Mach Rider is a 1985 futuristic driving launch game for the Nintendo Entertainment system (NES) created by Nintendo. It was first released on October 18, 1985 for the Nintendo Entertainment System in North America, as one of the 18 initial launch games. A month later, on November 21, 1985, the title was released in Japan. On March 15, 1987 it was released in Europe and Australia. The Famicom version can use the Family BASIC Data Recorder to save custom tracks. Although the feature to save your custom tracks was only available in the Famicom version in the original releases, all versions of the Virtual Console release can save custom tracks. Mach Rider takes place in the year 2112, and planet Earth has been invaded by evil forces driving vehicles known as Quadrunners. The player controls Mach Rider, who travels from sector to sector on a motorcycle, searching for survivors and destroying the enemies in his path.
It was released on the Virtual Console for the Wii (in 2007), Nintendo 3DS (in 2013) and Wii U (in 2014).
Mach Rider contains examples of:
- Alien Invasion: The main plot.
- Ambiguous Gender: The packaging and manual do not state whether Mach Rider is male or female; although the character's Super Smash Bros. Melee trophy suggests male, other sources actually suggest female (see Samus Is a Girl below).
- Badass Biker: The eponymous Mach Rider.
- Cool Bike: The combat motorcycle is equipped with a specially mounted machine gun (called the "Power Blaster") and can repair itself immediately after exploding. It definitely counts.
- Critical Existence Failure: Subverted in that Mach Rider can pull himself back together
- Death Course: Many of the later levels.
- Endless Game: Although the game says it has 10 stages, the story clips loop after you beat the 10th one. You still get ten more choices of different maps to race on, making for 20 stages before the game truly loops.
- Excuse Plot: The invasion plot never really amounts to anything.
- Expy: A masked warrior on a motorcycle? Sounds familiar.
- Every 10000 Points: You get an extra life every 20000 points.
- Fake Difficulty: The oil and water puddles and ice and rocks and barrels in the early levels, and the Mooks who drop them right in front of you.
- Interface Screw: The...unconventional... controls for the Level Editor.
- Level Editor: A track creator which can only be saved in the Famicom version with the Family BASIC Data Recorder, along with the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U Virtual Console versions, a flaw shared with Excitebike, and Wrecking Crew, and any other games that used the Data Recorder
- Marathon Level: Many of the later endurance stages, which can take 7 minutes, if you don't mess up.
- Mooks but No Bosses: The only enemies are the Quadrunners, but no bosses.
- Nintendo Hard: It is an NES launch game.
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: If Mach Rider runs into anything, they lose a life, although they can bump into Quadrunners by their side to try and knock them into hazards.
- Samus Is a Girl: Maybe. There have been at least three separate official sources that suggest Mach Rider's womanhood which, if true, means they predate Samus Aran as Nintendo's first female protagonist:
- The arcade VS. System version, VS. Mach Rider, opens with a picture of Mach Rider and his motorcycle. Playing through the levels will eventually unlock a picture of a woman with a knife taking Mach Rider's place.◊ Whether the woman is intended to be Mach Rider or one of the survivors they helped is unknown.
- This officially-licensed pullout poster from the Japanese magazine Hi-Score Media Work, which features a similar woman in a red jumpsuit posing with the Mach Rider title and bike in the background, complete with "M RIDER" emblazoned in her belt buckle and what looks like the same knife in a sheath.
- In Captain Rainbow, there is a Dummied Out, fully-animated model of an outwardly female depiction of Mach Rider.
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Some of the levels are covered in ice, causing you to slide around like a maniac!
- Timed Mission: The endurance and solo modes, where the objective is to ride a certain distance before time runs out.
- Vehicular Combat: The actual goal is just to cross the finish line in each stage, but you can shoot the Quadrunners or bump into them from the side to run them off the road or into obstacles.
- Video-Game Lives: You get three at the beginning of the fighting course (the main story mode).