Category Archives: Arcade

The Simpsons Bowling

A bowling game developed by Konami and released only in arcades. Here you can choose from a select amount of Simpsons characters, each with their own unique stats and ending animations.

Bowling has always been one of the main pastimes shown in the actual show and several characters have had plots involving bowling, or the location Barney’s Bowlarama, where Homer sets up a minor Bowling league, or where Marge tries to take an interest in Bowling and nearly end’s up having an affair. It would also appear in the background, Homer would occasionally be seen playing bowling.
With Bowling being a popular concept of The Simpsons, it’s inevitable they would make a game out of it.

Despite running on PlayStation-based hardware, the game was only released in arcades. It’s possible a home port was planned but was abandoned when Konami lost the Simpsons license

Gameplay

There are two types of game modes that can be selected:
Standard Game – Typical bowling mode, on default settings you can score up to 300 points across 10 frames.
Spares Game – Same as standard, but there is a money mechanic. The player needs to make the most money in order to win. The bowling pins are randomly selected and require a lot more strategy in order to win

The game has the option of a normal control scheme or an easier mode. The difference is the process of firing the bowling ball, the easy mode just requires you to spin the trackball to launch the bowling ball, whilst the normal mode requires you to press the 1P button when the icon moves in the green area, sort of like a QTE/Timing minigame. Both modes can then be chosen by the players instead of the arcade operator.

You can change your character’s starting positions, and adjust the curve on their ball with is a key component of scoring.

Cyber Cycles

Lets take Ridge Racer, but with bikes instead of cars

There are two main opponents and a couple of AI drone racers that done affect your rank. It’s best to stay away and avoid these since should you collide, you risk crashing and falling off your bike which will waste time and allow the over racers to overtake. As with all Namco AI it will cheat and rubberband to ensure they are right behind you.

The viewpoints in the game can be changed with the dedicated view change button, which also function as the select button in many of the games menus. There are three views in total, one close to the bike, one far from the bike and a first person view. Some players may control the game better with a certain viewpoint.

As with all Namco game, the game has a pretty good soundtrack and makes use of the Namco C352 sound chip

Machines

Anthias – Novice, easy to handle and maneuver but falls short in the top speed. I would use this bike for the first few game of a track to get a handle of the basics of the game.
NVR 750R – Intermediate, a good machine to master since is has a balance of handling and speed, turning gan be an issue due to the weight of the motor itself
Wild Hog – Advanced, a pain to handle but has quick acceleration. The name might be a pun on Wild Dog from Time Crisis, which was released in the same year
NVR 750RSP – Hidden
Black Anthias – Hidden
Peggy – A pengium who rides on a scooter, currently only playable via a MAME cheat

Handling in the game is determined by the size and weight of the machine you choose. This will affect the drifts which are required to get a good score in the game.

Courses

Green Hill – The beginner course and very reminiscent of the courses from Ace Driver or Ridge Racer. There’s plenty of scenery within the environment that gives an impressive amount of detail
Neo Yokohama – The more advanced course, set in a city an night with plenty of tall skyscrapers. This one has a few difficult turns to learning and mastering drifts is a must.

Other Info

Clips of the game were included in the music video for Republica – Ready To Go (Original, not the rock version), Virtua Fighter 2 is also shown

Cyber Cycles was not released for home consoles, and remained an arcade only title.

Namco offical page- Archived

Motor Raid

Road Rash meets Wipeout in a futuristic bike racing game, And another game Sega forgot to port to home consoles

Two game modes are on offer, championship and practice. Championship is the main game mode and sets the player accords different tracks. The first track is always Yendas, depending on what position the player can then will dictate which plant race track will be played next.
Other players can be attacked by pressing the punch and kick buttons. Holding down the punch button will charge the attack which will deal further damage and will knock off the rider. You can also lock an attack on another player with your weapon,
Weapons can be lost if you are attacked, or if you throw and attack it with another player.

Turbo mode can be activated by pressing the accelerate button repeatedly. This is hard to pull of when your playing on a keyboard since the game was designed for analogue controls, which makes it hard when you are playing with digital controls. If can take a couple of attempts for the game to register.
The Turbo meter in the bottom left screen will recharge after a few seconds, and the payer can activate it immediately or wait a few moments for it to charge fully, where it will have the best effect.
As with all futuristic racing gasme, techno music dominates the soundtrack and is drivern by the Sega SCSP spund trip.

The game runs on the Sega Model 2A arcade board, the same that Manx TT Superbike ran on. The games test mode allows several settings to be amended that affect the difficulty of the game, the amount of laps the player needs to race and the engine sound level. Like other Model 2 racing games, cabinets can be linked together to allow multiplayer games with other players.

