OutRun

aka: 3D Out Run, Out Run, Sega Ages: OutRun
Moby ID: 16
Arcade Specs
Buy on Genesis
$62.50 used on eBay
Buy on SEGA Saturn
$93.07 used on eBay
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Conversion (official) Included in See Also

Description official descriptions

OutRun is a racing game that allows the player to race across varied terrain in a readily available Ferrari, complete with a female passenger, over a series of short tracks.

Gameplay is viewed from just above and behind the car. The roads are full of sharp bends and hazards, contact with which can cause the car to roll and lose the player's time. On each section of track there is a fork in the road, allowing the player to choose which direction he or she wishes to go. The player has to to complete five track sections in total, out of the fifteen in the game.

Spellings

  • SEGA AGES アウトラン - Japanese Nintendo Switch spelling
  • アウトラン - Japanese spelling

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Credits (Arcade version)

8 People

Best Outrunners
US Product Manager

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 74% (based on 62 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 194 ratings with 9 reviews)

I'd steer clear of this version if I were you

The Good
When I still had my Commodore 64, one of the games that I used to own was OutRun. I kept playing this, with no idea how good that the coin-op version was like compared to the C64 version. At least it was better than the Amiga version in terms of the gameplay.

While many arcade racing games from the 80s were basically the same, where they all have the race-against-your-opponents-and-keep-being-first-to-win-the-race-to-become-grand-champion theme, OutRun was unique, having a different objective altogether. You see, you and your girlfriend are driving on a five-lane motorway in a red sports car and must make your way through six stages, while avoiding approaching vehicles. Not only that, but you can choose to take a different route through the stages and see where the route ends, and it is this that makes the game replayable. Finally, when the game is over, a course map reveals which route you have taken through the game.

Like the Atari ST and PC versions, the game is controlled by a simple menu that lets you listen to one of three tunes while you are driving and turn these off together with the sound effects. You can also select whether you want "some cars" or "many cars", which control method that you wish to use (mouse or joystick), and a few more options.

The music and sound inside the game is great, having much better sound than home computer/console versions. Out of all the three tunes, my favorite one was the "Splash Wave". These three tunes are found in the original coin-op. That is the one thing that I like more in this version - the music.

The Bad
The rest of the game, however, is quite a letdown. There were so many questions I had while playing the game. For example, why are there plants in the middle of the motorway? I was used to playing other versions of OutRun that I didn't know that there will be plants in the middle of the motorway in the Amiga version, that I ended up spinning out of control when I drove in the middle of the motorway because of them. Roads in just about every country you visit do not have plants lying in the middle of the road, unless someone deliberately put them there. Why isn't there more buildings on each side of the motorway? On level one, for instance, all you see is the diner and a couple of trees, and on level two, there's either bridges or long yellow grass.

Another problem is with the motorway itself. It is so flat that you just cannot see ahead of you without staring close to the screen. The curves are not so obvious until you ended up crashing into one of the obstacles on the side of the road. Speaking of crashing, you lose a lot of time while your crash and after you see the two people sitting on the road. (I probably say that at least seven seconds are wasted here.) This is not true when I played the C64 version. When I saw the course map after a game ends, I assumed that there will be a path fork somewhere on the motorway like the coin-op version, but I saw no such thing, so the course map is useless.

The biggest problem that I noticed would involve the two people sitting in the car. More often than not, they swap sides every time you take a curve. So, if the man is on the left side and you take a curve, the woman will swap to the same side. They probably didn't bother to get out of the car and change sides, because they wanted you not to waste more time. The people at U.S. Gold obviously did not check for bugs when they have completed the game, otherwise this would not have happen.

As I mentioned earlier, I enjoyed the music, but that is while you are playing the game. What I didn't like was the voice saying "U.S. Gold present from Sega", which was followed by orchestral music that was unnecessary, followed by the same voice speaking the game's title. And to make matters worse, the "Run" is formed into a bit of a rap tune. After that, it's back to normal.

I didn't like the menu system that the Amiga version used. The menu system is ugly, with white text on a black background. Menu systems like these should be reserved for applications, and not games. Sierra's old AGI games is an exception to this rule, as their game's menu system work. Did I just mention that you can change the tunes by selecting them from the menu? I prefer the car radio, where if you change the game's tunes by using the joystick, the hand on the radio will turn the knob left or right.

Finally, this game take a long time to load. I'd say that you have to wait at least five minutes, just to access the game's menu.

The Bottom Line
The Amiga version of OutRun is such a poor conversion, that the C64 version beats it hands down. This version has not got the unnecessary junk that the Amiga version has, including the awful orchestra music. Since the Amiga was a state-of-the-art machine the time when this game was released, you would think that the game was better than its counterparts, but sadly this is not the case here. The bottom line: If you are desperately trying to find a copy of OutRun to run on your machine and play, don't get the Atari ST version; it has the same bugs as the Amiga version. You might as well get a Genesis, along with the Genesis version. At least, the version remains close to the coin-op version.

Rating: No stars

Amiga · by Katakis | カタキス (43093) · 2004

Another opportunity missed

The Good
It's amazing how much the pc version gets slated in a lot of reviews, compared to some appalling attempts. I have played literally every version known to man so I thought I would write a review. First off nice title screen making use of the 16 colour vga, all the tracks seem to remain faithful to the arcade, i.e. the dips and bends. The frame rate is ok-ish, even for a 286 this game wasn’t really pushing the boundaries, on today’s system it runs very fast if not too fast. All in all not that bad of a conversion.

