5 Cars, 5 Video Games (Alfa SZ, Impreza, Testarossa, Hilux, Esprit)

5 Cars, 5 Video Games (Alfa SZ, Impreza, Testarossa, Hilux, Esprit)

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“Prepare to Qualify!”  Ever since there have been video games people have  been trying to translate the excitement of driving   on the road to a video game. The first one was  “Grand Trak 10” in 1974, and top-down games like   this also came to home computers when they were  a thing in the late 70s and early 1980s. But very   soon games in the arcades and indeed of course  real cars used a steering wheel not a joystick or   even just keys which I had to use that just didn't  provide the analogue input of a steering wheel,   and often you were fighting the way you tried to  control the game not the other cars in the game.   Some games tried clever hacks like getting  you to roll Sellotape across the top row of   keys. I don't have Sellotape so this is my  rough approximation of what I was trying to   do in the 1980s, and it sort of worked  but it was still not really very good. 

Anyway this video is a look at five of these  games and the cars that featured in them that   I've picked out with Neil from the RMC Channel.  If you're not familiar with Neil's RMC Channel   he does lots of loving repairs of old gaming  machines and retro computers which is how I   got into his channel a few years ago. He's also  built a great museum which I had the pleasure of   visiting last year. I'd highly recommend checking  out the channel for a low-key dose of retro fun,   and there's a link above and in the  description - the normal things.  So, over to Neil to talk about the first of  the five cars that we're going to talk about   featuring a car that I've already done a deep  dive into - the Toyota Hilux and “Super Off Road”. Who the hell is Ivan “Iron Man” Stewart? That was  my first reaction when I saw this arcade cabinet.  

It appeared in our local video rental store  because that's one of the places where I would   play after school, or sometimes during school when  I perhaps shouldn’t have been there with friends,   and the first thing you saw was these three  steering wheels on the arcade cabinet lined   up just begging to be played shoulder to shoulder.  But it had this name on it Ivan “Ironman” Stewart.   None of us had heard of him before, and none of  us have heard of him since. So, who was this guy.   Well, Mr Iron Man unsurprisingly is an  American off-road racing driver born in   1945. His accolades span four decades from driver  of the year in 1975 through to an induction into   the Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2009. But as a  Brit who's only exposure to off-road racing was   rally driving in the forests and banger racing  on dirt tracks, he was a complete stranger to   us. His racing was mostly around dune buggy and  endurance off-road races which made him the ideal   endorsement for this game. The goal in the game  is to win on eight different tracks which can be  

raced in reverse to create 16 courses. These  are all dirt tracks over which your 4x4 must   reverse hills jumps and water filled holes. You  can collect bags of cash and nitro boosts which   magically appear on the track. A well-timed  nitro can get you back into the running,   but used badly you can also find yourself shooting  in the wrong direction and sending yourself to the   back of the pack. Between each race we would  use our collected cash and winnings in the   shop to upgrade our vehicle and this is where  the arcade's motives really kick in. You can  

spend your winnings or you can pump yet more  cash into the machine to use to spend in the   shop. If you thought microtransactions in video  games were a recent thing then you clearly didn't   spend enough time in the arcades. Now this is our  racer with no scrolling, so you can see the whole   track just on one screen in front of you. It  certainly wasn't a new thing with Off Road - we  

can trace that all the way back to the 1970s.  If we're to include AI controlled competitors,   then we would look at Atari's Sprint 2. This takes  us to 1976 the “2” is for two player. There was   also a four and an eight player model, and we're  currently restoring one down in the Arcade Archive   at the moment. It's significant because it's  the first racing game that had a CPU in it,   the CPU being a 6502 model. Sprint in turn was  inspired by the 1974 game “Grand Trak 10” but   that game was made entirely of discrete logic, so  no CPU was present and therefore no AI controlled   opponents. From Sprint would come Super Sprint  Championship, Sprint and Badlands and these   games clearly were the inspiration behind Super  Off Road. The arcade was produced by company  

