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FAQ by PkerUNO

Version: 0.5 | Updated: 01/25/05

===============================================================================
                              DENSHA DE GO! FINAL
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  General FAQ
===============================================================================
Version: 0.5
Date: 25/01/2005
Author: PkerUNO
Email: pkeruno@sblorgh.org
AIM/iChat: pkeruno@mac.com (Please specify you got the address from this FAQ)
MSN Messenger: richard@kcmultimedia.co.uk (Please send me a message instantly
explaining you got the address from this FAQ)

This is not only the first draft of the FAQ, but my first ever FAQ, so I am
sure it will contain inaccuracies and glaring omissions. If you find any errors
or would like to contribute/comment, please do not hesitate to contact me via
the addresses above. Thanks!

===============================================================================
 INDEX
===============================================================================

01) Introduction
02) Controls
03) Rules and Signs
04) Driver's Work
05) Conductor's Work
06) Museum
07) Option
08) Routes
09) Rolling Stock
10) Version History
11) Legal Info & Credits

===============================================================================
 01 - INTRODUCTION
===============================================================================

Hello and welcome to this FAQ about Taito's train driving simulator, "Densha
de GO! Final". As the name implies, this will be the last version of the
rather popular series since its first arcade incarnation in 1997. Densha de GO!
Final is Taito's way of saying "farewell" to the series and its fans, and is
available in Normal and Limited Edition versions, for PlayStation 2. The games
are identical, but the Limited Edition comes with an N-Gauge model of a
Yamanote Line E231 train.

Unlike other train simulators, such as Microsoft Train Simulator or Trainz,
Densha de GO! is still an arcade game at heart, and as such the emphasis is
on gameplay and not realism. Final has greatly improved graphics in comparison
with the older versions, but still retains a points system, and will not let
you explore the route without restrictions. Densha de GO! also inspired the
freeware train simulator BVE, which is situated in-between the "arcade" and
"realism" simulators.

Densha de GO! Final presents four routes: Yamanote Line, Chuo Line, Osaka Loop
Line and Tokaido Line. Each line has several "diagrams", or sections of line
to complete with a specific train and at a specific time of day. Many are
locked and need to be unlocked or bought with credits obtained from completing
diagrams. One of the biggest new features of Final is the "Chain" system. By
passing checkpoints, completing certain actions and stopping correctly
without committing errors, your chain grows ever longer. The longer the chain,
the more points are multiplied by.

Right, with that out of the way, let's start with the FAQ!

===============================================================================
 02 - CONTROLS
===============================================================================

The default controller used for Densha de GO! is the humble Dual Shock 2. There
are several configurations you can choose, but this is the default one:

D-PAD:
- Up = Decrease traction.
- Down = Increase traction.

BUTTONS:
- Square = Increase brake.
- Cross = Decrease brake / Cancel.
- Triangle = Full brakes (press Square once to then apply emergency brakes).
- Circle = Sound horn / Confirm.

- Start = Start game (from title screen).
- Select = Remove/Restore driving aids from screen.

- L1 = Zero traction / Operate left doors.
- L2 = Use left item.
- R1 = Release brakes / Operate right doors.
- R2 = Use right item.

The left analogue stick is used to change the camera angle in stations. The
right analogue stick can be pressed (R3) to move the camera to outside the
train.

The controls for the official controllers should be self-explanatory. I'll
write more when mine arrives, but for now know that:
- The left lever is traction.
- The right lever is brake.
- The pedal is the horn.

The Pause Menu comes up if you press Start when the train is on the move. The
items, from top to bottom are:
- Unpause: You can also press Start again.
- Quit Diagram: Yes/No.
- Restart Diagram: Yes/No.
- In-Game Sound: See "OPTION".
- Display Option: See "OPTION".
- Display Adjust: See "OPTION".
- Save.

===============================================================================
 03 - Rules and Signs
===============================================================================

Since the game is almost completely in Japanese (and kanji at that, not at all
easy to translate!), you must know the rules and regulations of the Japanese
Railway system before you play. You'll probably pick them up as you go along
anyway, but here are all the rules I have been able to find so far. The list in
the manual is much longer, and I'll try to provide a literal translation soon.

