The purpose of this page is to document useful tricks and glitches for F-Zero GX (GC).
This spells out the acronyms that are used in the rest of the document, for simplicity's sake:
|MCTR||Mute City - Twist Road|
|CPSO||Casino Palace - Split Oval|
|SOSS||Sand Ocean - Surface Slide|
|LLC||Lightning - Loop Cross|
|AM||Aeropolis - Multiplex|
|BBDH||Big Blue - Drift Highway|
|PTAD||Port Town - Aero Dive|
|GPMR||Green Plant - Mobius Ring|
|PTLP||Port Town - Long Pipe|
|MCSG||Mute City - Serial Gaps|
|FFCK||Fire Field - Cylinder Knot|
|GPI||Green Plant - Intersection|
|CPDB||Casino Palace - Double Branches|
|LHP||Lightning - Half Pipe|
|BBO||Big Blue - Ordeal|
|CTT||Cosmo Terminal - Trident|
|SOLS||Sand Ocean - Lateral Shift|
|FFU||Fire Field - Undulation|
|ADS||Aeropolis - Dragon Slope|
|PRSS||Phantom Road - Slim-line Slits|
|ASD||Aeropolis - Screw Drive|
|OSMS||Outer Space - Meteor Stream|
|PTCW||Port Town - Cylinder Wave|
|LTR||Lightning - Thunder Road|
|GPS||Green Plant - Spiral|
|MCSO||Mute City - Sonic Oval|
Other acronyms will be spelled out as they are introduced.
Hitting a dash plate on its edge, or seam, will give you a "double boost" producing a higher top speed.
QT - Quick Turn
A type of turn routinely used in the max speed ladder. To turn hard right, tap the L trigger, then instantly hold right + the R trigger (while releasing L). This will allow fast and tight turns.
Whilst land mines damage your ship, they also give you a speed boost which can be used to great effect in MCSG as well as GPMR and AM. MT, explained below, can also be used after hitting a mine to sustain your speed for longer.
Several F-Zero GX courses contain "jump plates" that throw your ship into the air. While in the air, you can navigate your ship, increase speed and land.
There are a few courses where jumps provide a significant advantage (for example, Big Blue Ordeal) and some that require more specialized jumping techniques to get a competitive time (MCSG). For example, early in BBO, it is possible to cut out a small section of the track. On faster laps, this can also occur for later jumps.
- Jumping is generally slower than driving - push forward on the control stick to nose dive and increase speed.
- Just before landing, push down on the stick to raise your nose up and land flat to reduce speed loss.
- To jump long distances (e.g. Ordeal) don't touch the stick at all while in the air. To control direction use the L & R triggers.
- Falling off a course at specific places can be beneficial (e.g. Double Branches).
- On some tracks, if you go fast enough in a specific spot, you will lift off. This can be used to great advantage on Split Oval and Slim-Line Slits, for example.
F-Zero X former world champion Jimmy Thai identified and named a series of momentum based techniques. All of these techniques involve releasing the accelerator (A button) and using the momentum of your ship instead of the gas.
MT - Momentum Throttle
Release the accelerator when at high speed and you will experience a reduced rate of speed loss. This is essential for maintaining high speeds during a race. This technique is also of great benefit before ramps, loops, hills or edges. Boost before a jump and then release A for increased flight speed.
When boosting, you will notice after the peak of the boost your speeds will drop very quickly; MT Boost prevents you from losing those speeds.
Right before your boost dies out you want to release the gas. You don't want to have gas off for too short or too long. You should still see the back exhaust lit up just before you resume gas; if your exhaust flames are gone you've had gas off too long. If you let go of gas too early, you will lose boost speed and you will probably try to resume gas and boost and not get a boost 'cause you mistimed it, this will slow you down a bit.
You will be able to achieve greater boost speeds with this technique and it's much better than button smashing the boost. This technique can be particularly useful for chapter 5 in story mode. (Thanks to Mengsk at F-Zero Central for this)
MD - Momentum Drift
Release the accelerator and perform the quick turn on banking or sharp turns to maintain speed.
MTS - Momentum Turbo Slide
This is a type of turn that will produce a significant acceleration and increase in speed while it is being performed.
Take a turn to the right for example, lean the control stick right and hold L&R together but instantly release R and A. This should leave you holding right+L. For a left turn you should be left holding left+R.
MTRS - Momentum Turbo Rail Slide
This is a variation of the MTS move but is usually used as a very fast finishing move along the rail of the track down the finish straight. To perform this move, get very near a rail at the finish and MTS against the rail. Most top videos use this technique.