Leland. This company came about when Trad West  purchased Cinematronics in 1987 and formed Leland,   and the only arcades that I can see that they  came up with were Quarterback, Dragons Layer 2   and Super Off Road. Super Off Road being by far  the most popular one, and it was ported to just   about every home computer platform you can think  of. It was on 16-bit micros such as the Commodore  

Amiga, consoles such as the Super Nintendo which  featured fantastic music by composer Tim Follin.  [music] And even the Nintendo Game Boy got a port,  although the zoomed in scrolling nature of   the Game Boy version to accommodate the small  size of the Game Boy screen did make it feel   like a very different game. More like the  type of game we'll see in just a moment.  But just what were those vehicles that were  able to jump at death defying heights and come   crashing down seemingly with no damage  whatsoever to their suspension? Well,   it's no secret really because the name Toyota  was all over the box, the marquee and the side   art. It is of course the Toyota Hilux but let's  learn a little bit more about that car from Andy.

Well, the Toyota pickups in Super Off  Road certainly got some serious abuse,   but as Top Gear showed the Hilux could do  the same surviving - even being put on top   of a building and then having that building be  destroyed! Toyota in the 1970s was the new kid   on the block. They had cheap cheerful cars that  didn't go wrong. Exports boomed and having a 1-ton   truck certainly helped round out their range. It  was a vehicle that just got the job done. It was   especially popular in North America which was  the land of the pickup, and it certainly didn't   hurt to promote their trucks in Super Off Road. As exports boomed Toyota listen to their customers  

and the Hilux got large engines and an automatic  gearbox and more interior bells and whistles.   By 1980 they were selling over 300,000 trucks  every year. They were also able to reuse parts,   for example the four-wheel drive system from the  Land Rover competitor - the cheekily titled “Land   Cruiser”. With Toyota's relentless drive to beat  all the competition both domestic and foreign,   the Toyota Hilux became the  pickup that the world wanted.  Hilux was a concatenation of the word “high” and  “luxury” but early Hiluxes were luxury in name   only – it was a very Spartan vehicle! But by the  1980s the Hilux was serving double duty. It was   lugging work things around during the week, and it  was hauling fun things around during the weekend.  

Toyota knew that the Hilux needed more luxury so  again they took parts from their massive Toyota   parts bin, again from cars like the Land Cruiser  but also their passenger cars to kit it out   and give it a lot more luxury. With the Hilux's  success Toyota created more versions. For example   the Toyota 4Runner that appeared in the 1980s. By  the mid-1990s North America got its own specific   version of the 1-ton truck - the Toyota Tacoma. That 2003 Top Gear piece was probably the best   advert for the Toyota Hilux. They left it  in the sea overnight and it still started,   and of course as I said before they put it on  top of a building and then blew the building   up - it still started! But they went one better  when the three untrained Top Gear team with some   trained other people drove specially modified  Toyota Hiluxes all the way to the North Pole.   That was something early explorers could only  have dreamed of doing! In 2011 a specially   modified Toyota Tacoma made it to the South Pole. For years the Hilux was made in Japan but not any  

longer. But it's made all over the world.  The Hilux is still that go anywhere pickup   that can help you do your job during the week,  and help you have a lot of fun on the weekend. This next game or series of games was certainly  inspired by Super Off Road and the games that   came before it - in that it is a bird's eye view.  But this time it's zoomed in and it's scrolling in   eight directions following your car around the  track. It follows the same format though - win   races to earn cash, go into the shop to upgrade  your bog standard car to make it quicker. This  

time you can also buy missiles for your car and  other weapons and then go on to win more races   and repeat. But because this wasn't an arcade  it wasn't designed to gobble your coins. It was   designed more for longevity, so it had a bit  more of a balance in that respect to make it   more enjoyable for home play. In particular it's Super Cars 2 that I enjoyed but I did   start with the first game in the series which  was just titled Super Cars. It's by developer  

