The Nintendo community often finds itself reminiscing over franchises that seem doomed to never return, and while the likes of Pokémon Snap, 2D Metroid, 3D Metroid, Famicom Detective Club and more have actually made grand returns, one series that remains on the sidelines is F-Zero.
The last F-Zero game, F-Zero Climax, launched 16 years ago now and was exclusive to Japan; Europe and North America received F-Zero: GP Legend in 2004, with the last main series release to arrive in the west being 2003's F-Zero GX. It's hardly surprising that fans of the franchise are getting pretty desperate for something new.
As it turns out, there are developers out there who'd love to make a new F-Zero for Switch and ideas have been passed on to Nintendo – unfortunately unsuccessfully. In conversation with GameXplain, Vitei's Giles Goddard – who Nintendo fans will know as developer on Star Fox, Stunt Race FX, 1080° Snowboarding, and Super Mario 64's stretchy Mario face (yes really), has revealed that his team pitched an "ultra-realistic" F-Zero to Nintendo:
"At Vitei, after I'd left Nintendo and started my own company, it was after Steel Diver and Sub Wars, we were trying to think of stuff to do and I thought it would be really cool to have an ultra-realistic F-Zero, still with sort of really cool futuristic graphics, but just really realistic physics – we thought that'd be a really interesting thing to try out.
"So we made a demo for the Switch and PC. It was also more to show the capability of our engine – we had a multiplatform engine that was running on 3DS, Switch, PC, whatever – so we just made a demo of some really cool F-Zero cars going around this crazy track... Just hundreds of the cars using AI to race each other.
"But they'd all have realistic physics, like, really ultra, a bit too over-the-top realistic, so the hovering was actually caused by four jets in the bottom sort of adjusting themselves... Way too over the top. But it meant that if you killed one of the jets it would end up sinking, and if you killed the other one it'd flip over and all this kind of stuff. And it was just really fun – it was like a sandbox type thing just playing around and seeing what would happen if you caused a crash there and whatever."
When asked whether or not Nintendo ultimately turned the idea down, Goddard delivered the bad news:
"Yeah, Nintendo are very wary about using old IP because it's such a huge thing for them to do. It's much easier to go with a new idea, a new IP, than to reuse an old one.
"We were stuck in a catch-22 working with Nintendo because we'd say to them, 'we wanna do this F-Zero game, can you give us all this money?' And they'd say, 'well you don't have enough people.' And I'd say, 'well if we had the money we could get the people,' you know. So it was forever this ridiculous catch-22 with them wanting us to make a game, us pitching a game, and then them saying you don't have enough people."