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LEGO Racers (Windows, Nintendo 64, PlayStation)

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Title Screen

LEGO Racers

Developer: High Voltage Software
Publisher: LEGO Media
Platforms: Windows, Nintendo 64, PlayStation
Released in US: July 31, 1999
Released in EU: July 31, 1999


AreasIcon.png This game has unused areas.
CharacterIcon.png This game has unused playable characters.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
MusicIcon.png This game has unused music.
SoundIcon.png This game has unused sounds.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.


ProtoIcon.png This game has a prototype article

LEGO Racers is a LEGO-themed kart racer, with the main plot focusing on beating Rocket Racer, supposedly the greatest racer ever.

Sub-Pages

Read about prototype versions of this game that have been released or dumped.
Prototype Info

Unused Graphics

IGDCRDOT.BMP

Yup, just dots here

The dots used for the opponents in the minimaps. While the file itself is used, half of the sprites aren't: only the big dots are used. Likely the smaller dots were planned to be used in the smaller version of the minimap, as the big dots make it seem very cluttered.

Unused Areas

Knightmare-Athon

Oh yes, the infamous Knightmare-Athon shortcut. This was rumored, questioned, and forever asked about throughout the whole community. Knightmare-Athon became the only track in the game that went without a shortcut, every part of the track was searched for one. Finally, thanks to modding and uncoverings by the developers, the secrets behind the shortcut have been revealed, and as it turns out, there are remnants of not one, but two planned shortcuts.

LegoRacers KnightmareAthonShortcut1.PNG

Here is the first shortcut. Notice how there is a red brick above the right doorway. This brick is completely inaccessible in normal gameplay. From what can be inferred, you were originally meant to knock down the pillar in front of the castle to form a ramp and get up there. The shortcut would have skipped over the quick tour through the castle and taken you out just before the hair-pin turn. This shortcut was possibly scrapped earlier than the second shortcut, as only the rather badly patched wall for the shortcuts exit, and previously mentioned leftover power-up, is visible. The stone pillar does not show any signs of being altered, it is the same as the others on the track.

LegoRacers KnighmareAthonShortcut2.PNG

This is the gist of the other shortcut. The white rings here are invisible during normal gameplay. These are checkpoints, and are used to determine how you complete a full lap, notice how several of them are going out of bounds. The path these create outlines where the shortcut was going to take place. You would shoot a boulder located in between the first and second broomsticks to open the shortcut. You would then drive over the tunnel and come out in the middle of the last turn, just before the finish line. This one seems to have been removed very far into development, as more remnants of this shortcut exist than any other.

LegoRacers KnightmareAthonShortcut3.PNG

This is the wall where the boulder was originally placed. The geometry is noticeably untidy compared to its surroundings, almost as if the area was patched in a hurry.

LegoRacers KnightmareAthonPrototype.png

This prerelease screenshot shows the boulder while it was still in place.

Pirate Skull Pass

Pirate Skull Pass also has remnants of a scrapped shortcut. Granted, it does have a shortcut, but it's not really much of one, more like an alternative pathway not worth taking.

LegoRacers PirateSkullShortcut1.PNG

Here is the first power-up which is completely inaccessible. It is under a hill and impossible to reach.

LegoRacers PirateSkullShortcut2.PNG

This is the other inaccessible power-up, in the center of the image.

LegoRacers PirateSkullFence.PNG

The place where the shortcut was going to start was barricaded with a fence. Early screenshots show that the fence was completely absent at first, so it would only make sense. You can see in the image above, there is a noticeably blurry texture in the middle of the rock on the left side of the picture, this is likely where the entrance to the shortcut would have been. You would have gone through here and then traversed under the track some, eventually coming out under the second hill, as said hill shows to have a glitchy corner.

Desert Adventure Dragway

Desert Adventure Dragway had a previous iteration of the area that became the sphinx shortcut. There is also an unused aspect of the final shortcut.

LEGO Racers - DAD unused green brick.png

In both the 1999 and 2001 releases, there is a green brick under the shortcut that is unreachable. Based on the position of this green brick, it may have simply been moved out of bounds to balance the number of green bricks on the track. There is no evidence to suggest it was part of a different shortcut, as it appears to be directly under the middle of the path of the final shortcut.

Prototype Final
Desert Adventure Dragway beta.jpg LEGO Racers - Desert Adventure Dragway Right Path.png

An early screenshot shows the area that has the sphinx shortcut originally had two paths. The left path was cut in development, while the right path remained. The rocks and hills of the right path can still be seen in the final version of the track, and went largely unchanged. The prototype screenshot shows the area originally had a pool of water enclosed by two walls with obelisks at the end of each wall.

This middle path to three power-ups seems to be more of an alternative route through this area, rather than being a shortcut at this point in development. If anything, diverting into this area looks like it would have been slower than simply following the regular left and right paths. The power-ups available here are also the same as the ones on each of the other paths, so the changes here made sense.

