Perfect Entertainment (Sega Saturn)
Soft Bank (Japan, Sega Saturn only)
|Successor||Destruction Derby 2|
This article is about the video game. For the game mode, see Destruction Derby (mode).
Buckle up... and sit tight!~ from the loading screen
Destruction Derby is the first installment in the Destruction Derby series. It was first released in October 1995 for the PlayStation with an MS-DOS port and later a Sega Saturn port. It was developed by Reflections and published by Psygnosis. The Japanese title name is: デストラクションダービー.
The British development studio Reflections Interactive began had been working on Destruction Derby for the PlayStation starting around December 1994, having been concepted by its co-founder Martin Edmondson and by Michael Troughton - both fans of the real-life demolition derby sport. It was published by Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE)'s Psygnosis branch, which allowed Reflections to receive PlayStation development kits (SDKs) long before that console's release. Edmondson demonstrated the game to SCE CEO Ken Kutaragi who flew over with a team of engineers. Kutaragi was "very enthusiastic", though commented that it was a shame that debris from the cars didn't stay on the track. The game debuted at the May 1995 Electronic Entertainment Expo, and its initial title was variously reported as Demolition Derby and Demolish 'em Derby. Writers for Edge and Next Generation commented that the game could "trounce" Ridge Racer upon the PlayStation's release.
To make the results of car collisions easier to predict, Reflections implemented simulated physics into Destruction Derby. Director Martin Edmondson believed that the game would otherwise be "completely unplayable", as with "pool when the collisions are all off". Producer Tony Parks noted that the physics were simplified to improve performance and to compensate for the PlayStation's digital controller, and that the team sought a balance between "realism and playability". Performance was also improved by optimising the game's graphics, and by reducing the level of detail of objects in the distance. Destruction Derby's game engine supports up to twenty cars on screen simultaneously, which no console racing game, other than Daytona USA, had achieved until that time. However, a single wire-frame model, differentiated by texture maps, was used for every vehicle. Damage to vehicles is modelled in real-time, based on the speed and angle of the cars involved. The team made the game's tracks small to "keep the density of the cars on the track very high", which allowed for large-scale wrecks. Plans were made to support up to eight players with the PlayStation Link Cable, but it was implemented with only up to two players.
Next Generation's August 1995 issue stated after playing a preview build: "Derby's most oustanding feature is the realtime deformation of the vehicles — unlike Ridge Racer, smashes and pile-ups really do affect the cars' bodywork". Interestingly this build also shows the race being 20 laps, which does not occur at any time in the final version. As late as August, it was still called Demolish 'em Derby by some outlets, including by Edge Magazine in its 23rd issue.
Destruction Derby was finally released on 20 October 1995 for the PlayStation a few weeks after its European launch. Shortly afterwards the PC (MS-DOS) version was also released. The game achieved high popularity and was later added to PlayStation's Platinum Range/Greatest Hits collection, also being one of the first games to achieve platinum sales. The popularity resulted in a 1996 sequel, Destruction Derby 2.
The Sega Saturn port arrived pretty late, in August 1996, and despite also being advertised in North America it was never released there. It was ported by Perfect Entertainment like most Psygnosis ports to the Saturn. The Saturn port suffers from a slower framerate, lower draw distance, and lack of transparencies compared to the original PlayStation release. The Japanese version was published by Soft Bank. Unlike the Japanese Saturn port of Wipeout, the Psygnosis banners in-game were not replaced.
There are a few differences between the different versions. In the MS-DOS version of the game, the 'QUIT' option after a Championship event is called 'EXIT' instead. In the Sega Saturn version, there is a black background when the game is loading a new event, rather than the usual background. More notably, the MS-DOS version has four competitors cut out, and has four divisions rather than five, with some competitors having been shifted around. The MS-DOS version also lacks many objects in the tracks.
- EU: 20 October 1995
- NA: 16 November 1995
- JP: 9 February 1996
- EU/NA: October 1995
- Sega Saturn
- EU: 15 August 1996
- JP: 20 September 1996
- NA: 15 February 2007
- NA: 3 May 2007
- EU: 29 November 2007
S3 Virge version
In April 1996, a Destruction Derby version optimised for the Diamond Stealth 3D 2000 graphics card (using S3 ViRGE chipset) was released for Microsoft Windows as an exclusive OEM bundle. This version is hardware accelerated and runs at an upscaled 512x384 resolution (at a 70 Hz refresh rate) and also features additional graphical texturing. A patch for monitor out-of-sync errors was also released by Diamond Multimedia.
