Daytona USA 2: Battle on the Edge is an arcade racing game released by Sega in 1998 as a follow up to the extremely successful Daytona USA. The game featured vastly superior graphics, utilizing the Sega Model 3 hardware. The majority of Daytona USA 2 cabinets were released as deluxe models (with far fewer Twin Cabinets), which could be linked together for up to four players. A notable change from the original is the ability to select a car and corresponding driver, each with varying capabilities for varying levels of player experience. Just like before, the game has three courses - a Beginner course with 8 laps, an Advanced course with 4 laps, and a long Expert course with 2 laps. (Note: All lap settings are the defaults; the longer "double" setting is occasionally seen in normal use.) The 'time lap' mode also returns, and is accessed in the same manner - by holding down start at the transmission select screen. Also, mirrored versions of the tracks can be played (another feature carried from the original) by holding down the Start button when selecting the course. It is recommended, however, that the player has had mastery of the course beforehand. By request, an arcade operator could put the game on Grand Prix or Endurance mode to increase the number of laps in a game, which was good for tournament purposes. Finishing a race in the top 3 in any course allows the player to view an "ending" and see the game credits.
Daytona USA 2: Power Edition
In late 1998 - a few months after Battle on the Edge was released - Sega released an updated version, known as Daytona USA 2: Power Edition. Changes in this game include the environment of the beginner course; instead of inside Forest Dome, the race takes place on a NASCAR style oval - the SEGA International Speedway - but the course layout remains the same. Also included is the "Challenge" course option, which combines all three courses together (Advanced -> Expert -> Beginner) for a fun experience and shows how the three courses can be "inter-connected." Along with slightly revamped handling physics, the game changes the Beginner "Chum's Gum" car to the "J.C. Eagle" car, although the colors and performance remain the same, and also included is the "Hornet Classic" car, which is the car from the original Daytona USA, but with a slightly changed design (actually, the Hornet is NOT available in Battle on the Edge while it is in Power Edition). The enemy cars also drive more aggressively in this version, which did not appeal to more serious players who try to break the game's lap records. Another small change is in the advanced course with one corner altered to decrease the difficulty. Before this change, many experts considered this corner the most difficult in the game. [ ]
Both versions of the game use advanced NASCAR-style drafting techniques, referred to by the game as the 'slingshot' ability.
There are three separate courses in Daytona USA 2 and one special track in Power Edition. Some of the stated information for each course is referenced in the official soundtrack.
Astro Waterfall Speedway/SEGA International Speedway
The first name refers to Battle on the Edge, the second refers to Power Edition.
Race Name: SEGA 300
Course Type: 1 mile speedway
Number of laps (Standard mode): 8
Number of Cars: 40
Course BGM: 'Sling Shot'
Skill Level: Beginner
Number of turns: 3
Note: This course begins on a rolling start.
In Battle on the Edge, this giant indoor racecourse is set in the Forest Dome, which is itself set on the famed Tropical Islands resort. With a capacity upward of 150,000 spectators, the Dome features many of different environments that create a fantasy-like experience for the drivers. In Power Edition, however, the race takes place with the glass dome removed. The four-turn setup bears similarities to real NASCAR oval tracks (similar to the real-life Daytona International Speedway and the Three Seven Speedway from the original Daytona USA), but still has its own unique feel. The course features various billboards in both versions such as the Hornet and Chums Gum logos, meaning that in Power Edition this is the only time that the Chum's Gum logo is shown, due to the car being rebranded as J.C. Eagle in Power Edition.
Joypolis 2020 Amusement Park
Race Name: Pirate's Treasure 400
Course type: 2.25 mile road course
Number of laps (Standard mode): 4
Number of Cars: 20
Course BGM: 'I Can Do It'
Skill Level: Advanced
Number of turns: 10
This course goes through the massive Joypolis 2020 amusement park, with drivers racing through several different themed rides and attractions: a pirate rocking ship (at the start/finish line), a dungeon, a Space Harrier themed section, and a giant roller coaster which winds through an Antarctica setting.
