Grand Theft Auto: Vice City RC Baron Race Mini-Guide
This is a short guide to doing the RC Baron mission in GTA: Vice City. The goal is to beat three other remote control planes in a race through 28 checkpoints on East Island. The mission is accessed by climbing into the Top Fun van parked in the northwest corner of the multi-storey parking garage on the west side of the North Point Mall, at the north of East Island. If you complete this race, you get $100. It is a requirement for 100% completion of the game.
This is a HARD mission. At least, it was for me. It took me way too many tries to master, probably on the order of 50-60 tries. Now however I can win this race virtually every time (unlike, say, "The Driver", which I won on my fourth or fifth try, but I can't consistently win without using any quasi-cheating strategies).
Anyway, my record is 2:17. I think 2:10 might be possible, but I doubt anyone could do it in under 2:00. I use PC, not PS2, so it's possible that it's a bit different on the console. The first time I won the mission I did it in 3:00 even, which is not a good time, but one of the opponents crashed into the side of a building around checkpoint 25, handing me the win.
- Believe it or not (at first), your plane is a lot faster (approximately 30%) than the other planes, although the other planes have better acceleration off the start.
- Try to fly straight as much as possible. Try not to swoop (i.e. hold the up or down key for long periods of time), unless specifically trying to grab a low checkpoint.
- The "Lean Up" key makes the plane go down and the "Lean Down" key makes the plane go up.
- Hold the accelerator down for the entire race. You should never use the brake.
- You lose altitude when you turn.
- If you go too high or hold the "Lean Down" key too long you will stall, which can be difficult to recover from, and will cause you to lose time.
- The best of the three opponents usually finishes the race in about 2:48, so this is the time you need to beat.
- The best opponent virtually never makes a mistake, so don't hope for that to happen. Concentrate on your own race.
- The other planes are tangible, so you can crash into them (unlike, say the RC Bandit car race where the opponents are intangible). However, this is rare, and is not worth worrying about.
- You should be in first place (or even with the top opponent) by the third checkpoint. This seems impossible when you are starting out, but it is correct. Concentrate on flying straight, and not swooping up and down.
- The game seems to be a lot more forgiving when you fly over the top under the bottom of a checkpoint, than it does if you fly to the left or right of the checkpoint.
- If you crash or miss a checkpoint, just blow the plane up and start again. It is still possible to win, but there's no point in practicing taking off on the streets or circling around,
- Try not to make extreme movements with the controls unless necessary. Tap the up and down lightly to even out the plane. Likewise, tap left and right lightly, in general.
- Your first few tries at the race, work on getting quality practice rather than specifically trying to win the race.
- Try not flying the helicopter just before flying the plane, since they use the same keys but respond very differently to the controls.
- All of the lightposts and trees can be irritating, but try to fly just above them, and not to let them bother you.
There are 28 checkpoints, starting on the roof of the multi-storey parking lot at the west of the North Point Mall, and ending next to the "Alberta" building which is on the main Washington Beach drag, just south of your initial Ocean Beach savepoint. Here is a list of the checkpoints, with notes for some of the trickier ones.
- On top of the multistorey parking lot
- Just after the parking lot.
- Over the bridge leading to Prawn Island.
- On the west side of the large white apartment building with the pool in the back (lower than checkpoint 3, be sure to lose some altitude)
- At hairpin southwest of the apartment building (try to grab this checkpoint in the middle of your turn to the left)
- At an intersection just southwest of "El Swanko Casa" (this is probably the hardest checkpoint, I've had good success by aiming directly at El Swanko Casa and then making a sharp turn right, south down the street)
- Next to the North Pay and Spray
- Next to the Links View Heights
- Above some buildings, near the Jeweler's
- Just north of the Well-stacked Pizza
- At the T-junction on the Island
- Just north of Avery's construction yard
- West of Avery's construction yard
- East of the building from "Demolition Man"
- West of the Bunch of Tools
- Just south of the bridge south of Bunch of Tools (this one can be tricky, try to swoop down a little to grab the checkpoint, touching the ground momentarily is OK)
- West of the building to the north of Ken Rosenberg's office.
- East of the 1102 Washington Street save point.
- Near a billboard, northwest of the Washington Mall
- At the T-junction near the Ocean View Hospital, near the billboards
- West of the hospital, near the end of the bridge leading towards West Island.
- Between a billboard and a white building, Ocean View Medical Foundation (higher than the previous checkpoint, gain some altitude for this one)
- West of a pool, at a T-junction, east of white building next to where you go for the Cortez missions (swoop underneath a billboard and then grab this)
- Northwest of a green building (swoop under a billboard for this one too)
- Southwest of the same green building
- South of Ammu-Nation, north of a billboard (try to grab the left of this checkpoint and stay straight on the left lane of the street)
- South to the "Maison Wenifall"
- To the east of the "Alberta" building.
If you have any comments or questions, feel free to email me at: gta [at] jeays [dot] net