Star Fox 64 was the most successful game in Star Fox franchise, published on the Nintendo64 in 1997. It was the Continuity Reboot of the Star Fox franchise, which had previously started with Star Fox on Super NES in 1993. 64 recycled and expanded upon many elements of the 1993 game's story.The story begins with Andross, a brilliant but immoral scientist whose dangerous experiments have nearly destroyed the Lylat System. As punishment Andross is exiled by General Pepper to the barren lifeless planet Venom. Five years later however Pepper notices strange activity coming from the supposedly desolate world. The Star Fox team consisting of James McCloud, Peppy Hare, and Pigma Dengar are hired to investigate. Upon arrival Star Fox discoverers Andross has been building up an army in secret with the goal of exacting revenge upon the Lylat System.However before they can inform Pepper, Pigma betrays the team and James is supposedly killed by Andross. Peppy barely escapes capture and returns home to inform James' son Fox McCloud about his father's fate. Vowing to avenge his death Fox and Peppy help rebuild the team with new members Slippy Toad and Falco Lombardi. With the passing of a few more years Andross's Venomian Army has declared war against the Lylat System. With an invasion force mounting against the capital planet of Corneria, General Pepper turns to the new Star Fox team to free the system and defeat Andross once again.Star Fox 64 was followed by sequel media:
All There in the Manual: Several bits of information are only found in the Nintendo Player's Guide. Before the bosses' names gained Boss Subtitles in the remake, the guide gave their names, including, as pointed out below, pointing out that the name Granga refers to the pilot of the mech fought during the standard boss fight on Corneria (i.e. if Falco doesn't lead the team to the Attack Carrier instead) rather than the mech itself as with most other fights against manned weapons, including the aforementioned Attack Carrier. The same guide also had an interview with Shigeru Miyamoto himself regarding the series.
Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: Bolse is extremely colorful in the original version until the force field generators making the light that reflects off the satellite's surface are destroyed. However, this element was removed in Star Fox 64 3D; the surface of the satellite appears silver/gray constantly in it.
Amusing Injuries / Electronic Eyes: When you face Star Wolf again on Venom, they reappear with new ships and somewhat altered looks; Leon gets a scouter over his right eye, Pigma's eyes turn purple, Andrew gets a visor that looks like an electronic pet's, and Wolf... gets band-aids.
Artificial Brilliance: The dogfights with Star Wolf are quite brutal affairs, especially the final one on Venom (the hard way), where they are very clever and are easily the hardest fight in the game. The enemies will follow you around, but won't always fall for the simple tricks that work on easier enemies, and if you let one of your allies get shot down, you get double teamed in a very, very unpleasant way.
Katina, where you battle a Independence Day-esque mothership and try to stop it from blowing up a Cornerian base.
Macbeth, where you attack a heavily defended train and try to crash it into a fuel bunker.
Bolse, where you attack a massive defense satellite protecting Venom.
Inverted with Sector Z, where you have to defend the Great Fox from Andross' forces.
Sector Y and Area 6, where you tear through the Venomian Fleet. The latter is even more intense, as the enemy is literally throwing everything they have at you to keep you away from Venom.
Big Damn Fire Exit: After you defeat the True Final Boss, you must fly through the maze you entered to reach him in reverse order. You must constantly boost throughout this or you will be consumed by the fire chasing you.
Big "NO!": Either Peppy, Falco, or Slippy shout this when Fox is taken down in the English version (in the Japanese version, it was Scream My Name instead).
Big "WHAT?!": Do well enough, and this will be General Pepper's reaction to the team's bill for their services.
"Blind Idiot" Translation: Fichina was mistranslated as Fortuna in the original English translation, causing confusion as to why a lush jungle planet's name is now used for one covered in ice. Later games corrected this, with Assault containing the both Fortuna and Fichina and Command making the correction more obvious by having the Lylat System laid out similarly to how it was in 64. The Nintendo 3DS remake translates Fichina's name correctly, however.
Boring Return Journey: After Andross is defeated, Fox and co. evidently just set a course for Corneria and fly there slowly.
Boss Subtitles: The 3DS remake adds these to each boss. Mechbeth's appears right when it appears, which is actually before the last few track switches, so its subtitle is seen even if the train it's tied to is crashed by Fox.
