Star Fox is a long-running Nintendospace shooter franchise starring the Star Fox mercenary team, and their leader, Fox McCloud. Usually set in the Lylat System, they battle Mad Scientist Andross, their rival counterpart Star Wolf, and other threats.There are currently five games in the series. Some of the games had different titles for European releases due to trademark issues.
Star Fox (released as Starwing in Europe), for the Super NES. Technologically advanced for the time - Nintendo worked with Argonaut Software to put a million-dollar co-processor chip in the game cartridge to handle the 3D rendering.
Star Fox 2 was produced in 1995 and had extra features such as evasive maneuvers and free-roaming levels, but was ultimately never released and most of the new features were incorporated in the next game in the series:
Star Fox 64 (released as Lylat Wars in Europe), a Killer App for the Nintendo 64, was a remake of the original game. Notable as the first game to support the N64's Rumble Pak (the first mainstream vibrating controller accessory, coming out before Sony's Dualshock), which came bundled with it. An enhanced port of this game was released for the Nintendo 3DS in 2011, which added little other than a graphical update.
Star Fox Adventures, also known as Dinosaur Planet, is generally the black sheep of the series. It originally wasn't a Star Fox game at all. Instead, its origins lie in an unrelated N64 adventure game moved into the franchise (and to the Gamecube) by Nintendo's urging during development. The game did introduce Fox's on-again-off-again love interest, Krystal, who was integrated into the main series. Incidentally, this game was the last Rare-developed game for a Nintendo console before they were bought out by Microsoft.
In 2006, the series got its first portable installment, Star Fox Command for the Nintendo DS. Featuring mostly free-roaming combat, the game introduced touch screen control, a strategic map, and multiple playable characters with unique aircrafts. It also had Multiple Endings.
In 2014, Nintendo confirmed that a new Star Fox is in the making for the Wii U, and set for a 2015 release. For the first time since Star Fox 64, the game will be developed in-house at Nintendo EAD, and Shigeru Miyamoto himself is heading the project (as it is a pet project he has been wanting to do since the Wii generation).
There were also two notable comic releases:
Star Fox, which was released as an adaptation of the 1993 video game of the same name.
The team first uses it in Star Fox 2, although the most memorable example is the Great Fox which appears from Star Fox 64 through to its replacement in Star Fox Command.
Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: It's not clear what kind of bird Falco is, but if he really is a falcon, well... there aren't too many bright blue examples of those. Krystal is a fox, but foxes aren't blue either (except for arctic foxes in certain regions, which have kind of blue winter coats). Don't forget pink frogs and cats too.
According to the ''Star Fox 64 3D'' Iwata Asks, Falco is actually a pheasant believe it or not. Which would make his head, at least, very accurate.
Katt was pink in 64 and suddenly changed to black in Command. Maybe she stopped bleaching her fur? Maybe she started dyeing?
Slippy's kids in one of the endings in Command all have different colors.
Ambiguously Gay: Despite Miyu's character never being very developed, she was actually voted in an online fan poll at Starfox-Online to be the one character most likely to be gay.
Falco is okay with falling in love with either gender (see below).
Art Evolution: While the main characters follow a mildly consistent appearance throughout 5 games and 2 comic books, they still change appearance a whole lot more than, say, Mario or Kirby.
Art Shift: Does Fox McCloud have blue or green eyes? That depends on what game you're looking at. They appear to have settled on green, but interestingly, in an early promo art for Assault, they appeared to be both◊.
Ascended Meme: "DO A BARREL ROLL" was used in the subject line for a ad e-mail advertising Star Fox 64 3D.
Big Bad: Andross for the first game, as well as the first game of the rebooted series. General Scales appears to be this throughout Adventures, before he gets replaced by Andross right at the end. The Aparoid Queen for Assault. And the Anglar Emperor for Command.
Big "WHAT?!": General Pepper's reaction to 64's bill for Star Fox's services if it reaches a certain height.
Big Damn Heroes: The Star Fox team is doing that on the Corneria level, and a couple other levels too.
Star Wolf also did the same thing upon arriving in Corneria to save Fox.
Bottomless Bladder: Played straight in the original, where Fox, Falco, Peppy, and Slippy fight through five airborne missions without a break or a base to return to.
The last two levels in both Star Fox 64 and Assault are back to back.
British Accents: Krystal and pretty much the entire population of Sauria besides Tricky. This can be attributed to Star Fox Adventures being created in the United Kingdom.
Wolf's English dubbing in 64 has an aristocratic English accent, but since Assault he has spoken in a Southern accent.
