Mario Kart 7

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Track Guide

Mr. X's Mario Kart 7 Track Guide

Version 1.1

=====================
= TABLE OF CONTENTS =
=====================

A00 - Introduction

Mushroom Cup
  A01 - Toad Circuit
  A02 - Daisy Hills
  A03 - Cheep Cheep Lagoon
  A04 - Shy Guy Bazaar

Flower Cup
  B01 - Wuhu Loop
  B02 - Mario Circuit
  B03 - Music Park
  B04 - Rock Rock Mountain

Star Cup
  C01 - Piranha Plant Slide
  C02 - Wario Shipyard
  C03 - Neo Bowser City
  C04 - Maka Wuhu
    C04a - Maka Wuhu, Exploits, and You

Special Cup
  D01 - DK Jungle
  D02 - Rosalina's Ice World
  D03 - Bowser's Castle
  D04 - Rainbow Road

Shell Cup
  E01 - N64 Luigi Raceway
  E02 - GBA Bowser Castle 1
  E03 - Wii Mushroom Gorge
  E04 - DS Luigi's Mansion

Banana Cup
  F01 - N64 Koopa Beach
  F02 - SNES Mario Circuit 2
  F03 - Wii Coconut Mall
  F04 - DS Waluigi Pinball

Leaf Cup
  G01 - N64 Kalimari Desert
  G02 - DS DK Pass
  G03 - GCN Daisy Cruiser
  G04 - Wii Maple Treeway

Lightning Cup
  H01 - Wii Koopa Cape
  H02 - GCN Dino Dino Jungle 
  H03 - DS Airship Fortress
  H04 - SNES Rainbow Road

I01 - Version Changes
I02 - Credits




====================
= A00 INTRODUCTION =
====================

Mario Kart 7 is the latest generation of Mario Kart only on the 3DS.  Like the
previous two games in the series, it features 16 new courses arranged into 4
cups with 4 courses in each along with 16 returning courses from previous
Mario Kart games also arranged into 4 cups with 4 courses each for a total of
32 tracks.

I made this guide after observing loads of racers online who have no idea how
to play any of the courses and after observing a certain FAQ that flat out
gave wrong tips.  I figured I'd take things into my own hands and share my own
tips based on my experiences with the game. I cannot guarantee that every
strategy listed here is the absolute best but using them will at least help
you get a better grip on the game and help you beat those pesky computer
players and their cursed blue shells.

It's worth noting that since this guide is entirely focused on track
strategies, it makes a few underlying assumptions about the game.  It assumes
that you have already played the game/any Mario Kart game and know how to
drift.  If you do not know how to drift, just go into Toad Circuit and press
and hold R before entering the turns to play around with it.

Note that this is not a vehicle or character guide.  I should note that I
wrote this FAQ using several different vehicles, but I cannot guarantee it
will work perfectly for all vehicles.  However, most of the tips such as
shortcut locations and ramp locations are always valid.

If you see any of these tips and know a better way to do it/think one of them
is flat out wrong, send me an e-mail at MrX8991@yahoo.com.  I will be sure to
give you credit for any suggestions.



--------------------------- MUSHROOM CUP --------------------------


====================
= A01 TOAD CIRCUIT =
====================

-Ghost Times-
Easy:  Nin*KATIE - 01:35.135
Hard:  Nin*ishi - 01:26.632

-Description-
Toad Circuit is pretty much what you'd expect in an opening track:  Short
and easy.  It features a modified figure-8 layout and incorporates many of the
same features from Mario Kart Wii's Luigi Circuit.

-Tips and Notes-
1) Start your drift early for the first turn to ensure the maximum charge and
number of mini-turbos.

2) The long straight-aways are where cars with high speed attributes excel.

3) Start your drift early entering the tunnel to ensure that you get an orange
boost on the turn.

4) If you have a mushroom, you can use the ramp in the dirt to the right after
exiting the tunnel. This is not recommended for time trial.

5) Although it's tempting to use the turbo boosts on the last turn, stick to
charging a mini-turbo while taking the inside of the curve.

6) On the last turn, there is a patch of dirt making up the inside of the turn
with pipes sticking out of it.  Use a mushroom to go between the pipes and cut
off the corner.  This is where I recommend using your mushrooms in all three
laps during time trial.

7) On laps 2 and 3, there will be a hang gliding ramp shortly after turn 1.
Use it to grab the coins in the rings floating above the track but watch out
for the bridge crossing over the track!  However, if you don't need coins,
stick to the ground:  it's actually ever so slightly faster.


===================
= A02 DAISY HILLS =
===================

-Ghost Times-
Easy:  Nin*Terui(music note) - 02:06.351
Hard:  Nin*SASAKI - 01:51.111

-Description-
Daisy Hills starts with a trip through scenic hills before a large hang
gliding section lands you into a quaint village.  While the course may not
seem hard at all, one blue shell during the hang gliding section may make this
simple course into a nightmare on higher difficulties.

-Tips and Notes-
1) The turns during the first half are perfect for charging up mini turbos.
Be sure to hug the inside of almost every curve and remember to start drifts
early and often to make the most of the track.

2) You can do tricks off of the logs for added speed boosts.

3) Watch out for the cute goats that line the track.

4) On the first large left in the hills, there's a ramp off in the grass to
the left.  If you've got a mushroom, boost over to it.

5) Much like in Toad Circuit, there is a line of speed boosters around the
outside of the sweeping turn leading into the jump.  Ignore them and drift
around the inside of the track.

6) SHORTCUT:  There are two ramps that you can jump from.  If you mushroom
boost through the grass on the inside of the turn before the jump, you'll
reach a thinner, longer ramp leading to another hang gliding jump plate.  This
path leads you straight in between the two windmills so be careful not to hit
the spinning blades.

7) Watch out for the hot air balloons when hang gliding.  It's worth noting
that the higher the difficulty, the more balloons in the air.  In Mirror Mode,
the sky is filled with balloons so do your best to avoid them. Note that these
variations don't exist online.

8) You can do a trick off the fountain in the town square.

9) While flying, you may notice speed boosters along the rooftops of the
village.  Ignore them.  Just like Toad Circuit and earlier in the level,
drifting on the inside of the turn is much faster.


==========================
= A03 CHEEP CHEEP LAGOON =
==========================

-Ghost Times-
Easy:  Nin*Gonta(music note) - 01:53.758
Hard:  Nin*Tkdr - 01:45.966

-Description-
Cheep Cheep Lagoon is a simple course designed to get you used to handling
your kart underwater.  The course also has a few unmarked trick spots so use
them to gain an advantage online against people who may not have noticed them.

-Tips and Notes-
1) Do a blue mini-turbo on the first turn.  It's unlikely that you'll be able
to reach an orange level with enough distance between the start of your boost
and the ramp to make a difference on the first lap, though.

2) If you aim to the right while going off the ramp, you'll land on a raised
section of track to the inside of the first turn. Use this to have an inside
advantage.

3) The first two humps underwater are actually trick ramps.  Press R just as
you reach the top to go flying off and boost.

4) Watch out for the clams during the next few turns.

5) While you can reach the orange level of mini-turbo around the first
underwater turn, I personally find that the additional time required to get it
throws off my line for the next two turns, leading to slower times. I don't
recommend it but if you feel it helps, go for it.

6) After re-emerging from the water, you're faced with a choice:  Go left
along the thin path for the hang glider or go along the normal path and head
underwater.  Perhaps it's my choice of karts and characters, but I find that
there honestly is very little difference in times along either of the paths.
In fact, I think the gliding path might be very slightly slower.  Again, it
all depends on your kart choice so if you like gliding, go that way.

7) The top of the hill with the two speed boosts coming out of the final water
section is actually a trick ramp.


======================
= A04 SHY GUY BAZAAR =
======================

-Ghost Times-
Easy:  Ret*TEAGUE - 02:31.167
Hard:  Ret*RWO - 02:14.714

-Description-
Shy Guy Bazaar starts with a market section leading into several sharp turns
before a long straight filled with ramps and a hang gliding section.  It is a
sign of things to come.  There's more sharp turns and more obstacles than any
previous stage.  However, since it is the Mushroom Cup, it's nothing you can't
handle.

-Tips and Notes-
1) You can squeak out a blue mini-turbo on the small S-bend leading into the
town.

2) You have a variety of options to get through the market.  On the right,
you'll notice a boost ramp leading up to a rooftop section with tricks and
boosters.  As tempting as this seems, the route also has a few non-trickable
bumps that slow things down.  Personally, I find taking a lower route to be
faster.  The lower route consists of taking the first right into the city
close to the inside, then take the left turn also close to the inside.  Cut
across the market to the path below the upper path.  There are lots of coins
and a booster.  Be careful when drifting around this turn, however, as the
turn isn't very tight and it's easy to accidentally bump the inside of the
curve.

