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Mario Circuit is the name given to various race courses attributed to Mario as his own home course in the Mario Kart series. These courses contain some features associated with the hero, such as his red Cap, the Mushrooms he uses; Peach's Castle, Warp Pipes, enemies like Goombas, Chain Chomps, and Piranha Plants, and banners that bear his name. Mario Circuit is usually found in the Flower Cup. Apart from Mario Kart, the Mario Circuit has appeared in other games such as Itadaki Street DS and the Super Smash Bros. series, where it is a stage held for other various purposes.

History

Mario Kart series

Super Mario Kart

In Super Mario Kart, four Mario Circuit racetracks appear, with a look similar to typical go-kart racetracks, aside from having some obstacles such as Warp Pipes, located normally on the road, blocking the vehicles' path and oil slicks that cause vehicles to spin out of control while running over one.

Each Mario Circuit course appears numbered in order of the time it appears: two Mario Circuits in the Mushroom Cup, another in the Flower Cup, and one more in the Star Cup. The first course of the Mushroom Cup, Mario Circuit 1, is the simplest and most basic track in the game, having open corners and few obstacles. In contrast to that course is Mario Circuit 2, the fifth and last course of the same cup. This stage is notable by its great jump before the finish line, where the racers need to cross the zone by getting a speed boost over Dash Panels and jump over speed humps to reach the other side, finally passing the line. Mario Circuit 3, is the last track of the Flower Cup. This course is notable for its sharp curve in the middle of the track, and contains an area where the player must make a sharp turn, potentially getting stuck or slowing down. Finally, there's Mario Circuit 4, the longest of all Super Mario Kart's Mario Circuits. This track contains more sharp bends and obstacles scattered around the track.

Mario Kart 64

Known as Mario Raceway (outside of Japan) in this game, this circuit is the fourth and last course in the Flower Cup and is the second shortest course of the game after Moo Moo Farm. It consists Piranha Plants along the way. At the beginning of the course there is a Mario sign that says "Go!". It also has a shortcut after the turn with the mushroom. In the middle of the track you go through a pipe tunnel and three Piranha Plants at the end.

Mario Kart: Super Circuit

In Mario Kart: Super Circuit for the Game Boy Advance, Mario's Circuit was featured as one of the most basic stages. Mario's Circuit in Super Circuit was present in the Flower Cup as the first race course. This Mario Circuit is a rather plain stage and short in length, with few obstacles and Item Boxes to deal against rivals. It contains winding paths, however, such as a hairpin bend, or a curl path found before the home stretch. Next to the checked line there is a detour where racers can get a speed boost by running onto a Dash Panel located there. It is also the first track titled "Mario Circuit" in the English versions of the Mario Kart series, as Super Mario Kart had more than one Mario Circuit, while Mario Kart 64 had Mario Raceway in English. This track shares its music with Peach Circuit and Luigi Circuit.

It later reappeared in Mario Kart 8 as a retro course.

Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

Mario Circuit was a bit more complicated in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! for the Nintendo GameCube as the second race course of the Flower Cup. The entire track was a distorted circle with Princess Peach's Castle in the middle of it. There were a variety of classic Mario enemies patrolling the stage such as Goombas, Chain Chomps, and Piranha Plants. The stage reappeared in Mario Kart Wii as one of the 16 retro courses. Initially it was planned to be in Mario Kart DS, though was ditched for an unknown reason (the stage, however, can be played by hacking into it, though the enemies aren't present). This game's version of the track shares the same music with Luigi Circuit and Yoshi Circuit. An arrangement of the music for these courses appears as one of the selectable songs that can be played during events in the DS version of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, the Wii version of Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games, and Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

Mario Kart DS

It appears as the third race course in the Star Cup in Mario Kart DS. It is similar to the Mario Circuit in Double Dash!! In the course, enemies appear acting as obstacles: Goombas appear crossing the road to and from the sides. By shooting a Green Shell or Red Shell at them, or using a Star, Mushrooms spawn from the Goombas. A pair of Fire Piranha Plants spit fireballs onto the course. The victim will spin out of control when touching one. Piranha Plants, as seen in Mario Kart 64, are also present. This track shares its music with Figure-8 Circuit. It was originally planned as a retro track, but was removed prior to the game's release. The track would have used the textures "BeachTree1", "kuribo", and "mario_tree", which still remain in the game's files. There were no Goombas present toward the end of the track, and had reduced graphics due to the limitations of the console. It can still be accessed in the game's data, and can be found by Action Replay without textures or through ROM Hacking with textures.[1]

Shortcuts

One can use a Mushroom and go behind one of the Fire Piranha Plants to cut off a turn.

Missions

Missions 5-8 and 7-4 take place on this circuit. During mission 5-8, Luigi has to compete against Mario to reach the finish line in a lap. In mission 7-4, Toad must get rid of every Goomba found in a part of the course, provided with Green Shells from the Item Boxes.