Brutal Bonus Level: "Out of This Dimension," from the first game. Good luck getting to it at all, but once you do, the level has rather bizarre enemies, with no help from your wingmen. The boss is a Luck-Based Missionwhich is justified, seeing as how it's a giant interstellar slot machine, and once you beat the boss, the game doesn't actually end. The credits fly by, and a giant "THE END" pops up, which you can just keep shooting at until you get bored and turned the game off.
Bullet Hell: While most of the game is just a standard shoot-em-up, the penultimate level on the "Hard" path of Star Fox 64 gets a special mention. Area 6 is probably one of the most difficult levels in the franchise, probably because you might be so busy dodging the fire that you could run into the enemy ships which take up half the screen.
Its still no Venom on the original game though. But then, that's less of a bullet hell and more of a pillar hell. At least until you run into the Great Commander.
They're both eclipsed by the "Easy" side of Venom (Star Fox 64) on Expert mode. There are times when you face literal walls of enemies, who proceed to spew literal walls of lasers, and your only real option is to hope you have enough bombs.
Canon Discontinuity: At this moment, apparently Command. Word Of God states that should the next Star Fox game be made, it will take place either immediately after Assault, or will simply keep the prologue or plot outline from Command and ignore the major events that happened in the game (which, considering the Multiple Endings, would probably be a good thing). It remains to be seen if this is still accurate with the upcoming Wii U game.
Also, the original Star Fox for the SNES is usually considered this since Star Fox 64 largely acted as a Continuity Reboot.
Canon Foreigner: Fara Phoenix, and all the other exclusive characters, from the comics. Also Fay and Miyu, who only appeared in the canceled Star Fox 2. It is unlikely that these characters will ever appear in a future game.
Katt: Hey, Falco, have you found a girlfriend yet? Falco: No way! Never have, never will. I fly solo, babe.
The literal translation is:
Katt: Hey Falco, do you have... a lover? Falco: Even now and even before, I have no interest in falling head over heels for someone.
Basically, Katt asks Falco if he has a lover, using a gender-neutral Japanese term. Falco responds that he doesn't have lovers, but using fence-sitting wording that makes his answer sound rather unreliable. When it comes to Falco and women, both versions of the manga as a whole paint Falco as someone who can be platonic friends with women, but is strongly (and even angrily) averse to anything further than that.
Chasing Your Tail: Pretty much every dogfight, although it is possible to trick some enemies with loops. If you tried this in both Star Wolf battles in 64, they would double-team you in the second battle; baiting you into looping behind your pursuer, only to be hammered by his teammate. And you're all out of boost to try the maneuver again, because you just looped.
"What the heck?!"
Clip Its Wings: Arwings can sometimes lose wings when damaged, particularly if you fly too close to something big and clip them yourself. The ships can stay airborne under the control of the pilot, however, due to the G-Diffuser systems installed in them (albeit with much greater difficulty).
Color-Coded Characters: So you know who needs rescuing. Fox is Yellow, Falco is Blue, Slippy is Green, Peppy is Red, and Krystal is Purple.
Taken even further in Star Fox Command where all characters were assigned a color to their ship and trail on the map.
Conservation of Competence: The size of a force of spacecraft is inversely proportional to its effectiveness. Thus, Corneria's massive fleet is useless [at one point being destroyed by one Aparoid, a creature so flimsy it's Assault's second boss], while five mercenaries can do anything.
Continuing Is Painful: Star Fox and Star Fox 64 are usually pretty good about continue points. They push you far enough back so you have time to restore your extended shield and blue lasers before you reach the boss. Usually. The times they don't (64's Venom 2 dogfight against Star Wolf, for example) dives right into this trope.
Continuity Nod: The page picture, a piece of artwork from Command, is essentially a redrawing of original promotion material for the original SNES Star Fox (which was actually the boxart for the Japanese and European releases). Given that the SNES game was retconned out of the continuity by 64, and the somewhat Off Model appearance of Slippy and Peppy, this is more of a nod than anything else.
Also, Andrew Oikonny, ex-Star Wolf, is the first boss in Assault, where he is striving to become a good Big Bad like his uncle was. His ship even transforms into a big head with two flying fists as a callback to Andross's boss fight. Falco is not impressed.
Falco: What's this, an Andross wannabe?
Conveniently an Orphan: Fox. His dad was killed by Andross (most likely). And one of the old Nintendo Power comics reveals Andross (accidentally) killed his mother as well.
Krystal as well, and she even one-ups Fox by having her entire planet be destroyed as part of her origin (how hasn't been made fully clear yet, although her recognizing Andross shortly before she got sealed in a crystal implies that Andross may have been involved in its destruction).
Aside from those two, Falco is the only other team member who does not appear to have any family. Except Katt.
