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|Mario Kart 9|
|Developer(s)|| Nintendo EPD,|
|Q4 2018 - Q1 2019|
| 1-4 players locally,|
1-8 players via wireless network connection,
1-12 players via online connection
| E for Everyone (ESRB)|
|Series||Mario Kart series|
|Predecessor||Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (2017)|
|Media Included||Nintendo Switch Cartridge|
Mario Kart 9 (Japanese: マリオカート9 Mario Kāto 9) is the ninth main instalment of the Mario Kart series. It was developed by Nintendo EPD and Existence Software for exclusive release on the Nintendo Switch. The game is the successor to 2017's Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and several assets are taken directly from this game.
Unlike other recent Mario Kart titles, Mario Kart 9 does not introduce any new gimmicks that factor into the design of the courses, though underwater, gliding, and zero gravity segments return. Much more emphasis has been placed on item usage, and the amount of items present in the game has been substantially increased from Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, with three items not present in it returning from past games in addition to seven brand new ones. The Battle Mode from Mario Kart 8 Deluxe also returns, as does the Mission Mode from Mario Kart DS.
Maintaining most elements from previous Mario Kart games, Mario Kart 9 is a kart-racing video game with a heavy emphasis on using items to hinder opposing racers. Players pick a character, which is placed in one of six different weight classes that determine the base stats of the character's vehicle. Players are then able to mix-and-match different customization pieces in order to create their vehicle, which they will then use to race around various obstacle course-like racetracks in an attempt to place first out of twelve other racers. Players receive different amounts of points depending on their position at the end of the race; with the winner of the Grand Prix determined by the one with the most points overall. For the first time in the series, Mario Kart 9 features 15 racers, as opposed to the 12 of Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 8 or the 8 of all other titles in the series.
During a race, racers can drive through Item Boxes to be granted an item through a roulette. As previously stated, these items are the main focus of a race, as using them may hinder other racers and/or aid the player. These items vary in usefulness depending on the distance from the current frontrunner; with racers closer to the frontrunner receiving less-powerful items (i.e. Banana Peels or Green Shells), while racers furthest from the frontrunner receiving the most powerful items in the game (i.e. Spiny Shell and Lightning). A mechanic that returns from previous instalments is the ability to carry up to two items at once, though Mario Kart 9 allows racers to carry two without needing to hold one behind their kart. With the ability to hold up to two items, racers can switch between the two of them at will.
All four vehicle classes from Mario Kart 8 return in Mario Kart 9, these being the kart, inside-drifting bike, outside-drifting bike, and ATV. As with its predecessor, the bikes of Mario Kart 9 handle much differently from their Mario Kart Wii counterparts, instead handling very similarly to the karts and only performing wheelies - now purely aesthetic - when boosting.
|Point spread comparison|
| Super Mario Kart,|
Mario Kart 64,
Mario Kart: Super Circuit
| Mario Kart: Double Dash!!,|
Mario Kart DS
|Mario Kart Wii||15||12||10||8||7||6||5||4||3||2||1||0||-||-||-|
|Mario Kart 7||10||8||6||5||4||3||2||1||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Mario Kart 8||15||12||10||9||8||7||6||5||4||3||2||1||-||-||-|
|Mario Kart 9||15||14||13||12||11||10||9||8||7||6||5||4||3||2||1|
| Gold background signifies victory results, with a unique winning animation and music.
Silver background signifies moderate win results.
Bronze background signifies losing results, with losing animations and music.
There are 32 race courses in the game, split into eight different cups. Four of these eight cups feature brand new tracks, while the other four feature tracks from previous games. Of the 16 returning courses: 3 return from Mario Kart 8, 4 return from Mario Kart 7; 2 return from Mario Kart Wii, Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, and Mario Kart 64; and 1 returns from each of Mario Kart DS, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, and Super Mario Kart. As with in Mario Kart 8, all retro courses feature updated graphics and course layouts; though those from Mario Kart 8 remain unchanged and those from Mario Kart 7 primarily only see a graphical upgrade with few changes.
If the player has a Mario Kart 8 Deluxe save file on their Switch, they will also unlock two bonus cups - the Egg and Bell Cups - made up entirely of courses that appear in that game.
|Mushroom Plains||Toad Ridge||Noki Bay||Sunshine Gardens|
|Mario Circuit||Yoshi Park||Peach Circuit||Cloud Coaster|
|Wario City||Luigi's Mansion||Fliprus Flats||Waluigi Factory|
|Dragoneel Ravine||Reznor Jungle||Bowser's Castle||Rainbow Road|
|U Mario Kart Stadium||Wii Toad's Factory||3DS Daisy Hills||GBA Riverside Park|
|SNES Donut Plains 2||3DS Wuhu Loop||Wii Mario Circuit||U Super Bell Subway|
|N64 DK's Jungle Parkway||DS Shroom Ridge||GCN Mushroom City||3DS Maka Wuhu|
|U Mount Wario||N64 Bowser Castle||3DS Rosalina's Ice World||GCN Wario Colosseum|
|U Sunshine Airport||GCN Yoshi Circuit||U Cloudtop Cruise||GBA Ribbon Road|
|U Dolphin Shoals||U Wild Woods||3DS Neo Bowser City||U Rainbow Road|
The Mushroom Course is the first Nitro cup listed on the course select menu, and has courses designed for beginner players.
The Flower Cup is the second Nitro cup listed on the course select menu. It features a variety of different courses that, while still designed for beginner players, are more challenging than those found in the Mushroom Cup.
The Star Cup is the third Nitro cup listed on the course select menu. It features course designed for more intermediate players, and are generally more challenging than those found in either the Flower or Mushroom Cups before it.
The Special Cup is the final Nitro cup listed on the course select menu in the base game. This cup features the most difficult new courses in the game, culminating with Rainbow Road, the most challenging course in the game.
The Shell Cup is the first Retro cup listed on the course select menu. It can be seen as a parallel to the Mushroom Cup as it features a comparatively easier selection of Retro courses than later cups do. Additionally, all four of the courses placed within the Shell Cup originally debuted within the Mushroom Cups of their respective games.
