Magic is another common RPG element in the series. The method by which characters gain magic varies between installments, but is generally divided into classes organized by color: "White magic", which focuses on spells that assist teammates; "Black magic", which focuses on harming enemies; "Red magic", which is a combination of white and black magic, "Blue magic", which mimics enemy attacks; and "Green magic" which focuses on applying status effects to either allies or enemies. Other types of magic frequently appear such as "Time magic", focusing on the themes of time, space, and gravity; and "Summoning magic", which evokes legendary creatures to aid in battle and is a feature that has persisted since Final Fantasy III. Summoned creatures are often referred to by names like "Espers" or "Eidolons" and have been inspired by mythologies from Arabic, Hindu, Norse, and Greek cultures.
Time Trials – The player races alone in order to finish any course in the fastest time possible. The best time is then saved as a ghost, which the player can race against in later trials. Since Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, a new function called Staff Ghosts is introduced, Staff Ghosts are members of the Nintendo team that set staff times for one to try and beat. One's personal best has to be better than the staff time of a ghost in order to unlock Expert Staff Ghosts, which only appeared in Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 7, which in turn unlock characters, vehicles, or stamps, in addition to viewing ghost data.