From Sega Retro

(Redirected from Out Run)
For non-MSX2 home computer versions, see OutRun (home computers).

Out Run Title.png
Publisher: Sega
System(s): Sega OutRun hardware, Sega Mega Drive, Sega Master System, Sega Game Gear, MSX2, TurboGrafx-16
Peripherals supported:
Sega Game Gear
Gear-to-Gear Cable,
Sega Master System
Paddle Control
Genre: Racing

Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code
1986-09-20 ¥?  ?
1986-09-20 $?  ?
1986-09-20[1] £?  ?
Sega Mega Drive
1991-08-09 ¥7,000 G-4052
Sega Mega Drive
1991 $?  ?
Sega Mega Drive
1991-10[2] £39.99  ?
Sega Mega Drive
199x $?  ?
Sega Mega Drive
199x R$?  ?

Sega Master System
¥5,500 G-1326
Sega Master System
$? 7003
Sega Master System
£24.95[3][4] MK-7003-50
Sega Master System
250[6]F MK-7003-50
Sega Master System
DM ? MK-7003-50
Sega Master System
?Ptas MK-7003-50
Sega Master System
R$? 024240
Sega Master System
₩? GB-2326

Sega Game Gear
¥3,500 G-3213
Sega Game Gear
JP (Meisaku)
¥3,500 G-3222
Sega Game Gear
£24.99[7][8] 2310
Sega Game Gear
?F 2310
Sega Game Gear
DM ? 2310
Sega Game Gear
?Ptas 2310
Sega Game Gear
R$? 013460
Sega Game Gear
₩? ?

¥6,800 R68Y5814

OutRun (アウトラン) is an arcade game developed by Sega AM2 in 1986 for specially designed hardware. It was designed by Yu Suzuki, and is often considered a milestone in the driving/racing genre, being ported to numerous home platforms and inspiring several sequels. Rather than be classed as a "racing game", Yu Suzuki classifies OutRun as a "driving game".

OutRun was a pioneer in video game graphics, audio and arcade cabinet design, picking up multiple awards during the late 1980s. It was the best selling arcade game of 1986, with over 20,000 cabinets sold worldwide within a year. It sold 30,000 arcade cabinets worldwide by 1993.[9]


OutRun Course.png
The goal of OutRun is to simply drive your sports car to one of the five goals, labeled a to e, without running out of time. A pedal accelerates the car, and a steering wheel moves it left and right on the road. Due to limitations in the technology, it is impossible to fully turn the car around, nor is it possible to reverse.

Crashing into either other cars or scenery does not cause the player to lose lives, just time. After an area is cleared, checkpoints will allow the player to increase their time, and there will also be the option to select the next area through the form of a fork in the road. From a technical standpoint, every area is exactly the same length, though twists and turns can alter the amount of time needed to complete them. There are five possible endings, each with their own closing cinematic.

The car has two gears, high and low. When in the high gear, the car becomes harder to control, however the top speed of the vehicle is increased. To be successful in OutRun the player needs to switch between gears at the appropriate moments, e.g. switching to the lower gear while negotiating tricky roads, or if the player has just crashed.

The number of lanes of traffic also differs between stages. Although there is never a situation in OutRun where the cars travel in the opposite direction to yourself, the introductory level for example has six lanes of traffic.

Course Layout

Some stages appear in a different order between the Japanese and overseas releases of the game:

Japanese version

Stage Number Goal name
1 2 3 4 5
Vineyard A
Desert Death Valley B
Wheat Field Old Capital
Coconut Beach Alps Desolation Hill C
Cloudy Mountain Gateway
Devil's Canyon Autobahn D
Seaside Town
Lakeside E

Overseas version

Stage Number Goal name
1 2 3 4 5
Vineyard A
Desert Death Valley B
Gateway Old Capital
Coconut Beach Alps Desolation Hill C
Devil's Canyon Wheat Field
Cloudy Mountain Autobahn D
Seaside Town
Lakeside E

Coconut beach was later used as a stage in Sega Superstars Tennis.

