Interstate '76: Nitro Riders is the prequel to Interstate '76. First intended to be an expansion pack called Nitro Pack, it was released in a stand-alone format on December 31, 1998. This version was re-released as part of The Interstate '76 Arsenal as a direct download on February 18, 2010, on Good Old Games (GOG). Like its predecessor, the game is set in the South West of the United States in an alternate version of the American oil crisis. The story takes place between the years 1974 and 1976, with the final (chronological) mission taking place just two days before Interstate '76 begins.
New features for this game along with the original game included Force Feedback support and support for D3D, 3Dfx and Rendition Power VR. The game features identical gameplay to the original, but adds several new motor vehicles, new weapons, and new paint schemes for existing vehicles. The game does not feature a campaign mode. Instead, the player can pick 'Scenarios', nineteen loosely-connected missions that provide a back story to the Interstate '76 universe and set the stage for the first game. The gameplay modes Auto Melee and Multi Melee also return.
The early 1970s.
A president resigns, the U.S. is defeated in a large-scale war,
and the economy begins to crumble.
As the country slides into a deep recession,
crime levels rise to unprecedented heights.
Villains take to their cars.
As America is seized by disorder and chaos,
law enforcement becomes ineffective and even corrupt.
But a new breed of law is emerging...
Prologue Edit"Convoy, this is Stampede. Code Six Pack! Code Six Pack! Heading East on I82. I need your ass over here! Now! ... Jesus, where the hell is he? Convoy, come back! Got two creepers on my six. A yellow Palomino and a black Rampage, and I'm bingo ammo! ... Convoy, I'm not looking too good here, man. You better-" - "I copy you, Stampede. Unable to provide assistance at this time. Will attempt to reach rendez-vous at-... -luck friend." - "Shit!"
A calm desert night is suddenly disturbed by the sound of loud engines, screeching tires, and gunfire. On a windy road in the hills of the desert, Stampede is on the run from two raiders. He tried to contact back-up, but he knows it's too late for that. They'll never make it in time. The creepers are firing round after round, shell after shell, and Stampede has nothing to defend himself with. He has run out of ammo. After yet another burst of bullets hits the Sovereign, the car also starts to leak fuel. Still, Stampede keeps on going. He's not going down that easy, and makes sure the two assailants hear it on the CB.
A woman picks up the battle cry while she's looking down at the chase from the other side of the valley. She's standing in front of her car, a modified red Picard Piranha with black striping.
Meanwhile, the chase continues. The guns are still rattling away behind Stampede, as he reaches the end of the road. The bridge is out. "All or nothing, baby," he says just before he blasts through the road work signs. The car shoots up the ramp and jumps over the gap to the other side. There, Stampede loses control, and the car crashes into a concrete barrier. The bandit in the Rampage begins to slide and does not make the jump. He is vaporized in a fiery crash.
The yellow Palomino does reach the other side. It lands sideways and slides to a stop. Then, it iddles for a moment. When Stampede opens his door and tries to step out, the bandit's car slowly turns towards the Sovereign. Stampede thinks this is the end as he lays against his car. He looks straight into the headlights of the idling car...
Once again, the calm night is disturbed. A car's engine is heard as it roars over the jump. It's the Piranha and it means business. A shell is fired from its roof. It turns the Palomino into a raging fireball. The red car flies through the flames. It touches down and slides to a stop in front of the Sovereign. A car door is opened, then shut. Stampede can see a silhouet of a woman in the shadow of the flames as she walks up to him. She reaches out a hand and helps him get up. They start to walk towards her car.
"Who the hell are YOU?!" - "The chick who just saved your ass." - "Aha." - "Nice driving. You need to watch that understeer, though. The CG in that monster is way too far forward."
In her car, Vixen radioes her ally.
"Monkeywrench, this is Vixen. Mode two rendez-vous in fifteen." - "Roger that, Vixen."
Stampede looks at her from the passenger seat.
"We'll come back for the monster." - "Eloise." - "Huh?" - "The car's name is Eloise. I'm Taurus." - "You can call me... Jade."
She fires up the 'Ranha.
And the car hits the road.
The story of this prequel to the events in the first game, is told in 19 scenes. Unlike Interstate '76, there is no main protagonist. Instead, the player gets to experience the game from the perspective of several main characters: Taurus, Jade, Skeeter, and Natty Dread (an unlockable character).