|Designer(s)||Balázs Rózsa, Csaba Rózsa, Geza Szabo, Mate Magyar, Eszter and Bori Paris, Dylan Cooper, Peter Illyes, Imre Barczi, Gabor Gerenyi, Tamas, and Andris Kristyan|
|Release date(s)||January, 2000|
|Genre(s)||2D motorbike simulation Platformer|
|Mode(s)||Single player, multiplayer|
Elasto Mania (also known as Elma) is a physics-simulation game released in 2000. It claims to be "based on a real physical model." It explores the notion of elastic motorcycles. The goal of each level is to collect every apple (disappearing by contact) spread throughout it, and then to touch the flower (the exit object). Some people, especially the ones part of online groups such as Mopolauta, play the game trying to finish levels as fast as possible, while others, mostly quite-new-to-the-game players, simply concern themselves with the accomplishment of levels, often first requiring figuring out a way for them to be solved. Ultimately, though, experienced players are motivated by the objective of finishing levels in the least amount of time possible, trying either to settle down personal, or world, records. That contributes to setting the stage for serious competition, especially in the official game levels.
The player controls a motorbike rider, and has to restart the level anytime his head or bike's wheels touch a "killer" (seen as a rotating spiky wheel), or his head touches a solid structure (such as a wall). All the apples in a level must be collected before the player can touch the flower and proceed to the next level. A few levels contain apples that change the direction of gravity, causing the motorcycle to drive on the walls or on the ceiling, although those are quite unpopular. Only the head and wheels of the driver may interact with the level. His body may overlap walls without injury, allowing for bizarre-looking situations, such as hanging upside down with the wheels on top of a thin floating island, with the rest of the motorcycle and the driver's body overlapping the island and his head being some distance below it.
Accelerating the motorcycle uninterruptedly slowly raises its front wheel as the balance shifts. Failure to modify the vehicle's balance results in overturn, causing the driver to hit his head on the ground. This can be prevented by periodically briefly releasing the accelerator, to balance the torque of the back wheel with gravity. The brake applies to both wheels simultaneously. Because of the infinite friction between the wheels and the ground in the game, if the brake is not used carefully, the rider will abruptly be thrown over the front wheel.
Rotating left and right, known as volting, is accomplished by the rider either pushing or pulling on the handlebars. This maneuver is used to climb obstacles and otherwise pass through broken ground, and also allows the motorcycle to land on the ground wheels down after a jump. Turning around causes the driver and motorcycle frame to rotate as a paper silhouette in a comical fashion while the wheels remain in place, causing the front wheel to become the back wheel and vice versa. One of the most unique properties of the physical model is the elasticity of the bike frame, allowing for example the wheels to extend corresponding to angular momentum.
The physical model provides for wide range of tricks that can be performed by experienced players. These range from subtle maneuvers to increase speed to more dramatic effects, such as an exploit of a reproducible bug in the physical model, allowing for the bike to be propelled some distance up in the air.
Elasto Mania was created by Balázs Rózsa as a sequel to the 1997 game titled Action SuperCross. The two main differences between the two games are the slight change in physics and the addition of twelve internal levels. The free demo version contains 18 official levels, while the full one contains 54. In addition to these official "internal" levels, many "external," fan-created levels can be found online, in some cases gathered in level packs.
The latest official patch for Elasto Mania is version "1.11a," while the latest-prior-to-EOL-era Unofficial patch is version "1.2 very final," the latter having been coded by Hibernatus, a so-nicknamed member of the game community.
Development of unofficial patches sprang as an effort to bring together various implementations that brought modification to the game, for example a replay merger, an enhanced replay viewer, and an alovolt patch. This latter implementation was forum-thread discussed in 2002 as a solution to the growing climate of unfairness surrounding the fact that an increasing number of players had trouble, due to differences in terms of hardware, performing an essential move: the "alovolt."
In the beginnings of the history of the game, players would join the IRC channel "#battle" and participate in what is known as "battles," that is, a competition for the best score in innovative levels. More precisely, players shared levels of their creation with one another, one at a time, and except-the-level-author players had a fixed-by-level-author time to drive and post the best time (or, in some cases, highest number of apples) back in channel. The winner would then have to share the replay matching his announced-before-deadline score with other players as a proof of his actual performance. Doing so would also in some cases have a second purpose, being to satisfy potential curiosity from the part of the other battlers on how such a score could possibly have been achieved.
In January 2006, "Battle Elma," a patch, having been developed by a member of the community nicknamed "milagros," allowing in-game (that is, without having to rely on IRC) access to battles, in addition to featuring an in-game chat client and the ability of real-time seeing other players, was released to the general public.
In August 2010, an even-more enhanced patch, too having been developed by milagros, called "Elma Online," or, in its short form, simply "EOL," was released. Through the inclusion of various additional functions, it is feeling more polished than the thus-made-obsolete "Battle Elma." EOL, also referenced to as version "1.3," was launched conjointly with the Elma Online website, maintained by another member, this one nicknamed "Kopaka." The latter site features, among others, miscellaneous instant statistics, and the ability of browsing previously battled levels, examining their layout, both their battle-time and all-time standings, downloading its shared associated replays, commenting and rating them, and more.
- Bike or Die, a clone for iOS;
- Trials HD, a clone for Xbox Live Arcade;
- X-Moto, a clone for Linux, Windows, and OS X.
- http://www.elastomania.com Official website
- http://www.moposite.com/records_elma_wrs.php World records
- http://www.moposite.com/records.php?m=tt World top-100 total times
- http://www.moposite.com/records.php?m=r&a=10 World top-10-records tables
- http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Improvements.png Per-level world-record improvements, in second units, from mid-2007 to late 2012
- http://elma.oktobia.org/recsource/simplerecplayer/?rid=229&lid=29 Example of world record (John driving 42,89 in Headbanger, the 29th level)
- http://elma.oktobia.org/srp/?recurl=http://mopolauta.moposite.com/download/file.php?id=2216 Example of world record (Kazan driving 53,11 in Jaws, the 37th level)
- http://elma.oktobia.org/srp/?recurl=http://mopolauta.moposite.com/download/file.php?id=2226 Example of world record (Spef driving 21,67 in Circuitous, the 26th level)
- Bramwell, Tom (2008-12-01). "Elasto Mania Hands On". Eurogamer.
Elasto Mania [...] is about doing absurd things easily; and then later it's maximising traction, stopping without tipping, conserving momentum, and flying through the air exactly as you intended. The back-to-the-start punishment for failure might rub us up the wrong way in the long run, but it's just as likely we'll call a truce and celebrate the rest of the ride.
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AN6szPYVJw Bounce examples
- Høyer Sørensen, Sune (2010-02-25). "Is EOL the holy grail?". Blogger.
The most important thing [about EOL] maybe is the site, that hopefully will bring people together about more than just the current battle and the last five chat lines.
- http://elmaonline.net/statistics/level/79268 Example of standings page
- http://elmaonline.net/battles/7287 Example of battle page
- http://elmaonline.net/battles/10230 Example of battle page