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The TDR Diary


Nerd Koopa's picture
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The TDR Diary
#1 Submitted: Thu, 31/10/2013 - 13:22

The TDR Diary

I've made it my mission to play through the entirety of Carmageddon TDR 2000 in order to determine once and for all if it has any redeeming qualities. I'm also looking for some sort of personal conclusion on the matter. I'll be documenting the entire experience on this topic with screenshots, comments, analyzing and stats.

About The Game

If I remember correctly, I got my copy around 2005. For reasons that I can't recall, I never played it past Hall of Fame. It's been sitting in my game shelf ever since. This will change now!
As you can see, it did not come with a physical manual. The manual is just a PDF file on the disk.

I found it strange that this "Sold Out Software" version comes with the Nosebleed Pack cars, but not the tracks. 1920's and Hell are missing in action. I guess it's the Nosebleed Patch and not Pack, as indicated by the Carmageddon Wiki.
After testing that everything runs as it should, I put the difficulty on Sunday Driver (hey, I never said that I was good at these games) and started my adventure. Let's see if Torus Games knew at all what they were doing.

Part 1. Hollowood

Here we go! The first level! It's pretty much as I remembered it from all those years ago. After beating Carmageddon 2, this place feels very small. It feels like it's less than half the size of Beaver Woods. However, it is quite colorful and there's a lot going on. A stunt track, studios, a haunted house set, a western set, a water set, a city set and two small restaurants. As a first level to get the player familiar with the controls and gameplay mechanics, it's all right.

As I mess around in free ride mode, I start to notice the changes to the vehicle physics. It all feels a lot sharper, almost arcade-y. Turning is sharper, stopping is quicker, everything happens faster. The looseness and floatiness of Carma 1 and 2 is nowhere to be found. It's decent for what it is, but it doesn't feel like Carmageddon. It feels more like early Need For Speed games.

I stumble upon an Explosive Pedestrians powerup, and to my dismay it has been turned into a powerDOWN. In Carma 2 it made peds splatter even on light impact, but here it makes them actually explode, lifting your car a little. Not good. However, I quickly notice that the effect times of powerdowns like Hot Rod, Bouncy Bouncy and Greased Tires have been reduced greatly, so I guess that's nice.

Once change that I kinda like are the provocative pedestrians. Some of them throw ineffective Molotov cocktails at you and some of them even stick out their butts at you and smack them! That said, the ones with actual grenades can go straight to hell. Oh wait... Hell is missing here... Crap.

Race 1: The Boulevard
Attempt: 1
Fastest lap: 1:26
Fastest time completed: 8:40
Fastest opponent waste: 2:02
Fastest waste all opponents: 8:40
Most peds wasted: 61

I start to notice that the peds are way harder to kill than in Carma 1 and 2. They die only if you hit them at very high speeds, or splatter them against solid objects. Otherwise they just lose a limb or two and carry on. It gets a bit irritating when you have to really commit to killing a single pedestrian. Also, only two to three seconds of extra time for killing a single ped? What a ripoff! Carma 1 and 2 give at least 15 seconds!

Mission 1: Send in the Sharks
Attempt: 3
Fastest time completed: 5:28
Most peds wasted: 10

This took three restarts because of that damn first bomb part in the mine entrance. At first I didn't even see the giant gap in front of the entrance, so down I went! After a few fruitless recoveries I had to restart, only to repeat the same mistakes over again.
When I tried this mission for the first time way back in the day, I remember the bomb getting stuck on top of the car after I tried to deploy it in front of the computer room doors. That sheer moment of pure "OH SHIT" is something that I associate with this mission to this very day.

Race 2: The Studio Tour
Attempt: 1
Fastest lap: 2:06
Fastest time completed: 12:07
Fastest opponent waste: 3:51
Fastest waste all opponents: 12:07
Most peds wasted: 16

This is the point where I notice how hitting opponents gives only about one or two extra seconds, no matter how hard you hit them. Again, Carma 1 and 2 give a lot more time. Even wasting an opponent gives only about a minute more. This combined with the very small ped kill time bonuses and checkpoints now giving extra 12 seconds, I find myself racing more than I did in the other games. That doesn't seem very Carmageddon-like...
Also, the wheels on some opponents are very wobbly. You know how Interstate '76 looks like when played without CPU clamping? It's a little like that. Does anyone know how to fix this?

