back to article Carmageddon

Reg Hardware Car Week Has there ever been a driving game quite as gleefully bloodthirsty, so nihilistically violent and as downright daft as Stainless Games' Carmageddon? The blood red hued baldy leering out from the front of the box set the tone: this isn't a game about simulating the driving experience, or even winning …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Times have changed...

    This was a classic. I owned the complete uncensored game package (a "big" CD package which also contained all the expansions) and quite frankly; the carnage was plain out madness but the fun part was that the tracks / cities weren't all that bad either.

    There was actually a lot to discover in most races; hidden pathways, huge bridges which put you /way/ above the city (the only question was always "how the heck do I get up there?") and sometimes you'd even travel over totally abstract sceneries (small islands only connected by a single road/bridge which were actually quite nicely setup). Or what to think about "How to get rid of the competition?", it was hilarious to see how some cars would still continue to run after they had been literally flattened :-)

    Yes, it was carnage and total mayhem, but that's not all what made this game a classic IMO.

    I always toyed with the idea to try and install Carmageddon sometime, even though the resolution is total bogus by today's standards. And then I got hold of Grand Theft Auto 4 which can really bring the "carmageddon experience" to a whole new level. As said; how times have changed...

    1. Charles 9

      Speaking of resolutions...

      I recall that Carmageddon was actually a bit ahead of its time when it came to 3D support. It was one of the few DOS games to support Glide (the 3dfx API) for hardware acceleration. I still recall the time when I plugged the game back into my retro rig (which houses a Voodoo 3 for these occasions) and still being able to enjoy the carnage at a respectable 640x480 (I believe those are the screens you see in the article).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Speaking of resolutions...

        There is a version of DosBox, GliDos that has Glide support.

        I use it to recreate memories on GTA London.

        I tried Carmageddon, but at the time I was more into hardcore racers like Nascar and Indycar.

    2. Sir Runcible Spoon

      Re: Times have changed...

      When I had this I didn't even know about the green blood version until much later. Can't remember how I got hold of it now but when I played it again on a mates system with all the green blood and zombies it really freaked me out!

      And how come there was not a single mention of DeathRace 2000 in the article? Especially the bit where David Carradine nips round the back of the hospital :D

  2. big_D Silver badge

    Bloody EMI!

    They've pulled the video in Germany for copyright infringement. :(

    1. Arrrggghh-otron

      Re: Bloody EMI!

      Not playing for me in the UK...

      1. Bakunin

        Re: Bloody EMI!

        Same here.

        Good old EMI. They still believe in geographic borders on the internet, yet wonder why they're losing customers.

    2. Rustybucket

      Re: Bloody EMI!

      Face it, D.

      Youtube is pretty much dead to you.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bloody EMI!

      Also not viewable in Canada.

    4. Haku

      Re: Bloody EMI!

      So what do we do now, pirate it?

      1. David Black

        Re: Bloody EMI!

        Also blocked in the US... I wonder what region it's not blocked in???

    5. Scott 26
      Thumb Down

      Re: Bloody EMI!

      Blocked in NZ as well....

  3. Captain Underpants

    The BBFC were sadly too po-faced to realise that Carmageddon was basically an OTT game version of the 1975 "classic" Death Race 2000. I remember getting the Christmas-themed demo and later, the complete game, and being impressed at the work that went into the physics engine for allowing damage to the cars as well as the "drive anywhere you want" world design.

    The soundtrack was also excellent - instrumental versions of a bunch of metal/industrial songs of the time including several tracks from Fear Factory's Demanufacture, IIRC. I have Carmageddon to thank for exposing me to FF, as it happens :)

    Oddly enough, the more recent Carmageddon: TDR 2000 was in most senses a more refined or polished game but , to me at least, lacked to goofy charm of the original.

    1. DayDragon

      I too was introduced to Fear Factory by Carmageddon, it was great that the CD was mixed (Data on track one and music following). It had instrumental versions of Zero Signal, Demanufacture and Body Hammer i think plus extra music by Lee Groves.

      It was a really good game for it's day.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In my puritanical youth

    I was somewhat outraged myself by such a game but I have degenerated a lot since then.

    1. Thomas 4

      Re: In my puritanical youth

      Good man. We'll get you playing Doom yet and maybe, if you keep working at it, we'll even treat you to a foul and perverse Mass Effect sex scene!

  5. Cosmo


    Oh yes I remember this. What a fantastic game it was. Giblets mode on and good to go!

