Star Fox 64 (スターフォックス 64 Sutā Fokkusu Rokujūyon), known in Australia and Europe as Lylat Wars due to trademark issues, is a scrolling shooter for the Nintendo 64 and later for the Virtual Console. This game also received a remake, Star Fox 64 3D. It is a reimagining of the original Star Fox, and the only game in the series to be released on the Nintendo 64. The PAL version of Star Fox 64 (Lylat Wars) has an option to use the Lylat language which is similar to spoken language in the original Star Fox.
The planned second game in the series for the SNES, Star Fox 2, was canceled due to the upcoming release of the Nintendo 64. Some of its features were used in Star Fox 64, such as all range mode. It was the first game to introduce support for the Rumble Pak and was packaged with one. The game received positive ratings from reviewers and critics who praised its smooth animation, detailed visuals, and use of multiple gameplay paths. It has been called one of the greatest games of all time, and is the most popular game in the series.
The evil Dr. Andross was once a brilliant scientist working for the Cornerian Army. However, he took his research too far, and the devastating effects on the planet's ecosystem prompted General Pepper to banish him to the barren planet Venom, where it was thought he would never survive. Five years later, General Pepper picked up strange activity coming from the Venomian surface. He then hired the original Star Fox Team, led by James McCloud and consisting of Peppy Hare and Pigma Dengar to investigate. Upon arrival, Pigma betrayed the team to Andross and Peppy and James were captured. Peppy barely escaped and returned to Corneria to tell Fox McCloud, James' son, about his father's assumed death. After a few years passed, Andross declared war on the Lylat system and his army made its way to Corneria. General Pepper then turned to the Star Fox team, consisting of Fox McCloud, Falco Lombardi, Slippy Toad, and Peppy Hare to stop Andross and end the Lylat Wars.
There are twenty five possible paths leading to Venom. fourteen of these paths lead to the fake Andross via Bolse. The other eleven lead to the real andross via Area 6 and therefore the canon ending, as seen in the stages list below. It has been suggested that the main canon path is the one leading through Fichina (either going to Solar or Sector X as the fourth stage), as Star Wolf talks as though they've fought before. Their disfigurement at Venom suggests a previous defeat at Fichina.
- "I see 'em up ahead. Let's rock and roll!"
- —Fox McCloud
- "Andross has ordered us to take you down."
- —Leon Powalski
If Fox destroys Granga, then he will go to Meteo. Fox can either fight the Meteo Crusher or fly through seven warp-gates and advance instead to Katina, granting Mission Accomplished status for Meteo. After the Meteo Crusher is destroyed (yielding the Mission Complete screen, not Mission Accomplished) Star Fox goes to defend a base on Fichina (mistakenly called Fortuna). Andross's minions plant a bomb, and Andross has hired Star Fox's rivals, Star Wolf, to stop them. Star Wolf consists of Wolf O'Donnell, Leon Powalski, Pigma Dengar, and Andross's nephew Andrew Oikonny. Where Fox goes for the fourth stage depends on whether or not Fox defeats Star Wolf before the bomb goes off.
If Star Fox defeats Star Wolf, Fox deactivates the bomb, saving the base. The team then goes to the inferno of Solar to destroy Andross's bio-weapon, the lava monster Vulcain. If Star Fox is unable to defeat Star Wolf in time, resulting in the bomb destroying the base, Star Fox goes to Sector X. Fox can either destroy Andross's unfinished robot the Spyborg. During the fight with Spyborg, Slippy will get in the way. If Spyborg hits Slippy, he falls to Titania and the team must go find him. If Fox defeats Spyborg before he hits Slippy, the team goes to Macbeth. Alternately, Fox can go through the gates to warp to Sector Z, which leads to Area 6 once Fox defends the Great Fox from missiles.
- "What a dump!"
- —Slippy Toad
If Fox destroys the Attack Carrier at Corneria, then Star Fox goes to Sector Y. In order to reach Aquas, the player must destroy 100 enemies. After defeating two Shogun Warriors and a Shogun, Star Fox goes to Aquas and destroys Bacoon, Andross's bio-weapon. Then they go to Zoness, whose seas have been polluted by Andross's forces, led by the pirate Sarumarine. Assisted by Katt Monroe, they destroy Sarumarine. If Fox destroys the searchlights, he will go to Sector Z. If not, he will go to Macbeth. Either can lead to Area 6 or Bolse.
- "You've become quite a pilot!"
- —Bill Grey to Fox
Depending on the score, Sector Y can also lead to Katina. At Katina, Star Fox helps the Cornerian army defend a base from Andross's forces. When the mother ship arrives, what happens next depends on whether Fox is able to destroy the mother ship in time. Essentially this leads the same way as Fichina; if Fox saves the base and destroys the enemy, then he will go to Solar, the inferno, and fight Andross's bio-weapon Vulcain. If not, he will go to Sector X and fight the unfinished robot Spyborg.
Most paths, with the exception of possible Zoness and Sector X paths (which may lead to Sector Z or Titania), lead to Macbeth as the fifth stage. Star Fox attacks Andross's supply base on the planet Macbeth. Fox goes after the Forever Train while driving a landmaster, and tries to destroy it before it can reach Andross's supply depot. After the train engineer deploys a flying robot boss, Mechbeth, from the front of the train, Fox is able to hit all eight switches (with Falco shooting the eighth, and Katt Monroe shooting two if Fox came from Zoness) and a master lever. This causes the train track to change course. The train will then crash into a fuel bunker, destroying it, the train, and Mechbeth.
This causes major damage to Andross's army and leaves him open for direct attack on Venom through Area 6 (which Sector Z also leads to if Fox defends the Great Fox from missiles). Despite the Area 6 Commander and his apprentice Caiman's attempts to stop them, Fox and his team penetrate all three lines of defense. As a last resort the two deploy a teleporting boss called Gorgon, but Fox destroys Gorgon and makes his way to Venom.
At Venom, Star Fox is attacked by Star Wolf, who have more powerful Wolfens than from before (equipped with twin lasers and stronger g-diffusers). Wolf attacks Fox, Leon attacks Falco, Pigma attacks Peppy, and Andrew attacks Slippy, but Star Fox shoots them all down (it is later revealed in Star Fox: Assault that they survived). Fox goes to Venom's core to face Andross alone. He reaches Andross and fights him as usual, but when he is defeated this time he reveals his true brain form. After destroying both of his eyes and brain, Dr Andross tries one final attempt to kill Fox by self-detonating, but Fox is seemingly rescued by his father James. Two Arwings are shown narrowly escaping the explosion, but Fox is then shown looking around his ship and when his sanity is questioned by his teammates, he softly denies these accusations. Whether or not the voice and ship that lead him to safety are really Fox's surviving father, a ghost, or psychological manifestation is debatable.
With Dr Andross defeated, the Lylat Wars are over and Star Fox returns to Corneria for their reward. General Pepper offers Fox the chance to join the Cornerian army, but he refuses, saying that they prefer to do things their way. The mercenary team then flies off into the sunset. After the credits, General Pepper pays Fox for his services with a check. The amount of money received depends on the number of Venomian units destroyed. It is Fox's score multiplied by 64.
Level 1. Title: Enter Star Fox
The first level along all difficulty paths. This is Fox McCloud's homeworld. The team must fly over the ocean route to Corneria City, repel the invaders in the city, and proceed past it to fight a boss.
- Mission Complete: Go through this stage without saving Falco, save Falco without going through all the water arches, and Falco says "Lets go!", ending in a fight with Granga (Meteo).
- Mission Accomplished: Save Falco, fly through all arches, then fight the Attack Carrier (Sector Y).
Level 2. Title: Into the Asteroid Field
While progressing towards Venomian forces, the team encounters the asteroid belt of Meteo. Many enemy fighters lie in ambush along the way.
- Mission Complete: Fight the Meteo Crusher (Fortuna/Fichina).
- Mission Accomplished: Go through all blue warp rings and warp (Katina).
Level 3. Title: Enter Star Wolf
The Venomian army has taken over a base on Fichina and planted a bomb there. When Star Fox becomes aware of this, Star Wolf shows up, commencing the most dangerous dogfight so far - with a timed bomb preparing to detonate.
- Mission Complete: Leave Star Wolf alone and let the bomb explode (Sector X).
- Mission Accomplished: Take out Star Wolf and let Fox take care of the bomb (Solar).
- Note: Fichina is mistakenly called Fortuna in the English version of the game. The actual Fortuna is actually an entirely different planet.
Level 4. Title: Mystery of the Space Base
Andross has built some secret weapon and used it to destroy the base at Sector X. You must find and destroy this secret weapon. This is the only level where you can go to an easy level, a medium level, or a hard level.
