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                               FAQ/Walkthrough for
                                SUPER MARIO KART

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GUIDE INFORMATION
-----------------

Author:   Tom Hayes
E-mail:   thayesguides(at)gmail(dot)com
System:   Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Updated:  18th June, 2008
Version:  1.1


CONTENTS
--------

1. Introduction
2. Characters
3. Item List
4. Walkthrough
     4.1. Mushroom Cup
     4.2. Flower Cup
     4.3. Star Cup
     4.4. Special Cup
5. Copyright Information


VERSION HISTORY
---------------

1.1:  18th June, 2008  (Format update)
1.0:  8th March, 2006  (First version)


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1.                               Introduction

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Super Mario Kart features eight characters from the Mario games. All of the
characters have different skills and weapons that they can use over the twenty
racing tracks in the game. Spread over four cups, all of the tracks are flat
and very short, but are well designed and very fun to play on. The grand prix
mode where two players can challenge each other against all of the other racers
is perhaps one of the best aspects of the game, although the battle mode where
the objective is to get rid of the other players balloons is brilliant as well.
Although one-player mode is great fun and has three different speeds to play on
over the four cups, with the 2-player grand prix and battle modes Super Mario
Kart remains one of the best multiplayer games on the SNES.


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2.                                Characters

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BOWSER and DONKEY KONG JR.
  These two have great top speed, although due to their weight the acceleration
  is very slow. They also slide a lot more when cornering. As opponents, Bowser
  throws fireballs and Donkey Kong Jr. drops bananas.


KOOPA TROOPA and TOAD
  Although both of these characters don't have fast speeds, they do have the
  best cornering skills out of all other drivers. As opponents, Koopa Troopa
  drops green shells and Toad drops poison mushrooms that shrink other drivers.


MARIO and LUIGI
  Average racers in all aspects. They can corner and accelerate far better than
  Bowser and Donkey Kong Jr. As opponents, Mario and Luigi become invincible
  for a few seconds, causing other drivers to spin out if they hit them.


PRINCESS PEACH and YOSHI
  Very fast acceleration and good top speed, although some corners may have to
  be taken slowly due to sliding out. As opponents, Peach can drop poison
  mushrooms which shrink other drivers and Yoshi will drop eggs.


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3.                                 Item List

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BANANA PEEL
  Peels can either be dropped by pressing A or thrown forward by holding up on
  the d-pad and pressing A. Either way, they cause a nuisance for the other
  drivers as they make them spin out of control when hit.


COIN
  One of the least useful items on GP mode as coins can be found all over the
  tracks. If you completely run out of coins, you can spin out if other karts
  hit you. Using this item will give the driver two coins.


FEATHER
  Highly useful on some courses and a waste in others, the feather gives
  drivers the chance to make one high jump at any point in the level. It is
  normally used when there is a shortcut that requires a jump over a gap, but
  can also be used to jump over green and red shells if the timing is correct.


GHOST
  The driver will become invisible when this item is used and enables them to
  take an item from the opponent, so it is best to wait until they have a good
  item before using it. This item only appears in battle mode and match race.


GREEN SHELL
  These shells can be fired in any direction and will bounce around the track
  until they disappear off the edge of a level or hit another driver. They can
  also be dropped behind the driver by holding down and pressing A.


LIGHTNING BOLT
  The bolt will shrink all of the other racers apart from the driver that has
  used it. You can run over the other drivers after it has been used, although
  the ones that have been run over will return to normal size. When shrunk,
  the poison mushrooms actually help as they make the drivers grow.


MUSHROOM
  The mushroom gives the driver a boost of speed for a second, and can be
  essential in taking some of the shortcuts in the game. Be careful not to hit
  anything while using the mushroom as the driver will slow down like normal.


RED SHELL
  These shells aim straight for the next racer. They can't turn around sharp
  corners or cross over gaps, but they will hit the next racer as long as they
  are ahead. Unlike green shells, red shells can't be dropped.


STAR
  The star will give the driver temporary invincibility, making the driver
  safe from attacks. The driver also becomes much faster, and you can easily
  cross over rough terrain at the side of tracks without losing any speed.


