AeroGauge

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AeroGauge
AeroGauge Coverart.png
North American Nintendo 64 cover art
Developer(s) Locomotive Games
Publisher(s) ASCII Entertainment
Platform(s) Nintendo 64
Release date(s)
  • JP December 19, 1997
  • NA April 30, 1998
  • PAL May 1, 1998
Genre(s) Racing
Mode(s) Single player, multiplayer

AeroGauge is a futuristic hovercraft racing game for the Nintendo 64 released in 1998 (1997 in Japan).

Ascii's AeroGauge runs basically along the same conceptual lines of play as Psygnosis' Wipeout or Acclaim's Extreme G. The main difference is that the vehicles in the game fly instead of staying a few meters over the track, so it's possible to maneuver them in the air (unlike the previously mentioned games).[1]

Overview[edit]

Aerogauge takes place in Asia during the year 2065. The game has four tracks and five vehicles from the start with more additional tracks and vehicles that can be unlocked via the Grandprix and/or Time Attack modes. The game includes vehicle damage which is shown via a meter on the bottom of the player's HUD. As the player gains damage their vehicle will begin to spark and smoke. If a player acquires too much damage their vehicle will stop, slowly land to the ground and the screen will fade black and read 'Retire'. This can be prevented though, as all tracks in the game have shield regenerating areas, which if the player flies over with a low altitude will fix the damage.

Game Modes[edit]

The game has four different game modes to choose from the menu.

Grandprix[edit]

This game mode is a singleplayer one. It is a basic championship, having the player race against computer controlled vehicles on every map in the game. Before each race the player is required to take two qualifying laps which, depending on the player's best time and how it compares to the computer's, will determine what their starting position will be for the actual race. The actual race is three laps around the course, against seven opponents all of which blast off from the starting line rapidly, usually leaving the player behind to catch up. After a race, the player will be rewarded points depending on their finishing position in the last race. The better the winning place of the player, the more points. These points add up over the entire Grandprix and will determine the winner of the said event.

Singlematch[edit]

This mode is single player only. It is a single race against computer A.I. on a track chosen by the player. Like the Grandprix, it also requires two qualifying laps to determine the player's starting position.

VS[edit]

This mode is a race on a chosen track against another human player. There are no qualifying laps and no computer opponents.

Time Attack[edit]

This mode is a singleplayer only one. It is a timetrial, on a track chosen by the player. The player can chose to do either three or an infinite number of laps. If the player selects to do three laps 'ghosts' that are saved on a memory card can be used.

Characters[edit]

Each of the aeromachines has their own pilot.

Shinano Ibu[edit]

AeroMachine: Hornet

Gender: Female
Nationality: Japanese
Age: 17

No one can accuse Shinano of a lack of tenacity. If she doesn't get what she wants, she'll find a way to get it ... somehow—no matter how much nagging or complaining it takes. Shinano's father, Isao Ibu, is the president of Imuya, one of the biggest (and first) Aeromachine manufacturers, so with her stubborn attitude it comes as no surprise that Shinano ended up as a pilot despite her father's wishes to the contrary. He knew what these machines were capable of and didn't want to find his daughter in a pile of shredded metal at a wreck site some day. Regardless, the brash teenager was most insistent on racing and Isao finally folded. "If she has to race," thought her father as he signed the paper's bringing Shinano to the Imuya team, "she should race for me. At least I can keep an eye on her."[2]

Black Lightning[edit]

AeroMachine: Black Lightning

Gender: Male
Nationality: Brazilian
Age: Unknown

Very, very little is known about Black Lightning. He is one of the top pilots in the Brazilian Air Force and is still in active duty. He is a very agile black man who practices yoga and other forms of meditation to clear his mind for the races, and battles, ahead of him. He is also always seen wearing headphones. This seems to indicate either an interest in music or an inability to hear well. In both cases, the alternative of unseen implants is available but Black Lightning seems to be the type not to "desecrate" his body. Whatever the case may be, he remains a superb pilot, in total command of his unique craft.[3]

Will Bonny[edit]

AeroMachine: Shredder

Gender: Male
Nationality: American
Age: 26

Will is a former space shuttle crew member. Since Ocuru World was involved in a technical tie-in with NASA, the company used its connections there to net him. He has the physical and psychological stamina to withstand the G-forces encountered when leaving the Earth's atmosphere.

