I'll start by saying this is some really cool stuff. An app has been developed that lets you customize and alter the textures in MarioKartWii, to the point that new tracks are being developed. This project started in December 2008 but has only just been gaining popularity. Rather than go into a bunch of detail about the end result, check out this video:
The way this works is you extract the track file, patch it, and replace it back in your ISO. Because the patch files contain no original game content, distributing these is completely legal. On the patch-server you'll find everything from brand new tracks to texture-hacks for existing tracks. There are even textures for "new" characters like Baby Waluigi (baby Mario in disguise).
So now I'm going to show you how to patch and apply the first track in that video: Mushroom Peaks
- A Wii-console that plays backups (USB or disc)
- Mario Kart ISO - Don't ask how to acquire a download for this, Wiihacks does NOT support piracy!
- Wiiscrubber v1.4
- SZS Modifier
Apparently SZS Servers are down, but thatfloorguy was kind enough to upload many of the patches.
Go here, download the files you need, and click Thanks on his post!
Following these instructions will replace any Single Player instance of Mushroom Gorge with a new track, Mushroom Peaks (seen above).
[SPOILER]Load your Mario Kart ISO in Wiiscrubber 1.4 and navigate to Partition 1 - DATA > Race > Course. (Partition 0 if your iso is scrubbed)
You should see a long list of .szs files. Like this:
Scroll down and right click on kinoko_course.szs (NOT kinoko_course_d.szs) - Select Extract and save it to a folder you'll remember.
Now that we've extracted the original track from the ISO, we need to modify it!
Leave Wiiscrubber open for the time being and, if you haven't already, run the setup.exe for SZS Modifier to install it.
Load SZS Modifier. You'll see a short splash screen then a window which should look something like this:
Select File > Open and load kinoko_course.szs - We'll come back to this in a minute.
Now we need to download the modified track patch. Select Patches > Browse Patches on Server.
You'll see the above window appear. Scroll down until you find Mushroom Peaks. Download it.
Note - The server may spout an error here. Just try again until the download completes.Once the download is finished, close the browsing window and you should be left with this:
Select Patches > Import Netsafe Patch and a new window will appear.
Select the Mushroom Peaks file you just downloaded and a small window will appear with the patch details.
Press OK to apply the patch. Select File > Save As and save this file where you won't mix it up with the original svs.
Note - If you receive an error trying to apply the patch, try re-downloading the file from the SZS server.Now we need to put the patched track into our ISO. Still got Wiiscrubber open? Good.
Scroll back down to DATA > Race > Courses and right-click on kinoko_course.szs - Select Replace and navigate to the patched kinoko_course.szs file.
That's it, we're done. Add your ISO back to your HDD or burn your disc. Play the game and when you run Mushroom Gorge in any Single Player
mode it will now be replaced with Mushroom Peaks.
This was just an example of replacing a single track with a patched one in Single Player modes. You may want to modify some more tracks in the
future, so to avoid having to burn your disc or load your ISO multiple times try to download and patch all the tracks you think you'll want at one time. [/SPOILER]
Single/Multi Player Patching
If you had wanted to replace your Multi Player version of Mushroom Gorge, just replace kinoko_course_d.szs with the same hacked szs file you made using the tutorial above. This same process works for all tracks which end in _d.
[SPOILER]So in other words, in Wiiscrubber replace kinoko_course.szs and Mushroom Gorge gets replaced in
- Single Player - Grand Prix, TT, VS.
- Single Player Online - WW, Country, Friends
Replace kinoko_course_d.szs and Mushroom Gorge gets replaced in
- Multiplayer (2/3/4 players) - Grand Prix, TT, VS.
- Multiplayer Online (2 players) - WW, Country, Friends
The nature of texture hacks in online play is that any modified information on your iso will not be transferred to anyone you're playing with. In other words, if you're using a completely modified track like the one above, and you go into online WW or Regional to play against other people who haven't modified their tracks the same way, they aren't going to see the same thing you're seeing.
