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F-Zero

Following Star Fox 2, Nintendo has published the second developer interview conducted for the Super NES Classic Edition’s launch. Director Kazunobu Shimizu, main programmer Yasunari Nishida, and designer Takaya Imamura were brought in to go in-depth about the making of F-Zero.

There’s really a whole lot of interesting stuff on this interview. Nintendo said that F-Zero was one of its first games that was created in-house, talked about the first demo having Hot Wheels-esque toy cars, how Shigeru Miyamoto’s suggestion of removing an invisible wall really opened things up during development, Captain Falcon originally being designed as the mascot for the SNES, and more.

You can read Nintendo’s full interview all about F-Zero below.

Nintendo delved into the origins of F-Zero in a new interview shared this week to promote the Super NES Classic Edition. It’s only in Japanese at present, though an official English translation from Nintendo is coming soon. For now, Siliconera did translate one interesting excerpt about how F-Zero came to be.

Director Isshin Shimizu, designer Takaya Imamura, and main programmer Yasunari Nishida were involved in the discussion. Shimizu spoke about how Nintendo of America criticized the Japan-exclusive Famicom Grand Prix, which fired him up. That, along with Batman, ultimately inspired the creation of F-Zero.

Here’s what Shimizu, Imamura, and Nishida said:

The next entry in Nintendo’s series of Super NES Classic Edition interviews is dedicated to F-Zero. Developers were brought in to discuss the original game.

Although we’ll probably need to wait until next week or so for Nintendo’s English translation, the current Japanese version already has some goodies. It provides a look at some brand new art and design docs created many years ago. View the various images below.

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North America is getting another Wii U Virtual Console game this week. Tomorrow, Nintendo will release F-Zero X.

An official listing contains the following description:

“Choose from 30 different hover-car racers, including updated versions of the Blue Falcon and other vehicles from the original F-Zero, and get ready to play one of the fastest racers ever! Race to the finish line on tracks that twist and turn through the air. However, you will have to avoid the other 29 cars on the track or else face the consequences! If you’re in a competitive mood, try to win a Grand Prix Cup, get the fastest lap time in a Time Trial, or destroy the competition in a Death Race. You can also challenge three friends in the Versus mode. With five separate play modes, hidden vehicles and courses, and an excellent sound track, F-Zero X still represents one of the best racing titles to date!”

F-Zero X will set you back $9.99.

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We have trailers for the three SNES games that came out on the New 3DS Virtual Console yesterday: Super Mario World, F-Zero, Pilotwings. We’ve rounded them up in the video below.

Yesterday, some news emerged about a potential F-Zero game for Wii U. Nintendo of Europe asked Criterion to work on a pitch for a new entry in the franchise for Nintendo’s console back in 2011, but the studio declined since it was busy bringing Need for Speed: Most Wanted to a number of platforms.

Alex Ward, who was formerly with Criterion, commented on the situation via Twitter yesterday. It seems that talks weren’t far along, which would make sense based on yesterday’s initial report). Ward also indicated that he personally isn’t interested in working on someone else’s IP.


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Nintendo Life reports that back in 2011, Nintendo reached out to Criterion, creators of the Burnout franchise, to work on a pitch for an F-Zero that would be shown at E3 that year, with the game itself launching in 2012 alongside the Wii U. Unfortunately, Criterion weren’t able to commit to it as they were too busy with their own series.

While this isn’t official information, Liam Robertson, known for his work with Unseen64, usually is pretty accurate in his reports.

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It’s safe to say that Mario Kart 8 takes more than a few cues from F-Zero. Nintendo’s other racing franchise that started out on the SNES gets comparatively little love nowadays, but several features from this series have worked their way into the latest Mario Kart. The new racetracks are the most obvious influence, with gravity-defying courses that are straight out of F-Zero (quite literally in the case of some of the DLC), but the new 200cc class brings Mario Kart’s speed just a little bit closer to its older brother. Heck, you can even play as a Mii approximation of Captain Falcon if you can track down his elusive amiibo. But for all the inspiration that Mario Kart 8 takes from F-Zero, the two series remain distinctly different. Some people are claiming that Mario Kart is now an adequate replacement for the currently MIA F-Zero (and by some people I mean just one guy on Neogaf), but taking a look at the design philosophy behind both titles shows that they’re completely at odds with each other.

Nintendo doesn’t appear to be working on a new F-Zero game at present, though Shigeru Miyamoto hasn’t ruled out a return to the franchise in the future.

During an interview with Smosh, Miyamoto mentioned that a new entry could be possible “if we create a new type of controller interface and we find that controller interface is particularly suited for F-Zero”.

Here are Miyamoto’s words in full:

We see a lot of other designers who are kind of making more traditional racing-style games, so we try to focus on something that feels a little bit more gamey. So maybe if we create a new type of controller interface and we find that controller interface is particularly suited for F-Zero, then maybe we’ll do something again with it in the future.

Could Castlevania and F-Zero be joining the Wii U’s Virtual Console lineup? That’s what these two recent classifications by the Australian government seem to suggest. Neither game was originally released down under, meaning there’s no existing classification to use – unlike Advance Wars, Golden Sun and the other Game Boy Advance titles heading to the service. Given that the publisher is listed as Nintendo in both cases, it looks like Wii U owners will soon be able to play one of the best entries in the Castlevania series, along with that F-Zero game based on the F-Zero anime series based on the F-Zero games. That said, I’d take any hints of future Virtual Console releases with a grain of salt – I’m still waiting on that localisation of The Mysterious Murasame Castle, after all.

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