to tell 
when the Chain Chomp will break free of your grip, so be ready for when 
it does escape. A released Chain Chomp will continue through the course 
until it hits something like a wall or large obstacle. Like Red and 
Spiny Shells, the Chain Chomp produces an image of itself when it's 
behind you.

Yoshi's & Birdo's Egg.
Yoshi and Birdo can supply colorful eggs that can be rolled down the 
course or thrown backwards. When rolled forwards, the eggs behave like 
Red Shells, seeking out the player in front of you. The eggs even give 
that player a warning image when it gets near. Unlike a Red Shell 
however, the eggs will break open on contact and release three random 
items, similar to the Giant Banana. The items vary from Mushrooms, 
Stars, Green Shells and Bananas to even Bob-ombs. 

Bowser's Shell.
Bowser and his offspring can use the colossal Bowser's Shell, a giant, 
spiked shell that bounces down the road, wiping out anything in its 
way. Like the Green Shell, this item can't home in on anything, but it 
can bounce off walls and obstacles. The shell won't break when it hits 
an enemy, but it will vanish after some time. Anyone hit by this beast 
will lose their items as well.

The villainous Waluigi and Wario use these explosives. Bob-ombs are the 
wildcards of this game; highly unpredictable, they cause destruction to 
friend and foe alike. Bob-ombs can be thrown forward or dropped along 
the course. They'll detonate when a player or item hits them, or a few 
seconds after launch. The explosion that follows is similar to a Spiny 
Shell blast; players drop their items, get thrown in the air and most 
likely lose their position in the race. Its better to drop one for 
players behind you, since tossing one forward means that by the time it 
goes boom, you might have caught up to it to catch the blast. Bob-ombs 
play an important role in Battle Mode's Bob-omb Blast mode.

Super Mushroom.
The two hidden characters, Toad and Toadette use this ultimate fungus. 
Once activated, the Super Mushroom will stay with you, meaning you can 
keep tapping buttons to keep pumping fungus fuel into your kart. The 
Super Mushroom should easily boost you up to a good spot in the race, 
but when you go that fast you'll have less control of your kart. Super 
Mushrooms don't stay with you forever.



These are the actual courses in which the races will take place. The 
courses are divided amongst cups, which initially you get three of 
(Mushroom Cup, Flower Cup and Star Cup). Later you can unlock the 
Special Cup, and then the All Cup Tour, which is a composite of all 
four cups. Some courses vary slightly depending on what difficulty (cc) 
you are playing.

~Mushroom Cup~

Luigi Circuit.

The very first stage is also one of the simplest and it hasn't changed 
much since its '64 days. Start by boosting off the first ramp, then 
head down the two-way straightaway. Sometimes, a divider will separate 
the two lanes, depending on the difficulty. Near the end you can grab 
some Item Boxes, and you can also turn right to take a shortcut behind 
the Chain Chomp's court. There are a few Item Boxes in this path, but 
the threat of the Chain Chomp usually deters most drivers.

The road will curve around and come back to the straightaway next. You 
can use the dash panels on top of the outer-edge ramp, but it's quicker 
to power slide along the inner curve. Grab the items, and then get back 
onto the straightaway, avoiding karts coming at you. 

The course is basically the same as you head back, but there's no Chain 
Chomp to worry about on the return trip. Grab the Items at the end of 
the straightaway, as well as the ones by the curve before the finish 
line. You can take a hidden path at the end of the returning 
straightaway by turning right at a path. This isn't recommended as it's 
not really a shortcut and it may cost you some time getting to it. 
Continue curving around to the finish line.

Peach Beach.

This course is fairly easy, but it's also easy for opponents to get a 
big lead here. When starting off, you'll approach your first set of 
Item Boxes right before the shoreline. These are valuable since there 
won't be much cover once a kart hits the beach. Also, after the initial 
straightaway, you can turn left to head into a warp tunnel. Doing this 
will most likely put you in last place, but at least you get a Double 
Item Box. Most likely, the items you get will be good ones. 

Once you reach the shores, the path will fork. Take the normal path by 
going right, but watch out for the Cataquaks. These duck-like beach 
denizens will approach you if they spot you, and if you touch one it 
will flip you up into the air. Use shells, Stars, Thunderbolts or Chain 
Chomps to knock out a Cataquack. Go left at the fork to use the boost 
ramp with the Item Boxes perched on top of it. Just be sure to grab a 
Mushroom beforehand because the high tide will slow you down 
considerably. If you're lucky, the tide will be down so that you can 
pass easily. 

After the first section of the beach, you'll pass a curve that turns 
right. Take the Item Boxes here and prepare for more Cataquack dodging. 
Follow the beach until you get to paved road. The next bit of track has 
a couple of Item Boxes that slide from side to side. Don't bother 
swerving to try and get one, since going straight will usually let you 
get one. Up ahead is the finish line, but if you're on your first or 
second lap, take note of the Delfino Fountain on your left. Behind the 
fountain is a set of Double Item Boxes, but their far out of the way, 
so use a Mushroom or Star to balance out the loss of time. 

Baby Park.

This is undoubtedly the simplest course there is. It consists of one 
easy loop, with a cluster of Item Boxes right before each of the two 
turns. Because each lap is small, you get seven laps to complete. This 
stage is perfect for power sliding around the corners as well. The only 
other thing to worry about is the chaotic atmosphere; get a couple of 
Green Shells going and things will get frantic due to the course's 
small size. That doesn't even compare to an unleashed Bowser's Shell or 
two careening around the place. Also, if using a Chain Chomp, beware 
that a passing rollercoaster doesn't knock the chomp out of commission.

Dry Dry Desert.

This course is fairly long, and it's got a fair share of interesting 
traps to trip up the unwary racer. Once you start, make sure you grab 
an Item Box from the first cluster that appears. As you continue, the 
path will take some sharp curves around the sand. Stay on the track, 
since the sand will slow you down a lot. Use Mushrooms to get an 
advantage by boosting through the sand. 

