|Mario Kart 64|
Mario Kart 64 boxart
|Release date||Nintendo 64|
December 14, 1996
February 10, 1997
June 24, 1997
|Mode(s)||Single player, Multiplayer|
|Platform(s)||Nintendo 64, Wii|
|Media||Nintendo 64 Cartridge, Virtual Console Download|
|Previous game||Super Mario Kart (1992)|
|Next game||Mario Kart: Super Circuit (2001)|
Mario Kart 64 is the second installment in the Mario Kart series, being the first in the series to use 3D graphics. It was released in 1997 for the Nintendo 64, and later in 2007 being released for the Virtual Console. Mario Kart 64 features many changes from the previous game, such as new characters and items.
To drive, the player must steer with the joy stick, holding the A button to accelerate. The B button is used for breaking, and can also be used to drive in reverse. Item use is controlled by the Z button. The R button is used to jump, which can allow the kart to turn tight corners. If the player turns too much or too quickly, of if they turn side to side, it will result in the player sliding and spinning out of control, which makes the kart stop for a few seconds.
Instead of the five laps which we seen in Super Mario Kart the races are now three laps, due to longer courses. As well as shortened races, the terrain of the race track is no longer flat, but features different types of terrain. Carried over from Super Mario Kart are the Item Boxes. Spinning in a style similar to a game of roulette.
There are four cups to race in, the Mushroom Cup, Flower Cup, Star Cup. and the Special Cup. The cups are then divided into three engine classes which the player picks from when choosing the mode. The Engine Classes are 50cc, 100cc, and 150cc. There is an unlockable mode called Mirror Mode, which allows the player to race on mirrored versions of the courses increasing the level's difficulty. In order to unlock Mirror Mode, the player must complete all of the cups in the engine class 150cc. The player will know when they have an extra mode when the titled screen changes. There is also a Time Trials mode and a Battle Mode, which allows the player to race in different scenarios that don't require racing.
In the Time Trial mode, the player races against their own past times, which are represented by a ghost of themselves.
In battle mode, the players start with three balloons, which represent life. When a player gets hit by an item, or a heavy weight character runs into them, they lose a balloon. When one player has lost all of their balloons, they turn into a bomb, when all players but one turn into a bomb, the remaining player wins.
- This was originally going to be called Super Mario Kart R, but got changed to Mario Kart 64 because of Sonic R on the Sega Saturn.
- Some of the voices that Donkey Kong makes in his game (such as the sound he makes whenever he hits another racer with an item or slips on a banana peel) are reused on the Yoshi's Island course in Mario Golf.
- Kamek was originally going to be in the game, but was replaced by Donkey Kong.
- Toad and Donkey Kong are the only drivers to have their karts' engine sounds not shared with the other drivers. Mario's is shared with Luigi's, Peach's is shared with Yoshi's, and Wario's is shared with Bowser's.
- This is the only game in the Mario Kart series where all the included characters have their signature courses (Royal Raceway is Princess Peach's race course because the word "royal" means relating to a sovereign, which describes Princess Peach, and its Japanese name is "Peach Circuit"). In other games, only selected characters have their signature courses.
- Oddly, if more than two players are playing in VS. Mode, the background music will not play on any course. This is due to the limitations at the time.
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