F-Zero GX, one of the GameCube’s finest futuristic racers, was born as the first collaboration between Nintendo and Sega after the latter’s ill-fated departure from the console manufacturing business. It thus made sense that the game’s developer, Sega’s internal studio Amusement Vision, would be tasked with a simultaneous build of F-Zero for the Triforce arcade board, co-developed by Nintendo and Sega (and Capcom, thus “tri”) and based primarily on Gamecube architecture. Unsurprisingly, this arcade version would be called F-Zero AX. Cross-play elements were implemented between the games with use of a Gamecube memory card so that custom vehicles from GX can be played in AX and several tracks, vehicles, and custom machine parts from the arcade can be unlocked in GX. Granted, all of these arcade unlockables CAN be unlocked without tracking down an AX arcade machine, but it essentially takes 100% completion of the game, which can certainly be a daunting task for what is regarded as one of the Gamecube’s most challenging games.
Fast forward nearly ten years to November 2012 when Ralf, a prolific Action Replay coder of the GSCentral forums, had been fiddling around some with the source code and unused files included in F-Zero GX and discovered that nearly all of F-Zero AX had been included on the GX regular retail release disc. Since that time, he’s updated the code to allow for Pilot Points, to load Garage Data from F-Zero GX, and partial MAG card emulation. The latest version of Ralf’s code will be placed after the jump.
To use the code, you need to have an Action Replay disc for the Gamecube which, unfortunately, doesn’t come cheap. To make things even more complicated, there were two separate variations of Action Replay developed for the Gamecube: an earlier release which allows you to input your own custom codes in addition to the codes provided by Action Replay, and a later release which (supposedly) works with the Wii but does NOT allow you to import your own custom codes and so can NOT be used to play F-Zero AX. These newer Action Replay discs are all marked as v1.20 or higher and are visually different from the earlier Gamecube only version, as shown below.
There are other methods of hacking game ROMs on original Gamecube or Wii systems such as Gecko OS/WiiRD and the Action Replay Homebrew app, but this seems to be the simplest method which works for unmodified Gamecubes. Since learning about this amazing hack about a month prior to this posting, I haven’t been able to acquire an Action Replay (for a price I’d be happy with), but I thought it would still be helpful to collect all of the information I have since learned into one post, for my own and other’s reference. I hope to be able to tinker around with it myself sometime soon, and will definitely post more if I do.
And finally, below is the latest version of Ralf’s code. For more information, there are also links at the bottom of this page to Ralf’s topics on GSCentral, as well as to the related article on The Cutting Room Floor.
[DOL-GFZE01-NOA]; Game-ID: 537
Play F-Zero AX v8:
[DOL-GFZP01-EUR]; Game-ID: 538
Play F-Zero AX v8: