Zero Racers, referred to as G-Zero until June 1996, was a game planned for the Virtual Boy that was in development alongside F-Zero X. Despite reportedly being close to completion, even having been showcased at E3 1996 and previewed by the magazine Nintendo Power, the game was ultimately cancelled due to the Virtual Boy's discontinuation. A working prototype of the game has never been released.
Zero Racers was to offer 2 primary modes of play, similar to F-Zero. In the "Grand Prix" mode, players would race in one of 3 circuits with 5 tracks each. Before each race, the "VTR" mode would also allow players to view the upcoming track and all of its obstacles and turns while the camera made a complete lap through the track. The "Practice" mode would have allowed the player to prepare for a Grand Prix without other racers in the tunnel and to go for best times.
Like all other F-Zero titles, the power gauge would still be used, which would decrease with every collision, but could be replenished by flying over an energy track on one edge of the tunnel, mostly near the finishing line. Losing too much energy would cause the racer lose speed, and eventually explode if it was completely depleted.
Unlike other F-Zero games, Zero Racers would have featured vehicles more similar to aircraft rather than hovercraft, with tracks being designed as tunnels rather than racetracks; as a result, players could not only steer from left to right, but also pitch their vehicle up and down.
Four racers were confirmed to be usable in Zero Racers, named Falcon, Stingray, Goose, and Origammy; while the former three were presumably intended to reference three of the vehicles available in F-Zero, Origammy appeared to be a completely unique machine compared to the Golden Fox. All four machines would have separate attributes.
It was reported that Zero Racers would feature multiplayer between two players on separate Virtual Boy consoles, through the use of a link cable for the Virtual Boy that was ultimately never released. Had Zero Racers and this cable been released, it would have been the first F-Zero game to feature multiplayer.
References in other games
While the game was never released, the game's working title of G-Zero was referenced in Star Fox Command and X-Scape, two games developed by Q-Games. In one of Star Fox Command's endings, Fox McCloud and Falco Lombardi choose to retire from Star Fox and enter a racing competition known as the "G-Zero Grand Prix", after becoming distraught from losing Krystal and having Star Wolf take all the credit for saving the Lylat System from the Anglers. In X-Scape, the player can take part in races on planets Dalde-Dale and Menfarb. If the player wins, then their support robot will ask VIXIV, "once you retire, why don't you try out the G-ZERO Grand Prix?". For unknown reasons, this reference was removed in the European version, where VIXIV's support robot only recommends the player becoming a professional racer when they retire.
While the founder of Q-Games, Dylan Cuthbert, was a former employee Argonaut Software, a game studio heavily rumoured to be behind Zero Racers's development, Cuthbert has since confirmed that the company was not involved in its development.
|Machines||Falcon • Goose • Origammy • Stingray|
|Known features||Energy • Grand Prix • Practice • Pit • Retire|
|F-Zero titles||F-Zero • BS F-Zero Grand Prix • BS F-Zero Grand Prix 2 • F-Zero X (Expansion Kit) • F-Zero: Maximum Velocity • F-Zero GX / AX • F-Zero: GP Legend (anime) • F-Zero Climax|
|Crossover titles||Captain Falcon's Twister Race • Mario Kart Wii • Mario Kart 8 / Mario Kart 8 Deluxe • Super Smash Bros. • Super Smash Bros. Melee • Super Smash Bros. Brawl • Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate|