Star Fox (series)
Star Fox series logo. Based on the Star Fox: Assault logo.
|Platforms||Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo 64, Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U|
|Platform of origin||Super Famicom/Super Nintendo Entertainment System|
|Year of inception||1993|
|First release||Star Fox (video game)
|Latest release||Star Fox 64 3D
July 14, 2011
Star Fox, known in Japan as StarFox (スターフォックス SutāFokkusu?), is a video game series developed and published by Nintendo. The original game was a forward-scrolling 3D Sci-Fi rail shooter. Later sequels added more directional freedom as the series progressed. The game concept was inspired by a shrine to a fox god who could fly, which Shigeru Miyamoto visited regularly. The shrine was accessible through a series of arches, thus inspiring the gameplay.
The first game in the series, developed by Nintendo EAD and programmed by Argonaut Software, used the Super FX Chip to create the first accelerated 3D gaming experience on a home console. The Super FX Chip was an additional math co-processor that was built into the Game Pak and helped the Super Famicom and SNES better render the game's graphics. The Super FX Chip has been used in other Super Famicom/SNES games as well, some with increased processing speed. Its remake, Star Fox 64, further revolutionized the video game industry by being the first Nintendo 64 game to feature the Rumble Pak.
Due to trademark issues over the name Star Fox in PAL region territories, Star Fox and Star Fox 64 were released in those countries as Starwing and Lylat Wars respectively. However, Nintendo bought the rights before the release of Star Fox Adventures so future games could be released worldwide with the same name.
The games follow an independent mercenary unit called Star Fox (made up of anthropomorphic animals) and their adventures around the Lylat system.
- 1 Games
- 2 Cancelled games
- 3 Spin-off titles
- 4 Future and history
- 5 Related games
- 6 Other media
- 7 Recurring elements
- 8 Reception
- 9 References
- 10 External links
The first game, Star Fox (Starwing in Europe and Australia), retrospectively known as Star Fox 1, was released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1993. Developed by Nintendo EAD and programmed by Argonaut Software, it used the Super FX chip to simulate 3D graphics during a period of predominately 2D games. Fox McCloud and his team, Slippy Toad, Peppy Hare, and Falco Lombardi, take on Andross, who threatens to overthrow the Lylat system. Several boss battles from the game are included as mini-games in the Wii title WarioWare: Smooth Moves, using the Wii Remote to fly the ship.
Star Fox 64
Released in 1997 for the Nintendo 64, Star Fox 64 (Lylat Wars in Europe and Australia) introduced full spoken dialogue (Lylat Wars featured garbled Lylat Language as an option, which is similar to the dialogue in the original Star Fox/Star Wing for the SNES), fully three-dimensional graphics, and new vehicles and characters. The game came bundled with the Rumble Pak, a force feedback attachment. Star Fox 64 is the true beginning of the Star Fox canon, and is one of the most popular games in the series. Although the main storyline features no on-foot missions, the player may unlock on-foot play in the multiplayer mode. The Multiplayer mode includes a free-for-all battle that goes up to 5 KOs to win, a battle royal, and a time trial.
This game is not a sequel to the SNES game, but rather a plot remake, making the original SNES not canon. It was not a remake to the original SNES game. The plot is changed slightly and introduces new concepts, but remains much the same. This game is also famous for the quotes: "Do a barrel roll!" "Try a somersault!" and "Use bombs wisely" all of which are said by Peppy Hare and "Can't let you do that, Star Fox!" said by Wolf O'Donnell which has become a popular internet phenomenon. It also has a number of Star Wars references: "I have a bad feeling about this." and "I'm here to rescue you!" among them.
A remake, "Star Fox 64 3D," was released on 9 September 2011 for the Nintendo 3DS, featuring autostereoscopic 3D graphics.
Star Fox Adventures
The next Star Fox game, Star Fox Adventures, was released in 2002 for Nintendo's next home console, the Nintendo GameCube. Developed by Rare, the game is predominately an action-adventure game in which Fox is armed with a mystical staff; traditional space shooting is limited to small segments between chapters. Its roots can be traced to Dinosaur Planet, a game Rare was developing late in the life cycle of the Nintendo 64, but cancelled at the behest of Nintendo and converted into a Star Fox game. Adventures introduced new characters, including, most notably, Prince Tricky and Krystal. Taking place eight years after the events of Star Fox 64, the main antagonist is an army of dinosaurs called the Sharp Claws, led by General Scales. Fox and Krystal fall in love soon before the final boss fight when Fox saves her life. Krystal then becomes the Star Fox team's newest member. The gameplay of Adventures resembles that seen in most 3D Legend of Zelda games.
Star Fox: Assault
Nintendo hired Namco to develop Star Fox: Assault, released in 2005, for the GameCube. The emphasis returned to Arwing-based gameplay, but also had portions of on-foot missions. Assault takes place one year after Adventures, with the Aparoids becoming a new threat to the Lylat system. The new Star Fox team is tasked to stop them. Along with ROB, Peppy now pilots the Great Fox, while Krystal replaces Peppy's role as one of the team's pilots.
Star Fox Command
Star Fox Command was developed by Q-Games for the Nintendo DS, and was released in 2006. It is the first Star Fox game for a handheld console and the first to offer online multiplayer. Like the original Star Fox, gameplay is completely aircraft based, and uses gibberish chatter much like the SNES game instead of the voice acting of later installments. Command utilizes a new system of gameplay, incorporating strategy and abandoning its "fly-by-rail" roots. Players plot flight paths and engage enemies in an open arena-style flying mode using the Nintendo DS's touch screen. Each character has a unique ship with different abilities. For example, Slippy's ship has no lock-on feature and shorter boosts, but has stronger lasers and shielding; Fox McCloud pilots the redesigned Arwing II. Command takes place two to three years after the events of Star Fox: Assault and features nine endings, determined by the player's story progression choices. None of these endings are currently considered to affect the storyline of the series as a whole.
Star Fox 64 3D
Star Fox 64 3D is a 2011 remake of Star Fox 64 for the Nintendo 3DS, being the second Star Fox title on a handheld console. Its existence debuted in a conceptual trailer for the Nintendo 3DS revealed at E3 2010, when objects from the Nintendo universe flew out of the 3DS screen. One of the many objects happened to be a flying Arwing, hinting the next Star Fox game. The game was officially announced later on. Screenshots, footage, and some information were revealed over the upcoming Star Fox 64 3D game at 3DS conferences on 29 September 2010, and 19 January 2011.
With a few exceptions, the gameplay in Star Fox 64 3D is very similar to that of the original version. The player controls Fox's Arwing fighter using the circle pad to steer, the shoulder buttons to bank left and right, and the four right-hand buttons to fire lasers and bombs, boost and brake. The D-Pad allows the player to perform somersaults and u-turns, which can also be performed with combinations of other controls, and to zoom in and out from the Arwing in "All-Range Mode". The player can also enable "Gyro Controls", using the 3DS' internal gyroscope sensor to control the Arwing. Character dialogue, messages and control information are displayed on the touch screen.
Star Fox 64 3D also features a new multiplayer "Battle Mode", which allows players to play up to 4-player LAN multiplayer (via Download Play), or to battle against CPU opponents. During battles, each player's face appears on opponents' screens in a live reaction feed from the console's internal camera.
Star Fox 2
The game was cancelled even though it was completely finished. Many of its new ideas were implemented for the forthcoming Star Fox 64, such as the rival team Star Wolf, all-range mode, charge shot, and a multiplayer mode (though Star Fox 2's multiplayer mode was no longer featured in the final beta). Other elements such as choosing characters, map pointing, and multiple ship variations were later implemented in Star Fox Command. A beta version of the Landmaster tank (the Walker) also makes an appearance as an Arwing with leg-like attachments. A patch for the final beta was released by a third party team of hackers to make the game complete, removing the debug mode menus, making an English translation, and removing subroutines for a buggy third vehicle not used in the game.
Star Fox (Virtual Boy)
This game was a tech demo of what would have been a Star Fox game had the Virtual Boy adopted the series. It ended up that the closest game to it was Red Alarm. Cinematic camera angles were a key element, as they were in Star Fox 2. Shown both at E3 1995 and at the Winter Consumer Electronics Show 1995, the game, though on the Virtual Boy, still used filled polygons. One observer called it "An intriguing technical demo featuring a Star Fox-like spacecraft doing a lot of spinning and zooming in 3D. It is made of filled polygons and looks much better than the unfilled Red Alarm vehicles." Attendees to these two events were given 3D glasses to watch the demos and tech videos that were played on screens at the show floors, and from these videos, only one public image of the possible Star Fox for the Virtual Boy survives.
