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F-Zero GX/Regional Differences

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Hmmm...
To do:
Document the sign difference in Aeropolis course (Japanese version has the sign "超解桁" while international versions have the sign "PROCESSING F-ZERO FILE")

Exclusive Custom Parts

GX has 15 "special" custom parts which could only be unlocked through Japan-only promotional events in 2003 and early 2004, shortly after the game's release. However, all versions of GX have these parts, although the only alternative to unlock these parts nowadays is to use cheat codes.

The special parts were distributed in two ways:

  • With special AX License Cards. Bring the License Card, along with a GameCube Memory Card with GX data, to an AX machine. Insert the Memory Card and License Card, then play a round of AX. When the race is over, the License Card's specified parts will be unlocked on the Memory Card's GX data.
  • Through download stations at particular events or shops. Bring a GameCube Memory Card with GX data, insert it into the station, and follow some instructions. The parts available in the download station will then be unlocked on the Memory Card's GX data.

The 15 special parts were given out in five groups of three. Each group of three parts formed a machine with a special name:

Machine Name Body Cockpit Booster
Bahamut Mad Bull Crazy Buffalo Mars -EX
El Dorado Metal Shell Round Disk Shuttle -M2
Gladiator Galaxy Falcon Rush Cyclone Hornet -FX
Thunder Storm Rage Knight Hyper Stream Velocity -J
Chrono Symphony Blood Raven Maximum Star Crown -77

Here were the events that offered the special parts:

Event Date Location Machine(s) and distribution details Other details
License card in game case N/A N/A Bahamut - License Card. Came in a limited number of F-Zero GX game cases, only in Japan.
Download stations in stores 2003/10/04 - ? 29 stores throughout Japan Gladiator - Download station
F-Zero Galaxy Cup in Akihabara 2003/10/04 - 2003/10/05 Club Sega Akihabara Thunder Storm - Download station
El Dorado - License Card given to tournament participants
There were two Vs. Battle tournaments, with 64 participants each.
F-Zero Galaxy Cup in Tokyo Joypolis 2003/11/08 Tokyo Joypolis Chrono Symphony - Download station
El Dorado - License Card given to tournament participants
The Vs. Battle tournament had 32 participants. The overall event was called "F-Zero Climax", and also promoted the new F-Zero: GP Legend anime and upcoming game.
F-Zero Galaxy Cup in Ikebukuro 2003/11/30 Ikebukuro GiGO Chrono Symphony - Download station
El Dorado - License Card given to tournament participants
There were two Vs. Battle tournaments, with 64 participants each. Participants of the first tournament got the License Card. Participants of the second tournament got a special GameCube Memory Card case.
F-Zero Galaxy Cup in Umeda Joypolis 2004/01/17 Umeda Joypolis Chrono Symphony, Thunder Storm, Gladiator - Download station
El Dorado - License Card given to tournament participants
The Vs. Battle tournament had 32 participants.
Download stations at the 19th World Hobby Fair Four weekends from 2004/01/18 to 2004/02/08 Osaka Dome, Makuhari Messe (Tokyo), Nagoya Dome, Fukuoka Dome Chrono Symphony, Thunder Storm, Gladiator - Download station

The tournaments seem to have involved 2-player or 4-player simultaneous matches of F-Zero AX. It's worth noting that El Dorado was only given out to tournament participants, and as a result only up to 320 people could have gotten it.

English Prototype Remnants

Hmmm...
To do:
Pictures or video.

The Japanese release loads an incomplete English translation when region lock is broken to let foreign consoles run it. Missing elements include the title screen as well as various text, HUD elements, and menu graphics. There's also some "Engrish", but the issue does not occur with the game set to boot AX content.

Hmmm...
To do:
Set up comparison table between English lines.

The game defaults to using English subtitles for Story Mode scenes, which is different from the normal Japanese mode (which normally uses Japanese subtitles) and the final US version as played on a US console (no subtitles unless Z is pressed).

Mario Kart: Double Dash!! Bonus Disc

The GX demo on the Mario Kart: Double Dash!! Bonus Disc contains the same graphics as the Japanese version outlined below. This includes everything from the sign textures to Mute City's and Story Mode 7's backdrops - it even has the dummy aur backdrop neatly hidden in bmp_stg.arc. The main menu uses the Japanese "PRESS START BUTTON" as opposed to the English "PRESS START/PAUSE".

