Description official descriptions
As an undercover agent of Chase Headquarters, your job is to patrol the streets and track down five criminals. You are given a mission briefing before you start which gives information on the suspect and what car they drive. Then you drive across the city without crashing into other cars, and catch up with the criminal's car. To arrest the suspects, you must keep bumping into their car until it is no longer functional. And you have to do this under a strict time limit. You can't afford to crash into cars or buildings or you waste time getting on the road again.
However, once you've caught up with your suspect, you are given more time. Your car is also equipped with turbo boosts, which you can use to gain extra speed if you are way behind the criminal. Each arrest is based on a "suspicion".
- タイトーチェイスH.Q. - Japanese spelling
Credits (Arcade version)
21 People (18 developers, 3 thanks)
Average score: 68% (based on 50 ratings)
Average score: 3.4 out of 5 (based on 86 ratings with 2 reviews)
The seaside in the 80s was a wonderful place full of amusement arcades and many many arcade machines. Choosing which one to put your money in meant companies had to grab you with either amazing graphics or something apart from a joystick. To me the biggest draw to a game was if it had a steering wheel or a gun and those steering wheels drew me closer. Most driving games of the time was about getting From A to B within a time limit avoiding the other vehicles on the road either in a race or impressing your girlfriend (Out Run).
Chase H.Q. starts off like any other driving game, driving within a time limit, but with a slightly different angle to catch an accused criminal in an other vehicle. As you drive you have the usual avoid the other drivers and don't stray off the track style of gameplay but you do get halfway through a level and a decision to go left or right dictated by a large arrow. The wrong turn means you have to drive a longer route. Even three turbo boosts were thrown in if you find yourself lagging behind.
After careful driving and speed you catch up to the accused criminal. And then BANG! the game changes, you have to smash into the guys vehicle as your sirens blare within a new time limit. Instead of avoiding vehicles like you've been doing for so long in driving games you can actually smash another vehicle (granted you need to avoid the other road users still). You have to fill a damage meter to stop the vehicle and apprehend him.
The main problem is the same as the majority of Arcade games, they gently ease you into the game before turning very hard thus the game becomes a short but sweet experience. Like most arcade games you either became a Gaming God or had a pocket full of change to get extended enjoyment from it.
The Bottom Line
A very smooth fast driving game with the added twist of having to smash the criminals vehicle when you catch him up.
Arcade · by FatherJack (61829) · 2014
The game was a hit in the arcades. This was no ordinary racing game. Catching up to the criminal and smashing his car until he pulls over was a joy for me. Ocean decided that they would be behind the home versions, so they had to be good. Right? Not really, for the Commodore 64 version anyway.
Let's start with the one thing that is noticeable in the game: the sound. The only pieces of music are poor and doesn't take full advantage of the C-64's SID chip. The theme still plays even when you start a new game, so you would think that this would continue to the end of whatever stage you're on, but no. It just cuts out whenever you speed up or use a turbo boost.
As for the sound effects, the only noticeable things are the engine which actually sounds like a vacuum cleaner, and the skidding tires sound like a burglar alarm. Why didn't Ocean just add an option to toggle between music and effect, like they did for Total Recall? Finally, the Amstrad and Speccy versions share one thing in common with the original coin-op. There is speech in the game, as well as the coin deposit sound. Too bad the C-64 version has none of this.
Then there is the graphics, which look nothing like those depicted on the back of the game box. What Ocean did was port the monochrome graphics from the Speccy version into the C-64's, but chuck in some colored sprites that are already blocky by default. There are five stages in the game, but the layout of all of them is is the same, so unless you took notice of the stage number before you play it, you will hardly notice a difference. The scrolling is very weak as well.
The Bottom Line
Ocean established itself as a software company in the Eighties, and went on to create titles such as Head Over Heels, Batman, and Wizball - all of them popular hits. They also handled conversions of successful coin-op titles, like Chase H.Q. Having said that, it is surprising to see they released this abysmal Commodore 64 version. Apart from the tape loading theme, which is the highlight, the graphics and sound are pathetic. I recently read in Retro Gamer #5 that Ocean fired most of its C-64 programmers over this and produced a far superior version of the sequel. If you are looking for a best racing game for the C-64 that involves you doing something other than racing, this is not it.
Commodore 64 · by Katakis | カタキス (43093) · 2012
Amstrad 128K extras
In 128K machines, the Amstrad CPC version of the game will load all stages in one sitting. It will also play some speech at certain spots. Other Ocean Software games that had similar "extras" for these computers were "RoboCop" and "Dragon Ninja".
- EMAP Golden Joystick Awards 1990 (published by ACE #33, 1990/6)
- Winner Best 8-Bit Soundtrack
The characters in the original game covers and in the loading screens are supposed to be Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas. The game was not a licensed "Miami Vice" title, but it seems like it wanted to capitalize on a established TV show. And well, the stars of the show did pursue criminals in a supercar, but that one was a Ferrari.
Related Sites +
IGCD Internet Game Cars Database
Game page on IGCD, a database that tries to archive vehicles found in video games.
Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.
Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Katakis | カタキス.
Arcade added by FatherJack. FM Towns added by Sciere. Sharp X68000 added by Kabushi. Amstrad CPC, MSX, ZX Spectrum, Atari ST added by Martin Smith. Game Gear added by Freeman. Wii added by gamewarrior.
Game added July 27, 2003. Last modified December 27, 2023.