At the end of the curvy nightmare are a few Item Boxes. Beware of the 
sand twister as well. The tornado will suck you up and lose you a lot 
of time. It will also inhale items as well, such as Green Shells, and 
send them for a spin. Past this section is the quicksand deathtrap. The 
large area in the middle is quicksand that will suck you into the 
center, which is where a Piranha Plant lurks. You can boost out of the 
sandpit, but otherwise you'll either become plant food or be slowed 
down. To avoid this altogether, take the path around the sandpit. The 
beginning of the pit (where the path forks) is a good spot to lay some 
traps or fire off some shells to trip up the opposition and send them 
tumbling into the center. 

Continue past the pit to a set of Item Boxes. The next area is wide, 
bumpy terrain that's home to a few cacti creatures. These things, 
pending on the difficulty, can also be seen in the beginning section 
where all the curves where. They are nothing too dangerous to worry 
about, but watch out for the ones that bend over and use their heads as 
additional obstacles. Often times there will be Item Boxes situated in 
between the cacti, but if you want to be safe, go for the ones 
scattered around the rest of this large area, including the ones on top 
of the hills. 

Next are more Item Boxes and another dusty whirlwind. Avoid that and 
take the relatively calm path to the finish line. Watch out so that you 
don't bump into the structure that's next to the finish line. That, my 
fiends, completes the Mushroom Cup.

~Flower Cup~

Mushroom Bridge.

The Mushroom Bridge introduces a new obstacle to the game: traffic. 
This highway course takes place across a road congested with cars, 
trucks and all sorts of other vehicles. Avoid the cars, since touching 
them will cause a nasty spin out. The good thing is that they don't 
move very fast. Other than the regular varieties, there are three 
special kinds of vehicles to watch for. The first is a Mushroom Kart. 
This vehicle totes an endless supply of Mushrooms, but in order to take 
part in the fungal festivities you need to bump into the kart, and it 
will spill a Mushroom onto the pavement. Another type is the Bob-omb 
Kart. Shaped like large, black Bob-ombs, these karts explode if run 
into or hit with shells. Avoid these at all costs. Finally, watch out 
for the Wiggler Bus. This long, green vehicle can resist even a Star-
influenced racer, and usually brings great annoyance to players who get 
caught under its wheels. There's also a regular bus that behaves 
similarly as well. Anyway, on with the course.

Right from the get-go, you can swerve right to head down a secluded 
path. The path will take you to a warp pipe. Like the pipe in the Peach 
Beach course, this will dump you back on the main road, cost you your 
position and reward you with a Double Item Box. Continue through the 
tunnel, collecting the many Item Boxes scattered between the tires of 
traveling vehicles. 

Upon exiting the tunnel, you'll emerge out onto a section of the course 
with a high concentration of alternate paths (a.k.a. shortcuts). The 
main road goes left and then makes a right turn to a second tunnel. 
However, with a Mushroom or Star, you can boost over the sandy slope 
and cut across to the other side. Without an item, this path will be 
nothing but a chance for opponents to get ahead of you. Also, if you 
take the main road, you can avoid cars by riding on the sidewalk, which 
you can enter by finding gaps in the fence that separates the road from 
the sidewalk. Grab some more items, and then go into the second tunnel.

This tunnel isn't much different than the first. Be careful, because in 
later laps the tunnel will be littered with accumulated Banana peels 
and/or Fake Items. Avoid the cars as usual and continue to the other 
side, where you'll have to make a left turn.

The last stretch of road before the finish line is the Mushroom Bridge 
itself. It's a nice straightaway, with a few Item Boxes scattered here 
and there. To avoid traffic, you could ride on top of the sides of the 
bridge. This is very risky though, since the path is very narrow and 
the dash panels make things even more unnerving. If you fall, you'll 
plummet into the turbulent waters below to be fished out by Lakitu. The 
good thing is there's not traffic here! Anyway, the finish line is 
right after the bridge.

Mario Circuit.

The Mushroom Circuit is this game's main racecourse. It's somewhat like 
a more advanced version of Luigi's course, and it even has got a 
tethered Chain Chomp halfway through the course. When you start, you 
might see the Item Box cluster up ahead at the end of the straightaway. 
Get a good start so that you can snag yourself an early item, 
especially if you see a Double Item Box.

From here, you'll need to make a left turn to continue. Not long after, 
make a sharp right turn and follow the curved road around the Chain 
Chomp. Like the last one, this hungry beast will make short work of 
your kart if contact is made, so try to stay away from the inside edge 
of the track. Alternatively, you can use a Star or Super Mushroom to 
boost through the grass and trees behind the chomp, effectively 
creating yourself a shortcut. Once you get past the Chain Chomp's 
domain, continue towards the castle.

The path here contains a few more Item Boxes, then a right turn towards 
a tunnel that goes under Princess Peach's Castle. The Tunnel isn't 
perfectly straight, but it shouldn't give you much trouble. Watch out 
for wayward Bananas or Green Shells in this tunnel. At the end of the 
tunnel, you'll cross a bridge but the path will be straight for a 
while. Continue through the dirt path, avoiding the hungry Piranha 
Plants growing along the sidelines. These carnivorous plants can stop 
your car cold with their vicious bite, so stay away from the sides. Up 
ahead you'll need to make a sharp left-bound u-turn. 

From here, the path continues in a somewhat right-hand direction over 
some hilly terrain. Grab the items here, since it's your final chance 
before the finish line. Continue past the curves, but avoid the 
Goombas, which will cause a spin out. They can be shot at with shells, 
Thunderbolts, etc. and doing so will cause Mushrooms to appear in the 
road. Look for them on your later laps for an appreciated burst of 
speed before the finish line. Once on paved road, cross the bridge but 
avoid the sides. The finish line is right ahead, but if you hug the 
edges, the two Piranha Plants will take a decent-sized chunk out of you 
and most likely cost you the race.

Daisy Cruiser.

