Midtown Madness [Tips & Short cuts] Submitted by: Thampuran E-mail: - email@example.com Short cuts ---------- McCormick Place -- This open building allows you to zip right through, even though it's not marked on the map. There are a few loading docks to fly across, as well as two intentionally propped ramps outside along the southeastern wall. Open Field -- These open grassy areas are great for performing high-speed turns and throwing off anyone on your tail. You don't want to brake on the slippery grass as you can spin out rather easily. From this area, you can quickly head in towards Chinatown, up along Lake Michigan or hit the freeway going west. Soldier Field -- There are three entrances into Soldier Field? east, west and south. Make sure you're lined up perfectly before trying these doorways at full speed. Many a player in Cops and Robbers meet their doom trying to navigate these tricky little doorways. Meigs Field -- The airport offers three things: a nice location to view the flybys by the big jets, a raised platform with two ramps and some open space to lose those persistent cops or antagonistic players in Cops and Robbers. Adler Planetarium -- This little building has a passageway right through the middle. Frequently, the gold in Cops and Robbers will be located on the side of the planetarium facing the water. Come flying through the breakaway wall at full speed and fly straight through, letting the back wall do the braking for you (well?most of the braking?). Sure, you'll gather some damage but you also gain some time as well. In the area between the planetarium and the museum, you'll find another ramp. If you're doing breakneck speed in the Panoz, you can clear any traffic on the main road in front?but you'll probably get some damage as well. Tunnel -- There is a tunnel with an entrance on what would be Harrison Street, with the other entrance southeast of Dearborn Station. Field Museum -- This location offers two stairway ramps; one at the north end and the other at the south end. Flying up these ramps at an angle will launch you into the air and hopefully force an opponent who is following, to misjudge and wreck into the Museum. Dearborn Station -- The Station itself is not the draw here but the open area and trees surrounding the Station. You can maintain a high rate of speed while weaving through the trees. Why weave through the trees? So those Terminator 2-style cops will take themselves out by accident?.heh-heh. Alleyway -- If you sweep around Dearborn Station, then fly west and the cops are still on your tail, there is an alleyway opening heading north. Hit it dead on, sending the boxes flying, and maybe the cops won't be so lucky. This is also a great path from the Sears Tower to get to the southern freeway exits. Construction Yard -- Try smashing through either the northwest or southeast walls. These walls are darker than the rest. You'll fly through some construction equipment?uh, don't hit the crane?it won't fall?believe me?and right out the other end. This is a handy trick to know in the Checkpoint Race: Freeway Flyer. Breakable Window Glass -- There is glass on both the south and east sides of the corner of this building allowing you to fly through it and not lose too much speed through the turn. Oh, you'll get damaged, and you really can't see what the traffic situation is around the corner so it is a bit of a gamble...but, hey, you're driving a rental! Stairways -- These stairways don't do too much but give you a place to climb, while trying to turn quickly and fly back down. Why? For the heck of it, or to try to get one of the cops to take themselves out. Stairways -- Same as number twelve above. Tunnel -- This sweeping S-shaped tunnel is a great diversion and not really a necessity for Checkpoint Race: Beetle Blast-A-Thon. Race it?find out for yourself. North Bank River Alley -- Okay, so this one is marked on the map. It's narrow, tricky and a handful when a gaggle of autos are trying to run you out of the way. Around the Wrigley Building are a set of alleys which are good to be aware of because if you can quickly make the ninety-degree turns at speed?chances are the cops won't. River-Crossing Jump -- So we've all got a little Evil Knievel in us, just hopefully not the broken bones to match. With this westward facing jump, do a daredevil-style jump across the river. It's a great way to lose any cops on your tail?and it looks cool, too. Of course, you need to be doing about 130 miles per hour and hit it dead on, so you land on the street on the other side and not in someone's living room. Tunnel - Alley Combination -- More of a short roadway through a building than a true tunnel, this path is perfect for