Mission 2: Pop the Sucker
Attempt: 1
Fastest time completed: 4:22
Most peds wasted: 1

Default underwater physics feel like the Underwater Ability powerup from previous games. I don't mind this change, but this mission is still a bit slow if you try to chase the animatronic shark in the water.

Race 3: Hall of Fame
Attempt: 1
Fastest lap: 2:55
Fastest time completed: 12:24
Fastest opponent waste: 0:33
Fastest waste all opponents: 12:24
Most peds wasted: 29

This is where I realize one of the game's greatest weaknesses compared to the other titles. Wasting opponents feels really unsatisfying! The sheer joy of hurling a big lump of metal against another lump of metal and watching the weaker one crumble and explode is just GONE. There's no feeling of mass and energy. The boby panels feel like cardboard. Cars just sort of shatter with a gutless whimper. It's like toppling a house of cards by farting on it. Compared to 1 and 2 it all just feels so... Gutless. Watered down. Soulless. In most other driving games the damage physics would be ok, but not here. Not in Carmageddon.

Mission 3: Going Ape
Attempt: 1
Fastest time completed: 3:30
Most peds wasted: 9

A rather simple "get 3 things" mission. I've seen videos of the missions, so I knew how to get the last tricky fuse on the rock formation. Seeing a giant animatronic gorilla taking down a wall is one of the wackiest things I've seen in a video game. So far I've had more fun with TDR's missions than I ever did with Carmageddon 2's missions, which is a bit of a surprise.

And that concludes Part 1! Comments and constructive critisism are welcome. Stay tuned for Part 2: The Slums!

Edited by: Nerd Koopa on 17/06/2014 - 12:30

Stuck on a bumper

stygimoloch's picture
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Submitted: Fri, 01/11/2013 - 00:11

Good read. One thing I will say for TDR is that while the damage and wasting aren't as satisfying, I find the duels more tactically engaging than in Carma 2. Obviously neither of them are a patch on Carma 1, but to me TDR's duels generally have a bit more rhythm and dance to them than Carma 2 and a bit more of a feel that you're trying to outmanoeuvre the other vehicle.

And while the missions are better than Carma 2's, they're still pretty shite :P

Espyo's picture
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Submitted: Fri, 01/11/2013 - 11:33

I'm liking it so far! And you did raise an interesting point I haven't thought about before: C2's missions vs CTDR's. As a guy that loved the C2 missions (one of a kind!), I can easily see how most people would prefer CTDR's. I guess that's another positive point for the game, out of all the negative ones.

I'm Espyo from the Carmageddon Wiki!
I'm currently working on a Pikmin fan engine.

Nerd Koopa's picture
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Posts: 32
Submitted: Tue, 17/06/2014 - 12:33

Part 2: Slums

Ah, now THIS feels much larger! *cough* that's what she said *cough* Might not be as big as Beaver City, but it sure is close. I'm really starting to like the creative map screens. First the tourist sign from Devil's Salami, now this police issued map with notes and burnt edges. It gives me that "barely survived artifact from past" -feel.

The level itself doesn't look bad either. The crumbling buildings, collapsed highway and red sky create an interesting contrast with the lively streets, colorful hologram signs and the green grass and trees. You get the sense that the place is in a state of slow recovery after the nukes. You don't see that often in games. It's usually either "everything is fine" or "everything has gone to shit".

I noticed something interesting about the opponent wheel wobble issue that I mentioned earlier. When they have raced for a while, their wheels seem to sort themselves out. On some vehicles hitting them is enough to magically fix that wacky camber. How very peculiar...

I also stumbled upon a Bad Gas powerup. The fart noises and thick green clouds got a chuckle out of me. I'm such a child.

Race 1: Slummer Time Blues
Attempt: 1
Fastest lap: 2:52
Fastest time completed: 17:20
Fastest opponent waste: 2:28
Fastest waste all opponents: 17:20
Most peds wasted: 67

The Carmageddon games are the only racing games that I know of where you can actually overshoot jumps (unless you count TrackMania). In most other games track jumps are designed with full throttle in mind. The broken freeway sections sure cost me a lot of credits. A turn right after a big jump? Seriously?

Mission 1: Slum Like It Hot
Attempt: 1
Fastest time completed: 4:11
Most peds wasted: 2

Almost didn't make it to the radio tower because I had to stop to stare at the map for a good while. The million-point turn to unstuck the Eagle on the roof didn't help much. Remember when I told about the bomb getting stuck on the car in Send in the Sharks? Well, it happened again. The feeling of "OHSHITGETOFFGETOFFGETOFF" was familiar indeed. I really need to remember to move backwards whenever I launch that thing. It doesn't make for a good hood ornament.