Characters:

There are four characters to choose from, each with different stats which affect the gameplay.
Robin: Best grip
IO: Best attack
Gunz: Best speed
Gelia: Best acceleration
Each character has their own voice which can be heard when attacking and activating turbo mode. There is a back story for each character.

Tracks

Yendas: The first and easiest track to race on, and is basically a loop track. Placing first in championship will progress onto Junos, otherwise Ido will be the next track if 2nd or lower.
Ido: Set on a planet with a load of flying bugs (These dont affect the gameplay)
Junos: A snow/arctic planet with some tough corners
Reef 8: Lots of water in this one and has a few tight bends
Bowel: Sent on a volcanic planet, thunder can be heard in the background
Segal: A bonus track that appears when you get a good score in Champtionship mode, but can also be accessed by pressing a cheat code on the track selection screen. Rumored to be named after Stephen Segal

A lot of the environments of the track reminds me of that Sonic Saturday AM cartoon with how dystopian some of them look. If you’ve played Wipeout XL/2097 it has a very similar astethic.

Emulators

Nebula Model 2: Capable of running the game fully but is dated and has a few inaccuracies

MAME: Latest revision is capable of playing the game somewhat but has a multitide of issues, some of the texture mapping is incorrect.

Tekken 2

The sequel to the first Tekken game, released for arcades and was ported to the Sony PlayStation and eventually the Zeebo console

A lot of improvements have been made, with the graphics for the character models being improved and refinements to the character move-sets. The stage background have also been redesigned, featuring more detailed backdrops. Unlike the first Tekken, the stages don’t seem to be based off a specific location and the stage name no longer appears in the bottom right corner, rather they are inspired by a series of locations, e.g Jun’s stage is inspired by a European countryside, Lei is based off being at the top of a city skyscraper (Similar to Joe’s stage in Last Bronx) and King’s stage being set in a Church.

A removed feature is the view change option, In the first Tekken game you could change the viewing angle in the first 10 seconds of the match, now only one view is available in Tekken 2.

Characters

  • Lei: Jackie-Chan inspired cop, Namco forgot to give him a Time Crisis game
  • Jun: Greenpeace activist, and the only mainstream game she appears in (Also appears in the Tag Tournament spin offs)
  • Jack-2: Jack with with a upgraded processor
  • Baek: Tae Kwon Do fighter, similar to Hworang
  • Bruce: Muay Thai kickboxer
  • Roger: / Alex: Genetically altered animals who are capable of fighting
  • Angel: A literal Angel sent to save Kazuya’s soul

Most of the previous characters return from the previous game, except for the mysterious WildCard

Heiachi finding out he’s no longer the final boss

Arcade Version

Released in 1995 for the arcade and running on the same System 11 arcade platform as the previous game which allowed for operators to upgrade their machines by swapping out the ROM board.

There are a few versions of the arcade version, the original released and a Ver.B update that has a few game-play changes in regards to the AI behaviour. The title screen has also been amended indicating the new release.

MAME is able to run both versions of the game without any issues, although it has the imperfect graphics flag set. Zinc, a high level System 11 emulator is also capable of emulating Tekken 2, but was last updated in 2005 and its plugins are very outdated but they do enable bilinear filtering and upscaling.

Namco would later port this version to the PS2 with the release of Tekken 5, along with Tekken 1 & 3. This is not a direct port as some changes have been made. The audio from the PSone versions have been used since Namco System 11 uses its own custom sound hardware that the PS2 does not emulate. I’m also not sure if these games run on the PS2 I/O CPU, tapping into its native backwards compatibility or if Namco ported these games onto the PS2 Emotion Engine.

Zinc emulator

The Zinc emulator can be configured to apply texture filtering to reduce the blocky artifacts and enhance the overall image quality, resolution can also be increased too.

Unfortunatly where the Zinc emulator falls short is the emulation itself, suffering from various sound issues due to lack of mature Namco sound emulation. As such the music sounds out of tune and many sound elements are missing.

PlayStation

The game was ported to the PlayStation with some additional features added. The soundtrack was also revised with an arranged remix making used of the PlayStations CD audio, the arcade original music also exists and can be selected by the user.

Like the first Tekken home port, FMV endings have been added for each characters that details their backstory. Namco expanded these to have their own soundtrack, compared tot he first game where every characters would have the same music playing over the FMV.

Additional game modes have been added such as survival, training and team battle mode. Also, when pausing the game you can view the character move and command sets. These would also be carried over to future home releases of Tekken games.

Most emulators wont encounter any issues playing Tekken 2, but there are a few issues with PXGP being added. Polygons have a tendency to warp with this enabled, and the character portraits can go off model.

