Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (JP) (also called MKDD, MKDD!! Double Dash, Mario Kart 4, or MK4) is a video game for the Nintendo GameCube and is the fourth main Mario Kart game in the series. It was released worldwide during November 2003 and has been considered to some at the time to be the greatest in the series. This game became popular enough to come bundled with most GameCube consoles as a starter game, like the way the red Wii is bundled with New Super Mario Bros. Wii. The game marks the debut of Toadette. The game, while retaining many aspects of the previous Mario Kart games, such as selecting a Mario franchise character as the player's driver and the familiar item-based weaponry that the series employs, introduces a feature that is unique to this entry in the Mario Kart series: the two-person karts, hence the title of the game. Two characters handle a single kart, where one character steers and the other deals with items, and they can switch positions at any time if necessary. The game is the only game in the franchise where two players can play cooperatively in one kart, with each player handling a single character, though the option to play in separate 2-person karts for each player is still available. In addition, the game introduces Special Items, items that are exclusive to a pair of characters, which is another feature unique to this game. The game is one of the few games to take advantage of LAN Mode via the Nintendo GameCube Broadband Adapter, which allows up to sixteen players to participate in a single race.
Mario Kart: Double Dash!! is the first Mario Kart game in the series to employ 3D graphics for characters and items, as opposed to Mario Kart 64 using pre-rendered sprites to display these objects. The game also introduces a larger variety of karts to select from depending on the character combo's weight class rather than the standard go-kart being the sole vehicle all the racers use, and this variety of vehicles is retained in all the Mario Kart games since.
While overall the game is conclusively not as original as the previous installments, there is one addition that makes it unique, and that is adding two players to a vehicle, hence the name Double Dash. Characters are separated into three different weight categories - light, medium and heavy. The same goes for the multiple different vehicles that you're allowed to ride. The class of vehicle that one is able to choose depends on the heaviest character selected; while light characters can be paired with medium or heavy characters, they will hence be restricted to medium or heavy vehicles, respectively. Two light characters will only be able to choose a light kart. Each character has a special item shared with only one other character (the one in their conventional pairing), with the exception of two unlockable characters (to be found here and here), who receive any of the special items at random.
- As mentioned above, there are now two characters to a kart.
- Karts are no longer limited to generic designs; many unique designs have been added.
- There are three times as many characters as the previous three games.
- The characters are now in true 3D.
- Special items return, but are now available to the user.
- Double item boxes are also available for both characters in the kart.
In this game, there are 20 characters found in 10 pairs. A character has the same special item as their partner. The eight playable characters from Mario Kart 64 and Mario Kart: Super Circuit return as well as Koopa Troopa returning after an eleven-year absence from Super Mario Kart, plus eleven new characters are added to the roster, including Toadette, who makes her first appearance in the overall Mario franchise.
- Princess Peach
- Princess Daisy
- Baby Mario
- Baby Luigi
- Koopa Troopa
- Donkey Kong
- Diddy Kong
- Bowser Jr.
- Cookie Land
- Nintendo GameCube
- Block City
- Pipe Plaza
- Luigi's Mansion
Preorders for Mario Kart: Double Dash!! also gave customers a bonus disc containing playable demos, game trailers, and content that can be transferred to Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade on the Game Boy Advance. The disc came in a special two-disc game box, and the cover for the game had the line "Includes BONUS DISC with playable demos!" written across the bottom right.
Content for the bonus disc includes:
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles demo - One stage can be played with a character: Leonardo, with the streets level.
- Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike
- Sonic Heroes demo - Two stages can be played with up to two teams: Seaside Hill with Team Sonic and Bullet Station with Team Dark.
- Mario Party 5 demo - Five minigames can be played with up to four players: Coney Island, Button Mashers, Shy Guy Showdown, Dinger Derby, and Pushy Penguins.
- F-Zero GX demo
- Fire Emblem
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles trailer
- 1080° Avalanche trailer
- Pokémon Colosseum Japanese pre-release trailer
- Kirby Air Ride trailer, with a trailer for the Kirby: Right Back at Ya! cartoon playing before it.
- Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup trailer
- SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom trailer
- NBA Live 2004 trailer
- Two soundtrack pieces and various items for Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade
Spencer McIlvaine of Nintendo Life gave the game 9 stars out of 10, praising the game as being a worthy successor to the Mario Kart franchise, despite that it has less innovation than the other games. He concluded with "Nevertheless, the game has lost some of the edge that it had in its first two outings and shows fewer innovative ideas here. This time around the game was mostly about better graphics and less buggy programming with a few gimmicks thrown in like having two drivers instead of one. As a result, Double Dash is not the most recommended Mario Kart game in the franchise. But compared to other games in general it's still one heck of a ride." Tom Bramwell of Eurogamer gave the game a score of 9 out of 10. He praised the game for adding more content, especially the online LAN mode. He wrote, "In my opinion, it's not a better game than the original Super Mario Kart, but it is the closest anyone's ever come, and one of the finest pieces of electronic entertainment ever developed." He also stated that rating Mario Kart Double Dash!! was the hardest thing he did because he always wanted to write about it.
On the contrast, Edge Magazine UK gave the game a 5 out of 10, criticizing the game of "not being a racing game any more". Fran Mirabella III of IGN gave the game a score of 7.9 out of 10. He criticized that Mario Kart Double Dash!! felt very similar to Mario Kart 64 and although it gets the job done that it felt that it had wasted potential. He praised the multiplayer for being superb.
Mario Kart: Double Dash!! is the 2nd best-selling game for the Nintendo GameCube, right behind Super Smash Bros Melee, with approximately 7 million copies sold, including 3.8 million copies in the United States, and over 802,000 units in Japan, as of December 31, 2009.
Permanent upside-down car
This glitch only works with the Parade Kart. The player should go to a place where they can get smashed by the course obstacle, such as the Thwomps in Bowser's Castle or the blue dinosaur in Dino Dino Jungle (Bowser's Castle is preferred because the Thwomps are stationary). This glitch best works for two players, as timing is needed. One player should drive underneath a Thwomp, while the other should receive an explosive power-up, either a Spiny Shell or a Bob-omb. When received, the player should fire the item at the correct moment, blasting the kart into the air and getting smashed under the floating Thwomp. After falling down, if done correctly, the player will remain such, which is upside down. Note that the player is invincible in this position and the player can only revert to normal position if Lightning strikes them and a Thwomp afterward.
- On the North American box art, the "L" on Luigi's cap is backward.
- This is currently the only Mario Kart game in which the Star Cup is available as default. In all the other games, it needs to be unlocked first. This unique feature is similar to Mario Kart 64, where the Special Cup was available as a default in that game.
- This Mario Kart game is the only one to have the Flower Cup picture to have the color of the Fire Flower switched.
- On the Bonus Disc, it contains five demos, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike, Sonic Heroes, Mario Party 5, and F-Zero GX.
- This is also the only Mario Kart game where Toad is an unlockable character.
- This is the last main Mario Kart game to use the original series logo for its box art and tracks. The next installment would introduce the new and current logo.
- On the box art for the European and American releases, the "L" on Luigi's Cap is backwards.
- This is the first game in the series that can be played in multiple languages beside English and Japanese.
- Peach Beach returns in Mario Kart Wii.
- Mario Circuit returns in Mario Kart Wii.
- Waluigi Stadium returns in Mario Kart Wii.
- DK Mountain returns in Mario Kart Wii.
- Cookie Land returns in Mario Kart Wii.
- Rainbow Road music returns in the Wii version of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and Nintendo 3DS version of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U from the Super Smash Bros. series.
- The Toad Kart bears a striking resemblance to the Standard Kart from the next installment of the series, Mario Kart DS.
- Waluigi Stadium bears a striking resemblance to Wario Stadium from Mario Kart 64.
- This is the last Mario Kart game until Mario Kart 7 to not feature single player VS. mode.
- Edge, page 98
|Mario Kart games|
|Console games||Super Mario Kart • Mario Kart 64 • Mario Kart: Double Dash!! • Mario Kart Wii • Mario Kart 8 • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe • Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit|
|Handheld games||Mario Kart: Super Circuit • Mario Kart DS • Mario Kart 7 • Mario Kart Tour|
|Arcade games||Mario Kart Arcade GP • Arcade GP 2 • Arcade GP DX • Arcade GP VR|