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Proto:Gran Turismo 5/Gran Turismo 5 Time Trial Challenge

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This is a sub-page of Proto:Gran Turismo 5.

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The Gran Turismo 5 Time Trial Challenge is an early build that was released on December 17, 2009. This build of the game was used directly in conjunction with the 2009 GT Academy competition, which is a competition where players compete against each other in a time trial around a course to get the best time on the online leaderboards.

Compiled on December 11, 2009, this build of the game predates the final release by almost a year. The build borrows heavily from Gran Turismo 5 Prologue such as reusing the same user interface elements, music, sound effects and other characteristics, but this build is where the game finally begins to break away from the existing codebase. Weighing in a just a little over 300 megabytes, this build does not contain much content at all, let alone any unused content, but the content contained within is enough to piece together an idea about the current stage of development for the game at the time if its release.

General Analysis

  • This build uses the 2009 codebase of the game, which can be also seen in the GamesCom 2009 build and the Tokyo Game Show 2009 build. While the codebase is still heavily carried over from Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, new formats are introduced into this build, such as updated formats for cars and courses that is incompatible in older builds of the game and with the aforementioned title, as well as the employed usage of XML files for customizing and configuring various aspects of the build.
  • There is not much content at all in this build, and the only playable content requires a connection to PlayStation Network.
  • Almost all of this build's graphical assets can be found as unused leftovers in the final game.
  • As aforementioned, music and sound effects are carried over from Gran Turismo 5 Prologue.

User Interface

General UI & Top Menu

Prototype Final

Here in this build, the top menu has been changed from Gran Turismo 5 Prologue and is finally starting to resemble the final game's top menu. However, there are still some noticeable differences:

  • Menu UI sound effects are the same as those used in Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, and by extension, Gran Turismo HD Concept.
  • There is some text that serves as an introduction to the player and informs them about the limited content that is featured in the build.
  • The icons used on the Top Menu are higher-resolution assets of those used from the PSP spinoff title.
  • The selection cursor has no glow effect in this build; a blue glow effect was added to the cursor in the final.
  • There is no display of the time or date, presumably due to the limited intended usage of this build, or that it may not have been re-implemented yet.
  • The GT Academy icon (which changes appropriately depending on the region of the build) is displayed on the top left corner of the screen. Button prompts are displayed on the top right of the screen; no button prompts can be seen on the top menu in the final game.
  • The copyright text is displayed in the center-bottom of the Top Menu screen in this build, right under the icons. It was shifted to the top left corner of the screen and also stylized in the final game.
  • There are only five icons available to select from on the Top Screen. The first two icons, Events and Rankings, require the player to be signed in to PlayStation Network in order to access. Because this build is no longer playable on consoles running official firmware due to the content expiration date and the online services have long since been decommissioned, it is impossible to play any gameplay content in this build.
  • There is only a single scene that is displayed on the Top Menu, which is described in more detail below.

Top Menu Scene


The one and only scene that is displayed on the Top Menu in this build was actually carried forward into the final game (it is used as the scene that welcomes a player who has started playing the game for the first time with a new save game file), but there are some differences to this scene in this build:

  • Two avatars can be seen walking out of the garage. Only one avatar was used for the scene in the final game.
  • Not only can two avatars be seen, but the scene also features the only two cars that are featured in the build. The cars are parked in the pit lane while the characters on-screen interact with them and each other. No cars can be seen parked in this scene in the final game.
  • Different camera angles are used to accommodate the additional elements in the scene, such as the two avatars and the cars parked in the pit lane.
  • The scene has a slightly longer duration by a few seconds compared to the scene used in the final game.

Files for this scene can be found in the final version of the game, and if enabled or loaded, the scene will play correctly as-is, but one of the cars will be missing due to missing files and no registration in the game's databases. If on Version 2.06 or higher, however, this scene will work correctly due to one of the cars that was added in that version using the same internal name as defined on the scene's script.

Pre-Race Screen

Prototype Final
  • This screen is different, still mostly borrowing its layout from Gran Turismo 5 Prologue but with different icons and other UI design elements. The leaderboards for Time Trial will only appear once a time has been registered by the player, unlike in the final version where the leaderboards are always visible, even if there are no times registered yet.
  • The UI will fly out of view after ten seconds of inactivity.
  • The music that plays during this screen is the same as the track used in Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, and by extension, Gran Turismo HD Concept.
  • It is possible to save replays after a race in this build, including best lap and ghost replays, which can be later viewed by accessing the Replay option from the Top Menu.

