Actions

OutRun

From Sega Retro

For non-MSX2 home computer versions, see OutRun (home computers).
n/a






Out Run Title.png
OutRun
Publisher: Sega
Developer:
System(s): Sega OutRun hardware, Sega Mega Drive, Sega Master System, Sega Game Gear, MSX2, TurboGrafx-16
ROM size:
Arcade
2.5MB,Media:OutRun Arcade EU Flyer.pdf[1]
Sega Mega Drive
1MB,
Sega Master System
256KB,
Sega Game Gear
128KB
Peripherals supported:
Sega Game Gear
Gear-to-Gear Cable,
Sega Master System
Paddle Control
Genre: Racing































Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code
Arcade
JP
1986-09-20 ¥?  ?
Arcade
US
1986-09-20 $?  ?
Arcade
EU
1986-09-20 [2] £?  ?
Sega Mega Drive
JP
1991-08-09 ¥7,000 G-4052
Sega Mega Drive
US
1991 $?  ?
Sega Mega Drive
EU
1991-10Media:SegaPro UK 01.pdf[3] £39.99  ?
Sega Mega Drive
AU
199x $?  ?
Sega Mega Drive
BR
199x R$?  ?


Sega Master System
JP
¥5,500 G-1326
Sega Master System
US
$? 7003
Sega Master System
EU
£24.95 Media:ACE UK 16.pdf[5]Media:SpecialOffer SMS UK PrintAd.jpg[6] MK-7003-50
Sega Master System
BR
$? 024240
Sega Master System
KR
₩? GB-2326



Sega Game Gear
JP
¥3,500 G-3213
Sega Game Gear
JP (Meisaku)
¥3,500 G-3222
Sega Game Gear
EU
£24.99 Media:ACE UK 52.pdf[7]Media:WhatIsItNow GG MD SMS UK PrintAd.jpg[8] 2310
Sega Game Gear
BR
$? 013460
Sega Game Gear
KR
₩? ?



MSX
JP
¥6,800 R68Y5814



OutRun (アウトラン) is an arcade game developed by Sega AM2 in 1986 for specially designed hardware. It was designed by Yu Suzuki, and is often considered a milestone in the driving/racing genre, being ported to numerous home platforms and inspiring several sequels. Rather than be classed as a "racing game", Yu Suzuki classifies OutRun as a "driving game".

OutRun was a pioneer in video game graphics, audio and arcade cabinet design, picking up multiple awards during the late 1980s. It was the best selling arcade game of 1986, with over 20,000 cabinets sold worldwide within a year. It sold 30,000 arcade cabinets worldwide by 1993. Media:MeanMachinesSega22UK.pdf[9]

Gameplay

OutRun Course.png
The goal of OutRun is to simply drive your sports car to one of the five goals, labeled a to e, without running out of time. A pedal accelerates the car, and a steering wheel moves it left and right on the road. Due to limitations in the technology, it is impossible to fully turn the car around, nor is it possible to reverse.

Crashing into either other cars or scenery does not cause the player to lose lives, just time. After an area is cleared, checkpoints will allow the player to increase their time, and there will also be the option to select the next area through the form of a fork in the road. From a technical standpoint, every area is exactly the same length, though twists and turns can alter the amount of time needed to complete them. There are five possible endings, each with their own closing cinematic.

The car has two gears, high and low. When in the high gear, the car becomes harder to control, however the top speed of the vehicle is increased. To be successful in OutRun the player needs to switch between gears at the appropriate moments, e.g. switching to the lower gear while negotiating tricky roads, or if the player has just crashed.

The number of lanes of traffic also differs between stages. Although there is never a situation in OutRun where the cars travel in the opposite direction to yourself, the introductory level for example has six lanes of traffic.

Versions

Some stages appear in a different order between the Japanese and overseas releases of the game:

Japanese Layout

Stage Number Goal name
1 2 3 4 5
Vineyard A
Wilderness
Desert Death Valley B
Wheat Field Old Capital
Coconut Beach Alps Desolation Hill C
Cloudy Mountain Gateway
Devil's Canyon Autobahn D
Seaside Town
Lakeside E

Overseas Layout

Stage Number Goal name
1 2 3 4 5
Vineyard A
Wilderness
Desert Death Valley B
Gateway Old Capital
Coconut Beach Alps Desolation Hill C
Devil's Canyon Wheat Field
Cloudy Mountain Autobahn D
Seaside Town
Lakeside E

Coconut beach was later used as a stage in Sega Superstars Tennis.

