Mario Kart NTSC History
       

Written by Kevin Booth: Mario Kart 64 Recruiter & Historian & revised by Andy Launspach: Webmaster of the greatest MK64 time trial site on the web. Jason Whalls has also done some Writing and Revising as of late.

Preface

In this lookback at the history of Mario Kart 64 Time Trials on the internet, you will read what I remember to the greatest of my ability. It will include the full history of karting on the internet, and the impact it had on others around the world. I should have done this from day one, but I never thought I was going to meet all the cool people like Andy, David, the 2 Jason's, Jonathan, Dave, Iacopo, Francis, and so many others that would make this preface longer than long. I have a very dim memory on some of the stuff that happened at the beginning. If anything looks out of order, please correct me because I'm making educated guesses on some of it.

Why does anyone care about the history of a video game ?

A video game itself is just a video game, but when it unites and entertains a worldwide population like this game has, it's worth having a history. People are interested in reading not just cause they played Mario Kart 64 sometime in their life, but because they want to figure out what is behind Kevin's Determination, Why Gregg quit, The Nintendo BBS, and several other interesting twists to the story. Sometimes observing someone elses style of play and the way they look at it may lead you to what kind of person they are. I know from personal experience that I could tell a person by how they time trial. How can that be done you ask? Read on and maybe you can get more insite on this.

Why do I tell the story ?

I have played and observed the field of Mario Kart 64 Time Trialers since the beginning. I've also done tons ofthe recruiting, and developed some of the best players this game will ever have. I am the Recriter and Kart 64 Historian!!!

Pre United States Release

When the Japanese version came out, tons of pics got loose on the internet. Web Sites on Mario Kart 64 popped up everywhere. Everyone on the internet wanted to feel special and be the first one to find out the secrets of the game. It was here that the "MAGIKOOPA" Picture got released! Although "MAGIKOOPA" was cut in late December, people just couldn't accept it. Everyone either made up a code, or made guesses on how to get him, when in reality, he's not there. Sure he could be hidden, but if you ask me, I will tell you this, "Not a chance, no codes, just shortcuts and strategies." Some Americans imported the game and got a head start on the field, but there was only one player who really made an impact on the time trial world by doing this, and that was Gregg Gorczowski.

February 1997 Player of the Month: Salam Salhani for his Luigi Raceway Improvements

Mario Kart 64 Arrives

The first time trial site to actually pop up with a time from a person other than the owner was no other than Jake Spirek's!!! Jake's site was not the greatest one of all time, but it did attract some of the first talent out there. While Gregg still had the Japanese version players like Salam Salani were taking the lightweights down the Luigi Raceway at great speeds. His 1'44 effort wasn't beat until March. Caleb Stone set some GREAT TIMES as well. The rest of the field had times here and there, but there was no dominance in the beginning.

I was viewing this progress from the library as it went along. I bought the game on February 13th. At first I mostly played Mario Grand Prix with 6 other friends in many different locations. I got all golds before I hit time trials. My first goal in time trials was to take Luigi Raceway and lower my time as fast as possible. I used DK, since that's who I used in the 16-bit version and my first try yielded a 2'10!!! I obviously didn't attempt powersliding. I slowly shaved seconds here and there and broke the 2 minute barrier within 2 days. On the 3rd day, I tried to stay close to the bottom of the track, and I started hopping like I did in the 16-bit version. I got as low as 1'52!!! I earned the Luigi Ghost. I checked on the internet and saw Salam with a 1'49!!!

On the 4th day, I viewed the manual and found some stuff on powersliding and miniturbo stuff. I tried to do a miniturbo but it was FUSTRATING!!! I could never rotate the controller fast enough. I am also currently struggling with the rocketstart since it's different timing from Mario Grand Prix. I started powersliding wrecklessly to a 1'47 with DK!!! I checked back a bit later and saw Salam with a 1'46 and a fast lap of 33"60. Before I returned to the library I played again. Only this time I used a different driver. I broke my best time by 2 seconds and was down into the 1'45's. I tried and tried to lower my lap time but just couldn't do it. I decided to hit the rest of the tracks using various lightweights. In the last weeks of February I decided the lightweight drivers were the ones to use, and I rarely strayed from Yoshi. I liked him because his head tilted to the angle of the corner, but for some reason, Peach seemed to be a better sprinter. I let Toad control his turnpike:):):)

March 1997 Player of the Month: "THE GREAT" Gregg Gorczowski Dominates the field !

I consider this time the building month. Many people scrambled to get the best site on the internet and many sites came to being. There was Jeff Hawk's site with his records only. There were a couple other early ones as well (The Great N64HQ's Time Trial Section). However, no site would prepare me for the biggest shocker to my ego ever!!!

I spent March 1-6 driving my friend Tyler Stobbe nuts about how great I am and how I will never be beaten by anyone in the world. Tyler got really tired of hearing me brag. I tend to do that when I see that I am better than the surrounding at something. I can get very overconfident and cocky. On the March 7th, I got my first big challenge..... GREGG GORCZOWSKI!!!

Gregg Gorczowski is found on Chuck Teschke's site, hidden among Jeff Hawk's links. He had times that made mine look like chop liver. His 1'43 vs my 1'44 on Luigi... His 1'19 vs my 1'22 on Moo... His 1'53 vs my 1'59 on Banshee... and finally, the worst one of them all, his 4'09 and 1'18 vs my 4'25 and 1'22 on Rainbow Road shortcut!!!

