Rad Racer (NES)

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Rad Racer
Rad Racer - NES - USA.jpg
Platform: NES
Year: 1987
Developer: Square Co., Ltd.
Buy: Amazon

Rad Racer AKA ハイウェイスター (Highway Star) is a racing game for the NES similar to Sega's OutRun (ARC). You drive either a Ferrari 328 or an F1 racing machine through eight courses around the world. As you progress through the courses they become more difficult and the competing drivers become harder to pass. While it brought nothing new to the concept of racing games, Rad Racer did bring a decent over-the-shoulder view racing game to the NES, which desperately needed one.

As a bonus feature, Rad Racer included 3D glasses and allowed the game to be played in 3D mode by pressing select. However, due to the slow refresh rate of televisions of the day, it just made the game very hard to view.


Rad Racer - NES - Title.png

The title screen.

Rad Racer - NES - Choose a Car.png

What car do you want to race with?

Rad Racer - NES - Course Map.png

The Sunset Coastline is a breeze.

Rad Racer - NES - Sunset Coastline.png

Volkswagen Beetles along the Coastline.

Rad Racer - NES - San Francisco Highway.png

Chevrolet Corvettes coat the California course.

Rad Racer - NES - Grand Canyon.png

Racing Citroëns at the Grand Canyon.


Again, copying OutRun (ARC), Rad Racer allows you to change the radio station, although unlike OutRun, you can change the radio station while driving by pressing down on the D-pad, an even turn the music off, which is a nice feature. The songs are rather short and uninspired, and aside from two fanfares, the only other music is the ending, which few players ever hear. It's quite amazing to think that a mere four months later, Final Fantasy (NES) would be released with its amazing soundtrack by the same composer, Nobuo Uematsu.


# Title ComposerArranger Length Listen Download
01 Radio Station 1 Nobuo UematsuNobuo Uematsu 2:03
02 Radio Station 2 Nobuo UematsuNobuo Uematsu 1:23
03 Radio Station 3 Nobuo UematsuNobuo Uematsu 1:52
04 Running Out of Time Nobuo UematsuNobuo Uematsu 0:06
05 Finished Course Nobuo UematsuNobuo Uematsu 0:03
06 Congratulations Nobuo UematsuNobuo Uematsu 0:54


(Source: Square Enix's Japanese website); game lacks credits.

The game was developed at a time when credits were uncommon. However, various official sources list Nobuo Uematsu as the composer. One of these is the 2021 release of Square Hizou Ongen-shuu Preserved Tracks Collection from 1986~1996.

Game Rip






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


  Japan.svg   Japan
Rad Racer - NES - Japan.jpg
Title: ハイウェイスター (Highway Star)
Platform: Famicom
Released: 1987-08-07
Publisher: Square Co., Ltd.
  USA.svg   USA
Rad Racer - NES - USA.jpg
Title: Rad Racer
Platform: NES
Released: 1987-10-??
Publisher: Nintendo of America, Inc.
  Canada.svg   Canada
Rad Racer - NES - Canada.jpg
Title: Rad Racer
Platform: NES
Released: 1987-10-??
Publisher: Mattel
  Germany.svg   Germany
Rad Racer - NES - Germany.jpg
Title: Rad Racer
Platform: NES
Released: 1988-01-15
Publisher: Nintendo Co., Ltd.
  UK.svg   UK
Rad Racer - NES - UK.jpg
Title: Rad Racer
Platform: NES
Released: 1988-01-15
Publisher: Nintendo Co., Ltd.