Expert Staff Ghosts Topic v.2 - FAQ, Unlock Times, Tips

#1gopher_pPosted 9/6/2008 10:05:49 PMmessage detail
This topic is an update of Crazyreyn’s topic, http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/genmessage.php?board=942008&topic=42526151. Some material contained in this topic has been copied directly from that topic or is a modification of information obtained in that topic.

This topic is meant to be a resource for those attempting to unlock the expert staff ghosts as a means to obtaining unlockable characters and vehicles. It is not intended to be a resource for individuals trying to obtain the best possible records in time trials. For more advanced tips and strategies, please consult the FAQs section of the Mario Kart: Wii board. Additionally, you may find World and Regional Record Ghosts on the Mario Kart Channel on your Wii (hackers have limited this resource recently) as well as on some popular video sharing sites.

What are Ghosts, and what are Expert Staff Ghosts?

In Time Trials, you have the options of racing a Solo time trial or racing against a Ghost. When you first Time Trial a specific course, the only ghost available to you is a Normal Staff Ghost. This ghost typically follows a very basic line around the track, makes a few mistakes, and is generally very easy to beat once you have become familiar with the course. After you have completed a time trial on a track, your fastest run on that course is available as a ghost as well. Other ghosts are available through Nintendo’s WFC (World/Regional Record ghosts, friend ghosts, challenge ghosts). The Expert Staff Ghosts are unlockable ghosts. They are significantly faster (7-24 seconds faster depending on the course) than the Normal Staff Ghosts. They follow much tighter lines around the course, make no major mistakes, use shortcuts and other advanced strategies, and can be very difficult to beat even for more accomplished players. Once you have unlocked the Expert Staff Ghost, the Normal Staff Ghost is no longer available.

How do I unlock the Expert Staff Ghosts?

An Expert Staff Ghost is unlocked by completing a time trial with a sufficiently fast time. This time is generally 4-7 seconds faster than the Normal staff Ghost time. Once you complete a time trial with a good enough time, you will receive a message stating, “A fast staff ghost has appeared.” (I would strongly advise you to make a list of tracks and mark each one off as you unlock the Expert Staff Ghost. It is an extraordinarily tedious process having to go back and check.)

What time do I need on (insert track) in order to unlock the Expert Staff Ghost?

The exact time for each track is unknown. However we do know, for each track, a time which is certain to unlock and a time which definitely does not unlock. For most tracks the difference between the “Unlock” time and the “Doesn’t Unlock” time are small, giving us a relatively good idea of the time needed to unlock each ghost. This information is presented in another post within this topic.

What do I get for unlocking the Expert Staff Ghosts?

In addition to a sense of accomplishment as well as having a resource for advanced driving techniques and strategies, there are some characters and vehicles which are revealed by unlocking the Expert Staff Ghosts as well as some that are revealed simply by completing time trials (finishing the race and recording a time). They are:

Magikruiser (Small Bike) - Set times on 8 different courses
Birdo - Set times on 16 different courses
Toadette - Set times on 32 different courses
Funky Kong - Unlocked 4 Expert Staff Ghosts
Baby Luigi - Unlocked 8 Expert Staff Ghosts
Spear/Torpedo (Large Bike)- Unlocked 12 Expert Staff Ghosts
Sprinter/B Dasher Mk 2 (Medium Kart) - Unlocked 24 Expert Staff Ghosts
Mii Outfit B - Unlocked all 32 Expert Staff Ghosts

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#2gopher_p(Topic Creator)Posted 9/6/2008 10:07:11 PMmessage detail
I have completed the requirements for unlocking (insert unlockable), but it didn’t unlock. What do I do?

You need to back out of your license and then re-enter. This can be done every time you reach a new milestone, or you can achieve as much as you want and then “restart”.

I did that, and I still don’t have (insert unlockable).

Recheck your records. It’s likely that you have missed something. You can either compare your times with the “Unlock” Times listed below. Or, better yet, compare the time of the Staff Ghost available to you (they all have names Nin*___) with the Staff Ghost times listed below to determine to determine if it is a Normal Staff Ghost or an Expert Staff Ghost. If there is a track for which you have a Normal Staff Ghost available, then you haven’t unlocked the Expert Staff Ghost. (This does take time and patience. It is the only way to recheck. )

I have triple-checked my times, and I believe that I have met the requirements for unlocking (insert unlockable). But it still hasn’t shown up.

There have been reports of some unlockables not showing up even though the requirements have been met. I would advise that you completely back out of the game and restart your Wii. If that doesn’t work, I don’t know what to tell you.

