Mario Kart 64

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Mario Kart 64
Mario Kart 64box.png
North American box art
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Director(s) Hideki Konno
Producer(s) Shigeru Miyamoto
Composer(s) Kenta Nagata[1]
Series Mario Kart
Platform(s) Nintendo 64, Nintendo iQue, Virtual Console
Release date(s) Nintendo 64
  • JP December 14, 1996
  • NA February 10, 1997
  • EU June 24, 1997
Virtual Console[2]
PAL 20070125January 25, 2007

NA 20070129January 29, 2007
JP 20070130January 30, 2007

Genre(s) Racing
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Mario Kart 64 (マリオカート64 Mario Kāto Rokujūyon?) is a 1996 go-kart racing game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64 video game console. It is the successor to Super Mario Kart for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and is the second Mario Kart game. It was released first in Japan on December 14, 1996 and in North America and Europe in 1997. In January 2007, Mario Kart 64 was released as a downloadable Virtual Console title on the Wii.[2]

Changes from the original include the move to polygon-based true 3D computer graphics for track design, and the inclusion of four-player support. Players take control of characters from the Mario universe, who race around a variety of tracks with items that can either harm opponents or aid the user. The move to three-dimensional graphics allowed for track features not possible with the original game's Mode 7 graphics, such as changes in elevation, bridges, walls, and pits. However, the characters and items remained 2D pre-rendered sprites.

The game was critically well received and was a best-seller.

Gameplay[edit]

Racing on D.K.'s Jungle Parkway, the first course of the Special Cup. Mario Kart 64 is the first game in the series to use 3D computer graphics.

Mario Kart 64 is a kart racing game in which the player controls one of eight selectable Mario characters who race in karts in different race tracks that vary in shape and theme. During a race, the players can obtain random items from special boxes placed in different areas of the track that are used to impede the opposition and gain the advantage. For example, shells and bananas allow the player to attack opponents and slow them down, and Mushrooms grant the player a temporary boost in speed.

Game modes[edit]

There are four different game modes available in Mario Kart 64: Grand Prix, Time Trial, Versus, and Battle. Grand Prix mode supports both single-player and competitive multiplayer gameplay, while other modes only support one or the other.

  • Grand Prix – This mode has one or two players participate in four consecutive three-lap races, each on a different course, on one of the four selectable cups (Mushroom, Flower, Star, or Special) against seven (or six) computer players. When the player completes a race, points are awarded based on the rank he or she finished. If the player ranks 5th or under, the player is required to restart the race, otherwise the player will advance to the next one. After finishing all four races, trophies are awarded to the players who scored the highest accumulation of points: bronze for third place, silver for second, and gold for first. Difficulty level is measured by engine size: 50, 100, or 150cc. There is an additional unlockable difficulty called 'Extra', which allows players to race at speed 150cc, on tracks that are inverted left-to-right. This is the first game in the series to provide this feature. Later installments call this feature "Mirror Mode" or "150cc Mirror Mode."
  • Time Trial – This is a single-player-only mode where the objective is to complete a three-lap race on the selected track in the shortest total time possible. There are no opponent racers or item boxes, though the player will always begin each race with a Triple Mushroom in reserve. For any given course the top five shortest total times are saved, and the shortest single lap time of any race is also saved. The player can select to race against a ghost character who will mimic the movement of the player from a previous race. Ghost data for up to two different courses can be saved permanently only on a Controller Pak device. However, the Virtual Console version of Mario Kart 64 released on the Wii is incompatible with the device and is thus unable to save ghost data.[3]
  • Versus mode – Two to four players compete in single races on any track without any computer players. With two players, the total number of wins for each player is tracked, and in three or four player matches, the number of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place wins is tracked for each racer.
  • Battle Mode – This mode, supporting two to four players, has a last man standing objective where the players attack each other with items inside one of four selectable arena courses. The players begin a match with three balloons attached to each of their karts. A player will lose one balloon each time his or her character is damaged by coming into contact with one of the other players' offending items, and is eliminated from play upon losing all balloons. The match ends when one player remains, who is then declared the winner. In three or four player matches, the first two players' characters to lose all their balloons will transform into mobile "Mini Bomb Karts" and forfeit the ability to win the match. The Mini Bomb Kart is still maneuverable by the player and can collide and inflict damage on another player only once, after which it can no longer participate.[4]

Playable characters[edit]

Mario Kart 64 features eight playable characters. Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Toad, Yoshi, and Bowser appeared in Super Mario Kart while the remaining two characters, Wario, and Donkey Kong are new to the series replacing Koopa Troopa and Donkey Kong Jr. The characters are divided into three weight classes: lightweights, whose karts have high acceleration and lower top speed[citation needed]; heavyweight, whose karts have low acceleration but high top speed[citation needed]; and middleweights, who have balanced acceleration and top speed.

