NFSU 2 FAQ - Guide for Need for Speed: Underground 2
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nn nn fffffffffff sssssss uuu uu 222222222 nn nn nn ff ss uuu uu 222 nn nn nn ff ss uuu uu 222 nn nn nn fffffff ss uuu uu 222 nn nn nn ff ss uuu uu 222 nn nn nn ff ss uuu uu 22222222222 nn nnn ff ss uuuuuuuuuuuuu 22 22 nn nn ff ssssssss uuuuuuuuuuuuu 222222222 ***************************************************************************** N E E D F O R S P E E D U N D E R G R O U N D 2 ***************************************************************************** * FAQ/Guide version 1.0 + Features a new common questions section + More data on the cars section + Small improvements Written by Nick email: firstname.lastname@example.org MSN: email@example.com I'm not in anyway afilliated nor associated with Electronic Arts, nor EA Games, THX Game or any other company mentioned in the game, such as a car manufacturer. I just made this FAQ to help out other players on the internet. All trademarks here belong to their respective owners. - Intro (read this first!) - Copyright Data - General Overview - Car's Awareness Systems . World Map . GPS . SMS - The events . Drag . Street X . URL . Drift . Sprint . Circuit . Out Run - NFSU 2 Cars - Visuals and car upgrades . The stars system . The visuals shops . A word about car visuals . Performance upgrades - Strategic Driving . The nitrous-refill techniques . Observations about the nitrous gauge . the "hidden" races . Car Lot transactions - Game continuity issues - After you finish NFSU 2 - Known Glitches . Rachel's SMS glitch - Common Questions (and their answers) - Special Thanks ========== | Intro | ========== This FAQ is not supposed to be an ultimate or final version or something. It just contains data of my gaming experience that I think may be useful for others, but as a player, I might have skipped some parts. Because this game has been released very recently, few actually have deep knowledge like one can have after a game has been released after a long time. And that includes me. I think I just have enough knowledge to build a fairly informative guide, but not 100% comprehensive as it should be. So, if you feel like there's some crucial information missing, be patient because this document may be updated with these new contents. The data herein is directed to the game's career mode and attempts to soothe player's most common difficulties. I hope you find this guide helpful in some or all ways. DO NOT email me asking how to unlock "car X", how to get past 34% of the game or anything stupid in a general way, SPECIALLY WITHOUT READING THE ENTIRE DOCUMENT. If you consider adding me to your MSN contact list, please first send an email so I can know what do you want. Depending on your intentions, you may be added or not. It is valid to remember that stupid questions will be ignored. If you choose to email me, PLEASE, CHOOSE ONE FREAKIN' EMAIL AMONG THE 2 I GAVE YOU, DO NOT SEND STUFF TO ALL 2 OF THEM THE SAME TIME. The reason I made this FAQ is because I truly enjoyed playing this game, and I sincerely wish you a good gaming experience. Thank you for reading. Let's ride!!! ================== | Copyright Data | ================== Copyright © 2005 Nick. All rights reserved. This guide belongs to me. Do not post it in your website, do not copy and paste, nor sell it in anyway without permission! And that's all about it. ================== |General Overview| ================== Welcome to the world of Need for Speed Underground 2, the realm of hot cars, high speeds and cute chicks! You will be driving into the city of Bayview, battling to become the new king of the streets. But be aware, it may be the case that something(s) get in your way until that happens. Coming from Underground 1, you were involved in an accident caused by a rival driving gang. So that means you lost your pimped-up vehicle, and that you have to start all over again. At least you survived, and that's your chance to show the bad guyz how to kick-some-ass!!! On the beginning of the career mode, you will be driving Rachel Teller's car, and your first mission is to drive it back to her. If you listen carefully to the in-game instructions, you should have no problems with that. If you are experienced in the Underground series, the game's principles should be no problem to you. But, in case you're a newcomer, this FAQ will cover the basics to quickly get you on your way. The game goes like this: by participating of races, you get paid if you win. This money can be used to enhance your car's visuals and performance parts. These upgrades will not only allow you to be more competitive, but will play a major role when it comes to guarantee the game's continuity. The more upgrades you get, the bigger the number of races you'll have access to. Depending on how you win a race, you are also awarded reputation points, which are supposed to help unlock new parts for further car enhancement. If you make much more points or finish many seconds earlier than your opponents, you gain reputation points, that can vary according to your performance. However, since there are no explicit locations in the game telling that reputation points are used for new unlocks, this is still only a theory. Despite it seems to be just what it happens. Mainly, this version brings 3 new racing modes: Urban Racing League or URL, Street X and Out Run, which will be explained further. This game is fairly long, has a decent story line, and of course, plenty of speed an action. It comes with a variety of car models that come with complete sets of stock parts that can be changed for others, in order to upgrade it. The game will also feature some occasions where you are called to take pictures of your car for a magazine cover or a DVD. Anyways, I strongly suggest you to play Need for Speed Underground 2: it is a great game that will keep you entertained for many hours to come. Note: after you return Rachel's car, you'll be able to choose a car for you to start your carreer. There are quite a few available, but I strongly recommend you to pick either the Mazda Miata or the Peugeot 206. ========================= |Car's Awareness Systems| ========================= ====================== The World Map ====================== By pressing "M" into exploration mode, you can access the game's World Map. A new window will be displayed showing a map of Bayview, your car, rival cars, shops and events. These are represented by different types of icons: shops are colored dots, events are little colored doughnuts, sponsored events are "X". Your car is the green arrow and the opponent's is the orange arrow. To the left part of this window you'll learn more about the events and its respective colors in the map. As Rachel says, you can change many options of the map along the game's menus. This one's particularly useful: