‘Mario Kart 64’ Champion Becomes the World’s Fastest in All 32 Race Tracks (Even Rainbow Road)

Mario Kart has been a favorite pastime for racing video game enthusiasts for decades. Many people worldwide hold the franchise near and dear to their hearts, especially if they played with their friends and family members when they were young. One ambitious gamer recently took this lighthearted game series and made history by achieving the world record for all courses in Mario Kart 64. Learn more about the franchise and this historic achievement below. 

The ‘Mario Kart’ franchise

Mario Kart arcade stations at a game center in Tokyo, Japan
Mario Kart arcade stations | James Matsumoto/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Mario Kart has been a staple in the world of Nintendo games for nearly three decades. The first of the franchise, Super Mario Kart, was released in 1992 on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), according to Venture Beat. The first game was a widespread success, as Nintendo fans loved the racing element combined with their favorite Super Mario Bros. characters. 

Since the first game’s release, there have been nine iterations. Most recently was Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit on the Nintendo Switch, which uses augmented reality, cameras, and remote-controlled cars to create tracks from real-world spaces. The second game, Mario Kart 64, came out on the Nintendo 64 in Japan in 1996 and in North America, the United Kingdom, and other parts of Europe in 1997. Despite being nearly 25 years old, it remains one of the most popular games of the franchise. 

Mario Kart Tour brought the Mario Kart franchise to iOS and Android devices in 2018, allowing players of all ages to join in on the fun even if they don’t have a Nintendo console. These video games are often thought of as a light-hearted way to compete with your friends, but it turns out that when it comes to breaking world records, the competition can be anything but friendly. 

Burbank’s historic video game record

Daniel Burbank has been playing Mario Kart 64 for years. Last month, he held the world record for the fastest times in the game on all 32 of its 32 courses. Burbank tied the leading time on the Sherbet Land course on August 8th, 2021, with a time of 1’55″07. 

According to Kotaku, 13 of the 32 records held by Burbank are ties, but the remaining 19 are held outright by Burbank. This results in him having the impressive and highly sought-after 1.0 rating, or average record placement for each category, over the other 1,000 or so competitive Mario Kart players. 

Racing games, even ones as old as Mario Kart 64, have opened the doors for players all over the world to compete in cutthroat competitions and attempts to break world records. Burbank’s achievement marks the first time anyone has ever held the world record for all 32 courses at once. Interestingly, a bitter rivalry stood in the way of allowing this achievement to happen much sooner.

Why this ‘Mario Kart’ achievement took so long

In 2018, Kotaku reported a widespread effort to stop Matthias Rustemeyer, a fellow competitive Mario Kart 64 player, from breaking and holding the record for all 32 courses on the game. Rustemeyer came incredibly close with just D.K.’s Jungle Parkway remaining that year before Burbank beat his best time by three one-hundredths of a second. 

Burbank then started to take over Rustemeyer’s times, though not without controversy. Burbank uploaded many world record times at once instead of as they happened, which didn’t allow rivals to directly challenge his records shortly after he broke them. Rustemeyer’s run toward holding this record was hampered by a 2013 pact from several other Mario Kart players to try to prevent him from holding all 32 records at once.

These players colluded by dividing up and specializing in certain courses, making it incredibly difficult for Rustemeyer to keep up. Despite the controversy, it is an amazing feat that Burbank could capture and hold onto all of these records at once. 

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