Tell us about the games you always wanted but never got. I'll start with OutRun Nights

OutRun was a great game, a true classic that came to define the mid-80s renaissance of arcade culture. As its buzz died down, though, my friends and I, arcade rats all, traded (and invented) rumors about the forthcoming sequel. One of the beautiful lies one of my pals came up with was OutRun Nights, which he swore to God he had seen in a conveniently-distant arcade in Torbay where he'd just been on holiday.

Unfortunately, none of the real sequels were remotely a good as the original, let alone as fused to the collective consciousness of children raised by the NTSC avatars of David Hasselhoff and Jan-Michel Vincent. To this day, however, I sincerely believe in the parallel Segaverse and thought it worthy of sharing, with just a few tips of the hat to modernity. Specs follow:

OutRun Nights is a hack of the original, or should play as if it were: Sega System 16 hardware, a mess of sprites scaled like crazy over a 320x224 display.

•No stage takes place during daytime; the first is dusk, the last is dawn.

•The setting is moved from daytime SoCal to Miami by night. Your Ferrari Testarossa Convertible is traded in for a Lamborghini Countach.

•There's no time limit. Speedruns only! But maybe you don't want to attract too much attention, given the fancy motor. Who knows what you are up to? An achievement -- Reliable Courier -- is conferred upon those who complete the whole game at the lowest possible speed.

•The cabinet would have a glass table at the back.

•Replacing the Hawaii-Cali sunshine music of the oringal are languid streetlit crawlings such as Com Truise's Video Arkade, Lazerhawk's So Far Away and Lindstrøm's Ra Ako Ost. Jan Hammer would play on the final stage. Then, at the end, the world collapses into irony or somesuch

UPDATE: Commenter Andrew points out a project to decompile and recreate the original arcade OutRun in C++, which has already resulted not only in a pixel-perfect port to modern systems, but a host of bug-fixes and improvements. Best of all, it looks like we might be able to use it to create OutRun Nights for real!



  1. If I had any time on my hands I would love to work on this hack/mod: Out Run Nights.

    The game that a friend and I always joked about was S!T: The sitting simulator. We would imagine that it as a series developed to run on the latest hardware since the the Apple II. Originally a text only game like Zork. It would let you look about a room an touch things, but the instant you stood it was game over.

      1. I think sequels to Desert Bus should add S’s.  So the next would be Dessert Bus, a far more tasty game.  After that would be Dessert Buss, which according to Wikipedia, has something to do with herring-flavored pastries.

  2. I wanted Cosmic Osmo so badly.  The idea of exploring a world at so granular a level really got my brain going – I would play for a few minutes at a time on one of the display computers at the shop I did repairs in, and fantasized about being able to (1) afford a Mac, and (2) lose myself in Cosmic Osmo.

    1. You’ll have to buy it as part of the Cyan Complete Pack, but Cosmic Osmo is available on Steam, compatible with Windows XP/Vista (7 is ‘unofficially supported’), and runs on basically anything, if you want to nostalgia out.

      Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Valve, Cyan, or… anyone that could profit from this. I just own this pack as well as a bunch of other Steam titles.

    2. I have been there – missing the days of being able to shoot cotton swabs at giant fish and figuring that I would have to rebuild my SE/30 just to play the Osmo again, but as elix says, it’s available on Steam.  You’ll be swabbing away in just a few minutes!!!

  3. Outrun is an amazing fckn game!! So glad someone else shares a passion for it. Used to play this for HOURS at the local taco joint.. 

  4. Updated version of Spy Hunter but with the same idea:  shoot stuff out of your car at the bad guys until you die.  Also, there should be a short jet or helicopter sequence to compliment the boat sequences.

      1. Road Blasters?  Aw hells yeah!  Nothing better than the plane that dropped off the constantly firing cannon.  I actually ended up getting a job at the pizza place where I played Road Blasters because I was around so much.

    1. I had the version for the ps2. I’m not too fond of it since it gets blurry when you go at the speed you need to go and just hitting anything is hard.

