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Mario Kart DS

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Title Screen

Mario Kart DS

Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo DS
Released in JP: December 8, 2005
Released in US: November 14, 2005
Released in EU: November 25, 2005
Released in AU: November 17, 2005
Released in KR: April 5, 2007

AreasIcon.png This game has unused areas.
CodeIcon.png This game has unused code.
DevTextIcon.png This game has hidden development-related text.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
ModelsIcon.png This game has unused models.
MusicIcon.png This game has unused music.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.

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

Mario Kart DS is one of the most popular games on the DS as well as one of the best selling Mario Kart games of all time. It's also the Mario Kart game that introduced the Retro Grand Prix, which has since become a series staple.

There is some additional information relating to this game's development on the Mario Kart Wii page.

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.
To do:
  • Two unused Archives with early Karts and Characters here and here.
  • A number of unused and early objects.
  • More unused graphics.
  • Add documentation for the unused Ice collision type.


Read about prototype versions of this game that have been released or dumped.
Prototype Info
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.
MKDS Dokan course.PNG
Unused Courses
Long-forgotten circuits never to be driven on again.
Early Karts
Some earlier versions of familiar karts along with some completely new ones.
MKDS Flipper Early.png
Early Objects
Early versions of a lot of junk on the road that didn't quite make the final cut.
MKDS CupIcon-Placeholder.png
Unused Graphics
An artist's work is never done.
Post-Final Demo Version
Mario vs. 7 Shy Guys!

Unused Blur Effect

An unused display capture effect to blur the screen when boosting was found in the code. The final game tries to enable this effect whenever you get a speed boost, but since the blur doesn't get initialized, it gets ignored.

It uses the VRAM used by the ARM7 co-processor in Multiplayer modes, so it's likely that it would have only worked in Single Player Modes. This, and the fact that it can be both disorienting and distracting likely contributed to it getting scrapped.

It can be enabled through an AR code made by Gericom for the EU region of the game.

Enable Blur (Single Player Only) (EU):

121548DC 00000000
121548DE 00000008
2203AE78 00000002
0205612C 00000000
02056130 00000000
02056134 00000000

(discovery: Gericom)

Unused Camera Sequences

To do:
There could be more.

Luigi's Mansion

There is an alternative version of the first camera sequence from Luigi's Mansion: a view from the moon and the front side of the mansion, that was replaced by a view through the door.

DK Pass

The second sequence has an alternative version, which is similar to the original sequence, but it has a different angle and was replaced by a more interesting view.

Early Characters


Unused Used
MKDS Early Daisy.png MKDS Final Daisy.png

An earlier version of Daisy's CPU model, found in the unused KartModelMain.carc archive. Her head and arms are slightly different, matching her current appearance. The crown of the used model has some pink on it, unlike the unused one.

Shy Guy

Unused Used
Mkdsprotoshyguymodel.png MKDS-Final-ShyGuy-CPU.png

KartModelMain.carc also contains an early CPU model for Shy Guy, which is carried over from the Kiosk Demo. It is very simple and lacks 3D arms and feet. It is also green unlike the final model which is red.


Early Delfino Square Remnants

Early Final
MKDS DelfinoSquare CratesEarly.png MKDS DelfinoSquare CratesFinal.png
Early Final
MKDS DelfinoSquare CratesEarly2.png MKDS DelfinoSquare CratesFinal2.png
Early Final
MKDS DelfinoSquare CratesEarly3.png MKDS DelfinoSquare CratesFinal3.png

If you go out of bounds in mission 3-2, where you have to drive though gates in reverse on Delfino Square, you will see that there are crates in different positions with additional crates, different than they are in regular racing. This is a remnant from the Kiosk Demo version. However, the two removed crates before the turn to the goal line were reused in Mario Kart Wii and can also be seen in mission 2-1.

Odd Hidden Skyboxes

For whatever reason, the courses used for the boss battles in mission mode (mr_stage1, mr_stage2 and mr_stage3) have hidden skybox models, that can only be seen in an editor or by using cheat codes to fly out of bounds. They are copies from other skyboxes and doesn't fit the look of these courses at all.

