F-Zero: GP Legend (video game)

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F-Zero: GP Legend
F-Zero GP Legend packshot.gif
Developer(s) Suzak Inc.
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Director(s) Yutaka Hirata
Azusa Tajima
Producer(s) Hitoshi Yamagami
Writer(s) Yutaka Hirata
Nobuhiro Kuronuma
Composer(s) Kenji Hikita
Series F-Zero
Platform(s) Game Boy Advance, Wii U Virtual Console
Release Game Boy Advance
  • JP: November 28, 2003
  • EU: June 4, 2004
  • NA: September 20, 2004[1]
Wii U Virtual Console
  • JP: October 1, 2014
  • PAL: January 1, 2015
  • NA: March 12, 2015[2]
Genre(s) Racing
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

F-Zero: GP Legend (F-ZEROファルコン伝説, Efu Zero Farukon Densetsu, F-ZERO: Legend of Falcon) is a futuristic racing video game for the Game Boy Advance handheld. Developed by Suzak Inc., it was released in Japan in 2003, and in Europe and North America in 2004.

F-Zero: GP Legend is based on the anime of the same name.[3][4] A sequel was released in 2004 exclusively to Japan, titled F-Zero Climax.


The game plays similar to the original Super NES version of F-Zero and uses features from F-Zero X on the Nintendo 64. The game uses a new Mode 7 effect designed for the Game Boy Advance to allow the background layers to rotate and scale to display the course.

The boost system is similar to F-Zero X, where the player can use a boost to gain an additional burst of speed (only available from lap 2 of each race). However, this does consumes some of the machine's energy. The machine's energy can be replenished by entering pit areas that can be found on the race course.

In addition to the boost system, the machines can trigger side attacks, similar to F-Zero GX on the Nintendo GameCube. This allows the player to take sharp corners without losing too much speed, or to attack and do damage to other machines without damaging their own machine.

The game features 34 playable characters, 8 of them are available in Story mode, including newcomer Rick Wheeler (Ryu Suzaku in the Japanese version), the evil Black Shadow, and series hero Captain Falcon. As in earlier games, a story-driven campaign leads players through a series of futuristic races across the diverse environments of many different planets.

Nintendo was planning to include Expert versions of the Platinum Cup courses. These are stored in the game but can only be accessed by using cheat codes. Mute City II is based on the F-Zero course Mute City III where the course now has mines at one point and a narrower path near the end. The other courses however are exactly the same, besides the course title having II / III on the end.[citation needed]

The Championship is unlocked once all the Grand Prix courses have been unlocked. This course is only available to play in Time Attack mode.

Playable Characters[edit]

The game features 30 pilots of F-Zero X and their machines, four more new: Rick Wheeler, Lisa Brilliant, Lucy Liberty and Misaki Haruka, all from the animated F-Zero: Falcon Densetsu that aired in Japan.

Initially, only Captain Falcon, Dr. Stewart, Pico, Samurai Goroh and Rick Wheeler are available. The remaining 29 drivers have to be unlocked in the different game modes.

Game Modes[edit]

Grand Prix[edit]

In Grand Prix mode, the player chooses from one of the 34 playable characters and races through a series of tracks in the Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum cups. Each cup consists of 5 tracks, with the exception of the Platinum cup that consist of 8 races.

There are three difficultly settings that can be selected: Novice, Standard and Expert. On Expert level, each track from the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Cups are replaced with a harder version, and the name of the track has the Roman numerals "II" to denote that the track is the second version.

In each race, the player is scored by their finishing position. The points are added up after each race, and the pilot with the most points wins. 100 points is the maximum amount that a pilot can earn in a single race, and 15 is the minimum, unless the pilot's craft is destroyed in which the pilot gains 0 points. If the player's machine is destroyed, the player has the choice to use a spare machine and redo the race, or quit the cup.


