Catalogue of Arcade Emulation Software - the Absolute Reference

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Out Run (sitdown/upright, Rev B)

Out Run (c) 11/1986 Sega.

Out Run puts the player behind the wheel of a red Ferrari Testarossa in this ground-breaking and hugely popular racing game. As with most games of the genre, players must reach the end-of-stage 'goal' before the tight time limit expires. Out Run's lush, colourful levels are all packed with civilian traffic that, in addition to the tracks themselves, must be carefully negotiated. Upon crashing, the player's car doesn't explode or come to a sudden halt as with other games of the time; it flips into the air before crashing to the ground and eventually rolling to a stop; throwing the driver and his female passenger from the car in the process.

As well as being able to choose which route to take through the game, players can also choose from one of three different catchy songs to listen to while driving. The three songs are; 'Magical Sound Shower', 'Passing Breeze' and 'Splash Wave'.


There were two arcade cabinet designs -- the usual upright machine, only with a steering wheel and stick shift (instead of a joystick and buttons) plus gas and brake pedals, and a sit-down version which looked roughly like a Testarossa. The sit-down cabinet itself came in two versions -- with hydraulics and without. The version with hydraulics turned and shook according to the action onscreen, much like Sega's Afterburner. The upright also came in two versions : normal and mini (neither with hydraulic feedback, naturally).

Main CPU : (2x) 68000 (@ 12.5 Mhz)

Sound CPU : Z80 (@ 4 Mhz)

Sound Chips : YM2151 (@ 4 Mhz), Sega (@ 4 Mhz)

Screen orientation : Horizontal

Video resolution : 320 x 224 pixels

Screen refresh : 60.00 Hz

Palette colors : 12288

Players : 1

Control : Steering wheel

Pedals : 2 (Accelerator and break)

Gear shift : 2 (Low / High)


At the end of each stage, before the end-of-stage goal is reached, players are presented with a fork in the road; a unique innovation that, for the first time in the history of racing games, gave players a choice of which route they wished to take through the game. Out Run's game-play was both tight and instinctive and, together with the superb stage design and wonderfully realized sprite-scaled graphics, would completely revolutionize not just racing games, but arcade games in general.

Out Run is still regarded as perhaps the finest arcade racer (and certainly the finest sprite-driven racer) of all time. This was especially true of the deluxe cabinet version, which featured a fully hydraulic tilting cabinet (resembling a red Ferrari Testorosa) and a powerful speaker system situated directly behind the player's head. The sublime music still captivates many fans today, although the sublime 'Magical Sound Shower' is generally regarded as the finest of the three in-game tunes on offer (the others being 'Passing Breeze' and 'Splash Wave'). The final tune, 'Last Wave', is only played when the high-score table is displayed.

At least part of Out Run's huge success was down to it capturing the fun-yet-superficial spirit of the 1980s. Previous racing games had concentrated on the more serious side of racing, with the action usually taking place in a Formula One racing car, over a series of competent but uninspiring racing tracks. Out Run was different; in a decade that celebrated style over content, the game offered players the ultimate boy racer experience by putting them behind the wheel of that eighties icon of cool, a red Ferrari Testarossa; replete with a 'blonde bimbo' in the passenger seat.

Sega didn't actually have (nor indeed ask for) permission from Ferrari to use one of their cars for the game. This inevitably led to a degree of bad feeling and threats of litigation between the two companies. They have since settled their differences, however, as Sega acquired an official license to use the Ferrari range in its 2003 sequel, "Out Run 2".

Opponent cars list:

* 1972 Volkswagen Beetle

* 1971 Chevrolet Corvette

* 1985 Porsche Carrera 911 Turbo

* 1985 BMW 325i Cabriolet E30

* Lorry

Out Run contains in-game billboards advertising KTM motorcycles.

Richard Jackson holds the official record for this game with 52,897,690 points.

In the film 'Donnie Darko', Donnie is playing Out Run at an arcade with his girlfriend. The scene shows him crashing his car during their discussion.

An Out Run cabinet can be seen in the 1988 educational video presented by General Motors called 'The Game Of Your Life'.

An Out Run machine was shown at the 2003 classic arcade games show 'California Extreme' in San Jose, California.

A MTV public announcement against drunk driving shown in the mid '90s shows a gamer in their viewpoint playing Out Run whilst under the influence of alcohol and cuts to each point where the gamer crashes until the end of game.

Alfa Records released a limited-edition soundtrack album for this game (Sega Taikan Game Special - 28XA-198) on 12/1987.

Scitron released a limited-edition soundtrack album for this game (Outrun/SEGA S.S.T. - PCCB-00081) on 02/1992. Composition by SEGA Sound Team and arrangement by SEGA S.S.T. Band. The first 3 tracks are arranged versions.


In the Deluxe version, all the courses are in a different order.


* Fatest route : the fastest route for finishing the game is Right (Devil's Canyon), Left (Snowy Alps), Right (Wheatfield), Right (Autobahn).

* Secret credit message : right before the road forks, press and hold Start. When you choose one of the roads and the other one disappears from view, a secret credit message will come up on the screen.

* Instead of just pressing the accelerator all the way when you're about to start, you should instead try to keep the gas in 'the high greens' and just below red. The exact moment the green light goes on you should give it as much gas as possible thereby starting up much faster. Instead of shifting at app. 170mph you should change gears at about 120 mph to avoid slowdown. This hint earns you app. 1 second. This trick works every time you have to start from 0 mph but is difficult to time right when you don't have the green light for timing.

* The second before going off road you can change very quickly to low gear and then high gear again. If done correctly you can drive off the road without any slowdown for about 1-2 seconds. If you time it right you can actually change to low then high again after the 1-2 seconds and not loose ANY speed whatsoever when driving offroad. This way you can keep going 292mph even though you're offroad.


1. Out Run (1986)

2. Out Run 3-D (1989, Sega Master System)

3. Battle Out Run (1989, Sega Master System)

4. Turbo Out Run (1989)

5. Out Run Europa (1991, Sega Game Gear)

6. Out Runners (1992)

7. Out Run 2019 (1993, Sega Mega Drive)

8. Out Run 2 (2003)

9. Out Run 2 SP - Special Tours (2004)


Designed by : Yu Suzuki (YU.)

Music by : Hiroshi Miyauchi (MIY)

From highscore table : (BIN), (KAG), (MAT), (IKA), (A.O)


* Consoles :

Sega Master System (1987)

NEC PC-Engine (1990)

Sega Mega Drive (1991)

Sega Game Gear (1991)

Sega Saturn (1996)

Sega Dreamcast (2001, "Yu Suzuki Game Works Vol. 1")

Sega Dreamcast (2001, "Shenmue II")

Nintendo Game Boy Advance (2003, "Sega Arcade Gallery")

Microsoft XBOX ("Shenmue II")

Microsoft XBOX (2004, "Out Run 2") : Hidden Content.

Sony PlayStation 2 (2004, "Sega Ages 2500 Vol. 13 : Out Run")

* Computers :

MSX1 (1986) : by US Gold. It was only released one a tape in Europe on a limited base.

Commodore C64 (1987)

Amstrad CPC (1987)

Sinclair ZX Spectrum (1987)

MSX2 (1988)

Commodore Amiga (1988)

Atari ST (1989)

PC [MS-DOS, 5.25''] (1989)

PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (1999, "Sega Smash Pack")

* Others :

LCD tabletop (large) game (1989) released by Tiger Electronics : 5 different races.

Mobile phones (2002)


The SEGA Out Run FAQ by Chris White & Andrew W. Sharples.