Family Circuit (FC)
- For other games in the series, see Family Circuit.
Family Circuit is a Formula One simulation racing game developed by Game Studio and published by Namco. It was one of the first games developed by the company headed by the famous Masanobu Endo. The game was revolutionary for its time, as it was the first game (at least on the Famicom) that allowed you to fully customize your vehicle. Customizations included brakes, engine, gear ratio, and even color. There are not only several tracks in the game, but also several play modes to choose from; In Free Run (フリーそうこう), you can race and explore any track freely to practice it. You can't damage your car in this mode. In Sprint Race (スプリントレース), this is the main mode in which you must win the championship. There are a few to choose from; Novice, B Class, A Class, and finally, Super A Class, the latter of which must be finished to beat the game. In Endurance Race (たいきゅうレース), you must sustain the durability of your car for as long as possible. Finally, there's the Watch (かんせん) mode, similar to the one found in R.B.I. Baseball (NES), you can watch AI players duke it out on the race track. This is a good way to not only study the track, but also the behavior of the AI, all of which are named after other Namco properties.
In 1991, a re-release called Family Circuit '91 was released. The game plays pretty similar to the last game, except it is mostly in English, though it was never released outside of Japan like the rest of the games in the series.
Since this game is an early title, there's not too much to expect in sound quality. There are only six songs in the game, which were written by Nobuyuki Ohnogi. You may be aware of his work on several Namco arcade games such as Bosconian, Galaga, Mappy, and Pole Position. Most of the songs have a soft upbeat feel to them, rather than sport the fast-paced rock music found in most racing games. There's music for the title screen, main menu, racing, a first place theme, a second place theme, and finally the credits music. Race BGM is actually longer than most Famicom songs at the time, so it takes longer to get annoying.
The 1991 re-release of the game, Family Circuit '91, uses the same soundtrack. However, while present in the ROM, the Race BGM does not appear to be used, and only the sound of your car's engine can be heard. Even though that game uses the NAMCO163, it does not take advantage of its expanded audio capabilities. Japanese website Atwiki.jp said the following about Race BGM:
The names of the tracks come from the Famicom Music DVD; Game Sound Museum Namcot-hen: 08 Family Series: Family Jockey / Family Tennis / Family Circuit.
|01||Title BGM||タイトルBGM||Nobuyuki Ohnogi||Nobuyuki Ohnogi||0:30||Download|
|02||Menu Select||メニューセレクト||Nobuyuki Ohnogi||Nobuyuki Ohnogi||1:10||Download|
|03||Race BGM||レースBGM||Nobuyuki Ohnogi||Nobuyuki Ohnogi||3:02||Download|
|04||Victory BGM||優勝BGM||Nobuyuki Ohnogi||Nobuyuki Ohnogi||0:48||Download|
|05||2nd-3rd Place BGM||2～3位BGM||Nobuyuki Ohnogi||Nobuyuki Ohnogi||0:49||Download|
|06||Staff Roll||スタッフロール||Nobuyuki Ohnogi||Nobuyuki Ohnogi||1:10||Download|
- Ripper: Mk-II, Gil_Galad
- Recorder: Doommaster1994
- Game Credits: (Family Circuit)
- Game Credits: (Family Circuit '91)
- Music Nobuyuki Ohnogi
The original game lists the developers in Japanese hiragana and katakana while the second game lists the developers' names in English. The original also credits Ohnogi with sound programming, whereas Family Circuit '91 credits him only with music.
Ripping NES music is a very arduous process that is beyond the scope of this site.
- gamefaqs.gamespot.com/nes/578537-family-circuit - GameFAQs (Family Circuit).
- gamefaqs.gamespot.com/nes/580588-family-circuit-91 - GameFAQs (Family Circuit '91).
- mobygames.com/game/nes/family-circuit - MobyGames (Family Circuit).
- mobygames.com/game/nes/family-circuit-91 - MobyGames (Family Circuit).
- w.atwiki.jp/gamemusicbest100/pages/5715.html - Atwiki.jp (Japanese).