Cars stand for any vehicle installed or made for Re-Volt. According to the theme of the game, these vehicles are mostly toys controlled by a radio-frequency link (R/C or Radio-controlled) and are much smaller than common vehicles used to transport humans.
Cars are selected at the car selection screen after the player's name is entered at the Name Wheel, or during a play mode with the CHANGELING cheat code. They're stored in white rectangular boxes placed at the Frontend when they're not in use. Each car has an illustrative representation of their appearance at the box front commonly called box art, or carbox due to the bitmap file they're usually stored in the game's data folder (carbox1.bmp, carbox2.bmp and carbox3.bmp).
Cars are driven at the virtual places called tracks or levels. At the beginning of play mode, they're placed at the track's start grid and usually organized in two rows, or dispersed in the case of Lego tracks. During competitive play modes as the Single Race or the Championship, they have the ability to collect pickups through the level and use weapons against their opponents or for own benefit. Cars can be controlled by real players or by the CPU (artificial intelligence).
According to the game's background story, all R/C cars in Re-Volt are conscious and drive by their own.
Unlike the tracks, not all the files are required to be present in the car's folder, but only the Parameters.txt. Therefore, files can be placed at separated directories from that of the parameters, which is the case of the bitmap file of Trolley.
The 12 file types that compose a car are as follows:
- Parameters: The most important file of a car, the Parameters is a text file used to store several kinds of information about the vehicle, as the directories of the other files, coordinates and dimensions of models/parts, physics and effects, data about artificial intelligence, and so on. Besides that, this file is required so that the vehicle can be recognized by the game and loaded, as if a car doesn't contain a parameters file, the game ignores it and doesn't add it to the car selection screen nor select it as an opponent.
In some versions, a Carinfo.txt is used instead of Parameters.txt. Both work quite different from each other.
- Body: The outer shell of a car, as opposed to the chassis. It is the main structure of a vehicle frame excluding the extremities. Weapons effects circle all over this model when activated. There may be only one body model per car.
- Collision: The Collision (also called COL, Hull or Hul) is what permits the car's body to collide with other objects. The collision is saved as .hul files, and is used for the body only. Even if the collision file is not present, wheels will still have their own collision.
- Wheel: A circular model that rotates on its axis, making possible the movement of vehicles. Wheels collision are generated automatically, without the need of a .hul file. Cars can't move if wheels are not present, however, wheels can be invisible, as Probe UFO's. There may be a maximum of four models per car, being them separated between visible parts (mesh) and collision/physical parts. A few tricks using the offsets 1 and 2 in parameters can enable more visible wheels to be added to a car, two examples being BurnRubr's and Manmountain's Wardog and Hi-Ban's Scorcher 6x6.
- Texture page: Also called as TPAGE, is a bitmap file, usually saved as .bmp. It is the image projected on the surface of the models of a car. Only one texture can be used per car, however, RVGL enables the use of various skins selected through the Car Selection Screen.
- Antenna: The usual antenna seen in real R/C cars used to to receive command signals from the controller. Antennas (called aerials in the parameters) are build by two kind of models: The main section (SecModel) and the top (TopModel). The top of the antenna uses a single model, while the antenna's section (bottom) use instances of the same model, stacked on top of each other until form the whole section. An antenna is fixed in the car's body, and usually is very flexible, moving around according to the car's movements. There may be only one antenna per car.
- Axle: A bar or beam, connecting the opposite wheels of a vehicle, on the ends of which the wheels revolve. In Re-Volt, an axle is divided into two parts and placed at the both sides of the vehicle to form the entire axle. These halves are individually referred to as axles, being them axle models. One extremity of an axle is targeted to the center of their respective wheels, lifting along with them while the car is suspended in the air or landing after a jump, while the other is fixed in the determined offset. There may be a maximum of four models per car.
- Spring: A long model which visually acts like axles. Springs control the suspension system of a vehicle. There may be a maximum of four models per car.
- Pin: A tiny object that goes inside the springs of a car. RC Bandit and Evil Weasel are the only stock vehicles that use this kind of model. There may be a maximum of four models per car.
- Spinner: A rotating object that can be placed anywhere in a vehicle. There may be only one spinner model per car.
- Texture of the box art: A bitmap file of the image stamped in the front of the box of the car in Frontend. These images are stored in the Frontend directory in three bitmap files (carbox1.bmp, carbox2.bmp and carbox3.bmp). Custom box art can be added by using ;)TCARBOX line in Parameters.txt, which is a feature supported only by Re-Volt 1.2 and RVGL.
- Texture of the shadow: A bitmap file of the image placed at the car's bottom, acting as its shadow. It must have inverted colors to work properly (white will become black in game). Car shadows are stored in a bitmap file inside the "gfx" folder (shadow.bmp, placed in "cars/misc" in RVGL. For custom cars, a square shadow is displayed by default. Custom shadows can be added by using ;)TSHADOW line in Parameters.txt, which is a feature supported only by Re-Volt 1.2 and RVGL.
- Engine sound The sound that the car engine produces. Varies between "moto.wav" and "petrol.wav", which are located in the "wavs" folder. Probe UFO and Clockwork uses unique engine sounds. Custom engine sound can be added by using ;)SFXENGINE line in Parameters.txt, which is a feature supported only by RVGL.
