Chase H.Q.

Arcade Video game published 36 years ago by Taito Corp.

Listed in MAME

Chase H.Q. screenshot

Chase H.Q. © 1988 Taito Corporation.

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 55 and 70 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 (3 by factory), 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 5 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 pedals (gas and brake) + high/low gear shift
Buttons: 1
[button on the shift knob] = use a turbo


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 as released for the rest of the world) can be converted into Chase H.Q. When converted, the pedals will be analog (instead of digital in dedicated machines). Both Chase H.Q. and Full Throttle machines were produced with both types of steering wheel: with blockade (and centering after release) and without lock. Not every machine has a brake pedal, and not all machines have been produced with analog pedals either.

The main player's car (the black Porsche 928) makes an appearance in 2 spin-offs to the Chase H.Q. series: "Crime City" and "Quiz H.Q.".

Instructions shown after attract mode show you have to 'bumb' into 'climinals'. The game doesn't indicate how to 'bumb' (must have been 'bump') or who 'climinals' are; they must have been 'criminals'.

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 (non-English) and a territorial notice not allowing to play outside Japan.

The US release shows speed in a mile per hour.

1 yard driven 10 pts.
Every car overtaken 200 pts, then 400 pts up to 8000 pts (when not crashed); overtake bonus resets to 200 when crashed into any car.
Bump into criminal's car stage number × 10000 pts. You may even randomly score (stage number × 10000) + 40000 after a more powerful bump. Note this is a score when you don't continue (when you continue, you'll get 1000 and randomly 4000 points).
Stage completion stage number × 100000 pts (1 coin only; continue reduces to 10000).
Time bonus remaining seconds left × 5000 pts (1 coin only; continue reduces to 500).
Entire game (5 stages) complete 5000000 pts (1 coin only; continue reduces to 500000).

* Maximum overtake bonus: overtake 40 cars without crashing to get 8000 points per overtake (starting with 200 and raising by 200). Crash into any traffic car and you'll have to start racking points up from 200 per overtake.

* Always take a turn indicated by an arrow: taking a wrong turn will cause the distance meter to grow significantly, eventually resulting in a game over.

* You may shift the gear from high to low very often to take sharp or long turns, given the brake (if available) isn't very strong.

* Chase H.Q. doesn't have a final boss penalty (no continue on the final stage, seen in "Arkanoid"), so you can continue at every stage, but you'll get 1/10th of the initial score when you do so.


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)


japan Nintendo FamiCom (Dec.8, 1989) "Taito Chase H.Q. [Model DTF-H9]"
japan NEC PC-Engine (Jan.26, 1990) "Taito Chase H.Q. [Model TP02006]"
europe Sega Master System (1990) "Chase H.Q. [Model 7038]"
japan Sega Saturn (Aug.9, 1996) "Chase H.Q. + S.C.I. [Model T-1105G]"
japan Sony PS2 (Mar.29, 2007) "Taito Memories II Gekan [Model SLPM-66713]"

europe Nintendo Game Boy (1991) "Chase H.Q. [Model DMG-HQ-NOE]"
japan Nintendo Game Boy (Jan.11, 1991) "Taito Chase H.Q. [Model DMG-HQJ]"
japan Sega Game Gear (Mar.8, 1991) "Taito Chase H.Q. [Model T-11017]"
europe Nintendo Game Boy Color (Aug.1999) "Chase H.Q. - Secret Police [Model DMG-AH9P-EUR]"
japan Nintendo Game Boy Color (May.26, 2000) "Taito Memorial - Chase HQ - Secret Police [Model DMG-AH9J-JPN]"

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


Game's ROM.
Machine's picture.