back to article Sega’s Out Run: Even better than the wheel thing

How bereft the coin-op arcades of yesteryear must have looked before the arrival of the audacious, muscle-flexing Out Run machine. It’s true that Hang On and Space Harrier laid the foundations a year before, but Out Run was Sega’s golden moment in sit-down, "experience" videogame machinery. There were two versions of the …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This and Space Harrier

    This and Space Harrier were the dogs back in the day. You had reason to go to the arcade as no home machine could replicate what the hardware could do. Both games usually involved having to queue for your turn (the hydraulic Space Harrier cab at Southsea had queues I have never seen before or since in an arcade when it was first installed)

    About 8 years ago I found a Outrun sit down cab (non moving version) in an arcade in Ilfracombe. Had a broken gear shift which made gameplay somewhat challenging but still had a whale of a time on it.

    1. matthehoople

      Re: This and Space Harrier

      I had to register to say this:

      I was going to write almost exactly the same thing! I came back for 3 years to that same arcade in Ilfracombe just to haev some goes on Out Run. Yes, it was a bit knackered but it still bear the socks off every other game in that place. The last time I went there 2 years ago IT WAS GONE! So I asked the guy working there what happened to it and the words he uttered devastated me: "It's been chucked in the tip mate". What, I could not believe it. Damn, I would've paid good money for it. It still depresses me every time I think about it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This and Space Harrier

        Sad news. When I was playing it I was thinking to myself "someone could restore this". Very short sighted to throw it away when people would literally be queuing up to bung the owner a couple of hundred quid to take it off his hands.

        Given the state of some of the cabs people restore it wouldn't be a problem. New decals can be made, components replaced. Providing the main board isn't completely destroyed they are pretty serviceable.

        1. DaneB
          Thumb Down

          Re: This and Space Harrier

          Sad, sad news!

          That's pretty strange that the owners hadn't worked out the value of what they were holding...

          Hopefully someone grabbed it out of the tip!

          1. DiViDeD

            Re: This and Space Harrier

            I still have a Space Harrier machine in storage. It ran well for about 6 months, although the movements weren't as exciting when you didn't have to queue up for it!

            Couple of months ago I missed out on one of those 360 units. I remember the look on my mate's face when I got out of one on the Gold Coast as he asked 'Did you *know* it was going to do that? I gotta try that thing!'

            Knocked the home rumble seat into a cocked hat, that thing.

      2. Lord Lien

        Re: This and Space Harrier

        I managed to save a 4 player Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles machine from the tip back in the late 90's. It's been sat in my sisters garage ever since, gathering dust. I bet it does not even turn on now!

        This does mean I can legally play it on M.A.M.E tho ;)

  2. Alex Walsh

    Interesting- didn't realise the saturn version was worth a punt as it's not featured on (m)any buying guides. May have to take to ebay :D

  3. Andrew Moore
    Thumb Up

    The Soundtrack...

    I remember that C&VG magazine gave away a tape with the soundtrack to Outrun and Skate Or Die on it. I still have it somewhere. Must see if I can dig it out at the weekend.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: The Soundtrack...

      Ah, the soundtrack ...

      Despite being utterly crap at Outrun, I absolutely loved the music - still do.

      Back when I spent far too much time in the local arcades with my mates, the local recreation centre was notable by having one of the moving Ferrari-u-like 'sit in' versions of Outrun - my memory is a bit foggy, but it may well have broken other ground too by virtue of being 20p/credit rather than 10p.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Soundtrack...

      I remember that tape. I was thinking it was 720 I loved the soundtrack to when it must have been Skate or Die.

      When you play these sorts of driving games now they tend to be a little boring. But the Out Run music is legendary.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Soundtrack...

        Think you were right, I seem to recall it was the soundtrack to the Atari game 720 (but featured the phrase "Skate or Die") as opposed to the EA game Skate or Die.

        Memory not what it was!

    3. Smallbrainfield

      Re: The Soundtrack...

      Ha ha ha, I wondered if anyone would mention this. Used to put it on in my mates car. Sadly it was a Vauxhall Chevette, not a Ferrari.

    4. DaneB

      Re: The Soundtrack...

      Skate or die - yeeeeesssssssss!

