- “Don't mess up that Arwing!”
- —Peppy Hare
The Arwing is the personal super-high performance combat ship used by members of the Star Fox Team. Despite numerous revisions and redesigns over the course of the team's history, the many models of Arwing have maintained the balance of speed, power and performance that they are credited for. The Arwing starfighter is the primary battle vehicle of the Star Fox Team, and is almost the symbol of their team. Developed by Space Dynamics Co., Ltd., the Arwing is equipped with the revolutionary G-Diffuser system, an anti-gravity device which allows the pilot to accelerate or decelerate instantaneously and perform a wide variety of high performance combat maneuvers. By executing a barrel roll, (actually an aileron roll) the Arwing can also generate a electromagnetic shield which will deflect most optically based weapons, such as laser beams. The Arwings used by the Star Fox Team are much different from any production versions as they have been extensively modified with improved armor and advanced weapon systems, such as Hyper Laser Homing Bolts and Smart Bombs.
Used by the original Star Fox team of James McCloud, Peppy Hare and Pigma Dengar, the single-seated Arwing featured four advanced G-Diffuser on board engines as large blue structures atop and underneath each wing. A single-beam laser cannon (which could double as a Smart Bomb launcher) was located underneath the nose. Twin and Hyper laser upgrades instead utilized a pair of more powerful laser cannons between the G-Diffuser, with one just below each wing. The rear of the ship housed the engine exhaust, which would change color with the environment -- red for in-atmosphere, and blue for space operations. It was the most advanced ship of it's time, years ahead of any other fighter in Lylat. Andross had originally used spacecraft which were inferior to the Arwing, but Cornerian intelligence rumoured that he was well on his way to developing a new starfighter to rival it. This came true when his new Wolfen class starfighters appeared during the Lylat Wars.
The original Star Fox team flew their Arwings to Venom to investigate the reports of an upsurge of activity by exiled scientist, Dr. Andross. Upon arrival, Pigma defected to Andross's side. James and Peppy's Arwing were shot down, and they were imprisioned by Andross. However, despite massive damage and the loss of an entire wing, Peppy Hare's Arwing survived the attack, and Peppy was somehow able to escape captivity and fly the nearly destroyed fighter all the way back to Corneria - a testament to the ship's durability.
The Arwing was also used by Fox McCloud and his team to save Lylat from Andross's sudden attack during the Lylat Wars. Putting all environmental conditions and hostile opposition (including 9000 degrees on the Solar star), the Arwing starfighter served as the main source of tactical service and backup support throughout the catastrophic war. With the efforts of the newly reformed Star Fox team's small, quick squadron, Corneria and Lylat were freed from Andross and his Venomian Army. Despite offers to enter the Cornerian millitary, Star Fox and their Arwings remained a strictly professional mercenaries-for-hire unit only. No one is sure what the Star Fox team did with the money from the Lylat Wars.
Throughout the Four years after the Lylat Wars, the peaceful era made the Star Fox team's profession become obsolete as they started drifting Lylat in search of work. This meant the Arwings were unable to receive updates and repairs they required. After catching a distorted S.O.S Signal from Katt, Falco hurried off to rescue her at Titania with Star Fox on his tail. Deception from a Cornerian officer named Captain Shears led to a serious dogfight between Fox and Falco, pitting Arwing against Arwing. At this point, Falco concluded that the Arwing is at its most vulnerable after the Barrel Roll technique has finished, for the pilot won't know where the enemy will be after making the distorting roll. Although Falco had lost his duel and yet managed to eventually repair his downed Arwing, he can't help but wonder if either he has gotten worse or Fox has become better than him.
Later on after dealing with Captain Shears and his team, Falco decided to have a temporary leave of absence, taking his Arwing with him. What became of Falco remained unheard of until four years later.
