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Star Fox (game)

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This article is about the first game of the Star Fox series. For other uses, see here.
Star Fox
Star Fox cover
Production Credits
Developer(s)

Nintendo
Argonaut Software

Publisher(s)

Nintendo

Distribution
Release Date

Japan: February 21, 1993
North America: March 23, 1993
Europe: June 3, 1993

Genre(s)

3D Shooter

Mode(s)

Single Player

Platform

Super Nintendo Entertainment System

Media

8 Mbit Super FX cartridge

Chronology
Followed by

Star Fox 64

  

Star Fox (known in the PAL region as Starwing) is the original 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; however, it 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.

Background Story: Origin of the Lylatian Conflict

The Lylat solar system, located near the center of the Milky Way galaxy, is made up of several bountiful planets. No fewer than three of these worlds were home to civilizations teeming with Industrious Inhabitants. The other planets in the system provided boundless natural resources. The comfortable lifestyle enjoyed by the Lylatians was the envy of the galaxy, until the coming of the Emperor Andross.
Emperor Andross was once known as Doctor Andross, a scientific genius who worked at an advanced lab on Corneria, the fourth planet in the Lylat system. Ever since his childhood, Andross's brilliance outshone that of other children. As an adult, Dr. Andross began developing a powerful engine based on hyper-spatial energy. Selfish and blinded by selfish ambition, he repeatedly conducted dangerous experiments in the hear of Corneria's most populated city. After many warnings from the planet's ruling council, he was finally banished from the planet for endangering the Inhabitants of Corneria.
Out of sight, out of mind. The Inhabitants of Corneria soon forgot the menace of "Dr. Andross". One day, however, Corneria's small defense force detected some unusual happenings on Venom, the first planet in the Lylat system. Strange unidentified flying objects were monitored manoeuvring above the planet in large numbers. it was not long before the self appointed Emperor Andross, who had fled to Venom, declared war on Corneria.
The planet Venom had been complete remade by Emperor Andorss into a gigantic military base. Andross hoped that with his military power, he could soon control all the plants in the Lylat system. General Pepper, the commanding officer of Corneria's defense force, decided to dispatch the super-high-performance combat ship ARWING to the defense of the planet, seven though it was in the prototype stage of development. Because of the urgency of the threat to Corneria, however, he did not have time to train pilots for these advanced fighters.
"We need the Star Fox Team!!"
This is the call sent out by General Pepper. You are Fox McCloud, leader of the Star Fox team, a group of adventurers with outstanding combat skill. Your mission is to penetrate the defenses of the planet Venom and defeat the forces led by Emperor Andross. Your ability to maneuver the ARWING fighter will make the difference between the return of peace to the Lylat system and the fall of Corneria to the evil Emperor. As a team leader, you are also responsible for the safe return of your Star Fox teammates.
—Star Fox; Instruction manual, pg 3

Gameplay

The objective of the game is to start at Corneria and then go through one route (Route 1 for beginners, Route 2 for more skilled players and Route 3 for seasoned veterans of the game) and to eventually reach the planet Venom where Andross has holed himself up at. Along each route, there are sx levels apiece, all different.

Not counting the Black Hole or Dimension levels, there are three route orders in the game. In the easy path: The Star Fox team then head to the Asteroid Belt where they destroy the Rock Crusher, attack the Andross Space Armada and destroy the flagship's Atomic Base, and destroy the Dancing Insector of the Battle Base Meteor. 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, and save the "undersea" lifeforms of Sector Y by eliminating the Plasma Hydra. On the hard route, they'll destroy the Blade Barrier of the Asteroid Field, destroy Andross's mutated Monarch Dodora at Fortuna, take out the Atomic Base II at Sector Z, and finally destroy the Spinning Core at Macbeth and stop the Venomian Army from building a base. 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 a new level on the higher difficulty routes instead of merely experiencing the same levels with more enemies, lower health, less time, etc.

