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F-Zero is a series of games created by Nintendo EAD with Shigeru Miyamoto serving as producer. The games take place mainly on 26th century Earth and consist of high-speed races. At times, the racers exceed 2000 km/h. The series is known for its unique characters and settings, challenging gameplay, excellent music, and pushing technology to its limits.
F-Zero, the first game in the series, was released in 1990. Its fast racing with the new Mode 7 scrolling technique helped to make the game popular. The original game had a cast of four characters, introducing the series' main character Captain Falcon along with recurring characters Samurai Goroh, Dr. Stewart, and Pico.
After two games for the Satellaview and a canceled Virtual Boy game that was known as Zero Racers, F-Zero returned to America with F-Zero X for the Nintendo 64. This expanded greatly on the franchise by adding new modes and twenty-six new racers. Only the game's graphics suffered due to most of the processing power being focused on other aspects of the game which allowed for thirty racers per race. An expansion kit was later released for the 64DD. The expansion kit contained many things, but the main attraction was the course editor.
The next game, F-Zero: Maximum Velocity for the Game Boy Advance, was the first handheld F-Zero but was largely overlooked. It was the first game created by NDCUBE and featured gameplay that harkened back to the original Super Nintendo game.
The first entry for the Gamecube was F-Zero GX, which followed the popularity of Captain Falcon from his appearances in the first two Super Smash Bros. games. F-Zero GX was produced by SEGA Amusement Vision and was noted as the first F-Zero game to include a story mode. F-Zero AX was released simultaneously and is almost the same as the Gamecube game. The major difference is that F-Zero AX is an arcade game with some original characters and courses, although there were tedious methods of unlocking this content for GX.
The second F-Zero game for the Game Boy Advance was F-Zero: GP Legend. This was the second game to feature a story mode, but it followed the storyline of the F-Zero anime, so Rick Wheeler was prominently featured. This was followed by one last F-Zero entry on the Game Boy Advance, F-Zero Climax. This game was also based on the anime but marked the return of the course editor. Players were able to save their courses and trade them via link cable or using a password.
Future plans for F-Zero games are unknown. Miyamoto has stated that F-Zero would work better with the Wii's classic controller than the Wiimote.
An anime known as F-Zero GP Legend (in Japan as F-Zero: Falcon Densetsu or Legend of Falcon) aired in Japan from 2003 to 2004. This anime featured all of the game's racers (except for most of the new GX/AX characters) but in a re-interpreted version of the world which contained various original characters. The series was built around Rick Wheeler, a police officer from the modern day who was cryogenically frozen, and he wound up working with the Mobile Task Force which contains other F-Zero character such as Jody Summer, Dr. Stewart, Jack Levin and Dr. Clash. The primary enemy was Black Shadow's Dark Million organization.
Among the liberties taken with this series was establishing its own background for Captain Falcon, whose actual appearances on the show were few. He was revealed to be Jody Summer's brother Bart, whom had been presumed dead, and at the end of the anime he seemingly sacrificed himself to destroy Black Shadow, at which point Rick followed in his footsteps to become the new Captain Falcon. A dub of the anime was started by 4Kids Entertainment, but it was cancelled after only thirteen episodes.