Mario Kart Wii Tips: Blocking and Evading Red Shells

by on November 10th, 2014
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Mario Kart was a hit since its inception on the Super Nintendo console. Ever since then there has been a myriad of sequels that follow in the original one’s successful path – each addition also adding something new and innovative to the mix. However, one aspect that hasn’t really changed was the red shell item – a projectile that locks onto it’s target and will track them down whether it’s a short or long distance.

As an avid Mario Kart Wii player, I have found a few ways to avoid these red shells. Avoiding these projectiles can make or break a race – and I’ve personally seen it happen to other players, too. In one instance I picked off a guy right on the last lap at the finish line, merely feet from the line itself. If they had used one of these tactics they may have won the race.

Here are a few ways to help avoid these pesky red shells:

The Back Burner
Whenever you have an item ready, you’ll see the item shown in the black item box. Once the item is out, but being held, I call this the “back burner.” Holding certain items behind the player (which can be done by holding down the trigger in most instances) gives the player a shield from certain enemy weaponry – most notably the well-known red shell. There are two items that work in the “back burner” – green shells and banana peels. If you’re lucky, you can also obtain the three banana peels in one. Hitting the trigger once takes all three out, each subsequent trigger touch letting go of one banana peel. This essentially gives you three shields from red shells as long as they stay in position.

Utilizing the Course
Each course is different, but they all have ways of utilizing their environment to elude and evade these red shells. Players should search for obstacles (think of the cows in “Moo Moo Farm”) or vertical walls and/or fences (such as the star-shaped fencing on Rainbow Road) when being pursued by a red shell. When the red shell gets close, try and make a sharp turn to throw off the red shells’ course and send it into the wall/obstacle/fence/etc. This will, if you do it right, usually make the red shell smack into the wall, stopping it in it’s tracks.

Also, keep a look out for Goombas and other objects in the road that could help block the red shells.

Warps and such
There are many “warps” or cannons that players go through. These warps stop shells in their tracks – even the infamous Blue Shell (also known as the “First Place Killer”). This is more sheer luck than anything, but it is good to know that it is another way that can help avoid red shells (and especially blue spiked shells).

Body(kart) Guard
This is an offensive and defensive tactic: When you hear/see a red shell incoming, try to race in front of another player and put them between you and the red shell. If done correctly not only will you have evaded a red shell, you’ve also taken out some additional competition. Make sure your placement is perfect, as I’ve experienced red shells slipping by the other player and tapping me, sending me straight into the air.

The Trophy Stand Conclusion
There are many tactics in Mario Kart Wii (and Mario Kart games in general). Finding these tactics and successfully utilizing them can, and probably will, make or break races for you. Such tactics help you slip further into the lead over time, helping these seasoned gamers secure wins.

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