Cropped logo from F-Zero GX and F-Zero AX
|Developer(s)||Nintendo EAD, Amusement Vision/Sega, Nd Cube, Suzak Inc.|
|Platform(s)||Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo 64, Nintendo 64DD, iQue Player, Game Boy Advance, e-Reader, Nintendo GameCube, Wii, Wii U|
|Platform of origin||Super Nintendo Entertainment System|
|Year of inception||1991|
|First installment||F-Zero (1991)|
|Latest installment||F-Zero Climax (2004)|
The F-Zero (エフゼロ, Efuzero) universe refers to the Super Smash Flash series' collection of characters, stages, and properties that hail from Nintendo's F-Zero series of futuristic racing games. The universe's primary representative is the playable character Captain Falcon, and has been on his own in this form since the franchise's debut in the original Smash Bros.
The original F-Zero was released on SNES in 1991, and it was a revolutionary title for its time because it was the first to employ an original graphical technique of the system called Mode-7 Scrolling, which was combined with scaling and positioning effects to simulate to a limited degree three-dimensional environments. In a time when most console games were restricted to static and flat backgrounds and 2-dimensional sprite objects, this was a breakthrough in presentation. It was the world's fastest and smoothest-running 3D-racing game at the time. The next game released internationally, F-Zero X, was released on N64 in 1998 and was critically lauded by critics and fans of the original alike for delivering a fast and furious racing experience that ran at 60 frames per second, thereby pushing the console to its maximum.
The next F-Zero released internationally was 2001's F-Zero: Maximum Velocity for Game Boy Advance, returning to its Mode-7 roots, and then 2003 saw the release of F-Zero GX for GameCube, both receiving generally high marks as well, and the latter being the first game to feature a story mode. In addition, in 1999 F-Zero series "main" racer Captain Falcon was featured in Super Smash Bros. as a playable character. He also appeared in Super Smash Bros. Melee along with many other properties from the first two F-Zero installments. The GameCube game had an arcade "counterpart" in F-Zero AX in American arcades in 2003, and F-Zero: GP Legend, based on an anime series of the same name, was released for Game Boy Advance in 2004. It is currently unconfirmed as to whether there will be F-Zero installments on the Wii or the DS.
In between all these international releases were many similar F-Zero projects released in Japan only. In 1996 and 1997 there were released installments 1 and 2 of a BS F-Zero Grand Prix subseries, and a spin-off titled Zero Racers was in development for Nintendo's Virtual Boy but was canceled before its would-be release date in 1996. After the Japanese release of F-Zero X, an expansion of the game for Nintendo 64DD aptly titled F-Zero X Expansion Kit was released in 2000, adding additional game content as well as a critically praised course editor feature. And a third GBA installment titled F-Zero Climax featured a course editor as well, where tracks could be traded with other copies of the game over Game Link Cable. In addition, a 51-episode anime series based on and named after F-Zero GP Legend fully aired in Japan between 2003 and 2004 as a separate continuity from the main games; it was localized to America but ran only fifteen episodes before its cancellation statewide.
Each game in the F-Zero series is essentially a futuristic racing game where giant multi-mile-long highways built above the cities and landscapes of various planets are the sites of the ultimate competitive sport of the future: The F-Zero Grand Prix. The racing machines of the many racers are anti-gravity craft that hover inches above the ground with the help of the G-Diffuser system, and at race time these machines zoom and warp across the tracks at mind-blowing speeds of up to a thousand miles per hour. Unlike games in the Mario Kart series which emphasize collecting and using power-ups to hinder opponents while supporting oneself, in F-Zero games the emphasis is on speed, cornering, and physically ramming other opponent's racing machines to lower their health meters. Machines are graded and proportionally balanced by their specifications of Body, Weight, Boost, and Grip. In the fictional F-Zero galaxy, the F-Zero championship is the highest claim to fame.
The F-Zero series does not appear to have a clearly defined or consistent chronology developed between all of its games, and as such may have depicted at least two separate timelines, not including the anime series. While the specifics of the full series chronology are complex and heavily debated, the general timeline states that in the 24th century, the premier racing event was called F-Max, and two centuries later in 2560, it became an especially high-speed and brutal competition called F-Zero. A colossal accident called the "Horrific Grand Finale" burnt over a dozen pilots to death and prompted the discontinuation of the race by the Federation. Some time later, however, it was revived as the F-Zero X championship with revised rules and regulations, and it has remained the galaxy's ultimate competitive sport since. The racing cast of the series currently numbers over forty, and each each has a unique backstory and motive for entering the F-Zero Grand Prix. Many of these characters are a diverse and eye-catching assortment of aliens, spandex-clad superheroes, supervillains, cyborgs, mutants, and the like, and their character designs are inspired by the artwork style of American comic books.
In the Super Smash Flash series
F-Zero is one of the "bonus franchises" in the original Super Smash Flash, for it contributes one character and absolutely nothing else - no stages and no items based on F-Zero repose in the game.
- Captain Falcon: The most effective "mascot" racer of the series, Captain Douglas Jay Falcon is a mysterious individual who is known as a renowned bounty hunter that is himself hunted as bounty. He has crossed paths with many rival bounty hunters like Samurai Goroh and supervillain enemies like Black Shadow in many a dark corner of the galaxy while traveling in his interstellar spacecraft, the Falcon Flyer. He races for fame and money in his well-balanced racing machine, the Blue Falcon, and when not racing or bounty hunting he resides in a secluded island chain off the coast of the city of Port Town, where his enemies can't get to him.
In Super Smash Flash 2
F-Zero's franchise, at the moment, hasn't shown many features, excluding Captain Falcon's confirmation as a playable character and a stage. More stages or items are unknown.
- Captain Falcon: Captain Falcon is still the only playable F-Zero character in the game. His sprites are custom made and based on his appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, with the addition of his scarf from F-Zero GP Legend. His moveset is directly taken from Brawl. His Final Smash is still the Blue Falcon, acting the same way as in Brawl. He was added in demo 0.8a as an unlockable character.
- Sand Ocean: The stage itself consists of Captain Falcon's "Falcon Flyer" on which characters may fight on. However, if one were to stand on the "moving" racetrack underneath the ship, They will be "swept" back by the track and it will result in an automatic KO. Other than that, the background also consists of a desert in a night sky and a seemingly long tunnel near the desert.