Shutokou Battle FAQ/walkthrough

By Felis Concolor (8/17/1999)
concolor@cris.com
rev 1.0

Welcome to Shutokou Battle.  This racing sim immerses you in the world of late 
night street racing on Tokyo's famed Shuto, the expressway and business loop 
that circles the Imperial Palace and Tokyo Tower.  The accuracy of the track is 
exact, exceeded only by the accuracy of the taxi drivers (every bit as bad as 
those you will find in most major cities).  For further research check out a 
street and rail atlas of Japan; the outline is clearly visible and follows the 
course laid out in exacting detail.

The game itself is fairly straightforward; take your 25,000 initial construction 
points and buy a car, outfit it with engine, transmission, brake, chassis and 
cosmetic upgrades, then take to the streets and pick a fight.  If you're good, 
you'll win the respect and money of a rival.  If not, you can always try again 
later in the night or later in the game if you feel your car is not up to the 
task.  For those willing to hammer away and practice on a few laps that night it 
is entirely possible to defeat members of such lofty driving clubs as TR Racing, 
Speed Box and even the highest echelon, Speed Master on your first outing.  For 
the latter I have been extremely lucky with traffic but a win is a win and I'll 
take the credit and the money no matter how it happens.

As you begin to defeat cars, your database fills with data on your fellow 
rivals.  Their car types, names and a little bio on each member become available 
upon your first victory.  If you have only challenged and lost, or your race 
ended in a draw the only data you receive is the car type and driver name.  Keep 
at it; one day you will know all by winning everything.

As your wins increase, so does your reputation.  This changes the rules of the 
game as you no longer challenge all drivers but are increasingly challenged by 
other club leaders wanting a piece of you.  Stomp on them and the Devas begin 
asking, "who is this guy?"  You can expect some nights to be quite hectic as you 
shut down several club members, their leaders and then battle for your honor 
against such characters as The Reaper, Midnight Cinderella and the Silver 
Knight.

Your limited funds prohibit you from purchasing many of the neatest bits of 
hardware when you start up the game but do not fret; any car you can afford 
initially may be upgraded to the point where you can hold off and defeat the 
first three Devas.  For first cars I usually purchase the EK9 or S14; these are 
quite different in their performance and handling profiles and are where most 
drivers diverge, style-wise.  A brief description of the cars available for 
first purchase follows:

AE86L: Nissan Sentra (80s variant).  Classic FWD starter.  16,000 CP cost allows 
for two engine upgrades necessary to challenge the middle ranks.

AE86T: Toyota Corolla (80s style, pop up headlights).  Another favorite.  Same 
price, similar in most areas to Sentra but with slightly higher top speed after 
upgrades.  For those who follow anime this is the featured car in "Initial D" 
and is sponsored by the Wisteria Tofu Shop.

S13: Not sure of this lineage; taillights say Mitsubishi of some form.  20,000 
CP will give you enough for a single engine upgrade, but I would instead 
recommend:

S14: Same model, this one even newer.  Upgrade this to its maximum and you'll 
have no difficulty taking on the Devas when they appear.  25,000 CP means you'll 
be flat broke after you purchase it.  Both S13 and S14 are RWD and exhibit lift 
throttle oversteer in addition to kicking out the tail at speed.

RPS13: Nissan 240SX.  Good looks, delightful balance just like the original.  
This is another car that leaves you next to nothing.  24,000 CP means you can 
buy a few cosmetic bits or change the color to your liking before hitting the 
streets.

EK9: Honda Civic.  The perennial favorite of the boy racer, this car has an 
especially tight FWD chassis and can outsprint the Toyota Corolla or Nissan 
Sentra.  This car corrects any steering inputs in a matter of milliseconds; 
pointing it straight or sliding through wide sweepers is especially fun.  20,000 
CP gives you enough for one engine upgrade; take three before working on 
anything else.

DC2: Acura Integra.  Tight chassis, understeers horribly at speed, use throttle 
and brakes to point the nose where you want to go.  This car can take on the 
first Deva without upgrades.  25,000 CP.

