Game music of the day: Daytona USA

GR's ongoing tribute to the beloved world of videogames

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 parentswho hatedgames: I was getting a new game console! Not only that, Mom had pulled strings I never thoughtpossible. By calling in every favor she'd earnedfrom a lifetime of Sears loyalty, the fat oldladyhad cleverly landed one the hottest gifts of the Holiday season: The "Ultra" rare, Nintendo 64.

However, my little world was forever rocked upon viewingthis 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 replayabilityfound inthe 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 ofTalkRadar 74. Plus, it’s practically synonymous with the sounds of mid 90’s arcades, thusmany a gamer from my generation hears "King of Speed"asa call to quarter-slingin' arms!Don’t believe me? Asktheswitcher. We’re bothin agreement that the jamshould kickoffevery game.


Above: The madness begins around 1:10

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