|Genre(s)||Rail Shooter, Shoot 'em up, Action-adventure|
|First release||Star Fox|
21 February 1993
|Latest release||Star Fox 2|
29 September 2017
Star Fox is a spaceship shooter game series created by Nintendo. The games follow a combat team of anthropomorphic animals called Star Fox, led by chief protagonist Fox McCloud. Gameplay involves adventures around the Lylat planetary system in the futuristic "Arwing" fighter aircraft, in other vehicles and on foot. The original Star Fox (1993) was a forward-scrolling 3D rail shooter, though later titles added more directional freedom.
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 cartridge and helped the Super NES better render the game's graphics. The Super FX Chip has been used in other Super NES games as well, some with increased processing speed. Its reboot, Star Fox 64, further revolutionized the video game industry by being the first Nintendo 64 game to feature the Rumble Pak.
Due to perceived issues with the German company StarVox, Star Fox and Star Fox 64 were released in PAL region territories as Starwing and Lylat Wars respectively. However, as of Star Fox Adventures, Nintendo went back on this decision so future games could be released worldwide with the same name.
|1997||Star Fox 64|
|2002||Star Fox Adventures|
|2005||Star Fox: Assault|
|2006||Star Fox Command|
|2011||Star Fox 64 3D|
|2016||Star Fox Zero|
|Star Fox Guard|
|2017||Star Fox 2[a]|
The first game, Star Fox, known as Starwing in Europe and Australia, 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. The game's concept was inspired by a shrine to the fox deity Inari Ōkami, which Shigeru Miyamoto visited regularly. The shrine was accessible through a series of arches, influencing the gameplay. 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
Star Fox 64, known as Lylat Wars in Europe and Australia, introduced fully spoken dialogue, fully three-dimensional graphics, and new vehicles and characters. The game was released in 1997 for the Nintendo 64 and came bundled with the Rumble Pak, a force feedback attachment. Star Fox 64 retells the main story of the original Star Fox canon, with new characters and gameplay elements. New multiplayer modes include: free-for-all, battle royale and a time trial.
The overall plot is expanded with relatively small core changes. 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.
Star Fox 64 3D
Star Fox 64 3D is a remake of Star Fox 64 for the Nintendo 3DS, released in 2011, 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 was 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 then-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 Adventures
Star Fox Adventures, was released in 2002 for 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 The Legend of Zelda games.
Star Fox: Assault
Developed by Namco, Star Fox: Assault was 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 Star Fox team is tasked with stopping 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 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 Zero
Star Fox Zero was developed by Nintendo and PlatinumGames for the Wii U and released in April 2016. The first Star Fox game on a home game console in over 10 years, the game is controlled using the Wii U GamePad's gyroscope feature. Star Fox Zero also came packaged with a retail version of Star Fox Guard, a tower defense spin-off game.
Star Fox 2
Star Fox 2 was originally cancelled even though it was completely finished. Many of its new ideas were implemented for the then-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 leglike 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.
Star Fox (arcade)
Star Fox Warriors
In early 2016, Koei Tecmo pitched a Warriors game with Star Fox characters and themes thrown into the mix. This however, never got past the design stage and was shot down by Nintendo probably due to Star Fox not being a good fit for a Warriors game.
Star Fox (Nelsonic Game Watch)
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.
Star Fox Guard
Star Fox Guard was first shown at E3 2014 under the name of Project Guard, and was announced under a final name in a March 2016 Nintendo Direct. Guard was released for the Wii U in April 2016, coinciding with the release of Star Fox Zero. Developed by Nintendo and PlatinumGames, Guard is a tower defense game where the objective is to switch between different views on security cameras and protect the player's base by shooting enemy robots. A physical version of the game came bundled alongside the physical version of Star Fox Zero, and is also available separately as a digital download on the Wii U eShop.
