Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed Collection

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed Collection

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Time Trials and the Yokozuna Sticker - How to, Demonstrations, and Helpful Advice
By Zork Nemesis
Having problems overtaking those pesky Expert Staff ghosts? Looking to improve your time trial skills a bit? Take a look around, i'm sure you'll find some useful tips and pointers.
The Yokozuna sticker, quite the feat to obtain. It requires beating every Expert Ghost in the game (well, not quite every ghost, you can do either all of regular, or all of mirror; you don’t have to do mirror if you don’t want to, and OutRun Bay is also excluded). Many gamers have found themselves struggling to beat them. Fear not, for I will give you the advice you need to beat those pesky staff ghosts and improve your game in the process.

If you think this guide is missing something, by all means let me know. I am still going over it, making changes and clarifying what needs to be clarified as I find them, but please help me find them. If you spot inconsistancy or incorrect information or have a helpful tip that I don't know about/don't mention please let me know in the comments.

Unless otherwise noted, I perform all my time attacks using Vyse and the Dreamcast mod (5/1/1/5). Shadow and Metal Sonic with their console mods have identical stats.

I've noticed a number of videos don't seem to be working correctly as of late. Please notify me in the comments if a video doesn't appear to be working.
General Time Trial Tips
Vehicle selection:
Your choice of vehicle is important for time trial. If you look at the leaderboards, you'll notice the most common characters for high scores: Sonic, Vyse, Shadow, Metal Sonic, AGES, Ralph, and Gillius. You'll want a racer who has high speed and high boost; acceleration isn't helpful since all the hazards are removed (thus no need for recovery if you're not driving into walls and off cliffs) and low handling can be circumvented by managing speed and drift properly. Nearly every ghost can be defeated with the 5/1/1/5 setup (the ONLY ghost I could not beat with 5/1/1/5 was Roulette Road), which is available to Vyse, Shadow, and Metal Sonic when they use their console mods. Ralph, AGES, and Gillius also have strong vehicles with their 4/1/1/6 console mods, however their mods come very late in World Tour, and you will likely unlock the Dreamcast mod soon after you unlock Vyse and Shadow. In Metal Sonic's case, if you have him, you already have the Genesis mod for him even if you don't actually have it yet. Despite this, SUMO made sure that you can beat every expert ghost with Sonic, and Sonic's Speed mod has a very respectable time trial distribution (6/1/3/2). B.D. Joe and Vyse have similars Speed mods (6/1/2/3). Vyse is the character I use the most throughout my time trials and most of my current records were performed with the Vyse/Dreamcast setup.

While I have to test it, I also believe Tails and his Genesis mod (4/2/2/4) is a good choice if you're concerned you can't handle the 5/1/1/5 setup. Other players have also made other racers work, such as a player who has managed a faster time on Ocean View than me with Knuckles.

While your favorite character might not be one of those above, certain characters just cannot stand up to the expert ghosts. If a character has lower than a 4 for speed, it likely won't be able to keep up, especially if the boost is also low. If one of these stats is a 4, the other can't go below 4 without suffering. Certain tracks however benefit from extra handling over speed or boost. You can sacrafice a bit of boost in Burning Depths, while a bit less speed can actually help Chilly Castle.

The Boost Lap:
One thing to remember is that your speed is conserved as you cross the finish line. Take a practice lap before your real attempt and save your boost pickup until you reach the finish line. Use it in conjunction with any drift or stunt boosts you have saved up at that point to give yourself a strong burst of speed to start your actual lap with.

Drift as much as possible, but remember that while boosts help you will generally go faster if you stay straight on a straight rather than attempt to drift through the straight. Also be familiar with the Switch-Drift technique, which allows you to change your drifting direction without losing your accumulated boost. When you do this you have to restart the collection of the current level of boost, but any levels you already have are maintained.

When drifting and holding the stick opposite the direction you're turning, you'll eventually suffer from drag and start drifting in the correct direction. If you tap the stick the opposite direction rather than hold it, you can sometimes give yourself more time to drift at a wide angle. This is especially noticable when drifting in flight. Switch drifting also reduces the accumulated drag.

While drifting, if you let off the gas a bit while cornering, it will let you perform tighter corners at the cost of some speed. This can help prevent crashing in some of the tighter turns.

Stunt as much as possible. There are more places to perform stunts than you’d initially expect; a lot I didn’t find out about until I looked up some times myself. One thing to note is that if you roll off a stunt ramp, you will gain velocity in the direction you are rolling. Drifting off a ramp at an angle then rolling into the direction of the jump will actually be faster than just going straight through the jump. In cases where rolling into the jump isn’t possible, the next best thing depending on your height would be to perform two different rolls or flips, then a flip or roll (whichever you didn’t do two of; for example: backflip to frontflip to left-roll). If you do this during your jump, you will get a level four boost on landing rather than the usual three from just spamming rolls or flips. If you perform stunts too fast, your engine will backfire and you will lose all accumulated stunt boosts.

