Road Rash was a series of Motorcycle racing games from Electronic Arts, starting life on the Sega Genesis in 1991, but appearing on several other systems over the next 10 years. In-universe, the races were illegal, forcing you to contend with police... as well as other riders, who usually had no problem attacking you with clubs, pipes, chains or cattle prods. Each game had several track locations, which became expanded and harder for each "level" you achieved. You leveled up by getting at least 3rd or 4th place in each location. The goal was to amass money to buy better bikes and also be able to pay off hospital fees, repair bills and Police fines. If you ever ran out of money, it was game over.
The game was notable for bringing the Z-axis and rudimentary physics to bear to both challenge and amuse the player, at a time when most other racing games barely bothered with such things. Going up hills slowed you down, while going down would cause you to accelerate... or, if you had enough speed, you'd soar through the air. In addition to the competitors and police, the player also had to watch out for oncoming traffic, animals crossing the road, and other realistic hazards. It was one of the earlier second-generation games to reward the player for doing something illegal.
While there was no plot to speak of, the game did have characters. Many of the AI were given profiles and would often give you advice or trash-talk you before or after a race.
For tropes specific to individual installments, visit their respective work pages.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: So you've been speeding, running people over, hitting cars and assaulting police officers. You get busted for... failing to signal.
- Assumed Win: The Ai will sometimes start doing their victory pose before they cross the finish line... making it it all the more sweeter if you pass them at the last second and take first place away from them....
- Face Plant: Happens to you if you fall off your bike when going just the right speed
- Goddamn Bats: Pretty much anything else in the road besides you and the other racers. Whether it be a sign, an oncoming car, a cow... or a bit of cow MANURE which causes you to spin out.
- Hammerspace: A cutscene in one of the later games has a cop searching you, finding iron knuckles... a chain... a club... and a SHOTGUN which would have been impossible for you to carry. This is of course down to Rule of Funny.