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Video Game / Mario Kart Wii

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The sixth installment of the Mario Kart series, Mario Kart Wii is an arcade-style Racing Game for the Wii, released worldwide in April of 2008. This game introduces motorbikes as a secondary form of vehicle, as well as a Tournament mode, which functions similar to the Mission mode from Mario Kart DS.

The game is also notable for the improving upon the implementation of online multiplayer support present in the previous installment,, focusing on versus and battle modes for up to twelve participants, and up to two players could connect and play from the same Wii console. Players could compete against random players from within the same region or from any continent, or could compete only against players registered as friends. At the end of each race or match, each player's VR (versus rating) or BR (battle rating) would change based on their final ranking. Mario Kart Wii also featured the "Mario Kart Channel", which was available as an optionally selectable channel on the Wii Menu, that presented current regional or worldwide rankings for Time Trials, and the option of sending or receiving ghost data via WiiConnect24


It was the game to play on the Wii's online service, with one of the last ever games being a race of Mario Kart Wii. A third-party server; Wiimmfi ran by the eponymous Wiim, has taken upon himself to keep the servers up for this game, as well as other Wii games, meaning this game still has a niche online playerbase to this day.

The game features examples of these tropes:

  • Accordion to Most Sailors: Delfino Pier, a battle course themed around a pier, has an accordion melody in its music.
  • Artistic License – Physics:
    • Although most jumps involve the vehicles launching forward as expected, some of them are bent towards a specific path. The most significant example is the waterfall of Koopa Cape, where the path of a vehicle is bent down into the pipe, making it extremely hard to miss the pipe.
    • Similar physics-defying jumps are possible on halfpipe sections. Jumping on one on the inside of a turn will keep the vehicle right on the inside of a curve until it reaches the ground, rather than going in a simple vertical arc.
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  • Aspect Ratio Switch: The first part of the credits portion Letterboxed. If the game is played in 4:3, it is letterboxed to about 16:9. If the game is played in 16:9, it letterboxes to Cinemascope.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The Mega Mushroom turns you and your vehicle giant sized, boosting speed and causing your character to flatten other racers in their path.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Half-pipe areas in some race courses. You can do fancy tricks to gain speed, but in most cases it'd be faster to just drive forward. The only instance where half-pipes provide any advantage is if they are placed on or near the inside of a turn, allowing a player to make a physics-defying jump that hugs the turn perfectly. Jumps like these are possible on the last turn of DK Summit and the second corner in the temple of Dry Dry Ruins.
    • Some of the faster vehicles like the Spear/Torpedo and the Jetsetter/Aero Glider. They're fast and heavy, yes, but they’re also completely abysmal in every other stat.
  • Bat Family Crossover: Funky Kong, playable in a Mario Kart game for the first time, joins Donkey and Diddy Kong. Until Mario Kart Tour, this was his only appearance in the series.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: The retro race course SNES Ghost Valley 2 and retro battle course DS Twilight House. Unusually, this game does not introduce any new tracks with this theme, a first in the series.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Mii Outfit B is just a special costume for Miis to wear. It offers no benefits over Mii Outfit A.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: The selected engine class determines what type of vehicles are used. 50cc is karts only, 100cc is bikes only, and 150cc and Mirror are both karts and bikes.
  • Cheat Code: Infinite-item hacks were not uncommon during online play due to the official Nintendo online service lacking proper moderation. Averted with Wiimmfi, a third party online system that has replaced Nintendo WFC, where players will face bans if caught trying to use item cheats.
  • Company Cross References: The game features the debut of the Blue Falcon as an unlockable kart option for lightweights. It would later return in Mario Kart 8 as a kart body option, this time available to all weight classes.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard:
    • Rubber-banding in speed is still present, although less obvious, but the computer constantly gets the Blue Shell and will nail you with it. If not that, then expect Bob-ombs or Red Shells to screw you over, followed by getting railroaded by the other drivers as you try to recover, knocking your placing further down, especially if you're on a bridge or next to a chasm.
    • On Rainbow Road, especially on the highest CCs (150 and Mirror Mode). The AI turns from a thorn in your side to being absolutely brutal. Bunching together, the AI Rubberbands your opponents so that they are as close to you as possible, and then they take turns at trying to jostle you off the track. By the time Lakitu gets you back onto the track, you will quickly find that you're anywhere but qualifying.
  • Cool Bike: This game introduced Bikes as a different option to Karts. They lose the ability to do Super Mini-Turbos, but compensate with the wheelie ability, which boosts speed but lowers turning. The available options range from traditional motorcycles, to scooters, to crotch rockets. Notably, Wario's own Cool Bike from WarioWare, the Wario Bike, also appears in this game.
