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Great Fox

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General

452px-Starfox team logo svg

Great Fox is ready to go.
ROB 64

The Great Fox is the space aircraft carrier/battleship that serves as mobile headquarters, launching platform, tactical support and residence of the elite Star Fox squadron, who travel across space defending the peace and innocent lives from other-worldly threats.

It is equipped with 3 NTD-FX9 plasma engines that give it the capability to warp between planets. In addition, the ship is streamlined for atmospheric re-entry, making it capable of landing the Landmaster or Blue-Marine if necessary. Great Fox is stocked with all manner of supplies for the Star Fox Team, including food, clothing and replacement parts. In fact, Great Fox is the mobile home of the Star Fox Team. The late James McCloud contracted Space Dynamics Co., Ltd., to build Great Fox, and took out an 80 year loan to pay for its construction. The Star Fox Team is still using the prize money from their mercenary mission to repay this loan. ROB 64, the robotic pilot of Great Fox, is wired directly into the ship's controls. Even though Great Fox rarely participates in the Star Fox Team's missions, it is a very important asset for the team.

Schematics

Developed by Arspace Dynamics Co., Ltd., manufacturer of the Arwing fighter, Great Fox was custom built under the direction of James McCloud. Featuring 3 NTD-FX9 plasma engines, Great Fox is light-speed capable and has a real-space cruising speed that nearly matches the Arwing's. Power for its 2 T&B-H9 hyper laser cannons is routed directly from the plasma engines, giving the ship the ability to punch through even a Zeram-class Cruiser's shields. ROB 64 was developed in conjunction with Great Fox and is hard-wired to the ship's primary computer. James McCloud took out a low interest, 80-year mortgage to purchase Great Fox, a debt that his son is doing his best to repay.
—Lylat Datalink, Great Fox, pg 105

Construction

The original Great Fox, a Dreadnought-class heavy cruiser, was constructed on the order of James McCloud by Space Dynamics, along with ROB 64. The ship was so expensive, James had to take out an 80-year loan. James never used it, disappearing and presumably perishing on Venom while on a mission with the Star Fox Team, before the ship was completed.

History

First Missions

The Great Fox was still relatively new when James' only son Fox McCloud, having re-formed the Star Fox Team following his father's apparent death, took ownership of the ship. The Great Fox was originally used as a carrier & repair facility for the team's Arwings, Landmaster, and Blue-Marine, as well as acting in a logistical capacity by transferring supplies to the combat zone when needed. In terms of combat, the Great Fox used its powerful weapon systems (in the form of two powerful laser cannons) to aid the squadron's progression during missions, blowing apart asteroids and causing serious damage to massive battleships (such as the Venomian battleships that guard the Area 6 access corridor to Venom). The ship's own defenses allow it to survive in a variety of environments, allowing it to be able to enter a planetary atmosphere, and land on planet-side spaceports, as well as having a limited aquatic capability (e.g. on Aquas, where it half-submerged itself to deploy the Blue-Marine). The ship's major assignment was first breaking the invasion of Corneria by Andross' Venomian Army, and then recapturing the occupied territories of the Lylat System, and ultimately invading Venom itself, where Andross was defeated by Fox.

Degradation

In the years following the defeat of Andross, the Great Fox soon fell into a state of disrepair, due to lack of funds (with freelance work becoming harder to come by) to keep up maintenance. Its exterior armor began to deteriorate, and it's engine power decreased considerably, to the point where the ship was only able to drift with its boosters. Also, the weapon systems ceased to work, as such Fox was unable to count on space support while chasing down and battling the resurrected Andross out in space above Sauria, where the Great Fox was orbiting.

Final Battles

Greatfoxaparo
With the money received by General Pepper for successfully saving Dinosaur Planet from destruction and the Lylat system from devastation, the team were able to overhaul the Great Fox. It now appeared as a much sleeker and cleaner looking ship, inside and out, and also added new equipment. This included a long-range transfer system that can send Arwings and Landmasters to a planet's surface when needed, though the team's leader Fox McCloud indicated that it had poor targeting systems.

