Hover Racing PS1 (with download)

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Hover Racing PS1 (with download)

Postby Ghegs » Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:00 pm

Back in the 90's Sony released the Net Yaroze development kit, which allowed hobbyists to create their own games for the Playstation. These games were sometimes included in demo discs that came with Playstation-related magazines.

ImageImage

One of the better of these games is Hover Racing, a futuristic racer that's been inspired by the genre's pillars F-Zero and Wipeout, and was created in 1997 by Sato Tomokazu. Though it's not that impressive graphically, it's a very full-fledged game otherwise, especially for what is basically an early example of an indie title on a console. It runs at 60 FPS (a rare feat on PS1 in itself), has nine tracks, four vehicles, couple of Grand Prix, Time Attack mode, split-screen two-player mode, unlockable music test, memory card support (that saves settings, time results, and even replays) and it even has ghosts in Time Attack mode.

All that and it's a really fun game too. So instead of leaving the game as an obscure footnote, I want to give it the attention it deserves.

You can download the game here. It's a very small download, less than 2 MB. It can either be burned to a disc and played on a real Playstation (the console needs to be able to play burned discs, of course) or it can be played on one of the many Playstation emulators. I've tested it on ePSXe and pSX 1.13 and it works fine on both. You also need to have a Playstation BIOS file, but links to one will not be provided here.

A big thanks to Shadow over on www.psxdev.net for helping with this release.

For non-modded consoles, the game can also be found on these demo discs (more to be added as they're discovered):
PlayStation Underground 2.2 (Disc 1) - US
PlayStation Play Play (Pure Pure) Club Vol. 12 - JPN (picture)

You'll notice quickly the one thing the game doesn't have is analog controls, not even with the neGcon. The game's digital controls suit the game just fine, especially once you start learning the side-boost mechanics. Like in many other futuristic racing games, the craft can be given extra cornering ability with the side-boosters. But here Hover Racing does something a bit different. Instead of just having a side-booster on each side, there are two on both sides, so that's four side-boosters in total, each individually controlled by a shoulder button. Mastering this is the key to fast times. One of the vehicles doesn't even have a rudder at all, meaning it has to be controlled with side-boosts alone.

ImageImage

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to contact the original developer and receive his permission to spread his game. But considering the game was never released commercially, nor even meant to be, and it was the work of a hobbyist, I think we can assume he'd enjoy seeing people playing his game over 15 years since it's release. Mr. Sato Tomokazu, if you ever read this, thank you for your game. If you have a problem with me sharing it, please let me know and I'll remove the download immediately.

So, give the game a go. I'm interested in hearing what other people think of it. And maybe we can get some time attack competition going...

Time Attack thread up here!
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Re: Hover Racing PS1 (with download)

Postby d123456 » Thu Sep 04, 2014 7:27 pm

I can highly recommend this game. It is amongst the better racing game for the system.
It is a little tricky to get into because no other racing games has this much control over a vehicle.
But after a couple of tries you'll quickly get the hang of it. A true (literally) hidden gem.
I need to ask the guys over at http://forums.pcsx2.net/Thread-PSOne-Wi ... hes?page=2
for a widescreen hex edit.
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Re: Hover Racing PS1 (with download)

Postby Ghegs » Sun Sep 07, 2014 6:28 am

I've now managed to beat all three GP's and doing that unlocks a totally new ship, the Alpha. Like Beta it has no rudders so the only way to control it is with side-boosts, but Alpha also lacks the Turbo completely. To compensate its normal speed is 373 km/h, which is higher than any other craft's Turbo speed. But to balance it out it's the most fragile ship, a few good hits against the walls and it's dead. Definitely the Expert-class vehicle.

I've also done some of the Training mode exercises. Level 1 ones aren't too bad, but they get very tricky in Level 2. The way the game tracks which ships have completed which exercises makes me wonder if completing all of them with all the ships unlocks something new...
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Re: Hover Racing PS1 (with download)

Postby d123456 » Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:40 pm

I never expected this game to have more content. Wow, seems you got pretty good at it. Great job. Thanks for the info.
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Re: Hover Racing PS1 (with download)

Postby null1024 » Tue Sep 09, 2014 4:06 am

So, I've been enjoying the crap out of this.
Finally made it past 2-3 in the GP mode.

It seems as if I've gotten significantly better overnight, as if something just clicked with me.
Might be another week before I clear 3-1 though, haha. It's amazing how many times I've ended up desperately boosting myself along the outside of the track [the sloped edges] to try to stay on course there, heh. Managed to make the game do a crazy Hall of Mirrors style effect once while trying to stay alive [fell off course still because that shit's distracting, heh].

