Codex Gamicus
This article is about the first game in the series. For other games in the series, see Daytona USA.
Daytona USA
Daytona USA arcade flyer.jpg
Developer(s) Sega-AM2, Sega-AM4
Publisher(s) Sega
Designer Yoshiaki Koizumi, Toshihiro Nagoshi
Engine Engine Missing
status Status Missing
Release date 1993 (original release) (JP)
April 1994 (NA)
Genre Racing game
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Age rating(s) Ratings Missing
Platform(s) Arcade, Sega Saturn, Windows, Sega 32X (cancelled),[1] Sega Dreamcast (remake)
Arcade system Sega Model 2
Media Media Missing
Input Steering wheel, 4-position Shifter, 2 Pedals
Requirements Requirements Missing
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough

Daytona USA is a racing arcade game by Sega and the highest grossing arcade machine of all time[citation needed] . Daytona USA was Sega's first title to debut on the Sega Model 2 arcade board, and at the time of its 1993 introduction, was considered the most visually detailed 3D arcade racing game. Despite a lower polygon-count than its predecessor, Virtua Racing, Daytona's 3D-world was fully texture-mapped, giving it a more realistic appearance than the former. In single-player mode, Daytona maintained a consistent 60fps refresh rate, even with multiple opponents on screen, surpassing the motion smoothness of the only other racing game in a comparable graphical arena, Namco's Ridge Racer.

Daytona USA was re-released in arcades in 2010 as Sega Racing Classic. A slight update with High Definition graphics and 16:9 monitor screens. The name was changed due to Sega no longer holding the Daytona name copyright.


The player is put behind the wheel of a stock car (known as the Hornet), with the choice of three tracks as well as an automatic or manual transmission. The player's objectives are to outrun the competing cars, and complete the race before time runs out.

Daytona USA offers multiplayer and introduced the possibility of linking four twin cabinets or eight deluxe cabinets to create an eight-player competition. Linked deluxe cabinets may also include a camera pointing towards the drivers seat, linked to a closed-circuit television to show the player on a separate screen. Even though the game was released years before the Daytona USA Museum opened in Daytona Beach, the International Speedway Corporation had already held the trademark to the name "Daytona USA." Any future game would require a license to use the name Daytona USA.[citation needed]

In 1994, Sega released a revised version of the game which changed the difficulty of computer-controller racing opponents. In 2010, Sega released Sega Racing Classic, essentially the same game running at 720p resolution, and the original soundtrack removed due to the words Daytona in the lyrics (licensing issues).

Home console versions[]

Daytona USA was ported to the Sega Saturn as a Western launch title in 1995, and to Windows in 1996. The conversion had a somewhat slow frame rate (around twenty frames per second, compared to the arcade version's sixty), and used 'clipping' to render only the scenery nearest the player. This failed to impress many critics and casual gamers of the time, who voiced preference for the Sony PlayStation's Ridge Racer port.[citation needed]Template:POV-statement It is also worth noting that as a consequence of the Sega Saturn's rushed launch date, Daytona USA's development was severely rushed as a result - had the launch gone to plan, it is likely that the Saturn port would be more faithful to the arcade original, as can be seen by the vastly improved clipping in the Championship Circuit Edition. The downloadable version of the PC version of Daytona USA had no music because it requires a CD.

Daytona USA is compatible with the Arcade Racer steering wheel accessory. It is also compatible with the 3D analog control pad (when switched into analog mode) and the Saturn will detect it as the Arcade Racer steering wheel.

Another port of Daytona USA was planned for the Sega 32X, but that idea was quickly scrapped.[2]

An upgraded version was later released for Sega's Dreamcast console, with notable improvements. Firstly, the graphics had received a massive upgrade, surpassing those of the arcade original. 'Pop-up' had been entirely eliminated, the cars now featured transparent glass and a much higher polygon count, and the game moved at a consistent sixty frames per second. However, this version tends to be criticized for poor controls, even when using a steering wheel.

There were now a total of eight tracks, including the original three from the arcade machine, the two additional tracks from the Saturn's Championship Circuit Edition, and a further three that were original to this version. All tracks could also be raced in reversed, mirrored, or mirrored & reversed mode.

