[rapid racer:facts&hints]


FACTS AND HINTS

FACT:CAMERA
FACT:SPECIAL ITEMS
FACT:TRACK DIFFICULTY
FACT:TESTING BOATS
FACT:UNLOCKING BOATS AND TRACKS

HINT:ABOUT THE WATER
HINT:BONUS LEVELS
HINT:DRIVING
HINT:FLIPPING
HINT:TURBO LOCATIONS
HINT:WRONG WAY



CAMERA
There are three different camera angles which you can select during gameplay using the SELECT button.
[1] DEFAULT: Shows the boat and the surroundings as if you were behind the boat. Good for frustrations like "I missed that turbo by 2 inches! Damn!" and if you're looking for stability - very good to get into the game.
[2] DRIVER: Shows what's in front of the boat. No boat. Quite a rush, aswell as harder to master than DEFAULT - and you will get dizzy when you spin.
[3] BOAT: Shows the boat and the surroundings as if you were on top of the boat. Healthy mixture of the above two.



SPECIAL ITEMS
[POSITIVE]

Fills one of three booster slots (if an empty one is availible). Use TRIANGLE or SQUARE to use it - temporary speed boost when used with engines, temporarily smoother ride without. Findable everywhere.

Collect five of these and win the race to get to a bonus level which allows you to upgrade your boat if you manage it. Only findable in '1 Player' - 'One Race'. There are seven of these in each level, so you can discard two.

Freezes your credited time for three seconds (IOW, basically adds three seconds to your credited time). Findable in all one player games except 'Time Trial'.
[NEGATIVE]

(No screenshot image availible) When picked up, they begin to fill up your turbo gauge - when the entire turbo gauge (3) is filled up, they automatically activate themselves and slow you down. WARNING, the booklet LIES about this: When you have three turbos in your gauge, the left-most will be overwritten with the red one when you pick it up, whilst, CONTRARY TO THE BOOKLET INCLUDED the green ones only remove red ones. In other words, you need two green ones to make a red slot green, but only one red one to make a green slot red! Findable in all one player games except 'Time Trial'.



TRACK DIFFICULTY
The difficulty level of tracks is based on the time you are given to complete it rather than the physical advantages of a track. Lava Trails in Hawaii [SIXTH COURSE OUT OF SIX] is one of the easiest courses to drive - even a beginner will manage this course without crashing too much - whilst Wild Water Canyon [SECOND COURSE OUT OF SIX] is undoubtably the hardest to master.
Naturally, the time you are given to complete the track will vary according to the difficulty level you picked at the game screen aswell. To get an idea how this will affect your gameplay, here are the times for Golden Sands, Miami:
  DAY NIGHT MIRROR
EASY 1:15
30sec per checkpoint
1:03
22sec per checkpoint
1:01
22sec per checkpoint
MEDIUM 1:03
22sec per checkpoint
1:01
22sec per checkpoint
0:57
22sec per checkpoint
HARD 1:01
22sec per checkpoint
0:57
22sec per checkpoint
0:57
21sec per checkpoint

The choice you make will also change how often you can retry a bonus level.
Also, it is to be noted that the water speed in the 'night' tracks and the 'mirror' tracks can vary. Most importantly, Miami Sands is significantly slower in Night than at Day, and slow than at Day in Mirror, but not as much. Also, Glacier Bay speeds up quite a bit at Night (fun!) and so does the Costa Rica track.



TESTING BOATS
You can test any boats by hitting CIRCLE on the 'Select Boat' screen, labelled 'info'. It will give you the boat's more detailed information, aswell as offer a way to test it - hit CIRCLE (labelled 'test') again, and you will be offered a test course you can test your boat on for 30 seconds. Repeat as neccessary.



UNLOCKING BOATS AND TRACKS
Win all day tracks to unlock the night tracks & the day championship.
Win all night tracks to unlock the mirror tracks and the night championship.
Win all mirror tracks to unlock the Fractal Generator.
Win the mirror championship and get the Radioactive (boat) [????].
Win a Fractal race to unlock the Black Widow (boat) [????].
The difficulty setting (easy, medium or hard) seems irrelevant in these.



