Fox McCloud

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Fox McCloud
Star Fox character
Fox McCloud, Star Fox Command.png
Fox McCloud, as he appears in Star Fox Command.
First game Star Fox (1993)
Created by Shigeru Miyamoto
Designed by Takaya Imamura
Voiced by (English) Dan Owsen (Star Fox)
Mike West (Star Fox 64, Star Fox 64 3D, and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U)
Steve Malpass (Adventures)
Jim Walker (Assault and Super Smash Bros. Brawl)
Voiced by (Japanese) Shinobu Satouchi (Star Fox 64, Super Smash Bros., and Super Smash Bros. Melee)
Kenji Nojima (Assault, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U)
Takashi Ōhara (Star Fox 64 3D)

Fox McCloud (フォックス・マクラウド Fokkusu Makuraudo?) is an anthropomorphic video game character and the chief protagonist of the Star Fox series. He was created and designed by Shigeru Miyamoto and Takaya Imamura. As his name implies, he is a red fox and the main character of the franchise.

In each game, the player controls Fox either in his Arwing with a few games such as Star Fox Adventures and even control him in Star Fox: Assault where he is on the ground in many occasions. He is the leader of the Star Fox team and is joined by his wingmates on various missions.

In the English release of Star Fox 64, he was voiced by Mike West. In both the Japanese release of Star Fox 64 and Super Smash Bros., Fox's voices were done by Shinobu Satōchi (speaking in English with a Japanese accent for the English version). For English dialogue of Super Smash Bros. Melee and Star Fox Adventures, Fox's voice was done by Rare's Steve Malpass. In Star Fox: Assault, his voice was done by Jim Walker in the English release and by Kenji Nojima in the Japanese release. Nojima reprised his role for Super Smash Bros. Brawl, as did Walker for the English version. In Star Fox 64 3D, he is voiced by Takashi Ōhara in Japanese.

Concept and creation[edit]

A fox holding a key in its mouth, at the main gate of the Fushimi Inari shrine

In 1992, Nintendo and Argonaut Software collaborated to produce a 3D space shooter for the Super Nintendo, provisionally titled 'SnesGlider'.[1] The development team, led by Shigeru Miyamoto, redesigned what had been a tech demo into a rail shooter, with Nintendo designing the game and Argonaut handling the programming aspects.[2] However, without a story, it lacked incentives to play beyond flying and shooting. Miyamoto sketched out a fictional universe, but could not decide on a natural hero to convey a sense of an epic space saga. Names under consideration included "Star Wolf", "Star Sheep", "Star Fox", "Star Sparrow", and "Star Hawk".[2] Miyamoto finally settled on having a fox as the main character after visiting Fushimi Inari-taisha in Kyoto, the head shrine of Inari, a Japanese kami associated with foxes. Inari is portrayed as being able to fly, and its shrines, particularly the one in Kyoto, are surrounded by red arches (torii), giving Miyamoto the idea of a fox that could fly through arches.[2][3] Fox's face was modeled after Inari's, and usually wears a "red turtleneck" or "red scarf" around his neck, like the statue, with the exception of his design from Star Fox: Assault. Fox McCloud's personality is heavily based on Shigeru Miyamoto's personality, with the surname 'McCloud' being suggested by Dylan Cuthbert, one of the Argonaut team.[1][2]

Characteristics[edit]

Fox is an anthropomorphic fox with orange-brown fur and his golden-brown white-highlighted hair is cut into a crew cut. He has green eyes which sometimes appear to be blue. The rest of his skin is a cream-colored tone. He also has a bushy white-tipped foxtail which appears stubby in Star Fox 64 and Star Fox Command. In the original Star Fox, Fox wears an orange jumpsuit with a flight jacket and grey tanker boots, along with a communication device on his head. In Star Fox 64, he wears a green jumpsuit and his flight jacket sleeves are rolled up to his elbows. Also in Star Fox 64, if the game is played at a certain difficulty, Fox wears a pair of sunglasses. In Super Smash Bros. and its sequel, Melee, Fox appears as he did in Star Fox 64. In Star Fox Adventures, he has a white vest instead of a flight jacket, his headgear is replaced with a device on his wrist, and wears a knee pad on his left leg, along with green hiking boots. Fox also wears a large backpack for carrying items, such as Krystal's Staff and the CloudRunner Flute. In Star Fox: Assault, his appearance changes drastically. His green jumpsuit has red on it, and he also wears a white vest, knee pads and shoulder pads, and his tanker boots are red-and-black instead of grey. As in Adventures, his communication device is on his wrist. In Star Fox Command, Fox has gone back to his Star Fox 64 attire, but without his sleeves rolled up. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Fox has a similar appearance of his Star Fox 64 and Command designs. Although Nintendo has not officially cited Fox's height in a game manual, Nintendo Power released a card featuring Fox, which stated his height, during Star Fox 64, to be 5'8", his weight to be 155 lbs, and his age to be 18.[4] Fox would be 26 in Adventures (as Adventures takes place just 8 years after the events of Star Fox 64), 27 in Assault (the game manual stated 1 year had passed since the conclusion of Adventures), and 29 to 30 in Command.[5]

