Star Fox (video game)
Star Fox (released as Starwing in Europe) was the very first of the Star FOX series. It was released in 1993 simultaneously as a Super NES video game and companion comic series; the comic actually began publication before the game itself was released, providing the first introduction to the game's story, setting and characters.
The Super NES game was the first game to include the Super FX chip, a coprocessor that provided (at the time) cutting edge 3D polygon graphics, years before Sega Saturn, Sony Playstation and Nintendo 64 made this the norm in console video game design.
Star Fox was the second best-selling title of the franchise, only outsold by Star Fox 64, Star Fox's own Continuity Reboot only four years later in 1997. 64 so overshadowed its predecessor that many Star Fox fans today are actually unaware of the Super NES game's existence.
Star Fox and Star Fox 2 are a different Darker and Edgier Canon compared to Star Fox 64 and its sequels (though it's more accurate to say that 64 was Lighter and Softer than them), with moderately different character backstories, personalities and very different character ages.
This page covers both the video game and the comic, which were published at the same time as companion media.
Star Fox (game and comic) provides examples of:
- Anti-Heroes Just Like Robin Hood: The Star Fox team was this in the beginning of the main story, having been exiled to Papetoon, and robbing Andross's scows to give aid to Papetoon's oppressed people.
- Anyone Can Die/Final Death: Unlike in 64, any of your wingmates can die. If they die, it's permanent for the rest of the game.
- Badass: This game was actually moderately more Badass in characterization than the Narmier characters in Star Fox 64.
- Characterization Marches On: It's more accurate to say that the better-known Star Fox 64's rebooted characterization marched on from this.
- 24-year old Fox was already fiercely self-reliant, having already launched his CDF career, and subsequently wrecking it (for a time) when he provoked Corneria's powers-that-be to exile him and his friends. This Fox was less In It For The Money than his rebooted incarnation, believing that the assets they stole from Andross should be liquidated for the benefit of Papetoon's needy downtrodden.
- 28-year old Falco was originally almost a decade older than his 19-year old rebooted persona in Star Fox 64. He was not a Bishonen, and his head sported more of a feather mohawk than the pointy tip in his later appearance. All this accomplished to make him more of a Big Badass Bird of Prey and certainly more masculine in appearance. It was specifically this incarnation of Falco that was specifically Expyed as Eric Bradley Hawthorne in The Class Menagerie (also Ambiguously Gay). One thing that didn't change much about Falco's characterization, was that he was Only in It For the Money in both incarnations, and much to the annoyance of pre-reboot Fox.
- Unlike 42-year old Peppy in 64, this 36-year old Peppy was barely middle-aged, and certainly not old enough to be a Parental Substitute to a Fox who was already fully-grown. But Peppy was still the best friend of Fox's father, so he was still the team's Cool Old Guy, and his affection towards Fox made him the perfect Big Brother Mentor. His perky chirpy personality also made him a lot more...peppy.
- This 19-year old Slippy was not much older than 64's 18-year old Slippy, but was notable for having no Viewer Gender Confusion whatsoever, being unambiguously male and boyish with a deep baritone voice, even while constantly wearing a bead necklace. In the reboot, when Slippy's sound become more feminine, his appearance was made more masculine in contrast, and his trademark necklace had to go. Slippy also had a constant stutter, and periodically punctuated his lines with "ribbit" -- this vanished entirely from his rebooted persona.
- Cute'Em Up: The level 'Out of This Dimension' is to the rest of the game what Parodius is to Gradius.
- The Exile: Fox McCloud Jr. and his companions were originally Ace Pilots in Corneria Defense Force. But after the incident that created the Black Hole and caused his father's disappearance, Fox and his friends protested. Cornerian leadership was terrified of Andross's growing power on Venom, and exiled the crew to Fox's ancestral home planet Papetoon to try to avoid Andross's wrath. It didn't work, and Venom soon conquered Papetoon and invaded Corneria, turning the latter into a tense warzone while Fox and his friends spent the next few years just trying to hide and survive. At the beginning of the main story, General Pepper suspended their exile and they smuggled themselves back to Corneria.
- Faux Action Girl: Fara Phoenix, due to being a mix of Leeroy Jenkins and a Badass Damsel.
- Fun with Acronyms: It's uncertain whether the Super FX chip was named after Star FoX or vice versa.