This racecourse takes place aboard a cruise ship. There are a couple of 
shortcuts to take and you might also encounter your first 'vortex'. The 
course itself has a few nasty turns, so make sure you have a good feel 
for the controls by the time you race here. When you start, you'll need 
to go right so that you don't smack the wall. The path beyond has a 
nice cluster of Item Boxes, but the ship's constant rocking makes them 
tumble from side to side, making them slightly more difficult to grab. 
Continue down the ship's deck to a stairway on your left.

Taking the stairs means you'll need to make a sharp turn to go down 
them. The following area is the pool area. Don't fall in the pool or 
you'll fall way behind. Continue around the pool to another shallow set 
of stairs. Note that it's possible to drive behind the pool, but it's 
not worth the time and effort to go there (not to mention its 
dangerous). Anyway, the second stairway curves to the left so keep 
titling in that direction to avoid the wall. 

At the bottom, continue left and race down the lower deck straightaway. 
This hallway is nice for using Bowser's Shell, since there isn't much 
room to outmaneuver the thing. Up ahead is the dining room. Be careful 
here; even though the room is quite large, there are pillars and tables 
that will obstruct you. The tables move, making them that much harder 
to avoid. The good news is that there are a few Item Boxes scattered 
here and there, but they also tumble from side to side, making them a 
pain to get. The exit is along the left end of the upper wall.

Now you'll reach another indoor hallway. Turn right immediately after 
the dining room, and then turn right when the path bends up ahead. 
Along this path you'll see a gaping hole in the ground, which takes you 
through a shortcut. If you choose not to take it, you'll need to 
continue through the halls until you reach the outside deck again. 

Let's say you do decide to drop down into the hole. You'll be in some 
sort of engine room, and all there is to see here is a Double Item Box 
near the exit. This box will always be a double, and it re-spawns 
quickly. Exit via the pipe behind the box. This pipe will blast you out 
onto the main deck. This is what I like to call a 'vortex' section of a 
racetrack. You have no control of your kart as you get blasted, but you 
are invulnerable to things like Thunderbolts and Spiny Shells. This 
particular vortex is quite short unfortunately.

Anyway, once on deck, continue towards the back of the ship, collecting 
items as you go. Turn right and you'll find a final stairway leading to 
the finish line. On the stairway there are two life tubes that you can 
smash through to cause them to swing back and forth. Players who take a 
life tube to the face will spin out. Anyway, turn right diagonally and 
cross the finish line.

Waluigi Stadium.

This course is really more of a dirt bike track, and hence it's got 
tons of jumps, obstacles and bumpy areas. Enjoy! After starting, you'll 
pass over a small bump that spans the width of the track. It's 
unavoidable, but at least you get Item Boxes. Past that is a turn to 
the right that takes you underneath a bridge, over a few minor speed 
bumps. Keep going and you'll hit a larger jump with dash panels built 
onto it. The panels will give you an extra boost as you pass through 
the ring of fire. It's kind of hard to hit the fire, but if you do 
manage to touch it, be ready to feel the burn. Aim so that you boost 
right through the Item Box positioned in the center of the flame ring.

After that, make yet another turn to the right. Again, you'll need to 
clear a jump (which is actually the bridge you just past under) decked 
out with dash panels, through a ring of fire with an Item Box in the 
center. Once you clear that, go for the Item Box cluster in the corner. 
Alternately, use a Mushroom or Star to cut across the darker dirt, 
saving you some time. Turn left and head down the dirt trail.

Next up is obstacle after obstacle. Down this trail are three huge 
pipes, each one housing a monstrous Piranha Plant. The plants 
periodically emerge and withdraw from their lairs, causing a roadblock 
every time they come out. The good news is these kinds don't do 
anything to your kart other than stop it (as if you had hit a wall). In 
other words, you won't be knocked back or spun out. The first and last 
pipe will appear on your left, the second on the right. In between each 
pipe (roughly in the center of the road), you'll have to dodge more 
flame contraptions. These, rather than taking the form of rings, appear 
as three columns of fire that rotate around the center like a windmill. 
Like a mini-windmill you'd find on a miniature golf course, the trick 
is to drive through when there's an opening in the 'blades'. Collect 
Item Boxes as you dodge the many obstacles, and remember to lay Bananas 
or Fake Items, which are particularly nasty here.

After that mess is cleared, loop behind that last Piranha Plant and 
head left. The course will dip into a ditch (which is underneath a jump 
you'll get to in a bit), another dip, and then continue down a 
straightaway until it turns right. Upon turning right, the track will 
make a winding path through some more dark dirt. It slows you down, but 
once again, if you've been hoarding a Mushroom or Star, now is the time 
to use it to get a small lead on the opposition. Wind your way right, 
left, and then right again.

To finish this track, you need to drive over one last jump (don't say I 
didn't warn you about it earlier). Boost over the many dash panels and 
sail through the flame ring. If you're on your first or second lap, try 
snagging the Item Box. Also, if you set a trap right before this (or 
any other) jump, the unlucky racer who slides into it will forfeit 
their boost and tumble into the road below. Bearing that in mind, try 
to avoid such things as Bananas and Fake Items as you make the jumps. 
Now continue forward to the finish line.

~Star Cup~

Sherbet Land.

This course isn't one I'm particularly fond of, but you may think 
different. It's tough for beginners, most likely because of three 
things. For one, there are several nasty obstacles in the track. Two, 
many places on the track are frozen, making control of your kart a 
little tougher than usual. And three: I forgot the third thing. Anyway, 
you'll start on your usual straightaway. Start driving, and then make a 
right turn to come face-to-face with a lovely colony of Item Boxes. 
Snag an early item and continue to the left. 

