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Proto:Super Mario Kart/kart_*

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This is a sub-page of Proto:Super Mario Kart.

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.
To do:
  • Check for unused data in the rom.
  • More screenshots.
  • Finish track differences.

A later build than April 13 build, and very similar to the unreleased prototype, though it still has some differences. The ROM has a timestamp of May 18, 1992, and is in English, unlike the earlier April 13 build.

The build is actually split into two files: kart_01 and kart_02. To get the build working, append kart_02 to the end of kart_01 and then apply this patch.

Changes between this and earlier build


  • The small demos seen while sitting on the title screen are now added in (but unfinished).
  • The fourth place ending is now implemented.
  • The tracks are now in their final order.
  • The unique 2nd and 3rd place ending cutscenes have been swapped around, and have small changes in the animation.


  • Battle Course 4 (Battle Course 1 in this build) now takes place in Mario Circuit.
  • Computer opponents now use character specific items. They now throw items ahead too.
  • The player can now hop with L and R.
  • Choco Island 3 has now been replaced by Rainbow Road.

Graphics / UI

  • Luigi now uses Mario's body graphics, though he's still looking straight ahead rather than up.


  • Coin SFX is now final.
  • Title screen uses its proper theme.
  • Mario Circuit, Choco Island, Ghost Valley, Bowser's Castle, and Battle Mode now have their proper themes.
  • The No Record jingle has been finalized, but is still used as the 2nd-4th jingle.
  • The Game Over jingle has been added.
  • Donut Plains BGM is now in it's final key.
  • The players engine noise can now be heard during the countdown, but due to the absence of the rocket start/burn out, there is a cap in the pitch for the engine noise when holding down the button.
  • Character taunts for passing other racers are now added.
  • Peach and Yoshi now use their final engine sample.

General Differences

  • The logo is still based on the Japanese version. The background already got updated to the international version, by removing the Japanese text.
  • The demo sequences appear to be desynchronized, which results into drivers driving into walls
    • There are different and more demo scenarios with one using the secret screen swap trick and one glitched Bowser Castle sequence.
  • You cannot navigate the menus using Select, unlike the final version.
  • The cup selection screen lacks an orange border as well as showing which CC you've chosen.
  • Everything is locked from the start, unlike the earlier prototype.
  • Course Select is misspelt as Course Selct in the course selection screen.
  • Time Trial ghosts are not implemented yet
  • The replay system in Time Trial is not implemented yet.
  • During the result/score tally screen, the CPU that don't manage to finish in time get an "OUT" instead of their time like the final.
  • The coin UI does not flash yet when having 0 coins. You still spin out when touching racers while having 0 coins, however.
  • Before receiving your first item the item roulette space shows 1p and 2p, which was changed to just 1 and 2 in the final.

Gameplay Differences

  • You start with 4 coins instead of 5 in the final.
  • You start out with 2 lives instead of 3 in the final.
  • The driver stats are still slightly different.
  • Starting boost or motor burn at countdown is completely missing.
  • Falling into the lava, water, or of the map doesn't give a coin penalty. Oddly enough this is present in the earlier prototype from April 13, 1992.
  • Monty Moles do not attach on you; instead, you just spin out.
  • Cheep-Cheeps and Piranha Plants will cause you to lose coins when you touch them.
  • You can still lose coins after you've finished and bonk into someone.
  • Drifting in circles does not eventually spin you out. This worked fine in the earlier April 13, 1992 proto. This was perhaps due to the drift mechanic being changed.
  • You do not get an extra life after you've finished first three times.
  • The CPU appears to not be able to get hit by dropped bananas, as well as items fired by other CPU's. As a result, you never see other CPU players getting hit on the minimap way behind you while playing, unlike the final.
  • The CPU doesn't attempt to avoid you yet, creating situations sometimes where they bonk endlessly into you. This is especially common when a character with a lighter weight than yours rams into you from behind.
  • Special Cup is now locked by default in Time Trial, but the button code to unlock it hasn't been implemented yet.
  • The mud in Choco Island and the wet dirt in Donut Plains is more slippery when driving on it.
  • The Thwomps always move during the 1st lap. In the final, They start moving in the second lap.
  • Cheep Cheeps now have another unique behavior when shot by Koopa shells. They will fly away a little and play an "item destroy" sound.
  • Toad and Koopa Troopa lack the special sharp skidding ability that can be performed in courses like Mario Circuit, Ghost Valley and Bowser's Castle. Their skidding is the same as the other characters.
  • The small boost (similar to a mini-turbo) received from releasing a drift is absent.
  • It is still possible to skip the win sequence by pressing start after finishing a race.
  • During the demo sequences, it's possible to alter the racer's steering directions by pressing or holding L or R to make them skid.
  • The CPU appears to go slightly faster and they tend to attack with items more excessively. This is most prevalent when playing as a slower character, like Toad or Koopa Troopa.

