Battle & Chase
is a well-known vehicle race where all of the participants are robots. The racers in this particular Battle & Chase
have various reasons for entering, ranging from getting the prize money to proving self-worth to stopping Dr. Wily from winning.
This is a rather simple 3-D racing game, modeled quite a bit after Mario Kart
although not quite possessing the same level of play control. The unusual aspect is it was never officially released in North America; it was only sold in Japan and Europe (PAL). It was, however, included as an unlockable in the X Collection
The races and controls are pretty straightforward. Each course is five laps. Course features include things such as zippers, dirt, ice, holes, mines (avoid these), giant Mets (shoot these), traffic cones (run over these), and normal-sized Mets (shoot or run over them).
Eliminating obstacles gains you points which, when you accumulate enough, activates your item box
. From there you can press
to stop the roulette and receive an item, then press
again to use it. You can only have one item at a time; while you’re carrying or using an item, any obstacles you run over do not give you points and are wasted.
Each racer has specific statistics (such as high acceleration, good turning, and so forth) and two special abilities unique to that racer (such as firing, jumping, etc.). All of these aspects can be “swiped” from opponent cars by defeating them in the Grand Prix mode and then taking parts off their cars. Which parts you steal and equip determine which special skills or stats you gain (for example, equipping Proto Man’s Wing part increases your top speed). For each race you win, you are allowed to take one part. You can race the same opponent more than once if you want more of his parts, but the difficulty increases with each successive victory, so be sure to take the most important parts first.
During the race you will notice an energy meter at the top of the screen. This is the power of your special weapon. When it is full, pressing will activate your racer’s secondary (generally more powerful) weapon or skill. If the meter is not full, pressing will execute the character’s primary (and generally weaker) attack or action. The meter fills automatically whenever you are not using , similar to charging, except you do not need to hold down to charge. Whenever you press , whether the meter was full or not at the time, the meter will empty out and must refill from the beginning again. Spinning out will also cause your meter to empty.
In the Grand Prix mode (the main one-player game), you can select which courses you race in which order. Each course has one main character opponent (from whom you can win parts) and usually a few extra fodder cars (such as Joes). There is, however, no real definite order to go in, because though you can get parts by winning races, there is no set pattern of “use this part on this course.” This is compounded by the fact that what racer you pick makes a big impact on what courses you’ll be suitable for at the beginning, since essentially what racer you use determines which parts you start the game with. For example, right out of the garage Roll is a good bet to take against Guts Man because Guts Man’s Mountain course is all hills and jumps and dirt, whereas Quick Man would have a tougher time there. Another thing to factor in is the decision of which part you take from each foe. The tires tend to make the biggest impact; most of the rest have little relevance to a particular course in question and more to do with your racing style.
Thus your best bet is to browse the parts list below and pick opponents according to what parts you want most, as well as what courses you already have the appropriate parts for.
The following list is not a suggested order, but does give you some details about each track so you know a little of what to expect. There is no substitute for practice, however, so you may wish to spend some time on the Time Trials mode familiarizing yourself with the courses before taking them on in the Grand Prix.
- City Course (Roll)
A paved track with some dirt along the sides, usually with zippers hidden in them. There is a steep incline here followed by a jump, and one small deceleration patch.
- Mountain Course (Guts Man)
Almost all hills and dirt. There is a paved track here, but if you can take shortcuts across the dirt without losing speed, you’ll come out ahead.
- Crystal Course (Shadow Man)
There is some ice and dirt here. As well as penguins (anyone want to guess what game they’re from?). If you have tires that drive more quickly on dirt, you can take a shortcut near the finish line and get a turbo boost to boot.
