Cool Riders

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Cool Riders
Developer(s) Sega AM1
Publisher(s) Sega
Composer(s) Hiroshi Kawaguchi
Platform(s) Arcade
Release date(s)
  • JP: April 1995
  • NA: September 1995
Genre(s) Racing game
Mode(s) Single player, multiplayer
Cabinet Sit-down, Upright
Arcade system Sega System H1
Display Raster, medium resolution
horizontal orientation, dual screen

Cool Riders is a 1995 racing arcade game. It is a spiritual sequel to Sega's OutRunners. It has a similar premise to OutRunners, though rather than drive cars, the player rides bikes. It also uses digitized graphics similar to Mortal Kombat.[1]

Cool Riders has only recently been emulated in the MAME emulator. This is because it was the only arcade game on the Sega System H1 hardware, which used a unique graphics compression scheme.[2]


The object of Cool Riders is to finish each stage ahead of a computer-controlled rival by the end of a stage's checkpoint and within the allotted time. Whoever finishes first gets to select the next stage. For every rival defeated up to stage four, the player receives a promotion, indicated on the lower left-hand corner of the screen. There are three routes to choose from (westbound and eastbound routes with a middle route that takes the player through the United States.)

There are five stages, where stage five is an "Extra Stage" where the object is to outrace all seven computer-controlled rival opponents on the streets of New York City to the finish line. Regardless of what happens, the player character's ending will display on a projector if the player had time left over to finish the race, followed by a map containing the route the player took to reach the Extra Stage and the finish line, followed by the word "FINISH" appearing in the center of the screen.

Sonic the Hedgehog appears in this game. When the player completes the game, his head and that of Tails are icons for the player's initials in the high score table.

The game has failure animations when you run out of time during a race and come to a complete stop. The announcer says the same "game over" message as in OutRunners: "I'm sorry. You didn't make it." When this happens, the animation as described below corresponding to the character the player chose plays followed by the map appearing showing the route the player took with the word "RETIRE" appearing in the center of the screen.

Motorcycles in Cool Riders
Name Color Rider Name Notes Default Music Game Over Screen
Revolution black Max Japanese and resembles a cyborg. Similar to Road Monster from OutRunners as its rear slips out a little. Sightseeing at Mach 1 A scientist enters from the left and carries a malfunctioning Max off the screen.
Lightning yellow John Doe From unknown origins and resembles a street racer ordered to carry a briefcase full of cash. Similar to Easy Handling from OutRunners, as the bike is not as fast. A little good John Doe glares angrily at the player.
I.C.B.M. blue Chris An American blonde-haired (brownish in the attract mode) female drag racer with a red shirt, white mini-skirt and red knee-high boots. Similar to Bad Boy from OutRunners stat-wise due to its tricky handling. Condition red Fans run across the screen from the left, carrying Chris off her bike, and the screen.
Wildcat pink Gloria A French blonde-haired female older than Chris and surrounded by mysterious men with black hats and suits that help her when she crashes. Similar to Quick Reactor from OutRunners for its acceleration. Here comes queen of hurricanes Gloria throws a fit, slapping herself.
LoveMachine red David & Sharlie An Italian married couple, the wife in the sidecar while the husband operates the motorcycle. When the player crashes, bouquets of flowers fly halfway across the screen. Statistics are similar to Speed Buster from OutRunners due to its maximum speed. BLUE ISLAND David & Sharlie get pelted with objects from an offscreen crowd.
Discovery brown Dr. Vincent A British elderly person with a big beard. Similar to Smooth Operator from OutRunners for its light turning. Grandpa is still alive The Discovery spews smoke as Dr. Vincent looks at the player.
Grasshopper green Garcia An Australian with cowboy attire. Similar to Wild Chaser from OutRunners by the fact that it can be raced off road. Into the mountains A bull runs from the left, knocking Garcia off-screen.
DAI-OH purple Big Boss A fat Saudi Arabian with what appears to be his child riding on the back (his attract mode sequence shows twins). Similar to Mad Power from OutRunners due to its super top speed and acceleration. The fat is in the fire The children dance while Big Boss gives a shocked look, both hands on his head.

East course, starting from Niagara Falls[edit]

1 2 3 4
Rumania (Romania) Russia(1)
Greenland England(1) China
Niagara Falls (1) West Indies Spain Japan(1)
Brazil Egypt Hong Kong
Kenya(1) India

USA course, starting from New York[edit]

1 2 3 4
Atlanta Houston
Washington Mississippi Texas
New York Niagara Falls (2) Desert Hawaii(1)
Chicago Grand Canyon (1) Las Vegas
Rocky Mountains San Francisco

West course, starting from Grand Canyon[edit]

1 2 3 4
Australia Kenya(2)
Polynesia Indonesia France
Grand Canyon(2) Hawaii(2) Japan(2) Switzerland
Canada Mongolia England(2)
Russia(2) Sweden

In addition to the 48 courses above there is a common pre-stage and extra stage to give the advertised 50 courses. Entries marked (1) and (2) are different variations of the same theme / location.


A critic for Next Generation panned the game, commenting that "Realism is ridiculously absent, a sense of speed is almost nil, and control is plain sloppy; you practically have three directions, straight, and a left and right turn at 45 degrees. With games like Cyber Cycles eating up players' quarters, Cool Riders is just not up to par." He gave it two out of five stars.[3]


  1. ^ "Cool Riders". Sega Retro Games. Retrieved 19 February 2013. 
  2. ^ Haywood, David (19 February 2013). "Still Too Cool for Mamedev". Retrieved 19 February 2013. 
  3. ^ "Cool Riders". Next Generation. Imagine Media (10): 128,130. October 1995. 

External links[edit]