Track & Field (video game)

Track & Field (video game)

Infobox VG
title = Track & Field


developer = Konami
publisher = Konami
Ocean Software (home computer versions)
designer =
release = 1983
1988 (home computer versions)
genre = Sports
modes = Single player, two players simultaneously
Four players total
cabinet = Upright
arcade system =
cpu =
sound = Mono
display = Raster, Horizontal orientation, 256 x 224 resolution
input = 4 buttons
platforms = Arcade, Atari 2600, Atari 8-bit, MSX, NES, Commodore 64, Game Boy, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, Xbox 360 (XBLA)

"Track & Field" is the name of a series of Olympic themed video games developed by Konami for several platforms since 1983.

The first title, simply called "Track & Field" ("Hyper Olympic" outside the United States) was released in 1983 as an arcade game. The simple gameplay, based on quick, repeating, button presses set the basics for sequels and similar games in the genre for the next decades. There were several home versions of the original; note that the ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC versions were only released as part of the Game, Set and Match II compilation in 1988, and are poorly regarded by fans [http://www.cpczone.net/index.php?game=1511] and [http://www.worldofspectrum.org/infoseekid.cgi?id=0005360] . The NES version was especially well-received and big-selling.

Gameplay

In the original arcade game, the player uses two "run" buttons (or a trackball in some early units) and one "action" button to control an athlete competing in following six events:
*100 Meter Dash – Running by quickly alternating button presses.
*Long jump – Running and correct timing for jump. Hold jump button to set angle.
*Javelin throw – Running and then using action button correct timing for angle (~42 degrees is optimal).
*110m Hurdles – Running and using action button to time hurdles
*Hammer throw – Spinning initiated by pressing a run button once and then correctly timed press of action button to choose angle (45 is optimal).
*High jump – Running and then action button must be held down to determine angle of jump. Once in the air, the run button can be rapidly pressed for additional height.

In each event, there is a qualifying time or level that the player must achieve to advance to the next event; failing to qualify (in one heat for running events or three tries in the other events) ends the game.

The game can accommodate up to four players, who compete in pairs for the running events, and individually for the others. If there are fewer than four players, the remaining slots are played by the computer (or player "CPU"). In all multiplayer heats, though, the relative performance of the players has no effect on the game, and advancing is based solely on qualifying times.If a player completes all six events, after a brief medal ceremony he is sent back to the field for another round, with higher qualifying levels.

In the follow-up "Hyper Sports", there were seven events: 100-meter freestyle, skeet shooting, vault, archery, triple jump, weight lifting and pole vault.

Legacy

Konami continued releasing games on the series:
* "Hyper Sports" (1984) (Arcade)
* "Konami '88" (1988) (Arcade)
* "Track & Field II" (1988) (NES)
* "Track & Field" (1992) (Game Boy)
* "International Track & Field" (1996) (PS)
* "Hyper Athlete" (1996) (Arcade)
* "Nagano Winter Olympics '98" (1998) (Arcade, N64, PS)
* "International Track & Field 2000" (1999) (N64, PS, GBC)
* "ESPN International Track & Field" (2000) (DC, PS2, GBC)
* "New International Track & Field" (2008) (NDS)

The NES version of "Track & Field" was re-released in Europe in 1992 as "Track & Field in Barcelona" by Kemco in the light of the 1992 Summer Olympics. The Game Boy version was also re-released as part of the "Konami GB Collection" series.

The Xbox Live Arcade version of the game was released on the Xbox 360 for 400 Microsoft Points ($5 USD) on August 8, 2007. It features updated graphics and sounds, leaderboards, and online play over the Xbox Live service.

"Track & Field" introduced the button-tapping style of gameplay, in which a player must hit a button on their controller as fast and as many times as possible in order to make their in-game character interact with its environment. This design is incorporated into inspired titles like Epyx's "Summer Games". The technique is still used in gameplay today.

Trivia

While most multiplayer arcade games had each set of controls relative to the players going from left to right, this game (which has two sets of controls) had a somewhat different setup. The left set of controls were for players 2 and 4, while the right set was for players 1 and 3. This is one of the few classic arcade games where single player mode was played on the right set of controls rather than the left.

The opening song for the Famicom (NES) Version, is the Chariots of fire tune.

Arcade game easter eggs.

100m Dash: If players one and two finish with the same time, a 1000 point bonus is awarded.

Long Jump: If you make three jumps of exactly the same length, a man with a key will run across the screen and a 1000 point bonus is awarded.

Javelin: Throw the javelin off the top of the screen and you will hit a bird, which falls to the ground. A 1000 point bonus is awarded.

180m Hurdles: If players one and two finish with the same time, a man with a key will run across the screen and a 1000 point bonus is awarded.

High Jump: Fail on your first two attempts, then qualify using your last remaining attempt. A mole will pop up out of the ground and a 1000 point bonus is awarded.

External links

* [http://www.cincinato.org/trackandfield/ Track and Field Orange Fan Site] with download, install guide, World Records, forum, detailed guides for every event and more.
*
*
*KLOV game|id=10180|name=Track and Field
* [http://www.centuri.net/tracknfield.htm"Track and Field"] entry at the Centuri.net Arcade Database
*WoS game|id=0005360|name=Track and Field
* [http://www.fustar.info/2007/01/16/208/ The perils & pleasures of "button bashing"] at fustar.info


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