Cave Behind the Falls: If Falco survives Corneria and the player passes through all the stone arches, then Falco finds one that leads to Corneria's main boss.
Catastrophic Countdown: During the Fichina mission, Slippy notices several enemy craft leaving the captured base. ROB 64 informs the team that the enemy planted a bomb in the base, and before Fox can defuse it, he must deal with an attack by Star Wolf. If you take long enough in defeating them, you'll notice the base starting to spark and billow forth a few small explosions.
Continuing Is Painful: If you die, your laser reverts to the single laser and your bomb stock is reset to three. This can lead to Unstable Equilibrium if you end up having to restart without a powered-up laser or a large reserve of bombs on a stage where having them is important, e.g. some of the later stages in Expert Mode.
Cool Shades: Twice. Fox wears them as a reward for playing in Expert Mode, resulting in him looking an awful lot like his father James (at least as he appeared in the flashback in the game's opening sequence), and the ghost (or whatever) of James McCloud himself wears them while helping you escape Andross's lair.
Critical Annoyance: If you're low on health, you will hear constant beeping, and you will hear loud and increasingly shrill beeps if you take damage.
Disney Death: In the Downer Ending for Katina, Bill is apparently killed along with the rest of the Cornerian Army. The next mission, he shows up to provide backup, to Fox's surprise.
Downer Ending: If you take the "easy" route (i.e. going to Venom from Bolse instead of Area 6) and kill the Andross-bot at the end of the game, the Great Fox flies off into the cloudy sunset... which promptly morphs into Andross's cackling face. In the remake, this doesn't happen right then. Instead, after the credits specific to that version are shown after the game shows the original version's credits, Andross, now animated in 3D, is in the background of the screen that shows one's final score.
Some levels can end this way if you don't meet the objective. For example, Katina may end with Saucerer wiping out the military base and the Cornerian Army and Sector Z can end with the Great Fox getting damaged by a Copperhead missile. (The latter of the two examples for individual missions ends up with the player getting the above-mentioned Downer Ending for the game itself, as successfully fending off the Copperhead missiles takes the player to Area 6 while failing leads to Bolse.)
Enemy Chatter: Area 6 starts with one of Andross's commanders, Caiman, reporting that there are "no problems," only for him to be proven wrong when the Star Fox team shoots down one of his ships. Within the level itself, you hear the enemy commanders organize the defenses you're in the middle of breaking through. As you get further along in the level, decimating their forces, they become increasingly desperate and horrified.
Epic Flail: When he's nearly destroyed, the boss of Zoness, the Sarumarine, its pilot will try to use a gigantic ball and chain in his last effort to destroy you. On Expert mode, it's essentially a One-Hit Kill.
Enter Eponymous: The title of the Corneria level is "Enter Star Fox". Similarly, the title of the Fichina level is "Enter Star Wolf".
Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Bolse's full name is Bolse Defense Outpost. Along with Area 6, it defends Venom's airspace, and it apparently is an outpost for Venom troops as enemy fighters do come from within the satellite in retaliation to the destruction of the satellite's shield.
Fake Difficulty: Expert Mode turns your wings into brittle flaps of plastic. If you bump into any solid object, your wings are gone. Not only will the Arwing drift uncontrollably, but your laser is reverted to the weak single green laser.
Freeze Frame Bonus: If you look closely in the background after beating Andross on the Hard Path, you'll see a shooting star before it fades to the end credits. It can be believed that the star was James McCloud.
Grimy Water: The entire surface of Zoness, which is completely covered with water like the nearby planet of Aquas, only with even worse pollution.
Guest Star Party Member: Bill and Katt help out the Star Fox team on Katina and Zoness, respectively. Once the levels are completed, they show up to help in the next level and their ship flies along with the Arwings during the end credits. Note that you can only get one of them on a single playthrough, as to reach Zoness, you must go to Aquas instead of Katina for the third level.
Hair-Trigger Temper: The pilot of the Shogun at the end of Sector Y, who spends most of the battle yelling at the team when he's shot at.
