Super Monaco GP

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Super Monaco GP
Super Monaco GP
Cover art
Developer(s) Sega
Publisher(s) Sega (arcade & consoles)
U.S. Gold (computers)[1]
Designer(s) Kaki
Platform(s) Arcade, Mega Drive/Genesis, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Game Gear, Master System, ZX Spectrum
Release date(s) Arcade
May 1989[2] (X Board)[3]
1990 (Mega-Tech)[4]
Mega Drive/Genesis
  • JP August 9, 1990
  • NA September, 1990
  • EU January 4, 1991
Master System Game Gear
  • JP October 6, 1990
  • NA April 26, 1991
  • EU April 26, 1991
Genre(s) First-person racing
Racing simulation[6][7][8]
Mode(s) Single-player
Arcade system Sega X Board,
Sega Mega-Tech

Super Monaco GP (スーパーモナコGP) is a Formula One racing simulation video game released by Sega, originally as a Sega X Board arcade game in 1989,[3] followed by ports for multiple video game consoles and home computers in the early 1990s. It is the sequel to the 1979 arcade game Monaco GP.

The arcade game consists mostly of one race: the Grand Prix of Monaco (though represented by a totally different track, albeit with the same features of the real-life Circuit de Monaco). The player simply chooses a transmission type, qualifies, and race. The player must qualify in under 45 seconds in the shortened track in order to actually race. If he fails, the game ends (though, in the home versions, even if the player fails to qualify, he still starts off the race at the last position). When in the race itself, there is also a position limit, which starts off on 20th (15th in the home versions) and decreases as the player bypasses checkpoints along the track, ultimately stopping on 3rd. If the player falls behind the indicated position and does not manage to recover fast enough, a game over happens.

The game was one of the first games to include a rear-view mirror,[citation needed] along with Winning Run. The Sega Mega Drive/Genesis version of Super Monaco GP adds a World Championship mode. In the World Championship mode, the goal is to win a season of races, and then go on to defend the title. The circuits are modeled on the ones used in the 1989 Formula One season, with background scenery similar to the real-world circuit venues, though without the wealth of details the Arcade version had. This Mega Drive/Genesis version was also released in arcades for the Sega Mega-Tech system board in 1990.[4]

World Championship Mode[edit]

The world championship mode starts with a relatively slow car in the team Minarae. Drivers are able to name other drivers as rivals. If one driver names a rival and defeats him in two consecutive races where the winner and loser are rivals, the loser's team will offer a seat to the winner. Should the winner accept the seat, the loser will get fired from his team and take an open seat with another team which is usually ranked lower than the team the loser was fired from. This allows better drivers to get into teams with better cars, but also can punish drivers including the player who are bad drivers. The goal is to win the F1 World Title by earning more driver's points than all other drivers. Once the player has won a season for the first time they are given the opportunity to join Madonna – the game's best and most glamorous team. At the start of the title defense year, the player is challenged by a new rival, G. Ceara, who is a seemingly impossible to beat driver in the first two races. If the player loses the first two races of the defending season to Ceara, he is dropped by team Madonna and goes to the inferior Dardan team. The challenge is then to get back to the top and win the second season or if having defeated G.Ceara your challenge is to retain the Championship in the Madonna car. Once two championship seasons are won, the player beats the game and gets to see the staff roll.

There are sixteen cars and teams in the game. Challenging rivals and progressing to better teams is ultimately the core of the game's career mode.


In order, the 16 rounds of the season are:


All the teams within the game are based on the teams of the 1989/1990 season and the game also tried (in both seasons) to put the drivers onto teams they have raced in their career. The real-life counterparts are shown in the table. The listed drivers correspond to the first races in the game's first season.


