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Daytona USA is a successful 3D Driving Game series created by Toshihiro Nagoshi and Sega's AM2 department and initially released in arcades in 1993 in Japan and 1994 for the rest of the world. The first game, probably the most well known of the franchise, found great popularity in the arcades, for its simple controls, NASCAR-like stock cars and up to eight multiplayer arcade cabinets. The original stands as the most successful arcade game in Sega's history.The franchise consists of:
Daytona USA (1993/1994/1995): The original. Was ported to the Sega Saturn as a launch title. Was also ported to the PC, but that version was based on the Saturn version.
Daytona USA Championship Circuit Edition (1996): Made as an apology for the original game's Saturn port, and was developed by the same team that brought Sega Rally Championship to the Saturn. Added in a few new courses alongside the originals, retuned the handling to be more Sega Rally-ish, and Richard Jacques was brought in to remix the music.
Scud Race (1996): The Spiritual Sequel to Daytona USA, with exotic cars that competed in BPR/FIA GT Championship (Porsche 911, Ferrari F40, Dodge Viper and McLaren F1) instead of NASCAR-like stock cars. Was released in North America as Sega Super GT. First racer to use Sega's Model 3 board, and it shows.
Daytona USA Championship Circuit Edition Netlink (1997): Same as Daytona USA CCE, but with online play and several improvements made to the Japanese Circuit Edition release. The rarest Saturn game ever made, even more rare than Panzer Dragoon Saga!
Daytona USA 2: Battle on the Edge (1998): The true sequel to the original. Uses a powered-up Model 3 board and a refined Scud Race/Sega Super GT handling mechanic. Totally awesome.
Daytona USA 2 Power Edition (1999): An Expansion Pack to Daytona USA 2. Added in a challenge course linking the three courses together in one continuous lap, and reintroduced the car from the original Daytona, with the same handling characteristics too. Also changed the Beginner track from an oversized biodome to a more traditional NASCAR-style track.
Daytona USA 2001 (2001): The last game in the series (so far), and the only one for the Sega Dreamcast. Had all the courses from Daytona USA CCE, with three new ones, improved draw distance, remixed music, and online play. It's developed by the same developer of Tokyo Xtreme Racer games.
Daytona USA (2011): A remake for Xbox LIVE Arcade and PlayStation Network, featuring the graphical updates from Sega Racing Classic, the original music, plus online multiplayer, challenge and survival modes, and a karaoke mode.
Call Back: The spotter in 2 on the Advanced course references the first game's spotter with "There's a crash coming out of turn three, watch yourself!"
The Cameo: Sonic's face appears on the cliff overlooking the third turn on Daytona USA's Beginner course.
Also, there's a statue of Virtua Fighter 's Jeffry McWild in the Expert course.
Sonic and Tails appear on a billboard in Scud Race.
Color-Coded Multiplayer: Playing linked games of USA or USA 2 in the arcade. Each car is given a different paint job to help sort out each player.
Cosmetic Award: Played straight and subverted with "Saturn Mode" on the Saturn port, where you unlock new Hornet cars with different paint jobs.
The Red and Blue Hornets are just a Palette Swap of the normal Hornet.
The Black and Orange Hornet cars are very sturdy, and won't slow down after crashing into a wall.
The Green and Pink Hornets preform well off-road, but will instantly crash if they hit a wall.
Finally, the Cyan and Yellow Hornet cars have a high top speed, but have bad control.
Critical Annoyance Survival Mode in Daytona USA for XBLA and PSN. If you are ANY good at Daytona USA then you will just hear "TIME EXTENSION!" "TIME EXTENSION!" every couple of seconds due to the ways you earn time.
Darker and Edgier: 2's soundtrack to the rest of the series. The soundtrack has a more aggressive rock theme to it, and the vocals are provided by the same person who sang the English Burning Rangers theme, Dennis St. James.
"This is the race for an ace of aces No open grid for rookies Meter revs up to the limit Beginner's luck means nothing here No pain no gain"
Also, 2 itself has a gameplay mode that gives much longer courses than the first game, which, along with realistic car damage, full-course cautions, and the need to repair one's car in the pits, bring the game significantly closer to dangerous, arduous real life stock car racing.
Determinator: Every car and driver. These cars can take serious damage, but that won't stop them from running in the race.
Difficulty By Region: The lead cars are purposely programmed to be unfair opponents in the Japanese arcade version. They were toned down slightly for outside releases.
