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.
Remaster F-Zero X, put in a track editor that you can upload and share, EZ MONEE NINTENDO
This hack is amazing, though! That must have been a herculean task!
Phallic shaped tracks are inbound.
So it's not really a track editor, more like a debug mode similar to what we seen in the Sonic Genesis games where you don't actually make the levels but just placing enemies, items, and hazards on the levels. Cool but very limited. The fact that you could only put Monty Moles on the Donut Plain track and Thwomps on the Bowser Castle track and not the other way around proves that it's just a debug mode as in the Sonic games like Sonic the Hedgehog 2 you could only placed the monkey badniks in Emerald Hills and the seahorse badniks in Oil Ocean and not any other levels as well.
Nicely done! Now give us super mario kart 99 please!
That's cool. Also i didn't know until now Nintendo made a custom operating system
Mario Kart Maker needs to be a thing now.
That's an extremely nerdy thing to spend time on, but the world is all the richer because he did!
love seeing stuff like this
That's awesome! Yeah a track designer - even a limited one - for Mario Kart would be ace, but one for F-Zero GX HD would be even better. I remember the X-cup in F-Zero X - that threw out some utterly crazy designs where you'd round a corner and be instantly thrown off the track because it had placed a jump at just the wrong place.
So pleased he has been able to achieve this using stuff that obviously he owns outright. And also so nice that disabled people can benefit from it too, lets hope the nintendo lawyers get his 90% cut.
Will a more amazing ROM hack than that Street Fighter one ever exist for this game? Only time will tell...
@elias84631 it wasn't what you think of an operating system. It was really an SNES interface for DOS.
❗I'm surprised there HASN'T been a Mario Kart track editor...
Let's be realistic here about track editors... Nobody plays Mario Kart for the track layouts, they play it for the track themes. Giving players the ability to edit the tracks (especially the ye olde flat SNES tracks) would just result in "what about instead of turning right here, we turned LEFT??" and lost interest after 5 minutes.
I would have spent hours and hours on a super mario kart track editor back in the day!
@N64-ROX Would you like to tell that to the people who make Super Mario Kart ROM hacks, because they do exist.
(though perhaps the tedium of editing the AI control along with the track sounds like a bit of a deterrent)
@Fifth313ment I know they use in house game engines and development tools.
I was about to say a track editor would get me much more interested in the Mario Kart games, but then I remembered that I took little interest in ModNation Racers and LittleBigPlanet Karting after trying them. There's also that ***** blue shell which not only turned me off of Mario Kart but the Smash Bros games as well.
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