Easter Eggs

  • The arcade version of OutRun contains one known Easter egg. It is accessed in different ways depending on which revision of the hardware is used. With revision A, holding down Start just before a checkpoint will display the message "PROGRAM YU SUZUKI 1986 SEP" will appear on screen. In revision B, the user is required to obtain a high score under the name "YU." first, then perform this code during the stage 2-3 transition. In revision B, the code can only be activated once, and if two instances of "YU." are recorded in the high score screen, the code will fail.
  • The Mega Drive version adds a fourth BGM track to choose during gameplay called Step on Beat, which shares the same frequency as Splash Wave (80.3). This is notably more concealed than the additional tracks made for the previously released OutRun 3D, wherein one is given an entirely new frequency between two preexisting ones.



OutRun was designed by Yu Suzuki, and for the most part stands as the logical progression from the earlier Hang-On (and to a lesser extent, Space Harrier). All three make use of Super Scaler technology in an attempt to deliver a sense of speed and deliver a 3D look and feel. It is said Suzuki got the idea for producing OutRun from the 1981 film The Cannonball Run.

Initially the plan had been to follow the course of The Cannonball Run, however Suzuki noted that the course lacked the variation in scenery he had hoped for. Instead, the attention turned to Europe, but in order to get a clearer vision of its scenery, Suzuki decided to travel and collect data first hand.

I started out from Frankfurt, where I hired a rent a car, and I installed a video camera on the car. I drove around Monaco and Monte Carlo, along the mountain roads of Switzerland, stopping in hotels in Milan, Venice, and Rome, collecting data for a fortnight.

—Yu Suzuki

Interestingly the first sequel to OutRun, Turbo OutRun would span North America, though Europe would be explored in more detail in another sequel OutRun Europa.

Yu Suzuki is noted for being a fan of Ferrari supercars, and although OutRun is not officially licensed by Ferrari, the player's car looks strikingly similar to a Ferrari Testarossa, right down to the rear badge. Suzuki first encountered this car in Monaco, and decided it was the perfect choice for the game. Unfortunately at the time the car was not common in Japan, which presented difficulties when it came to road testing. Allegedly five members of Sega AM2 squeezed into a privately owned model for a three hour road test during development. They also took photos and recorded the sound of the car's engine.

The Ferrari Testarossa in game attempts to simulate the real-life features of the car, e.g. horsepower, torque, tires, gears etc. Suzuki designed OutRun in a very different way to previous racing games - in OutRun, good real-life drivers are rewarded for their skills in game, and bumping into other vehicles does not cause the car to explode (unlike many other older racers).

Sega did not consult Ferrari over the inclusion of the Testarossa in game, and would later meet in court several times over the matter. It is assumed a deal was reached as the car has never been modified for any future releases, and in fact, Ferrari have gone as far officially sponsor several racing games, starting with F355 Challenge (also designed by Yu Suzuki) and OutRun 2 and its derivatives. Other cars on the road appear to be a 1972 Volkswagen Beetle, a 1971 Chevrolet Corvette, a 1985 Porsche 911, a 1985 BMW 325i Cabriolet E30 and a generic truck.

The music of OutRun was composed by famed Sega musician, Hiroshi Miyauchi, and was extremely popular. Each of the three in-game music tracks were much longer and more varied than what other arcade games were offering at the time, and unlike every other racing game on the market, OutRun allowed the user to pick a music track to race with. Originally the soundtrack was to consist of eight different rock tracks running at 150 beats per minute, though hardware restrictions forced this idea to be scrapped.

Suzuki claims he was only able to achieve half of his original goal in OutRun. Originally eight different sports cars were planned with differing stats, and cutscenes were due to occur at checkpoints, giving the player a story. Some of these features would be added in later OutRun games.

OutRun came in four distinct styles of arcade cabinet, two upright and two sit-down. Each comes with a steering wheel and stick shift plus acceleration and brake pedals. Though steering wheels had appeared in countless Arcade games previous to Sega's game, OutRun was the first to have force feedback in order to simulate the road surface. The deluxe sit-down cabinet is also equipped with hydraulics which move the seat as the player turns.

The game has been decompiled[10], with the process revealing several interesting facts about the game. Unused code allows traffic to move towards the camera, and an unused "You're Doing Great" sample from Space Harrier exists. The game is also capable of showing "lap times" (the time taken to complete an area - OutRun has no concept of "real" laps). Much of the code from the game would be recycled for games such as Super Hang-On.

