Metroplis Street Racer Dreamcast, from conception to commercialization (various releases)

The MSR title, better known as Metropolis Street Racer was one of the Dreamcast 's most ambitious. Designed by Bizarre Creations (the creators of Fur Figthers ), one of the most popular development studios of the time, MSR was announced as a racing game close to the simulation. It was to accompany the release of the last Sega console but was delayed several times to be marketed only 1 year later.

Three major cities, London , San Francisco and Tokyo have been fully modeled down to the smallest detail by the Bizarre Creations team. Each of the cities represented a commercial territory of Sega : Europe , America , Japan . Alas,  MSR will never see the light of day in the land of the rising sun.

The developers had carried out a lot of research and had traveled to the field to reproduce the topography of the place as faithfully as possible. 30 hours of video recording and 32,000 photos were needed to achieve this graphic feat.

Tokyo in real life

Tokyo in the end of 1999

Tokyo modeled

Tokyo MSR
Metropolis Street Racer Cover
Metropolis Street Racer press kit

The races take place on nine circuits, with 3 per city. 26 cars, among the most famous on the automotive market at that time, were in the game. The streets and neighborhoods had been fully reproduced and the realism was striking.

The duels take place on the great American boulevards with sharp right-angle turns and drops. Then, it is in the small winding and dark alleys of the Japanese capital that we continue our wild runs....

The main event (the Street Racer ) is divided into 25 chapters consisting of various events ( Hot Lap where you have to beat the record at all, the Time Run where you have to complete several laps in a limited time, etc.).

By completing the various challenges, the player earns points called Kudos . Their attribution is made according to the time or the classification in race, the style of driving and the possible penalties. Kudos act as a progress bar during MSR , so you can unlock new cars, new races and new chapters.

The driving is simulation-oriented, being very far from the very difficult F355 Ferrari Challenge . Driving is simple and natural. Road holding is good, speed high and braking firm and precise.

development Metropolis Street Racer

E3 prototype

One of the peculiarities of the game was the respect of real time differences. That is to say that if when you were playing it was night in Japan and you were competing on one of the tracks in Tokyo you were driving at night!

The music is excellent. We find a radio system, similar to those of GTA , with music  composed by one and the same person: Richard Jacques , a well-known British composer at SEGA . He also composed the OSTs for Daytona USA: Championship Circuit Edition , Sonic 3D , Sonic R , Jet Set Radio , and Headhunter . All styles of music are present,  rock, rap, dance, jazz, pop and even country. A funny detail, the radio scrambled when passing through a tunnel.

Metropolis Street Racer Audi
MSR-LONDRES
MSR-SAN FRANCISCO
development MSR Dreamcast
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MSR Dreamcast Collection.jpg

A competition had been organized by Sega , in France , with a chain of stores around Metropolis Street Racer . The objective was to achieve the greatest number of Kudos on a given circuit. For the first phase of the competition, the competitors had to register their record on  the circuit: Street Race - Chapter 18 - Race 7 (Old Palace Yard North) then take it to a store covering the event. In the second phase, the top two players from each store competed against each other. At the end of these confrontations, the 4 best players (score), all shops combined, were selected for the final which took place on May 17, 2001 in Paris . The final no longer took place with the greatest number of Kuedos but on the best cumulative time over 2 races. The winner, Alexandre Péron (impossible to contact him) had won an Opel Speedster with an estimated value of 32,000 E.

Years later,  Project Gotham Racing will be released at Xbox launch, drawing heavily on MSR .

Metroplis Street Racer is one of those games that will have left its mark on Dreamcast owners. It arrived too late in the console's life cycle, sales were poor. He is, 20 years later, still a reference.

The E3 Prototype (May 9, 2000)

This prototype version of MSR is a demo, many things are  locked. It allows you to have a glimpse of what the game would become. Judging by the license plates of the cars, it must have been used for an E3 . By extracting the files, it bears the name " METROPOLIS STREET RACER - TOKYO GAME SHOW DEMO ".

  • The intro video when launching the game is not present.

  • The " Warning " window warning of the illegality of street racing  does not yet exist.

  • It is not possible to configure the time in the " Clock Settings " window and the zone ( GMT ) in the " Time Zone Select " window, these screens do not appear where they should normally be.

  • The screen with the " MPEG Sofdec " and " ADX " (copyright) logos is not yet included in this build.

