FAQ by BCampbell

Version: 0.1 | Updated: 01/02/02 | Printable Version


Metropolis Street Racer FAQ v0.1
Copyright 2002 Bennett Campbell

This FAQ covers the US release of Metropolis Street Racer for the Dreamcast. 
It may not be accurate or useful for other releases, and is surely not useful
for other games.  If you have questions, comments, or additions, please contact
me at apparatus@juno.com.

I need your help!  FAQ writing is a particular thankless job.  I enjoy it
somewhat, but it's not easy, and there's really no compensation.  So, I need
you to tell me what you think.  Tell me if you find this FAQ helpful, because
if noone does, I might as well stop here.  Tell me what you want to see, and
anything you have to add.  I'd like to know whether this helps anyone before I
continue on with this lengthy project.

Coming in future updates:
Car list
list of FAQs
list of special prizes

What I need:
lists of special prizes up to chapter 13

Metropolis Street Racer (MSR) is one of an increasing number of 'realistic'
racing games on the market, and one of the best games available for the
Dreamcast.  MSR not only features real production cars with realistic physics,
but also a unique 'Kudos' point system for advancement.  Instead of simply
winning races as in most games, in MSR you complete certain goals and set the
level of challenge for yourself.  The more challenging the task, the more Kudos
(K) you are awarded.  You also get K for your driving style, so sometimes the
fastest times don't always score the most points.  As the game says:

"It's not about how fast you drive, it's about how you drive fast"

Kudos (K) are the scoring system in MSR.  Each of the 25 chapters in the game
require a total cumulative amount of K before they become unlocked, as do the
individual races in each chapter.  Thus, when you begin, only one chapter will
be available.  When you complete that chapter, the first race in chapter 2 will
be open, and once you earn enough K, the rest of the chapter 2 races will open,
and so forth.

At the end of each race you are given Kudos for the following areas: Skill,
Style, and Penalty.  Skill points are determined by how challenging the race
was (see the CHALLENGES section).  Style points are based on how your driving
style was, essentially how good you looked.  Performing drifts, powerslides,
and difficult maneuvers will earn you style points.  When racing, you'll see a
message (Wey Hey!) and the Kudos logo when you're earning style points.  The
brighter the K, the more points you're earning (if you have time to pay
attention!).  Penalty points are taken away when you come in contact with walls
or other vehicles.  The number of points taken depends on the severity of the
contact; hitting a divider head on at 140MPH will result in a greater loss than
lightly brushing the side of another car as you pass.  You'll see a warning
when you lose points due to a penalty.  If you have no penalties during a race,
you'll be awarded a bonus, but the bonuses are usually small !
(20-30K).  Still, sometimes every little bit counts.

---Earning style points-------------------------------------------------------
The easiest way to earn style points is to send your car into a slide.  There
are three main ways to do this; by using the gearbox, by using the brakes, and
by using momentum.

Using the gearbox is one of the trickier ways to slide, and you can only do it
if you're using a manual transmission.  To do this, quickly shift down as you
begin turning so that your engine redlines.  This will cause your wheels to
lock up momentarily, reducing traction enough to slide.  Stay on the gas so you
can bring the car back under control as the wheels gain traction, and
countersteer (steer the opposite direction to the turn) if necessary.  This
type of slide is usually easy to control once you get the hang of it, but can
be tough in wet weather.  The bonus of this method is that you generally keep
your speed throughout the slide.

Using the brakes is the easiest way to slide.  There are really two ways to use
the brakes to slide; using the e-brake, and heel-and-toe.  Using the e-brake is
pretty simple, but can lead to uncontrolled powerslides.  Simply press the
e-brake button as you begin to turn.  This locks up your wheels, similar to the
above method, and brings the car about wildly.  You will need to countersteer
and jump on the gas to bring the car back in line and maintain any semblance of
speed.  Holding the e-brake doesn't accomplish much apart from slowing your car
down, so tap it just enough to bring the rear of the car around.  While this is
a slow and relatively uncontrollable slide, it will garner you lots of style

Heel-and-toe is a normally complicated maneuver that is made very easy by the
Dreamcast controller's trigger buttons for gas and brake.  Heel-and-toe mean to
apply the gas and brakes at the same time to keep the car moving while using
the brakes to change the car's attitude.  As you come into the turn, stay on
the gas but also apply the brake until the car just starts to slide sideways. 
At that point, ease off the brakes as you clear the corner.  This takes lots of
practice but can lead to very fast cornering times coupled with a decent amount
of style points.

