Unlock Burning Nightmare in Ridge Racer DS

Ridge Racer DS: Burning Nightmare

I recently picked up Ridge Racer DS again to see if I could actually finish it this time. After playing most of the way through the game I hit the same roadblock I hit 15 years ago…Burning Nightmare.

Burning Nightmare

This is the penultimate car you can unlock through the car attack mode, and it is SIGNIFICANTLY HARDER to unlock than ANY OTHER CAR YOU HAVE UNLOCKED SO FAR! All prior cars, whilst not pushovers, could be won by just picking your favourite car and trying a few times. No biggie. THIS car? That will NOT WORK. I’m going to need to put EFFORT into this one.


The History

Just a brief word about the game itself. Ridge Racer DS is a port of Ridge Racer 64. In Ridge Racer 64 this car is called Lizard Nightmare, not Burning Nightmare. This ends the history lesson.

Existing Strategies

Searching for how to beat this car has NOT been fruitful. There’s this thread which has no responses. There are many generic “here are some ridge racer cheats” pages. Also not helpful.

Looking for how to beat Ridge Racer 64’s Lizard Nightmare has been a tad more fruitful, giving these two youtube videos:


The reason this car is SO DIFFICULT to beat is that this race is very different to all other races. In this race, the car you are facing off against is faster than you. There is no way around it, their top speed is faster than your fastest car. If they overtake you, you have lost. There is no catching up. There are no comebacks. You cannot win if they are in front of you. The only reason this race is winnable is because the other car will not start the race until you have overtaken them, and then it will stop at the start of the second lap to let you overtake again. From my own testing I can confirm the opponent will just sit there until you overtake them.

From looking at the youtube videos one thing becomes obvious, you must not crash. If you crash, they will overtake and you’re done. You need to drive PERFECTLY around the track six times in a row.

The first video shows an extra tactic where you block the other car. Slide in front of them when they try to overtake, they crash into your boot, overtake thwarted. Unfortunately this is only consistent on the N64 version. On the DS you do not have a rear view mirror, so you have no idea what lane the other car is in. You can still get them to crash into the back of you, but it requires a lot of luck. We cannot rely on this tactic ourselves.

From my own testing and watching the latter of the youtube videos it looks like they finish the race in roughly 2m:55s. This means for us to beat them we need to average a lap time of around 0m:29s. Realistically we’ll need to aim for 0m:28s to be safe. Especially as the first lap typically takes a second or two longer as you need to get up to speed.

Chosen Strategy

For all the lategame races my car of choice for is either Atomic Purple or Dk Team Racing.

Atomic Purple DK Team Racing Purple

They look pretty, have decent handling, good acceleration, all around solid cars.

They are not fast enough.

The only car fast enough to hit the times we need is Terrazi Terrific.

Terrazi Terrific

Unfortunately this car’s acceleration and handling aren’t that good. They’ll do the job, but it is a struggle.

So here’s the situation. As I am writing this I have not yet unlocked Burning Nightmare. I am working on it. My strategy is simple, but time consuming.

I am playing this race in time attack mode with infinite laps. I am doing this until I can consistently complete this circuit without crashing. I recommend picking one corner and just focusing on how to do that without crashing. Then once you have that corner down pick another one and repeat. Do this until you can take any corner without crashing.

Another handy tip is to think about which lane your car is in on the approach to the corner. Different corners will be easier in one lane than another.

This strategy is progressing nicely. After probably around 300 or 400 times around the track I can get a sub 0m:29s lap roughly once in every six laps. My fastest recorded 6 lap time is 3m:03s.

Hopefully a little more practice and I should be able to get to 2m:53s. Maybe even faster as I did manage a sub 0m:28s lap once. If I can get that consistent I should FINALLY BE ABLE TO PUT THIS BEHIND ME.


It Worked! It took like 15 hours of practice total but it worked!

Proof picture

The final time was 2m:52s.900ms. This is hands down the fastest time I have achieved. My best in time attack is 2:56, with an average of 2:58.

I’m just glad I can confirm this race IS POSSIBLE. Now I just gotta do the last two races. They couldn’t POSSIBLY be as bad as this one was…right>