How do you deal with Mario Kart’s “Maka Wuhu” problem?

Happy New Year, everyone! From the recent online race activity, it looks like a lot of folks worldwide received Mario Kart 7 for the holidays…and the percentage of “Maka Wuhu” cheaters rose dramatically at the same time!

In case you hadn’t heard yet, Mario Kart 7, one of 2011’s best games, contains one weird…glitch? Feature? Let’s call it an “issue” for now. It’s the “Maka Wuhu” shortcut cheat. It goes like this:

On the one-lap Maka Wuhu track, immediately after the first checkpoint, if you turn around, drive off the road and jump into the water, Lakitu will set you back on the track where it loops around above that location–right at the second checkpoint, completely bypassing the entire middle section of the course. This puts you about 30 seconds ahead of anyone not taking the shortcut.

It didn’t take long for Maka Wuhu cheaters to show up in online races, voting for the Maka Wuhu course every time. Fortunately, the odds usually work against them and they only get their wish occasionally, but they stick with it, race after race, picking Maka Wuhu solely to show off their awesome cheating skills.

Since the issue effects only one track out of thirty-two, it’s really just a minor annoyance, but it does throw a psychological monkey wrench into one of the game’s best tracks in online races, especially if Maka Wuhu shows up as a random selection. If one person takes the shortcut and everyone else goes the long route, the race is ruined; the 30 second finish line limit will end the game before anyone else can catch up. If everyone takes the shortcut, it’s a much briefer race, but still highly enjoyable.

It all leaves me wondering: did Nintendo include this “feature” on purpose? Is the mind-game that takes place as racers approach the first checkpoint intentional? I can’t believe no one at Nintendo or Retro discovered the shortcut–they must have known about it. The shortcut trick is hidden; you have to turn around and drive off the track to activate it, but anyone can do it, and–in its own odd way–it fits right into the general chaos of Mario Kart.

So, Infendo racers, what do you think of Maka Wuhu’s unusual shortcut? Should everyone just treat it as a normal part of the course? Is this a massive oversight on Nintendo’s part or a sneaky joke they slipped in to stir things up? And how do you deal with the cheaters? Beat them at their own game? Log off? Relax and collect coins?

30 Comments

  1. It’s more than likely a glitch. I wonder how people discovered it. But boy do I hate cheaters, they ruin one too many a race. There’s nothing you can really do about it.

  2. I just do it too; what other choice do I have? I always drop to around 5th in online races there just to watch, and if I see even one person in front do it, I do it too because more than likely the backrunners will as well. I’m not trying to lose VR points, man!

  3. I also wonder if they did this on purpose

  4. I was surprised, and saddened when I saw a couple of people from Infendo taking the cheat-cut last night during the MK7 community night.
    I was hoping that racing in a gaming community would mean people raced the track legit. Ohs wells.
    FYI – I race under the name ham dragon if anyone is online for community night.

  5. I have no trouble at all believing that nobody at Nintendo knew about this. QA is a difficult, laborious and sometimes always randomly-governed process, no matter how much order you try to impose on it. Things get missed, even things that seem obvious after somebody does them.

    That said, if they did know about it I think they should have fixed it (and I wish they would via an update channel or something). But I feel the same way about the snaking exploit in MKDS. Anything they makes people race a very specific, restrictive way in order to be competitive in a game that’s otherwise so based around variety feels against the spirit of the experience to me.

  6. Sigh. Anything *that* makes… we should be able to edit comments. 😉

  7. Haven’t had much online time with MarioKart 7. It would annoy me though. It’s doubtful they will patch it, it’s probably more possible that it might be banned somehow. I don’t know. Ive yet to pull it off successfully but I guess I would just have to bite the bullet bill and join in the cheating unfortunately.

  8. ^What Adza said is what I felt initially. I would love to run the full course, and I’d be the first one to do it, but it seems now that you really have no choice online. There used to be some that would do it just for lulz, but it seems now that the only ones that DON’T do it are 10-year olds that don’t even know it exists (I base this off of having to describe and perform many times in as much detail as possible to a ten-year old last night haha.) so they run the course. But in all honesty it’s just like any other card game; someone’s showing off their hand, now you have to play accordingly.