Hidden Bottom Map Graphic


The Paratroopa shaped building in Baby Park cannot normally be seen on the touch screen map because it is too far out of bounds. By using cheats to fly out of bounds, however, it can be seen.

Startup Sound Oversight

To do:
Dump the sound effects and put them in the table.

When the game is starting up, on the Nintendo/ESRB Online notice splash screen, there can be various different outcomes of what sound effects play. The game chooses between 2 short "vroom" sounds or one long one, followed by Mario saying either "Here we go!" or "Yahoo!" based on two values derived from a random number generator, specifically a Linear Congruential Generator. Unfortunately, potentially as an oversight, instead of the results of this RNG being random, it is seeded with the exact same seed every time: 0x12345678. Because of this, the sequence of random numbers generated will always be the same leading to the same results every time, controlling for all other factors (model of DS, use of Action Replay, etc). While the load times for the games can be modified by the milliseconds by something like an action replay or using a different DS model (as there is slight differences in the game's load time between models), and this can cause a different sequence of sound effects to play, if those same actions are repeated it will lead to the same sounds playing each time. A table showing the values that choose which sounds play is shown below.

0-20 21-100
Long "Vroom" "Yahoo"
Two Short "Vroom"s "Here we go!"
(Source: Prof9 (Twitter))

Early Content in Course Previews

To do:
List the other differences.
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.

Some course previews contain stuff that was changed in the final game.


Airship Fortress has the early Bullet Bill designs.


GCN Mushroom Bridge has the FLESH trucks.


GCN Baby Park is missing the yellow vertex color in the sides of the road.

Removed Missions

The file mission.mr is a table containing configurations for missions. However there are 28 entries never used by the game, because they were scrapped. Note that MR stands for Mission Run.

Mission Name Mission Task Driver Course Time Limit Notes
mr01 Drive Through Gates Yoshi GCN Yoshi Circuit 00:25:00 This is a scrapped mission from the Kiosk Demo.
mr05 Collect 50 Coins Luigi SNES Mario Circuit 1 01:00:00 Another scrapped mission from the Kiosk Demo. Interestingly, Luigi uses his Poltergust 4000, although in missions in the final version, the drivers only use their Standard Kart.
mr16 Collect 30 Coins Peach Peach Gardens 00:55:00
mr18 Drive 2 Laps Mario Rainbow Road 01:00:00
mr19 Destroy 5 (moving) Item Boxes Luigi Figure 8 Circuit 01:00:00
mr22 Collect 20 Coins Bowser SNES Koopa Beach 2 01:00:00
mr23 Defeat 10 Goombas Toad Mario Circuit 01:00:00 Seems to be an early version of Mission 7-4
mr24 Boss Battle Donkey Kong MR_stage1 (Big Bully Arena) 05:00:00 Also uses an unused setting, where the camera is slightly zoomed out
mr30 Drive 2 Laps Wario N64 Banshee Boardwalk 01:10:00
mr31 Do 8 Power Slides Peach GBA Peach Circuit 00:40:00
mr32 Collect 15 Coins Donkey Kong Delfino Square 00:15:00
mr36 Defeat 5 crabs Wario Cheep Cheep Beach 00:55:00 Seems to be an early version of Mission 1-4
mr42 Drive Through 10 Gates Luigi GBA Luigi Circuit 01:00:00
mr45 Drive 1 Lap Donkey Kong Figure 8 Circuit 01:30:00
mr46 Drive 3 Laps Mario SNES Mario Circuit 1 01:00:00 Uses an unused setting, where the track is in Mirror Mode
mr52 Collect 1 Coin Luigi MR_stage4 05:00:00 Collect 1 Coin with Luigi, might have been a test for the coin collecting missions.
mr56 Destroy 8 (moving) Item Boxes Bowser N64 Choco Mountain 01:00:00
mr57 Drive Through 10 Gates Donkey Kong Yoshi Falls 00:50:00
mr58 Destroy 15 Item Boxes Toad Bowser's Castle 01:00:00
mr59 Collect 12 Coins Yoshi GCN Mushroom Bridge 01:00:00
mr63 Destroy 10 Item Boxes Wario Wario Stadium 01:10:00
mr65 Do 10 Power Slides Mario Mario Circuit 01:05:00
mr67 Destroy 4 rolling Snowballs Peach DK Pass 01:20:00
mr68 Reach the finish before Luigi Yoshi Luigi's Mansion
mr71 Destroy 20 Crates Yoshi Airship Fortress 01:10:00
mr73 Destroy 10 moving Item Boxes Donkey Kong Tick Tock Clock 01:00:00
mr74 Defeat 15 snowmans Peach N64 Frappe Snowland 01:00:00 The Snowman object has an unused setting where it won't respawn after breaking it.

It seems to have been intended for this mission.

mr87 Destroy 10 Item Boxes Luigi Delfino Square 02:00:00

Road Collision Oddity

The collision ID used for the roads in Waluigi Pinball and Mushroom Bridge is same as used in the USA demo, despite the fact that it produces a metallic sound in the demo and the normal road sound in the final. This is because rather than changing the collision ID in the KCL (collision model) the metal road sound sequence data was overwritten with the normal road sound sequence data.

(Source: Ambiance)

In the SSAR sequence data, in SSAR 0 and 1, sequence numbers 84 and 143 belong to the normal asphalt road, and 98 and 154 are the same but belong to the metal road (Waluigi Pinball).

Unused Object Settings

The Mission Coin object is able to follow a specified path, with its Setting 1 specifying the speed, however no mission uses this feature.

Build Date

There is a file named BUILDDATE in the //data/boot/ folder, which contains the date and time the game was compiled:

Version Build Date
Europe Build: 2005 10/8(Sat) 23:05:54
US Build: 2005 10/8(Sat) 23:09:34
Japan Build: 2005 10/17(Mon) 20:12:19
Japan (Demo) Build: 2005 11/15(Tue) 11:11:10
Korea Build: 2007 2/21(Wed) 19:59:37

Unused Menu Music

There is an unused sequence for a menu in the sound data of the game, called SSEQ_0005. It is one track away from the records screen, so it might have been used there. It has a resemblance to the Wi-Fi menu theme, and the settings theme too.

To hear this sequence on the title screen, use Action Replay code 121DB4A4 000001B0 (US).

Development Text

NitroKart Ghost Data Test 01

Located in the ARM9 binary is text, regarding a Ghost Data test, which suggests the internal project name of the game was "NitroKart".

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Memory Filler

To do:
Check if this is really unused. The staff ghosts also contains this ASCII art for kart symbols

Mario Kart DS seems to pad out certain parts of memory with repeated instances of cute ASCII art which depicts Mario from Super Mario Bros.

   D DD...D...  
    UUU  UUU    
    UUU  UUU    
   DDD    DDD   
   DDD    DDD  
  DDDD    DDDD  

Regional Differences

Main Menu

International Japan Korea
Option labeled "Nintendo WFC" Option labled "Wi-Fi" Option labled "Wi-Fi"

Wi-Fi mode is labeled as "Nintendo WFC" in the International versions and "Wi-Fi" in the Japanese version. The Korean title screen has the copyright year as 2005-2007. This is because Mario Kart DS's Korean release year was 2007 rather than in 2005, like every other version.


The most blatant regional differences involve R.O.B.

International Japan
R.O.B.-in Hood HVC: Happy Volcano Cats

In the International versions, R.O.B. is colored dark grey (the general color of the NES), while in the Japanese version he is white and red (the colors of the Family Computer). Additionally, he is called HVC-012 in the Japanese version.

International Japan
Oh Robbie, Robbie, Legs, Robbie... Always remember to put suntan lotion on your legs. Otherwise they'll turn red.

The ROB-LGS kart was similarly recolored.

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

...As were his icons.

International Japan
What about Shy Guy? He's partially playable. Oh well.

The title screen that appears after you beat the game was also changed. It's worth noting, however, that these changes aren't actually a direct replacement of any files - viewing a Time Trial ghost replay or playing multiplayer with a different version of the game will allow you to see both R.O.B. and HVC-012 at the same time. This is most apparent when viewing/racing a staff ghost using HVC-012 in the International versions of the game.