Development[edit]

Production of the game began in 1995 under its original title Super Mario Kart R,[5] and was intended to be a launch game for the Nintendo 64, but more resources were given to Super Mario 64's development.[6] An early prototype of the game was showcased at the Shoshinkai Software Exhibition in Japan on November 24, 1995.[7] The prototype featured the Feather item from Super Mario Kart and a Magikoopa as one of the eight playable characters, who was replaced with Donkey Kong in the final game.[5][8]

The player's driving controls were designed to be similar to operating a radio-controlled car.[9] While Mario Kart 64 features tracks that are fully rendered in 3D, the game uses billboarding to display the characters and items. Game director Hideki Konno stated that, while rendering the characters as 3D models was not impossible, the limited processing power of the console would not have allowed all eight characters to appear on the screen at once. Instead, the characters are composed of pre-rendered sprites that show the characters from various angles to simulate a 3D appearance.[6] Rare Ltd., developer of the Donkey Kong Country games, provided Donkey Kong's character model.[10]

While rubberband AI was used to prevent all the racers from easily separating, the Blue Spiny Shell item, which targets and attacks the player in first place, was added in order to keep each race competitive and balanced. The item was included in all subsequent Mario Kart games.[11]

Soundtrack[edit]

The soundtrack for Mario Kart 64 was composed by Kenta Nagata, which was his first work on a Nintendo game.[1] The game's soundtrack was released several times in different formats including Compact Disc and audio cassette.[12] Four different versions of the album were released: Race Tracks and Greatest Hits Soundtrack in North America; Original Soundtrack and Club Circuit were released in Japan. It was later released in a three disc collection, along with the soundtracks of Star Fox 64 and Super Mario 64.[13]

Reception[edit]

 Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 87.01%[17]
Metacritic 83/100[19]
Review scores
Publication Score
Edge 8 of 10[18]
Electronic Gaming Monthly A[14]
GamePro 5/5[16]
GameSpot 6.4/10[15]
IGN (N64) 8.1/10[4]
(Wii) 7.9/10[3]
NintendoLife 9/10[2]
Nintendo Power 4.33/5[17]

Mario Kart 64 received generally positive reviews. The game has an average review ratio of 87% on Game Rankings, including reviews from IGN and GamePro, and magazines such as Electronic Gaming Monthly.[17] IGN stated, "Though the single-player mode is a bit of a step back from the SNES original, Mario Kart 64 still offers one of the best multiplayer experiences to be had on Nintendo 64."[4] GameSpot insisted that though the graphics and sound of the game are impressive, the gameplay is too easy and lacks depth.[15] In their Virtual Console re-release review, the reviewer criticized its lack of ghost-saving, sound and graphics saying the latter had "aged rather poorly."[20] The game placed 17th in Official Nintendo Magazine's 100 greatest Nintendo games of all time.[21] Mario Kart 64 sold approximately 5.5 million copies in the United States and 2.24 million in Japan.[22][23] Game Informer reported in June 2014 that the game had sold 9.87 million copies worldwide, making it the second best-selling game on Nintendo 64.[24]


References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Kenta Nagata". Square Enix Music Online. Retrieved 2011-09-25. 
  2. ^ a b c "Mario Kart 64 on VC". NintendoLife. Retrieved 2011-09-25. 
  3. ^ a b Thomas, Lucas M. (January 30, 2007). "Mario Kart 64 VC Review". IGN. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c Schneider, Peer (1997-02-20). "IGN: Mario Kart 64 Review". IGN. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  5. ^ a b "Super Mario Kart R [N64 - Beta]". Unseen64. 2008-04-04. Retrieved 2010-08-13. 
  6. ^ a b "It Started With A Guy In Overalls". Iwata Asks: Mario Kart Wii. Nintendo of America. Retrieved September 25, 2012. 
  7. ^ Liedholm, Marcus (1998-01-01). "The N64's Long Way to completion". Nintendo Land. Archived from the original on 2008-08-28. Retrieved 2008-03-27. 
  8. ^ Knight, Rich (August 21, 2012). "7. Magikoopa". The 10 Greatest Wizards In Video Games. Complex Gaming. Retrieved October 7, 2012. 
  9. ^ Nintendo Power 92. 1997.
  10. ^ "Mario Kart 64 Game Credits (USA)". The Mushroom Kingdom. Retrieved September 25, 2012. 
  11. ^ Totilo, Stephen (March 9, 2011). "The Maker Of Mario Kart Justifies The Blue Shell". Kotaku. Retrieved September 26, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Mario Kart 64 Race Tracks cassette tape release information". Video Game Music Database. 1873. Retrieved November 19, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Nintendo 64 Trilogy Music From The Greatest Nintendo 64 Games". discogs. Retrieved November 19, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Mario Kart 64 N64 Review Index, Mario Kart 64 Reviews:". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  15. ^ a b Ward, Trent (1997-02-06). "Mario Kart 64 for Nintendo 64 Review - Nintendo 64 Mario Kart 64 Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  16. ^ Doctor Zombie (2000-11-24). "Review: Mario Kart 64 for N64 on Gamepro.com". GamePro. Archived from the original on 2010-04-10. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  17. ^ a b c "Mario Kart 64 Reviews". Game Rankings. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  18. ^ "Edge Online: Search Results". Edge. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  19. ^ "Mario Kart 64 (n64: 1997): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  20. ^ Mario Kart 64 for Wii Review - Wii Mario Kart 64 Review
  21. ^ "20-11 Official Nintendo Magazine". Official Nintendo Magazine. Retrieved 2009-02-25. 
  22. ^ "The Magic Box - US Platinum Chart Games". The Magic Box. 2007-12-27. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  23. ^ "The Magic Box - Japan Platinum Chart Games". The Magic Box. 2007-12-27. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  24. ^ Futter, Mike (2 June 2014). "Mario Kart 8 Speeds To Over 1.2 Million Sales In Opening Weekend". Game Informer. GameStop. Retrieved 2 June 2014. 

External links[edit]