Top Gear (video game)
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North American cover art
Multiplayer (up to two players)
Top Gear (Top Racer in Japan), is a racing video game for the Super NES, published by Kemco and developed by Gremlin Graphics in 1992. Not only does it mark the first game in the Top Gear racing game franchise, but it is also one of the first racing games to be released on the Super NES. The game (and next two sequels) was created by the same developers as the similar Lotus games released earlier in the Commodore Amiga and Sega Mega Drive videogame systems. The objective of the game is to become the fastest driver in the world by racing other drivers across several nations. The franchise is unrelated to the TV program of the same name.
When players first start the game, they are given several options to choose from, including entering their name, a choice of four different controller layouts, a choice between automatic or manual transmission, and their choice of four unique cars. During the race, the player will have to steer and shift gears (if they chose a manual transmission). The player is also given control over three "nitros", which allow the player to increase their speed for a short period of time. The game features a password save system, made up of automotive terms such as "gear box" and "oilcloth". Each password grants access to another country to race in. During the race, there are pits in which players must stop in order to refuel. If their car runs out of fuel and coasts to a stop before the race is finished, the player will be disqualified.
The music in Top Gear mostly consists of remixed tracks from the Lotus series of racing games on the Amiga produced by Barry Leitch. For example, the title music of Top Gear is taken from the ending of Lotus Turbo Challenge 2, and the third race of each country uses a remixed version of the Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge title theme.
There is a bug which allows a human player to finish the race in two places at the same time, obtaining the respective points of each position. When the player hits one of the posts on either side of the finishing line on the last lap at a certain angle, the car will "finish" the race, bounce back off the post, and then cross the finish line again. The player will get points for the position they legitimately finished in but also get the points for the position below them. (A car finishing in first that uses this exploit will get 35 points - it will get 20 points for coming first and another 15 for coming second. The next car over the line will only get points for third place.)
The game shows a background digitized grayscale picture of the Detroit GP in 1988.