Video Game: Mario Kart DS
The sequel to Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
, Mario Kart DS
is a racing game for the Nintendo DS
, released in 2005. It is the second handheld Mario Kart
game following Mario Kart: Super Circuit
. It introduced online multiplayer features via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. This game features a mission mode and introduces two new items in the form of Bullet Bill (capable of turning the user in said mook going maximum throttle on autopilot) and Blooper (capable of blocking opponents' views with black ink). Plus, the "two characters per kart" feature from Double Dash!!
has eventually been dropped, so it's one character per kart as usual.
The game features examples of these tropes:
- Always Night
- Luigi's Mansion, which returned in Mario Kart 7.
- Wario Stadium, which has been set in the daytime when it reappeared in Mario Kart 8.
- Frappe Snowland and Banshee Boardwalk from Mario Kart 64.
- Artificial Brilliance: In this game's Rainbow Road, the AI actually seems to know that if it puts a banana peel or fake item box on the loop-the-loop or the corkscrew, there's no chance to survive.
- Ascended Extras: Shy Guy was promoted from a character used only in this game's Download Play Mode to a fully-playable character in Mario Kart 7. Wiggler was originally one of this game's bosses and has been an obstacle on Maple Treeway in Mario Kart Wii before he finally shrunk down and become playable in Mario Kart 7.
- Bubbly Clouds: Sky Garden, returning from Super Circuit.
- Car Fu: The battle modes as usual. Boss battles in this game also qualify.
- Chest Insignia: From this game onwards, the Mario Kart series itself does a vehicle variant of this, with each kart having two or three places on it for the driver's personal emblem. Each playable character has their own icon (for instance, Mario's trademark red "M").
- Just for this game, players can also design their own custom symbol, although the custom icons were removed in all later games due to the staggering number of crude and/or offensive images people created.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Waluigi appeared playable in every Mario Kart from Double Dash!! onwards except for 7. However, he even made a cameo apperance in the 7 incarnation of Waluigi Pinball.
- What about Lakitu? Here in this game, the only thing he does is appearing briefly whenever you start a new lap.
- Console Cameo: One of the battle courses take place on a huge Nintendo DS system floating in space.
- Cool Bike: Waluigi's Zipper is the only motorcycle of this game. However, Wii and 8 has a full dosage on that type of vehicle.
- Demoted to Extra: Baby Park returned from Double Dash!! despite no baby characters being playable.
- Dummied Out: This game had several unused tracks. Some were merely for testing, such as ones that actually have "test" in the filename and one that is simply an early version of Wario Stadium, but others include Double Dash!!'s Mario Circuit, a Koopa Troopa track, a variant of DK Pass without snow, and an unused pinball track.
- Dump Stat: Drift and weight can be affected by this trope. Due to the exploit of snaking, it was actually beneficial to have LESS drift since if you had more, you'd be turning too sharply while power sliding on straightaways. The same is said for weight since it's combined with the "offroad" stat. The less weight you had, the faster you could go off road such as in grass or dirt. Plus, bumping into other players had no effect online. The item stat was also pretty useless, especially online where you couldn't get triple items. It was good for some courses during time trials though, as you got more mushrooms to take shortcuts.
- Embedded Precursor: The retro grand prix, which is a recurring tradition from this game onwards . Besides the four nitro cups (Mushroom, Flower, Star, and Special) are the four retro cups (Shell, Banana, Leaf, and Lightning). Each retro cup features four returning courses from previous Mario Kart games.
- Eternal Engine: Tick Tock Clock, which returned in 8.
- Everything's Better With Cows: N64 Moo Moo Farm.
- Final Boss: Chief Chillum. Although he's The Dragon to the Wiggler himself.
- Guest Driver: R.O.B.
- Interface Screw: Blooper, the Mario-universe squid, has been an item since this game, covering your opponents' screens in black ink, obscuring their forward view (this is also visible by painting the entire vehicle/driver black). It even has an effect on the AI, causing them to swerve and slow down a notch when it's in effect. The ink can be removed early by hitting a booster while it's in effect. There's also the cake frosting when you bump into giant whipped toppings at Tart Top.
- Kid-Appeal Character: The only one here is Toad, like he did in the first three Mario Kart games.
- Level-Map Display: Look at the bottom screen.
- Limited Animation: Only your character with full animations while everyone else on your screen are stiff (and they're even rendered with less polygons to boot). This was most likely done to prevent the system from being taxed and keep things running smoothly. This strategy repeated in 7.
- Musical Nods:
- This game's title theme contains part of that from Double Dash!!. Wii did the same thing DS did before.
- The game's nitro Bowser Castle had an Ominous Pipe Organ like the one Double Dash!! Bowser's Castle had.
- Mythology Gags:
- The nitro Mario Circuit of this game isn't the only Mario Circuit to be part of the Star Cup. Remember Mario Circuit 4?
- Before it became the third course of this game's Lightning Cup, Sky Garden was originally the second course of the same cup in Super Circuit.
- Nerf: The map feature of this game can show active course hazards like Bullet Bills or Goombas so the Blooper item could be more dangerous if you had relied on reading the map in this game.
- A hidden item block exists on DK Pass. It would give you a star, a red shell, a single mushroom, or a triple mushroom.
- Nostalgia Level: This game and all Mario Kart games thereafter traditionally featured retro courses, whether race tracks or battle tracks.
- One Stat to Rule Them All: Acceleration, like it did in Double Dash!!
- Outrun the Spiny Shell: It's possible to do so.
- Pinball Zone: Waluigi Pinball, which returned in 7. This track is also notable for its unique feature of having sound effects replaced with 8-bit pinball-sounding ones.
- Rank Inflation: If an A rank is not enough for you, try to get 1, 2, or 3 stars.
- Retcon: Peach and Yoshi returned to light weight from their middle weight status in Double Dash!! before becoming middle weight again in Wii. Waluigi has been a Jack of All Stats here like he did in Double Dash!!
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World: DK Pass as well as N64 Frappe Snowland.
- Sprite/Polygon Mix
- Super Title 64 Advance: The game itself plays straight.
- An aversion exists in the form of having the Nintendo systems' initials at the beginning of the retro course names (for instance, Mario Circuit 1 from Super Mario Kart being called SNES Mario Circuit 1).
- Truck Driver's Gear Change: GCN Baby Park's music starts in F major, then goes up a half step with each lap until the final one.