I would like to share some really cool facts about one of my all time favorite game series, Mario Kart. With Mario Kart 8 coming out in the summer of 2014, I thought it would be interesting to share some really cool facts out there that I really never thought of or never even heard of until I started doing some research.
In the original Mario Kart 64, Donkey Kong was not going to be a playable character. He was rather a late entry in replacing Kamek The Koopa as a playable character. People wanted Donkey Kong because he was a much more popular character than the Kamek character that no one really knows too much about, and not a very big character in any of the games.
The next fact also comes from Mario Kart 64, and it is a really cool fact. After you complete a race, there is a track that plays music. If you let that music sit there and play for approximately 55 minutes, it will change.
Amazingly, there’s actually 11 games in the series, despite the latest title being Mario Kart 8. There are actually 3 different arcade versions of Mario Kart developed by Namco, which might only be in Japan. I have never seen one in North America.
That brings us to our next cool fact is that in these games, because they’re developed by Namco rather than Nintendo, you can actually play as Pacman, Mrs. Pacman, and even Blinky, one of the red ghosts from the Pacman series. So you can play them along with some other Namco characters.
In Mario Kart 8 there is actually going to be product placements for some of these big name gas stations like Mobile or 76 and even some interesting ones like Marlboro and other cigarette brands. But these were taken out mostly because of the cigarette brands. They didn’t want to lose their “E for Everyone” rating. It would have bumped them up to a Teen rating because of the cigarettes. And they didn’t want to lose that, so they took all of these paid advertisements out of the game last minute.
Another interesting fact about Mario Kart 64 is it was originally known as Mario Kart R in the early days of development. And it also included vertical split screen options instead of being horizontal. So you didn’t have to use the whole half of the TV going sideways. You could have had up and down. And I think that would have been a lot better. And it’s just now being implemented as an option in Mario Kart 8. So after 18 years, it’s finally included. Better late than never.
The most interesting fact is that, to date, Mario Kart has sold over 110 million copies worldwide, not including the release of Mario Kart 8. So I’m sure that’s going to jump up even higher. This puts the Mario Kart Franchise above other franchises that are in this era including the Zelda franchise. So that is an amazing fact. And very very interesting as well.
Our eighth interesting fact is that there’s actually an alternate ending for Super Mario Kart where Bowser and Peach appear to be drinking champagne. It was, however, taken out of the game to again maintain their “E for Everyone” rating in North America. However, this did make it into the Japanese version of the game.
Number nine for our most interesting fact is that in Mario Kart DS there is a version of the Egg 1 kart, which is Yoshi’s kart, and it exists only in code. It is pink, leading many to believe that Birdo was actually going to be a playable character in the game. However, the developers changed their minds and this was taken out. However, there are still remnants of it in the coding.
For our final fact, there is a secret code that is revealed in the end of of a double dash race by entering L-R-L-R-X-Y-X-Y-Z. But there is really no explanation for what this code does. No one really knows. The best guess to what this code is for is that it was originally for some secret tournament in Japan. Not a lot of information about it, but it’s definitely there.