Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (styled as MARIOKART Double Dash!! and abbreviated to MKDD) is a racing video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo GameCube. It is the fourth game in the Mario Kart series.

Gameplay

The Double Dash!! technique, one of the new elements in this game.

Double Dash!!'s gameplay vastly differs from and improves on its predecessors in many ways; since the player can pick not one character, but two - one to drive, and one to use items. In addition, the player is able to use karts that are not the characters' (Mario and Luigi can use Yoshi's kart, for example) depending on their class, whether they are heavyweight, middleweight, or lightweight. Not only this, the power slide has been improved; if the player makes blue sparks while power sliding, a mini turbo is performed. The rocket start is also improved as the Double Dash!!, in which both team members perform it when the Pre-race countdown is finished. There are sixteen courses to race on. Each cup features four tracks. Five different cup races are available, one of which is the All Cup Tour, featuring all sixteen tracks in random order (except for the first, Luigi Circuit, and the last, Rainbow Road). Each track is also playable in "Mirror Mode," where the tracks are mirrored; however, Mirror Mode is only available for 150cc.

This installment also features multiplayer battle modes. As in previous installments, the battle arenas are enclosed, with varying architecture and a constant arsenal. In addition to the balloon-popping game, which has been the standard Mario Kart battle game, two new battle systems are included. The first, called "Shine Thief", involves capturing a Shine Sprite and maintaining possession of it for a set time period. The second, called "Bob-omb Blast", uses only colored Bob-ombs, and utilizes a trade-off point system that requires the players to succeed in attacks, while also avoiding those directed at them. Both battle modes have returned in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

Aside from the many drivers available, numerous other Mario characters play minor roles in the game. Lakitu reprises his role as the referee, signaling the start of each race, alerting players when they complete a lap, warning them when they are going the wrong way, and returning drivers to the racetrack when they fall into dangerous areas. Shy Guys, Piranha Plants, Goombas, and Wigglers are also present in the game and serve as obstacles for the driver to avoid. Toadsworth drives the winners of a cup during the victory celebration. Piantas and Nokis from Super Mario Sunshine also cheer players on certain courses, such as Peach Beach and Daisy Cruiser, and form much of the crowd at victory ceremonies (held at Peach Beach). Classic Mario series characters, including Donkey Kong Jr., can be seen in the crowds around Waluigi Stadium.

This game was the first game to let you choose your own kart instead of using the default kart, this includes 21 karts to choose from. They are categorized by weight. Generally, lightweight karts have good acceleration and handling and are easily able to traverse rough terrain, but have low top speeds, can be knocked around by larger karts, and can only hold light characters. Heavyweight karts usually have high top speeds, can knock around many smaller karts, but they have poor acceleration, steering, off-road handling, and can only be manned if there is at least one heavy character. Middleweight karts' performance are well-balanced, but they cannot hold heavy characters. However, there are exceptions to this, such as the Barrel Train and Boo Pipes. Of 21 karts available in all, only eight are available from the start. The other 13 may be unlocked by successfully completing races and finishing the game. Although everyone has one kart, the twenty-first kart is the Parade Kart that Toadsworth uses to drive the first place winners. This kart the best stat ratio (4 stars for speed and weight; 3 stars for acceleration) and any combination of characters can drive it, but it takes the longest to recover from flipping over.

A notable attribute of Double Dash!! is that it allows LAN play using the GameCube broadband adapter. Up to eight GameCubes can be connected, allowing for 16 player multiplayer games (two players controlling each kart).

Game Modes

Mario Kart: Double Dash!! offers four modes, some of which players can participate in either by themselves or with a friend.

Grand Prix

In this mode, players, by themselves, with a friend, or 2 teams, race against 6 or 7 CPU controlled vehicles in a race for 1st place across 4 tracks. There are three engine classes to choose from initially, with the fourth engine class, Mirror Mode, being unlocked after completing 150cc.

