Monkey Race FAQ by Sgwigly

Version: 1.1 | Updated: 11/16/02 | Printable Version

Super Monkey Ball: Monkey Race FAQ
By Sgwigly
Last Updated: November 16th, 2002
Version: 1.1

Table of Contents:

1. Introduction
2. Disclaimer
3. Overview
4. Before Starting
5. Game Options
6. The Monkeys
7. The Items
8. The Tracks
9. Special Thanks

1. Introduction
Monkey Racing is the first thing I did with my all-new Gamecube, and it has
since become one of my favorite parts of Super Monkey Ball. I hope you enjoy it
is as much as I do! Here are some tips/tricks and other things to help you win
the races. Have fun!

2. Disclaimer
This FAQ was written by Sgwigly. It may not be used for promotional or
money-making purposes.  It's OK if you wish to use it on your website, but
please print it in its entirety without modifying it in any way. Thanks.

3. Overview
Monkey Race, a party game in SEGA's Super Monkey Ball, is an extremely simple
yet very fun racer. It has everything a good racing game should, from the
droppable banana peels to the homing bombs items. Plus, the controls are very
simple and unique in that you don't need to be holding a gas button the entire
race. It's just control stick to move and A to use your weapon. There's a
single track race, a grand prix where you race on all six tracks in a row, and
a time attack where you can record your best times. This should keep us busy
until Mario Kart comes out for the Gamecube....

4. Before Starting
Here are some of the settings you can choose before starting the race.

One Course Race
- Number of Players
- Character Select
- Course Select
- Gameplay Settings

Grand Prix
- Number of Players
- Character Select
- Course Select
- Gameplay Settings

Time Attack
- Character Select
- Course Select

One Course Race
If you only have a little bit of time or want to practice on a certain track
with your friends, then One Course Race is for you. Just select your monkeys
and your track and play.

Grand Prix
You will play all six tracks in a row. The first place player in each race will
receive 10 points, second gets 7, third gets 3, and last place will receive 1
point. If the third player finishes and you are fourth, finish quickly to get
your one point or you will retire! The player with the most points at the end

Time Attack
Race to get the fastest time and enter your name on the high scores. You will
always start with three Speed Stars; make good use of them!

5. Game Options
Here are some of the options you can select to customize your racing

CPU's On/Off
With this on, all non-human slots will be filled by computer opponents. The
computer AI in Monkey Race is fairly intelligent and makes good use of items
because it can calculate whether or not the item will hit you or not. I
recommend turning it on because it makes the game more suspenseful when you
have more opponents.

Handicap On/Off
The player in last place will go faster than the rest of the monkeys if this is
turned on, so he or she has the opportunity to keep up. This will keep the game
exciting, because it's less fun if the monkeys in last place never catch up.
It's my preference to keep this turned on.

Items On/Off
Determines whether or not item boxes will appear from the sky. The items make
the game more fun, but if you want your race to be pure skill and no luck, turn
this off.

Number of Laps (One Course Race Only)
Here you can set the number of laps before the race finishes.

6. The Monkeys
Unlike some other Party Games and Mini Games, there is no difference whatsoever
between the four monkeys in Monkey Race. Aiai, Mimi, Baby and Gongon all have
identical acceleration, top speed (which is around 100mph, by the way) and
turning abilities. So just choose the monkey that you think is the coolest and
stick with it.

7. The Items
Here is a list of the items you can find in the randomly dropped "?" boxes,
what they do, and general strategies for them.

Speed Star - "Increases your speed for a limited time."
The speed star will give you a small boost of speed, about 75% as powerful as a
speed pad's boost. It will also cause your monkey to tumble about in his or her
monkey ball, if you're into that sort of thing. Anyway, this item is especially
useful on tracks without many speed pads, and when you want to speed past an
opponent with a potentially harmful weapon.  I wouldn't exactly recommend
saving these though, because most of the other items are better, so feel free
to use the Speed Star whenever you want.

Banana Peel - "You can leave banana peels on the ground to slip up opponents."
Since it's effect is so small (the monkey ball loses control for a short time
and wobbles back and forth), and it is so easy to avoid, this item is thought
of as the most pointless item in the game. And it is. But, it is not quite as
bad as people make it out to be, if it is placed correctly. It's a fact that
the faster you are going when you hit the banana, the more violently your
monkey will swerve out of control. Therefore, the best place to drop your
banana is right after a speed pad. An unsuspecting monkey looking to speed
ahead of the competition will hit the speed pad, slip on the banana and go
sailing into the abyss (or monkey diner). Maybe you'll even scare the other
monkeys out of ever using the speed pads! Well, maybe not, but with a little
practice, you can make your bananas deadly weapons while your opponents toss
them hapharzadly about the track. Another nice area to place your deadly fruit
peel is in front of or in between the bumpers at the end of each level. Plus,
if your opponents are into shortcuts, learn of the shortcut locations and
litter them with banana peels to screw them up. Ha! That's what you get for
being cheap!