He stayed on top all month but during Mario Kart March Madness, his lead was cut i nto greatly. Players on the N64HQ were using nice shortcuts to thrash his times, and I was using my own success to counter-act what he did who knows when. His PHONEY WR scale went from 14-10-8-6 and eventually was around 4 or 3. When Rocky Griffith hit his famous 1'42 on Luigi Raceway to make it a free-for-all field for the championship, Gregg lost his desire and quit playing for awhile. Jim Quinn was just beginning to take form with his Bowser Castle Success.

My goal was simple, BEAT GREGG IN EVERYTHING I COULD!!! I started with the Rainbow Road shortcut. I liked this track because it really made me work on my powersliding and miniturboing. His 1'18 would last far into April, but I knew if I got that 4'07, his championship lap time would eventually fall into my hands.....

April 1997 Player of the Month: Kevin Booth Beats Gregg; Never Looks Back!

April Rains on Gregg's Parade

I took over the championship in early April, but the actions speak lounder than the championship. This month included runs by many small parties and the discovery of David Wonn's Turnpike Shortcut. Mike Simmons and other drivers take advantage of the new shortcut and claim their spots. No one beat Raymond Almeda's 30"01 lap for a long time! Jim Quinn burned himself out this month, and made a rare return during the summer before finally retiring for good.

Sub 4'00 on Raindow Road

During this month, I was RED HOT!!! But I don't think I really proved my true abilities until the 4th. On the night of April 4th I was Rainbowing hard once again. I wanted to break 4 minutes very badly. I finally hit the shortcut absolutely perfect and I record my 3'55"00 which I didn't personally beat for 11 months!!! I also hit a 2'35"13 on the Turnpike to finally vent some of my steam throughout the month. I then hit a 2'35 in Royal Raceway for more confidence. The following week, I hit the Desert and Choco for some great times. I didn't end there either..... I beat out a Sherbet time and closed the month with the majority of the WR's!!!

Meanwhile in the Midwest...

During the ladder part of April two individuals seperated by 300 miles of highway were on the verge of making kart history. Andy Launspach was in La Crosse, Wisconsin finishing out his freshman term of college and Jason Engel resided in their hometown of Indianola, Iowa. The two karters were only two records shy of a complete website sweep, Chuck Teschke's to be exact. Launspach had the Mushroom and Star Cups swept by himself. Engel had the Turnpike, Choco, and Frappe taken care of with Andy holding the Mario Raceway 1-lap. In the Special Cup Andy had the Rainbow, Boardwalk, and Valley covered while Engel owned the Jungle 1-lap.

Ring..... Ring..... Ring.....
While Launspach was pounding away at the Mario Raceway 3-lap, his dormatory phone rang. It was Engel just a long distance phone call away with great news... He had finally broken 2'07"00 in DK's Jungle Parkway to get them to within one record of the site sweep!!! The Mario Raceway 3-lap was the only record they needed. In the early stages of May Andy finally shattered the record with a low 1'18 performance, but it was too late because a guy by the name of Kevin Booth had emerged on the internet. When he submitted his times to Chuck's site a lot of Engel's records went bye bye. Booth broke a few of Launspach's records but they were soon taken back with avengence!!!

May 1997 Player of the Month: Andy Launspach Becomes World's Best !

The Fearsome Foursome !

May was the start of a new era. Before May, tons of players had a record or two under their belt. After this month, there are 4 clear favorites in the karting world, and one clear favorite in the shortcut realm. Andy Launspach, Jason Engel, Jason Whalls, & Kevin Booth are coined the fearsome foursome, and David Wonn is named the Shortcut King. I made my internet appearance during the second week of May approximately 4 weeks after Launspach and Engel went public.

http://members.aol.com/launda/mario.html

May 25, 1997 Launspach and Engel unleased the greatest Mario Kart 64 site the world wide web had seen. Inspired by Chuck Teschke's idea, their page has and always will be THE GREATEST TIME TRIAL SITE ON THE INTERNET!!! It featured hourly updates at first and was always current. After seeing the logic behind the PHONEYWR He came up with a new statistical indicator, the "LAUNDA" points system, and put them to use in his World Rankings. I finally got the net over at my place where I could now email people my times. Beforehand, I only had internet access at the local community college. The next day, I got my first instant message from "LAUNDA". Before I read the text, I wondered who it could be. Then it clicked, it was current World Champion and Webmaster, Andy Launspach. He IM'd to ask some questions. When he added my times to his site I was in third place behind Jason Engel. I closed the month still in third place in the World Rankings but I had closed the gap and I was on the move.

June 1997 Player of the Month: Andy Launsapch Just Plain Kicks Assfault !

Launspach and the Fearsome 4 Take Over !