Here's the first truly nasty part: the frozen pond. As mentioned 
earlier, the ice layer here will hinder your kart handling, making you 
slip and slide everywhere. To make matters worse, the Shy Guys (skating 
ghosts) have decided to have a skating session in this very spot. They 
usually travel in pairs, so you'll have to do some extra-skilled 
maneuvering to slip past them. Of course, just eat up a Star and those 
Shy Guys will think twice about messing with you. However, Star or no 
Star, avoid the right portion of this pond. The ice here is, well, not 
there, but in its place is a section of freezing water. Fall in and 
Lakitu will fish you out as usual, but this time you'll come encased in 
a block of ice. Anyway, continue by going in the tunnel up ahead.

The tunnel slopes downwards, gradually to the right. Near the beginning 
you'll find two unstable Item Boxes that continually glide from left to 
right. Further down, you'll need to avoid a pillar of ice in the center 
of the track as the path makes a left turn. The pillar's innermost side 
has a single Item Box, while to its other side is a pair of them. 
Though you have a better chance at an item by going to the right of the 
ice structure, its quicker to go to its left (it's a good idea to set a 
Fake Item/Banana right next to the pillar). Continue down the path, 
which now slopes downwards and curves to the right once more. 

The exit of the tunnel curves sharply to the left, and if you exit too 
fast you'll end up on the snow bank. There are a few more Item Boxes 
that sort of slide back and forth here. From the tunnel, turn left and 
go down the small straightaway until you have to make a right turn. The 
path now will be slightly curvy, but it won't be much harder than a 
straightaway and you get a group of Item Boxes down the line. Make 
another turn and drive beneath the blue structure that leads to the 
next frozen pond.

Like the one before, you won't get far ahead here if you don't master 
the art of ice racing. Of course, not only must you avoid slick roads, 
but you also have to watch for Freezies. I only know the names of them 
because I've played Super Smash Bros. Melee. And just like in that 
game, contact with these ice blocks will cause you to be temporarily 
encased in a block of ice, rendering you immobile. Additionally, 
Freezies have a bounce quality to them; if you get frozen by one, 
you'll be booted off to the side (possibly into another Freezie). 
Freezies slide back and forth too, but only if they are hit. Start by 
heading down the first section, avoiding the first few Freezies. Grab a 
few items too, and heed he direction of the arrowed signs to the path's 
side. Turn slightly right, then left, then right again towards the 
pond's exit. All through here you'll encounter more Freezies. Also, 
when you exit you'll pass underneath another blue structure. There's 
also one in the middle of the ice pond, and if you're equipped with a 
Mushroom/Star, you can avoid ice and Freezie alike by cutting across 
the snow bank to the left of this middle structure. Anyway, after the 
pond, cross the finish line underneath the blue structure that says 
"Mario Kart".

Mushroom City.

This city racecourse is similar to the Mushroom Bridge because those 
annoying cars will be commuting the roads, forcing you to drive a 
little more carefully. The good news (and bad news, I guess) is that 
the same car types appear here, so if you want some fungal enhancement, 
bump into a Mushroom Kart for it to spew its spoils. Likewise, be alert 
for the devastating Bob-omb Kart or the obnoxiously large Wiggler Bus. 
The other distinctive feature about this course is that there are 
several ways you can get to the finish line, at least for the first 
half that is. Although this maze of city blocks can get a bit confusing 
at first, you'll find that there aren't many true shortcuts. Sure, all 
you have to do is read, but try writing down this discombobulating mess 
of intersections.

Before you get your engine going, take note of the path on the left 
where all the cars are emerging from. There is a sign above it that 
tells you not to enter. This path is simply an explanation for the 
apparently infinite supply of cars here, even if one happens to blow up 
and such. Don't take this route or Lakitu will have a word with you. 
Anyway, go down the correct road and snag the Item Boxes that span the 
road's width. Continue down the road and curve right until you get to 
the intersection. 

Cars will be coming at you from the right and turning to go forward. 
You have a choice of going forward with the traffic, or against it by 
going right. Either way you'll end up at the same spot because the 
forward path will turn right and meet up with the right path, which 
will turn left. I recommend the forward path, since on your right-hand 
side of the road you'll be able to dodge inside a shortcut. The 
shortcut appears as a pink pathway into the city block. The path curves 
and leads to the intersection of the paths as described above. You can 
also grab an Item Box here as well.

Upon reaching the intersection, the path will divide again so you can 
go straight or turn. Once again, the paths will converge into one in a 
short while. Take the Double Item Box at the intersection and choose 
your path. When the paths meet again, you'll either have to turn left 
or continue straight, depending on where you came from. From here on 
out, you can drive with no worry of cars, other than your opponents. 
Continue down this simple straightaway to another Item Box Cluster. 
Here you'll curve to the left a few times until you get to a nice-sized 
straightway with arrows on the road. Traffic will start to emerge again 
from a point up ahead. 

The main road will curve left a little, but if you want to avoid 
traffic, hug the right wall and dash across the small ledge with a 
Mushroom/Star. This is another shortcut that takes you right up to the 
finish line. By way of main road, continue going in-between traffic 
(the cars avoid the road's center line, so use that as a path of 
safety) and avoid the chasm in between the main road and the shortcut. 
The finish line appears right after the chasm ends. And so ends a fun 

Yoshi Circuit.

This track is an interesting mix of fun and challenge; it's nice and 
long, and it's got quite a few skill-requiring turns. There are two 
notable features about this track. Firstly, this track is one of the 
few with a true, designated shortcut tunnel. Secondly, this course is 
shaped almost perfectly like Yoshi himself (even the island is colored 
just like Yoshi), which explains why this isn't an easy course to 
follow. As such, my description of this race will take reference to 
Yoshi's body parts, since there's no easier way to explain it. That 
being said, you start at Yoshi's feet.