There's a bug known as stunt buffer that occasionally if you stunt too soon when going off a jump, the stunt won't be performed as usual, but it will be queued and for some reason performed at a later jump, seemingly at random. When this happens, expect a stunt failure or the stunts to fire too fast and cause engine backfire. This queued stunt can also take the form of an air-dodge if you try to roll in flight. To see an example, check the current demo video for Adder's Lair.

Risk Boosts:
In flight, there’s an additional boost mechanic known as Risk Boosting. To perform this, fly on a collision course with the track (say, a rock sticking out of the middle) and roll-dodge out of the way when you’re about to hit it. If you miss it and you were close enough, you will be granted a level one boost. You can chain these together; two near misses at once is a Danger Boost, while three is a Reckless Boost, however Danger and Reckless are difficult to perform without losing too much speed. Settle for Risk and do as much as you can whenever you can, but remember not to drift until the roll finishes or else you’ll slam the brakes. If you perform dodge rolls too quickly, your engines will backfire and you will lose all accumulated boost.

Air Dodge Rolls:
When you perform dodge rolls in flight your throttle will be disabled for the roll(s) unless you are boosting. This somewhat prevents the exploit where you can go faster by rolling and flying at an angle. Try not to roll unless you’re picking up risk boosts. An associated issue: if you attempt to start a drift while rolling, you will hit the brakes and lose MORE speed so time your rolls and drifts accordingly.

Boost Stacking
Boost Stacking is an important mechanic to know about. Boosts can be stacked up to level six. The higher the level of boost, the faster you will go. Performing a single stunt or a level one drift gives you a level one boost, two flips or a level two drift gives level two boost, etc. A drift cannot go above level three, and you can only achieve level four through stunts by performing the above stunt trick. Boost plates on the track will grant one stack for each, airborne and boating boost rings grant two levels (NOTE: In an actual race, driving boost plates grant two stacks if you have no or one boost when you hit them). The boost pickup you have for your lap gives you a level four on use. You cannot achieve higher than level four with a single source of boost. Level five requires at least two sources while level six requires three separate sources.

You can tell the level of your boost by observing the flame trail coming out of your vehicle’s exhaust pipes:
Level One: short red flames
Level Two: shortish purple flames
Level Three: medium blue flames
Level Four: longer orange flames
Level Five: long blue flames
Level Six: huge orange flames that emit rings

While it's probably obvious, it's important not to hit walls, not even when you've only scratched the paint as a result. Any contact with a wall, however slight, will cause speed drops (in my Graveyard Gig video, I scrapped a wall toward the end and nearly got overtaken by my PB ghost at that moment). Generally, if you see sparks, you may want to take another lap and try again. HIt a wall too hard and you'll even lose any accumulated boost!
Racing Line
Can't believe I forgot to mention this in the initial writeup, it's also getting it's own section due to a character limit.

Your racing line is probably the most important factor of running laps for time. The racing line is essentially the shortest route you can follow to minimize time taken. Generally when you take a corner, you'll want to start on the outside, and move in so that you are as close to the inside as possible when the corner reaches it's maximum angle, then move to the outside when the course when the course straightens out. This allows you to take the corner with as little speed loss as possible.

The diagram below shows what i'm talking about. Where the green line is the optimal corner. The dark blue line occurs when you corner too early, while the light blue line occurs if you corner too late.

In terms of S-corners (chicanes), you'll want to corner in such a way that your vehicle is aiming for the inside of the upcoming curve, as shown below.

I've found this website that far better explains the racing line in detail, and it further mentions other types of corners, such as hairpins. Keep in mind though that this website more talks about realistic racing; our kart racing gives us plenty of options to break that, but it's still helpful where vehicle positioning is concerned.
Guide Setup
Each track has a section of it's own. The secions are set up as follows:

Lap layout: as the tracks constantly change every lap, Time trial only allows you to play one lap; I've specified which lap you're on. If this says "Any Lap", the course does not change between laps.
Time to beat: The Expert Staff Ghost's time
Ghost Difficulty: Here I judge the difficulty of the ghost based on my own experiences. Due to everyone having different play styles, strategies, and reflexes, this may not match up with your own vision of how difficult the ghost is.
My personal best: My own best time on the course. If I used a racer other than Vyse and the Dreamcast mod for this time, I will point it out here. I will also point out if my time is faster on mirror than it is on standard.

