Star Fox (universe)
The Star Fox universe (スターフォックス, Star Fox) refers to the Smash Bros. series' collection of characters, stages, and properties that hail from Nintendo's Star Fox series of primarily-on-rails space shooter video games. While all have been published by Nintendo, each game was developed by a different company: Argonaut Games (originally Argonaut Software), Rareware, Namco, and Q-Games. The series takes place in a fictional star system starring anthropomorphic animals, focusing on missions undertaken by the mercenary team Star Fox, led by the main character Fox McCloud, to pilot Arwing spacecraft into battle against interplanetary threats. Fox, his wingmate Falco Lombardi, and his rival mercenary Wolf O'Donnell have all been featured as playable characters in the Smash Bros. games.
During the early years of the NES and SNES, Nintendo worked closely with Argonaut Software, who had previously developed the 3D wireframe vector graphics-based space shooter Starglider for old computers such as Commodore 64. With them, Nintendo developed a prototype for a similar style of game on the NES, but even after it was ported to SNES, it was found that the SNES hardware's capabilities for anything presented in three dimensions was severely lacking. Argonaut agreed to develop a custom chip that the SNES could use to make it better at 3D, and the final product, the Super FX Chip, was more powerful than the SNES' standard processor by leaps and bounds. Nintendo designed their 3D rail-shooter game, Star Fox (which was renamed Starwing for the PAL release due to trademark issues caused by an unrelated Atari 2600 game named Star Fox), based on this chip that was built into the game cartridge itself, and in doing so released the first 3D graphics accelerator in a consumer product. Meanwhile, Nintendo opted to avoid creating a game with all of the conventional trappings of a futuristic science fiction space shooter, and therefore gave Star Fox a cast of anthropomorphic animal characters.
The 1993 release of Star Fox for the SNES was very significant in the gaming press and the eyes of the public, and had won many accolades both for its ambitious three-dimensional presentation and its shooting gameplay. Star Fox is often credited with pioneering the use of 3D video game graphics on home consoles, and Nintendo took advantage of the opportunity to establish the IP as a series and franchise; however, despite a SNES sequel named Star Fox 2 allegedly finishing development, Nintendo decided to cancel it, and a programmer explained it was because of the impending release of the Nintendo 64 and the presumed price increase of the upgraded Super FX 2 Chip (though the console would end up releasing much later than originally intended). Shigeru Miyamoto had wanted the next Star Fox game to make full use of the enormous advantages offered by the newest hardware, and so he produced Star Fox 64, which is for many intents and purposes a series reboot and a remake combining both the story and gameplay elements of both Star Fox and Star Fox 2. Star Fox 64 (which was renamed Lylat Wars in PAL regions due to the aforementioned trademark issue) was released in 1996 to very enthusiastic critical acclaim and successful sales, and was regarded as an instant classic for the N64 for its refined rail-shooting gameplay, cinematic character-driven storytelling complete with full voice acting, and branching paths.
Despite the undisputed success of Star Fox 64 and its appearances in the Super Smash Bros. series since that series' inception, the Star Fox series underwent a five-year hiatus before being brought back to public attention via unorthodox circumstances; British developer Rareware had originally intended to release an action-adventure title for the Nintendo 64 called Dinosaur Planet, featuring three-dimensional Zelda-style gameplay and a cast of anthropomorphic animal characters, including the newly created character Krystal. Miyamoto looked over the product and noted its cast's similarities to Star Fox, and the game was revised as a Star Fox-brand title for the GameCube, Star Fox Adventures, and was released late 2002. While generally well-received, Star Fox Adventures drew some criticism for being a particularly large departure for the series both in terms of gameplay and setting. Rare, meanwhile, was subsequently acquired as a first-party developer for Microsoft; Star Fox Adventures was their final title for a Nintendo home video game system.
