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Mario Kart 7

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Title Screen

Mario Kart 7

Developers: Nintendo EAD, Retro Studios
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Released in JP: December 1, 2011
Released in US: December 4, 2011
Released in EU: December 2, 2011
Released in AU: December 3, 2011
Released in KR: May 31, 2012
Released in CN: December 2012
Released in TW: September 28, 2012

AreasIcon.png This game has unused areas.
DevTextIcon.png This game has hidden development-related text.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
ModelsIcon.png This game has unused models.
ItemsIcon.png This game has unused items.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.

PrereleaseIcon.png This game has a prerelease article
NotesIcon.png This game has a notes page
BugsIcon.png This game has a bugs page

To do:
  • Unused Staff Ghost Mii data (in /replay), in offsets 0x30-0x8F (length = 0x60) in each *.dat file. The last 4 bytes of said Mii data seem to be some kind of checksum. See the Notes subpage.
  • (Unused?) Grand Prix A, B and C rank graphics in UI/trophy.szs, named tro_grade_X.bclim (with X being either a, b or c)
  • Document the early version of KartConstructInfo.bin found in /Kart (the final version is found inside /Common.szs/Kart). The early version mentions the unused kart std_lod_oneTest.
  • Add information about the USA and [EUR] kiosk demo of the game, and some of the kiosk files found in retail and viceversa.
  • Spanish and French text differences between the US and European versions.
  • This page mentions unused objects
  • Verify if SEQ_FANFARE_START_TA.bcseq in "/Sound/ctr_dash.bcsar" is unused. It's a sequenced version of the starting Time Trials fanfare. In the final game, only the streamed version (STRM_FANFARE_START_TA.bcstm) seems to be used. The sequenced counterparts of these fanfares are meant for the racers playing in Download Play. However, Time Trials is not available in Download Play. [Here's is how it sounds.]

Mario Kart 7 is essentially the same thing as Mario Kart Wii but more awesome and in 3D. Oh, and you can paraglide, drive underwater, play as new characters, use seven items at once, race seven ghosts at once....but other than that, completely the same.


Read about prerelease information and/or media for this game.
Prerelease Info
Miscellaneous tidbits that are interesting enough to point out here.
Read about notable bugs and errors in this game.
English Translation Differences
Sigh. Yep. This again.

Unused Graphics

Character Emblems

Mario-Kart-7-Emblem-Dummy-1.png Mario-Kart-7-Emblem-Dummy-2.png

Two dummy textures for character emblems. These are 32x32 pixels each, whereas the final emblems are 64x64. The first one featuring the letters "L" and "R" can be found in many archives, while the second is only found in a single archive.

Dummy Mario Circuit image

Early Final
Mario-Kart-7-Mario-Circuit-Early.png Mario-Kart-7-Mario-Circuit-Final.png

A dummy image that appears in two track archives: Neo Bowser City and Luigi Raceway. This image is used as a placeholder for the giant screens found in those courses, until the game replaces them with other data. The image was originally rotated 90° clockwise, but has been rotated for ease of comparison. The image is from an early version of Mario Circuit, and the differences are as follows:

  • Mario is racing against himself, something not possible in the final game.
  • The finish line banner's shadow appears to be glitching the floor texture in the dummy.
  • The dummy's item boxes are closer to their Mario Kart 64 design.
  • There are four item boxes in the dummy and five in the final.
  • The coin formation is the same as in the beginning of the credits in the final.
  • There are lighting differences on Mario and the pink hill in the background.

Debug Title

Mario-Kart-7-Debug-Capture-Left.png Mario-Kart-7-Debug-Capture-Right.png

In the /UI/Debug directory is a copy of the Japanese title screen, stored into two files for the left and right eye images. The archives are called title_capture_top_l.bclim and title_capture_top_r.bclim.

Test Glideboard Texture

Mario Kar 7-Test glideboard.png

In the files for DK Pass, there is an unused texture called test_glideboard. It is the same as the used texture, but without transparency.

Unused Sounds/Music

There is an unused sound for a countdown starting from 10 seconds (like in Mario Kart Wii) named SE_RC_BTL_CD_10_9_8.bcwav. The sound is identical to the one from Mario Kart Wii, so it was most likely carried over from that game.

Dummy Sounds

In the sound file (BCSAR), there are 2 dummy Shy Guy sounds at the very end. All the used character sounds are in the middle of the BCSAR. It isn't currently known what their names are.

Rainbow Road Sound in Waluigi Pinball's Sound File

To do:
What sound?

Strangely, in Waluigi Pinball's Sound File (GRP_CR_DS_WALUIGI_PINBALL.bcgrp), there is a copy of a sound used in Rainbow Road and SNES Rainbow Road.


