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Video Game / Choro Q

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A Japanese racing game series based on pullback toys created by Takara Corp. since 1978. The toys the games were based on were chibi cars with small ledge between front and back tires with a license-plate esque coin slot the back (which also tells the series number of the cars). With a coin inserted in the slot, the car will be able to do wheelies and stunts, hence being sold in the Western hemisphere as "Penny Racers". The majority of them are caricatures of actual cars, although since the end of 90s the exterior detail and rarity increases (while still being Super-Deformed) to the point that the Japanese made toys are legitimate collector items. Its popularity has led the company into making many spinoffs of the series. There were even low-priced imitators of the toys — Shoddy Knockoff Products. The series did get imported overseas under the names "Gadget Racers", "Penny Racers" and "Road Trip" with help from other companies such as Conspiracy Entertainment, Midas Interactive Entertainment and Play It!.

The series is auto racing with an element of Wacky Racing combined with loads of customizable bodies and parts. For instance; wings, water jet pack, speed boosters, gliding wing, and time circuit. The customization in Choro Q is almost unlimited. You can put a racing engine in a garbage truck and drive in for a championship, or putting a huge 4×4 tires and wheels into a Le Mans vehicle to drive a hill climbling, or even a tank on a high-speed oval test course.

In 1997, Choro Q2 introduced the Wide-Open Sandbox system that allows you to take a run around a town, unlocking shops and courses. Choro Q3 (1998) added events and special hidden items into its town. And starting from Choro Q Wonderful (1999), the series introduced a full term of racing adventure system, complete with its own story and let you take a run between town, dungeons, or even time to advance the plot and unlock more courses. This concept is fully returned in the High Grade series from Choro Q HG 2 to Choro Q HG 4, in which HG 2 and HG 4 are imported to Europe and North America, in the name of Road Trip Adventure and Choro Q, following in the order. (HG 3 was also released in Europe under the name Gadget Racers. Which was also the name used in the US release of HG 1, so that's rather confusing - and it gets worse, as this video demonstrates) And it's said that Road Trip Adventure is the best Choro Q game that exists outside Japan.

It should be noted that the PS2 games has different developers. What was localized as Road Trip Adventure (US,EU) and Gadget Racers (EU) was, respectively Choro Q HG2 and Choro Q HG3 by E-game. And what was localized as Penny Racers (EU) and Choro-Q (US,EU, by Atlus and Zoo Digital) was, respectively, Choro Q HG and Choro Q HG4 by Barnhouse Effect (that also develops Seek And Destroy 2002)

The original Mini Autobots (Brawn, Cliffjumper, Bumblebee, Windcharger, Gears and Huffer) were largely based off of this line.

The spins off genre of the series are in the following list:

  • ChoroQ! (Gamecube game and Mario Kart clone)
  • Choro Q Jet (Racing jets and planes)
    • Choro Q Jet: Jet Rainbow Wing (Star Fox clone, with anime heroes instead of furries)
  • Choro Q Marine: Q-Boat (boat and submarine race and battle)
  • Combat Choro Q (tank battle, obviously says it on the tin)
    • Seek and Destroy (sequel of Combat Choro Q, called "Shin Combat Choro Q" in japanese, complete with story line and characters)
    • Combat Choro Q: Advanced Daisakusen (Turned based strategy)
  • Choro Q Park (racing game with a 'tag-team' system, where certain areas lets you switch cars)
  • Choro Q Hyper Customable (Handheld game, with Monopoly-type system of racing instead.)
    • Perfect Choro Q (uses the same system as above, but removes the Shout-Out element of Mini 4×4 toys.)
  • Choro Q Works (another RPG with odd jobs and cell-shaded graphics)
  • Boku no Choro Q (is a game that teaches preschool children about transport by using mini-games, traffic safety messages and some information about vehicles like planes and emergency vehicles.)
  • Choro Q Wii (is a party game based racing game. It has different modes like mini-game, racing and multiplayer mode.)

