Mario Kart DS (JP) (also called MKDS and known as Mario Racing DS in China) is a racing game and the fifth installment in the Mario Kart series and the second game for a handheld console. Released in November 2005 for the Nintendo DS, this was the first game that used the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. It was released first in North America, in November 14, 2005, being the first and only mainstream Mario Kart game to be released first in North America. Unlike its predecessor, Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, it retains the traditional single-driver kart racing elements in the Mario Kart series, where players race against seven competitors in obstacle tracks, using item-based weaponry to gain further advantages over their opponents. It is the first handheld Mario Kart title to use live-rendered 3D graphics for most of the objects in the game, including characters, vehicles, and race-tracks.
Mario Kart DS expands and introduces mechanics that would later become the standard in future titles, with the most standout and notable being the Retro Grand Prix, and the advent of retro courses in general, that revamps tracks from all the previous titles from the Mario Kart series. Mario Kart DS was the first Mario title to support Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, allowing players to race against opponents using online services across the world. However, Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection has been discontinued on May 20, 2014, making playing Mario Kart DS online no longer possible. Mario Kart DSs unique mechanics introduced include its single player-oriented mission mode that tasks players to complete objectives in a short series of special events, including defeating Mario franchise bosses and the ability to create custom emblems for their vehicles. Mario Kart DS takes advantage of the Nintendo DS features as well, using the bottom screen to display other HUD elements such as two types of maps, character order, and what items their opponents have.
On April 23, 2015, the game became available to purchase on the Virtual Console service for the Wii U, via the eShop, coinciding with the near 10th anniversary of the game's initial release, and the 2nd DLC pack for Mario Kart 8. However, the Virtual Console version of the game is only playable in single player mode.
|Image||Characters||Weight||First Kart||Second Kart||Third Kart||Unlock|
|Mario||Medium||Standard MR||B Dasher||Shooting Star||Available from the start|
|Luigi||Medium||Standard LG||Poltergust 4000||Streamliner||Available from the start|
|Princess Peach||Light||Standard PC||Royale||Light Tripper||Available from the start|
|Yoshi||Light||Standard YS||Egg 1||Cucumber||Available from the start|
|Toad||Light||Standard TD||Mushmellow||4-Wheel Cradle||Available from the start|
|Donkey Kong||Heavy||Standard DK||Rambi Rider||Wildlife||Available from the start|
|Wario||Heavy||Standard WR||Brute||Dragonfly||Available from the start|
|Bowser||Heavy||Standard BW||Tyrant||Hurricane||Available from the start|
|Daisy||Medium||Standard DS||Power Flower||Light Dancer||Obtain all Gold Trophies on 50cc Retro Grand Prix cups.|
|Dry Bones||Light||Standard DB||Banisher||Dry Bomber||Obtain all Gold Trophies on 50cc Nitro Grand Prix cups.|
|Waluigi||Medium||Standard WL||Gold Mantis||Zipper||Obtain all Gold Trophies on 100cc Retro Grand Prix cups.|
|R.O.B.||Heavy||Standard RB||ROB-BLS||ROB-LGS||Obtain all Gold Trophies on 150cc Mirror Mode cups (Nitro or Retro).|
There are a multitude of different items listed below which can be obtained from item boxes scattered around the track, which randomly generate items to the drivers according to their position in the race. They can be used to help the drivers, or disrupt their opposition with varying effects.
|Banana Peel||This can be placed on the road and cause drivers to slip around upon contact.|
|Triple Banana Peels||Ditto - the bananas can be dropped one at a time, or all at once.|
|Green Shell||This shell speeds forwards on the ground at a straight line, but can also deflect off walls. Drivers that collide with the shell will tumble over.|
|Triple Green Shells||Ditto - however, initially they will rotate around the driver, acting as a shield from most attacks.|
|Red Shell||This shell locks onto the next opponent ahead of the driver, and chases them to knock them over.|
|Triple Red Shell||Ditto - like the triple green shells, they will initially rotate around the driver as a protection.|
Gives a speed boost.