The ship served the team well, allowing Star Fox to appear where needed throughout Lylat during the Aparoid Invasion. Eventually, the Great Fox led a fleet of Cornerian Defense Force warships to the Aparoid Homeworld, where in the conclusion of the battle, a large swarm of Aparoids attacked the Great Fox out in space, while the team was trying to gain access to the planet's core. Its systems compromised and, due to the lack of proper weaponry on exposed areas of the ships' hull, it soon fell prey and was infected by the machine-assimilating aliens. Before it could be compromised, Peppy and ROB, despite knowing it would mean their deaths, heroically sacrificed the ship by deliberately ramming it into the Anti-Laser Shield blocking the main entrance to the core. Peppy and ROB escaped at the last moment, escaping in the ship's bridge, which could also serve in an escape pod function. The pod, rejoining the team following the destruction of the planet, flew back to Corneria.

Other Appearances

Star Fox 64 manga

The Great Fox appears in the Star Fox 64 manga, with a role exactly like that from the games. The story begins with Fox gazing at the star field in deep thoughts on the bridge before receiving a transmission from General Pepper. The Great Fox's hangar is the site of where Slippy learns from Peppy about Pigma's treason. The ship is portrayed as having a bar for the pilots to cool down at after the completion of a mission.

Star Fox: Farewell, Beloved Falco

The Great Fox appears in the Japan exclusive manga, in a very sorry state having had no funds to keep it in repair, such as visible scrapes of the hull have been falling off, exposing the inside mechanics.

Trivia

  • Since the original Star Fox lacked the Great Fox (or Mothership), the other Star Fox members could not retreat into their mothership to repair damages to their ship. Therefore, if their shield gauge is depleted, they would be shot down and will be permanently down for the remainder of the playthrough.
  • The in-game lasers of the Great Fox's guns are coloured in a deep yellow, indicating their great strength. They have been used in every appearance, except Star Fox Adventures (due to the ship's great disrepair) and the original Super Smash Bros. Yet the lasers are coloured green on the Star Fox 64 box art, which is most likely an artists error.
  • Unused prototype sprites for Star Fox Command show that the original Lylat Wars design for the Great Fox was going to return before Nintendo changed it to a different Great Fox instead.
  • The Great Fox's technology is advanced enough that it is capable of transmitting Arwings, Landmasters, Fuel Cells etc by teleportation, yet it always seems to never be accurate as noted by Fox during the Aparoid Invasion. The real explanation for this is likely for gameplay reasons.
  • The original Great Fox's tail is similar to a shark's dorsal fin, but it changed to face forward with an aerial on top by the time it was revamped. In Star Fox 64 3D, although it keeps the original look, its tail has changed to the later form.
  • Interestingly, the Great Fox never takes an active role in the battles of Star Fox: Assault, possibly for balance reasons. In addition, the only time it actually appears in a level is during the final mission, but only in a cutscene, not gameplay. It is possible the reason behind this is because the ship is too valuable for enemy forces to capture, since all members capable of mounting a defense would be off the ship in the case of boarding, or the ship is staying away from the field of battle to avoid destruction. More likely, the team cannot call in Great Fox owing to the terrain of the areas they fight, or the ship is otherwise occupied, such as the battle in the opening sequence of the game, it is possible Great Fox is engaging hostile opponents, and in the case of terrain, Fichina's weather or Meteo's asteroid belt prohibits direct engagement by Great Fox.
  • Ripping the Great Fox models from both Star Fox 64 and Star Fox: Assault will reveal the ship is almost ten times larger in the latter game. This may be due to the increased graphical capabilities of the GameCube compared to the Nintendo 64.
  • Interestingly, selecting "Mini Melee" in Super Smash Bros. Melee or the "Mini" setting in Super Smash Bros. Brawl's "Special Brawl" gamemode will shrink the players on the Corneria or Venom stages so that they are scaled to the Great Fox.

Names in Other Languages

Language Name
Japanese (グレートフォックス, Gurēto Fokkusu)

References

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