The Star Fox series saw two more installments that progressively returned to the space-shooting roots established by Star Fox 64. Star Fox: Assault was developed by Namco and released for the GameCube in late 2005, and features on-rails shooting segments as well as additional on-foot gameplay segments with third-person-shooter elements. Then, Star Fox Command was developed in conjunction with Q-Games and released for the Nintendo DS in mid-2006, and alternates between an all-range shooting mode and a turn-based strategy mode. The series would enter an extended hiatus until the release of Star Fox 64 3D, a remake of Star Fox 64, in 2012 on the Nintendo 3DS, and Star Fox Zero, a re-imagining of Star Fox 64 developed by Nintendo and PlatinumGames, in 2016 on the Wii U. Star Fox Zero introduces a Walker mode for the Arwing, a mechanic which was previously scrapped with the cancellation of Star Fox 2, as well as a new hovercraft called the Gyrowing that deploys a tethered robot named Direct-i to collect items and complete various objectives.
During the development of Star Fox Command, Q-Games programmer Dylan Cuthbert experienced a finished version of Star Fox 2 to use as inspiration. However, the prospect of an official release for the cancelled title was not probable, according to him. To the surprise of many, Star Fox 2 would see its first ever official release in September 2017 as one of the 21 games included on the Super NES Classic Edition microconsole, alongside the first ever reissuing of the original Star Fox due to both titles incorporating the Super FX Chip.
The setting of the Star Fox series is a planetary system named the Lylat system, and Corneria is the Earth-like planet that supports sapient life in this system. All sapient life, however, is composed of anthropomorphic animals belonging to a wide variety of species, but nonetheless Cornerian civilization is technologically advanced enough to allow for interplanetary travel and starship dogfights not unlike Star Wars. A group of mercenaries named Star Fox, operating small assault spacecraft called Arwings and based on a mothership named the Great Fox, are regularly hired by Corneria's defense forces to conduct military operations against enemy forces that threaten Corneria and the Lylat system as a whole. The leader is Fox McCloud, a red fox who inherits his position from his late father, team founder James McCloud, and his initial wingmates are the pheasant Falco Lombardi, the hare Peppy Hare, and the toad Slippy Toad.
In Star Fox 64, a mad ape scientist, Andross, previously exiled from Corneria, launches an attack across the Lylat system, and Fox takes up the job to destroy Andross and his operations at the planet Venom and settle a personal score, while dealing with a rival mercenary team hired by Andross, Star Wolf, led by Wolf O'Donnell. Eight years later in Star Fox Adventures, Star Fox is assigned to conduct an on-foot investigation of a crumbling planet named Sauria, and after the end of Fox's effort to stop the planet's self-destruction, the princess of another destroyed planet, the blue fox Krystal, joins the Star Fox team. The following year, amidst Star Fox's continued battles against vengeful remnants from Andross' army, Lylat is suddenly threatened by a race of mechanical insectoids called the Aparoids, and Star Fox must make unlikely alliances in order to save the day. Lastly, two-to-three years later in Star Fox Command, most of team Star Fox has disbanded, but Fox is given heavy incentive to bring team members back into the fold when one last threat, a fish-like race called the Anglar, emerges out of Venom's acidic oceans to strike at Corneria. This game's story allows multiple branching paths, and a total of nine different endings are possible; the question of which one, if any, is the "canon" ending is left to player speculation.
The Star Fox franchise is represented as one of several "standard universes" found in Super Smash Bros., which consists of one character and one stage.
Super Smash Bros. features one Star Fox-themed stage:
Super Smash Bros. Melee features much more content than the original game, and the amount of properties from the Star Fox franchise is increased proportionally - though oddly enough, there are no battling items that represent the Star Fox series.
Super Smash Bros. Melee features two Star Fox-themed stages:
Full Trophy List
Main article: List of SSBM trophies (Star Fox series)
A fair amount of Star Fox-related content appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The playable Star Fox characters have the most heavily altered designs compared to the way they look in their own game. Even their running speeds have been altered, as in Star Fox Assault, Falco was faster than Fox, and Wolf was even faster than Falco.
On the final character select screen (after all characters are unlocked), the Star Fox characters, joined by Captain Falcon, occupy the sixth column. All these characters are known to fly spaceships (hence having a choice of fighting only up to two of these in Classic Mode).
