||By David Guardino / BEELZABUB!
Rush 2049 Tournament Edition or TE is a superior game compared to the original version. In TE they made something special. It boasts more difficult handling, no abort cheats, a new race timer, new vehicles, and new tracks; basically a whole new feel.
The TE edition was an upgrade kit for the original Rush 2049. Midway games was starting to get into nation-wide arcade to arcade cash tournaments for there golf game 'SKINS' and the upgraded version of TE 2049. They generally held weekly tournaments on two different tracks with cash prizes for the top five times.
Team RUSH was based at Atari games in Northern California but owned by Midway out of Chicago. They tested TE exclusively at 7 or 8 locations in Northern California, 1 location in Southern California and at least 3 locations in the Chicago area. (I only race at Starbase.)
The owner of Starbase, Video Bob, has had an ongoing personal and business relationship with Atari, especially the RUSH team. They videotaped all our races for months to see if we could find any glitches. We did, and they were eventually changed to make the game better. Unfortunately after 9 months of testing and tweaking Midway and Atari cancelled their coin-operation games division, thus ending the worldwide release of TE. Midway wanted all the TE hard drives back from the test locations. But, with a lot of arm-twisting and pleading they allowed 3 locations, Starbase being one of them, to keep TE forever.
No More Abort Cheats
One of the best things Atari did in designing TE is eliminate all the abort cheats. Aaron Hightower, who was lead programmer for the RUSH team, made it when you hit ABORT you got put back on the track almost exactly where you aborted. If doesnt matter if you wait for the game to put you back on the track as opposed to hitting the abort right away, it is the same. In fact if you are running a super fast time the abort can actually send you backwards on some tracks.
Harder To Drive
They tweaked the handling of the vehicles whether you were in tournament mode or not. Aaron wanted to make the extreme handling more like the extreme handling on the first RUSH game 'Rush the Rock', in other words, a lot more difficult. Top speed remains the same, but the rear end of the cars on TE is a lot looser and more difficult to control than the original 2049. They also adjusted the mass of the cars on TE, making the cars a little heavier. This stops the cars from (self-correcting) themselves so dramatically when you take jumps or got air like they do on original 2049. You really have to keep both hands on the wheel most of the time on TE especially on jumps.
More Accurate Time Tracking
They added a new game and race timer. It keeps track of your race times down to the thousandth of a second as compared to a hundredth of a second on original 2049. They also moved the location of the checkpoint timer to the middle of the screen so it is easier to see. They added a very cool feature to the end of lap checkpoint it tells you how much faster or slower than the first place car you are.
TE not only keeps track of your best lap time, but it also keeps track of your best time for each lap. Your lap time turns green if it is your fasted time ever for that lap. If you dont finish the race though, it doesnt save the time.
Coin Collecting For The Bored
They added a glitch to the coin-game that makes it possible to keep collecting coins up to over a 100,000 as compared to the 1,000 in the original 2049. You still dont get any extra cars for more 100 coins.
Track 6 and Track 7
The very best thing about TE 2049 is the addition of Tracks 6 and 7. They were available only as tournament tracks. Atari hired 2 programmers that designed the tracks on Atari and Midway's Nintendo 64's 'RUSH across America' game. Both Track 6 and 7 are designed to be hard-core road tracks. They make T5 look easy! In fact the fastest times posted in tournament were driven on the ADVANCED handling not the EXTREME!
They are so well designed that you have to drive a different path on every lap. T6 had the STV insignia's placed at certain areas on the track to be driven over and open up the next short cut. If you missed one, any chance of a good race time was eliminated. T6 and T7 had elements from the tracks on N64 'RUSH across America' and track's 3 and 6 from 'Rush the Rock' arcade racing game.
With the demise of the Coin-op division, tracks 6 and 7 have never been unlocked for normal play!
New Vehicles For Tournament Racing
They added 4 new vehicles, with 4 paint jobs each, that you could only obtain by collecting (tournament only) miles. Atari added a separate odometer that keeps track of the miles you gained when racing tracks for tournament times. These cars are only available for racing in tournaments and not normal play.
Of the two weekly designated tournament tracks one was always either T6 or T7. A lot of the time they had T6 and T7 both open as the tournament tracks. I had driven over 29,000 tournament miles (more than anyone) by the time Midway pulled the plug on TE. I had opened all 4 of the new cars, and 14 of the 16 new paint jobs that are unique to TE.
Car 1: A Low-rider 1999 Chevy Short-bed 1/2-ton Pick-up. (Very cool but very big vehicles).
3,000 (TE miles) Aquamarine and plain looking.
4,000 (TE miles) Yellow with Blue and White striping on the sides.
5,000 (TE miles) Orange with Red striping and a 'Team Rush' painted on the side.
6,000 (TE miles) Royal Blue with White and Aqua striping with a bed full of woofers that work.
Car 2: F1 McClaren (Nice small cars).
7,000 (TE miles) Teal and Green colored and basically plain looking.
8,000 (TE miles) Yellow with White striping.
9,000 (TE miles) Orange with Red striping.
10,000 (TE miles) Cream Blue with White and Red striping.
Car 3: 1930's Ford T-Bucket Roadster (Nice small cars also).
11,000 (TE miles) Teal and Red.
12,000 (TE miles) Yellow and Blue.
13,000 (TE miles) Royal Blue with White striping.
14,000 (TE miles) Emerald Green with Blue and Black striping, this one was smaller than the other Roadsters and had a side-pipe exhaust system
Car 4: The Low-rider Cadillac (Huge cars even bigger than the muscle cars or the trucks)
20,000 (TE miles) Shiny Black.
25,000 (TE miles) Dark Green and very plain, no stripes or emblems.
TE Is The Best!
If you ever want to try it out, make a trip to Starbase Arcade in Marin County just north of San Francisco. The roster and quality of racer is second to none here at the Base. If you have any questions or want to know about something in more detail leave a post on the message board that brother Dave AKA WHY? has provided all us die-hards racers with.
David S. Guardino AKA BEELZABUB!