- Mission Accomplished (1): Shoot and go through all four gates and warp (Sector Z).
- Mission Accomplished (2): Take out Spyborg quickly (Macbeth).
- Mission Complete: Slowly take out Spyborg and get Slippy slapped to Titania. Slippy crash-lands on Titania.
Level 5. Title: The Search for Slippy
In order to rescue Slippy, you must use the Landmaster to navigate through the desert planet of Titania. After navigating through the desert, you rescue Slippy from one of Andross' bio-weapons and head to Bolse. Even if you beat Spyborg fast enough to save Slippy and ended up diverting here, the mission still focuses on searching for Slippy.
- Mission Accomplished: Save Slippy and take out Goras (Bolse).
Note: This level is thought, by some, to be harder than Macbeth due to the massive storms of enemies (some with tough armor), which makes it the game's de facto easy path level.
Level 6. Title: The Last Hurrah
You have to destroy the Bolse defense satellite in order to reach Venom. After taking down the shield that's guarding the core and the Bolse Fighters, Star Wolf appears if Fox has not defeated them before on Fichina. If he did, he then just needs to shoot the many yellow spots on the massive enemy core and decimate the satellite.
- Mission Accomplished: Destroy the Bolse satellite core.
Level 3. Title: Reunion
An assault is occurring on the central base on planet Katina. You must assist the Cornerian Army (led by Bill Grey) in defending the base. After destroying ten of the Invader II fighters, the enemy mothership appears to destroy the base. After the core appears, you have a short amount of time to dispose of it.
- Mission Complete: The mothership's core is not destroyed in time and it destroys the base. (Sector X)
- Mission Accomplished: The mothership's core is destroyed in time and the Mothership falls to the ground before exploding. (Solar)
Level 4. Title: Out of the frying pan...
Solar is one of the two stars of Lylat (the other being the invisible central Lylat star). If you came from Katina, Bill helps you in the beginning by sending you powerups (commonly Supply Rings and Laser-Ups). The boss is some kind of enemy bio-weapon. Note that since you are flying above boiling plasma, the Arwings will take damage during the level. The amount and speed of the damage you receive is determined by how close you fly to the plasma.
Note: Falco, Peppy and Slippy only take damage when they're talking.
- Mission Accomplished: Take out Vulcain (Macbeth).
Level 5. Title: The Forever Train
Macbeth is the closest planet to Venom. It appears as a mass-machinery planet. You must take out the base there. Your approach to the base is following a supply train in the Landmaster, towards the end of the level you travel past 8 switches that open the lock on the train tracks, (If you came from Zoness, Katt shoots two for you) with Falco taking one off your hands.
- Mission Complete: Take out the entire train and the boss*.
- Mission Accomplished: Shoot all eight switches, then the switcher and the train will crash into the fuel bunker (Area 6).
(*) If ten minutes have passed, the train will pass by the supply depot and Mechbeth, having said, "You're too slow. Time to end this!" will instantly defeat you.
Level 2. Title: Fierce Melee
- Mission Complete: Get under one hundred points (Katina).
- Mission Accomplished: Get one hundred points or over (Aquas).
Level 3. Title: Terror of the Deep
- Mission Accomplished: Destroy the underwater bio-weapon (Zoness).
Level 4. Title: Invasion Aftermath
Andross's army has polluted Zoness's sea. You must find the leader and defeat him. You are assisted by Katt Monroe, who appears to know Falco. After destroying the enemy tanker fleet, Fox does battle with the pirate-like boss, Sarumarine.
- Mission Complete: If you are spotted by any searchlight (including the ones beyond the base), Fox responds with "Uh Oh, have we been spotted?" and the searchlights will go red-orange and you will face more enemies. (Macbeth)
- Mission Accomplished: If all searchlights are destroyed, there will be fewer enemies. (Sector Z)
Level 5. Title: The Ambush of Great Fox
While heading through Sector Z, the Venomian army sends six missiles towards the Great Fox. If you came from Zoness, Katt appears and helps to destroy one. If any of your teammates are not being chased by enemies, they also destroy one.
- Mission Complete: Let one of the missiles hit Great Fox (Bolse).
- Mission Accomplished: Destroy all six missiles (Area 6).
During the stage, Fox's Arwing can be completely repaired, including wings, by flying into the back entrance of the Great Fox.
