F-1 Spirit (series)
|This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia. (August 2011)|
F-1 Spirit: The Way To Formula-1 
|F-1 Spirit: The Way To Formula-1|
Japanese cover art
F-1 Spirit: The Way To Formula-1 (F1スピリット THE WAY TO FORMULA-1) is a top down Formula One Racing game, developed and published by Konami, which was released for the MSX in Japan and Europe in 1987. The game engine is very similar to Konami's Road Fighter. It also features Konami's custom sound chip called Konami SCC (a five-channel chip that compliments the three-channel PSG chip of the MSX computer system, or in other words, a sound custom chip that brings five voices more to the three voices of the PSG sound chip on the system), and great MSX1 graphics to go with it. It was one of the first ROM on MSX with this sound feature. Together with its "3D" spinoff (F-1 Spirit: 3D Special), F-1 Spirit: The Way To Formula-1 was the most extended racing game Konami released for the MSX. The music of the game captures the atmosphere of racing quite nicely.
This third-person racing game features many different types of cars. Everything starts with stock cars, moving up to rally cars and Formula 3. The main goal is to finish at first place with Formula 1, the king class of racing. There are six types of races: Stock race, Rally, F3 race, F3000 race, Endurance race, and finally F1 races (16 tracks). Initially, the player can only race in the stock, rally and F3 races. As the player win races, he will accumulate points that will allow him to play new races. If the player finish a race at first place he will receive nine points. He get eight points if he finishes second, etc. If the player finish 10th or later, he will not score any points. There are 16 different tracks for F1 cars. As the player win races, he will be able to play more tracks in the F1 car category. To complete the game, you have to win all of the 16 F1 tracks. There's a grand total of 21 tracks. The first races are the easiest: the cars are slow and the enemies do not drive very well. But as the player classify for new tracks the difficulty will increase: F1 cars are insanely fast and you will need a great agility to win in F1 tracks. Even though they look impossible to control at first, with some practice you can master the Formula 1 cars and win races. And if that's not enough, you can always show off your skills in multi player mode.
The difficulty level can be set, the race track selected and the number of laps is variable. The field includes ready made and custom made cars (the player can select engine, tires, suspension). Avoiding the slower cars the player come up to lap can be crucial. During a race, you can bump into other cars and into the side boards and other obstacles. This will damage your car. In every track, there is a pit lane (labeled with the letters "PIT") where you can fuel up and repair your car. Top speed will decrease if the engine is damaged. This will make you lose time in every lap. When you are in the PIT STOP you can hold down the DOWN key to speed up car repairs. Fuel intake will be slower, though. The fuel consumption is determined by the RPM meter (as in real cars). Your car only consumes fuel when you accelerate. F1 tracks cannot be won at the first race unless you are an ace driver. To win an F1 race, try to memorize each curve and play each race several times to know where to brake and where to accelerate.
A-1 Spirit: The Way To Formula-1 
F-1 Spirit: The Way To Formula-1 is also available as A-1 Spirit: The Way To Formula-1, the only difference is that it features futuristic vehicles (similar to space ships or F-Zero alike) instead of racing cars, and different password, for example "PANASONIC" to see the ending demo. Also some bugs were fixed. It was released bundling with a joystick called "Joy Handle" from PAP (Pana Amusement Production).
F-1 Spirit: The Way To Formula-1 (The Remake) 
A non-official (unlicensed by Konami) remake of F-1 Spirit: The Way To Formula-1 was created in 2004 by a group of fans and enthusiasts, to participate in the 2004 Retro Remakes competition. The game remake has the following improvements over the original: improved graphics and music, more realistic physics, camera rotation, camera zoom, highscore table, multiplayer up to 4 players on 1 computer with split screen, nice graphical effects, replay saving, on-line highscore tables, redrawn of all custom car parts, rain effect and much more. The development team ("Brain Games") is still working on it, adding more features like graphical effects, more and better music and graphics, and maybe even network play in the future. The remake is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux computers. Binary versions for both Windows and OSX are provided, for Ubuntu/Debian the players can download a .deb file. For Linux or other OSes the player can find the source code for the game in the last download.