Using the car's momentum is a difficult trick as well, but it will similarly
give you fast speeds along with style points.  This is easier to do the faster
you're traveling.  As you approach the turn, simply lay off the gas or brake as
normal, but keep a little more speed than you would for a clean turn.  Turn in
sharply, and the speed of the car should force the rear tires to break
traction.  Get back on the gas and power through.  With front wheel drive cars,
using the gas will straighten your car out very quickly, so you may want to
gently apply the accelerator to maintain the slide.  With rear wheel drive, the
accelerator will cause the rear wheels to spin even more, and maintain the
slide, so you will need to aggressively countersteer and use the throttle

Most of your K will come from style points, so it's important to practice these
slides and learn how to maintain good lap times while still gaining K.  Also,
learning which corners require which techniques is important, so practice until
it becomes second nature.  Also remember that whatever points you gain in style
you can lose in penalties, so don't side wildly into walls and other cars
because you won't really be doing yourself any good.

A Joker is a special prize you win from some challenges.  Also, some special
challenges award a number of jokers for completion.  As you gain Jokers, the
five small 'J' icons light up in the upper left of the race setup screen.  if
you have more than five Jokers, the game will keep track of how many you have. 
Using a Joker for a challenge doubles the stakes; you will either win or lose
twice as many K as normal.  The best times to use Jokers are when you can win
tons of K (over 1000, see the CHALLENGES section), or when you can't reach the
K goal for a special challenge.  There are a limited number of Jokers awarded
throughout the game, so use them wisely.

There are several different types of challenges in MSR, and each can be made
easier or harder in one way or another.  Outlined below are the general types
of challenges, how you can change them, and how it affects your scoring.

---Ownership challenge---------------------------------------------------------
This is a challenge you can only get to through your garage.  This challenge is
a kind of 'test' you must complete to earn an individual car.  You are given
the car in question and a lap time you must beat.  You cannot change any part
of this challenge.  You have an unlimited number of laps for this challenge,
and once you beat the required lap time, it's over and you get the car.  There
are no points for this challenge, so it's useful to note that you are not
scored for penalties.  This means you can bash into walls if you're having
trouble winning with a clean lap.

There are two main types of hotlaps; single-lap and average-lap.  A single-lap
hotlap challenges you to beat a certain time on one lap, and gives you a number
of laps to do so.  For example, you could be given 5 laps and a time of 58.3
seconds.  You can adjust the time down, and if you do so and win, you'll earn
more K.  You need to beat the set time on one lap and one lap only; only the
fastest lap is recorded.  The only points you can score on the laps other than
the fastest are style points.  This can actually be used to your advantage. 
Once you set a low time, you don't need to worry about time on the rest of the
laps, and instead you can do wild slides to earn style points.  You can even
backtrack and go back and forth on a straight as long as you'd like to earn
more and more points.  This is one of the easiest ways to earn points, but it's
tedious, and much easier to simply set a fast time then race the rest of the
laps while doing lots of slides.

Average-lap hotlaps challenge you to average under a certain time over a number
of laps.  For example, you could be given 4 laps and a time of 45.0 seconds. 
The time limit can be adjusted down to earn more K.  The lap times are added up
and averaged for your final score, so each lap is important in this type of
challenge.  As you complete laps in the race, you will seethe average of your
completed laps to help you gauge how well you are doing overall.

Skill points on hotlaps are determined both by how fast you race and how low
you have set your challenge.  For example, you run an average-lap hotlap with a
final average of 48 seconds, and the default time limit is 54 seconds.  If you
had set the limit at 51 seconds, you would score more K, and if you set it at
49 you'd score even more.  If you set the limit at 49,and ran in 46 seconds,
you'd score more points than if you had set it at 49 and ran 48.

---Timed Run-------------------------------------------------------------------
A timed run gives you a total time in which to complete one or more races with
a set number of laps.  For example, you may have 3:45 to complete 3 laps of two
different circuits.  You can adjust the time down to earn more K.  Most timed
runs feature 'pedestrian' traffic, other cars which you are not racing against
but which can be obstacles on the road.  Timed runs are fairly straightforward;
basically, the clock counts down while you race.

Skill points are determined much the same way as hotlaps; the lower you set the
time and the faster you complete the challenge, the more K you get.