3) After the market, there are three tight turns.  Stick as close to the
inside as possible on all three and perform an orange mini-turbo each time.

4) Watch out for the pots during the three tight turns:  They move from time
to time.

5) Along the outside of the third tight turn, you'll see a drop into another
path.  This path leads to a boosted trick ramp.  However, the inside route is
both shorter lengthwise and timewise if you use an orange turbo boost so stick
with it.

6) Do as many tricks as possible during the long straight with the ramps.

7) Watch out for Shy Guys on flying carpets during the hang gliding portion.

8) If you start a drift incredibly early, you can get one last orange mini-
turbo on the final turn.





---------------------------- Flower Cup ------------------------------

=================
= B01 WUHU LOOP =
=================

-Ghost Times-
Easy:  Ret*Bryan - 01:44.287
Hard:  Nin*nkm - 01:32.854

-Description-
Wuhu Loop is the first mainstream Mario Kart course to feature a track that is
not multi-lap.  Instead, it's one large lap divided into three sections that
goes around Wuhu Island, which has been featured in Wii Fit, Wii Sports
Resort, and Pilotwings Resort.  It also serves as the traffic course of the
game, although there aren't many vehicles on the road. I'll be honest:  I find
this course dull and it's painfully obvious it wasn't originally designed for
Mario Kart.

-Tips and Notes-
1) The first turn may be a short curve, but don't let that stop you from
squeezing out a mini-turbo on it.

2) After the bridge and the next two curves, you'll see a ramp on the road to
the left.  To the right is a ramp in the grass.  If you've got a mushroom,
boost across the grass to the ramp to cut off the next turn.

3) In general on this course, if there is even a slight bend on the track,
try to be drifting on all turns all of the time. Really, this should apply to
any course but it's especially important on this course where many of the
turns aren't that tight.

4) In section 2, after the tunnel there is a turn to the right followed by a
turn to the left.  You can pull off a blue turbo on the first turn (possibly
orange although that may throw you towards the outside of the next turn) and
an orange boost on the second turn.

5) After the turns mentioned in the previous tip, you'll see the top of a
cave down below the track to the right.  This leads to a hang gliding ramp.
It's incredibly out of the way and you'll miss a good opportunity to make up
ground. Avoid it at all costs.

6) Shortly after you see the tunnel alternate route below to your right,
you'll see a dirt-like path leading up to a ledge on the left.  Take this
route to use some trick ramps and to take the inside of the turn.

7) SHORTCUT:  After the ledge mentioned in the previous tip, you'll see a
straight with a turn to the right ahead of you. You'll also notice three
pillars sticking out of the water.  This is arguably one of the strangest and
most difficult Nintendo-planned shortcuts I've seen in a Mario Kart game.
Wait until you get close, then make a hard right towards the pillars.  I find
mini-turboing this turn makes lining up the jump more trouble than it's worth
so don't do it.  Hit the first ramp and perform tricks off of all three
pillars.  This may sound easy at first, but if you're even slightly off line,
you'll lose control in mid-air and plunge into the water below.  After landing
the last of the pillar jumps, you won't quite be lined up with the road.
However, you will be lined up with a nice mushroom-boost path across the
grass, so use a mushroom if you've got it.  Personally, I'd avoid this path
like the plague unless it's absolutely necessary or if you're doing Time
Trials.

8) During the third section, you'll notice a dirt path leading off to the
right and a booster.  This path leads to another hang gliding portion.  Like
the first one, it's a complete waste of time:  sticking to the main road and
using mini-turbos and trick ramps is much faster and less risky in the event
of a blue shell or lightning.

-Fun Facts-
While it may not feel like it, according to the staff ghosts this course is
actually the 2nd shortest new course in the game time-wise:  only Toad Circuit
is shorter (Maka Wuhu exploit not withstanding).


=====================
= B02 MARIO CIRCUIT =
=====================

-Ghost Times-
Easy:  Nin*Miki* - 02:25.001
Hard:  Nin*raba - 02:10.018

-Description-
Mario Circuit is similar to the last few Mario Circuits in that it's a simple
circuit track that takes place near Princess Peach's castle.  Unlike the
others, however, this course actually enters the castle itself.

-Tips and Notes-
1) The first turn is good for charging an orange mini-turbo.  However, if
you've got 2 spare mushrooms, you can cut across the grass on the inside of
the first turn, go straight across the road, and use another mushroom to boost
to a trick ramp in the grass.  If you've only got one to spare, use it to
either cut across the inside or the corner and get back on track or go
around the turn as normal and use it to get to the ramp.

2) The third turn is not tight at all, but you can hold a long drift and still
get an orange-mini turbo out of it. You can also get another blue mini-turbo
on the tighter turn leading to the ramp afterwards.  Trying to go for another
orange is pretty much futile:  even if you pull it off, your boost will likely
be cut short by the ramp.

3) If you've got mushrooms to spare, there's more trick ramps in the grass
after the bouncy mushroom.

4) The helix inside Peach's Castle is good for a fully charged mini-turbo and
another blue one as well.

5) For the hang gliding section, I recommend gliding towards the ramp in the
grass to the left.  If you land at the very tip of the ramp and press R,
you'll get a slight boost and still retain your glider.  If you land too
early, you'll still get the boost but lose the glider.  Either way, it's a
good path.

6) The final bump before the finish is a trick ramp.


==================
= B03 MUSIC PARK =
==================

-Ghost Times-
Easy:  Nin*wtnbt - 02:19.336
Hard:  Nin*Masa - 02:07.551

-Description-
Called by the infinitely better name "Melody Motorway" in Europe, Music Park
is a stage full of musical instrument themed obstacles, turns, and a variety
of obstacles timed to the music.  This course if full of large turns perfect
for drifting.

-Tips and Notes-
1) You can do a blue mini-turbo on the S-bend although it may in fact be
shorter to just drive forward depending on the vehicle.

2) Stick to the inside of the piano for mini-turbos and optimal speed.  The
closer you are to the yellow line, the better although if you see a blue shell
or lightning on the bottom screen, leave yourself enough room on the left to
not be blown over the edge.  Lighter characters also might want to be careful
in an online race with heavier racers.

3) The Piranha Plants (who do an awesome head-banging routine) are timed to
the music.  Be very careful and avoid being in the white-ish circles around
them.

4) After the piranha plants, you'll see a ramp in the grass to the left.  If
you've got a mushroom, feel free to use it here.  I'd save it for later if
you're in time trials, though.

5) For the next two xylophone/marimba themed turns, drift just to the outside
of small bumps that act as trick ramps. Avoid using the ramps themselves as
they'll just throw you off the optimal line.  Rely on orange mini-turbos
instead.

6) In the turn after the drum jump, use another drift to get an orange
mini-turbo before the next straight.

7) There's a hang gliding ramp after the turn mentioned in the previous tip.
It switches sides of the road from time to time so be careful.

8) After the ramp, you'll see a straight with giant jumping musical notes down
the center. They jump in time with the music and the floor lights up.  When
the floor lights up, you'll be thrown into the air.  If you press the jump
button at the right time, you'll perform a trick.  It's worth noting that due
to the increased tempo of the music in the final lap, the notes will jump far
more often.  It may in fact be better to avoid the hang gliding ramp on the
final lap to get more speed boosts although I haven't confirmed it myself.

9) SHORTCUT: Inside the final turn, you'll see a drum and a tiny lip on the
edge of the track.  If you take a hard right, you can trick off of the lip,
jump off the drum, and cut the corner.  You can combo this with a mushroom
after landing back on the road on the other side to cut across the grass,
essentially combining the hairpin right and final left into one small right
turn followed by several jumps and boosts.


==========================
= B04 ROCK ROCK MOUNTAIN =
==========================

-Ghost Times-
Easy:  Nin*Morimo - 02:35.105
Hard:  Nin*Hiroma - 02:19.149

-Description-
The Flower Cup closer has a deceptively simple layout.  While there aren't
many turns during most of the track, there's plenty of things to watch out for
along the way. Also, get it?  It's Rock Rock Mountain...and there's giant
rocks ...AND the song is a rock song!  HAHAHAHA!  That's very...PUNNY!

-Tips and Notes-
1) On Lap 1, you should be drifting/mini-turboing almost constantly until the
first hang gliding ramp.

2) In the cave, watch out for bats while mini-turboing like a mad man.

