F355 Challenge: Passione Rossa

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FAQ

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F355 Challenge/F355 Challenge Passione Rossa FAQ v1.1
Games (c)1999 Sega Enterprises, Ltd (c)2000 CRI
Additional Copyrights and Trademarks property of their respective owners

For the Japanese and North American Sega Dreamcast games

Copyright 2000, 2001 FAQ Consortium (faq_consortium@yahoo.com)

This FAQ is written only for the GameFAQs website (www.gamefaqs.com), where the 
latest version can be found.  This document may not be reproduced or 
retransmitted in whole or in part without express written permission.  Portions 
of this document specifically credited to individual authors are the property of 
those authors.  Unauthorized reproduction or retransmission of any portion of 
this document is a violation of criminal and civil law.

If you appreciate the free exchange of help and information provided by this FAQ 
and others like it, please support such public benefit by reporting to the 
authors those who profit by the theft of such FAQs.
________________________________________________________________________________


This FAQ is a collection of the best information available as of its 
compilation.  It is written in good faith, but may nevertheless contain errors.  
Contributions, including corrections and additions, will be appreciatively 
considered.  Incorporated additions will be credited.

Send stuff to faq_consortium@yahoo.com

Everything in this FAQ applies to both the Japanese and North American versions, 
except as noted, and most information is accurate for the European version, too.

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                                   F355 FAQ


This FAQ is divided into three main parts, one structured around the main menu 
items, one structured around general subjects within the game, and one for items 
relating specifically to this FAQ.
________________________________________________________________________________


Menu Items:

 1. Arcade
 2. Championship
 3. Single Play
 4. Versus Play
 5. Cable Versus Play (Hidden in North American version)
 6. Network Race
 7. Car Setting
 8. Driving Data
 9. Home Page
10. Options
11. Save
12. Load


Subjects:

13. Courses
14. Distance
15. Level (Transmission)
16. Assists
17. Computer Cars
18. Replays
19. Ghosts
20. Registering Times
21. Driving Advice
22. Version Differences
23. Mixing Versions
24. Peripherals
25. Bugs
26. Car Specifications
27. Websites


FAQ Information:

28. Revisions
29. Acknowledgements



________________________________________________________________________________
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Menu Items:

 1. Arcade
 2. Championship
 3. Single Play
 4. Versus Play
 5. Cable Versus Play (Hidden in North American version)
 6. Network Race
 7. Car Setting
 8. Driving Data
 9. Home Page
10. Options
11. Save
12. Load


   Subjects:

   13. Courses
   14. Distance
   15. Level (Transmission)
   16. Assists
   17. Computer Cars
   18. Replays
   19. Ghosts
   20. Registering Times
   21. Driving Advice
   22. Version Differences
   23. Mixing Versions
   24. Peripherals
   25. Bugs
   26. Car Specifications
   27. Websites


   FAQ Information:

   28. Revisions
   29. Acknowledgements

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1. Arcade
Choose Course, Level (Transmission), and Driving Mode

Only the six courses used in the original arcade version are available.  
Settings changes are not allowed.  Replays are the edited Digest Replay, and 
shown only once, and only after a 3rd or better finish.  The basic arcade style 
timer ticks down while driving, with time extensions at checkpoints (time limits 
are adjustable in Game Settings).

After each event in Arcade you are asked whether you want to save a ghost of 
your best lap (See '19. Ghosts' for details).

For information on Courses, Assists, Level (Transmission), Replays, Computer 
Cars, and Driving Advice, see those specific subjects as listed in the second 
portion of this FAQ, Subjects.
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2. Championship
Choose Level and (before each race) Car Setting

The original six courses from the arcade version are run in order for 
accumulated points.  Before each race you can adjust car appearance and 
performance in Car Setting and practice the course with Test Run as often as you 
like.  A ghost is displayed in Test Run if Ghost Car is turned on in Game 
Settings.  Ghosts of best laps cannot be saved after the races, and it is 
uncertain whether best lap times are recorded.  There is no timer as in Arcade.

NOTE:  If you do Test Run before a race, you must exit by pressing the Start 
button to pause then selecting QUIT.  If you select RETIRE from the pause menu, 
you retire from the race, and there is no 'Are You Sure?' check before retiring.

After each race, the edited Digest Replay is available, except for the last race 
for which it is shown once automatically, regardless of where you finish in the 
race or in the series.  Position and points awarded for the race are displayed:

   First   - 15
   Second  - 12
   Third   - 10
   Fourth  -  8
   Fifth   -  6
   Sixth   -  4
   Seventh -  1
   Eighth  -  1

   Retire  -  0

Pressing down on the D-pad or analog stick displays the points won for all races 
completed and the accumulated series points.

There is no way to save part way through Championship.  You can exit 
Championship any time using soft reset:  hold A + B + X + Y and press Start.  
Ghosts of best laps apparently cannot be saved.

For information on Assists, Level (Transmission), Replays, Computer Cars, and 
Driving Advice, see those specific subjects as listed in second portion of this 
FAQ, Subjects.
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3. Single Play
Choose Course, Level, Driving Mode, and Car Setting

Select from any available course (the original six courses from the arcade 
version plus any of the five hidden courses that have been opened), plus a 
Random option which chooses a track for you.  Car Setting can be changed to 
affect appearance and performance.  The edited Digest Replays are available for 
repeated viewing, regardless of where you finish.  There is no timer as in 
Arcade.

Ghosts of best laps can be saved under Save Driving Data.

For information on Courses, Assists, Level (Transmission), Replays, Computer 
Cars, Ghosts, and Driving Advice, see those specific subjects as listed in 
second portion of this FAQ, Subjects.
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4. Versus Play
Choose Course, Level, Competition Mode, and Car Setting

Select from any available course (the original six courses from the arcade 
version plus any of the five hidden courses that have been opened), plus a 
Random option which chooses a track for you.  Neither ghosts nor the saving of 
ghosts are available.  To change settings (for Player 1 or 2), Player 1 selects 
Settings and makes any desired changes first, then Player 2 can change settings.