  4. Boab
    Headmaster

    Super-scaler?

    It's been a while since I've thought about such things, but isn't it "superscalar"? Or is this a Sega-spin on the name...

    1. Def Silver badge

      Re: Super-scaler?

      No, "superscalar" refers to the perceived parallelisation given to the execution pipeline of a single core processor through beginning execution of the next instruction before the last has finished. A "super scaler" makes things (in this case sprites) bigger or smaller.

  5. Jules75

    An All Time Favourite

    With out a doubt Outrun is one of my all time favourite games. I even enjoyed the ZX Spectrum version with it's separate audio tape. I hate to think how much money and school time I spent playing the game in the arcade though. A true classic.

    Anyone done a browser version yet?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: An All Time Favourite

      Don't know, but I'd like one too.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    My first win came in this game.

    And then I did it going L-L-L-L, then L-L-L-R, then L-L-R-L... unti I finished them all.

    I don't know how many quarters I fed to the machine at Singing River Mall, but it was a lot.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Home versions

    The home computer versions were by US Gold and were TERRIBLE. Massive advertising campaign, screenshots that looked good yet when you came to play them they were all awful.

    The worst was the Amstrad CPC version which had lovely graphics on the screenshots but when you came to play it the frame rate was awful. Also there was no sound apart from beeps despite a very tuneful rendition of the music on the menu screen.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Home versions

      My C64 copy was the 2nd on a compilation, meaning I had to load through the first game, then the 2nd (I was too young to realise the use of the tape counter).

      I enjoyed it.

      I remember Sega Power Drift, which was a bit like Out Run but had more of a roller coaster type tracks

      1. Anonymous Coward 101

        Re: Home versions

        The Atari ST version was good. It came with the computer, along with Space Harrier.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Home versions

          No, really, it wasn't. My mate had that pack and both Outrun and Space Harrier sucked. He'd never been near the arcade versions.

          Yes ST Outrun had speed but it lacked any refinement. It was like the programmers only experience of the arcade version was someone describing it down the phone to them.

    2. DaneB
      Happy

      Re: Home versions

      It just shows how crap games could sell because of a name (in this case, an amazing arcade game). One good thing about the Internet, for sure.

  8. Ol'Peculier
    Thumb Up

    Memories...

    I was able to finish this almost every time I played it - used to gather a crowd watching which seems oddly gratifying when I think about it.

    1. FartingHippo

      Re: Memories...

      There were dip switches you could use to set the time added at each check point. Our local arcade owner was a gold-plated c**t who set it so it was virtually impossible to finish and hence the games played per hour was higher.

      It was still a busy machine despite the evil difficulty level.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Memories...

        I'd love to know how much the Deluxe cabs were new. Pricey compared to the standard units I bet.

      2. DaneB
        Happy

        Re: Memories...

        He could have over-egged the hardness though don't you reckon? Sure, people's games would be over in a flash, but I bet they would come back for more, more often if they'd got a bit further more easily.

        There must be a graph somewhere for arcade owners???!!!!!! :)

    2. John 104

      Re: Memories...

      I remember having crowds behind me when I played Darius. For some reason that game clicked and I could make it all the way through on one life. Never got me any chicks though!

  9. Cosmo

    My favourite arcade game

    Awww I have fond memories of OutRun.

    I think I almost bankrupted my parents by shovelling coins into the arcade machine. It makes me chuckle now about the lack of health and safety. Neither you and you girlfriend wore seatbelts so if you smacked into a tree or a pillar you would end up flying out of the car and onto the road - with magically no injuries.

    It was a big task for the 8-bit home computers to recreate and they did struggle. I had a CPC464 and you had to make do with the external audio track and loading each new level on tape which did frustrate somewhat.

    I loved the intricacies of the sprites of the car. Even to this day I can remember the juggernauts and the yellow VW Beetles :)

    1. moonface

      Re: My favourite arcade game

      It would have been too much for the Acorn Electron. The only driving game I remember was Overdrive and it had no bends. Though the Ancient Romans would have loved it!

  10. Tom 38

    My Atari ST came with this, Carrier Command and Bomb Jack - legendary games, and conversions that were a lot better (imo) than the 8bit versions.

    1. ByeLaw101

      "My Atari ST came with this, Carrier Command and Bomb Jack - legendary games, and conversions that were a lot better (imo) than the 8bit versions."

      The Atari ST was a much more powerful computer than any of the 8 bit machines... being at the time a next gen 16/32 bit computer... so I guess that's why eh?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The ST (and the Amiga for that matter - both versions of Out Run were virtually identical) was capable of much more, as proven by Vroom. The Out Run conversion was terrible considering what it could have been. OK, so it could never have matched the Arcade, but it was a long way off.

        The spectrum version was actually a good attempt, despite being difficult to see anything due to it being black on green, at least on level 1.

        The PC Engine version was probably the best conversion. How I wanted one of those.....

        1. DaneB

          PC Engine, a legend. No UK release for that console - though I think it got to France?

          1. Kev Beeley
            Thumb Up

            It was...

            The PC Engine had a very limited release in the UK as the Turbografx, using the same styling as the American release, but dropping the "16" from its title. Compared with the original PC Engine and following Core machines (which are TINY), it just looked pretty ugly.

            The PC Engine still remains the only console I want to own but have not.

            Soon.

    2. matthehoople

      Except BJ on th ST was turd. The speccy version beat the pants off it.

  11. lee harvey osmond

    Splash Wave. Yes.

    I have been following the Antique Code Show articles, being reminded of a fair bit of my lost youth in the process. We haven't seen the 1983 Star Wars arcade game from Atari yet, and that was a lot of fun.

    But Out Run was something else. I did try try several of the soundtracks; as I recall I liked Splash Wave the best. Never noticed any character animation inside the car and certainly not "... issues a good telling-off each time you crash".

    The 3D rendering was unusually good. Far in advance of Atari's Pole Position for example. I do remember on one stretch finding myself sitting up straighter in the seat in an attempt to peer over the horizon. Didn't work though!

    Something else, about all driving games then and now: does the brake pedal do anything useful?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Splash Wave. Yes.

      Out Run is one game where you actually need the brake pedal, for all stages apart from stage 1, which you can get through flat out. You can also slow down by slamming it into low gear but you take too much off your speed usually if you do that.

      I didn't have enough money when I was a kid to throw at Out Run, much as I'd have loved to, and while there was one in my student union it was a choice between that and beer (as well as eating food to stay alive) so I rarely played it.

      When MAME came along I was so happy, especially the day that I completed it for the first time. It was a sense of satisfaction which was equalled by completing the other five final stages.

      I still go back to it every now and again.

    2. WOOOOO

      Re: Splash Wave. Yes.

      I have a mate at work who has a few arcade cabinets at home, he invited me to a retro game party a few months ago where they had an original stand up Outrun as well as many other classics. My night was made up when I had several goes on an original Star Wars arcade machine, it had only been fixed that week. Apparently the explosion when you destroy the death star causes havoc with the monitor as it is so bright combined with the way the 3D style graphics are drawn!

  12. PaulyV

    Hard Drivin'

    This and Hard Drivin' were firm favourites down Mablethorpe way. I found Outrun joyful but Hard Drivin' was an altogether different affair. 'Real' driving physics applied to a rather spooky and empty landscape. Looking back it was rather akin to taking a Sunday drive through Limbo. Watch out for the cow by the barn!

    1. WraithCadmus
      Thumb Up

      Re: Hard Drivin'

      You grew up near Mablethorpe and Skegness too?

      Gimme six *holds up hand*

      1. PaulyV

        Re: Hard Drivin'

        My wife who is also my brother doesn't like me to speak to strangers.

      2. DaneB

        Re: Hard Drivin'

        * dribbles in delight *

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Happy

        Re: Hard Drivin'

        Mablethorpe? Used to go there every summer, scrounge some pocket money, and hang out in the arcades. Even remember some of the early electro-mechanical racing and shooting games were still around there in the late 70s. First place I played the full-motion Space Harrier and Power Drift. Though you had to go to Skeggy for a full-motion Galaxy Force II.

