You're at the starting line with your very own go-kart in the Mario Kart series. The countdown begins. One light after another. Red, Yellow... Green! The lights came from one special object: Lakitu's Start Signal! This object appears in all games (except Mario Kart DS, which uses numbers). Each light represent something when the race begins.
Design and Sequence
The signal's design in the first three games and the arcade games is from top to bottom and in later installments, left to right. The signal also introduces the countdown timer that made its debut in Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour. The official countdown sequence for Super Mario Kart to Super Circuit is Ready, Set... GO!/On Your Mark, Get Set... GO! while Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour to 7 used 3, 2, 1... GO! as the official sequence. This amazing item is only used by Lakitu and is also used in the Mario sports titles: Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour (Speed Golf) and Mario Power Tennis (Artist On the Court). In the Mario Party franchise ( Mario Parties 2 and 5), his start signal appeared in 2 minigames: Bumper Balloon Cars and Sky Survivor. Each light color represent a different effect before the race gets underway and it is very useful during a standing start. Let's take a look at the appearances the signal appears in.
- Super Mario Kart: In the original game for the SNES, the signal's lights changed from red, then yellow, and finally green! It went from top to bottom in the first game.
- Mario Kart 64: In the next Mario Kart game, the signal is redesigned and the sequence is red, red, blue!
- Mario Golf: In Mario Golf for the Nintendo 64, the signal appeared when it's time to start the Speed Golf subgame.
- Mario Party 2: In the Mario Party 2 minigame Bumper Balloon Cars, his start signal appeared, signifying the start of the minigame.
- Mario Kart: Super Circuit: In the 3rd Mario Kart game, the signal's color is white and you still get the same sequence as the other two Mario Kart games but it's a bit different: Yellow, yellow... green!
- Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour: Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour for the Gamecube introduced the 3-D version of the signal but this time, the signal goes from left to right now instead of top to bottom in the earlier installments and in addition to the new design change, the signal now has another big change to the franchise: the all new 3-second countdown sequence! So instead of red, red... blue, the lights will now start from red, then red again, another red, and finally the big change... Green! This is introduced in the Speed Golf minigame.
- Mario Party 5: In the minigame Sky Survivor, his signal appeared again and shares the same thing as Mario Party 2's Bumper Balloon Cars. This is also the last Mario Party appearance.
- Mario Kart: Double Dash!!: Mario Kart: Double Dash!! works exactly the same way as Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour's Speed Golf minigame.
- Mario Power Tennis: In the Artist On the Court minigame, the signal appears again and it shares the same thing as Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour and Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.
- Mario Kart DS: In Mario Kart DS, there is a very big exception to the game & the series. Instead of Lakitu giving the signal to the racers just like he did in the other Mario Kart games and both Mario Party games, you will now get numbers that will appear on your game screen (top screen). Once again, the Double Dash!!/Mario Power Tennis/Toadstool Tour countdown sequence is still the same. This is the only Mario Kart game not to have Lakitu starting the race for you; a series first.
- Mario Kart Wii: The Wii version works exactly the same way as the Double Dash!! version except that when the countdown is finished, the lights will now turn blue instead of the usual green light and instead of START!, you can now see GO! on the game screen. Same design, different changes.
- Arcade GP/ Arcade GP 2 / Arcade GP DX: In the arcade versions of the game, the signal's design is top to bottom once again and just like the other installments in the series, the 3-second countdown sequence remains the same. Even in the Mario Kart arcade games, you still get the same three seconds as the console versions.
- Mario Kart 7/Mario Kart 8: In Mario Kart 7 and Mario Kart 8, the item made its return and follows the same thing as the Wii and Double Dash!! editions.
Light Color Change
|Red||Get Ready To Start The Race/On Your Marks/3-Second countdown (Later Games)|
|Yellow||Get Set/Rev Up Your Engine/Prepare For The Rocket Start/Double Dash!! technique|
Official Countdown Sequence
- Super Mario Kart/64/Super Circuit: Ready, Set... GO! (Also known as: On your marks, Get set... GO!)
- Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour/Double Dash!!/Mario Power Tennis/DS: 3, 2, 1... START!
- Wii/Arcade GP/Arcade GP 2/7/Arcade GP DX/8: 3, 2, 1... GO!
This following chart shows the sequence, the color change and the game appearances.
|Countdown Sequence||Color Change||Game Appearance(s)|
|Ready, Set... GO!!||Red, Yellow... Green!||Super Mario Kart|
|Ready, Set... GO!!||Red, Red... Blue!||Mario Kart 64, Mario Party 2, Mario Party 5, and Mario Golf|
|Ready, Set... GO!!||Yellow, Yellow... Green!||Mario Kart: Super Circuit|
|3, 2, 1... START!||Red, Red, Red... Green!||Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour, Mario Power Tennis, Double Dash!!|
|3, 2, 1... GO!||Red, Red, Red... Blue!||Mario Kart Wii, Mario Kart 7, Arcade GP Series, Mario Kart 8|
Lakitu's Start Signal also has light colors that tells the racer when the race begins. Here are the three light colors that appeared on the start signal, starting with the red light:
- Red: The red light is the first light of three. This light means that it is time to start your engines and get ready to race. In later installments of the series, like Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and Mario Kart 7, the red light also tells the player how much time remains until the green light goes off to commence racing.
- Yellow: The yellow light is the next light that goes off in the signal. This one means get set. It also tells the player that it is time to rev up your engine and get ready to rocket start!
- Green/Blue: Last, but not least is the all important light color of the starting signal in the Mario Kart series, the green one (blue in Mario Kart 64, Mario Kart Wii, and Mario Kart 7). When this final light goes off in Mario Kart racing, then it can mean only one thing... GO! You stepped on the gas, saw the green light, and then it gave you a... ROCKET START! This light also means that the race has officially begun and the racers are out of the starting line.