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Super Mario Kart Dev Team Spent More Time On Battle Mode Than The Racing

Most people probably associate 1992's "Super Mario Kart" with the arcade racing genre. After all, the premier mode involves several high-profile "Super Mario" characters engaging in whacky races against each other while using power-ups to sabotage or outmaneuver the competition. However, "Super Mario Kart" also contains a multiplayer Battle Mode. Played between two people, Battle Mode requires each player to take the other out while navigating through an obstacle course.


Though it has remained a constant of the "Mario Kart" series, Battle Mode required a massive amount of attention while in development for the original entry. YouTuber Shane Gill of DidYouKnowGaming? documented many aspects of the title's conceptualization and creation in a retrospective on "Super Mario Kart." According to Gill, the team at Nintendo actually sunk a lot of hours into Battle Mode — more than Nintendo invested into the game's primary racing mode. As it turns out, the original incarnation of Battle Mode was radically different and didn't feature one of its signature components.

The original version of Battle Mode was 'disorienting'

As detailed by DidYouKnowGaming?, the developers finished the first iteration of Battle Mode towards the start of the "Super Mario Kart" production process. Rather than using an obstacle course to force racers to remain in constant motion, the original incarnation of the mode featured players on a largely empty map "[firing] circular projectiles at one another in a machine gun-like fashion." After reports came in that the design created a "disorienting" experience that mostly resulted in players endlessly "circling one another," Nintendo decided to go back to the drawing board.


Nintendo's move to revisit Battle Mode resulted in an obstacle course that forces players to engage in some peek-a-boo tactics. This seemed to work, proving to be worth the effort. In fact, some gamers consider the Battle Mode in "Super Mario Kart" one of the few aspects that "holds up" in modern times despite huge advances in technology since the early '90s.