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File:DaytonaHornet 7646.png

"Daytonaaaa~!

Daytonaaaa~,

Let's go away

(Let's go away).

Daytonaaaa~!"

"TIME EXTENSION!"
—The track announcer

Daytona USA is a successful 3D Driving Game series created by Toshihiro Nagoshi and Sega's AM2 department and initially released in arcades in 1993 in Japan and 1994 for the rest of the world. The first game, probably the most well known of the franchise, found great popularity in the arcades, for its simple controls, NASCAR-like stock cars and up to eight multiplayer arcade cabinets. The original stands as the most successful arcade game in Sega's history.

The franchise consists of:

  • Daytona USA (1993/1994/1995): The original. Was ported to the Sega Saturn as a launch title. Was also ported to the PC, but that version was based on the Saturn version.
  • Daytona USA Championship Circuit Edition (1996): Made as an apology for the original game's Saturn port, and was developed by the same team that brought Sega Rally Championship to the Saturn. Added in a few new courses alongside the originals, retuned the handling to be more Sega Rally-ish, and Richard Jacques was brought in to remix the music.
  • Scud Race (1996): The Spiritual Sequel to Daytona USA, with exotic cars (Porsche 911, Ferrari F40, Dodge Viper and McLaren F1) instead of NASCAR-like stock cars. Was released in North America as Sega Super GT. First racer to use Sega's Model 3 board, and it shows.
  • Scud Race Plus (1997): A Japan-only Expansion Pack for Scud Race with a Toy Story-ish "Super Beginner" oval course.
  • Daytona USA Circuit Edition (1997): The Japanese version of Daytona USA CCE, with some improvements to the handling mechanics.
  • Daytona USA Deluxe (1997): The Windows PC version of Daytona USA CCE. Had a course unique to this version.
  • Daytona USA Championship Circuit Edition Netlink (1997): Same as Daytona USA CCE, but with online play and several improvements made to the Japanese Circuit Edition release. The rarest Saturn game ever made, even more rare than Panzer Dragoon Saga!
  • Daytona USA 2: Battle on the Edge (1998): The true sequel to the original. Uses a powered-up Model 3 board and a refined Scud Race/Sega Super GT handling mechanic. Totally awesome.
  • Daytona USA 2 Power Edition (1999): An Expansion Pack to Daytona USA 2. Added in a challenge course linking the three courses together in one continuous lap, and reintroduced the car from the original Daytona, with the same handling characteristics too. Also changed the Beginner track from an oversized biodome to a more traditional NASCAR-style track.
  • Daytona USA 2001 (2001): The last game in the series (so far), and the only one for the Sega Dreamcast. Had all the courses from Daytona USA CCE, with three new ones, improved draw distance, remixed music, and online play.
  • Sega Racing Classic (2010): Updated Rerelease of the original Daytona USA, but without the Daytona in the title. Runs in high definition, but swaps out the the title track in the attract screen and Advanced course for an instrumental version due to their loss of the Daytona license.
  • Daytona USA (2011): An Updated Rerelease for Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network, featuring the graphical updates from Sega Racing Classic, the original music, plus online multiplayer, challenge and survival modes, and a karaoke mode.

The game features examples of these tropes:

