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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.
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.

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

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.

To do:
  • Two unused Archives with early Karts and Characters here and here.
  • A number of unused and early objects.
  • More unused graphics.

Unused Tracks

To do:
Add info for the restored test1_course model.

There are a total of ten unused tracks in the game. Most of them have missing textures because they are located in their model file while the used tracks' are in a separate file. All tracks from the Kiosk Demo Version have the textures in their model files.

As the unused courses did not have have separated textures from their course models (except for mr_stage4), this is reason for the lack of them. However, they can be brought back with some hex editing or ROM hacking.

old_mario_gc (GCN Mario Circuit)

A remake of the Mario Kart: Double Dash!! course that didn't make the final cut, although it was later featured in Mario Kart Wii.

For the most part, this track is unfinished. Some of the textures have poor quality and the vertex coloring on the castle isn't finished. The grass can be driven over like on a normal road, and it's easy to go out of bounds, since the collision (KCL) is unfinished. There isn't really any objects here, except for three item boxes right after the starting line.


An unused beach-looking track. Judging by the filename ("Nokonoko" being the Japanese name for "Koopa Troopa"), it's possible it was going to be a Koopa Beach type of track.

There is also a Goomba on the course. It appears to be glitched, and missing a frame of its animation, due to the Kiosk Demo version of the Goomba object being used.

There is a total of 10 respawns on the course, but they haven't been finished, so the game crashes if you drive off into what should be the water. Driving onto the grass where the 3 trees are located after the first ramp either crashes the game, or you just fall through the ground, due to the collision type being listed as "Fall" in the final.

The water still exists from the Kiosk Demo version. While it does move, it never comes up from under the ground.


A course with two pipes, which was scrapped very early in its proof of concept style. The only other track where these pipes are used is test1_course. The ground does have collision data, but it's set to a "Fall" value. It's likely that the course was also used to test falling off of certain tracks.

There are 6 respawn points on this course, but they aren't completely finished, so the game crashes when you or anyone else falls off the track.


A very small circular test track, with only one item box, and can be completed in a single lap. It's possible that this was used to test the game's modes, results or lap functionality, since it's very fast to complete.

mini_block_course (GCN Block City)

A remake of the Block City battle course from Double Dash!! that was never finished. Only the main model is present, while objects, such as the blocks are missing. This course may have been used to test both Balloon Battle and Shine Runners battle modes. It also contains an updated, but still unused Shine Sprite model.

The Big Bully boss mission file from the Kiosk Demo version is still present in the course data, although unused.


A very early version of Waluigi Pinball. This was probably a proof-of-concept for a pinball-themed course. The name indicates that the original idea might have been a pinball track for Luigi instead for Waluigi, possibly based on Luigi's casino minigames in Super Mario 64 DS.

The course has no item boxes and the cannon is only a slope with boost pads. Near the end, where all the bounds and flippers are located, there's a passage where the player can go underneath the pinball machine. The flippers themselves look different and have less details.

Strangely, in the Kiosk Demo version, the bound uses a very early model, while the final uses the model from the donkey_course's bound (pinball_course in the kiosk demo). Other than that, the course is completely untouched from the demo.

The pin objects are also still present in the .nkm file, although the object behavior has been removed from the final version.


A course that was used to test objects and collision. The objects that are used here are the bridge from Defino Square, one of the gears from Tick Tock Clock, and the blocks from Bowser Castle. The course also contains a lot of speed boosts, ramps, and the pipes that were only used in dokan_course. It also has a bunch of loops that aren't used anywhere else.

Originally, this course would crash the game, because it contains the early version of Bowser Castle's block object with the filename test_brock.nsbmd. By adding the final model to the object folder, the course will load. It will also work if you rename the said object to koopa_block.nsbmd, although it is a lot smaller than the final version's block, meaning that the object's collision won't match with this model.

The original course model was overwritten by an early version of Rainbow Road, making it very difficult to navigate, unless you follow one of the AI to complete the race.

donkey_course (early Waluigi Pinball)

The earlier version of Waluigi Pinball from the Kiosk Demo, with a very different layout. It also doesn't contain any pinballs.

The original donkey_course was likely replaced with this course due to the collision type of the grass being changed to a "Fall" value for the final version, meaning the game would either crash when touching the grass, or you would just fall through it. The objects to the original said course, however, still remain in the object folder.

