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Proto:Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

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This page details one or more prototype versions of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

To do:
  • A Nintendo NX bootup screen that isn't seen during gameplay.
  • Coverage of other debug menu pages with pictures and explanation.
  • Document double item box differences. (Example: Obtaining 2 Coins from a Double Item Box)
  • A whole lot of blurry screenshots uploaded as Jpgs that need to be replaced with clean Pngs.
  • Find/discover more debugging content.
  • Find/discover more differences from final game.
  • Correct some grammar mistakes.

On November 20, 2022, a prototype build of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe that was apparently recovered from a Switch ODIN-eMMC was anonymously leaked online through a (now taken down) archive.org link. Built on October 18th, 2016, with a timestamp of 09:37:23, this prototype is from 6 months before the retail game's release, and only 2 days before the Switch itself was revealed to the public. On top of that, debugging features are enabled by default. Comparing the debug folders, function names, and some script files of this prototype to the debug folders of the Kiosk Demo of Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U, it is likely that some of the debug features came from the original Mario Kart 8, but with more features added. Evidence of this includes function names and script files containing debug content with mentions of the Wii Remote, DRC, functions that aren't accessible or are stubbed, some function names for some features of this build in the Wii U Kiosk Demo map, a debug text display feature that was shown in the Mario Kart 8 Direct, and more.


A whole lot of them.
MK8D Proto DebugMenuRoot.png
Debugging Material
Lots of debugging content.
MK8DProto Patches.png
Some patches to fix problems and enable debug features that aren't acessible.

Test Tracks

Two test tracks are referenced in the code and one can be found in the game's files. The one found in the files is incomplete and only contains a lightning environment file and the ones referenced in the code are not present in the files.

By adding the track files to the game and writing custom code for the game to load the track filename strings in the Debug Menu and make the empty test track list entry selectable, test tracks can be loaded. They will load in Course ID 0x1 (Test) where minimap is disabled and music played is Mario Circuit, differently from Mario Kart 8 Wii U where no music plays. They aren't restricted by rule therefore they can be played in Race and Battle.


test_WiFiTest1 is a track found in the Kiosk Demo version of Mario Kart 8 Wii U. While the file for this track doesn't exist in this Prototype, this course is loaded online if the select course is Course ID 0x1 (Test). Here's a video of this track being loaded online (LAN) in this Prototype by adding the files of the track back to the game and patching the game's code so the track loads online even if the select course is not Test course.


test_Customizer is a track that would possibly be loaded in the Customizer scene of the Debug Menu. A string for this course is present in the code that loads the Customizer scene but the course the scene loads is the current loaded course, for example, in menus, the course loaded is Gu_Menu, loading Customizer while in menus will load the scene in Gu_Menu, the course menus are loaded in, in game, it is a black void with no models or visuals.

The files for test_Customizer aren't present in the game but a skybox called VRCustomizer is present and is surely used in this course. test_Customizer is surely a copy of Gu_Menu but using VRCustomizer skybox instead, a unicolor light blue sky.

Gu_Menu was theorized to be the track loaded in Customizer but test_Customizer is way more suitable for the scene and likely to be the one used by developers because the light blue skybox background makes the text more readable and the kart less glowly. In Gu_Menu, the black background makes the text harder to read because the color blends, the kart is glowy and some tires are also hard to see because the color blending.

Developers probably loaded this course in VS then loaded the Customizer scene. Customizer also load courses in Course ID 0x1 (Test) and it uses an unique lightning environment, loaded from "Debug/GEnv" (Customizer.bgenv). The same folder and file is present in the Kiosk Demo version of Mario Kart 8 Wii U.

In the video below a recreation of test_Customizer is used by adding the files of the course to the game and adding it to the Debug Menu Test course list by using a patch (custom code, artificial). Toggle Process Meter Bars and Toggle Free Camera Debug Controller Features were used to move the camera and display the game's process performance.


test_DanceFloor is a track that would probably be used for testing. The track only contains one file and it's the lightning lightning environment file. The track folder is present in "Course/EAD", EAD probably meaning Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development. The lightning environment is a strong purple. It is likely that it would appear in the "Test(EAD)" course section of the Debug Menu.

With only course.bgenv being present, it is likely an unfinished track that was meant for lightning environment testing. The track crashes if loaded because it lacks model, collision and mapping files.

test_DanceFloor was present in the final game but then later removed after some Booster Course Pass DLC update.

In the image below, we can see how Mario Circuit looks like with this course's lightning environment file.

MK8DProto testDanceFloorBGENV.jpg

Test Retro Battle Stage File Prefixes

To do:
replace image of text with text

The Debug Menu Test course list function has strings for the file prefix of every course and stage, however, it also includes battle stage prefixes for retro stages that don't appear in the game, these being Wii (Bwii), DS (Bds), N64 (B64), GBA (Bagb) and "CTR" (Bctr), which is 3DS, but the game uses B3ds. These retro stages were probably planned for the game or they were added for testing or other reasons.