LIGHTS
------

The standard Japanese signal is made of 4 lights: Red, Green, and two Ambers.
Green means go, Red stop. So far so good. A green-amber light precedes a single
amber, and carries with it a 65km/h speed restriction. This restriction is
enforced until the next signal. A single amber precedes a double amber, and
restricts you to 45km/h. Again, you must not go over this until you reach the
next signal. A double amber light restricts you to 25km/h and means that a red
is next. Failure to respect any signal will lead to ATS kicking in and an
immediate penalty brake application. This will set you back severely, so make
sure it doesn't happen!

Advance signals are round and present the state of the next signal. These are
usually placed on curves, or other places where a signal would usually not be
very visible. A vertical line indicates green, a diagonal line warns of an
upcoming amber, and a horizontal line represents an impending red light.

LINESIDE MARKERS
----------------

Speed restrictions are announced by white rectangular signs next to the rails,
with the speed restriction written on them. ATC restrictions are on small
coloured circular markers mounted on poles. Two black-and-white triangles
facing each other cancel any former speed restriction.

Grade changes are indicated by a T-shaped marker on the side of the tracks. A
downward-sloping T indicates a fall, upward-sloping is a rise, and a straight
board is... well, a flat section, believe it or not!

The standard stop marker is an orange diamond mounted on a pole. At some
stations it may be mounted on the platform roof. Watch out though, most large
stations have several of these markers, each one with a carriage number
printed inside them. You have to stop at the one which matches your train
length - not too easy, considering the game doesn't tell you how long your
train is! It's easy to work out if you have the distance meter showing, though.

ATC
---

ATC is Automatic Train Control, and is a system installed on most of the modern
JR trains. It does not automatically drive the train (it wouldn't be much of a
game if it did), but it does act as a "nanny", making sure you don't break the
speed limit.

The current speed limit will show both in the bottom right-hand corner of the
screen (it's the orange one), and will also display in your speedometer. The
way it manifests itself depends on the train you are driving, but the speed
limit will usually be shown by an arrow on the rim of the speedometer, with the
"forbidden zone" shaded red. ATC will penalise you for breaking the ATC speed
limit, which is often different to the actual line speed limit. Remember: if
your train has ATC active, ATC speed restrictions take priority over line
speed restrictions!

The only sound ATC will make is a "ding" when you pass a new speed restriction,
although I am aware that on some new trains, ATC actually speaks to the driver!

ATS
---

ATS is the Automatic Train Supervision system, and will make sure you respect
signals. All trains have ATS, unlike ATC. With ATS, no action will be take if
you pass the speed limit (indicated by the white figures in the bottom right),
but the game will take away points every 5 seconds you stay over the limit. ATS
will activate if you pass a restrictive signal over the allowed speed. When ATS
activates, you will hear a warning bell. You have about 2 seconds to act or ATS
will activate the emergency brakes and lock out your controls. If this happens,
all you can do is wait for the train to come to a stop (and for the passengers
to fall over). Once stopped, you can release the brakes and carry on. If you
pass a red light, you will receive no warning, just an emergency brake
application.

RULES
-----

- Drivers must respect the speed limit. Passing a speed limit counts as a minor
fault, passing a restrictive signal's speed limit is a major fault.
- Drivers must not leave the station before the doors have closed. In the game,
you will be penalised if you try to accelerate before the door lamp lights.
- Drivers must not sound the horn unless absolutely necessary. Use it sparingly
or you will be penalised.
- Drivers should sound the horn if they encounter trackside workers. You will
gain bonus points for doing this, you will not be penalised if you don't.
- Drivers must arrive on time. Being early is just as bad as being late.
- Drivers should treat passengers with respect. They don't like to be jolted
so go easy on the brakes!

===============================================================================
 04 - DRIVER'S WORK
===============================================================================

The first option on the main menu is the one you will be spending most (if not
all) your time in. This is the "driving" aspect of the game, and is the easiest
mode to play if you don't understand Japanese. Once you enter this mode, you
will be presented with a list of diagrams for the Yamanote line. Press up and
down to select a different diagram, or left and right to change the line.

Each diagram shows you the name of the service, the train used, difficulty, 
time of day, weather, and stations covered. If locked, it will show you how
much you need to pay to buy it, and if you've completed it, a grade star will
be shown. Some diagrams are blank, and need to be unlocked by playing others.

Once you have selected your diagram, you will be presented with a model of the
train, and a graphical representation of the stations served. Some diagrams
are divided into sections, shown at the bottom of the screen. You might take a
few stations at a time in each section, and once you have completed them, the
entire section will be selectable to play in one go. Sections in green have yet
to be played, the blue ones have been completed, and the grey ones are still
locked.

It is now that you must chose Normal or the new Enjoy Mode. Normal Mode is...
the normal mode, whereas Enjoy Mode (selectable by pressing Triangle) is more
lenient. For a start, you get to choose two items from a list of five. From top
to bottom: Speed Up (improved traction), Quick Brake (improved braking), Time
Stop (Halts the timer for a limited time), Double Score (multiplies new score
points by two), Restore Health (tops your life bar back up). The left item is
activated with L2, the right item with R2, and you get five of each. Enjoy mode
also doesn't deduct any life points until you arrive at the station, allowing
you to at least stop before the game fails you (if you lose too many life
points).

Normal Mode is Densha de GO!'s original arcade mode, and is not as lenient as
Enjoy Mode. After a brief loading screen, you get to see all of the stations
you will stop at. Make sure you notice if you're operating an express service
and will be skipping stations! Wait or press Circle to start. You have some
time before you need to leave, so familiarise yourself with the interface.

Starting from the top right and going clockwise:
- Points = Your current amount of points.
- Chains = The size of your chain, resets to zero after an error.
- Lifebar = You have 100 lifepoints, represented by 10 silhouettes. Lose all 10
and it's Game Over. When I say "you will be penalised", this is what you will
lose.
- Scheduled Arrival Time = In yellow. Aim to arrive at precisely this time.
- Current Time = In turquoise. It will turn a lighter shade when you're within
10 seconds of the Scheduled Arrival Time, yellow when you're over by 20
seconds, and red if you're over 30. You will also start losing points.

- Navi = Show you the state of upcoming signals, and more importantly, shows
you where stations, checkpoints and speed restrictions are.
- Camera Icon = Will only show up when you enter a station. It means you can
use the left analogue stick to change your viewpoint. Press it in (L3) to
return to the default in-cabin view.

- ATC Restriction = Upcoming restrictions flash, current restriction stays lit.

- Station Name = Normally useless unless you can read Japanese, but it does
have an important function. If the text on the left is yellow, you will be
stopping at the next station. If it's green, you're not stopping. If the text
becomes larger, the distance meter shows you the next checkpoint.
- Distance Meter = Shows you how far away the next stop marker is. Needless to
say, aim for zero! It turns light green when you can stop, yellow if you
overrun, and red if you've overshot by more than the acceptable amount. Again,
prepare to lose points. Once you're 10m away, the display switches from metres
to centimetres to aid your stop.

- G-Sensor Meter = Shows the forces acting upon your passengers. Watch it
increase as you brake and accelerate, but don't let it go red - this means that
your passengers are falling over and won't hesitate to complain! Like most
things in this game, red equals penalty.
- Speedometer = Shows your current speed, as well as current and upcoming speed
restrictions. On either side of the speedometer are your traction and brake
levels. Traction is on the left, and ranges from 0 to 5, top to bottom. Brake
is on the left, from 0 to 8. Pressing brake over 8 engages the Emergency brake.

There's quite a lot to keep an eye on, and you can disable any single element
by going to Options, or press Select to get rid of them all. You can't do this
inside stations, though - only once you're on the move. Now, back to the game.

You will hear a melody coming from the platform, and a voice announcing the
train's departure. Once you hear the door closing chimes (or the hiss of the
doors closing), release the brakes by pressing Cross repeatedly, or R1. Now
WAIT. If you accelerate before the door lamp lights (to the left of your
screen), you will be penalised. As soon as the lamp lights, you're free to
accelerate. A percentage will appear on the screen (I assume this is how full
your train is), and your conductor will acknowledge departure.