Bowling Bomber - "Roll bombs at your opponents and watch them explode."
When a monkey is hit by a bomb, it will explode, and then one of three things
will happen: 1)The monkey ball will go flying directly off the track, 2) The
monkey ball will bounce for a while, then fly off the track, 3) Not fall off
the track, but the monkey will remained stunned for a while, impairing speed
and turning abilities a little bit. All three effects are excellent, and all
are good in their own special way. Number 1 is good if your opponent has a
bomb, ice cube or polygon ball waiting for you when you pass them. If their
monkey is busy falling, they won't be able to shoot you, and you can make a
smooth getaway. Option 2 is the best as it will cost them as much if not more
time than option 3 (depending on how long they bounce before they fall to their
doom). Plus, if they have a dangerous item, you can wait until they fall to
zoom by them.

Polygon Ball - "Your opponent's ball changes shape for a limited time."
The Polygon Ball will turn your opponent's monkey ball into some kind of green
dodecahedron shaped thing, causing them to slow down a little bit and bump
around a lot. While the Polygon Ball is the coolest item in Monkey Race, it is
probably the worst of the offensive items. It doesn't slow them down all that
much, and it isn't that hard to regain control once you've been polygoned.
Plus, if your opponent has a weapon of their own, it will be very easy for them
to retaliate as you go past them. However, the Polygon Ball is still very
useful. Try using it during turns or when you're near the bumpers. These
strategies will be sure to screw up their day.

Ice Cube - "Freeze your opponents for a limited time."
Hands down the best item in Monkey Race, the Ice Cube will freeze the opposing
monkey in an ice cube. They will slow down to a near standstill. There is
nothing they can do. Even if they have three Bowling Bombers prepared for your
destruction, they will be so far behind that their attempts at getting you back
will be futile. Laugh at them. Call them names like "Mr. Frozen Monkey Guy" for
the rest of their lives. The Ice Cube item will ensure that you will get very
far ahead of your enemy. If you get hit by an Ice Cube, just commit suicide, or
try to hit a banana peel (possibly your own, although this is more luck than
skill). Either way is much faster than waiting for the ice to melt away. Make
the best of this excellent item!

Monkey Ball
Well, it's not exactly in the manual, but you should still be sure to put your
monkey ball to good use! Bumping can be very effective if you're going faster
than your opponent, especially on levels without curved sides. It's best to
bump when your opponent is vulnerable to attack (they're frozen, stunned or
polygonned). If you can knock them off, you've taken the lead without using any
items at all! It's a skill that takes time to learn, but if you can master it,
you'll have the edge. It's best to bump enemy balls after you've use a Speed
Star or speed pad.

8. The Tracks
There are six different tracks in Monkey Race, and they are separated into
three categories: Beginner, Advanced, and Expert. Here I will describe the
tracks and strategies for racing on them.

Jungle Circuit - 5 Laps Default
This is by far the easiest of the six Monkey Race tracks, as it's name "Grass"
implies. Have you ever noticed that all video game levels with the name "Grass"
are easy? Anyway, the Grass Track is simple in it's design, has lots of speed
pads, and even has rails on the side to protect your monkey from falling. You
still can fall off, however, if go to fast over into the rail or are hit over
the side with a Bowling Bomber. If you do fall and none of your opponents do,
you will have a hard time winning because you will have lost so much time. Be
sure to hit all the speed pads you can, preferably the ones on the inside of
the track to avoid speeding to the rail and falling off. Also, as with all
levels, watch out for the bumpers at the end of the level and don't
accidentally mistake them for speed pads. If you hit them, it will be costly.

Aqua Offroad - 5 Laps Default
This wouldn't be difficult if it weren't for the rocky formations that litter
the track. You can go bouncing over them without much trouble, but you go
slower than you would if you stayed on the normal, flat areas. Try to stay on
the lower ground and avoid the rocky areas wherever you can to stay at a fast
speed. There is only one speed pad on this level, so you won't have much of a
chance to catch up if you fall behind. This makes weapons very effective on
this level, but keep in mind that it will be harder to get your weapons to
connect with your opponent if you're bouncing around on the rocks.

Frozen Highway - 6 Laps Default
The main challenge of this track is actually staying on the track. This track
has the sharpest turns of all the tracks, save the Desert Track. It is very
easy to fall off, especially when you are going fast due to a speed pad.
There's even a hairpin turn near the beginning of the track; be sure to slow
down as you approach it. On this track, it is vital to get all the speed pads,
as they usually come in "groups" of one, as opposed to three. Also, there is a
shortcut in this level, although you'll need some luck and Speed Stars to pull
it off. First, notice he shape of the track. Right after the finish line, the
end and the beginning of the track form a sort of "U" shape. What you need to
do is go straight up the outside (right) side of the curved track. Then, as you
fall back down, use you speed items to climb up the inside (left) side of the
track as quickly as possible and jump to the other side of the track, before
the finish line. Quite effective if you have the Speed Stars necessary.