In the 1993 Nintendo Power Star Fox comic, Fox had a romantic relationship with Fara Phoenix. While slightly ambiguous, it is obvious that they held mutual affections for each other throughout the comics. Still, the comics are considered non-canon, since Star Fox 64 replaced the original SNES Star Fox title. In the official games canon, Fox became infatuated with Krystal when he first saw her trapped on top of Krazoa Palace in Star Fox Adventures. He is romantically involved with Krystal after the events of Star Fox Adventures, confirming that they loved each other when speaking with Lucy about his relationship with Krystal. During Command Krystal soon leaves after Fox asked her to leave because he feared for her safety. Star Fox Command has several different endings in which they either get back together or split apart completely. In one of these endings, the pair settles down and has a son named Marcus McCloud 10 years later. Marcus takes on his father's legacy by becoming the future leader of the Star Fox team.

Fox is known for being professional, cocky, and shy, expressing each trait in different circumstances. His professional side is shown when he is in serious situations especially in his Arwing, this is most notable side to Fox shown in all Star Fox games. Fox's cocky side was more notable than his professional side in Star Fox Adventures, where he acted more like a teenager than compared to an adult, showing low enthusiasm when taking on difficult situations and showing a habit of grasping the back of his neck with his hand when he was put on the spot. Fox's shy side is only expressed when he is around Krystal, who flirts with him frequently. His reactions are shown as him blushing, temperature rising, and constant stuttering. This is a clear sign of Fox's feelings towards Krystal. He also has shown signs of being a little self-centered and money-hungry. In Star Fox Adventures he was constantly grumbling about not being paid enough for what he was being asked to do and made references to only caring about any of this for the inevitable pay-off. He frequently rolled his eyes or sighed when he found out that he was being asked to do even more work or when a conversation with a character simply went on too long. Nonetheless, this was more bravado than anything else, as he ended up saving the day quite willingly.

Appearances[edit]

In the original SNES game, Fox's father, James McCloud, was sent into the blackhole after an experimental bomb testing "went wrong". The bomb was designed by Andross, then a scientist of the planet Corneria, and it was secretly supposed to detonate when James reached critical velocity. Andross was exiled into space for his mad crimes, where he eventually built a sizable army on the planet Venom, bent on revenge and the conquest of the galaxy. Fox was a member of the Cornerian flight academy, like his dad, and he protested against the poor decision of Andross's exile; however, the Cornerian government didn't want to be bothered further, and quickly silenced Fox and anyone else who dissented. This led Fox to leave Corneria to lead a life as a mercenary, together with his friends and teammates Falco Lombardi, Slippy Toad, and Peppy Hare. Years later, General pepper of Corneria summoned Fox and his Team back to combat Andross's forces. To do so, he gave Team Star Fox the Arwing Fighters. The game leads over 3 routes, through differing locations and difficulty levels, all leading to Fox's confrontation with Andross on the planet Venom. Starfox 64 (which is a remake of the original Star Fox for the SNES) later altered this storyline completely, making it inapplicable to the modern Star Fox storyline.

Star Fox 64 is a remake of Star Fox on the SNES, and adds new characters and ideas taken from the cancelled Star Fox 2. Fox McCloud's friendship with Bill Grey is depicted during the game, and he fights Wolf O'Donnell of the rival Star Wolf team. The Black Hole of the SNES game is absent, instead, James McCloud is supposed to have died at the hands of Andross himself. Once Star Fox reaches Venom, they fight through its defensive lines or Star Wolf to Andross's base, depending on which route the player takes. Despite the protests of his team, Fox faces Andross alone. If the player has chosen the hard route, Fox's father James appears to lead his son to safety when Andross's base explodes, disappearing when Fox escapes. Whether this was living James, a ghost or a figment of Fox's imagination is yet to be seen. Fox then leaves victorious as Andross's base explodes behind him. Back on Corneria, General Pepper offers to integrate them into the Cornerian army. Fox declines, saying that they prefer doing things their own way.[6] An action figure of Fox McCloud armed with a missile launcher was produced to accompany the game, but never got beyond the prototype stage.[7]