This indeed was the greatest time for Mario Kart 64. Andy now has a site in the Yahoo Index that is attracting karters world wide. However, the Fearsome 4 held over 80% of the possible points. Andy, the 2 Jason's, and myself were just killing everyone else. Andy took off to a HUGE LEAD on the PHONEY WR scale. At one time, he had a double digit lead just in the world record category!!! The 2 Jasons and myself constantly battled for the other spots with Engel having the advantage through most of it. When Andy came up with his World Rankings idea he was floating between 270-290. No one got higher than Engels 230 and Whalls and myself were fading in and out of 200 all month. No one kept track of shortcut points at this time, but Wonn was clearly the best shortcut driver. Wonn went public with more of his shortcuts. Mathew Lavoie become the first person to submit times from other than the United States, but really didn't make that much of an impact on the points. Matt Horwitz and several others racers are getting times in the backround but nothing spectacular. Bottom Line, no one can even threaten Andy's Status at World's Best!!! Iacopo Sorce became the 2nd foreign player to submit times. In 2 short weeks he climbed to 5th overall in Non-SC! He earned over 50 LAUNDA Points by the end of June!

July 1997 Player of the Month: Andy Launspach Is Untouchable

Launspach is still red hot, Wonn reveals mutiple Choco SC's!!! The Month opens up with the news of not one, but three new shortcuts in Choco Mountain, discovered by none other than the Glitchman and Shortcut King Himself, David Wonn. Finally he makes a BIG statement and get's a 1'14 in Choco. I'm sure he was getting tired of Andy hogging all the Player Of the Week awards with his mere non-shortcut times. Patrick Quinn gives news of his 1'40 performance on Luigi Raceway and Andy and him had quite the argument over that. Anyhow, Andy put that claim behind him, and hit a new World Record on Luigi Raceway. Andy also makes a run at 300, and gets as far as 298. I then discover the Nintendo BBS, and the Kart 64 Chat Room.

The first European Elite and the start of recruiting midway through July a karter form Sweden named Paul Solo submits times to Launspach. Within the next week, he puts Sweden on the map, by beating out Jason Whalls in the rankings for a very short time. He then disappeared out of sight as Andy ended the month floating dangerously close to 300!!! This month also marked the beginning of my recruiting duties as I searched the world for talent. I first got the idea for it from Andy when he did it. I would enter various chat rooms, and would IM anyone with Mario Kart in their profiles. However, I have never got quite the success that I got from the Kart 64 BBS at Nintendo.Com. I basically was the person who led the whole chat there. After the munchole incident, I was well-known and had many allies. Jason Whalls was Dillrod, David Wonn was Glitchman, Paul Solo was himself, and finally I was Phoney5211 like on AOL. This BBS attracted many great players like Jonathan Bernier, which was Yoshimaster21.

Cheater Cheater Pumpkin Eater

Towards the end of July Andy and Engel had uncoverd their first cheater. Matthew Cervantes had admitted to sending in false times but clever as the two were hadn't posted them because they knew there was something fishy going on. Cervantes sent in a false time on Koopa Troopa Beach that was in the 1'23's which was absolutely awesome at that time. Andy called his bluff and he admitted to cheating. Engel and Launspach decided instead of deleting all of his times they would freeze his submissions for a month and let him think about what he had done... The only time a cheater has ever penetrated the excellent filtering system of Team Indianola, was when Matt Green submitted his "My Real Shortcut Times, by Matt Green". Since I personally didn't know much about how fast you could go on Frappe shortcut lap, I gave the time my endorsement as well. His 4"88 stayed up there for awhile until others commented on how impossible that time was. It got taken down soon after.

August 1997 Player of the Month: Jonathan Bernier is Canada's First Elite !

A Great Canadian and a run by Whalls...

August proves to be one of the most interesting months. Engel seems to be getting very disgruntal about his times, and his performance is faultering. However, Whalls sees this as a great chance to draft by Engel. He starts off by setting World Records in many tracks that include Moo Moo, Choco SC, Mario SC, Sherbet, Royal, The Jungle, The Valley, and finally he and Launspach have a Banshee rumble in which he comes out on top. Is this a sign of weakness in the Launspach arsenal??? In the 2nd week of this month, Whalls was clearly the 2nd best player in the world to of course Andy!!! Andy, feeling pretty sheepish after his lost battle on the Boardwalk, amazes the world with yet another awesome time on Luigi Raceway. Nothing like a *1'40"43 to make things all good in Launspach's golden world. Andy refuses to let anyone hold that record!!!

A chance at the crown ?

Now that both Whalls and myself are starting to get shortcut points, Andy's Clear dominance has diminished. I now see a great hole opening up in the Launspach Defense. I know that I must strike now so Andy can't use going back to college as the reason he wasn't the best. Bernier now proves he should be amoungst the Elite by getting his 100+ points. Then I start ripping away on Andy's Lead and even got his non-shortcut lead into the single digits by the close of the month. Even though I made one of the best stabs at Andy's lead, he still remained on top when the month came to a close. Bernier hurt my in a lot of ways and was just TOO GOOD to be denied his Player Of the Month award. This seemed like the end of the Fearsome Foursome and was indeed the end of the summer. However, even with Bernier nipping at my heals, I still thought there was nothing standing in my way of the World Championship!

September 1997 Player of the Month: Kevin Booth Finally Delivers On His Promise !

The Month of Change

September marks another change of the guard. Jason Engel, overshadowed by his co-host and MENTOR, makes a final comeback into Kart!!! No other comeback will ever match the one that Engel put on during the early part of September... JASON ENGEL MADE KARTING HISTORY BY GAINING OVER 70 POINTS IN 24 HOURS!!! Andy has always been the one that protected Team Indianola. Engel's final act of Kart Time Trialing guarranteed him his spot in history. If Engel wouldn't have made this last run, there would have been very little evidence of his impact on history. Engel also ensured that Team Indiaola, and Andy cannot be overlooked as best team and best overall player ever! Andy can now say he was unbeatable before he went to college, and he was!

