Posted on May 6th, 2011 6 comments
Rocket Coaster is a compilation of software packages released by Taito for their D3BOS arcade system, which Taito first introduced in 1991 despite what that previous link says. Short for “Dynamic Direct Dimension Burst Out System,” the hardware combined a fully-enclosed motion simulator, a laserdisc player, and some 68000-based hardware to allow for interactive rides and the like — a VT simulator of sorts, a genre that had a mild boom in the early ’90s with things like Virtuality and Sega’s R-360 system.
Unlike the R-360, though, Taito’s D3BOS allowed for no user input — it was just a ride, allowing punters to climb in, strap on, and enjoy getting whirled around a bit as they watched the best CGI 1991 could offer them. Titles were themed along the lines of roller coasters, dune buggies, spaceships, and even skiing. Although there was no gameplay whatsoever, the ride allowed two people to climb on at the same time, which I suppose makes it good if you’re out on a date in Odaiba or somesuch.
The system was deployed chiefly in Taito-owned arcades and Cannonball City, a small indoor theme park the company ran in Machida, Tokyo that attempted to recreate the atmosphere of an American city. The complex only lasted a year or so, and the system — which sold for around 15 to 20 million yen each — lasted about as long.
Chances are the D3BOS would be completely forgotten were it not for Taito taking some of the footage they made for it and repackaging it into Rocket Coaster, a racing game for Pioneer’s LaserActive system. A complete playthrough is above. It’s half an hour long, but if you like early CGI and background music with a lot of orchestral hits, it’s a must-watch.