We have a deep love for the amazing work boutique OST publisher Data Discs have been up to over the last 12 months, so the news of an officially licensed soundtrack for the arcade release of OutRun is positively nerdtastic.
As part of celebrating the iconic Sega arcade superscaler’s 20th anniversary we’re going to be treated to a beautifully mastered release of Hiroshi “Hiro” Kawaguchi’s iconic soundtrack. OutRun’s OST blew our minds back in the mid-80s where it assaulted our senses in the arcade and became a huge hit on home systems despite the varied nature of the ports. Recorded straight off the System 16 PCB are the four main tracks from the release which will adorn Side A, while Side B will contain tracks from subsequent ports.
OutRun made waves in arcades thanks to the impressive use of sprites to simulate 3D depth within a technicolour interpretation of Hollywood 1980s roadtrip extravaganzas. Its fusion of amazing visuals with its eclectic soundtrack and inclusion of a radio-like feature for players to load up their favourite songs made for a unique experience. OutRun received a slew of home ports across consoles and the 8- and 16-bit micro computers of the time, and while they were very far off from replicating the original, they made for great times. My personal pick is the C64 port owing to the fantastic SID soundtrack and surprisingly novel use of the hardware to bring across the look and feel of the arcade original to the humble Commodore.
While its received a number of spiritual follow-ups, it wasn’t until Sega AM2 rebooted the series with aplomb in 2003 that we saw a true successor in OutRun 2. It was initially released on the x86/XBox-based Chihiro arcade platform before moving to the PowerPC-based Lindbergh hardware for the later DX release. Faithful home ports by acclaimed dev house Sumo Digital followed for PlayStation 2/XBox and PlayStation 3/XBox 360 respectively, all of which did a great job of showing that arcade action can still play a role in more contemporary gaming circles. Fans of the Sega All-Star Racing series will note OutRun’s DNA can be seen across both titles, which makes for a fitting coda to the reboot given its celebration of Sega’s rich history.
While we’re unlikely to see an OutRun 3 anytime soon, we’ll now be able to bask in the synthy goodness of the original arcade game that started it all on some great-looking vinyl.
Data Discs are opening up pre-orders this weekend on Saturday 25 June for standard and limited editions of the OST, so be sure to jump over if you want one of the fancy coloured pressings and the chance to snap up one of the 50 personally signed copy by Kawaguchi which are being assigned at random to pre-orders.