U Mario Kart Stadium returns from Mario Kart 8. Like the other courses in Mario Kart 9 that debuted in that game, it is identical to its original appearance. The course is set within a large stadium at night, with pit stops and banners designed for the six characters to appear in every Mario Kart title: Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, Toad, and Bowser. The course features an anti-gravity U-shaped turn near the end of it, that leads into a gliding section.
Wii Toad's Factory returns from Mario Kart Wii and, barring a graphical update, remains mostly unchanged from its original appearance. The course now has a more industrial setting, and is set solely within a factory as opposed to both inside and out of it. The room with the conveyor belts near the end of the course is now larger, and has been tilted to be on an angle with zero gravity enabled. The ending part of the course, which was previously set in a mud-filled halfpipe, is now set in a tank of water that racers jump into from the conveyor belt room, though the patch of mud remains, though smaller now.
3DS Daisy Hills returns from Mario Kart 7. As with other courses from that game, Daisy Hills' only major change comes in the way of its graphical design. The course is now set at sunset, and the goats once present on the course have been replaced by cows. The number of hot air balloons present in the gliding section has been reduced, and they now use designs more akin to those found on Royal Raceway in Mario Kart 8.
GBA Riverside Park returns from Mario Kart: Super Circuit, and is the only course in the Shell Cup to see any major design changes. While still located within a jungle, the scenery of Riverside Park has been redesign to feel more prehistoric, and now bares some similarity to the course Dino Dino Jungle from Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and Mario Kart 7. Overall, the course's terrain has been made less even, with many pits and bumps that racers can trick off of. The section where racers had to jump over the river in the original version has been revised, and now racers must travel through the water itself. The course itself has also been redesigned so that it takes place on two planes, with players driving through a small alcove behind a waterfall after the first bridge section. The end of the course has been redesigned so that, while racers must still jump over a portion of the course to reach the finish line, this circular turn is now set in zero gravity as it is located on the side of a hill over which this river runs; the jump is still present, though is now a gliding section and has been made much longer than it previously had been. A volcano appears in the background of the course, which erupts at the beginning of the final lap, though this does not effect the course and is purely cosmetic.
The Banana Cup is the second Retro cup listed on the course select menu. Much like the Flower Cup for Nitro courses, the Banana Cup features tracks that, while still easy (to an extent), they are more challenging than those found in the Shell Cup. Three of its four courses originally debuted in the Flower Cups of their respective games, while the fourth - Super Bell Subway - was a part of the Bell Cup introduced into Mario Kart 8 with the Animal Crossing × Mario Kart 8 DLC package.
SNES Donut Plains 2 returns from Super Mario Kart and uses an aesthetic design very similar to that of Donut Plains 3 from Mario Kart 8. The course's layout remains very similar to its original design from Super Mario Kart, though the road has been made wider in some parts while more bumps have been added over which racers can perform tricks. Looking at the track from a bird's-eye view with the starting line on the right, a large portion of the left side of the course has been submerged beneath a lake, though the road follows its original path. The Monty Moles remain on the track though have been re-positioned: one is located near the end of the course, while another right after the lake, where eight puddles of mud were located in the original course.
3DS Wuhu Loop returns from Mario Kart 7 and, aside from seeing a graphical update and a widening of the road, remains relatively the same. The shortcut located after the tunnel, where racers could drop off the right of the road and onto another segment, has been altered so that it is now set in zero gravity. One of the other two shortcuts on the course - the three pillars that racers could hop over - has been completely removed, while the other shortcut - the dirt road that leads to a glider jump - remains unaltered.
Wii Mario Circuit returns from Mario Kart Wii with very little changes in its overall design. Besides a graphical update, only one major change has been made to the course: after the overhang, the road enters a zero gravity section for the last semi-circular turn. The Goombas have been removed from this course, but the Chain Chomp remains.
U Super Bell Subway returns from Mario Kart 8, and is, like the other courses from that game, identical to its original appearance. Super Bell Subway is set within the Golden Bell, a subway located within a large city. This subway has several elements based on the original Super Mario Bros. title, with the underground theme being incorporated into the course's theme and the appearance of a mural depicting World 1-2 from that game.
The Leaf Cup is the third Retro cup listed on the course select menu. The Leaf Cup is the Retro-counterpart to the Nitro Star Cup, as both feature relatively difficult courses when compared to their predecessors. The courses that make up the Leaf Cup all originate from the Flower, Star, or Special Cups of their games of origin.
DS Shroom Ridge
GCN Mushroom City
3DS Maka Wuhu
The Lightning Cup is the final Retro cup (and overall) listed on the course select menu in the base game. The Lightning Cup features the most challenging Retro courses in the game, with two originating from the Special Cup of their original titles; Mount Wario and Bowser's Castle, the exceptions, initially debuted in the Star Cups of Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 64 respectively. This is also the only cup to feature two different courses that share a namesake- in this case, there are two courses named after Wario.
U Mount Wario returns from Mario Kart 8 and, as with all other courses from that game present in Mario Kart 9, is identical to its original appearance. Mount Wario sees racers travelling down a mountain on this single-lap course. Racers must first traverse a precarious icy path that leads into a cave and out onto the Wario Dam, before jumping off it into a forest, and finally through the forest and down a ski slope.
N64 Bowser's Castle
GCN Wario Colosseum
The Egg Cup is one of two bonus cups unlocked by having a save file of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the player's Nintendo Switch console. On the course select screen, it is located next to the Special Cup, thus technically making it the first Retro cup listed on the screen. The Egg Cup features some popular fan-favourite courses that appeared in Mario Kart 8; all of which are identical to their appearances in that game. These four courses are:
The Bell Cup is one of two bonus cups unlocked by having a save file of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the player's Nintendo Switch console. On the course select screen, it is the final cup listed, placed to the right of the Lightning Cup, making it the final Retro cup (and overall cup) listed on the menu. The Bell Cup features some popular fan-favourite courses that appeared in Mario Kart 8; all of which are identical to their appearances in that game. These four courses are:
Time Trial returns from previous instalments of the series. Just as in previous entries in the series, Time Trial mode sees players testing their skills out on a racecourse by racing against no CPUs with no items available to them besides three Mushrooms. The aim is to complete a race in as little time as possible, utilizing shortcuts and mini-turbos to shave as much time off of the timer to earn a better score.