In battle mode with balloons, colliding onto rival drivers whilst speeding with mushroom will steal a balloon off them.
|Fake Item Box||
An obstacle that closely resembles real item boxes, but when hit it will cause tricked drivers to tumble over. Whilst the fakes look almost identical, the difference is that they are fully stationary.
|Bob-omb||This can be thrown ahead (or be dropped just behind). The bomb will stay on the track for a few seconds, then explode - anyone caught in the blast radius gets thrown over.|
|Blooper||This pesky creature squirts black ink over all the opponents ahead, obstructing their view.|
|Boo||When activated, the ghost will make the driver invisible for a period of time, providing immunity from attacks and enabling you to drive off-road. Furthermore, the ghost will look for a nearby opponent to steal an item off them for the driver.|
|Blue Shell||This infamous shell soars over the course to find the unfortunate driver in first place, and explode onto them to send them flying.|
|Star||Makes the driver flash in rainbow and gives them invincible powers - any opponent that collides onto the driver will get knocked over.|
|Lightning||Shrinks all the drivers ahead. The drivers return to their normal size at a rate corresponding with their position i.e. the driver at first place will take the longest to return back to normal.|
|Golden Mushroom||Serves as an upgraded form of a mushroom, which can be used to provide multiple boosts over and over again for a period of time.|
Arguably the most powerful item in Mario Kart, this is given to drivers floundering in the worst positions. When activated the driver is turned into an auto-pilot bullet rocket that boosts across the track at high speed, and will knock away any opponents upon contact.
The items in bold are newly introduced in this game.
Obstacles and Hazards
The Mario Kart series has had many obstacles in almost every course, and that also includes Mario Kart DS as well as later games. Here is a list of all the obstacles that you will encounter.
- Boxes - You will find wooden boxes throughout the game. Once you crash into a box, it will explode, making you stop, plus, sometimes an item will come out of one once you crash into it.
- Cheep Cheep - Cheep Cheeps are swimming around in the water, so its easy to dodge them since you usually don't have to go there.
- Crab - You will finds crabs on Cheep Cheep Beach, if you run into one, you will suddenly start to spin around for a couple of seconds. This could tragically put you in last place on the account that there near the end of the level.
- Monty Mole - You will find Monty Moles on multiple courses such as Peach Gardens and Moo Moo Farm. You will see small holes in the ground, sometimes, Monty Moles will pop out of the holes and try to spin you out.
- Piranha Plant - Piranha Plants will appear in a couple of courses. They will pop out of there pipe, then try to spit out fire balls at you, or just keep snapping.
- Pokey - You will find Pokies on the Desert Hills stage. They will be swaying back and forth in one spot. If you crash into one, you will fly in the air and come back down to the ground, putting off a few seconds of the racing time.
- Rocky Wrench - You'll find Rocky Wrenches on the Airship stage. On this stage, the moles will pop out of the sewers on the ship. Though they don't throw wrenches at you like they do in Super Mario Bros 3, you can still be harmed if you run into them.
This is the newest feature of the game. An emblem is a decal or picture that appears as a sort of symbol for someone on their kart. The emblem appears only on certain places on a kart, and depending on where its put, the emblem may be smaller, bigger and/or stretched out. The player also has the ability to choose from various patterns ranging from a Star to Thunderbolt and also the shape of Mario's face. The player also can choose not to use a custom emblem and to use an original emblem already designed for the a character. Emblems are displayed during All matches, whether VS, Time Trial, or online via Wi-Fi connection.
|Nitro Grand Prix|
|#||Mushroom Cup||WFC||Flower Cup||WFC||Star Cup||WFC||Special Cup||WFC|
|1||Figure-8 Circuit||Desert Hills||DK Pass||Wario Stadium|
|2||Yoshi Falls||Delfino Square||Tick Tock Clock||Peach Gardens|
|3||Cheep Cheep Beach||Waluigi Pinball||Mario Circuit||Bowser Castle|
|4||Luigi's Mansion||Shroom Ridge||Airship Fortress||Rainbow Road|
|Retro Grand Prix|
|#||Origin||Shell Cup||WFC||Banana Cup||WFC||Leaf Cup||WFC||Lightning Cup||WFC|
|1||SNES||Mario Circuit 1||Donut Plains 1||Koopa Beach 2||Choco Island 2|
|2||N64||Moo Moo Farm||Frappe Snowland||Choco Mountain||Banshee Boardwalk|
|3||GBA||Peach Circuit||Bowser Castle 2||Luigi Circuit||Sky Garden|
|4||GCN||Luigi Circuit||Baby Park||Mushroom Bridge||Yoshi Circuit|
There are 12 characters and 32 courses in the game. Every character is the staff ghost of at least 2 courses; The default characters are each the staff ghosts of 3 courses; the unlockable characters only have 2. Below is a table of all the characters and the course they're the staff ghost of.