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  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: Seek and Destroy is the best example for this series. See these two for references. Many other games' cartoony covers were changed when they were released oversea too.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Devil & Angel parts are basically this. While they do upgrade your performance to new heights, you'll pretty much have a difficult time trying to control your car.
  • Covers Always Lie:
    • Some of the Choro Q covers published in US, mostly the Conspiracy games. While Road Trip is slightly true to the name, you would not think this game is about driving talking cute Super-Deformed cars, and the game being very Japanese.
    • Seek and Destroy has nothing to do with America. It has American tanks, but set in a fictional world with no human beings.
  • Always Check Behind The Building: The basic of how to find Q-Coin in Choro Q HG-2
  • Big Boo's Haunt: This setting appears at least once in each racing game from Choro 3 onward, along with normal castles.
  • Bland-Name Product: All the cars go by ChoroQ No.###, some with the option to rename them. Eventually subverted with Works, with cost of non-Japanese cars.
  • Bragging Rights Reward/Infinity +1 Sword: The Devil Parts in HG 2, which can only be gotten after getting all 100 Stamps. Stamps are gotten by doing certain tasks... which include doing almost everything in the game, including beating Forest and getting all 100 Choro Q Coins. Tin Raceway, on the other hand...
  • Fetch Quest: Being a Wide-Open Sandbox, there are some. A notable one requires you to travel around the world trade items with people, all to give one guy a rare magazine.
  • Fishing Minigame: Where you actually go into the water and catch the fish yourself, except in HG 4 where you actually use a fishing rod to catch the fish.
  • Flying Car: A gliding wing part in HG 2 comes in mind. Also, flying tank.
  • Guide Dang It!: For Choro Q 3, the are certain events/ background gimmicks that happen in town that happen. There are also minigames that require you to switch bodies for certain jobs (such as a police car for chases). But good luck completing the game 100%, especially if you can't read Japanese!
  • Haunted House: Unlike the ones used as racing tracks, Budbash haunted house in HG 4 may make you wet yourself and forget about achieving 100% completion.
    • The "short cut" in Nightglow raceway. But it is really just a maze made to slow you down.
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: Choro Q 64 came with an assemblable toy car.
  • Market-Based Title: Hoo boy, it is confusing:
    • Choro Q HG in Japan, Gadget Racers in USA, Penny Racers in Europe.
    • Choro Q HG2 in Japan, Road Trip in USA, Road Trip Adventure in Europe.
    • Choro Q HG3 in Japan, Road Trip Adventure Avenue in USA, Gadget Racers in Europe.
    • Choro Q HG4 in Japan, Choro Q everywhere else.
    • Choro Q Wii in Japan, Penny Racers Turbo-Q Raceway in the USA.
    • Choro Q! (GameCube) in Japan, Road Trip: The Arcade Edition in USA, Gadget Racers in Europe.
    • Choro Q Advance in Japan, Gadget Racers in USA, Penny Racers in Europe.
    • Choro Q Advance 2 in Japan, Road Trip: Shifting Gears in USA, Gadget Racers in Europe.
    • Choro Q 64 in Japan, Penny Racers in America and PAL Territories.
    • Choro Q Wii in Japan, Penny Racers Party: Turbo Q Speedway in America and PAL Territories.
  • Nitro Boost: Boosters if there are available. Otto also uses this in HG 4's climax battle
  • No Communities Were Harmed: The vast majority of racecourses and hubs are fictionally designed whereas a minority of them are likely influenced by real-life locations.
    • Asian City in Choro Q HG is simply based on Chinese cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Zhengzhu.
    • Choro Q HG 2: Fuji City and one of its racecourses Temple Raceway is roughly based on Hiroshima with a Feudal Japan theme. Sandpolis is an obvious incarnation of Las Vegas. Chestnut Canyon is likely based off Grand Canyon.
    • Choro Q HG 3: Asian Miracle is set in the Great Wall of China.
  • The Rival: There's one who has a same body as you but in different color in Wonderful, and Barat in HG 4. The RX-8 in "Works".
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Despite being machines, racers have no problems running under water, so much that water pit is a part of the recurring level design.
    • Blue Lake area in Wonderul, present day of Blue City, is a sunken ruin, with one pickup truck parking calmly in one spot, opening a Q's garage.
  • Super Title 64 Advance: Choro Q 64, one of the many Nintendo 64 games that put 64 in their titles.
  • Time Travel: In Wonderful, we have one in DeLorean style with 300km/h required. There's also Time Travel in HG 4, but only for a short while.
  • Wide-Open Sandbox: Q2 onward. Wonderful improves it with multiple towns and people NPC in them.

