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Players of Nintendo's Mario Kart 8 will soon be able to race as Link from The Legend of Zelda, Tanooki Mario from Super Mario Bros. 3 and Villager from Animal Crossing, thanks to some newly-announced DLC coming soon for the game.

Two new DLC packs will put rubber to the road for Mario Kart 8 by adding new characters and expanding game-play options. The packs, which launch this autumn and in the spring of 2015, are available for advance purchase starting Aug. 27.

In addition to these two new downloadable content packs, a previously-announced game update goes live on Aug. 27, which adds a variety of new features -- including three free Mercedes-Benz cars that players can race: the modern Mercedes-Benz GLA, the 300 SL Roadster from the 1950s and the legendary Silver Arrow of the 1930s.

"More than 1 million Wii U owners in the United States alone are already enjoying the fun of Mario Kart 8," Nintendo of America's Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing Scott Moffitt said. "Mario Kart 8 already includes the largest number of characters, karts and options of any Mario Kart game to date, and these amazing expansion packs give players even more choices."

Each pack will contain two new cups, each with four courses, which, in total, increases the number of currently available courses by 50 percent. The DLC packs include classic courses like Wario's Gold Mine from Mario Kart Wii, as well as new courses, some taking place in the worlds of The Legend of Zelda and Animal Crossing.

New vehicles will also arrive with each pack, including the Blue Falcon kart representing the F-Zero franchise in the first DLC pack.

Mario Kart 8, which released earlier this year, is rated "E for Everyone" by the ESRB.

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