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  • Famicom Grand Prix II: 3D Hot Rally (Nintendo/HAL Laboratory, 4/14/88)

    Posted on July 12th, 2010 keving 4 comments

    Nintendo’s shot at copying Out Run…or perhaps Victory Run, more accurately speaking. Japan was going through something of a rally fad during the late ’80s, mainly because on-board rally computers got cheap and kei cars became powerful enough to be useful for racing under rally conditions. Nintendo also did a reasonable job simulating hills and winding roads with the engine behind this game, better than Yuji Naka managed with the Master System port of Out Run, although it’s still a little jerky.

    This game isn’t exactly a simulator — you can choose from one of three cars at the start, and picking up enough ! marks on the road lets you unleash the “Hot Dash” turbo mode. Hot Dash keeps your car from slowing down in snow or desert stages, which is important because the sports car (the fastest in the game) performs pretty poorly in these conditions.

    3D Hot Rally also marks the game debut of Soyo Oka, a female musician (there were a surprisingly large of these in the Japan industry from the very beginning) who worked at Nintendo from 1987 to 1994. Her contributions to Pilotwings, Super Mario Kart and so on are probably better known, but the little ditty that plays during the races here is remarkably catchy as well.


    4 responses to “Famicom Grand Prix II: 3D Hot Rally (Nintendo/HAL Laboratory, 4/14/88)” RSS icon

    • I played this game not long ago. If I’m not mistaken, this was HAL Lab’s first game commissioned by Nintendo. Its a fun little game that makes me wonder why Nintendo never gave it an overseas release. It’s way more fun than Rad Racer.

    • those are some hideous street lamps.

    • what does it say about me that i’m mildly offended you said this was better than what naka accomplished with the outrun port? something, i’m sure.

    • It does look like it involves more strategy than Rad Racer, although I seem to remember that game being a little smoother which might explain NOA’s preference for it.

      The way they accomplished the moving borders effect is rather a clever little trick. If I have it right, they use raster interrupts to change the screen color at different heights of the screen. This is (probably) combined with using character graphics to produce the road itself. That would explain the jerkiness, each frame of the road’s twisting would be its own layout of graphics tiles, and there’s only room for so many of them in the ROM space.

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