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Video Game / Beetle Adventure Racing

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Beetle Adventure Racing! (known as HSV Adventure Racing! to Australians) is a Racing Game for the Nintendo 64, developed by Paradigm Entertainment and released by Electronic Arts in 1999 to coincide with the release of the Volkswagen New Beetle. It's also way more fun than it has any right to be.

Beetle Adventure Racing! is different from most racing games in that all of the available cars are New Beetles, with no other models playable (the Australian version instead features HSV Commodores, but again no others). There are only six tracks available, but the game makes up for that by adding lots of additional paths and shortcuts, which often feature interesting and funny things, such as a crashed spaceship or an homage to Jurassic Park. The game also features long draw distances, which emphasizes the beauty of the courses. You can spend hours just exploring all the nooks and crannies of the levels.

The actual courses support only one- and two-player races, but there's also a Beetle Battle mode that allows up to four players to compete to get the most ladybug tokens (colored HSV badges in the Australian version), as they destroy one another along the way.

This series provides examples of:

  • Amen Break: Virtually every track in the OST has some variation on it.
  • Benevolent Architecture: As one of the main features of the game is alternate tracks, there are plenty of ramps and non-blocked off streets for you to take, even if it's not in your best interest to do so.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: The chapel, house, and dungeon areas of Wicked Woods are all haunted.
  • Bleak Level: After five bright and fun courses (even Metro Madness, which is set at night, is pretty bright), Wicked Woods is definitely this.
  • Build Like an Egyptian: Sunset Sands. A giant desert wouldn't be complete without pyramids and tombs.
  • Cave Behind the Falls: One of the shortcuts in the Mount Mayhem stage.
  • Damage-Proof Vehicle: Jumping off high ledges, running into buildings, driving through the desert, none of it means anything to your car, except when do something that causes you to explode (as noted above).
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Your car has two modes: perfectly fine and blown apart. There's no in-between.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: The alien Beetle and parts of Wicked Woods.
  • Fantastic Nature Reserve: The dinosaur habitat on Inferno Isle.
  • Green Hill Zone: Coventry Cove.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: Your reward for clearing the hardest series of races? A police car that doesn't have a horn - honking the horn on this car instead sounds a police siren, causing all CPU-controlled cars to slow to a stop as long as you're within earshot. Definitely useful for unlocking the multiplayer courses.
  • In-Vehicle Invulnerability: Double subverted. You can run into all kinds of things and be no worse for the wear... unless you run head-on into something at a fast enough speed or flip over, in which case you EXPLODE...except that you just reappear on the track like nothing happened.
  • Jungle Japes: Half of the Inferno Isle course.
  • Last Lousy Point: The ninth multiplayer course, which you can only unlock by collecting all the bonus points in Wicked Woods and finishing the race in a qualifying position. Much more difficult than it sounds. The game isn't terribly forgiving in allowing you to practice doing so, either; you might be able to unlock such an option on the cheat menu, but even if so, good luck finding where the corresponding daisy crate might be located. Or just look it up, no one's gonna stop you.
  • Lava Adds Awesome: Again, the volcano portion of Inferno Isle.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The other half of the Inferno Isle track, as you drive through an active volcano.
  • The Lost Woods: The final course, Wicked Woods.
  • Made of Explodium: Your car doesn't just splash into the lava; it flies into pieces at the lava's very touch. The only exception is if you fall in the water; all other means of destroying your car have exactly the same result - its components fly in all directions in exactly the same way every time. Even staying upside down for too long causes your car to explode.
  • Non Standard Game Over: If you end up so far behind it would take you 60 seconds to catch up to the lead car, you're automatically disqualified.
  • Pirate: A very well hidden part of Inferno Isle.
  • Product Placement: What do you expect? It's called Beetle Adventure Racing for a reason.
  • Shifting Sand Land: The Sunset Sands track.
  • Shout-Out: The "Inferno Isle" course features a certain grey-walled area filled with dinosaurs on one of its paths (as mentioned in the description).
  • Skyscraper City: Metro Madness.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Mount Mayhem.
  • The Theme Park Version: Pretty much all the courses, but Coventry Cove especially: It's a small English hamlet that also happens to be next to a decaying castle and Stonehenge (which is on an island for some reason).
  • Vehicular Combat: Battle Mode.