Drossel Jungel[edit]

AeroMachine: Avenger

Gender: Female
Nationality: German
Age: 23

Despite her looks and outlandish desire for anything extreme, Drossel is a very analytical woman, holding a degree in psychology. Aside from racing in the Sky Step tournament, she studies the effects of extreme situations on the mind. Choosing herself time and time again as an experimental subject, she consistently places herself in these situations. When she heard of the Aeromachine technology she quickly ran off to join. Unlike most other developers, Linkage created a school for pilots and mechanics to churn out an endless stream of winning teammates. Enrolled in the first session, Drossel didn't care too much for the "blood on the highway" style films but paid particular attention to all the mechanical data. As an extra credit assignment, she studied alongside the developers of her ship from day one and was signed on as the ship's pilot after graduation.[4]

Hajime Ryu[edit]

AeroMachine: Interceptor

Gender: Male
Nationality: Japanese
Age: 23

While most other sports have undergone drastic changes and modifications to keep viewer interest, boxing has always remained the same—two guys slugging away at each other. Hajime trained for years and it paid off, leading him to a championship in the featherweight class at the age of 22. After hearing that his "hero," Fan Su II had become a Sky Step racer, Hajime quit boxing to follow in his footsteps, joining up with Plax Textiles.Despite his toughness, Hajime is a fun-loving guy who likes to joke around and never takes himself too seriously. His boxing experience has provided him with the agility and good necessary for a great Aeromachine pilot.[5]

Etincelle Tiffon[edit]

AeroMachine: Vengeance

Gender: Male
Nationality: French
Age: 27

An upright Frenchman, Etincelle is nimble and well built, but not a very strong man. He enjoys fencing when he's not racing and uses his nimble body to outmaneuver his opponent. He is a very unspoken man, keeping largely to himself.Etincelle started working as an Aeromachine mechanic in the Master Formula ranks and, with vehicles pulling into the pits spewing boiling liquids and fire spurting from every crevice of their cracked bodies, decided that the work was getting a little too rough. He moved to the Sky Step ranks where he worked as a mechanic for Kildess, a Grecian game developer that wanted in on the Aeromachine tournament. After going through dozens of pilots, the company decided that he was the only one suited to pilot this beast of a craft.[6]

Keiji Matsunaga[edit]

AeroMachine: Dominator

Gender: Male
Nationality: Japanese
Age: 30

A skilled billiards expert, Keiji is a patient man who will take as much time as he can get to make a decision. It's this last-minute mentality that makes him an astounding pilot. He also manages to freak out his competitors as well, as he is prone to dodge walls and hazards just before colliding! His years as a Master Formula test pilot have paid off well, giving him superior training for the Sky Step class tournament. As the Master Formula was created long before the Sky Step, once Keiji jumped to the SS tournament he became the very first official Sky Step pilot. Touted as the "dominator," he is said to be the "fastest in the orient," an honor that isn't too far from the truth. The soft-spoken man has amazing stamina and control over most any vehicle he pilots though he could never overcome the Master Formula and win the championship.[7]

Fan Su II[edit]

AeroMachine: Reaper

Gender: Male
Nationality: Korean
Age: 25

A rather sickly looking young man, Fan Su prefers to outwit his opponents rather than out-muscle them in any form of competition. While chess is his first love, racing is no different, as it requires poise, knowledge, skill and the will to take a chance every now and then. Having won the Master Formula Championship twice, he now wishes to race in the Sky Step ranks, but his contract won't let him. He ended up paying a massive fine as he broke his contract and left to the Sky Step. He left many enemies at Gusters, his former team, but now enjoys the thrills and challenge of Sky Step.[8]

Charlie Wright[edit]

AeroMachine: Prowler

Gender: Male
Nationality: American
Age: 46

Charlie Wright started out as a United Nations pilot at the young age of 21. One of the top honors for a pilot, he flew many missions, participated in eleven battles and served for eight years before retiring. He continued to fly planes even after leaving the military, only this time for a stunt show where he was scouted by Zigger, developer of the Prowler Aeromachine. He is the oldest pilot in the Sky Step circuit but is still at peak condition for his age. He's been racing these vehicles so long that the G-force doesn't even bother him anymore, giving him a completely clear head to concentrate on the race. Affectionately known as the "heart of stone," he is brash but still cares about those around him and frequently takes his mechanic crew out to eat.[9]

AeroMachines[edit]

An AeroMachine is a vehicle with the ability to produce a strong field of localized magnetic flux. The AeroMachines are the vehicles used in the Sky Step. There are 10 AeroMachines total, with 5 being available from the start and 5 being unlockable.

