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Proto:Super Mario Kart/mkart

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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:

Music, graphics, maps, more.

Post a patch to fix the lack of hazards on certain courses in Grand Prix mode.

mkart is a Super Mario Kart prototype dated April 13, 1992. The ROM was discovered in the July 25th, 2020 gigaleak.

To get the ROM working, change FF FF FF FF FF to 30 05 09 01 00 at 0x7FD5 to correct the header. To get Vanilla Lake 1 working, apply this patch.

General Differences

  • The small demos shown after the title screen are absent in this build.
  • The ability to navigate the menus with select has not been implemented yet.
  • The 150cc class is not present at all.
  • The Staff Roll is absent.
  • The Special Cup is unlocked from the start.
  • All trophies for 50cc and 100cc are obtained from the start.
  • Almost all of the text is different.
  • Coins, Boos, and Lightning don't appear in the item roulette.
  • The Bullet Bill (the moving ball enemy from Match Race) appears as a green shell.
  • The player starts out with 5 lives instead of 3. It's impossible to have 5 lives in the final game.
  • No extra lives are given out.
  • Computer opponents don't use character specific items yet. They only lay bananas and don't throw them in front of you yet either.
  • The AI appears to be locked at full speed throughout a majority of the race, making it difficult to pass them.
  • The player always starts the next race in 8th place (7th for player 2), even regardless of what place he/she came in during the previous race.
  • The timer appears in Battle Mode.
  • Monty Moles don't attach to you like in the final. They will spin you out instead.
  • Cheep-Cheeps and Piranha Plants cause you to lose coins when you touch them, unlike the final.
  • The animation for getting crushed by a Thwomp is longer.


  • Hopping is not possible.
  • Slight drifts (Hopping and then holding Left/Right) are not possible.
  • Sharp drifts (holding L/R while drifting) are slightly buggy and can cause inconsistent rates of acceleration and can even slow you down.
  • Automatic drifting isn't implemented yet
  • To end a drift, you need to steer against the drift direction, otherwise you get another slow down.
  • When ending a drift, you get a small boost like the Mini-Turbos from later Mario Kart games.
  • Bananas can't be thrown forward.
  • Green shells can't be dropped.
  • Driving out of the water gives you a big jump with a speed boost.
  • Going into obstacles such as Pipes, Thwomps, Piranha Plants, Monty Moles, and Cheep-Cheeps with a star makes you feather jump, instead of knocking the pipe over.


  • Colliding with a wall while underwater causes you to regain acceleration as if you were on the track.
  • CPU opponents who are rescued by Lakitu can sometimes levitate in the air for the remainder of the race.
  • Lakitu sometimes appears on the bottom map screen when the CPU fall into lava or water
  • Red shells thrown at CPU opponents often go through them without hitting them.
  • When driving behind a CPU opponent while it lays down a banana, the banana will go through the player.
  • The bumps on Choco Island aren't programmed properly and can throw the player sideways.
  • The engine sounds from the computer opponents can still be heard after a race.
  • Attempting to load Vanilla Lake 1 normally crashes the game due to a problem with the track's checkpoint data.
  • The animations for the water and mud splashing continue to play even when the player remains idle.
  • In Battle Mode, the characters will constantly turn their head.
  • Drifting in circles in offroad sections will cause the player to spin out indefinitely until they release the gas or exit exit the offroad.
  • If the player hits something that will cause them to spin out, and pause to restart or exit to another course in the duration of the camera spin, it's possible to race around with a different camera angle. The camera resets when the player hits something again.

Graphical Differences


Proto SMK Mario Proto.png SMK Luigi-Proto.png SMK Bowser Proto.png SMK Yoshi Proto.png SMK Koopa Final.png
Final SMK Mario Final.png SMK Luigi-Final.png SMK Bowser Final.png SMK Yoshi Final.png SMK Koopa Proto.png

Several character sprites received minor tweaks. Also, Luigi uses his own body graphics, whereas in the final, he uses Mario's body graphics as a way to save memory. His seat is also blue and his shading looks partially unfinished.

