|Star Fox character|
Wolf O'Donnell as seen in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
|First game||Star Fox 64 (1997)|
|Created by||Shigeru Miyamoto|
Wolf O'Donnell (Japanese: ウルフ・オドネル Hepburn: Urufu Odoneru) is a fictional character in Nintendo's Star Fox video game series. In the series, Wolf O'Donnell is an anthropomorphic wolf who is the leader of the fictional Star Wolf team and a rival (and antihero) to Fox McCloud. Wolf's team is initially hired by Andross to take down the Star Fox team, the Star Wolf team is unsuccessful in doing so, although it results in Wolf developing a deep respect for Fox as well as seeking revenge against him for his own personal reasons.
Wolf technically made his debut in the cancelled Super NES game Star Fox 2 as the boss prior to Andross. In this game, he wore no eyepatch, but there is a large scar that runs across his right eye, which is opposite of the eye that is damaged in his current form.
In his first official appearance in Star Fox 64 (also known as Lylat Wars; and consequently in the game's 2011 remake), Wolf's current image was created with him wearing an eyepatch. In this game, the player faces Wolf and his team at least once, no matter what path the player may take to get through the game, unlike in Star Fox 2, where he was faced only once altogether.
If the player fights Star Wolf on Venom, Wolf looks slightly different over his transmissions. Upon closer examination, his face is covered with bandages, to express damage from their last encounter with Star Fox. The rest of the team sports cybernetic prosthetics. These augmentations could most likely be explained away as necessary to the operation of their new Wolfen II fighters, since they are not shown on any Star Wolf members in subsequent games and it is also possible to reach that point in the game without having previously fought the team.
Wolf makes his next appearance in Star Fox: Assault, with a new costume and an advanced eye patch. At first he is angered at the fact that Fox McCloud raided the Sargasso Space Hideout while looking for Pigma Dengar. But fighting an enemy (the Aparoids) that means to conquer (or destroy) the entire Lylat System and all of its inhabitants (Cornerian or otherwise) brought out the good in Wolf, and he actually saved Fox's life when Fox was ambushed by Aparoids on top of the Persimmon's Building in Corneria City. Wolf explained that he only saved Fox because he wanted to be the only one to "tan his hide."
In return, Fox blasts enemy fighters, anti-aircraft turrets, and General Pepper's Aparoid-infected flagship as they shoot at and chase the Wolfen. Throughout the fight with General Pepper, Wolf gives Fox encouraging words for the first time (though most likely to also ensure his own survival). United by a common enemy, Wolf and his team assist Star Fox twice more, once during a missile attack on the Cornerian Orbital Gate, and once in the tunnel leading to the Aparoid Queen. It was also Wolf's advice "Don't hesitate. When the time comes, just act," that got Fox past some internal struggles when facing the Queen.
Though it appears that Wolf was killed when the Aparoid Homeworld was destroyed, Fox McCloud believes that he and his team somehow survived the explosion, a belief which is later confirmed in Star Fox Command. In the game's multiplayer, Wolf can be unlocked if the player finishes every mission without a wingmate being forced to retreat. He has maximum speed and health and is the only player capable of effectively piloting the unlockable Wolfen, but has poor stats in the other categories, including Arwing piloting. His victory taunt consists of him proclaiming "Victory is mine!" while firing Akimbo machine guns.
Wolf, Panther, and Leon return in Star Fox Command on the Nintendo DS. Wolf is a playable character in four of the game's thirty missions: twice assisting Fox on Solar, once assisting (only to betray him later) him on Titania, and then fighting the Anglars on Venom. Star Wolf (Wolf, Panther, and Leon) appear as a boss fight twice on Fichina. After being removed from the Star Fox team, Krystal joined Star Wolf and hatched a plot to steal Andross' device that would neutralize the acidity of the Venom Sea. Wolf, in one story path, after assisting Fox on Solar, betrays him on Titania and steals the device. In two of the game's endings, Star Wolf are hailed as heroes for defeating the Anglars.
Outside of Star Fox series, Wolf appears as a secret playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. He does not return in the fourth installment in the series, only appearing in a non-playable role. He did make a return as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Wolf featured in GamesRadar's "The Top 7... Bestest frenemies" list at seventh place, with the staff saying he "was notable mainly for looking and acting Fox McCloud would if he were gray and also a bastard." WhatCulture! said Wolf's obsession to destroy Fox "leads to some of gaming's most exhilarating and challenging dogfights", and ranked him fifty-first on its "100 Greatest Video Game Villains Of All Time" list. Patrick Lindsey of Paste ranked Wolf O'Donnell as the third best video game wolf in 2014, calling him "ever the Boba Fett to Fox’s Han Solo".
- East, Tom (March 31, 2008). "Smash Bros. Secret Character Profiled". Official Nintendo Magazine. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
- "Fighter #44 Wolf". June 12, 2018.
- Reparaz, Mikel (September 19, 2011). "The Top 7... Bestest Frenemies". GamesRadar. Retrieved July 10, 2013.
- "100 Greatest Video Game Villains Of All Time". WhatCulture!. January 28, 2013. p. 10. Retrieved July 10, 2013.