Race 2: Sewer Rats
Attempt: 1
Fastest lap: 2:51
Fastest time completed: 13:58
Fastest opponent waste: 4:17
Fastest waste all opponents: 13:58
Most peds wasted: 20

This race sure gets generous with Kangaroo On Command powerups. I guess you need a little help to get out of the canals. The lower parts of the sides are the worst. If you back into it with the Eagle, it is guaranteed to get hopelessly stuck from its rear. I really hope Reincarnation will have some sort of "light nudge" button, so that you don't have to spend credits every time you get stuck on a tiny piece of map geometry.

Mission 2: Traffic Jam
Attempt: 5
Fastest time completed: 3:29
Most peds wasted: 9

This mission... This goddamn mission... After four attempts of getting stuck, weapons doing no damage and running out of time, I was pissed. Seriously, 2% health left on an opponent, and a Slaughter Mortars and hard hits do NOTHING?! Bullshit! It was time to whip out the big guns. I filled my remaining offense slots, ditched the Eagle and chose the Steam Machine.

Seriously, look at the stats on this thing! There's no way this monster is allowed in network play. A few head-on collisions did short work of the bastards. Screw your mines and mortars!
This mission gets my:

I have a feeling that I will use this seal in the future.

Race 3: Slumbody Got Killed
Attempt: 1
Fastest lap: 0:00
Fastest time completed: 5:56
Fastest opponent waste: 0:34
Fastest waste all opponents: 5:56
Most peds wasted: 20

I was quite impressed by the Steam Machine's sheer destructive power, so I decided to try it in a race. Holy Geezuz is it hard to control! It is so fast and turns so fast! Plus, it's probably two cars wide. All these features got me stuck in weird positions more than once. It was still really good at wasting opponents. So good that I didn't even get to finish a single lap before everyone was dead.

Mission 3: The Jump
Attempt: 2
Fastest time completed: 3:15
Most peds wasted: 3

This one was a bit tricky at first. If you have to recover after hitting the turbine propellers, you are recovered on the wrong side. If they didn't start spinning fast enough on the first hit, you have to get past them to hit them again, which is no easy task. Most of the time you just end up stopping them again, or making them spin in the other direction. The overzelaous cops aren't helping the matter.
I wanted to see if the skyscraper elevators were functional outside of this mission, so I set out to find them in free ride. Sure enough, they did work. Then I wanted to see what would happen if I jumped over the wall in free ride. Instead of advancing to Docks, Max was sent plummeting into a black abyss. Good luck, shithead!

And thus, Part 2 comes to an end. Join me next time as I tackle Part 3: Docks!

Edited by: Nerd Koopa on Tue, 17/06/2014 - 12:33

Stuck on a bumper

stygimoloch's picture
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Submitted: Fri, 01/11/2013 - 16:49

Another tactic which I've found useful in Traffic Jam is filling up the open sewer section with trailers, vans, oil drums and other large, heavy things which force the targets to slow right down as they try to ram their way through.

Breakin'Benny's picture
Posts: 745
Submitted: Sat, 02/11/2013 - 02:58

Hey, by the way. Since you didn't get all of the Nosebleed Pack, it might be a good idea to make use of the MAX-Pack (but uninstall to only-Nosebleed if you only want the Nosebleed content)

Edited by: Breakin'Benny on Sat, 02/11/2013 - 03:00
Nerd Koopa's picture
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Posts: 32
Submitted: Tue, 17/06/2014 - 12:37

Part 3: Docks

Urgh... I don't like this level. It feels so dull and its features are unremarkable. The warehouse district is just that. A bunch of rotting warehouses. The chemical factory is just a few big tubs of dark liquid shit. The foundry is just two buildings and the remains of a conveyor belt. The overall colors of this level are just unpleasant and dull compared to the last two levels. I know the setting is post-apocalyptic, but come on. Were they trying to go for something moody and gloomy? I can see how that could work, but apparently they didn't pull it off well. This is no Rusty Bucket Bay.

I didn't think much of the train that goes around the level, until I picked up some mines. Then an evil thought came to my mind. I placed five mines on the tracks, picked a good viewing spot and waited. I watched with a grin on my face as the train came closer and closer, finally reaching the mines AND THEN....
The train just passed over them, not triggering a single one. What a massive letdown.

