The is a successful video game
franchise owned by Nintendo
. The original game was a forward-scrolling 3D Sci-Fi rail shooter
. Later sequels added more directional freedom as the series progressed. The title was based on the Star Wars series
, but not a part of the series.
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 Game Pak and helped the Super Famicom and SNES better render the game's graphics. The Super FX Chip has been used in other Super Famicom/SNES games as well, some with increased processing speed. Its remake, Star Fox 64, further revolutionized the video game industry by being the first Nintendo 64 game to feature the Rumble Pak.
Due to trademark issues over the name Star Fox in PAL region territories, Star Fox and Star Fox 64 were released in those countries as Star Wing and Lylat Wars respectively. However, Nintendo bought the rights before the release of Star Fox Adventures so future games could be released worldwide with the same name.
The first game, Star Fox
(known as Star Wing
in Europe), 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. In Star Fox
, Fox McCloud
and his team, Slippy Toad
, Peppy Hare
, and Falco Lombardi
, take on Andross
, who threatens to overthrow the Lylat system. 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
Released in 1997
for the Nintendo 64, Star Fox 64
in Europe) introduced full spoken dialogue, fully three dimensional graphics, and new vehicles and characters. The game came bundled with the Rumble Pak
, a force feedback attachment. Star Fox 64
is the true beginning of the Star Fox canon
, and is one of the more popular games in the series. Although the main storyline features no on-foot missions, the player may unlock on-foot play in the multiplayer mode.
This game is not a sequel to the SNES game, but rather a plot remake. The plot is changed but this is the beginning of the plot for the Star Fox games to come.
Star Fox Adventures
The next Star Fox game, Star Fox Adventures, was released in 2002 for Nintendo's next home console, the Nintendo 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 canceled video game Rare was developing late in the life cycle of the Nintendo 64. Adventures introduced new characters, including Prince Tricky. Adventures takes 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. It is also the game that introduced Krystal, a vixen, to the Star Fox series.
Star Fox: Assault
Nintendo hired Namco
to develop Star Fox: Assault
, released in 2005
, for the GameCube. The emphasis returned to ship-based shooting, 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.
Star Fox Command
Star Fox Command
was developed by Q-Games
for the Nintendo DS
. 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 gibberish chatter instead of the voice acting of previous 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
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 2
The game was cancelled even though it was completely finished. Many of its new ideas were implemented for the 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).
A beta version of the Landmaster tank also makes an appearance as an arwing with leg like attachments
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's 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, only one public image of the possible Star Fox
for the Virtual Boy survives.
Star Fox (arcade)
Originally planned as a companion game with Star Fox: Assault
, it was abandoned and never released. It was supposed to be released in 2004-2005, but for reasons unknown, it wasn't.
Star Fox Wii
The Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto
has shown interest in creating a Star Fox
game for the Wii
console in the future. As of now, however, no plot have been announced. Miyamoto
has suggested the Wii Remote
would work really well for controlling an Arwing, while series designer Takaya Imamura
has also said he has some ideas for a sequel.
Super Smash Bros. series
Three Star Fox characters have appeared in the Super Smash Bros. franchise of fighting games. Fox McCloud has appeared in all three as a playable character, while Falco Lombardi was featured in Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Brawl as an unlockable character. Wolf O'Donnell appears as an unlockable fighter in Brawl as well. All three characters have the same Final Smash in Brawl in which each calls down a Landmaster to run over and shoot enemies with. Peppy Hare and Slippy Toad also make brief cameos in Melee and Brawl, with Krystal, Leon Powalski and Panther Caroso appearing alongside them in the latter.
All three games feature Star Fox related stages: Sector Z, Corneria, and Venom. Sector Z (N64) and Corneria (Melee) are played atop the length of the mothership "Great Fox", which is scaled down from its original distance of .046 miles/242' 10.56" (.074 km). 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. Andross also appears in his form from the original Star Fox as an assist trophy, sucking in air and then spewing projectiles at combatants. The item "Smart Bomb" is also featured as the only item of the series, when used, it creates an explosion that slowly grows, however, sometimes the Smart Bomb is a dud and has a delayed explosion.
