Mario Kart 64 (JP) (also called MK64, Mario Kart 2, or MK2) is the second installment in the Mario Kart series. It features updated graphics, all-new courses, different characters and modified gameplay mechanics. It's also the first game in the series to feature Donkey Kong and Wario as playable characters while the game brings back the characters (minus Donkey Kong Jr. and Koopa Troopa) from Super Mario Kart.

Mario Kart 64 was released on the Wii Virtual Console in 2007. However, ghosts cannot be saved, as this originally required a seperate peripheral. It was also released on the Wii U Virtual Console.


Changes from Super Mario Kart

  • The replacement of the item panels with item blocks. Unlike panels, blocks regenerate.
  • Additionally, trap blocks were added.
  • The addition of voices for some of the characters, although some characters speak to a very minor extent in Super Mario Kart. The rest have sound effects.
  • Donkey Kong Jr. was replaced with Donkey Kong.
  • Koopa Troopa was replaced with Wario.
  • The stages are 3-D, though the characters are still 2-D sprites.
  • Many items were introduced, such as the infamous Blue Shell. The Feather was removed.
  • Coins were removed from the game.
  • The game now has four cups per difficulty instead of three (although the 100cc cup in SMK had the unlockable Special Cup)
  • EXTRA class is added as the first ever Mirror Mode in the Mario Kart series, but is so far the only unlockable in the game.
  • The races are now three laps instead of five.
  • The players have an unlimited number of retries every time they finish the race in 5th-8th place.
  • The addition of Time Trials.
  • Up to four players can now play instead of two.
  • Special items were removed from the game, although they would return in Mario Kart: Double Dash‼.
  • The Special Cup is now available as a default cup.



Icon Character Weight Description
Mk64IconMario Mario Medium The famous hero that everyone loves has returned into another Mario Kart game since Super Mario Kart. He has average stats on everything, explaining his middleweight. His first appearance was in Donkey Kong in 1981. His kart is powered by what appears to be a twin-cylinder two stroke.
Mk64IconLuigi Luigi Medium Mario's younger brother has returned in this game as a playable character. He has average stats on everything, explaining his middleweight. His debut was Mario Bros in 1983. He shares the same kart engine as his brother.
Mk64IconPeach Princess Peach Light This princess of the Mushroom Kingdom reappeared in another Mario Kart game ever since Super Mario Kart. She has high top speed and acceleration, explaining her lightweight. Her debut was Super Mario Bros in 1985. Her kart is powered by what appear to be high-revving, single-cylinder two stroke. Despite it's smaller than the Mario Bros., it has surprisingly high torque and power which make it faster than the two.
Mk64IconToad Toad Light Toad is one of the racers in this game and is considered one of the best racers along with Yoshi. He has top stats on acceleration and top speed, explaining his lightweight. His debut was the same as Peach's. His debut was Super Mario Bros. in 1985. Toad is unique that his kart is powered by a distinctive engine; a smooth-sounding, twin-cylinder four stroke that offers fairly powerful horsepower and torque.
Mk64IconYoshi Yoshi Light The loyal friend of Mario and Luigi has decided to hit the roads with his incredible racing skills as he is one of the best racers. He has high acceleration and top speed, explaining his lightweight. His debut was in Super Mario World in 1991. He shares the same engine as Peach's.
Mk64IconDK Donkey Kong Heavy Mario's first rival. This gorilla is one of the racers in the game and has replaced Donkey Kong Jr. from Super Mario Kart. He has low stats, explaining his heavyweight. His debut was the same as Mario's. He debuted in Donkey Kong in 1981. Much like Toad, his kart is powered by a distinctive engine, but this time it appears to be a V-twin four stroke with deep-sounding exhausts. The engine sound is said to be similar to those heard on 1990's motorcycles.
Mk64IconWario Wario Heavy The rival of Mario hits the roads in this game and replaces Koopa Troopa from Super Mario Kart. He has low stats, explaining his heavyweight. He debuted in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins in 1992. His kart is powered by a powerful-sounding, high-revving triple-cylinder four stroke.
Mk64IconBowser Bowser Heavy The long time rival of Mario and Luigi appears as a powerful racer in the game. He however has low stats, explaining his heavyweight. His debut was same as Toad and Peach's. His debut was Super Mario Bros. in 1985. He shares the same engine as Wario's.