Crew of One: The Landmaster and the Blue Marine. The Great Fox might also count, being operated solely by Rob64 in most games.
Darker and Edgier: Assault. The Aparoids weren't like any of the other antagonists of the series, as if successful, they literally would have wiped out every single form of life in the Lylat System, replacing it with their own, and then moving on to wherever else had life. And unlike the other villains, Andross had absolutely no involvement in their scheme at any point (Even the Anglars, the villains in Command, were implied to be one of Andross's creations.)
The original SNES game also stands out as being Darker And Edgier next to the subsequent games. Even though the basic plot was the same as Star Fox 64, it was delivered in a much grimmer, less humorous style. The only real laughs in the game come from the crew's dialogue, and even that's a lot less pronounced than in the following games.
Deadpan Snarker: A number of characters, depending on the game and situation. Falco is the most common, though Fox has his moments.
Adventures begins with Krystal answering a distress call.
She gets another one, in the same way (Telepathic contact) from Sauria in Assault.
The first game of the current continuity (Star Fox 64) began with a call for assistance. You are playing as a mercenary team, so it makes sense that most games start with your services being called for.
And in Assault "If things get dicey, use a barrier".
Krystal's been trying to get on a land mission with Fox since the start of the game.
Krystal: A mission together at last. Fox: Oh... Uhhhh... Yeah.
Enemy Mine: Wolf and Fox have teamed up on several occasions to fight a greater threat.
Enemy Scan: Slippy does this for you in most games against bosses, allowing you to see the enemy shield. Other characters (Peppy, mostly) provide you with hints about how to beat the enemy.
Escort Mission: Basically every mission if you don't want to lose teammates, but there are more classical examples as well. Assault had a unique variant where Fox is rescued by others and rides on their wing while shooting down pursuing enemies.
Command kinda does this for every level, since you have to protect the Great Fox, especially from missiles that specifically target it.
Even Hero-hating Mercenaries Have Standards: The Star Wolf team kicked Pigma off of the team sometime between 64 and Assault, replacing him (and Oikonny, who left of his own accord) with the much less repulsive Panther.
Everyone Can See It: In Adventures and Assault, Fox tries to keep a lid on his blatant attraction to Krystal. It doesn't work very well. Falco, Slippy, R.O.B., and even Tricky (who hadn't seen them in over a year and had never seen them together in Adventures) manages to figure it out.
Everything's Better with Monkeys: Averted for the most part. With only a few exceptions, the monkeys in these games are not cheery or silly. No, the monkeys in these games are insane and brutal galactic conquerors.
Expy: Tricky resembles another triceratops called Tricky from another Rare-created game: Diddy Kong Racing.
If one thinks about it enough, the entire Venomian fleet in Sector Y of Star Fox 64 could be considered as expies from Mobile Suit Gundam. You have a force of what are essentially mobile suits backed by capital ships tearing their way through the Cornerians, suits that look a lot like a more simian version of the RX-78 (especially the boss of the level), and about 2/3 in you encounter a red version of the attacking mecha that moves three times faster. As an added bonus, while not the pilot of the red mech, the boss is also wearing sunglasses. Hmmmm...
The Aparoids are an expy of the QB from Slipheed: The Lost Planet, themselves based on R-Type's Bydo Empire.
They also steal some lines from the Star Trek Borg. "Resistance is useless!"
And while we're on the subject, Krystal in Assault is a telepath who tends to sense the blindingly obvious, dresses in a way solely designed to show off her rack, and is pretty useless as a character. Troi, anyone?
The mothership in Katina in Star Fox 64 is an Expy of the flying saucers in Independence Day, right down to their weak point.
Don't forget all the obvious Star Wars expys, namely the Space Armada Star Destroyer-alikes (also other ships with cores to destroy in a similar manner to Return of the Jedi) and similar ships in Area 6 (which in itself is an expy of the Space Armada stage to a certain extent).
Notably averted by Falco whose name comes from falcon, but is actually a pheasant.
Friendly Fireproof: In the original and Assault, your wing men will yell at you when you shoot them, but they aren't otherwise harmed by your blasts. Some minor characters in Star Fox 64 are also immune to your fire, but otherwise it's generally averted.
Especially on Katina, where you have to help out an allied squadron. If you manage not to shoot down one ally, you're rewarded with a special cutscene.
Fun with Acronyms: Has nothing to do with the games themselves, but rather the special chip that was used to created the original Super NES game. The Super FX chip was originally called the "Mathematical, Argonaut, Rotation, (and) I/O Chip 1", or the "MARIO" Chip 1 for short.
Gameplay Ally Immortality: Some allies in Star Fox 64 and pretty much everyone in Assault, averted otherwise as your teammates can and will be defeated if you don't help them.