A shift boost is a sudden increase in speed that arises from temporarily leaving the track surface then re-entering it at certain angles. This can be achieved by accident, by driving fast enough over dips or hills, or by purposefully cutting corners or jumping off the track for a fraction of a second. Fast times generally exploit shift boosting wherever possible, even the staff ghost uses it on Lateral Shift.
How to Shift Boost
On Lateral Shift, aim for the right angle corners of the track ("dead ends") and just as you pass over them, press L or R to rapidly shift back onto the track (see video).
On straight tracks such as Trident & Undulation, you can produce a shift boost by flying off track with a quick press of L (or R), followed by an instant press of R (or L) to return to the track surface. This process must be rapid.
It is possible to die during a race and still finish a track successfully. When you die, you often explode into a super high rate of speed. This can be used to finish a time trial race faster than you could otherwise. Specific locations in a track provide the best suicide results.
How to use Suicide Finishes
Try to judge the race to use all your boost power by the end, this will allow easy suicides.
The faster the speed you die at, the greater the increase in speed from the suicide. Try doing MTS into the rails for fast suicides.
Snaking (a.k.a. Dakou)
To achieve the fastest times, especially in a TAS, this technique must be learned. Snaking involves carving "S" shaped patterns across the track. In order to do this you must select an appropriate ship, normally a heavy, grip A vehicle; the ship must also be set to maximum acceleration on the settings menu.
How to snake
- Alternate between pressing and holding left+L and right+R.
- Make it a smooth and wide motion with rapid change from right to left.
- To maintain snaking speed be sure to use MT wisely.
Shaking is essentially frame-perfect Snaking, alternating L+Left and R+Right every other frame, without breaking the rhythm. This allows the machine to exceed the speed limitation of traditional Snaking strides and accelerate faster.
A variant of Snaking in which you pull off Shaking in the air while holding the accelerator. May allow you to gain infinite height.
MS - Momentum Storage
This is a technique that may occur as you cancel an extended Shaking line, or you may have seen in a Shaking video that long lines of Shaking suddenly burst a few hundred km/h as the tech is cancelled or interrupted by boosting. This is because speed is stored during an active Shaking line while your speed is lower than your machine's true speed.
This causes the speedometer to erroneously display your machine's speed plus that of the action it's doing, which can be as high as double your machine's true speed. This results in a speedometer value similar to the one shown in the picture on the right. Note that it takes one frame of delay for the speedometer to update your machine's speed, so this is a result of MS that occurred on the previous frame.
Your machine's maximum value, according to the game's RAM, is 9989.99 km/h. Any true speeds that go above this value will overflow to 0 km/h, but any number higher than 9989 on the speedometer is actually only traveling at half of the displayed value. The speedometer will always round down to the nearest integer.
MTAS - Momentum Throttle Air Shaking
This is a slightly adjusted version of Shaking that works on the track surface. It reduces deceleration to a minimal linear rate, which can be heavily abused at the extreme speeds you can reach in a TAS.
Some ships have the ability to fly above the track for prolonged periods of time by doing long snaking motions in mid-air. Some courses in F-Zero GX have checkpoints positioned in such a way that it is possible to take massive aerial shortcuts with the use of spaceflying.
The key is to hit the checkpoints in the course map so that the game thinks you have completed a lap when in fact you've skipped large portions of it. More on checkpoints below. Appropriate ships include: Combat/Maximum Wyvern, Combat/Maximum Dragon, and Paper Craft. The ship must also be set to maximum acceleration.
"Boost Delay" Techniques
French F-Zero GX player Will Haven identified and named a series of boost delay based techniques; these mainly come into play with snaking.
DBD - Dash Boost Delay
Passing over a dash plate gives you a limited boost that lasts a second or so. If you pass over a dash plate while using MT, you can delay the restart of your engine to a preferable point within this one second window. When you press A again, the car will still experience what is left of the dash boost.
For snaking, this allows you to exit MT with a dash boost-enhanced engine restart. This is different than just pressing A as you hit the dash plate, and they are not all placed in areas where it's best to restart the engine. The faster you MT through the dash plate, the further down the track the boost can be delayed, thus maximizing high shift boost or MT speeds.
DBD can also be used to maximize the length of MTS turns and increase their exit speed.
MBD - Manual Boost Delay
This works on the same principle as DBD but using normal boost power. As long as you restart the engine during the period when energy is still being drained from your car, then you'll experience the remainder of the boost.
This prevents much speed loss from exiting MT, usually on banked corners or dips in the track that must be MTed.
LMBD - Landing Manual Boost Delay
This uses the manual boost delay principle again, but applies it to dive landings to maintain higher speeds. In RTA contexts, people use MT to land (though exiting it loses speed) or boost after they have hit the ground.