Easter Eggs

  • The arcade version of OutRun contains one known Easter egg. It is accessed in different ways depending on which revision of the hardware is used. With revision A, holding down Start just before a checkpoint will display the message "PROGRAM YU SUZUKI 1986 SEP" will appear on screen. In revision B, the user is required to obtain a high score under the name "YU." first, then perform this code during the stage 2-3 transition. In revision B, the code can only be activated once, and if two instances of "YU." are recorded in the high score screen, the code will fail.
  • The Mega Drive version adds a fourth BGM track to choose during gameplay called Step on Beat, which shares the same frequency as Splash Wave (80.3). This is notably more concealed than the additional tracks made for the previously released OutRun 3D, wherein one is given an entirely new frequency between two preexisting ones.

History

Development

OutRun was designed by Yu Suzuki, and for the most part stands as the logical progression from the earlier Hang-On (and to a lesser extent, Space Harrier). All three make use of Super Scaler technology in an attempt to deliver a sense of speed and deliver a 3D look and feel. It is said Suzuki got the idea for producing OutRun from the 1981 film The Cannonball Run.

Initially the plan had been to follow the course of The Cannonball Run, however Suzuki noted that the course lacked the variation in scenery he had hoped for. Instead, the attention turned to Europe, but in order to get a clearer vision of its scenery, Suzuki decided to travel and collect data first hand.

I started out from Frankfurt, where I hired a rent a car, and I installed a video camera on the car. I drove around Monaco and Monte Carlo, along the mountain roads of Switzerland, stopping in hotels in Milan, Venice, and Rome, collecting data for a fortnight.

—Yu Suzuki

Interestingly the first sequel to OutRun, Turbo OutRun would span North America, though Europe would be explored in more detail in another sequel OutRun Europa.

Yu Suzuki is noted for being a fan of Ferrari supercars, and although OutRun is not officially licensed by Ferrari, the player's car looks strikingly similar to a Ferrari Testarossa, right down to the rear badge. Suzuki first encountered this car in Monaco, and decided it was the perfect choice for the game. Unfortunately at the time the car was not common in Japan, which presented difficulties when it came to road testing. Allegedly five members of Sega AM2 squeezed into a privately owned model for a three hour road test during development. They also took photos and recorded the sound of the car's engine.

The Ferrari Testarossa in game attempts to simulate the real-life features of the car, e.g. horsepower, torque, tires, gears etc. Suzuki designed OutRun in a very different way to previous racing games - in OutRun, good real-life drivers are rewarded for their skills in game, and bumping into other vehicles does not cause the car to explode (unlike many other older racers).

Sega did not consult Ferrari over the inclusion of the Testarossa in game, and would later meet in court several times over the matter. It is assumed a deal was reached as the car has never been modified for any future releases, and in fact, Ferrari have gone as far officially sponsor several racing games, starting with F355 Challenge (also designed by Yu Suzuki) and OutRun 2 and its derivatives. Other cars on the road appear to be a 1972 Volkswagen Beetle, a 1971 Chevrolet Corvette, a 1985 Porsche 911, a 1985 BMW 325i Cabriolet E30 and a generic truck.

The music of OutRun was composed by famed Sega musician, Hiroshi Miyauchi, and was extremely popular. Each of the three in-game music tracks were much longer and more varied than what other arcade games were offering at the time, and unlike every other racing game on the market, OutRun allowed the user to pick a music track to race with. Originally the soundtrack was to consist of eight different rock tracks running at 150 beats per minute, though hardware restrictions forced this idea to be scrapped.

Suzuki claims he was only able to achieve half of his original goal in OutRun. Originally eight different sports cars were planned with differing stats, and cutscenes were due to occur at checkpoints, giving the player a story. Some of these features would be added in later OutRun games.