A video of myself running a lap on the course, each lap is faster than Expert Staff ghost, and some are/were even my personal bests. I try to follow my own advice as much as I could, but note that some tricks in the videos may not match my strategy. Sometimes this is because I messed up, other times because I wasn't thinking about the best possible route or approach. The quality of the video is a bit below par, they were recorded on my laptop which has framerate issues when running in conjunction with Fraps. Some videos are being redone on my new desktop, they will look better graphically, however they will appear a little squished due to compressing to a 16:9 aspect ratio when they were recorded as 16:10.

Two to four blocks of text. First block is just a quick thought on the course, the last is an overview of the tactics. Anything else is general advice pertaining to that particular course or information about what I used in the particular video.
Ocean View
Lap 1 layout
Time to beat: 0:32.483
Ghost Difficulty: Moderate
My personal best: 0:30.322

The first course, relatively easy and straight forward.

Begin with your boost lap. Drift and switch-drift through the first set of corners, don’t stop drifting at the hill. Drift up the hill and hit the boost as you go up, then perform up to three dodge rolls in the direction of the course. Keep drifting until you hit the boost plate to stack up a level five boost at that spot. I generally use my boost pickup there for a six, but you can save it if you want. Go left at the fork (to where the rolling rock things would be, boost through here if you didn’t boost at the dash plate). Drift and switch-drift through the last set of corners and you should have a level three drift by the time you reach the finish line.
Samba Studios
Any lap
Time to beat: 0:52.732
Ghost Difficulty: Somewhat easy
My personal best: 0:49.032 (pre-patch)

Don’t let those visuals throw off your game and be wary of potential slowdown; this is the most graphic intensive course in the game and is known to slow down some higher end machines through the two water sections.

Begin by drifting through the first corner. You should have a level three by the end of the turn if you can hold it. You can choose to hit or miss the boost plates on the outside (missing them may be faster) but hit the one on the inside before the transform ring. Perform a level four boost stunt as you fall into the water. Hit the ramp and do another level four boost stunt, but give it an extra roll to the left so you can land in the boost ring. Drift the corner, miss the first ramp, but perform a double stunt off the second, and perform a single flip through the transform. The timing on the transform boost requires practice since there’s a very small window to hit it. Boost through here and keep right at both forks while switch-drifting the whole way; you should have a two or three by the end of the second fork. Hit the dash plates at an angle so you get both (this is one of few spots in the game you can do this). Level four stunt boost through the transform and aim for the ramp. Drift off the ramp and roll left for extra distance, continue to drift, then switch-drift and do the same to the right off the second ramp. Ignore the third ramp and shoot straight for the finish line.
Carrier Zone
Any Lap
Time to beat: 0:56.535
Ghost Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult
My personal best: 0:54.132 (Gillius with Arcade mod, 4/1/1/6)

Another straight forward track. Hope you don’t rely on roll dodging because this was the prime place for it pre patch. Given the nature of this track, you may have better luck flying with a 6-speed character over the 5/1/1/5 I use. Sonic, B.D. Joe, and Vyse can hit 6-speed with their speed mods.

The demonstration has been redone for two reasons: one because the cheating ghosts are gone, and two because I feel that I needed to better demonstrate what I was telling people to do, which my old video failed to do that.

You can’t hit these boosts at an angle to get more of them, so just hit them all straight on (there's enough space to drift into them for an extra stack). Immediately roll downward upon launch to hit the first dash ring and just flight straight (boost here if you choose), ignoring the dash on the left. Stay straight and hit the next two rings (drift through each ring for an extra stack of boost), then transform boost on landing. Drift the corner and ignore the outermost boost plate; aim for the middle one (boost here if you didn’t boost before for a level six). Switch drift if you’re still drifting and roll off the side to the lower deck (if you’re not drifting, just flip, but only one stunt), then level four stunt through the transform ring. When you hit the water, drift up the ramp and roll into the flight ring, then fly straight from there. Hit the boost ring and drift into the transform ring. Come in high for a level two transform stunt. Drift through the shortcut but take extra caution not to hit the walls as you will lose precious speed. Finish your drift and boost to the finish.
Dragon Canyon
Lap 3 layout – Flight
Time to beat: 1:00.665
Ghost Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult
My personal best: 0:56.344 (AGES with AGES mod)

Take care not to start drifts mid-roll, I feel this course is one of the hardest hit with that and it’s easy to accidentally throw the brakes as a result.

