Mario Kart Ultimate
North American/PAL logo
Developer ACL Games, Inc.
Publisher Nintendo
Platform Nintendo Wii U
Genre Racing
Release June 29, 2012
July 1, 2012
July 3, 2012
Modes 1-4 (Local)
1-8 (Online)
Ratings E for Everyone
Media Optical Disc

Mario Kart Ultimate is the eighth instalment of the Mario Kart series and was released for the Wii U. Like all Mario Kart games, Mario Kart Ultimate introduces new courses, characters and new features. Game modes are also present such as the Grand Prix, Versus, Battle and Time Trial, many of them making use of Nintendo Network II for worldwide online play.



Like in Mario Kart 7 and other previous Mario Kart games, Coins do return, though they act in a very different way. Like in Mario Kart 7, coins, when collected, make you gain speed. Also, coins are used to unlock vehicle parts, though differently. Unlike other games, coins can be used to buy items unlocked in the Mushroom Shop.

Also returning from Mario Kart 7 is the ability to create your own karts. Along with that, you are also able to save karts you create. Vehicle parts can be unlocked by buying them at the Mushroom Shop.

Returning from Mario Kart: Double Dash!! is the ability of Special Items. With each character having their own special item, it makes racing more interesting.



The default Character Select screen

There are a total of 43 characters available to play as in Mario Kart Ultimate, with 13 being default, 15 being unlockable, and 15 being optional, as they must be purchased from the Mushroom Shop.

Default Characters

There are 13 default characters, all of them being defaults from Mario Kart Wii, with the exceptions of Mii and Lakitu.

Unlockable Characters

Purchasable Characters


Nitro Cups

Mushroom Cup Flower Cup Star Cup Special Cup
Luigi Circuit Mario Circuit Birdo's Shopping Center Toad Town Caves
Mushroom Meadow Cloud World Good Egg Galaxy Clockwork Castle
Dimble Wood Toad Fort Waluigi's Raceway Bowser's Castle
Dream Kingdom Sherbet Mines Hazy Maze Cave Rainbow Road

Mushroom Cup

Mushroom Cup is a default cup that consists of the easiest courses.

Luigi Circuit A short circuit featuring many jumps over tall pipes. Statues of Luigi fighting King Boo are here, and Luigi's [New] Mansion resides here.
Mushroom Meadow A Meadow in the bottom of a canyon, many Monty Moles reside in the holes in the ground, and an underwater portion.
Dimble Wood A nice tour around Dimble Wood, around the Tower of Yikk and Bubble Lake.
Dream Kingdom A long, 1-lapped course that goes through the multiple realms of Subcon.

Flower Cup

Flower Cup is a default cup that consists of some of the easier courses.

Mario Circuit A tour around Yoshi's Island, starting in the Donut Plains, and ending in the Forest of Illusion.
Cloud World A palace on clouds, where some storks like to fly around.
Toad Fort A large 1-lap course that takes place throughout a large medieval-like fortress , filled with many ? Blocks and Power-Ups
Sherbet Mines A maze of mines on the peak of a mountain. Many Cooligans live in here.

Star Cup

Star Cup is an unlockable cup that consists of harder courses.

Birdo's Shopping Center Apparently Birdo owns a shopping mall, as racers must travel through various fashion shops.
Good Egg Galaxy A gravity-defying racecourse throughout various planets. Get ready to ride on ceilings and walls!
Waluigi Raceway A facdtory in which Bob-Ombs are created. During the final lap, the track takes a change of pace, when a malfunction occurs and forces the racers to take an "alternate route" (aka the more dangerous route).
Hazy Maze Cave A 1-lapped course around a crazed maze, that is so confusing, you have NO IDEA what place you are in until you finish.

Special Cup

Special Cup is an unlockable cup that consists of the hardest courses.

Toad Town Caves A series of interconnecting caves underneath the Toad's hometown: Toad Town. Rushing water and multiple jumps make this course very stunt-filled.
Clockwork Castle A changing day-and-night scenario, in which time is controlled. Clockwork Castle has many gears that interlock to create bridges and many obstacles.
Bowser's Castle Bowser's large castle, complete with many lava pits, thwomps, a few Big Boos, and a giant, fire-breathing mecha Bowser. The course starts in Bowser's throne room and is heavily based off of Kastle Koopa, seen in The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 television series. It is one lap.
Rainbow Road Many magic carpets, twists and jumps make this space adventure full of colour.