OutRun came in four distinct styles of arcade cabinet, two upright and two sit-down. Each comes with a steering wheel and stick shift plus acceleration and brake pedals. Though steering wheels had appeared in countless Arcade games previous to Sega's game, OutRun was the first to have force feedback in order to simulate the road surface. The deluxe sit-down cabinet is also equipped with hydraulics which move the seat as the player turns.

The game has been decompiled[10], with the process revealing several interesting facts about the game. Unused code allows traffic to move towards the camera, and an unused "You're Doing Great" sample from Space Harrier exists. The game is also capable of showing "lap times" (the time taken to complete an area - OutRun has no concept of "real" laps). Much of the code from the game would be recycled for games such as Super Hang-On.

Two revisions of the game are known to exist - the latter adding some extra text to the music selection screen and adjusting the first area slightly. Depending on version or region, the track layout can also differ.

Reception

See Physical scans section for review scores

The arcade game was particularly popular in Japan[11] and the United Kingdom.[12] In July 1987, it remained at the top of Computer and Video Games's UK coin-op charts, based on its performance at a London West End arcade.[13] Several years since its release, Out Run was still appearing on Famicom Tsūshin's Japanese arcade charts in 1989, at number-eleven in August 1989 and number-five in September 1989,[11] before eventually dropping from the top fifteen in October 1989.[14]

At the ATEI show in January 1987, both OutRun and WEC Le Mans "stole the January show" according to Computer and Video Games. [1] Commodore User reviewed the arcade game in its March 1987 issue, describing it as "a great game for driving enthusiasts" and giving it a score of 9 out of 10.[15]

In Japan, the Gamest Awards gave Out Run a prize for best "flashy" graphics of 1986. [The Best Game 2: Gamest Mook Vol. 112, p. 6-26]

Legacy

OutRun was a big success in arcades, so it was inevitable that ports would be made to home platforms. At the time, these systems were seen to be vastly inferior to the hardware powering OutRun, and numerous cuts were made.

Pony Canyon handled an MSX2 conversion which only saw release in Japan. There is also a NEC PC Engine port, handled by NEC Interchannel. An X68000 port by Hertz was planned, but cancelled, according to an interview with a former staffer. Reportedly a Sega 32X version was also in development at one stageMedia:GameFan US 0303.pdf[16].

Sega were also quick to port the game to their own systems. Sega Master System and Sega Game Gear ports were handled in-house by Sega, as was a Sega Mega Drive version, seen for a while to be the best home port of OutRun with faithful stages design and which even includes an exclusive music track called Step on Beat.

A Sega Saturn version of the game was only released as a stand alone title in Japan as part of their Sega Ages series. It was later bundled with Space Harrier and After Burner II to make the western title Sega Ages: Volume 1. Since then, the majority of home ports of the game have been almost identical to their original arcade counterpart, with the exception of mobile phone versions and the version included in the 2004 Sega Arcade Gallery Game Boy Advance compilation (whose resolution was changed to fit the console's smaller screen).

OutRun was also released as part of the Sega Ages 2500 PlayStation 2 series in Japan, and is fully playable within Shenmue and Shenmue II. The Shenmue versions alter the player's car so that it looks less like a Testarossa, as does the one version included in Yu Suzuki Game Works Vol. 1. OutRun is also unlockable within the Xbox port of OutRun 2 SP.

The game saw many sequels, however the "true" sequel comes in the form of Turbo OutRun, a 1989 arcade release also by Sega AM2. By obtaining a kit from Sega, arcade owners were able to "upgrade" OutRun into Turbo OutRun, as the two games run on identical hardware. Turbo OutRun offers several new graphical features and a turbo button.

