TASVideos

Tool-assisted game movies
When human skills are just not enough

Submission #5621: £e Nécroyeur's Arcade Drag Race in 01:00.67

Console: Arcade
Game name: Drag Race
Game version: USA
ROM filename: DRAGRACE.ZIP
Branch:
Emulator: MAME-RR v0.139 v0.1-beta
Movie length: 01:00.67
FrameCount: 3640
Re-record count: 17018
Author's real name: George Murphy
Author's nickname: £e Nécroyeur
Submitter: £e Nécroyeur
Submitted at: 2017-08-01 05:57:36
Text last edited at: 2017-08-15 04:23:53
Text last edited by: £e Nécroyeur
Download: Download (22526 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

(Link to video)


Drag Race is an arcade game released in 1977 by Kee Games (a subsidiary of Atari). Drag Race was designed by David Crane before the Great Exodus from Atari that would lead to the formation of Activision. At Activision, David Crane would redesign Drag Race for the Atari 2600, released in 1980 as the more widely-known Dragster. This unauthorized adaptation, among other litigation between Atari and Activision, would not be resolved until years later. The cabinet for Drag Race features controls for 2 players, including a steering wheel, a 4-way gear shifter, and a gas pedal. The cabinet even has functional analog tachometers to indicate when to shift! The display is black and white with overlays for color and text. Interestingly, the sound is in stereo, with each player hearing only the sound of their respective dragster in their speaker. The game's mechanics are inventive and gameplay is fun and exciting--as it would later be for Dragster.


Game Objectives

  • Aims for fastest game completion without sacrificing Elapsed Time
  • Abuses programming errors
  • Entertains without sacrificing Frames
  • Is Dragster's daddy

DIP Switch Settings

  • Extended Play set to Never
  • Number of Heats set to 3
  • Coinage set to Free Play


Tricks and Glitches

Rapid Acceleration:

In 4th Gear, MPH increase at a rate of 4 per each 28 Frames, or .142 MPH per Frame. This is the lowest rate of acceleration and also the longest duration between increments. Because the duration between increments is so long, it is possible to shift into a lower Gear, and then back into 4th Gear, without missing the next MPH increment. While in 4th Gear, downshift into 3rd Gear, delay for 1 Frame, and then shift back into 4th Gear. RPM must be at 50 or higher in order for the shift from 3rd Gear into 4th Gear to cause a speed boost in order for this to work. Each Rapid Acceleration gives a net increase of 4 MPH, except for each 6th Rapid Acceleration. Each 6th Rapid Acceleration gives a net increase of 8 MPH. Repeat until MPH reaches the maximum allowable speed (244 MPH). Using this technique, the average rate of acceleration is 1.166 MPH per Frame, rather faster even than Wheelie acceleration (1 MPH per Frame).

Perfect Steering:

Press in the opposite direction for 1 Frame 2 Frames before Dragster's Y location is about to change. This compensates for Dragster's drift without disrupting Y location.

Comments

Completion Requirement:

The game is completed after winning a number of Heats, as determined by the DIP switch settings. For this TAS, the number of Heats has been set to 3. A player may also win Extended Play (an additional Heat), as determined by the DIP switch settings. For this TAS, Extended Play has been set to "Never". This TAS completes 3 Heats.

If Parachute deploys after "Winner" has spawned, "Winner" despawns.

Completing a Heat after Engine Blown has occurred can cause the game to end, even if Dragster had a faster time. Brutal!

Maximum possible MPH is 244.

At a speed of 189 MPH (the maximum MPH for 3rd Gear) or less, Dragster will not lose speed in Neutral Gear.

It is possible to shift into a Gear before a Heat begins.

For Player 1, the playfield extends horizontally from X 0 to X 161 and vertically from Y 13 to Y 63. Dragster begins a Heat at X 0 Y 38. If Dragster attempts to move beyond these vertical limits, it contacts a Rail. When Dragster reaches X 161, Parachute deploys, and the Heat is completed.

If Dragster contacts Rail, RPM decrease at a rate of 10 per Frame to a minimum of 8 RPM, and MPH decrease at a rate of 1 per Frame. This status continues until the contact ends.

In Neutral Gear, If Dragster contacts Rail, it suffers no negative effects.

Dragster can not steer during the first 4 Frames of a Heat.

If Player 1 and Player 2 complete the Heat with the same time, the result is a tie, and there is no Winner. This applies regardless of which Player actually crosses the finish line first.