Super Smash Bros. series
Various Star Fox characters and elements have appeared in the Super Smash Bros. franchise of fighting games. Fox McCloud has appeared in all five 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 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 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; this was changed to an Arwing or Wolfen strike in Ultimate. They also share similar moves, like the Blaster, Reflector, Fox Illusion/Falco Phantasm/Wolf Flash, and 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 five 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 and Ultimate) are played atop the length of the mothership "Great Fox". 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 and 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. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate features the return of the Corneria, Venom, and Lylat Cruise stages. Andross also appears in his form from the original Star Fox as an assist trophy, sucking in air and then spewing projectiles at combatants, Krystal similarly appears as an assist trophy in Ultimate, using her staff to attack opponents. 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.
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. In WarioWare Gold for Nintendo 3DS, another SNES-styled Star Fox microgame appears, this time challenging players to not crash into anything when their ship is on the verge of being destroyed.
Super Mario Maker
Fox, Falco, Peppy, and Slippy, along with the Arwing Walker from Star Fox Zero, appear as Mystery Mushroom costumes in Super Mario Maker.
The Nintendo Switch version of Ubisoft's action-adventure game Starlink: Battle for Atlas features exclusive missions featuring Star Fox characters and ships. As part of the game's toys-to-life features, the Nintendo Switch starter pack includes figures of Fox McCloud and his Arwing that can be used in-game.
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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 an adaptation of the events of 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's 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.
Lylat Wars Comic
The official Club Nintendo magazine in Germany 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.
Star Fox: Farewell, Beloved Falco
Star Fox: Farewell, Beloved Falco[b] is a Japanese manga created by Nintendo, and part of the main Star Fox series. The manga was released on the official Star Fox Adventures Japanese website, and it chronicles the events between Star Fox 64 and Star Fox Adventures. It gives the backstory as to why Falco left the Star Fox team. It also introduces a new antagonist, Captain Shears. Captain Shears runs a base on the sand-dune planet Titania, but unbeknownst to Star Fox, Shears is actually taking part in an experiment to resurrect Andross. In the beginning, Katt Monroe returns from Star Fox 64 along with a rag-tag team of roughnecks with apparently an inside lead on the fact that Shears is evil. Fox doesn't believe them, which ends up in a sparring match between him and Falco, thus adding more emphasis into Falco's intentions of leaving Star Fox. Eventually, it is revealed to Star Fox that Shears is indeed evil, and Fox storms in to stop the resurrection plan once and for all.
The manga ends with the Star Fox team seeing Dinosaur Planet broken apart and deciding it is worth checking out. Star Fox Adventures opens with General Pepper ordering them to go there and save it, stating that their payment has been approved if they succeed.
Star Fox Zero – The Battle Begins
A 14-minute web video of Star Fox Zero produced by Shigeru Miyamoto, Production IG, and Wit Studio, features the Star Fox team in an anime-styled battle of the first level in Star Fox Zero: Corneria. The short was later released via the Wii U eShop as part of the Star Fox Zero: The Battle Begins + Training demo.
On January 13, 2020, Rogue One screenwriter Gary Whitta said that he'd like to write an animated movie based on video game series. Inspired by a drip of Star Fox fan art coming from God of War art director Raf Grassetti, Whitta retweeted an image of Grassetti's art and expressed his desire to turn it into an animated movie by saying, "I wanted to write an animated film".
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Arwing is the principal craft of the Star Fox team, and 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, 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. It also appears over a box in Super Mario RPG, Hinopio's Market, but it's just a decor. In Bayonetta 2, miniature Arwings replace Bayonetta's guns when she is wearing the game's unlockable Star Fox costume. In addition, the plane in the final level is also replaced with an Arwing.
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, 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 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.
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|Star Fox 64||88/100||89%|
|Star Fox Adventures||82/100||80%|
|Star Fox: Assault||67/100||71%|
|Star Fox Command||76/100||76%|
|Star Fox 64 3D||81/100||82%|
|Star Fox Zero||69/100||69%|
The Star Fox series has seen mostly positive reviews, the most acclaimed being Star Fox 64, while Star Fox Zero received the most mixed reviews. Star Fox took the No. 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. Regardless, it was critically praised. 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, Shigeru Miyamoto said that he felt disappointed that sales of the Star Fox series 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°.
- Originally intended to be released in 1995.
- Japanese: スターフォックス〜さらば愛しのファルコ〜
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