The Star Fox logo.
|Developer(s)||Nintendo EAD, Argonaut Software, Rare, NAMCO, Q-Games, Platinum Games|
|Genre(s)||Rail/scrolling shooter, action-adventure, science-fiction|
|Platform(s)||Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo 64, Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo DS, Wii, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U|
|Platform of origin||Super Nintendo Entertainment System|
|Year of inception||1993|
|First installment||Star Fox (1993)|
|Latest installment||Star Fox 2 (2017)|
The Star Fox (スターフォックス) universe refers to the Super Smash Flash series' collection of characters, stages, items, and properties that hail from Nintendo's Star Fox series of on-rails space shooter video games. They are developed by various companies such as Rare, NAMCO, and are published by Nintendo. The series takes place in a Star Wars-like galaxy whose characters are a diverse cast of anthropomorphic animals. The games in the series generally revolve around an interstellar mercenary team named Star Fox, consisting of the Arwing pilots Fox McCloud, Falco Lombardi, Peppy Hare, Slippy Toad, Krystal, and ROB 64 from the outset. The team is assigned to combat forces that spontaneously threaten the galaxy. Its series symbol is the winged fox emblem blazoned on the gear and machinery of the Star Fox team.
The original Star Fox was released in 1993 for the SNES, and it was heavily hyped and garnered much critical acclaim for its then-revolutionary feature: 3-dimensional polygon-based graphics, which was uncommon and new for a console video game at the time, allowed for obstacle-course gameplay presented in the third person in 3D environments. It was made possible by the game cart's Super FX chip, a coprocessor used to accelerate graphics display. While the game was very successful, in 1997 the franchise got its officially canonical start with the immensely acclaimed and successful Star Fox 64 for Nintendo 64, which was essentially a redesigned and upgraded version of the previous game. Featuring a revised and better-designed on-rails 3D space-shooting system, along with better visuals and a cinematic storyline driven by voice acting which reviewers considered impressive, Star Fox 64 was noted as an instant classic for its time and was the second best-selling game of 1997, behind Mario Kart 64. The game also included a Rumble Pak for the Nintendo 64 controller and was the first game to support it. The characters, world, and storyline were rewritten and made the start of Star Fox series continuity, and it remains one of the most popular games in the series.
The franchise underwent a 5-year hiatus, during which main series character Fox McCloud was featured in 1999's Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64 as a playable character, and in 2001 he and series costar Falco Lombardi were featured as playable characters in the 2001 sequel Super Smash Bros. Melee. The franchise returned to the video game mainstream through unusual circumstances: British developer Rare, creator of the Donkey Kong Country series and subsequent franchise, was developing a 3D The Legend of Zelda-style adventure game for the Nintendo 64 titled Dinosaur Planet featuring anthropomorphic animal characters, which Rare canceled far into development. Nintendo president Shigeru Miyamoto looked at the game's content and noted similarities of character design to the Star Fox series, so it was decided that it be redesigned into what would become Star Fox Adventures for the Nintendo Gamecube in 2002. Set eight years after Star Fox 64, the game was a dramatic departure for the franchise and featured immensely praised graphics and new characters such as female fox, Krystal and dinosaur-like, Prince Tricky. Its reviews were varied from positive to negative, however.
Since then several more installments in the Star Fox franchise have been and continue to be released. In 2005, Namco developed Star Fox Assault for the Nintendo GameCube, returning to its space-shooter roots but with additional on-foot missions. In 2006 Q-Games developed the game Star Fox Command for the Nintendo DS, again with aircraft-based gameplay and continuing the continuity. It is the first Star Fox game developed for a handheld and is also the first to feature online multiplayer. In 2006, a trailer for the game Super Smash Bros. Brawl showed that Fox McCloud would be available as a playable character like in previous Super Smash Bros. games, Falco would later rejoin the game, also Fox's archival Wolf O'Donnell would appear as a new challenger. Although their interests in developing a Star Fox game for Wii as expressed by Miyamoto, no Star Fox game saw the light on said console and there would not be new entry in the series for the following ten years, instead, Nintendo launched in 2011 an enhanced remake of Star Fox 64 for the Nintendo 3DS aptly titled Star Fox 64 3D which incorporates stereoscopic graphics and "Gyro Controls", using the 3DS' internal gyroscope sensor. In 2014, following a nine-year hiatus, Nintendo, by the hand of Miyamoto, would confirm development of a new entry in the Star Fox series but they would not reveal the game until a year later, in 2015, when Star Fox: Zero for the Wii U was finally announced. It is the first game to incorporate high-definition graphics and is neither a sequel or a remake to the series, but rather a re-imagining of Star Fox 64, a reboot instead. Originally slated to be released in late 2015, the game was pushed back on the first quarter of 2016, releasing on April of the same year. Fox and Falco would reprise their roles as playable fighters in both Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, with Wolf getting cut from the roster. In 2017, Nintendo released the Super NES Classic Edition, a dedicated miniature video game console which emulates the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, among the twenty-one Super NES titles pre-installed is the previously unreleased Star Fox 2 (which is unlocked upon clearing the first level of the original Star Fox), which was included by demand of the console manufacturer. This officially marked the first time this game has been made available to the public.