Players can also test their skills out by racing against Staff Ghosts - ghosts based off Time Trial attempts of staff members who worked on the game - or they could save their own attempts or download those of other players.
|Course||Staff Member||Character||Vehicle Combination|
Mario Kart 9 features an expanded version of the Battle Mode found in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and all five different modes that appeared in that game return alongside three new ones, bringing the total number of game modes to eight. These eight game modes are: Balloon Battle, Bob-omb Blast, Coin Runners, Shine Thief, Renegade Roundup, Thunderclap Dash, Boo Bounce, and Prankster Playground.
- Balloon Battle: Each participant is given five balloons, and loses a balloon when they are hit by an item. The objective is to hit other players, as a participant will gain a point whenever they successfully manage to make one of their opponents lose a balloon; should a participant lose all of their balloons, they will respawn with three and be deducted half of their points (rounded up). Players may also use Mushrooms to steal the balloons of other participants. The player with the most amount of points when time runs out wins.
- Bob-omb Blast: All participants can only obtain Bob-ombs from Item Boxes, though they can not be harmed by those they (or their teammates) throw. Unlike in races and other battle modes, where the player can only hold up to two different items, all participants may carry up to 10 Bob-ombs at one time. Like in Balloon Battle, all participants begin the battle with five balloons and will lose one upon being hit; should they lose all their balloons, they will lose half of their points (rounded up). The player with the most amount of points when time runs out wins.
- Coin Runners: The aim of the game is to collect coins, which are scattered around the course. Participants can attack each other with items to make their opponents lose coins, though they can be harmed by their own items. The player with the most amount of coins when time runs out wins.
- Shine Thief: A large Shine Sprite will spawn somewhere on the map, and the objective is that a single racer (or team) must hold on to it for a 20-second count (30 in team battles). The person carrying the Shine Sprite moves much slower than those trying to steal it from them; the Shine Sprite will drop onto the ground once the one carrying it is hit by an item (though boosting into them with a Mushroom will steal it directly).
- Renegade Roundup: Renegade Roundup is the Mario Kart equivalent of Cops and Robbers, and as such is always a team-based game. There are two teams: the law (who all carry Potted Piranha Plants at all times), and those dodging them (the titular renegades). Both the renegades and the law can obtain items to throw at each other, though the law's Piranha Plants will bite at the renegades should they be close enough, sending them into one of the jails that remain stationary on the map. Those sent to jail can be released by hitting the switch located directly beneath it. The law wins by rounding up all the renegades at a single time, while the renegades win by successfully dodging the law until time runs out.
- Moon Mash: Moon Mash is, in name, a new game mode introduced in Mario Kart 9, though is based off the Shine Runners mode from Mario Kart DS. In Moon Mash, a total of 15 Power Moons are dropped onto the stage, and players must collect as many of them as they can within 30 seconds. Once the timer ends, the one(s) with the least amount of Moons is eliminated from the competition, though they can still drive around and attack others with items. This will continue until only one player, or multiple members of only a single team, remain. When a player is hit by an item, they will lose half of their current number of Power Moons, but unlike Coin Runners, the Moons will respawn in another place immediately instead of simply landing around the one who dropped them. Additionally, when fewer than six players remain, the amount of Power Moons that will spawn will decrease to nine.
- Prankster Playground: Prankster Playground is an entirely-new mode introduced in Mario Kart 9, and can be seen as Mario Kart's version of the Turf War mode from Splatoon. All racers have Magic Paintbrushes strapped to their vehicles, and driving around will paint their colour on the ground- any item they use will also paint the ground where it travels as well as within a small radius around those hit by these items. The participant or team with the most amount of turf covered at the end of the time limit is the winner.
|Sherbet Fort||Mario Motors||Spike Ruins|
|Derelict Dwelling||SNES Battle Course 2|
|8D Dragon Palace||Wii Funky Stadium||3DS Honeybee Hive|
Mission Mode returns in Mario Kart 9, having last been seen in Mario Kart DS. There are 40 new missions in the game, and feature a variety of different challenges on several different courses. The mode also incorporates elements from the online tournaments of Mario Kart Wii; such as modifying certain battle courses into race courses or pitting players against CPU racers with unique abilities.
Mission Mode is not unlocked by default: 5 missions are unlocked each time the player completes a cup for the first time in any engine class. That means the player must complete each cup at least once in order to unlock all missions.
Every ten missions (Missions 10, 20, 30, and 40) is a boss battle, where players are pitted against unique foes that do not appear anywhere else in the game. All boss battle missions take place in large octagonal rooms each with their own unique appearances and gimmicks that match the boss that is fought. Missions 5, 15, 25, and 35 are mini-boss battle missions, and, once completed, will unlock the miniboss for use in other modes as a playable racer. These boss battle missions are highlighted with blue backgrounds in the table below.
