Friday, February 26, 2010

Sega's Le Mans 24 Arcade Game

John Marine | 2/26/2010 06:58:00 PM | |
(UPDATED: January 21, 2011)

Here is a chance for me to talk about one of the most little-known Sega racing titles ever. Le Mans 24 is only known if you've actually played it at an arcade place before. I don't think this game has EVER been seen in the United States. I would really love to play this game in an arcade room or someplace. Part of my motivation to do blog entries on things is to help people out. And so what I want to do is to explain as much as I know about this game based on what I've read online and in other media. Please note... I am NOT discussing "Le Mans 24 Hours" for the Sega Dreamcast. I am talking about the 1997 or 1998 Sega arcade game, "Le Mans 24." Here is how the title screen looks:

Le Mans 24 title screen
^ from: imageshack.us - This is the title screen to the little-known "Le Mans 24" arcade game by Sega.





--- "Le Mans 24" at a Glance ---

I am not sure of this, but I had a hunch that this game was only a natural evolution of the Sega arcade classic, Super GT/SCUD Race. Why so? It's because you're racing some of the fastest cars in the world. "Le Mans 24" takes you for a spin around the Circuit de la Sarthe in a variety of different sportscar racing machines. There are no Le Mans prototypes, but you can race cars like the Ferrari F40 GTE, Sauber-Mercedes C9, Mazda 787B, and more. I think there are about six or seven cars in this game you can race. This game runs on the Model 3 Step 1.5 system.

There are three tracks. The first two are held at Le Mans, and there's an Expert-level fantasy street course (doesn't it seem like most street courses in games are almost always Expert level courses?). You have a choice of running the 24 Hours of Le Mans in this game or a circuit race around Le Mans. You earn time when you pass other cars or stay in the race long enough. You lose time when you get passed. If you run out of time doing the 24 Hours of Le Mans, you can buy extra credits to complete the race.

The 24 Hour course showcases the beautiful time cycles as day becomes evening, evening becomes night, night becomes morning, and morning becomes day. As many as 40 cars can be raced on for the Le Mans races. The Le Mans 24 units come in Twin formats, but I am uncertain as to whether multiple cabinets can be linked for a huge number of players.

Or actually, here are facts on this game based on the flyer for this game (source: the flyer for Le Mans 24 on arcadeflyers.net):

Le Mans 24 Synopsis.

This game allows for:
• realistic handling of the cars
• big 29' monitors
• four different camera views
• three Twin cabinets can be linked for six-player racing
• great sound
• good music
• mid-race buy-in (meaning, anyone can deposit credits and get right into the race at any time while the race is still going on)

Maybe the thing that has made this game not as known was because this was only released in the European markets (and perhaps even the Japanese market as well).



--- "Le Mans 24" in Video ---
Here are two videos that give you better perspective of this game.


This video gives you great sound quality of this game:




And this video gives you great visual quality of this game:




Both races are held in the 24 Hours of Le Mans event. This is about the best I can do for all of you as far as visual footage of this game is concerned. I included two videos because it's the best way I can show you what this game is capable of.





I'd have to be fortunate or lucky to see this game in an arcade room. It looks like the arcade unit is the same as the Sega Super GT/SCUD Race twin cabinets. This is a great shame that not as many people have heard of or know about this game. If you know more about this arcade game, you are more than welcome to comment in my blog about it. I'm just doing what I can to expose this game to you all.

Thank you for reading!

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