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Lock on the enemy!
Peppy Hare

Reticle is part of a a built-in targeting computer system which provides telemetry data.

Reticle combat computers are often found on Arwings, Wolfens, Landmasters and the Blue-Marine submersible. Homing lasers, Smart Bombs and torpedoes are designed to receive this data and fire along the headings highlighted.

Starfox1993

In the original Star Fox, the targeting aid is used to help guide the player's line of fire, however, it is only available in the cockpit view.

Sight

This mark will help you aim your Blaster at a target. It appears only in the COCKPIT view.
—Star Fox 1993; Instruction Booklet

Star Fox 64 logo
SF64 Bolse Core Appear

In Star Fox 64 and the 3DS release, all three modes of transport (Arwing, Landmaster and Blue Marine) are armed with reticles of their own to help aim and lock onto enemies, but some enemies like the very fast Killer BeesSmall Missiles and Andross's powerful lieutenants are impossible to lock onto. When charging the laser, the second cursor will flash red when it has locked onto an enemy. The automatic lock-on can actually be cancelled by holding the L and R buttons together, which allows skilled players to fire charged bolts onto clusters of enemies in order to rack up bonus Hit points. Pilots in the multiplayer have targeting aids of their own but their weapons lack charging lasers, so they cannot lock-onto opponents.

Aiming Cursor: The laser goes through the centre of the two squares. To remove the cursor, pause the game and press the R Button.
—Star Fox 64, Instruction Booklet
Targeting Reticles: Shots fired will pass between the two targeting reticles.
—Star Fox 64 3D, Instruction Booklet

During the Lylat Wars, Andross's army's Invader IIs were sent as the first wave against Katina's frontline base. Due to design flaws, they were painted the same colors as Cornerian Fighters to confuse the Star Fox team into causing friendly fire, but the lock-on reticle was able to tell the difference. 

Corneria Fighters are not enemy aircraft, but many rookies mistake the aircrafts' markings for Venom's Invader Assault Fighters. Your Arwing combat computer can identify Corneria Fighters and will not lock on them.
—Official Nintendo Power Player's Guide, pg 67
Starfoxscreenshot2

The targeting aid in Star Fox 64.

Tripod fighters manufactured on Macbeth were equipped with the latest aerial combat computer, not to mention that the experimental weapon Mechbeth had a fully functional, advanced combat computer, armed with a trio of the deadliest attack weapons ever designed on the planet.

You've already encountered Tripods on other missions, but you'll find larger numbers of the flying foes on Macbeth. That's because Tripods are manufactured here. These newest versions are equipped with Andross's latest aerial combat computers. Shoot them down before they lock onto your Arwing.
—Official Nintendo Power Player's Guide, pg 77

Star Fox Adventures
Starfoxad 091302 17 640w

The targeting cursor in Adventures.

In Adventures, the reticle targeting aid is present during Arwing space flight missions for aiming laser shots but the ship cannot perform charged or homing lasers.

Star Fox Assault
Ape Trooper

A Sniper Rifle's reticle targeting scope view.

In Assault, the targeting aid reticle performs exactly like before in vehicles, and pilots are able to semi-lock onto enemies using targeting cursors. When using a Sniper Rifle, the weapon's rangefinder scope zooms in to enable shooting enemies from a safe distance.

Targeting Cursor: The direction you're attacking.
—Instruction Booklet
Targeting Cursor: The shape of the targeting cursor changes depending on your current weapon.
—Instruction Booklet

Star Fox Command

In Command, all ships have reticle aiming sights but certain personal star-fighters have different methods of Laser and lock-on features.

Reticule: Use this to target enemies - it will turn red when you lock on.
—Instruction Booklet

Single Lock

Crafts with Single Lock can only lock-on to one target at a time. Personal crafts with this lock-on feature: Arwing II (Fox McCloud), Cloud Runner (Krystal), Sky Bunny (Lucy Hare), Cat's Paw II (Katt Monroe), Monkey Arrow (Dash Bowman) and the Arwings of Peppy Hare and James McCloud. The Single Lock is the traditional locking-on system, and it behaves just like in previous games. A player must hold a button down to charge and release to shoot.

Multi Lock

With Multi Lock, a craft can target up to five targets at once. Personal crafts with this lock-on feature: Sky Claw (Falco Lombardi), Tadpole (Amanda) and Red Fang (Wolf O'Donnell). The Multi Lock is similar to Single Lock, but it damages up to five targets upon shooting.

Wide Lock

Wide Lock enables a craft to lock-on to every visible target. The only personal craft with this lock-on feature is Rainbow Delta (Leon Powalski). The Wide Lock is very simple to use. A player merely has to hold down a button and the Targeting Computer takes care of both targeting every possible target and shooting them.

References

  • NINTENDO POWER Star Fox 64: Official Nintendo Player's Guide. Redmond, WA, Nintendo of America. 1997.
  • Star Fox 64; Instruction Booklet
  • Star Fox Assault; Instruction Booklet
  • Star Fox Command; Instruction Booklet
  • Star Fox 64 3D; Instruction Booklet
  • Star Fox 1993; Instruction Booklet