This is the only unused track in the game. It is essentially an early version of Mario Circuit, with slightly different geometry and no shading. There are no references to this course in the game's code.

Course archive (.szs)

Since the course archive lacks many important files, and the course information (kmp) file is an early format, the track crashes when trying to load it.
The following files can be found in the course archive:

File Name Description
Gctr_MarioCircuit_Divide.bclgt Light information file, similar to the final version found in the Mario Circuit course archive.
Gctr_MarioCircuit.bclgt (*) Another light information file, differs from the previous one and the final version.
Gctr_MarioCircuit_Divide_ch0.bclgt Character light information file, uses different internal names than the ones found in used courses.
Gctr_MarioCircuit_Divide.div Model division file, seems to match the main course model appropriately.
Gctr_MarioCircuit_Divide.bcmdl Main course model file, more info below.
Gctr_MarioCircuit_Divide.kcl Main collision file, matches the main course model appropriately, more info below.
Gctr_MarioCircuit.kcl (*) Another collision file, doesn't match the main course model nor the final Mario Circuit course model, more info below.
Gctr_MarioCircuit_Divide.kmp Course info file, more info below.
Gctr_MarioCircuit_Divide_map.bcmdl (**) 3D model of the course minimap.

(*) This file is a duplicate file and should not belong to this course archive.
(**) This file is unique and cannot be found in any other course archive.

The following files are missing from the course archive:

File Name Description
UIMapPos.bin Determines the position offsets for the bottom screen minimaps.
Gctr_MarioCircuit_Divide_map.bclim Bottom screen global minimap.
Gctr_MarioCircuit_Divide_map2.bclim Bottom screen global minimap.
Course Object Models 3D models for the objects defined in the kmp (sky box variant 1, goomba, red mushroom, tree variant 1 and pipe models).

Model (bcmdl)

The .bcmdl models are quite similar, however a few textures are different. The spotlight texture was stretched to double the width, the castle wall texture was heavily modified, and the shadow map adds shadows for the four ramps.

Early Final
Mario-Kart-7-Circuit-Spot-Early.png Mario-Kart-7-Circuit-Spot-Final.png
Mario-Kart-7-Circuit-Wall-Early.png Mario-Kart-7-Circuit-Wall-Final.png
Mario-Kart-7-Circuit-Shadow-Early.png Mario-Kart-7-Circuit-Shadow-Final.png

Collision (kcl)

Strangely, there are two collisions files Gctr_MarioCircuit.kcl and Gctr_MarioCircuit_Divide.kcl inside of the szs, second concording with the model. They are almost identical, but have some small differences, such as missing water barrier.

MK7 - divide collision.jpeg

Course info (kmp)

The early kmp is partially empty, only global objects, routes and areas exist. Checkpoints, cpu/item routes and some other neccesary sections to make the course load are missing.

  • The course doesn't have any itemboxes or coins.
  • There are three large Goombas rather than two normal-sized ones.
  • The air flowing from the pipes near the gliding section is missing.
  • The course uses Toad Circuit trees in the early version, rather than pink Sakura trees.
  • There are no hills in the background of the track when you start the race.

Bottom Screen Map

The bottom screen map is stored in a different model (bcmdl) in the same way as Mario Kart Wii did, instead of an image file (bclim).

Unused Models

Blue Shell


An unused blue Koopa shell model, found in RaceCommon.szs. The texture is slightly different than the one used for the Blue Shell item.

Soccer Ball


An unused soccer ball model (named F2_Item_Ball_Soccer internally) with a texture and a normal map, likely used for testing purposes, also found in RaceCommon.szs. The model and textures are also in Nintendogs + Cats, indicating this may possibly be a leftover from that game since they were in development around the same time.

Early Garage

To do:
A page of Nintendo Company Guide Book 2012 shows this early garage.

The model Garage.bcmdl is an early version of the garage that serves as the background for the character/kart select screen. Unlike the final garage, the door is on the right-hand side instead of the back, and the only decorations it has are some cables and a set of tires. It has no textures, but the vertex shading still remains.

Unused Item Reaction Names

In RaceCommon.szs/ItemReactTable.bin (a file that determines how different items interact with each other), there are 2 unused entries for Fake Item Box (FakeBox) and Mega Mushroom (BigKinoko), indicating that they might have been planned at some point during development. This file is the only one that references those items, and no programming nor references exist for them in the game's code.

Unusual Item Boxes

On Rainbow Road. after the first gliding section, there are three Item Boxes hidden under the planet's rings. They can only be collected by flying under the rings and back up onto the course. Unlike the Super Item Box retained in DK Pass (DS), which has a unique item distribution of only speed items and Red Shells, they appear to have no special characteristics.

