The Simpsons: Hit & Run is an award-winning video game based on the TV hit-show The Simpsons.
It was released for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, and Microsoft Windows in North America on September 16, 2003, in Europe on October 31, 2003, and in Japan on December 25, 2003. It was developed by Radical Entertainment and was published by Vivendi Universal. It is cited by video game critics and fans as the best Simpsons video game ever made.
One of two characters that appear on two separate levels (levels 1 and 7). On the first level, his primary vehicle is the classic Pink Family Sedan featured in many episodes of the Simpsons, and on the last level he drives the green 70's sport car featured in the episode "I Married Marge". His costumes are Level 1: Casual Homer, Muumuu Homer (King-Size Homer), and Chosen One Homer (Homer the Great). Level 7: Dirty Homer (Treehouse of Horror IX ), Evil Homer (Whacking Day/Marge in Chains), and Donut Homer (Treehouse of Horror IV). In the game while driving as Homer, you hear classic quotes from the cast such as: "I am Evil Homer, I am Evil Homer (From Whacking Day) and "Nothing lasts Forever"
The second character alongside Homer who appears twice in the game on levels 2 and 6. On the second level, his primary vehicle is the Honor Roller soapbox racer he and Martin Prince built in the episode "Saturdays of Thunder". In Level 6, his primary vehicle is the Red Ferrini given to him by Mr. Burns in the episode "Burn's Heir" that he drives through Santa's Village in. His costumes for Level 2 are: Tall Bart (Radioactive Man), Football Bart (Bart Star) and Bart Ninja (The Telltale Head). His costumes for Level 6 are: Hugo Bart (Treehouse of Horror VII), Cadet Bart (The Secret War of Lisa Simpson) and Bartman (Three Men and a Comic Book). Quotes for Bart also done by the Simpsons cast are either original quotes or extracts from certain episodes such as "Eep" (a recurring catchphrase from the show in episodes such as "Bart After Dark" and the classic "¡Ay, caramba!"
The character used in the third level of the game. Lisa's primary vehicle is the Malibu Stacy Car which again can go slightly faster than the Honor Roller car driven by Bart in the second level of the game. Her costumes are: Cool Lisa (Summer of 4 Ft. 2), Floreda Lisa ($pringfield) and Hockey Lisa (Lisa on Ice). Most of Lisa's quotes throughout the level reflect her profound interest in nature and the environment but also her other interests - "I could sure use a pony right now". Many of her quotes also link with the sibling rivalry she shares with Bart - "I hope Bart gets blamed for that".
The fourth character in the game whose primary vehicle is the Canyonero featured in the episode Marge Simpson in: "Screaming Yellow Honkers" which is considerably tougher and faster than the original family sedan which Homer drives in Level 1. Marge's costumes are: Inmate Marge (Marge in Chains), Classy Marge (Scenes from the Class Struggle in Springfield) and Police Marge (The Springfield Connection). Many of her quotes in the game reflect her position as most responsible in the family - "Oh my" and "I shouldn't be enjoying this" unlike the rest of the family's quotes which consistently depict them enjoying the misfortune of those they hit, or have their mailboxes and trees destroyed.
The character the player uses in the fifth level of the game who uses the Longhorn car which appears in four different episodes of The Simpsons and first appeared in the episode Two Bad Neighbors, although it had nothing to do with the plot. His costumes are Apu American (Much Apu About Nothing), Apu Army (Homer the Vigilante) and Apu Be Sharps (Homer's Barbershop Quartet). Many of Apu's quotes throughout the level reflect his Hindu faith and ethnic background - "Oh Shiva smiles on such behavior" and "Hindu coming through".
The game is Broken up into 7 levels: Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, Level 4, Level 5, Level 6, and Level 7.
Hit & Run focuses primarily on driving missions. It employs the "sandbox" format, featuring a third-person view, an explorable environment, and drivable vehicles similar to the Grand Theft Auto series. While most cars can be hijacked or stolen, the non-playable characters' vehicles cannot be compromised in this way. Instead, the player's character can be seen riding in the passenger's seat of another vehicle while the owner drives. The game features a "Hit & Run meter" that brings the police after the player if it gets too high; if the player is captured by the police, (s)he is fined 50 coins. In the first 3 levels, only one police car is deployed to chase the player, but starting from level 4, two police cars are dispatched in pursuit.
