Half Pipe Mode
In this mode, your skater is placed on a half pipe and needs to rack up as many points as possible in one minute. Only your skater's speed and acceleration matter in this mode, so some skaters are better than others in stats. After that, you can choose from three levels. They all are functionally the same level with only the graphics being different: Burnside, Skate Park, and Downtown.
After the setup, your skater starts at the right side of the level and will drop down into the pipe. Move with left and right on the D-Pad until you launch off a pipe. When in the air, you can press A to rotate 180 degrees, a directional button and A for a grab trick, or a directional button and B for a flip trick. All skaters can rotate up to 720 degrees, but only Tony Hawk is allowed to go up to 900 degrees. Going left and right without bailing on the D-Pad increases the skater's speed to maximum, giving them more airtime when they launch off.
Like in the console version, performing the same trick multiple times will lower its value. All rotations (180, 360, etc.) count as their own tricks as well as the flips and grabs. Doing multiple tricks in the air will add a multiplier to the base score; two tricks is x2, three tricks is x3, and so on. Doing multiple tricks in the air and varying those tricks are key to getting a high score.
Bucky Lasek has the best stats for this mode with 5 Speed and 3 Acceleration, so picking him is the best for practicing. Get a proper rhythm of going left or right and do simple rotations. Once the skater has full airtime, do one grab and one flip, one flip/grab and a rotation, or one 720. If you pick Tony, go for 900s at top speed.
In this mode, your skater has to race three other skaters while doing tricks and collecting VHS tapes for extra points in five courses. Whoever has the most points at the end of all five races wins. Points are given for placement in the race, tricks performed, and how many pickups are collected.
Your skater has four stats: speed, how fast they can go; accel, how quickly they can reach top speed; brake, how quickly they can slow down; and jump, how long they stay in the air when jumping. Unlike the console games, these stats range from 1 to 5. After picking a skater, you can choose any of the five stages to do first, but afterward, the next race will be done in list order.
The race starts with all competitors at the starting line. Your skater will automatically accelerate, but at a slow rate. Press up twice to use one of your speed boosts. Your skater will always start with 5 boosts and more can be picked up by collecting S icons on the ground. Left or right will steer the skater in that direction, the A button performs an ollie and the B button brakes. You can jump over obstacles such as cars and fences, but colliding into them will cause your skater to bail and start over building up speed. A couple of levels have bodies of water that the skater must avoid or they'll have to slowly swim across and build up speed again.
Getting in first place yields the most points, but they're not the only way to earn them. Tapes give 3, 5, or 7 points depending on where they're placed and, unlike Half Pipe Mode, tricks do not lower in value when performed multiple times. Grinding on a rail gives 1 point, but jumping to another rail and grinding that gives 2 points and repeating this chain can go up to 19 points for each rail grind. You can also perform grind tricks by doing a directional combination and then pressing B. There are ramps that your skater can jump off and pressing A along with some directions on the D-Pad will have your skater perform a vert trick. You'll see a picture of your skater performing said trick before landing on the ground.
After the race is over, the scores are tallied and you'll see your place in the tournament. Afterward, you'll receive a password to continue where you left off at any time.
Here are some tips for performing well in the races:
- Study the layouts of the maps. Since there isn't much room to see ahead, knowing where the tapes and rails are ahead of time can be helpful. Use your knowledge of the maps to plan the best routes for speed and points.
- Be careful when obtaining tapes or doing grind tricks while an opponent is nearby as they tend to be aggressive and knock you off if they're faster than you. Be sure that you're faster than them and if you're not, just jump out of their way.
- Perform Japan Air, Method, and Tailgrab when launching off ramps as they're worth 5 points over Indy and Stalefish being worth 3 points.
- Learn how to properly do grind moves as doing them incorrectly will cause your character to brake and lose speed. Doing them will add more points.
- Getting a high trick score alone will not guarantee first place as the opponents' scores will scale to yours. Getting all three categories great scores is key to winning.
Similar to Tournament Mode, two human players can compete head-to-head in one level while using the same point system. This mode can only be accessed with two Game Boy Colors with the game equipped in both of them as well as a Link Cable. Most of the tips given for Tournament Mode can be applied here: know where everything is, perform high-scoring tricks, and be faster than your opponent if they're nearby.
1 on 1 Mode
Also similar to Tournament Mode, your skater races against one CPU to the finish. Unlike tournament mode, the scoring system is gone, so all that matters is racing to the end. Moreover, only the first three levels are allowed in this mode. Since only finishing first matters, focus purely on finding the fastest route. Do not crash even once or you'll never catch up to the CPU as they're skilled at keeping their speed up.