Danthrax (Sega Saturn SHIRO!)

Four-Player Mode Found Hidden in High Velocity: Mountain Racing Challenge

High Velocity: Mountain Racing Challenge, an early Saturn exclusive that shipped with a two-player mode, could have let even more people in on the fun if developer Cave enabled a four-player option that was hidden in the code until now.

The four-player mode was unearthed by — who else? — Bo Bayles, who’s been probing Saturn games for secrets for more than a year. He posted about the findings April 18 on social media and uploaded a patch for the U.S. version of the game to SegaXtreme for anyone to try out.

This video recorded by Bo Bayles shows off the hidden four-player mode in High Velocity.

In the patch, selecting “option” from the main menu starts up the four-player mode. In a blog post, Bayles explains the technical reason why he had to hijack the options instead of, say, the VS Battle mode.

“If you pick King Battle, the address at 06046f30 gets written with a value of 00. If you pick VS Battle, it gets 01. Time Trial is 02. Ranking is 04. So what’s 03? I set it manually and the 4-player car select screen popped right up,” Bayles wrote on his blog.

“For the patch, I changed the Option item such that it launches 4 player mode. This was more or less forced on me — there’s not any room to stick an immediate value of 03 in anywhere else.”

He said on the SHIRO! Discord server that the 01 used by the VS Mode entry is shared with the mode select cursor, so changing it to the four-player mode’s 03 broke the menu.

“That was the first thing I tried,” he said.

The four-player mode requires the Saturn’s multitap, aka the 6-Player Adaptor, of course. User interfaces like a speedometer, lap times and track map aren’t there in the mode like they are for other parts of the game, either because they’d take up too much screen real estate or because the mode simply is unfinished.

Bayles was led to investigate High Velocity after another member of the Saturn community, Malenko — who worked with Bayles on the Kingdom Grand Prix English patch earlier this year — let him know about a secret Halloween-themed video for the game’s publisher, Atlus. Bayles couldn’t find a way to normally access the video while the game is running, but at least it caused him to find the four-player mode by accident.

The Halloween-themed Atlus intro video hidden on the High Velocity disc.

Had the mode stayed normally accessible, it would have made High Velocity the first 32-bit console racing game to feature that many simultaneous players. (As far as this writer knows, 1996’s Street Racer ended up being the first — and it was capable of up to eight players.)

High Velocity: Mountain Racing Challenge released in the U.S. on or about Nov. 20, 1995, less than two weeks after it came out in Japan as “Touge King the Spirits.” It was the first of four racing games Cave made for the Saturn, with a direct sequel hitting Japan exclusively in April 1997, a snowboard racing game named Steep Slope Sliders that released worldwide in late 1997 and early 1998, and a giveaway for attendees of a Japanese game show named Delisoba that probably reached people’s hands in November or December 1997.

A few of its secrets already were documented on GameFAQs, such as:

  • A code to drive a Porsche-looking Type G car (at the Car Select Screen, choose car F and then press and hold R+L+Y, then press right on the D-pad).
  • A code to drive a truck (choose the Type G car, press and hold R+L+Y, then press right).
  • And a code to play a hidden gymkhana obstacle course (on the Mode Select Screen, highlight each mode and press B, then highlight the Time Trial Mode, press and hold the X button, and press A — select your car and the first course, which loads up the obstacle course).

But aside from the four-player mode Bayles found, there are two secrets it’s missing that are explained on a Japanese fansite: changing the time of day and seeing checkpoint times during time trial replays.

To change a race’s time of day in VS Battle of Time Trial, when the game asks you to choose a course’s lap direction, hold Y, Z, L+B or R+B when selecting with the A button. Holding Y shows a clear sky, holding Z shows a night sky, holding L+B shows a partially cloudy sky, and holding R+B shows a sunset.

Meanwhile, after finishing a Time Trial race, pause the replay and press X to see your time as you pass each checkpoint as well as the difference between you and the fastest lap.

This story originally appeared on Sega Saturn SHIRO!