  • Cool, but Inefficient: Tricking at a steep angle to get more height may look cool, but is slow compared to tricking at a shallow angle to get more distance. The mini-turbo which results from a trick does not compensate for this. Whenever a vehicle is in the air tricking, it is constantly decelerating.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer:
    • Similarly to Mario Kart DS, Battle mode has team play, though unlike previous titles, Battle is exclusively teams with no free-for-all mode. 6 players are put on the red team and the other 6 go on the blue team. Every point earned by individual players gets collectively added up to their team's total score.
    • VS Race returns, and just like in Mario Kart DS, the mode can be played in free-for-all or teams. As in Battle, all the racers' points are added to a total score.
  • Cumulonemesis: This game introduced the infamous Lightning Cloud item, a smiling grey cloud that ominously looms above the racer for a short time before zapping them, shrinking them just like the regular Lightning item. The racer therefore has to bump into other racers to transfer the vaporous threat to them. Fortunately, it has the redeeming effect of significantly increasing the speed of the player holding it before it strikes them.
  • Developers' Foresight: Certain stage hazards can affect Lakitu, even though it's unlikely that these would occur in practice. For example, Lakitu can be crushed by the Thwomps in Bowser's Castle if you stop right in front of one when it comes down.
  • Dub Name Change: An odd case in which the North American localization of this game had many vehicle names different from the already-released European localization (for instance, what is known as the Bowser Bike in Europe is known as the Flame Runner in the United States). The same goes for tracks (which is why you might find people who refer to DK Summit as DK's Snowboard Cross, and the battle stage Chain Chomp Wheel is known as Chain Chomp Roulette).
  • Embedded Precursor: Continuing on with the tradition of 16 new tracks and 16 retro tracks, with the retro tracks including four each from 64, Double Dash!! and DS, and two each from Super and Super Circuit.
  • Eternal Engine: Toad's Factory.
  • Everything's Better with Cows: Moo Moo Meadows.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Three Kong Family members are playable this time around, being Donkey Kong himself, Diddy Kong, and newcomer Funky Kong.
  • Expressive Accessory: The Piranha Prowler kart has a mouth that moves with the mouth of its driver.
  • Fake Difficulty: This is arguably the hardest Mario Kart game, and considering how the franchise is a giant Luck-Based Mission, that's saying a lot.
  • Feelies: This game comes with one of the many plastic Wii remote accessories, the Wii Wheel, which the Wii Remote can be slotted into to provide more surface area to grip.
  • Forest of Perpetual Autumn: Maple Treeway is a course taking place almost entirely in the branches and canopy of an enormous maple tree in full fall colors. Piles of dead leaves litter the trial as obstacles to racers, and more fall-colored trees fill the background on all sides. Note that all the other courses take place in the same nondescript spring-summer setting: Maple Treeway is the only course in which visible plant décor is anything less than lush and green.
  • Fragile Speedster: As usual, Mario Kart Wii has the "quick to start, hard to catch up" variant, this time divided into two similar but still different categories for lightweights and middleweights.
    • Accelerationnote  specialized vehicles (obviously) have the best acceleration of their classes coupled with the second-to-best drift and handling and the third turbo and off-road. Quacker also has inside drift, allowing it to take the sharpest turns with more control than any bike in the game. However, their top speed is not very impressive and they are the lightest vehicles of their league.
    • Handlingnote  specialized vehicles are the easiest to control and they have the second-to-best acceleration, off-road and turbo of their classes. The counterparts are their second lightest weight and second-to-worst drift, but also the worst top speed for any vehicle.
    • Standard Kart S, Standard Bike S and the middleweight bike Sugarscoot actually fit both: the first two have the third acceleration, handling and drift of lightweights, but they are the fourth everywhere else. On the other hand, while it only has the fourth drift, the worst top speed and the lightest weight for a middleweight bike, the Sugarscoot has the best acceleration and handling coupled with the third off-road and the second turbo of its class.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Imagine the name Wii being a play on the recurring Mario series' level name "World 1-1" if you have looked at the license plate of the Coconut Fruit Truck in Moonview Highway saying "W1-1".
  • Fungus Humongous: Mushroom Gorge has green mushrooms that can be driven on and red Springy Spores, both being so tall that their stems vanish into the bottomless pits Lakitu fishes racers from. All twelve players, if they wanted to, could comfortably fit on a single mushroom with room to spare.
  • Game Mod: Mario Kart Wii is probably only second to Super Smash Bros. Brawl in terms of being the most modded console game ever. In addition to having its own custom servers, Wiimmfi, created in response to Nintendo's official ones going down, there's also a humongous amount of modded courses and track packs, either recreated versions of courses on other systems or completely original tracks made by other modders. There can be so many that even the tournaments need their own scroll pages. The CTGPnote  pack has the list sit at 40+ tournaments!
