The Lightning Cup (referred as the Thunder Cup in Mario Power Tennis and in the Mario Kart: Super Circuit and Mario Kart 7 instruction manuals) is a cup in the Mario Kart series, as well as Mario Power Tennis. Its first appearance is in Mario Kart: Super Circuit where it was placed between the Flower Cup and Star Cup. It is absent in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, but since Mario Kart DS, it makes its reappearance as a Retro Cup with tracks from the past Mario Kart games. Thus, the Lightning Cup's history as a Nitro Cup in Mario Kart: Super Circuit makes it the only cup in the entire Mario Kart series to be both a Nitro Cup and a Retro Cup. The emblem of the cup is the Lightning. It mainly features tracks from the Star Cup and the Special Cup, though Mario Kart DS featured a sole track from the Mario Kart: Super Circuit Lightning Cup and Mario Kart Wii featured a sole Flower Cup course. The length and difficulty of the courses in this cup tend to be on par with those in the Special Cup. In Mario Kart 7, Mario Kart 8, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the final track of the Lightning Cup is a past Rainbow Road, very similar to how Special Cup's final course is a new Rainbow Road. The table below lists every track in the Lightning Cup by course order and game installment.
Trading Card info
"You'll be glad to see that all four tracks in the Lightning Cup have made a big comeback! All feature updated graphics and all the fun you can handle. And two of them, GCN DK Mountain and N64 Bowser's Castle, offer up all the challenge you can handle!"
- In Mario Kart: Super Circuit, this is the only cup in the game to not feature a Bowser's Castle course.
- Mario Kart 7's Lightning Cup is the only retro cup not to have at least one course from Mario Kart 64.
- Similarly, Mario Kart 8's Lightning Cup is the only retro cup not to have at least one course from either Super Mario Kart or Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.