An Elite from CA, and and Iacopo Sorce comes back with potential !

The California boy, David Burnham sends a tape to Andy with several World Records on many differnet tracks makes things very interesting!!! He gets over 100 LAUNDA points and knocks retired Engel and almost retired Whalls down tons. Bernier then moves to 3rd place, nipping at my heals. Iacopo Sorce, the Italian, is still basically a rookie, but demands some respect. He submits some pretty good times but is trampled by Launspach, Bernier, and myself. Secretly offline, I play Kart tons and get lots of new times to present towards the end of the month. I predicted taking out Andy by my 20th birthday, but I was a bit tardy on that. I now had him In PHONEY WR, but not in LAUNDA points. Bernier closes the month right next to both myself and Andy. It's now The Golden Boys Era (Bernier, Booth, & Launspach). Andy doesn't play much during this period, just on weekends to defend his title. Just before the month closes, I became #1. Andy contacts Matthew Cervantes after his frozen period. He never replies back and he hasn't been heard from since. Mike Couch Sets a World Record, but it's not enough to earn a POW he deserves for being ranked. Whalls and Engel go into retirement.

Words From Kevin:

All summer I always strived to prove that I was better than Andy. I hid quietly in the backround as Andy dominanted the summer months. When I finally saw my chance to prove that I was better, I took it. Clearly I was wrong, eventhough I de-throned Launspach, it was only a half victory. Andy had to go back to school and wasn't playing. He was on the brink of retirement as homework consumed his time. I wish I could have taken Andy down when he was at his best. Then I could have said I was truely #1. No one will ever approach the success that he experienced. I honestly think at this point in time, there will never be a greater reign over the Kart World. Andy held the #1 spot when Mario Kart 64 was at the peak of it's popularity. However, Bernier is not doing bad, and will soon be one of the best in the world as well!

October 1997 Player of the Month: Kevin Booth Sets The Standard

Several Other Players Appear As Bernier Is Shortcuts Best! Iacopo Sorce comes back to kart and proves he was ripped off when he didn'tachieve the elite rank! He sets countless new times and proves he's a qualityplayer. Allen Crowley views my tape and becomes "Mr. Snowland" by co-developing the "TEAM OREGON STRATEGY" which gave Crowley his first WR!!! Then Horwitz decides to make a 2nd comeback and becomes #2 in the world behind me after tearing many tracks appart. Andy plays Luigi Raceway for his bestsession ever, then offically retires. I decide I still want to be #1 in theworld, so I set more killer times, and fight off the still developing Bernier.Kristi Casey becomes one of the best female players until Jamie from Illinois takes that title away. A player by the name of Francis Fiduk shows promise, but he's just starting out. I contribute my months success to seeing Bernier's Tapes of certain races. However you will see that when he gets hold of mine, he kills us all. I dug my own grave.....

November 1997 Player of the Month: Bernier Moves To #1

Bernier Watches and Waits before getting #1 and never looking back! David Burnham Leads off the month with his best proformances ever including six new WR's!!! Finally Louis-Philippe Sabbagh makes History with a WR lap in Wario Stadium and sends a pic to prove it's possible to get under 4 seconds on a lap on this track. He then sadly stops playing. Bernier then gets tired of listening to critics about how he hasn't done this, that, and the other thing. He left nothing to the imagination once he viewed my tapes. He killed everyone when he made his move towards the golden crown. By the end of the month he had no non-shortcut times under 3rd place, and he scored 280+ LAUNDA POINTS!!! I set some new times, but I just couldn't counter-act the damage Bernier was causing. I have my first setback when my neice and nephews erase my Koopa Troopa Beach times. I got ticked and set a new personal records. I then prepared a tape and sent it to Jamie from Illinois to prove my times were real. Francis Fiduk moves up the field in dramatic proportions and promises to have the Luigi Raceway record by April!!! (He never got close)

December 1997 Player of the Month: Jonathan Bernier Expands On His Dominance

It's a Bernier Christmas

Now Bernier is the one that gets the championship privledges. No longer do I get the benefit of the doubt like Andy used to get over me. Bernier sets 4 new standards on Rainbow Road to steal my POW. Francis Fiduk finds his grooveand gains a World Ranking with several great times. Then, when we all least expected it, Andy came back and set a new World Record in DK's Jungle Parkway!!! Jonathan Bernier closes out 1997 still #1 in the world. He is named Player of the Year for his achievements. Andy Launspach and Kevin Booth were the other canadates.

Before we explore a new year, we must first embark on tons of 1997 players that Karted their heart out but were not recognized. Let's take time to mention them below as we complete what might have been the best year for Mario Kart 64.....