General Pepper's flagship is top-to-bottom infected by Aparoids. Instead of letting his own body succumb, he would rather let his star mercenary kill him.
After fighting and defeating General Pepper (I.E. a crap-ton of plasma bullets later), his flagship explodes and hurtles toward the sea in a mangled wreck. However, Peppy Hare, formerly retired Star Fox member, saves him in an Arwing by redirecting his trajectory to crash in a field. They both narrowly survive the following blast.
Peppy saves the day again in level 10. After the first part, a shield builds up over the way to the center of the planet, much to the party's annoyance. All of a sudden, Peppy orders everyone to stand way back, and for good reason. As the camera pans toward the Great Fox, it's broken, mangled, and riddled with Aparoids. So what does he plan to do? Crash that mother of a ship through the barrier so the crew could get through. ROB 64 says they won't survive the impact, but Peppy does it anyway, against not only ROB's analysis, but also the pleas of his ship mates. Fox manages to snap the team out of it and blast through the Great Fox-sized hole. (Surprisingly, with the Wolf following them.) After they boost through the hole in the barrier, it gradually repairs, eventually cutting through the Great Fox, causing it to explode. The only thing left of it as Star Fox heads toward the core is a blinding light and a thunderous roar. He and ROB survived. Apparently, the tip of the Great Fox also works as an escape pod.
Star Wolf risks their lives keeping the attention and heat of nigh invincible enemies away from Star Fox, and weren't seen escaping the planet as it exploded. They survive, but apparently continue their rivalry with Star Fox.
Hired Guns: the Star Fox team. Though it's a little unclear how this works, since only the Cornerian military ever seems to hire them.
They have standards on who they work for, but they probably take jobs from others as well and are probably in high demand considering they have what is arguably the most powerful warship in Lylat under their command.
Also Star Wolf. They probably got a fatter paycheck from Andross than the Star Fox team earned from the Cornerian Military, though that didn't last and they had to do some high-paying, illegal mercenary stuff.
The opening of Assault indicates that a large amount of Andross's army was composed of hired guns, mostly criminals.
Homage: One of the Star Fox 64 levels is inspired by the movie Independence Day. Another level features Mobile Suit Gundam-like enemies. Both elements show up again, to a degree, in Command. Some lines might well pay homage to Star Wars (like the one directly below).
Assault has music from Star Fox 64 mixed into orchestrated versions. Command also has a lot of music based on it.
And the team Star Wolf itself is a homage to an old space-themed Toku show Star Wolf.
Iconic Outfit: Wolf hasn't been out of 80's leather pants and spiked vests since Assault. In fact, he had been wearing them since Star Fox 2, but in Star Fox 64 his outfit was changed to a military uniform.
Just a Kid: The English dialog of Assault has Wolf refer to Fox as "pup". Depending on your interpretation, it could mean that he's belittling the hero or it's some other things.
Brawl suggests that Wolf is in fact older than Fox.
Kaizo Trap: When you destroy the Blade Barrier in the original game, the blade flies off the station as it's disintegrating, and heads straight towards you. If you're directly in its path, and low on health... well, sucks to be you, you have to repeat the last third of the level and the boss fight all over again.
The Sarumarine in 64 can do this too when its spiked-ball launcher falls off at the end of the fight. It's not really aimed at you, though, so it's pretty easy to avoid this. Also more of a threat on Expert, where even if it doesn't kill you, it can wreck your wings.
Kansai Regional Accent: Pigma Dengar speaks with Kansai-dialect in Japan. His name "Dengar" itself is a reference to it.
Killed Off for Real: Your wingmen won't be harmed by your own blasts in the original SNES game, but they will die permanently if you don't save them. On the plus side, their kills do count towards your final score in this game, and even Slippy is a fairly competent pilot compared to the N64 version.
Pretty much all of the bosses in Star Fox 64 minus Andross and Star Wolf.
Pigma. Presumably in Assault. Whether or not you count Command as canon, he only even appears as a final boss replacement for the true Big Bad (Anglar Emperor) in two possible endings, both of which are the least likely of any to be canon. And even so, he is destroyed at the end of it.
Apparently, Andross did finally die in Adventures, but he still returns as a ghost (probably a recording, though) in Command.
Andrew Oikonny could possibly apply, but on this other hand his presumed death in Assault is retconnable (although no sequels aside from Command have been made since Assault). Yet after the aparoid shoots him down.
Legacy Character: Fox McCloud is the son of James McCloud. Both are considered the best pilots of their universe and generation and both leaders of their teams. There's also Marcus McCloud, the son of Fox and Krystal and leader of a new Star Fox team, as a possible future opened up by Command.
