An old interview with Shigeru Miyamoto and other Nintendo employees from 1992 has recently been translated into English, revealing new information on the thoughts and ideas that went into the creation of the first game in the
Mario Kart franchise, Super Mario Kart for the SNES. One of the many aspects of the game that they touched on was the Battle Mode, discussing where the idea for the mode came from, why they chose to include it, and how it evolved throughout the development process.

Miyamoto: “Mario Kart has four game modes: Grand Prix, Match Race, Time Trial, and Battle Mode. But Time Attack was really more of a bonus addition. I know that ultimately, a racing game must include a time trial mode, so it was something we had to add, but it was a part of the game we figured we could leave to the end. The thing we spent the most time thinking about was the Battle Mode.

“The very fact that Battle Mode has nothing to do with racing is what made us want to add it, and give it special attention. It helped strengthen the image of the game: it’s not, “you get to become a world class racer!”, but rather “you get to race around and play in this go-kart with your friends!” To tell you the truth, I think we could have made a couple more games around that basic concept. Maybe a game where you use poles and compete in slalom skiing, or something with a jump platform, and you see who can get the highest jumps.”

Konno: “The Battle Mode was completed at a very early stage in the development. Interestingly, though, it was completely different in the beginning. Originally, there were no obstacles in the battle field, and you could drive around freely trying to hit your opponents with a standard “machine gun”-like, rapid-fire ball attack. You’d get a point for every time you hit your opponent.

“However, spinning around and around in this open field with no obstacles or landmarks, after 5 minutes you’d get really dizzy. (laughs) We then decided to add walls and other features in the hopes that it would prevent that.”

Many gamers have adored the Battle Mode in various Mario Kart titles throughout the years, although a lot of people were left disappointed by the version in the most recent entry, Mario Kart 8. Battle Mode has made the series really stand out over the years, differentiating it from other racing series, and it’s really cool to see how it evolved from a simple open field to the version we all remember from the early games. Goodness knows I spent many hours of my childhood battling it out in Mario Kart 64‘s Battle Mode, and I sure hope Nintendo goes back to that kind of design philosophy for it whenever they bring us the next Mario Kart title.

What do you think about Mario Kart‘s Battle Modes? Is it an important part of the game for you, or is it something you rarely even bother with? Which game in the series has your favorite version of this mode? Let us know in the comments!

Source: Shmuplations

Our Verdict

Tyler Meehan
Tyler is verbose. He apologizes for that. Tyler "Alpha" Meehan's first experiences with gaming came from his cousins' NES and the Mario games that went with it. They were fun, but merely brief distractions while on the road (yes, they had an NES in their car. It was awesome, and he was jealous). Still, nothing compared to his Star Wars books. OR SO HE THOUGHT. His love of gaming truly began when he and a friend came together to beat the Nintendo 64's Mission: Impossible, a challenge so intense that Tyler bought his own console to facilitate its defeat. Upon being introduced to Ocarina of Time (an introduction that included, among other spoilers, the freakin' final boss fight. GEEZ, PHILIP), his lot in life as a Nintendo fanboy was sealed in stone. His ability to recall absolutely useless video game information served him well during the Pokémon craze, and helped him aid numerous friends in their own endeavors to defeat games like Majora's Mask and Kingdom Hearts. Those were good days. Good days... The Zelda series soon became his primary obsession fascination, but additionally he was soon introduced to text-based RPGs by one of his schoolmates. Discovering that he had a knack for the English language and a strong love of telling stories, he started putting effort into writing his own storylines. That all got put onto the backburner, though, when he discovered the Zelda online community, particularly The Desert Colossus's Hyrule Adventures 2, an online text RPG based in the Zelda world. He joined under the pseudonym of "Alpha" and soon became one of their lead writers, going so far as to join the moderator staff and, in a year's time, become the head administrator of the RPG. During this time, Twilight Princess was released, and he joined several other TDCers in posting their thoughts on the game - his "Twilight Impression Posts" lasted for several months and were well received by the community. Staying on even after the webmaster was forced to retire, he continued to provide occasional news posts and articles for the site, until it became clear that the site was dying. He turned his focus back to Hyrule Adventures 2 and his college studies, until the latter forced him to stop work on the former. Tyler graduated a few years ago from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a Bachelors in Computer Science, and now serves as a software engineer for a rather large company that he doesn't feel like telling you all about (he's a jerk like that sometimes). His love of gaming and writing still strong, he joined the Zelda Informer staff in early 2013 to write a walkthrough for The Wind Waker, but later began using his English skills to become ZI and Gamnesia's first dedicated Copy Editor. When not trying to get Brian to shut up in Gamnesia's group chat, he spends his time writing Zelda fanfiction, planning some original fantasy stories that he may or may not try to publish some day, and playing games on his Wii, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo 3DS. He intends to get a WiiU sooner or later, probably around when Pikmin 3 comes out, but has little interest in the other consoles currently. Also, he can't stand writing bios in first-person. Talking about yourself like that is just...weird.


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