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Reiko Nagase
Reiko

Series

Ridge Racer

Debut

Rave Racer (1995)

Console of origin

Arcade

Species

Human

Gender

Female

Reiko Nagase is the race queen featured in the Ridge Racer series, as one of the girls holding cards before the start of each race, and appearing in the FMV cutscenes. An unnamed girl resembling Reiko first appeared in the real-time arcade intro for 1993's 1994's 1995's Ridge Racer, Ridge Racer 2, Rave Racer, but she was officially reintroduced (and named) a year later in Rage Racer. Weather the Ridge Racer Ridge Racer 2 Rave Racer girl is supposed to be Reiko is unknown, but Reiko's Ridge Racer 6 outfit bears a resemblance to the Ridge Racer Ridge Racer 2 Rave Racer one.

In 1998's R4: Ridge Racer Type 4, she was given more prominence, as the opening animation, which used a Kimara Lovelace song, was a short story starring her, and introduced a redesign to her 3D model by Kei Yoshimizu. This is when Namco started giving more exposure to the character, heavily using her image to promote the game. In the same game, she is identified as the sender of a fax mail to Pac Racing Club, an Easter egg triggered by completing a specific in-game task.

While still appearing in other games, Namco decided to replace Reiko in 2000's Ridge Racer V with newcomer Ai Fukami. In 2001, Namco created an image girl for their Namco Sports line named Hitomi Yoshino, and while the Ridge Racer series doesn't belong to that line she was featured in a Ridge Racer trailer shown in the 2002 edition of the E3.

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