Mario Kart Arcade GP

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Mario Kart Arcade GP
Mario Kart Arcade GP logo
Logo used for the initial installment, Mario Kart Arcade GP (2005)
First releaseMario Kart Arcade GP
October 10, 2005
Latest releaseMario Kart Arcade GP VR
July 14, 2017

Mario Kart Arcade GP[a] is an arcade sub-series of Nintendo's Mario Kart series, developed and published by Namco Bandai Games under license from Nintendo. In all installments, for an additional fee, a player's data can be saved on a magnetic card which can be inserted into the machine again later to retain unlocked items and records. Nintendo had a limited role in development, mainly for quality control purposes. This game's arcade cabinet houses a camera that will take a photograph of the player's face. The photo can be customized and then will be displayed above the player's character during multiplayer races.

The initial game, Mario Kart Arcade GP, is noted for being the first Mario Kart to feature playable crossover characters: Namco's Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, and Blinky. The game's sequel also features Mametchi, a character from the Tamagotchi games, and the third installment includes Don from the Taiko no Tatsujin franchise.


Release timeline
2005Mario Kart Arcade GP
2007Mario Kart Arcade GP 2
2013Mario Kart Arcade GP DX
2017Mario Kart Arcade GP VR

The Mario Kart Arcade GP sub-series started in 2005 with the release of Mario Kart Arcade GP. The game has been followed by three sequels: Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 (2007), Mario Kart Arcade GP DX (2013), and Mario Kart Arcade GP VR (2017).

Title Developer(s) Release date Guest Series
Japan North America PAL region
Mario Kart Arcade GP Namco Bandai Holdings November 19, 2005 October 10, 2005 2005 Pac-Man
Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 Namco Bandai Games March 14, 2007 2008 2007 Pac-Man, Tamagotchi
Mario Kart Arcade GP DX Namco Bandai Games, Nintendo July 25, 2013 2014 2017 (EU) Pac-Man, Taiko no Tatsujin
Mario Kart Arcade GP VR Bandai Namco Entertainment July 14, 2017 October 1, 2018 August 3, 2018 (UK/FR) None

Mario Kart Arcade GP[edit]

Mario Kart Arcade GP is the initial installment in the series. Originally designed for the Triforce arcade board (also used for F-Zero AX), players can race as one of eleven characters on twenty-four tracks.

There are a total of six stages, with four tracks in each, totalling twenty-four. After a track is completed, the player must insert additional credits to continue the game, even if first place is achieved. After finishing all four races from each stage, a "challenge game" comes up, in which the player is required to complete a certain task; each of them requires the player to drive to a goal under a certain amount of time while under a certain condition, such as driving backwards through a field of banana peels.

When a player hits one of the item boxes scattered throughout the tracks, the player is given one of the three selected items chosen at the start of a race. Mario Kart Arcade GP features items new and old. Unique to this game is a lock-on feature for the items.

Also unique to this game is a temporary shield that is produced while powersliding which protects players from items thrown at them by the other racers.

The game features all eight playable characters from Mario Kart 64, as well as guest characters Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, and Blinky for a total of eleven. Most of the game's sound effects came from Mario Kart: Double Dash‼ including the pre-race countdown timer to commence racing.

Mario Kart Arcade GP 2[edit]

Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 arcade cabinets

Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 is the second game in the Mario Kart Arcade GP arcade game series released in 2007. The game was developed by Namco Bandai Games and Nintendo and published by Namco Bandai. The game used the Triforce arcade system board.

The game features the "Nam Cam" camera features of its predecessor, and 50cc, 100cc, and 150cc difficulty modes, as well as new items. During the races, there is color commentary, which can be toggled on or off at any time prior to starting the race. In the Japanese version of the game, this is done by the prominent Japanese voice actor and on-screen personality Kōichi Yamadera. In the English version, this is done by Justin Berti.[1] All eleven characters from Mario Kart Arcade GP return, alongside new characters Waluigi from the Mario series and Mametchi from the Tamagotchi series.

Mario Kart Arcade GP DX[edit]

Mario Kart Arcade GP DX arcade cabinets

Mario Kart Arcade GP DX is the third Mario Kart Arcade GP title, which was released in Japanese arcades on July 25, 2013, and in North American and European arcades in 2014[2] (previously announced for end of 2013[3]), but the game was available in all Dave & Buster's restaurants from February 16, 2014 until April 2014.[4][5]

The game features ten redesigned courses, as well as features introduced in Mario Kart 7 such as gliders and underwater racing. Along with Grand Prix and Battle mode, the game introduces two new modes; Alter-Ego and Team. Alter-Ego mode uses online functionality to allow players to race against ghosts records previously set by other players. Team mode allows two players to face against two computer-controlled opponents. The two players can combine their karts to form a more powerful kart, with one player driving and the other serving as the gunner, similar to Mario Kart Double Dash!!.[6]

