TOKYO EXTREME RACER ZERO: GETTING STARTED GUIDE

By

Wolf Feather/Jamie Stafford
FEATHER7@IX.NETCOM.COM


Initial Version Completed: December 15, 2002
Version 2.0 Completed:     December 25, 2002

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CONTENTS
Spacing and Length
Permissions
Introduction
The Initial Car
Rivals
Courses
BOLO
General Tips
Input from Others
Drivetrains
Braking
Cornering
Tuning
Diagrams
Contact

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SPACING AND LENGTH
For optimum readability, this driving guide should be
viewed/printed using a monowidth font, such as Courier.
Check for appropriate font setting by making sure the numbers
and letters below line up:

1234567890123456789012345678901234567890123456789012
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz

This guide is approximately 31 pages long in the Macintosh
version of Microsoft Word 98 using single-spaced Courier 12
font.

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PERMISSIONS
This guide may ONLY be posted on FeatherGuides, GameFAQs.com,
PSXCodez.com, Cheatcc.com, Absolute-PlayStation.com,
gamesover.com, InsidePS2Games.com, RedCoupe, CheatPlanet.com,
The Cheat Empire, a2zweblinks.com, Gameguru, Games Domain,
GameReactors.com, cheatingplanet.com, vgstrategies.com,
CheatHeaven, IGN, ps2fantasy.com, and RobsGaming.com,
neoseeker.com.

Permission is granted to download and print one copy for
personal use.

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INTRODUCTION
Tokyo Extreme Racer Zero is an intriguing game - similar to
the PlayStation game Tokyo Highway Battle, but far more
developed and with much more highway to explore.  Also, the
CPU-controlled Rivals are far more challenging and varied,
employing a wider array of tactics in their own attempts to
win each battle.

One of the most interesting aspects of the game (to me) is
that it shows the complexity of the highway system of a major
urban area.  The initial course is especially intriguing in
this respect, and it is rather interesting to compare the
game version of the highway to a map of Tokyo.

Something that may take many players by surprise is that the
Japanese road and highway system is designed to drive on the
left-hand side of the roadway/highway.  In Tokyo Extreme
Racer Zero, this never comes directly into play.  And, only
in rather rare cases can the player even SEE the opposite
direction of the highways (which amazingly NEVER has any
traffic).

This guide is intended to help those just beginning with
Tokyo Extreme Racer Zero.  Granted, I wrote a guide on the
game in Fall 2001 (Tokyo Extreme Racer Zero: Game Guide), but
this guide will also include information related to the
questions I have received most often in e-mails from readers
of my Tokyo Extreme Racer Zero: Game Guide.  Some information
in this guide comes from my Tokyo Extreme Racer Zero: Game
Guide and from my General Racing/Driving Guide, both
available at GameFAQs (http://www.GameFAQs.com/).

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THE INITIAL CAR
After enjoying the opening movie of the game, players are
forced to purchase a car.  The initial car choice is
important, as it should be a vehicle with which a player will
feel very comfortable immediately.  Specifically, the player
should choose a car type with which she or he is already
familiar from other driving games.  In my case, I am rather
adept with 4WD vehicles in the Gran Turismo series, so my
first cars were 4WD vehicles (TYPE-CE9A and TYPE-CP9A6M).

Car choice in a game like this flows into two schools of
thought.  Since the player begins the game with a given
amount of cash ($15,000), the player can either: A.) buy the
most expensive car the player can afford, or B.) buy a less
expensive car and start making upgrades to the car
immediately.  This choice is really based upon personal
preference.  Fortunately, most Class A cars available at the
start of the game can easily defeat the first 5-10 Rivals the
player encounters, so since initial income flow is
practically 'guaranteed,' it really does make sense to start
with the most expensive Class A car that a player can afford
(the TYPE-CE9A, costing $14,750 and meaning that the player
will not be able to buy any upgraded parts); this will be a
powerful car initially, and the player will still attain
money to make some nice upgrades to the vehicle.

If a player follows the second school of thought concerning
initial car selection, the first parts the player should buy
are tires.  The player should ALWAYS buy the best possible
tires affordable at a given time.  Better tires mean more
traction, which means both less wheel spin (resulting in
better acceleration) and better cornering at high speeds.
Even if racing a higher-power car, if a player' car has
better tires, the player can take advantage of corners to
catch up and pass the Rival.  As the player progresses
through the game, if new sets of tires are made available (by
beating certain Rivals), it is important to buy them
immediately!!!

Once the player has bought a car and made any initial
upgrades in the Parts Shop, the player should go to the
Settings screen and make any adjustments necessary, then
leave Quest mode (saving game progress) and go to Free Run.
Here, the player should learn the initial course in both
directions, so that there will not be any surprises upon
return to Quest mode to begin challenging other drivers.
Using Free Run, the player will also be able to discern if
the Settings need to be adjusted, and the player may also
begin to notice which new parts to buy next once enough money
has been acquired to do so.  However, Free Run does not
include ANY traffic on the highway, so if the player needs to
make adjustments to the car, it is important to consider how
the changes will affect car handling when weaving in and out
of traffic.

When ready, the player should then go to Time Attack and
complete a few rounds there on each course.  While the player
may not necessarily be driving at top speed in Free Run, this
WILL occur in Time Attack - after all, that IS the point of
Time Attack.  This will allow the player to set a few records
to start with, and will also give an idea of how the car
handles at top speed.  it is especially important to note how
to best use the car in cornering.  If the player wants to
tune the car (especially gear ratios, if applicable), this is
perhaps the best place to do it.

