is a racing video game
released in 1997 by Interplay Entertainment
. The game ostensibly revolves around a series of car races held in a Wide Open Sand Box
, although racing is really not this game's selling-point. The player can race the opposition around the track, but true success comes mainly from causing as much damage as possible to their cars, as well as running down the innocent civilians (zombies in certain editions) that practically litter the map. At the time, it was one of the first video games to feature this type of violence on such a massive scale — the game actively encourages the player to kill as many pedestrians as possible, something which garnered it a lot of controversy from Media Watchdogs
Each race takes place in a different scene: the countryside, a bustling metropolis, a series of mine shafts and so on. Each race is timed, and requires the player to pass through Check Points
placed along the course to win.
That is - if you choose to complete the race at all.
The other option is to kill as many civilians as you can, and attempt to destroy your competitors by repeatedly ramming into them at high speed. They, of course, are constantly trying to do this to YOU. Although it is based on the earlier Destruction Derby
's improved collision physics (not to mention aerial and underwater physics!) means that hitting both opponents and civilians in different ways (particularly at different strength and with a different side of your car) gives bonus points and extra time on the clock. The race can thus be won by demolishing all other competitors' cars and earning a lot more points than you would just by racing through the checkpoints. The points you gain can then be used to unlock upgrades to your car, making it even more dangerous.
For extra sadism value
, races may also be won by killing all civilians on the map. It should however be noted that until you get access to the post-completion-only cars, this is extremely difficult. It helps if you can find the Pedestrians Shown on Map
power-up, of course.
Destroying your opponents is also encouraged because you might win the car they were driving. Each car in the game is unique —enabling a completely different playing style— so destroying more enemies means improving your arsenal and repertoire. There are well over two-dozen different cars available to drive in the original game.
Compared to the strict linearity of most racing games, the ability to drive anywhere in the city - power-ups like Pinball Car, Ultra Grip Tires and Moon Gravity pushing the definition of "anywhere" further than you might imagine - combined with the cartoony but consistent physics engine (the Instant Handbrake even works in mid-air and the Solid Granite Car
will save you a lot of repair costs) make Carmageddon
Three installments were eventually released, although by the time of the third one, games of this specific genre were already quite prolific
. A fourth installment, Carmageddon: Reincarnation
, will be released in 2014 after a Sequel Gap
of over a decade.
The game is usually regarded as a Spiritual Licensee
to the infamous cult film Death Race 2000
This series has examples of the following tropes:
- Achilles' Heel: Many larger cars (or other vehicles) have certain weak points which can destroy the car instantly when hit.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: ED 101. He blew a fuse and went psycho...
- Animesque: What sets TDR 2000 apart from the previous games is how it seems to be inspired by Cyber Punk animes. The game takes place in a Dystopian Cyber Punk future, the residence all appear rather Animesque in terms of fashion sense (even sporting eccentric hair colours) and this is further evident in two playable vehicles: The Mecha, a weaponized Itasha, and The Machine, a vehicular cyborg body 'driven' by a man named Tetsuo.
- Armor Is Useless: Zig Zagged in the second game. Getting more armor makes it a lot harder for the opponents to raze your car from direct damage, to the point where getting hit by Pitbull, the most glaring Mighty Glacier in the game won't bend your chassis a single centimeter. However, God help you if you run (or get knocked) too fast into a corner of the world's geometry, as the armor value doesn't affect the chances of your car getting split in half, which far more often than not means instant death. Combine this with the increase in power, and you'll see that, as the game goes on and your armor gets stronger, your chances of getting wasted become paradoxically higher.
- Autobots, Rock Out!!: The "Red Book Audio" (CD music that can be played in conjunction with the game) features instrumental versions of several Fear Factory songs, played by Fear Factory themselves. You don't really play much of a hero in this game, though.
- Awesome, yet Impractical: Most of the time any sort of a supercar will be this. They're bound to be frail, hard to control, get eaten up by anything heavier than them and are pretty expensive. Considering the fact that the game mainly focuses on Car Fu, you'll most likely save the money in order to buy one of the higher end trucks and go wreaking everyone instead of completing time consuming laps with something you can get wrecked in easily.
- Ax-Crazy: The entire cast.
- Badass Decay / Took a Level in Badass: Inbetween games, some drivers has since got themselves new cars with varying degrees of Badass. This is most noticeable in C1/SP with the "stealworthy" system. For example, Stig-o-Sore drove the Volkswrecker (a non-stealworthy car) in C1 but then promoted to driving the Carrerasaur (a stealworthy vehicle) in Splat Pack. Vlad's case is the direct opposite, with his car being stealworthy in C1 but not in Splat Pack.