"Congratulations! You just lost your sponsors!"note In case you don't know where to find this, in either Daytona USA, CCE, or 2001, start up a race on Dinosaur Canyon (Advanced) then spin your car around. Drive towards the back of the pit lane and you'll see another road leading up to a tunnel. Drive into the tunnel and be greeted by your "surprise".
Players can make the Jeffry statue in Seaside Street Galaxy do a handstand with a press of a button.
The slot machine in Three Seven Speedway can be stopped. If a players gets 777, they earn bonus time.
Hard Mode Perks: "Hard level" cars are incredibly fast, but hard to control. Master them, and good lap times are a breeze.
Homage: Entering certain three-letter initials in the original will play a short ditty from a past Sega game, but entering silly initals like 'ASS' or 'SEX' will actually cause the game to change it to one of the homage initals.
Irony: In USA 2, Player #7's car has a green paint job. Green is often thought to be an unlucky color in racing, so mixing it with Lucky Seven can be seen as ironic.
It's a Wonderful Failure: In Daytona USA 2 PE, on ending a multiplayer race, you are shown a cutscene of your driver and pit crew reacting to your result. The cutscene gets more depressing the lower your final position is.
Jack of All Stats: The Scorpio Plasma Batteries car in 2. Hornet takes this role outside the arcades.
Marathon Level: Either extended the laps around the track, or by racing through 2's Challenge Track.
Multiple Endings: Finish 3rd or better in a non-multiplayer race in the original, and you get a special "Victory Lane" cutscene.
Upon ending a multiplayer race in Daytona USA, your car is shown attempting to do an about-turn, ending with a skid-stop, on the track. Only the winner does it flawlessly; other racers will fail to some degree, with their failure increasing in severity the lower down in rank they are.
The Mountains of Illinois: There are no mountains in the entire state of Florida and a large portion of Daytona Beach (the part with an actual beach, though not the speedway) has water on 3 sides, but the game prominently features them in skybox.
Mythology Gag: The expert course in USA 2 has roadsigns that mention places from past games.
Nintendo Hard: One of the more difficult arcade racing games. Many players have difficulty with the third turn of the beginner courses, and the strict time limit ensures that only sufficiently-skilled players will finish.
To add some more difficulty, the AI racers in Power Edition are much more aggressive than Battle on the Edge.
Scenery Porn: Multiple courses, such as the nature-themed Beginner course in the original Daytona USA 2. It was sadly replaced with a generic NASCAR-style course in Power Edition. The Beginner theme still remained 'musical porn' though.
A Horse in the Saturn games.. See Lethal Joke Character. In the original game, there are four horses, two for each transmission. White horses are manual, brown ones are automatic and there are versions that race by themselves and versions that race with a baby colt behind them. CCE also has two horses (brown and white again) that can be "driven" in either transmission.
Several cars in 2001 are hidden, like the Unicorn and Javelin. See a few of them being viewed here. Deluxe also had a special car called "Daytona", which was shaped like the original Hornet.
The Hornet Classic is hidden within Battle of the Edge, but it plays nothing like its original or Power Edition counterparts.
In addition to the standard four cars available, the Super Beginner course in Scud Race Plus allows the player to choose between a cat, a tank with a head (that can shoot shells), a bus filled with the developers, and a rocket car by holding down the Start button while selecting a normal car.
Self-Imposed Challenge: The hidden "Maniac Mode" in the Saturn version makes the opponents faster and more aggressive.
Shown Their Work: The Hornet Classic in Daytona USA 2: Power Edition controls exactly like and has the same red-blue AT/red-yellow MT paintjob as the Hornet in the original game. It even has the same rolling start on the Beginner course.
Soundtrack Dissonance: Keeping in the spirit of the first game, Mitsuyoshi versions of 2's soundtrack exist. They can even be raced too. Allthreesongs. Now try racing seriously with him singing in such a goofy way.
Stalked by the Bell: In the original game, the timer starts beeping when it counts down to 5 and beeps faster when it counts down to 3. In both versions of Daytona USA 2, the timer turns orange and starts beeping when it counts down to 9, then turns red and beeps faster when it counts down to 5. All these are also accompanied by a notification from your crew chief.
Power Edition was this to Battle on the Edge as well.
Urban Legend of Zelda: Unlocking the Red Cat in 2001. The rumor that gets around most is having to run the play time past 20 hours or win one online race. This troper can attest that the former is rubbish (at least in the US version) and the latter might be a tad difficult with the Dreamcast's online servers long dead.