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San Fransisco Rush is a series of arcade-style racing games, originally developed by Atari Inc. The games focus on Jump Physics and wildly insane stunts instead of realistic gameplay, though it's possible to turn up the realism for more advanced players. True to the title, the races are held in the streets and environs of San Francisco[1], where the hilly terrain provides numerous opportunities to perform jumps and stunts.

Also, most tracks have a large number of shortcuts, some very obvious and some that can be found only after being very familiar with the track. The better shortcuts are more dangerous, requiring the player to determine the risk/reward of each in a fraction of a second.

The home console versions also have a stunt mode that really shows off the physics engine, and other extras like Battle Mode.

The series consists of:

  • San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing (Arcade - 1996)
    • San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing (Nintendo 64 - 1997)
    • San Francisco Rush The Rock: Alcatraz Edition (Arcade - 1997)
    • San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing (Play Station - 1998)
  • Rush 2: Extreme Racing USA (Nintendo 64 - 1998)
  • San Francisco Rush 2049 (Arcade - 1999)
  • L.A. Rush (Playstation 2, X Box, PC - 2005)
    • Rush (PSP - 2006)

This game series demonstrates the following tropes:

  • Benevolent Architecture: Sure, the streets are cordoned off for the race, but someone still overlooked those ramps, subway tunnels, spacious sewer pipes, and hills that are just perfect for shortcuts...
  • Bland-Name Product: Most of the cars. E.g., the Muscle Car is a Corvette Stingray, the Prototype is a Ford GT-90, the Sportster is a Dodge Viper, and the Panther is a McLaren F1.
  • Cool Car: Some propelled by rockets, some with wings and all get bonus points for doing wicked midair spins.
  • Capcom Sequel Stagnation
  • Drive On Water: Except when it just resets you because you're not supposed to be there.
  • Energy Weapon: In battle mode.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Your car will instantly explode if flipped upside down, no exceptions. Or if you crash at a certain speed.
  • Expansion Pack: The arcade version of 2049 got two of them: The Tournament Edition which adds some now-defunct tournament functionality, and the Special Edition which adds the two courses from the console versions with some new paths and shortcuts.
    • Additionally with an N64 Expansion Pak you can to unlock 2 more tracks and an additional circuit in 2049.
  • Harder Than Hard: The games allow you to set the difficulty before each race by choosing a more "Dangerous" car. The harder difficulty levels feature less computer-assisted driving and more realistic (and unforgiving) vehicle physics.
    • The home versions also have a "Death" option, which makes all crashes final.
    • In 2049, if you do a death race on Presidio, the computers tend to get themselves killed on higher difficulties
  • Invisible Wall: Sometimes you'll be scraping the side barrier 50 feet up in the air, although it does help you stay on track.
  • Jump Physics: Let's just say that flying over the top of the stunt levels is far from unusual, and the things you can do with that amount of airtime are absurd, to say the least.
  • Minus World: The "underworld" underneath the track, which can be accessed by glitching through the ground or jumping off the track where the Invisible Wall is absent. In most cases though, landing outside the track resets your position.
  • Mission Pack Sequel
  • Multi Platform: As noted, 2049 was released simultaneously on the Nintendo 64 and Dreamcast. As well as LA Rush.
  • Not a Scratch on It: In 2049, you can make your car go end over end, and, unlike other Rush games, where this trope is averted, if you manage to land on your wheels, the car will be completely undamaged.
  • Oh Crap: Switches in 2049 do a lot of different thingsl one in particular raises a wall with a smiley face on in it directly in your path.
    • Another sends a giant piston out about 100 yards in front of you. Admit it, you would pay to see the looks on the other drivers' face when the giant piston comes out right in front of them.
  • Product Placement: Mountain Dew cans act as collectibles in Rush 2, billboards for EGM and other Atari games such as California Speed and Area 51 also appear in the games.
  • Recycled in Space: FIFTY YEARS IN THE FUTURE for 2049
    • Also, Rush 2, which is Rush in places other than San Fran! Which is also the reason it dropped the "San Francisco" part of the title.
  • Rule of Cool: Why cars have wings in the home version of 2049
    • Not to mention the stunts as a whole. The first race in the first game allowed you to drive under an 18-wheeler semi, vault up eight stories to land on top of an apartment building, then drive back down to the street level with a sizable lead... if you could pull it off, of course.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Atari Games' earlier racing sims, Hard Drivin' and Race Drivin' .
  • Timed Mission
  • Title Scream: "3, 2, 1, RUSH!"
  • Updated Rerelease: San Francisco Rush: The Rock, and San Francisco Rush 2049: Tournament/Special Edition.
  • Vehicular Combat: Battle Mode


  1. A simplified version, anyway
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