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#3gopher_p(Topic Creator)Posted 9/6/2008 10:08:01 PMmessage detail
What character/vehicle/drift mode combo should I use for Time Trials?

You should start out using whichever combo you plan on using in Grand Prix and Versus. Unless your goal is to set records (in which case this topic is not for you), the point of Time Trials is to familiarize yourself with each track and find the fastest way around without the nuisance of items laying around. If you are unsuccessful in Time Trials with your favorite combo, it is unlikely that you will have much success in the other modes with that combo. So try your favorite combo first.

If that doesn’t work for you, it is a commonly held belief that the Flame Runner/Bowser Bike and Mach Bike are generally the best vehicles to use in Time Trials. If you are dead set on using a kart, you would be advised to try the Mini Beast/Concerto or Wild Wing. Character choice is less important, however Funky Kong, Daisy, and Baby Daisy are considered to be the best characters for Time Trials. Drift mode is strictly a matter of preference.

If you have tried everything and are at a point where you simply want to do what is necessary to unlock, I would advise you to use Peach+Mach Bike+Auto. This combo is available at the beginning of the game, and it is my opinion that it is one of the easier combos to use. I know from experience that you can unlock most of the Expert Staff Ghosts with minimal effort with this combo as long as you know the tracks well enough to avoid making mistakes. It’s not the absolute best combo, and it may require an ego check if you are a manual user. But I will tell you that you would be surprised at how easy it is to do well in Time Trials with this combo.

I only need to unlock XX Expert Staff Ghosts in order to get (insert unlockable). Which tracks are the easiest?

There will be a post later in this topic which addresses this question.

Can you give me any advice to get a better time on (insert course)?

In general:
#1 Don’t hit walls, go off road without a mushroom, or fall off the track.
#2 Stay close to the inside of the track on turns and go in a straight line in between turns. More specifically, follow the best line around the track for your chosen vehicle. Do not violate rule #1 in order to accomplish this.
#3 If you are using manual, get as many Mini Turbo boosts as you can without violating rule #2, and if you are using a bike, wheelie as much as you can without violating rule #2.

Course-specific:
Videos for the Expert Staff Ghost can he found at http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=30E719D8F9559A3A
As long as World/Regional Records are legitimate (not hacked or glitched), you can download their ghosts from the Mario Kart Channel.
Other advanced tactics can be found in the FAQs section of the Mario Kart Board.

I’m desperate. I’ve tried everything, and I just can do (insert course).

If you have truly tried everything, I still may be able to help. I have, on an alternate account, time trial ghosts for all of the tracks which are just fast enough to unlock the Expert Staff Ghosts. They all use inward drifting bikes on automatic drift mode, so the lines are very easy to follow. And there are no mushrooms used, no wheelies popped, no tricks off of jumps, and on 31/32 tracks no turbo starts, so there should be plenty of opportunities for you to get ahead or catch up. If you would like me to (briefly) befriend you, I can send you up to five challenge ghosts to race against. Leave a message in this topic, add FC: 1590-7215-5609 to your friend list, and wait patiently for your challenge ghosts.

Good Luck

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#4gopher_p(Topic Creator)Posted 9/6/2008 10:11:06 PMmessage detail
Times of Interest

Luigi Circuit
Normal Staff: 1.29.670
Doesn't Unlock: 1.26.398
Unlock Time: 1.26.376
Expert Staff: 1.19.419

Moo Moo Meadows
Normal Staff: 1.37.856
Doesn't Unlock: 1.34.227
Unlock Time: 1.34.159
Expert Staff: 1.25.909

Mushroom Gorge
Normal Staff: 2.16.110
Doesn't Unlock: 2.10.880
Unlock Time: 2.10.807
Expert Staff: 2.01.011

Toad's Factory
Normal Staff: 2.22.480
Doesn't Unlock: 2.17.815
Unlock Time: 2.17.620
Expert Staff: 2.05.593

Mario Circuit
Normal Staff: 1.44.777
Doesn't Unlock: 1.40.549
Unlock Time: 1.40.524
Expert Staff: 1.33.702

Coconut Mall
Normal Staff: 2.30.764
Doesn't Unlock: 2.25.624
Unlock Time: 2.25.603
Expert Staff: 2.13.333

DK Summit
Normal Staff: 2.34.693
Doesn't Unlock: 2.29.209
Unlock Time: 2.29.061
Expert Staff: 2.17.546

