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Hang-On
ハング オン
(1985)

 
 

There isn't much left to be said about Sega's 1985 motorbike milestone Hang-On save the fact that it is a work of pure genius. This is arcade gaming in its purest form: immediately accessible, and thoroughly entertaining.
Presented in a large replica motorbike with a screen mounted behind the handlebars, the aim of the game is simplicity itself: weave your way through 5 short courses, and cross the finish line before the timer runs out.
So go for it, and hang on tight... The road effect is fast and fluid, and the gameplay remains remarkably entertaining to this day - quite a feat for a title dated 1985. But beware: one single mistake and you're off. The guilty rider will be flung into the air, while the bike will slide off into the distance and burst into flames... The precious few seconds it takes to recover from a single crash will almost certainly ruin your chances of ever crossing the finish line at the end of Stage 5.
Make no mistake: Hang-On was an event; an undeniable masterpiece to whom the entire gaming world is indebted. And it was just the beginning for Yu Suzuki and the AM2 team: Space Harrier (1985), Out Run (1986) and After Burner (1987) all came through in the space of a few years.
Damn... Did the man get any sleep at all?

 

 
 
 

 


Ride On Type


Sit Down Type


Upright Type
 
Hang-On was a phenomenal success all around the world, and was rapidly converted onto home formats. Sega's console range was going through a bit of a transitional phase in 1985, so Hang-On was ported onto both the SG-1000 and Sega Mark III platforms.
Note that although the SG-1000 version (right, top) is named 'Hang-On II', it remains pretty much identical to the Mark III port. But then again compared to the arcade they both provide a viciously downgraded experience, and the technological gap is now meaningless: they have both aged just as badly each other.
The Mark III version (right, bottom) did get a massive amount of exposure as a 'bundled' game with international Master System units, but it's still a very far cry from the original: the timing on the cornering is off, the bike blows up at the slightest knock, and the all-important BGM is missing (although strangely, the SG-1000 has it).
The sequel Super Hang-On (1987) kept the name alive in arcades for a few more years, but then it disappeared for close to 10 years, before being ruthlessly buried for good by the unforgivable mess that was Hang On GP '95 (1995).
Since both the Out Run and After Burner names were recently resuscitated, maybe we will see the Hang-On name return again someday... Until then, a perfect port of the original recently resurfaced for the Dreamcast - first as a hidden 'extra' within the depths of Yu Suzuki's extraordinary Shenmue (1999), then as a part of the 'Yu Suzuki Game Works Vol.1' (2001) compilation.
 

Hang-on II [SG-1000]



Hang-On [Mark III / Master System]
 


 
Hang-On II
ハング オンII
SEGA MY CARD
DETAILS
Format SG-1000
Released 1985
Publisher Sega
Product ID C-60
Size (cm) 14 x 10 x 1.2
Weight (kg) 0.06
PRICE
STATUS
The gameplay can be a bit edgy at times, yet the SG-1000 Hang-On isn't bad at all considering the machine's severe technological limitations.

Standard 'Sega My Card' cardboard packaging, 32Kb SG-1000 card, monochrome fold-out booklet.

Hang-On
ハング オン
SEGA MY CARD MARK III
DETAILS
Format Sega Mark III
Released 20 Oct 1985
Publisher Sega
Product ID C-502
Size (cm) 14 x 10 x 1.2
Weight (kg) 0.04
PRICE
STATUS
Released on launch day, the Mark III Hang-On is still eons away from the arcade, but it plays a perfectly competent racing game for its day.
Known worldwide as the game that came packaged with Master System units.

Standard 'My Card' cardboard packaging, 32Kb MkIII card, 16-page monochrome booklet.

Hang-On / Space Harrier
ハング オン/スペースハリアー
SOUNDTRACK
DETAILS
Format Audio CD
Released 17 Oct 1997
Publisher Marvelous
Product ID MJCAX-00001
Size (cm) 14.2 x 12.4 x 1
Weight (kg) 0.09
PRICE
STATUS
Celebratory 'Yu Suzuki Produce' soundtrack release featuring the complete BGM and SE collections of:
- Hang-On (1985)
- Space Harrier (1985)
Quite a rare CD!

CD case, 18-track audio CD (24:53), booklet, spine card.

Yu Suzuki Game Works Vol.1
鈴木裕 ゲームワークス VOL.1
DREAMCAST
DETAILS
Format Book & Dreamcast
Released 20 Dec 2001
Publisher Sega
Product ID ASP001
Size (cm) 26 x 19 x 2
Weight (kg) ?
PRICE
STATUS
Superb luxury tribute book dedicated to Yu Suzuki's early AM2 releases.
Photos, articles, info, and a bonus Dreamcast disc that includes:
- Hang-On (1985)
- Space Harrier (1985)
- Out Run (1986)
- After Burner II (1987)
- Power Drift (1988)
Compiles both the Saturn Sega Ages collection and the bonus games of Shenmue (1999) & Shenmue II (2001).
A must-have for Sega aficionados!

128-page hardback book (full colour, Japanese), Dreamcast GD-ROM.

 




Screenshot Gallery
Arcade version


 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 


Screenshot Gallery
Mark III version


 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 


'Hang-On', 'SG-1000', 'Sega Mark III', 'Master System', 'Dreamcast' and 'Sega' are registered trademarks of Sega Corporation
Hang-On TM & © 1985 Sega All Rights Reserved
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