Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Mario Kart DS

Go To
Play on the go, on two screens and online.

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 into said mook going maximum throttle on autopilot) and Blooper (capable of blocking opponents' views with black ink), as well as the ability to play Versus and Battle modes in single-player. Plus, the "two characters per kart" feature from Double Dash!! has been dropped, returning it to one driver per vehicle system as with every installment before Double Dash!!.


The game features examples of these tropes:

  • Accordion to Most Sailors: Delfino Square, a Port Town track, features an accordion in the instrumentation of its music.
  • 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.
  • Artistic License – Physics: If it weren't bound to the Toon Physics of the Mushroom Kingdom, the ROB-LGS kart (the one that looks like a pair of legs for ROB) would be as aerodynamic as a brick, and would most likely fall over at the slightest provocation. Instead, it's one of the fastest karts in the game, and always lands on its wheels.
  • Advertisement:
  • Ascended Extra: 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 and 8. 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:
  • Clockworks Area: Tick Tock Clock, of course.
  • 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.
  • Dub Name Change: In the Japanese version of the game, ROB was named HVC-012, since that was his series number.
  • 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). In DS, each retro cup features a Super Mario Kart track, a Mario Kart 64 track, a Mario Kart: Super Circuit track, and ending with a Mario Kart: Double Dash!! track in that order.
  • Eternal Engine: Tick Tock Clock, which returned in 8.
  • Everything's Better with Cows: N64 Moo Moo Farm.
  • Final Boss: Chief Chilly. Although he's The Dragon to the Wiggler himself.
  • Guest Fighter: Mario Kart DS is the only game in the series where R.O.B. appears (he later emigrated to the Super Smash Bros. series).
  • 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.
  • Japanese Ranguage: The Cheep Cheep trucks prominently displayed the word "FLESH" in the kiosk demo, which was thankfully changed to "FRESH" in the final game, though this misspelling can still be seen in the final game's GCN Mushroom Bridge icon.
  • 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 is 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 was repeated in 7.
  • Musical Nod:
    • This game's title theme contains part of that from Double Dash!!. Wii did the same thing DS did before.
    • The game's Bowser Castle had an Ominous Pipe Organ like the one Double Dash!! Bowser's Castle had.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The 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.
    • The Japanese version of the game names ROB after his series number, HVC-012.
  • Nerf: Baby Park's lap count has been reduced from 7 to 5, and the absence of the specialized items from Double Dash!! (with the exception of the Bob-Omb, which turns into a regular item in this game) makes it an easier track overall.
  • No Fair Cheating: If you use a cheating device to unlock all the characters and vehicles, you will unlock everything... except R.O.B. Strangely, despite not being available through cheats, you still unlock R.O.B.'s karts for everyone to use.
  • 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 Fireball: 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!!note  before becoming middle weight again in Wii. Waluigi is a Jack-of-All-Stats here like he was in Double Dash!!, before he was made heavy in Wii and 8.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Desert Hills.
  • Sinister Sentient Sun: There is an Angry Sun in the skies above the Desert Hills racetrack, and while it doesn't ram into the players like it did in it's debut game, it shoots hazardous fireballs at the racers.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: DK Pass as well as N64 Frappe Snowland.
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: All items apart from the Fake Item Box and Shiny Blue Shell are sprites. In addition, a few course hazards are also sprites.
  • Super Title 64 Advance: This is the first game since 1997 to play it straight, as Super Circuit (GBA) and Double Dash!! (GCN) had averted it.
  • Tick Tock Tune: Tick Tock Clock's music has shades of this for very obvious reasons.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: