Title: Out Run

Manufacturer: Sega

Year: 1986


Main Processors: 2xMC68000 (16-bit; 12 MHz)

Sound Hardware: Z80 (8-bit; 4 MHz); YM2151



The player drives a red Ferrari across 5 stages (from a total choice of fifteen) in the USA.


by Warlock

This was a ground breaking game back in 1986 that trully set a new standard for driving games, everyone wanted to drive the red Ferrari with wind blowing in their hair, in the ocean drive, with a sunny california-like scenery.

The revolutionary graphics were made possible by state of the art, highly expensive hardware. The Out Run arcade machine was powered by two MC68000 processors running at 12 MHz each and a graphic chip that included hardware sprite zooming capabilities. Out Run was probably the most powerfull and expensive arcade machine in 1986, it would be the equivalent of today's Airline Pilots that runs on four Naomi arcade boards.

Out Run was ported to a large number of home systems, but at the time no home system was capable of reproducing the original arcade graphics, as their hardware was very week in comparison, the Commodore Amiga and Sega Genesis/MegaDrive did not have hardware sprite zooming capabilities and only had one MC68000 processor, it was only in late 1992 that the MegaCD/SegaCD appeared with hardware similar to the 1986 Out Run arcade machine, but six years later it was allready too late for a home conversion, for Out Run was allready a classic like Pac Man, just another game from a distant past.

Regarding the game itself there isn't much to describe, it's a very simple game and the screenshots speak for themselves. It's often mentioned that Out Run may have been the first driving game to feature hills simulation, but this is a risky statement, without knowing the release month of Wec LeMans 24, wich is another 1986 driving game to possess the same feature. Out Run is a very hard game, even when the machine dipswitches are set to easy, there are no continues and making even one single mistake (crashing) throughout the game, may make it impossible to finish it. During the race, there are four occasions where the player can choose the next stage, this makes for five possible endings (if you make it that far without cheating, as I seriously doubt).


Emulation Status

Emulators: SYSTEM16; MAME

Playable: Yes

Sound: Yes


Benchmark system I: Intel Celeron - 433 MHz; S3 GX2 4 Mb AGP Videocard; Soundblaster 16; Win98; System16 v0.80

Benchmark results I: 60 fps with vsync on, no frameskip; full screen interlaced mode


Benchmark system II: Intel Celeron - 433 MHz; S3 GX2 4 Mb AGP Videocard; Soundblaster 16; Win98; MAMEi686 v0.37b1

Benchmark results II: 41 fps with vsync off, triplebuffer on; no frameskip; full screen interlaced mode


System16 estimated processor speed requirements for near perfect emulation: Pentium II running at 333 MHz (can be run on a Pentium 200 MMX with vsync off).

MAME estimated processor speed requirements for near perfect emulation: Intel Celeron running at 633 MHz or equivalent. Also, it was reported by Marco, to run at a sustained 60 fps on a PII-450 MHz under a windows DOS box. (In MAME, PII performance is usually superior to that of a Celeron, it depends on the game)



Screenshots from MAME emulator

outrun-01.png (16625 bytes) outrun-15.png (7671 bytes)

outrun-20.png (10845 bytes) outrun-19.png (11210 bytes)

outrun-02.png (11674 bytes) outrun-04.png (9713 bytes)

outrun-14.png (9549 bytes) outrun-11.png (12579 bytes)

outrun-07.png (13279 bytes) outrun-16.png (14856 bytes)

outrun-24.png (9975 bytes) outrun-17.png (7564 bytes)

Back to main page