<-- -!>

Featured Article

Petrol Panic! 6 of the best gas stations in Dreamcast games

For a relatively brief period in late 2021, the UK transformed from a miserable, grey, rainswept dystopia into a miserable, grey, rainswept dystopia that had no petrol at the vast majority of its filling stations. Many reasons were put forward for this phenomenon, but the general consensus was that some shitty 'news' websites were hungry for clicks, so they told everyone to start panicking and go and buy some fuel before it ran out...even though there wasn't actually a shortage. 

What ensued was an embarrasing display of idiocy on a national scale, with people fighting over diesel and miles long queues at forecourts. Meanwhile, Hexxus from Fern Gully was rubbing his oily hands at the prospect of another few decades of humans acting like assholes because they couldn't put some 4* in their Vauxhall Cavaliers.

Oddly, Crazy Taxi features no gas stations. I know, I've looked.

Anyhow, It occured to me - while I too was sitting in a 14 mile long queue for petrol, incidentally - that there are numerous games on the Dreamcast which feature equally queue-less petrol/gas stations. And here, for your pleasure is a rundown of six such virtual establishments. It's worth noting that none of the petrol/gas stations here feature a digital queue of Crazy Taxis or Afro Thunder punching people on the forecourt. Which is a crying shame, if you ask me.


San Francisco Rush 2049

It's actually quite a push to think that people will still need petrol stations in 2049 - surely electric vehicles will be the norm then? That said, one of the cars in Rush has an actual rocket engine on the back. Either way, If you travel to the Haight course in San Francisco Rush 2049, you'll stumble upon this double Shell garage that has perhaps the largest forecourt canopy ever constructed. Furthermore, the pumps appear to be emblazoned with acid faces, so maybe they aren't fuel dispensers at all, and are in fact tiny portaloos inhabited by local drug dealers.

Summary: Massively over engineered roof canopy, poor vehicle access, bizarre signage on pumps. Could be a front for more serious gang crime in the wider San Francisco area.


18 Wheeler: American Pro Trucker

18 Wheeler: American Pro Trucker is a game in which you drive trucks with 18 wheels, while pretendng to be an American. Unless you are an American. And a pro trucker. It's a passable arcade to Dreamcast port that is much less impressive when played on a 14" CRT television in a damp bedroom as opposed to on a huge multi-displayed big rig arcade machine with all of your nonexistent friends cheering you on. But enough of my childhood. On the first stage of the arcade mode (Key West), just after you come off the freeway theres a lovely little Texaco on the right offering various delicious fuels for a bargain price. Also, just beyond said petrol station there's an advertising board with a typo. Which is nice.

Summary: Nice looking, well kept and tidy Texaco branch. Intelligently located next to a busy arterial route. Occasionally an overly aggressive rival trucker buying beers will call you a 'greenhorn' and throw a cup of piss at you.


Headhunter

Jake Wade is a man on a mission. He shoots first and asks questions later...but this is quite a serious breach of health and safety regulations at a petrol station - especially when you consider that he has no qualms with shooting thugs who are hiding behing petrol pumps and his wristwatch is also a mobile phone...which he clearly answers while standing in the middle of the forecourt. If Headhunter was as realistic as it wants to be - in a Paul Verhoeven kinda way - the teenage attendant in the shop would come over the tannoy and tell Jack Wade to put his mobile/watch away.

Summary: It's basically a gang hideout and the shop is a mess. People will attempt to kill you if you enter. Could do with a lick of paint and fresh fuel delivery. 


Metropolis Street Racer

For a game that is almost 99% about driving cars about in heavily built up urban areas (the other 1% is listening to the 15 second sample of Planet Perfecto's Bullet in the Gun), the distinct lack of petrol stations in Metropolis Street Racer is a bit puzzling. I'm not saying I know Tokyo's Shibuya district or London's Westminster like the back of my hand, but surely there's more than one petrol station inside the three cities depicted in Bizarre's Dreamcast magnum opus? Anyway, after driving around all three cities for ages looking for somewhere to virtually fill up (the 'empty' light was on, I'm not even joker-ing), I eventually found the game's lone station in Fisherman's Wharf. Annoyingly though, even though it states that it is open 24 hours, the bastard was closed.

Summary: Hidden away down a side street with a tree obscuring the sign, and the forecourt is off limits. Meant to be open 24 hours but closed overnight. What is this? Dorset? Disgusting.


Speed Devils

Speed Devils invites you to drive retro-inspired vehicles around a variety of slightly odd locations, and one of the most glaring ommissions in all of these environments is the scarcity of filling stations. Head to the Hollywood circuit though, and you'll be greeted with a petrol station as soon as you start the race, such as it is located directly beside the start/finish point. This is great planning on the part of the race organisers, but seeing as they're also gangsters make sure you pay your bill in full. Yes, even that single penny you went over when filling your tank. Are your kneecaps worth more than a penny? Thought so. As a side note, Speed Devils is the first game I owned for my first Dreamcast just after the European launch, and I think it still looks quite nice, with its variable weather and seasons and what not. Worth a look if you've never played it.

Summary: Well signposted and located directly next the start / finish. Nice wide lanes and good access to all pumps. Commendable.


Super Runabout

Super Runabout is a broken game in many ways, but it ticks one box in that it features vehicles and also a filling station. There appears to only be one in the entire game, but it's located right on the dockside and as such allows for incredible views across the bay. Sadly, it's also awash with mindless NPCs who continually run back and forth across the forecourt with wanton abandon. Simply driving your uncontrollable vehicle over them would undoubtedly put them out of their misery, so please feel free. I also like to think this particular station offers a wide variety of snacks and drinks, and that there's a particularly nice smelling handwash in the customer toilet. No reason.

Summary: General public wandering all over are a bit of a menace. Good access to pumps and an amazing sea view. Shame the game is a load of ass.

***

I'm sure there are more petrol/gas stations in Dreamcast games. I'm asolutley positive, in fact. But these are the ones I found while going though a small sample of likely suspects. Please, if you have the time and/or the inclination, let us know which other gas stations in Dreamcast games are your particular favourites. 

Also, don't be Jack Wade - never use your watch/phone while shooting a petrol pump. Unless there's another national media manufactured panic buying frenzy shortage.

7 comments:

Unknown said...

I recommend checking the gas station in Illbleed too!

Tom Charnock said...

Good shout - there's one in F355 too that I've een alerted to. Maybe if we get enough suggestions I can do a part 2 XD

Chris Else said...

That article gave me a chuckle, excellent work as always Sir Tom

Lewis Cox said...

Very funny piece. 😂

Kaptein Kleggskjegg said...

This is indeed a highly chortle-inducing post, well done! :D

Unknown said...

Cracking read. I love how niche this one is! It's clear that a lot of research and snooping went into this one, well written to boot!

I can't think of any gas stations in DC games but is there some sort of fuel signage in the Tokyo Highway Challenge games?

Unknown said...

I love this Post. Please do more about things you dont recognize normally. The MSR place is shocking! Not only closed, but enclosed. Like a C19 Gas Station.