  • 50cc (Easy) - The karts drive slowly. CPU drivers don't use many items and use the default partners (i.e. Mario and Luigi driving the Red Fire). Any kart will take 1st or 2nd.
  • 100cc (Normal) - The karts have average speeds and CPU drivers have more access to more items such as the Red Shell, but maintain the default partner combo. CPU-controlled lightweight karts never make it to the top positions.
  • 150cc (Hard) - All karts have high speeds and the CPU drivers can access even more items, such as the Spiny Shell, as well as having a mixed character combination. CPU-controlled heavyweights are usually in the top 4 while CPU-controlled middleweights rarely take the top positions.
  • Mirror (Very hard) - Same as 150cc, but the courses are mirrored and the CPU system is the same. This engine class is unlocked after winning the 150cc All-Cup Tour.

There are four cups in Grand Prix mode, with each track being harder than the last. The Mushroom Cup contains basic courses with a few hazards, whereas the Special Cup features expansive courses and a large number of gimmicks, which put the player's skills to the test.

Fourteen courses have 3 laps, except for Baby Park, which has 7 because of how short it is, and Wario Colosseum has 2 laps because of its expansive length in comparison to other courses.

The Special Cup is unlocked after finishing the 100cc Star Cup with a 1st-place win.

The fifth cup, known as the All-Cup Tour, has players racing on all 16 courses in the game. Luigi Circuit is the first course and Rainbow Road is the last course. The other fourteen tracks appear in random order. Unlike the four cups, the All-Cup Tour doesn't appear in the other racing modes.

Time Trials

In this mode, one player races across a course in the shortest time possible. Before playing this mode, the player is tasked with entering their initials. During a Time Trial, the player will only have two Mushrooms on hand for a speed boost.

The best lap time and race time are saved after finishing. The player can then race against their own ghost or the Staff Ghost on a specific track. If the player fails to place within the top 5, their race time will not be counted. Ghosts cost 5 blocks on the GameCube's Memory Card.

In Japan, players could submit special codes in Time Trial for a contest. While this never appeared overseas, the code itself can still be accessed in all versions. To see this code, the player must press L, R, L, R, X, Y, X, Y, Z after finishing a Time Trial. A 16-digit code will show up on the bottom of the screen.

Battle Mode

In addition to racing, players can participate in the Battle Mode with up to 8 or 16 players in LAN mode. Outside of LAN, 2 to 4 players can participate in Battles while taking down their opponents using items, as well as all Special Items, on specially-made Battle arenas.

  • Balloon Battle - The classic Battle mode. Players start with three balloons in which must pop their opponents' balloons before they pop theirs. In this game, players can "steal" balloons from one another by using a Mushroom or a Star, a feature that has been carried over to future Mario Kart installments. Balloons can also be stolen if the rear player uses a Slide Attack. Unlike Mario Kart 64 and Mario Kart: Super Circuit, players simply vanish from the arena when they are eliminated.
  • Shine Thief - In this mode, a Shine Sprite appears in the arena and players are tasked to hang on to it until time runs out. The other players who don't have the Shine Sprite can take down the carrier by picking up items to attack the Shine's owner. A Shineless player can steal the Shine by running into the owner with a Mushroom, Star, or hitting them with a Slide Attack. Mario Kart DS 's Shine Runners was based on this mode.
  • Bob-omb Blast - In this mode, players take down their opponents using Bob-ombs, which are obtained by running over an Item Box. All characters can hold up to five bombs, and can either throw them forward or drop them backward. If a player gets hit by a Bob-omb, the player who hit them will earn a star. To win, players need to get 3 stars. In 3 or 4 players, four stars are required.

Versus

Two to four players participate in a race around the track without any AI drivers. In LAN mode, 8 or 16 players can join.

The Option mode has these changes:

  • Number of Laps: - The amount of times a player must go around the track in order to win. It can be set to default laps, or from 1 to 9. If the lap number is set to 1, the Final Lap immediately begins following with the Final Lap fanfare playing.
  • Items - Sets the items based on preference.
    • Recommended - All items appear depending on what place the player(s) is in.
    • Basic: - Powerful items are less than likely to appear.
    • Frantic: - Powerful items are more than likely to appear.
    • None: - Items are disabled.