- Toy Factory Course (Spring Man)
If you drive over the buttons on the track, the panels on the floor shift characteristics, everything from ice to deceleration zones to zippers. Other racers can hit the buttons as well, but the tiles always cycle in the same order, so you can generally know what to expect. Obviously, in Time Trial just hit the buttons until you get the zippers and then avoid the buttons like the plague (if you’re using Napalm Man’s Engine you can quite literally be going at 600km/h the entire race once you get zippers). You do not want to leave the panels as zippers in Grand Prix; that helps your enemies as much as yourself. It’s better to slow down your opponents with deceleration zones or dirt and use appropriate Tires so that you don’t slow down much yourself.
- South Pole Course (Ice Man)
Lots of holes and ice. ’Nuff said.
- Ridge Course (Quick Man)
The water will slow you down slightly but it isn’t as bad as going over a deceleration strip. Still, try to stay out of it for maximum speed. There is also a good amount of dirt here.
- Arms Factory Course (Napalm Man)
Lots and lots of deceleration zones and conveyers. With some practice you can pick a path that will take you over the forward-moving conveyers and avoid the deceleration zones (unless you have Napalm Man’s Tires, then you can just drive over them with impunity).
- Street Course (Mega Man)
Mostly paved, with only a few dirt stretches and inclines. There are walls here which will slide from side to side if you strike them. A weapon that can be fired at a moment’s notice (i.e., without charging) to get a panel out of your way is handy.
- Sunset Course (Proto Man)
Another paved course with some patches of dirt mostly down the center of the track, and posts which spring up when someone drives over them. Pay attention to the signs on this one or you’ll end up going the wrong way.
- Base Course (Bass, appropriately enough)
Mostly paved with some walls that you can break through. Shooting them is preferable to smashing through them with your car, and thus a good weapon is handy here.
- Fortress Course (Dr. Wily)
A little bit (okay, a lot) of everything: paved track, deceleration zones, zippers, jumps, holes, ice, dirt, etc. Items are your friend on this track. They can literally mean the difference between victory and defeat.
- Sky Circuit (Two player / Time Trial only)
There are three Sky Circuit courses made for multiplayer. They are all very similar, consisting mostly of paved road interlaced with dirt.
- Space Course (Two player / Time Trial only)
This is the only course in the game where the entire track is solid, with no dirt, ice, or the like. There are a lot of slopes here, but very few sharp turns or mines, so high speed is the way to go.
Each character has two special skills which can be “borrowed” by taking and equipping that character’s Body part from their car. You cannot take the Body however until you’ve taken every other part (Engine, Wings, Tires) from that racer. The following lists weapons according to whom you take them from, with the primary weapon listed first and the secondary (charged) second. (Note: All statistics given for a racer of course relate to that racer’s initial equipment, and can vary greatly once you start swapping parts. All maximum speed listings are on paved track unless otherwise stated. They also only really apply for when you are using the racer yourself. Opponent cars in Grand Prix are faster or slower depending on the difficulty level.)
- Mega Man: Rush Roadstar (Max speed: 464)
“It’s regrettable, but...”
Mega Man is pretty much your average racer with balanced stats. His weapons are not entirely clever but are useful in most situations, so you really can’t go wrong with him.
- Mega Buster - Shoots small shots which can take out traffic cones and Mets (Hard Hats). The shots do not harm other racers, although they will deplete Wily’s shield. Useful for clearing out groups of obstacles for points. Some of the larger obstacles require more than one shot to destroy. You can have up to three shots on the screen at once.
- Charge Shot - Fires a larger sphere which can cause racers to spin out and can destroy larger obstacles such as the giant Mets with one hit. Like most of the charged shots in the game, this is not stopped by small obstacles—it will plow though as many as you can line up with one shot.
- Roll: Pop’N Beat (Max speed: 440 when in first place; 488 otherwise)
“That’s not fair! I can’t lose to you!”
Roll is one of the easier drivers to use. Her default parts give her amazingly good traction that doesn’t slow down on dirt, and she gets a speed burst whenever she’s not in first place. She can also jump a lot of the more annoying obstacles. Her biggest disadvantage is she starts the game with no long-ranged attack.
