Video Game / Star Fox 2

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Falco, Peppy, Slippy, Fox, Miyu, and Fay.
Star Fox 2 is the formerly unreleased SNES sequel to the original Star Fox.

Well, formerly not officially released. Two of the Japanese testing ROMs were leaked online: a 1993/1994 early-development Alpha, and a 1995 late-development Beta. The latter build was actually fairly complete, lacking only some polishing touches for release, but was otherwise quite playable — the English Fan Translation by Aeon Genesis (of Cave Story fame) doubled as a Game Mod to fix this up. The final game with polishing touches applied was finally officially released to the public masses on September 29, 2017 as part of the SNES Classic plug-and-play console, usurping a 1998 port of Frogger as the final licensed SNES game ever released by a whopping 19 years.

The unreleased game did not go to complete commercial waste — two-thirds of its code was allegedly recycled for Star Fox 64, and several of its gameplay mechanics were partially reused for Star Fox Command. The transforming walker mechanic was introduced to the series proper much later with the release of Star Fox Zero.

Storywise, Star Fox 2 directly follows the 1993 game. It was the only officially-developed work to do so, as the next entry, Star Fox 64, was a Continuity Reboot. The SNES duology is quite a bit darker in tone than the later entries.

Star Fox 2 provides examples of:

  • Anyone Can Die: As in the first game, any of the Star Fox pilots can be shot down, and they will stay down for the rest of the playthrough. According to Takaya Imamura, the reasoning behind this element of the game is to make the player feel the tragedy when they lose a wingman they've grown attached to.
    Takaya Imamura: It's pretty tragic when your allies are defeated, so players ought to realize at some point that they’ve begun to feel empathy towards them.
  • Artificial Brilliance: Team Star Wolf will fire charge shots and perform barrel rolls to defect your blaster and charge shots to show you that they're not like the other enemies or bosses that you're fighting against.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: Just like its predecessor, this game has a much greater share of rock-themed soundtrack than Star Fox 64 or its sequels. Even though Hajime Hirasawa, the original Star Fox composer, left Nintendo after Star Fox, the composers Kozue Ishikawa Yumiko Kanki deliberately styled their music after his work.
  • Background Music Override: It's possible to encounter a member of Star Wolf while fighting enemies nearby their set location. Whatever theme was playing prior will change to Surprise Attack, Star Wolf's theme from Star Fox 2.
  • Bowdlerise: This is the second game where the main antagonist is named "Andorf". And with the release of the game on the SNES Classic, it is changed to "Andross".note 
  • Bullying a Dragon: Everyone in Star Wolf does this and then die, but Algy stands out on it:
    Algy: "My name is Algy and I own you, come on!"
  • Canon Discontinuity: Originally a case of this due to never being officially released. It's not clear if the SNES Classic release will change this. But in any case, it doesn't matter much. As of now, the continuity has already been rebooted at least twice.
  • Continuing Is Painful: At the start of the game, you choose two Arwing pilots to control and can switch between them freely to mitigate damage. "Continuing" means a pilot got shot down, and the remaining pilot must continue alone.
  • Cool Shades: General Pepper again, naturally.
  • Do a Barrel Roll: It wouldn't be Star Fox without the ability to roll to deflect enemy attacks.
  • Downer Ending: If Corneria reaches 100% damage, you get a Non Standard Game Over that shows Corneria's destruction in great detail.
  • Fragile Speedster: Fay and Miyu's Arwings are the fastest, come stock with twin blasters and charge the fastest but they have the least shields, this is made up for by their default special weapon being an Invincibility Powerup.
  • Game-Over Man: Andross.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: In an awkward inversion of Plotline Death, even if you lose a pilot and continue with the partner ship you selected, the game's ending cutscene will still show the Arwing you lost returning to the Great Fox, completely undamaged.
  • Girly Bruiser: Fay. Wears a giant bow on her head while enthusiastically destroying battleships and military bases single-handed.
  • Global Airship: The Star Fox team has a mobile space carrier that can transport their entire team to any planet in the Lylat system at warp speed. It's the predecessor to Great Fox.
  • Heal Thyself: A certain special weapon, one that comes stock on Peppy and Slippy's Arwings, summons a couple of drones that recharge your ship's shields to full every use.
  • It's Up to You: The other four squad members of Star Fox won't do anything up until the final level which is simply to distract the enemies that are defending Astropolis. And the only time your wingmate does anything useful is when they have to replace your first character upon their death.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Fox and Falco's Arwings. Their stats are roughly the same as they were in the first game, exactly in-between the heavier flying tanks and fast but fragile ships flown by the other pilots.