After you choose your car and outfit it the way you like, you then hit the 
streets and see how you measure up against the speed kings and queens who prowl 
the circuit.  Yes, there are female drivers in this game; you will have to deal 
with girls who can outdrive guys when you start to ascend the ranks.  Choice of 
course is limited to a clockwise or counterclockwise circuit; each has a unique 
flavor and some drivers will find one direction to be their forte.  You will 
need to switch back and forth between sides to optimize your challenges.  Some 
of the drivers you battle will also have weaknesses on certain courses.

As you circle the course you will see your car indicated as a blinking yellow 
square on the overall course map.  Other cars to challenge are indicated in 
blue, red or green squares.  Blue squares are car/driver combinations you have 
not met before, red squares indicate a racer whose status is still undefeated 
(Lose/Draw on the outcome menu) and green is the all clear light.  You have 
defeated that racer but can still challenge them for more CPs.  Often you will 
find yourself taking someone on a second or third time simply because the race 
is on the way to a new rival.  The rival's purse is highest for the first 
victory; it is reduced to 40% of original value afterwards.  You also receive 
bonus points for how many ticks are left on your challenge bar at the end of the 
match (100-1 x modifier, 0 means you have lost) and how many meters you have 
traveled (1 CP/10 meters, 100 CP/kilometer).  

Challenging other drivers is straightforward.  Simply approach from the rear 
until the club logo and challenge bars appear at the top of the screen.  You 
will also see a name in hiragana, katakana, kanji and the occasional roman 
alphabet on the left hand side of the screen.  When you feel it is time, press 
the B button (default) to flash the driver with your high beams.  Thus 
challenged, you both activate your hazard lamps and begin the contest.

In most cases you will be challenging in the overtaking position.  On occasion a 
fortuitous placement of traffic or freeway dividers can give you the lead when 
the timer counts down to blastoff.  Use these situations wisely; you can often 
defeat a clearly superior car simply by being in the lead at the start of a 
favorite section.

The victory conditions are simple; stay ahead of your rival for as long as 
possible, demonstrating your superior driving skills.  The further ahead you are 
the faster your rival's challenge bar drops.  This can also be used as a 
subliminal indication of how hard you need to push things; if the bar is 
dropping like a rock you might want to take it easy and clean up your line 
through traffic.  If the bar seems like it is not moving at all you'll need to 
stand on the throttle in order to give yourself some distance and breathing 
room.  The drivers are programmed with differing skill levels and skill sets; 
some are insanely fast on the long sweepers, some are especially adept at 
weaving through shifting traffic, some can barrel through chicanes and complex 
passages with ease.  A select few can do all of these:  Fear them.

Races can be won, lost or drawn.  Wins are straightforward; you made it, now 
take the money and pick on somebody else.  Losses indicate a need to hone 
techinque or upgrade a car.  Draws can be initiated by several events; you can 
split up where the highway divides between high and low roads, take an offramp 
accidentally or on purpose.  In either case the contest is unresolved and the 
car's blue square turns red to remind you of unfinished business.

After the race the Results Menu will appear, allowing you to relive the glory 
(or cringe through the debacle) and analyze your attack,  save the race movie to 
your VMS (expensive; 75 blocks required) or return to the track and harass some 
more drivers.  This also allows you to hook up a VCR and record your victories 
to show disbelieving friends ("Silver Knight in a Honda?  I'll believe it when I 
see it.").

        The menus also allow you to exit the evening with a simple command but I 
consider this bad form.  Use the supplied exits to end the night; this also 
allows you to practice a bit after challenges and can help maintain the 
atmosphere created by the game.

When you start to pick off the members of a club, word gets back to whoever 
leads that group and his or her interest rises in you.  When you remove the 
second to last member of the club you will exit the Results Menu to find that 
this time you are the one being challenged by the club leader in a, "you have 
humiliated my minions; it is time for a final reckoning" race.  Win that one and 
the Devas become interested in your abilities.  The first Deva will challenge 
you after you defeat two club leaders.  This will be your first three race back-
to-back stint as you defeat the club member followed directly by the club leader 
followed by the Reaper himself.  Shut him down and you'll have more than enough 
points for at least one high level engine upgrade or possibly a new car.

