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Star Fox Adventures

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Star Fox Adventures
Star Fox Adventures GCN Game Box.jpg
North American box art
Developer(s) Rare
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Director(s) Lee Schuneman
Composer(s) David Wise
Series Star Fox
Platform(s) GameCube
  • NA: 23 September 2002
  • JP: 27 September 2002
  • AU: 15 November 2002[1]
  • EU: 22 November 2002
Genre(s) Action-adventure, beat 'em up, shooter
Mode(s) Single-player

Star Fox Adventures is an action-adventure video game developed by Rare and published by Nintendo for the GameCube for the Star Fox series. It was released in North America on 23 September 2002, Japan on 27 September, Australia on 15 November and Europe on 22 November. Along with being Rare's only GameCube title, it was Rare's final game for any Nintendo home console before the company was acquired as a first-party developer for Microsoft's Xbox division the day after the game's release in North America. It is the third instalment in the series and the direct sequel to Star Fox 64.

The game follows Fox McCloud attempting to save the Dinosaur Planet from Andross. It began development as an unrelated game named "Dinosaur Planet", initially intended to be Rare's last standalone title for the Nintendo 64 system. The game endured a number of dramatic changes during development before Shigeru Miyamoto noticed similarities between the original game and Star Fox and convinced Rare to re-brand it into a Star Fox title for the upcoming GameCube.

The game received mostly positive praise from critics upon release. Notable topics of praise included its detailed graphics, new character design for Fox, dynamic environments and The Legend of Zelda-influenced gameplay. However, the game was criticized for its aforementioned gameplay being too much of a departure from previous Star Fox games, while mixed reactions came from critics and fans alike for Rare's departure from Nintendo.


Star Fox adventures is a 3D action-adventure game with platforming elements. Its gameplay is frequently compared to that of the The Legend of Zelda series, especially The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.[2][3][4] Like Ocarina of Time, Star Fox Adventures has a day-and-night phase, but a more gradual one.[5] The game also has a widescreen mode, designed for widescreen television sets.[6]

The game includes thirteen different locations, each of which is unlocked when the player completes parts of the story. Unlike other Star Fox games in which most of the player's time is spent in air combat, playable protagonist Fox McCloud is on foot for most of the game.[5] He pilots his Arwing aircraft only to reach other parts of the planet, although the game includes a few space battles involving the Arwing.[5][6] The game's combat system is melee-orientated, as General Pepper forbids Fox from using any sort of blaster, telling him "This mission is about saving the planet, not blowing it up!"[7] Fox instead relies on a magical staff belonging to a native named Krystal that he discovered on the planet. The staff can be used to attack and defeat enemies as well as interact with the surrounding environment. While Fox uses the staff primarily for melee combat, he can later gain power-ups for the staff which allow it to fire projectiles, freeze enemies or help him reach high up areas that are normally inaccessible.[6] Fox homes in on his targets automatically when he approaches them, after which combat begins.[2] Fox cannot jump unless he runs off the edge of an object or a cliff, but can roll after landing on the ground.[3][5][6]


The in-game graphics in Adventures were commended for their high quality.

Characters and settings[edit]

Star Fox Adventures features both the established main characters of the Star Fox series—Fox, Falco Lombardi, Slippy Toad and Peppy Hare (though Falco is absent), as well as a host of new characters. New allies include a mysterious blue fox named Krystal and the small dinosaur Prince Tricky. The entire planet is populated with dinosaurs, like the tyrannical General Scales, and other prehistoric animals such as pterosaurs and mammoths.[6]

The entire game takes place on the world of Dinosaur Planet (known as "Sauria" in subsequent games) and a number of detached pieces of the planet that are suspended in orbit around it. Dinosaur Planet is ruled by the EarthWalker tribe, resembling Triceratops, and the rival CloudRunner tribe, similar to pterosaurs and birds. The SharpClaw tribe are villainous humanoid theropods.[6] Andross also appears as the final boss.


