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Video Game / Motor Toon Grand Prix

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"Yo! Here's what's happening! The awesome toons are waiting for you! A whole lot of fun, and exciting surprises like secret characters! It's all starting, so get it together! Are you ready? GO!

—The intro from the second game.

Motor Toon Grand Prix is a 1994 Mascot Racer game for the PlayStation that is released for Japan only. It was the first creation of Polyphony Digital, best known for the Gran Turismo series. Unlike most kart racers, this game employs a coin-based power-up system where the player is able to pick up coins along the track, then spend them on a power-up roulette. Also unlike most kart racers, the game features a combination of arcade and realistic driving physics, providing players with a big hint of what's to come from Polyphony Digital.

A sequel, Motor Toon Grand Prix 2, was released in 1996 and unlike the first game, it was released worldwide. Unfortunately, because the first game was never released worldwide, it created a Title Confusion: The American release was named Motor Toon Grand Prix while the European release for some reason opted to keep the 2 in the title despite the first game never saw release outside of Japan. Motor Toon Grand Prix 2 improved upon the first game, featuring more racers, more tracks, and several unlockable minigames for players to play with.


Motor Toon Grand Prix contains the following tropes:

  • Animesque: Inverted. The game has an art style evocative of Western Animation, but the art direction was handled by Susumu Matsushita, a Japanese artist.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: The Haunted Castle. Bonus points for having three different spooky locales: a literal ghost town, a dark valley, and the titular castle itself.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: It's been discovered that Raptor & Raptor actually go faster when driving backwards. Here's an example.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: The Penguin Bros.
  • Have a Nice Death: Should you lose all three tries in the second game (by not making it high enough in the rankings), your character gets crushed by a 32-ton weight. Every character has a unique quote to go with it.
  • Jack of All Stats: Captain Rock is this, having well-rounded stats making him a good character to test the game with.
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  • Killed Mid-Sentence: In the aforementioned Game Over sequence, Captain Rock and Bolbox don't finish their sentences before getting crushed.
  • Large Ham: The very enthusiastic announcer, who shouts whatever power-up you have.
  • Level in Reverse: You can unlock mirrored versions of each of the tracks. A unique aspect is each stage is also visually changed with a new name: Night Island and Gulliver Night are both Toon Island II and Gulliver House II at night, Snow Town is Toon Town snowed in, Galaxy Coaster is Crazy Coaster in space, and Heavenly Castle is Haunted Castle with a celestial Fluffy Cloud Heaven theme.
  • Macro Zone/Wackyland: Gulliver House, where you are either shrank or put into a huge house. This house has an impressive variety of objects for you to drive across and avoid including instruments, a roulette wheel, cake, and toys.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Vanity. A tall and buxom biker who wears a red one-piece that shows off her legs.
  • Power-Up: When you spend a coin at any time during the race, a roulette will spin, and you will collect the power-up it stops on. Some of these include:
  • Production Foreshadowing: Several elements that are present in Motor Toon Grand Prix 2 foreshadows the arrival of the first Gran Turismo game:
    • Easily the most notable similarity between the two games is the realistic physics seen in the Motor Toon Grand Prix R minigame.
    • Some of the game's track layouts also provides several foreshadowing: Toon Island II is basically the Mascot Racer's version of High Speed Ring, while Toon Village and Haunted House's track layouts features close similarities with Autumn Ring and Special Stage Route 5 respectively.
    • A replay feature is also present and like with Gran Turismo's replay feature, it's available to be seen by the player in the menu after you finish a race. It doesn't play immediately after the race though.
  • The Rival: Vanity is one to Princess Jean.
  • The Twelve Principles of Animation: Whenever you turn, your vehicle squashes and skews to go along with it. If you find this too distracting, you can always turn it off.
  • Unlockable Content: Achieving 1st place in each difficulty setting gives you bonus features in the second game.
    • Easy unlocks three new racers: Vanity, Billy the Tough, and Ching Tong Shang.
    • Normal unlocks the original five tracks played in reverse, along with new scenery to go with it.
    • Hard unlocks Motor Toon Tank Combat, a first person tank battle game. It's notable for running at a high resolution of 640x480. Two-player mode is available with a PlayStation Link Cable.
    • Professional unlocks Submarine X, a board game similar to Battleship. It also supports two-players with the PlayStation Link Cable.
    • Expert unlocks Motor Toon Grand Prix R, a minigame where you drive an F1 or stock car with realistic physics (for the time) through Toon Island II. Oh, and it runs at 60 frames per second.
  • Wacky Racing: To be expected from a racing game starring toons.