The original Super Mario Kart level editor for the SNES, meant for designers, has been partially restored thanks to the work of a dedicated hacker.
The original Super Mario Kart level editor has been restored thanks to a talented hacker. During a massive data breach suffered by Nintendo last year, a scrapped level editor for Super Mario Kart was discovered amongst the files and has since been resurrected for Nintendo fans to try for themselves.
Back in 2020, an enormous amount of leaked data from Nintendo started appearing on the internet. This included the Wii Source Code, developer materials and original Nintendo 64 test ROMs. Thousands of files were leaked, with Nintendo fans and data miners poring over the contents over the course of the year. Much of this information was of great use for emulation enthusiasts looking to use the source code to create more authentic Nintendo console emulators. There were also source codes for Nintendo games located in the leaked files, including titles such as Star Fox 2, Yoshi’s Island, Animal Crossing, Pokemon, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and of course Super Mario Kart.
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According to a recent article by VGC, a Super Mario Kart hacker has managed to restore the official track editor, which was located in the massive Nintendo file leak last year. The code for the prototype was revealed, showcasing the in-house operating system Nintendo’s developers used to write and read data into the SNES console. Over the course of several months, one hacker named MrL314 managed to restore the SFX-DOS and add his own touch to the program. This allows the user to edit levels in the Super Mario Kart game, laying down 2D tiles such as item panels and speed boosts, and adding other items, as long as they fit the theme of whatever level is being edited.
Having fun with SFX-DOS stuff! Found the source code for this program. I should be able to compile this stuff with Project L! Most of the code is already accounted for in Super Mario Kart when building. https://t.co/BKB2jTCucB pic.twitter.com/rkH6jevA8V
— MrL314 💚 (The L-DISK) (@LF_MrL314) June 4, 2021
MrL314 has reportedly told VGC that they intend to release the prototype to the public sometime in the near future. Unfortunately, in the current state, the emulation has limitations on what can be edited. The track itself cannot be edited, since that would have been accomplished by the original designers using an editor that MrL314 does not have access to. Perhaps when the program is released to the public, other hackers will be able to solve this problem.
The Super Mario Kart level editor is still missing some key components, as not all of the code was uncovered in the leaks last year. While MrL314 has attempted to restore the program to the best of their ability, missing code and key elements cannot be easily rectified. Hopefully, sometime in the future the missing code will be discovered, and fans will be able to create Super Mario Kart levels for their own enjoyment.
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