The F-Zero universe (F-ZERO, F-Zero) refers to the Smash Bros. 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.
As of the Japan-only release of F-Zero Climax in 2004, the series has been on hiatus and has now been largely dormant for 14 years.
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 Super Smash Bros.
F-Zero is one of the "bonus franchises" in the original Super Smash Bros., for it contributes one unlockable character and absolutely nothing else - no stages and no items based on F-Zero repose in the game. Before being unlocked, Captain Falcon makes his appearance in Samus' stage (both Samus and Captain Falcon are known to be bounty hunters, in addition to both having originated from science fiction franchises).
- 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. As a fighter, Falcon is noticeably swift and powerful which puts him high on the tier list
- 23: The victory fanfare of Captain Falcon is a techno rock remix of the end-of-race track heard in F-Zero X.
In Super Smash Bros. Melee
F-Zero is a franchise whose representation in the Smash series is quite expanded upon in Super Smash Bros. Melee, with one character, two new stages and many new trophies, and all 30 F-Zero Racers appear together in those stages and trophies as well.
- Captain Falcon: Captain Falcon is still the only playable F-Zero character in the game, but with a new Raptor Boost dash-uppercut attack as his new B-Forward move. He remains a high-tier character for his fighting specifications. Falcon's evil DNA clone rival in the games, Blood Falcon, is playable as an alternative costume in the game.
Melee is the first game to introduce stages for the F-Zero series.
- F-Zero Grand Prix: Mute City: Taking place on the first racetrack of F-Zero X, this stage is unique in that it is a platform that routinely travels along the track, then stops and changes shape for a moment as players must both battle and stay out of the way of racing F-Zero machines that appear from the background, lest the characters get damaged. In many tournaments, it is available in Singles battles and banned in Doubles battles.
- F-Zero Grand Prix: Big Blue: Taking place on a racetrack on a planet named Big Blue, this stage takes place on the F-Zero racing machines themselves as they zoom along at consistent speeds as disconnected platforms. Some items and Pokémon will fly off towards the left if sent out, due to the fact that they are floating in place, but the stage is moving.
- 17: Mute City: A remix of the rock music heard on the first track in F-Zero X for N64, Mute City. It is heard in F-Zero Grand Prix: Mute City.
- 18: Big Blue: A similar remix of the rock music heard on tracks in F-Zero X that take place on the planet Big Blue. It is heard in F-Zero Grand Prix: Big Blue as the primary song.
- 46: Capt. Falcon's Victory: The victory fanfare of Captain Falcon is a rock remix of the end-of-race track heard in F-Zero X.
Full Trophy List
- Captain Falcon's three game trophies
- Dr. Stewart
- Falcon Flyer
- F-Zero Racers
- Jody Summer
- Mute City
- Samurai Goroh
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl
A fair amount of content from the F-Zero universe appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
- Captain Falcon: Like Melee, Captain Falcon is still the only playable F-Zero character in the game. He resembles his Melee design, but now has the cape from his GX appearance. He has the same moves as in Melee, along with his final smash, Blue Falcon. When he uses this, he and the opponent(s) he is facing are taken onto an unknown race track where the Blue Falcon comes, Captain Falcon hops in it, and he drives it straight into his opponent. The opponent is then sent flying. When he uses Falcon Punch, the player can tilt the control stick the opposite direction he is facing, and he will suddenly turn around, and hit the opponent that was behind him. However, his tier position has went from 7th (high tier) to 34th (fourth to last). This is mostly due to the Brawl Physics and the major loss of his speed and power.
On the final character select screen (after all characters are unlocked), Captain Falcon joins the Star Fox characters in the sixth column. All these characters are known to fly spaceships (hence having a choice of fighting only up to two of these in Classic Mode) as well as having names based on animals.
- Samurai Goroh: Captain Falcon's hefty rival slashes at opponents with huge sword swipes.
- Port Town Aero Dive: A stage based on the race course of the same name from F-Zero GX. Similar to the Mute City stage from Melee, this battlefield takes place atop a moving platform that stops off at different points of the racetrack and players must dodge the F-Zero machines that make their way across the track. These machines are both significantly more powerful and far bigger than they were in Mute City, and are often more difficult to see coming.
- Big Blue: A returning stage from Melee. A significant change is that floating items like Pokémon don't disappear instantly. However, bumpers can't be placed in midair. Another change is that the Falcon Flyer has been scaled down.
- Mute City - A slightly more subdued remix of the series standby track theme that calls parallels to its remix in F-Zero GX. It is used on the Port Town Aero Drive stage.
- Fire Field - The music that plays on the Fire Field tracks in the original F-Zero. It is used on the Port Town Aero Dive stage. This song is also played during Captain Falcon's Classic Mode credits.
- White Land - This was the song that played on all of the White Land tracks. It is used on the Port Town Aero Drive stage.
- Car Select - Another track taken directly from the source, this one is the menu song from F-Zero X. It is used on the Port Town Aero Drive stage.
- Dream Chaser - The song that played on all of the Silence tracks in F-Zero X, this track is also taken directly from F-Zero X. It is used on the Port Town Aero Drive stage.
- Devil's Call in Your Heart - The music track that played on all of the Devil's Forest racetracks, it is taken directly from F-Zero X. It is used on the Port Town Aero Drive stage.
- Climb Up! And Get the Last Chance! - Yet another track taken directly from F-Zero X. It is used on the Port Town Aero Drive stage.
- Brain Cleaner - The song that played in F-Zero GX while viewing race replays, it is taken directly from said game. It is used on the Port Town Aero Drive stage.
- Shotgun Kiss - This song played on all of the Casino Palace tracks in F-Zero GX and happens to be taken directly from it. It is used on the Port Town Aero Drive stage.