Now the player is ready to go back to Quest mode and take on
a few Rivals!!!  In Quest mode, the player can return to the
Garage when necessary to add parts and change settings.
Also, periodically (perhaps every 20-30 minutes), the player
should save game progress (System menu), just in case the
electricity goes out, little siblings squirt the console with
a water gun, etc.

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RIVALS
The premise of Tokyo Extreme Racer Zero is rather simple: The
player must locate, challenge, and defeat all illegal highway
racers in Tokyo.  Of course, this is easier said than done.
Obviously, this will be easier at the beginning of the game,
and more difficult as the game progresses.

Rivals fall into various categories.  The largest category is
that of Gang Member.  Many illegal highway racers are part of
a racing gang (think of the motorcycle gang rivalry in the
Akira manga and anime).  Gang Members will ALWAYS accept a
player's challenge (by flashing the high beam headlights when
directly tailing the Rival).  Should the player defeat a Gang
Member, the player will be rewarded with a meager amount of
money, but certainly not much.  However, defeating all the
members of a given gang will collectively amount to a nice
sum of money overall.  Note that each Gang Member bears the
emblem of the gang on the car; this emblem is also shown
underneath the Rival name in a battle/race.

Next above the Gang Members is the Gang Leader, who bears the
emblem of the gang as well.  Once all the regular Gang
Members of a gang have been defeated, the Gang Leader will
suddenly appear behind the player (flashing the high beam
headlights in the traditional challenge signal) and the
battle will shortly commence.  Gang Leaders award more money
than Gang Members when defeated.

The next category is that of the Wanderers.  These are
essentially ronin, lone illegal highway racers with no gang
affiliations or allegiances.  Most Wanderers have specific
requirements that a player must first meet before they will
accept a player's challenge to battle; this can range from a
minimum number of miles on the player's car to racing on a
particular day number (such as every eleven days) to a
particular type of car.  Each Wanderer has her or his own
emblem.  When defeated, Wanderers pay more than Gang Leaders.

Above the Wanders are the Boss Gang Members.  These Rivals
suddenly appear behind the player (using the appropriate
challenge signal) at pre-determined times throughout the
game; this generally coincides with the number of Rivals the
player has defeated overall to that point in the game.  Boss
Gang Members bear the emblem of their gangs, also pay nicely
when defeated.

Finally, once all regular Boss Gang Members have been
defeated, the Boss Gang Leader will suddenly appear behind
the player to make a challenge.  Boss Gang Leaders pay VERY
handsomely when defeated, but are also often extremely tricky
to defeat.

Note that defeating certain Rivals in the game will unlock
new levels of parts in the Parts Shop.  Also, defeating
certain Rivals will unlock those vehicles in the Car Shop.

Finally, it is possible for the player to be challenged by
several Rivals in a row.  After defeating the last regular
Gang Member of a gang, the Gang Leader may appear.  If the
Gang Leader is defeated on the first attempt, a Boss Gang
Member may appear.  If that Rival is defeated on the first
attempt, the Boss Gang Leader may appear.  Working swiftly
through this barrage of Rivals will result in the player
receiving a MASSIVE amount of money in little time :-)

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COURSES
There are three 'courses' in Tokyo Extreme Racer Zero.  These
are not three separate courses; rather, the second course is
added onto the first, and the third course is added onto the
second.

The initial course is essentially a circle, with a tricky
alternate route along its southern edge.  This initial course
is comprised primarily of twists and turns, and is almost
exclusively in the tunnels along its northern edge.  The main
part of the course along the southern edge contains two
places in each direction where bridge pillars bisect the two-
lane highway, so the player must memorize the location of
these two pillars and be ready to take evasive actions to
avoid them - however, forcing a Rival into one of these two
bridge support pillars is an excellent tactic to practically
guarantee winning a battle :-)

The initial course's southern alternate route runs through an
area known as Yaesu.  This has two sections: the lower
eastern section through the tunnels, and the higher western
section in the open air twisting between the skyscrapers.
The tunnel section is relatively high-speed, whereas the
open-air section is VERY twisty and difficult for passing,
which makes it a great place to maintain a lead but a
TERRIBLE place to try playing catch-up.  When running
clockwise on the initial course, it is possible to bypass the
tunnel section and gain access to the open-air section; when
running counterclockwise, it is possible to again bypass the
tunnel section and drop from the open-air section back to the
main course.

After the player has defeated three members of the Thirteen
Devils Gang, the second course will be made available.
However, this is not done 'directly' in the game itself.
Defeating the third of the Thirteen Devils will force the
player to return to the garage; the next time the player
returns to the highways, the second course will then be made
available.

The second course is essentially a southern addition to the
initial course.  Much of the second course is also twisty,
but its southernmost section is primarily a high-speed
straight run.

After the player has defeated nine members of the Thirteen
Devils Gang, the third course will be made available.  Again,
this is not done 'directly' in the game itself.  Defeating
the ninth of the Thirteen Devils will force the player to
return to the garage; the next time the player returns to the
highways, the third and final course will then be made
available.

The third and final course is essentially an eastern addition
to the other courses, connecting the southwestern point of
the initial course with the southwestern point of the second
course.  The third course, is LONG, running out toward
Yokohama.  The northern and western lines of the third course
is primarily composed of curves, whereas the southern line of
the third course is mostly straight and high-speed; the
northern and southern lines alternate between tunnel sections
and open-air sections, and each contains one area of toll
booths which can be difficult to navigate and avoid at high
speeds (especially along the southern line).