In February 2007, Destruction Derby became available for download from the PlayStation Network for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable systems. Later in 2011 the game became available for a paid download on the Android platform, but is has since been removed from its store. In 2012 the game was released for download for the PlayStation Vita and PlayStation Certified devices from the PlayStation Mobile service (this closed down in 2015).
Destruction Derby is a driving game focusing on demolition derby. There are three main race styles: one that tailored for racing; one that is just wrecking in a derby bowl; and another that is a combination of the two.
There are either 10 or 12 laps in a Wreckin' Racing race. There are 19 opponents (15 in MS-DOS version) in an event - thus 20 cars at a time - which at the time was an impressive feat in a racing game. The gameplay is backed by a British commentator, who would say quotes like "Watch those barriers, they'll only slow you down!" (see its article for a full list of quotes).
There are also multiplayer modes that work through the Link Cable. Destruction Derby was only the third PlayStation game to utilise this feature (after Psygnosis's Wipeout and 1994 Japanese exclusive Motor Toon Grand Prix).
One of the most innovative features that Destruction Derby brought was a damage engine that simulates what effect collisions have on the cars.
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.
Heavy damage to one side of car's rear will reduce its ability to accelerate and hold speed; severe damage to the back on both sides will result in a the commentator's audio announcement "You've broken the rear axle!" and make the car almost unable to move. Damage to the front will eventually give the car a "blown radiator".
If more damage is received by the front, eventually the engine will be blown and the car unable to move (for the player, resulting in the end of the race).
All events uses a points system, called Race Points. The Destruction Derby mode awards points only on the basis of wrecking other players' cars. Stock Car Racing only awards points on race position. Wreckin' Racing is 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 is as follows:
- Spinning an opponent's car 90° - 2 points.
- Spinning an opponent's car 180° - 4 points.
- Spinning an opponent's car 360° - 10 points.
- Spinning a car which is in first place during the Wreckin' race, the points are doubled.
- 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.
- In Wreckin' Racing mode, the race position 1st gets ten points, 2nd gets six and 3rd gets four.
- Gripping an opponent's car - 10 points.
- In Destruction Derby mode, the last car not wrecked gets ten points.
Performing a 360° spin also brings up an animation on-screen.
In the Destruction Derby manual, the four main modes were called "race styles".
- Wreckin' Racing
- Stock Car Racing
- Race Practice
- Destruction Derby
- Time Trials
*Link Cable multiplayer modes.
The game features a single bowl where derby events take place:
In a Championship, each track has a variant version of the course, as well as a different day or night condition or a reversed variant, depending on which Division the player is in. 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.
The table below shows the differing variants and conditions of races between divisions:
|Track||Race Practice & Div. 5||Div. 4||Div. 3||Div. 2||Div. 1|
|Speedway||Day||Dusk, variant||Day, variant, reversed||Dusk, reversed||Day, reversed|
|Crossover||Dusk||Day, variant||Dusk, variant||Dusk||Day, variant, reversed|
|Ocean Drive||Day||Night, reversed||Day, reversed||Day, reversed||Night|
|Cactus Creek||Dusk||Day, variant||Day, variant, reversed||Dusk, variant, reversed||Day|
|City Heat||Night||Day, variant||Night, reversed||Night||Night, variant|
All three cars looks are of the same type but are different in terms of speed, power and handling. Although named like difficulty ratings, the Pro for instance is not necessary better than the Rookie in certain attributes.
They are each also assigned a different identity and paint job, which for player 1 would be Psygnosis, Grim Reaper and Smoothie respectively. There are also player 2 equivalents in the PlayStation game: Alien, Blue Rinse and Vampire respectively. Notably many people were never aware of its existance because they only appear in the multiplayer modes which only functions with a Link Cable.
In each race, there are 19 CPU drivers (15 in MS-DOS version) who compete along with the main player.
The below list of competitors is sorted in order of its starting division in Championship mode (with their roof colour in brackets), along with their car number shown. On the left is the list for the original PlayStation release as well as the Sega Saturn port, whereas on the right is the list in the MS-DOS PC version.
- ~ PlayStation, Sega Saturn:
- ~ MS-DOS version:
In each Championship, the drivers start out in a system of 5 (4 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 Learner Driver is in Division 2, despite being one of the weakest competitors).
