Mario Kart 64

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Title Screen

Mario Kart 64

Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo 64
Released in JP: December 14, 1996
Released in US: February 10, 1997
Released in EU: June 24, 1997

CodeIcon.png This game has unused code.
MusicIcon.png This game has unused music.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
LevelSelectIcon.png This game has a hidden level select.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.

NotesIcon.png This game has a notes page

Mario Kart 64 basically takes all the wishes and feature requests from Super Mario Kart and makes them come true. Four players! Tunnels! No Koopa Troopa! All good stuff. Except that last one, clearly.


Debug Menu

Push B, receive debug mode

This game contains a debug menu; to enable it, use the GameShark code 8818EDEF 0002 and press the GS button at the title screen.

  • DEBUG_MODE activates key combinations during play:
    • L+R+A+B: Reset game
    • R+B: Toggle CPU meter
    • Left: Advance player 1 and everyone behind them to final lap
    • Down: Advance everyone to final lap
    • Up: Advance player 1 and one other to final lap
    • Z or C-Down can be pressed during the race start sequence to start early. This will glitch the game if done too soon.
  • MAP_NUMBER selects the track. Available are the 16 single-player tracks plus the four tracks from battle mode.
Level Select Course
0 M CIRCUIT Mario Raceway
1 MOUNTAIN Choco Mountain
2 CASTLE Bowser's Castle
3 GHOST Banshee Boardwalk
4 MAZE Yoshi Valley
5 SNOW Frappe Snowland
6 BEACH Koopa Troopa Beach
7 P CIRCUIT Royal Raceway
8 L CIRCUIT Luigi Raceway
9 FARM Moo Moo Farm
10 HIGHWAY Toad's Turnpike
11 DESERT Kalimari Desert
12 SHERBET Sherbet Land
13 RAINBOW Rainbow Road
14 STADIUM Wario Stadium
15 BLOCK Block Fort
16 SKYSCRAPER Skyscraper
17 DECK Double Deck
18 JUNGLE D.K.'s Jungle Parkway
19 DOUGHNUT Big Donut
  • SCREEN_MODE selects the screen mode, and thus the players that participate. Available values are 1 player, 2 player up/down, 2 player left/right, 3 players and 4 players. The two player left-right view is never used in the final game, and is somewhat glitchy.
  • PLAYER selects the first player. If you have more than one player, the game assumes Luigi for player 2, Yoshi for player 3 and Toad for player 4.
  • SOUND MODE simply selects the sound mode (mono, headphones, stereo).
  • PUSH B TO GET ALL GOLDCUP is fairly self-descriptive. This option only appears when the cursor is moved all the way to the bottom.

Note that if you try to start a one-player game on a battle map, the game will automatically add a second player.

XXX Sound Mode

GameShark code 8018EDF2 0002 switches the sound mode to "XXX" on the debug menu and blank in the Options menu. Its purpose is not known.

Debug Menu Options Menu

CPU and Graphic Display

Debug Displays. Go north, young man!

When Debug Mode is enabled, the following GameShark codes can be used:

  • 810DC515 0001 Shows which master display list is currently in use.
  • 800DC663 0001 Shows bars at the bottom measuring CPU usage and other resources.

Frame-by-Frame advance

The following code activates a frame-by-frame advance mode if Debug Mode is enabled:

81001760 3C03
81001762 800E
81001794 3C0B
81001796 800E
810017C4 240C
810017C6 0000

When the game is paused, player 1 can hold A and B and press L to advance a frame. This unfortunately conflicts with using A to unpause the game; you must hold A before pausing. Alternatively, adding the code 81001784 2400 makes it require only holding B and pressing L while paused.

Crash Debug Screen

Exception Information. Gaze upon what you have wrought!

If the game crashes, it will draw a small white square with red border near the upper left corner of the screen. At that point, entering the code L, Up, Left, Down, Right, R, L, B, A will display some information about the cause of the crash.

The first line displays three numbers - first is unknown (usually 5, probably thread ID), second is the address of the faulty instruction, third is the exception code (as defined in the R4300i manual). The second line displays the $RA register. The third line is unknown (usually zero).

The GameShark code 810DC6FE FFFF will shorten this code to simply "press L".

This display cannot be seen on most emulators, as they don't seem to continue redrawing the screen after the game crashes.

Unused Code

To do:
Supposedly there's some coding that allows A.I. racers to drift.

Track Scaling Function

Koopa Troopa Beach at 5x scale.

Next to the mirror mode flag in memory (address 800DC608 in USA version) is a floating-point value that appears to always be set to 1.0. When a track is loaded, its height is scaled by this amount. (All polygon vertices are multiplied by this value.) Use GameShark code 810DC608 ???? (default value 3F80) to activate this feature.

