So, the Time Trials. Without a doubt this mode is the most difficult in the entire game, even more so than hard mode. It requires a very good knowledge of the tracks and techniques. In this guide I hope to help with at least a few of the techniques and give some tips so that you, yes you the one reading this, don't sit there with not a single clue of how Oxide is flying through these tracks. Just keep it in your mind that this IS possible, but it is NOT easy. If you have any questions, please leave me a comment or message me on xbox (GT: YellowHat07) Lets start with some basics:
*EDIT1 (7/21/19)* Thank you all for the kind words and support. I haven't really been updating this guide like I would have liked, but know that Ive been reading all your comments from time to time. One point of concern is character usage. I've been increasing my times (and managed to get no 3 on Slide Coliseum at one point on Xbox) and I have noticed that if you can manage with Heavy characters, that you can get some pretty fast lap times. Theyre worth trying on wide open tracks without sharp turns definitely, but require some practice on the more complex circuts.
Sacred Fire and Ultimate Sacred Fire (SF and USF): These are your tickets to ride. This is part of how to go fast. Look these up on Google/YT, you'll find plenty videos of them, but for starters, when you drift over a boost pad, you will get these speeds and it is important that you keep power-slide turboing in order to keep the reserves (more on that later).
Sacred Fire occurs when you go over any regular turbo pad. You'll go faster than normal and your speedometer will be in the red.
ULTRA Sacred Fire occurs on a few tracks in the game. When we get to each track Ill explain. Your karts exhaust flames will turn blue and your speedometer will be maxed out. YOU WILL GO FASTER THAN NORMAL SF, thus it will be harder to turn. So mastering power sliding and turning techniques is essential.
RESERVES- The game has a "hidden" reserve system in which every time you boost, turbo gets added to the reserves. This is why your kart still has flames coming out of it after a power slide boost, or after a jump boost. Mastering boost technique means being able to keep your reserves for an ENTIRE lap, or dare I say, an ENTIRE RACE. This is easier said than done. If you have questions about reserves, feel free to ask me or to look up a Youtube video.
One more thing about reserves:
THIS HAS CHANGED SINCE THE ORIGINAL CTR AND YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS!!
-WHEN YOU GET USF AND SF, YOU CAN POWER-SLIDE AND BOOST TO KEEP THE RESERVES AND EFFECTS. THIS WAS NOT THE CASE IN THE ORIGINAL CTR WHERE YOU HAD TO FROGGY/BUNNY HOP TO KEEP THE EFFECTS OF USF.
Now, to the more practical part.
"What Character Should I Use?"
Your best bet is to use any of the Acceleration Maxed Characters. These include: Coco, N.Gin, Pinstripe, Oxide, Nash, and N. Trance. Why? Acceleration matters, and when you're Sf'ing around a track, you dont really need top speed as anyone can go the same speed with turbo, and you dont need super tight handling. So this effectively knocks out the Advanced (whose handling is not good) and Beginner Characters (whose speed and acceleration are meh). The average characters can possibly be used, but the easiest to fly around a track with are the Acceleration Characters.
Now, lets get into the tracks. You must do all 31 tracks in the game (at time of release, this includes all CTR AND CNK tracks)
My time- 1:27:32
Could be a little more optimized on my end (by 2-3 seconds). Get a couple boosts on the main straightaway, use the ramp for some extra boost, and then angle yourself to hit the shortcut. On the bridge after the second support hop off to the left to get a slight boost (anywhere from 63-70 ish). Then just follow the racing line. Use the boost pads to get SF and keep that for the rest of the race.
My Time- 2:11:83
This map is about timing the turtles and knowing where things are. Use the pads at the beginning to get SF and then bounce off the turtle thats up to get some air. Cut left and drift on the shortcut that is there. If you dont feel comfortable doing that, then take the absolute inside of the turn. Oxide DOES NOT take the shortcut. After the second set of turtles there is a boost pad to the left, use it and take the left path. Everything else from here is straight forward for the most part. Use your knowledge of a racing line and the turtles to optimize your run. Laps should be sub 45 seconds.