Mario Kart Wii

Mario Circuit is also a course in Mario Kart Wii as the last track of the Shell Cup and the first track of the Flower Cup. The track's overview is slightly similar to Figure-8 Circuit from Mario Kart DS, having two main bends and two straight stretches. Some of the new elements added to the track are a ramp to perform tricks in the middle of the rough grass past the toadstool, and Shine Sprites can be seen on the "Mario Star" advertisements on the side of the course near the finish line. In addition, the first Mario Kart Wii tournament of November 2008 was on this course, with extra obstacles such as Pokeys from DS Desert Hills and Dry Dry Ruins, and oil slicks from SNES Mario Circuit 3. To make up for being scrapped from Mario Kart DS, the course also appears as the fourth track of the Leaf Cup. Although no major changes have been made, apart from a slight design update, the player can now perform tricks off of the bumps in the road and the arched bridge approaching the finish line.

Tournaments

First tournament

In Mario Kart Wii, a tournament took place on this course. It was a time trial race, in which players used the Golden Mushroom to get the fastest time possible. Oil slicks and Pokeys also made an appearance. The tournament was the second tournament of November 2008. It was later repeated as the second tournament of November 2010, the second tournament of March 2012, and the first tournament of June 2013.

Second tournament

This tournament was a time trial race, with an increased number of Piranha Plants and Chain Chomps. It was the first tournament of October 2009, and was repeated as the second tournament of July 2011, the first tournament of October 2012, and the second tournament of December 2013.

Third tournament

The game's very first tournament took place on this track. It involved players doing a GP race, while avoiding a Chain Chomp that was roaming around. This was the first tournament of May 2008. May 2010's first tournament was a repeat of May 2008's first tournament, but the difference was that players were restricted to using karts, and only the Wii Wheel could be used.

A different kind of tournament took place on this track for February 2010's second tournament. In it, players had to take out sixteen Goombas with Green Shells and Star]. It was restricted to karts only. It was repeated as the tournaments for October 2011's second tournament, December 2012's second tournament, and March 2014's first tournament, with the restrictions removed for the October and March tournaments.

Shortcuts

Towards the middle-end of the track, there is a boost ramp that will allow the driver to fly over the dirt and behind the Chain Chomp. This provides a significant boost, but it requires a Mushroom, Mega Mushroom, Golden Mushroom, or a Star to access it without losing time. Recently, a way has been discovered to do this without a Mushroom by releasing a mini-turbo right before the curb. The player can also use said powerups to drive on the grass without losing speed, which can save several seconds.

Staff ghosts

There are two Staff Ghosts. One is available from the start with a time of 01:44.777. This ghost uses Mario on the Zip Zip. The second one is unlocked by getting a time of 01:40.378 or less and that ghost has a time of 01:33.702. This ghost uses Mario on the Sprinter.

Mario Kart 7

Mario Circuit appeared in Mario Kart 7 as second track of Flower Cup. It uses same music the Toad Circuit has. Unlike all of Mario Circuit(s), you are allowed to go to Peach's castle since going to her castle is prohibited and against the law in other Mario Kart games. The are no gimmicks in this course but the only exception is that there is a water void next to the off-road grass and there is lots of gigantic Goombas which is known as Grand Goomba.

Shortcuts

  • After the first turn, players can use a Mushroom to hit a ramp to the right in the grass.
  • Before Peach's Castle, there are some ramps in the grass.
  • After gliding out of the castle, players can veer left and hit a ramp to save some time.

Mario Kart 8/Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

This Mario Circuit reappears in Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe as the second course in the Shell Cup. Much like Bowser Castle 1 in Mario Kart 7, this is the only GBA retro track in the base Mario Kart 8 content. It now features a starting banner with black-and-white tires around the posts, various stacked tires and advertisements, and huts both filled with Toad and Yoshi spectators and oil cans. The large U turn near the beginning of the track is slanted and separated from the track to act as an anti gravity section. There are also oil slicks that the players must avoid, similar to the original Super Mario Kart Mario Circuit tracks. Unlike other courses from Super Mario Kart and Mario Kart: Super Circuit that have appeared as retro courses in more recent games, the road is also slightly banked through the curves. There is a gliding pad that can be used as a shortcut. The music has been modified to a slightly lower pitch and plays in B♭ Major on the first two laps and then in B Major on the final lap, as opposed to C Major in the original.

Staff ghost

The staff ghost for this track is Baby Mario on the Yoshi Bike, and Baby Luigi on the Sport Bike in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe's 200cc Time Trial.