Magnetic Fields who had perhaps the most  dramatic intro screen of all game developers. And it was published by Gremlin interactive who  released it in 1990. A transitional period where   we owned both 8 and 16-bit machines and were  slowly moving over to the 16-bit ones. This  

game came out on both 8 and 16-bit micros and  it also got a North American release on the NES.   You're seeing it here on the Amiga 500. The  first game, Super Cars, was well received and   it's clear that no licenses were obtained for  the cars used within. Instead of a Cizetta we   had a “Retron Parsec”. Instead of a Honda NSX we  had the “Vagu Interceptor” but it's the “Taraco   Neoroder” that always caught my eye, mistaking it  at first for a BMW of some sort. I later learned   that it was based on the Alfa Romeo SZ. It's an  unusual line-up for a game called Super Cars when  

more well-known cars existed from the likes of  Ferrari or Porsche which could have been copied.   The first game is slightly clunky to play, with  opponents seemingly impossible to pass at times,   but it's enjoyable. It has a nice TV style  presentation with new desk reporting on the race   standings and while weapons can be purchased  in the shop, the key to success seems to be   balancing the cost of repairs with upgrades to get  the edge in the race. If you can make that engine  

last just one more race without destroying it you  could come away with enough money to upgrade your   entire car. Many of you will be familiar with  this game as I am on the Amiga, but I would   encourage you to try it on the ST where I think  it might just feel a little bit better to race on.  Being designed for micros rather than consoles  it follows a one-button control scheme. We push   forward to shoot a missile forward, pull  back to shoot it back, and then fire is   your accelerator. So, there's really no brake  to speak of. When you lift off the accelerator,   it pulls up the handbrake, and you can be  accidentally doing handbrake turns everywhere.  

But after a bit of practice you kind of get  used to it, and you get used to the practice   of lifting off which pulls the handbrake  and quickly putting the accelerator down   again. It can't be good for that handbrake cable! I enjoyed this game back in the day but the series   really came into its own with the sequel where  everything was refined and improved. More screen   space was used to give a better view of the track.  A larger sprite set reflects driving on hills.   Jumps and tunnels are added and a two-player  mode. The shop offers a greater range of weapons  

including mines and homing missiles, and nitro  makes an appearance. All of which add an extra   dimension to the game and how you approach each  race. On the whole it rewards the player fairly,   but there are some frustrations such as  very narrow segments of the track which   make missiles unavoidable. You can of  course also use this to your advantage.   In between races an opportunity to win  or lose more Championship points or   money appears in the form of a driving theory  test, this one penalising me for a bad joke.   Sweet talking sponsors, or at least attempting  to to get more money out of them, or even try   and appease protesters so that they don't fine  you for your omissions or noise pollution.  It's a great game and in the sequel it's that  car again - the Taraco Neoroder - which appears   on the title screen, and I do wonder if this  game influenced me in later years because for   better or worse I have owned two Alfa Romeos.  A 147 and a GT Cloverleaf. But I never got  

near an Alfa Romeo SZ. So, I'd love to find  out more about it. Andy it's over to you! Alfa Romeo was sold to Fiat in 1986 and Fiat  wanted to revive the whole Alfa Romeo brand,   and so why not play on their sporting heritage  with a fire-breathing sports car. But they didn't   have a lot of money, so to save money they  based the whole sports car thing on the Alfa   Romeo 75 family car which had just launched. The  designer would be Robert Opron who'd just been   hired by Fiat. He designed famous cars such as  the Citroën SM and the Renault Fuego. The result  

was nothing like his previous cars though! It  was a brutalist, high-sided beast designed to   use ground effects. It had a mean six-headlighted  look, maybe why it was called “Il Mostro” or “the   monster” by the press. It was looks that you  either loved or hated and personally I think it   looks gorgeous. It also had a passing resemblance  to the Volkswagen Corrado that had just launched.  It was shown in 1987 as the ES30 concept  and was available two years later as the   SZ or Sprint Zagato. The Sprint name harked  back to the 1970s Alpha Romeo Sprint and   the Zagato name was a nod to coachbuilder  Zagato who were helping to make the car.  