  • All There in the Manual: The names of USA 2's drivers are in-game, but aren't too obvious to spot. Thanks to USA 2's official soundtrack, their names are clearly heard: Johnny, Noel, Mitch, and Tom Brown.
  • Awesome but Impractical: The bonus viewpoints.
  • Bladder of Steel: The games allow you to change how many laps in a given race, from the default of 8 (Beginner) / 4 (Advanced) / 2 (Expert) all the way up to, in Daytona USA 2, 500 (Beginner) / 250 (Advanced) / 125 (Expert).
  • Bowdlerisation: SCUD Race was renamed to Sega Super GT in the US. "SCUD" in this context stands for "Sports Car Ultimate Drive", but it also brings back bad memories of the Cold War.
  • The Cameo: Sonic the Hedgehog's face appears on the cliff overlooking the third turn on Daytona USA's Beginner course.
    • Also, there's a statue of Virtua Fighter 's Jeffry McWild in the Expert course.
    • Sonic also appears in SCUD Race's beginner course on a billboard.
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer: Playing linked games of USA or USA 2 in the arcade. Each car is given a different paint job to help sort out each player.
  • Cosmetic Award: Played straight and subverted with "Saturn Mode" on the Saturn port, where you unlock new Hornet cars with different paint jobs.
    • The Red and Blue Hornets are just a Palette Swap of the normal Hornet.
    • The Black and Orange Hornet cars are very sturdy, and won't slow down after crashing into a wall.
    • The Green and Pink Hornets preform well off-road, but will instantly crash if they hit a wall.
    • Finally, the Cyan and Yellow Hornet cars have a high top speed, but have bad control.
  • Critical Annoyance "Check your position!"
  • Crossover The "Hornet" player car from the original is a playable fighter in Fighters Megamix which featured characters from Sega games like sister games Virtua Fighter, Sonic The Fighters, Fighting Vipers and Virtua Cop.
  • Crowning Moment Of Awesome: Video Game Levels
  • Crowning Music Of Awesome: And how!
  • Darker and Edgier: 2's soundtrack to the rest of the series. The soundtrack has a more aggressive rock theme to it, and the vocals are provided by the same person who sang the English Burning Rangers theme.
  • Determinator: Every car and driver. These cars can take serious damage, but that won't stop them from running in the race.
  • Difficulty by Region: The lead cars are purposely programmed to be unfair opponents in the Japanese arcade version. They were toned down slightly for outside releases.
  • Easier Than Easy: SCUD Race Plus's Super Beginner course. It's set in a giant house, with your opponents being various toys.
    • Circuit Pixie from 2001 is an standard oval track with no real challenge. For racing purists or beginners.
  • Easter Egg: "Congratulations! You just lost your sponsors!"[1]
  • Easy Mode Mockery: 2's beginner car has candy as its sponsor and hugging bunnies right on the hood! This was taken out in PE, with a replacement eagle on the hood.
  • Epic Fail: Slam into something hard enough and your car does a pretty spectacular flipout. "Are you alright?".
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Sega Racing Classic is an old Sega racing game!
  • Expansion Pack: Daytona USA CCE, SCUD Race Plus, Daytona USA 2 Power Edition
  • Fragile Speedster: The Javelin car in 2001 is the fastest car in the series, but is almost impossible to keep under control. As such, it's prone to crashing a lot.
  • Fridge Brilliance: 2's beginner track song is called "Slingshot". Guess what you do the majority of the race?
  • Guest Fighter: The Hornet in Daytona USA 2 PE. It handles and goes as fast as its original incarnation, and is the only car you can do "4-1-4" shifter powersliding with (other cars will spin out if attempted on them).
  • Hard Mode Perks: "Hard level" cars are incredibly fast, but hard to control. Master them, and good lap times are a breeze.
  • Homage: Entering certain three-letter initials in the original will play a short ditty from a past Sega game.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: In Daytona USA 2 PE, on ending a multiplayer race, you are shown a cutscene of your driver and pit crew reacting to your result. The cutscene gets more depressing the lower your final position is.
  • Jack of All Stats: The Scorpio Plasma Batteries car in 2. Hornet takes this role outside the arcades.
  • Lethal Joke Character: A Horse, a Secret Character that can be selected in the Sega Saturn version of the first game. Lethal because it doesn't take pit stops, which allows it to just run through them. This is particularly helpful on the Beginner track (if you're in the mood to be a big fat cheater) as the pit lane doesn't run parallel to the main track like it does on other courses.
  • Marathon Level: Either extended the laps around the track, or by racing through 2's Challenge Track.
  • Multiple Endings: Finish 3rd or better in a non-multiplayer race in the original, and you get a special "Victory Lane" cutscene.
    • Upon ending a multiplayer race in Daytona USA, your car is shown attempting to do an about-turn, ending with a skid-stop, on the track. Only the winner does it flawlessly; other racers will fail to some degree, with their failure increasing in severity the lower down in rank they are.
  • The Mountains of Illinois: There are no mountains in the entire state of Florida and a large portion of Daytona Beach (the part with an actual beach, though not the speedway) has water on 3 sides, but the game prominently features them in skybox.
  • Nintendo Hard: One of the more difficult arcade racing games. Many players have difficulty with the third turn of the beginner courses, and the strict time limit ensures that only sufficiently-skilled players will finish.
    • To add some more difficulty, the AI racers in Power Edition are much more aggressive than Battle on the Edge.
  • Palette Swap: The other cars, but to be fair it is based on NASCAR.
  • Purposefully Overpowered: The Daytona car in CCE, which had maxed stats. You can take it for a spin if you get first place on every track.
  • Retraux: Sega Racing Classic takes the "Classic" portion of the title literally. Aside from an improved draw distance and a true 16:9 widescreen resolution, it looks exactly like the original Daytona USA.
    • The PlayStation 3 port of the game comes with an 8-Bit XMB theme.
  • Rubber Band AI: A staple "feature" of most arcade racing games, of course.
  • Scenery Porn: Multiple courses, such as the nature-themed Beginner course in the original Daytona USA 2. It was sadly replaced with a generic NASCAR-style course in Power Edition.
  • Secret Character: A Horse. See Lethal Joke Character. In the original game, there are four horses, two for each transmission. White horses are manual, brown ones are automatic and there are versions that race by themselves and versions that race with a baby colt behind them. CCE also has two horses (brown and white again) that can be "driven" in either transmission.
    • Several cars in 2001 are hidden, like the Unicorn and Javelin. See a few of them being viewed here. CCE also had a special car called "Daytona", which was shaped like the original Hornet.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: The hidden "Maniac Mode" in the Saturn version makes the opponents faster and more aggressive.
  • Shown Their Work: Hornet in USA 2 feels exactly like the first game. But to further drive the point home, Hornet's "Rolling Start!" intro is also exactly the same.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Keeping in the spirit of the first game, Mistuyoshi versions of 2's soundtrack exist. They can even be raced too. All three songs. Now try racing seriously with him singing in such a goofy way.
  • Stalked by the Bell
  • Updated Rerelease: Sega Racing Classic to the original Daytona. See it here in all of its glory.
    • Power Edition was this to Battle on the Edge as well.
  • You All Look Familiar: The purple #00 and #99 cars in the original.

Notes

  1. In case you don't know where to find this, in either Daytona USA or CCE, start up a race on Dinosaur Canyon (Advanced) then spin your car around. Drive towards the back of the pit lane and you'll see another road leading up to a tunnel. Drive into the tunnel and be greeted by your "surprise".
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