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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.
  • Armies Are Evil: Subverted. In the Corneria level, the aparoids have infected Cornerian soldiers, turning them bad.
  • Asteroid Thicket: Meteo. Unlike Star Fox 64, there's also a base to go with it.
  • 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
  • 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).
  • Advertisement:
  • Beehive Barrier: Stronger aparoids, shield generators, and the entrance to the aparoid homeworld's core all use this.
  • Big Bad: The Aparoid Queen.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Bug War: The war with the aparoids, who are insect/cyborg hybrids bent on galactic assimilation.
  • Call-Back: Oh, like you wouldn't believe.
    • 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?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Developers' 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.
  • Death as Comedy: The characters' deaths are shown as pretty comical:
    • Slippy goes down with a pirouette.
    • 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, Fox slowly raises his tail, also like a white flag for surrender.
  • Disney Death: In The Stinger, Peppy and ROB 64 escape the Great Fox's destruction via the escape pod.
  • Distress Call: Several missions begin with one.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Averted. There's only one level featuring dinosaurs, and they're all dead. Except for Tricky, who's all grown up and makes a short cameo appearance.
  • 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.
  • Fantastic Aesop: At the end of Assault, 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.
  • 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.
  • From Bad to Worse: The whole story. First, the aparoids appear 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. Whew. Things are righted after the final final boss battle, but seriously; how bleak can things get?
    • Not to mention the aparoids appear once Andross and presumably all his minions except Oikonny are dead, and Star Fox is fighting Oikonny. Basically, 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, and then the aparoids become the main threat to the Lylat system, but a much bigger threat than even Andross was.
  • Fungus Humongous: The main form of life on the portion of Katina visited in this game (its previous appearance involved a battle on a more arid part of the planet).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Queen: The Aparoid Queen, who controls all other aparoids.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • Laughing Mad: Pigma Dengar.
  • Leather Man: Wolf, so much this time around.
  • 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.
  • Mind Rape: The aparoid queen tries this on Star Fox.
  • 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 the unreleased Star Fox 2.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • "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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Secret Character: Wolf and Peppy in Versus Mode.
  • Shape Shifter Guilt Trip: The final boss.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sitting on the Roof: Fox does this during the cutscene at the end of the Fichina level.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Time Skip: The game takes place one year after the events of Star Fox Adventures.
  • Ultimate Life Form: Aparoids consider themselves the "ultimate existence".
  • Vestigial Empire: Andross's remnant forces, now led by Andrew Oikonny.
  • 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 pretty much 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.
  • 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.