Prerelease:Mario Kart DS
This page details prerelease information and/or media for Mario Kart DS.
Mario Kart DS started development early on in the life span of the Nintendo DS, all while borrowing various assets from its predecessor; Mario Kart Double Dash to be used as placeholders. A lot of models, textures, sounds, ect from Double Dash were put into the data of the game, including some that would never be used such as various sounds, implying that they were imported in a rather quick fashion with little thought as to which ones. A practice commonly done with assets from previous games in a series for later games early on in development.
Mario Kart DS was first revealed to the public during E3 2004, and had a 30 second trailer and some screenshots showing 8 CPUs driving around GCN Yoshi Circuit.
It is the earliest known build of the game, being little more than a tech demo at this stage.
GCN Yoshi Circuit
- The skybox was a 2D background. Later builds would use 3D skyboxes.
- The billboards were different and there were less of them.
- The item boxes were placed differently.
- Some of the fencing was missing, one example can be seen in the screenshot above.
- There were palm trees placed all around the course, reusing a pre-render of the one from Peach Beach.
- The bottom part of the wall texture in the tunnel has a dull pink color (like MKDD) as opposed to orange in the final.
- The blue wall at the beginning was instead a stone wall.
- The camera view is facing up in the demo.
Characters & karts
- The character models at this point were reused CPU models taken from Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.
- The CPUs are shown using an early version of the Standard Kart, which looks a lot like the Toad Kart from Double Dash.
- The HUD in this build features a speedometer based off the one from Double Dash.
- The item roulette was positioned at the top-middle of the top screen.
- The position tracker can be seen on the bottom left of the screen like in the final build.
- The position tracker on the bottom screen is different, with player names colored orange.
- The player character is highlighted with yellow compared to the shade of green used in the final.
More screenshots were shown on October 7 and November 20 of 2004. The kart and driver models were much closer to the final in this build. The HUD position is closer to the final but still had graphical differences. The speedometer is still present, now with a different design.
Mario's B Dasher used the same sort of tires as the standard kart and the karts use early emblems. Also note that Yoshi is using the pink Egg 1.
Luigi's Mansion did not have the Mario Kart banner over the starting line and also had slightly different textures. The lower section was missing the table and had a few item boxes.
The walls in SNES Mario Circuit had a different design with small composite blocks compared to the final which uses a design much more like the SNES original. The sand texture and the pipes were slightly darker than in the final and the background was also less detailed; the mountains use a lower quality texture.
Footage of this build can be seen here (skip to 0:15 for Mario Kart DS):
The item roulette at the top left corner showed the unused Bowser Shell and Fake Item Box icons, while Blue Shell and Boo did not appear. The Fake Item Box did not appear in the next build (GDC 2005). The Mushroom boost also lacked the particle effect, and camera zoom-out.
At GDC 2005, Mario Kart DS was shown again with a demonstration of the multiplayer mode. This build used the Mario Kart 64 title screen music as a placeholder, and used a temporary image for the title screen. Lakitu appears at the start of the race using countdown lights, which doesn't happen in the final;, but its assets still exist in the Kiosk Demo. The voice clips for the characters are mostly reused from Mario Kart: Double Dash!!. Drifting also worked differently; You get orange sparkles as soon as you start drifting and the color doesn't change when pressing left and right to perform a mini turbo. The minimap was zoomed in and there was no fixed close up view of the driver when driving to the goal.
Footage of the demonstration:
Footage that was recorded at the same moment that includes the full race.
Mario Kart DS was shown again at E3 2005 with more details and a longer trailer. This version is very close to the kiosk demo that was in stores before it released; only visible differences are a smaller item roulette in the HUD and Donkey Kong being named Donkey instead of DK . The E3 demo was multiplayer only. This is also closer to the final than the build from 2004.
The E3 2005 trailer:
At 7:15 footage of another early build can be seen at the german Gamescom 2005 event. It appears to be the same build as the European kiosk demo.