Reiko Nagase is the race queen featured in the Ridge Racer series, as one of the girls holding cards before the start of each race, and appearing in the FMV cutscenes. An unnamed girl resembling Reiko first appeared in the real-time arcade intro for 1995's Rave Racer, but she was officially reintroduced (and named) a year later in Rage Racer. Whether the Rave Racer girl is supposed to be Reiko is unknown, but Reiko's Ridge Racer 6 outfit bears a resemblance to the Rave Racer one.
In 1998's Ridge Racer Type 4, she was given more prominence, as the opening animation, which used a Kimara Lovelace song, was a short story starring her, and introduced a redesign to her 3D model by Kei Yoshimizu. This is when Namco started giving more exposure to the character, heavily using her image to promote the game.
Her story as depicted in Ridge Racer Type 4's intro was, when she was going to walk all the way to the city, where at the same time, a Real Racing Roots '99 street race was in progress, and upon reaching the tunnel, one of her hels broke, forcing her to walk barefoot, and then moments later, she heard the sound of engines approaching, and the Racing Team Solvalou driver in the Assoluto Bisonte, who was leading the race, saw her asking for a ride and decided to give pick her up whilst finishing the race.
Also on Type 4, she is known to have a cameo appearance as having sent a fax mail to Pac Racing Club, but due to her profession, this was kept as a secret (only gained through coming 1st place overall up to Phantomile).
While still appearing in other games, Namco decided to replace Reiko in 2000's Ridge Racer V with newcomer Ai Fukami. In 2001, Namco created an image girl for their Namco Sports line named Hitomi Yoshino, and while the Ridge Racer series doesn't belong to that line she was featured in a Ridge Racer trailer shown in the 2002 edition of the E3.
The PSP titles saw the return of Reiko Nagase after her absence in Ridge Racer V, now with reworked CGI and new outfit. In the first PSP title, she's not only featured in the game's intro, but also the ending credits.
In Ridge Racer 6, she makes a return with an easter egg in the form of hidden messages, obtainable in certain points of the game.
Afterwards, in Ridge Racer 7, she was given even more backstory. At this point, she now works in the Universal Federation of Ridge Racing Association (abbreviated as UFRA), Ridge State GP's governing body, as its spokesperson.
In subsequent releases, she reprises her role as a race queen, except for Ridge Racer Draw & Drift , where she acts as a race manager.
- Ridge Racer (possible)
- Ridge Racer Revolution (possible)
- Rave Racer (possible)
- Rage Racer
- Ridge Racer Type 4
- Ridge Racer 64
- Ridge Racers
- Ridge Racers 2
- Ridge Racer 6
- Ridge Racer 7
- Ridge Racer Accelerated
- Ridge Racer 3D
- Ridge Racer Vita
- Ridge Racer Slipstream
Other appearancesShe has been featured in many products licensed by Namco, including the first and sixth wave of Namco Gals gashapon.
Multiple characters named Kei Nagase, who all bear a notable resemblance to Reiko, have appeared in the Ace Combat series, most notably Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War. The Kei Nagase that appeared in Ace Combat 2 was explicitly stated to be Reiko's younger sister.
- Reiko is a playable character in Anna Kournikova's Smash Court Tennis
- Reiko is a playable character in Pac-Man Fever
- Reiko drives an Age Prophetie in RRT4, and a Lucky & Wild Evolver in the opening scene for Ridge Racer 3D, as well as being the final boss in the latter, driving the Lucky & Wild MadBull special machine, where she will be faced off alongside two other racers driving a Kamata Angelus and a Soldat Crinale.
- It may be possible that she drives the yellow Assoluto Fatalita that she was sitting on in the intro movie of Ridge Racer (PSP), or perhaps maybe even the Soldat Raggio (proof of this would be that she might have stepped out of the Raggio after taking out on a test drive), and was walking towards it after she stops her stopwatch, implying that she did drive it.
- She was born in Tokyo on February 14th, 1975, which means that she's 24 by the time Ridge Racer Type 4 took place, or roughly 21 years old in Rage Racer, assuming the time setting is its present time of launch. As of the current day in 2019, she is 44 years old.
- Her birthday is, ironically, on Valentine's Day.
- In Ridge Racer 7, she works as the spokesperson for the UFRA, according to Ridge State News running texts.
- One of the characters in Tekken 7, Josie Rizal, somewhat resembles Reiko.
- According to a news ticker in Ridge Racer 7, Reiko's interests are "reading comments from Ridge Racers all over the world via the World Connector", as well as drinking green tea, which is also implied to be her favorite drink.
|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|