In Star Fox Adventures, a Nintendo GameCube game set eight years after Star Fox 64, Fox McCloud is hired to stop Dinosaur Planet breaking apart. Fox rescues Prince Tricky, a young dinosaur of the EarthWalker tribe, from the Sharpclaw tribe. The villain of the game, General Scales, plans to conquer the planet piece by piece. The two find four Spell Stones, magical objects that hold the planet together, returning them to their rightful positions, and free Krystal, an imprisoned vixen, in which Fox and Krystal fall in love with a result in Krystal joining the team at the end of the game. Fox then defeats a resurrected Andross, who was the real villain behind the troubles on Dinosaur Planet. McCloud then returns to the Great Fox, and General Pepper pays him for saving the planet. Falco Lombardi, who had been absent for the majority of the game, is reunited with the team.[8]

Star Fox Adventures was originally intended for release on the Nintendo 64 as Dinosaur Planet, an action adventure starring Krystal and a fox character named Sabre. Created by developers Rare, the game was essentially complete, and was ready for release in the fourth quarter of 2000. The game was shown off at the E3 video game trade show in May that year, but cancelled shortly afterwards.[9] Nintendo had noticed the similarity between Fox McCloud and Sabre, and decided to convert the game into Star Fox Adventures. In an interview with IGN at the 2000 E3, Shigeru Miyamoto commented on the similarity between the two characters, jokingly suggesting he should call the development team about it.[10]

A year after the events of Star Fox Adventures, Fox and his team are hired to defeat Andrew Oikonny, the nephew of the late Andross and former Star Wolf member, who has started a rebellion against Corneria with the remnants of Andross's forces. Team Star Fox manages to corner Oikonny on the planet Fortuna, when Oikonny is suddenly shot down by a creature known as an Aparoid; strange, bug-like organisms with the ability to assimilate things, living and nonliving. On planet Katina, the team runs into Pigma Dengar, who sent out an S.O.S. signal to lure them. Pigma steals the core memory of a defeated Aparoid, which the team needs in order to locate the homeworld of the race and destroy the Aparoid Queen; the Aparoid leader. Star Fox then encounters and gets into a brief skirmish with the Star Wolf team while searching for Pigma. After defeating Pigma, the stolen core memory is obtained. After freeing Dinosaur Planet, now called Sauria, from the Aparoids, Fox then learns that Corneria has been heavily assaulted by the enemy. But, to the amazment of the Star Fox team and players alike, the very enemies Fox never thought would help the opposite team. Star Wolf comes straight from the depths and destroy the Aparoid army. Fox finally reaches aparoid world, where the Queen is destroyed along with the home planet itself, once again with help from Star Wolf.[11]

Once again, the Lylat System falls under peril in Star Fox Command, this time under attack by a new foe known as the Anglars, who originated from Venom's acidic oceans. It is up to Fox McCloud to save the galaxy once more by slowly liberating invaded territory and arriving at Venom to defeat the Anglar Emperor. This time, he begins the battle with only ROB 64 at his side, as the team has been disbanded for various reasons. Along the way, other characters will join Fox and the team becomes whole again.[12] As Command has nine different outcomes, it is uncertain which is the true path Fox and crew take, or wherever Command is even canon to the series or not; but the developers have suggested that any sequel might ignore the endings and pick up the story from the middle. However, others say ending 1 will be the true ending, where Fox and Krystal make up, get back together and Krystal rejoins Star Fox, which soon after they head to Aquas where they meet Slippy's fiancee Amanda where they make her part of the Star Fox team .[13] There is even uncertainty of the game being canon at all to the series. Fox's Vehicle is called the Arwing II, it boasts a Decent amount of health and boost, and can either receive plasma blasters or twin lasers depending on the storyline. In this game, Takaya Imamura gave Fox a cartoonish appearance, compared to the more realistic look of Star Fox Adventures and Star Fox: Assault. According to Imamura, realistic fur was unpopular with players.[13]

Fox McCloud has appeared in all four Super Smash Bros. games as a default playable character. He is considered to be the character with the most potential in Super Smash Bros. Melee, although his fast movements make him very difficult to control. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, he is light and quick (third in speed only to Captain Falcon and Sonic the Hedgehog) but has weak attacks. His attacks include a blaster, a dash attack, a hexagonal reflector, the "Fire Fox" attack, and the Landmaster Tank as a "Final Smash." Falco Lombardi and Wolf O'Donnell, also from the Star Fox series, have similar attack sets.