(video: SuperNickid)

Unused Battle Mode Item Functions

The Blue Shell, Lightning, and Bullet Bill can't be obtained under normal circumstances. These items will have unusual effects when hacked in.

Blue Shell

Acts like a Green Shell but it goes on forever. The game crashes if it goes out of bounds.


Shocks the players but it doesn't always give out a point per player. The players do not shrink, and they keep any items they had.

Bullet Bill

Follows a route similar to the CPUs, and like the Blue Shell, the effect lasts forever. It performs tricks automatically. After a while it will get stuck in a loop.

(Source: Huntereb)
(video: Mankalor)

Unused "Race Number" Strings

Inside the message file at UI\common-XX.szs\Common.msbt, there are the messages for indicating the race number (1st, 2nd, 3rd, final). However, there are also messages for all the way up to the "31th race", allowing for a maximum of 32 races. It is likely that this would have been used with a feature for customizing the number of races in VS mode or online tournaments, both of which are locked to 4 races at a time.

Unused Lap Setting

Like in Mario Kart Wii, there is an unused value in the track's settings file which controls the number of laps. Modifying it doesn't seem to affect anything in-game, however. The game only has Lakitu signs for three laps, so it would be unable to properly indicate any extra laps.


Test Items

There are two test items referenced as Test3 (ID 0xF) and Test4 (ID 0x10) with zero probability to appear. Changing either of their probabilities and getting them in-game will give you a star icon, which will disappear after using the item, as their "use" functions are stubbed and do nothing. The two test items actually appear in the item roulette spin animation, as the game just takes a random item ID between 0x0 (Single Banana) and 0x13 (Triple Red Shells) to display, which includes the test item IDs. This has the side effect of making the star graphic appear more often in the spin animation.

Test Kart

Inside a file where there are all the kart body model names, there is a reference to a kart body called "std_lod_oneTest", probably for testing. However, there isn't any model or file with that name. "std" means standard, "lod" means the model is used by the other racers, "oneTest" can mean is the first model is for testing.

Debug Material

Debug Strings

To do:
Check for this content in other regions and versions.

Inside the .code of the European v1.1 ExeFS at 0x4F1A18, there are some references to a debug menu, such as "SndSceneDebug.MapObj", "SndSceneDebug", and "DebugPageList".

There are also a few debug controls:

Debug Option Button
Exit DebugPageSelect B
Enter DebugPageSelect R+B
Select DebugPage Up/Down

Also, at 0x37B078, where there are all the options shown when finishing a race, there are debug options such as "Debug_Next", "Debug_Reload" and "Debug_Exit"

After a RAM dump, the following debug tasks can be found:

  • DebugMenuMainPage
  • SoundTest
  • DebugShiraiwa
  • DebugSuzuki
  • DebugObayashi
  • DebugKartRun
  • DebugField
  • DebugSakuraba
  • DebugChannelScene

Note that Shiraiwa, Suzuki, Obayashi and Sakuraba are some of the game's main programmers.

Function Symbols

To do:
Check for this content in Taiwan and Korean releases.

In the download play child application (sent by the game to other consoles in Download Play mode) there is a 1.5MB file called CTRDash.xmap which has all of the 21305 function names and addresses of the download play executable. Since all of the addresses match the assembly code, the file was probably added or updated with the latest compilation of the child app. Here is a portion of it:

30d790	Enemy::AIEngine::stateReady()
30d8b8	Enemy::AIEngine::stateInitIdle()
30d8bc	Enemy::AIEngine::stateInitStop()
30d8c0	Enemy::AIEngine::stateAfterGoal()
30d918	Enemy::AIEngine::stateGhostIdle()
30d91c	Enemy::AIEngine::stateInitReady()
30d968	Enemy::AIEngine::statePlayerIdle()
30da1c	Enemy::AIEngine::initAfterPathMgr()
30da48	Enemy::AIEngine::stateInitAfterGoal()
30da78	Enemy::AIEngine::stateInitGhostIdle()
30da7c	Enemy::AIEngine::stateInitPlayerIdle()
30dacc	Enemy::AIEngine::init()
30dbb4	Enemy::AI::startKiller()
30dbdc	Enemy::AIEngine::awake()
30dc88	Enemy::AIEngine::sleep()

The file was later removed in the Chinese release of the game as it most likely had been kept by mistake.

