It took ten years, but someone found a dummied-out extra play mode in Mario Kart Wii — the game released BEFORE Mario Kart 8, with a “Wii Wheel” accessory because extra peripherals were in at the time. It was one of the Wii’s biggest sellers, but somehow an extra section remained hidden all this time.
The mode isn’t normally accessible; it’s half-deleted and could only be rendered functional through a hack. That hack came courtesy of MrBean35000vr, someone who’s been in the news several times for his code raiding — he was responsible for a viral Breath of the Wild hack video earlier this year and he’s also hacked Mario Kart 8 inside and out. This time he went backwards.
The abandoned Mario Kart Wii feature is called Mission Mode and it resembles a similar mode in Mario Kart DS, released prior. It’s a hybrid of a traditional race and a minigame, where you win not by crossing the finish first but by achieving a specific goal or stunt. MrBean described how he was able to unearth it:
The menus for Mission Mode have no available text, but the game is trying to load them; they’ve simply been erased. Similarly, a massive file that would’ve contained mission parameters is not present, and without it, the mode can’t start – UNLESS you simulate its existence, which is what I did. It attempts to load files out of the /Race/MissionRun folder on the disc, but that folder is empty, but that affects nothing since that folder would only have contained extra data (like where to place goombas or similar). As such, I was actually able to play a few games with the game in Mission state, and show off some of the game modes.
The proof is in the video. Watch Mario Kart Wii Mission Mode in action below…