Recognised as being the most successful coin-op of the Eighties, Outrun took the Space Harrier 'Super-Scaler' technology and adapted it for use in a driving game.
Not surprisingly, the graphics amazed all who saw them, but the real innovation was the soundtrack which was based on Yu Suzuki's desire to get studio-quality music in videogames.
Innovation in the gameplay (such as decent power drift and opposing cars travelling at different speeds) coupled with sheer atmosphere made Outrun a deserved classic.
NAVIGATING THOSE TRACKS
The easiest routes to complete the game are two outermost tracks.
The two easiest routes are as follows:
Take a left out of Coconut Beach Boulevard and keep taking the left turn-offs which will take you through Gateway, Desert Drive, Wilderness Drive, and Vineyard Avenue before reaching your goal.
Take a right out of Coconut Beach Boulevard and keep taking the right-turns which will take you through Devils Canyon, Cloudy Mountain Pass, Seaside Town, and Lakeside, before reaching your goal.
THAT LOVELY MUSIC
The Outrun soundtrack has to be a collection of some of the most recognisable out of all videogame ditties. If you don't recognise the Outrun tunes, you'll be hard-pressed to convince others of your gaming knowledge.
There were four tunes in the Outrun score. These were:
Magical Sound Shower (in-game)
Splash Wave (in-game)
Passing Breeze (in-game)
Last Wave (high score board)
The Sega Sound Team recently produced some fantastic remixes of the above tracks which, if you liked the original arcade music, you will absolutely love. I am led to believe that the Japanese Sega Saturn release of Outrun featured these remixes, but you can get hold of them with relative ease as a fair few Napster users have them available for download.
Such was the popularity of Outrun, that it was converted to most major home computer and console formats including Sinclair Spectrum, Amstrad, Commodore 64, Atari ST and Amiga.
The most accurate conversion was released on the underrated Sega Saturn console. This was nigh-on arcade perfect, and a reason on its own to hunt down and pick up a second-hand machine and a copy of the game.
POINTS OF INTEREST
Depending on which finishing point you complete the game with, you are treated to a different and slightly amusing (if a little basic looking) animation sequence. Once the game ends, you enter your score as normal, but next to your final total a total laptime is also displayed.
As you go through a checkpoint, look out for a split-second graphical glitch. It's hard to notice, but it is there. This is even present on the Sega Saturn conversion which leads me to believe that the conversion may use the original arcade game ROMS.
Keep an eye out on the background featured on the high score board. You'll notice that there are a number of different background images used during a multiple gaming session.