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Star Fox Zero is an installment in the Star Fox video game series, released for Wii U on April 22, 2016. For the first time since Star Fox 64, it is directly developed in-house at Nintendo EPD (formerly EAD), in partnership with PlatinumGames.

Stated to be a "re-imagining" of the franchise, Star Fox Zero largely takes the series back to its roots storyline-wise. The original Star Fox team of Fox McCloud, Slippy Toad, Falco Lombardi and Peppy Hare are all active pilots, and they are once again pitted against the forces of the mad scientist Andross. Introduced to the series are transforming vehicles,note  giving Arwings the ability to transform into Walkers while Landmasters can temporarily transform into Gravmasters.

Included with retail copies is the Spin-Off Star Fox Guard, a Tower Defense game starring a Mii using armed security cameras to defend the precious metals of a mining company owned by Slippy's uncle Grippy from raiding robots. If either game is purchased digitally, the other game has its price lowered if it's also bought digitally, resulting in a combined price that matches the retail version.

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A CG-Anime short titled Star Fox Zero – The Battle Begins was released on April 20th to promote the game. The short is animated by Production I.G and Wit Studio, and adapts the events of the first mission.


This game includes examples of:

  • Adapted Out: Katina, Aquas, Solar, and Macbeth are absent.
    • Character-wise, the guy running the tutorial from Star Fox 64 (3D) is nowhere to be seen, his role being taken over by Peppy and ROB.
  • Alternate Continuity: Zero is a reboot akin to Star Fox 64, but there are differences even compared with that entry. Most noticeably, the reason for Andross's banishment has been changed to a cover-up (instead of a bio-weapon experiment unleashed on Corneria's capital city as in Star Fox 64, he had performed dangerous teleportation experiments and gone mad with power, which is closer to the original game), Venom exists in Andross's banished dimension and might not actually be a natural planet), Arwings, Landmasters and Wolfens all have Transforming Mecha capabilities, and The Battle Begins also reveals that Sauria is already known to the team, rather than them discovering it eight years down the line.
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  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: The hidden Salvadora boss fight has you playing as Peppy, in a solo mission.
  • Artistic License – Engineering: The series uses a unit of measurement called "space meter (sm)" which originated from an exclusive set of cards for Nintendo Power subscribers at the time of 64 and seems to be equivalent to real-life meters (two official height measurements for Fox, 5'8" and 1.73 sm. Meaning that 1 sm is ~3.28 ft). With this in mind, the official measurements of the playable vehicles are implausibly big. For example, the Arwing has a height of 5.5 sm (~18 feet) and a length of 28 sm (91 feet). If the listed length is actually correct, then Fox is flying, what is effectively, a small house! However, if the length is incorrect due to including the swept-back wings in the measurement, then it's probably shorter which would be a more plausible explanation.
  • Art Shift: Once again, the main cast gets a new coat of art over them. This time, they look much less cartoony-looking and have more realistic fur in Fox's case, looking much like their puppet forms on the original game's box art.
  • Ascended Extra: Caiman, a minor character who only appeared in Area 6 in Star Fox 64. In this game, he has a larger role, acting as the commander of the enemy forces in at least two levels. He's even the pilot of the Aquarosa, a hidden boss located in Corneria. He's unnamed here, however.
  • Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: In "Star Fox Guard," the F.L.I. Unit, a Combat Class bot, is the fastest enemy in that category that can reach the core & requires a couple of shots to destroy it. But just the first shot's enough to have it turn around & stagger about until it explodes into scrap metal.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The game carries the series' tradition of making certain enemies, and most bosses, have a vulnerable glowing red spot that must be shot at several times.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Naturally for this series all of the bosses, excluding Star Wolf, are enormous even if they aren't a warship or fortress. By far the largest is the Mother Strider which so big the Landmaster can drive on top of it.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Fox McCloud and his team show up just in time to turn the tide of battle in several engagements with Andross's army.
    • Once again, James McCloud shows up during the finale to help out Fox.
  • Bonus Boss: Most of the secret levels have their own bosses and are generally Boss Only Levels. The secret bosses are the aquatic Aquarosa, a two-on-one fight with Pigma and Andrew near Sector α, the Cosmic Dodora in the Great Fox stage, the giant warship Salvadora fought by Peppy, and a duel between Fox and Wolf on Fichina.
  • Boss Subtitles: Much like the Star Fox instruction booklet and Star Fox 64 3D, every boss has this.
  • Bullet Time: If Fox and a Star Wolf pilot fly past each other extremely closely, the game slows down for dramatic effect.
    • This also happens when James flies past Fox to distract Andross as Fox makes his escape.
    • When Fox flies through a gap in Granby's shield, the game may enter bullet time.
  • Calling Your Attacks:
    • In his solo mission, Peppy will shout "Barrel Roll!" whenever you Do a Barrel Roll (but not in the Japanese version).
    • Star Wolf also does this when using their specials such as Wolf and his "Lightning Tornado."
  • The Cameo: During The Battle Begins short, Katt Monroe (or a lookalike) appears in one of the crowd shots of Cornerian citizens.
  • Camera Lock-On: In all-range mode, the game includes a Zelda-esque Target Mode that centers the camera on any important features on the map.
  • Composite Character:
    • Wolf has the personality and eyepatch of his Star Fox 64 incarnation, while his design and voice are heavily based on Star Fox: Assault and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Certain details from his appearance in 64 (and 64 3D) are retained, namely the bridge of his "hair" to his muzzle and an absence of a beard.
    • Andross is a floating head and hands like in 64, but his body is robotic and he spits tiles like in the SNES game.
