Star Fox

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Star Fox
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Star Fox's game box

Developer(s) Argonaut Software & Nintendo
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Release date(s) March 1, 1993
Genre Scrolling shooter
Mode(s) Single player
Rating(s) N/A
Platform(s) Super Famicom/Super NES

Star Fox (known as Starwing in Europe, due to copyright issues) was the first game in the Star Fox series of video games. It was released in the spring of 1993 for the Super Nintendo.

The game cartridge was the first to include the Super FX chip, an early 3D accelerator.

The complex display of three-dimensional models with texture-mapped polygons was still new and rare in video games, and this first Star Fox game was much hyped as a result. Star Fox had kemono character designs and the musical compositions of Hajime Hirasawa, as well as obstacle-course-style gameplay. Star Fox was developed by Nintendo and Argonaut Software, and was published by Nintendo.



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In Star Fox, the difficulty of the game is chosen by choosing a route through the Lylat System.

Star Fox at its core is a scrolling shooter in a third-person 3D perspective. The player must navigate his spacecraft, an Arwing, through enviroments while various enemies (spaceships, robots, creatures, etc.) attack him. Along the way various power-ups are placed in the stage to help the player. The player receives a score on each level based on how many enemies destroyed. At the end of each level there is a boss that the player must defeat before progressing to the next level.

There are unique elements of Star Fox that make it a little different from the standard scrolling shooter. Most scrolling shooters force the player forward at a constant speed. While this is true for Star Fox as well, there are thrusters and retro-rockets on the Arwing that allow the player to temporarily speed up and slow down accordingly. These can be used to maneuver around enemy attacks as well as other obstacles.

The damage model is another difference. In the standard scrolling shooter, touching almost any object (whether it be an enemy ship, enemy fire, or other obstacles) results in the destruction of the player's craft. In Star Fox, the Arwing has a certain amount of shield energy that represents how much damage can be absorbed before the destruction of the craft. The game also has a small degree of locational damage detection. For example, if the ship's wings clip too much against obstacles or the ground, they will break off. This slightly affects the flying ability the craft and the ability to upgrade the weapons.

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Slippy Toad calls for help in Corneria, the first level.

The difficulty in Star Fox is also set in a unique way. Most scrolling shooters, if they have selectable difficulty levels, allow the player to set it by choosing an option (e.g. "Easy," "Normal," and "Hard") at the beginning of the game. This option usually affects variables such as the number of lives a player has, the number of enemies encountered in the game, the speed of enemies, and so on. In contrast, at the beginning of Star Fox, the player is given a choice of one of three routes to take through the Lylat System. Each of these routes do correspond with a certain level of difficulty, but each route has its own series of unique levels. This gives Star Fox somewhat more replay value than other scrolling shooters that have the same series of levels each time the game is played. The three game paths all contain the planet Corneria (the first level) and Venom (the last level), but they each have different versions depending on the path taken.

In each level, the player is accompanied by three computer-controlled wingmen: Peppy Hare, Slippy Toad, and Falco Lombardi. At certain pre-scripted points, one will fly into the player's view, often either chasing an enemy or being chased and asking for assistance. Ignoring a wingman's pleas will result in him taking damage, or being shot down. They can also be damaged by the player's own lasers. Regardless of their survival, wingmen are not present during boss battles but rejoin the player before the next stage.


The objective of Star Fox is to defend Fox's homeworld of Corneria against the attacking forces of Andross. The final objective is to trace the attacks back through the galaxy to Andross' headquarters in the core of the planet Venom. Once the core of the planet has been breached, he must defeat Andross in a one-on-one battle and escape the planet before it is destroyed.

Competition version

There was also a promotional Star Fox: Super Weekend (Official Competition) (and, of course, in Europe Starwing: Super Weekend (Official Competition)) cartridge that was part of the game's marketing campaign in Europe and the US.

It featured time-limited single player mode on modified stages, there was also " exclusive bonus level."IGN.

"The altered start-up screen displays 'Official Competition Cartridge'. Depending on the points scored, players could win a t-shirt, a jacket, or even trips to international destinations. An estimated 2000 cartridges were made."IGN.


A screenshot of the  level of Star Fox.
A screenshot of the Corneria level of Star Fox.
Main article: Star Fox series

Due to its success, Star Fox has become a popular Nintendo franchise, with currently three sequels and numerous appearances by its characters in other Nintendo games such as Super Smash Bros.. Originally a sequel titled Star Fox 2 was in the works for the Super Nintendo, but it was never released. Although Star Fox 2 was cancelled, most of the ideas and gameplay were salvaged for 1997's Star Fox 64 for Nintendo 64. Star Fox 64 featured a complete remake and rewrite of the Star Fox storyline. In 2002 Star Fox made the jump to the Nintendo GameCube, with Rare's Star Fox Adventures. Adventures was the first Star Fox game to incorporate an action-adventure element, where the player took control of Fox McCloud on the world of Dinosaur Planet. In 2005 Star Fox Assault was released for the GameCube, this time developed by Namco. It incorporates a third-person shooter aspect into the game, but also makes a return to its roots as a shooter that made the first two games of the series so popular.


See also


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