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Video Game / Rollcage

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Rollcage Stage II

A futuristic racing game series (of the Vehicular Combat sort) developed by Attention To Detail in the late nineties and published by Psygnosis on the PlayStation and PC.

Unlike the Wipeout series, the vehicles involved are still cars and subject to gravity, they're just huge and built with wheels on their sides big enough for the car to continue to drive either way up. And they can move at insanely high speeds.

The tracks contained a lot of destroyable elements, including being able to bring down entire buildings onto the track. The high speeds of the cars also allowed them to drive on the ceilings of tunnels.

It was followed by a sequel, Rollcage Stage II, which discarded what little plot the original had in favor of more cars and tracks. It also added in a whole bunch of single and multiplayer mingames including a devious puzzle mode called Scramble with a look quite similar to TrackMania. Stage 2 also appeared on the PC, but under the name Death Track Racing for reasons never explained.


A Lighter and Softer version was later released called Firebugs. This was aimed at the newly emerged 'children given a PlayStation now that their older siblings have a PlayStation 2' market.

It never quite sold as well as it could've, thanks mainly to having to compete with Wipeout for advertising budget. Nobody really knows who owns the IP rights, but a Spiritual Successor made by two of the original devs entitled GRIP: Combat Racing is on Steam.

Recently, one of the original devs dug up the source code for the games and recompiled them for modern systems. You can download them here and here.


Contains examples of:

  • A.I. Breaker: In stage 2 one of the tracks has a short loop in it, because of this loop the game won't always know exactly who is in the lead, this means the leader missiles will keep circling the loop until the leader is long gone, making it very unlikely that they will actually hit something.
  • Asteroid Miners: Leviathan Mining Corp, plundering the galaxy for you.
  • Cool Car: All of them.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: After the race ends the AI controlling your car will crash into something, usually within half a lap. Strangely the regular AI doesn't do this as much.
  • Deflector Shields: One of the pickups. In stage 2 having a double shield active makes the leader missiles ignore you on their first pass.
  • Die, Chair! Die!: Most of the plants, signs, buildings, etc can be destroyed. Stage 2 also has the "Annihilation" game mode where you have to destroy every object on the track in the shortest time possible.
  • Drives Like Crazy: You.
  • Dueling Games: Wipeout XL/2097 and Dethkarz.
  • Everything Breaks: Well, not quite everything, but lots of the trackside scenery can be taken out.
  • Freeze Ray: The laserblades cause cars driving next to you to lose grip. The upgraded ones have a turbo boost effect to hit as many cars as possible.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The teleporter doesn't update your lap number when you use it, forcing you to drive an extra lap if you happen to skip the finish line.
  • Gameplay Automation: After finishing you can watch your car drive around the track until you decide to end the race.
  • Glass Cannon: Vostok cars generally have a lot of firepower and tend to fly off the track with even the slightest nudge.
  • Guide Dang It!: Some of the longer scramble tracks in stage 2 have shortcuts, some of which can save you up to a minute on your time. None of these are marked in any way, and some may have been entirely unintentional. Fortunately you can get gold on all tracks without using the shortcuts.
  • Herd-Hitting Attack: One of the weapons in stage 2 will hit all nearby cars, in both games the driller missile will curve along the track launching everything in it's path and most other weapons can be used to take out multiple cars, directly and indirectly.
  • Homing Projectile: The 'leader missile' pickup is basically the same as the blue shell in Mario Kart. The regular missiles can be used to target the cars as well.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: The Scorpion and the Wolf in the second game.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: Yuri's car in the first game and the genesis in the second. Unfortunately the genesis is so insanely fast that it's almost impossible to use on most tracks.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: In the second game unity cars generally have the most balanced stats.
  • Nitro Boost: Both a powerup, and dash pads on the tracks. The upgraded laserblades do this as well.
  • Mirror Match: In stage 2 using the best car at the start of a masters league will cause all opponents to use the same car.
  • Multinational Team: The available racer characters. A Brit, Russian, Italian, German, Irish American and a Japanese duo.
  • Nintendo Hard: While the regular races certainly aren't the easiest, the scramble game mode in stage 2 can be downright ridiculous at times. Finishing it with all gold medals will make you feel like a badass driving god.
  • New Neo City: Some tracks are based in Neoto, a Tokyo inspired level.
  • One Hit Poly Kill: Most of the more powerful weapons can hit ( and take out ) multiple targets when used correctly. It's not even all that difficcult to take out several cars and a building in one shot.
  • Palette Swap: In stage 2 the Type 2 and Type 3 cars are palette swapped versions of the type 1 cars, with slightly better stats and more weapons.
  • Player Versus Player: Up to four players via splitscreen or lan.
  • Post-Cyberpunk: The general flavor of the future setting.
  • Power-Up: How you get the weapons. They're spawned by passing spaceships.
  • Ramp Jump: There are plenty of ramps in this game.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: Much like Wipeout the games had contemporary dance music sound tracks.
  • Scoring Points: In stage 2 you have the option to choose between "classic racing" and "total racing". Classic racing let's you play with just the tournament points you get for finishing a race. Total racing requires you to score points during the race by destroying stuff, staying in first place and harassing your opponents as well as actually finishing in a good position. the final ranking is determined by who has the most points, then you get tournament points.
  • Vehicular Combat: Weapons, insane speeds and precision driving, yay.
  • Wacky Racing: Cars driving on the ceiling at over 300mph definitely counts.


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