F-Zero’s Captain Falcon Was Originally Conceived As The Super Nintendo Mascot

Captain

When the Super Nintendo released back in 1991, it was clear that Mario was the focal point for the system, with Super Mario World pretty much selling alongside every unit. But that wasn’t always the way that Nintendo looked at marketing the system, as it almost had an entirely different mascot in mind – Captain Falcon.

For those that need a reminder, Falcon is the heroically dressed driver featured in the original F-Zero, as well as its subsequent sequels (and, of course, the Smash Bros. games). Recently, Nintendo sat down with the F-Zero development team to discuss its legacy, since it’s included in the just-released SNES Classic Edition console.

It’s there that one of the game’s designers, Takaya Imamura, confirmed Falcon’s potential as a SNES mascot, though things fell through. Here’s the exact excerpt from the team’s interview:

"Sao: Changing the topic, I’d like to ask about the characters. Captain Falcon and other characters don’t appear in gameplay, so how did they come about?

Imamura: I remember we started thinking about various things after the game was complete.

Sao: You didn’t think about characters at all during development.

Imamura: No. Captain Falcon was originally the mascot character for Super NES.

Sao: What?!

Shimizu: That statement is a bit shocking, isn’t it? (laughs)

Sao: Yes! (laughs) I’ve never heard that Captain Falcon was the mascot for Super NES.

Imamura: Even most people at Nintendo don’t know that. 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."

There are other notes with the interview, including Shigeru Miyamoto making the decision to remove invisible walls, as well as how F-Zero was conceived as something else at the beginning – a decision Nintendo of America wasn’t initially happy about.

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It's a fantastic look back at one of the SNES’ better racing games, and a blast from the past for fans of the series. And, hey, we would’ve gotten behind Captain Falcon as a mascot. Then we would’ve all mastered the Falcon Punch and all that.

The SNES Classic Edition is available now.