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This Was The Inspiration Behind Mario Kart 8's Spin Turbo Mechanic

There's often so much more that goes into making video games than audiences realize. The Spin Turbo mechanic in "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe," for example, might seem like it was simply thrown in to give racers another way to boost, but there was some interesting inspiration behind the feature.

As evidenced by the huge number of unique and detailed courses in "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe" (which is only getting bigger thanks to the game's Booster Course Pass), a lot of work undoubtedly goes into making the game look as good as it does. However, that's only part of the job. With more than 10 games in the series that got its start more than 30 years ago, it's likely a challenge for Nintendo's Mario Kart team to continue coming up with new ideas to keep the series fresh with each iteration. For "Mario Kart 8," however, the additional touch of the Spin Turbo mechanic came to the developers via some real-world inspiration.

The Spin Turbo was inspired by Japanese spinning tops

Thanks to a video created by the YouTube channel DidYouKnowGaming, we now know the reason players can bump into one another for a speed boost in "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe." As the video states, "After the team hit upon the idea of including antigravity, they were inspired by the motion of Japanese tops spinning and bumping into each other. This led to the Spin Turbo mechanic where players get a speed boost by bumping into each other during the antigravity segments." Spinning tops probably aren't the first thing people think of when it comes to kart racing, but Nintendo has certainly made it work!

Arguably more interesting, however, is what DidYouKnowGaming reveals shortly before the origins of the Spin Turbo. Apparently, the team behind "Mario Kart 8" originally wanted to add on to the underwater and gliding mechanics from the previous Mario Kart title, "Mario Kart 7," by attaching large drills to the front of karts. Said drills would then burrow through the earth as part of different racetracks. This idea was scrapped, however, because the team didn't find the idea to be very interesting in practice. DidYouKnowGaming unfortunately doesn't offer any footage of what the scrapped burrowing idea looked like, but it's interesting to imagine how it could have possibly played out.

While it's clear that Nintendo's focus is currently on the Booster Course Pass for "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe," perhaps that burrowing mechanic could make some form of return one day in "Mario Kart 9." If it ever arrives, of course. Until then, we can enjoy the spinning top feature of Mario Kart 8.