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Proto:Mario Kart DS

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

The kiosk demo of Mario Kart DS was used in stores prior to the game's release, and contains several differences from the final. It is very similar, if not identical to the E3 2005 demo version.

To do:
There's more unused things not documented here on


Early Courses
Blue cars are red?
MKDS Beta SunshineModell.png
Early Modes
Driving with 8 Marios?


Prototype Final JPN/EUR/KOR Final USA
Mkds proto copyright screen bottom screen.png Mkds final jpn eur kor copyright screen bottom screen.png Mkds final usa copyright screen bottom screen.png

The top screen was unchanged, but the bottom screen is different compared to any released version as it only has a basic copyright.

Proto Final
MKDSKiosk Title.png Mario Kart DS-title.png

The most notable difference is the different logo, which is the same logo from the older Mario Kart games.

Proto Final
MKDSKiosk CupSelect.png MKDS CupSelect.png

The graphics and fonts used in the cup selection are different in the Kiosk Demo. All cups are absent except the demo cups Nitro and Retro, which are the final game's Mushroom and Shell cups.

Proto Final
MKDSKiosk Banner.png MKDS Banner.png

The boot-up banner is also different.

Proto Final
MKDS OldItem.png MKDS NewItem.png

Nearly all of the item icons were redrawn and/or enlarged. Additionally, the demo uses a few textures from Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

Proto Final
MKDSKiosk DK.png MKDS DK.png

Donkey Kong is called "DK" and has his voice clips directly from Mario Kart: Double Dash!! in the demo. Also, Wario has longer sleeves in the demo, similar to his Mario Kart: Double Dash!! appearance. The icons on the character select screen were spread out in the final version. Most icons are slightly cropped, Toad and DK's faces are redrawn, and Yoshi is smaller overall for the final version. A single pixel is changed in Wario's icon.

Other differences

  • The Fake Item Box doesn't exist yet in any form; no graphics or model exist in the ROM.
  • No smoke particles appear if the player fails the turbo start at the beginning of the race.
  • Touching other drivers slows you down dramatically.
  • The map on the bottom screen can be zoomed in and out by sliding horizontal;y on the touchscreen.
  • Characters' winning animations will sometimes get stuck.
  • If the driver touches the road while upside-down, the driver will instantly flip vertically. A similar reaction exists in Mario Kart 64.
  • If the player drifts onto a boost panel and bumps into a wall, the player will not receive a boosts.

Graphics Differences

Countdown numbers

Prototype Final
Mkds proto countdown 1.png Mkds final countdown 1.png
Prototype Final
Mkds proto countdown 2.png Mkds final countdown 2.png
Prototype Final
Mkds proto countdown 3.png Mkds final countdown 3.png

Goal text

Prototype Final
Mkds proto uslang goal.png Mkds final uslang goal.png

The countdown numbers and the goal text are bigger than in the final, but are lacking in detail and paler.

Early Menus

While not appearing in the demo menu, these can be accessed using the below Action Replay code (where "XX" is the ID). Press Select at any time to activate the code.

94000130 000003FB
120E77D8 000000XX
D2000000 00000000

Emblem Editor

ID: 03

MarioKartDSKiosk EmblemEditor.png

At this point, the editor has a basic appearance with a more advanced paint bucket and only 3 template pattern. The paint bucket has the option to draw connected pixels with the same colour, draw all pixels with the same colour or to give all pixels on the screen the same colour.

Pressing the S on the bottom screen shows 4 options:

1. Option: Save and go to Driver Menu

2. Option: Go to Driver Menu without Save

3. Option: Save and continue

4. Option: Continue without Save

However, the emblem is only black and crashes on real hardware, most likely due to a missing palette file.

Debug Menu

ID: 04
A debug menu is present in the Kiosk Demo which contains many features. It's also very similar to the final menu and could rather be an earlier version of the final menu than a debug menu, because they are very similar. More information on the Early Modes Subpage

Communication Error


ID: 05 An early communication error screen.


ID: 06 Shows the current name of the DS console. Purpose unknown.