        If you really want to bring a tear to the eye, try the 'Milestones' museum in Basingstoke. Among their mechanical games they've got a restored original animated 'Sooty' puppet band machine - and talking to the restorer, it's genuinely the one from the back of the indoor fairground in Mablethorpe.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: Hard Drivin'

      Hard Drivin' - loved that and the 360 loop you had to do in it. I must admit, I loved Space Harrier, Afterburner as well as G-LOC in that 360 degree gyro. Great fun. Lost a lot of money too on Super Don Quixote, Dragons Lair, Firefox and Space Ace. The arcades near me had one of those laserdisc cabs.

      However - none of it beats getting 4 random people all squeezed together to play Gauntlet on a cab.

      As for Outrun - it was good but preferred Chase HQ.

  13. Alan Bourke

    I still remember the first time I saw a sit-down Out Run cab.

    Coming from the C64 and other arcade games, it was literally jaw-dropping. The music, presentation, hundreds of scaled sprites bring flung around ... a real classic.

  14. Bottle_Cap

    Ahhh

    The pocket (and lunch and dinner) money I spent on the deluxe cab in the arcades! Incidentally at the time the speccy version was considered to be the best. Woe betide the Amstrad gamer...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ahhh

      Speccy version is very tolerable under emulation if you turn the speed up a tad. Good game, just wasn't quite fast enough.

      And then a few years late Speccy and CPC Chase HQ turned up and blew everyone away. Everything Outrun could have been.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    You do talk some rubbish - tiled and scaled road?

    The background was done using a fixed perspective view of a road, wider than the screen and narrowing to the horizon, with solid lines for the road edges. Horizontal lines were copied from it, with some skipped or duplicated to make the road rise and fall, and shifted left or right to make the turns. No scaling, no tiles, and no big secret. And at the same time an alternating colour palette was applied to each line to make bands of colour run towards the player.

    The novelty in Out Run was that it could render two roadways side-by-side, splitting them right down the middle should they overlap. That way it could draw a very narrow road, or widen it out into two carriageways or even fork off in two directions. The only time you see the true width of the road from the stock graphic is when you're going down one fork, before the road merges with the other half again.

    Space Harrier and Hang-On used the same system (though with just one 'road'). The big difference in Space Harrier was that its starting image was a series of evenly spaced strips running to the horizon instead of just a single road. Then with the palette shifts applied you got the familiar gingham-shaded chequerboard.

    1. ByeLaw101

      Re: You do talk some rubbish - tiled and scaled road?

      Hmmm, are you sure?

      "And at the same time an alternating colour palette was applied to each line to make bands of colour run towards the player."

      and

      "Space Harrier and Hang-On used the same system (though with just one 'road'). The big difference in Space Harrier was that its starting image was a series of evenly spaced strips running to the horizon instead of just a single road. Then with the palette shifts applied you got the familiar gingham-shaded chequerboard."

      So how do you explain the smooth scrolling transition of the road side bands on OutRun and the Space Harrier ground at slow speeds? If it was palete shifting, then you would not see a smooth effect and it would be much more coarse.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Boffin

        Re: how do you explain the smooth scrolling transition of the road side bands?

        It's not palette cycling like an ST .NEO picture, where the colour definitions are moved around a small palette. The colour bands aren't on the original image.

        The original image is just lines tapering to the horizon. As each row is copied from the stock image to the background layer, it can be rendered in one of two palettes (or four in the case of Hang-On, where the road markings repeat more often than the road bands). It can switch from one colour scheme to the other on any line of the screen.

        The ST/Amiga could mimic this by actually redefining parts of its colour palette on different lines of the screen, using raster-based interrupt routines (the conversions of Space Harrier do this). The arcade machine didn't have too - its screen display had a much larger palette than the stock background image, and the graphics were translated from one palette to the other when drawn.

        The sprite scaling technology had a similar trick - each sprite had its own smaller palette which would be translated into screen colours when it was drawn, much like early texture mapping on a PC, to keep the bit depth of the textures down. Note in Space Harrier how you get the same mushrooms and robots in different colours. Scrolling beat-em-ups would sometimes use the same trick to vary the bad guys.

        Take a look at this:

        http://www.extentofthejam.com/pseudo/

        Which includes the basic road images from the arcade boards.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Boffin

          Re: how do you explain the smooth scrolling transition of the road side bands?

