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Feature: Let's Take A Look At The Crazy Supporting Cast Of The F-Zero Universe

Posted by Luke Taylor

Checking out the rest of the grid

Everybody loves Captain Falcon, and it's not hard to see why — he's an interplanetary bounty hunter and racing champion with Judge Dredd's fashion sense and a punch so powerful people know it by name. There's very little not to love. However, if you can tear your eyes away from Falcon's radiant brilliance for a moment, you will see that the F-Zero universe is populated by some of the weirdest and wildest characters Nintendo has ever dreamed up. Here are just a few of them. I hope they become as dear to you as they are to us.

Gomar and Shioh

Super-bros from the ultimate bro planet, Gomar (the short one) and Shioh (the tall one) hail from a world where the inhabitants form a life partnership with someone the moment they emerge from their egg sac; a societal quirk presumably designed to eliminate loneliness and to ensure you've always got someone on-hand for a quick game of Twenty Questions. They do everything together, including piloting an F-Zero racer. It's never explained how this provides them with an advantage — unless Gomar is too short to reach the pedals, of course.

Billy

Billy is a monkey. There's no getting around it — he's definitely some species of ape, which must have made for an interesting time at the F-Zero Licensing Bureau; monkeys are not known for their willingness to form orderly queues. According to F-Zero lore, one of Billy's ancestors was the first monkey in space, a fact put forward as some kind of bizarre explanation as to why he's allowed to compete in a futuristic motorsports event. Still, he's evolved enough to wear underpants — even if they are made of metal — so who are we to judge his inclusion on the grid?

Dr. Clash

After one too many time-travelling adventures, Doc Brown ditches Marty and decides to live in the far future, changing his name to Dr. Clash and letting himself go a bit. Honestly, in this highly-advanced futurescape of cyborgs and hover-cars could you not find a lemon-yellow tracksuit that at least covered your protruding gut? We're sorry, it's just that when we look at Dr. Clash we see ourselves in twenty years. Actually, make that ten years.

The real reason we mention Dr. Clash is that he represents the admirable egalitarianism of the F-Zero universe. With a bit of dedication anyone can enter these races, be they ape, octopus or criminal mastermind who constantly pumps mind-altering drugs into their brain. Dr. Clash may be sixty-nine years old and have the body of a sixty-nine year old who likes cakes a bit too much, but once he'd constructed a mechanical backpack to help him pilot his ship he was living his dreams — and you have to admit, that's kind of beautiful.

The Skull

Once a man, now an unholy living skeleton, The Skull loved racing so much that he came back from beyond the grave to do more racing...and no-one seems to have an issue with this whatsoever. Even in a world this insane, surely necromancy must raise a lot of questions. Questions like, "does The Skull hang out at the bar with all the other pilots?" and "does his lack of flesh give him an unfair advantage when it comes to his racing weight?" The only question that The Skull's existence answers is whether or not the underworld has a decent motorsports scene. It apparently does not, and Hell's loss and clearly our gain.

Bio Rex

Bio Rex is a lizardman created by fiddling with the DNA found in a fossilised dinosaur egg. It's hard to get solid facts on some aspects of the F-Zero universe, but it appears that the scientists who created him did so for the express purpose of having him enter the F-Zero Grand Prix. A dinosaur race-car driver, huh? That seems like a plan with no flaws, right? Not everybody thinks so, however, and fellow F-Zero pilot Beastman — a misleading name given he's just a man wearing crocodile-shaped armour — has joined the competition for the sole reason of keeping an eye on Bio Rex, pledging to take the lizard down if he ever snaps and starts doing something untoward, like eating the crowd. In one of his post-race interviews, Beastman admits his goal is to make a helmet out of Bio Rex. Are we saying that the sport of Formula One would be vastly improved if Lewis Hamilton said he wanted to make a belt and matching bracelets out of Sebastian Vettel's bones? Yes, that is exactly what we're saying.

John Tanaka

As a simple mechanic in the Galactic Space Federation and an all-round decent guy, John Tanaka in notable amongst the other F-Zero pilots for his sheer boringness. As an example, when asked what he's going to do with the one billion space-credits he has received in prize money, he says he's going to put it all into savings. That's John Tanaka: sensible, calm, bland...and suspicious. There's no way someone so tedious could last alongside the killers, superheroes and bandits that make up his competition. He's up to something, we're sure of it, and when the long-awaited F-Zero sequel is released and John Tanaka is revealed to be an Intergalactic Lord of Darkness then we will be happy to say that we told you so.

