YMMV / F-Zero

Yeahhhhh! The final lap!
  • Accidental Innuendo: No folks, X Cup does not refer to impossibly large breasts.
  • Adaptation Displacement: Fans of Super Smash Bros. will probably be disappointed to learn that F-Zero!Falcon and SSB!Falcon are two virtually different characters. Both are badasses in their own right, but this Falcon is a straight-laced, no-nonsense kind of guy, while his depiction in Smash is pure camp.
  • Angst? What Angst?: For a guy whose homeworld is in shambles due to an interplanetary war that cost him his parents and his left eye and forced him to carry the burdens of the Zou on his back, Leon seems to be relatively unfazed, taking it all in stride. No Survivor Guilt, no nothing.
  • Awesome Music: Let's just go ahead and say the whole series has awesome music, because it does.
  • Badass Decay: Black Shadow gets hit with this stick hard in GX. The moment Deathborn appears on the scene, Black Shadow goes from "imposing, nefarious villain" to "shrewd, sniveling wimp." Justified, in that it's Deathborn.
    • This extends to his surprisingly girly laugh shown in prologue to the first chapter of Story Mode, as well as his odd arm waving in the epilogue to Chapter 5.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: Several of the bonus movies in GX count as this. Dr. Stewart's clip, in particular, is what happens when a bunch of developers get together after a shroom rave.
  • Breather Level: In the original SNES game, Red Canyon 2 is a breath of fresh air after being bounced around the walls of Death Wind 2 and navigating the narrow treacherous snake of Port Town 2.
  • Broken Base:
    • It is possible to sit around and debate whether or not GX is too hard for its own good, or whether it deserves more entries to the series and is much better than Mario Kart. The fact that Mario Kart 8 uses the anti-gravity mechanics featured in X and GX/AX, and also features two F-Zero themed tracks in its DLC packages, only makes that last one worse.
    • Would it actually be wise to have bring back the series with a new installment? Lots of fans really want a new F-Zero game on the Switch, but some suggest that it would suffer from It's the Same, Now It Sucks due to any mention of the series from the Nintendo being that they don't know how to continue the series. It also would have to face comparisons with F-Zero GX no matter what.
    • Much like in Mario Kart, snaking in GX, whether it's more fun than driving traditionally, and whether it's cheating or simply doing what the game rules permit in order to achieve the best results.
  • Crazy Awesome: Zoda. He is riding around in a modified missile. We repeat, he is riding around in a modified missile. Once, when the Death Anchor flipped over, two racers died.
    • He's beaten handily by Spade, though. His Magic Seagull has no doors. Sure, The Skull's Sonic Phantom has no steering wheel, but at least he can actually escape from his vehicle. It's like Spade is giving the entire concept of safe driving a middle finger and then shouting, "Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers!"
  • Disappointing Last Level: Chapter 9 of GX's Story Mode is just a glorified time attack with a staff ghost using the Phantom Road environment rather than a proper race. In contrast, the previous chapter had you racing against an underworld racing champion in an environment exclusive to that particular chapter. Considering that Captain Falcon is racing against the creators of the universe, it comes off as Narm.
  • Dork Age: Unlike Pokémon and Kirby, the F-Zero anime (taking place in the 23rd century rather than the 26th) was not warmly received. The two games based off it failed to match GX's sales combined and Climax in particular sold poorly enough that its international release was halted, the anime's second season never came, the dub was Cut Short, and the franchise was thrown into an indefinite hiatus. The Super Smash Bros. series treats GX as the latest entry, with the Falcon Densetsu/GP Legend line only getting a paltry mention in the chronicle in Brawl. The fourth game gives an equally paltry nod as one of Falcon's alts, essentially putting the F-Zero anime on par with The Great Mission to Save Princess Peachnote .
  • Ear Worm:
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Everybody loves the AX racers, who haven't appeared since the days of GX/AX.
