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Mario Kart: Super Circuit is the third game in the Mario Kart series, released for the Game Boy Advance in 2001.

It brought the Mario Kart series to handhelds for the first time, combining gameplay elements from Super Mario Kart and Mario Kart 64. It features 40 tracks in all, the most of any game in the series until Mario Kart 8 pushed past that with post-release additions. In addition to 20 all-new tracks, it also includes all twenty from Super Mario Kart. In addition to single-player and multiplayer racing and battling, it also allows players to download time trial ghosts through the Game Link cable.

This is the only Mario Kart game that was developed by Intelligent Systems, who also made Fire Emblem and Paper Mario.


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The game features examples of these tropes:

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    A-L 
  • Always Night: Boo Lake, Broken Pier, and the SNES Ghost Valley tracks. Sunset Wilds takes place at sunset, with night falling on the third lap.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: As usual, Rainbow Road (both of them).
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Boo Lake and Broken Pier. The Boos on Broken Pier will attack the players and attempt to steal coins.
  • Bubbly Clouds: Sky Garden.
  • Continuity Nod: You can see Bowser's Castle from Paper Mario 64 on Rainbow Road.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • Like Super Mario Kart and 64, this game gives you limited lives when attempting a GP - you lose one each time you finish below 4th place, or if you restart a track at any time. Also like SMK, the tracks are entirely flat.
    • The Lightning Cup, introduced in this game, started life as a Nitro Cup between the Flower and Star Cups. In all the other games it appears in, it's the Retro counterpart to Nitro's Special Cup.
    • Has the character attributes of Mario Kart 64, meaning once again, lightweights are faster and better at accelerating, making heavyweights near useless barring their ability to bully lighter racers.
    • To play Time Trials on the Special Cup tracks and the Extra tracks, you must unlock them on 150CC. In other games, unlocking a cup in Grand Prix unlocks it in all other modes.
  • Embedded Precursor: The "Extra Tracks" are the tracks from Super Mario Kart, though they are rearranged into five cups of four like the regular tracks, rather than four cups of five as they were in the original game. They still, however, last five laps instead of the three laps that the Super Circuit tracks last.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: This installement not only features the Lightning item, but also has Thunder Clouds on its Rainbow Road which shrinks down characters that drive underneath them.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The Bowser's Castle tracks. Lakeside Park includes volcanoes in the background that shoot rocks onto the track, but the course doesn't go near any lava.
  • Level Ate: Cheese Land is made of...cheese.
    M-W 
  • Mythology Gag: On Rainbow Road, you can see Bowser's Castle from Paper Mario. It makes sense because Intelligent Systems developed this game.
  • Nintendo Hard: Getting a three-star ranking in Grand Prix. You must win first every race, collect many coins, win as fast as possible, and more. The wiki explains the criteria.
  • Nostalgia Level: The entire library of Super Mario Kart is available as extra cups. This is the only Mario Kart to feature all of the tracks from a previous game.
  • Oddball in the Series: Doesn't carry on some series traditions, likely due to having been developed by Intelligent Systems:
    • It was the first game post-Mario Kart 64 to bring back some Super Mario Kart gameplay elements, such as flat, 2D environments and having (visible) lives in Grand Prix mode. For a long time, it was the only game other than Super Mario Kart to include coins, before Mario Kart 7 brought them back to the series for good.
    • It's the only game not to include a remix of the theme from Super Mario Kart in its title screen music. Though subjective, the music in Super Circuit as a whole has something of a different feeling than the rest of the series.note 
    • This game has five separate cups of new tracks unlike than the others, which only have fournote .
    • It's the only game to include every single track from a previous game. While retro courses would become a staple of the series starting in Mario Kart DS, only Super Circuit does them to this extent.
    • It was the last game to use the N64-era voicesnote  for Mario, Luigi, Wario, Peach, DK, Toad and Yoshi. For Americans, this game was the only time they got to hear Thomas Spindler's Wario or Julien Bardakoff's high-pitched Luigi in a Mario Kart game, because these voices were replaced with the more familiar Charles Martinet performances for their debut in Mario Kart 64.
    • Rather than having treacherous curves with no railings like most Rainbow Roads, the Rainbow Road in this game makes the unusual decision of lining its track with jump pads, which can used in conjunction with a boost for some rather creative and game breaking shortcuts.
    • It's one of the only non-RPG Mario games period to acknowledge the RPGs by having Bowser's Castle from Paper Mario appear in the background of Rainbow Road. Super Circuit also includes Goonies (in Cheep Cheep Beach) and Little Mousers (in Cheese Land) from Yoshi's Island.
    • Super Circuit is something of The Unfavorite when it comes to getting representation in future games' Retro Cups, as only 10 of its 20 tracks have reappeared (as opposed to, say, 15 of 64s 16 tracks or 12 of Double Dash!!s 16).
  • 100% Completion: While you get a new title screen by getting all the gold trophies, you get a second new one for achieving a three-star rank on each GP.
  • Palmtree Panic: Shy Guy Beach, Cheep Cheep Island, and the SNES Koopa Beach tracks.
  • Rank Inflation: The first game in the series to use this. Ranks go from E through A, then up to three stars.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Yoshi Desert with pyramids, quicksand, and a Yoshi sphinx.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Snow Land and the SNES Vanilla Lake tracks.
  • Super Title 64 Advance: In Japan, the game is called "Mario Kart Advance".
  • Wackyland: Ribbon Road, a long, winding road made of ribbon with wrapped-up presents and ribbons galore in the background!
  • The Wild West: Sunset Wilds, which features Shy Guys as Native Americans living in tipis.

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