Production credits

Mega Drive version

  • Program: Y.Koba
  • Graphic: T.Yano, Meiden, B.T.S
  • Total Coordinator: K.Maz
  • Sound: T's Music
  • Special Thanks: Nino Gyofuku, Akkey Kato


Photo gallery

Hints

Magazine articles

Main article: OutRun/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

Artwork

Physical scans

Arcade version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
90 №42, p107
Arcade
90
Based on
1 review

Arcade, US (standard)
Arcade, US (upright)
OutRun Arcade US Marquee.jpg
OutRun Arcade Instructions Upright.jpg
OutRun Arcade US Manual Upright Parts.pdf
Manual
Arcade, US (deluxe)
OutRun Arcade US Manual Deluxe.pdf
Manual
Arcade, US (mini)

Mega-Tech version

Mega-Tech,

OutRun MegaTech Cart Back.jpgOutRun MegaTech Cart.jpg
Cart

Mega Drive version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
86 №1991-11, p146, [2]
76 №1, p60/61Media:ConsolesPlus FR 001.pdf[17]Media:ConsolesPlus FR 001.pdf
75 №141, [3]
70 №19, p37
92 №4, p16/17Media:HobbyConsolas ES 004.pdf[18]Media:HobbyConsolas ES 004.pdf
90 №1, p40/41Media:Joypad FR 001.pdf[19]Media:Joypad FR 001.pdf
90 №20, p166Media:Joystick FR 020.pdf[20]Media:Joystick FR 020.pdf
24 №5, p93
57 №9, p21
45 №21, p65
58 №1, p79Media:MegaTech UK 01.pdf[21]Media:MegaTech UK 01.pdf
69 №20, p113
69 №13, p64/65Media:MeanMachines UK 13.pdf[22]Media:MeanMachines UK 13.pdf
69 №1, p126/127Media:MeanMachinesSega01UK.pdf[23]Media:MeanMachinesSega01UK.pdf
75 №14, p56/57Media:PlayerOne FR 014.pdf[24]Media:PlayerOne FR 014.pdf
90 2004-07-20
49 №24, p37
80 №18, p66
83 №3, p68/69Media:SegaForce UK 03.pdf[25]Media:SegaForce UK 03.pdf
85 №10, p33/72
62 №4/91, p33Media:VideoGames DE 1991-04.pdf[26]Media:VideoGames DE 1991-04.pdf
100 2008-06-05
Sega Mega Drive
72
Based on
22 reviews

Mega Drive, US
OutRun MD US Box.jpg
Cover
OutRun MD US Cart.jpg
Cart
Outrun md us manual.pdf
Manual
Mega Drive, EU
OutRun MD EU Box.jpg
Cover
OutRun MD EU Cart.jpg
Cart
Mega Drive, JP
Outrun md jp cover.jpg
Cover
OutRun MD JP CartTop.jpg
OutRun MD JP Cart Back.jpgOutrun md jp cart.jpg
Cart
Mega Drive, AU

Mega Drive, BR
Outrun md br cover.jpg
Cover
OutRun MD BR Cart.jpg
Cart
Outrun md br manual.pdf
Manual

Master System version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
87 2004-06-18
85 №2, p58/59Media:ACE UK 02.pdf[27]Media:ACE UK 02.pdf
80 №1, p63
80 №4, p102Media:CGtC UK 04.pdf[28]Media:CGtC UK 04.pdf
80 №1, p59Media:TheCompleteGuideToSega UK.pdf[29]Media:TheCompleteGuideToSega UK.pdf
90 №72, p98/99Media:CVG UK 072.pdf[30]Media:CVG UK 072.pdf
90 №137, p88-93
85 №4, p44
72 №3, p60/61Media:TGM UK 03.pdf[31]Media:TGM UK 03.pdf
80 №8, p66/67Media:GamesPreview DK 08.pdf[32]Media:GamesPreview DK 08.pdf
82 №2, p43
80 №1, p129/131Media:MeanMachinesSega01UK.pdf[33]Media:MeanMachinesSega01UK.pdf
60 №23, p58
64 №5, p20Media:SegaPro UK 05.pdf[34]Media:SegaPro UK 05.pdf
85 №49, p98
Sega Master System
80
Based on
15 reviews

Master System, US
OutRun SMS US cover.jpg
Cover
OutRun SMS US Cart.jpg
Cart
Outrun sms us manual.pdf
Manual
Master System, US (newer)
OutRun SMS US Box.jpg
Cover
OutRun SMS US Cart Blue.jpg
Cart
Master System, EU
OutRun SMS EU Box.jpg
Cover
Master System, EU
"No Limits" variant
OutRun SMS EU nolimits cover.jpg
Cover
Master System, EU
® variant
OutRun SMS EU R cover.jpg
Cover
Master System, JP
OutRun SMS JP Box Back.jpgOutRun SMS JP Box Spine.jpgOutRun SMS JP Box Front.jpg
Cover
Outrun sms jp cart.jpg
Cart
OutRunSMSJPManual.pdf
Manual
Master System, AU