Each of the AeroMachines are rated based on 6 categories shown on a graph, the closer to the edge of the graph, the better the AeroMachine performs in the category:

Speed: The Maximum Speed of the AeroMachine when in the air.
Steering: The Turning Capability of the AeroMachine.
Accele: The Acceleration of the AeroMachine, how quickly it can go from 0 to Max Speed.
Aero Limit: The Speed the AeroMachine needs to travel before it can get airborne.
Shield: The Endurance of the AeroMachine, how much damage it can take.
Stability: The Gripping Power of the AeroMachine.

Operation[edit]

AeroMachines have the capability of lifting themselves off of the ground by creating a localized disturbance in the Higgs Field. This disturbance changes the gravitational constant which surrounds the craft, as it would otherwise be constricted by the gravity of Earth. In doing so, AeroMachines require a significant amount of energy which is supplied via an antimatter reaction with Hydronium. After an AeroMachine has established a steady hover, it uses a basic ion drive to propel itself further. The ion drive uses two high energy electrodes to ionize hydrogen gas, which is then used to create thrust by using an array of electromagnets.

Hornet[edit]

Pilot: Shinano Ibu

Speed: Average
Steering: Excellent
Accele: Excellent
Aero Limit: Excellent
Shield: Poor
Stability: Poor

Shinano's Aeromachine is called Zero because Imuya started from ground zero with its development. Most other manufacturers took the existing International Formula Association design and expanded on it. Not Imuya. The company stripped the vehicle to its bones and rebuilt it with a more aerodynamic look, the first machine to successfully equip a bottom wing. Plenty of cash was needed to go through the lengthy development cycle the team undertook to create Zero. The project was backed from sales of Imuya's original product, "Power Jungle," one of the most popular sports drinks in 2065.[10]

Black Lightning[edit]

Pilot: Black Lightning

Speed: Excellent
Steering: Below Average
Accele: Below Average
Aero Limit: Below Average
Shield: Above Average
Stability: Above Average

For decades, Daikou has been at the forefront of military technology so it was with some surprise that the company announced its involvement in the Sky Step tournament. Much like the International Formula Association, Daikou is tired of showcasing its technology to small audiences of uptight investors and has entered the tournament to show off its ship worldwide! Husaha resembles an old-fashioned hotrod style vehicle with protruding cockpit, a long body and even a radiator. Unanimously declared as the vehicle's weak point, the radiator sits at the very front of the ship and is used to cool the two bioreactors that supply its massive power. Giving the vehicle astounding control are two rear-mounted turn wings that Black Lightning uses to change the direction of thrust leaving the engines. It's a very challenging way of controlling a vehicle that only a well-trained and disciplined pilot can handle, thus the choice of Black Lightning.[11]

Shredder[edit]

Pilot: Will Bonny

Speed: Poor
Steering: Above Average
Accele: Above Average
Aero Limit: Above Average
Shield: Below Average
Stability: Below Average

This AeroMachine is sponsored by Ocuru World, a major presence is satellites and space development. To participate in the Sky Step Class, Ocuru World formed a partnership with the veteran BBQ them. The result was the Meteor, which was produced by rebuilding a machine that the BBQ team had been using. It looks a little old, but space shuttle technology has been used on the engine. This makes it absoluteky impossible to overtake on high-speed stretches. The team used [seraminium], a new material that is both lightweight and durable, for the body.