Star Fox (arcade)
Originally planned as a companion game with Star Fox: Assault, it was abandoned and never released. It was supposed to be released in 2004–2005, but was not for reasons unknown.
Shortly after the release of the first Star Fox title, in June 1993, Nintendo teamed up with Kellogg's and Nelsonic to develop and release a promotional LCD-based Star Fox Game Watch to those who bought a box of Corn Flakes and sent the order form to Kellogg's to receive the Star Fox game watch for free. In the game watch, there are four levels and the object is to fly towards the Attack Carrier and destroy it while dodging plasma balls and falling structures. The game watch also included a pair of earphones and a headphone jack for listening to the game without disturbing anyone nearby due to the game watch missing a volume control. Nelsonic later released it in stores in a different watch appearance.
Future and history
Star Fox for Wii U
On June 10, 2014 during the Electronic Entertainment Expo, Nintendo announced a new unnamed title in the Star Fox series for the Wii U. The game uses a new dual-screen mechanic, turning the Wii U GamePad into the view of the cockpit in the Arwing fighter. While a monitor shows the perspective from behind the Arwing, players may also use the gyro sensors of the GamePad to independently target enemies. The GamePad instantly switches between the Arwing and Landmaster tank with the press of a button, and the game also introduces a new helicopter-type vehicle. The game is scheduled for release in 2015.
Until the eventual E3 2014 announcement of the tentatively titled Star Fox, the franchise had mostly laid dormant since 2006's release of Star Fox Command, lasting a total of nine years, longer than the hiatus of Nintendo's Metroid series between the release of Super Metroid (1994) and Metroid Prime (2002). Star Fox 64 had since been ported over to the Wii's Virtual Console, as well as receiving a 2011 remake for the Nintendo 3DS. Characters from the series had also appeared in the Super Smash Bros. series during its long hiatus. However, a true sequel had seen a difficult road to realization.
On the possibility of a sequel during Nintendo's Wii tenure, GamesTM told Miyamoto in 2009 that they would "love to see a new Star Fox game for Wii", to which he replied: “Me too.” Q-Games president Dylan Cuthbert had expressed reluctance to return to the series. Miyamoto had suggested the Wii Remote would work well for controlling an Arwing, while artist Takaya Imamura suggested his own small idea on what Fox and company could engage in next time. A G4 interview with series head assistant programmer Dylan Cuthbert (who worked on Star Fox, the unreleased Star Fox 2, and Star Fox Command) had shown that Cuthbert would not be involved with a Star Fox title for the Wii; as he believed that, "The Wii is a bit more of a toy..." Hideki Kamiya has stated to be interested in making a new Star Fox game.
In May 2006, an article suggested that a Star Fox experience for the Nintendo Wii console would be coming from Shigeru Miyamoto.
In August 2009, Turkish Nintendo news site Nintendocu.com reported that a Wii Star Fox game would be revealed in the upcoming issue of Nintendo Power, showing a blurry image claimed to be the issue's cover page. (The Nintendo Power cover in question, #247, focused on Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games.) Titled "Star Fox Wii: Battle for Corneria", the game was to allegedly implement Wii MotionPlus and would include an online battle mode with Wii Speak support. However, the Arwings and Great Fox displayed on the cover image were images from Star Fox: Assault. The same article updated its page three days after it was first published, adding headline that declared the information about Nintendo Power revealing the next Star Fox was false. However, the same page also has evidence to show that Nintendo recently renewed the domain name "starfox.com", despite the fact, at the time, the URL still redirected to Nintendo's main portal.
In September 2009, a Nintendo news site called Infendo published an article stating that a Star Fox game for the Wii is currently being worked, said from a Nintendo staff member that did not give any more details.
In October 2009, Miyamoto commented on how the sales of the Star Fox games had been decreasing over the years, particularly in Japan. This was the latest time Shigeru Miyamoto talked about Star Fox directly, and does not necessarily mean a Star Fox game for Wii will not be made.
In an interview about Masahiro Sakurai's Nintendo 3DS game Kid Icarus: Uprising, he revealed that he originally had Star Fox characters in mind to use for a new core gameplay concept made specifically for Nintendo 3DS. However, he then stated the concept worked better as a new Kid Icarus game instead. Shigeru Miyamoto had shown interest in creating a Star Fox game for the Wii U console as early as 2012, before eventually announcing its existence.