Speaking of menus, the demo loads the all-caps "Engrish" menu options that would display should the NTSC-J version boot in English: for instance, "EXIT" appears instead of "Quit".

Graphical Differences

Most of the edits to the textures were for localization purposes, though some are blatant censoring of foreign content. Closer inspection of the graphics indicates that some images were altered significantly, as some backgrounds were reproduced. They were quite thorough: even the texture from Story 1 have been edited, having passed through a similar filter as the originals.

Mute City & Story 1

Japanese US/PAL
FZGXJgofast.png FZGXUgofast.png

If it weren't in English, how would we know to 'GO FAST'? In the Japanese image, "減速注意" is pronounced "gensoku chuui" and literally means "Deceleration warning".

Japanese - Mute City US/PAL - Mute City
FZGXJmutedinner.png FZGXUmutedinner.png
Japanese - Story 1 US/PAL - Story 1
FZGXJmutedinnerSTORY.png FZGXUmutedinnerSTORY.png

"Mute Dinner" was changed to "Mute Diner" in subsequent releases of the game. The reworked sign is noticeably dimmer.

Japanese - Mute City US/PAL - Mute City
FZGXJsushibar.png FZGXUsushibar.png
Japanese - Story 1 US/PAL - Story 1
FZGXJsushibarSTORY.png FZGXUsushibarSTORY.png

Can't read Japanese? No worries, you can't read fake alien language either. The kanji in the Japanese image (寿, kotobuki) means "long life".

Japanese - Mute City US/PAL - Mute City
FZGXJwwfood.png FZGXUwwfood.png
Japanese - Story 1 US/PAL - Story 1
FZGXJwwfoodSTORY.png FZGXUwwfoodSTORY.png

Once again, the localization team changed the Japanese characters into fake text. Its background is ill-recreated, though somewhat less obvious on Story 1's copy. There are four kanjis in the Japanese image: 大 (dai), meaning "big"; 田 (ta), meaning "rice field" and "酒家" (shuka), meaning "restaurant". The characters are read together as "oota shuka".

Japanese - Mute City US/PAL - Mute City
FZGXJelectricstore.png FZGXUelectricstore.png
Japanese - Story 1 US/PAL - Story 1
FZGXJelectricstoreSTORY.png FZGXUelectricstoreSTORY.png

More of the same. Tampering of the image is also quite noticeable. The kanji on the Japanese image (電, den) means "electricity".

Japanese - Mute City
FZGXJsign.png
US/PAL - Mute City
FZGXUsign.png
Japanese - Story 1
FZGXJsignSTORY.png
US/PAL - Story 1
FZGXUsignSTORY.png

Because the Japanese equivalent of "Galaxy Diner" is shorter than the English text, the Japanese version has two extra arrows after "24H". In the Japanese image, "好吃飯店" (kouchi hanten) means "Friendly Hotel" and "銀河酒家" (ginga shuka) means "Galactic Restaurant".

Fire Field

Japanese US/PAL
FZGXJfire1.png FZGXUfire1.png
Japanese US/PAL
FZGXJfire2.png FZGXUfire2.png

For the sake of in-game legibility, the Japanese text was removed and "Cource" was corrected to "Course".

Casino Palace

Japanese US/PAL
FZeroGXJsonicoval.png FZeroGXUsonicoval.png

Vegas Palace in Japan was renamed Casino Palace overseas.

Venue Backdrops

Mute City

Japanese US/PAL
FZAX-mutecitybg.png F-Zero GX Mute City.png

The Japanese venue backdrop for Mute City uses the older, unused track texture seen at E3 2002 and replaces the misspelled "Mute Dinner" sign with "Mute Diner" and is identical to the one seen in AX. The courses textural "error" itself is most likely a result of Amusement Vision deciding to use the com (Sonic Oval) track texture on all Mute City stages late in development. Much like Story 3's backdrop, it was an oversight left in the game. When the North American localization team went through, they updated all backdrops for Mute City related stages only to correct the sign images, simultaneously and inadvertently updating the track texture.

