World Rally (1993 video game)

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World Rally
Developer(s)Zigurat Software
Programmer(s)Carlos Granados
Fernando Rada
Artist(s)Jorge Granados
Composer(s)Joan Sanmarti
SeriesWorld Rally

World Rally[a] is a 1993 racing arcade video game developed by Zigurat Software and published by Gaelco in Spain, Sigma in Japan and Atari Games in North America. Themed around rallying, the game pit players with races across various locations under a short time limit to qualify for the next course.

World Rally was developed over the course of two years by most of the same team of previous works at Zigurat Software such as Carlos Sainz: World Rally Championship, initially intended to be a racing game about the World Rally Championship featuring Spanish rally driver Carlos Sainz before he changed teams from Toyota to Lancia, prompting the staff drop Sainz' likeness from the project before launch. The title proved to be a success for Gaelco, managing to sell 23,000 arcade units in Europe and earning an award from Gamest magazine. In 1995, a sequel titled World Rally 2: Twin Racing was released by Gaelco but garnered less success than its predecessor.


Gameplay screenshot.

World Rally is a top-down rally racing game reminiscent of Thrash Rally and Carlos Sainz: World Rally Championship, where players observe from above and race across various countries by participating in a single race under a sixty-second time limit.[1][2][3][4] Every location, composed of three stages each, has its own weather conditions and hazards that change how the car is controlled through the track, as well as shortcuts to gain time advantage.[2][3][4] A direction indicator appears during gameplay, allowing players to known about an incoming turn.[3] Players move into the next course by completing the race under sixty seconds, but failing to do so results in a game over screen unless players insert more credits into the arcade machine to continue playing.[2][3][4][5] A second player can also participate by alternating turns.[2][5]


World Rally was created by most of the same team that worked on previous projects at Zigurat Software such as Carlos Sainz: World Rally Championship, with members of the creation team recounting the project's development process and history through multiple publications.[6][7][8][9][10] Zigurat was contacted by Gaelco after the release of Carlos Sainz for microcomputers to work on an arcade game.[10][11][12][13] Jorge Granados stated that the team wanted to make a racing game about Carlos Sainz and the World Rally Championship.[13] They opted for an isometric perspective, their first attempt at this graphical style. The team's Fernando Rada said that coding the perspective was a major challenge, although it was made simpler by the new technology that the team was working with. Previously they had coded only for the 8-bit Z80 processor, but switched to the 16-bit 68000 for World Rally, programming the game in assembly. Rada said that the new setup was "much easier" to work with.[12]

Near the end of development when World Rally was ready for testing, Sainz changed teams from Toyota to Lancia.[13] Granados later said that the game had been in production for almost two years, and that the technical chore of changing its assets to fit the new branding would have been "crazy".[12] As a result, Zigurat instead chose to drop Sainz from the game. Granados later said: "What we did was leave everything the same, and on the cover where Carlos Sainz appeared, we planted a gigantic helmet".[12] The car, which was a Toyota Celica GT-Four, was a scale model created and painted by the team before being digitized into the game, using 360 photography.[12][13]


World Rally was first released in Spain and Japan by Gaelco and Sigma in July 1993, before being launched in North America as a kit by Atari Games on August of the same year.[5][14][15] Prior to its launch, it was first playtested at the Sants neighborhood in Barcelona.[16] The game was distributed on two variations; a standard upright variant and a deluxe variant.[8] In a 1995 interview with Spanish magazine Hobby Hi-Tech, Jorge Granados claimed Zigurat Software were in talks with Sony about a potential conversion of the title for PlayStation, however this version was never released.[17] It became notable in recent years due to being extremely difficult to play on emulators like MAME, as the arcade hardware implemented an advanced anti-piracy system until Gaelco co-founder Javier Valero provided unencrypted keys for the PCB in 2008 at a Spanish gaming conference, allowing it to be emulated and played.[7][8][9][10][18] Gaelco later made its ROM image available as freeware.[19][20] World Rally is planned to be included as part of the Gaelco Arcade 1 compilation for Evercade, marking its first console debut.[21]

Reception and legacy[edit]

