Out Run

Arcade Video game published 37 years ago by SEGA Enterprises, Ltd.

Listed in MAME

Out Run screenshot

Out Run © 1986 Sega Enterprises, Limited.

Out Run is a ground-breaking racing game in which the player drives a red Ferrari Testarossa through a number of colourful European locations, trying to reach each end-of-level checkpoint before the tight time limit expires.

Each of the game's stages is packed with civilian traffic that must be carefully avoided, as players try to negotiate the game's twisting, hilly roads.

At the end of every stage players are presented with a fork in the road, allowing them to chose which route they wish to take next. This was not the first time this feature had appeared (Tatsumi's 1983 racer, TX-1, was the first to introduce forked roads).

As well as being able to choose routes, players could also - via the game's "in-car radio" - choose one of three different catchy tunes to listen to while driving. The songs are 'Magical Sound Shower', 'Passing Breeze' and 'Splash Wave'.

Goodies for Out Run
Click to enlarge
(members only)

[1] Standard Type
[2] Upright Type


Released internationally on September 20, 1986.

Also released as:
"Out Run [Deluxe Type]".

At the end of each stage, before the end-of-stage goal is reached, players are presented with a fork in the road; a unique innovation that, for the first time in the history of racing games, gave players a choice of which route they wished to take through the game. Out Run's game-play was both tight and instinctive and, together with the superb stage design and wonderfully realized sprite-scaled graphics, would completely revolutionize not just racing games, but arcade games in general.

Out Run is still regarded as perhaps the finest arcade racer (and certainly the finest sprite-driven racer) of all time. This was especially true of the deluxe cabinet version, which featured a fully hydraulic tilting cabinet (resembling a red Ferrari Testarossa) and a powerful speaker system situated directly behind the player's head. The sublime music still captivates many fans today, although the sublime 'Magical Sound Shower' is generally regarded as the finest of the three in-game tunes on offer (the others being 'Passing Breeze' and 'Splash Wave'). The final tune, 'Last Wave', is only played when the high-score table is displayed.

At least part of Out Run's huge success was down to it capturing the fun-yet-superficial spirit of the 1980s. Previous racing games had concentrated on the more serious side of racing, with the action usually taking place in a Formula One racing car, over a series of competent but uninspiring racing tracks. Out Run was different; in a decade that celebrated style over content, the game offered players the ultimate boy racer experience by putting them behind the wheel of that eighties icon of cool, a red Ferrari Testarossa; replete with a 'blonde bimbo' in the passenger seat.

Sega didn't actually have (nor indeed ask for) permission from Ferrari to use one of their cars for the game. This inevitably led to a degree of bad feeling and threats of litigation between the two companies. They have since settled their differences, however, as Sega acquired an official license to use the Ferrari range in its 2003 sequel, "Out Run 2".

Opponent cars list :
* 1972 Volkswagen Beetle
* 1971 Chevrolet Corvette
* 1985 Porsche Carrera 911 Turbo
* 1985 BMW 325i Cabriolet E30
* Lorry

Out Run contains in-game billboards advertising KTM motorcycles.

Richard Jackson holds the official record for this game with 52,897,690 points.

In the film 'Donnie Darko', Donnie is playing Out Run at an arcade with his girlfriend. The scene shows him crashing his car during their discussion.

An Out Run cabinet can be seen in the 1988 educational video presented by General Motors called 'The Game Of Your Life'.

A MTV public announcement against drunk driving shown in the mid '90s shows a gamer in their viewpoint playing Out Run whilst under the influence of alcohol and cuts to each point where the gamer crashes until the end of game.

[JP] Dec. ??, 1987 - Sega Taikan Game Special [28XA-198]
[JP] Feb. ??, 1992 - Outrun/SEGA S.S.T. [PCCB-00081] - Composition by SEGA Sound Team and arrangement by SEGA S.S.T. Band. The first 3 tracks are arranged versions.
[JP] Nov. 19, 1997 - Yu-Suzuki produce Out Run [MJCAX-00004]

Goodies for Out Run
Click to see more
(members only)

* Fastest route:
The fastest route for finishing the game is Right (Devil's Canyon), Left (Snowy Alps), Right (Wheatfield), Right (Autobahn).

* Secret credit message:
Right before the road forks, press and hold Start. When you choose one of the roads and the other one disappears from view, a secret credit message will come up on the screen.

* Instead of just pressing the accelerator all the way when you're about to start, you should instead try to keep the gas in 'the high greens' and just below red. The exact moment the green light goes on you should give it as much gas as possible thereby starting up much faster. Instead of shifting at approx. 170mph you should change gears at about 120 mph to avoid slowdown. This hint earns you approx. 1 second. This trick works every time you have to start from 0 mph but is difficult to time right when you don't have the green light for timing.

* The second before going off road you can change very quickly to low gear and then high gear again. If done correctly you can drive off the road without any slowdown for about 1-2 seconds. If you time it right you can actually change to low then high again after the 1-2 seconds and not loose ANY speed whatsoever when driving offroad. This way you can keep going 292mph even though you're offroad.


1. Out Run (1986, Arcade)
2. Out Run 3-D (1989, Master System)
3. Battle Out Run (1989, Master System)
4. Turbo Out Run [Model 317-0106] (1989, Arcade)
5. Out Run Europa (1991, Game Gear)
6. Out Runners (1992, Arcade)
7. Out Run 2019 (1993, Mega Drive)
8. Out Run 2 (2003, Arcade)
9. Out Run 2 SP (2004, Arcade)


japan Sega Mark III (june.30, 1987) "Out Run [Model G-1326]"
japan NEC PC-Engine (Dec. 21, 1990) "Out Run [Model NAPH-1016]"
japan Sega Mega Drive (Aug. 09, 1991) "Out Run [Model G-4052]"
japan Sega Game Gear (Aug. 09, 1991) "Out Run [Model G-3213]"
japan Sega Saturn (Sep. 20, 1996) "Sega Ages: Out Run [Model GS-9110]"
japan Sega Dreamcast (Dec. 20, 2001) "Yu Suzuki Game Works Vol.1 [Model ASP001]"
japan Sony PS2 (may.27, 2004) "Sega Ages 2500 Vol.13: Out Run [Model SLPM-62447]"
Microsoft Xbox (2004) "OutRun 2" : as an unlockable
Nintendo Switch (Jan. 09, 2019) "SEGA AGES Out Run"

Commodore C64 (1987)
Amstrad CPC (1987)
Sinclair ZX Spectrum (1987)
europe MSX (1988)
japan MSX 2 (Oct. 21 1988) "Out Run"
Commodore Amiga (1988)
Atari ST (1989)
PC [MS-DOS, 5.25"] (1989)
PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (1999) "Sega Smash Pack"

usa LCD tabletop [large] (1989) "Out Run [Model 7-928]"
Mobile phones (2002)


Game's ROM.
Machine's picture.