ABOUT THE WATER
The most basic thing to learn in the game is not how your boat reacts, but how the water/lava does. It plays an important role in the game, maximizing momentum. The water/lava always flows in the direction you are supposed to drive the course in, so that when you are at 'zero speed', your boat still drifts over the water. One lap in Lava Trails, for example, in 'drift mode' takes you about four and a half minutes - this is without touching X or Turbo.



BONUS LEVELS
When you are in a bonus level, it's absolutely essential that you do not aim to get through all gates in time. Pick a gate the color of the type of upgrade you want to upgrade your boat with - handling (maneouverability) [PINK], acceleration [RED] or speed [YELLOW]. You cannot upgrade the hull - on any boat. Also, keep in mind that not all boats can be upgraded to 100% of anything - they may not be able to take it. The faded colors you see when you look at your boat's stats reach to the max you can upgrade that specific type to - for example, you can upgrade the Black Widow's Speed to 100% and Acceleration to 100%.
Hint for going through the bonus level: Ignore the time ticking down. Calmly and slowly avoid stickies, pick up freezes, bonuses and turbos, but NEVER, EVER turbo. The water may seem calm, but it acts a little like backward rapids, so it's very easy to fuck up on this track, even as an experienced player. Save the game before you go into the bonus level (go back to the main screen, pick OPTIONS, then MEMORY CARD, then SAVE), then try the bonus level. If you fail (once on HARD, twice on MEDIUM or four times on EASY), you can switch of your PSX and switch it on again to try once more - repeat as neccessary, till you have your upgrade. Always remember the goal is NOT going through all gates, but rather, picking up the yellow buoyes. These will always be under arches with the emblem of what you are trying to upgrade - so you can see them from afar.



DRIVING
The best way to drive is by steering around corners before you are actually in them, backward delayed by about half a second to a full second. Waterfalls: Either don't accelerate at all when you reach them, trying to get over them as slow as possible till you basically slide down them instead of glide through air, or, alternatively, activate your turbo about five to ten ship lengths before you hit it to sail through the air without flipping. Works most of the time. In narrow corners, don't accelerate, take your thumb off the X button, and let yourself drift more than you drive. Contrary to what you might believe, la "Oh no! But what about my time? What about my pole position?" you're not likely to experience any major slow-down. Air flips and crashes slow down far more.



FLIPPING
Should you end up being flipped by the water or obstacles in such a manner that you cannot instantly get out of it, instantly steer in one direction (left or right, whichever covers less area to get back on course, and if not obvious, pick any) and do not frantically change direction, even if it turns out that it was the slower way. If this does not help because you got stuck in a rather unfortunate way, stop everything, stop touching any buttons, and wait for your boat to drift away. If even that doesn't work, then you can wildly thrash about with the boat.



TURBO LOCATIONS
The green RR emblems fill up your turbo-boosters. You can have three of them. Where you pick them up is important, because usually they are best used precisely where you picked them up (keep your thumb pressing both X and SQUARE during the entire course if you want not to worry about having to pay attention to when you pick up a turbo - it will then automatically be used). There are exceptions to this, of course, but it's well worth the try.tons, and wait for your boat to drift away. If even that doesn't work, then you can wildly thrash about with the boat.



WRONG WAY
A great way to train your skills in this game is the gem 'Time Trial'. Have you ever wondered just what it feels like to blatantly ignore what one should do, and just... see how the course plays if you go against the current? It's about as hard as it sounds, unless you pick Golden Sands, Miami, which is almost just as easy the wrong way around as it is the right way around.
To my knowledge, it is impossible to beat Lava Trails due to a rather steep waterfall which flips you around and back on the proper course if you try to go up it the wrong way.
Others have been listed here - I've jotted down the time on screen as I crossed the finish line (with the black widow).
  RECORD TIME IMPOSSIBLE OBSTACLES
GOLDEN SANDS 1:57 none
WILD WATER CANYON 5:06 none
GLACIER BAY 3:11 none
BEAR LAKE 5:44 none
LOST VALLEY 5:24 none
LAVA TRAILS ~4:50 up to: A steep waterfall towards what would normally be the beginning of the track.

A slight word of warning - nausea may insue if you don't like angles spontaneously warping around you. Obviously, the game was not coded to be driven backwards, and it behaves strangely when it comes to display from time to time, where 'strangely' is a severe understatement.