  5. Yie Ar Kung-Fu II: Turbo Championship Edition!

    But seriously, there’s a game I swear exists and I played but I can’t seem to track down. This is from back in the day when between a friend of mine and me we had something like 600 disks full of pirated C64 games. One of them you played a cricket, trapped at the bottom of a deep cave. You could jump left of right, and you could vary the velocity of your jump. The goal was to escape the cave by carefully jumping to a series of ledges. I think the cave may have been randomly/procedurally generated each playthrough. I think the music was good. I have no idea what it’s called and it never showed up in the Lemon archives, unlike most of the games from that era I fondly remember.

    1. I completely read that as you played cricket trapped at the bottom of a deep cave. I couldn’t fathom why playing cricket at the bottom of a cave would be any more enjoyable than playing it on a field, nor why you would attempt to escape the game by jumping on ledges out of there. However the image of someone dressed in whites, with big leg pads and a heavy bat jumping from ledge to ledge kind of makes me wish the version I was imagining was the real one. 

      If there is a real one.

    1. Goonies part 1 was only available in the US in the arcade. It was found on Nintendo’s Vs. cabinets and some PlayChoice machines.

  6. I always wanted to play ET, only one that didn’t involve falling into goddamned holes leaving my lifeless white husk at the bottom of random pits.

  7. I always wanted a Blinky (Red Ghost) game – you chase Pac-Man, obviously.

    Points are scored for
     a) how long you can keep him from completing the level (10 points every 0.2 seconds in normal mode, 50 points every 0.2 seconds in blue mode),
     b) eating him (starts at 500 points, increases by 500 points each time you do it up to ), and
     c) chasing him into another ghost’s mouth (starts at 1000 points, increases by 1000 points each time you do it). 

    The game ends when either you’ve been eaten 3 times in blue, or when Pac-Man clears the level (or a given number of levels).

    1. You have played Pac-Man Vs., right?  GameCube & GameBoy Advance linked; one player plays normal Pac-Man on the GBA while up to three other players control the ghosts, each in a small bubble of vision on the TV.
      It’s one of many awesome party games on NGC, also playable on an older backwards-compatible Wii!

  8. The arcade version of Mortal Kombat 2 was fucking amazing. I was absolutely obsessed with the game—not to mention the fact that I had matured to the perfect age to be completely engrossed by blood and gore when MK-1 came out. I just remember kids slightly older than me knowing how to achieve all of the mysterious and hidden fatalities, while there I was, hardly able to operate my stiff fingers independently of one another. Either way, I was fully engaged and no longer mortified (pardon the pun) when MK-2 finally rolled around. In fact, I was very comfortable with the idea of “finishing” another character just to startle the observant kid next to me, who’s exact shoes I had found myself in just the year prior. In order for Midway to hype up the intrigue even more, every boy my age (who had the nerve to give two shits) was forced to wade through several thick and painful years of agonizing hell, only to get glimpses of “leaked” images via (seemingly underground) video game magazines. And when MK2 did finally came out, I remember how shitty the anxiety and anticipation was, as I was reduced to calling every last Putt-Putt in town in order to find out if they even had it. Give me death. I do not miss that particular stage of my developmental angst, but OH what I would pay to be a kid again.

  9. Around the era of Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time I imagined a game where you played the roll of a flee cruising from dirty animal to dirty animal. You’d have to work with other flees to make it from one animal to the next, avoid the sky falling in as dogs rolled on their backs trying to scratch themselves and dodge the giant legs that would inevitably try and scratch you from strategically important points like ears. In my mind flees generally wore WWII battle clothes.

  10. I had a copy of zaxxon on a data cassette for the atari 800.  The cassette worked a handful of times, and the game was awesome.   Ever after, I would try to load the damn cassette (which took about 20 minutes of sitting there, waiting) but it never worked.

