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Star Fox Zero: The Battle Begins is an animated short movie which was released online on April 20, 2016. The short is based on the events of the game of the same name and was produced by Japanese animation studio Wit Studio, with assistance from Production I.G and Nintendo's lead producer and supervising director Shigeru Miyamoto.
PlotAfter a graceful view of the Lylat System, the scene zooms in on Corneria, where a giant purple space warp portal opens over the atmosphere. The scene changes to the jolly roger emblem of Andross's Empire, symbolizing: "a man consumed by vengeance," which morphs into Andross watching footage of the man responsible for his exile: General Pepper making public announcements and uncovering a prized portrait in his honor, where he wears multiple medals of valor. This greatly angers the ape emperor, so he orders his lieutenant Granga to bring Pepper to him before the Androssian army being their attack.
From his command tower, General Pepper watches with pride as the Cornerian people live perfectly in harmony, taking elevator tour rides, socializing at shopping in grand malls and dining at fine cafes until a tremendous tremor interrupts everything, shaking the surface as the warp zone opens above the command tower.
En-route to Corneria from a ten day flight from Sauria, Fox McCloud strolls down Great Fox's corridor into the bridge, where ROB 64 is working on the control deck, Peppy Hare is searching for something, Slippy Toad has fallen asleep on the couch in the middle of reading a Nintendo Magazine travel brochure. Falco Lombardi is playing a 3DS flight simulator and gets easily frustrated at losing after viewing a Slippy version of the game over. Fox lays on a couch declaring his boredom in the middle of Slippy strapping his new model of pilot's visor on Falco's head after licking his hat back (which had landed on the bird's head) with his long stretchy tongue, annoying him, but the targeting aid provided by the visor really helps Falco play the game even better. Slippy complains about haven eaten nothing but canned food and is keen to try some real Cornerian delicacies, until Peppy interrupts their travel plan reminding them this is not a vacation and moans over the messy state of the bridge from Slippy's toys and that someone made a mess of his desk.
Underneath his desk, Peppy finally find his good luck charm; which is a lock of Pepper's fur which he keeps dear as a reminder of their friendship, before finally reminding the team that Andross's army had been at war with the Cornerian army for years, hence why Peppy is irritated that the team are messing around. Slippy is positive that Corneria's defenses cannot be penetrated, until the alert is sounded so ROB reports a distress signal from General Pepper that the Androssian forces are attacking Corneria City. The footage is viewed onscreen of the warp portal allowing dozens of Bandit and Granga fighters to overwhelm the city and rain firepower down onto civilians, carriers come out of warp to unload more Strider units to scale the tower but they are leaving the tower intact to take General Pepper hostage since he is the focus of the attack. Peppy is noticeably nervous and Pepper wonders about something that Andross dared to rebuild, while Falco ponders why they don't blow the tower up when they caught the army by surprise, which Pepper reveals that they came for him.
The team depart for takeoff, and wonder how Andross's army got past the Cornerian defences, which Peppy knows to be the work of teleportation device, yet Slippy can't accept Andross to be capable of creating such technology. Slippy then suggests that the crab robots are using bio-tracking tech to find General Pepper and thinks they need to separate his bio-signal from their sights, which Falco thinks is crazy and gives Peppy an idea, pulling Slippy away to the lab.
The Striders overwhelm the tower so Pepper orders the tower to evacuate and stays behind since the army has come for him, but two loyal Dog Soldiers say behind with him.
Peppy and Slippy return with two test tubes containing what looks like a D.N.A. strand within, and Fox notices that Peppy's good luck charm is missing the lock of Pepper's fur but they have no time to wait and depart for takeoff, after Slippy insists they wear his new visor headbands.
