Cool Riders

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Cool Riders
Developer(s) AM1
Publisher(s) Sega
Composer(s) Hiroshi Kawaguchi
Platform(s) Arcade
Release date(s)
  • JP April 30, 1994
  • EU July 17, 1994
  • NA September 8, 1994
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 1994 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. You get to select the next stage if you finish first - however, your opponent will select the next stage if you fail to beat him or her. For every rival you beat up to stage four, you will receive a promotion, indicated on the lower left-hand corner of the screen. Normally, in OutRun and OutRunners, there are two routes you can take - the west and eastbound routes, but in Riders, there are three (westbound and eastbound routes with a middle route that takes the player through the United States.)

There are five stages like OutRunners, whereas stage five in this game 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, you will get to see your character's ending on a projector if you had time left over to finish the race, but if you win the Extra Stage as well as the other four (signified by the announcer saying, "Perfect!" upon crossing the finish line), you will be able to see the full ending sequence of the character you selected.

Like in OutRunners, Sonic the Hedgehog appears in this game. When you complete the game and reach the high score table, he appears as a head drawing as one of the icons for your initials. He is also joined by a head drawing of Miles "Tails" Prower as an icon.

The game is also known for its failure animations when you run out of time during a race and come to a complete stop. This is signified by the announcer saying the same "game over" message as in OutRunners, "I'm sorry. You didn't make it." For example, if a player was playing as the I.C.B.M., the blue motorcycle, fans rush across the screen, knocking the player's character off her motorcycle, completely off the screen while it stays put where you stopped.

Motorcycles in Cool Riders
Name Color Rider Name Notes Default Music
Revolution black Max Rider is Japanese and resembles a cyborg, likely from one of the Terminator series of films. Similar to Road Monster from OutRunners as its rear slips out a little. Sightseeing at Mach 1
Lightning yellow John Doe Rider is 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
I.C.B.M. blue Chris Rider is 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
Wildcat pink Gloria Rider is a French blonde-haired female older than Chris and is 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
LoveMachine red David & Sharlie Riders are 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
Discovery brown Dr. Vincent Rider is a British elderly person with a big beard. Similar to Smooth Operator from OutRunners for its light turning. Grandpa is still alive
Grasshopper green Garcia Rider is Australian with cowboy attire. Similar to Wild Chaser from OutRunners by the fact that it can be raced off road. Into the mountains
DAI-OH purple Big Boss Rider is 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

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.


  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. 

External links[edit]