WarioWare: Smooth Moves
In WarioWare: Smooth Moves
, 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 ROB64 from the Star Fox series, but rather the R.O.B. attachment for the NES), who is armed with a large NES Zapper
Monthly Nintendo Power Comics
A monthly Star Fox comic strip was printed in issues of Nintendo Power in 1993. It was a sort of background covering of events in 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. The story of the comics was on the same level of darkness as the games. It 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.
Star Fox 64 Manga
Nintendo of Europe released a Star Fox 64 comic drawn manga-style to retell the game's storyline. One of the interesting things about this comic is that it showed some scenes that weren't 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 strangely with a robotic Andross being defeated.
Star Fox: Farewell, Beloved Falco
Star Fox: Farewell, Beloved Falco
is a manga created by Nintendo, and part of the Star Fox series. The manga chronicles the events between Star Fox 64
and Star Fox Adventures
. The manga was only released in Japan, and came with the Japanese version of Adventures
. It gives the back story as to why Falco left the Star Fox team. It also introduces a new antagonist, Colonel Shears. Colonel Shears runs a base on the sand-dune planet Titania, but unbeknownst to Star Fox, Shears is actually taking place in an experiment to resurrect Andross. In the beginning, Katt Monroe is introduced 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 ended 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.
Interestingly, the manga ends with the Star Fox team seeing Dinosaur Planet breaking apart and deciding to save it on their own accord, whereas Star Fox Adventures opens with General Pepper ordering them to go there and save it, promising to pay them if they succeed (However, it could be equally suggested that they could have filed in a request to General Pepper to try and save the planet, due to the General mentioning that their "Fee had been approved.) Why this change was made is understandable: since the manga was only released in Japan, there wasn't quite enough publicity to it to work it into the game, or perhaps it was chosen to be different.
The principal aircraft of the Star Fox team, it has appeared in all Star Fox games to date.
Throughout their appearances the Arwings have had considerable changes, though all versions have retained the basics such as simple lasers that can be upgraded and Smart Bombs (called Nova Bombs in the first Star Fox).
The Arwings make an appearance in the Super Smash Bros series, in Super Smash Bros Melee and Brawl, they appear as trophies and in the Super Smash Bros. series are used as the on-screen introduction to Fox and Falco. In the Corneria, Venom and Lylat Cruise stages they are seen flying in the background. It also appears as a piece of furniture in Animal Crossing: Wild World. When touched by the game character, the Arwing will briefly play the Star Fox theme music.
This white-and-blue fictional vehicle first appeared in Star Fox 64
(1997, Nintendo 64
) as a tracked light tank in two of the game's missions and one of the game's multi-player maps.
It appeared again in Star Fox: Assault (2005, Nintendo GameCube), although with wheels replacing the tank treads for this game only, the tanks were also modified somewhat and acted as anti-air craft tanks.
The Landmaster tank makes it most recent appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl (2008, Nintendo 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 white and red color scheme. Falco's Landmaster can fly higher and longer than Fox's but it's 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.
Other than a shared name, Nintendo's Landmaster tank is unrelated to the Landmaster vehicle from the film Damnation Alley.
The Star Fox
series has seen generally positive reviews, the most acclaimed being Star Fox 64
, and Star Fox: Assault
being the most panned. Star Fox
took the #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 Starfox 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, a series which Adventures is very much like. Certain elements of the plot were also criticised, for example how Fox came to be on a potentially hostile planet entirely unarmed, simply because of the orders of General Pepper, despite, at the end of the previous game, telling him explicitly "we like doing things our own way". This is most likely because Rare did not originally intend for the game to be based in the Starfox universe, and had to adapt their original game, Dinosaur Planet, to the new fictional universe. However, especially to players who had not had previous experience with the series, the game was seen as one of the best adventure games on the Nintendo Gamecube console, and one of the most graphically impressive games of its time.