    • Of the above group, Phoenix, Princia, and Lily seem to get the most attention. Considering they were the most heavily advertised characters for AX alongside Captain Falcon, this may have been an Invoked Trope on the part of the developers.
    • Samurai Goroh must be one, considering the treatment he received in the anime, as well as the fact that he was the only character outside of the Captain himself to get some sort of non-trophy representation in Super Smash Bros. (he was an Assist Trophy in Brawl and SSB4).
    • If there's any character who comes close to being as recognized as Captain Falcon, it's probably James McCloud, and for obvious reasons.
  • Epileptic Trees: Is Deathborn Jay Gonso Snarky, the voodoo priest mentioned in backstory materials from X who allegedly bestowed Black Shadow with immortality and the ability to reincarnate?
    • Although its chance of occurring is low, one well-thought out theory suggests that Phoenix and QQQ are the villains Phoenix was sent to capture due to QQQ being unable to return them to the future.
  • Even Better Sequel: X was the point in the series where everything took off. GX ramped this up even more: the speed was cranked up to insane levels and the previously one-dimensional characters were fleshed-out. Oh, and it was a very polished, very fun game to play. There's a reason that critics lauded it as one of the best racers of its time.
  • Evil is Cool: Averted with Zoda. He has five fans, which is amazing in itself. Zoda himself is shocked by these new developments.
    Zoda: "I have fans? Hey, raise your hand if you're my fan. 1... 2... 3... 4... 5... I have five fans!"
    • Other villains, like Blood Falcon and Deathborn, possibly play this trope straighter.
    • Black Shadow certainly counts, particularly for his anime appearance where he was voiced by Norio Wakamoto and for his involvement in the memetic Falcon Punch scene. Many fans joke that, if he joined Super Smash Bros., he'd be the hammiest thing ever given how hammy Wakamoto and Smash Falcon are to begin with.
  • Evil is Sexy: Blood Falcon.
    • From the anime, Miss Killer.
  • Fandom Berserk Button: GX Story Mode Chapter 7 on Very Hard is so notoriously difficult that many players fly into a rage at the mere mention of it.
  • Fandom Rivalry: With Mario Kart, especially ever since Mario Kart 8 introduced a number of elements that some feel has given Nintendo an excuse to junk F-Zero once and for all, such as anti-gravity, 200cc mode, and F-Zero crossover tracks.
  • Fanon:
    • Silver Neelson's first name being Mortimer.
    • Likewise with Phoenix. His last name is not Lestrade.
    • When depicted without his helmet in fan art for either this series or Smash Bros., there appears to be a preference for using Falcon's appearance from the anime. This might be because Falcon's civilian identity is a recurring member of the supporting cast in the anime (and Falcon loses his helmet right before his memetically-popular Dying Moment of Awesome), thus appearing far more frequently than the two times in the games players get to see Falcon sans helmet (beating a GP on Master Class in X and at the end of Story Mode in GX).
    • Speaking of the anime, fans like to ignore the fact that the cosmos-wrecking explosion that occurs in the series finale came from the destruction of the Dark Reactor and instead explain the event as the result of Captain Falcon being a Memetic Badass, along with the sheer power of the Falcon Punch.
    • Despite Goroh's son Dai Goroh (from GX/AX) and wife Lisa Brilliant (from the anime) existing in different continuities, fans generally roll with the idea that Lisa is Goroh's wife regardless, and thus the mother of his child. Coincidentally, this happens to add layers to the characters' pre-established relationships, such as when you connect Dai Goroh's Silver Rat being modeled after Antonio Guster's Green Panther to Lisa being Antonio's older sister.
  • Foe Yay: Zoda and the Arrows, in spades. Allegedly, Zoda had the hots for Mrs. Arrow, wanting to make her his #2 in his Evil Empire. Luckily, she turned him down. Thank GOD.
    • From the anime, there's Ryu/Rick. He has so much of this with both Zoda and Miss Killer. So much. To twist the knife further, it's later revealed that Miss Killer's true identity is that of Misaki Haruka: his girlfriend from the past who was also put into cold sleep.
