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Battle Cars

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Battle Cars is a video game for the Super NES published by Namco in 1993. It is a futuristic racing game in which cars are equipped with missiles, grenade launchers, and sliding disks which are used to eliminate opponents.

The game can be played by either one or two players. In a one-player game, the player progresses through a series of progressively harder levels. Two players can alternate as each progresses through the levels of the one-player game, or they may go head-to-head in a number of race tracks.

Story

The excess of the industrial revolution was doomed to haunt the earth. As the 20th century faded into the 21st, the planet's largest economies were focused on the service industry. Over population and few environmental quality regulations created an exodus of traditional industry to less developed nations. Fueled with cheap labor, factories churned out consumer products with obsolete "dirty" machines purchased from the former industrial giants. Each year billions of metric tons of pollution were dumped into the biosphere. Global warming increased exponentially.

As the 21st century progresses the greenhouse effect began to take its ugly toll. The polar ice caps melted at an ever increasing rate. International tensions rose with the water level at a time when the world had never been better armed. The end of the cold war over a hundred years earlier saw huge arsenals of weapons capable of mass destruction. As coastal cities sank under the oceans, people demanded action. Politically the easiest solution was to point fingers and launch attacks against "environmental terrorists." Between global warming and global warfare the earth was forever changed.

The start of the 22nd century saw a true new world order. Survivors of the devastation lived in city states. Technology sophisticated and jaded by years of war the people demanded a new sport for their new age....Battle Cars...technology...aggression...Battle Cars. Afforded the same popularity earlier cultures had given artists or pop musicians, Battle Car drivers are heroes. Their only rule is to win.

Citation: Battle Cars instruction manual, page 4

Vehicles

The player can select from three vehicles at the start of the game in a variety of colors. Each vehicle handles the same, so the choice is a matter of personal preference. The player uses his chosen vehicle for the length of the game. The choices are a spiked vehicle, a hot rod, and a formula one-style race car.

The vehicles driven by the level bosses are more exotic and unavailable to play.

Vehicle Upgrades

The player can upgrade his vehicle by spending cash earned by defeating enemies on cross-country circuits. Each category may be upgraded to level eight.

  • Engine: The base speed of your vehicle if turbo becomes deactivated.
  • Turbo: Faster speed than engine power alone, but can become deactivated if you take many hits in a short period. You must then wait five seconds for it to recharge.
  • Tires: Upgrading prevents skidding and provides better braking ability.
  • Dampener: Keeps your car from bouncing off the walls.
  • Jump: Allows you to jump over enemy cars and disks.
  • Shocks: Reduces the bounce caused by jumping.

Weapons

The game features three weapons. These can be upgraded up to five levels, each increasing in speed and accuracy. Weapon upgrades are purchased using credits obtained from quickly completing Cross-Country races.

  • Disks: Fast-moving disks that slide along the track and ricochet off of the sides. Causes ⅓ damage to minor enemies.
  • Missiles: Homing missiles that can go off-road. If a missile goes out of view, you will need to wait ten seconds before you can fire again. Causes ⅓ damage to minor enemies.
  • Grenades: Thrown a set distance in front of your vehicle. Difficult to aim, but will completely destroy minor enemies in one shot, often several at once.

Levels

The main game features nine levels, each with two race tracks; one cross-country and one circuit.

Cross-Country: The player must first complete a Cross-Country track. These are linear courses in which the player must make it to the end of the course while destroying enemy cars to score cash. A countdown timer will be periodically displayed and if the player spends too much time on a cross-country track, he will be attacked repeatedly by the Peace-Net satellites scattered about the track.

Circuit: Upon successfully completing the level's Cross-Country race, the player is challenged by the level's boss racer to a circuit race. The race is for two laps, and while there are many enemy cars present, they are merely a foil to the human player as destroying them does not provide any cash rewards. To increase the challenge, the boss's vehicle cannot be destroyed, but can be slowed down with attacks.

The names of the levels and bosses are:

  • Newtroit: Metalhead Mike
  • Katmandu: Dirty Knuckle Ned
  • Meltdown: Doctor Diana
  • Fuji: Maniacal Mariko
  • Neuvo Vegas: Buffed Bachmed
  • Dakar: Nomad Nathalmu
  • The Zone: Medfly Max
  • Cantauri IV: Fourarm Foxtherm
  • New Atlantis:Foxwharmpit

In addition, there are five circuit tracks and nine cross-country tracks in two-player mode.

Level Descriptions

  • Newtroit: Possibly a conjunction of "New" and "Detroit." It is a large city with many factories.
  • Katmandu: A country setting with desert, mountains and waterfalls.
  • Meltdown: The remains of a power generating station that has seen better days. Red clouds blanket the landscape. The horizon is dotted with burned out buildings.
  • Fuji: Clearly a futuristic Japan setting with mountains, a bridge, and a Japanese house.
  • Neuvo Vegas: A magnificent city with many lights, domed forests, and illuminated bridges.
  • Dakar: City ruins in a desert wasteland. There is a large palace there, which appears to be inhabited.
  • The Zone: Located at the far north of the globe, this modern-day city is under siege! The sky is dark red, lighted only by immense explosions and gunfire in the distance.
  • Centauri IV: A world of its own, with lush green meadows and orange "oceans." The land is featureless, and a large moon can be seen over the horizon.
  • New Atlantis: A water-filled planet in which the raceway is suspended over water while a highly advanced city glistens in the background. Much of the planet surface is water, except for an archipelago near the raceway. It is unknown whether the planet has always been like this, or was flooded due to melting of the polar ice caps.

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