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Double Axle is a monster truck racing game created by Taito Corporation in 1991. The game featured the player driving a Bigfoot-esque monster truck over four different tracks. The objective is to race through rough areas while trying to outrun the other racers. To win, the player must place within 3rd Place or better to advance to the next challenge. If they fail to do so, they will be disqualified. The player can also collect cash bonuses from winning races. Double Axle features four different areas to race in, which include a cross-country race, a mud-bog race, a mountain climbing race, and a car crushing contest.
Upgrades for the Truck[edit | edit source]
In order to obtain upgrades for the player's monster truck, the player must first win races for extra money. These upgrades include accelerator upgrades, several engine upgrades, bulkier tires (for better traction), and nitro boosters (which is essential to win some races).
Racing Hazards[edit | edit source]
On almost every course, the player will come across several racing hazards. Aside from being able to crush trees among other things, the monster truck cannot collide with giant rocks or other trucks. If the player collides with other trucks, the player may slow down. But if the player hits a giant rock, this will cause the truck to stop, which will mean the player will have to immediately put the truck in reverse and pull back.
Also, near the end of most of the courses, environmental conditions will worsen. In the cross-country race, the player will have to maneuver through a raging volcano eruption, dodging several falling rocks in the process. In the mud-bog race, the player must dodge several giant tornadoes. In the "Icy Road" mountain climb, the player drive through a blizzard, dodging whatever flies at them.
And finally, some races take place on a cliffside area or crossing over a canyon, via a bridge. In the mud-bog race, the player can leap over the canyon via rocks or dirt mounds. These areas must be handled very carefully by the player. If they slip off the side or undershoot on the jumps, the truck will plummet to the ground and explode, costing the player precious time.
Races in the Game/"Main Events"[edit | edit source]
The first race, being the easiest race, is the Cross-Country Race. The objective is to drive over terrain without the use of roads. There are several pitfalls and dangers, but these can easily be avoided.
The second race, which is moderately harder, is the Mud-Bog Race. The objective is to drive through rivers of mud and occasionally race through rugged terrain filled with giant rocks. From time to time, the player will have to make a leap of faith across canyons.
The third race, which is the hardest of all three races, is the Icy Road Race. The objective is to safely race through the snowy terrain while trying to stay on the road. The player will eventually race through an icy cavern, avoiding any ice pillars inside. At the end, the player must also carefully navigate their way across a steep mountain top while fighting a fierce blizzard.
At the beginning of both the Cross-Country Race and Mud-Bog Race, the announcer is heard saying "Welcome back to the Monster Race, here in Miami!" Though the game claims to be located in Miami, the terrain looks nothing like that of Florida.
Car Crushing Contest[edit | edit source]
This is the most popular part of Double Axle. The player will have over 60–75 seconds to crush as many cars, buses, signs, among other things as they can. However, the player will also be paired up against a rival driver. The object is to score higher than the rival before time runs out. If the player is successful, they will move on to the next round. If not, the game will be over. The rounds take place from various locations such as a stadium or a busy highway. In the North American version, a beach area and an obstacle course was added as well.
However, in the North American version of Double Axle, this Car Crushing Contest also came as a bonus round for every race that was completed successfully. Then, the player must crush as much as they can within 60 seconds. The more points they score, the more cash they will win, which can also be used to purchase necessary upgrades for the next races. Ultimately however, the Car Crushing Contest (known also as the Obstacle Course) would later be the final race of the game, and if the player fails to complete the race, the game is automatically over.
Japanese Version[edit | edit source]
In Japan, Double Axle was known as "Power Wheels", not to be confused with the famous franchise. In this version, all the races ran on a 90 second countdown, excluding the Car Crushing Contest in which the clock remains at 60 seconds. The objective in Power Wheels is to complete three laps around the selected course before time runs out. After every lap, extra time will be added to the clock.
Also, in Power Wheels, the game pits you against a rival driver. He will taunt you before the race begins, and vice versa if you pass him during the race.
Unlike the American version of Double Axle, Power Wheels gives the player three nitro boosters before every race, excluding the Car Crushing Contest, in which the player only gets one.
On the internet, Double Axle and Power Wheels can be emulated on the MAME emulation system. However, they both are exactly the same game, sharing the same gameplay and not that of Taito's North American version.
One final notation, the North American version of Double Axle gives you the right to continue, whereas the Japanese version automatically proclaims Game Over after a race. In the American version, if the players loses a race, they will be taken to a continue screen afterwards. To add a little pressure to the player, the countdown would slowly zoom in with the numbers eventually taking up the entire screen until the 0 completely envelops the screen, followed by the traditional "Game Over" screen from the original game.