by clicking on an event name of your choice be the left part of the window, you can choose to prevent it from being shown on the map. It is a good thing to remember when your map is like a Christmas tree. This way you can see events that are drawn below others. It's called "filtering" the map. As you advance in the game, you'll realize that new areas will be unlocked for you to visit in search of new races. When these areas are not yet available, you'll see a red wall with a lock drawn into it preventing you to go further in that street. It's funny to see that the wall actually only works against the types of you, since other AI controlled vehicles can come and go as they please =) An easy way to find out what areas have been unlocked is to use the tiny arrows located at the top of the World Map window. As you pan through the options, the map will zoom into that particular area, so that you'll know what he's talking about. ====================== Using the GPS System ====================== Your ride comes equipped with a GPS system (as well as thousands of other gadgets) that allows you to quickly find a specific event or shop on the map. To activate it, Press the "M" key to open the map subsystem, then use your mouse to click at the point you want to go. The game'll ask you if you really want to enable your GPS, and if you answer yes, youll notice that after a few moments scanning for a connection, a blue arrow appears above you. Be aware that the arrow will not just point directly at the target - it'll actually teach you what streets you should get into in order to reach your goal. Sometimes the blue arrow will seem like it's jumping and as if it is pretty indecisive about which way to get, but never worry - since there's normally more than 1 route to choose from, when you get into split ways and wide roads, it might be the case that your current alignment causes the arrow to act like that. Just pick the street that seems to please you the most. Even if you completely miss an entrance and the arrow points the opposite way, it will re-draw another route and point into a new direction after a while. At the expense of some time, sure. You can rely on it to get to places within a limited time, when the game demands such thing (like when there's a magazine willing to take a picture of your car).In this case, you might not want to go against the GPS system, cause you'll very probably waste time. So, be extra-careful to make sure that you're going to where the arrow tells you to go. There are quite a few regions along the city where the GPS will stop responding, and a "searching satellite" message will show. Generally, this occurs when you drive into a parking lot or a pull-over spot or something. But never worry, these signal failures are hardly ever going to make your life harder. If you engage your GPS and the arrow still won't show up, try driving along the city for a few meters. It never fails =) ====================== The SMS System ====================== SMS stands for Short Message System and it does just what it says. From time to time, under certain circumstances, someone of the game will send you an SMS telling you of something good. There'll be an icon of a letter envelope and a warning sound to tell you got new messages. Press Tab to open the SMS window and read them. You can access many other options there. The color of the envelope will vary depending on the subject, which can be a new component to tune up your car, new visuals, or new cars. Additionally, if you drive into red "i" located along the city, a green SMS envelope will be sent to you - these are hints given by the game, most of them pretty obvious, some others quite useful, telling you about new shop locations. =================== |The Racing Events| =================== ==== Drag ==== One of my personal favs. Your objective is to speed up as most as you can in a pre-determined straightway in order to reach the finish line. You don't have to worry about reducing speed to enter a curve or numbers of laps and the usual. In this mode, even if you use automatic shifting, you'll have to shift gears by yourself, because a good timing when it comes to shift gears is also one of your missions. This is a rather different racing mode and a race ends pretty quickly. No time for mistakes or crashes. The screen is also divided differently: to the left will be located your now huge RPM indicator, and to the right, the N2O and Turbo pressure indicators, when installed in your car. Don't worry, they're also huge now =) The reason for the gauges to be so big is that now you really have to pay close attention to 'em, especially to your RPMs. Here's how it goes: when you accelerate, you'll notice that the RPM indicator's needle will change colors depending on how fast the engine's spinning. These colors represent a few basic shift periods, shown in the screen when you change to a higher gear: < Short Shift! > You have prematurely changed to a higher gear when your engine was running a low RPM level. This is one of the cases you'll lose most time until the engine gathers energy again. The RPM needle should be tinted white or light-blue.NOTICE! A SHORT SHIFT WILL SLOW YOU DOWN! < Good Shift! > You switched to a higher gear in a fairly good moment. The waste of power can be quite smaller that when you short-shift your car. The RPM needle should be tinted with a darker blue.NOTICE! A GOOD SHIFT WILL GIVE YOU A GOOD PUSH! < Perfect Shift! > Hey hotshot! Nice reflexes, you just shifted gears in the perfect moment. This is the optimum shift when it comes to the time your engine will take until it gathers rotation to perform the next shift. The RPM needle will be tinted green, but it just remains green for a few moments. That's your chance to achieve a perfect shift! NOTICE! PERFECT SHIFT WILL GIVE YOU A HEAD START! < OverRev! > You took too much time to shift gears and the RPMs went too high. It's not good to shift at low RPMs, but it's not good to change when they're excessively high, either. You'll lose time and power in both cases. The RPM needle should be tinted red.NOTICE! YOU CAN BLOW YOU ENGINE AND LOOSE! Notice that if you remain too much time in the OverRev zone of your RPM indicator without shifting gears, a red bar will begin to increase to the left of your RPM indicator: this is your temperature, so be careful: never let it grow too high or you'll get a blown engine message and your car will shutdown. Definitely, your worst chance of reaching 1st place. The controls are pretty different too: you sort of drive within pre-defined lanes, so that your main concern is to remain accelerating and shifting in the proper moment. The car will even make slight curves by itself when the drag raceway is not perfectly straight. But don't rely on this too much: you still have to avoid traffic by yourself. To do so, press