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Video Game / Tokyo Xtreme Racer

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The Expressway awaits your arrival.

The Tokyo Xtreme Racer series, also known in Japan as the Shutokou Battle series, is a series of racing games developed by Genki.

Dating its' origins all the way back to the days of the SNES, Genki released several Japan-exclusive games that were retroactively made part of the franchise. The first, proper TXR game, Tokyo Xtreme Racer, was released on the Dreamcast in 1999. The franchise spawned seven entires, two of which were spin-offs, with the last entry, Import Tuner Challenge, being released for the Xbox 360 in 2006.

The game revolves around the world of high-speed highway racing in Japan, with the player being just one out of hundreds of racers attempting to become the fastest. Unlike other games in its' genre, the series set itself apart through the SPnote  System, with all drivers participating in a race being given a "Spirit Bar", akin to a fighting game's health bar. Drivers lose Spirit by either falling behind the leading car too much or hitting things on the road.

Related to it is the Tokyo Xtreme Racer: Drift sub-series. First released in Japan in 2003, the action moves away from the highways to sanctioned races on Japan's mountain passes. Three games were released as part of this subseries: Tokyo Xtreme Racer: Drift, Tokyo Xtreme Racer: Drift 2: Chain Reaction, and Tokyo Xtreme Racer: Drift: Touge Wars. As a result of the localization being handled by two different publishers at different times, the games were exported overseas under the names of Tokyo Xtreme Racer: DRIFT, Kaido Racer and Tokyo Xtreme Racer: DRIFT 2, creating major confusion.note 

The franchise remains a beloved Cult Classic amongst hardcore racing game fans to this day, and has a passionate community in spite of Genki having all but formally ended all development on the franchise in 2007.

The following games are all considered to be part of the TXR franchise: those released before the original Tokyo Xtreme Racer share several elements with later games, be they mechanics, locations, or characters:

  • Shutokou Battle DRIFT KING Tsuchiya Keiichi & Bandō Masaaki (1997, Sega Saturn, Japan-only)
  • Shutokō Battle R (1997, PlayStation, Japan-only)
  • Kattobi Tune (1998, PlayStation, Japan-only)
  • Tokyo Xtreme Racer (1999, Sega Dreamcast, released as Shutokou Battle in Japan and Tokyo Highway Challenge in Europe)
  • Tokyo Xtreme Racer 2 (2000, Sega Dreamcast, released as Shutokou Battle 2 in Japan and Tokyo Highway Challenge 2 in Europe)
  • Tokyo Xtreme Racer Zero (2001, PlayStation 2, released as Shutokou Battle Zero in Japan and Tokyo Xtreme Racer in Europe)
  • Tokyo Xtreme Racer: Drift (2006, PlayStation 2, released in Japan as Kaido Battle in 2003)
  • Tokyo Xtreme Racer 3 (2003, PlayStation 2, released in Japan as Shutokou Battle 01)
  • Kaido Racer (2005, PlayStation 2, released in Japan as Kaido Battle 2: Chain Reaction in 2004)
  • Racing Battle C1 GP (2005, PlayStation 2, Japan-only)
  • Street Supremacy (2006, PSP, released in Japan as Shutokou Battle in 2005)
  • Tokyo Xtreme Racer: Drift 2 (2007, PlayStation 2, released in Japan as Kaido Battle: Touge Wars in 2005 and Kaido Racer 2 in Europe in 2006)
  • Import Tuner Challenge (2006, Xbox 360, released in Japan as Shutokou Battle X in the same year)
  • Shutokou Battle Xtreme (Android & iOS, Japan-only)

The Tokyo Xtreme Racer series contains examples of the following:

  • A God Am I: Present, but overall downplayed by a few of the stronger drivers who think of themselves too highly. Special mentions go to Tokyo Xtreme Racer 3's God's Estuary, whose street name in Japanese is straight-up Kami, and God's Favourite in the Drift series.
