Cars: Mater-National Championship is the sequel to Cars: The Video Game. It was released 2 years before Cars: Race-O-Rama. The game takes place in Radiator Springs as players take the roles of Lightning McQueen and Mater, as they prepare themselves for the 1st annual Mater-National Championship against many race cars around the world.
Returning to the game
- Lightning McQueen
- Doc Hudson
- Mia and Tia
- Snot Rod
New to the game
"Emma is spunky and cute, with just the right amount of self-deprecating charm. She's England's reigning rally car champion, as popular for her personality as she is for spraying mud all over her competitors. She's come to the Mater-National Festival to compete in the Rustbucket Race Series, and is a little star-struck when she meets its resident champion, Mater."
When Mater first comes to the Rustbucket Stadium, he is surprised to notice that his cousins are not practicing for the race. Tommy Joe explains that they have spent the last hour watching Emma. Mater then notices that Emma is looking at him, so he asks his cousins to "act natural," so they pile up on him.
Later, Mater gets to speak with Emma after she accidentally bumps into him. The two introduce each other and Emma compliments Mater on his racing, then wish each other luck for the next race, which she is in. After the race, Emma compliments Mater for winning and his modesty (he compliments Emma by saying no one could beat her, despite the fact that he did in the last race). Mater then gives Emma a tour of the town.
Despite appearing in Rustbucket Races in Aracade Mode, Emma is not playable in them. She also returns on the Nintendo DS and PSP versions of Cars: Race-O-Rama as a playable character.
"Given Otto's exquisite German engineering, you might expect him to be a perfectionist. He's certainly focused on racking up the wins, but he's also having a great time doing it. Otto's got a rock star attitude, and he knows what he likes - and he likes to drive fast. He spends a lot of his free time cruising the Autobahn back home, and doesn't understand the concept of speed limits."
Lightning first meets Otto after Sheriff pulls him over for going 120 mph when the speed limit is 25. Otto claims that since he is a race car, he never drives slow. Also, he is waiting for a race to happen, so Lightning decides to have a three-lap race with him and invites Sheriff to join in. Otto, however, would have preferred a 24-hour race. After the race, Otto wants to have another, but Lightning thinks he should take a break to see the town and buy a souvenir from Lizzie's Curio Shop for his girlfriend, Jenny, back in Germany. Sheriff feels relieved, thinking that will keep him busy from speeding.
Otto's body looks very similar to that of Max Schnell from Cars 2, which is a coincidence since both characters are from Germany. A picture of Otto appears in Luigi's Casa Della Tires, which returns in Cars: Race-O-Rama.
"Gudmund is the reigning rally car champ of Sweden... and a bit of a wild man! He loves to stir things up both on and off the track and takes any challenge head on. With his huge headlights, he's happy kicking up dirt clouds in the middle of the night, even if he's the only one out there. He's got a dry, off-kilter sense of humour, but he's a fair, fun and friendly competitor all the same."
In Ornament Valley, Mater sees and hears some weird lights and sounds and thinks it is the Ghostlight. Sarge decides to do an investigation. They eventually find the so-called "Ghostlight," which turned out to be Gudmund. Sarge decides to court-martial him, but Lightning thinks he is there for the races. Gudmund asks Lightning if he would like to have one in the tunnels, but Lightning declines due to not having headlights, but Sarge gives him his night-vision goggles, making Lightning able to race after all. After the race, Gudmund tells Lightning a story about a monster called the Haunted Hook, which he claims his lights keep away. They then come across Mater and Lightning tries introducing the two to each other, but they run away from each other after thinking they came across their respective monsters.
According to the game's files, Gudmund was originally going to be called "Sven," which is also a Swedish name. However, it is unknown why the name was changed.
"Koji comes from the world of downhill Touge racing commonly known as drifting. Much of Koji's success is attributed to his light and maneuverable style of driving. He prides himself on his ability to take turns with wide, screeching, smoking powerslides. Koji treats his sport as a science - he's extremely competent, but he's not so focused that he forgets to have fun."
Lightning first sees Koji racing with Otto, Vince and Sonny upon first entering Tailfin Pass. He later gets a chance to talk with him, but Koji cannot speak English. Mater claims that he does, though he proves to be lying after he claims Koji challenged him to race "blindfolded, driving backwards with four flat tires." After the race, Lightning talks with Koji about his style of racing when Mater comes by, drifting, but hits something on the road, flies over them, and lands right-side up. Mater claims outloud that he had fun, but he whispers to Lightning to "call a tow truck."
Koji is the only new character in the game to not speak English. Like with Gudmund, his game files show that he might have been planned to have a different name and the reasoning for the name change is unknown. In this case, "Hiro."
Giovanni, a tough-looking but very nice smooth red Ferrari from Italy. He is also a fan of Lightning McQueen, who inspired him to be a racer. Luigi and Guido claim to be his biggest fan. He was the final boss character that Lightning McQueen races in the video game.
Lightning and Mater come by Luigi's Casa Della Tires and notice that Luigi and Guido look dressed up. Then Giovanni shows up, but he does not realize that Lightning was there. He just thought he was painted red to dress up like him. After Lightning clears things up, he reveals to him that he is a fan of his and cannot wait to have a race together. Lightning decides they can have a race right now and offers Luigi and Guido to join his team, but they decide to join Giovanni instead.
Later in the story, Lightning and Giovanni host the first official race in the new racing stadium. Giovanni decides, since this was Lightning's home track, to let him win. After the race, Luigi begs for them to have another one, to which Lightning agrees. He also decides to have this be another relay race with Lightning and two Radiator Springs residents on one team and Giovanni with two of the other international racers on the other.
Giovanni bears a striking resemblance to Michael Schumacher Ferrari.
Yuri is a Russian Rally car, among others joined the Mater-National Championship. He is first seen in the Road Race Inside The Turkey and in seen again in the Road Race Canyon Run. His license plate is YURIKAA. He doesn't appear in any cutscenes and he has no backstory or introduction, so very little is known about him. He also is one of the only cars seen throughout the entire series who is Russian.
He is one of only two new characters in the game to not be playable, though there are some unused sound clips in the game's data files, hinting that he might have been intended to be playable.
Philip came to Radiator Springs, but he drove on the wrong side of the road (because in the U.K., they drive on the opposite side of the road) and nearly hit Lightning. He immediately apologizes, but he gets excited when he realizes he is speaking to Lightning McQueen and thinks he was saved from "near death." Lightning decides to teach him to drive on the correct side of the road in the U.S., but Philip think he is getting a private racing lesson. Fred overhears and decides to join in. Doc shows up and scolds the cars for blocking the road, to which Lightning apologizes, but Philip and Fred are excited, since Doc was the Fabulous Hudson Hornet. Barry joins the conversation too, thinking a race was going on. Lightning agrees to have a race after all.
Like Yuri, he is one of only two new characters in the game to not be playable, but again, unused sound clips hint that he might have been planned to be playable during the game's development.
Philip also appears in the World of Cars story, "Banged Up." When Doc is looking for a place to settle, he finds Philip broken-down on the side of the road. Doc decides to repair him and he drives away, thanking him for his assistance.
Returning to the game
- Tommy Joe
- Count Spatula
- The Crippler
- Manji, Tabinu and Cho from Tokyo Mater look very similar to Otto, Koji, and Emma respectively.
- This is one of the last games to be released on the GameBoy Advance.
- This is the only game in which Lightning can appear as a computer opponent in Rustbucket Races in Arcade Mode.
- This is the first Cars-based video game released for the PlayStation 3.