Nintendo released a trio of F-Zero titles for the Game Boy Advance to diminishing returns internationally. The second of the three, 2004's F-Zero: GP Legend, was based on the anime of the same name and included support for the e-Reader accessory exclusively in the Japanese version of the game. These e-Reader cards were distributed through a combination of retail and Cardass card vending machines and added new tracks, racers, and course ghosts into the game. You can probably guess what happened next; the cards were hard to find, then they improperly preserved in the online community, and it wasn't long until the add-on tracks and other scannables fell into obscurity. Thankfully, F-Zero modder Guy Perfect has spent the past few years working on adding these e-Reader add-ons into all regions of the game (even those that did not originally support it such as the North American release) without the need for the e-Reader or the cards and eliminates the limit on how many courses can be saved to the game at once. The mod is finally complete and ready for the green light. Here's the breakdown of what's going on here from the mod's documentation:
This hack is a mod for all three versions of F-Zero: GP Legend (Japanese, North American, PAL) that incorporates all of the e-Reader content directly into the game. The modifications are as follows:
• Time Attack and Training are now permanently unlocked
• Card e+ is now permanently added to Time Attack and Training
• All 20 e-Reader courses are available in the Card e+ cup
• Challenge ghosts are available on select courses
• Existing save files will automatically be migrated on first boot
• e-Reader exclusive machines are now available if they were still locked
• The e-Reader+ option has been removed from the Link menu
• The Card e+ cup menu has been localized for each language
The courses are available in the "Card e" cup for time trials and training modes and, having played them, I can say there are some bizarre layouts here that I've never seen in a typical F-Zero game. There are courses shaped like a hand, a foot, and a bird. Want to race through a lightbulb? Here's your chance. Take a look at these layouts. The developers were having fun with these.
I love to see the fan community working to preserve this sort of content that would otherwise be lost to time. I asked Guy to explain a little more about the work that went into the project.