Avenger[edit]

Pilot: Drossel Jungel

Speed: Below Average
Steering: Poor
Accele: Poor
Aero Limit: Poor
Shield: Excellent
Stability: Excellent

Featuring a rather unorthodox design, what Drossel's ship lacks in aerodynamic qualities, it more than makes up for with its two huge bioreactors. Just looking at the ship gives you a good indication of what its creators specialize in—heavy machinery. Originally designed as a test to see how Linkage's reactors would affect heavy construction vehicles, Drossel fought to keep her ship intact after the company proved their initial point. So large is the propellant engine that the cockpit has been relocated to the far-left side, with the engine requiring three-fourths of the ship's body![12]

Interceptor[edit]

Pilot: Hajime Ryu

Speed: Excellent
Steering: Average
Accele: Average
Aero Limit: Average
Shield: Average
Stability: Average

Plag Textiles is new to Aeromachine development but managed a miracle with the Interceptor. Created in-house, the well-rounded vehicle offers the most stable balance between top speed, acceleration, shields and handling. The propulsion system is made of high-rise glass allowing it to run extremely hot and to push the vehicle faster and faster. Hajime definitely has the eyes to match, giving him the speed to evaluate and decide on the best line through any given situation. Rumor has it that a rookie test pilot took the Interceptor to one of the courses and set a new lap record his first time out![13]

Vengeance[edit]

Pilot: Etincelle Tiffon

Speed: Excellent
Steering: Below Average
Accele: Below Average
Aero Limit: Below Average
Shield: Above Average
Stability: Above Average

For its first Aeromachine, Kildess sure did something right. Actually, the machine is so powerful and the cockpit so strangely designed that they went through dozens of pilots before Etincelle finally stepped up. Having helped create the Aeromachine he knew how it worked and finally wrangled its power. First a few test laps, then a race and he was then on his way to winning the championship![14]

Unlock Conditions: Get 1st in the Expert Grandprix with the Avenger.[15]

Dominator[edit]

Pilot: Keiji Matsunaga

Speed: Poor
Steering: Above Average
Accele: Above Average
Aero Limit: Above Average
Shield: Below Average
Stability: Below Average

Team Yokozuka holds a special honor being the only team backed by an entire city, not just a corporation. The basic structure for a ship that could handle the Sky Step class was developed years before any other manufacturer, but the International Formula Association hadn't given out the specs on the bioreactor engines so the body was put aside. The team had always desired to create a "pure" Aeromachine and finally did so with the Dominator. Ogata, the team leader, finally acquired Keiji as the test pilot and, after seeing his astounding skill with the vehicle, pushed and pushed for him to become the official driver. Keiji finally accepted and began his road to victory. The vehicle itself is powered by a "rapid generator engine system" that is amazing at minimizing energy loss as well as streamlining energy consumption.[16]

Unlock Conditions: Get 1st in the Expert Grandprix with the Black Lightning.[17]

Reaper[edit]

Pilot: Fan Su II

Speed: Excellent
Steering: Average
Accele: Average
Aero Limit: Average
Shield: Average
Stability: Average

Backed by a popular Korean radio station, Hono started with a standard IFA issued Aeromachine, then totally gutted it to create a monster of a machine that only the likes of Fan Su can fully utilize in a race. The engine is made of high-rise glass allowing for overclocking and the jet engine has been retuned by Hono's secret specifications. On the outside it looks nothing like its original design, but inside the ship remains standard and typical, resembling Fan Su's outward appearance.[18]

Unlock Conditions: Get 1st in the Expert Grandprix with the Shredder.[19]

Prowler[edit]

Pilot: Charlie Wright

Speed: Average
Steering: Excellent
Accele: Excellent
Aero Limit: Excellent
Shield: Poor
Stability: Poor

While Charlie is an American, Zigger, the company that created this Aeromachine, is French. Zigger acquired the vehicle from Gran Premio, which had built the Prowler as a test machine. The car company had planned on getting into the Sky Step tournament but, even being a huge sports car manufacturer, lacked the funding to produce bioreactor engines. Zigger bought the machine and quickly modified it with some cutting-edge technology. One of only two vehicles that utilize a bottom wing, Zigger increased the wing's size and put it lower from the vehicle itself. The engine, though dangerous, is kept outside of the vehicle to conserve fuel. It hasn't been confirmed but rumor has it that a new system is being incorporated into the Prowler that will allow Charlie to control it through his brain waves.[20]

Unlock Conditions: Get 1st in the Expert Grandprix with the Hornet.[21]

Control Pad[edit]

Pilot: Unknown

Speed: Below Average
Steering: Poor
Accele: Poor
Aero Limit: Poor
Shield: Excellent
Stability: Excellent

This AeroMachine is shaped and modeled after the N64 controller, it looks exactly like it. This machine also comes in the most colors.