The engines for each constructor was also based on real life counterparts as shown below:


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Scores
GameRankings 88%[9]
Review scores
Publication Scores
ACE 5/5 stars[10] 590/1000[11] 871/1000[12]
Amiga Action 91%[13]
Commodore User 91%[8] 85%[14]
Computer and
Video Games
94%[6] 95%[15] 92%[16] 85%[17] 83%[18]
Datormagazin 90%[19]
Electronic Gaming
Famicom Tsūshin 34/40[21]
Joystick 98%[22] 75%[23] 90%[24] 71%[24]
Mean Machines 93%[25]
Mean Machines
87%[26] 79%[27] 58%[27]
Mega 90%[28]
MegaTech 94%[29]
Player One 95%[30] 90%[31]
Raze 91%[32] 87%[32] 83%[33]
Sega Power 10/10[34] 74%[35] 6/10[36]
Sega Pro 90%[37] 69%[37] 65%[37]
Sinclair User 9/10[7] 84%[38]
Your Sinclair 82%[39]
Zero 91%[40] 88%[41] 85%[42] 85%[43]
Zzap!64 91%[44] 90%[45]

The arcade version was a critical and commercial success in Japanese arcades. On Famicom Tsūshin‍ '​s arcade earnings chart, it was number-two in August 1989, just below Namco's 3D polygon racing game Winning Run. In September 1989, Super Monaco GP became number-one, overtaking Winning Run.[46] Super Monaco GP remained number-one in October 1989, above Sega's arcade version of puzzle game Tetris at number-two.[47] In Europe, the arcade version of Super Monaco GP was highly acclaimed by reviewers.[6][7][8][10]

The Mega Drive/Genesis version was also highly acclaimed. On release, Famicom Tsūshin scored it a 34 out of 40.[21] It garnered an at-the-time unprecedented 10–10–9–9 rating from Electronic Gaming Monthly's Review Crew[20][48] and a 93% from Mean Machines.[25]


Sega was sued by Philip Morris over the arcade game among others (including Namco's Final Lap) because of the unauthorized presence of the Marlboro trademark in the game, in a way similar to how it appeared on the real life Formula One tracks at that time, which was seen as compromising their policy against advertising to children and teenagers.[49][50] However, within Super Monaco GP, all "brands" that appear in game, except for Flicky, another Sega game, were deliberately misspelled due to licensing issues. Later Formula One games, as well as racing games that contains racing cars with tobacco (and/or later, alcohol) sponsorship would remove the references to the tobacco/alcohol sponsorship, although the Martini logos were not removed in Lancia Deltas that were present in first two Sega Rally games.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b U.S. Gold releases:
  2. ^ Super Monaco GP (Deluxe model) at the Arcade History database
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b c
  7. ^ a b c
  8. ^ a b c
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ a b "Super Monaco GP for GEN – Super Monaco GP Genesis – Super Monaco GP GEN Game". Retrieved 2010-05-15. 
  21. ^ a b 30 Point Plus: スーパーモナコGP. Weekly Famicom Tsūshin. No.335. Pg.30. 12–19 May 1995.
  22. ^ Joystick, issue 9, p. 110
  23. ^ Joystick, issue 11, p. 134
  24. ^ a b Joystick, issue 15, pp. 162-163
  25. ^ a b "Super Monaco GP – Sega Megadrive – Mean Machines review". Retrieved 2010-05-15. 
  26. ^
  27. ^ a b
  28. ^ Mega, issue 21, p. 65
  29. ^ MegaTech, issue 1, p. 80
  30. ^ Player One, issue 5, pp. 30-31
  31. ^ Player One, issue 2, pp. 34-35
  32. ^ a b Raze, issue 1, p. 62
  33. ^ Raze, issue 6, pp. 28-29
  34. ^ Sega Power, issue 23, p. 54
  35. ^ S: The Sega Magazine, issue 10, pp. 18-19
  36. ^ Sega Power, issue 23, p. 61
  37. ^ a b c Sega Pro, issue 6, p. 30
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^ Zero, issue 13, pp. 90-91
  41. ^ Zero, issue 19, p. 91
  42. ^
  43. ^
  44. ^
  45. ^
  46. ^ Famicom Tsūshin, issue 19 (September 15, 1989)
  47. ^ Famicom Tsūshin, issue 22 (October 27, 1989)
  48. ^ "EGM review archive. WARNING extremely loooong". 2002-10-23. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2010-05-15. 
  49. ^ "Chronology of Action". Retrieved 2010-05-15. 
  50. ^

External links[edit]