    And something off the topic; I’ve yet to race a community night or even find Holly online, yet she’s in my Mii Plaza since two days ago according to my game. I’ve got people there I haven’t even raced, how is that possible? Do they just keep coming regardless now?

  9. I would normally stay behind everyone, and if I see anyone take the shortcut, I follow them and try to get ahead of them. Though I will admit, sometimes I take the shortcut because it’s an easy win, but I normally don’t. I think Hrothgarfunkel, or “Ham Dragon”, saw me take the short cut last night. XP I joined the community night thing an hour late, sadly… I could’ve gotten so many more points if I went on time! I was only into two sets of races, with only three racers each. I started the first set with my real name “Michael” then before doing the second, I switched my Mii’s name to “Lord Lemmy” to see if anyone would recognize me better.

  10. Where do i punch the community code in to join the room??

  11. I’m gonna be honest here. Anyone whining about the shortcut who actually KNOWS about it should quite whining.

    Online is about fun. But its also about VR points to some people. So its up to you. If you are worried about your VR, then take the shortcut- you have every right. If you don’t care about VR, then just race and enjoy yourself.

    At this point, it is a PART of the track. If you don’t utilize it, you will lose. This isn’t some terrible glitch or difficult game-breaking technique. It’s simply driving off the edge.

    Yeah its a shame that a big chunk of the track gets ignore, but if you really want to drive with honor, then invite your friends to play online or in person and tell them that no one can use the shortcut. problem solved. : /

  12. I never use it. Finish last or not. From last nights infendo community night, i know there are a couple infendo readers who choose maku and take the glitch victory.

    The funny thing is that these exploiters usually fail miserably in any other track.

  13. @ gojiguy:

    Good points, all! I totally agree: intentional or not on Nintendo’s part, it’s more of a track element, not a glitch. One piece of fencing would have prevented it, but there ya go. Unless Nintendo patches it (doubtful), the shortcut’s now a feature of the Maka Wuhu track.

    I did get a bit peeved, however, at a recent online session in which *three* players kept choosing Maka Wuhu every single time. Really, really annoying! 🙂

    My latest way of handling it: If someone picks the course, take the shortcut and try to beat them. If it’s a random selection and, by some miracle, no one takes the shortcut, race the whole thing. If I take the shortcut but discover on the map that I’ve made a horrible error and no one else cheated, then I’ll do the honorable thing and stop right before the finish line because–as I’ve said before–I’m Lightning McQueen.

  14. I basically feel the same way as all the rest of the Infendo members here feel about the shortcut glitch on Maka Wuhu. Normally, I would play it fair and I always try to. But whenever usually most of all the racers do it, like say 5 – 7 of them in an 8 player Wi-Fi race, I can’t help but do it too only to beat them at their own game.

  15. I have yet to really run into a huge problem with this. Only a few racers I have encountered have done this thank goodness. I guess I don’t see it as a huge deal, it’s only VR points after all.

  16. I will never use the glitch because its not a shortcut. I dont care if I lose VR.
    I will not do it just because other people are doing it too, that just an excuse.

    Its not fun to cheat. I dont cheat to win at Mario Kart. I just try to win, within the context of the game. If you need to cheat to beat me, it shows you are not a good racer to begin with.

  17. The race continues after the glitch/ short cut and it has a cool tactical ending. This is not hardcore Grumble Volcano MKWii style, anyone can do it. It is not a cheat, this is now just part of the track (1 of 32…!)… Hacking the game and using unlimited blue shells as in MKDS or MKWii, THAT is cheating.

    I agree with the statement: if you don’t want to do it, stop complaining. And if you don´t know how to do it: start practising.

    But this discussion is so 2011. What about the Wuhu Loop glitch? That one is pretty hardcore, innit?

  18. @ Janush:

    The Wuhu Loop glitch isn’t quite such a big game-changer; it just shaves off a couple of seconds, and in all the chaos of Mario Kart, someone could use that trick and *still* get shelled into last place.