|1||Collect 10 coins in one lap.||Mario||Seven random CPU racers.||Mushroom Plains|
|2||Come in first place (single lap race).||Toad||14 random CPU racers.||Wii Toad's Factory|
|3||Drive through the 10 numbered gates in order.||Baby Rosalina||-||Mario Circuit|
|4||Win the race.||Luigi||7 random CPU racers.||SNES Donut Plains 2 (backwards)|
|5||Beat Topper in a race!||Birdo||Topper, 13 random CPU racers||Sunshine Gardens|
|6||Perform 5 Mini-Turbos in one lap.||Kamek||-||Peach Circuit|
|7||Ram into 5 different opponents with a Star in a single lap.||Bowser||14 random CPU racers.||Wii Mario Circuit|
|8||Destroy all 10 Item Boxes.||Yoshi||-||Yoshi Park|
|9||Drive through the 5 numbered gates in order, backwards.||Toadsworth||-||Sunshine Gardens|
|10||Defeat the boss!||Metal Mario||Reznor||-|
|11||Navigate through the forest backwards.||Diddy Kong||-||U Mount Wario|
|12||Complete a lap before Donkey Kong.||Pauline||Donkey Kong, 13 random CPU racers||N64 DK's Jungle Parkway|
|13||Destroy the 12 wooden crates with Green Shells.||Hammer Bro.||-||SNES Battle Course 2|
|14||Pop all three of Wario's balloons before he completes a lap.||Waluigi||Wario, 13 random CPU racers||Wario City|
|15||Beat Rango in a race!||Wario||Rango, 13 random CPU racers||Cloud Coaster|
|16||Win the race.||Wiggler||The Roving Racers||DS Shroom Ridge|
|17||Collect 15 coins without hitting a banana.||Toadette||-||Mario Motors|
|18||Defeat all 15 Goombas.||Pink Gold Peach||-||Toad Ridge|
|19||Perform 15 Mini-Turbos in a single lap.||Peach||-||U Mario Kart Stadium|
|20||Defeat the boss!||Donkey Kong Jr.||Bouldergeist||-|
|21||Pop all three of King Boo's balloons and place first.||Daisy||King Boo, 6 random CPU racers||3DS Daisy Hills|
|22||Beat Fire Mario in a race.||Rosalina||Fire Mario, 3 random CPU racers||3DS Rosalina's Ice World|
|23||Win the race without using items.||Koopa Troopa||4 random CPU racers||Cloud Coaster|
|24||Drive through all 10 numbered gates within the time limit.||Baby Luigi||-||8D Dragon Palace|
|25||Beat Hariet in a race!||Shy Guy||Hariet, 13 random CPU racers||Fliprus Flats|
|26||Win the race.||Lakitu||The Roving Racers||GCN Wario Colosseum|
|27||Hit 5 different racers with Bob-ombs in a single lap.||Peepa||14 random CPU racers||Luigi's Mansion|
|28||Pop all five of Waluigi's balloons within the time limit.||Boom Boom||Waluigi, 8 random CPU racers||Waluigi Factory|
|29||Complete a lap within the time limit. Perform Mini-Turbos to gain more time.||Bowser Jr.||7 random CPU racers||N64 Bowser's Castle|
|30||Defeat the boss!||Glydon||Motley Bossblob||-|
|31||Complete the race at 200cc without hitting one of the wooden crates.||Shy Guy||14 random CPU racers||3DS Wuhu Loop|
|32||Complete a lap before the runaway Chain Chomp.||Honey Queen||Chain Chomp||Wii Mario Circuit (sans Chain Chomp)|
|33||Drive through all 20 numbered gates while avoiding the Bananas.||Paratroopa||-||Dragoneel Ravine|
|34||Collect 25 coins without being caught by Bowser.||Dry Bones||Bowser||Spike Ruins|
|35||Beat Spewart in a race!||Baby Peach||Spewart, 13 random CPU racers||Bowser's Castle|
|36||Drive through the subway backwards while avoiding the trains.||Baby Daisy||-||U Super Bell Subway|
|37||Pop all three of Metal Mario and Pink Gold Peach's balloons within two laps.||E. Gadd||Metal Mario, Pink Gold Peach, five random CPU racers||Reznor Jungle|
|38||Eliminate each of the five Dry Bones with Bob-ombs within three laps.||King Boo||Five Dry Bones, Dark Bones||GCN Mushroom City|
|39||Drive through the 25 numbered gates while avoiding Bowser and Dry Bowser.||Baby Mario||-||Bowser's Castle|
|40||Defeat the boss!||Donkey Kong||Gobblegut||-|
Certain variations of characters appear exclusively in this mode. Aside from the large bosses that appear in every tenth mission, most of these characters are simply reskins of playable characters. These characters may have statistics that differ from their normal variants (such as being heavier). Additionally, some special characters may also be able to use an infinite amount of a single type of item.
Fire Mario has an infinite supply of fireballs that he can throw at the player. In terms of stat changes, Fire Mario is slightly heavier and faster, though his acceleration has been decreased.
The five Roving Racers all have unique stats that differ from a normal Koopa Troopa's, despite the fact that all of them use the same vehicle combination. The biggest difference among them all is that they are not all Light-class racers like the normal Koopa Troopa is; only the green Roving Racer remains in the Light weight class. The blue has been made heavier, and is classified as a Medium racer, the red a Standard racer, the purple a Feather racer, and the gold a Cruiser racer. Each all have their own unique stats - even though the green Roving Racer remains in the same weight class, he has a significant speed increase over the normal Koopa Troopa. The gold-coloured Roving Racer is the most challenging of the group, and uses more challenging AI than the others.
Dark Bones has an infinite supply of Bob-ombs at his disposal. Dark Bones differs from the normal Dry Bones in that he is classified as a Medium-class racer, and is significantly faster and heavier than a normal Dry Bones using his vehicle combination would be. The Dark Bones' AI is also unique in that he aims to protect the other Dry Bones in the mission that he appears in, and will actively target the player in ways that other CPUs wouldn't; this includes even turning around in order to cut the player off or driving across off-road areas.