Controls

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 ALeft and RightDive and ClimbPauseSwitch ViewpointsRoll LeftRoll RightFire a Nova BombRetro-rocketSpeed BoostLaser Blaster
Type BLeft and RightDive and ClimbPauseSwitch ViewpointsRoll LeftRoll RightLaser BlasterRetro-rocketSpeed BoostRetro-rocket
Type CLeft and RightClimb and DivePauseSwitch ViewpointsRoll LeftRoll RightFire a Nova BombRetro-rocketSpeed BoostLaser Blaster
Type DLeft and RightClimb and DivePauseSwitch ViewpointsRoll LeftRoll RightFire a Nova BombLaser BlasterSpeed BoostRetro-Rocket

Items

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.SF-Supply Ring
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.294695-energy ring super
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 Nova 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. 

Objective

The goal for every mission is to destroy the enemy leader that waits at the end of the stage. The Arwing is taken on a direct path to the main boss of each area, keeping the player locked in a fixed path and forcing them to navigate through a series of obstacles and enemies. If the player ventures too far towards the edge of the flight path, arrows will guide them back to the main course.

Levels

Lylat-SNES

The map of the Lylat system.

Development

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 Weekends 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 4 locations around the globe, along with flight pins, flights jackets and other assorted winnings.

Reception

Star Fox Poster - Small

Star Fox teaser poster from Nintendo Power volume 45

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 Magazine. 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.

Legacy

This game, while starting it all, is often ignored and not usually considered part of the canonical universe. In an early interview, Shigeru Miyamoto apparently considered Star Fox 64 to be a remake or a series reboot. The recap present in the Star Fox: Assault instruction manual also ignores the original game and begins the series at Star Fox 64. However, the official Star Fox Adventures Japanese site stated that the events of the SNES and N64 games are two sides of the same coin, implying that they could directly co-exist within the same timeline. In addition, the prologue for Star Fox 64 mentioned that Andross had "once again invaded the Lylat System" and that the new Star Fox Team led by Fox McCloud had been hired to save Corneria and free the Lylat System "once again," implying that the events of the SNES game happened (as the prologue's only other mention of a conflict with Andross was the one where James McCloud's Star Fox Team was betrayed to Andross by Pigma). In spite of the confusion, both games are still referenced in the Smash Bros. series, even comparing the two forms of Andross and suggesting that the SNES incarnation was not the real Andross. 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 ROB. Concept art for General Pepper in Star Fox: Assault also included an artwork of Pepper wearing sunglasses just like his appearance in the SNES Star Fox game. One of the stills from the prologue to the questionably-canon Star Fox: Command also had the Star Fox team's designs strongly resembling their appearance in the SNES Star Fox game, but the still itself even invoked a similar appearance to the Nintendo Power advertisement for the game. As of such, it is unknown as whether the game is canon or not.

Comic Adaptation 

In 1993, Nintendo Power released a comic book series, in which each issue tells its own version of the Star Fox series, based on the continuity at the time.

Sequels

A planned sequel, Star Fox 2, was planned and in fact completed but never released to the public. ROMs of the game in its prototype form have been leaked to the internet, though, and several of the concepts in the sequel made it into Star Fox 64. Some of these include All-range mode and the rival Star Wolf team. A good amount of leftovers from the project were used in Star Fox Command.

Gallery

Trivia

  • At the End Credits, a Boss Roll call plays, which names most boss characters, filling details on each one's Height, Width, Depth and arnaments.
  • The Star Fox Adventures prequel manga, Farewell, Beloved Falco, does show elements of the original game - a simulation game resembling the SNES video game is a popular pastime of younger members of the Star Fox team, and the Andross AI interface had its design borrowed from the SNES game's human face.
    • In addition, the design of the character of Shears is based on the design of the unnamed character (presumably General Pepper) in the unreleased sequel

References

Star Fox series
Main games
Star Fox | Star Fox 64 (3D) | Star Fox Adventures | Star Fox: Assault | Star Fox Command | Star Fox (Wii U)
Other
Star Fox (Game Watch) | Cameos
Super Smash Bros. Series
Super Smash Bros. | Super Smash Bros. Melee | Super Smash Bros. Brawl | Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U
Cancelled
Star Fox 2 | Virtual Boy | Arcade | Wii | Dinosaur Planet (game)

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