Eight years after the events of Star Fox 64, Krystal looks for answers to the destruction of her home planet, Cerinia and the death of her parents. She lands on Krazoa Palace, after receiving a distress call from the planet[6] and discovers that it was attacked by General Scales and the SharpClaw army. Krystal is persuaded by a wounded EarthWalker in the Palace to help by collecting all of the Krazoa Spirits and returning them to the palace, which would supposedly tilt the war in the dinosaurs' favour and stop Scales.[8] However, after releasing the first one, a mysterious being sends Krystal into the spirit's path, trapping her in a floating crystal atop the Krazoa Palace until all the spirits can be returned.

On the edge of the Lylat System, General Pepper contacts the Star Fox Team, asking them to investigate the invasion of the Dinosaur Planet.[9] Since the team are desperate for money and maintenance, Fox McCloud agrees to take a look, arriving unarmed at Pepper's request to avoid trouble with the locals. On the planet's surface, Fox obtains and wields the magic staff which Krystal lost it earlier. Fox learns from the Queen of the EarthWalker Tribe that Scales stole four Spellstones from the planet's two Force Point Temples.[6] To prevent the planet from breaking up further and restore it to its original unity, Fox restores the stones to the temples, with the help of the Queen's son, Prince Tricky. As Fox retrieves the stones, he discovers that he must also retrieve the other five Krazoa Spirits to repair the planet[10] and save Krystal.[11] When Fox finds the last of the spirits, he discovers that it is guarded by Scales himself. However, just as Fox and Scales engage in combat, a mysterious voice orders Scales to surrender the spirit, to which he reluctantly agrees. Fox takes the spirit to the Krazoa Shrine and frees Krystal.

The spirits are forced into a Krazoa statue, which reveals itself to be the revived Andross, the mastermind behind the spirit scheme, who flies off to resume his conquest of the Lylat System.[12] Fox pursues him in his Arwing, and, with the help of Falco Lombardi, who arrives during the battle,[13] defeats Andross, restoring the Krazoa spirits to the planet and repairing it. Afterwards, Falco rejoins the Star Fox team and Krystal is recruited.


Dinosaur Planet artwork showing various characters, including Krystal's original design

What would become Star Fox Adventures was initially developed by Rare as Dinosaur Planet, a Nintendo 64 game unrelated to the Star Fox series.[14] According to lead software engineer Phil Tossell, development of Dinosaur Planet began after the release of Diddy Kong Racing, with two teams to work on the latter title and Jet Force Gemini towards the end of the Nintendo 64's lifespan.[15] The game was changed many times during early development before Rare settled on the eventual idea of a open world adventure-game based around two interwoven stories.[15] The plot concerned Sabre (whose role was given to Fox) and Krystal, along with sidekicks Tricky and Kyte (who both appear in the finished game), and Randorn, a wizard who was Sabre's father and Krystal's adoptive father (who was dropped entirely). The game featured elements such as the 'SwapStone', which would let the player switch between Krystal and Sabre.[14] Dinosaur Planet was intended to be Rare's last game for the Nintendo 64 and was adorned with gameplay and cinematics introduced by The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.[14] Dinosaur Planet initially utilised the Nintendo 64's Expansion Pak and was housed in a 512-megabit (64 megabyte) cartridge, which would have placed it among the largest Nintendo 64 games by stored data.[14]

Shigeru Miyamoto mentioned in a retrospective interview that, after reviewing content of Dinosaur Planet, the similarities of Rare's anthropomorphic design of Sabre to Nintendo's Fox McCloud design were striking. The title was later changed to be a Star Fox-brand launch game for the Nintendo GameCube.[16] According to Tossell, the sudden change was not "accepted willingly by all" of the team as the plot had to be entirely re-written in places to accommodate the Star Fox canon.[15] The updated title was originally named Star Fox Adventures: Dinosaur Planet, but "Dinosaur Planet" was later removed.[17] The team later realised the potential of using the Star Fox licence in hopes of boosting awareness, and decided to switch development from the Nintendo 64 to the upcoming GameCube console.[15] Before the change, Rare released downloadable, limited full length MP3s from the unreleased game—many of which did appear in Star Fox Adventures—to video game websites, along with numerous trailers and screenshots of gameplay.[18]

We were slightly disappointed at having to change Dinosaur Planet as we had all become so attached to it, but we could also see the potential of using the Star Fox licence.