  • Glacier Waif:
    • Size is determined by height here, not weight. Waluigi, King Boo and Rosalina all fell victim to this trope.
    • Dry Bowser is this to an extent, as he has no flesh on him, and Large Miis can look the part.
    • The kart Honey Coupe also enters in this category, being heavier than the Flame Flyer while being smaller.
  • Glass Cannon: Some "slow to start, hard to stop" vehicles are too light for the Mighty Glacier category, so they fall into this trope.
    • The lighter drift and turbo specialized vehiclesnote  have the worst acceleration of their respective weight classes, coupled with awful off-road and handling stats, and their weight isn't enough to protect them from their opponents' bumps. However, they have the second-to-best top speed of their classesnote  and most importantly, the best turbo and drift stats in the gamenote : with this, Mini-Beast obtains a considerable push after a super mini-turbo. Bullet Bike and Mach Bike may not have this power, but they benefit inside drift, which allows them to take the sharpest turns and to gain a boost at the end.
    • The lighter speed specialized vehicles note  couple this with Crippling Overspecialization and Unskilled, but Strong: while they have the best top speed of their respective weight and vehicle classesnote , a decent weightnote  and a slightly better acceleration than drift specialized vehicles, they suck in every other categorynote . Even Jet Bubble and Sneakster's inside drift isn't as useful as it can be for other vehicles because of the pathetic handling and drift stats and because of the mediocre turbo that comes out of it.
  • Hot Potato: The Thunder Cloud item sets this up; it activates automatically on use and gives you a hefty speed boost and great offroad speed as well, but hold on to it too long and it zaps you with your own personal Lightning to shrink you. Bop somebody else's car, and you give them the item instead, warts and all.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats:
    • Each weight class has one all-around kartnote  and one all-around bikenote  who won't be worse or better than any specialized vehicle in this area. While lightweight and heavyweight ones are compromises between this trope and their respective categories, middleweight ones are looking for the perfect balance.
    • Blue Falcon and Jet Bubble are downplayed example: while they still are lightweights, they are more balanced than their heavier counterparts. Jet Bubble also benefits inside drift, which makes it a good introduction to this gimmick without being as vulnerable as the Bullet Bike.
    • Honey Coupe and Shooting Star, being slower versions of Flame Flyer and Flame Runner, are other examples: while they still endure some heavyweight handicaps like off-road and acceleration, but also are the drift and turbo champions of their league, it is less problematic than these two powerhouses. Also, Honey Coupe actually is heavier than the Flame Flyer, making it a good defensive vehicle.
    • The game offers bonuses for each character. While Mario has 6 bonus points in weight and 2 in acceleration, handling and drift, the Miis fit this trope better. Whatever weight class they are, they will have 3 bonus points in speed and turbo, but also in categories where drivers of this size are handicapped: for example, lightweights will have bonus in weight while heavyweights will have it in acceleration.
  • Jungle Japes: Two returning tracks, N64 DK's Jungle Parkway, and GCN DK Mountain. The former is set in the jungle around a river, with trees lining the sides of the road, a bridge near a waterfall, and a small cave. The latter is set on a volcano and surrounding paths down the wooded mountainside, featuring similar jungle decor and style.
  • Lethal Lava Land: All three Bowser Castle courses as well as Grumble Volcano.
  • Mighty Glacier: Mario Kart Wii having many vehicle categories, you can find karts and bikes that fall as much in the conventional category than the traditional "slow to start, hard to stop" kind of the franchise.
    • Loyal to the franchise's tradition, the game averts any category of traditional heavyweight vehicles. While some karts (with a lightweight) are more comparable to this category than the "slow to start, hard to stop" oneExamples , they don't exactly fit because they usually have an average top speed, and even like this, only Piranha Prowler really fits: for the others, some of them are off-roaders (Tiny Titan and Offroader), some are the Jack-of-All-Stats of their class (Standard Kart L) while others are a downplayed example of the drift class presented below (Honey Coupe). Offroader is the worst offenders here, having the best acceleration for heavyweight karts.
      • To precise Piranha Prowler's case, it is the heaviest car in the game, but its top speed is average for its league and all its other stats are below average. While it can't settle records (its weight actually is a handicap, preventing it from taking shortcuts), it can push its opponents away.
    • Two kinds of vehicles fall into the "slow to start, hard to stop" category:
      • The heavier drift and turbo specialized vehiclesnote  have the worst acceleration of their respective weight classesnote  coupled with awful off-road and handling stats. However, they have the second-to-best top speed of their classes and a decent weight to push opponentsnote , but most importantly, the second-to-best turbo and drift stats of their leaguenote : with this, the karts benefit a considerable push when they manage to make a super mini-turbo. While Flame Runner cannot do this, it is a sports bike with inside drift, which allows it to take sharper turns than its kart counterpart. Honey Coupe and Shooting Star are special examples: they are lighter and slower versions of Flame Flyer and Flame Runner respectively, with better acceleration, handling and off-road, but also the best drift and turbo stats of heavyweight karts. Shooting Star, however, only performs outside drifts, reducing its possibilities.