your steering key until the car changes lane. This can be pretty fancy since the car's response will decrease at higher speeds, but don't give up until it changes its lane. Don't worry about performing small corrections on your path, because it'll only tell your car to change a whole lane each time you press a key. This will cause it to lose stability. At higher speeds, the camera will begin to shake and the world will become blurry, transmitting to the player a strong sensation of speed, despite some players find it quite confusing sometimes. Turning off the motion blur in the game's options can be a simple workaround. Equip turbos to enhance your horse power and acceleration, and use nitrous intelligently. Don't spend it all at once, wait for the proper moment to let go some N2O: if you use too much when the race begins, it might be the case that you'll not have any to the end of the race. But if you're too late, the N2O will not make a miracle to you. Your sense of judgment will develop in time. ========= Street X ========= One of the toughest. The drivers must race through a quite-frequently narrow circuit, pushing each other in order to obtain the best alignment to successfully enter a curve. It can be very frustrating sometimes, because once you couldn't achieve a good position, it might be the case that you'll not quite be able to reach the opponent or other racers until the end of the competition. This means that the Street X mode will quite often not forgive your mistakes. To ensure better chances, give special attention to your ride's handling, since you'll need to make very sharp curves. Sometimes when you're supposed to make a U-turn, you'll actually need to perform a near full stop, and then spin your car around, and accelerate again as fast as you can. To keep the gas pedal down during a curve may not be a good idea, since higher speeds will make your curve arc bigger. Desperation and bad positioning at start are your worst enemies. But you can always remain calm, restart the race, and give it another shot =) ================================== U.R.L. - Underground Racing League ================================== It's actually the less underground-looking event, since it'll take place in closed circuits without any traffic, and you'll have to accumulate points after each race to win. Sort of a mini-championship thing. An URL event consists of 2 or more races, where 4-6 drivers compete. By the end, the one with the highest score wins. Not much to say about this one - just keep an eye on the AI rival cars on the final lap, because they can become REAL nasty to you, popping out from nowhere at ridiculously high speeds through nitrous. ===== Drift ===== In this mode, your objective is to achieve points by drifting. Depending on your speed, number of wheels involved in the drift and the multiplying factors, the score is affected accordingly. Mainly, if you drift pretty fast with rubber being burnt from your 4 wheels, you'll score better than a slow, controlled drift. To drift, gather some speed and try to de-stabilize your car by steering from one side to another quickly. By the top-left corner of the screen there is a panel in which you can see how many points you'll need to increase the score multiplying factor. Make sure to keep it high to ensure that your drifts will be properly rewarded. But watch out: if during a drift you hit a wall, none of the points you were accumulating nor the multiplying factor will be kept. They'll all return to their original states and you'll have to start another drift move. This can be very frustrating, especially when you scored some serious points. To give priority to the car control and trajectory is strongly recommended. It's best to keep what you already reached then to risk yourself and lose it all. Basically, there are 2 categories of Drift stages: the circuit-like drift stages, and the downhill stage. On the circuit-like, the road is mostly flat, you'll find stripes on the edges of the road all along the circuit and you race against other cars in real time. When you drift over these stripes located on each side of the road, you score many more points than drifting over a regular surface. But be careful, since they are very close to the walls. The downhill stage is a little different: you don't actually see your opponent's cars; you're supposed to beat pre-determined scores. Let us say the AI car that ranked 1st scored 100.000 points - to win the race, you are supposed to score at least 100.001 points. You get the idea. In a downhill stage, there are no side-road stripes: instead, the super-score areas are located in some parts where there's some sort of gravel or sand. Also, another super-score condition is when an AI-controlled traffic car is nearby. Stay alert for these opportunities, and take double caution not to hit the traffic cars - their effect is the same of the walls. Another known super score area are sidewalks found in certain parts of the downhill stage. Very difficult to take advantage of them because of their proximity to the guard rails. In some downhill stages, there are also some sorts of shortcuts where the pavement is not quite asphalt, and act as super-score areas. These are actually quite wide, so they are supposed to be considered as top-priority if you want to score some serious points! If done correctly, one can easily score 40-50 thousand points in a single drift in these areas. Generally, these shortcuts are located to your right, and their pavement is stone-like. You can also sense a fairly strong change of grip when you drive through 'em. The usage of the handbrake is very important; with it, you can achieve higher curve rates, so you will also be able to perform better drifts. ======= Sprint ======= This mode consists of driving in a free-style course from point A to B. To the upper right part of the screen, it is possible to see the course completion in %. These courses offer a variety of shortcuts, so you can save valuable time using them. Looking at your mini-map can be a nice strategy to judge how fast you're supposed to go if you desire to turn safely through sharp turns. Balance things well, you're still supposed to actually drive by visuals, not only by your map =) ======== Circuit ======== The circuit events take place in the middle of the city, along a course that one can drive a number of times around it. Like the URLs, but with traffic and no guard-rails or specific things you'd expect to see in a formula something circuit. Along the course, you'll see that there are plenty of virtual walls with arrow-like polygons drawn into them, in order to make sure you'll grab the right path. Remember that since it's actually inside the city, without these virtual walls you'd have very nice chances of getting completely off course. Which somehow could be funny for others to watch. For