Controls and Functions
- Main article: Controller Configuration Menu
Re-Volt cars have very basic controls, being similar to real life R/C cars. Only four buttons in the controller are needed to properly control the car during the playmode, with the functions to throttle (accelerate), reverse, steer to the left and steer to the right. They do not have advanced technical properties (as gears for instance), although the paralysis of the cars during the countdown at the start of the race gives the impression that a parking brake could exist.
Other essential functions are the flip and reposition. The flip car function is used when the vehicle turns upside down, literally to flip it back with the wheels directed to the floor. The reposition function makes the car fade out and reappear in the center of the racing line, after getting lost or stuck somewhere.
In Battle Tags, the reposition button is used for jumping instead. By many players the jump is considered inefficient due the aerial spins the car makes, but still is useful for dodging certain obstacles and weapons.
There's also the fire function, used to activate weapons that racers get in the inventory. This function is not used when pickups are turned off in the Options Menu.
Cars also contain a horn. It sounds like similarly to a squeeze horn and can be used during any play mode. The horn is most used during Multi-Player sessions and rarely used by someone playing in single player modes.
The horn is not used by cars controlled by a CPU.
- Main article: Rating
Rookie rating cars generally have slow speed and easy control, while Pro cars are more advanced than others, possessing higher top speed and acceleration.
Ratings decide in which group of cars the player will race with, as they can race only against cars of the same rating or lower, and never with higher ratings.
- Main article: Class
The cars also have different engine classes. There are three types in the game, which are: Electric, Glow and Special. These do not affect the cars' driving abilities, but make them produce different engine sounds during the race.
Electric-powered cars tend to be mostly from the Rookie and Amateur ratings, but is common to have electric cars in higher ratings, as the same as Glow class cars which are typically the higher-ranked cars but there may also be glow cars in lower ratings.
The Special class makes the car produce a vibratory sound. Probe UFO is the only car able to produce this sound, while other cars with the special engine produce the Glow sound instead.
There's also the clockwork engine, which is not listed or displayed in the Car Selection Screen. As the special class, only one car is able to produce this sound, which is the Clockwork from Clockwork Carnage.
- Main article: Drivetrain
The group of components that deliver power to the driving wheels, referred in the Car selection screen as "Trans" (transmission). There are three different types: Four-wheel Drive (4WD), Rear-wheel Drive (RWD) and Front-wheel Drive (FWD). 4WD delivers power for all the wheels, giving the car more power and higher acceleration. RWD delivers only for the real wheels, and FWD for the front wheels.
Drivetrains may give extra challenge for the players, as they drastically affects the handling of cars. 4WD cars are preferred by most due to the easier and stable control, and is the most seen type of drivetrain.
- Main article: Car Selection Screen
Each car's racing abilities are measured in the Car Selection Screen by horizontal bars defining their qualities in three fields: Speed, Acceleration, and Weight. Speed stands for the vehicle's top speed, Acceleration for the time to reach the top speed, and Weight for the body mass. In RVGL and Re-Volt 1.2, Speed and Acceleration can be calculated automatically via the Calculate Car Stats mode.
- Main article: Car types
Over time, were discovered ideas of cars that were abandoned in the developmental period of the game and never included in any version. These are also considered Re-Volt cars.
Re-Volt Wiki categorizes the known Re-Volt cars as follows:
- Standard: The main playable 28 R/C cars in Re-Volt that form a major part of Re-Volt game play, commonly seen in any version of the game.
- Console: Additional cars originally included in the Playstation version, and later added to the Dreamcast version with improved quality and two more cars, summing fourteen cars in total. Later, these cars were also included in Re-Volt Classic (the iOS, SmartTV and Android ports of the game).
- Special: Cars included in the game, but that are used for different purposes than the main game play.
- Unreleased: Unfinished or abandoned cars that were not included in any version of the game.
- Main article: Custom Cars
Better known as Custom Cars, these cars are any that weren't shipped with Re-Volt, that is, they were added only after the game installation. The term "custom" is most related to content made by fans and conversions from other games or softwares.
There is a variety of categories of custom car types, rated according to the kind of editions or modifications in the creation.
Cars have an unlock method that can be achieved by winning the different playmodes available in the game, and then be selected in the car selection screen. The four modes where cars are unlocked are Single Race, Championship, Time Trial and Practice.
Cars can also be unlocked via cheat codes, modifications in the game files, or by using certain Exe Flags, but for someone who is trying to win the game in a honest way, these methods are illegal. These are also the only methods to unlock Special Cars. Usually custom cars are not locked, but this depends on the author's will.
- Main article: Re-Volt Tools
With the popularity of custom cars growing, gradually, tools and softwares were appearing to facilitate the work of car creators. Some popular tools are as follows:
- Rv Car Studio (software for editing parameters and for previewing cars)
- prm2hul (tool for automatic generation of .hul files)
- Autoshade (used for automatic shading)
- TMMCC (used to break the limit of how much cars can be installed in the game)
References and notes
- "Readme" file on Re-Volt Demos: 1.5 Background Story
- Parameters contain sections called AXLE 1, AXLE 2... Which implies that each part is treated as one axle.
- Sum all the times that the word "ModelNum" appears in a parameters file.
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