While Gaelco's previous titles Big Karnak and Thunder Hoop had been commercially successful, researchers Manuel Garin and Víctor Manuel Martínez cited World Rally as the studio's breakthrough title across Europe, where it attained "mass success".[24] The game sold around 23,000 units in Europe and according to Jorge Granados, it achieved similar response worldwide.[10][13][25][26][27] It remained Zigurat's biggest hit ever by 2014.[12] Summarizing World Rally's performance, Granados remarked "I won't tell you that we became rich, but we made money".[12]

Italian magazine Computer+Videogiochi praised its visuals.[28] Electronic Gaming Monthly regarded the game as "endurance racing at its finest".[2] In Japan, Game Machine listed the title on their September 15, 1993 issue as being the twelfth most-popular arcade game at the time.[29] RePlay also reported the title as the third most-popular arcade game at the time.[30] Play Meter listed it to be the forty-eight most-popular arcade game at the time as well.[31] French magazine Consoles + regarded the gameplay positively as "exemplary".[3] French publication Joypad also gave it a positive outlook.[32] Gamest awarded it in 1994 with the 75th "Annual Hit Game" prize.[23] In recent years, it has been played in tournaments on gaming-dedicated festivals in Spain and has since gained a cult following.[12][33][34]

A sequel titled World Rally 2: Twin Racing was released in 1995 by Gaelco, but proved less popular than World Rally.[7][8][17][25][35] Santa Ragione designer Pietro Righi Riva stated that World Rally served as inspiration for the 2016 title Wheels of Aurelia.[36]


  1. ^ Also known as World Rally Championship at the title screen.


