Hints and Cheats...
Always a Blue Shell
In the stage "Koopa Beach" the item on top of the rock is a BLUE shell every time. To get it you do NOT need a mushroom or a star but they help quite a bit. If you don't have a mushroom or a star you may get it but you will probably hit the box and fall but if you have enough speed you will grab it and be able to continually drive on to romp home for a first place.
Note: If you have a super mushroom from the last batch of items it will not have run out in time to maintain the blue shell.
Hit the brakes as soon as you hit a banana peel. Hold the brakes for 1 second, then release and hit the gas. This will prevent you from skidding or losing a balloon in Battle Mode.
If you can't pass an opponent, try drafting him. Line your kart up behind another racer. You'll see wisps of air come off your kart and you'll speed up slightly. Not much, but enough to pass whomever you're following.
You're probably familiar with the standard ghost racers (the ones you create in Time Trial mode), but did you know the course was haunted before you arrived?
To play against the official course ghosts, enter Time Trial mode and complete a track within the time shown below. After beating this time, immediately RETRY and you'll be see the message, "Now Meet the Course Ghost."
Course Time to Beat
Mario Raceway 1'30"00
Luigi Raceway 1'52"00
Royal Raceway 2'40"00
You can hold a single weapon item (shells, explosive box or bananas) behind your Kart by Z. This can allow you to obtain other items or be used as a shield against attacks from behind.
Mario 64 Castle
On the Royal Raceway after the big jump there will be a yellow road to the right. If you follow it, it will bring you to the Mario 64 castle.
If you're using a mushroom or a turbo boost, jump when another driver is immediately in front of you. If your timing is right, you'll sail over their head.
Mirror Mode and New Title Screen
For a new title screen and access to Mirror Mode you must win a gold cup in all 150cc events. Good luck!
If you skid or blow up, rapidly tap the GAS button until you recover (usually 3 to 5 times.) If you see a music sign then you did the trick right.
Quick Lap On Frappe Snowland
When you start, do a U-turn and drive backwards. (Don't worry about Liukitu's REVERSE sign) Keep driving until you get to the end of a bridge. At the end, jump off the RIGHT side of the bridge and onto the snow. Keep driving, and Likitu will pick you up and place you completely on the bridge. (If you are placed back on the snow, then it didn't work.) If you executed this correctly, you will have advanced the entire lap. Repeat this trick (after crossing the finish line) and you should be able to finish the track in 45 seconds or less!
1.Bowser's Castle: You can gain a little speed by jumping over the stairs.
2.Koopa Troopa Beach: Many people believe this is only accessible with a mushroom power-up, but this is false.
Gamers can make the jump off the ramp without a power-up. Just aim straight into the cave, use jump (the right shoulder button) make sure not to hit the walls, and jump right out from under the waterfall.
Just before you get to the first rock arch, instead of going under the arch go to the right of arch. After making the turn, head slightly to the right and the water parts giving you land to ride on cutting off some of the route. Be careful as you finish this part; there are a lot of crabs to slip on.
3.Toad's Turnpike: At the beginning by the first crossover, start a mini turbo slide before you reach the place where the roads cross, then jump the rail to the right. Lakitu will pick you up. Hold A + B one second before he puts you down. When you hit the ground, immediately go right and jump the rail again. This time you will go through the ground. You may land on the road or you may land in the water. Or sometimes you don't make it. If you land in the water you will be put on the road where the short cut comes out.
This trick is extremely difficult but you'll skip about half the track if done correctly.
4.Wario Stadium: This is one of the longest tracks in the game, but it has a super shortcut that can cut tons of time off your lap. It's possible to jump over the wall to the left of the Starting Line using any one of the four small jumps there. Although you can make it over the wall without the assistance of any speed boosting item, a Mushroom or Mini-Turbo assist is helpful. Approach the wall at high speed so that you are driving directly at it as you reach the peak of the small hill. Jump just before you hit the wall and you'll sail over. The timing takes some practice but once you master it, it's not too difficult. It is also possible to jump back over the wall on the other side of the Starting Line, but the return jump is much more difficult and takes precise jump timing and aim.
5.Hydro Pond -- After driving through about half the course, your driver will enter the ghost house. Upon entering, take a right, but not as sharp as normal, and you'll pass by a wall on your left. Instead of aiming toward the bats, you'll aim slightly left and pass on the left side of the wooden pole. This might look like suicide, but jump over the edge of the star-shaped pool and you'll pass up that first-place player.
6.Rainbow Road -- At the beginning of the race press the gas just before the third light beeps to get a turbo then just as you crest the steep part of the first hill turn to the left and hit jump you fly off the road and if you get the angle right you will land about 1/3 of the around the track! THis can also be done with mushrooms on the following laps. A lap time 1'27"00 is easily possible!
