It’s been 20 years since the Arwings first launched and the team known as Star Fox reported for duty. In 1993, Star Fox (Starwing in the UK) came out for the Super Nintendo. Since then, we’ve had five distinct games and one remake bearing the Star Fox name over both Nintendo home consoles and handhelds. The series has become Nintendo’s seminal sci-fi shoot ‘em up franchise, but it’s also branched out to include action-adventure and strategy elements as well. Fans of the Star Fox games love them for their intense action, re-playability, and chatty characters. Star Fox has had its highs and lows, but at any rate, 20 years is a grand milestone to celebrate.
Over the coming week, we’re going to be looking at the history, Star Fox’s greatest moments, the music, and all the fun facts and trivia. But right now, let’s take a look back at the colorful characters that helped define the series. Check your G-Diffuser systems, because here we go!
First Appearance: Star Fox (1993)
Fox is the leader of the Star Fox team and the main character of the series, in case the name doesn’t tip you off. He’s the son of the late legendary pilot James McCloud, and he followed in his father’s footsteps as a galactic mercenary. Fox is a very skilled Arwing pilot, being nearly unequaled in all of the Lylat System. He’s also proficient at piloting other types of vehicles, as shown with his missions involving the Landmaster tank and Blue Marine watercraft. Outside of the cockpit, Fox is handy with a gun and in hand-to-hand combat.
As a leader, Fox is incredibly loyal to his team, going so far as to divert an entire mission to save Slippy in Star fox 64. Fox is shown to be somewhat carefree and playful, but he is mostly business when behind the controls of an Arwing. However, he can get cocky or even arrogant at times. He prefers to do things his own way, and does not take kindly to being bossed around unless there’s a payout involved. In Star Fox Adventures, Fox often complained about doing favors for the dinosaurs while wondering how much money he would get.
Fox has shown his emotional side in his relationship with Krystal (which is probably the most fleshed out romance of any Nintendo series to date). He was often brought to nervous stammering in the presence of the blue vixen, and has trouble expressing himself to her. His strong desire to keep her and his friends safe ultimately drove Krystal away from him shortly before the events of Star Fox Command.
Fox has appeared as the main character in every single Star Fox title to date. He is also a fighter in every Super Smash Bros. games, where he is a medium weight character with high speed and furious attacks.
“I’ll do my best. Andross won’t have his way with me.”
“Sorry to jet, but I’m in a hurry!”
“I’m not paid enough for this…”
“Team Star Fox, Ready for duty!”
First Appearance: Star Fox (1993)
Falco is Fox’s second-in-command flyboy in the Star Fox team. He joined the team after spending his youth as a freelance pilot, often involved in reckless missions. Despite his affiliation with the team, Falco has separated from Star Fox several times. As a bird, Falco feels best at home in the Arwing rather than on the land in a Landmaster or combat situation. Falco is one of the best pilots around, possibly better than Fox McCloud.
Falco has an arrogant and devil-may-care attitude that often gets him into trouble, and would get him killed if not for his flying skills. Although he answers to Fox, Falco mostly goes by the beat of his own drum, often waiting until the last minute to show up and help. Falco is also heavily sarcastic and sometimes a bit of a jerk, even brushing off times when team mates saved him from a feathery oblivion. However, Falco has matured in recent times, sometimes even showing thanks and learning to depend on his friends once in a while.
Falco values his friends, even though he might not show it. He has a deep bond with Fox, who he sometimes shares a friendly rivalry with. Falco has a mysterious past with Katt Monroe, who he may or may not have been romantically entangled. Besides Fox, Falco is the most recognized character from the Star Fox universe, appearing in Super Smash Bros. Melee and Brawl as a fighter alongside his friend and copilot. He even got his own spinoff manga called Farewell, Beloved Falco that was only released in Japan.
“Hey Einstein, I’m on your side!”
“Gee I’ve been saved by Fox. How swell.”
“Different time, different planet, and you still need Falco’s help!”
“Okay, I’ll admit it. You did good, Fox.”