F-1 Spirit: 3D Special 
|F-1 Spirit: 3D Special|
|Media/distribution||2DD Floppy disk|
In 1988 Konami released a Japan-exclusive special edition of F-1 Spirit, an 3D version of the game entitled F-1 Spirit: 3D Special (Ｆ１スピリット３Ｄスペシャル). As the title says, the game shifted from a top-down view racing game to a 3D polygon-based simulation-style racing game. It features a bird-eye perspective like the player are used to from video games like Out Run. This 3D racing game features Formula 1 cars and circuits. Besides F1 grand prix championship racing the players can also choose to practice a specific race track. There is a two player mode, called the battle mode. The difficulty level can be set, and the number of laps is variable and the players can select the F1 race track they want to race. Cars are custom made (the body of the car, the engine, the tires, the suspension, the brakes, the gear and the wings can be all selected).
It was released on two floppy disks and it's the only game Konami ever developed for the MSX2+ platform. This game featured a special cable which allowed two MSX2+ computers to be linked via the second joystick port. This cable was sold separately under the name JE700 Multiplayer Link Cable, and it was also reverse-engineered by some enthusiasts for use in other games.
However, what makes this game special is that it uses MSX-Music (perhaps better known as the "FMPac") sound chip. This is the only game in which Konami used that particular sound chip; other Konami games with enhanced music use Konami's own SCC sound chip. Even games distributed on floppy disk were often accompanied by a SCC ROM cartridge, like Snatcher and SD Snatcher. The music sounds so unlike Konami, it has an 'Out Run sound' to it. The original music was composed by Goro Kin (supposedly a pseudonym). The game makes use of MSX-Music (FM-Pac), the Yamaha YM2413 OPLL sound chip, originally sold separately or built-in in various models of the MSX2+ and MSX Turbo-R computers. On top of the standard three-channel PSG sound of the MSX, this chip adds either nine FM channels or six FM channels and five (simultaneous) drum sounds. The game soundtrack of F-1 Spirit: The Way To Formula-1 and F-1 Spirit: 3D Special was released on May 21, 1989 by King Records exclusively in Japan.
F-1 Spirit (Game Boy) 
World Circuit Series
The Spirit of F-1
Japanese cover art
|Genre(s)||Formula One racing|
Multiplayer (up to two players)
F-1 Spirit (F1スピリット (エフワンスピリット)) - known in North America as "World Circuit Series" and in Europe as "The Spirit of F-1" - was also released for the Game Boy handheld in 1991. It is a top-viewed racing game and the players can compete in Formula 3, Formula 3000 and Formula 1.
F-1 Spirit is the first portable version of Konami's classic MSX top-down racer. It features three classes of open-wheel cars (which dub as difficulty levels), three game modes (practice, single race and championship) and 25 different tracks all around the world, with some of them only playable on the according championship, from the Japanese Formula 3, Japanese Formula 3000 to the Formula One World Championship. On each class, tracks become longer (forcing pit stops), cars faster, and turns change from simple, low angle corners which require no more than a slight trajectory to elbow corners which require some skill to turn without losing speed.
Controls are simple, with the directional button steering the car and the B button used to throttle the car and A to change between high and low gear.
- F-1 Spirit at Japanese wikipedia
- F-1 Spirit - The way to Formula-1 (Sega Master System) at GameFAQs
- F-1 Spirit - The way to Formula-1 (Japanese)
- A-1 Spirit: The Way To Formula-1 at MSXnet.org
- A-1 Spirit: The Way To Formula-1 at GameFAQs
- A-1 Spirit: The Way To Formula-1 at Generation-MSX
- F-1 Spirit: 3D Special at GameFAQs
- F-1 Spirit: 3D Special at Generation-MSX
- F-1 Spirit/World Circuit Series/The Spirit of F-1 at GameFAQs
- F-1 Spirit - Square Enix music online
- Remake of the F-1 Spirit: The Way To Formula-1
- Retro Remakes: Classic gaming for the next generation
- Konami MSX games
See also 
- Road Fighter - the first car racing game from Konami
- F-1 Sensation
- F1 Circus (series)
- F-1 Grand Prix (video game series)
- Battle Grand Prix
- Top Gear (video game)
- Zero4 Champ series
- Ayrton Senna Kart Duel (series)