others =) ======== Out Run ======== Talk about freestyle. In this mode, you pick the race anytime, anyplace, and the course is yours to invent. Surely, under a few circumstances... The out run races go like this: you spot an opponent car while you're cruising in the exploration mode (the orange arrows in the map). Then you go after him. These cars are normally modified as well, so it's not that hard to differentiate from traffic. Stick right behind it and wait for a signal: when the opponent's ready, your mobile phone by the top-left part of the screen will ring, and you'll also hear a mobile ringing. You'll also notice that the opponent's brake lights will become blurry, depending on the graphics card settings (the mobile thingy is more dependable). If you press your "enter race" key (default: Enter), the rival car will accept your challenge to out run it. You are supposed to trespass it and set 300 meters of distance between you and the opponent in order to win. The same goes on the contrary: if you get 300 meters away from it while he has the lead, you're basically screwed. There is a distance gauge in the top-left part of the screen that indicates that distance. If you're behind him big time, a GPS-like arrow will show up (only it's golden) so you can see where it is when you lost visual contact. If you have the lead, try to out run your rival as much as you can: as said before, you are free to create your own course in real time, so drive into sharp turns, be unpredictable and you may increase your chances of winning. Out Run races can also be used as a source to obtain unique parts for your car: if you keep winning out runs one after another, after some time you'll receive an SMS telling you that you acquired the right to get an unique part - this part can be either a visual upgrade, an Engine upgrade, weight reduction kit or nitrous upgrade. Further details about the uniques management will be given later on. ================ |Available cars| ================ Between the UK and US versions of the game, there are 31 cars. In this section, you'll find their names, manufacturers and performance data. The data herein has been obtained by putting all cars into the Dyno, then reading their numbers. Notice that these numbers are read when the cars have not received any kind of upgrade - they're in their complete-stock state. 1. Acura RSX Type S Type : FWD Torque : 192 Nm @ 6600 RPM Power : 149.3 kW @ 7550 RPM 2. Audi TT Type : AWD Torque : 320 Nm @ 2600 RPM Power : 185.7 kW @ 6200 RPM 3. Audi A3 Type : AWD Torque : 318.8 Nm @ 3350 RPM Power : 186.2 kW @ 6650 RPM 4. Cadillac Escalade Type : AWD Torque : 515 Nm @ 4050 RPM Power : 257.7 kW @ 5350 RPM 5. Ford Focus ZX3 Type : FWD Torque : 181.9 Nm @ 4700 RPM Power : 97.2 kW @ 5500 RPM 6. Ford Mustang GT Type : RWD Torque : 424.4 Nm @ 4350 RPM Power : 223.6 kW @ 5800 RPM 7. Honda Civic Si Type : FWD Torque : 151 Nm @ 6600 RPM Power : 118.3 kW @ 7550 RPM 8. Hummer H2 Type : AWD Torque : 522 Nm @ 3400 RPM Power : 242 kW @ 5350 RPM 9. Hyundai Tiburon GT Type : FWD Torque : 239 Nm @ 4000 RPM Power : 135.5 kW @ 6250 RPM 10. Infiniti G35 Type : RWD Torque : 364.8 Nm @ 4950 RPM Power : 208 kW @ 5850 RPM 11. Lexus IS300 Type : RWD Torque : 294.3 Nm @ 3900 RPM Power : 159.8 kW @ 5450 RPM 12. Lincoln Navigator Type : RWD Torque : 479.3 Nm @ 2750 RPM Power : 224.1 kW @ 5350 RPM 13. Mazda Miata MX-5 Type : RWD Torque : 148.4 Nm @ 5800 RPM Power : 95.5 kW @ 6650 RPM 14. Mazda RX-7 Type : RWD Torque : 292.7 Nm @ 5650 RPM Power : 190.7 kW @ 6600 RPM 15. Mazda RX-8 Type : RWD Torque : 215 Nm @ 5950 RPM Power : 177 kW @ 8000 RPM 16. Mitsubishi 3000GT Type : AWD Torque : 426.8 Nm @ 2500 RPM Power : 238.4 kW @ 5800 RPM 17. Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX Type : AWD Torque : 290 Nm @ 3350 RPM Power : 155.8 kW @ 5850 RPM 18. Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII Type : AWD Torque : 368.9 Nm @ 3350 RPM Power : 201.7 kW @ 5850 RPM 19. Nissan 240SX Type : RWD Torque : 215.6 Nm @ 4700 RPM Power : 115.8 kW @ 5450 RPM 20. Nissan 350Z Type : RWD Torque : 369.7 Nm @ 5000 RPM Power : 214.1 kW @ 5850 RPM 21. Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V Type : FWD Torque : 243 Nm @ 3900 RPM Power : 130.4 kW @ 6250 RPM 22. Nissan Skyline R34 GTR Type : AWD Torque : 298.8 Nm @ 6550 RPM Power : 206.2 kW @ 6600 RPM 23. Peugeot 106 Unknown (non-UK gamer) 24. Peugeot 206 GTI Type : FWD Torque : 192 Nm @ 3900 RPM Power : 102.9 kW @ 6250 RPM 25. Pontiac GTO Type : RWD Torque : 495 Nm @ 3900 RPM Power : 260.2 kW @ 5450 RPM 26. Subaru WRX Impreza Type : AWD Torque : 404.5 Nm @ 4200 RPM Power : 223.5 kW @ 5850 RPM 27. Toyota Celica GT-S Type : FWD Torque : 175.9 Nm @ 6550 RPM Power : 134.5 kW @ 7850 RPM 28. Toyota Corolla GTS Type : RWD Torque : 129.9 Nm @ 5000 RPM Power : 83.6 kW @ 6650 RPM 29. Toyota Supra Type : RWD Torque : 285 Nm @ 5000 RPM Power : 168.1 kW @ 5850 RPM 30. Volkswagen Golf GTi Type : FWD Torque : 234.7 Nm @ 2350 RPM Power : 134.4 kW @ 5800 RPM 31. Vauxhaul Corsa UK cars: UNKNOWN! ========================== |Visuals and Car Upgrades| ========================== This is what NFSU 2 is mostly about: car tuning. In this section, you'll learn about what parts can be added to your car and their effects to it. During the game, you will receive SMS messages to inform about unlocks; that is, new parts are available for you to purchase and pimp your ride, man. These parts can be obtained in various shops along the city, each one of them represented by a specific color on your map. By collecting "i" SMS messages (the ones that are spread through the city and you drive over to get), some of them inform you about the positions of these hidden shops. Remember that, by visiting new shops, you also unlock a big number of new parts and that the reputation points are supposed to play a role on unlocking. The shops have different lights close to them, so you'll know when you're coming close to these. An example of different light is the purple light close to your garage, the one Rachel tells you to drop her ride. The shop lights are just like that, only they are in colors such as yellow, blue, cyan, red and green. Below, a brief cover about the star rewarding system, and about the shops and their respective lights. =========================== Visuals: The stars system =========================== In this game, you can actively change the way your car looks by installing visual parts or changing other properties such as its paint or adding decals. Depending on how cool your car looks, you are awarded stars that will call other people's attention and increase the amount of cash you earn when invited to take pictures for a magazine cover. Some shops offer options to personalize your colors; others will install other parts such as spoilers or underglow neons. Down below there's a list of what parts each shop