Start with your boost, and just drive straight. When you reach the flight ring, begin drifting left, but don’t hold the stick to the right, else you’ll start dragging and fly into the wall. Tap the stick to maintain a large drift radius and hit a level three drift as you reach the root to risk boost. An interesting note is that there appear to be more boost opportunities if you fly high and avoid most of the course. Roll away from every rock and get as many boosts as you can. It is possible to go low and hit the dash rings though if you’re just beating the staff ghost. After the bridge, go high and risk-boost off every root system you can; the Expert ghost actually does this and that’s how I picked up on this part of the route. Come in high (not too high, there’s a steep invisible barrier if you try to go over the ring), do a double flip at the transform and boost when you land. Finish the lap with a drift through the final corner.
Temple Trouble
Lap 1 boost setup
Time to beat: 1.06.583
Ghost Difficulty: Laughably Easy (after all, the people who top the scoreboard are 12+ seconds faster than it)
My personal best: 0:54.327
There appears to be some problems with this video, I am looking into why this may be happening. Sorry for the inconvienence.

This is one of those courses that has far more stunt spots than would appear. I didn’t know about half the spots until I saw someone using them in an online match.

Start by performing a level four stunt boost off the top of the river. Transform boost at the ring (if you bottom out don't try to flip) and start drifting into the upper route. Switch-drift and you should have a level three drift by the time you make it out of that corner. When the hill begins, perform a quick roll and hit the dash plates; you can angle yourself to hit more than one at a time toward the bottom. Drift into the left route of the upcoming fork (this will take you under the course) and perform a roll at the top of that hill. Perform a level four stunt as you jump onto the target and continue. Start drifting before the first drop and perform a roll in the direction of the track at each drop; be sure not to land on any slanted sections of this corner. When you hit the transform, you should get by with just two flips, but if you’re quick enough you can pull a level four boost here. You can perform an additional stunt every time you go over one of the water hills here. Boost through here for a level six, and keep straight, flipping as you enter the vortex room. Get as close to the vortex as you can and perform a double flip when you clear the jump. If you had enough speed, you should “bounce” when you teleport, allowing for at least one more flip before the finish line.
Galactic Parade
Lap 3 layout
Time to beat: 1:04.065
Ghost Difficulty: Very Easy (I beat it on my first try without knowing)
My personal best: 1:00.599 (AGES with AGES mode, Mirror mode)

This one is more about speed than anything, but don’t skimp on boost. The 5/1/1/5 console mod still outperformed a 6/1/2/3 speed mod distribution as the video here shows (I was trying Vyse’s speed mod for this one).

Demonstration uses Vyse and the Speed mod (6/1/2/3).

Power down the stretch as fast as you can. You can pretty much boost whenever on this course, though it may help to save it for the final corner since there aren’t any boosts there. Make sure you hit every boost plate possible, speed is king on this layout, and you’ll need all of it. Drift into the corner and continue hitting every boost plate. They alternate left and right, so it’s just a matter of efficiently weaving between each plate. When you hit the transform, try and boost off the first ring asteroid, and stay low. Risk boost off every asteroid you can and stay on a course that takes you through each ring asteroid. Come in high for a double transform boost flip and drift to the finish line.
Seasonal Shrines
Any Lap
Time to beat: 1:02.782
Ghost Difficulty: Moderate
My personal best: 1:00.148 (Mirror mode)

A rather straightforward course on the surface, this one’s got some tricky corners and spots that look like you could flip, but can’t.

Start by going left around the rock and drift into the transform ring; should have a level two drift if you time it right. Perform a level four stunt as you drop off the waterfall and stay as straight as you can. If you can angle yourself, perform a sideways roll off the waterfall into the open, but know that it isn’t necessary and poor aim can send you into a wall. Stay on the inside of the corner and take the road that goes into the cave. Hit the boost on the right and jump back onto the course, performing a level four stunt here. At the top of the first set of stairs, do a double flip, then start drifting and perform a double roll at the next set of stairs. Drift around the corner and you should have a level three drift by the time you reach it. Boost here and drift the corner. If you hit the boosts at the bottom of these stairs at an angle you can get them both. Flip on the first jump, not on the second (it’s doable, but difficult). At the top, level four stunt but make sure you stay on the track. Take a left through the shortcut and drift at the end of it. Then just cross the finish line.
Rogue's Landing
Lap 1 layout
Time to beat: 1:06.583
Ghost Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult
My personal best: 1:03.161

Probably my favorite course, also one of the few courses where the rival leaderboard ghost I’m up against isn’t blatantly cheating.

Worth mentioning, if you time trial this course specifically with Vyse, you can unlock an additional achievement/sticker: Vyse the Legend, by running a lap faster than 1:11.16, which I believe is the Hard Ghost's time.

