In 1996, Sony opened the floodgates to indie console game development on the Playstation 1 through their Net Yaroze platform. Over the next several years, short games and demos of all kinds were created and distributed with game magazines on demo discs, including the focus of today’s episode.
Hover Racing was created by a small team of university students led by designer Tomokazu Sato and primary composer Hiroaki Ohmori between April and November of 1997, a concise but polished clone of futuristic racing games like F-Zero X and Wipeout. The core gameplay consists of 3 Grand Prix with 3 tracks each, as well your usual practice and time attack modes. Like many games of the genre, you race at high speeds through sharp turns, boost pads, jumps and harsh terrain, all at a beautiful 60fps. Overall it’s an impressive package from a team of novice indie game developers.
The core of the soundtrack was composed by Hiroaki Ohmori and features breezy tunes from popular electronic genres of the day; piano house, drum and bass, and techno. Ohmori went on to compose professionally for a few years, but lately seems to be more of a hobbyist musician. The second composer Tohru Kawakami contributed one joint track, but unfortunately we couldn’t find any other info about him.
Join us as we discuss this unique moment in indie game dev history, and cover the music of Hover Racing.
Massive thanks to our friend electricboogaloo for show notes and research contributions as well as hardware recordings of all the music!
All tracks except Freezing Moment composed by Hiroaki Ohmori
* Freezing Moment composed by Hiroaki Ohmori and Tohru Kawakami
- 0:00:00 A North Breeze
- 0:10:06 Laser Wind
- 0:15:58 Drop to the Sky
- 0:26:32 Mysterious Wave
- 0:38:51 Freezing Moment*
- 0:45:58 Groove On Night
All music was recorded using a model SCPH-1001 Playstation.
Hiroaki Ohmori’s music (aka FlickerTone): Sound on the innerplanet (Apple Music)