Cycle Race: Road Man

Cycle Race: Road Man
Cycle Race: Road Man
Cycle Race: Road Man
Title screen of Cycle Race: Road Man
Developer(s) Advance Communication Company
Publisher(s) Tokyo Shoseki
Distributor(s) Nintendo
Platform(s) Family Computer[1]
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Alternative sports (biking)[1][2]
Mode(s) Single-player
  • ESRB: n/a (not rated)
Media/distribution 2-megabit cartridge[3]

Cycle Race: Road Man (サイクルレース ロードマン 〜激走!! 日本一周4000km〜?, "Cycle Race: Road Man 4000 km Tour Around Japan")[4] is a Family Computer video game based on the sport of road bicycle racing.



General gameplay

Team selection screen

It is the player's ultimate objective to make it all the way around Japan. If the player ends up completely damaging the bicycle, running out of energy, or falling behind a certain ranking, then he or she will automatically lose the race. Players can choose a representative from either Team USA, Team Japan, Team France, or Team Italy.[5] As long as the player has at least one spare bicycle in his inventory, games will never end on a completely damaged bicycle. Passwords are used to save the game, as opposed to a battery save.

Translating the Japanese title into English reveals that the race is 4000 kilometers long (2485.5 miles). During these 4000 kilometres, players must traverse the countryside that separates major Japanese cities along the coastline.[5] Interesting scenery includes forests and cattle farms. All the menus that help the game function (except for the title screen) use the English language despite the fact that the game was never released in either North America or Europe; even the passwords use the Latin alphabet instead of either hiragana or katakana.

Strategy elements

This is a screenshot of a sample race in action. The player is going 66 kilometres per hour (41 miles per hour) and has reached the top ten ranking for that section.

Teammates give out useful power-ups that increase the speed of the bicycle. The power-ups can also give the player the opportunity to make on the spot repairs, and extra energy (i.e., water or energy drink) for those longer courses. Each team has five members to choose from; each with their own strengths and weaknesses and a name that is typical of his nationality. Points (which are used as currency) are earned by finishing as close to first place as possible. Once acquired, points can be used to buy bicycles that are faster and longer lasting.[5] Potential bicycle purchasers must be aware; bicycle sales cannot be cancelled or revoked. Discarding a bike is only possible by intentionally destroying them in a race. Bicycles come in different colors including green, red, and blue.

There are also technical differences with the different bicycles. Some are better in higher altitude places like mountains while others function better in lower altitude places like valleys and flat land. However, there are also bicycles that can endure both high altitude and low altitude places. The more expensive the bicycle is, the lighter and faster it is. Endurance is linked directly to the weight and speed of the bicycle (and indirectly to the cost of the bicycle). Longer races require bicycles with a larger endurance rating. These three different types of bicycles and four different types of price ranges for each type of bicycle encourage the player to make his or purchases carefully. Strategy will increasingly come into importance as the player has to decide between having more bicycles or better quality bicycles.


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