Stay to the inside of the first corner; it’s probably better not to try and drift it, but I did anyway. Drift early so you can get a level two drift by the time you reach the fork. Stay left and start drifting through this series of corners. Using switch drifts, you should have a level three drift by the end of the split. Make a hard right at the transform ring and stay low. Risk-boost off the cliff and potentially get more out of the houses, but make a beeline for the tunnel. You can risk-boost off the dock at the tunnel entrance if you aim well, but don’t beat yourself up for missing. You can also boost off that thing sticking out on the right at the end of the tunnel. Double-flip at the transform and stay right for this fork, into the water. Drift around the corner and avoid the jump by going right of it. Boost through and stay straight through the transform as well as through the finish.
Dream Valley
Lap 1 Ring Configuration and Nightmare
Time to beat: 1:15.586
Ghost Difficulty: Easy if you take the tree shortcut, difficult if you follow the rings
My personal best: 1:09.569 (Gillius with Arcade Mod: 4/1/1/6, pre-patch)

I admit that I never played NiGHTs Into Dreams, but this track just feels so trippy. It could be worse. High boost characters are a real help here, Ralph with VIP, Gillius with Arcade, or AGES with AGES demolish this course.

To get a good boost, you can include drifting, but there’s also a spire on the ceiling you can risk boost off of. Follow the rings for the majority of the flight section. You can risk boost over the hill before the tunnel rather than go around it. Now, after the tunnel, you’ll notice the rings (and the ghost) go to the right. Instead, burn your boost and make a beeline for the hole in the tree; you should have a level six boost from all the rings while you do this. Once you pass through, stay straight and pick up the rings again before you enter the portal; you can risk boost off the stairs leading into the portal. Risk boost off the various roots and follow the route, drifting when cornering and hitting the boost rings. When you reach the end, perform a upwards roll aiming initially at the middle of the warp, by doing this you’ll be set up to finish a level four stunt as you transition to boat. Stay right and perform a double flip, then go off the ramp. Rolls don’t necessarily help this jump, and if you’re not careful you can actually roll right out of the track. Position yourself so that you’ll stay to the left route and continue performing stunts as you drop off the waterfalls (ignore the early flight transform). Follow the course to the end from here but don’t ascend too much when you reach flight; ascending reduces your speed much like in real life.
Chilly Castle
Lap 1 layout
Time to beat: 0:53.082
Ghost Difficulty: Insanely Difficult
My personal best: 0:52.495 (B.D. Joe with Arcade, 4/1/2/5)

What is arguably the worst stage in the game (the worst ghost hands down), personally I like it, but I also had the hardest time with this particular expert ghost. While most ghosts took me maybe ten to fifteen minutes, this one took close to AN HOUR to beat. I still have nightmares about it. I hope you guys are thankful because my video run for this guide took at least another forty minutes.

The demo video has been redone, something caused it to stop working so I had to do it over (because I don't hate time trialing this course enough). The new video features B.D. Joe and the Arcade mod (4/1/2/5) which trades a small amount of speed for some extra handling to pull off that last corner.

The important thing to know for this course is how to control your speed for corners. The first fork and the chicane at the very end are very nasty corners, with the chicane reaching difficulty levels of that old Super Monkey Ball course from the first game. I recommend going for a little extra handling if you're having issues with the corners. B.D. Joe, Eggman, and Tails are good choices for this one with their respective console mods.

Go right at the fork and switch-drift your way through this corner. Don’t worry about missing the boost, and don’t hit the snowbank where the roads meet; you’ll go airborne for a bit and lose control and speed. Drift and follow the boost plates. Perform a drift roll at the top of the ramp and continue drifting to the right; perform another drift roll at the top of the stairs. Release your current drift and start a new one as you round this corner. Be careful of your positioning when you hit the upcoming transform; if you’re too far to one side you’ll crash into the wall and lose all your speed. Follow the water section and stunt over each drop. The second drop you can perform two flips, but you have to be quick to manage it. At the transform, don’t stunt and let off the accelerator a bit when you land; if you don’t slow down you’ll plow into the wall. Drift enough so that you can safely reach the finish and use your boost to give you the needed speed to do so in time.
Graffiti City
Lap 3 layout – Flight
Time to beat: 0:49.199
Ghost Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult
My personal best: 0:46.518 (Gillius with Arcade Mod: 4/1/1/6, pre-patch)

“Jet Set Radiooooooooo!” I love this game, and this course is a lot of fun, high speed mostly.

Start by drifting and switch-drifting the first corner, you should have a level three drift by the time you hit the flight transform. Dive for the boost ring and start drifting then. Come in low and perform a roll to get you over the ledge, netting you a risk boost in conjunction with the boost ring. Risk boost again around the boom crane and stay low. Risk boost once again at the top of that ramp leading to the boost ring and aim for the next ring (use your boost here if you want). Drift toward the tunnel and aim yourself at the center post for another risk boost, then drift on the inside corner (left) of that tunnel. Aim low for this transform ring; it’s easy to miss both the course and the ring if you’re too high. Drift around the corner and sprint to the finish (boost here if you haven’t yet).
Sanctuary Falls
Lap 2 layout – Driving
Time to beat: 0:58.582
Ghost Difficulty: Difficult
My personal best: 0:57.553 (pre-patch)

Personally I prefer the flying sections of this course, but then again there’s hardly any challenge there.