OXIDE time- 1:56:18
My Time- 1:55:41
This shortcut is the bane of my existence, and it will be yours too. Follow Oxides path except go left after the jump. I like going into a left slide here, hitting the half pipe to get air, and then angling myself straight on to the shortcut. This *usually* works. You need good boost speed to make it. I'm sure you also know not to take the whole thing and once you hit the bridge, veer right and get back on the track. Rinse and repeat. The second barrel will be on the right if youre on time with Oxide so far. Lap times are around 37 seconds. This is one of the most difficult. Practice consistently nailing the shortcut. I would also say that this might be a course where using a different character may help. Don't be afraid to try it.
Only trick is cutting the corner at the end and keeping the SF throughout. Take the tightest line you can. Good Luck!
Oxide does some weird stuff in the beginning. Just cut the corner at the beginning, and every tire you can hop over, make sure you have enough boost to do so. Angle your powerslide in the direction of the turn while doing so too to make sure your taking the turns at optimal speed. This is one of the, dare I say, easier ones.
OXIDE Time- 2:06:35
My Time- 1:57:25
The turns in the middle is what's going to save you time. If you know how to froggy around a corner, or at least brake slide mid air to take a corner real tight. Make use of as many boost pads as you can, they all are USF boost pads so you'll be flying around the track, and standing still if you dont have USF.
Oxide cuts the hill at the first turn really tight. Not optimal imo. You can slide across the hill. Make use of the boost pad on the first lap after the first turn to get SF, and keep it. If you can get sub 30 second lap times, you're good. You can cut the second corner slightly too.
I beat him by 10 seconds. Idk how but here we are. You can cut across the grass on the first turn to save some time. The shortcut that is normally closed is open, so make use of it. Keep your SF as long as you can on the second straight after you hit the boost pad to the right. It is difficult to keep reserves on the straights, so practice powerslide boosting in a straight line.
You need to be able to do the first shortcut. Powerslide to the left approaching it and then hop at the edge. At the incline before the last turn, start at the left and powerslide to the right, you can jump the gap if done correctly and Oxide WILL do this. The other difficult part is hitting the proper angle at the pyramid. I'm still optimizing it myself so dont feel bad if you cant keep boost through it. 34-38 second lap times are what youre aiming for.
Pretty straight forward. Make use of the bumps to get air and stay out of the water. The boost pads can be used to get SF so your goal is to try to keep it as long as possible. 33 lap times are what you're aiming for.
There is a shortcut that Oxide DOES use that you can get away without. If you can do it consistently, be my guest. Its risky. The shortcut is after the first jump in the middle of the track. You can jump the water if you angle and jump right to cut the turn. It is risky though. Its more important to be able to do the second shortcut over the wall after the 2 seal (s?). The ramp before the final straight is a USF ramp, so make sure you hit it and keep the USF as long as you can. This is where you get you're time.
This is the track to practice taking a racing line and powersliding tight corners. Once you can maximize that, and keep your boost around the track, the rest is history. No fancy shortcuts. I would also recommend using a handling (Pura, Polar, etc) character here or the balanced characters.
*Since writing this I've beaten my time by 5-6 seconds repeatedly with the handling characters. They just handle the corners better.
Ill preface this (if my time didnt already) with the fact that this is my worst track. The loop bridge is hard to keep speed around. DO your best with this and make use of the turning tech you know. Everything else is nothing special. Cut across the small pond after the second turn when you get there. Also, drift on the black part on the last turn to cut it.
Sub 1:20 is possible, I think. You need to learn the river shortcut to be successful. Make sure you have SF from the pad before the boulder and then do a left powerslide onto the snow and boost before you jump. You should be able to make it. You can also jump the fence after, but this is difficult unless you have the speed and the angle. Oxide doesnt do this so no worries if you cant do this. Oxide will jump the river though. A 25 second lap time is possible.
Hot Air Skyway
OXIDE Time- 3:09:89
My Time- 2:58:84
Sub 1 min lap times are possible. the key to speed here is keeping the USF you get after the spiral (on the ramp that has the mini shortcut). Contrary to the ps1 version, it is optimal to tae the shortcut since you can keep USF reserves by powersliding and you wont lose the effect. If you can froggy around the corner after the fence, you'll get some wicked lap times. Same goes for the final u-turn. Rip fence shortcut.
My god can you fly on this track. Every opportunity should be taken to keep SF. If you can froggy/Mid Air Brake Slide the tight corner where the track splits and before the second spider section, youll shave a few seconds off, and keep your boost going for quite some time. Make sure you angle yourself to hit the shortcut, 3 boost speed should do the trick. When you hit that USF pad, dont hesitate on the corners following. You can potentially keep the boost past the part of the track where it splits. The USF again here will save you time.