    But, seriously…they should just fire Lakitu! 🙂

  19. You’re right Richard. That bastard deserves being fired. First trying to sabotage our Mario platformers with throwing Spiny´s at us, now our Mario Karts as well!

    As for the Loop glitch, I´ve seen quite a lot of people winning by taking it. Off course you can get place last, but same goes when everyone takes the Maka short cut.

    I do agree with the approach you´ve posted above though. And if annoying people just keep on choosing it, I just leave the room.)

    Unfortunately, I think there´s more glitches to be found though. Never noticed when you´re driving 1st, for a few seconds it´s showing 2nd (when no one´s near passing you) and then it´s showing 1st again?!

  20. Wuhu Loop isn’t even a big one; Maka saves you 15 to 30 seconds, Wuhu Loop may net you one or two, if lag doesn’t interfere. Definitely a “meh” in my opinion.

  21. This is why its a glitch and cheating.

    In mario kart when you fall off the track, you are supposed to be punished not rewarded.
    Rewarding a player for not staying on the track and then being placed ahead of everyone is not a shortcut. Its a glitch. Its cheating.

    I cant stop you from cheating, but I wont stoop to cheating myself to beat you.
    And if you keep using it to win, I will keep complaining about you cheating.

    Dont like me complaining stop cheating.

  22. @ Jack:

    I applaud you and respect your racing ethics. If I were in charge of Nintendo, I’d find a way to hit online players who take unauthorized shortcuts with blue shells one after another until the race is over and they’re dead last…sort of like Link being attacked by chickens.

    The flip side of the coin is that this is Mario Kart we’re taking about. This is a game of chaos and craziness, where skillful drivers are punished and last-place racers get the best weapons. In that context, I think there’s some room for a sense of humor about this issue. Not a *lot* of room, mind you, because I do think online players who keep picking Maka Wuhu over and over should have their systems bricked…but we are talking about a series some players won’t even touch because of its inherent blurring of the line between “unfair” and “balanced.”

    I know what you’re saying: these shortcuts aren’t part of the rules the game’s designers want us to play by. In that respect, I agree with you completely: I’d rather stick to the official rules and intentions any time. I really do wish Nintendo would publicly acknowledge this matter and make some kind of comment about it, like “Sure, go ahead and take the shortcut!” or “Patch coming soon!”

  23. Do we know who made these tracks? Some tracks were made by Nintendo in Japan and some were made by Retro in the USA. I read that Retro made the 16 remake tracks and just one new one (the DK Jungle one?) but I’m not sure.

  24. @Kaherka:

    I’d love to see a complete breakdown of which team did what; it does sound like they were constantly offering feedback and suggestions on each other’s work. I remember one of the EAD team commenting on what a huge challenge it was to fit Wuhu Island into the game engine..moreso than they thought, I guess! 🙂

  25. Yea, it’s really annoying and frustrating. Whenever someone requests this track, I can’t help but assume they are going to cheat. Every time I’ve raced on it, someone does indeed cheat. Right at that 1st check point, theres at least one person racing at me to jump the cliff… It’s annoying, but they usually get beat over the course of four races.

  26. They can just patch it…. Oh wait.

  27. I’m yet to meet this problem. I’ve selected the Maku Wuhu track before, but never to cheat, and since I mostly race in communities, no-one seems to cheat because VR is not at stake.
    Would good for a patch since the internet is buzzing with people annoyed by it.

  28. I was wondering how people were doing this! Now I have to try this… for science.

  29. NOOO YOU ARE ALL SO DUMB

    THE MOST BY FAR ANNOYING PART ABOUT THE GLITCH IS THAT EVERYONE IS CHOOSING IT ON WIFI!!! i can never have a fun time online anymore because every second race is ALWAYS wuhu mountain loop!!!! if they want to play it that much just play it offline where you cant bother OTHER PEOPLE!!!

  30. Nintendo just had a system update on it and it will be fixed soon. 😀