Versus Play has two modes of competition.  'Vs. Race' is basic head-to-head 
racing for a set number of laps.  'Time Lag Race' is a competition to see who 
can be the first to gain a lead of the selected number of seconds (choose a 1-10 
second differential).  Times are compared at checkpoints on the selected course 
(Checkpoints appear to be the same used in Arcade).
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5. Cable Versus Play (Hidden in North American version: hold X + Y to expose)
Choose Course, Level, (Play Mode?), (and Car Setting?)

By JVGFanatic

Want some of the coolest head to head auto racing that you can possibly 
have at home with your Dreamcast? Find one of those elusive link cables, 2 
DCs, 2 VGA monitors, and two copies of F355 Challenge. The game supports the 
link
cable and when both players choose the link option a screen appears asking to 
confirm. The first player to confirm gets to choose the track, which was the 
source of a lot of pre-race angst (all in good fun, mind you) at our recent 
racing session.

Interestingly enough, when you 'Race' against a bunch of other cars on the track 
there only seems to be two places: first and second (you and your human 
opponent).  That's kind of a bummer because that placing doesn't tell you how 
well you're doing against the other cars (though you probably should be able to 
track that yourself).  It would have been far more interesting to see one player 
come in first and another in third rather than the first/second that is already 
available in Drive mode anyway...
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6. Network Race
Elect track, choose Level
(Current color and number settings used, but not parts settings)

Sega has a subscription based gaming network in Japan, similar to SegaNet in 
North America, and apparently the Japanese version of the game only allows 
Network Race through this network.  (Any information submitted on registration 
and access with the Japanese version outside of the Japanese network would be 
appreciated, and credited if included.)


The following information is only known to apply to the North American version:

After setting up your Dreamcast to access the net, go to Network Race.  You will 
be prompted for your dial-up password, which you will need only once unless an 
interruption occurs or you turn off your Dreamcast.  For advice on setting up 
your Dreamcast for dial-up access, see JBogumil's 'Internet Troubleshooting 
Guide', posted here under Dreamcast 'General/System'.  Car color and number 
changes made in Car Setting before entering Network Race are used, but parts 
settings changes are not.

Once you have contacted the game server, you elect a course from the 6 available 
in Arcade and select a level (Novice or Intermediate).  As described in the 
manual, the eventual course selected for the race is chosen by the majority of 
players, but in practice often only 2-4 players are in a race and apparently 
whoever queues first chooses the course.  Again, according to the manual, the 
qualifying field is drawn from entered players before a timer runs out and the 
network game is started.  In practice, you may find yourself waiting three 
minutes to finally be entered in a 2 person race on a course you didn't ask for.  
(Why is this?  Do not question the Sega game server.)

Up to 16 players can enter qualifying, which is one lap alone on the course from 
a rolling start, the same rolling start that begins Driving mode in one player.  
The total number of players entering is listed prior to qualifying, but their 
names and details are not.  After qualifying, the top 8 qualifiers are entered 
into the final race and are listed in order of their qualifying times, along 
with profile data:

Position     Name      Country   Time         Level
                                          (Transmission)
1st       G.Villeneuve   CA    1'55".026        SA
2nd       Speed Racer    JP    1'55".587        AT       


In this case G.Villeneuve of Canada placed first in qualifying, using 
Intermediate Level (SA = Semi-Automatic), and Speed Racer of Japan was second, 
using Novice Level (AT = Automatic).  Presumably, Intermediate is listed as SA, 
as opposed to MT (Manual Transmission) or something similar, because an actual 
Professional level would be the fully manual option, were it available.  
Players' usage of assists is not displayed.

The final event is a Sprint length race (2-4 laps, depending on course) from a 
standing start at the grid position earned in qualifying.  While racing, you are 
alone on the course, as in qualifying.  When you have completed the required 
number of laps, the Dreamcast uploads your ghost and downloads the other 
players' ghosts.  A replay automatically starts, showing all scenery and all 
players' ghosts simultaneously, and this replay can be reviewed repeatedly.  
Finally, players' times are listed, as follows qualifying.  Players' usage of 
assists is not displayed, though with experience you may learn to spot it in 
replays.

Network Race Replay controls:

   Start button -  stop replay
   D-pad down   -  toggle music on/off
   A button     -  change selected car
   B button     -  toggle camera between third-person/in-car

Network Race has a few differences from other play modes.  Though color and 
number changes to the car are kept, other settings changes are not.  No overhead 
radar is displayed while racing.  The Start button toggles background music on 
and off.  There is no way to pause during either qualifying or racing.

Because realtime car information is not used, lag is not an issue while driving.  
Occasionally the server drops you, causing a half-second freeze in gameplay, but 
the driving experience is otherwise as smooth as one player.

Each race you enter is a separate phone call, which means the phone can only 
ring during replay.  The time the telephone line has been off-hook is displayed 
by a dancing, white telephone icon in the upper left corner.  Race entry can 
take a while; 5 minutes is not unheard of.  If many players will be in a race, 
they'll usually show fairly quickly.

The times you choose to go online for Network Race affect who you're likely to 
see since it draws from worldwide entrants.  The challenge offered by opponents 
can vary according to time since players in different parts of the world have 
varied skill.  Weekends are usually the best time to find other racers.
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7. Car Setting
Adjust ride height, springs, stabilizers, camber, and toe on front and rear; 
also adjust LSD lock rate and rear wing

Car settings affecting both appearance and performance can changed, and up to 16 
different configurations can be saved, all within the 14 block VMU file used for 
Options configuration.  Settings changes apply to your car in Championship, 
Single Play, Versus Play, and Cable Versus Play; changes can also be made 
immediately before each event.  The appearance settings of color and car number 
are applied for Network Race, but parts settings changes are ignored; settings 
changes may not be made once you've entered Network Race.

Minor note: In the North American version, the Car Setting main menu option can 
be exited by pressing B and any settings changes are retained.  This is not 
possible in the Japanese version, so the shortcut here is to press the Start 
button, which moves the cursor directly to Exit.