  • Kill Sat: Corneria's satellite defense system. It can be turned against you.
  • Mighty Glacier: Peppy's and Slippy's Arwings. They have the highest amount of shielding, and a special self-repair item. The drawback is their low speed, slow blaster charge, and poor boost.
  • Nintendo Hard: The actual game is far more punishing than the leaked online version, specifically due to the lack of charge shot locking.
  • Non Standard Game Over: In addition to the normal game over screen after losing both of the pilots selected at the beginning of the game, there was a non-standard one after Corneria took too much damage and fell (disabled in the near-final version, but enabled in the fan translation).
  • Oddball in the Series: The distinct quality that makes Star Fox 2 stand out is that it has a non-Linear design which is a radical contrast to the other games in the series which are Linear by tradition.
  • Orchestral Bombing: Star Fox and Star Fox 2 both have a very differently styled orchestra soundtrack than Star Fox 64 or its sequels, with a heavier emphasis on Fanfare. Even though Hajime Hirasawa, the original Star Fox composer, left Nintendo after Star Fox, the composers Kozue Ishikawa Yumiko Kanki deliberately styled their music after his work.
  • Protection Mission: Part of the game involves protecting Corneria from missiles, flotillas of fighters and battleships.
  • Protectorate: Corneria.
  • Race Lift: In this game, the fourth member of Star Wolf was a pygmy marmoset named "Algy". When the game was cancelled and the concepts were transferred to Star Fox 64, Algy was changed to a snow monkey named Andrew Oikonny.
  • Rock & Roll: Macbeth's music.
  • Secret Level: Collecting all Pepper Coins in a certain difficulty level (13 on Normal, 19 on Hard and 20 on Expert) unlocks the Secret Base, an area full of power ups. It also has the Homing Shot.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Smart Bomb: As in other games, this is a consumable weapon. It comes stock on Fox and Falco's Arwings but they have to be found with the others.
  • Sole Survivor: Out of the whole Star Wolf team, only Wolf himself survives encountering Star Fox in battle. By running away.
  • Songs in the Key of Panic: When Corneria starts taking too much damage.
  • Spin to Deflect Stuff: Do a Barrel Roll, of course!
  • The Sixth Ranger: Miyu and Fay. Fara Phoenix (or "Lady") was planned to be in this game and appeared in some earlier alpha versions, but was dropped from the near-final, and would essentially morph into the character of Miyu for the final builds of the game. (Hilariously, Miyu would later evolve into Katt.)
  • Transforming Mecha: Your ship can rotate its wings down and use them as legs when you're on the ground. In Star Fox 64, the transformation aspect was removed, and the walking mech was replaced with the Landmaster, which is a separate vehicle entirely. In fact, the Arwing even has underwater capabilities (a capability that wasn't re-done until Command) when in mecha form if you have to attack a missile base on Fortuna, making your ship an Arwing, Landmaster and Blue-Marine all at the same time. The transformation mechanic was not seen again until Star Fox Zero.
  • The Unfought: According to both the Mission File Printout and Star Fox's tie-in comic, the giant face that Fox faced on Venom in Star Fox 1 was actually a remote-controlled computer designed to allow Andross to oversee Venom's army without actually being there himself. This is also implied by his trophy description in Super Smash Bros. Melee. He is still unfought in Star Fox 2, as the only thing that appears is just another control computer. It's worth noting that the control unit is the cube inside the face, and not the face itself, which is more like a robotic guardian.
  • The Psycho Rangers: The Wolf Team, AKA Star Wolf. This would have been the first official appearance of them.
  • Variable Mix: All over the place, the music would change if you were inside or outside a missile base/battleship, if you were underwater, if Corneria was taking excessive amounts of damage, etc.
  • Vehicular Turnabout: Andross's Battlestation, Astropolis, will send out the "Brain Spoiler" virus-machines to take control of your Kill Sat, requiring you to visit it yourself when it becomes hijacked and remove the threat.
  • Wave Motion Gun: The "Cannon Betrayer" battleships carry these. Let them get too close to Corneria and they fire off a beam that does tremendous damage to the planet.
  • Weapon of Mass Destruction: The missile bases manufacture and launch Inter-Planetary Ballistic Missiles (IPBMs) which are self-propelled, precision-guided munition systems that are capable of reaching escape velocity and traveling millions of kilometers to a targeted area that's in the same planetary system that it was launched from (in this case, Corneria).
  • We Cannot Go on Without You: Apparently, when you lose both of your pilots, Team Star Fox becomes too weak to stop Andross.
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