Octoman

We could tell you all about Octoman's many strengths, about how his multiple tentacles help give him great control over his vehicle, about how his squishy body means he doesn't need much cockpit space, but we won't. Instead we'll tell you that if you complete F-Zero GX on Master difficulty with Octoman, you're treated to a video of him performing a bodybuilding routine. He flexes his tentacles. He's wearing a pair of tiny swimming trunks. It's beautiful.

Thank you, Nintendo, for giving us the wonderful world of F-Zero. We're all praying for another installment soon.

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User Comments (50)

Shiryu

#2

Shiryu said:

"BEER, BEER, SATISFACTION! BEER, BEER, SATISFACTION!"
Good ol' Bio Rex, cleared everything on N64's "F-Zero X" with that gnarly dino dude's machine.

Now in all shiryusness, Nintendo, wake up! We love you, we will buy your "Mario Kart 8" but every time I will go into antigrav mode, all I am thinking will be "A new F-Zero would look amazing on Wii U!".

xj220_afiles

#3

xj220_afiles said:

GX was just sooo perfect ! I really hope a new one will be unveiled. but my expectations are low unfortunatly. Still praying !

Giygas_95

#7

Giygas_95 said:

"So, I manipulated the DNA of this fossilized dinosaur egg, and I've been able to recombine the gene code and create a living dinosaur! So what am I gonna do next? Study its physiology? Show off my creation and become rich and famous? NO! I'll enter it in a race because dinosaurs obviously are the best racers!"

Seems legit. GX was so weird, but in a wonderful way.

Porky

#12

Porky said:

We need one of these characters to go alongside with Captain Falcon in the 3DS/WiiU Smash Brothers come on! So much to choose from.

Pianist88

#13

Pianist88 said:

LOL There is so much that can be done with the GX cast. Instead, time is spent on things like Baby Rosalina???

NintyMan

#14

NintyMan said:

I remember some of these characters. The F-Zero series does have a lot of weird ones, and I think this is just scratching the surface. Makes you wonder what these guys would look like in HD.

Genesaur

#18

Genesaur said:

Octomaaaaaaan! He absolutely had the best character theme in GX. Well, him and Bio Rex, anyway.

Zach

#20

Zach said:

Great article. I'd love some sort of racing rpg where we got to interact with these characters in depth.

Knuckles

#21

Knuckles said:

Considering @ant's F-Zero addiction, I was surprised to see he hadn't wrote this article. Perhaps he isn't as obessed over F-Zero as I thought?

Expa0

#23

Expa0 said:

@PvtOttobot
Haha, those Master Class videos are pretty hilarious. It's too bad that they're so hard to get ingame, it's bad enough that the game is really, REALLY hard, but you also can't use custom vehicles if you want the videos which means you might also need to use a really bad vehicles as well.

Babybahamut

#24

Babybahamut said:

It's a shame, F-Zero has a really kooky cast of characters (phew, say that 5 times fast) but Nintendo seem unwilling to really do much with them. The Falcon Densetsu anime was a step in the right direction, but apparently it was a bit naff. A saturday-morning kids cartoon kinda show with a different focus each week would give the cast time to shine in the kind of super-cheesy way they need.

Whopper744

#25

Whopper744 said:

It's pretty weird that this article comes out as soon as I picked X and GX up again for the first time in ages in the past week. I loved GX when it came out. I knew all the characters names and some of the numbers on their vehicles. Definitely some odd ones. The AX characters get crazy as well.

HaNks

#26

HaNks said:

a new f-zero with MK8 level visuals! *drools

you've used grabs from GX though...i think the artwork in X is far superior, as is the soundtrack.

linkzero65

#27

linkzero65 said:

when i saw that picture i was like :
OH MY GAWD F ZERO U CONFIRMED
when read the title:
...

Yosher

#28

Yosher said:

I kind of expected James McCloud to be on this list, too.
But yeah, please make a new F-Zero, Nintendo! I'd buy it day 1!

FritzFrapp

#29

FritzFrapp said:

When we got Star Fox 64 3D, I thought we might also get a remake of F-Zero X for 3DS with online. Alas, that would make too much sense.

