When it was first shown, Mario Kart for the Gameboy Advance looked a bit different than the final version. If you take a look a these beta images, the characters had bigger heads and smaller karts. Also it seems that the tracks had some differences in the details and in the course design, as we can see in the images and the video below.
Mattrizzle of The Cutting Room Floor discovered that there are a few unused tracks still in the final game’s data. Most of them appear to be Super Mario Kart’s battle courses, which means that they were probably at one point planned to be in the game along with the Super Mario Kart tracks. Unfortunately, the starting positions in each of the battle courses don’t exist, so the starting points default to position 0,0.
Thanks to Mario125 and Goomther for the contribution!
The new Mario Kart for the GameCube was first showed at the E3 2001 with a seven seconds long trailer. The clip featured Mario and Luigi driving their karts on a bump mapped 3D surface with no background. At the time MK was still early in development, and the working title of the game was simply Mario Kart. This video was created by Nintendo only to let the players know that there would have been a new racing game with Mario on the GameCube, but the final concept was still not decided.
In April 2003, Nintendo released the first pictures and details of the real game, as well as revealing the title, which was Mario Kart: Double Dash!!. New features, such as having two characters drive one kart and different styles of karts, had been implemented. While the tech demo was more similar to the old Mario Karts, the final game was different from what we can see in these screens and video. Those Mario and Luigi models seems to be the same from Super Smash Bros Melee.
Thanks to DRMARIOX for the contribution!
[spoiler /Clicca qui per la versione in Italiano/ /Nascondi la versione in Italiano/]Il gioco presentato in questo video si rivela drasticamente differente da quello che sarà poi l’effettivo episodio della serie “Mario kart” uscito su Gamecube. Quest’ ultimo, infatti, innova con kart personalizzati ed ospitanti due personaggi contemporaneamente, uno adibito alla guida, l’altro al lancio di oggetti. Come è possibile constatare nelle foto invece, la versione preliminare si presentava come una normalissima conversione della normale formula di gioco su game cube, con kart standard e monoposto. Impossibile tuttavia dire altro a riguardo, dato che gli unici personaggi mostrati furono Mario e Luigi e data l’assenza di un vero percorso di gioco.
On the 24 November 1995, Nintendo finally presented the final version of the Ultra 64, (renamed “Nintendo 64” because of copyright problem) at the Shoshinkai Software Exhibition. Among the thirty titles shown in playable form or in video (including Star Fox and Wave Race) one of the most interesting was Super Mario Kart R, an early beta version of our favorite kart-game.
Compared to other games that were shown at the Shoshinkai that year, it could be said that Mario Kart R was almost complete, since there appears to be no particular changes in the track design, but the differences for the playable characters are interesting. You can notice that Kami Koopa (Magic Koopa) was a playable character in the game instead of Donkey Kong and the “Character Select” screen had different avatars. Also, the multiplayer split screen could have been set to horizontally or vertically, but this option was removed in the final version (but implemented in Double Dash). The “Item Boxes” were different too and various other little graphic details (like the HUD) were changed before the game was published,
Also, the Feather item from the original Super Mario Kart, was meant to be used in Mario Kart 64 too, as you can see from one of the screenshots in the gallery below (in the image with the 4 player mode, Toad has it in his item HUD). The Feather would have let the player to jump very high, to reach new shortcuts or to avoid obstacles.
Thanks to Princess Toadstool for the contribution!
There are just few informations available about this strange project developed by Angel Studios, that at first appeared to be some sort of car-battle game, but then it became something more similar to Mario Kart, before being cancelled.
“When I was working on the Dream Team [at Angel Studios], they wanted us to do this DNA-based driving game called Buggy Boogie. You had these vehicles that would eat other vehicles and adopt their powers and morph. It was really cool. But they would sign three month contracts, and Miyamoto himself would say that he did not want any documents. He would just say, “Find the fun, and I’ll be back in three months to take a look at what you have.”
We went through about three iterations of that. We busted our hump trying different things, but at the end of it, he kept coming back and saying that it wasn’t there, and it wasn’t fun. We were a new company that didn’t know how to make games. After about six or nine months, he came back and said, “You guys have really worked hard, and we see the progress, but we’re not seeing the product. But another opportunity has come up for a fantasy golf game, so why don’t you guys work on that? In three months, we’ll be back. Show us a golf game.”
Even if Buggy Boogie looked like an interesting project, it seems that Nintendo killed it for a reason or another… really a shame. In the few screens and concept arts remained from the game, we can see some of its development changes.