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// article by Jeff

I'm sure you're wondering the same thing I was: what is a "Parigo"? Well, after a bit of mildly extensive research, I think I've come up with an actual answer. When searching for the word "Parigo" online, the closest result I came across was "parigot", which is a pejorative term for a Parisian. But what does that have to do with Super Mario Kart, to which this hack is a modified version? This might take a bit of explaining. Apparently, in Europe (mostly centred within France), there is a vital Super Mario Kart community. They're so active that there was even a self-organized Super Mario Kart Championship! And what better way to celebrate such a close-knit community than to create their own version of Super Mario Kart?

And thus, it was done. The first thing was to personalize the game by inserting members of the Super Mario Kart community in place of the typical racers. Four of the players are derived from the "Parigos Team", players specifically situated in Paris, hence the insertion of the term "Parigo" in the title (did you thought I had forgotten about that?), as well as two from the "Far West Team" (in the western parts of France), a player from the south of France, and even someone from the Netherlands. Here's the basic roster:

PARIGOS:
  Harold "Harold" Christensen (replacing Donkey Kong Jr.)
  Anthony "Anton" Pichard (replacing Koopa Troopa)
  Baptiste "Bab" Baly (replacing Princess Toadstool)
  Olivier "Olive" Antoine (replacing Yoshi)
FAR WEST:
  Florent "Neo" Lecoanet (replacing Mario)
  Geoffrey "Geo" Label (replacing Toad)
SUD (SOUTH):
  Julien "Scoub" Holmière (replacing Luigi)
DUTCH:
  Karel "Karel" Van Duijvenboden (replacing Bowser)

The regular Mario Kart racer sprites have been swapped for their cartoonish likenesses, and their kart colours have been changed to reflect the four different teams. In addition, Lakitu, who normally starts the race and also floats in to tell you what lap you're on, has been evicted from his job and replaced with Pierre "Kartie" L'Hoest. He vaguely resembles a cloud-riding Bela Lugosi. The large Cheep-Cheep at the end of each cup that puffs out the trophy is now Sami "Sami" Cetin. In addition, each GP cup has been renamed to match one of the four Super Mario Kart Championship teams.

But this is more than merely a hack to wedge their faces into the game. Super Parigo Kart is a complete redux; they even equate it to being like a Super Mario Kart 2. Though the gameplay is similar (and the equivalent characters play like their original counterparts), the 20 actual tracks have been completely redesigned to offer a much greater challenge. The Far West Cup Race, formerly the easiest Mushroom Cup, is now as challenging as the most difficult race of Super Mario Kart. Novices need not apply. Actually, only the most experienced of racers need apply; the rest will be chewed up alive by some of these sadistic design choices. Even the Battle Courses have been revamped for a nouveau experience. Reasonably, if the tracks changed shape, the names must also change. Forget the lovely monikers of Ghost Valley, Donut Plains, and Mario Circuit you once knew: Ganja Valley, Vodka Lake, and Christ Island are some of your new destinations to visit. Interestingly enough, Super Parigo Kart automatically allows you to play modes normally requiring unlocking.

Other changes include a title screen modification (where the new racers jet off along the panorama that is Paris) and additional edits to the character selection and podium celebration screens. The backgrounds of each track have also been altered to more accurately represent the locales of its players.

The team clearly put a lot of effort into this one. Heck, they even have used it specifically for their own intra-community tournaments and have posted their own records for the tracks. They even reproduced this hack on an actual cartridge; though the general public can't get their hands on one, it's still an admirable achievement. To learn even more, feel free to visit the official Super Parigo Kart website. In the meantime, let our screenshots do the talking:


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