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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.

Also, R.O.B is a playable character for some reason.

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.


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.

Unused Tracks

To do:
  • Add info for the restored test1_course model.
  • It would be better to remake most of these videos, as almost none of them accurately represent the courses correctly. A few of the textures on some of these courses can also be restored with using AR codes, and a comparison with and without the textures in a single video would also likely be the better choice for most of these.

There are a total of ten unused tracks in the game. The textures for them don't load in the final game, because of the way the game loads textures changed between builds. In the unused courses they are located in their model file while the textures of the used tracks are in a separate archive. These tracks can be loaded by using an Action Replay code to load texture data from a track that is used, although there may not be any textures shared between the two tracks, so it will appear as if they are fully untextured. All tracks from the Kiosk Demo Version have the textures in their model files.

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 are poor in quality and the vertex coloring on the castle isn't finished, plus not all details and features are there from the original, such as the door on the castle, or the stained glass window with Peach on it. Most surfaces that aren't a wall tend to use the collision type for normal road, and it's easy to go out of bounds, since the collision data is unfinished. There aren't really any objects either, aside from 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 are 10 respawn points on the course, but they weren't finished, so the game crashes if you go out of bounds. 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, since the collision type is listed as "sound trigger" in the final.

The water still exists in the final, and Kiosk Demo version, however since the position of the water object is hardcoded, the Y axis of the course model is too high for the water to ever be able to reach the surface of the course.


A course with two pipes, which was scrapped very early in its proof of concept state. The green checkered plane does have collision data, but it's set to a "Fall" value, and doesn't align with the model. It's likely that the course was also used to test falling off of certain tracks.

There are 6 respawn points on the course, but like nokonoko_course, they haven't been 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 different modes in the game, results, lap functionality, ect, since it can be completed very quickly.

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 some features of the original, 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. It seems to be said course in it's a proof-of-concept stages.

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 course. The flippers themselves look different and have less details, and cause the course to crash in the final game, due to lacking the animation data the final flippers use for their electrical effect. Plus the course has a single respawn point, which like most other unused courses is unfinished, so it'll crash if you manage to fall off.

In the Kiosk Demo version, the bound uses a very early model, while the final uses the bound model found in the files of donkey_course (pinball_course in the kiosk demo).

The placements of the pin object are also still present in the .nkm file, although it doesn't load, since it's functions have 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 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 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 placements still exist in the .nkm file, but it doesn't load since it's functions have been removed from the final. The bounds and flippers also still use the Kiosk Demo version of their models as well, but again the flipper model causes the final game to crash, due to it lacking the animation data for the electrical effect of the final model.

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 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.

Removed Missions

The file 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).

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
WFC: Whales Feeding Chickens WIFI! MKDS Korean Titlescreen.png

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 are COM then a number, whereas the names in the US and European versions are CPU then a number.

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. Both sentences are also incorrectly capitalised.

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

Please elaborate.
Having more detail is always a good thing.
To do:
Investigate and see if this last part is true.

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. There doesn't appear to be anything special in it, as it seems to be a duplicate of the used archive.

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

/Scene/Race_gp.carc/race_start_gp_m_o.NCLR (palette) /Scene/Race_gp.carc/race_start_gp_m_o.NCGR (texture)

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.


Hidden Code

To do:
Research the potential contest

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. It might have been for a contest, like in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.

A decoder is available online at