Retro Battle Stages
Table of Missions
Missions mode is a new single-player mode for Mario Kart DS which the player must complete some tasks and earn a ranking similarly to that in Grand Prix mode. It involves seven levels, each containing eight "missions" and a boss battle, all of which are taken from Super Mario 64 DS. Almost always the ranks depend on how much time is left or taken. There are varying mission types:
- Driving through gates - driving in between giant half wheels in the ground. Very often the player has to pass these gates in numerical order.
- Collecting coins - Players must pick up all the coins set in the track. Players may lose these coins by some obstacle of such course.
- Destroying item boxes - Players must run over Item Boxes. Usually the racer will obtain Mushrooms after taking a box. In some cases, *Item Boxes will move, and the player will have to catch up with it. Other missions the player must take care not to pick up the Fake Item Boxes alongside real ones.
- Using stars, Bob-ombs, or shells to destroy enemies.
- Driving backwards - players must use the B Button button to move, and directions on the + Control Pad are reversed. It is sometimes combined with other mission types.
- Performing power boosts within a certain lap - as said. More power boosts are often required to finish faster, meaning a higher ranking.
- Racing a CPU player for one lap - item boxes contain mushrooms and stars that the CPU can't use - the key to win. CPU players will always perform a Rocket Start. This mission type also includes a race against a Red Car and a Chain Chomp.
- Boss Battle - Unlocked after completion of the first eight courses in a level. Using items is usually a must in boss battles.
There are some one-time isolated missions that are self-explanatory. Each mission takes place on a course, often blocked off in some areas (sometimes even a battle course) and players are given a character in their own standard kart (CPU players are also in standard karts). None of the unlockable characters are playable, and Bowser and Donkey Kong do not fight a boss. Sometimes mushrooms are laid across the track to help the player to complete the mission. When at least a ★ ranking is achieved on all missions and bosses in the first six levels, Level 7 is unlocked. Boss battles are unique. They have their own battlefields and different strategies are used to beat them. When the boss battles of Level 6 and 7 are completed, the first version of the staff credits will roll.
The following table includes the mission number, in-game mission description, time limit for the mission (0:00 signifies it's a race, and the mission finishes at 2:00 if the race is not completed), course, and character that the player plays as.
|1-1||Drive through all 5 numbered gates in order!||0:35||Figure-8 Circuit||Mario|
|1-2||Collect all 15 coins!||0:30||Peach Circuit||Peach|
|1-3||Destroy all 10 item boxes!||0:45||Yoshi Falls||Yoshi|
|1-4||Get the Star and use it to hit 5 Cheep Cheeps!||0:40||Cheep Cheep Beach||Wario|
|1-5||Drive through all 6 numbered gates in order!||0:30||Nintendo DS||Toad|
|1-6||Drive out of the mansion...backwards!||0:45||Luigi's Mansion||Luigi|
|1-7||Collect all 20 coins!||0:35||Moo Moo Farm||DK|
|1-8||Perform 4 power-slide turbo boosts in 1 lap!||0:45||Mario Circuit 1||Mario|
|Boss||Use Mushrooms to crash into the Big Bully and knock him off the stage!||3:00||Water Arena*||Yoshi|
|2-1||Crash into all 10 wooden crates and destroy every one!||0:55||Delfino Square||Wario|
|2-2||Collect all 10 coins!||0:30||Figure-8 Circuit||Yoshi|
|2-3||Drive through all 5 numbered gates in order!||0:45||Donut Plains 1||DK|
|2-4||Destroy all 5 item boxes!||0:35||Luigi's Mansion||Luigi|
|2-5||Collect all 20 coins!||0:30||Cheep Cheep Beach||Peach|
|2-6||Use Bob-ombs to destroy all 5 Pokeys!||0:55||Desert Hills||Wario|
