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I'll take the sky anyday.
—Falco

Falco Lombardi is a member of an avian race and ace pilot of the Star Fox team. He is also a good friend and friendly rival to Fox McCloud. Falco has appeared alongside his wingmates in every Star Fox game to date, and usually retains his brash, cool, and collected behavior. Although he's an ace pilot, Falco is sometimes caught in situations in which he cannot escape, and must rely on Fox for assistance, often to his chagrin. Since Star Fox 64, Falco has starred in his own manga, which centers on events happening between Star Fox 64 and Star Fox Adventures.

Biography

Much of Falco's early life is unknown as he apparently avoided talk of what he did before joining the Star Fox team, but he was likley born on Corneria but due to a comment he made on Zoness, he may have spent some of his lifetime there. He probably enlisted in the Cornerian Flight Academy, but dropped out and became a rogue pilot. Not much is known after that, but it could be that his life before was filled with recklessness and adventure. He then formed the space hot rodders with him as leader. He led them for a couple years, until he was asked to join team Star Fox, where he agreed, although joining the Star Fox team may have been the result of a falling out between him and his partner, Katt Monroe in regards to irritation about always having to save her that also resulted in him quitting the gang. He had made friends with the leader Fox and was involved in numerous missions.

Falco played a major role during the Lylat Wars. He was horrified by the damage done to Corneria City. He also said with shock that Andross was insane when he saw the bio-weapon Vulcain. After the fight with Spyborg, he was annoyed that they had to rescue Slippy. At Titania he again received help from Fox and provided backup. After they rescued Slippy, he remarked that they always have "to save his hide". At Zoness he was angered that they polluted the planet. He was surprised that Katt had come to help, saying "Katt, what are you doing here?". After they destroyed the Sarumarine he noticed that Katt was missing. At Fichina and Bolse he fought with Leon of Star Wolf again and defeated him. At the Battle of Venom he again defeated Leon, and was ordered by Fox to stay while he fought Andross. When Fox came back he admitted that Fox did good. He was then seen going to the reward ceremony, and looked as if he wasn't paying attention to General Pepper. He was then seen, along with the rest of the team, to be seen running back to the Great Fox.

After the Lylat Wars

For 4 years after the wars team Star Fox had been involved in many different missions rounding up the remaining Venomian Army. Falco had been getting bored with them as they weren't as exciting as they're previous missions. Falco started to get more uncooperative than ever and it got even worse he began to get into fights with Fox for entertainment. It is unknown if they did any other missions in this 4 year time period.

It should be noted, however, that four years after the events of the Lylat Wars, the Star Fox Team received a distress signal from Titania by Katt, which Falco acted upon without the team's permission. He then saved her and the other Hot Rodders from another Goras and he learned from her that Captain Shears is apparently researching Andross's projects, and she doesn't trust their motives. Katt asked Falco if he found anyone special in his life which he denied. Falco asked Katt the same thing and ambiguously replied that there was someone else she was interested in. The next day, Katt introduced Falco to the Hot Rodders gang on board their mother ship, River-Pig. The Rat was overcome with enthusiasm to have Falco on their team while Cool claimed he was just glad Falco didn't leave Katt to die in the desert. The team's ship was then attacked by Star Fox (Captain Shears previously told them that the ship belonged to the remnants of Andross's army), prompting Falco to get into a dogfight with Fox, which ended up in a draw, and Falco's ship being critically damaged, thus forcing him to crash-land in the desert to try and fix it, while commenting that, Fox seemed quite impressive in the dogfight (or Falco felt he had either gotten worse).

Later, Falco reappeared to save the Hot Rodders yet again from Goras by flying into its jaws and manipulating it's spitfire steam with his own shields and flying through it's body at a high speed, this time, destroying it for good, as his first fight against it ended with it retreating. Falco noticed that Cool saved Katt from being crushed by the falling remains of Goras, guessing that there may be a romance forming between them. Then in the aftermath of the Titianian base battle, Falco flew off with his Arwing, mentioning how he's going to "go it alone for a while", also telling Fox (who had just defeated a newly resurrected Andross clone) to tell Katt and Cool to retire from the Hot Rodders.

Nobody knew what happened to him until he returned out of the blue to save Fox from the recently resurrected Andross who was about to eat him. He had probably heard of the mission team Star Fox was doing and wanted to get in on the excitement as there had not been any in 8 years. He came and helped Fox with the fight, giving him Smart Bombs to launch in Andross's mouth. After the battle, Falco seemed eager to rejoin the team as he docked in the Great Fox, who granted the request easily after a few tense moments from Fox. That is where he first met Krystal, nudging Fox to get closer and friendly with her.