Hoist by His Own Petard: The well-deserved fate of the boss of Macbeth — he spends the whole level staying ahead of you with his annoying armed train, taunting you all the while, and concludes it with his secret flying weapon, chained right to the main engine. Fortunately, if you happen to trigger all 8 junction switches and the final switch, you can skip fighting the boss altogether and sit back and relax as the train goes speeding out of control into a fuel bunker, dragging the cocky engineer to his explosive doom.
Alternatively, if you manage to kill the butterfly-esque Mechbeth, it will come crashing down and land on the main engine, killing the conductor.
Keep the Reward: Subverted. Star Fox takes the reward, but denies the offer to formally join the Cornerian Army.
Leitmotif: The Star Fox and Star Wolf teams both have their own, as do Bill and Katt during their appearances. The teams' are significantly longer than the ones for individual characters. The music for Titania and Macbeth might as well be one for the Landmaster — it only plays on those planets with both being the only Landmaster levels.
Lethal Lava Land: Solar, which is either a molten planet or the Lylat System's freaking sun, depending on what source you ask. Either way, nothing was expected to be able to survive the heat, but the bioweapon there, Vulcain, apparently didn't get the memo, and neither did the birds that serve as enemy fighters.
Word Of God says it is the smaller and less hot of the Lylat System's two suns (this would make the Lylat System a binary star system, which is quite common in our own Milky Way Galaxy, with the Solar System being an exceptionnote Well, unless the people proposing the existence of the star Nemesis turn out to be right. Incidentally, Nemesis is often thought to be a red dwarf star (which the guide for the original version of Star Fox 64 says Solar is), which is smaller and not as hot as the Sun).
Luck-Based Mission: Getting a gold medal in Sector Z can be this, since your wingmates also attack the Copperhead missiles. If one of them gets the final shot on the missile then you don't get any hits added onto your tally, even if you did 99% of the damage yourself.
Maniac Monkeys: Andross and his nephew Andrew, as well as several of the former's troops.
Musicalis Interruptus: If Star Wolf is fought on Bolse, which occurs if they weren't previously fought on Fichina (or if you did fight them and didn't manage to defeat them all - in which case only the ones you didn't take out show up), they appear after the satellite's force field generators are destroyed and their theme interrupts the boss music that starts up when the satellite's core is exposed and plays for the rest of the mission.
In the remake, the Meteo Crusher's Boss Subtitles, Asteroid Destroyer, was previously used by the Rock Crusher, its counterpart from the original. Averted with the Attack Carrier, though, which got new subtitles.
No Name Given: Except for Granga and Caiman, most of Andross's troops aren't given a name. The former is one of the few vehicle-piloting foes whose boss fight uses the pilot's name instead of the vehicle's name, with this detail being pointed out in the guide for the Nintendo 64 version.
The Obi-Wan: James. "Never give up. Trust your instincts."
Pirate: The pilot of the Sarumarine talks like one (down to a "yar har har har" laugh when he uses a weapon) and is piloting a captured Cornerian ship, with the Boss Subtitle in the remake pointing out that the Sarumarine was illegally obtained.
Psycho Strings: Present in remake's version of the third boss theme (in the remake's sound test, this track is simply labeled "Boss Battle 3"). This particular track tends to be used for fights that there's an urgent need to win, such as when Saucerer threatens to destroy the base on Katina or Copperhead missles are headed for the Great Fox in Sector Z, though that isn't always the case, as with Bolse's core and the accompanying enemies (provided Star Wolf doesn't end up appearing; see above).
Psycho for Hire: Leon and Pigma's intros. Both times during the Bolse level.
Mechbeth is a mechanical weapon fought on Macbeth.
Pigma Dengar's last name is an Anglicized version of a sentence particle in the Kansai dialect of Japanese, which Pigma himself speaks with in the Japanese version (Dengar would be pronounced similarly to said sentence particle when spoken with a non-rhotic English accent). Shigeru Miyamoto, who worked on the game and pointed out the reason for the name in the Nintendo Power Player's Guide's interview with him, happens to be from Kansai himself and probably chose the name as sort of a dialectal in-joke.
Sarumarine's was Lost in Translation as the guide didn't explain its name as with Pigma's last name, but is a combination of saru (monkey in Japanese; referring to the primate piloting it) and submarine.
The backgrounds of most of the space levels in the remake certainly qualify given that the 3DS's graphical power eclipses that of the N64. Meteo in particular is so filled with nebulae and dust clouds that you have to wonder if the Cornerians have poor night vision.