Honorable Mentions for 1997

Jim Quinn, Mike Simmons, Abe Hilsley, Tyler Stobbe, Daniel Huntsman, Dave Hines, Greg Stewart, Rob Eisler, Chuck Teschke, David Landry, Valerian Grunberg, Cedric Grunberg, Patrick Quinn,Steve Austin, Mike Couch, Thomas Holguin

January 1998 Player of the Month: Dave Hines Makes England Proud

King Bernier & the Elite from England

I thought there should be an award or something that was above and beyond the "ELITE" ranking. So I came up with the "KING" ranking. Jonathan Bernier was the first to earn the "KING" Rank with his killer times!!! Dave Hines earned the "ELITE" rank, and became one of the 5 best players in the world. Iacopo Sorce becomes "ELITE" as well. It's now the International Era, with all the active players in different countries. Dave is the dominating force as no one else was even active during most of the month. Everyone was really wrapped up in Diddy Kong Racing and it really ruined my game. I struggled to even get a time, until 1/28/98 when I got an unexpected World Record in Choco Mountain Shortcut that prompted a great 3rd comeback!!! That wasn't enough to fight off Dave's great Month.

Februay 1998 Player of the Month: Kevin Booth's 3rd Comeback

Canadian Bacon

Kevin Booth's 3rd comeback is on!!! Most of February no one but Kevin was playing. On occasion Iacopo Sorce or Dave Hines would make a surprise submission, but not too often. Kristi Casey was there, and so was another newcomer named Nathan Johnson who was setting some pretty good times. However, no one could match what Booth did through this month. He set double digits worth of new World Records and twice as many personal records for himself. Booth was 13 points from taking Bernier down by the end of the month. But, Bernier saw the damage Kevin was causing and made one last stab at protecting his #1 World Ranking.

March 1998 Player of the Month: Peter Elsaesser Goes NTSC In Style

The Bernier Defense, and The End Of My Comeback

I set a few new times, but Bernier fought back to end any hope that I could catch up. Andy told me if I just passed Bernier on a few more tracks I would have it made. Well, while I tried to climb the sands of the ant hill, Dave Almost Beat Wonn on Choco, and set stong times in Royal SC!!! Finally Peter Elsaesser gets an NTSC system and gets a "KING" Rank along with Bernier and Myself. He becomes the first ever to skip "ELITE" and go straight to the hightest rank!!! He set 6 World Records right off the bat and propelled himself right into the hunt for non-shortcut supremacy. I then got kicked off the net. While in depression, I set a final WR at a friends house trying to demonstrate a Shortcut. This marks a long drought for me, both on the net, and with Mario Kart 64. I'm reduced to watching the Discovery Channel, and thinking about other matters all April... Elsaesser closes the month with a great Choco Mountain submission.

April 1998 Player of the Month: David Wonn Sets 3 New World Records!

The Glitchman is Back !

David Wonn gets 3 new times while everyone goes scarce. April was Karts sadest month. It marked the longest span of updatedless as Andy went the entire month without a single update. Wonn was the only person who bothered to set any WR's. I was too miserable to even play and the thought of even trying to play made me want to hurl. When I got the motivation to, I did play Luigi Raceway in the hopes of getting my game back, but it didn't work. I was putting in nearly 50 hours weeks at Burger King, and really didn't care about anything. I was even too depressed to file a tax return. This month marked the first and only month as of this month that I didn't set a World Record, Let along a Personal Record! April was truely a miserable month for Mario Kart 64 Time Trials. If something happened during this month, please share your stories. If you played this month, you might just get a POW for just picking up a controller!!! Otherwise, I'll claim the empty spots.

May 1998 Player of the Month: Kevin Booth Is Back!

Here Comes Kevin..... AGAIN !

The month of May had a few highlights. However, Andy and myself failed to record much history. We did however manage to dig this little tid bit up... On 5/26/98, exactly one year since the first upload of http://members.aol.com/launda/mario.html, I broke the longest held records ever!!! Yes, it was true, Andy no longer was the master of Luigi Raceway. My 1'39"77 & 31"82 finally broke the strong hold that Mr. Launspach had on Luigi Raceway. That Enpowered me to do a few great things leading into the month of June, where yet again I get the taste of being #1 once more!

June 1998 Player of the Month: Kevin Booth Sets The Standard

Comeback City

I started out this month on a complete tear. I set new a new World Records in Moo Moo Farm on 6/1/98, Kalimari Desert on 6/3/98, and set my historic 5"45 on the evening of 6/12/98. This was also the month of the comeback in the Karting World. During this month Andy Launspach, Jason Whalls, Iacopo Sorce, and Jonathan Bernier all cameback to Mario Kart with new and improved times!!! The most famous non-shortcut submission of the month was no doubtely Bernier's 1'53"52 World Record in Bowser's Castle!!! He also set WR 1-lappers in Sherbet Land and Banshee Boardwalk. This is also the month that Andy received 42 e-mail submissions regarding Mario Kart 64. Nothing great, but it was a sign that things were starting to heat back up as he noticed an unusually high amount of Mario Kart mail in his in box!!! Could this possibly be the looks of a complete comeback of everyone into the Karing Community???.......

July 1998 Player of the Month: Jason Whalls Is The Comeback Kid

In July, all the big boys, and a few others made appearances. First thing that happened this month was the Wario Stadium Explosion. The WR went from 3'46"99 to 3'45"60 in a matter of a few days! Peter sets several WR's in the first week to claim his well deserved POW! Jason Whalls gets his comeback going by getting some top 10's and 5's on certain tracks.