A One-on-one race pits you against a single rival vehicle which you must beat
to the finish line over a number of laps.  You can give either the opponent or
yourself a number of seconds headstart.  If your opponent has the headstart and
you win, you earn more skill points, if you give yourself a headstart, you earn
less (minimum is zero, you can't earn negative skill points as long as you

One-on-one races can be challenging depending on what cars you have available;
sometimes it's better to give yourself a headstart and lose K if the
alternative is losing.  Also, it's possible to give yourself a huge headstart
and slide around the course to rack up the K while the opponent catches up. 
You won't earn lots of skill points but the style points will be in the

Skill points are determined by how much of a head start you gave your opponent
and by how much you beat them.  If you beat your opponent by 5 seconds, for
example, without giving them a head start, you would get less points than if
you gave them a 4-second head start and beat them by 1 second (4+1=5).  If you
gave them a 4 second head start and won by 3 seconds, you'd get more K than if
you won by 1 second, as well.

Challenges have various goals and generally do not pit you against other
drivers (though pedestrian traffic may be present).  There are three types of
challenges you will see most often, overtaking challenges, top speed
challenges, and split speed challenges.

Overtaking challenges give you a set time within which you must overtake and
pass a minimum number of other cars.  You can raise the number of cars to
overtake, but you cannot change the time limit.  During this challenge, it is
important to pay attention to the course and driving a good clean run rather
than the other cars; getting low lap times will let you pass the cars without
effort.  Try not to crash as that drastically lowers your speed.  Early
overtaking challenges are a good way to earn lots of K, as you can return later
with a much faster car and raise the number of cars you can pass drastically.
In this way you can earn over 1000K on these challenges.

Top speed challenges give you a specific time limit within which you much reach
or pass a given top speed.  You can raise the speed to earn more points, but
you can't change the time limit.  These challenges usually feature courses with
one or more long straight sections.  The key to getting fast speeds on these
tracks is taking the turn before the straight as fast as possible without
losing control of the car by sliding or hitting any objects.  Slow down before
the last turn so you can accelerate out of it and onto the straight.  Similar
to the single-lap hotlaps, once you reach your top speed, you can use the rest
of your time to take it easy and slide around to earn style points.

Split speed challenges are similar to top speed challenges except that you are
given a number of laps within which you must beat a set average time.  There is
also a time limit, however if you reach the time limit you're almost by default
too slow.  The target speed can be raised to earn more skill points.

Skill points on all types of challenges are determined by how high you set the
limits.  On top speed challenges particularly, it pays to run a few practice
laps to see how fast you can go and set the limit as high as possible.

---Street Race-----------------------------------------------------------------
Street races pit you against two or more other cars on a race of a set number
of laps on one course.  You do not necessarily need to place first in the race,
instead, you can choose which position to finish in as long as it is not last. 
You only need to place as high or higher than what you pick to win.  Practicing
the course is important for street races to learn which corners can be taken
fast and which need to be taken slow.  Because it is difficult to avoid being
hit by the other cars, you shouldn't worry too much about minor contact, and
don't be shy about taking aggressive inside lines around corners even if you'll
touch a car coming out.

Skill points are determined by how high you place and what you chose to place. 
Placing first and choosing first will gain more points than placing first and
choosing second.  How well you do against the other cars factors in as well; if
you place first by .5 seconds, you will earn less than if you placed first by 3

A championship is a series of races against 5 other cars.  The last race of
every chapter is always a Championship.  Championships can be 2 or more races,
and you earn points depending on your finishes in each race as follows:
1st: 10
2nd:  6
3rd:  4
4th:  3
5th:  2
6th:  1
Before the series, you determine a point number as your goal.  For example, if
the series has three races, you could set the points from 14 to 30.  Otherwise,
championships are basically a series of street races, so all advice above

Note that setting the goal to some levels doesn't make sense.  For example, if
there are three races, there's no point in setting the goal to 28 points, as
you'd have to win all three races to get more than 26 points (10+10+6=26). 
Skill points are awarded based on how many points you set for the goal and how
many you earn.  If you earn 30 points, you'd get more K if you set your goal at
30 than if you set it at 22.  Also, first place finishes are valuable if you
set a low total.  For example, if you set your goal at 20 for a three-race
series and win the first two races, you're home free, where as if you win the
first and place third in the second, you'd have to get at least 2nd place on
the last race to win.