will offer, depending on how many parts you have unlocked in the game: < Body Shops (green light) > In body shops you can find skirts, spoilers, roof scoops, mirrors, hoods, headlights and backlights, wide body kits and carbon fiber parts. You can find anything in carbon fiber except for the lights, sure. Carbon fiber parts are considered "cooler" than regular parts. There are also options to convert your trunk and body kit to carbon fiber. This will increase your stars for sure. < Paint Shops (red light) > In these shops, you can change the base-color of your car and paint many other parts, like spoilers, roof scoops and all that. Depending on the paint type and on how many parts have been painted in non-stock colors, your stars will increase accordingly. Carbon fiber parts cannot be painted, so you have to decide whether you'll install a regular part or a carbon fiber part, and which of the two will look or feel better. In a paint shop, you can also apply vinyls and decals to your car; however, you cannot apply these to a carbon fiber surface, like a hood, for example. < Car Specialties Shops (yellow light) > This is where you can install neons, new gauges, nitrous purge systems and modify other structures like your trunk. Here, you can also install hydraulic suspension kits, car audio and LCDs, and doors. The finishing touch for any ride. ======================== A Word About Car Visuals ======================== The game offers a ton of options to personalize your car, and sometimes the player may find it difficult to decide which part to equip, since some parts that will look better may not always reward with more stars, or vice-versa. For example: carbon fiber parts offer much higher star ratings, but may not look as good as a pretty decent vinyl artwork. These parts will also limit your car painting. But the coolest thing in the game is that you don't necessarily have to equip the highest-rated parts in order to be able to build a 10-star car. Here's why: There are so many visual parts available and so many options to personalize these parts that the star rating may reach its maximum without forcing you to always use the parts that have the highest ratings. Specially when the percentage of unlocks is fairly high. I have had a tough time myself trying to increase the number of stars when there were not many unlocks, and I had the impression I'd have to end up building a completely carbon fiber-based car. But when I advanced more through the game I realized it was not necessary. Later on, I even managed to build a 10-star Honda Civic without really needing to use carbon fiber at all, nor engine neons, or other things that do not exactly please me. Keep in mind that it is important to get more stars, but even more is to have a car that you're glad to ride because of the way it looks. And that fortunately, the game allows you to do that ;) ======================== Performance Upgrades ======================== These upgrades will take care of the actual strength attributes of your car, which are: acceleration, top speed and handling. They can be found in performance shops: < Performance Shops (blue light) > Sells upgrades for your engine, ECU, suspension, brakes, turbo, nitrous, and also offers weight reduction kits. Their relation to the attributes are: Engine - acceleration and top speed ECU - acceleration and top speed Suspension - handling Brakes - handling Turbo - acceleration and top speed Nitrous - acceleration and top speed Weight reduction - acceleration and handling 3 graphic bars to the bottom of your car inform you about your ride's current status. Depending on which parts have been installed, one or more of the attributes will increase. When you are about to install a performance upgrade, the game will ask about which manufacturer you would like the part to be. It is up to you to choose one brand for each part, but I don't think it actually affects the evolution of your car in any way. Maybe it is a way to find out how much one loves one brand or another. ======================== Unique Upgrade Parts ======================== As said before, you can get unique upgrade parts if you keep winning Out Run races. The uniques, as well as other upgrades, can be found in 2 categories: the visual or the performance uniques. Then, when you get the SMS, follow the instructions in it then head to the shop where it's supposed to be found. Remember that for visual upgrades, you must head to a specific Body Shop, and for the performance uniques, you must head to a Performance Shop that is also specific to this occasion. Don't worry, the correct shops are displayed on your map and can be tracked by GPS. The visual unique installation demands a little less attention, because only one is distributed at a time: it can be a spoiler, or a wide body kit, for example. However, something different goes with the performance uniques: when you reach the performance shop to get your special part, there will be 3 upgrades available to choose from. You can pick either an engine upgrade, a weight reduction kit or a nitrous upgrade. Decide which of the 3 suits you better. However, if you enter Out Runs regularly, you may be called enough times to actually get all 3 upgrades for one car of your choice. Just remember what was the upgrade you chose last time so you can make sure to always get a different one. It may sound pretty obvious, but you can't actually see anywhere in the game whether your performance part is an unique or not; you can only feel like your car's become more powerful. So it is important to remember which ones you already got. =================== |Strategic Driving| =================== In this section, you will read about some strategies to make sure you are the first to cross the finish line, and about some tactical information that is quite convenient to know, but you'll find them nowhere else but here. (I'm not too sure about that last part =) =============================== The Nitrous-refill techniques =============================== Yeah, you read it right: you don't have to buy a new bottle of nitrous oxide to keep bustin' out there in the streets: in this game, there are a few ways to keep you filled with N2O's power. By driving in a stylish way and performing sets of moves, you gather points that are quickly converted to nitrous. Above your RPM indicator, there is a blue gauge: it's your nitrous level indicator. It has 2 levels: one represented by a dark-blue color, and level 2 is represented by a cyan-like color. Directly above these indications, the stylish driving points mentioned above show up when you perform a move. These nitrous-refill events are listed below: < Avoided Accident > Offers you 100 points, which can be obtained when you swiftly avoid colliding with another car, generally coming the opposite way. It is also possible to receive points