Videogames let us do all kinds of silly or impossible things. Just taken that bad guys full ammo clip in the chest? No problem, here’s a first aid kit and you’re good as new. Road Rash lets you race motorbikes through rush hour traffic, while fighting with other riders. Fall from your bike and you simply get up and run back to it, rather than end up in a body bag. Never let realism stand in the way of a fun game, we say. This version of Road Rash is based on the 3DO version and is a partial remake of the original, which featured on 16 bit consoles and computers.
Road Rash should install on 32 bit versions of Windows without any issues. Unfortunately, the installer is a 16 bit executable and therefore won’t run on 64 bit versions of Windows. Fortunately, it was relatively easy for us to produce a replacement installer, that will work on any version of Windows. You can download it here (link broken? let me know here).
Simply download the installer, make sure your Road Rash CD is in your CD/DVD drive and then run it. Follow the on-screen prompts to install the game. When installation is finished, you can launch the game from the Start menu or Start screen by launching “Road Rash” or “Road Rash (alt launch method)”. See the troubleshooting section for more information about the alt launch method version. If the game fails to start, you may need to browse to the game folder and set the “RASHME.exe” program to run in compatibility mode for Windows 95.
Tweaking visual quality
Before you start playing the game you should check that the games graphical settings are set to their maximum settings. This doesn’t just make the game look better, it actually helps it run on more modern PCs since the lowest resolution settings are not commonly supported on the PC any more. From the main menu choose “Restroom”, then choose “Graphics Options”. Make sure that “Race Resolution” is set to 640×480. Biker Resolution should be set to “High” and “Videos” to “Large Videos”.
Once you’ve configured these options, select “Done”. You’re now ready to race, but if you want to use a gamepad, read on to the next section first.
Road Rash was released before analogue game controllers were common and so only supports digital controls in-game. That means if you have a controller such as an Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 pad, you won’t be able to assign the accelerate and brake controls to the analogue triggers. Our old friend Xpadder can come to the rescue once again. Here’s our basic layout for the game.
With this layout, you can use either the D-pad or the analogue stick for steering. The D-Pad can also be used to navigate menus, with the Start button used to select an option or Escape to move back up a menu. The analogue triggers control acceleration and braking. Combat is done using the face buttons, except for the A button which triggers a nitro boost, if you have one. The left shoulder button causes you to dismount your bike, not that you will need to do that very often.
Looking through the keyboard controls for the game, you will see that there are two keys you can press to lean the bike. The game is more about dodging traffic than tackling sharp corners, so in actual fact you won’t need this that often. However, we can use one of the advanced features of Xpadder to emulate this on the analogue stick. Using distance zones, it is possible to tell Xpadder that we want to send different key presses based on how far the stick is pressed. So at close to 100%, we send the lean key along with the arrow key. For a full tutorial on distance zones, see this link.
Below is a picture of the distance zone we set up.
We used 80% as our trigger amount, meaning the analogue stick needs to be moved at least 80% of the way before the bike will lean. Even with this setting the controls felt fairly sensitive, so don’t be afraid to dial that number up to 90 or even 95 if you feel it’s necessary.
Game colours are corrupt/incorrect:- If when you start the game or start a race, the games colours appear corrupt, try launching the game using the “Road Rash (alt launch method)” shortcut. Running the game this way shuts down Windows Explorer before the game starts, which usually prevents the graphical corruption. When you have finished playing, make sure the command prompt window is selected then press any key on the keyboard and your desktop will re-appear.
Game fails to start at all:- If nothing appears to happen when you try to launch the game, open the Road Rash installation folder (C:\ElectronicArts\RoadRash by default) and set the compatibility mode options for the “RASHME” executable to run the game in compatibility mode for Windows 95. If you need a tutorial on setting compatibility options, click here.