I'm really surprised at how much like F-Zero X this is feeling, especially in the later courses. Isn't this pre-X?
if there's one thing I keep hoping would work, it's crossing the finish line while exploding like in X :lol:

also, I'll be floored if there's more content
things, stuff, more things
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Re: Hover Racing PS1 (with download)

Postby d123456 » Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:47 am

null1024 wrote:if there's one thing I keep hoping would work, it's crossing the finish line while exploding like in X :lol:
That's always cool. I do this in GX, :lol:
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Re: Hover Racing PS1 (with download)

Postby Ruldra » Sat Sep 20, 2014 5:34 pm

I've managed to finish GP mode and unlocked the Alpha as well. I'm playing the training mode now but from Level 2 onwards it's indeed pretty tough. I'll try to beat it with every car and see if something else unlocks.

For those having difficulty playing this game, you should know that the rudders are completely useless. Even the Excel car, which has the best handling, can't do corners using the rudders alone. You really need to learn how to turn using only the sideboosts. And since you're doing that, might as well only use the Beta car. It's far superior than the other vehicles anyway.

As for sideboost use, the ones in the front of the vehicle are the ones you should be using all the time, and the ones in the back should only be used for really sharp turns (I rarely use them).

For reference, this is how I mapped the buttons on my keyboard to manage the sideboosters (feel free to change to what works for you):

Q (R2 - right back sideboost) W (L2 - left back sideboost)
A (R1 - right front sideboost) S (L1 - left front sideboost)

So I use A to turn left, S to turn right, A+W for a sharp left turn and Q+S for a sharp right turn.
Understeer is when you hit the wall with the front of the car
Oversteer is when you hit the wall with the back of the car
Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall
Torque is how far you take the wall with you
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Re: Hover Racing PS1 (with download)

Postby Ghegs » Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:48 am

I was wondering if people would map the controls differently on an emulator to help them use Beta and Alpha more effectively. I'm playing the game on a real PS1 so no such option for me.

I'm still planning on taking your times down a notch, though. ;)
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Re: Hover Racing PS1 (with download)

Postby Ruldra » Mon Sep 22, 2014 5:17 pm

If you ever decide to use ePSXe, I could send you my memory card data so you can race my ghosts.
Understeer is when you hit the wall with the front of the car
Oversteer is when you hit the wall with the back of the car
Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall
Torque is how far you take the wall with you
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Re: Hover Racing PS1 (with download)

Postby Ruldra » Wed Sep 24, 2014 4:23 am

Great news guys! I have completed all of training mode with every car, and turns out there's new content unlocked!

At first I didn't see any change, but once I went to the memory card menu, noticed a new option at the bottom.

Image

Developer ghosts! I tried racing them but they left me completely in the dust. These guys are fast as hell.

Image

And when I went to the car select screen to race them, a new "vehicle" appeared.

Image

He's not that fast but the sight of a big guy running around the track along with the other cars is pretty damn funny.

I'm going to bed now. If you guys want, later I could record a video of Suzuki in action or post my memory card data here so you can use it.
Understeer is when you hit the wall with the front of the car
Oversteer is when you hit the wall with the back of the car
Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall
Torque is how far you take the wall with you
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Re: Hover Racing PS1 (with download)

Postby Ghegs » Wed Sep 24, 2014 5:38 am

Oh wow, awesome! The game just keeps surprising me. Are there developer ghosts only for those three tracks, or for all of them? I wish there was one for 3-3, I have no idea how to handle those 90-degree corners smoothly.

Please do record a video of Suzuki, it'll be a while before I manage to do all the training missions.
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Re: Hover Racing PS1 (with download)

Postby Ruldra » Wed Sep 24, 2014 3:03 pm

Developer ghosts are only for those 3 tracks, unfortunately. But I'm surprised by how fast they are. I was saying earlier how bad the other cars are but then they proceed to smoke my Beta with the Juster :lol:

Suzuki video:


youtu.be/3L8mD1UxZig
Understeer is when you hit the wall with the front of the car
Oversteer is when you hit the wall with the back of the car
Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall
Torque is how far you take the wall with you
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Re: Hover Racing PS1 (with download)

Postby d123456 » Thu Sep 25, 2014 3:18 pm

It is amazing that the dev put in so much hidden extra content. Incredible!
Perhaps buttons can be remapped with one of these reprogrammable converters.
I have one, but have only used it briefly for autofire.
http://www.amazon.com/PS-PS2-Controller ... B001DWETPG
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Re: Hover Racing PS1 (with download)