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4.                                 Walkthrough

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4.1.                              Mushroom Cup
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MARIO CIRCUIT 1: A very simple first track that consists of very mild corners,
making this a great place to learn the basics of taking corners well. There
are four green pipes just before the second corner. Lighter racers should be
fine going between the two left pipes, but heavier racers should go between
the right pipes to avoid sliding off the track. Be careful at the third corner
as it is very sharp. Either start wide and cut over the corner or release B to
stop accelerating when going around the corner. If you do go off the track,
get back on as soon as possible as the dirt slows the driver down.

  Shortcut: At the third corner, use a mushroom to boost over the dirt at the
            right side of the track. This skips the fourth corner.


DONUT PLAINS 1: After the initial S-bend near the start of the track, there is
a very long corner that can cause the driver to slide out if you take it all
in one turn. Another corner similar to this is found before the finish line.
In both cases, stop accelerating by releasing B for a second, or slide around
the corner but turn left slightly to stop sliding. Be careful not to turn the
fourth corner in the track too soon, as it is possible to get stuck behind the
barriers. If this happens, just jump and hold right to turn toward the track.
There are orange pipes at various points along the track, but these shouldn't
cause many problems as they are on the grass at the side of the track.

  Shortcut: After the second corner, use a mushroom to boost over the grass
            and go through the gap in the barrier to skip the third corner.


GHOST VALLEY 1: Be careful when taking the corners too sharply on this track,
as blocks at the side of the track will really slow the karts down if hit. The
blocks also disappear after being hit, so the kart will fall off the edge of
the track the next time it heads for the same place. Cornering is as good here
as it was on the first level, and as the track is so wide there should be no
danger of sliding too far. At the last speed jump, you can take a massive
shortcut if you have a feather or a mushroom, but also be prepared to face a
final sharp turn to the left if you decide to take this route.

  Shortcut: After the second jump, use a feather to jump over the gap at the
            corner and land on the narrow path on the other side.


BOWSER CASTLE 1: This can be a frustrating level as there are many hazards.
Before the second corner, four Thwomps drop down onto the track. They all drop
at different times, so look from a distance and try and drive toward the one
that is currently on the track. By the time you get there, the Thwomp should
have already risen back into the air. After this corner, there will be two
speed boosts on the left side and one on the right (on time trial mode, there
is no boost). The first left boost can be tricky to get as you need to turn
the corner sharply to reach it. There are more thwomps on a series of jumps up
ahead, so use the same method to pass them. Be sure to take the jumps straight
on, as it is possible to fall off the side into the lava.


MARIO CIRCUIT 2: Instead of taking the second corner, you can use a mushroom
to boost straight across the dirt. You can even do this without a mushroom by
jumping all the way over the dirt, and judging by time trial laps it seems to
take out a over a second by using this method. Pipes get in the way of a lot
of corners here, so you almost always have to take them wide. There are two
pipes near the start of the track that you can go between. The final boost
ends in four pipes at the left side of the track. Here you can take a risk by
going between the middle two pipes, as this just skims the edge of the corner.

  Shortcut: 1: After the first corner, use a mushroom to boost across the dirt
               at the left side of the track to skip two corners.
            2: Before the final zipper, use a mushroom just before the zipper
               and and aim left to launch over to the finish line.


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4.2.                               Flower Cup
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CHOCO ISLAND 1: Another slidy level, so be careful when taking the corners and
either release B to slow down or take the corners wide. Be careful when cutting
corners, as barriers on the dirt stretch nearing all the way up to the left
side of the track, and if you get caught you will need to spend a lot of time
turning right to get back onto the track. The only area without a barrier is
the final corner, where it is possible to boost across with a mushroom. Driving
across is not recommended however as the kart moves very slowly. Also watch out
for the piranha plants at the side of the track, as these will cause the kart
to spin out of control as soon as it hits them.

  Shortcut: Before the final corner, aim left and use a mushroom to boost
            across the dirt at the left side of the track.


