The Star Fox universe refers to the Smash Bros. series' collection of characters, stages, and properties that hail from Nintendo's Star Fox series of on-rails space shooter video games. They are developed by various companies such as Rare, Namco and Q-Games and are published by Nintendo. The series takes place in a Star Wars-like galaxy whose characters are a diverse cast of anthropomorphic animals. The games in the series generally revolve around an interstellar mercenary team named Star Fox, consisting of the Arwing pilots Fox McCloud, Falco Lombardi, Peppy Hare, Slippy Toad, Krystal, and ROB 64 from the outset, and the team is assigned to combat forces that spontaneously threaten the galaxy.
The original Star Fox was released in 1993 for the SNES, and it was heavily hyped and garnered much critical acclaim for its then-revolutionary feature: 3-dimensional polygon-based graphics, which was uncommon and new for a console video game at the time, allowed for obstacle-course gameplay presented in the third person in 3D environments. It was made possible by the game cart's Super FX chip, a coprocessor used to accelerate graphics display. While the game was very successful, in 1997 the franchise got its officially canonical start with the immensely acclaimed and successful Star Fox 64 for Nintendo 64, which was essentially a redesigned and upgraded version of the previous game. Featuring a revised and better-designed on-rails 3D space-shooting system, along with better visuals and a cinematic storyline driven by voice acting which reviewers considered impressive, Star Fox 64 was noted as an instant classic for its time and was the second best-selling game of 1997, behind Mario Kart 64. The game also included a rumble pak for the Nintendo 64 controller and was the first game to support it. The characters, world, and storyline were rewritten and made the start of Star Fox series continuity, and it remains one of the most popular games in the series.
The franchise underwent a 5-year hiatus, during which main series character Fox McCloud was featured in 1999's Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64 as a playable character, and in 2001 he and series costar Falco Lombardi were featured as playable characters in the 2001 sequel Super Smash Bros. Melee. The franchise returned to the video game mainstream through unusual circumstances: British developer Rare, creator of the Donkey Kong Country series and subsequent franchise, was developing a 3D Zelda-style adventure game for the Nintendo 64 titled Dinosaur Planet featuring anthropomorphic animal characters, which Rare canceled far into development. Nintendo president Shigeru Miyamoto looked at the game's content and noted similarities of character design to the Star Fox series, so it was decided that it be redesigned into what would become Star Fox Adventures for the GameCube in 2002. Set eight years after Star Fox 64, the game was a dramatic departure for the franchise and featured immensely praised graphics and new characters such as female fox Krystal and the dinosaur Prince Tricky. Its reviews ranged from glowing to mediocre, however.
Since then several more installments in the Star Fox franchise have been and continue to be released. In 2005 Namco developed Star Fox Assault for the GameCube, returning to its space-shooter roots but with additional on-foot missions, and in 2006 Q-Games developed Star Fox Command for the Nintendo DS, again with aircraft-based gameplay and continuing the continuity. It is the first Star Fox game developed for a handheld and is also the first to feature online multiplayer. In 2006 a trailer for 2007's Super Smash Bros. Brawl showed that Fox McCloud will be available as a playable character like in previous Smash Bros. games, and although it was unannounced, Shigeru Miyamoto has expressed interest in developing a Star Fox game for Wii in the future.
The Star Fox series depicts a galaxy where anthropomorphic animals exist on various planets, and whenever a new threat of interplanetary proportions emerges, a mercenary team titled "Star Fox" is called on by the planet Corneria's Defense Forces commander-in-chief, General Pepper, to combat and vanquish the threat using their assault spacecraft, the Arwings, as well as other classes of vehicles. Stages of gameplay in traditional Star Fox games are on-rails space-shooting stages where the player, as Star Fox team leader Fox McCloud, is accompanied and helped by computer-controlled wingmen, and stages will be made easier if the wingmen are kept alive so that they can return the next mission. Story unfolds in epic, cinematic fashion throughout most Star Fox games, enough that it may be said that Star Wars is an influence on the franchise.
In Star Fox 64, it is wizened scientist Andross, a scientist exiled from Corneria by General Pepper, that wages war against Corneria from the planetary wasteland of Venom, and Star Fox team's Fox McCloud, Falco Lombardi, Peppy Hare, and Slippy Toad must defeat the now biologically-twisted and enlarged being. Eight years afterward in Star Fox Adventures, series vixen Krystal, from the destroyed planet Cerinia, is trying to assist the residents of the crumbling Dinosaur Planet Sauria in combatting General Scales, and Star Fox goes over there to rescue both Krystal and the planet. One Year later by Star Fox: Assault, Krystal has taken Peppy Hare's place, and the team must now take flight to combat and defeat a race of half-mechanical insects called the Aparoids. And after that in Star Fox: Command, the team must take flight again to combat and defeat a race called the Anglars, hailing from the acidic oceans of the planet Venom. Many endings are available in this game, but it is implied that there will be one ending that will be used canonically as the base of what is suspected to be a new Star Fox game that will be released for Wii in the future.