Proto SMK PeachIcon Proto.png SMK DKJRRank Proto.png
Final SMK PeachIcon Final.png SMK DKJRIcon Final.png

Peach and Donkey Kong Jr.'s ranking icons were redrawn.

Item Slot

Proto SMK Proto 1P.png SMK Proto 2P.png
Final SMK Final 1.png SMK Final 2.png

The item slot displays a "P" next to the number.

Audio Differences

Here's the cheat to manipulate the audio: 000e0a:?? (where "??" can be any value). Enable the code, the game will go silent, and then disable the code. The song or sound effect will play.

Title Screen

Proto Final

Completely different song. The early music is slower and softer in sound compared to the more upbeat final version.

Select Screen

Proto Final

The lead instrument is slightly different.

Race Start

Proto Final

Peach/Yoshi's kart engine is in a higher pitch.

Battle Mode

Proto Final

An early version of what would eventually be the music for 2P Battle Mode, with slightly different instrumentation and no intro. This doesn't actually play in Battle Mode at this point, but rather in Ghost Valley, Bowser Castle, and Mario Circuit.

Donut Plains

Proto Final

The first half of the music is in a different key than in the final version.

Vanilla Lake

Proto Final

An entirely different song, which is actually different from the other Vanilla Lake theme shown off in this currently-undumped prototype.


Proto Final

Seems to be mostly the same except for the main instrument used.

Mario's Theme

Proto Final

Mario's ranking theme has lighter bass.

Peach's Theme

Proto Final

Opposite of Mario, Peach's ranking theme was heavier on the bass and uses a guitar sample not present in the final game's sample set.

Yoshi's Theme

Proto Final

Yoshi's theme uses a loud, shrill instrument, is slower, and lacks the second half.

Toad's Theme

Proto Final

Toad's theme is slower and missing half of its instrumentation.

Donkey Kong Jr.'s Theme

Proto Final

Uses an entirely different melody.

Koopa Troopa's Theme

Proto Final

Koopa Troopa's theme lacks the piano and uses a slightly different percussion beat.

2nd-4th Place Ranking

Proto Final

The track for placing 2nd-4th in a race is different.


Proto Final

Taken directly from Super Mario World. The final game uses a more unique rendition.

Other Sound Differences

  • Lakitu makes a different sound when going in reverse or rescuing the player. A very similar sound was later used in Mario Kart 64.
  • The "Goal!" sound is absent in this build.
  • When controlled by the computer, Yoshi and Peach's kart engine is in a very high pitch.
  • Many unique sounds for skidding on different surface types like planks and bricks are missing, so they default to the regular skidding sound.
  • There's a slightly different noise when crossing the bridge in Donut Plains.
  • Choco Island plays Koopa Beach's music, as the music for Choco Island wasn't added in the game yet.
  • The Podium music is absent in this build, so the title theme plays instead.
  • The character themes don't continue into the ranking screen, so the menu theme plays there instead.
  • The jingles for completing a race in Grand Prix doesn't play in Time Trials, so it skips straight to the character's victory theme.
  • The engine sound is silent during the countdown in Time Trials

Title Screen

Proto Final (Japan)
SMK Proto Title.png Smk title screen jp.png

Mario’s mouth is closed on the prototype title screen. Aside from that, it's pretty much identical to the final Japanese version.

Debug Features

At the title screen, some debug features can be used by pressing a certain combination of buttons. These features are very buggy and read the menu choices (class, mode, driver, and track) that were selected before, so the game may crash or give different results when using them.

Press Select and one of the following buttons on the title screen to access a debug feature:

Select + R

Loads a track selection screen. It uses a variant of the Time Trial one and Mario is set by default as the character for the player. If the player didn't access at least one track in Time Trial before (using the main menu), the selected track crashes as soon Lakitu's countdown finishes or when one of the players starts to accelerate (it may glitch and allow another player to participate).

If Battle Mode was accessed before, the game will send you to the battle arena selection instead.