Unlock Conditions: Have a Lap Time ending in .064[22]

Tracks[edit]

There are 6 tracks in the game, with 4 available from the start and 2 being unlockables.

Canyon Rush[edit]

Laps: 3
Length: 4741 meters

Canyon Rush, currently under construction, was designed specifically for Sky Step. It features a new type of layout called "tube." This course has two tubes.

Bikini Island[edit]

Laps: 3
Length: 3895 meters

This course was designed for AeroMachines, and its main feature is tubes. To build these giant tubes, an ocean site was chosen because construction costs are lower than on land.

China Town[edit]

Laps: 3
Length: 4684 meters

After Hong Kong reverted to China, Great Britain and other leading Western European nations were searching for a new Free-trade zone. They invested a colossal amount of money in the construction of an artificial island, off Shanghai, and it is there that China Town is located. The idea was to build an urban course like the one in Monaco. The decision to hold races there was influenced by the enthusiasm of the residents of China Town.

Neo Arena[edit]

Laps: 2
Length: 5743 meters

This is a city course that has been around for a while, located in Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture. For the recent Asia Championship, part of this course, where races have always been grueling, was converted to pipes. A lot of renovations were made, including incorporating a city street into the course by connecting it with the track in a straight line. There is no separate pit road. Part of the oval is reserved for pit stops.

China Town Jam[edit]

Laps: 2
Length: 6182 meters

The longest track takes place on the same track as China Town, except the layout is altered to make it more challenging, with more 90 degree turns.

Unlock Conditions: Get 1st place on each track in Expert Grandprix.[23]

Neo Speed Way[edit]

Laps: 5
Length: 2360 meters

The shortest track takes place on the Neo Arena track, except instead the course is only a short oval. There is no pit area on this track.

Unlock Conditions: Get 1st place on each track in Intermediate Grandprix.[24]

Reception[edit]