Because most of the highway sections in Tokyo Extreme Racer
Zero feature many corners connected by rather brief
straightaways, the player should probably use medium-high or
high downforce, strong acceleration and braking, the highest
level of tires the player can afford, and low gear ratios
(which provides faster acceleration).  However, for the
straight, high-speed sections, longer gear ratios (providing
higher top-end speed), the lowest-possible downforce, strong
acceleration, and the highest level of tires the player can
afford.

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BOLO
Be On the LookOut for the following:

   Vehicles with yellow flashing lights: These vehicles
   generally indicate that a larger vehicle ahead (generally
   a semi truck) is moving slowly and/or is oversized.  These
   vehicles trail the slower/oversized vehicles by a good
   distance, so switch to another lane and stay there until
   the slow/oversized vehicle has been safely passed.

   Flares: One the second course opens, there will be times
   when flares appear on the highway.  These indicate that
   there could be a stationary vehicle ahead in the lane
   where the flares are located.  Note that often, there IS a
   stationary vehicle ahead, but if the vehicle has already
   been removed, the flares may still be active for a short
   period of time.  There are no consequences for driving
   over the flares, but the player should be ready to take
   quick evasive actions in case there IS a stationary
   vehicle ahead in that lane.

   Police: Unfortunately, the police never truly appear and
   chase speeders.  However, once the third course opens,
   there are several locations where police are most likely
   to 'appear' (by blaring the siren and flashing the lights;
   the monetary speed penalties are then subtracted from that
   night's earnings the next time the player returns to the
   garage).

   Vehicles switching lanes: In most cases, a non-participant
   vehicle will switch lanes in order to pass a slower
   vehicle in front of it.  Make note of these lane switches
   and be prepared to make a high-speed maneuver between the
   lane-switching vehicle and the slower vehicle.

   Painted lane 'extensions:' Some of the sharper corners on
   the highways have painted lane 'extensions,' where the
   highway barrier gives way but the extra space is painted
   in a diagonal stripe pattern to try to keep vehicles in
   the main lanes.  During a battle, this can be a prime
   place to make a pass of either a Rival or a non
   participant vehicle.  Also, Rivals generally do not make
   use of the painted lane 'extensions,' so knowing where
   these are located on the three courses can greatly help in
   setting up a pass.

   Highway lighting: The distant lights along the highway are
   rather blurry and can easily trick the player when racing
   along at top speed, especially in the long, straight
   sections of highway out west.  It does help a little to
   look as far ahead as possible and note the upcoming
   corners by the positioning of the streetlamps, but the red
   taillights are often too blurry until the player is
   practically IN another vehicle's back bumper.

   Rival locations: Once the second course opens, there will
   occasionally be a rival sitting stationary at a highway
   on-ramp near the beginning of Yaesu pointing in a counter-
   clockwise position.  The player should continually check
   the map for the stationary blue dot at this location once
   the second course has been unlocked.

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GENERAL TIPS
First, most CPU-controlled Rivals have trouble cornering.
Therefore, it is generally a good idea to tune a car for
quick acceleration and to have the best possible tires.  This
also means that a car tuned in this manner will do fairly
well on the initial course, but - unless the player has a car
with a MASSIVE horsepower output - very poorly on long,
straight stretches of highway.  To the extent possible,
strategically pick the starting point for each battle, even
if it means tailing a Rival for several kilometers until the
player reaches a section with many corners (such as the
northern tunnels of the initial course).  If necessary, the
player can return to garage, then re-enter the competition in
or just before an area with a lot of curves.

In a battle, the car in the lead dictates the direction of
the battle; if the player is trailing and takes a different
route than the leader at a fork in the highway, the battle
ends in an instant draw.  Very rarely has a CPU-controlled
Rival taken a different route than I took when I was in the
lead, so this can be used to the player's advantage when in
the lead.  Best of all, if one of the forks leads to an area
of the course which the player personally prefers due to
better performance AND the player is in the lead, he or she
should definitely take it!!!  However, if the player is
trailing the Rival by such a distance that the player cannot
see the Rival, the player should NOT go into Yaesu; only on
extremely RARE occasions will Rivals go into Yaesu if they
are in the lead in a battle.

Rivals DO occasionally make mistakes: ramming other vehicles,
overcorrecting, hitting toll booth barriers, etc.  the player
must be constantly aware, and be ready to take advantage of
such situations if trailing the Rival.  Especially if the
player is approaching the toll booths, the player should NOT
tail the Rival too closely - or try to give as wide a berth
as possible - in case the Rival suddenly rams a toll booth
barrier and bounces backward; the same applies for the
concrete lane barriers underneath the bridges in the initial
course.

The player should not be afraid to use 'dirty tactics'
(blocking, sideswiping an opponent into a barrier or the back
of another vehicle) to win.  In many cases, the Rivals will
use dirty tactics to stay ahead of the player.  In
progressing through the game, the player will NEED to use
dirty tactics to gain and/or retain the lead.

Tokyo Extreme Racer Zero is very richly done in terms of the
visuals.  It is quite easy to get lost in the realism of the
game, from the traffic to the airplanes taking off and
landing overhead.  However, THE PLAYER MUST NOT TAKE THE EYES
OFF THE ROAD, ESPECIALLY IN A BATTLE!!!!!

The western highways are generally conducive to high-speed
runs, due to long straightaways, multiple and wider lanes
(especially in the tunnels), and generally thinner traffic.
However, at the extremely high top-end speeds which are
usually achieved in this area, even a light brushing with a
barrier or another vehicle can reduce the player's speed just
enough for to lose the lead and/or lose all chance of
catching the opponent.