VS Screen Computer Names

International Japan Korea

The names for the computer players in the Japanese and Korean versions as well as the German locale of the International version are COM then a number, whereas the names in the US and European versions are ORDI then a number for French locale and CPU then a number for other locales.

Pre-Game Note

North America International
MKDS Note (U).png MKDS Copyright Note.png

In the North American version of the game, before showing the title screen, a note will appear saying "ESRB NOTICE: Game Experience May Change During Online Play.", whereas in the other versions (European, Japanese and Korean) the note says, "All rights, including copyright of Game, Scenario, Music and Program, reserved by NINTENDO." The North American text is in bold, whilst the other text isn't. The International copyright screen also has incorrect grammar.

Course Names

Some tracks and karts have different names depending on the region. Retro courses keep their original localised names in each region.

English-Speaking Countries Japan
Figure-8 Circuit Eight-Cross Circuit
Cheep Cheep Beach Pukupuku Beach
Luigi's Mansion Luigi Mansion
Desert Hills Sun Sun Desert
Delfino Square Monte Town
Shroom Ridge Kinoko Ridgeway
DK Pass DK Snow Mountain
Airship Fortress Killer Ship
Peach Gardens Peach Garden
Bowser Castle Koopa Castle
Palm Shore Southern Reef
Tart Top Sweet Tart

Kart Names

English-Speaking Countries Japan
B Dasher B Dash
Poltergust 4000 Ovacuum
Streamliner Steamline
Royale Peerless
Light Tripper Light Step PC
Mushmellow Mush
Standard TD Standard KO
Rambi Rider Jungle Cargo
Brute Brutal
Standard BW Standard KP
Power Flower Flowery
Light Dancer Light Step DS
Banisher Banish
Standard DB Standard KA
Dry Bomber Karon Cannon
Zipper Tripper
(Source: The Mushroom Kingdom)

Unused Menu Archive

There is an unused archive called "KartModelMenu.carc" that was apparently planned to be used to house the models and textures of the karts and drivers on the selection menu.

Unused HUD Palette


In the palette files for the global maps of unused courses (which are copies of an early GCN Yoshi Circuit minimap), There are unused Palette rows used in the E3 2004 prototype.


Palette row 0 is empty, palette row 1 is used by the actual map, while palette rows 2, 3, 4 and 5 are E3 2004 leftovers; palette row 2 contains the palette for the "TIME" and "LAP" labels. Palette rows 3 and 4 have 8 sets of blue and a set of yellow colors used on the rank list. Palette 5 is from when the global map BG was baked into the same file as the global map it's self, this is no longer the case in the Kiosk Demos, or Final game, so this palette goes unused as well.

There being 8 sets of the same shades of blue in palette rows 3 & 4 may suggest that each player was going to have their own color on the rank list.

Unused Grand Prix Intro Graphic

MKDS-race start gp m o-InGame.png

Palette: //data/Scene/Race_gp.carc/race_start_gp_m_o.NCLR

Texture: //data/Scene/Race_gp.carc/race_start_gp_m_o.NCGR

This seems to be a graphic that was used for the course titles' background in the course intro. The NCGR file is empty, but editing it will show a background behind the course's name in the intro.

The graphic uses the first line of the palette file above (shown below).

MKDS-race start gp m o-Palette.png

Trophy Screen Place Marker Oddity

Early results screen where the 1st place marker has "FIRST" written under. This label still exists in the final, but the graphics are blanked out.
Final tileset for the results screen, showing where the labels are supposed to be in.

In the USA and EU (multiplayer) Kiosk Demo versions of the game, the place marker in the trophy screen has labels under them:

  • 1st = FIRST
  • 2nd = SECOND
  • 3rd = THIRD
  • 4th = FOURTH
  • 5th = FIFTH
  • 6th = SIXTH
  • 7th = SEVENTH
  • 8th = EIGHTH

The labels actually still exist in the final version, only its graphics are blanked out. Their OAM data, as well the tiles reserved for them, are intact.

This suggests that the labels were removed late in development.

Hidden Code


If you press Up, Down, L, R, Y, A in the Time Trials records, a 16 character code with information on your ghost will appear. This was used for an official contest held by Nintendo's Japanese website, like in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.

A fan-made decoder is available online.