Solar's background in the remake is just plain trippy, as well as being brightly colored.
Katina is basically Independence Day, down to the mothership's main weapon and weakspot and Bill Grey, who first appears in this level (and only appears in Solar or Sector X if the team gets there after successfully completing the mission on Katina for the former and unsuccessfully doing so in the latter's case), being named after General William Grey. A more subtle reference was made on Bolse, where Slippy is chasing one of the Bolse fighters while the force field is still up, and Slippy tells him that he has the enemy now, and then says "Those ships have shields, too!"
The Player's Guide (as mentioned under All There in the Manual) states that Andross cleared away Birnam Wood to build his weapons factory on Macbeth, further supporting the reference to the Shakespearean play.
When you enter Meteo, the way the Great Fox enters the asteroid field, blasting asteroids out of its way, is very similar to The Empire Strikes Back. It's the same level where Peppy exclaims it's a trap, too.
Also, after Spyborg reveals that its still going to function, it waves its index finger and shakes its head in a manner similar to that of the T-1000 when Sarah Connor runs out of ammo before she could deliver the coup de grace on it in Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Sigil Spam: Giant posters of General Pepper are everywhere, leading some to conclude that he's a Big Brother-esque military dictator. It's also shown on the Venomian Forces soldiers and bases, although in their case, the part of them being a Big Brother-esque military dictatorship is all but confirmed.
Skippable Boss: The Mechbeth weapon tied to the supply train on Macbeth, which goes down if the train it's tied to does.
Suddenly Voiced: This was one of the first N64 games to have voice acting and the first to be fully voiced, with the exception of the tutor in Training Mode, who wasn't voiced in the original version. He finally got a voice actor in Star Fox 64 3D. Turns out that he sounds like the manly-yet-sensitive offspring of Barry White and Tychus Findlay.
Super Title 64 Advance: Especially in the remake, since it has the 64 from the original and the 3D commonly found in the titles of Nintendo 3DS games. That and, as mentioned above, the remake's system is actually 32-bit.
Tactical Suicide Boss: The Shogun's greatest strength is that it's small and manuverable, and therefore difficult to hit. Every so often, it flies over to the nearby ship and shoots at you while more or less standing in one place.
Sarumarine can only be damaged by bombs (at least until the final stretch of the battle), which are a somewhat limited resource throughout most of the game. So of course he constantly hands out bombs for you to hit him with.
Unflinching Walk: Macbeth's ending if you kill the boss correctly. The Landmaster calmly strolls away from what's left of the supply depot as it explodes.
Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can shoot down your own allies and force them to retire in the original version, but the remake's easy mode limits the amount of damage they can receive from friendly fire, thus making it impossible for anyone other than an enemy to actually shoot them down. However, this is quite easy to do to Bill's troops on Katina in either version (though this doesn't apply to Bill himself in the easy mode), and Bill doesn't hesitate to let Fox know if he shoots down an ally.
Warm Up Boss: Regardless of which path you take, the end of Corneria has an easy boss at the end. Granga can be taken down in a few seconds if you're good enough. At the other route, the Aircraft Carrier, which is a Call Back to the first Star Fox game, can easily be shot down in no time.
Venom, despite being the location of two levels, only has its level music actually play on the path from Bolse. When going there from Area 6, a fight with Star Wolf happens as soon as Star Fox reaches the surface (during which the former's own music plays), after which Fox heads for Andross. In contrast, on both paths, the music that plays during Fox's solo portions in which he heads for and confronts Andross or at least a robotic decoy that looks like him is the same.
There are two songs used with Andross (not counting the brain battle). One is used in both fights against Andross, but there is a special one used when the Andross-bot appears. Evidently, if you fought the real Andross this song is not used.
The first two boss themes have sped-up versions that play at the climax of a few battles that use them. These versions aren't used for every battle that uses the normal version, and aren't in the sound test (which only has the regular versions). The first boss theme itself may also count depending on which levels are visited, since most of its uses are on the easy (blue) path (Corneria's hard (red) path boss uses the second one) aside from Sarumarine using it on Zoness on the hard path.
Bolse's theme doesn't really get played for very long, since the boss theme overrides it as soon as the force field generators are destroyed.