FZeroJP: How I trolled the F-Zero community
With the release of F-Zero 99, revealed to everyone’s surprise a few weeks back during a Nintendo Direct, it marks the first time F-Zero has been relevant in nearly 20 years.
Well… except for a moment not too long ago, in comparison to those 20 years. So, it’s time for another surprise reveal, one that has remained under wraps until now.
Back in July 2020, an Internet user came across a locked account on then-Twitter (now X) with the username of “supermario35th”. This account was very limited in info. It had a default profile picture, nonsensical name (
aaaaaaaaaaa), and was registered only a few months prior in March 2020. What made this account interesting was not only the username, but the account recovery email. If you had attempted to request a password reset for this account, it would display a specific email, one that looked a lot like something from Nintendo. The full story of this can be found on VGC.
Most people quickly realized this was in fact an official Nintendo account, due to a combination of the email domain (
n******.**.** -> nintendo.co.jp), and other official Nintendo accounts using an email with a similar pattern of the first two letters being
ml followed by the
n******.**.** domain, such as @SplatoonJP and @SmashBrosJP.
I was preplexed by this at the time. My rationale was Nintendo likely has enough power to not require obtaining an account this early in advance. They could simply ask Twitter to give it to them. However, this lead me down another thought process.
s/o to Chase
I immediately jumped the gun at this idea. The thought of teasing gulible Nintendo fans like this was too much of a tempting offer to resist. Out of sheer luck, I also had an alternate Twitter account with no activity that I just so happened to also create in March 2020.
“Just rename the account to something interesting, like FZeroJP, and acquire a .co.jp domain”, I thought to myself. This was going to be so simple to pull off, right? Well…
Gaijins not allowed.
This put .co.jp as a TLD out of the question and quickly limited my options. My only hope at this point was to find an inexpensive two-letter domain with a two-letter TLD. Not exactly straightforward. Luckily, after some sleuthing around, I eventually found one that still had one available: Iceland.
‘v0’ in reference to Airmoto, of course.
With a domain in hand, the only extra prep I had to do was temporarily create an email alias via a 3rd party service so I could re-verify my alternate Twitter account, and we were in business. After that, I locked down the account, made it look identical to the @supermario35th account, and while still private, tweeted what would be the reveal of the beast.
This actually still works as of this writing!
All that remained at this point was an initial bombing ground for where to “leak” this information. Of course, we had to choose Reddit. It didn’t take long to spread. ResetEra, GoNintendo, even VGC, the original outlet that reported on the @supermario35th account, brought it to attention. Some personal friends got word of it too. Even GameXplain made a video. Twice.
Of course, no announcement was actually going to happen, but neither was any Super Mario 35th anniversary news, so even after the Direct came and went, there was a belief it was still real. However, I also had a personal concern that leaving it up any longer left potential for Nintendo to take the account down sooner than we could have our fun with it.
Shortly after the Direct concluded, the account was made public.
The final reveal was simply just Bigyajue.
The tweet (thank you kindly Archive.org for preserving this nearly in full!) garnered nearly 2k likes and 90k views. It also had a brief stint of coverage in Japan. Of course, most news outlets shrugged this off as “porn”, so I believe not many ultimately saw the tweet, but those that did were in for a nice surprise, especially several friends.
This has been a closely kept secret up until this point. With F-Zero 99’s release, I felt now was the right time to bring this to the public. F-Zero is now relevant again, but the story behind @FZeroJP (later suspended in 2022) would have potentially faded away otherwise. And, frankly, I still find the story funny to this day, and hope others could see the humor in it too.
…F-Zero 99 is pretty great by the way.