Many secrets have already surfaced from Mario’s debut 3D adventure outing, Super Mario 64, following the Nintendo Gigaleak, but now the plumber’s karting career is also being thoroughly investigated. An entire track that was scrapped from the final build of Mario Kart 64 has now been discovered and re-assembled, and even in its beta phase, it appears to be fairly vast in both size and detail.
TCRF user Streams has managed to load the model more clearly in Blender with the correct textures.
We can now see that this is definitely the cut Mario Kart 64 city track referenced in old interviews, with no relation to the Zelda 64 proto town map, despite visual similarity. pic.twitter.com/5SI26oVe9l
— MrTalida (@MrTalida) July 27, 2020
In a 1996 interview with Producer Shigeru Miyamoto from the Mario Kart 64 Japanese strategy guide, Miyamoto actually seems to refer to this recently recovered track, and even explains why the team decided to remove it from the game. “We […] made a big city track, with a castle, and a nice pond, where you got to race around all these different houses and buildings,” Miyamoto explained. “Unfortunately, it was a very large map, and it took too much time to race through. So we cut it.”
He wasn’t kidding when it comes to the track’s size; it seems far larger than the tracks seen in the official release of Mario Kart 64, giving even Rainbow Road a run for its money in terms of length. In the footage below, completing a single lap around the track at a reasonably fast, consistent speed takes a whole two minutes!
YouTube user micro500, who provided the footage above, also provides some additional insight. “We believe the brown rectangles around the course are meant to be arrow signs indicating the direction you should be headed,” they state in the video description. “These do not appear to be set up correctly in the level data.”
They also touch on some of the infrastructure surrounding the pond that Miyamoto referred to 24 years ago. “Around the pond in the center of the level there is geometry for a fence to keep you out of the water, but the textures were not configured correctly, causing the fence to not display.”
Along with the N64 installment, assets have also been found for the original Super Mario Kart. The most notable racer on these sprite sheets is an unused, generic, human-like character with a racing helmet obscuring their face. There are also some small differences in the early sprites of the existing roster, too — Koopa Troopa looks particularly odd when viewed from the back, with a much more rounded head than his final counterpart.
Super Mario Kart early sprites. pic.twitter.com/jp5wRXX7VT
— toruzz (@toruzz) July 26, 2020
In the aforementioned ‘90s interview, Miyamoto also confirmed that another track was cut from the final version of Mario Kart 64, featuring “a big, multi-story parking garage-like structure.” Here’s hoping we get to see this other fabled track come to light as Mario Kart 64 fans continue digging through the leaked files.
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