          P.S. I also suspect it's not strictly copying each row into some larger video RAM - it's storing what is required for each row, then the hardware renders the road layer on-the-fly, translating the palette and applying the row selection and left/right shifting as the screen refreshes. And the sprite layer is populated, scaled, recoloured and merged in on-the-fly too...

        2. ByeLaw101

          Re: how do you explain the smooth scrolling transition of the road side bands?

          Actually, that was quite interesting... thanks!

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: how do you explain the smooth scrolling transition of the road side bands?

          Genuinely the most informative post on El Reg all year. I'd upvote you 10 times but can only do it once. Cheers.

  16. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Up

    Get ready...!

    Dah, dah-dah dah dah-dah dahhhhh....

    They had one of the upright machines in the Portsmouth Polytechnic Students Union back when I was a student and one afternoon, for the hell of it, I completed it by *every* route and held all the places on the high score table :-)

  17. morganmorgan
    Pint

    Still my number one

    STILL the daddy. I love this game - I remember the first time I saw it, on a french exchange in '86. After that I used to pump my dinner money into the machine in the bus-station cafe after school. Dont want to think about what it cost to get there - my best time was 5:09 in ending B. (left, right, left,, left). Not that its stuck in my brain or anything...

    Outrun - my longest standing arcade love. Beer, 'cause I am toasting outrun.

  18. mr_belowski

    The nostalgia for this is entirely lost on me. I loved it all those years ago and spent many a 30p on it (which is how much it cost for a play on the movey-aroundy version on Redcar sea front) but it's just a curiosity now. The 70 minute (!) video just makes it look boring. Most things were better back in the old days, but computer games isn't one of them

  19. Lottie

    Such memories.....

    Outrun and Afterburner in their big cabinets took all of my holiday money one year.

    The Master System version was obviously no arcade port, but I loved it all the same. Crashes really showed up the limitations though, what with vanishing sprites and the such.

    1. ElNumbre
      Thumb Up

      Re: Such memories.....

      Ahh Afterburner with the moveable cabinet that rotated to 'some degrees' beyond horizontal

      1. Fibbles

        Re: Such memories.....

        I swear I remember playing Afterburner in one of those r360 cabinets sometime in the mid 90s. They looked like giant wheels and would rotate a fair bit from what I remember.

        A real pilot would have g-force pinning them to their seat. I just remember it being very difficult to aim at anything when you banked the plane and suddenly the cabinet shifted and you were pinned up against its interior wall... Still, it consumed quite a lot of my money.

        1. John 104

          Re: Such memories.....

          I played the full X Y axis cabinet once back in 88. It was awesome. Spent most of the time upside down...

    2. Ol'Peculier
      Happy

      Re: Such memories.....

      \Oh boy, Afterburner. Somebody left the cabinet open in the cabinet in my SU - we grabbed the manual from it and modified the DIP switch settings, wish I still had it...

      1. DaneB
        Happy

        Re: Such memories.....

        THAT is briliant!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Guess what I got for PS3?

    This game has been recreated for the PS3 some time ago, and I have to say that it comes pretty close to the original sensation of the game. For a good impression see this gameplay video on YouTube.

  21. ElNumbre
    Thumb Up

    Namco Ridge Racer

    I still remember an installation of Namco's Ridge Racer in a Blackpool Arcade, except they had a "real" car and a projector out in front. Proper 3D graphics and realistic control, but as a youf you could only really afford one go because I'm sure it was about £5 a pop.

    1. Down not across Silver badge

      Re: Namco Ridge Racer

      I saw one of those in an arcade in London. If my memory serves the car was very much like MX-5. Was indeed ludicruously expensive which nevertheless didn't stop a queue forming.

  22. Amorous Cowherder
    Facepalm

    Wasted my Summer!

    I worked at a sport centre for a Summer job when I was 16, they had a stand-up Outrun cab. Every break I'd spend ages playing it, best I did was finished 11 start-to-end runs in a row without failing! Not something I could put on my CV but Outrun does hold a special place in my heart.

  23. Pypes

    Looks very similar

    To the Ferrari Challenge / Daytona cabinets, which had nice chunky servo-drive systems for the force feedback on the steering wheel.