Departing from the station is easy. Travelling is slightly harder. The main
thing to look out for is speed restrictions. Watch your Navi, watch your
speedometer, and make sure you don't go over the limit. Keeping traction at 2-3
is usually fine to keep the train at a constant speed. Make sure you brake in
time for lower restrictions, accelerate when the level is lifted, but make
sure you know where the next station is! You should only start thinking of
braking at around 400m from the station.

The actual amount of braking depends your current speed, but a good application
of 5-6 with about 250-200m to go will usually do the trick. Don't brake too
late (if you're doing over 40km/h with 40m to go you WILL overrun) or too early
(chugging along at 20km/h with 150m to go will take a LONG time). It's bad
practice to accelerate inside a station, and if you have to (you've guessed
it), you will be penalised. Keep an eye on the time, too. If you're early,
brake earlier and take the extra time to try and get as close to 0cm as
possible. It is possible, and getting within 10cm either way is considered
excellent. My current best is -6cm, right on time.

Now watch the G-Sensor Meter. If it goes red, you're braking too hard. Ideally,
you should be going at about 10km/h with 15m to go. Apply 2-3 brake now and
you should glide to a halt without jolting anyone. Don't forget though: the
performance of every train is different, and you will need to adopt different
strategies for rain and stations on gradients. Also, some lines have narrower
stop margins. The default is 5m either way, but may be reduced to 2m either
way!

In any case, stop within the stop margin and the game will cut to a replay of
your stop, presenting a list of penalties applied. Once all penalties have been
tallied, you can wait or press Circle to continue. The screen will go dark and
then the map will come up and you can prepare to depart again!

Sometimes, you will get a bonus round instead! I'm not sure what the conditions
are yet, but it helps to get a lot of excellent stops in a row. The bonus round
sees you trying to couple two trains together. You drive the locomotive on the
right. When the timer starts counting down, release brakes and accelerate.
Don't go over 5km/h or you will automatically fail. As you approach the other
locomotive, brake to about 3km/h. Don't slow down too much or you will simply
bounce off the other locomotive.

While you're travelling, you might notice a long oval approaching in your Navi.
This is a Checkpoint. A yellow checkpoint is a Time Trap, a blue one is a Speed
Trap. For the Time checkpoint, it will show you the time you should pass the
point on top, with the time you will pass it on the bottom. Aim to pass the
point at exactly the scheduled time to earn maximum points. Plus or Minus 3
seconds is fine, any more and you will not get bonus points. The same principle
applies to the Speed checkpoint. Target speed is on top, your speed under it.
3km/h either way is acceptable. On harder diagrams, watch out  for extended
checkpoint sections, where you will have to keep at a constant speed. Going
under is fine, going over will not get you any points.

On express routes, don't forget that you might be skipping stations. Check the
Next Station text. If it's got some yellow text on the left, you're stopping.
If the text on the left is green, you're passing through. A station you're
stopping at appears as a yellow circle on your navi, a station you're passing
through is a green circle.

That is basically it. There is, of course, more - for example, sounding your
horn at certain places (near trackside workers, before level crossings, when
passing trains) will also net you bonus points. Apart from the trackside
workers, I have not worked out exactly when and where you get extra bonus
points for sounding your horn. Don't sound it too much though, or you will be
penalised.

===============================================================================
 05 - CONDUCTOR'S WORK
===============================================================================

A brand-new gameplay mode in Densha de GO!, this lets you take the place of
the conductor. Wile it's certainly a novel idea, unless you can read Japanese
(specifically: place-names in kanji) it is impossible to play well. You can
probably blag your way through it, but don't expect to get a great score!

Route selection works in the same way as Driver's Work does, only that this
time you're asked if you want to play 1-player or 2-player mode. I haven't
tried 2-player mode yet, but I'm guessing it lets you play as either the
conductor or driver.

You start in the station, believe it or not, and the train is preparing to
depart. Your first job is to close the doors. The key is closing the doors
right after the "doors closing" announcement. Make sure that the station
announcer has FINISHED saying "Doa ga shimarimasu, gochuii kudasai" before
pressing L1 or R1 (depending on the side the platform is on) to close the
doors.