    • Subverted by God Shift Bunta, whom people think of as a racing deity. He's otherwise a rather chill guy.
  • Always Night: In the Expressway-based games, it will be night no matter the hour of the In-Universe Game Clock. What makes this a bit ludicruous is that some Wanderers' appearances are tied to said clock, but there's literally no difference between 6PM and 6AM.
    • Import Tuner Challenge pushes the trope to its' absolute limit, as it splits days in three distinct sections: Noon, Midnight, and Daybreak. Technically, all three happen at night, right between sunset and sunrise.
    • Played With in the Drift games, where most of the head-to-head battles do take place at night, but time attack challenges, gymkhana events, and a couple of duels take place during the day.
  • Amazon Brigade: There's atleast one in every game, with varying amounts of members. The Cupid Arrows tend to usually represent this trope across the franchise.
  • And the Adventure Continues: In the first three games upon beating the True Final Boss, it's implied that there's still other drivers out there that will eventually beat you sooner or later and take your title as the fastest driver in the expressway.
    • In 3, defeating every rival team and boss without achieving 100% Completion will cause an alternative ending to play upon defeating all three area bosses, encouraging the player to continue until every opponent on the Japanese expressways is defeated.
    The fantasy ends.
    You have arrived at the apex and achieved a glorious and solitary state of mind.
    Do you want to take a rest here, or do you want to continue racing?
    Only the machine knows that answer.
  • Artificial Brilliance: The AI opponents are surprisingly varied in their behaviour, if not downright shrewd in some cases, especially for a twenty-year old series. They will try to defend the fastest line and use your slipstream to pass you, and some will straight-up try to block your line. In the most egregious cases, they will brake checknote  and bump into you from behind and from the sides.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Your Autopilot, on the other hand, isn't the smartest cookie around, as it has a bad tendency to swerve around without reason, sometimes right into an exit ramp from the Expressway, bringing the night to an early end. Some rivals will, instead, take the wrong turn at a split in the road, forcing the race into a draw. Good luck tracking them down afterwards!
  • Badass Driver: Almost everyone is this, to varying degrees.
  • Battle Aura: Tokyo's Red Devil and Jintei, Nagoya's Flame Dragon, J and D3, and Osaka's God's Estuary have these in Tokyo Xtreme Racer 3. They're considered the strongest racers in all of Japan by that point, mind you, making it well-earned.
  • Boss Bonanza: Seeks, Darkness Seven, NO LOSER, Baldy's and DARTS in Tokyo Xtreme Racer 3 are this, as all members are considered to be on boss-level. And rightfully so.
  • Boss Rush: It's rather common to fight two bosses back to back, even three if team leaders are considered.
    • More traditional examples include Nagoya's D3 and Osaka's DARTS from Tokyo Xtreme Racer 3. Whilst the former need to be beaten sequentially, of the latter, only the GT-R trio fills this criteria, as everyone else can be beaten separatedly.
  • Cap: There is an hard cap on your maximum speed in some games; in particular, it's set at 267 MPH note  in Zero and 230 MPHnote  in 3. To put it into perspective, the fastest production car as of this writing, the Koenigsegg Agera RS, topped out at 277 MPH, sixteen years after Zero came out!
    • 3 also features an hard cap on the amount of CP you can hold in the bank. It's 999,999,999 in the Japanese version, and 99,999,990 in the international release. See Game-Breaking Bug below for more details on this.
  • Captain Ersatz: Pre-Zero, Genki did not bother to get the licenses to the cars or their names, instead using ones that strongly resembled them without being carbon copies. No longer the case for all games after Zero.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: In Import Tuner Challenge, after the player buys their first car, they're immediately challenged to a race by a dark blue Nissan Skyline 350GT coupe with the license plate "EMPEROR" on it. Defeating this opponent leads to a short cutscene where the driver, a Mr. Iwasaki, who welcomes the player to the Tokyo highway racing scene, and asks if they're aiming to challenge Jintei. Long-time players will recognize that "Mr. Iwasaki" is Motoya Iwasaki, "Jintei" himself, whose signature car was a Skyline R34 GT-R and whose street name translates to "Speed Emperor".
