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Video Game / 1080° Snowboarding

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1080° Snowboarding, often referred to as just 1080°, is a snowboard Racing Game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64 and first released in Japan on 28 February 1998. The player controls one of five playable snowboarders from a third-person perspective using a combination of buttons to jump and perform tricks over eight levels.

It received a sequel, 1080° Avalanche, for the Nintendo GameCube in 2003, developed by Nintendo Software Technology.

1080° Snowboarding contains examples of:

  • Absurdly Short Level: Air Make, which is exclusive to the Trick Attack and Contest modes, consists of sliding towards a ramp from which one will fall into a very deep landing spot, giving the player the opportunity to attempt one exceptionally good trick in front of the indoors stadium's audience before the act ends. Obviously, you only have one chance, and to prevent cheating the stage only gives you points with the tricks you perform after jumping the ramp, not before.
  • Always Night: Usually, a stage's time will change depending on the difficulty level. But Dragon Cave remains set during nighttime in both Hard (which usually puts all stages during afternoon, except Golden Forest which is set during morning as it was already afternoon in Normal) and Expert difficulties.note  The only difference in the latter is that the background is a bit brighter due to the snowy mist, and transitions into a full snowstorm near the end. The stage is also set during nighttime in Time Attack and Trick Attack, with the default weather being clear like in Match Race during Hard difficulty.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The player cannot take damage in Trick Attack mode, allowing them to focus on scoring points with the tricks. The actual danger is running out of time.
  • Braving the Blizzard:
    • In all modes except Match Race during Hard difficulty, you have to race through Crystal Peak and Mountain Village during a snowstorm. However, it ceases when you reach the second half of the former stage, and when you exit the snowy cavern in the latter.
    • With the exceptions of Golden Forest and Deadly Fall, all stages in Expert difficulty are played during a permanent snowstorm, making visibility more difficult for the riders (Dragon Cave starts out clear, but the snowstorm eventually happens).
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer: If two players use the same character, their outfit changes color.
  • Cool Shades: Rob Haywood always wears these.
  • Exposed to the Elements: Rob's standard outfit is a thin wifebeater. Akari's alternate costume is a similarly thin belly top. And that's all they use in their snowboard races, even during a snowstorm.
  • Five-Token Band: The five playable boarders:
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Akari wears goggles only on top of her head, even when racing down a mountain.
  • Life Meter: Present in the racing and Time Trial modes.
  • Luke Nounverber: Two of the characters are named with this nomenclature: Ricky Winterborn and Rob Haywood.
  • Mirror Boss: In Match Race, the opponent you face in Dragon Cave is an exact duplicate of your chosen character.
  • Nintendo Hard: The notoriously difficult trick system takes a very long time to master; the ultimate prize for many is pulling off the titular 1080. For the Match Race mode, the AI of your opponents is very efficient, even on Normal difficulty.
  • Product Placement: The game has characters wearing brand-name clothes while riding brand-name snowboards. The sequel even has brand-name music and a music video.
  • Racing Ghost: The best time recorded in a Time Attack race reproduces your best race this way, encouraging you to beat it for an even better record.
  • Ramp Jump: Air Make is a very short race course set inside an indoors snowboarding stadium which consists of sliding onto a big ramp and, upon jumping past it, perform as many tricks as possible (or a very difficult one) to score points. If the player lands on the ground badly, the accumulated points will drop to zero, and the level only provides one chance.
  • Secret Character: There are three special characters you can challenge and, by meeting certain conditions, play as: A person entirely made of ice, a person made of gold, and an anthropomorphic panda. In Match Race, they only appear in Deadly Fall, at the very end of Expert difficulty.
  • Skybox: Very noticable in the training level.
  • Time Trial: One of the game modes, Time Attack.
  • Unlockable Content:
    • When you play the game for the first time, only three standard stages will be available: Crystal Lake, Crystal Peak and Golden Forest (the other two stages available are Air Make and Half Pipe, which are special stages for the score-based modes). However, the last stage of a given difficulty level in Match Race is new, and it's only necessary to reach it (not win its race) to have it available in Time and Trick attacks: Mountain Village (Normal), Dragon Cave (Hard), Deadly Fall (Expert). However, they won't appear in Contest no matter what, as it always ends with Golden Forest.
    • You can unlock a penguin-shaped snowboard, but doing so requires performing all possible tricks in the game, including both the difficult 1080° Air and the unique tricks only the secret panda character can perform.

1080° Avalanche contains examples of:

  • Age Lift: In their last appearance Rob, Akari, and Ricky were 20, 17, and 14 respectively. They're now 23, 19, and 18. The Time Skip affected some more than others.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Kensuke Kimachi is absent. Especially odd as he was a playable character in many trailers leading up to the release, and a picture of him still appears in the background at the chalet. Ricky Winterborn takes over as the main character, Rob Haywood becomes The Leader of the team, but no one has balanced stats. Dion is also missing. The only characters to return are the ones who guest starred in Wave Race.
  • Console Cameo: You can get a snowboard that is a giant NES Controller that in game is named "Old School". It makes Mario jump sound effects every time you jump.
  • Five-Token Band: A little change up from before:
    • Rob is White American and now The Leader of the group with Kensuke gone. Main color is now green. Has the best balance. Listens to hard rock.
    • Ricky is Canadian, eh? He's The Lancer as a competitive rebellious kid compared to Rob's serious athleticism. Also The Face of the group. His main color is a bluish cyan. Has the highest jump. Listens to punk rock and electronic music.
    • Akari is Japanese and still The Smurfette as the most energetic, friendly and supportive member of the group. Main color is pink. Has the best turning. Listens to pop, and starting to get into punk via Ricky.
    • Kemen is from Chile. The new Big Guy replacing Dion. A laid back Gentle Giant. Main color is red. Has the fastest top speed. Listens to rap.
    • Tara is Black American, The Stoic newest recruit who doesn't show any emotions that would take away from her 'hip hop diva' style. Main color is orange/yellow. Has the best acceleration. Listens to hip hop.
  • Genre Motif: All of the riders have a signature musical genre in the manual. However only rock, punk, and electronic are actually in the soundtrack. There's no real rap or hip hop.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Akari wears pink this time round, and is rather girlier than the more tomboyish Tara.
  • Ship Tease: Akari is interested in Ricky now that he's grown up from the first game. Rumor mill says they're together.
  • Shout-Out: There's several references to other Nintendo properties in the default high scores. For example, the top scores for Aspen Lake Dam: Grits N' Gravy are ETE, RNA, and L D. For Ride Easy Railways, the score names are MET, ROI, and D P.
  • Smashing Survival: The game requires you to spin your control stick in an effort to avoid falling over from moderately flubbed landings.