OutRun SMS AU Cart.jpg
Cart
Master System, BR
OutRun SMS BR Box.jpg
Cover
OutRun SMS BR Cart.jpg
Cart
OutRunSMSBrManual.pdf
Manual
Master System, BR (re-release)
OutRun SMS BR Box Alt.jpg
Cover
Master System, KR
OutRun SMS KR cover.jpg
Cover
OutRun SMS KR cart.jpg
Cart
Master System, SE

Game Gear version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
40 №52, p104Media:ACE UK 52.pdf[7]Media:ACE UK 52.pdf
88 №1991-11, p150, [4]
75 №120 (Go!), p11Media:Go UK 01.pdf[35]Media:Go UK 01.pdf
86 №2, p131Media:ConsolesPlus FR 002.pdf[36]Media:ConsolesPlus FR 002.pdf
88 №6, p95Media:ConsolesPlus FR 006.pdf[37]Media:ConsolesPlus FR 006.pdf
60 №19, p38
30 №1, p52
86 №3, p34Media:HobbyConsolas ES 003.pdf[38]Media:HobbyConsolas ES 003.pdf
79 №20, p134Media:Joystick FR 020.pdf[39]Media:Joystick FR 020.pdf
64 №1, p131Media:MeanMachinesSega01UK.pdf[40]Media:MeanMachinesSega01UK.pdf
64 №11/91
79 №27, p52
77 №1, p40Media:SegaPro UK 01.pdf[41]Media:SegaPro UK 01.pdf
Sega Game Gear
70
Based on
13 reviews

Game Gear, EU
OutRun GG EU Box Back.jpgNospine.pngOutRun GG EU Box Front.jpg
Cover
OutRun GG EU Cart.jpg
Cart
Game Gear, JP
OutRun GG JP Box Back.jpgNospine-small.pngOutRun GG JP Box Front.jpg
Cover
Game Gear, JP (Meisaku Collection)
OutRun GG JP Box Front Meisaku.jpg
Cover
Game Gear, BR

Game Gear, KR

OutRun GG KR cartback.jpgOutRun GG KR Cart.jpg
Cart

MSX2 version

MSX, JP (cartridge)
OutRun MSX JP Cartridge Box Back.jpgNospine.pngOutRun MSX JP Cartridge Box Front.jpg
Cover
OutRun MSX2 JP Cart.jpg
Cart

PC Engine version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
70 №112, p77Media:CVG UK 112.pdf[42]Media:CVG UK 112.pdf
89 №13, p127
63 №4/91, p134Media:PowerPlay DE 037.pdf[43]Media:PowerPlay DE 037.pdf
62 №1/91, p92Media:VideoGames DE 1991-01.pdf[44]Media:VideoGames DE 1991-01.pdf
PC Engine
71
Based on
4 reviews

PC Engine, JP
OutRun PCE HuCard JP Back.jpgOutRun PCE HuCard JP Spine.jpgOutRun PCE JP Box Front.jpg
Cover
OutRun PCE HuCard JP Card Back.jpgOutRun PCE JP Card.jpg
Card
OutRun PCE HuCard JP Manual.pdf
Manual