The object behavior for the slots has also been changed. In the final version of Waluigi Pinball, the object file was made larger and flipped vertically, but the earlier version of the course still uses the Kiosk Demo model, which is why it appears to have been flipped horizontally. The collision data for them was also removed.

Like luigi_course, the pin object behavior was removed from the final version, but they still exist in the .nkm file. The bounds and flippers also still use the Kiosk Demo version of their models as well.

mr_stage4 (earlier Wiggler race)

A duplicate of GCN Mushroom Bridge. It was meant to be used for mission 7-Boss with Wiggler, but the game uses the normal course, so mr_stage4 goes unused. Plus, it contains an earlier version of the mission. The differences are the following:

  • Unfinished intro
  • Cars and Wiggler have no sound
  • Different starting position
  • Mario does not have any balloons, which makes it impossible to lose
  • Wiggler doesn't move
  • The route where Wiggler should go, is only for one lap. The final uses 3 laps.
  • The car uses an earlier model, which is from the Kiosk Demo version
  • Item boxes are different
  • The trucks do not contain item boxes
  • The course uses the boss theme, while the final uses the original course's music
  • When playing the course in Grand Prix or Versus, the AI will drive for only a few seconds


A duplicate of Wario Stadium, but it has slightly different road textures, lacks fireballs, and there's only three item boxes near the start.

It's possible that the course could have been different during development, and was replaced later on, since the course model's internal name is "stadium_course", and the sky model's is "stadium_course_V".

Unused Camera Sequences

To do:
There are 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 alternative version of Daisy's CPU model, found in the unused KartModelMain.carc archive. Her head and arms are slightly different. The crown of the used model has some pink on it for some reason, unlike the unused one.

Shy Guy


Shy Guy also has an early CPU model. There is also a copy of Yoshi's model in the same folder, most likely used as a placeholder.

The same model can also be found in the early Kiosk Demo Version.

Early Objects

Earlier models of objects can be found in the game. However, almost all of them are leftovers from the Kiosk Demo version.


Early Final
MKDS Early Gumba.gif MKDS Final Gumba.gif

The earlier version of the Goomba enemy, found in nokonoko_course, old_mario_gc, and donkey_course's files. It has a black outline and uses 8 frames, while the final version only has 4, and mirrors them to save space. It also has less quality.


Early Final
MKDSBeta Earliest Fireball.png MKDS Final Fireball.png

An early fireball sprite, found in wario_course's files. It can also be found in the Kiosk Demo version, which is proof that wario_course is fully untouched from the Demo version.

Shine Sprite

Early Final
MKDS Early Shine.gif MKDS Final Shine.gif

A Shine Sprite with a different palette can be found in mini_block_course's files.


Early Final
MKDS Car early.png MKDS Car Final.png

An early model of the car, which is a leftover from the Kiosk Demo version. It appears in the unused MR_stage4 course.


Early Final
MKDS Bound Early.png MKDS Bound Final.png

The earlier bound model, used in luigi_course and donkey_course, has a sligthly different texture. The final version has two different textures and a longer bar to represent a mirror effect on the track.

In the Kiosk Demo version, luigi_course uses another early model of the Bound. For some reason, it was replaced with donkey_course's bound model.


Early Final
MKDS Flipper Early.png MKDS Flipper Final.png

Found in luigi_course, and donkey_course's files. The flipper had a completely different design. It was blue and had a red dot on the axis. It also didn't have any lightning.

test_brock (Test Block)

MKDSBeta TestBlock.png

The early version of the moving blocks from Bowser Castle, which is still present in only test1_course's files. The filename for this object was already changed, so the game crashes when trying to load the said course. It can be fixed if you rename the model to koopa_block.nsbmd, although it does not match up with the final version of this object's collision data.

Unused Karts

To do:
Proto Final
MKDS-Early-Tyrant.PNG MKDS-Final-Tyrant.png
Proto Final
MKDS-Early-LightTripper.PNG MKDS-Final-LightTripper.png
Proto Final
MKDS-Early-4WheelCradle.PNG MKDS-Final-4WheelCradle.png
Proto Final
MKDS-Yoshi-unused-kart.png MKDS-Final-EggOne.png
Proto Final
MKDS-Wario-unused-kart.png MKDS-Final-Brute.png

There are two unused archives named KartModelMenu.carc and KartModelMain.carc, which are early duplicates of other archives. They contain amongst other things, early karts. The pink Yoshi egg can also be seen in early screenshots.

