A series of arcade-style racing games, originally developed by Atari Games and released by Midway Games. The games focus on jump physics and wildly insane stunts instead of realistic gameplay, though it's possible to turn up the realism for more advanced players. True to the title, the races are held in the streets and environs of San Francisco (a simplified version, really), where the hilly terrain provides numerous opportunities to perform jumps and stunts.Also, most tracks have a large number of shortcuts, some very obvious and some that can be found only after being very familiar with the track. The better shortcuts are more dangerous, requiring the player to determine the risk/reward of each in a fraction of a second.The home console versions also have a stunt mode that really shows off the physics engine, and other extras like Battle Mode.
The series consists of:
San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing (Arcade - 1996)
San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing (Nintendo64 - 1997)
San Francisco Rush The Rock: Alcatraz Edition (Arcade - 1997)
San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing (Playstation - 1998)
Rush 2: Extreme Racing USA (Nintendo 64 - 1998)
San Francisco Rush 2049 (Arcade - 1999)
San Francisco Rush 2049 (Dreamcast and Nintendo 64 - 2000)
This game series demonstrates the following tropes:
Awesome, but Impractical: The Rocket in Rush 2, Has explosive acceleration and handling, and, unsurprisingly for a rocket on wheels, handles like an elephant on ice.
Benevolent Architecture: Sure, the streets are cordoned off for the race, but someone still overlooked those ramps, subway tunnels, spacious sewer pipes, and hills that are just perfect for shortcuts...
Bland-Name Product: Most of the cars. E.g., the Muscle Car is a Corvette Stingray, the Prototype is a Ford GT-90, the Sportster is a Dodge Viper, and the Panther is a McLaren F1.
Cool Car: Some propelled by rockets, some with wings and all get bonus points for doing wicked midair spins.
Damage-Proof Vehicle: In 2049, you can make your car go end over end, and, unlike other Rush games, where this trope is averted, if you manage to land on your wheels, the car will be completely undamaged... usually.
Difficult but Awesome: The shortcuts. It's fairly easy to crash while taking a shortcut, but get through without bursting into pieces and you'll put yourself at an advantage.
Drive On Water: Except when it just resets you because you're not supposed to be there.
Every Car Is a Pinto: Your car will instantly explode if flipped upside down, no exceptions. Or if you crash at a certain speed.
Rush 2 adds a "Suicide" mode, found in the cheat menu, where even touching another car causes both cars to explode, with especially hilarious results at the beginning of an 8-car race when the CPU-controlled opponents inevitably bump into each other. However, turning the Suicide setting to "Humans" will cause only human-controlled cars to exhibit this behavior.
Expansion Pack: The arcade version of 2049 got two of them: The Tournament Edition which adds some now-defunct tournament functionality, and the Special Edition which adds the two courses from the console versions with some new paths and shortcuts.
Additionally with an N64 Expansion Pak you can to unlock 2 more tracks and an additional circuit in 2049.
Final Death Mode: In the console ports, turning on "Death Mode" causes any car that explodes to remain gone for the remainder of the race. Subverted in the circuit modes; dying will end the race but still allow you to move on to the next round.
In the console versions, turning up the difficulty reduces the time limit.
In Rush 2049, the "Extreme" handling level.
Invisible Wall: Sometimes you'll be scraping the side barrier 50 feet up in the air, although it does help you stay on track.
Jump Physics: Let's just say that flying over the top of the stunt levels is far from unusual, and the things you can do with that amount of airtime are absurd, to say the least.
Minus World: The "underworld" underneath the track, which can be accessed by glitching through the ground or jumping off the track where the Invisible Wall is absent. In most cases though, landing outside the track resets your position.
Also, Rush 2, which is Rush in places other than San Fran! Which is also the reason it dropped the "San Francisco" part of the title.
Rule of Cool: Why cars have wings in the home version of 2049
Not to mention the stunts as a whole. The first race in the first game allowed you to drive under an 18-wheeler semi, vault up eight stories to land on top of an apartment building, then drive back down to the street level with a sizable lead... if you could pull it off, of course.
Spikes Of Doom: Cheat codes in the console ports of San Francisco Rush and Rush 2 turn the traffic cones into spiky mines. Depending on which of the two cheats you enter, they'll either blow you up upon contact, which renders coned-off shortcuts practically unusable, or turn your car into a mine that will blow up one other car on contact before reverting back to normal form.
This Is Gonna Suck: Selecting an "Extreme" level car in San Francisco Rush will cause a voice clip to shout "IT'S DANGEROUS!" In the console port, the "IT'S DANGEROUS!" clip plays as soon as you highlight the car, rather than when you actually select it.
San Francisco Rush: The Rock Alcatraz Edition, which adds the courses from the console ports and a new Alcatraz course* though technically, the Alcatraz course is also in the console ports, just hidden and with a fairly different layout, as well as new cars. A later revision allowed arcade-to-arcade online matching.
San Francisco Rush 2049: Tournament and Special Edition. The former adds support for tournaments, though strips the unique fonts used in the original version. The latter adds two new courses.