Postby SpiegelGeist » Sun Jan 18, 2015 6:45 pm

Wow! There are other fans of Hover Racing, this is great! I remember when this game first came to the US and the special Net Yaroze edition of the Playstation Underground, and I played the shit outta this game for years. I knew about the alpha, back when I was good at this game, but I never knew about the developer ghosts of the joke car.
I always loved the music in this game, and I always was hoping I could find some way to listen to it on it's own. I'm not smart enough to figure out how to rip the music files from the game file that came on the PU disc, but I did manage to track down the official Hover Racing website: http://yokoya.naist.jp/~tomoka-s/backup ... index.html http://www.aist-nara.ac.jp/~tomoka-s/backup/hover/ and there is a link to the music, but the site is dead, and there is no backup on archive.org. So I thought of actually emailing the creator whose website is here: http://www.aist-nara.ac.jp/~tomoka-s/index-e.html http://yokoya.naist.jp/~tomoka-s/index-e.html about the music and the game in general, though I don't want to weird out the poor guy about something he made 16-17 years ago. Also if possible Ruldra, could you post your memory card data with everything unlocked? If i could somehow import that onto my PS3 I would be a happy camper.
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Re: Hover Racing PS1 (with download)

Postby Ruldra » Mon Jan 19, 2015 2:53 pm

Hello SpiegelGeist. I got your message over at Youtube, but since you're here I'll just reply in this thread.

You asked me to record videos of the developer ghosts in action, but it wouldn't make much sense as I can barely keep up with them. After a few seconds they just disappear in the distance. I was actually going to offer to upload my memory card data. Here it is:

http://www.mediafire.com/download/04en9 ... d+Data.rar

Just copy the two files to the memcards folder and load the data in the main game. You also need to load the ghost data before you can race it. Along with the unlocked cars and developer ghosts, there are also 3 ghosts of mine you can race with.

No idea how to import them to the PS3 though.
Understeer is when you hit the wall with the front of the car
Oversteer is when you hit the wall with the back of the car
Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall
Torque is how far you take the wall with you
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Re: Hover Racing PS1 (with download)

Postby Skirmisher » Sun Feb 15, 2015 8:07 pm

So, I just spent the past couple days unlocking all the stuff in the game. It's pretty much consumed my weekend thus far. :mrgreen:

Some snippets from the IRC, where I've been chronicling my progress:

Code: Select all
[23:31:06] <Skirmisher> I'm playing Hover Racing now, it's fantastic
[23:32:12] <Skirmisher> I just wish I had an easy way to boot it on my PS2, because I can't maintain 60 FPS with the graphics plugin on ePSXe that looks the best :(
[23:34:44] <Skirmisher> by which I mean the entire emulation slows down, resulting in awful-sounding audio

(By "can't maintain 60 FPS" I mean the emulator occasionally tanks a bit for a couple seconds. I've gotten used to it by now, mostly.)

Code: Select all
[01:35:19] <Skirmisher> just completed training 3-3
[01:35:44] <Skirmisher> ...I think I might not be able to not finish this tonight haha
[01:49:49] <Ghegs> Some of the training ones are really tricky
[01:50:40] <Skirmisher> yeah, in 3-4 I have to stay above 230 km/h, don't think I wanna grind that one tonight
[01:51:05] <Skirmisher> the ones where you can't lose any power are really hard because even landing too hard will damage you
[01:57:39] <Skirmisher> 3-5 is proving to be very interesting though
[02:04:08] <Skirmisher> woops, I beat 3-5
[02:04:16] <Skirmisher> now it's just me vs. my perfectionism
[02:04:19] <Skirmisher> (vs. the game of course)
[02:15:44] <Skirmisher> but nothing's more irritating than the AI craft bumping into you and screwing you up
[02:17:05] <Skirmisher> YES
[02:17:57] <Skirmisher> I did every track of levels 2 and 3 with the Excel, except for 3-4 which I did with the Luster
[02:18:08] <Skirmisher> Level 1 I was just trying out craft so there are some random finishes
[02:18:38] <Skirmisher> I couldn't imagine doing some of those with every craft though, no wonder the secret stuff is locked behind that xD
[02:19:57] <Skirmisher> and now I've finally figured out the objective of 1-1 haha


The next day, Saturday (well, as far as sleeping is concerned):
Code: Select all
[23:58:15] <Skirmisher> also I was playing with a 360 controller, but I switched to a PS3 controller for slightly more authenticity
[23:59:03] <Skirmisher> and because it starts to hurt to hold the 360 controller with two fingers on the top :P