Specific settings are not available in this FAQ, and are not necessary to 
achieve excellent times or beat the game.  Settings can certainly make a 
difference in top times, however no settings will make up for lack of skill.

Generally:  Lower ride height decreases weight transfer, making changes in 
direction faster but at the cost of activities that rely on one set of wheels, 
such as starts.  Stiffer springs add to responsiveness, but increase the chance 
of skidding.  Camber changes trade off straight line performance against 
cornering.

F355 endeavors to be as realistic as possible in single car handling and, while 
no simulation is a perfect recreation of reality, real world tuning information 
is a very useful guide to this 'game'.  The following are useful resources for 
learning about tuning in general:

Jet Jaguar's tuning guide (designed for Gran Turismo, but applicable to F355):
http://home.att.net/~chmilnir/gt/

The Physics of Racing:
http://members.home.net/rck/phor/

The West Texas SCCA tuning guide, with helpful troubleshooting tips:
http://www.wtrscca.org/tech.htm

Camber, Caster, and Toe:
http://www.advancedracing.com/grmart1.html
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8. Driving Data
View ghost telemetry and replays (once loaded), and records (Ghosts can also be 
viewed while driving on their respective courses by turning on Ghost Car in Game 
Settings)


Load

Load a ghost to view its replay and telemetry, or two ghosts for one track to 
compare them simultaneously.  When loading a ghost you must select a VMU, then 
one of the ghosts saved on it, then Data Area 1 or 2 for where the ghost data 
will be loaded into.  Ghosts are listed as Driving Data in the selection window, 
which displays the course and time of the ghost, plus which ghost is selected 
out of the total available number of ghosts on the VMU (example: "Driving Data 
2/4" means the second ghost out of four saved on the VMU).  Data Area 1 and Data 
Area 2 refer to locations in onboard memory.  You can load one ghost into Data 
Area 1 and another into Data Area 2 for simultaneous viewing, but both ghosts 
must be for the same course, or else loading the second ghost will erase the 
first.

NOTE: Only one ghost for a given track can be stored on a single VMU.  Saving a 
second ghost for the same track will erase the first.  Ghost files require 17 to 
39 blocks per file (see 19. Ghosts for specific file sizes).


Data Analysis (Unavailable until a ghost has been loaded)

View speed, rpm, and gear telemetry data for ghosts.  Data Area 1 telemetry is 
shown in red, Data Area 2 in yellow.

   Dark, thin, wavy line               =  rpm
   Lighter, thick, wavy line           =  speed
   Lightest, square line (at bottom)   =  gear
   
The D-pad or analog stick move the map around, and pressing the A button will 
bring the green marking line on both the map and graph to the point centered in 
the screen.  Alternatively, holding the A button while moving the D-pad or stick 
left or right will slide the green marking line along the course, and 
correspondingly through the graph.  The L and R trigger buttons zoom the map in 
and out.


Replay (Unavailable until a ghost has been loaded)

View one or two ghosts for the same course, plus graphs of speed, with the 
following controls available:

Start button              -  pause/play
D-pad or stick down       -  toggle selected ghost
D-pad or stick up         -  cycle view: front 3/4, overhead, driver, or chase
D-pad or stick left/right -  fast forward/reverse (including while paused)
L and R trigger buttons   -  zoom in/out

Cars are shown against a conceptual 'holo-deck' type background, without scenery 
or computer cars that may have been present.


Record

The top five times are recorded for Arcade and Single on Novice and Intermediate 
in Race and Free, for all courses except Fiorano.  'Free' times are lap times 
from Driving or Training (Minor note: 'mode' automatically switches from 'Race' 
to 'Free' when Fiorano is selected for course).  The top five point totals in 
Championship are also recorded, regardless of level used.
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9. Home Page
Leaves game and accesses Dreamcast browser  

When Home Page is selected, the game is quit (Save your game before entering!) 
and after a few seconds the browser loads up, showing a page with a red 
rectangle overlaid by a partial car silhouette and the F355 Challenge logo.  
Click the link for the F355 Challenge website and enter your password for dial-
up connection.  (Internet access, proper dial-up settings, and password 
necessary:  see JBogumil's 'Internet Troubleshooting Guide', posted here under 
Dreamcast 'General/System').

There are three official F355 Challenge sites, one for each region of release:  
www.sega-rd2.com/f355/jp/ (Japanese site, mostly in Japanese), www.sega-
rd2.com/f355/us/ (North American site, in English), and http://www.sega-
rd2.com/f355/eu/ (European site, available in English, French, German, Italian, 
or Spanish).  The North American game connects automatically to the North 
American site, while the Japanese game connects to the Japanese site.  
Fortunately, the Dream Passport browser included with the Japanese game permits 
page jumping, allowing connection to the English pages of the North American 
site.  (The included Japanese browser appears to be Dream Passport 3)

To jump to the North American site using the Japanese game, hit the left trigger 
once to bring out a menu from the left side and select the option highlighted by 
default, the 'jump' command.  Enter the North American site address, www.sega-
rd2.com/f355/us/ (or http://www.sega-rd2.com/f355/us/, if you prefer), and hit 
Exit, then OK in the subsequent dialog box.  For more information on the Dream 
Passport browser, see Haohmaru_'s Dream Passport 2 Guide (and others) listed 
here under Dreamcast 'General/System'.)

On the site, times are listed for each course (oddly, only the original six 
courses are listed on the European site as of this writing).  A table lists the 
courses and has links for times at each, with separate listings for times 
achieved using different Levels (Transmissions):  'AT' = Novice (Automatic 
Transmission), 'semi-AT' = Intermediate (Semi-Automatic Transmission).  
(Intermediate is presumably not listed as 'MT' because the fully manual 
Professional mode from the arcade version would deserve that label).

Times appear with up to three icons next to them, indicating the conditions 
under which the times were achieved, for example Training mode with Assists on.

