LED Storm, known as Mad Gear (マッド・ギア Maddo Gia ) in Japan, is an arcade game released in 1989. The acronym "LED" stands for "Laser Enhanced Destruction". It is a vertical scrolling racing game. The player has top view and control of the car for speed, left, right, and jump. The player races across various courses, and can force other cars off the road or jump on top of them.
The game was ported to Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, and ZX Spectrum. During development, the game was titled Rally 2011 LED Storm (ラリー２０１１レッドストーム Rarī 2011 Reddo Sutōmu ) and featured a different story, futuristic graphics and instead of selecting between three vehicles, the player had a vehicle that could transform between a car and a bike. This version was eventually shelved and later reworked under Akira Nishitani's charge into its final release form as Mad Gear.
Except for the transformation feature, all ports of the game used features from the early built, including the player's vehicle being Storm 11.
It is the opening day of "World Race 24", the most dangerous rally in the world. Daredevils are coming for the rally to get the award of US$1,000,000. Fred wonders to himself "What type of cars is most easy-driving for me?" Then Fred challenges the race.
Fred and Snake are two talented racers that compete to become famous in the world of motor sports, racing in nine roads: Capital, Netwood Forest, Coral Sea, Big Cave Tunnel, Ruins Desert, Million Valley, Thunder Road, Marine Snow Pipeway, and Sky City.
- Fred (マッド・ギア, Mad Gear in Japan) - The player's character, a man driving a red vehicle selected by the player in the arcade version. In other versions it is a futuristic car named Storm 11.
Mac (Max in the Commodore 64 version) - A character from the prototype version and home ports. It is a Storm Navigating Computer Type K1 from the player's Storm 11 vehicle. While mostly removed from the arcade version, Mac was kept in the ending, where he mentions to be glad to have raced alongside the player and will always keep the memory of the event deep into his RAM.
- Snake (スネーク Sunēku ) - Fred's rival, a man driving a blue Testarossa.
- Hougan (ホーガン Hōgan ) - A bald man driving an orange Big Foot.
- Arnold (アーノルド Ānorudo ) - A blond man with goggles. He drives a blue tank truck called T.N.T. Car that explodes when damaged. His name, appearance, and vehicle are a reference to the film The Terminator.
- Vebroag (ベブローグ Beburōgu ) - A man with shades driving a white Porsche 930.
- Mohikan (モヒカン) - A man with a mohican hairstyle driving a yellow Land Buggy.
- Staff at Capcom came up with the name of the Final Fight thugs, the Mad Gear Gang, from the Japanese title of this game, since both games shared a lot of the same staff members. Today, this remains what the game is best known for, if at all. It is one of Capcom's more obscure games.
- Interestingly, Fred (フレッド Fureddo ) was the original Japanese name of the main character in the prototype Rally 2011 LED Storm. In the prototype's story, he and his friend Robert (ロバート Robāto ) argue over whose vehicle can run across 2 big cities first and accept a bet over it, both taking the dangerous "Hyper Way" route to find the shortest distance.
Plan: P.Takashi, T.Sadamoto
Game Design: T.Sadamoto
Program: N.Kaneko, Akikoro, Ken.Ken, Maekawa
Character Design: K., Ashenden
Art: Puttun.Midori, Inu, Innocent.Saicho
Special Thanks: Mr. K, SX200R, Helper One, Yasukichi, Chakkari Minoru, and You.
Presented by: Capcom