Lucy Hare is Peppy's daughter, and she also has a daughter who appears in the same future mentioned above.
Slippy has over 8 kids, and one of them is also seen similarly to the other two.
Moreover, Falco seems to take over Peppy's role in this future.
Andross also has a grandson, and one of the endings of Command leave the possibility of him following in his granddaddy's galaxy-conquering footsteps.
Once change that went lighter and has (thus far) not come back is that in the original SNES game, a wingmate who was shot down was Killed Off for Real. In all subsequent games, a wingmate going down means that they'll return to the docking bay of the Great Fox for a few missions before returning.
Peppy Hare: This brings back memories of your dad! Your Father helped me like that too! Your becoming more like your father!
Lizard Folk: The inhabitants of Dinosaur Planet, to some degree. Also, according to the backstory of the original Star Fox, Andross made a shocking discovery that Venom hosted life-forms of humanoid lizards, which he used for his army against Corneria.
While 64 doesn't mention this, about half of his henchmen with dialogue are some sort of Lizards.
Love at First Sight: Fox was awestruck at how beautiful the sleep-induced Krystal was when he first saw her. Likewise, upon freeing her and catching her from falling to her death, there is an instant where they both look into each other's eyes for a moment.
Luck-Based Mission: The Slot Machine boss from "Out of This Dimension." There is literally no strategy to this boss besides shooting the handle and hoping the tumblers turn up right.
Maniac Monkeys: Andross, Andrew, Dash Bowman in a couple of endings in Command.
Market-Based Title: Due to a series of title trademarks for home computer games, the series went through three names in Europe. The original Star Fox was released as Star Wing due to sharing a title with an Atari 2600 game, and some references to "Star Fox Team" in text were changed to "Star Wing Team". Unfortunately, it turned out this was also the title of an existing game, and Star Fox 64 was duly released under the much-ridiculed title of Lylat Wars. By Star Fox Adventures, the whole mess had been sorted out, and other than the Star Fox 64 Wii re-release all EU games have shared the US titles.
The Masochism Tango: "Uh, set me straight here, Leon; are you envious of the shredder, or the shredee?"
Meaningless Lives: Adventures, where there are more Bafomadads (the 1-Ups) in the game than you can carry at once. Averted in all of the other games, though.
Mighty Whitey: Assuming Fox is "white", which his overall green-eyed redheadness and action hero attitude seem to imply, the tests of strength on Dinosaur Planet definitely invoke this.
Mind Screw: Out of this Dimension in the original. A Slot Machine for the boss? Really?
Missing Mom: Fox's mother, Vixy, is never seen or mentioned in the actual games. One comic series reveals she was accidentally killed by Andross.
Lucy Hare's mother (Peppy's wife), Vivian, was revealed to have died sometime after the events of Star Fox 64 due to an unknown illness.
Slippy's mother is absent with no exaplanation; only his dad, Beltino, is ever seen.
Mission Control: Primarily Rob, who controls the Great Fox, and to a degree General Pepper and Peppy (especially in Assault, where he made room for newcomer Krystal).
Mordor: Venom. Command proves that terraforming it is possible, though.
Ms. Fanservice: Krystal, especially in her first appearance in Star Fox Adventures. The skimpy tribal outfit aside, the game actually played cheesy sexy saxophone music whenever Fox looked at her.
Multiple-Choice Past: Were Fox, Falco, and Slippy CDF expellees who lived years of exile as bandits on Venomian-occupied Papetoon who rejoined the CDF to fight the Lylat War in their late 20s? Or were they mercenaries who inherited daddy's private battle arsenal and contracted with the CDF to defeat Andross in their late teenage years? Depends on the continuity.
Multiple Endings: Six versions of the Normal ending and the Out of this Dimension ending in the original, Good and Standard in Star Fox 64, no less than nine in Command.
R.O.B.: My sensors indicate that Fox's temperature is rising. Are you all right, Fox? (the organics other than Fox laugh) Fox: I'm gonna be just fine.
Nintendo Hard: Star Fox 64 on Expert. The "Easy" side of Venom (approaching from Bolse) is possibly the most gratuitously vicious thing in the series on this setting. Also, the Macbeth level in Star Fox 64.
Portions of the original also count (though perhaps not to the same extent - your wings can survive a few hits at least!). In particular, the draw distance on later levels (closely-spaced pillars popping into frame just in front of you?) and Andross having a RIDICULOUS amount of HP.
Non-Lethal K.O.: In 64, if your teammates are shot down, they're just forced to take a break for repairs. Fox himself crashes and explodes while one of his teammates calls out "FOX!!!" or simply "NOOO!".