   Icon Meanings

   Wrench = custom settings were used (not including color and number changes)

   Green "ON" = one or more Assists were used at some point in the run
   
   Driving Mode Icon:  indicates which driving mode was used
      Cyan "T" = Training
      Yellow "D" (North American & European sites) = Driving
      Yellow "F" (Japanese site) = Driving (Free)
      Red "R" = Race

It's important to note that color and number changes do not put a wrench icon 
next to your times, while using any Assist at any point in the entire run that 
included your best lap will put the green "ON" icon next to that time.  See '20. 
Registering Times' for information on adding your times to the rankings.

You can also get a list that shows only particular kinds of times, such as times 
made by Japanese players in Race mode using no Assists.  Toward the bottom of 
the page various options are listed, of which only the top one is unclear:  
"ranking form this rank" is presumably a typo and should read 'ranking FROM this 
rank'.  Unfortunately, that too is a little unclear and what it in fact means is 
'start the list at rank number:', allowing you to see a list of times starting 
with rank 37, for example.  Overall, these options let you get a list of most 
times that you might want.

Listed times with their rank appearing on a grey button (or in red lettering, on 
some browsers) have ghosts available.  Click the button to download the ghost.  
You may need to change the country option for the listing, located towards the 
bottom, in order to see times with the button indicating downloadable ghosts 
(try listing "all countries").  If ghost download is requested, the data will 
first be loaded into the Dreamcast's main memory, then a VMU must be chosen onto 
which the ghost will finally be saved.  These top time ghosts are invaluable for 
learning the best approaches to a given course, and the fastest ways to drive in 
general.  See '8. Driving Data' above and '19. Ghosts' below for details on 
using downloaded ghosts.


Movie

There is now an animated "F355 Challenge Movie" video viewable when you visit 
any of the F355 Challenge sites with your game disc.
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10. Options


   A. Game Settings

      i. Steering: Adjust steering responsiveness

      ii. Assist Function Settings
         (See '14. Assists' for explanation of assists)

         a. Button: Select on or off as default for each Assist
         b. Cursor: Select which Assist the cursor will default to

      iii. Time Difficulty (Arcade Only): Select Easy, Normal, Hard, and Hardest
         (Affects only the time limit in Arcade mode)

      iv. Magic Weather: Select Random or Fine (which limits sky to one option)

      v. Handicap:  Select Heat (default), Aid, or Simulation
         Handicap appears to function only as a speed boost for the trailing
         player in Versus modes.  Only Heat allows Professional mode
         (Pro./Intermediate in the Japanese version) in versus play.

            Heat       - handicap boost for Novice and Intermediate
            Aid        - handicap boost for Novice only
            Simulation - no handicap boost for trailing car


      vi. Ghost Car: On or Off
         (Displays the RD2 ghost when in Driving mode, or the fastest ghost
         saved on a VMU, if one is available for the selected course)

      vii. Lap Setting: Select Sprint (2-5 laps, depending on course),
         Grand Prix (7-30 laps), or Endurance (14-60 laps)
         (see '13. Courses' for specific laps on each course)

      viii. Driver Name:  Select a name to appear in Network Race
         (Up to 12 characters including upper and lower case letters,
         numbers, and common symbols)

      ix. Country Code: (Unavailable in Japanese version)
         Select a country code from the listed options: US, CA, MX, or --
         (predetermined as JP for Japanese version)


   B. Device Settings

      Choose from four preset button configurations or four customizable
      button configurations.  Custom configuration includes the option to
      assign on/off toggling for a specific Assist to a specific button.


   C. Analog Calibration

      Press A to set Idle (minimum) and B to set Max (maximum)


   D. Sound & Screen

      i. Sound

         a. Audio: Stereo or Mono

         b. BGM Volume: Select background music volume from 0-100
               (56 is default)

         c. BGM Test:  (because you don't hear it enough in the game)

         d. Default (returns BGM Volume to 56)


      ii. Screen

         a. Wide: On or Off (not available in VGA mode)
            Select widescreen or regular display

         b. Adjust: (move game picture around screen)
            default: X = 000, Y = 000

   E. Password (Hidden)

      This option is only available before logging 1,000km, and only then
      while holding the  X + Y buttons while on the Options screen

         Passwords:

            DaysofThunder  - opens Atlanta course
            LiebeFrauMilch - opens Nurburgring course
            Stars&Stripes  - opens Laguna Seca course
            KualaLumpur    - opens Sepang course
            CinqueValvole  - opens Fiorano course
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


11. Save
Save game data to a VMU, requires 22 VMU blocks (not 39 as stated in North 
American documentation)

Two files are created, an 8 block player data file and a 14 block 
options/settings data file.  Player data includes your records, distance 
traveled, Network Race name and win ratio.  System data includes Game Settings 
(at least most of them) and Car Setting configurations.

Japanese Version Note: The Japanese version has unfortunately similar looking 
"Yes/No?" windows for both overwriting data and exiting the Save option, plus a 
noticeable delay in response to inputs.  Go slowly with the buttons so you can 
keep track of what you've asked the game to do.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


12. Load
Load game data from a VMU.

Game data is also automatically loaded when the game starts.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
********************************************************************************
________________________________________________________________________________


   Menu Items:

    1. Arcade
    2. Championship
    3. Single Play
    4. Versus Play
    5. Cable Versus Play (Hidden in North American version)
    6. Network Race
    7. Car Setting
    8. Driving Data
    9. Home Page
   10. Options
   11. Save
   12. Load


Subjects:

13. Courses
14. Distance
15. Level (Transmission)
16. Assists
17. Computer Cars
18. Replays
19. Ghosts
20. Registering Times
21. Driving Advice
22. Version Differences
23. Mixing Versions
24. Peripherals
25. Bugs
26. Car Specifications
27. Websites


   FAQ Information:

   28. Revisions
   29. Acknowledgements

________________________________________________________________________________


13. Courses

Ten full courses are included, plus the partial track Suzuka Short
(Lap numbers are for Lap Settings of Sprint, Grand Prix, or Endurance):