  • Celebrity Cameo: Real-life professional race cars drivers and world-renowed tuners show up in 3 and the Drift subseries regularly.
  • Creator Cameo: "Kaido President" Hamagaki is the founder and director of Genki. He's the Final Boss in the first and third Drift games.
  • Cultural Translation: The North American version converts all measurements to U.S. measurements, even though the game is set in Japan. Also see the Race Lift example below.
  • Degraded Boss: Tends to happen between entries. The most famous example are the Four Devils from the first game: Z.E.R.O and Death Driver became Wanderers starting with 2, whilst Exhaust Eve joined them in Street Supremacy before becoming a member of Be Legend in Import Tuner Challenge.
    • Zigzagged by After Midnight Cinderella: she used to be a member of the Four Devas in the first game, later becoming a Wanderer, only to finally return to being a boss in Import Tuner Challenge.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Discussed; most other drivers will often talk amongst themselves about particularly talented or infamous racers, believing them to be on a completely unreachable level. And then, the player shows up and beats those very same racers, often in dominant fashion...
  • Diegetic Interface:
    • Racing Battle: C1 Grand Prix featured different gauges on the player's HUD depending on the car they were currently driving, all very similar to the real deals. If the player replaced the car's gauge cluster with a STACK data acquisition cluster, that would appear on the HUD instead.
    • Import Tuner Challenge went even further, implementing detailed interiors that could be modified and a first person camera from behind the steering wheel, ''years' before it started to become the norm in games.
  • The Dreaded: Quite a few teams and, more rarely, individuals carry this reputation across the expressways and mountain passes of Japan. The Thirten Devils, however, take the cake, as the mere rumour of them reuniting in Drift 2 causes a massive freak-out across all of Japan.
  • Dual Boss: Albeit rarely, some team leaders and Wanderers will be backed up by their seconds, or their seniors, halfway through the battles against them... at which point, the player will need to beat both to win the battle.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: Crave's handling of the translation in the first games, changing the names of all drivers to Western-sounding ones and editing their bios to better relate to a Western worldview, caused a lot of details and pieces of the lore to be Lost in Translation. What makes it even worse is when they started translating the games more faithfully, starting with Drift, which caused even more confusion amongst returning players.
    • Most emblematic of the lot, "Shadow Eyes" Akiko Ogata is clearly a woman in Japan, down to the name and silhouette. But because of Crave's mishandling of international translations, she's switched back-and-forth between male and female atleast three times.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: Some games have an Easy difficulty option, which brings down the opponents' speed and causes the player to lose Spirit Points, your health bar, only when they get in front and begin pulling away, not from hitting walls, obstacles, and other cars as it normally would. The credits gained by winning battles this way are far less when compared to the norm, though.
  • Four Is Death: As expected, from a series developed in Japan and set in Japan.
    • Tokyo Xtreme Racer's bosses are split amongst two four-member teams, the Four Devas and the Four Devils.
    • Death Driver, a former member of the Devas, has 44-44 on his license plate in Street Supremacy.
    • The True Final Boss is #400 when seen on the list of opponents in both Zero and Import Tuner Challenge.
  • Foreshadowing: Region-dependant example. for Shutokou Battle X / Import Tuner Challenge. In Shutokou Battle X, Mr. Iwasaki's Skyline 350GT Coupè has the exact same license plate as his R34 GT-R, whilst in the international release, Import Tuner Challenge, the license plates reads "EMPEROR"; both are references to the fact that he is Jintei.