Final choice before starting the race
Track Select Time Trials
SMK mkart Prototype Track Select Choice.png SMK mkart Prototype Time Trials Choice.png

Select + Y

Starts a Match Race with the last selected drivers and track, if Match Race was selected before. If Battle Mode was played before, it will start a battle.

By default it will start a glitched Match Race on Mario Circuit 3 that makes the game crash when it finishes, with Mario (Player 1) against an invisible character (presumably Luigi) for Player 2. The screen is almost blackened because the game is put in a "game over" state, but the players can move and sometimes even Mario can be invisible.


Any other mode that was selected before will crash the game or start a 1-Player solo race that crashes the game as soon the start countdown finishes.

Select + B

Starts a Grand Prix with the last selected driver and cup. The Mushroom Cup with Mario set as Player 1 will load by default.

If Battle Mode was played before, it will start with a glitched battle on the first track of the last selected Cup. The players appear to have no balloons, their speed is faster than normal, and laps don't work. When the battle is completed and you go to the driver or track selection, everything will be set back to normal Battle Mode.

If a Grand Prix in 2-Player was played before, it will start a 2-Player Grand Prix instead of a 1-Player one.

If Match Race was the last choice, the game will crash.

Select + X

After the screen becomes black, the game softlocks or crashes.

Select + Start

Same as above. In later prototype builds it will load a Debug Menu.

Any other button combination won't do anything.

Select Screen

Proto Final
SMK CharSelect Proto.png SMK CharSelect Final.png

Everyone except Mario, Yoshi, and Toad was rearranged.

Proto Final
SMK CupSelect Proto.png SMK CupSelect Final.png

An orange border and a heading with the selected cc class was later added to the Cup selection. All trophies are obtained from the start.

Track List

The tracks are in a different order than the final game and the later prototypes, and some have different layouts. Notably, this build lacks Rainbow Road, instead having a third Choco Island course.

Proto Final
Mushroom Cup
Donut Plains 1 Mario Circuit 1
Choco Island 1 Donut Plains 1
Ghost Valley 1 Ghost Valley 1
Bowser Castle 1 Bowser Castle 1
Mario Circuit 1 Mario Circuit 2
Flower Cup
Koopa Beach 1 Choco Island 1
Choco Island 2 Ghost Valley 2
Donut Plains 2 Donut Plains 2
Bowser Castle 2 Bowser Castle 2
Mario Circuit 2 Mario Circuit 3
Star Cup
Ghost Valley 2 Koopa Beach 1
Vanilla Lake 1 Choco Island 2
Donut Plains 3 Vanilla Lake 1
Bowser Castle 3 Bowser Castle 3
Mario Circuit 3 Mario Circuit 4
Special Cup
Vanilla Lake 2 Donut Plains 3
Koopa Beach 2 Koopa Beach 2
Choco Island 3 Ghost Valley 3
Ghost Valley 3 Vanilla Lake 2
Mario Circuit 4 Rainbow Road

Track Differences

Note that when playing in Grand Prix some tracks have their objects (like pipes, Thwomps, and Monty Moles) in a different position or lack them completely. When playing the tracks in Time Trial or Match Race, the objects will appear in their correct positions.

Donut Plains

Donut Plains 1

Proto Final
SMKAprilProto DP1.png SMKFinal DP1.png
  • The road at the bottom is straight and littered with Monty Moles, rather than the large bending road in the final. This early track can be seen in prerelease screenshots.

SMK 1 Computer+VideoGiochi Issue20.jpg

Donut Plains 2

Proto Final
SMKAprilProto DP2.png SMKFinal DP2.png
  • Has a diverging road that passes through the lake, as well as a straight path at the bottom of the track.
  • There is a misplaced Monty Mole in the (0,0) cordinate of the track.

SMK mkart Misplaced Monty Mole.png

Donut Plains 3

Proto Final
SMKAprilProto DP3.png SMKFinal DP3.png
  • Top-right is a much narrower bending road than the final game's.
  • The bridge is shorter.
  • After the bend following the bridge, the path is straight rather than bending like the final.
  • The bottom-right turn is much wider, and then the road is a straight narrow path as opposed to bending like the final version.
  • There are substantially more Monty Moles in the bottom part of the course.