The same apparently applies to Star Wolf, who manage to survive their Wolfen exploding every single time. The only time they appear to be hurt by this is in 64, where they are seen with bandages and cybernetic eyepieces in your second encounter with them.
Wolf's Joker Immunity is subverted in Mission 7 at Assault. If Fox fails to protect Wolf's ship while riding it, Wolf's Wolfen explodes while Fox plummets to his death.
Although to be fair, destroying the Aparoid Queen allows the virus to kill them all via apoptosis and taking advantage of their Hive Mind.
And in the original, destroying the Slot Machine ends the distortion in the level. Though considering the level being a Mind Screw, we can overlook this.
Not Allowed to Grow Up: Averted. Slippy is apparently still a kid in Star Fox 64 (although The Inevitable Wiki claims that he's the same age as Fox), but has a noticeably deeper voice in Adventures and gets married after the events of Assault.
Additionally, Peppy retires, considering himself too old for flying.
Not Me This Time: In Assault: Star Wolf was initially suspected of being involved in Pigma's theft of the Core Memory. Turns out that, not only were they not involved at all, but they actually kicked Pigma off the team long before it happened.
Also a meta-example in the same game: Thanks to the previous games, especially Star Fox Adventures, and to a certain extent the next game (since it is implied that Andross created the Anglar Menace), you'd think that Andross might somehow be pulling the strings on the new menace. Turns out, the Aparoids have absolutely no affiliation with Andross.
The Obi-Wan: Peppy. In Assault, Wolf also advises Fox, which helps him in the final battle.
James, even, in 64. "Never give up. Trust your instincts."
This line was also spoken earlier by Peppy, one of several references to his being an "original member" of the team.
Oedipus Complex: Fox's female supporting character in the comics, Fara Phoenix, apparently looks very much like his mother, Vixy, despite Fara being a Fennec Fox and Vixy being a Red Fox. But twin-like enough to fool Andross.
Official Couple: Slippy and Amanda. Peppy and Vivian. And, in spite of their unclear status due to Command, as far as Nintendo is concerned, Fox and Krystal seem to be this for now (whether that will change in later installments is unknown).
Oh, Crap: The Star Fox team's reaction to Star Wolf's advanced craft in Venom.
Old-School Dogfight: Somewhat averted by the use of homing lasers, but still used frequently, especially for any encounter with Star Wolf.
While averted in levels where the player is flying within the atmosphere of a planet, this becomes glaringly apparent when you see an Arwing or Wolfen execute a banking turn in a supposedly zero-G vacuum environment.
One-Hit-Point Wonder: The wings of the Arwing in Expert Mode. Bruise something and you lose a wing and any laser upgrade.
One-Man Army: Fox McCloud (the player character) saves the day single-handedly, with no noticeable contribution from his teammates or the Cornerians.
People's Republic of Tyranny: Corneria's outward appearance is of a military dictatorship, with huge posters of General Pepper everywhere. Civilian leadership doesn't even get a mention until the end of Assault, and even then barely warrants a footnote.
Petting Zoo People: Animal jokes aside, the characters are strikingly human in lifestyle. This is more in line with the Japanese Kemono aesthetic.
Plot Hole: It's never particularly clear how Andross's exile is supposed to have worked; he was either a dangerous megalomaniac sent to go screw an inhabited planet with massive natural resources around, or Venom went from being barren and deserted to fully industrialised within five years.
Polluted Wasteland: Zoness's entire ocean and atmosphere was polluted horribly by Andross in its first sight in 64, but by Star Fox Assault, most of the pollution was cleaned up.
Polygonal Graphics: The original for the SNES is probably one of the first games to popularize this.
Putting the Band Back Together: Poor Fox ends up all alone by the time Command starts, leading him to do this. Exactly how the band gets back together depends. For extra fun, one ending will get the entire original Star Fox team together, including Peppy, who's been retired since the past two games. This is also the one that ends with the whole team officially disbanding, however.
Race Lift: Katt Monroe changed from a pink cat in Star Fox 64 and Farewell, Beloved Falco to a Siamese cat with different colorings and markings in Star Fox Command. Unknown if this change will be Canonical.
Record Needle Scratch: Happens when Fox first sees Krystal. After a little while gawking at her beauty and thinking what an idiot he'd been, he is snapped out of it by Peppy, reminding him he still has a job to do. When it happens, the Sexophone music playing in the background cuts out with a scratch.
Remember the New Guy: Command introduces Lucy, Peppy's daughter. You would think that she would have been mentioned in previous games...
Considering in the previous games your team is busy fighting for their lives, small talk about family doesn't really seem like the thing they would be doing.