N. Gin Labs
The "jump off the side and get USF in the last section" trick still works, and it is recommended that you do it if you lose USF in the section prior. Thanks to Nitro Fueled's reserve change I keep talking about, you can keep USF for the ENTIRE TRACK. If you can do this Oxide will be stupid easy.
I gotta optimize this on my end, but making use of the many boost pads to keep SF and USF in the 0-grav section is how you'll win here. You might have to slow down on some corners but mist of them you can go boosted speed at. If you lose boost, make sure to get it back right away. Sadly, theres no more shortcuts (as of 6/22/19 :[ )
Tight turns and SF. Thats it. Dont take the shortcut in the beginning.
If CTR:NF is a testament to how fast you can go, then this track shows it. Velo's time on this was a 1:35, and THAT was hard. You can now FLY around this track. Make use of the shortcut and turn hard when you hit it so you dont lose any speed. This track is just fun :)
Another track you abuse USF on. Make sure you can brake slide the last corner and keep the USF. Its how you save time. Take the shortcut in the middle and after you hit the boost pad ramp, keep your SF until the long drop (USF ramp). This one shouldn't take too many tries.
I LOVE this remastered track. Its brighter, more open, the train section doesn't suck, and its less depressing. Take the race line, hit the boost pads, and make light work of Oxide here. The shortcut in the middle where you break the glass is not that much of an issue.
Ahh, bright lights, and lots of USF pads. Even with this, the track can be tight at times, so make sure you know what route you're going. Beware of the laser at the end of the track which is different from CNK, it alternates. So depending on how fast you're going you'll need to prepare. Don' touch any of the ! boxes either, the long boost pads are the ones you want to take.
Deep Sea Driving
This is obviously with a lot of screw ups and I know I can get sub 2 mins, and maybe you can too. Cut the first corner and go left at the split. EVERY pad in here is USF, so be prepared to fly, it'll get out of control fast. It is possible to not hit any of the blades in the last section while flying by, so you'll save time there. I believe Oxide actually screws up in this section, so don't feel bad if you hit one, just get back up to speed.
The time is good, but can be better. The potential to USF around the entire track is there. The last ramp as well as the first big jump both are USF ramps. Make use of them and avoid the swingy spikes of death to zip your way to victory.
You're gonna feel like Sonic on lap 2. The last ramp is a USF pad and you can keep your boost for all of lap 2 and 3. A 45,29,29 time set is most likely what you might end up with. Keep left at the split and make the fire go to the right. This is absolutely one of my new favorite tracks.
Pretty straight forward track. Stay on the path, take the shortcut (and hit the pad just before it), and keep SF all the way to win. Nothing fancy.
Same as the previous track, stick to the fastest line and nail the shortcut. Be careful not to hit the walls in the shortcut. There is a pad in it if you need to get back up to SF.
Out of Time
Cut the first corner and make sure you have enough boost to get over the fence. This is harder than CNK's version of the fence cut. Then after the clocktower, on the second ramp, jump to the left to cut the corner. Oxide WILL do this. Keep your USF that you get on the last ramp before the final corner as long as you can (Ideally to the fence at least).
The dirt part is straightforward. Make sure you can do the cut before the U-Turn to save time. Oxide does this. Your choice in the factory. The conveyor belt is risky but may be faster. They're honestly pretty similar. The rest is easy. Pay attention to the shortcut on the last part, it is off to the left.
Well were at the end, and what a way to finish it off. They cut a good portion of this track and made the final part easier. Gone is the time of 1:30 long laps. Theres many USF ramps in this track. Make sure you know how to do the shortcut in the second section, its off to the left and requires speed to fully make. The final tube part you can fly through. Other than that this course is much easier than CNK's version.
Look at that! You now have beaten Oxide on every track and are a lot closer to being a CTR master. I hope this guide was helpful. Some of my times I admit are not the most optimal and I'm working on them myself. If you have any questions, or if anything is wrong, or if you have a better way (were all learning here) please feel free to message me on Xbox. My gt is YellowHat07. If any of the terms I used were unfamiliar, there are plenty of guides up on YT. This applies especially to the more advanced tricks. If I had a capture card I'd be making video guides right now, but alas I don't. I thank you for reading this and wish you the best of luck :)