Code: Select all
[00:57:17] <Skirmisher> also maybe after I've torn through all the game has to offer (finally beat all 3 GPs just now) I'll record the game's soundtrack
[00:57:26] <Skirmisher> who knows if I'll actually get around to it though
[01:21:56] <Skirmisher> wow, just did Training 3-2 with the Alpha as best I could and I was still a second or two short of the finish, let alone first place
[01:22:14] <Skirmisher> whatever the trick is, it's gotta be pretty intense
[01:25:15] <Skirmisher> the damn thing accelerates so slowly...
[01:54:15] <Skirmisher> plus, I still haven't finished 3-1 with the Juster
[01:54:23] <Skirmisher> I've been SO CLOSE like 3 times
[01:54:39] <Skirmisher> you have to hit all the boost pads with just the right maneuvering
[01:57:37] <Skirmisher> wow, I missed the last boost pad on 3-1 and still won...
[01:57:47] <Skirmisher> welp, now to grind 3-2 and 3-4 with the Alpha for the foreseeable future
[01:59:47] <Skirmisher> oh huh, I think I figured 3-2 out
[02:00:00] <Ghegs> You're making me wanna play too
[02:00:30] <Skirmisher> using both slasters on one side is suddenly very good at stopping me in one direction when I'm turning
[02:00:42] <Skirmisher> because something something no turbo accel
[02:00:47] <Skirmisher> well maybe you should play ;P
[02:01:09] <Skirmisher> I think I'll collect these IRC snippets into a forum post eventually
[02:02:11] <Skirmisher> actually, it's because I'm going so slow in turns that dual side slasters seem so effective
[02:02:26] <Skirmisher> not being able to maniacally turbo out of a turn changes the game
[02:02:42] <Skirmisher> also, I can't tell you how much I love the word "slasters" xD
[02:07:29] <Ghegs> Haven't played in a while, need to get my groove back first
[02:09:17] <Skirmisher> you might be needing that groove soon :)
[02:09:22] <Skirmisher> phew, cleared 3-2!
[02:09:37] <Skirmisher> I love how (relatively) quickly I go from "impossible" to "oh hey there it goes"


Code: Select all
[02:51:11] <Skirmisher> WOO
[02:51:13] <Skirmisher> I did the thing
[02:52:48] <Ghegs> Did all the training missions?
[02:54:06] <Skirmisher> yup
[02:54:11] <Skirmisher> Suzuki's pretty hilarious haha


Also, Ruldra, there's a View Replay mode in the Option menu. :P
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Re: Hover Racing PS1 (with download)

Postby Ruldra » Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:01 pm

Skirmisher wrote:Also, Ruldra, there's a View Replay mode in the Option menu. :P


Yes but it's terrible. I want to keep the camera behind the car and see the split times, instead the game keeps cycling different views with no way to control that. Good if you just want to relax and watch the replay, but awful if you want to study it and see where you can improve.
Understeer is when you hit the wall with the front of the car
Oversteer is when you hit the wall with the back of the car
Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall
Torque is how far you take the wall with you
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Re: Hover Racing PS1 (with download)

Postby Skirmisher » Wed Feb 18, 2015 12:51 am

In lieu of the original soundtrack files, I've compiled the game's soundtrack myself! All it took was a few hours of recording the music mode from ePSXe (without any static pops...) and arranging and fading with Audacity. (The music is in some sort of MIDI, so it unfortunately wasn't as simple as pulling out the files and working some magic.) Plus, I wound up with a really nice loop of the last bit of the credits track, so I used it gratuitously in a bonus track.

Download the whole thing here! Also, the aforementioned loop segment if you want it. If you have any feedback on the endings or whatever, or if I missed some static noise somewhere, let me know!
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Re: Hover Racing PS1 (with download)

Postby FIL » Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:08 pm

Finally managed to unlock the Alpha. I guess the deal with that ship is just to try and go sideways as much as possible right?
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Re: Hover Racing PS1 (with download)

Postby Ghegs » Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:55 am

Well, not really, sideboosting still slows you down. But you'll end up going sideways a lot with it, since you want to take corners fairly wild to keep the speed up. Alpha's acceleration is pretty bad, so in courses with many corners (so most of them) it's actually slower than the initially available craft.

Man, whenever somebody merely mentions Hover Racing I get the urge to play it again.
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Re: Hover Racing PS1 (with download)

Postby FIL » Wed Sep 02, 2015 5:06 pm

Yeah I told myself I would stop and move on to something else but I still can't resist it.
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