Waluigi Pinball is a fan-favorite track from the Mario Kart series, and it just made its return through the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass: Wave 2. It’s really nice to see Waluigi get some love from Nintendo, which makes it a tad surprisingly to learn that this track almost featured a very different focus.
According to the source code of Mario Kart DS, it seems Nintendo was toying with making giving different characters the spotlight on this track. Data discovered points to Luigi being the lead on this track for awhile, and Donkey Kong was considered as well. At some point, it’s clear Nintendo decided to drop those choices and make Waluigi the star.
You can actually take a look at both the Luigi and Donkey Kong versions of this track via the image below.
I often see this mistake on gaming sites, but it is actually not the "source code" of Mario Kart DS but its "binary code", which is different.
Only Nintendo has access to the source code of their games, it’s kept secret somewhere in their offices. Whereas the binary/compiled code is what’s on the cartridge and what dataminers are actually examining (and it’s much harder to decipher stuff from binary data).
The difference is important because the "gigaleak" that happened a few years ago actually gave us access to the source code of certain games, which usually never happens. It shows how exceptional this event was.
I did not know this. Thanks for the insight.