    I loved slamming on the brakes and sliding over the blood stains, the "Moooo!" the cows made when you splatted into them at 120mph, the insane upgrades you could get so that you could basically turn your car into granite. Ohhh those were the days!

    1. Captain Underpants

      Re: Brilliant!

      The best power-up bar none was clearly the Electro-Bastard Ray, as much for the name as its effect :D

  6. JDX Gold badge

    If we're talking classic car games, I nominate Destruction Derby :)

    1. Haku

      For Amiga owners there was

      Stunt Car Racer (yootoob vid)

      The best part of that game was the two player link up mode. I almost managed to get it to link up recently using two PCs running WinUAE and a null-modem cable, but it wouldn't complete the linking process.

      1. Gwyn Evans
        Thumb Up

        Re: For Amiga owners there was

        Not just Amiga's, although Amiga's & Atari ST's had the most advanced graphics - Spent many hours on my ST with that game!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: DD

      I enjoyed the original DD. It seemed more "realistic" than the later OTT DD2/DD64.

      The installer wouldn't run on a 486 SX processor (it checked for a DX), however the demo did install, so by mirroring the directory structure from the demo and manually unzipping all of the files it was possible to get the game to run sans-copro.

      Memories of doing a banger race in reverse, wrecking the rear end and everyone elses cars, then claiming victory.

      Closest I've seen to the proper banger racing genre has been Flatout, and even it got a bit silly in the sequel.

  7. andy gibson

    Destruction Derby

    Was worth it for the tacky voice overs - "You're on fire!"

    1. Franco
      Thumb Up

      Re: Destruction Derby

      I loved this game, and to this day I will still refer to difficult tasks as being "Harder than French Kissing a Cobra" to blank looks from the rest of the office.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Oh this brings back memories

    The boxing glove was sooo cool. Also, the sodding great big yellow dump truck just owned :)

  9. Code Monkey

    Possibly my favourite game of all time. Pure moronic joy! I never managed to complete Beef Curtains though.

    The Playstation port was excellent as well.

    1. Silverburn

      Don't worry - A trip down the docks will help you "complete the beef curtain level". For a small fee.

  10. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    I love it so much I bought it again from a Virgin Megastore when they brought out the big box with the keyfob, the t-shirt, the expansion packs, the stickers and the full glossy maps!

    The fuss that was made at the time, dear Lord! I even have a clipping from the Daily Fail going completely doolally over the release of this superb game! As they always do the DM predicted the end of civilization at the release of the game, hilarious!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    This game had a brilliand Punk Rock soundtrack

    I had it in my CD player more than the PC

    1. Grease Monkey Silver badge

      Re: This game had a brilliand Punk Rock soundtrack

      Loved the soundtrack, but then I loved Fear Factory before they did that soundtrack. I would not, however, describe them as a punk rock band. Even if you can't tell by the music, the hair, beards and general image should give you a clue to their being a metal outfit.

      I'll leave it to the bedroom music nerds to decide which particular one of the 500+ metal subcategories they fit into.

  12. 1Rafayal
    Thumb Up

    easily one of my most played games as a teenager.

    I don't think I ever completed a race by doing all the laps, mainly wasted all the other drivers instead.

  13. jdr

    Making a new game

    The Stainless crew have managed to get the rights back for the game and are making a new Carmageddon game :D

    Also you can play the original carma + splat pack in 3dfx glory if you use one of the dosbox versions and various glide wrappers. Good times and even better ones ahead!!!


    1. PaulR79

      Re: Making a new game

      I had no idea and neither did a friend of mine. I would gladly give you many more upvotes for this news but you'll have to settle for one. Some of the concept art on the blog looks great! Actually I take that back, it ALL looks great.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Making a new game

      Whoah, if this is what it promises to be then I can only hope it'll make the PS3 as well. It'd be a no brainer to get this one!

      I only hope they're not going to overdo it. But... if its the original crew then we may not need to fear. Its the main problem with Carmageddon over the years IMO; number 1 was radical, number 2 was different but still very much enjoyable (you guys discovered the 2 giant pinguins on that snow track too? "That'll teach 'm to shit in the woods" or something, totally weird & bizar). But from there things went totally down hill IMO.

      Instead of a "rugged racer" number 3 looked more like a candy-themed racer where you should "pick up the candies" in order to score points. And obviously the amount of pedestrians had been decreased by a lot.

