Did you know there was a time when Nintendo had more than one racing game? With today’s Nintendo Direct, now you do. F-Zero, after an almost 20-year hiatus, is back with a new online multiplayer battle royale game, F-Zero 99.
F-Zero 99, like Super Mario Bros. 35, Pac-Man 99, and Tetris 99 before it, is a battle royale game in which you and up to 98 other players race to be the last Captain Falcon standing. F-Zero 99 will feature all the carts and tracks from the original F-Zero game and is available for free right now to those with a Nintendo Switch Online subscription.
F-Zero debuted back in 1990 on the Super Nintendo. It was a hyper-futuristic racing game that was apparently one of the “fastest” available. The last time an F-Zero game graced a Nintendo console was Climax on the Game Boy Advance way back in 2004. Since then, the franchise’s titular character, Captain Falcon, has kept the series alive (sorta) through his appearances in Smash Bros. games. It’s a shame that because this is a simple 99 game and not a full F-Zero remake or remaster, we likely won’t get to see too much of Captain Falcon. I don’t know about you, but I was looking forward to a wealth of kids born in 2000 seeing this and going, “Wait? The Falcon Punch guy is in a racing game?” before immediately turning into dust.
That Nintendo’s reviving franchises that haven’t been seen in almost 20 years surely means it’s thinking about reviving other... (see what I did there?) games that haven’t been seen in a while. Maybe the characters from those games have also only been featured in Smash Bros. games since? Hmm. We can only hope.
Update September 14th, 1:17PM ET: Added a link to F-Zero 99 on the Nintendo eShop.