Taito Grand Prix: Eikou heno License
|Taito Grand Prix: Eikou heno License|
|Genre(s)||Formula One racing|
|Mode(s)||Single-player (normal mode or open mode)|
|This article may contain material discouraged by the guidelines for video game subjects. (December 2012)|
Taito Grand Prix: Eikou heno License (タイトーグランプリ 栄光へのライセンス?, "Taito License to Grand Prix Glory") is a 1987 Formula One racing video game for the Japan-exclusive Famicom. This video game takes the player through randomized street racing circuits in addition to the various circuits of the 1987 Formula One season. There are over fifteen stock car tracks and eight Formula One tracks. Open mode allows the player to practice each course individually without any pressure from anything besides the time limit. Normal mode is more restrictive; the game forces the player to roam from city to city until they end their career by winning a full season of Formula One.
There are three kinds of music (playing from a pretend cassette tape) and a blank soundtrack. The instrumental songs played in the game were: Offside Way, Crushing Light, and Faraway Dream. On the promotional flyer for this video game, a Formula One racing vehicle was shown with the Ford logo shown on the vehicle. However, there are no actual Ford Motor Company vehicles used in the entire game.
Environments to drive through include farms, stadiums, cities, and beaches. Compared to its closest competitor, World Grand Prix for the Master System, the graphics and sound are vastly superior in quality. Each car used in "free mode" has three gears and always utilizes manual transmission. However, manual transmission is always in the cars that haven't been altered with automatic transmission in the "normal mode."
If the player races fast enough, he or she is greeted with fireworks at the finish line. Going too slow will simply result in the driver simply waving his arm to a cheering audience without any special effects. Like an arcade driving game, damage is not a factor regardless of what car the player drives or the mode that the player is using. The player can flip his or her car all he or she wants. A car can never be destroyed or damaged; only time is wasted when the game returns the vehicle to its upright position.
The game was notable for allowing players to exceed 255 kilometres per hour because 255 was the maximum number permitted in most 8-bit games. These kinds of video games did not allow players to use a higher number due to the then-current limitations in the math processor. Exceptions were made in certain titles because the game developers would devise a way to increase the highest number that the game could show for speed or other certain properties that require a number higher than 255. Increasing memory to a certain area of the programming code made this possible while sacrificing memory in other places like in the graphics or in the game's artificial intelligence, for example.
Using these limitations that were normally present in 8-bit racing games (without trying to work around them) would have made racing vehicles that were incredibly fast or below average by the standards of the mid-1980s. For example, racing vehicles that travel up to 255 miles per hour or 410 kilometres per hour were impossible except for some Funny Cars on the drag racing circuit and the NASCAR Winston Cup Series already had vehicles that could finish races with an average speed greater than 255 kilometres per hour or 158 miles per hour by the 1987 release date. While driving in a vehicle other than the Formula One vehicle, there is always a countdown that counts to zero (0:00 as shown in the game). Being unable to pass through time extending checkpoints and allowing the timer to turn to zero means an automatic game over in "free mode" but merely results in loss of funds in "normal mode." Checkpoints are clearly marked in a pre-determined spot on the track. The time counts up while driving a Formula One vehicle; changing the challenge from making it to the finish on time to going as fast as humanly possible.
Automatic transmission can be bought in "normal mode" (starting in Rank C) for a substantial price of 1000000 yen ($11,073 USD). There is also a significant reduction in top speed because more power is diverted from the vehicle itself to the electronics in the transmission. In addition to using manual transmission vehicles as the default in "normal mode", all measurements from the weight of the vehicle (kilograms instead of pounds) and speed (kilometres instead of miles) are conducted in metric units only.
Four-wheel drive can be purchased starting in Rank B that will increase the grip of the vehicle. All players in the "normal mode" (similar to playing Dragon Quest on wheels) begin their "career" out with a Mini Cooper. He or she must work in order to get promoted to the Ferrari 512BB sports car. However, the sports car cannot be purchased until the player reaches Rank B; costing the player 1000000 yen just for the body. The Mini Cooper can no longer be used once the Ferrari is purchased  and speeds up to 420.000 kilometres per hour or 260.976 miles per hour have been reached by adding the most advanced parts and a super nitro (SN-1) to the Ferrari vehicle.
The player starts out with 100000 yen ($1,107 USD). At the starting city of Southern Cross Town, the player can earn up to 150000 yen ($1,661 USD) per race. If the player is good enough and gathers enough experience and money, he or she will eventually get to drive a Formula One car. Trophies can be earned by finishing first on certain courses in all three levels of competition. The "normal mode" uses a battery save system that differentials between being in Rank D, Rank C, Rank B, Rank A, and in the Formula One Championship. This game is similar to Formula One: Built to Win; a North America-exclusive video game with a similar concept developed and published by SETA. Both of these games allow players to purchase automobiles and customize them for speed, handling, braking, acceleration, and body toughness.
After making it to Formula One in "normal mode", the player is given the weather of the track and the likelihood of rain. Once the player has reached Formula One, he cannot go back to the standard stages to raise more money for better automobile parts in his Ferrari. The player must then go into the pits and make his or her preparations for the race. If the player cannot win the championship in his first year, he must play another year of Formula One until he wins the championship.
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