Retro Vault is our regular weekly feature in which we dive into gaming's past and share five classic nuggets of retro nostalgia. If you missed the last Retro Vault you can read it here.
September 1986 - Out Run map
In 1985, Sega released Hang-On and Space Harrier in arcades. Although each was very different - the former a motorbike racing game, the latter an on-rails shooter - both had one thing in common, Sega's Super-Scale technology. This allowed many large sprites to be scaled at once, giving the players the illusion that they were coming towards them.
After both Hang-On and Space Harrier were successful in arcades, Sega decided to release another Super-Scale game, Out Run. The game was described by creator Yu Suzuki as "a driving game", as opposed to a racing game, and sees players speeding through varied landscapes in a Ferrari while accompanied by a lady friend.
Originally Out Run was to be based on the movie The Cannonball Run, in which numerous teams race across America, but Suzuki soon realised the scenery wasn't varied enough and decided to set the game in Europe instead. He set off to Frankfurt, rented a car, attached a video camera to it and drove through Monaco, Monte Carlo, Switzerland, Milan, Venice, and Rome for a fortnight collecting data.
Out Run was memorable for many things, including its special sit-down cabinet shaped like a car (a unique idea at the time), but its music by composer Hiroshi Miyauchi holds an extra special place in the heart of many retro gamers. There aren't many games whose music is so memorable that the individual tracks are known by gamers, but Magical Sound Shower, Passing Breeze and Splash Wave are the exceptions to that rule.
Out Run won the Arcade-Style Game Of The Year and overall Game Of The Year awards at the 1988 CVG Golden Joystick Awards. You see, we've always known our stuff.