Mario Kart 9 features 64 playable characters (84, if one were to count the alternate versions of certain characters), the most of any game in the series (by comparison, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe had 42; or 59, should one count the variants of other characters). Characters are broken up into six weight classes, with their stats being changed to further categorize them. There are Lightweight, Middleweight, and Heavyweight racers, which are further divided into Feather, Light, Medium, Standard, Cruiser, and Heavy weight classes. With the exception of characters that hail from different franchises (namely R.O.B., Link, Villager, Isabelle, Inkling Boy, and Inkling Girl), all playable characters from all previous mainline instalments return in Mario Kart 9.
|Tanooki Mario||Place 1st overall in 100cc Mushroom Cup.|
|Cat Peach||Place 1st overall in 100cc Shell Cup.|
|Penguin Luigi||Place 1st overall in 100cc Special Cup.|
|Dry Bowser||Place 1st overall in 200cc Shell Cup.|
|Lemmy||Defeat the Staff Ghosts of 24 different courses.|
|Larry||Defeat the Staff Ghosts of 4 different courses.|
|Wendy||Defeat the Staff Ghosts of 12 different courses.|
|Iggy||Defeat the Staff Ghosts of 16 different courses.|
|Ludwig||Defeat the Staff Ghosts of 28 different courses.|
|Roy||Defeat the Staff Ghosts of 20 different courses.|
|Morton||Defeat the Staff Ghosts of 8 different courses.|
|Spewart||Clear Mission #35.|
|Topper||Clear Mission #5.|
|Rango||Clear Mission #15.|
|Hariet||Clear Mission #25.|
|Pom Pom||Defeat the Staff Ghosts of all 32 courses.|
|Nabbit||Place 1st overall in 200cc Lightning Cup.|
|Spike||Place 1st overall in 200cc Mushroom Cup.|
|Petey Piranha||Place 1st overall in 200cc Flower Cup.|
|Goombette||Place 1st overall in 200cc Special Cup.|
|Funky Kong||Place 1st overall in Mirror Mushroom Cup.|
|Dixie Kong||Place 1st overall in Mirror Shell Cup.|
|Captain Toad||Place 1st overall in 200cc Star Cup.|
|Wingo||Place 1st overall in 200cc Leaf Cup.|
Like its predecessor, Mario Kart 9 features variations of certain characters. All variants share the same stats, voice clips, and animations of their original counterparts. Additionally, all variants are unlocked by default (or alongside their original, should they be unlockable to begin with) except Gold Mario. Unlike in Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, character variants may appear as CPU racers in Versus Mode and Battle Mode.
|Gold Mario||Earn a 3-star ranking in all cups of a single engine class.|
The size of a racer's vehicle body changes depending on their size, and this can also be a hindrance or a help to them. While a fairly minor change, the size of the vehicle's body also determines the size of a vehicle's hitbox; thus, smaller vehicles would have an easier time dodging stationary items than larger ones. The size of a vehicle's body is not consistent with their weight class, though most racers in a single weight class share the same body size.
The Mii's body size is dependant on the Mii's height, and as such can have small, medium, or large vehicle bodies.
|Bowser Jr.|| |
|Boom Boom|| |
|Donkey Kong|| |
|Diddy Kong|| |
|Donkey Kong Jr.|| |
|Baby Mario|| |
|Baby Luigi|| |
|Baby Peach|| |
|Baby Daisy|| |
|Baby Rosalina|| |
|Koopa Troopa|| |
|Hammer Bro.|| |
|Dry Bones|| |
|Shy Guy|| |
|Honey Queen|| |
|King Boo|| |
|E. Gadd|| |
|Metal Mario|| |
|Pink Gold Peach|| |
|Tanooki Mario|| |
|Cat Peach|| |
|Penguin Luigi|| |
|Dry Bowser|| |
|Pom Pom|| |
|Petey Piranha|| |
|Funky Kong|| |
|Dixie Kong|| |
|Captain Toad|| |
A majority of the playable characters from each weight class share the same base stats, though some characters may have unique ones. While the player creates their vehicle, they can toggle a chart to show five main stats, while an additional seven are present in the game's data but can not be viewed in-game.
The five "main" stats, which can be viewed in-game, are as follows:
- Speed: The top speed of a vehicle when travelling across the normal ground.
- Acceleration: The rate it takes the vehicle to reach top speed from a standing position.
- Weight: The weight of a vehicle. Racers can knock away vehicles lighter than their's by running into them.
- Handling: The amount of control a racer has over their vehicle. A higher handling stat means that vehicles turn sharper.
- Traction/Grip: The amount of grip the vehicle has on normal terrain.
The seven additional stats, that are only present in the game's data, are:
- Water Speed: The top speed of a vehicle when travelling underwater.
- Air Speed: The top speed of a vehicle while gliding.
- Anti-Gravity Speed: The top speed of a vehicle in anti-gravity segments.
- Water Handling: The amount of control over the vehicle's turning ability the racer has while underwater.
- Air Handling: The amount of control over the vehicle's turning ability the racer has while gliding.
- Anti-Gravity Handling: The amount of control over the vehicle's turning ability the racer has while on an anti-gravity segment.
- Mini-Turbo: The length of a vehicle's mini-turbo, activated after drifting.
The following values are shown out of 6, and returning characters' stats have been taken from Mario Wiki's "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe" page. The stats report information based on using the three basic vehicle parts: the Standard Tires, Standard Kart, and Super Glider.
|Donkey Kong Jr.||3.75||4||4.25||3.5||3.5||3.5||3.5||3||3.5||3.5||3.5||3.25|
|Pink Gold Peach||4.25||4.5||4.75||4||3.25||4.5||3.25||2.75||3.25||3.25||3.25||3|
A new feature added into single player modes is the Rival System. While rivals have been present in many past Mario Kart games, including Mario Kart 8 and Super Mario Kart, the new Rival System is much more promoted than in the past. Previously, rivals were CPU racers who would often place near the top of each race; in Mario Kart 9 this fact remains true, though a character's rivals are directly marked with an arrow indicator. Each character has three rivals, and these rivals have much more challenging AI than the other CPU racers, often targeting the player directly. They only appear in 150cc, Mirror, and 200cc single player Grand Prix. In 150cc and 200cc, only one rival may be present at once, but two can be present in Mirror Mode races.
