STARFOX
( Starwing )
game Cover
game cartridge
スターフォックス
©1993 Nintendo
Release : 1993-02-21 (¥9800)
Cartridge SHVC-FO
Shooter/3D

American Version
country
Released in America as
STARFOX
( SNS-FO-USA )

European Version
European Version country
Released in Europe as
STARWING
( SNSP-FO-XXX )

Star Fox is a 3D rail-shooter programmed by Argonaut Software and published by Nintendo. The evil scientist and self declared Emperor Andross threatens to take over the Lylat solar system and no one can stop him. Corneria, the fourth planet of the system, is under attack and the enemy armies are in dramatic superiority. A small group of four pilots belonging to the Star Fox Team take on the challenge and fly off their Arwing ships to planet Venom, ultimate hideout of the evil emperor. The player takes control of Fox McCloud, leader of the team, and guides his teammates (Falco, Peppy and Slippy) through three designated routes across the Lylat solar system. Although each one of the path leads to Andross's lair, they each feature an increasing difficulty level (easy, medium and hard). The Arwing comes equipped with a standard Vulcan gun and powerful, yet in limited quantities, Nova Bombs. But the real highlight of the fighter are its retractable wings and anti-gravity engine allowing for incredibly fast rolls and flips. Various power-up items are dropped by certain enemies or just scattered around the levels - they range from yellow rings (restores some shield energy), blue rings (check point and shield energy), ship rings (extra ship if the player manages to shoot the three pods that form the ring), Twin laser, temporary Power Shield, Wings (repairs a broken wing) and Nova bomb.
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Starfox Star Fox was renamed 'Star Wing' in Europe and Australia. The reason behind this choice seems to have stemmed from trademark issues (it is still arguable though). The name 'Starfox' was already trademarked in Europe by Reaktor (aka Ariolasoft) in 1987 as a follow up to their series of games Skyfox and Arctifox. Starfox was a 3D shooter/simulation game for the Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC (picture on the right). Interestingly, the name 'Star Fox' was also trademarked in 1983 by Mythicon in the United States for their Atari 2600 shooter. However the game was never released in Europe and therefore not necessarily related to the name change.

Super FX chip Star Fox was the first game to use the Super FX chip. The coprocessor was directly included with each game cartridge and gave the original Super Famicom hardware an extra power boost. This graphics accelerator chip allowed games to generate smooth and realtime 3D graphics for home consoles. The console market was under increasing pressure to create the same 3D graphics already offered by home computers and the Super FX chip was a natural step forward. It was created by the talented people at Argonaut Games (England), who also co-developed Star Fox. Interestingly, it wasn't the first time the company had made such a Starglider 2 '3D move'. They developed the first-person 3D shooter Starglider in 1986 for the Commodore Amiga and Atari ST (the game was later ported to other systems). The shooter was rendered with wireframe vector graphics but its sequel released in 1988, Starglider 2 (picture on the right), used solid shaded polygonal graphics. A total of five games used the 3D capabilities of the ship - Star Fox (aka Star Wing, 1993), Vortex (1994), Wild Trax (aka Stunt Race FX, 1994), Dirt Trax FX (no japanese release, 1995) and Winter Gold (no japanese release, 1996). Other games used the 2D graphic enhancements from the chip such as Doom (1995) and Super Mario: Yoshi Island (aka Super Mario: Yoshi Island, 1995).

Star Fox Star Fox is now a thriving Nintendo franchise. The first game was released in 1993 (version tested here) and became an instant hit. A sequel for the Super Famicom, simply called Star Fox 2, was in the making in 1995 but fate canceled it - it is a shame as the game was virtually completed before it was dropped. A fully playable beta ROM was later dumped and released on the internet. Another Star Fox game, planned for the Virtual Boy this time, was canceled in 1995. Little is known about this title and only a short tech-demo was shown to the public. Star Fox 64 (aka Lylat Wars) was released for the Nintendo 64 in 1997 and it is not a sequel to the first game but rather a 'reboot' that establishes a different back-story to the franchise. Star Fox Adventures followed in 2002 for the Nintendo Gamecube - it is a completely different title that borrows action and gameplay elements from traditional 'on-foot' adventure games. The Gamecube also played host to Star Fox: Assault, a 3D shooter released in 2005 which also mixed on-foot action. The last (so far) Star Fox episode was a strategy/action game called Star Fox Command and released for the Nintendo DS in 2006.

