North American boxart
Developer(s) Nintendo R&D1
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Designer(s) Shigeru Miyamoto
Platform(s) NES, NEC PC-8801, Arcade, GBA, Virtual Console
Release date NES
JP November 30, 1984
NA October 18, 1985
EU September 1, 1986
Famicom Disk System
JP December 9, 1988
Virtual Console
EU February 16, 2007
JP March 13, 2007
NA March 19, 2007
Genre(s) Racing game
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Rating(s) ESRB: E (GBA, Wii)
Media 192-kilobit cartridge
System requirements Gamepad

Excitebike (エキサイトバイク Ekisaitobaiku?) is a motocross racing video game developed and published by Nintendo. It first debuted as a game for the Famicom in Japan in 1984. It is the first game of the Excite seires, succeeded by its sequel Excitebike 64 and the spiritual successors Excite Truck and Excitebots: Trick Racing.


Whether the player chooses to race solo or against computer-assisted riders, he/she races against a certain time limit. The goal is to qualify for the Excitebike (the championship) race by coming in at third place or above in the challenge race (preliminary race). The time to beat is located on the stadium walls (for first place) and in the lower left corner (for third place). In any race, the best time is 8 seconds ahead of third place. When the player places first, then they get a message: "It's a new record!"

The player controls the position of the red motorcycle with the Y-axis of the directional pad, and controls acceleration with the A and B buttons. Using B causes improved acceleration, but causes the motorcycle's temperature to increase as shown on a bar at the bottom of the screen. If the temperature exceeds safe limits (the bar becomes full), the player will be immobilized for several seconds while the bike cools down. If the bike goes over an arrow, it is automatically cooled down.

While the bike is in the air, the pitch of the motorcycle can be modified with the X-axis of the directional pad, left raises the front, while right lowers the front. The up and down arrows on turn the hand bar left and right, respectively when the bike is on the ground.

The player, at the start of the game, can choose whichever track he/she wants to race in, from 1-5.

Track timesEdit

By placing third or better in any challenge race, the player advances to the Excitebike race of the same track number. For example, if the player placed third or better in track 4 of the challenge race, he/she goes to the track 4 of the Excitebike race.

By placing third or better in any Excitebike race, the player advances to the next Excitebike race. For example, if the player placed third or better in track 4 of the Excitebike race, he/she goes to track 5 of the Excitebike race. The Excitebike races are little tougher than the challenge races, and that's why the best times in an Excitebike race are longer than in the challenge race (except in tracks 3 & 5).


ExciteBike has three modes of gameplay. In Selection A, the player races solo. In Selection B, CPU players join the player. They act as another obstacle; hitting one from the back will cause the player to fall off the bike, while any CPU riders hitting the player's rear wheel will cause them to fall off.

In Design Mode, the player has the ability to build his or her own racing tracks. The player can choose hills and obstacles of various sizes and place them. The player can also choose where to finish the lap, and how many laps there are (up to nine). After it is finished, the player can race the track in either Selection A or Selection B.

The game allowed saving the custom-designed track to cassette tape, requiring the Famicom Data Recorder peripheral . Since this peripheral was only available in Japan, track saving was effectively unavailable to American and European players. Excitebike was never re-released for the Famicom Disk System in its original form. Courses created using the Virtual Console release can actually be saved to the Wii's internal memory.

Ports and enhanced remakesEdit

Vs. ExcitebikeEdit

Excitebike was enhanced in two different versions, both titled Vs. Excitebike.

The first version was released for arcades in 1984, some time after the Famicom release. The game was based around the VS. Unisystem unit. It is similar to its NES counterpart, though this version has the Design option gone and in the main game there are three difficulty levels (Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced), and the levels are arranged in a different setup: there are seven tracks that must be played twice, the first time as a challenge race, and the second time as an Excitebike race. Whereas the challenge race has no CPU bikers as obstacles, in the Excitebike race mode they appear. If the player fails to clear the track in 3rd place or more, the game is over.

The second was released for the Famicom Disk System peripheral in 1988. While the graphics and core gameplay are still the same, there are several differences between this version, and both the original and its arcade namesake:

  • The game features a versus mode known as "Vs. Excite", in which two players compete for winning. The options include maximum number for rounds for deciding a winner, the track in which the players will race on, and the number of laps for said track.
  • The music is completely different and none of the sound tracks from the original game is present in this version.
  • The "Original Excite" mode is based actually on the main mode of the arcade version.
  • Its rewritable disk format also allows the player to save created tracks.

BS Excitebike: Bun Bun Mario Battle StadiumEdit

BS Excitebike: Bun Bun Mario Battle Stadium (エキサイトバイク ぶんぶんマリオバトルスタジアム BS Ekisaitobaiku Bun Bun Mario Batoru Sutajiamu?) (also known as Mario Excite Bike, BX Mario Excite Bike, and Excite Bike 2) is a video game for the Satellaview (available only in Japan), and a remake of this game. Unlike the original Excitebike, the human racers have been replaced by Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Wario, Toad, Yoshi, and some of Bowser's Koopa Troopas. The concept of the game was unchanged except for a "SUPER" mode where the player has unlimited turbo, as well as the addition of coins. The coins are spread out on the courses and increase top speed.

Other ports and remakesEdit

The original Excitebike has appeared on a number of gaming platforms since its debut in 1984.

  • A version of the game was released for the Japan-only NEC PC-8801 by Hudson Soft in 1985.
  • Players can unlock the title on the Nintendo 64 sequel game Excitebike 64.
  • Players can unlock the title (one of several bonus NES games included) on the Nintendo GameCube game Animal Crossing.
  • In 2003, it was released as a five E-card set game, entitled Excitebike-e, for the now-discontinued e-Reader, a device for the Game Boy Advance used for scanning special "e-Cards" to play games, obtain information, or unlock special content.
  • In 2004, it was released as part of the Game Boy Advance Classic NES Series. This version is the first non-Japan version to allow the player to save their tracks, although this port only has one savable track.
  • The game was added to the European Virtual Console on February 16, 2007, the same day Excite Truck was released there. It was added to the Japanese Virtual Console on March 13, 2007 and was added to the North American Virtual Console on March 19, 2007.
  • The game The Urbz: Sims in the City for the GBA, released in 2004 contains a minigame that plays similarly to the first excitebike. Some tracks even look alike.
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