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Development:Super Mario Kart

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This page details development materials of Super Mario Kart.

How about a nice leek in this trying time?
This page or section details content from the July 2020 Nintendo Leak.
Check the July 2020 Nintendo Leak category for more pages also sourced from this material.
This article is a work in progress.
...Well, all the articles here are, in a way. But this one moreso, and the article may contain incomplete information and editor's notes.

Present among the big July 24, 2020 leak of Nintendo assets was the Super Mario Kart source code with previously unseen assets, tools, and probably everything the development team used back then in the early 90s.

Various sprites, tilesets, maps, etc. can be found in the following directories:

  • other\NEWS\テープリストア\NEWS_04\NEWS_04.tar\home\sugiyama\CAR
  • other\NEWS\テープリストア\NEWS_05\NEWS_05.tar\home\kimura\kart\data.lzh
  • other\NEWS\テープリストア\NEWS_04\NEWS_04.tar\home\sugiyama\mori

Note that the .lzh files contain both compressed (lowercase) and decompressed (uppercase) versions of the files, so be sure to make separate directories for them when extracting.

To do:
  • Be sure to check any .OBJ files for any possible early stuff.
  • There exist .scrs and .baks reminiscent of early versions of tracks that can be found in the CAR directory.
  • Early Donut Plains tileset in G1.CGX, that is arranged similary to Mario Circuit's tileset.
  • A sound.bin dated 1/21/92 containing SimCity soundtrack with Super Mario Kart's sample set exists in risc.lzh\bin. It also contains a couple test songs, some early samples, as well as an early Race Start sound.
  • Add transparency to images (images with white borders should not, because it makes them difficult to see.)

Uncompiled Builds


SMK alpha1991 previewicon.png
1991 Alpha
A very early driving test, including hovercrafts!
SMK Nov91 previewicon.gif
November 29, 1991 Proto
A rapid-fire gun battle, a Coin Runners mode, and a top-down view à la Mario Kart DS? It's all here.
SMK FebProto 2P GP.png
February 13, 1992 Proto
Even more battle modes are here, such as a gate race mode, and... Whack-A-Mole? This build also contains extra title menu options like viewing records and items/no items race modes.

File Info

Filename Path Date Sha1sum
sfx-exp.hex, sfx-back.hex other.7z/NEWS.7z/テープリストア/NEWS_05/NEWS_05.tar/home/kimura/exp 18 Apr 1991 - 25 Jul 1991 Uncompiled
game.hex other.7z/NEWS.7z/テープリストア/NEWS_05/NEWS_05.tar/home/kimura/games/temp 29 Nov 1991 Uncompiled
mario-kart.hex other.7z/NEWS.7z/テープリストア/NEWS_05/NEWS_05.tar/home/kimura/kart/mak 13 Feb 1992 Uncompiled

Debug Controls

Some of the debug commands found in the final game also work in the uncompiled prototype builds and are accesible by default. These can be activated by pressing a certain button combination. The RAM viewer that crashes the final game at race start (Pro Action Replay code 7E1F0608) does not crash in the November and February builds and can be accessed without action replay codes too.

Early Assets


SMK prerelease Car.cgx2 animated.gif
Sprites and Tilemaps
Pegasus Boots, Kirby, and Hitodamas?
SMK prerelease EarlyTrackXX.png
Tracks and Tilesets
The lost tracks.

OBJ Files

These are used for HUD layouts and more.


Contains early versions of the menu options and related screens for the international version. Most of the frames have the same lettering as the final, but some are different. The file was last modified on April 13, 1992, the same date as mkart.rom.

Frame 3

SMK Development OBJ ENG Frame3.png

The set of options that appear when quitting or finishing in Time Trials or quitting or losing in Match Race or Battle Mode. There is a "CONTINUE" option instead of "RETRY", and it says "CHANGE MAP" and CHANGE KART" instead of "CHANGE COURSE" and "CHANGE DRIVER". The options have also been rearranged.

Frame 6

SMK Development OBJ ENG Frame6.png

The "1P GAME" options menu. The option for Time Trials instead says "TIME ATTACK".

Frame 7

SMK Development OBJ ENG Frame7.png

The "2P GAME" options menu. The option for Battle Mode instead says "BATTLE GAME".

Frame 8

SMK Development OBJ ENG Frame8.png

The Match Race and Battle Mode game over screen. It's spelled "WIN" instead of "WON", and it says "VS" inbetween the number of wins and losses instead of a dash. The "W" and "L" above the numbers are also absent.

Frame 13

SMK Development OBJ ENG Frame13.png

Part of the course selection options in Time Trials. Bowser's name is misspelled as "BOWSEW".


To do:
  • There's more!
  • Two more sound files can be found in kimura/kart/mak called sound1.bin and sound2.bin, with the latter having some samples from Pilotwings.

Found in sound.bin from the risc.lzh\bin folder are sound and instrument samples, inlcuding some of the final instruments but with a slightly longer length, plus some samples not used in the final.

Songs from SimCity using these instrument samples can also be found in this file. Interestingly, the Budget theme has a descending opening riff rather than an ascending one. Both games were composed by Soyo Oka.


An opera-like sound somewhat reminiscent of the "Bah"s from New Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario 64. This sample comes from the AKAI S1000, which is where several other instrument samples from Super Mario Kart were derived from.

The xylophone sample from SimCity.


A basic organ melody that sounds similar to the final game's menu theme. May be a very early rendition.


To do:
There is more commented out and early stuff.

Animated Chocopuddles

Careful, you'll lose an eye.
This page or section needs more images.
There's a whole lotta words here, but not enough pictures. Please fix this.

The mud in Choco Island was initially supposed to be moving according to code in BG_move.asm. When uncommenting some code the mud will move back and forth.

It can be seen in action here.

(Source: ScouB)