After the initial straightaway, take the right curve around the toes 
and grab the Item Boxes, then continue around this u-bend until you 
take a relatively sharp left turn. Up ahead is Yoshi's hand and arm. 
The path is basically a forced detour as you turn left and then make a 
sharp right curve around his fingers, only to come back and straighten 
out on a left turn. If you grabbed a Mushroom/Star/whatnot earlier, you 
can avoid Yoshi's hand and cut across the watery gap at his wrists. 
This will save you quite a bit of time, especially at the first lap. Up 
ahead is the cavernous mouth, which is basically a large right-hand 

Just before the mouth's entrance, grab some items. These will be good 
to use in the confined space of the tunnel, especially since players 
must turn the whole way through. Keep skidding around the curve until 
you make it to the other side: a left-going turn marked by a red Yoshi 

Now you'll notice that you have to turn sharply at Yoshi's eyes. The 
shortcut in this area is right ahead, so make sure you grab one of the 
items here in hopes of a Mushroom or a Star. Just before taking the 
main path to Yoshi's back ridge cut across the grass to the left of the 
left-hand guardrail and let loose that Mushroom. Aim for the cliff too 
so that you enter the well concealed tunnel. You probably won't be able 
to see it until you're too late to turn back. If you follow this 
shortcut, you'll take a direct path to Yoshi's back, allowing you to 
skip a large part of the course. There are even a few Item Boxes in the 
tunnel for you to relish. Note that the relentless Spiny Shells can 
find you even in this seemingly secure tunnel. 

Anyway, assuming you weren't able to take the shortcut, you'll have to 
take the winding path that is Yoshi's 'crest'. Watch for items, and the 
less desirable Piranha Plants (similar to the ones in the Mario 
Circuit) eager to hinder you. At the end of this portion of the track, 
you need to make a very sharp turn to the left. Those who took the 
shortcut will emerge from the bank above, but the angle of the tunnel 
in relation to the curve makes it easier for them. Anyway, follow this 
next portion of the road until you see some signs hanging above 
indicating u-turns.

Make another treacherous turn to the right here as you head down the 
tail. The good news is the remainder of the tail is a nice straightaway 
with items to be fetched. Afterwards, reenter the feet by turning left 
at the Birdo billboard. Watch out for the Piranha Plant congregation 
here, located on the innermost curve of the path. You can use a 
Mushroom to boost behind them and cut the corner, and most likely 
you'll be going to fast for the plants to snap at you. After this 
curve, continue down the straightaway and cross the finish line.

DK Mountain.

DK Mountain is another fun course. I should point out that this track 
contains the second of three 'vortexes'; portions of the track where 
you move automatically and have no control, yet are immune to items 
(even Spiny Shells and Thunderbolts). This vortex in particular is 
caused by the barrel cannon you'll find shortly after starting. The 
path you take when being shot out if the cannon makes up a miniscule 
portion of the track time-wise, but half of the track lengthwise. 

But let's not rush into things. First, you'll need to get up to the 
cannon by taking the uphill path from the starting line. The path is 
somewhat curvy, and relatively thin. If you drive on the grass, you'll 
be slowed down. Shortly after the first set of items, you'll need to 
make a large curve to the left at the top of the slope. At the end of 
this slope is the infamous barrel cannon, waiting to blast you sky-

Drive into the barrel cannon and you'll automatically be shot forwards. 
Note that since enemies are immune to items while in here, it's 
advisable to use your items before or after the cannon. Also, you cant 
use items while in there, so if you have something with a longer 
lasting effect like a Star, Super Mushroom or Thunderbolt, use it after 
the cannon rather than before it. Anyway, the cannon will blast you and 
send you flying at a speed of 195mph! As you fly, you'll be able to see 
the rest of the course bellow you. When you fall back to the ground, 
you'll be on a wide, stony trail at the top of the volcano. So 
basically, the rest of the course consists of making your way back down 
the mountain, only to get blasted back up two more times.

As soon as you hit solid ground, the path will incline downwards and 
curve to the right. Soon after, you'll reach a jump with Item Boxes at 
its peak. Grab and item and continue down the bumpy road. The nice part 
about this track is that if you go off-road here, you won't get slowed 
down as much (but I guess the bumps make up for that). At the trail's 
bottom, there will be a fence to block you from falling off the cliff 
and forcing you to turn right. You might be able to see the giant 
barrel cannon down below, and any kart or Spiny Shell that gets shot 
through it flying their way upwards. 

After the curve around the fence, turn again and continue downhill to a 
dirt path. Make another sharp turn to the right and continue down the 
slope. Avoid the tumbling boulders here too, because if you get hit, 
you'll lose your items and get delayed. Also watch out for the bottom 
of this particular segment of the road. There is no guardrail at the 
bottom and the left-hand turn is very sharp, so you'll need some skill 
to safely round the corner. At least you get a few Item Boxes here as 

From here on out, the guardrail-lacking path will take some very nasty 
sharp turns. Go down this path and avoid the chasm on the right side. 
Mushroom users can take advantage of their fungal friends by boosting 
over the gap. If not, you'll need to round another sharp corner and go 
right. Could this area be a good place to dump Bananas or Fake Items? 
Probably. Anyway, after that curve, head towards the next sharp turn to 
the left. The good news is that this one has a back edge to it, but 
it's still quite sharp. Grab the last set of items and continue.

Up ahead is a rickety, unstable wooden bridge. The bridge takes you 
right up to the finish line, but it tilts from side to side as players 
cross over it. Place a trap here and your opponents will most likely 
hit it and fall off the bridge, or fall anyway trying to swerve around 
it. If you do fall, Lakitu will dump you at the end of the bridge. Past 
it is the finish line.

~Special Cup~

Wario Coliseum.

