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Video Game / Hard Drivin'

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Don't get dizzy.
Hard Drivin' a 1989 arcade racing game released by Atari. It was one of the first fully 3D games ever made, along with being one of the first to include textures, which were used on signs and a couple background objects. It touted itself as the "world's first authentic driving simulation game", and this claim held up well with critics of the time. However, every track included an optional "stunt track" offshoot, making it one of the earliest examples of the stunt racing subgenre as well.
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The game's development involved using real world physics equations when designing the car's physics, using data from a 1950s study that was originally for aeronautics development. Further adding to the game's realism cred, the cabinet included an accurate manual transmission feature.

The game spawned two very similar sequels, Race Drivin' and Hard Drivin' 2 before falling into relative obscurity. It was ported to various consoles to varying degrees of success, and prototypes have surfaced in recent years of numerous other attempted ports, most notably one for the Nintendo Entertainment System.


  • Border Patrol: Being off track for 10 seconds cuts the gas and forces a respawn when the player comes to a stop. What mystic force prevents the player from exploring is up to their imagination.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: In spite of having a highly advanced sports car, your car will spontaneously combust no matter how minor the crash is.
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  • Fragile Speedster: Even when you're not going fast, motion + wall = death. Likely by design to get the player back into the action more quickly.
  • Indestructible Vehicles: The oncoming traffic in the arcade version and some of the ports hardly even notice when you ram into them. You, on the other hand...
  • Nintendo Hard: Well, it's called Hard Drivin' for a reason, after all. As a simulator-type driving game, you are expected to take corners like you would in a real-world car, and crashing will cost you a ton of time as you attempt to start your car back up again.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Pretty much nothing keeps players from running over all the cows that they want and still qualifying for the championship. They even moo back at the player when hit.
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