The following week, Louis-Philippe Sabbagh comes out of nowhere. He saw Whalls make a shift to Kart, so he did too. Louis started thrashing his old times, especially his non-sc ones on his way to 9th place overall. He even passed Jason Whalls in the standings for about 14 hours! Jason, of course, got back, but Louis was the clear-cut player that week. Somewhere during this time, Matt Horwitz announces his new times. He scores a new WR and a few Personal Records. Brian Gallo also busts into the scene, but validation is absent at the moment. He is currently working on taping his races.

Bernier figured it was his time for excellence once again. The champion decides to set several WR's and PR's this week. Bernier is awarded the Week 3 POW. Nathan Johnson also starts on a tear, where in 10 days he sets in the range of 40 Personal Records.

Bernier set many standards this month, including the most SC points ever by any driver with 181 to his credit. He proves to still be dominant. However, Peter makes a move to #2 in the world by becoming the first European Non-SC champion, and setting several records. Booth finally gets himself going again and sets a few PR's of his own. But Booth's effort wasn't enough as Elsaesser cruises in for the POW.

Jason scores over 100+ total LAUNDA points and of course is awarded the POM for his efforts. He becomes the first person to ever get a POM without a POW in the month.

August 1998 Player of the Month: Jason Whalls Climbs The Ladder

As for things that happened this month, Jason Whalls quickly climbed the ladder of Kart 64 Stardom. He went from top 10 to 5th in no time and eventually passed Matt Horwitz for the #4 ranking. In this month, he also got some WR's as well. Rainbow Road, and Mario Raceway for Shortcut were spots he hit for first places. This was Jason's Month Indeed.

Peter Elsaesser was hitting the controller as hard as ever. He set several records and was clearly the best in Non-Shorcut Racing this month. Booth and Bernier tailed behind, but were within striking distance most of the time.

Kevin Booth had busted out of a fustrating July to start hitting some great Non-SC times in order to try to pass up Bernier. This was a long, and drawn out process, but he eventually succeeded.

New Phenoms such as Kevin Towles, and Tony Nguyen appeared on the scene and started up some fireworks. Once the month closed, these 2 slowed down their progress. However, this is evidence that Kart may live on after all. They did hit a few top 10 in the world times on their way to success. Kevin Towles ended the month as an Elite !

September 1998 Player of the Month: Jason Whalls Coninues To Thrive

Jason Whalls is gaining points left and right. However, Jason has some missing elements of his game. He was weak in several areas. He did fix most of them, and in turn continued to pass historical landmarks. He recorded a Record Sweep in Rainbow Road, and got several strong top 5's on several boards. Jason became a very conisistant Karter, and had shown promise of even passing Bernier someday.

Kevin Booth saw that Elsa and Bernier weren't playing, so he started the month doing nothing but shortcuts. He was close to being caught by Louis in this area, so he recorded 3/3's all over the place. He went from 110 LAUNDA, to 140 LAUNDA pts in one week. He then closed out most of the month with some rounded off Non-SC times, but without motivation, Booth wasn't the same Karter.

Kart Veterans Simmons, and Loaisiga came back, and have been setting several great improvements. Simmons swears to get back in the standings, and Eddie is attempting to become competitive as well. It's good to see them back cause Shorcut Racing is suffering.

Retirements all around started to occur. Jonathan Bernier announced his, and several others unofficially stopped playing. This is indeed sad, and without the strong players still active, it may be hard for kart to continue.

Alex Penev also started thriving this month. Since he is at PAL he will be mentioned mostly there, but he has affected the way NTSC is looked at. Peter Elsaesser went back to PAL to challenge Penev for the championship. He held off Penev for awhile, so then he came back and decided to hit historic times left and right to hit a LAUNDA RECORD 304 points! He also became the first Europian World Champion. Kevin Booth was severly lagging behind, and didn't even play Kart for the most part during the time he set his times. Also with Bernier out, Elsa had nothing to stop his progress. Whalls was around, but he was 4th at best in most tracks, so that didn't hurt Elsa Much. This is the month he left for the military after, and said a few words to RENE to deliver to the karting community. Little did he know that Peter's Words would inspire BOOTH to make a monumental charge for the NTSC World Championship.

October 1998 Player of the Month: Myles Bukrim Is The Phenom

Well October was the end of many things. Wonn annouced his retirement after he tied Booth's historic mark at Frappe SC lap. Also Sabbagh, Sorce, Whalls and many others became inactive due to changes in Kart or other gaming interests during this month. However a few great things did happen this month, and perhaps this may be the last great month for Kart for quite some time. Booth shall still be around, but the others.... that's still to be answered.

First Booth put it apon himself to catch Peter as fast as Peter passed him. He realed off WR's At Will for the next 2 weeks. There wasn't a time of Peter's except for a few that he didn't believe he could beat. With Help from Jason, Booth overtook Peter in 14 days... that's the same amount of time that it took Peter to get his big lead, so that gives some consolation to Booth. He also peaked at a career high of 275 LAUNDA NON_SC and 412 Overall. Only Bernier has had a bigger Overall Total. After That, Booth has finished the month with a few good WR's but in General, the last 2 weeks were pretty slow for him.

The era of the LAUNSPACH and Engel page is over. A new page by Rene "REX" Elsaesser has now started up. This new format shall now offer a new points system, and a unbiased format for SC. It shall also be updated frequently, and be one of many official pages of the Kart 64 Player's Veriety.

