The Bizarre World Of Nintendo's Star Fox

by Ben Reeves on Jan 29, 2013 at 04:31 AM

You might be as smart as a fox, but do you know all of these obscure facts about Nintendo's anthropomorphic shooter series?

1. Star Fox Pilots Are Cyborgs

You're probably familiar with this version of Star Fox:

But check out the box for the original Star Fox game:

Specifically look at Fox's feet. You can clearly see that he has robotic legs. And he's not the only one. This old cover for Nintendo Power reveals that the whole Star Fox crew has robotic limbs:

Nintendo has never commented on this fact, but one predominant theory is that the Star Fox crew willingly had their limbs amputated so they could withstand the intense G-forces of space flight. Modern Air Force pilots already wear tight clothing around their legs to help prevent blood from rushing to their feet and causing them to pass out. Did Nintendo envision amputated legs when it first created the series? Perhaps, or maybe Nintendo thought the Star Fox crew would need mechanical parts to help complete their anthropomorphic transformation. They are animal after all. Maybe they needed the metal legs to help them walk. Either way this is a fairly dark piece of Star Fox lore.

2. Falco Isn't A Falcon

A recent Iwata Asks interview for Star Fox 64 3D reveled that Falco isn't actually based on a falcon, but a pheasant. For comparison, here's a Falcon:

And here's a pheasant:

Looks about right to us.

3. Please Pass The General Pepper

In Japan there is an expression about "fighting like dogs and monkeys." This is why Nintendo designed Star Fox's high ranking officer, General Pepper, as a dog while series antagonist, Andross, is a monkey. But this wasn't the only inspiration for General Pepper. Here's a pic of General Pepper:

And here's the album art for the Beatle's St. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. We'll let you draw your own conclusions.

4. Star Fox 64 Was The Last Great Star Fox Game

You may think that Star Fox: Assault was a great Star Fox game, but it was really just okay. Nintendo hasn't made a great Star Fox game in almost 16 years. (Star Fox 64 3D doesn't really count as a new game.) Sorry to disappoint you with this news, but really, Nintendo has disappointed us all.

5. Miyamoto Envisioned Star Fox As A Puppet Drama

Growing up, Nintendo producer Shigeru Miyamoto loved watching English puppet dramas such as Thunderbirds:

When it came time to design Star Fox, Miyamoto modeled Star Fox off of those old puppet dramas, and the concept really shined through in the marketing of the day:

Miyamoto even hoped that some production company would approach Nintendo and negotiate a contract to turn Star Fox into a puppet dramo, but it never happened. Still, Star Fox's early puppet designs continued to resonate through the series and is why the mouths of the Star Fox crew flap up and down like muppets in Star Fox 64.

6. There is a Star Fox Arwing Hidden in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Arwings are the ships that Star Fox and his crew fight space evil in:

An Arwing model, complete with flight pattern, is included in the code for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. For year's no one knew why, then in a recent Iwata Asks, graphic designer Satoru Takizawa talked about how the animations for Zelda boss Volvagia were based off an enemy fighter from the Star Fox games. Here's Volvagia:

During development an Arwings was placed into the game so the team could work on Volvagia's flight pattern. The final Volvagia model was placed into the game by the time it shipped, but the Arwing was never removed.

Those are all the fun facts for now, but these are far from the only tidbits about the Star Fox. Share your favorite details about the series below.

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