"I'm not paid enough for this..."
Fox McCloud is one of Nintendo's relatively recent characters, born from a collaboration between EAD and Argonaut Software. Fox works as a mercenary with the Star Fox team in the Lylat System. Piloting his one-man spacecraft, the Arwing, he fights alongside Falco Lombardi, Peppy Hare and Slippy Toad, constantly clashing against their sworn enemy Andross and his swarm of droid armies.
Fox was created by artist Takaya Imamura and was inspired by the foxes associated with the Japanese god Inari; he dons the same red scarf featured on Inari shrine statues. Although he is a fox, he speaks in English in the series, though Lylat Wars (the version of Star Fox 64 released in Europe and Australia) allowed for all of the characters to speak in their native, extraterrestrial language.
Fox's first game, Star Fox, was on the Super NES. It was released in 1993, riding on the hype created by the Super FX chip, a graphics processor designed to be mounted in an SNES game cartridge. This chip allows the game to run in a crude polygonal graphical style; while unimpressive by today's standards, this was a huge step forward in gaming at the time. The game consists of a nonlinear level structure that follows Fox's journey to destroy the evil scientist Andross. A sequel was planned for the Super Nintendo but was ultimately canceled for a variety of reasons. This was mostly due to costs and the advent of the Nintendo 64. Star Fox 64 expands on the mechanics of the first game and reveals more of Fox's backstory, including the death of his father due to a traitorous wingman named Pigma Dengar. Pigma also appears in the game as part of the Star Wolf team, evil counterparts of Fox and company.
Rare's addition to the series, Star Fox Adventures, is much more story-focused than its predecessors, and its game design is akin to the Zelda games. The game was originally called Dinosaur Planet and starred the fox Sabre, but Nintendo saw fit to alter the development process and align the game with the Star Fox universe. Set eight years after Star Fox 64, the title tells of Fox's attempts to rebuild Dinosaur Planet, which was befallen by a mysterious disaster. Here Fox, voiced by Steve Malpass, is cockier than in previous titles and reflects the style of most other Rare games. After Microsoft's acquisition of Rare in 2002, the Star Fox series was handed over to Namco to make Star Fox Assault, which returned Fox to his roots in his Arwing.
Selected game appearances
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl (2008)
- Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (2014)