Unfortunately the production car wasn't quite  as exciting as the one in Super Cars 2. It only   had a 3.0L V6 not a 5.5L V8. It  also didn't have battering rams or front and rear   missiles. At silly omission I know! But on real  roads that 3.0L V6 had plenty of power. It gave   the car a top speed of over 150mph (245 km/h).  In an era where Alfa Romeo was lambasted for   lackluster handling the SZ was a great drive  with impressive performance. No wonder then  

that the SZ is still sought after, maybe from  grown-up teenagers remembering Super Cars 2! What's the first racing game you  think of when you hear this sound?  High on the list would be Gran Turismo. Perhaps  Need for Speed. But for me, and this is the PC   version, it's this - Colin McRae Rally. I played  it an awful lot on the PlayStation as well as on   the PC. You may know it today as “Dirt” or  “Dirt Rally” but the series began in 1998   as Colin McRae Rally featuring the unmistakable  blue Subaru Impreza with gold wheels. Apparently  

there are two ways of saying the name of  this car and I know Andy uses the other,   so I'll go with Impreza. The game was published  by Codemasters. Now their heritage goes way back   to the 80s when the Darling brothers as teenagers  set the company up and started publishing games   at pocket money prices, some programmed by  themselves and others picked up from other   developers. And here are just some such examples. They would successfully transition through the   8 and 16-bit areas and beyond. The driving games  often featured and you can see some examples here   in the draw. One such game in the 8-Bit era  was Grand Prix Simulator. Atari once tried to   sue them for this game for ripping off their  own Championship Sprint but ultimately failed   because Codemasters were able to argue it  was based on their earlier top-down racing   game BMX Simulator. A lucky escape I think! The arrival of the PlayStation in the mid-90s   as well as more powerful PCs with Hardware 3D  acceleration such as 3DFX cards saw Codemasters   capitalise on racing in the third dimension with  games like TOCA Touring Car Championship which   would become the Race Driver series, and this  - Colin McRae Rally. It was far from the only  

rally game on the scene though. The most famous  of the 90s perhaps was Sega Rally Championship,   but this game gave us the visuals we craved for  from such games as Sega Rally but with much more   depth. 52 stages, laser modelled cars, special  stages and the voice of co-driver Nikki Grist   guiding you around the bends. On the PlayStation  it supported dual shock feedback on the joypad   and analogue controls on all platforms  including steering wheels and pedals. 

I was so enamoured with this game back in the  day that I bought something called a pair of Elsa   Revelators. Now these were stereoscopic glasses  and they would work with any Direct3D game, some   better than others, but they worked particularly  well with Colin McRae Rally. You put them on,   and we were still using CRTs at this time.  It would blank out one eye at a time and   it would alternate the image on the screen so  that you had a sense of depth perception. So,  

I could see the bonnet of the car up front as  I looked into my monitor, and I could see the   corners approaching far away, and that that extra  depth perception made it an incredible game to   play. I can't imagine many people got to enjoy it  in that way - until now as VR finally starts to,   I won't say take off, but become more commonplace  and we can play more modern driving games on them.   But I was doing that in the late 90s with  Colin McRae Rally and that experience was   cut short when we moved to flat screens  because those glasses no longer supported   it. But it was a great way to play the game. It may look fairly basic by today's standards   with low resolution textures and short draw  distances. This was improved slightly on the PC   with our 3D cards but however you played it there  was always this sense that you could improve with   practice as you honed in your driving skills and  became more familiar with the stages and the car.   But that car - what a car it was! So memorable  that I completely forgot until I revisited it   that McRae switched to the Ford Focus when the  sequel came around - Colin McRae’s Rally 2. He was  

driving for Subaru from 1993 through to 1998, Ford  from 99 to 2002, and then Citroën in 2003, but the   iconic Impreza was available to play in most  of those games even if it wasn't on the cover.  The sad and untimely death of Colin McRae  in 2007 would see his name finally used in   Colin McRae's Dirt 2 in 2009 again, which  also featured videos dedicated to his life   and his career before the series switched to  using simply the Dirt name. His name and his   legacy will not be quickly forgotten and neither  will that car. So, let's find out more about it.