The basic idea of LMBD is to get the manual boost upon the instant you land so you can go straight back into 2000+ snaking speeds, rather than dropping to 1400. To do this, manual boost during the dive, close to the point of landing, then simply do the standard MT landing. Immediately once you've hit the ground, press A once to start the engine again and continue snaking.
This should happen so fast that you cannot notice the engine cutting out on videos.
Although these were originally meant to be used as a means of knocking out other ships, they can also be used to great effect in Time Attack. These techniques all involve using the X button whilst moving the control stick left or right. If the X button is not the preferred button to Side Attack with, you can change it in the options menu.
Side Attacks - Aerial
This powerful technique involves coming off a jump at an angle and then steering back to the track using the control stick and L or R whilst side attacking rapidly with X.
To create the angle for this to be possible, it is a good idea to use MTS. It is also a good idea to use MT when you reach the track to retain your speed. Remember, the angle is important. Also, for this technique to work well, you must side attack rapidly to build up as much speed as possible.
Side Attacks - Ground
This technique is usually used as a substitute for MTS for tracks such as GPMR where it is difficult to MTS. This technique simply involves turning a corner using the control stick and/or L or R, and side attacking rapidly in the same direction. This will increase your speed whilst cornering.
Note that it can only be done with heavy ships like Gallant Star-G4.
HSSA - Hyper Speed Side-Attacks
There's a limit to how fast side attacks can be performed whilst having the engine active. However, if you constantly restart the accelerator and side-attack at the same time, the limit will become harshly reduced. If done quickly enough, it can result in higher accelerating, and you can gain infinite height, like with Space Shaking.
As well as being used to increase your speed, side attacks can also be used for steadying your ship while exiting MTS.
When exiting an MTS, your ship will still be facing sideways. If you side attack in the opposite direction after exiting, whilst holding down L and R, you can turn your ship around smoothly without losing speed or hitting the wall.
ASB - Airborne Shift Boost
This can be very helpful for building greater speed when gliding above and beyond the railings of several sections.
It starts when the railing expands its gravity into a plane; how far it expands is uncertain still, but it's very far. To Shift Boost in the air, the machine must merge into this invisible gravity plane, and must be at a near-parallel alignment with it.
In order to work, the machine must ascend, or be close enough to have height gain upon merging with the plane. This is as of yet untested with edges that have no railings. It also may not work at all with certain kinds of railings, like those in PTAD, though it does in MCSO.
The gravity plane will only affect the machine during frames that meet most of the above requirements. Most, because you can be influenced by the gravity plane without getting a Shift Boost. But if you're misaligned too much, there won't be any influence on the machine at all.
BS - Broken Steering
This technique allows the steering radius to break whilst in an airborne state. This has occurred in RTA on accident and is usually a run-killer, which is why the trick is known as "Broken Steering".
It is not yet clear what causes it, but it seems to occur more often when the control stick is very far left or right. Your machine's position or rotation may influence it, but it does not appear that the L&R buttons or the vertical position of the control stick influence its occurrence.
More research on this trick is needed, and testing will likely be best done with Fat Shark or the Gallant Star-G4.
CCD - Collision Cancelled Deceleration
While hitting a railing, you can cancel the deceleration caused by the collision, but only if the accelerator is activated on the frame after the collision. At really high speeds, it's possible to activate this trick while colliding with just the track surface, rather than the railing.
This trick can help you avoid sacrificing speed and time caused by high-decel actions, such as lifting the Y-axis of the machine prior to where you plan to make contact.
Many of these techniques can be connected together to further increase speed and improve times.
While you can't really "skip" checkpoints, you can clear them partially out of order within certain limits defined by the game. If a checkpoint portion is skipped, a Conditional Checkpoint occurs.
In the image to the right is a rough map of PTAD, with Check #9 being the goal and Check #8, which doubles as Check "6.5", being a Conditional Checkpoint plane. In this example, #8 has been triggered because more than 9 checkpoints were taken out of order, which is the technical limit imposed by the game. Each grid square represents 100 m^2 of in-game meters.
After "6.5" is triggered, #7 is never reached because that section of track is skipped with a shortcut. This halts progression at the last checkpoint reached, which was "6.5", and going roughly 1015m further without touching the track again will automatically destroy your vehicle.
This is due to a variable in the game that counts up to 1015m, likely to prevent you from skipping checkpoints on purpose. However, if you return to the track before reaching that distance, the self-destruct counter will reset and track progression will continue. If #7 is skipped again on the next lap, the self-destruct counter will start again.
The red area near the finish represents the range of successful broken down suicide finishes. In PTAD at least, you can also go as far to the left as you like and still complete the lap. Your Z-Pos must be 0 or above, while X-Pos constitutes the actual finish line plane.
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