    1.  I had that too. Mine worked really well, but it did take a damn long time to load. Man that was a hard game.

      Anyone recall Miner 2049’er? You’re this little miner dude who has to walk on all these little rivet thingies to complete the level. There were radioactive mutants you had to jump over, and one level had a cannon which would shoot you to different heights in the air. You could die if you jumped from too great a height and your little miner’s body would collapse inside his little miner hat. The animation of getting mutated by the little radioactive guys was pretty sweet too.

      1.  I freaking loved Miner 2049er. That level with the cannon was epic–the way you had to load it with different amounts of TNT to get to each level was way ahead of its time.

  11. Star Control 4 or StarCon as I believe it was going to be called. And I don’t want any of that Wing Commander bullshit, I want an up to date, new and improved Star Control 2 experience. Because IMO Star Control 2 is possibly one of the best games ever.

    1. SC2 was the best, sometimes I wish I could just forget I ever played it so I could enjoy the experience of playing it all over again.

  12. I want a remake of X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter.  We have the graphics, we have the technology, hell you can do it on a console system and make bank.  It’s a space dogfight simulator, and it’s past time for Lucasarts to make something related to Star Wars that doesn’t suck.

    1. I want a remake of Starfighter 3000. It was AMAZING. You could even defeat heavily armored tanks just by demolishing the mountain beneath them by laser and making them fall down.

      To be honest I never went beyond the fourth or fifth level – I just loved to go around blowing up buildings and mountains.

    2. This a million times. I want a modern Star Wars flight simulator with an open universe instead of closed missions, basically X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter mixed with the original Wing Commander: Privateer. I imagine it’s too much to ask for an FPS or TPS element like Dark Forces also.

      Imagine being able to be a smuggler or bounty hunter in the SW universe, fly from planet to planet, trading, smuggling, dodging Imperial patrols, making the Kessel Run, dealing with Hutt gangsters, being able to take alternate routes instead of being stuck doing every mission the same way.

      1. “But, controlling the players actions to ensure they experience the game the way I want them to is the best way for them to play!  Okay kids, sandbox time is over, move to the swings.”  George Lucas playing with his kids…

        1. Hopefully it would be as mod-friendly as some other games like Star Wars: Empire at War. That would make it so much better. Add your own planets and ships and space stations and trade routes and species to the universe since the developers never get around to adding that much content unless it’s a subscription-based game.

          1.  I loved Freelancer which I think is the same type of game.  I wish someone would make another game like it.

  13. Oh no! But Rob, the whole point of OutRun is seeing your super cool 80s dude riding next to his blonde lady-friend! I mean, right on with the Countash, but you’re losing out on one of the things that made OutRun so cool.

  14. Dance Dance Catholicism: the cabinet is a church pew and you have to alternate between sitting, kneeling and standing in the correct sequence.  Bonus points for doing the sign of the cross, prayer hands and that thing where you like draw a cross over your mouth.

    1. Dance Dance French Revolution: you can play either Louis XVI or Marie Antoinette. The levels are complex waltzes and minuets set to classical music, and if you miss a step, you are arrested and beheaded.

  15. Your dream may not be as far away as you think.  This fellow here:

    Has disassembled the entire original arcade binary of Outrun and created a C++ version of it, bugs and all.  It is seriously amazing work, and now that the engine exists, additional games can be made to run *exactly* the way the original ran.  it’s just a matter of time…

    I’d also recommend looking through the rest of his blog if you have a love for Outrun.  He’s found some gems buried there in the original source ( example: )

  16. My Mom was an old school hippie who hated video games, and wouldn’t allow them in her house. The first video game system I played outside of the arcade was a friends Sega Genesis. I missed out on a lot of video game history, but I especially missed Mario games the first time around. I am an avid 41 year old geek gamer dad now, and my daughter and I game every day together. She is really good at Super Mario Bros. 

  17. More of the original, tiled Bard’s tale. Modern, dosbox packaged versions of the SSI gold box d&d games – I would pay $10 a pop for them..

  18. The rumored sequel to Eternal Darkness. Or to Psychonauts. Half Life 2: Episode 3 would also be nice. At least we finally got some more Monkey Island and Sam & Max, thanks to Telltale.