by evading cars going the same way as you are, but that will demand that you are at higher speeds. It can be made in most racing modes, more frequently in the ones that there's traffic; and also in the exploration mode. To perform an avoidance, drive real close to an AI traffic car, for example. Line yourself parallel to it and then make sure you won't touch yourselves. Soon, there should appear that 100 points were obtained, followed by a small increase on your nitrous level. These points have a multiplying factor if the maneuver is performed correctly in a row. The multiplier can go as high as 5X. < Clear Section/Lap > Can only be made inside a race. If you drive smoothly, without hitting any guard rails or walls, at some locations the game will reward you with 150 points. This nitrous refilling tactic also has a multiplier, that increases each time you clear one of the race's sections without bumping around. About achieving a clear lap, the same goes: don't hit any guard rails/walls during the whole lap. Also has a multiplyer, and is worth 500 points. WAY tougher to do. < Hydros / Bounce > Can only be made with cars that have hydraulic suspension. Press and hold "H" and then use an arrow key to lift a specific part of your car. For example: the up arrow lifts your car's front, the left key lifts the wheels to the left of your car. Try to add some rhythm to your car's dance and the nitrous points will gradually increase. A simple example of a dance is to press sequentially down-up-up-down, and repeat this over and over, while the "H" key is pressed. You'll also receive nitrous points by bouncing with hydraulics: press and hold the "J" key and then press another arrow key to bounce off a little. You'll be rewarded nitrous points after a while. < Reverse > Driving backwards can ensure you some nitrous points. Depending on how long you drive without bumping into anything else, you receive points accordingly. < Drafting > By entering another car's vacuum region, you are awarded nitrous-points, depending on how much time you remain in this region. To do this, stick to your opponents rear and watch your points increase. Surely, there are minimum speeds for an area of vacuum to be formed, so don't expect to get nitrous just by chasing a 30 km/h turtle. < Lead Lap / Position gain > Can only be done in racing events that involve either one or both of these (laps and positions), which sounds pretty damn obvious to me. Every time you cross the start line as the race leader, you are awarded 150 points, multiplier-possible. Also, when you gain positions you receive points, depending on the position you got. < Spray show > As weird as it may sound, if you purge some nitrous away from you, you are awarded nitrous points shortly after. To perform a spray show, simply press the N2O key while letting go on the gas pedal. Do not do it with the gas pedal down because it will just speed you up, no spray show thingy. You are then rewarded with 100 nitrous points, quite often more than you wasted by throwing N2O away. Of course, if you pressed the nitrous key quickly. You always have the option to keep it pressed all day long, but that's not my business. It's convenient to remember that if you modified your nitrous purge system, the N2O cloud that is dispersed will look different from one car to another. < Power Slide > By performing a power slide (a sort of drift), you receive points, too. Depending on how long you spent drifting, the points vary accordingly. Like the drift stages, if you touch a wall or bump into someone, the power slide reward will fall back to zero. < 360s > Not very fancy to do, not so easy to explain. Basically, consists of spinning around drawing a circle in the ground with your car. Each 360 is worth 400 nitrous points, so they're definitely something to try. < Head Start > If your car's got enough horse power and acceleration, you may be rewarded with head start points quite often. Only supposed to happen in races, except drift. When the 3-2-1-go lady (I should work on this name too) tells you to lift off, and you have accelerated very quickly, you'll advance further than your opponents; that is when the game gives you 200 nitrous points. Remember the horse power and acceleration attributes. < Burnout > Doesn't always happen, and is by far the most temperamental nitrous-refill technique. It's based on how much time your tires get spinning without pushing your car forward - that is, they spin so fast that they can't generate traction. It also depends on how much power your car can generate, your drivetrain settings and all that. To do it, you can either push the gas pedal and hold, while in automatic shifting, or accelerate to maximum in Neutral position, then engage the 1st gear, while in manual shifting. Remember that it does not always happen, and by the times you perform it, it only happens once. If there is some formula to always perform a burnout, I really don't know. < Shortcut > It happens when you, during a race or in exploration mode, find and enter a shortcut. Normally these feature different pavement and are quite a bit tricky to be found, but still do-able. You'll then be rewarded with 200 nitrous points. < Hang Time > You are awarded nitrous points depending on how much time you spent on the air during a jump. While in flight, "Hang Time" will be displayed and the nitrous points will begin to count, until you land once again. < J-Turn > This maneuver is performed by driving in reverse, then quickly performing a 180 degree turn, and accelerating forward. To do this, drive in reverse up to 70 km/h (don't let the reverse nitrous points begin to count) then turn you car around and accelerate. If done correctly, you should gain 500 nitrous points. Remember that 70 km/h is the minimum speed for the maneuver to be considered. (Thanks for Wong Su Kun for this technique.) < Cleared Accident > By far, the less frequent. To make this maneuver, you are supposed to drive above an AI traffic car. The more cars you overfly, the higher your multiplier will be. Definitely some technique to watch out for, since you get 1000 points for each car you drive above! (Thanks for Wong Su Kun for this technique.) ====================================== Observations about the nitrous gauge ====================================== The nitrous gauge represents graphically how much N2O you have stored inside your tanks. Well, since the stylish-driving points are given numerically, wouldn't it be convenient if you could numerically know how much can be stored in your tanks? Sure it would. According to my calculations, each level of the Nitrous gauge holds approximately 1475 points, and since there are 2 levels, a total of 2950 points. Not really, really useful, but it was something nice to know, and something I could do =) As well as your nitrous level can be increased, some amounts of N2O can be taken away from you in case you hit traffic directly and cause an accident for example. The situations of increase/decrease nitrous listed above are the ones known by me, and some others were contributions from the readers of this guide. ========================== The "hidden" races ========================== Well, they are not quite hidden, they are just not displayed explicitly on your map. Sometimes, especially when you drive from one district to another, you are subject to receive a phone call of someone telling you something like this: "Yo man, have you heard about the rumors of racing on the