There ARE cops in this game, located in eight different areas
of the highway circuit (once all highways are opened).  Never
did I actually see the police car; I only heard the sirens as
I sped by a highway on-ramp (where the police were probably
hiding).  A player will not actually get pulled over;
instead, when the player returns to garage to end the night,
she or he is presented with the 'Over Speed Penalty!!'
screen, which lists the infractions and fines incurred in the
session, and the appropriate amount is then deducted from the
total remaining money.  This is so impersonal, and I was
REALLY hoping to be arrested by Miyuki and Natsumi!!!!!

Periodically (perhaps every 20-30 minutes), the player should
save game progress (System menu), just in case the
electricity goes out, little siblings squirt the console with
a water gun, etc.  Also, in returning to the garage, the
player should look to the top of the report screen to see if
new parts or new levels of parts have been unlocked (by
beating specific Rivals) and, if so, seriously consider
acquiring some upgrades before returning to the highways.

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MY CARS
These are the cars and settings I have used in the game.

My first car: TYPE-CE9A (Class A, 4WD, 2714lbs, 490HP,
      1997cc)*
   Initial Cost: $14,750
   Steer: +11
   Acceleration: +12
   Braking: +11
   Brake Balance: +7 (biased to the rear)
   Ride Height: -15 front AND rear (lowest possible setting)
   Gear Ratio: Default, except Final set to 2.78
   Spring Rate: -8 front and rear
   Damper: +4 front AND rear
   Turbo Boost: 1.40 (fairly high)

My second car (Class A, acquired after opening the long
      western sections of highway): TYPE-CP9A6M (4WD,
      2797lbs, 561HP, 1997cc)*
   Initial Cost: $28,480
   Steer: +11
   Acceleration: +12
   Braking: +12
   Brake Balance: +8 (biased to the rear)
   Ride Height: -15 front AND rear (lowest possible setting)
   Gear Ratio: Default
   Spring Rate: +5 front, +6 rear
   Damper: -7 front AND rear
   Turbo Boost: 1.39 (fairly high)

My third car (Class A, acquired specifically to beat Speed
      King): TYPE-RPT7 (MR, 2764lbs, 446HP, 3560cc)**
   Initial Cost: $
   Steer: +7
   Acceleration: +12
   Braking: +14
   Brake Balance: +8 (biased to the rear)
   Ride Height: N/A
   Gear Ratio:
      1st  : 3.71
      2nd  : 2.61
      3rd  : 1.93
      4th  : 1.58
      5th  : 1.28
      6th  : 0.96
      Final: 3.03
   Spring Rate: N/A
   Damper: N/A
   Turbo Boost: N/A

My current car (Class A, the Speed King car): TYPE-R34RKK
      (4WD, 3230lbs, 788HP, 2876cc)*
   Initial Cost: $525,500
   Steer: +7
   Acceleration: +12
   Braking: +13
   Brake Balance: +7 (biased to the rear)
   Ride Height: -15 front AND rear (lowest possible setting)
   Gear Ratio:
      1st  : 4.96
      2nd  : 3.29
      3rd  : 2.28
      4th  : 1.87
      5th  : 1.45
      6th  : 1.06
      Final: 2.71
   Spring Rate: +10 front, +11 rear
   Damper: -12 front AND rear
   Turbo Boost: 1.31 (fairly high)

*  Weight, horsepower, and cc based on highest possible
   levels of available parts (except mufflers, where highest
   possible horsepower muffler was selected).

** Weight, horsepower, and cc based on the following parts:
   Engine Level 5; Muffler and Air Cleaner Level 6;
   Transmission Level 3; Clutch and Differential Level 4; and
   Tires, Brakes, and Wheels Level 8.  Also, after several
   days of frustration trying to beat Speed King with a
   number of other cars, I was successful beating Speed King
   the first time I tried with this car.

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INPUT FROM OTHERS
Concerning Wanderers, I have received A LOT of e-mails from
many players.  The following comes from J.D.
(selsduk@aol.com), and is edited only for formatting purposes
and minor language:

   From: SeLsDuk@aol.com
   Date: Tue, 3 Jul 2001 06:31:04 EDT
   Subject: ABOUT the WANDeRERS
   To: FEATHER7@ix.netcom.com

   Yeah I've been having a BIG <<>>
   PROB with that.  I've been trying a lot of things but
   sometimes it'll work and sometimes it wont.  Here are my
   suggestions:

   1)  Race a WANDERER with a STOCK CAR.  Sometimes, they'll
   race you and keep on your pace.

   2)  Go in front of the WANDERER to see if they HIGHBEAM.
   If they don't sometimes it means that they don't wanna
   race you if you highbeam them.

   3)  Trial and Error.  This is what me and probably anyone
   else who has been playing TOKYO RACER 2 (DC) or TOKYO
   RACER 0 (PS2).  I raced a couple of KANJO-INNER WANDERERS
   with my PORSCHE 930 TURBO A CLASS CAR 2 951HP seeing that
   they dont wanna race my C CLASS 164 HP car.  Its weird.

I can definitely confirm J.D.'s second point, and his third
point is what most players probably try by default... which
makes them frustrated, and then they e-mail me!!!  As for the
first point concerning a stock car, how fast can the player
accumulate A LOT of money for stock car and parts???

For specific information on the Wanderers, see 'Wanderer's
Requirement(s) FAQ' - translated and written by HIKARU2001,
Wataru, and Reiko - on GameFAQs (and probably also posted
elsewhere).

