Buried Treasure: Lost Mario Kart game unearthed on a Game Boy Advance cartridge

Footage from an unreleased, third-party developed sequel in Nintendo’s long-running Mario Kart series has surfaced on YouTube, fueling fan speculation regarding the cancelled project.

Made by Denaris Entertainment Software, the purported demo for Mario Kart XXL features a unique gameplay perspective not seen in other Mario Kart games. The prototype appears to be in the alpha stage of development, as it includes only a single playable racetrack with no rival racers.

Denaris Entertainment Software is a German studio founded by Turrican creator Manfred Trenz in 2004. While Mario Kart XXL was listed as one of Denaris’ pitched projects, little was known about the game prior to the recent prototype discovery.

Though some speculate that Mario Kart XXL‘s released footage is a hoax, the video creator’s channel features several prototype games, including the Trenz-developed Katakis 3D for the Game Boy Color. Prototype and demo versions of unreleased games for many platforms frequently appear on eBay and other online storefronts.

Denaris Entertainment Software created several games for European markets in the years after Mario Kart XXL‘s apparent cancellation, including CT Special Forces for the Sony PlayStation and the Nintendo DS titles Ankh and Paws & Claws: Pet Vet – Healing Hands.

While Nintendo rarely grants third-party developers access to its core franchise characters, the practice has become more commonplace in recent years. Nintendo previously tapped developer Retro Studios for many entries in its Metroid Prime and Donkey Kong Country series, and Next Level Games has produced titles like Mario Strikers Charged, Punch-Out, and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon.

Though Nintendo released its own Mario Kart game, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, for the Game Boy Advance in 2001, the Denaris-developed prototype appears to have been created years later, given that it features promotional art from 2003’s Mario Kart: Double Dash. No further details regarding Mario Kart XXL‘s development or cancellation are known.

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