- Jump - The car jumps. Can be useful for clearing track features that you don’t want to drive over (such as deceleration zones, or pits). You do not lose speed while jumping (hint: jump repeatedly while in water or deceleration zones; you’ll go faster), and can control yourself in flight. It is impossible to jump off the track in this game; if you attempt to leave the course you’ll just ram into an invisible wall.
- Spin Attack - Jumps while spinning. Can knock other racers for a loop and destroy obstacles if you can manage to strike them bodily while spinning.
- Proto Man: Red Striker (Max speed: 512 (!))
“A famous game once said: ‘I wish you good luck.’”
Proto Man begins the game with his top speed maxed out to the extreme. With his shield in front of him there’s little he can run into that will stop him. As an added bonus he can also fire at things that get in his way. His biggest disadvantage is he’ll lose a lot of speed if he strikes an object (even traffic cones) while his shield is not covering the front of his car.
- Shield Body - This merely moves the shield on the user’s car. It is a toggle—the shield can either be in front or behind. Generally you’ll want to keep the shield in front, because then you can merely run over small Mets and cones for points without having to worry about losing speed. However, move the shield to cover your rear if there is another racer behind you—then any attacks they throw at your car from back there will bounce off the shield. You shouldn’t need to use this command much; put the shield where you like it and leave it there, allowing your weapon charge to be applied toward your secondary weapon.
- Proto Strike - Fires a large sphere that semi-homes in on things. Can take out obstacles and spin out racers, just like Mega Man’s Charge Shot. Something to watch out for is this will home in on racers only, not obstacles, so if you’re trying to hit that giant Met, you’ll have to aim yourself. (And if you see your shot curving off in a weird direction, it means there’s a racer over there.)
- Bass: Treble Darkstar (Max speed: 464)
Bass is a duplication of Mega Man in every way, parts and weapons and all.
- Bass Buster - Fires small shots, just like the Mega Buster.
- Bass Blast - Shoots a larger shot, just like Mega Man’s Charge Shot. Like all projectiles in the game, sometimes these don’t follow the track perfectly, meaning if you fire while going downhill your shot might go off into space, and if you fire while going uphill it could just smack into the track.
- Guts Man: Wild Arms (Max speed: 432 normally; 460 on dirt; 512 when going up or down hill)
“I won’t forget this! And I won’t forget you!”
Guts Man is almost too cheap. His most devastating weapon he doesn’t have to charge up for, and his default tires go faster uphill than on straightaways!
- Super Arm - Pressing will cause the arms on the car to raise and catch a boulder that drops from above. Pressing again will throw the boulder. You can take out obstacles with this and make other racers dizzy temporarily. Dizzy racers get birds circling their heads and have a hard time steering. Sometimes you will get a silver-colored boulder which, when thrown, shakes the entire course similar to the Earthquake attack below.
- Earthquake - When the meter fills, the arms on the car lift automatically. Pressing at this point will bring the arms down to slam into the ground. This attack causes all of the other racers to bounce slightly. It’s not nearly as damaging as striking them with a boulder, but you can hit people behind you this way.
- Quick Man: Sonic Formula (Max speed: 480)
“This is embarrassing! I mean, I’m Quick Man!”
Quick Man comes with absolutely no weapons. He depends purely on speed. However surprisingly he is not the fastest car in the game. In fact his default engine is described in the game as “maximum speed is not that great”...
- Slide Move - Press while hitting or on the control pad to cause the car to slide sideways. This can be used for quick maneuvers or to avoid obstacles, but it’s also just as good at hurling yourself into pits and other things that you’d just rather stay away from.
- Quick Turbo - A brief burst in speed. If you hit a wall or other obstacle while using this you’ll spin out. Note that it is possible to use a Slide Move immediately after a Turbo without canceling the Turbo. Also a Quick Turbo is essentially a miniature Power Nitro but without the invincibility—in fact, Turboing while Nitroing does absolutely nothing.
- Ice Man: Cool Mobile (Max speed: 480)
“I’ll pay you back double for this insult!”
