The Star Fox team's roles in the games, including how their roles advance the gameplay.
In the original game, the team mates who fly with Fox are Falco, Peppy and Slippy. Because the Great Fox does not exist in the series yet, team mates who run out of health are actually permanently shot down and remain inactive for the rest of the play through.
Falco is an aggressive fighter who knocks many fighters out of the sky, while making snide gestures at Fox, even when being rescued by him such as: "Mind your own business, Fox!".
Peppy tends to give out useful piloting tips as well as how to beat the stage bosses.
Slippy tended to get himself chased by the enemy more often than the other two pilots, and had a croaking verbal tic that was removed in later appearances. He will tell Fox not to be so greedy when his targets are shot down for him.
“[...]"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
Star Fox 64/3D
In Star Fox 64, Falco, Peppy and Slippy return with roles almost identical to the original title's. Team mates this time can take damage from the player's firepower. Unlike before, if a team mate's Shield Gauge runs out, they will not be destroyed, but will be forced to retreat back the Great Fox and will remain inactive until two levels later. If they retreat, their skills will be lost until they return. If enough Hit points are acquired and all three team mates make it through the mission, a Cornerian Air Force Medal of valour will be awarded, which if all are collected, will unlock new features.
Falco is almost identical to his debut where he is more skilled at taking down fighters. His role is greatly expanded as he know is able to find route that lead to select locations in the Lylat System. Falco's activity on the 1st Mission is essential for reaching Sector Y, for saving him from three tailing fighters after the checkpoint and flying through all seven stone arches will allow the flight path to reach Sector Y and following Missions.
Peppy acts exactly like before where he provides flying hints and info on how to take down Andross's lieutenants.
Slippy now scans the stage boss and provides a Shield Gauge known as a bossometer, which detects the life force of the boss to allow knowledge on how close the boss is to defeat.
At select moments on some Missions, ROB 64 will make contact with Fox using the C>>> icon. Responding to the call will give ROB the order to dispatch a Supply Container or provide cover fire with Great Fox's guns. But if the call is not respond, he will not act.
Star Fox Adventures
In Adventures, since Tricky becomes Fox's sidekick in the game, Peppy and Slippy remain on the Great Fox and only help Fox when he contacts them with the START button and opens his communicator.
Slippy now gives Fox advice on how to continue his expedition, but will simply tell him to check out Peppy's Dinosaur Planet Atlas when the time has come to reach a new destination.
Peppy will provide a world map of Dinosaur Planet, indicating Fox's current position, where he needs to go next and information about the area. However, if Fox isn't finished in the are yet, Peppy will suggest contacting Slippy.
General Pepper will display the mission status, including how many important items, techniques and SideKick Commands he has collected.
Appearing only at the end of the game, Falco will arrive halfway through the final boss battle and drop Containers of Smart Bombs to help clear the boss.
“Eight years have passed since Andross was finally overthrown by the daring Star Fox team. Following the celebrations, Fox McCloud and friends returned to the only life they knew - an endless patrol of the Lylat system, guarding against ongoing threats to their territory. Boredom soon struck, causing Fox's close friend Falco Lombardi to simply disappear, leaving only rumour to suggest that his lone-wolf nature had finally led him to pursue a more free and profitable life. Then Slippy Toad traded his pilot's wings for a place in Weapons R&D, demonstration a natural flair for invention, while Fox's old friend and mentor Peppy Hare retired from active flight duty to concentrate on a role as a navigator and general adviser. The Great Fox itself had also seen better days. Keeping a ship of that size in prime condition cost serious money, and well-paid jobs for fighter pilots and mercenaries were increasingly difficult to come by. So it was that Fox and co. found themselves drifting through the galaxy, waiting and hoping for General Pepper's hologram to pop up with just the kind of high-stakes, high-reward mission that they might need…”
—Star Fox Adventures; Instruction Booklet
Star Fox: Assault
In Assault, members of the team are now invincible until scripted points where the player must assist them. However, the allies who participate on the ground can be harmed, but will not die. When a teammate is rescued from tailing enemies, they will fly by Fox and leave an item to help him to return the favour. Falco will drop a Smart Bomb while Slippy and Krystal will drop silver Supply Rings.
Falco and Slippy's roles are identical to the ones they had in Star Fox 64.
Krystal essentially fills the pilot gap left by Peppy's retirement and will sense enemy movement, giving fair warnings of formation position and attacks, as well as advice on how to defeat enemies and bosses.
Game's rear cover
“ALL SHIPS, REPORT IN! One year has passed since disaster was averted on Sauria, and Andross's armies have been almost eradicated... but now a new threat has risen from the darkness of space. The aparoids, creatures bent on assimilating all beasts and machines into their corrupted hive mind, are spreading relentlessly, and Team Star Fox is the only thing standing between them and the utter ruin of the Lylat system.”
—Game's rear cover
Star Fox Command
In Command, all characters now take turns depending on movements made on the tactics map, and will act on their own battles. Different characters pilot their own different ships, but can only take part in their own battles with the exception of bosses, where pilots can be chosen.
Fox Stands Alone...
“In days gone by, the burning desire of Dr. Andross to rule the Lylat system filled the galaxy with the chaos of war. The mad ape sent out wave after wave of armies from his stronghold on the planet Venom, and used unique forms of radiation to create horrible monsters and terrible soldiers. His ambition swept this army across the galaxy too the planet Corneria. It was there, however, that a quartet of mercenaries known as Star Fox put an end to the threat, and the leader of the team, Fox McCloud, defeated Andross in single combat. In the years that followed, Venom was designated a forbidden planet and placed under the rigorous watch of Cornerian forces. All was going well until a mysterious army suddenly sprung forth from the toxic seas of the the planet. Controlled by a mysterious leader called the Anglar Emperor, this new threat cuts through the Lylat system like a scythe through ripe wheat. The unexpected attack once again places the peoples, cities, and culture of the Lylat system in dire peril. But much to the shock and dismay of the Lylat people, the members of Star Fox have gone their separate ways... leaving Fox McCloud as the lone obstacle in the Anglar army's path. Despite the odds, Fox heroically launches himself into the fray. But can he survive without the aid of his former teammates?”
Star Fox Zero
Falco, Peppy and Slippy return and fill the roles they previously held in the other games. This time they are more proactive in taking down enemies and can help reduce numbers in areas like the third phase on Corneria.
Team Star Fox
“A legendary team of adventurers-for-hire that has often defended the Lylat System in times of peril. Founded by James McCloud, the leadership passed to his son, Fox, after his apparent death.”
—Star Fox Zero.com
In most titles, teammates will act on their own in shooting down any enemies and will automatically act in scripted game moments. If enemies are shot down by them, Hit Points will be denied, which can be a drawback if the player desires a Medal. In turn, if the player (Fox) shoots down any of their targets they will react in annoyance.
NINTENDO POWER Star Fox 64: Official Nintendo Player's Guide. Redmond, WA, Nintendo of America. 1997.