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The Weapons of
Interstate '76
V. 1.2
This information presented in this article originally appeared in the August '97 issue of Playkill Magazine but has since been updated. All data gathering by INT Thibor, and INT Toxy. Article used with authors permission by SSS. All version 1.2 changes will be marked in blue text. 1.2 mods by INT SuiCyco.
Much of the following is already in the manual, but I've taken out the parts that aren't needed to rate a weapon over all... AND I've corrected the MANY mistakes as well. Take a look at the tables briefly, then take a bit of a look at the different weapons from my point of view, with the statistics in mind.
The Munitions
Ammo Cap
(pts of armor)
(pts of armor)
Overall Grade
.30 Cal MG
.50 Cal MG
400 350 4.8 19.12 74%
25mm 179 300 600 300 5.62 16.77 64%
30mm 121 500 800 250 12.82 25.85 90%
FireRite 120 1000 300 60 11.9 23.8 89%
AIM-Nein 32 2000 900 15 22.5 10.67 92%
DrRadar 13 3000 200 10 38 8.23 35%
HE Mortar 176 100 20 80 Area of Effect Unattained 75%
WP Mortar 184 100 20 70 Area of Effect Unattained 95%
Cluster Bomb 123 100 20 30 Area of Effect Unattained 79%
EZKill Mortar 176 100 20 40 Area of Effect Unattained 30%
The Flamers
Weapon Out of Fuel  
Range Weight Ammo Cap To Kill A Bus Overall Grade  
(100 being best)
Flame Thrower 45 40 40 800 3.8 seconds 80
Gas Launcher 39 35 60 700 3.3 seconds 60
Napalm Hose 34 30 120 600 2.6 seconds 65
 PC Gamer's Idiots 
Ah... what could be worse than some newbie with 4 Dr. Radars? A newbie with 4 Dr. Radars that works for PC Gamer. Have you seen these guys? They even put their FACES on those idiotic cheese-mobiles. 2 out of the 3 "strategists" for PC Gamer in the July 97 issue had at least THREE Dr. Radars, if not 4. The other guy had 2, and a Cluster bomb. 

Now that I've gotten THAT off my chest, I'll write a bit about each of the weapons, and their uses (beyond the obvious... if you are on this page at all, you probably already know how to turn your engine off for Dr.Cheese shots and stuff).

Slug Throwers 
The slug throwers are what the heart of the game was MEANT to be, but as any multiplayer, fast-paced, kill-ya-quick type of game, Interstate '76 is a game of the fastest kill coming out on top. Very few of these weapons have the backbone to cause cars to dodge for their lives. Some in fact, aren't worth even putting on the car, when there is a better (and sometimes PRICED cheaper) weapon out there that can do the same thing more efficiently. 

Slug throwers tend to work best in close quarters, and in slashing attacks. Firing them blindly in the general direction of a target usually doesn't result in anything but ammo loss. 

IGNORE the 30cal Machine Gun. Not only is it's range poor, it does just about NO damage to moving vehicles in a lag environment. The only thing this weapon has going for it is the fact that you might damage your opponent because he/she will be IGNORING the fact they are getting hit with it... and for good reason. 

In looking at the stats, the only thing that the 7.62mm has an advantage over the 50cal is the range and a much more rapid fire rate. The problem with it is that even with it's faster firing rate, it does LESS damage per second than the 50cal on a stationary target. On a moving target, the 7.62 is often capable of doing more damage, due to it's higher bullet velocity and better turret tracking abilities. Some of the 7.62mm shots do not register a damage packet during a game because there are so many shots hitting at around the same time. If you have to make a choice between a 50cal and a 7.62mm, go with the 50cal. Not always true, because if your game connection is stable, the 7.62 is deadly dangerous. Hitting something more than 300 meters away should be done with something else anyway, you are NOT going to hit anything moving that far away with a 7.62mm, even if it CAN reach that far. 

The Cannons are intriguing because they pack more punch, in less slugs. The trade off is fire rate, but if you know your lag, and you are a good aim, these are the weapons for you. During testing, it was uncovered that the 25mm only has range advantage over the 20mm, which has more ammo, a faster firing rate, and due to that fact, does more damage a second than it's 25mm counterpart. 

The nasty one is the 30mm. This is the only slug thrower that has punch enough to be a finishing weapon. By "finishing weapon", I mean opening fire with it on a trapped or otherwise stationary target. You can do this by forcing someone to shut down their engine (via using Dr. Cheese, or a Turret) and then ramming them, or you can just oil slick them into a wall or a hard spin. One is pretty gross, 2 30mm are deadly.

Rockets and Missiles 
These weapons are good for both long and short range, and as a whole, do more damage than any slug thrower, save the 30mm Cannon. Although each of the 3 types mentioned here are all self propelled weapons, they each have their strong and weak points, and likewise have winning tactics for firing AND dodging them. 

The FireRite rocket is easily the best priced weapon on the AVA Price list. (AVA pricelist has since changed) That isn't to say it is the most ACCURATE priced, it is to say you get more bang for the buck with this weapon than any other (This distinction used to be held to the WP Mortar, which has since been repriced after its true functionality was realized). 

At the same cost as the completely useless 30cal Machine Gun, this triple firing deadfire rocket launcher delivers 3 missiles that EACH do 11.9 damage. Read the chart carefully... that means that if you hit with ALL three, the damage done is only surpassed by a single direct hit with a Dr. Radar. Its problems are ammo consumption, slow rate of fire, and slow air speed to target. Again, if you know lag, and you can aim well, these are the weapons for you. 

The Aim-Nein is probably just now being realized as one of the most useful weapons in the game. This is mainly because they were GROSSLY overpriced on the AVA Price list when it was first made public, but since has been marked down to a reasonable price for mass consumption. 

Its ability to lock on and hit a target with or without radar lock is its strongest feature, not to mention it has a VERY high velocity to the target. It does  22+ points of damage when it hits, making it one of the many one hit killers when fighting the smaller cars. Drawbacks are that you must attain a weapons lock* before firing, it has a VERY small ammo capacity, and can be dodged by a driver that is expecting Aim-nein activity with little or no effort by just driving perpendicular to the launcher. 

*The Weapons Lock refers to the fact that you must line up the launcher to one of 3 different types of targets: one that is moving directly away from the launcher, one that is moving directly toward the launcher, or one that is completely stationary. Any lateral movement by the target perpendicular to the launcher will break this lock, making the probability for the missle to achieve target very low.
The DrRadar missile was, at first, the most devastating weapon in the game because you actually had to read the manual to find out how to live after someone shot one at you. Shut that engine off, and this is weapon is practically taking up space on a hardpoint. Note that it can befired in the same manner as a firerite rocket; dumbfired without lock. Many drivers out there drive with the engine off just because they can, not because they are afraid of DrR's but because not being on radar is a good thing. 

The DrR has only one strong point: if it hits, it does GOBS of damage. Everything else about this weapon is complete trash. Low fire rate, low ammo capacity, slow air velocity, and did I mention that you can't possibly hit anyone with them unless they are asleep at the wheel? 

I didn't mention the Cherub Missile, and not because you have to hack to get it. You don't. One of the stock variants of the Moth Truck has a "blank" weapon... that's the Cherub. I didn't mention it because it is just a bigger DrRader that only gives you 3 shots. Good luck. 

UPDATE! I got confused on this issue, as I knew that the Moth had a "special weapon" at the same time that I knew that you could get the Cherub in the final mission of the Trip. Whoops! The Moth has the HADES Cannon, not the Cherub Missile. Sorry. 

And I also didn't do a test on the Hades, not because it sucks, but because no one plays with the Moth, at least not competitively, and that is what this article is about.

Mortars and Bombs 
The Mortars, as many of my loyal readers know, have been the subject of many opinionated discussions (and arguments) in the AVA Community. I'd say the most contributing factor to this is the fact that Chase didn't quite see mortars as being as deadly as they really are at first... so he priced them as being cheaper than just about EVERY slug thrower (or was it ALL slug throwers... been a while since that first price list was used...). 