3) During the first hang gliding portion, you should try to make it as far as
possible if you've got a fast glider. Some of the vertical pipes to the side
may have vertical air currents from time to time:  use them to your advantage.
At least try to make it to the forest.

4) Depending on where you land, you might be able to squeeze out a quick mini-
turbo before the 2nd hang gliding ramp.

5) For the 2nd gliding section, head slightly right and try to fly underneath
the fallen log to cut a slight bit off of the turn.

6) SHORTCUT: After the fallen log, if you look to the right, you'll see a ramp
in the grass.  In time trials, I recommend using your mushroom to reach the
ramp and trick off of it.  You shave off a large chunk of the upcoming turn by
doing so.

7) The next part is, quite frankly, poorly designed.  Avoid the trick ramp at
the bottom of the hill and use the boosters to get up the hill.  Avoid the
rocks that fall from sky.  Due to the camera angle, this can be downright
maddening as it's very easy for a rock to come out of nowhere and smack you
in the head without warning.

8) SHORTCUT:  Using the final hang gliding ramp on laps 1 and 2, fly over the
top of the finish line and keep flying forward to cut off as much of the first
few turns of the course as possible.  You should land one short bend before
the cave, at which point you should continue drifting like mad like on lap 1.



----------------------------  Star Cup ------------------------------------


===========================
= C01 PIRANHA PLANT SLIDE =
===========================

-Ghost Times-
Easy: Nin*tBando - 02:20.186
Hard: Nin*JIKU - 02:06.540

-Description-
Piranha Plant Slide, or as it's known in Europe, "Piranha Plant Pipeway"
(Which I again prefer) is a wacky and speedy race in a stage themed to both
moving water and the classic underground levels from Super Mario Bros.  It's
far more crazy than any race in MK7 so far.

-Tips and Notes-
1) There is usually an item box at the very beginning on the lefthand slide.
If you placed first in a previous race online, it's pretty much yours for the
taking.

2) The waterways boost your speed slightly.  Try sticking to them as much as
possible.

3) After the first turn, you'll see a split in the path with a piranha plant
inbetween.  Go the path opposite to the direction the plant is facing to avoid
getting chomped.

4) Directly behind the previously mentioned piranha plant is a ramp leading to
a path with coins.  Due to the increased speed while in water, this path is
just about the same length as the main paths.  However, there are three coins
on the path so if you need them, go for it.

5) After the next turn, you'll see two ramps to the sides.  Jump on either one
to land on floating blocks with coins on them.  Stay on the blocks until the
very end as falling prematurely will result in a slightly slower climb up a
hill.

6) The two tiny pipes in the S-bend are trick ramps.

7) You can pull off an orange mini-turbo on the second turn of the S-bend
although it requires holding onto the drift longer than normal.

8) In the water portion, you'll see a ledge above the track on the right.  If
the air current on the floor is active ahead of it, hop while inside to fly up
to the path.  There's a turbo jump here but watch out for the piranha plant
when returning to the main track.

9) The piranha plant underwater behaves exactly like the first one.  Watch
which side he's looking at and go the opposite way.

10) During the hang gliding portion, watch out for the waterfalls:  They'll
push you downwards.

11) If you need coins, you can actually fly above the arch after the giant pit
in the hang gliding portion to nab one.

12) SHORTCUT:  The two cardboard bushes in the final turns hide gaps in the
fence.  You can use a mushroom on either one to boost through and cut some
corners. However, start a drift just before you blast through the second one
as the hard left you have to make afterwards is easy to overshoot.

-Fun Facts-
1) The Goombas in the underground sections have their underground coloring
from the original Super Mario Bros.

2) The music contains remixed sections of the Super Mario Bros. theme.


======================
= C02 WARIO SHIPYARD =
======================

-Ghost Times-
Easy: Nin*Miyamo - 02:26.268
Hard: Nin*syun1 - 02:12.313

-Description-
This course is pretty much focused on mastering the underwater mechanics.
Themed to a bunch of wrecked ships, there's lots of water currents, swinging
anchors, jumps, and crabs to worry about.  I nominate this course for best new
course in Mario Kart 7!

-Tips and Notes-
1) Perform a blue mini-turbo on the first turn.

2) Don't try to go the higher left-hand route on the second turn.  Instead,
hold the R button as you land from the first jump and quickly move right to
get a mini- turbo before flying off the next ramp.

3) Do your best to line up the second jump as closely to the center as
possible.  Once you go back underwater, you'll hit another boosted ramp
leading to more coins. If you don't line it up correctly, you can still
perform a trick on the angled sides so don't worry too much.

4) The next turn starts off tight and gets slightly looser as it goes on.
Watch out when drifting close to the right hand wall or else you'll mess up
your drift.

5) The next section has pipes that spew water currents towards the edge of the
track.  The effect isn't too bad so as long as you aren't extremely close to
the edge, you'll be fine.

6) On the turn with the two pipes that spew water currents, stick to the left
path.  Just be sure to give yourself extra room away from the edge in case the
water current is active.  If you are about to get blown off, press the jump
button:  Jumps go further underwater and it may give yourself enough of a
boost to land safely back on course.

7) Be sure to stay near the center of the giant pipe with the vertical air
current.  If you don't stay in it long enough on the edges, you won't make it
to the other side of the jump.

8) You can use a mushroom to boost across the mud on the left of the next
section.

9) When entering the ship, you have two choices.  The left path leads to the
outside of the next turn but is relatively straight-foward save for a crack in
the boat on the right.  The right path is closer to the inside of the turn but
ends in a drop-off making the turn harder to execute.  I recommend the left
path as it's very easy and faster to start your drift and swing across the
track to the inside of the turn.

10) In the hang gliding portion, you'll see a ledge with boosters on the left.
Ignore it and land on the normal track to the right.  It's just as fast since
it's on the inside of the turn.

11) You can do a trick and cut a tiny bit off the final turn using a ramp on
the right just before the turn. The advantage given by it is miniscule though
so if you want a safer win, stay on track and use an orange mini-turbo
instead.


=======================
= C03 NEO BOWSER CITY =
=======================

-Ghost Times-
Easy: Ret*Chuck - 02:11.032
Hard: Ret*Matt M - 01:58.996

-Description-
Known as the infinitely more boring "Koopa City" in Europe, Neo Bowser City is
a futuristic Bowser themed utopia. Yes, that's right, the greedy king gets TWO
new courses this time around.  There aren't many gimmicks at all in this stage
as it's almost entirely a crash course in drifting.  You...do know how to
drift, right?

-Tips and Notes-
1) On the first set of turns, you can quickly perform a blue mini-turbo to the
left before performing a long orange mini-turbo to the right depending on the
stats of your vehicle.

2) In the tunnel, you can use a mushroom to cut across the bluish...thing to
the left.  Upon using the mushroom, immediately start a drift so that you can
get an orange mini-turbo almost immediately afterwards.

3) After a few more drift turns, you'll come to a reddish bridge with an
S-bend.  While it is possible to perform mini-turbos during this part, I
recommend holding off on performing one on the second bend as it will mess up
your line entering the next section.

4) After the bridge, there are three sweeping turns perfectly designed to
charge up an orange mini-turbo.  Use one on each and stick to the inside of
each turn unless you need coins.

5) In the spiral turn after the three sweeping turns, there's rain puddles
that you need to avoid.  Start your drift wide to avoid the first rain puddle
on the left, then move to the inside of the track to avoid puddles 2 and 3.
During the turn, you should be able to pull off at least one orange mini-turbo
and one blue mini-turbo.

6) SHORTCUT:  After the final turn, there is a hang gliding ramp.  After
launching off, go left.  You'll see a fan blowing upwards.  Use it to gain
height and fly towards the U turn after the first left.  You should land in
the first part of the U with one 90 degree right turn ahead of you.  You'll
want to land as soon as you pass over the fence so you can barely squeak out
an orange mini-turbo before entering the tunnel on laps 2 and 3.

-Fun Facts-
1) The music in Neo Bowser City contains remixes of MK7's Circuit theme, 
MK64's Toad's Turnpike, and MKWii's Circuit theme.


=================
= C04 MAKA WUHU =
=================

-Ghost Times-
Easy: Ret*Reed - 01:50.607
Hard: Nin*Chucky - 01:39.361

-Description-
Another cup, another relatively boring course on Wuhu Island.  Just like the
first one, it's actually a long course with three sections as opposed to a 3
lap course. If only there were some way to make this race incredibly short so
you wouldn't have to deal with it...

-Tips and Notes-
1) During the beginning, trick off every ramp until you fly over the car using
the boosted ramp.