      But as said; I'm positive that the /original/ crew will be more hell bent on getting the /real/ "carmageddon experience" across instead of trying to "make a game which appeals to as many people as possible ("maybe we should add some ponies for the girls?")".

    3. Charles 9

      Re: Making a new game

      I like.

      As for the offer, thanks but no thanks. My retro rig has a Voodoo 3 so can do Glide natively. It also have Windows ME...for those late 90s game that just can't play nice in today's systems.

  14. M 6

    New versions please

    This game would still be immensely fun if they just brought out a newer version that didn't change the gameplay (carmageddon 3 ruined it)

    1. Grease Monkey Silver badge

      Re: New versions please

      Stainless are working on the new version, dubbed Carmageddon Reincarnation.

      When you say Carmageddon 3 I assume you mean Carmageddon TDR2000? There was no Carmageddon 3. Actually I enjoyed TDR2000, but the gameplay was different. Carmageddon 2 remains a very playable game today, so there was a serious problem in developing a replacement was that there was no need for one. As such they had to make TDR2000 different.

      It's now been so long and there is so much nostalgia around Carma that they could simply recode the original Carmageddon and C2 for modern hardware and it would sell. It seems that they are putting in an awful lot of work to the new game. Take a look at

      Loving the artwork it's sort of retro eighties Andy Sparrow.

  15. Si 1

    I never played this one thanks to not owning a PC with the horsepower to run it, but it does remind me of the old DOS classic Quarantine, which helpfully had windscreen wipers for when you ran pedestrians over:

    1. Daniel B.
      Thumb Up

      oooh Quarantine!

      I played the demo for its sequel, Road Warrior. Both of those games pre-date Carmageddon, and heh it was awesome!

  16. Matthew 3

    Ah, good days

    I remember downloading the patch which restored the zombie's blood from green to red.

    I think that may well have been one of my very first downloads.

    (well, at least from the ones I can admit to, anyway)

  17. Moof

    Early Parental Bonding!

    I used to spend hours playing this with my then teenage sons across our home network. Call it "parental bonding" because of the huge laughs we had over this game. Almost as good as playing paintball against them and whooping their butts. The game wasn't taken seriously and a lot of fun was had by all. One of the best games I have ever played during that era.

  18. Paul Hayes 1

    ah Carmageddon. One of my favs as a kid. Memorable not only for it's shock factor and comedy but also as one of the first car games I was aware of where you could just explore the whole map. Endless fun.

    I particularly enjoyed being that big heavy police car you get to be after completing the game. Any opponents car would just be wrecked as soon as you hit them.

    Just looked it up, it's called the "Suppressor" :D

  19. Skizz

    This had...

    ...the best multiplayer gamed ever invented. Checkpoint Stampede! How many hours were wasted on that!

  20. Spotfist

    Not Qaurantine?

    "This was Doom with cars"??? Erm... no it wasn't, that was Quarantine! Get it right Mr Reg! Will let you off though as Im sure Carmageddon did way better. Does anyone even remember Quarantine?

  21. easyk

    LAN party fun

    This was a staple at our frequent LAN parties. Or at least I think it was. It did have multiplayer right? I just remember playing it with Corrosin of Conformity blasting on the speakers and a bunch of my friends arround. Oh how we laughed...

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I remember being off school sitting ill at home watching the lunchtime BBC News and seeing a story on Carmageddon corrupting our youth or something, they even had a clip of someone getting a 'Cunning Stunt'!

    I remember trying to complete a map by killing all the pedestrians, I think I only ever managed that once (using the car with the permanent electro-basard ray is cheating!).

  23. That Steve Guy
    Thumb Up

    A True Classic!

    I wasted so many hours on this one.

    So much madness in the game that was very politically incorrect at the time! The satisfying sounds of splattering peds, cattle that moos as they get dismembered, and killing the competition by smashing their vehicles up or off the edge of a high drop.

    Pure win.

  24. jubtastic1

    Awesome game

    Company I was working for back then printed the manuals and our prepress room often hosted LAN partys, great memories of cruising the city murdering peds with the music switched to the Bullet soundtrack.

  25. Drem


    I only ever played the demos of this sadly, but they were great. The first one was one with the blood as red (must have been before it went to the BBFC I suspect), then the games mags got scared, and pumped out the 'German' demos, which had robots instead of people, and the final one had the green blood, but details in the magazine on how to change it to red.

    Ah the joys.

