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Game Boy cover art
F-1 Race (F1レース F1 Rēsu) is a racing video game released in 1984 for the Family Computer in Japan. A version was released in 1990 for the Game Boy in Japan and in 1991 in Europe and North America, which included the Four Player Adapter for four player gameplay.
The game features racing in one of two Formula One cars around a variety of tracks near set in a landmark scenery. In the Family Computer version of the game, the cars come in three colors: red, light orange, and dark blue.
Gameplay in the Family Computer version is similar to that of Namco's Pole Position. Finishing in first, second, or third results in a podium finish; players must win on each track to advance to the next. Vehicles in the game have a generic two-speed manual transmission governing their speed (with a "LOW" setting and a "HI" setting). There are ten tracks in the race; the game repeats itself after the conclusion of the tenth circuit. Three difficult levels help beginners to adjust to the artificial intelligence on "skill level 1" while novices get some extra challenge on "skill level 2" and experts get the ultimate challenge on "skill level 3." A strict time limit forces players to finish races without mistakes in order to progress to a more complicated race track. When the player's car come into contact with other cars, it will be destroyed and respawn, usually losing several seconds.
Several Nintendo characters appear at the end of race circuits for the Game Boy version: Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Toad, Bowser, Link, Samus, Pit and Donkey Kong. The game resulted in a Grand Prix series sequel, featuring Famicom Grand Prix: F-1 Race and Famicom Grand Prix II: 3D Hot Rally. Similar to the original, both games were never released outside Japan.
The Game Boy version has a considerably different gameplay compared to the original version, with longer race tracks set in different countries and new driving mechanics, as well as different game modes. The player is able to activate a temporary speed boost by pressing and holding up on the D-pad, this replaces the low-high gear setting from the Famicom version. In addition, the player is able to powerslide by continuing to hold left or right when turning sharp corners. Unlike the Famicom version, colliding with other cars no longer destroys the player's car and hitting an obstacle simply makes the car spin out.
In the Famicom version, the driver of the car is unknown, but it is possible that the driver is Mario, as implied in its sequels.
Clones or hacks
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- UFO Race: Cars replaced with poorly-modeled UFOs and changed graphics and music. Score is misspelled as Scroe. Visual countdown is removed. Each race is shown as Stage 1 before proceeding to gameplay. RPM meter is removed.
- Boat Race: Cars replaced with boats and graphics are changed but sound is normal. Water is excessively flashing and - as in UFO Race - Scroe instead of Score, no visual countdown, no RPM meter and always Stage 1.
- Bicycle Race: Cars replaced with bicycles with all graphics and sound effects are changed. Also, the speed number is divided approximately by 10 from the original (example: 200 km/h changed to 20 km/h. No decimal parts are shown on the HUD, though). Visual countdown is horizontal and lights are orange circles, not vertical with more colored rectangles (as in original game). Screens with map of stage are not displayed in this clone. RPM meter is not displayed here as in 2 hacks above.
- Car Race: Simple name change, game is unaltered.
- F-1 Race was one of several videogames used as the basis for two Mangas, Famicom Rocky and Famicom Fuunji respectively. Both were published by Comic Coro Coro from 1985 to 1987.
- Mach Rider, another game which shares the same mechanics.
- Famicom Grand Prix: F-1 Race
- Mario Kart
- Pole Position