Rock 'N Roll Racing (SNES) FAQ v1.6 Dec 30th, 2005 By detached9 (detached9 AT chek DOT com) v1: First version v1.5: Minor grammatical changes, Updated challenges section Updated final notes section Added copyright section v1.6: Minor organization changes Minor grammatical changes ******************************************** How to beat the Warrior difficulty with ease ******************************************** 1) Intro 2) General Tips and Tactics 3) Specific Tactics 4) Making The Game More Challenging 5) Final notes 6) Copyright ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 1) INTRO Ever since this game came out for the SNES, I have loved it. It has always been one of my favorite games. The gameplay and music are some of the best I've seen on SNES (especially music!). To say the least, I have played this game all the way through on Warrior difficulty a few times. If you're unfamiliar with the game, first read the excellent FAQ posted by Korasoff on GameFAQs. I will not be covering the basics of the game. So why am I writing this FAQ? The simple answer: the other FAQs do not go into detail on strategies used to win on the Warrior difficulty. Before you start playing the Warrior difficulty, make sure you can beat the game on Veterans EASILY! You should be placing first or second in almost every race barring some final lap disaster. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 2) GENERAL TIPS AND TACTICS To consistently defeat the AI on the Warrior difficulty you must play differently than on the Veteran and Rookie levels. Specifically, you should be familiar with these tactics and situations: [a] Delayed starts [b] Nitro starts [c] Hard turns [d] Consecutive turns [e] Fancy ways of getting attack bonuses [f] Bumping [g] Choosing non-optimal paths [h] Upgrading I have used all of these with great success, and with practice, you shall as well. [a] Delayed starts This tactic is nearly essential on the first planet, Chem VI. Instead of stomping on the gas at the start along with the AI, you should wait a second. Why, you may ask? The main reason is the AI on Warrior difficulty is very hostile. Let the AI kill themselves off at the start while you sit right behind them and fire away at whoever survives. Not only does this land you a secure position in the race without you being blown up on the first lap, but you also may pick up a profitable attack bonus (or two depending on how many missiles you have). As you will read in section [e], I am very fond of doing everything possible to acquire numerous attack bonuses. [b] Nitro starts Obviously you need the Airblade first to use nitros. This tactic is rather self-explanatory but you should have an idea when to use a delayed start and when to use a nitro start. My general rule of thumb: when you first acquire the Airblade, stick with the delayed start, but when you upgrade the missiles and mines, be more inclined to use a nitro start (see section [h] for more details on upgrading). Also, pay attention to where the first turn on the map is located. If you start at a straight-away for a while, usually go with the delayed start so the AI are easy targets for your missiles. Otherwise, either immediately fire one missile at the start then use a nitro, or immediately use a nitro. Once you are ahead of the opposition, lay some mines in front of their path. If in doubt, go with the delayed starts. You cannot ever go wrong with using delayed starts every single time. Nitro starts give you a quick lead, but you may not gain as many attack bonuses. Also, when you are good at this game, you should easily be able to secure first places no matter if you are in fourth on the first lap. [c] Hard turns By hard turns I am referring to making optimal usage of the L and R shoulder buttons. Before you go crazy with using the L and R buttons, do not use them when normal turning would have similar results. Hard turns slow you down slightly more. There are only a couple situations where you should be using hard turns. c1) After you've played the game enough you should gain an intuitive feel for whether or not your car is heading into a corner. When you sense this is about to happen, this is the best time to use a hard turn. Hitting the wall slows you down more than using a hard turn. c2) Similarly to [c1], if you know your angle of approach on a certain ramp will fly your car off the map, you should do everything possible to stay on the track. ALWAYS avoid flying your car off the map! Losing your car from a poorly executed jump will lose you more time than ANYTHING else in the game! To save your car, you might have to launch it right into a wall. Sometimes you might even need to force your car to collide with the AIs. Once again, do whatever is necessary to prevent your car from catapulting off the map! c3) This will be covered in greater detail in section [e], so I'll only give a brief summary here. When you have a significant lead on your opponents, quickly turning around and firing off your missiles may land you another attack bonus, damage them, or slow them down. c4) On the fun side, when it's the final lap and you're about to cross the finish line, finish it with style! Right before you cross the finish line, use the hard turn to force your car