The game also featured an excellent two-player splitscreen option, with no real noticeable drop in graphic quality, and the ability to race online, though this feature was not included in the European release. The game received generally favourable reviews, with the only serious criticisms being directed at the overly sensitive controls which took some getting used to when played with a game pad. When played with a steering wheel, no such issue existed.

An HD conversion of the original Model 2 release was released for PlayStation Network (PlayStation 3) and Xbox Live Arcade (Xbox 360) in October 2011.

Available cars[]

The racing team featured in the Daytona USA arcade game and Saturn port is called Team Hornet. Although the team is never explicitly mentioned in the games, their car features an easily-recognisable hornet logo stamped on the front of the car.

In the arcade and Sega Saturn versions of Daytona USA, the Hornet car is numbered 41. However, on linked arcade machines, players 1-8 will have cars numbered similarly in multi-player mode for easy identification mid-race.

  • The colours of Team Hornet's two selectable cars — automatic or manual transmission — consist of red and blue (automatic), or yellow, red, and black (manual). The cars with manual transmission have a slightly higher top speed than the cars with automatic transmission, a difference of over 10 km/h (315 km/h compared to the manual's 325 km/h). The depiction of the Hornet car in the original game resembles both a Chevrolet Beretta and a first generation Chevrolet Lumina, although the former was never entered in NASCAR.
  • In the Sega Saturn version of Daytona USA, available cars include the AT and MT original Hornet, but also the first two multiplayer color schemes (Red and Blue, on arcades respectively numbered 1 and 2). As unlockables are the 6 other cars, who were on the arcade machine car numbers from 3 to 8 respectively: Yellow, Green, Black, Pink, Cyan and Orange. These can be accessed either by placing in first place on both 777 Speedway and Dinosaur Canyon on Normal difficulty, or pressing Down-Right on the D-pad, left trigger (L), right trigger (R), C, and Y buttons on the Saturn gamepad at the title screen. The cars are coloured differently according to their abilities:
    • Black (automatic) and Orange (manual) cars will not slow down when hitting walls.
    • Green (automatic) and Pink (manual) cars will crash after hitting a wall, but perform well on grass.
    • Light Blue (automatic) and Light Yellow (manual) cars have a high top speed, but have difficulty gripping the track.
    • There are also two unlockable horses, the UMAs (each either manual or automatic) to race as. The first horse can be obtained by placing first on all three courses on Normal difficulty; the second is unlocked by placing first on 777 Speedway on Normal difficulty in Endurance mode (i.e. 80 laps as opposed to the standard 8).


Daytona USA's soundtrack was composed by Takenobu Mitsuyoshi and is as follows:[3]

  • Let's Go Away (Attract/Advertise mode; a shortened version of the Dinosaur Canyon course theme)
  • The King Of Speed (Three Seven Speedway; alternatively known as 'The King of Speed (ROLLING START), or simply 'ROLLING START')
  • Pounding Pavement (Three Seven Speedway; accessed in the arcade version by holding the VR4 button during the 'GENTLEMEN START YOUR ENGINES', and accessed in the Saturn port by pressing the 'z' button during 'GENTLEMEN START YOUR ENGINES')
  • Let's Go Away (Attract Mode Music, Dinosaur Canyon)
  • Sky High (Seaside Street Galaxy; also known as 'Blue, Blue Skies')

These names come from the Daytona USA B-Univ original soundtrack CD - in the Saturn port of Daytona USA, the Sound Test screen also displays names for the various themes.

If you remain on the track beyond the length of the CD soundtrack (for the Saturn port) - for example, whilst in Endurance mode - the next track on the CD plays.[citation needed]

For the arcade version, Sega synethyzed the songs with a Yamaha sound chip, including the drums and Mitsuyoshi's voice. For the Saturn version, they replayed the songs with the real instruments and re-sung all the songs.[citation needed]



  1. Unreleased 32X Games: Daytona USA. Negemite. Retrieved on 2009-09-10
  2. Unreleased 32X Games: Daytona USA. Negemite. Retrieved on 2009-09-10
  3. Daytona USA / B-univ CD. Chudah's Corner. Retrieved on 2007-09-17