Main article: List of SSBB trophies (Star Fox series)
Main article: List of stickers (Star Fox series)
The Star Fox series largely remained dormant between the releases of Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. 4. The sole exception was the release of Star Fox 64 3D, a remake of Star Fox 64 for the Nintendo 3DS system. Some of its assets were used in Smash 4. Corneria - a stage from Super Smash Bros. Melee based on Star Fox 64 - appears exclusively in the 3DS version. Partnering with Namco Bandai - the developers of Star Fox: Assault - for the development of Smash 4 enabled more content from Assault to appear in the Wii U version. In correlation with Star Fox's inactivity, the playable character Wolf O'Donnell does not return from Brawl.
Mii Fighter costumes
Main article: Items
Smash Tour items
All Star Fox stages are starter stages.
for Nintendo 3DS
for Wii U
Arrangements and remixes unique to SSB4.
Arrangements and remixes from previous Smash titles.
Compositions and arrangements directly sourced from Star Fox games with no alterations.
Main article: List of SSB4 trophies (Star Fox series)
Collectible trophies that appear in both the 3DS version and the Wii U version.
for Nintendo 3DS
for Wii U
Main article: Trophy Box
The Star Fox series is still represented in Ultimate. Fox, Falco, and the previously absent Wolf all return as playable characters in the game. They all use their designs from their latest installment, Star Fox Zero.
Games with elements from or in the Super Smash Bros. series
Fox McCloud, who made his debut in this game and is the main character of the series, is a playable character in all four Super Smash Bros. games. Falco Lombardi, who also made his debut in this game, is an unlockable character in Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and Super Smash Bros. 4. The song for Melee's Corneria stage (Which, ironically was taken from Venom) also originated from this game. The songs Main Theme (Star Fox), Corneria and Space Armada are featured in Brawl on the Lylat Cruise stage.
Andross, the antagonist of Star Fox as the final boss, can be used in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. as an assist trophy. He aids the user by shooting large tiles at foes that cause slightly severe damage. His SNES image of a ominous floating head is used in Brawl. In Star Fox 64, the remake of Star Fox, he was remodeled as an ominous floating chimpanzee.
Star Fox 64/Lylat Wars
Main article: Star Fox 64
Fox's Japanese voice actor in this game, Shinobu Satouchi, reprises his role in Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Melee. Falco's Japanese voice actor, Hisao Egawa, voices Falco in Melee and the Japanese versions of Brawl and Smash 4.
The music from the Sector Z and Venom stages were originally from Star Fox 64. Also, a trophy of this game's Andross can be collected in Super Smash Bros. Melee. The main theme of this game is a song in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, as well as the Star Wolf theme from this game (both in re-recorded forms).
Fox's design in Smash 64 and Melee is based off his appearance and artwork from Star Fox 64 and Falco's design in Melee is based off his appearance and artwork from Star Fox 64.
Fox's design and Blaster move come from his abilities in Star Fox 64's multiplayer when he is not in his Arwing. The same applies to Falco, who is unlocked in the game.
The Area 6 music from this game is used twice in Brawl, and also appears in Super Smash Bros. 4. One of the Star Wolf themes also comes from this game.
Fox's Star Fox 64 English voice actor, Mike West voices Fox in Super Smash Bros. 4.
Falco's Star Fox 64 3D English voice actor, Mark Lund, provides his voice for Falco in Super Smash Bros. 4.
Brawl contains stickers take artwork from this game.
Krystal, an Assist Trophy for Ultimate debuts and uses her design from this game.
Wolf's design in Brawl is based on his appearance Assault with some additional liberties taken in design.
There are trophies using designs of characters from Star Fox: Assault as well as three direct ports of songs ("Break Through the Ice", "Space Battleground", and Assault's iteration of the Star Wolf theme), and one of Fox's custom special moves in Super Smash Bros. 4 involves charging his Blaster shots in the same way Blaster shots can be charged in Assault.
Fox and Falco's Landmaster's laser blasts are colored blue, which is the same color of Landmaster blasts in Assault when they've been upgraded by a laser power-up. Wolf's Landmaster's blasts are red, which is their color when they are charged in Assault.
Orbital Gate Assault, a stage in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, appeared in this game.
Fox and Falco get their Brawl and Smash 4 appearance from this game (with a few incorporations from Star Fox: Assault).
In SSB4 the latter portion of the song "Area 6/Missile Slipstream" is based on the Star Fox characters attempting to shoot down missiles from this game.
Fox, Falco, and Wolf all got their Ultimate designs from this game.
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