- Cool Shades: One of General Pepper's most distinguishing features, along with his distinctive uniform and the lollipop he was always sucking on.
- Generation Xerox/I Am X, Son of Y: Fox McCloud Jr. is always being compared to his missing father Fox McCloud Sr., and in Flashbacks Sr. looks practically identical to adult Jr. (This was before the 64 Continuity Reboot gave James McCloud his trademark Cool Shades.)
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Fara had very visible cameltoe under her jumpsuit.
- Never Found the Body: The sabotage that created the Black Hole caused sucked Fox McCloud Sr. into it. He lived.
- No Export for You: The companion comic by Benimaru Itoh was made in the Western left-to-right horizontal text style rather than the typical Japanese right-to-left vertical text style, and this Western-style format was also used later with Manga/FarewellBelovedFalco. But whereas Farewell wasn't officially published outside Japan, the Star Fox 1 comic wasn't officially published in Japan. But they both enjoy Canon status within their respective continuities.
- Percussive Prevention: Falco violently decks Fox to prevent him from going on a dangerous unauthorized mission alone. Falco then decks Fox again while he's down, while reminding Fox of how much he cares about him. Falco almost hits him a third time, when the others remind him that putting Fox in solitary confinement is a more sensible option. Fox later escapes from confinement and returns the favor on Falco, knocking him out of the Arwing cockpit onto the ground.
- The Power of Rock: Thanks to music by Hajime Hirasawa, who left Nintendo after working on this game. The 1993 game and unreleased 1995 game had a much greater share of rock-themed soundtrack than Star Fox 64 or its sequels. Some of Hirasawa's compositions were rearranged for Super Smash Bros. Brawl, both by him and by fellow composers like Kenji Ito.
- Real Men Wear Pink: Fox's scarf.
- Single Biome Planet: Averted more often than 64 did, but there are still a few notable examples.
- Papetoon appears to be mostly desert with sparse arid vegetation and an exotic karst topography.
- Titania is an ice planet. But it turns out this is just a weather machine. In the Continuity Reboot, Titania was changed to a desert planet, and Fichina became the ice planet.
- The monotony of planetary appearances was justified by the game using prerendered bitmaps for planetary backgrounds. It was understood that planets like Corneria and Fortuna had more variety than was shown, and Fortuna was actually shown to have three different biomes in its playable area.
- The Sixth Ranger: Fara Phoenix, though she was only shown in the comics. Originally the developers intended to include her as a playable character in Star Fox 2, but she ended up being replaced by Fay and Miyu.
- Space Whale: Fox McCloud Sr. survived, but became permanently trapped in a parallel dimension. He was only able to interface with others again as a voice, and visually only as a giant baleen whale that would emerge temporarily from the Black Hole.
- Speaking Simlish: Since there was very little in the way of voice acting, most vocal speech and inflection was simulated this way, and was one of the game's more memorable features. Regardless of what characters had to say, they said it one of only a few different varieties of moderately expressive gibberish. However, there were a handful of English language sound clips, including General Pepper saying "Good Luck!" at the briefing screen, Fox saying "Let's Go!" at the continue screen, and a few lines of voice-acted script of Fox and Pepper in the game's ending.
- Species First Name/Species Last Name: Fox McCloud, Falco Lombardi, Peppy Hare, Slippy Toad.
- Punny Name: Fara Phoenix's surname is pronounced "fennecs".
- Then there's Vixy Reinard, whose first and last names are both fox terms.
- Stop Helping Me!: Falco loathes having to be helped by Fox, even if he really needs it.
Falco: (after being saved) Mind your own business, Fox!
- This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: In the Nintendo Power comic, after Fox learns that Andross killed his mother.
- Black Holes Suck/Our Wormholes Are Different/Warp Zone: Created when Andross sabotaged the device Fox McCloud Sr. was taking into the Asteroid Belt. The Black Hole sucked in fully a third of the Asteroid Belt, and remained in interplanetary space. Unlike real black holes, this one was fully visible as a purplish maelstrom in outer space, and it functioned more as a Warp Zone to other locations in the Lylat System.
- Utility Necklace: Slippy's necklace beads contain knock-out gas and grenades, as needed.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Fox and Falco have a tendency of pressing each other's Berserk Buttons and exchanging moments of Percussive Prevention, but they're still good friends in spite of it all. Falco seems to express his most honest words of caring towards Fox while busy beating the shit out of him.