Two revisions of the game are known to exist - the latter adding some extra text to the music selection screen and adjusting the first area slightly. Depending on version or region, the track layout can also differ.


See Physical scans section for review scores

Upon release in 1986, OutRun became one of the most popular games in the arcades at the time.[11][12]

The arcade game was particularly popular in Japan[13] and the United Kingdom.[14] In July 1987, it remained at the top of Computer and Video Games's UK coin-op charts, based on its performance at a London West End arcade.[15] Several years since its release, Out Run was still appearing on Famicom Tsūshin's Japanese arcade charts in 1989, at number-eleven in August 1989 and number-five in September 1989,[13] before eventually dropping from the top fifteen in October 1989.[16]

At the ATEI show in January 1987, both OutRun and WEC Le Mans "stole the January show" according to Computer and Video Games. [1] Commodore User reviewed the arcade game in its March 1987 issue, describing it as "a great game for driving enthusiasts" and giving it a score of 9 out of 10.[17]

In Japan, the Gamest Awards gave Out Run a prize for best "flashy" graphics of 1986. [The Best Game 2: Gamest Mook Vol. 112, p. 6-26]


OutRun was a big success in arcades, so it was inevitable that ports would be made to home platforms. At the time, these systems were seen to be vastly inferior to the hardware powering OutRun, and numerous cuts were made.

Pony Canyon handled an MSX2 conversion which only saw release in Japan. There is also a PC Engine port, published by NEC Avenue. An X68000 port by Hertz was planned, but cancelled, according to an interview with a former staff member[18]. Reportedly a Sega 32X version was also in development at one stage[19].

Sega were also quick to port the game to their own systems. Sega Master System and Sega Game Gear ports were handled in-house by Sega, as was a Sega Mega Drive version, seen for a while to be the best home port of OutRun with faithful stages design and which even includes an exclusive music track called Step on Beat.

A Sega Saturn version of the game was only released as a stand alone title in Japan as part of their Sega Ages series. It was later bundled with Space Harrier and After Burner II to make the western title Sega Ages: Volume 1. Since then, the majority of home ports of the game have been almost identical to their original arcade counterpart, with the exception of mobile phone versions and the version included in the 2004 Sega Arcade Gallery Game Boy Advance compilation (whose resolution was changed to fit the console's smaller screen).

OutRun was also released as part of the Sega Ages 2500 PlayStation 2 series in Japan, and is fully playable within Shenmue and Shenmue II. The Shenmue versions alter the player's car so that it looks less like a Testarossa, as does the one version included in Yu Suzuki Game Works Vol. 1. OutRun is also unlockable within the Xbox port of OutRun 2 SP.

The game saw many sequels, however the "true" sequel comes in the form of Turbo OutRun, a 1989 arcade release also by Sega AM2. By obtaining a kit from Sega, arcade owners were able to "upgrade" OutRun into Turbo OutRun, as the two games run on identical hardware. Turbo OutRun offers several new graphical features and a turbo button.

Production credits

Mega Drive version

  • Program: Y.Koba
  • Graphic: T.Yano, Meiden, B.T.S
  • Total Coordinator: K.Maz
  • Sound: T's Music
  • Special Thanks: Nino Gyofuku, Akkey Kato

Photo gallery


Magazine articles

Main article: OutRun/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

ACE UK 06.pdfACE UK 06.pdf

Master System print advert in

ACE (UK) #6: "March 1988" (1988-02-04)
also published in:

  • Computer & Video Games (UK) #77: "March 1988" (1988-02-15)[20]

CVG UK 120.pdfCVG UK 120.pdf

Game Gear print advert in

Computer & Video Games (UK) #120: "November 1991" (1991-10-15)


Physical scans

Arcade version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
90 №42, p107
Based on
1 review

Arcade, US (standard)
Arcade, US (upright)
OutRun Arcade US Marquee.jpg
OutRun Arcade Instructions Upright.jpg
OutRun Arcade US Manual Upright Parts.pdf
Arcade, US (deluxe)
OutRun Arcade US Manual Deluxe.pdf
Arcade, US (mini)