Also, some advice concerning the pressure-sensitive PS2
DualShock2 controller:

   From: 'Scott Edwards' 
   To: FEATHER7@IX.NETCOM.COM
   Subject: Your tokyo extreme racer FAQ
   Date: Thu, 05 Jul 2001 23:49:29

   Because the X button on the PS2 controller is pressure
   sensitive, you can find yourself losing a lot of your
   acceleration and speed because you can't hold the button
   down that hard constantly.  One option to fix this is to
   go into the settings in the garage and change the
   sensitivity of the accerlation.  Alternatively, if you
   just use a PS1 controller without analog functions, you
   can effectively hold it down ALL THE WAY all the time.

With appropriate modifications, Scott's tip may also be
applicable to other games.  Of course, the player may also
wish to make use of the services of Chet (the slightly-insane
gaming coach) from the 2001 Blockbuster Video advertising
campaign, and specifically work on increasing thumb strength
and endurance.

Here is some information on a 'child-safety feature:'

   From: 'Kyle Morse' 
   To: feather7@ix.netcom.com
   Subject: TXRZ Child Safety Feature
   Date: Fri, 10 Aug 2001 00:59:34 -0400

   Tokyo Extreme Racer: Zero has a child safety feature. You
   know that little sibling, the one that watches you play.
   Well I'm sure you don't want him/her to play while you're
   temporarily gone. You know their going to play any way
   so i have found that if you pause the game in Quest mode,
   then press SELECT,SQUARE,TRIAGLE,AND CIRCLE at the same
   time. This causes the game to lock and the game is unable
   to to be messed with thru the controller. When you come
   back to unlock the game press and hold SELECT, THEN PRESS
   SQUARE, TRIANGLE, AND CIRCLE. Remember don't let the
   rugrats mess up the gig man!

Also, concerning how muffler choice affects horsepower and
torque, Jeremy Jones has made a rather interesting
observation:

   Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2001 21:41:11 -0700 (PDT)
   From: Jeremy Jones 
   Subject: About your FAQ
   To: FEATHER7@IX.NETCOM.COM

   When I first upgraded the car, I thought it was odd
   how the horsepower goes down with certain higher
   mufflers.  But I then noticed another thing, the
   number of engine upgrade corresponds to the number of
   the muffler.  For example: Say I have a level 4
   engine, well, the best bet would be to go with the
   level 4 muffler, not only is the horsepower the
   highest there, but so is the torque.  And if I had a
   level 2 engine, I'd get a level 2 muffler. If you go
   over the number of your engine upgrade, you will (in
   most cases) lose horsepower and torque.  Understand?
   I thought that was interesting that they chose to go
   that way.

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DRIVETRAINS
There are four common drivetrains for cars, plus the 'RR'
drivetrain:

4WD: All four wheels are drive wheels.  In many forms of
        auto racing, 4WD vehicles are banned due to the
        inherent advantage of using all four wheels as
        drive wheels (due to the added traction advantage).
FF:  The engine AND the drive wheels are at the front of the
        car.  FF vehicles are fairly easy to drive, but do
        not generally handle high horsepower outputs very
        well.  This type of vehicle tends to understeer.
FR:  The engine is in the front of the vehicle, but the rear
        wheels are the drive wheels.  This type of car has a
        great tendency for oversteering, and throttle
        management is VERY important when exiting corners to
        try to prevent the oversteer condition.  NASCAR uses
        FR vehicles.
MR:  The engine is located between the axles (usually just
        behind the driver), and the rear wheels are the drive
        wheels.  This type of car can be a bit tricky to
        drive.  Typical MR cars are those used in F1, CART,
        and IRL.  In open-wheel cars (such as those in the
        aforementioned racing series), there is extremely
        little material to absorb the shock of a front-end
        collision in an accident, thus providing fairly
        little protection for the driver (especially the
        driver's legs); it is truly amazing that there are
        not more driver injuries in open-wheel cars with
        MR drivetrains due to this 'non-protection' issue.
RR:  Both the engine and the drive wheels are in the rear of
        the car.  These cars are fairly rare.

====================================

BRAKING
The first step in driving fast is knowing when, where, and
how much to slow down (braking).  In some games, a brake
controller can be acquired or purchased, allowing the player
to customize the brake strength by axle or by adjusting the
bias of the brakes toward the front or the rear of the car.

The use of a brake controller will affect the braking zone,
as will other factors.  Specifically, the car's speed on
approaching a corner, the amount of fuel in the car at a
given moment, the drivetrain of the car, the weight of the
car, and even the car's center of gravity can all affect the
braking zone.  Similarly, the driving conditions - sunny,
overcast, damp, wet, icy, snowy etc. - will affect the
braking zone for each corner (as well as the car's ability to
attain high speeds).

Except for purely arcade-style games, the braking zone will
differ somewhat for each car depending upon its strengths and
weaknesses.  It certainly helps for the player to try a Free
Run or a Time Trial (if these modes exist in a given game) to
learn the circuit(s) - including the braking zones.

When looking for braking zones, try to find a particular
stationary object near the entry of each corner; it helps
tremendously if this object is far enough away from the
circuit that it will not be knocked over during a race.  To
begin, try using the brakes when the front of the car is
parallel with the chosen stationary object.  If this does not
slow the car enough before corner entry or if the car slows
too much before reaching the corner, pick another stationary
object on the following lap and try again.

Whenever changes are made to the car - whether to the brake
controller or to other aspects of tuning and/or parts - it
would be a good idea to go back into Free Run mode and check
that the braking zones still hold; if not, adjust as
necessary using the method in the paragraph above.

For those races which include fuel loads, the car will become
progressively lighter during a race.  The lesser weight can
often mean a slightly shorter braking zone; however, if tire
wear is excessive (especially if there have been numerous
off-course excursions), that might dictate a longer braking
zone.