Retro Cups

Shell Cup Banana Cup Leaf Cup Lightning Cup
SNES Choco Island 1 Wii Grumble Volcano N64 Royal Raceway GBA Broken Pier
GBA Mario Circuit 3DS Rock Rock Mountain GCN Dry Dry Desert Wii Moonview Highway
Wii Koopa Cape SNES Donut Plains 2 NDS Wario Stadium GCN Bowser's Castle
DS Shroom Ridge GCN Mushroom City SNES Bowser Castle 3 N64 Rainbow Road

Shell Cup

Shell Cup is a default retro cup.

Choco Island 1 Super Mario Kart
Mario Circuit Mario Kart: Super Circuit
Koopa Cape Mario Kart Wii
Shroom Ridge Mario Kart DS

Banana Cup

Banana Cup is a default retro cup.

Grumble Volcano Mario Kart Wii
Rock Rock Mountain Mario Kart 7
Donut Plains 2 Super Mario Kart
Mushroom City Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

Leaf Cup

Leaf Cup is an unlockable retro cup.

Royal Raceway Mario Kart 64
Dry Dry Desert Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
Wario Stadium Mario Kart DS
Bowser Castle 3 Super Mario Kart

Lightning Cup

Lightning Cup is an unlockable retro cup.

Broken Pier Mario Kart: Super Circuit
Moonview Highway Mario Kart Wii
Bowser's Castle Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
Rainbow Road Mario Kart 64

Purchasable Cups

Coin Cup
(100 Coins)
Spike Cup
(500 Coins)
Pipe Cup
(800 Coins)
Champions Cup
(1000 Coins)
Wii Toad's Factory GBA Yoshi Desert Koopa Air AGP Mario Highway
Woody's Woods Spike Desert DS Tick-Tock Clock Diamond City
GBA Ribbon Road Wii Dry Dry Ruins Crimson Bridge AGP2 Yoshi Park 2
Toybox GCN Dry Dry Desert GCN Sherbet Land Ghost Ship

Coin Cup

Coin Cup is a purchasable cup with both retro and nitro courses. It costs 100 coins.

Toad's Factory Mario Kart Wii
Woody's Woods A large forest based around the tree named Woody.
Ribbon Road Mario Kart: Super Circuit
Toybox A carnival with many toys that the Shy Guy inhabit.

Spike Cup

Spike Cup is a purchasable cup with both retro and nitro courses. It costs 500 coins.

Yoshi Desert Mario Kart: Super Circuit
Spike Desert A windy and sandy desert, filled with pyramids filled with Spikes.
Dry Dry Ruins Mario Kart Wii
Dry Dry Desert Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

Pipe Cup

Pipe Cup is a purchasable cup with both retro and nitro courses. It costs 800 coins.

Koopa Air A large airport based around Koopa Troopas.
Tick-Tock Clock Mario Kart DS
Crimson Bridge A large, mystery-esque city, with many bridges.
Sherbet Land Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

Champions Cup

Champions Cup is a purchasable cup with both retro and nitro courses. It costs 1000 coins.

Mario Highway Mario Kart Arcade GP
Diamond City A large, glistening city full of hustle and bustle.
Yoshi Park 2 Mario Kart Arcade GP 2
Ghost Ship An underwater airship with Boos and fish inhabiting it.

Battle Courses

Castle Courtyard SNES Battle Course 1
Barrel Volcano GBA Battle Course 4
Jungle Ruins GCN Luigi's Mansion
Windmill Valley Wii Delfino Pier

Castle Courtyard The courtyard of Peach's Castle
Barrel Volcano The top of a large volcano. With a wooden shack on the side.
Jungle Ruins A large aztec-like area full of monkey statues.
Windmill Valley A large valley full of lots windmills. Based on a stereotypical Dutch village.
Battle Course 1 Super Mario Kart
Battle Course 4 Mario Kart: Super Circuit
Luigi's Mansion Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
Delfino Pier Mario Kart Wii

- Means the course is unlockable.