Codemaster’s Game “Colin McRae Rally”  introduced many to the world of rallying,   and there was only one car to play with - the  Subaru Impreza. Subaru introduced four-wheel   drive to their passenger cars in the 1970s and  started rallying with it in the 1980s. But it   was their relationship with UK-based Prodrive in  1989 that supercharged their rallying ambitions.   Their four-wheel drive passenger cars were  a hit and gave way to all-wheel drive.  The difference between four-wheel drive and  all-wheel drive is with four-wheel drive all   four wheels are always driven, unless the driver  explicitly switches into two-wheel drive mode and   only powers two of the wheels. With all-wheel  drive most of the time the car is only driving   powering two wheels which is more fuel efficient,  but can switch into four-wheel drive mode when   you run into a sticky situation. All-wheel  drive seems to be the best of both worlds,  

and customers that needed occasional four-wheel  drive swore by it, and although Subaru's cars   had all-wheel drive they didn't have a big  ladder frame chassis like things like a Land   Rover. A Subaru on the road drove like a  car. So, if you're going through twisty   bends it didn't throw you all over the place. Subaru's cars particularly in North America   got a small but loyal following from people  you might describe as “A to B”ers - basically   people who just wanted a car that would start  in the morning, get them to where they wanted,   didn't want anything special. They just wanted  it to work. Ironically with all Subaru's rallying   efforts in the 1990s with the Impreza it was  going after a completely different audience,   but then maybe they were trying to expand  their market into a different set of customers.  There was an intense rivalry in the 1990s between  the Subaru Impreza which was winning all these   rally stages and the Mitsubishi Evo which was  also winning lots of rally stages. There was  

a battle for race wins on the rally circuit and a  battle for car sales in the showroom. As we moved   through into the new millennium Subaru still  offered their rally inspired car - the WRX,   but stopped contesting for rally wins. What they  focused on was sensible family cars which is   where their money lay. At the time Subaru had a  minority stake from Nissan, but when Nissan and   Renault hooked up in the late 90s to create an  Alliance - they actually ended up getting shares   from each other's company - it was a very strange  deal! Anyway, Nissan had to sell their stake in   Subaru and it was sold to General Motors. So,  when the second generation Impreza launched it   was badged as a Saab 92-X because Saab was owned  by General Motors, and I guess General Motors   wanted more models for the Saab range. It was of  course nicknamed by the public as a “Saabaru”!  By the time of the third generation Impreza  in 2007 General Motors was going bankrupt and   was trying to sell everything they could. So,  they sold their Subaru stake to a new minority  

owner – Toyota. Toyota has helped Impreza  sales bloom, particularly after 2012. The   WRX is still sold - and it's a beast on the  road! The 2.4L 271hp (202 kW) turbocharged   engine gets to 60 in 5.6s. But although it has  all the performance numbers, drivability from  

the reviews isn't what it was in its 90s heyday.  So, it's probably best to stick to driving one in   a video game - where according to this clip you  can crash and yet still get the best stage time! Another game now from the Magnetic  Fields and Gremlin Graphics stable,   a reflection really of my Amiga ownership in the  early 90s and the games that I had access to,   and boy what a game this was! This game follows  in the tradition of 2D racing games viewed from   behind the car and making use of scaling sprites  to give a pseudo 3D effect, something we'll talk   about more in our next game. But it was used a  good effect here across 8 and 16-bit platforms   in three games in the series. The first – “Lotus  Turbo Challenge” while enjoyable only utilised  

