F-Zero AX is the arcade version of F-Zero. It has some unique cross-platform capabilities where you can unlock ships and tracks for use on your gamecube F-Zero GX. SkedarKiller shares all the ins and outs of F-Zero AX below. Enjoy!
What is Bahamut? Can you get it?
In Japan, the first buyers of F-Zero GX got a special licence card. Once they go to the arcade and insert the memory card, then the licence card, they automatically got three bonus parts: The Mad Bull cockpit, the Crazy Buffalo body and the Mars -EX booster. Together, they make up a unique custom called Bahamut. However, no such card shipped with the North American version. Trust me, I've played AX with a memory card and a licence card, and no Bahamut parts. Therefore, Bahamut is not attainable in North America as of now. (Unless, of course, you purchase Action Replay which lets you unlock all of the AX parts, including the Japanese event exclusive ones).
How do you unlock stuff? Do you just need your memory card to get the AX characters from the machine, or do I need a license card to get them?
AX Racers: You only need the memory card. You don't even need to come in first; I saw a guy race with the Pink Spider today: he came in 10th, but got the Pink Spider uploaded to his card anyways.
AX Parts: You need both the memory card and the licence card. After upgrading, if your custom licence card racer is made up of parts you don't have at home, they're automatically uploaded to the shop in GX.
AX Tracks: No experience on this, but I believe you only need the memory card. It appears as though you do need to come in first to get an AX track unlocked at home.
Is it difficult?
It's about as hard as Expert/Master, but that's not too difficult. The biggest challenge is going from controller to steering wheel. Once you get the hang of that (plus the swivelling seat if you're playing the deluxe cabinet), it's no harder than at home.
Okay, if I've unlocked everything in GX including all AX racers, AX parts and AX tracks, is there anything else you can get out of the arcade version?
No. Since Bahamut turns out to be unlockable (as mentioned above), everything you can get from the arcade machine, you can get from home with sufficent skill.
Do you choose a difficulty level or is it set?
There is no difficulty level to choose from. They're set somewhere around Expert/Master.
Does it take a whole dollar to play? And how much racing time do you get out of each credit? What happens if you break down?
The price differs from arcade to arcade. Expect the price to be $1 or $2. If you break down, you get restored, as if the "restore" option is on during a practice/multiplayer run. If you run out of time (you get an extra 10-30 seconds by crossing a checkpoint or the finish line), you're retired, and it's game over. If you complete all laps (8 on Sonic Oval, 6 on Screw Drive, 4 on Meteor Stream, 3 on everything else), it's game over, too (like in Initial D). You get the same number of laps in Time Attack as you do in Grand Prix.
Would a third-party memory card work on AX?
I observed somebody using a third-party card today, and it worked fine for him. So, yes.
How do you get a licence card?
After you enter the money and start up, you will be prompted to enter a licence card and memory card (Insert your memory card before you insert the licence card). If you have no licence card, you will then be prompted on whether you want to create a licence card, assuming the machine hasn't run out of them. The price is that of another race; if one credit at the machine costs you $1, the price of the licence card will be $1. If one credit is 50 cents, then the licence card will cost 50 cents, and so on.
Are the graphics any different?
I'm told that the AX graphics are higher-res, but once you start duelling with other racers at 1,000 km/h, you'll be too busy to look for textures that are of higher resolution. Personally, I don't see a difference.
What kind of custom racer do you get with your licence card?
The machine randomly takes AX parts and throws them together to create your AX racer. At the end of each race, if you have enough points (15,000), you're given the choice of two other parts for each component (the option to switch to two other AX cockpits, two other AX boosters and two other AX bodies), as well as another pilot, chosen at random (20,000). To get a better idea of how many times you need to play to switch stuff, you get 22,500 for coming in first on Spiral, and about 500 for every enemy you knock out.
How many tracks can you race on?
You only get to choose from the six AX tracks in F-Zero AX.
How much does the machine swivel?
I'm told it swivels about 15 degrees, but it feels like a lot more on courses like Meteor Stream. Maybe it's because I was so into it, but who knows...
Do you plug your stuff inside the both close to you? What is the likelihood of your stuff being stolen?
You don't need to worry about theft; the licence card goes into the reader and doesn't come out until the game over screen, precluding theft altogether. The memory card slot is a little to the right of the wheel, so although somebody could theoretically snatch it and run, it's close enough at hand and discreet enough to keep most people from doing it.
Can you have any other saves besides the GX ones on your memory card?
From personal experience, yes.
What's the licence card like?
It's the size of a credit card, except noticably thinner. Just keep it in your wallet and you won't have to worry about losing it.
If you've read all the way down here, you have quite an attention span! Congratulations!
Rumors implies that F-ZERO AX is an unlockable mode that can be accessed in F-ZERO GX through cheat devices such as AR, and that the "ENTIRE" AX content exists in GX. Is that true?
Not quite, there's a misconcption regarding this whole discovery. It was discovered that leftovers from F-ZERO AX's racing mode could be unlocked in GX through cheat devices. However, due to misinformation being released online after the major discovery, the truth was left hidden. It is not true that the entire F-ZERO AX content can be found within F-ZERO GX. Only traces of AX content was left within GX's data. There's AX physics, ghost data, exclusive AX menus, proper functioning etc. that can only be accessed through AX's data. There's also a lot of beta GX/AX content included only within AX's data.
What are the different ghosts that can be raced against?
When selecting a course, you'll be given an option to race against a ghost of your liking. You'll be given five options:
Rival Ghost: Ghost a Bit Faster Than Your Best Time
Ghost by each Machine: Fastest Ghost by each Machine
Champion Ghost: Top Ranking Ghost
Staff Ghost: Battle with Staff Ghost *
*NOTE: The menu only displays the first four options. In order to make the Staff Ghost option to appear, one must hold the brake button. It will turn the "Champion Ghost" option into "Staff Ghost".
List of Staff Ghost times:
Mute City - Sonic Oval - 1'54"721
Aeropolis - Screw Drive - 2'06"823
Outer Space - Meteor Stream - 2'10"006
Port Town - Cylinder Wave - 2'06"837
Lightning - Thunder Road - 3'14"371
Green Plant - Spiral - 3'50"959
What is the exclusive F-ZERO AX technique called T-Drift (Turbo-Drift)?
Since F-ZERO AX has slightly different physics compared to F-ZERO GX, the technique known as Snaking in GX behaves differently in AX.
To perform the T-Drift technique, one has to use a machine with a certain grip condition and cornering ability. Usually, machines with strong grip can pull this off, as long as they also have strong drifting abilities.
Machine examples: Fire Stingray, Fat Shark - or custom built such as: Heat Dragon-EX, Aerial Whale-EX, Rush Eagle
Similar to Snaking, T-Drift will only work with the machine settings set to max acceleration and if the grip of the machine is broken (in a drift state). To achieve this, try to alternate between L+Left and R+Right while also tapping the air brakes. Once the grip is broken, one only needs to keep holding A+R if facing in the left direction, or A+L if facing in the right direction. With proper handling combined with another technique called MT, speeds of 4000 km/h can be reached true this powerful technique.