Item Rank & Status
Green Shell A green Koopa shell that will bounce off walls. 1-8 Common
Triple Green Shells Three green Koopa shells that work the same as one. 1-8 Semi-Common
Red Shell A red Koopa shell that will lock on to the racer ahead. 1-8 Semi-Common
Banana Peel A smiling banana peel that will hurt anyone who touches it. 1-8 Common
Triple Banana Peels Three banana peels that act the same as one. 1-8 Semi-Common
Bullet Bill A speeding bullet that will bring the user up a few places. 5-8 Rare
Blue Shell A spiked blue Koopa shell that locks on to first place. 4-8 Super Rare
Mushroom A red Mushroom that gives the user a small boost. 3-6 Rare
Triple Mushrooms Three Mushrooms that have the same effect as 1 Mushroom. 5-8 Semi-Rare
Starman A Star that gives the user invincibility for a small amount of time. 6-8 Rare
Lightning A Lightning Bolt that shrinks all racers ahead of the user. 5-8 Semi-Rare
Blooper A squid that will cover the racers ahead of the user in ink, blinding them. 3-8 Semi-Common
Fake Item Box An item box lookalike that will hurt anyone when touched. 1-8 Common
Thunder Cloud An item similar to the Lightning, except it only shrinks the user. 1-4 Rare
Boo A silly Boo that will steal an opponents item for the user. 5-8 Semi-Common
Bumper A blue and white bumper that will make the person who makes contact with it bounce back. 1-8 Rare
Freezie An icy item that acts similar to a Green Shell but will freeze opponents on contact. Can only bounce once. 4-8 Common
Superball A ball of iron that, when thrown, will bounce around and will disappear when it stops. 1-6 Semi-Common
Carrot A carrot that will give the user rabbit ears. The user, when jumps, will give small earthquake shocks. 4-8 Common

Special Items

Every character has their own special item that can be obtained anywhere from 5-8. Though each character has their own special item, Mii's are able to get any of the items listed below. In the item roulette, they have a golden background instead of the usual white.

Item Character
Golden Mushroom Gives the user unlimited uses of Mushrooms for 10 seconds. Toad
Spiny Eggs Similar to red shells, except stuns for longer. Lakitu
Bubble Makes a bubble around the user and their kart, creating a shield. Baby Mario
Triple Green Shells Gives the user three green shells that spin around the kart. Koopa Troopa
Red Fireball The user throws three red fireballs forward (or backward), burning anyone it touches. Mario
Elemental Ghosts The user gets Ice, Fire and Water Ghosts that can be thrown at opponents. Luigi
Yoshi Egg A Yoshi Egg that homes in to the player ahead. Releases 3 random items. Yoshi
Heart Many small hearts and 3 large ones appear around the user's kart. Hitting 3 items will give them to the player. Peach
Bowser Shell A large shell that looks like Bowser's. It works like a Green Shell, but can withstand more bounces. Bowser
DK Barrel A large DK Barrel that acts like the Bowser Shell. Donkey Kong
Wario Bomb A large bomb with Wario's signature nose & moustache. Explodes 3 times. Wario
Oil Slick A large bucket of oil that can be dropped to create many oil slicks on the track. Waluigi
Silver Mushroom Gives the user unlimited Mushrooms for 5 seconds. Toadette
Chain Chomp Works similarly to Bullet Bills, except it lasts longer. Baby Luigi
Triple Red Shells Gives the user three red shells that spin around the kart. Koopa Paratroopa
Porcupo Gives a Porcupo that will stand still. When someone drives by, it will attack them. Shy Guy
Ice Flower Will give the user an Ice Flower, and the user will freeze enemies on contact. Penguin
Daisy Works similarly to Peach's Heart, except it can collect 5 objects. Princess Daisy
Birdo Egg A Yoshi Egg with pink spots, when it hits something, it releases 4 items. Birdo
Magic Paintbrush The user's kart will become covered in paint, and will last for 10 seconds. If they touch other racers, they will make them spin out. Bowser Jr.
Magic Wand The user will fire a beam of shapes forward, and will bounce. When it bounces, it makes another beam, and this repeats. Kamek
Hammer Several hammers are given to the user (who dons a Hammer Suit) and can be thrown forward. Hammer Bro.
Crown A golden crown which will make the user invisible for a few seconds. King Boo
Angry The user turns into an angry Wiggler and dashes forward for 10 seconds. Similar to a Bullet Bill, the computer controls the user's course. Wiggler
Chomp Call The user gets a Chomp Call, which will call 3 smaller Chain Chomps to attack first, second and third places. They will not attack the user. Petey Piranha
Boomerang The user gains a boomerang, which can be thrown three times before the user fails to regain it. Boom Boom
Durian The user would throw a Durian, which acts similarly to a Green Shell, but has unlimited bounces, so it would either bounce until it hit someone, or until it falls off a cliff. Pianta

