Lately, I’ve been playing a lot of F Zero X for Nintendo 64. It’s a grand old racing game, with a massive cast of thirty weird-looking comic-book-style characters. In most cases I don’t know their real names, and I don’t have an instruction booklet.
All I do know is – a lot of them look silly. And when I’m trying to race I find it impossible not to glance at the little portraits in the top 5 and come up with nicknames for them. Many of the names I came up with are lazy, and some of them are childish, and all of them are stupid. Nonetheless, I will now ask you to read them.
1 ) Dr Zoidberg
Dr Zoidberg, formally a local MD based in interplanetary deliveries, has fallen on hard times recently. Also something is stuck up his nose, I don’t know.
2) Those Guys From The Star Wars Cantina Scene
One of them doesn’t like you, and the other one doesn’t like you either. They’re wanted men! They have the death sentence on twelve systems! And so on.
3) Angry Father Christmas
This year nobody left him a glass of sherry on the mantelpiece. A life long alcoholic, Santa is now forced to go cold turkey, and he takes out his frustrations on his fellow F Zero racers.
4) Captain Falcon
A former crowd favourite, the Captain is doing poorly of late. His driving is fine, but every single race, without fail, one of the other racers will knock him off the side of the track, crying “Falcon punch!” and laughing as they speed away. Every single time.
5) Captain Palette-Swap
Push the button, Max!
6) Temuera Morrison
After so many years stuck in the role, New Zealand-born actor Temuera is now convinced he IS Jango Fett. With this in mind, he races around F Zero in a replica Slave 1. Nobody minds him.
7) Jodie Summer
My favourite character. I have nothing mean to say about her.
8) The Most Boring Character
I dunno. He smiles, he wears a red helmet. Be honest – you haven’t got anything either.
9) The Cruel Wizard Wrath-Amon
That’s more like it. Wrath-Amon is the leader of the Evil Serpent Men, who are from another dimension and will reveal their true form if you attack them with Star Metal.
10) Mister Hyde
Mister Hyde likes to tell people that he is the famous literary character of the same name and alter-ego to Doctor Jekyll. In fact he’s just a very ugly man with the surname Hyde.
11) Badly-Disguised Cylon
This unfortunate double agent still thinks nobody has noticed his infiltration into the F Zero ranks.
12) E Honda
Us Japanese fighters gotta stick together. CUZ WE’RE BROTHERS! HA HA HA HA!
Most famous for his appearances in Dinosaur Comics – Utahraptor is seen here in panel 5.
14) I Have No Idea
I originally had a dirty joke here, but I decided it was too crude. Make up your own story for this fella.
16) Female, Black Character
That ought to mollify that demographic. Next!
17) The Noid
Avoid him. Or better yet, knock his car over the edge of the track.
18) Super Arrow
After Jodie Summer (#7), easily my favourite character. I just love the completely serious expression on his face despite the hat, and the even more serious expression on the bird. God, I wish the bird was also wearing a hat like Super Arrow’s, except maybe with a letter B on it. In the game, his suit is bright red, which makes him even funnier looking.
I love him.
19) Doctor Smugman
The good doctor is a leading light in the field of centre-partings and races just to show off.
Remember Foetoid? From the game Forsaken?
Sure you do. Foetoid, ladies and gentlemen. I call him that because he looks a bit like Foetoid. Comedy!
21) Mister Creosote
Hercule Poirot, the great Belgian detective, stretches all his little grey cells as part of his continuing investigation at the F Zero tracks. Finally after sifting all the evidence, he gathers all the other racers together in the drawing room to… oh shit, it’s Mister Creosote.
22) The Troll
The Troll lives underneath the Rainbow Road track and, when not racing, demands tolls from other racers trying to practice. He is sick of people calling him ‘Krang’ and he does not know what they are giggling about.
23) Mrs Arrow
This attractive young lady has the extraordinary misfortune of being married to Super Arrow (#18). She is never seen without her signature sunglasses, onto the backs of which she has glued a photograph of a less ridiculous-looking man.
24) Fake Cosplay Fox McCloud
FCFMcC likes to pretend he is Fox McCloud from the Starfox games. To this end he has modelled his car to look like an Arwing and dresses like his hero at all times. He has never won.
25) Lobotomised Starwolf
Can’t let you DO that, Fake Cosplay Fox McCloud!
26) The Cryptkeeper
Hello boys and ghouls! Tonight’s terrifying tale concerns F Zero racing! He he he he he! I call this nauseating number… Driven… to DEATH!!
In recent years the Cryptkeeper has lost his hair.
27) Handsome Jack AKA Not Tom Paris
This handsome young chap spends so much time preening himself in the rear-view mirror that he has yet to actually start an F Zero race. He seems happy enough.
28) Michael Chain
Michael Chain is only a part time racer. During the week he teaches Art History at Stanford University, and campaigns tirelessly against racial stereotyping. Also – Michael’s car looks like a big orange toast rack.
29) Absolutely Not Captain Picard
Nobody knows what this gentleman’s real name is because everyone is so used to calling him ‘Captain Picard’. He hates it, and even got a tattoo on his head, just to make him look less like the famous TV character. The irony is that if he didn’t get so annoyed every time, they’d stop calling him that. After hours, he likes to hang around with Handsome Jack (#27) so they can discuss how they are totally NOT Captain Picard and Tom Paris, respectively.
30) Doc Brown
F Zero tracks? Where we’re going we don’t need… F Zero tracks…