In all likelihood, what they will see is you driving all over the place, through the air, into and out of walls and such. If the people you hook up online with happen to be official N racers and they see your kart/bike exhibiting this really strange behavior, it is possible you could get banned.
On the flip side, if you go online with a texture modified version of one of the original tracks (ie- NOT a brand new track), only you will see the changes but you'll still be able to race like normal with people who have unmodified iso's.
Here is the list of designer-encouraged tracks to replace in your iso. The goal being that anyone who used this app to customize their tracks can get together online knowing that they are using the same tracks. I've organized these by Cup and the number slot of the track they replace. So the first modified track, Mushroom Peaks, is in the 3rd slot of the Mushroom Cup and replaces the original corresponding track, Mushroom Gorge.
- Remember to replace courses with _d if you want to play having more than one person on your console.
This list is based on the tracks the szs track-designers use to run their Custom Grand Prix events. I'll continue to update this list as those tracks get released.
Updated: 6/29 (23 Tracks Total - Latest: Rezway, Kartwood Creek, Haunted Woods)
- Luigi's Island (Patch old_falls_ds_d.szs then replace beginner_course.szs)
- Sunset Forest (Patch kinoko_course.szs then replace farm_course.szs)
- Mushroom Peaks (Patch and replace kinoko_course.szs)
- GBA Sky Garden (Patch and replace factory_course.szs)
- Rezway (Replaces Mario Circuit)
- Haunted Woods (Replaces DK's Snowboard Cross)
- Guilleh's Course: asdf_course (Patch old_mario_64.szs then replace truck_course.szs)
- Penguin Canyon (Patch old_sherbet_64.szs then replace senior_course.szs)
- Incendia Castle ( Patch and replace old_volcano.szs)
- GBA Rainbow Road (Patch rainbow_course.szs then replace desert_course.szs)
- Space Road (Patch ridgehighway_course_d.szs then replace ridgehighway_course.szs)
- SNES Bowser Castle 2 (Patch and replace koopa_course.szs)
- SNES Rainbow Road (Patch and replace rainbow_course.szs)
MarioKart Retro Cups
- Green Hill Zone (Patch old_peach_gc.szs)
- Codename:BIGBOX (Patch beginner_course.szs then replace old_falls_ds.szs)
- Northpole Slide (Patch and replace old_sherbert_64.szs)
- GBA Cheep Cheep Island (Patch and replace old_heyho_gba.szs)
- N64 Wario Stadium (Patch and replace old_waluigi_gc.szs)
- Thwomp Cave (Patch and replace old_koopa_64.szs)
- Jungle Safari (Patch and replace old_donkey_64.szs)
- Kartwood Creek (Replaces GCN Mario Circuit)
- SNES Mario Circuit 1 (Patch and replace old_mario_sfc.szs)
- Chomp Valley (Patch and replace old_garden_ds.szs)
Renaming Your ISO
This is for USB Loaders.
- Download WIIISORenamerv3.exe
- Use WiiISORenamer.exe to open your Mario Kart Wii iso
- Change your GAMEID and Game Title to any of your choosing -- For instance I changed my custom iso to VOLE01 and Mario Kart Wii Custom
Those were just my examples, you can change them to whatever you want, just make sure not to use the same GAMEID as the other games on your drive.
If you don't mind using your original disc you can avoid having to replace files in your ISO and load all your custom tracks with your SD card using Riivolution. For more on this go here.
- Chadderz (SVS Modifier's coder)
- MrBean35000vr (Designed Mushroom Peaks + more)
- Khacker35000vr (Thwomp Cave - brutal course, very awesome)
- Anyone who designed and uploaded a patch to the SVS server
This app and everything involved is still really new, so don't expect perfection. Not all but some tracks may be buggy, slow down, etc. They're being updated and revised pretty often, so check the szs-servers for the latest versions. Most tracks play exceptionally well. Enjoy!