- Bald of Awesome / Bald of Evil: Max Damage.
- Boring but Practical: C2 featured many rather uninteresting cars from the 60's towards the 80's but most of them can help you a lot without spending too much cash. For example, the Slam Sedan may not be as badass as Otis' Caddy Fat Cat from C1 but its easy to drive, is pretty robust and can dish out hurt.
- Bowdlerise: The first game saw versions replacing pedestrians with robots or zombies. A censored version of the Nintendo 64 port has dinosaurs!
- Canon Discontinuity: The official site for the reboot has a history section. Under the entry for Carmageddon 3: TDR 2000 is "We don't talk about this" accompanied by a picture of a flaming poo. Or the Nosebleed Pack for that matter.
- Car Fu: One way of winning the match is by repeatedly smashing your car into an opponent's car to destroy them. As mentioned above, you'll want to do this for a chance of winning said cars.
- Chunky Salsa Rule: In II, if your car gets a piece cut off it, you lose. Instantly. To make it worse, armor points do not protect you from this in any way. A little ways into the game, as you amass power points for more speed and acceleration, it's easy to all of a sudden run into a sharp corner in the level geometry and die even without being overconfident on how "sturdy" your car is.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Most noticeable when you try to finish the race by actually driving through the checkpoints. Opponents which should've been directly behind you may suddenly appear ahead of you on a head-on collision course. It's actually more helpful than it sounds, assuming you're looking to trash them (which you should).
- This teleportation ability can get annoying though, because once most opponents have been eliminated, the remaining car will be trying to avoid you. At least it can't teleport when you're near enough to it.
- Cool Car: The whole lot of them, although this ranges across different types. There are those mundane cars which are reasonably priced and works well, supercars which are pretty good racers but get squished easily, SUVs and the later big trucks which can take a beating and inflict pain, although that's what they're good at only, and the numerous interesting cars which serve no real purpose other than looking pretty interesting.
- Cool Plane: The Supastuka in the second game, although its Awesome but Impractical. The beta used to have "Birdy" — a Cessna with clipped wings and a large bloodied propellor to drive into people. It was scrapped in the release version.
- Couch Gag: Inverted. In the first game, a different, humorous message, usually on the subject of the difference between this game and reality, appears every time you choose to quit the game.
- Crap Sack World: Most possibly the main theme of the games. Most noticeable in the third game.
- Creepy Mortician: A pair of undertaker twins as one of the opponents.
- Cyber Punk: The third game seems to be this. In The Slums and Hi Rise levels, cyber punk features such as holographic billboards are an abundance. Even the pedestrians seem to be all cyber punk'd.
- Two characters from the first game and it's expansion seem to be fans of this: Mech Maniac (driver of Grunge Buster) and Su Borg (driver of Doozer).
- Demoted to Extra: Die Anna. She starts off as one of the two selectable player characters in C1/SP, returns as a mid-game opponent in C2 and never returned in TDR 2000. Hopefully the reboot will see her return as a Player Character.
- Drives Like Crazy: The entire point of the series.
- Expy: Max Damage is clearly the game's counterpart of Needles Kane a.k.a Sweet Tooth. While not a Monster Clown, he's equally Ax-Crazy, is a Recurring Character (so as his car) and is also the game's Mascot.
- A lot of the cars in TDR 2000 are expies of cars from past games.
- Follow the Leader: A Russian game, Armageddon Riders, tries this but with more emphasis on racing.
- Fragile Speedster: Throughout the series, Vlad's cars tend to be the fastest, although they're frail and terrible at cornering.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The "Trucking Hell" mission in C2, where Psycho Pitbull has followed you out from the quarry in the Big Dump with the intent of killing you for who knows why. Fortunately there's a Solid Granite Car power up right next to the lamp post thats in front of your starting position.
- Glass Cannon: Some cars can be this, being able to waste opponents easily but can also get itself wasted just as easily. The Big Dump in C2 is a good example, being capable of wasting every other car in the game but even a small collision with a wall can waste it.
- Hot Pursuit: In the first and third games, police cars will be parked in certain spots and will proceed to chase and ram you if they notice you doing anything reckless. This includes driving past them at 80 M.P.H. (60 is fine), running over pedestrians, or striking their vehicle. Naturally they don't care if it's an AI car causing the mayhem though. In the second game, the special race in the last group, Bruise Brothers, 12 Copcars will be chasing you. You have to wreck them all before the timer runs out in order to win.
- Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: With many Black Comedy jokes on them.