Rick Wheeler (Ryu Suzaku in the Japanese version) is an F-Zero pilot first originating from F-Zero: GP Legend.
A champion racer and a detective hailing from New York in 2051, Rick's life came to a tragic end, not before he was awake from cryo-sleep for 150 years. Now a member of the Galaxy Mobile Platoon, Rick now competes in F-Zero races, but vows to bring the one who nearly killed him to justice, Zoda. His vehicle is the Dragon Bird. He's the main protagonist next to Captain Falcon and Jody Summer. His greatest rival and his best friend is Jack Levin.
Rick Wheeler always has unfathomable courage and determination when he goes against his greatest challenges. He tends to get hotheaded as he deals with Zoda as a way to avenge Haruka and repair his shattered life. Sometimes, he will get a bit foolish in several races, to the point where Jody called him a "glory hog."
Despite his impulsive nature, he's also well-known to be dedicated, strong-willed, and noble. He would even sacrifice himself if it comes to save someone else from impending death; a perfect example was when he shielded Jody from a volley of bullets from a Dark Million cruiser at Planet Alcatran.
F-Zero GP Legend
Rick Wheeler has competed in many races. In the second episode of the anime F-Zero: GP Legend, he crosses paths with the mysterious Captain Falcon and has worked with and raced against him on various occasions.
He also had a girlfriend named Haruka Misaki whom he loved very dearly before he was put into cold sleep. Before the tragic accident, he wanted to propose to himself to her. Prior to breaking the question, he was called into an assignment in hunting down Zoda, a deadly convict who escaped from prison. He was able to shoot off the driver-side door with a rifle as he escaped in a stolen vehicle, resulting in Rick's accident. He was then put into suspended animation since his injuries were too severe; the current medical technology wasn't able to heal him properly, and as he woke up he met Jody and Dr. Stewart. He then rushed out to propose to his lost love, but was always unable to find her.
By Lap 8, he kept mourning over his loss and how Zoda nearly destroyed him then. The woman he once rescued turned out to be one of Dark Million's most lethal assassins known as Luna Ryder/Lady Killer. Despite his vengeance for Zoda, he eventually discovered that she is actually Haruka brainwashed by him as soon as she woke up from cryosleep.
Later on in the anime, Dr. Stewart has revealed there was a reason why Rick was revived; he is destined to be the Savior of the universe from Black Shadow. He must obtain all the Reactor Mights before Dark Million does, and his Dragon Bird has housed one of them unbeknownst to Dr. Clash. It was said that he used to be mentored by James McCloud; a mysterious pilot that trains various racers, including those from Dark Million.
On the final episode, Bart Lemming makes a last stand against Black Shadow, and passes on the title of Captain Falcon to Rick Wheeler. After Bart's disappearance, Rick Wheeler becomes the new Captain Falcon with Clank Hughes taking over the Dragon Bird.
By default, he is a playable character with the Dragon Bird with great boost and strength, but lacking when it comes to grip and overall speed.
- Go get some skill! Hmph! I beat punks worse than him 150 years ago!
- Zoda?! He can't be alive! His face is different, but that laugh is the same.
- That was the day I joined the F-Zero team. And the day when my future...began.
- Zoda, I've waited 150 years...for THIS!
- They said I've been asleep for 150 years. But I couldn't believe it, so I rushed out to propose to Haruka. When I got to the bridge...I can't stop thinking about her, Burt. I can't get her out of my mind. And I'm not sure if I want to even if I knew how.
- Rick Wheeler's design and Japanese version name were partially inspired by Ryu from Capcom's Street Fighter, his Japanese voice actor even voiced Street Fighter Ryu. His last name is also a reference to Ryu's home stage Suzaku Castle. Near the end of the anime, he is seen in a waterfall while wearing a white dogi with a black belt. This makes him the second F-Zero pilot to reference a video game character owned by a 3rd party company. The first pilot that does this is PJ.
- Rick's English VA, Greg Abbey, had previously played Sam Speed in Sonic X and would go on to play Speed Racer Snr. in Speed Racer: The Next Generation at Season 2 replacing Peter Fernandez, and Yusei Fudo in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's - all high-speed racers in their own right.
- In the end of Lap 23, it's said that Rick was born on July 28th, and is currently 23 years old. His blood type is A.
- In Lap 34, Bart said that Rick never eats curry, which is actually Falcon's favorite food. He said it was a pity since it's on the Falcon House's menu most of the time.
- In Lap 35, it's said that Ryu lives in the Falcon House, and he keeps it neat. It also shares Bart, Clank, and Jack.
- In Lap 45, Rick's known to be a black coffee drinker, then he switched to sweet coffee. Like Zoda, he too loves sweets.
- In Lap 46, Bart stated that he was born on a farm in rural Boston, he owned a dog named Axel (which could be described as a Labrador due to the animation), and his father was a racer. He had to help out his family due to his mom's weakness from illness. He was actually once employed in the Falcon House, but Jack and Clank had to stay home sick since the food was terrible. It was no wonder since he mentioned in Episode 8 that he wasn't much of a cook, though his coffee was an exception. He could also be an only child as well.
- Lap 48 says that Rick's machine number is 00 due to his unlimited potential; even though it's coincidentally the same as Deathborn's.
- For some odd reason, Rick's eyes change color in both the American/Japanese versions; his eyes are mostly brown, but sometimes you can see them in blue as well.
- Rick meaning, abbreviation of Richard meaning strong ruler, powerful. Ryu is Japanese for One Step Ahead. Suzaku is Japanese for phoenix, red bird of the south, vermillion sparrow.
|Pilots (GP Legend)|
|Characters of F-Zero|
|Introduced in F-Zero|
|Captain Falcon - Dr. Stewart - Pico - Samurai Goroh|
|Introduced in F-Zero X|
|Antonio Guster - Mrs. Arrow - Baba - Beastman - Billy - Bio Rex - Black Shadow - Blood Falcon - Dr. Clash - Draq - Mr. EAD - Gomar & Shioh - Jack Levin - James McCloud - Jody Summer - John Tanaka - Kate Alen - Leon - Michael Chain - Mighty Gazelle - Octoman - Roger Buster - Silver Neelsen - The Skull - Super Arrow - Zoda|
|Introduced in F-Zero: Maximum Velocity|
|Megan - Mickey Marcus - Jane B. Christie - Nichi - Lord Cyber - Alexander O'Neil - Blitz Wagner - Kent Akechi - Kumiko - Professor Yazoo Jr.|
|Introduced in F-Zero GX/AX|
|Phoenix - Princia Ramode - QQQ - Don Genie - Terry "Digi-Boy" Getter - Dai Goroh - Dai San Gen - Lily Flyer - PJ - Deathborn - Spade|
|Introduced in F-Zero: GP Legend|
|Rick Wheeler - Lucy Liberty - Misaki Haruka - Lisa Brilliant|
|Introduced in F-Zero Climax|
|Berserker - Clank Hughes - Death Soldier|