Phil Tossell in a interview with NintendoLife [15]

With the Star Fox theme established, Rare begun re-working the game for the upcoming GameCube and was subsequently met with little interference from Nintendo. During development, the team was invited to Nintendo's headquarters in Kyoto to discuss progress and certain changes; in return Star Fox creator Takaya Imamura came to stay at Rare's Twycross studio to oversee development.[15] Tossell stated that "without a doubt", Nintendo strengthened their relationship through trust and respect, despite Nintendo only owning 49% of the company at the time.[15]

The game was Rare's final console video game released under Nintendo before the Leicestershire-based studio was sold and became a first-party developer for Microsoft. Shortly after the game's release, Microsoft purchased Rare for £375 million, thus ending Rare's entire association with Nintendo.[15] Many fans and critics do not consider Star Fox Adventures to be an "essential" Rare title, as the negativity was attributed to Microsoft's takeover, which led to some fans speculating that Microsoft were "buying out competition".[14][15]

David Wise used Peter Siedleczek's Advanced Orchestra library in creating the music for Star Fox Adventures.[19] Wise said the tracks that referenced the music for the previous Star Fox games came very late into development, which was after the developers created Dinosaur Planet into Star Fox Adventures.[20]


Aggregate score
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 82 out of 100 (39 reviews)[25]
Review scores
Publication Score
AllGame 3.5/5 stars[21]
Edge 6 out of 10[22]
Famitsu 32 out of 40[23]
Game Informer 8.75 out of 10[24]
GameSpot 8.3 out of 10[3]
IGN 9 out of 10[2]
NGC Magazine 7.2 out of 10[26]

Star Fox Adventures received "generally favorable" reviews, according to video game review aggregator Metacritic.[25] It sold over 200,000 copies in Japan following its release, and was the fastest-selling GameCube game at the time.[27] Star Fox Adventures was eventually designated a Player's Choice game by Nintendo, signifying over 250,000 copies sold, and was thus available at a reduced retail price.[28][29]

The visuals were very well received. Edge wrote that the "visual splendour is immense",[22] whilst in a similar fashion Matt Casamassina of IGN noted that the game is a "perfect companion" to The Legend of Zelda series, to which Adventures is often compared.[2] Casamassina noted that elements of its graphical rendering were sophisticated for its time, in particular the advanced real-time rendering of the movement of the characters' fur.[2] NGC Magazine praised the game's vibrant atmosphere and detailed textures, adding that Adventures had "the best real time graphics on the GameCube so far".[26] The game's combat system garnered some accolades, with GameSpot adding that the combat is simplistic, despite being "good looking" and not "frustrating".[3] Casamassina also praised the combat system, calling it "a beneficial addition".[2] NGC Magazine similarly praised the use of the combat system, however they noted that the battles did not require any skill and eventually "felt like a dull chore".[26] The voice acting was viewed negatively, with Casamassina remarking that it is "over the top" in some places.[2] NGC Magazine felt that the accents of most of the characters did not suit that of the Star Fox world, in particular they noted the use of a Scottish accent for the Warpstone Master was "awful".[26]

Despite the mostly positive reviews, Star Fox Adventures is often criticised for its setting being too much of a departure from the other Star Fox games. Casamassina said that "Fans expecting a true Star Fox experience akin to the older games are in for a disappointment". He also added that the Star Fox license has been utilised sparingly to the point where the game felt "out of place within the confines of the Star Fox game universe". Casamassina asserted that Fox was "clearly only on 'Dinosaur Planet' at Nintendo's request, not because he belongs".[2] NGC Magazine similarly expressed concern on why Fox was added to the game, adding that Adventures was "one game Fox himself would probably want to forget" and further speculating that Nintendo only added the Star Fox license to prevent Dinosaur Planet from appearing on the Xbox.[26]