Fox has small cameos in other games, notably Stunt Race FX, where a portrait of him can be found in track-side billboards. Additionally, in one of the tracks, an Arwing will occasionally fly overhead.[14] In F-Zero X and GX, a character named James McCloud is a playable racer, bearing the name of Fox's father. He has a similar appearance to Fox, with his hair looking like ears, and wears sunglasses as well. As if an inside joke, one of the multiple endings in Star Fox Command, Fox and Falco join a G-Zero space racing team; a reference to the F-Zero series.[original research?] Fox's uniform appears as a clothing option in the Wii U version of Tekken Tag Tournament 2 for some characters.

Reception[edit]

Since the release of the original Star Fox, Fox McCloud has gained a cult following.[15] Nintendo Power listed Fox as their 18th favorite hero, stating that while some of his games weren't the best, he has a long list of accomplishments.[16] Early in the Nintendo 64's lifespan, Fox McCloud ranked fifth in IGN's top five best Nintendo 64 character list.[17] He was included in GameSpot's "All Time Greatest Video Game Hero" contest and reached the "Round 2" before losing to Link.[18] GameDaily named Fox McCloud as the seventh top Nintendo character of all time.[19] IGN praised Fox's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee, saying that he featured some of the best texture work and modeling in the game.[15] In their preview of Star Fox: Assault, IGN editors Juan Castro and Matt Casamassina described Fox's voice as juvenile yet tough.[20] Fox ranked eighth on GameDaily's Top 10 Smash Bros. characters list.[21] 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.[22][23] Entertainment Weekly elected Fox the twelfth coolest videogame character, adding he is a combination of "the heroism of Luke Skywalker, the bravado of Top Gun's Maverick, and the foxiness of, well, a red fox".[24] In 2012, GamesRadar ranked him as the 30th best hero in video games.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Star Fox Command Interview". N-gamer. December 7, 2007. Archived from the original on 2008-12-08. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Tech Demo Gone Franchise - The Life of Star Fox". Advanced Media Network. December 7, 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-06-05. 
  3. ^ Shigeru Miyamoto (1993). Equinox: Serious Fun (TV Series). United Kingdom: Channel 4. 
  4. ^ "Fox McCloud card". Nintendo Power. 1997. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. 
  5. ^ "Star Fox Command Interview". The Hylia. 2007-01-25. 
  6. ^ Nintendo EAD (1997-07-01). Star Fox 64. Nintendo 64. Nintendo. 
  7. ^ "Star Fox 64 Action Figure Prototype from Toy-Site". Video Game Memorabilia Museum. 2007-12-09. 
  8. ^ Rare (2002-09-23). Star Fox Adventures. Nintendo GameCube. Nintendo. 
  9. ^ "Tech Demo Gone Franchise - The Life of Star Fox, page 4". Advanced Media Network. December 7, 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-06-05. 
  10. ^ "Star Fox Planet?". IGN. March 2, 2001. 
  11. ^ Namco and Nintendo EAD (2005-02-15). Star Fox: Assault. Nintendo GameCube. Nintendo. 
  12. ^ Q-Games and Nintendo EAD (2006-08-28). Star Fox Command. Nintendo DS. Nintendo. 
  13. ^ a b "Star Fox Command Interview". IGN. December 12, 2007. 
  14. ^ Nintendo EAD and Argonaut Software (1994-10-10). Stunt Race FX. Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Nintendo. 
  15. ^ a b "Smash Profile: Fox". IGN. 2001-08-08. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  16. ^ Nintendo Power 250th issue!. South San Francisco, California: Future US. 2010. pp. 40, 41. 
  17. ^ "Best and Worst N64 Characters". IGN. 1997-06-13. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  18. ^ "All Time Greatest Video Game Hero contest at GameSot.com – Standings". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on December 7, 2012. Retrieved July 16, 2012. 
  19. ^ Workman, Robert (August 22, 2008). "Now You're Playing With Power: Top 25 Nintendo Characters of All Time". GameDaily. Archived from the original on August 29, 2008. Retrieved April 21, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Star Fox Assault Preview". IGN. 2005-02-01. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  21. ^ "Top 10 Smash Bros. Characters - Page 3". 
  22. ^ Levi Buchanan (April 14, 2009). "Link Destroys Samus and Mario". IGN.com. Retrieved April 19, 2009. 
  23. ^ "gamedaily.com". GameDaily. Archived from the original on 2009-10-23. Retrieved 2009-08-07. 
  24. ^ "25 Coolest Videogame Characters". Entertainment Weekly. May 5, 2011. Retrieved April 22, 2013. 
  25. ^ "100 best heroes in video games". GamesRadar. Retrieved April 20, 2013. 

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