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Prerelease:Mario Kart Wii/GDC 2008

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This is a sub-page of Prerelease:Mario Kart Wii.

Cacti speak Japanese.
...But what does it mean?
This game has text or audio that needs to be translated. If you are fluent with this language, please read our translation guidelines and then submit a translation!

The game later debuted at GDC 2008[1], held during the penultimate week of February 2008. While the game was not present in playable form, several screenshots and a few trailers were released during this time, showing a build of the game that was much closer to the finished build.


Trailer 1

  • At 0:38 the bullet has a different smoke effect, looks more like the one from Mario Kart DS.
  • Originally, the item icons didn't blink when using the item.

Trailer 2

Trailer 3[2]

  • The trick sound effect is now present, but it sounds different to the final one.
  • Some of Yoshi's animations are missing.
  • In 2-player multiplayer, the camera was a bit closer to both characters.
  • In multiplayer, the item boxes used to transition through its colors differently. For example, the whole box could originally get colored in a single solid color, such as yellow or pink.
  • At 0:32, when Waluigi performs a slipstream while doing a wheelie, the slipstream effect moved upwards with the nose of the bike. In the final version, the effect always stays in the same spot, no matter if doing a wheelie or not.

Trailer 4

Although this trailer originates from the Nintendo Media Summit 2008[3] (April 2008), some footage seems to originate from the builds shown at GDC 2008.


GCN Waluigi Stadium

MKWii GDC 2008 GCN Waluigi Stadium 1.jpg MKWii GDC 2008 GCN Waluigi Stadium 2.jpg

The area with the half pipes and the Piranha Plants originally had sets of 2 item boxes instead of 3.

HUD and Screen Layouts

Single Player 2 Player Multiplayer (Teams)
MKWii Prerelease GDC 2008 1 Player HUD 1.jpg
MKWii Prerelease GDC 2008 2 Players HUD.jpg
4 Player Multiplayer 4 Player Multiplayer (Teams)

All footage from this period of time had a slightly different LAP and TIME graphics. They were smaller and a bit more stretched. They were also a bit darker as well.

The position tracker in 4 player splitscreen didn't change colors to match the player (however, the screenshot also shows that the timer and lap count, as well as the item roulette did change color). It also shows that the black bars that divided the screen into 4 used to be layered on top of the minimap, where in the final game the minimap was layered on top of the black bars.

The character icons next to their names (as seen with Luigi in the screenshot above) is a lot bigger, and the lines pointing out other human players aren't color coded, and they remained white for everyone in Team Mode (rather than becoming red/blue to indicate that players team). In fact, these lines use a slightly different, with the end of it being opaque instead of semi-transparent. This texture is actually present (but unused) in the final game files.

The red halos that appear around Mario's triple red shells in the Multiplayer Team VS Race appear more pink than in the final game. The frame of the square graphic that holds the item used to have a slightly different shade of blue for the Blue Team. In Solo multiplayer matches, this frame graphic had a slightly different shade of pink for the 3rd player as well.

Mii Minimap Icon


The Mii's icon on the minimap shows that originally it had way darker shading, much like on the license screen (see below).

VS Race Introduction Text

MKWii Prerelease VS Race Text.jpg

Originally, the English text seen on top of the screen in the course introduction said "VS Race", instead of "VS" only. In the European version, it does say "VS Race", but the number of races left is written as " - CURRENT RACE of TOTAL RACES", instead of "CURRENT RACE/TOTAL RACES" like in the image above.

License Screen

To do:
  • /Scene/UI/Title.szs contains a file called national_flag.brlyt inside the folders ./button/brlyt, which could potentially be related to these country flags. In the same file, in the subdirectory ./button/ctrl, there are three files named LicenseSelect.brctr, LicenseSelectT.brctr and LicenseSelectB.brctr that reference the national_flag.brlyt file. Could it be restored in-game?
  • Write the rest of the differences.
  • replace the german final game screenshot with a Japanese one
Prerelease Final
MKWii Prerelease license screen.jpg MKWii Final License Screen Comparison.png
  • Licenses used to display your country flag on them. The file Title.szs in /Scene/UI (which stores graphical data for the Title and Main Menu screens) in the final releases of the game still contains all the country flags images that appear in the game (except for the Korean version, which only has the Japanese flag leftover), which is a leftover from this build.
  • In the final game, the Mushroom Cup icon was updated to use Mario Kart Wii's icon as opposed to Mario Kart: Double Dash's, although the final game still uses Double Dash's star icon on the license screen.
  • The lighting on the Mii's head was noticeably darker.

Online Main Menu

Prerelease Final
MKWii Prerelease Online Main Menu.jpg MKWii Final Online Main Menu.png
  • The number 1 text seen on the upper left part of the screen was originally wider, causing the spacing of the text to be a bit wider as well.

Searching for Players Online

Prerelease Final
MKWii Prerelease Searching Online.jpg MKWii Final Searching Online.png
  • Just like in the Mario Kart Channel screen (see above), the shading of the Mii is more yellowish. The Mii was also positioned slightly higher.
  • The text saying what mode it is is absent. The "Back" button originally did not appear either.
Prerelease Final
MKWiiPre7.png MKWiiFinalOnline.png
  • The globe isn't as zoomed in
  • The row of Mii heads in bubbles isn't as high

Friends Main Screen

Prerelease Final
MKWii Prerelease Friends Screen.jpg MKWii Final Friends Screen.png
  • Originally, the Mii didn't have the blue rings on their feet.
  • Both the Mii name and friend code texts were both smaller in size. The Mii name was also positioned more to the left.
Prerelease (Japanese) Final (Japanese)
フレンドγƒͺγ‚Ήγƒˆγ‹γ‚‰ γ€Œγ”γ†γ‚Šγ‚…γ†γ€ します フレンドγƒͺγ‚Ήγƒˆγ‹γ‚‰ γ”γ†γ‚Šγ‚…γ†γ—γΎγ™
  • Two brackets were removed in the final verssion.

Friends List Screen


  • The friend online icon looked a bit different
  • In addition, the Miis' heads are more zoomed in.

Mario Kart Channel Main Menu

Prerelease Final
MKWii Prerelease MK Channel.jpg MKWii Final MK Channel.png
  • The Mii icon was originally smaller, and it looked more yellowish.
  • The "GO" graphic was placed a bit more to the right.
  • The laurel wreath seen in the "Competitions/Tournaments" icon had a bit different shading.
  • The curved header graphic was slightly more positioned to the left.
  • The squared tiles seen at the upper right part of the screen were originally positioned a bit more upwards.
  • The squared tiles seen at the bottom right part of the screen were originally opaque in this screen. While they're transparent in the final game, a few screens still show them opaque. Besides, many other screens originally had this graphic opaque as well, as seen in many of the prerelease pictures in this article.
  • The space seen in the bottom text that appears when highlighting the "Friends" was narrower.
  • The shadowing of the buttons was slightly brighter (this is more noticeable when looking at Australia in the globe.)

Rankings Screen

Prerelease (Japanese) Prerelease (English)
MKWii Prerelease Rankings English.jpg
Final (Japanese)
MKWii Final Rankings.png
  • The square that appears when highlighting the player's personal record doesn't show the class.
  • The time at the bottom of the screen only went up to 2:00. In the final game, it goes up to 2:20.
  • The Mii icons had a thicker outline, and the drop shadow was originally darker.
  • The light used to hit the Miis from the left, instead of from the right.
  • The head of the Miis seem to be positioned slightly lower in their bodies than in the final version (see the Miis highlighted in yellow/blue)
  • The "Back" (in the Japanese version only), course and record type buttons, as well as the arrow graphics were originally positioned more towards the left.
  • The GameCube's A and B buttons also use an older version of their icons, both being darker than in the final version.
Prerelease (Japanese) Final (Japanese)
すぐに γ‚Ώγ‚€γƒ γ‚’γ‚Ώγƒƒγ‚―γ‚’γ―γ˜γ‚γΎγ™ タむムをタックを γ―γ˜γ‚γΎγ™
  • The bottom text that appears when highlighting the player's personal record was different.

Top 10 Rankings

MKWii Prerelease wii wheel icon.jpg

The player in 10th place seems to have an early icon for the Wii Wheel next to his name, which can still be found inside the final game's data.

Time Trial Card

Prerelease Final
MKWiiPre6.png MKWii Final Time Trail Card.png
  • The vehicle slot features the Mach Bike icon that can be seen on the Mario Kart Channel's channel preview, which suggests that all the icons seen there originally were meant to appear in the Time Trial Card.
  • The Mii's head is more zoomed in. It also has a more yellowish shading.
  • The name box and the flag box were switched.
  • The name text slightly bigger as well, and the time fo numbers look taller. The spacing in the course name text was also a bit wider.
Prerelease (Japanese) Final (Japanese)
チャンピγ‚ͺγƒ³γ‚΄γƒΌγ‚Ήγƒˆ せかいチャンプ
  • The "World Champion" text that appears in the upper left part of the screen was different.


DK Summit Gates Competition

Prerelease Final
500pxβ€Ž MKWii Final DK Summit Competition.png

This screenshot shows an early version of the DK Summit Gates competition:

  • The final version has the player starting at the top of the mountain, while this version had you starting at the bottom (and driving backwards).
  • The gate positions are also different.
  • Regarding the minimap, the pink circles that symbolize the gates are smaller. The starting line graphic is present in the early footage, but missing in the final version.
  • The timer seems to be counting down instead of up like it does in the final game, which is a behaviour seen in the unused Mission Mode.
  • The "SCORE" HUD element is missing.
  • The Standard Bike L has a simpler shadow design.

SNES Mario Circuit 3 Coins Competition

Prerelease Final
MKWii Prerelease mario circuit competition.jpg MKWii Final SNES MarioCircuit3 Competition.png

This is an early version of the SNES Mario Circuit 3 coins competition:

  • There were many more coins in the early version, and most of them were in different positions compared to the final version.
  • The timer also seems to be counting down instead of up, like in the early DK Summit Gates competition. This would suggest that both these images are from the early Mission Mode, rather than the online competitions/tournaments, which would also suggest that the aforementioned mode was cut very late in development.
  • The "SCORE" HUD element is also missing.
  • The starting line graphic is present in the early footage, but missing in the final version.
  • The Mini Beast has a slightly simpler shadow design.

Sources and references