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.
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 event. 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.
Profiles and voices
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, as shown above. The MS-DOS version lacks some of the variety of car designs, and some of them have the same paintjobs, making it more difficult to tell different competitors apart.
Most of the drivers also have a voice clip that plays when points are taken from them by the player in wrecking modes. Below is a list of quotes heard in this situation. It may not be entirely accurate (since they're not all easily audible):
- "Stay out of my way!" - The Bouncer, The Skum
- "You'll pay for that!" - The Doctor, The Taxman
- "Beginner's luck, [?]!" - The Beast, Suicide Squad
- "He's God! [?]" - Heavy Metal Hero, Undertaker
- "[screams]" - The Idol
- "You little twat!" - Passion Wagon
- "Starting 4th lap!" - Learner Driver
- "Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha!" - Pyromaniac
- "Yo it's red hot! [?]" - The General
- "[?]" - The Optician, Psycho
- "I'll have my revenge!" - The Goddess
Several of them change voice clips when they have been wrecked: The Idol and The Goddess change to Passion Wagon's voice; Suicide Squad changes to The Goddess'; The Optician changes to Learner Driver's; The Bouncer changes to Undertaker's; and Passion Wagon changes to a uniquely new one that sounds like "Hey, watch the paintwork!", although that's probably the least of her worries. Three drivers: Crunch Bunch, Barmy Army and Trashman; do not have any sound clips whatsoever.
The soundtrack consists of electronica and techno music composed by the duo Tim Swan & Elliot Sumner. This kind of music was highly popular in the UK at the time in the 1990s.
Both the PlayStation and Sega Saturn versions of Destruction Derby use the CDDA format, so the all the music tracks can be played on a normal CD player.
Some of the track names are missing - do you know them?
|Track no||Name||Featured in||Length|
|#2||Crash Boom Bang||Crossover||5:22|
|#4||One Against All||Cactus Creek||5:15|
|#5||Chaos Overlord||City Heat||5:19|
|#9||Lo-ooser [?]||Finishing Race Screen||0:18|
|#11||?||Name Entry Screen||2:40|
|#12||Beyond All Damage||Lap Times||2:38|
|The Electric Playground (CA)||9 out of 10 (PS)|
|Next Generation||4 out of 5 (PS, PC)|
|Sega Saturn Magazine (UK)||68% (SAT)|
|Sega Saturn Magazine (JP)||67% (SAT)|
|GameSpot||7.1 out of 10 (PC)|
|IGN||7 out of 10 (PS)|
|Sonic the Comic (UK)||7.5 out of 10|
|Computer and Video Games (UK)||3 out of 10 (SAT)|
|Sega Power (UK)||8 out of 10 (SAT)|
|Weekly Famitsu (JP)||63% (SAT)|
|GameFan (US)||88% (PS)|
|Edge (UK)||7 out of 10 (PS)|
|Superjuegos (ES)||93% (PS)|
Writing for GamePro, Captain Squideo called Destruction Derby "the most raucous racing experience of the fall". He believed that its "graphics are almost all you could want for a game" of this type, but wrote that "nothing here stands out as graphically spectacular". He complained that the game does not let players customise cars, and he disliked its lack of split-screen multiplayer. He summarised, "Limited options keep Destruction Derby out of the winner's circuit, but this rowdy stock-car racer still generates a stadium full of thrashin' fun." Victor Lucas of The Electric Playground stated that "the beauty of the game" is the strategy involved in making "calculated strikes" against enemy vehicles, and he wrote, "If you go all out and try to make big noise on the track, more than likely you'll be limping to the scrap yard in seconds." He believed that the game's Stock Car racing mode "is no match for the white knuckle inertia of either Wipeout or Ridge Racer", and that the demolition derbies in The Bowl were "most fun to be had" in the game. He praised the game's graphics and physics, and concluded, "Destruction Derby is a winner in every capacity." A reviewer for Next Generation was extremely pleased with the concept of smashing into other cars, saying it taps into a near-universal fantasy. He remarked the single-player mode is indefinably "lacking" but the multiplayer offers unqualified enjoyment. The review from Edge Magazine noted that whilst the game provides good fun, the "central problem" is that the tracks are too "narrow." The reviewer felt that the game should have been given more time to fix this flaw.