Cars with a higher horsepower output will inherently attain
faster speeds, and will therefore require a longer braking
zone than cars with a lower horsepower output.  Try a
Volkswagon New Beetle, a Mini Cooper, a Dodge Viper, a Panoz
Esperante GT-1, a Corvette C5R, and an F-2002 (all in
stock/base configuration) along the same area of a circuit
and note how their braking zones differ.

A final note on braking: To the extent possible, ALWAYS brake
in a straight line.  If braking only occurs when cornering,
the car will likely be carrying too much speed for the
corner, resulting in the car sliding, spinning, and/or
flipping.  (Some games purposely do not permit the car to
flip, but a slide or spin can still mean the difference
between winning and ending up in last position at the end of
a race.)

If nothing else, players should strive to become of the
'breakers' they possibly can.  This will essentially force a
player to become a better racer/driver in general once the
player has overcome the urge to constantly run at top speed
at all times with no regard for damages to self or others.
Also, slowing the car appropriately will make other aspects
of racing/driving easier, especially in J-turns, hairpin
corners, and chicanes.

====================================

CORNERING
Ideally, the best way to approach a corner is from the
outside of the turn, braking well before entering the corner.
At the apex (the midpoint of the corner), the car should be
right up against the edge of the pavement.  On corner exit,
the car drifts back to the outside of the pavement and speeds
off down the straightaway.  So, for a right-hand turn of
about ninety degrees, enter the corner from the left, come to
the right to hit the apex, and drift back to the left on
corner exit.  See the Diagrams section at the end of this
guide for a sample standard corner.

For corners that are less than ninety degrees, it may be
possible to just barely tap the brakes - if at all - and be
able to clear such corners successfully.  However, the same
principles of cornering apply: approach from the outside of
the turn, hit the apex, and drift back outside on corner
exit.

For corners more than ninety degrees but well less than 180
degrees, braking will certainly be required.  However, for
these 'J-turns,' the apex of the corner is not the midpoint,
but a point approximately two-thirds of the way around the
corner.  J-turns require great familiarity to know when to
begin diving toward the inside of the corner and when to
power to the outside on corner exit.  See the Diagrams
section at the end of this guide for a sample J-turn.

Hairpin corners are turns of approximately 180 degrees.
Braking is certainly required before corner entry, and the
cornering process is the same as for standard corners:
Approach from the outside, drift inside to hit the apex
(located at halfway around the corner, or after turning
ninety degrees), and drifting back to the outside on corner
exit.  See the Diagrams section at the end of this guide for
a sample hairpin corner.

If there are two corners of approximately ninety degrees each
AND both corners turn in the same direction AND there is only
a VERY brief straightaway between the two corners, they may
be able to be treated like an extended hairpin corner.
Sometimes, however, these 'U-turns' have a straightaway
between the corners that is long enough to prohibit a
hairpin-like treatment; in this case, drifting to the outside
on exiting the first of the two corners will automatically
set up the approach to the next turn.  See the Diagrams
section at the end of this guide for a sample U-turn.

FIA (the governing body of F1 racing, World Rally
Championship, and other forms of international motorsport)
seems to love chicanes.  One common type of chicane is
essentially a 'quick-flick,' where the circuit quickly edges
off in one direction then realigns itself in a path parallel
to the original stretch of pavement, as in the examples in
the Diagrams section at the end of this guide.  Here, the
object is to approach the first corner from the outside, hit
BOTH apexes, and drift to the outside of the second turn.

FIA also seems to like the 'Bus Stop' chicane, which is
essentially just a pair of quick-flicks, with the second
forming the mirror image of the first, as shown in the
Diagrams section at the end of this guide.  Perhaps the most
famous Bus Stop chicane is the chicane (which is actually
called the 'Bus Stop Chicane') at Pit Entry at Spa-
Francorchamps, the home of the annual Grand Prix of Belgium
(F1 racing) and the host of The 24 Hours of Spa (for
endurance racing).

Virtually every other type of corner or corner combination
encountered in racing (primarily in road racing) combines
elements of the corners presented above.  These complex
corners and chicanes can be challenging, such as the Ascari
chicane at Monza.  See the Diagrams section for an idea of
the formation of Ascari.

However, in illegal street/highway racing, the positioning of
traffic can 'create' the various corners and corner
combinations mentioned here.  For example, weaving in and out
of traffic creates a virtual bus stop chicane (see the
Diagrams section at the end of this guide).  Slowing may be
necessary - it often is - depending on the distance between
the vehicles.  See the Sample Circuit Using Some of the Above
Corner Types Combines in the Diagrams section at the end of
this guide; note that this is a diagram for a very technical
circuit.

At some race venues, 'artificial chicanes' may be created by
placing cones and/or (concrete) barriers in the middle of a
straightaway.  One such game which used this type of chicane
is the original Formula1 by Psygnosis, an F1-based
PlayStation game from 1995, which used this at Circuit
Gilles-Villeneuve along Casino Straight (shortly after
passing the final grandstands at the exit of Casino Hairpin).

One thing which can change the approach to cornering is the
available vision.  Blind and semi-blind corners require
ABSOLUTE knowledge of such corners.  Here is where gamers
have an advantage over real-world drivers:  Gamers can
(usually) change their viewpoint (camera position), which can
sometimes provide a wider, clearer view of the circuit, which
can be especially important when approaching semi-blind
corners; real-world drivers are obviously inhibited by the
design of their cars and racing helmets.  Great examples of
real-world blind and semi-blind corners would be Mulsanne
Hump at Le Mans, Turns 14 and 15 at Albert Park, and each of
the first three corners at A1-Ring.

Also important to cornering - especially with long, extended
corners - is the corner's radius.  Most corners use an
identical radius throughout their length.  However, some are
increasing-radius corners or decreasing-radius corners.
These corners may require shifting the apex point of a
corner, and almost always result in a change of speed.
Decreasing-radius corners are perhaps the trickiest, because
the angle of the corner becomes sharper, thus generally
requiring more braking as well as more turning of the
steering wheel.  Increasing-radius corners are corners for
which the angle becomes more and more gentle as the corner
progresses; this means that drivers will generally accelerate
more, harder, or faster, but such an extra burst of speed can
backfire and require more braking.  See the Diagrams section
at the end of this guide for sample images of a decreasing-
radius corner and an increasing-radius corner.

For traditional road racing circuits, increasing-radius and
decreasing-radius corners may not be too much of a problem;
after several laps around one of these circuits, a driver
will know where the braking and acceleration points are as
well as the shifted apex point (should a shift be required).
However, for stage-based rally racing, where the roads are
virtually unknown and the driver knows what is ahead only
because of the navigator's instructions (which - based upon
notes - may or may not be absolutely correct), the unknown
can cause drivers to brake more often and/or more heavily.
For rally-based games, such as the Need for Speed: V-Rally
series (PlayStation/PSOne) or for World Rally Championship
(PlayStation2), there is often specialized vocabulary used:
'tightens' generally designates that a corner has a
decreasing radius, whereas 'widens' or 'opens' indicates that
a corner has an increasing radius.  This need for 'extra'
braking is also tempered by the fact that in much of rally
racing, corners are either blind or semi-blind, due to trees,
buildings, cliffs, embankments, and other obstacles to clear
vision all the way around a corner.

One particularly interesting aspect of cornering is one which
I honestly do not know if it works in reality (I am not a
real-world racer, although I would certainly LOVE the chance
to attend a racing school!!!), but which works in numerous
racing/driving games I have played over the years.  This
aspect is to use the accelerator to help with quickly and
safely navigating sharp corners.  This works by first BRAKING
AS USUAL IN ADVANCE OF THE CORNER, then - once in the corner
itself - rapidly pumping the brakes for the duration of the
corner (or at least until well past the apex of the corner).
The action of rapidly pumping the accelerator appears to
cause the drive wheels to catch the pavement just enough to
help stop or slow a sliding car, causing the non-drive wheels
to continue slipping and the entire car to turn just a little
faster.  Using this rapid-pumping technique with the
accelerator does take a little practice initially, and seems
to work best with FR cars; however, once perfected, this
technique can pay dividends, especially with REALLY sharp
hairpin corners, such as at Sebring International Raceway.

====================================

TUNING
Many racing games (primarily arcade-heavy games such as CART
Fury, or arcade favorites such as Pole Position and Pole
Position II, and Outrun and Turbo Outrun) can be played with
absolutely no concerns about car set-ups; other racing games
(such as Le Mans 24 Hours or Sports Car GT) have so few set-
up options that changing anything really does not have much
effect, especially at lower levels of difficulty.  However,
games such as F1 2002 and Gran Turismo 3 present a number of
set-up options, and the novice can easily become lost in
trying to discern how to change the set-up options to induce
or correct certain handling characteristics of a given car.
While I am certainly NOT a car expert (in a real car, I can
just barely find the accelerator and the radio buttons), I
can present some of the basics of various parts to help
tuning novices.

Note that often, when one part's setting has been changed, at
least one other part's setting will also need to be changed
to maintain some semblance of handling.  For example, if the
gearbox is changed to use long gear ratios, the aerodynamics
settings will likely need to be lowered to make use of the
long gear ratios (otherwise, the car will have difficulty
climbing into its highest gear at the appropriate speed).
For another example, if the tire pressure is increased, the
car will likely require soft tires to help to keep the car on
the pavement when cornering (especially at high speeds).

Aerodynamics (Wings)   The wings are important for downforce,
                       the use of airflow over the front and
                       rear of the car to keep cars from
                       taking off like an airplane and doing
                       a backflip like the Mazda at Le Mans.
                       A low downforce/wing setting can
                       produce faster speeds but decreases
                       cornering ability, while a high
                       setting will help tremendously with
                       cornering at the sacrifice of
                       straight-line speed.

Brakes
   Brake Bias          Brake bias controls the percentage of
                       braking power going toward the front
                       and rear of the car.  A setting of 50
                       will provide equal braking power to
                       the front and rear of the vehicle.  A
                       setting lower than 50 will
                       progressively favor the front of the
                       car in braking ability; a setting
                       higher than 50 will progressively
                       favor the rear of the car in braking
                       ability.  In general, brake bias
                       should be kept within the range of
                       40-60.
   Brake Controller    Unlike brake bias, the brake
                       controller will allow for the
                       customization of brake strength by
                       axle.  If a brake controller is
                       available, then brake bias and brake
                       strength are not needed.
   Brake Strength      Independent of brake bias, brake
                       strength controls the response of the
                       brakes relative to the amount of
                       pressure applied to the brake button.
                       A low setting produces little (slow)
                       response, while a high setting
                       produces great (fast) response.
                       Therefore, assuming that equal
                       pressure is always applied to the
                       brake button, a low setting requires
                       that braking begin earlier than the
                       same car and corner using a high
                       setting in the exact same racing
                       conditions.

