The busy nature of game development means that clues are often left behind in code, often pointing to assets or features that were changed or removed in the final game. Sometimes the clues can take a long time to uncover, as seems to have been the case with a Mission Mode in Mario Kart Wii.
It was spotted on the MrBean35000vr channel, which often has a heavy focus on modding and exploring the Mario Kart series; it was that channel that accessed and then explored Mario Kart 8 in detail to reveal some neat perspectives on the track designs, but was also targeted by Nintendo to take those videos off YouTube. In recent times the channel has focused mainly on Mario Kart Wii, in any case.
Still digging around in the (now retro?) racer, this past weekend the channel shared some interesting information on what appears to be an abandoned 'Mission Mode'. It makes sense that it was under consideration for the Wii game due to its presence in Mario Kart DS, and was particularly difficult to spot; which may explain why it's been hidden for so long.
Details are in the video and description below.
You may be wondering, how has nobody found this before now? The reason all this took so long to find is just because the game doesn't try to load these screens at all, ever, even on the menus that would once upon a time have contained them. So in order to get at them, you'd have to convince the game it was supposed to load them first, which I did, and then politely asking them to render actually works! Moreover, these screens change the game state into an unused mode, similar yet different to that of Competition and Tournaments, revealing a bunch of features that were once part of Mario Kart DS, hiding away in the depths of Mario Kart Wii's code.
The menus for Mission Mode have no available text, but the game is trying to load them; they've simply been erased. Similarly, a massive file that would've contained mission parameters is not present, and without it, the mode can't start - UNLESS you simulate its existence, which is what I did. It attempts to load files out of the /Race/MissionRun folder on the disc, but that folder is empty, but that affects nothing since that folder would only have contained extra data (like where to place goombas or similar). As such, I was actually able to play a few games with the game in Misson state, and show off some of the game modes.
The game modes include:
- Get miniturbos to score points
- Get item boxes to score points
- Kill enemies to score points
- Wheelie to score points
- Drift (not miniturbo) to score points (not shown here)
- Kill topmen to score points
- Gather coins (not shown here)
- Pass through gates (not shown here)
- Complete 3 laps within time limit (not shown here, seems to be two modes like this)
- Hit other players to score (not shown here)
- Boost start to win (???) (not shown here)
- Some other mode where you must perform an action to yourself score, but we can't figure out what action. May not actually work. (Also not shown here)
- A mode that seems to do nothing. Nothing in the game looks for this mode, it seems. Probably removed. (not shown here)
Mario Kart Wii offered quite a lot of content without the missions, to be fair, but it's also fun to see these sorts of discoveries on what might have been.
Missions have been absent since the DS game; would you like them to make a comeback?
[source youtube.com, via gamespot.com]
I'd have loved that to have been included, that was one of my favourite modes on MKDS and I'm sad it's never been continued.
@gaga64 imagine having mission mode in mario kart 8 deluxe, that would add so much more singleplayer content that the game was lacking.
Nintendo can hardly do much with MK8 Deluxe outside of adding more cups and battle maps, but if they added Mission Mode, it would fully justify buying the game a second time!
Mission mode needs to make a comeback!
I loved Mission Mode. Mario Kart DS in General was pretty amazing. Snaking around the tracks overlapping opponents was hilarious, creating custom Kart emblems was fun, and the game just had a lot of great tracks.
I would love to see Mission Mode return. It definitely was a disappointment that it never came back for Mario Kart Wii or Mario Kart 7.
Wow, after three days, NintendoLife finally caught up on this...
Sometimes I'd wish NL would just copy NintendoEverything. Why is NL so much slower?
Mission Mode in the DS game was the first time MK became a fully fleshed out single player game. I can't imagine its development was super costly, time consuming, or difficult. I find it an inexcusable omission in an otherwise great series.
You're a bit late NL, as usual. He posted the video like Friday, or maybe Saturday...
@shani Maybe you should send them tips whenever you see something they haven't yet covered? (You might even get "tip" credits in the news items)
Would this have been a single player mode in Mario Kart Wii that doesn't always end by throwing a blue shell, a lightning bolt, and 20 red shells at you as a super combo whenever you're about to win, leaving the player in a Sisyphean struggle to collect unlockables, only to always have a blue shell roll them down the hill again? A single player mode in Mario Kart Wii that doesn't send the player into a state of soul-crushing rage? A single player mode in Mario Kart Wii that allows the player to...have fun? What alternate universe has this hacker peered into?
Maybe the missions from tourney mode from the MKWii channel were the missions that were supposed to be playable from the game on disc instead?
I loved the mission mode on DS. A lot of replay value there. Would love to see a mission mode offered as DLC for MK8dx, or at least brought back for future games.
Mission mode would have been fun but as we know they replaced it with weekly missions, sadly. However, I never came very far in the DS mission mode. It was soooo difficult.
I loved mission mode on the DS. I'd buy MK8D if they add Mission Mode as an update.
Well, they listen to the Battle Mode maps for 8 (Even if you had to rebuy the whole game on Switch), maybe they'll listen for the eventual Mario Kart 9....
To me personally, because of the mission mode, Mario Kart DS has been the best Mario Kart overall in the series. Not even Mario Kart 8 Deluxe can beat the DS version in that regard.
Something like this should be in every MK because the entire series since N64 is an entire joke for a decent and challenging single player experience. I achieved 3 stars on all 150cc cups in MK8D without much fuss. Not winning comes down to luck - hit with a blue and then some reds on the last lap. Even despite that, the challenge shouldn't be about destroying opponents anyway. It should be about close and devious racing. It could be done easily by bumping up the AI in a super championship or something. Wise up, Nintendo! We're all not 12yo novices these days.
@Excalibur_120 Correct. See my comment above. MK8D is a joke for a challenging single player experience. As are most MK outside the DS version.
@Muddy_4_Ever I think it has the same reasoning behind it as the removal of Subspace Emissary -esque story mode in Smash.
SSB/Mario Kart is a multiplayer game, and all resources should go into improving the multiplayer mode.
@HalBailman You are spot on. I was very excited when I purchased MK8D (I hadn't owned MK8), but I soon realized that all tracks were unlocked by default and that there was little to earn or unlock in the single player mode (except new karts and parts). After having raced all tracks a few times, I now see little motivation to continue playing, which is disappointing. Yes, the graphics may be great, but I miss the mission mode. I even had more fun with Mario Kart Super Circuit for GBA back then because of the challenge.
@Excalibur_120 I had played all the tracks on friends' WU (I never owned a Wii or WU) so was familiar enough, although not proficient. Even so, you expect some challenge in the basic game mode. Super Circuit had a tricky learning curve with the controls, while DS had the missions and even online was a novelty. Otherwise, it's always a breeze going through the game. On a friend's Wii, I raced the final cup on 150cc and won it first go. Even though it was a bit lucky (Peach led the cup clearly into the last race ahead of 2 CPU and me a few points and was blasted at the end as I lept up the table from fourth to first), I should be struggling near the bottom with no hope of winning. Hopefully Nintendo releases some DLC with an insane mode. By the way, I wrote a "pros and cons" review you can easily find online.
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