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FAQ/Strategy Guide by kirbydude385

Version: 2.00 | Updated: 05/03/15

================================================================================
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Mario Kart 8 FAQ/Walkthrough~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~by kirbydude385~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
================================================================================

1. Introduction
2. Mechanics
3. Characters and Vehicles
   3.1. Stats
   3.2. Weight Classes and Characters
   3.3. Vehicle Stats
        3.3.1. Karts
        3.3.2. Bikes
        3.3.3. ATV's
   3.4. Tire Stats
   3.5. Glider Stats
   3.6. Karts vs. Bikes vs. ATV's
   3.7. Putting It All Together
4. Items
   4.1. Coin
   4.2. Banana
   4.3. Triple Bananas
   4.4. Green Shell
   4.5. Triple Green Shells
   4.6. Red Shell
   4.7. Triple Red Shells
   4.8. Blue Shell
   4.9. Super Horn
   4.10. Fire Flower
   4.11. Boomerang Flower
   4.12. Bob-omb
   4.13. Piranha Plant
   4.14. Blooper
   4.15. Mushroom
   4.16. Triple Mushrooms
   4.17. Gold Mushroom
   4.18. Star
   4.19. Bullet Bill
   4.20. Lightning
   4.21. Crazy Eight
5. Courses
   5.1. Mushroom Cup
        5.1.1. Mario Kart Stadium
        5.1.2. Water Park
        5.1.3. Sweet Sweet Canyon
        5.1.4. Thwomp Ruins
   5.2. Flower Cup
        5.2.1. Mario Circuit
        5.2.2. Toad Harbor
        5.2.3. Twisted Mansion
        5.2.4. Shy Guy Falls
   5.3. Star Cup
        5.3.1. Sunshine Airport
        5.3.2. Dolphin Shoals
        5.3.3. Electrodrome
        5.3.4. Mount Wario
   5.4. Special Cup
        5.4.1. Cloudtop Cruise
        5.4.2. Bone-Dry Dunes
        5.4.3. Bowser's Castle
        5.4.4. Rainbow Road
   5.5. Shell Cup
        5.5.1. Wii Moo Moo Meadows
        5.5.2. GBA Mario Circuit
        5.5.3. DS Cheep Cheep Beach
        5.5.4. N64 Toad's Turnpike
   5.6. Banana Cup
        5.6.1. GCN Dry Dry Desert
        5.6.2. SNES Donut Plains 3
        5.6.3. N64 Royal Raceway
        5.6.4. 3DS DK Jungle
   5.7. Leaf Cup
        5.7.1. DS Wario Stadium
        5.7.2. GCN Sherbet Land
        5.7.3. 3DS Music Park
        5.7.4. N64 Yoshi Valley
   5.8. Lightning Cup
        5.8.1. DS Tick Tock Clock
        5.8.2. 3DS Piranha Plant Slide
        5.8.3. Wii Grumble Volcano
        5.8.4. N64 Rainbow Road
   5.9. Egg Cup
        5.9.1. GCN Yoshi Circuit
        5.9.2. Excitebike Arena
        5.9.3. Dragon Driftway
        5.9.4. Mute City
   5.10. Triforce Cup
        5.10.1. Wii Wario's Gold Mine
        5.10.2. SNES Rainbow Road
        5.10.3. Ice Ice Outpost
        5.10.4. Hyrule Circuit
   5.11. Crossing Cup
        5.11.1. GCN Baby Park
        5.11.2. GBA Cheese Land
        5.11.3. Wild Woods
        5.11.4. Animal Crossing
   5.12. Bell Cup
        5.12.1. 3DS Neo Bowser City
        5.12.2. GBA Ribbon Road
        5.12.3. Super Bell Subway
        5.12.4. Big Blue
6. Balloon Battle
   6.1 General Strategies
   6.2 Courses
       6.2.1. Wii Moo Moo Meadows
       6.2.2. GCN Dry Dry Desert
       6.2.3. SNES Donut Plains 3
       6.2.4. N64 Toad's Turnpike
       6.2.5. Mario Circuit
       6.2.6. Toad Harbor
       6.2.7. GCN Sherbet Land
       6.2.8. N64 Yoshi Valley
7. Frequently Asked Questions
8. Closing
9. Special Thanks
10. Version History
11. Legal Info

================================================================================
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~1. Introduction~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
================================================================================

Hello and welcome to the FAQ for all things related to Mario Kart 8: the newest 
installment in the Mario Kart series. There's a lot of new things to cover, and 
some old things to re-cover. Mario Kart 8 brings antigravity, ATV's, seven 
weight classes, four new items, sixteen new courses, and many new vehicles to 
the table.

This guide is an ongoing project that has compiled data from multiple sources, 
so info may be missing or just flat out wrong. If there are any errors, or if 
you have info which I can add to this FAQ, email me at kirbydude385@gmail.com or
send me a PM here on GameFAQs.

One minor note: Due to localization, some courses have different names depending
on the region your game is from. This guide will be referring to the American
names. Here are the differences between the American and European names:

3DS Music Park (NoA) -> 3DS Melody Motorway (NoE)
3DS Piranha Plant Slide (NoA) -> 3DS Piranha Plant Pipeway (NoE)
3DS Neo Bowser City (NoA) -> 3DS Koopa City (NoE)

There may be some differences in the vehicle part names. If so let me know so I 
can make note of them.

Note: I always refer to the Traction stat as Grip in this guide. It was called
Grip early on officially, and I'd already written everything out that way.

================================================================================
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~2. Mechanics~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
================================================================================

Mario Kart 8 retains most of the mechanics from its predecessor: Mario Kart 7. 
If you have some experience with this game, you should feel right at home. 
However, there are some new mechanics, as well as some changes to old mechanics,
which will all be gone over in this section. I will also be laying down some
terminology here which I will be using throughout this guide.

Accelerating (Driving): By simply holding down the accelerate button, you will 
begin moving forward. You will accelerate steadily until you reach your top 
speed. The rate at which you accelerate, as well as your top speed, depends on
your character and vehicle combination. 99% of the time you'll just be holding
this button down.

Braking: By holding down the brake button you will quickly slow to a stop, and
then start backing up slowly. You will almost never use this, but it can be 
useful to stop yourself from hitting an item on the track or from falling off a
ledge. Braking is really only useful in Balloon Battle and in the new 200cc.

Steering: This is selfexplanatory (as if the previous two weren't already).
Different character and vehicle combinations will have varying degrees of 
handling. You actually shouldn't be steering all too much unless you're trying 
to avoid an item or line yourself up to hit an item box.

Drifting: If you're new to Mario Kart, you were probably confused as to why I 
said you shouldn't really be steering. This is because around most corners, you
should be drifting. By holding the drift button, you can turn fairly quickly,
and you won't lose speed like you would if you just steer. Drifting is one of 
the main Mario Kart strategies, and you need to get good at it to do well. 
Different vehicles also have different drifts (some drift in tighter circles).
NOTE: Inward drifting and automatic drifting from Mario Kart Wii are both gone, 
though some bikes have an inward-esque drifting. This will be discussed later.

Miniturbo: If you drift long enough, a blue spark will appear below your tires.
By releasing your drift you will get a boost called a miniturbo. If you keep
holding your drift, the spark will turn orange and you will get a larger boost.
The tighter your drift, the quicker your miniturbo will charge. Ideally, you 
want to get at least a blue miniturbo every time you drift, andmastering the 
miniturbo is often your key to success. As for deciding whether or not to 
continue drifting for an orange miniturbo, just make sure you aren't going 
wildly off course just for the sake of that orange spark. In most cases blue is 
totally fine. 

Hopping: You may have noticed that when you start drifting, you do a short hop.
This hop doesn't serve many purposes, but you can use it to cross small gaps if
you time it right. It can also help you turn without really moving forward if 
you tap the button (useful in Balloon Battle).

Tricking: Tricking is another very important mechanic. By tricking, your 
character poses and gets a speed boost upon landing. Tricks can be performed off
of ramps, ledges, bumps, and even on wavy surfaces such as the walls of Twisted
Mansion. You should always perform a trick whenever possible to keep your speed.

Boosting: There are two kinds of boosts outside of miniturbos and items. First,
you can get a boost at the start of the face by holding down the accelerate
button right after the 2 falls into place during the race countdown. If you time
it right, you will get a large boost. Too early, and you'll blow out your 
engine. Too late, and you'll get a significantly weaker boost. You should 
always do this for every race. The other kind of boost is gotten by driving over
the colorful boost pads that are located on several tracks. These are very 
useful but are sometimes out of the way, making them not worth the effort.

Drafting: Drafting is a technique that involves driving closely behind another
character. You will notice some air streaks passing by, and after a bit of time
you will gain a sizable boost. This is a useful but dangerous technique as you
must closely follow behind someone, and they can hit you with an item fairly
easily. Also be careful not to draft yourself right off the course.

Jostling/Bumping/Ramming: Yes playing bumpercars does have its advantages. By
knocking other players around, you can force them into hazards or even off a 
ledge if you're skilled/lucky (Don't lie. It was probably luck). The 
effectiveness of your bump-age depends on your character and vehicle 
combination.

Offroad: All courses have a path for you to follow, but you may be tempted to 
cut a corner short by driving in the grass. However, any part of the course that
isn't directly part of the track is usually considered offroad (grass, dirt, 
etc.). Going offroad will slow you down quite a bit, and you won't be able to 
drift. Your character and vehicle combination will affect how much you slow down
when going offroad.

Underwater Driving: Just like in Mario Kart 7, you can drive underwater. Driving
underwater is a bit slower than on land, and you're a bit floatier in your jumps
and drifts. If given a choice, you should drive on land given everything else is
equal, but oftentimes you have no choice.

Gliding: Gliding also returns from Mario Kart 7. By driving or tricking off a
blue ramp, you will begin gliding. Pulling back on the stick makes you rise, 
while pushing forward makes you dive. While diving makes you go faster, pulling
back can allow you to reach alternate paths in some courses. Gliding is also
generally a bit faster than driving on land. Sometimes you will be launched out
of a cannon. Though you are gliding, your speed is held relatively constant, and
you have no directional control. You can still get hit by an item though, and
oftentimes this is very costly.

Antigravity: Arguably the biggest new addition in Mario Kart 8 is antigravity.
With antigravity, you will find yourself driving up walls and even on the 
ceiling in many tracks. Antigravity sections are marked by a light blue strip.
When going over the strip, your vehicle will automatically switch into 
antigravity mode. For going up or down gentle slopes, the camera tilts with you 
so you don't get disoriented. However, driving along walls will often result in 
the camera turning about halfway, which may be a bit confusing at first, but it 
adds to the feeling that you're, you know, driving on a freaking wall.

Spin Boosting: Spin boosting is a new mechanic to go along with antigravity. 
Instead of just bumping off other racers while jostling, both you and the racer
you bumped will do a spinning animation and then shortly afterward recieve a
boost on par with a miniturbo. Though you will often want to avoid other racers
while on the ground, in antigravity sections you will want to bump into as many
racers as you can. However, you must remember that whoever you bumped into gets
the boost as well. But if a player is in their "getting hit" animation, you can
run into them and receive a spin boost, while they DO NOT get one. Sneaky.

Obstacles: These are objects on the track that act like walls, but aren't 
exactly the course boundaries. The most common example are the pipes found in
courses like Mario Kart Stadium. These should obviously be avoided in most 
circumstances. However, while in antigravity mode, obstacles will be surrounded
by a blue glow. Bumping into these will let you spin boost, so should be looking
for obstacles while driving on the wall. These often take the form of little 
nodes in the ground/wall/ceiling, and will be referred to in this guide as
"spinboosters."

Hazards: These are objects (usually common enemies in the Mario series like 
Goombas or Piranha Plants) that will cause you to either spin out or flip over
if you run into them. They can oftentimes be destroys by an item, but will 
respawn shortly thereafter. While some of them will drop items after being hit
(Goombas will often drop Mushrooms onto the track), it is usually smart to avoid
them entirely, as you do not get spin boosts from them at all.

Pits: Pits are anything that you can fall into where Lakitu pulls you back up
onto the track: ranging from chasms to deep water to lava. Falling into a pit
costs you a lot of time while racing, and should be avoided at all costs. One 
thing to note is that you can no longer get a boost after being fished out by
Lakitu, though you do not lose as much as time falling as you did in previous
games. Even so, pits should be avoided at all costs.

Coins: One last thing you'll notice are the numerous coins scattered along each
course. Collecting coins give you a very slight boost and increases your overall
top speed very slightly. You can only keep up to 10 coins in a race, and you 
will drop some if you are hit. By collecting coins, you will unlock new vehicle
parts. Coins are "counted" only when you finish a race, and only the number of
coins you have when you cross the finish line count.

Snaking: Snaking is a technique where you chain drifting together in opposite
directions along a straightaway to get more miniturbo boosts. This was very
popular back in Mario Kart: Double Dash and Mario Kart DS, but since Mario Kart
Wii changed drifting mechanics, it's not very useful here. Besides extending 
your drifts into straightaways to get maybe one more boost, it's too difficult
to pull off and gain speed. There are some places like the last turn in Bowser's
Castle where you can sort of do it for a bit, so keep an eye out for those.

Fire Hopping/Frogging: This technique is brand new to Mario Kart 8. Upon 
boosting (Mushroom, miniturbo, boost pad, whatever), you can rapidly hop to
extend your boost slightly. This really isn't that important for online, as 
you'll maybe save a second per lap, but if you're going for world record Time 
Trials, then you'll need to master it. However, the effect doesn't happen on 
most downward slopes, and when using inside-drift bikes (more on them later).

There are more advanced techniques like demon sliding, but these will not be
covered in this guide partly because they can be very hard to explain in text, 
and I'm not very good at doing them myself. There are many good references on 
YouTube though.

================================================================================
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~3. Characters and Vehicles~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
================================================================================

Mario Kart 8 gives us a roster of 30 characters including the Mii. Each 
character is divided into one of 7 weight classes. These weight classes 
determine your base stats when racing. The stats are as follows:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~3.1. Stats~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Note: A lot of the stats in this game, especially Speed and Acceleration, have
a larger range than in Mario Kart 7. What I mean is that even a small difference
in Speed between two vehicle combinations affects the actual speed on the 
track quite a lot.

Speed: Speed in this game refers to your top speed: your maximum speed limit.
Obviously the higher the stat the faster you will go. This is arguably the most
important stat, but just because your speed is high doesn't mean you're 
untouchable. If you are hit you will drop down to a standstill, and will have to
accelerate back up to your maximum speed. Heavier characters tend to have a 
higher speed stat.

Speed is divided into four categories: Land Speed, Underwater Speed, Air Speed,
and Antigravity Speed, which refer to how fast you go in each of the four 
sections. Obviously Land Speed is the most important, followed by Antigravity, 
then Underwater, and then Air. All characters have the same base values for 
those four categories, but different vehicles may affect the four differently.
The Speed stat shown in-game is Land Speed, while the other three are hidden.

The difference between a max Speed combo (5.75/6) and a min Speed combo (1/6) is
roughly 0.1 seconds per second on a straightaway on land. This means the amount
of distance I can cover in 10 seconds with a min Speed combo, I can cover in 9
seconds in a max Speed combo. This seems small, but it definitely adds up in a
~2 minute race (12 second difference). Of course, your actual time depends on
cornering, Miniturbos, etc. But it's definitely something to keep in mind.

Acceleration: This is how quickly you can go from zero to your top speed. This
is very useful for recovering after taking a hit, and with a very high 
acceleration you can get back up to your top speed almost instantly after taking
a hit. Lighter characters tend to have greater acceleration stats. Ideally, you 
would want to have a great acceleration AND speed stat, but this is basically 
impossible, though you can come close.

There is one very important thing about Acceleration: it works in tiers. Each
stat value within a tier doesn't change anything in an actual race (3.25 
Acceleration is exactly the same as 3.50 Acceleration). The tiers are:
5.00-5.75
4.00-4.75
3.00-3.75
2.25-2.75
2.00
1.50-1.75
1.25
1.00

Note that the differences between 1.00, 1.25, and 1.50 are quite small, and the
jump from 2.00 to 2.25 is EXTREMELY small.

Weight: This refers to how much muscle you have when bumping into other racers.
The higher your weight, the more you can knock others around and the less you
will be pushed around yourself. A larger weight will also impede you a bit in
how high you can glide, though this is only a problem for some shortcuts.
Obviously, heavier characters have more weight. Compared to other games, Weight
isn't as large of a factor in terms of bumping now. So while lighter characters
will certainly get bumped easily by heavier characters, you won't be knocked
completely off the road.

Handling: Handling refers to how tight you can turn/drift. A larger handling 
stat means you can cut corners easier. This can also be essential in quickly
charging miniturbos. Lighter characters tend to have higher handling stats.

Like Speed, Handling is divided into Land Handling, Underwater Handling, Air
Handling, and Antigravity Handling. The order of importance is roughly equal to
Speed, but a low Air Handling can hamper your ability to take airborne 
shortcuts. Again, Land Handling is the only one that's shown in-game.

Grip: This one isn't as obvious as the others. Grip is believed to be how well
you "grip" the track (ie. don't slide). This applies somewhat to offroad 
sections, but also "pseudo-offroad" sections like the wet dirt in SNES Donut 
Plains 3 and the ice in GCN Sherbet Land, where you will naturally slide a bit 
more. Both Grip and Handling together affect how well you can turn corners.

Miniturbo: Miniturbo is another hidden stat. The larger this stat, the quicker
your miniturbo boost charges up while drifting, as well as the length of the 
boost once you unleash it (so you charge and it faster, and you get "more" of it
the higher you go). The lighter the character, the higher the Miniturbo stat.

I will be using these abbreviations for the stats in the following charts:
L. Spe: Land Speed
W. Spe: Underwater Speed
A. Spe: Air Speed
G. Spe: Antigravity Speed
Accel: Acceleration
Weight: Weight
L. Han: Land Handling
W. Han: Water Handling
A. Han: Air Handling
G. Han: Antigravity Handling
Grip: Grip
Mini T: Miniturbo

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~3.2. Weight Classes and Characters~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Like in Mario Kart 7, the characters are all divided into different weight 
classes. In Mario Kart 8 there are seven of them. These classes determine the 
base stats of your character and vehicle combination. Each character in the same
weight class has identical stats, so there is no gameplay reason to choose Mario
over Luigi for example.

The names for the weight classes aren't official, so I am using names commonly
found on the GameFAQs message board. You may know these by different names.

Values are out of 6.

+---------------+--------+--------+--------+--------+-------+--------+
| Weight Class  | L. Spe | W. Spe | A. Spe | G. Spe | Accel | Weight |
+---------------+--------+--------+--------+--------+-------+--------+
| Babyweight    |  2.25  |  2.75  |  2.25  |  2.50  | 3.25  |  2.25  |
| Featherweight |  2.75  |  3.25  |  2.75  |  3.00  | 3.00  |  2.75  |
| Catweight     |  3.25  |  3.75  |  3.25  |  3.50  | 3.00  |  3.00  |
| Lightweight   |  3.25  |  3.75  |  3.25  |  3.50  | 2.75  |  3.25  |
| Tanookiweight |  3.75  |  4.25  |  3.75  |  4.00  | 2.75  |  3.50  |
| Midweight     |  3.75  |  4.25  |  3.75  |  4.00  | 2.50  |  3.75  |
| Cruiserweight |  4.25  |  4.75  |  4.25  |  4.50  | 2.25  |  4.25  |
| Metalweight   |  4.25  |  4.75  |  4.25  |  4.50  | 2.00  |  4.75  |
| Heavyweight   |  4.75  |  5.25  |  4.75  |  5.00  | 2.00  |  4.75  |
+---------------+--------+--------+--------+--------+-------+--------+
| Weight Class  | L. Han | W. Han | A. Han | G. Han | Grip  | Mini T |
+---------------+--------+--------+--------+--------+-------+--------+
| Babyweight    |  4.75  |  4.75  |  4.50  |  5.00  | 4.50  |  3.00  |
| Featherweight |  4.25  |  4.25  |  4.00  |  4.50  | 4.25  |  2.75  |
| Catweight     |  3.75  |  3.75  |  3.50  |  4.00  | 4.00  |  2.50  |
| Lightweight   |  3.75  |  3.75  |  3.50  |  4.00  | 4.00  |  2.50  |
| Tanookiweight |  3.25  |  3.25  |  3.00  |  3.50  | 3.75  |  2.25  |
| Midweight     |  3.25  |  3.25  |  3.00  |  3.50  | 3.75  |  2.25  |
| Cruiserweight |  2.75  |  2.75  |  2.50  |  3.00  | 3.50  |  2.00  |
| Metalweight   |  2.75  |  2.75  |  2.50  |  3.00  | 3.25  |  1.75  |
| Heavyweight   |  2.25  |  2.25  |  2.00  |  2.50  | 3.25  |  1.75  |
+---------------+--------+--------+--------+--------+-------+--------+

In general, by "going up" in weight class, you increase your Speed by 0.5 and 
your Weight by 0.5, and you decrease your Acceleration and Grip by 0.25 and your
Handling by 0.5.

Metalweights are the exception, as they share their Speed and Handling with
Cruiserweights but their Acceleration, Weight, and Grip with Heavyweights.

Cat Peach and Tanooki Mario/Villager are also their own weight classes. Each 
trades 0.25 Weight for 0.25 more Acceleration than their normal counterparts.

One interesting thing to note is that naturally, Water Speed is fastest. 
However, this is counteracted by the fact that you can't increase it as
much as the other Speeds due to vehicle parts, and most things that increase
other Speeds either decrease Water Speed or increase it much less.

Below is a list of all characters in the game organized by weight class. 
Characters that are not available at the start are unlocked randomly by 
completing cups in Grand Prix.

NOTE: Your Mii is assigned a light, medium, or heavy rank based on its size.

On top of this, characters have a certain "size" associated with them. This only
matters in terms of your character's hitbox. These will be denoted as Small, 
Medium, or Large

~Babyweights~
Baby Mario (Small): Default
Baby Luigi (Small): Default
Baby Peach (Small): Default
Baby Daisy (Small): Default
Baby Rosalina (Small): Locked
Lemmy (Small): Locked
Light Mii (Small): Locked

~Featherweights~
Toad (Small): Default
Koopa Troopa (Small): Default
Shy Guy (Small): Default
Lakitu (Small): Locked
Toadette (Small): Locked
Larry (Small): Locked
Wendy (Small): Locked
Isabelle (Small): DLC Pack 2

~Catweights~
Cat Peach (Medium): DLC Pack 1
Female Villager (Medium): DLC Pack 2

~Lightweights~
Peach (Medium): Default
Daisy (Medium): Default
Yoshi (Medium): Default

~Tanookiweights~
Tanooki Mario (Medium): DLC Pack 1
Male Villager (Medium): DLC Pack 2

~Midweights~
Mario (Medium): Default
Luigi (Medium): Default
Ludwig (Medium): Locked
Iggy (Medium): Locked
Medium Mii (Medium): Locked

~Cruiserweights~
Donkey Kong (Large): Default
Waluigi (Large): Default
Rosalina (Large): Locked
Roy (Large): Locked
Link (Large): DLC Pack 1

~Metalweights~
Metal Mario (Medium): Locked
Pink Gold Peach (Medium): Locked

~Heavyweights~
Bowser (Large): Default
Wario (Large): Default
Morton (Large): Locked
Heavy Mii (Large): Locked
Dry Bowser (Large): DLC Pack 2

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~3.3. Vehicle Stats~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

While picking your character definitely gives you an idea of what your stats 
will look like, the vehicle you pick will tweak your stats slightly. Below is 
the list of modifications that each vehicle will give you.

Unlocking new vehicle parts: Every 50 coins you collect, up until you have 1000
coins, you will unlock another part randomly, and then every 100 coins 
thereafter, with the last part being unlocked at 2800 coins. Coins collected in
multiplayer count toward your total. Exceptions are the following:

Gold Standard - Get at least a 1 star rank in each cup
Gold Tires - Beat all Staff Ghosts in Time Trial
Gold Glider - Get 10,000 coins

Three Mercedes vehicle bodies and one tire set were released as free DLC. These
are the following and will be marked with a * in the stat charts:
GLA
W 25 Silver Arrow
300 SL Roadster
GLA Tires

DLC Pack 1 has added several more new vehicle parts:
Blue Falcon
Tanooki Kart
B Dasher
Master Cycle
Triforce Tires
Hylian Kite

DLC Pack 2 added even more vehicle parts:
Streetle
P-Wing
City Tripper
Bone Rattler
Leaf Tires
Paper Glider

~3.3.1. Karts~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Default Karts: Standard Kart, Mach 8, Badwagon, Biddybuggy

+--------------------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+
| Name               | L. Spe | W. Spe | A. Spe | G. Spe | Accel  | Weight |
+--------------------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+
| Standard Kart      | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Cat Cruiser        | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Prancer            | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Sneeker            | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Mach 8             | +0.50  | +0.25  | +0.50  | +0.25  | -0.25  | +0.25  |
| Sports Coupe       | +0.50  | +0.25  | +0.50  | +0.25  | -0.25  | +0.25  |
| Circuit Special    | +0.50  | +0.25  | +0.50  | +0.25  | -0.25  | +0.25  |
| Gold Standard      | +0.50  | +0.25  | +0.50  | +0.25  | -0.25  | +0.25  |
| Badwagon           | +0.00  | +0.50  | +0.00  | -0.25  | -0.50  | +0.50  |
| Tri-Speeder        | +0.00  | +0.50  | +0.00  | -0.25  | -0.50  | +0.50  |
| Steel Driver       | +0.00  | +0.50  | +0.00  | -0.25  | -0.50  | +0.50  |
| Biddybuggy         | -0.75  | +0.50  | +0.50  | -1.00  | +1.25  | -0.50  |
| Landship           | -0.75  | +0.50  | +0.50  | -1.00  | +1.25  | -0.50  |
| Pipe Frame         | +0.00  | +0.25  | +0.25  | -0.25  | +0.25  | -0.25  |
| GLA*               | +0.00  | +0.50  | +0.00  | -0.25  | -0.50  | +0.50  |
| W 25 Silver Arrow* | +0.00  | +0.25  | +0.25  | -0.25  | +0.25  | -0.25  |
| 300 SL Roadster*   | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Blue Falcon*       | +0.25  | +0.00  | +0.25  | +0.25  | +0.25  | -0.25  |
| Tanooki Kart*      | +0.00  | +0.50  | +0.25  | -0.25  | -0.25  | +0.25  |
| B Dasher*          | +0.50  | +0.25  | +0.50  | +0.25  | -0.25  | +0.25  |
| Streetle*          | +0.25  | +0.00  | +0.25  | +0.25  | +0.25  | -0.25  |
| P-Wing*            | +0.50  | +0.25  | +0.50  | +0.25  | -0.25  | +0.25  |
+--------------------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+
| Name               | L. Han | W. Han | A. Han | G. Han |  Grip  | Mini T |
+--------------------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+
| Standard Kart      | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Cat Cruiser        | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Prancer            | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Sneeker            | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Mach 8             | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | -0.25  | -1.00  | -0.50  |
| Sports Coupe       | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | -0.25  | -1.00  | -0.50  |
| Circuit Special    | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | -0.25  | -1.00  | -0.50  |
| Gold Standard      | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | -0.25  | -1.00  | -0.50  |
| Badwagon           | -0.50  | +0.75  | -0.25  | -0.75  | +0.50  | -0.75  |
| Tri-Speeder        | -0.50  | +0.75  | -0.25  | -0.75  | +0.50  | -0.75  |
| Steel Driver       | -0.50  | +0.75  | -0.25  | -0.75  | +0.50  | -0.75  |
| Biddybuggy         | +0.50  | +0.75  | +0.75  | +0.00  | -0.25  | +1.00  |
| Landship           | +0.50  | +0.75  | +0.75  | +0.00  | -0.25  | +1.00  |
| Pipe Frame         | +0.50  | +0.50  | +0.50  | +0.25  | -0.50  | +0.25  |
| GLA*               | -0.50  | +0.75  | -0.25  | -0.75  | +0.50  | -0.75  |
| W 25 Silver Arrow* | +0.50  | +0.50  | +0.50  | +0.25  | -0.50  | +0.25  |
| 300 SL Roadster*   | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Blue Falcon*       | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | -0.50  | ?????  |
| Tanooki Kart*      | -0.25  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.25  | ?????  |
| B Dasher           | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | -0.25  | -1.00  | -0.50  |
| Streetle*          | +0.00  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | -0.50  | ?????  |
| P-Wing*            | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | -0.25  | -1.00  | -0.50  |
+--------------------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+

