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Hyper Olympic a.k.a. Track and
Overview and game play
Hyper Olympic, also known as Track and Field, is a sports game for up to four players that was popular in the arcades throughout the 1980ís. As well as being one of the most famous sports arcade games, Hyper Olympic was the first game of its genre to introduce a frantic button tapping control system that translated into joystick waggling in home conversions of the game. One coin is required per player and the game begins with a name entry screen where players can enter up to 3 of their initials. After each of the players have entered their initials the competition begins with the 100m dash followed by the following events: Long Jump; Javelin Throw; 110m Hurdles; Hammer Throw and High Jump. In each of the events a combination of button presses, and in some cases use of the joystick, allows the player to control their athlete. Beginning with the 100m dash, each of the players is assigned an athlete and if in one player mode, the player races against the CPU controlled athlete. When the race begins, the player must press the buttons in an alternating rhythm to build up and maintain speed until the end of the race. In each event the player(s) must attain a certain target in order to advance to the next stage and this actually makes the game quite addictive, especially if the player is very close to the target required, but doesnít quite succeed. There are several features of Hyper Olympic that are perhaps not obvious to a player but are nonetheless useful to know when playing:
When you get to the
javelin throw, run fast and then hold the angle button down, making the
javelin soar high into the air. If it gets high enough, it'll hit a
bird, which will fall and give you 1000 points.
Another hidden bonus: on the high jump level, fail the first two jumps on purpose (knock the bar off). On the 3rd attempt, clear the bar and a mole pops his head up through the ground and you get 1000 bonus points.
100m Dash: When playing in 2- player mode, a tie gives each player 1000 bonus points.
Long Jump: Jumping from the exact center of the line gives a speed boost of 100. Jumping while touching any other part of the line gives a speed boost of 50.
Javelin Throw: 42 degrees is the best angle.
110m Hurdles: As in the 100m dash, a tie between two players gives a 1000-point bonus.
Here's a two-player hurdles cheat (works only on some machines): Have one person win the race normally. The other player should take his time. After 40 seconds, the clock stops running down. Use a watch to ensure a 100+ second finish time. The + is how many seconds you get credited for.
Hammer Throw: Perfect throw will have 1500 speed, 45 degree angle. 99.99 meter throw most of the time.
High Jump: Note that hitting the buttons, even after you have jumped, really helps. Be sure to tap the jump button to ease yourself over the top, not hold the button down. Also, if you foul the first two jumps and complete the third, you get a 1000-pt. bonus.
A bonus player is awarded every 100,000 points and if a players score is high enough, s/he will have their initials displayed in a high score table to be publicly acknowledged for their achievement. Overall, Hyper Olympic is a fun sports game that increases in its appeal as more players take part.
Hyper Olympic features quite pleasant backgrounds and characters. The backgrounds scroll along smoothly when the athletes are active and are all appropriate for each respective event. The athletes of Hyper Olympic became well known characters during the 1980ís, despite the fact that they are the same save for some colour variations between them. Konamiís designers added some nice animations to the athletes to make them show emotions when the results are announced i.e. for victory and defeat. There are also some non-player characters that add to the gamesí appeal such as a judge who uses his tape measure to determine how far the player jumped in the long jump contest.
A little chip-based jingle plays when coins are deposited and another for the name entry screen and when the game is over. Konamiís sound designers for the game were quite ambitious in their efforts to produce decent sound effects and used digitised sound for some effects. Unfortunately, digitised sounds at the time in arcade games were low quality and barely recognisable. The overall sound and music in Hyper Olympic is nevertheless of a good standard for an early 80ís game