Capture the Flag Guide by Wolf Feather

Version: 1.0 | Updated: 04/19/03 | Printable Version

Jamie Stafford/Wolf Feather 
Initial Version Completed: April 19, 2003 
Version 1.0 Completed:     April 19, 2003 
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When I learned that a sequel to the original Midnight Club:  
Street Racing was in the works, I knew that I would buy it,  
as I had purchased the original game at the North American  
launch of the PlayStation2 and absolutely loved it :-)    
Fortunately, the gameplay mode I loved most about the  
original Midnight Club: Street Racing has returning in  
Midnight Club 2: the excellent Capture the Flag Mode.  Some  
changes have been made to Capture the Flag Mode, naturally,  
but while not all these changes are good (obviously a  
subjective statement), they are rather refreshing for the  
Midnight Club series nonetheless.   
Please note that since I do not have online access, this  
guide only covers single-player Capture the Flag Mode.   
The vehicles permitted for use in Capture the Flag Mode are  
those the player has unlocked while working through Career  
Mode.  This means that if the player has yet to win any  
vehicles in Career Mode, then only the Cocotte can be used in  
Capture the Flag Mode... and this is admittedly not a very  
good car to be using in ANY gameplay mode.  Most vehicles in  
the game have at least one Nitrous available; the Nitrous can  
be quite handy at key moments in Capture the Flag Mode,  
especially when carrying a flag with opponents closing in  
from behind.   
Midnight Club 2 introduces motorcycles into the Midnight Club  
series.  Motorcycles are excellent for their maneuverability  
through traffic, and their almost-paper-thin width permits  
them to slip easily through tight spaces, such as very narrow  
alleyways or between lanes of traffic.  However, they also  
require an expert touch (especially when cornering), and they  
do not have Nitrous.   
Capture the Flag Mode in Midnight Club 2 has many more  
customizable options than in the original Midnight Club:  
Street Racing.  Within each city, the player can select from  
the use of a full city map or a small specific area of the  
city (so for Tokyo, for example, the player can select  
between all of Tokyo, the Imperial Palace area, Shibuya, or  
the wharf)  Power-ups can be turned on or off; if activated,  
power-ups are located in sets of three at various points on  
each gameplay map.  The player can also select the weather  
(clear, foggy, or rainy), time (dusk, midnight, or dawn),  
level of traffic, and optional pedestrians.  These represent  
the general options.   
Another page of options constitute the true 'battle' area of  
Capture the Flag Mode.  This is where the player can select  
between the number and type(s) of CPU opponents, the weight  
of the flag, the capture limit, and the time limit for each  
Note that if Heavy Flag is used, then the vehicle currently  
carrying the flag receives a weight penalty.  This is  
important because it will greatly slow that vehicle.   
Therefore, the use of Nitrous must be EXTREMELY judicious,  
cornering must be absolutely precise, and the player's  
knowledge of the current city/map needs to be flawless to  
know where all the jumps and alleyways and tunnels are  
Capture the Flag Mode pits the player against one or more CPU  
opponents in the chosen city (or sector of a chosen city).   
Each match begins with the player and the CPU opponent(s) in  
the same location each time; however, the placement of the  
flags and the delivery points are all randomized.  The rule  
is to grab each flag (by driving through or very near to the  
green searchlights containing the flag) and deliver it to the  
delivery point (by driving through or very near to the larger  
mass of green searchlights).   
Fortunately, one is not required to be the first to grab each  
flag in order to gain maximum points at the delivery area.   
If a CPU vehicle has a flag, the player need only ram the CPU  
vehicle to gain possession of the flag.  On the other hand, a  
player can lose the flag if rammed by a CPU vehicle.   
Ramming can also have other consequences.  Any vehicle (CPU-  
or player-controlled) can lose a flag by ramming anything  
with sufficient velocity.  This can be disastrous when  
driving against traffic, through a grove of trees, or when  
out of control while cornering in these 'concrete jungles.'   
In any case, the CPU vehicles are always designated by a  
down-pointing green triangle, to help the player to  
distinguish the opponent(s); this is especially useful at a  
distance, to 'see' the opponent(s) far down a long straight  
road or sometimes even 'through' buildings and other  
obstacles.  Similarly, the CPU-controlled vehicles are  
indicated by green triangles on the map in the lower-left  
corner of the screen.   
The first tip to achieving success in Capture the Flag Mode  
is to simply roam around each city first in Cruise Mode.   
This allows the player to discover various shortcuts,  
obstacles, jumps, tunnels, etc.  Cruising with varying  
amounts of traffic also helps the player to better identify  
the strategies needed for high-speed racing in both thick and  
thin traffic.  (This tip helps not only in Capture the Flag  
Mode, but in other Arcade and Career segments as well.)   