The Star Fox series depicts a galaxy where anthropomorphic animals exist on various planets, and whenever a new threat of interplanetary proportions emerges, a mercenary team titled "Star Fox" is called on by the planet Corneria's Defense Forces commander-in-chief, General Pepper, to combat and vanquish the threat using their assault spacecraft, the Arwings, as well as other classes of vehicles. Stages of gameplay in traditional Star Fox games are on-rails space-shooting stages where the player, as Star Fox team leader Fox McCloud, is accompanied and helped by computer-controlled wingmen, and stages will be made easier if the wingmen are kept alive so that they can return the next mission. Story unfolds in epic, cinematic fashion throughout most Star Fox games, enough that it may be said that Star Wars is an influence on the franchise.
In Star Fox 64, it is wizened scientist Andross, a scientist exiled from Corneria by General Pepper, that wages war against Corneria from the planetary wasteland of Venom, and Star Fox team's Fox McCloud, Falco Lombardi, Peppy Hare, and Slippy Toad must defeat the now biologically-twisted and enlarged being. Eight years afterward in Star Fox Adventures, series vixen Krystal, from the destroyed planet Cerinia, is trying to assist the residents of the crumbling Dinosaur Planet Sauria in combating General Scales, and Star Fox goes over there to rescue both Krystal and the planet. One Year later by Star Fox: Assault, Krystal takes Peppy Hare's place, and the team must now take flight to combat and defeat a race of half-mechanical insects called the Aparoids. And after that in Star Fox: Command, the team must take flight again to combat and defeat a race called the Anglars, hailing from the acidic oceans of the planet Venom, many endings are available in this game. Star Fox: Zero will ignore any continuity with past games and start over the storyline, being a re-imagining of the events of Star Fox 64 without necessarily being a remake.
In the Super Smash Flash series
In Super Smash Flash
The Star Fox franchise is represented as one of several "standard universes" found in Super Smash Flash, with only one character.
- Fox McCloud: The son of Star Fox team founder James McCloud, who was seemingly killed when his supposed teammate Pigma Dengar betrayed him to Andross' custody. Fox McCloud leads the Star Fox mercenary team in his father's name. He starts out an amateur Arwing pilot but gets more confident and cockier over the years. His main arch-enemy at first is the villainous ape scientist Andross, but his chief rival pilot throughout the series is Wolf O'Donnel, and his romantic interest is the blue fox Krystal. Among his acts of interstellar heroism are destroying Andross more than once, rescuing Sauria from the Dinosaur Planet, destroying the Aparoid Queen, and defeating the Anglars.
In Super Smash Flash 2
A fair amount of Star Fox-related content has been confirmed to appear in Super Smash Flash 2, with three characters, three stages, and an item.
Fox made a return, with Falco and Krystal joining him.
- Fox McCloud: Fox debuted in demo v0.8a. His sprite design is based on his appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Fox has been confirmed to keep his incredible speed, Blaster and Reflector. Fox's Final Smash is the Landmaster, a tank which fills up a huge portion of the stage as he drives around blasting his opponents.
- Falco Lombardi: A character that functions as a clone character of Fox. Falco Lombardi is the smart-mouthed, but experienced and trustworthy companion member of the Star Fox team, and is the most adept Arwing pilot of Fox's wingmates. He was revealed during the Day 2 live stream at Super Smash Con 2016. His design is based on his appearance in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, with his moveset being a combination of his Super Smash Bros. Melee and Brawl movesets.
- Krazoa Palace: A stage that takes place in the ancient palace of Sauria. The stage is fairly large, and has fans which, when the stage is played on with stage hazards on, slowly lifts fighters upwards as they stand underneath them.
- Meteo Campaigns: A stage that takes place on board the new Great Fox while traveling through the Meteo asteroid belt, while being escorted by Arwings. It is a fairly large stage, being different from other Star Fox stages where the horizontal blast lines are close to the stage.
- Sector Z: Originally called Corneria, it takes place along the length of the Star Fox central command ship, the Great Fox, and it resides in an area of the galaxy called Sector Z, so named for the Z-shaped nebula in the background. The KO-boundaries on either side of the stage are rather close to the stage's edges, so a Smash hit will probably make for a KO.
- Smart Bomb: A bomb that, when it hits an opponent, or collides with another object, while will create a slow explosion that will engulf anything in its vicinity.