    I’ve also always imagined a fighting game with an ever-expanding library of characters, with the eventual goal of having any notable character in reality or fiction be able to fight any other, complete with their own special moves and taunts.

      1. Yes I’m aware of that, but when I was a kid, that was the rumour, that it was gonna be a N64 title. That’s why I ended up getting a PSX instead, I was a FF fan, not a Nintendo fan.

    1.  I had this.  Considering the limitations of porting such an awesome game to the Atari 2600 it was actually well-done and fun to play.

      In the arcades, there was a vector-based sequel called The Empire Strikes Back.  I wish I’d been able to play it more but only saw it once.  Apparently not as popular as the original was.

  19. My other big Dream Sequel is a real Gauntlet III, again using the original hardware (or at least building upon the original) — it would play the same but have all the modern action RPG trimmings such as skill trees and procedurally-generated dungeons. MORE SOON.

    1. They better keep the original voice warnings though.  “Warrior.  Needs more food.”  “Elf.  Is about to die.”

  20. I’d love to play Spectre again, and also Crystal Quest. I think I used to play Spectre on my Mac IIsi, and Crystal Quest on an Apple IIgs. I also wouldn’t mind playing the farting, burping version of Tetris again, just for kicks. And hello! How about an updated LEMMINGS! That would be awesome. While I’m at it, let’s bring back my fave Intellivision game, but this time for Wii– FROG BOG, baby! 

    1. There’s a Spectre port on iOS. i thought it was pretty good. wikipedia says there’s an iOS version of CQ also, but I haven’t tried that.

  21. A sequel to Master of Magic, or a third Master of Orion game. Either would be cool.
    No, a real sequel.

  22. I always wanted a modern sequel to Midwinter.  That was a stunning game with design far ahead of what the technology of the time could properly support.  The first real sandbox shooter, by a *long* way.

    (Far Cry was a vague step in that direction, but didn’t capture the full brilliant strategic range of Midwinter.  Just Cause is about the closest we’ve seen, and it’s so close.  But not quite there.)

  23. Games I wish happened:

    1. The canceled Lucasarts sequel to Sam & Max (although now the Telltale games are out, so, fair’s fair I guess)
    2. SkiFree 2: Ski Free-er
    3. English localization of Secret of Mana 2/Seiken Densetsu 3 (Yes, I know, it’s been translated in emulation for years, but it never was officially localized)
    4. More games (hopefully not all Dragon’s Lair quicktime event games) that used the technology from Sega’s Time Traveler.

  24. As an aside, that Lindstrøm album has a weird naming scheme.

    “Smalhans” is kind of archaic, and means “scarcity” or “lean times” or somesuch.
    Rà-àkõ-st = Rekeost = “shrimp cheese” (cheese spread with shrimp)
    Lāmm-ęl-āār = Lammelår = lamb-thigh = a leg of lamb
    Ęg-gęd-ōsis = Eggedosis = Kogel Mogel (whipped egg yolks with sugar)
    Vōs-sākō-rv = Vossakorv = sausage from Voss
    Fāār-i-kāāl = Fårikål (“får i kål”) = (boiled) mutton in cabbage
    Vā-flę-r = Vafler = waffles.

  25. Chase HQ 2.  I would love to play that again.  Played it so much I could complete it on one credit!  Steering wheels with fire buttons rock!  That and Chips Challenge from the Atari Lynx, the puzzle game that just went on and on.


  26. Dragon’s Lair for the ColecoVision.

    This actually existed, in theory. ColecoVision had a history of vaporware — their packaging had little photos of all the ‘hot games’ available or coming soon… and the ‘coming soon’ games only sometimes actually emerged. Dukes of Hazzard, Mr. Turtle, etc. But the one they kept trumpeting was Dragon’s Lair, complete with a screenshot that looked just like the arcade game. My friends and I flipped out and I scanned through every video game magazine for news. I went to game stores and asked them if they’d heard anything.