The fact that most battles are fought up close in this game (mainly because most of the weapons can't do a damn thing to someone far away...) makes mortars and bombs the most effective way to kill in the game of Interstate '76, bar none. 

What's that you say? They can't shoot very far? They don't shoot in a straight line? You only get a few shots? 

NONE of that makes any difference to the advantages of the explosive shell weapons. Fast fire rate, parabola flight path (it flies in an arc... possibly OVER things like hills and walls), area of effect explosion, and extremely high damage... not to mention damage per second. 

Although I was unable to come up with a definite number of armor points, the HE mortar alone was able to kill a school bus in 15 direct hits. For those of you paying close attention to the weapons specs chart above, that is roughly 4.634 SECONDS to kill a bus with a SINGLE HE mortar. Granted, the armor on one side of the bus was only 50, but that isn't much more than MOST of the cars that we drive. 

The HE Mortar gives you a good amount of shells, fires fast, and does good damage. Its area of effect is quite small though, but that problem is solved by having more shells. Fire more shots while in motion, and you can MAKE a larger "area of effect" yourself without missing the ammo. 

The WP Mortar has only slightly less ammo, but fires a bit faster, and does (as far as I can tell) significantly more damage than its HE counterpart. What makes this weapon the highest rated weapon on my chart is the fact that it's area of effect is VERY large, but not so large that driving at moderate to high speeds TOWARDS your shots will harm or kill you. You'd have to be firing a forward shot going around 120 to get hit by your own shot if you were driving in a straight line on level ground. 

The Cluster Bomb is a VERY devastating weapon, and the choice of newbies everywhere. The reason being that you can drop into a game with 4 of these mothers on a Manta (or ANY quad mounter car...) and begin to kill large amounts of people using little or no skill. 

Before you start sending me hate mail because YOU use Cluster Bombs, read on. I've done a few tests with Cluster Bombs in my "spare time" for the specific reason of writing this page. I made such a Manta (with 4 Cluster Bombs and a fire dropper) and changed my name to "ClustersRcheese" and dropped into as many games as I could find on the i76 server. 

I said that newbies could get lots of kills with this car, and I was right. But someone that has played this game FAR too much for his own good (me) using such a car, is damn near unstoppable. Not only did I kill many people with VERY little problem, I was bombarded with hateful slander about people hating clusters... and hating anyone that would make a car like that. Maybe my name had something to do with it? 

Perhaps... but mainly it was probably that I could poke about in a map with my engine off most of the time, wait for a furball to take place, and then go in there and kill EVERYONE with a single salvo of all four. After a bit of this, many games would reach the point of commentary like: "kick that guy with the clusters" or "everyone team up on ClustersRcheese" or I would just get booted by some host that would rather kick me than learn how to fight against 4 clusters. 

Side Note: One guy DID stay and try to fight me, and he did pretty damn good. The truly funny thing is that he was incognito like myself and was practicing for an IDOC match! Hats off to INT Madhatter for killing me a few times with such a shitty car! :) 

Disclaimer: before I started killing people in each of these games, I spoke out something to the effect of "prepare to get beat by cheese" to all in the game. In fact, every time someone joined, I warned that I was using 4 Cluster Bombs. I was also not a jerk to anyone... aside from not letting anyone have a CHANCE to kill me because they were dead. :) 

The bottom line on Clusters is: I'm glad they cost a lot on the AVA Price List. 

I have a very small amount to say about EZKill Mortars. In doing "shoot the bus" tests, I was stationary and slowly approached the bus, NOT targeting it. When I felt that I was close enough I pulled the trigger. The first shot was very short of the bus, but that isn't really relevant. What IS of note is that while I shot from a motionless position and completely missed the bus, I TOOK DAMAGE FROM THE MORTAR. 

Throw that one in the trash. Damn thing can't hit anyone in lag that is MOVING anyway. Not a good front mortar unless you drive backwards.

Aside from Toxy*, the flamers are a VERY dangerous weapon indeed. The ability to go right through armor or chassis and start damaging equipment is one of the truly nasty ways to kill someone. Just by looking at the spec To Kill A Bus one can see that the torches can be the fastest kill in the game. And if they don't kill after you get a slight hit using them, your target is now red, and can be shot with the infamous .45 head shot, or mowed down easier by your other weapons because chances are their car is now crippled with either engine or suspension problems, or they lost some wheels. 