The Bad
The main problem with this game is size, the main car is absolutely tiny in comparison to the other cars, and it makes u feel like Alison in wonderland. Also the game is so easy to complete, because the car is so small the road is huge and u don't need to break once. The sound (or lack of) is bad, just simple 1 note music from the pc speaker even though the actual sound samples are on the disk. As I said, the main thing is size, just look at the title screen, proof it could of been a lot better, but then as per usual with a lot of outrun conversions they were always rushed.

The Bottom Line
If you want Outrun then buy the arcade machine or get a decent emulator to play the real thing, outrun is a game that can't be converted, it’s an ARCADE game and always will be. The best conversions in my opinion are as follows -

The 8 Bit Consoles - Turbo Graphics PC Engine The 16 Bit Consoles - Sega Megadrive The 32 Bit Consoles - Sega Saturn

DOS · by Stephen N (11) · 2004

A faithful conversion of the popular arcade racing game.

The Good
The arcade game is well known: You race a Ferarri against time to reach one of five possible finishes at the end of a race. There are plenty of scenery changes and a choice of music to keep it entertaining. The PC conversion is faithful to the gameplay, with acceleration and cornering comparible to the performance of the original arcade game.

The Bad
The main things that made the original 1986 arcade game so fun to play were the sights and sounds--a choice of music, colorful scenery, etc. The PC version does as best as it can, but unless you have a Tandy, the experience is lacking. Also, the arcade version had a variable-steering driving wheel, whereas the PC version uses hard-right, hard-left turning, even with a joystick.

The Bottom Line
If you liked the arcade version, you'll like the PC version.

DOS · by Trixter (8962) · 1999

[ View all 9 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
Outrun on Amstrad GX4000 Robert Francis Jul 17, 2011

Trivia

Car

The classic red racer you use in the game is quite obviously a convertible Ferrari Testarossa (right down to the "Cavallino Rampante" logo featured in the back of the car), however SEGA had not licensed the likeness of Ferrari products and got into a series of legal issues with Ferrari. The eventually settled but it wouldn't be until OutRun 2 that the car would become an "official" Ferrari.

Copyright infringement

There was a patent case over the DOS port by Unlimited Software, the porting division of Distinctive Software. Accolade, for whom Distinctive had written The Duel: Test Drive II sought a preliminary injunction against Distinctive Software. It did not deal with the general look of the game, but rather the underlying source code.

Distinctive used some of the underlying "computer code" from The Duel for the OutRun DOS port, which Accolade challenged as an infringement of their copyright. Distinctive argued that these were standard libraries and routines, re-used in different games only for the sake of not having to reprogram them. Also, they claimed Accolade never contemplated the transfer of copyright in the library codes and, even if it did, the codes were not subject to copyright protection in the first place.

Ultimately, Accolade lost the case because the licensing agreement only referred to the concept and design of the game, but not the underlying codes.

The full case can be read through a link in the related links section.

Extras

A special edition of Outrun on cassette for Commodore 64 was bundled with a cassette containing the music from the original arcade game. The intention being to be listened to while playing the game!

Game Art Beyond

In 2018, Out Run was selected as one of the biggest classics on the Commodore 64 by the creators of the C64 graphics collection Game Art Beyond. Out Run was honoured with a high resolution title picture (based on the Amiga title screen artwork) in a special C64 graphics format called NUFLI, along with a new C64 SID interpretation of the famous Splash Wave theme. After listening to it completely, a short version of Passing Breeze can also be heard - this tune was missing in the original C64 conversion.

Tandy

The PC version has undocumented support for the Tandy TL/RL/SL series; there are a few digitized sound samples that can be heard if the joystick is not chosen to play the game (since the TL/RL/SL couldn't play digitized sound and access the joystick at the same time, due to a rediculous design flaw).

MSX versions

Two versions of the game exist for MSX computers. The first one is for MSX1 computers, was developed by US Gold and is nearly identical to the other 8 bit versions of the game. It was likely released in both tape and disk formats. The second one was developed by Pony Canyon for MSX2 computers and had improved graphics and speed. It was likely released in Japan and in cartridge format only, although pirated disk versions do exist.

Technology

Second game Sega made in the 80's that used "Super Scaler" technology.

Differences between The Japanese and Over Seas versions

There are some differences between The Japanese and Over Seas versions of the game in terms of arrangement of courses. The famous Rock Tunnel stage is an entirely different in the Over Seas version as well as it appears much sooner in the game. Only Mega Drive edition of "Outrun" includes both options to play different versions.

Commodore 64 version

In C64 version "Passing Breeze" tune is replaced with "Radio Off" option.

Awards

  • Retro Gamer
    • October 2004 (Issue #9) – #44 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)

Information also contributed by Garcia, Robbb, Sciere and Zovni

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  • MobyGames ID: 16
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Trixter.

Nintendo 3DS added by Michael Cassidy. SEGA Master System added by Tibes80. Nintendo Switch added by Rik Hideto. J2ME added by chirinea. Arcade added by FatherJack. Amstrad CPC added by Zovni. Amiga added by Martin Smith. ZX Spectrum added by Terok Nor. Game Gear added by Macintrash. Atari ST, Commodore 64 added by Servo. SEGA Saturn added by Игги Друге. MSX added by koffiepad. TurboGrafx-16 added by Katakis | カタキス. Genesis added by Syed GJ.

Additional contributors: Jeanne, chirinea, Sciere, Kabushi, Martin Smith, Freeman, Neville, Patrick Bregger, mailmanppa, Rik Hideto, Malte Mundt, Harmony♡.

Game added March 1, 1999. Last modified February 13, 2024.