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The F-Zero Series' Black Sheep Still Opens at Maximum Aural Force

Illustration for article titled The iF-Zero/i Series Black Sheep Still Opens at Maximum Aural Force

My mind’s been wandering towards F-Zero lately, probably because of the rumored Star Fox racing game, yet another instance (allegedly) of Nintendo continuing to strategically ignore a certain other futuristic racer. I eventually remembered that Oh yeah! It had some installments on the Game Boy Advance, right?


Sure, it had some continuations of the main series, like GP Legend. The one that I remembered playing as a kid, however, was F-Zero: Maximum Velocity, practically a launch title for the GBA. That was a weirder one, for rather than all of the familiar and iconic faces like Captain Falcon, this was a decades-into-the-future spin-off starring a new generation.

And there’s nothing that makes such a reality hit harder than the fact that once you start up the Pawn Cup, Maximum Velocity’s first grand prix, your first race is not in Mute City.


Its theme sure is great, though.

F-Zero: Maximum Velocity
Masaru Tajima, Mitsuteru Furukawa, and Naoto Ishida
“Bianca City”


Anyone who’s read this Loved Trax series for the long-term may have realized that I’ve constantly neglected highlighting any songs 16-bit or earlier, as well as the handheld gaming equivalents of that. It’s a state of affairs that I really ought to change; this seems like as good of a first step as possible.

Because “Bianca City” is hype!! It’s also a triumph over technical limitations; it has to work with a GBA-level soundbank, yet despite that, it still does an admirable approximation of momentous hard rock. It’s got the Iron Maiden “Run To The Hills” rapid strumming. It’s got the heroic dual guitar leads. It’s even got a ska-style fast disco beat laying underneath everything. And the persistent synth arpeggio is an excellent touch that brings it all together.


As far as my pre-teen self was concerned, playing Maximum Velocity was worth it solely to speed along the raceway while this tune is pumping. Which was a good thing, because I came across Bianca City the first track a lot; this game was hard as hell.

Can someone deliver us a full-fidelity new version of this theme, please? Mute City has approximately a thousand renditions, for crying out loud! This surely deserves at least a second one.


RedStripe Loved Trax—originally from days of Tumblr past—is a series about the music Justin adores, with special emphasis on songs from (or introduced by) video games and anime.

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