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Prerelease:Mario Kart 64

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This page details prerelease information and/or media for Mario Kart 64.

This cactus is UNDER CONSTRUCTION
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.
Notes: Still need to add more content.
Hmmm...
To do:
Add pics/vids

Shoshinkai November 1995

The only known prototype build of Mario Kart 64 was shown at the Shoshinkai Software Exhibition on November 24, 1995, under the working title of Super Mario Kart R (the "R" standing for "Rendered"). While the game looked complete for the most part, there was still lots of content that didn't make it into the final game.

Prerelease Final
Super Mario Kart R Title Screen.png Mario Kart 64.png
(Source: Super Mario Wiki)

Magikoopa

A Magikoopa, presumably Kamek from Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, was originally planned to be playable before being replaced by Donkey Kong. It wouldn't be until 25 years kater in Mario Kart Tour, where Kamek would finally make his racing debut.

MK64MagikoopaPrerelease.jpgMK64KamekIconPrerelease.jpg

MK64-Prerelease-Character-Select.jpg
(Source: The N64 Information Page)

Koopa Air Billboards

The Koopa Air billboards were originally Good Ear, but Nintendo changed them before release to avoid legal trouble with Good Year.

Prerelease Final (Japanese version) Final (International version)
GoodEarMK64Prerelease.png MK64KoopaAir.png MK64KoopaAirINT.png

Banshee Boardwalk

The 'Welcome' sign was moved further along the track, closer to the castle.

Pre-release Final
MK64BansheeBoardwalkPrerelease.png MK64BansheeBoardwalk.png


Beams with lanterns were added at various points along the boardwalk.

Pre-release Final
MK64BansheeBoardwalk2Prerelease.png MK64BansheeBoardwalk2.png

Title Screen music

The title screen music was very different than in the final version, but this was probably a placeholder, the music being used in a Silicon Graphics tech demo.[1][2]

Shoshinkai 1995 Final

Pre-release Differences

It was not uncommon for screenshots from different builds to be used in a single publication, so figuring out which build a given image is from can prove difficult, if not impossible. The images in this section may be from any build prior to the final release.

Item Boxes

At one point during development, the Item Boxes were opaque black cubes with colored question marks on them instead of the more transparent, rainbow-colored box seen in the final release.

Cape Feather

The Cape Feather item from Super Mario Kart was originally going to reappear, only to be scrapped in the final (it would eventually return in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe as a battle mode-exclusive item). However, the code is partially still within the game, and a cape feather sprite was found in the July 25, 2020 leaks.


(Source: Unseen64)

Title Screen

Pre-release Final
MK64TitleScreenPrerelease.jpg Mario Kart 64.png

The logo says "®" instead of "TM".

Luigi Raceway

Pre-release Final
MK64LuigiRaceway1Prerelease.jpg MK64LuigiRaceway1.png
Pre-release Final
MK64LuigiRaceway2Prerelease.jpg MK64LuigiRaceway2.png
Pre-release Final
MK64LuigiRaceway3Prerelease.jpg MK64LuigiRaceway3.png

There are a number of differences that can be seen here. The "64" sign was moved from the beginning of the last turn to behind the start line, a wall was added to the right side of the track, the Luigi sign was added, the "Koopa Air" sign was added to the barrier, and the item boxes were removed.

Moo Moo Farm

Pre-release Final
MK64MohMoh1Prerelease.jpg MK64MohMoh1.png

The "Moo Moo Farm" gate was added, and the skybox appears to have been changed from an evening sky to a midday sky.

Kalimari Desert

Pre-release Final
MK64KalamariCrossingPrerelease.jpg MK64KalamariCrossing.png

The railway crossing signs have been added.

Pre-release Final
MK64KalamariTrainPrerelease.jpg MK64KalamariTrain.png

Smoke emission from the train was added.

Early Themed Bombs

MK64WinterBomb.jpg MK64-Prerelease RainbowBomb.png

  • Originally, the bomb hazards would be themed, according to the level. In Frappe Snowland for example, a winter-themed bomb was present. The multiplayer HUD is also different, as players 2 and 4 share the same layout used by players 1 and 3. In the final version, the layout was mirrored.
  • The bomb hazard in Mario Raceway has colored stripes.
(Source: Nintendo & Nintendo Magazine System (UK) 51 December 1996)

Bowser's Castle

MK64 prerelease Bowser's Castle.png

The second room in Bowser's Castle was going to have four Thwomps in front of the archway at some stage in the game. In the final game, the amount varies between one and three depending on difficulty.

(Source: CoroCoro Comics)

Battle Mode

Pre-release Final
MK64BattleModePrerelease.jpg MK64BattleMode.png

At one point, the text 「バトルモード」 ('Battle Mode') was displayed on the middle of the screen during a match. Additionally, the item icons were positioned at the top of the players' screens rather than the bottom.

Early Fake Item Box

Scan-Magazine-1461-17.jpg

The Fake Item Boxes had bombs instead of upside-down ?s inside, and the Mini-Bomb Kart had colored stripes. The early Fake Item Box can also be seen in the Wario Stadium screenshot, and the feather is seen in a Mario Raceway screenshot.

(Source: Computer and Video Games 181 (December 1996))

Track Order

The track order was originally different at one point.[3]

Proto Final
Mushroom Cup
Luigi's Raceway Luigi's Raceway
Moo Moo Farm Moo Moo Farm
Koopa Troopa Beach Koopa Troopa Beach
Kalimari Desert Kalimari Desert
Flower Cup
Banshee Boardwalk Toad's Turnpike
Frappe Snowland Frappe Snowland
Choco Mountain Choco Mountain
Mario Raceway Mario's Raceway
Star Cup
Bowser's Castle Wario Stadium
Sherbet Land Sherbet Land
Wario Stadium Royal Raceway
Royal Raceway Bowser's Castle
Special Cup
DK Jungle Parkway DK Jungle Parkway
Yoshi Valley Yoshi Valley
Rainbow Road Banshee Boardwalk
Toad's Turnpike Rainbow Road