On Corneria's seas, Fox orders a G-Diffuser system check before Falco multi-locks and totals two Bandit fighters, liking the new visor that Slippy made. Fox asks ROB for an evacuation report, and ROB responds with a complete evacuation, the Cornerian civilians watch the conflict from across the sea in terror. Fox orders the team to switch to All-Range Mode and take the offensive to the overwhelmed tower. Falco takes out one Granga fighter before getting tailed by two more and applies the brakes to get the drop on the two. Slippy inserts one of his test tubes into his weapon systems and fires a spiraling blue laser, which creates a radius which draws half the Striders away from the tower. Fox advises General Pepper to take shelter in a confined space, so the two Dog Soldiers stuff the general into a cleaner robot, much to his dismay. Peppy then fires the other test tube item out and creates a blast radius which draws the other robots away from the tower, because Slippy used the fur from Peppy's lucky charm to make missiles of Peppers life signs to draw their targeting away.The four Arwing's then use a unified Smart Bomb volley to decimate the enemy fleet until Slippy and Peppy are grazed by impressive firepower coming from the warp portal, which is revealed to be the Androsa. Granga interrupts the communications and questions Fox daring to halt his mission and promises to squash them like the insects he thinks they are. Fox orders Slippy and Peppy to pull back and recover and let him and Falco take the ship down, doing Barrel Rolls to deflect the turret laser fire and shoot to destroy the laser funnels. Falco prompts Slippy for a bossometer and responds with the plan to take out the larger laser cannons to disarm the ship of the G-Diffuser system. Fox takes the top, Falco take care of everything below, until the Androsa loses the sections, leaving the spiny core tower with one section left. Granga fires homing missiles at Fox but he loses two of them after making a loop to fire back onto them and propels toward the last giant laser cannon and guides the missile to strike the cannon, contradicting the use of a guided missile. Granga gets ready to takeoff and retreat, cursing the Star Fox team and warning them about Andross hearing what happened and it will be the end of them.
One crab is left to strike the glass on the tower's command bridge, which is stopped in the nick of time by Fox, who gives Pepper a thumbs up before leaving for the Great Fox. The Cornerian people cheer for the victory and General Pepper thanks Star Fox for saving them once more, and hates to ask for more of them but there's a battle going on in Sector α and request urgent back up support from them. Slippy is disappointed that he won't get his crab after all when the Star Fox team ship out to their next mission. However, General Pepper speaks with Peppy on his secret private channel because the discussion is strictly between them concerning that the attack was only the beginning and then discuss the importance of a weapon that Andross dared to rebuild. Pepper asks Peppy to do what must be done when the time comes, but it must kept strictly between them and the team must not find out.
The short ends with Andross learning that Fox now leads his father's team, and laughs knowing he'll enjoy the oncoming battle between them.
References to the series
- The short movie is based on the events of Star Fox Zero. Fox narrates that he inherited the business after James went missing five years ago, and the defense of the tower and the battle with Androsa are based on the first stage of the game. Pepper and Peppy have a discussion concerning a device which Andross dared to rebuild which likely eludes to the teleportation device that Cornerian Command confiscated from Andross that plays a key role in the game.
- Fox repeats his G-Diffuser system checking and rock and roll quotes he uses in Star Fox 64.
- Falco plays a flight simulator styled on the original SNES Star Fox game and a Slippy version of the game over plays which annoys him. This nod to the games was previously seen in the Farewell, Beloved Falco manga. Peppy's nagging persona and lack of tolerance for tomfoolery seen in the manga was also carried over into the short.
- Fox and Falco leap elegantly into their Arwings to prepare for takeoff references the identical scene played in Star Fox: Assault, but instead of Slippy landing face first in his Arwing, Peppy takes his place so that Slippy misses the Arwing altogether. Fox notices this and says: "That old gag again?"
- Slippy recalls that the team just entered Cornerian air space after coming back from a ten day flight from Sauria. The fact that Slippy uses the name Sauria contradicts the name not being used in Star Fox Adventures but in games that followed, or the Star Fox team knowing nothing about the planet before arriving. Slippy also complaints about eating nothing but canned food would seem wasted when edibles health pickups existed in the Adventures gameplay. These changes can be seen as the effect of developer change.
- The new targeting aid headgear that Slippy invented for flight combat can be seen as a call back to the identical headband visors that were first worn by the characters in Star Fox Command.
- The magazine which Slippy reads list the names of four planets: Floria, Aqualiss, Mecheye, and Halfmoon. These are four of the planets which appear as stages in Kirby Super Star in the Milky Way Wishes mode.
Names in Other Languages
|Japanese||(スターフォックス ゼロ ザ・バトル・ビギンズ Sutā Fokkusu Zero Za Batoru Biginzu?)|
|Star Fox in other media|
|Comics & Magazines||Nintendo Power Comic • Star Fox Mission File Printout • Lylat Wars Comic • Farewell, Beloved Falco • Nintendo Power • Star Fox Zero Guide|
|Animation||Star Fox Zero: The Battle Begins|
|Music||Star Fox Original Soundtrack • Sound of Lylat: The Original Lylat Wars Soundtrack • Star Fox 64 Original Soundtrack • Star Fox: Assault Orchestra Soundtrack • Star Fox 64 3D Platinum Soundtrack|
|Games||Cameos • Super Smash Bros. Trophies • Super Smash Bros. Characters • Smash Taunts • Super Smash Bros. Stickers • WarioWare: Smooth Moves|