RuPaul's Glamorously Trainwrecked: Train Drag Wreck Race

spiders's picture

Before we begin!

Whilst researching some background info for this week's game I managed to stumble upon a youtube account by the name of Bollera-of-Fire2. They have ripped and archived the entire RPGTTDWR soundtrack (and even some SFX) on their channel. A big kudos to them for doing so!! So before we start this retro deep dive, I'd suggest you start the following playlist in the background and listen to it whilst reading on. Perusing those lost tunes really gives you the chills!!! ❄❄⛄

Link: Chilly BGM ♫

Now onto the main show!!

Howdy my dearest bishies, boshies and other creatures of the night. Welcome to another longplay retro review by yours truly spideRcBoy98!! Now, this month I've got something really special cooked up for you!!! Some backstory: About a year ago in early May I was visiting this flea market with my nan (she went around there regularly cause she was into occult tapestry and stuff) and there was this one booth set up with boxes full of old computer games. So... as you know me... I was rummaging around at this booth for like 20 minutes or so and just as I was about to give up I found this little packaged gem hidden at the bottom of one of the boxes!! I don't want to keep you in suspense too long, this week we will be taking a look at:

RuPaul's Glamorously Trainwrecked: Train Drag Wreck Race

Or as it was going to be called in the Region 5 market: The Glamorous Trainwrecking of RuPaul's Dragged Locomotive Adventure III (I know, the numbering scheme is a hot mess!!)

So, what's all this then?

RuPaul's Glamorously Trainwrecked: Train Drag Wreck Race (which I will be abbreviating as RPGTTDWR for obvious reasons) was an in-development title for the then-failing Bell Lab's Inferno operating system and was coded up by the infamous Mantellisoft Studios, with the game itself being scheduled for release by Infolutrix sometime in the fall of 1997.

A lot has already been said on the downfall of Mantellisoft. Some say it was due to skyrocketing costs for the research and development of their unique (and Inferno-exclusive) Holotype Laser Disk format. Some say they were taking too much of a gamble with increasingly lustrous IP tie-in deals. Whatever it was, RPGTTDWR would be the last game of theirs to be ever shown publicly: At COMDEX '96, just three months prior to them filing bankruptcy in February of 1997 (a devastating event that the Inferno system family would never recover from, paving the way for the later generations of 3D-capable home consoles).

Getting messy...

Not much remains of the RPGTTDWR enterprise, a couple of magazine scans showing blurry screenshots and the unbelievable tales from those who were present for their COMDEX live unveiling. Well... and of course one other thing... the handful of demo disks that they gave away to the journalists at said live event!! By means that I can't even begin to fathom, one of those disks (including intact case and cover-art!!) has found it's way into my solder- and shareware-palace. Let's see what we can salvage...

Uff! Dumping the disk with the InferNeroX tool you really get a feel for what a disaster the development process must have been!!

With some tinkering I was able to get the COMDEX demo up and running, as you can see in the screenshot above. Funnily enough there seems to be
some debug stuff left in the level data although even with a fully controllable camera none of it is interactive. From what has been pieced together of the demo footage and what I can try out myself, the game would have been somewhat akin to Activision's Dragster for the Atari 2600, albeit with a fully explorable open world and a shop system.

Some unusual findings!!

This is something I've not seen previously in any of the demo footage. It appears to be from a not-yet-implemented tutorial for a "multi-incarnation-traintrack" mechanic. From what I understand of the text, you can place tracks along one vector of spacetime and then have them bend back onto themselves in order to solve a puzzle that requires your train to be in multiple places and/or moments in time simultaneously.

This is a piece of what I think is an FMV intro video. The rest of the video parts appear to be missing (they probably deleted them for the demo disk because they hadn't yet figured out a better compression system for video. This part must have been left over by accident)... And I'm afraid that's all that I could find so far.

And where does this leave us...?

Maybe I will revisit this little headscratcher sometime again if I ever find the time to do so. But to be honest, making heads or tails of what little there is of the debug tool and demo files would probably take years. As it stands, Mantellisoft wrote their epitaph not with a whisper but with a glamorous kapow!! I hope you all enjoyed this trip into the obscure aetherworlds of retro software history, it's been a doozie... And I also do hope that you join me again next month when we will be taking a look at the never-localized SNES classic shoot-em-up 鉄男IV - The Amalgam Man!!

Posted on 18/1/2013 by spideRcBoy98

Visuals used from: Ursula Pürrer's, Ashley Hans Scheirl's and Dietmar Schipek's Rote Ohren fetzen durch Asche (1991); Stephen Hawking, Das Universum in der Nußschale; NASA's presentation on the Parker Solar Probe's first findings; The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Debug ROM; Rocky Horror Interactive Show (1991); Hannah Montana Linux, KDE 4.2; the likeness of RP was used in respectful negligence, sorry

Sound samples used from: EarthBound; Mother 3; Star Fox 64; Snowboard Kids; Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask; Dandy Dust (1998); Golden Boy: Sasurai no o-benkyô yarô (I regret nothing!)

Inspired by text-form Let's Plays, especially the "Anti-walkthroughs" by the magnificent Joseph Morris of IT-HE Software and the hot Vampires Dawn II playthrough by TheMcD.

Made by pferd-am-herd for the GT Fictional Games event organized by gisbrecht.

Event Created For: 
Made For: 
An event
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everythingstaken's picture

I'm absolutely

I'm absolutely flabbergasted by this. I don't believe this is fake. This should be real. This reminds me of when at the game center some mysterious parody game showed up in the library and no one knew where it came from. If this isn't real, or if this is real, I will try to make sure it sneaks its way into every possible video game library.

spiders's picture

Thank you for the comment,

Thank you for the comment, haha! When I'll be able to get to a printer again maybe I'll just have to make a dozen copies of this and hide them around at various places ;^D



Nikita's picture

This is amazing!

Very quality, looks like a real project.

spiders's picture

Thank you all for the kind

Thank you all for the kind comments! I've had a lot of fun making this so it just kinda grew and grew... It also was a great opportunity to take lots of sound snippets I had lying around and package them up in something that felt worth uploading. I hope Fictional Games jam becomes a regular thing!

Audio Soundscape

I am cruising my way through the found soundtrack now, and am absolutely tickled. What a fantastic trip you're sending us on!

This is a pretty awesome creative endeavor you assembled. Well done! :)


Just wanted to mention that Star Down Drag Race is a massive jam.