Super Smash Bros. series
Three Star Fox characters have appeared in the Super Smash Bros. franchise of fighting games. Fox McCloud has appeared in all four as a playable character, while Falco Lombardi was featured in all titles since Super Smash Bros. Melee as an unlockable character. Wolf O'Donnell appears as an unlockable fighter in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as well. All three characters have virtually the same Final Smash in Brawl in which each calls down a Landmaster to run over and shoot enemies with, with minor differences between each. They also share similar moves, like the Blaster, Reflector, Fox Illusion/Falco Phantasm/Wolf Flash, Fire Fox/Fire Bird/Fire Wolf. Peppy Hare and Slippy Toad make brief cameos in Melee and Brawl, with Krystal, Leon Powalski and Panther Caroso appearing alongside them in the latter.
All four released entries in the series feature Star Fox related stages: Sector Z, Corneria, Venom, Lylat Cruise and Orbital Gate Assault. Sector Z (N64) and Corneria (Melee, Brawl, 3DS) are played atop the length of the mothership "Great Fox", which is scaled down from its original length of .046 miles/242' 10.56" (.074 km). Venom is played along the width of the "Great Fox", with the fighters doing battle atop the wings. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the Corneria stage from Melee returns, as well as a new stage called "Lylat Cruise" which is set atop an all new ship known as the "Pleiades" that warps between various areas within the Lylat system. In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U, three Star Fox stages appear between both versions, with the Corneria stage from Melee returning once more for the 3DS version, while the Wii U version features the return of the Lylat Cruise stage from Brawl and a new stage based on the Orbital Gate Assault mission from Star Fox Assault. Andross also appears in his form from the original Star Fox as an assist trophy, sucking in air and then spewing projectiles at combatants. The item "Smart Bomb" is also featured. When used, it creates an explosion that slowly grows; however, sometimes the Smart Bomb is a dud and has a delayed explosion.
WarioWare: Smooth Moves
In WarioWare: Smooth Moves for Wii, there is a Star Fox minigame in the style of the SNES title with three stages. Using the Wii Remote, the player pilots the Arwing through Corneria, Sector X, and Titania. At the end of each level, the player fights R.O.B. (not ROB 64 from the Star Fox series, but rather the R.O.B. attachment for the NES), who is armed with a large NES Zapper.
Monthly Nintendo Power Comics
A monthly Star Fox comic strip, illustrated by Benimaru Itoh, was printed in issues 45 to 55 of Nintendo Power in 1993. It was a sort of background covering of events in the original Star Fox, with some exclusive characters not currently seen in any of the games to date. One such character was Fara Phoenix, a vixen who becomes the fifth member of Star Fox after they saved her from Venomian forces, who forms a close relationship with Fox. The story followed the Star Fox team as they went from outlaws on Papetoon, to an elite Arwing fighter squadron. Fox, Falco, and Andross were the only 3 characters whose backgrounds were fully explained in the story. A sequel set after the events of the game was produced in Nintendo Power by the same team which continued the story, featuring Andross 's DNA being split between two clones. The clones then begin an invasion of the Lylat system, laying waste to everything in their path. The Star Fox team springs back into action, while Fara— dressed in clothing once worn by Fox's deceased mother, as the team had been enjoying some down time when the invasion begins— manages to provide an accidental, yet significant, distraction to one of the Andross clones when he spots her on a monitor due to a revelation that the original Andross was in love with Fox's mother and accidentally murdered her with a bomb intended for Fox's father, which the clone says over a loudspeaker, as the clone believes he is speaking to the deceased vixen, rather than Fara. Enraged by this new knowledge, Fox battles his way through the forces of Andross' clones, one of whom slays the other as he considers the feelings of the one who believes Fara to be Fox's mother is a weakness that is unneeded, and destroys the survivor. The story ends with the Lylat system celebrating the ultimate defeat of Andross as what remains of his forces flee from the forces of Corneria and the surviving fighters of the other worlds in the system.
Star Fox 64 manga
Nintendo of Europe released a Star Fox 64 comic drawn manga-style to retell the game's storyline. The comic showed some scenes that were not present in the game—for instance, Wolf kicking Andrew and Pigma out of Star Wolf because they acted against his orders (and thus saving Star Fox from the plot of the two). The comic ends with a robotic Andross being defeated.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (January 2010)|
The Arwing (アーウィン Āwin?) is the principal craft of the Star Fox team, it has appeared in all Star Fox games to date.