Mike Simmons has also advertised his Times By Driver Page where you can have 8 different records cause of change of driver. This page shall be an alternative to the usual use a lightweight and get a time playing style.

Because of ongoing Bickering and Changes many karters packed up their bags. Jason Whalls did stick around for a little longer to set historical marks on Banshee Boardwalk that shall not be beat for awhile. He also rounded out a few of his times until he drew some interest in some PSX games. Kart at this point is just not the same game. The Circle of Karters used to get along with eachother and share strats. During this summer, it wasn't the case, so much distrust occured. However there still may be an embassador to Kart that may save kart as we know it from extinction... and that person is....

Myles Bukrim busts on the scene and takes what he knows from Kali and busts he heck of alot of improvements. Nathan Johnson bounces back from Academic suspension to compete with him. At this point, Booth is shooting at a few times, but just for some WR's and ticky tacky points. Myles cruised into the Elite area and took the ladder by storm. He even proved to be Universal and became the 11th such driver to do so. in the final weeks, Myles has proven to be the Phenom and one of few karters still left to keep Kart going.

As a final consolation this month, Players like Simmons and Loaisiga did play a great part in the ongoing success of Kart. Their improvements have sparked the world of Kart and perhaps they can help lead Kart to success. Also, both Simmons and Brian Gallo have some recruits they are working with, and with those, Kart May Live On.

November 1998 Player of the Month: Myles Bukrim Get It The Hard Way

November started with a bang as Myles comes out with guns blazing. He hit very consistent times and kicked 'em out faster than Kevin could update 'em. He even hit the KD SC!!!! He won the first 2 POW's for his amazing performance. In week 3, Myles keeps up with the same 'ol non-stop PR stuff and even hits an unbelieveable 5"44 in Frappe lap!

Booth also revs the 100cc engine and kicks out some records. He starts with Wr's in Sherbet, Mario, and more. He also hits a few SC 3-lap times and takes out a couple weaknesses. He also makes many of his strong points stonger yet!!!!!

Nathan Johnson goes the path of Myles and hits many PR's and some nice LR and YV times.

Rene Elsaesser, Hines, and Towles also all show up for some records here and there. No huge news from them but they all made some of their slower times more competative.

Brian Gallo has also been amazing this month. He has jumped into the 3rd place spot with his latest group of WR's and insane times. He has also been officially added to the kart community and has set a definite day for proof: January 1, 1999!

Mike Simmons hits the N64 hard and catapults himself up the rankings. He makes many consistent times and also an amazing sub-53"00 in MR SC!!!! He and Myles both became Elite A's.

After taking a break for PSX games, Jason Whalls returns halfway through week 2. He hits a new KTB and LR SC lap time then takes the weekend off. However, in week 3 he really begins to shine again. He had to erase his Royal times due to a gameshark incident at his dad's but it proved to be to his advantage. For a few days Whalls was all over Royal like no other. He takes 3/4 WR's and even passes Bernier's "impossible" 1'43"99 RRa SC 3 lap.

The Month closes with a memorable proformace by Neil Marsden. This out of this world player caught supreme fire and took POW by storm. He went from Expert to Professional during this time period. Myles hangs on for life over Gallo and Marsden for POM !

December 1998 Player of the Month: Brian Gallo Is #2

This month lead off with many of the great players getting hot. Whalls and Booth had a good opening day. Myles did as well. The 2nd day belonged to Gallo with 5 Lap PRS! This is a record for any King Player I believe for a single day. Later Johnson came back and Simmons hit Rainbow Road for some great PRS. After this it was a 3-way battle for POW with Whalls, Bukrim and Marsden... Everyone did great, but Whalls' stuff on Moo Moo, and his WR on Frappe pretty much outdid both Marsden and Bukrim... Myles only had 1 PR the final day. Booth did set 3 WRS on the 7th, but too little too late to be concidered. This Winter month turned out to be yet another Era for Comeback Artists. Bernier, Elsaesser, Hines, Sabbagh and several others got some records during the winter break. Also though, Players like Marsden and Bukrim were really taking off! Simmons got my tape and did some major damage. However, the big stur was over Brian Gallo! He has came from way down to become the #2 Seed in the world! It was either Gallo or Booth for first and second on many tracks during this era !

January 1999 Player of the Month: This Is Neil Marsden's Month

An indeed it was! Neil went from where he was, to Elite, to High Standing Elite! Neil starts to get very amazing with his KTB lap and DK lap, and a few of his SC's looked great as well. However, Gallo had a great month, and had the NTSC Championship on and off during this month along with freshly back, Peter Elsaesser. Mike Simmons was doing some serious Ladder Climbing and so were Sorce and Bukrim. All 3 of them passed up extremely inactive Hines, and made their name in those top 10 spots in the world!!!! Also New Recruits Matt Batastini and Mark Flannery get their start, and are showing tons of promise! Greg I also starts to play better, and becomes part of the commmunity. During this period, Greg does a great job improving his times, and gets into the realm of the elites! Even Whalls had some great memorable times on YV lap and a few other WR's like Toad's Turnpike Lap WR. Simmons even got on the WR Board on Turpike 3lap, and Luigi Lap! This was a great month of Kart for most people, but some like Booth and Hines were rarely heard from this month, even though this was Hines' best month last year.

