|Modes||Single player, Multiplayer|
|Followed by||Final Lap 2|
|Neoseeker Related Pages|
|Twitch||Final Lap Channel|
- This is the first game in the Final Lap series. For other games in the series see the Final Lap category.
- This guide is for the arcade version. For the Famicom version, see Final Lap (Famicom).
Final Lap is a racing arcade game that was released by Namco in 1987 and licensed to Atari Games for U.S. manufacture and distribution. It was the first game to run on the company's then-new System 2 hardware (two Motorola 68000 microprocessors running at 12.288 MHz, a Motorola M6809 running at 3.072 MHz, and a Hitachi HD-63705 running at 2.048 MHz), and it was also the first game to allow up to eight players to play simultaneously, when four two-player sitdown cabinets are linked together.
Players take control of either the Williams, McLaren, March, or Lotus cars in a Formula One race on the Suzuka Circuit. In the single player mode, the player's score is based upon how far his car travels, until the time runs out or he completes four laps of the circuit. Hitting another car or a billboard will not cause your car to explode as it did in Namco's two Pole Position games (the second of which also featured the Suzuka Circuit), but it will send you or the other car spinning off the track, which can cost you valuable seconds. In multi-player mode, up to eight players can race simultaneously - which allows for better lap times since the plain green CPU-controlled cars appear less frequently.
This is the first game in the Final Lap series. It was followed by three sequels: Final Lap 2 (1990), Final Lap 3 (1992), and Final Lap R (1993). Four Trax (1989) and Suzuka 8 Hours (1992) also have similar gameplay to this series, but feature quad bikes and motorcycles instead of racing cars; an upright version of this game, Final Lap UR, was also released in 1988. Namco converted the game for play at home for the Famicom in a stripped down version of the game with multiple tracks, (see Final Lap (Famicom)).
In 1990, Philip Morris, the tobacco conglomerate, filed a lawsuit for copyright violation against Namco on account of this game (along with Sega Enterprises on account of their Super Monaco G.P. game), because both games feature Marlboro billboards (which can be found on both the real Suzuka Circuit and Circuit de Monaco tracks); Morris was under investigation at the time for the Altria Group's role in under-age smoking, and the appearance of one of their brands in games aimed towards children and teenagers did not help their image. Namco were forced to pay a cash settlement and Sega had to edit their game to remove all Marlboro billboards - however, that old set is still playable in a recent version of MAME.