A "hacker guy" known as ‘MrL314’ has successfully restored the track editor used by Nintendo to construct Super Mario Kart.
The original discovery stems from last year's Nintendo leak which contained an early prototype of SMK from 1991. Here, he found references to a track editor in the code - revealing Super Mario Kart's SFX-DOS functionality.
This was Nintendo's in-house operating system used for Super Nintendo software development - allowing developers to read and write computer data directly onto the console and then test it out right away in-game. It apparently took "several months" to restore this functionality.
“The SFX-DOS was an in-house operating system by Nintendo, created for developer use on special development hardware. It basically turned the SNES into a personal computer, and allowed it to interface with things like a keyboard, an RS232C port, a parallel port, a printer, and a Floppy Disk controller.”
There are apparently a few other level editors in the game. The above one allows you to lay down overlay tiles such as item panels and coins, and the other two are designed for AI control checkpoint data and placing down "3D" objects like Pipes and Monty Moles. There are some limitations - you can't directly edit the track and objects placed must fit the theme of the level.
The SFX-DOS code discovered was originally missing some elements that have now been restored, and the plan is to release the prototype in the future.
“I was able to repair the functions in the game itself, and get the game to process all of the data in the way it was expected to be processed. As this patch is a part of the Nov’91 prototype (which at the moment I am still repairing), I will be releasing that fix once I release the Nov’91 repair.”
Would you like to see something like a track editor added to the Mario Kart series in the future? Leave a comment down below.