The Star Fox franchise is represented as one of several "standard universes" found in Super Smash Bros., with one character and one stage.
- Fox: The son of Star Fox team founder James McCloud, who was seemingly killed when his supposed teammate Pigma Dengar betrayed him to Andross' custody, Fox McCloud leads the Star Fox mercenary team in his father's name. He starts out an amateur Arwing pilot but gets more confident and cockier over the years. His main arch-enemy at first is the villainous ape scientist Andross, but his chief rival pilot throughout the series is Wolf O'Donnel, and his romantic interest is the blue fox Krystal. Among his acts of interstellar heroism are destroying Andross more than once, rescuing Sauria the Dinosaur Planet, destroying the Aparoid Queen, and defeating the Anglars. As a fighter in SSB, Fox uses a slow-ish blaster and is intermediately heavy.
Super Smash Bros. features one Star Fox-themed stage:
- Sector Z: The second-largest stage in the game takes place along the length of the Star Fox central command ship, the Great Fox, and it resides in an area of the galaxy called Sector Z, so named for the Z-shaped nebula in the background. The KO-boundaries on either side of the stage are rather close to the stage's edges, so a Smash hit will probably make for a KO.
- 11: A remix of trademark Star Fox music, heard on Sector Z.
- 21: The victory fanfare of Fox is an orchestration of the standard "Mission Complete" theme heard in general Star Fox games.
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.
- Fox: Returning from SSB, but redesigned to sport drastically increased agility and dropping speed and a lighter build, Fox McCloud becomes one of the swiftest and most effective characters in the game. His blaster is redesigned to do rapid non-knockback damage and he gains a Fox Illusion tackle as his new B-Forward move. He is ranked as a top tier fighter and is often used by the world's best players of the game.
- Falco: A new character that functions as a direct clone of Fox. Falco Lombardi is the smart-mouthed but experienced and trustworthy companion member of the Star Fox team, and is the most adept Arwing pilot of Fox's wingmates. His past is a mystery to the team, and after Star Fox 64 he left the team for personal reasons, mainly for being tired and bored, but after Star Fox Adventures he has since returned to his post to rediscover the thrill of flying with the team. It is hinted that Falco was formerly a member of a gang. As a Melee fighter, Falco is a modified version of Fox whose statistics more closely resemble the SSB version of Fox, and his slower blaster features knockback. He is a top-tier-ranked fighter as well for his blend of speed and power.
Super Smash Bros. Melee features two Star Fox-themed stages:
- Lylat System: Corneria: The spiritual successor to the original Sector Z stage, this is quite literally the same Great Fox-based stage as before, but with some important differences: The Great Fox is somewhat less large, the ship's blasters at its lower left end can be jumped on as a platform, the Arwings fly around and attack differently, and the background is now the 3D environment of the planet Corneria that the Great Fox flies through as the stage progresses.
- Lylat System: Venom: This stage is now the Great Fox rotated ninety degrees, so that its front end faces the camera, and the ship's four wings are the platforms where the battling takes place on. The Great Fox travels across the reaches of the acidic planet Venom as the stage progresses. The layout of the stage is rather small and almost cramped, making for unusual battles.
- 13: Corneria: An orchestrated medley two songs from the original Star Fox with the Venom level and the main theme. It is heard on Lylat System: Corneria.
- 14: Venom: An orchestration of main theme heard in Star Fox 64. This is heard on Lylat System: Venom.
- 44: Fox's Victory: The victory fanfare of Fox and Falco is an orchestration of the standard "Mission Complete" theme heard in general Star Fox games.
Full Trophy List
- Fox McCloud's three game trophies
- Falco Lombardi's three game trophies
- Andross (two)
- Great Fox
- Landmaster Tank
- Peppy Hare
- Slippy Toad
A fair amount of Star Fox-related content has been confirmed to appear 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.
In the final character select screen (after all characters are unlocked), the Star Fox Characters, joined by Captain Falcon, occupy the 6th column.
- Fox: As expected, the beloved space mercenary makes his return appearance in Brawl, sporting the designs from Star Fox Assault and Star Fox Command. Fox has been confirmed to keep his incredible speed, and his Blaster and Reflector attacks stay intact with cosmetic upgrades. Fox's Final Smash is the Landmaster, which fills up a huge portion of the stage as he drives around blasting his opponents. Similar to the games, the tank can both hover and roll.
- Falco: Fox's wingmate and friend returns in Brawl, with a new design based on Star Fox Assault and Star Fox Command. His moveset appears to be similar, yet slightly modified from Melee. Falco's Final Smash is the Landmaster, which fills up a huge portion of the stage as he drives around blasting his opponents. Similar to the games, the tank can both hover and roll. Oddly, when Falco performs his Final Smash, he says "Personally, I prefer the air.", even though he resorts to using the Landmaster.