This value only affects track polygons, and hit detection is not altered to compensate for the steeper hills and/or shorter vertical walls, so changing it often produces unplayable tracks and strange effects such as floating trees, low areas being considered underwater/out of bounds, and walls that are no longer solid.

No similar scaling functions exist for the X and Z axes. This may have been intended as a debugging function to test slopes, or a bonus mode that would scale tracks to various sizes.

Vertical Splitscreen

This unused vertical splitscreen display for 2-player mode is only accessible via the Debug Menu. It's pretty clear why this isn't accessible normally: it's unfinished. The lap counter still displays in Battle Mode, the map goes over the second player's lap counter, and no V's and E's come out when drifting in race mode.

Lightning in Battle Mode

When used in Battle Mode, the Lightning Bolt makes all other players lose one balloon; however, it isn't normally possible to obtain this item, likely because it would have made battles horribly unbalanced. Code that specifically handles the Lightning Bolt's effects in Battle Mode can be found around 8008E0FC in RAM.

Version Differences

Mk64 luigiblink.gif
Audio Differences
LOTS of audio was changed from the Japanese version.


The billboards in the Japanese version are all clever parodies of real-life companies. They were changed during localization because this would have gotten NoA in hot water.

Japan International
Tastes good like a cigarette should A bit generic

Marioro (a pun on Marlboro) was changed to Mario Star.

Japan International
Warning: Highly explosive A nice Italian restaurant

Luigip (a pun on Agip) was changed to Luigi's.

Japan International
Warning: Highly eggsplosive. Sorry What about him?

Yoshi1 (a pun on Mobil1) was changed to Yoshi, with a pawprint similar to the one added to English versions of Super Mario World.

Japan International
Color change... ...and done

The Koopa Air sign is colored yellow and blue in the Japanese version (a pun on Goodyear). It's white and violet in international versions.

Japan International
Orange you glad you avoided a trademark infringement lawsuit? Yeah yeah, I know. Blue ball

The orange 64 ball in Luigi's Raceway (a parody of the 76 gas station) was changed to blue.

You can't destroy me!

The orange ball can however still be seen on the track preview even in international versions.

Japan International
A pleasant blue Angry red

The Nintendo logo is blue in the Japanese version and red in international versions.

Moo Moo Farm

The course "Moo Moo Farm" is called "Moh Moh Farm" in Japan. This is because mooing in Japanese sounds like "mō mō", which sounds like "moh moh", with a long "O" sound.

Japan North America
Moh no! Moo moo moo, moo moo moo moo.
(Source: The Mushroom Kingdom)

Trophy Ceremony

The trophy ceremony in the Japanese version displays the text "You are in (position)". The American version changes this to "You placed (position)". The punctuation was also removed.

Japan International
YOU ARE SUPER RACER! Punctuation is for squares
(Source: The Mushroom Kingdom)

Course Names

Courses have different names depending on the region.

Japanese International
Luigi Circuit Luigi Raceway
Noko Noko Beach Koopa Troopa Beach
Karakara Sabaku Kalamari Desert
Kinopio Highway Toad's Turnpike
Mario Circuit Mario Raceway
Peach Circuit Royal Raceway
Koopa Castle Bowser's Castle
Donkey Jungle Park DK's Jungle Parkway
Hyūdoro Ike Banshee Boardwalk
Big Donuts Big Donut
Block Toride Block Fort
Matenrou Skyscraper

Credits Differences

In the Japanese version, completing the Special Cup on 150cc will display a Japanese-language version of the credits. This was removed from the English version for obvious reasons.

Additionally, the Japanese version has six voice actors, while the English version only has three. Charles Martinet (the voice of Mario) is the only one to be credited in both versions. Additionally, his name is misspelled as "Charles Martinee" in the Japanese version.

Japan International
The Japanese don't believe in one word having two "T"s. Who needs those guys?
(Source: The Mushroom Kingdom)

Misplaced Item Boxes

They're on Mario's screen

Hidden underneath the Big Donut arena are two misplaced item boxes. These item boxes can be seen by getting the camera behind the green bars and waiting, eventually the two item boxes will float up into view.

Hidden Music Loop

The "Winning Results" track was likely intended to alternate between two ~100 second sections of music, each composed of a 50 second segment repeated twice. Due to a binary counter bug, the first segment repeats 64 times (for 54 minutes and 39 seconds!) before the second segment ever has a chance to play -- at which point it repeats twice and correctly returns to the first segment.