  1. ^ "Star Fox Adventures". Nintendo Australia. Archived from the original on 1 September 2007. Retrieved 10 August 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Star Fox Adventures Review". IGN. Retrieved 23 August 2006. 
  3. ^ a b c d Kasavin, Greg. "Star Fox Adventures for GameCube Review". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 25 October 2007. Retrieved 23 August 2006. 
  4. ^ Knezevic, Kevin (18 October 2011). "What Zelda Can Learn from Star Fox Adventures". Nintendojo. Retrieved 1 June 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c d Sanchez, David (7 October 2011). "Star Fox Adventures - Does It Hold Up?". Gamezone. Retrieved 1 June 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Rare, ed. (2002). Star Fox Adventures Instruction Booklet. Nintendo of Europe. pp. 2, 4, 8–9, 13, 18–20, 26, 28, 30. 
  7. ^ Rare (23 November 2002). Star Fox Adventures. Nintendo. 
  8. ^ Rare (23 September 2002). Star Fox Adventures. Nintendo. Level/area: Krazoa Palace. EarthWalker: Only when the spirit has been returned back into the palace it can be used to stop this war. 
  9. ^ Rare (23 September 2002). Star Fox Adventures. Nintendo. General Pepper: If Dinosaur Planet explodes, it could affect the entire Lylat System! 
  10. ^ Rare (23 September 2002). Star Fox Adventures. Nintendo. Queen EarthWalker: You're right. Without all the spirits the magic cannot be channeled back into the planet. 
  11. ^ Rare (23 September 2002). Star Fox Adventures. Nintendo. Level/area: Krazoa Palace. Krazoa spirit: I was released when she completed my test but she is now in great danger. And for her to survive you must continue what she started and collect the remaining Krazoa spirits. 
  12. ^ Rare (23 September 2002). Star Fox Adventures. Nintendo. Level/area: Andross. Andross: And now, to destroy the Lylat System! 
  13. ^ Rare (23 September 2002). Star Fox Adventures. Nintendo. Level/area: Andross. Falco Lombardi: Hey, McCloud! Different time, different planet, and you still need Falco's help! It's good to see you, buddy 
  14. ^ a b c d e Matt Casamassina. "IGN: Dinosaur Planet Preview". IGN. Retrieved 16 September 2006. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i McFerran, Damien. "Feature: The Making Of Star Fox Adventures". NintendoLife. Game Industry biz. Retrieved 30 April 2015. 
  16. ^ "IGN: Star Fox Planet?". IGN. Retrieved 16 September 2006. 
  17. ^ "IGN: Dinosaurs Travel to Japan". IGN. Retrieved 16 September 2006. 
  18. ^ "IGN: Dinosaur Planet Screenshots, Wallpaper, and Pics". IGN. Retrieved 17 September 2006. 
  19. ^ "The Tepid Seat - Rare Music Team". December 2004. Archived from the original on 6 December 2006. Retrieved 28 August 2015. 
  20. ^ Greening, Chris (December 2010). "Interview with David Wise". Square Enix Music Online. Retrieved 29 August 2015. 
  21. ^ Marriott, Scott Alan. "Star Fox Adventures - Review". Allgame. Archived from the original on 14 November 2014. 
  22. ^ a b Edge, ed. (2002). Star Fox Adventures Review. Future Publishing. p. 90. 
  23. ^ ニンテンドーゲームキューブ - スターフォックス アドベンチャー. Weekly Famitsu. No.915 Pt.2. Pg.100. 30 June 2006.
  24. ^ "Star Fox Adventures". Game Informer: 130. December 2002. 
  25. ^ a b "Star Fox Adventures Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 29 April 2016. 
  26. ^ a b c d e "Starfox Adventures review - NGC". NGC Magazine. GameCube Europe. Archived from the original on 12 February 2005. Retrieved 2 May 2015. 
  27. ^ "Graphs: Weekly GCN Sales in Japan". IGN. Retrieved 21 January 2006. 
  28. ^ "Master Game List". Archived from the original on 15 August 2006. Retrieved 16 September 2006. 
  29. ^ "IGN: Rare". IGN. Retrieved 16 September 2006. 

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