Wednesday, June 19, 2013

5 F-Zero Racers Who Should Join the Brawl!

Hot on the heels of my 5 Zelda Characters Who Should Join the Brawl and 5 Pok√©mon That Should Join the Brawl posts comes something a little further out in left field: the five top F-Zero pilots who deserve a chance to shine in the next installment of Super Smash Bros.! These guys were shattering speed records a full nine years before a podrace was even a crayon scribble in George Lucas' coloring books. Naturally the most famous of this motley crew is the legendary Captain James Falcon, but he's not the only big time player in the F-Zero Grand Prix. Falcon's self-appointed rival, Samurai Goroh, even crashed the last Smash Party as a wild and unruly Assist Trophy. While most of the F-Zero cast are extremely unimportant characters even within their own franchise, they have a (sometimes) cool superhero vibe that isn't (always) easily forgotten, and naturally there's a core cluster of characters that really deserve a bit more exposure than they're given. Just who do I think should be speeding through to join the ranks of Nintendo's all-stars? Let's take a look!

5. Samurai Goroh

Samurai Goroh probably deserves to be a bit higher up on this list, being one of only a few F-Zero pilots of note (and as mentioned above, being popular enough to find his way in as an Assist Trophy in Brawl), but I don't have any particular love for this brute. He's kind of the Wario of the F-Zero franchise, being the burly, ill-mannered rival of the smooth-as-silk protagonist. Goroh might act like a punk and make a fool of himself, but he's no pushover. His skills with the katana are unrivaled, and he's got the uncanny ability to handle two! He's also one of the original four F-Zero pilots to have appeared in the SNES-bound franchise debut, so right away that boost him a ways up the ranks. And don't worry about his sudden upgrade from Assist to Player Character, he's got two disciples who could perform precisely as he did as Assist Trophies: his son, the impulsive Dai Goroh, and his jaded frenemy, Antonio Guster. While I might not be a fan of the slimy samurai, I have to admit it would be pretty cool to play as a swordsman whose style is defined by being unrefined. I almost want him to take a slot just for the contrast between himself and the more fanciful fighters, like Marth. Almost.

4. Deathborn

Deathborn is seriously bad news. Even the Emperor of Evil, Black Shadow, answers to his call. This champion of the F-Zero Underworld tournament is probably responsible for the great devestation which left Captain Falcon hospitalized long enough to have his DNA stolen. He's supposedly died a number of times, each time having his failed organic component replaced with a robotic one in a process which managed not only to revive him but make him relatively immortal. He's got one serious chip on his shoulder, and has his sights set on conquering the known universe by harnessing the focused powers of light and dark which have been sealed within the F-Zero champion belts. Honestly, Deathborn would have been a better candidate for the place currently held by Ganondorf as the slow-moving but ungodly powerful C. Falcon clone character. Maybe he can claim the title and G-Dorf can get his own move pool this time around. Deathborn definitely ranks as one of my first picks for any Smash roster, and it's really just a random draw between these top four. The only reason he didn't get the number one spot is, frankly, his name. I don't think Nintendo is going to be all that keen on having the name "Deathborn" repeated again and again alongside "Kirby" and "Pikachu". That aside, he's certainly got the intimidation thing down. He'd be simply stunning in an actual Smash battle.

3. Pico

Like Samurai Goroh, Pico is one of the original F-Zero characters, and ears a special spot in the franchise because of it. Unlike Goroh, however, Pico has remained in the background for most of the franchise. While there's no question that he is an extremely skilled and ruthlessly efficient bounty hunter, possibly even being more of a rival to Captain Falcon than Goroh himself, he really hasn't done anything important in any narrative. Not that Goroh really has, either. Still, Pico's one cool dude, and he seems to have some vague relation to the Koopa Pack, being a large, humanoid turtle and all. Actually, his being a space turtle kind of makes me wonder if he has more in common with Michael Bay's Alien Ninja Turtles than anything else. He does kind of look like an evil Leonardo. Anyways, Pico is one of the cooler characters on the F-Zero roster, and he's a visually unique character that would really liven up any Smash battle.

2. Jody Summer

Jody Summer might seem like an odd pick for the number two spot. She has almost no importance in the games themselves, and in her only unique cutscene she does little more than dance with a sparkly ribbon. However, she plays a larger role in the events of the anime. Being some kind of space cop, I'd expect that Jody has at least some combat experience and a few toys to mess around with. Jody also seems to be a favorite among developers, having trophies in both Melee and Brawl, and often being shoehorned into most F-Zero promotional material. It's really no wonder though, because despite being extremely undeveloped, Jody is a character that just sticks with you. Her position here might simply be one of nostalgia, as she was one of the few F-Zero racers I actually cared about in my younger years (her and Bio Rex were my F-Zero X mains), but there is something about this particular character that seems to strike the right chords with a good amount of people.

1. Black Shadow

Captain Falcon's arch-nemesis, Black Shadow is a murderous lunatic with a penchant for chaos and destruction. Before Deathborn came onto the scene, it was Black Shadow who ran the criminal underground with an iron hoof. Like his goody-two-shoes enemy, Shadow wears an animal-themed costume, his being a bull. He's probably one of my favorite supervillains, let alone F-Zero characters, in terms of costume design (although his voice acting and dialogue leave a lot to be desired. When will Nintendo hire an actual script write? [The answer: Miyamoto must retire]). He doesn't quite have the threatening bulk of Deathborn and he isn't quite as stunning as Pico, but Black Shadow definitely has a  stylish blend of Loki and Magneto with just a dash of Venom, all of which are good things. He was a little top heavy in his appearance in F-Zero GX, but with a little tweaking, I'm sure he'd be a force to be feared if he ever got the chance to lay waste in Super Smash Bros..

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