- Planet Colors - This was the track that played in F-Zero GX on all of the Green Plant racetracks. It is used on the Port Town Aero Drive stage.
- Big Blue (Melee) - Taken directly from Melee. It is used on the Big Blue stage.
- Mute City (Melee) - Taken directly from Melee. It is used on the Big Blue stage.
- Captain Falcon's victory theme - The 1st Place winning theme from F-Zero GX.
- Captain Falcon
- Blue Falcon
- Samurai Goroh
- Dr. Stewart
- Jody Summer
- Mr. EAD
- Blood Falcon
- The Skull
- Falcon Flyer
- Black Shadow
- Black Shadow
- Blood Falcon
- Blue Falcon
- Captain Falcon
- Captain Falcon - GX
- Dr. Stewart
- Fire Stingray
- Golden Fox
- Gomar & Shioh
- Mr. EAD
- Red Gazelle
- Samurai Goroh
- White Cat
- Wild Goose
F-Zero - The first F-Zero game for the SNES. Take on your favorite character and vehicle and race to the finish.
There has been little to no F-Zero releases since Brawl barring cameos in Mario Kart Wii and Nintendo Land. Nevertheless, the series continues to be represented, arguably more closely linked to Smash Bros. than its own releases.
- Captain Falcon: Captain Falcon returns as a starter character in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. He retains his Brawl design but has been visually redesigned with extra details and a brighter color scheme.
- Samurai Goroh: Samurai Goroh returns as the Assist Trophy. Similar to Super Smash Bros. Brawl, he swiftly attacks the opponents with his sword while running and jumping.
- Mute City: A brand new unlockable stage that is based on Mute City from the original F-Zero on the SNES. Similar to Big Blue from Melee, it is possible to stand on the vehicles as they race along the track. The race goes towards the screen, rather than horizontally to the right. It is one of the few pixelated stages.
Wii U Version
- Port Town Aero Dive: This stage returns from Brawl with new textures for the HD console.
- Mute City: Taken directly from Melee. This plays on Port Town Aero Dive.
- Mute City Ver. 2: Taken directly from Brawl. This plays on Port Town Aero Dive.
- Mute City Ver. 3: This track is a remastered version of the original SNES Mute City music. It is used on the new Mute City stage in the 3DS version and on Port Town Aero Dive in the Wii U version.
- Mute City (Original): This track uses the original SNES Mute City music. It is used on the same stage of the same name in the 3DS version and on Port Town Aero Dive in the Wii U version.
- Big Blue: Taken directly from Melee. This plays on Port Town Aero Dive.
- Red Canyon: The original music played in the SNES F-Zero during races on the Red Canyon course.
- White Land: Taken directly from Brawl. This plays on Port Town Aero Dive.
- Fire Field: Taken directly from Brawl. This plays on Port Town Aero Dive.
- Car Select: Taken directly from Brawl. This plays on Port Town Aero Dive.
- Dream Chaser: Taken directly from Brawl. This plays on Port Town Aero Dive.
- Devil's Call in Your Heart: Taken directly from Brawl. This plays on Port Town Aero Dive.
- Climb Up! And Get the Last Chance: Taken directly from Brawl. This plays on Port Town Aero Dive.
- Brain Cleaner: Taken directly from Brawl. This plays on Port Town Aero Dive.
- Shotgun Kiss: Taken directly from Brawl. This plays on Port Town Aero Dive.
- Planet Colors: Taken directly from Brawl. This plays on Port Town Aero Dive.
- Victory! F-Zero Series: Taken directly from Brawl, this victory theme is an electric guitar-based cover of the short track that would play when a character finished a race in F-Zero GX.
Wii U Version
- F-Zero (SNES)
Games with elements from or in the Super Smash Bros. series
The four main characters in F-Zero feature in the Super Smash Bros. series:
- Captain Falcon is a playable character in Super Smash Bros., Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.
- Dr. Stewart appears as a Trophy in both Melee and Brawl.
- Pico appears as a Trophy in Brawl.
- Samurai Goroh appears both as an Assist Trophy and as a normal Trophy in Brawl and 3DS/Wii U
The game is also available as one of the playable Masterpieces in Brawl.
Also, the stages Port Town Aero Dive, and the returning stage from Melee, Big Blue, are both playable in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
- Captain Falcon, the main protagonist of the F-Zero franchise, appears as one of the four hidden characters in Super Smash Bros.
- Captain Falcon returns in Super Smash Bros. Melee as a default character. Two racetracks from F-Zero are featured in Melee as stages: Mute City and Big Blue. Both feature the F-Zero cars racing about.
- Captain Falcon's rival, Samurai Goroh, is an Assist Trophy in Brawl and 3DS/Wii U. Captain Falcon returns to the Smash scene for the third time. He is a secret character, as he was in the first Smash Bros.
- Many vehicles and characters come with the GX design.
- Samurai Goroh, an antagonist of the game, is an Assist Trophy in Brawl and 3DS/Wii U and has his GX design.
- Captain Falcon's victory fanfare is the Race End in GX.
- R.O.B., who appears as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, also appears on the "Port Town: Aero Dive" course in this game (and is still there on the Brawl stage).
- The F-Zero and Yoshi series are the only two series to have appeared in all five Smash Bros. games with only one playable character.
- F-Zero is the only universe introduced in Super Smash Bros.. represented by a playable character to not have any of them wield a projectile.
- F-Zero and EarthBound are the only two series introduced in Super Smash Bros. to not have a stage in the original game.
- F-Zero, Kirby, The Legend of Zelda and itself are the only series to have the same series symbol throughout the entire series.