Summer sunshine with Outrun

More heavy snow showers here at the moment and it’s certainly not looking very spring like out there. A quick dash out to refill the bird tables is about as much time I want to be out there this morning. It’ll be much better to stay indoors with mug O coffee and my C64 whilst I await another heating engineer.

Time for something a bit summery I think and a game which just radiates heat.


Outrun is summer, whenever I play on Mame and I think back to summer holidays spent along the coastline and the many arcades halls we used to hang around in over there . The smell of sea air mixed with fried fish, chips, hot donuts and ice creams, deep blue skies and hot bright sunshine glinting of mirror and bezel glass. Neon, chrome, the noise of a hundred arcade cabinets, the flashing lights, the awful carpets (is this the same in arcade halls around the world?), that familiar red car and the sweet sound of Magical Shower drifting over the din. The snow is melting already!

When the home conversions started to appear in 1987 I eagerly brought a copy for my C64. It wasn’t exactly arcade perfect of course but it was a damn fine conversion that was complete with two (of the original three) signature tunes playing out beautifully via C64 ‘s SID chip. Alternative, an audio tape edition of the original arcade music was also included for playback on your Walkman.

The only problem I had with the C64 version is that I didn’t have a disk drive at the time and therefore had to rely on the very slow loading tape edition. Because of this, track routes A thru to E had to be loaded as individual games. So for example, if you wanted to drive route C, you had to fast forward the tape to a certain position and load from there – none of that fancy picking of route as you drive along.

These days I’ll load the floppy edition from my SD2iEC but until recently I had no idea that there was actually two version of the same game released for the C64. One was released in the US and the other over here and the rest of Europe I guess? I happened across it whilst browsing around on CSDB and found a collection of arcade releases by Nostalgia that had been grouped together into EasyFlash cartridge images.

Compilation #3


Each title contains a number of cheats/modifications, allows high score saving to the cartridge and well as backup to disk image. Of course, having the games run from cartridge also cuts the loading time to practically seconds…perfect for Outrun.

Being in .crt format you can play these releases using a C64 emulator such as Vice, but if you want to play them on a real C64, you’ll need to get yourself an EasyFlash Cartridge.

I picked mine up from eBay a few years ago <see previous blog post <>and you can still find them pretty easily on there either assembled or, if you fancy a spot of fun, in kit form.



Immediately, you can see that the Ferrari and background is slightly difference between the US and European versions.

European version.

A nicely drawn rendition of the Ferrari although not much use of colour on the driver and girlfriend . Loving those cotton wool clouds just like the in the arcade though.

Outruna (2)


USA version.

A new car and some rougher looking clouds.

outrunb (2)

Other than that, there’s little to tell the difference between the two – The track palette have been swapped around a little and i find that the US version is slightly easier to complete (or that the stages are shorter?)…all i know is that I’m completing the US version more times that the EU version.

Brunette (EU)….



….or Blonde (US)?


And as far as I can tell, the SID tunes are the same as well although I’d probably need to run these through SIDplay to be 100% sure.

Either way, Outrun on C64 Cartridge is a bags of run especially with ultra fast loading time. There’s also a a track selection screen too.


Brr, it still looks cold out there, but in here its summer again….although the illusion helps when you’ve got a toastie warm C64 power supply next to you!





2 responses to “Summer sunshine with Outrun

  1. The comments about ‘that feeling’ of years gone by strikes a chord with me. Although retro games can ‘take us back’ to a certain extent, wouldn’t it be utterly fantastic is there was a technology that could ‘bottle life events’ to replay at any time we want to. So, ‘bottle’ exactly how we felt when playing certain games (no cares, no money to earn etc.) and we pick out those memories/feelings for a ‘boost’ when we want to.

    Science fiction type stuff of course but who knows – one day someone may crack that (e.g. ‘recording brain waves during pleasant experiences’ to replay later).

    Back down to earth, is there any way to subscribe to these blog comments permanently, so as not to need clicking on the confirmation link each time interested in a particular thread?


  2. Hey Andy,

    Well, the Retro Computer Museum might have access to a DeLorean so maybe we’ll travel back a few years 🙂

    I’ll have to have a look into how the comment subscription works with WordPress hosted so I’ll get back to you on that one.

    Have a great weekend.

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