Star Fox (1983 video game)

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This article is about the 1983 Atari 2600 video game. For the unrelated 1993 Super Nintendo Entertainment System game, see Star Fox (video game).
For other uses, see Star Fox (disambiguation).
Star Fox
Box art
Developer(s) Mythicon
Publisher(s) Mythicon
Designer(s) Bruce De Graff
Platform(s) Atari 2600
Release date(s) 1983 (USA)
Genre(s) Shooter
Mode(s) Single player, multiplayer
Distribution ROM Cartridge

Star Fox is a video game for the Atari 2600 console, developed and published by Mythicon in 1983. Although the front cover of the game states "Game 1 in the Star Fox Series," no sequels were ever made.


The game takes place in the year 4024 AD. The story begins as a robot freighter carrying a cargo of extremely valuable trimetalisium energy crystals crash lands on the planetoid Beta-7. An enemy star cruiser, escorted by a squadron of fighter drones, is en route to the planetoid to seize the crystals.

The player's objective is to recover the crystals before the enemy while doing battle with the fighter drones.

From the box:

STAR FOX: Patrol Communique 4024/8: Friendly robot freighter downed on planetoid Beta-7 in your quadrant.

Cargo: Valuable trimetalisium energy crystals. Enemy star cruiser with fighter drones en route to confiscate these highly valuable blue energy crystals.

Mission: Recover as many crystals as possible. Destroy all enemy fighter drones you encounter. Intelligence reports that enemy is combat testing new models of these drones as will periodically replace them during melee. Each replacement drone is faster and more maneuverable than the previous drone.

Mission Status: Critical. Expect extreme danger when penetrating orange atmosphere of Beta-7 planetoid. No further communication authorized. Good hunting.

Legal issues/trademark[edit]

The trademark for the Star Fox name was never filed in the United States, but Mythicon, Inc. managed to obtain the trademark in Europe. Ironically, they never used the name in Europe. When the company disbanded in 1983, presumably the trademarks continued to be held by certain Mythicon directors.

Because the trademark had not been filed in the United States, Nintendo was able to release its popular Star Fox game in 1993 on its Super Nintendo Entertainment System video game console, retaining its title without any issues. However, when it came to the European release, the game was renamed Starwing. The problem had not been resolved in time for the 1997 release of Star Fox 64 either, and the game was renamed Lylat Wars in Europe.

Both games continued to use the term "Star Fox" throughout, because only the game title was in question.

Despite early rumors that Star Fox Adventures would be retitled as Starwing Adventures or Dinosaur Planet in Europe, the problem was resolved in time for its release.[clarification needed] Since then, all Nintendo Star Fox games have retained their proper titles in Europe, excluding the re-release of Star Fox 64 on Wii's Virtual Console. Despite the fact the issue was isolated in Europe, Nintendo Australia had regardlessly released both Star Fox and Star Fox 64 retaining their European titles, as Starwing and Lylat Wars respectively.


In a Digital Press article on the worst games for the Atari 2600, Star Fox was ranked seventh.[1]

[...]you control a spaceship on a mission to extract gems beneath the ocean depths. Your ship is defenseless at the bottom of the screen, and amazingly the gems become intelligent and avoid your efforts while taking advantage of the fact that your ship cannot move sideways while at the bottom. Only one enemy and one gem per screen. The playfield and difficulty never change. I give credit to Mythicon for not releasing their second cart in the "Star Fox Series".

—Digital Press, [1]

A review by "The Video Game Critic" gave Star Fox his lowest 'F-' rating, finding fault with every aspect of the game.[2] The only other Atari 2600 games ranking so low are Karate and Spacechase.[3]


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