February 1999 Player of the Month: Another Marsden Month

It just could be another Marsden Month! He has blasted into the King Spot, and along with Greg I is threatening to break the Top 10 in the world! Even Iacopo has been quoted to being afraid of Marsden Catching him. Others just say they will play better, but in reality, can anyone stop the progress of Marsden? Hines does come back to set a few nice PRS. Most of them just minor improvements, but they were good ones. This month, Peter starts to pull away from the field, and even begins to threaten Penev's Reign in Comparision to his PAL TIMES! Penev is fighting this off, so he will have it for awhile. Gallo is less amazing as the previous month, but he does do some quite historical stuff like SUB 5 and 39 in Rainbow Road without SC!!!! Quite amazing stuff I must add! Greg I really takes off and with his SC times becomes King! That's not all though... He Sturs up the Kart world with an amazing first...... ZERO SECONDS ON MARIO KART 64! Royal Raceway Lap indeed has a Zero Second Glitch that Greg I has discovered! This was quite a historical but conterversial time for Kart, but we agreed to make it a separate record on our boards, so no harm done. Also, New Recruits Wesley Reppert, Tom Sherman, and Mark Roth bust into the scene. So far, Reppert has made the biggest impact of the 3 by making the Elite Rank. It all started with a Top 25 on KTB, and from there, Wesley went gonzo all the way up the ladder and ended up passing Gallo's Recruits =)! The Trio of Sorce, Simmons and Bukrim did continue to battle for a couple more weeks. Finally, Bukrim pulled away and passed BERNIER in ranking, and begins to threaten Whalls' standing as well! Whalls during this period was pretty quiet, but he did set some WR's on Rainbow Road SC! He also continues to make nice improvements on Frappe and other tracks as well to fend off Bukrim. Another Month Booth has been quiet, and is falling far behind. he is now 50+ REX out of it, and holds very few records anymore... However his WR streak since May 97 continues, so there is something to say about him.... Also, Booth has still only missed April 98 in setting a WR in a particular month. Let's see if the rest of the Karters Can Say That! Booth has set a couple WR's in KB, KD and other tracks, but Peter beat them back with avengance! Peter can't touch Booth'S WR in Luigi Lap however. Man an active month once more... I wonder if I missed anything?? If I have missed anything key in the last months, let me know, cause I wasn't online much during that time... As a last note to the last week of Feb, Marsden took some time off and let Matt Batastini take center show and get Elite/Break the top 20 in the world as well! Also a great SC Battle between the top 6 players has shaped, and it is really anyone's game. Simmons also has broken away to try to catch Bernier. Booth has a 7 PR day, to show that he still has what it takes, and finally, Whalls puts silent all skeptics by winning the Most Versitile Karter Award, and also threatening Penev for the World's SC Title !

March 1999 Player of the Month: Peter Elsaesser Beats Penev

March has been the month of the rising stars becoming Kings, and the Stars of the past losing their talent. It also marks breaks of big streaks like who's been the champ, and marks on last spectacular event... Bernier! All I can say is at this point, Booth has lost his talent and is threatening to retire very soon. Myles has quit for awhile, but may be back eventually... However don't look so grim, cause Kart is still going strong! Gallo did prove that Peters DK time isn't so great by beating it, and Liem is just playing with such heart, it is unbelieveable. Neil has done ok, but has hit a road block... Batastini is flying up the charts, but Reppert REFUSES to let him stay ahead for long, and passes him back on a regular basis. Also Simmons is doing ok, but time restrains hurt, and Louis has seen new life and is catching up and making up for alot of lost time as of late. The main story as of late is Peter and his growing Lead in the Championship! Peter may turn out to be uncontested, unless a Karter steps forward to challenge him. Penev is starting to lose sight of Peter, and unless he gets going, Peter may be champ for awhile. Whalls is still there, but sets PRs just a bit of the time. There has been an issue this month however... Actually 2... They were some controversial things, but I think it has worked out for the best, and we have learned something from this. First the Yoshi Valley incident. I made the poor decision to not research this tech too much, and just kinda let it happen, but when I really payed attention, I had to agree with REX to reverse it. It is a shame, cause reversing stuff is a pain, and hurts everyone, but it had to be done. Whalls said it best... think about what you are doing, before you do it, and I'm sure we will all do that now.... 2nd, the Page Redesign By Horwitz! It did come sudden, and it wasn't the greatest at first for some of the dedicated visitors... caused quite an uproar. Well things are getting better, and the approval rating of the changes has went from 39% to about 69% and climbing, but my goal of course is 100%, well at least 90%! I did kinda go overboard on the Guestbook and stuff, cause I really like the fact that someone of Matt expertise is willing to help me, and I don't think I should let this opportunity go. He has also been a great friend to talk to throught the months. My main problem is I'm not acting like a team member, and giving real feedback on stuff, so he can do his job easier. In the coming weeks, I will be working on this skill a bit more, cause hell, I've been the dictator of the page too long, and need to learn to work with my team a bit better.. Ow well, I think were gonna do just fine, and if things look up, Even new pages, and new servers may be a result, plus interactive polls, and more kewl stuff in the making... anyhow, I need to get back to work, so If Anything happens in the history this month, I will add to it, if not, this shall not get updated til May 1st 1999! Of course I lie =) The last thing to happen this month is the battle in Canada on POW with Sabbagh edging Bernier for the award.