2) After the jump over the car, you'll see two paths:  One with lots of tiny
bumps and one leading to a single ramp on the right.  Take the right hand
path.  However, if for some reason you end up being forced onto the other
path, you can do lots of tricks off of the tiny bumps.

3) On the turn with the mud patches once the two paths merge, be sure to avoid
the puddles while charging your mini-turbo.

4) SHORTCUT:  If you've got plenty of mushrooms, you can cut across a large
part of the turn with the mud patches by boosting across the grass.
I recommend using your mushrooms here during time trials if you intend on
using the exploit mentioned at the end of the Maka Wuhu section of this guide.

5) In the cave, things are fairly straight forward.  Just keep drifting and
avoid falling off the track.  Really, not much to say here.

6) SHORTCUT:  You can use a mushroom to boost through the castle near the end
of the 2nd section.

7) During the final section, charge up some orange mini-turbos while dodging
the boulders rolling down the hill.  These are much easier to avoid than the
Rock Rock Mountain boulders due to a far more favorable camera angle.

8) During the hang gliding portion, land on the island to the left to grab an
item.  The last thing you want to have happen while in first is to be shot out
of the sky by a red shell at the very end of the course.

9) Perform some tricks on the last few bumps on the beach heading into the
finish line.


-- C04a MAKA WUHU, EXPLOITS, AND YOU --

Odds are, if you've been online at all, you've seen racers suddenly warping
ahead on Maka Wuhu.  They are using an exploit that is relatively easy to use.
After you pass the banner starting the 2nd section, you'll notice the barrier
on your right goes away just before the cave.  If you do a mini-turbo while
taking a hard right just after the barrier gives away, you can jump and hit
a rock wall across a gap before falling in.  You'll want to hit the wall while
you are still near the entrance of the cave as doing so too late will end in a
negative result.  You can also angle yourself to the right even further and
land in the purple water to guarantee the exploit will occur although it's
more difficult to drift and jump in.  You may have to slow down and turn
around.  With either method, if you've got a mushroom use it to increase your
chances of making it.

If done correctly, Lakitu will then put you on the section of road above the
area you fell from near the castle, basically bypassing all of the 2nd section
of the course.

Now, you might be wondering:  "Hey, isn't this cheating?"  According to that
all knowing site "wikipedia", cheating in a video game includes the following:

"...an exploit cheat where an advantage is gained through an unintended game
exploit, such as skipping a weapon reload timer by quickly switching weapons
back and forth without actually reloading the weapons. Generally speaking,
there is often some concern that this is not truly cheating, as it is the
fault of the programmers that such an exploit exists in the first place.
However, technically, as with live sports, it is cheating if the player is not
playing the game in a formally approved manner, breaking unwritten rules.
In some cases, this behavior is directly prohibited by the Terms of Service
of the game."

By this definition, YES, IT'S CHEATING.  However, it's not "glitching" or
"hacking" and quite frankly, it's nothing other than people finding something
the developers missed.  I can't confirm this for sure, but looking at the map,
I believe it occurs because the area you hit with your car is also an area
that you can fall into from the turn around the castle.  Therefore, it's only
natural that Lakitu would drop you off up there because the designers figured
you wouldn't be in that area unless you fell from above.  This could have
easily been avoided if that turn had a fence on the edge.  However, wikipedia
and theories aside, here are the facts:

1) People use it online.
2) Using the exploit results in faster times than not using it.

Therefore, it is my opinion that if you see others using it, just use the dang
thing and stop complaining on forums about it. It's not that hard to do.
However, if you want to be nice, hang towards the back of the pack and if
nobody else uses it, continue with the race.  This could still result in you
basically throwing the race, however, so use either method at your own
discretion.  Either way, one thing is clear:  if you want to win online, you
should undoubtedly learn to do this exploit.  It's annoying, I know, but just
do it.



------------------------------- Special Cup --------------------------------


=================
= D01 DK JUNGLE =
=================

-Ghost Times-
Easy: Ret*Derek - 02:24.040
Hard: Ret*Dupree - 02:10.777

-Description-
DK Jungle is a track themed to Donkey Kong Country Returns on the Nintendo
Wii.  The same team behind DKCR (and the Metroid Prime series), Retro Studios,
was placed in charge of making this map as well as retrofitting the retro cup
maps to accommodate the new gimmicks.  And yes, the puns were both true and
intended.

-Tips and Notes-
1) After two quick turns, you'll reach a fork in the road.  There's absolutely
no difference in the two sides and the split doesn't last long. Be sure to
perform a trick off of the tree roots in the road.

2) After jumping off of the flower, watch out for Tikis dancing back and forth
on the turn.  Try to cut it as close to the inside as possible, but the Tikis
may force you off the optimal line.

3) Upon crossing the wooden bridge, you'll notice that the next turn has a
small ditch to the right of it.  If you've got a mushroom, use it to cross
through the ditch to cut off the corner.

4) Before the 2nd turn of the jungle, you'll see a mud pit with a ramp to the
left.  Do a drift before the mud pit and release a mini-turbo just before you
reach it.  The boost will help you plow through to the ramp which ends in a
hang gliding booster.

5) You can keep the glider through the next series of jumps leading into the
golden temple.  However, you'll need a bit of help making it the whole way.
If you land at the very end of the boost strips and press R, you'll receive a
small speed boost and still retain the glider.  Doing this will make this part
both easier and prevent you from losing the speed you would lose from the
uphill slopes of the ramps.

6) After turning when entering the temple, you can easily hold a drift through
the next two turns and unleash an orange mini-turbo.  watch out for the split
in the road due to the Golden Banana, though.  I guess you could say it's a...
(puts on shades) ...banana split.

7) In the hang gliding section exiting the temple, watch out for the screaming
pillars as they'll blow you off course.

8) At the very end of the course, you'll see two paths.  Take the lower path
as it's shorter.

-Fun Facts-
1) The music is a remix of the Kongo Jungle theme heard in both Donkey Kong
Country and Donkey Kong Country Returns.


============================
= D02 ROSALINA'S ICE WORLD =
============================

-Ghost Times-
Easy:  Ret*RLingo - 02:25.784
Hard:  Ret*Dax - 02:13.091

-Description-
The 2nd track in the Special Cup is themed to Rosalina from Super Mario Galaxy
...kind of.  Really, it's a generic ice level with random Super Mario Galaxy
stuff thrown in.  Poor Rosalina, you deserve better than this!  Actually, the
level isn't half bad despite the odd theme.

-Tips and Notes-
1) Just after the starting line, you can use a mushroom to cut through the
snow to the right and save a bit of time on the first two turns.  If you don't
have one, just use mini-turbos on both.

2) On the large helix, stay as close to the cracked center as possible.  This
is not only faster, but avoids any confusing camera angles created by going up
the quarter-pipe.

3) During the half-pipe section, try to stay near the center of the track.
Going up the walls can easily throw you off course.

4) On the first lap, you can use the trick ramp to reach the top of the ice.
On laps 2 and 3, however, part of the ice has broken off forcing you below
unless you have a mushroom.  Perhaps it's my choice of karts, but I find the
underwater path faster:  it's more straight and has trick ramps.  Regardless
of the path you choose, watch out for penguins!

5) Watch out for the icicles in the cave after the frozen lake.

6) During the left turn in the cave, you'll want to drift to the outside of
the track for an upcoming split.

7) A short ways into the cave, you'll see a split in the road.  The left path
is wider and safer, but the right path is full of boosters.  Go right.

8) Combine the boosters and your drifting to maintain boosted speeds as much
as possible.  During the first booster, drift left.  Release your turbo as
soon as the booster effects wear off and immediately begin drifting right
while hitting the second booster.  Release it when the boost effects wear off
before hitting the third booster. You might be able to squeak out one last
mini-turbo before the final jump but it depends on your kart choice.

-Fun Facts-
1) The building next to the starting line is part of Rosalina's Observatory.

2) The planet seen in the background near the starting line is the first
planet players land on in Super Mario Galaxy.


=======================
= D03 BOWSER'S CASTLE =
=======================

-Ghost Times-
Easy:  Ret*Matt M - 02:34.815
Hard:  Ret*Tom - 02:15.244

-Description-
While not quite as nuts as the masterpiece that was MKWii's Bowser's Castle,
the 3DS incarnation still features plenty of crazy features such as...water.
Yes, there's water in Bowser's Castle.

-Tips and Notes-
1) You'll want to reach the upper path at the very beginning.  Be sure to hit
the R button on the hang gliding ramp and immediately hold back to gain enough
altitude.

2) On the turn after the two paths rejoin, drift near the inside of the track.
There will be a ramp allowing you to trick and get a boost in the next short
straightaway.  However, be very careful:  A lava pillar may be blocking part
of the jump and there's a Thwomp on the straight.