|2-7||Drive through all 10 numbered gates in order!||0:55||Luigi Circuit1||Toad|
|2-8||Perform 6 power-slide turbo boosts in 3 laps!||0:55||Baby Park||Peach|
|Boss||Hit the Eyerok's eyeball 3 times with shells!||5:00||Sand Arena*||Mario|
|3-1||Destroy all 5 🌟 item boxes!1||0:50||Waluigi Pinball||Wario|
|3-2||Drive through all 5 numbered gates in order...backwards!||0:50||Delfino Square||Bowser|
|3-3||Collect all 15 coins while avoiding the Chain Chomp!||0:25||Luigi Circuit1||Luigi|
|3-4||Reach the finish before Yoshi!||0:00||Yoshi Falls||Peach|
|3-5||Drive through all 8 numbered gates in order!||0:45||Pipe Plaza||Yoshi|
|3-6||Hit Monty Moles with shells 5 times!||1:05||Moo Moo Farm||Luigi|
|3-7||Perform 10 power-slide turbo boosts in 1 lap!||1:10||Shroom Ridge||DK|
|3-8||Collect all 20 coins!||1:05||Twilight House||Mario|
|Boss||Reach the finish before Goomboss!||0:00||Baby Park||Toad|
|4-1||Reach the finish before Donkey Kong!||0:00||DK Pass**||Wario|
|4-2||Blast 20 crabs!2||2:00||Palm Shore||Yoshi|
|4-3||Reach the finish before the red car!||0:00||Shroom Ridge||Mario|
|4-4||Drive through all 7 numbered gates in order!||0:45||Desert Hills||Wario|
|4-5||Collect all 15 coins. If you get squished by a Thwomp, you fail!||0:30||Bowser Castle 2||Bowser|
|4-6||Break all 10 item boxes while avoiding the Fake Items!||1:10||Choco Mountain||DK|
|4-7||Drive through all 10 gates!3||0:45||Waluigi Pinball||Toad|
|4-8||Perform 9 power-slide turbo boosts in 1 lap!||1:00||Luigi Circuit2||Luigi|
|Boss||Collect 50 coins while avoiding King Boo!||5:00||Lava Arena*||Peach|
|5-1||Reach the finish before the stray Chain Chomp!||0:00||Peach Gardens||Peach|
|5-2||Drive backward and collect 15 coins! If you hit a snowman, you fail!||0:30||Frappe Snowland||DK|
|5-3||Destroy all 5 item boxes!||0:35||Koopa Beach 2||Toad|
|5-4||Drive through all 10 numbered gates in order!||1:05||Bowser Castle 2||Bowser|
|5-5||Complete 1 lap in the opposite direction within the time limit!||0:55||Mushroom Bridge||Mario|
|5-6||Collect all 18 coins!||0:45||Tart Top||Yoshi|
|5-7||Drive through all 8 numbered gates in order!||0:45||DK Pass**||Toad|
|5-8||Reach the finish before Mario!||0:00||Mario Circuit||Luigi|
|Boss||Hit the Big Bob-omb with 3 Bob-ombs!||5:00||Sand Arena*||Wario|
|6-1||Drive backward across the spinning bridge! If you fall, you're out!||0:30||Bowser Castle||Bowser|
|6-2||Get Stars and run over 15 Rocky Wrenches!||0:55||Airship Fortress||Wario|
|6-3||Collect all 30 coins!||0:45||Choco Island 2||Yoshi|
|6-4||Destroy all 10 item boxes!||2:00||Block Fort||Mario|
|6-5||Drive through all 8 numbered gates in order!||0:50||Sky Garden||Peach|
|6-6||Perform 14 power-slide turbo boosts in 1 lap!||1:00||Yoshi Circuit||Yoshi|
|6-7||Collect all 40 coins!||1:30||Tick-Tock Clock||Toad|
|6-8||Reach the finish before Peach!||0:00||Peach Gardens**||Bowser|
|Boss||Use Mushrooms boosts to hit Chief Chilly and knock him off the stage 3 times!||5:00||Water Arena*||Luigi|
|7-1||Perform 6 power-slide turbo boosts in 1 lap!||1:00||Rainbow Road||Peach|
|7-2||Reach the finish before Bowser!||0:00||Bowser Castle||Mario|
|7-3||Complete 2 laps within the time limit!4||1:30||Tick-Tock Clock||DK|
|7-4||Use shells to defeat all 30 Goombas within the time limit!||2:00||Mario Circuit||Toad|
|7-5||Collect all 20 coins!||0:55||Wario Stadium||Wario|
|7-6||Drive through all 8 numbered gates in order!||0:11||Nintendo DS||Mario|
|7-7||Drive backward and collect all 12 coins! If you hit a burner, you fail!||0:50||Airship Fortress||Bowser|
|7-8||Break all 10 item boxes while avoiding the Fake Items!||1:05||Banshee Boardwalk||Luigi|
|Boss||Reach the finish before Wiggler!||0:00||Mushroom Bridge||Mario|
Mario Kart DS: Demo Version
Mario Kart DS: Demo Version is a demo of Mario Kart DS released in Europe and North America.
Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection mode
Mario Kart DS was the first Mario Kart game to support online play (since the discontinuation of Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, online play is no longer possible); though it's worth noting that it's the second Mario Kart game to support online connectivity, with the Japanese version of Mario Kart: Super Circuit being the first (the use of online connectivity for this game was made primarily to exchange ghost data with other players). Being one of the first Nintendo DS games to feature wireless connection, the game mode required some technical changes in order to avoid connection malfunctions and long time loads during online play.
The following changes and restrictions were applied to prevent excessive lags:
- Only up to four players
- Only the 100cc engine class was available
- 12 of 32 courses were omitted
- No triple Bananas or triple shells
- No spilled items onto course to be used; items were just lost
- Items could not be dragged behind the kart
- Item roulette could not be stopped earlier
- Course obstacles could not be destroyed (e.g. boxes in Delfino Square or snowballs in DK Pass)
|Point Spread Comparisons|
|Super Mario Kart|
Mario Kart 64
Mario Kart: Super Circuit
|Mario Kart: Double Dash!!|
Mario Kart DS Grand Prix
|Mario Kart DS Teams||15||12||9||6||4||2||1||0|
|Mario Kart DS WFC 4 Players||10||7||4||1||—||—||—||-|
|Mario Kart DS WFC 3 Players||10||7||4||—||—||—||—||-|
|Mario Kart DS WFC 2 Players||10||5||—||—||—||—||—||-|
| Grove-green bg signifies victory results (great clapping, character(s) cheering), best after-race music|
Lime-green bg signifies moderate results (mild clapping, moderate character reaction), same music in Wi-Fi as winner but different in Grand Prix
Normal bg signifies losing results, losing music (kart engine stops if not in Grand Prix mode if the player placed last). In Super Mario Kart, Mario Kart 64, and Mario Kart: Super Circuit, the race will be restarted (0 pts) if the racer comes in 5th-8th. If this happens more than three times (except in Mario Kart 64), the Grand Prix must be started over.
— means not available
Players could connect using a wireless connection or a Nintendo Wi-Fi USB Connector (preferably high-speed.) Racers would choose to search for other players in "Friends" (more info below), "Rivals" (players with a similar record), "Regional" or "Continental" in Non-American versions of the game (players in same country or continent), and "Worldwide", the latter possible to cause long lags. Other racers searching in the same category were randomly grouped. The game tried to find four players, but eventually settled for three or two if necessary. Players chose their characters, karts, and the course they wanted for the first of four races. In addition to the 20 courses listed in order of when it is encountered, there was also a random button. After everyone's selection was placed, a course was chosen based on the responses. If all players each picked a different course, the system randomly picked one. If four players chose two courses, two each, the game randomly selected from those two. On the other hand, the most voted course by a group of users was selected to race. It proceeded like so for four races, then the points were tallied up, and after the match, a player's wins and losses were totaled.
Each player received one "win" for finishing ahead of a player and one "loss" for finishing behind of a player. If a player tied with another player, it did not count as a "win" or "loss". For example:
- A player winning a 3-player match, or ties for 1st with one other player in a 4-player match receives 2 wins and 0 losses.
- A player coming 2nd in a 4-player match receives 2 wins and 1 loss.
- A player tied for third in a 4-player match gets only 2 losses, as compared to 3.
- A player tied with all other players, no matter how many players are participating, was simply called a tie and did not affect either player's record.