Wario's Gold Mine
Normal Staff: 2.19.583
Doesn't Unlock: 2.15.344
Unlock Time: 2.15.313
Expert Staff: 2.04.800

Daisy Circuit
Normal Staff: 1.56.822
Doesn't Unlock: 1.51.798
Unlock Time: 1.51.699
Expert Staff: 1.41.362

Koopa Cape
Normal Staff: 3.03.022
Doesn't Unlock: 2.56.934
Unlock Time: 2.56.774
Expert Staff: 2.41.370

Maple Treeway
Normal Staff: 2.58.633
Doesn't Unlock: 2.52.200
Unlock Time: 2.52.158
Expert Staff: 2.37.812

Grumble Volcano
Normal Staff: 2.28.237
Doesn't Unlock: 2.23.571
Unlock Time: 2.22.835
Expert Staff: 2.11.852

Dry Dry Ruins
Normal Staff: 2.30.949
Doesn't Unlock: 2.27.019
Unlock Time: 2.25.904
Expert Staff: 2.14.286

Moonview Highway
Normal Staff: 2.16.802
Doesn't Unlock: 2.10.608
Unlock Time: 2.10.438
Expert Staff: 2.04.163

Bowser's Castle
Normal Staff: 3.04.836
Doesn't Unlock: 2.57.951
Unlock Time: 2.57.771
Expert Staff: 2.42.098

Rainbow Road
Normal Staff: 3.05.895
Doesn't Unlock: 3.00.424
Unlock Time: 2.59.970
Expert Staff: 2.44.734


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#5gopher_p(Topic Creator)Posted 9/6/2008 10:11:51 PMmessage detail
GCN Peach Beach
Normal Staff: 1.34.233
Doesn't Unlock: 1.31.010
Unlock Time: 1.30.908
Expert Staff: 1.23.140

DS Yoshi Falls
Normal Staff: 1.16.461
Doesn't Unlock: 1.14.085
Unlock Time: 1.14.070
Expert Staff: 1.09.175

SNES Ghost Valley 2
Normal Staff: 1.06.595
Doesn't Unlock: 1.04.448
Unlock Time: 1.04.261
Expert Staff: 0.58.907

N64 Mario Raceway
Normal Staff: 2.14.799
Doesn't Unlock: 2.10.087
Unlock Time: 2.10.028
Expert Staff: 1.59.053

N64 Sherbet Land
Normal Staff: 2.48.651
Doesn't Unlock: 2.43.642
Unlock Time: 2.43.032
Expert Staff: 2.28.356

GBA Shy Guy Beach
Normal Staff: 1.45.568
Doesn't Unlock: 1.41.215
Unlock Time: 1.41.162
Expert Staff: 1.32.867

DS Delfino Square
Normal Staff: 2.41.807
Doesn't Unlock: 2.36.651
Unlock Time: 2.36.603
Expert Staff: 2.24.169

GCN Waluigi Stadium
Normal Staff: 2.32.882
Doesn't Unlock: 2.26.439
Unlock Time: 2.26.289
Expert Staff: 2.12.367

DS Desert Hills
Normal Staff: 2.10.233
Doesn't Unlock: 2.02.510
Unlock Time: 2.02.252
Expert Staff: 1.52.686

GBA Bowser Castle 3
Normal Staff: 2.58.304
Doesn't Unlock: 2.53.979
Unlock Time: 2.53.589
Expert Staff: 2.39.391

N64 DK's Jungle Parkway
Normal Staff: 2.58.264
Doesn't Unlock: 2.53.140
Unlock Time: 2.51.662
Expert Staff: 2.37.782

GCN Mario Circuit
Normal Staff: 1.59.771
Doesn't Unlock: 1.56.339
Unlock Time: 1.55.676
Expert Staff: 1.49.939

SNES Mario Circuit 3
Normal Staff: 1.38.880
Doesn't Unlock: 1.35.384
Unlock Time: 1.35.212
Expert Staff: 1.26.659

DS Peach Gardens
Normal Staff: 2.34.894
Doesn't Unlock: 2.29.920
Unlock Time: 2.29.744
Expert Staff: 2.16.777

GCN DK Mountain
Normal Staff: 2.57.744
Doesn't Unlock: 2.52.661
Unlock Time: 2.52.048
Expert Staff: 2.38.130

N64 Bowser's Castle
Normal Staff: 3.19.323
Doesn't Unlock: 3.09.284
Unlock Time: 3.09.051
Expert Staff: 2.55.933


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#6gopher_p(Topic Creator)Posted 9/6/2008 10:13:27 PMmessage detail
Which tracks are the easiest/hardest for unlocking Expert Staff Ghosts?