3) SHORTCUT:  Continuing on the main path from here leads you to the inside of
the spinning barrel.  However, before the turn leading to the spinning barrel,
you'll see a stone slab sticking out of the lava on the left.  Drift left and
boost onto this slab and perform a trick off the slab.  You'll enter a tunnel
with three coins.  This tunnel drops you off on top of the wooden barrel.
Watch out for the paddles at the end and dive below the water.

4) Once in the water, immediately use a blue mini-turbo to the right and begin
drifting left. Go around the lava pillar on the inside of the turn.  You
should see a ramp on the left and a lava pillar ahead.  Release your
mini-turbo, trick off the ramp, and land to the right of the final lava
pillar.  Immediately begin a drift turn to the right while leaving the lava to
get ready for the next portion.

5) Once outside, you'll see a ramp on the left.  Use your mini-turbo and avoid
the ramp:  it only screws you up for the next turn.  Use the left path when
the road splits and get ready for some shortcut shenanigans.

6) SHORTCUT:  Once through the turn, you'll see a ramp on the right of the
road and a 90 degree right turn ahead of you.
Hit the ramp while angled to the right and perform a trick.  If done
correctly, you'll land on a stone slab sticking out of the lava.  Perform
another trick and land back on the track.  Be warned that some karts will have
lots of difficulty nailing it just right, so if you've got a spare mushroom
use it on the first ramp.  Also, I highly recommend trying it in time trials
several times before using it in a real race.

7) On the final spiral, stick to the inside as much as possible unless you see
a lightning or blue shell on the bottom screen.  Both of these weapons will
likely cause you to slide off the turn and into the lava so start moving
towards the center of the track if you see them.

8) During the hang gliding portion, fly through the finish circle in the sky
and land on the higher part of either of the platforms to the side.  Do a
trick off the ramp to land on the upper section of the beginning of the
course.

-Fun Facts-
1) This is the first time water has been prominently featured in a Bowser's
Castle Mario Kart course.

2) The music contains a remix of Double Dash's Bowser's Castle theme.


====================
= D04 RAINBOW ROAD =
====================

-Ghost Times-
Easy:  Nin*Takamu - 02:10.090
Hard:  Nin*Asakur - 01:52.077

-Description-
Well, we've reached the standard Mario Kart closer:  Rainbow Road.  Like the
Wuhu courses, it's one long track divided into three sections.  Unlike the
Wuhu courses, it's actually entertaining, especially in the second half.
Unlike the usual Rainbow Roads, this one also has portions where you travel
on planets, rings, and yes, even a single lonely space mushroom.

-Tips and Notes-
1)  The first three turns are fairly standard:  just drift and get as large of
boosts as possible.

2)  After the section of booster ramps, you'll reach an odd helix around a
planet.  The helix is arranged into descending sections like stairs.  Try to
stay to the inside of each step and perform a trick as you drop off to the
section below.  Each time you press R to perform a trick, keep holding it so
you can immediately start drifting as you land on the next step.

3) On the left bend before the space mushroom, be very careful about the angle
you enter the first jump.  If you hit it while moving slightly right, you can
easily be thrown off the course after hitting the mushroom. If you want to
play it safe, avoid using a mini-turbo on the preceding turn.

4) On the wobbly track before the start of section 2, try to stick to a
straight line just left or right of the coins where the wobble isn't so
severe.  This way, you can keep performing tricks without being thrown into
the air, allowing you to perform more than usual.  You can easily blast
through this section using this technique.

5) In the first tight turn after the start of section 2, you can perform a
mini-turbo and cut the corner a bit by hopping over the part marked in red
and white.

6) In the hang gliding section leading to the giant planet's ring, you can cut
off a large chunk of the ring by flying close to the planet.  Try to land just
after the final hole on the left side of the track or at the very least, near
it.

7) Drift through the boosters on the ring.  This way, if you accidentally miss
one, you'll have a mini-turbo ready to keep going.

8) During the next hang gliding section, you may be temped to use the glider
to cut the first turn.  Don't.  Your glider will give out before you can reach
the track again.

9) After landing your glider, you'll encounter a series of turns with
boosters.  Be careful as you can easily boost over the edge of the track if
you're not careful.

10) Following the boosters is another section of wobbly track with holes in
it.  Fear not:  falling in the holes will simply send you down to the planet's
surface.  Try to stay on the track until the very end to get a boost.

11) On the planet, you can trick off of the crater edges.  I recommend just
barely touching the crater's side with your kart as you drive by it.  If you
hit R, you'll get a boost for tricking but you won't suffer a speed loss from
being in the air since you're so close to the ground.  Be sure to watch out
for Chomps!

12) At the start of section 3, you'll see a bunch of arrows on the ground.
While on these sections of track, your speed will increase similar to how the
water increases your speed in Piranha Plant Slide.  Hold a drift while going
around the turn and staying on the speed sections as much as possible.  You
should be ready to release just in time for the last speed section.

13) After the turn mentioned in the previous section, you'll enter a spinning
tunnel filled with boosters.  Try to hit as many boosters as possible.

14) At the end of the spinning tunnel, you'll have to make a split second
decision.  There are alternating regular boosters and gliding boosters also
spinning with the tunnel.  If you choose to fly, be sure to go through every
single launch star in the sky to keep traveling at boosted speeds.  However, I
actually recommend going for the regular booster.  While there's a lot of
chances to fall off the course, if you do it correctly you can travel through
the entire section at near top speed.  Just remember that if you launch off a
ramp and into one of the stars meant for the glider, you'll still receive the
speed boost from the star as well as the ramp.  If you go from ramp to star
to ramp to star over and over, you can blast through this section extremely
quickly. However, if you feel your setup is perfect for gliding really fast,
by all means, go with the glider.

15) If you've got a mushroom, use it on the uphill after the boost/glide
section since it's a rather long straight.

16) If you've got a mushroom and feel extremely risky, you can cut off the
final turn of the track.  Before the turn, you'll see red and white stripes
appear on the side of the road.  Turn left, mushroom boost, and jump
as you go over the side.  If done well, you'll cut off the turn and land
safely on the road below.  I really don't recommend this unless you're
desperate though.

-Fun Facts-
1) The music contains a remix of Mario Kart 64's Rainbow Road (also heard in
Mario Kart Double Dash!!)

2) The Final section/lap music has a different loop than the usual music.  It
starts at the Mario Kart 64 section.  A wonderful decision, I must say!

3) Contrary to the usual Rainbow Roads, the new Rainbow Road is actually one
of the shortest tracks in the game time-wise if you go by the hard staff ghost
times.



------------------------------ SHELL CUP ----------------------------------


=========================
= E01 N64 LUIGI RACEWAY =
=========================

-Ghost Times-
Easy:  Nin*McCoy - 02:04.317
Hard:  Nin*miyakw - 01:52.206

-Description-
The N64 opener returns to start off the retro courses!  It's a track with one
long straightaway, two giant turns, and a curve in a tunnel.  It's the most
simple track in the game.

-Tips and Notes-
1) Karts with high speed attributes should dominate this course unless it's an
item-fest.

2) The bump on the first straight is a trick ramp.

3) To the right on both of the giant turns, you'll see a raised blue edge with
booster panels.  Ignore them as drifting and mini-turboing the inside of the
track is faster.

4) You can use mushrooms to cut across parts of the grass on the giant turns
to shave off some time.

-Changes from the Original Version-
1) The first bump on the track is now a trick spot.

2) Instead of a simple wall, the outside section of the track is now a raised
section with lots of speed boosters and ends in a trick ramp.

3) The balloon that carries an item box now travels around parts of the track
instead of just bobbing up and down.

-Fun Facts-
1) This one of only two tracks in the game to not have any hang gliding or
underwater sections.  SNES Rainbow Road is the other course.


==========================
= E02 GBA BOWSER CASTLE 1=
==========================

-Ghost Times-
Easy: Nin*Hayata - 01:31.030
Hard: Nin*hokwai - 01:22.221

-Description-
This course is filled with Thwomps and 90 degree turns.  There's also lots of
dirt patches that hinder vehicles with low off-road ratings.

-Tips and Notes-
1) You can hold a drift around the first two turns to charge an orange mini-
turbo.

2) There are dirt patches that are the same color as the roadway itself
throughout the entire course.  These patches slightly slow down your vehicle
so a decent off-road rating really helps.

3) You can charge and use another orange mini-turbo around the final two
turns leading to the jump section.

4) On laps two and three, a hang gliding ramp appears at the start of the jump
section. However, if you aren't going for the shortcut, I recommend sticking
to the ground as it is slightly faster.