After unlocking the Special Cup, you can access four new tracks, the 
first of them being the Wario Coliseum. This track's most notable 
characteristic is its length. One lap around this bad boy takes so long 
that they've shortened the amount of laps needed to complete this race. 
Like Baby Park, this course doesn't have three laps. Unlike Baby Park, 
this course has two laps. Wario has turned this coliseum into a 
motorcycle-style course, complete with cage-like roads that wind in and 
out of a small space. Also, just like at the Waluigi Stadium, this 
course is riddled with numerous dash-paneled jumps topped by rings of 

Start off by heading down to the end of the straightaway. Pass under 
the thin metal archways and continue left, where up ahead you'll see a 
colorful jump with an Item Box floating on top of it. Get to the jump 
first and center yourself so that you can grab the item. When you land, 
continue under the covered bridge and follow the path to another jump. 
This one contains more dash panels and a lone Item Box. Up ahead, 
you'll need to make a sharp left turn. Soon you'll come up to the first 
set of Item Boxes, and looming behind them, another fairly large jump. 
Set some traps on the jump to trip up the opposition. When you boost 
over the jump, you'll sail through the air and land on a large 'W' 
landing pad.
If you landed safely, don't celebrate just yet. Up next is a very tight 
loop that requires constant power sliding and skidding. The loop will 
spiral downwards and even out at a set of Item Boxes. After this point, 
the guardrails will be no more, so you'll have to be on your guard now. 
Luckily, the tight left turn ahead has a small guardrail, but it 
disappears again after the turn.

Continue left and go up the slope to another brutal left curve. Here 
you'll reach another set of dash panels, and the railing will reappear. 
At the end, you'll find more items. The path will now curve sharply to 
the right, and once again the railings will disappear. Continue forward 
and they'll return, which is good since there is another loop to the 
right here. Continue until you see an image of Wario flipping you a 
double-bird. Duck under him and grab the items, then continue to the 

When you reach the large ring, you'll be faced with a choice of paths. 
If you want to play it safe, go around the edge of the pit, similar to 
the quicksand pit at the Dry Dry Desert. If you're brave, take the 
boost thought the middle of the circle. Both options present you with a 
few Item Boxes. Up ahead are a tunnel and a turn to the left. The 
tunnel consists of a stone road. At the end, you can snag a few more 
items dispersed here and there. Continue to the left and take another 
big jump.

This jump has a set of four Item Boxes at the top. It's your last 
chance at an item before the finish line. Grab one and turn left at the 
small tunnel. Up ahead is the finish line. Rinse and repeat once more 
to finish the race.

Dino Dino Jungle.

This challenging course takes you through a prehistoric setting of 
dense jungles, mysterious caves and of course, giant dinosaurs. 
Although many of the dinosaurs here seem peaceful, they're intentions 
can be evil. The good news is that there is a pretty decent shortcut 
here, but as is the case with most good shortcuts, only those 
privileged with a Mushroom or a Star can use it. 

The initial path has a few logs on the roadside that serve as speed 
bumps. After the flying pterodactyl swoops overhead, the road turns 
left onto a batch of Item Boxes. Continue taking the sharp left curve 
until you even out and the path turns to the right. The road widens 
here, and you can also take advantage of more Item Boxes by hopping 
over the previously-mentioned road logs. Up ahead, you'll encounter a 
tree obstacle and a massive, stomping brontosaurus that will level you 
if it plants a foot on your kart, or otherwise spin you out. If you're 
a good weaver, try snagging the Item Boxes between the dino's legs. 
Afterwards, the track enters a short, crystal-encrusted cavern. Try 
planting some traps here, but save any Stars or Mushrooms you may have. 

The final stretch of this prehistoric section of the course starts when 
the glittering cavern ends. A branched wooden bridge spans the length 
of this ancient lake, each of its three paths requiring greater skill 
than the last, but rewarding you with reduced time or Item Boxes in 
return. The wider, main path gradually curves to the right, while the 
thinnest and most difficult path, accessible on the right-hand side 
from the bridge's start, is outfitted with a short series of dash-
panels. This path will connect with the medium-difficulty path, which 
branches out from the main path a little ways in. This path has a few 
Item Boxes to grab before its union with the difficult path. All three 
bridges merge and take the course into a new, hieroglyph-inscribed 

The brief path here has a few angular curves, eventually turning right 
and into a larger cave lined with sparking crystals. If you saved a 
Star/Mushroom, hug the right side and boost over the planked ramp and 
onto the Item Box-decorated platform, but beware of the large 
bottomless pit. Don't even attempt to make the jump if you don't have 
the necessary item. This shortcut effectively cuts a nice chunk of time 
from your race and places you at the cave's exit. If you took the main 
path, follow it around the bottomless pit, colleting Item Boxes as you 
go. Make it your business to avoid the geysers here, as they'll propel 
you upwards and cause you to drop any held items if you get caught in 

After exiting the cave, you'll emerge back onto the course's jungle 
area. The dinosaur you avoided earlier is back to cause more mayhem, 
but this time it's his misleadingly-docile head you must avoid, or 
otherwise suffer a spinout, as you cross the wooden bridge. Grab the 
Item Boxes afterwards and make the sharp left turn down the path. The 
bumpy ride downhill offers a few last-minute Item Boxes for you before 
you cross the finish line. Speaking of, avoid the alternating double-
pair of geysers just before the finish. You'll want to end your 
Jurassic safari in one piece, after all.

Bowser's Castle

A Mario Kart game wouldn't be the same without its trek through the 
lair of the nefarious Koopa King. As expected, the hazardous castle 
conceals several obstacles, ranging from fire-breathing Bowser statues 
and bone-crushing Thwomps to the simple, but tricky sharp curves and 

The course begins on a small straightaway and takes you over an equally 
insignificant bridge before entering the gateway to Bowser's Castle 
itself. Your complimentary Item Boxes await you within the first 
hallway after a brief flight of steps. The hall splits into a fork, but 
both sides are relatively the same. You'll probably notice the sinister 
boulders, called Thwomps, trying to crunch the racers as they pass 
beneath them. Try to avoid contact and time yourself so that the 
Thwomps are up in the air when you pass.

After the two paths merge, the course turns left down a straight 
hallway, also patrolled by Thwomps. You'll turn left yet again into a 
large dungeon filled with molten lava. The course takes you over the 
inferno by way of the metal bridge. Avoid the pit in the center of the 
bridge and grab the Item Boxes on either side. Boost over the following 
jump onto a continuous leftward spiral path that takes you upwards. 
This part of the course is excellent for laying traps and power 
sliding. At the top, you'll move into another large dungeon. There's a 
large rotating pillar at the room's center revolving a chain of 
fireballs around in a circle. Avoid getting burned by slipping between 
the flames and grabbing more Item Boxes. 

