Decade Moment: The “MarioKart: Double Dash!!” Demo Disc

Decade Moment: The “MarioKart: Double Dash!!” Demo Disc

What is a “Decade Moment?”  It is a moment from the past ten years that us here at TSS remember vividly to this day.  A game announcement, completing a tough level, or acquiring some slick merchandise… everything memorable and certifiably Sonic counts.

In the last ten years of running Sonic forums, playing Sonic games, and just simply being a fan, there is one moment that trumps all… and it’s from the least likely of places: a pre-order bonus for a Mario game.  In October of 2003, Nintendo announced that the long-awaited entry in the MarioKart series would be giving away demo discs with a pre-order.  I could care less for demo discs and the crap that they try to push on people.  Even today, with Nintendo’s DS Download Service, they rarely have anything worth checking out.  This demo disc was different though… it was stacked.

Check out this line-up: Mario Party 5, F-Zero GX, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike.

About three games out of those four ended up being any good (and in F-Zero and Rogue Squadron’s case… fantastic).  You would think that this list would have me hooked right then and there.  I was surprisingly not sold, however, until I got to the bottom of the list and read “Sonic Heroes.”

Flashback to a few weeks ago.  A trailer had just come out for Sonic Heroes that was SEGA’s trailer of the decade.  It gave me goosebumps to watch words fly at you, Sonic and company blazing past bright and colorful levels reminscent of the Genesis days, and to hear a movie trailer voice-over narrate it all.  But nothing… nothing prepared you for the fangasm that was “The Return of Metal Sonic:”


Needless to say, I was a happy as a sophomore in high school could be.  My childhood icon was calling back to his 90s glory.  I knew that I was going to get Double Dash!! but this demo alone sweetened the deal.  Once the option was available, I immediately went to put a pre-order down at GameStop so that I could get my hands on “the return of a legend.”  Luckily, the store is not too far away from my house.  I was only a permit-carrying driver at the time, so with my parents at work, I was breaking the law.  I couldn’t contain myself though… I needed this demo disc.

I put $5 down and got back home safe and sound.  The only thing that wasn’t safe was my grades, because I’m pretty sure I gave a big “fuck that” to my homework that night.

There were only two levels: Seaside Hill with Team Sonic and Bullet Station with Team Dark.  Those two levels turned into hours of entertainment and eventually became days of satiating my desire to play the full version.  I had to keep myself occupied until January 5th.

Sonic Heroes fulfilled the insane amount of hype that I had running through me once I purchased it with my two Best Buy gift cards on that fateful day in January.  I played it for months until I got all A-ranks.  Still, the memories of playing Sonic Heroes until completion have faded and standing strong today six years later… is a demo disc for a Mario game.

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Slingerland is a staff writer and editor for both The Sonic Stadium and Sonic Retro. His area of emphasis is the inner-workings of the games and laughing at everything.


  1. Remember when E-123’s voice in the demo was a lot deeper in the demo than it was in the final version? I wonder why they changed that.

  2. Ah, yes…

    I still have that disc to this day.

    Actually, I took that game from a video game store recently.

    Well, not exactly “stole” took. They just let me have it. No charge.

    In any event, not only was this a hit on the GameCube, but this was the 1st Sonic game to come out for the XBOX & PS2.

    When I heard this, the Sonic fan within me became alive again. Before, all I had was a PS2, so I’d head over to my friend’s house to play Sonic Adventure 1 & 2 for the GameCube.

    But now, fast foward 7 or 8 years later, I’ve got almost every next-gen systems & portable systems and all the Sonic games for them and their respective past-gen systems as well.

    And my Sonic game collection continues to grow…

  3. I remember that there was a complimentary shirt you got with the game when you preordered it at Gamestation in the UK. I did not remove the shirt until I had completed the game. I think that impressed all the girls on my floor at university…

  4. @T-Bird

    You… didn’t remove it… after PREordering it??? My lord, I don’t think the shirt was attracting girls’ attention for the reason you think it was.

    *cough* *cough*

  5. What a coincidence, Mario Kart: Double Dash!! was the game that came bundled with my Gamecube. I also got Sonic Adventure DX at the same time (my mom gave me both for my birthday). 🙂

  6. I love Sonic Heroes best 3D Sonic game ever that game still keeps busy after since 2004 🙂 I think I`ll go play it now & I`d show Metal the true power of teamwork !!!! (Had to do it XD )

  7. Ah the days when I had to import all my sonic games cause of those horrible dubbed voices and no japanese version. My gamecube collection of sonic games rocks though, looks so cool in japanese cases ^^

  8. I really enjoyed Sonic Heroes, the stages had that theme based feeling from the originals, there were special stages, leveling up was fun and once you knew how to play, geez was it awesome. Its the only game apart from Sonic Adventure where I actually went back and collected all the A ranks and got everything.

    Thanks for the reminder of how fun this game was 🙂

    … Too bad about Double Dash thou.. Target wouldn’t let me return it… horrible, horrible stuff.. and the Wii Mario Kart is identical >.<

    *Every time Sumo or Sega screw up Sonic Sega Racing info, another 10 copies of Mario Kart Wii fly off store shelves 🙁 *

  9. xD Its ironic how the mentioned the return of metal sonic and not I still play the game on my wii.Im a metal sonic dooler.xD Team Metal Sonic.Metal Sonic, Tails Doll, And Metaal Knuckles. ;P But that would mean a new villain.Metal Eggman? xD Lets go super metals….opps rolling off track.ANYWAY Yepz I always play sonic heroes.*jumps and pose*YEA

  10. Hell yeah, that was a great day. My anticipation for the game was also high enough that I bought a copy of an American Mario Kart with the demo disc on eBay, purely for that demo alone. I was getting the Japanese version of the full game at the end of 2003 anyway, but even then, the two months or whatever it was before that, let alone the European release in 2004, was still far too long to wait! Think I had to rush out and get a freeloader disc to run it on my PAL Gamecube that morning, but I remember my joy when it actually worked! Still prefer the original object layout in Seaside Hill that this demo had, as opposed to the final one.

    I liked it when they gave us a one or two level demo a month or two before the game’s release, they should really start doing that again for the main ones. Releasing it afterwards is no good. It’s interesting to see what glitches are fixed and what design changes have been made.

  11. I don’t remember pre-ordering it… THOUGH, the second time I bought it there was no demo disk…

    Pikmin looked awesome, though. x3

  12. Sonic Heroes was my first Sonic game! 😀 I loves that game so much! That game made me crazy and I bought many new Sonic games! And I do not own all, but I have played every Sonic game, except Sonic Shuffle and these Arcade things Sonic’s Patrol Car or something it’s called. But I have played Sega Sonic The Hedgehog…..that was a weird game….XD
    Anyway, Sonic Heroes was good actually!XD

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