Destruction Derby (video game)

Destruction Derby (video game)

Infobox VG
title = Destruction Derby

developer = Reflections
publisher = Psygnosis
engine =
designer =
released = Windows []
vgrelease|United States of America|USA|October 31, 1995
PlayStation []
vgrelease|PAL Region|PAL|October, 1995
vgrelease|United States of America|USA|November, 1995
vgrelease|Japan|JPN|February 9, 1996
Saturn []
vgrelease|PAL Region|PAL|1996
vgrelease|Japan|JPN|September 20, 1996
genre = Racing
modes = Single player, multiplayer
ratings =ESRB: K-A (Kids to Adults)
platforms = PlayStation, Sega Saturn, Nintendo 64, MS-DOS (PC), Playstation Network
media =
requirements =
input = Keyboard, Joystick, Controller

"Destruction Derby" is a 1995 video game developed by Reflections and published by Psygnosis, the former of which would later develop the successful "Driver" series. It was released for PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and MS-DOS (PC). Based around the real-life sport of demolition derby driving, the game involves wrecking other cars for points, or driving a simple stock car race around one of five tracks. Though simplistic in its aims, the game achieved popularity and was one of the first games to achieve platinum sales on the PlayStation console.Fact|date=February 2007 The game was given a name change just two months prior to its release on October, 1995. It was originally called "Demolish 'em Derby" [Edge Magazine, issues 21, 22 and 23]

The popularity of the game resulted in a 1996 follow-up, "Destruction Derby 2", released for PlayStation and MS-DOS, 1999's "Destruction Derby 64" for Nintendo 64, 2000's "Destruction Derby Raw" for PlayStation, and 2004's "Destruction Derby Arenas" for PlayStation 2. The games in the "Destruction Derby" series have led to several attempts by other companies to recreate their success, such as "Demolition Racer" by The Pitbull Syndicate (later to become Midway Studios Newcastle), and Bugbear Entertainment's FlatOut series.


Unlike other racing games, the aim in Destruction Derby is not just to be the first to cross the finishline, but rather to accumulate the most amount of points. Points are gained by wrecking the player's opponents' cars. In every race there are 19 (15 in MS-DOS version) opponents of differering ability who race against the player. There are several game modes in the game, including:

;Wreckin' RacingPoints are awarded based on two factors: the player's position in the race and the amount of damage inflicted on the opponents.

;Stock Car RacingPoints are awarded mainly on the player's position in the race. It is important here to sustain minimal damage and try and get first place.

;Destruction DerbyThis takes place on a track known as "The Bowl". It is not a circuit but a large open space where the only aim is to get as many points as possible by performing the best crashes into the opponents.

;Time TrialThis time attack playmode can mainly be used to gain familiarity with the tracks.

Points System

Each championship mode race uses a points system. The Destruction Derby mode awards points only on the basis of wrecking other players' cars, and Stock Car only on race position, with Wreckin' Racing a hybrid of the two (albeit with less points for positions than Stock Car). The maximum number of points available per race in the wrecking modes is 99, whereas Stock Car has a maximum of 50 (the points for first place). The points system for wrecking is as follows:

* In Wreckin' Racing mode, the race position 1st gets ten points, 2nd gets six and 3rd gets four
* In Destruction Derby mode, the last car not "gripped" gets ten points
* Gripping a car gets ten points
* Spinning a car 360 degrees gets twelve points, with 180 degrees getting four points and 90 degrees getting two points

In Stock Car mode, points are awarded for 1st to 20th place in the following order: 50, 40, 35, 30, 25, 20, 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0.


There are three cars found in the game, the "Rookie (Psygnosis)", the "Amateur (Grim Reaper)", and the "Pro (Smoothie)". The rookie is the easiest to handle but it has the least power and speed of all the cars. The Amateur and Pro are more difficult to handle but have more power, are able to turn more effectively, and have greater speed.


The game features an engine that simulates what effect collisions have on the vehicles. If a car has been severely damaged its handling will become worse, with the level of damage indicated by a car diagram on the right of the screen. Severe damage to one of the sides of the car will make it pull significantly to that side, and severe damage to both will make it almost impossible to turn at all. Severe damage to the back will cause a grinding effect that slows the car, whereas damage to the front will give the car a "blown radiator". If more damage is received by the front, the driver may become "gripped", which results in the driver not moving anymore (if the car gripped is the player, the "Race Over" screen appears as cars gripped can no longer compete).

Unlike in sequels, damage could not be repaired during a race, as there is no pit lane functionality in "Destruction Derby".



In Race Practice and Divisions 1, 2 and 5 (Championship) the Human Player races on an oval track with two left turns for 12 laps (reversed in Divisions 1 and 2). In Divisions 3 and 4 though the player races on a track beginning with a 90-degree left turn, followed later by a left-right-left kink that comes onto the home straight (this is reversed in Division 3). The race takes place during the day in all Divisions except 4, where it takes place at dusk. There is a promotional billboard for 3D Lemmings on the normal track.


In Race Practice and Divisions 2 and 5 (Championship) the Human Player races on a figure-of-eight for 10 laps, creating several opportunities for "gripping" cars, the Human Player to suffer steering failure and spinning opponents through 360 degrees. In Divisions 1, 3 and 4 the Human Player races on a slightly altered track that has one slightly longer loop turn and one turn cut into three 90-degree right turns (reversed in Division 1). The race takes place at dusk in Divisions 2 and 5, otherwise taking place during the day. There is a promotional billboard for Krazy Ivan on the normal track.

