Chase horizon, a low-poly, retro arcade racing game that’s been available on everything from smartphones to PCs for years, will get an Ayrton Senna-themed expansion on October 20. Senna forever, the update includes generic old-school Formula 1 cars with familiar liveries and simplified shots of tracks like Suzuka, Interlagos, Monaco and the Detroit street circuit that were home to some of Senna’s most impressive drives.
Senna forever will include its own campaign mode divided into five chapters that will take the player through moments in Senna’s career, according to Traxion. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Ayrton Senna Institute.
It might seem strange to pair a cartoon racer where you’re collecting coins and fuel with perhaps the most internationally loved racing driver of all time, but there’s a very good reason for it: Brazil.
I’ll explain it to you, but before I do, I implore you to Watch the trailer that Aquiris Game Studio, Horizon chase developer, just released for expansion:
Look, I’m not one to celebrate commercials, but damn if that’s not a tear-jerker. The key to understanding why this association is so perfect is that, in addition to Senna, one of Brazil’s greatest cultural forces in the early 1990s was a game called Top gear for Super Nintendo. (No, it is not related to the empire of automatic media.)
I always knew it Top gear was popular in Brazil, but I never understood the extent of that popularity until I came across a blog about Destructoid by a Brazilian writer named Nior. The retrospective, clearly written by someone who experienced the impact of the game on local culture firsthand, crystallizes Top Gear’s meaning better than ever. Take “Las Vegas” for example, the featured melody in Top Gear’s soundtrack. Of this, Nior writes:
It would not be an exaggeration to say that this song is the most popular element in the entire game and is for Brazil the Super Mario theme for Japan. It opens with a fast and fiery arpeggio that became synonymous with Top gear and there is not a single Brazilian alive who does not recognize those notes.
I am not Brazilian and I have played Top gear maybe twice, but even I recognize that arpeggio and I know I’ve heard it on at least a dozen vaporwave songs since then. “Las Vegas” is so ubiquitous in Brazil that once a guitarist even played it live on a talk show there. Wouldn’t you know that when Aquiris, a Brazilian studio, decided to do Chase horizon as a modern version of Top gear, contract Top gear songwriter Barry Leitch to give the right vibe.
Then you understand that Top gear It was very important for Brazil; of course, I don’t need to tell you how important Senna was to Brazil. I can’t explain why Top gear It got to be that big, but Nior believes Senna had a positive impact on the success of the game. That doesn’t seem like an exaggeration. After all, it was Sega’s Brazilian importer Tectoy who connected Senna with Nintendo’s rival and offered the image of the three-time champion to Super Monaco GP II, which released the same year as Top gear in 1992.
Top gear It was a bit before my time, but I have fond memories of its Nintendo 64 sequels, Top Gear Rally and Top Gear Overdrive. I enjoyed what i played Chase horizon years ago but I think I will have to visit him again for this Senna celebration as it really seems like a labor of love.