Miis do not have designated rivals; a random character will serve that role.
|Peach||Daisy||Rosalina||Pauline||Pink Gold Peach|
|Rosalina||Bowser Jr.||Baby Rosalina||Magikoopa||Honey Queen|
|Pauline||Mario||Donkey Kong||Diddy Kong||Goombette|
|Bowser||Mario||Yoshi||Baby Mario||Tanooki Mario|
|Bowser Jr.||Mario||Luigi||Toad||Tanooki Mario|
|Boom Boom||Daisy||Magikoopa||Wiggler||Pom Pom|
|Donkey Kong||Mario||Pauline||Bowser||Funky Kong|
|Diddy Kong||Bowser Jr.||Donkey Kong Jr.||Hammer Bro.||Dixie Kong|
|Donkey Kong Jr.||Mario||Diddy Kong||Wario||Toad|
|Yoshi||Birdo||Magikoopa||Shy Guy||Dry Bowser|
|Baby Mario||Yoshi||Baby Peach||Bowser Jr.||Dry Bowser|
|Baby Luigi||Yoshi||Baby Daisy||Magikoopa||Topper|
|Baby Peach||Yoshi||Toadsworth||Baby Mario||Baby Daisy|
|Baby Daisy||Toadsworth||Baby Luigi||Baby Rosalina||Penguin Luigi|
|Baby Rosalina||Rosalina||Magikoopa||Honey Queen||Ludwig|
|Koopa Troopa||Yoshi||Dry Bones||Peepa||Captain Toad|
|Lakitu||Yoshi||Paratroopa||Shy Guy||Tanooki Mario|
|Hammer Bro.||Birdo||Toad||King Boo||Morton|
|Dry Bones||Wario||Koopa Troopa||Peepa||Dry Bowser|
|Wiggler||Boom Boom||Honey Queen||Pink Gold Peach||Roy|
|Honey Queen||Rosalina||Baby Rosalina||Wiggler||Hariet|
|King Boo||Luigi||Bowser||E. Gadd||Ludwig|
|E. Gadd||Bowser||Baby Mario||Baby Luigi||Iggy|
|Metal Mario||Mario||Baby Mario||Pink Gold Beach||Tanooki Mario|
|Pink Gold Peach||Peach||Baby Peach||Metal Mario||Cat Peach|
|Tanooki Mario||Bowser||Boom Boom||Dry Bones||Pom Pom|
|Cat Peach||Bowser Jr.||Toad||Paratroopa||Wendy|
|Penguin Luigi||Waluigi||Toadsworth||King Boo||Lemmy|
|Dry Bowser||Mario||Bowser||Dry Bones||Spewart|
|Lemmy||Baby Peach||Baby Luigi||Magikoopa||Iggy|
|Larry||Yoshi||Baby Mario||Lakitu||Dixie Kong|
|Iggy||Diddy Kong||Baby Rosalina||Wiggler||Lemmy|
|Roy||Pauline||Boom Boom||Waluigi||Funky Kong|
|Pom Pom||Peach||Boom Boom||Toadette||Penguin Luigi|
|Spike||Baby Rosalina||Koopa Troopa||Glydon||Petey Piranha|
|Funky Kong||Donkey Kong||Diddy Kong||Pink Gold Peach||Roy|
|Dixie Kong||Diddy Kong||Baby Daisy||Honey Queen||Pom Pom|
These characters all appear as major bosses in the game's Mission Mode.
|Motley Bossblob||Mission #30|
These characters do not directly interact with any of the racers, instead only appearing as audience members.
In addition to the following, a Fishing Lakitu also makes a number of prominent appearances. This Fishing Lakitu appears as the flagman, and tells the player whenever they begin a new lap, when they finish, and they also hold up the countdown until the race begins. Fishing Lakitu will also rescue players when they fall off the course or go the wrong way for an extended period of time.
Much like how the Power Moons would change colour depending on the kingdom they are found in in Super Mario Odyssey, they will take on different colours depending on what stage the mode is being played on: they are purple on Sherbet Fort, yellow on Mario Motors and SNES Battle Course 2, blue on Spike Ruins, red on Derelict Dwelling, brown on 8D Dragon Palace, near-white on Wii Funky Stadium, and pink on 3DS Honeybee Hive.
The Amp is a small orb that sparks with electricity. The Amp acts as a focused, albeit weaker, version of the Lightning item; it shrinks the first racer that touches it before disappearing. The Amp can only be dropped backwards, and the racer that is shrunk by its electricity is done so for a shorter period of time than should they have been struck by the Lightning item.
The Baseball is a large white ball marked with red stitching; a larger variation of the ball used in the sport of the same name. Similar to a Green Shell, the Baseball will travel directly forwards or backwards when thrown. Unlike the Green Shell, however, the Baseball is affected by the course's layout, meaning it will bounce off bumps or jumps and fall should it be thrown in the air. It will also travel through racers that it hits, barrelling them down. It will bounce off only one wall; should it hit another, it will disappear.
The Turnip is a very focus projectile attack. The Turnip can be thrown forwards or backwards a very short distance, though it will spin out a racer it hits. Unlike Bananas, which travel in an arc when thrown ahead, the Turnip travels in a straight line, and thus can be aimed directly at other racers easier.
The Floating Mine is a spiked explosive that creates a small explosion once a racer hits it. Unlike Bananas or other stationary items, the Floating Mine will remain suspended in midair, allowing racers to place them as obstacles in gliding segments or off specific jumps.
The Potted Inky Piranha Plant is, as its name implies, a potted variant of the Inky Piranha Plant enemy that first debuted in Super Mario 3D World. Similarly to the Potted Piranha Plant item, the Potted Inky Piranha Plant rides in a pot with wheels attached to its underside in the front of its user's vehicle. Unlike its normal variant, the Potted Inky Piranha Plant does not bite nearby foes, instead spitting globules of ink that blind racers in the same way that a Blooper would; though it will only target racers nearby as opposed to all those ahead of the user. Like the Potted Piranha Plant, the Potted Inky Piranha Plant grants a speed boost to the user whenever it fires a globule of ink, though it will only fire up to three times before disappearing.