While the temptation to mow down pedestrians is great (a  
fabulous side-effect of the Midnight Club series),  
pedestrians will slow the vehicle, albeit slightly.  If  
driving side-by-side with a CPU opponent at breakneck speed,  
hitting a pedestrian may cause the player's vehicle to lose  
just enough ground for the CPU vehicle to take advantage in  
some way.  Also, hitting a pedestrian may alter the  
trajectory of the vehicle, which at high speeds can be  
In the first sessions in Capture the Flag Mode, playing with  
no or little traffic may seem like a good idea, but can  
actually lead to failure.  With no or little traffic to  
navigate, the CPU vehicle has just as easy a time flying down  
the streets and highways as does the player.  This makes  
high-speed cornering and knowing the respective city's  
streets and shortcuts a top priority.  The first sessions  
should be played with low traffic at the bare minimum.   
Amazingly, driving AGAINST traffic can be beneficial,  
especially if playing in rainy or foggy conditions.  By  
driving against traffic, the headlights of other vehicles  
make it easier to see the traffic ahead.   
In Los Angeles, Paris, and Tokyo, busses can be both a curse  
and a blessing.  As a curse, busses are BIG, incredibly  
bulky, and practically immovable.  As a blessing, a bus in an  
intersection can be useful for making a quick turn around a  
corner, by ricocheting the vehicle at just the right angle.   
This latter maneuver takes practice, and Capture the Flag  
Mode may not necessarily be the time to practice it; it is  
definitely best to try this maneuver first in Cruise Mode.   
What appears to be the quickest route to a particular point  
in the city may in actuality NOT be as quick as it appears.   
This is especially true if that route requires a lot of tight  
cornering.  Instead, look for a long stretch of straight or  
gently-curving road, especially one with few stop lights  
(less stopped traffic to navigate through; stopped traffic is  
essentially a brick wall).  Alternatively, drive through a  
park or a canal, but avoid trees, the occasional building,  
fountains, ramps, bridge pillars, and boulders.   
Amazingly, the CPU-controlled vehicles can and do make  
mistakes!!!  These vehicles will crash into buildings, other  
vehicles, trees, etc.  Taking full advantage of these  
situations can mean more successful flag deliveries.   
Learning the intricacies of the chosen two- or four-wheeled  
weapon is a must.  Each vehicle handles differently, which  
affects straight-line speed, cornering, etc.   
Highways can be great in Capture the Flag Mode to get from  
one end of a city to another quickly, without the need for  
excessive cornering as on the surface streets.  However,  
there are relatively few highway entrances and exits, so  
making use of the highways can quickly backfire in a player's  
Knowing when and when not to use the Nitrous (if available  
for the chosen vehicle) is of great importance.  For example,  
if the vehicle is sliding while cornering, it may be  
beneficial to hit the Nitrous milliseconds before broadsiding  
a wall or other obstacle, to help keep up the vehicle's speed  
and to help swing/drift the back end of the vehicle through  
the turn.   
Of the three cities in Midnight Club 2 (Los Angeles, Paris,  
and Tokyo), Paris is somewhat 'special' due to the catacombs.   
The entrances to the catacombs are not marked on the map in  
the lower-left corner of the screen, nor are the paths  
through the catacombs included on the map.  This means that  
going into the catacombs can be extremely dangerous for the  
player, as it is very easy to become lost in the catacombs -  
meanwhile, if playing a timed game, the available time to  
make the required number of necessary deliveries ticks  
unrelentingly away.   
The best tip of all is 'clean' driving.  'Clean' is purposely  
used here in quotes, as the premise of Capture the Flag Mode  
forces all opponents to break virtually every traffic law in  
existence.  Nonetheless, fast reflexes, judicious use of the  
Nitrous (if available), immaculate cornering, and avoiding  
obstacles (including streetlights, trash, pedestrians, and  
especially brick and stone walls) can all help to reach the  
flags and the delivery points first.  'Clean' driving also  
means keeping vehicle damage to a minimum, especially in  
vehicles with poor handling and/or low damage tolerance.   
Finally, 'clean' driving is greatly aided by near-flawless  
knowledge of each city - especially Paris, with its many  
extremely narrow streets.  And above all else, do not drink  
and drive!!!   
Midnight Club 2 is certainly much more than just Cruise Mode  
and Capture the Flag Mode.  However, learning the cities in  
Cruise Mode and honing the racing techniques playing Capture  
the Flag Mode can greatly prepare the player for the other  
games and modes of Midnight Club 2. 
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