• Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.


Farm-Fresh balance.pngYMMVTransmit blue.pngRadarWikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotes • (Emoticon happy.pngFunnyHeart.pngHeartwarmingSilk award star gold 3.pngAwesome) • Refridgerator.pngFridgeGroup.pngCharactersScript edit.pngFanfic RecsSkull0.pngNightmare FuelRsz 1rsz 2rsz 1shout-out icon.pngShout OutMagnifier.pngPlotGota icono.pngTear JerkerBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersHelp.pngTriviaWMGFilmRoll-small.pngRecapRainbow.pngHo YayPhoto link.pngImage LinksNyan-Cat-Original.pngMemesHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconicLibrary science symbol .svg SourceSetting
File:Super Mario Kart (US).004.png

It's always Luigi, dammit!

Super Mario Kart (1992) was a Driving Game on the Super Nintendo that inspired the Mario Kart series and, with it, a whole slew of Wacky Racing imitators.

Due to technological limits, older driving games felt little like racing on a track and more like watching the track twist below you as other racers materialized or vanished at whim. In 1990, F-Zero changed everything with the Super Nintendo's Mode 7 hardware, finally creating a realistic system with a 3D track and real racers.

But Super Mario Kart was the game that perfected Mode 7 into a fast, wacky, and thrilling challenge. Your racer must navigate the track--shown in the bottom split-screen--rife with obstacles such as grass, pipes, oil slicks, fish, and many an outright Bottomless Pit. Not to mention the other racers--and their obstacles. Yes, both you and your opponents may pick up items to throw in each others' path; this is one of the many kart racing tropes Super Mario Kart started.

The game features examples of these tropes:

  • Always Night: The Ghost Valley tracks
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: The psychedelic Rainbow Road, Super Mario Kart's final track.
  • Banana Peel: This mainstay item of the Mario Kart series started here
  • Big Boo's Haunt: The Ghost Valley tracks, though the Boos just float in the background and don't interact with the racers.
  • Bottomless Pits: In the Ghost Valley tracks and Rainbow Road. Lakitu will fish racers who fall down for the price of two coins.
  • Car Fu: heavier karts can bully lighter ones, especially if one racer has been shrunk or is using a Star.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: they don't follow the same rules as items go; each enemy racer can use only two items (a "signature" item such as Mario's star or Toad's poison mushroom, plus the Feather for avoiding obstacles), but they needn't run over an item box to use them. Here's a video showing some of the AI's antics.
  • First Installment Weirdness: Despite the claims of Strictly Formula regarding the rest of the series, Super was a somewhat different beast compared to the formula that 64 would create; AI karts don't use item box power-ups and have their own signature abilities that they can use at will, the deck is nowhere near as stacked against you if you're ahead, there's a coin = speed boost mechanic that wouldn't be touched upon again until Super Circuit and 7, and the Blue Shell didn't exist (Which the European VC release trailer mercilessly lampshades.) Also there are twenty tracks with five laps rather than sixteen tracks with three laps.
    • The steering mechanics in this game are crippled/slippery/oversensitive and every player-controlled kart will slide all over the place due to having little to no sense of traction. Requiring very delicate input just to stay on the road and not end up hitting the walls or falling off.
      • The crippled/slippery/oversensitive steering mechanics were carried over to Mario Kart: Super Circuit.
  • Follow the Leader: Even its sequels can be blamed for this trope.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: In the Japanese version of Super Mario Kart, Bowser and Peach will drink their bottle of champagne if they get First Place Gold. This was censored out in the International versions.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: the Trope Namer
  • Gravity Barrier: The Ghost Valley tracks and Rainbow Road.
  • Green Hill Zone: Mario Circuit
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: In the original SNES game.
  • Jack of All Stats: Mario and Luigi
  • Lethal Lava Land: the Bowser Castle tracks
  • Mighty Glacier: Bowser and Donkey Kong Jr.
    • One could consider these two a subversion. Believe it or not, they actually had the highest top speed out of all the characters in the game, despite their horrid acceleration. (for the lighter characters, the inverse was true: they had great acceleration but lower top speeds.)
  • Nintendo Hard: especially the Special Cup on 150cc
  • The Rival: Depending on who the player drives as, there will be certain characters that perform better and try their best to annoy the player. The rival will always be the same for each character, and that rival will do their best to not let you win. As shown in the page picture above, pick Koopa Troopa and the CPU giving you the most trouble will be Luigi, but pick Luigi and Yoshi will suddently give you the most grief, and so on.
  • Rubber Band AI: pretty severe, and especially occurs if a computer that has earned many points in the GP falls behind
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: by pressing Y+A on the character select, you can shrink your racer. This slows you down and makes you vulnerable to being crushed if a computer so much as touches you.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: the Vanilla Lake tracks
  • Wacky Racing