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Ex Nintendo designer says that F-Zero would be hard to bring back

Former Nintendo artist and designer, Takaya Imamura, who worked on the designs for Captain Falcon and Fox McCloud has recently chatted to IGN about the beloved F-Zero franchise. Mr. Imamura told the publication that it is “hard to bring back” without a “grand idea.” He also believes that the last F-Zero game F-Zero GX is the “the ultimate F-Zero.” He told the site that when he working with Nintendo that he had thought about bringing the series back to life as the last entry is now 18 years old. Here’s his story about the development of F-Zero GX:

“I think it started with [Amusement Vision’s] Toshihiro Nagoshi proposing the project to Miyamoto,” says Imamura. “I really liked Daytona USA (which Nagoshi produced), so I was honored to work with him. We had an arcade system board called Triforce which was based on the GameCube’s architecture, so when Nagoshi proposed doing an arcade version of F-Zero, I was really happy, as I had always been a fan of arcade games.

“Back then, Nagoshi was the top of Amusement Vision, a subsidiary studio of Sega. I don’t think many people outside the company were ever allowed inside the actual development offices. Companies don’t usually let people inside their development offices, but they showed me the arcade cabinets they were working on, which has become a special memory for me,” recalls Imamura. “Nagoshi had a professional darts machine in his office, which I thought was very stylish. In those days, Nagoshi still had long hair, but he was already quite imposing.”


23 thoughts on “Ex Nintendo designer says that F-Zero would be hard to bring back”

  1. I’m sick of hearing this about f zero. No it doesn’t have to be ‘a grand idea’ just a really cool racing game. Here’s an easy idea that they could add in – death race from f zero x but online battle royale style. And f zero GX might be the ultimate one but if that’s the case then just HD remaster it and make it available for people to play today.

  2. Here’s the grand idea y’all need: JUST BRING THE SERIES BACK. We have been clamoring and begging for a new entry for two decades! We don’t need some new tacked-on gimmick- to add one now after an 18-year hiatus would be unwelcome. Just give us the core gameplay of GX, wicked official tracks and some kind of track creator, add online play (a series first), bring back the death race from X, maybe a team race option (like, Team Sonic Racing style), bring back the custom machines but let us actually name our machines this time and maybe add a pilot editor…

    In the lore of F-Zero, the wealthy elite came up with the idea of the high-speed race out of boredom and saw a gambling opportunity out of it, right? How about a BET race where you can spectate races and bet on who will win, wagering in-game currency to do so? Making correct bets wins you credits as well as custom machine/pilot parts to use in the editor. And you can choose to race in them as well, unlocking more editor parts if you win, maybe special alternate colors for the machine you win the races.

    They don’t need to reinvent the series. In fact doing so after a 2-decade gap would make it not F-Zero anymore. What don’t they understand about that?

    I’m sorry for the rant, I’m just passionate about the series and want it to make a grand comeback more than anything.


    1. A ton of People want Mario Golf. It also has a higher sales average compared to F-Zero, Metroid and Kid Icarus. So if you don’t consider Mario Golf a big title, then what does that make the other series?

  4. Its going to be a grand struggle to bring back the series in to a brand new format and elements. I mean, this is something that fans and people have been waiting for a long while now. Plus, some of us was hoping for another installment of Kid Icarus series, but it won’t happen anytime soon.

    F-Zero is still consider to be the best racing game series in history just like Mario Kart series turn out well back then.

  5. I’m so bloomin sick of this stupid “Grand Idea” nonsense. If that was applied universally; Even series like Mario Kart, Splatoon, and Smash Bros would be up the creek.
    Nintendo, you don’t need a “Grand Idea” or “Something Innovative” to bring back F-Zero, sometimes simply keeping it as it is works best. Simply making a new F-Zero with new tracks, new characters, and maybe even a story is all that’s needed to breathe new life into this beloved IP. Do you see Mario Kart and Smash Bros tanking for sales? No because people love it as it is as it doesn’t need fixing.

    My gosh I hate this mentality.

  6. I guess a new F-Zero game would be nice for fans, but really: would it make business sense? Nintendo’s dev teams are busy making games that are a guaranteed profit, but F-Zero is already playing second fiddle to Mario Kart, which, y’know, added gravity mechanics and sells like nothing else. So for a new F-Zero game to make sense, yeah, it would have to reinvent the wheel.

    1. Aside from both of them being racing games, Mario Kart and F-Zero are nothing alike.

      Mario Kart lets you use items and gives you opportunities to directly impact the outcome of the race. In F-Zero, the only direct impact comes from slamming into the guardrails or other machines at 1200 km/s, and your only power-up is your booster with which you must sacrifice energy to use, and losing all your energy means you’re out of the race. Not to mention, Mario Kart doesn’t even come close to being as fast as F-Zero, not even at 200cc.

    2. Also,

      “Nintendo’s dev teams are busy making games that are a guaranteed profit,”

      How can anyone sure that these games we know they’re working on are guaranteed profit? For all we know, the new Mario Golf might flop because of a lack of content or something, or Miitopia for Switch might not sell well because it’s a 3-year-old $40 game for 3DS being sold on Switch for $50 with minimal new content introduced, or some other reason. We have no reason to assume these will all be “guaranteed profits.”

      You know what else Nintendo thought would be guaranteed profits?

      -Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash
      -Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival
      -Star Fox Zero
      -The Wii U

  7. All I want is a digital port of f zero gx on Nintendo switch. Nintendo is just as stubborn as Sega because I can’t play gamecube sonic games on Nintendo switch either.