~3.3.2. Bikes~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Default Bikes: Standard Bike, Sport Bike

+-----------------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+
| Name            | L. Spe | W. Spe | A. Spe | G. Spe | Accel  | Weight |
+-----------------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+
| Standard Bike   | +0.00  | +0.25  | +0.25  | -0.25  | +0.25  | -0.25  |
| Varmint         | +0.00  | +0.25  | +0.25  | -0.25  | +0.25  | -0.25  |
| Flame Rider     | +0.00  | +0.25  | +0.25  | -0.25  | +0.25  | -0.25  |
| Sport Bike#     | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | -0.25  | +0.75  | -0.25  |
| Yoshi Bike#     | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | -0.25  | +0.75  | -0.25  |
| Jet Bike#       | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | -0.25  | +0.75  | -0.25  |
| Comet#          | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | -0.25  | +0.75  | -0.25  |
| Mr. Scooty      | -0.75  | +0.50  | +0.50  | -1.00  | +1.25  | -0.50  |
| The Duke        | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Master Cycle*#  | +0.25  | -0.25  | +0.50  | -0.25  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| City Tripper*   | +0.00  | +0.25  | +0.25  | -0.25  | +0.25  | -0.25  |
+-----------------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+
| Name            | L. Han | W. Han | A. Han | G. Han |  Grip  | Mini T |
+-----------------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+
| Standard Bike   | +0.50  | +0.50  | +0.50  | +0.25  | -0.50  | +0.25  |
| Varmint         | +0.50  | +0.50  | +0.50  | +0.25  | -0.50  | +0.25  |
| Flame Rider     | +0.50  | +0.50  | +0.50  | +0.25  | -0.50  | +0.25  |
| Sport Bike#     | +0.75  | +0.75  | +0.75  | +0.50  | -1.25  | +0.50  |
| Yoshi Bike#     | +0.75  | +0.75  | +0.75  | +0.50  | -1.25  | +0.50  |
| Jet Bike#       | +0.75  | +0.75  | +0.75  | +0.50  | -1.25  | +0.50  |
| Comet#          | +0.75  | +0.75  | +0.75  | +0.50  | -1.25  | +0.50  |
| Mr. Scooty      | +0.50  | +0.75  | +0.75  | +0.00  | -0.25  | +1.00  |
| The Duke        | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Master Cycle*#  | +0.50  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | -0.75  | ?????  |
| City Tripper*   | +0.50  | +0.50  | +0.50  | +0.25  | -0.50  | +0.25  |
+-----------------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+

#=Inward drifting

~3.3.3. ATV's~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Default ATV: Standard ATV

+-----------------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+
| Name            | L. Spe | W. Spe | A. Spe | G. Spe | Accel  | Weight |
+-----------------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+
| Standard ATV    | +0.00  | +0.50  | +0.00  | -0.25  | -0.50  | +0.50  |
| Teddy Buggy     | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Wild Wiggler    | +0.00  | +0.25  | +0.25  | -0.25  | +0.25  | -0.25  |
| Bone Rattler*   | +0.00  | +0.50  | +0.25  | -0.25  | -0.25  | +0.25  |
+-----------------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+
| Name            | L. Han | W. Han | A. Han | G. Han |  Grip  | Mini T |
+-----------------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+
| Standard ATV    | -0.50  | +0.75  | -0.25  | -0.75  | +0.50  | -0.75  |
| Teddy Buggy     | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Wild Wiggler    | +0.50  | +0.50  | +0.50  | +0.25  | -0.50  | +0.25  |
| Bone Rattler*   | -0.25  | ?????  | ?????  | ?????  | +0.25  | ?????  |
+-----------------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~3.4. Tire Stats~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tires also affect your overall stats. The following table outlines them:

Default Tires: Standard, Monster, Roller, Slim, Wood

+-----------------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+
| Name            | L. Spe | W. Spe | A. Spe | G. Spe | Accel  | Weight |
+-----------------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+
| Standard Tires  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Standard Blue   | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Offroad         | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Retro Off-road  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Monster         | +0.00  | -0.50  | -0.50  | +0.00  | -0.50  | +0.50  |
| Hot Monster     | +0.00  | -0.50  | -0.50  | +0.00  | -0.50  | +0.50  |
| Slick           | +0.50  | -1.00  | +0.50  | +0.50  | -0.25  | +0.25  |
| Cyber Slick     | +0.50  | -1.00  | +0.50  | +0.50  | -0.25  | +0.25  |
| Roller          | -0.50  | +0.00  | +0.50  | -0.50  | +1.00  | -0.50  |
| Azure Roller    | -0.50  | +0.00  | +0.50  | -0.50  | +1.00  | -0.50  |
| Button          | -0.50  | +0.00  | +0.50  | -0.50  | +1.00  | -0.50  |
| Slim            | +0.25  | -0.25  | +0.25  | +0.25  | -0.25  | +0.00  |
| Crimson Slim    | +0.25  | -0.25  | +0.25  | +0.25  | -0.25  | +0.00  |
| Wood            | -0.25  | -1.00  | +0.25  | -0.25  | +0.25  | -0.25  |
| Sponge          | -0.25  | -1.00  | +0.25  | -0.25  | +0.25  | -0.25  |
| Cushion         | -0.25  | -1.00  | +0.25  | -0.25  | +0.25  | -0.25  |
| Metal           | +0.25  | -0.25  | +0.25  | +0.25  | -0.50  | +0.50  |
| Gold Tires      | +0.25  | -0.25  | +0.25  | +0.25  | -0.50  | +0.50  |
| GLA Tires*      | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Triforce Tires* | +0.25  | -0.25  | +0.25  | +0.25  | -0.25  | +0.00  |
| Leaf Tires*     | -0.50  | +0.00  | +0.50  | -0.50  | +1.00  | -0.50  |
+-----------------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+
| Name            | L. Han | W. Han | A. Han | G. Han |  Grip  | Mini T |
+-----------------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+
| Standard Tires  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Standard Blue   | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Off-road        | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Retro Off-road  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Monster         | -0.75  | -0.75  | -0.75  | -0.75  | +0.75  | +0.00  |
| Hot Monster     | -0.75  | -0.75  | -0.75  | -0.75  | +0.75  | +0.00  |
| Slick           | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | -1.00  | +0.25  |
| Cyber Slick     | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | -1.00  | +0.25  |
| Roller          | +0.25  | +0.25  | +0.25  | +0.25  | -0.25  | +1.50  |
| Azure Roller    | +0.25  | +0.25  | +0.25  | +0.25  | -0.25  | +1.50  |
| Button          | +0.25  | +0.25  | +0.25  | +0.25  | -0.25  | +1.50  |
| Slim            | +0.25  | +0.25  | +0.25  | +0.25  | -0.50  | +0.25  |
| Crimson Slim    | +0.25  | +0.25  | +0.25  | +0.25  | -0.50  | +0.25  |
| Wood            | -0.25  | -0.50  | +0.00  | -0.25  | +0.50  | +0.75  |
| Sponge          | -0.25  | -0.50  | +0.00  | -0.25  | +0.50  | +0.75  |
| Cushion         | -0.25  | -0.50  | +0.00  | -0.25  | +0.50  | +0.75  |
| Metal           | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | -0.50  | +0.00  |
| Gold Tires      | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | -0.50  | +0.00  |
| GLA Tires*      | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Triforce Tires* | +0.25  | +0.25  | +0.25  | +0.25  | -0.50  | +0.25  |
| Leaf Tires*     | +0.25  | +0.25  | +0.25  | +0.25  | -0.25  | +1.50  |
+-----------------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~3.5. Glider Stats~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lastly, we have the gliders. These don't affect much, but some still have a few
changes.

Default Gliders: Super Glider, Parachute, Parafoil

+---------------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+
| Name          | L. Spe | W. Spe | A. Spe | G. Spe | Accel  | Weight |
+---------------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+
| Super Glider  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Wario Wing    | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Waddle Wing   | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Plane Glider  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Gold Glider   | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Cloud Glider  | +0.00  | +0.00  | -0.25  | +0.00  | +0.25  | -0.25  |
| Flower Glider | +0.00  | +0.00  | -0.25  | +0.00  | +0.25  | -0.25  |
| Bowser Kite   | +0.00  | +0.00  | -0.25  | +0.00  | +0.25  | -0.25  |
| Parafoil      | +0.00  | +0.00  | -0.25  | +0.00  | +0.25  | -0.25  |
| MKTV Parafoil | +0.00  | +0.00  | -0.25  | +0.00  | +0.25  | -0.25  |
| Peach Parasol | +0.00  | +0.00  | -0.25  | +0.00  | +0.25  | -0.25  |
| Parachute     | +0.00  | +0.00  | -0.25  | +0.00  | +0.25  | -0.25  |
| Hylian Kite*  | +0.00  | +0.00  | -0.25  | +0.00  | +0.25  | -0.25  |
| Paper Glider* | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
+---------------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+
| Name          | L. Han | W. Han | A. Han | G. Han |  Grip  | Mini T |
+---------------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+
| Super Glider  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Wario Wing    | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Waddle Wing   | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Plane Glider  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Gold Glider   | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
| Cloud Glider  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.25  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.25  |
| Flower Glider | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.25  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.25  |
| Bowser Kite   | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.25  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.25  |
| Parafoil      | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.25  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.25  |
| MKTV Parafoil | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.25  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.25  |
| Peach Parasol | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.25  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.25  |
| Parachute     | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.25  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.25  |
| Hylian Kite*  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.25  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.25  |
| Paper Glider* | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  | +0.00  |
+---------------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~3.6. Karts vs. Bikes vs. ATV's~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One question that always comes up is whether karts, bikes, or ATV's are better.
Unlike Mario Kart Wii, where bikes were clearly better, things are a bit more
balanced here. Karts naturally have a faster top speed than bikes or ATV's, so
they are preferred on courses with many straight paths. Bikes can no longer 
wheelie (they wheelie when boosting, but that is purely aesthetic), but they can
corner better than karts and do better on courses with many twists and turns.
ATV's naturally have better offroad capabilities, and don't slip as much as the
others, so use them on courses with a lot of grass, dirt, sand, snow, etc.

While I mentioned inside drifting from Mario Kart Wii is gone, four bikes DO 
have a naturally tighter drift than the others. These are the Sport Bike, Jet 
Bike, Yoshi Bike, Comet, and Master Cycle. The bikes still have the initial 
outside movement that all other vehicles have, but they then turn sharply 
inward. This drifting is difficult to master, but can lead to some very 
impressive drifting techniques as you do have a tigher turning radius. These 
bikes also have different icons on the vehicle selection screen. However, these
bikes cannot firehop.

Overall, there is no clear cut answer as to which is better. The differences 
that I talked about are all very small, and likely won't affect the outcome of a
race. So unless you're going for a world record Time Trial run, stick with 
whatever type you like. The pseudo-inside drifting isn't as powerful as in Mario
Kart Wii, but it does give an advantage. However, none of these bikes have
increased speed, so there isn't a Funky+Flame Runner combination that dominates.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~3.7. Putting It All Together~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

All these numbers may be extremely confusing for you, but I'll walk you through
them in more depth here. Basically, the character you choose gives you your base
stats, and the vehicle parts you pick modify those stats a bit.

For example, say I'm using Shy Guy on the Jet Bike with Slim tires and Parafoil:

+-------------------------+-------+-------+--------+----------+-------+
| Combination             | Speed | Accel | Weight | Handling | Grip  |
+-------------------------+-------+-------+--------+----------+-------+
| Shy Guy (Featherweight) |  2.75 |  3.00 |  2.75  |   4.25   |  4.25 |
| Jet Bike                | +0.00 | +0.75 | -0.25  |  +0.75   | -1.25 |
| Slim                    | +0.25 | -0.25 | +0.00  |  +0.25   | -0.50 |
| Parafoil                | +0.00 | +0.25 | -0.25  |  +0.00   | +0.00 |
+-------------------------+-------+-------+--------+----------+-------+
| Total                   |  3.00 |  3.75 |  2.25  |   5.25   |  2.50 |
+-------------------------+-------+-------+--------+----------+-------+

As you can see, different combinations can change things quite a lot. The above
combination has higher Acceleration than the Babyweights, but less Grip than
even the Heavyweights.

Also there are many groups of vehicle parts that have identical stats. Choosing
which to use between these is purely a cosmetic choice and does not affect your
gameplay experience whatsoever.

Standard Kart Group: Standard Kart, Cat Cruiser, Prancer, Sneeker, The Duke, 
     Teddy Buggy
Standard Bike Group: Standard Bike, Varmint, Flame Rider, Pipe Frame, 
     Wild Wiggler
Standard ATV Group: Standard ATV, Badwagon, Tri-Speeder, Steel Driver
High Speed Group: Mach 8, Sports Coupe, Circuit Special, Gold Standard
High Acceleration Group: Biddybuggy, Landship, Mr. Scooty
Inside Drift Group: Sport Bike, Yoshi Bike, Jet Bike, Comet

Standard Tires Group: Standard Tires, Blue Standard, Off-road, Retro Off-road
Grip and Weight Group: Monster, Hot Monster
Pure Speed Group: Slick, Cyber Slick
Acceleration and Handling Group: Roller, Azure Roller, Button
Balanced Speed Group: Slim, Crimson Slim
Grip and Miniturbo Group: Wood, Sponge, Cushion
Speed and Weight Group: Metal, Gold Tires

Standard Gliders Group: Super Glider, Wario Wing, Waddle Wing, Plane Glider, 
     Gold Glider
Acceleration Gliders Group: Cloud Glider, Flower Glider, Bowser Kite, Parafoil,
     MKTV Parafoil, Peach Parasol, Parachute

Most combinations that are extremely strong in one category are very weak in 
another. This balance means there isn't one combination that's the best. 
Obviously in different situations, different combinations will have advantages. 
In Time Trial, Speed is by far the most important, while in Balloon Battle, 
Acceleration and Handling are probably the most important. On top of this, 
courses like Dolphin Shoals have a lot of underwater segments, so Underwater 
Speed and Under Handling would be much more important here than on, say, Mario
Kart Stadium. Unless you're going for world record Time Trials, you should be
able to find a combination that you like for all the courses. Experiment to see 
what works for you.

================================================================================
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4. Items~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
================================================================================

It wouldn't be a Mario Kart game without a plethora of items that you will be 
using throughout each race. Using items effectively is key to winning most 
races. Mario Kart 8 introduces four new items, and has removed some from Mario
Kart 7.

Removed Items: Super Leaf, Lucky Seven
New Items: Super Horn, Boomerang Flower, Piranha Plant, Crazy Eight

Items are collected from the numerous item boxes located in multiple spots on
each track, usually in rows or groups. When you run into an item box, a roulette
appears in the upper-left corner of the screen. Eventually, an item will be 
selected (you can speed up the roulette by tapping the item button, though about
two seconds must have already passed). The item you will received is chosen
semi-randomly. The type of item you get roughly depends on how far away you are
from the person in first, and NOT solely in place value as in previous games.

On top of this, Mario Kart 8 allows you to carry only one item, even if you're
dragging it behind you. This forces you to be a bit more strategic in your item
use.

When talking about all of the items in Mario Kart 8, I will talk about four 
things:

Placement: This is how far back from the person in first you have to be to get
this item. This is VERY rough, so don't take this as a fact. It's best to use as
a comparison between items, but it's very possible for you to get a Green Shell
and the person next to you to get a Star.

High: 1st or right behind
Mid-High: Decently close
Mid: Fairly far behind
Mid-Low: Quite far
Low: 1st is like 1/2 a lap ahead

Remember that this is by no means your "limit" in getting these items, 
especially if you have races set to Frantic mode. This is just a general guide 
so you know what to expect. It is very important to keep in mind that your place
DOES NOT MATTER.

I will also talk about how often you'll see this item when in a certain 
position. For example, though Mushrooms can be gotten in first, they are quite
rare, while when you're in Mid placement, they're pretty common. If I give a 
specific statement like "Uncommon when High" and I say you can get the item from
High to Mid-High, assume that it is Common when you're Mid-High.

Common>Uncommon>Rare

Description: This is a general description of what the item does, and how you
use it.

Offensive Techniques: This describes how you can use the item for offense. This
generally refers to passing racers or attacking those in front of you.

Defensive Techniques: This describes how you can use the item for defense. This
generally refers to maintaining your position or hitting those behind you.

Avoiding It: Here I will talk about how to avoid being affected by this item if
it is used against you, either by dodging the item or lessening its affects.

Also when talking about getting hit, I will be using two different phrases.
'Spinning out' refers to when your character spins around in a circle, slowing
significantly but not completely stopping. 'Flipping' or getting 'knocked over'
is when your character actually flips around in the air and comes to a complete
standstill. Flipping is more costly than spinning out.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.1. Coin~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: High to Mid-High (Very common in first)

Description: The Coin item gives you two coins automatically. If you already
have 10 coins, this item is relatively worthless.

Offensive Techniques: None. Use it immediately and look for another item.

Defensive Techniques: Notice how I said relatively worthless earlier. Getting
coins boosts your speed, and this includes the Coin item. You can use this to
slightly help you recover from being hit. Of course, if you can get a Banana or
Shell that's much better, but if you're in first, you may want to save the Coin
until the next set of item boxes just in case.

Avoiding It: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH IT'S A COIN RUNNNNNNNNNNN

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.2. Banana~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: High to Mid-High (Common)

Description: You can do three things with the Banana. By tapping the button you
will drop it directly behind you onto the track. By holding Up and tapping the
button you will lob the Banana in an arc ahead of you. Lastly, by holding the
item button you can drag the peel behind your vehicle. A Banana will remain on
the track or attached to your vehicle until it's hit by a racer or another item.
Touching a Banana will cause you to spin out.

Offensive Techniques: It's difficult to use Bananas to affect racers in front of
you, as all you can really do is lob the Banana ahead of you, which is very 
difficult to aim. Tossing a Banana directly on top of a racer's head is the best
strategy, as it gives them no time to react, but this is very challenging.

Defensive Techniques: Bananas are definitely more suited to defense. There are 
two main strategies you can take when it comes to Banana defense. The first is 
to drag the Banana behind you. This shields you from any rear attacks, and is 
very useful in defending against Red Shells. Keep in mind that items from the 
side and in front of you will still hit, as will explosive items. The other
strategy involves placing Bananas in strategic places along the track where 
opponents will slip on them. Narrow passages are ideal as there is little room
to dodge the Bananas. You can also place Bananas on ramps or boosts, as if a 
racer hits a Banana on these they will often spin clean off the ramp or boost.
For ramps, this can cause them to fall into a pit and they will have wasted a 
lot of time. Another option is to place Bananas right behind item boxes as they
are difficult to see and people are always going for item boxes. One more thing:
holding Bananas behind you is a great way for dealing with drafters, as they 
will likely draft right into your peel.

Avoiding It: Bananas on the track are usually fairly easy to avoid as long as
you're alert. Pay special attention to narrow corridors or blind turns where
tricky Bananas may be waiting, as well as ramps where slipping on one can ruin
your race. If someone is trying to lob a Banana at you, you can look back to see
where they are, or just be very careful and know that a Banana will likely 
appear somewhere in front of you. Also be cautious when drafting, as a dropped
Banana can quickly ruin a draft.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.3. Triple Bananas~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: High to Mid-High (Uncommon)

Description: Three Bananas will begin circling your vehicle. Each Banana acts 
like an individual Banana, and will protect you from one hit. With all three 
circling you, you are protected from Green and Red Shells from every direction 
(but you can still be hit by landing on top of one). As you use or lose Bananas,
your protective barrier is greatly weakened. Note that you cannot drag any of 
the Bananas behind you. The Triple Banana is also activated immediately upon
acquiring the item, so don't mash the item button or you will waste one.

Offensive Techniques: Each Banana operates the same as a regular Banana, so 
there isn't much of a difference. However, you can now ram into other racers
with your Banana barrier, causing them to spin out.

Defensive Techniques: The spinning barrier of Bananas is very useful, but as the
number of Bananas surrounding you decreases, you become increasingly vulnerable.
Three Bananas blocks almost all Shells, and two Bananas is still pretty good, 
but don't count on one Banana protecting you even from Shells from the rear.
Triple Bananas are also very effective in laying down a string of peels, 
preferably blocking the entrance or exit to a narrow path, thereby making it
extremely challenging to avoid.

Avoiding It: Avoiding Triple Bananas is the same as avoiding a regular Banana.
Just watch out for racers who will ram you with their Banana barriers.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.4. Green Shell~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: High to Mid-High (Common)

Description: Firing off a Green Shell will see it take off at high speeds. A
Green Shell will last until hitting another racer, another item such as a 
Banana, falling into a pit, or after ricocheting several times off a wall. Like
Bananas, you can fire Green Shells forwards, backwards, or drag them behind you,
though you don't lob Green Shells forward. Being hit by a Green Shell will cause
you to flip over.

Offensive Techniques: Green Shell sniping is quite a glorifying experience. 
Seeing that Green Shell close in on an unsuspecting victim, and watching it 
crush their dreams of victory is sweeter than honey on syrup. It is rather 
difficult however, and requires practice. Ricocheting Shells off of walls can be
beneficial, as it has a higher chance of hitting opponents from the sides or in
front, but is even more difficult to pull off outside of narrow corridors.

Defensive Techniques: Green Shells can be dragged behind you exactly like 
Bananas, so all of this tips still apply. In addition, you can throw Green 
Shells backward to prevent opponents from getting up close behind you. Because
of the speed at which they move, dodging a Green Shell coming at you from the 
front is very challenging. You can also send one backwards at a wall in a narrow
corridor, as the multiple ricochets will make it very hard to dodge.

Avoiding It: Besides having Bananas or a Shell of your own to use as protection,
avoiding a skillfully aimed Green Shell can be very tough. Pay attention to the
distinct noise the Shells make, and look back to see where they're coming from.
Also, NEVER drive behind someone with a Green Shell. You will very likely get 
hit, either from them launching the Shell back at you, or by running into the
Shell they're dragging behind once you start drafting.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.5. Triple Green Shells~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: High to Mid-High (Uncommon)

Description: Three Green Shells begin circling your vehicle in an identical
manner to Triple Bananas. Each Green Shell is used individually, and cannot be
dragged behind you like a standard Green Shell. Like Triple Bananas, this item
is activated immediately.

Offensive Techniques: On top of the strategies associated with singular Green
Shells, your spinning vortex of shelly doom can cause great chaos if you start
bumping into other racers. You can also fire multiple shells in quick 
succession, thus giving your target less chance to escape. Be aware that you can
destroy your Shells by hitting them with another Shell though.

Defensive Techniques: Copy and paste the standard Green Shell defensive 
techniques and add in the Triple Bananas section on items spinning around your
vehicle. Three Shells = Good. Two Shells = Pretty good. One Shell = Bad.

Avoiding It: Stay away from people with Triple Green Shells, and don't get 
directly in front or behind them. Be sure to look back if you pass someone with
them, as they will likely try to either ram you or pick you off from a distance.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.6. Red Shell~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: High to Mid (Uncommon when High)

Description: Like Green Shells, Red Shells can be thrown forwards, backwards, or
be dragged behind your vehicle. They hit with the same amount of force as Green
Shells, and act identical when dragged behind. However, Red Shells will home in
on the racer in front of you, but if you are neck and neck with another racer, 
the Red Shell may pass by them and go for a person further ahead. Red Shells are
also destroyed if they hit a wall once. Throwing a Red Shell backwards will 
result in the Shell flying backwards in a straight line. If a Red Shell hits any
item, hazard, or other vehicle, it will break.

Offensive Techniques: Red Shells are the dominant offensive item in the higher
places as they home in on the racer in front of you. This makes them very 
powerful as they are very hard to dodge if you don't have an item for 
protection. Pay attention to see if the racer in front of you has an item such
as a Banana or a Shell and save the Red Shell until they drop it (Many people
online will hold onto their protective items for the entire race. In this case,
it is best to fire the Shell to destroy their item and then look to take them 
out another way while they are defenseless). If you can, try to time the Red
Shell to hit your opponent when they are gliding, as this will cause them to 
fall into the pit below, costing them a lot of time.

Defensive Techniques: Defensively, Red Shells are identical to Green Shells 
minus the fact that Green Shells ricochet. But having a Red Shell does 
discourage drivers from getting in front of you, as they know that Shell will be
unleashed upon them.

Avoiding It: Protective items like Bananas are really your only hope in avoiding
Red Shells. While Red Shells are destroyed if they hit a wall or an item on the
track, angling yourself so a Red Shell following you hits one of these is very
tough, though not impossible. Personally, whenever I am in first I always hold
on to my Bananas and Green Shells just so I can protect myself from incoming Red
Shells.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.7. Triple Red Shells~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: High to Mid-High (Uncommon)

Description: Go read the Triple Green Shell description but replace 'Green' with
'Red.' Problem solved.

Offensive Techniques: Triple Red Shells are very powerful. Even if your target
has Triple Bananas or Triple Green Shells, it is very likely that you will hit 
them at least once. Triple Red Shells can easily move you up several places.
Just be careful to not waste them. Space your shots apart so that your second 
Shell doesn't hit your target while he's still recoiling from the first.

Defensive Techniques: Same as Triple Green Shells, although people will 
certainly be afraid to pass you.

Avoiding It: Ha. Good luck. Even with Triple Bananas or Triple Shells you have 
to be quite lucky to avoid all three Shells. Block as much as you can, but you
may be forced to take a hit or two if someone with Triple Red Shells is 
breathing down your neck.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.8. Blue Shell~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: Mid to Mid-Low (Rare)

Description: The dreaded Blue Shell does indeed make a comeback in Mario Kart 8.
Like in Mario Kart 7, when launched the Blue Shell races along the track, 
knocking over any racer in its path before reaching the racer in 1st. It will
then rise up and crash down on them in a blue explosion. Anyone else caught in
the blast will be hit as well. Fortunately, the Blue Shell has been toned down a
bit in this game. Instead of being launched into the air like in previous games,
the Blue Shell hits with the same force as a Green or Red Shell, simply knocking
the target over. If another racer is caught on the edge of the blast, he will
spin out.

Offensive Techniques: The problem with the Blue Shell is that it only really
affects the racer in 1st place, but you won't be receiving the Blue Shell from
an item box unless you're quite low in the placement. This means that the Blue
Shell is usually not very advantageous to the person who used it. This doesn't
make it useless however. Oftentimes the person in 1st will slow down so that
racers behind him will get caught in the explosion as well. You can also save
the Blue Shell until you're closer to 1st place. The mere presence or a Blue 
Shell often causes a mini panic amongst the players at the head of the race, as
they will be trying to avoid getting hit, or at least get others to be hit as 
well. If nothing else, try to target the person in 1st when they are gliding 
over a pit so they suffer the most. This is difficult to do as the Blue Shell 
has to work its way up to them, but it's a good situation to shoot for if 
nothing else is possible/reasonable.

Defensive Techniques: You can't exactly throw a Blue Shell backwards or drag one
behind you, so defense is basically out of the question. However, if you have a 
Blue Shell, you are automatically feared by several racers. Use this power to 
your advantage. If you decide to make your way all the way to 1st without using 
it (which I wouldn't normally suggest is a good idea), no one is going to want
to pass you. Oh and if you're in 1st, don't use a Blue Shell. It will blow up in
your face.