Each missile destroyed by Fox gives you +10 points
There are ten asteroids scattered around the stage, destroying one gives +2 points.
ROB 64 tells Fox when each group of missiles is approaching, and how close they are to the Great Fox.
Level 6. Title: Through the middle
This is the last outpost before you reach Venom. The Star Fox team flies straight through the middle of Andross' Defense Fleet. After making it through the 3 lines of defense, Fox destroys the planet crusher Space station named Gorgon before flying on to Venom.
- Mission Accomplished: Destroy the planet crusher Gorgon.
Final Stage: Venom
Venom Arriving From Bolse
Level 7. Title: Battle with Andross
The Star Fox Team fights their way across the surface of Venom, through wave upon wave of enemy fighters. They fly through a temple, defeating a rock golem boss, before reaching Andross' base. Fox declares that he'll "go it alone" and plunges into the depths of the base, deep below the crust of Venom. At the end of a long tunnel, Fox fights Andross. Fox defeats him before fleeing the base as it begins to explode. However, it is revealed at the end of the credits that Fox only defeated an android form of Andross, and Andross' image is seen at the end laughing maniacally. He come back when Star Fox Team arrived at Hard Path, this only way to Normal Ending.
Venom Arriving From Area 6
Level 7. Title: The Final Battle
The Star Fox team flies down directly over Andross' base. Before they can enter, however, a disfigured Star Wolf team arrives in their new ships, the Wolfen II's. The Star Fox team is forced to fight them before they can proceed. Since the Wolfen II's are heavily upgraded, bombs and lock-on lasers have no effect. After Star Wolf has been shot down, Fox declares that he'll "go it alone" and plunges into the depths of the base deep below the crust of Venom. Fox flies through a maze of tunnels and corridors before reaching Andross and fighting him. After destroying his disembodied hands and head, Andross' 'True Form' is revealed to be a gigantic brain with bio-mechanical eyes. Moving into all-range mode, Fox destroys the eyes and then the brain. As he dies, Andross declares that:
"If I go down, I'm taking you with me!"
and then self-destructs. Fox screams at his impending doom, but, out of nowhere, the supposedly dead James McCloud appears to lead Fox out of the maze of tunnels. If Fox takes a wrong turn at any time, he runs into the fireball coming the other way and is destroyed. As they leave the base, James praises Fox's efforts before disappearing, leaving Fox to wonder if it really was his father or not. Adding to the mystery, if one pays close attention to the whole screen before the credits, one can see a light-source moving against the background of stars, like the lights that would be mounted on a spacecraft. After the credits, 'THE END' is displayed, indicating that this is the canonical end to the game.
If destroyed fast enough, each member of Star Wolf is +50 points.
After Andross shows his true form, each eye is +5 points.After you beat the game in expert mode. You'll get this image :
- Arwing - The player uses the Arwing for thirteen of the sixteen levels in the game, and much of the rest of the series. It can store and fire up to nine Nova Bombs, and its lasers can be upgraded to twin and hyper. It can also perform special maneuvers such as somersaults, half-loops and the famous barrel roll. However, you will have to help your team mates in all the levels you use the Arwing in.
- Landmaster - Fox uses the Landmaster to save Slippy in Titania, and to take out the base on Macbeth. He still has to save his teammates, but not as often. The Landmaster can fire bombs, but its lasers cannot be upgraded except in VS mode. Also, it cannot barrel roll, but instead rolls out of the way of attacks, despite Peppy saying that you can on Titania.
- Blue Marine - You use the Blue Marine on planet Aquas, since the Arwings cannot go underwater. It has unlimited lock-on torpedoes, its lasers can be upgraded to twin and hyper, and it is barrel roll capable, making the Blue Marine the most powerful of the three crafts. However, its controls are slightly sluggish due to being underwater. Also, due to it being a Submarine, it cannon be used in space or in the air.
- On Foot (Fox, Peppy, Slippy or Falco) - The Player can use them only in multiplayer ground-having stages, and only after unlocking them by earning a medal in each stage of the main game and gaining a medal on either side of Venom in Expert Mode. The controls consist of using the Control Stick to look around, holding R to run, pressing Z to jump, A for lasers, and B for bombs. You cannot charge up shots in On-Foot.
Medals and Expert Mode
In addition to the main goal to complete the stage, every stage also has a secondary goal in the form of a target number of kills. Once the player has gotten enough kills, as long as all his allies are still alive, his score will turn orange and he will be awarded a medal for that planet upon completion of the mission. If the player earns medals on every mission, he will have the option to play the main game in "Expert Mode."