    They were bloody fierce when they booted and ran a self test, even with the clutch I bet more than a few wrists / arms got broken by these things over the years (kids and adults alike)

  24. andy gibson

    Spectrum 128 version

    The Spectrum 128 version was better than the 48k one - all the levels were pre-loaded into the RAMdisc and there was music and sound FX courtesy of the AY-8912 sound chip.

  25. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Green with Envy

    I never got to use any such cabinets and can see why they were popular, the problem for me was by the time I was old enough to ventures out with my mates most of the centres had shut down (Including Sega Park in Harlow which was my nearest)

    1. DaneB

      Re: Green with Envy

      Captain Scarlet that is a really interesting post! Most of us old-timers look at video-games of today and think how lucky the youth of today are (and look back at how excited we were about the cack graphics of our day). Crazy to think that you think you missed out?!

  26. Shingo Tamai

    Remakes

    If you feel nostalgic, you should try these two unofficial remakes: Final Freeway and Final Freeway 2R (they are essentially the same game, with the latter seems to have better fitting graphics).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gd89Jpx56YU

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvTnVxKykYk

    They are available for both iOS and Android.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    The original is still a fun game to play.

    Probably the best conversion I've seen went along with Space Harrier and Super Hang On (and a typically unplayable Afterburner) on the Gameboy Advance / Micro.

    Though "Outrun 2006: Coast-to-Coast" seems to me the highlight of the series. Those earlier 2D racers never gave you the fun control of drifting like the 3D ones could.

  28. ted209

    Surprised no-one's mentioned the reconstructed Cannonball Outrun or the accompanying LayOut track designer:

    https://github.com/djyt/cannonball/wiki

    clearly a labour of love!

  29. Neil B

    Great article.

    The C64 conversion was nothing to shout about, but Probe's C64 conversion of Turbo Out Run was awesome, and notable (IIRC) for the 64's first genuinely sampled audio in the theme tune from SID legends Maniacs of Noise ("H-H-H-H-Hit the Gas!").

  30. Daz555

    Thankfully no need to worry about crappy conversions - I love firing this up on MAME from time to time. The soundtrack alone is worth it and the emulation is spot on.

    How many have noticed the "optimal coding" employed back in the day. To save memory the sprites of the car as it goes left and right are simply mirror images of each other - you can see the Ferrari badge flip back and forth as you turn.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    interested in old arcade games like this?

    then join www.ukvac.com

  32. Paradroid

    Those were the days

    The memory is an interesting thing. In my head, the graphics for Outrun are as stunning as something like DriveClub on the PS4, because back then it was just amazing to look at. It takes a screenshot to remind me how crude they are by today's standards.

    But even today it's great fun to play due to the fun gameplay, and the smoothness and frame rate of the visuals are still very good.

    Back in the day it used to gobble my money and I could barely get to the end of the second stage. So around 2002, I played it to death on MAME so I could finish it reliably, and then took a load of 20p's to Southport and found the real machine. A few attempts later and I finished it. Lifetime achievement = complete :)

    1. DaneB
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Those were the days

      Yep, the mind fills in the gaps. Not any more. Maybe that's why it was a golden age?

  33. niceshirt_fenix

    I used to cycle across town with my paper round wages to pump into the moving Outrun machine in Stonehaven arcade - 40p! Those days the arcades had way better games than the home experience. I'm sure that machine was set to hard as f**k, I never got past stage 3.

    Used to love the one day in the Xmas holidays when the arcade owners opened all day with the games for free. Big queue for Outrun though.

    1. DaneB
      Megaphone

      OMG if I'd known about that I woud have had my dad drive me half-way across the country. Prob best I didn't, then.

  34. Ol'Peculier
    Happy

    On the subject of old arcade machines, go to the arcade museum on Fishermans Wharf, next to where they have the sub and liberty ship. It's free to enter, and they have pinball machines from way back, old arcade games, and animatronics, all of which just need a couple of quarters feeding in for them to work.

    Stumbled across it when I was there earlier this year and absolutely loved the place!

