Seta’s Rev Limit was shaping up to be one of the Nintendo 64’s most promising racing games when it was hyped during the early days of the console’s lifespan. Shots of the work-in-progress racer hinted at a real-world driving title with some impressive real-time lighting effects, variable weather conditions and a wide range of vehicles based on real marques. The game underwent several redesigns during its development and was even rumoured to have been switched from the N64 base system to a launch title for the infamous 64DD at one point. Sadly, Seta ran into financial troubles in the late 1990s and the game was quietly cancelled and considered lost…until now.
According to this thread at the Assembler Games forum, this forgotten Nintendo 64 racer recently surfaced in a Yahoo Auctions lot and was snapped up by Japanese gamer and YouTuber RetroGameTV, who then shared the images on Twitter. The cartridge itself came with an N64 development unit and is a typical elongated prototype model that many pre-production games were tested on. The cartridge is unmarked except for a sticker with the code ‘NUS-16F32S’ and ‘128M + 256K’ which hints at the capacity, and it is believed that the buyer did not know what was on the cart until he tested it himself. Prior to this discovery, it wasn’t known how much of Rev Limit had been completed before it was canned, and it was speculated that a version of the game could have been finished (but similarly unreleased) for the Aleck 64 arcade board. While this may sound unbelievable, it becomes a slightly more feasible prospect when you consider that the Aleck 64 was based on the Nintendo 64 hardware and was co-developed by Seta and Nintendo. Another interesting detail about this find is the date shown on the title screen – 1999. The game was thought to have been cancelled by 1998 (after numerous delays) so this later date hints that Rev Limit could have continued to languish in development hell for a lot longer than originally thought.
While the Nintendo 64 did play host to a number of great non-kart racers such as Ridge Racer 64, World Driver Championship and Roadsters, Rev Limit could have been another great addition to the library. Since originally publishing this article, RetroGameTV has responded to our request for footage and uploaded the following video.
Rev Limit (Nintendo 64) Gameplay