You are limited to one new Deva challenge a night.  I have closed out four clubs 
in succession and only received a single Deva challenge.  I had the next Deva 
show up after my first no-name victory the following night.  If you are unable 
to defeat the Deva that night he or she will continue to harass you each 
following night after any victory until you slap them hard.  Occasionally they 
will not show up after a battle; it usually means they are one of the red 
squares on the track waiting for  your challenge ("You are not a Jedi yet").  
The earliest I have encuontered a Deva was night two after closing out Rolling 
Guy and Curving Edge, the longest was six days as I laboriously worked my way 
through seven separate clubs, never completely defeating any until that fateful 
evening.

After you race and defeat the fourth Deva the game ends and you are given a 
victory screen and some great music by Ziggy.  After saving your progress you 
then find out the game was only beginning; you still have to defeat the other 
club members and leaders and there are four new super drivers out there, this 
time called the Four Devils.  These drivers show up when the Devas refuse to 
cruise the Shuto.  When these characters show up it's as if to say, "alright; 
let's see how rough this punk can play."  The CP values are quite high; you can 
purchase most cars on a single victory's points.  Take care of these masters and 
you will receive a second victory celebration and a well deserved rest.

A list of the clubs, their general styles and capabilities follows:

1.  Rolling Guy:  These guys are feeble both in cars and mind.  With such 
imaginative names as Rolling Guy 1, Rolling Guy 2, Rolling Guy 3 and so on you 
should feel ashamed if you ever lose to one of these putzes.  Looks like Bob 
Marley behind the wheel on their logo; perhaps they've been hitting the weed too 
often?

2.  Curving Edge:  Better equipment but whoever is behind the wheel is woefully 
inadequate.  Names get better; Shutokou Prince leads this group.

3.  SS Limited:  Luxury cars with jerks behind the wheels. Names like Heaven's 4 
Doors and Brakeline belie their abilities; they have mass and know how to use 
it.  Pass them and it's all over.

4.  Elegant Wild: Cars as curvaceous as the name.  Deep Green, White Revolution, 
300 Mile Ruby have decent top speeds; screw up early if at all.

5.  Max Racing:  SS Limited hopes to one day be first class assholes like these 
guys.  Bloody Rose leads this crew of heavyweights.

6.  Diamond Image:  A motley crew of basic and second level cars.  Lone Wolf, 
Lightning Foot and Aero Angel might well be insurmountable for some stock cars.  
They have decent traffic abilities; mix it up with them on the ramps.

7.  Fine Drive:  I have taken to calling them Club Ed as their logo looks more 
like the latter two letters than the first initials.  Red Comet leads this large 
club, driving a car you can't purchase until the first game is finished.  Think 
Elegant Wild with higher top speeds and better traffic sorting.

8.  Twister:  Good in traffic, great for top speed.  Keep them to the twisties 
and you should not have a problem.

9.  R. Gang:  Vintage revolvers for a logo, insanely high final drive ratios 
make them deceptively easy to pull at the start of the contest.  Bobble late in 
the game and it's all over.

10.  Tokio Jungle:  These guys know how to keep close by your tail; defeating 
them usually involves driving past your next rival on the course.

11.  Top Level:  The tree huggers.  Lots of AWD sedans means they can take any 
line they want.  Piss off Al Gore, then run like hell.

12.  Free Way:  The name is the game.  Axle Junkie is the most colorful of the 
bunch, although Crystal Nights has the most interesting front aero treatment.  
Stand on it and steer; they're right behind you.

13.  Another Star:  By the time you meet them you'll say Another Scrub.  Names 
like Blue Speed and Silver Speed will bring back memories of Rolling Guy 
although Battle Scratch does redeem their ranks somewhat.

14.  Speed Box:  The most expensive club on a per car basis.  Everyone drives 
Acura NSX vehicles and they know how to use them.  Try to set up a lead on them 
when you flash; they're fast and can hurt your challenge bar early and quickly.

15.  TR Racing:  The all girl kickass team.  No matter how many times I defeat 
them, neither Lovely Lina nor 180 Master will give me their phone numbers.  
Street Queen's the hardest of the basic club members while Dancing Chick drives 
a Lexus 400-series luxury sedan faster than any male driver.