This is an interesting question, because you have to consider both the difficulty of a course and the Unlock Time. For instance, DS Yoshi Falls is a fairly easy course to navigate, but the Unlock time is particularly fast. Conversely N64 Sherbet Land can be difficult to maneuver around with hitting the walls, but the Unlock time is ridiculously slow. For this reason, I considered two factors.

First I compared a “reasonable” Time Trial record to the Unlock Time. I wanted to have a time that a moderately skilled player who had raced the course at least a couple of time should reasonably be expected to obtain. To obtain the reasonable Time Trial record for each track, I used Koopa Troopa on the Bit Bike with automatic drift. I used no mushrooms, no wheelies, no tricks, no shortcuts, and no advanced tactics. I followed what I believe to be a line that an individual with some moderate amount of skill could follow. I took the fastest lap for the time trial and multiplied that by three. I then calculated the difficulty of each individual course by dividing the difference between the reasonable time and the Unlock time by the Unlock time and then ranking the results. I did this comparison to determine the difficulty of the Unlock time relative to someone new to the game.

Then I compared the Unlock Time to my personal record. I consider myself to be a relatively proficient Time Trialer. I don’t have any Worldwide or Regional Records. However I believe that all of my records would give me an “A” ranking if there were no hacked or glitched time trial records on the Mario Kart Channel. I performed a similar calculation to the one described above and again ranked the results. I did this comparison to determine the difficulty of the Unlock time relative to someone experienced with the game.
After a minor amount of fudging (I improved my own time on a couple of courses), I ranked each track according to the average of its two rankings.

Here are my results from least difficult to most difficult.

1 GCN DK Mountain
2 N64 Sherbet Land
3 N64 DK's Jungle Parkway
4 Dry Dry Ruins
5 Mushroom Gorge
5 DS Desert Hills
7 Luigi Circuit
8 Koopa Cape
8 GBA Bowser Castle 3
10 GCN Waluigi Stadium
11 DK Summit
12 Toad's Factory
13 Maple Treeway
14 DS Delfino Square
14 N64 Bowser's Castle
16 Moonview Highway
16 N64 Mario Raceway
18 Grumble Volcano
18 GCN Mario Circuit
20 Mario Circuit
20 Coconut Mall
20 GBA Shy Guy Beach
23 Wario's Gold Mine
23 Daisy Circuit
25 Moo Moo Meadows
26 GCN Peach Beach
27 DS Yoshi Falls
27 DS Peach Gardens
29 Bowser's Castle
30 SNES Mario Circuit 3
31 Rainbow Road
32 SNES Ghost Valley 2


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#7gopher_p(Topic Creator)Posted 9/6/2008 10:14:45 PMmessage detail
The main reasons for this update are that (a) the information regarding unlock times is significantly improved over the information in the previous sticky and (b) questions which are frequently asked on this board had not been anticipated and addressed by the previous sticky. One additional reason for the update is that the other topic is getting very close to its maximum post cap, and I didn’t want the thread to die. One factor in its rapid ascent to locked status is that some individuals felt it necessary to frequently post their own accomplishments in the topic, dispute the information/advice given, provide “updates” which were not, in fact, new or unknown information, or other post unnecessarily.

For that reason I would ask that you post only to:

(1) Request friend ghosts from anyone kind enough to offer
(2) Provide real, 100% sure it’s new/unknown information, “I promise never to return to GameFaqs if I’m wrong” updates to the Unlock Times section
(3) Ask real, 100% sure it’s not addressed in the thread already, “I promise never to return to GameFaqs if I’m wrong” questions about unlocking Expert Staff Ghosts
(4) Express gratitude for any help received
(5) Bump the topic on its way to being stickied

If you wish to discuss/dispute any of the information/advice given in the topic, please make an “ATTN:” topic.

If you wish to toot your own horn, celebrate your accomplishments, publicly track you own progress, etc. please do that in another topic as well.

Thank you.

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#8wii_game_freakPosted 9/6/2008 10:16:26 PMmessage detail
how do i request sticky?
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#9xKotovSyndromePosted 9/6/2008 10:34:18 PMmessage detail
Your sticky request has been accepted.

Thanks to seeing this thread, I figured out why it didn't give me my Magikrusier. Thanks.
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#10Sonicsaber91Posted 9/6/2008 10:36:09 PMmessage detail
Your account level has to be at least 31. Go to message detail. Scroll down. You'll see it. Requested for sticky. Should I request for unsticky for the other?
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