  • Fragile Speedster: The sportier kei car trio (the Suzuki Cappuccino, Honda Beat, and Mazda AZ-1) are this trope in spades: fast, nimble, but hands down the smallest, lightest cars of the lot, easily pushed around by just about anything else on the road.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: In Tokyo Xtreme Racer 3, Crave converted the currency from yen to dollars, putting an hard cap at 99,999,990, whilst in the original Japanese version, it was at 999,999,999. However, an Osaka Wanderer, Whirlwind Fanfare, requires 100,000,000 CP to be challenged. For just 10 CP, you're locked out of facing the True Final Boss and 100% Completion, since in order to face him, you need to defeat every other one of the 599 drivers in the game. The only way to get around this is to use something capable of editing the Hex values of the game, such as a GameShark.
    • In a minor way, the currency conversion also made earning CP a massive chore; another Wanderer, Exotic Butterfly, requires 20,000,000 CP in the bank in order to be challenged, but getting there requires a massive grind.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The True Final Boss of Tokyo Xtreme Racer 3, a ghostly copy of the player's car. Even its' bio, hidden deep inside the game's code, doesn't clear up what it is. It could be a ghost, it could be you have become a ghost, or it could be a metaphor that the only one left to beat to become the Expressway's fastest by that point was yourself.
    • The Twenty Masters in the Drift series are also this. They have no name nor bio, but are by far some of the toughest opponents you can face.
  • Guide Dang It!: The requirements to get Wanderers, drivers without a team and an unique sticker, to show up in order to challenge them. There are minuscule hints scattered throughout the various bios, but beyond those, the game gives you absolutely no clue on what to do. Only Averted by the time of Import Tuner Challenge, where chatting people up at the PA will give you hints, else the game will straight up tell you what to do.
    • A particularly egregious case are the license plates. The player is flat-out not told they can edit them once finalized... even though some Wanderers will only be challenged by cars wearing license plates with a specific prefecture (e.g. Green Wild Child), number combination (Caffeine X3), or hiragana characters.
    • Caffeine X3 lives in infamy amongst players because of this reason. He changes criteria for being challenged in Tokyo Xtreme Racer 3: whereas it was sufficient to be on a day multiple of 3 and have a car with a license plate filled with threes in Zero, now you need to do that and drive a car whose internal designation code contains only 3s (e.g. the Nissan Fairlady Z33, or the Nissan Skyline R33). Because the change is hinted absolutely nowhere, returning players were left absolutely befuddled at his refusal of every challenge. As a cherry on top, he returned to his simpler Zero requirements in every subsequent appearance.
    • The Drift games are even worse in that regard, as every opponent has specific spawning conditions. Whilst the vast majority of them merely require you to beat a previous opponent, some will instead show up during the daytime or only in very specific weather conditions. Again, some hints pop up, this time on the BBS message board, but they're either vague or, in the Crave-published version, poorly translated at times, meaning you will have to hit up a guide.
  • Heroic RRoD: You can overheat your engine and wear your tires down to nothing if you keep driving too much without stopping, which will cause a massive drop in performance and make the car near undrivable. Stopping at a Parking Area to let your engine cool down can fix the first issue, but you'll need to end the night and head back home to get new tires.
  • Hold the Line: A viable strategy in point-to-point races in games that feature them. Against a stronger opponent, managing to get in front just once and then repeatedly blocking them, even right on the finish line, can work rather well with the right car.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: The mainline games have these, tied to the console's own internal clock. They come into use when facing some Wanderers, who will only show up at a specific time.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: Quite a few, depending on the game:
    • The Ford GT in Tokyo Xtreme Racer 3 can be either unlocked by beating Osaka's DARTS... or, far more simply, defeating Tokyo's A.P.S, which becomes far easier if you bother pulling their leader, Yokohane Heavy Jet Fighter, towards the C1 Loop before challenging him. The GT is good enough to be your crutch for the remainder of the game, even though other cars outclass it.
    • The De Tomaso Pantera can be unlocked early on in Osaka, by defeating EIC@MSR. A well-rounded, rear-engine, rear-wheel drive sports coupè, it also has enormous tuning potential, and is capable of holding its' own even in the game's late stages. It's a bit expensive, though, meaning that it might end up being the only car you can maintain until the point where only the Wanderers are left to defeat.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: Tokyo Xtreme Racer 3 introduces the Engine Swap mechanic, where after accumulating 1249 miles on your car's odometer, you can install a new, even different engine. This will give quite a few cars far, far more tuning potential, and put them on par with some higher-end cars... but it's possible to clear the campaign without even hitting 1249 miles, something that takes hours upon hours of wandering.