Mega-Tech version


OutRun MegaTech Cart Back.jpgOutRun MegaTech Cart.jpg

Mega Drive version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
86 №1991-11, p146, [2]
76 №1, p60/61[21]
75 №141, [3]
70 №19, p37
92 №4, p16/17[22]
90 №1, p40/41[23]
90 №20, p166[24]
24 №5, p93
57 №9, p21
45 №21, p65
58 №1, p79[25]
69 №20, p113
69 №13, p64/65[26]
69 №1, p126/127[27]
75 №14, p56/57[28]
49 №24, p37
80 №18, p66
83 №3, p68/69[29]
85 №10, p33/72
62 №4/91, p33[30]
Sega Mega Drive
Based on
20 reviews

Mega Drive, US
OutRun MD US Box.jpg
OutRun MD US Cart.jpg
Outrun md us manual.pdf
Mega Drive, EU
OutRun MD EU Box.jpg
OutRun MD EU Cart.jpg
Mega Drive, JP
Outrun md jp cover.jpg
OutRun MD JP CartTop.jpg
OutRun MD JP Cart Back.jpgOutrun md jp cart.jpg
Mega Drive, AU

Mega Drive, BR
Outrun md br cover.jpg
OutRun MD BR Cart.jpg
Outrun md br manual.pdf

Master System version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
85 №2, p58/59[31]
80 №1, p63[32]
80 №4, p102[33]
80 №1, p59Media:TheCompleteGuideToSega UK.pdf[34]
90 №72, p98/99[35]
90 №137, p88-93
85 №4, p44
72 №3, p60/61[36]
80 №8, p66/67[37]
82 №2, p43[6]
80 №1, p129/131[38]
60 №23, p58
64 №5, p20[39]
85 №49, p98
Sega Master System
Based on
14 reviews

Master System, US
OutRun SMS US cover.jpg
OutRun SMS US Cart.jpg
Outrun sms us manual.pdf
Master System, US (newer)
OutRun SMS US Box.jpg
OutRun SMS US Cart Blue.jpg
Master System, EU
OutRun SMS EU Box.jpg
Master System, EU
"No Limits" variant
OutRun SMS EU nolimits cover.jpg
Master System, EU
® variant
OutRun SMS EU R cover.jpg
Master System, JP
OutRun SMS JP Box Back.jpgOutRun SMS JP Box Spine.jpgOutRun SMS JP Box Front.jpg
Outrun sms jp cart.jpg
Master System, AU

OutRun SMS AU Cart.jpg
Master System, BR
OutRun SMS BR Box.jpg
OutRun SMS BR Cart.jpg
Master System, BR (re-release)
OutRun SMS BR Box Alt.jpg
Master System, KR
OutRun SMS KR cover.jpg
OutRun SMS KR cart.jpg
Master System, SE

Game Gear version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
40 №52, p104[7]
88 №1991-11, p150, [4]
75 №120 (Go!), p11[40]
86 №2, p131[41]
88 №6, p95[42]
60 №19, p38
30 №1, p52
86 №3, p34[43]
79 №20, p134[44]
64 №1, p131[45]
64 №11/91
79 №27, p52
77 №1, p40[46]
Sega Game Gear
Based on
13 reviews

Game Gear, EU
OutRun GG EU Box Back.jpgNospine.pngOutRun GG EU Box Front.jpg
OutRun GG EU Cart.jpg
Game Gear, JP
OutRun GG JP Box Back.jpgNospine-small.pngOutRun GG JP Box Front.jpg
Game Gear, JP (Meisaku Collection)
OutRun GG JP Box Front Meisaku.jpg
Game Gear, BR

Game Gear, KR

OutRun GG KR cartback.jpgOutRun GG KR Cart.jpg

MSX2 version

MSX, JP (cartridge)
OutRun MSX JP Cartridge Box Back.jpgNospine.pngOutRun MSX JP Cartridge Box Front.jpg
OutRun MSX2 JP Cart.jpg

PC Engine version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
70 №112, p77[47]
89 №13, p127
63 №4/91, p134[48]
62 №1/91, p92[49]
PC Engine
Based on
4 reviews

PC Engine, JP
OutRun PCE HuCard JP Back.jpgOutRun PCE HuCard JP Spine.jpgOutRun PCE JP Box Front.jpg
OutRun PCE HuCard JP Card Back.jpgOutRun PCE JP Card.jpg
OutRun PCE HuCard JP Manual.pdf