Early Characters

Daisy (0x09), Waluigi (0x0A), R.O.B. (0x0B), and Shy Guy (0x0C) exist in the Kiosk Demo, but are unfinished as they use the files for Peach, Luigi, Mario, and Yoshi.

E. Gadd


Professor E. Gadd was going to appear in Mario Kart DS, but was later replaced with Dry Bones. He was never finished, as he uses Toad's models, graphics, and voice clips with Mario's kart decorations and large portrait. His ID is 0x08.

Early Vehicles

All characters use their Standard kart in the Kiosk Demo, rendering the alternate versions unused. Karts from the second category load the files from the first one because they don't exist yet (except Poltergust 4000).

Proto Final
MKDS-Early-Tyrant.PNG MKDS-Final-Tyrant.png
Proto Final
MKDS-Early-LightTripper.PNG MKDS-Final-LightTripper.png
Proto Final
MKDS-Early-4WheelCradle.PNG MKDS-Final-4WheelCradle.png
Proto Final
MKDS-Yoshi-unused-kart.png MKDS-Final-EggOne.png
Proto Final
MKDS-Wario-unused-kart.png MKDS-Final-Brute.png

Yoshi and Wario's alternate karts are early versions that still exist in the final game's files.

Early Cups

All cups from the final game are present in the Kiosk Demo. The Shell, Banana, Leaf and Lightning cups were called SNES, N64, GBA and GCN Cup and they only featured the courses from the corresponding console.

Early Music

The kiosk demo has all music made with different instrument styles, so there are many differences between it and the final.

Figure-8-Circuit / Mario Circuit

Kiosk Demo Final

Music is quite different than in the final. Some of the track can be heard in the background of pre-release videos of New Super Mario Bros., which were recorded at various video game expos in 2005. Interestingly, the final version happens to be the last track in the final's soundtrack.

Luigi's Mansion

Kiosk Demo Final

The plucked strings sounded more clinky in the final.

Waluigi Pinball / Wario Stadium

Kiosk Demo Final

Trumpet and bass were changed to fit the track better.

Airship Fortress

Kiosk Demo Final

The out-of-place trumpet was changed to a more fitting violin.

GBA Peach Circuit / GBA Luigi Circuit

Kiosk Demo Final

One trumpet was removed.

SNES Donut Plains 2

Kiosk Demo Final

The instrument for the main melody and harmony was changed.

SNES Choco Island 2

Kiosk Demo Final

The whistle, as heard in the original SNES course, was removed.

Unused Items

To do:
  • The Boo item appears in the item roulette, but cannot be received. Check if the item can be used with cheat codes or hacking.
  • Add bottom-screen icons for the Chain Chomp, the Bowser shell and the purple shells.

Chain Chomp


The Chain Chomp from Mario Kart: Double Dash!! makes a small appearance in this demo, but was later replaced with the Bullet Bill. While the item does flash by in the item roulette (as seen in this expertly-timed screenshot), you cannot receive it.

Bowser Shell

MKDS BowserShell.png

A texture for the Bowser Shell from Mario Kart: Double Dash!! can be found in the game's files as well. However, this item does not appear in the item roulette, as there is no data for it.

Purple Koopa Shell


A texture which shows a purple Koopa shell. Again, there is no data for such an item. A small icon of a triple purple shell for use on the bottom screen exists.

Unused Text


Text used by the early characters.


Present in root/Data/Scene/Test.carc/Test.carc/test.bmg, a file which itself goes unused.

2つのドカンのあいだを とおれ!
せいげんじかんは 25びょう。

コイン40まいを ぜんぶあつめろ!
せいげんじかんは 50びょう。

クリボー6ぴきを ぜんぶたおせ!
せいげんじかんは 30びょう。


コイン50まいを ぜんぶあつめろ!
せいげんじかんは 60びょう。

コースを 2しゅうまわれ!
せいげんじかんは 100びょう。



Found in /data/Scene/Menu_ja.carc/mission.bmg is Japanese mission objective text. Roughly translated, it means...

Go through the course and pass between the two pipes!
Time limit: 25 seconds.

Collect all 40 coins!
Time limit: 50 seconds.