In-Game and Heads-Up Display

Prototype Final
Prototype Final
  • The HUD is the same, if not identical, to the layout used in Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, including the placement of the vehicle status indicator cluster in the bottom-right corner and the G-Force indicator on the bottom-left corner of the screen while in certain camera modes. These elements were relocated and changed around in the final version of the game.
  • There are only three accessible camera views while in-game, which are the Bumper, Interior, and Chase camera views. The Roof camera view, despite being present in previous titles, is not accessible here, but it was added in the final version of the game.
  • While driving in the bumper camera view, the recommended gear indicator will only display once the player reaches the braking point for a corner, which may make it difficult for players relying on the indicator to drive their vehicle. In any other camera view, the recommended gear functions as normal, and will display ahead of time what gear the player should be on for the next corner. This was fixed in the final version of the game.
  • There are no skid mark graphical effects produced by vehicles yet, a characteristic still carried forth from Gran Turismo 5 Prologue. Tire skid sound effects are identical to the final version's sound effects, however.
  • Sound balancing is noticeably different in this build while in-game.
  • Players only have the option to resume, restart or quit the current race when the game is paused. No settings can be changed and no HUD elements can be configured while paused in this build.


As aforementioned, with the build only weighing in at roughly 300 megabytes in size, there is not much content contained within. Only two cars feature in the build, which are the Nissan 370Z (Normal Car) and the Nissan 370Z (Tuned Car). Only a single course, which is Indianapolis - Road Course, is found in the build as well. The content is inaccessible due to the build requiring a connection to PlayStation Network and the online services, which is no longer possible.

Arcade Mode


Hidden within the game's script files is a rather rudimentary implementation of "Arcade Mode". This simple-yet-functional menu screen is similar in layout to the one that is used in the PSP spinoff title, but is obviously lacking a lot of elements and polish. Despite its basic design, it is fully functional and it is possible to start a race using this menu. There are a few quirks about it, though, which is a given due to the fact that it's both hidden and unused:

  • The third panel is blank, because it is meant to display a thumbnail of the course that has been selected.
  • The second and third panels are normally supposed to display images of the car/course that the player selected, but the piece directory in this build's files does not contain the course_img_xx nor car_thumb sub-directories that the script calls for.
  • Three modes of play are selectable, those being Single Race, Time Trial, and Drift Attack. The former does not work in this build due to the game databases not having any AI opponent cars registered, but the latter two are fully functional.
  • There are what appear to be six playable vehicles in the Car Select section, but there are only actually two. The other four entries in the list appear as duplicates due to the way the entries are internally named on the game databases.
  • The only selectable list of vehicles is from the "PS3 Garage" section, but when looking inside the script itself, there is actually another (not present) section named "PSP Garage", which, as its name implies, would have allowed the player to select a vehicle from their garage with data imported from the PSP spinoff title. It is unknown if this functionality can be restored, and even if it could be, there still is no data for vehicles that are present on both the PSP spinoff title and this build.
  • The Course Select will display a course's internal name instead of its label.
  • There is no code in the script for background music, so if background music was playing before entering this screen, it will continue to play until the music ends. If returning from a race back to this screen, there will be no music.
  • No sound effect plays when exiting this screen, and there is also no code to return the player back to the Top Menu, essentially soft-locking the game; the game will need to be exited/soft-reset at this point.

Regional Differences

Graphical Assets

The icon and emblems that are featured on the cars is different depending on the region of the build; it was released in three different regions, each having their own unique emblem.

These can be seen on the posters used to select the cars for the Time Trial Challenge event:

Asia Europe North America


The only two cars to feature in the build have different internal names depending on the region, meaning that there are six separate entries in the databases despite the fact there are only two cars in the build. The entries used will depend on the build's region:

Car Internal Name (AS) Internal Name (EU) Internal Name (US)
Nissan 370Z _370z_08 _370z_08_eu _370z_08_us
Nissan 370Z /Tuned _370z_08_t _370z_08_t_eu _370z_08_t_us

There is also leftover strings and entries in the database for the Nissan Fairlady Z '08 alongside its internal ID, fairlady_z_st_08, suggesting that the 370Zs featured in the build used this car as a base. The car itself is not present in the build.