  35. Kebabbert

    Play it again here:

    There is the MAME emulator, that emulates arcade machines on the net and MAME is free and open source. People have dumped arcade ROMs to files and put them on the net. If you look around a bit, you will find the Outrun ROM. So you can play it at home, again. And yes, the ROM is identical to the arcade machine, which means your experience at home will be identical - no differences at all. Graphics, music, everything is 100% identical to the arcade. So, please enjoy Outrun again! :)

    PS. People have dumped all sorts of ROMs, so you can also find Space Harrier, Donkey Kong, etc - all these ROMs are directly copied from the arcade, which means your game experience with MAME will be 100% identical.

  36. Bladeforce

    Going..

    R,R,R,L tough bitch to complete and R,R,R,R was evil too. Great game still play it on mame today! My highest was 43,000,000 give or take a thousand ;)

    Out Run

    Nemesis

    Space Harrier

    Gauntlet

    Rastan Saga

    Ghosts 'n Goblins

    Classic era, great games

    1. Snake Plissken

      Re: Going..

      "R,R,R,L tough bitch to complete and R,R,R,R was evil too."

      Rule of Outrun. Right at the junction is the harder route.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Susten Pass - Switzerland - possibly one of Suzuki's inspiration for Outrun?

    Always been a huge fan of Outrun which for me grew into a passion for cars in later life.

    Suspect the Susten Pass in Switzerland was one of Suzuki's inspirations for the game;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtfW4kUYBrk

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Moving prancing horse

    The prancing horse was facing left and right depending on where you were turning.

    Does someone know for sure whether this was a mistake or done on purpose?

  39. Flugal

    Absolutely loved Out Run, even owning an official Out Run t-shirt at some stage. I remember the first time I completed it, in an arcade in Oxford St, during a lunch break in my induction week at Midland Bank in on Tuesday 13th September 1988.

    The music was great too - if Japanese jazz fusion is your kind of thing!

    The home computer versions were, inevitably, poor by comparison, but I believe the Sega Saturn version is a very good version of the real thing. If I had the room and money for a top-spec cabinet version, and could get hold of one, it would be installed at the drop of a hat.

    1. Ol'Peculier

      They pop up on eBay now and again.

  40. khisanth

    Still a game that I play to this very day. It holds up well, the music instantly takes me back, the sounds give a visceral thrill and the undulating track still makes me want to try and "look over" the hills !

    Outrun 2 and Coast to Coast are worthy sequels which capture the spirit perfectly.

    Outrun will always be my favourite racing game

  41. Zot
    Happy

    The Ferrari symbol gets mirrored when the car turns.

    A mirroring technique that was probably used on all the car sprites, which of course saves half the memory used for full rotations.

    Keep looking at the logo on the back of the car:-

    http://youtu.be/WiWiTXq4yYY

  42. Aaron 10

    I loved the Sega R360 systems. They were amazing! To be able and play After Burner and actually do a loop in real life was incredible.

    I get motion sickness quite easily, but even doing inversions on the R360 didn't get me sick. There was a connect between the action on-screen and how the game was rotating the canopy. Amazing stuff.

    http://www.arcade-museum.com/game_detail.php?game_id=9217

  43. almagpie

    Lost a girl over Outrun

    When the pub my then girlfriend and I frequented installed an upright Outrun machine, our relationship was inevitably doomed. I spent "more time playing that stupid game than talking to [her]" apparently. Oops!

    Actually, I think I won that round. She was a bit bonkers anyway. *hums Splash Wave happily*

  44. conscience

    Ah... happy days. They had the full sit-down version of OutRun in Cleethorpes (small world!) where I spent many a happy summer holiday playing it right to the end. I found that so long as you didn't crash on that twisty hill on the first stage there was a chance of finishing it. The graphics were awesome to my mind, the pumping music in your ears really did add to the excitement too, as did the watching crowd, and the excitement did sometimes get the better of me and led to a few spectacular crashes. I still listen to the sound track from time to time too, it's a gaming classic imho.

    I thought the ZX Spectrum version was poor, looked terrible, and it ran far too slowly to be as much fun as in the arcade. I had them load the Speccy version up for me to have a go in the local game shop but after playing the first stage I'd seen enough and didn't buy it. The Master System was the first version I had at home where I thought "Wow!"

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