The Cruis’n Exotica Experience


Welcome everyone to the thirteenth annual Cruis’n Exotica Worldwide Tour! It’s been over a decade since the legendary third Cruis’n racing game first took you to exotic locales around the world, and got you begging ever since, “When can I go?” Well the answer, dear cruisers, is right now. My name is Carol, and I’ll be your guide on this three-month, thirty-thousand-mile adventure. So let’s get cruis’n!


Right now we’re on the road to Seoul, the capital of South Korea. While left unacknowledged in the game, Korea is actually two countries. No, Dave, I don’t know why the roads aren’t all lined with flags and ancient pagodas. And I hate to disappoint you, but I don’t think we’ll pass giant statues of the Buddha, or drive off wooden bridges steep enough to flip the bus. But if you’ll look out either window, you’ll notice trees that are very faithful to the gameplay. Ah, here we are in the city! The finish line with the buxom twins and gold trophy? Oh, there isn’t that either.


We’re now driving through Denali National Park, home of the highest mountain peak in North America. Haha, Dave, I am aware that the Denali is a car. No, we will not be driving it, or anything other than this here bus. And I’m sorry if this part of Alaska doesn’t consist of a peninsular beach the width of a two-lane highway, an ocean full of breaching humpback whales, a sky full of twirling biplanes, and snowcapped mountains on the horizon that never get closer. I don’t know if there is a part of Alaska like that, or a part of the world like that, Dave. So please sit back down. And no, I will not at least double-tap the pedal. It won’t make us do a wheelie.


Here we are in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, floating above the site of the mythical Atlantis. Yes, Dave, it’s mythical. That means none of it is real. The ruined Athenian temples, the gigantic tropical fish, and the road across the sea floor that you can drive on in an open convertible? All fake. No, we can’t just turn back to shore and check out Italy. If you want to see Italy, you sign up for the Cruis’n World Worldwide Tour, which runs from December to March. You already dropped forty thousand dollars to see the sites from Cruis’n Exotica, not the admittedly superior predecessor Cruis’n World, and I’m doing the best I fucking can, okay, Dave?


It’s Mumbai, Dave! There is no goddamn “open road” in Mumbai! I didn’t design the Cruis’n levels to be completely unrealistic interpretations of the real places they’re based on! I didn’t insist that real places be random assemblages of mundanity, rather than one-way courses flanked by iconic landmarks and hyperbolic stereotypes! This is the thirteenth year we’ve done this, Dave! You should have checked the message boards beforehand!


Don’t get on that plane, Dave. You’re the only cruiser left on what might be the last ever Cruis’n tour, and the only thing keeping me from crashing an SVT Cobra I can’t still afford into Angkor fucking Wat. My life is counting down from ten right now, and I just don’t know if I can continue. But you’re my extra quarters, Dave. Don’t run out on me yet.


The itinerary says “space camp,” Dave! How the fuck did you expect us to leave Earth?!

-Matt Garczynski ’14