into a 180 handbrake turn. This has no benefit, but I love doing it anyway! One final note: after using a hard turn, use a nitro to compensate for the lost speed. [d] Consecutive turns Learning how to handle consecutive turns is absolutely vital to defeating the Warrior difficulty when your car is slow. See section 4 on challenges for more detail. Even when your car is faster, this is still important, just not as much. By consecutive turns I am referring to situations where upon completion of one turn, you must quickly turn in another direction to avoid hitting the wall. You will notice these turns a lot in Drakonis. If you're having difficulty avoiding the walls in these turns, try only tapping the directions instead of holding them down. I especially advise you consider using direction-tapping around the square or circle corners (where you must make consecutive turns in the same direction). With practice, this will come easy. You know you've become proficient at handling these turns when you can nitro through them (you probably will need to use the hard turn button a couple times in that case). Oftentimes the AI slows down through these winding corners, so take advantage and push yourself further in the lead! [e] Fancy ways of getting attack bonuses Ah, my favorite section! This section is dedicated to going out of your way to gaining extra attack bonuses. Every attack bonus nets you $1000, which is necessary for upgrading as quickly as possible. Try not to pull these off when playing with a friend on the final lap, unless you really want to piss her off. Before you get carried away with them (like I sometimes do), do not use these tactics if it means you will drop from first to second place. You lose out on $3000 when you place second, and only gain $1000 for the attack bonus. In other words, using this tactic incorrectly could lead to a $2000 error! With all that said... onto the tactics! e1) Out of missiles? Ramming your opponents into walls and mines also cause damage. I find it easier to inflict damage by colliding with them while using a nitro. e2) See the map displayed on the left hand side? When you have a sizeable lead (at least a few turns ahead of the opposition) and make a turn facing the general direction of your opponents, do some quick aiming and unload a fury of missiles. Sometimes you may need to use hard turns (see section [c]) to quickly aim in the right direction. At first your missiles will be off target, but with practice you will have a good general idea of your opponents location and distance. Just like in football, don't forget to lead your "receivers"! "Blind" attack bonuses are so satisfying! e3) Similarly to [e2], pay close attention to the map. When there's only one person behind you and the rest are far behind, be inclined to use this tactic (ESPECIALLY when they are about to blow!). When the person behind you is close, you can either spin a quick 180 and unload into him, or wait for him to pass before obliterating his poor car. The first one shaves off slightly less time, but is more difficult to pull off since you must accurately gauge his location without sight of the car. But the second one can potentially give him the lead if you miss! As a reminder, these are fancy tactics partly because of the risk involved. Even though I've played this game countless times, I still occasionally make an error pulling off fancy plays, and I pay dearly. Be more inclined to use these risky plays on earlier laps and less inclined on later laps. [f] Bumping Similar to consecutive turns (see section [e]), making optimal usage of bumping is vital when your car is slow. There also are some uses with a quicker car. By bumping I am referring to strategically positioning your car so the AI runs into you or you run into the AI with the intention of boosting yourself or harming them. There are a few key situations to use this tactic: f1) Out of nitros? When you hear, or see, an opponent behind you using a nitro, place yourself directly in their path. This will both slow them down as well as give yourself a boost similar to using a nitro yourself. NEVER do this when you are low on shields since the bumping damages both their car AND yours! f2) About to cross the finish line? Make sure to obstruct any opponent who has a chance of passing you. This is absolutely vital when completing the challenges listed in section 4. f3) An opponent is close to you over a jump? When you're both about to be airborne (side-by-side), you can lean in their direction to potentially knock them in the wrong direction (or off the entire track!). A quick warning, this is EXTREMELY risky and difficult to pull off! Do NOT overdo it! Your attempt to lean into them might throw you into a wall or worse yet off track! Even on the Warrior difficulty, the AI is not smart enough to figure out they've been knocked the wrong direction. You will hear "X is going the wrong way" or "X looks lost out there!" to confirm you did this correctly. Or you'll see the 4th above their head instead of 2nd. When they're knocked in the wrong direction, you have the potential to lap them, netting you a hefty $5000! Lapping bonuses, although massively profitable, are very rare in Warrior difficulty. [g] Choosing suboptimal