Gaming Myths #1: Is G. Ceara unbeatable in Super Monaco GP?

Did Sega create an invincible Ayrton Senna clone in Super Monaco GP, to prevent you from finishing the game as the best car? Really?


In the world of games, there have always been rumors, some absurd, others not, about situations and characters. One of the oldest that comes to mind was the lie that after finishing River Raid, after the journey shooting down gas stations, birds, colored dots and other strange shapes, the jet would land. Many people (not me, I swear) spent hours playing in the hope of seeing an airport that never came.

Other more bizarre rumors have been popping up here and there. Master Sheng Long at the end of Super Street Fighter II if you won all the rounds – or was it by winning them all and getting a double perfect against Bison? It doesn't matter, it was a lie. The supposed presence of Akuma in Resident Evil 2. The existence of a code to play Mortal Kombat on the SNES with blood. Turning the PlayStation 1 upside down to recover frozen games, or even play PlayStation 2 games!

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Limitless creativity.

But all these gems will be for later. The subject of this debut post in the section that will "unveil mysteries" is racing: was it really impossible to defeat the Bullets team in Super Monaco GP?

Many people still believe that the Ayrton Senna look-alike's rogue car is invincible, strategically placed in the game to force us to race with a smaller team. But that's not quite true...

The myth is understandable, given the circumstances of the game. But as we'll see, it's just a myth: it's perfectly possible to beat them, with the right practice and technique. And more, they can be beaten with any gearbox, including the automatic, which develops less speed.

Just don't expect it to be easy.

Life is hard, get used

Equipe Madonna F1
If you want to be "the top driver with the best car", you have to beat G. Ceara.

Unlike "realistic" racing games, where you settle into a team, Super Monaco GP has a more arcade profile: we can challenge drivers and earn a contract to race in their place, in the same season. Update: it wasn't exactly a challenge, but something similar happened in real life, when they sent Kvyat down to promote the young Max Verstappen. Life imitating art?

The best team, Madonna (a McLaren clone), has a perfect car, the object of desire for players, faster, easier to drive, reliable, sensual. After a tough debut season, you beat the Frenchman, A. Asselin, and finally realize your dream of driving the supercar the following year.

But then, a humble guy from Class C appears out of nowhere – the Brazilian G. Ceara, a clone of Ayrton Senna – flying in front of you right at the start of the first GP of the season, San Marino.

That dude runs so fast that he seems to float on the track. No matter how hard you try, it's almost impossible to catch him, as if the distance was limited on purpose by the game. According to the myth, an expected effect to force you to drive another car besides Madonna, which would make you virtually invincible.

But were the Sega programmers really that bad, brazenly preventing you from finishing the game with the best car? Maybe in another case, but not here.

G. Ceara from Brazil

G. Ceara "Seus dias estão contados"
Cocky mf.

When I was about 16, beating G. Ceara became a life goal. It was kind of an obsession. I spent many days in front of the TV, insisting, even though my friends ridiculed me. They said it was impossible, I was wasting time, it was "just how it was".

But I wouldn't be satisfied until I was sure, and I wasn't sure, that I MUST finish the game with another team. That wouldn't make sense, a game which you can't win? So it's not a game.

In addition, I expected some "secret ending" ending the season with the Madonna team and the double championship. I became so obsessed that I managed to borrow the cartridge, so I wouldn't have to pay weeks of rent.

For those who have never played Super Monaco GP, a summary: there are 16 teams, divided into four classes, one car/driver in each. Almost all of them are inspired by real teams from the 1988 F1 season, except Minarae, a crappy car from Class C, where we started. To receive offers from better teams, you challenge the starting driver and beat him in two races. He gets a boot in the ass, and you take his place.

Of course, the same goes the other way around: if you lose two races to a challenger, you say goodbye to your car and go drive for a smaller team. If you're already in a small team, it could be game over.