NEC Retro has more information related to OutRun.
  2. File:SegaPro UK 01.pdf, page 9
  3. File:ACE UK 16.pdf, page 166
  4. File:CVG UK 078.pdf, page 26
  5. File:CVG UK 073.pdf, page 132
  6. 6.0 6.1 File:Generation4 FR 002.pdf, page 43
  7. 7.0 7.1 File:ACE UK 52.pdf, page 104
  8. File:CVG UK 120.pdf, page 83
  9. File:MeanMachinesSega22UK.pdf, page 92
  11. File:Crash UK 39.pdf, page 32
  12. File:SinclairUser UK 064.pdf, page 20
  13. 13.0 13.1!msg/
  19. File:GameFan US 0303.pdf, page 114
  20. File:CVG UK 077.pdf, page 10
  21. File:ConsolesPlus FR 001.pdf, page 58
  22. File:HobbyConsolas ES 004.pdf, page 16
  23. File:Joypad FR 001.pdf, page 40
  24. File:Joystick FR 020.pdf, page 166
  25. File:MegaTech UK 01.pdf, page 79
  26. File:MeanMachines UK 13.pdf, page 64
  27. File:MeanMachinesSega01UK.pdf, page 126
  28. File:PlayerOne FR 014.pdf, page 56
  29. File:SegaForce UK 03.pdf, page 68
  30. File:VideoGames DE 1991-04.pdf, page 33
  31. File:ACE UK 02.pdf, page 58
  32. File:CompleteGuideToConsoles_UK_01.pdf, page 63
  33. File:CGtC UK 04.pdf, page 102
  34. File:TheCompleteGuideToSega UK.pdf, page 59
  35. File:CVG UK 072.pdf, page 98
  36. File:TGM UK 03.pdf, page 61
  37. File:GamesPreview DK 08.pdf, page 66
  38. File:MeanMachinesSega01UK.pdf, page 129
  39. File:SegaPro UK 05.pdf, page 20
  40. File:Go UK 01.pdf, page 11
  41. File:ConsolesPlus FR 002.pdf, page 123
  42. File:ConsolesPlus FR 006.pdf, page 95
  43. File:HobbyConsolas ES 003.pdf, page 34
  44. File:Joystick FR 020.pdf, page 134
  45. File:MeanMachinesSega01UK.pdf, page 131
  46. File:SegaPro UK 01.pdf, page 40
  47. File:CVG UK 112.pdf, page 77
  48. File:PowerPlay DE 037.pdf, page 134
  49. File:VideoGames DE 1991-01.pdf, page 88

OutRun series of games
OutRun (1986) | Turbo OutRun (1989) | OutRunners (1992) | OutRun 2 (2003) | OutRun 2 SP (2004) | OutRun 2 SP SDX (2006)
Sega Master System
OutRun (1987) | OutRun 3D (1988) | Battle OutRun (1989) | OutRun Europa (1991)
Windows PC
OutRun (1987) | Turbo OutRun (1989) | OutRun Europa (1991)
OutRun (1988)
FM Towns/FM Towns Marty
Turbo OutRun (1989)
LCD handheld game
OutRun (1989) | OutRun F-1 (19xx)
Sega Mega Drive
OutRun (1991) | Turbo OutRun (1992) | OutRun 2019 (1993) | OutRunners (1994) | Arcade Legends OutRun 2019 (200x)
Sega Game Gear
OutRun (1991) | OutRun Europa (1992)
Sega Saturn
Sega Ages OutRun (1996)
Sony PlayStation 2
Sega Ages 2500 Series Vol. 13: OutRun (2004) | OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast (2006) | OutRun 2 SP (2007)
OutRun 2 (2004) | OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast (2006)
Xbox 360
Sony PlayStation 3
OutRun Online Arcade (2009)
Nintendo 3DS
3D OutRun (2014)
OutRun Albums
OutRun (1992) | Virtua Racing & OutRunners (1993) | Yu Suzuki Produce OutRun (1997) | Sega Presents OutRun 2: Music Through the Ages (2004) | OutRun 2 Sound Tracks (2004) | OutRun 2 Sound Tracks: Side B (2005) | OutRun Sound Tracks: Complement (2007) | OutRun 20th Anniversary Box (2007) | OutRun (2016)
OuRun (1987) | OutRun (1988) | Super Monaco GP / Turbo OutRun (1989)