The game received a '4.5 Poor' rating from Gamespot and an '5.2 Mediocre' from IGN; the Gamespot reviewer stating that "AeroGauge is really nothing spectacular as it displays some of the worst pop-up seen in a racer in a long time."[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Joe Fielder (June 10, 1998). AeroGauge for Nintendo 64 GameSpot Review ".". GameSpot. Retrieved 2008-07-02. 
  2. ^ Sackenheim, Shawn. "Shinano Ibu - Overview." Allgame. Rovi Corporation, 2010. Web. 26 Sept. 2011. <http://allgame.com/character.php?id=3366>.
  3. ^ Sackenheim, Shawn. "Black Lightning - Overview." Allgame. Rovi Corporation, 2010. Web. 26 Sept. 2011. <http://allgame.com/character.php?id=3338>.
  4. ^ Sackenheim, Shawn. "Drossel Jungel - Overview." Allgame. Rovi Corporation, 2010. Web. 26 Sept. 2011. <http://allgame.com/character.php?id=3370>.
  5. ^ Sackenheim, Shawn. "Hajime Ryu - Overview." Allgame. Rovi Corporation, 2010. Web. 26 Sept. 2011. <http://allgame.com/character.php?id=3395>.
  6. ^ Sackenheim, Shawn. "Etincelle Tiffon - Overview." Allgame. Rovi Corporation, 2010. Web. 26 Sept. 2011. <http://allgame.com/character.php?id=3406>.
  7. ^ Sackenheim, Shawn. "Keiji Matsunaga - Overview." Allgame. Rovi Corporation, 2010. Web. 26 Sept. 2011. <http://allgame.com/character.php?id=3379>.
  8. ^ Sackenheim, Shawn. "Fan Su II - Overview." Allgame. Rovi Corporation, 2010. Web. 26 Sept. 2011. <http://allgame.com/character.php?id=3405>.
  9. ^ Sackenheim, Shawn. "Charlie Wright - Overview." Allgame. Rovi Corporation, 2010. Web. 26 Sept. 2011. <http://allgame.com/character.php?id=3413>.
  10. ^ Sackenheim, Shawn. "Shinano Ibu - Overview." Allgame. Rovi Corporation, 2010. Web. 26 Sept. 2011. <http://allgame.com/character.php?id=3366>.
  11. ^ Sackenheim, Shawn. "Black Lightning - Overview." Allgame. Rovi Corporation, 2010. Web. 26 Sept. 2011. <http://allgame.com/character.php?id=3338>.
  12. ^ Sackenheim, Shawn. "Drossel Jungel - Overview." Allgame. Rovi Corporation, 2010. Web. 26 Sept. 2011. <http://allgame.com/character.php?id=3370>.
  13. ^ Sackenheim, Shawn. "Hajime Ryu - Overview." Allgame. Rovi Corporation, 2010. Web. 26 Sept. 2011. <http://allgame.com/character.php?id=3395>.
  14. ^ Sackenheim, Shawn. "Etincelle Tiffon - Overview." Allgame. Rovi Corporation, 2010. Web. 26 Sept. 2011. <http://allgame.com/character.php?id=3406>.
  15. ^ JChamberlin, and Pyro Vesten. "AeroGauge Cheats, Codes, and Secrets for Nintendo 64 - GameFAQs." Video Game Cheats, Reviews, FAQs, Message Boards, and More - GameFAQs. CBS Interactive Inc., 2011. Web. 26 Sept. 2011. <http://m.gamefaqs.com/n64/196550-aerogauge/cheats>
  16. ^ Sackenheim, Shawn. "Keiji Matsunaga - Overview." Allgame. Rovi Corporation, 2010. Web. 26 Sept. 2011. <http://allgame.com/character.php?id=3379>.
  17. ^ JChamberlin, and Pyro Vesten. "AeroGauge Cheats, Codes, and Secrets for Nintendo 64 - GameFAQs." Video Game Cheats, Reviews, FAQs, Message Boards, and More - GameFAQs. CBS Interactive Inc., 2011. Web. 26 Sept. 2011. <http://m.gamefaqs.com/n64/196550-aerogauge/cheats>
  18. ^ Sackenheim, Shawn. "Fan Su II - Overview." Allgame. Rovi Corporation, 2010. Web. 26 Sept. 2011. <http://allgame.com/character.php?id=3405>.
  19. ^ JChamberlin, and Pyro Vesten. "AeroGauge Cheats, Codes, and Secrets for Nintendo 64 - GameFAQs." Video Game Cheats, Reviews, FAQs, Message Boards, and More - GameFAQs. CBS Interactive Inc., 2011. Web. 26 Sept. 2011. <http://m.gamefaqs.com/n64/196550-aerogauge/cheats>
  20. ^ Sackenheim, Shawn. "Charlie Wright - Overview." Allgame. Rovi Corporation, 2010. Web. 26 Sept. 2011. <http://allgame.com/character.php?id=3413>.
  21. ^ JChamberlin, and Pyro Vesten. "AeroGauge Cheats, Codes, and Secrets for Nintendo 64 - GameFAQs." Video Game Cheats, Reviews, FAQs, Message Boards, and More - GameFAQs. CBS Interactive Inc., 2011. Web. 26 Sept. 2011. <http://m.gamefaqs.com/n64/196550-aerogauge/cheats>
  22. ^ JChamberlin, and Pyro Vesten. "AeroGauge Cheats, Codes, and Secrets for Nintendo 64 - GameFAQs." Video Game Cheats, Reviews, FAQs, Message Boards, and More - GameFAQs. CBS Interactive Inc., 2011. Web. 26 Sept. 2011. <http://m.gamefaqs.com/n64/196550-aerogauge/cheats>
  23. ^ JChamberlin, and Pyro Vesten. "AeroGauge Cheats, Codes, and Secrets for Nintendo 64 - GameFAQs." Video Game Cheats, Reviews, FAQs, Message Boards, and More - GameFAQs. CBS Interactive Inc., 2011. Web. 26 Sept. 2011. <http://m.gamefaqs.com/n64/196550-aerogauge/cheats>
  24. ^ JChamberlin, and Pyro Vesten. "AeroGauge Cheats, Codes, and Secrets for Nintendo 64 - GameFAQs." Video Game Cheats, Reviews, FAQs, Message Boards, and More - GameFAQs. CBS Interactive Inc., 2011. Web. 26 Sept. 2011. <http://m.gamefaqs.com/n64/196550-aerogauge/cheats>

External links[edit]