Story 7

Japanese US/PAL
FZeroGXJstory7.png FZeroGXUstory7.png

The Japanese version once again depicts the AX mut track texture and "Mute Dinner" sign, although GX does in fact use the old track texture for about 80% of the starting pad in Story 7.

Sonic Oval

Japanese US/PAL
FZGXcom BG JP.png FZGXcom BG US.png

The localization team was seriously determined to eliminate all traces of Japanese text; they went so far as to blur the sign graphics in this backdrop.

Interviews

After successfully completing a Grand Prix, the player gets the chance to interview their selected machine's pilot. Depending on which difficulty is completed, the selection of questions change. Of those, some were censored or removed once brought over from Japan. The following lists those cases.

Baba

In the western release, Baba's first Expert difficulty question was replaced with another previously asked question from Master difficulty. His last Master difficulty question was removed with no substitution.

Question Answer
The winner of the Expert Class. Congratulations! The F-Zero goddess wins again!
What a powerful, dynamic performance you gave us today! Never underestimate a man in drag!

Black Shadow

Completing a cup on Standard difficulty with Black Shadow originally had a question in which he proclaimed he would "send you straight to hell!". They simply took an existing question from Master difficulty to take its place.

Question Answer
Your rivals are howling for revenge! I'll send you straight to hell! It will be painless, I promise you...

Digi-Boy

Digi-Boy's final Master difficulty question was removed with no substitution.

Question Answer
Do you believe in God? Hahaha. Who believes in such illusions?

Pico

Pico's third Novice difficulty interview made a possible Superman reference. For the western release, it repeats a question from Standard difficulty.

Question Answer
That's a great machine you've got there. Ahahahaha! Faster than a speeding bullet!

Roger Buster

One of Roger's Expert questions had an instance of "Beer", now replaced instead with "Drink".

Question Answer
Japanese How will you use the one billion space credits in prize money? First of all, on a nice, cold beer!
English How will you use the one billion space credits in prize money? First of all, on a nice, cold drink!
(Source: Distant_Rainbow)

Other Differences

Hmmm...
To do:
pictures of these differences can be found from this video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbV-XbHSOVA (start from 15:04 of video).
Japanese US/PAL
FZGX-GFZJ01-TitleScreenWithPrompt.png FZGX-GFZE01-TitleScreenWithPrompt.png
  • In the Japanese version, the main menu has a text that reads "PRESS START BUTTON" as opposed to the international versions having a text that reads "PRESS START/PAUSE". International versions also have a short delay before the start button can be pressed.
Japanese US/PAL
FZGX-GFZJ01-MachineSelectScreen.png FZGX-GFZE01-MachineSelectScreen.png
  • In the vehicle selection menu, on the top-left of the screen it says "Machine Select" in the Japanese version. In the international versions it says "Select Machine".
  • The Japanese version doesn't have the ability to turn off the subtitles during the story cutscenes and racer interviews. This is most likely due to the fact that all versions of the game has English voice acting. In the international versions you can toggle on/off the subtitles during the story cutscenes and racer interviews by pressing the Z button.
  • On Chapter 5 of story mode in the Japanese version you die instantly once the timer reaches zero, but in the international versions you get 0.5 more seconds to make it to the goal when the timer reaches zero.
  • The timer after you clear a story mode chapter doesn't show up in the Japanese version, but they do in the international versions.
  • In Time Trial, if you complete a course under 20 seconds in the international versions, you will not be able to see your lap splits like you normally would. Your record won't be saved. The Japanese version, on the contrary, behaves normally when you finish under 20 seconds (you see splits and can save the record).
  • Minimaps in the course selection menu are more zoomed-in in the Japanese version.
  • In the main menu, on the top-left of the screen it says "Mode Select" in the Japanese version. In the international versions it says "Select Mode".
  • In the speed settings menu, on the top-left of the screen it says "Machine Setting" in the Japanese version. In the international versions it says "Machine Settings".
  • In the course selection menu, on the top-left of the screen it says "Course Select" in the Japanese version. In the international versions it says "Select Course".
(Source: CosmoCortney, CrazyGameNerd)