Co-op Play

The defining feature of Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, where two players share one kart, controlling their respective characters. One player drives while the other throws items and uses moves that a player by themselves cannot use. The Slide Attack allows a team to steal items from their rivals while messing up their controls. In addition, if both players press the A button at the right time, their Rocket Start becomes the Double Dash, a much stronger variant.

Time Trial cannot be selected in this mode.

The following modes can/cannot be selected in co-op play.

Co-op Play Modes
Players Grand Prix Versus Battle
P1 vs. P2 Yes check.svg Yes check.svg Yes check.svg
P1 & P2 Yes check.svg X mark.svg X mark.svg
P1 & P2 vs. P3 Yes check.svg Yes check.svg Yes check.svg
P1 & P2 vs. P3 vs. P4 X mark.svg Yes check.svg Yes check.svg
P1 & P2 vs. P3 & P4 Yes check.svg Yes check.svg Yes check.svg

Teams

Medium

Team Default Karts Kart Photo Speed Acceleration Weight
Mario and Luigi Red Fire Red Fire - Artwork - Mario Kart Double Dash!!.png ★★★ ★★★ ★★★
Green Fire Locked.png MKDD Green Fire.jpg ★★★★ ★★ ★★
Peach and Daisy Heart Coach Heart Coach.png ★★ ★★★★ ★★★
Bloom Coach Locked.png MKDD Bloom Coach.jpg ★★★ ★★★ ★★
Yoshi and Birdo Turbo Yoshi Turbo Yoshi.png ★★ ★★★★ ★★★
Turbo Birdo

Locked.png

Turbo Birdo.jpg ★★★ ★★★ ★★★★

Light

Team Default Karts Kart Photo Speed Acceleration Weight
Baby Mario and Baby Luigi Goo-Goo Buggy Googoobuggy.jpg ★★★★★ ★★
Rattle Buggy Locked.png MKDD Rattle Buggy.jpg ★★ ★★★★ ★★
Koopa Troopa and Paratroopa Koopa Dasher Koopa Dasher.png ★★ ★★★★ ★★
Para Wing Locked.png MKDD Para Wing.jpg ★★★★★ ★★
Toad

Locked.png and Toadette Locked.png

Toad Kart Locked.png MKDD Toad Kart.jpg ★★ ★★★★ ★★
Toadette Kart Locked.png MKDD Toadette Kart.jpg ★★★★★ ★★

Others

Teams Default Karts Kart Photo Speed Acceleration Weight
Donkey Kong (H) and Diddy Kong (L) DK Jumbo Dkjumbo.jpg ★★★★ ★★ ★★★★
Barrel Train Locked.png Barrel Train.jpg ★★★★ ★★ ★★★
Wario (H) and Waluigi (M) Wario Car Wariocar.png ★★★★ ★★ ★★★★
Waluigi Racer Locked.png Waluigi's Waluigi Racer.jpg ★★★ ★★★ ★★★
Bowser (H) and Bowser Jr. (L) Koopa King Koopaking.png ★★★★★ ★★★★★
Bullet Blaster Locked.png MKDD Bullet Blaster.jpg ★★★★ ★★★
King Boo (H) Locked.png and Petey Piranha (H) Locked.png Boo Pipes Locked.png Boopipes.jpg ★★ ★★★★ ★★★★★
Piranha Pipes Locked.png Piranhapipes.jpg ★★★★ ★★ ★★★★★
N/A Parade Kart

Locked.png

MKDD Parade Kart.jpg ★★★★ ★★★ ★★★★

Tracks

Mushroom Cup Flower Cup Star Cup Special Cup
MKDD LuigiCircuitLogo.png

also in Mario Kart DS
MKDD MushroomBridgeLogo.png

also in Mario Kart DS
MKDD SherbetLandLogo.png

also in Mario Kart 8/8 Deluxe
MKDD WarioColosseumLogo.png

 
MKDD PeachBeachLogo.png

also in Mario Kart Wii
MKDD MarioCircuitLogo.png


was about to be in Mario Kart DS
later appeared in Mario Kart Wii
MKDD MushroomCityLogo.png