16.  Cupid Arrows:  A name that screams "pansy", drivers that make grown men 
cry.  This team is ranked below Speed Master, Wind Star and RR yet you need a 
high level car in order to defeat them.  Uniformly nasty, they excel in traffic, 
corners and straights.  Once you shut them down you need fear nothing.  
Moonlight Child and 246 Heartbreaker are noted traffic sorters.

17.  Wind Star:  These fellows do much more justice to the name than the 
minivan.  R Magic, Black Magic and Diamond Dust are worthy opponents with Aero 
Flare driving a gorgeous, unmodified S15.

18.  R. R. : The Rotary Club.  Nothing but Mazda RX-7s of second and third 
generation design.  Cornering Artist, Hiroshi (roman) and High Speed Star are 
all highlights.

19.  Rings:  Win Ugly.  These fellows are better at playing in traffic than you 
are.  See the wall, feel the wall, make them eat the wall.  While you can get 
lucky with traffic against Speed Master there is no such out for this club; high 
level cars are required for the win.

20.  Speed Master:  The pinnacle.  You don't need to be perfect, it just makes 
winning a lot easier if you are.  The leader's name says it all:  Iceman.  Put 
the freeze on these after honing your skills to perfection.  If you can alter 
your line on a decreasing radius turn without crasing in the real world you can 
be the next World Driving Champion.

That's it for the basic drivers.  The Devas and Devils are unique in that they 
are listed with the same club name yet are not subordinate to anyone.

The Devas

1.  The Reaper.  I have not deciphered the kanji before this name but the logo 
speaks louder than words; this fellow is here for your soul.  With a level three 
engine and an upgraded chassis on your basic ride he can be tough but 
defeatable.  Once he has been closed down pour your winnings into one more 
engine and chassis upgrade before taking on:

2.  Midnight Cinderella.  Her family name is Hayashibara, but this is no Megumi.  
Her silver with wild blue flame painted RX-7 is the most difficult to get 
around, possibly because she learned her unique style while living in America.  
EK9 with three engine upgrades can keep ahead briefly; give it four and she is 
no problem.

3.  Silver Knight.  Silver Skyline, black heart.  This fellow knows the perfect 
line; too bad if you're trying to take it as well.  Work hard on traffic sorting 
and line closing on sweeping curves and he will fall eventually.

4.  I'll need some time with the Nelson's for this one.  Driving a tricked out 
golden NSX with flames and sporting a logo that features a skull with a manji 
carved into its forehead this car screams, "run, little one or I will chew you 
up, spit you out, slurp up the pieces and spit them out again."  The final super 
driver for the first game.

The Devils

1. Another red star.  This fellow drives a new R34 Skyline with impressive 
graphics and numerics printed on the hood, sides and wings.  Easily the ugliest 
driver of the Devils, you should feel no qualms when you slam him into a 
guardrail or other car.

2.  Exhaust Eve.  Check it out; she's an Office Lady!  Driving a hot pink Toyota 
Supra with italian racer style red and green stripes this lady drives as 
beautifully as her car is brash.  Keep her in traffic for the best challenge.

3.  ZERO.  This driver has been bothering people for nearly 10 years and it's 
easy to understand why.  A Porsche 930 turbocar is still a formidable foe, 
despite the last ones being produced before the 80s were over.  He's good but 
his perfection can be his undoing; traffic can upset him heavily.

4.  The Man With No Name.  He drives a car that is already older than most 
people who will play the game.  His logo features a demonic skull munching on an 
inverted christian cross with the numerals 666 stamped above.  His weapon of 
choice?  A 1972 Datsun 240Z.  Be afraid; be very afraid.  He has been kicking 
everyone around for well over 10 years and noone has shut him down...until you 
come along.  It is up to you to show him who is the master, once and for all.



Basic Tips

Upgrades

Upgrading your car can make a major difference in how it handles on the course 
as well as how quickly it responds to your inputs on the controller.  Engine, 
Chassis, Brakes, Transmission and other areas can all make a difference in how 
the car behaves and balancing them can be critical to early success.

