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Mario Kart Wii Speedrunner Pulls Off Rainbow Road Ultra Shortcut

January 14, 2021

By: Brian Renadette

 
 

Every Mario Kart game, starting all the way back to the SNES version in 1992, has a new take on Rainbow Road, a course that features a cosmic theme. The version in 2008's Mario Kart Wii, however, has been particularly interesting to speedrunners for featuring a ridiculous shortcut that requires equally ridiculous skill. This morning, a speedrunner accomplished what was seen as an impossible feat and managed to achieve an "Ultra Shortcut" on Mario Kart Wii's Rainbow Road and successfully complete the lap.

Esports advisor Rod Breslau posted a tweet featuring @ArthuurrrP pulling off an amazing skip. The video shows ArthuurrrP, playing as Baby Daisy on the Quacker motorcycle, heading down the regular start of Rainbow Road before doing a 180. Using a boost pad, he skips along a sliver of ground past the course's outer railing and uses his boost to land on a stretch of the track shortly before the finish line. In a follow-up to the original post, Breslau also mentioned that according to the Mario Kart community, there was only a 0.00001% chance of properly performing the moves to get the shortcut, and it was previously thought to be something only possible in a tool assisted speedrun.

 

By pulling off this seemingly impossible Ultra Shortcut, ArthuurrrP achieved a total time of 2'14"677 over three laps, making him the new world record holder the fastest time for Mario Kart Wii's Rainbow Road. The previous record-holder, an American player known as Flare, clocked in at 2'24"767 by using Funky Kong on the Flame Flyer. Flare had a better lap time on his second and third lap with sub-50 seconds for each lap compared to ArthuurrrP's ~55-second average, but the Ultra Shortcut let him claim the record with a first lap time of 22.526 seconds, which is also the new single lap record.

What's an Ultra Shortcut?

As speedrunning-focused YouTuber "Summoning Salt" explains in a video, Ultra Shortcuts are a name given to a certain kind of shortcut in Mario Kart Wii, where players skip a large portion of the track and yet still be considered full laps by the game. Mario Kart Wii, like many other racing games, has a Time Trial mode where players can record their fastest times. However, the Wii version was particularly popular because it allowed players to upload their fastest times as ghosts that others could race. This popularity was further boosted by the rising popularity of Internet forums and YouTube. One of the first Ultra Shortcuts involved using a Mushroom to boost onto a rock formation to the left of the finish line in Grumble Volcano, which allowed players to complete a full lap in ten seconds.

 
 

Rainbow Road features two possible Ultra Shortcuts. The first one, which requires the usage of the online Wi-Fi mode, makes use of a fake item block item to launch over the railing at the starting line and respawn in front of the line. However, on March 4, 2016, a second one, introduced by YouTuber Estaloy62, was introduced. By using tool-assisted speedrun tools, they showed that it was theoretically possible to skip along the outer railing for another Ultra Shortcut. Today, that theoretical shortcut has finally been performed by a human player, marking that all ultra shortcuts have been completed by human players.