Mario Kart Tour

Tokyo Tour

In the Tokyo Tour, Mario Circuit appears as the second course in the Rosalina Cup, the third course in the Peach Cup, the location of the challenge in the Rosalina Cup, the location of the challenge in the Bowser Jr. Cup, and the location of the challenge in the Wendy Cup. It also has a Reverse variant which appears as the third course in the Baby Daisy Cup, and a Trick variant which appears as the first course in the Daisy Cup.

Halloween Tour

In the Halloween Tour, Mario Circuit appears as the second course in the Luigi Cup, the third course in the Waluigi Cup, and the location of the challenge in the Yoshi Cup. It also has a Reverse variant which appears as the second course in the Mario Cup, and a Trick variant which appears as the second course in the Toadette Cup.

Winter Tour

In the Winter Tour, Mario Circuit only has a Reverse and Trick variant which appears as the third course in the Metal Mario Cup and the second course in the Peachette Cup.

London Tour

In the London Tour, Mario Circuit appears as the first course in the Peach Cup, the second course in the Donkey Kong Cup, and the location of the challenge in the Wendy Cup. It also has a Reverse variant which appears as the third course in the Mario Cup, and a Trick variant which appears as the second course in the Baby Mario Cup and the third course in the Peachette Cup.

Fortune Street series

Mario Circuit is a playable game board in Itadaki Street DS and Fortune Street. The design of the board is based on Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Mario Kart DS, and Mario Kart Wii, though the route of the track is identical to its appearance in both games.

Super Smash Bros. series

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

A Mario Circuit stage similar to the layout of the Figure-8 Circuit appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The stage has two platforms resembling a jump platform and a road pavement in the center. Shy Guy racers will appear and damage players from both the jump and the central road. However, they themselves can be damaged causing them to spin out and be harmless. The stage is later renamed to "Figure-8 Circuit" in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U

Mario Circuit appears in the Wii U version of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U, this time based on the course featured in Mario Kart 8. The stage is a moving stage in which a platform carries the fighters around the track and stopping at various points. Shy Guys are also racing on the track and can damage the fighers if they are hit by them, similar to the Mario Circuit in the previous game.

The Mario Circuit from Super Smash Bros. Brawl also returns in this game.

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games

Mario Circuit appears in the Wii version of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games which is heavily based on the version in Mario Kart Wii and is used for the Dream Ski Cross event with the road now being covered entirely with snow and more ramps being carved out of the snow on the track itself. While the general layout of the first half of the course is identical to it is in the aforementioned game albeit with a much steeper descent, the second half of the track is entirely different, where they are linked by two Warp Pipes which split the track into two, the path on the left has a more wavy shape while the path on the right is filled with Coins but a Goomba and Piranha Plant serve as obstacles. Once the paths join back up together there a few tight downhill turns and Piranha Plants until the racers reach a DK Cannon taking them back to the starting line for a second lap.

Official Descriptions

Mario Kart 64

  • Manual: "Although the distance of one lap is fairly short, it has complex corners and numerous hairpin curves. The course, named after our mascot, is highly recommended by the game designers as their favorite Time Trials course."
  • Website: "The "official" course in Mario Kart 64, Mario Raceway is a quick circuit track with a variety of turns to test your Kart handling skill."[2]

Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

  • Instruction Booklet: "This is the main circuit in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! Familiar denizens of the Mushroom Kingdom can be spotted here and there. The road's filled with curves, so this is a good place to practice drifting."
  • Official Website: "Mario Circuit features lots of tight corners, a Chain Chomp, Piranha Plants, Peach's Castle, and several Goombas, not to mention seven other racers trying to upend your kart."
  • Official European Website: "Dodge the waddling Goombas and snapping Piranha Plants, and say hi to Peach as you cruise by her castle."

Mario Kart DS

  • European Website: "Constructed in the grounds of Princess Peach's famous castle, Mario Circuit is where red-capped plumbers feel most at home. Negotiate the snaking turns while avoiding waddling Goombas, bouncing flames and snapping Piranha Plants, and you might just make it to Peach's place in time for tea."

Mario Kart Wii

  • Sites
    • NA "A back-to-basics drifter's paradise with a single ramp perfectly placed for shortcuts across the grass."
    • EU "Drift your way around wide turns and through the pipe tunnel as you dart in-between the lush green hills of Mario Raceway. That's what the sell-out crowd came to see!"
    • NA "A short track with a great straightaway for wheelies, a zesty Chain Chomp, and a very long drift to the finish line."
    • EU "A rainbow on the horizon and a scenic view of the castle make Mario Circuit look like a stroll in the woods, but beware - that Chain Chomp isn't just for decoration!"

Fortune Street

  • NA "A race track built within the Mushroom Kingdom. There's a never-ending drone of white-hot engines whizzing around the track."
  • Official European Website: "With pipes rising out of the surrounding hills and Goombas and giant Chain Chomps littering the track, this is classic Mario Kart action in all its glory."