Ocean Drive

In Race Practice and all Divisions (Championship) the Human Player races on a track beginning with a 90-degree left turn, then a straight followed by a left-turn hairpin and a right-turn 90-degree corner. The player then goes through a small passage before the lap finishes with a long left-turn hairpin (this is reversed in Divisions 2, 3 and 4). The race takes place during the day in all Divisions except 4, where it takes place at night.

Cactus Creek

The largest track in the game in normal Race Practice and Divisions 1 and 5 (Championship), it begins with a long straight (in most cases) followed by a left-turn. Two left-turns follow, then a long straight before a long right-turn hairpin. Another straight follows before two left-turns, another straight and a tight left-turn to finish. There are 4 crossovers on the track, so steering failures and "grips" are not uncommon, as too are 360 degree spins. In Divisions 2, 3 and 4 the track is simply three left-turns linked with long straights (reversed in Divisions 2 and 3). The race takes place at dusk in Divisions 1 and 2, otherwise taking place during the day. There are promotional billboards for Assault Rigs and 3D Lemmings on both tracks.

City Heat

This track in Race Practice and Divisions 2, 3 and 5 (Championship) begins with a tight right-turn and two narrow passageways followed by a tight right-turn. A long straight beckons followed by a right-turn, a straight and another right-turn over the line (reversed in Division 3). In Divisions 1 and 4 the Player races on a circuit that begins with a tight left-turn followed by a left-turn hairpin after a short straight. A right-left kink comes after, with a long straight and a tight left-turn to finish (reversed in Division 1). The race takes place at night in Divisions 3 and 5, otherwise taking place during the day. There is a promotional billboard for Wipeout and the game itself on the normal track.

The Bowl

A straight smash finishes all seasons in any Division in this race with no track, but merely straight "gripping". Takes place during the day in Divisions 1, 3 and 5 and takes place at dusk during Divisions 2 and 4.

Ruined Monastery

A reward for coming first in Division 1 (Championship), this track begins with a right-left kink before a straight leads into a right-turn hairpin in a tunnel. After this a left-right kink comes up before a short straight and a 90-degree right turn to come onto the finishing straight. Takes place exclusively during the day.

It is worth noting that in some Championship races the finishing line has been adjusted from its visual indication; for example, on a reverse race of the normal Speedway track the finishing line is under the electronic position board.


In each race, there are nineteen CPU drivers (fifteen in MS-DOS version) who compete along with the main player. Each driver is of differing ability, and each one has a (slightly) different driving style, which initially creates variation for the player but can easily be predicted after playing the game for a while. Some CPU drivers perform better in different modes, with some weak at stock car racing but strong in wrecking-for-points environments.

The fastest raw stock car driver in the game is clearly The Skum in every race, whereas there are several competitors who are better in the "Destruction Derby" mode. Competitors such as Psycho, Undertaker, Barmy Army and The Taxman are amongst the best drivers in all modes, whereas drivers such as Suicide Squad are good in wrecking modes, but very slow in stock car modes.

In each Championship, the drivers start out in a system of five (four in MS-DOS version) divisions, with the goal for the player being to climb to and win Division 1. The drivers that are in each division remain constant for every new game, but are not ordered by ability (clear by the fact that L. Driver is in Division 2, despite being the weakest competitor in all game modes, but hardly ever takes damage meaning he is the best at the longer races). There is, however, an obvious pattern to who climbs to the top divisions and who doesn't; in stock car modes, only deliberate player intervention would stop The Skum from rising meteorically from his starting Division 3 to the top division.

Most of the drivers also have their own voice clip for when points are taken from them by the player in wrecking modes, or for when the player "grips" them in all modes. Also, each driver has their own car design, and a cartoon picture of the character displayed on the race and championship standings screens. The division of each driver can be seen during races by the colour of the roof of their car - Division One is black, Division Two is red, Division Three is cyan, Division Four is yellow and Division Five is white.

The competitors in each starting division, along with their car number are as follows:

Division One

* Barmy Army (#53)
* Suicide Squad (#82)
* The Taxman (#95)
* The Doctor (#99)

Division Two

* Crunch Bunch (#22)
* Learner Driver (#37)
* Psycho (#40)
* Heavy Metal Hero (#52) (not in MS-DOS version)

Division Three (This division (cyan) is not available in MS-DOS version)

* The Skum (#13)
* The Goddess (#35)
* Pyromaniac (#64) (not in MS-DOS version)
* Undertaker (#77)

Division Four

* The Idol (#23) (not in MS-DOS version)
* The Optician (#47) (not in MS-DOS version)
* The Beast (#66)
* Passion Wagon (#69)

Division Five

* Human Player (#01)
* Trashman (#07)
* The General (#50)
* The Bouncer (#88)

One criticism of the game was that, in the "Duel" mode of the game, the driver who the player faces is always the Trashman (who is an average competitor in wrecking modes, and above average in stock car modes). Most of the characters were retained for the second Destruction Derby series game, "Destruction Derby 2", with new additions The Master, The Chief, The Pro and Rivit to replace The Taxman, The Doctor, Crunch Bunch and The Idol.

External links

*moby game|id=/destruction-derby|name="Destruction Derby"
*GameFAQs|type=/console/psx|num=366676|name="Destruction Derby"

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