GHOST VALLEY 2: A more difficult ghost valley than the first as some parts of
the track have no barrier. This becomes most evident on the missing barrier
on the seventh corner and after the eighth corner, where a chunk is missing
from the right side of the track. As with the first ghost valley you only get
one chance to hit a block of the barrier before that block disappears, so try
not to hit the same place twice. On the third corner, two question blocks are
positioned at the left side of the track, but you will normally only be able
to get to them by sliding with the heavier characters. Lighter drivers will
normally turn so sharply that they miss the question blocks.

  Shortcut: Use a feather to jump over the gap just before the third corner.


DONUT PLAINS 2: Watch out for the mole holes in this track. Ride over one of
the holes when a mole jumps out and it will stick to the driver, slowing the
kart down and making turning much more difficult. Fortunately they can be
removed by either jumping a few times or dropping into the lake. The lake has
no barrier around it, and it is even possible to fall into the small section
at the very edge. Try and avoid it, as driving in water is extremely slow.
Otherwise the level is very similar to the first donut plains, with long and
slidy corners that can make the kart skid out if you take them too fast.


BOWSER CASTLE 2: Thwomps are again present in the second version of Bowser's
castle, although this time they are positioned in even more awkward places,
normally before jumps and on corners. When you come to the first white arrow
pointing straight on, do not take the turning left, as this leads to a dead
end. At the next white arrow, do go left as on GP mode this leads to a speed
boost. The last series of jumps in the level start off with wide sections of
track on either side, but end with a very thin section after the thwomps.
Aim for the middle two thwomps to avoid falling into the lava.

  Shortcut: Turn left at the first white arrow and use a feather to jump
            from the stop sign to the track on the other side of the lava.


MARIO CIRCUIT 3: The track starts out with very gentle corners and you only
have to worry about the green pipes at the side of the track. Soon you will
come to the sharpest corner yet in the game, and to make things worse there
are green pipes at the right side of the track after the corner just to get
in the way if you take it too fast. The best thing to do is to release B
entirely so that the kart slows all the way down, now you can just turn the
corner at a very slow speed before accelerating safely away. After the next
long corner there is a gap in the barrier ahead. This cuts off two corners,
but the gap is very small so try and aim straight for the middle of it.

  Shortcut: Drive through the gap in the barrier before the final corner.


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4.3.                                Star Cup
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KOOPA BEACH 1: Although there are no barriers at the edge of the track, the
kart will sink into the dark blue water and you will only be able to ride
for a few seconds before Lakitu pulls you out. The light blue water is slow
but safe to ride on, and it is best to jump over it when possible at the
end of each island section. A shortcut can be taken onto a small island by
riding right over the light blue water at the end of the first section
of track. On time trial mode this is useless, but on grand prix an extra
question block is on the island. Ride around either side of the green patch
on the large island before the finish line as it slows down the karts.

  Shortcut: Before the second corner, turn right and ride across the light blue
            section of water to skip a small section of the island.


CHOCO ISLAND 2: The gap in the barrier in front of the finish line is not
worth riding through unless you have a mushroom, even if you gain a speed
start from the beginning of the race. As with the previous choco island,
the dirt at the side of the track is extremely slow to ride on. A large
section of mud about half-way along the track has an island in the middle of
it. Though you can jump through the right side of the mud to avoid the four
piranha plants, it is quicker to jump through the mud to the island and then
keep jumping through to the section of track on the other side.

  Shortcut: Drive through the gap in the barrier in front of the finish line.


VANILLA LAKE 1: An extremely slidy course made all the more difficult by
the ice blocks that appear about half-way around the track. If you hit
one of them the kart will bounce back and slow down, but fortunately the
block is then gone for the rest of the race. It is possible to go very
slow and drive through the gaps between the blocks, although on GP mode
the other drivers will normally bounce you directly into their path. Aside
from the blocks, there are also sets of pipes to worry about. Unlike the
blocks, these can be easily be dodged as there are big gaps between them.


BOWSER CASTLE 3: The final course at Bowser's castle has multiple paths to
take and the usual generous helping of Thwomps. There are also very narrow
sections of track, so whenever you turn a corner it is best to stay in the
middle of the track to avoid missing these sections. After the first set of
thwomps, turn slightly left as you go across the multiple jumps to find the
quickest route. After another narrow section, the track splits into three
paths. The middle one is the best pick here, as it avoids the two thwomps at
the other end and also sets the kart up nicely for the final corner.