Rescue Romance: Fox falls in love with Krystal when he sees her trapped in a crystal. After he rescues her at the end of the game, the two become a couple.
Wolf vs Fox, who are implied to have some history between their rivalry
Leon vs Falco, also implied to have met before
Pigma vs Peppy, both original members of the Star Fox Team, and both stopped being regular pilots by the time of Asssault. Peppy retired, Pigma was forced off of his team
Andrew vs Slippy, more a case of Pairing the Spares
Panther vs Krystal, both attractive'ethnic' new members of the team by the time of Assault. Also in the only dogfight in the game four Star Fox pilots are present, but Slippy is told to stay behind making it a 3 on 3.
Panther and Falco occasionally fight each other but not through dogfight. Instead, they fight by out-snarking each other.
In Assault and Command, they are less evil and more antiheroic.
Reused Character Design: Octoman from F-Zero appears as a boss in Command. While one of the drivers in F-Zero looks like a human version of Fox's father.
Rivals Team Up: Wolf and Fox do this in the recent games, though usually after a short dogfight.
Rock Beats Laser: Averted in Assault. The high-technology hive-minded Aparoids attack the calm, magical, dinosaur planet Sauria, where the last game took place. The Aparoids just steamroll the dinosaurs. The dinosaurs mount a resistance, but it's said that they suffer horrific loses. To quote Slippy:
Sarcasm Mode: Falco Lombardi. Almost all the time. But especially when he's being shot.
Fox himself seemed to very much be on this at the beginning of Star Fox Adventures. He uses less as the story develops, but even by the end he isn't completely 'cured'.
In their cameo appearances in Super Smash Bros Brawl, Panther attempts flirting with Krystal. One of his lines involved the declaration that he would fling himself in front of an asteroid to protect her should one come near her ship. Her response of 'Oh I feel so much better hearing that. You're such a gentleman, Panther', sounded very sarcastic to say the least.
In the original version, it's apparently a different matter, as Krystal appears to be sincere.
Panther utters this towards Wolf in Assault after the canine catches Fox from the Aparoids, knowing that Wolf was just hiding his intentions for saving the main character.
Wolf: And if anyone's gonna tan your hide, it's gonna be me. Panther: Riiiiight...
Wolf is sarcastic one time during Assault. If you fail to shoot the missiles that come your way during Mission 7.
Wolf: Uh, in case you haven't noticed, the enemy's attacking!!
Savage Wolf: Wolf O'Donnell, leader of the villainous Star Wolf team.
Sexophone: Almost every time Fox meets Krystal in Adventures, this happens.
Sexy Walk: Krystal does one of these in Adventures. Used to great effect at the end of the game when she arrives to "say thank you" to Fox, as it causes him to start stuttering in his words.
She Is Not My Girlfriend: In Assault, when Tricky makes the suggestion that Fox and Krystal can return to Sauria for their honeymoon, this amusing exchange occurs:
Fox: (stuttering) What are you nuts?! We aren't... we're not yet... Tricky: Not yet? Fox: (noticing Krystal curiously awaiting his response) I mean... I mean... This isn't a conversation for children!! (Krystal begins laughing)
Tricky: You said you weren't gonna treat me like a kid anymore! Fox: Then stop acting like one! Tricky: You're just mad 'cause you don't wanna talk about it. Krystal: All right. Thats enough, boys.
Ship Sinking: Falco Lombardi and Katt Monroe, per Farewell, Beloved Falco.
Shout-Out: The Star Fox series seems to have a number of reciprocal Shout Outs in relation to F-Zero. For starters, Fox McCloud and Falco Lombardi may have originally been Shout Outs, being an anthropomorphic Golden Fox and Blue Falcon respectively. Then, James McCloud (outfit and all, but in non-anthropomorphic human form) became a character in the F-Zero series starting with F-Zero X. Then Star Fox Command references F-Zero yet again, where one of its nine possible Multiple Endings has Fox and Falco becoming racers in a high-speed racing league called G-Zero.
On the SNES version, the main villain Andross' design looks remarkably similar to the recurring boss that you fight in the arcade game I, Robot.
Even the anime F-Zero The Legend of Falcon has O'Donnell being referenced as James's deceased friend.
General Pepper not only owes his name, but also his very outfit, to the landmark album by The Beatles; Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band.
Captain Shears, a character from "Farewell, Beloved Falco", is similar in both physical appearance and attire to Pepper and appears to have a name derived from "Billy Shears", the fictitious leader of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
In Farewell, Beloved Falco, one of the Hot Rodders (Falco and Katt's old gang) is Mouser — Mouser's name is even on the back of his jacket.
In Assault, there are classic Namco arcade references and cameos littered in the game, one being the yellow S flag from Rally X; after all, Namco did develop this game.
