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Road Fighter
Box artwork for Road Fighter.
Japanese title ロードファイター
Developer(s) Konami
Publisher(s) Konami
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Racing
System(s) Arcade, MSX, Famicom
Players 1
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Road Fighter marquee

Road Fighter is a simple overhead perspective race game. The race course is presented continuously in the upward direction. The player begins in 40th place and must make his or her way to 1st across 6 different sections of the race course. The player must maneuver his car between innocent bystanding cars as well as opponent racers.

One special feature that makes Road Fighter stand out is the fact that when you crash, you don't necessarily explode on the spot as in many other racers. Rather, you begin to slide in the direction you were bumped. At the point, the player has the opportunity to correct the slide by pushing the joystick into the direction of the slide, righting the orientation of the car. If the players fails to do this in time, the car spins out of control and crashes on the side of the road.

For a Konami game, Road Fighter wasn't outstandingly popular, and made very few appearances outside of Japan. It was ported to the MSX computer and the Famicom, two systems that Konami greatly supported. It did arrive for the NES after a time, but only in Europe, never in the states. The home versions appear to have removed the competition aspect from the game and made it strictly a survival race game. There is no lap ranking on the home versions and the NES versions only contain 5 stages.

How to Play[edit]

Controls[edit]

  • Joystick: Press left or right to navigate laterally across the road.
  • Low Gear: Press the low gear gas button to get the car started. The top speed of the car in low gear is 192 km/h. (224 km/h on the NES)
  • High Gear: You can not use High Gear from a stand still. In order to drive the car with the high gear button pressed, you must be moving at least 100 km/h, but it is recommended that you wait until you're closer to 170 km/h before you switch. Maximum speed in High Gear is 400 km/h. (On the NES version, you can use high gear from a stand still, but it is also not recommended since you will accelerate very slowly.)

Note: The MSX version uses only one button for the gas.

Sharing the road[edit]

You and your opponents[edit]

Road Fighter Player.png
Road Fighter Opponent.png

Out of all the cars that you see on the road, only two types are actually competing in the race. Your red car, outfitted with a V12 DOHC 2500PS engine is one, and the off-white car on the right represents all 39 of your other opponents. Unlike every other car, the cars of your opponents drive fast (but not as fast as you) and are better at avoiding traffic than most, but they will slow down dramatically rather than crash into a bystander.

The fuel car[edit]

Road Fighter Fuel.gif

There's only one car in the game that you actually want to crash into, and it's this one. When you hit it, you are rewarded with a small amount of extra fuel, as well as bonus points. The amount of bonus points you receive rises with each consecutive fuel car that you catch, starting with 300, then 500, 1000, 2000, 3000, 5000, and up to 10000. If you miss just one fuel car, the score drops back down to 300. They never change lanes, so when you see one, you must make it over to them before they scroll off the screen.
Note: In the MSX version, these appear as hearts with wings instead of cars.

Everyone else[edit]

Cars Road Fighter Car1.png Road Fighter Car2.png Road Fighter Car3.png Road Fighter Car4.png Road Fighter Car5.png Road Fighter Car6.png Road Fighter Car7.png Road Fighter Car8.png
Intelligence dumb slow smart quick

The remaining cars on the road are simply joy riders who happen to be occupying your course. They vary in behavior, ranging from the yellow cars on the left who never change lanes and just move with the road, to the white car on the right who moves very erratically and often gets in your way while changing lanes.

Trucks[edit]

Road Fighter Tanker.png
Road Fighter Trailer.png

The trucks are one of the most hazardous occupants of the road. One collision with them, and you won't start skidding, you simply crash. Avoid them at all costs. If that weren't bad enough, the bay doors of the trailer truck shown on the right will fly open in the middle of the road, and barrels will roll out of the back of the truck. Collision with these also results in an immediate stop.

Bonuses[edit]

Road Fighter Bonus Plane.png
Road Fighter Bonus Konamiman.png

The longer you are on the road without any collision interruptions, the more likely you are to see bonus objects appear. While only one appears at the top and moves down, the rest of them appear from the bottom and work their way to the top of the screen. If you keep the car on the road from the moment these objects appear to the time that they scroll of the screen, you will be awarded a 3000 point bonus. Such objects include the airplane and Konami Man. Other objects include trains that appear on the tracks to the left of the road in certain scenes.
Note: This is the very first appearance of the Konami Man character in any Konami game. Konami Man would appear in a few games as a bonus until he got his own game (along with Konami Girl) in Konami's Konami Wai Wai World for the Famicom.

Strategy[edit]

Road Fighter screen.png
  • The basic rule of the game is to get to the end of each section in as short a period of time as possible, and without running out of fuel. Every time you crash, you will lose a small amount of fuel in addition to the normal amount that you burn as you race. You must try to get past as many opponent cars as possible in the process.
  • The first habit to develop is to know how to break out of a skid and regain control of the car. Without this, you won't get very far in the game. Remember to push the joystick in the same direction of the skid, not the opposite. So if your car is sliding to the right, push the joystick to the right.
  • Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you can't prevent yourself from skidding out on control, like when you hit an oil slick for instance. If this starts to happen, don't panic because you won't necessarily crash from this. Let go of the gas and you will start to slow down. If you slow down enough before you hit the side of the road, you can actually stop spinning.
  • Alternatively, if you are spinning out, you might hit another car. If you hit another car, this resets the skid, starting it over and giving you another chance to regain control of the car.
  • Get to know the layout and general characteristics of the six sections of the race. The first leg is mostly four lane straightaways, but as the race continues, the course gets narrow more frequently, and bends more frequently.
  • When entering a narrow stretch of road, keep your eyes on the top of the road and try to be proactive about dodging the various cars. If it looks like you can't squeeze through a series of cars, let off the gas and allow the cars to remain ahead of you until an opening appears.
  • Never risk a safe position on the road to get a fuel car unless your fuel is severely depleted. If you are in desperate need of fuel, don't drive across the road just to catch a fuel car. Stay safe and let off the gas to prevent the fuel car from disappearing and only cross over when it is safe to do so.

Box artwork[edit]