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Here we go! 17 incredible details to spot in new 'Vancouver Velocity' Mario Kart course

Oddy, there are bats, but no seagulls.
At one point racers glide over Burrard Inlet in the Mario Kart 8 Vancouver Velocity course.

Vancouver has made it big, finally, with a course on Mario Kart 8.

The famed Nintendo game's eighth edition launched a while back and they've been releasing waves of new courses this year for subscribers. On July 12, Vancouver Velocity was added, as part of the new "Cherry Cup," (though some users received the game update the evening before).

The course is an updated version of the course on Marko Kart Tour, and stuffed with tons of references to the city. Here are some of the sights you'll see as you race through the streets of downtown Vancouver (and briefly a park in North Vancouver).

  1. The starting gate is an unholy creation using cloned steam clocks marking the line.
  2. One of the smaller details is a street-level roof on the left-hand side of the course directly in front of the starting line straight off of Hotel Vancouver (the Hornby Street side).
  3. The glass roof of the underground entrance to Waterfront station on Howe Street shows up trackside as well.
  4. Perhaps the most "in-your-face" Vancouver reference is the Olympic torch, which you race straight through.
  5. Some geography gets switched around, as the Lions Gate Bridge appears on the left as you cross a bridge and enter "Vancouver Park" (really, it's probably Stanley Park).
  6. After passing a "Grill" selling only "Fish" and "Meat," you enter the Suspension Bridge section, obviously a reference to the Capilano Suspension Bridge. Along with the historic bridge, the race also winds through areas that appear to be the cliff walk and treetops sections of the park.
  7. Some more geographic shenanigans happen as racers launch from the park, over the Burrard Inlet and back into downtown, but it gives a great view of the cruise ship terminal, Canada Place, the conference centre and the Harbour Tower.
  8. In parts of the city, there are lots of fallen leaves on the ground, despite there being few trees. This could be a reference to the Billy Talent song "Fallen Leaves" about a person arriving in Vancouver and ending up in the Downtown Eastside, or it could just be a design choice.
  9. The Pan Pacific Vancouver and Fairmont Waterfront hotels appear to be merged into one building that has the valet station from the Fairmont and the glass roof near Canada Place from the Pan Pacific.
  10. On one of the laps, after driving along the waterfront and past Coal Harbour's marina, a dirt path runs along a body of water that looks a bit like Lost Lagoon.
  11. One of the bus stops in the park is a very detailed replica of one you might find in Vancouver.
  12. New neighbours are created in the race, as the course drives between B.C. Place and the Vancouver Public Library's downtown branch. The blue, red, and yellow VPL signs can even be spotted a couple of times.
  13. Perhaps the only part of Vancouver's streets that's correct is the fact Rogers Arena (aka M Arena) is right next to BC Place.
  14. Worth its own note, outside of Rogers Arena is a golden statue holding a hockey stick up by the blade, a shout-out to the Roger Neilson statue.
  15. While not a feature you drive by, at one point winding through the city streets Science World has a blink-and-you-miss-it cameo in the background.
  16. Waterfront Station (as in the old CPR station) makes an appearance near the arena, oddly with a steam clock out front.
  17. While downtown doesn't have any curvy tunnels, the underground section of the race could be replicating the Cassiar tunnel in East Vancouver on the way over to North Van (you'll see green directional arrows up top when your racer enters the tunnel). Or it could be a pretty inaccurate reference to the roads near the port below street level.