In addition to the story missions, players can optionally participate in "bonus" missions or races which typically award unlockable cars for successful completion. Players can also participate in "wager" races in every level in which they pay a fee to enter (depending on the level) and are awarded double the fee they paid for completion. Coins, the currency in the game, are acquired by hitting objects such as trees or mailboxes, destroying wasp cameras or Buzz Cola machines, or simple collection (many coins are simply scattered throughout each level). Players can use coins to purchase new vehicles or outfits for the current character; many of these can be traced directly to specific episodes of The Simpsons (e.g. Bart's Space Shuttle-shaped Honor Roller soapbox racer or Marge's police uniform). Many of the cars also appear in "The Simpsons Road Rage". However, some cars, such as the Longhorn and Hover Car, appear in "The Simpsons Road Rage" but have a very different design.
A number of "collector cards" depicting objects, characters, or scenes from the series are placed in each level, usually in hard-to-access areas. Collecting all of these cards in a level unlocks a track that can be played in a slot car-like racing game, and collecting all of the cards in the game unlocks an original Itchy & Scratchy short, "500-Yard Gash".
After destroying a wasp-like camera that spied on Homer during a slumber, Homer goes out to buy some new Buzz Cola (advertised and endorsed by Krusty the Clown in a TV advert) and at the request of Marge, new ice cream. After giving Lisa her forgotten science project, helping Ned Flanders find his possessions and destroy Mr. Smithers' car on a work inspection day to save his scorpion farm, Homer gets suspicious after a news report of strange black surveillance vans going around Springfield. Homer follows one, which leads him to Mr. Burns' mansion. Homer thinks Mr. Burns has used these vans to spy on everyone. Homer then helps Marge destroy copies of the new Bonestorm II video game and races Smithers to Burns' mansion. After accusing Burns of the vans, Burns tells Homer the vans are really pizza delivery vans. Burns releases the hounds on Homer, and fires him.
Bart wants a copy of Bonestorm II so badly, that he skips school to get a copy. At the Try-N-Save, he gets shocked after Jimbo Jones stole the last copy. At the antique store, Kearney Zzyzwicz tells Bart that "video games are so late-90s" and fireworks are way better, so Bart tries to get as many fireworks as he can, but is nearly arrested by Chief Wiggum on orders of Ralph Wiggum. After Comic Book Guy tells Bart Professor Frink has purchased the remaining copies of the game, Bart helps Frink build a Truckasaurus to make up for it. Bart gets the materials Frink needs (a WWII radio, a satellite dish and a blender) and destroying people using cellphones to prevent Truckasaurus from escaping and causing destruction, Bart goes into the stadium. Truckasaurus attacks Bart, Bart escapes in his car, but is sucked away with a green tractor beam, leaving his empty Honor Roller behind.
Lisa decides to try and find her brother with the clues of various people. Lisa tries Comic Book Guy, who tells him Bart might have been at the Noiseland Video Arcade after she helps him get a controversial Itchy & Scratchy comic book. Lisa finds Milhouse, who tells Lisa he has seen Bart at various places; but is really him trying to attract Lisa. Lisa then helps Apu knock the flatmeat out of Cletus Spuckler's truck, which the player as Bart collected in the previous level. Apu tells Lisa that Professor Frink might know a little into Bart's disappearance and whereabouts and when Lisa goes there, he tells the story to her. Lisa then goes to her grandfather Abe Simpson, who tells her that the black chase sedans going around might have a clue of Bart's whereabouts. After Lisa uses Otto Mann's School Bus to destroy them and then goes to Chief Wiggum to find more info on the sedans, he tells her they might be connected to the Squidport. After helping the Sea Captain collect three-eyed fish, he tells her Bart had rode in a limo. Lisa destroys the Limo to search for Bart, but finds no evidence. The Sea Captain tells her he boarded the ship on the pier, which she boards. Lisa finds Bart, but his memory has been clogged up with the Buzz Cola and the chase sedans; where he only mutters gibberish. Lisa takes Bart home.
After a crop circle of Bart's head is erected in the Tomacco Farm, Marge goes to investigate this and the reason why Bart has gone crazy. After advice that a hillbilly could understand the logic of it, Marge goes to Cletus for info, but Cletus runs away after thinking she is trying to put his house in a magazine. Marge helps Cletus collect packets of ketchup for the winter and then tells her an old person would know. After getting to the Springfield Retirement Castle for Grampa, she tries to get info off him, but he is disappointed that his pills have been taken off him. After getting the pills from another chase sedan and waking him up, Grampa tells Marge a sepiatone story of a crop circle "shaped like a cosmic thing with a fancy radio antennae coming off of it". Marge recognizes this as being similar to the new Buzz Cola and thinks it will snap Bart out of his craziness. After Bart, now smarter again, says it is being made on a spaceship he was kidnapped on, Marge destroys cola cans all over the place and then tells Apu to stop selling the cola. Marge proceeds to destroy the vans selling the cola, but is briefly chased by Chief Wiggum, who is angered by her actions; the cola is the only thing that gives him the courage the hang up his shirt in the station locker room. She then gets home safely to her family.
