From Sega Retro

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Out Run Title.png
Publisher: Sega
System(s): Sega OutRun Hardware, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS, J2ME, MSX, Sega Game Gear, Sega Master System, Sega Mega Drive, Sega Saturn, TurboGrafx-16, ZX Spectrum
ROM size: Sega Mega Drive 1MB, Sega Master System 256kB, Sega Game Gear 128kB
Genre: Racing

Release Date RRP Code
Arcade World 1986  ?
Sega Mega Drive JP 1991-08-09 ¥7,000 G-4052
Sega Mega Drive US 1991 $?  ?
Sega Mega Drive EU 1991 £?  ?
Sega Master System JP 1987-06-30 ¥5,500 G-1326
Sega Master System US 1987 $? 7003
Sega Master System EU 1987-10 £24.95 MK-7003-50
Sega Master System BR 19xx $? 024240
Sega Game Gear JP 1991-08-09 ¥3,500 G-3213
Sega Game Gear JP (Meisaku) 1993-07-23 ¥? G-3222
Sega Game Gear EU 1991 £24.99  ?
Commodore Amiga US 1987 $49.95  ?
Commodore Amiga EU 1987 £24.99  ?
Atari ST US 1987 $49.95  ?
Atari ST EU 1987-12 £19.99  ?
Amstrad CPC EU 1987-12 £14.99  ?
Commodore 64 US (cartridge) 1987 $29.95  ?
Commodore 64 EU 1987-12 £11.99  ?
ZX Spectrum EU 1987-12 £12.99  ?
DOS-based computers (IBM PC) US 198x $34.95  ?
MSX JP 1988-10 ¥6,800 R68Y5814
TurbografX-16/PC Engine JP 1990 ¥?  ?
Mobile Phones US 2004 $?  ?

OutRun (アウトラン) is a successful arcade driving game developed by Sega AM2 in 1986 on specially designed hardware. It was designed by Yu Suzuki, and went on to inspire numerous sequels and re-releases. Rather than be classed as a "racing game", Yu Suzuki classifies OutRun as a "driving game".

It is one of Sega's most iconic franchises as it was the first arcade game to deliver a sense of speed while making use of Super Scaler technology to create a pseudo-3D look and feel. It also contains multiple routes and multiple endings. Its music, composed by Hiroshi Miyauchi, was also extremely popular as well, as each of the three in-game music tracks were much longer and more varied than what other arcade games were offering at the time. It was also one of the first games to allow picking a music track to race with.

The player's car looks strikingly similar to a Ferrari Testarossa, so much so that the two companies would later have some court encounters over it. In later games, the car is either generic with no obvious ties to a company, or, in the most recent games, a real Ferrari. 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 truck. The game's scenery is largely inspired by Europe, after a European trip Suzuki travelled on for inspiration. This would be explored in more detail in the sequel OutRun Europa.

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.


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. 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. 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 introductary level for example has six lanes of traffic.

Regional Differences

The names of the stages differ between the Japanese and overseas releases of the games:

Japanese Layout

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 Layout

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.

Sequels and Re-releases

Much was lost in the transition to home platforms in the late 1980s. This is the MSX port.

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.

Various companies were contracted by U.S. Gold to produce Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS, MSX and ZX Spectrum ports, which were then distributed in North America and parts of Europe. Pony Canyon handled an MSX2 conversion which only saw release in Japan. There is also TurboGrafx-16 port, handled by NEC Interchannel.

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.

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. It 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.


Physical Scans

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Based on 11 reviews
Publication Score Source
Atari ST 87
Commodore Amiga 82
Sega Game Gear 40 №52
Sega Game Gear 86 №2
Commodore 64 60 №76
Commodore 64 48 №109
Amstrad CPC 20 №76
Atari ST 70 №80
Sega Master System 85
Sega Master System 72
Sega Game Gear 86
Sega Mega Drive 92
Sega Mega Drive 69
Sega Mega Drive 75
Sega Game Gear 64
Sega Mega Drive 83
Sega Master System 85

Arcade Version

Arcade, US
OutRun Arcade US Flyer.jpg
Arcade, EU
Arcade, EU (mini)
Arcade, JP
Arcade, JP (alt)

Mega Drive Version

Mega Drive, US
OutRun MD US Box.jpg
OutRun MD US Cart.jpg
Mega Drive, EU
OutRun MD EU Box.jpg
Mega Drive, JP
Outrun md jp cover.jpg
Outrun md jp cart.jpg

Master System Version

Master System, US
OutRun SMS US cover.jpg
Master System, US
OutRun SMS US Box.jpg
OutRun SMS US Cart.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.jpgNospine.pngOutRun SMS JP Box Front.jpg
Outrun sms jp cart.jpg
Master System, BR
OutRun SMS BR Box.jpg
Master System, BR (newer)
OutRun SMS BR Box Alt.jpg

Game Gear Version

Game Gear, EU
OutRun GG EU Box Front.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

Amiga Version

Amiga, EU (Erbe Re-release)
OutRun Amiga EU Erbe Box Front.jpg
Amiga, EU (Klassix Re-release)
OutRun Amiga EU Klassix Box Front.jpg

Amstrad CPC Version

Amstrad CPC, EU

OutRun Amstrad EU Disk.jpg

Atari ST Version

Atari ST, EU
OutRun Atari ST EU Box Back.jpgNospine-small.pngOutRun Atari ST EU Box Front.jpg
OutRun Atari ST EU Disk.jpg

Commodore 64 Version

Commodore 64, US
OutRun C64 US Box Back.jpgNospine.pngOutRun C64 US Box Front.jpg
Commodore 64, EU
OutRun C64 EU Box Back.jpgOutRun C64 EU Box Front.jpg
Audio Cassette

MSX Version

Due to the video game industry handing out licensing rights for different media types rather than entire systems at the time, OutRun received two ports to the MSX — a cassette tape port by Probe and a cartridge port by Pony Canyon.

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

TurboGrafx-16 Version

TurboGrafx-16, JP
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ZX Spectrum Version

ZX Spectrum, EU (Cassette)
OutRun Spectrum EU Box.jpg
ZX Spectrum, EU (Disk)

OutRun Spectrum EU Disk.jpg
OutRun series of games
Arcade 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)
Home Computers OutRun (1987) | Turbo OutRun (1989) | OutRun Europa (1991)
MSX OutRun (1988)
FM Towns Turbo OutRun (1989)
Sega Mega Drive OutRun (1991) | Turbo OutRun (1992) | OutRun 2019 (1993) | OutRunners (1994)
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)
Xbox OutRun 2 (Xbox) (2004) | OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast (2006)
Sony PlayStation 3Xbox 360 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)