    Choro Q HG 2/Road Trip Adventure/Everywhere Road Trip 
  • Artificial Stupidity: Along with the floaty air physics, this is one of the only two major criticism of the game.
  • Cultural Translation: The Japanese talk show radio has been replaced by a pair of songs by the indie band Push Kings.
  • Crossing the Desert: You may sometimes do this when travelling between Fuji City and Chestnut Canyon.
  • Flying Saucer: Located in the northwest of the Sandpolis outskirts, a stamp is earned for visiting the alien (Audi TT) at night.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The volcano minigame that has metal towers to traverse to and the Lava Run Raceway that has a factory.
  • Mayincatec: The ruins located in the desert further away between Sandpolis and Chestnut Canyon.
  • Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: Mushroom Road is the only town in the RTA world that has very little residents aside from shopkeepers, the Goddess, a bartender, Quick-Pic shops and a golfing host.
  • Palmtree Panic: Papaya Island and its racecourses Sunny Beach Raceway and Lagoon Raceway.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: White Mountain and the Snow Mountain Raceway courses.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The non-Japanese versions has "The Minute" from Push Kings, which also qualify as Lyrical Dissonance. Break-Up Song with a relaxing tune for a relaxing road trip game.
  • Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The World Grand Prix in HG 2. The entire game builds up to it and it features one race from each town except My City and Cloud Hill. Completing it unlocks the race with President Forest himself.
    • Cloud Hill somewhat qualifies, too. In contrast to the somewhat realistic setting the rest of the game was, Cloud Hill was incredibly bizarre. Not to mention President Forest and Tin Raceway being located here.
  • The Wild West: Sandpolis' Western-style town located in the southwest and the Desert Raceway.
  • Wrap Around: The entire in-game world is an island. If the player, using parts that allows them to traverse on water, travels far enough into the ocean, they will end up on the other side of the world.

    Shin Combat Choro Q/Seek and Destroy 
  • Crapsack World: Quewar was once a peaceful land until the Q-Stein Empire fully declared war throughout its neighbouring nations, destroying many towns and causing many casualties in the Proton Kingdom.
  • Darker and Edgier: Though it's generic and expected considering the genre shift.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: You in Combat series, especially Seek and Destroy, where a puny tank takes out helicopters, much bigger tanks, battleships fully armed with weapons, or various mutated monster tanks.
  • Informed Ability: In Seek and Destroy's backstory, aparrently the Q-Stein (the bad guys) were wiping out the Proton Kingdom. And then the game starts.
    • The bosses are the ones that put up an actual fight, but still lack some kind of strategy.

    Choro Q HG 3/Gadget Racers 
  • Absurdly-Spacious Sewer: The Lake Side Castle M and L courses have this, with sponges serving as obstacles to slow racers down.
  • Build Like an Egyptian: Hot Sand Ruin's M and L courses have you going through an Egyptian temple.
  • Continuity Nod: Forest, President and Final Boss of HG 2, appears in this game as an NPC, mentioning once having an incredibly boring job, which is most likely his presidency. His boredom of it was the cause of HG 2.
  • Down the Drain: Noise City has a sewer that connects to the lobby of Disco King's Cave from the right and Kuwal's small house from the left.
  • Ice Palace: Exactly what the L course of Snow Palace Mountain shows you at the middle of the races.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The interior of the volcano of Sunset Volcano.
  • No OSHA Compliance: When asked about his strict reputation towards his neighbour worker Han, Rogue Dad/Big Boss tells you that he used to have a son which Han reminded him of and he died in the burning factory while trying to turn the boiler off. In the present, he just wants to make sure that no mistake like that ever happens again.
  • Pop Quiz: Ducky hosts 10 questions for you to answer.
  • Quicksand Sucks: The town sections of Hot Sand Ruin has these as obstacles.
  • Wretched Hive: Noise City is claimed to be full of pickpockets, thieves and other suspects and darkly corrupt. There is only one character who can steal a small amount of your money, even he apologises for it.

