Star Fox (known in its PAL physical release as Starwing) is the original Star Fox video game made for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The game introduces Fox McCloud and the Star Fox team on a mission to save the Lylat system from the evil clutches of Andross. The game was originally intended to have a direct sequel, Star Fox 2, which would have introduced the now-familiar concepts of Walkers, All-Range Mode, and the rival Star Wolf team; however, it originally went unreleased due to the looming Nintendo 64, and it was decided that the next title would be more akin to a series reboot rather than a true sequel.
The objective of the game is to go through one route (Level 1 for beginners, Level 2 for more skilled players and Level 3 for seasoned veterans of the game) that begins at Corneria and eventually reaches Venom, the planet where Andross has holed himself up. Along each route, there are six stages apiece, all different.
Not counting the Black Hole or Out of This Dimension, there are three route orders in the game. All paths begin at Corneria, where the player faces either the Attack Carrier on the easier routes or the Destructor on the hardest route. In the easy path: Star Fox then heads to the Asteroid Belt where they destroy the Rock Crusher, attack the Andross Space Armada and destroy the flagship's Atomic Base, destroy the Dancing Insector of the Battle Base Meteor, and fight Phantron at Venom. In the medium route, they go to Sector X and destroy the Rock Crusher, recapture the weather control base and destroy the corrupted Professor Hanger at Titania, save the "undersea" lifeforms of Sector Y by eliminating the Plasma Hydra, tangle with the Metal Smasher at Venom airspace, and race the Galactic Rider at the base. On the hard route, they'll destroy the Blade Barrier of the Asteroid Belt, destroy Andross's mutated Monarch Dodora at Fortuna, take out the Atomic Base II at Sector Z, destroy the Spinning Core at Macbeth to stop the construction of a base, and defeat the Great Commander of Venom. All routes end with the final boss, "Andross..." This deviates the game from the normal space/flight sim mold in which the difficulty level is set by the player at an options screen, as each route corresponds to a difficulty level. This increases the game's replay value significantly by offering the chance to see and experience new areas on the higher difficulty routes instead of merely experiencing the same stages with more enemies, lower health, less time, etc.
There are four control configurations to choose from, the default being Type A.
|Type||D-Pad (Left, Right)||D-Pad (Up, Down)||Start||Select||L||R||A||B||X||Y|
|Type A||Left and Right||Dive and Climb||Pause||Switch Viewpoints||Roll Left||Roll Right||Fire a Smart Bomb||Retro-rocket||Speed Boost||Laser Blaster|
|Type B||Left and Right||Dive and Climb||Pause||Switch Viewpoints||Roll Left||Roll Right||Laser Blaster||Retro-rocket||Speed Boost||Retro-rocket|
|Type C||Left and Right||Climb and Dive||Pause||Switch Viewpoints||Roll Left||Roll Right||Fire a Smart Bomb||Retro-rocket||Speed Boost||Laser Blaster|
|Type D||Left and Right||Climb and Dive||Pause||Switch Viewpoints||Roll Left||Roll Right||Fire a Smart Bomb||Laser Blaster||Speed Boost||Retro-Rocket|
- Supply ring: After you fly through this ring, it will become your starting point if your ship is destroyed before you finish the stage. Flying through this ring will also restore most of your shield energy.
- Small Energy Supply: This small ring will appear after you have destroyed certain enemies or missiles. When you fly through it, some of your shield energy will be replenished.
- Power Shield:When you obtain this item, you will be impervious to the next several enemy attacks.
- Twin Blaster:This will upgrade the Arwing's Laser Blasters to Twin Blaster Type A. If Type A is already enabled, it will upgrade them to Type B.
- Wing gyro:If a wing is damaged, this will repair one broken wing.
- Smart Bomb: This will equip the Arwing with an extra Smart Bomb, up to a maximum of five.
- Extra Ship: The player must shoot the three objects to make an arwing appear in the middle. The player must then fly through the ship in order to gain a 1-Up.
The game was released in the spring of 1993 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and quickly became a phenomenon. Before it was even released, preorders exceeded 1.7 million copies. In order to keep up with the preorder demand Nintendo shipped a million game cartridges on the game's opening weekend, some dropped by parachute to stores such as Sears.
To promote the game, Nintendo created Star Fox-themed kiosks which loosely resembled an Arwing and sent them to Sears stores. A TV with a VCR stood next to the kiosk, and if one sat in a chair inside the kiosk then it would rumble in response to the actions on-screen. Another game promotion was the Super Star Fox Weekend competition, in which specially rigged Star Fox game cartridges set to time themselves for four minutes were played. The objective of the competition was to get the highest score by shooting down the most enemies within the time limit. Prizes included a free trip to one of four locations around the globe, along with flight pins, flights jackets and other assorted winnings.
At the time of the game's release, the use of filled, three-dimensional polygons in a console game was considered to be revolutionary, along with a handful of earlier titles, including Sega Genesis ports of Atari's arcade driving game, Hard Drivin, and their helicopter shooter, Steel Talons. Star Fox was awarded Best Shooter of 1993 by Electronic Gaming Monthly. The game took the #115 spot on EGM's "The Greatest 200 Videogames of Their Time", and 82nd best game made on a Nintendo System in Nintendo Power's Top 200 Games list. It also received a 34 out of 40 from Famitsu magazine, and a 4.125 out of 5 from Nintendo Power. Next Gen Magazine pointed out Star Fox as helping pioneer the use of 3-D video game graphics. The game has been used as an example of how, even with a fully polygon design, the game was still very similar to older games in that there was a set path to travel through each level.
While the start of the series, this game often became overlooked when its official successor, Star Fox 64, was released after the silent cancellation of the virtually-finished Star Fox 2. The storyline of the game is extremely similar, essentially following its basic outline except with expanded backstories and character relationships that were presumably meant to take advantage of the voice acting. There are also no explicit references to any previous mission, except for the prologue twice vaguely using the phrase "once again" when mentioning both Andross' invasion of the Lylat System and Fox McCloud's Star Fox team arriving to save Corneria and free the Lylat System. In an interview that was translated and published in its English-language strategy guide, Shigeru Miyamoto apparently considered Star Fox 64 to be a "remake", although this is prior to popularization of the term "reboot". The Japanese website for Star Fox Adventures states that the events of the SNES and N64 games are actually two sides of the same coin, implying their parallel co-existence in the timeline. Star Fox Zero is yet another, more detailed account of the war against Andross.
References in later games
- In Star Fox 64, the Attack Carrier is the only boss to be directly reused from the first game (Andross himself being mostly revamped for his fight). The Arwing gameplay (as well as the main characters and plot) is also a more in-depth version of what is presented in the original game, and many locations are revisited and at times reinterpreted.
- In the Smash Bros. series, Star Fox descriptions properly list certain elements as originating from the original game. In Super Smash Bros. Melee particularly, Andross has a trophy of his SNES and N64 first forms; the text even compares the two and suggests that the SNES incarnation was not the real Andross. This "fake" Andross would become an Assist Trophy in subsequent entries, which would also include more remixed music from the original game besides the Venom track.
- In Star Fox Adventures, the name "Dinosaur Planet" was (inadvertently) borrowed from the original manual. This caused some confusion at the time of the location's true identity, but it is later revealed to refer to a separate planet that was not in the original game. The accompanying prequel manga also shows Fox and Slippy playing what appears to be a variant of the SNES game as a training simulation or in-universe pastime, and the computer interface contains images of Andross' SNES manifestation as his consciousness awakens.
- In Star Fox Assault (whose manual otherwise skips the original game when listing the series chronology), Fortuna reappears and is the only SNES-exclusive area to return later in the series so far. Concept art of General Pepper shows that he was also intended to wear shades to resemble his more youthful SNES design, but this was removed in favor of his baggy, tired-looking eyes.
- In Star Fox Command, one of the intro's stills show the Star Fox team's designs and pose reflecting the original Japanese box art and Nintendo Power advertisement. Monarch Dodora also reappears as an optional encounter.
- In WarioWare: Smooth Moves, one of the boss microgames is a brief reenactment of a stage from the original game, culminating in a final battle against the Famicom R.O.B.
- In Star Fox 64 3D, the name and title of each boss are displayed on the screen upon engagement. This matches the formatting of the boss titles in the SNES game's manual.
- In Super Mario Maker, the Star Fox member costumes come with sound effects from the original game, including General Pepper's "Good Luck" and the initial victory theme.
- In the files for Undertale, there is a song called "mus_star" which uses a very similar tune and the same instruments as the start menu theme from Star Fox.
- Star Fox Zero incorporates the game's main theme in several music tracks as a noticeable leitmotif. The Attack Carrier and Monarch Dodora both return in revamped boss fights, the latter also having a harder version called Cosmic Dodora. Andross is depicted as being focused more on mechanics rather than Bioweapons as in the original game, and his final form reflects this difference. Additionally, the Retro Arwing can be acquired by scanning a Fox amiibo (or earning it), which changes graphical and sound effects including switching the theme of the first level to the SNES version.
In 1993, Nintendo Power released an eleven-issue comic book series, telling its own version of the Star Fox game.
- At the end credits, a boss roll call plays, which names the fought boss characters and fills technical details such as height, width, depth and ornaments.
- The game was never re-released onto the Wii, Wii U, or New Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console. It eventually saw a re-release via the Super NES Classic Edition, alongside the formal release of the formerly-canceled Star Fox 2. The PAL version is listed under its unaltered title, Star Fox, due to titles utilizing their NTSC counterparts. The reason it and other Super FX chip games skipped Virtual Console was believed by Dylan Cuthbert to be due to fears of a lawsuit involving the copyrighted code from the now-defunct Argonaut Games. However, speaking to Famitsu regarding the Nintendo Classic Mini release, a Nintendo representative claimed that it was due to Virtual Console being unable to adequately emulate the Super FX chip, unacknowledging any behind-the-scenes legalities.
Names in Other Languages
|Japanese||(スターフォックス コマンド: Sutā Fokkusu)|
- Star Fox (In-Game)
- Star Fox 1993; Instruction Booklet
|Star Fox series|
|Main Games||Star Fox • 2 • 64 (3D) • Adventures • Assault • Command • Zero|
|Spin-offs||Star Fox Guard|
|Super Smash Bros. Series||Super Smash Bros. • Melee • Brawl • 3DS & Wii U|
|Other||Star Fox (Game Watch) • Cameos|
|Cancelled||Virtual Boy • Arcade • Wii • Dinosaur Planet (game)|
|Main Characters||Fox McCloud • Falco Lombardi • Peppy Hare • Slippy Toad • General Pepper • Andross|
|Bosses||Attack Carrier • Destructor • Rock Crusher • Slot Machine • Blade Barrier • Atomic Base • Monarch Dodora • Dancing Insector • Professor Hanger • Plasma Hydra • Spinning Core • Phantron • Metal Smasher • Galactic Rider • Great Commander • Andross|
|Locations||Corneria • Asteroid • Black Hole • Out of This Dimension • Sector X • Space Armada • Titania • Fortuna • Meteor • Sector Y • Sector Z • Macbeth • Venom|
|Navigation||Plot • Missions • Gallery • Videos • Script|