 
MKDD DinoDinoJungleLogo.png

also in Mario Kart 7 and Mario Kart Tour
MKDD BabyParkLogo.png
also in Mario Kart DS
and 8 Deluxe (or 8 DLC)
MKDD DaisyCruiserLogo.png

also in Mario Kart 7
MKDD YoshiCircuitLogo.png
also in Mario Kart DS,
8 Deluxe (or 8 DLC), and Mario Kart Tour
MKDD BowserCastleLogo.png

 
MKDD DryDryDesertLogo.png

also in Mario Kart 8/8 Deluxe
Waluigi Stadium

also in Mario Kart Wii
MKDD DKMountainLogo.png

also in Mario Kart Wii
MKDD RainbowRoadLogo.png

 

Battle courses

MKDD CL Icon.png

also in Mario Kart Wii
MKDD BC Icon.png

was about to be in Mario Kart DS
Luigi's Mansion

also in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Nintendo GameCube

 
MKDD PP Icon.png

also in Mario Kart DS
MKDD T-A-K Icon.png

 

Items

Normal Items

Names Pictures Functions
Banana
Banana - Mario Kart Double Dash.png
When placed, a Banana peel stays on the track until a kart touches it, causing it to spin out. Bananas can be used as shields to break homing items such as Red Shells; however, they can not be dragged behind the kart like in past games, making this technique harder to execute than before. It can either be thrown forward or dropped backward.
Green Shell
Green Shell - Mario Kart Double Dash.png
When shot, Green Shells go in a straight line, bouncing off the track walls and knocking into anything it touches, such as an item or another kart. It can be shot forwards or backwards.
Red Shell
Red Shell - Mario Kart Double Dash.png
Red Shells home in on the nearest kart. It can be thrown backwards as well. However, when shot backwards or in the lead, it acts like a Green Shell. Red Shells cannot bounce, however, and they break if they hit a wall.
Fake Item Box
Fake Item Box - Mario Kart Double Dash.png
A fake Item Box that is red with an inverted ? symbol. When used, it stays on the track until a kart hits it and causes that kart to flip. The only way to get rid of these blocks is to run into it, so it can not be used to block homing items. Otherwise, this item eventually vanishes.
Lightning
Lightning - Mario Kart Double Dash.png
When used, Lightning shrinks, slows, and removes the items of all rival karts. If shrunken, drivers hit by another item will drop any items they are holding.
Mushroom
Mushroom - Mario Kart Double Dash.png
A Mushroom gives the kart a brief boost of speed. If used properly, it can be used to take shortcuts and to steal (or drop) items from another kart.
Triple Mushroom
Triple Mushroom - Mario Kart Double Dash.png
A bunch of three Mushrooms that give the drivers three boosts of speed. If characters who hold the Mushrooms get hit by an item, some of the Mushrooms fall get dropped and they end up with only one Mushroom left. As with all triple items, some characters hold the Triple Mushrooms, while other characters juggle it.
Star
Starman - Mario Kart Double Dash.png
When applied, the kart that used it becomes invincible against any item. It also boosts the speed and handling of the kart, and negates the effect of terrain that would otherwise slow the cart, for example, the shallow water on the Peach Beach track. The kart is also capable of knocking out any rival kart and stealing their items just by driving into them.
Spiny Shell
Spiny Shell - Mario Kart Double Dash.png
When shot, the Spiny Shell heads to the kart that is in first place. Once it hits the kart, it creates a blue explosion. The characters in the kart lose any items if hit and are sent flying directly upwards. Other karts can get hit if they are in the blast radius. This item does not appear in Battle Mode.

Special Items

Every character has their own special item. Different combinations means a wide variety of items. For example, if someone were to play as Toadette, another player were to play as Baby Mario/Luigi and they controlled the kart together, they would be able to get Golden Mushrooms and the Chain Chomp occasionally.

Petey Piranha and King Boo can obtain any Special Item, except for the Green Fireball and Birdo's Egg due to both of them being the same items function-wise.

In Battle Mode, any character can get a Special Item, regardless of which character and kart combination is used.

