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Impress Your Friends with These 9 Fun Mario Kart Facts

As one of the most successful gaming franchises in history, there are lots of fun facts you don’t know about Mario Kart.

With screeching tyres and pinpoint turns, the Mario Kart franchise makes us all sweaty-palmed, competitive drivers and has given us all hours of fun. From the 1992 Super Nintendo classic up to the latest release, Mario Kart 8 – Mario Kart on the Wii U, Mario Kart is one of the world’s most successful gaming franchises. Whether you enjoy playing as the classic Mario, a heavyweight like Bowser or winning with Princess Peach, Mario Kart has spent over 25 years bringing friends and family together to compete for the top spot.

Here at Pop Up Arcade, we’ve enjoyed every Mario Kart game, and over the years, we’ve amassed a wide range of trivia you can impress your friends with the next time you drive a few rounds.

Neither Mario nor racing was originally included in Mario Kart

Mario only appeared in Super Mario Kart four months after development of the game began, and the original prototype included just a plain man in overalls with no moustache. The original aim of the game was to have two drivers displayed separately on the same screen simultaneously and it was only after this that the developers thought of a racing game and added Mario.

Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto said that, “At First, no racing was involved. It was just two karts moving around freely”. The development team thought it looked “neat” to stop one car whilst the other drove by at a high speed and they put Mario in one of the karts and thought that looked even better.

Super Mario Kart’s Mode 7 graphics were a groundbreaking game changer in gaming

Super Mario Kart doesn’t look that great compared to the more recent games on the Wii and Wii U, but at the time its graphics were truly astonishing.

SNES’ ‘Mode 7’ graphics allows players to rotate and scale the background with no need for each frame and viewpoint to have separate images. This in effect offered players an almost 3D experience before proper 3D technology existed due to the way it manipulated the game’s environment and really set the franchise apart from its competitors.

Lakitu owns every race track

The yellow cloud-bound turtle who calls the shots and controls the tracks, Lakitu, owns them all. The 1992 game instruction booklet sees Lakitu greet the players and tells them that he "runs this track". He watches players race through the courses and works behind the scenes to ensure the tracks are clear and ready for your next race. If a player manages to get out of bounds whilst racing, Lakitu will place you back on the track and take two coins from you.

Get gold every time in Mario Kart 64’s Wario Stadium

Beat the Wario Stadium in a record-breaking time with this sneaky shortcut in Mario Kart 64. The track map’s doubled back nature allows you to jump the walls and skip large sections of the track. At the early straightaway of the mudhills, you need to propel yourself into a jump and veer to the left as soon as you’re in mid-air. If you manage to time it right, you’ll be miles ahead of your friends and securely in first place.

It’s difficult to achieve, as you have to time the jump and turn just right, make sure you’re at the right height in the air and get the right angle to get yourself over the wall and on the other side. You can only achieve this with certain racers, too.

By doing this every time you’re in the air after driving up a dirt hill, you’ll almost certainly win and finish the track in just over a minute.

It was Donkey Kong Jr. In Super Mario Kart, not Donkey Kong himself

In the Mario Kart games, there’s a lot of confusion about Donkey Kong and his family, Donkey Kong Jr., Cranky and Diddy Kong. It’s generally assumed that Donkey Kong himself appears in Super Mario Kart, but it’s actually Junior. Over time, Kong Jr. was dropped by later Mario Kart titles and Cranky or Diddy Kong took over.

Animated moustaches first appear in Mario Kart 8

Mario and Luigi’s moustaches are just as iconic as they are, and are recognised across the world. It wasn’t until Mario Kart 8, however, that the magic of moustache physics has been incorporated into the game. With next-gen animation technology, Luigi and Mario’s moustaches rustle in the wind as they race on the tracks.

Thwomps and Whomps are inspired by Japanese mythology

Thwomps and Whomps, the brick-like animated objects that threaten to block your path on the race track, are based on Japanese nurikabe spirits, which appear as walls to block travellers on the way to their destination.

Super Mario Kart is located on Dinosaur Island

Super Mario Kart and Super Mario World share the same universe. Super Mario World was the first SNES Nintendo game in the 1990s and the subsequent Super Mario Kart used many of the same courses. Many people still assume Super Mario Kart is set in an exclusive universe, but it in fact isn’t.

You’re encouraged to cheat in the Super Mario Kart Handbook

In modern games, screen peeking (taking advantage of a split screen to see where your opponents are in the level) is considered really bad practice and many people consider it to be cheating, however the Super Mario Kart handbook encourages screen peeking when you're playing in battle mode. If you're accused of cheating in the future, you can simply pull out this handy fact and prove you've done nothing wrong!

Here at Pop Up Arcade, we have all the latest generation of gaming consoles, including the Wii U, so you and your friends can race against each other as Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Princess Peach and all your favourite Mario Kart characters.

For more information and to book a gaming party that's out of this world, simply give us a call on 0800 321 3941 or get in touch online today.

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