    • The Drift series, instead, gives you a downright minuscule chance of befriending any opponent you end up facing, low enough it's probably in the "zero point" percentage. Why's that, though? Opponents whom you have befriended will let you loan their cars. Including the Slashers, the Thirten Devils and the Kingdom Twelve and their one-of-a-kind variants. Some cars, such as Dream Wraith's NSX NA 1, are so powerful they are borderline undriveable, but for the brave few who manage to actually learn to control them, it lets them mop the vast majority of opponents.
    • In a more traditional sense, the Dodge Viper GTS and Honda NSX. They are blindingly fast, but are also two of the most expensive cars in any game they appear in, and are anything but easy to unlock for purchase.
  • Japanese Ranguage: A minor case in Tokyo Xtreme Racer: Drift 2. You have the option to apply decals to the sides and hood of your car, and they're split in categories to make it easier to find something to your liking. As such, you have "Stripe", "Brush", "Wild"... and then there's "Frame". Every decal in that category looks like a flame.
  • Joke Character: Daihatsu cars in general, as they weren't exactly built with performance in mind. Although several members of RATT drive the Copen, its FFnote  layout make them far inferior to the other sports kei cars. The Midget II, though, takes the cake.
  • Lethal Joke Character: The Suzuki Cappuccino is this in Tokyo Xtreme Racer 3: the lightest car in the entire roster, with one of the smallest engines, even Rolling Guy's AE86s can overwhelm one under the right circumstances. However, once the 1246 miles needed to unlock an engine swap are reached, the option to swap in a rotary engine becomes available, making the tiny Cappuccino an honest threat on the Loops.
    • Station wagons and minivans, believe it or not. They are very heavy, and do not look like they belong on either the expressways or the mountain passes, but their large size and engines, combined with a clever use of weight shifting, makes them fearsome opponents. There are even entire teams, such as Rhythm Box, the Black Knights and Super Speed Wagon whose members only drive station wagons.
  • Life Meter: A central mechanic, and one that makes it stand out in the racing game genre. Both you and your opponent have an health bar known as an "SP Meter"note  which will slowly drain over time for the chasing car. The larger the gap becomes, the faster the bar drains. The bar will also drain whenever you hit something, be it the side of the road, a toll booth, or another car. Much like in a fighting game, the loser is who has their SP Meter empty first.
    • The Drift series keeps the SP Meter, but introduces events and battles where it isn't used, such as time trials and point-to-point sprints. The latter are later introduced in Import Tuner Challenge as well.
  • Localized Name in a Non-Localized Setting: When Shutokou Battle 0 was localized as Tokyo Xtreme Racer Zero, a lot of rival names were changed from native Japanese names to Western names, even though the game still takes place on Tokyo's expressways. Subsequent games' localizations keep the names as-is (but transliterated, of course).
  • Meaningful Name: The "EMPEROR" vanity plate on Iwasaki's Skyline coupe in Import Tuner Challenge. Emperor comes from "Speed Emperor", which is a direct translation of his street name in the Japanese versions of the series, Jintei. In English localization of Zero, his street name is Speed King, with Drift changing it to Speed Emperor, TXR3 leaving the name untranslated, and Drift 2 and ITC reversing it to "Emperor Speed" and "King Speed", respectively.
  • Mirror Boss: The final boss of Tokyo Xtreme Racer 3, [[Giant Space Flea from Nowhere, a head-to-head battle against a ghostly version of your car that can phase through solid objects such as traffic and toll booths.
    • It can also happen when racing against some bosses and driving the exact same make and model of their car.
  • Nitro Boost: Planned but ultimately scrapped in Tokyo Xtreme Racer 3. It appears properly in the PSP-exclusive Street Supremacy and, later, in Import Tuner Challenge.
