The fourth installment of the Mario Kart
series, released in 2003.
Changes from the previous installments include, most noticeably, the fact that players must choose two characters per kart, which means that two players could also play as one kart. Also, we are introduced to All-Cup Tour, which was a fifth cup in which every course must be completed in a random order, always beginning with Luigi Circuit and ending with Rainbow Road. This feature was not brought back in any other game. The game consisted of twenty characters overall, which meant ten pair. Eight karts on the track at all times.
This Game provided examples of the following Tropes:
- Bat Family Crossover: The first Mario spinoff to integrate the Donkey Kong Country cast into the extended Mario cast, as it included Diddy Kong.
- Big Boo's Haunt: Used on the battle course "Luigi's Mansion".
- Bottomless Pit Rescue Service: Lakitu once again.
- Bottomless Pits: like the others.
- Car Fu: Found in the battle modes. This game is also the only one to have "Bob-Omb Battle", which was where karts would attack each other with nothing but Bob-Ombs. However, it was unofficially brought back in Mario Kart 7 through an internet custom group.
- Cheerful Child: Toadette, who made her debut in this game. She was kinda like a miniature Daisy. That is, until Mario Kart Wii, which includes her and a Baby Daisy.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Petey Piranha and Koopa Paratroopa have not appeared in any Mario Kart games since.
- However, through hacking it has been discovered that there may have been plans to include them in Mario Kart Wii.
- Co-Op Multiplayer
- Everything's Better with Rainbows: Of course, nobody really ever seems to like Rainbow Road. It's a love it or hate it. But what really drives you crazy is if you're struggling to maintain the lead in the All-Cup tour, and you've gotta finish higher than the guy in second, and then this comes up as your final course. It always does.
- Excited Show Title!: Two exclamation marks! Get it? Cuz it's double dash!
- Fireballs: Mario and Luigi's special items. They would disappear from the series until their return in 7, where they become a standard item.
- Go Karting with Bowser: In this game, you can actually pair up Mario with Bowser!
- Green Hill Zone: Mario Circuit. There's a nice little Chain Chomp you've gotta dodge, too.
- Jungle Japes: DK Mountain, both here and in Wii.
- Lethal Lava Land: Bowser's Castle.
- Lightning Bruiser: The Parade Kart, which is heavy, but can be driven by a driver of any weight.
- Musical Nod: In later games, you can hear a lot of music from this game, either recycled or remixed.
- Nintendo Hard: Mirror Mode All-Cup Tour gets a special mention.
- Nitro Boost: The mushrooms as usual. This game also has the Golden Mushroom, which gives you however many boosts you can get in ten or fifteen seconds.
- Ominous Pipe Organ: There's one in the music from Bowser's Castle.
- Prehistoria: Dino Dino Jungle, which appears here and later is a retro track in Mario Kart 7.
- Scenery Porn: Like previously mentioned, the graphics from this game surpass any from the others up until the arrival of Mario Kart Wii.
- Take the Wheel: Drivers could actually switch off during races, where one character takes the wheel, and the other handles the items.
- Unexpected Character:
- Toadette. Really, this was her debut. Who expected that?
- Also Paratroopa. They needed a partner for Koopa, so they just threw him in and he never returned.
- Did anyone really expect Petey Piranha and King Boo?
- Wacky Racing: This may be the most chaotic of all the games.
- Your Size May Vary: Petey Piranha's size is much smaller then seen in Super Mario Sunshine. He's a heavyweight driver, but still.