Defeat all 6 Goombas!
Time limit: 30 seconds.

Reach the goal before the runaway Chain Chomp!

Collect all 50 coins!
Time limit: 60 seconds.

Make two laps around the course!
Time limit: 100 seconds.

Reach the goal before the red car!

Under construction...

"Under construction" was likely used as temporary text for undeveloped missions.

Unused Models

To do:
There could be more... But I'm still looking! ~Francofantino

Shy Guy


There is an unused Shy Guy model that seems to be unfinished because he has no arms. It is in the same folder as the Yoshi model which was used as a placeholder model for Shy Guy. This model does not exist in the final version, except in the Download Play version. This is proof that Shy Guy was meant to be playable normally.

Unused Sounds

To do:
Upload these sounds!

These sounds are located in "\Root/Data/Sound/sound_data.sdat/Seqarc/SEQARC_SE_COMMON.ssar"

MKDD Horns
The horns are leftover from Mario Kart: Double Dash!! There's horns for every character, even ones that don't make an appearance in Mario Kart DS. They were possibly used in an early build of Mario Kart DS. The internal name is SET_HORN_XXXXX


Driver Change?

There is an unused sound that was possibly used in an early Mario Kart: Double Dash!! to switch drivers. Its internal name is SET_DRIVER_CHANGE.

Heart Item

/root/Sounds/sound_data.sdat => SeqArc/GLOBAL_SE_COMMON

In the directory above, you can find two sounds used by the Heart item from Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, SEL_HEART and SET_HEART_ITEM_GET. They never play in-game in the prototype, so they're obviously unused. Their internal names are proof that the item was going to be in Mario Kart DS, but why it is scrapped is unknown. It might have been replaced by Boo since both have similar functions.

Unused Music


This music is heard in unused courses that do not have their own music. It does not exist in the final version.


This music is used in the final for the course overview for some circuits, such as Figure-8 Circuit, but instead those courses use the standard course overview. However, like the rest of the music in the kiosk demo, it's made using different instrument styles than the final.

Unused Textures

To do:
There's more!

Lakitu's Countdown Lights

MKDSProtoLakitusignal1.png MKDSProtoLakitusignal2.png

These graphics were used when starting a course, where Lakitu would hold them to count down to the race. It can be seen in the GDC 2005 gameplay.

Test Graphic

MKDS Test1Tex.png

Translates as "Temporary Pause". That's all.


MKDS Main meter.png
The early speedometer.

The game was originally meant to have an on-screen speedometer, much like Double Dash!! A speedometer can be seen in early screenshots, though it used different graphics. This version of the speedometer can be seen in some rare gameplay from GDC 2005.

Mario Bros. Graphics

MKDS MiniGTex.png

A collection of sprites from Mario Bros. Classic. While some of them are used in the unused communication error screen, a large majority of them are not used at all.

Double Dash!!-Based Menus and Early Placeholders

Located in the menu.carc section of the demo.


MKDS Chara main.png

Japanese English
キャラクターをえらんでください Please select a character

Possibly an early placeholder for the screen right before the chara_sub menu.


MKDS kart sub.png

Japanese English
スピード Speed
かそく Acceleration
おもさ Weight
もどる Back

Cropped Red Fire kart ripped from Double Dash!! with a dark background.


MKDS chara sub.png

Japanese English
もどる Back

Includes a roster of characters with icons resembling those from Double Dash!!


MKDS displacement sub.png

Japanese English
グランプリ Grand Prix
もどる Back

Menu with the option to change the game speed (50cc, 100cc, etc.).


MKDS entryselect sub.png

Japanese English
どのエントリーデータをつかいますか? Which entry data will you use?
イチロー Ichiro
にんてん Ninten
あたらしいエントリーデータをつくる Create new entry data
エントリーデータをへんしゅうする Edit entry data
エントリーデータをけす Erase entry data
もどる Back

Judging from the internal filename, it could be a placeholder for the name entry screen, such as the name entry screen in the final version.


MKDS menu sub.png

Japanese English
ひとりであそぶ Play alone
みんなであそぶ Play with everyone
レコード Record
オプション Options
もどる Back

This menu is similar to the menu that displays after the title screen in the final. The Japanese was changed to シングルプレイ (Singleplayer) and マルチプレイ (Multiplayer) in the final.


