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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


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
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.

Hmmm...
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

Hmmm...
To do:
Add info and video 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.

nokonoko_course

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. However, it doesn't move.

dokan_course

A course with two pipes, which was scrapped very early in it's 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 is 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.

test_circle

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.

luigi_course

A very early version of Waluigi Pinball. It looks more like a testing track and was probably never going to be finished. It 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 beta). Other than that, the course is completely untouched from the beta.

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

test1_course

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 used in dokan_course. It also has a bunch of loops that aren't used anywhere else.

Originally, this course would crash the game, due to the lack of the Bowser Castle's block in the object folder. The AI also tend to run into one of the first two blocks, meaning that the object was very likely different during devlopment, and had a different filename.

The original model of the course was overwritten by a early version of Rainbow Road, making it very hard 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, and plus, it contains an earlier version of the mission. The differences are the following:

  • Unfinished intro
  • Cars and Wiggler have no sound
  • Different starting place
  • Mario does not have any balloons, which makes it impossible to lose
  • Wiggler doesn't move
  • The route, Wiggler should go, is only for one lap. The final uses 3
  • The car uses an earlier model, which is used in the Mario Kart DS Kiosk Beta
  • Itemboxes are different
  • The trucks does not contain Itemboxes
  • The course uses the boss theme for missions, while the final uses the original course music
  • When driving the course in Grand Prix or Versus, the CPU drivers won't drive


wario_course

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

Hmmm...
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

Daisy

Early Final
MKDS Early Daisy.png MKDS Final Daisy.png

An early version of Daisy's CPU model. Her head and arms were slightly changed, and added some pink to the crown for some reason.

Shy Guy

WHERE ARE YOUR ARMS???

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.

Goomba

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.

Fireball

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 makes proof, that the wario_course is fully untouched from the Beta 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.

Car

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.

Bound

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.

Flipper

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 object behavior, and name of the model were already changed, so the game crashes when trying to load the said course.

Unused Karts

Hmmm...
To do:
MKDS-Wario-unused-kart.png MKDS-Yoshi-unused-kart.png

Two unused karts can be found in the game. The first is a Wario-themed kart with a mouth. The second is a pink Yoshi egg, which could have been intended for Birdo. Both of these karts are found in KartModelMain.carc. The Wario kart is kart_WR_b.nsbmd, and the Yoshi kart can be found as both kart_HH_b.nsbmd and kart_YS_b.nsbmd.

Unused Graphics

Hmmm...
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, 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. However, the texture is inside of the itembox model, but it uses a separate texture, so it goes unused. 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.

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.

Debug Font

dbgfnt.NCLR

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

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, most likely intended to appear on the unused GCN Mario Circuit track.

Prototype Emblems

MKDSbetaemblems.PNG

The prototype 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.

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).

Hidden Graphics

MarioKartDS-BabyParkMap.png

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.

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

Hmmm...
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.

     UUUUU      
     UUUUU      
    UUUUUUUUU   
    UUUUUUUUU   
    DDD..D.     
    DDD..D.     
   D.D...D...   
   D.D...D...   
   D.DD...D...  
   D DD...D...  
   DD....DDDD   
   DD....DDDD   
     .......    
     .......    
    DDUDDD      
    DDUDDD      
   DDDUDDUDDD   
   DDDUDDUDDD   
  DDDDUUUUDDDD  
  DDDDUUUUDDDD  
  ..DU.UU.UD..  
  ..DU.UU.UD..  
  ...UUUUUU...  
  ...UUUUUU...  
  ..UUUUUUUU..  
  ..UUUUUUUU..  
    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.

R.O.B.

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
ROB-BLS HVC-BLS
ROB-LGS HVC-LGS
(Source: The Mushroom Kingdom)