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'Mario Kart Wii' Hacker Discovers Unused Mission Mode After Nearly a Decade

The pieces are all there but for some reason the mode was never finished.

by Connor Trinske
Aug 10 2017, 4:00pm

screenshot courtesy of Nintendo

Mario Kart Wii has been around for quite a while now, but it seems that the game is still harboring a few secrets. An especially dedicated Mario Kart fan has uncovered evidence in Mario Kart Wii's code that shows an incomplete mission mode for the game—and he's done some coding of his own in order to play it himself.

MrBean35000vr is a Mario Kart hacker and streamer who stumbled across this unused content while digging through the game's code to research screen transitions. There are actually five main menu options instead of four in the code table, and the hidden fifth option is linked to a mission mode reminiscent of Mario Kart DS that was presumably cut from the game before it could be completed. After some serious tinkering, MrBean35000vr was able to simulate the files necessary to access and play the mode, and he uploaded the results to YouTube:

But how has such a big secret in a game with a fairly active hacking community gone unnoticed for so many years? MrBean35000vr says it's because the game doesn't try to load these screens at all, ever, even on the menus that would have once contained them.

"The menus for Mission Mode have no available text, but the game is trying to load them; they've simply been erased," he states. "Similarly, a massive file that would've contained mission parameters is not present, and without it, the mode can't start—UNLESS you simulate its existence, which is what I did. It attempts to load files out of the /Race/MissionRun folder on the disc, but that folder is empty, but that affects nothing since that folder would only have contained extra data (like where to place goombas or similar). As such, I was actually able to play a few games with the game in Mission state, and show off some of the game modes."

The mission mode in Mario Kart DS was one of its strangest and most uniquely fun features, what with its drift challenges, boss fights, and much more—but it hasn't returned in any Mario Kart game since. This find shows that the mode was almost given new life in Mario Kart Wii, but instead became a relic of what could have been. We may never know Nintendo's reasoning for removing mission mode from the game, but like the battle mode in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, we can hope that it will make a return at some point in the series.