Race 1: Go Slow
Attempt: 1
Fastest lap: 2:44
Fastest time completed: 16:01
Fastest opponent waste: 4:27
Fastest waste all opponents: 16:01
Most peds wasted: 76

I wanted to try more Nosebleed Pack cars in the races, so for this one I chose Sports Sedan. Sweet GEEZUZ the controls suck ass on this one! Way too twitchy and fast. It feels like it wants to make 90 degree turns every time I press the arrow keys. It wasn't a very stable car either. It shouldn't be called a sedan, since it only has two doors and not four.

I finally noticed that the opponents in TDR aren't nearly as agressive as in the other games. They are much more concerned with the checkpoints than the player. This makes reaching them a bit more difficult, because they never seem to come after you. You don't seem to be able to provoke them into chasing you, no matter how hard you hit them. Might be because I'm playing on the Sunday Driver difficulty. Still, a tiny bit more AI agression would be nice.

Mission 1: Juice Up
Attempt: 3
Fastest time completed: 4:56
Most peds wasted: 10

The first restart was because I spent too much time trying to get on the conveyor belt with the first bomb part. The only reasons why I knew how to get to it in the first place, was because I've seen a video of this mission, and because I tried it in free ride first. Usually for tricky spots like this, the devs included red floating guide arrows, but not for this part. It really could have benefitted from them. The arrows do appear for the third bomb part in the warehouse district.
The second restart was because of those two damn gang cars that chase you. They constatly kept blocking my path to a crucial ramp! That section was tricky enough even without those two assholes. Even getting to the ramp without getting disoriented was difficult. Damn chemical factory with its rows of identical containers...

Race 2: In A World Of Ship
Attempt: 1
Fastest lap: 3:33
Fastest time completed: 13:42
Fastest opponent waste: 1:27
Fastest waste all opponents: 13:42
Most peds wasted: 31

For this race I tried to use Jaws. Creative design, but shitty to drive. Its control problems are the exact opposite of the Sports Sedan; turning is very delayed. I know it's supposed to be a big and heavy vehicle, but input delay is a poor way of conveying mass. In previous games big vehicles like the Plow and Abba Cab turn slowly, but they start to turn immediately when you push buttons. Jaws waits for about half a second before steering reacts to input. It can really throw you off. On top of that, this thing is very VERY unstable.

Mission 2: Clear The Decks
Attempt: 1
Fastest time completed: 4:21
Most peds wasted: 28

Another "collect bomb parts, deploy and flee" mission. Pretty much a copy-paste of Slum Like It Hot. It's annoying how most of the missions in this game start with your car pointing at the opposite direction from the first objective. Precious seconds are wasted by having to turn the car around.

Race 3: Sink Or Swim
Attempt: 1
Fastest lap: 3:17
Fastest time completed: 9:03
Fastest opponent waste: 1:00
Fastest waste all opponents: 9:03
Most peds wasted: 26

For this race I used the Buggy. Like the Sports Sedan, but -1 to twitchiness and +1 to instability. I've tried four Nosebleed cars so far, and none of them have good controls for racing. Not sure if I'll try any more of them. Only time will tell.

Wasting pedestrians is getting really annoying, because the game seems to register only about one kill out of five. I splattered that guy on a wall! I demand my credits, damn it!

Mission 3: Got a new motor
Attempt: 1
Fastest time completed: 3:51
Most peds wasted: 5

Collect three, use and flee. Nothing special by this point. I'm just glad that this level is over. It wasn't really that enjoyable.


Edited by: Nerd Koopa on Tue, 17/06/2014 - 12:37

Stuck on a bumper

stygimoloch's picture
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Submitted: Sat, 02/11/2013 - 17:26

Heh. The Docks is one of my favourite environments in TDR, and Jaws is one of my favourite vehicles.

Nerd Koopa's picture
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Posts: 32
Submitted: Sat, 02/11/2013 - 18:27

I can see how you can like Jaws. It's fast, massive and a very cool design, but HOT DAMN that steering delay is irritating!

Stuck on a bumper

Nerd Koopa's picture
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Posts: 32
Submitted: Tue, 17/06/2014 - 12:40

Part 4: HiRise

This place is pretty much like the Slums, but with bigger buildings and a night sky. Most of the things that I said about that level apply here as well. Hell, some areas feel like direct copy-pastes from the Slums! The giant statue is a nice addition, but it gives me a "Lenin in mechanic's overalls" vibe.
I'm still amused by the sheer amount of phone booths and CRT monitors in HiRise and Slums. Apparently the world ended somewhere in the 90's.

