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Proto:Super Mario Kart

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

How about a nice leek in this trying time?
This page or section details content from the July 2020 Nintendo Leak.
Check the July 2020 Nintendo Leak category for more pages also sourced from this material.
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.

Multiple prototypes of Super Mario Kart were leaked alongside source code on July 24, 2020. They partially span almost the entire development cycle and show how often the game changed over time, but also how it shaped all later games in the series.

For even earlier uncompiled builds, see here.

To do:
  • Add full file paths for all the protos.
  • Several more uncompiled builds can be found in other.7z/NEWS.7z/テープリストア/NEWS_05/NEWS_05.tar/home/kimura/kart/risc/mak, named kart-e.hex (7/3/92), kart-p.hex (8/6/92) and kart-j.hex (11/17/92). All three builds contain the debug menu.
    • Get the Sha1sum hash for the kart-d.bin build (other.7z/NEWS.7z/テープリストア/NEWS_05/NEWS_05.tar/home/kimura/kart/risc/mak)
  • There are internal tools, including a track converter program.
  • Is it possible to reimplement the Debug Menu to builds without the Debug Menu by appending kart_02.rom at the end of the builds (and possibly with an extra patch)?
  • Verify effects of SFX-Disk/SFX-DOS support, such as this branch of bsnes-plus (upload a proper release build of this bsnes-plus version if possible).


SMK Luigi-Proto.png
Dated April 13, 1992. An early build featuring a third Choco Island track and elements seen in some prerelease videos and pictures (such as the early Donut Plains 1 track).
SMK Proto 1P.png
Dated May 18, 1992. The first build in English, and the first with Rainbow Road - which could've been much harder.
SMK Proto 2P.png
Last modified July 14, 1992, but built sometime in May. It's very similar to kart_*, but more unstable and with minor changes in code.
SMK DKJR Podium Proto.gif
Last modified July 14, 1992, but built around the latter half of June. More things have been implemented, but the Nintendo polish is still missing.
Kar4t Debug TT.png
Last modified July 14, 1992, but built around the latter half of June. Even more things have been finalized, plus there's a debug mode for Time Trial that's exclusive to this build.
Dated July 10, 1992. Even further along than kar4t.
Dated August 6, 1992. What seem to be internal testing builds from the last days of development.

Super Mario Kart (mario-kart-01) - Debug - Edit1.png
Debugging Menus
Many Debug Menus from various builds with a lot of features, including a track editor!

Other Builds

Uncompiled Builds

Four prototypes that predate the mkart build, but only contain code data and lack any assets (tracks, graphics, music, etc.). As such, individual assets had to be inserted from the source files (with additional fixes if necessary) to make them work.

Info about these builds can be found on the Development page.

Final Debug Build

kart-d.bin is identical to the final Japanese build, but with the debug menu and commands implemented. Additionally, the win sequence after finishing a race can be skipped by pressing Start, pressing Select in a race will freeze the game, and there is one extra change in debug mode that allows to display entire track previews. This build was possibly used for capturing footage for medias such as magazines, promos, and the game's manual. (A small hex edit is required to make the debug menu accessible; see the Debugging Menus subpage for more info.)

Debug Controls

The debug commands found in the final game also work in the precompiled prototype builds. These can also be activated without Cheat codes by starting a race from the debug menu and pressing a certain button combination. The RAM viewer that crashes the final game at race start (Pro Action Replay code 7E1F0608) does not crash in builds that have the Debug Menu implemented like the May build (kart_*) and can accessed without Action Replay codes too.

Rom Info

Filename Path Date Sha1sum
mkart.rom other.7z/NEWS.7z/テープリストア/NEWS_05/NEWS_05.tar/home/kimura/util 13 Apr 1992 1863f951a0a5db07a3397106bd89d9f11acfe1a3
18 May 1992
05 Aug 1992
kart.rom other.7z/NEWS.7z/テープリストア/NEWS_05/NEWS_05.tar/home/kimura/kart/risc.lzh/mak/ 10 Jul 1992 aedec7fffaf14e5b983c39477251922f132a5adb
mario-kart.bin other.7z/NEWS.7z/テープリストア/NEWS_05/NEWS_05.tar/home/kimura/mak
14 Jul 1992 99241cc8a2c78f59d78f916f3ce3f215ad991338
kar4t.bin other.7z/NEWS.7z/テープリストア/NEWS_05/NEWS_05.tar/home/kimura/mak
14 Jul 1992 abbc7e553d530f2935fd895d4f688c8878dd0bd2
other.7z/NEWS.7z/テープリストア/NEWS_05/NEWS_05.tar/home/kimura/mak 14 Jul 1992 b2b754272d86e3f72355412d82d5d590a83b822b
other.7z/NEWS.7z/テープリストア/NEWS_05/NEWS_05.tar/home/kimura/kart/mak 06 Aug 1992
other.7z/NEWS.7z/テープリストア/NEWS_05/NEWS_05.tar/home/kimura/mak 06 Aug 1992 76d56a41767625e6da1b8a9c8342f17aa9c1f7b0
kart-d.bin other.7z/NEWS.7z/テープリストア/NEWS_05/NEWS_05.tar/home/kimura/kart/risc/mak 04 Sep 1992 Todo