Other Items

Item Location
Item Box A box that will give anyone who makes contact an item. On course
Coin A coin that acts like money. On course (1 coin)
Item Box (random amounts)
CD A CD that contains music. The music can be changed when unlocked. Item Box

Alternate Music

Alternate music for race courses can be unlocked by getting the very rare CD item from an Item Box. Each course has 2 unlockable songs, and they can be changed on the Music menu. Only Nitro courses (including Battle Courses) get extra music.

Song Course
Hightail Falls Credits Luigi Circuit
Sky Presents Mushroom Kingdom Mushroom Meadow
Final Boss Forest of Illusion Dimble Wood
Overworld Dream Spacewalk Dream Kingdom
Fever Toad Road Mario Circuit
Tough Enemy Overworld Cloud World
Battle Arenas Greenhorn Ruins Toad Fort
Snowflake Lake Hollijolli Village Sherbet Mines
Let Fly Your Yo-Yo Birdo's Boss Theme Birdo's Shopping Center
Underwater Yoshi's Theme Good Egg Galaxy
Waluigi's Island Destruction Dance Waluigi's Raceway
Hammer Dance Cave Dungeon Hazy Maze Cave
Toad Town Tunnels Monstro Town Toad Town Caves
Clockwork Castle Overworld Main Clockwork Castle
Bowser's Lava Lair Bowser's Castle Bowser's Castle
Slide Comet Observatory Rainbow Road
Peach's Castle Giddy Sky Castle Courtyard
Volcano Vibe Barrel Volcano Barrel Volcano
DK Jungle Jungle Hijinx Jungle Ruins
Windmillville Sweet Dream Windmill Valley
Mario Cup Rainbow Downhill Woody's Woods
Shy Guy Riot Underground Mozart Toybox
Lethal Lava Land Shy Guy Desert Spike Desert
Koopa Troopa Beach Koopa Troopa's Ranks Koopa Air
Mushroom Bridge Delfino Plaza Crimson Bridge
Crescent Moon Village WarioWare, Inc. Diamond City
Haunty Halls Galaxy Ghost Ship Ghost Ship
Song Course
Castle Courtyard
Barrel Volcano
Jungle Ruins
Windmill Valley

Yoshi Hunt

Like with Mario Tennis Open, Mario Kart Ultimate also includes special QR Codes that unlock new coloured Yoshis. Below are the Yoshis and then it's own QR Code. There are five characters, Blue Yoshi (released October 1, 2012), Red Yoshi (released December 20, 2012), Black Yoshi (released October 30, 2012) and White Yoshi (released November 10, 2012), along with a rare Metal Mario QR Code (released January 1, 2013). The QR Codes must be scanned by a Nintendo 3DS and then connected to Mario Kart Ultimate for the codes to work.

Beta Elements

Main article: Mario Kart Ultimate/Beta elements

Easter Eggs

Main article: Mario Kart Ultimate/Easter Eggs


Unlike previous games in the series, Mario Kart Ultimate uses a special achievement system, which, when completed, earns the player extra coins.

Achievement Rewarded Coins Criteria
Red Market 50 Buy one item from the shop
Ultra Shopper 500 Buy every character from the shop
Grand Karter 200 Win one Grand Prix
Locked and Found 50 Unlock one character
My Favourite! 50 Use a saved kart 10 times
Toadstar! 1000 Unlock all characters
Saver 50 Save a kart
As good as Miyamoto! 300 Unlock one Staff Ghost
A+ Achiever 1000 Unlock all other achievements
QR Hunter 500 Scan a QR Code for each character.


  • This is the first Mario Kart game to include a Random button for cups.


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