Paris Guide by Wolf Feather

Version: 1.0 | Updated: 04/12/03 | Printable Version

Jamie Stafford/Wolf Feather 
Initial Version Completed: April 12, 2003 
Version 1.0 Completed:     April 12, 2003 
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Spacing and Length 
Paris Overview 
Phrase Translations 
Sign Translations 
Paris Tips 
Contact Information 
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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 :-)   But  
when I learned that Paris would be one of the locales in  
Midnight Club 2, I instantly rushed to pre-order it... about  
six months before the game's release.  Having lived in Paris  
in the mid-1990s, the city still has a definitely attraction  
to me, even in game form, and given what the developers had  
done with New York City and London in the original Midnight  
Club: Street Racing, I knew that I would definitely enjoy  
Midnight Club 2 even more :-)    
This guide does not cover the races specifically held in  
Paris during Career Mode.  This guide is intended more as an  
overview to the city, with translations of signs and  
pedestrians' catch-phrases.  Some tips for navigating Paris  
are also provided.   
The original Midnight Club: Street Racing became unexpectedly  
popular at and following the launch of the PlayStation2.   
Taking place in New York City and in London, the game  
presented excellent, fun, challenging racing - including the  
ability to target pedestrians, by accident and otherwise -  
while still remaining generally faithful to the presentation  
of both cities.   
This time taking place in Los Angeles, Paris, and Tokyo,  
Midnight Club 2 takes all the elements of the original  
Midnight Club: Street Racing, greatly improves the graphics  
and sounds, and adds motorcycles into the mix.  The result is  
a spectacular blend of faithfulness to the locales and a  
powerful continuation of what has come before in the series.   
Paris itself is extremely breathtaking, especially for me  
personally as I once lived in The City of Love.  While the  
version of Paris presented in Midnight Club 2 is both massive  
enough and detailed enough to convincingly present the French  
capital in the game, it is somewhat of a disappointment to  
see the city 'reduced' to its size in the game.  For example,  
walking from the Eiffel Tower to Notre Dame takes FAR longer  
than it does in the game!!!   
Of course, some things must be changed in the translation  
from reality to game.  One of my favorite places in Paris is  
the set of narrow streets to the left of Sacre-Coeur (as  
looking at the front entrance of the cathedral).  These  
streets, also perched high upon the hillside, contain  
numerous cafes, a small but elegant square where merchants  
and artists often sell or perform, and breathtaking views of  
the city far below when glimpsed between buildings.   
Unfortunately, this area of the city - like so many other  
intimate spots which are not very likely to be known to the  
average traveler - is eliminated from the game :-(    
The general 'construction' of Paris in Midnight Club 2 is  
itself quite faithful to the real-world city.  Le boulevard  
peripherique (or simply 'le peripherique') is a highway which  
encircles the city, generally forming its border; thus, it is  
not surprising that there is really only one place to get  
'out' of Paris in the game, and even that is a long tunnel  
loop linking the two-lane roads running along the Seine  
River.  The main landmarks of Paris are all in place in the  
game, and those highly familiar with the main roads of Paris  
in reality will have little or no trouble navigating the  
city.  The many traffic circles can definitely be annoying,  
especially when driving around them at high speeds while  
drifting the rear of the car and still trying to avoid  
collisions with the slower mundane non-competitor traffic.    
Adding a sense of realism to the game, Midnight Club 2  
presents a number of small shops throughout the city.  Some  
of these are designated by names or initials, likely as an  
electronic tribute to those involved in the game's creation.   
However, most of these are more 'generalized' with French  
words indicating the type of shop for each - 'marche,' or  
'velos,' or 'glaces,' for example.   
While there are a number of such shops along the main  
streets, there are also many small shops in the alleyways of  
the city; this is quite true of the real-world Paris as well.   
In fact, many of the best shops and cafes in Paris are  
located 'off the beaten path,' and are generally not known to  
travelers; even some of the best movie theaters (cinemas) are  
located well away from the main streets of the city, both in  
reality and in the game.   
Not surprisingly, the pedestrians in Paris also often yell  
things in French.  Exactly what they yell at the player is  
selected at random.  Unfortunately, however, their catch- 
phrases seem to be biased toward the use of English rather  
than French, at least in the North American version of the  
game.  Nonetheless, the use of French does help to localize  
the game, thus creating a more convincing gaming experience  
for the player.   
Overall, the Paris experience in Midnight Club 2 is an  
excellent introduction to the city for those who have never  
lived in or visited the capital of France.  Certainly, there  
are many things from the real-world city missing from the  
game city - such as the boat traffic on the Seine River.  Of  
course, true to the Midnight Club series, there are numerous  
places to jump between or over buildings, and even several  
river jumps.  The inclusion of the catacombs is a great  
addition to the game, even though navigating through the  
catacombs is extremely frustrating at best.  If only it were  
possible to also race through the Paris subway system....... 
Paris in Midnight Club 2 attempts to further localize the  
player's experience with pedestrians and rivals in Paris  
sometimes speaking in French.  For the rivals, some of these  
catch-phrases are pre-determined and come during the  
cutscenes before or after races, while others are used at  
random during the races themselves.  For the pedestrians, all  
sayings are randomized, with a noticeable bias toward the use  
of English (in the North American version of the game).   
