LEGO Racers (Windows, Nintendo 64, PlayStation)
Developer: High Voltage Software
This game has unused areas.
LEGO Racers is a LEGO-themed kart racer, with the main plot focusing on beating Rocket Racer, supposedly the greatest racer ever.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here is the first power-up which is completely inaccessible. It is under a hill and impossible to reach.
This is the other inaccessible power-up, in the center of the image.
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.
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 out the number of green bricks on the track. There is no evidence it was part of a different shortcut, as it appears to be directly under the middle of the path of the final shortcut.
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 and was largely unchanged, the rocks and hills can still be seen in the final version of the track. The screenshot shows the original shortcut with a pool of water enclosed by two walls with obelisks at the end of each wall. It's interesting to note that the power-ups were crystals instead of bricks early in development. The shortcut features a red, blue and green crystal on the water and one last green crystal near Basil's car. There is also a white crystal on the road to the left.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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- To do
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