The Torpedo Ted is, in most Mario platforming titles, the underwater equivalent of a Bullet Bill. In Mario Kart 9, Torpedo Teds act differently depending on when they are used. If used on land or in the air, the Torpedo Ted acts similarly to a Green Shell, though explodes into a small explosion once it hits a wall, item, or racer. If used underwater however, the Torpedo Ted tracks the racer ahead of its user in a matter similar to a Red Shell, and the explosion is slightly larger. In both cases, the explosion is roughly half the size of the explosion created by a Bob-omb.
The Red Boo is a new item that acts near-identically to the normal Boo item. The Red Boo differs in that it steals the coins of another racer as opposed to their item. The user will still turn invisible and invincible for a short time when used, however, and they will be tinted pink on their screen while under its effects.
The Gushen is an enemy that debuted in Super Mario Odyssey and a new item in Mario Kart 9. When used, the Gushen will attach itself to the back of its user's vehicle, and propel them forwards at a high speed for a short time by shooting a jet of water backwards. Much like a Bullet Bill, the Gushen will remain in the user's item slot until its use has been fully completed, meaning racers can only obtain one other item while under its effects. When used underwater, the Gushen's supply of water will deplete at a slightly slower rate.
The Luma is a new item introduced in Mario Kart 9 that actually takes its usage from another item introduced in a previous Mario Kart game; this item being the Heart from Mario Kart: Double Dash!!. Once used, Luma will circle around its user's vehicle, and protect them from a single item, granting it to its user when it makes contact with the vehicle. As the item must make direct contact in order to be gifted by a Luma, it will not grant Bob-ombs, Spiny Shells, Super Horns, or other items that have radial effects unless the user were to directly run into the item (if possible); the sole exception is the Spiny Shell, which is not affected by the Luma. The Luma occupies an item space when used, and as such can be stolen by another racer's Boo. Additionally, while the Heart in Double Dash!! could protect the user up to three times, the Luma only does so once.
The Gold Shell is the fourth Koopa Shell variant introduced into the mainstream Mario Kart series. Similarly to a Green Shell, the Gold Shell will travel directly forwards in a single direction, though similarly to a Red Shell, the Gold Shell shatters upon contact with any wall and won't bounce. Though not the most useful for offence, the Gold Shell leaves behind a trail of coins, and will force any racer that is hit by them to drop exactly half of their coins (rounded up, should they have an uneven number). They can only be obtained in races.
The 1-Up Mushroom appears as a new item exclusively in Battle Mode. In Balloon Battle using a 1-Up Mushroom will grant the user another balloon. The 1-Up Mushroom can only be obtained by racers doing poorly in the battle and currently have one or two balloons; the player currently in top-tier positions can not obtain the 1-Up Mushroom unless they were to steal it from an opponent using the Boo.
Two coins can be obtained as an item. Coins also appear on the course, and can be collected by making contact with them.
The Green Shell can be thrown forwards or backwards in a straight line, and will ricochet off a few walls before shattering. The shell will also shatter should it hit a racer. Triple Green Shells can also be obtained, which circle the user until they throw them one-at-a-time.
The Banana is a stationary item that can be thrown forwards or dropped behind the user. It stays still once placed on the course, and will disappear after a long while or when a racer hits it. Triple Bananas can also be obtained, which circle the user until they throw them one-at-a-time.
The Red Shell can be thrown forwards, and will hone in on the racer in the place ahead of the user, but will shatter should it hit a wall or an item in its way. If thrown backwards, the Red Shell will travel directly backwards, but will also break should it hit an item or wall. Triple Red Shells can also be obtained, which circle the user until they throw them one-at-a-time. The Red Shells' tracking has been improved over the original Mario Kart 8.
The Boomerang Flower allows the user to throw a Boomerang, which travels a set distance and will go through other racers. The user can throw the boomerang three times, as it will return to the user twice. The Boomerang disappears from the user's inventory after being thrown, meaning they can use and obtain other items after each throw.
The Fire Flower allows the user to throw a plethora of fireballs at other racers for a short time. The fireballs only travel a short distance before disappearing, and can also bounce off walls.
The Potted Piranha Plant places a potted Piranha Plant on the front of their vehicle, which bites at nearby foes and items when the user draws near. The user can also press the item button or hold it down to force the Piranha Plant to bite, which also makes its use timer deplete faster. The Piranha Plant has been slightly changed in that the Piranha Plant's timer is shorter.
The Mushroom will, when used, grant the user a temporary speed boost, allowing them to travel off-road with no consequence. Triple Mushrooms can also be obtained, which circle the user until they are used one-at-a-time. A Golden Mushroom is another variant of the Mushroom item. The Golden Mushroom grants the user an unlimited number of short speed boosts for a short time.
The Boo turns the user invisible and make them invincible for a short time, allowing them to travel through items and other racers. The Boo will also steal the item of a random other racer on the course and gift it to its user.
After being absent from Mario Kart 8, the Fake Item Box makes a return. The item sports a new design, being a mirrored version of the original Item Box but with a duller colour scheme. It can be dropped behind the racer or thrown ahead, but it will not block items when carried behind the racer like a Banana or shell does. The Double Fake Item Box is a new variant of the Fake Item Box item, which acts identically to its original counterpart, though takes the appearance of a Double Item Box (two Item Boxes stacked atop each other).
The Bullet Bill will grant the user total invincibility, and take control of the user's vehicle for a short amount of time as they are transformed into the Bullet Bill. The transformed racer will barrel down any opponent in their path, and will destroy any items they come in contact with. The Bullet Bill remains in the user's inventory until it ceases and the user is transformed back to normal.
The Super Horn allows the player to create a shockwave around their vehicle that can flip opponents and destroy other items - including the Spiny Shell.
The POW Block returns to the Mario Kart series after being an item in Mario Kart Wii, though its usage is altered in Mario Kart 9. Instead of forcing all racers ahead of the user into a trick-or-spin-out situation, the POW Block now acts similar to how it does in the Super Smash Bros. series: it can be thrown to create a small shockwave that spins-out all racers within it. It can also be dropped backwards, and will do the same once it is hit by another racer or an item.