Unused Graphics

To do:
There are more.

Early Emblem Editor

MKDS Early EmblemEditor.pngMKDS Early EmblemEditor BG.pngMKDS Early EmblemEditor graphics.png

Graphics from an early emblem editor can be found in an archive named "Edit.carc". The structure is similar to the editor from the Kiosk Demo; only 3 templates can be found: a ball, a star and a heart. The eraser is also absent, instead, there is a mysterious icon with a blue square. There was also only a long "START" bar at the bottom of the screen, instead of a "START" and a "SELECT" bar.

Kiosk Demo Early Final
MarioKartDSKiosk EmblemEditor.png MKDS Early EmblemEditor withBG.png MKDS Final EmblemEditor.png

It is also not possible to get this working in the game, because this archive is missing some files, that the final uses. When adding the missing files from the used archive, the screen will look corrupted, so it may worked on an earlier version of the game (but a later version than the Kiosk Demo version).

This screen shows a mockup of the editor, how it might have looked:

MKDS Early EmblemEditor Mockup.png

Early Question Mark

MKDS unused ? sign.png
An early version of the question mark for the itembox, found inside an early model of the itembox. It can be seen in early screenshots.

Early Team Emblems

MKDS EarlyEmblem Blue.pngMKDS EarlyEmblem Red.png
Two early versions of the red and blue team emblem from the Battle Mode.

Shy Guy character icon

MKDS-Shy Guy Icon.png
A character selection icon for Shy Guy exists in the game, but Shy Guy is exclusive to DS Download play. Which means that Shy Guy was going to be playable in single player at first.

MKDS-Shy Guy Colors.png

However, you can see this icon by using Action Replay code 023CDD40 0000000C to force Player 1 to be Shy Guy and getting a Grand Prix or Time Trial record.

No icon for the "Standard SG" kart exists, however.

Press The A Button

MKDS PressTheAButton.png

This can be found in titlescreen's graphics and was also used in the Kiosk Demo version. It got even translated into the other languages, so this was probably scrapped late in development. The italian one does not have a shadow unlike the others for some reason.

Debug Font


Most likely used for debugging purposes and such while the game was still in development.

Cup Icon Placeholder

MKDS CupIcon-Placeholder.png

Found in results' graphics. A simple placeholder for the cup icons.

Friend's Emblem Placeholder

MKDS FriendEmblem-Placeholder.png

Another placeholder, used for the emblems on the friend's records screen.

Results Player Icon Placeholder

MKDS ResultsPlayerIcon-Placeholder.png

And another placeholder, used for the player icons for the battle results screen. It has two sizes and multiple pallets.

Multiplayer Select Game

MKDS-Select game.png

There is an unused graphic of the multiplayer select game screen, with only 2 cells, called select_game_m_single

GCN Mario Circuit Tree

MKDS UnusedTree.png

An unused tree, found in the files from the unused GCN Mario Circuit track.

Prototype Emblems


The karts' texture files contain some early designs for emblems. Most of them are numbers. They were shown in some early screenshots of the game. It's unknown if these emblems are just placeholders or if they were going to be in the final version.


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 an early 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 skyboxes, 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 to 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.

Removed Missions

The file is a table containing configurations for missions. However there are 28 entries never used by the game, probably because they were removed and/or 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 01:00:00 Also a scrapped mission from the Kiosk Demo. Interestingly, Luigi uses his Poltergust 4000, althrough in all other missions, 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 option, where the view 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 option, where the track is in Mirror Mode
mr52 Collect 1 Coin Luigi MR_stage4 05:00:00 Whatever Luigi is supposed to do with one coin on the unused mr_stage4 track is unknown.

It was possibly a test, or the track was different once.

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 Snowmans have an unused option, where they don't respawn after defeating it.

It was most likely intended for this mission.

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

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 song for a main menu stored in the game, called SSEQ_0005. It is one track away from the records screen, so it was probably intended there. It has a resemblance to the Wi-Fi menu theme, and emblem creator theme too.

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

Development Text

NitroKart Ghost Data Test 01

Located in the ARM9 binary is this text, regarding a Ghost Data test, which suggests the game's internal project name 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
WFC: Whales Feeding Chickens WIFI!

Wi-Fi mode is labeled as "Nintendo WFC" in the International versions and "Wi-Fi" in the Japanese 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.

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)