  1. ^ World Rally operator's manual (Arcade, ESP)
  2. ^ a b c d e "Leading Edge - World Rally". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 50. Sendai Publishing. September 1993. p. 62.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Arcade – World Rally". Consoles + (in French). No. 27. M.E.R.7. December 1993. p. 198.
  4. ^ a b c Antúnez, Iván Gallardo (20 March 2017). "Gaelco: World Rally (1993)". (in Spanish). Retrobadajoz. Archived from the original on 15 May 2020. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  5. ^ a b c "News Digest: Atari Bows World Rally". RePlay. Vol. 18, no. 9. RePlay Publishing, Inc. June 1993. p. 14.
  6. ^ Zigurat Software (July 1993). World Rally (Arcade). Gaelco. Level/area: Staff roll.
  7. ^ a b c Castro, Emmanuel (28 September 2012). "Retro: World Rally Championship — El Rally de Gaelco cautivó en los arcades y fue uno de los últimos juegos de estos barceloneses poco conocidos para algunos". Vandal (in Spanish). El Español. Archived from the original on 15 May 2020. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  8. ^ a b c d Forcada, Carlos (3 May 2014). "Regreso al Pasado: Recreativas españolas — World Rally (1993)". MeriStation (in Spanish). PRISA. Archived from the original on 15 May 2020. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  9. ^ a b "Charla "XXV aniversario del arcade World Rally Championship: Desarrollo y preservación"". RetroAcción (in Spanish). Asociación RetroAcción. 6 October 2008. Archived from the original on 13 September 2019. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  10. ^ a b c d García, Julen Zaballa (January 2019). "La Historia De: World Rally Championship; World Rally Championship: El Dallas Y La Madre Del Cordero". Retro Gamer (in Spanish). No. 26. Axel Springer SE. pp. 138–145.
  11. ^ Caballeros, Juan Carlos (June 2013). "Made in Spain: Made in Spain — Desarrollos de Calidad Masiva". Retro Gamer (in Spanish). No. 5. Axel Springer SE. pp. 124–133.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h Caballeros, Juan Carlos (January 2014). "Made in Spain/Zigurat: Zigurat — Química Recreativa". Retro Gamer (in Spanish). No. 6. Axel Springer SE. pp. 90–99.
  13. ^ a b c d e Caballé, Guillermo; Valeiras, Ana; Merino, Aitor (1995). Destacados (7min 43sec). La 2. Bit a Bit (in Spanish). RTVE. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  14. ^ Akagi, Masumi (13 October 2006). アドアーズ(シグマ)Sigma; Atari (Atari Games/TWI); Gaelco, Spain; W (in Japanese) (1st ed.). Amusement News Agency. pp. 14, 112, 118, 171. ISBN 978-4990251215. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)
  15. ^ "World Rally - Overview". AllGame. All Media Network. 1998. Archived from the original on 14 November 2014. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  16. ^ "Entrevista Javier Valero: de Tecfri a Gaelco". Retrolaser (in Spanish). 19 November 2017. Archived from the original on 10 June 2020. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  17. ^ a b "Primera Línea - Actualidad En Breve". Hobby Hi-Tech (in Spanish). No. 5. Hobby Press. July 1995. p. 14.
  18. ^ "Mesa redonda "Recreando sueños: El yin y el yang de las máquinas arcade"". RetroAcción (in Spanish). Asociación RetroAcción. 15 August 2008. Archived from the original on 2 November 2018. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  19. ^ "Hablando - Noticias: ¡Los juegos de Gaelco en casa! - World Rally" (in Spanish). Gaelco. 2008. Archived from the original on 8 June 2010. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  20. ^ Candil, Dani (26 March 2011). "Juegos de coches que hicieron historia (Parte 2)". Motorpasión (in Spanish). Webedia. Archived from the original on 10 August 2020. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  21. ^ Sol, Bruno (28 May 2021). "Los clásicos de Gaelco, por fin en casa". HobbyConsolas (in Spanish). Axel Springer SE. Archived from the original on 28 May 2021. Retrieved 28 May 2021.
  22. ^ Pasetto, Alex (July 1993). "Coin-Op: World Rally Championship (Gaelco)". Game Power (in Italian). No. 19. Studio Vit. p. 117.
  23. ^ a b "第7回 ゲーメスト大賞 - 年間ヒットゲームベスト100: ワールドラリー". Gamest (in Japanese). No. 107. Shinseisha. February 1994. p. 39.
  24. ^ J. P. Wolf, Mark; Martínez, Víctor Manuel; Garin, Manuel (1 May 2015). Spain (1st ed.). MIT Press. p. 525. ISBN 9780262527163. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)
  25. ^ a b "Entrevista: Julían Goicoa (Gerente Galeco, S.A.) <<Lo Que El Mercado Actual Del Videojuego Ofrece Al Operador No Asegura Rentabilidad>> - El Perfil — Investigacíon constante". Joc Privat (in Spanish). No. 43. Andemar Catalunya. December 1995. pp. 5–9.
  26. ^ Fernandez, J. Manuel; Pérez, Jesús Relinque (1 July 2017). World Rally (in Spanish) (1st ed.). Héroes de Papel. pp. 1–288. ISBN 9788494714917. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)
  27. ^ "Entrevista Javier Valero: de Tecfri a Gaelco". Retrolaser (in Spanish). 19 November 2017. Archived from the original on 10 June 2020. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  28. ^ Miccoli, Maurizio (June 1993). "Killed Games (Insert Coin): World Rally (Gaelco 1993)". Computer+Videogiochi (in Italian). No. 27. Gruppo Editoriale Jackson. p. 129.
  29. ^ "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25 - テーブル型TVゲーム機 (Table Videos)". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 457. Amusement Press, Inc. 15 September 1993. p. 29.
  30. ^ "The Player's Choice - Top Games Now in Operation, Based on Earnings-Opinion Poll of Operators: Best Video Software". RePlay. Vol. 18, no. 12. RePlay Publishing, Inc. September 1993. p. 4.
  31. ^ "Equipment Poll - Video & Pinball Combined". Play Meter. Vol. 19, no. 10. Skybird Publishing. September 1993. p. 8.
  32. ^ "Arcades: World Rally Championship (Gaelco)". Joypad (in French). No. 21. Yellow Media. June 1993. p. 168.
  33. ^ "Torneo de World Rally Championship". RetroAcción (in Spanish). Asociación RetroAcción. 14 September 2018. Archived from the original on 2 November 2018. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  34. ^ "Torneo del videojuego «World Rally Championship» (1993)". RetroAcción (in Spanish). Asociación RetroAcción. 13 November 2018. Archived from the original on 15 May 2020. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  35. ^ Kusakabe, Ayako (1995). "Tokyo Locatest Report: World Rally 2 -Twin Racing- (gaelco)". Game Urara. Vol. 4. Core Magazine. p. 79.
  36. ^ Wawro, Alex (3 December 2015). "Interactive fiction meets arcade racer: Designing Wheels of Aurelia". Gamasutra. UBM Technology Group. Archived from the original on 11 February 2018. Retrieved 23 March 2021.

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