Track            Length           Difficulty            Ghost File
                 km/mi    Location              Laps      Blocks    
            _________________________________________________________
Motegi         2,414/1.50   Japan     o       4, 28, 56     17    
Suzuka Short   2,243/1.39   Japan     oo      3, 20, 40     31    
Monza          5,770/3.59   Italy     oo      2,  9, 18     23    
Sugo           3,704/2.30   Japan     ooo     3, 12, 24     27    
Suzuka (Full)  5,864/3.65   Japan     ooo     2,  7, 14     37    
Long Beach     2,558/1.59   U.S.      oo      3, 16, 32     23    

Atlanta        2,478/1.54   U.S.      o       5, 30, 60     17    
Nurburgring    4,555/2.83   Germany   oo      2,  7, 14     31    
Laguna Seca    3,602/2.24   U.S.      ooo     3, 12, 24     29    
Sepang         5,542/3.44   Malaysia  ooo     2,  7, 14     39    
Fiorano        2,976/1.85   Italy     ooo        N/A        25    


The tracks initially available are the first six, the original courses from the 
arcade version.  The last five tracks are initially hidden, and opened by one of 
three methods:  success in races, traveling a minimum distance (see '14. 
Distance' below for details), or entering passwords.


                    Finish 3rd or better      Accrue
Hidden Course       in Arcade Race at        Distance    Password
                  _______________________________________________________
Atlanta             Motegi or Suzuka Short    500km      DaysofThunder
Nurburgring         Monza or Sugo             600km      LiebeFrauMilch
Laguna Seca         Suzuka or Long Beach      700km      Stars&Stripes
Sepang              Championship              800km      KualaLumpur

The last track has a unique requirement to be awarded for race success:

Fiorano      Win every race in Championship   1000km     CinqueValvole


If the requirement for opening them has been met, formerly hidden courses are 
made available upon exiting a one player event, and an announcement is made.  
This means that, while all forms of driving add to the distance traveled (Save 
your progress!), if the distance requirement was met in Versus Play, Cable 
Versus Play, or Network Race, the course(s) will not be available.  Simply 
entering and exiting a one player event is sufficient to expose any hidden 
courses you've earned through distance.  Championship is treated as a single 
event, and new courses are made available when the series is completed (but not 
when aborted).  If you exit a one player event and have met the requirements for 
opening multiple hidden courses, all courses earned are exposed. For example, if 
you log 1000km in Network Race then enter and exit one Single Play Driving 
event, all five hidden courses become available.

The original six are the only courses ever available in Arcade mode and Network 
Race, and the only ones used in Championship.  Single Play, Versus Play, and 
Cable Versus Play allow access to all available tracks, plus use of the Random 
track selection feature (which selects only amongst available tracks).

All tracks are realworld courses.  The Nurburgring course is the newer Grand 
Prix track, not the classic Nordschliefe course.  Fiorano is Ferrari's private 
test track, and the game allows no racing on it.
________________________________________________________________________________


14. Distance

Distance is accumulated as you drive regardless of mode, e.g. Novice on Training 
or Professional (Pro./Intermediate in the Japanese version) on Versus Play.  
Distance is displayed when viewing game file data in the Dreamcast VMU screen, 
which is accessed from the regular Dreamcast startup screen (turn on your 
Dreamcast without a disc inside):

Samples:

F355 CHALLENGE PLAYER DATA       DATA
F355DATA.PLY   0,456km 35p:---
09/09/2000 18:30     8 block


F355 CHALLENGE PLAYER DATA       DATA
F355DATA.PLY  10,000km999p:ABC
10/10/2000 11:30     8 block


The part after "F355DATA.PLY" shows distance, number of plays, and online "score 
name":  "0,456km 35p:---" and "10,000km999p:ABC" in the samples.  Distance is 
displayed in kilometers in both the North American and Japanese versions (456km 
and 10,000km in the samples).  "p" indicates the number of plays, which is the 
total number of events started (35 and 999 [or more] in the samples).  The three 
characters after the colon are the "score name", which can only be altered 
through online registration ("---" [the default] and "ABC" in the samples).
________________________________________________________________________________


15. Level (Transmission)

When you begin any event, you are prompted to select a Level:  Novice, 
Intermediate, or Professional.  Professional is only available in versus play 
and only then while Handicap is set to Heat.  Novice shifts gears automatically 
and allows the use of all assists, including IBS (for details on Assists see 
'15. Assists' above).  Intermediate requires manual shifting disallows the IBS 
Assist but allows the others.  Professional ("Pro./Intermediate" in the Japanese 
version) requires manual shifting and, oddly, still allows use of the three 
Handicaps that does Intermediate.

Level can also affect whether you experience a boost when trailing in versus 
play, depending on the Handicap setting, and is the only apparent relevance of 
Professional level.  Novice provides a boost when Handicap is set to either Heat 
or Aid, Intermediate provides a boost only when Handicap is set to Heat, and 
Professional never provides a boost.

NOTE: The true Professional mode from the arcade version requires use of a 
clutch (reportedly), and the absence of a clutch in the home version prevents 
Professional mode's full implementation.  The consolation is the "Professional" 
mode in versus play which has no handicap boost when trailing and has manual 
shifting but, curiously, still allows use of the 3 main assists.  Handicap must 
be set to Heat for the "Professional" option ("Pro./Intermediate" in the 
Japanese version) to appear in versus play.
________________________________________________________________________________


16. Assists

Three assists simulate real world driving features:

   SC  - Stability Control:  Helps keep the car pointed in the right direction.

   TC  - Traction Control:  Prevents engine induced wheelspin.

   ABS - Anti-lock Braking System:  Modulates braking to eliminate lockup, and
         thus prevent skidding.

The following assist is not a realworld feature:

   IBS - Intelligent Braking System:  the game's automated braking feature.
         Using it you can actually drive around a course without doing anything
         but steering while holding down the gas.


Assists are displayed while driving as small boxes in the lower left corner.  
With the default controller setup, the selected assist (marked with a red line 
above it) can be enabled or disabled in the race by pressing the Y button.  The 
B button changes which assist is selected (moving the red line marker).  When an 
assist is disabled, the box is dark grey.  When an assist is enabled, the box is 
dimly lit.  When an assist is activated while driving, which happens 
automatically as necessary if the assist is enabled, the box lights up brightly.

