Monday 17 September 2018

Future of Mario Kart - Casting in the Wilds for New Locations [Gaming]

The final of these Future of Mario Kart posts have come back around to looking at tracks that could be featured within a new game. Retro tracks started us off, and I’ve even looked a bit at crossover tracks, but now is the time where completely new tracks have to be considered.

Now, I’m not going in depth with these. No massive details about every turn and glide point. This is just to give general ideas as per usual. Just as with the retro tracks, the list below shows how the tracks would be set out with the guide of what they contain.

Mushroom – Luigi’s Balloon World / Craft Island / Wuhu Track 1 / Sunset Snowdrift

Flower – Skylit Heights / Mario Circuit / Chargin’ Chasers / Starshine Sands

Star – Painted Platforms / Wuhu Track 2 / Forgotten Falls / Peach Paradise

Special – Airship Firefleet / Jungle Jitter / Bowser’s Castle / Rainbow Road

Luigi has had three Circuit tracks to start off the cups, starting from Mario Kart 64. After a Luigi Circuit featuring as the starting track, a different Circuit would feature in the next game. Mario Kart 8 broke this pattern with Mario Kart Stadium, but to be fair the only Circuit tracks in the game were both Mario Circuits. I can certainly understand the want to get away from the Circuit name, as it allows track names to be their own thing rather than be tied to a naming theme. The only one which wouldn’t change is Mario Circuit – which is a staple as much as Bowser’s Castle and Rainbow Road.

For that first track then, I’m going for the name of Luigi’s Balloon World – and that won’t be the only tie to Odyssey on display with these tracks. It would be a simple design – as all first tracks are – tracing out two balloons side by side with their strings together. The overall look to the track would be similar to that of Luigi’s first Circuit track, with a lot of hot-air balloons in the sky.

Yoshi hasn’t seen a new track in Mario Kart since the DS with Yoshi Falls. Rather than name this specifically after Yoshi, I’m instead naming this after the hub of Woolly World. Craft Island is a name I am expecting to be used again in Yoshi Crafted World, but even if not, it can still contain elements within the track considering the crafted feel of the levels are still there. Combining the wool with the other craft materials would make for some interesting design.

Mario Circuit has always featured Peach’s Castle in some form – with Mario Kart 7 even giving a brief inside view. What if it was mostly based on the inside, though? You could say that hardly qualifies as a Mario Circuit if that’s the case, but you can hardly change the name of a staple track, can you? Now, imagine the layout of Peach’s Castle from Super Mario 64. You’d start down in the basement, driving through it to reach the next level, reach the winding stairs and drift up them, drive through the window and glide down to where the warp pipe appeared, follow the path to the front of the castle, then dive down into the moat and back to the start line.

The track has circuit in its name, so having it be a marathon track is out of the question. But the two Wuhu Loops managed just fine, so the ability to explore more of the castle would be fun to make a track layout from, so long as the start and finish were still connected. And speaking of marathon tracks, Rainbow Road needs to return to being one, and not a long loop either. Make the Road name of Rainbow Road actually mean something and have it be a twisty long stretch of track. Half-loops would be a good idea to implement along with corkscrews to really give the feeling of randomness that country roads provide – but this one is IN SPACE.

To give a new character a track, I’m going with Chargin’ Chasers for not only the new character feel but also a new place to explore. Chargin’ Chucks look like they’re ready for some sporting action. Mario and co. have already been having sporting fun in games, so here is a race track for them to drive through. It might seem a little boring to have a regular sporting stadium as a track, but this one would have that special Mario touch. In the fact it’s based up in the clouds with a load of vines making up the perimeter of the stadium. A clear pipe is also a part of the track that breaks through the clouds and gives a very high view of the ground below.

Sunset Snowdrift would be a snow-covered track set to the orange glows of a sunset. Skylit Heights would be based on New Donk City from Odyssey during the night. It would involve driving around the towers and buildings, gliding or jumping between different ones. This would be a marathon track. Starshine Sands would be a track similar in visual style to the Starshine Beach Galaxy of Mario Galaxy 2. Jungle Jitter uses the name of one of the level themes of Donkey Kong Country 3 and bases a track on the visual style of the level it is used with.

Princess Peach gets her own track again. Titled Peach Paradise, it is a tropical resort that features a pool and a water slide. More than that, though, paintings will transport players to other areas of the resort such as the tropical forest, through a small section of the catering area [which would be very food based], and even into the sky to look down upon all of the resort before crashing down back into the pool. Other areas of the resort could also be explored, or even other resorts in completely different locations, as there’s a lot that could be done with the theme if managed right.

Airship Firefleet features numerous airships, much the same as Airship Fortress from Mario Kart DS. Not just one this time, but a lot of them. And it’s a warzone, with various airships firing cannons at each other. The racers will be fired out of one of those cannons and will transfer between a few of the airships during the race. Painted Platforms is an attempt at making changes per lap in the fact that different colours will be splashed over the platforms that make up the circuit, with dark colours slowing racers down. There would also be branching paths, so making a quick judgement based on which has the most dark coloured paint is needed to do well.

Forgotten Falls might use a visual style similar to the Lost Kingdom from Odyssey, but is more its own thing. Yes, it features dinosaurs, but it would also feature those ‘forgotten’ characters and enemies and even locations that haven’t appeared for quite some time, or at least have hardly featured in recent times. Bowser’s Castle is the Bowser’s Castle, full of lava and statues of the great Koopa himself. Though that statue isn’t just for show, as racers will fly into its mouth and drop down it. They’ll also be driving up the backside of it. In fact, why not go the whole way and make the Bowser statue the castle?

Now, there will also be two new tracks on Wuhu Island. I haven’t named these, but they would explore new areas of the island that weren’t featured in Mario Kart 7. One of the two would go to the golfing area – Wedge Island, which is quite an area to explore. As for why there’s two new Wuhu tracks as well as the two old ones… I left this feature specifically for this moment, but here it is. Mario Kart 7 allowed people to create a cup of four tracks that would be shared with people via Streetpass. I’m proposing the same thing be implemented in this new game, but tied to your profile so anyone who races against you has access to your personal cup. Your Mii would race in this cup just like in Mario Kart 7.

And there you have it. Sixteen new tracks that could be used in a new Mario Kart. There are plenty of other ideas that could be used – for features, characters, or tracks. But for me, I’m done with ideas for Mario Kart. I’ve got a number of ideas for another series that just got recently announced in the Nintendo Direct – and if you read my thoughts on that, you’ll probably know that the new ideas generation series is looking at Animal Crossing. Forwarding the Village is the tentative name I have for it, so be on the lookout for it starting next month.

Future of Mario Kart Series