Start by drifting on the inside of this corner, you should have a level three drift shortly after you reach the straight. Bear right until you go over the jump (which you can squeeze out a quick stunt) then go down the middle. Double flip off the next jump, then perform single flips as you fall down the next two drops; position yourself on the left for a boost. Drift early and switch drift into the big corner; release your level three drift as soon as you get it and start a new drift, which should hit level two by the time you reach the straight. Hit these next boost plates at an angle and get a level six boost with your boost item. Drift around the corner and hit the boost plates, then get ready. Start drifting this corner early and switch drift into it, but let off the accelerator for a bit so you don’t crash. Continue drifting this corner and release your level three boost at the end, then race to the finish from there.
Graveyard Gig
Lap 1 layout
Time to beat: 1:17.868
Ghost Difficulty: Difficult
My personal best: 1:15.194

Now we’re getting to the harder courses, time to start checking your speed into the corners.

When you go up the stairs, aim to the right and perform a roll, but don’t roll too much because it’s very easy to hit the wall in the middle. Try and land your vehicle on the boost pad with a level four boost; if timed well with your drift you can get a level six on that boost plate. Drift up the stairs and continue drifting until the top. Let off the accelerator a bit and drift around the bouncy castle. Perform a couple rolls at the top of those steps and keep drifting, with another roll at the top of the next set; you should have a level three drift at this point. Hit the boost plate and stunt when you drop into the spider’s room. Stay as straight as you can, and aim for the right most boost on this next jump. If you aim properly you can get two drift-rolls out of this jump. Keep drifting and perform another drift roll when you drop through the roof, and two more at the next drop around the corner. Perform a level four stunt and aim for the boost ring in the water. Use your boost pickup when you land. Switch drift through the sewers and drift roll into the boost at the bottom of the next drop. Drift around the corner and proceed straight. In the lab you’ll want to switch-drift around all of these corners, you should have a level two at the middle and a level three by the exit. Stick to the boost plates and claim your prize.
Adder's Lair
Lap 2 layout
Time to beat: 1:23.119
Ghost Difficulty: Moderate
My personal best: 1:17.575

My second favorite course, if only for the absolutely epic music. Also the longest course time wise. This also took me a good half hour to record, and I apologize for my demonstration being a little sloppy. There's also the case at the drawbridge where I was hit with a bit of trick buffer; it's better but post patch it still exists.

Start by drifting into the rock jutting out of the lava and perform a few drift rolls. Hit the transform and aim for the column to the right of the boost. If you pull it off, you should risk boost right into the boost ring, and you can do this again at the next one. Drift around the beast (risk boost off its head if you can) and boost off as many pillars as you can. Drift around the final bend in this cave hitting the boosts as you make the corner and prepare to double flip at the transform. Drift quickly and use your level one boost to make it across the flaming soot to hit the boost plate without speed loss. Switch drift around the next set of corners and drift roll off the top of the drawbridge. Take a left at the fork and drift roll off the edge. Perform a level four stunt as you go through the serpent’s mouth and start drifting (use your boost once you start drifting). When you hit level two drift, switch and roll off the far end of the track at that point, dropping your vehicle on the lower path. You should have a boost plate and a level three drift at that point. Hit the boost in the lava and drop off the fall with drift rolls. Avoid the rock in the water this time and head for the drawbridge jump. Perform a quick stunt in the dip just before then start drifting and rolling toward the corner. Let off the gas a bit in the final corner and let the boost ring do the rest.
Burning Depths
Lap 3 layout
Time to beat: 0:36.999
Ghost Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult
My personal best: 0:35.193

The dreaded Burning Depths, this is one course where you really need to know how to ease up on the accelerator in corners because a lot of them are borderline hairpin. Level 1 handling with drift can barely make them. That said, I still pulled off my best time with Vyse/Dreamcast, so it's not impossible.

If the cornering is giving you problems, I suggest switching in Dr. Eggman/Genesis or B.D. Joe/Arcade for this one, the two take a small hit to speed, but give you a point in handling to help corner.

Drift into the main tunnel. Dodge roll to your left off this drop and hit the boost ring, then position yourself to drift around the corner. Flip at the transform; try and point your vehicle into the corner and ignore the boost plate on the outside, hitting it will likely put you out of control and into a wall due to the uneven terrain (use your boost here if you want). You can build a level two drift on this next corner if you drift early. Switch drift into the circular curve and ease up on the gas a bit, use your drift (and boost if you still have it) at the bottom of the corner, then ease up on the gas again as you drift around the final corner.

