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Top Gear 3000 (known as The Planet's Champ TG3000 in Japan) was a sequel to the 1993 video game Top Gear 2 for the Super NES. It is a racing game similar to the original in gameplay, but set in the distant future with 47 different tracks on alien planets, and a variety of environments.
Comparison to series
Placing this game a thousand years in the future allowed the developers to plausibly include futuristic and improbable technologies, and abandon the relative realism of Top Gear 2.
Car upgrades were more extensive than in Top Gear 2, and "weapons" were featured for the first time in the series. Upgrades included a nuclear fusion engine, a cobalt-titanium armor kit, and a liquid polymer gearbox; weapons included a device to jump over cars, a warp device, and a magnetic attractor to steal kinetic energy from other cars.
Due to the capabilities of the new chip DSP-4 used for this game, it was the first game in the series that was possible to split the track in two different directions with different lengths, sometimes intentionally making one route much faster than the other. Top Gear 3000 was the only game in the history of the Super NES to use this chip.
Video game introduction screen
The introduction states that anonymous benefactors and funders have created a massive galaxy-wide racing campaign at the outset of each millennium, and reward the winner with "riches beyond belief."
However, the instruction manual would point out a more dystopian story that wasn't reflected in the introductory sequence of the video game itself.
The year is 2962 (and not 3000 as shown in the title of the video game). Five centuries have passed since World War XVII devastated most of the colonized planets of the Milky Way Star System. The Galactic Conglomerate of Unified Planets, controlling the Bureau of Reasonable Entertainment, has maintained an era of calm and peaceful co-existence through the systematic suppression of any radical thought or action that may "stir up" the teeming masses of citizens populating the twelve Star Systems under their jurisdiction. In other words, anything remotely resembling "fun" has been analyzed, sterilized, sanitized, homogenized, pasteurized, desensitized, computerized and commercialized.
And so are a number of outlaw thrill seekers that have too much money and not enough excitement in their lives to keep them occupied. For these radical elements, there is only one cure for the boredom and complacency of life in the 30th century...The Top Gear 3000 Challenge! Once every millennium, the richest, bravest, most skilled drivers risk it all in the ultimate car race.
Combining the high tech, sci-fi gadgetry of the 30th Century with the white knuckle, raw nerves action of 20th Century automobile racing, these bandit racers have set up an illegal tournament that will take you hurtling through the planets of the Conglomerate.
The game has two distinct modes of gameplay, with Championship being the most expansive. Cars are limited by the range of their fuel, and of the condition of their frame; players gain fuel by driving over the red Recharge strips, and repair their car's structural integrity by driving over the blue Repair Strips.
In Championship mode, one or two players can play, or one player can play with the screen split between his/her view and that of an AI opponent. Players start off with identical cars and may change the color, name, speed units (MPH or KPH), and the button layout. Unlike in previous Top Gear games with a few pre-generated layouts, the players may adjust any function to any button desired.
Each race contains a pack of twenty cars, with eighteen or nineteen named AI opponents. After races are won, players then spend earned credits replacing the engine, gearbox, tires, armor, boost, and adding "weapons" capability. The AI opponents do not purchase upgrades, but grow steadily faster throughout the championship. Bonuses of various quantities may be placed on the track as spherical icons, or awarded for certain driver activities after the end of each race as secret bonuses. These bonuses are:
- Secret Bonus A: Finishing the race with an active boost (30000 credits)
- Secret Bonus B: Unknown (50000 credits)
- Secret Bonus C: No collisions with another car during the race (70000 credits)
- Secret Bonus D: No collisions with obstacles on or off the track (40000 credits)
- Secret Bonus E: No driving off-road (20000 credits)
Some races intentionally have less than minimum recharge strips, forcing the player to run out of gas. As the cars are futuristic, the cars can sustain a great speed even without gas, making it possible to win races without recharging. But if the player hits a tree or another object that makes the car lose too much speed, the car then will run at a very low speed, almost not moving. The only way to make the car gain speed again is by running over a red strip, using the attractor on another car, being hit by a fast car or using a boost of level 4 or higher. As well, nuclear engines can keep the velocity even when the player doesn't have gas.