MKDS Cup Sub.png

Japanese English
ニトログランプリ Nitro Grand Prix
オールディズグランプリ Oldies Grand Prix

Unused cup selection menu. Note that Retro Grand Prix used to be called Oldies Grand Prix. The final Japanese version uses レトログランプリ (Retro Grand Prix).


MKDS cup sub2.png

Japanese English
これでいいですか? Is this good?
もどる Back

Possible quit or confirmation to play screen.

Unused Courses

A number of unused courses can be found in the demo's files. They are fully textured, unlike those found in the final, as the textures are loaded from the models themselves instead of separate files. This makes many of the courses much easier to navigate, which is fortunate as the game crashes if you fall off of most of them.

Nintendo DS Battle Course

An unused version of the DS course exists that has a scanned image of a DS as its texture. It also uses a cloud background instead of the space background.

(Source: MKGirlism)

old_mario_gc (GCN Mario Circuit)

Course value 02 is an unfinished version of Mario Circuit from Mario Kart: Double Dash!! The Goombas, trees, item boxes, etc. aren't here, and you can drive on grass as if it was road. This track does have respawns.


Course value 03 is a track closely resembling Waluigi Pinball, probably a proof-of-concept for the track. No item boxes or respawns are placed on the track, the latter resulting in a crash most of the time when you play, due to the AI driving too close to one of the flippers on the track.

dokan_course (Pipe Course)

Course value 04 has similar textures to test maps from Super Mario Sunshine (chequerboards), probably used to test collision, due to the pipes and road. The green platform's collision is placed too low, meaning you will fall through it.


Course value 05 was used as the primary test track for collision data, and has various objects such as the gears in Tick-Tock Clock, the bridge in Delfino Square and the blocks from Bowser Castle implemented. If you fall off, you will respawn underneath the course, endlessly. This can cause a crash on real hardware because the AI autorespawn if left to drive into the Bowser block endlessly (suggesting they were once a different model).


Course value 06 is an early, incomplete DK Pass with a different layout. Like old_mario_gc, you can drive on the grass as if it was road. Falling off the track crashes the game, as there are no respawn points. This and mr_stage1 were the only courses completely removed.


Course value 07 is a duplicate of Wario Stadium lacking objects and a background, and has three item boxes near the beginning of the track. The real Wario Stadium is named stadium_course and has an ID of 22. It is unknown why this course exists, but it may have been different during development and simply replaced, as the model name is internally 'stadium_course'.

nokonoko_course (Koopa Troopa Course)

This course does not load on an actual cartridge: only on Slot-2 cards or emulators. Like most courses, the game freezes on respawning because IDs are missing for them. The actual layout is a beach with several paths, and has the closest look to a track which could be used. The water changes frequently, and there is a slight pause before so, which is why the water disappears and reappears (six water files are loaded with the course). There is one Goomba on the course, but it's missing a few frames and appears as a 2 on the map.


Course value 15 is a circular test track. This course does have respawns.

mini_block_course (GCN Block City)

Course value 29. The course is unfinished and has no blocks, but the item boxes are complete. There is a hole in one of the block areas, as the Mission Run file involves pushing Big Bully into the hole. This course does have respawns.

This course also takes up 2D, 2E, and 2F, but balloons don't appear on these values.

mr_stage_1 (Early Big Bully Boss Room)

Course value 30 is an early version of the boss fight arena with Big Bully, that also crashes unless you add its .nkm file. As it's supposed to be used for mission mode, the COM players don't move. There's also folders in the ROM data for mr_stage_2, mr_stage_3 and mr_stage_4. Sadly, all 3 are empty.

Root Info

The game ID for the Kiosk Demo is A39, whereas the final game's ID is AMC.

Build: 2005 5/30(Mon) 18:20:47

The date when the demo was compiled, present in root/data/Boot/builddate.bin. This is shortly before E3 that year, which proves that it is almost identical to the E3 demo.

★Demo Version★

The demo's description.