Super F1 Hero (中嶋悟監修 ＳＵＰＥＲ Ｆ１ ＨＥＲＯ, "Nakajima Satoru Super F-1 Hero") is a Super Famicom Formula One arcade racing game that is exclusive to Japan. Licensing of the video game was granted by FOCA to Fuji Television. Celebrity endorsement for this video game was given by Satoru Nakajima (father of current Formula One driver Kazuki Nakajima), who raced in Formula One from 1987 to 1991. This was to be the last game endorsed by Mr. Nakajima before he started to focus his efforts on managing a Formula Nippon team called Nakajima Racing.
Grand Prix mode
During the Grand Prix mode, the player starts out competing in the South African Grand Prix and finishes his or her season in the Australian Grand Prix. Every information screen prior to a race shows accurate track information. This knowledge extends to the physical address of the facility (in order to encourage players to attend the live races), mileage of the course, and even the likelihood of the track being either wet or dry. The background graphics are drawn in a cartoon-like manner compared to the graphics of the track and of the race cars. This makes the art style of the backgrounds look unrealistic and inaccurate. For example, the buildings in the Canadian Grand Prix are repetitive and the Montreal Biosphère is missing. However, the famous bridges that cross the Île Notre-Dame are still visible in the background, as the course is near water.
The player can also do either time trials or single races, which can be found under the Test Run option of the main menu. These race modes are known as free plays because starting a game in the Test Run option doesn't use up valuable continues (unlike the Grand Prix option). These glorified practice rounds allow the player to practice on any race course without any truly negative consequences.
Time trials (called free runs in the game) allow players to test out the track without the distraction of opponents. Single races allow players to practice overtaking vehicles that are controlled by the game's artificial intelligence without the distraction of scoring points. The 5-lap limit is always enforced at all times instead of imposing a fuel bar to make the drivers refuel at the pit stop.
All possible set-ups are valid to use and the player can even experiment with new racing combinations that could improve his or her game play with practice. However, the player is still limited to five laps regardless of what mode that he or she is playing in and results are deleted when the console is turned off.
Racing vehicle customization
There are five different kinds of preset racing cars in addition to customizing the aspects of the racing car manually. Instead of using a depleting gasoline supply or decaying tires to force the player into doing a pit stop, damage is recorded on the car on an accumulating basis until the player either uses pit road or destroys the vehicle he or she is using. Tire and body endurance are essential to a successful racing career because endurance means that the racing vehicle can handle more bumps and collisions without having to lose valuable positions while getting repaired at the pit stop.
By default (using a low V12 engine), the player's vehicle can go up to 191.4 miles per hour (308.0 km/h) without a turbo boost and 272.2 miles per hour (438.1 km/h) after using one of the five turbo boosters that are available during each race. The car's maximum speed can be altered to make the car go either faster or slower. This factor would indirectly affect the endurance of both the body and the tires. The maximum top speed of the vehicle also affects scoring and the final results of a race. For example, using a high V12 engine brings the maximum speed to 205.1 miles per hour (330.1 km/h) without using a boost. Having that boost speeds up the vehicle using the high V12 engine to 285.8 miles per hour (460.0 km/h).
Weight can also affect the speed in addition to the handling, acceleration, turning, braking, and the endurance of the racing vehicle. The lighter the car is, the faster it will be but the car won't stand up to as many bumps as a heavier race car. Extremely high speeds will also make the car virtually uncontrollable unless balanced with improved parts in other areas of the vehicle. Possible engines to use are V12, V10, and V8 engines with high, normal, and low variations.
Scoring points is not similar to a real Formula One championship. Instead, the scoring method functions closer to games like Out Run and Pole Position. Scores that are high enough end up in a temporary list that consists of the top five scores. The high score list does not discriminate against what difficulty level that the high score was produced in. A score achieved on the easiest (very easy) mode could be much better than a hard-earned score on the most difficult (very hard) level. It is even possible for a score on the hardest difficulty level to eventually become unreachable on difficulty levels other than "normal" (default difficulty level) and hard (harder than normal, but easier than very hard).
When the power is turned off using a hard reset (turning off the system) instead of a soft reset (simply pressing reset on the console), the scores are automatically returned to their default settings. Hacking the high score board to make scores "permanent" can be done through a hex editor, but this method is not recommended due to possibly altering programming code that could cause the game, emulator, and possibly the entire computer to cease operating.
Speed is directly related to scoring during the game. The faster the car goes, the higher the score becomes until the race ends or the player crashes into either a turn or another competitor. Using the default car and traveling the maximum allowable speed, the number of points increase by anywhere between 100-150 every real world second. Since every real world second corresponds to nine milliseconds of "game time," the timing system used in the game is significantly slower than real time. Having a faster car or having a slower car will greatly alter this multiple.
Being ranked in either first, second, or third place gives the player more bonus points than ending the race in fourth or fifth. There are also bonus points for keeping the car completely free of damage, using the brakes, and having some unused turbo boosters. Even though the player is rewarded for finishing a race with as many turbo boosters as possible, those unused turbo boosters are not carried over for the next race. The player always starts the next race with five turbo boosters; no more and no less.
The player of the game is given three continues by default to use in order to win all 16 Formula One races. Accessing the options menu before starting the Grand Prix mode gives the player the opportunity to increase these continues. The number of continues can be increased all the way to five in order to increase confidence in younger or less experienced players. Alternatively, continues can be decreased all the way to one in order to challenge more experienced drivers who have mastered all the courses. Since it costs a single credit to start a game - the player can have anywhere from zero to four actual continues to use if he or she loses the race.
The player has exactly nine seconds to continue. While the continue timer is counting down, the player can clearly see an animated picture of a driver who is down in the dumps. Continuing the game at the stage where the player lost the game is possible as long as there is at least one continue remaining in the "credit counter." Either expending the final credit or not choosing to continue when the timer reaches zero automatically causes the game to end. If a game is ended in either of these fashions, the player has to start all over again with a whole new batch of continues and a score of zero.
- F1 Grand Prix: Nakajima Satoru, the first game that Satoru Nakajima endorsed and therefore is considered to be a "spiritual prequel" to this game
- F1 Super License: Nakajima Satoru this game was released for the Sega Mega Drive around the same time that Super F1 Hero was released for the Super Famicom