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Mario Kart 64 CPUs use human items including shells

Hack of Mario Kart 64


This patch for Mario Kart 64 (USA/NTSC) gives the CPUs in Grand Prix mode some of the same items a human can use. CPUs can finally fire shells, use multibananas, and triple mushrooms. Normally CPUs can only use single bananas, stars, ghosts, fake item boxes, single mushroom boosts, and lightning. They spawn the items all at the same time up to three times per lap and draw from their own item probability tables. With these new items the CPUs can use against you, GP mode is now more challenging! CPUs never used shells, multi-bananas, triple mushrooms, or golden mushrooms. Through an exhaustive look into the game’s code, micro500 and I were able to deduce how CPU players spawn items. It turns out that a lot of this code never made it into the final game, and has remained hidden for over 20 years in the inside the game’s rom. Some of it it was never fully debugged or finished. This patch takes most of the unused CPU item spawning code that works and adds it back into the game with some custom assembly code. See the readme.txt for more details.

NOTE: For another hack that has its own implementation of CPUs using human items, check out Hooting Time by HootHoot:

Updated Dec. 28, 2021! What’s new in version 2.7?

  • The biggest change is to ensure compatibility with other Mario Kart 64 hacks. If you want to patch a specific hack and do not know how to do checksum corrections, let me know, and I can create a patch for a specific hack.
  • Increased the CPU item usage frequency a bit, now the game is more challenging!
  • There should be less audio glitches.
  • Lightning probability tweaked to be more reasonable.

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Database match: Mario Kart 64 (USA)
  • Database: No-Intro: Nintendo 64 (v. 20180814-043336)
  • File/ROM SHA-1: 579C48E211AE952530FFC8738709F078D5DD215E
  • File/ROM CRC32: 434389C1



RHDN Hack ImageRHDN Hack Image


User Review Information

How a walk becomes a challenge!

Reviewed By: Poe on 15 Aug 2020

Mario Kart 64 was my first game for the N64 and it had been for about one year before I got another one. I was always wondering why the drivers, controlled by the computer, couldn’t use further items such as the player. It made it really easy on each speed level to win again and again. If I remember right Mario Kart Double Dash for the Game Cube was different again because the computer could use far more items - and that’s how it should be.

Now, 20 years later, I’m quite impressed that this issue was finally changed. Since the computer is on par with yourself it’s much more fun and even more challenging. So thanks a lot for this great hack and additional enjoyment! However in my opinion this hack is recommended for advanced players. New players, or such who play it for the first time, might be a little frustrated at the outset. But if you gain more experience it shouldn’t be any longer.

Version 2.5 Recommended - Yes

User Reviews
Positive vibes and little bug reporting.nad8422 May 20222.7Yes
How it should have been in the first place(?)Pr1me12 Jun 20212.5Yes
How a walk becomes a challenge!Poe15 Aug 20202.5Yes
Amazingrealgeizt14 Aug 20202.5Yes
Breaks the gameRStffan24 Apr 20202.5No
Wait whatThirteen 135523 Nov 20192.5Yes
Works as advertisedmariokarthero21 Nov 20192.5Yes