A dream come true: Carlos Sainz’s arcade at home thanks to the Evercade console. We remember the legendary Gaelco World Rally
There are arcades that for some strange reason never made the leap to a home system. And unfortunately, these are mostly high-quality games that are still remembered today, such as the Beat ’em up Cadillacs and Dinosaurs developed by Capcom, which could not be saved in either the Capcom Beat ’em Up Bundle or in Capcom Home Arcade due to a license problem . Except Alien vs. Predator, luckily!
Looking back, there are many exclusive arcade games from these arcade halls, but very soon we have to cross a very requested one from this list. Because there are only a few days left until the Gaelco cartridge for Evercade with World Rally as the most attractive claim goes on sale. Yes, the legendary game from 1993, dubbed by many as “Carlos Sainz’s arcade”.
60 seconds much harder than Nicholas Cage
I don’t know anyone in my circle of friends who hasn’t seen this iconic machine developed by Zigurat Software, a team composed of former Made in Spain components (Sir Fred, among other 8-bit system classics in the 80’s) . And although this arcade remained without the official image of Carlos Sainz (due to the team change that the pilot suffered, as we recall when we talk about ViJuDa’s recent Super Woden GP), his name remained in the group.
It is important to highlight this fact of the two-time Spanish champion, since he won his World Rally Championships in 1990 and 1992 with his legendary Toyota Celica ST165, published by Gaelco in the image of this World Rally. And which racing car did you use with your new team in 1993? The Lancia Delta HF Integrale.
It certainly wasn’t the only game Gaelco had about rally racing with the official or unofficial image of Carlos Sainz. Without going further, in 1990 they launched the so-called Carlos Sainz – World Rally Championship on 8-bit systems such as Amstrad CPC or ZX Spectrum. What not so many people remember is that in 1995 came the sequel to the game that now places us, baptized as World Rally 2: Twin Racing, which took the image of the Toyoca Celica used by Carlos Sainz along with Colin’s no less mythical Subaru Impreza 555 shares McRae.
But today it’s time to talk about this World Rally 1993 that I’ve finally been able to officially enjoy at home thanks to one of the cartridges that came as a gift in the limited edition Evercade VS console. Because when I analyzed this machine, I realized that this console was keen to get my hands on it, unlike the Evercade Portable, which, being retro, didn’t cover all my needs.
This cartridge will be out in mid-January (if it’s no longer delayed) and will contain five other Gaelco games, like Alligator Hunt or Biomechanical Toy, that the Snow Board Championship (which I wasn’t aware of) caught my attention for replicating the style of this rally game within this other snow sport modality. But it’s not like Zigurat invented gunpowder either, since ADK’s Thrash Rally (Twinkle Star Sprites) was released in 1991 and already used the visual cues so typical of this type of racing game. And of course also taken from the great classic SEGA Rally 1995.
World Rally drew a lot of attention for its isometric view. It was one of his entry claims. But also because of that immediacy for the games, which constantly reminded us of his arcade spirit: if we went over 60 seconds in the race, we lost the game. And if we wanted to continue (spend coins), we had to completely redo the race. No, it wasn’t easy at all.
World Rally, a true arcade classic
That toughness only needed one race to show its cards. Peranaldo, the first test of the San Remo Rally (Italy), was easy, while Totip, the second, beat us with the increase in turns, obstacles and narrow bridges. And when we had enough skill (nerves of steel aside) to move on to the final phase (Ospedaletti), the snow awaited us with the possibility of skating. As if running in less than 60 seconds didn’t already have problems…
In hindsight, there is a lack of real variety of routes, as there were hardly any aesthetic differences between the four available rally championships. The pattern was always the same: track on asphalt, other parts on dirt and some with snow. They naturally changed to increase the level of difficulty, with the Monte Carlo Rally (Monaco) being the intermediate level, the Acropolis (Greece) the difficult, and the 1,000 Lakes Rally (Finland) the only one reserved for experts only.
And how was the control of the vehicle? The truth is that the guy continues to hold up very well and is a real pleasure to enjoy in the 21st century. And that’s surprising, remembering that there was no brake button. But that wasn’t an obstacle to taking the corners perfectly, you just had to pay close attention to the gauges and touch the controls (or steering wheel) properly to take those corners without mistakes.
A definite arcade mechanic that punished us with a spin if a spin got out of hand when we hit something on the stage. If we were lucky and it was a simple scratch nothing would happen and we could still reach the finish line in less than 60 seconds but if it continued on other later tracks it was sure “death”… And another drop to let coin continue for later.
That’s all he needed to sting us, so it was (almost) perfect. We didn’t care at the time that he only had one vehicle or that we didn’t see a rival on screen, just this battle against the clock. Its sequel implemented three cars to choose from and battle ghost cars, but it wasn’t the same anymore. World Rally had an impact that was difficult to replicate, that’s why we remember that time so much…
Evercade Gaelco Arcade 1 Cartridge (Piko Arcade)
Today at Amazon for €21.41
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