Wolf O'Donnell (ウルフ・オドネル, Wolf O'Donnell) is a character from the Star Fox series. Wolf is the leader of Star Wolf, a mercenary team that are long-time rivals of Star Fox. After a cameo in Super Smash Bros. Melee, Wolf became an unlockable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and returned in that capacity in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate after being absent from Super Smash Bros. 4.
Wolf was originally going to appear in Star Fox 2 for the SNES. In Star Fox 2, Star Wolf is introduced as a mercenary group consisting of its leader Wolf and his wingmates Leon Powalski, Pigma Dengar and Algy. Due to the team's tenacious and unscrupulous methods, they have become feared throughout the Lylat System, with Wolf in particular being noted as someone who is willing to betray anyone for the right price. In order to ensure that his second attempt at conquering the Lylat System succeeds, Andross hires Star Wolf to intercept and kill Star Fox.
Although Star Fox 2 was completely finished, it was canceled because of the Nintendo 64's impending launch and said system being more cost effective in regard to developing polygonal games. Despite this, some of Star Fox 2's features were carried over to Star Fox 64 (and Star Fox Zero by extension), including Star Wolf, while Star Fox 2 itself would later be included as part of the SNES Classic Edition in 2017.
Wolf made his first canon appearance in Star Fox 64. Like in Star Fox 2, he is the leader of Star Wolf, and his team is hired by Andross to destroy Star Fox. Unlike in Star Fox 2, Wolf sports an eyepatch on his left eye instead of a large scar on his right eye, while Algy is replaced by Andrew Oikonny, Andross' nephew. Throughout the game, the player can battle Star Wolf up to two times, though there are three different battles with them overall, depending on which routes are taken on the map.
Shortly after Andross' defeat on Venom, Star Wolf abandoned the Venomian Army and resumed being mercenaries willing to take on any mission regardless of legality. However, at some point, Andrew and Pigma left the team: the former sought to succeed Andross as Venom's ruler, while the latter was kicked out because of his insatiable greed.
Nine years after the events of Star Fox 64, Wolf reappeared in Star Fox: Assault. During these intervening years, Wolf assumed control over the Sargasso Space Zone, an illegal hub for criminals and former members of the Venomian Army, and recruited Panther Caroso to replace Andrew and Pigma. When Star Fox went looking for Pigma (who stole a Core Memory earlier in the game), Star Wolf proceeded to face Star Fox in a dogfight over what Wolf presumed to be an invasion of his territory.
Upon being defeated, Wolf called off their dogfight, but would later arrive on Corneria alongside Leon and Panther in order to save Fox McCloud from the rising threat of the Aparoids. Although Wolf said the only reason for doing this was so he could defeat Fox himself, Wolf's advice and grudging respect toward Fox nevertheless signaled his transition into an honorable, albeit still unlawful, anti-hero. Following this incident, Star Wolf provided backup to Star Fox at the Beltino Orbital Gate and the Aparoid Homeworld. After Star Fox successfully destroyed the Homeworld, Star Wolf was nowhere to be found. During Krystal's acknowledgement of their sacrifice as being among the many lives lost during the conflict, Fox speculated that Wolf, Leon and Panther were still alive.
In Star Fox Command, Fox's assumption of Star Wolf's survival was proven correct. Following the destruction of the Aparoids, Star Wolf resumed their status as illicit mercenaries. As a result, the Cornerian Military placed a bounty for each member, with Wolf having the highest bounty set at $30,000. To avoid attention, Star Wolf set up a base on Fichina before seeking to simultaneously remove their bounties and improve their reputations. Soon after, Wolf recruited Krystal into Star Wolf following her expulsion from Star Fox over Fox's fear of her dying while on the team like his father James.
With the advent of the Anglar Empire, Star Wolf sought to remove their bounties by plotting a way to defeat them. Although Command features multiple branching storylines that see Star Wolf having varying degrees of success in their bid to stop the Anglar Empire, Command's director Dylan Cuthbert stated that the game is non-canon because of said storylines rendering it as an alternate timeline-style game.
Although it is not a part of the Star Fox series, the Nintendo Switch version of Ubisoft's Starlink: Battle for Atlas features Star Fox and Star Wolf as exclusive content. In Starlink, Wolf decides to fly solo in search of additional firepower to use for himself in the power vacuum caused by Andross' defeat. He fled to the Atlas star system to acquire a Spin Drive for his conquest of the Lylat System, and even made some allies in Atlas, such as Cash Guavo.
However, Wolf's hideout would eventually be discovered by Star Fox and their allies from the Starlink Initiative, at which point they proceed to stop him. After Wolf's initial plans are foiled, he later returns alongside Leon, Pigma and Andrew. However, Star Wolf are ultimately defeated and sent plummeting into a vortex through space, which sends them back to the Lylat System.