Super Star Fox Weekend Competition A Super Star Fox Weekend Competition was held in the United States and in Europe (most probably in the United Kingdom and Germany). It took place in approximately 2000 retail locations in the United States and winning prizes ranged from an all-expenses paid trip for four to one of four international locations (London, Paris, Sydney or Tokyo), limited edition Star Fox pins, Star Fox T-Shirts and a Star Fox flight jackets. In a way similar to the popular Caravan Festival held by Hudson Soft in Japan, the Super Star Fox Weekend Competition featured a score attack version of the game. Special limited Super Star Fox Weekend editions of Star Fox therefore exist (serial SNS-FU-USA for the American version and SNSP-FU-EEC for the European version)

Starwing special pack To add more excitement to the game release, Nintendo produced in Europe a special edition Super Nintendo for Star Fox that came packed with the game and one controller (picture on the left). Another special pack also exists and included a Super Nintendo, the Super Game Boy, Zelda III, Starwing and one controller.

Teaser text from the American version:
In the distant Lylat star system, imagine yourself at the controls of a futuristic, heavily armed, space fighter - Airwing. Lead the counter-attack on an invasion of hundreds of alien tanks, fighter ships, laser gun emplacements and super battleships. Maneuver at warp speed through fog-enshrouded canyons, dense asteroid belts and waves of the enemy's best defense. You must use skill and cunning to bring the fight to the enemy home planet Venim and smash the Core Brain for victory!

Game Staff (Copied from the American version end credits) :

STAR FOX
Presented By
Nintendo
Executive Producer
Hiroshi Yamauchi
Producer
Shigeru Miyamoto
Director
Katsuya Eguchi
Assistant Director
Yoichi Yamada
Programmed By
Dylan Cuthbert
Giles Goddard
Krister Wombell
3D System
Pete Warnes
Carl Graham
Graphic Designer
Takaya Imamura
Shape Designer
Tsuyoshi Watanabe
Sound Effects
Koji Kondo
Music Composer
Hajime Hirasawa
Assisted By
Argonaut Software
Super FX Staff
Jez San
Ben Cheese
Richard Clucas
Satoshi Nishiumi
Hironobu Kakui
Software Support
Yasunari Nishida
yasuhiro Kawaguchi
Shigeki Yamashiro
English Support
Dan Owsen
Tony Harman
Jon Dean
Ian Crowther
Japanese Support
Keizo Kato
Takao Shimizu
Masato Kimura
Hajime Yajima
Kenji Yamamoto


G
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Star Fox - Japanese Book
Japanese Book
Star Fox - Japanese Mission File Printout
Japanese Mission File
Star Fox - soundtrack
Japanese soundtrack
Star Fox - guidebook
Japanese guidebook


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Documentation
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I clearly remember playing Star Fox as a kid and I was blown away by its absolute brilliance. Although the 3D graphics looked great, I was already familiar with the technology and had been enjoying games such as Starglider 2 (also programmed by Argonaut), Epic or the classic Elite. No, what truly amazed me about Star Fox is the dazzling cinematic experience, hymn to the space opera genre and tradition. I think the game has some amazing moments - the Star Wars'ish introduction sequence, the incredible soundtrack and ambiance, the way how your teammates talk to you during the game and ask for help. But the astonishing gameplay and flawless controls are what shine the most out of the whole experience. To me, this is where the massive achievement is and not many 3D shooters before Star Fox managed to immerse the player with such intensity and attention. Finally, the three different paths the player can take to reach Venom give the game a great replay value. Star Fox is a fantastic game and a timeless classic.




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