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Derby Owners Club (DOC) is a horse racing simulation arcade game made by Sega-AM3. The format of the game is a player uses one of several consoles (called satellites) at the arcade to train horses, and then races them against 11 other computer AI horses or any number of other players (up to between 3 and 11 others, depending on location and format used) on tracks and G-1 races.
- Format - Eight player satellites are situated in a stadium-like configuration in front of two side-by-side 50-inch monitors that display the main action in a large 16 X 9 "letterbox" format. Each satellite contains the basic control elements and a 19-inch monitor so players can interact with their horses separate from the rest of the players in th game. The game's overall foot print is quite flexible and can fit into areas as small as 16 feet wide x 19 feet deep x 8 feet high, (for two rows of four satellites) to 12 feet wide x 24 feet deep x 8feet high, (three rows of satellites in a two, three, three configuration). (4 Satellite systems also available through arcade game brokers).
- Rating - E video game rating of ESRB, Suitable for All Ages.
- Game System - Sega's Memory Card Reader and Dispenser Technology, (MCRD). (similar system used on Segarosso's Initial D Arcade Stage games.) coupled with the Sega NAOMI (New Arcade Operation Machine Idea) arcade system board.
- Hardware : Naomi Based
- CPU : SH-4 64-bit RISC CPU (200 MHz 360 / 1.4 GFLOPS)
- Graphic Engine : PowerVR (PVR2DC)
- Sound Engine : ARM7 Yamaha AICA 45 MHz (with internal 32-bit RISC CPU, 64 channel ADPCM)
- Main Memory : 32 MB
- Graphic Memory : 16 MB
- Sound Memory : 8 MB
- Media : ROM Board (maximum size of 168 MB) / GD-Rom
- Simultaneous Number of Colors : Approx. 16,770,000 (24 bit)
- Polygons : 2.5 Million polygons per second
- Rendering Speed : 500 Mega pixels per second
- Additional Features : Bump Mapping, Fog, Alpha-Bending (transparency), Mip Mapping (polygon-texture auto switch), Tri-Linear Filtering, Anti-Aliasing, Environment Mapping, and Specular Effect.
- Notes : Each 8 player "GAME" uses 10 NAOMI II units, 1 for each of the 8 "Satellite's" and 2 for the main screen. These are all linked together in a network. Player's data saved on HitMaker removable card system. Cards are playable on any other HitMaker system in the same or other locations.
Each player acts as owner, trainer, and jockey at each console. Players then can train their horses to gain "points" in the horses abilities (Start, Corner, Competing, Out of Box, Tenacious, and Spurt) through the use of pre-purchased memory cards, breeding via the console, or retired dam and sire cards. These "points" can be augmented by foods rewarded by how the person plays the training segment. The horse is then matched up with other horses in the races and the player can now race the horse, with the use of either whipping or hold buttons. Depending on where the horses finish, they are awarded a purse. Back at the stables, the owner must now gauge the horse's personality after the race. The horse either gains or suffers hearts through the owner's actions.
Given the nature of the game, many websites and players have developed numerous amounts of media dedicated to the breeding, training, and racing of horses. Much of it focuses on the Whip Points, where if players whip at the right times according to their horses ability and personality, they can take advantage of the race and win. Successful racers have also spent a large portion of time looking into the different breeding lines.
Over the course of this game there have been those that have exploited bugs or glitches in the game. The most famous have been the Double Circle horses, where Hong Kong Breeders used Derby Owners Club 2000 Horses and used them in Derby Owners Club World Edition (DOCWE) machines to breed. The stats of the horses are nearly halfway, yet these horses age quicker than normal computer bred counterparts. To Compare, a 7 race DC horse would be equivalent to a 12 race computer bred horse. Most DC horses are either Grey or Special Colored Horses. Pairs (Dam and Sire) used to command above $40 (more if they were "Specials"), but as of late, pairs of all types command less than $10. While shunned by serious players, some still are raced for fun, used as money sluts (where players repeatedly race the Japan Cup for its huge purse (2,500,000 purse) to gain a high spot in the total Earning Rankings), or used as training aides to newbie players.
A more extreme example has been Gelding Horses with astronomical purses (260 Million and 155 million purses have been reported) that have never been raced. In DOC, there is no option to have a Gelding (though there are computer horses in the game that have gelding status). The glitch is thought to be associated with tampering of data using a card reader/writer. The World Edition version of DOC has glitch horses which will complete most tracks in under a minute, beating any record easily.
Non-Sega owner cards
Original Horse Owners' Cards had both Sega and game logo on them. But as the cards got printed, just like paper in a printer, machines ran out of blanks. After a while, a third party cards began to surface, containing none of the original logotypes. These cards were most likely printed in China, and were either used there, or shipped with the machines overseas. In both cases, original and third party, cards are made of paper, not plastic.
Derby Owners Club 2000
Derby Owners Club 2000 (DOC2000) was released into Asian markets in 2000. 1,000 units were eventually produced. The game used Japanese and Hong Kong racetracks (e.g. SEGA racetrack in DOC is loosely based on the Sha Tin racetrack in Hong Kong) plus Grade 1 (G-1) races at both countries (with Japan gaining most of them). Initially, the game proved so popular that players sometimes ended up sitting at the satellites for up to 8 hours and businesses had to create a reservation system and lounges for players to wait in. The success of the game ended up allowing Sega and Hitmaker! to release the DOC World Edition (DOCWE), using the DOC2000 hardware and software.
Derby Owners Club World Edition
The English port of the DOC2000 game released in 2001. Most of the software was rewritten in English and certain races were also americanized (the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) and the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) were renamed American Oaks and American Derby respectively). However, many of the races still hark back to the Japanese G-1 races (the Japan Cup Dirt, the Japan Cup, the Mile Championship and the Sprinters Stakes are notable examples).
Derby Owners Club World Edition-EX
The English version of DOCWE with new horses and horse handicapping in every race. This version took out the glitch horses that were sold on ebay and added some very powerful horses. In doing so, SEGA broke the Competing training level. The EX upgrade is designed for newer players to be more competitive with each other after breeding horses.
Derby Owners Club 2
Released in Japan in 2002, the game added new features (such as washing horses) but the ability to breed horses with retired Dam and Sire cards was eliminated, reportedly due to the enormous amount of processing power used by the system.