Sponsors

Mario Kart 64

  • Koopa Air (Signs)
  • Luigi's (Signs)
  • Mario Star (Trackside banners, signs)
  • Nintendo (Signs)
  • Shot! (Signs)
  • Yoshi (Signs)

Mario Kart DS

  • Mario Kart (Trackside banners, banners)
  • Shoot!! (Trackside banners)
  • Super Mario (Trackside banners)
  • Super Star! (Trackside banners)

Mario Kart Wii

  • KoopaKart (Trackside banners)
  • Luigi Grand Prix (Trackside banners)
  • Mario Racing (Trackside banners)
  • Nintendo (Trackside banners, flags)
  • Shoot! (Trackside banners)
  • Yoshi (Trackside banners)
  • Super Mushroom (Trackside banners)

Mario Kart: Super Circuit/Mario Kart 8/Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

  • 1-Up Fuel (Trackside banners)
  • Chain Chomp Racing Chains (Trackside banners)
  • Fuzzy Battery (Trackside banners)
  • Lord Bowser (Standings chalkboards)
  • Luigi Gusters (Standings chalkboards)
  • Mario Automobile Association (Trackside banners)
  • Mario Kart (Oil cans)
  • Mario Kart TV/MKTV (Trackside banners, van)
  • Mario Motors (Trackside banners)
  • Mario Super Motor Team (Standings chalkboards)
  • Mario Work Gear (Trackside banners)
  • Mushroom Piston (Trackside banners)
  • Princess Peach (Standings chalkboards)
  • Red Shell Strike Equipment (Trackside banners)
  • Shell Cup (Banners, trackside banners)
  • Toad Mushroom Powered (Standings chalkboards)
  • Yoshi Runners (Standings chalkboards)

Trivia

  • Mario Circuit appeared in all cups with the exception of the Special Cup, as Super Mario Kart has at least one Mario Circuit in Mushroom, Flower, and Star Cups. Every installment except Mario Kart DS have a Mario Circuit in their Flower Cup. Mario Kart DS has it's Mario Circuit in the Star Cup and SNES Mario Circuit 1 in the Shell Cup, Mario Kart Wii has the N64, GCN, and SNES (Mario Circuit 3) versions in Shell, Leaf and Lightning Cups respectively, Mario Kart 7 has SNES Mario Circuit 2 in the Banana Cup and Mario Kart 8 has GBA Mario Circuit in the Shell Cup.
  • Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 8 are the only games in the series to feature retro Mario Circuits other than SNES Mario Circuit, with Mario Kart 8 not including a Mario Circuit from Super Mario Kart at all.
  • The level Mount Must Dash in Super Mario 3D World is based on the Mario Circuit courses from Super Mario Kart. The level also uses a remix of the courses' music from that game.

In Mario Kart 64, the player can press the R Button Button on the title screen to display the best time recorded for Mario Raceway. The rotating "Go" signs use Mario's artwork from Super Mario World in the N64 version. The Wii version features new artwork. In an early build, the first rotating "Go" sign was absent, and in its place was a Nintendo sign.

  • The GBA, Wii U, and Switch versions do not to feature any Warp Pipes.
  • In the Mario Kart 8 version, the U-turn is seen being lifted up into position by Ultra Hands during the preview. In the pit where the U-turn originally was are many Brick Blocks and Used Blocks.
  • In the GameCube and Wii versions, when this course is used, the Nintendogs theme can be heard.
  • In an early trailer of Mario Kart 7, when Mario Circuit was shown, there was originally a Mushroom Trampoline where the players glided out of the side of the castle, probably because the concept of gliders hadn't been implemented into the game.
  • The blossoming peach trees in this track were later reused for the revamped Royal Raceway in Mario Kart 8.
    • In addition, the falling flower petals from the trees are actually intended to serve as a 3D effect of the Nintendo 3DS. When the 3D mode is activated, the falling petals seem to "pop out" of the screen.
  • This is the only Flower Cup course in Mario Kart 7 to not have a different name in PAL regions.
  • This is one of the three Flower Cup courses in Mario Kart 8 to be playable in the E3 2013 demo, the other two being Toad Harbor and Twisted Mansion.
    • On a side note, in addition to taking place in the same cup, they are in the same order as they were in the demo.
  • This track is one of three courses where the starting banner can be interacted with from playable characters via hang-glider. The other two courses are DS Wario Stadium and 3DS Neo Bowser City. It is also the only one of these three courses that is a Nitro Course.
  • This track's theme contains a part from Mario Kart Stadium's music.
  • Mario's Standard Kart can be seen in the pit area, alongside ? Blocks.

References

  1. YouTube - Mario Kart DS Kiosk Beta: GCN Mario Circuit
  2. https://web.archive.org/web/19980205065149/http://www.nintendo.com:80/n64/mario_kart64/flwrcup.html
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