Avoiding It: If you're not close to 1st place, just watch out for the Shell as
it travels along the track. A warning pops up when it's coming, so look behind
yourelf and make sure you're out of the way. The Blue Shell usually travels 
right down the middle, so moving to the side should suffice. If you're near 1st,
be aware that the person in 1st may try to slow down so that you will get hit
too. If the 1st place racer tries this, do everything you can to slip past him.
If you're already ahead of the target racer before the Blue Shell even hits him,
you're in a great position to get a solid lead. If you're the one in 1st, you
don't have many choices. Shells and Bananas don't block the Blue Shell, so your
options are to take the hit, slow down and take others down with you, fall into
a pit with decent timing, or dodge it. Dodging a Blue Shell requires precise
timing with a boost or for you to be invincible. If you're far enough ahead, 
just take the hit, but if you're close enough, you can try and get others in the
explosion with you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.9. Super Horn~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: High to Mid-High (Rare)

Description: Our savior is here. The one that shall free us from the tyrannical
rule of the dreaded Blue Shell. The Super Horn is a single-use item that 
unleashes a circular soundwave around your character for about a second. Any 
racer caught in the wave will flip, and any items will be destroyed. Yes, ANY 
items will be destroyed, including the Blue Shell.

Offensive Techniques: The Super Horn is a great weapon for crowd control, as it
unleashes a powerful blast all around you. This is best done by driving in the 
middle of a crowd and then unleashing it. You have to be a bit careful as it's a
single-use item, but the blast lasts long enough so that you should be able to 
hit anyone decently close.

Defensive Techniques: Of course, the other great characteristic of the Super 
Horn is that it destroys all Bananas, Green Shells, Red Shells, and Blue Shells
around you. This makes it one of the ultimate defensive items. The big downside
is that you can only use it once, and though you can get the Super Horn in 1st 
place, it is very rare. If you're in 1st, definitely save it for defense, but if
you're constantly exchanging positions with a crowd, it's best to use it then.
Considering Bananas and Shells can easily be gotten and will protect you from
everything the Super Horn does minus the Blue Shell, it's often not worth it to
save the Super Horn for a long amount of time unless you're already in 1st.

Avoiding It: If someone has a Super Horn, just stay away from them. This is 
easier said than done of course, and the Super Horn has a deceptively large 
blast radius. If someone is in 1st with a Super Horn, try throwing Bananas at 
them so they use it prematurely, and you can then hit them with Shells.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.10. Fire Flower~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: High to Mid-High (Uncommon)

Description: Once you get the Fire Flower, a timer in the form of a circular
gauge will appear around the item bubble and start decreasing. During this time,
pressing the item button fires a fireball in front of you (holding down while
firing fires behind you). Each time you fire, the timer goes down a bit more 
than it would if you hadn't. When the timer runs out, the Fire Flower 
disappears. Fireballs bounce along the ground and ricochet off walls like Green
Shells until disappearing after hitting enough walls or after traveling a 
certain distance. Being hit by a fireball will cause you to spin out, and they
are blocked by items such as Bananas (though Bananas are incinerated).

Offensive Techniques: The biggest concern when using the Fire Flower is that you
have a time limit. The meter decreases no matter what you do, but it decreases
faster when you throw fireballs. There are two general strategies here: either
take your time, pace your shots out, and aim precisely, or go crazy and fire a 
massive barrage into a crowd or at a target. The first method gives you the most
time with the Fire Flower, and potentially allows you to do more damage, as you
can hit an opponent multiple times. The second method gives you a great chance
of actually hitting something, as the fireballs are rather difficult to aim, and
it is better for taking out multiple opponents quickly, but you have less time 
to do so. Overall it's your choice.

Defensive Techniques: You can use the Fire Flower for defense by dropping shots
behind you at other racers. This keeps the other racers swerving and on their 
toes even if you don't hit them. The Fire Flower isn't that great though, as it
does not defend against Shells, and you only have it for a set period of time.

Avoiding It: If someone with a Fire Flower is after you, you're gonna have a bad
time. Though hard to aim, the sheer number of shots you get with the Fire Flower
almost guarantees that at least one will hit. What's more, they can bounce off
walls and hit you from multiple angles. Your best bet is to swerve around or 
turn. This makes you very difficult to hit. Though Fire Flowers are difficult to
avoid, remember that you only spin out when hit, so you don't lose a ton of 
time.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.11. Boomerang Flower~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: High to Mid-High (Uncommon)

Description: The Boomerang Flower sacrifices the rapid and numerous shots of its
fiery cousin for fewer, stronger blows. With each tap of the item button you 
fire a boomerang forward a considerable distance. Getting hit by this boomerang
will cause you to flip over. After extending out, the boomerang will return back
to you, hitting anyone in its path. You can throw the boomerang three times 
before it disappears, so you arguably have six chances to hit opponents. One 
more thing, if you want to get rid of the Boomerang Flower, throw it right 
before hitting an item box. While throwing the boomerang, the item is 
technically not in your item slot, so you can pick up another.

Offensive Techniques: The Boomerang Flower should be used conservatively, as you
only have three shots (there is no overarching time limit like for the Fire 
Flower). The big thing to remember is that the boomerang can hit opponents when
it's returning to you. With some clever maneuvering, you can angle yourself so
the returning boomerang hits someone even if you missed them in the initial 
shot. This definitely takes practice, but given time you can become deadly with
this item.

Defensive Techniques: Like the Fire Flower, you can also fire boomerangs behind
you. The Fire Flower defensive techniques apply here as well. Just keep in mind
the three shot limit.

Avoiding It: Pay attention to the thrower. The boomerang goes straight out from
the thrower, and then returns on as straight a path as possible to the thrower, 
so if the thrower moves, the boomerang's returning path will be different. By
observing the thrower, you can usually get a decent idea of the boomerang's
returning path. This is a lot to think about when a boomerang is whizzing by 
your head, but after some time this should become second nature. Good boomerang
users will still be able to hit you fairly often however.

However, if you hit the item button RIGHT as the Boomerang hits you, you will
steal it for yourself. You can now use the Boomerang Flower yourself, but you 
only has as many uses as it had before you stole it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.12. Bob-omb~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: High to Mid-High (Uncommon)

Description: You use the Bob-omb the same way that you use a Banana: lob it, 
drag it, or drop it. The difference, of course, is the explosive blast that 
occurs if the Bob-omb hits or comes close to a racer. This explosion is 
identical to the blast of a Blue Shell: direct hits will cause flips while 
fringe hits will cause spin outs. One special note: if you're dragging a Bob-omb
behind you, you will not get caught in its explosionif someone runs into it if 
you're moving decently fast.

Offensive Techniques: Bob-ombs are great weapons for taking out crowds, but 
lobbing them forward can make it challenging to aim. Their large blast radius
makes the aiming a bit more forgiving than Bananas, however. You still need to
be careful not to run into the Bob-omb after you throw it. Bob-ombs explode 
after some time or if a racer passes by them, and that includes the thrower.

Defensive Techniques: Though dragging Bob-ombs behind you doesn't protect you 
(In fact, if you're hit you will drop the Bob-omb right behind you. Not an ideal
situation.), they are great for dealing with anyone who is getting too close for
comfort. If someone runs into your Bob-omb while you're dragging it, you will 
not get hit unless you're driving very slowly. Dropping Bob-ombs behind you is
also a very good strategy, especially in narrow areas. You have more control 
over where the Bob-omb will land then if you lob it forward, and you don't have
to worry about running into it.

Avoiding It: NEVER EVER EVER DRIVE BEHIND SOMEONE WITH A BOB-OMB. YOU WILL BE 
VERY UNHAPPY. Also be cautious of lobbers. When you hear the sound of a lob, be
very quick to identify A. Is it a Bob-omb? and B. Where will it land? and be
ready to make very quick adjustments. Getting hit by a Bob-omb will cost you a 
lot of time, so try as hard as you can to avoid them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.13. Piranha Plant~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: High to Mid-High (Uncommon)

Description: When your botanical friend attaches itself to the front of your 
vehicle, a meter like the one for the Fire Flower appears and will slowly empty.
About every second, the Piranha Plant will lunge forward, giving you a boost
roughly equivalent to a miniturbo. Each lunge will cause the meter to drop a bit
quicker, also like the Fire Flower. The Piranha Plant will also lunge toward any
racer, item, or hazard nearby and give them a good ol' chomp. Items like Shells
and Bananas are eaten, while racers will flip over. When the timer runs out the
Piranha Plant will disappear. Goodbye my glorious vegetable.

You can also rapidly tap the item button to manually boost with the Piranha 
Plant, but the meter will drop quicker.

Offensive Techniques: The Piranha Plant is a very useful item in getting a good
amount of speed, and its automatic chomps allow you to hit many racers in your
path. The only problem is racers with items like Triple Shells. The Piranha 
Plant will lunge at them, often pulling you into their ring of items. Try to
avoid these opponents, but you should steer the Piranha Plant toward everyone 
else so you can take out as many racers as possible.

Defensive Techniques: The Piranha Plant is one of few items that protects your
front. While it doesn't directly block items, it lunges at any item in front of
you, gobbling them up in the process. Using this, you can drive through a Banana
ridden alleyway without much worry. The Piranha Plant's lunges can also boost
you out of harm's way.

Avoiding It: Stay far away from the Piranha Plant. Its range is deceptively 
large. Due to the boosts, someone with a Piranha Plant will likely by zooming
past you. Do your best to get out of the way, and stay back until the Piranha 
Plant's timer is depleted. One thing you definitely don't want to do is try to
pass a Piranha Plant. 9 times out of 10 it will get you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.14. Blooper~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: Mid (Uncommon)

Description: Once the Blooper is activated, it will fly up from the user. It 
will then appear over every racer in front of the user and spray them with ink a
few seconds later. The ink splatters on the player's screen, obscuring about 1/3
of their view (mostly covering the middle of the screen). Computer players will 
start zigzagging a bit, allowing you to pass them more easily. The ink is 
removed after a certain amount of time, or if the inked person gets a boost from
a boost pad or a Mushroom. On top of all of this, being Bloop'd will GREATLY
reduce your Grip. Turning and drifting become quite difficult and you will find
yourself turning into walls.

Offensive Techniques: In previous games, the Blooper is relatively useless. Any 
decent player will have memorized the track well enough so that they can still 
drive fine after being inked. However, in Mario Kart 8 the Blooper greatly 
affects your Grip stat, making turning/drifting very difficult. This is actually
pretty devastating, and it can totally screw people over if they're not ready 
for it. Against computers the Blooper is useful as to simulate losing their 
view, computer players will weave back and forth and go slower. You should be 
able to pass a few relatively easily.

Defensive Techniques: Considering the Blooper only affects those in front of the
user, there are basically no defensive properties to the Blooper. I guess you
could argue that if you Bloop'd someone and then got in front of them, they'd 
have trouble hitting you with a Shell or something, but that's a bit of a 
stretch.

Avoiding It: The only way to get rid of the ink is to go over a boost pad or use
a Mushroom. Otherwise the ink eventually goes away on its own. In terms of 
losing traction, there really isn't any strict rule to help you besides "watch
out for the Blooper." Know that your Grip is severly handicapped, and try to
compensate.

However, the Piranha Plant will actually eat the Blooper, preventing you from
being inked. This isn't exactly reliable, but it's good to know. Ink is also
removed when going underwater.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.15. Mushroom~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: High to Mid (Uncommon when High)

Description: Using a Mushroom will give you a boost equivalent to using a boost
pad. While boosted, you can go offroad without slowing down at all. Mushroom
boosts also remove ink.

Offensive Techniques: Mushrooms should almost always be used to take offroad 
shortcuts. Even if there isn't a specific shortcut path to take, you can often
cut corners by going offroad a bit. Bottom line is you should almost never use
Mushrooms on a straightaway, as the benefit from the boost is relatively 
minimal. While you're boosting, your ramming abilities are increased 
dramatically, and you should be able to shove much heavier vehicles aside.

Defensive Techniques: Mushrooms can also be used to avoid items like Green 
Shells or someone who is chasing you down with a Boomerang Flower or something.
Mushrooms can also be used to dodge Blue Shells, though you have to be very
precise in your timing. Overall, Mushrooms are better suited for offroad 
shortcuts.

Avoiding It: The only danger someone with a Mushroom presents to you is their
increased ramming power. Besides that, Mushrooms are completely harmless.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.16. Triple Mushrooms~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: Mid-High to Low (Uncommon when Mid-High)

Description: Three Mushrooms begin encircling your vehicle like Triple Bananas 
and Triple Green Shells. Each Mushroom acts like an individual Mushroom. The 
only noteworthy difference here is that if another racer touches one of the 
Mushrooms, he will essentially steal it and immediately get a boost (however you
will NOT lose the Mushroom). Like all other Triple items, they are activated
immediately.

Offensive Techniques: Use the three Mushrooms to your advantage by taking large
offroad shortcuts. Everything else regarding regular Mushrooms applies, but DO
NOT TRY RAMMING OTHERS. They will likely hit one of the Mushrooms circling 
around you and get a boost themselves. Remember that you do not lose a Mushroom
by doing this, but giving your opponent free boosts isn't exactly optimal.

Defensive Techniques: Again, everything discussed regarding the standard 
Mushroom applies here, but you have to be careful in making sure that no one
steals your boosts.

Avoiding It: DON'T avoid it. If you see someone with Triple Mushrooms just
driving along, ram into that sucker to steal some free boosts.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.17. Gold Mushroom~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: Mid-Low to Low (Uncommon when Mid-Low)

Description: As soon as this item shows up in your inventory, a timer will start
counting down. As long as this item is in your possession, you have an unlimited
supply of Mushroom boosts at the tap of the item button. Using these boosts does
NOT make the timer go down faster like the Fire Flower, so in almost every case
you should be constantly mashing the item button.

Offensive Techniques: The Gold Mushroom (or as I affectionally call it: the 
Spam-shroom) is one of the best items in the game. Using it you can cut across
huge stretches of offroad terrain and possibly take multiple shortcuts. Since
there is no benefit in saving the boosts, it is advised to boost constantly 
unless you're about to hit something or fall in a pit. You also have great 
ramming potential.

Defensive Techniques: Spam that button to avoid stuff and get ahead. That's it.

Avoiding It: Like with singular Mushrooms, the only threat a Gold Mushroom user
has against you (besides passing you) is their increased ramming capabilities.
Otherwise, ignore them, or hit them with an item right as their Gold Mushroom
disappears if you're a special type of jerk.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.18. Star~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: Mid-Low to Low (Uncommon when Mid-Low)

Description: Using a Star gives you a consistent boost in speed and makes you 
invincible. While invincible, running into other racers causes them to flip 
over, all Bananas and Shells (including Blue Shells) are destroyed, and all 
other items do no damage. The only thing stopping you is a wall or a pit. You
can use a Star to take offroad shortcuts. If two racers both with Stars bump 
into each other it will be like standard jostling.

Offensive Techniques: There are two methods to using a Star: 1. Go for offroad
shortcuts and get as far ahead as you can, or 2. Go crazy and ram as many racers
as you can. Both of these methods have their advantages. The first probably will
get you farthest ahead, but the second method definitely causes more carnage, 
and will cause a lot of people to hate you (whether you view that as a good 
thing or not is up to you). The best plan is to choose one of the above and 
stick with it.

Defensive Techniques: Being invincible is definitely nice. Literally nothing can
hurt you minus falling into a pit. Blue Shells, Red Shells, Bob-ombs, even 
Lightning will do absolutely nothing to you. Many people save Stars until they 
are about to be hit, and then activate them to absorb the hit and then do one of
the methods outlined above. Though I wouldn't recommend using Stars as soon as 
you get them, I don't recommend saving them for the rest of the race just in 
case you get hit.

Avoiding It: If someone with a Star is determined to ram you, they will ram you.
Your best hope is to avoid them as they come up behind you (looking back is
obviously useful), and then hope they don't plan on backing up and trying again.
Most people will just try to hit you during a pass and if they miss oh well, but
there are always those few who are absolutely determined to hit you. Trying to
avoid these people (especially skilled ones) is one of the hardest things in
Mario Kart to do. Also one last thing, be careful when using Mushrooms to go 
offroad, as a person on a Star can hit you and completely kill you momentum, 
leaving you stuck offroad.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.19. Bullet Bill~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: Mid-Low to Low (Rare when Mid-Low. Uncommon when Low)

Description: Upon activation, you will transform into a Bullet Bill and 
automatically race down the track at great speeds. While a Bullet Bill, you are
invincible to all damage. The amount of time you remain as a Bullet Bill depends
on how many racers you pass. If you hit a racer as a Bullet Bill they will flip.

Offensive Techniques: Bullet Bills are basically Stars that you can't control, 
as you will automatically follow the track (so you can't take offroad 
shortcuts). There isn't much strategy to using a Bullet Bill. All you can do is
hope racers in front of you don't get out of the way.

Defensive Techniques: Like Stars, Bullet Bills make you invincible, but since 
you can't control the Bullet Bill's path, it is relatively useless as a 
defensive item, however you can use it to avoid Lightning.

Avoiding It: Get out of the middle of the road. Bullet Bill's almost always 
follow a relatively straightforward path that follows the center of the track.
When you hear one approaching, look back and make sure you're safe.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.20. Lightning~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: Mid-Low to Low (Uncommon)

Description: Lightning shocks every racer in front of the user, causing them to
spin out and shrink. While shrunk, racers move at a much slower speed and can be
flattened by a normal-size racer. The duration you remain shrunk depends on your
place (the closer you are to the front the longer you stay small).

Offensive Techniques: Obviously Lightning is extremely powerful, as it hits 
every racer in front of you and decreases their speed. If you want to be extra
devious though, watch your map until you see many racers in gliding sections.
There's nothing more satisfying than shocking multiple opponents into a pit.
Remember that racers with Stars and Bullet Bills will be entirely immune.

Defensive Techniques: Considering that Lightning doesn't affect anyone behind 
you, it has basically no defensive capabilities. Lightning does force everyone 
to drop their item, so I guess that can be considered defensive.

Avoiding It: Unless you have a Star or Bullet Bill, you're getting shocked. Just
be sure to stay away from pits when you notice someone getting Lightning.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4.21. Crazy Eight~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Placement: Mid-High to Mid-Low (Uncommon)

Description: The Crazy Eight replaces the Lucky Seven from Mario Kart 7. Once
activated, eight items will begin encircling your vehicle: a Coin, a Banana, a
Green Shell, a Red Shell, a Bob-omb, a Blooper, a Mushroom, and a Star. By 
tapping the item button again, you will use whichever item is directly in front
of you. Anyone who runs into an item surrounding you will either be damaged 
(Banana, Green Shell, Red Shell, Bob-omb) or will steal it (Coin, Blooper, 
Mushroom, Star).

Offensive Techniques: Each of these eight items should be tackled in a certain
order or priority:

1. Star and Bob-omb - The Star is definitely the best item, and is certainly the
item you do not want to be stolen. While you may not want to use it immediately,
you definitely have to be careful and will not want to hold onto it for no 
reason. The Bob-omb isn't exactly useful, but it is extremely dangerous. If it 
is set off either by a racer running into it or by throwing it into a wall/slope
right in front of you. If the Bob-bomb goes off, you will drop ALL of the items 
circling you. Because of this, you will want to get rid of the Bob-omb as soon
as possible.

2. Mushroom and Red Shell - The Red Shell is arguably the most reliable 
offensive in this set of eight, so it should definitely be put to good use. The
Mushroom is also very useful, but if someone manages to steal it it's not as
devastating as if they took the Star.

3. Banana and Green Shell - Both of these items are useful, but are not overly
critical to your success and do not pose an immediate threat of someone runs 
into them. Use them when you can.

4. Coin and Blooper - These items are relatively useless. Use them when there 
are no immediate threats.

Defensive Techniques: While you have four items circling you that can be used 
for ramming, the Mushroom and Star will directly help anyone you ram, and the 
Bob-omb will likely take you out as well. Because of this, you should avoid 
other races until you've used/disposed of the Star, Mushroom, and Bob-omb. While
the Banana, Green Shell, and Red Shell can be used to block other Shells, since
they were originally in a group of eight circling you, Triple Bananas and Shells
are definitely much better protection.

Avoiding It: If you ram someone with the Crazy Eight, you have a 1/2 chance of
taking hits and a 1/4 chance of getting a boost. It's generally not worth it, 
but if you happen to notice they have the Star and/or Mushroom circling around
them without any damaging items nearby, go ahead. Just be wary, as they may 
activate the Star right as you approach, or you may miss and get hit. It's a
risky strategy, and you may just want to avoid people with the Crazy Eight 
completely.

================================================================================
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~5. Courses~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
================================================================================

Here we are at the main bread and butter of all Mario Kart games: the courses.
I will be describing in depth each course including alternate paths, shortcuts,
item box locations, hazards, and more.

Before we get started, here are some general tips on racing:

 - Know your vehicle. This basically boils down to knowing how your vehicle 
handles. Knowing how early to start drifting around a certain corner and how 
much you have to pull back to glide up to a certain path is essential in smooth
races.

 - Even if there isn't exactly a shortcut, most turns can be cut slightly by
using a Mushroom to go offroad. If there are no nearby shortcuts, this is a 
decent use of a Mushroom.

 - Use the map on the Gamepad to your advantage by checking for items, seeing 
how close to you another racer is, etc. Even a brief glance at the map can be 
very useful.

 - Always take turns as sharply as possible. Even if there are boosts on the
outside edges of turns, it is almost always quicker to hug the inside edge.

 - Trick constantly. Almost any time your vehicle leaves the ground from any 
slight bump or dip in the track, you can trick. Master the timing so you never
miss any trick opportunities.

 - When gliding, you can hit the edges of ramps to trick off them but maintain
your glider. Use this to your advantage to get some extra speed in the air.

 - If you're in 1st, ALWAYS use items defensively, and try to always have an 
item on you for protection. ALWAYS drag Bananas and Shells behind you in these
situations, even if nothing is coming. Getting hit by a wayward Green Shell is
never fun.

 - There are a ton of places where you can cut corners with Mushrooms by going
offroad. I don't list all of them, but be on the lookout for any good 
opportunities.

 - If someone online is consistently beating you, try following them to see what
they do. You may learn of a new path you didn't know about.

 - Remember that for Mirror Mode, left and right are flipped. Everything else
should be the same, so just do what the guide says but in the opposite 
direction.

 - I will often tell you in this guide which path to take if the track splits. 
These may not be the actual fastest paths, but they are usually the best when it
comes to risk versus reward. For example, the middle section of the cave in
Dolphin Shoals is faster if you time everything absolutely perfectly, but the 
side route is easier to perfect, and you aren't screwed as much if you get hit.
If you're interested in the absolute fastest paths, look up some World Record
videos on Youtube, but keep in mind that these aren't always practical during
races.

If there are any alternate paths or shortcuts not detailed in this guide, be 
sure to let me know.

~200cc Tips~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 - Brake drifting/Brake pumping: Many corners on 200cc are very difficult to 
take even with a setup with great Handling. The best way to accomodate this is
brake drifting. While drifting, tap the brake button. You will slow down and 
turn much sharper. The more you hold the brake button down, the stronger the
effect. Be careful not to hold it down too much or you will lose your drift 
(though then again you may want to do that).

 - Some turns and jumps are placed in such a way that you actually don't want to
boost/trick out of them. I will relay this in each specific course section.

 - Because of the tricky turns, you may want to ditch Speed all together and use
vehicle combos with higher Handling and Acceleration. You definitely CAN do well
with a heavy build, but it's not recommended.

 - Firehopping on 200cc is even less useful than in other engine classes. Don't
bother.

 - Acceleration tiers basically don't exist in 200cc. That being said, the old
tier values now constitute larger differences in Acceleration compared to other
differences. For example the difference between 3.75 Acceleration and 3.50
Acceleration is less than 3.75 and 4.00 Acceleration. In general, the less
Acceleration you have, the bigger the difference when you go up or down.

 - Mushrooms, Stars, and Golden Mushrooms can ruin you if used poorly. Only use
Mushrooms when you're certain you're safe to (you may not even want to take many
shortcuts). Golden Mushrooms you can spread out the uses during straight 
sections or other places where you'll be safe. Stars give you very high 
acceleration, which makes brake drifting very difficult. In general, if you're
not sure, save it. Drafting and spinboosting can also be detrimental to your
race, so be careful.

 - All 200cc tips below are based on me using Shy Guy+Jet Bike+Leaf Tires+Hylian
Kite. If you are using a different combo then you may have different issues than
what I experienced, so keep this in mind.

Courses that really aren't any harder than normal:
Mario Kart Stadium
Water Park
Sweet Sweet Canyon
Mario Circuit
Toad Harbor
Sunshine Airport
Electrodrome
Wii Moo Moo Meadows
N64 Toad's Turnpike
GCN Sherbet Land
DS Tick-Tock Clock
N64 Rainbow Road
Excitebike Arena
SNES Rainbow Road
Ice Ice Outpost
GCN Baby Park

Courses that require some technique:
Thwomp Ruins
Twisted Mansion
Shy Guy Falls
Dolphin Shoals
Mount Wario
GBA Mario Circuit
DS Cheep Cheep Beach
GCN Dry Dry Desert
SNES Donut Plains 3
N64 Royal Raceway
3DS DK Jungle
3DS Music Park
N64 Yoshi Valley
Wii Wario's Gold Mine
Wild Woods
Super Bell Subway

Courses that are quite tricky:
Cloudtop Cruise
Bowser's Castle
DS Wario Stadium
3DS Piranha Plant Slide
Wii Grumble Volcano
Mute City
Hyrule Circuit
Animal Crossing
GBA Ribbon Road
Big Blue

Courses that are very difficult:
Bone-Dry Dunes
Rainbow Road
GCN Yoshi Circuit
Dragon Driftway
GBA Cheese Land
3DS Neo Bowser City

Easy Cups: Mushroom Cup, Flower Cup, Shell Cup
Moderate Cups: Star Cup, Banana Cup, Leaf Cup, Lightning Cup, Triforce Cup
Hard Cups: Special Cup, Egg Cup, Crossing Cup, Bell Cup

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~5.1. Mushroom Cup~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~5.1.1. Mario Kart Stadium~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Antigravity: Yes (Mandatory)
Spinboosters: None
Underwater: None
Gliding: Yes (Mandatory)
Hazards: None

The course starts off with a straightaway followed by a turn to the right where
your first set of item boxes are (the turn can be cut a bit by using a Mushroom
across the grass). After another short straightaway you reach a three-tiered
right turn. The outer section has boost pads, while the inner section is 
slightly raised so that you can't get back on it. You can also cut this corner
short by using a Mushroom, though you have to avoid the pipes sticking out of 
the sand.

Afterwards you will enter an antigravity section. Your second row of item boxes
awaits as the track curves to the left, though you can use a Mushroom to trick
off a ramp with an item box over it to the left of the main path. Afterwards is
a decently long straightaway followed by a right turn and then a U turn to the
left. The antigravity section ends at a glide ramp where the third row of item
boxes lie. While gliding down, there is a ramp on the right side of the track
that you can trick off of. Upon landing the track curves to the left, and a
Mushroom can be used to pass over the sand to the left of the track. The outside
edge of the turn culminates in a short ramp, so you may want to use that to 
trick off of instead of hugging the inside wall. After that turn is the finish 
line.

Strategies: Mario Kart Stadium is a simple track, and doesn't offer much in 
terms of complex course design. Be sure to stay on the inside of the turns,
especially the second one where you can't get back up to the inside part if you
miss it. Save Mushrooms for the three spots listed above, and always trick off
the ramp right after the gliding section.

