Since 3D Crazy Coaster graced the Vectrex in 1983, theme park video video games have are available two flavors – simulation and minigame assortment. Disney’s executed each, from Adventures within the Magic Kingdom on the Nintendo Leisure System to the Coaster sequence on PC. There are highs and lows of each kinds – Digital Magic Kingdom, a glorified advert marketing campaign, was so beloved it lives on as a fan-made recreation – but it surely’s the outliers which are most fascinating.
Of these few, Walt Disney World Quest: Magical Racing Tour is the farthest afield. It is also a contradiction all the way down to its CD-ROM soul – a one-of-a-kind knockoff.
With out Tremendous Mario Kart, there can be no Mario Kart 64, however with out Mario Kart 64, there can be no kart racing as we all know it.
Launched in all territories inside six months of the Nintendo 64’s launch, Mario Kart 64 offered the brand new console with its first multiplayer killer app. As an alternative of taking impatient turns working round Tremendous Mario 64, gamers may now run into three different associates concurrently. It wasn’t simply extra play for the cash – it was free promoting for Nintendo’s 3D miracle machine and boy did it work.
Mario Kart 64 stays the second best-selling sport of its console and the fourth of its technology. The legacy of the sequence, twelve releases and 4 generations later, is unquestionable.
The fallout of the sequence is rather a lot simpler to query.
What do Smurfs, M&Ms, and the Burger King have in widespread? All of them starred in their very own kart racing video games, for higher or principally worse. Mario Kart 64 began a licensing gold rush. Each firm, advert marketing campaign, and out-of-fashion cartoon with a forged of marketable characters bought in on the enjoyable. The most effective pretenders to the throne got here from throughout the medium – Diddy Kong Racing on Nintendo 64 and Crash Crew Racing on PlayStation. All the things else was a crapshoot. Flawed standouts took inspiration from floundering multimedia franchises (Muppet RaceMania) and inherently plotless toylines (Lego Racers).
After which there’s Walt Disney World Quest: Magical Racing Tour, the one Mario Kart knock-off based mostly on a theme park. Stranger but, it doesn’t even move the “cast of marketable characters” check.
If players needed to personally run Donald Duck off the street, they’d have to attend till Christmas 2000 for Mickey’s Speedway USA. The sport with Disney in title shipped months earlier with no playable racers extra well-known than Chip or Dale.
Given the proximity and blindspots of the titles, it’s not arduous to see a contractual symbiosis between Mickey’s Speedway USA and Walt Disney World Quest: Magical Racing Tour.
Speedway was developed by the legendary Uncommon, then-veterans of Diddy Kong Racing and soon-to-be well-known for Banjo-Kazooie, just for the Nintendo 64. It made sense for all events concerned. Disney put its most well-known characters within the palms of essentially the most well-known kart-racing studio for a stacked-deck debut on the console most well-known for kart-racing.
Walt Disney World Quest seems like leftovers in contrast. Chip, Dale, and Jiminy Cricket are the one family names within the roster. In addition to his triune silhouette, Mickey Mouse is completely MIA. Crystal Dynamics, using excessive off its Gex sequence, dealt with improvement regardless of little racing expertise. It was ultimately launched on all main modern consoles besides the Nintendo 64.
Time and the web have been type to Mickey’s Speedway USA, a stable entry in a beloved style by a beloved developer on a beloved console. It’s the sort of sport tailormade for “hidden gem” re-examination, regardless of critics on the time taking difficulty with its bland simplicity.
Time and the web each appear to have forgotten Walt Disney World Quest: Magical Racing Tour. Archived opinions solely gave it exhausted endorsement – IGN hedged its thumbs-up with, “No person NEEDS one other Kart racing sport.” The occasional YouTuber performs it for a lark once in a while. However by and huge, Magical Racing Tour doesn’t have almost the nostalgic status of Speedway and that’s an absolute crime.
There may be no larger must-play for Walt Disney World die-hards.
The story facilities on a one-off piece of park lore – the Walt Disney World Magic Machine. It appears like a Mary Blair moonlander and makes the fireworks, uh, work. When Chip and Dale, nonetheless observing Rescue Rangers costume code, discover the contraption behind Cinderella Citadel, they do what any self-respecting friends would: stuff it so filled with nuts the factor implodes.
The hunt in Walt Disney World Quest is to search out the scattered particles earlier than showtime, wherever it may have landed on property. Worry not, although – there’s no time restrict right here. The plot’s simply an excuse for Eddie Carroll, the longest-serving Jiminy Cricket, to spin the opening cutscene like a fairytale after which get out of the street. The essential distinction between Magical Racing Tour and Speedway, to not point out its knock-off colleagues, is that the programs are the characters.