  • Noob Cave: The C1 Inner Loop will serve as this at the very beginning. It's where all players tend to start off, it's very friendly to cars with lower power thanks to its' many turns and twists, and it's downright mandatory to begin clearing out in order to unlock the rest of the Expressway in some games. Afterwards, however, the opponents' level tends to jump up to the one found elsewhere.
    • Hakone plays this role instead in the Drift series, as a relatively simple mountain pass with a starting low level of drivers and rather easy daylight events. It's joined by Hiroshima in Drift 2.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: In Zero, it's possible to rack up mileage (and thus the 1863 miles / 3000 kilometers needed for the highest level of body mod, exhaust, and engine tuning in the game, or engine swaps in 3) by racing any opponent, then at the post-battle screen, simply leave the game running as your car remains on auto-pilot (you can even eject the disc to save wear and tear on your console). This exploit was removed in 3 so now the game only counts distance driven while in control of the car, though a new exploit to achieve the same purpose also involves ejecting the disc (ie. Ejecting the disc and then going back to "Free Run").
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Downplayed; each driver's real name shows up in their bio once defeated, but everyone calls each other by their street name.
  • Quest Giver: Some rivals in Kaido installments and C1 Grand Prix provide you a time-trial challenge or a drift point challenge (or both) instead of racing the player directly.
  • Quirky Mini Boss Squad: Originally, it was the Four Devas in the first game. They were replaced by the Thirteen Devils and the Zodiac starting with 2.
    • The Kingdom Twelve play this role in Drift 2, parallel to the Thirteen Devils.
    • Finally, the latest in a long tradition are Import Tuner Challenge's PHANTOM NINE.
  • Race Lift: Crave's translation of Zero straight-up changed the names of every driver into Western-sounding ones. Apparently, Tokyo's highway racing scene is entirely made up of gaijin! This also accidentally caused Highway Outlaw, which is a team made up of gaijins, to lose its' original raison d'etre.
  • Rain of Blood: An Easter Egg in Tokyo Xtreme Racer 3 will cause it the rain to turn dark red during the battle against Bloodhound.
  • Retool: The original Tokyo Xtreme Racer, released on the Dream cast in 1999, was this to Genki's earlier attempts at racing games, retaining the same drivers, but with brand-new lore, mechanics, and an open-world map.
  • Regional Bonus: NSTC-US and PAL versions of the first game feature the Mistubishi Eclipse 2G and 3G.
    • Likewise, NSTC-US and PAL versions of Zero feature the sixth-generation Honda Civic Si Coupè,. That version of the Civic was sold exclusively in North American markets, and was added as part of cross-promotional efforts for the soon-to-be-released The Fast and the Furious. As part of the cross-promotional effort, international releases also contain the film's trailer and exclusive, F&F-themed stickers.
  • Schrödinger's Canon: Street Supremacy, out of all the games in the franchise, is the sole one whose canonicity is disputed. It's barely referenced to in Import Tuner Challenge, if it's being referenced to to begin with, and parts of its' plot, such as almost every team breaking up, one of fifteen teams taking over the Expressway by absorbing the others, and UNKNOWN retiring in favour of an apprentice, end up contradicted by Import Tuner Challenge.
  • Serial Escalation: One of the series' later games was Racing Battle C1 GP. It took the high speed expressway racing from the mainline series, the drifting physics and customization from the Drift subseries, and placed them inside the world of professional, circuit racing. Which includes entire highway systems as circuits.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Superboss: In a first-and-only for the series, Ground Zero is this in the third Drift game. The player can only face him after having defeated the True Final Boss Forever Knights, all the way back where they first begun their journey: he's also brutally unfair, driving an experimental car with the best stats in the entire game. Beyond 100% Completion, beating him is nothing but a Bragging Rights Reward.
  • Terrible Trio:
    • Nagoya's D3, made up of "The Rook" Hiroaki Sakuraba, "The Bishop" Shin'ichirō Kanaya, and "The Knight" Keita Arai.
