Kalimari Desert is a race course in Mario Kart 64. It is the fourth and final race of the Mushroom Cup. The name of the course is a pun of the real life desert, Kalahari, in Botswana, as well as Calamari.
The race starts out next to a large cliff formation, upon the first turn racers see how empty the desert really is. At the end of the turn the racers encounter the train for the first time. After passing the tracks the players race alongside the track of the train (though it is in a cave and not visible) eventually running into it a second time. After this encounter the racers race along the edge of the map and eventually advance back to the finish line.
If the player drives over the sand, their kart will move slower, and if they enter the darker portion of the sand, Lakitu will pull them out, as it is an out-of-bounds area.
The course's most notable feature is the two trains that go through a mesa. The trains constantly move around the track, often crossing through the racers' path. Depending on what mode is being played, the trains may or may not have coaches attached to it. If the player runs into one of them, the player will be thrown in the air. It is possible to drive on the train's track, however this costs the racer time. It is possible, but very difficult, to cross the train track while the train is there by driving through the gap between the coaches. If a player travels through the train tunnel, the player typically bypasses the finish line, not moving on to the next lap as the other racers. However, if the player has a Star and activates it just before entering the tunnel, the player moves on to the next lap, effectively shortcutting ahead of the others. This trick only works during the first two laps.
Mario Kart 7
Kalimari Desert returns as the first course of the Leaf Cup of Mario Kart 7. There are now two shortcut ramps near the end of the first corner and before the third corner of the track to accommodate the new gliding feature, allowing racers to glide over the trains. The players can also use mushrooms to gain easy access to these ramps. Several wooden ramps also litter the inside and outside of the track, and as always, can be tricked to gain a small boost. However, the train tunnel can no longer be entered because it is now an out-of-bounds area, making the lap glitch impossible in this game. The trains are also shorter: they have three wagons while they had five in the original version of the track, and they now seem to ride more slowly.
Much like in Mario Kart 64, two trains are present, but only one train is present when doing online multiplayer races.
In this game, the mini-map of this course does not show the path of the train track while in Mario Kart 64, it did.
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Mario Kart Tour
The course reappears in Mario Kart Tour. This time, since racers are always moving forward, colliding into the train causes them to launch over it unharmed while they perform a trick. The train can also be knocked into the air with a Super Horn, a Mega Mushroom or a Bowser's Shell.
In the Tokyo Tour, Kalimari Desert appears as the first course in the Bowser Jr. Cup, the second course in the Larry Cup, the location of the challenge in the Baby Rosalina Cup, and the location of the challenge in the Dry Bowser Cup. It also has a Reverse variant which appears as the third course in the Ludwig Cup, and a Trick variant which appears as the first course in the Baby Daisy Cup.
In the Halloween Tour, Kalimari Desert appears as the second course in the Lemmy Cup, the third course in the Dry Bones Cup, and the location of the challenge in the Shy Guy Cup. It also has a Reverse variant which appears as the third course in the Wario Cup, and a Trick variant which appears as the second course in the Rosalina Cup and the first course in the Baby Daisy Cup.
In the Holiday Tour, Kalimari Desert appears as the location of the challenge in the Mario Cup. It also has a Trick variant which appears as the location of the challenge in the King Boo Cup, and a Reverse and Trick variant which appears as the third course in the Baby Luigi Cup and the first course in the Dry Bowser Cup.
Mario Kart 64
Mario Kart 7
- KoopaKart (Signs)
- Luigi Raceway (Signs)
- Nintendo (Signs)
- Shoot! (Signs)
- Super Mario (Signs)
- Yoshi (Signs)
Mario Kart Tour
- Mario Work Gear (Signs)
- BaNaNa Boy (Signs)
- Red Shell Strike Equipment (Signs)
- Bullet Bill Speed Trial (Signs)
- 1-Up Fuel (Signs)
- Green Shell Taxi (Signs)
Mario Kart 64 Instruction Manual Description
"The trick is to time it so that the steam locomotive that crosses the course won't block you. If the train is crossing in front of you, you should temporarily stop. It's very dangerous to enter the train tunnel, even if it is a shortcut..."
Mario Kart 64 Webpage Description
"A desert race with frequent run-ins with a old-fashioned iron horse."
- The instruction manual for Mario Kart 64 says that going through the train tunnel is a shortcut, however, it takes longer to drive through the train tunnel than on the main road. However, it is probably referring to the Star trick where the player will move on to the next lap if he/she activates it just before entering the tunnel.
- In the Wii Virtual Console release of the game, the train's wheels are colored black instead of red. The reason for this change is unknown.
- On the front of the engine of the train, it has 64 on it, most likely referencing this game.
- A stage in Mario Sports Mix, called Western Junction, has a train that looks similar to the one in this course moving in the background.
- In Paper Mario, when riding on the K64, the music used on this course plays. Interestingly, the K64 greatly resembles the train that appeared in this course.
- Although the instruction manual implies that going through the train tunnel is a shortcut, it takes longer to go through the tunnel to the other end of the course than it does to go on the main road, although the manual might be referring to the above mentioned Super Star shortcut.
- The railroad crossing sounds in Mario Kart 64 were taken from real Japanese National Railway railroad crossing signals with electronic bells. These sound rather out of place with the course's western US-inspired theme. The Mario Kart 7 version has more appropriate American-style mechanical crossing bell sounds.
- In Mario Kart 64, the railroad crossing signs' lettering appears to be mirrored. The signs in the Mario Kart 7 iteration are unlettered.
- This is the only track to have originated from the Mushroom Cup to later return in the Leaf Cup.