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San Francisco Rush – N64

San Francisco Rush – N64

san francisco rush box artPlatform: Nintendo 64

Developer: Midway Games

Publisher: Midway Games

Release Date (NA): 1997

Genre: RacingArcade

Nerd Rating: 6.5 out of 10


Check out the Nintendo 64 Sequel Rush 2 Extreme Racing USA right here!

Is San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing just another racing video game among the other mid-90s racing games?  Does Chris san francisco rush arcadeBrown respect his women and treat them royally?  Hint: The answer is no… to both questions.  San Francisco Rush (SFR) took the concept and idea of racing to all-new highs when they incorporated destructible cars that show damage, cars that explode, and hidden extras ALL OVER the wonderful city of San Fran.  Can you still play SFR nearly 15 years later? You most certainly can. And you’ll absolutely love it.

Developers Midway Games took a great Atari arcade game and ported it to the Nintendo 64 for some in-home controlled chaos. In the arcade version, your goal is to obviously get from start to finish and finish in first place.  After-all, you’ve been pumping quarter after quarter into this machine, right?  So one might call it wise to not drive off the road in search of bonus passages and such (I’m not even sure they created such passages and bonuses in the arcade version).  BUT, SFR for the N64 is not that game.  This game is LOADED with hidden short-cuts, hidden keys (used to unlock bonus tracks and cars), ramps, cheat codes, and a huge half-pipe that (with the respawn-in-place cheat code) will provide endless fun (and a hidden key)!  The half-pipe is a tough one to get to, but when you first discover it, it’s like discovering Atlantis!

san francisco rush n64I loved this game when I was a kid/teenager.  The graphics had me in awe but the sheer fun of being able to roam freely in a race car and hit crazy ramps trying to do trick moves (which has its own stunt mode in Rush 2) was something I had never experienced before.  SFR might not be the first game to ever provide this sort of freedom, but it sure as hell is the first one that I’ve ever seen or can think of.  In 2013, SFR is showing its age in some of the worst ways!  But that doesn’t make it an unplayable game. And the cheat codes keep this game fun and interesting (see below for codes) even today!

There are 3 game modes: One Race, Circuit Race, and Practice mode.  One race is simply that: One race and that’s it.  Circuit Race is a career mode where you go through a series of tracks (6 to be exact) and you have to finish in the top 3 to advance.  And practice mode gives you the freedom to roam without any opponent racers, time clock, or anything like that.  Unfortunately you can’t collect keys in practice mode.  I’m hyping the game up tremendously & it’s a little unfair for my review because I STILL remember the layout to these tracks!  But I’ll try my hardest to explore this game from a non-experienced perspective.

I discovered that the race tracks can be VERY difficult at times.  Your car can get up to speeds of 160 mph (and possibly higher?!) and controlling this vehicle at this speed can be exceptionally difficult and challenging!  The slightest collision with anything can throw your car into an uncontrollable and volatile end-over-end fury and will undoubtedly result in certain destruction.  Pain is not an option. It’s an occupational hazard in the mean streets of San Francisco.  Not only is it a pain in the ass to keep from destroying yourself, it can often be difficult to tell the difference between a wall and the background until it’s MUCH too late.  Damn breaks!  Even photo 4 (1)the braking technology is sooooo ’90s!  I find myself rolling up to some shit all like “HELL YEAH! I’m gonna barrel through this shit.  WTF?! IT’S A WALL?!”  BOOM! ROASTED!

With that said, one race and circuit mode can provide some fun racing challenges, but I still think the best part of San Francisco Rush is BY FAR the free-roaming nature of each track.  The developers must have put in some exceptionally long nights creating the tracks and their crazy layouts.  They must have put in weeks of thought with special attention to detail in each stage because the myriad of hidden options seems endless.  With such hidden features spread through all 7 tracks (counting the hidden Alcatraz track), the amount of time that any person could spend on each track is really up to that person.  But for the last 3 days, I’ve probably logged a solid 5 hours into this game.  Tearing apart each track bit by bit and reliving some fun moments of my teenage years. You’d be crazy to spend 5 hours playing SFR at home by yourself… or maybe you’re name is NerdBerry and that’s just what you do.

The graphics are pretty spotty and contact issues and camera angles can be glaringly obvious and tough to handle at times.  I mean, photo 2the glitching is beyond ridiculous.  One time I flipped over and blew up, the game then moved me about 30 yards down the street and respawned me upside down, only to blow me up again.  Another time I hit a ramp and got stuck in a building with half of my car sticking out of the corner of this skyscraper. These glitches can be pretty comical for a bit and cause plenty of those “WTF” moments.