All assists are enabled by default when first starting the game.  You can 
customize which assists are enabled when you start a race by changing Assist 
Function Settings in Game Settings, avoiding the hassle of fiddling with them 
during the start of a race.  Additionally, Device Settings allows custom 
controller setups that offer specific Assist on/off features, for example 
Traction Control on/off.
________________________________________________________________________________


17. Computer Cars

The rules governing the behavior of computer cars (drones) are very different 
from those governing your own car's.  The game's system has the advantage of 
making exploitation of the drones difficult, but sometimes at the expense of 
your patience.  A few of the odd ways drones act, and interact with your car:

Accelerating absurdly quickly

Slowing inexplicably or running into walls

Spinning out your car if your front fender rides against their rear fender, even 
though the reverse situation doesn't spin out the drones

Driving right off the road if you lead them slightly through a corner

Braking absurdly quickly just behind you, but not other computer cars

Sticking to your car if sides touch, despite a large difference in speed

Going off the pavement and returning with minimal loss of speed

Weaving unrealistically, particularly entering turns

Speeding away when under acceleration and touched by your car

- The final lesson is:
Don't feel you should be able to do everything you see the drones doing.
________________________________________________________________________________


18. Replays

Three forms of replay are available, varying by event:


'Digest Replay':  Displayed once and automatically for a 3rd or better finish in 
Arcade Race and for the final race of Championship, regardless of finish.  
Available for repeated viewing after Single Play Race or Versus Play.  Shows the 
start, finish, and enough of the rest to make the replay last as long as the 
song that accompanies it.  Shows other cars and scenery but not telemetry data.  
No camera adjustability.


Driving Data 'Replay':  Viewable after loading ghosts (driving data) from VMU 
under Driving Data menu option.  Shows the entirety of one lap.  Other cars and 
scenery are not shown but a graph of speed is.  The camera can be cycled through 
4 car-attached views.  Also allows loading of a second ghost (for the same 
track) into Data Area 2 for simultaneous viewing (see section '8. Driving Data' 
for details).  Replay controls:

   Start or A button         -  pause/play
   D-pad or stick down       -  toggle selected car
   D-pad or stick up         -  cycle view: 3/4, overhead, driver, or chase
   D-pad or stick left/right -  fast forward/reverse (including while paused)
   L and R trigger buttons   -  zoom in/out


Network Race 'Replay':  The only replay that shows your race in its majestic 
entirety, from start to finish with cars and scenery.  Unfortunately, you cannot 
save ghosts for reviewing.  Choose from a directed third person camera angle or 
driver's view, for each car.  Replay controls:

   Start button -  stop replay
   D-pad down   -  toggle music on/off
   A button     -  cycle selected car (in weird order)
   B button     -  toggles camera between third-person/in-car
________________________________________________________________________________


19. Ghosts

Also referred to as 'driving data', ghosts can be very instructive.  Turning 
Ghost Car on in Game Settings causes a ghost to appear on the track with you 
during Driving events, as well as during Test Run in Championship.  The default 
ghost shown is the RD2 ghost, programmed into the game by the development team, 
RD2 (also known as AM2).  Additionally, if a ghost for the track you're on has 
been saved on an inserted VMU, it automatically becomes the ghost displayed 
instead of the RD2 ghost.  If multiple VMUs have a ghost saved on them, the 
fastest ghost will be used.  Some of the fastest ghosts in the world can be 
downloaded from the game's website (see '9. Home Page' for details).

Additionally, ghosts can be viewed in the Driving Data menu option, as described 
in '8. Driving Data' above.

Ghosts can be saved either when prompted immediately after Arcade events or 
under 'Save Driving Data' after Single Play events.  Only one ghost per track 
can be saved on a single VMU,  and saving a second ghost on a single VMU will 
erase the first.  Ghost file sizes vary according to the length of the track:

                 VMU blocks
     Course    used for ghost
   ________________________
     Motegi          17
     Monza           31
     Suzuka Short    23
     Sugo            27
     Suzuka          37
     Long Beach      23

     Atlanta         17
     Nurburgring     31
     Laguna Seca     29
     Sepang          39
     Fiorano         25

Ghosts for fastest laps can be uploaded to the game's website for sharing if you 
register a lap time in the top 99 worldwide (see '20. Registering Times', 
below).
________________________________________________________________________________


20. Registering Times

To register times, you must access the web with your Dreamcast.  Once 
registered, times are displayed in the rankings.  See '9. Home Page' for 
information on web access and rankings.  Websites are prone to changing, and 
registration procedures may have changed as well since this information was 
written

Registering times is pretty straight forward with the North American game, the 
North American site's English directions being reasonably clear.  Just follow 
them and you're off to the races, as they say.


Using the Japanese game to register times is slightly more complicated.  To make 
starting easier, jump to the North American site (hit the left trigger once and 
select the highlighted option (jump), enter http://www.sega-rd2.com/f355/us/ 
then hit Exit, and choose OK; for more information see Haohmaru_'s Dream 
Passport 2 Guide (and others) listed under Dreamcast 'General/System').  The 
only trick is that when you ask to register a time, you automatically get 
shunted into Japanese pages, starting with a page that has a deep blue 
background.  After clicking the grey button to proceed, you are sent to the time 
registration page, which says "Your Personal DATA" toward the top and shows your 
player profile, top lap times, a section of Japanese text headed by a red title 
bar and trailed by a long grey button, and then another similarly formatted 
section of Japanese text.  The long grey button in the first of these sections 
of Japanese text will post all your best times at once, whereas the buttons 
displaying each individual best time will post only that specific time shown on 
the button.  The long grey button in the second section of Japanese text 
connects to the player data entry page.

