The tuning card is the method of saving data in the Wangan Midnight Series of arcade video games. These cards use a magnetic system to record the driver name, type of car, and many more things.
Getting a cardEdit
After a player inserts their credits into the machine, the game will ask if the player already has a tuning card. If the player does not, the game will ask the player if they'd like to buy one (at the cost of another credit).
At the end of all single player and some multiplayer races, the game asks a player whether they'd like to continue racing, which will cost one more credit. If the player responds "No" or takes too long to insert the credit, their tuning card is ejected.
The following information is stored on a tuning card:
- Driver Name
- Card Number
- Car Type
- Story Mode Progress
- Manual/Automatic Transmission setting
- Retire setting
- Volume level
- Tachometer setting
- BGM settings (including unlocked BGMs)
Each Tuning Card will expire after 60 games, at which point the driver will be prompted to renew the same card. Once a card is renewed, the old card is ejected. When players reach episode 20 or later, the old card has an ability to create two cards. If not, the old card says Used. See:discarded tuning card
An Empty card is a tuning card at its factory status, with no data stored inside.
Usually, the empty cards are distributed to the video arcades and being stored inside the card dispenser behind the card reader in the Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune machines, thus the players can buy cards from the machine easily.
Empty cards cannot be used in the machine directly. By inserting an empty tuning card into the card reader, the game would prompt "unable to read data" or "the card is corrupted". If the player decides to buy the card from the machine, after the initial steps (choosing the name, cars, etc.), essential data will be written to the card and the card will be usable.
In some of the arcades, tuning cards are not stored inside the machines (and the machine will always prompt "unable to distribute a new card now"), instead the players have to buy empty cards from the arcade, and require an employee to put the card inside the card dispenser of the machine, the do the same operation steps as buying a tuning card from the machine directly to make the card usable. This would make the card purchasing procedure much more complex, but allow the arcade to sell the card at any price, instead of one coin.
After a round is finished, the arcade machine will record the data on the tuning card in two ways: printing the data on the front of the card (for human read) and store the data magnetically on the back of the card (for the machine to read).
The machine will wipe the previously printed data before printing a new data onto it. However, if the wiping mechanism failed, the new data will be overprinted onto the previous one, cause it hard, or even unable to read the data by the human.
Overprinted cards can be used on Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune machines without problem, since the machine doesn't read data from the printed side. However, the password printed on the card could be hard to read, cause the players unable to submit their game progress onto the Wangan Midnight Maximum website.
New system Edit
Since the launch of Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 4, Bandai Namco renewed their card system by introducing Banapassport card, an RFID tag-based card that can be used to store data from compatible Bandai Namco games. Players now have to tap instead of inserting their cards to the designated reader. It also has greater storage capacity than the old card, enabling players to store multiple cars in one card, rather than one card for each car. In order to successfully autosave a progress, the card has to be within close range with the machine until a "save successful" message appears.
The discarded data mechanism is also changed. Now, the discarded data will show in the form of a tuning card icon. Once the player obtains this, they can transfer the data to a friend who owns a Banapassport card using the Wangan Terminal. The transfer should be done with the receiver present. This allows the receiver to receive a 600 HP/B car and skips Story Mode to Chapter 20, The Akasaka Straight (2nd Half).
Aside from Banapassport cards, players can buy WMMT-only cards either in the machine or using a separate Wangan Terminal.
Shortly after the release of Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 4, the players can able to transfer their tuning cards from Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 3DX+ in the Wangan Terminal to transfer their cards into a Banapassport to resume progress with their cars. However, the transfer service was ended in 2013 and the North American release of Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 5 would not have this feature, rendering their tuning cards in that region useless, prompting players to start all over again from scratch.
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