Ice Man has two relatively useful attacks and can actually perform them both at the same time if his meter is full.
- Ice Pillar - Drops spike-shaped chunks of ice behind your car. These last a short while or until a racer runs into them. You can only have three on the track at once.
- Ice Slasher - Fires a shard of ice forward. If it hits other racers it will freeze them for a good number of seconds. Frozen cars continue moving forward but cannot steer. The ice will shatter early if they smack into an object however.
- Shadow Man: Shinobi Master (Max speed: 456)
“I blew it.”
Shadow Man is one of the few racers whose non-charged attack is arguably more useful than his charged.
- Shadow Blade - Chucks throwing stars forward. These things can go through entire groups of obstacles slicing them to bits. If a shuriken hits a racer it will “stick” to him and cause him to slow down for a few seconds. Only one Shadow Blade can be on the track at a time.
- Smoke Screen - Creates a large number of puffs of smoke behind the user’s car. This can be set off at the same time as throwing a shuriken in some cases.
- Napalm Man: Patriot Bomber (Max speed: 436 normally; 460 on dirt)
Napalm Man’s default tires actually drive faster on dirt roads than concrete. Go figure. His bombs are powerful but incredibly hard to aim.
- Mines - Drops mines behind the car that detonate after a few seconds or until something else hits them. Only two can be placed on the track at a time.
- Napalm Bomb - Hurls a bomb forward in an arc. It explodes when it lands. The explosion covers an area, but it is quite difficult to get the bomb to actually land where you want it to. Pressing on the control pad while firing will cause the bomb to go farther; pressing will make it fall shorter, just barely clearing the front of your car.
- Spring Man: Surprise Boxer (Max speed: 480)
“I feel vexed.”
This guy bounces off walls like nobody’s business. In fact you don’t want to be running into much of anything as Spring Man because you’ll ricochet all over the track. The South Pole course is a terror for Spring Man—it’s just too easy to boing yourself right into a pit.
- Turn Punch Body - Like with Proto Man’s shield, pressing when your meter is not charged will merely rotate the spring fists mounted on the car. The fists either face forward and backward, or left and right. They will cause your car to bounce off things if you hit from that side—for example, if you have the springs on the side and you ram the side of your car into a wall, you’ll bounce off. Leaving the springs to the side can allow you to take sharp corners by bouncing yourself off walls—you lose less speed this way than without the springs. However this can also very often make you feel like a pinball. Putting the springs in front and back generally alleviates this problem, although you can get yourself stuck against walls this way if you bang into them head-on, so caution is advised.
- Spring Attack - Pressing when your meter is charged will cause the car’s fists to shoot outward. This has potential to destroy obstacles and harm other racers, but since you have to hit with the disks themselves, it’s really hard to aim. Also another thing to watch out for is if the disks hit walls, they will bounce you the same as if you’d hit them physically—only in some cases, more so. You can guess what this means. Say hello to the bottom of that pit while you’re down there.
- Dr. Wily: Skull Machine (Max speed: 472)
“Forgive me. I’m not really bad, it’s just my name!”
As one would expect, Wily has outfitted himself with pretty much all of the best equipment, but he is not unbeatable, particularly when you start swiping parts from his car (yes you can do this! Just make sure you wait out the closing credits).
- Daggers - Throws four dagger-like projectiles forward in a formation that comes to a point a short distance ahead of you. Can destroy obstacles and knock racers for a loop. Some obstacles require more than one dagger to strike them in order to be destroyed however.
- Missile Bomb - Tosses a bomb into the air which always lands and explodes in front of your competitor (the main racer in normal matches; the other player in multiplayer; and you when Wily uses it against you). Like the daggers, these can bounce around other racers if they run into the blasts. Only one bomb can be active at a time; while it’s busy exploding you can’t use . If you’re racing against Wily, you can dodge his bombs by weaving back and forth; each explosion occurs slightly in front of you in the direction you were facing at the moment it appeared, so if you continue to change directions, you’ll dodge most or all of the blasts with relative ease.