The PC port was also well-received. Lee Buchanan of PC Gamer US praised "the spectacular visuals that bring to life the most jarring collisions I've seen on a computer", and he noted that "[car] damage is depicted beautifully". Like Lucas, he wrote that the player "can't just mindlessly smash into other cars; this is thinking man's destruction". Although he found the game too easy "even at the toughest difficulty level", he found this to be a minor issue that did not detract from the experience. He considered the game's online play to be a high point, and he finished, "Destruction Derby is a blast, and a welcome change of pace from high-end driving simulations." Peter Olafson of Computer Gaming World called the game "a great simulation" of demolition derbies, and he wrote that the wrecks are "convulsive and realistic". He believed that the game "has never-before-seen quality that will instantly make it a showpiece game to demonstrate to open-mouthed friends and relatives", and he considered the car damage to be "especially marvelous—and unprecedented for this sort of game". However, he found that its "useful life span is surprisingly short" and he hoped for a track editor in its sequel. He summarised, "Despite its limitations, this is a great game, but it has a lot more potential." A reviewer for Next Generation remarked that while the game is a straight port of the PlayStation version, it is an impeccably accurate one. He applauded the authentic modelling of vehicle crashes, multiple modes, smoothness of gameplay, and inclusion of both network and modem options, and found the game's only downside is that the camera zooms out so little that it can be difficult to see nearby cars.
Reviewing the game's Sega Saturn version, Kim Randell of Computer & Video Games noted its "inferior graphics" that do not have "the sheen and glossiness of its PlayStation counterpart". Randell believed that it was made "much too late to cause the kind of sensation that WipEout did. Comparisons with the PlayStation version are inevitable, and the rather haphazard conversion means that the Saturn version lacks the polish of its rival." Rob Allsetter's review in Sega Saturn Magazine (from the same publisher as Computer & Video Games) recycled most of the text from Randell's review, including the closing remarks.
A U.S. PlayStation television commercial that aired after the game's release.
- All platforms
- Enter REFLECT! as a name. When the main menu returns, go to Practice mode. Notice that a new track, Ruined Monastery, will be available. This is normally unlocked when finishing first in the Division 1 in Championship.
- Enter !DAMAGE! as a name to get invulnerability. Your vehicle is now impossible to be damaged.
- PS only
- Enter CREDITZ! as your name. The credits will be displayed, which will be animated.
- At the piracy warning screen, press and hold L1 + LEFT + O. An image of the Reflections team will appear.
- At the beginning of an event, hold X + RIGHT for a few seconds to get 4 points.
- Select Total Destruction mode from the main menu. As soon as the game starts, pause and exit. If you had 0 seconds on the clock, your name will appear on the scoreboard with either 599.00 seconds or 566.?? seconds.
Some sites have claimed there is a MONKEY name cheat where if you perform five 360° spins, "a monkey will begin running around the track. Hitting the monkey is worth large amounts of points." This cheat is a hoax.
- PS and Saturn only
- Enter NPLAYERS as a name. From the main menu, go to the track selection screen. After you select a track, you will be able to choose the number of competitors.
Some sites have claimed that entering RIDGE and RACER as multiplayer names unlocks a Ridge Racer-style track. This is a hoax, and would not be possible anyway as Ridge Racer is the property of Namco and not Psygnosis. Another hoax is DERBYMAN, "when the event starts, most of your competitors will start out smoking."
- DOS only
- Enter !SPEEDY! as a name. Select a Championship event, and notice that your car is a lot faster.
Warm up - from the manual
An unofficial history of chaos and destruction.
After motor vehicles were discovered, flags began to be used on roads. Destruction Derby arrived shortly after. Want to know why? Read on.
Coloured flags could be called the forerunners of traffic lights. Men used them to direct very heavy traffic. These men, the forerunners of race judges, calmly stood in front of the cars and let them pass one by one. Nowadays their jov would not be much of a contribution to road safety but it was then. The world was not so crazy and cars were not so fast. The judges went to work equipped with a red flag and a green flag. They showed the red flag when a car coming from behind had to stop. Shortly after they showed the green flag, indicating that the driver could continue.
Sometimes a gust of wind would blow the flags into the flagman's face. Flaying his arms in an attempt to get untangled, he goy drivers into a tight spot. Understandably, the drivers got angry at the damage to their vehicles that they could hardly resist the lure of destruction, so they deliberately turned it into a fun pastime. Bales of hay were used to mark the track. With these and a few rules for the starting line, drivers began to take their places. What happened to the flagmen? They were allowed to use their flags to give the starting signal for the destruction track... without coming to any harm of course. That is how something as simple and innocent as waving a couple of flags brought about the birth of such an exciting, savage sport!