5) SHORTCUT:  While flying, you may notice a ramp sticking out of the lava to
the left of the final turn.  If your gliding set-up allows you, fly over to
the ramp and perform a trick to shave off the final corner of the course.  If
your setup doesn't allow you to get there without assistance, you can use a
mushroom mid-flight to boost yourself to the platform.

-Changes from the Original Version-
1) The dirt patches have a much larger effect on your vehicle to make the off-
road stat a bigger deal.

2) The gliding ramp has been added to the course.

3) The shortcut near the end has been added to the course.


==========================
= E03 WII MUSHROOM GORGE =
==========================

-Ghost Times-
Easy:  Nin*Kataok - 02:02.292
Hard:  Ret*Jay - 01:50.526

-Description-
This Wii course is all about the trick system.  The red mushrooms that bounce
you into the air allow you to perform lots of tricks and the music here is
excellent!  The stage has also been reworked to be less prone to item-spam by
having fewer mushrooms but making them larger, meaning less gaps to fall in.

-Tips and Notes-
1) You can perform two mini-turbos on the two turns before the first mushroom
of the course.

2) Red Mushrooms bounce you into the air.  You can perform a trick as you
bounce off.  Green Mushrooms just act as normal roads while the blue mushroom
launches you into the air and deploys your glider.

3) After the turn after the first mushroom, there's a split.  The left path
is safer and if you've got mushrooms, slightly faster.  However, if you don't
have mushrooms, use the ramp to launch across the mushrooms.

4) In the cave, you have two choices:  Go left and fly using the glider or go
right and use mushrooms to cross.  The left path is faster and the path you
usually want to go for.  However, make sure to look at your bottom screen
before selecting your path.  If there's a blue shell or a lightning in play,
pick the righthand path to increase your odds of not being blown into the pit
ever so slighly.

5) If you've got a mushroom and a good gliding set-up, you can actually glide
across the pit after the cave section and land on the final straight.  I
hesitate to call this a shortcut, however, as unless you have really good
gliding skills, you'll likely land perpendicular to the road and fly off-road.
Still, it's worth noting.

-Changes from the Original Version-
1) A strange shortcut involving a red mushroom on the first turn of the track
has been removed.

2) During each lap, the height of your bounce on the 2nd set of mushroom
increases slightly.  On the final lap, you'll likely launch over the green
mushroom altogether.  I don't recall it being like this in the Wii version or
at least not as obvious.

3) The left path during the cave has been altered dramatically to be a hang
gliding path instead of just another bouncy mushroom path.

4) The mushrooms have been made less plentiful and bigger to make falling off
due to items a smaller problem.


==========================
= E04 DS LUIGI'S MANSION =
==========================

-Ghost Times-
Easy:  Nin*Konno - 02:09.982
Hard:  Ret*Vince - 01:58.539

-Description-
The DS Mushroom Cup closer is the MK7 Shell Cup closer.  It starts with a
drive up to and through the mansion itself before traveling through a
graveyard and a haunted swamp.  Off-road stats are good to have for the final
swamp section.

-Tips and Notes-
1) You can perform a trick off of the steps leading into the mansion.

2) You can perform an orange mini-turbo on the first two 90 degree turns in
the mansion.  However, it's up to you to chose whether you want to release
it after the first two turns and charge another mini-turbo for the third
90 degree turn or if you want to save it as there's a ramp between turns 2 and
3 that can throw off mini-turboing players.

3) In the graveyard, keep performing mini-turbos.

4) SHORTCUT:  After the first turn in the graveyard, you'll see a ramp with
a hang gliding booster at the end.  If you've got a mushroom, boost onto the
ramp and fly over the fence into the swamp.

5) In the swamp, try to minimize the time spent in the dark brown mud as it
slows you down slightly.  Also watch out for the moving trees.

6) Near the beginning of the swamp. you'll see a path on the left that leads
to a hang gliding ramp.  Whether you want to go for it depends on how good you
are at gliding.  There's also coins on that path so if you want coins, go that
way.

-Changes to the Original Track-
1) Ramps have been added to allow for tricks, including the stairs at the
beginning of the mansion.

2) The paintings now bow out into the road from time to time.

3) A hang gliding ramp has been added to the graveyard.

4) A ledge and hang gliding ramp have been added to the swamp.



------------------------------ BANANA CUP ------------------------------------


=======================
= F01 N64 KOOPA BEACH =
=======================

-Ghost Times-
Easy:  Ret*Amanda - 01:54.274
Hard:  Nin*ueda - 01:42.909

-Description-
I'm sorry, I don't remember this course from Mario Kart 64.  I do remember
Koopa TROOPA Beach but not Koopa Beach.  All joking aside, the name change
isn't the only change in this classic N64 island course.

-Tips and Notes-

1) Near the beginning of the course, you have a choice to go either left or
right around the Koopa rock that gives the track its name.  You can go either
way:  the right is shorter distance wise but the left provides for easy mini-
turbos.

2) Watch out for the crabs before the first trick ramp.

3) SHORTCUT:  After the first ramp, you'll see a small hill of sand and a ramp
floating on water.  Use a mushroom to trick off of the hill of sand and land
on the floating ramp.  The ramp ends in a hang gliding booster.  Fly into the
cave ahead of you.  You'll cut off quite a bit of an upcoming turn using this
path.  You can also reach the ramp without a mushroom when the tide is low,
you have enough speed, and you pull off a trick at the very top of the ramp. 

4) Unlike in the original, you can drive underwater through the entire bay
area with the floating ramp.  Use this to cut a corner.  I'm amazed how many
people online forget this.

5) Further in the track, you'll see a ramp with a hang glider booster.  Use
it to grab a coin and get a boost.

6) Use the last two trick ramps to get a boost before the end of each lap.

-Changes from the Original Track-
1) There's a small rock formation to the right of the starting line.

2) The ramps have been rearranged near the bay area.  There's no longer ramps
going along the beach to the left and there's only one sand ramp facing the
bay.

3) The shortcut has been drastically changed from Mario Kart 64.  It's now
much less do-or-die.  Instead of almost cutting the course by a third, it's
been reangled to cut off less of the course.  As such, the waterfall that it
exits from has been moved to earlier in the course.

4) You can drive through the water in the bay without drowning.  As such, the
"shortcut" with the sand bar through the bay has been removed.


============================
= F02 SNES MARIO CIRCUIT 2 =
============================

-Ghost Times-
Easy:  Nin*ITRO-S - 01:28.106
Hard:  Nin*==Kony - 01:17.777

-Description-
Personally, I loved this course as a kid due to "the jump".  It's a joy for me
to be seeing this course again with drifting enabled!  It's fairly short and
simple.

-Tips and Notes-
1) Drift through the first three turns but watch out for the pipes in the
road.

2) SHORTCUT:  There's a ramp in the dirt well off course to the left of the
first straight-away.  Use a mushroom to reach it and trick off of it.

3) Watch out for the oil slicks in the middle section of the course and keep
drifting.

4) SHORTCUT:  After launching off of the hang gliding ramp, you'll see that
the left fence of the track in front of you has a yellow bar on it.  If you've
played the original Mario Kart, you'll instantly recognize this as a jump
panel.  Fly your glider down onto the ramp and press R to get a small speed
and height boost, fly over the grass, and land near the finish line.

-Changes to the Original Track-
1) The two shortcuts have been added.

2) The hang gliding ramp has been added.

3) If you fall during the ramp section and land in the track below, you don't
have to physically drive around the turn and try again:  Lakitu will pick you
up and place you on the track ahead.

4) The track is now 3 laps instead of 5.


========================
= F03 WII COCONUT MALL =
========================

-Ghost Times-
Easy:  Ret*Thomas - 02:30.117
Hard:  Ret*RyanP - 02:14.167

-Description-
Ah, Coconut Mall:  One of the best tracks in Mario Kart Wii makes a triumphant
return for Mario Kart 3DS!

-Tips and Notes-
1) You can perform a trick off of the first set up steps leading into the
mall.

2) You can perform a trick off of the escalators.

3) Always go up the escalator with the up arrows as it's faster.  Be careful
as the escalators switch directions from time to time.

4) Once you reach the top of the first escalators, stick to the right hand
upper path.  Perform a trick off of the ramp at the end, then immediately
perform a trick off of the fountain in the atrium below.

5) SHORTCUT:  If you've got a mushroom, you can boost through the dirt/carpet
in the store to the right at the top of the first escalator.  If you've only
got the one, boost through then perform a trick off of the ramp on the left to
the atrium below.  If you've got more, keep going right after exiting the
store and keep boosting through the dirt/carpet.

