Piranha Plant Slide (called Piranha Plant Pipeway in Europe and Oceania) is the first course in the Star Cup in Mario Kart 7. It has a modern Super Mario Bros.-like theme. It has three Goombas, two cardboard cut-outs of the Goombas and two Piranha Plants as hazards. The majority of the track takes place underground, but the beginning and end of it is above ground. A small portion of the track is underwater. The track made its return in Mario Kart 8 as one of the retro courses.
The level starts out with the player having to go down a water slide with three possible routes to go down until going underwater and then going inside of the cavern. Here, the player can first find a giant Piranha Plant on which he/she must avoid or else he/she gets injured. Two paths can be used to pass the Piranha Plant.
Then, the player must continue going and pass two giant Goombas and then use the giant blocks to drive over or drive underneath the blocks. The player must continue driving on the water until reaching an area where two pipes can be used as ramps and then enter a pipe taking him/her underwater again.
Here, the player must avoid blowing water which may push him/her to the side if he/she is not careful. Then, there is another giant Piranha Plant with two ways to pass it.
There is then a boost pad leading the player outside and he/she then glides across the large gap to reach the other side. Also, pipes with water coming out of it allows the player to have his/her paragliding get a boost. Then, the player must pass a giant Goomba, two cardboard cutouts until reaching the finish line.
In Mario Kart 8/Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Piranha Plant Slide returns in Mario Kart 8 the second track in the Lightning Cup. The course is updated to have ambient lighting, better shading and live-recorded music, although the underwater version of the music has been removed. The starting banner remains castle-themed, but has been expanded to resemble the exterior of the larger castles, such as the one found at World 1-3 of Super Mario Bros., with towers added to the expanded walls on the side, replacing the flagpoles. The banner and towers also serve as stands for several Toads and Koopa Paratroopas.
The layout remains the same, but with some changes. The Goombas are no longer blue, due to the lighting changes, and the underwater section has been altered to incorporate the anti-gravity mechanic, with drivers now going straight down and then curving upward. The pipe that enters the water now goes straight down and is wider, larger, and has three slides, instead of a small spherical hole in the wall. The three slides after the start and finish line have a ramp added at the end, allowing racers to perform tricks on them. In addition, the first of the two grass shortcuts during the last stretch has been removed, likely due to it being easily done without a mushroom via gliding over it in Mario Kart 7; however, gliding over it is impossible without a Mushroom due to the gliding section being made much steeper. Small Piranha Plants from N64 Royal Raceway have been added throughout the above ground section of the course.
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