Home | Wiki | Discord | Dev Stream | YouTube | Archived Forums | Contact

Unsung Heroes: old and obscure sims and games


I bloody loved that game, I too found it when looking for a successor to Screamer. The currently available Off-Road Drive is pretty great too as a follow up, but it misses the big Pathfinder/freeroam style events I enjoyed so much.


I get so confused by these references to Offroad Screamer… the Screamer I know is this:


I used to play both of the first two Screamer games; the first one, in particular, was very much inspired by Ridge Racer and its ilk. In the original game, you had a choice of six cars to start with:

  • Shadow (highest top speed, but subpar acceleration and average grip)
  • Tiger (slightly slower than Shadow, but with better acceleration and excellent grip)
  • Hammer (average top speed, but great grip and acceleration)
  • Rising Sun (excellent acceleration, but terrible top speed and grip)
  • Panther (great acceleration, almost as quick as Rising Sun, but with improved top speed and grip)
  • Yankee (similar to Shadow, but with inferior acceleration and handling)

Of note was the fact that selecting manual transmission would not only give you a slightly higher top speed, but also a different paint job. I usually went with the Hammer or Tiger due to their superior all-round ability.


I’d like to blow my trumpet for a second here:

Yes, I won a 16 car tournament. On DEATH difficulty. In a fucking Ninjato, which, if you’ve played Fatal Racing, you will know as the worst car in the game by a long margin to the point you only pick it if you wanna have a bad time.

Re: DEATH difficulty (in the naming screen, name yourself DR DEATH, and if the cheat worked, you will be renamed PAT, and you will notice that on all the difficulty setting screens there is only one option: DEATH.) IMO this is the only worthy difficulty to play on, because it becomes a true Fatal Race experience. You will have to use every bit of information you can get (the split time screen, the mirror, and the map) and adjust your driving style to the circumstance. In a Ninjato, don’t pick fights with cars you can’t beat, but if you’re running in the bottom half and there’s no way you can claw your way back to the top, you might as well go out swinging and ram every car you see that’s smoking or on fire.

Really the only reason I won the tournament is because Gort somehow lost all 3 lives on the final race, probably because he ran into drivers going the wrong way too many times. Up to that point it was really close.

Having finished the game before with the Global, Reise Wagon, Zizin, Pulse, Mission and now the Million Plus (except I’m not even going to bother trying the Bonus Cup in it… that’s just asking for a rage quit), I have just the Auto Ariel and the Desilva next. I’ve been avoiding the Desilva because it has the worst top speed in the game and can’t ram for shit, and most of these tracks can be taken flat out.


Does anyone reminder this gem and its awesome music?


There is an advantage to choosing the Million Plus Ninjato: despite being the least durable car of all, its grip is basically second to none, enabling it to take most corners closer to its top speed. Speaking of which, the Global Celerity MkII and Reise Wagon Merkur GT, in addition to being the heaviest and most durable cars available (not counting the secret cars), are also the fastest, although their acceleration is quite slow, especially in the case of the latter. Now I would like to see you do it again with the Advanced cars, with their greater speed and different paint jobs.


The grip’s pretty useless though, since for most of the tracks, if you know the line to take you can pretty much go flat out through all bar maybe one or two corners, and even if you didn’t, for example in the Merkur GT, you can still go through those corners faster than the Ninjato can (if you know how to exploit gear braking). And if you wanted grip and actual handling (handling being one of the many things the Ninjato lacks), you might as well take something more nimble, like the Mission Spectre SE Turbo.

That being said I don’t see any reason not to take the Merkur or Celerity. If you know how to load the gears correctly then the only time acceleration is an issue is when leaving the pits (which admittedly is VERY often on death difficulty). And even the shitty brakes of the Merkur can be easily overcome by rapidly downshifting or even sticking the car in reverse. You’ll stop nearly instantly regardless of the car and it doesn’t do anything bad to the car.

Anyway. Even the advanced set of cars isn’t much more difficult, I was also halfway through that lot but figured it was mostly more of the same thing. If you’re after a really bad day, use the cheat DUEL and all the cars turn into Mr Evil. Using both DUEL and DR DEATH is possibly the hardest thing you can do but it’s pure torture.


If you remember it you played it, terrible game play but addictive for that windows 3.1/95 era.


Why does that remind me of something that came a little later…

This delightful piece of weirdness.


Oh, yeah! Reminds me!!!

Those were the days.


I have a copy of that on one of my machines. Have any you tried the more recent remake (which I also have), either on handheld devices or a PC?

For those of you not aware of it, this is the first part of a playthrough of the remake:


I didnt realize there was a remake


In honor of the 25th anniversary of the release of Virtua Racing, here is some footage of the arcade version, on the tight and twisty Acropolis circuit:

This was one of the first games to employ 3D graphics, and was quite a novelty when it came out. More significantly, though, it laid the groundwork for Sega’s later arcade racers such as Daytona USA and Scud Race. Home console releases added more tracks and cars, but what this game really needs is an HD remake on modern consoles now that games such as Racing Apex (which uses a similar flat-shaded graphical style) are riding the crest of the retro wave.

