Hang-On (ハングオン) is an arcade game released by Sega in 1985. It is the world's first full-body-experience video game. In the game, the player controls a motorcycle against time and other computer-controlled bikes. It was one of the first arcade games to use 16-bit graphics and Sega's "Super Scaler" technology that allowed pseudo-3D sprite-scaling at high frame rates. The game was also built into some versions of the Sega Master System. The title is derived from when the biker is turning and has to "hang on" to the bike while the bike is leaning, which Suzuki had read in a japanese bike magazine, though Suzuki learnt later the technique was called "hang off" in North America. Nevertheless, he chose to keep the former name.
Using a behind the motorcycle perspective, the player races a linear race track divided into several stages within a limited time. Reaching a checkpoint at the end of each stage extends the time limit. The game ends if the time runs out.
The arcade game contains in-game billboards for Bridgestone (and their Desert Dueler tires), Shell, Garelli Motorcycles, TAG, John Player Special cigarettes, Forum cigarettes, and for "Marbor", an obvious parody of Marlboro cigarettes. There would be a controversy over cigarette ads in games marketed to children upon the release of another Sega racing game, Super Monaco GP in 1989.
There were three arcade cabinet designs—the usual upright machine only with a handlebar and brake levers (instead of a joystick and buttons),the upright machine with the addition of a seat and a third version which looked roughly like a real motorcycle. To steer, the player leaned to tilt the bike, which then steered the in-game bike. The screen was mounted into the windshield area of the bike.
Sequels and ports
In 1987, it was followed by a sequel Super Hang-On for arcade, and later for a range of platforms including the Sega Mega Drive, ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, Commodore Amiga and Atari ST. A polygon based sequel, developed by Genki, was released for the Sega Saturn, named variously Hang-On GP '95 (Japan), Hang-On GP (USA) and Hang-On GP '96 (Europe).
In Power Drift, the motorcycle is a hidden vehicle and can only be accessed by finishing first place for all five tracks on courses A, C, and E. It is only playable in the Extra Stage.
In Sonic Riders, there is an unlockable Gear called the "Hang-On", which plays the song from this game during use. Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity has this gear as an unlockable (in the form of the sit-down arcade cabinet), however, collecting 100 rings and pressing a button during a race changes the gear (and main music) to the sequel's sit-down arcade cabinet and Outride a Crisis from said game. In Sonic Free Riders both the "Hang-On" Gear and the "Super Hang-On" Gear can be bought in the shop, both feature their respective music when racing.
Shenmue and Shenmue II both feature "Hang-On" as a mini-game as well as the ability to win miniature toy versions of the bikes from gashapon machines. The Xbox version of Shenmue II is playable on Xbox 360, but crashes when trying to play "Hang-On."
In Daytona USA, if "H.O" is entered on the high score table, a clip of the main theme from Hang-On will play.