Pole Position II[a] is the sequel to racing simulation game Pole Position, released by Namco for arcades in 1983. As with its predecessor, Namco licensed this game to Atari, Inc. for US manufacture and distribution, who also released a port of it as the pack-in game for their Atari 7800 ProSystem console. Pole Position arcade machines can be converted to Pole Position II by swapping several chips.
|Pole Position II|
|Platform(s)||Arcade, Atari 7800, Commodore 64, Epoch Super Cassette Vision, MS-DOS|
|Arcade system||Namco Pole Position|
The gameplay is the same as in the original Pole Position with three additional tracks to choose from: Test (resembling Indianapolis Motor Speedway), Seaside (resembling the 1982 United States Grand Prix West circuit in Long Beach), and Suzuka. Like its predecessor, Pole Position II was a major commercial success in arcades, becoming the highest-grossing arcade game of 1984 in the United States, and remaining among the annual highest-grossing arcade games in Japan and the United States through 1987.
Minor differences from the originalEdit
The cars have a different color scheme, the explosions now show debris, there are several new billboards, and there is a new opening theme song. The timer is displayed as "TIME" in the Japanese version (as it was in the original game), and it is displayed as "UNIT" in the American release.
In Japan, Game Machine listed Pole Position II on their November 15, 1983, issue as being the second most successful upright/cockpit arcade cabinet of the month, before topping the charts in December 1983. It was later Japan's third highest-grossing upright/cockpit arcade game of 1986 (below Sega's Hang-On and Space Harrier), and fifth highest-grossing upright/cockpit arcade game of 1987.
In the United States, Pole Position II topped the RePlay arcade chart for software conversion kits in December 1983, with the original Pole Position topping the upright cabinet chart the same month. It topped the RePlay software conversion kit charts for six months into 1984, through January, February, March and April up until May. It also topped the Play Meter conversion kit charts for street locations during July–August 1984. Pole Position II became the highest-grossing arcade game of 1984 in the United States, just above the original Pole Position, which was previously the highest-grossing arcade game of 1983. Pole Position II was later one of the top five highest-grossing arcade games of 1985, and the sixth highest-grossing arcade game of 1986.
Pole Position II featured advertising promotion art by veteran gaming illustrator Marc Ericksen.
Pole Position II has been re-released as part of various Namco Museum compilations, but the two active permanent circuits were removed (because of licensing issues with both Toyota, which owns Fuji Speedway, and Honda, which owns Suzuka Circuit, but no licensing issues with the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach) and similar looking circuits, Namco Circuit and Wonder Circuit (after Namco's Wonder series of Japanese theme parks) were added respectively. In Namco Museum Virtual Arcade, they were renamed to Blue and Orange respectively, even though neither track features the colors, although the layouts were similar.
- Lewin, Gene (January 15, 1984). "Gene's Judgements: Critiquing AMOA Show Conversions, Dedicated Games". Play Meter. Vol. 10, no. 2. pp. 60–3.
- "Pole Position II (Registration Number PA0000216325)". United States Copyright Office. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
- "Video Game Flyers: Pole Position II, Namco (China)". The Arcade Flyer Archive. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
- "Video Game Flyers: Pole Position II, Namco (Spain)". The Arcade Flyer Archive. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
- Pole Position II at the Killer List of Videogames
- "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25 – アップライト, コックピット型TVゲーム機 (Upright/Cockpit Videos)" (PDF). Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 224. Amusement Press, Inc. November 15, 1983. p. 29.
- "Best Hit Games 25" (PDF). Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 225. Amusement Press, Inc. December 1, 1983. p. 33.
- "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25: '86 上半期" [Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25: First Half '86] (PDF). Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 288. Amusement Press, Inc. July 15, 1986. p. 28.
- "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25: '86 下半期" [Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25: Second Half '86] (PDF). Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 300. Amusement Press, Inc. January 15, 1987. p. 16.
- "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25: '87" (PDF). Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 324. Amusement Press, Inc. January 15, 1988. p. 20.
- "RePlay: The Players' Choice". RePlay. December 1983.
- "RePlay: The Players' Choice". RePlay. January 1984.
- "RePlay: The Players' Choice". RePlay. February 1984.
- "RePlay: The Players' Choice". RePlay. March 1984.
- "RePlay: The Players' Choice". RePlay. April 1984.
- "RePlay: The Players' Choice". RePlay. May 1984.
- "National Play Meter". Play Meter. August 15, 1984.
- "Top Hits of Last 5 Years". RePlay. March 1987.
- "AMOA Expo '85: 1985 AMOA Award Nominees". RePlay. Vol. 11, no. 2. November 1985. pp. 62, 64, 66.
- "Top 20 of 1986". Top Score. Amusement Players Association. July–August 1987. p. 3.
- "Complete Games Guide" (PDF). Computer and Video Games (Complete Guide to Consoles): 46–77. October 16, 1989.
- IGN review of Pole Position II cell phone game Archived March 16, 2006, at the Wayback Machine