You will need to register your player data with the site and then download it to 
your VMU in order to register times on the ranking.  Attempting to register 
times if you haven't already registered your player data results in your being 
automatically connected to the player data entry page (which the long grey 
button in the second section of Japanese text on the time registration page also 
connects to).  The player data entry page has boxes for your player name (12 
character maximum), country code, three letter 'score name', date of birth (year 
and month), and gender.  If a player name has already been created under Driver 
Name in Game Settings, it will appear automatically in the player name box, but 
can be modified, too.  Country code is automatically entered and cannot be 
changed.  You may have trouble entering text on this page with a North American 
Dreamcast, but it's unclear what additional information is actually required 
beyond a player name and country code.  Hitting the grey button registers the 
listed player data with the database and sends you to to the player data 
download page, which re-lists your player data and says in flashing red "!!!  
Caution  !!!", alerting you to impending download.  The first link says 
'download' in pink Japanese text and initiates download of the displayed player 
data to your Dreamcast.  The second link is normally colored and goes back to 
the time registration page.  You must download the player data at this point so 
that the player data in the database and that on the VMU match.

Requesting download brings up a dialog box that says a bunch of stuff, including 
"(title): F355 CHALLENGE", and asks whether you want to download the 8-block 
player data file.  The left of the two yellow buttons is highlighted by a pink 
ellipse and has two Japanese characters which mean 'yes', while the right button 
has three characters which mean 'no'.  Selecting 'yes' begins download to the 
Dreamcast, and after a few seconds displays available VMUs, one of which you 
must use in order to save the player data (pressing the B button twice aborts 
the download and save).  Once you save the player data to a VMU you should be 
able to register times with the ranking.

There have been reports of times with a JP country code registered from outside 
Japan being removed, but no details are available.

Most of the Japanese pages look and work the same as the English pages, so you 
can get more comfortable with the Japanese site and its operation if you browse 
the English registration pages.

If you can borrow or rent a North American version of the game, you can do some 
useful stuff with it.  If you want to select a country code other than JP, you 
can do so in Game Settings of the North American game then save the change to 
your VMU, and later post your times with the new country code through your 
Japanese game.
________________________________________________________________________________


21. Driving Advice

This section addresses a subject complex enough in its own right that it is 
really outside the scope of this game FAQ.  Some attempt has been made to 
provide at least an entree into the realm of performance driving in this nuanced 
driving "game".  For brevity, advanced concepts may be referred to but not 
explained to the same level to which the rest of the FAQ aspires.


General Suggestions

Learn about realworld driving technique.

Download ghosts of top times from the website rankings.  You can scrutinize the 
their runs in Driving Data and learn a great deal about both a particular track 
and general driving technique.

Turn on Ghost Car in Game Settings.  Once you can match or beat the RD2 ghost, 
use ghosts from the website rankings.

Practice.  Practice.  Practice.



Winning in Race mode

Try lengthening races in Game Settings, providing more opportunity for passing.

Protect the inside line.

Ignore the senselessness of the drones' driving.



Learning From Ghosts

Ghosts of best laps can be quite informative when either followed while driving 
(with the ghost feature turned on) or viewed in isolation in Driving Data.  The 
biggest limitation to understanding the details of a given run is lack of tire 
noise, followed by the lack of visible steering input to the front wheels.



Staying on Track

Brake BEFORE entering a turn, because braking in the middle while driving at the 
edge of the envelope brings a strong risk of spinning out.



Shifting

See Richard Chaney's excellent web page on shifting:
http://www.chaney.karoo.net/f355/gearshift.htm

See also the engine's power curve:
http://ferrarina.com/Automobili/Models/F355/img/PowerCurve.GIF



Starts

For starts with no assists, one method is to hold revs at about 6500 during the 
countdown then give a touch more gas at the 'go' beep to push the edge of the 
envelope.  Hold throttle briefly at this new level, waiting until the first sign 
of stability, then smoothly increase fuel to maximum.  It's difficult to 
describe accurately the subtleties necessary to execute this, but this provides 
a guide, anyway, for a method to master.  For practice, try repeatedly starting 
a Race event; Monza has one of the fastest starts for drones.  When practicing 
your starts, be aware that you car's behavior affects the drones, causing them 
to vary their own behavior enough to make this method of practice immediate but 
unscientific in its results.  The biggest bugaboo is that contact with drones 
while accelerating from the line makes them surge forward, so it's best to avoid 
touching them if you're trying to gauge the success of your start.



Braking

With a manual transmission (Intermediate Level), it's critical to master timing 
on your down shifts.  If revs are less than maximum, because you're downshifting 
too late, you're not slowing as quickly as possible.  If you're not in gear, 
because you downshifted too early, your not slowing down as quickly as possible.  
Timing is crucial.

If you are not using the ABS Assist, you _must_ listen for tire squeal, 
indicating skidding and thus a departure from maximal traction.  You can try 
listening to maximum braking with ABS enabled to get an idea of how the game 
audibly indicates traction status, then seek to either hold that audible degree 
of braking or the better braking level just behind it.
________________________________________________________________________________


22. Version Differences

The differences between the Japanese and North American games are slight, beyond 
descriptive but not crucial Japanese text and speech in the Japanese version.

Network Race in the Japanese version uses Sega's network for access, requiring a 
subscription and use of local (Japanese) dial up numbers, thus making it 
practically unusable outside Japan.

The Cable Versus Play option is hidden in the North American version.  Pressing 
the X + Y buttons inserts it into the main menu, making the menu appear as the 
Japanese one does normally.

The title screen in the North American version says "Passione Rossa" in red 
script below "F355 Challenge", where the Japanese version has nothing.

The opening movie is identical for both versions, as is all music.

The Japanese version only allows JP as a country setting in Game Settings.

Some menus must be 'Exited' in the Japanese version where they can be backed out 
of with the B button in the North American version.

The Japanese game has a complete Dream Passport browser, which allows direct 
input of site addresses and thus proper websurfing, whereas the North American 
version has a hobbled browser.
________________________________________________________________________________


23. Mixing Versions

The game has uncommon file compatibility between the different versions.  Player 
data, car setting, and ghost files work equally well in one version as in 
another.