Falco remained as the team's Ace Pilot when Star Fox were employed by General Pepper to end the Oikonny Rebellion against Andrew Oikonny in support of the Cornerian Forces. Falco continued to play a part when the Aparoid race invaded the system during the Aparoid Invasion of the Lylat System. Falco stayed in his Arwing during all ten campaigns, occasionally getting tailed, but now regarding Fox's assistance with respect and gently shaming himself for letting it happen. He claimed during the Fichina mission that he let Fox go on ahead at the beginning because he hated the cold. However, after Fox was pinned down at the climate control center upon reactivating it by malfunctioning security robots, Falco was forced to board an Arwing to save Fox while the latter attempted to hold the robots off, eventually making it just as Fox was being overwhelmed. In addition to his rivalry with Leon Powalski, he also developed a slight rivalry with Star Wolf newcomer Panther Caroso. It's also implied that Falco acted as the Star Fox team's second in command during this time, as he guided Krystal during space battles and frequently scolded Slippy for constantly getting tailed, and during the Corneria campaign, Fox told him that should he fall, Falco should take over in regards to demolishing the radar jammers. Falco was still somewhat ignorant around authority as he looked uninterested when Beltino Toad made his speech before the Star Fox team and Cornerian fleet departed for the Aparoid homeworld. But like everyone else, Falco was reluctant about allowing Peppy's brave sacrifice, calling him a: "crazy old fool" for doing it. Falco later tried to ignore the Aparoid Queen's imitations of people they knew, while he tried to convince Fox it wasn't true, reminding him that his father was dead, until he was quickly cut off. Falco then helped Fox fight the Aparoid Queen by flying in close to attack the body spheres, then he guessed that the Aparoid Race was ended with her death, before evacuating the doomed planet at Fox's command. He reflected with apparent silent sadness at the thought of all who had fallen in the war after Krystal reminded them of Peppy and Wolf's team and so many noble sacrifices, until they saw the escape pod beacon, with Peppy and ROB on board. Falco then asked Fox with surprise if he knew about their escape all along before hearing Fox's thanks to the team for their help. 

Around two years after the Aparoid war ended and Star fox had disbanded, Falco wandered the Lylat System in his customized Arwing called the Sky Claw, drifting from job to job while searching for the same thrills he had in the past.

Seniority

In one of the game's endings, Falco was tracked down and joined Fox's son Marcus as the senior member of a new Star Fox Team, apparently serving an advisory role similar to Peppy Hare in the original team. He had at that point apparently become a "legendary pilot".

Falco goes solo, again

In another ending, Falco was consumed by anger and self pity that he left Star Fox permanently after Star Fox defeated the Anglar forces without him. Listening to Katt Monroe, they form a new team with Dash Bowman named Star Falco.

G-Zero

In a third ending, he attempts to console Fox McCloud who is distraught over Krystal leaving him for Panther by converting his and Fox's ships into racing machines and retire as pilots for the Ultra-High Speed Galaxy race: G-Zero Grand Prix (a play on the Nintendo's F-Zero franchise). They become successful racers and forget their life as part of Star Fox. 

Other Appearances

Falco is a prominent character in the Nintendo Power comics continuity, based on the original Star Fox game. In this incarnation, Falco is revealed to have been Academy rivals with Fox. Fox apparently "was at the top of his class " when he met a rowdy Falco who wanted to fly. Fox apparently showed Falco the way to fly by cleaning up his act, entering the academy and "earned his wings".

Falco appears in the Lylat Wars Comic, performing the same role he does in the games. He is very interested in cooking an Aquas Mutant Octopus which attacked the Blue-Marine, but Fox accepts its innocence for being mutated by Andross's pollution, to which he allows it to go free. Later at Solar, the Octopus reveals itself to be an all terrain, infiltration craft piloted by Pigma, which planted time bombs on the Arwings, which cripple them and cause a certain firey fate below. The Arwings are then saved by Katt Monroe's tractor beam, much to Falco's humilliation. At the Great Fox's bar, Falco and Katt have a catch up drink, only for the rest of the team to walk in, to which Katt recalls memories of their shared time and Falco's apparent bad behaviour at kindergarten and causes Falco's embarrasment. When arriving at Venom's flatlands, only Fox and Falco manage to survive the overwhelming enemies, so Falco then distracts the enemy fighters to let Fox reach Andross's palace. Upon the meltdown of the robotic Andross and destruction of Venom, the Star Fox team return home to Corneria and turn down the offer of promotions, while Falco says "...And I've got a lovely little kitty waiting for me!"; this dialogue can be seen as a possible confirmation for Falco's feelings towards Katt.

Star Fox Zero: The Battle Begins

SFZTBB-Falco-controller

Falco playing the flight simulator.

En-route to Corneria from a ten day flight from Sauria, at Great Fox's bridge, Falco Lombardi is playing a 3DS flight simulator and gets easily frustrated at losing after viewing a Slippy version of the game over, until Slippy straps his new model of pilot's visor on Falco's head after licking his hat back (which had landed on the bird's head) with his long stretchy tongue, annoying him, but the targeting aid provided by the visor really helps Falco play the game even better.

Eventually, ROB reports a distress signal from General Pepper that the Androssian forces are attacking Corneria City. The footage is viewed onscreen, while Falco ponders why they don't blow the Cornerian Command tower up when they caught the army by surprise, which General Pepper reveals that the Androsa's fleet are attacking because they came specifically for him.