Virtua City/New Joke City
Race Name: Skyscraper 500
Course type: 5.75 mile street circuit
Number of laps (Standard mode): 2
Number of Cars: 30
Course BGM: 'Skyscraper Sequence'
Skill Level: Expert
Number of turns: 30
This giant city - the center of the world economy, and which also resembles New York City and parts of Chicago - is extremely long and challenging course, with tight curves and hairpin turns; the roads have been blocked, and the actual city makes up the racecourse. After going through a downtown area, the course goes through a harbor area, and then proceeds through a tunnel leading to Interstate 95 and then back into city.
On some parts of the course, players can read typical US roadsigns that show different cities and places and how far away they are, some of which reference other tracks or games. Notable locations include:
- Forest Island (The beginner track in the first edition of Daytona USA 2, still appears in Power Edition)
- Central City (not used in any Daytona USA game, but become a large city in the Sonic the Hedgehog universe)
- Holy Canyon (Possibly a reference to Dinosaur Canyon of the original Daytona USA)
- Las Segas (A cross between Las Vegas and Sega, mentioned as being the location of the Three Seven Speedway in Daytona USA 2001's manual.)
A special course only available in Power Edition which combines all three other courses.
Race Name: (None Specified)
Course Type: 9 mile point-to-point
Number of Laps: 1 (start-to-finish race)
Number of Cars: 30
Course BGM: A mix of all the tracks, fading into the next song as the player goes through a tunnel
Skill Level: Challenging
Number of Turns: 47
This race starts off as if you are racing the Advanced course, but the last turn of the course is blocked and the cars must go straight into a tunnel that leads to Virtua City that ends near the Grand Central Station area of the track. After going on Interstate 95, the cars normally turn right, but instead turn left towards another tunnel with a "SEGA International Speedway" sign above the entrance. (Tunnels seem to be a motif in this game.) Once inside the speedway, the cars make one lap around to the finish line.
Members of the Brown family ('a distinguished family in the world of stock car racing', according to the Original Soundtrack album) drives the four playable cars in this game - each car is owned by a different racing team. The name of the drivers is never mentioned ingame, although each is introduced on the original soundtrack.
As a tribute to the original Daytona USA, all the playable cars are numbered 41 (multiplayer mode, on the other hand, numbers the players' cars 1-16 depending on the player's number).
Chum's Gum/J.C. Eagle Racing Team
The first name refers to Battle on the Edge, and the second refers to Power Edition. Otherwise these cars are identical between versions.
Driven by: Noel Brown
Model Derivation: 1998 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Difficulty: Easy, best used for those who are new to the game.
Automatic transmission: 201 mph
Manual transmission: 204 mph
The Chum's Gum and J.C. Eagle cars are known as the "Easy" level cars, due to their low top speeds and relatively easy handling. The car has excellent traction, making it ideal for beginners unfamiliar to the Daytona USA drift mechanic to make turns easily at low speeds. Experienced players, however, will probably find it too slow to handle - however, the car can be used well in New Joke City, due to the heavy demand on the car's and player's handling abilities.
In the original soundtrack of the game, Tom West, the man who says "Gentlemem, Start Your Engines!" before the race begins and comments the race in the "live" mode of the game, says that the Chum's Gum Car is driven by Johnny Brown. That's not true: actually, in several screenshots of the car the name of Noel Brown is clearly seen on the roof of the Chum's Gum Car.
Scorpio Plasma Racing
Driven by: Johnny Brown
Model Derivation: 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix
Difficulty: Normal, best used for people who are semi-experienced.
Automatic transmission: 206 mph
Manual transmission: 208 mph
This car is designated as the "Normal Level Car" due to its balance of speed, acceleration, handling (grip or stability), and steering. This car is therefore suitable for intermediate players. Its main feature is the ability to drift easily as opposed to the Chums Gum which is hard to put into a drift and the Phantom which is difficult to control.
This car is not as fast as the Phantom at drifting when used by experienced players, but it is more forgiving than the Phantom which also makes it suitable for intermediates.
In the original soundtrack of the game, Tom West, the man who says "Gentlemem, Start Your Engines!" before the race begins and comments the race in the "live" mode of the game, says that the Scorpio Car is driven by Noel Brown. That's not true: actually, in several screenshots of the car the name of Johnny Brown is clearly seen on the roof of the Scorpio Car.
Phantom Full Force Racing
Driven by: Mitch Brown
Model Derivation: 1998 Ford Thunderbird
Difficulty: Hard, for those that are experts in the game.