Race 1: Early Morning Riser
Attempt: 1
Fastest lap: 2:25
Fastest time completed: 12:36
Fastest opponent waste: 2:13
Fastest waste all opponents: 0:00
Most peds wasted: 16

At this point the rise in difficulty made me change my play style. You are given so little time that you NEED to prioritize checkpoints over opponent wasting to survive the races! Given the nerfed time bonuses and cowardly opponent behaviour, catching and wasting an opponent in under a minute with the Eagle is just not feasible, even if you upgrade it. Unlike in the previous games, checkpoints can give up to 25 extra seconds, but only if you go through them fast enough. Maybe this is why all the other time bonuses were decreased so much. I don't like this system, because it pretty much FORCES you to race! Forcing the player to do something is NOT part of the Carmageddon philosophy!

Mission 1: Launch the Statue
Attempt: 2
Fastest time completed: 3:28
Most peds wasted: 5

Collect three, use and see. This required a restart because of general bad driving, disorientation, and mistaking the second fuel canister for being a part of the furniture of the room it was in.
Seeing a giant statue get launched into the sky is pretty much as wacky as the whole ordeal with the animatronic gorilla. Bye bye Overalls Lenin! Couldn't help but take a screenshot.

If this thing doesn't turn up in a later level having landed on something, I will be so disappointed.

Race 2: Tequila HiRise
Attempt: 3
Fastest lap: 2:23
Fastest time completed: 11:33
Fastest opponent waste: 0:27
Fastest waste all opponents: 0:00
Most peds wasted: 10

This one required three attempts because of absolutely rotten luck. Or to me more precise, completely random deaths! The first time I was pinned to a building by Vlad and a cop car. I had full health and the two stopped pushing, so I hit reverse to get out... BOOM! INSTANT DEATH! I have no idea what killed me there, so plenty of swears were deployed. The second time I tried my luck with wasting a weakened opponent. There was a traffic light pole in the way, but it was THIS close to falling over from all the collisions. So, having full health, I decided to give it a nudge... BOOM! INSTANT DEATH! Again, swears were had. All those armor upgrades seem to be doing jack shit.

Mission 2: The Rich Switch
Attempt: 1
Fastest time completed: 4:34
Most peds wasted: 5

Collect three, drop and flee. Almost had to restart this one because of disorientation, bad driving and rotten luck. The cops and the rising bridges forced me to recover so many times that I don't think I made a single credit of profit from this mission.

Race 3: HiRise 'n Fall
Attempt: 2
Fastest lap: 2:09
Fastest time completed: 19:50
Fastest opponent waste: 0:00
Fastest waste all opponents: 0:00
Most peds wasted: 11

FUCK. THIS. RACE. Who the hell places so many powerdowns in so prominent and difficult track sections?! Every single item on this route is harmful! YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO PLACE A LUNAR GRAVITY AFTER A TURBO WHEN THERE'S A 90 DEGREE TURN AND A PIT AHEAD, WITH LESS THAN A MINUTE TO GET TO THE CHECKPOINT! AND YOU DO NOT PLACE THOSE TWO IN A NARROW ALLEY WHERE AVOIDING THEM IS A MATTER OF PURE LUCK! This track is so bad that they might as well have put mines in place of every single item. Actally, THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER.
This race gets my... Hold on... *Opens*
There. My:

What? I got lazy.

Mission 3: Blow the Joint
Attempt: 2
Fastest time completed: 6:27
Most peds wasted: 13

Collect three, deploy and flee. Is there a pattern to these? Nah... Must be my imagination. Again, restart required because of disorientation, bad driving and rotten luck. The floating guide arrows really should render from a further distance. They never appear until you are right next to them. This was especially problematic in this mission. I hope this is the last mission where you have to wait for some stupid elevators. The one in Slums was enough. Seriously, how hard would it be to have the elevators stay in the bottom position until you drive on them?

Well look at that! Part 4 seems to have ended. Prepare your browser for Part 5: Military Zone!

Edited by: Nerd Koopa on Tue, 17/06/2014 - 12:40

Stuck on a bumper

stygimoloch's picture
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Submitted: Mon, 04/11/2013 - 01:23

Nerd Koopa wrote:
I can see how you can like Jaws. It's fast, massive and a very cool design, but HOT DAMN that steering delay is irritating!

Don't forget the afterburner that sets fire to peds!