---SPECIAL challenges----------------------------------------------------------
A special challenge is not seperate from those listed above; rather, it is one
of the above challenges which has a second goal above and beyond simple
completion.  Some special challenges require a specific car, time of day, or
both, to qualify, and all require a certain minimum number of Kudos to be
earned.  If you satisfy these requirements you'll earn a special prize, such as
unlocking a new car, a new garage slot, or opening a cheat mode.

If you do not meet the special qualifications, you can still enter the race and
earn Kudos toward your total, but you won't be able to earn the special prize
no matter how much K you get.  Many of the special challenges require the
Nissan Skyline GT-R, which you don't get until completion of the last chapter,
so you will need to backtrack to get all of the special prizes.  For those that
require a specific time of day, you can reset the game and change your time
zone to the appropriate time.  Just pay attention to the three clocks in the
upper right of the screen when doing so.  If you are having trouble winning the
minimum amount of K for the special race, try either changing the requirements
for the race (as abovefor each challenge), or use a Joker.

The bulk of the gameplay happens in the 'Street Racing' menu.  Here, the 250
challenges are broken up into 25 chapters with 10 races each.  After earning a
minimum amount of total K each chapter will open, and after completing all 10
races in a chapter, a new car will be available.  Because nearly every course
for each challenge is unique (there are over 200 courses), I won't be detailing
the specifics of each race or making little maps for each challenge.  I will be
listing the qualifications for each race and any tips I think are relevant.

When you start the game, you have three garage slots and three cars are
available.  Don't get all three!  If you do, you'll need to ditch one to pick
up any others, and that will cost you Kudos.  Instead, test drive all three and
pick the one which you feel most comfortable with.  I like the Mazda
Miata/Roadster because it has respectable power, great handling, and the rear
wheel drive lets you pull some tricky manuevers that are harder with the front
drive cars, which means more style points.  However, it's best to pick the car
that feels best to you, and especially if you are new to this type of game the
rear drive may be hard to control.

I am not listing the cars you race against for the street races or
championships, but I will list cars for the one-on-one races.

---Chapter One--- Bonus Car: Opel Astra Coupe
1: Hotlap - fastest lap.  3 Laps, :49.2
2: Hotlap - fastest lap.  3 Laps, :30.5
3: Hotlap - average time.  3 Laps, :33.0
4: Timed run.  1 Round, 1:31
5: Timed run.  1 Round, 1:36
6: Timed run.  1 Round, 2:31
7: Challenge - Overtake 7 cars, 2:10
8: One-on-one.  MGF.
9: Street Race
10: Championship.  2 Rounds.

---Chapter Two--- Bonus Car: Renault Megane
1: Hotlap - fastest lap.  5 Laps, :17.7
2: Hotlap - fastest lap.  3 Laps, :42.4
3: Timed run.  1 Round, 3:37
4: Timed Run.  1 Round, 1:45
5: Challenge - split speed.  4 Laps, 5:00, 68 Mph
6: One-on-one.  MX-5
7: One-on-one.  Astra
8: Street Race
9: Street Race
10: Championship.  2 Rounds.

---Chapter Three--- Bonus Car: Alfa Romeo Spider
1: Hotlap - fastest lap.  5 Laps, :26.0
2: Hotlap - fastest lap.  5 Laps, :41.9
3: Timed Run.  1 Round, 3:42
4: Timed Run.  2 Rounds, 5:33.
5: Challenge - split speed.  5 Laps, 1:20, 62 Mph.  *Special*
6: One-on-one.  OPC
7: Street Race
8: Street Race
9: Street Race
10: Championship.  2 Rounds.

---Chapter Four--- Bonus Car: Pugeot 206
1: Hotlap - average time.  5 Laps, :31.7
2: Hotlap - fastest lap.  3 Laps, 1:10.2
3: Timed Run.  1 Round, 5:24
4: Timed Run.  1 Round, 3:17
5: Challenge - split speed.  4 Laps, 1:20, 50Mph
6: One-on-one.  Megane
7: Street Race
8: Street Race
9: Street Race
10: Championship.  3 Rounds.

---Chapter Five--- Bonus Car: Pugeot 406
1: Hotlap - fastest lap.  5 Laps, :23.0
2: Timed Run.  1 Round, 2:43
3: Timed Run.  2 Rounds, 5:53
4: Challenge - split speed.  5 Laps, 1:30, 62 Mph
5: One-on-one.  306
6: One-on-one.  206  *Special*
7: Street Race  *Special*
8: Street Race
9: Street Race
10: Championship.  2 Rounds