Dark-Link73

#30

Dark-Link73 said:

It's a shame Miyamoto feels there isn't anything "new" to make with the series. Instead of using F-Zero elements in Mario Kart (anti-gravity), Nintendo should focus in bringing the next installment of F-Zero to U.

Shiryu

#31

Shiryu said:

By the way Luke, huge fan of your VGJunk blog for over two years now. You even posted some of my video game music remixes from time to time! Keep up the good work.

AtlanteanMan

#35

AtlanteanMan said:

The ending cinema for those symbiotic aliens Gomar and Shioh in F-Zero GX (which I accessed via Action Replay cheat code; that game was INSANELY difficult) made my jaw drop. They do everything...and I do mean EVERYTHING together, and the cutscene ends with them going into a bathroom stall TOGETHER and shutting the door behind them. I was amazed that Nintendo let something that risqué get by the censors (admittedly, not that too many folks would have gotten to see it anyway, but still...). Some of the ending character cutscenes (especially Captain Falcon's) are hilarious, but that one had more of a creepy feel to it.

tanookisuit

#37

tanookisuit said:

If they dont want to do a new one, do some real justice and on WiiU put the 'lost' FZero Climax out for people to play. I had this some years ago and it is by far the best non-polygonal FZero game hands down. Fantastic courses, heaps of characters, and it has the 64DD FZero track creator with enough save storage to keep 4 courses on your game for added fun. It has always been mind blowing to me they let this one not be released as it shames quality wise the others across the board entirely.

AtlanteanMan

#39

AtlanteanMan said:

I'd buy an F-Zero game on the Wii U (money's on the table!); considering how amazing F-Zero GX looked on the GameCube at such an insane framerate, I've no doubt whatsoever that Nintendo could make the franchise look stunning on the Wii U. Make it happen, Nintendo.

Hortencio

#40

Hortencio said:

@tanookisuit, Yes!!! The U deserves this franchise...big time, as nothing would please lifelong fans of the series like a slick, HD edition; and at the very least, your clever suggestion of that which, mostly, has not been played by Western gamers. Don't get me wrong, I'm very excited for Mario Kart 8, but the second I first saw the anti-gravity addition to the game, I felt a deathblow being delivered to my beloved F-Zero franchise! People cry for Metroid, Star Fox, Fire Emblem, even Kid Icky on the U (of which, all but the second I'd gladly welcome), and luckily for you, those have a thousand times better chance than poor ol' F-Zero.
Lastly, NLife, why use a picture of the nearly-impossible-to-unlock arcade characters and not talk about any of them?!? Surely that wasn't the only picture of GX you could scrounge up? That's a chop!

MrGuinea

#42

MrGuinea said:

The Twinnorita was my go to ride! Great speed and absolute perfect handling (which was most important flying at break neck speeds of 1000 km/hr), I beat all cups with that car! Actually blew up and flew over the finish line on the last race of the diamond cup going from 26th to 4th and got 1st place overall! Will never forget that!

JebbyDeringer

#43

JebbyDeringer said:

I liked how the SNES F-Zero had 4 cars all with a back story. The later entries in the franchise added a bunch more forgettable vehicles with forgettable characters. As much as I hate the modern Codemasters Racing games with forced storlines and cutscenes I think for F-Zero a story works. I'd like to see a focused story as long as it doesn't interfere with the racing. Maybe just at the beginning and end of a cup.

LightSuitGuy

#46

LightSuitGuy said:

What? No mention of Pico? A former military soldier that became hit-man, who's dream is to win the Grand Prix and create a "Pico Cup."

If that's not ingenious, I don't know what is. ;)

JaxonH

#48

JaxonH said:

@Shiryu

Unfortunately, I think it's US that needs to wake up. F-Zero doesn't pull in the numbers. It does sell, but it sells less than about 30 or so other Nintendo franchises, which kind of gives us an idea of where it sits on the Nintendo IP totem pole. I'm sure they'll make another one... some day. When everyone's long forgotten the name of Captain Falcon. Kind of like the Kid Icarus reboot after 20 years. As long as I get to see it before I die, I'll be happy.

Dr_Corndog

#49

Dr_Corndog said:

GX made me love F-Zero, and its fruitcake cast. I'm sad to say that my video game career will probably never include completing all GX's missions on the hardest difficulty.

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