Unseen Blue Glider Mushroom

In the award ceremony track (Gctr_WinningRun.szs), there is an unseen blue glider mushroom (like the one in Mushroom Gorge) near the tunnel section on the right-hand side. It is possible to see the stem of the mushroom by using a hack that increases the speed of the karts. It is possible that the mushroom is simply there to allow the winner to glide in from above, as the mushroom looks out of place in Toad Circuit, which the track is based on.

DS Download Play Icon Oddity

Download Play Main
Mario Kart 7-Download Play large icon.png Mario Kart 7-large icon.png
Mario Kart 7-Download Play small icon.png Mario Kart 7-small icon.png

The icon used in the Download Play app when receiving data is a crude, early version of the one used for the main game. It is located in the banner folder. This discrepancy was fixed in the Chinese version.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Regional Differences

Across different regions, certain tracks and vehicles have different names. These are the names that differ between the European and North American releases, along with a direct translation of the Japanese original (not counting retro courses).

Interestingly, unlike a number of other Nintendo games with separate localizations per region, it's the American script that tends to be more literal and the European script that takes more liberties. Go figure.

Track Names

Japanese European American
Kinopio Circuit Toad Circuit Toad Circuit
Pukupuku Lagoon Cheep Cheep Cape Cheep Cheep Lagoon
Heiho Carnival Shy Guy Bazaar Shy Guy Bazaar
Wuhu Island 1 Wuhu Island Loop Wuhu Loop
Music Park Melody Motorway Music Park
Rock Rock Mountain Alpine Pass Rock Rock Mountain
Pakkun Slider Piranha Plant Pipeway Piranha Plant Slide
Wario Ship Wario's Galleon Wario Shipyard
Neo Koopa City Koopa City Neo Bowser City
Wuhu Island 2 Wuhu Mountain Loop Maka Wuhu
Rosetta Planet Rosalina's Ice World Rosalina's Ice World
Koopa Castle Bowser's Castle Bowser's Castle
Honeybee House Honeybee House Honeybee Hive

Despite the name change, the Japanese and North American name "Music Park" can still be seen on banners in the level in the European version.

Kart Bodies

Japanese European American
Gold Kart Gold Kart Gold Standard
Birthday Girl Royal Ribbon Birthday Girl
Mach Queen Bumble V Bumble V
War Beetle Growlster Bruiser
Jet Soda Soda Jet Soda Jet
B Dash B Dasher B Dasher
Tarupoppo Barrel Train Barrel Train
Retromaru Tiny Tug Tiny Tug
Sand Runner Cact-X Cact-X
H2O Cloud 9 Cloud 9
Dangan Duck Gherkin Zucchini
Cobalt Seven Blue Seven Blue Seven
Banana Buggy Bolt Buggy Bolt Buggy
Skeleton Pipe Frame Pipe Frame

The Japanese version also calls this kart part a frame rather than a body.

Kart Tires

Japanese European American
Normal Tire Normal Standard
Gold Tire Gold Wheels Gold Tires
Roller Tire Roller Roller
Ring Tire Slim Slim
Slick Tire Slick Slick
Sponge Tire Sponge Sponge
Super Kinoko Mushroom Mushroom
Wood Ring Wooden Wood
Wild Red Monster Red Monster Red
Wild Tire Monster Monster

The European version also calls this kart part a wheel rather than a tire.

Kart Gliders

Japanese European American
Super Kite Super Glider Super Glider
Gold Kite Gold Glider Gold Glider
Flower Kite Flower Glider Flower Glider
Beast Kite Ghastly Glider Beast Glider
Basa Basa Kite Swoop Swooper
Parafoil Parafoil Paraglider

Swoop is another name for Swooper in some recent games. The names seem to be used interchangeably. Oddly, the North American name for the Parafoil didn't carry over to Mario Kart 8.

Revisional Differences

Version 1.1 was first released on May 15, 2012 as a downloadable patch on the eShop. Other than adding "Ver. 1.1" to the Online Multiplayer tab, this update fixed four respawn glitches that could be used to skip parts of several courses during online play:

  • GBA Bowser Castle 1
  • DK Jungle
  • Wuhu Loop / Wuhu Island Loop / Wuhu Island 1
  • Maka Wuhu / Wuhu Mountain Loop / Wuhu Island 2

Note that these glitches were only fixed for online play to avoid exploits; in every other mode, these glitches are still present.

The patch itself actually fixes all the respawn glitches, including the ones that can only be done by hacking. Though they are not included in the patch folder, so its impossible to make them work again online. However, if you were to replace the existing kmp files in the patch with their original kmp, only Maka Wuhu's would work. The Daisy Crusier and Maple Treeway ones were not fixed.

Internal Project Name

Mario Kart 7 is referred to as "CTRDash" internally. "CTR" is the product code for the 3DS.