Race of Ages
Lap 1 layout, boat route
Time to beat: 1:17.685
Ghost Difficulty: Difficult/Varies (due to the waves in the boating section not always being the same each lap)
My personal best: 1:14.458

The Rainbow Road of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, though when you compare it to the rest of the Arcade Cup, it’s pretty tame.

The important thing to know about this course is how to gauge the height of the waves in the water section. You need to be able to know when it’s safe to flip or else you’ll be hearing about failed stunts every time.

Start by drifting around the corner, hitting all the boost plates you can. Level two drift boost into the next corner, and start a new drift as you stay on the inside, narrow portion of the track. Keep right and drift into the next corner. Continue to keep right and drift around this corner, then switch drift so you’ll have a level three boost when you hit the section where you normally choose the path (time trial locks you into boating). In the corner before this fork, you can hit both boosts if you come at them at an angle, which you probably will. When you hit the water, use your best judgment about which waves can be used for stunt boosts. Keep right at the fork and follow the river. When the roads converge, stay to the right and ignore the boost. Miss the ramp to the right and continue to the right, drift around the corner and aim for the boost ring. Use your boost through here and continue to perform flips off the waves. If you bounce when you hit the transform ring, do another flip and then it’s a straight shot home.
Sunshine Tour
Any Lap
Time to beat: 0:48.149
Ghost Difficulty: Harder than it looks.
My personal best: 0:47.221 (Vyse with Speed, 6/1/2/3)

Remember how I said Dream Valley was trippy? This stage is arguably worse in that respect. Due to the super flat nature of this course, raw speed is king here.

Demonstration performed with Vyse and Speed mod (6/1/2/3).

This course is quite bland if you ask me. Drift around the corner and switch drift; you should have a level three boost by the time you reach the trippy tunnel. Keep straight (use your boost here if you want), don’t bother drifting until you reach the roundabout corner in the “fiesta” area. Keep to the inside of the corner and you should have a level three drift by the time you exit. Continue until you reach the “wrestling” area, at which you’ll want to start drifting about the time you enter. Switch drift and proceed around the corner, then switch drift into the next tunnel. Hold your drift until you reach the boost plate in this tunnel (use your boost with it if you still have it) From there it’s a straight shot.
Shibuya Downtown
Any Lap
Time to beat: 0:52.082
Ghost Difficulty: Moderate
My personal best: 0:49.482

Track doesn’t have a lot going for it when you take the traffic away.

Demonstration performed with Vyse and Speed mod (6/1/2/3).

Drift up the hill, use your drift up before changing drift direction. Take the sidewalk on the left to go above the tunnel, which you can perform a roll off the top of this ramp if your speed and angle are correct. Drift around the corner and perform multiple drift rolls off the top of the tunnel. Aim for the boosts on the side of the road and use your own to stack with them here. Drift up the next hill, switching to preserve and hit the level three. At the jumps, drift roll on each of them for extra distance, then just level three drift around the final corner.
Roulette Road
Any Lap
Time to beat: 0:53.882
Ghost Difficulty: Insanely Difficult
My personal best: 0:52.822 (AGES with AGES mod, 4/1/1/6, pre-patch)

Besides Chilly Castle, this track actually has one of the harder ghosts. Part of the problem is that there’s hardly any opportunity for stunt or drift boosts. Raw speed is your best bet and even then it’ll be close.

Demonstration redone, this time using AGES with the AGES mod (4/1/1/6) using the Switch Drift trick I mention at the bottom, along with a couple other minor tweaks.

The course is virtually straight for a good while. Try to hit the boost plates in the middle or at an angle as you can hit them both at once. Stay out of the glowing yellow sections as they will slow you down. Use your boost on the boost plates just before the corkscrew. When you reach the roulette wheel, drift low and try and hit the bottom two boosts at the same time. Stay straight on the roulette table. Drift and ease up the gas going into the card spiral. Head left and drift around the corner, holding your boost until the bottom. Speed control is crucial for this final series of corners, drop the gas too long and you'll lose too much speed. Don't let off enough, you'll careen into the yellow and lose your speed anyway.

I took a look at the rival ghost I was against after the fact. I can see from it, there's a good way to get some extra time off. When you do your boost lap you'll have a level three boost at the end of the card spiral. Boost across the finish line as normal, but continue switch drifting and hang on to your level three drift until you reach the spot where the track divides around the slot reels. That should give you a bit more speed at that point where there aren't many boosts to work with.
Egg Hangar
Any Lap
Time to beat: 1:09.233
Ghost Difficulty: Difficult
My personal best: 1:08.091 (Mirror mode)

A nice finale I say. Not much left to be said.