- Wolf: Fox's main rival and leader of the Star Wolf Team makes his debut in Brawl. He has unique feral look as opposed to the other space animals, and his A attacks are quite original (he uses claws and occasionally his legs). His B moves are inspired by Fox but heavily modified to be different. His Final Smash is also the Landmaster, but unlike Fox and Falco's, it deals more damage and knockback and has less control time.
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).
- Andross: Andross flies towards the back of the stage in his SNES form and spits polygonal panels out of his mouth. Any character that is pelted by the panels will take damage.
- Lylat Cruise: Takes place on an original space ship called the Pleiades that travels through various locales in the Lylat System, including an asteroid field, an epic space battle, and even the atmosphere of planet Corneria. Fox, Falco and Wolf have a secret taunt in this stage, calling their allies as they comment on the battle.
- Melee Stages: Corneria: One of the few stages known to return from the previous game, its only real change is the lack of knockback on the lasers shot from the Arwings. Otherwise, it's unaltered. Like in the previous game, Fox and Falco can perform a secret taunt to call their comrades (who are in their Star Fox 64 rendition).
- Smart Bomb: An extremely powerful explosive throwing weapon.
- Space Armada - An arrangement of the Space Armada theme from the first Star Fox game. It is used on the Lylat Cruise stage.
- Corneria - A remix of the Corneria background music from the original Star Fox. It is used on the Lylat Cruise stage.
- Main Theme (Star Fox) - An orchestrated version of the main theme of the original Star Fox. The remix is taken directly from the Star Fox credit's soundtrack. It is used on the Lylat Cruise stage. This song is also played during Fox's Classic Mode credits.
- Main Theme (Star Fox 64) - A techno styled remix of the main theme of Star Fox 64. It is used on the Lylat Cruise stage. This song is also played during Falco's Classic Mode credits.
- Area 6: The background music of the level known as Area 6 from Star Fox 64. It is used on the Lylat Cruise stage.
- Area 6 Ver. 2 - A techno styled remix of the Area 6 theme. It is used on the Lylat Cruise stage.
- Star Wolf - The music that plays when facing the renegade Star Wolf team in the Star Fox series. This remix is based on the Star Fox 64 version. It is used on the Lylat Cruise stage. This song is also played during Wolf's Classic Mode credits.
- Space Battleground - Taken directly from Star Fox Assault, this was the music played during the first half of the first mission. It is the theme of the Lylat Cruise stage.
- Star Wolf (Star Fox Assault) - Taken directly from Star Fox Assault, this is the slower, more methodical remix of the traditional Star Wolf theme. It is used on the Lylat Cruise stage.
- Break Through the Ice - Taken directly from Star Fox Assault, this was the background music of the Fichina level. It is played on the Lylat Cruise stage.
- Corneria (Melee) - Taken directly from Melee. It is used on the Corneria stage. It is a remixed version of the music heard on the stage "Venom" in the original Star Fox.
- Venom (Melee) - Taken directly from Melee. It is used on the Corneria stage. This is a redone version of the Star Fox 64 main theme.
- Star Fox Victory Theme - Based on the "Mission Complete" music from Star Fox 64.
- Fox McCloud
- Landmaster (Fox)
- Falco Lombardi
- Landmaster (Falco)
- Wolf O'Donnell
- Landmaster (Wolf)
- Fox (Assault)
- Falco (Assault)
- Falco (Command)
- Peppy Hare
- Slippy Toad
- General Pepper
- ROB 64
- Panther Caroso
- Leon Powalski
- Great Fox
- Great Fox (Assault)
- Smart Bomb
In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U
The Star Fox franchise has returned yet again to represent in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U.
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 three Super Smash Bros. games. Falco Lombardi, who also made his debut in this game, is an unlockable character in Super Smash Bros. Melee and Brawl. 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 an 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
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 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. One of the Star Wolf themes also comes originates from this game.
Fox, Falco, and Wolf get their appearance and artwork from Star Fox Command. There exist stickers from this game, Star Fox Adventures and Star Fox Assault as well. Also, in addition to the characters from 64 who appear in Fox, Falco, or Wolf's Smash Taunts in Lylat Cruise, Krystal (introduced in Adventures) and Panther Caroso (introduced in Assault) can appear in these smash taunts as well.
- Star Fox is one of the two universes to have more trophies than stickers, the other being the Ice Climber universe.
- The number of playable characters from the Star Fox universe has gone up by one for each Smash game. Fox was introduced in Super Smash Bros., Falco was introduced in Super Smash Bros. Melee, and Wolf was introduced in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
- Currently, every game in the Super Smash Bros series has at least one Star Fox character in the top tier (Fox in SSB and SSBM, and Falco in SSBB).
- Under each trophy appears the names of the game/s (or some of them, usually first games) that the character or object appears in. Krystal's trophy is of her in Star Fox: Assault, but only Star Fox: Adventures and Star Fox: Command are listed under the trophy
- Star Fox and Sonic are only universe that introduced the most anthrpomorphic characters.
- Kazuaki Morita has worked on games from both the Star Fox universe and the Ice Climber universe.