Apu decides to find the origins of the cola after being forced by Marge to stop selling the cola. After finding a cola shipment headed for the mafia hideout and being told by Louie to stay out of their business as they have no connection with the cola, Apu needs to pick up his octuplets at the hospital, but needs to bump the diapers out of a Shelbyville car to get the last diapers before they go to the toilet all over the hospital waiting room. Apu then decides to follow Chief Wiggum to find a criminal. Apu gets the info from Snake Jailbird after doing his trash cleaning and destroying an armored truck, where Snake says that the Museum has the license for the Buzz Cola. Apu gets there in Bart's Ferrini and gets the key from the curator. There, they find the cola comes out of a meteor and has the power to revive fossils (which it does to a dinosaur fossil skeleton, but Bart plugs out the meteor's electricity, destroying the meteor and the fossil). Bart and Apu overhear a conversation by Kang and Kodos that they are using the cola to make the town go crazy and then make the population die out by setting up laser stands in the Squidport to get ratings for their show, Foolish Earthlings.
The cola becomes hugely successful in Springfield as no one knows the truth yet, but Bart does. Bart tries to make Krusty believe him and disallow the laser selling, but he does not believe him. Bart goes to Professor Frink, who says his Plutonium CB radio has lately given him conversations about the alien's plans. After Bart destroys a van load of laser boxes, he finds a laser gun in the Duff Brewery to use as proof. Bart's laser is stolen by Skinner because Bart violated the anti-lasers policy but he gets it back. Bart shows it as proof to Krusty, but Krusty already setted up the laser stands anyway. After destroying the lasers stand and meeting Homer, they get to the brewery. They turn up too late, as Kang and Kodos have already put the cola in the water, which will make the dead invade Springfield.
During Halloween, Homer sets off to get supplies to make sure the zombies don't invade. Comic Book Guy tells Homer at the school playground that the aliens are using a sports car for an unused reason. After Homer discovers the car leads to the power plant, he meets Prof. Frink who tells Homer that the radioactive waste will destroy the alien's ship. Frink sacrifices his car (and possibly himself) to destroy the ship, but it doesn't work out. Homer visits Burn's office to get more radioactive waste. Homer tries this with his own car, but it still doesn't work. Homer then uses Snake's car, which he thinks that one more barrel will destroy the car. Homer gets a ride on his father's WWII Jeep which has been extensively modified. This time it works, the UFO is destroyed and crashes into the playground, killing Kang and Kodos in the process. The next morning, Homer is hailed a hero and is wanted by several Rigellian fans outside. Kang with his sister (in heaven) are happy they don't have to watch the game's credits, but they do anyway, causing Kang to scream, ending the game.
A modding community was established in 2013 by "Donut Team" Studios. Since then, The Simpsons: Hit & Run has gathered a cult following of devoted fans of the game and modders. "Donut Mod 3.0" is so far the largest mod ever made for The Simpsons: Hit & Run and the newest upcoming "Donut Mod 4" version is the most anticipated version and mod by far.
- The game is referred to as "srr2" in several places. This is
believed to be short for "Simpsons: Road Rage 2", another game created by the game's developer Radical Entertainment.
- Several sound clips when driving are reused from "The Simpsons: Road Rage".
- The game has an individual wiki of its own.
- Maggie is the only non-playable immediate Simpson family member.
- Apu is the only non-Simpsons family core character to be playable in this game.
- When they enter Kwik-E-mart, the kaleidoscope music from Blue's Clues 2x16 "What Did Blue See?" and 3x21 "Inventions" is heard.
- In Level 7, when trying to force Snake into driving him to the
spaceship to blow it up, Homer blackmails him by threatening to "Flip [Snake] the bird!" Ironically, Homer would in fact do a double flipping the bird in The Simpsons Movie against a congregated mob.
- During night missions you can smash your headlights and the light still shines out.
- Homer and Bart are the only characters that are playable more then once.
- If the console calendar is set to a certain date such as
October 31 for Halloween or December 25 for Christmas, the main menu will be specially themed for that date.
- In Level 4 Mission 3 "Ketchup Round up" every time you repeat the mission the sign in front of the school changes.
- Bart's first level is October 26th, according to the newspaper. In his
first mission, Milhouse warns him that Principal Skinner is looking for everyone who skipped school that day. The game is (presumably) set in 2003. October 26th, 2003 was a Sunday.