200cc Tips: Mario Kart Stadium is pretty basic. The turn that's a bit tricky is
the U turn before the glide ramp. Start your drift way on the right and early, 
and you should make it without having to brake drift. Also, if you do it 
perfectly, you can glide over the sand and pipes right before the finish line,
but if you go too far left Lakitu will intervene. You'll just barely make it, 
and I found myself slamming into the wall after doing it, so it's probably not 
really worth it.

~5.1.2. Water Park~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Antigravity: Yes (Mandatory)
Spinboosters: Yes
Underwater: Yes (Mandatory)
Gliding: Yes (Mandatory)
Hazards: None

The track begins with a short stretch leading into a building with item boxes at
the entrance (make sure you don't run into the pillars). After entering the 
building the track makes a 90 degree turn to the right including a slight dip.
The track curves to the right again and splits into a slightly higher and 
slightly lower section, both quickly culminating in an antigravity strip and 
ramps that drop you into the water. Drive forward and you will exit the water
while traveling up a gradual loop. Submarines run along this loop, and running
into them will give you a spin boost. At the top of the loop is your second row
of item boxes.

The loop eventually drops you into more water where the antigravity ends. The 
path curves around an underwater teacup ride to the left, which you can cut 
through with a Mushroom, before a right turn with the third item box row leading
to a glide ramp. The finish line is straight ahead, but make sure you avoid the 
ticket booth in the middle of the track.

Strategies: The only real strategy here is knowing whether to go for the 
spinboosting opportunities with the submarine wheels, or to hug the inside track
during the antigravity section. During the loop, it's best to just stick to the
very inside part of the turn and drift for those orange sparks. However, on the
straight sections right before and after as the loop rises and lowers from and
into the water, you should always go for any spinboosts you can get.

200cc Tips: Another simple course. The only tricky area is before the glide 
ramp. You can drift all of those turns, but you must do it with perfect timing.
It's probably safest to brake drift for that final U turn before the glide ramp.
It's quite tough to make, especially if you're coming into it with a boost from
the turn before.

~5.1.3. Sweet Sweet Canyon~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Antigravity: Yes (Mandatory)
Spinboosters: None
Underwater: Yes (Mandatory)
Gliding: Yes (Mandatory)
Hazards: Piranha Plants

You start off going straight until a right turn with your first row of item 
boxes leading into a cave. The cave curves immediately to the left and has you
exit via a cannon. The cannon drops you off at the top of a cake. The track 
curves down the cake to the right, eventually leading to your second row of item
boxes as the track dips underwater and splits into two paths, each with a ramp
and a gravity strip before them.

These two paths (blue on the left and pink on the right) twist around in several
directions before coming back together at the third row of item boxes and 
another short ramp where the antigravity ends. Note that there are brown patches
of offroad terrain on the insides of a turn on each path that you can use a 
Mushroom to boost over for a decent shortcut. The track curves to the left with
a Piranha Plant on the outside edge that will lunge toward you if you are close
and cause you to spin out if it connects. The track the curves slightly right
before taking a hard left, but you can use a Mushroom to skip this curve by
boosting under the donut (you'll have to curve left a bit to stay on track).
After that there's just a drop before the finish line.

Strategies: Again, this course is fairly simple and doesn't offer many specific
strategies. The blue and pink paths are identical in layout (just reversed), so
that decision isn't an issue. The donut shortcut is deceptively tough to do,
especially with one Mushroom, as you will often overshoot and end up stuck 
offroad right before the finish line, so either be extra careful, or only go for
it when you have Triple Mushrooms/Star/Gold Mushroom.

200cc Tips: The main thing here is just starting your drifts early. The pink and
blue split path part may seem tricky, but drifting early makes it simple enough.
You may need to brake drift the turn before the cannon near the start, and for
the part after the split paths meet you should only drift the last turn 
(basically just drive straight through before that turn). The donut shortcut is
also super unreliable now so don't even bother.

~5.1.4. Thwomp Ruins~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Antigravity: Yes (Mandatory)
Spinboosters: None
Underwater: Yes (Optional)
Gliding: Yes (Mandatory)
Hazards: Thwomps, Stone Wheels

The first row of item boxes are straight ahead, with a large turn to the left 
following, but you can use a Mushroom to boost over the grass to the left of the
item boxes where there's a ramp you can trick off of and skip the entire turn. 
A short right turn leads into the ruins. There's a pit to the left, but there's
an antigravity strip on the right that lets you drive on the wall where there
are boost pads. The track curves to the left (watch out for the rolling stone
wheels) and you exit the cavern at the second row of item boxes.

This next part contains several paths. By going left or right, you will have to
either avoid a Thwomp or use antigravity to drive up the wall where there are
boost pads. You can also jump into the water ahead, though you will have to 
drive around the central structure. However, a rock wheel may roll over a wall
in the middle, allowing you access to a glide ramp in the center. You can use
this to glide over the central structure (watch out for the Thwomp) and you will
land at the edge of the water where the outside paths converge.

Afterwards you will enter another antigravity section and the track turns to the
left. The third row of item boxes are here as the track makes a turn to the 
right and then immediately back to the left where you'll have to avoid another
Thwomp. The track slowly curves to the left, and though there is a pit to the 
left, you can try jumping onto a thin ramp to the left of the main track next to
a second Thwomp, allowing you to cut another left turn short. You will then 
reach a glide ramp (ending the antigravity section). Glide forward, tricking off
the ledge below, and cross the finish line.

Strategies: Thwomp Ruins has a few alternate paths, mostly involving whether you
want to use antigravity or not. The fastest route is to cut the corner tight 
after entering the ruins (ignoring the first antigravity section), but going up
the short antigravity sections on the sides afterwards. Of course, the glide 
ramp in the middle is the quickest route, but this is usually only open on lap 
3. Keep in mind that by holding back while gliding, you should be able to 
basically avoid the water entirely, saving you a little bit of time. Oh and be
sure to get that ramp shortcut before the mandatory glide ramp at the end every
time.

200cc Tips: The trickiest turns in this course are actually the beginning ones.
Begin drifting immediately as you pass the first item boxes. The next turn is 
quite sharp, so you will probably need to brake drift to get through it. 
Alternatively, you can use the boost from the previous turn to cut over the 
grass to the right and skip that turn entirely. Yes you slow down a bit but you
don't have to worry about that turn. The ramp shortcut near the end is harder to
hit now, and I found myself way on the right when I got to the glide ramp, so it
may be wise to just avoid it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~5.2. Flower Cup~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~5.2.1. Mario Circuit~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Antigravity: Yes (Mandatory)
Spinboosters: None
Underwater: None
Gliding: Yes (Optional)
Hazards: Goombas, Piranha Plants, Goomba Towers

The course starts off with a left turn into the first row of item boxes. The 
track continues curving left around Peach's Castle before a quick right turn 
into an antigravity strip at the start of a bridge. The bridge twists left 
(though the track doesn't turn) but the track on the other side of the bridge
begins a long turn to the left where the second row of item boxes lies. You can
cut this turn quite short by boosting over the grass to the left with a 
Mushroom (make sure you don't fall into the pit on the left, and watch out for
the railing at the end of the turn). 

As the track straightens, there are two ramps on either side, followed by one in
the middle. Afterwards the track curves to the right for awhile before reaching
the third row of item boxes and a second bridge. After the bridge is a long 
right turn which can be bypassed by cutting across the sand to the right with a
Mushroom (watch out for the pipes). A glide ramp is in the middle of the track
at the end of the turn, and the antigravity ends shortly afterward. Avoid the
Goomba towers (they will cause you to spin out) and head straight toward the 
goal.

Strategies: Mario Circuit is a great course for practicing your drifting and
getting the exact timing down for your miniturbos. Many curves can net you an
orange boost and another blue boost. Remember that once you get that orange 
spark, there is no reason to continue holding that drift unless you're right on
the edge of a pit (which shouldn't apply here). Otherwise, cut corners with
Mushrooms when you can, be sure to watch out for the Piranha Plants, and hit the
glide ramp at the end for a bit of a boost.

200cc Tips: You really don't need to change anything when you race here on 
200cc. Start your drifts early, but don't get too boost happy. You actually want
to hold your drifts through the long turns. It gives you more control. Overall
this course is quite simple.

~5.2.2. Toad Harbor~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Antigravity: Yes (Optional)
Spinboosters: None
Underwater: None
Gliding: None
Hazards: Cable cars

The track begins with a straightaway followed by a right turn, with a patch of
grass that you can cut across using a Mushroom (avoid the crate). The track then
curves to the left across a bridge, but a boost ramp is to the left of that 
bridge and will send you over the water. Your first row of item boxes is on the
bridge, with another over the boost ramp. After the bridge there is a ramp 
leading onto a canopy. You can take the ramp or navigate the path below. Both 
paths curve to the right (there is a boost pad on the bottom path if you go a 
bit out of your way to the left). You can also trick off the end of the ramp 
leading up to the canopy as well as the little gaps in the canopy itself.

The path splits again with the right side raising up a bit. The second row of
item boxes is right after the split (be aware that only one item box is on the
upper path). Both paths curve to the left and the upper path ends with a boost
ramp that leads you to a normally inaccessable alley which immediately turns to
the right. The lower path turns right, and then slopes uphill and gently to the 
left where the alley opens up Eventually, you reach another split. To the left 
is an antigravity strip letting you drive along the wall of the buildings to the
left as the track curves right. You will use boost ramps to jump from building 
to building until the third row of item boxes where you will land back on the 
road. If you stayed on the road, you have a long right turn where you have to 
avoid running into cable cars until the third row of item boxes where you can 
trick off the drop.

After the drop you will be on a downward slope where you will have to avoid more
cable cars. Two boost ramps are on the slope: the first being on the left and 
the second is on the right. You can actually bounce off the cable cars if you
land on them, but it's hard. There is also a boost pad on the left right next to
the buildings. At the bottom of the slope is an alley to the left. The alley 
turns to the right and ends in a boost pad that reconnects you with the main 
road. If you ignored the alley, you would have a left turn followed immediately 
by a right turn where the alley reconnects. The finish line is straight ahead, 
but you can choose to take a narrow path to the right of the finish line, though
this is where the cable cars end up and it is quite hard to squeeze by. Also be
warned that you will have to make a quick left turn to get back on the main 
road. On top of all of this, you can cut across the grass right before the split
using a Mushroom.

Strategies: The optimum path for Toad Harbor involves jumping over the boost
ramps at the beginning, going up the canopy, taking the right ledge into the
alley, hugging the inside turn and ignoring the antigravity (try drifting 
between the cable cars and the fence), going to the far left and hitting the 
boost pads during the long downhill slope, and taking the side path with the 
boost right at the end. This should be your standard racing line, though if you
have a Mushroom you will want to ignore that final alley and boost over the 
grass right before the finish line instead. Careful drifting is also key here in
avoiding the cable cars, staying on top of the canopy, and getting through the
alley quickly.

200cc Tips: Drift early around the first corner to hit the ramp on the left. It
shoots you clear over to the other side. Avoid the canopy area and stick to the
lower level, but be careful of the wooden posts that have a nasty habit of 
sending you into a wall if you clip them. If you take the right split after this
section, you have to drift pretty carefully to not fall off and to not be sent
straight into the wall via the boost ramp. Also don't bother taking the alley
near the end. The turns are too sharp to take without slowing down.

~5.2.3. Twisted Mansion~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Antigravity: Yes (Mandatory)
Spinboosters: None
Underwater: Yes (Mandatory)
Gliding: Yes (Mandatory)
Hazards: Possessed Statues

As the race begins you immediately enter the mansion and are forced onto the 
left or right path, both with item boxes. Both paths have antigravity strips and
have you driving along the walls. The walls are wavy and can be tricked on, and 
both paths curve back down to the ground and converge as the antigravity ends. 
The track then does a large U turn to the left, but this can be completely 
skipped by using a Mushroom to boost between the bookcases before the turn. This
leads to another antigravity section that leads to the second row of item boxes 
and an underwater section.

When underwater, the track turns right twice, and then left before splitting 
into two paths again. The paths are on opposite walls, so the left path curves
left while the right path curves right (the two paths basically follow each
other) before ending at the third row of item boxes and a glide ramp. Glide over
a courtyard below (there are coins above the fountain), and either pull up or
drop to enter two different paths. Both paths curve to the left, but the upper
path is more of an inside curve. The paths converge and curve left a bit more 
before exiting the mansion. Knight statues line the path, and will crush you by
swinging their hammers. The track curves to the right to the finish line, though
a Mushroom can be used to boost across the grass to the right behind the Knight
statue to get to the finish line quicker (though watch out for the fence).

Strategies: The turning in this course is a bit tougher than in previous 
courses, so careful drifting is key here. Besides that, the path splits several
times but all paths are equal except for the upper path after the gliding 
section, which you should always shoot for. Also be careful of the Knight 
statues, as their hammers act like Thwomps. Running into them after their hammer
has already fallen may be more annoying than actually getting squashed.

200cc Tips: For the Underwater section, get an orange boost off the U turn, and
the immediately drift left. You should clip by the corner and just make it to
the split while getting a blue boost. The trickiest part is after the glide ramp
as those turns are very sharp, especially the one on the upper path. You have to
brake quite hard to not get stuck on the wall, but if you do it right you should
still get your boost.

~5.2.4. Shy Guy Falls~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Antigravity: Yes (Mandatory)
Spinboosters: None
Underwater: None
Gliding: Mandatory
Hazards: None

The race starts off with the first row of item boxes dead ahead, followed by a
left turn, and then a right turn, the latter of which can be cut by Mushroom-ing
across the grass to the right. An antigravity strip precedes a turn to the right
followed by a boost ramp over the waterfall. The track then curves to the left,
leading to another ramp which drops you directly onto a waterfall. Boost pads 
fall down the waterfall, and you should hit as many as you can while racing up
the rapids.

At the top of the waterfall is the second row of item boxes, followed by a 
wooden bridge that curves around in a U turn to the left. The bridge drops you
down onto another waterfall, leading to a glide ramp below. The glide ramp leads
to a path below, but by pulling up you can enter a small cave above. The lower
path curves slightly to the left, then the right, and then the left again where
the third row of item boxes are. The cave above turns to the right, and ends 
with a ramp that drops you off before the left turn to the item boxes. Before 
and to the right of the item boxes is a ramp in the grass with two item boxes
above it. Using a Mushroom, you can boost across the grass and trick off the 
ramp. Ignoring the shortcut, the track curves to the right after the item boxes,
leading to two ramps. If you used the shortcut, you will rejoin the path after
the first ramp. There's one final turn to the right (that can be cut by using a
Mushroom), and you're at the finish line.

Strategies: Overall this course is fairly straightforward, as the only alternate
path is the upper one after the glide ramp, which you should go for all the 
time. However, be sure to angle yourself to the left as you approach, or you'll
get stuck in some grass. The path drops you off right in front of the main 
shortcut too, so you won't miss it. When racing up the waterfall, don't go out
of your way to hit every boost pad. By roughly staying straight, you should be
hitting them at a good clip. Swerving to hit every single one will likely cause
you to miss and screw up. Getting hit here is especially nasty as the water
pushes you down, so try everything in your power to avoid that.

200cc Tips: Shy Guy Falls definitely has some tricky turns, most notably the U
turn before the antigravity strip near the beginning and the U turn at the top
of the falls. Brake drifting is a must when going around these turns. On the 
plus side, the upper path after the glide ramp is much easier to reach, and it
lets you avoid the annoying turns below.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~5.3. Star Cup~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~5.3.1. Sunshine Airport~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Antigravity: Yes (Mandatory)
Spinboosters: Yes
Underwater: None
Gliding: Yes (Mandatory)
Hazards: None

Starting inside the terminal, the track curves slightly to the right before
turning to the left, where a ramp sends you out of the terminal where the first
row of item boxes awaits (As if getting through an airport terminal is ever that
fast. Yeesh). Once outside, the track curves to the right where a conveyor belt 
carrying boxes intersects the track. Trick off the side of the conveyor belt 
while avoiding the boxes. You will then drive under a plane (avoid the wheels) 
before driving up a boost ramp onto a higher section. The track then curves to
the left.

A boost ramp sends you onto a higher path which travels through a plane where 
the second row of item boxes lie. The path curves to the right before dropping
back down onto the main path. If you passed by the boost ramp (or fell off), you
drive under the plane, where you can find more item boxes near the wheels. This
path also curves to the right where the upper path dumps you back onto the 
track. The path then curves to the left and after two boost strips, launches you
off a glide ramp up into the air. However before the left turn, you can use a 
Mushroom to boost off the edge to the left, trick off a ramp, and cut the 
corner.

You end up on an airborne path with an antigravity strip. As the path curves to
the right, watch for the nodes that you can use for some spin boosts. The 
airborne path ends in another glide ramp with the road row of item boxes above.
Glide down onto the helipad below (and watch out for any planes taking off) and
follow the path to the left back into the terminal. On the right is another 
conveyor belt carrying some more boxes in a circle. The path curves to the right
around the conveyor belt, but you can trick off the belt (avoiding the boxes)
and cut that turn short. The finish line is just ahead.

Strategies: For most of Sunshine Airport, you'll want to take the high ground.
Be sure to hit the boost ramp to send you into the plane, as you can also trick
off the ramp coming off of it. Also, during the antigravity section, it's 
quicker to just hug the inside curve while miniturbo-ing instead of going for 
the spinboosters, even the inner ones. Lastly, be sure not to hit the boxes, 
both on that last turn (you should always take that little shortcut), and the
conveyor belt in the beginning.

200cc Tips: Sunshine Airport is fairly easy. You really only need to brake drift
during the turn after the first boost ramp (after you go under the first plane).
The luggage shortcut at the end is still good, though you may bump into the wall
on the left afterwards (it's not enough to really slow you down).

~5.3.2. Dolphin Shoals~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Antigravity: Yes (Mandatory)
Spinboosters: None
Underwater: Yes (Mandatory)
Gliding: Yes (Mandatory)
Hazards: None

You begin the race underwater (sounds safe) as the path gently slopes up and to
the left where you surface at the first row of item boxes before dropping back
down into the water. Two ramps are on each side of the track, followed by one in
the middle. Above each ramp is a ring that gives you a boost if you trick 
through it. After the ramps, the track slowly curves down and to the left before
entering an underwater cave.

The cave is split into several paths. By going down the middle, you can use 
pipes emitting a strong current to keep yourself above the pits, eventually
leading to the second row of item boxes (note that you can trick off these water
jets. The timing is when the water just begins to support your vehicle). By 
going to the right at the cave entrance, you can use a pipe to get to a ledge 
with a boost pad, leading you to another pipe and the row of item boxes. You can
also go left, using a few pipes to stay afloat, though this is riskier. After 
the item boxes is a boost pad and a ramp that launches you on top of a giant 
eel. Try and stay on top of the eel, as you can trick off its ridge running down
its back. If you fall off the eel, you just have a rather uneventful 
straighaway. 

After the eel is an antigravity strip and a ramp. The track begins curving up
and to the right, eventually leading to the third row of item boxes, a short 
ramp, and a glide ramp, ending the antigravity. Glide forward onto the track and
follow it to the left. It curves around a patch of dirt on the right, but you 
can use a Mushroom to cut across that. The finish line is dead ahead.

Strategies: This course is almost entirely underwater, so this is one of the 
only courses where Underwater Speed and Underwater Handling may trump their Land
counterparts. As such, Slick wheels aren't exactly the best idea for Time Trials
this time. Other pointers involve taking the far right path in the cave (try for
a miniturbo on that path as well), and staying on the eel while tricking as much
as possible. Also, on the antigravity section be sure to pull back a bit on your
drift, or you will likely find yourself miniturbo-ing right into the mud before
the glide ramp.

200cc Tips: The pipe section is best navigated by just going straight through,
as tricking from the first pipe gets you all the way to the last pipe on the 
left. The glide ramp at the end can be super useful or really nasty. If used
correctly, you can take it almost all the way to the finish line (going over the
shortcut at the end), but if you go off at the wrong angle you will end up 
slamming into the rocks on the sides and Lakitu will pick you up. Make sure 
you're angled straight coming off that long turn before the glide ramp.

~5.3.3. Electrodrome~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Antigravity: Yes (Mandatory)
Spinboosters: Yes
Underwater: None
Gliding: Yes (Mandatory)
Hazards: Piranha Plants

Electrodrome starts you off immediately with a glide ramp. Land on the track 
below, which curves slightly to the right before a large left turn with the 
first row of item boxes on it, which you can cut by using a Mushroom and going
through the darker path inside. After the left turn is an antigravity strip 
followed by a gradual curve to the right. There are two nodes on the sides of 
the track for spin boosting. Afterwards the path splits into a green path on the
left, and a pink path on the right. The second row of item boxes appears right
after the split.

Green path: The green path curves slowly to the left, before turning into a line
of music and curving to the right. The path becomes green again and you run into
the third row of item boxes. The path curves more to the right, drops a few 
steps, and ends in a glide ramp that ends the antigravity.

Pink path: The pink path gently curves to the right, before becoming a line of
music, where it turns to the left. The path becomes pink again and turns to the
right where the third row of item boxes are. The path keeps curving right, drops
down some steps, and ends in a glide ramp which ends the antigravity.

Both glide ramps lead to a circular landing area with a path leading forward. 
Trick off the ramp in front and follow the path to the left. A Mushroom can be
used to cut the turn short by driving between the pegs over the darker ground to
the left of the turn. The finish line is a short distance away, but watch out 
for the Piranha Plants that line this turn.

Strategies: This is another course that promotes heavy drifting during the 
entire antigravity section, some of which you may not even know about. For 
example, you can easily get orange sparks by drifting to the right once the 
antigravity section begins, and on the final turn before the glide ramp at the
end of the antigravity section, you should be able to get a blue spark, 
miniturbo, start a new drift, and get orange sparks right before the glide ramp.
Also be sure to hit as many spinboosters as you can, including the one right
where the path splits. Besides this, just watch out for the Piranha Plants on 
that last turn.

200cc Tips: There's really not much to say here. You may need to brake drift at
the turn right after the antigravity strip, and only go for blue sparks when the
paths split, but besides that Electrodrome's the same as before.

~5.3.4. Mount Wario~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Antigravity: Yes (Mandatory)
Spinboosters: None
Underwater: None
Gliding: Yes (Mandatory)
Hazards: None

Mount Wario is one of three tracks that is not divided into three laps. Instead,
the course is one long linear path broken up into three different sections.

You start the race inside of a helicopter. Drive forward, trick off the ramp, 
and land on the snowy track below where the first row of item boxes await. 
Follow the track as it curves right, then left, and then right again. Trick off
the ramp, but watch out for the pit to the right. As the track curves to the 
right around the pit, the inside half of the track rises up, ending in a jump
back onto the rest of the course. The course then turns to the left, and this 
time the outside half rises up which has two boost pads on it (you can trick off
the second one). Watch out for the pit on both sides of the track as it curves
to the right. Another sharp turn to the right and you reach the end of section 
one. The final turn can be jumped off a tiny lip that sticks up a bit, though
this is quite difficult to do well.

Section 2 starts off with the second row of item boxes as you enter a cave and 
and antigravity section. The track curves up a wall while curving right, before
ending in a ledge that you can trick off. You will land on another slanted ledge
that curves a bit to the left before reaching a glide ramp. Glide through the
cave slightly to the left, and trick off the rocks with the boost pads (there is
another rock to the left before the end of the river that's trickable). You will
land in the water in front of another boost ramp which sends you into the 
innards of a dam. The track curves sharply to the right and then drops down to
the third row of item boxes before curving to the left where another antigravity
section awaits. A short ramp sends you onto the side of the dam where boost pads
will fall down the side in streams of water. Hit as many as you can before 
ending the antigravity by tricking off the end of the wall. A forest approaches,
and there is a path to the right and left, as well as a glide ramp in the middle
you can reach by Mushroom-ing through the snow. Pick either path, as they curve
around a large rock between them before converging at a jump. The right path has
another path further right than it which is a bit hard to notice, but ends with
a boost pad. Following the convergence is the fourth row of item boxes and a 
straight path with a bunch of tree roots sticking out of the ground which you 
can trick off of. Be sure not to hit the trees as the track curves to the right,
following the path to the end of section two.

Section 3 begins with the fifth row of item boxes as the path curves down to the
left. Trick off the ramp, and try to stay in the center so you can hit a second
ramp as well. The track twists downward, twisting right, left, right, left, and
right again. The sixth row of item boxes is ahead, and the straightaway that 
they're on is littered with bumps. Mash the trick button as you go down this
area, turn left, and enter another antigravity section. Follow the boost pads
downhill as you race toward the glide ramp and the seventh row of item boxes,
ending the antigravity section. Glide into the floating rings to get speed 
boosts before landing. The track curves slightly to the right before turning 
left around a pile of snow that you can boost over with a Mushroom and cross
that finish line.

Strategies: Being a sectioned course, you don't get the chance to retry 
something you screwed up in a previous lap. It's all or nothing here. There are
many little choices to make when racing on this course, so I'll list the best
choices below:

 - The right turn that rises up once the ice starts is quite difficult to stay
on, but manage it if you can. The second rise is on the outside of the turn, and
should be avoided.

 - Always trick off the ledge before the final turn of section 1. By tricking, 
you will almost always land safely.

 - In the cave, if you trick off the very left side of the first ramp, you will
land in the water stream below. This is actually faster then taking the glide 
ramp.

 - Always try to hit boost pads when going over the three waterfalls, but if you
don't have the opportunity, don't go out of your way. You'll just lose time.

 - Unless you have a Mushroom to take the glide ramp in the forest, always take
the far right path. You can get a miniturbo boost on top of the free boost pad.

 - Be careful when tricking on the roots to not get thrown into the trees.

 - Spam the trick button when going down the bumpy area halfway through section 
3 to get the most tricks.

200cc Tips: The most difficult parts here are the first section and the 
beginning of the third. Because of the ice and snow, you should brake drift for
every turn in the first section and all the turns before the bumpy part of the
third section. In addition, don't take the shortcut right before section 2 
begins. It's extremely likely you'll slide right off.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~5.4. Special Cup~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~5.4.1. Cloudtop Cruise~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Antigravity: Yes (Mandatory)
Spinboosters: None
Underwater: None
Gliding: Yes (Mandatory)
Hazards: Lightning bolts

The race begins with a small right turn to a boost ramp with the first row of 
item boxes that will make you bounce off of a platform (be sure to trick off the
bounce). The path turns to the left before making a larger turn to the right. 
The path curves left around a pit, but you can leap off the path to the left and
bounce off of another platform to save a bit of time. Trick off the ramp with 
the second row of item boxes in front of you and follow the path as it curves to
the right. Trick off another ramp to land on the airship.

The airship forces you to either the right or the left, but both paths quickly
curve around and converge again before you are shot out of a cannon onto an
antigravity section amongst storm clouds. The tracks slowly curves to the left
and many boost pads riddle the path. However, lightning strikes will sometimes
strike the boost pads, so watch out for those. At the end of this path is a 
glide ramp with the third row of item boxes marking the end of the antigravity 
section.

The glide ramp sends you onto the side of a massive ? block where you will drive
back onto the beanstalk that you started the race on. The track makes a U turn
around to the right, but you can cut this corner considerably by tricking off
one of the leaves to the right before the turn (it's risky but very useful).
After that it's just a short left turn to the finish line.

Strategies: After bouncing onto the clouds, hit the Bowser Balloon to get a bit
of an edge (also be sure you're tricking off of these). Both battleship paths
are the same, so you don't have to worry about that (I always go for the one on 
the left myself, but whatever). The antigravity area can be very hectic with the
lightning crashing down on the boost pads. The pads will begin glowing before
the lightning strikes, so use that to time not getting hit, but try to hit as
many as possible. The leaf shortcut at the end can be tricky, but with a bit of
practice you should get it consistently, and you should always take it.