Across from the room's entrance, a new hallway will take the race 
leftwards again three consecutive times. Beware of the sharp corners 
and the right-hand edge with no safeguard. Follow the angry-looking 
arrows and you'll do fine. After the third left turn, the hallway will 
slope upwards. Follow the arrows around the bend and through a cluster 
of Item Boxes. You'll turn right and into another expansive dungeon.

Fly down this flight of steps and take the straightaway forward. In the 
back of the dungeon is a large Bowser statue expelling hot fireballs 
down the path as it glides from side to side. The fireballs will be 
moving towards you at the moment, so dodge them but don't miss out on 
the Item Boxes. You can turn right at the end of the straightaway and 
loop around to the left, or you can jump over the gap of lava before 
the turn and save yourself the trouble of the loop. It's a pretty 
effective shortcut and it can be taken without requiring a Star or 
Mushroom, but there is a risk of messing up and plunging into the lava. 

After the path loops back around so that you're parallel to the first 
section, the Bowser statue will be behind you chasing you down with its 
fireballs. Grab the final Item Boxes and boost over the jump. When you 
land, turn left down the orange path and cross the finish line.

Rainbow Road.

Rainbow Road is the trademark final track of the Mario Kart series. 
Although this time around it isn't as long, it makes up for this in its 
incredible difficulty. Don't be surprised to see hairpin turns with no 
rails, many of which have dash panels on them to send you flying into 
the city below. Also notable is that this course contains a decent-
sized 'vortex' tunnel. Lastly, take note of those falling stars....

Start by making a jump off the drop in front of the starting line. When 
you begin the race, try pushing other players off on this part, since 
you all will be clustered together. The colorful road below goes 
downhill all the way, and there aren't any guardrails at all until you 
get further ahead. Upon reaching the first set of railings, the path 
will curve slightly to the right, and you should come upon a few Item 
Boxes. Continue downhill, but be extra careful because up ahead is a 
nastily-sharp curve with no edge. Utilize power sliding to get past 
this alive. Immediately after that, you'll have to repeat another 
hairpin curve with no railings, only in the opposite direction. The 
advantage to the later curve is that you can grab some Item Boxes on 
it. After you pass this danger zone, continue downhill and boost off 
the jump to the next section of road below. 

When you land, you'll hit a huge dash panel that will boost you through 
this long straightaway. After it ends, you'll drive on normal path, and 
then hit another large dash panel. Remember that this area is still 
devoid of safeguarding railings. The second large dash panel will lead 
you off another jump that will dump you at another small straightaway. 
Up ahead, past the Item Boxes, the track will wind upwards. The nasty 
thing about this part is that not only must you make a constant turn 
without flying off the edge, but there are several random dash panels 
peppered throughout the loop. They can help you by allowing you to get 
ahead, but many times they'll cause you to fly right off the edge of 
the course. They seem to alternate from the inside of the track to the 
outside, so it's recommended to only hit the inner ones. It's 
interesting to note that Red Shells, especially in curvy areas, have a 
particularly difficult time hitting their intended targets on this 
course, and will prove easier to dodge. 

After the loop ends, the track will straighten out and make a nosedive 
downhill. You'll be able to get some more Item Boxes at the start of 
the slope. Continue downhill, passing under the giant, neon Banana 
replica. The track is pretty straight, but it has a wavy pattern later 
on that will require small turns. Also, about those shooting stars; I'm 
not sure what the deal is with them but they seem to leave behind Stars 
as dropped items when they hit the tracks. Furthermore, these Stars 
appear most often in two places, the first being this stretch of road 
(the second I'll inform you of when you get there). Even if you're in 
first place, you can snag a Star and get speed and invincibility from 
wayward Red or Spiny Shells.

Speaking of avoiding Spiny Shells, you'll soon enter another vortex. At 
the end of the path, the road will start curving (right around where 
that Bowser's Shell neon replica is hovering) and eventually go left. 
Go forward and you'll see the circular tunnel up ahead. Use the dash 
panels and don't forget to grab an item before entering the tunnel. 
When you hit the circular 'launch pad', you'll be blasted upwards 
through the wind tunnel, going at a seemingly much faster 38mph. When 
you land, you'll reach another straightaway. This path is also adorned 
by a few large dash panels, including the large one you landed on. 
Watch out for the bumps along this road, but also be alert for more 
falling Stars, which also tend to appear here often. Pass the Bob-omb 
replica and boost off the small jump to the last section of road.

Immediately grab one of the items here. In this next bit, the road will 
wind downwards in a spiral around the neon Star. The good news is that 
there is a guardrail here to prevent you from falling off. Since the 
spiral is essentially one large sharp turn, most players will be forced 
to ride up the outer edge of the railing, meaning if you place a Fake 
Item or a Banana, you're almost guaranteed a hit. Likewise, Red Shells 
are particularly quite easy to avoid in this section. At the end of the 
spiral, you'll cross the long-awaited finish line.


Battle Mode.

Battle Mode is now more versatile than ever, with three modes to play. 
You can play the classic Balloon Battle, or the two new modes, Shine 
Theft and Bob-omb Blast. In Balloon Battle, players start with three 
color-coded balloons that they must keep a hold of. You lose a balloon 
when you get hit with an item or fall offstage. New to this mode is 
that you can steal opponent's balloons by power sliding into them or 
smacking them while you use a Mushroom or Star. Additionally, all 
characters can use any Special Item here. 

Shine Theft makes use of the Shine item from Super Mario Sunshine. Your 
objective here is find the Shine dropped somewhere in the course, and 
then guard it with your life. Once you find and grab the Shine, a timer 
will activate. If you hold the Shine until the timer reaches zero, you 
win. However, you can lose the Shine just like you could a balloon in 
Balloon Battle. When you lose the Shine, your timer won't reset. Once 
again, all character can make use of any Special Item.

