I still remember the first day I owned a Super Nintendo. I was with my grandmother in Canberra, and we went into the DJ’s at Woden Plaza where they had a demo setup playing F-Zero. We ended up leaving with Super Mario World and F-Zero. It was a good day.

I didn’t bring much with me from Australia to the US, but I still have my original SNES controller here. It was a Big Deal in my growth as a person. Super Mario World was one of those games that turned me into a designer. It’s in my top 5. F-Zero, through no fault of its own, turned me into the jaded husk of a man I am today.

See, I was really good at F-Zero. Specifically, Mute City - I had that track down on lock. Anything above 2:51 was a terrible time, and I could usually break 2:50 on good runs. All of my schoolmates who challenged me were defeated. I was a golden god, until the American exchange student came to town.

I don’t even remember his name now. I just remember standing outside our classroom, and the topic of conversation moved to F-Zero. I bragged about my 2:49 lap times. Then, that goddamn seppo dropped his line.

"What? That’s a terrible time. My best is 2:32"

Even worse, he had verification from other kids who’d seen him do it. I was basically nobody now. I practiced and practiced, but never figured out how he was shaving off that much time. I’m skipping some details, but this story ends with me changing schools and never mentioning F-Zero again.

A decade later, Super Nintendo emulation becomes feasible. For old times sake, I grab a F-Zero ROM and play. I’m obviously rusty.

I get a time in the 2:30s. That goddamned asshole. Of course he got a faster time, his dumb imported purple console was 17.5% faster than all of ours. What a goddamned fucking hack on a pogo stick! If I translated my time, I would have completely smoked him! GodDAMMIT! WHAT A FUCKING HACK.

I still can’t remember this guy’s name, but every year or so I try googling around to see if I can finally get revenge. I never do.

Now, Nintendo of Europe has the balls to side with this guy, and whitewash all of the victorious lap times that us non-yanks achieved. This is our thanks for sticking by you when you didn’t release Animal Crossing? This is our thanks for being stuck with Doshin the Giant instead of Earthbound?!


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