Nintendo developed in the mid-nineties a spin-off of the F-Zero saga for Virtual Boy, but did not publish it never despite the fact that the game was finished.
Jim Wornell, a former Nintend of America, has confirmed in an interview with Did You Know Gaming that Zero Racers’ launch (which was initially titled G-Zero) was canceled despite being complete, due to the commercial failure of The Virtual Boy.
“As an associate producer […] wrote the screen text, the text of the manual and the box, I made screenshots, supervised the error correction and approval processes, I cooperated with NCL, I worked on Marketing and the Advertising, etc. Anything that had to do with the launch of a game in North America was my responsibility. G-Zero, later known as Zero Racers, was on my list of projects. “
He also adds that “Zero Racers was finished, we had completed the manual, the box, the labeling for the game, spent a lot of tests, had the age of ESRB. It was complete.”
The game even came to appear in the numbers of July and August 1996 of the Nintendo Power magazine. At first it would have arrived at the stores a couple of years before F-Zero X and would have included new characters like James McCloud or Jody Summer, which were finally released in the Nintendo 64 game.
As we said, Zero Racers was canceled due to the failure of the Virtual Boy. The console barely sold 770,000 units in Japan and the United States, and never launched in Europe.
Regarding F-Zero, the last published delivery is F-Zero Climax, for Game Boy Advance exclusively for Japan in 2004. In the West the last game of the saga that we could enjoy was F-Zero GX for GameCube, very loved by the public.
The future of the franchise does not seem very flattering, after the march of Nintendo of the art director and designer of characters Takaya inamura last year. Soon we will see, yes, to F-Zero X in the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack catalog.