Bugs / Issues

  • Rainbow Road has the graphics missing for the position counter, thus crashes when the final lap is reached, making it incompletable. This makes completing 100cc impossible without applying this patch by MrL314.
  • In Battle Mode, going out of bounds using a feather causes you to become permanently stuck, similar to the undumped prototype. Lakitu will carry the player far away from the map, and will eventually place down and pick up the player in an endless loop. This is due to the checkpoint targets in all the battle tracks pointing to an area far out of bounds from the lower right portion of the map. Oddly enough this works completely fine in the earlier prototype from April 13, 1992.

SMK MayProto BattleModeGlitch.png

  • When Lakitu pulls you over the finish line, the lap won't count.
  • Lakitu still doesn't turn you in the right direction sometimes when picked up.
  • When racers finish before you do they often don't cheer or have their position flashing, due to unknown reasons. This once again works fine in the earlier April 13, 1992 build, however, where it flashes normally until position 4 at all times, like the final.
  • The player will slow to a crawl after finishing the race in Time Trials.
  • Finishing a race while hopping makes you float in the air.
  • In Battle Mode, the loser can still drive around after the battle is over.
  • The player can cause a bug where the flashing tire palette (Emulates the tire roll when you throttle) on Luigi's kart will continue to flash even when he remains idle. This is exploited by quitting or finishing a race while at full speed.

SMK MayProto LuigiGlitch.gif

  • Sometimes the map tiles will be corrupt when the track is loaded.

SMK MayProto TileGlitch.png

  • Using a lightning as soon as you finish the race will cause the strobe effect to loop.

Item Differences

  • Lightning does not really cause the AI to slow down.
  • Using Lightning doesn't cause the racers to spin out when used
  • Characters made small by Lightning or a Poison Shroom cannot be squished.
  • Touching bananas put you on full stop like green shells.
  • Going over an obstacle like pipes and Piranha Plants with a star make you feather jump instead of destroying it.
  • Bananas can't be thrown forward and shells can't be dropped.
  • Being invisible from using a Boo does not protect you from item attacks nor can you pass through other racers.
  • It's possible to get Stars and Lightnings in 1st place due to to the unpolished item distribution.

Sound Differences

Ghost Valley

Proto Final

Played in a lower tempo. The chord at the beginning is much quieter

Peach's Theme

Proto Final

The sampling for the bassline was changed.

Yoshi's Theme

Proto Final

Played in a lower tempo.

Donkey Kong Jr.'s Theme

Proto Final

Uses the same melody as the April 13, 1992 build. This time however, it uses a simpler drumbeat.

Award Ceremony

Proto Final (4th Place)

The theme used when you get rewarded your trophy has a completely unique theme. It sounds very similar to the 4th place ending theme heard in the final game.

Other Sound Differences

  • Music tracks like the Title theme and Mario Circuit have a quieter snare drum than the final.
  • Rainbow Road plays Bowser's Castle's music, as the final Rainbow Road music has not been added to the game yet.
  • The Vanilla Lake theme is the same as the April 13, 1992 build, as opposed to the seemingly later undumped prototype, which has a unique song not heard in any leaked prototype or the final release.
  • Placing 2nd-4th plays what would eventually would become the "No Record" jingle heard in Time Trials. In the final, placing 2nd-4th plays the 1st place jingle instead.
  • Going over a bump with a Mushroom causes no sound. In the final, it causes a higher-pitched bump sound.
  • Using Lightning plays no sound.
  • The engine noise throttles down when drifting as if going off the gas.
  • Getting stomped by a Thwomp plays a different sound. Oddly enough, the earlier April 13 build used the final version of the sound.
Proto Final

  • Going the wrong way plays a slightly different Lakitu sound.
  • Hitting an enemy with an item plays a slightly lower-pitched sound.
  • The sound effects of driving on terrain tiles such as the Donut Plain's grass or Bowser's Castle tiles are different or missing.
  • Going over the bridge in Donut Plains plays a slightly different sound.
  • On the final lap when you are 5th or below a different sound plays, which is different than the one Lakitu plays when going backwards.
  • Using a Boo gives a 'proceed menu' sound when you steal an item and a 'go back to previous menu' sound when stealing no item. Likely placeholder sounds.
  • Finishing does not give the finished sound. Instead, the victory jingle (or defeat) will immediately start playing, proceeded with the character's victory theme.
  • Going over a bump in Choco Island plays the same sound as going over the holes in Donut Plains.
  • There is an extra taunt heard when Mario, Luigi, Peach, Toad, and Koopa Troopa pulls ahead of the player as an opponent. In the final, no sound plays when they pass you.

