Mario Kart 64 PAL version History
Written by Michael Liem

June - October 1997:    Edwin Peeters dominates the Dutch battle
The 11th of June 1997. That's the release date of the PAL version of MK64. In the first few months I couldn't find many MK64 websites on the web. Rene Elsaesser was the first person to create a timetrial record site for the PAL version of MK64. In the first months most karting activity came from Holland. I was comparing my times with those of my brother Laurens and of Edwin Peeters. I had some cool record-battles with Laurens, but Edwin was trashing us by constantly breaking our records immediately after I sent them to him. When Rene created his MK64 site a few other players were seen: Rene, Peter & Manuel Elsaesser, David Knispel, Laurent & Phillipe Mateos. But their times weren't very fast yet.
In october there was a national MK64 tourney in Holland. There Steven Zwartjes told us he had also been playing MK64 time trials in the previous months. He wasn't beating our times yet, but he wasn't far away. He said he would e-mail us with newer records when he gets internet access at school. After the MK64 tournament in October 1997 Edwin stopped with playing MK64. But before he stopped he took all 16 course records again for the last time. Laurens also retired after the tournament.

Old files:
- Mk64tim1.htm
- Mk64tim2.htm

November - December 1997:    Zwartjes and Elsaesser becoming very strong
After Edwin's retirement I took my chance and I started to break Edwin's records. But a few days later Steven Zwartjes showed up on the internet. He had driven some very fast WR's. Peter Elsaesser was also starting to get some times that were beating me. And in these two months Peter and Steven were taking over the WR dominance. Edwin Peeters also returned shortly and drove some very impressive times before he retired for good. At the end of 1997 I had only one course WR left on DK's Jungle Parkway.
In December Rene Elsaesser made a first addition to his website by adding top 10 tables for all the tracks. Here is one of the first versions of the top10 tables:
PAL Worldrecords:  Mk64timA.htm
Top 10's:  Mush64a.htmFlowe64A.htmStar64a.htmSpec64a.htm

And here are the top 10's of the end of 1997: Peter has 14 nonSC WR's, Steven has 11 WR's, Edwin has 5 WR's, and I have 2 WR's.
- mk64timB.htm
- mush64b.htmflowe64B.htmstar64b.htmspec64b.htm

January - March 1998:    A heroic battle between Peter and Steven
In January I set a big Worldrecord. My 2'21"66 on DKJP was faster than the converted NTSC WR. Probably it was the first ever overall Worldrecord by a PAL player! It wouldn't last very long. Steven broke it back the day after I told him my strategy.
After that one of the most intense MK64 battles I can remember would take place. Peter and Steven were improving very fast, and they were exchanging WR's at an unbelievable pace. WR's continued to be smashed over and over again. At this update of 9 March 1998: mk64timE.htm you can see that Elsaesser and Zwartjes have completely taken the WR dominance for nonSC. On 3lap Worldrecords the matchup was: Steven vs Peter: 9-7.
After that 9 march update the battle came to an end. Steven retired from kart, and he was going to concentrate on an english Goldeneye007 tournament. Peter started to concentrate on the NTSC-competition now.
Between 22 March and 31 March I made a short comeback, and I drove surprising WR's on Kalimari Dessert and Rainbow Road.

April - May 1998:    MK64 on PAL is almost dead =(
Well yes, Steven and Peter are retired now, and after my short comeback I also lost interest in kart. In these two months, except for one single submission of a MR 3lap time by a new player (Jonathan Fowler), really nothing happened in kart.

June - August 1998:    MK64 revives! Battle for the 3rd place!
In Summer of 1998 the karting-site revived again. New players entered the site. Dhugal Bedingfield drove a WR on Choco Mountain mk64timf.htm and Lachlan Bedingfield drove a really spectacular WR on Mario Raceway mk64timg.htm. Kastanzan Shneizen was a third player that entered the site with strong times this month. In July Rene created the PAL Worldrankings (here is the first version of it: mk64ranG.htm ) The Bedingfields and Shneizen were threatening my third place. That stimulated me to start playing again. I got many PR's in August, and I pulled away fast from the players below me. Dave Hines also entered the site with PAL times, but I had improved enough too keep him behind me. It looked like my 3rd place is safe. But something happened...
A new player entered the site. His name? Yes, it's Alex Penev! Immediately at the first worldrankings-update he had already flewn past me and he entered at 3rd place! I couldn't do anything to stop him. Click here to see it:  mk64ranj.htm .
More karting activity was seen in this summer. Peter Elsaesser returned to PAL and used his new skills he got in the NTSC competition to improve his PAL standards also. This made him the nr 1 player in PAL during the summer. Other new players were:
Mark Phillips with a Banshee Boardwalk time spec64f.htm. Raffy Sarkissian, who drove a great Moo Moo Farm time mush64i.htm Brian Gallo who drove a LR 3lap time during his holidays. Matt Sawyer with a KTB 3lap time. Florian Hoffman, Helge Kloss and Sander Florisson gave eachother some nice competition in the lower ranks of the top 10's.