    Choro Q HG 4 
  • Absurdly-Spacious Sewer: The construction rescue searching minigame is set in this.
  • Action Girl: Ania, Kaybert, and Luluza in HG 4, if you substitute "action" with "racing" in these kind of games. Ania is slightly better than other drivers.
  • Astral Projection: The astral plane in the L course of Castle In The Dark.
  • Bigger on the Inside: Every building when you go inside, whether its a harbour, a police station or a palace.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The game ends with the player becoming the champion but Norahike leaves the town for good and the protagonists best childhood friend/rival passed away from illness.
  • Boarding Pod: If you listen to Rosspury's strange bean story, the cinematic shows what looks like a literal pod of green beans with an alien clone of him inside.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The racing teams and certain other groups or factions have their own colours. The racing teams even display their own wheel colours during Grand Prixs.
    • Postmen: Cyan
    • Team Ranolfka: Red
    • Team Pomnik: Yellow
    • Tough Chicks: Black
    • Team Sovass: Blue
    • Team Kisbaba: Pink
    • Team Megbeth: Green (more obvious with Nyakki)
    • Team Getra: Black and gold
  • Darker and Edgier: While it's not apparent at first, the plot involving death, corruption, and implied murder (just look at the journal at Budbach Haunted House).
  • Deus ex Machina: Unable to catch up with the prince, Barat's spirit shows up and tells the player to follow his/her sixth sense to over boost him/herself and beat Otto to the finish line.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower:The sixth sense when Barat's spirit speaks to you at the last lap of the final race. Awesome Music plays, and the track becomes trippy and starry, in which you simply follow the big sparkling star on the track as the game proceeds in Bullet Time but you're faster than the other cars including the once hopelessly fast Otto.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: The zombie Qs in the haunted house searching minigame, which is a rusting dark purple Buick Roadmaster Riviera with green lighting, no wheels but moving, and sharp teeth esque front bumper.
  • Flying Saucer: The Planet Jump and Dangerous White racecourses have several of these. Seaside Paradise also has a mysterious-looking one.
  • Four-Seasons Level: Now that the game has a seasonal change, the atmosphere changes in every town depending on the months.
  • Gotta Collect Them All: Completing all events, winning all races and other things earns you 100% completion.
  • Glowing Headlights of Undeath: The zombie Qs have glowing green headlights.
  • Gratuitous German: All of Kamikaze's in-game quotes are in German.
  • Jump Scare: If you're not meticulous enough inside the Budbach Haunted House, who knows what may jump in from the darkness in front of you...
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • For events and synthetic parts from Norahike because he leaves the game after you beat Otto.
    • There is am embassy where you vote whether or not a track should be open to the public. If voted no, you cannot race in those certain tracks, meaning you can't collect all the prized bodies.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Niebo of Team Kisbaba, since their team colour is pink.
  • Retired Badass: Norahike, even though there is someone looks exactly like him in the Extreme Races.
  • Shout-Out: Team Getra's two co-drivers in the Japanese versions are named Michael and Ralf, who are brothers.
  • Silliness Switch: There are special unlockable bodies you can get by doing certain races at certain times and months. These bodies are an easter island head, a bare wind-up car chassis, a board game piece, a panda and a pot on a hotplate.
  • Stealth Pun: One character hangs out in front of the school and brags about his intelligence. What kind of car is he? A Smart (as in the brand).
  • Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: If the protagonist is male, he'll claim Ania as annoying and a stuck-up.
  • Wrong Side of the Tracks: Poqui, home to many poor people and a notorious gang known as the Tough Chicks. The town's background consists of a desert, the roads are damaged and there are some other dangers that can be seen in some minigames hosted there.