Racing Into the Future

The last few minutes of 1999.

Ridge Racer Type 4 is a game that lives in the corners. Winning or losing, it all depends on how you tackle each bend and curve of the circuits the game’s career mode, whether it’s easing off on the accelerator and letting your car glide through the inside, or hitting the brakes at just the right moment to slide along the outside. It makes for a compelling challenge every race, and as the difficulty climbs, you are forced to go faster and faster in order to survive, until you reach the final challenge.

Here, R4 does something truly special. On this last circuit, in the closing minutes of 1999, playing the game as you have done before will fail you. Drifting will see your opponents effortlessly overtake you, and trying to slow down will only leave you with the image of your opponents getting further and further past the horizon. If you want to make it to the new millennium in time, then you have to let go. Unlearn what you have learned, and embrace the spirit of the new millennium. No more drifting, no more slowing down. Slam your foot down on the accelerator, never letting go, never looking back, until 1999 is nothing but a distant speck in the rear view mirror, and you reach the future in mind and body. 

I can’t think of a better way to ring in the New Year.

By Erin D

Erin D is a non-binary freelance writer who never knows what to say for this kind of thing. They find writing about video games, anime, novels, history, and queerness much easier. Besides Into The Spine, you can also find their work on Gayming Mag, their YouTube channel, and their Twitter, @woodaba2.

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