Choco Island

Choco Island 1

Proto Final
SMKAprilProto CI1.png SMKFinal CI1.png
  • There is no mud at the bottom of the track and no bumps on the top part.
  • The top-right inner wall is not diagonal, but straight walls
  • There are a few more rough patches of dirt than in the final version

Choco Island 2

Proto Final
SMKAprilProto CI2.png SMKFinal CI2.png
  • The big mud puddle is split up into smaller sections of offroad.
  • There are unused oil slicks that do not appear in the final version
  • The top-right and bottom-right inner walls are not diagonal, but straight walls
  • There are a few more rough patches of dirt than in the final version

Ghost Valley

Ghost Valley 1

Proto Final
SMKAprilProto GV1.png SMKFinal GV1.png
  • The coins, ramps, and ? Blocks are in different positions.
  • Some tiles on the edge of the track are missing.

Ghost Valley 2

Proto Final
SMKAprilProto GV2.png SMKFinal GV2.png
  • Apart from a different number of objects and their positions being different, many tiles on the edge are not present.
  • The track is colored uniformly rather than having a dark-colored portion.

Ghost Valley 3

Proto Final
SMKAprilProto GV3.png SMKFinal GV3.png
  • Coins and ? Blocks are in different positions, and there are fewer of them compared to the final version.
  • The shortcut is missing.

Bowser Castle

Bowser Castle 1

Proto Final
SMKAprilProto BC1.png SMKFinal BC1.png
  • The arrows are positioned differently.
  • There are more zippers and less ? Blocks.
  • The coin formation is wave-shaped instead of crown-shaped like in the final version, and there are no coin lines scattered through the course.
  • The top straightaway is shifted down from where it is in the final version.
  • There are many more lava bubble tiles than in the final version.

Bowser Castle 2

Proto Final
SMKAprilProto BC2.png SMKFinal BC2.png
  • An additional STOP is placed halfway through the track.
  • There are many more lava bubble tiles than in the final version
  • There are additional ramps with lava pools in the top and bottom section
  • Arrow tiles have different graphics, and some arrows are missing

Bowser Castle 3

Proto Final
SMKAprilProto BC3.png SMKFinal BC3.png
  • An additional platform is on the left side of the track, and as a result the platform following the previous platform's ramp is wider.
  • The track also contains a STOP that is not present in the final version.
  • There are many more lava bubble tiles than in the final version
  • Top slim section is much shorter than in the final version

Vanilla Lake

Vanilla Lake 1

Proto Final
SMKAprilProto VL1.png SMKFinal VL1.png
  • The middle is an inverted T-shape rather than the final's large box. This results in a wider road near the starting line and on the right side of the track.
  • There are three barriers located on the right side of the track. The final version only has one.
  • Exposed water was added in the final version.
  • Center area contains patches of snow not present in final version
  • The ice block patch in the bottom contains a much denser packing of ice
  • There are three extra colored walls on the right
  • Ice barriers on the right are fully blocking the path, as opposed to spaced out in the final version
  • The Top-right quadrant is changed drastically

Vanilla Lake 2

Proto Final
SMKAprilProto VL2.png SMKFinal VL2.png
  • The ice blocks on the left are together, forming one giant block. The final version split them into three groups.
  • Ice block patch on the bottom-right is much denser than in the final version

Koopa Beach

Koopa Beach 1

Proto Final
SMKAprilProto KB1.png SMKFinal KB1.png
  • A zipper, not present in the final version, is present.
  • A lonely coin can be found on the top-right part of the map, probably left there by mistake.
  • The patch of plants at the bottom is thicker.

Koopa Beach 2

Proto Final
SMKAprilProto KB2.png SMKFinal KB2.png
  • The barrier on the bottom-left is horizontal, rather than diagonal like in the final version.
  • The ? Block near the center of the track was removed in the final version.
  • The patch of plants throughout the track is much thicker.
  • The small island on the left of the track with the ? Block is slightly bigger.