This section of the guide provides translations for the  
French-language sayings in the game.  This is not meant to be  
a comprehensive listing, since so many of the catch-phrases  
are randomized; it is quite possible that there are more  
French-language catch-phrases than I have heard in my  
experience playing in Paris in the game.   
As the Internet is heavily dominated by English-speakers,  
standard text-only documents are not designed to handle  
accents.  Therefore, to avoid a document full of strange  
characters, accents have purposely not been used,  
necessitating some knowledge on the part of the reader to  
visualize the accents where they belong.   
Translation is FAR from a precise science.  For example,  
consider the controversy over the U.S. Government's official  
translation of the Osama Bin Laden videotape found in early  
December 2001 in a home in Afghanistan (the videotape  
advanced by the government as the ultimate proof of Bin  
Laden's involvement in the terrorist attacks on the United  
States on September 11, 2001) and the more specific  
translations offered by CNN and other news organizations in  
the days after the videotape's official release.  There are  
certainly many more potential translations which could be  
made for each phrase beyond what I have provided here; the  
translations given below are simply meant to give a general  
Please note that some of the phrases include swearing.  While  
I try to accurately present the idea of the speaker with each  
translation, I also do not wish to offend anyone by  
translating 'in full.'   
   Tu me fais chier!           You make me want to s***! 
   Parfait (name)              Perfect 
   C'est pas vrai!             - Literally: It's not true! 
                               - Colloquially: This can't be 
   J'ai perdu mon auto!        I lost my car!  
   Garez-vous maintenant!      Pull over now! 
   Aie!  Ca fait mal!          Ow!  That hurts! 
   Attention!                  Be careful! / Pay attention!   
   Ca n'va pas, non!?!         That isn't right, is it!?! 
   Mais non!                   - Literally: But no! 
                               - Colloquially: That's wrong!  
   Merde!                      S***!   
   Oh, merde!                  Oh, s***!   
   Oh, regarde!                Oh, look!  (This is used in  
                                  the familiar form here, so 
                                  the pedestrian is pointing 
                                  out the player's reckless 
                                  driving to a friend.)   
With the signs in the game, meaning is generally much more  
fixed than with the characters' catch-phrases.  While this  
information is certainly not essential to the game, as  
players are not required to go to a specific shop in a given  
area, it could nonetheless be useful information to know.   
Again, accents have purposely not been used here.  Also,  
there are likely other types of stores that I have not  
noticed while roaming the city.   
boissons             drinks 
bon bons             candy store 
boucher              butcher shop 
boulangerie          bakery 
cadeaux              gift shop 
change               a place to change money 
chaussures           shoe store 
chocolat             chocolate shop 
cinema               movie theater 
coiffure             hair dresser or barber shop 
crepes               a place selling crepes, thin pancake- 
                        like food which can be topped (or 
                        filled, when rolled and eaten by 
                        hand) with various items such as 
                        bananas, chocolate sauce, whip 
                        cream, strawberries, etc.   
cuirs                leather shop 
femmes               women (used in the game in the red light 
                        district near Sacre-Coeur - rather 
                        ironic, but true to life - to help  
                        attract customers) 
glaces               ice cream parlor 
jouets               toy store 
librairie            bookstore (NOT library; this is a false 
marche               small market 
patisserie           pastry shop 
peep                 peep show (again, seen only in the red 
                        light district) 
pharmacie            pharmacie, or drug store 
poisson              fish shop 
tabac                tobacco store 
toilettes            public toilets (generally requiring 
                        some form of payment) 
velos                bike shop 
vins                 wine shop 
While some may find it rather awkward to go do some real- 
world research to better enjoy a game, a player can  
definitely benefit from finding one or more maps of Paris to  
study.  This will help the player to gain a better overall  
feel for the layout of the city, which can in turn provide a  
better chance of getting from Point A to Point B in a hurry.   
Granted, the player will rarely be able to simply follow a  
single street from Point A to Point B (to reach the next  
checkpoint, pick up a flag, etc.).  However, it is often best  
to avoid the narrow and twisting streets and alleyways in  
favor of the wider streets and boulevards; even if it means a  
longer traveling distance, it is often easier to attain fast  
speeds on these wider streets and boulevards and also to  
corner quickly with less need for precision.   
To the extent possible, use le boulevard peripherique to get  
from one side of the city to the other in a hurry.  This may  
be the 'long way' from Point A to Point B, but there is no  
cross-traffic, and the right-most emergency lane is rarely  
ever blocked by a parked vehicle, so the player can attain  
insane speeds here (especially if using the nitrous, if  
available) while rivals are colliding with each other and  
with other vehicles on the surface streets.   
Tunnels are generally well-marked on the map in the game.   
However, the catacombs are NOT indicated on the map.   
Therefore, it is best to learn where the catacomb entrances  
are located.  This can also mean AVOIDING the many immovable  
columns - of which there are far too many for comfort - in  
the catacombs.   
Save the nitrous until it is absolutely necessary.  There are  
a few jumps - notably some jumps across the Seine River -  
which will require an unfathomable rate of speed to complete  
successfully, and suddenly hitting the nitrous may be the  
only option for a player to successfully complete such jumps.   
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