    • Osaka's DARTS' second unit, made up of Humanity Kawasaki, Earth Tadokoro, and Heaven Nagai.
    • A minor example, Oboru, shows up in Import Tuner Challenge. They're to date, the only team besides D3 and M.O.E, the latter of whom do not qualify for this trope, to only have three members.
  • Teru-Teru Bōzu: Featured in Drift 2, where they can be used to manipulate the weather. No, really. They are very expensive, but downright mandatory in order to draw out specific opponents who, at first, only show up with a specific weather.
  • That Man Is Dead: In Import Tuner Challenge, at some point Platinum Prince will tell the player that a certain someone has returned and sends them off to the Yoyogi parking area to meet them. When they get there, they're greeted by Mr. Iwasaki, who tells the player to not seek out Jintei, claiming that he died a long time ago. Turns out, he's referring to himself in a metaphorical sense, in that his days as Jintei are long behind him and he has no intention to pick up the mantle again. Once you defeat Snake Eyes, and with a bit of prodding from fellow drivers, he returns to the Expressway driving his Impreza.
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: Justified; The hashiriyanote  phenomenon was largely concentrated in the Tokyo area during its' heyday. The trope is later done away with completely in Tokyo Xtreme Racer 3, which also features Nagoya and Osaka as equally important.
    • Averted in the Drift series, as no race take places within the Tokyo metropolitan area or prefecture due to the absence of mountain passes in the area. Some mountain passes are located in the Kanto region, though.
  • True Final Boss: UNKNOWN serves this role in every mainline game except for 3; he'll only appear to challenge the player once every other opponent has been defeated atleast once.
    • The Drift sub-series games do not have one in the traditional sense, but the very last opponent in the storyline the player ends up facing is Kaido President in the first game and Forever Knights in the second and third.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable: Whirlwind Fanfare, in the NTSC-US and PAL versions of Tokyo Xtreme Racer 3, cannot be raced against without using an external cheating device. This was caused by the translation team converting the in-game currency from yen to dollars and placing an hard cap on it without adjusting the requirements to challenge her or fellow Wanderer Exotic Butterfly.note . As a result of this error, 100% Completion and access to the True Final Boss became impossible to overseas players.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: Happens in Import Tuner Challenge, where several opponents drive cars that the player cannot buy, even in stock form. The most egregious example is the Toyota AE86, which shows up as the car of choice of Rolling Guy members, as usual, but is not available to the player. Their team leader's custom version is available to be bought, however, and it becomes necessary to own in order to complete the game.
    • Likewise, in Drift 2, the Toyota Verossa cannot be bought, in spite of it being used by several rivals and a couple of bosses. It can be loaned from them, however.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Betrayal Jack Knife, in every single game he appears in. Usually having twice the horsepower of the player's car by that point, he's also the first driver to be downright erratic in his driving style, blocking and bumping into you with impudence. Unless you know he's coming, and first-time players won't, he will usually mop the floor with you and serve as a signal to start investing in upgrades for your car.
    • Should you start in Osaka in Tokyo Xtreme Racer 3, NO LOSER takes this role. They'll be the first opponents you race against with AWD cars, and will serve as an introduction to Dual Bosses and Boss Rushes.
  • Wide-Open Sandbox: Double Subverted: Your goal is to defeat every single other driver in order to become the very best, and there are only so many ways you can progress, but there is no time limit to your quest, and you are free to mess around and challenge anyone you stumble across, even repeatedly. This also extends to the map: you're free to just roam freely, gradually unlocking more parts of the Expressway as you beat other teams, but you can only drive on it, and only as long as your engine's water temperature, oil temperature, and your tires don't go critical. Whilst a pit stop can bring the first two down, you will have to return to your garage to switch to fresh tires.
    • The exploration only applies to the games taking place on the Expressways, however; in the Drift series, there is no free roaming.

Alternative Title(s): Shutokou Battle, Tokyo Highway Battle