Magical Truck Adventure
From Sega Retro
|Magical Truck Adventure|
|Developer: Sega AM3|
|System(s): Sega Model 3|
|Number of players: 1-2|
Magical Truck Adventure (マジカル・トロッコ・アドベンチャー) is an arcade game developed by AM3 for Sega Model 3 Step 2.1 hardware and released in 1998. It is an on-the-rails action game similar in nature to Rail Chase and Rail Chase 2.
Players take the roles of two children, Roy and Alma, who travel along a railroad track on a hand-powered truck in order to retrieve a magical stone. The cabinet features a unique control scheme, with two levers mounted on the front which are pumped up and down by the players to keep the in-game truck rolling. There are also two foot pedals at base of the machine, which are stepped on to allow the cart to dodge to the left or right, or jump over obstacles. Because of the large size of the cabinet and unusual control scheme, Magical Truck Adventure is one of the rarest Model 3 games.
A young girl named Alma has a mysterious stone, which allows its' owner to freely travel through the dimensions of time and space. An evil genius named Mommy learns of the stone's powers and plans to use the stone to conquer the world. Mommy, along with his dull-witted but muscular henchman, Marrow, attacks Alma in an attempt to steal the stone from her. While they are scuffling, the stone’s magical power suddenly starts to work, and all three of them are transported to the rural town where a brave young adventurer named Roy lives. Roy rescues Alma from the wicked pair, but the villains manage to escape with the stone. The two children board a magical railroad truck and chase after the villains in order to get Alma's stone back and save the world!
The game can be played with either one or two players, who can assume the roles of either Alma or Roy. If only one player is active, the second player will automatically be controlled by the computer, although a second human player may enter the game at any time. Both players must work together in order to successfully complete the game.
The truck is powered by two levers mounted on the front of the machine. During gameplay, the machine adds resistance to the levers, which must be pumped up and down as far and as quickly as possible, making the game a test of physical endurance. Each player has a "pumping meter" on his/her side of the screen, which fills as the player pumps the lever. Pumping the levers as fully as possible makes the truck move faster, while weaker pumps slow it down. When Alma and Roy must escape something that is coming down the track behind them, or have caught sight of the villains and need to catch up to them, the players are prompted to pump faster.
There are also obstacles on the track, such as barrels, gates, or animals. If an obstacle is on the right-side rail of the track, only the player on the left side of the machine must step on his/her pedal to make the truck dodge to the left (and vice-versa for an obstacle on the left side of the track). If an obstacle is in the center of the track, or the track has a gap in it, the truck must jump over it. To make the truck jump successfully, both players must step on their pedal simultaneously, and at just the right moment. Jumping slows the truck down, and there are some obstacles that can only be dodged. Fortunately, the game always tells the players which action is needed.
Occasionally, the tracks will some to a junction, and the players may choose which side they want to go on by stepping on the appropriate pedal. Players may choose from an easier path with few obstacles, or a more dangerous and difficult path. If both players step on their pedals at the same time by mistake, the game will always send the truck down the dangerous route.
If the truck hits an obstacle, it will take damage, which is shown on a meter on the bottom of the screen. If the truck is hit too many times, the meter goes to zero, and the game is over (with no option to continue). However, if the players successfully avoid a series of obstacles without taking any damage, they earn "achievements" for that "event". The achievements earned are represented by icons under the player's initials on the game's leaderboard, and the percentage of total achievements that were completed is displayed to the player/s after the game ends.
The game has six possible stages, of which three are played, and four possible ending cutscenes. At the end of each stage, Roy and Alma must either catch up to the villains and steal the stone back, or, if they caught the villains in the previous stage and already possess the stone, escape from them. The next stage is determined by the ending outcome of the previous one. The characters teleport to each new stage by the power of the magical stone.
|Stage 1: Roy's House|
|The first stage takes place in a rural countryside with windmills and forests. The players are always pursuing the villains in this level, and must avoid the barrels that Marrow is tossing back at them. If the players catch the villains, the stone will take them to the Safari stage. If not, they're sent to the South Sea stage.|
|Stage 2-1: Safari|
|The second stage, if the players were successful in catching the villains in the first one. This level is set in the African savannah, and tasks players with dodging lions, wildebeest, and hungry crocodiles. At the end, Mommy and Marrow will try to catch the heroes and steal the stone back. If the players pump the lever fast and far enough, the children will escape them and be transported to the Futuristic City stage. If the villains catch them, they will be sent to the Fantasy stage.|
|Stage 2-2: South Sea|
|The second stage for players who were unable to catch the villains in the first stage. Players must continue to pursue the thieves as the track goes beneath the sea, dodging dangerous sharks along the way. If the players manage to catch up to the evildoers, they will be transported to the Fantasy stage next. If not, the next stage will be Dinosaur World.|
|Stage 3-1: Futuristic City|
|The final stage for players who evaded the villains in the Safari stage. As the name suggests, this level takes place in a futuristic city, where the players must avoid lasers, flying cars, and giant robots. At the end of the level, the villains will try to steal the stone one last time. If the players successfully escape, the game ends, and the players are treated to a "good ending" cutscene before the credits roll. If not, Mommy and Marrow steal the stone, and the player ends the game with a "bad ending" cutscene.|
|Stage 3-2: Fantasy|
|One of three possible final stages, based off of a fairy-tale medieval world. The tracks wind through grand castles and past dragons. Because Roy and Alma now have the stone, the villains are chasing them. If they manage to catch up to the children and steal the stone back, the player gets a "bad ending" cutscene and the credits roll. If the heroes escape, the player gets a "good ending".|
|Stage 3-3: Dinosaur World|
|Another possible final stage for players who failed to catch the villains in the South Sea stage. Players must chase Mommy and Marrow through a prehistoric world filled with ferocious dinosaurs. If they finally catch the villains, a "good ending" cutscene plays, and the game ends. If not, a "bad ending" happens before the credits roll.|
- Main article: Magical Truck Adventure/Magazine articles.