The odd thing is language and country designations relating to the websites:  
www.sega-rd2.com/f355/jp/ (Japanese site) and www.sega-rd2.com/f355/us/ (North 
American site).  Even looking at the Game Settings screen then saving your game 
in a different version appears to overwrite country code information, at least 
as it appears in the registration pages.  Additionally, the last version used to 
save your game appears to determine which blue data submission screen comes up 
when you first request registration of player or ranking data while using the 
North American version, the English or Japanese screen.  The Japanese version 
appears to only bring up the Japanese screen.

The version of the console appears to determine which website you'll need to use 
for entering additional profile information, such as the three letter "score 
name" which appears in brackets below your player name in the rankings.  If 
you're using a Japanese Dreamcast and want to play the North American game, you 
will probably be unable to change profile data because you can't enter 
characters on the North American site and can't jump to the Japanese site.  With 
a North American (and perhaps PAL) Dreamcast and Japanese game, you should be 
able to jump to the North American site and proceed without a problem.
________________________________________________________________________________


24. Peripherals

VMU (22 blocks for basic game file; 17-39 blocks per ghost file)
Link Cable
Tremor Pack
2 players supported
VGA cable
________________________________________________________________________________


25. Bugs

An admirably short list, but even genius has its flaws:

Occasionally, computer cars banging about your rear are teleported next to you

Amusingly, the translation of the North American Manual apparently interpreted 
"m" to mean miles so Motegi, for instance, is listed as 2414 miles long.  Now 
_that_ would make an endurance race.

The North American manual and case erroneously indicate 39 VMU blocks are 
necessary for saving the game, instead of 22 blocks as actually required.

Rarely, computer cars will show up in an alternate black and mint color scheme.
________________________________________________________________________________


26. Car Specifications

Power curve:
http://ferrarina.com/Automobili/Models/F355/img/PowerCurve.GIF


General specifications, from Ferrari North America
(http://ferrarina.com/Eventi/Challenge/2001Specs355.asp):

Dimension and Weights:

   Length                   167.3 in
   Width                     74.8 in
   Height                    46.1 in
   Wheelbase                 96.5 in
   Minimum Weight            2986 lb
   Light alloy tank          21.7 US gal.

Engine:
   
   8 cylinders in 90 V layout
   Total displacement       3496 cc
   Compression ratio         11.1:1
   Maximum power @8250       375 HP
   Maximum Torque @6000      268 Ib.ft
   Engine Weight             370 lb

Performance:

   Top Speed                 300 Km/h
   0-100 Km/h                4.7"
   0-400 m                  12.9"
   0-1000 m                 23.7"
________________________________________________________________________________


27. Websites


Official game sites

http://www.sega-rd2.com/f355/jp/  (Japan)
http://www.sega-rd2.com/f355/us/  (North America)
http://www.sega-rd2.com/f355/eu/  (Europe)

Official FAQs:

http://www.sega-rd2.com/f355/jp/faq.html  (Japanese)
http://www.sega-rd2.com/f355/us/faq.html  (North American)
http://www.sega-rd2.com/f355/eu/faq.html  (European)



Game related sites

Malice's site (has settings):
f355.mclarenf1gt.com
(http://www.angelfire.com/ma2/mmalice/challenge/index.html)

Ian Walker's FAQ at www.dc-w.co.uk:
http://www.dc-w.co.uk/gg_f355.htm

Richard Chaney's excellent page on shifting methods:
http://www.chaney.karoo.net/f355/gearshift.htm

Country codes:
http://stiwww.epfl.ch/utile/iso_3166.html



Official Ferrari sites

Ferrari S.p.A.:
www.ferrari.it
ferrari.com

Ferrari North America (comprehensive regional site):
ferrarina.com

General specifications (from Ferrari North America):
http://ferrarina.com/Eventi/Challenge/2001Specs355.asp

Power curve (from Ferrari North America):
http://ferrarina.com/Automobili/Models/F355/img/PowerCurve.GIF



Ferrari related sites

Ferrari Club of America:
ferrariclub.org
ferrariclubofamerica.org

Ferrari Club of America Northwest Region (superior regional site):
ferrariclub.com
________________________________________________________________________________

********************************************************************************
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


   Menu Items:

    1. Arcade
    2. Championship
    3. Single Play
    4. Versus Play
    5. Cable Versus Play (Hidden in North American version)
    6. Network Race
    7. Car Setting
    8. Driving Data
    9. Home Page
   10. Options
   11. Save
   12. Load


   Subjects:

   13. Courses
   14. Distance
   15. Level (Transmission)
   16. Assists
   17. Computer Cars
   18. Replays
   19. Ghosts
   20. Registering Times
   21. Driving Advice
   22. Version Differences
   23. Mixing Versions
   24. Peripherals
   25. Bugs
   26. Car Specifications
   27. Websites


FAQ Information:

28. Revisions
29. Acknowledgements
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


28. Revisions

0.9 (2000.10.04) Initial version

1.0 (2000.10.08) Major reworking including addition of Cable Versus Play, 
Registering Times, Driving Advice, Mixing Versions, and Peripherals plus 
expansion of Home Page.

1.1 (2001.05.2) General updating, correcting, and addition of Car Specifications 
and Websites sections.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


29. Acknowledgements

Thanks to mjolnir for various information.

Thanks to JVGFanatic for the Cable Versus Play section.

Special thanks to rbryerton for his work in compiling information on every 
aspect of both the Japanese and North American versions.


________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________
Copyright 2000, 2001 FAQ Consortium (faq_consortium@yahoo.com)
This FAQ is written for display only on GameFAQs (www.gamefaqs.com).  This 
document may not be reproduced or retransmitted in whole or in part without 
express written permission.  Unauthorized reproduction or retransmission of any 
portion of this document is a violation of criminal and civil law.

If you appreciate the free exchange of assistance and information provided by 
this FAQ and others like it, please support such public benefit by reporting to 
the authors those who profit by the theft of such FAQs.
________________________________________________________________________________
*                                                                              *
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