Nitrous is a main gameplay feature first introduced in Ridge Racer (PSP). Generally speaking, nitrous oxide (or N2O), is an oxidizing agent that will temporarily increase the horsepower of the car as it is injected into the manifold of the engine. Once it's been triggered, the vehicle will go past its speed limit temporarily for a few seconds. The only way to charge nitrous is to drift around corners. The charge speed rate depends on how sharp the corners and the speed of the drifts. Sometimes it even depends on the vehicle - not all cars have the same charging rates.
Ridge Racer (PSP) and Ridge Racer 2
Nitrous made its debut starting with Ridge Racer (PSP). Nitrous is filled by drifting around corners. Up to three gauges at a time, but only one shot of nitrous can be used at a time, but can be used simultaneously for as long as the gauges are charged.
Ridge Racer 6
Ridge Racer 6 introduced a new mechanic for Nitrous, in the form of Double and Triple Nitrous. in which two or three boosts (referred to as "double nitrous" and "triple nitrous", respectively) can now be used at the same time, where using two or all three boosts will increase the engine power gained from using it, as well as its duration. Ultimate Charge is also introduced in which the nitrous charges faster than normal when the car decelerates back to its normal speed after boosting, so fast and sharp drifts, as well as knowledge of the track layouts, are key to mastering Ultimate Charge. Take note - different cars have different Ultimate Charging rates.
Ridge Racer 6 is also the first game in the series to take advantage of a car's boost characteristics, mainly that cars with higher normal speeds are likely to have weaker boosts, while cars with slower normal speeds would tend to have stronger boosts.
Ridge Racer 7
There are 8 types of Nitrous in Ridge Racer 7:
- Basic Type - Same with the PSP versions. Default type. You can't use Double or Single Nitrous with this type of nitrous, and also lacks Ultimate Charge capabilities.
- Standard Type - You can charge up to three boosts at once and use Double and Triple Nitrous. Most normal type with standard power. It also features basic Ultimate Charge as well.
- Flex Type - Has a very long gauge and can be used as you hold the Nitrous button. If used for five seconds, the boost becomes more powerful than standard.
- Quad Type - A Standard Nitrous with one additional boost on reserve, but you're still only limited to three boosts at a time.
- Long Type - You can charge up to two nitrous boosts, each with 1.5 times longer than normal nitrous. Power is the same as the Standard type.
- Reverse Type - Same as the standard nitrous; however, it can only charge by drifting corners while using the nitrous.
- Auto Type - Used the same as the standard nitrous; however they charge over time, without regard to drift speeds.
- High Type - This type of nitrous is similar to the standard type, the main differences being that the horsepower increase is much stronger than normal, allowing the car to boost to even higher speeds at the cost of how long the boost may last. Normal and Ultimate charging is also quicker than standard.
The boost characteristics are present again in Ridge Racer 7, with faster cars having weaker nitrous boost, and slower cars having stronger boost.
Ridge Racer Slipstream
Ridge Racer Slipstream saw the simplification of nitrous types, now divided into three types of boost (Normal, Extended and High) and three types of charge (Normal, increased Ultimate Charge rate and Auto-Charge). Ultimate charging mechanism is also revised, so now player has to drift while boosting to initiate Ultimate Charge.
Ridge Racer 7 introduced customizable nitrous. There are two stages of factory nitrous modifications as well as three aftermarket options. Stage 1 factory nitrous upgrades allows for double/triple boosts while Stage 2 factory nitrous upgrade adds the ability of Ultimate Charge as well as more powerful boost. Optional aftermarket options are as follows:
- Galaxian nitrous upgrade consist of three options: Normal Charge (equal to Stage 2 factory upgrade), Normal Charge + U (increases Ultimate Charge accumulation rate) and Normal Charge + B (increases Normal Charge accumulation rate).
- Consumer Tec nitrous upgrade consist of three options: Normal Charge (equal to Stage 2 factory upgrade), Flex Nitrous, and High Nitrous.
- General Resource nitrous upgrade adds a fourth tank with three options: Normal Charge, Reverse Charge, and Auto-Charge.
- Note: Some Nitrous parts have modifications and combination of two types.
- The Assoluto Pronzione and Pac-Man's vehicle in Ridge Racer 7 are the only vehicles in the game to feature both auto-charge and unique nitrous types (Flex Nitrous and High Nitrous, respectively), in order to accommodate their inability to drift, let alone, make contact/friction with the road, as they are anti-gravity vehicles.
- Using nitrous in Ridge Racer 6 and 7 will alter the frequency of the music playing during the race. Likewise, when using triple nitrous in Ridge Racer 6, a "tunnel vision" effect will display across the entire screen and HUD.
- Nitrous depicted in the games show a different color of nitrous boost (as characterized by the vapor trails on the exhaust), depending on which type is installed:
- Standard: Red (single), Green (double), Light Blue (triple)
- Flex: Yellow (basic), White
- Long: Orange (single), Purple (double)
- High: Dense red (single), Dense green (double), Dense light blue (triple)
- In Ridge Racer (PSP) and Ridge Racer (PSP) 2, the color of nitrous is the same as that of Triple Nitrous (light blue).
- Because nitrous are recharged only by drifting, this may explain why Grip handling type was discontinued after Ridge Racer V, the last game without a nitrous mechanic.
- It may also explain why cars in the later games have been made slightly slower in terms of normal top speeds, compared to the cars in Ridge Racer V.
|Ridge Racer series|
|Arcade games||Ridge Racer · 2 · Rave Racer · Pocket Racer · V: Arcade Battle|
|Console and handheld games||Ridge Racer · Revolution · Rage Racer · Type 4 · 64 (DS) · V · Ridge Racer (PSP) (2) · 6 · 7 · 3D · Unbounded (Driftopia) · Ridge Racer (PlayStation Vita)|
|Mobile games||Ridge Racer · Drift · Accelerated · Slipstream · Draw & Drift|
|Related games||SimDrive · Ace Driver (Victory Lap · 3: Final Turn) · Dirt Dash · R: Racing Evolution · Critical Velocity · Pachislot|
|Universe and people||Ridge City · Ridge State · Shatter Bay · Real Racing Roots · UFRA · Reiko Nagase · Enki Gilbert · Shinji Yazaki · Sophie Cavalier · Robert Chrisman · Ai Fukami · Rena Hayami · Gina Cavalli · Stephan Garnier · Kara Shindo|
|Game mechanics||Drifting · Grand Prix · Slipstream · Nitrous · Car Classes · Customization · Special Machine|