WRs, top10s & rankings at the end of the summer:
mk64timj.htm -mush64j.htmflowe64j.htmstar64j.htmspec64j.htm - mk64ranj.htm

September 1998:    A new historical battle for the nr 1 spot!
Alex Penev is unstoppable now. He passed Steven very easily and in only 2 weeks he had also beaten Peter for the #1 place!!! But Peter didn't want to lose his nr 1 ranking on PAL so soon, so he fought back. And with tons of new WR's he became nr 1 again on the worldrankings of 12 September mk64ranK.htm . Peter and Alex continued to battle for the championship during the whole month. And Peter managed to defend his title very well until he had to leave MK64 to go to the military. When September ended Alex took his chance, and he became the unchallenged new nr 1:  mk64ranL.htm.
I couldn't mix up in that battle, but I continued to drive more PR's and I managed to get an amazing overall Worldrecord on my historical favourite track: DK's Jungle. It took 4 months before somebody could break that time
In September there was also the entry of a new player. William Lacey entered the site just behind Laurens Liem.
Top 10 times as of 2nd October 1998: -
mush64L.htm  flowe64L.htmstar64L.htmspec64L.htm

October - November 1998:    Penev dominates completely. Liem becomes nr 3 again
After Peter's retirement Alex Penev continued to drive WR's regularly.  In November he had 27 out of 32 WR's in his possesion and he had taken a huge lead in the rankings. Nobody else has ever had such a big lead on the PAL worldrankings.
In October Kevin had started to integrate PAL stuff on his site. So I started to drive the fastlaps with 3 shrooms, so that I would get a good rank when my profile will be created (before I had only concentrated on the 3lap times). With my new fastlap-times and with a couple of other PR's I finally managed to pass Steven on the PAL ranking. I drove a lot of PR's in these months. The trialers site really stimulated me to keep karting.
Another noticeable event in October was the entry of a new player. The nr 1 SMK player Sami Cetin entered the site already at the 8th place on the worldrankings. And on the worldrankings of 8 November he had climbed to the 5th place, behind Steven Zwartjes. That was an impressive start from him...
PAL Worldrankings from 18 October 98: Sami enters at 8th place:  mk64rpM.htm
PAL Worldrankings from 8 November 98: Alex has a huge lead, I'm 3rd, Sami is 5th: mk64rpO.htm
Top 10's from 18 November 98:  mush64pO.htmflow64pO.htmstar64pO.htmspec64pO.htm

December 1998:    Penev dominates the world. Liem becomes King F.
In December Alex and me continued to drive PR's. With the PAL integration on the timetrialers site a lot of interesting competition was seen. Alex strengthened his lead on the PAL rankings and also became overall worldchampion on MK64.
I improved a lot of my PR's in the second half of December. That resulted in a promotion to the King rank: Player List 12/28/98.

January - February 1999:    The start of a new PAL battle: Sami Cetin vs Michael Liem
The first week of January was for William Lacey. With his new PR's he made a jump on the PAL rankings, from a place just in front of Laurens Liem to a place just in front of Edwin Peeters: mk64rpQ.htm
Another impressive achievement was done by new player Luke Johnston. In the first week of February he entered the site at the 13th place. Just behind Laurens Liem:  mk64rnpS.htm
During the rest of these months 2 players draw the attention to them.
Stimulated by the presence of 6 KingF players on the NTSC players list (Sorce, Sabbagh, Hines, Bukrim, Wonn, Horwitz, Simmons) I continued my daily PR-ing and I chopped my total times down a lot. Four of the six other KingF players were also passing eachother very fast, so a very interesting competition took place. At the start of February I found myself in the middle of the pack. My rank was King D. In February I drove even more PR's than in January. The battle with the NTSC kings continued. But I also got some other competition: On PAL Sami Cetin has rocketed himself up on the rankings. He passed Steven Zwartjes very easily, and he became VERY close to me. But I just managed to keep him behind me. Here is the Player List of 2/28/98: list2U.htm  I reached King B level and Sami also did it.

March 1999:    I become number 2 on PAL
In March I continued with driving continuous PR's. At 10th March Kevin had integrated PAL and NTSC on the player list. I had passed Simmons and I became KingA. The second week of March was a great week. I drove 15 PR's including a PAL worldrecord on Royal Raceway lap. With that I passed Peter on the PAL worldrankings and I got my first POW. The other weeks in that month were also very good for me. By the end of March I had a positive matchup vs Jonathan Bernier, and a few days later also vs Myles. But when I passed Myles Jonathan made a comeback at passed us back. At the player list of 27th March 1998 I was number 7, that would be my highest rank ever. I didn't pass Bernier, but I had reached my goal I set at the end of 1998. I had passed all the 6 KingF players who were in front of me in December 1998! List2W.htm
Another noticeable thing in March was Steven Zwartjes return to kart. On 16 March he announced his return. On that Player List you can see he had improved his rank from Elite A to King F in March. It was the start of something historical...