Debug Mode & Commands

An extensive Debug Menu can be accessed on the titlescreen by pressing Start + Select. Accessing it will also enable Debug Mode in a race/battle that features numerous input commands and debug features such as a RAM viewer and item debugger. The Debug Menu itself inlcudes various tools like course editor tools and sound tests. Due to Debug Mode been made for the Japanese version of the game, some menu options on the main menu got corrupt Japanese characters, because the Japanese tileset been removed from this build. Furthermore, upon activating the main debug menu (Start + Select) starting any course will load course configurations such as AI checkpoints and objects from SRAM instead of the Rom itself (which can crash the game when not configured properly).

More information about Debug Menu here:

Debug screen.png
Super Mario Kart Debugging Menu
Description of the Debug Menu in Super Mario Kart's Prototypes

Title Screen Debug Commands

The earlier April 13 build has much more title screen commands compared to this build.

  • Start + Select: Enter main debug mode
  • Select + B: Start a 50cc mushroom cup race
  • L + A: Changes the first unknown value on the title screen with Debug Mode Activated. Goes until E. For some reason increase by 2 values each press
  • L + X: Changes the second value on the title screen with Debug Mode Activated. Goes until 3, and sets the World (cup) value.
  • L + Y: Changes the third unknown value on the title screen with Debug Mode Activated. Goes until 8. (Might be for driver selection, but doesn't work?)

Soft Reset

Start + Select + B + Y: Soft Reset back to the title screen (can be used everywhere).

Track Differences

Mario Circuit

Mario Circuit 1

Proto Final
SMKMayAugustProto MC1.png SMKFinal MC1.png
  • 2 item panels were added for the final release.

Mario Circuit 2

Proto Final
SMKMayAugustProto MC2.png SMKFinal MC2.png
  • Coins, item panels, a jump bar and zippers were added.

Mario Circuit 3

Proto Final
SMKMayAugustProto MC3.png SMKFinal MC3.png
  • More coins and item panels were added.
  • The item panel before the finish line was replaced by a zipper. Oddly enough, the earlier April 13 build had the zipper in it's place.

Mario Circuit 4

Proto Final
SMKMayAugustProto MC4.png SMKFinal MC4.png
  • Coins were moved and added.
  • The wall next to the item panel was made thicker.
  • A small piece of the wall with the shortcut at the bottom was removed.

Donut Plains

Donut Plains 1

Proto Final
SMKMayAugustProto DP1.png SMKFinal DP1.png
  • ? panels are after the bridge instead in front of the finish line.
  • More coins were added later on.
  • The inner wall has no diagonal protrusions.
  • There are more bushes surrounding the track.

This revision of the track can be seen in a screenshot from the game's international packaging.

SMK DP1 Later Proto.jpg

Donut Plains 2

Proto Final
SMKMayAugustProto DP2.png SMKFinal DP2.png
  • 2 more ? panels were added later on.
  • Some coins were added, removed, or relocated.
  • A jump bar next to the lake was removed.
  • The inner wall has no diagonal protrusions.
  • There are more bushes surrounding the track.

Donut Plains 3

Proto Final
SMKMayAugustProto DP3.png SMKFinal DP3.png
  • More coins were added later on.
  • A small bit of the wall at the bottom near the final turn was cut off later on, widening the curve above it as a result.
  • There are more bushes surrounding the track.

Bowser Castle

Bowser Castle 1

Proto Final
SMKMayAugustProto BC1.png SMKFinal BC1.png
  • Many more coins were added later on.
  • ? panels were moved around slightly.
  • A small jump bar and a ? panel on the third straightaway was removed.
  • An extra zipper was added on the third straightaway later on.
  • More lava bubbles surround the track.

Bowser Castle 2

Proto Final
SMKMayAugustProto BC2.png SMKFinal BC2.png
  • The ? panels on the first turn were moved after it later on.
  • More coins were added later on.
  • Two extra ? panels surrounded by jump bars is present.
  • The zipper was relocated.
  • More lava bubbles surround the track.

Bowser Castle 3

Proto Final
SMKMayAugustProto BC3.png SMKFinal BC3.png
  • More coins were added later on.
  • A ? panel in the middle path was moved to one of the platforms on the left side of the track.
  • Two jump bars in the middle path were removed.
  • The middle path is blocked in Grand Prix and Match Race by a multicolored wall object left unused in the final game.
  • Part of the second straightaway before the first jump platform was made thinner later on.
  • More lava bubbles surround the track.

Choco Island

Choco Island 1

Proto Final
SMKMayAugustProto CI1.png SMKFinal CI1.png
  • More coins and ? panels were added later on.
  • The wall next to the first portion of the track was shifted right by a tile.
  • The wall near the top right of the track doesn't protrude diagonally.