It's interesting to note that for the majority of the development, the power-ups were in the form of jewels, instead of bricks. Their design matches the jewel rock element released with the Adventurers sets in 1998. This was evidently changed fairly late into development, as many gaming magazines published in the months leading up to the release of the game had screenshots of demo builds with the jewels still being used. It was only when the game was very close to release that screenshots showing the bricks as power-ups were seen.

Unused Music

Gameintr.tun

The PC demo and N64 versions of the game feature an in-engine intro cutscene that's completely different from the pre-rendered FMV intro used in the retail PC game. While this in-engine intro cutscene is not present in the retail PC version, its soundtrack remains in this file. Strangely, it's not the same audio as in the demo version - the demo has the cutscene's sound effects mixed in, while this file in the retail version contains only the music track.

Unused Sounds

Hmmm...
To do:
Upon further investigation, there are probably (definitely) more unused than just these two residing in the respective track folders, including duplicates from other courses where they have no place being. Document these.

Knightmare-Athon

BOULDOOR.PCM

This unused sound is found in Knightmare-Athon's race folder. Undoubtedly, this was going to be used for when you shoot the boulder to open the scrapped shortcut, supported by the pun in its filename. The sound of crumbling suggests the boulder was going to break apart when shot, much like how the shortcut in Imperial Grand Prix works.

WITCH.PCM

Also found in Knightmare-Athon's race folder is this generic witch cackle. It was probably an early version of the cackle the witch makes near the end of the course.

Unused Drivers

The game provides four pre-built racers (Joan of Kart, Turbo Charger, Scooter, and Roboracer) loaded from the default savefile /MENUDATA/DEFAULT.LRS inside the LEGO.JAM archive.

In addition to the four racers that appear in-game, this file also contains seven unused duplicates of Roboracer, as well as two unseen drivers: Ken Eivel and Wagon Dragon (who also has a duplicate copy).

LegoRacers UnusedDrivers KenEivel.png LegoRacers UnusedDrivers WagonDragon.png

Startup Parameters

The executable allows some parameters when the game is started. If a bad parameter is passed at start-up, a window will pop up displaying the following:

  • novideo: disables video playback at the beginning of the game
  • window: runs application in a window
  • primary: force use of primary display dedvice
  • select3d: allows user to select 3D device
  • alphatrans: force use of alpha transparency
  • horzres <res>: set the desired horizontal resolution
  • vertres <res>: set the desired vertical resolution

Revisional Differences

There are two prints of the 1999 version, and a re-release in 2001 that had a few minor tweaks made to it. Firstly, the copy protection differs between the three versions. The later 1999 print had SafeDisc V1 copy protection (though some of the earliest prints lacked it for some reason), and you had to have the disc in the drive to run it. The 2001 version removed this, allowing the player to install the game and play it without the CD.

Secondly, the 1999 version had development code in it that allowed it to run with the uncompressed JAM archive (the game's resource file is called LEGO.JAM). The 2001 version removed this code, though why it didn't remove the shortcut remnants is beyond us.

Much like other early-2000s LEGO game revisions, the printed manual was excluded in favor of a PDF manual.

Trophies

The 1999 version awards the player a trophy on their character's license for every boss beaten. These go unused in the 2001 version, for reasons unknown.

LegoRacers Trophies.png

Loading Screens

The very early prints of the 1999 version had the loading screen map of Pirate Skull Pass extended to fill the entire screen, while the other maps had the artwork of the track itself in a small box with the same blue stud background as the other menus. The 2001 version makes this map fit the style of the rest of the other maps.

1999 2001
LEGO Racers - Pirate Skull Pass 1999.png LEGO Racers - Pirate Skull Pass 2001.png

Kart Physics

The 2001 version significantly altered the physics of the game, in the process, removing a central feature. The manual states that the placement and amount of bricks on a car will affect the car's balance. While this is fully functional in the 1999 release, the 2001 release completely disables it. This change in physics also results in the side-effect of being able to go up the back of the shortcut in Imperial Grand Prix, despite the track data being identical between releases. It is also of note that the Nintendo 64 and PlayStation versions lack this mechanic.

Miscellaneous Differences

  • The attract mode demo that plays while leaving the title screen idle for a set amount of time very rarely plays in the 2001 version.
  • During the introduction cutscene for Rocket Racer, Rocket Racer does not laugh when he says "...at the finish line!" in the 2001 version.
  • During Single, Versus, and Time races, the song that plays in a race will always be the same song regardless of how many times the same race is restarted in the 2001 version. The only way to get a different song is to abandon or finish the current race and start it again.
  • The sound for the warp turbo power-up is different between versions: The 1999 versions have the sound loop repeatedly until the power-up ends, and the 2001 version has the sound play only once, which is also the case for the console versions.

Oddities

In the PlayStation version, the Finnish translation seemingly misspells the word "Maalissa!" (Finish!) as "Aalissa!". This is however actually the result of an oversight, as it is spelled correctly in the text files. Each language has their own fonts which exclude any unnecessary letters, and the Finnish in-game font erroneously lacks the letter M.

(Source: Paulin Pelivideot)