Sky Garden from Mario Kart Super Circuit on Game Boy Advance was recently released once more on both Mario Kart Tour and as part of the Booster Course Pass DLC for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. These two new versions bring in some drastic changes compared to the original track. To begin, you can check our comparison video below. This is a simultaneous playthrough of GBA Sky Garden on both the original and in Mario Kart Tour.
In Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, GBA Sky Garden is exactly the same as in Mario Kart Tour except for a few differences which will be detailed later.
Now let’s start focusing on each detail. Here’s a comparison of both maps:
As you can notice, it seems that the new version of Sky Garden has a lot less curves than the original. I assume this is partially because the new one is now 3D and has more verticality. Also, some parts of the track were slightly replaced. Let’s take a look at the shortcuts first.
All of the original shortcuts are technically still in the new versions of GBA Sky Garden. Here, you can see how Nintendo adapted each one of them.
The first shortcut is in this part of the map.
You needed a mushroom to cross to the other side and skip that whole part of the map. In the new version of Sky Garden, it has been replaced with a small curve and leaves that help you bounce through the area without footing. You can see the shortcut in the video below.
So yes, the shortcut was made a lot smaller and you don’t even need a mushroom anymore. In Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, it works the exact same way too.
Now let’s see the next shortcut.
In the original, you had use a mushroom to cross to the other side of the course and skip this turn, which I highlighted in the mini-map. So what did Nintendo do for this part? They replaced it with a new feature to represent the jump you would do in the original shortcut. You can see the equivalent in the screenshot below.
So this one isn’t really a shortcut anymore but at least the idea of the original track is still there. It’s now just a bouncing red mushroom instead.
After this, the track becomes a lot more vertical in the new version which I’m guessing replaced the extra curves of the original. The final shortcut of Sky Garden is shown in the screenshot below.
This was a really big and risky shortcut. Again, a mushroom was needed to quickly cross the off-road clouds and get right before the end of the course. This shortcut is still in Mario Kart Tour and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe DLC but it was made a lot easier to pull off and doesn’t give you that much advantage anymore. You can see it in action below.
Instead of crossing through an oddly placed cloud, you now cross in between the arch of a huge beanstalk. You still need a mushroom to pull off this shortcut, though, so that remained similar to the original version on Mario Kart Super Circuit.
And that’s it for the shortcuts. As you can see, they are all technically still in the map, just in a different way. Now let’s focus on analyzing the other differences found between the original version and the new one from Tour and the 8 Deluxe Booster Pack DLC.
First thing to point out, since we are pretty much at the end of map already, it’s how Nintendo decided to replace the small jump pad that was near the end of the track in the original. I’m talking about this specific part.
Yes, this part is still in the newer versions of GBA Sky Garden. What Nintendo did here is to replace this small jump pad with a glider section. You can see it in the screenshot below.
That whole space where there’s no track and you use the glider is the equivalent to the small jump pad in the original game. It is a bit of a drastic change but it fits and I think it’s an interesting exchange that Nintendo did here. It also helped them modernize the track by again adding another new feature to a track that was completely two dimensional.
Finally, there’s the cosmetic changes that are also worth pointing out. As you can see in the screenshots above, the original track in Mario Kart Super Circuit had a background of the sky filled with huge beanstalks coming from the clouds below. Of course, there was also the classic Luigi blimp that shows up in other Super Circuit tracks too.
In Mario Kart Tour, the same decoration is still pretty much there. There’s no real change on the ideas. You can still see the huge beanstalks growing up into the sky and you are still up in the clouds. The blimp is still there too but it has been replaced with a Mario Kart Tour blimp instead of a Luigi one. But overall, the background idea is still the same.
In Mario Kart 8 Deluxe DLC, though, Nintendo decided to swap a few things out and add some others. The huge beanstalks are still there but the blimp is completely absent. Instead, it was replaced with several Bowser airships. Additionally, there are also some flying Koopa Paratroopas spread over the sides of the course. There’s also a few inaccessible bouncing mushrooms that you can notice below the course. This makes the track look even more busy and full, which was probably something Nintendo considered for a game being played on an HD TV.
And that’s how Nintendo decided to remake one of the most remembered and original tracks from Mario Kart Super Circuit. Personally, I’m happy with the final result. They really made the track feel modern.
If there’s anything you think I may have missed to comment about or have any opinion about Nintendo’s decisions here, feel free to leave a comment below.