Mario Kart Racing Wiki
Mario Kart Racing Wiki
Starman (Mario Kart Wii).png This article is about the N64 variation. For a list of articles with the same name, see Rainbow Road. Starman (Mario Kart Wii).png

Rainbow Road is the last track of the Special Cup in Mario Kart 64 and the last track of the Lightning Cup in Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

In Mario Kart 8, the staff ghost kart setup is Metal Mario riding the Standard ATV with the Monster tires and the Super Glider.


Mario Kart 64

At 2 kilometers - which engenders laps that are two minutes long each - this course is the longest course in the game. It is a colorful course through the final frontier, while the original Rainbow Road featured a starry purplish sky instead. Its setting may have been switched to the deep space setting in order to help the console manage the track. With some of the most motivational and inspirational music in Mario Kart history, racers swerve past neon-lighted pictures of the eight playable characters, as well as various items from the series. Chain Chomps plague this otherwise peaceful course, traveling inside the road itself and knocking up racers they happen to collide with. Near the middle of the track, the course harbors a large, three-dimensional, smiling star.

This long course starts out with a large drop followed by a gentle uphill stretch, passing through a rainbow ring. From here, the path is mostly level with a few shallow drops here and there. Approaching the end, racers turn around in a corkscrew and then a twisting stretch to finally return to the checkered line.

It is possible to take a shortcut and skip about half of the course at the beginning. Right after the starting line, a racer can jump over the railing on the left while the track starts to slant downhill and land on a different part of the track.

Mario Kart 8/Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Rainbow Road 64 has been heavily updated to the newest installment of the franchise, but with some unique and new features. Not only did the developers reuse the "square tiles" rainbow pattern used in Super Mario Kart, they also reused the city setting from the Double Dash version of Rainbow Road. This obviously cuts off with the "Final Frontier" setting of the original two versions but also proves the abilities of the new Nintendo console.

However, a massive difference in the layout is the fact that the "smiling star helix" has been switched from the original game to the MK8 version. In the new game, the loop points outwards with anti-gravity section, while in the original N64 game the loop was inside the track, towards the finish line. Also due to its length, the number of laps has been changed to one lap (divided into thirds), similar to the 3DS Rainbow Road. It is the first retro course to use this format. Rainbow Road also currently has the most physical on-stage coins out of any track in Mario Kart 8, at a shocking total of 62.

Other new additions include:

  • A flying train circling along the first loop of the track, floating in the sky, with Toads kindly tossing coins onto the track.
  • A modification of the second loop (the one which circled around the star in the original version) to support the anti-gravity feature. In addition, the inclined parts of the course are also anti-gravity, including the one after the starting line.
  • A final section which includes the gliding launch introduced to the series with Mario Kart 7.
  • Several parts of the track had their star-shaped guardrails removed, in order to increase the difficulty.
  • The replacement of the Chain Chomps from the original track with Bouncing Chomps, which bounce over the track and make it wave near the middle of the track.
  • The music is remixed and orchestrated with the live-recorded soundtrack of Mario Kart 8.
  • The final turn before the starting line (which is 8-shaped) has been slightly shortened in order to cut down the length from the original.
  • The course itself also seems to have been built in a much smaller scale than the original, therefore its length is possibly less than 2 kilometers, unlike the original.
    • In addition, with the 1-lap format, the player can complete the track in less than 2 minutes.
  • Though the developers removed Wario, Donkey Kong, the Mushroom, and the Boo entirely in this version, Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Yoshi, King Bowser, and Toad are now shown in fireworks, with their colours respectively being red, green, pink, green, green, orange. Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and King Bowser now have full bodies rather than being disembodied heads.
    • Their poses are also altered. Mario now appears running, Luigi is depicted jumping, Princess Peach is waving, Toad is running but now in the opposite direction, and Bowser does his scary pose, just like the five do in their stamp images in Super Mario 3D World. Yoshi does his pose from his Yoshi: Topsy-Turvy artwork.


  • Possibly one of the most well-remembered shortcuts in Mario Kart history, one must carefully jump off the side of the starting line, in the hope of landing on the track nearby, skipping nearly half of it. This does not work in Mario Kart 8, possibly due to increased gravity. for MK64


Mario Kart 64

The course's icon in the game's menu.

Mario Kart 8


This glitch breaks the lap counter. Go backward and when you reach the ramp, use a Mushroom and hop over the fence. Keep going back until you arrive at the first checkpoint. Once you passed the first checkpoint, turn around and drive the normal way like you normally would. The second checkpoint will trigger the second "lap" instead of the third one, and the end of the track will trigger the third "lap" instead of ending the race. This only works in Mario Kart 8 and PROBABLY only works with lightweight characters.

