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Video Game / Kart Rider

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CrazyRacing KartRider is a Mascot Racer for Windows created by Nexon, based on their previous game Crazy Arcade.

The game was released in South Korea in 2004 and has been running ever since. The game has a surprisingly large competitive scene, with televised tournaments broadcast in both South Korea and China (where the game was localized as PopKart). The game was also localized for North America, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Indonesia, and Russia, but all of these versions didn't last very long before being dropped.


Several mobile versions were also released, as KartRider Rush, KartRider Dash, and KartRider Rush+

Nonetheless, the game has remained relatively popular globally, and in 2019, an Updated Re-release called KartRider: Drift was announced, serving all regions worldwide as well as having cross-platform play with the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and mobile devices.

The game's courses are broken up into several themes, each of which contain dozens of tracks to race on. The game also features several modes of play, but the two most popular game modes are

  • Speed: A skill-based mode based around drifting to build up a meter that gives the player boost items. Any of the game's tracks can be played in Speed mode, but dozens of tracks are also exclusive to the mode and are much more difficult than normal.
  • Item: The traditional Mascot Racer game mode where players collect items to attack each other and defend themselves as they try to cross the finish line first.

KartRider contains examples of:

  • Abandoned Mine / Lethal Lava Land: Zerostone Mine.
  • Alien Among Us: Taki, Erini, and Dr. Revaski. Taki and Erini came to Earth because their lives on Northeu were boring. Dr. Revaski is Taki's father and came to drag him back to Northeu. Only Revaski bothers to disguise himself, but it's implied he only does it so Taki won't recognize him.
  • Amusement Park: Themepark theme.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The R key allows the player to immediately reset their position on the track, helpful if you find yourself planted face-first in a wall.
  • Banana Peel: One of the items available in Item mode.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Some Northeu themed tracks take place in space, but none of the characters have any trouble breathing or staying on the ground.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Cemetery/Graveyard theme.
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  • Big Fancy Castle / Macro Zone: Louis Alma's Castle.
  • Breakout Character: Brodi. Originally just the theme character for the Mistfall Factory, he was apparently so popular that he had an entire new theme based on him (Made by Brodi) and was one of the first three playable characters in the Drift betas alongside Dao and Bazzi, and is the most prominent character on Drift's splash art.
  • Build Like an Egyptian / Shifting Sand Land: Desert theme, aside from the one track that's based on de_dust.
  • Character Class System: Surprisingly averted. Your choice of character is entirely cosmetic, all of your stats come from your kart.
  • Character Customization:
    • The original game had paints to customize the color of your character's costume.
    • Rush+ has outfits, hairstyles, auras, headgear, and the likes. There are also sprays which change your character's default outfit's colors, although they are character-specific. Also, not all characters can have their outfits or hairstyles changed.
    • Drift has alternate costumes, such as Bazzi of Liberty and Taxi Driver Brodi.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Each character has a "default" color that the game depicts them as being. Dao is blue, Diz is yellow, Bazzi and Lodumani are red, Uni and Ethen are green, Keffyk is purple, Marid is pink, and Mos is orange. Future characters downplay this, being less affected by paints, but still technically have a "canon" outfit color (such as Brodi being yellow, and Tiera and Neo being red).
  • Crossover: The original game has characters and courses from Transformers, Counter-Strike, Mabinogi, and MapleStory. Rush+ had an event that added Sonic the Hedgehog characters as karts.
  • Cute Witch: Tiera.
  • Deflector Shields: The Shield and Angel Armor items. Shields block one attack against the user, while Angel Armor blocks all attacks for a short time for the user's team.
  • Dub Name Change: All over the place in the Global version of the original game. Drift keeps the original Korean names in most cases. Ethen and Keffy were hit the hardest with this: They were called "Brill" and "Chunk" in the global beta of the original KartRider, "Melvin" and "Plunk" in the short-lived global Pop Tag server, before finally settling on "Ethen" and "Keffy", which is close enough to their names in Korea, "Ethi" and "Kephi".