200cc Tips: A lot of these turns require just a smidge of brake drifting, mainly
the one before the split with the balloon on the left and the cloud path on the
right, the U turn before you land on the ship, the ship itself, and the U turn
on the beanstalk. You may not want to drift at all on the ship, because even 
with brake drifting you'll find yourself kind of awkwardly to the side when you
get near the cannon. The leaf shortcut at the end is much tougher to nail, so
honestly I'd just avoid it.

~5.4.2. Bone-Dry Dunes~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Antigravity: Yes (Optional)
Spinboosters: Yes
Underwater: None
Gliding: Yes (Mandatory)
Hazards: Dry Bones, Bone Piranha Plant

The race begins with the first row of item boxes and a turn to the right (though
a Mushroom can be used to cut the turn by boosting over the sand to the right).
The track then curves to the left and then the right where the path splits. You
can curve left or right around the sand in the middle, or use a Mushroom to 
boost through it and trick off the ramp. Follow the path to the right, and then
turn left to trick off a ramp. The path then splits down the middle with the
second row of item boxes on both sides. The paths curve to the right and quickly
converge, only to split apart again with a Bone Piranha Plant in the middle.

Once passed the Bone Piranha Plant, the path splits again. By going left, you
must make a right turn around a pit, then follow the path left. Be sure to avoid
more Bone Piranha Plants on the left side, or you can use a Mushroom to boost 
through the sand behind them. The path ends with a glide ramp containing the
third row of item boxes. The right path leads you onto an antigravity section.
There are two nodes on the path for you to get spin boosts followed by a ramp, 
two more nodes, another ramp, one more node, and a glide ramp with the third row
of item boxes.

Both glide ramps set you down at the entrance to a cave, but by quickly angling
upward (or by tricking off the sand geyser) you can land on an upper path that 
will follow the lower path, but will save you some time and net you an extra row
of item boxes. The path turns to the left, and you must watch out for the Dry 
Bones that are ambling about as you make a wide left turn to the finish line. If
you have a Mushroom, you can boost through the sand to the left of the turn 
between the bones for a nice shortcut.

Strategies: The sand in this track affects your Grip quite a bit, so keep that
in mind when choosing a vehicle combination for this course. In terms of 
alternate paths, most splits are even, but remember to take inside turns. For 
me, I've found that driving on the left side of the Bone Piranha Plant and 
drifting right into the rib cage is the most effective path. The upper path in
the cave after the glide ramp is tricky to get to if you're using a heavy 
character, and the sand pillar isn't reliable, but it's a quicker path, you 
don't have to worry about sand, and you get an extra set of item boxes, so if 
you can get up there, you should always try for it.

200cc Tips: Ugh. This course sucks on 200cc. You need to brake drift around 
almost every corner, and there are many corners you shouldn't drift around at 
all (the left turn after the first item boxes and the right turn before the 
split at the Bone Piranha Plant especially). The worst part is around the Bone
Piranha Plant split as the corners are awkward and the road is bumpy. Always 
take the antigravity path as there are no turns, and the upper path after the
glide ramp is actually pretty easy to get to, though you need to brake drift 
hard as soon as you land to stay up there. This course really tests your brake
drifting and you'll be stuck in the sand a lot.

~5.4.3. Bowser's Castle~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Antigravity: Yes (Mandatory)
Spinboosters: None
Underwater: None
Gliding: Yes (Mandatory)
Hazards: Laser Statues, Rotating Fire Bars, Spiked Ball, Giant Stone Bowser,
Lava Spires, Falling Rocks

The course starts off with you entering the castle and passing through the first
row of item boxes. Once inside, avoid the laser statues (they will cause you to
spin out) and follow the path to the right. Make two left turns and enter an
antigravity section. Follow the path to the right, make a sharp turn to the 
left, and trick off the ledge whil avoiding the fire bar. Another ledge (this 
time guarded by a swinging spiked ball) drops you down to the second row of item
boxes.

The track curves around to the left, and you'll have to trick off another ledge
while avoiding another fire bar. Up ahead, the path splits around a giant stone
Bowser. Stone Bowser will alternative punch the paths, so try to pick the path
that he just punched so you won't get hit. Follow either path around a few turns
until you reach a glide ramp with the third row of item boxes, ending the
antigravity section you started quite a bit ago.

The glide ramp will take you out of the castle (watch out for the spouting lava
pillars). Turn to the left, and then follow the path around to the right, being
careful to avoid the boulders rolling down the path. The path splits, with the
left half raising up a bit. The upper path ends with a jump, while the lower 
path curves around a bit to the left and then the right. The finish line awaits.

Strategies: Besides navigating the twists and turns of this course, the hazards
here are actually fairly challenging. That spiked ball is especially cruel, and
always seems to be in your way. The laser statues will also activate during Lap
2, making the entrance hall a bit treacherous. To avoid Stone Bowser, make note
of what path he is currently punching as you reach the split, and go down that
path, as you will reach the boost pad after he's already started punching the
other one. The falling rocks at the end can be tricky, but if you stay close to
the offroad areas on the right when drifting, they should pass right by. The 
last few turns are a bit tricky, but you can snake fairly well coming out of 
them for a bit.

200cc Tips: The most difficult turns are the ones in the beginning. The first 
turn you can take okay, but the U turn afterwards requires quite a lot of 
braking, and pretty much every turn until Stone Bowser you should brake a little
bit on. Stone Bowser's timing is a bit different. Go down a path is you see him
actually punching it (not winding up). If he's winding up, his hand will still 
be in the way when you get to it. You can also use the glide ramp to skip that
first left turn afterwards. That turn is rather tricky to take and not get 
pushed way out of the way or into a boulder, so skipping it is good. Also, take
the left split at the end to avoid some annoying turns.

~5.4.4. Rainbow Road~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Antigravity: Yes (Mandatory)
Spinboosters: Yes
Underwater: None
Gliding: Yes (Mandatory)
Hazards: None

Rainbow Road begins with a turn to the right to the first row of item boxes and
and antigravity strip. The path curves a bit to the left, and then follows a 
circular turn to the right (be careful as there are no railings here). The path
then turns left to a glide ramp which lands you on a satelite where the 
antigravity ends. The path curves around to the right, with one side moving with
you and the other side moving against you (obviously you should stay on the path
moving forward. There should be ramps on it as well). You can also use a 
Mushroom to use the very inside path, ignoring both conveyor paths altogether. 
Afterwards you will hit a boost pad which leads to two side-by-side glide ramps 
with the second row of item boxes. Depending on which glide ramp you take, 
you'll end up on a different path.

Left path: Taking the left ramp will put you on a slightly higher path. The path
begins with an antigravity strip and curves to the right to a node you can get
spin boosts from, followed by a turn to the left and two more nodes. The path
then turns right to the third row of item boxes and connects with the other 
path.

Right path: The right glide ramp puts you on a slightly lower path. It begins
with an antigravity strip and curves to the right before turning slightly left
and then right again to a spin boost node. The path turns left again and has two
spin boost nodes before turning right into the third row of item boxes and 
joining up with the other path.

Both paths have offroad sections like in Sweet Sweet Canyon that you can use a
Mushroom to boost over for their second-to-last turns.

One shortcut you can do is jump from one path to the other. There are a couple
places where you can do this, but arguably the best is on the right path right
after the first spin booster. Don't follow the curve of the road and jump off
just to the right of it. If you do it right, you'll land on the other path some
distance ahead. If you're too far to the right, you'll end up stuck in the 
offroad area, and you're too far to the left, you'll miss the road and fall.

Both paths culminate with the end of the antigravity section, and a long left 
turn with boost pads on the outside eventually leading to the finish line. Be 
extra careful on this course, as there are pits everywhere and few railings to 
stop you from falling into them.

Strategies: Rainbow Road has many very tight turns, notably the two turns at the
beginning before the first glide ramp and the one at the very end. As long as
you drift early enough, and hold it the entire time (don't try going for a 
second miniturbo on these turns), you'll be fine. After the space station, there
are three places where you can jump from one path to the other. The first is
right after the first turn on the upper (left) path where you can drop down to
the lower path (not super useful in terms of saving time, but it's there). The
second involves jumping off the right path right after the first spinbooster. 
You should land near the offroad part on the left path. This is arguably the 
best of these three jumps, as it's relatively safe and gives you a decent boost
as long as you don't fall off to the left or get stuck offroad to the right. The
third jump is right after, and you can jump back over to the other path before
they converge. This one is trickier to do, and generally isn't too useful unless
you have a Mushroom though.

200cc Tips: Hoo boy here we go. Don't drift for the first couple turns. When you
get to the big U turn to the right, consistently tap brake while drifting. When
you boost out of it, IMMEDIATELY brake drift HARD to the left. You should just
barely make it to the glide ramp without falling off. You may want to brake 
drift while on the space station but you don't really need to. Take the right
glide ramp, brake a bit on the first right turn, and jump off the left edge at
the first spin booster. Be extra careful to be a bit further right than you 
normally would be (even if you land in the offroad part that's fine) because you
wil often land on the track but be unable to prevent yourself from sliding right
off if you're too far to the left. The final U turn you really need to brake 
drift while going around, as getting caught in the boost pads will send you 
right off the edge. This course is so tricky that the computers suck at it, so
if you can master braking you should be totally fine.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~5.5. Shell Cup~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For the Retro tracks, I will give a brief description of any major changes to
the tracks in a brief line before the tracks overview. This will be stuff like
gliding sections or antigravity, and not graphical improvements or one random
new ramp or something.

~5.5.1. Wii Moo Moo Meadows~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: New gliding section before the Monty Mole area

Antigravity: None
Spinboosters: None
Underwater: None
Gliding: Yes (Optional)
Hazards: Cows, Monty Moles

Follow the path ahead to the first row of item boxes. The track curves to the 
left and zigzags through a field with cows on it. The cows will wander across
the track as the course goes on, so be especially careful not to run into them
on later laps. The field can be cut across using Mushroom boosts (the last turn
to the left is probably the most profitable to cut across).

Next is the second row of item boxes, followed by a quick turn to the right and
a ramp. Following that is a turn to the left with the outside part rising up and
ending with a glide ramp. After the turn you enter an open area with Monty Moles
and several mounds of grass which you can cut across with Mushroom boosts. 
There's also a boost ramp at the beginning. Avoid the Monty Moles and grass 
mounds until the path turns to the left where the finish line awaits. If you 
used the glide ramp and tricked off the edge of the boost ramp, you can glide
over this entire area and end up landing right at the left turn.

Strategies: Cows will start wandering onto the track on Lap 2, so definitely 
be careful of that. The glide ramp looks tempting, but cutting that corner 
short, tricking off the boost ramp, and curving around the grass patches while
tricking over the mole tracks is actually faster.

200cc Tips: Very little is difficult here. You shouldn't drift any of the turns
in the cow area, and you may want to brake drift a tiny bit before and after the
wood ramp after the cow area, but you really shouldn't have much trouble.

~5.5.2. GBA Mario Circuit~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: First U turn is now an antigravity section.

Antigravity: Yes (Mandatory)
Spinboosters: None
Underwater: None
Gliding: Yes (Optional)
Hazards: Oil Spills

Note: Almost every turn can be cut by using a Mushroom to cut over the grass. As
such, I won't mention it at all during the runthrough, but keep it in mind when
racing.

After a short straightaway the track turns left and then immediately right. 
Afterwards is a boost ramp with the first row of item boxes that will launch you
up onto an antigravity section. Follow the track as it U turns to the left 
(there's a boost pad on the left side right after the turn) and trick off the
ramp to land back on the ground, ending the antigravity section. The track then
curves to the right and then to the left where the second row of item boxes are.
There is a glide ramp to the right with two more item boxes, but you need a 
Mushroom to get there as it's on the grass.

After the item boxes is an oil spill on the right, and the track turns slightly
to the left, followed by an oil spill on the left and a very slight turn to the
right (hitting the oil spills will cause you to spin out). Immediately after is
a rather sharp left turn. The finish line is ahead, but a narrow path to the 
right contains an extra item box and a boost pad that will rocket you across the
finish line.

Strategies: This course is pretty simple, and races mostly come down to items 
and good drifting. During the antigravity section, start your drift early and on
the far side of the U-turn so you can hit the boost once you get around. The 
split at the end of the track is actually pretty even, so you might as well take
the narrow path for the extra item (though you should probably just take the 
main path on the last lap). As in Moo Moo Meadows, the glide ramp here isn't
worth it. You need a Mushroom to get to it, and you actually LOSE time by using
it.

200cc Tips: This course has some surprisingly tricky turns on 200cc. Almost 
every turn requires at least a little brake drifting, especially the U turn on
the antigravity section, the turn before the second set of item boxes, and the
final turn. Personally I find myself brake drifting too much, so be careful of
that as most turns just require a little bit.

~5.5.3. DS Cheep Cheep Beach~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: Gliding section after the dock. More stuff underwater.

Antigravity: None
Spinboosters: None
Underwater: Yes (Optional)
Gliding: Yes (Mandatory)
Hazards: Cheep Cheeps, Crabs

Drive forward onto the dock and follow it to the right to the first row of item
boxes. Afterwards is a glide ramp that drops you off onto the beach ahead. 
Follow the beach as it curves to the right around a large rock to reach the
second row of item boxes and a boost ramp. Across the ramp the beach turns left
and then right with water on both sides. You can drive through the water if you
want (there are some ramps), but it is slower than staying on the beach unless
you have a Mushroom. If you have a Mushroom, avoid the path of the beach and go
straight ahead through the water, boosting through an offroad section 
underwater. There are also crabs wandering around on the beach and underwater, 
so watch out for those.

Follow the beach forward toward a lighthouse, tricking off the ramps. The beach
curves to the right slightly, and again you can choose whether to follow it or 
to drive left into the water (there's another ramp underwater as well). Passing
the third row of item boxes will put you into a jungle. The path turns right and
then left a bit later, with an offroad path on the left side. Trick off the two 
ramps and head forward to the finish line.

Strategies: The only real strategy here is to dip through the water after the
boost ramp (using a Mushroom if you have one), unless your Underwater Speed is
terrible. The hazards shouldn't really get in your way, so they're not really 
an issue.

200cc Tips: The only tricky parts here are the last two turns in the jungle 
area. Brake drifting is a must. Otherwise just follow the same path as usual,
though you may want to drop down early after the glide ramp so your drifts 
around the following turn aren't super wide.

~5.5.4. N64 Toad's Turnpike~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: Antigravity on the walls. Several cars have ramps and glide ramps
that you can use to get ahead.

Antigravity: Yes (Optional)
Spinboosters: None
Underwater: None
Gliding: Yes (Optional)
Hazards: Cars

This course is a bit difficult to describe, as it is basically just a simple
figure-eight. The numerous cars on the road are all constantly moving, so your
racing line will change slightly each time, and the traffic pattern is set
randomly at the beginning of each race from a preset list. Item boxes also move 
along the road, so you won't be getting items in the same places each time.

Follow the road as it slowly curves to the left. An antigravity section will
appear on the right wall, allowing you to avoid the cars on the road and also
use the boost pads on the walls. You can exit the antigravity section halfway
through, or you can stay until the end where there is a slight bump to trick off
before landing back on the road. Follow the track straight until it starts 
turning around to the right. Another antigravity section will be on the left 
wall in the same manner as the one before it. This section ends in front of the
finish line.

Strategies: Be extra careful to avoid the numerous cars on the road. The 
antigravity sections help with this, but you are forced to take the very outside
of the turns. Also be on the lookout for cars with ramps on them, especially the
trucks with glide ramps, as these will allow you to glide quite far. The best 
opportunity is after the first turn, as you can glide clear over the overpass if
you hold back and launched off the ramp in a good enough spot. In addition, many
buses have small ramps on top of them, which you can use to extend your glide.
The item boxes travel along the road, so be sure to hit them when you see them. 
Also, unlike Mario Kart 64, Toad's Turnpike in Mirror Mode does not have 
reversed traffic. However, one of the preset traffic patterns has one of the 
lanes going towards you.

200cc Tips: This course is kind of as easy as you make it. The turns are all 
long and wide, so the only problem is avoiding the cars. If you force yourself
to take the turns as tight as possible, then avoiding the cars is pretty 
difficult, but most of the time you can stay in the middle and be okay. The 
glide ramp trucks are even more useful now, but the smaller cars with surfboards
can be dangerous as it's harder to aim yourself perfectly onto the surfboard, so
you may want to avoid them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~5.6. Banana Cup~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~5.6.1. GCN Dry Dry Desert~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: Tornado has been removed. Open sand area after the sand trap is
now underwater.

Antigravity: None
Spinboosters: None
Underwater: Yes (Mandatory)
Gliding: None
Hazards: Pokeys, Sand Pit, Falling Pillars

Note: Pillars will fall over during the race, giving you tricking opportunities.
If you're quick enough, a lot of these won't have fallen during your first lap.
Also be careful not to go smushed.

Follow the track forward to the first row of item boxes. The path zigzags 
through areas with deep sand, but these can be cut across using a Mushroom (also
look out for the fallen pillars you can trick off of if you have a Mushroom). 
Watch out for the Pokeys on the path as they will cause you to spin out (they
will bend over from time to time over the coins next to them). After that is the
second row of item boxes and the infamous sand trap. You don't have to follow
the outside edge, but falling into the middle counts as falling into a pit, and
will cost you a lot of time. Using a Mushroom to cross the trap (as long as you
avoid the center) is recommended.

A column buried in the sand can be tricked off of on the right side of the path
after the pit, and the track curves right toward the third row of item boxes and
an oasis. Head underwater, and trick off the mounds of grass to jump over them
entirely (the holes in the ground are like the pipes in Dolphin Shoals, so don't
worry about falling into them). Trick when exiting the water and follow the path
to the right. You can use a Mushroom to trick off of a fallen pillar that's 
offroad to the left, but otherwise just head straight toward the finish line.

Overall there are a crapload of corners you can cut using Mushrooms on this 
course, but most sizable ones not mentioned above require multiple Mushrooms to
be effective.

Strategies: Like Bone-Dry Dunes, this course is filled with sand which kills 
your Grip, but there's even more of it here. This makes many turns, especially
the ones in the beginning, quite difficult. Start your drifts early, and you may
even want to let them go early so you DON'T get the orange sparks, as the large
boosts may send you offroad. For the oasis, I find it quickest to stay to the 
left and trick off the two grass mounds, ignoring the holes. Also look out for
the falling pillars. Most fall midway through Lap 1, making them only available
for Laps 2 and 3, though some fall later and are only available during Lap 3.
Trick off these when you can, but be careful that you're angled properly so you
won't trick yourself right into the deep sand.

200cc Tips: The hard part here is the zigzag near the beginning. Brake drift at
every turn, and only go for blue sparks (even on that first turn). The rest of
the course is pretty straightforward.

~5.6.2. SNES Donut Plains 3~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: Underwater areas around the two bridges.

Antigravity: None
Spinboosters: None
Underwater: Yes (Mandatory)
Gliding: None
Hazards: Monty Moles

Note: Like GBA Mario Circuit, almost every corner can be cut using a Mushroom
to cross over the grass, so these will not be noted here unless there is 
something else worth noting.

Head forward into the first clump of item boxes (clump is just such a sexy word)
and follow the path to the right across the bridge. The path turns right again
and you will reach another bridge. This one is broken though, so you are forced
to drive in the water halfway across. After that is the second row of item boxes
along with a left turn. The path then turns slightly right and then left before
a large right turn. The ground now becomes wet until right before the finish
line.

Next is a straightaway with several Monty Moles. The track curves slightly right
and then turns sharply left (there's a hole in the fence allowing you to skip 
these turns with a Mushroom to the left of these turns) before turning again
back to the right. The finish line is ahead.

Strategies: Wet. Ground. That is pretty much the only thing you have to worry
about on this course, but GOD is it annoying, especially if you're using a low
Grip combo. The wet ground by itself isn't a huge issue, but the very edges of
the track in this part is actually NOT wet, so you'll often find yourself 
boosting straight into the grass because of the last minute change in angle due
to you going on the dry ground for half a second. This is extremely aggravating
so be sure to keep it in mind. In addition, the Monty Mole trails can be tricked
on, but these often screw up your racing line as well, so it's best to just 
avoid them.

200cc Tips: Let's get this out of the way: brake drift during the wet part. If
you don't you will suffer. But that's not all. The turn after the second bridge
is deceptively tough. If you're not lined up going into it, you can find 
yourself launched up and over the track way into the grass. It really sucks. A 
similar thing happens with the first bridge. DO NOT start your drift until after
you're off the bridge, as the bridge ends with a little bump that can really 
screw you up. And don't even think about tricking off the Monty Mole trails.

~5.6.3. N64 Royal Raceway~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: Jump has turned into a gliding section. Access to the castle has
been blocked.

Antigravity: None
Spinboosters: None
Underwater: None
Gliding: Yes (Mandatory)
Hazards: Piranha Plants

The road begins by going straight until a mild left turn leading to the first 
row of item boxes followed by a sharper left turn that can be avoiding by 
cutting over the grass to the left with a Mushroom (not the best use for a 
Mushroom, but it's something). Immediately following is a sharp turn to the 
right, followed by another shortly thereafter. The path then curves to the left
where the second row of item boxes are, but you can use a Mushroom to cut across
the grass to the left and trick off a ramp where two item boxes are.

Another right turn follows after the item boxes (there are Piranha Plants on the
outside edge) followed by a straight shot over a couple boost pads to the glide
ramp. Watch out for the balloons and land on the path below, turning left to
reach the third row of item boxes (there are more Piranha Plants on the right
side of the road). The path curves left slightly before curving back to the 
right and then back to the left where the finish line awaits (Mushrooms can be
used over the grass in this area as well).

Strategies: Besides good drifting, there really isn't much to take advantage of
in this course. The Piranha Plants here are different, though, as they do not
reach out to bite you, so they are less of a threat. In terms of drifting, you
should get orange sparks on the second and third turns, and the turn before the
glide ramp. Otherwise just, uh, don't get hit I guess.

200cc Tips: Most turns here aren't that bad, only requiring a little bit of 
brake drifting or for you to start on the outside of the turn, but that first
U turn to the right near the beginning is brutal. Brake drift on the turn before
in such a way so that you've lined up with the incoming right U turn but you 
only have blue sparks, then immediately brake drift HARD to the right. You 
should make it. Approaching that turn with an orange spark is bad news, even if
you brake drift as hard as possible.

~5.6.4. 3DS DK Jungle~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: Antigravity inside the temple

Antigravity: Yes (Mandatory)
Spinboosters: None
Underwater: Yes (Optional)
Gliding: Yes (Optional)
Hazards: Tikis

From the start, follow the path as it curves to the right to reach the first row
of item boxes, then turn immediately to the left. The path splits around a tree,
and you can trick off of the tree roots to get a boost. Trick off the boost pad
and the flower that you bounce on and avoid the tiki enemies as you follow the 
track down and to the left. Cross the bridge to reach the second row of item 
boxes. Turn right immediately and then drift left and up the fallen pillar to 
the left. Even though you technically have to go offroad, if you time it right
you will lose almost no speed. If you miss the pillar, you will have to turn 
left while avoiding patches of mud before following the path to the right to 
reach a boost ramp. If you got on the pillar, you will hit a glide ramp that 
will take you directly to the boost ramp which you can trick off of.

Continue tricking on the next two boost ramps (if you took the pillar try to use
them to stay in the air longer) until you reach an antigravity section as the
path goes inside a temple. The path turns right, and then U turns to the left. 
Trick off the short ramp to end the antigravity section, and go around the 
spinning banana for the third row of item boxes. Following these is another 
glide ramp. Glide between the three large statues (they will yell at you 
creating shock waves but this is easily avoided) and land past the water. If you
miss the glide ramp or drop for some other reason, you'll be stuck in the water
for awhile. Continue forward and turn left as the path splits in two. The 
outside path is a bit higher up, while the inside path is lower down (there is a
small gap in the road before the lower path, but you should drive right over 
it). Whichever path you take, trick off the end to jump the gap and cross the
finish line ahead.

Strategies: While I listed the Gliding in this course as optional, you should 
always take both glide ramps. Learn to drift up the ramp to the one before the
temple, as nailing this ramp will save you quite a bunch of time, especially if
you can keep it going by tricking off the boost ramps following it. The other
little shortcut you can do is taking the lower path on the final turn. This is
deceptively tricky to do, so learn exactly where to drift to nail it. One last
thing: the roots you can trick off at the very beginning. Be sure not to go too
close to the tree, as the actual trickable parts of the roots are fairly small,
and you'll kinda just smack into the tree if you're too close to the middle.

200cc Tips: This course isn't bad as long as you play it safe. You may need to
brake drift for the first two turns, but besides that I never found it necessary
unless you're going for the glide ramp before the temple. However, I found this
glide ramp quite difficult to reach without completely stopping, so you may want
to avoid it. The turns in the temple are tight but you shouldn't have to brake
drift. But don't even try to take the inside path at the end. Way too risky.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~5.7. Leaf Cup~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~5.7.1. DS Wario Stadium~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: Antigravity in a new scaffolding section after the two jumps with
boost pads as well as underwater and gliding sections shortly thereafter.

Antigravity: Yes (Mandatory)
Spinboosters: None
Underwater: Yes (Mandatory)
Gliding: Yes (Mandatory)
Hazards: Rotating Fire Bars, Fire Wheels

Drive forward to the first row of item boxes and follow the track left. The 
track briefly curves to the right before making a sharp left turn leading to a
boost ramp. Upon landing, turn left and use the boost pads on the dirt patches
to boost over the surrounding mud (you can trick off each boost pad). At the end
is a second row of item boxes. Turn left again and use the boost pads on the two
hills to drive through the rings of fire (you can trick off these pads as well).

The path turns slightly to the left as you enter an antigravity section. The 
track turns sharply to the left and then immediately the right (there are 
spinning fire bars here, but you shouldn't have too much trouble avoiding them).
Trick off the ledge at the end to land back on the ground, ending the 
antigravity section. Turn left and trick off another boost pad where the third 
row of item boxes are. Trick again off of two more boost pads and head 
underwater. There are two short ramps here, followed by a left turn and a glide
ramp. Trick off the ramp and glide to the finish line straight ahead. 

Strategies: There are a ton of boost pads on this course, usually going over 
jumps or for passing over offroad terrain. Hit as many of these as you can, 
including the three after the antigravity section (it can be done fairly 
consistently once you've lined yourself up right). Besides that, this course is 
very drift heavy. You should be able to get two orange sparks in the first 
couple turns, and you can sneak in a blue spark right before the antigravity
begins.

200cc Tips: There are a number of tight turns here, notably the beginning few 
and the ones on the antigravity section. Brake drifting is essential in these
spots. Besides that the course is basically the same, though the four boost pads
through the mud are a bit wonky and the large jump right after will send you 
over the second one.

~5.7.2. GCN Sherbet Land~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: Underwater sections beneath both ice rinks with antigravity 
leading out of the first one.

Antigravity: Yes (Optional)
Spinboosters: None
Underwater: Yes (Optional)
Gliding: Yes (Optional)
Hazards: Shy Guys, Freezies

Follow the path as it turns to the right, passing by the first row of item boxes
before immediately turning left onto the first ice rink. You have two choices
here: stay on the ice rink or drop into the water to the right. While staying on
the ice rink, turn to the right around the water to enter a cave (watch out for
the ice skating Shy Guys, especially the pair right near the cave entrance). 
Inside the cave, the path turns to the right before The path splits around an
ice formation right before a left turn, where the second row of item boxes lie.
If you fall into the water, move forward to reach an antigravity strip and 
follow the path up and to the right, hitting the boost pads that alternate on 
the sides of the path before tricking off of a boost ramp, ending the 
antigravity, to land in the cave before the item boxes.

After the item boxes, turn left and then right to exit the cave. Immediately 
turn left again and then right (the snow banks on the sides can be boosted over
using a Mushroom to slightly cut these corners). Turn right again into the third
row of item boxes and enter the second ice rink. There are many holes here, and
the main path turns right, then left, and then right to reach the finish line.
However, you can use a Mushroom to boost over some snow to the left of the first
turn (basically go straight from where you entered the ice rink) to reach a 
glide ramp that will send you to the finish line. Alternatively, you can fall
into another underwater section with a short ramp. You have to avoid some 
pillars, but you will emerge in front of the finish line (you can trick off the
little bump where you emerge). Though traveling underwater is slower, if you
stay on the ice rink you will have to avoid several large Freezies. Hitting 
these will cost you a ton of time.

Strategies: There are a couple alternate routes you can take on this course. The
first is the underwater path below the first ice rink. This path will cause you
to lose time, even if you miniturbo into the pit, and twice during the 
antigravity part, so it's not worth it. The other underwater section takes 
roughly the same amount of time as going on the ice above, provided you trick 
off the ramps underwater and get a miniturbo in there, so you might as well take
this route as it's a bit safer since you don't have to worry about the Freezies
or the ice taking away your Grip. The glide ramp in this section doesn't really
save you much time, and requires a Mushroom, so it isn't generally worth it. 
Besides the Freezies, the ice skating Shy Guys on the first ice rink should be
easy to avoid.

200cc Tips: There isn't anything really different you need to do in this course
on 200cc. The only times when you might have to brake drift is during the 
section between the ice cave and the second ice rink, and even then depending on
how you exit the ice cave you might not have to. Just race through as you would
normally.

~5.7.3. 3DS Music Park~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: Honestly there aren't any.

Antigravity: None
Spinboosters: None
Underwater: None
Gliding: Yes (Optional)
Hazards: Giant Piranha Plants, Bouncing Notes

Follow the track straight to reach the first row of item boxes. It then curves 
slightly to the right before turning left down a set of piano keys. You can 
trick off the black keys in the middle, and there are boost pads on the outside,
but it's best just to stick to the inside of the turn. Drop down off the piano
and head straight, avoiding the Piranha Plants on the sides (they switch sides
each lap). You can use a Mushroom to cut across the grass and trick off a ramp
on the left after the Piranha Plants, but otherwise you'll just turn around it.

Next you'll find yourself turning right across a xylophone (it technically might
be something else. Don't kill me band geeks okay?) but this time there are 
raised "keys" on the inside edge. You can trick off of them to get some extra
speed, but be careful not to fall off. You will then reach the second row of 
item boxes before turning to the left where you will go down another xylophonic
device, this time with raised keys on the left (trick off these too). You'll 
then go off a boost ramp and bounce on a drum, which you should also trick off.

Follow the path to the right and you will reach a sectioned glide ramp. Half of
the ramp will be a glide ramp, while the other half will be just a standard 
ramp. Which side is which changes every few seconds (and changes faster on the 
last lap). Always go for the glide ramp if you can. After the ramp is a large
area with three massive music notes that are jumping to the beat (they also jump
faster on the final lap). When these music notes hit the ground, you will be
bounced into the air and you can trick off these bounces. Be sure not to get
squished by them though, and avoid the patch of grass in the middle. The third
row of item boxes is on both sides of this grassy patch. After the third note,
drop down a bit and follow the track as it U turns to the right. Though you can
trick off the drum to the right before the turn, you will end up in the grass to
the left of the main path, so only use that if you have a Mushroom. Otherwise, 
follow the track to the left after the U turn and cross the finish line.

Strategies: This is another course that really tests your drifting skills. The
first large piano turn should be taken on the inside, and you should get a blue
spark miniturbo followed by an orange spark miniturbo before reaching the Giant
Piranha Plants. Notice where the spotlights are, and avoid these areas, as 
that's where the Giant Piranha Plants will bite you. The two xylophone turns are
tight, and while you can trick off the raised keys, I find it's usually not very
beneficial except for the last one in each turn. The changing glide ramp before
the Bouncing Notes can mess you up, especially on the last lap when it switches
faster, so be sure to hit it so you can gain some ground. The drum shortcut at
the end of the course is very tricky, as it will almost always send you into the
grass, making it not worth it unless you have a Mushroom. One minor thing, for 
the turn before the glide ramp, I find it's best to get two blue sparks instead
of one orange spark. It seems to give my turn a better angle, but maybe it's 
just me (I also use an inside-drift bike, so maybe that's it).

200cc Tips: You need brake drifting in two parts: the xylophone and marimba U
turns and the last turn at the end. All three of these require you to brake 
quite hard, but the rest of the race is pretty standard. The glide ramp launches
you clear past the giant music notes, but this means you miss the third set of
item boxes unless you drop down immediately.

~5.7.4. N64 Yoshi Valley~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: Cannon on the far right path. No porcupines. You actually know 
what place you're in.

Antigravity: None
Spinboosters: None
Underwater: None
Gliding: Yes (Optional)
Hazards: Goombas, Giant Egg

Oh boy this is the big one. Yoshi Valley has A LOT of paths to choose from. This
will probably be quite confusing to read, but I will do my best. I will be using
letters to denote each path.

Follow the track forward as it curves to the left to reach the first row of item
boxes. Cross the bridge and you immediately have a choice in going left for Path
A or going right for Path B.

Path A: You immediately have three more choices. You can take the bridge to the
left for Path AA, go past the bridge and turn left for Path AB, or turn right
for Path AC. Avoid the Goombas at the AB/AC split.

Path AA: Follow the narrow bridge and trick off the end to reconnect with Path 
AB.

Path AB: Follow the path forward to connect with Path AA after a drop you can
trick off of. You will then turn to the right and drop off two ledges to reach
the second row of item boxes.

Path AC: Follow the path to the right and then slightly to the left as the path
ends with a drop as you enter a cave. You are now on Path BAB.

Path B: After taking a right at the first junction, you are given another choice
shortly after: turn left for Path BA and turn right for Path BB.

Path BA: Immediately you will drop down and are forced with another choice. Turn
left for Path BAA or stay straight for Path BAB.

Path: BAA: Path BAA travels under most paths, and after slowly curving to the
right, joins up with Path AB before the second ledge and the second row of item 
boxes.

Path BAB: Path BAB has you entering a cave which turns sharply to the left for
awhile. You will eventually drop off a ledge with the second row of item boxes
in front of you.

Path BB: Follow the path as it turns left around a mountain to reach a cannon
with an extra row of item boxes. The cannon drops you off where Paths AA and AB
converge.

By the time you reach the second (third if you took the cannon) row of item 
boxes, all paths have converged. From here, follow the path as it U turns to the
left and then turns back to the right. Another left turn and you'll reach the 
third row of item boxes with a circular area beyond that contains a giant 
spinning egg. Avoid the egg and cross the bridge in front of you. Turn left 
slightly, then back to the right, and then back to the left to reach the finish
line (Mushrooms can be used to boost across the grass to cut these turns short.
There is a ramp to the right specifically for this).

Strategies: The big question with Yoshi Valley is which path is the best. I 
would say Path AA is the fastest, but is also the most risky as you can fall off
fairly easily, while Path BB is the slowest, but you do get an extra item. 
Experiment to find which path you like the best.

I decided to test this out myself in Time Trial. I used Rosalina+Jet Bike+Slim
and took the same path all three laps. These times aren't exactly amazing, but I
felt it would give a good enough comparison between all the paths (I didn't use
any Mushrooms, and I tried doing the exact same things when the paths converge).

Path AA: 2:23.015
Path AB: 2:21.751
Path AC: 2:23.342
Path BAA: 2:23.572
Path BAB: 2:23.348
Path BB: 2:37.384

As you can see, they're all roughly equal, except Path BB. Of course, you get an
extra set of item boxes with it however, so there's that. Also remember that I'm
using the Jet Bike, which has inside drifting. So while Path AB was best for me,
for another vehicle it may be something else. I believe Path AA is better if 
you're going for a strict Speed build (say Bowser+Mach 8+Slick).

200cc Tips: The trickiest part is getting onto Path AA. I recommend beginning 
your drift from the first item boxes and basically holding it until the start of
Path AA. If you don't feel confident enough or it's super crowded, take Path AB
instead. The only turns you need to brake drift on are the big U turn after the
paths converge which requires it a little, and the final turn which requires it
a lot, but overall this course isn't bad.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~5.8. Lightning Cup~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~5.8.1. DS Tick Tock Clock~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: Clock hands are no longer hazards and can be ridden across. Glide
ramp before the gear area.

Antigravity: None
Spinboosters: None
Underwater: None
Gliding: Yes (Optional)
Hazards: Pendulums

Follow the track forward and to the left, tricking off the ramp to get on the
clock. The middle of the clock is a pit, so you can go around on either side, 
passing by the first row of item boxes (there are boost pads on the outside 
edges, but they're not really worth it). However, if the clock hands are aligned
right, you can drive along them and trick off the very center to hit an item box
and cross the clock faster. Exit the clock, heading down to a ramp. Avoid the
swinging pendulum as you trick off it.

Turn right and head toward another ramp with another swining pendulum and the
second row of item boxes. Turn to the right again to reach another sectioned
glide ramp that alternates position every lap. Glide off the ramp (there's 
another short ramp right after if you want to try for that) and glide over the 
gears. If you missed the glide ramp you will have to drive over the gears. 
Notice which direction they're turning and drive along with them to speed up a 
little. If you glide for as long as possible, you should land on the fourth 
(final) gear. In addition, you can trick off the edge of the gears where the 
ends are raised slightly and you can see a little arrow.

Leave the gears to reach the third row of item boxes and quickly turn right and
then left right after. You will reach a second, smaller clock. Again if the arms
are aligned, you can drive along them and trick off the middle, otherwise you
will have to go right and then turn left around the outside of the clock. After
the clock are two vertical gears moving in opposite directions. Drive up the one
moving with you to get a speed boost and cross the finish line.

Strategies: A successful run of Tick Tock Clock involves effective use of the
clock parts in the course. Both clock hand shortcuts are extremely useful if 
pulled off successfully, so practice them, and know when it's a good idea to go
for them (oftentimes the clock hands just aren't in the right place). The 
pendulums can be aggravating, but I find driving straight toward them works 
pretty well, as by the time you've reached them, they've moved out of the way.
You should also always hit the glide ramp to soar over most of the gears, and
remember to drive WITH the flow of the gears to speed up a bit.

200cc Tips: DS Tick-Tock Clock is deceptively easy. You can go through the 
entire course without brake drifting once. Brake drifting may be useful at the
turn before the glide ramp, and the two turns after the third set of item boxes,
but I didn't have to. The only other things of note are that the glide ramp 
shoots you completely over all the gears, and you should try to avoid the clock
hand on the smaller clock at the end, as going over it while drifting pushes you
pretty far to the right.

~5.8.2. 3DS Piranha Plant Slide~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: Underwater section is also an antigravity section.

Antigravity: Yes (Mandatory)
Spinboosters: None
Underwater: Yes (Mandatory)
Gliding: Yes (Mandatory)
Hazards: Giant Piranha Plants, Goombas

Note: Throughout the course there are flowing streams of water. Driving on these
is faster than on dry ground as the water flows in the direction you're going.
Always try to stay in the water. Also, the first part of the course has item 
boxes following the water, so try to get as many of those as you can.

Head forward, tricking off the ramp and falling onto the slide below. Follow it
as it curves around slightly and trick off the end to go underwater. Shortly
therafter is a ramp to trick off leading above water. Follow the water to the 
left, and avoid the giant Piranha Plant in the middle. Be sure to note which
direction it's facing, as it will lunge out in that direction at any racers, and
you don't want to take the risk. You can also use a Mushroom to boost right 
behind the Piranha Plant. Turn left again after the Piranha Plant and avoid the
Goombas. There are boosts ramps on either side which you should use to land on 
the blocks ahead. If you fall you will have to climb uphill a bit and you will
lose some time. Right after the blocks is the first row of item boxes.

Immediately after is a pipe on the ground you can trick off of to the right as 
the track itself curves to the left (watch out for the pits on both sides). 
Another trickable pipe is right after the turn on the left side. Afterwards is a
right turn and an antigravity strip. Follow the road down, tricking off both 
ledges as you go underwater. Turn left, being careful not to get pushed off by
the current coming from the pipe on the left. A second pipe spews water which
will push you to an upper area with a boost. There is another boost on the 
regular path to the right with another giant Piranha Plant in the middle right
after. Avoiding it like the first one (the boost on the upper path will shoot 
you right over it) and hit the second row of item boxes.

After the item boxes are some boost pads and a glide ramp shooting you up high.
The antigravity ends when you land, and follow the path to the right and then
turn to the left, avoiding the Goombas to reach the finish line. If you have a
Mushroom, you can boost through the cutout of a shrub between the fences, 
allowing you to skip that last turn.

Strategies: One of the most aggravating things in this course to people who 
don't know the pattern are the Giant Piranha Plants. They have a deceptively
large reach and can ruin a good run easily. The key to avoiding them is just to
notice which way they're facing. Both Giant Piranha Plants can be driven around
either to the left or the right, so if it's facing to the left, just go to the
right. While you CAN still avoid them by going the same way, you're banking on
luck. Another thing is the blocks after the first Giant Piranha Plant. Use the
boost ramps on the side to land on these blocks. Otherwise, you'll fall down and
be forced to go up a steep hill to reach the item boxes. It doesn't look like 
much, but staying up on the blocks helps quite a bit.

200cc Tips: There are two hard parts here: the right angle turns before the
antigravity section, and the end. You need to brake drift hard for the right
angle turns, and don't trick off the pipes just to be safe. As for the end, if 
you have enough speed when going off the glide ramp you can actually go above
the archway like you could in Mario Kart 7, but this isn't recommended unless
you have a Mushroom to take the shortcut. If you don't, drop down and don't 
drift until the last turn. You'll have to zigzag quite a bit and it's an awkward
turn, but you should be able to make it if you're careful.

~5.8.3. Wii Grumble Volcano~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: Glide ramps after the cave and at the end.

Antigravity: None
Spinboosters: None
Underwater: None
Gliding: Yes (Optional)
Hazards: Fire Snakes

Note: This track begins crumbling at the start of lap 2 and continues until the
end of the race. While this usually doesn't affect your racing line all too 
much, it is definitely something to be aware about.

Head forward and trick off the ledge ahead to reach the first row of item boxes.
Follow the path as it curves slightly to the right and then left, and then turn
to the right, trick off the ledge, land on the moving platform, and enter the 
cave. The cave curves slightly to the left and then turns right as the path 
splits into a lower path on the right and an upper path on the left (neither is
clearly better than the other). The second row of item boxes marks the start of
the division as both paths turn right, then left, and then right slightly. 

Exit the cave, drop off a ledge onto a moving platform and try to hit the glide
ramp. If you miss, drive onto a small island and then another moving platform.
Jump back on solid ground as the path splits again into a lower path on the left
and an upper path on the right. The upper path ends in a boost pad. By taking 
the glide ramp you should land about where the upper path ends. This area is 
full of flames that are remnants from rocks being spewed out of the nearby 
volcano, so avoid these as you will spin out if you hit them. The path turns to
the right and splits again, with the upper part on the left and the lower path
on the right. Again, the upper path ends with a boost pad, but this time the 
third row of item boxes lies across both paths.

Keep turning right (you can use a Mushroom to boost across the mud to the right.
Just be careful not to fall off), and trick off another ledge. Avoid the Fire
Snakes and choose to go left or right. If you go right, you will then have to 
turn left and then right to reach another ledge with the finish line just 
beyond. By going left, you will drive up for a bit before turning right and 
hitting a glide ramp which you can use to glide to the finish line. On lap 3, a
shortcut opens up on the right path. You must use a Mushroom to boost off the
side to the left of the pipe right after the left turn. It's difficult to do, 
but very useful in taking a last minute victory if done correctly.

Strategies: Watch where the road crumbles during Lap 2. While most crumbled 
parts are out of the way, you do have to worry about some near the end, and the
ones around that first right turn before entering the cave. In terms of the path
splits, the right cave path is quicker, and allows for more miniturbo boosts.
After the cave, hit the glide ramp, glide to the right, and trick off the boost
pad, then hug the inside corner as you turn right, ignoring the other boost pad.
Afterwards, the right path (the non-gliding one), is a bit quicker, and you can
attempt that risky shortcut on Lap 3.

200cc Tips: You'd think this course would be hard on 200cc, and you'd be right,
but probably not for the reason you'd think. Yes the holes in the course are
definitely a problem, but the most annoying part for me was the cave. Stick to
the bottom path, but be ready to brake as the turning here is annoying. Also be
careful of the moving rock platforms after the cave as if you're too far to the
side you risk plunging off into the lava. When you get to the split near the 
end, take the right path, but don't trick on that last ramp before the paths
converge. It will mess up your drift to the finish line.

~5.8.4. N64 Rainbow Road~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: Many antigravity sections, glide ramps, and layout differences.
The Chain Chomps also bounce on the track in fixed spots and the whole course is
now sectioned with 1 full lap completing the race.

Antigravity: Yes (Mandatory)
Spinboosters: None
Underwater: None
Gliding: Yes (Mandatory)
Hazards: Chain Chomps

Head forward to reach an antigravity strip. Follow the path down, hitting the
boost pads/rings on the left, right, and then middle of the track before hitting
the first row of item boxes at a glide ramp, ending the antigravity. Angle 
yourself through the rings in the air on the left and then the right, and land
right in front of a second antigravity strip. Follow the course as it turns to
the right until the antigravity ends and it straightens out, becoming wavy. 
Trick off the bumps in the track, avoiding the Chain Chomp bouncing around. 
Reach the second row of item boxes and enter section 2.

Section 2 begins with a short left turn and another antigravity strip. Follow 
the path as it turns to the right in a great circle before reaching the third
row of item boxes. The antigravity ends with another wavy section, this time 
with two Chain Chomps boucing around. Pass by them, turn right, and cross 
another antigravity strip as the track turns to the left. Pass the fourth row of
item boxes and enter section 3.

After entering Section 3, turn right, and then left to reach the fifth row of
item boxes. Follow the track back to the right, cross a straightaway, and then
turn left again, passing the sixth row of item boxes. The track will eventually
curve to the right with two boost pads and rings on the outside of the turn. 
Afterwards is a glide ramp, ending the antigravity, and the finish line is 
straight ahead.

Strategies: A lot of this course consists or large turns. Always take these 
turns as close to the inside edge as possible, and get as many miniturbo boosts
as you possibly can. Besides that, this course is relatively simple. Be careful
to not get squished by the bouncing Chain Chomps, but their bounces make the
road undulate, allowing more tricking opportunities. All in all, cut the corners
short, and you'll be fine (minus item chaos of course).

200cc Tips: As you'd probably guess, this course is really simple. The only 
corner you would every really need to brake drift on would be the one right 
after the second Chain Chomp section because of your trick boosts. It's pretty
much just a normal race.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~5.9. Egg Cup~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Egg Cup is the first cup in Pack 1 of the Mario Kart 8 DLC released on
November 13th, 2014.

~5.9.1. GCN Yoshi Circuit~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: None really. There are no Piranha Plants near the starting line.

Antigravity: None
Spinboosters: None
Underwater: None
Gliding: None
Hazards: Piranha Plants

The course immediately starts off with the first set of item boxes and a right
turn with a left turn following right after. The track curves left, right, and
then left around the "arm" of the Yoshi, but you can use a Mushroom to boost
through the grass, over the water that's under the arm, and skip the arm 
entirely. The track enters a covered portion with a left turn followed by a long
right turn where the second row of item boxes lie. You exit the covered area
with another left turn.

The track then zigzags multiple times to the left and right (watch out for the
Piranha Plants on the sides) before reachins a sharp left turn. You can use
Mushrooms to cut through the zigzags, but it doesn't help too much. The sharp
left turn leads to a ramp on the right side you can trick off of, and the third
set of item boxes. A sharp right turn follows, with another left turn and then
right turn before the finish line (you can cut that last corner with a Mushroom
for a last second chance).

Strategies: This track is basically the same as in Mario Kart DS, though it 
feels a tad shorter. Be keen on your drifting, but don't go crazy on the zigzag
part. Keep in mind that the alternate route that was in Mario Kart: Double 
Dash!! isn't here either.

200cc Tips: This course is legitimately difficult as most corners require brake
drifting. Even then, some corners you just can't take. The second turn is 
extremely tight, and if you get an orange boost from the turn before you WILL go
into the grass. The zigzag part seems impossible at first, but the trick here is
to not drift at all. Once you exit the tunnel and make those first two turns, 
simply shimmy your way straight through the zigzag turning as little as possible
until you reach the sharp left turn at the end. Even with these strategies, this
course is still difficult and your brake drifting will definitely be tested.

~5.9.2. Excitebike Arena~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Antigravity: None
Spinboosters: None
Underwater: None
Gliding: None
Hazards: None

Excitebike Arena has many different layouts that the track can have. Because of
this, outside of Time Trial mode, this course will be different each time you
race on it. However, the standard oval shape with two sets of mud muddles on 
each curve remain fixed, as well as the position of the item boxes: right after
the starting line, right after the first curve, and right before the second 
curve.

Time Trial Version:
After a bit of a straightaway there is a small bump, followed by another with a
larger bump right after. Following that is another larger bump that leads into
an even larger one before going back down to ground level. Next are alternating
bumps on the right and left that are over some grass before reaching a 
moderately-sized bump. After this is a straight path before the first turn.

After the turn is a small ramp to the right with grass after it and a bit of a 
straight path leading to a mud puddle on the left with a boost ramp right after
it. There is a strip of grass here you can only pass with the boost ramp or when
using Mushrooms. After this are two side-by-side mud puddles followed by a 
series of bumps like this:
        ___
    ___/   \___
___/           \___

After this is a boost ramp that will shoot you over a small bump (you can go to
the sides to skip the boost ramp if you wish). After this is a large bump. The
left side remains raised for awhile before dropping down while the right side
drops down immediately (there is a mud puddle on the right side right after the
drop on the left). After this is another straight piece leading into the second
curve. Following the curve there is a large stretch of grass on the right half,
and one final small bump awaits before the finish line.

Other Modes:
There are five different sections of the track. Each time the track is loaded,
these five sections are placed in a random order. I will use ASCII to make a 
crude side-view map of each section.

MMM = Mud
GGG = Grass
X = Boost Ramp

Section 1:                _
                         / \
              /\    /|  /   \
__/\_____/|__/  \__/ |_/     \__

Section 2 (Right half):


__/|GGG___________/|GGG______/\__

Section 2 (Left half):


__________/|GGG______________/\__

Section 3 (Right half):


__________________GGGGGGGGG______

Section 3 (Left half):


___________MMM___XGGGGGGGGG______

Section 4:          ___
                   /   \
              ____/     \__          
____MMM_____/              \____X

Section 5 (Right half):
              
             /|
            / |
____/\_____/  |_____________MMM__

Section 5 (Left half):
              ____________
             /
            /
____/\_____/              _______

Item boxes are found at the start of the first section, after the first turn, 
and after the fifth section.

The track is divided up in this manner: Beginning->Section 1->Section 2->Turn 1
->Section 3->Section 4->Section 5->Turn 2->Ending

The Beginning, Ending, and Turns are always the same.

Beginning: Straight path with no bumps and the first row of item boxes.

Turn 1: Straight path before turn. Turn has mud puddles divided up into four
"lanes" with mud first in lanes 2 and 4 and after that 1 and 3 (1 being furthest
out in the turn). The second row of item boxes are here and a short ramp follows
on the right half.

Turn 2: Straight path containing the third row of item boxes before the turn. 
The turn has mud puddles similar to the first but appear in lanes 1 and 4 and 
then 2 and 3.

Ending: Right after Turn 2 the right half of the track is covered in grass. At
the end of the grass is a small ramp spanning the entire track before the finish
line.

Strategies: Excitebike Arena is all about mastering the jumps. Tricking off 
every jump won't necessarily help you. It really comes down to practicing 
different techniques for this course to find the fastest way through each piece.
Also be sure to remember where the mud is, and use Mushrooms to cut the curves. 
Items can really screw you over here as you may not be able to trick off jumps 
due to your lowered speed, so be especially careful of that.

200cc Tips: With no tricky turns, Excitebike Arena is normally an easy one. 
However, if the layout has a boost ramp in the middle right before a turn, DO 
NOT TAKE IT. You WILL miss the turn, even if you do not trick. Besides that, 
trick as often as possible and watch out for those wayward Green Shells.

~5.9.3. Dragon Driftway~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Antigravity: Yes (Mandatory)
Spinboosters: Yes
Underwater: None
Gliding: None
Hazards: None

Dragon Driftway, besides the starting area, is entirely in antigravity. Use this
to your advantage.

A short distance from the starting line is a ramp and the beginning of the 
antigravity. Drive through the dragon statue's mouth, following the track as it
curves slightly to the left, then sharply right, then sharply left to reach the
first set of item boxes. Make a hard right, followed by a left, and then another
hard right. After the first right turn is a grassy ramp you can use as a 
shortcut if you have a Mushroom (otherwise you will fall). You can also use a
Mushroom to cut the grass after the left turn, shaving off the second right 
turn.

Next is the second set of item boxes and the path turns left. Spin boosters line
the middle of the path as it curves to the right into the third set of item 
boxes right as the track drops. Trick off the drop, following up with more 
tricks from the humps in the track below. There's a very slight left turn 
followed by a wide right turn with grass on the inside you can cut across with
a Mushroom. Afterwards is a final drop, ending the antigravity right before the
finish line.

Strategies: Drift. The course is called Driftway for a reason, and mastering 
drifting is definitely the key to victory. The set of turns right after the 
first row of item boxes is the trickiest part. Also remember that basically the 
entire course is in antigravity, so use that to your advantage.

200cc Tips: This one's hard. The turns in the beginning require brake drifting,
especially the second turn which is already nasty even on 150cc. Brake drift a 
bit for the next turn, but you can actually take the ramp to the left that you
normally need a Mushroom for normally on 200cc. This means you skip a very tight
left turn and you're set up to take the next right turn well. The rest of the
course isn't so bad (you'll need to brake drift during that last turn). Just be
sure to hit that offroad ramp every time as it will save you a lot of trouble,
but it's tricky to line up as you hit it almost immediately after a turn. Don't
get too frustrated because this one is quite difficult.

~5.9.4. Mute City~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Antigravity: Yes (Mandatory)
Spinboosters: Yes
Underwater: None
Gliding: None
Hazards: None

This track is 100% in antigravity (even the starting line). In addition, there
are no coins on the track. To get coins, you must drive over pink recharge 
strips that will "refill" your coins at a steady rate.

The course starts off with a small S curve with a boost pad in the middle, 
followed by another boost pad as the track curves to the right. A recharge strip
lines the outer edge of this turn. Two more boost pads near the middle carry you
out of the turn, leading you to a long straightaway with one boost pad near the
middle, two on the left, one in the middle followed immediately by another 
slightly to the right, two boost pads side by side in the middle and right edge,
and finally culminating in the first row of item boxes on a boost ramp.

The boost ramp drops you off on a slightly curved section with spinboosters in
the middle of the lane. The path curves right and then left, leading to the
second row of item boxes on another boost ramp. This drops you off on a flat
section with recharge strips on the sides and boost pads in the middle. The 
track turns left with two boost pads on the sides, and then turns right where 
there are more spinboosters in the middle of the road, though you can cut the
turn short by Mushrooming over the offroad area. 

Another boost pad is in the middle of the road as it turns left, and then 
sharply right where the third row of item boxes rest on another ramp. Below is
an S curve to the right, then left, then right with offroad areas on the sides
you can boost through with a Mushroom to skip these turns. Past this is another
ramp and the finish line (oh and the finish line itself acts as a boost pad).

However, before the third row of item boxes, you can use a Mushroom to boost
off the track to the right, hitting a standalone platform with another ramp. 
This will drop you off halfway through the S curve, and is a great shortcut. You
do miss out on that row of item boxes though. 

There's also a "Show Me Your Moves!" display above the final S curve. It was too
good to not mention here.