6) After the U turn following the 2nd escalator section, go down the center
of the open area.  Barely touch the left side of the lip of the first tree and
press R to do a trick without gaining much height.  Do the same on the right
side of the lip of the 2nd tree for another speed boost.  If you need a
weapon, hit the fountain straight on and perform a trick off of it.  If you
don't, use the trick again on the left side of the fountain.

7) After the booster on the 2nd floor of the open atrium, you have a choice
to go either up or down.  While the lower path has a more inside turn, the
upper path has a hang glider booster that is pretty valuable.  I recommend
going up.

8) After landing your glider, take the right turn wide as there's a booster
on the left side of the road.  There's another booster to the right and a
third in the center of the track.  However, there's cars that drive wildly
back and forth.  Generally, they leave enough room for you to just squeeze by
so if you see it coming, head towards the wall closest to you.  Don't feel bad
if you don't get all boosters because the drunk drivers can make it extremely
difficult at times.

-Changes from the Original Track-
1) The ramp on the upper path leaving the mall now has a hang glider booster.

2) The trick ramp on the ground between the gliding section is now on the left
side of the road instead of the right.


==========================
= F04 DS WALUIGI PINBALL =
==========================

-Ghost Times-
Easy:  Ret*Bill - 02:44.372
Hard:  Nin*Nahhr - 02:27.574

-Description-
Waluigi may have gotten the boot but he's here in spirit with this fan
favorite from Mario Kart DS!  Watch out for the giant pinballs!

-Tips and Notes-
1) Unlike in MKDD!!, MKDS, and MKWii, the cannon sections are not entirely
scripted and you CAN get hit by items and fall as they are technically hang
glider sections now. If you hold down while going through any of these
sections in this game, you'll get a boost in speed.  Be careful when doing
this:  If a racer ahead of you has the triple shell shields or is holding an
item behind them, there's a chance you'll bump into it and be knocked out of
the sky!

2) Ignore the boosters and take the first turn on the inside while charging
your mini-turbo.

3) Perform a trick off of the ramp after the first turn.

4) During the next section, you should be drifting and mini-turboing
constantly.  However, watch out for the giant pinballs rolling by.  I would
like to note that I find the balls to be a larger pain in this game than in
MKDS.  I suspect that they might be larger in size in this game but I can't
confirm that.  If you suspect something too and figure it out, please use the
e-mail address in the introduction to contact me.

5) After the boosted jump and the spiral, you'll reach a small dip.  If you've
got spare mushrooms, use one on this straight section.

6) The stage ends in a large pinball table.  watch out for the pinballs
bouncing about.  Going down the center of the track is faster but riskier
while the sides are slower yet safer.  Choose which one is right for you.

7) You can cover the last two turns in one drift to easily charge an orange
mini-turbo.

-Changes from the Original Track-
1) The cannon is now a hang gliding section thus making slight control
possible but also removing invincibility.

2) Some ramps are now trick ramps.



------------------------------ LEAF CUP ------------------------------------


===========================
= G01 N64 KALIMARI DESERT =
===========================

-Ghost Times-
Easy:  Nin*Nishim - 02:01.932
Hard:  Nin*KOZ* - 01:48.707

-Description-
Choo choo!  This wild west themed course has a simple layout.  Due to the dirt
track, vehicles with higher off-road ratings will have a much better time on
the desert track.  The heart of the difficulty in this course is the two
trains circling the track.  There are two railroad crossings on course and if
a train is going by, you have no choice but to wait.  Well, almost no
choice...

-Tips and Notes-
1) SHORTCUT:  Near the beginning of the course, you may notice a ramp on the
plateau to your left.  If you've got a mushroom, boost over to it and use the
hang glider booster at the top to fly over the first railroad crossing.  If a
train happens to be going by at the time, you'll get a huge advantage over
your landlocked rivals.

2) SHORTCUT:  Before the second railroad crossing, you'll see another ramp off
to the right of the course, you'll see another hang gliding ramp.  If you've
got a mushroom, boost over to it.

3) If a train is coming and you're desperately trying to get past before it
blocks the way, be extremely careful.  If you get blasted in the side by the
passing train, it will continue to knock you over and over along the track
almost guaranteeing a last place finish.

4) If you've got some bananas and are waiting for a train to go by, drive in
front of the waiting crowd if possible and lay out a banana version of a spike
strip.  The resulting carnage may not give you an extreme advantage, but it
will be funny enough to warrant it anyways.

5) If a player rams a train with a star, the train will fly up into the air.
If you've been waiting for the train to pass and have great acceleration, if
somebody else rams the train with the star, floor it and drive underneath the
flying train.

6) There's a ramp to the right near the end of the course.  Use your mushroom
to blast through the dirt to it and trick off for a speedy finish to the
track.

-Changes from the Original Version-
1) Hang gliding ramps have been added before the two railroad crossings.

2) The trains now fly through the air when hit by a star.  Previously, the
invincible player would just drive through it.

3) You cannot drive through the train tunnels any more.

4) Ramps have been added throughout the course.


==================
= G02 DS DK PASS =
==================

-Ghost Times-
Easy:  Ret*Sean - 02:35.045
Hard:  Nin*MaTU - 02:16.534

-Description-
This snowbound course is divided into two halves.  The first half consists of
a winding uphill road up a cliffside.  The second half is a downhill return
trip on a road made of snow.  Off-road vehicles again have the advantage in
the second half of the course.

-Tips and Notes-
1) The first half of the course is made for drifting.  Starting from the
second turn, you should be drifting constantly until the road gives way to
snow.

2) Watch out for the snowballs that roll at you on the last right turn before
the road gives way to snow.  They pass awfully close to the inside of the turn
so consider taking the turn wide to avoid being hit or worse:  being knocked
into the canyon below.  It's worth noting that these snowballs don't exist in
online worldwide matches.

3) SHORTCUT:  If you've got a mushroom, you can cut through the giant snow
mound to your left at the top of the course.

4) During the downhill section, there are lots of ramps along the way.  Feel
free to use them but be careful as you may get thrown off the optimal line if
you lose control mid air.

5) During the last part of the downhill section, there are more giant
snowballs only this time, they roll with you, not at you.

6) While gliding at the end of the course, it may look like you can cut off
the last turn by flying over the out-of-bounds area.  Don't.  You will
automatically be counted as out-of-bounds if you try.  Instead, land just
short of the final turn and take it as close to the inside wall as possible.
Watch out for the snowman near the inside of the turn though.

-Changes from the Original Version-
1) Ramps have been added to the downhill section.

2) The final jump now has a hang gliding booster.


=========================
= G03 GCN DAISY CRUISER =
=========================

-Ghost Times-
Easy:  Nin*Dai8 - 01:49.564
Hard:  Ret*Carlos - 01:43.341

-Description-
Daisy Cruiser has seen better days.  The bottom of the ship is now flooding
with water!  There's been other significant changes as well, such as the first
part of the track now being split in two and the ability to drive through the
pool being added.

-Tips and Notes-
1) At the beginning of the course, I recommend taking the right path on lap 1 as
you might be able to perform a mini-turbo while turning right through the pool
after the two tracks merge.  Otherwise, the two sides are the same lengthwise.

2) You can drive through the pool now.  Do so.  Just note that you cannot
perform a trick while exiting the pool, despite what it looks like.

3) In the dining room, watch out for the tables that slide from side to side.
They can be extremely annoying and hitting one can easily cost you a race.

4) In the halls after the dining room, you have a choice to either remain
in the upper halls or fall down to the flooded cargo room.  I haven't noticed
a difference in the length of these two paths so pick either one.

5) In the flooded hull, there are clams that you have to watch out for.  Also,
when launching out the orange tube, you can perform a trick.

6) The final ramp just before the finish line is an unmarked trick ramp.

-Changes from the Original Track-
1) A path to the left has been added at the beginning of the course.

2) You can now drive through the swimming pool.

3) The turn after the swimming pool is now a ramp instead of a flight of
stairs.  This makes drifting much easier.

4) The cargo room has been completely redesigned.  In the original version,
if you were going full speed when you fell into the hole, you'd smack into the
wall and lose pretty much all momentum making the path undesirable.  This is
not necessarily the case here.  There's also clams underneath now.

5) The tube that launches you out of the cargo room is no longer a cannon.
It's a series of boosters ending with a trick opportunity.

6) The final ramp no longer has two life preservers blocking parts of the
road.


=========================
= G04 WII MAPLE TREEWAY =
=========================

-Ghost Times-
Easy:  Nin*Asakaw - 02:53.560
Hard:  Ret*Bill - 02:34.877

-Description-
One of the Wii's best courses returns for another trip around the tree.  This
course is tightly wound around the top of a tree with sections for traveling
to and returning from the tree thrown in.