The team depart for takeoff, Slippy suggesting that the crab robots are using bio-tracking tech to find General Pepper and thinks they need to separate his bio-signal from their sights, which Falco thinks is crazy and gives Peppy an idea, pulling Slippy away to the lab.

On Corneria's seas, Fox orders a G-Diffuser system check before Falco multi-locks and totals two Bandit fighters, liking the new visor that Slippy made. Fox asks ROB for an evacuation report, and ROB responds with a complete evacuation, the Cornerian civilians watch the conflict from across the sea in terror. Fox orders the team to switch to All-Range Mode and take the offensive to the overwhelmed tower. Falco takes out one Granga fighter before getting tailed by two more and applies the brakes to get the drop on the two.

The four Arwing's then use a unified Smart Bomb volley to decimate the enemy fleet until Slippy and Peppy are grazed by impressive firepower coming from the warp portal, which is revealed to be the Androsa. Granga interrupts the communications and questions Fox daring to halt his mission and promises to squash them like the insects he thinks they are. Fox orders Slippy and Peppy to pull back and recover and let him and Falco take the ship down, doing Barrel Rolls to deflect the turret laser fire and shoot to destroy the laser funnels. Falco prompts Slippy for a bossometer and responds with the plan to take out the larger laser cannons to disarm the ship of the G-Diffuser system. Fox takes the top, Falco take care of everything below, until the Androsa loses the sections, leaving the spiny core tower with one section left. Granga fires homing missiles at Fox but he loses two of them after making a loop to fire back onto them and propels toward the last giant laser cannon and guides the missile to strike the cannon, contradicting the use of a guided missile. Granga gets ready to takeoff and retreat, cursing the Star Fox team and warning them about Andross hearing what happened and it will be the end of them.

The Cornerian people cheer for the victory and General Pepper thanks Star Fox for saving them once more, and hates to ask for more of them but there's a battle going on in Sector α and request urgent back up support from them.

Reception and popularity

  • Falco is a favorite among Star Fox fans, and among Nintendo fans in general. Though he could be described as "cranky", Falco gained esteem as a counterpoint to Slippy Toad and Peppy Hare. Dan Richman of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer remarked that Falco looks more like a pterodactyl than a falcon. UGO Networks listed Falco as one of the top twenty-three second in commands in movies, television, video games, and entertainment. Like Fox and Wolf, Falco's voice clips from Star Fox 64 had a hand in his popularity rise.
  • The portrayal of Falco in the Super Smash Bros. series has been both praised and criticized. While IGN noted that Falco operated a bit differently than Fox in the game, and did so in a "cool black jacket", he was essentially a simple clone of Fox McCloud. IGN also cited Falco as proof that Masahiro Sakurai did not appear to care about producing original characters with unique move sets, which was eventually fixed in Brawl.

Behind the scenes

Unused voice acting have revealed it was originally intended that Falco arrived earlier in Star Fox Adventures and to aid Fox in defeating General Scales, when it was planned that Scales could actually be fought as a boss.

Trivia

  • In Farewell, Beloved Falco, Falco reveals to Katt that he has never been nor will he ever be interested in a relationship, and that he and Katt will never be in love or be a couple. Of course this could be a sign of denial on his part, but it remains uncertain.
  • Katt jests that she and Falco have known each other since kindergarten in the Star Fox 64 manga, and that Falco didn't have the very best behaviour.
  • If there is any mutual affection between Katt and Falco, it is notable as the only example of interspecies romance thus far in the series.
  • Falco is notably the only post-James era Star Fox Member who had ever gotten into a dogfight against Fox (albeit in Farewell, Beloved Falco), and the only of the post-James era Star Fox member to actually dogfight one of their own teammates.
  • In the final panel in "Goodbye, Fox", Falco is wearing boots identical to the ones worn by Captain Falcon. This is a reference to the F-Zero series.
  • In Assault, his preferred weapon is the Homing Launcher.
  • Falco is one of very few characters in the series who never wears gloves.
  • With 123 quotes, Falco is the second most talkative character in Star Fox 64 behind Peppy. The 3DS release added seven new ones.
  • Falco is currently the only member of team Star Fox without any known relatives, hence why he keeps his past life secret and is hinted to find the Star Fox team his family.
  • His first name "Falco" is the genus name for birds of prey that includes falcons, kestrels and caracaras. Falco himself looks like a red-throated caracara.

Names in Other Languages

Language Name
Japanese ファルコ・ランバルディ (Faruko Ranbarudi)
Chinese 法爾科・蘭巴帝 (Fǎěrkē Lánbādì)
Korean 팔코 람바디 (Palko Rambadi)
Russian Фалько Ломбарди (Falko Lombardi)
Esperanto Falco Lombardi
Spanish Falco Lombardi
Portugese Falco Lombardi
Italian Falco Lombardi

References

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