The opponents are found in all Carmageddon games as the player's competitors to win the race. But the rules aren't to forcefully complete a checkpoint race; one can choose to also waste every opponent or kill every pedestrian. As such, the opponents will also do that if they feel like it.
The opponents are controlled by the CPU, which is to say that they're AI bots. They were quite well programmed on the PC games, and don't do erratic, mindless actions like the human player would. They've been programmed to follow the checkpoints in order, as if they were racing. Normally, they mind their own business, but if attacked by the player, they've been programmed to either be scared or fight back, that is, if they aren't currently unconscious. Other than wrecking and racing, the opponents may also travel around the level without a particular purpose.
The opponents try to do the same thing as the player: race, waste or kill. Seeing as there are cars of several natures, the opponents appear in an organized fashion. Else, the player could encounter strong opponents, like Psycho Pitbull as early as the first race. To avoid this injustice, opponents appear based on their tiers.
When the opponents are too far away from the player, they will just wander around the level without a goal, normally on the track's roads. In order to save CPU power, opponents off-screen will just glide on the ground, follow a certain path, and occasionally fly back to a previous point. This can be noticed using the opponents mode.
Behavior in each game
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To save CPU, the opponents don't trigger collisions with other objects when off-screen or far away from the opponent. This helps the game run smoothly; if the player is far from the opponents, the game won't have to worry about off-screen collisions, and will be able to, at the same time, keep them moving.
Like in the first game, the CPU players that are off-screen will not trigger collisions with objects. Unfortunately, this causes a dangerous glitch on the USS Lewinsky.
Unlike in the other two games, TDR's opponents always check for collisions, specially because this game was made for faster, better systems, so such CPU cost can easily be affordable.
In this game, opponents are able to insult the player verbally. These insults can be found here, as all sounds that follow the format $_Cops##.wav for cop taunts, $_Gang##.wav for gang opponents and $_Short##.wav for normal opponents (where $ is for F "female" or M "male", while "##" is randomized number).
It's also possible to see what the opponents are doing, without need of cheats! Simply pressing the View next car key allows you to see what the opponent's doing as well as mess up their driving, but not their HUDs.
- Main article: The Cops
A special kind of opponent - the cops will try to waste the player instead of joining the race. When the player drives near a cop car, he/she'll wake up and begin pursuit. The cops' cars are quite durable, so it's hard to fight against them. Cops are present in Carmageddon and TDR 2000. (Carmageddon II doesn't count, as The Cop counts as an opponent whose car can be bought)
- Opponents can collect pickups, but the powerup will not be activated, independently of the effect.
- In Carmageddon (Funsize), this is the case as Stainless stated that the powerups usable by the player would also be usable by the NPCs in the new game.
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