Strategies: There's a couple key distinctions about this course that you should
always keep in mind. First, the lack of Coins on the track. Go for the recharge
strip right at the start to get ten coins as soon as possible. Otherwise, ignore
the strips unless you get hit (but I generally would just go for the boost 
pads). Speaking of the boost pads, there are a ton on this track, and hitting as
many as possible is certainly recommended, but be ready to take some of those
corners that are right after the boost pads. Finally, the entire course is in
antigravity, so spinboost away!

200cc Tips: Though not as difficult as Dragon Driftway, there's still some 
finesse to Mute City. The turn before the long straightaway with a ton of 
boosters at the beginning should be brake drifted a little bit. This lines you
up better with the boost pads. The only turns you really need brake drifting for
are the big U turn about halfway through maybe the turn right after. The ramp
after these turns launches you quite a bit farther which is actually bad. It
drops you down halfway through the first turn. Try to angle yourself so that 
when you land you can immediately drift right and not hit the walls (you may
need to brake drift here as well). This part is really annoying and it's right
at the end so it can screw you up badly.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~5.10. Triforce Cup~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Triforce Cup is the second cup in Pack 1 of the Mario Kart 8 DLC released on
November 13th, 2014.

~5.10.1. Wii Wario's Gold Mine~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: Antigravity in the cave. No quarter pipes.

Antigravity: Yes (Mandatory)
Spinboosters: Yes
Underwater: None
Gliding: None
Hazards: Swoopers

The course immediately begins with a right turn, followed by a left turn. The
track then curves sharply downward, where a boost pad will send you into the 
first row of item boxes before curving back up. The track then turns left and
then right soon after (you can skip a bit of the turn by tricking over the short
corner ramp, but you will likely end up bashing against the railing on the other
side, slowing you down). Alternatively, you can drop down behind this turn to
take a wider turn, but there is a boost pad here. The track continues into a 
cave where Swoopers will fly down from the ceiling (they don't cause you to spin
out; they just get in the way).

An antigravity strip awaits right before the second row of item boxes. The track
then curves right and then left where a boost ramp launches you onto the track
below, where mine carts will drive by. These aren't hazards like in Mario Kart
Wii, as you can spinboost off them. The track curves slightly, and splits right
before the third row of item boxes.

To the left, there is a narrow path with one item box that is sometimes blocked
by a mine cart. Taking this path will drop you onto a cave floor, which curves
to the right a bit. Two boost pads, followed by a slight left turn and then a
boost ramp, drop you back onto the main track. The right path curves right and 
then downward before rising again and turning left and then right. This is where
the left path drops you off. Another right turn (with another corner ramp), and 
you're at the finish line. 

Strategies: Like in Mario Kart Wii, it's still fairly easy to fall off. They've
even added that second corner ramp near the end to tempt you more. The first cut
I've found to always get me stuck on the rail on the opposite side, so I'd 
honestly only use the one at the end. Besides this, remember that the mine carts
are not hazards anymore, and use them to your advantage. The path split isn't a
clear-cut choice though. The World Record time uses the right path, so there's
that, but when racing I usually find the left path to be better.

200cc Tips: This course really isn't that bad. The big U turn before the 
antigravity section should be brake drifted, as bumping into the railing leads
to bad things at that corner. In addition, I'd just avoid the alternate path to
the left in the tunnel. You have to brake drift quite hard to avoid slamming 
into the wall and you'll probably miss the first boost pad there. You'll likely
miss that final corner ramp as well, so don't bother aiming for it.

~5.10.2. SNES Rainbow Road~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: None that weren't in Mario Kart 7

Antigravity: None
Spinboosters: None
Underwater: None
Gliding: None
Hazards: Thwomps

The course immediately begins with a right turn where the first set of item 
boxes lie. Two Thwomps are side-by-side on the following straightaway, and when
they pound the track, the track ripples like in Mario Kart 7's remake of this
track. Trick off the ripples, and take the next right turn (it's longer this 
time). This next bit has two ramps on the edges of the track, followed by one in
the middle. The track turns to the left where the second set of item boxes are.
There is a ramp you can use to cut the corner, but it is quite risky.

After this is another straightaway with a Thwomp in the middle, so drive to the 
sides (while taking advantage of the ripples it makes). Take another right turn
where the third set of item boxes are. The next straightaway splits down the 
middle, with a Thwomp on either side. Pick whichever side you see the Thwomp 
hitting aster you turn the corner, so by the time you choose your path, the 
other Thwomp is hitting its path. There's also a ramp in the middle, but you 
need a Mushroom to clear it. One final right turn leads to two more Thwomps (so
drive between them) and the finish line.

Strategies: This is a quick track with no rails. It's pretty easy to screw up a
drift and fall. The ramps in the middle can also lead you astray, especially
the one where you can cut the corner. Be sure to practice nailing that so you 
know exactly how to approach it. The Thwomps can also be tricky due to just how
much space they take up (you spin out even if you run into them), so be sure to
avoid them. Be especially careful where the track splits, as if you choose the
wrong split, it is very difficult to avoid the Thwomp. Tricking off the ripples
is also a bit tricky at first.

200cc Tips: This course is surprisingly not bad at all. All turns are wide 
enough so that you never need to brake drift. My only advice is to ignore the
ramps in the middle of the track just in case. Also you can use the ramp near 
the end to jump between the two Thwomps without a Mushroom, so use that to avoid
dealing with the Thwomps entirely.

~5.10.3. Ice Ice Outpost~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Antigravity: Yes (Mandatory)
Spinboosters: Yes
Underwater: None
Gliding: Yes
Hazards: None

Most of the track consists of two (usually) side-by-side paths: a green one on
the left at the start, and a yellow one on the right at the start. The track 
starts with a straightaway leading to the first row of item boxes. The paths 
then split, with the yellow path rising slightly as the track turns left. The 
paths then curve to the right, crisscrossing over each other before joining as
you enter an ice cave.

The second set of item boxes is here as the track turns left (this time the 
green path on the left rises slightly). Before the item boxes, there is an icy
platform to the right you can jump off of, that allows you to skip the turn. The
track turns to the left while the green path rises again, ending in a jump. 
However, you can drive to the left off the green path onto a short icy path 
leading to a ramp. This leads you to another ramp that drops you off at an 
antigravity strip (there's another ramp on the main path before the antigravity 
strip). This marks where the green and yellow path split and begin undulating 
next to each other leading to the third set of item boxes. 

The track splits again, with the paths crossing over each other while they turn 
left. Spinboosters are in the middle of each path, and they both end in a glide 
ramp. The glide ramp drops you off before a right turn that leads to the finish.
However, there is a ramp to the right that allows you to skip the turn. You 
don't need a Mushroom, but the angle is VERY sharp and it is quite difficult to 
make.

Strategies: The main trick with this course is knowing which path to take. 
Except for the ice cave section, the green path takes the corners tighter, so go
that way. In the ice cave, the first alternate path is extremely difficult to
time correctly, and it doesn't even save you time so ignore it. The second
alternate path is simpler and takes about the same time, while the third 
alternate path definitely cuts down some time unless you're fire hopping. Keep
in mind that if you need to, you can fall from one path to the other when you're
on the higher one. The shortcuts really are trickier than they look.

200cc Tips: This track also plays basically the same. The only turns you may 
need to brake drift on are the ones at the end before the glide ramps, but even
then I didn't have to. Just play through it normally, though you should ignore
all the shortcuts. They're either too hard to get or don't help you.

~5.10.4. Hyrule Circuit~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Antigravity: Yes (Mandatory)
Spinboosters: Yes
Underwater: None
Gliding: Yes (Mandatory)
Hazards: Deku Babas

This course does more than just take place in Hyrule. Instead of coins, rupees
litter the track, and the item roulette makes a classic Legend of Zelda noise.

The track begins with a quick turn to the left, then right, then a larger left
where the first row of item boxes lie. However, you can use a Mushroom to skip
this larger left turn, as there is a ramp in the grass to the left which also
has an item box. After the turn there is a short ramp on the right side of the
path, followed quickly by another on the left. Next is a large right turn that
leads to a glide ramp.

The glide ramp deposits you in front of the second row of item boxes, after 
which the path curves to the left and you enter an antigravity section. On this
turn are three crystals that act as spinboosters, but they also begin glowing
when someone runs into them. After the turn is a split in the path where you
must go around a central pedestal with the Master Sword. However, when all three
crystals are glowing, a ramp appears that will launch you directly over the 
Master Sword. The two side paths end in short ramps that lead you out of the
castle.

Another ramp deposits you on a path that curves right, then left, and then right
again where the third row of item boxes are. The path then splits down the 
middle, with the right side being slightly raised. The road curves to the left,
and then to the right as the paths merge. Lining this area are several Deku 
Babas that will bite at you like Piranha Plants, so avoid the edges. Finally, a
ramp drops you off at the finish line.

Strategies: This course is relatively simple, except for one big thing: the
Master Sword shortcut. Learning to nail those crystals during your drift will
aid you immensely. It really is tough, especially with an inside drifting bike.
Besides that, there's not much to say besides look for any cornercuts you can 
hit when you have a Mushroom, drift well, and watch out for the Deku Babas near 
the end.

200cc Tips: Hyrule Circuit has two main parts that suck. First is inside the
castle. If you don't get the Master Sword shortcut (and you probably won't), 
it's very easy to get hung up on the wall as you try to get around the Master
Sword pedestal. My best advice is to brake drift hard before the ramps just so
you can line yourself up. The shortcut through the grass right after the castle
you might want to just barrel on through, as it saves you from dealing with an
annoying turn. The turns after are difficult, even if you brake drift, because
the paths are so narrow. It's very hard to remain completely on the path. You 
may also want to ignore all the small ramps at the beginning.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~5.11. Crossing Cup~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Crossing Cup is the first cup in Pack 2 of the Mario Kart 8 DLC released on
April 23rd, 2015.

~5.11.1. GCN Baby Park~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: Whole track is in antigravity. Moving item boxes.

Antigravity: Yes (Mandatory)
Spinboosters: None
Underwater: None
Gliding: None
Hazards: None

GCN Baby Park is just a simple oval that takes 7 laps to complete, same as in
Mario Kart: Double Dash!! What's different is that the entire course is in 
antigravity, making spinboosting on your opponents very useful. In addition, 
item boxes move in pairs around the track counterclockwise slowly, while you 
move clockwise. The boxes start together in a row of 6, but by the end of the
race they will be all spread out throughout the course.

Strategies: Baby Park is 100% item craziness. This means that getting items is
your absolute number 1 priority, and you should never miss a box. Besides that,
just be careful and pray to RNGesus.

200cc Tips: GCN Baby Park's turns are just tight enough so that you'll probably
have to brake drift a smidge. That's kind of all the advice I can give. Good 
luck.

~5.11.2. GBA Cheese Land~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: Antigravity in second half of the course. Glide ramp added. No
mice but chain chomps instead.

Antigravity: Yes (Mandatory)
Spinboosters: Yes
Underwater: None
Gliding: Yes (Mandatory)
Hazards: Chain Chomps

Note: A lot of the corners can be cut here using Mushrooms, but I'll only note
the major ones specifically. There are also several small holes in the track
that can give you trick boosts when you drive over them.

You start in front of the first set of item boxes, after which is a left turn
followed by a smaller right turn. The track goes straight for a bit before 
curving right. There is a hole in the cheese to the right of this turn that can
be boosted through with a Mushroom. The track slowly curves back over to the 
left before the second row of item boxes and a boost ramp.

The ramp puts you into an antigravity section which curves up and to the right
where a spinbooster is in the middle of the turn. A glide ramp lies ahead which
only lets you glide a bit before landing. Still in antigravity, the track curves
left but watch out for the chain chomp on the right. After another spinbooster
the track straightens for a bit but there is a glide ramp off to the right that
you can reach with a Mushroom. There is a pillar of cheese before it but you can
boost through it without a problem.

The path curves right to the third set of item boxes and then back to the left
where there is another spinbooster. A second chain chomp is on the right after
the left turn. The track then turns right and then U turns back around to the 
left with a spinbooster before the turn. Another glide ramp is offroad to the
left before this U turn. After the curve are two jumps which end the antigravity
section and drop you off at the finish line. The second glide ramp will put you
right at the finish line as well.

Strategies: This course isn't that complicated, so you mainly want to focus on
staying on the path and avoiding the chain chomps. The first chomp lunges up a 
bit so you can drive under him, but the second stays on the ground and it's
quite hard to avoid. Try avoiding the spinbooster before that turn, taking it as
far inside as you can, and then immediately drift right afterwards to stay on
the path. Another thing is that the holes in the path often mess your line up,
especially when you're drifting, so you may want to just avoid them (especially
the one near the second chomp because tricking off of that will send you into
the offroad terrain for sure). This course has many shortcut opprtunities, but 
they all require Mushrooms and some are more valuable than others. The cuts 
through the hols in the cheese and the glide ramps are definitely the best, but 
note that taking the first glide ramp means you will skip the third set of item 
boxes. Overall this track is more challenging than you'd think due to how narrow
the path is and how the turns are laid out.

200cc Tips: Meet Bone-Dry Dunes 2.0. Almost every corner requires brake 
drifting, and even then it's very difficult to stay on the main path. Don't 
trick on the cheese holes because that completely screws up your drift lines.
It's extremely hard to give advice because of how difficult this track is,
especially since this track always seems to have insane item chaos for me. Brake
drift and don't trick off the holes. And sacrifice a goat.

~5.11.3. Wild Woods~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Antigravity: Yes (Mandatory)
Spinboosters: None
Underwater: None
Gliding: Yes (Mandatory)
Hazards: None

You start this track in antigravity, traveling straight into the first set of
item boxes. The course then turns right and ends in two ramps, each leading to
a different split. The path on the left is a bit wider and has a small S curve
around a patch of grass you can skip with a Mushroom, while the path on the 
right is narrower but has two ramps you can trick off of after a small right
turn.

The antigravity ends as the paths converge and begin turning right with the 
second set of item boxes in front of you. The long turn is wide, but parts of 
the edge are missing so you can't just hog the inside curve. There are also some
barrels that will stop you if you run into them. At the end of the turn is a 
glide ramp which deposits you on a round platform. The path then turns left 
before dropping you down a bit onto a water stream.

The water stream continues turning left until there's a drop you can trick off
of. Then the path curves back to the right, there's another trickable drop, and
you reach the third set of item boxes. The water stream ends with another drop
that leads to a shallow lake. The water slows you down a bit, but there are four
lily pads with boost pads on them that you should use to speed through this 
section.

After crossing the lake the path curves upward to a jump which lifts you over an
antigravity strip. Right where you land is some grass to the left. You can use a
Mushroom to boost through the grass to a ramp you can trick off. Otherwise, you
must curve around to the right and then left and then back to the right. The 
finish line awaits.

Strategies: The trickiest part of this course is the split near the beginning.
The right path is usually the fastest in a general race, but it's quite narrow
and you can fall off fairly easily. Another point of warning is the large turn
after this where there are gaps on the sides of the track as if you're not
paying attention you could easily fall into them. Besides that, take advantage 
of the water stream and trick off the three lily pads to keep your speed up near
the end.

200cc Tips: This course isn't so bad. The main places to brake drift are during
the water stream section and for the last two turns. Everything else is pretty
manageable. Do note that for the split in the beginning, it's quite easy to fall
off the right path, especially if you drift. Also, the ramp at the end leading
into the antigravity section puts you a bit past the shortcut. If you have a 
Mushroom, angle yourself to the left so that the ramp puts you in the grass.
Otherwise you'll fly past it.

~5.11.4. Animal Crossing~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Antigravity: None
Spinboosters: None
Underwater: None
Gliding: Yes (Mandatory)
Hazards: Resetti, Snowmen (Winter only)

Note: The Animal Crossing course changes seasons randomly each time you play it.
Spring: Some small ramps are on the track (noted below as Spring ramp)
Summer: Trees drop fruit which provide boosts when hit
Fall: Leaf piles are dotted around the track which produce items when hit
Winter: Snowmen are placed around the track that are hazards
In Time Trial it is Summer but there is no fruit

The track begins with a straight path toward a small bridge with the first set
of item boxes (you can trick off the peak of the bridge). There's a Spring ramp
afterwards in the middle of the path which turns right afterwards. Another 
Spring ramp marks the beginning of the tree area The track turns right after the
trees and then left to a glide ramp. Note that leaf piles and snowmen dot this 
area in Fall and Winter (and there's a Spring ramp right before the turn to the
glide ramp).

The glide ramp launches you over a river into the main town where the second set
of item boxes are floating up on balloons. Upon landing, trick over the raised
logs and turn left as you drive onto the beach. There's a short bit of water 
that pushes you to the right a bit before another left turn back off the beach.
A third set of item boxes is ahead on another bridge, after which is a boost
ramp. After landing is another Spring ramp.

The little straightaway following that ramp is where Resetti appears. He will
randomly pop up and is quite the annoying hazard. After Resetti is a U turn to
the right that you can cut by using a Mushroom to boost between two rocks on the
right. There are leaf piles and snowmen here in Fall and Winter respectively as
well (Resetti also seems absent in Winter). A short left turn and another Spring
ramp leads you to the finish line.

Strategies: Though the layout is pretty simple, this course's turns are pretty
unforgivable if you don't drift perfectly. Otherwise you will find yourself 
stuck offroad quite a lot. The leaf piles that appear during Fall sometimes drop
items when hit, so that can be useful, but the snowmen should be avoided at all
costs. During Summer, the trees will drop fruit occasionally, but just be 
careful to not boost straight into a wall. You can also trick off the mole hill
that Resetti pops out of but that's quite risky. Just be precise with your 
drifts and don't miss the balloon items.

200cc Tips: This course is deceptively difficult. The corners before the glide
ramp and after Resetti are nasty on 200cc. Brake drifting is a must and even
then they're tough. The worst thing is for Summer and Fall you can have fruit
or Mushrooms on the track before the turns near the glide ramp, and hitting 
those makes that right turn impossible. The shortcut between the rocks at the
end is also very difficult. You may also want to avoid tricking on the Spring
ramps at the beginning and on the beach as well as the logs before the beach.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~5.12. Bell Cup~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Bell Cup is the second cup in Pack 2 of the Mario Kart 8 DLC released on
April 23rd, 2015.

~5.12.1. 3DS Neo Bowser City~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: No puddles. Antigravity before the glide ramp.

Antigravity: Yes (Mandatory)
Spinboosters: Yes
Underwater: None
Gliding: Yes (Mandatory)
Hazards: None

Note: Almost the entire course has very low Grip due to the rain. This makes 
turning quite a bit harder than you'd expect.

The course opens up immediately with a 90 degree left turn followed by a U turn
to the right where the first set of item boxes lie. After this is a trickable
drop and another U turn to the left. A Mushroom boost can be used to cut this
turn short. The path zigzags a little bit before a wide left turn leading to the
second set of item boxes.

Immediately after, the path curves up to the right, then back to the left, and 
then zigzags right and left slightly before a tight U turn to the right. After
this is another U turn to the left and then a third U turn back to the right.
These are all very tight turns and you can fall off fairly easily.

Ahead is the third set of item boxes and an antigravity strip. The path curves
down and to the left for quite awhile (you can cut this turn short with a 
Mushroom too). There are three spinboosters in the middle of the road as well.
The road ends with a glide ramp that leads straight to the finish line. The 
updraft that was in the original is present to the left of the finish line, but
it's farther away from the glide ramp. You can still use it to skip the first
turn of the next lap, but it's tougher to reach due to it being smaller and 
tucked behind a billboard.

Strategies: With no hazards or any path splits on this track, the main focus is
on drifting, particularly those tight U turns in the middle of the lap. Start
your drifts immediately after you finish the previous ones. Besides that, the
rest of the course is pretty basic and there are no big shortcuts (though you 
should always hit the updraft).

200cc Tips: Ugh. Just ugh. All of these turns are awful. Brake drift on every
one except maybe the antigravity part. Also try to avoid orange sparks. They do
more harm than good in most situations. Like GBA Cheese Land, I have very little
advice because this course is brutal. And where in GBA Cheese Land if you messed
up you usually just went a bit offroad, here you fall. Why Nintendo? Why would
you do this to us?

~5.12.2. GBA Ribbon Road~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major Changes: Antigravity in the latter half of the course. Mechakoopas after
the first jump. Layout near the end has changed and a gliding section as been
added.

Antigravity: Yes (Mandatory)
Spinboosters: None
Underwater: None
Gliding: Yes (Mandatory)
Hazards: Mechakoopas

Note: Most corners can be cut using a Mushroom. Only major cuts will be noted in
the following breakdown.

The track starts with a bit of a straightaway followed by the right turn into 
the first set of item boxes. Another right turn follows immediately after which
leads to a trickable bump and then a boost ramp that boosts you over to the 
green section. Two left turns follow with a mechakoopa wandering around on the
first left turn and a second right before the second turn. A third left turn 
drops you off at another trickable bump, the second row of item boxes, and a
boost ramp.

The boost ramp shoots you to the blue section. This section is in antigravity 
and is waving slightly so you can trick off of it. The track curves right and
then right again, but before the second turn there is a path to the right that
you can jump onto, which will boost you ahead a bit by using the boost ramp. The
road turns left slightly and then right again to a glide ramp, but you can drop
off to the right again onto another block path before the turn. This leads to
a smaller glide ramp and also saves some time. Both glide ramps have the third
set of item boxes.

The glide ramps launch you close to some swaying Clown Car Jack-in-the-boxes
which act as walls (not hazards), and drops you back off in the red section. The
track makes a U turn to the right, but you can use a Mushroom to boost between
the red pillars on the inside of the turn. After that is a small left turn and
then the finish line.

Strategies: The main challenges with Ribbon Road are avoiding the mechakoopas 
and staying on the road during the antigravity section. The mechakoopas are
rather large so avoiding them is tougher than you might expect, and the little
shortcuts during the antigravity section can be quite tricky to land, though
they are very handy especially because they do not require a Mushroom. Also, 
using the last shortcut through the offroad fabric before the end can send you
crashing into a fall pillar to the left of the course if you're not careful, so
be sure to have your drift angled correctly before you boost through.

200cc Tips: This course definitely has some tricky parts. The turn before the
first boost ramp and the turns in the Mechakoopa area need to be brake drifted,
and the last U turn usually requires it too. The Mechakoopa area is especially
tough to navigate because you have to brake drift while avoiding these huge
Mechakoopas. The antigravity part can also mess you up. Don't take the 
shortcuts, and after you pass the first one don't trick on the waves in the 
ribbon. The turn before the glide ramp can sometimes be difficult, so you may
need to brake drift for that as well.

~5.12.3. Super Bell Subway~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Antigravity: None
Spinbooster: None
Underwater: None
Gliding: Yes (Optional)
Hazards: Trains

The course immediately starts off with the first set of item boxes followed by 
a long left turn after which you can trick off the top of the stairs. The track 
curves to the right as you enter the subway portion. Here the path splits with
a second path branching off to the left which rises, avoiding the trains on the
main path. Immediately after the split is the second set of item boxes on both
paths.

Side path 1: The path curves to the left slightly before becoming a catwalk
that goes over the main path below. The catwalk ends with a small jump right 
before side path 2.

Main path 1: Immediately after the item boxes is a small ramp you can trick off
followed by a straightaway and then another turn to the left. The path then 
splits again at the left turn with another side path to the right and then 
splits AGAIN shortly after with a split to the left.

Side path 2: The path curves to the left leading to a boost pad and two item 
boxes. The path then curves to the right on a catwalk. If you don't fall, you
will end with a jump that drops you off at the small split described below.

Main path 2: The main track curves to the right, splits with a small offroad
piece with pillars in the middle with two small ramps on the side, and then 
rejoins almost immediately.

Side path 3: A boost pad leads to the third set of item boxes and the path 
curves slightly to the right before a glide ramp which deposits you after the 
minor split detailed above.

The road curves right and gives you another choice. THe middle contains two 
boost pads while the sides contain slight upward paths and then boost ramps. All
these boosts shoot you into the fourth set of item boxes before some stairs 
heading up. Trick off the top of the stairs and follow the track in another long
left turn that's sort of broken up into two parts. The second part can be cut by
using a Mushroom to boost through grass to the left of a fountain. The finish 
line is dead ahead.

The trains all can be driven on by dropping down on them from the catwalks on 
the side paths, and all have boost ramps on the ends of them as well. In 
addition, pretty much all of the main path turns in the subway section can be
cut using a Mushroom boost.

Strategies: Avoid the trains, except when you're landing on them. Even then,
landing on the trains is a bit tricky and somewhat unreliable, so it's often 
best to stick to the catwalks. However, the catwalks all take the outside edge
of then turns except side path 2. You generally want to stay on the main path
unless the trains are in a particularly nasty set up.

200cc Tips: The only parts where you need to brake drift are the first and last
turns, and you don't need to do that much. The catwalk paths are generally more
difficult to navigate, and some require a bit of brake drifting, but avoiding
the trains is also rather tough. In general I'd suggest sticking to the main 
path but it's up to you.

~5.12.4. Big Blue~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Antigravity: Yes (Mandatory)
Spinboosters: Yes
Underwater: None
Gliding: Yes (Mandatory)
Hazards: None

Like Mute City, Big Blue is entirely in antigravity. Unlike Mute City, Big Blue 
is a sectioned track like Mount Wario and N64 Rainbow Road. There are also 
green and red conveyor belts. The green ones push you forward while the red ones
slow you down.

The track starts with a straight path into the first set of item boxes with the
track curving down and to the left immediately afterwards. Boost pads line the
road except for the innermost piece, and a recharge strip lines the outside edge
right before a few more boost pads on the far right. A few more boost pads lead
you to a jump. There are some spinboosters in the middle of this part as well.

The path now splits. The right path rises a bit and contains a recharge strip 
for coins, but is a bit longer. The left path is more direct. Both paths turn
left and end in a boost ramp with the second set of item boxes. After you land
the path turns right and you see the first conveyor belts. The one on the left
speeds you up while the one on the right slows you down. After the belts is 
another jump and a U turn to the right that you can cut by using a Mushroom. On
this turn are more conveyor belts, with the conveyor on the outside of the turn
pushing you forward while the one on the inside pushes you back. This repeats
for a right turn and then another left turn before culminating in a glide ramp
with the third set of item boxes. You land on a straight section with recharge
strips on the side, and the beginning of section 2 right in front of you (it 
gives you a boost).

Immediately you are dropped into a water stream (you can trick right as you 
start section 2). The water stream is split down the middle, so pick one side
and stay in the water as the path curves right before a jump. Here the path 
splits but both paths follow the same basic structure of right turn and then 
left turn with a water stream down the middle. They both end with the fourth set
of item boxes and a jump with a dash ring in midair.

There is a jump you can make to skip the above part almost entirely. When the 
path splits, take the left path, and as it turns right make a hard left drift.
If done correctly, you should land by the dash rings. This doesn't save you a 
ton of time, but it's nifty and gets you out of the way.

Both paths deposit you on a wide path with a water stream down the middle and 
two recharge strips on either side. The path then follows an S curve right, 
left, and then right before ending in a glide ramp and the fifth set of item 
boxes. You drop down in front of the beginning of section 3 which also boosts 
you. Immediately after is a jump onto a green conveyor belt. The next area
alternates green and red conveyor belts (each containing boost pads here and 
there). Your goal is to navigate over to the left while staying on the green
belts as much as possible. This section ends with two small jumps on the sides
and the sixth set of item boxes.

The track now curves to the left and has two more recharge strips on the sides
with a spinbooster in the middle. The track curves back over to the right where
another spinbooster is sitting in the middle. Immediately after the path splits
again. Both splits are marked by the seventh set of item boxes, and also follow
basically the same pattern. Both turn right, left, and then left again and 
contain both spinboosters and boost pads. The paths come back together at the
eighth set of item boxes, followed by another jump. After this is another S 
curve to the left, right, and then left which you can cut short by using a 
Mushroom, followed by a final push to the finish line.