Players could continue after the match to play the same racers again or quit to restart the process to find other players.
Problem: Trouble with friend codes
- A) Friend Code System. Each copy of the game comes with a 12-digit code known as a "friend code". Players could enter codes into each other's "friend roster" to create a friend list, where Wi-Fi records between the players were stored. When a friend was online at the same time, a symbol would appear above the Wi-Fi strength symbol, whether trying to find racers or during racing. Yet, both (or more) players must have had each (or all) of their friend codes registered and be looking in the friends section at the same time to hook up. If the player were to find a racer to compete against elsewhere online, there was no communication for a friend code swap; the only way to race again is to do it right away by selecting continue after a match.
Problem: Disconnecting racers change the outcome of the match; it is later reflected in the match records.
- B) Disconnecting. Take this scenario into consideration:
- Bob started in a four-player match, but two people have disconnected since, and he is now in a two-player match against a three-star player, and has come second and third in the first two races. It is 20-11. Josh wins the next match, bringing the totals to 25-21. But, in the fourth race, the three-star player is a full half-lap ahead with one lap to go. Josh realizes that he might not win this race; however, Josh has researched about Wi-Fi connections and has learned a trick. He leaves his DS untouched, bringing his kart to a stop, then finds his wireless router, and disconnects it. According to the record-book, Bob has won the match from which he has disconnected.
- The two players who disconnected earlier are experiencing certain effects. When a player is disconnected from Wi-Fi via turning off his or her DS, the player is charged with the same number of losses as there are other players. Players can disconnect at any time, but if they cancel before the first course is chosen, there is no effect on the win-loss record. Other players finishing the whole match gain one win per disconnected player.
- Refer to the point spread chart for WFC. Mid-match, due to disconnected players, the point spread can change. For example, when it goes down from four to three players, the point conversion is not affected for the top three. Yet, from three to two, it is. In the first two races, Josh lost three and six points to the three-star player, under the 10-7-4(-1) point spread. But, if he had won the last two races, under the 10-5 point spread, he would have recovered ten points - and would have won, 31-30, even though he came in third once and only won two out of four races.
- Players occasionally disconnect when losing. A glitch in the game affects the final results, and this is exactly what Josh does in the scenario. Instead of turning off the DS, he disconnects his actual connection. The three-star player would have gained three wins, but when everyone disconnects, it takes no effect on the winning player's records.
- To restate and make clear: if Josh would have played it out and lost the fourth race, the result would have been 35-26, in favor of the three-star player.
Mario Kart DS received critical acclaim. It currently maintains a 9.2 average at Gamestats, the highest score for a Nintendo DS game on the site (as of December 2006).
Gamespy reviewer Bryn Williams said that online, Nintendo "trimmed it back a little too much for my liking", but was certain that "Even with a few online flaws, this is the best Mario Kart ever." With a rank of 5 out of 5 and describing the multiplayer experience as "great". GameSpot reviewer Justin Calvert had similar quips with the online feature: "Whether these opponents were leaving voluntarily or because of network problems is anybody's guess, but it's equally irritating either way." He finished up similarly by saying "Mario Kart DS is without a doubt one of the best games to hit the Nintendo DS to date." Mario Kart DS received a score of 9.2 out of 10 and was regarded as GameSpot's Editor's Choice and DS game of the year.
IGN has given an overall score of 9.5 out of 10, granting the game the IGN Editor's Choice Award and DS game of the year. Reviewer Craig Harris commented that "it's just hard to ignore just how limited the online presentation is", but ended the review with this: "The only way to finish this review is just to say it: this is the greatest Mario Kart game ever developed, and is without a doubt the best DS game of 2005".
Mario Kart DS is the 3rd best selling game for the Nintendo DS, selling 23.56 million copies worldwide.
References to other games
- Super Mario Bros. 3 - The track Airship Fortress is based of the many airship based levels in this game. Desert Hills is based on World 2 of this game, even featuring the Angry Sun, Podoboos, Fire Snakes, the pyramid, and two pipe formations taken from a level in this world. Water Arena and Sand Arena use various objects from this game. A sprite of Mario and Luigi's heads appear on the Single Player and VS. mode bars.
- Super Mario Kart - Mario Circuit 1, Donut Plains 1, Koopa Beach 2, and Choco Island 2 return as retro courses.