Not all upgrades are available from the beginning of the championship. As the player progresses through the championship, new engines, gearboxes, tires, armor, boost and weapons become available. The game has three difficulty settings, each making the championship longer, and the AI cars faster. In the easy and medium difficulty settings, not all the level 6 components become available, preventing the player from purchasing all available upgrades.
The weapons do not influence the other racers at all. You can jump over other cars, warp through other cars and even attract your car towards another, but these weapons only affect your car. The player can cycle between the weapons using the L or R trigger buttons.
- Jump is the only weapon controlled by the player that has no limit of uses. It is used to get bonuses, jump over other cars or even obstacles. It is very useful at the beginning of the race, when the player is far behind and has lots of cars to pass.
- The warp weapon makes the car disappear for about 1.5 seconds, travel through the track (doing any turns correctly along the way) and then reappear. The car travels this distance almost instantly, so it can be used to pass cars ahead to avoid a crash. While invisible, the car is immune to any obstacle or car, but can still collect any bonuses along the way. The warp weapon is limited to four uses.
- The attractor weapon places a target on screen, and when there is another car in sight, the target follows the car on screen. If the player begins to use the attractor weapon, his vehicle gains the speed of the targeted vehicle. The other car however, does not lose any momentum. The attractor weapon is limited to a gauge similar to that of the fuel gauge. The attractor can be used constantly for about 10 seconds, but the player may decide on how frequently they use it.
- The boost weapon is the only weapon that the player begins the game with, and the only weapon that is upgradeable. The boost weapon increases the car's speed for a limited time. Upgrading the boost weapon means the boost will be stronger and last longer. Beginning from boost level 4, it is possible to make the car gain speed again from the almost stopped state without fuel. The boost weapon is limited to four uses, but some bonuses in the race gives extra boost uses to the player.
In Versus Mode, up to four players can play with the addition of a multitap. The screen is always split four ways; if there are fewer than four players, AI opponents will form up the remainder. Each race is a stand-alone affair on a single track, with players choosing from four different speed/acceleration/boost combinations (similar to original Top Gear) before the race begins.
Top Gear 3000 employs a password system which allows the player to resume gameplay after switching the console off. It restores all purchased upgrades and championship status. The password system can also be used for cheats, a common one which uses a B for every slot (BBBB BBBB BBBB BBBB BBBB B) to give the player millions of credits which then allows for all upgrades to be eventually purchased as they are developed. The game defaults to medium difficulty, which means that not all upgrades are ever developed. It begins at the second race. Other password cheats do exist.
There are 47 tracks in Top Gear 3000. In Hard difficulty, every track is run, but in Easy and Medium, some of these tracks are skipped entirely. Every world contains a description on the weather conditions, but this doesn't affect the race, except for Night and Foggy races, where the visibility is decreased.