Plight of Sauria
Due to the lack of funds in the possession of the Star Fox team during the Plight of Sauria, the Arwings owned by the Star Fox team were in serious disrepair. Even an ace pilot would have trouble keeping the ship together, due to the modifications made by Slippy Toad; these included the stripping of the targeting computers in exchange for hard currency, as well as the bomb magazines restricted to only one at a time, and the charge ability was taken away, and laser power was poor. Although the navigational computer was still in working order, this model of the Arwing had the capacity of two crew members, one of which was the pilot (Fox), and under the belly of the ship was a small cargo holder in which small creatures such as Prince Tricky could stay in while the pilot flew the ship. the Arwing's engines suffered somewhat, making the ship harder to control, but that could be attributed to the fact that the nose had been elongated to allow for cargo space in which small creatures (Prince Tricky) could be transported in. Its able to use brakes and boost but last very shortly. The installation of retractable tripod landing gear was another asset, due to the fact that Arwings would have had to work independently from Great Fox for prolonged periods of time. To provide remote assistance ROB 64 would transmit Fuel Cells to power the Arwing, but these were commonly scattered about, leaving the team to search for them in unorthodox places. It was this stripped down, aging ship that was responsible for the final defeat of Andross.
After the Star Fox team was paid handsomely for their action during the Saurian Crisis, they opted to upgrade their weapons, armor, their mothership, the Great Fox and their Arwings. These new, feather-like ships boasted four G-diffusers which allowed for the ship to come to a complete stop, as well as make more advanced maneuvers repeatedly, such as loops and Immelmann turns. The ships however has no bombs present on board, but can equip them in flight, so as to keep the weight down. The flexible wings on the sides allow for easy transition from flight mode to all-range mode, and come equipped with a transponder to allow for these ships to be transmitted to the surface of a planet, similar to the upgraded Landmaster. These ships saw the team through the Aparoid Invasion, performing remarkably through the perils of this brutal war. In addition, the wings of the ships were also strengthened so as to withstand crashing them through the floor, as evidenced by Falco utilizing a maneuver when landing at the Fichina Climate Control Center to aid Fox where he had to flip and slice his wing on the floor to destroy the rest of the sentrybots without any apparent ill-effects to the wing. However, the initial blizzards on Fichina were unsuitable for the Arwings likely because of their intentional lightness for planetary environments, meaning only the heavy Landmaster could get the job done for the first act.
Following the Aparoid invasion, the Star Fox Team was outfitted with new ships. Each pilot picked one for themselves.
- Fox acquired the Arwing II, a ship resembling the Arwing in Star Fox 64.
- Slippy had the Bullfrog, a bigger ship. It has a thick nose with small wings. It is slow and difficult to maneuver, but makes up for this with it's ability to use plasma cannons, the strongest primary weapon available. Unfortunately, the Bullfrog's cannons lack the ability to charge and lock on to enemies.
- Falco had the Sky Claw. This ship resembled the Arwing II, but with wings directed forward, more round-shaped and with claws on the end. It has a pointed nose. Though it is equipped with the simple single laser, it is the fastest and most maneuverable ship in existence and has the ability to perform multiple somersaults and Immelmann turns. It also has the ability to lock on multiple enemies when charging its laser.
- Krystal, because of her leaving from the Star Fox Team, flew a Cornerian Starfighter, but in some of the possible pathways of the game, she is seen to own a new ship - the Cloud Runner. The design resembles the CloudRunner tribe from Star Fox Adventures.
- In addition, both Peppy Hare and James McCloud, playable in two of the game's storylines, fly the original Arwing, which resembles the ones seen in the Aparoid Invasion.
In the Mangas
Star Fox Comics
The original, twin G-Diffuser Arwings appear in the Comic book series created for Nintendo Power magazine.
