Turbo Outrun

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Turbo OutRun
Turbo Outrun
Japanese arcade flyer
Developer(s)Sega AM2
Designer(s)Satoshi Mifune
Hiroshi Kawaguchi
Yasuhiro Takagi
Commodore 64:
Jeroen Tel
Atari ST, Commodore 64, Commodore Amiga, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, PC DOS, FM Towns
Sega Mega Drive
  • WW: February 11, 1989
Amstrad CPC
Commodore 64
ZX Spectrum
Sega Mega Drive
  • JP: March 27, 1992
Master System
CabinetSit-down, upright
Arcade systemOut Run hardware
CPUCPU: (2x) 68000 (@ 12.5 MHz)
SoundCPU: Z80 (@ 4 MHz)
Chips: YM2151 (@ 4 MHz), Sega PCM (@ 15.625 kHz)
DisplayRaster, 320 x 224 pixels (Horizontal), 12288 colors

Turbo OutRun (ターボアウトラン) is a 1989 arcade racing game released by Sega. A follow-up to 1986's Out Run, it was released as a dedicated game, as well as an upgrade kit for the original Out Run board.

Like its predecessor, Turbo OutRun has players driving a Ferrari, this time a Ferrari F40. Players now traverse a set route across the entire continental United States from New York City to Los Angeles instead of the branching paths of the first game. In addition to a time limit, Turbo OutRun also adds a computer-controlled opponent driving a Porsche 959. The "Turbo" in the title also plays a factor as players can now press a button to receive a brief turbo boost of speed. Various power-ups which increase the vehicle's attributes can now be chosen at various stages of the game.

Ports of Turbo OutRun were released for personal computers, as well as Sega's own Mega Drive.


In Turbo Outrun the player controls a male driver sitting alongside his girlfriend in a Ferrari F40, racing against the clock and a computer-controlled opponent in a blue Porsche 959 in a race across the United States. The goal is to reach Los Angeles from the starting point of New York City. Unlike the original Out Run, there are no branch roads to choose from. Instead, there is only one path that can be taken to reach the goal.

A notable feature of the game is that the player can increase speed by using turbo boost by pressing a button on the side of the console-mounted shifter; the engine temperature will increase in kind on the on-screen gauge. When the gauge reaches "OVERHEAT!" turbo boost cannot be used until the temperature decreases.

Another notable difference is that police cars occasionally appear that try to stop the player. They have to either be outrun by using the turbo boost or destroyed by the player by ramming them off-road and into an object on the side of the road.

Unlike the original Out Run, Turbo Out Run offers the player a choice between automatic transmission or two-speed manual transmission.[1]

At every sub-goal (reached after passing through about four cities), a power-up can be chosen, the three being: Hi-Power Engine, Special Turbo, and Super Grip Tires. If the CPU opponent reaches the sub-goal before the player, at the next race, the driver's girlfriend will move to the opponent's car. He can still win the girl back if he beats the CPU opponent to the next sub-goal. If the player beats the opponent with the girl in hand, a 1,000,000 point bonus is given. Also, the girl kisses the driver in front of his CPU opponent. If the player reaches the final checkpoint, in the process, the player will pass the CPU opponent and the ending scene is played.

It was available in a stand-up cabinet, and a sit-down cabinet with decals giving it an appearance of a Ferrari F40, the car featured in the game. There were also conversion kits available to convert original Out Run machines to Turbo OutRun.

Computer ports of the game were received with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Commodore 64 version was widely seen as a good game but 16-bit conversions got very negative reviews.

Stage Order[edit]

The courses are raced straightforward in 4 sections consisting of 4 stages each with no fork roads.

Aside from the reduction in length (the 9000 km route would take approx 80 hours, the game can be finished in 15 minutes), some of the stages are not accurately portrayed to their real life counterparts. For example: Atlanta is nothing more than a field covered in snow (more resembling Stone Mountain Park) and Dallas looks like the Gobi Desert.


