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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.

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.
Careful, you'll lose an eye.
This page or section needs more images.
There's a whole lotta words here, but not enough pictures. Please fix this.
To do:
A list of things that should be done:
  • A Nintendo NX bootup screen that isn't seen during gameplay.
  • A leftover demo mode from the Wii U's E3 2013 version with updated icons.
  • Coverage of the debug menu with pictures.
  • The game appears to reference the test_WiFiTest1 map somehow...
  • Document the effects of disabling DLC
  • Document double item box differences (Example: Obtaining 2 Coins from a Double Item Box)

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.


Debug Directory
Lots of scripts with comments and more!

Differences and Notes


  • Related to the debug menu, a scripting engine to interact with the program known as Squirrel is usable.
    • In relation, the game executes a file on bootup, defaulting it to the Japanese language, regardless of the user's settings.
  • Having a debug controller plugged in on bootup immediately loads the Debug Menu.
    • A controller attached also allows more debugging logs to be printed to be printed to the screen.
  • All pre-rendered movies are missing.
  • All staff ghosts are named StaffGhost.
  • Some 3D models are loaded in uncompressed raw form, ie LocalRoom.

Pause Menu

The layout of the pause menu is different and not fully localized.

MK8D Proto PauseMenu.png

Shine Thief

  • The UI is different, not showing the shine owner unless over their vehicle.


  • Mii Outfits aren't finalized and uses Mario for its slot, most likely due to the fact that their heads are not yet animated correctly.

Title Screen

  • The game writes the source revision, resource revision and ? revision in the top left corner.
  • The main four menu options do not play sounds when hovered.
  • The images for Wireless Play has incomplete placeholder textures depicting sketches of the pit crew Toads which would later be turned into 3D renders for the final game.

Look at him! He's just a lil ray of sunshine! :D MK8DProtoToad2.png


  • While smart steering is present and fully functional, auto-acceleration is not accessible using the pause menu. Instead it must be activated via the debug menu using the "Util_SteerAssist_On" script which activates both smart steering and auto-acceleration.
  • The purple spark mini-turbo has not been added at this point in development. As such, mini-turbos behave as they did in the original Mario Kart 8 and the highest boost obtainable is the orange sparks.

In-Game Manual

  • "Driving Techniques" are recorded with the HUD enabled and in Mario Kart Stadium rather than Mario Circuit.
  • Options for Ultra Mini-Turbo and Drift Brake do not exist.
  • Crazy Eight uses it's blue Wii U design.
  • Flavor text for the Super Feather and Boo items do not exist in other languages outside of Japanese.
  • The labels and flavor text for Battle Mode does not exist in other languages outside of Japanese.

Debugging Material

To do:
There's a number of functions that are usable with a debug controller.

Unlike the final game, this build has access to unique debugging functions.

Debug Controller Inputs

A livestream where the debug controller input features are explored in depth. A better video will be made.

To do:
There's probably more.

With a debug controller attached, you can do special inputs that cannot be done on a retail controller.

Up/Down: For Screen: Scroll down
<-->: For Screen: Next page
L + R + Up: Toggle layout visibility
L + R + Down: End race
R + <-->: Toggle first item slot
ZR + Up: Toggle use of game input?
ZR + Start (Ingame only): Toggle slow motion, horizontal D-Pad input changes the game speed, x1: ?, x31: ?, x61: ?, x91: ?, x121: ?, D-Pad Up advances one frame (?).
ZR + <-->: Main: Toggle perf bars, Perf: Disables game input, Screen: Toggle screen type
ZR + Y: Toggle controller modes, Main uses typical controls, Perf disables game input and Screen allows you to toggle screen types.
ZL + L (Ingame only): Use Free Movement Mode, vertical Left Stick input moves the player's vehicle forward and backwards. Unlike other free movement tools, this one only allows the player's vehicle to specifically follow the course layout to cross each lap checkpoint without using shortcuts as direct horizontal inputs warps the player to the first checkpoint.
ZL + L + R (Ordered): Loads keyboard applet?
ZL + L + ZR: Loads Mii Maker applet?
ZL + L + Left: Loads the controller hookup dialog, two controllers are required to exit the screen.
ZL + L + Right: Loads the NFC reader applet?
ZL + L + Up: Load web browser? Load e-Manual?
ZL + L + Down: Load profile select applet?
Start + R (Ordered): Displays the Sead Menu.

Debug Menu

To do:
The rest, anything on Viewer?

A debug menu with simple controls can be accessed when pressing Start and Select at the same time. It allows you to tweak many variables, edit/initialize your save data, navigate to scenes, simulate network play, play replays and also run scripts.

Plus: Open/Close Debug Menu (Can only be done on root and when running script and not being executed on bootup)
Minus: Changes the "Course" option from "All" to "New" (Can only be done in the "Course" menu. Unknown function)
A: Select
B: Back
X: Changes value up for characters with more than one skin (Example: Yoshi)
Y: Changes value down for characters with more than one skin
DPad/Analog Stick: Change Selection
Course: Allows you to choose the course type, courses are in sorted groups named Battle, DLC, New and Classic. The last three, Test, Test(EAD), and Test(BNS) are also listed but empty.
Rule: Allows you to set the mode of the race.
Engine: Allows you to set the CC to common settings.
CPU: Allows you to set the CPU difficulty.
Kart(%i): Allows you to set player type, driver, kart parts and team.
Replay: Allows you to watch your replay data.
Viewer: ?
Script: Runs a script in Debug/Script/DebugMenu of your choice.
Network: Allows you to emulate online usage.
Flag: Allows you to edit flags on your save data or initialize the whole save.
Scene: Loads a given scene.

MK8D Proto DebugMenuRoot.png

The text on the bottom of the menu shows the build timestamp, resource + source changelist revisions, build type, build region, device RAM (1GB or 2GB) and DLC slots.


To do:
Customizer appears to crash due to a course named test_Customizer is missing.


A simple message checker, allowing you test message displays from a given message ID, also with a flag to set if using a confirmation popup. It shows a cursor but it isn't really visible due to the layout it uses and text color is white so it's probably wise to remember what you're selecting.

Loading Message ID 5004

Loading Message ID 5004 with button flag


Printouts of scripts are printed on the screen and log are written to the SD Card in Gear.

Debug Render Time & HEAP Usage Preview

To do:
Find a better name for this feature and maybe make post about Debug Controller text preview.

A debug text preview displaying what could be seen as a render time and HEAP usage of elements loaded on the scene. It only appears if a debug controller is connected to the game. The 'Debug Controller' text is not a part of this, it is a separated debug feature determining which Debug Controller setting is set to the debug performance bar (?).


(Source: Ro)

This same feature was shown on Mario Kart 8 Direct from April 30th, 2014.


Early Feather Damage Behavior

The feather item crushes the hit opponent when going over them instead of causing them to spin out.

(Source: Marioiscool246)



  • Brake while drifting SFX does not play.
  • SE_ITEM_DECIDE is present, however has no audio file.

Main Menu

  • VO_TITLE_CUSTOM is present.

Shine Thief

  • The SFX for the Shine countdown is not present.
  • The SFX for collecting the shine is not present.

Unused Front Running Beats

  • All Battle Courses have front running beats in this version, however outside of Battle Stadium and GCN Luigi's Mansion, they are not timed correctly and play out of sync.

Battle Stadium

GCN Luigi's Mansion

Extra BGMs

There's 2 extra bgms present in this version, which is a bfstm of the staff credits and the time trial start race (BGM_STAFF_CREDIT and BGM_START_GRID_TA). They don't have any differences however.