Mario Kart DS
|Mario Kart DS|
This game has a notes page
This game has a prototype article
This game has a bugs page
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.
- 1 Subpages
- 2 Unused Tracks
- 3 Unused Camera Sequences
- 4 Early Characters
- 5 Oddities
- 6 Removed Missions
- 7 Road Collision Oddity
- 8 Build Date
- 9 Unused Menu Music
- 10 Development Text
- 11 Memory Filler
- 12 Regional Differences
- 13 Unused Menu Archive
- 14 Unused HUD Palette
- 15 Unused Grand Prix Intro Graphic
- 16 Hidden Code
| Early Karts|
Some earlier versions of familiar karts along with some completely new ones.
| Early Objects|
Early versions of a lot of junk on the road that didn't quite make the final cut.
| Unused Graphics|
An artist's work is never done.
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)
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
There are more.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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).
There is a file named BUILDDATE in the //data/boot/ folder, which contains the date and time the game was compiled:
|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).
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".
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
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.
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.
The ROB-LGS kart was similarly recolored.
...As were his icons.
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
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.
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.
Some tracks and karts have different names depending on the region. Retro courses keep their original localised names in each region.
|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|
|B Dasher||B Dash|
|Light Tripper||Light Step PC|
|Standard TD||Standard KO|
|Rambi Rider||Jungle Cargo|
|Standard BW||Standard KP|
|Light Dancer||Light Step DS|
|Standard DB||Standard KA|
|Dry Bomber||Karon Cannon|
Unused Menu Archive
Having more detail is always a good thing.
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.
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 https://simonti.me/mkds.html.