The start button must be held for 4 Frames.

If a shift is being made on the last possible Frame (i.e. at maximum RPM and Temperature), it may always be necessary to release Gas for 2 Frames during shift in order to allow time for Temperature to return to 0. As such, it is faster to shift on an earlier Frame that does not requires that Gas be released.

It is still possible to steer after Parachute has deployed.

It is possible to release Gas and still finish on the same Frame as if Gas continued to be held.

It is possible to hit the Rail and still finish on the same Frame as if the Rail had not been hit.

When Gear is downshifted while the MPH is above the Gear's normal range, Dragster's posture changes, and RPM will increase for a time.

If Dragster begins to accelerate before Green Light, Too Soon occurs. Dragster is delayed for 120 Frames before being returned to the starting line with 0 MPH and 0 RPM. Thereafter, Dragster may resume racing.

When RPM reach 240, Engine Temperature begins to increase. Temperature increases at a rate of 15 per Frame. When Temperature reaches 255, Engine Blown occurs. Dragster is delayed for 105 Frames with 0 MPH and 0 RPM. Thereafter, Dragster may resume racing.

If Dragster does not complete the race within 15 seconds, Slow Poke occurs, and the Heat ends. If Slow Poke occurs 2 times subsequently, the game is over.

Time increments at a rate of .1 per each 12 Frames.

If Dragster contacts Rail, RPM decrease at a rate of 10 per Frame to a minimum of 8 RPM, and MPH decrease at a rate of 1 per Frame. This status continues until the contact ends.

During a Wheelie, MPH increases at a rate of 1 per each Frame, regardless of the current Gear. This is the fastest possible rate of acceleration.

On the last Frame of a Wheelie, MPH is increased substantially. In 1st Gear, MPH is increased by 9. In 2nd Gear, MPH is increased by 7. In 3rd Gear, MPH is increased by 8. In 4th Gear, MPH is increased by 8.

The Opponent always completes a Heat in 8.1 seconds, unless the Player won the previous Heat. If the Player won the previous Heat, The Opponent always completes the Heat in 6.4 seconds.

At 255 MPH, Dragster advances at rate of 1 pixel per each 2 Frames, or .5 pixels per Frame.

With a perfect start at 255 MPH, Dragster can complete a Heat in 02.7 seconds.

Heat By Heat Comments

Heat 1:

The Hero immediately blows his engine. The engine is quickly repaired, but the axle is squirrelly. The Hero struggles to keep Dragster under control just as the shifter becomes stuck in Neutral and the Gas becomes stuck to the floor. Colliding with the Rail is the only thing that prevents Dragster's engine from blowing again as the Hero ekes out a miraculous comeback.

Heat 2:

The Hero makes a great start...Too Soon. After resetting, Dragster just manages to catch up to the Opponent when an accidental downshift blows its engine...straight to victory! The delayed Parachute is of no help.

Heat 3:

With the opening night jitters out of his system, the Hero puts on a command performance. Further aided by physics-bending shenanigans, Dragster manages to post an ET of 03.7...just shy of the current Top Fuel world record. How the Hero was able to use 1970's technology to achieve a run comparable to that of a modern dragster is anyone's guess.

Other Comments

If this submission is accepted, this would be the oldest game to have a publication on TASVideos.org.

Suggested Screenshots

Frame 2717


feos: Who else, really?

feos: Notes first.

To see the colors, one has to have artwork\dragrace\dragrace.lay in the mame folder.

The DIP switches have to be set manually, otherwise the final screen won't show up, and the game will resume with 2 more heats (fourth and bonus ones).

Winning condition.

DIP switches define the amount of heats you have to complete, and the time required for a bonus heat. Normally there are 4 heats to beat. So this run switches to 3, and to never have the bonus heat. The defined amount of heats is called a GAME in the Attract (demo) mode, that is seen if you don't play the game. After the GAME has been beaten, the game returns to the Attract mode, but shows different info on the screen: best player scores, instead of instructions.

Since in the heats other than last you have to wait for the bottom drag to finish, all you have to do for a speedrun is to finish the last heat ASAP. The time the opponent takes to finish is pre-defined: at first it's 8.1, then if you beat him, he finishes at 6.4.

This is what we see in this movie, and I consider it an optimized TAS. Accepting to Moons, since it's short, and the feedback is decent.

fsvgm777: ..yeah, who else really.


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