In doing the very limited possible testing with the flame throwers, I realized that any of them more expensive than the regular Flame-thrower are just a waste of cash. The Flame-thrower shoots farther, lasts longer (has more fuel), and costs less then the Gas Launcher. The only draw back is that the Flame-thrower takes .5 seconds longer to kill a bus? 

If you are going to burn someone, you only have to do it for a split second to make them red so you can headshot them. If you want to burn them to death, .4 seconds is not going to make a difference because chances are the only way you can kill someone with flame directly is to catch them with them not moving. 

The pluses and minuses for the two other burners are the same save the fact that both the Gas Launcher and the Napalm Hose don't last as long and don't shoot as far as the Flame-thrower, yet only beat its kill time by mere split seconds. 

*Toxy is a member of the Hollow Points, and is also a resident of the same city I live in. He is the butt of many of my jokes because he closely resembles my butt. If you are offended by my brutal treatment of my good friend, try picking on him. It's fun. ;)

Land mines crash games for me all the time, and since bloxdroppers effectively do the same thing to chassis as Land mines do to armor, and they both stay on the map FOREVER until someone runs over them, they'd probably crash games for me too. But people don't play with Blox, so who cares (which is odd because if you think about it, it would be a very fast kill to go through some peoples chassis to kill them... some of my cars only have 15 points of chassis in the front). 

The other two droppers... the ones that don't STAY there all day, are both excellent weapons to have. 

The Fire Dropper is a usual weapon of choice, especially if you are well versed in the use of the .45. To the dismay of many drivers, a slightly toasted car is wide open for headshots, even though they may have virgin white armor. Too bad, so sad. 

A tip for people who don't like the fire + .45 combo: don't go into fire drop. It's bad. 

Oil slicks are a finesse weapon that is being used more and more, and is already the choice for drivers that are particularly fond of using Mortars. A stationary target is a dead target when using mortars, and oil can make someone stop pretty quick. 

If someone is using mortars against you and you go through oil... do NOT hit your breaks. Try your damnedest to run with the slide as long as you can, even if you have no control. Like I said we... er... mortar lovers are just WAITING for you to panic and hit the breaks. It means we... er... they... get to kill you with out having to work for it.

Turrets have their place in this game. Although I didn't do any "testing" with them for this article, I have played with and against them with some success. Heavier weapons appear to have slower tracking turrets.  

To me, turrets have only two purposes in a multiplayer game. First is to shoot hackers in helicopters. You knew THAT was coming. Second, is to force people to drive without their engines on. 

The damage turreted weapons do is usually secondary. By forcing an engine shut off, you can ram someone into stopping, and annihilate their car while they try to get going again. In a lag environment, a stopped target HAS NO LAG, and is easily hit and killed by the more powerful weapons (mortars, flamers, 30mm). 

Many times, the turret gets thrown off by a number of things, the most obvious of which is the fact that your opponent isn't exactly where your turret is pointing all the time, due to lag. Another reason is cup holders, which have been confirmed to "cause opponents to miss 10% of the time" and I think this also refers to turret aiming. I could be wrong. 

Turreted FireRites and Aim-neins are also rather sick, because you won't know you are targeted until it is too late. Slug Thrower turrets have this nasty knack of revealing that you are locked when they accurately shoot at your car while the guy shooting them isn't aiming at you. Down goes the engine, no more turret use.

Well, I've taken a close look at weapons for both the benefit of my fellow drivers, and myself. I didn't find many things surprising in the results that I didn't already know... except for just a couple of things. 
- The 25mm Cannon isn't really worth it. The 20mm is faster to the kill. 

- The Gas Launcher and Napalm Hose are only SLIGHTLY faster than the Flame-thrower. 

- EZKill Mortars are perhaps the weirdest acting weapon in the game. 

- DrRadars are a really good weapon, because PC Gamer says so. Not.

I hope you guys and gals had as much fun reading this as I had researching and writing it. See you on the highway.