  • Eternal Engine: Mistfall Factory and Made by Brodi themes, as well as parts of Northeu.
  • Fantastic Nature Reserve: Jurassic theme.
  • First Town: Boomhill Village.
  • Flying Saucer: The UFO item. It slows down the player in first place using a Tractor Beam. There's a Mothership UFO exclusive to Northeu tracks that emits a larger beam which also slows down other racers near the target.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Played straight with most items that specifically target other players: You can't target allies with Missiles, the 1st Place Missile and UFO fail to work if an ally is in first place, and the Water Wisp targets the first opponent higher than you in the rankings, and fails if there are only allies ahead of you. Averted for any items that drop something onto the track, like Banana Peels, Water Bombs, or Barricades, which affect all players equally.
  • Gangplank Galleon: Pirate theme.
  • Gender-Restricted Gear: Most outfits and hairstyles in Rush+ can be only worn by one gender.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Barricade item drops three walls in front of the player in first. If you use the item while you are the player in first, the barricades are dropped in front of you.
  • Interface Screw: The Skull, Jiang-shi, and Dr. R items. The Skull reverses the players' steering, the Jiang-shi reverses their pedals, and Dr. R does both. The Lock item in team races prevents the other team from using items. Drift only keeps the Lock item.
  • Level in Reverse: Some tracks have a Reverse version, where the players race through the track backwards. The tracks have added geometry to make racing backwards possible or more difficult (usually both).
  • Making a Splash: Water Bombs and Water Wisps.
  • Medieval European Fantasy: Camelot theme. A bog-standard medieval fantasy Parallel Universe... With go-karting knights.
  • The Lost Woods: Sign of Fantariny theme.
  • Palmtree Panic: Pirate and Beach themes.
  • Pirate: Lodumani was the game's original pirate, having been brought over from Crazy Arcade. A later update added the Pirate course theme and the characters Mobi and Tutu along with it. Mobi is of the roguish scoundrel variety, while Lodumani and Tutu are marauding brutes.
  • Press X to Not Die: The player can break out of a water bubble early by rapidly pressing left and right. You can also get a small boost after being hit with a Missile by pressing the accelerate button as soon as you land.
  • Secret Art: Several themes early on in the game's life had items unique to them. Some of the items were changed to be available in all themes, while others were removed completely. Several karts also have unique items.
    • Northeu had the Mothership UFO, which worked like a standard UFO, but could affect other players around the target and was immune to EMP Wave items and Headbands.
    • Pirate theme had Rolling Water Bombs, which were thrown forward and bounced around the track until they hit a player and exploded like a regular Water Bomb.
    • Moonhill City had the 1st Place Missile, a Missile variant that automatically fired at the player in first place without needing to aim. This was later changed to be a standard item.
    • Golden Adventure Or-ette had Golden Missiles, which were ordinary Missiles but ignored equipped Balloons.
    • Sign of Fantariny had Magic Clouds, which were just Fog Clouds that couldn't be seen through with Goggles equipped.
    • China had the aforementioned Jiang-shi item.
    • Reverse Tracks have Dr. R.
  • Serious Business: Kart racing. Nearly every theme teaser trailer involves Dao, Diz, and Bazzi getting attacked or pulled into alternate universes/time periods due to go-kart racing, to go go-karting.
  • Shock and Awe: The Thundercloud item, which strikes all opponents ahead of the user with a bolt of lightning that stalls them.
  • Skyscraper City: Moonhill City.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Icerion Land. Though ice you can actually slip on is found in the Mistfall Factory.
  • Sound-Coded for Your Convenience: Getting targeted by a Water Wisp or Missile alerts the player with the sound of an insect buzzing or a whoosh, respectively.
  • Space Zone: Planet Northeu.
  • Super-Persistent Missile: Missile items will unerringly hit their target, but they can be stopped with a Shield.
  • Temple of Doom: Golden Adventure Or-ette.
  • Toy Time: Nemo theme, where everything looks like it's made of LEGO.
  • Under the Sea: Abyss theme.
  • Urban Fantasy: There are urban settings such as Moonhill and real life cities such as New York and Shanghai, but there are fantasy creatures as well. The ''Rush+'' Season 4 trailer, in which Dao and friends face off against a nian in a Chinese city, demonstrates this.
  • Vague Age: Nearly everyone, thanks to the Super-Deformed art style. The only character that comes close to having a defined age is Uni, who is a baby.
  • Wackyland: Fairyland Pretion.
  • Wutai: The China and Korea themes.