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Video Game / Rally-X

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If Pac-Man were a car, this is how he would live.
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Rally-X was a 1980 arcade game by Namco focusing upon a lone race car and its quest to locate and collect the multitude of flags hidden throughout mazes. Its task was hindered by murderous red race cars whose sole objective was to locate you and kamikaze into your car. Your only defenses against them were your impeccable driving skills and a smoke screen. The smoke screen would disorient the enemy cars for a few seconds while you tried to escape and locate the rest of the flags within the round.

The quest was also hindered by obstacles in the road — the occasional rockslide, for instance.

The maze changes from level to level. And you cannot see it all at once. There is a radar map to show you where all the flags and the enemy cars are, but it does not show you the walls — and you do need to know where they are!

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The game also marked the debut of the iconic Special Flag, which popped up in several later Namco games as collectible item and Easter Egg.


Tropes:

  • Cast from Hit Points: Using the smoke screen costs a portion of your remaining fuel.
  • Collision Damage: Running into a boulder or an enemy vehicle will cause you to lose a life and generate an explosion labelled BANG. Oddly, running into a wall will redirect you, rather than causing you to crash, or remaining in place as in Pac-Man.
  • Controlled Helplessness: Once you run out of fuel, your car slows to a crawl and you lose your smokescreen ability. Unless you're practically right next to the final flag when this happens, you're pretty much a dead car driving as the red cars (which, keep in mind, are already faster than you even at normal speed) will zero in on your position and run you down in a matter of seconds.
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  • Engrish: In the original Japanese version of the game, bonus rounds are called "Charanging (read: challenging) Stages."
  • Friendly Fireproof: Surprisingly averted: the red cars can and will run into each other periodically. Unfortunately, this only stuns them briefly, unlike when they collide with you.
  • Iconic Item: The Special Flag, which would go on to appear in many other games.
  • No Name Given: The player's driver seen in promotional artwork is never named in the game or in official materials. However, in his appearance in the now-defunct mobile game Pac Man Monsters, he's named "Rally Man X".
  • Power-Up — There is one "special" flag per level. Once you collect it, every flag you collect after it doubles in points.
  • Red Ones Go Faster: True to the trope, the red cars are ever so slightly faster than your blue car.
  • Respawning Enemies: You can get enemy cars killed, but they always come back.
  • Stalked by the Bell: Despite what the attract screen might imply, the fuel gauge isn't an Exact Time to Failure. Instead, when it runs out, you lose your smoke screen and slow to a snail's pace, at which point the red cars will accomplish what the timer would have anyway.
  • Updated Re-release: New Rally-X. The game was made way easier by highlighting the "special" flag on your radar and sending fewer enemy cars after you from the first level. It also added a "lucky" flag that gives you bonus points based on how much fuel you have left. The sound, music and graphics were also improved.
  • Written Sound Effect: "BANG!"

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