keeping the RPMs churning high while heading straight into Chinatown. Spacious Area -- Yeah, doesn't sound like much but this building is one of my key areas for pulling ninety or one hundred eighty degree turns. The open area around the building allows me to keep my speed up while pulling a sweeping turn. Don't overlook the importance of this area in multiplay. Another Spacious Area -- Again, another place to keep up the speed while making a turn. Burn this location in your brain! Sears Tower -- Nothing special, just more room around to pull those moves that only you can! Non-River-Crossing Jump -- Why is this jump here? No idea? you can't jump the river this way. Even at max speed, you'll end up sleeping with the fishes. If you want to try it, you'll need to go up the alley (#22) and partway into the tunnel (#23) and then come flying back, hoping no traffic is in your way and that you pull off the final turn onto the ramp perfectly?and you'll see that?you go really?nowhere. Cross Alley -- This cross-shaped alley is essential for victory in the Checkpoint Race: Beat The Bridges. Daley Plaza -- The building with the artsy-fartsy red sculpture?that's the one. It's a nice open space to fly around and keep the speed up while hopefully watching your opponents impale themselves upon the red angular pieces of the sculpture. Can You Wrap It To Go Please? -- This mall doesn't normally allow drive-through shopping, but I'm sure they'll make an exception in your case. Just don't get caught. The entrances are at the north and south ends of this building. Just make your own doorway through the plate-glass windows. Art Institute -- There is a pathway that runs north-south through the middle. This is an essential pathway for victory in the Checkpoint Race: Soldier Sneaker. Just be aware of the tree right outside the south end as it can bring you to a quick unwanted stop when doing 120 MPH. Navy Pier -- My favorite locale for shaking the local heat? There are several cross-streets and a raised parking platform with two separate ramps to get to it. When several cops and/or opponents are making your driving experience intolerable, weaving in and out of traffic can quickly bring any pursuers to a halt. Tunnel Of Donuts -- This tunnel differs from the others in that it has a central area where you can quickly turn around if necessary. It's also a nice place to go to get uptown quickly. Breakable Window Glass -- Another glass window on the south and west sides of the building allows you to smash right on through. Some damage?some car collisions?maybe some pedestrians getting in the way?but, that's their problem, not yours. Cool Looking Church! -- The open area around the structure gives you some high-speed turning area and a nice place to swing the big rigs around. The stone church is one of the nicest looking in this virtual city landscape. Three-Piece Alleyway Collection -- Only the centerpiece of the alley shows on your map but the northern and southern sections are there in the virtual city. When racing the Checkpoint Race: Beetle Blast-A-Thon, ramming the truck northwards through here is an effective way to trash your competition. John Hancock Center -- The only thing of notice here is the walkway that goes into the ground and pops out again. This is a location where the gold will get placed occasionally in Cops and Robbers multiplay games. Wrigley Field -- If you feel like trying to run the bases at eighty miles per hour, go ahead. Two slim entrances can make the price of admission a bit high, but it's a great place to throw your pursuers off the scent. Dual Stairs -- Much easier to go down than up. If you do need to go up them, make sure to use the sidewalk. Don't worry about the pedestrians, they can take care of themselves. Shedd Aquarium -- The aquarium has doors that you can break down on the west side. Head through the curving passage and out the other side! ------ Tips ------ Here are several tips that apply to all styles of game play in Microsoft's Midtown Madness. OVERALL No matter the vehicle, always lay back on the throttle when taking a tight turn. If you don't, your rear end will come swinging around on you. Power slides work great in the Ford F-350 truck. When you need to take a ninety-degree turn, don't worry about the brakes. Just turn as quickly as you can and then apply a little opposite lock to help correct for the power slide skid. This is very effective in keeping those pesky cops from following you too easily. Learn to use a vehicle that matches your driving style. If you like to hit things (or just can't help it), try the Ford F-350 truck. Once you feel the need for more speed and control, grab the Cadillac or Mustang GT. Once