games™ recently interviewed Square Enix veteran Takashi Tokita on the making of Final Fantasy IV for a feature that will appear in a future issue of the magazine. But the groundbreaking Super Nintendo RPG wasn’t the only topic of discussion that day. Part of the conversation trailed into lots of other games that Tokita worked on in the early Square days, including the pre-Final Fantasy NES title Rad Racer.
“You have to be pretty hardcore to be into Rad Racer”, Tokita told us with some fondness. “I actually designed and wrote the program for the billboards. Right now that sort of thing is all done in 3D, but back then I had to create all four levels by hand. During the process I realized that the middle two levels, could share assets, so that saved a lot of time. It was important to do that back then, especially because there was just only so much memory available. It was very important to cut down and consolidate wherever it was possible.”
Rad Racer isn’t one of Square’s best-remembered titles but those who did it play it particularly recall the feeling of undertaking an epic cross country journey that saw you drive through day and night, the changing landscape coming over the horizon and into view always giving you a great sense that you were travelling to somewhere new. “It was a game that we made specifically for Nintendo’s 3D system, so that’s why it came out that way”, says Tokita, referring to the NES/Famicom 3D goggles that were supported by only seven, mostly Japan-exclusive, games. “I guess it would be great if we could remake Rad Racer for Nintendo’s 3DS system”, Tokita concludes.
Could this be the idle daydreaming that’s common of most retrospective interviews or is Tokita hinting at something currently in the works? On the 6th of June, Nintendo is launching its eShop for the 3DS system where it will sell a line of 3D Classics, old NES games redone in stereoscopic glasses-free 3D. Excitebike is the first game to be released in the line and will be offered free of charge until the 7th of July, while there are plans to follow-up with a 3D version of Namco’s Xevious. Could Square’s Rad Racer be the third game in the series? And what other NES games would you like to see made available in 3D? Let us know in the comments below.