Mario Circuit

Mario Circuit 1

Proto Final
SMKAprilProto MC1.png SMKFinal MC1.png
  • Contains an oil slick that was removed in the final version.

Mario Circuit 2

Proto Final
SMKAprilProto MC2.png SMKFinal MC2.png
  • The objects are arranged differently, with fewer coins than in the final version.
  • Only one ramp is present after the zippers.
  • The visibility areas for the pipes are messed up

Mario Circuit 3

Proto Final
SMKAprilProto MC3.png SMKFinal MC3.png
  • The coins and ? Blocks have been moved.
  • There are no oil slicks.

Mario Circuit 4

Proto Final
SMKAprilProto MC4.png SMKFinal MC4.png
  • The oil slick and coins were moved.
  • The wall after the second turn is thinner.
  • A misplaced coin can be found in the top-center part of the track.

Battle Courses

Battle Course 1

Proto (Battle Course 1) Final (Battle Course 4)
SMKAprilProto Battle1.png SMKFinal Battle4.png

Equivalent to the final's Battle Course 4. Prototype has a Donut Plains theme rather than Mario Circuit.

Battle Course 2

Proto (Battle Course 2) Final (Battle Course 3)
SMKAprilProto Battle2.png SMK BattleCourse3 Final.png

Equivalent to the final's Battle Course 3. The smaller ice enclosure was later split into four groups in the final and the larger ice enclosure was removed and replaced with diagonal ice blocks.

Battle Course 3

SMKAprilProto Battle3.png

Unique Choco Island themed battle track with no direct equivalent in the final. It contains eight center barriers with jump bars connected to them.

Battle Course 4
Equivalent to the final's Battle Course 2.

Cut Track

Choco Island 3
A unique course layout not seen in the final. It has a few similarities with Choco Island 2, notably the similar routing with almost the same starting position and the idea of the curve with the shortcut through the mud after the starting line (although the curve is longer, which makes it faster to use the shortcut without an item instead of driving the curve along).

This track is known as dart01 and D1 in the source files, so this may have been the first Choco Island track to be created.

SMKAprilProto CI3.png

Perhaps the most notable thing about this track is that it was scrapped in favor of Rainbow Road.

Award Ceremony

The proto has several unique endings for ranking in the top 3. Two of which are not seen in retail. The fourth place ending is also absent in this build. The player is taken back to the cup select screen afterwards, unlike the final, where the player is taken back to the title screen.

1st Place

Similar to the final, a giant inflatable Cheep Cheep hovers above the podium, except this time, it doesn't spit out a trophy and has a slightly different path when shot out by the champagne bottle's cork.

MkartProto Award1st.gif

2nd Place

When finishing 2nd, four Koopa Paratroopas fly above the podium, with the fourth one walking away after being shot down by the cork.

MkartProto Award2nd.gif

3rd Place

When finishing 3rd, a Super Koopa enters the scene and makes a loop above the podium, which then gets shot by the cork on it's way out.

MkartProto Award3rd.gif

Other Notable Differences

  • The background uses the generic oval clouds seen in Mario Circuit, whereas in the final, the clouds change depending on the cup. The sky is also yellow instead of blue.
  • There is no proper text for congratulating the player on his/her victory, so it will display a bunch of 1s instead. Most likely a placeholder.
  • The special award song doesn't exist yet so the early titlescreen theme is used here.
  • Donkey Kong Jr. is missing the letter on his tanktop.
  • Some of the characters' animations for cheering with the bottle differ from the final.
  • No soundeffects.

Unused Graphics


SMK prerelease EarlyCoin.png SMK prerelease EarlyCoin animated.gif

A coin sprite with graphics for different distances can be found among the item graphics. This could mean that the coins were originally supposed to be standing on the track rather than laying flat, an idea that would be revisited in Mario Kart 7 and 8.

The used coin can be found among Lakitu's graphics.