  • Fountain of Memes: Captain Falcon. Or rather, Captain Falcon's campy lines from Super Smash Bros. YESZ! Show me ya MOVES! Falcon PAWNCH!
  • Game Breaker: Every 3D title has some sort of exploit that lets you take a huge advantage, such as grinding the wall for massive bursts of speed in X and the notorious snaking technique in GX.
    • Also, Space flying. There's a reason sites like Mr. Fixit Online have ladders for both Snakers, Flyers, AND non-Snakers.
    • In GX, putting together a custom machine with the lightest parts in the game creates a racer with god-like handling. Conversely, building together the heaviest parts in the game creates an unsteerable brick.
      • An unsteerable brick that goes faster than any other machine in the game, generally. You can use the drift turns and spin turns for most corners, but you may have to apply the brakes on the tighter ones.
    • In GP Legend, the game does not make some sort of obvious effort (such as the escort UFO in the original or spontaneous combustion in GX) to block you from taking massive shortcuts. Making the right jumps will allow you to cut off much more of a given course than the developers intended you to.
  • Gameplay Derailment: See directly above. World-record runs of 3D F-Zero games look NOTHING like how a decent player would play.
  • Good Bad Bugs: The aforementioned glitches.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The final entry of this series to date was F-Zero: Climax. According to Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo is at loss as to how to go forward with the series and build upon the formula that's been present since X and GX, which are widely seen as the best entries the series has to offer. It looks like F-Zero, at present, really has reached its climax.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    Kyo: "That's what I'm all about: gettin' f***ed."
    • Super Arrow's bonus movie is entitled "Magnificent Guitar Hero Super Arrow!", and this was years before the actual Guitar Hero series.
    • Look at QQQ, who debuted in 2003. Now compare him to WALL•E (2008).
    • The original F-Zero was created to be Nintendo's opening salvo in the 16-bit Console Wars, demonstrating the then-impressive pseudo-3D Mode 7 graphics Super Nintendo Entertainment System, which the competing Sega Genesis couldn't do. Fast forward 10 more years, after Sega had quit making hardware, and decided to collaborate with Nintendo to produce an F-Zero game for the Gamecube, which many fans consider to be the best game in the series.
    • Remember how N64 Rainbow Road was in F-Zero X? Well, now, with the DLC for Mario Kart 8, the Blue Falcon (and, with the Mii suit, Captain Falcon) can return to Rainbow Road 64!
  • Iconic Character, Forgotten Title: Captain Falcon is arguably better known for his appearances in Smash Bros. than for his home series, to the point that a few even call him an original character there. Even more so in that F-Zero was (and is) one of the few obscure Nintendo franchises not to get a major Colbert Bump from Smash, and that most of the popular elements of Falcon's portrayal in Smash aren't present in his home series.
  • Iron Woobie:
    Mighty Gazelle: "Not at all. You have no idea how good a coat of oil feels or a good jolt of electricity!"
    • Leon. This guy will never lament his lot in life, preferring to stay optimistic. He also happens to be extremely selfless, perhaps more so than any other character.
    Leon: (on the key to his victory) "Racing for someone other than myself."
  • It's Hard, so it Sucks: The sheer amount of backlash against GX's Story Mode is staggering, especially Chapter 7 on Very Hard. It's so infamous that it overshadows almost everything else in the game, even though this particular chapter on a particular difficulty only provides one unlock (in particular, a machine in AX).
  • Jerkass Woobie: Zoda in the anime. When it turns out that you're not only an Unwitting Pawn to Black Shadow, but to fate itself, you do become a bit more sympathetic.
  • Love it or Hate it: Captain Falcon's voice in GX divides the fanbase in this regard. A slight majority seems to prefer his Super Smash Bros. voice and personality rather than his deeper voice and more mellow behaviour in GX, although seeing as he's still a very Campy Large Ham, it isn't altogether inconsistent.
  • Love to Hate: Between his thunderstorm of cheese, him being so unapologetically evil, and the vocal stylings of Norio Wakamoto, Black Shadow is this. As such, he was always the first choice for this series in "Who do you want to see in Brawl?" lists. (Granted, a lot of this is because the best option after Captain Falcon, Samurai Goroh, was an Assist Trophy.)
  • Magnificent Bastard: Deathborn. Black Shadow qualifies in the anime.
  • Mainstream Obscurity: We all know about the anime's Falcon Punch scene, but very few have actually watched that show.
  • Memetic Badass: "FALCON PUNCH!" Though it mostly applies to the Super Smash Bros. series, it nearly came full circle when Captain Falcon used it in GP Legend. In the words of the ending song of GX, "Thank Heaven he's on the right side or else there'd be nowhere to hide."
  • Memetic Molester: Captain Falcon. Try not to think about it too hard. Most likely stems from his Falcon Dive special in Super Smash Bros.
    Mr. Zero: "You've got a fantastic body [Princia]. How do you keep it so beautiful?"
    Mr. Zero: "What do you [Lily] consider to be your best features?"
    Mr. Zero: "What kind of guys do you like [Lily]?"
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Moral Event Horizon: Black Shadow crosses this threshold in the anime. His screwing with and (temporary) offing of Miss Killer is sadistic and twisted considering how devoted she was to him (even if she was brainwashed to do so).
  • Most Annoying Sound:
    • Failing a Nitro Boost start in GP Legend and Climax. "3, 2, 1, BOOST FIRE!!"
  • Narm: Usually of the So Bad, It's Good variety.
    • This video shows a good example. As the description puts it, "Black Shadow is dancing around like a moron." Hilarious!
    • The credits theme of GX's Story Mode contain some delightfully corny lyrics. One particular gem:
    "When myopic confusion threatens your lunch, Falcon will be unleashing a Falcon Punch."
    • The Final Boss of GX's Story Mode. It's just a staff ghost.
  • Narm Charm:
    • Everybody in GX is a campy, poorly voice-acted Large Ham with exaggerated arm movements who takes racing way too seriously. It makes cutscenes rather hilarious to watch, and can be seen as the logical conclusion of a world where behaving like Falcon does in Super Smash Bros. is the norm (minus the Engrish and fistfighting).
    • X features a quirky and hammy as hell announcer, whose delivery of lines such as "YOU GOT BOOST POWER!", "POUR IT ON, YOU'RE WAY OUT IN FRONT!", and "TOO BAD! YOU LOST YOUR MACHINE." can and will hammer themselves into your head.
  • Never Live It Down: GX is notorious for the Fake Difficulty-ridden Story Mode Chapter 7 on Very Hard difficulty, even though the only reward for it is a decent, otherwise-AX-exclusive machine and that it's only necessary to complete if one is aiming for 100% Completion; the rest of the game is perfectly playable without ever having to touch that particular chapter-difficulty combo.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The Skull. He's a little bit creepy, and his theme song is rather unnerving. That said, he's still a pretty nice guy once you get past it.
    • If Deathborn's imposingly hellish appearance, gravelly tones, and sinister theme music don't get to you, his plan to obtain godhood and destroy all of existence, coupled with the utter glee in his voice as he explains it in painstaking detail, will probably do the trick.
  • Nightmare Retardant: Zoda. He's one insane SOB, but his voice in GX is equal parts helium and Narm Charm.
    • Used intentionally for Black Shadow's GX video, showing Hilarious Outtakes from the prologue of Story Mode. Whether or not this means that the characters of F-Zero are Animated Actors is up to you.
  • Robo Ship: Technically speaking, Mighty Gazelle is a part of one. He's a cyborg, his Second Love is a human. Lampshaded when Gazelle asks "I hope you don't think she's a cyborg too?"
  • Sacred Cow: GX, to the point where it seems like the only thing one is allowed to complain about is Story Mode; saying that any other F-Zero game is superior tends to result in angry responses.