    Coleco demoed it at a toy show using a new kind of laserdisc/tape-drive expansion (we were never clear which) and one of my friends SWORE that he’d seen it being demonstrated at a video game store, he just couldn’t remember which one. All we knew was that it looked exactly like the arcade machine.

    Denouement: it never came out. The expansion module that was supposed to play it turned into the ADAM computer, and by that time I’d gotten an Apple //e and started playing King’s Quest.

    1.  The ColecoVision vaporware that I still want to this day is their port of the pen and paper RPG Tunnels and Trolls. It looked like a more refined version of Intellivision’s AD&D Cloudy Mountain and Epyx’s Temple of Apshai games.

  27. A visual Myst-like or more advanced version of the text-based Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I thought Starship Titanic would scratch this itch, but it left me disappointed. 

  28. I’d like the version of Duke Nukem Forever that we were originally promised, not the ugly, buggy, virulently misogynistic mess that eventually shambled out of the wreckage of 3D Realms but something that would have come out in the late nineties and run on the same hardware that DN3D ran on. 

  29. The real heir to OutRun was the Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge franchise on Amiga. There you’d have night tracks, busy intersections, pit stops, everything really. Wonderful game.

    One I’d always wanted to see was a good sequel to Shinobi, that whole dog business in the following games was a bit ridiculous.

    1. On the contrary, the ‘pet wolf’ stuff (and the whole ‘fight terrorism in clean white airports’ vibe) is to fin de eighties martial arts b-movies as the original shinobi was to  the 70s stuff.

  30. StarFlight 3.
    Most people today have never heard about Starflight; It was a hit when it came out but it faded from public memory pretty fast. But boy, was it influential. Remember Star Control? that was pretty much a StarFlight clone. Mass Effect? Starflight was a key inspiration according to its lead developer. StarFlight had a procedurally-generated galaxy with full scale planetary surfaces on 2 floppy disks, back in the late 80’s. And the story was epic – a tale that spans thousands of years of galactic history and a twist ending so unbelievable and subversive you’d ever expect it.

    12 years ago I was part of a team of fans who tried to create a sequel, but that fell through due to lack of people and talent.But even though I’m no longer a gamer I would like one day to return to the universe of Starflight.

  31. maybe it’s because I was younger and more easily amused, or maybe it’s just plain nostalgia, but video games were just BETTER back then.

    There is something wonderful about going to Egghead Software and getting a boxed PC game and opening it up and getting like ten 3.5″ floppies and an installation manual.  Loading it up on the 386.

    Did anyone play Thexder or Hero’s Quest? I miss those days

  32. Shadowrun 2 for the SNES.  After beating the game, the end boss promises you’ll meet again in said game, which never materialized.  

  33. Star Trek’s Vulcan Fury from when Interplay was actually an exciting company, not the rotting husk they are now.

  34. A real game I wanted but never got to try was Afterlife… the idea of “Simcity, except you build heaven and hell” really appealed to me.  From what I’ve heard it didn’t live up to my expectations when I heard the description anyway.

    Of games that didn’t really exist, but I so wanted:

    A sequel (or something set in the same setting, anyway) to “Planescape: Torment”

    There was for a time, in production, a game based on Delta Green, a roleplaying game that combined Call of Cthulhu and modern conspiracy horror (a la X-Files)… what I saw and was hinted at looked really cool, but it never quite got there.

    I also always wanted a “X-Men: Downtime” game, which is basically the X-Men at the mansion… playing various sports, like basketball, baseball, etc, with various modes like “no powers”, “powers”, “danger room sim” (powers up to lethal levels) and “HEY, WE SAID NO POWERS” (where characters can start to cheat once they reach a certain annoyance-threshold until everybody, except maybe Cyclops, is using their powers to try and win).

    Oh, and a good Firefly game.

      1. Yes, but without the Planescape part, I’m just nowhere near as interested.  I was a huge fan of the setting long before the game came out, and it’s a large part of the appeal for me. I’ll probably check it out, but just as there were sequels to “Out Run” that weren’t “OutRun Nights”, an actual Planescape Torment sequel remains a game I always wanted but never got.

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