Strategies: Big Blue's main strategies (besides not hitting walls and all that
crap) are utilizing the water streams and conveyor belts correctly. Always try
to maximize your time in the water streams and green conveyor belts and minimize
your time in the red belts. While there are multiple paths, all of them are
pretty much the same (although for the first split, only take the recharge strip
path if you're low on coins, but it is early on in the race, and you probably
need coins, so then take it), so it doesn't really matter which one you take.
Also just remember that this track is entirely in antigravity, so use that to 
your advantage like always.

200cc Tips: Big Blue's first section isn't so bad. Most turns require a bit of
brake drifting, but overall it's not that difficult. Be careful on the conveyor
belt U turns as you can fall off if you're not careful. The second section is
the most difficult. The turns are quite harsh especially with the water streams
pushing you forward. You have to brake drift hard for these. The third section's
hard part is the split path. When the path splits, both paths are quite narrow,
twisty, and full of boost pads that send you into the wall. Drifting through 
here is quite hard, and boosting items don't help you here at all. However, you
can save them for the final stretch, which will definitely help you.

================================================================================
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~6. Balloon Battle~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
================================================================================

Balloon Battle is the other main mode of Mario Kart 8 (sadly there is not Coin
Runners, Shine Thief, etc.). In Balloon Battle, your goal is to get points by
popping your opponents balloons by hitting them with items. Everyone starts with
three balloons, and if you lose a balloon you lose a point. Losing all of your
balloons makes you invisible. You cannot get hit, but you can still hit other
players with items (no ramming), but you don't get any points.

The main difference when comparing Balloon Battle in Mario Kart 8 to that of 
other games is that there aren't dedicated Battle Arenas anymore. Instead, all
Balloon Battle matches take place on courses that you would normally race 
around. What's interesting is that you will be started in a random location on
the course, sometimes facing backwards. There are also more item boxes in 
Balloon Battle than in standard races, but they respawn much slower.

Balloon Battle Courses:
Wii Moo Moo Meadows
GCN Dry Dry Desert
SNES Donut Plains 3
N64 Toad's Turnpike
Mario Circuit
Toad Harbor
GCN Sherbet Land
N64 Yoshi Valley

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~6.1. General Strategies~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Vehicle Combination: Balloon Battle puts much less focus on speed and more on
acceleration and handling. You should definitely keep this in mind when choosing
your vehicle combination. Larger characters also have larger hitboxes, so small
characters like Toad and Shy Guy definitely have the advantage.

The Map: The minimap is extremely useful in Balloon Battle, as you can use
it to watch out for items and opponents around corners that you wouldn't see
normally. With the update on August 27th, you can now see the map on the TV by
pressing - during a match, so you don't need the Gamepad.

The Course: Be sure to know the courses in Balloon Battle inside out, especially
at the beginning. Knowing where you are and which direction you're facing when
you start is key in finding your first item. You never want to be itemless in 
Balloon Battle.

The Match: Pay attention to which course you're battling on, and how many 
opponents there are. The more players and the smaller the course (a higher 
density if you will) should lead to a more defensive playstyle, as items will be
flying all over the place. On matches with a lower player density (few opponents
and/or a large course) should be spent on seeking out opponents and being 
aggressive, as oftentimes players will try to hide after getting a few points.

The Confrontations: Remember that you don't have to go in the same direction as
a standard race. Because of this, you will often find yourself driving headfirst
towards an opponent. Forward protection is critical because of this, so the 
Triple items are very useful.

Quick Turning: By holding down the accelerate and brake buttons, you can fairly
quickly turn in place. This allows you to quickly turn around if someone passes
you.

The Items: Items behave largely the same in Balloon Battle as in standard races.
How many points you have dictates what items you get, so a player with few 
points will naturally get better items. However, how you use items is often very
different. Some items like the Blue Shell, Lightning, and Bullet Bill will not
appear.

Camping: While you can camp out at an item box to get a steady stream of items, 
the item boxes respawn very slowly in Balloon Battle. On top of this, most 
courses are large enough so that you can camp in one area, and you will almost 
never run into another opponent as everyone is congested on the other side of 
the stage.

Mushrooms: At first, Mushrooms seem almost completely useless. However, ramming
into someone while boosting with a Mushroom steals one of their balloons and 
gives it to you. This is the only way to regain lost balloons (you can never 
have more than three), so this is a good skill to master. Of course, don't boost
into someone if they have defensive items around them like Triple Green Shells.

Bananas: Bananas in all forms are best used for protection. Most areas aren't
narrow enough to make trapping viable, so just keep them with you. Remember you
can score a point if you make an opponent touch a Banana behind your vehicle.

Green Shells: These can also be used for protection, but also for sniping. This
is quite challenging unless you're right behind an opponent on a straight 
section, but if you get good at sniping you will be a force to be reckoned with.
Green Shells are also especially useful for hitting people who are behind you.
Triple Green Shells are also great for protection, and ramming into people is
also recommended.

Red Shells: Protection still applies, but the offensive power of Red Shells
should be utilized as often as possible. Red Shells are some of the best items
in Balloon Battle, so be sure to use them well. If someone has a Banana behind
them, try to get in front of them so you hit them where the Banana isn't. If you
have Triple Red Shells, only attack an opponent multiple times if they have 
fully recovered, otherwise your shells will be wasted.

Fire Flowers: These are dangerous weapons. Not only can they be used to destroy
Shells or Bananas in your way, but you can do a ton of damage to multiple 
opponents very quickly. It's best to fire a few shots at one opponent to make 
sure you hit them, then move on to someone else.

Boomerang Flower: Boomerang Flowers should be used much more conservatively than
Fire Flowers, as you have much fewer shots. Try to hit multiple opponents if you
can, but the advantage of the Boomerang Flower is its large range and its 
returning properties.

Bob-omb: Bob-ombs are fantastic for taking out people behind you and hitting
many people around you. They're tough to aim, but throwing them forward into a
crowd is generally the best option, unless someone is behind you or about to go 
behind you, in which case dropping the Bob-omb is best.

Super Horn: While the Super Horn can be used for defense, the fact that it hits
multiple people at once means it's a fantastic offensive weapon in Balloon 
Battle. Simply drive into a crowd (though this in and of itself is dangerous) 
and watch the mayhem unfold.

Piranha Plant: This is another fantastic item, as it's automatic and has a 
deceptively large range. Try to cover as much distance as you can, hitting 
everyone along the way. Be careful though as the Piranha Plant doesn't protect
you AT ALL from behind.

Blooper: Go find another item.

Stars: Stars are insanely powerful, as you are completely invulnerable and mow
down anything in your path. Stars even steal balloons like Mushrooms. Obviously 
you should attempt to hit as many people as possible. Try to aim for crowd or
people driving in the opposite direction, as you'll waste time if you just try
to chase others down.

Hiding: If you're in the lead, HIDE. Even the smaller courses are large enough
so that you can usually avoid opponents if you try. The map is extremely helpful
here as always. Remember to keep items for protection, and to be ready to move
if anyone approaches.

Seeking: If you're NOT in the lead, find who is. They will likely be hiding. The
map is crucial for this as you can see where they are and where they're going.
Remember that hitting them will give you a point and take one away from them, so
find them and knock them around.

General Advice: Don't simply drive around the track. Stake out a territory with
at least two sets of item boxes, moving between the two collecting items, and
picking off anyone who comes near. Also, be sure to use the Gamepad map to see
where everyone is and if anyone's coming your way. Especially pay attention to
whoever has the crown on their head on the map - that means they're in the lead.
If this person seems to be off somewhere and not moving, immediately go seek 
them out. Otherwise they will just wait until the time runs out. Also, be good
at using Green Shells, as they are the most common item to get.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~6.2. Courses~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here I will explain some course-specific strategies, as well as where all the
item boxes are located. These will be listed in the general order that you would
follow if you were driving around the course normally. Note that item boxes 
almost always appear in groups of two.

~6.2.1. Wii Moo Moo Meadows~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Item Boxes:
1. Right in front of the starting line.
2. On the first left turn before the cow area.
3. Before the last left turn in the cow area.
4. After the cow area before the path narrows.
5. On the lower path right next to the glide ramp.
6. To the right of the boost ramp in the Monty Mole area.
7. At the end of the Monty Mole area.

Changes: Ramps before the glide ramp have been removed.

Moo Moo Meadows is pretty basic, and doesn't offer a whole lot. Avoid the area
with the cows, as avoiding them and any Bananas dropped around them can be very
challenging. People tend to travel in packs around this course, so wait for them
to come to you. The glide ramp is useful for a quick escape, but be careful not
to land on top of anything. There aren't really any hiding places here besides
off in the grass near the cows.

~6.2.2. GCN Dry Dry Desert~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Item Boxes:
1. Shortly after the starting line.
2. At the first left turn.
3. On right turn before sand pit.
4. Right before sand pit.
5. Right after sand pit.
6. Right before the oasis.
7. Right after the oasis.
8. Before the starting line.

Changes: None.

Avoid the sand pit at all costs. It just isn't worth it to fall in. The oasis 
area is odd, as the water slows you down a bit and can mess with your handling.
If you're feeling gutsy however, try to land on the grass mounds sticking out of
the water and take shots at people as they drive below. Hiding spots mostly 
include just going far offroad, or hiding around the pillars.

~6.2.3. SNES Donut Plains 3~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Item Boxes:
1. In front of the starting line.
2. After the first bridge.
3. After the second bridge.
4. On the S curve with the lake to the left before the wet ground.
5. In the wet area with the Monty Moles.
6. In the wet area near the starting line.

Changes: None

The wet sand is lethal, causing you to slip into pretty much everything. If you
have a great Grip stat, abuse this, but otherwise you should avoid this area.
The course in general is very simple, but there are often items lying on the
bridges. Remember that you can always jump in the water to avoid the bridges
completely. You can also hide under the bridges, but be ready for a fast getaway
if anyone comes near.

~6.2.4. N64 Toad's Turnpike~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Item Boxes:
1. Right after the starting line to the left.
2. During the first left turn in the middle.
3. On the road after the anti-gravity section starts, including one on the wall.
4. On the road at the end of the anti-gravity section.
5. On the left after the road dips down.
6. On the road shortly after the right turn begins.
7. On the road later in the turn.
8. Before the second anti-gravity section on the left of the road.
9. On the road after the anti-gravity section starts, including one on the wall.

Changes: None

Toad's Turnpike is arguably the simplest Battle course, being only a simple 
figure-eight. Of course, you have all the traffic to worry about. You can use
the traffic to block Shells however (as well as banking Shells off cars to hit 
people from the side). The anti-gravity paths still only go "one way," so it's a
bit awkward to use them going the other direction, but they're useful for 
escaping people as you can weave in and out of them. Though you won't get a 
point, you can knock others into cars causing them to lose points/balloons if 
you need to.

~6.2.5. Mario Circuit~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Item Boxes:
1. At the starting line.
2. On the first left turn (only one).
3. On the bridge.
4. On the left turn after the bridge (only one).
5. On the straightaway after the turn.
6. On the right turn after the straightaway (only one).
7. On the bridge.
8. On the right turn after the bridge.

Changes: Ramps on straightaway removed, glide ramp removed, no Goombas.

Mario Circuit is linear with no real hazards. The map is also not nearly as 
useful due to this course being a Mobius strip, making this a tough course to
score points on as most people just race around it. I really don't have much
advice here.

~6.2.6. Toad Harbor~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Item Boxes:
1. Shortly after the starting line (there are three).
2. On the bridge after the first turn.
3. End of ramp leading onto the canopy.
4. Under the canopy shortly after the ramp.
5. Under the canopy at the other end.
6. On the left where the path splits.
7. At the beginning of the right turn after the split.
8. Shortly after the two paths converge.
9. On the road in the middle of the turn where the anti-gravity section is.
10. At the edge of the hill at the end of the anti-gravity section (three).
11. On the second boost ramp on the right while going down the hill.
12. At the bottom of the hill next to the side path.
13. On the side path.
14. Before the starting line.

Changes: No ramps to the left of the bridge.

Arguably the largest of the courses, Toad Harbor offers a lot of places to hide.
The market area under the canopy, the alley, the anti-gravity section, and the
cable car path near the starting line all do decently well. Personally, I find
it best to stay at the bottom of the hill at the end of the course. You can 
circle around the two paths down there, both of which have item boxes, throwing
items at anyone coming down the hill.

~6.2.7. GCN Sherbet Land~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Item Boxes:
1. Right before the first ice rink.
2. At the entrance of the ice cave.
3. Around the pillar in the ice cave.
4. On a right turn after the ice cave.
5. Right before entering the second ice rink.
6. Right before the starting line.

Changes: None

Avoid the second ice rink, as those Freezies can seriously mess you up if you're
not careful. Other than that, this course is relatively simple. Be on the 
lookout for anyone who is hiding in the underwater sections, or on the 
anti-gravity section leading into the cave. Most people tend to stay on land
though, so if you're going for points, that's where you should be. The area 
between the cave and the second ice rink is a decently good territory to stake 
out.

~6.2.8. N64 Yoshi Valley~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Item Boxes:
1. Shortly after the starting line.
2. At the first split between Paths A and B.
3. At the end of Path AA.
4. At the Path AB and Path AC junction.
5. At the ramp where Path AB meets Path BAA.
6. Near the beginning of Path BAA.
7. On the ramp where Path BAA meets Path AB.
8. At the beginning of the cave on Path BAB.
9. Right before the cannon on Path BB.
10. Before the U turn after the paths converge.
11. After the U turn after the paths converge.
12. Before the giant egg platform.
13. In the center of the giant egg platform.
14. Right behind the starting line.

Changes: No Goombas. All ramps are now sloped so you can travel both ways except
the end of Path AA, and where Path AC converges with Path BAB.

Your approach to Yoshi Valley heavily depends on your playstyle. If you're going
for pure carnage, stay in the center with all the alternate paths. If you're 
quick, you can pummel several people in a row due to the course layout. Of 
course, you're quite vulnerable yourself here. Pretty much any path works, but
the bridge is probably the most dangerous because it's quite easy to be knocked
off. Also, the cannon has a nasty habit of dropping you right in front of 
someone, though if you have Bananas you should put them right in this spot. If
you're playing defensively, stay out of this area completely. The area around
the giant egg is a decent one, as many people either zoom right through or avoid
it altogether. You can also hide offroad in the area right before the starting
line, but it's quite hard to get away if someone starts coming after you.

================================================================================
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~7. Frequently Asked Questions~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
================================================================================

Here are some questions that pop up a lot on message boards. Be sure to read 
this section before sending me a question.

Q. How do I get the map on the TV?
A. If you have the August 27th update installed, press - while in a race.

Q. How does the camera work with antigravity?
A. The camera turns with you, so your character never really changes in his 
position on the screen. The exception is when driving up walls like on Toad's
Turnpike, where the camera is tilted somewhat. In general, it's not difficult to
get the hang of.

Q. Do characters have their own hidden stats?
A. No. Though characters have hidden stats, they are the same among characters
of the same weight class, so there is literally no reason to use Mario over 
Luigi other than personal preference.

Q. What does Grip even mean?
A. Grip refers to how well your tires grip the track. This affects how much you
slide. Grip is most noticeable in offroad areas or areas like the ice rinks of
GCN Sherbet Land. Blooper ink also severely affects your Grip.

Q. Are there any hidden stats like Miniturbo or Air Speed?
A. Yes: Underwater Speed, Air Speed, Antigravity Speed, Underwater Handling, Air
Handling, Antigravity Handling, and Miniturbo. See the vehicle section for more
info.

Q. Is inside drifting from Mario Kart Wii back?
A. Yes and no. Inside drifting from Mario Kart Wii is NOT back, but four bikes
do drift in naturally much tighter turns after the initial outward movement.
These bikes are the Sport Bike, Jet Bike, Yoshi Bike, and Comet. The difference
is noticable but not the degree that Mario Kart Wii had.

Q. Are wheelies back?
A. No. Bikes will wheelie when using a Mushroom or other boost, but this is 
purely aesthetic.

Q. What's the best character+vehicle combination?
A. There really isn't one single best combination like in Mario Kart Wii (and 
Mario Kart 7 to a lesser degree). Speed is in general the most important stat, 
but most combinations with high speed have significant drawbacks. Also, the 
bikes with inside drifting DO NOT have increased speed like the Mach Bike and
Flame Runner in Mario Kart Wii. My best advice is see what works for you, and
maybe check out some world record replays.

Q. Okay fine. What combination do you use?
A. For standard racing, I use Rosalina on the Jet Bike with Slim wheels and the
Parafoil. Cruisers have naturally good speed, and the Jet Bike's increase in
Acceleration and its inward drift compensate for their lower Accelerations and
Handling. The only problem is the Grip, but that isn't that important for most
races. For Battle I use Shy Guy with the Comet and Roller wheels and Standard
Glider for fantastic Handling, Acceleration, and the small hitbox.

Q. Are there any section courses like the Wuhu courses in Mario Kart 7?
A. Yes. The Star Cup's Mount Wario, the Lightning Cup's N64 Rainbow Road, and
the Bell Cup's Big Blue from the second DLC pack are sectioned courses.

Q. How do I get a 3-star ranking?
A. 1-star, 2-star, and 3-star rankings are obtained by having at least a 1-star,
2-star, or 3-star rank in every single cup respectively. However, rankings in
Mario Kart 8 add retroactively, meaning if you 3-star 150cc Mushroom Cup, it
automatically counts as if you have 3-starred 50cc and 100cc Mushroom Cups (this
also applies in unlocking the Gold Standard). To get a 1-star ranking on a cup,
you must finish the cup with at least 54 points total, to get a 2-star ranking,
you must finish the cup with at least 57 points total, and to get a 3-star
ranking, you must finish the cup with a perfect score of 60 points (get first in
every race).

Q. Why did they ruin Balloon Battle?
A. I dunno. I honestly never really cared for it anyway.

Q. How do I get all the Miiverse stickers?
A. There are 90 total Miiverse stickers. 28 of them are gotten immediately. The
next 32 are gotten when you beat the Nintendo Staff Time Trial Ghosts for each
course (one per course). The remaining 30 are gotten by completing any cup with
each character (again, one per character).

Q. What is this Mercedes DLC I've been hearing about?
A. An update was released on August 27th that included features like player 
stats and a minimap on the TV. This included four free Mercedes vehicle parts:
the GLA, W 25 Silver Arrow, 300 SL Roadster, and GLA Tires.

Q. What about those four cups on the course select screen?
There are also two other DLC packs. The first was released on November 13th,
2014 and contained the characters Link, Tanooki Mario, and Cat Peach as well 
as four new vehicles including the Blue Falcon from F-Zero. Two cups of four 
tracks each are also included (Egg Cup: GCN Yoshi Circuit, Excitebike Arena, 
Dragon Driftway, Mute City. Triforce Cup: Wii Wario's Gold Mine, SNES Rainbow 
Road, Ice Ice Outpost, and Hyrule Circuit). The second pack was released on 
April 23rd, 2015 and contained the new characters of Villager, Isabelle, and Dry
Bowser along with four new vehicles and two more cups (Crossing Cup: GCN Baby 
Park, GBA Cheese Land, Wild Woods, Animal Crossing. Bell Cup: 3DS Neo Bowser 
City, GBA Ribbon Road, Super Bell Subway, Big Blue). When prepaying for both 
packs, you can choose different colors when selecting Yoshi and Shy Guy.

Q. You suck.
A. Okay

================================================================================
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~8. Closing~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
================================================================================

Mario Kart 8 is a breathtaking game. The graphics, music, course design, nearly
every aspect of this game is absolutely brilliant. This is the game the Wii U 
needed. Hell, I bought the Wii U Bundle for this game, and I couldn't be 
happier.

Thanks for reading through this FAQ. It's the first major FAQ I've written on 
all aspects of a game (the other two were more specific). If you have any input
at all, be sure to email me or send me a PM. I'll be more than happy to include
any new info or tricks that you have (and you'll be credited).

If you're ever playing Mario Kart 8 online and you see some scrub named Kairos,
it's probably me. Please don't hurt me too bad. Please? :3

================================================================================
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~9. Special Thanks~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
================================================================================

I'd like to thank several groups for helping me with this guide, be it directly 
or not.

 - GameXplain for their fantastic pre-release coverage of Mario Kart 8.

 - MKBoards.com for their analysis of the character and vehicle stats.

 - WayoshiM for putting together the original Hidden Stats list, and Wiki MH3 
for correcting them.

 - ffdgh for figuring out some of the hidden stats for the DLC Pack 1 vehicles.

 - GameFAQs for basically everything. They must be doing something right for me
to stay around.

 - The Pokemon Club at Cal for not playing Pokemon and instead playing Mario 
Kart. Seems logical.

 - Nintendo for making such an amazing game. Seriously, you did a fantastic job.

================================================================================
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~10. Version History~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
================================================================================

Version 2.00 - May 2nd 2015

Missing Info: Hidden stats that we will probably never know

Next Update: Whatever comes next

I finally had the time to sit down and play through 200cc completely. Not bad 
for a first try (3 stars: Flower, Leaf, Lightning, Triforce. 2 stars: Star, 
Special. 1 star: Mushroom, Shell, Banana, Bell. No stars: Egg, Crossing). Added
in all my advice. I thoroughly enjoyed 200cc until I got to the DLC tracks. A
lot of those are seriously nasty (3DS Neo Bowser City and GBA Cheese Land can go
die in a fire).

I also made a little list of courses that I thought were particularly hard on
200cc, sort of challenging, and basically the same as before. Then I fixed a few
things like Acceleration tiers and listed a few general 200cc tips.

As of now I'd say this guide is once again complete (hence the 2.00), and I 
don't plan on updating it unless more DLC is announced (it would be awesome but
I'm not expecting it).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Version 1.80 - April 23rd 2015

Missing Info: 200cc tips and those darn hidden stats

Next Update: 200cc tips

I've quickly gone through the DLC Pack 2's tracks and added info on them as well
as the new characters and vehicle parts (again there are some hidden stats we
don't know). I also fixed a few typos that I happened to find. Specific tips on 
200cc will be coming ASAP.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Version 1.60 - November 17th 2014

Missing Info: Still some of the hidden stats

Next Update: That^

I've played around a bit more with the new tracks, so I updated some of the
general strategies for the new courses, including a new boost pad in Wii Wario's
Gold Mine that I had missed. I also figured out exactly how Excitebike Arena 
works and put some crude ASCII as guides for it.

In addition, ffdgh on the Mario Kart 8 board did some testing and found the 
Underwater Speed, Air Speed, and Antigravity Speed of the Tanooki Kart, Blue 
Falcon, and Master Cycle. More testing will be needed to be 100% sure, but I 
added the info in anyway. Full credit (and blame) to those numbers go to 
him/her. Hopefully Underwater Handling, Air Handling, Antigravity Handling, and
Mini Turbo stats will be tested and figured out ASAP.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Version 1.50 - November 13th 2014

Missing Info: All the different forms the Excitebike Arena can take and hidden
stats for the DLC vehicle parts with unique stat combinations.

Next Update: That^

DLC Pack 1 is here and I've updated the FAQ with info about the new characters,
vehicles, and courses. Keep in mind that some characters and vehicle parts have
brand new stat combinations, so their hidden stats are complete guesswork at 
this point (I'm assuming Tanooki Mario and Cat Peach are identical to regular
Mario and Peach besides Acceleration and Weight). If there's anything you've 
noticed that I've missed, be sure to let me know.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Version 1.30 - August 27th 2014

Missing Info: None!

Next Update: November DLC

The update has been released, and info regarding the Mercedes vehicle parts has
been added, including what we know about the newly revealed DLC packs releasing
in November 2014 and May 2015. As more info comes, I will be sure to update this
guide on that info, but for now, you just get a teaser of what's to come (hey 
it's pretty much what Nintendo is doing anyway).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Version 1.20 - July 5th 2014

Missing Info: None!

Next Update: Who knows. Any suggestions are appreciated.

I thought I was done with this guide, but about a week ago I received an email
from Wiki MH3 saying I had the Hidden Stats wrong and giving me a new list. I
was skeptical at first, but after looking over everything, it definitely makes
more sense than what I had originally (why would the Standard Kart not have 
+0.00 in everything?). Changes have been made, almost exclusively to Water, Air,
and Antigravity Speeds, as apparently these values are not constant across the 
board for the characters.

I took me awhile to add this in because I've been away at a summer job with 
limited internet, and I got sick right before my July 4th break. But it's been
submitted now, so hopefully there isn't any more wrong info in this guide.

I also fixed a few typos here and there, specified which vehicle parts share 
stats, and clarified a few things a bit better.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Version 1.10 - June 8th 2014

Missing Info: None!

Next Update: At this point, I don't know. Any suggestions on sections to add or
expand on will be greatly appreciated.

It's been awhile, but between racing online and real world stuff (ick) I got 
around to adding some tips for racing on each track. Most of these are fairly
general, but they're not all immediately apparent. I also added whether a track
has antigravity, underwater, or gliding sections, whether they have 
spinboosters, and what hazards they have. Oh and I also added a bit on snaking
and fire hopping.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Version 1.00 - June 2nd 2014

Missing Info: None!

Next Update: I'm thinking of adding "Preferred Path" sections for each course, 
detailing exactly how you should go through each track for the best times. Also
maybe putting a "Hazardous Areas" section for each course detailing where items
can severely cripple you, and where you should be careful.

Played a bit of Battle Mode and I've finally written down some tips for each of
the courses. Of course, if you have any advice at all, let me know. I also
updated the Items section as it's basically confirmed that items are based on
distance from first and not placement. I changed the Placement notices slightly,
updating them for accuracy and also to show the rarity of items. And hooray for 
finally making it to Version 1.00!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Version 0.95 - June 1st 2014

Missing Info: Specific Battle Mode Strategies

Next Update: I should probably stop making promises.

All of the hidden stats have been finalized with the help of WayoshiM (awesome
job on that list). In addition, I fixed my error regarding Miniturbo, and added
info on Acceleration tiers and the difference a min Speed and max Speed build
makes.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Version 0.9 - May 31st 2014

Missing Info: Tire and Glider Hidden stats and specific Battle Mode strategies

Next Update: Battle Mode strategies unless hidden stats for tires/gliders are
uncovered.

I know I said Battle Mode was next, and hey at least I finalized the Item Box 
locations. Hidden stats for all karts, bikes, and ATV's were shown off, so I had
to add those. Also added a few things like the times for each path in N64 Yoshi
Valley, as well as being able to catch Boomerangs.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Version 0.81 - May 30th 2014

Missing Info: Specific Battle Mode strategies, hidden stats of most vehicle 
parts, and Gold Glider stats

Next Update: Battle Mode for real

Just a small update adding in the unlock info for the Gold Tires and Gold 
Glider, as well as adding some minor details to the course descriptions like
being able to trick off the top of the buses in N64 Toad's Turnpike. Large 
Battle Mode update will come in a few days.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Version 0.8 - May 29th 2014

Missing Info: Specific Battle Mode strategies, hidden stats of most vehicle 
parts, Gold Glider stats and Gold Glider and Gold Tires unlocking criteria.

Next Update: Spend time with Battle Mode to get a handle on specific strategies,
unlock the Gold Tires and Glider, and gather hidden stat values (in that order).

I've been gathering info on this game for quite awhile, and after finally 
getting the game I've compiled it all together as quickly as I could. There may 
be some minor mistakes so be sure to notify me of those.

================================================================================
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~11. Legal Info~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
================================================================================

This Mario Kart 8 FAQ/Walkthrough is copyright 2014 by Valon Beriginn 
(kirbydude385). GameFAQs.com is the only website this FAQ may be posted. If this
FAQ is posted on another site, especially without giving credit to me, expect
consequences.

Mario Kart 8 is copyright 2014 Nintendo. All characters and other elements are
also copyright Nintendo. I claim no legal authority over this product.

Auf wedersehen,
~kirbydude385

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