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Final Lap 3
Box artwork for Final Lap 3.
Japanese title ファイナルラップ3
Developer(s) Namco
Publisher(s) Namco
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Racing
System(s) Arcade
Players 1-8
Mode(s) Single player, Multiplayer
Preceded by Final Lap 2
Followed by Final Lap R
Series Final Lap
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Final Lap 3 is a racing arcade game that was released by Namco in 1992. It runs on Namco System 2 hardware, and as its name suggests, is the third title in the company's Final Lap series; as with the two previous games (along with Four Trax, and Suzuka 8 Hours), it allows up to eight players to play simultaneously when four two-player sit-down cabinets are linked together, but this one features four different tracks which are set in England, France, San Marino and Spain (as opposed to Japan, Italy, Monaco and the USA from the second title in the series), which had been released two years earlier.

For a third time, the players must take a control of either the Williams, McLaren, March, or Lotus cars (which had been redesigned for a second time), in a Formula One race on one of the four new tracks. In the single player mode, the player's score will once again be based on how far his car travels, until the time runs out or he completes four laps of the chosen circuit - and once again, hitting another car or a billboard (of which there are 20 new types in this game) will not cause your car to explode, like it would in the two Pole Position games, but it will still send you (or that other car) spinning off the track. But in the multiplayer mode, up to eight players can once again race simultaneously, when either four two-player sit-down cabinets (or eight one-player upright cabinets, as shown in the image to the right) are linked together; this will again allow for better lap times, as those plain green CPU-controlled cars (which have also been redesigned for a second time) will appear less frequently. The Spain track, like the American track from the second game, is the easiest one of the four, and is recommended for the novice players - and once you have mastered it, you will be ready to move on to the San Marino track (which is the equivalent of the Monacan track), followed by the France one (which is the equivalent of the Italy one). However, the England track is the hardest of the four, and is only recommended for the expert players or the players who had managed to master the Japan track in the two previous games.

As with the second game, the course with the most votes at the start of the game will be chosen, and if you are using MAME to play this game, you will have to hold "9" and press "F2" in order to calibrate that virtual steering wheel; if you do not, you will only be able to select the French and Spanish tracks (given that the English and San Marinan ones are located on the left side of the screen), and your car will only be able to drive around in circles. You will still be able to enter your initials on the tracks' four "best-time" tables if you get lucky enough to finish a race with less than a minimal total time, however.

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