- Duo: Hard Grandeur (Max speed: 568 (!!))
Note: To my knowledge the only way to play as Duo (outside of using a GameShark or something) is to buy the re-release of the Japanese version of the game (“Playstation the Best for Family”) or to find all of the Extra Parts (see below) in the English version (I haven’t yet tested this in the original Japanese).
- Fist Swipe - The fists on Duo’s car make an upward swiping motion. Almost no range, but if you hit someone, you’ll flip him into the air, which is quite amusing.
- Fists - When charged, Duo fires his car’s fists a short distance forward. This has little range as well but is a pretty powerful attack as it destroys giant Mets with one hit and can spin away opponents.
The items listed here are the actual parts you can steal from opponents’ cars. Unfortunately the game does not tell you what a part does until after
you take it, which makes it hard to pick which one to swipe. Thus, this list. Once again, parts are divided according to whom you win them from. (Note: In all cases, taking the Body off a car gives you that car’s two special skills/attacks that are executed using
. Those are detailed in the Weapons section, above
- Mega Man:
Rush Body - Mega Buster and Charge Shot
Twin Engine - Average speed and acceleration
Starter Wing - Enhances acceleration
All-Round Tire - Standard tires that are easy to control
Beat Body - Jump and Spin Attack
Follow Engine - Max speed increases automatically if you’re not in first place
Feather Wing - Enhances your cornering ability in a similar manner to Proto Man’s Sharp Tires. Combine the Feather Wing with the Sharp Tires and you’ll be able to cut almost every corner in the game.
Non-Drift Tire - Does not slow down on dirt; drifting is not possible (meaning you don’t skid when going around turns)
- Proto Man:
Shield Body - Shield and Proto Strike
L-Blow Engine - High top speed; low acceleration
Hi-Speed Wing - Increases maximum speed
Sharp Tire - Allows you to turn more sharply
Treble Body - Bass Buster and Bass Blast
Double Engine - Standard engine that is well-balanced
Accl. Wing - Increases acceleration
Almighty Tire - Despite their name, these are identical to Mega Man’s tires
- Guts Man:
Twin Arm Body - Super Arm and Earthquake
Slope Engine - Goes faster when going uphill or downhill than on level ground
Power Wing - Has great resistance to crashing
Press Tire - Faster on dirt road; allows you to drive over mines without spinning out
- Quick Man:
Turbo Body - Slide Dash and Quick Turbo
Dash Engine - Average max speed; good acceleration
Rocket Wing - Glows during the beginning of the race; during this time all abilities (max speed and so forth) are increased. Wears off after 50 seconds (60 in the PAL version). This Wing also helps you get a Rocket Start easier (the timing is not as strict if you’re using the Rocket Wing)
On-Road Tire - Goes faster on road but slows down extremely on dirt
- Ice Man:
Polar Body - Ice Pillars and Ice Slasher
Aurora Engine - Above-average top speed; very powerful brakes
Blizzard Wing - Enables you to maneuver when in the air (otherwise you just keep flying straight until you hit something)
Non-Slip Tire - Prevents you from spinning out when taking sharp turns on ice
- Shadow Man:
Ninja Body - Shadow Blade and Smoke Screen
Idaten Engine - Low top speed but decent acceleration
Hayate Wing - Special ability gauge fills up faster
Fuuma Tire - Recovers quickly from spins
- Napalm Man:
Full Metal Body - Mines and Napalm Bombs
Device Engine - Acceleration plates last longer when using this
Counter Wing - Increases by +1 the number of points you get for destroying obstacles
E-Guard Tire - Not affected by deceleration zones; faster on dirt roads
- Spring Man:
Turn Punch Body - Turn Punch and Spring Attack
Happy Engine - Good acceleration and top speed but slows down more than most when going uphill
Lucky Wing - Increases your chances of getting a good item from the roulette (this, of course, is subject to what the game creators considered to be “good” items)
Hopper Tire - Automatically jumps mines
- Dr. Wily:
Bone Head Body - It’s honestly called this!
