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Thread: Virtua Racing Deluxe stage: Highland: Any real-life place?

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    Japanese Sonic CD FTW!!! Master of Shinobi Ecco's Avatar
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    Question Virtua Racing Deluxe stage: Highland: Any real-life place?

    This might seem pretty random to wonder if it's based on a real place but I've actually spent the most time on this one stage, as the most difficult, so I've automatically thought about it the most.

    While exclusive to the 32x version, Highland is ALSO the only track of the 5, which MOST resembles a real place, specifically a small town in the mountains.

    In contrast, the other 4 tracks seem more like race-tracks theoretically laid out, in different places... so it seems like crazy race-tracks, mostly.

    Only Highland seems like an actual small town that is being raced through.



    ...




    It would seem obvious that it's based on a small town in the Rocky Mountains.

    And the 32-bit track is quite realistic, as the town has things like a water-tower building (I think?), a canal waterway, rectangular buildings, roads with right angle turns. A turning sign of a horse with wings, which references a gas station logo, I think.





    ...Anyway it would be fun if we could pinpoint if there was a specific small town that the track was based on.




    Re: the Rocky Mountains: There is actually one specific small town that's basically famous for being the one main entranceway to the Rocky Mtn. National Park. The town is called Estes Park and this might be the town that the stage was based on... just because it's the famous town at the base of the Rockies, basically.





    Hmm I could post pics but I don't think I ever got used to doing that in the forums lol. Maybe I'll mess around with that later.


    Any thoughts about the stage and the real-life possible inspiration?

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    Master of Shinobi
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    Good question. It may look like a small town because of the lack of details but the few buildings you see are actually pretty big, like they could be offices or a shopping mall. So if it's based on anything my guess is Denver. The roads are fairly flat even with the rockies in the background, plus "Highlands" would fit because of the elevation.

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    Japanese Sonic CD FTW!!! Master of Shinobi Ecco's Avatar
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    ^Thanks, good points and it's practically the same location as what I mentioned, as Denver is about 50 minutes away from Estes Park.

    I just searched for an image to post here and I just realized that Estes Park even has the 90-degree turns in its road, so I think it's more convincing than I even realized:

    estes_park_free.jpg

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    Heat Guy WCPO Agent Lync's Avatar
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    The roads and buildings could be entirely arbitrary, and I don't know one mountain from another, but I would think if you could match the mountains you'd get a better idea of a location.



    Colorado seems a good guess to me also. You'd have to compare the image with a list of Colorado's mountains. However to my eyes it looks like three separate major mountain formations joined together to 'fill' the landscape.

    Like to the left is a view at a lake, then you have this middle-section, and to the right a larger set of mountains onto their own.

    Or just start desperately emailing those old BG designers! You never know...

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    Japanese Sonic CD FTW!!! Master of Shinobi Ecco's Avatar
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    32X

    Haha good points and nice post of the full background image.

    Hmm yeah idk if I'd expect the mountains to actually be identifiable, but it's a cool idea and possibility.

    My reasons for possibly pinning down Estes Park as the inspiration of the 32x track, are mainly because the Rockies would seem the background inspiration, just that general image of floating mountains like that.

    And then if it represents the Rockies... there's basically one famous town, as the jump-off to explore the Rocky Mtn. Nat'l Park, and that one famous town is Estes Park.

    And then plus, it really does have some hard right-angle turns in its roads, so I've convinced myself more than ever.

    Here's a night shot to show the traffic glow around those 90-degree turns.


    EstesParkDowntown-at-Dusk.jpg
    Last edited by Ecco; 07-25-2021 at 02:39 AM.

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    Japanese Sonic CD FTW!!! Master of Shinobi Ecco's Avatar
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    Holy Polygons!! I just realized that the 32x background mountains... actually DO match up pretty closely with the outlook from Estes Park:


    Quote Originally Posted by Lync View Post


    Well I've just completely convinced myself into my own rabbit hole here, lol.

    It doesn't look like 100% exact match, so I don't think they were trying to specifically reference this town... but I also have convinced myself that the stage was based on this town (including its background mtns. with similar contours of small, sharper peaks + larger, wider / broader peaks. Note the similar left-side of wide contour, and the few smaller sharp peaks also roughly match).
    Last edited by Ecco; 07-25-2021 at 03:17 AM.

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    Raging in the Streets Blades's Avatar
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    It was common practice at the time before the internet for Japanese game developers to browse through books and movies to "borrow" designs and locales. If I had to guess, Highland, and all the other "non race" tracks of VR, and Daytona, were based on a mish-mash of various photos from some photo book. This practice lasted some time, the hotel in Sonic Adventure was copied from some South American resort, the elevator scene in SA2 was directly lifted from Akira (1988), Silent Hill copied some random American school's floor plan etc.

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    Silent Hill's School and the interior/exterior is from the film Kindergarten Cop. Same with the bus outside. The nurse is from Excorcist III. Hell the ending theme in Ninja Gaiden NES is What is a Youth from Romeo and Juliet 1968. But that's another deep hole of old game music stealing from various media. Sonic being the worst offender of straight ripping off tons and tons of music. Mainly mean the Genesis games. Tho funny enough and posted this some time back in the random thoughts thread. A batman Comic ripped off Sonic Adventure Casino area.

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    ESWAT Veteran Team Andromeda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blades View Post
    It was common practice at the time before the internet for Japanese game developers to browse through books and movies to "borrow" designs and locales. If I had to guess, Highland, and all the other "non race" tracks of VR, and Daytona, were based on a mish-mash of various photos from some photo book. This practice lasted some time, the hotel in Sonic Adventure was copied from some South American resort, the elevator scene in SA2 was directly lifted from Akira (1988), Silent Hill copied some random American school's floor plan etc.
    I think most teams would also go on holiday to various locations to get data and inspiration for their games, I think it's still quite common for Japanese staff to travel after they finished a project and getting ready for the next. I remember AM2 went to Universal Studios in Florida for Dayton USA 2 and it sort of showed. In Scud Racer I'm sure the 2nd track was the airport that was close to SEGA's old HQ so the team didn't have to go far LOL
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    Death Adder's minion dark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Andromeda View Post
    I think most teams would also go on holiday to various locations to get data and inspiration for their games, I think it's still quite common for Japanese staff to travel after they finished a project and getting ready for the next. I remember AM2 went to Universal Studios in Florida for Dayton USA 2 and it sort of showed. In Scud Racer I'm sure the 2nd track was the airport that was close to SEGA's old HQ so the team didn't have to go far LOL
    I'm pretty sure I've read an interview with some of the SCUD Race team that clearly said the airport was modeled after a certain concourse in Narita airport, probably the most major airport in Japan.

    Regarding Highland, somehow I always got a European vibe from the track... I guess I thought the mountains were the Alps or something. Tons of mountain towns in Europe...

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    Quote Originally Posted by dark View Post
    I'm pretty sure I've read an interview with some of the SCUD Race team that clearly said the airport was modeled after a certain concourse in Narita airport, probably the most major airport in Japan.

    Regarding Highland, somehow I always got a European vibe from the track... I guess I thought the mountains were the Alps or something. Tons of mountain towns in Europe...
    I always thought it was based on Haneda airpor, right by the old SEGA HA, thanks for the info. I do remember Nagoshi-san saying the team were inspired by the Indiana Jones movies for the art design.
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