And so, it seems like this thread should be revived… If anyone comes up with an old driving game that hasn’t been mentioned in this thread yet, please let me know.


Probably not as obscure, but 4x4 Evo 1 and 2 blew my mind as a kid. I had enjoyed Need for Speed games, but the off-road racing was new to me and the ability to really tune your vehicle was something left out of most NFS games aside from Porsche Unleashed. I really enjoyed the free-roam in Evo 2 and the constant quest to unlock all the specialty parts and then apply them in the correct order and to the correct vehicle, to get as many activated at once as possible.


Another game that’s merely old, but not obscure: Formula 1 95, developed jointly by Studio Liverpool and Bizarre Creations (both of which are now sadly defunct), and released for the original PlayStation as well as Windows PCs. Introduced at a time when F1 cars sounded (and, until this season, arguably looked) better than they do now, this officially licensed F1 game included every track, driver and constructor from the 1995 F1 season. It even included commentary by Murray Walker (IMO the most memorable motorsports announcer), and a bonus track called Frameout City which you could unlock by having a perfect season (win every race and have your team at the top of the Constructor’s championship standings at the end of the season). So, without further ado, here is some footage of a race at Frameout City on the PS1 version:

And for comparison, here’s a race at Monaco on the PC port:

While it was not the first F1 simulation game with 3D graphics, it brought the technology to home consoles for the first time ever, and laid the groundwork for a franchise that lasted more than a decade, until Codemasters bought the rights.

Last but not least, F1 95 included officially licensed music from no other than Joe Satriani, with tracks such as this one:


Was it? :wink:
Virtual racing *cough


Virtua Racing was an arcade racer, and it did not have an official F1 license, so it’s best to consider it an unofficial F1 game (home ports, including the one for the 32X, added more cars and tracks, but the original arcade version only included the Virtua Formula - although that name was only applied in OutRunners, the only other game in which it made an appearance). F1 95, on the other hand, was officially licensed, and, due to its simulation nature, had much more realistic physics.


But it WAS a racing game with F1 cars and in 3D. Also it got ported to Sega CD-thing in 94


Apologies for the bump but this thread deserves another entry. Here it is:

Along with Virtua Racing, Outrunners is another one of Sega’s arcade racers that celebrated its 25th birthday in 2017. This, the third Outrun game, ran on Multi 32 hardware for more detailed sprites. It was also the first game in the series to allow the player to select from multiple cars (eight, to be precise, each with its own set of drivers), all of which were based on various real-world vehicles, but subtly altered due to licensing issues, and introduced multiplayer support for up to eight(!) players. It also had two sets of routes for the player to follow (westbound and eastbound), and some tracks were accessible from both sets. Speaking of which, the use of the Multi 32 hardware made them look better than ever. And in another first, the player could change the background music (which included remixes of songs from the original OutRun, alongside some new tunes) during a race.

Here’s a playthrough of the arcade version using the red car, the Speed Buster, on a westbound route ending in the Atlantic Ocean. Back in 1992, it would have looked stunning, but given that it came out shortly after the proliferation of 3D graphics, it’s easy to see why it wouldn’t stay in the spotlight for very long:

Of particular note is that the Speed Buster closely resembles the Ferrari Testarossa from the original game, right down to a two-speed gearbox when using a manual transmission. Also, the Atlantic Ocean track in this game (as shown in the video above) is actually the first example of a drivable underwater tunnel in any video game, period.

Being a 32-bit arcade game in a 16-bit world did not come without its drawbacks, though. The Genesis port had degraded audio and graphics, and required a split-screen format similar to Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge. It did, however, give the player a CPU opponent to race against in single-player races, and also had an additional mode that the arcade version lacked: an Original mode in which you raced a series of opponents for pink slips, culminating in a final showdown with the Virtua Formula from the aforementioned Virtua Racing - again, another feature exclusive to the Genesis port. Win that race and the Virtua Formula - the absolute best car in this version of the game - is yours to keep. Here it is:

Regardless of the port’s hardware limitations, it’s just as fun to play as the arcade version. Sadly, those licensing issues also mean that this is the most recent OutRun game that can be rereleased - although a full-on high-definition remake with 3D graphics, complete with redesigned cars (to suit the present era) new game modes, and even online multiplayer for the home ports (if there are any), would make more sense. Given the fact that there are very few arcade racers on current-gen consoles, it would be a refreshing return to escapism in a sim-obsessed world.


Ok. Ehm… along with sega rally there were 2 games in the arcades I distinctly remember, but I can’t remember the titles. ANybody help?

One is an early 90’s DTM racing game (Mercedes C class, Calibra etc in the car roster) The other one is more of a GT racing game, with the cars I recall being F40, Mclaren F1 GT, Porsche 911 and a Viper.