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|Composer(s)||Hideki Kanazashi, Hiroaki Suga|
|Platform(s)||Arcade (Nintendo VS. System), Famicom/NES|
Mach Rider[b] is a futuristic vehicular combat video game created by Nintendo. It was first released in Japan in 1985 for the Nintendo Family Computer, and then in North America a year later for the Nintendo Entertainment System, and in 1987 for the PAL region. Later it was released on the Virtual Console for the Wii (2007), Nintendo 3DS (2013) and Wii U (2014).
The Japanese Famicom release can use the Famicom Data Recorder to save custom tracks. This feature was missing from the American and European releases, but was retained in all versions of the Virtual Console release except for the 3DS version.
The game's controls are somewhat more complex than other games at its time and require some extra skills. The left and right directions on the Control Pad steer Mach Rider and the A button accelerates. The B button fires Mach Rider's machine gun which can be used to destroy enemies and obstacles on the road. The up and down buttons are used to shift gears. Mach Rider's bike has four speeds and shifting to the fourth gear at high speed will grant the player in instant speed boost. Conversely, the player remaining in a higher gear while stopping results in a slower acceleration.
In each round, points can be scored by destroying enemies and certain obstacles with the machine gun. The number of points scored for destroying enemies and obstacles is determined by the type of enemy or obstacle destroyed. If the player blocks an attacking enemy by ramming it against a hazard on the track, they obtain more points— this also replenishes Mach Rider's bullets.
- Fighting Course: Fighting Course consists of the primary story sequence. The player controls Mach Rider as they travel across 10 different sectors, and tries to avoid being destroyed by obstacles such as Oil Drums and their enemies, the Quadrunners. If Mach Rider is destroyed, they will separate into fragments and then reform, as long as they have energy (lives from the second sector on) remaining. Much like other games of the time, such as Ice Climber and Balloon Fight, there is no ending sequence. Once the 10th sector is completed, the story starts anew, with a second quest of 10 entirely new sectors. After the 20th sector is done, then the story starts again, but with the original sectors. On each sector in Fighting Course, the player is given the choice to ride to the next sector on either Track A or Track B. The two tracks are different from one another and with each new sector there are new tracks.
- Endurance Course: The player must race a certain number of kilometres within a time limit while enemies and obstacles get in the way and slow down the progress. Lives and energy are not a factor in Endurance, but being destroyed causes a loss of time.
- Solo Course: This is the same as Endurance Course, but with no enemies.
- Design Mode: This is where the player may design their own sector and race on it using one any of the three other modes of play. However, like Excitebike, the original game required the Famicom Data Recorder in order to save the tracks, and the device was never released outside Japan. The feature was restored for international markets in the Wii and Wii U Virtual Console versions of the game, which allow the player to save their tracks onto the system memory.
Mach Rider takes place in the year 2112, and planet Earth has been invaded by evil forces driving vehicles known as Quadrunners. The player controls Mach Rider, who travels from sector to sector on a high-powered superbike, searching for survivors and destroying any enemies in their path.
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In 1972, Mach Rider was originally released as a plastic race car or hot rod toy also by Nintendo that came with a ramp for jumping and a stick shift-like object with three different kinds of meters on it. When the car is placed inside of it, it can be charged up and let loose at high speed.
Later, Mach Rider was released as part of the Nintendo Vs. Series arcade variations. It was essentially a modified version of the Endurance Course from the original game. Each time the player completed a level, a bit more of an image was gradually revealed of a woman with a dagger appears next to Mach Rider's bike.
While Mach Rider has not gained a true sequel, many elements from the game, such as the futuristic setting, incredible high speeds and aggressive racing have also been used in Nintendo's premiere racing series F-Zero, making it somewhat of a spiritual sequel to Mach Rider. Even the title character of Mach Rider bears some similarity to the hero of the F-Zero series, Captain Falcon.
In the Super Smash Bros. series there were some Mach Rider references. Starting with Super Smash Bros. Melee, Nintendo's crossover party game/fighting game has a remix medley of the Mach Rider soundtrack, including the title screen music, track selection music, stage music and game over jingle. This music is used as alternate music on the F-Zero themed stage called Big Blue, further reinforcing the connection between the two series. The remix returned in later titles Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. There is also a collectible Mach Rider trophy in Melee, a Mach Rider sticker in Brawl and a Mach Rider spirit in Ultimate.
In WarioWare: Twisted!, one of the many minigames is based on Mach Rider.
- "Computer Entertainer: the Newsletter, September 1986" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-03-23.
- Nintendo staff. "NES Games" (PDF). Nintendo. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 21, 2010. Retrieved September 24, 2011.
- Baker, Christopher Michael. "Mach Rider Review". AllGame. Archived from the original on December 11, 2014. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
- Squirl. "Squirl: Mach Rider" (image). Squirl. Retrieved 2008-04-15.