Those of us fortunate enough to snag an SNES classic this Friday may have skipped over F-Zero in favor of more revered classics like Super Mario World, A Link To The Past, and Earthbound. But Perhaps F-Zero should have been a little bit more front-and-center in the SNES Classic's messaging, since the game's main character was originally created as the console's mascot.
In a recent developer interview about the games on the system, F-Zero designer Takaya Imamura revealed that Captain Falcon (who debuted in F-Zero but who most people now remember as that guy in Super Smash Bros. with the powerful knee) was originally conceived as the official mascot of the SNES. "When development of F-ZERO was almost complete, I was doing a bunch of illustrations and someone expressed a desire to make a mascot character for Super NES, with a name like Captain Something," Imamura said. "So I started thinking about a character who would match the colors of the Super Famicom controller, with some red and blue and yellow."
Though the character was conceived as the console's leading man, Imamura doesn't remember how Captain Falcon ended up as the protagonist of F-Zero instead. "Originally, he was Captain Something-or-Other, but we started talking about what to do for the F-ZERO packaging, and I tried drawing something in the style of an American comic." Imamura told Interviewer Akinori Sao. Director Kazunobu Shimizu says that when the F-Zero team showed Nintendo of America the original designs for the character, "the reaction was overwhelmingly positive. Then all sorts of ideas came up, like including it in the game manual." The entire interview is worth a read if you're a big F-Zero fan or just like reading about the creation of retro games.
Just think: we could be living in a world where Captain Falcon ends up being the mascot of Nintendo, instead of just the mascot of our hearts. Though, if Captain Falcon were designed around the color scheme of the American SNES, he'd probably look a lot more boring.