Zeebo

The game was ported to the Zeebo console in 2008 and was similar to the PlayStation version but with slightly improved graphics. The textures appear to be cleaned up from the PlayStation version with some filtering enabled. The music however was butchered beyond repair due to the limited ROM sizes of the game. Zeebo games were distributed over the mobile network using UMTS, which meant games had to be of a certain size in order for them to be downloaded quickly which limited the music of these game to polyphonic like sounds.

I’m also not aware of any emulators or known dumps of this version, so the only footage exists that was uploaded on Youtube.

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Nicktoons Racing

Cart base racing game featuring popular Nicktoons of the time, complete with powerups

The opening FMV, and a look at the games menu and track selection screen

The character selection screen, You can choose from:

Rugrats: Tommy & Angelica

Hey Arnold: Arnold & Helga

Wild Thornberry’s: Eliza and Darwin

Spongebob Squarepants: Sprongebob and Patrick

Other playable characters include Ickis from Ahhh Real Monsters, Ren from Ren & Stimpy, Catdog The Angry Beavers, and a Mystery Rider that is unlocked by beating the game.

Tracks

Many tracks are based upon each Nicktoon show and follow the respective art style of that show.

Many of the tracks have shortcuts, which the NPC drivers will use more on a higher difficulty level. There are also many pickups and speed boost pads spread across the track. Some tracks will branch and split into two different section which can vary in speed and difficulty, one path might be shorted but with less pickups, or might have a few tricky bends which have to be navigated.

I’m disappointed they didn’t expand on the Rugrats themed tracks, considering they already released Rugrats games previously, why not have tracks that were based off Search for Reptar? like Toy Palace, or the Mini Golf levels.

Windows

Game can be installed to the hard drive and offers a minimal or a full install, with the full install including the opening FMV and music. At the end the user is given a choice to register their copy of the game.

The PC version benefits from a higher framerate, resolution and texture quality compared to the PlayStation version.

PlayStation

The game was ported to the PlayStation in 2001 and is a straight port of the PC version, with lower resolution graphics. However this version has issues when the CD drive is played at a higher speed and can lead to the opening FMV video skipping, which can also happen with the music. When being played on Duckstation, it is recommended to use the default CD drive speeds (2X/ 300K)

The PlayStation was the only console the game was released on, and did not see a release on any sixth generation console, despite the game being released from 2000-2003

Arcade

An arcade version was released in 2003 and was an adaption of the PC version and was distributed by Chicago Gaming Company

Last Bronx

Another Sega fighting game, but with weapons

Title Screen

Set in Japan (But from the title you would assume Brooklyn, new York) the game features actual real life locations set in Japan. It was the first Sega fighting game to use motion capture footage giving the character detailed and accurate move sets compared to Virtua Fighter.

The fights typically take place in the evening or night, and most of the stages have a dark urban tone to them in contract to Virtual Fighter 2 where most stages take place in the daytime since its meant to be based on a worldwide tournament, Last Bronx has a more underground fight club like feel to it.

Stages

All characters have their own stage, but when you select their characters their personal stage is skipped until the end, where you will face Red Eye on that characters stage

Cross Street: which is complete with advertising billboards and may be based off the Tokyo/Shibuya crossing. This is the first stage for all characters, unless you choose Tommy then Tears Bridge will be the first

Tears Bridge: is set near a warehouse / cargo park near a large bridge, hence the name. At this point the game is set in the evening, and most stages thereafter have a night time ambiance to them.

Dark Rooftop: reminds me a lot of Lei Wulong’s stage in Tekken 2, as its set on top of a skyscraper helicopter pad, with many building in the background. From the sky it looks like its set in the evening sunset, but Tears bridge gives the impression it is already night time, assuming the game is intended to simulate nightfall.

Saturn Version of the brilliant room stage

Moonlight Garden: A nice stage which is a departure from the industrial urban settings, this appears to be set on a garden or a large park and is a nice departure form the other stages

Lust Subway: Which is your typical Japanese underground subway, complete with display monitors. Thankfully this isn’t set at rush hour. This will be Yoko’s stage

Nightmare Island: Set on a construction or a building site, despite the name insisting its an island, you will fight Zaimoku on this stage.

Naked Airport: Set on an airport runway and reminds me of the Shooting Hoops track from Ridge Racer Type 4 This is Yusaku’s stage

Radical Parking Lot: Kurosawa’s stage, not much to say here except its set on a moderately used parking lot.

Brilliant Room: Hidden and only available if you beat Red Eye with the lowest time

Lust Subway from the Model 2
A common occourance – Saturn Version
Survival Mode Results

Modes

Arcade: The main game mode, you choose a character and progress through 8 stages, with a bonus 9th stage if you complete the game with a new time record.