? I heard they were noobs and should be easy pickings, if you're near, can you check it our and let me know? Thanks!" or "Hey dog, there's some racing going on the , I haven't been able to pinpoint the exact location, but you should be able to find it without much problem. That's it, cya, peace." Then the guy hangs up the phone. Sometimes he says he's headed that way, and the voice message may vary a little, but the important thing to get is the name of the district in which he said the race was on. It seems to be important to enter these races regularly, because there are cases of players stuck at a certain point of the game with no events to enter. When you enter these races, you reduce your chances of running out of events. I didn't really get looking for these races, myself. What I've done was to, when enroute to a GPS-mapped event, stay alert for "enter race spots" that weren't displayed on the map. My priority was to enter them, because since their position was uncertain, I couldn't afford to race them later on. Since you can't track them with GPS, it's easy to forget where they'll be some next time. This is a simple tactic that may ensure a better gaming experience, cos no one really wants keep riding through the city without an objective. ========================== Car Lot Transactions ========================== Once in a while, you'll receive SMS messages telling you that some new cars are available for you to get on the nearest Car Lot. That sounds nice, since the sponsors are the ones who pay them for you. And you can hold up to five cars, depending on how many sponsorships you got. But be aware: if you already reached your maximum number of cars (which may not necessarily be 5), AND you want to get another one, you have to get rid of one. Take extra attention not to trade-in a car that you have already tuned, bought upgrade parts and spent serious money on it. THERE ARE NO REFUNDS. For that purpose, choose some car you haven't even touched or some you modified very little. When you chosse a new car and you have no space to keep it, the game will ask you if you want to get rid of the car you are driving at the present moment or some other. Be cautious to make your choice accordinlgy. In NFSU 2, you can't sell cars either. The car trade-in and subsequent money loss almost happened to me once, and happened to a friend of mine. So keep in mind that losses on the Car Lot are possible and quite frequent. The same concept is valid for getting cars when you still have space in your garage: the parts you have will not transfer to your new ride. And you can't sell them for the money. ======================== |Game Continuity Issues| ======================== In Need for Speed Underground 2, it is known that a large number of people usually get stuck in a certain percentage of the game. This can be a particularly big problem, because being stuck means: a) No races b) No cash c) No action d) Anger, impatience and a will to uninstall the game e) A will to throw your computer through the nearest window f) All choices above Most of us know that option "F" is quite often the most common found out there. I do not disagree with these players, since the game lacks, in some way, a feedback to warn players about what to do to keep going. Mostly, players will become careless since they can rely on their map and GPS to go after races, but what to do when there are no more races displayed? To avoid these situations of inactivity, there are a few things that can be done to keep you away from this. This explanation will be given based on my own gaming experience on NFSU 2, since I never really got stuck in any part of the game. Please, understand that there are no specific ways to get things moving for "Player A who is stuck on 15%" or "Player B who got stuck on 43% of the game". The apparent solutions for cases of inactivity are somewhat quite generic, but appear to be effective despite of that. If still, after reading and fully accomplishing the demands listed below, you can't get past some point, DO NOT EMAIL ME asking what to do. This game has some glitches and facts without explanation for which I CANNOT be held responsible. The synthesis of this knowledge will be listed below, in a few rules: 1- Keep your stars shining in the sky Always try to keep your stars as high as possible. It is known that the magazine photo opportunities cause the game to keep going and new races to be displayed. This situation may represent a quite unpleasant problem: ugly cars. Sometimes, one may not have many visual unlocks to equip their cars with; as a consequence, not too many choices to make, and very easily the car will not look as the player really, really wants. But you're stuck in the game, doesn't know what to do, and is about to make a frisbee out of your graphics card - who could stop this mayhem?? It happens that installing the visuals that are currently available just to increase your star points are a way out. Yeah, carbon fiber everywhere, even carbon fiber tires, just to make more stars and then some freakin' magazine calls you out of the ashes. Only if you're very lucky, in such cases your car won't look like kitchen laminate paper or a walking circus. But remember it's for a noble cause: they will call you for some photos, the game will go on and you can get rid of these horrible visuals as soon as you think. However, it's not all like gloom and doom out there. It's possible to don't have a circus ride if you care about the unlocking tactics covered below. And even if you passed the point you were stuck, congratulations, but keep in mind that you can't relax until you're the king - therefore, never stop enhancing your vehicle. By doing this, you will prevent this from happening again. 2- To Unlock, hit the shop Always get to visit new shops as soon as you can. By visiting new shops, the game will unlock quite a few new parts for you. After a number of races, you should receive SMS messages telling about a new part or two. But going to new shops are also very important and must be considered as a high priority duty. Remember going to new shops especially when the computer gives you access to new parts of the city. Every new area has its shops, each one of them will bring you new parts. 