  8. They could mess it up like they did Zelda and animal crossing, have the vehicle have parts that constantly break down and have to rebuild them.

  9. Ffs it doesn’t need a new gimmick to be brought back. It’s like Nintendo and how they failed Star Fox. The series could be great if you just stopped redoing Star Fox 64’s Storyline over and over and actually made a new star fox game. Mario Kart has Gravity features now, but that doesn’t mean F-Zero has to now reinvent the wheel to make profit. Mario Kart & F-Zero are 2 seperate genres of racing entirely. Just make a new storyline, add new tracks, polish it and revive it in Glorious HD graphics and there you go. That’ll get profit from the longtime fans, bring back the fans who gave up on it, appeal to the Racing fans who want something other than Mario Kart, & appeal to a newer generation of gamers. Even an HD Remake & Upgraded version of GX would make profit. It’s not rocket science lmao.

    Star Fox, Metroid, & F-Zero are all space games with such much lore and story potential and yet Nintendo doesn’t have the slightest idea what to do with them, it’s pathetic.

  10. At this point, reviving F-Zero alone IS the “grand new idea”! Revisiting concepts you haven’t touched in a decade is more than enough of a reason to bring something back! Hell, failing that, there’s never been an online multiplayer F-Zero, use THAT as your excuse to bring it back!

  11. Eh… You know what’s a good example? Mario. We had Super Mario Bros 1-3 and Super Mario World. They were huge hits. Then they did something different and made 64, Sunshine, Galaxy… Also huge hits. And then what did Nintendo do? They made New Super Mario Bros for the DS (Which wasn’t new and like the old Mario games) and it sold crazy well.

    You don’t really need to fix what’s broken.

    And, honestly, older gamers like myself tend to lose track of time. What I mean by that is… FZero GX was actually a lomg time ago and there’s a whole new audience of gamers who were too young to be playing FZero GX back then (let alone the other titles). There’s really just no excuse to not reuse the Fzero GX formula for a new game.

    Side note… Fast Racing Neo/ Fast RMX actually is a great spiritual successor to FZero gameplay… It just liked the style and quirkiness of having all the pilots and story and whatnot. If I remember correctly, I think the devs were asked if they’d get involved with Fzero but they were like “we’d like to build/focus on our own original IP”… Which is totally fair. Idk… It’d be great if they changed their minds and collaborated on Fzero with Nintendo. They (Shin’en) make technically fantastic games but they just don’t have a lot of personality.

    *Sorry for any spelling errors. I’m fat thumbing it here.

  12. I love F-Zero, in fact GX is still my favorite racing game.
    But I think many people are missing the point. It needs a “grand idea” because this series has a bad track record when it comes to sales.
    If it’s gonna be a success, it’s gonna need more than just the old formula. Because that was already not enough.
    Obviously, all of us diehard F-Zero fans would buy it. But we are a tiny minority.
    It’s also an issue that they probably don’t have any inhouse producers with the time or resources to make it happen. It’d probably take the support of a 3rd party developer to get the ball rolling. Sega perhaps…? Idk if they have the talent for it anymore.

  13. I guess so after a brilliant game is finished all the years it took to search for developers on every continent and takes years to make, then after it is finished just like that all employees go back where they came from instead of working right away on the next project. Then a decade later a producer decides they want a sequel to a 12 year old game and have to search on every continent to make the game. That’s what’s going to happen once Metroid Prime 4 is complete. then by 2033 Nintendo will announce Metroid Prime 5. Then every month will be hearing of them searching for developers to make the game. I never understood if a game just got completed and all the resources are still in R&D why not just immediately work on the sequel? Already have the graphics developers, music developers etc etc. So make Metroid Prime 5 while everyone still there.

  14. I know fans of the series are into the idea of “just add more of the same good stuff” but imo, as someone who never got that into it. If they brought it back and there wasn’t anything new to entice me, then I wouldn’t buy it. We Nintendo says this I don’t think they’re talking a gimmick. They’re just talking about pushing the series forward which is exactly what they do with all of their games including smash and Mario kart and everything. When Nintendo says “grand idea” they are talking about vision and inspiration. If they really fleshed out the characters and added some intriguing story that would enough for me personally, but for me games like wipeout are essentially the same. So yeah, Nintendo wants to make an F-zero game that will bring in new players to the series is likely what they mean. Thus a “grand idea” or “inspiration” is needed.

  15. You asked Miyamoto? Lol That was your first mistake.

    Here’s a grand idea! Since Captain Falcon is a bounty hunter, just have him catch his bounties by beating them in a race. It can be the game’s story mode.

  16. I really don’t understand Nintendo sometimes. Just make an F-Zero GX remaster and see where it goes. Is that really that difficult? It’s a racing game and they are acting like it is life or death to release another game.

    For God’s sake, release F-Zero GX remaster/HD, add some online play as well, if people want it, and if they choose to make a new game, just make a great racing game. You could do an interactive story like Mortal Kombat’s story mode, for example, have a badass arcade mode, a fully-customizable garage mode, a multiplayer mode, bring back all of your classic courses, as well as courses from GX and new ones, and see where it goes. This really shouldn’t be this difficult of a decision for Nintendo. Stop releasing childish games no one asked for and start releasing GOOD IPs that you have that are just collecting dust. Either that, or sell the damn IP to Sega.

    This has been an issue for Nintendo since the 80s: They don’t listen to what the consumer wants. They tell YOU what you want. They don’t get it.

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