-Tips and Notes-
1) SHORTCUT:  At the very beginning of the course, you may notice a gap in the
fence to your right while waiting at the starting line.  If you've got a
mushroom, use it to blast through the grass and take an upper path to the
cannon.

2) Much like in Waluigi Pinball, the cannon no longer makes you invincible and
counts as a gliding portion.  Hold down on the circle pad to get a slight
boost of speed.

3) The piles of leaves throughout the course randomly hold coins, bananas,
mushrooms, and even stars. Keep checking the bottom screen when you have time
to check for mushrooms or stars dropped from leaf piles and use them.

4) Keep to the inside of the tree branch leading up to the top of the tree but
don't go too inside or else you'll fall off.

5) The end of the tree branch leading to the top of the tree is a trick ramp.

6) Watch out for the two Wigglers wandering freely around the top of the tree.
If they've been stopped for a long time, don't try to go in front of them or
else they'll likely start moving and ram into you.

7) Use both boosters on the next branch and take the next turn tightly.

8) The bridge inside the tree trunk is a pretty good place to put bananas. Try
to put them in the center of the bridge because the bridge sags in the center,
naturally hiding the bananas.

9) During the hang glider section at the end, aim for the bridge that goes
through a tree on the right side of the track.  Using this path avoids the
slight uphill leading into the finish line.

-Changes from the Original Track-
1) There is one less wiggler on the top of the tree.

2) The final bouncy trick bridge in the course has been removed in favor of
a hang gliding section.

3) Again, like in Waluigi Pinball, the cannon is now a glider section, thus
removing invincibility.



------------------------------ Lightning Cup --------------------------------


======================
= H01 WII KOOPA CAPE =
======================

-Ghost Times-
Easy:  Ret*Quinn - 02:49.046
Hard:  Ret*Shane - 02:28.585

-Description-
That wacky seaside speedway is back again for Mario Kart 7!  I thought this
course was amazing in Mario Kart Wii, but some changes in the latter half of
the course this time around removed some of that amazement.  It's still a very
great course though.

-Tips and Notes-
1) Use the ramp on the left inside the first cave to boost ahead but watch out
for the Goombas on the road ahead.

2) You can use a mushroom to cut across the the grass on the right side of the
cave.

3) Perform a drift on the inside of the turn after the cave.

4) While using the glider, you can hit the ramp on the left side of the track
and press R to get some extra glider time.

5) Much like in Piranha Plant Slide, the water pushes you along at a faster
speed than normal, so stay in it.

6) SHORTCUT:  Just after the split in the middle of the water section before
the right turn, you'll see some grass and a giant red shell to the right on
the track.  You can use a mushroom to cut across the grass, cutting off the
right turn ahead.

7) The underwater section is fairly straight forward.  Just stay near the
center of the track as going up the walls can throw you off line and watch out
for Cheep Cheeps.  Note that the cheep cheeps don't appear in online races.

8) If you've got a mushroom, you can cut across the rushing water on the
inside of the final turn.  If you don't have a mushroom, you will almost
certainly be swept over the cliff. 

-Changes from the Original Track-
1) A hang glider booster has been added at the start of the rushing water
section.

2) The underwater section has been completely reworked.  Instead of an
inclosed tube with rushing water and lasers that shrunk you, it's now a wider
halfpipe with underwater controls and Cheep Cheeps swimming by.



============================
= H02 GCN DINO DINO JUNGLE =
============================

-Ghost Times-
Easy:  Nin*iwaco - 02:29.837
Hard:  Ret*Will - 02:14.430

-Description-
Everybody's (and by everybody, I mean nobody) favorite course from MKDD!!'s
special cup is back!  There aren't too many changes other than trick system
support and a strangely placed glider section.

-Tips and Notes-
1) You can perform tricks off of the two logs leading up to the giant
dinosaur.  Just make sure you don't accidentally boost into it!

2) While you can perform two mini-turbos in the cave, I recommend only
performing one as performing one on the second turn makes taking the best path
in the upcoming section much harder.

3) As you exit the cave, turn right.  You'll see a path with a booster on it.
This is the path you'll want to take.

4) SHORTCUT:  If you've got a mushroom or really good off-road stats, you can
take a very nice shortcut in the cave with the geysers.  As soon as you enter,
turn right.  Boost through the patch of mud and launch off of the glider ramp
to cut out most of the cave.

5) Inside the cave, you can perform tricks off of the mounds that the geysers
shoot from.  Be careful though as getting hit by the geyser is a very bad
thing.  You can actually still trick off the mound while the geyser is
erupting if you go right next to the erupting geyser.

6) On the glider section, watch out for the head of the dinosaur.

7) On the final section, you can performs tricks off of each wooden ledge.

-Changes from the Original Track-
1) Trick ramps have been added.

2) The shortcut in the cave now involves the glider.

3) The exit of the cave now involves the glider.


===========================
= H03 DS AIRSHIP FORTRESS =
===========================

-Ghost Times-
Easy:  Nin*OBSHNN - 02:23.323
Hard:  Ret*Shane - 02:07.704

-Description-
This was my favorite course in Mario Kart DS and it's still really awesome
here!  Race through one of Bowser's dreaded airships, get launched out of the
cannon, and spiral down a damaged fortress tower all while going for first!

-Tips and Notes-
1) You can trick off of the first two ledges in the course.

2) Watch out for the bullet bills firing down the first straight!

3) Once on the airship, you can take the first two turns very tightly.  Use a
drift between the wall on the right and the rightmost Rocky Wrenches for
maximum results.

4) You can trick off of the ledge leading down into the cargo hold.

5) Watch out for the two fire jets at the end of the hall.  If you want to
avoid the risk, go to the outsides of the track where they can't reach.

6) Again, like the previous two cannons, the cannon here is now technically a
glider section.  Hold down when going through for a speed boost and hope you
don't get hit by items.

7) As you land the glider in the tower, hold R and left.  You'll immediately
start drifting left.  You can pull off up to three orange mini-turbos on this
spiral.

-Changes from the Original Track-
1) Trick ramps have been added.

2) The bullet bills are more plentiful and there's now bonzai bills thrown in
the mix.

3) The cannon is now a glider section and invincibility has been removed.


=========================
= H04 SNES RAINBOW ROAD =
=========================

-Ghost Times-
Easy:  Nin*YABUKI - 01:34.459
Hard:  Nin*SRIWtm - 01:21.994

-Description-
Oh boy.  Some would say this is the hardest Rainbow Road ever.  I say the
Double Dash version is harder but this was up there.  Either way, the
inclusion of a retro Rainbow Road makes Mario Kart 7 the 2nd mainstream Mario
Kart game to have more than one Rainbow Road (Super Circuit had all of the
Super Mario Kart tracks in it, thus having two Rainbow Roads).

-Tips and Notes-
1) The Rainbow Thwomps cause shockwaves which you can trick off of.  Be very
careful though as you can accidentally perform a trick when you really just
want to drift.

2) There are ramps on the second long straight section.  Use the first one on
the right but ignore the second as it can seriously screw you up going into
the next turn.

3) There's a ramp during the U turn that allows you to cut off part of the
turn.

4) Make sure on the next straight to keep to the sides of the road if there's
nobody around.  That way, you can avoid any unintended run-ins with the
Thwomp.

5) After the third U turn on the course, the road narrows.  Place bananas here
if you want to get rid of them.

6) If you've got a mushroom, use it on the ramp at the center of the split to
fly over the gap and avoid the two Thwomps.

7) On the final straight, go directly between the two Thwomps.

-Changes from the Original Track-
1) In the original game, Thwomps were not active during the first lap.  They
are active on all three laps here.

2) There are now ramps on the track.

3) The Rainbow Thwomps now cause ripple effects that you can trick off of.

4) There are now 3 laps instead of 5.



------------------------------------------------------------------------------


=======================
= I01 VERSION CHANGES =
=======================

Version 1.0 - Completed on 1/4/12
	    - Guide is finished

Version 1.1 - Completed on 1/6/12
	    - Fixed misinformation in N64 Koopa Beach
            - Fixed misinformation in DS DK Pass
            - Added info for Toad Circuit
	    - Added info for Daisy Hills
            - Clarified some info in the Maka Wuhu, Exploits, and
              You section
	    - Added info for GBA Bowser Castle 1
	    - Fixed the "canon" typos to say "cannon"






===============
= I02 CREDITS =
===============

-Game by:  Nintendo, Retro Studios
-FAQ by:  Mr. X (MrX8991)



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