Today, most of the world's cities have a Destruction Derby track. Cities like Rome and Athens that still do not have a track can practice their hobby on the city's streets.
You don't need to know all this. You don't even have to know how to drive. Right now you own just about the most incredible, fascinating game in the world. So invite a couple of friends in, turn the sound up... and cause some destruction out there!
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Staff (June 1995). "Demolish 'em Derby". Edge (21): 28.
- ↑ Staff (August 1995). "Head to head". Next Generation (8): 50–52.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Staff (September 1995). "Destruction Derby". Next Generation (9): 58–62.
- ↑ "The History of Psygnosis". Retro Asylum: 44.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Staff (July 1995). "Demolition Derby". Next Generation (7): 59.
- ↑ This paragraph is mostly credited to JimmyBlackwing on Wikipedia.
- ↑ This paragraph is mostly credited to JimmyBlackwing on Wikipedia.
- ↑ "CTW Games Guide". Computer Trade Weekly (United Kingdom) (559): 32. 16 October 1995.
- ↑ Destruction Derby. Sega Retro.
- ↑ 3D Acceleration Comparison Ep9: Destruction Derby - S3 Virge/Software. RetroCompaqGuy (on YouTube) (9 September 2012).
- ↑ DESTRUCTION DERBY (PS) review (13 June 2013).
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 Edge Magazine (26): 67. November 1995.
- ↑ Retro Corner: Destruction Derby (4 May 2012).
- ↑ This information (inc. on track articles) is mostly credited to Totalinarian on Wikipedia
- ↑ Law667 (19 December 1995). DESTRUCTION DERBY for PSX FAQ v1.0. GameFAQs.
- ↑ This section is mostly credited to KaisaL on Wikipedia.
- ↑ This section is mostly credited to Totalinarian 2007 on Wikipedia.
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 Victor Lucas (television producer) (29 October 1995). Destruction Derby. The Electric Playground. Archived from the original on 4 August 1997.
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 "Smashing". Next Generation (Imagine Media) (№11): 170. November 1995.
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 "Here Comes Another One...". Next Generation (Imagine Media) (№14): 172. February 1996.
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 Allsetter, Rob (October 1996). "Review: Destruction Derby". Sega Saturn Magazine (Emap International Limited) (№12): 70-71.
- ↑ https://segaretro.org/index.php?title=File:SSM_JP_19960823_1996-14.pdf&page=241
- ↑ Destruction Derby Review for PC. GameSpot (archived) (1 May 1996).
- ↑ Destruction Derby - IGN. IGN (21 November 1996).
- ↑ Sonic the Comic (№95): 10.
- ↑ 26.0 26.1 Randell, Kim. Destruction Derby. Computer & Video Games. Archived from the original on 16 September 2007.
- ↑ https://segaretro.org/index.php?title=File:SSM_UK_12.pdf&page=70
- ↑ Weekly Famitsu (№406): 29.
- ↑ GameFan (Vol 3 Issue №12): 16.
- ↑ Superjuegos (№43): 47. November 1995.
- ↑ Captain Squideo (November 1995). "Destruction Derby". GamePro (86): 54.
- ↑ Olafson, Peter (February 1996). "Car Wars". Computer Gaming World (139): 68, 70, 72, 254.
- ↑ This section is mostly credited to JimmyBlackwing on Wikipedia.
- Martin Edmondson
- Russell Lazzari, William Musson, Michael Troughton, Robert Troughton
- Graphics / Artwork
- Phil Baxter
- 3D Modelling
- Martin Edmondson
- Music and sound effects
- Elliot Sumner, Tim Swan
- Steve Cooke, Jessica Martin
- Tony Parks
- Product Management
- Joanne Galvin, Michelle Harris
- Marketing / PR (France)
- Catherine Jaymond
- Marketing / PR (UK)
- Glen O'Connell
- Public Relations Germany
- Ingo Zaborowski
- Huw Thomas
- German Manual Translation
- Ulrich Mühl
- Project Lead
- Clemens Wangerin
- Peter Dyke
- Quality Assurance
- Jonathon Wild
- Box and manual design
- At Work Werbeagentur GmbH; Wiesbaden, Germany