Famicom Grand Prix

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Box art for Famicom Grand Prix: F1 Race.
"Famicom Grand Prix: F1 Race" and "Famicom Grand Prix II: 3D Hot Rally" redirect here. For the first game in the Mario Kart series, see Super Mario Kart.

Famicom Grand Prix (ファミコングランプリ?) is the title of two racing games released by Nintendo for the Family Computer Disk System in Japan only. The first installment was Famicom Grand Prix: F1 Race (ファミコングランプリ F1レース?), released on October 30, 1987, which was followed by Famicom Grand Prix II: 3D Hot Rally (ファミコングランプリII 3Dホットラリー?), released on April 14, 1988. Both games were released in special blue-colored Disk Cards, which supported Nintendo's Disk Fax peripheral, allowing players to send their time trial scores to Nintendo for the chance to win prizes.

Famicom Grand Prix: F1 Race[edit]

F1 Race is a top-down racing game where the player controls a Formula 1 car. The player can either choose to play alone, or with other cars. The cars have a certain amount of health, tire life and fuel, which can decrease if the player crashes into a wall, crashes into another car, or drives off the road. Health, tires and fuel can be regenerated if the player takes a pit-stop, but doing so takes away racing time. Winning races during the Grand Prix mode will award the player with money, which can be used to buy new cars.[1]

Vehicles[edit]

There are a total of 24 cars available in F1 Race, each with its own price and performance specifications. The most powerful car in the game costs $50,000,000. The tire performances of a car is determined by its color, which goes from blue (worst) to yellow to red (best). Moreover, a green-colored car indicates that it has wet tires. The player can own up to three vehicles and can choose between any of them prior to starting a race. The player has three gauge indicators that shows the vehicle's conditions through the course of the race: the body gauge will decrease whenever the player's vehicles collides with a hazard such as another vehicle or the guardrail next to the track; the tire gauge decreases based on how hard the player steers their vehicle; and the gas gauge gradually decreases over the course of the race and faster when the player uses a turbo boost. The player will lose their car if it becomes too badly damaged and the game will end if all three vehicles are lost.

Steering method[edit]

A key feature of F1 Race involves the method in which the player steers their vehicle. The player steers the vehicle from its perspective, rather than from the player's perspective. Pushing right on the d-pad will steer the vehicle clockwise, while pushing left steers it counterclockwise. Pushing left or right once will steer the vehicle to a 22.5 degree angle, while pushing either twice will steer it to a 45 degrees. The player can hold down the d-pad to steer even quicker as well, however this can result in oversteering if the player is not careful.

Pit[edit]

The player can restore their vehicle to top shape by entering the pit stop before passing the finish line. The player can restore their car faster by tapping the A button while the crewmen are repairing the vehicle.

Famicom Grand Prix II: 3D Hot Rally[edit]

3D Hot Rally is a rear-view rally racing game where the objective is to complete each course within the given time limit. The player can choose between three possible courses, as well as three possible cars, each with its own unique characteristic. The game supports the Famicom 3D System, allowing the player to see the screen in three-dimensions by wearing a specialized set of goggles. Like in F1 Race, 3D Hot Rally supports the Disk Fax peripheral, which allowed players to send their time trial scores to Nintendo for the chance to win prizes. This was the final game to support the blue Disk Card format.

The second game's composers are Soyo Oka, Hiroaki Suga, and Hideki Kanazashi. Nintendo designed and programmed Famicom Grand Prix II: 3D Hot Rally with auxiliary program support from HAL Laboratory. The game was one of the dozens that Nintendo and HAL Laboratory developed in conjunction for the Disk System.[1][2]

Hot Dash[edit]

Located above the player's speed meter is a "Hot" indicator which is represented by eight exclamation marks, which can be filled up by picking up exclamation mark-shaped symbols with the letter "H" along the road. When the player picks up eight hot marks, the player can accelerate their vehicle to a top speed of 300 km/h without slipping off the road for a period of 15 seconds. This can help the player reach the next checkpoint or the goal more quickly.

Endurance[edit]

Below the player's speed meter is a damage indicator which will deplete every time the player's vehicle collides with another vehicle or a hazard. When the damage indicator is fully depleted, the game will end. To avoid this, the player can pause the game and select "repair" from the sub-menu to restore the character completely; however, the more damage the vehicle has taken, the longer the repairs will take (the player can speed up the process by pressing either button). The game can also be set so that the player's vehicle will be repaired automatically after passing through certain "repair points".

Vehicles[edit]

There are three different kinds of vehicles in the game, each with its own performance specification.

  • Kattobi (カットビ?) - A sports car-type vehicle for experts. It has the fastest acceleration rate of the three vehicles, but it performs poorly on bad roads.
  • Yonque (ヨンク?) - A 4WD-type vehicle for novices. Its abilities are stable and balanced.
  • Monster (モンスター?) - A baja bug-type vehicle for intermediate players. It has the slowest speed, which is balanced against its high durability, especially off-road.

Characters[edit]

Mario plays the role of the vehicle's driver, while Luigi serves as his navigator.[2] Although both brothers are shown prominently on the game's cover (making this the first game in Japan to depict Luigi in his taller and slimmer design), they only appear during the game when they get out of their vehicle either to repair it or after they successfully cross the finish line.

Ending Credits[edit]

Unlike the first game, 3D Hot Rally has credits at the end of the game. To beat the game, the player must beat all three courses with all three cars. Then after saving the game, they are treated to a side view of their car driving down the road with a staff roll.

Related releases[edit]

On July 25, 1988, an official music album of the game was released. It contains every music track from the game with realistic vehicle sound effects, plus arranged versions of three songs from the game.

One of the three vehicles that Mario and Luigi drive in this game, Monster (as seen on the front cover), also appears in Super Smash Bros. Melee as one of the Trophies. The title screen music from the game was arranged by Kentaro Ishizaka and was added to the Wii game Super Smash Bros. Brawl as one of the unlockable songs for the Mario Kart stage, Mario Circuit. Monster also appears in the same game as a sticker. In Mario Kart Wii, a Kart based on Monster (named the Tiny Titan or Rally Romper, depending on region) may be unlocked. It is special for its high off-road stat.

References[edit]

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