half the screen in single player mode, displaying  a side view of your car in the bottom half. On some   platforms this was accompanied by animated  mechanics tinkering under the bonnet, and in   two player mode that would become a split screen  racer. This felt like something of an oversight   for the solitary gamer - a gamer like me. Was it  a technical limitation? Was it a design choice?  Well, we would get the answer to that in 1991  when we received Lotus Turbo Challenge 2,   and we got to enjoy full screen racing. The series  I think really found its stride in this game.  

The racing was time trial based through city,  desert, snow, forest, night-time stages and a   lot more. All racing against the clock to hit the  checkpoints and avoiding other cars along the way,   who really only serve to get in your way rather  than to take positions from you. And I had a   sense that the technical achievement in this  game was the closest that I'd seen yet to what   the arcades were doing in my local seafront,  and the use of a British manufactured car that   wasn't really in the supercar range gave a  sense that maybe one day I might actually   be able to buy one of these for myself. Well viewer, that never happened. I have   never owned a Lotus in my life I'm sorry to say.  I did as I said earlier own an Alfa Romeo. It was   a “147 Selespeed” was the first one, which had  a reputation for having a terrible gearbox. It  

wasn't quite automatic, it wasn't quite manual. It  had a robotic arm that changed gear for you hidden   away. It was very slow and it clunked between  the gears and had a reputation for breaking,   and that's exactly what happened. My gearbox  broke or at least that mechanical arm broke,   and perhaps I should have listened to the Lotus's  Esprit Turbo Challenge and not Super Cars,   and I would have been a happier driver! Anyway, the series finale was “Lotus   III - The Ultimate Challenge”, which took Lotus 2  and tried to throw every feature they could think   of at the game. The killer feature they pushed  for this one was called RECS - a procedural track  

generator which you seeded with your desired track  type and it would spit out one for you to try.   Want to race on Jupiter with lasers and turbo  boost in tarmac? Well now you can! And this is   where it fell down for me. The gritty racing  through a forest in the rain in a British-made   Lotus, mastering five manual gears to perfect the  cornering speed felt good. It felt really good.  

Driving it on Jupiter turned it into a bit of a  caricature of itself. On the flip side, though   this game certainly gave you value for money.  Time trial or circuit racing, unlimited tracks to   generate and multiplayer racing - you could even  play over a serial link. And in the case of Lotus   Turbo Challenge 2 you could play cross-platform  - an Amiga and an ST working together in harmony.  By the final game the three cars you  could drive with the open top Elan SE,   the Esprit Turbo SE and the M200 concept car  which never made it to market. But the Esprit   was the car that I always chose, and no doubt  that was slightly influenced by a certain movie!   It's a car with a lot of heritage,  so let's find out more about it.

The 1970s were full of great new Italian supercar  designs, for example the Lamborghini Countach,   and the Lotus Esprit was Britain's  answers to this Italian invasion. So,   it's not surprising it was also designed by an  Italian, specificically Giorgetto Giugiaro, and   if you see a resemblance between the Lotus Esprit  and the DeLorean then you're not far off. Both   of them were styled by Guigiaro, and Lotus had a  hand in both of them - specifically the chassis.  When the Esprit launched it had supercar looks  but it didn't have supercar performance. Today   it would get beaten in a drag race by a Nissan  Leaf! You didn't have the raspy V8 of those   Italian Super Cars, it had something much more  humdrum - a 2.0L four-cylinder. The sort of thing   you'd find in a Ford Cortina of the time! Clearly  Lotus had its work cut out to make the car match   its image. But Lotus were more than up to the  task, but they also had two key technologies  