Gearbox                Some games allow players to customize
                       gear settings, or they provide three
                       preset gear ratios: short, medium, and
                       long.  A short gear ratio provides
                       impressive acceleration while
                       sacrificing top-end speed.  A long
                       gear ratio provides excellent top-end
                       speed (especially in a straight line),
                       but far slower acceleration.  A medium
                       gear ratio provides the best of both
                       extremes.
                          Note that for racing games with a
                       standing start, a short gear ratio
                       will allow a car to get off the line
                       very quickly, allowing for the player
                       to immediately gain one or more race
                       positions.  Conversely, a high gear
                       ratio will almost certainly cause the
                       player to lose one or more positions
                       at the start of a race due to the slow
                       acceleration inherent to long gear
                       ratios.

Suspension
   Ride Height         Like aerodynamics, ride height can
                       help or hinder a car's performance
                       through airflow.  A low ride height
                       setting allows less air underneath the
                       vehicle, resulting in less aerodynamic
                       friction to slow the car.  Conversely,
                       a high ride height setting allows more
                       air to pass underneath the car,  thus
                       increasing air friction and slowing
                       the car (which assists in cornering).
                          However, car performance is NOT the
                       only consideration when setting ride
                       height.  If ride height is set too
                       low, the car may bottom out,
                       especially at the top or bottom of
                       hills or when rolling over rumble
                       strips.  For short races (4-8 laps),
                       bottoming out may not be a significant
                       concern.  However, in longer races
                       (especially at 32+ laps), bottoming
                       out the car could cause mechanical
                       problems.
   Bump Stop           The bump stop indicates the point at
                       which the suspension will stop its
                       vertical travel as the car speeds
                       around the circuit.  Rumble strips,
                       debris, and generally bumpy sections
                       of pavement will inherently cause the
                       car's suspension to move as the
                       vehicle passes across non-even
                       surfaces and obstructions.
                          If bump stop settings are
                       identical, the car will have no
                       vertical movement
                       of the suspension, meaning that any
                       required vertical movement for
                       different surfaces will cause the
                       entire car to rise as the tires pass
                       over the obstruction(s).
   Spring Rate         A high spring rate setting will make
                       the springs stiffer, assisting in
                       cornering; however, if set too high,
                       the car is likely to jump when running
                       over rumble strips.  A lower setting
                       will keep the car from jumping, but
                       the vehicle will have trouble when
                       cornering.
   Anti-roll Bar       The anti-roll bar can be stiffened to
                       keep the car from flipping, but this
                       will make cornering more difficult.
                       The setting can be lowered to
                       accommodate cornering ability, but
                       the car will then be easier to flip
                       in an accident.

Tires
   Type                See the Tires section above for
                       specific information on the types and
                       compounds of tires often seen in
                       racing/driving games.
   Pressure            High tire pressures result in more-
                       rounded tires, meaning that less tire
                       surface will actually be touching the
                       pavement, thus inherently reducing the
                       amount of available pavement grip
                       (regardless of the type or compound of
                       tire used) and producing a slightly
                       faster car due to less friction.  Low
                       tire pressures create 'flattened'
                       tires, putting more rubber on the
                       pavement and creating far more
                       friction to slow the car and assist in
                       cornering.

====================================
====================================
====================================

DIAGRAMS
This section contains the diagrams referred to earlier in the
guide.

Ascari Chicane (at Monza):
   *
    *
     *
      *
       *
        ***
           *
            *****************

Bus Stop Chicane (Variant I - Wide Chicane):
   *******************           *******************
                      *         *
                       *********

Bus Stop Chicane (Variant II - Narrow Chicane):
   *******************           *******************
                      ***********

Decreasing-radius Corner:
   ->*******************
                          *
                             *
                               *
                                *
                                *
                               *
   <-*************************

Hairpin Corner:
   ->*****************
                      *
   <-*****************

Increasing-radius Corner:
   ->**********************
                            *
                             *
                             *
                            *
                          *
   <-*******************

J-turn
   *******************
                      *
                     *
                    *
                   *

Quick-flicks (Variant I - Wide Chicane):
   *************
                *
                 *************

Quick-flicks (Variant II - Narrow Chicane):
   *************
                **************

Sample Circuit Using Some of the Above Corner Types Combined:
    ******|******       *****
   *      |->    *     *     *
    *          **   ***     *
     *        *   **        *
    *         *  *    *     *
   *         *  *    * *     ********
   *          **    *   *            *
   *               *     ************
    *******       *
           *******

Standard Corner:
   *******************
                      *
                      *
                      *
                      *
                      *
                      *
                      *
                      *

U-turn:
   ->*****************
                      *
                      *
                      *
   <-*****************

Virtual Bus Stop Chicane:
   +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
                     Car #1   ->->->->->->   Car #3
   Player Path: ->->->->->->->   Car #2   ->->->->->->->
   +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

====================================
====================================
====================================

CONTACT
For rants, raves, etc., contact me at FEATHER7@IX.NETCOM.COM;
also, if you have enjoyed this guide and feel that it has
been helpful to you, I would certainly appreciate a small
donation via PayPal (http://www.paypal.com/) using the above
e-mail address.

To find the latest version of this and all my other
PSX/PS2/DC/Mac game guides, visit FeatherGuides at
http://feathersites.angelcities.com/

====================================



=======================================================================
                   Wolf Feather    Jamie Stafford
=======================================================================
Just as there are many parts needed to make a human a human, there's a
remarkable number of things needed to make an individual what they are.
                - Major Kusanagi, _Ghost in the Shell_
=======================================================================
   What isn't remembered never happened. - _Serial Experiments Lain_
=======================================================================