Saturn/PC mode: Similar to arcade player but features a story mode complete with cut scenes, and opponents are chosen at random

Team Battle: Pick multiple fighters who will battle

Survival Mode: You only have one life, and the health bar carries over to the next round. Objective here is to last the longest

Training Mode: A basic training mode that show the different fighting moves across the roster

Network Play: On the PC version, allows two players to play over a LAN

Character Select

There is also an extra mode in the Saturn/PC version that allows you to view unlocked FMVs

Versions

Arcade

The game was released on the Sega Model 2 arcade board, and was designed to be an upgrade for Virtua Fighter 2. This version has the best graphics, and it makes full use of the Model 2 graphics hardware which was more powerful than the Sega Saturn or common Windows PC’s of the time, in terms of 3D performance. However this version lacks FMV endings. It should be noted that the AI in this version is difficult to beat, since it was intended for the player to use multiple credits within a single play-through, you’d be surprised at how hard it is to beat on a single credit, despite using the easy settings in the games config.

This version of the game is fully playable in the Nebula Model 2 emulator, but is still unplayable in MAME as of 2021.

Most of the other screenshots captured are from the arcade version, except where noted.

Sega Saturn

Introduced a Saturn Mode which is similar to arcade mode but the opponents are randomized. This has a few changes compared to the arcade version, with the 3D background options being exchanged for sprite based background which are handled flawlessly by the Saturn’s VDP2. You will mostly notice the effect when the charicters move to an extent where the camera has to pan to follow the player. FMV videos are also present in the Saturn mode. Although they are in Japaneese, English subtitles are provided.

Most Saturn emulators will play this game, being a 3D titles it will play slowly on less powerful hardware. The Nvidia Shield struggles to play at full speed using the Yaba SanShiro emulator, and the FMV videos pixilate whilst playing. Mednafen Saturn will work the best

Microsoft Windows

A Windows PC port was released in 1998 and is very similar to the Sega Saturn version, and makes use of DirectX. Saturn game mode is renamed to PC Mode but remains the same with random opponents. The PC version supports higher resolutions then the Saturn version, and retains most graphical effects but lacks the texture quality and geometry of the arcade version.

Like most PC titles that were released in the 90s, the game is reliant on using analogue CD audio, which can cause problems on modern systems that use SATA or IDE CD drives without the CD audio line being connected. The reason is that from Windows 2000/ME on wards, Microsoft introduced digital audio for CD decoding, where audio is sent via the IDE cable itself rather then than the CD audio line. There’s no easy workaround unless you play the game in Pcem or 86box, otherwise the game will play but with no background audio or music.

I’ve not tested the game on modern Windows NT based release, but can confirm the game to be playablle using PCem or 86Box using any Windows 9x based operating system with a 3DFX or S3 based accellerator.

Daytona USA

Sega’s hit racing game and part of the new generation of 3D arcade titles. Here we are introduced to texture mapped polygons, an upgrade from the flat shaded graphics from Virtua Racing. Daytona would be in prime competition with Ridge Racer, which was released by Namco.

Tracks

Beginner: A simple track but has 40 opponent cars, this track can get crowded in places. The only track on the game that begins with a rolling start and features a pit in area. There are 8 laps to race in total, but this can be extended to 20 or 40 with the Grand prix or endurance modes.

Advanced: A regaular track but has a couple of sharp turns. ‘Lets Go Away’ is the song that plays for this track, which a portion also plays during the games attract mode. Theres a few hidden messages in this track that appears in the grass during the race.

Expert: The hardest track with frequent sharp turns and a couple of obstickles in the track, Thankfully these don’t affect your cars speed and are mostly for visual effect. Powersldiing is reccomended to get the best lap times.

The tracks would be renamed in later releases after further tracks would be added.

Modes:

These can be set in the options menu (Test mode on the arcade release)

Standard: The default option with 8 laps for the beginner track, 4 for the advanced and two for expert

Grand Prix: Addidtional laps are added which expands the game’s length, with 20 laps for the beginner, 10 for advanced and 5 for the expert. With these laps you will want to use the pit stop to replace the cars tyers.

Endurance: 80 laps for beginner mode, 40 for advanced and 20 for expert mode.

There is also a time attack mode which can be accessed by holding down the 1P Start button on the arcade version whilst choosing transmission.

Releases

Arcade

Where it all started, running on Sega’s Model 2 hardware. This was initially released in 1993, and a updated version came out in 1994 to promote the Sega Saturn version. This version also amended the HUD elements slightly. 3 tracks are present in this version and lcoal multiplayer is avalible by linking the arcade machines together. This version of the game runs at a constant 57fps and a higher resolutiob compared to the Saturn, but lower then the PC version.

Can be emulated using the Nebula Model 2 emulator, or recently MAME. However the Model 2 core is still under development and there has been some improvements to the MAME core.

Daytona USA Arcade had three releases, all of which run on the original Model 2

  • 1993 release that was exclusive to Japan
  • 1994 release that was worldwide that amended the on screen counter display
  • Sega Saturn update that added adverts for the console, for before and after the consoles release (Changeable in the games test mode the Model 2 had no RTC clock)
  • There were a couple of unofficial modifications that were done by a few third party programmers that added RPG like elements to the game, known as GTX edition and To the Maxx

The game was only compatible with the original Model 2 board.

Sega Saturn

The first version that was ported for the home market, this was a rushed port due to wanting to be a Saturn launch title and the difficultly of the Saturn’s hardware for the developers. Also, its no secret that 3D wasn’t the Saturn’s strong point, being built primarily as a 2D sprite scaling system, and Daytona USA being designed for the 3D model 2 arcade board. The music is altered in this version, taking advantage of the red-book CD audio.

There are two game modes, an arcade mode which plays the same as the arcade original, and a Saturn mode which gives the option of selecting a car. Mirror tracks are also selectable for all tracks in the game and a 60 lap endurance mode. This version has no support for multiplayer.

Sega would later release a revised version for the Sega Saturn that corrected a couple of issues that the original port recieved.

Windows

Very similar to the Saturn version, the game is designed to run on Windows 95 but features little graphics acceleration, rending entirely in software mode (on the CPU). The game uses DirectX 2 which limits it to Windows 95, although it will work on later Windows 9x releases, things start to break on more modern systems.

This release is not recommended since a better version was released a few years later, and the limited resolution and graphics settings this game offers. There’s also black bars at the top and bottom which makes it feel like I’m playing an ported PAL game, either that or they thought Daytona PC needed to be cinematic?

Comparison

Arcade version is running in the Nebula Model 2 emulator with default settings, Saturn is running the NTSC build in Retroarch Beetle Saturn, Windows is running in a PCem virtual machine running Windows Me.

Arcade

Saturn

Windows

The home versions remain very faithful to the arcade original when it comes to the menu layout

Car transmission selection

Saturn version has the worst draw distance, to the extent that some background elements don’t appear fully and look like they are floating

Only major difference being the lap time dispay, with other HUD elements remaining consistant.

Conclusion

Daytona USA would go on to become very popular in the arcades thanks to the pioneering 3D graphics technology, despite the high price of the Model 2 hardware. The home ports were not greatly recieved, with the Saturn port having a negative reception in comparision to Ridge Racer, which was also ported from the arcade to the Playstation and was considered a bettrer adaption.

Sega would later release newer home versions of Daytona USA, being the Champtionship edition which helps fix the issues of the initil Saturn port and was ported to the PC shortly after. It was released again for the Sega Dreamcast in 2001 with slightly remastered graphics.

In the arcades, Sega would follow up with Daytona USA 2, being a showcase for the Model 3 platform.

Tekken

The game that put the PlayStation on the map for fighting games.

Select Screen, with the mysterious Wild Card fighter

Plot

So the backstory is, Heihachi Michima throws his kid (Kazuya) off a volcano as a test to see his sons strength as a test to see if he is a worthy successor for the Mishima Ziabatsu corporation. Kazaya (who is 5 years old at the time) nearly dies but makes a deal with the devil. He swears revenge on Hitachi for throwing him off the volcano and enters the iron fist tournament. Clearly this family feud was beyond Jerry Springer…
There also a bunch of other fighters who enter the tournament for money or to prove themselves, including a robot and a bear.

Gameplay

Each character corresponds to the face buttons on the PlayStation controller, with two buttons being assigned to the left/right hands of the playable character, with the X and O buttons for the left/right which can be used to issue kicks to the opponent. Guarding is done by holding the left, or right depending on where your character is facing the opponent. Some moves cannot be guarded against.

During the first 9 seconds of the fight, you can press the select button to switch between different views (1P Start on the Arcade version)

Arcade mode consists of nine stages, for the first seven stages these are opponents picked at random, on the eighth round you will fight against a rival, depending on the character chosen. The 9th round puts you against Heihachi, and after winning the match the end credits will play. The arcade version runs through a montage of KO replays for each round, whereas the home version will show the characters ending FMV.


Tekken featured different fighting game stages that are based on different real world locations, and each location has their own background theme.

