You’re driving down the freeway with the high-pitched squeal of your 150 cc engine in your ears. Your kart passes hundreds of semi trucks and very similar looking white cars that flood the turnpike while other racers struggle to get their kart un-wedged from the bottom of what seems to be the fifth gasoline carrying truck they’ve hit this race. “This race is in the bag,” you think to yourself as you take the second last turn of the last lap when all of the sudden, WHAM! A blue shell owns you and you somehow go from first to last in a matter of seconds. Unfair? No, Mario Kart 64!
As a budding-video game nerd in the early nineties, I was able to grow up on most of the classics, but the N64 had the biggest impact on my gaming experience. I got the system for Christmas the year it came out along with the classic game Mario Kart, so I saw it fitting to review and show a few of my favorite bugs and memories from the classic racing game.
Mario Kart games have come out for almost every system Nintendo has made, but it became most popular with its N64 version, Mario Kart 64. I remember when this game came out I lost sleep over it. I would wake up earlier than my parents to sneak downstairs and race until I had to go to school.
Right off the bat, “Moo Moo Farm” was and still is my favorite track on the game. I love the mole hole obstacles that always seemed to present too much trouble for n00b players. This level also is one of my favorite songs from the game, rivaled only by that of “Royal Raceway”.
Bugs in this game were great to find because all you had to do to find a bug was jump your kart off the track somehow and laugh as you were picked up and placed right in front of the finish line. “Frappe Snow land” has one of my favorite bugs of the game just because of the reactions I would get while using this cheat. At the beginning of the race, turn your kart a full 180 degrees and race to the end of the bridge. Then, without touching the road, jump from the bridge to the snow pile and drive off the track. Lakitu (the cloud guy with the fishing pole) will pick up your car and place it back on the bridge. Drive past the finish line and just like that; you’ve completed one lap according to the N64!
Another great bug is in the beginning of “D.K.’s Jungle Parkway”. Turn your kart the opposite direction again at the green and go into the cave tunnel. Hit into the left wall of the exit as hard as you can and somehow your character will fall for ten seconds and then hit water?!? Your best friend Lakitu will come to pick you up again and place you at the beginning of the cave. Race the five-second sprint to the finish line and laugh when you get a lap time of twenty seconds.
This was actually the first bug I ever found in a game and got me looking for many more in every game I’ve bought since. I remember racing the full track and coming to the last cave when Bowser or Wario crushed me into this wall. I freaked out claiming the computer had cheated, then remembered this is Mario Kart, one of the only racing games that re-spawns computer racers to keep the race close no matter how far ahead you were.
“Rainbow Road” is the last and one of the craziest looking levels in the game. Remember falling off of the track at least five times a race? Yeah, I thought so, but there’s also a glitch that all this track jumping can help you with. At the very beginning of the race, speed up until you reach the large downward hill. Then turn left and jump off the track, aiming for the portion of track close to your racer. You should hit the star fence on this piece of track and be able to keep racing, cutting a full minute or two off of your time. (Great song too for the level lol)
I also liked exploring “Royal Raceway’s” castle instead of actually racing. My friends and I would battle in Peach’s Castle instead of racing. We would also race the train in “Kalimari Desert”, absolutely pointless but for some reason fun to do.
The battle system in this game was another great idea. I always have dreaded the skyscraper level because of how many falling deaths I would encounter while trying to hop the pits of death between buildings. My favorite battle area was the square fortress level with four pillars to fight from in the level. The battles were always geared towards the larger players, especially in this and the skyscraper level. In both of these levels, a larger player could take a balloon from a smaller player by hitting the boost at the green light into the smaller player across from them. Having a little extra weight on your side was always a good thing in battle mode.
There are so many glitches and bugs out there for Mario Kart 64, these are just a few of my favorites that I was able to find as a kid and are engraved on my gamer memory. Have any great bugs for this game? Comment!