you're completely comfortable and need more speed, go for the Panoz Roadster or GTR-1. Since there are no true damage meters, keep an eye out for smoke. White smoke means you're probably about fifty percent damaged. Black smoke means one more good hit and you are out of there. Try to use a combination of the handbrake and the accelerator to power skid through turns. CRUISE Use the Cruise mode to try out different paths if stuck on a Checkpoint race. My favorite play style in Cruise is to use the bus and play out a scene from the movie Speed. Keep it at fifty-five and try to make it around the city. Harder than it sounds! Cruise is the best way to try the handling of the different vehicles before committing yourself to a race. Try to discover all the shortcuts not shown on the map. There are several alleyways and river pathways that are essential for winning Checkpoint races. And don't miss our special Shortcuts article in the Game Tips section. Find different locales where you can easily lose the cops. When shooting down the narrow confines of the Navy Pier, the cops tend to wreck. If you dart down a narrow alley or the river path alley, the cops nearly always crash when trying to make the turn into the entrance. Try to drive on the sidewalks. The pedestrians will always move aside, but do watch out for the trees. BLITZ You can win the first three or four races with the new VW bug, but then you'll want to throw yourself behind the wheel of the Panoz roadster because it has a much higher top-end speed and better acceleration. The traffic patterns can vary when restarting a race, so watch out for different moves by the surrounding traffic. CHECKPOINT You do NOT need to go after the checkpoints in order. All you need to do is hit them all. The checkpoint does not need to be lit up on your map to get credit for passing through it. Try to keep your turns to a minimum so you can keep your speed as fast as possible. Soldier Sneaker - Immediately pull a one-eighty to the left as you start out staring at some eighteen-wheelers who would like to make you a hood ornament. Next, use the pathway through the center of the Art Institute and be sure to bear to the left when you exit because of a tree that is standing in your way. Don't stick to the roads; just follow the arrows. After hitting the two checkpoints at Adler Planetarium, cut through Meigs Field so when you zoom out for the next checkpoint, you'll be heading in the right direction. Freeway Flyer - If you keep getting trashed in the congestion of other racers making the first turn, hold back just slightly and then turn hard-left up the sidewalk. When everyone turns right, go straight and take the shortcut through the construction yard. Swing across the open area in front of the Sears Tower to take first and to get into the alleyway before the others. Rub your lucky rabbit's foot because when you exit the alley, there may be no traffic or there may be a few buses coming your way. Once you reach the highway, the worst is behind you. Protect your car and watch for any remaining cops. Nocturnal Navigator - Go against the flow in this one! Immediately turn around and bear to the left around the next three turns. You'll see you're not the only one doing this. Once you see a mad rush of cars coming at you (these are the remaining racers), get on the left side sidewalk to bypass the tangle of cars. Take the right into the tunnel. Near the end of the tunnel, it will sweep to the left. Slow down and come flying out of the tunnel continuing to the left. Hit your very first right then follow it up with the first left. This way you'll avoid one of the cops on the path. In two checkpoints, you'll see the Mall on the left. Break through the window and head over to the other side. Go left after showering the streets with broken glass from your mall exit. As soon as you hit the next checkpoint, with one of Chicago's finest on your tail, you'll notice you need to be going the other way. The grassy field to your left is a great place to execute a high-speed turn while hopefully avoiding the officer pursuing you. From this point on, it's mainly a matter of protecting your car...and your lead. Beat The Bridges - This is one of the trickier ones. You can try to drive flawlessly and maybe use the North River Alleyway to your advantage or another proposal is to hit the checkpoints out of order by going east-west instead of north-south. Once you hit the first five checkpoints, take the next left and hit the alley. When you come out, scream through the checkpoint and go straight across the river. Take your first left and then left again to hit the final checkpoint and have yourself set up for the finish line.