  • By launching this MSR E3 prototype, we start directly at the window presenting the Kuedos system. The writing is brighter, whiter than usual. You should hear the sound of a car starting up, however there is nothing, no sound. This screen will repeat a second time when it shouldn't. The music will start on its second appearance. It's a different sound track than the final version.

  • The window displaying the Sega logo  has some differences. Here it says " Sega Enterprises Presents " under the logo, it should only read " Presented by " above the logo.

Prototype

Sega Enterprises Presents Logo.jpg

Final

Presented by Sega Logo.jpg
  •  " A Bizarre Creations Game ", where the development studio logo appears, is written in bold type. There is nothing on the retail version. This feature is also visible in the title menu.

  • The title screen is not the same as we are used to seeing. The copyrights scrolling below " Press Start " (which is not centered) have some words that change between the 2 versions.

Metropolis Street Racer prototype E3 Dreamcast Main Title.jpg
MSR Dreamcast Title.jpg
  • During the self-demo, " Press Start " should appear at the bottom right of the screen, there is nothing on this demo.

MSR Dreamcast E3 prototype.jpg
E3 prototype Metropolis Sreet Racer in game.jpg
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E3 prototype MSR Dreamcast main menu.jpg
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MSR Dreamcast E3 version.jpg
  • The loading, " Now Loading ", are slightly different.

  • After the title screen, the player is taken directly to a limited number of game mode choices including " Hot Lap ", " Multiplayer " and " Time Runed " without needing to register a driver name. The car is automatically selected by the game, it is not possible to change it. This part linked to the demo (presentation of game modes, circuits, etc.) is specific to the prototype.

  • As soon as an event is finished or abandoned, several promotional windows praising the future of the game follow one another before returning to the title screen.

Metropolis Street Racer E3 disque prototype Dreamcast (May 9, 2000).jpg

You can download the Metropolis Street Racer E3 Dreamcast build below:

Metropolis Street Racer E3 (May 9, 2000)

The prototype (Oct 10, 2000, certainly a false date)

This European Metropolis Street Racer prototype has 2 distinct features: the vehicle  can behave on the keyboard (weird) and an option used by the developers appears when performing a trick on a joystick.

  • During a game, by connecting a controller to port B or C (port D not tested) then pressing the left or right trigger, a particular display appears on the screen (see the video). The directional cross allows you to navigate in one of the many sub-zones of the menu, for example 1,2,3,4,5 or 6. To modify the values of the sub-zones, you must use the analog stick.

Be careful , this menu does not always open. You will have to try several times. Emulators do not display it correctly.

  • By plugging a keyboard into port B , C or D , the car can be driven using it. The various configured keys and their functions:

K = Accelerate

N = Back

M = Brake

Y = Turn left

X = Turn Right

Left or Right Arrow = Honk

Metropolis Street Racer disc prototype (Oct 10, 2000).jpg

You can download this Metropolis Street Racer build  Dreamcast below:

Metropolis Street Racer  (Oct 10, 2000)

The White Label  "MSR Opel Challenge" (Jul 25, 2000)

It is a particular version of Metropolis Street Racer , a  demo featuring Opel 's car, the Speedster also known as the Vauxhall VX 220 in the UK . This disc was available free from UK retailers with Virtua Tennis pre-orders. This White Label was designed to promote the Opel Speedster . The player will drive this vehicle which has become emblematic of MSR on a single circuit, Asuka in Japan (in one or two player mode).

MSR Opel Challenge White Label  (Jul 25, 2000).jpg

You can download this Whitel Label "MSR Opel Challenge"  Dreamcast below:

MSR Opel Challenge  (Jul 25, 2000)

Spanish Press Kit for Metropolis Street Racer.

When acquiring this Press Kit , it was accompanied by the MSR Opel Challenge White Label . The origin and history of this disc still remain a mystery. We can read, in Spanish, on the sleeve of the disc the following inscriptions:

"MSR presents the most realistic ride at the Hard Rock Cafe P° Castellana n°2 - Madrid on October 5 at 8:30 p.m.

The most desired cars, the most interesting cities but can you be the master behind the wheel of an Opel Speester,  will you dare? Practice with this playable demo, if you  are the best pilot, you will receive a fantastic prize. Don't miss this opportunity."

MSR press kit disc (spanish).jpg

You can download this MSR Press Kit  Dreamcast below:

MSR Press Kit

MSR Dreamcast Car development
Metropolis Street Racer Race development
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