Nova Engine - Once it reaches a speed of about 300 or so, it begins accelerating insanely quickly, putting you to your top speed in a matter of moments. You can use this to recover from minor bumps and spins—as long as you don’t fall below 300, you’ll regain max speed almost instantly.
Barrier Wing - Forms a barrier which makes the car invincible to attacks. However such attacks whittle away at the barrier and eventually it falls, making the car vulnerable again. (Note: the Barrier does not guard against Items, only attacks.)
Ultimate Tire - Immune to deceleration zones, ice, and mines, but slows down on dirt and water
Giga Fist Body - Two fist attacks
Final Engine - Seems to have normal acceleration and an insane top speed; does not lose speed going uphill
Maximum Wing - I haven’t figured out what the Wing does yet; it may attribute some to Duo’s amazing top speed
Supreme Tire - These are immune to dirt and mines, though vulnerable to ice and deceleration zones
- Extra Parts:
Hammer Body - Its non-charged attack swings a giant spiked ball on a chain around the car. Fully charged, it fires the spiked ball forward which explodes on impact and bounces all other cars slightly (similar to Guts Man’s Earthquake attack). The fully-charged attack can be thrown in any direction (even backward) by pressing the desired direction the control pad while firing. Hitting an opponent solidly enough with spiked balls can make him dizzy.
Retro Engine - Decent acceleration; high top speed. A reader reports you can tap the accelerator button for a speed boost, but I haven’t tried this yet personally.
Sky High Wing - Leaves the car every so often and tries to seek out your main competitor. If it finds him or her, the wing hovers over the enemy’s car and lifts it off the ground, eventually stopping it dead for a brief moment before the wing drops the enemy and returns to its owner.
Blade Tire - Normal tires with a twist: running the tires’ blades into an enemy car will slash its tires. This basically causes the other car to slow down and begin smoking for a few moments, similar to being hit with a Lightning Bolt or going over deceleration zones. In addition this messes up his steering something fierce until it wears off.
For a listing of Parts statistics see the Parts Guide
Naturally Battle & Chase
has a separate ending for every character. Most of them are not very elaborate, but the artwork is pretty nice and some of the endings are rather cute. The music is also quite good. And you just gotta love being able to swipe a part from Wily after the fact.
- Mega Man: Mega Man tries to give his prize money to Dr. Light for repairs on his computer, but the scientist has already repaired the computer himself. So they just throw a party in honor of Mega Man’s victory instead.
- Roll: While driving home from the race, Roll brakes to avoid hitting a dog and the trunk containing the prize money falls open, letting cash fly everywhere.
- Proto Man: Proto Man becomes a celebrity after winning the Battle & Chase. Restaurants start putting his face on signs with the text, “Proto Man’s favorite place!”
- Bass: Bass defeated Mega Man but decides he’s not satisfied. It was just a race; he wants to defeat Mega Man in a real battle. Ignoring Wily’s babbling over his communicator, Bass tosses the case holding the prize money into the sand and walks away.
- Guts Man: During the victory celebration Guts Man gets up to sing his favorite song and gets booed off the stage because he can’t sing. He ends up falling over right into the stack of Energy Tanks he bought with the prize money.
- Quick Man: After his victory Quick Man goes to find Battle & Chase’s previous champion, Turbo Man, to determine once and for all who is the fastest.
- Ice Man: Ice Man takes a vacation to the South Pole with the prize money and makes an ice sculpture of himself and Roll.
- Shadow Man: Using the prize money Shadow Man builds himself a little fortress on a cliff and offers 10 million Zennies to anyone who can successfully get through it.
- Napalm Man: Napalm Man builds a museum with the prize money but blows his top (quite literally) when a visitor complains that the museum is boring.
- Spring Man: Spring Man buys himself lots of items to make himself heavier but ends up over-doing it as he can hardly walk while wearing everything.