  26. Emo
    Thumb Up

    To the old peolple with zimmers

    Shoot the moon!

  27. Rocket

    It is the game I bought my first PC for :)

  28. Paul RND*1000
    Thumb Up

    Never played the first one, but I do recall seeing posters advertising it stuck up on a wall right at the start of the M1 out of Belfast. "So many pedestrians. So little time." This was before I finally gave in and built a Wintel PC though, so PC-only games weren't really on my radar.

    Played the crap out of Carma 2, which was zombies and green blood out of the box, of course applied the patches to revert it back to having real people and blood. Great fun in multiplayer LAN mode! Still should have the CD somewhere, and a Windows 98 kicking around. Perhaps I need to make my W7 box dual boot with 98 so I can play this again. I have the third one too, which looked better but somehow didn't have the same charm.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      To be fair...

      To be fair, the start of the M1 / Broadway roundabout does resemble a Carmageddon map most rush hours, especially back in the 90s before the underpass.

  29. thesykes

    Think my favourite part of this was copleting it and getting the super police car (can't remember it's proper name), then taking on the ordinary police and destroying them. And beef curtains.. peurile... yes.. but made me smile.

  30. Mondo the Magnificent
    Thumb Up


    One of the first Direct X games I remember. Man it was awesome, the controls were finicky as in you couldn't configure the arrow keys to steer/accelerate/brake, but I soon got used to the NumPad controls.

    I also invested in a Diamond Stealth 3D to get the Direct X graphics support too and later hooked a 3DFX Voodoo card up too.

    My favourite vehicle is the yellow tow truck and my favourite power up is "Electro Bastard Pedestrian Ray" Worst power up? Bouncy Bouncy.. which left you vulnerable while the car just pogoed around..

    In fact I still pay it on my Mac in a DosBox, sadly no Direct X graphics, so it's crude graphics wise, but still very entertaining.

    One day I may just hunt some legacy hardware down and build a Pentium MMX box with Windows 95 or 98 just to blast back into the nostalgic era of early 3D gaming.

    Oh, I still do own an original install CD too.. the era before CD burners and piracy were mainstream

    1. Charles 9

      Bouncy bouncy.

      Ooh, hated that one, especially when it made you bounce just as you were coming to a bend. You'd end up flying into a wall...or worse, off an edge. Also hated Jelly Suspension since it tended to make you roll over at any significant turn. My personal 2nd favorite powerup, besides the pedestrian zapper, was the Solid Granite Car. Boy, the fun I could have on the cops once I got one of these powerups. Not to mention it made getting a "Kill All Opponents" win much easier, too.

  31. Aoyagi Aichou

    Reminds me

    God, I gotta play TDR2000 tonight. One of my first original PC games, heh.

  32. ArthurBent
    Thumb Up

    Anyone else discover the real fun of this game was that all the physics etc were controlled by a set of plain text configuration files? Nothing quite like reducing gravity to moon-like levels, or increasing the weight of your car to that the slightest touch by a police car would send it flying into the distance..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      M25 Racer was like that, config was stored in .ini files. Loads of fun editing these.

      1. ArthurBent

        oh man, I loved m25 race for some reason, despite the fact that by all objective measures it was a steaming pile of fail.

  33. schnide

    I'm pretty sure..

    ..that these screenshots are from a variety of the Carmageddon games, and not all from the first one which in my opinion was easily and always the best. As another has already said, the first one had a goofy, care-free charm that valued senseless violence, stunt racing and exploration all equally. I really hope the new game being made captures this, although it may be that the first Carmageddon was so special because it really was the first -both in the series, and to do what it did so well in the new age of 3D gaming.

    1. Charles 9

      Re: I'm pretty sure..

      Considering Carmageddon Reincarcation is being done by the developers of the original Carmageddon (the best of the lot) with an attention to the original's sense of style, and given that gaming tastes have matured somewhat and are more tolerant of Carmageddon's type of violence, there's hope.

      AFAICT, the screenshots all come from the Glide version of the first game (which offered 640x480 hardware-accelerated graphics in an age when getting good performance at 320x240 took some serious computing), which had a decent variety of scenes to race in. Each of the races then took the scenes and altered them a bit to make the actual "tracks". You had a basic urban scape complete with a football stadium (watch out for the water--they left mines in the canals), a park that for some reason featured both cows and a vertical loop, an oil rig, and even a pseudo-meso-American ruin setting.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like