In Star Fox 64, shortly after you enter Meteo's Warp Zone, you'll be treated to several waves of bee/butterfly-like enemies that fly in formations very reminiscent of Galaga. You get bonuses if you can nail them all.
Star Fox 64 has Katina, which is pretty much the climax scene from Independence Day, complete with Bill Gray, a nod to Gen. William Grey, Robert Loggia's character in the movie.
Space Mines: The first few seconds of Sector X has a cloud of mines you have to go through.
Area 6 has a huge minefield that you have to fly through.
Space Whale: In Sector Y in the original SNES game if you shoot all the small orange stingrays, a space whale shows up and drops a slew of powerups just before you encounter the boss. In the Nintendo Power comic, this is said to actually be the visual manifestation of James McCloud permanently shifted to a different dimension.
Speaking Simlish: In the first game and Command. Optionally in the PAL version of SF 64.
Species Surname: Or, more typically, first name. Played straight for Peppy and Slippy.
Spin to Deflect Stuff: The iconic Barrel Roll move. In Command, deflecting enemy projectiles earns you bonus seconds, and rolling also attracts nearby items. It's even the only way to destroy an enemy mothership.
Spotlight-Stealing Squad: While Krystal's role in Star Fox Adventures was modest, she becomes the main focus of the plot in Star Fox Command. The whole plot of the game revolves around Fox's relationship with Krystal and most of the game's endings revolve around her in some way. She is also the only character that has two Arwings(one for when she joins Star Wolf and another for if she rejoins Star Fox).
Averted in Star Fox Assault where she was given as much importance as every other team member.
Theme Music Power-Up: Done for Star Wolf and their kick-ass music. A short theme also plays when a minor character shows up in Star Fox 64.
In Command, virtually everyone gets their own theme (the core team gets two each), save two certain characters. Wolf, however, hogs the Star Wolf theme, whereas his two other teammates get their own theme.
Throw a Barrel at It: The robots in the Sargasso Space Hideout roll metal barrels down the ramps you have to walk up. Fortunately, Fox has a blaster and can jump decently high.
Timed Mission: Often defending something against missiles. Command has a timer for combat in general (fuel) and a turn limit for each mission.
Took a Level in Badass: While technically Badass already, the Star Wolf as a whole have become better in Assault, and has been like that since. It was also the first game where Wolf gained personality (not counting the non-canonical Star Fox 64 comic).
True Companions: Fox and his team, and Wolf and his team. Fox's team, however, slowly shows signs of separation (Falco wanting to fly solo, etc.) Ironically, Wolf's removed the two dishonorable characters in his original team, replacing them with a loyal, funny-personified Panther, and the team's been solid since.
How the separation turns out is one of the key elements in Command's multiple endings. From the team coming together again to Krystal joining Star Wolf, Slippy settling down and Fox and Falco becoming racers. Anything is possible.
Star Fox 64 didn't develop most of the characters much at all.
The Unfought: Oh boy, were the players upset when the long-awaited fight with General Scales in Star Fox Adventures ended before either side landed a single hit. Might be the most infamous example of this trope.
A more minor example occurs with the Attack Carrier in the original game. You fight it at the end of Corneria if you take the first or second routes, but if you take the third route Andross's attack fleet get the opportunity to deploy their Devastator attack tank along with the Attack Carrier. Falco ends up fighting the Attack Carrier himself off-screen, leaving you to deal with the Devastator.
Video Game Cruelty Potential: In 64, you can shoot down your own allies and force them to retire. This is averted in the original and in Assault, where your allies won't take damage if you shoot them, whether you're in a vehicle or not.
64's two NPCs, Bill and Katt, are invulnerable, but you can take them down if you shoot either of them long enough. There's also the Cornerian soldiers in the Katina level, but shooting them down won't impact you negatively.
Adventures partially subverts this by allowing you to hurt the dinosaurs with your staff; they cry out in pain, but they won't die. If you whack Tricky enough, though, he'll try to hurt you back with his Flame command.
What the Hell, Hero?: If you happen to be trigger-happy enough; you can actually shoot at your team-mates. This is the reaction you're given if you do.
"Fox! That was one of ours!"
"Hey, Einstein, I'm on your side!"
"Enemy down. Wait! That was one of ours!"
Also, the allies get mad if you steal their kills ("Hey, he was mine!"), which is pretty easy to do, since it's often surprising that they'll kill anythingat all in the first place.
Fox gets a lot of this from other characters for his callous treatment of Krystal prior to Command; several reviewers commented on just how much flak he catches from just about everyone for dumping her.
Lucy: So, Fox, let's talk about Krystal. You really screwed that one up!