Chase H.Q.

Arcade Video game published 34 years ago by Taito

Chase H.Q. screenshot

Listed and emulated in MAME.

Chase H.Q. © 1988 Taito Corp.

Chase H.Q. is a checkpoint-based racing game in which the player takes on the role on an undercover cop called Tony Gibson in this 'Miami Vice' inspired game from Taito corporation. Gibson drives a powerful unmarked police car (resembling an anthracite Porsche 928) along with his partner, 'Raymond Broady' and must chase down and apprehend various criminals.

The player has between fifty-five and seventy seconds (depending on the game's Dip switch; factory setting = 60 seconds) to catch up with the fleeing criminal(s), then the same time period again to repeatedly ram into the criminal's car until it is too damaged to drive. The criminal's car is constantly moving away, so if the player repeatedly crashes or drives too slowly, the criminal will escape and the game ends.

As with Sega's seminal "Out Run", "Chase H.Q." features forked junctions offering players a choice of routes. In this game, however, the route selected is only a temporary diversion and dictates how quickly the criminal is caught up with. The player's Porsche is equipped with a limited number of turbo boosts, when used a turbo boost pushes the car to incredible speeds, at the expense of control. The turbos must be used wisely if the player is to have a chance of capturing the criminal before the time limit expires.

The game consists of five levels, each with its own villain to capture.

The game's villains and the cars they drive are:
1. Ralph, the Idaho Slasher (white Lotus Esprit type 82)
2. Carlos, the New York armed robber (yellow Lamborghini Countach)
3. Chicago pushers (silver Porsche 911 [930])
4. L.A. kidnapper (blue Ferrari 288 GTO)
5. Eastern Bloc spy (red Porsche 928, initially unknown)

Goodies for Chase H.Q.
Click to enlarge
(members only)

Taito Z System hardware
Prom Stickers : B52

Main CPU : (2x) Motorola 68000
Sound CPU : Zilog Z80
Sound Chips : Yamaha YM2610

Players : 1
Control : Steering wheel + 2 Pedal
Buttons : 2


Chase H.Q. was released in October 1988 in Japan. It was arguably the first sprite-scaled racer since Sega's legendary "Out Run" - released 2 years' earlier - to truly capture the gaming public's imagination.

The names main characters of chase H.Q. are as follows:
The Caucasian cop : Tony Gibson
The African-American cop (A.K.A. Mr. Driver) : Raymond Broady
Chase H.Q.'s Dispatcher : Nancy (she doesn't have a last name).

The 1st stage always shows right arrow. The arrow on the 3rd stage, on the other hand, directs left. The 2nd, 4th and 5th stages feature a helicopter and the arrow direction is always random.

Full Throttle or Top Speed can be converted into Chase H.Q.

The main player's car (the black Porsche) makes an appearance in the spin-off to the Chase H.Q. series : "Crime City".

Brian Kuh holds the official record for this game with 3,596,680 points on June 1, 2006.

Pony Canyon / Scitron released a limited-edition soundtrack album for this game (Syvalion : G.S.M. Taito 3 - D28B0014) on March 21, 1989.


The Japanese version has different voices and a territorial notice not allowing to play outside Japan.

The US release shows speed in a mile per hour.


1. Chase H.Q. (1988)
2. S.C.I. - Special Criminal Investigation (1989)
3. Super Chase - Criminal Termination (1993)
4. Ray Tracers (1997, Sony PlayStation)
5. Chase H.Q. 2 (2007)


Game Designer : Hiroguki Sakou
Game Programmers : Takeshi Ishizashi, Takeshi Murata, Kyoji Shimamoto
P.C.B Designer : Masahiro Yamaguchi
Sound Designers : Yoshio Imamura, Naoto Yagishita, Eikichi Takahashi, Fumiaki Imaoka
Music Composer : Takami Asano
Cabinet Designer : Nobuyuki Iwasaki
Proposer : Yoshiharu Suzuki
Special Thanks : Junji Yarita, Kazuya Mikata, Atsushi Iwata


[JP] Nintendo Famicom (dec.8, 1989) "Taito Chase H.Q. [Model DTF-H9]"
[JP] NEC PC-Engine (jan.26, 1990) "Taito Chase H.Q. [Model TP02006]"
[EU] Sega Master System (1990) "Chase H.Q. [Model 7038]"
[JP] Sega Saturn (aug.9, 1996) "Chase H.Q. + S.C.I. [Model T-1105G]"
[JP] Sony PS2 (mar.29, 2007) "Taito Memories II Gekan [Model SLPM-66713]"

[EU] Nintendo Game Boy (1991) "Chase H.Q. [Model DMG-HQ-NOE]"
[JP] Nintendo Game Boy (jan.11, 1991) "Taito Chase H.Q. [Model DMG-HQJ]"
[JP] Sega Game Gear (mar.8, 1991) "Taito Chase H.Q. [Model T-11017]"
Nintendo Game Boy Color [EU] (aug.1999) "Chase H.Q. - Secret Police [Model DMG-AH9P-EUR]"
Nintendo Game Boy Color [JP] (may.26, 2000) "Taito Memorial - Chase HQ - Secret Police [Model DMG-AH9J-JPN]"

[EU] Sinclair ZX Spectrum (1988)
[EU] Amstrad CPC (1989)
[EU] Commodore Amiga (1989)
[EU] Atari ST (1989)
[EU] Commodore C64 (1990)
[JP] Sharp X68000 (oct.1992)
FM Towns PC [JP] (1993)


Game's ROM.
Machine's picture.