that came to the aid in the late 1970s -  electronic fuel injection and turbocharging.  Over the next 12 years the Esprit got its supercar  performance, but not the supercar sound. It still   had that 2.0L 4-cylinder engine. It would  eventually get 276hp (206 kW) with an 0 to   60 time of 4.7s. This and the new late 1980s  curvy body bought it a whole new fan base,  

especially on home computers. In fact, many  people's first Lotus history experience was   driving one on their home computer, and of course  continually crashing it! 2.0L may not sound great,   but it did have its advantages. Italy heavily  taxed cars over 2.0L so Lotus could undercut  

the competition. But then if you can afford  a supercar and your Italian, you're probably   better paying the extra tax because driving around  Italy in a Lotus probably isn't the smartest move.   The Esprit would eventually get that V8 by  putting two of the 2.0L four-cylinder engines   together with two turbos, and it had stupid  performance – 500hp (373 kW). it had to be   limited to 350hp (261 kW) on the road to prevent  it blowing up the gearbox that was in it! So,   the gearbox was now the weak point in the  whole car. But this was the late 1990s and  

by then cars like the Lotus Exige were in Lotus's  future and what the public wanted. The Esprit was   quietly pensioned off, or as quietly as you  can pension off a 350hp (261 kW) V8 supercar! Now for people who watch me regularly did you  really think I wasn't going to put this game   in here? It's 1986's Out Run - of course it is! I  always went to this arcade first. Whether it's at   Butlins Holiday Park, Weymouth seafront, or even  today at retro Expos, I always go straight to   Out Run if I see it there. I love playing it and I  love watching other people play it too. It just   oozes coolness, and it was of course the subject  of many imitations. Lotus Turbo Challenge which  

we just saw being one of many of them. The game was built on sprite scaling   techniques that Sega called “Super Scaling” which  was demonstrated before Out Run in their 1985   games Hang On and Space Harrier. This model  here I'm playing is the later 1987 Super Hang   On game which is very similar. It adds a turbo  button to make it even quicker, but that's not   the game we're talking about today. We'd also see  Afterburner use this hardware and others. It would   continue to develop and Sprite Scaling would be  used in games such as Power Drift and Rad Mobile   which really took sprite scaling to the extreme. The custom hardware and dual Motorola 68000 CPUs   in Out Run made it a huge technical challenge  to recreate on a home system. Many attempts  

were made, and many failed to review well.  But it wouldn't be until the 90s and the   Sega Saturn that we saw a true arcade perfect  port come to the home. The game itself was   designed by Yu Suzuki and it was loosely  based on the film “The Cannonball Run”,   but was set across Europe - or roughly a  Europe style continent rather than the US.   Each stage leads to a fork in the road on which  the player decides where to go next, and this   creates 15 distinct stages - each themed as if in  a different country. And there are five different   finish lines, each with a different celebratory  animation. Add to this the choice of music and the   result is a game that just never gets old for me.  On the one hand it's endlessly frustrating. Just  

one major crash means you're unlikely to finish  the game on all but the easiest settings. But   on the other hand if you get a good run and you  string together faultless stages, avoiding all the   traffic, you start to believe your driving skills  are superior. And the more who can see your skills   over your shoulder at the arcade the more your  ego is going to be inflated. In short it makes   you feel cool, it makes you feel superior and  that's exactly what Yu Suzuki wanted you to feel.  This advanced technology combined with  non-standard controls, a steering wheel,   gear stick and pedals - or pedal, the brake pedal  is largely redundant in my opinion, also created a   barrier to the rampant bootlegging of arcade PCBs  at the time. Even if the board could be copied  

you'd still need the cabinet, and nobody was going  to be copying the flagship deluxe model. A sitting   cabinet on hydraulics which would tilt the cabinet  as you played on a 26” monitor, and speakers were   behind your head in the headrest just completely  immersing you in the experience. This was cutting   edge gaming and it remained relevant for years to  come. The model we have here in our Arcade Archive   is a mini or cabaret, which is the smallest in the  range and it's the game I play the most down here.   While the game didn't have an official license  from Ferrari it's pretty obvious what the car is,   or at least at face value it looks like  a Ferrari Testarossa. But I've never  

seen a Ferrari Testarossa without a  roof. So, what is this exactly Andy? Out Run was a phenomenally popular game maybe  that's why the Testarossa turned out to be one   of Ferrari's most popular cars, and being  featured in Miami Vice certainly can't have   hurt its prospects! Testarossa actually means  “redhead” in Italian. It doesn't refer to the   roof of the car but the red painted cams  on the engine which referenced the original   Testarossa - the 1957 Ferrari 250. It was designed  by Italian coachbuilders Pininfarina who styled   almost all Ferraris since the 1950s as well as the  occasional mainstream car like the Ford StreetKa.  The engine was mid-mounted, so the styling team  needed to side air intakes to cool it down. Their   initial idea was to hide them but in a change of  heart they decided to feature them - producing   this wonderful louvred design that could double  as an egg slicer! The innovative design carried   on at the rear. In fact, the whole design was  a bit of a departure from Ferraris of old,  

but it became a shape that symbolised 1980s  supercars in all their pop-up headlight glory!  Out Run is accurate in that the top speed is  around 293km/h (182 mph) but it of course it   has a five-speed manual gearbox rather than just  low and high. With a 4.9L V12 engine you'd expect   acceleration to be good, and it was! It got to  60 in just 5.8s. That's impressive for the 80s,   but today it's beaten by another Italian  redhead - the 1.4L Fiat Abarth 500.  One weird part of the Ferrari Testarossa design  were its mirrors, or mirror in this case - there   was only one of them in a weird high position.  Even pretty basic Ford Fiestas at the time   had two mirrors. Parking in a supercar is hard  enough with two mirrors, so with one it must have   been incredibly difficult! Presumably customers  rebelled because the car quickly got two mirrors,   mounted at the regular position and  you can see that in the car in Out Run. 

That car in Out Run is a Ferrari Testarossa  Spider, that is an open top. But Ferrari   actually never made an open top version of  the Testarossa. They made a one-off concept,   and some coachbuilders took inspiration  from this and produced their own special   versions of the car for rich customers  for crazy amounts of money of course,   and some of those rich customers bought it maybe  to live out there Out Run fantasies in real life.  The Testarossa was the top of the Ferrari  range, and as soon as a new top of the   Ferrari range - the F40 appeared in 1987  everyone rushed to that car. The Testarossa  

carried on being produced and was updated  as the faster 512 TR in 1991 and the 1994   512M. It ended production in 1996. Not many of us  will ever have the chance to drive a Testarossa,   but the beautiful shape is there for all  to admire - and it's completely free. Well I hope you liked this quick dive into car  video game history. If I was going to choose a   game for a desert island, if I was going  to have one game that I was going to have   to play then like Neil it would be Out Run.  I'm not very good at it, but I love the game,   and the controls on the arcade game are just  so amazing. Super Sprint is also a favourite,  

but again it's hard to emulate steering wheels on  retro computers like this Ambernic 353M I've just   got, or this Frankenstein Pi setup which I made  a few years ago. So, what were your favourite   games? Did we cover the right ones? If not what  other games and cars should we have covered?   Maybe Neil and I will do another video in  the future and we'll pick five more cars,   who knows? We'll see how it goes. If you're  not familiar with Neil's Channel – RMC,   then maybe take a look at one of his old videos.  For example this one, where he restores an old   Thrustmaster racing wheel. Thanks for  watching, and thanks to all my Patrons,   some of whom you see scrolling merrily up the  screen. If you want to become a Patron you can   get early access to videos, usually about  a week early, and I do semi-regular update   videos exclusive to Patrons. All of this  for a $, £ or € a month. And of course,  

it also helps me make more of these videos. Thanks  for watching and I'll see you in the next video!

2023-02-02 08:27

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