Engine upgrades give the biggest initial improvement.  You will readily notice 
it when your car suddenly pulls away from a rival instead of jockeying for 
position off the line.  Strangely enough this area affects your top speed less 
than you would expect.  For that you need to work on your transmission, where 
you can change your shift points and final drive ratio to suit your style (quick 
and dirty or high speed eloquence).  I tend to upgrade the engine twice, then 
upgrade the chassis to match or close the difference on the third.  Having too 
much engine can adversely affect your car's handling as the tail wags out of 
control during acceleration.  Wheels make a big difference in recovery or 
sliding the tail; wait until you can spring for the best tires you can get as 
the difference is dramatic.  Mufflers are a separate section and are usually 
best left for level three or four engine upgrades; they do help with your 
acceleration and top speed.  Aero seems to be mostly cosmetic.  I have not done 
exhaustive research regarding what wings and spoilers work best on each car; 
pick the look that's right for you.

The tuning menu is straightforward and uses sliders for setting (press A to lock 
in the changes) with a default button for use when you really screw things up.  
The list in order is:

1.  Steering Response.  Do you want a twitch car or do you prefer larger, more 
deliberate inputs?  Settings range from Slow to Quick.

2.  Brake Response.  How quickly do you want your brakes to grab?  Quick 
response allows for quick flicking of the tail during high speed maneuvers but 
you run the risk of locking up and losing control.  These first two settings are 
the only ones available on a stock car.

3.  Brake Balance.  Available after level two brake upgrades, this allows you to 
change which set of discs engages strongest.  Forward bias enables FWD cars to 
exhibit some oversteer tendencies, rearward allows one to widen a line through a 
turn.

4.  Spring Rate.  Low to High; allows you to soften or stiffen the car's basic 
suspension.  Appears after level three brake upgrades.

5 and 6.  Jounce and Rebound.  Shock absorber terms that allow you to change 
your car's behavior on bounces and drifts after level three brake upgrades.

7.  Crossmission (Transmission) shift points.  Lower them for a quicker dash to 
top gear, raise them for a higher top speed.  Appears after level two 
transmission upgrades.

8.  Final Gear (final drive ratio).  Lower it for quicker overall acceleration, 
raise it for higher top speed.  It is available as part of your third 
transmission upgrade.

Use your save feature to your advantage; when you have lots of CPs to spend 
after an evening save the game first, then go shopping and pick up the parts you 
want to play around with and hit the highway once again.  If that does not seem 
right then reload the old save, pick up different equipment and try again.  With 
diligence you can shut down everyone within 25 game days and may even lower that 
record with a lucky break on the evening's new rivals mix.

Challenges

You are not required to return to active driving after a victory; the automated 
driving system takes over after each victory or loss and sends you around at 
120Kph (other cars are set at 80) until you activate Free Ride on the menu.  Use 
this to your advantage when you know a heavy challenge is coming (Club Leader, 
Deva, Devil).  Once you approach a favorite section, punch out and let the other 
car flash you from behind; he's on your turf now.  Using this method I have shut 
down the final Devil in under 30 seconds.  Using the chicane on the southern 
section of the highway is especially effective as is setting up a challenge 
right before a lane divider or onramp.

Traffic

Traffic is not only there as an obstacle, it can be used to your advantage to 
create impossible lines through difficult sections.  Caroming off the side of a 
large truck can give you an edge on the high speed sweeping curves near the 
southeast section of the highway.  Dashing in between a crowded pack of cars 
just in front of a road divider spells "it's over" to any pursuing adversary; 
they must wait until traffic clears before giving chase once again.  Sometimes 
you can slow down a foe by pushing a crowded car into their lane during traffic 
sorting or stop them in their tracks.  Braking while taking a line between two 
cars can also result in the chase driver ramming you from behind, giving you a 
welcome speed boost while forcing the follower to cycle through the gears once 
again as you increase your lead and decrease their challenge bar.   Practicing 
without traffic can be helpful in determining the best racing line but is 
useless when you are out in the Quest; practice with other cars present as much 
as possible.

That's it for a basic cover; I'll be checking up on car appearance triggers in 
the shop and posting a full review of the vehicles at a later date.