Name Picture Function
Fireball Fireball - Mario Kart Double Dash.pngGreen Fireball - Mario Kart Double Dash.png A set of five red (Mario) or green (Luigi) Fireballs capable of ricocheting off walls. When they hit another kart, the kart will spin out and slow down. They can be thrown either forwards or backwards. Only Mario and Luigi can use this item, and the latter has Green Fireballs.
Heart
New Item
Heart - Mario Kart Double Dash.png A pair of hearts that will surround the kart, absorbing the impact of any item that collides with the kart except for Chain Chomps, Spiny Shells, Stars and Lightning. If used correctly, racers can absorb the item dropped on the road and use it against the other players; this includes most other Special Items. The Hearts have no time limit for use, though since there are only two Hearts only two items can be absorbed. If both characters are holding items when the Heart absorbs an item, the item will disappear. Only Peach and Daisy can use this item.
Yoshi Egg/Birdo Egg
New Item
Yoshi Egg - Mario Kart Double Dash.pngBirdo Egg - Mario Kart Double Dash.png A green (Yoshi) or pink (Birdo) egg. They work similarly to a Red Shell, chasing after a kart and knocking it out when collision occurs. After colliding, these eggs randomly let out three items that could be a Banana, Green Shell, Mushroom, Star, or Bob-omb. However, if an egg takes too long to find a kart, the egg will break apart but still let out three items. Only Yoshi can use this item, but Birdo has her own version called the Birdo Egg.
Bowser Shell
New Item
Bowser Shell - Mario Kart Double Dash.png A humongous shell shaped like Bowser's shell that acts like a Green Shell, going in a straight line, and bouncing around the track, destroying items and knocking over other karts, dropping their items onto the ground. It can be thrown forwards or backwards. Bowser's Shell tends to bounce from other special items, including Giant Bananas (though the Giant Banana gets destroyed in the process). Only Bowser and Bowser Jr. can use this item.
Triple Green Shells & Triple Red Shells Triple Green Shell - Mario Kart Double Dash.pngTriple Red Shell - Mario Kart Double Dash.png An arsenal of three shells, either Green or Red, that can be used to knock other karts. If the character gets hit by another item while holding the Triple Shells, the character will lose all but one shell. Koopa Troopa and Paratroopa can get either color of shells, depending on their current ranking.
Bob-omb
New Item
Bob-omb - Mario Kart Double Dash.png
When used, a Bob-omb stays on the road until a kart passes near it in order to explode and blow up any kart around. If no kart is around the Bob-omb explodes after a few seconds. It can be thrown forward or tossed backward. Only Wario and Waluigi can use this item.
Giant Banana
New Item
Giant Banana - Mario Kart Double Dash.png Giant Bananas can be littered either forward or backward, staying on the road until a kart collides with it. Drivers will lose control, while the Giant Banana splits into three normal Bananas scattered into a triangle in that area. Only Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong can use this item.
Chain Chomp
New Item
Chain Chomp - Mario Kart Double Dash.png A huge Chain Chomp is summoned and boosts the kart's speed frantically for a certain period of time, while the Chain Chomp knocks out other karts and drops their items onto the ground. After use, the Chain Chomp leaves the kart and goes following the path until it disappears. It has the same use as the Bullet Bill does in every Mario Kart game starting from Mario Kart DS, except the Chain Chomp can be disconnected from the kart if the kart gets hit by any item. Only Baby Mario and Baby Luigi can use this item.
Golden Mushroom
Golden Mushroom - Mario Kart Double Dash.png
Gold Mushrooms provide the drivers multiple boosts of speed in a row in a period of time. However, it seems to have a time limit; once the first boost is used, the subsequent boosts need to be used before the item disappears. Only Toad and Toadette can use this item.

