F-Zero

a game by Nintendo
Genre: Racing
Platforms: GameCube, SNESSNES
Editor Rating: 7/10, based on 11 reviews
User Rating: 8.0/10 - 1 vote
Rate this game:
See also: Racing Games, F-Zero Games
F-Zero
F-Zero
F-Zero
F-Zero

F-Zero is a series of popular racing video games created by Nintendo EAD with multiple intallments developed by other companies. The first game was released in 1990 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). The series is well-known for high-speed racing, unique characters and settings, hard gameplay, great and original music and pushing the limits of technology to make of F-Zero one of the fasters racing games ever. As later stated, the game was inspired by Daytona USA and the Wipeout series.

The first game released used Nintendo’s Mode 7 Scrolling, which could simulate 3D environments when combined with scaling and positioning of the layer on a scanline-by-scanline basis. These techniques were revolutionary in 1990 and this propelled the game as being of the most innovative of the year. Back then console games were restricted to static/flat backgrounds and 2D objects, so 3D was indeed something new.

One year later the game was released for the Super Farmicom’s expansion, Satellaview. It was followed up by BS F-Zero Grand Prix 2, which featured new courses. Though Zero Racers (G-Zero) was planned as well for Virtual Boy, it was cancelled before the release.

The series made the transition to 3D with F-Zero X on the Nintendo 64, after seven years of releasing games. There were 26 new vehicles, including even some from the original F-Zero. The Grand Prix mode was still available, while a “death race” mode was introduced as well. Unfortunately because of Nintendo 64’s hardware limitations the game ran at 60 frames per second with 30 cars on screen at the same time.

All the F-Zero games requires the player to beat the opponents to the finish line, but after avoiding different kinds of obstacles (land mines and slip zones). The game requires a memorization of the tracks and quick reflexes, because it’s a very fast-paced series. Whenever a lap was completed in F-Zero and F-Zero – Maximum Velocity, the player got a speed boost. After the release of F-Zero X, player may execute speed boosts if they have finished a lap, but this time it was in exchange of losing energy, so the player had to recharge with the strips around the courses to refill the energy bar, otherwise he would have exploded. Drivers were also allowed to attack each other with their cars’ bodies.

The F-Zero games were popular releases and scored good feedbacks on the internet. F-Zero GX is still rated as the best high-speed racer game ever made by an editor from Pro-G. Shigeru Miyamoto, a well-known Japanese video game producer and designer said the expectations from the games were high, but the games failed to deliver unfortunately, stating Nintendo was disappointed with the collaborations with outside development teams.

Download F-Zero

GameCube Download

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

SNES Download

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • Pentium II (or equivalent) 266MHz (500MHz recommended), RAM: 64MB (128MB recommended), DirectX v8.0a or later must be installed

Game Reviews

Andre Komatsubara is sweating. It cant be the weather on this brisk winter morning thats got japans No. 1 F-Zero player (he won a Nintendo-sponsored tournament years ago) all hot-n-bothered. And its certainly not from exerting himself been shuffling through a line for the last hour. To borrow an old slogan, its gotta be the game. Andre has just finished his first play of the new F-Zero, the Sega-developed GameCube and arcade update to the famous hover-racing series. Having tried the same 50-percent-done version of F-Zero ourselves, we can understand why hes all shook up; this game is intense.

F-Zero has always been about speed, but this latest version makes previous incarnations feel like a trip to pick up the kids from soccer practice. Colorful buildings and bright neon signs blur as you streak through the wild, futuristic cityscapes and thats before you hit any of the strategically placed turbo pads or your boost button. Then, things get even faster.

The track designs only add to the chaos. Sometimes, courses split in two, with both roads twisting around until one is suspended, upside down, above the other. Another unique level is actually one long, twisting cylinder' you ride along the outside at any point on its 360 degrees. And the jumps? Once, we hit a ramp at such an insane speed, we clocked a 10-second hang time before landing. Yeah, youd be sweating too.

Oh, and theres always the chance your ship might explode, since its energy meter goes down each time you use a boost, hit the side of the track, or run into another racer (as the one to three other splitscreen players and up to 30 computer-controlled opponents are well aware). If you dont refuel by driving over special sections of the course, you'll lose precious seconds docking with a repair ship. Many questions still remain about F-Zero: How many courses will be offered? What new characters are planned? And when exactly will the game be released in America? Andre certainly doesnt know, but as he wipes his brow and moves to the back of the hour-long line for five more minutes of F-Zero, he does offer some advice: When you play, don't wear a lot of clothes.

