Ferrari Grand Prix Challenge (NES)

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Ferrari Grand Prix Challenge
Ferrari Grand Prix Challenge - NES - USA.jpg
Platform: NES
Year: 1992
Developer: System 3
For the Sega Genesis version, see Ferrari Grand Prix Challenge (GEN). For the Game Boy version, see Ferrari Grand Prix Challenge (GB).

Ferrari Grand Prix Challenge is a racing game developed by System 3 and published by Acclaim Entertainment. The game also saw a Japanese release published by C Dream. It was the only NES game developed by System 3.

In the game, you race your Ferrari F1 racer through a series of sixteen tracks; America, Brazil, San Marino, Monaco, Canada, Mexico, France, Britain, Germany, Hungary, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Japan, and Australia. In each race, you must first qualify, in which your F1 runs at a slightly slower pace. Your qualifying time will determine your starting position in the race, which will always be last or next-to-last due to the way the game's set up. During each main race, there are five laps in which you must clear. The better position you finish each race with, the more points you'll be awarded. Whoever has the most amount of points at the end of the championship wins the game. You can also have your car manually worked on by the pit crew if you need to.

Unfortunately, there is no two-player mode, so it's just you against the computer opponents. Also, since the game uses less-than-realistic physics in its racing engine, you never have to let go of the gas or hit the brake in order to make any sharp turns in the game, so you can use that to your advantage to skate by the computer opponents. While the game has no battery backup, it does contain a password so you can continue from where you left off with your progress and points intact.

The game received mixed-to-positive reviews. Most people who played the game said that the game was decent enough, but were more impressed by the game's soundtrack. The game also received a release on the Game Boy and Sega Genesis.

Screenshots

Ferrari Grand Prix Challenge - NES - Title Screen.png

The title screen.

Ferrari Grand Prix Challenge - NES - Main Menu.png

The main menu.

Ferrari Grand Prix Challenge - NES - Car Setup.png

Setting up the car.

Ferrari Grand Prix Challenge - NES - Qualifying Times.png

The lineup of the first race.

Ferrari Grand Prix Challenge - NES - San Marino.png

San Marino.

Ferrari Grand Prix Challenge - NES - Ranking.png

I win!

Music

Ferrari Grand Prix Challenge features nine musical tracks by Neil Baldwin. Most people who have played the game give its soundtrack the most praise above all. Most of the songs are fast-paced rock tracks which go along quite nicely with the high-speed action of the game. What's more is most of the songs are pretty lengthy, so they don't get annoying. On top of all of that is that Neil's sound engine is one of the best-sounding on the NES, up there with Geoff Follin, Tim Follin, and Jeroen Tel. Most of Neil's works use what sounds like an electric guitar with a wah pedal for good measure. He also makes great use of arpeggios and delay much like his other works. There are four different racing themes, and each track is used four times within the 16-track championship.

On Neil's old website, he talked in great detail about working on the game. According to Neil, his development studio, Eurocom, was going through financial difficulties, and so he sought work with other companies to help keep Eurocom afloat. He explained:

They'd asked for some rock-style tracks which I thought was a tall order on the NES but I think a couple of the tracks turned out pretty good, if a little short. I also didn't get paid a great deal for the project so I was determined to turn it around in as short a time as possible.

He also said that he did not see the game at all during its development. In fact, he stated that it wasn't until his blog post about the game that he had even seen footage of the game itself. Neil stated that the title screen music was one of his favorite songs he ever wrote.

One interesting thing to note is the Ranking track was actually from a previous game Neil worked on, James Bond Jr. (NES). Neil explained that this was due to various reasons; he couldn't think of another track to write, was pressed for time, as well as he was not being paid well for his work on the game.

To compose the music, Neil wrote in assembly macros into his own sound driver that he developed with Tim Rogers. Because the PAL version plays at the same speed and pitch as the North American release, a recording of it is unnecessary. The Japanese version features the same tracks.

For some reason, there is a bit of silence at the beginning of each track in the NSF for about 2 seconds. This has been omitted from the recording below.

Recording

# Title Composer Length Listen Download
01 Title Screen Neil Baldwin 5:02
Download
02 Menu / Next Round Neil Baldwin 1:08
Download
03 Race Theme 1 Neil Baldwin 4:16
Download
04 Qualifying Times Neil Baldwin 0:48
Download
05 Results / Race Theme 2 Neil Baldwin 1:42
Download
06 Continue Screen Neil Baldwin 0:10
Download
07 Race Theme 3 Neil Baldwin 0:56
Download
08 Race Theme 4 Neil Baldwin 3:45
Download
09 Ranking Neil Baldwin 2:33
Download

Credits

(Source: Verification from composer; game lacks credits.)

When you beat all 16 courses, you are treated to a simple congratulatory screen, but no credits. The game's instruction manual also lacks credits.

Neil Baldwin verified on his old website (dutycyclegenerator.com) that he was the game's composer, and spoke in great detail about his involvement with the game. This can also be supported by other games using the same sound engine (which he developed) giving credit to Neil.

Game Rip

Format

Download

NSF.png NSFE.png


Issue - Incomplete.svg

This rip is missing songs.

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Ripping NES music is a very arduous process that is beyond the scope of this site.

Releases

  USA.svg   USA
Ferrari Grand Prix Challenge - NES - USA.jpg
Title: Ferrari Grand Prix Challenge
Platform: NES
Released: 1992-06-??
Publisher: Acclaim Entertainment
  Japan.svg   Japan
Ferrari - FC - Japan.jpg
Title: フェラリ (Ferrari)
Platform: Famicom
Released: 1992-11-13
Publisher: C Dream
  UK.svg   UK
Ferrari Grand Prix Challenge - NES - UK.jpg
Title: Ferrari Grand Prix Challenge
Platform: NES
Released: 1992-??-??
Publisher: Acclaim Entertainment

Links