Automatic transmission: 209 mph
Manual transmission: 212 mph
This car is designated as the "Hard Level Car" due to its high speed and poorer handling, although the car is potentially the fastest around corners when skilled downshifting in manual transmission is used. As a result, the car does not perform as well using automatic transmission due to the inability to downshift.
Another advantage of this car is its phenomenal speed when its steering is well controlled. A Scorpio Batteries Car can manage the Outerspace Sharp in the Advanced Circuit at a maximum speed of around 270km/h, while a well-controlled Phantom Full Force Car can maintain up to 290km/h.
While the car is an excellent performer in speed, it is very unforgiving to beginners and even intermediates, as the car can easily go out of control if a mistake is made. This is the main reason for the car to be branded as the "Hard Level Car".
A curious fact about this car is this: in multiplayer mode, the number 3 player has a black colour scheme for the cars. The number 3 Phantom, due to his full black paint, resembles a lot Dale Earnhardt's car.
Hornet Classic Racing
Driven by: Tom Brown
Model derivation: 1994 Chevrolet Lumina
Difficulty: Special, For people who want to race as if it were the original Daytona USA.
Automatic transmission: 197 mph
Manual transmission: 203 mph
This car is only available in Power Edition. In the regular Daytona USA 2, it was not implemented.
Pulled straight out of the original Daytona USA (but with a slightly changed design to reflect the more powerful Model 3 hardware), this "Special" car performs exactly as it did in Daytona USA. It is only recommended for those who enjoyed the racing style of the original game, since this car has mid-range speed and acceleration, but has fair stability, okay steering, and is the best at drifting. To drift, or power slide, press the brake pedal while holding down the accelerator and simultaneously turning the car. To prevent spinning out, after you steer in the direction of the turn, turn in the opposite direction. To prevent the back bumper from hitting the wall, power slide far enough away from the wall so that the car does not hit the wall, but also at the appropriate place on the track so that you don't go onto the grass.
A notable reference to the original Daytona USA is the rolling start in the beginner mode: with the standard three cars, the intro is the same, however the Hornet's intro is identical to that of the original game.
This car is also a good alternative for beginners who thinks the Chum's Gum/J.C. Eagle is far too slow, despite its excellent traction.
The main songs in the game are as follows:
- Battle on the Edge (Opening Advertise Sequence)
- Sling Shot (Beginner Course)
- I Can Do It (Advanced Course)
- Skyscraper Sequence (Expert Course)
In the Challenge Course of Power Edition, the songs transition by fading in and out when inside the tunnels between courses.
While the game features a vocal-based soundtrack similar to the original Daytona USA (but with a more electric, rockier-edged sound), the vocals were not sung by Takenobu Mitsuyoshi, who composed the soundtrack to this game. The vocalist for all four songs is Dennis St. James. On the official soundtrack CD, there are versions of the songs where they are sung by Mitsuyoshi on the second disc. In the test mode of the game, you can change both vocalists.
Contrary to popular belief, the band Winger did not create an entirely new soundtrack for the game or perform it as a band. Instead, the guitarist and drummer for Winger, Reb Beach and Rod Morgenstein, lent their skills to contribute to the soundtrack.
Outside of Winger, the electric guitar and guitar solo in "Sling Shot" and "Skyscraper Sequence" is performed by Ira Siegel. The Keyboard in "Sling Shot" and "Skyscraper Sequence" was done by Albert Menendez.
Along with Daytona USA: Circuit Edition, Daytona USA 2's soundtrack was released in Japan on dual-disc album in 2000. The first disc contains 'original audio' tracks - that is, the course themes etc. in standard format - and 'original sound' tracks - where Tom West, commentator for the Sega Sports Channel, reports on the day's racing. These tracks are the previous course themes mixed in parts with in-game audio, such as engine noise, crashes, radio chatter from the pit crew, and so on.
The second disk contains the original tracks, sung by Mitsuyoshi himself.
The soundtrack stated names for the driver of each of the cars in the game. All of these drivers have "Brown" as their surname, possibly suggesting that they are all related in some way. It is possible to see the certain driver's name on the side of the car while racing or during the attract mode.
Although sub-headed 'Battle on the Edge', the album references Power Edition by including the Hornet Classic Racing Team in the driver's lineup.