Unlocking Criteria

Almost all cups in the game will unlock something new once the player completes it. Here is a list:

Mushroom Cup Flower Cup Star Cup Special Cup All-Cup Tour
50cc Green Fire (kart) Bloom Coach (kart) Para Wing (kart) Bullet Blaster (kart) N/A
100cc Rattle Buggy (kart) Waluigi Racer (kart) Special Cup (cup) Toad & Toadette (character team)
Toad Kart (kart)
N/A
150cc Luigi's Mansion (battle course) Turbo Birdo (kart) Barrel Train (kart) All Cup Tour (cup) Mirror Mode (class)
Mirror Toadette Kart (kart) Tilt-A-Kart (battle course) King Boo & Petey Piranha (character team)
Piranha Pipes (kart)
Boo Pipes (kart) Parade Kart (kart)

Gallery

For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.

Soundtrack

Trivia

  • This is the first Mario Kart game to feature Shine Thief and Bob-omb Blast.
  • This is the only Mario Kart game to have two players on a kart.
  • This is the only Mario Kart game to have Petey Piranha and Paratroopa as playable characters.
  • This is the only Mario Kart game to have Toad as an unlockable character.
  • This is the first Mario Kart game to have the music for the final lap be both sped up and increased by one semitone; the first racing game to have this was Konami Krazy Racers.
  • This is the first Mario Kart game to have been localized in German, French, Spanish and Italian.
  • This is the last Mario Kart game to feature only new courses.
  • A first run production of the game included a limited bonus disc inside the case in a second holder with exclusive content related to other GameCube games.
  • This is the first Mario Kart game that has more than four battle courses, the second being Mario Kart DS, third being Mario Kart Wii, fourth being Mario Kart 7 and fifth being Mario Kart 8 (and Deluxe).
  • This is the first Mario Kart game that has "Mirror Mode" (though Mario Kart 64 has Extra Mode).
  • Oddly enough the retro tracks for Mario Kart: Double Dash!! are labeled GCN which stands for GameCube Nintendo. It should be initially written as NGC which makes it called Nintendo GameCube, which is used that way in Japan.
    • However Mario Kart 7's Prima Guide labels the retro tracks as "GC" which stands for simply GameCube however this isn't present in the actual game and it's still labeled as "GCN".
  • This is the first Mario Kart game to have unlockable characters.
  • Double Dash!! introduced LAN Play, using the common Ethernet standard, to the series.
    • Up to eight GameCube consoles can be linked together for LAN Play, using one straight through cable per console connected to an Ethernet hub. Nintendo recommends that no other devices are connected to the hub. When linking just two GameCube consoles, no hub is required, but a crossover cable must be used to connect both systems directly.
    • Online play is not officially supported, but third-party services (such as Warp Pipe and XLink Kai) allow GameCube systems to use LAN Play on a WAN (Wide Area Network).
    • Characters and karts are selected at random during LAN Play. King Boo and Petey Piranha are unavailable, even if unlocked.
    • Super Circuit was the first game to feature linked multiplayer for up to four players, but it utilized proprietary Game Link Cables instead of the Ethernet standard. Single-Pak and Multi-Pak modes are available.
    • Mario Kart DS and Mario Kart 7 feature LAN Play, known simply as multiplayer, using wireless (Wi-Fi) technology instead of wired. Single-Card and Multi-Card modes are available.
    • Mario Kart Wii and the original Mario Kart 8 only support Online Play using a connection to the Nintendo WAN (Wide Area Network). Fans of Mario Kart Wii operate a third-party server.
    • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the Nintendo Switch reintroduces wired LAN Play to the series. This feature is only available in docked mode. 8 Deluxe has a limit of one or two players per Nintendo Switch for LAN Play.
  • Donkey Kong Jr. was going to be a partner for Donkey Kong, but he was cut and replaced with Diddy Kong.

External Links

Mario Kart games
Main Titles Super Mario Kart (1992, SNES) • Mario Kart 64 (1996, N64) • Mario Kart: Super Circuit (2001, GBA) • Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (2003, GameCube) • Mario Kart DS (2005, DS) • Mario Kart Wii (2008, Wii) • Mario Kart 7 (2011, 3DS) • Mario Kart 8 (2014, Wii U) • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (2017, Switch)
Arcade Titles Mario Kart Arcade GP (2005) • Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 (2007) • Mario Kart Arcade GP DX (2013) • Mario Kart Arcade GP VR (2017)
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