Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, released as Tony Hawk's Skateboarding in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and parts of Europe, is a skateboarding video game developed by Neversoft and published by Activision. It was released for the PlayStation on September 29, 1999 and was later ported to the Nintendo 64, Game Boy Color, Dreamcast, and N-Gage.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater takes place in a 3-D environment permeated by an ambience of punk rock and ska music. The player takes control of a variety of famous skateboarders and must complete missions by performing skateboarding tricks and collecting objects. The game offers several modes of gameplay, including a career mode in which the player must complete objectives and evolve their character's attributes, a free-play mode in which the player may skate without any given objective, and a multi-player mode that features a number of competitive games.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater was met with critical acclaim for all versions but the Game Boy Color version, which had a more mixed reception. The game resulted in a successful franchise, receiving eight annualized sequels developed by Neversoft from 2000's Pro Skater 2 to 2007's Proving Ground.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater puts the player in control of a famous skateboarder and takes place in a third-person view with a fixed camera. The goal of the game is to perform tricks and combinations thereof in an effort to increase the player's score. Movement can be altered using the d-pad, and ollies, grabs, flips and slides are each assigned to individual buttons. Each skateboarder has eight grabs, eight slides and eight flips. The number of points earned from a successful trick sequence is dependent on the amount of time spent in the air, the degree of rotation, and the number and variety of tricks performed; the more a single trick is performed in a sequence, the fewer points it will earn. When the player succeeds in performing tricks, a special gauge increases. When this gauge is full and flashing, the player is capable of performing a special trick that is worth many more points than ordinary tricks. If the player bails (falls off their skateboard), any points that may have been earned from the current combo are lost, and the special gauge is emptied.
The player, as Tony Hawk, has gathered all the letters of the word "SKATE". The screenshot is taken from the Dreamcast version. In the game's "Career Mode", the player must complete five objectives (represented by videotapes) in each level within a period of two minutes. The player is not obligated to complete all the objectives within a single run; any completed objective is committed to the game's memory, which allows other objectives to be completed within multiple playthroughs of a level. Two common objectives in each level are achieved by accumulating two defined scores, while one other common objective is to collect letters of the word "SKATE", and another common objective is to destroy five of a certain object within each level. The fifth objective is more varied, but is often oriented around a specific element found in each level. Completing objectives unlocks additional levels and equipment for use. Three of the mode's levels take place in a competition in which the player performs for judges and accumulates the highest score within three one-minute rounds. The player receives a bronze, silver or gold medal depending on the final score they are given. Other single-player modes include the "Single Session", in which the player can freely accumulate a high score within two minutes using any previously-obtained levels and characters, and the "Free Skate", in which there is no time limit imposed.
The multiplayer mode is played by two players in a split screen view and offers three games: "Graffiti", "Trick Attack", and "HORSE". In "Graffiti", players must accumulate the highest score by changing level elements into their own color via the use of tricks. If a player performs a higher-scoring trick on an element that has already been marked, the element will change to that player's color. "Trick Attack" is a mode in which players must accumulate the highest score by chaining tricks together. "HORSE" is a game that is played intermittently between two players, who must compete in rounds lasting either eight seconds or until a trick has been made. The player with the lower score on any given turn receives a letter in the word "HORSE" or whatever word the players had generated prior to the game's start. The first player to accumulate the entire word loses.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater was the third highest-selling PlayStation title of November 1999 in the United States. From its release date to late-December 1999, the game shipped in excess of 350,000 units and was available in over 10,000 retailers nationwide. The PlayStation version of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater received a "Platinum" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA), indicating sales of at least 300,000 copies in the United Kingdom. The PlayStation versions of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater and its successor were respectively the third and second highest-selling console games of 2000. The Nintendo 64 version was the sixth highest-selling Nintendo 64 title in the United States during the week of November 19–26, 2000