Out Run

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Hope tire smoke doesn't make you cough.

A driving game first to hit the arcades in 1986, OutRun basically amounts to a time-attack Speed Run. You, a manly man in his Ferrari, start at the start line, and Race Against the Clock to a Check Point at the end of the stage. You are accompanied by a token female passenger, who presumably was attracted solely by the horsepower. Along the way, you must avoid other motorists and assorted roadside obstacles, lest you crash in a variety of entertaining ways. Just before that checkpoint, the road forks into two, and each fork will allow you to access a differently-themed area. Get through five stages, and you reach the finish line. Depending on the route you take (and the final stage you reach), and you'll get Multiple Endings.

The game was successful enough to get itself ported to the Sega Genesis (and pretty much everything else of the same generation as the Genesis), and spawned lots of sequels. The most recent incarnations can be found on the Xbox and Xbox 360, and in one case, you can unlock the original game as a hidden easter-egg. They all follow the same formula, though several of them add an opponent to race against in addition to the clock and standard traffic.

To date, the series goes as follows:

Tropes used in Out Run include:
  • All There in the Manual: The lady in the passenger seat gets her backstory explained in the OutRun 2006 song "Life was a Bore".
  • Brand X: The first game didn't have official licensing from Ferrari despite using everything about the Testarossa's styling, up to and including the prancing horse logo on the back. The cars were fully licensed from OutRun 2 onwards.
  • Cool Car: The first game had you drive a Ferrari Testarossa convertible. Later games had you drive any of a variety of cars - primarily Ferraris, and dodging out of the way of slower regular everyday cars like VW Beetles, etc.
  • Death Is Cheap: Crashes are cheap. If you crash, the game resets you after a few seconds. Even if your car barrel-rolled several times and you were thrown out of it onto the asphalt and an obstacle car ran over your head. Just keep in mind that a couple of crashes is all you need to lose the game.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Kind of the whole point. Your passenger doesn't care unless you crash.
  • Driving Stick: Massively simplified gearbox with two options: Low gear and High gear. OutRunners also had cars with 3 or more speed, but the way you shift pretty much amounts to pushing the up/down lever until you reach the gear you want. OutRun 2 has 5 or 6 manual gearboxes depending on the car, but all share the same up/down functionality; to make things simple, it also includes an option for automatic transmission.
  • Fragile Speedster: Sometimes.
  • The Many Deaths of You: If you crash hard enough to come to a stop, the results can be spectacular. You and your passenger might be thrown from the car and fly through the air, or your passenger might simply admonish you before the car is reset on the track.
  • Multiple Endings:
    • Depending on the route you pick. Results can range from the driver (or the passenger) being given a trophy to the car just falling to bits.
    • OutRunners has one ending for each tag team you pick, independent of the route.
    • OutRun 2 returns to form with new endings rendered in 3D. And, true to form, they can be hilarious (especially routes A and E).
    • Averted with OutRun 2019, which has only one ending.
  • Nintendo Hard: Since most games' single-player modes don't have any opponent cars, your true opponent is the harsh time limit.
  • Race Against the Clock: The gameplay style. If time runs out, you lose. You win simply by making it to the end without running out of time.
  • Recycled IN THE FUTURE!: OutRun 2019. Same premise, but you look as though you're driving the batmobile.
  • Rubber Band AI: In later games.
  • Scenery Porn: Lots of varied scenery, which looked pretty spiffing for the 16-bit era.
  • Scoring Points: Unusually for a driving game. You continuously gain points as you drive, and get a big bonus based on time left if you reach the goal. In OutRun 2, you gain points for passing traffic cars, and even more for passing rivals, but hitting a car will reduce the bonus you get from passing it.
  • Vanity License Plate: The box-art above shows 'OutRun' as the license plate. You'd think that number plate would catch the attention of the local police. OutRun 2 onwards followed a formula of MO (Modena, the Italian city where Ferrari is headquartered) followed by some letters and numbers referring to the car and/or its engine (MO 512 TR for the 5-liter, 12-cylinder powered Testarossa).
  • You Fail Physics Forever: The totally absurd ability to powerslide from OutRun 2 onwards. It makes Ridge Racer and Need for Speed Underground look like totally Serious Business driving simulators.