Throughout its appearances, the Arwing has had considerable changes, though all versions of it retain a basic shape: a central fuselage, two crested streamlined pods attached at the sides, known as Gravity Diffusers, or G Diffusers, and wings mounted on the side pods. From Star Fox 64 onwards, the two side pods are a distinctive blue color.
The Arwings make an appearance in the Super Smash Bros. series, in Super Smash Bros. Melee and Brawl, they appear as trophies. In this series, Arwings are used by Fox and Falco as their on-screen introduction, in addition to being used as a stage obstacle on Fox's Level, Sector Z. The Arwings on this stage would occasionally fly through and shoot lasers at the players. In the Corneria, Venom, and Lylat Cruise stages they are seen flying in the background. The Arwing is also an easter egg in The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time but can only be accessed by a gameshark code. It appears in Kokiri forest as an enemy who can be defeated by Link with either a boomerang, fairy bow, or fairy slingshot. Once defeated, they fall to the ground and explode and its blast may inadvertently kill Link. The Arwing also appears as a piece of furniture in Animal Crossing: Wild World and Animal Crossing: City Folk. When touched by the game character, the Arwing will briefly play the Star Fox theme music. Also appears over a box in Super Mario RPG, Hinopio's Market, but it's just a decor.
Miyamoto explains that the craft is called Arwing "because it was like one big wing shaped like an A."
It appeared again in Star Fox: Assault (2005, Nintendo GameCube), though with some changes, including the substitution of tank treads with tires. The Assault version of the Landmaster also handled somewhat differently and was used for all-range style combat rather than the on-rails type of missions featured in Star Fox 64.
The Landmaster tank makes its most recent appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl (2008, Wii) as Fox's Final Smash. The same design — in alternate color schemes — is also used as the Final Smash for Falco Lombardi and Wolf O'Donnell. All three Landmasters have slightly different properties. The Landmaster that Fox and Falco use is the traditional white and blue color scheme, while Wolf's Landmaster is a black and red color scheme. Falco's Landmaster can fly higher and longer than Fox's but its firepower has reduced knockback. In addition, Wolf's Landmaster has greater firepower and knockback ability than the one Fox and Falco use, but it remains on the stage for a much shorter time.
The Wolfen (ウルフェン Urufen?) is piloted by Wolf O'Donnell. This ship would have first appeared in Star Fox 2, but was instead first seen in Star Fox 64 on the planet Fichina (mistranslated as Fortuna in Star Fox 64, Fixed in 64 3D) – or alternatively – Bolse. Additionally, taking the hard path to Venom enables the player to battle the Wolfen II, which outperforms the Arwing. In Star Fox: Assault, Team Star Wolf piloted the original versions of the Wolfen against the Star Fox team, and they are playable in the game's multiplayer mode. The Wolfen has also appeared in Super Smash Bros. Melee and Brawl as interactive elements of the Corneria, Venom, and Lylat Cruise stages. They can also be found in the original Super Smash Bros. on the Sector Z stage, seen flying in the background.
|This section requires expansion. (June 2008)|
The Star Fox series has seen positive reviews, the most acclaimed being Star Fox 64, while Star Fox: Assault received the most negative reviews, despite it being the most advanced. Star Fox took the #115 spot on EGM's "The Greatest 200 Videogames of Their Time", and 82nd best game made on a Nintendo System in Nintendo Powers Top 200 Games list. It also received a 34 out of 40 from Famitsu magazine, and a 4.125 out of 5 from Nintendo Power Magazine. Next Gen Magazine pointed out Star Fox as helping pioneer the use of 3-D video game graphics. The game has been used as an example of how, even with a fully polygon design, the game was still very similar to older games in that there was a set path to travel through each level.
As Star Fox Adventures took a different approach to the franchise, many fans complained it was too much like a role playing adventure game such as The Legend of Zelda, but critics praised it. In an IGN poll for voting from a list of ten Nintendo characters for favorite Nintendo character of all time, Fox came in fourth, behind Link, Mario, and Samus respectively.
In October 2009 Miyamoto said that he felt disappointed that sales of Star Fox games in Japan had decreased during the preceding period.
Because of the popularity of the series, Google introduced an easter egg in which, if one types "do a barrel roll" or "Z or R twice" into the search bar, and has a system compatible with HTML 5 or higher, the screen rotates 360°.
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- StarFox Comics at Arwinglanding.net – Archived JPEG copies of all StarFox comics
- StarFox Comics at MobianLegends.com's StarFox section – Archived copies of all StarFox comics
- Page with PDF versions of the comics.