on 11-04-2012 01:01 AM
Unfortunately theNewWaterGardenstrack, while visually good, caused some confusion with its numerous shortcuts. Understandable. I think the basic problem wasn’t so much the number of shortcuts as the way they sort of overlapped each other so it was virtually impossible to discover the fastest route. For this new track I’ve offered fewer shortcuts to give everything a more linear feel.
Mustapha Fortune has granted MNR access to his imperial palace and its lush (often over-watered) gardens. The formal garden, just outside the palace courtyard, is off limits although you’ll catch sight of it on your right just before you enter the courtyard itself. Mustapha’s pride and joy is the tropical garden beyond the palace, which he has stocked with plants and trees from around the world. These need plenty of water to survive in the desert heat, and he’s overdone it a bit with the irrigation. His estate is built on flat land, although we start the race on not flat land.
The track is wide and banked as it rises through this sharp right-hander towards the first Mega Jump, which gives you a nice view of the concubines’ quarters – ooh-er-missus and all that.
The palace is surrounded by water and here, as you approach the Mega Jump into the courtyard, you’ll see the leisure garden and its fountain, and then the formal walled garden. You may be so captivated by these that you miss the sneaky and advantageous shortcut left. It’s a tough one to negotiate and blockers ensure it’s available/unavailable for 5 second intervals.
The inner courtyard is a place of serenity. Until you reach the fire anyway.
If you managed to take the shortcut a Mega Jump will land you in front of the archway on the left – otherwise, the main track will Mega Jump you over the summer pool to the same spot. As you drift through a 180 corner you’ll do so through flames; this building is Mustapha’s kitchens and there must be some sort of problem in the basement area.
Sharp left, and three possible routes around and through the cooks’ cottages. You will need to take your foot (sorry, finger) off the loud pedal to use the shortest route, and a Bearier is there to try and stop you picking up an item pod. The middle route is the main track and offers sweet nothing, while the outer route – arguably best in you’re in full drift – offers more item pods.
The track straightens out and features a last lap trigger to open the shortcut through the left archway, which will land you on the shortcut to be mentioned shortly. Until the last lap, you go under the right archway and down towards the outer gardens.
Time to get damp as we explore alpine, desert and jungle flora. Keep your eyes on the chevrons and your kart away from the unfenced edges. The main track heads left, the shortcut goes right.
The Greek-themed fake temple was started but never finished. Incredibly wealthy as Mustapha is, he’s also a bit lazy. Or I am, anyway.
The main route left is mostly underwater and you’re driving into the sun, but the track is very wide. And driftable? Well, yes, but its two corners are very gradual, so overdoing the drift might see you going fenceward – best to stay wide and be ready to back off.
Here’s where shortcut and track unite, and former has got a few little surprises in store of the hazard variety.
And finally across the wooden bridge to the finish. “What, so soon?” you may be saying, and it’s a good point – although the track budget was pretty much used up this feels like quite a short track, so probably suits a 5-lapper.
Title: Mustapha Fortune
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