The racing commentary returns in this game and this time, it is voiced in Japanese by Rica Matsumoto, who also voices Ash Ketchum in the Japanese version of the Pokémon anime, and in English by Jack Merluzzi.[7]

Mario Kart Arcade GP VR[edit]

Mario Kart Arcade GP VR is the fourth Mario Kart Arcade GP title, which was released in Japanese arcades on July 14, 2017. Unlike the previous games, Mario Kart Arcade GP VR was only released in VR Zone arcades in Japan, Korea, the UK, the Philippines, the USA, and France. Unlike prior Mario Kart games, Mario Kart Arcade GP VR is played through use of a virtual reality headset and in first person. The game was developed on a HTC Vive Microsoft Windows arcade system. Similar to the prior arcade Mario Kart games, the game is controlled via a steering wheel and acceleration and brake pedals. In addition, items are thrown by making hand movements, which the game registers by an attachment to the player's wrist. For example, to throw a Green Shell, one must make a throwing motion with their open palm. Also, instead of using Item Boxes, the game uses red, yellow, and green balloons to store items. Gliders are also present, and are used similarly to Mario Kart Arcade GP DX.


Each new game hosts a new selection of characters and often guest characters from featured franchises. The following list displays all available characters for each game.

Character Mario Kart Arcade GP Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 Mario Kart Arcade GP DX Mario Kart Arcade GP VR[i]
Baby Mario No No Yes[ii] No
Baby Peach No No Yes[ii] No
Blinky Yes Yes No No
Bowser Yes Yes Yes[iii] Yes[iv]
Bowser Jr. No No Yes No
Daisy No No Yes[ii] No
Don-Chan No No Yes[v][vi] No
Donkey Kong Yes Yes Yes No
King Boo No No Yes[vii] No
Lakitu No No Yes[ii] No
Luigi Yes Yes Yes[viii] Yes
Mametchi No Yes No No
Mario Yes Yes Yes[ix][x] Yes
Metal Mario No No Yes[ii][xi] No
Ms. Pac-Man Yes Yes No No
Pac-Man Yes Yes Yes No
Peach Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rosalina No No Yes[ii] No
Toad Yes Yes Yes[xii] No
Waluigi No Yes Yes No
Wario Yes Yes Yes Yes[iv]
Yoshi Yes Yes Yes[xiii][xiv] Yes
  1. ^ Each model of the arcade cabinet features only one of the playable characters. There are four different arcade models available.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Downloadable.
  3. ^ Dry Bowser is also available as a downloadable palette swap of Bowser.
  4. ^ a b Not a playable character, but the character participates in races against the player.
  5. ^ Strawberry Don-Chan is also available as a downloadable palette swap of Don-Chan.
  6. ^ Hero Don-Chan is also available as a downloadable palette swap of Don-Chan.
  7. ^ Playable during a limited-time event. Could be unlocked for permanent use through the event.
  8. ^ Ice Luigi is also available as a downloadable palette swap of Luigi.
  9. ^ Fire Mario is also available as a downloadable palette swap of Mario.
  10. ^ Tanooki Mario is also available as a downloadable palette swap of Mario.
  11. ^ Gold Mario is also available as a downloadable palette swap of Metal Mario.
  12. ^ Blue Toad is also available as a downloadable palette swap of Toad.
  13. ^ Red Yoshi is also available as a downloadable palette swap of Yoshi.
  14. ^ Black Yoshi is also available as a downloadable palette swap of Yoshi.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Japanese: マリオカート アーケードグランプリ Hepburn: Mario Kāto Ākēdo Guran Puri?


  1. ^ Gantayat, Anoop (February 16, 2007). "IGN: Mario Kart Back in Arcades". Retrieved September 23, 2009.
  2. ^ McFerran, Damien (July 15, 2014). "Video: Mario Kart 8 Isn't The Only New Mario Kart Game You Can Play In 2014". Nintendo Life.
  3. ^ "Mario Kart Arcade GP DX Confirmed US Release 1st cabinet shot". Arcade Heroes. November 18, 2013. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
  4. ^ "Bandai Namco's Mario Kart Arcade GPDX On Location Test At Dave & Busters Locations Across the US". February 10, 2014.
  5. ^ "GoNintendo - What are YOU waiting for?". Archived from the original on 2014-04-16.
  6. ^ "Namco Formally Announces Mario Kart Arcade Grand Prix DX". February 5, 2013.
  7. ^ "Mario Kart Arcade GP DX Trailer with Pokémon anime voice actress Rica Matsumoto". YouTube. July 25, 2013.