|First appearance||F-Zero (1990)|
|Created by||Takaya Imamura|
|Voiced by (English)||Eric Kelso (F-Zero GX)
David Wills (anime)
|Voiced by (Japanese)||Ryō Horikawa (Super Smash Bros. series)
Hideyuki Tanaka (anime)
|Occupation||Bounty Hunter, Professional Racer|
Captain Falcon (キャプテン・ファルコン Kyaputen Farukon?), full name Douglas Jay Falcon, is a playable character in the racing video game series F-Zero. He first appeared in F-Zero and is the main protagonist of the F-Zero franchise. Nintendo first envisioned Captain Falcon as a flagship character to represent the release of a new console, but he ended up appearing far less than originally planned. In the games, he appears as a mysterious racer and bounty hunter who is one of the best racers on the circuit. Falcon also represents the F-Zero franchise in each entry of the Super Smash Bros. series. In the GP Legend continuity, writers portrayed Falcon differently from previous games; here, "Captain Falcon" is a title passed down and held by the best racer in the world. He owns and operates a small bar in Mute City, taking up the alias of Bart Lemming and aiding fellow protagonist Rick Wheeler both secretly, and in disguise.
Creation and characteristics
Nintendo originally meant Captain Falcon to be the flagship character of the then new Super Nintendo Entertainment System. However, this never panned out, and Captain Falcon was rarely seen in Nintendo media. He is described as an accomplished F-Zero pilot and renowned bounty hunter. In F-Zero X, it is rumored that he is called "Captain" because he was once an officer on the Internova Police Force. By the age of 36, Captain Falcon had built a reputation as one of the best bounty hunters in the galaxy, one that has earned him many enemies. This constant danger forces him to live in a sanctuary on a chain of islands off the coast of Port Town, where he spends most of his time. His desire for solitude is such that even after winning a race, he takes his award and quickly dashes home. Each of his home islands contains a different racetrack, allowing him to keep his racing skills at their peak while remaining relatively safe. On the island in which he hosts the largest and most treacherous of these tracks, he resides in an 8,000 square foot villa with views of the ocean and a UV-ray cleansed swimming pool.
Captain Falcon is the poster boy of the F-Zero franchise, appearing in most material alongside his iconic Blue Falcon. Captain Falcon first appeared in the titular game in the series, F-Zero, and in the subsequent F-Zero X. After these appearances, Falcon does not appear again until F-Zero GX.
The character drives the Blue Falcon in his races, and uses a sidearm and a midsize spacecraft called the Falcon Flyer in bounty missions. In F-Zero X, Captain Falcon's DNA is stolen while he is hospitalized following an accident in the F-Zero Grand Prix. The thieves use the DNA to create a clone of Captain Falcon, Blood Falcon.
Falcon is the hero of F-Zero GX, the fifth game in the series. In F-Zero GX, Captain Falcon is 37 years old and the sitting champion of the F-Zero Grand Prix, boosting his already high popularity even higher. In the games' story mode, after winning a number of races and saving Jody Summer, he goes on to defeat Black Shadow and Deathborn. In F-Zero: Maximum Velocity, which is set twenty-five years after the first game, Kent Akechi claims to be the son of Captain Falcon.
In the F-Zero GP Legend media continuity, Captain Falcon is a title given to a person instead of an individual's actual name. The character is voiced by Hideyuki Tanaka and David Wills in the Japanese and English versions respectively.
Captain Falcon was originally Andy Summer, the brother of Jody Summer, who apparently died in a vicious attack revolving around Zoda. Andy took the false identity of "Bart Lemming" and eventually became Captain Falcon to participate in the F-Zero races. In the anime Falcon is rather quiet and speaks very rarely, though he often shows compassion and courtesy towards the protagonist and common citizens. When he takes the name of Bart, he usually gives advice to the other characters at his cafe. Although he isn't featured in every episode, Falcon plays a significant role in the series, often stopping the Dark Million Organization's illegal plans. During the end of the series, Falcon is thrown into an explosion alongside his sworn enemy, Black Shadow, and displays his powers in the form of an electricity-based "Falcon Punch" to ensure that Black Shadow does not escape, at the risk of his own life. He quickly gives Ryu Suzaku (Rick Wheeler) the title of Falcon before dying, having implied that the title of "Captain Falcon" is now meant to be passed on, transmitted along the generations.
Later in F-Zero Climax, Falcon is revealed to have survived. Now under the alias of Berserker, he dons Black Shadow's "Black Bull" and fashions it into his own machine, removing the top hull and transferring the cockpit to the front. He works as a partner to business magnate Don Genie, participating in each of the illegal underground races he sponsors.
Super Smash Bros.
Captain Falcon has appeared in all four games of the Super Smash Bros. series, beginning with the first game, Super Smash Bros.. In the first game and in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Captain Falcon is an unlockable, hidden character. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, players may play as Captain Falcon from the beginning. Originally, Captain Falcon was the fastest character in the series until the release of Brawl, in which Sonic the Hedgehog became the fastest character. Within the game, he fights with a combination of karate, taekwondo, kung fu and street fighting. "Falcon Punch", his signature attack, involves a forceful punch surrounded by a flaming Falcon, which has also become a popular Internet meme and was later referenced in the F-Zero: GP Legend anime series. Captain Falcon was confirmed to return in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U on July 14, 2014, the sixteenth anniversary of F-Zero X's Japanese release.
Captain Falcon is one of Nintendo's Most Popular Characters in the Super Smash Bros. series. Reception to the character has been positive. Nintendo Power listed Captain Falcon as their 20th favourite hero, commenting that he is kind of a jerk, citing his massacre of Pikmin in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. They added that this is what makes them like him. GamePro claims that Captain Falcon demonstrates "clear superiority" over other F-Zero characters. Seth Walker, Game Boy Advance editor for Kombo, has stated that he would like to see story lines with greater focus on Captain Falcon in the F-Zero series.
GameDaily named Captain Falcon as the 25th top Nintendo character of all time. Jared Thomas referred to Captain Falcon as "the only known last legitimate use of the word 'extreme'". UGO Networks remarked that Captain Falcon is "cool" for his speed and for driving "a freakin' hovercar." However, they criticized his habit of shouting out the name of Falcon Punch before he actually delivers it. Wired.com's Chris Kohler claimed he greatly enjoyed playing with Captain Falcon in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. IGN has called Captain Falcon an experienced fighter, and "one of the most important and recognizable characters" from the F-Zero and Super Smash Bros. franchises. They went on to say that Falcon appears always ready to give a "butt-kicking to anyone that comes his way."
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