Sky Downtown - 3 Laps Default
This is the first track you will encounter without curved sides. You'll notice
this makes things a tad more difficult, but not by that much. It's just
different. Anyway, this track is pretty simple without many sharp turns and
lots of speed pads. In fact, the speed pads on this level may be your worst
enemy, as they will make you go so fast you won't be able to stop before you go
crashing into a Monkey Diner! That doesn't mean you should hit every one you
can, however. Just be sure to stay on the inside of the track and don't be
afraid to push back on the control stick. There are also rails and billboards
to help you stay on track. This track has a couple of shortcuts. The more
simple one involves the section of the track that presses against the tunnel
area. Hit the single speed pad before the tunnel, possibly using the a Speed
Star as well, and bank off the bilboard into the tunnel. You'll have to make a
180 turn to go the right direction; hitting the speed pads in the tunnel with
automatically do this for you. The other, much more impressive shortcut also
takes place in the same area. Instead of hitting the single speed pad I
referred to in the description of the previous shortcut and banking off the
bilboard, just hit it and go along the track the normal way. Then, after 1 or 2
seconds, use a Speed Star and attempt to hop the last turn wall just before the
tunnel begins. You'll want to go over the left side, and towards the finish
line. It'll take practice to get the right angle, but if you can get the
technique correct this shortcut will give you a tremendous advantage.

Pipe Warp Tunnel - 4 Laps Default
Being what most would call the hardest track in Monkey Race, I will describe
this track in detail. The first area of the track has a speed pad on it; it is
very very important that you hit the speed pad. This is necessary because you
will soon come to an area with two "rooms," or dips in the track. Hitting the
first speed pad of the race will help in jumping over the first room, and if
you are in the very middle of the track or use a Speed Star, the second. If you
do get stuck in the first room, roll backwards for momentum, the roll forwards
into the second room. In the second room, roll backwards behind the speed pad,
then hit it to go soaring out of the dreaded "room area." Note that it if you
leave the second room too fast with the speed pad you will fly off the edge of
the track and will lose a significant amount of time. Also, it is not necessary
to leave the second room with the speed pad, but it stops you from having to
accelerate once you exit the room. Anyway, now you are past the rooms, and the
sides of the track disappear. Eventually the track turns into a cylinder and
you have to stay in the middle to avoid falling to your doom. Near the end of
the track there is a 90 degree turn while the track is still a cylinder. My
advice is to go slightly on the inside of the turn, so you fall a little bit,
then you go back up. Straighten yourself out, and you've made the turn. This is
the most difficult turn in Monkey Race, so it'll take a little bit of practice.
Immediately after the turn you'll meet up with the bumpers, and hitting them on
this track is almost always certain death. Avoid them if you can and start on
the next lap. Oh, and by the way, if you can hit an opponent with a Polygon
Ball or Ice Cube while they are in the "rooms," they won't be able to get out.
Laugh maniacally and zoom far ahead of them.

Speed Desert - 2 Laps Default
Shaped as the activision logo, the Desert Track is the longest in the game. It
is full of sharp turns and long speed pad-filled straight-aways that are
slightly tilted inward. If you want to win this race, you'll have to learn to
pull back on the control stick whenever you come to a sharp turn. It's very
important to slow down before turns, otherwise you'll die. But dying on this
level isn't so bad, since your human opponents are bound to fall off almost as
much as you (read: everyone will be dying very very frequently). Many of the
sharp turns have billboards advertising some of Monkey Ball's other mini and
party games. You can, if you are going very fast, run straight into these
billboards, bounce off them, and back onto the track facing the correct
direction. However, this is difficult to pull off and pretty stupid. So don't
do it, but tell your friends that it's a good strategy. The other sections of
the level, with the long stretches of track that are slightly tilted inward
with speed pads, are pretty easy. Try to stay on the inside but not so close as
to fall of the track. Hit all the speed pads you can to cover the most distance
quicker. If you do fall, immediately tilt your control stick to the right.
Otherwise, your monkey ball will reappear, bounce off the tilted track, and die
instantly. One more thing: This level has a simple shortcut that is easy to
pull off and will give you a little head start above your opponents. Near the
beginning, at the first bilboard you see, there's a 90 degree angle turn in the
track. Instead of slowing down to make the turn, just slam straight foward and
hit the side of the track, propelling you up and over the gap between the turn
and the next section of the track.

That's all there is for now! E-mail me if you have questions, comments,
criticism. Thanks!

9. Special Thanks

Special Thanks to Adam Bovie and the guys in Goldberg 4403 for the Frozen
Highway and Sky Downtown shortcuts, as well as some other various tips. Nice
work, guys!