3- Disappearing stars that don't become supernovas When you get called by a magazine to take pictures of your car or to show up on a DVD cover, a star will appear on the map as usual. However, there are cases that when one of these stars are displayed, and you decide to enter some race before taking the picture, the stars simply disappear. And that can be pretty dam nasty. I also took this risk quite a few times when on my way to take a picture, found a hidden race and decided to enter it before talking to the magazine guys. The reason why the star never disappeared might have been pure luck. But I recommend you to don't take any chances: in this game, the cases where players get stuck are for real. Give the stars high priority and get there as soon as you can. 4- You are elle? No way, I'd rather stick to URLs. Not so commonly known to players is that the Underground Racing League events are quite possibly the ones of biggest importance. They are also quite attractive because of the payouts. You can earn a lot of money if you win. Plus, they are rather cool. However, in case you're some drag freak that cares about drag races more than anything, be advised that, in order to finish the game, you have to complete all the URL events, PLUS you have to build a 10-star car. Only after that, and only then, you will be allowed to face Caleb himself, the motherfucker who ambushed you bout 6 months ago. My opportunity to race Caleb happened when I was at 65-66% percent of the game complete and entering URLs like crazy. Then I noticed that there was a new circuit event available. When I entered, there was a short comic-like animation where Caleb called you out to compete with him face to face. And that's what happens: The circuit is very long, starts out near the airport, has 5 laps and it's the only 1 vs. 1 circuit in career mode. If these are the characteristics you see, then you've done everything right in the game and is ready for the ultimate showdown. ========================= After you Finish NFSU 2 ========================= Raise a hand and wave to the crowd... you finished the game!!! However, it is known that if one finishes the game, it's quite possible that the game's completion rate never exceeded 65-66%. That's probably because of the way the game was built. This section was written to provide you a little more hours of fun on career mode. As you finish the game, you'll receive an SMS message from Rachel Teller, telling you (well, that's normally what tellers do =) that you finished the game, and that by acessing the option "World Map" from you garage, you can re-race any event. And that's where the remaining 34% of the game can be completed: In any moment while you're in exploration mode, hit Esc and then choose "Jump to Garage". In there, press right once then select "World Map". By the new window that appears, press the left or right arrow keys to select one of the 5 game stages. Then, press up and down to select an event. Select the ones marked as "Not Completed", then enter them. And this is how you race the remaining 34%! However, you may notice that just by doing what was mentioned above will not award you with points or cash after the end of a race. But I noticed something pretty strange, and somewhat quite useful: if you hit Esc when inside a race, then choose to restart and win, you'll get the cash! It was something that happened to me, but then I confirmed with other fellow players. I wasn't really trying to discover this; I think I just restarted because I messed up some race and then noticed this occurance. I believe this is a glitch from the game or something. I don't really know if there are patches to prevent you to exploit this, but who cares? Racing for free is not quite my style, especially on Underground 2 ;) ================ |Known Glitches| ================ As far as I know, besides the "Restart for cash" glitch described in the previous section, the Out Run races have proven quite buggy sometimes. I believe it's hard for the computer to actually determine who is winning or when one car trespasses the other when it comes to a freestyle race course. So it happens that, sometimes when the AI opponent crashes and you trespass him, theoretically gaining the Lead... you just keep in second place, and since your speed is quite often very high, you push the knife against you - the distance increases dramatically, making it easier for the nutty bot to score his 300 meters of distance. Or sometimes when you nitidly have the lead, and then the computer takes a wrong path. Apparently he's behind you, but then you lose the lead from nowhere. And you're basically screwed. Also, there are cases that the distance indicator seems to be uncertain of your actual distance from the AI car when you're leading - it happens that the distance gauge begins to jump, and once I could even defeat my opponent without reaching 300 meters. I still had like 70 meters to go, but I think the AI just gave up ;) I'm not certain if there are correction patches or any effort to correct these at all. Anyways, it's nice to know that something spooky doesn't only happen to you. Don't blame yourself and/or your computer. It might be the game... just don't always use this excuse =) ========================== Rachel's SMS glitch ========================== (VERY famous glitch) It is also known that, at a certain point, Rachel sends you an SMS message telling you to give back her car - NOW! Only one problem: You're on 47% of the game, or in some cases you have even finished it. Here's how it happened to me: After I finished the game, I began to race the events that were still remaining. After some race from stage 1, I received this message. But, before freaking out, I remembered that I created a new account a short while ago, to feel Rachel's car power compared to mine. I realized there were 2 races you could enter with her car, on the meantime before you return the car. Then, after completing these 2 races, I received the EXACT SAME SMS I received after I finished the game! Here's an explanation: most players (like me) feel like giving the car back to her before anything else, and don't enter these races. But they are still there somewhere. If, on some moment other than the car returning, you finish these races, the game will keep on sending you the SMS in any ways. This is a spooky glitch that confuse most players, but not something to be worried about. I could still get 100% even after receiving this. [o-o-o-o-o-|****************|-o-o-o-o-o] [o-o-o-o-o-|*Special Thanks*|-o-o-o-o-o] [o-o-o-o-o-|****************|-o-o-o-o-o] Well well, this is it... the FAQ is finally done. In this section I'd like to thank some people who made this FAQ possible: + The guys at EA Games/THX for making such a neat game. and.... YOU! Thanks for choosing and reading my FAQ!!!!!