      • The heavier speed specialized vehicles note  couple this with Crippling Overspecialization and Unskilled, but Strong: while they have the best top speed of their respective weight and vehicle classes, a decent weight and a slightly better acceleration than drift specialized vehicles, they suck in every other categorynote . Even Spear's inside drift isn't enough to compensate its low handling and drift stats and because of the mediocre turbo that comes out of it.
  • Mocking Sing-Song: All of the Babies except Baby Luigi have a chance to sing a variation of "Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah!" after hitting someone with an item (Baby Luigi just coos happily, or shouts "Oh yeah!")
  • Mood Whiplash: The end credits sequence(s) is cut into two halves, with the first half having a more slower, bitter-sweet feel to it with its own original music, and the fact that the characters drive by Luigi Circuit as the sun sets. However, the second half of the credits has its own montage of gameplay being shown in small boxes, while a more positive, faster-paced piano remix of Mario/Luigi Circuit's theme plays during the rest of the credits.
  • Musical Nod: The Rainbow Road music in this game features some elements from that of the DS and GameCube incarnations, combined with parts of the Good Egg Galaxy theme from Super Mario Galaxy.
  • Nerf: "Snaking" had become a serious problem that was brought to Nintendo's attention in Mario Kart DS. Basically it involved players using the drift speed boost on straightaways by going back and forth on the sides of the road to rack up a lot of leeway on the players behind them. This effectively constituted cheating and created a very wide skill gap between the elitist and abusive players and the casual and unknowing players who were left visibly confused on how such people can even win by a huge margin. In response, the drift mechanic was reworked to be time-dependent instead of input-dependent.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: When playing as Rosalina, a Luma floats alongside you, and it typically chuckles or gives an excited squeal whenever you do an aerial trick.
  • Old Save Bonus: If a save file for Super Mario Galaxy is present on the system, Rosalina is unlocked by simply doing 50 races.
  • Personal Raincloud: Weaponized with the Thunder Cloud, which will eventually zap whoever's holding it with Personal Lightning to shrink them.
  • Shark Tunnel: Koopa Cape has one, right after the waterfall. When the course itself returned in Mario Kart 7, the underwater-driving concept worked wonders as the section after the waterfall becomes more of a shark half-pipe.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Dry Dry Ruins (a cross between Yoshi Desert and Dry Dry Desert) and the battle course Thwomp Desert (where a Thwomp crashes down to cause ripples through the sand).
  • Sinister Sentient Sun: Once again, the main danger faced by the racers on Desert Hills is an Angry Sun that shoots Fire Snakes at the tracks.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: DK Summit, which is set on a snowboarding course on a snowy mountain, and N64 Sherbet Land, which is more of a wintry, snow-covered trail.
  • Stone Wall: While the off-road specialized vehiclesnote  top speed, turbo and acceleration usually are average for their weight and vehicle classesnote , their weight variablenote  and their controls alternating between decent handlingnote  and the worst drift stats, their speciality prevents them from losing too much power when pushed and makes them more stable on slippy environments like N64 Sherbet Land ice. This feature can also be used on "GBA Shy Guy Beach", where water is something between normal road and off-road, slowing down other vehicles. Also, Magikruiser and Dolphin Dasher benefit inside drift, reducing their statistic disadvantage and allowing them to take turns more precisely than others.
  • Suddenly Voiced: The Miis, who receive voice clips depending on their gender, how large they are, and what color they are wearing.
  • Third-Person Seductress: Equipping any of the human females with a bike causes them to wear a body-clinging biker suit instead of a frilly dress. Justified, in that a frilly dress would be very impractical to wear on a bike.
  • Transferred Transformation: Introduced from the arcade Mario Kart games is the Thunder Cloud, which shrinks the holder after a few seconds. To keep this from happening, the player who gets the Thunder Cloud from an Item Box must bump into another racer, who will get shrunken instead.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: If a person tries to grief other races online by deliberately hanging back or running the course in reverse to get more powerful items, the game would end up disconnecting them for being too far behind.
  • Windmill Scenery: As so many other rural settlements, Moo Moo Meadows features a windmill that lies in the background near the end of the track.
  • Your Size May Vary: A strange example comes with Waluigi, who's as skinny as a rake, and yet is classed as a heavyweight, because of weight classes going by character height in addition to weight. The same reasoning puts King Boo, a ghost who shouldn't weigh anything at all, in the heavyweight class, as well as Rosalina, who remains a heavyweight in later titles.


Video Example(s):


DK Mountain

A dangerous mountain with a sharp road and falling rocks. It's one of the harder tracks in the gamne.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / DeathMountain

Media sources:

Main / DeathMountain