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Video Game / Star Fox: Assault

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Star Fox: Assault is the direct sequel to Star Fox Adventures, and returned more to the genre and gameplay of the preceding Star Fox games Star Fox and Star Fox 64. It was released on Nintendo GameCube in 2005. Continuing the trend of all Star Fox games (except 64), the game was not developed by Nintendo itself — this time, Assault was developed by Namco.

One year after the incident on Sauria the Star Fox team is hired to help take down the remnants of Andross' forces. However in the midst of this battle a new enemy emerges to threaten the Lylat system. The aparoids, a race of insect like creatures begin an invasion of the system with the goal of assimilating all life into their collective hive. With the Cornerian military outnumbered and outgunned, it's up to Star Fox to track down information leading to the aparoid homeworld and defeat this menace once and for all.

Star Fox: Assault provides examples of:

  • Action Prologue: The game opens with the Cornerian Army launching an assault against the remaining Venomian forces led by Andrew Oikonny.
  • After-Action Villain Analysis: After beating the final boss, Fox pauses before making his escape to calmly muse on the enemy's plans, and how they couldn't have least not the way the enemy had hoped.
  • Agitated Item Stomping: In the versus mode, if Wolf O'Donnell loses, he will angrily throw his blaster onto the ground, grind it with his foot, and look the other way.
  • Airstrike Impossible: The final mission has you flying into the core of the Aparoid home world, where the Aparoid Queen waits for you. The mission isn't actually all that difficult, however, given that it's a fairly wide tunnel and the enemies all approach from the front.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The boss on Fichina can only be destroyed by shooting a bomb into it. The tons of enemies it spits out drop bombs more often than not.
  • Armies Are Evil: Subverted. In the Corneria level, the aparoids have infected Cornerian soldiers, turning them bad.
  • Arrow Cam: The Multiplayer includes an example of this with the rocket launcher setting. Both players must use Arrow-Cam missiles, leading to "Jousting".
  • Asteroid Thicket: Meteo. Unlike Star Fox 64, there's also a base to go with it.
  • Attack Pattern Alpha: In the opening, a Lylat officer orders his units to use "Battle Formation V", as in the shape of the formation.
  • Attack the Tail: Hitting a character's head or tail does additional damage. Especially Fox and Krystal are vulnerable to tail hits.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The gatling gun, as explained below, is an immensely powerful weapon that fires faster than any other weapon, including the machine gun. However, it has only half the ammo of the machine gun, and it chews through it much faster. Given its rarity, you won't be getting ammo refills, so you have to either use it quite sparingly and hope you'll see it again before the level's up, or blow it quickly. It's most effectively used against divebombing arwings and the rather cumbersome landmasters.
  • Back from the Brink: The Cornerian fleet is about to be decimated by Andrew's forces before the Great Fox suddenly warps in, whereupon Star Fox basically wipes out most of Andrew's army in a matter of minutes. Later on, the Aparoids attack Corneria itself and even nearly assimilate General Pepper in Star Fox's absence. As soon as they arrive to take care of business, the crisis is quickly averted.
  • Balance, Power, Skill, Gimmick: In the multiplayer, Fox has average stats, while Falco is fragile and has the best Arwing skill, Slippy has a lot of health and has poor Arwing skill (but has the best Landmaster skill), and Krystal has medium-low stats and tends to get barriers a lot (the gimmick).
  • Battle Theme Music: Like in Star Fox 64, the same battle theme is used for most bosses; and whenever the player controls Wolf, it is his Leitmotif.
  • Beehive Barrier: Stronger aparoids, shield generators, and the entrance to the aparoid homeworld's core all use this.
  • Bee People: The Aparoids are a species with not just a collective mind, but a collective existence, all ruled over by a queen. The titular team of heroes take advantage of this to beat them by injecting a virus into the Aparoid Queen, which sends it out to every other Aparoid and destroys them.
  • Big Bad: The Aparoid Queen is the leader of the Aparoids who intends to assimilate all life in the Lylat System into herself.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • In Mission 7, Star Wolf arrives to destroy the aparoids. By the end of the mission, when General Pepper's ship is critically damaged by Fox, Peppy rescues General Pepper with his Arwing.
    • Star Wolf also helps the Star Fox team destroy the aparoid missiles targeting the Orbital Gate in Mission 8.
    • Towards the end of the game, Peppy pulls a big one when he rams the Great Fox to have his comrades invade the Aparoid Homeworld.
  • Big "NO!": Fox when he is forced to fight General Pepper before the latter is fully assimilated.
  • Biological Weapons Solve Everything: The game concludes with the heroes attacking the aparoid queen with an electronic virus intended to induce apoptosis in their biological components. Though she is able to suppress it somehow until you finish killing her with conventional weapons.
  • Body Horror: Pigma undergoes a horrific transformation at the hands of the Aparoids, in which he is assimilated into a spacecraft, turning his whole body into a giant, mutilated, vaguely cybernetic (but mostly organic-looking) pig's face, kept safe in a metallic cube which can open and close, hiding or revealing said face.
  • Boom, Headshot!: The sniper rifle does bonus damage if it hits someone in the head, however it also does so much damage in general, Wolf is the only character with a health score high enough to survive a shot from it in general and thus requires a headshot.
  • Boom in the Hand: Grenades are among the vast arsenal Fox can pick up during an on-foot mission. Grenades can be held for a while before exploding, and will begin to give off a noticeable glow beforehand, visually reminding the player to toss it quickly before this trope can apply.
  • Boss Banter: The game manages to use this to disturbing effect during a few of its boss fights: in the Asteroid Belt, Pigma gets assimilated and suffers a Loss of Identity, General Pepper is taken over in the Corneria stage and ''begs you'' to kill him, and then the Aparoid Queen tries to break the team's spirit via using the information gained from Pigma, Pepper, Rob and Peppy, even going far enough as to use the voice of Fox's father, James. This ends up backfiring, since the Queen didn't do her research on James.
  • Bug War: The war with the aparoids, who are insect/cyborg hybrids bent on galactic assimilation.
  • Call-Back:
    • Mainly to Star Fox 64. For instance, the very first thing that happens in gameplay is Slippy getting himself into trouble.
    • During the final battle, the aparoid queen imitates the voices of everyone who she thought perished. The voices of choice? Peppy Hare, the retired pilot, General Pepper, Commander of the Corneria Defense Force, and James McCloud, Fox's father.
    • The aparoid homeworld bears some resemblance to Eladard on its front, and Venom on its back.
    • Andrew's last words were "Uncle Andross...!!" Sound familiar?
  • Catch a Falling Star: Peppy catches the falling ship of General Pepper with his own arwing, slowing the fall enough to save his life. Wolf also saves Fox this way, since he wants to take him down personally.
  • Climactic Battle Resurrection: The game ends with one, as Fox's home planet of Corneria, General Pepper, and Peppy all die Disney Deaths in the final battles with the Aparoids. Thankfully, Andross is nowhere to be found. Star Wolf apparently pulled a Heroic Sacrifice as well, but they aren't seen after the battle. Fox muses it is definitely possible; and while the other characters actually did appear to die, Wolf's team was last seen being chased by the enemy so bringing them back would be easy.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: The Aparoid Queen. Both of her first forms require that you blast off her armor and get through her defenses in order to deal damage. Her final one, while having powerful attacks that can pulverize you if hit, is relatively easy to dodge and all of her body is vulnerable.
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer: Red, blue, yellow and green for the multiplayer mode.
  • Colossus Climb: The boss of the second mission, whose form is loosely reminiscent of a Spider Tank, needs to be hovered onto with the landmaster tank, since its weak point is in the center of its flat top.
  • Combos: In all-range mode stages. Every ten hits gets you increasingly large bonuses until it caps at 100. Very easy to keep it going on the wing-riding sections in Fichina and Corneria.
  • Cool Gate: The Cornerian fleet uses a giant green portal projected by a trio of satellites big enough to fit the Great Fox to jump to the Aparoid homeworld.
  • Cornered Rattlesnake: Used in the opening level. Team Starfox has been chasing Andrew through the entire level only for him to finally turn around and face them. Peppy even warns the team that you never know what a cornered beast might do. Andrew responds by turning his personal ship into an Andross-like copy of himself to begin the boss battle. When he's in the brink of defeat, Andrew prepares to keep fighting back... and then an Aparoid kills him instantly.
  • Critical Existence Failure: For both pilots and vehicles, although vehicles do start emitting violet particle trails at low health.
  • Cutscene Incompetence:
    • For some reason, none of your wingmates attempt to stop Pigma from stealing the Core Memory in Katina, allowing him to just fly way unscathed. Fox himself doesn't even attempt to fire at Pigma's ship.
    • Fox getting surrounded by aparoids in Corneria. Despite spending the whole level (and the previous one too) mowing down hordes of them, Fox suddenly forgets how to fight back and requires Wolf to save his hide.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: The Aparoids, who are an Expy of Star Trek's Borg, as the main villains of the game. They intend to have all life in the universe be assimilated to the Queen.
  • Darker and Edgier: Star Fox 64 and Star Fox Adventures were much more relaxed and lighthearted than their predecessors on the SNES. Star Fox Assault returned the franchise to a decidedly darker tone, roughly as dark as the SNES games.
  • Death as Comedy:
    • When Fox dies, he falls onto his stomach and wags his (white-tipped) tail back and forth, showing his defeat like when waving a white flag. In the alpha version of the game, Fox slowly raises his tail, also like a white flag for surrender.
    • Slippy goes down with a pirouette.
  • Death from Above: Multiplayer mode features a rare but incredibly powerful weapon which invokes this trope. It is a cylinder that, when planted in the ground, fires a multitude of colored rockets that spread out and bombard the local area. This weapon achieves the widest spread but lowest density if you plant it on the nose of an Arwing you're flying high in the air.
  • Developer's Foresight: Normally, if you fall off a ledge, Fox will immediately reappear on another point of the map. However, if the player does so after completing all mission objectives, Fox is still shown falling down to his death before the results screen comes up.
  • Disney Death: In The Stinger, Peppy and ROB 64 escape the Great Fox's destruction via the escape pod.
  • Distress Call: There are two distress calls, an ordinary one from Katina (naturally, a trap) and a telepathic one from Sauria (which is overrun by the time the team gets there, but there are still survivors).
  • Do a Barrel Roll: And unlike in 64, it's actually a barrel roll this time.
  • Doom Doors: The classic sound effects are heard when the aparoid homeworld's orbital gateway is created.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: In the Sauria mission, it is suggested by Slippy and Peppy that the SharpClaw and CloudRunner tribes may have been driven to extinction by the aparoids.
  • Dying as Yourself: General Pepper, finding himself and his flagship taken over by the Aparoids, begs and pleads for Fox to kill him as quickly as possible, so that he can die with his identity and honour intact, rather than being assimilated.
    General Pepper: You would make me an accomplice to these... fiends?!
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Since the aparoids have infected their homeworld to the core the entire planet blows up when they self-destruct.
  • Embedded Precursor: By collecting all of the silver medals in the game, players can unlock the NES port of Namco's hit arcade shooter Xevious as a bonus feature. The Japanese version even features 2 extra Namco games, Battle City and Star Luster, as well.
  • Emergency Weapon: The basic blaster has infinite ammo, and can pierce armor with charged shots, making it a reliable weapon you can fall back on for any task if you lack the more specialized weapons.
  • Enemy Mine: Star Wolf, considering what a threat the aparoids present to everyone.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Star Wolf having kicked Pigma off their team.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Pigma tried to use the Core Memory he stole to bend the aparoids to his will. It worked for a while, but he got assimilated in the end, winding up as a Mouth of Sauron until the Star Fox team put him out of his misery.
  • Evil Versus Oblivion: Star Wolf teams up with Star Fox to take on Pigma, and later the Aparoids, with this line of logic. Wolf and his crew may be much more morally ambiguous about the jobs they take than Fox, but they're not about to watch the entire galaxy get turned into a Hive Mind.
  • Faceship: In the opening stage, Andrew (the nephew of the late Emperor Andross) transforms his flagship into a gigantic replica of his head as a homage to the final battle of Star Fox 64, where you fought Andross (who was nothing more than a giant disembodied head and hands).
  • Fantastic Aesop: At the end of the game, after the aparoid queen is defeated, Fox begins getting all philosophical about the bugs' motives, eventually coming up with; "She tried to bypass evolution by stealing souls. But you have to be born with one." The Star Fox team all nod approvingly at Fox's sage words even as the player Face Palms.
  • Fighting Your Friend: Who is the boss of the Corneria level? Aparoid Infectee General Pepper.
  • Forced Tutorial: Characters will constantly tell you how to defeat bosses in the very same messages.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • When Beltino first discusses the aparoids, he notes that it took a single aparoid moth to destroy an entire fleet. It's clear that nobody outside the Star Fox team will survive the invasion on the aparoid homeworld.
    • At Fichina, Pigma begins to mutter "Obey us" repeatedly in his sleep, before snapping out of it. It was the Core Memory trying to infect him, and he ends up assimilated in the next level.
    • At the briefing regarding the aparoids' invasion of Corneria, General Pepper pleads with the team to help them quickly before the communications are suddenly lost. Peppy suggests that Pepper is in danger. He was right, as Pepper's flagship was hijacked by the aparoids while fighting them.
    • At Corneria, Peppy saves General Pepper's life by smashing an Arwing into the latter's flagship before it crashes, showing the elderly pilot's willingness to risk his own life to help his loved ones.
    • And at the Aparoid Homeworld, Peppy tells the team that he's proud to have fought alongside the group, later clarifying that he was "just babbling" and nothing more. Turns out the aparoids had gotten to the Great Fox during the ground assault.
  • Freudian Slip: After the Sauria mission, Tricky offers Fox and Krystal a little ride, and makes a comment about watching things here so that Fox and Krystal can come back in their honeymoon. Fox gets flustered and tries to deny anything between them, but lets slip a "We're not yet-", prompting Tricky to keep ribbing him over it. Krystal for her part is amused by Fox's embarrassment, and the look she gives him makes it clear she wouldn't mind it in the least.
  • From Bad to Worse: The whole story. First, the threat of Andross is about to be put to an end for all time (unless Command is believed to be canon) when suddenly an aparoid presumably kills him and attacks Krystal; its species appears years after one destroyed an entire Cornerian fleet. Then, the Star Fox team finds a Core Memory leading to their homeworld, only for Pigma to steal it. Then they find that aparoids can infect machines. Then they find that they can infect organics, and Pigma is assimilated and destroyed. Star Fox gets that all-important Core Memory, but then they have to rush off and save Sauria, which is being overrun by aparoids. They save Sauria, only to find that they annihilated Corneria and began assimilating General Pepper while they were busy on Sauria. They finally make it to the homeworld, only for the aparoids to assimilate the Great Fox, and for Peppy to perform a Heroic Sacrifice to allow them into the homeworld interior. Star Wolf shows up to aid them, but then they perform another Heroic Sacrifice to cover Star Fox as they enter the deepest part of the core. Star Fox fights through the psychological warfare of the aparoid queen, and hit it with the self-destruct program, only for it to not work. Things are only righted after the final final boss battle.
  • Furry Reminder:
    • The ape soldiers encountered in Sargasso Space Hideout will sometimes make monkey whoops upon defeat.
    • Slippy mentions during Mission 4 that the cold makes him hibernate, which does happen to amphibians, who are cold-blooded.
  • Gatling Good: The Gatling Gun in on-foot missions. It's even more rapid-fire than the (much more common) Machine Gun and, unlike the Machine Gun, has armor-piercing rounds, which allows it to chew through enemies you'd ordinarily need a charged blaster shot, sniper rifle, or explosions to deal with.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The aparoids. They essentially just appear with no foreshadowing and become the main villains of the game.
  • Graceful Landing, Clumsy Landing: In the takeoff sequence, the first three pilots, Fox, Falco, and Krystal, all leap gracefully into their cockpits. Slippy, well known as The Load and least competent fighter despite being a Gadgeteer Genius, faceplants into his.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: Mission 5 has the team discover wreckage of Wolfen ships belonging to Star Wolf. However, it's not elaborated what even happened or if a corrupted Pigma had anything to do with it.
  • Green Aesop: Minor compared to the above-mentioned Fantastic Aesop, but Corneria has a billboard related to cleaning up the pollution on Zoness, which was covered with Grimy Water in Star Fox 64 thanks to Andross's invasion of the planet. Considering the fact that the water in the Zoness multiplayer stage is dark blue instead of green, it seems to be working.
  • Gunship Rescue: A brief one during the Corneria mission. When Fox is ambushed by Aparoids on the rooftop, Wolf of all people arrives piloting his Wolfen to save him.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Peppy sacrifices himself and the Great Fox to allow Star Fox and Star Wolf to infiltrate the aparoid homeworld. Later on, Star Wolf sacrifice themselves to lure the enemies off of Star Fox to make sure they get into the final boss room. Later on, Peppy is revealed to be okay but injured, and Fox hints that Star Wolf could still be alive.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: Especially because of his tail, Fox's hitbox sometimes appears to be larger than it is graphically, which makes him pretty easy to hit from the side. This also counts for Krystal, Falco, and Wolf.
  • Hive Mind: The Aparoids think collectively; further proven when the Aparoid Queen starts speaking weirdly.
  • Hive Queen: The Aparoid Queen, who controls all other aparoids.
  • Horde of Alien Locusts: The aparoids qualify due to the fact that when you fight the queen at the end, she insists that the entire universe and everything in it would be consumed by them.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Assault is the only other game in the series (the first being Adventures) with "on-foot" segments, characters are capable of carrying multiple heavy weapons at once (including sniper rifles, miniguns, and rocket launchers) but the only one visible is the one they are currently using.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: General Pepper in Mission 7. The Aparoids have taken over his ship and threaten to take over himself as well. During the fight, he keeps asking to be killed before that happens. Subverted in that Peppy dives in to soften the ships fall and Pepper survives in the end. Also later in the game, Peppy sacrifices the infested Great Fox to break through a defensive shield.
  • I Got You Covered: Star Wolf does an important role since Mission 7, with Star Fox ultimately failing had they not intervened in succeeding missions.
  • Interface Spoiler: In Corneria, you can probably guess that you won't be piloting the Arwing after all since the loading screen only has an on-foot icon for Fox.
  • It Has Been an Honor: At one point in the penultimate level, Peppy Hare states "Fox, Krystal, Falco, Slippy... I'm proud to have served alongside you", although when asked what he means, Peppy claims he was just babbling. Turns out, it was foreshadowing his attempted Heroic Sacrifice where he rams the almost-Aparoidized Great Fox into the shield generator of the planet
  • It's Quiet… Too Quiet: During the fourth mission, Fox notes that the Katina Outpost that was sending a distress signal is far too quiet, and in preparation he draws his gun. A few seconds later, Fox is locked in as Aparoids begin showing up.
  • Just a Kid: The English dialogue has Wolf refer to Fox as "pup".
  • Keystone Army: As powerful as the aparoids are, they're susceptible to the apoptosis program developed by Beltino Toad. Killing their queen with it can cause the entire aparoid race to self-destruct all at once.
  • Kill Enemies to Open: As Fox goes on foot across the interior of the Aparoids' homeworld, he'll reach corridors and areas where the entrance and exit are blocked by life-force barriers, trapping him so the incoming Aparoids attempt to kill him. The barriers will only dispel once Fox dispatches them all.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Assault is replete with examples of missions in which you have to destroy hatchers in addition to regular enemies. By Stage 9, the assault on the aparoid homeworld, Fox has become familiar with the whole thing.
    Fox McCloud: If the past is any indication... ...there'll be hatchers to go along with those shield generators, right?
  • Last Episode Theme Reprise: The game does this during its final boss fight with the theme heard when you turn on the game. It comes in triumphantly 43 seconds into the song. Even better if you can manage to break off the Aparoid Queen's dragon head and have Fox shout, "Here I come you evil space hag!"
  • Lip Lock: The briefings are edited to match the lip flaps to the dubbed voices, though this results in the characters being less expressive than in the Japanese version.
  • Lucky Seven: Inverted, as the Aparoids set up the seventh stage by raiding Corneria.
  • Make Way for the New Villains: Andrew Oikonny is taken down in one shot by the first aparoid encountered.
  • Mechanical Insects: The Aparoids, which are an entire race of mechanical insects out to assimilate all life in the Lylat System.
  • Million to One Chance: The final battle has the Final Boss mention a zero chance of victory for the protagonists. It is entirely possible to win the battle; however, the announcement of the zero chance is in fact an attempted Mind Screw by the Big Bad.
  • Mind Rape: The aparoid queen tries this on Star Fox.
  • Mixed Animal Species Team: After Pigma was banned from Star Wolf with Oikonny quitting the team to follow on Andross's footsteps, Panther Carosso joined the team.
  • Mook Maker: The game features Aparoid hatchers and transfer devices that spawn enemies until they're destroyed.
  • More Dakka: The Plasma Cannon, a weapon exclusive to wing-riding sections, is basically an infinite ammo rapid-fire energy gun.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Krystal, who was given a form-fitting Spy Catsuit that shows her cleavage.
  • Multiplayer-Only Item: Demon launchers (a more powerful homing launcher), stealth suits, fire burst pods, booster packs, predator rockets, demon snipers and cluster bombs.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • In contrast to how most levels aside from Sauria and some new to this game are from Star Fox 64, Fortuna is from the original Star Fox, which was subject to the Star Fox 64 reboot.
    • The Star Fox logo returned to a visual style resembling the original Star Fox from 1993.
    • Wolf's outfit brought back the shoulder spikes that characterized his outfit in Star Fox 2, which had been unreleased until 2017 (12 years after the release of Assault).
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: The Star Fox team is dispatched to Katina in order to rescue whoever sent the distress signals on the planet, and eliminate the aparoid menace. Upon defeating it, it's revealed that the person who sent the distress signal was actually Pigma, and what's worse, he "repaid" their risking their lives to save the sender by stealing the core memory that Fox intended to retrieve to find out more about the aparoids to stop their invasion.
  • No One Could Survive That!: Peppy has an Apparoid infection on his right arm, receives a few explosions in the face and has the Great Fox blow up with him in it and he appears in the end with only an injury in the face.
  • No-Sell: There are enemies in the on-foot segments that are immune to Fox's machine gun, and can only be defeated with a stronger weapon like the rockets. Peppy makes sure to remind Fox of this when he's shooting at an enemy with the wrong weapon.
  • Nostalgia Level: Several missions take place in planets that were visited in Star Fox 64, while another one takes place in Fortuna from the original Star Fox (albeit previously unexplored in the continuity that began with 64, so it also doubles as Mythology Gag), and yet another in Sauria from Star Fox Adventures (implied to be close to Walled City, due to the pyramidal ruins). Considering the very high stakes raised by the threat of the Aparoids in all of Lylat System (even surpassing that of Andross in previous games), this trope is fitting for the game.
  • Not Me This Time: 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.
  • Oddball in the Series: Though not to the same extent as its predecessor Adventures (an oddball itself), the game still presents on-foot segments, and this time in the form of Third-Person Shooter areas, with so many missions based around them that there are only a small handful of the on-rails segments that the series is known for.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: This is the excuse Wolf gives Fox for saving him from a large group of aparoids.
    Fox: Wolf?! What are you doing here?
    Wolf: You're the one who dropped in unannounced... And if anyone's gonna tan your hide, it's gonna be me.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: The hallucination created by the aparoid queen of Fox's father James McCloud trying to convince Fox to surrender to the aparoids seconds after entering the Queen's chamber. As shown in the best ending of Star Fox 64, James would never tell Fox to give up, and Fox even lampshades it moments after.
    Fox McCloud: My father... My father would never tell me to give up!!
  • Outside Ride: The two wing-riding sections where Fox stands on the wing of an Arwing or Wolfen in flight and blasts down perusing enemies with a BFG.
  • Plasma Cannon: There's a plasma cannon that Fox uses in two missions while riding on a teammate's wing, it's about the size of a rocket launcher, is very powerful, and fully automatic.
  • Player-Guided Missile: The Missile Launcher in multiplayer matches. It is more powerful than the Homing Launcher, but with a lower ammunition capacity.
  • Possession Implies Mastery: Averted in the game's Versus Mode, where Star Fox characters have poor Wolfen flying abilities, whereas Wolf has poor Arwing flying abilities.
  • Pretender Diss: In previous games, Andross was typically depicted as a giant floating head and hands. In this game, Andrew mimics this by transforms his warship into a head and hands. Falco is umnimpressed.
    "What's this? An Andross wannabe?"
  • "Psycho" Strings: Present in the intro to the music for the Sargasso Space Hideout, which is actually an orchestral version of the music for Sector Y and Solar from Star Fox 64. (However, the original version of the song just had regular strings, and the version in the Nintendo 3DS remake of 64 does as well.)
  • Radar Is Useless: Invoked in the mission "War Comes Home" when the Aparoids unleash radar jammers to block the heroes' counterattack. Fox has to manually destroy each jammer with a sniper rifle, and the radar becomes more reliable with every one taken out.
  • Ramming Always Works: After the shield protecting the aparoid homeworld entrance fails to go down, Peppy crashes the damaged Great Fox into it. This drops the shield, but destroys the ship in the process.
  • Remember the New Guy?: When we first see the Aparoids, the first statements in the game uttered about it appear to sound as if that the Lylat system has dealt with them before.
  • Resistance Is Futile: The Aparoids, apparently inspired by the Borg of Star Trek fame, spout lines like this. Well, the Queen and Pigma do, the rest aren't much for talking.
  • Resist the Beast: General Pepper is infected with the Aparoid infection, and has to be fought in a boss battle. The whole time, he tells Fox and crew to just finish him off, ending with "never thought I'd be fighting all of you" before the process takes him over completely.
  • Respawning Enemies: The game handwaves it with generators that will teleport in enemy reinforcements, and actually makes a point about airborne enemy presence being possibly overwhelming for your teammates due to this, so if you take too long, you'll have to take to the skies and shoot down baddies for a while. Unfortunately, a large number of generators can only be reached by foot or tank.
  • Retcon: Dinosaur Planet is called Sauria in the game. Curiously, this is what the planet was named in the original Dinosaur Planet before it became Star Fox Adventures.
  • Rocket-Tag Gameplay: There are several multi-player game modes that result in this, such as Rocket Launcher fights and Sure Shot Scuffle which renders every shot a one-hit kill. Then there's Sniper Showdown, which limits weapons to only Sniper Rifles but gives them infinite ammo. Sniper Rifles are also probably the most powerful weapon, one-shotting anyone unless you have a low Pilot Skill and your opponent has high health (i.e. Krystal Vs. Wolf) but even then it's still just one more shot. And unlike most shooters, you don't need a headshot, as long as the bullet hits, bye bye goes the healthbar.
  • Saved for the Sequel: During the final mission, the Star Wolf team draw off the enemy ships pursuing the Star Fox team, allowing them to reach the game's Final Boss, and are not seen again, leaving it unclear whether they survived (although Fox implies in the ending that they did survive). There has been another game released in the series since then and all three members of Star Wolf did appear, confirming that they did survive, though there is ongoing debate among the fandom over whether that game is canon or not.
  • Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: The game's cover shows Fox aiming at the camera that is following him.
  • Secret Character: The Multiplayer mode lets you play as the core Star Fox team, but Peppy and Wolf O' Donnell can be unlocked. The latter has the same total stats as Fox, but has three maxed out skills (a maxed out speed in particular that lets him run around all the other characters).
  • Shape Shifter Guilt Trip: The Final Boss tries to pull this, although only with voices from the various people that died (or are presumed dead) during the storyline, including Fox's father James. Which is the clincher, since Fox knows that "my father would never tell me to give up!"
  • Shout-Out:
    • The aparoids, in a last-ditch effort to prevent the completion of the aparoid self-destruct program, has various missiles that are both sent via hyperspace wormhole and implied to be powerful enough to destroy a planet should they target it (especially the largest segmented one), similar to the particle disintegrator warheads fired by the Galaxy Gun in Dark Empire.
    • Resistance is useless. = Resistance is futile.
  • Shown Their Work: The term "Apoptosis" is an actual biology term referring to programmed cellular self-destruction, and the definition Slippy gave is the actual definition of Apoptosis.
  • Shows Damage: Like Star Fox 64, this game shows this kind of damage when the Arwing is low on shield, in this case by way of violet particle trails. The lower the shielding, the more frequent it becomes.
  • Single-Biome Planet: As usual, most planets in Lylat system except Sauria lore-wise (even then, unlike in Adventures, only a specific region of it is visited this time, serving as a Green Hill Zone level combined with Temple of Doom). Of special note is Fortuna, which returns from the original SNES game and is very Earth-like, complete with plant-filled plains and expanses of water.
  • Sinister Geometry: The structures on the Aparoid homeworld are symmetrical. The Aparoids are bent on assimilation.
  • Sitting on the Roof: Fox does this during the cutscene at the end of the Fichina level.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Fichina, like in previous games. The dense snowfall and fog make visibility difficult.
  • Sniper Rifle: The Sniper Rifle is lethal regardless of where you hit. It's only limited by coming with low amounts of ammo and requiring you to be zoomed in.
  • Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome: Wolf is no longer the same age as Fox (as he was in 64), but is now six years older than Fox.
  • Something Else Also Rises: During Mission 6's briefing, when Krystal points out to Fox they're finally going on a ground mission together, the player can very briefly spot Fox's tail wagging up once.
  • The Stinger: After the credits, Star Fox successfully escapes the Aparoid Homeworld and they soon discover that Peppy and ROB 64 have survived the destruction of the Great Fox.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Remember the ThornTails that Fox worked so hard to save numerous times in Adventures? When we first see them in this game, they have been killed by the aparoids.
  • Super-Persistent Missile: Predator Rockets. These are one of the few, if not the only, weapon that will hunt down Arwings and Wolfens even if the target does a loop.
  • Talking in Your Sleep: Pigma is disturbed to find that he's talking in his sleep. considering that it's because he's being assimilated by the Aparoids, it's for good reason.
  • Technicolor Death: The Aparoid Queen falls into the core of the Aparoid Homeworld and is vaporized in a flash of blue light, letting out a horrifying synthetic screech as it bursts apart.
  • Teleportation Misfire: The first time Fox calls for a Landmaster to be teleported to him it materializes in the middle of a swarm of Aparoids, prompting him to comment that the targeting system is as "sterling as ever."
  • The Battle Didn't Count: You very clearly defeat Star Wolf by shooting down their ships, causing them to explode, but they are perfectly fine in the immediately following cutscene.
  • Time Skip: The game takes place one year after the events of Star Fox Adventures.
  • Tragic Monster: General Pepper, who begs for you to kill him during the entire fight as his body and ship are controlled by the aparoids.
  • Transforming Mecha:
    • Oikonny's flagship transforms into a giant floating mechanical monkey head with two floating hands, in homage to his uncle.
    Falco: "What's this? Some Andross wannabe?"
    Oikonny: "Watch your mouth! I'll show you!"
    • General Pepper's Ace Custom flagship can change its form, with its battle form using its wings as melee weapons.
  • Ultimate Life Form: Aparoids consider themselves the "ultimate existence".
  • Vestigial Empire: Andross's remnant forces, now led by Andrew Oikonny.
  • Villainous Rescue: In the Corneria level, Fox is about to get into his Arwing and rejoin his teammates in the skies above after destroying several radar jammers. Suddenly, the ship is destroyed and he's surrounded by Aparoids, only to be saved by none other than Wolf O'Donnell and the rest of Team Star Wolf. Wolf says that he's only helping Fox because he plans to kill him later, though Panther and Leon seem to think otherwise.
  • The Virus: The aparoids can infect and eventually take over both machines and organic life forms.
  • War Comes Home: Played straight with a level called "War Comes Home" in which the Aparoid Army launches a devastating attack on Corneria, the home planet of Fox and other pilots on his team. By the time he gets there, the battle is lost and the Aparoids are running cleanup on the cities below. Fox has to fight his hardest to drive them off with minimal support. Ironically, this occurs just after a mission Fox takes to defend Sauria, the homeworld of his teammate and love interest, Krystal.
  • Weather-Control Machine: Inverted in the fourth mission, where the machine keeps the frequent blizzards on Fichina in check, and needs to be repaired before the planet becomes completely uninhabitable again.
  • Wham Line:
    • At Katina, Fox is preparing to obtain the core memory when he notices something off.
      Fox: Hey... it looks like that distress signal's no longer transmitting.
      Peppy: Hmm... that doesn't sound good.
      [Pigma shows up]
    • Peppy gets a big one when the group is repelling the aparoid invasion in Corneria.
      ROB 64: Unknown vessel approaching at high speed.
      Fox: Another enemy?
      Peppy: Hold it... That silhouette... Is that the general's flagship?!
    • Another one from Peppy, this time at the Aparoid Homeworld. "Out of the way, everybody!"
  • Wham Shot: Oikonny gets taken down by a beam out of nowhere, establishing the aparoids as the main villains.
  • Wintry Auroral Sky: When Fichina's planetary wheather is stabilized once again during the fourth mission, the snowfall ends and the night sky clears up, revealing a beautiful green auroral belt. Unfortunately, Fox won't get to enjoy it, as by that point the Aparoids begin to counterattack and he has to retaliate from Falco's Arwing (and later from his).