Captain Falcon and the F-Zero racers are back, heading to both the arcade (via Nintendo, Sega and Namco's jointly developed Tri-Force arcade board) and the GameCube. The twist is that Nintendo is collaborating with Sega's internal dev team (and Super Monkey Ball maestros), Amusement Vision, on the new F-Zero game. According to AV President Toshihiro Nagoshi, redesigns are in the works for both characters and ships, bringing the futuristic-racer series up to speed, visually, with games like Wipeout. When asked if guests of a simian nature might make an appearance, Nagoshi said with a smile, "No comment."

Why the pit stop?

Nintendo and developer Amusement Vision (a division of Sega) say the extra time will be spent tweaking the controls and adding new ships and tracks to this fast-as-lightning futuristic hover racer.

Prognosis: Gentlemen, start your engines

A playable version of F-Zero on display in Japan early this year looked surprisingly complete, despite claims it was only 40 percent done. The basic game was already in place, including whole tracks and plenty of different characters. Given that fact, as well as Nintendo's recent reputation for sticking to (or close to) its promised release dates, we believe F-Zero will be racing into stores come August. Besides, the Cube's upcoming release calendar is starting to look pretty bare, so Nintendo will need all the big guns it can muster.

Now that the S-NES is finally out, the system needs games that show off it's capabilities, and F-Zero does exactly that. The theme is that you have to pilot your futuristic hovercraft through seven different tracks. But. you have to end up at least third in each race in order to proceed. The main challenge is getting to the finish line alive. Many obstacles will get in you way such as magnetic bars, land mines, and other racers with attitudes that would give their blood to be number one. Should you touch these, your power will decrease lower and lower until you blow up. but there is a section on the track that will restore some of your power via a large airborne supply vehicle. Also dotted around the track is some rough terrain that will slow you down. But just avoid it. Easily one of the best racing games ever!

These formula racers of the future blow the Super Famicom wide open with great scaling in all opposing vehicals and off-track surroundings! The realism afforded by this racer is multiplied by the rotation functions which tilt the track as you hang hair-pins and give you first-person spin-outs!

  • Machine: SNES;
  • Manufacturer: Nintendo of America;

Buyer's Guide: Smooth Mode 7 track rotation and intense racing action make F-Zero - the first SNES racing title - the best, barely edging out Super Mario Kart.

Driver's Ed: Jump out in front at the starting line and quickly cut off a rival car. When the other car bumps into you, it gives you a burst of speed.

Driving games have just entered a whole new dimension. F-Zero is the first driving game available for the Super NES and so far it is the most incredible driving game for any home system. The wizards at Nintendo have cooked up the most realistic driving contest ever. The use of Mode 7 is clearly what makes F-Zero the best. Each hovercraft has its own handling characteristics and acceleration curve. Prepare to compete on seven futuristic courses for some really intense high speed action. Race against the clock and try to beat your best time or go against the competition. Totally addictive and totally awesome driving action.

F-Zero features high-tech hovercraft racing action that takes place on seven tracks, each with different configurations and different locales (from the seaside to the desert). Sci-fi graphics, complete with magnetic bars and explosive mines, lend a dizzyingly real perspective to the racing. Toss in incredible 360 degree rotation sequences and you'll be positively queasy.

Select your own car (each has slightly different power and speed) and one of three difficulty levels. Then take a few practice spins or go straight to the Grand Prix Mode. In the Grand Prix you compete against other hovercraft in multiple lap races. To stay in the running for the Grand Prix Championship and advance to the next track you must place at least third overall in each race.

Ramps send you soaring, but rough areas of the track and richocheting off the side-bumpers slows you down. Each track also features a power-up zone that links you to a flying supply vehicle.

ProTip: Save your Nitro Cans until the end of the last lap and then use them at the last moment to rocket past your opponents.

F-Zero shows what the SNES can really do, with futuristic racing action and head-spinning 3-D graphics. Racers, start your hovercrafts!

Call this "Rad Racer '91" -- and then forget the comparison. This outtasight futuristic hovercraft race features four different vehicles, three skill levels, and a multitude of tracks to choose from. You've got to win each race to continue to the next. This game has some great background scrolling, and the explosions when a car crashes are spectacular.

F-Zero was developed and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It is a futuristic racing video game. This is the inaugural game of the F-Zero series of video games and was first released in Japan on November 21, 1990 and later in North America on August 13, 1991 and in Europe on June 4, 1992 as one of the two debut titles for the Super NES, but in the U.S. this launch title was accompanied by more games.

F-Zero is considered to be the game that set a standard for the racing genre. In late 2006, F-Zero became available for the Virtual Console service on the Wii.

Snapshots and Media

SNES/Super Nintendo/Super Famicom Screenshots

GameCube Screenshots

Discuss it on forum

2 comments total – View all
  • Avatar

    Andy said on Forum:

    This is a great arcade style racer, You'll find alot of fun can be had on a two player game and i would say it is just as fun as Mario cart...