If you want to learn more information on how to do this glitch, watch this video:


  • It is tied for the longest track of the entire series tying with Rainbow Road in Mario Kart 8, with a total length of two kilometers and approximately 2-3 minute lap times. Consequently, when the track was adapted to Mario Kart 8, they reduced the laps to only one, and divided the course into sections, much like Mario Kart 7s Wuhu courses and Rainbow Road, with 'laps' being checkpoint banners that calculate your progress as you drive one circuit around the track.
  • This is the first retro course to use Mario Kart 7s "one lap race" format.
  • In Mario Kart 64, the neon lights of Mario, the Mushroom, and Boo are the only ones that are animated.
  • In Mario Kart 8, this course uses the anti-gravity feature sooner than any other course (barring ones where the anti-gravity feature is activated before the race begins, like GCN Baby Park), right away after the starting line.
  • This Rainbow Road, as well as its retro counterpart, SNES Rainbow Road (as a DLC retro course), the new Rainbow Road, and GCN Baby Park, are the only courses in Mario Kart 8 with different colored maps than the others, being rainbow-colored instead of the standard blue. Also, GCN Baby Park and this Rainbow Road have the least and the most obtainable on-track coins in the game, as GCN Baby Park has 16, while this stage has 62.
  • The chorus part of this Rainbow Road's music is remixed into Double Dash!!'s Rainbow Road music and 7's Rainbow Road music. In the case of 7, it is given a slight "space" feeling to the music.
  • This is one of six courses in Mario Kart 8 where at least one anti-gravity zone doesn't end with a trick ramp or glider ramp, the others being Water Park, Mario Circuit, Twisted Mansion, Rainbow Road, and Wii Wario's Gold Mine.
  • In Mario Kart 8, rainbow tiles on this track appear to be made of colored LED lamps, based on its appearance and lighting.
  • The Toad locomotive is based upon an LB&SCR E2, and three coaches are based upon LB&SCR Coaches No. 661.
  • The railway lines that can be seen from this track, according to the map in Super Bell Subway, connect this city to many other places where tracks of Mario Kart 8 can be found.
  • The city below the track resembles Paris, as well as the tower, which is similar to the Eiffel Tower.
    • Many of the companies whose advertising signs can be seen in the various tracks have their headquarters in this city.
  • In Mario Kart 8, N64 Rainbow Road is the only point-to-point course in the game whose soundtrack speeds up in the third section of the track, unlike in Mount Wario and Big Blue.
  • In F-ZERO X N64 Rainbow Road was used as the first course in the Joker Cup and is identical in layout but instead of a bottomless pit beneath the course there's water. Also in the Japan only Expansion Kit there is a remix of Rainbow Road whereas the actual course reuses Drivin Through the Max from Sector Alpha & Beta instead.
  • This is the only course in the game whose laps cannot be completed in a minute or less. It is also the first Rainbow Road with this trait, the second being 3DS Rainbow Road. (Wii Rainbow Road's laps CAN be completed within this time frame, but doing so is difficult.)
Previous track:
Banshee Boardwalk
Current track:
Rainbow Road
Next track:
Previous track:
Wii Grumble Volcano
Recently reappeared in:
Mario Kart 8
Mario Kart 64 courses
Nitro cups Mushroom Cup Luigi RacewayMoo Moo FarmKoopa Troopa BeachKalimari Desert
Flower Cup Toad's TurnpikeFrappe SnowlandChoco MountainMario Raceway
Star Cup Wario StadiumSherbet LandRoyal RacewayBowser's Castle
Special Cup DK's Jungle ParkwayYoshi ValleyBanshee BoardwalkRainbow Road
Battle Courses Big DonutBlock FortDouble DeckSkyscraper
Mario Kart 8 / Deluxe courses
Nitro cups Mushroom Cup Mario Kart StadiumWater ParkSweet Sweet CanyonThwomp Ruins
Flower Cup Mario CircuitToad HarborTwisted MansionShy Guy Falls
Star Cup Sunshine AirportDolphin ShoalsElectrodromeMount Wario
Special Cup Cloudtop CruiseBone-Dry DunesBowser's CastleRainbow Road
Retro cups Shell Cup Wii Moo Moo MeadowsGBA Mario CircuitDS Cheep Cheep BeachN64 Toad's Turnpike
Banana Cup GCN Dry Dry DesertSNES Donut Plains 3N64 Royal Raceway3DS DK Jungle
Leaf Cup DS Wario StadiumGCN Sherbet Land3DS Music ParkN64 Yoshi Valley
Lightning Cup DS Tick-Tock Clock3DS Piranha Plant SlideWii Grumble VolcanoN64 Rainbow Road
DLC cups Egg Cup+ GCN Yoshi CircuitExcitebike ArenaDragon DriftwayMute City
Triforce Cup+ Wii Wario's Gold MineSNES Rainbow RoadIce Ice OutpostHyrule Circuit
Crossing Cup+ GCN Baby ParkGBA Cheese LandWild WoodsAnimal Crossing
Bell Cup+ 3DS Neo Bowser CityGBA Ribbon RoadSuper Bell SubwayBig Blue
Battle Courses Mario Circuit* • Toad Harbor* • Wii Moo Moo Meadows* • GCN Dry Dry Desert* • SNES Donut Plains 3* • N64 Toad's Turnpike* • GCN Sherbet Land* • N64 Yoshi Valley*
Battle Stadium** • Sweet Sweet Kingdom** • Dragon Palace** • Lunar Colony** • 3DS Wuhu Town** • SNES Battle Course 1** • GCN Luigi's Mansion** • Urchin Underpass**
+ - denotes DLC. • * - denotes exclusivity to Mario Kart 8. • ** - denotes exclusivity to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.