Super Mario Kart R (partially found pre-release version of "Mario Kart 64"; 1995)

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SMKRTitleScreen.png

Title screen of the early build.

Status: Partially Found

Mario Kart 64 is a video game released in 1997 for the Nintendo 64. The game is a sequel to Super Mario Kart, and has players play as various Mario characters, racing in go-karts and using Mario-themed items as combat. The game was the first game in the Mario Kart series to have 3D graphics, as well as many memorable courses and features that are still represented in Mario Kart today.

The game was originally named Super Mario Kart R (the R meaning "rendered"). An early build of the game was shown at the Shoshinkai Software Exhibition 1995 (known as Nintendo Spaceworld in other parts of the world). This build, with several differences from the final game, hasn't fully surfaced or dumped.

History

At the Shoshinkai Software Exhibition 1995, the Ultra 64, later known as the Nintendo 64, was shown off for the first time to the general public. Along with the reveal, 30 games were revealed or had playable demos. One of these was Super Mario Kart R.[1]

The game was presumed to be very complete, with one of the main differences from the final game being that a Magikoopa, most likely Kamek, would have been playable in the game instead of Donkey Kong. The game also had the feather item from Super Mario Kart, a different item box, different title screen music, and a slightly different HUD.[1]

Availability

The build was shown off at Shoshinkai Software Exhibition 1995 and in several magazines. The build then fell into obscurity in the years after, with only screenshots and videos proving the builds' existence.[2]

In July 2020, a large "Gigaleak" revealed the source code, assets, and cut material of many Nintendo games. While the leaks did not include the full Super Mario Kart R build, some of the assets that did leak include a unseen town-like track[3] (mentioned in a developer interview), several graphics of cut items,[4] and other graphics. These assets came from from the iQue version of the game released in China, however their origins point to around the timeframe of the Super Mario Kart R build. While the leaks have shown promise, the build has a slim chance of ever fully leaking, as Nintendo is well-known for protecting early builds of their games.

Gallery

Videos

Footage of Super Mario Kart R in action.
More early footage of Super Mario Kart R.
The early title screen music (from a Silicon Graphics tech demo).

External Links

References