Star Fox 64 manga
In the manga created for Nintendo of Europe, the Arwings are the main vehicle of the Star Fox Team like they are in the games. Like the game, Slippy's dropout of the Cornerian Flight Academy took a heavy toll on his piloting skills, where he fails to read low fuel measurements and crashes onto Titania. Fox is unable to use the Arwing on Titania due to strange planetary conditions so he resorts to using the Landmaster brought by Slippy in order to search for him. Fox frees Slippy from Goras and makes an impulse level three boost to head back to the Great Fox, after learning never to ignore his low fuel warnings and keep a spare canister like Fox. Later after their mission on Aquas, an Octopus that latched onto the Blue-Marine sneeks towards the Arwings, planting timebombs on them. At Solar, the Arwing's armour is able to withstand up to 9,000 degrees, but Slippy scans the surface warning that the starfighter's sheilds may not be enough to repel the higher temperature of 13,000 below. After impaling Vulcain with a power strike, the timebombs go off on the G-Diffusers and Fox, Falco and Slippy start to lose their gravitational controls. Just as soon as they start to plummet, the Octopus from before appears as an all range infiltration craft piloted by the traitorous Pigma, intent on getting even with Star Fox, following his humilliation in front of Andross. But the trio are rescued by a tractor beam generated from Katt. Angered by their rescue, Pigma and Andrew attack the Cat's Paw, but they in turn are attacked and fired from the Star Wolf Team by Wolf himself for their disobedience. The Cat's Paw takes the crippled Arwings back to the Great Fox, at the price of a dinner for Katt by Falco. Later after the meltdown of Bolse, the elite acedevil fighters block the flight path to Venom, so Fox orders plan 9, a loop, allowing the team to make it to Venom's plains. Peppy and Slippy are both overpowered by the Venomian fighters and are forced to pull back, while Falco leads the remaining fighters away from Fox so he can reach Andross's Palace. Quickly impaling Golemech, Fox arrives and does battle with the Ape Emperor, dodging his telekinetic inhale and fist swipes until his hide breaks apart to reveal a robotic Andross. Fox's Arwing is then able to escape from the burning temple just before Venom self destructs. The triumphant Star Fox Team return home to Corneria where they politely decline promotional offers before going back to work.
- The Arwing seems to be a generalized fighter, based on several different aircraft designs in both popular culture and military service. However, its usage, handling and description in the games makes it very similar to the X-Wing from the Star Wars trilogy.
- In Star Fox: Assault, the updated Arwing seems to have been the basis for the redesigned Cornerian Fighter (or perhaps vice versa), which, in turn, looks extremely similar to the V-Wing fighter from Star Wars. Its name could also hint this, since it sounds like R-Wing, similar to the Star Wars method of naming a ship after a letter followed by "-Wing". However, the Arwing may also have been named by dropping the first two letters of "Starwing" (the PAL name of the first Star Fox).
Names in Other Languages
- The Arwing's Japanese name is similar to "Irwin" - a human name.
- NINTENDO POWER Star Fox 64: Official Nintendo Player's Guide. Redmond, WA, Nintendo of America. 1997.
- List of Super Smash Bros. series Trophies (Star Fox series)
- Star Fox 1993; Instruction Booklet
- Star Fox 64; Instruction Booklet
- Star Fox Assault; Instruction Booklet
- Star Fox 64 3D
|Star Fox Team|
|Fox McCloud | Falco Lombardi | Peppy Hare | Slippy Toad | Krystal | ROB 64|
|James McCloud | Pigma Dengar | Peppy Hare|
|Associate / Honorary Members|
|Bill Grey | Katt Monroe | Lucy Hare | Amanda | Tricky | Free-As-A-Bird|
|Marcus | Slippy's son | Peppy's granddaughter | Miyu | Fay | Fara Phoenix | Saru|
|Arwing | Landmaster | Blue-Marine | Great Fox | Walker | Gyrowing|
|Other / Non-Canon Vehicles|
|Arwing II | Sky Claw | Bullfrog | Cloud Runner | Sky Bunny | Tadpole | Catspaw | Cat's Paw 2 | Great Fox II | Defense-Class Arwing | Interceptor-Class Arwing | Mothership|