Seeing as how his name is synonymous with speed, I knew that much was a given when I saw his name on the title of this track. What I was curious about was how he pulled it off. Needless to say he definitely didn’t disappoint. Mount Bejesus, as the name sort of implies, is set in a mountainous area. Finne threw in an added “twist” by weaving the course in and out of a city...several times, I might add. Not to be intentionally repetitive, but I think anyone who knows Finne is fully aware that regardless of the approach he takes in terms of the track’s layout, the common denominator is ALWAYS speed, and this one is loaded with it.
You begin the race by descending a rather steep hill, building up momentum (heaps of it, even). At the bottom of the hill you enter the city streets, which are populated with cars, trucks, emergency vehicles, and the like. Mount Bejesus grabs your attention as soon as you hit the city by taking you into a very tight, left-right-left sequence, then throwing you back out into the open mountain country after a very short straight. The pattern of going in and out of the city is repeated several times over, and while the mountain roads offer little in the form of challenges and obstacles, the city area more than makes up for it. There are a few spots where roadwork is in progress, so look to encounter the appropriate warning barriers, heavy-duty machinery, and mounds of dirt. My guess is it’s probably the same crew that worked on Mal’s “Construction Zone” judging by the shoddy work. Hehe
The city roads are blacktop, however for the mountain roads he used textures comparable (if not the exact same stuff) to what you’ll find on the stock track, “Voodoo Island”. The mountainous areas should look familiar to those who’ve run Mal’s “Tibet Cliffslide” and a lot of Zoon tracks. Admittedly, when I ran Mount Bejesus for the first time, his décor for the open country portion of the track seemed very much out of place…the Tibetan style houses especially. But then I said to myself, “Copey, you haven’t been every place in the world, ya know…so go with it.” It still strikes me as a little odd, but the track is so much fun to race, it really doesn’t matter.
Technically speaking, I only found a couple of models that had non-visible portions you could smack into if you tried to cut them too close: a column that supported a building in the city (first left) and a house in the open country area of the track. Both are very, very minor, and again, you have to get extremely close for the models to grab ya, thus in a sense their impact (no pun intended) on the racer is almost negligible. The checkpoints are set so that if you get within an inch or so of the pole on the outside it’ll trip, allowing you to proceed on thru the race. It’s a nice thing to know if you’re losing, and you’re looking to shave off a few seconds in hopes of closing on the leader. Course, if you crash…well, it pretty much negates that little tactic, now doesn’t it? Hehehe
Finne has produced some of the most popular tracks around. He’s definitely the guy you want to look up if you’re addicted to speed, but quite frankly it’s hard to imagine anyone disliking his work. Oh hey, I almost forgot to mention this, but on my first run, I was…well, shocked that I wasn’t seeing any hi-speed, banked turns. Then, at the very end, during the last few seconds of the race, he put in two consecutive banks as you head toward the start/finish line. Whew! Had me worried for a minute there, Finne; I live for those banked turns, man!!
As for the “Copey Rating”, this one earns an impressive 9.5 out of 10 possible points! I love the country-city-country mixture of this track, and when you throw in the incredible pace amassed from the open country roads that you apply within the city limits in the form of high-speed cornering…all I can say is “what a ride!”
Finne my man, another superb job, and just so you know, SLO_Preacher liked your work so much, he selected Mount Bejesus as his “track of choice” to be included on SLO’s Always Podded List come 1 August. Again, great job, bud!