- Donkey Kong Country - The Rambi Rider is based off Rambi from this game.
- Super Mario 64 - The track Tick Tock Clock is based off of the level of the same name in this game.
- Mario Kart 64 - Moo Moo Farm, Frappe Snowland, Choco Mountain, and Banshee Boardwalk return as retro courses, and Block Fort returns as a playable battle course. Also, the name "Wario Stadium" is reused. Lastly, part of the credits theme from this game is used in the second part of the credits when Mirror Special Cup or Lightning Cup is beat in first place and the eight playable characters that are available from the start are taken from the eight playable characters in this game, including the same eight colored karts.
- Donkey Kong 64 - Donkey Kong's voice clips are reused in the Beta Kiosk Demo of this game, but not in the final version.
- Mobile Golf - The Golden Mantis is based off Foreman Spike's excavator from his artwork for this game.
- Mario Kart: Super Circuit - Peach Circuit, Bowser Castle 2, Luigi Circuit, and Sky Garden return as retro courses. Also, the eight playable characters in this game were reused as the starting characters. The Lightning Cup returns as the highest-tier retro cup.
- Wario Land 4 - The Brute is based off the Wario Car in this game.
- Luigi's Mansion - The Poltergust 4000 is based off the Poltergust 3000 from this game. Also a track of the same name as this course is based on this game.
- Super Mario Sunshine - The track Delfino Square is based off the main area of this game, Delfino Plaza. Piantas also appear as spectators in this track.
- Mario Kart: Double Dash!! - Luigi Circuit, Baby Park, Mushroom Bridge, and Yoshi Circuit return as retro courses, and Pipe Plaza returns as a playable battle course. Also, Wario Stadium seems to use elements from Waluigi Stadium. Some sound effects and some of the playable characters' voice clips are also taken from this game, and the character icons from the character select menu are used at the end of a Grand Prix race and a VS. match. The 3-2-1 starting countdown is also taken from this game, and it has appeared in every recurring game since then.
- Super Mario 64 DS - All of the bosses, with the exception of King Whomp, return from this game. Mario, Luigi, Wario, and Yoshi also have voice clips recycled from this game.
- Donkey Kong Jungle Beat - Many of Donkey Kong's voice clips are recycled from this game.
- This and Mario Kart Tour are the only Mario Kart games where Lakitu does not start the matches off as a referee, instead, it is a whistle. It is also the only game without Lakitu holding up the starting lights at the beginning of a race.
- The Nitro Cup and the Retro Cup was replaced with the Mushroom Cup and Shell Cup in the retail version of Mario Kart DS.
- In the Japanese version of the game, R.O.B is red & white and has the name HVC-012. HVC-012, or better know as Famicom Robot, is the original Japanese version of R.O.B. Additionally, HVC-012 is the true staff ghost on Desert Hills and Rainbow Road, not R.O.B (thus the * in the table above). HVC-012 has the same karts as R.O.B, even down to the same coloration.
- Mario Kart Slot Cars were created as a promotion for this game.
- During the race when a character gets the item box, the item-roulette sound effect stop selection was "Blah". The item-roulette sound effect carries over to Mario Kart Wii.
- When players play Mario Kart DS on any DS systems, Mario will say "Wahoo!" or "Yahoo!" if played on the original DS, but "Here we go!" if played on the DS Lite, DSi, DSi XL, or any 3DS.
- The American version of Mario Kart DS is one of the few games on the DS to have a multiple language option (almost all the European DS games have this function, though). Depending on the language of the DS, the language on the game will change; however, it will not change into Japanese.
- The initials for some consoles are different between the Japanese and English versions.
- Super Nintendo (NTSC-JP: SFC / PAL & NTSC-U: SNES)
- Nintendo 64 (NTSC-JP: 64 / PAL & NTSC-U: N64)
- Nintendo GameCube (NTSC-JP: GC / PAL & NTSC-U: GCN)
|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|
|Handheld games||Mario Kart: Super Circuit • Mario Kart DS • Mario Kart 7 • Mario Kart Tour|
|Arcade games||Mario Kart Arcade GP (2005) • Arcade GP 2 (2007) • Arcade GP DX (2013) • Arcade GP VR (2017)|