The Mario Kart community recently found out that the Game Boy Advance entry in the series, Super Circuit, was secretly giving bonus points to certain characters in the roster, and not everyone is happy about it. Characters such as Bowser get the largest amount of bonus points, while Peach and Toad get less. It turns out there might be a good reason why these point distributions are so uneven. Except for Yoshi. I think someone on the Super Circuit development team just really hated Yoshi.
Mario Kart Super Circuit includes ranks, which denote how well a player performed in all four tracks (placing first doesn’t guarantee a top rank). Points are gained and lost based on how skillfully you played. You’d assume everyone would be on the same playing field, starting at zero points until they do something that would change their score. But no, some characters already start with a point total that puts them ahead of the pack.
The information is taken from a dataminer, who managed to calculate the individual bonus scores for each character. It turns out, each character also gets a static number of bonus points added to their final score. Bowser gets 45 points. Wario and Donkey Kong receive 40. Mario and Luigi players score 30 each. Peach and Toad are left with 10. Yoshi is the only character who doesn’t get any points whatsoever. Brutal.
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As you might have noticed, most of these point distributions aren’t entirely random. Heavier characters receive more bonus points than lighter characters, likely to account for how much more difficult they are to play. The only exception to this is Yoshi. He has less speed than either Peach or Toad, and exists in a higher weight class. There’s some speculation that he was penalized for having more “grip,” AKA it was easier to maneuver him compared to other characters.
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Several Yoshi mains were infuriated that they had played Super Circuit without knowing about their disadvantage. Maybe people would have been less upset if they were told about the point system upfront. Instead, the secret point bonuses led people to feel gaslit about how difficult it was to achieve three stars on lighter characters. Besides, maybe some Mario Kart drivers picked heavier characters for the challenge. That challenge goes away if they’re getting hidden bonus points for choosing Bowser as their driver.
At least the Yoshi mains are being vindicated right now. It was never you. It was a game that considered your driver to be an easy mode.