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Sunday, January 17, 2016

R.C. Pro-Am

John Marine | 9:37 PM | |
R.C. Pro-Am was released in 1987 by Rare for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It is a special game from my youth because it was one of my first favorite racing games. This RC racing game offers insane racing action as the machines can be equipped with weapons for intense racing action. If you never heard of R.C. Pro-Am or never played it, here is a blog post introducing you to this game.

If this is your first time here, welcome to "John's Race Space!" This is the blog born as a blog about Gran Turismo and Tourist Trophy, but has later been a general blog about racing/driving games and what makes them so great. Enjoy your time here!

R.C. Pro-Am

Let's talk about R.C. Pro-Am. Here's the game right here:

R.C. Pro-Am
^ from: (YouTube) - Prepare for RC racing madness across R.C. Pro-Am's 24 tracks and never-ending racing action!

There was a time when Rare was the jelly to Nintendo's peanut butter. One of those many different great games was R.C. Pro-Am. This game was all about anything-goes racing featuring remote-controlled cars. The goal of R.C. Pro-Am is to try to finish each race as high as you can. Powerups and other items will help add to your chances of winning as well as boosting your score. There are a total of about 24 tracks in the game, and you can go from one RC car to two other models with progress through the game. There were future iterations of R.C. Pro-Am, including a sequel on the NES and titles for the Game Boy and (believe it or not) even the Sega Genesis/Megadrive.

Personally, this game holds a special place in my heart because it was one of the first racing games I actually liked before I became almost all about racing games. In fact, you could say it was the Gran Turismo of my youth well before Gran Turismo came along.

This game still has one enduring question...

How the [expletive] do you beat that yellow car in the later races?

Trust me- if you've played this game before, you know almost exactly what I'm talking about. Folks, I don't know the answer to that one. Sorry.


You start out with a pickup truck RC machine. This is no oridinary RC car, though. You could equip it with a number of items and weapons to get an edge in races. Look for items strewn on the track. Each machine can be upgraded with performance parts. Each of the performance parts is upgradeable to up to four levels. The performance parts for each RC car is as follows:

• Super Sticky Tires - enhances handling.
• Turbo Acceleration - better acceleration.
• Higher Top Speed - have a faster top speed.

You will also be able to acquire better RC machines through progress in the game and through finding items. More on that in the next section.


Here are the basic rules of R.C. Pro-Am. Each race features four vehicles (including yours). Each race has a set number of laps. The race is over when one crosses the finish line as the winner (even if it is you). You obviously want to win the race to gain the most points. Whatever place you are in is locked at the time the leader crosses the line. However, if you are placed last when the leader crosses the finish line, the game is over. You know you are in last place if you see "OUT" above your machine. So try to avoid placing last if you want to continue! You know which machine leads the race when you see the color of the checkered flag when you cross the Start/Finish line.

Racing in R.C. Pro-Am involves keeping your car on the road. You can't go off into the grass, but you will lose speed if you keep riding the far inside or far outside of each track. Spinning out heading into either extreme of the course will send you into a crash. The machines don't have impressive handling. Make sure you don't try to swing out the back end too much. Pick up the tire upgrades to help in handling. Speaking of upgrades...

The basic weaponry in the game are rockets and bombs. Rockets are straight-firing weapons you can use to immediately take out anybody in front of you. Drop Bombs to attack competitors directly behind you. If you find rollcages on the track, your machine will be temporarily invincible to any and all attacks and dangers. You can even run into other machines and force them to spin out and crash if you hit them while invincible. Find Stars on each track to add extra munitions to your weapon supply. The various items on track include a variety of different hazards. You want to avoid going into oil slicks, unless you're perfectly fine sliding your car out and crashing into the outside of the race track. Driving through water puddles or rain storms will slow your machine down as you cross through them. The red chevrons on tracks are turbo boosts. Cross them to gain a boost in speed (and to hear a cool zipping sound as you cross them). There is even something in the center of some roads which pops up and serves as a wall. If you hit it, your machine will be turned into a scrap heap. You don't want that. You paid good money and put in too much effort for your RC car to be competitive.

You can upgrade your RC machine by picking up performance upgrades, or you can get entirely new machines by finding letter tiles on the track. Each track has one letter tile for you to pick up. Picking up eight of these will spell "NINTENDO." When "NINTENDO" is spelled, you will receive many points for each letter and go to a different RC machine. One is an RC van, and the other is a very fast RC car. Take advantage of these opportunities to upgrade your RC machine and even to try to get the better machines.

Once you clear all of the tracks, the game basically goes back to the very first course. There is no ending to this game to my knowledge. So don't worry about some epic ending to see. You know your score will make the Top Scores when in your Trophy Room, you see a big trophy in the top center of your screen there. Be extremely happy if you get that big gold trophy.

Oh... and one important note to make- if you're trying to win the later races, don't worry about the yellow car. That car just has its own way of making sure you don't win later races once it starts blasting ahead. Victory will be tougher in the later races, but just try to avoid finishing last once a race concludes (assuming you're not the leader of the race).

Final Thoughts.

R.C. Pro-Am is a game that is special to me as a racing game fan. It is never-ending racing madness that is classic and fun. This is one of many racing games in which you don't have to worry about precision driving or trying to be perfect all the time. Just go and race. That is one of many reasons why "R.C. Pro-Am" remains such an amazing game. If you haven't played it yet, it is a must-play for anyone bestowed with a Nintendo Entertainment System.

Video Preview.

This video either will introduce you to the game or give you people who played it before memories (and make you feel old(er)). Either way, here is the game in action:

^ "R.C. Pro AM for NES playthrough (1/3)"

If you find this game fun, look up eBay or something to get a cartridge of this title for your NES (if you have one).

Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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