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Rad Racer

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Title Screen

Rad Racer

Also known as: Highway Star (JP)
Developer: Square
Publishers: Square (JP), Nintendo (US/EU)
Platform: NES
Released in JP: August 7, 1987
Released in US: October 1, 1987
Released in EU: January 15, 1988


TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
LevelSelectIcon.png This game has a hidden level select.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.
PiracyIcon.png This game has anti-piracy features.


Rad Racer is basically Square's take on OutRun. Playing the game with the Power Glove and 3D glasses is very cool and impressive.

Course Select

After selecting a vehicle, press B the number of times for the course you want to select. The speed meter will increase with each press. Then, hold Up + Right and press Start.

Presses Course
0 Course 1 Sunset Coastline
1 Course 2 San Francisco Highway
2 Course 3 Grand Canyon
3 Course 4 Ruins of Athens
4 Course 5 Los Angeles Night Way
5 Course 6 Snow White Line
6 Course 7 Seaway in Typhoon
7 Course 8 Last Seaside Running

A similar stage select method was used in the sequel.

Regional Differences

Title Screen

Japan US/Europe
RadRacer-Title-JP.png RadRacer-Title-INT.png

The title logo was changed, but still uses a similar style. Oddly, the "HS" logo seen on the vehicle select screen was left intact.

3D

Japan US/Europe
RadRacer-3D-JP.png RadRacer-3D-INT.png

Pressing Select during gameplay will switch the game into its 3D mode.

The Japanese version was one of the few games to support the Famicom 3D System, which used active shutter glasses. Since this peripheral wasn't released outside of Japan, the international versions changed this to the simpler anaglyphic system for use with basic red/cyan glasses.

...or at least it attempted to. The game still used the rapid flicker effect from the shutter system, simply changing the palette of each frame that was supposed to go into each eye. Since both images couldn't be displayed on-screen simultaneously, the effect had mixed results from display to display (later becoming ineffective in the modern day).

FDS Text

There are some unused FDS-related strings among the demo's HUD strings: "PLEASE WAIT" at $DB53, "PLACE SIDE B" at $DB62, and "PLACE SIDE A" at $DBE9.

Anti-Piracy

This game contains a similar anti-piracy check to that found in Final Fantasy. If the any of the 5 bytes "NASIR" are changed at CPU address $DBC4, the game will intentionally crash when it tries to draw the Start->Goal meter.