After being absent from Mario Kart 8, the Super Leaf returns in Mario Kart 9. Like its appearance in Mario Kart 7, the Super Leaf will grant its user a Tanooki tail, which can be used to spin-out nearby racers or destroy nearby items such as Koopa Shells or Bananas. The Tanooki tail can also be used while gliding to give the user a small boost. Similar to the Potted Piranha Plant, the Super Leaf's effects last for a set amount of time, which depletes quicker as it is used.
The Blooper will spray ink on all of the racers ahead of the user, temporarily covering their screens and lowering their traction. If the Blooper is used by the player in first place, the Blooper will target them instead.
The Star grants the user invincibility for a short time, and also increases their speed to allow them to travel off-road with no consequences. While active, racers can obtain other items, as the Star disappears from their inventory immediately after being used.
The Bob-omb will explode a short time after being thrown, or when an item or racer hits it. If it is thrown off-road, the Bob-omb will walk back onto the course, should it be close enough.
The Lightning causes all racers, apart from the user and those currently under the effects of a Star or Buller Bill, to shrink and drop their items. If racers are holding items behind them, or should they have triple items orbiting their vehicle, the items will be dropped onto the course after they shrink. While shrunk, all racers are much slower, and can be flattened by others who are their normal sizes. Racers will return to normal size in backwards order from when the Lightning was used, with the racer in twelfth place being afflicted for much less time than the racer in first.
The Spiny Shell is a deadly item that hones in on the racer currently in first place, exploding upon them oce it reaches them. As the Spiny Shell also travels along the ground, it may also barrel down any other racer in its path to the first place racer. The racer that is being targeted by the Spiny Shell may destroy it by using a Super Horn, or can avoid it by being invincible (either by a Star or Bullet Bill) or by timing the use of a Mushroom correctly.
After making an appearance in Mario Kart Wii, the Mega Mushroom makes a reappearance as an item in the series; this time however, it can only be obtained in Battle Mode. The Mega Mushroom makes the user grow to a large size, allowing them to flatten any racer they drive into. As they are a larger size, they are also granted a speed boost and can knock away certain obstacles. The giant racer is also unaffected by off-road terrain, meaning they travel at their normal speed even across grass.
The Cape Feather returns from Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and is once again exclusive to Battle Mode. Once used, the user is propelled into the air (allowing them to jump over shorter walls, other racers, and items) and they are granted a boost when they land.
There are three types of vehicle parts: tires, bodies, and gliders. In addition to these three types of parts, there are four different types of vehicle types that are defined by their body types: karts, outside-drift (OD) motorbikes, inside-drift (ID) motorbikes, and ATVs. Some body types change colour depending on the character that is using it; some additional bodies will change only should certain characters use them.
Some parts must be unlocked before they can be used. Parts can be unlocked by collecting coins, with a random unlockable part becoming usable when the player's cumulative number of coins reaches a certain amount; every 50 coins up until the player collects 1000 coins, then a part is unlocked for every 100 coins collected. There do exist some exceptions to this, namely the three Gold vehicle pieces - the Gold Tires, Gold Standard, and Gold Glider. These three Gold vehicle pieces are unlocked simultaneously by obtaining a 3-star ranking on all cups across all engine classes.
The stats of each vehicle are determined using the same base set of values as Mario Kart 8, and thus the stats for the Standard Kart, Standard Tires, and Super Glider (shown below) are identical. Just as in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, point values for the stats can range from 0.75 to 5.75.
The base set of stats used by the Standard Kart, Standard Tires, and Super Glider are lifted from Mario Wiki's page on Mario Kart 8.
Several vehicles return from previous Mario Kart games, while many new vehicle parts have also been added. Most of the vehicle parts featured in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe return, and feature their stat adjustments from that game.
- The game was originally announced as "Mario Kart Switch".
- Mario Kart 9 is the first game in the series to include the playable characters from all previous instalments of the series.
- Mario Kart: Double Dash!! featured all of the characters that had been playable in the series up to that point except Donkey Kong Jr., who only appeared in Super Mario Kart.
- It also marks the return of:
- Petey Piranha and Koopa Paratroopa, who had been absent from the series since Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (2003).
- Diddy Kong, Funky Kong, and Birdo, who had been absent from the series since Mario Kart Wii (2008).
- Honey Queen and Wiggler, who had been absent from the series since Mario Kart 7 (2011).
- This is the first game since 2000's Mario Tennis where Donkey Kong Jr. appears as a 3D model instead of a sprite, and the first time since 2002's Game & Watch Gallery 4 where Donkey Kong Jr. makes an appearance outside of cameos or ports.
- Data suggests that Link, Isabelle, Villager, and the Inklings - all of whom appeared in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - were originally planned to return; however comments from the developers hint that this is merely leftover data. All of the characters that appeared in the aforementioned game use the same models and many of the same animations.
- Mario Kart 9 is the first game in the series to introduce characters who should technically be unable to drive, as both Goombette and Wingo lack arms to steer; however, as Wingo uses his wings to do so, Goombette is the only character in the series to not touch the steering wheel directly.
- This isn't the first time a Goomba has been shown to be able to "hold" items despite not having any appendages that allow them to do so, as both a Goomba and Paragoomba were playable characters in Mario Superstar Baseball and its sequel. In both of these games, both of the Goombas were shown to be able to hold a baseball bat and a baseball glove.
- This is the first game in the series where a Magikoopa and a Hammer Bro. are playable characters. This is notable as:
- A Magikoopa could be seen in some pre-release screenshots for Mario Kart 64 (occupying a space on the character select screen that, in the final game, Donkey Kong would instead) as well as having an unused character emblem present in the data for Mario Kart 8.
- A mugshot of a Hammer Bro., that goes unused in the final game, appears alongside other playable characters in the data for Mario Kart Wii; it was one of the four known characters to be scrapped from that game, alongside Petey Piranha, Koopa Paratroopa, and a third Mii outfit.