Story mode is one of the two modes available at the start of the game, along with Grand Prix mode. In this mode, the player engages in a series of missions that describe the story of the game. The pilots available to play as in the Story mode are listed below:

  • Rick Wheeler
  • Captain Falcon
  • Samurai Goroh
  • Jody Summer
  • Lisa Brilliant
  • Jack Levin
  • Zoda
  • Black Shadow

Each pilot has 5 missions (6 missions for Captain Falcon and Rick Wheeler) to complete, where the player is required to either win a race, defeat a specific opponent in a race, destroy one or more target opponents, never be passed by one or two enemies, assist an ally in winning the race, help an ally defeat a specific opponent, chase an enemy, or reach a destination before the timer runs out. Finishing a mission will reward the pilot with an amount of money depending on how well the player did on that mission. Two missions can cost the pilot some money if he has enough to pay (one is to pay an entry fee for a race the pilot really wants to enter, the other is to pay for parts and labor needed to repair a different pilot's stalled machine).

Time Attack[edit]

In Time Attack mode, the player races through 5 laps on a single track to try and beat the best time possible. The player can play alone or against a ghost racer. A scoreboard of the top five best times for each track is displayed on the track selection screen, along with the best time for a single lap. After getting the best time, the player can choose to save his/her ghost to race against later, though only one ghost can be saved at a time.

The only tracks that can be selected are the ones from the Grand Prix mode, providing they have been completed in Grand Prix mode. A special course called Mute City - Championship can be unlocked and played in this mode, after unlocking all the Grand Prix courses.


In Training mode, this allows the player to race around a track of their choice to practice on any course they like. The player is able to change the number of laps, the number of machines to race against, and the level of difficultly (providing the player allows at least 1 machine on the course).

All the tracks that can be played in Time Attack mode can be selected in Training mode. The only exception is the Mute City - Championship course.

Zero Test[edit]

Zero Test is a mode to the F-Zero series, where the player attempts to complete a series of challenges, which involve reaching the end of a specific portion of track within the allocatted time. The challenges are divided into 4 classes (C, B, A, and S) where each one features 12 different tests. The classes are unlocked in sequence; so each class the player completes unlocks the next class. Times are rated from bronze to silver to gold, with gold times being extremely difficult to achieve.


In Link mode, the player races against up to four other human opponents via Game Boy Link Cable. There are two different modes, Single-Pak and Multi-Pak.

Single-Pak only requires one person to have a copy of the game. The only down side is, each player uses a different colored Dragon Bird and can only play on one course, Big Blue - Calm Sea. The main background music is also disabled. This is the only mode Big Blue - Calm Sea can be played.

Multi-Pak mode has no restrictions and allows any course from the Grand Prix to be picked and any machine that has been unlocked. If playing a two or three player game, the players choose the machine and the difficulty level to race against.

E-Reader Support[edit]

The Japanese version of F-ZEROファルコン伝説 was one of the few supported Game Boy Advance games that could be linked with the Japanese カードeリーダー+ (e-Reader as it was called in North America and Australia). Once the e+ cards are scanned in, it would create a program to send data to the game (a Game Boy Advance link cable is required) which would unlock machines, extra courses or challenges (staff ghosts).

The e+ cards could be brought in two types of packs. The “Pillow Pack” includes 1 Machine, 2 Course and 2 Challenge cards. The “Carddass Pack” which could be brought in Bandia’s card vending machines (hence the name carddass) came with 2 e+ cards and 1 Character card.

This feature was not available in the North American and European versions of the game, due to the fact the e-Reader was unpopular in North America and the e-Reader was never released in Europe.

Machine Cards[edit]

When scanned and loaded into F―ZEROファルコン伝説, this would allow the user to unlock a pilot / machine. Scanning one strip would transfer data about the pilot, while scanning the other strip would transfer data about the machine. In order to use the machine, both the pilot and machine data have to be transferred to the game.