|Merak||Misk||Clear||A track with a basic layout. A mountain can be seen on the background|
|Measia||Very Hot||This short track is run in 5 laps. A red, arid world|
|Nonet||Low Oxygen||First track to feature jump pads. A world full of craters|
|Zosmar||Haahe||Hot||A steppe with lakes|
|Terbis||Hazy||The first race to have a split track. Hills and valleys mark the landscape of this world|
|Kruw||Bright||In this track exists a random bonus that can be collected near the start of the race, as well a boost pad. This race takes place in a rocky mountain range|
|Maltsgad||Night||Decreased visibility because the poor lighting. A bright star, a moon, and a light pillar atop a hill can be seen on the landscape|
|Sarin||Ttelo||Sunny||The main features of this world are its hills and a column made of soil|
|Yon||Humid||A misty mountainside|
|Khinsm||Icy||A mountain range covered in trees and snow|
|Seima||Cold||This track splits in a shortcut and in a long section. A dark world where its sky shows its distant parent star, a nebula and a molten moon.|
|Alderam||Enton||Clear||A domed platform can be seen far away|
|Maltep||Sunny||A beach hosts this track|
|Baahem||Dry||Similar to Maltep, a seascape with an island|
|Brites||Acidic||This track features a Warp Pad, acting like a shortcut. Also exists barriers that should be avoided: crashing with no fuel into one harshly decreases speed until fuel is recharged. A semi-desertic, grassy plain|
|Kajam||Wruth||Very Hot||An extremely arid landscape, two tall structures can be seen among the mountains|
|Glimt||Humid||A blue mountain range covered in orange fog. It appears to have some alien derelict structures|
|Ti||Gaseous||This track consists on only one lap, because it has a straight layout. Giant platforms that support entire cities can be seen among the grassy plains and green skies|
|Jyco||Hot||Another track with split roads and warp pads. A semi-desertic landscape with a distant city skyline|
|Metis||Very Dry||Another semi-desertic landscape. Giant towers and domes can be seen far away|
|Lesath||Thebe||Foggy||This world is covered in fog, greatly decreasing visibility|
|Leda||Clear||A lush jungle with some rocky ruins. This race has one the longest split tracks|
|Lysithea||Bright||A mountain range with grassy plains|
|Elara||Very Hot||A desert with a giant arched structure, with a lake and a city below it|
|Miram||Carme||Clear||Despite the weather being labeled as Clear, this world actually has fog that reduces visibility|
|Sinope||Icy||A sea with glaciers|
|Tethys||Night||A landscape filled with hills that host some illuminated structures|
|Dione||Damp||Another straight race consisting on one lap. Appears to take place inside a giant cave, with a jungle outside of it|
|Subrat||Rhea||Night||An alien city|
|Catena||Hazy||A sea and a valley with platforms, atop can be seen some buildings|
|Dorsum||Clear||Similar to Carme, the weather is labeled as Clear but this world has fog|
|Fossa||Cold||Distant mountains covered in clouds and ice|
|Toygeta||Lacus||Polluted||A long race consisting in two laps. A desertic scape with clouds. Atop of some of them, cities can be spotted|
|Paludes||Humid||A lush forest with white, futuristic buildings|
|Rima||Polluted||A great amount of barriers are spread through the road. A red, highly industrialized world|
|Vega 5||Tholus||Hot||A world with a giant alien city or industry|
|Adara||Clear||Another world that is labeled as Clear, but actually Foggy|
|Deneb||Very Cold||Two domed cities with a harsh, snowy terrain surrounding them|
|Gredhi||Dry||The Fuel and Repair strips in this track are among the longest ones, different from previous systems where they are scarce and short. A purple world hosting towering white cities|
|Naosphein||Karem||Dusty||A desertic landscape with floating rocks|
|Arime||Icy||Some distant clouds can be spotted on the long straights of this track|
|Ratanev||Foggy||Highly technical with some tricky curves. A road with visibility impaired because of fog|
|Kraz||Sheliak||Foggy||Another track covered in fog. For some unknown reason, the world selected to race here is the same as the last race (Mechan)|
|Vega||Dull||Cities enclaved in hills and a moon with rings can be seen on the background|
|Zosma||Night||One of the darkest races in the game. A mountain range with some buildings|
|Tirion||Sunny||This race is long, taking two laps to complete it. The split roads are the longest ones in the game. A seascape with pyramids and an island resembling a tall palm tree|
|Mechan||Night||The last race in the game. It is the darkest track, filled with tricky turns, barriers and almost no fuel and recharge strips. A mountain range with dark spheres in the sky that either could be moons or structures of alien origin|
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Top Gear 3000 Data information at GameFAQs
- ↑ Camya
- ↑ Intro:Once every millennium, one of the greatest events in the galaxy begins... It is a race. A car race. It starts at the furthest reaches of the galaxy and ends at the center. For the winner riches beyond belief. Knowledge of the race is passed from generation to generation. The identity of the organizer has been lost through the mists of the time. Or maybe it has never been known. But even the youngest child knows on a certain date... all he has to do is look to the skies... for a sign. The time has arrived. YOU are in the race. GOOD LUCK
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 GameFAQs - Instruction Manual Information
- ↑ Game Spot Review