The goal is to win the championship for the second time. If you're the champion, you get a contract with the all-powerful Madonna for the following season. But in the first GP, you'll be challenged by Ceara, from the Bullets team. Like others "slightly inspired" by real drivers (Asselin and Prost, Picos and Piquet, etc.), he would be Senna. Not exactly the Senna of 88, who drove a McLaren, but rather close to the Lotus driver: very fast, in an average car.

The unwary player finds it funny: Bullets is a weak team. Putting it in today's F1, it would be like a Mercedes driver being challenged by someone from Force India. You go to qualifying, take pole position (you usually will) and happily head off to the race, ready to humiliate the poor Brazilian.

And right at the start, the unexpected happens: the blue car jumps ahead, living up to the team's name (bullet).


G. Ceara na frente da corrida
A particular race between Madonna and Bullets.

As if pushed by a super turbo, Ceara's car, second on the grid, jumps ahead. What kind of joke is this?, newbies will protest, and even more when they notice that even though you run like hell, the guy seems protected by an invisible barrier, or as if you were connected by an invisible rubber band.

The difference barely changes in a little less than one second, if you're good enough to be that close. After countless failed attempts, lots of swearing and cursing the controller, the Sega programmers and your rival's turbocharged car, you give up and go to the second GP, in Brazil, hoping it was a bug.

And the same thing happens. Two defeats and goodbye Madonna car – goodbye forever, because even if you beat them throughout the season, they won't make another job offer.

The obvious deduction is: there's no way to win, this is so that the player loses the Madonna and has to make do with an inferior car.

Yes we can

Imola track up to 1992.

But with practice and a perfect race, it is possible to beat the Bullets. It requires a LOT of practice, patience, but there is no secret: don't make any mistakes at all and drive aggressively, going up on the curbs, but without overdoing it to don't to lose speed. The gears don't matter.

At each turn, you gain something like 10 or 20 thousandths, especially at Tamburello (let the car skid, turning very close), and at the two at Rivazza and Acque Minerale. The chicanes don't help much, like Variante Villeneuve and Variante Bassa. Tosa is the worst: even if you get the line right, the gap closes very little.

When you get close, get in the slipstream (drive in line with him to gain speed). If you're 3 or 4 thousandths away, pull aside and go!

Don't try to close the door. The old trick of hitting your rival so he loses speed doesn't work. Don't be too quick to try spectacular overtaking maneuvers, the chances of getting screwed are high. If you're lucky enough to come up on a clean spot, you'll be able to overtake, but if you're on a curve with more rivals, it's much more complicated, because he'll take off at any slowdown. And then it's over, my friend.

The moment that requires the most attention is when the stragglers arrive, on the fourth lap. One bump into them and Ceara disappears of your sight in first position. In this case, don't think twice: reset.

When you're the first, the magic ends: Bullets will turn into a regular car again, and the gap will grow rapidly. Even if you crash into other cars or go off the track, your rival won't regain his superpowers, as long as you don't let him overtake you again!

Watch the video:

Defeated, Ceara insists on challenging you in Brazil, using the same trickery. It's fine, you don't need to win. In the third GP, France, regardless of the results of the previous races, he will be right behind on the grid, but without superpowers.

In other words: to keep the Madonna car, you need to win one of the first two races. Even if you lose in Brazil, if you win in San Marino, or vice versa, everything goes back to normal in France. From then on, only peace aboard the Madonna.


I still remember the thrill of beating him for the first time, back in the 90s, in my old Mega Drive. I screamed like crazy, muffling my mouth with a pillow so no one would think I was insane, in disbelief at what I had done. Even today, with a lot of SMGP experience, while recording the video, I made about eight attempts, playing on the keyboard. Back then there was no save state: you lose, you reset, password and all over again. If you're a newbie and you're on a console, get ready for a long battle.

Remember that the video proves that it's possible to beat it using automatic transmission; old magazines mentioned the need for a manual transmission. Of course, with the manual the car is faster, so it's easier: you can pass Ceara on the 4th lap. Good luck.

Conclusion: MYTH.

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