In Super Smash Bros. Melee's opening sequence, there is a short moment where Fox, piloting his Arwing, crosses paths with Wolf in his Wolfen, which quickly features a mugshot of the two characters in their cockpits. In the early days of Melee's lifespan, this cutscene led to much speculation of Wolf having a role in the game, perhaps as a playable character. However, this was not the case, and aside from being mentioned in the Wolfen's trophy description, Wolf makes no other appearances in Melee whatsoever.
As a playable character
Main article: Wolf (SSBB)
Wolf appears as an unlockable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. He can be unlocked by playing 450 VS. Mode matches, clearing Boss Battles Mode with Fox or Falco, or entering a secret door in The Ruins of The Subspace Emissary. Like Fox and Falco, Wolf's design is a slightly modified version of his design in Star Fox: Assault and Star Fox Command.
According to Super Smash Bros. series creator Masahiro Sakurai, Wolf's inclusion was highly requested by fans because of his popularity within his home series. Although Krystal, another highly requested Star Fox character, was considered as a candidate by Sakurai, the combination of time constraints and using Fox and Falco as source materials resulted in Wolf having much better potential to be a fully realized fighter.
Compared to his fellow Star Fox representatives Fox and Falco, Wolf is taller, heavier, and overall stronger. Despite having a much faster air speed, his walking and dashing speeds are much slower compared to theirs. Unlike Fox and Falco, Wolf has a feral fighting style that keeps his basic stance low to the ground in spite of his height, and results in his normal moves appearing much different compared to Fox and Falco's.
Despite having special moves similar to Fox and Falco's both in name and mechanics, Wolf's respective versions nevertheless deviate in very noticeable ways. His Blaster fires shots one at a time like Falco's, yet features a bayonet that damages opponents if they are close enough. Fire Wolf hits multiple times like Fire Fox and Fire Bird, yet lacks a flame effect and consists of a flying kick instead of a headfirst dash. Wolf Flash quickly propels Wolf, similarly to Fox Illusion and Falco Phantasm; it is also capable of meteor smashing like the latter when sweetspotted. However, it propels Wolf diagonally instead of horizontally. Compared to Fox and Falco's Reflectors, Wolf's Reflector has a lower damage multiplier and higher travel speed multiplier when used against projectiles. Unlike theirs, it can also function as a pseudo-counter thanks to the significant number of intangibility frames it produces, while the barrier itself is ovoid instead of hexagonal. Finally, Wolf's Landmaster has greater firepower and mobility, but this comes at the cost of a shorter duration. It also features a red and gray color scheme akin to the Wolfen's, instead of the standard blue and white.
Due to his great mobility, fast and long-ranged attacks, and plethora of options, Wolf is a borderline viable character, who has the tools to take on any character in the game, including Meta Knight. However, Wolf has a poor recovery and a severe weakness to chain grabbing, the latter of which leads to him being countered by a few characters that can exploit this, most notoriously King Dedede. Thanks to his strengths and respectable tournament success, Wolf is currently ranked 14th out of 38 on the tier list, placing him at the top of the C tier.
A pilot whose real name is Wolf O'Donnell. He leads a group of mercenaries called Star Wolf. He's crossed paths with Fox many times, and each acknowledges the other as a competent rival. Wolf's constant interference with Fox is a result of Wolf's history with Fox's dad, James. Wolf's long history of criminal enterprise has resulted in a large bounty on his head.
Unlike Fox and Falco, Wolf did not return as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. 4. His only direct appearances in SSB4 are as a trophy using his design from Star Fox: Assault in both versions, and via Lylat Cruise's Star Fox Smash Taunt. Music associated with Wolf is also present for both Orbital Gate Assault and Lylat Cruise in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.
Outside of these instances, Wolf is also referenced via gameplay: one of Fox's new alternate costumes highly resembles Wolf's color scheme, while Wolf Flash is one of Fox Illusion's custom variations.
Main article: List of SSB4 trophies (Star Fox series)
As a playable character
Main article: Wolf (SSBU)
Wolf returns as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. This marks his first playable appearance in the Super Smash Bros. series in 10 years, a distinction shared with the Ice Climbers, Snake, and Pokémon Trainer. Jay Ward reprises his role as Wolf's voice actor for the overseas versions, while Kōsuke Takaguchi now voices him in the Japanese version.
Like Fox and Falco, Wolf's design has been updated to reflect his appearance in Star Fox Zero. In Wolf's case, he has a longer snout and a normal eyepatch, while his visible eye is slightly larger and has a red iris. Unlike Fox and Falco, however, Wolf's attire is entirely original to Ultimate, in spite of Starlink: Battle for Atlas being released almost two whole months before Ultimate and fully depicting him in attire based on his appearance in Star Fox Zero.