In 2003 Nintendo released the highly anticipated follow up to their futuristic racing series with F-Zero GX. Upon release, the game also sped into the arcades with F-Zero AX, an adapted version of the game. Although it was assumed these were different games, the arcade game has been found sat dormant within F-Zero GX and is very much accessible.
If you've managed to play F-Zero AX in the arcades, you're quite the lucky one - very few of these machines still seem to be in use today. F-Zero AX utilised the Triforce arcade system board which was a joint creation between by Namco, Sega, and Nintendo, which was effectively hardware based upon the Nintendo Gamecube.
This similarity between hardware enabled Nintendo to develop both F-Zero GX and AX at the same time. During development, AX was given a selection of exclusive tracks which could be obtained on GX by inserting your Gamecube memory card into the arcade machine. Upon downloading this additional data, the Gamecube version of the game would then grant access to the hidden AX cup.
While many of us have been content with F-Zero GX and its many offerings, others have since decided to dig deeper into the decade old game. Upon doing so, they managed to strike gold. Not only were the previously mentioned unlockable AX race tracks included within retail copies of the Gamecube game, but also the entire F-Zero AX arcade game too, in a fully playable form.
This hidden version of the game, of course, features the much loved timed-arcade-gameplay into the high speed racer, along with the many different coin-op screens not present in the retail version. Gamers can now enjoy a whole new dimension to F-Zero GX at home in true coin-op style. Suddenly the lack of AX machines out in the wild isn't as upsetting.
F-Zero AX hidden in Gamecube's F-Zero GX (Gameplay Video)
So how do you go about enjoying this arcade treat? All you need is the Nintendo Gamecube Action Replay or Gameshark and the PAL or NTSC version of F-Zero GX. Using the codes below, you'll be granted access to this hidden portion of the game:
Code to access AX [PAL]
Code to access AX [NTSC-U]
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