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‘F-Zero’ Series is ‘Sleeping,’ Says Former Nintendo Designer

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Reviving the high-speed series may be a little more complicated than believed.

Whenever Nintendo holds a presentation, fans vocally express hopes for a revival of one of Nintendo’s dormant IPs. The usual suspects are series like Metroid, which has been in the dark since the all-too-brief teaser for Metroid Prime 4, and Earthbound, the existing sequel to which, Mother 3, still hasn’t received a western release despite overwhelming demand. And of course, there’s the game that hasn’t seen the light of day since the GameCube era, F-Zero. It’s been nearly two decades since the last console F-Zero game, which is why many have wondered if Nintendo is simply done with the series. According to a veteran, that’s not the case, but reviving the series isn’t an easy feat either.

In an interview with IGN, Takaya Imamura, a former Nintendo game designer that had a hand in the creation of games like The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask and characters like Captain Falcon, spoke on the possibility of reviving the high-speed racing series. According to Imamura, he has thought frequently on the possibility of reviving F-Zero, even now that he’s no longer with Nintendo, but unless he could do it with a genuine bang, the odds of it getting off the ground are low.

“Of course, I’ve thought about it many times, but without a grand new idea, it’s hard to bring it back,” he said.

Imamura also took some time to reminisce on the development of F-Zero GX. “I think it started with [Amusement Vision’s] Toshihiro Nagoshi proposing the project to Miyamoto,” he said. “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.”