Characters

Nina Williams: An assassin. Rival is sister Anna Williams
• Michelle Chang
Paul Phoenix: A biker who has a killer fist, also a judo expert
Wang Jinrei: Standard old guy who is an expert in Marshall arts
Yoshimitsu: The Ninja
Prototype Jack: A robot who is slightly altered from the regular Jack
Marshall Law: Bruce Lee who can’t keep his mouth closed
Lee Chaolan: Step-brother to Kazuya
Kunimitsu: A kleptomaniac Ninja, rival to Michelle who she stole a pendant from
Kuma: A bear
King: Mexican Catholic wrestler who has a head of a Lion/Tiger for a mask
Kazuya Mishima: Seeks revenge against his dad for throwing him off a volcano,
Jack: A robot cyborg
Anna Williams: Sister to Nina Williams
Armour King: Rival of King
Ganryu: Plus sized Sumo wrestler
Heihachi Mishima: The final boss of the game

All characters have an alternative costume that can be selected by pressing Triangle/Square, instead of X or O. There is also Devil, who is Kazuya but serves as the final boss of the game. He can be unlocked and become playable character by completing the Galaga mini-game at the start with a perfect score.

There is also an unused charicter that exists, known as Wildcard. Believed to be Kazuya’s long lost twin, he grew up and was raised by Yoshimitsu who adopted him into the Manji clan where he learnt how to fight. He entered the iron fist tournament to reunite with his family, but after learning of the devil gene and Kazuya’s heart of darkness, Wildcard left and was never to be seen again.

Versions

Arcade: The arcade version runs on the PlayStation based Namco System 11 board, which is very similar but with a different sound processor, the Namco C76 and C352 which was also used on their System 22 arcade board. This version only allows a limited amount of characters to be selected and playable compared to the home PlayStation release.

PlayStation: Released 1 year after the launch of the PlayStation, this version included FMV based endings for each of the character which explains the back story. Like other Tekken games, the home version has a revised soundtrack, but has the option for the arcade original soundtrack also.
The home release of Tekken 5 features an arcade version of the first Tekken game, which looks and play exactly like the actual arcade release, no improved textures or effects. I’m not sure if these are ports for the PS2 hardware or if they’re tapping into the PS2 PlayStation backwards compatibility.

Other Differences

The only other noticeable difference is the question mark animation spins on the arcades character select screen, whilst it is static on the home release. An animation also plays when a character is selected on the arcade, but does not display on the PlayStation.
On the stadium stage, a screen can be seen in the background that shows a copy of both characters fighting, the arcade has a static texture in place of this. The stage name is also different, referred to as Marine Stadium in the arcade, and Stadium in the console version.


In Monument Valley, the sun sets in very round for the arcade version, but in the console version the sun sets only one, and stays down for each round

These differences may be due to the arcade version having a larger amount of VRAAM compared to the PlayStation version, 2MB vs 1MB. However the main system RAM remains the same (2MB), along with the main CPU and the GTE (33.8Mhz, although MAME shows this to run at 67Mhz since the PSX CPU divide the incoming clock signal by half, so its still running at 33.8)

Originally Tekken was known as RAVE WAR which appears on a couple of Ridge Racer cars on both the arcade and PlayStation. Also to note the game was originally in development for Namco System 22, which Ridge Racer and Time Crisis had run on.

Rave War – Unseen64

California Speed

Released in the arcades in 1998 and the ported to the Nintendo 64, here you are racing across various locations across the sunny state which range from cities to the beach. Many of the tracks are quite wacky, with you racing up the rails of the golden gate bridge, in a spaceship, a volcano or inside a trippy computer, in a way it feels like a roller coaster ride, of which there is a track where you can drive on a roller coaster.
The game has various similarities with other Midway or Atari racing games like Rush or the Crusin games, which were also on the Nintendo 64 and plays like an arcade racing game, back in a time when this sort of racing game was popular before they all degenerated into racing sims.

There’s a good selection of cars which feature different stats like the handling, acceleration and speed. The N64 version allows you so alter the cards slightly by changing the colour hue, and the engine whilst they are fixed on the Arcade version. There’s a good verity of vehicles from muscle cars, pickup trucks to golf carts and sports cars.
Music is pretty good using its own soundtrack inspired by various genres that were popular towards the end of the 90s, with grunge and progressive style rock tracks to techno and house, with a folk inspired track on the farm course.
Like Crusin USA there are opponent cars and AI oncoming traffic which you have to avoid.

Arcade

The arcade version is using the 3DFX graphics processor paired with the MIPS R5000 CPU which Atari were proud of as it is present on the billboards plastered throughout the track. You can even see the 3DFX chip towards the final stage of the Silicon Valley track, since 3DFX were based in California.

The arcade mode features a single race or a Do The State mode which takes you though all the tracks

This is one of the few arcade games that runs off a hard disk, thus required a separate CHD file in order for it to run in MAME. Hard disks gave advantages compared to the CD_ROM drive as they were still able to offer a lager storage capacity and faster loading times, important for arcade games since the user does not want to wait for the game to load. Typically most arcade game uses surface mount ROM chips that stored the game data. Multiple versions of the game exist, this is version 2.1a of the game.

The arcade version of the game runs on a MIPS based CPU paired with the 3DFX graphics accelerator. You can race in a similar fashion to Cruis’n USA with ‘Do the state’ – in this mode you complete a series of races

The arcade version is also uncensored, as you are able to hit people in the mall (this can be an optional settings within the games setup mode) hitting them just causes them to scream and bound away down the track in a comedic fashion.

Nintendo 64

This was a conversion of the arcade version, and there are some differences in the presentation of the game.
Graphics have had a noticeable reduction with lower resolution textures being used in place of the detailed ones used in the arcade, the environment has also been changed slightly with the N64 having less items in the background. However the N64 does have its trademark fog effects to cover the draw distance which leaves the impression your racing on a foggy autumn day, whilst the arcade is set in the summer and has nice backdrops and sky textures
This version is also censored, as in the mall track its possible to run over the shoppers in the arcade version, but they don’t exist on the N64 version, this isn’t violent as you don’t see any blood or guts, in fact it looks like there bouncing around the mall when your call collides with them. Another change was the bikini girls that appears at the start and end of the race.
The most noticeable change is the music, with everything being converted to MIDI instead of using the Midway Sound System on the arcade
Sadly the game was only released in NTSC regions, A PAL version of the game exists and the Rom is fully playable in both emulators and an actual PAL N64 but was cancelled close to release. It even has support for five common languages in Europe (German, Spanish, Italian & French)
The gameplay itself its slightly different with different cups being offers which offer a series of racers (around 6) to complete. Like the arcade, ‘Do The State’ mode exits which takes you through all the tracks in the game.

As mentioned in the arcade version, some elements of the game have been removed, most notably are the track/trophy girls that appear when you win a race and the removal of people in the mall track.

The game was officially released for NTSC (America) regions, a PAL version was planned and a ROM of it exists but was never released to market, until now.

Comparison

Arcade

Nintendo 64

Start screen, the arcade version had an attract sequence, whilst the N64 version shows a static screen that cuts to a demo sequence

Winning a race on the arcade version causes a group of bikini clad girls to appear to celebrate your win, which don’t appear on the N64 version. On the arcade version, the effect looks creepy because they sometime appear when you can is still moving and since they follow the car, it looks like they are moving at 30mph whilst standing still…

The track selection screen, the arcade version looks similar to the crusinUSA screen. The N64 version is split into different series of racing, known as Light, Sport. Each series has 5 tracks to race accross different weeks, which unlocks cars.

The LSD tunnel in San Francisco track

The start lady appears when the race begins for the arcade version, she does not appear in the N64 version

Entrance to the LSD tunnel, building resembles a workstation PC of the era. Although the front looks more like a PC speaker

Tree are much more detailed in the arcade version

The pier section, just before the rollercoaster part

Inside the LSD building which also simulates parts of a computer, you can see the 3DFX chip in the arcade version, and the Nintendo/SGI chip for the N64

Drving on the rollercoaster, the arcade version has a better draw distance with the sky being visible, the N64 is fogged out

Rave Racer

The third arcade instalment of the Ridge Racer series, and the first actual sequel/spin-off, since Ridge Racer 2 was mostly the same as the original except for the revised soundtrack, a revised HUD and multiplayer support.

The music has also been revised with some completely new tracks covering techno/house and electronica genres, and some familiar ones – rare hero returns as a remix. Sadly this gets ruined by the two race announcers who insist on polluting the sound-waves with their rambling takes. The first one is a female sounding voice who is supposed to be the main announcer and has a tendency to repeat the same lies constantly (Go GO GOO This race is yours!!!) She also voices the attract screen. The second announcer is a male voice who seems to be one of the rival cars.

Emulation

Vivanonno

The original emulator for the game that was released in 2002, now has been eclipsed by MAME. Vivanonno could emulate most of the effects but has issues with the car shadows which can dissapear. Like Ridge Racer 2 however, there are a few geometry inaccuracies.

Texture Filtering

Left has filtering disabled and is how it would have appeared on the actual system, right has filtering enabled.

Other

Cars are slightly sunk into the track, but lift up when the race starts

Nintendo 64 Version?

Possible leaked build of the game running on the N64?

Its just the Vivanonno version with the texture reduction set to the highest option, but if it did come to the N64 it may have looked soomething like this.

Mjolnir

This was a fork of MAME and had the goal of emulating the Namco System 22/21 games with hardware acceleration. This had the benefit of better emulation performace since the graphics processing was offloaded onto the GPU.

Sadly Mjolnir was abandoned and the latest build is based off a very old version of MAME, which means System 22 emulation is very primitive and many graphics issues are present with the emulation being incomplete. As a result its difficult to play givern the graphics issues with this build. Also it uses an older ROM set which makes it incompatable with the currernt MAME sets.

More Information

A fork of MAME now allows for link play with selected System 22 games. Unfortunately it is far from perect and only seems to work with only 2 players reliably.

Track selection screen with link play enabled

Meanwhile other linked machines will advertise that they are able to join in, the top two are displayed on the idle machines whilst the bottom is displayed on the machine that initated the link paly.

Left: the test mode configuration. Each machine needs to have a unique car colour and CPU number, which allows each machine to identify each toher. On the right the attract screen when link play is detected

A two player game from both players view. The time is different on both machines because the right has the difficulty settings set to easy mode (H). Seems each machine can have their own independant game configuration. Infact you can have one machine set to complete three laps, whilst the other has to complete five, which does not seem fair. Perhaps Namco would assume the operator had to ensure all systems had the same configurations set?

One has 3 laps, the other has 5. Also both are marked as lap leader

Whilst its possible for two players to play this way, when trying to play with four players there seems to be a few issues. I would assume System 22 networking works on the basis it transmits network packets in a broadcast fashion, like UDP. When playing a ‘four’ player game it seemed that one machine was sending data to one machine, whilst receiving data from another which caused some interesting effects with the map display. Despite setting each machines IP address (emulated through MAME instance, the arcade board has no TCP/IP support) to be unique. It works on some sort of token ring like topology where one machine recieves data and then sends it on a different physical port to another machine, basically every machine has an input and output.

Its also possible that this is due to the early emulation, and may be improved in later releases.

More Information

Boundary Break

Namco always put a lot of detail into the track environments of their Ridge Racer games, and there are many references to their other arcade and console titles via the use of track billboards or building signs. A lot of this detail gets missed do to how fast paced the game is, and the arcade nature of the game. Many players are not going to stop and admire the buildings close up, which is where MAME and the no-collision cheats comes in.

Once nice detail that gets over looked, in the demo attract sequence, you can see the brake discs heat up as they are applied!

Novice Track

This is the same novice track from the first Ridge Racer game, but has updated textures which give it a more detailed look. Some buildings have been altered but the layout of the track remains the same.

The crowd looks different compared to the Ridge Racer version.

The end of the alternative tunnel path, which is normally blocked off and inaccessible. Seems to lead into the abyss…

Outside of the bridge in the first segment of the track

Closer view of the shops,

Getting a closer view of the shops near the beach

Driving in the grass, the peds here are unanimated

Hotel Ghost?

Out of the track and a view of the tower in the background, unfortunately we cannot drive to it since it disappears

Laperopter?

Building that reads Nyanta Nyanta, unsure what that means

On the novice track there is a section that is blocked off, which leads to a track on the Advanced course, driving past here just leads to a empty void, since the world here isn’t populated

Another view from a out of bounds perspective

Namco advertising their TR3 chipset that was Co-developed by Evans&Sutherland. Billboard reads Texture mapping Real-Time Real-Visual rendering system

An advert for that other fighting game Namco is known for

Driving on the sea, a closer look at the boats

City

A new track that was previously exclusive to Rave Racer but has since reappeared in the PSP version of Ridge Racer, This one is set in a more urban environment with a rolling highway.

At the start of the track you can turn around 180 degrees and drive through a highway, you can do this without the use of cheats. You can drive until you reach a tunnel, where the game teleports you back out of the tunnel at a higher speed.

A no-clip like view of the world

A look at the city, and a Pac&Pal store

Another system 22 advert, namco were really pround to show their arcade technology off

Another TR3 billboard

Mappy.png

I don’t know if the transparency was intentional or they just forgot

Another noclip like view, except im nearly colliding with a helicopter. Theres no collision data so your car just clips right through the heli

View of the stadium, where LiberoGrande takes place

Mountain

An alternative view of the mountain track, which normally cannot be seen within the game

Carefull…

I later learnt that this is an invisible wall, but when your collides with it at a certain speed the game teleports you to the bottom section, Driving into it at 10mph would just cause the car to bounce back to the track.

Some sort of casino??

Roadside Sign

A gas station for when you need to refill your car, although this inst a game mechanic, cars in Ridge Racer do not have fuel

Who’s that?

Cup Ball, some sort of bowling center?

Buildings have no rendering data at the back of them, so the textures just disappear

Same Laperopter building in the first track

Better view of the spooky hotel ghost, seems Namco recycled building models to conserve ROM space

Going up the ramp, however the car clips through it

These tracks would remain exclusive to the arcade, and would not appear in any console version until the PSP version of Ridge Racer, I wonder what changes were made and if any buildings were kept?

Other Information

Rave Racer Fan Site (Archived)

Namco Rave Racer (Archived)