MARIO CIRCUIT 4: This track has a variety of corners ranging from mild to
very sharp, but as with the previous Mario Circuit courses the track is not
slidy and most of the corners can be taken well at full speed. There are green
green placed in the middle of the track at three different sections, so either
aim for the wide gap between each pipe to miss them or drive around the side.
There is a gap in the barrier before the final corner, and though slow it can
be good to go through this gap as it avoids the three pipes on the corner.
This shortcut can be taken without slowing down if you have a mushroom.

  Shortcut: Drive through the gap in the barrier before the final corner.


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4.4.                              Special Cup
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DONUT PLAINS 3: There are two bridges in the level, and both can be difficult
to cross. The first bridge has a gap at the right side which is easy to avoid
on time trial, but in GP mode the other karts can cause trouble and you need
to stay at the left side as much as possible. The second bridge has a piece
missing toward the end, so just jump over it by pressing L or R. A narrow and
winding path follows which ends in a sharp mole-infested corner, so slow down
when taking the corner to avoid the moles. If one does jump on, just keep on
jumping in the kart until it jumps off. A final corner ends in another series
of mole holes, so just stop accelerating around the corner to avoid them.


KOOPA BEACH 2: An extremely easy special cup course. Just stay to the sand and
avoid driving on the green patches as this will slow the kart down. After the
second corner, you can either continue straight across the light blue water
to the small island, or turn slightly left and avoid the dark blue patches in
the water. The island path is slightly quicker and you can also get a question
mark from the middle of the island on GP mode. The left path is quicker to
take, although watch out for the numerous dark blue patches of water as the
kart will sink. There are numerous fish on the beach, though you should be able
to avoid all of them as long as you stay near the middle of the beach.

  Shortcut: Ride straight across the light blue water after the second corner.


GHOST VALLEY 3: The most difficult of the ghost valley courses due to the holes
in the track. Stay in the middle of the track after the first corner to avoid
two holes. The second corner leads to a diagonal section of track with no edge.
There is a hole in the middle of the track after the long third corner, so stay
at either side to avoid it. The fourth corner leads to a piece of track with
three holes in it. Stay left and ride over the jump to avoid two holes. Aim for
the left side of the jump to land safely on the narrow section of track. There
is then one more diagonal section of track with no edge before the finish.

  Shortcut: After the first jump, turn right before the corner and use a
            feather to jump over to the next section of track.


VANILLA LAKE 2: A massive lake fills the middle of this area. The usual pipes
and ice blocks make their appearance here, starting with four pipes after the
first corner. The second corner leads to three sets of ice blocks with a small
gap between them. Try and ride through the gap without hitting any blocks, or
the kart will bounce from one side to the other until you exit the gap. A part
of the lake stretches far out into the next corner, but it is possible to jump
over the thin section of it for a small shortcut. Stay right and ride over the
snow to avoid dropping into the lake. Go between the gap in the barrier, then
jump over the thin section of lake and turn left to avoid the final ice blocks.

  Shortcut: Drive through the gap in the barrier before the final corner.


RAINBOW ROAD: The final level has no sides at all, making falling off a common
thing here. To make things harder, all of the corners are sharp and there are
four sets of four thwomps. Use the usual sharp cornering technique of releasing
B when taking the corners here, and always aim for the thwomp that is currently
on the track so that it rises by the time you get there. The track splits into
two just before the final corner, and there is no real advantage to either
route. Just aim for the route where the thwomps are about to rise. There are
four thwomps after the final corner and then it's straight on to the finish.


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5.                          Copyright Information

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This file is Copyright 2006-2008 Tom Hayes. As it can be difficult to keep
track of websites that haven't posted the latest version of this file, please
do not distribute it without my permission. Send an e-mail to me if you would
like to post this file on your website and you will likely receive a positive
response. If you do post the file, please keep it in its original form with all
of the sections intact and credit the author (Tom Hayes) as the writer of the
file. The latest version of the file can be found at www.gamefaqs.com.