Sega Rally is a successful 3D Driving Game series created by Sega's AM5 department and initially released in arcades in 1994. Based loosely on the World Rally Championship, it includes driving on different terrains (like tarmac, gravel and snow), the choice of different cars (which the earlier released Daytona USA didn't have) and support for head-to-head racing.
The series consists of:
- Sega Rally Championship (1994/1995): The original, developed on Sega's MODEL2 arcade board. It set the base for the rest of the saga, including the "3 stages, 1 lap on each stage, bonus Lakeside race for winning" Championship mode and the option to practice on one track only for three laps on the arcade versions. The cars were the Lancia Delta HF Integrale, the Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205 and an unlockable Lancia Stratos HF. Ported to the PC and the Sega Saturn. A version of the game was released on the Game Boy Advance, and on the Playstation 2 as a bonus feature in Sega Rally 2006.
- Sega Rally 2 (1998/1999): The sequel, released on Sega's MODEL3 arcade board. The cars included the Toyota Corolla WRC, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IV WRC, Subaru Impreza WRC, Ford Escort Cosworth WRC, the Peugeot 306 Maxi Kit Car and the Lancia Stratos, plus new layouts for the Desert and Moutain course, new Snowy track, and Riviera track. Ported to the PC and the Sega Dreamcast in 1999, which added the "10 Year Championship" mode, new stages for already existing themesnote plus new ones based on new track themes: Muddy, based on Rally Indonesia and Isle, based on Tour de Corse, plus a Super Special course, and even more cars (like the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VInote , Subaru Impreza 555, the Toyota Celica GT-Four ST185 and the Renault Maxi Megane, among more, at a cost of the Escort, at least outside Japan).
- Sega Rally 2006 (2006): A Japanese-exclusive PlayStation 2 game intended to celebrate the series' ten year anniversary, it is the first in the series not to have an arcade release. A special version included the original game as a port with option for 480p resolution.
- Sega Rally Revo (2007): Simply known as Sega Rally in Europe, this non-arcade version includes three classes of cars (Premier, 4-wheel drive WRC-based cars like the Subaru Impreza; Modified, 2-wheel drive cars like the VW Golf GTI and the Citroen C2 S1600; and Masters, classic rally cars like the Audi Quattro and the Lancia Delta; all classes have secret unlockable cars), new stages, and a championship in which you have to earn points to unlock new leagues up to the finals. This installment was developed by the short-lived Sega Racing Studios for the PC, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, with the PSP version being developed by Bugbear Entertainment.
- Sega Rally 3 (2008): The arcade sequel to Sega Rally 2 and technically an arcade port of Revo. Included cars that ran in the 2008 World Rally Championship and a recreation of the Desert course from the original game.
- Sega Rally Online Arcade (2011): A home conversion of Sega Rally 3 for Xbox LIVE Arcade and Play Station Network, ported by Sumo Digital in a time-limited release. Due to licensing issues, the 2008 WRC cars aren't included, and are replaced with cars from Sega Rally Revo instead.
These games features examples of these tropes:
- Awesome, but Impractical: The Lancia Stratos in pretty much any Sega Rally, but it's most noticable in Championship 1995.
- Big "YES!": "Game over, YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!"note
- Final Boss: In the original and in Revo, the Lakeside stage. In Sega Rally 2, the Riviera (arcade) and Super Special (PC/Dreamcast) stages.
- Guest Fighter: In Revo, the RD-04 from Hot Wheels: AcceleRacers.
- Joke Character: The secret Kerola WRC (the name is a pun on "kero", a Japanese onomatopoeia for a frog's croak), and the Corolla) in 2.
- Mood Dissonance: Apparently, a Game Over warrants screaming a Big "YES!".
- Nostalgia Level:
- The Desert course in the first game. It returns in the home versions of Sega Rally 2, Sega Rally 2006, Sega Rally 3 and Online Arcade.
- 2006 features most of the arcade courses from the previous two games, along with remixed songs from the first game.
- Secret Character: The Lancia Stratos in Sega Rally Championship, which goes much faster than the other two cars but in the arcade version it handles like it's on ice.
- There are a lot more in the ports, including a Hummer.
- Scenery Porn: A trademark of most Sega racers, the games have you racing through gorgeous landscapes.
- Spiritual Successor: To Daytona USA. It was succeeded by Sega Touring Car Championship (which even included a remix of "Conditioned Reflex", and the Toyota Celica and Lancia Delta cars could be unlocked in the home versions), Sega GT (a realistic driving simulator) and Initial D Arcade Stage later on.
- Stalked by the Bell: Especially Lakeside.
- The Theme Park Version: As this is far less of a rally sim and more of an arcade racer in a rally setting. The same is true with most console "rally" games of the time, likely due to the belief that a realistic depiction (i.e. an off-road or mixed-surface time trial) would not appeal to most audiences who are used to head to head circuit racing; it did however pioneer the use of varying road surfaces and conditions to add to the authenticity.