Game music of the day: Daytona USA

Welcome to GamesRadar's daily blast of all things pertaining to the ever-growing field of game music. Each post will introduce new sounds, games, composers and fan-made remixes of gaming's greatest aural achievements

March 29, 2010


Game: Daytona USA

Song: The King of Speed

Composer: Kouichi Namiki and Takenobu

Above: Also known as "Rolling Start"

WARNING: PERSONAL ANECODOTE! It was Christmas of 1996, a perfect storm of good behavior (good grades and a year without an arrest) led to an opportunity that rarely arose from two parents who hated games: I was getting a new game console! Not only that, Mom had pulled strings I never thought possible. By calling in every favor she'd earned from a lifetime of Sears loyalty, the fat old lady had cleverly landed one the hottest gifts of the Holiday season: The "Ultra" rare, Nintendo 64.


However, my little world was forever rocked upon viewing this commercial. Following its surprise launch in 1995, the Sega Saturn was still struggling in the marketplace. To combat the much more popular PlayStation and Nintendo’s newest console, Sega was offering THREE of its greatest arcade titles FREE! We weren’t rich, so I had to carefully weigh the offer against the N64 and its smattering of launch titles, all $60 - a price then thought to be insane. The choice seemed clear.

Above: The greatest bad music EVAR!

I gave the sought after 64 to a friend to ensure it remained close, and picked up the system that provided the maximum value and I don’t regret the decision one bit… outside to the inherent replayability found in the bundled arcade ports, or lack thereof. I beat Virtua Cop in ten minutes and quickly exhausted Virtua Fighter 2’s single player experience. Oddly enough, it was Daytona USA that provided the most replay value. Not only did it kickstart an undying love of 3D racing games, the hyper-cornball “RO-LLING STAAAAAAAART!” remains one of the greatest level opening’s ever forged.


Yeah, I know it’s cheesy as hell. But hey, it received more praise than damn near any other music we’ve used in our podcast after we used it to kick start the 2nd segment of TalkRadar 74 . Plus, it’s practically synonymous with the sounds of mid 90’s arcades, thus many a gamer from my generation hears "King of Speed" as a call to quarter-slingin' arms! Don’t believe me? Ask theswitcher. We’re both in agreement that the jam should kickoff every game.

Above: The madness begins around 1:10

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  • AladinTheJew - April 3, 2010 5:19 a.m.

    Rolling Start is now my ringtone.
  • philipshaw - March 30, 2010 9:31 a.m.

    ROLLING START! So awesome, I remember hearing this on the podcast
  • bmrskate - March 30, 2010 7:40 a.m.

    Oh much 90s awesome....nostalgia....arghhhh....D-D-D-D-D....DAAYYYYTOOONAAAAAAA!! LET'S GO AWAY!!
  • KTSU - March 30, 2010 3:56 a.m.

    DC Daytona was so good and lag free omg
  • mgkyo666 - March 30, 2010 2:46 a.m.

    Chris... You just got me a new ringtone!!!!!
  • DarkTone - March 30, 2010 2:19 a.m.

    My local bowling alley had this, it was the first place I played it! It was funny how random customers would scream DAYTONAAAAAAAA when bowling! God bless this game and its kick ass soundtrack!
  • GamesRadarJuniorWildlifeEditor - March 30, 2010 1:47 a.m.

    Is their an archive of the music of the day articles somewhere? If not, there should be. They are awesome.
  • JonkeyFresh - March 30, 2010 12:54 a.m.

    Of course this is an Antista article. Can I haz a week of Blast Corps? Actually, I remember getting this with the Saturn, along with Virtua Fighter 2 and Virtua Cop. To be a teenager again.
  • Memph - March 30, 2010 12:07 a.m.

    easy course tunes i could just about handle hard course on the other hand... i dunno what was worse, the 2 mile long, guaranteed to go wrong perfect powerslide needed to clear the underpass, or 'bluuue bluuue skiies i seeee' being warbled away while trying to pull it off /wrists
  • Wizrai - March 29, 2010 11:44 p.m.

    *Attempts to do the voice* Article Reading, Rolliiing Staaaaart~(8)
  • Romination - March 29, 2010 11:43 p.m.

    Awesome, I love the idea of multiple editors taking on Music of the Day responsibilities. When I first played Daytona, I was all giggly because this song made me think of YOU, Chris... teehee!

Showing 1-11 of 11 comments

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