Lastly, there's Bob-omb Blast. In this dynamic battle mode, the goal is 
to score points by bombing the tar out of the opposition. When you 
collect Item Boxes, you'll always receive Bob-ombs. However, each 
character can hold up to six of these explosive items. Just like 
Wario's or Waluigi's Bob-ombs, these can be dropped behind you or 
thrown ahead. When you've gotten all the points necessary, you win. 
Keep in mind that if you get bombed, you'll lose a point in addition to 
giving your opponent one. Also, fall offstage and you'll lose all your 
points. Now, let the carnage begin.

Battle Mode Stages.

Cookie Land.

This circular arena consists of raised strips of what I assumes is 
jelly that serve as obstacles. There is the center piece, and then a 
ring around it broken into three sections. It's pretty simple, with 
Item Boxes found pretty much everywhere. Although you'll probably be 
able to see the opponents at all times, that doesn't mean you'll be 
able to hit them with the low obstacles in the way.

Block City.

This stage is somewhat of a remake of a Battle Mode arena found in the 
Nintendo 64 version of the Mario Kart game. Unfortunately though, the 
blocks here cannot be traveled upon. Still, there are a few interesting 
twists. For example, you can take a mini-shortcut by cutting through 
the path in the yellow block. Of course, there is no finish line, so 
it's not really a shortcut to anywhere. Also, there is a dead end at 
the corner where the blue structure is. 

Nintendo Gamecube.

This stage takes place atop a giant Nintendo GCN. There are walls 
preventing you from falling off the edges, but they also close you in 
and make the scene more chaotic once some items are released, like 
shells or Bob-ombs. In each of the three buttons on the Gamecube 
(Power, Reset and Open), you'll find an Item Box. Also, there is a good 
cluster of them in the center of the cube.

Pipe Plaza.

In this fun stage, you have a main floor, and then a raised cage-like 
structure that forms an H-shaped second floor. You can use the ends of 
the 'H' furthest to the pipes to get on and off the two floors via 
ramps. Speaking of the pipes, they are warp pipes. The far left one on 
the top will dump you on the bottom right one next to it, whereas 
entering the bottom left pipe puts you back on the top left pipe. Enter 
the bottom right pipe to end up on the top right, and enter this pipe 
to get to the bottom left pipe (all this assumes your facing the pipes 
from the back).

Luigi's Mansion.

This hidden stage takes its setting from the game, Luigi's Mansion. 
First of all, as far as I'm aware, the Boos here don't do anything but 
add to the scenery. Anyway, all players start in the middle floor, 
which has a bunch of Item Boxes and paths to the other floors. One path 
leads to the roof, which has a big hole in the middle that will dump 
you back in the starting floor. Each of the three other paths that lead 
downwards will take you to the bottom floor, where the paths connect. 
You'll find Item Boxes scattered throughout the top and bottom floors 
as well. Luigi's Mansion is perfect for making quick getaways, since 
there are many places to escape to.


The Tilt-a-Kart is a hidden stage that must be unlocked. This fun arena 
takes the shape of a polygenic Mario, though in comparison to the 
players, he's too big to be easily recognizable. As the battle 
progresses, the stage will tilt back and forth. This disorientation can 
not only cause you to slide offstage, but it also causes the randomly-
scattered Item Boxes to tumble into space. These Item Boxes don't re-
spawn after they are grabbed, but replacements are constantly raining 
down from above. There isn't anything else to the Tilt-a-Kart in terms 
of physical features, but it is fairly large.



Here is what you can unlock throughout the course of playing the game.


Toad & Toadette.
The Toad and Toadette duo is unlocked by beating the Special Cup on 

King Boo & Petey Piranha.
These guys come together when you clear the Star Cup on Mirror Mode.


Green Fire.
Unlock Luigi's racecar by completing the Mushroom Cup on 50cc. 

Bloom Coach.
Win Daisy's kart by winning the Flower Cup on 50cc.

Para Wing.
Unlocked by winning at the Star Cup on 50cc.

Bullet Blaster.
Presumably Bowser Jr.'s kart, this Bullet Bill-shaped kart comes by 
beating the Special Cup on 50cc. 

Rattle Buggy.
Beat the Mushroom Cup on 100cc for Baby Luigi's crib.

Waluigi Racer.
This snazzy racer is unlocked by clearing the Flower Cup, 100cc.

Toad Kart.
It comes along with Toad and Toadette (see unlock-able characters 

Turbo Birdo.
Unlock this kart by clearing the Flower Cup on 150cc.

Barrel Train.
Diddy's kart, unlocked by beating the Star Cup on 150cc.

Toadette Kart.
Beat the Mushroom Cup on Mirror Mode for this kart.

Piranha Pipes.
Comes free when you unlock King Boo and Petey Piranha (see unlock-able 
characters above).

Boo Pipes.
Beat the Special Cup on Mirror Mode for King Boo's kart.

Parade Kart.
This is Toadsworth's kart. You get it as a gift when you beat the All 
Cup Tour on Mirror Mode.

Battle Mode Arenas.

Luigi's Mansion.
This arena is unlocked by completing the 150cc Mushroom Cup.

By beating the Flower Cup on Mirror Mode, you'll get this.

Grand Prix Modes.

Special Cup.
Wario Coliseum, Dino Dino Jungle, Bowser's Castle and Rainbow Road. 
Four new racecourses become available after beating the Star Cup on 

All Cup Tour.
In this 'cup', you race all races, starting with Luigi Circuit and 
ending with Rainbow Road. The tracks you race in-between are in random 
order. The All Cup Tour is unlocked by finishing the Special Cup on 

Mirror Mode.
This selection can be selected as a cc level. In this mode, races are 
inverted so that paths that would normally go left now go right, and 
vice versa. Finish the All Cup Tour on 150cc to unlock Mirror Mode.

Copyright 2005 Ryan N. Parra-Merrell.

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