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Video Game / Jet Moto

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Jet Moto. Racing on the edge, and sometimes off.
—Magazine ad for Jet Moto.

Jet Moto is a racing game series that was developed for the Play Station in the late 1990s. Racers use a diverse array of hover bikes varying in mass, maneuverability, lift, and acceleration to compete against each other at high speeds over a variety of race courses that are intricately linked to their environmental settings. The complexity of successful strategies is increased by the inclusion of limited turbo boosts and magnetic poles at sharp turns to which the rider may "grapple" while turning in order to slingshot around the corner. Many of the courses themselves present a significant challenge as well, requiring racers to navigate across bottomless pits on awkwardly placed platforms, monitor speed at jumps to avoid overshooting the landing, and slip through groups of oncoming racers to get to the next checkpoint (these are called suicide tracks).

Competitions are organized as single race events, multi-race championships, and solo practice.

Jet Moto is notable for its overt use of product placement, simulating the wash of posters and billboards plastered all over everything at major racing competitions in real life.

This game provides examples of:

  • The Ace: The Max. While everyone has a varied mixture of high and low stats, The Max is the one racer with 3 of the 4 stats maxed out
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: Planet X.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: The Jet Moto bikes aren't exactly possible.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: The only kind of music you came across in the first game.
  • Circus of Fear: Rollercide from Jet Moto 2.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: The second game is a unique case. All of the AI racers are based on different developer runs of each track. The different difficulty levels simply change the speed of the racers. Pro difficulty has most AI racers reaching above the top speeds of players. Insane difficulty is almost literally impossible without the the normally game breaking bonus character, Enigma.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: The only penalty for riding over lava in Meltdown is that it will nudge you along the flow a bit.
  • Cool Bike: The Jet Motos themselves.
  • Cut and Paste Environments: The original Jet Moto had three beach themed stages, three swamp themed stages and three snow themed stages. And Nightmare.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The original Jet Moto limited your turbo to four quick bursts per lap. The games that follow would all use a turbo gauge.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Most courses in Jet Moto 3 were named with this in mind.
  • Fake Difficulty: Jet Moto was a very glitchy game at times. Often one would race off a ramp and find themselves tripped up for no clear reason. As a result, players would find themselves back in last place almost instantly. It also wasn't uncommon to come down from the air on top of an AI player and go sliding off a cliff or into a wall, knocking the player off their bike, resetting the player well behind the back of the pack.
    • On levels with bottomless pits the player could get knocked off their ride, only for said ride to then go down a bottomless pit. Since the player recovers wherever their bike at that second, is that's another few seconds wasted falling down and sending the player back to the last checkpoint they passed. At this point the player is probably going to be in last place or close to it.
  • Fanservice: Beyond some of the artwork of the racers being more than happy to attract a Male Gaze, making it to the top three gets your racer surrounded by scantily-clad trophy girls (or men, for the female racers).
  • Fragile Speedster: Wild Ride and Li'l Dave. The Max as well, owing to having the highest stats in all but Mass, giving him a swift light ride.
  • Made of Explodium: In the third game, if you run into a wall hard enough head-on, your bike will explode.
  • Nintendo Hard: As racing games goes, Jet Moto is very unforgiving any towards player mistakes. Large numbers of ruthless opponents, lots of sharp turns, marathon levels, bottomless pits everywhere, etc., not to mention a lot of confusing course designs that usually take a few laps to get a handle on.
  • Overly Long Gag: Just fall off the edge of Nightmare.
  • Palmtree Panic: Cliffdiver in the first game, Meltdown in the second, and Volcano Island in the third.
  • Platform Hell:
    • Especially in Jet Moto 2. Many tracks require you to jump from platform to platform while trying not to fall into a bottomless pit. Not to mention avoiding getting clotheslined by checkpoints.
    • Ice Crusher is a major offender as well, being made entirely of platform-jumping and far too many bottomless pits.
  • Product Placement: Like in professional racing sports, advertisements are all over the place. Mountain Dew, Butterfinger, and even Chef Boyardee. One course in the second game even uses the massive advertisements to hide a shortcut.
  • Rocket Ride: Jet Moto bikes are essentially crotch rockets.
  • Rubber-Band A.I.: Jet Moto 2 has this.
  • Scenery Porn: These games looked pretty beautiful for their time.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: Ytic Tsol, Uhccip Uhcam, and Krapyks are later tracks in 3. Bonus points for being reversed versions of the tracks they take their names from.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: Just try Cliffdiver with a character with low turning stats, like Blackjack or Mace. Then try it without using grapples on Master difficulty.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: All the games have at least one:
    • Ice Crusher, Snow Blind, and Willpower in the first.
    • Arctic Blast and Mach Schnell in the second.
    • Khumbu Ice Falls in the third.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": The Max, The Hun.
  • Temple of Doom: Machu Picchu.
  • To Hell and Back: Nebulous.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: Demonstrated with the collapsed freeways in Joyride and Hammerhead in the first game, but played out even further with Aftershock in the second, which takes place in Los Angeles, post-massive-earthquake.
  • Underground Level: The Shaft in Jet Moto 2, and Catacombs in the third game.
  • Updated Re-release: An interesting but minor case. Jet Moto 2 made it into the best-selling Greatest Hits re-releases, but in the process the developers opted to rebrand this version "Championship Edition". It starts with all the tracks unlocked, and cuts the racer count from 10 to 4 so the game can remain at 30 frames per second more consistently.
  • Very Definitely Final Dungeon:
    • In the first game, Nightmare: a series of steel platforms miles above a major city. Especially jarring in that the other nine tracks were in very natural environments.
    • In the second game, Nebulous. One of the longest tracks in the series, multiple wall-ride segments, Platform Hell, and even a brief suicide portion. Even the course map looks daunting.
    • In the third, Planet X.
  • Wrench Wench: Bomber.
  • You Don't Look Like You: The returning characters in the cancelled sequels.