When Mario Kart 8 and its new gravity-defying “drive on the walls and ceiling” gimmick was unveiled, a lot of long-time Nintendo fans raised a skeptical eyebrow. This new Mario Kart looked a lot like F-Zero, a franchise Nintendo has sadly neglected in recent years. While Nintendo has yet to admit F-Zero inspired Mario Kart 8, it turns out the futuristic racing series was key to the creation of the original SNES Mario Kart.
In a new interview with Retro Gamer magazine, series originators Shigeru Miyamoto, Hideki Konno, and Tadashi Sugiyama admit Super Mario Kart began life as an F-Zero multiplayer prototype.
Here's it is from the creators own mouths:
“Our original plan for Mario Kart didn’t include Mario or karts. The game’s roots lie in one of the launch titles for the SNES: F-Zero. The game was designed for single-player gameplay because of our focus on getting across the sense of speed and the size of the courses. It was a prototype for a multiplayer version of F-Zero that ended up being the starting point for Super Mario Kart, and from there we went through a period of trial and error to find what worked.”
So, there you have it – without F-Zero, Mario Kart would exist. Clearly Mario Kart is as popular as ever, and the latest game in the series proved there’s an audience for trippy antigravity racing and faster speeds (Mario Kart 8 added a new 200cc mode), so will Nintendo ever give F-Zero another shot at the spotlight? Honestly, I think the time is right. They could make a new F-Zero using the Mario Kart 8 engine for relatively cheap, so they wouldn’t even need to sell too many copies. Make it happen, Nintendo.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe hits the Nintendo Switch on April 28.