paths This may sound unintuitive since, well, they are suboptimal. But there are a few situations where I believe it is important to follow suboptimal paths. g1) About to blow? Be EXTREMELY cautious, ESPECIALLY if it's one of the last laps! If there's an armor pickup nearby, do whatever is necessary to acquire it, including slowing down. If you know the location of your opponent, position yourself so you're not in a straight line anymore. The AI only fires at what's directly in their line of sight. If you're unsure where the opponent is, consider doing a little weaving down the straight-aways. g2) Disasters sometimes occur on the final lap. When they happen, restrain yourself from giving up. Try to AT LEAST place third! If you're still unable to place in at least third and need some cash, backtrack through the map to pick up the remaining money pickups. Third place gives you $4000, so even if you only pickup two moneybags ($2000) you would have gained 50% more than giving up entirely. g3) See the previous section on bumping. g4) Have a major lead? Feel free to slow down when you see money pickups, or even backtrack small distances to grab them. Every $1000 helps! [h] Upgrading Upgrading your car and equipment is absolutely vital to winning on the Warrior difficulty. This section assumes you are not intending on making the game more challenging (see section 4 if you do). A few quick tips: Do not purchase ANY upgrades for the Marauder or Dirt Devil. Instead, immediately begin saving the $70000 for an Airblade. Once you have acquired the Airblade, you will absolutely DEMOLISH the competition on Chem VI with NO trouble! Plus, since you didn't spend any money on upgrading your initial car, you have saved yourself money for upgrades on other cars. Do not max out the upgrades on the Airblade or Battletrax. You should NEVER need all these upgrades to consistently place first. Save the money for later purchases! Do not purchase tires or shocks for the Airblade or Battletrax. Assuming you're skilled with navigating turns, these are non-essential. Your first upgrade should be Armor Plating. As I mentioned earlier, the AI on Warrior difficulty are extremely hostile. Every extra shield helps. (Occasionally I'll first upgrade missiles, but that's just because I love wanton destruction and attack bonuses!) Nitros and missiles are far more important than mines. Mines are more of a harassment than a destroyer. Although it's important to upgrade the Engine, it is the most expensive. And later upgrades to the Engine cost even more! I highly recommend spreading out the upgrades instead of bunching them up. For a general idea of how much to upgrade with each car, see below. These upgrades are not listed in order of priority, so once again, spread out your upgrades. Also, these are only GENERAL recommendations. You may get away with slightly less or slightly more. The important part is considering the risk-benefit behind each upgrade. Basically, save the money whenever possible, but do not make it difficult to place first. h1) Marauder - NOTHING h2) Airblade - armor (x1), missiles (x3), nitros (x2), mines (x1), engine (x1). h3) Battletrax - armor (x2), missiles (x3), nitros (x2), mines (x1), engine (x1). h4) Havoc - MAX OUT ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 3) SPECIFIC TACTICS Certain maps require strategical adjustments, so this section is dedicated to it. Planets are listed in order of appearance. [a] Chem VI This planet is ridiculously easy to clear and the only situational adjustment involves using the jump jet (don't forget to upgrade your car to Airblade ASAP) While you still have the Marauder, there are a few places where your jump jets are useful: a1) Before you approach a ramp where your car bumps on the other side. You should be clearing jumps smoothly, so if your car consistently bumps on the lip on the opposite side, consider using a jump jet before the ramp. a2) When an opponent fires a missile at you. Sometimes it's better to merely side-swipe the missile though. a3) Cutting corners. I strongly advise you to not even bother trying this since it so rarely works as planned. Usually your corner cutting will force your car into a wall, or worse yet, off the track. a4) When coming close to the finish line, using the jump jet looks stylish and prevents behind hit from behind. [b] Drakonis There are many consecutive turns here (see section 2d for more information) and Grinder X19 sure loves to use his nitros! Try to remember the parts of the tracks where there are green sludges, and turbo arrows. Obviously avoid the former and use the latter. The AI almost always hits both, so you often will pass them by the green sludge areas. [c] Bogmire Immediately upgrade to the BattleTrax. The first planet containing a track with two paths to the finish! You should know the track by now. For one lap you should take the longer route just to collect armor and money powerups, preferably an earlier lap so the AI doesn't claim them. Also, try to remember the parts of the map with water puddles and turbo arrows. [d] New Mojave Once again, there's a track containing a shortcut path. Do the same thing. Also, try to remember the parts of the map with tar and turbo arrows. [e] NHO Immediately upgrade to the Havoc. There are a few tracks containing consecutive jumps. Be very cautious with your approach on these. As I mentioned earlier, nothing harms your placement more than flying your car off the track. I strongly recommend you save a nitro or two for these multiple jump areas just to make sure you land them. Also, try to remember the parts of the map with snow piles and turbo arrows. [f] Inferno Hopefully your Havoc is near maxed out by here. There's a track with an intersect, so look out for trailing opponents bumping into you there. Also, try to remember the parts of the map with reverse turbo arrows, lava, and regular turbo arrows. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 4) MAKING THE GAME MORE CHALLENGING Once you've become proficient in the tactics in sections 2 and 3, you should be able to easily win on Warrior difficulty. So how do you make the game more challenging? There are a few ways I've thought up (and there are plenty more - use your imagination): [a] Max out the BattleTrax and never upgrade to Havoc. Self-explanatory. This is the easiest challenge. [b] Max out the Airblade and never upgrade to BattleTrax or Havoc. This one is much more difficult. In NHO and Inferno your tactics will be extensively tested. Even with the best tires, your Airblade will slide around corners on NHO and Inferno, so you must exercise good turning skills. [c] Max out the Marauder and never upgrade to Airblade, BattleTrax, or Havoc! This is the most difficult one I have completed. Once you hit Drakonis, the challenge begins. NHO and Inferno will be EXTREMELY frustrating and require multiple tries, I GUARANTEE it! You absolutely must master the tactics in sections 2 and 3 to pull off firsts and seconds there. A few extra tips here since this is so difficult: c1) NEVER use the slicks. BattleTrax and Havocs are immune to them! You are only harming yourself by using them. Only upgrade these so you can have pride in your maxed out Marauder - there is no other reason. c2) Since your armor is weaker, you must be more cautious with encountering opponents. On a similar note, upgrade your armor sooner than usual. c3) Upgrade your engine quicker than usual. You do not have any nitros to use, remember? c4) Since you have no nitros, you will need to make a few adjustments. Many times you will need to use the bumping tactic (see section 2f). Beware though, with your weaker armor, you cannot afford as many bumps. c5) Make more strategical use of your jump jets. Do not go crazy with this - there really aren't many situations on maps where the jump jet is useful. A few examples of good usage of the jump jets are on Bogmire, NHO, and Inferno. On these planets, there are tracks where normal turbo arrows usually would run you right into an obstruction (water puddle, snow pile, lava, etc). With jump jets you can have your cake and eat it too! By that I mean, take the turbo arrow, but quickly punch the jump jet to clear the obstruction. This is especially useful on a certain track in Inferno where the turbo arrow sends you across a hilly terrain where your car usually bumps around. c6) Your missiles are weak, so make sure to get clear shots. c7) The best time to fire missiles is when the AI is approaching a jump, especially the consecutive jumps found on NHO and Inferno. This is because you may slow down the AI enough where they will fail the jump and delay them. c8) Similar to [c7], be more inclined to push your opposition off the track during jumps. Also, be more inclined to push your opposition into the reverse turbo arrows. Many times the AI will become stuck at the reverse turbo arrows and constantly accelerate directly into them! Stupid AI! c9) Any major mistake on the final lap is a near certain fourth. BE CAREFUL! c10) Once you're in NHO, use save states often. I recommend doing it on each favorable lap, such as when your opponents mess up on the multiple jumps and give you a lead. If you do not understand what I mean by "save states", then this is not relevant to you. Surprisingly, Inferno is slightly easier than NHO for the Marauder. I think this is because NHO is icier. As a reminder, beating the game in NHO and Inferno with the Marauder is VERY frustrating! You also will struggle somewhat from Drakonis and on, especially when your Marauder isn't maxed out yet. [d] Win with BattleTrax or Airblade, but only upgrade [item] You can play around with this a bit. I'd recommend trying only upgrading missiles, since hey, it's fun to blow up cars! ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 5) FINAL NOTES I hope you learned something new about this fun game! Despite the game's simplicity, it is one of my favorite games of all-time. I wish Interplay made a better sequel than Red Asphault, which didn't even have rock music or a loud announcer! Instead, they made a Wipeout clone. TERRIBLE! For future updates, I may add more challenges and tactics as they come along. If you have any suggestions or comments, feel free to email me: detached9 AT chek DOT com Make a specific subject line so I do not accidently delete it. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 6) COPYRIGHT Do whatever you wish with this FAQ, except do not sell it for profit. Also, give credit to me where it's due.