The driver trundles off, and you now have to announce the next station. This is
where it gets hard. If you studied the route map beforehand and recognise the
kanji for the next station, press the D-Pad direction next to the station name
and press Circle to confirm. If you got it right, congratulations! If you
guessed and got it right, I hope you remember what the kanji looks like! If you
got it wrong, you still have a few seconds to find the right one.

When the driver nears the station, you will have to re-announce the next
station. Select the same kanji as before and you should get bonus points. A
word of warning - the correct kanji won't be in the same place as before, so
remember the shape! Again, you have several tries in case you get it wrong.

When the train comes to a stop, press L1 or R1 (again, depending on the side
the platform is) to open the doors. There doesn't appear to be any particular
"good timing" aspect to this - just press once the train has stopped.

===============================================================================
 06 - MUSEUM
===============================================================================

The museum section is the train enthusiast's haven. It's divided into two
parts - Train Introduction and Movie Show. Movie Show contains the two videos
seen before the Start screen, and videos showing individual train stock, which
are unlocked by completing a diagram with that train.

Train Introduction is an image gallery with a twist. By pressing Square when
viewing a train, you get to play around with the actual 3D model used by the
game. Use the left analogue stick to rotate around the model, and the right
analogue stick to zoom in and out. Triangle moves the camera to the next
carriage, and Square to go back to the image. Select toggles the text on the
screen, and Circle moves you to the next train.

===============================================================================
 07 - OPTION
===============================================================================

This is where you change the game's settings. From top to bottom:

DISPLAY OPTION
--------------

- Speedometer: Analogue/Digital/Off.
- Distance Meter: On/Off.
- G-Sensor Meter: On/Off. Shows what forces your passengers are going through.
- Navigation Meter: On/Off. Shows upcoming stations and signals.
- Next Signal Preview: On/Off. Shows you the state of the next signal.
- Checkpoints: On/Off.
- Display Adjust: Move the screen so it's centred on your TV.

SOUND VOLUME
------------

- Background Music Select: For the menus.
- In-Game Sound: Announcer Only/Background Music. You can choose to only hear
your conductor or have music playing too.
- Background Music Volume: If it's on at all.
- Sound Effect Volume: These include the "bonus point" sounds.
- Announcer Volume: Your conductor.
- Station Volume: Station announcements.
- Train Volume: This controls the sounds your train makes.

CONTROLLER
----------

- Vibration: Off/Soft/Normal/Strong. Determines how much the Dual Shock will
vibrate.
- Control Type: 2 Handle A/2 Handle B/1 Handle. Different train control
configurations.

SAVE/LOAD
---------

- Data Load: Loads a save from the Memory Card.
- Data Save: Saves your current state to the Memory Card.
- Auto-Save: On/Off. Will automatically save when something changes (like your
credit balance or settings).

DEFAULT INITIALIZE
------------------

Will reset all options and diagram cleared states to their original condition.
This effectively erases your save.

===============================================================================
 08 - ROUTES
===============================================================================

Coming soon...

===============================================================================
 09 - ROLLING STOCK
===============================================================================

Coming soon...

===============================================================================
 10 - VERSION HISTORY
===============================================================================

- Version 0.5 (25/01/2005)
First draft. Most information present, but details on rules, signalling and ATC
are probably inaccurate. Routes and Rolling Stock still missing.

===============================================================================
 11 - LEGAL INFO & CREDITS
===============================================================================

Thanks to:
- Greng (http://www.greng.net/) for the original Densha de GO! FAQ.
- NTSC UK (http://www.ntsc-uk.com/review.php?platform=ps2&game=DenshaDeGoFinal)
for some facts.

This may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal,
private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed
publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other
web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a
violation of copyright.

The only websites permitted to use this document are:
- http://www.sblorgh.org/
- http://www.gamefaqs.com/
- http://www.gamespot.com/

Please do not ask to host this document, only the sites above are guaranteed to
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All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their
respective trademark and copyright holders. "Densha de GO!" is a registered
trademark by Taito Corporation, Japan.

Copyright 2005 Richard Whittaker (PkerUNO)
===============================================================================

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