The only way the machines “Sonic Phantom”, “Night Thunder”, “Elegance Liberty” and “Moon Shadow” could be unlocked is to use the e-reader. Since the e-reader feature was removed in F-ZERO: GP Legend (American and European versions), the game was modified so those machines could be unlocked without the use of the e-reader (clearing C-Class, B-Class, A-Class & S-Class Zero Tests and completing Rick Wheeler’s story).

Course Cards[edit]

When scanned and loaded into F―ZEROファルコン伝説, this would allow the user to unlock a new course. In order to transfer the course, both strips on the card must be scanned. After the data has been transferred, you will be given the option to save the course. The game has been designed to allow up to five courses to be saved. If you have more than five courses stored in the save file, you will be given the option to overwrite one of them. These courses can be played in ‘Time Attack’ or ‘Training’ mode. The courses will appear under the cup section named ‘Card e+’ (the voice announcer says “Card e”).

These courses are not stored in the game. The game is programmed with the necessary course pieces while the save file tells the game which course pieces to use to make up the course. This method was reused in the Japan only sequel ‘F-ZERO: Climax’ except the game had a ‘Course Editor’ that allowed the user to make their own courses. The data that gets transferred from the e-reader into the save file contains the necessary data to make the course:

  • Course number.
  • Planet to race on.
  • Pieces that make up the course.

Challenge Cards[edit]

When scanned and loaded into F―ZEROファルコン伝説, this would allow the user to unlock a challenge (staff ghost). In order to transfer the challenge, you must have the required set of cards (four in a set) and all eight strips must be scanned in. As soon as the data is transferred, you will be given an option to watch a replay of the staff ghost. You will also be given an option to save the staff ghost. Due to the fact the game can only save one staff ghost at a time, it will overwrite the current one if it exists.

Character Cards[edit]

These cards are only available in the “Carddass Pack” and are the only F―ZEROファルコン伝説 cards that are not compatible with the e-reader, since they do not have any e-reader dot codes printed on. The cards just contain information about that character from the anime and their machine (if they own one).


Aggregate scores
Review scores
Famitsu7, 7, 7, 8 of 10[8]

The game has received generally favorable reviews and has a Metacritic score of 77/100 based on 31 reviews.[5] Doug Buel from The Tampa Tribune stated F-Zero: GP Legend's effort to unite Nintendo's racing franchise with Japanese animation "works pretty well", but highlighted the game's inability to show all of the racers on the screen at once as its worst feature. This reviewer also thought controlling the vehicles had "complete consistency" when attempting to lean, slide and power boost.[3] Jeremy Parish, writing for 1UP.com, found the game to be boring and archaic if well-crafted.[6]


  1. ^ F-Zero: GP Legend Related Games - GameSpot.com
  2. ^ "F-Zero - GP Legend". Nintendo. Archived from the original on March 18, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Buel, Doug (2004-11-05). "Video Games - F-Zero : GP Legend". The Tampa Tribune. p. 41.
  4. ^ Parish, Jeremy (September 15, 2004). "F-Zero: GP Legend review". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
  5. ^ a b "F-Zero GP Legend Critic Reviews for Game Boy Advance at Metacritic.com". Metacritic. Retrieved 13 April 2012.
  6. ^ a b Jeremy Parish (2004-09-15). "F-Zero: GP Legend Review for the Game Boy Advance from 1UP.com". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2010-09-20.
  7. ^ Bramwell, Tom. "F-Zero: GP Legend". EuroGamer. Retrieved 2010-09-25.
  8. ^ Search Reviews, Articles, People, Trailers and more at Metacritic - Metacritic Archived 2008-12-02 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Score, Avery (2004-09-18). "F-Zero: GP Legend Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2010-09-20.
  10. ^ Harris, Craig (2004-09-20). "F-Zero: GP Legend Review". IGN. Retrieved 2010-09-20.
  11. ^ "F-Zero: GP Legend Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 2010-09-20.

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