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  • Out Run (Sega, September 1986)

    Posted on March 30th, 2010 keving 5 comments

    What red-blooded ’80s boy, no matter which side of the ocean he lived near, didn’t have a poster of the Ferrari Testarossa in his bedroom? One that always depicted the supercar of all supercars framed around a matte-black background, maybe with a few white clouds of smoke around the sides for effect? Anyone who didn’t was a dweeb, a dork, a Sega Master System owner, and no doubt they’re the ones busing your table at the Steakountry Buffet this evening. Make sure to give them a decent tip, because c’mon, man, they had a hard life, they’re driving beige Camrys, they don’t know no better.

    Since few of us have actually sat inside a Testarossa, it’s not well-known that the Italian speedster can operate at its top spec speed of 294 km/h on literally any type of road surface — tarmac, sand, grass, the Pacific Ocean. Yes, the Ferrari Testarossa is fully submersible. Italy, you know, it’s a very high-water-table country. Flash floods kind of creep up on you. It’s a safety feature.

    Yu Suzuki, being a man of refined automobile tastes, naturally knew that. That’s why, if you carefully shift gears in a high-low-high pattern on the edge of the road, you can run over any sort of terrain you like in Out Run for up to seven seconds without any speed penalty while the game tries to figure out where you’re going. It’s a feature (I wouldn’t dare call it a bug, for doing so would suggest that the Testarossa is not the divine vehicle for the soul which it is) that became household knowlege in Japan after Gamest and other mags brought it up in their strategy guides in 1987.

    Unfortunately, the timing behind this move can be pretty tricky, and most gamers flailed away at the arcade cabinet’s gearshift like a hummingbird trying to search for just the right technique. This led to a lot of broken gearshifts and signs in Japanese arcades threatening to kick punters out of the establishment for gia-gacha (gear-rattling) play. MAME, and automatic rapid-fire, make it a lot easier these days.

    The same trick can also be pulled off in Turbo Out Run, but in no other Out Run game after that — an homage to the original Testarossa model getting phased out of production in 1991, no doubt. Right? Right?


    5 responses to “Out Run (Sega, September 1986)” RSS icon

    • Out Run. After all these eons, still a great game.

      I don’t know what to make of the video, though—I am still in disbelief. I never veer off the road, and this player does everything *but* stay on the road.

      My brain hurts, just knowing that this is possible.

      Next, you’ll be informing me that I can fly underground (and underwater) in Afterburner. Afterburner!

      My brain hurts.

    • If you’ve never been able to play Outrun in the original full-sized sit down setup, you’re missing out. I thought that I “got” Outrun before, but after getting a chance to play it on the deluxe sit-down version with full hydraulics, it completely changed my opinion of the game. With the moving cab and Musical Sound Shower playing from head-rest mounted speakers, it’s an incredible experience, even today.

    • As a child of the 80’s, I can’t say I had a poster of a Testarrosa in my bedroom… it was a Lambroghini Diablo!

    • Badass Outrun 2 Time Attack.

      Pretty cool to see this guy go to town on the arcade cab. Would be interesting to see one of the pros owning the original Outrun.

    • So sad.So your daughter tells you she wants to watch a show that is prntmpiog in her a sense of awareness and you’re looking to block the channel it runs on?Pathetic.How is your child going to know how the world rolls if you’re too busy sheltering her from it to educate her yourself?If you’re not gonna give your daughter something more that nags and don’ts then at least let her figure it out by herself.Fact: My father’s family is very catholic and my two uncles were very reticent to allow their daughters to talk about thinks like safe sex and teenage pregnancy awareness. They both have a kid now, one of them is 20 and the other is 16, neither finished a career and one of them is a single mother (A real one, which mean no dad whatsoever, not just divorced).My father and my mother are much more open minded, they actually talked to us about it themselves. I have three sisters, two of them have already graduated from college, one is a very succesful computer engineer and the other is a lawyer, neither of them have kids, despite being in very long relationships, they win good money and have their own houses. My little sister is going on to high school right now, excellent grades. Needless to say, she doesn’t have a child either.

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