Family Circuit (FC)

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Family Circuit
Family Circuit - FC.jpg
Platform: Famicom
Year: 1988
Developer: Game Studio
Buy: Amazon
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.


Family Circuit - FC - Title Screen.png

The title screen.

Family Circuit '91 - FC - Title Screen.png

The title screen of the 1991 re-release.

Family Circuit - FC - Menu.png

The main menu.

Family Circuit - FC - Gameplay 1.png

Playing the first race.

Family Circuit - FC - 2nd-3rd Place BGM.png

Better luck next time!

Family Circuit - FC - Victory BGM.png

Sweet victory!


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 said the following about Race BGM:

There was only one song during the race, and it was quite relaxing for race music. But in the endurance race mode, you'll be listening to this song for about two hours, so maybe this is about right.

Ohnogi wrote the music in assembly in his sound driver.

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.


# TitleJapanese filename ComposerProgrammer Length Listen Download
01 Title BGMタイトルBGM Nobuyuki OhnogiNobuyuki Ohnogi 0:30
02 Menu Selectメニューセレクト Nobuyuki OhnogiNobuyuki Ohnogi 1:10
03 Race BGMレースBGM Nobuyuki OhnogiNobuyuki Ohnogi 3:02
04 Victory BGM優勝BGM Nobuyuki OhnogiNobuyuki Ohnogi 0:48
05 2nd-3rd Place BGM2~3位BGM Nobuyuki OhnogiNobuyuki Ohnogi 0:49
06 Staff Rollスタッフロール Nobuyuki OhnogiNobuyuki Ohnogi 1:10


  • Ripper: Mk-II, Gil_Galad
  • Recorder: Doommaster1994
  • Game Credits: (Family Circuit)
    • おんがく: (Music) Nobuyuki Ohnogi credited as おおのぎ のぶゆき
    • サウンドプログラム: (Sound Program) Nobuyuki Ohnogi credited as おおのぎ のぶゆき
  • Game Credits: (Family Circuit '91)

(Source: Family Circuit, Family Circuit '91)

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.

Game Rip






Ripping NES music is a very arduous process that is beyond the scope of this site.


  Japan.svg   Japan
Family Circuit - FC.jpg
Title: ファミリーサーキット (Family Circuit)
Platform: Famicom
Released: 1988-01-06
Publisher: Namcot, Ltd.
  Japan.svg   Japan
Family Circuit '91 - FC.jpg
Title: ファミリーサーキット ’91 (Family Circuit '91)
Platform: Famicom
Released: 1991-07-19
Publisher: Namcot, Ltd.