Unlike the 1986 original game Out Run, the music cannot be selected, rather the games background music play in each section of the game in this order:

Japan & US Layout:

  • Rush a Difficulty (Stages 1–4)
  • Keep Your Heart (Stages 5–8)
  • Shake the Street (Stages 9–12)
  • Who Are You? (Stages 13–16)

European Layout:

  • Shake the Street (Stages 1–4)
  • Rush a Difficulty (Stages 5–8)
  • Who Are You? (Stages 9–12)
  • Keep Your Heart (Stages 13–16)

In the 1993 arcade game Daytona USA, a song from Turbo Outrun can be played on the name entry screen by entering the initials TOR. The result is the opening couple of bars of "Rush A Difficulty".

Commodore 64 soundtrack[edit]

The Commodore 64 home version soundtrack, composed and arranged by Jeroen Tel, was well received. The soundtrack won the "Best music on 8-bit computer 1989" award on European Computer Trade Show. The title track is a remix of "Magical Sound Shower" from Out Run, featuring sound samples from Jeroen Tel himself; due to sampling quality, he was actually saying "One, two, tree... hit it, Out Run" while recording, instead of "three", to avoid it sounding like "free".[2]


Review scores
Crash79% (Spectrum)[3]
CVG93% (C64)[4]
Sinclair User78% (Spectrum)[5]
Your Sinclair70% (Spectrum)[6]
Commodore User8/10 (Arcade)[7]
Zzap!6497% (C64)[8]
Mega53% (Mega Drive)[9]
Mean Machines42% (Mega Drive)[10]
MegaTech41% (Mega Drive)[11]
ACE601/1000 (Amiga/ST)[12]
Zzap!64Gold Medal

Turbo Outrun received positive to mixed reviews, depending on the version. The arcade and Commodore 64 versions were well received. Commodore User reviewed the arcade version and scored it 8 out of 10.[7] The C64 version was awarded 93% from C+VG and 97% in Zzap!64.[13] The Spectrum version of the game received 70% from Your Sinclair, 78% from Sinclair User and 79% from Crash.[6]

Mean Machines dismissed the Mega Drive version with an overall rating of 42%. The only aspect of the game to receive genuine praise was the high-scores screen design. The review pointed to "hopeless, mega-jerky 3-D graphics, juddery scrolling, dreadful tunes, naff sound effects, and badly drawn sprites", and concluded it to be a "clapped out Robin Reliant of a race game".[14] Mega placed the Mega Drive version at #3 in their list of the 10 Worst Mega Drive Games of All Time.[15]


  1. ^ [1] Retrieved 16 January 2016
  2. ^ Brock-Nannestad, Laust (2006-01-18). "SID Tune Information List v44". Archived from the original on 2008-10-12. Retrieved 2006-07-31.
  3. ^ "Archive – Magazine viewer". World of Spectrum. Retrieved 2012-08-06.
  4. ^ https://archive.org/stream/cvg-magazine-097/CVG_097_Dec_1989#page/n55/mode/2up
  5. ^ "Archive – Magazine viewer". World of Spectrum. Retrieved 2012-08-06.
  6. ^ a b "Turbo OutRun". Ysrnry.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2012-08-27. Retrieved 2012-08-06.
  7. ^ a b https://archive.org/stream/commodore-user-magazine-68/Commodore_User_Issue_68_1989_May#page/n95/mode/2up
  8. ^ "Zzap!64 100th Issue Pull-Out Special Page 5". Zzap64.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-06.
  9. ^ Mega rating, issue 9, page 23, Future Publishing, June 1993
  10. ^ Mean Machines, Issue 18, March 1992, pp. 78-9
  11. ^ MegaTech rating, EMAP, issue 5, page 79, May 1992
  12. ^ "Archive – Magazine viewer". World of Spectrum. Retrieved 2012-08-06.
  13. ^ See box art for the C64 conversion
  14. ^ Mean Machines, Issue 18, March 1992, pp. 78-9
  15. ^ Mega magazine issue 1, page 85, Future Publishing, Oct 1992

External links[edit]