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Video Game / Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

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Double the players and twice the dash!

The fourth installment of the Mario Kart series, released in 2003 on the Nintendo GameCube.

Changes from the previous installments include, most noticeably, the fact that players must choose two characters per kart, which means that two players can also play as one kart. And every two characters share a special item that is exclusive to them (save for King Boo and Petey Piranha, who can use any special item). Also unique to this game is All-Cup Tour, which is a fifth cup in which every course must be completed in a random order, always beginning with Luigi Circuit and ending with Rainbow Road. None of these features have been brought back in any other game, though Mario Kart 8 Deluxe would bring back the ability to hold two items at once. The game consists of twenty characters overall, the highest amount for a Mario Kart at the time, which means ten pairs. Eight karts on the track at all times.


This game provides examples of the following tropes:

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  • Artistic License – Paleontology: The Apatosaurus in Dino Dino Jungle has a horn on its nose. Apatosaurus skeletons do not have horns.
  • 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".
  • Boring, but Practical: Koopa Troopa and Koopa Paratroopa's unique items were triple green or red shells. Unlike other games in the series where the triple shells could be obtained by anyone, triple shells were limited only to these two (and King Boo and Petey Piranha). While it's certainly not as unique as the other characters' special items, it's by far the most useful, and shows up nearly as often as regular shells to boot. This essentially turns most races between two human players into "whoever picks the Koopas wins".
  • Bottomless Pit Rescue Service: Lakitu once again.
  • Bottomless Pits: Like the others.
  • The Bus Came Back: Koopa Troopa, one of the playable racers from the original Super Mario Kart, returns after being missing from 64 and Super Circuit.
  • The Cameo: Donkey Kong, Jr., of all choices, appears as one of the crowd members of Waluigi Stadium.
  • Car Fu:
    • Found in the battle modes. This game is also the first one to have "Bob-Omb Battle", which is where karts would attack each other with nothing but Bob-Ombs. It was unofficially brought back in Mario Kart 7 through an internet custom group, and then Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
    • A Mushroom boost allows you to steal an item from a kart that you ram while going at high speed.
    • A heavier kart will shove a lighter kart out of the way if the receiving kart is going too slowly or holding still. However, a lighter kart will end up bouncing off a heavier kart instead.
  • Cartoon Juggling: Some characters do this while holding triple mushrooms.
  • Cheerful Child: Toadette, who made her debut in this game. She's 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. Hacks of Mario Kart Wii reveal that they were once considered for inclusion in that game, but since they didn't the absence has been upheld to this day.
  • Console Cameo: There's a battle course that takes place on a Nintendo GameCube.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: The concept of two characters per kart allows this, with each one being controlled by a different player.

  • Easter Egg: If you press the item button when you don't have an item in your possesion, you'll honk the horn. It doesn't do anything other than making your gunner do a pose. That is, unless there is another racer in close range, in which case they will perform a Quick Melee attack.
  • Excited Show Title!: Two exclamation marks, a reference to the 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.
  • Foreshadowing: The Daisy Cruiser can be seen in the background of Peach Beach, which is the third track in the next cup. Coincidentally, they both share the same music.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: And Bowser Jr., too! Also, 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.
  • Marathon Level: The All-Cup Tour is Exactly What It Says on the Tin: A semi-randomized cup consisting of every race in the game (It always starts with Luigi Circuit and ends with Rainbow Road, but the rest of the tracks are played at random). Good luck trying to beat it on Mirror Mode.
  • Minsky Pickup: Baby Park's music begins with this.
  • 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 and Luigi's Mansion.
  • Prehistoria: Dino Dino Jungle, which appears here and later as a retro track in Mario Kart 7.
  • Quick Melee: Hitting the weapons button while empty-handed and driving right beside another racer will result in delivering a short ranged but helpful bash attack.
  • Randomized Title Screen: Lakitu has a different item at the end of his fishing rod at the intro of the game.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Seemingly invoked by Daisy, who constantly says "Hi, I'm Daisy!", as if to beat her name into the heads of anyone who has never heard of her.
  • Running Gag: Most of the shortcuts in the game oddly involve warp pipes. For example, Peach Beach and Mushroom Bridge.

  • Scenery Porn: Like previously mentioned, the graphics from this game surpass any from the others up until the arrival of Mario Kart Wii.
  • Secret Character: Toad and Toadette are unlocked by winning the Special Cup on 100 cc, and King Boo and Petey Piranha are unlocked by winning the Star Cup on Mirror Mode.
  • Shaped Like Itself: The track layout of Yoshi Circuit is shaped like Yoshi himself.
  • Socialization Bonus: In two player mode only, if both drivers are holding a type of mushroom, and both press the item button at the same time, they will perform the titular Double Dash. The same applies to the Rocket Start at the beginning of each race. Two players in the same kart also allows the player in the back to perform a swipe by pressing the L or R buttons, depending on the direction. Along with causing racers to spin out, it'll steal items, and can also be used to help reorient the kart.
  • Steel Drums and Sunshine: The music for the tracks Peach Beach and Daisy Cruiser, which take place on a beach and a cruise ship respectively, have steel drums playing the main melody, accompanied by guitar, maracas, and drums.
  • Stock Sound Effects: Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong's voice clips are recycled from Donkey Kong 64, albeit pitched down.
  • Take the Wheel: Drivers can actually switch off during races, where one character takes the wheel, and the other handles the items.
  • Wacky Racing: This may be the most chaotic of all the games.
  • Your Size May Vary: Petey Piranha's size is much smaller than seen in Super Mario Sunshine, though he's still larger than everyone else. Notably, the camera actually zooms out when you play as Petey because of his huge size.


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