April 1999:    Three PAL players become Legend!
I started this month at the second place on PAL: mk64rnpY.htm. The first week of April I was aiming for the Legend rank. I was at 15/32 on Legend requirements. So I needed two more Legend times. It wasn't really easy, but I made it at 8 April 1999. My 10th PR in that week was enough to beat the 17th legend standard, which made me the 7th Kart-Legend in History. After that I drove more PR's in April. But 2 other PAL players would draw all the attention to them: #4 Sami Cetin and #5 Steven Zwartjes. They were smashing their standards in an insane way and they rapidly improved all their stats. Within 2 weeks MK64 got another two PAL Legend players! An interesting fact that isAnd they continued their PR's, to pass me. I really had no chance to counterattack their PR's. I lost a lot of points on the PAL rankings. And at the end of April Steven and Sami were both in front of me:  mk64rnpX.html

May 1999:    A disappointing month
In May the new LKRC ranking system was introduced. My first score was 5,594. For me it was the end of my ambitions to climb higher on the Player List. I lost my Legend rank, and players like Myles and Mike, who played both nonSC and SC, were suddenly way in front of me. My PR's weren't coming as fast as in the previous months anymore. The Dutch MK64 tournament was a big disappointment. And a few days later my MK64 cartridge accidentally got erased. The last week of May I just hated MK64. It was really a terrible period. At least, for me it was. It was different for Steven Zwartjes. He was thrown back to King A, at the same day as when he became Legend F according to the old standards, but unlike me, he just answered that by driving more PR's. And at the 11th of May he regained his Legend F position with an LKRC score of 5.000. Interesting fact: Steven managed to go through the whole King ranks in less than 6 (old standards) or 8 (new LKRC standards)  weeks!

June 1999:    Occasional PR's by the top 5 PAL players
Alex Penev, Sami Cetin, Steven Zwartjes, Sami Cetin, Peter Elsaesser and Michael Liem. They all added some PR's in this month. Most active was Steven Zwartjes, who started to drive WR's regularly now. Alex Penev also drove a couple of WR's to show he's still the nr 1 player. Especially his third week was strong. Sami managed to improve well on his weaker tracks. I had a great 2nd week of June. I repassed Peter Elsaesser on the PAL rankings, after he had pushed me back to 5th place with a short comeback on PAL: mk64rnpZ.htm. I just missed POW in that week.
WR and Top25 tables:  spec64pZ.htmflow64pZ.htmstar64pZ.htmmush64pZ.htmmk64wrpZ.htm

July 1999:    More PAL players
Summer holidays in Europe. Steven went on holidays in July. Sami drove some more PR's before he took a vacation by the end of July. Alex had his share of PR's and WR's. And I also drove some PR's, but they were coming very slowly. It was a difficult MK64 period for me.
Because I failed to drive many PR's, I decided to help the site a bit. I created profiles for eight new players who were all friends and relatives of Sami Cetin. I also created a profile for Hannes Putscher, who had joined REX's site a couple of months before. There was also a new player: Zane van de Meulen-Graaf. And another PAL player that finally got a profile on the player's list was Matt Sawyer. He sent in all his times and so he gained a lot of ranks on the PAL rankings.
PAL rankings 14-7-99: mk64rnkpAA.html
WR's, top25's 14-7-99:  mk64wrpAA.htmlmush64pAA.htmlflow64pAA.htmlstar64pAA.htmlspec64pAA.html

August 1999:  Ben Miller starts as an Elite
A new player joins the competition. Ben Miller is strong in both nonSC and SC. He enters the site at elite level! Steven Zwartjes continues to get PRs. He's rising through Legend ranks very fast.

September 1999:  Zwartjes on fire!
Steven Zwartjes is continuing his run to the top. He's passing several NTSC players on the player list, and looks unstoppable. Ben Miller also stayed active, and is approaching the King ranks.

October 1999:  Steven Zwartjes is the new WORLDCHAMPION!
A historical month. Steven Zwartjes is beating Worldrecords all over the place. And he reached #1 in PAL (10/21/99) and #1 OVERALL (10/28/99).

November 1999: Liem beats Cetin for #3
Steven Zwartjes pulls more ahead of the rest before retiring. Michael Liem beats Sami Cetin for 3rd place, after a nice battle.
PAL Worldrankings from 10th November 1999

December 1999:  Michael Liem defends his 3rd place
The battle between Liem and Cetin continues. Liem has a great month, and succesfully defended his 3rd place. He also got POM for that performance.
Player List from 20th December 1999

January 2000: Sami Cetin #3 again, Ben Miller reaches King
The first half of the month was for Liem, but in the 2nd half Cetin proved too strong and caught back the 3rd place. Ben Miller reached King level, and got a strong 6th place on the PAL nonSC rankings. Still a long way to go to #5 ranked Peter Elsaesser though. Andrew Hewlett had a strong PRing month that helped him improve his #25 rank on PAL.

February 2000: Craig Makepeace Elite in one month
This was a busy month. A new player, Craig Makepeace, enters the site and reached Elite within one month! Ben Miller got his first PAL Worldrecord on Moo Moo Farm. Steven Zwartjes returned to the game, with some target times. He solidified his #1 rank. Patrick Wessels passed Lacey for 7th place nonSC. Sami Cetin pulled away from Liem with strong PRs. Andrew Hewlett improved his times more.

March 2000: Craig Makepeace King in 28 days!
Craig Makepeace went from Elite to King faster than anyone else ever did, and he's close to Miller in nonSC. Miller and Liem were also active.
PAL Worldrankings from 30th March 2000

April 2000: Strong movement by Miller and Makepeace
This month Craig Makepeace reached a point where getting PRs got harder. Many other players encountered that same "barrier" at his level. However, King F to King B in one month is still very impressive. Makepeace is close to Ben Miller on the April PAL Rankings update. Ben Miller was climbing towards the Legend ranks this month. At Shortcuts he got a PAL WR on DKJP SC 3lap. In the last week of the month, Alex Penev had a very strong week with 8 PRs.
Also, a new player joined the rankings: Yrvin van Wijk entered the rankings fairly low, but he showed good dedication for this game.
PAL Worldrankings from 20th April 2000

May 2000: Yrvin van Wijk with Mass PRs
Many people with occasional PRs this month: Penev, Cetin, Miller, Makepeace and Hewlett. Yrvin van Wijk is getting countless PRs, which help him climb the rankings. His brother Jerome van Wijk also joins the rankings.

June  2000: Craig Makepeace reaches Legend and #5 on PAL!
In the first 2 weeks of June, Craig Makepeace PRed like crazy and reached Legend F, and passed Peter Elsaesser on the PAL rankings! Yrvin and Jerome van Wijk were still PRing regularly. Yrvin passed Laurens Liem on the PAL Rankings. Steven Zwartjes got a MMF WR. Sami Cetin got closer to the higher Legend ranks with some PRs.

July & August 2000: Penev and Miller exchanging PAL WRs
As European people were going on vacation, the main activity these months was coming from Australia. Russel Clapham (#6 ranked on PAL in Shortcuts) improved some of his times at the start of July. In the rest of the summer, Alex Penev and Ben Miller were showing superb skills by almost daily submitting PAL WRs. Ben Miller reached Legend with that, and Alex Penev got a little closer to Steven in nonSC, although still at a considerable distance.

September - December 2000: Various events:
- Sami's run to the top (September - November)
At the start of these months Sami was ranked #3, with Steven and Alex being far ahead of him on PAL. Also some NTSC players were ranked somewhere between Sami and Alex. In 2.5 months, Sami replayed his complete set of times. He started with simple PRs, changed to regular PAL Worldrecords, and in the first weeks of November he got some historical overall Worldrecords. Especially his Rainbow Road 3lap WR was shocking for the kart world. It brought him ahead of those NTSC players, and very close to Alex Penev.
- William Lacey's return (October - December)
A big surprise was the comeback of William Lacey. After almost 2 years of inactivity, he comes back with 30 PRs. He quickly passed Patrick Wessels and climbed from elite C to elite A at the start of October. By the end of October he had some more mass PR submissions, which put him at King D! November and December were relatively quiet for him, but by having some short playing sessions William managed improve his rank to King B at the end of the year.
- Yrvin van Wijk PR madness (September - December)
Yrvin van Wijk was extremely active during these months. He had several long PR streaks going, to improve his ranks steadily. Yrvin reached the elite ranks at the end of September. He closed out the year at an Elite B rank, ahead of Edwin Peeters and Patrick Wessels.
- New Players: Alex Tsagouris, Lars Nouwen, Olaf Timmermans (November - December)
These 3 new players joined the site in November 2000. Olaf Timmermans and Lars Nouwen stayed inactive in the first months after their first submission (although that would change later, as you might know...). Alex Tsagouris started setting regular PRs immediately. By the end of the year he was starting to hit some nice elite times.
- Penev and Miller staying active (September - December)
Alex Penev and Ben Miller continued their nice form from the summer. They took huge leads on the PAL Shortcut rankings. Alex even reached #1 at the overall Shortcut rankings!
PAL Worldrankings: End of the year 2000
Overall Freak Worldrankings: End of the year 2000