Expert mode is notably more difficult than the normal game. More enemies will appear in certain places, some power-ups will be replaced by lesser power-ups or absent altogether, more damage will be recieved from the same shots, and the Arwing's wings will break from a single hit instead of the normal three, altogether making for a more challenging experience. Fox is also given a pair of sunglasses similar to his father's, but this is purely aesthetic and does not affect the gameplay.
Since Expert Mode is different from the main game, none of the medals previously awarded will appear on the missions. The player can re-earn all of the medals in Expert Mode, and upon doing so will be shown an alternate title screen and a primitive on-foot option in Multiplayer, but no other rewards are known to be given.
In addition to playing the main game in Expert Mode, there is also an "Expert Mode" option for the sound settings. This mode is a sound test which allows the player to listen to tracks of music from the game.
It has been reported that while playing Star Fox 64 on an emulator, if the game is turned off after Expert Mode has been unlocked then all game data will be erased, forcing the player to re-earn all medals and high scores. It is unknown how common this is or if it also affects cartridge games, but emulator users are advised to put aside an extra save state for the purpose of preserving the player's data should it be wiped.
There are three modes available:
- Point Match, where the first player to reach a set total wins.
- Battle Royal, where the last player standing wins.
- Time Trial, where the aim is to score as many points as possible in the set time.
The First two options have Corneria and Sector-Z as the possible stages, while the time trial has Katina and Sector-Z. At first, only the Arwing is available, but the Landmaster is available after winning a medal on Venom in Normal Mode, and an interesting primitive on-foot mode is available after gaining a medal on all missions in Expert Mode.
Star Fox 64 received critical acclaim and was one of the top-selling games of 1997, second only to Mario Kart 64. In the first five days of the game's U.S. launch, over 300,000 copies were sold, surpassing the record previously held by Mario Kart 64 and Super Mario 64. Sales were considerably less in Japan, where it sold 75,595 copies during the first week of sale. The game also took the #73 spot in Nintendo Power's "Top 200 Nintendo Games Ever". GameSpot declared Star Fox 64 "an instant classic" and was impressed by the voice acting. Glenn Rubenstein, the reviewer, noted that the game is "a pleasure to look at" and liked the cinematic quality of the storyline. Although other reviewers such as IGN said that the game is "extremely repetitive" and that the music quality was not as good as the original Star Fox, they still praised the branching system and "intelligently designed levels" which compensate for those points.
The Gamespot review of the Wii Virtual Console version of the game paints a similar picture. It earns a (8.3/10), praising for simple, enjoyable shooting gameplay, lots of voice-acting, nice to look at despite its graphic age and the added replay value in finding hidden paths, but found the lack of rumble support "alarming", especially since it was the first game to support the 64's Rumble Pak.
Star Fox 64 is listed as the forty fifth greatest game of all time by Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition in 2009.
References to other works
- The Katina level is homage to the movie Independence Day. Bill Grey's name is likely homage to that of a character in the film, General William Grey. Slippy's reaction to the Bolse Fighters being shielded and the ending musical score for Star Fox are also homage to the film.
- The Sector Y level has many armies of mechs similar to many of the mobile suits from the anime franchise Mobile Suit Gundam, for their beam rifles, shields and mobility. They can even be launched out from battleships in battle. One red-colored mech is said by Peppy to be very quick. This is a reference to Char Aznable because all of his mobile suits are red and have high mobility (hence his name, "The Red Comet"). Not only that, the boss however aside from the first two colored mechs is known to be white and launched from its own launch ship is a homage and resemblance to the RX-78-2 Gundam which is also from the same series. Also the mechs in the beginning of Sector Y look much like the typical Zaku-II Troops found in Mobile Suit Gundam.
Star Fox 64 3D is a remake of Star Fox 64 that was released for the Nintendo 3DS. This game has been released in Japan in July 14, 2011 and was released on September 9, 2011 in North America and Europe and on September 15, 2011. This game is the sixth Star Fox game officially announced, and the second handheld Star Fox game.
- In the Japanese version, if the player is shot down, one of Fox's teammates will scream Fox's name much like in Star Fox Assault This was replaced with them shouting "No!" in the English version.
- The cutscene showing the Great Fox entering the asteroid field has a large resemblance of a scene from the original Star Wars films.
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