Battle Cars is a Vehicular Combat racing game developed by Namco and released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It uses the same graphical setup of Mode-7 rendered levels and sprite-based cars as F-Zero, released two years earlier. It's almost as fast-paced as F-Zero, with the added bonus/challenge of Weaponized Cars.
It's 20 Minutes into the Future. Overpopulation and environmental decay, followed by political finger-pointing and nuclear war have left humanity crippled and living in city-states. The jaded remnants of humanity have created a new sport, a sport of Vehicular Combat: Battle Cars. The player takes the role of an up-and-coming racer on a quest to take home the gold. In your way are a variety of twisting tracks and nasty bosses.
That's the career mode. The game also featured a two-player Versus mode.
Battle Cars provides examples of:
- Abnormal Ammo: In addition to missiles and spiked grenades, you can also shoot large metal discs. They're unique in that they rebound off walls, and can be shot around corners if you're skillful.
- Action Girl: Doctor Diana and Manaical Mariko.
- Alliterative Name: All but a few of the bosses' names.
- Awesome Anachronistic Apparel: Dirty Knuckle Ned, boss of Katmandu, dresses the part of a '50s greaser, replete with slightly messed pompadour. His car helps the overall image, resembling a '50s Chevrolet. Maniacal Mariko also does this, with a red kimono and rice hat.
- Bad Ass Driver: The player character and the bosses. The other drivers don't really count.
- Bald of Evil: Buffed Bachmed, boss of Nuevo Vegas. He's not really evil so much as a Jerkass, like most of the bosses.
- Boss Battle: At the end of every area. Unlike the Mooks, their cars can't be destroyed- you have to outrace them. They can be slowed down and thrown off course by weapons, though. In later areas, you'll need to use weapons to beat them. Hope you upgraded the disc!
- Cyborg: Metalhead Mike, boss of New Troit and the first named driver you face. He has a drill in place of one arm, which may be why he's the easiest boss.
- Death Mountain: Katmandu.
- Difficult, but Awesome: The grenade weapon lobs spiked bombs a set distance in front of your vehicle. If you can manage to hit anything with it, it'll destroy the Mooks in one shot, unlike the missiles or discs that take three.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin
- Expy: The gameplay is nearly identical to F-Zero, with the key difference being weapons.
- The Faceless: Metalhead Mike, due to his mask, and Nomad Nathalmu thanks to his hood.
- Fictional Sport
- Mook Mobile: The three basic cars all show up as enemies in the levels. They also happen to be the three cars you can choose from. They have identical characteristics and come in a spectrum of colors.
- New Game+: All right, you won! Now play the game again, only harder.
- Nintendo Hard: Due to a combination of Rubber Band A.I. and The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard.
- Powerup Letdown: So you've finally worked out the trick to using Grenades, and wow! They kill the Mooks in one shot! So you upgrade them, hoping to fully exploit your newfound power. Now they fly further, and you've just hit the tracks with shorter straights. Yay!
- Puny Earthlings: The last two bosses, aliens Fourarm Foxtherm and Foxwharmpit, don't like humans.
- Remilitarized Zone: The Zone, a ruined city under constant shellfire. Home of Medfly Max.
- Shifting Sand Land: Dakar, home of Nomad Nathalmu.
- Single-Biome Planet: New Atlantis, host to the Final Boss, is mostly ocean.
- Spikes of Villainy: One of the three cars you can use is completely covered in spikes save the wheels, cockpit and exhaust port. It can be seen on the boxart blowing up Metalhead Mike's car.
- Techno Wreckage: Meltdown is a sprawling, yet ruined reactor complex.
- Time Trial: Each region has two races. The first is this, the second is a head-to-head race against the boss. You get more cash for finishing the trial race faster. In either case, the Mook Mobiles are there purely to get blown up.
- Vehicular Combat
- Wake-Up Call Boss: If you hadn't realized yet, Maniacal Mariko's absurdly maneuverable three-wheeled motorcycle will clue you in to the fact that this game isn't screwing around.
- Weaponized Car
- We Will Spend Credits in the Future: However, we'll also spend "cash". They're separate in that credits are earned for finishing the Time Trial in a timely manner and are spent on upgrading weapons, while cash is earned from killing Mooks and spent on car upgrades. Both are earned only in the Time Trial.
- Wicked Cultured: Doctor Diana, boss of Meltdown, who is in fact a doctor. You wouldn't know by looking at her.
- A Winner Is You: Averted, interestingly enough. While the credits roll, you're treated to some new dialogue from all the bosses. Nomad Nathalmu, for example, invites you for a Spot of Tea and a friendly rematch. On the other hand, the the aliens want you dead and can't comprehend how you beat them. To be fair, their incredulity is justified.
- Wretched Hive: New Troit, and most other cities if the Back Story is anything to go on.
- Wutai: Manaical Mariko's home region of Fuji looks to be a quiet temple retreat, in stark contrast to the other areas.