References

Necretro-logo.svg
NEC Retro has more information related to OutRun.
  1. File:OutRun Arcade EU Flyer.pdf, page 4
  2. http://www.arcade-history.com/?n=out-run&page=detail&id=19576
  3. File:SegaPro UK 01.pdf, page 9
  4. File:CVG UK 073.pdf, page 132
  5. File:ACE UK 16.pdf, page 166
  6. File:SpecialOffer SMS UK PrintAd.jpg
  7. 7.0 7.1 File:ACE UK 52.pdf, page 104
  8. File:WhatIsItNow GG MD SMS UK PrintAd.jpg
  9. File:MeanMachinesSega22UK.pdf, page 92
  10. http://reassembler.blogspot.co.uk/
  11. 11.0 11.1 https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/rec.games.video/snh_FO-gxgo/naFAeADkYwEJ
  12. http://www.solvalou.com/subpage/arcade_reviews/74/250/out_run_review.html
  13. https://archive.org/stream/cvg-magazine-069/CVG_069_Jul_1987#page/n87/mode/2up
  14. https://groups.google.com/forum/#!searchin/rec.games.video/Famicom$20Tsushin$20October$2027$2C$201989/rec.games.video/bJU_Gn8HdLA/tH1haoI5_4gJ
  15. https://archive.org/stream/commodore-user-magazine-42/Commodore_User_Issue_42_1987_Mar#page/n105/mode/2up/
  16. File:GameFan US 0303.pdf, page 114
  17. File:ConsolesPlus FR 001.pdf, page 58
  18. File:HobbyConsolas ES 004.pdf, page 16
  19. File:Joypad FR 001.pdf, page 40
  20. File:Joystick FR 020.pdf, page 166
  21. File:MegaTech UK 01.pdf, page 79
  22. File:MeanMachines UK 13.pdf, page 64
  23. File:MeanMachinesSega01UK.pdf, page 126
  24. File:PlayerOne FR 014.pdf, page 56
  25. File:SegaForce UK 03.pdf, page 68
  26. File:VideoGames DE 1991-04.pdf, page 33
  27. File:ACE UK 02.pdf, page 58
  28. File:CGtC UK 04.pdf, page 102
  29. File:TheCompleteGuideToSega UK.pdf, page 59
  30. File:CVG UK 072.pdf, page 98
  31. File:TGM UK 03.pdf, page 61
  32. File:GamesPreview DK 08.pdf, page 66
  33. File:MeanMachinesSega01UK.pdf, page 129
  34. File:SegaPro UK 05.pdf, page 20
  35. File:Go UK 01.pdf, page 11
  36. File:ConsolesPlus FR 002.pdf, page 123
  37. File:ConsolesPlus FR 006.pdf, page 95
  38. File:HobbyConsolas ES 003.pdf, page 34
  39. File:Joystick FR 020.pdf, page 134
  40. File:MeanMachinesSega01UK.pdf, page 131
  41. File:SegaPro UK 01.pdf, page 40
  42. File:CVG UK 112.pdf, page 77
  43. File:PowerPlay DE 037.pdf, page 134
  44. File:VideoGames DE 1991-01.pdf, page 88
OutRun series of games
Arcade OutRun (1986) | Turbo OutRun (1989) | OutRunners (1992) | OutRun 2 (2003) | OutRun 2 SP (2004) | OutRun 2 SP SDX (2006)
Sega Master System OutRun (1987) | OutRun 3D (1988) | Battle OutRun (1989) | OutRun Europa (1991)
Home Computers OutRun (1987) | Turbo OutRun (1989) | OutRun Europa (1991)
MSX OutRun (1988)
FM Towns Turbo OutRun (1989)
LCD OutRun (1989) | OutRun F-1 (19xx)
Sega Mega Drive OutRun (1991) | Turbo OutRun (1992) | OutRun 2019 (1993) | OutRunners (1994) | Arcade Legends OutRun 2019 (200x)
Sega Game Gear OutRun (1991) | OutRun Europa (1992)
Sega Saturn Sega Ages OutRun (1996)
Sony PlayStation 2 Sega Ages 2500 Series Vol. 13: OutRun (2004) | OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast (2006) | OutRun 2 SP (2007)
Xbox OutRun 2 (2004) | OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast (2006)
Sony PlayStation 3Xbox 360 OutRun Online Arcade (2009)
Nintendo 3DS 3D OutRun (2014)
OutRun Albums
Albums OutRun (1992) | Virtua Racing & OutRunners (1993) | Yu Suzuki Produce OutRun (1997) | Sega Presents OutRun 2: Music Through the Ages (2004) | OutRun 2 Sound Tracks (2004) | OutRun 2 Sound Tracks: Side B (2005) | OutRun Sound Tracks: Complement (2007) | OutRun 20th Anniversary Box (2007) | OutRun (2016)
Film OuRun (1987) | OutRun (1988) | Super Monaco GP / Turbo OutRun (1989)