Lost In Translation/Road Runner (arcade)

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Out Run (Arcade version)
Out Run (Sinclair ZX Spectrum version)

This page is a stub for arcade games that are part of the Lost In Translation series using information based on MAME (version 0.113u2).
For an example of preferred content and layout please refer to Out Run or The Ninja Warriors.

Road Runner
Road Runner marquee.
Road Runner title screen.
Road Runner control panel.
Manufacturer Atari Games
Released 1985
Analog joystick
3 Button(s)
Main CPU 68010 (@ 7.159 MHz)
M6502 (@ 1.790 MHz)
Sound CPU Stereo
YM2151 (@ 3.580 MHz)
POKEY (@ 1.790 MHz)
TMS5220 (@ 650.826 kHz)
Raster (Horizontal)
336 x 240 pixels
59.92 Hz
1,024 Palette colours
Screens 1
ROM Info 43 ROMs
1,221,632 bytes (1.17 MiB)
MAME ID roadrunn · roadrun1 · roadrun2

About The Game

Road Runner is an horizontally scrolling arcade video racing game.

The player takes on the role of the Road Runner - from the much-loved Warner Bros. cartoon series - and must outrun and outsmart the villainous Wile E. Coyote, in this abstract game from Atari. A variety of traps and pitfalls await the Road runner (such as a cannon, land mines, cliff-top drop, etc.) which must be carefully avoided. It is possible, however, to lure Wile E. Coyote into these traps to put some valuable distance between the Road Runner and his pursuer. Road Runner must also eat the piles of seed that appear at various points throughout the stages, as missing five bird seeds will cause Road Runner to faint and result in the player losing a life.

Road Runner's colourful, beautifully-drawn graphics capture the spirit and humour of the legendary cartoons perfectly. The music and sound effects are also faithful to the cartoon series.


Road Runner, as with all the Atari System 1 games, was arguably one of the most distracting games in the arcade. If not set-up properly, the Road Runner game would play all the background music during the intro cut scenes. The Atari System 1 speaker system had a great acoustic arrangement. Players would be immersed in a sea of sound allowing them to really get into the game play. Unfortunately for others, they could hear the same thing on the other side of the room!

Not very many Road Runner units were produced from the factory. Most arcade owners purchased the conversion kit which was marketed and readily available from Atari at a lower price than a new system. An Atari System 1 cabinet could be converted into a different game (only other Atari System 1 games) in a day.

A graphically enhanced version of this game (Apparently running on "Beat Head" hardware) was planned, where each stage would have a Road Runner cartoon scene as an intermission, spooled from a Laserdisc. However, although a master was produced (now in the hands of a private collector of Atari prototypes), no discs were ever pressed and it is likely that no ROMs were ever burned.

Two Road Runner machines were shown at the 2003 classic arcade games show 'California Extreme' in San Jose, California.

Tips and tricks

Don't use an 8-way controller like Hot-Rod or X-Arcade with this game. You won't be able to control the Road Runner very well. Use a variable speed, jet-fighting type game joystick. This will allow you to control the variety of Road Runner speeds with precision. It makes the game much more fun and you'll get farther.

Don't go so fast that you lose Wile E. Coyote from view. He'll coming whizzing back with a vengeance. He'll attack at high speed on rocket skates and in later levels, super sneakers.

If you stay close to Wile E. Coyote and maintain a constant speed (his arms will stick out in an effort to grab you), you can get a "Tongue Bonus" for 2000 points. The Road Runner will turn it's head around at Wile E. and stick out it's tongue twice, making that classic cartoon "Twoop twoop" sound. Pretty funny to see.

In higher levels, invisible paint buckets will appear. You need to get to them and paint yourself before Wile E. Coyote does. If you manage to paint yourself with the invisible paint, Wile E. Coyote will lose sight of you, stand and look around with a "?" above his head. Also funny to see.

On the levels where Wile E. coyote has acquired a portable helicopter and is dropping dynamite onto the Road Runner from above, keep running forwards while constantly moving the Road Runner diagonally up and down (on some levels, you need to be watchful for land mines); this makes it much more difficult for the Coyote to target you accurately.


Norm Avellar
Greg Rivera
Mike Hally
Sam Comstock
Mark West
Susan G. McBride
Hal Canon
Earl Vickers
Location Tech
Rob Rowe
Jacl Aknin
Mike Albaugh
Brad Fuller
Pat McCarthy
Rich Moore
Don Paauw

Cabinet and Artwork


Atari 2600
Nintendo Famicom (1989)
Commodore C64 (1987)
Sinclair ZX Spectrum (1987)
Amstrad CPC (1987)
Atari ST

Soundtrack Releases

Album Name Catalogue No. Released Publisher Comments
The Best Of Fred Gray CZCD 023[1] 2007-07-13 Binary Zone Interactive CD version.

External Links


The contents of this page are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
The sources used include MAME (version 0.113u2) and history.dat (revision 1.28 - 2008-10-18).
Please see http://www.arcade-history.com for credits.