Get a level two drift around the first corner and stay straight as you hit the boost plates. Begin drifting around the clover and switch when it changes direction; you’ll want to let off the gas a bit at that point. Use the drift boost at the bottom and immediately start a new drift. Switch at level two and stay on the upper track, you should have a level three drift when you hit the boost plate. Drift around the corner and perform a few drift rolls off the sheer cliff. Aim for the boost plate and use your own boost in conjunction with it. Switch drift the upcoming S-corner for a level three, then drift up the final hill for another level three while staying to the inside of the track.
OutRun Bay
Any Lap
Time to beat: 1:09.833
Ghost Difficulty: Easy
My personal best: 1:05.217

This course is not required for the Yokozuna sticker, however I include it anyway as there are still staff ghosts to race. If you have the DLC you will find that this course is reflected in the total staff ghosts beaten on your license.

Demonstration performed with Vyse and Speed mod (6/1/2/3).

Drift up the hill at the start, hitting the boost plates as you go. When you reach the top, weave between the plates much like you did in Galactic Parade. Head for the beach, keep close to the water, and switch drift so that you’ll have a level three drift when you reach the road again. When you reach the water, drift and aim for the boost ring behind the yacht. Keep to the left close to the wall; let your high speed do the rest; boost sometime between the first boost ring and the last boost ring. Hit the boost ring just before the docks (drift into it for an extra level of boost), drive back on to the road and drift to the finish line from there.

There's a ramp I go off of in the video at about 1:03 that I discovered a neat helpful thing about a little after the fact. If you drive past it at just the right angle, allowing your vehicle to just barely clip it, you can get a level 2 boost off of it without actually jumping off it. Done properly hitting that ramp can save a fair amount of time.
A few more things
Mirror Mode Ghosts

Mirror mode also features the Staff ghosts, and while they don’t count toward the Yokozuna sticker, they do count for overall completion. It also happens that Mirror mode ghosts have the same exact times, so all the above tips work. Just remember to interchange any instances of “left” with “right” and vice versa.

What now?

So you’ve beaten them all? I implore you to go back and play a few races now; you’ll probably notice a massive improvement in your racing skills as a result. Furthermore go back and improve your own times, try for those top ten leaderboard spots and become known. The only thing standing in the way of your own progress are your own skills, so sharpen them and show the world who's boss!

Try and beat my own times; I time trial frequently to the point where after the reset my personal bests were all top-10. While none of them are world records, a lot of them are very good and there's a select few i'm proud of. You will earn my respect if you can beat my Burning Depths or Rogue's Landing personal best (without cheating of course).

Thanks for taking the time to review my guide, I hope this helps you overcome whatever Expert ghosts stand between you and this shiny achievement sticker!
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OmegaDIMC Sep 28 @ 8:19pm 
Good guide. Thanks for the effort :lunar2019coolpig:
powernovawiz Jul 8 @ 1:36pm 
I beat all of your personal bests except Addar's Lair
TheLastJedi Apr 16 @ 5:07am 
After many hours of struggle i finally beaten expert TT on Chilly Castle with standard Shadow Mod, was easier than standard Sonic for me
andro Apr 12, 2019 @ 3:27am 
Hi I Have Some Questions I Sent Invite Add me
Teacup Jan 17, 2019 @ 1:30am 
@Whywolf Yes, absolutely. It's easier beating the times on some maps with others but you can do all of them with AGES if you really want to.
Whywolf Dec 12, 2018 @ 8:02am 
Hey there.
Thank you for making this guide, but I wanna know if it's possible to beat all the expert ghosts from all tracks using AGES alone (or AGES with the AGES mod) ?
Lil' Shaddie Feb 21, 2018 @ 7:54am 
I was about to tear my eyes out at Dragon Canyon, but by some miracle, i did it. Thank you muchly for this guide.
Xonics Jan 25, 2017 @ 5:05pm 
I have done it... I beat all of the Ghosts on the normal tracks and It was all thanks to you. Great Mentor and teacher. You saved me so much time and I learned so much... Next up... your record book... I'm coming for you.
Xonics Jan 25, 2017 @ 12:04pm 
Thanks to you, I SHATTERED 2 Sumo Ghost Tracks. Thanks again!
Xonics Jan 24, 2017 @ 7:40pm 
I want to personally thank you from the bottome of my heart. If all of these work, I will come online and give you all of my respect that I have. I have been working hard to earn this acheivement for the last year and I was stuck on Roulette Road, and mainly Adder's Lair... the butthole maps. But I will be giving this my all and Once again... THANK YOU! + REP FOR THE GUID. + REP AS A GAMER.