  • The Scrappy: Ryu Suzaku/Rick Wheeler. On the basis of not being Captain Falcon. Later mitigated for some by Character Development, a string of CMOAs, and eventually becoming Captain Falcon himself. Though for others, this only served to make him more hated. Rick also tends to be unfairly used as a scapegoat for all the undesirable differences the anime-verse had with the games-verse.
  • Screwed by the Network: A general consensus about the anime's dub (which lasted for all of 15 episodes), despite the mass Bowdlerization by 4Kids.
  • Silent Majority: Whenever someone says anything good about F-Zero, they will most likely talk about GX. Thing is, there is at least three games in the series (the original, X, Maximum Velocity) that sold more copies than GX. Makes you wonder where those fans of previous games are? That said, the series has faced declining sales since its inception (compare the original to X to Maximum Velcoity to GX to GP Legend), and most fans will readily praise the hallmarks of at least the first two games, even those who favor GX above all.
  • Starboarding: Princia —> Samurai Goroh. Yeah, we don't get it either.
  • "Stop Having Fun" Guys: In regards to snaking.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: Fans think that "Devil's Call in Your Heart," the background music of Devil's Forest in X, sounds an awful lot like "Heartwork" by Carcass.
    • And the title screen music (the first song in this video) for the original F-Zero uses a whole riff from the third impression of Emerson, Lake and Palmer's "Karn Evil 9."
  • That One Mission: In GX's Story Mode, Chapters 1, 5, and 7 usually get this treatment.
    • Aside from the difficulty and the pacing necessary to persevere (three laps on Normal, four laps on Hard, five laps on Very Hard), Chapter 7's biggest challenge is that it's one big Luck-Based Mission. If you manage to retire Black Shadow at the very beginning of the race (as in, right after the 3-count start) or somehow catch up to him so that you can ram him, the race becomes much more manageable (Blood Falcon—usually second behind Black Shadow—and a few other racers such as Dr. Stewart and Mrs. Arrow tend to zip into the Top 6, but they don't seem to be running on the same engine as Black Shadow). However, there's a good chance that some overly-aggressive racer will spin into you, knocking the Blue Falcon off-course. Conversely, there's also a chance that the A.I. will cause other characters (or even Black Shadow and Blood Falcon themselves) to push Black Shadow off of the track. It's half luck, half skill.
    • Chapter 6 (where you basically reenact Speed with an F-Zero racer) is frequently cited as this as well. It's made significantly easier if you move the Acceleration/Max Speed slider all the way to the Acceleration side, which gives you better handling. The trade-off, of course, is that your Max Speed goes way down, to the point of resting just above the speed limit on Very Hard, so you're not allowed to make even a single mistake.
  • That One Sidequest: Unlocking the AX racers. There are two ways to do so: beat every Story Mode mission on Very Hard difficulty or take your memory card to a F-Zero AX machine (and good luck finding one of those outside of Japan).
  • Ugly Cute: Several of the extraterrestrial characters qualify.
  • Underused Game Mechanic: AX is the only game in the series to increase the number of laps based on the track length, resulting especially in the very short Aeropolis: Screw Drive and Mute City: Sonic Oval tracks having decently long course times with 6 and 8 laps, respectively. In GX, these tracks are practically over as soon as they start, due to using the usual three-lap rule.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Despite the fact that his name reads—as clear as day—Digi-Boy and he has a distinct, if not high-pitched, voice (he is a pre-pubescent boy after all), Terry "Digi-Boy" Getter (did you notice the "Boy?") sometimes receives this.
  • Watch It for the Meme: Even if you don't like F-Zero GP Legend, people generally tell you to watch it for key words: Falcon. Punch.
  • The Woobie: Misaki Haruka, especially once a) we see the flashback of her reaction to Ryu's "death" and b) she breaks free of Black Shadow's control. She is utterly mortified by her time as Miss Killer.

Too bad! You lost your machine.