7.Yoshi's Valley -- This course is a tangle, as shown in the introductory map, but here are a few short cuts that will enable you to beat just about anybody. Follow the course until you hit the mazey part. Immediately go left and stay left. The first part of the short-cut is to stay left and on the narrow part of the course.
After managing to do that, you'll hit a little checkered ledge, and you'll see a big red and white sign on the left pointing right. This is the hard part. Accelerate as fast as possible and stay to the far right. As soon as the rail on the left side ends pull a hard left powerslide off the road. You'll continue the powerslide onto the upcoming road after you land, and if you do it right, you'll have shaved off at least 10 seconds or lead the pack. Of course, this one takes a lot of practice, but once mastered, it can't be beat.
8.DK Jungle Park -- You can advance the lap counter a lap without going around the track in DK Jungle Parkway. Try to jump into the wall to the left of the exit from the tunnel just before the Starting Line. Your angle of approach is important. If you angle too far to the left, you will fall back into the tunnel. If you angle too far to the right, the trick won't work. You want to fall into the "dark space" behind the wall. Lakitu will pick you up. If he puts you back on the track, inside the tunnel, the trick worked. When you go across the finish line from there, the lap counter will advance one lap. If Lakitu puts you back on the track outside of the tunnel, the trick didn't work. The best way to use this trick is to turn around and go into the tunnel right from the start. If you pull it off, you can get a 20-30 second lap on this course.
More tips: Near the beginning of the race is a self-propelling ramp which sends your racer across a giant river. This one is quite simple. Instead of jumping straight off it, aim to the far left and you'll be ahead of the crowd by a few seconds. It works.
Second, this course is full of sharp turns. Use the mushroom power-ups as you pass across the jungle terrain and though you'll be hit by coconuts, you'll still end up farther ahead than if you didn't.
Third, there is one cave on this course that disrupts many players because of its weird angles and hard-to-follow path. But look at the ground and there is a light-colored path, which makes it far easier to follow.
Fourth, upon entering the cave, accelerate to the maximum and aim toward the steep slope. If your racer is going fast enough then pull a hard left powerslide and you'll slide right up the slope, thereby shaving a few seconds.
9.Mario Raceway -- One of the best, and most difficult to accomplish, shortcuts in Mario Kart 64 is jumping over the central wall on Mario Raceway. To take this shortcut, you will need a Mushroom. The point where you will need to jump to get over the wall is just before the fourth turn (the hairpin turn around the giant mushroom). After the third turn, veer slightly to the left, and go slightly up the hill on the left. Turn sharply back towards the wall and hit your Mushroom boost just before you leave the road, jumping at the same time. You'll want to aim just to the right of where the sections of wall intersect. If you make the jump, you will come down near the giant green pipe. If you manage to take this shortcut every lap in Time Trial mode, and do the rest of the course perfectly, you will be able to complete the track in under one minute. This trick is extremely difficult to perform.
10.Royal Raceway -- On Royal Raceway, after the first hairpin turn, go off-road to the left about halfway between the hairpin and the next turn. Aim for the dark spot on the opposite shore and use a Mushroom to boost you over the water as you jump. If you make it to the other side, Lakitu will pick you up and put you back on the course just before the monster jump over the pond! You can save about 15 seconds per lap with this shortcut.
To save even more time, use a Super Mushroom just before you hit the second pair of arrows on the super jump across the pond. Once you jump, turn as far left as you can (try to land on the flat part of the mountain.) If you make it, Lukitu will pick you up and put you right in front of the finish line!
11.Kalimari Desert -- In Mario GP, if you have a Super Star, you can take a shortcut through the train tunnel and gain a lap on your first and second lap. To do the shortcut, you will need a Super Star. From the second crossing, turn left and follow the tracks to the entrance to the train tunnel. Activate the Super Star just before you enter the tunnel, and your lap counter will advance by one around the min-point of the tunnel. This shortcut doesn't save as much time as you would think, because following the train tracks will slow you down. Also, because you need a Super Star to pull it off, it isn't a practical shortcut for Time Trials.
12.Choco Mountain -- Right before the big loop there is a road to the left. Do a powerslide and you can jump the wall. If done correctly you can save about 10 seconds. You have to be in 150cc or extra. Otherwise there is a fence there.
To throw a banana forwards, hold Z while holding a banana, then press the joystick UP and release Z.
To toss a turtle shell behind you, hold Z while holding a banana, then press the joystick DOWN and release Z.
Press A as the starting light turns green. If your timing is right you'll race ahead of the other players.
Using the ¿ Boxes Usefully
I use this trick all the time to help my chance of winning in almost every mode of play. When I get a ¿ box, I wait until I see another item box one before planting mine. If I time it just right, the ¿ box I laid down will be right on top of where the original one was so if anyone goes to get it they can't tell it was a fake until they hit it!