My all-time personal favorite track is TRACK 4.  This track is incredible for some badass flips, tricks, stunts, etc.  It’s too bad we had to wait a year for the release of Rush 2, which includes a specific stunt mode for tricks and points!  BADASS? NOOOOOOO…. YEEEESSSSSSS!!!!!  Track 4 starts off with some great stuff over to the left-hand side.  GMZ and I used to play this game on near-mute into the wee hours of the night just to flip and destroy our cars and go “whoa! holy crap!” in the softest voices so my parents would think we were sleeping (yes, this is the same Giant Metal Zorio who once farted in the downstairs den and my dad heard it upstairs in his bedroom).

eGNxNnEwMTI=_o_san-francisco-rush---extreme-racing-n64-2Before I continue to ramble on and on, I’m going to part ways with you and I hope you’ll go buy this game.  I can’t give it a crazy high score, no matter how hard I want to!  This game is phenomenal in soooo many ways and completely dreadful in soooo many other ways!  It’s just not fair to mislead you o’ faithful Nerd Bacon gamer.  You’ll have some fun flipping your car around and maybe enjoy a race or two.  But after some time, you’ll get bored. Rush 2 is the superior game by far, but San Francisco Rush kicked off the series with fashion, grace, and style.  Try it out and you’ll see.

Read below for some KILLER cheat codes!

Nerd Rating: 6.5 out of 10

Reviewed By NerdBerry



rush tips and tricks codes

So, I was rummaging through my stuff and I came across an old Tips & Tricks magazine from 1999.  I decided to put in some useful cheats.  All of them aren’t in here, but some of my favorites are!  Be sure to try out a GameShark too!


C Left = C← / C Right = C→ / C Down = C↓ / C Up = C↑

Circuit Password + Secret Car

Choose “Circuit” from the start game menu, select “just play” then access the “enter code” option at the circuit menu and enter following passcode:


G92WVCQY0DRDQ (that’s a zero, not an “oh”)

Now choose “continue circuit” at the next screen to race on “track 5 backward and mirrored.” When the race starts, intentionally allow the timer to run out (obviously won’t work if you put in “no timer” passcode).  You will be credited with a circuit victory. Now exit the Circuit mode and start a game in any mode. When the track-select screen appears, press the Z button FOUR TIMES; you should hear a signal to confirm the code.  When you advance to the car-select screen, you will find a new ride, the “team rush” formula 1 racer.

Select Alcatraz Track

First, enter the Circuit Password and earn the circuit trophy as explained above.  With that code in place, enter “one race” mode and follow these instructions:

1.) At the select car screen, hold C←, press Z, release both tap LEFT on the D-pad, then press B three times to return to the main menu.

2.) Choose “setup”, at the setup screen, hold C↑, press Z, release both. Tap UP on the D-Pad, then press B to return to the main menu.

3.) Choose “one race” again; at the select track screen, hold C→, press Z, release both, tap RIGHT on the D-pad, then press A to advance to the Select Car screen.

4.) At the Select Car screen, hold C↓, press Z, release both, tap DOWN on the D-pad, then the L button, then the R button; You’ll hear a signal to confirm the code.  Now press B to return to the Select Track screen, where you’ll find that TRACK 7 (Alcatraz) is now available.

“Setup” Screen Cheats (Each of the following codes works at the Setup menu (the one that says “options/controls/audio)):

  • To Disable In Game Timer:
    • Hold Z and enter the following code: Hold C↓, press C↑, release both. Hold C↑, press C↓.
  • To disable automatic abort feature:
    • Press C↑ button four times. Now your car won’t be picked up and returned to the main course if you get stuck against a wall.
  • To disable vehicle collisions (you can drive right through other vehicles… not sure why you’d want to do this):
    • Press Left, then hold Right on the D-Pad and C→, then release both and press Cup C←, C↓, Z.
  • Respawning (to return to the closest spot of the crash and not return to the main track all the time):
    • Hold Z and then hold C←, press C→, release both. Hold C→, press C←.
  • To turn all traffic cones into mines (this one is awesome!):
    • Press L,R,L,R,L,R.
  • To change the game’s gravity:
    • Hold Z and press up, down, then release Z and press Up, Down, Up, Down.  Repeat the code up to 3 times for different settings.

Written by Nerdberry


What’s up yall? David “Nerdberry” here! I am the founder of Nerd Bacon and the current co-owner (and CEO) along with partner David “theWatchman!” I hail from North Carolina, hence my love for all things pork! Oh, you’re not familiar with NC? Well I’m not 100% sure, but I am pretty confident that NC and VA lead the nation in pork production. I could be wrong, but even if I am, I still love bacon!

Come enjoy some bacon and games with us yall.


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  1. Pingback: Rush 2 – Nintendo 64

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