1999 or 2001 Racers?

Sometimes, you’ll hear people speak of a 1999 or 2001 release of LEGO Racers. This might confuse you, for you have never heard of two different releases.

“What are the differences, if any? Which one do I have?”

There are differences in the two releases, and while they are not groundbreaking, one can make a big difference if you plan on modding LEGO Racers.

So, what are the differences in the 2001 release?

  • Removal of copy protection
  • Removal of trophies on licenses
  • Tighter racing physics (you don’t turn as smoothly, bumping into other racers has a larger effect…)
  • Removal of development code to play without a compressed LEGO.JAM

It is the last change that makes a 1999 release more valuable to modders, and normal players may want a 1999 release too, if for nothing else but the better physics (even if “you have to put the CD in your computer”).

So, how can you tell which release you have? This small checklist should do it.

  1. Does you game disc look exactly like this?LEGO Racers 1999 release disc cover art
  2. Is there a file called LEGORacers.icd in the same folder as LEGORacers.exe? LEGORacers.icd
  3. Does your Racer’s license have trophies on it, kinda like this? Gold trophies on a Racer's licens (Original image by Kakama)

If you answered “Yes” to all of these questions congratulations! You have a 1999 release of LEGO Racers! In fact, that disc image is the only confirmed 1999 release. If your disc cover art is not identical to the image above, then you have a 2001 release. There are a few releases that look very similar to the 1999 release, but they are not a 1999 release. 😉 Some examples of a 2001 disc would be:

“I don’t have a 1999 release! Do you know where I can get one?”

Easy-ish. The only way to get a 1999 release is to check eBay, Bricklink, and Amazon for listings, but even then, you may have issues. You’ll have to check the seller-supplied images or contact the seller and ask if the disc looks like the image above, or if the game ever came in a big box (only the 1999 release came in a box; the 2001 was jewel-case only). In addition, once the 2001 version came out, all subsequent rereleases have been 2001, which greatly dilutes the pool of 1999 copies. Try asking your friends who own some classic LEGO games; they may have an extra copy they will give or sell you.

In conclusion, if you have the patience and search carefully and thoroughly, remembering the physical differences, you can find a 1999 release of LEGO Racers, and can enjoy the game as it was originally released! 😀

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