Choco Island 2

Proto Final
SMKMayAugustProto CI2.png SMKFinal CI2.png
  • Coins were added/removed, and/or moved around.
  • The ? panels are formed in three groups and were separated and moved upwards later on.
  • The big puddle is split into smaller sections, forming a pawprint shape.
  • The top right and bottom right of the inner wall doesn't protrude diagonally.

Ghost Valley

Ghost Valley 1

Proto Final
SMKMayAugustProto GV1.png SMKFinal GV1.png
  • ? panels were moved from before the first turn to after the first turn.
  • More coins were added later on.
  • Many more frail blocks were added later on.
  • The width of the bottom part of the track before the final turn was shifted slightly.

Ghost Valley 2

Proto Final
SMKMayAugustProto GV2.png SMKFinal GV2.png
  • ? panels were split into groups of two.
  • More frail blocks were added later on.
  • A shortcut was added later on.

Ghost Valley 3

Proto Final
SMKMayAugustProto GV3.png SMKFinal GV3.png
  • More coins were added later on.
  • ? panels were moved slightly.
  • A shortcut was added later on.

Koopa Beach

Koopa Beach 1

Proto Final
SMKMayAugustProto KB1.png SMKFinal KB1.png
  • More coins were added later on.
  • Two more ? panels including one on the small island was added later on.
  • The patch of shrubbery at the bottom is denser.
  • Many holes of deep water were removed.

Koopa Beach 2

Proto Final
SMKMayAugustProto KB2.png SMKFinal KB2.png
  • More coins were added later on.
  • ? panels were positioned differently.
  • The shrubbery within the track is denser.
  • The inner wall towards the bottom left doesn't protrude diagonally.
  • Like the earlier April proto, the checkpoint data wasn't updated for the AI to go through the shallow water on the left yet. They drive alongside the wall and sink into the deep water instead.

Vanilla Lake

Vanilla Lake 1

Proto Final
SMKMayAugustProto VL1.png SMKFinal VL1.png
  • Several more batches of coins were added later on.
  • ? panels were shifted around slightly.
  • The off-road area within the inner wall was originally drivable, with a jump bar present to exit out. Additionally, it's possible to skip laps by driving in circles in the center because the finish line data ends there. The final removes the snowballs within the center and uses an extra tile with an out-of bounds attribute to prevent players from entering.
  • Small protruding pieces of walls were removed later on.
  • The ice blocks on the right side of the track are in two pieces formed together.
  • The pack of ice blocks at the bottom is denser.

Vanilla Lake 2

Proto Final
SMKMayAugustProto VL2.png SMKFinal VL2.png
  • Several batches of coins were removed or swapped out.
  • ? panels are spaced out slightly.
  • The ice blocks on the right are formed in one single chunk instead of three separate chunks.
  • The set of ice blocks on the final turn is denser.

Rainbow Road

Proto Final
SMKMayAugustProto RR.png SMKFinal RR.png
  • No Thwomps are present.
  • No coins are present at all.
  • More ? panels were added.
  • Many jump bars were removed.
  • A majority of the track is much thinner in width.
  • Aside from the lack of thwomps, the track has object positions, but they appear to be the same as the piranha plants from the removed Choco Island 3 course.

Battle Mode

The Battle Mode track order is the same as the April 13 build, with the presence of a Choco Island themed Battle Course 3, which would later be supplanted by the final game's Donut Plains themed Battle Course 1.

Course Name (Prototype) Name (Final)
Donut Plains N/A Battle Course 1
Koopa Beach Battle Course 4 Battle Course 2
Choco Island Battle Course 3 N/A
Vanilla Lake Battle Course 2 Battle Course 3
Mario Circuit Battle Course 1 Battle Course 4

Award Ceremony

Like the earlier April Proto there are several unique endings for ranking in the top 3 with two of them getting removed in the final.

Some changes were made. The unique 2nd and 3rd place ending cutscenes have been swapped around and have small changes in the animation.

1st 2nd 3rd
SMKmayproto Award1st.gif
SMKmayproto Award2nd.gif
SMKmayproto Award3rd.gif
  • In the 2nd place ending, the Super Koopa now spins after getting hit by the cork.
  • In the 3rd place ending, The fourth Paratroopa bounces its way out after getting hit by the cork.

Other Notable Differences

  • The text formatting differs slightly. "GOLD.", "SILVER.", and "BRONZE." is on the same line as "GREAT RACE!". In the final, They are on the same line as "X WINS THE".
  • In the 4th place ending, the top 3 rankers continue to cheer. In the final, they don't.
  • On rare occasions, the cutscene may load with the incorrect palette, similar to the undumped prototype.
  • There is a unique sound for when the giant Cheep-Cheep balloon gets hit by the cork and flies away.
  • The sound for when the "CONGRATULATIONS" text bounces after the zoom-in is missing.