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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Players demolish Trackmania’s ‘impossible’ skip and fly over the finish line in reverse

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Trackmania is one of those series that I’ve always enjoyed, while never quite being all-in. It’s a distinctive and unusual driving experience, more ‘gamey’ in nature than most racers, and what’s always been special about it is the community of racers it’s fostered and kept playing. God do they take the minutiae of tracks seriously, with the most popular creations and ideas becoming both fiercely fought-over and collaborative undertakings.

It’s one of these scenarios that has led to a track skip which, for over a decade of the series’ existence, has been theorised about, but never achieved. Most thought it was impossible. The full story is told in this video by Wirtual, a longtime Trackmania community presence, who I’ve previously come across because he politely corrected some minor errors when I wrote an article on the game. Point is: this guy knows his Trackmania, and gives a comprehensive history of this particular skip, how the thinking on it changed over the years, and how it was finally achieved.

The track is called D07-Race, and one of the reasons for this skip being impossible is that, in certain older Trackmanias, it almost definitely is. But Trackmania Nations Forever and a resurgence of interest in racing on the track (which already had at least one famous time skip) saw certain players get interested in chasing the unicorn of this particular move: at first Drarker and then, building on their work, the player Hefest and then Rollin.

What is perhaps most remarkable about this skip, and it’s something you see in speed-running all the time, is that it requires a high skill level to even get to the point where you can try to execute it: and then it’s mostly down to luck. This skip revolves around the car gaining some air at the penultimate checkpoint and then crashing into the barrier in a way that sends the vehicle flying through the air and (in theory) over the finish line in reverse.

If you just want to see the successful run watch from here in Wirtual’s video, but keep it running and you’ll get a brief glimpse of the hundreds of cars that made that same lap and, at the end, didn’t get the collision quite right.

This is the kind of sight that’s simply spectacular to see, and in its collaborative nature a very Trackmania moment.

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