Stage Hazards



Mushroom Cup

Flower Cup

Star Cup

Special Cup

Battle Stages

Differences in multiplayer modes

When playing with two or more players, some changes have been made to make the game run as smoothly as possible.

Two players

  • The line between the two screens has each player's icon on them and acts as an overview on the players' positions. The lap count can be swapped with a map of the course.
  • In Kalimari Desert, the trains only have a tender and one passenger car attached to them, as opposed to five passenger cars.

Three and four players

  • No music is played during racing, except when a Super Star is being used.
  • The frame-rate slows down to 20 frames per second.
  • In three-player mode, the fourth screen displays the cup and the course's name upon starting, and then shows the map of the course.
  • The screens in Luigi Raceway and Wario Stadium show a still image of player 1 at the starting line.
  • There are no trees on the meadows of Moo Moo Farm.
  • The trains in Kalimari Desert have only the locomotive, no tender or passenger cars.
  • There are no stars in the skies of Wario Stadium and Rainbow Road.
  • The giant penguin was removed from the ice platform in Sherbet Land.
  • In D.K.'s Jungle Parkway, the ship is absent.


Although attracting a small amount of criticism for elements such as the revised Battle mode, the game's reception was overwhelmingly positive, particularly as 4-player multiplayer made its debut.This game was also placed Number 4 in Nintendo Power's Greatest Games of All Time in 1997.


  • Longest Track in the Mario Kart Series - Rainbow Road - Guinness Book of World Records Gamer's Edition 2009 - 2013

Pre-release and unused content

Kamek was originally intended to be one of the playable characters, but ended up being replaced by Donkey Kong. The Character Select screen was also different, the characters faced the player, and Kamek can be seen in Donkey Kong's space. The working title of this game was Super Mario Kart R. Boos from Banshee Boardwalk also had a different look, the HUD was different from the final version, and item boxes were also completely black with colored question marks on them. The Cape Feather, which was in Super Mario Kart, was also intended to be included, as seen in a certain screenshot of Super Mario Kart R. This particular screenshot can be seen on the back of the packaging of the Nintendo 64 system.


  • As Yoshi's Story had not yet been released, Yoshi does not speak in the game. He, instead, uses the sounds from Super Mario World and Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island.
  • Luigi, Peach, Toad, and Wario's voice clips in the Japanese version were later reused for Mario Kart: Super Circuit and in the first two Mario Party games.
  • In Addition, Donkey Kong's voice clips in this game were later recycled in Mario Golf, Mario Tennis, Mario Kart: Super Circuit and the first seven Mario Party games.
  • As of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the only course that hasn't returned in a later Mario Kart game is Wario Stadium
  • Kamek was originally going to be playable. He was later swapped out with Donkey Kong.
  • Mario Kart 64 marks the first time Luigi, Toad, Yoshi, Wario and Donkey Kong receive a revamped appearance from the original 2D artwork to the N64 3D art direction of the Mario franchise. Super Mario 64 previously revamped Mario, Peach and Bowser.
  • The eight playable characters in this game were later reused in Mario Kart: Super Circuit and as the starting drivers in Mario Kart DS.
  • This game was placed Number 4 in Nintendo Power's Greatest Games of All Time in 1997.
  • In the game's ending credits in the Japanese version, voiceover Charles Martinet's last name is misspelled as "Martinee", but this is due to the fact that it's pronounced Mar-ti-nay.
  • The game was featured on the cover of Nintendo Power V93.
  • This is the one of two Mario Kart games to have the Special Cup available right from the start, the other being Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
  • The lightning effect was changed in the Virtual Console release to a less intense flash, most likely to prevent seizures.
  • In 1996, Maygay released a Europe-only slot machine under the Nintendo license based on this game.
  • This is the only Mario Kart game with onomatopoeia, such as "Poomp!", "Boing!" "Crash", and "Whirrrr".

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