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08-15-2016 at 12:08 AM
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Exploring Ridge Racer 2

I had a lot of fun this past weekend helping out @rotunda aka Jason Newman figure out some stuff in Ridge Racer 2.

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When I first saw Jason on the site submitting Ridge Racer 1 times on PlayStation, I contacted him and direted him to www.rolling-start.com as he was asking about other Ridge Racer players and top times. We've chatted quite a few times since and it's been great talking about fast paced arcade racers.

Fast forward to when he got his Ridge Racer 2 board for his machine. He contacted me and asked if I knew about the top times for this title? I reached out to GHEMANT from MARP as he's doing good work at updating and maintaining his "arc" which is a HUGE document with true world record scores for many titles both on MAME and Arcade. It has a lot of old scores from the japanese magazines Gamest and Arcadia.

GHEMANT responded back with these times for Ridge racer 2:

Track // Time // Player // Location // Date

Time Trial // 3’13”637 // OGA-OWA // Kanagawa // 30/06/1995

Beginner // 1’56”030 // LSD // Kyoto // 15/12/1994

Medium // 2’20”123 // MSO-10-LIE // Tokyo // (june 1995)

Advanced // 3’36”620 // LED.rf // Tokyo // (august 1995)

Jason went right to work and is about 1 second short of each record. Seeing his current runs on Twin Galaxies it's hard to imagine how they could be improved as it looks like near perfect runs. He did notice an anomaly and that was the time for the Time Trial course. He was about 3 seconds off pace so I decided to do some detective work to help him find new tactics to try out.

Turns out the internet is a barren wasteland when it comes to Ridge Racer 2 arcade performances? There's next to nothing out there. I tried everything I could think off, YouTube, Gamefaqs etc. with all kinds of searchwords.

Turning up empty handed I started to think out aloud. Asked Jason if there perhaps was some kind of advantage in Time Trial mode. If the player 2 car had different stats compared to player 1, like it's seen in some shoot 'em ups? Jason then mentioned that he remember something about there being slipstreaming when playing head to head and that he thought when playing head to head that you were driving on the Time Trial track.

Our theory was that 2 players might have worked together so that one of the players could get a better time. Somehow wait for the other player to lap him and go up to speed so that other player could slipstream him down the start/finish line and get a high top speed.

I then started using slipstream and all kinds of variations there of in my search. Pretty damn hard to find anything as there's apparantly a mobile version of Ridge Racer called Ridge Racer Slipstream... I then tried looking for the arcade operators manual and Jason provided a link. I looked through every option in the game but slipstreaming was not a thing in Ridge Racer 2 and it said that when playing head ot head you were racing on the Intermediate Course.

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Suddenly it dawned on me that Japan has a video service, much like YouTube, called niconico video. I added niconico to my Ridge Racer 2 seach queries and now I got some hits. FINALLY!

I saw several suggestions and some had OGA-OWA in the description. The same initials as the guy with the fastest time on the Time Trials track. I found a video where the player initiated the drifts but using the shifter to shift down to 5th and back up to 6th. In the drifting world this is called shift lock as in a real car by shift down at high speed you lock up the differential/gearbox and there by initiating a skid.

I presented this new technique to Jason and he was able to improve on his times emidiately. INCREDIBLE! Pretty wild that he was able to adapt to this new technique so fast. Just goes to show what a top player he is.

I kept searching nicovideo for OGA-WGA but found mostly Rave Racer replays. They must really like Rave Racer in Japan? Nothing about how you get those 3 second faster times on Time Trial? I did fin an interesting Rave Racer video where OGA-WGA showed a glitch in which he got the car up to 370km/h when it can normally go no faster than 325km/h.

Japan is known for taking every game to it's limits using every means necessary. They install autofire circuits in games that don't have them etc. so it comes as no surprise if they've used a glitch to their advantage to get a better time?

Jason noticed that there's a 3 second gap between his best time and the japanese one on Time Trial on Ridge Racer 1. So maybe there's some trick/glitch that can be used in Time Trial mode specifically?

So our current theory is that the Time Trials runs are glitch runs. The player is using some kind of trick/glitch to his advantage so that overall it ends with a 3 second faster race.

But how is it done? What is it? Does anyone know?

I will keep digging to find an answer. I'm having a lot of fun helping Jason Newman, but if anyone has a suggestion or even know of anything that give you an advantage on the Time Trial stages, please hit me up.

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  1. rotunda's Avatar
    Your help with this has been invaluable Jacob.

    It's a very interesting topic for sure. I, like yourself would love to solve it (oh and beat their time.. :P). I'm still at a complete loss how you can make a 3 second faster time overall but it's clearly possible so with my arcade cab by my side I shall keep digging too with various idea's.

    That glitch OGA-WGA did was crazy!

    Not sure how i feel about glitching though if it does indeed turn out to be a glitch run. I'm not really one for exploiting.

    Thanks again Jacob!
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