  • Continuity Reboot: Zero is this. Nintendo hasn't said so outright, but they have said that it's not a sequel, prequel, or remake; and that it takes names and concepts from previous games but that they won't necessarily be exactly the same as before. Plus, Peppy is an active pilot again, Krystal is absent from the game, Pigma and Andrew are members of Star Wolf, and the enemy forces are united under Andross once more.
  • Cute Machines: Direct-i, a tethered scouting robot that is deployed from the new Gyrowing vehicle. He bears more than a passing resemblance to the classic R.O.B. accessory.
    • Most of the enemies in Star Fox Guard qualify as well. The A.T.K. Unit even looks almost exactly like Direct-i.
  • Dark Secret: According to the animated short, The Battle Begins, whatever Andross is using to teleport his forces around is this towards General Pepper and Peppy Hare, as Pepper secretly contacts Peppy and asks him not to tell the rest of Star Fox about it. It turns out that Andross originally developed it for peaceful purposes, but he went mad with power and decided to use it for his own sinister purposes.
  • Deflector Shields: The Granby has a new shield that it uses in response to the Wave Motion Gun on Pepper's flagship, preventing the weapon from having any effect. However, the Granby cannot fire through its own shield, so it must open small holes in the shield to fire its lasers through. The player has to slip inside these holes and disable the shield before the ship can be destroyed.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • After you disable the Granby's shield in Sector β, the Cornerian fleet will initiate a countdown to fire on the ship, giving you some time to escape before you go down with it (resulting in a Non-Standard Game Over). However, if you escape from the Granby before the countdown even starts (both getting out of the interior and away from the ship itself), General Pepper will tell the fleet to skip it and fire immediately.
    • The boss of Sector Ω can be taken out either the traditional way or by shooting the parts of the turrets that connect it to the ship in its first phase. Doing so the new way awards more points.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: For reasons explained at the beginning of Andre Segers's review, the motion controls take a lot of getting used to. That said, the motion controls give mouse-like precision, the ability to shoot places other than in front of you, as well as other perks.
  • Do a Barrel Roll: It's a Star Fox game, so this is a given. Both the Arwing and Landmaster are capable of performing a roll in both of their forms. Taken Up to Eleven in this secret mission, where you control Peppy (and he yells Barrel Roll every time you...well...Do a Barrel Roll).
  • Dual Boss: The "Meddlesome Mercs" mission, where Fox has to fight both Pigma and Andrew.
  • Duel Boss: The "Lone Wolf" mission is a one-on-one dogfight between Fox and Wolf.
  • Episode 0: The Beginning: Being a reboot and all.
  • The Exile: As per usual, Andross was exiled for his crimes except this time, he was banished to another dimension rather than another planet.
  • Fantastic Racism: While the topic of "racism" (or specism, technically speaking) was normally used for jest, parody or comedy in previous continuities, this is definitely not the case here, especially during the final battle with Andross, when he calls out Fox for working under the orders of General Pepper and the Cornerians, since they are dogs. The Japanese and European Spanish dubs raises this angle Up to Eleven.
    • And after defeating Wolf at Venom, he expresses disbelief at suffering defeat at the hands of a fox, albeit only in the English version. In the Japanese version, he only points out he was defeated in plain words.
    • On the topic of jest, during the Monarch Dodora battle, Slippy begs Falco to try and negotiate with the bio-weapon based on their physical appearances.
  • Fat, Sweaty Southerner in a White Suit: Slippy's uncle Grippy has this appearance and the accent, which fits as he's the head of a mining company. However, he's a benevolent character as far as we know.
  • Glass Cannon: Scanning a Falco amiibo or getting all medals unlocks a Black Arwing that can lock on to multiple targets, but receives even more damage than the other Arwing.
  • God Mode: There's an option to pilot an invincible Arwing. That doesn't mean the game is impossible to lose though, as there are other conditions to failure besides losing all your health, like time limits.
  • Internal Homage:
    • The intro cutscene is done in a similar style to the intro of Star Fox 64, with voiceover and still images. Some of said still images are downright remade from 64's, though the narrator this time is Fox himself.
    • In The Battle Begins, Falco is seen playing the Corneria stage from the original Star Fox. The Game Over screen even references the game's competition edition, with Slippy as the Game-Over Man.
  • The Juggernaut: The Gigarilla. When the player is introduced to their goal is reactivate it and use it against Andross' forces, and once activated they can't damage it and it can destroy them just by walking into them. When fought as a boss later it isn't actually destroyed like other bosses by shooting its weakspot, it only gives the player an opening to cut its power.
  • Just One Man: The Salvadora's commander gives this reaction upon seeing a single ship flying at the dreadnought to attack it. Given that the one ship is an Arwing piloted by Peppy Hare, no guesses how this turns out.
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: Averted by Cosmic Dodora. With the Great Fox's assistance, the battle ends up being much easier than the Monarch Dodora fight.
  • Legacy Boss Battle: The iconic Attack Carrier from the original Star Fox as well as 64 appears once again as a boss fight in Sector Ω. Only this time, it's an all-range fight instead of an on-rails battle. It even has an orchestration of "Boss B" from 64 playing as its theme!
    • Monarch Dodora, the boss from Fortuna in the SNES title as well as a possible Titania encounter in Command, is redesigned and fought again in Fortuna. Like the Attack Carrier, it is also engaged in all-range mode. It even has a space-flying counterpart called Cosmic Dodora.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The Gigarilla when the player fights it proves deceptively fast despite its size and its earlier appearance where it was a lumbering giant.
  • Limit Break: In their "secret" boss fights, each of the Star Wolf pilots (except for Leon, who doesn't have a hidden fight) has a unique attack they use when a portion of their health is depleted:
    • Wolf's Lightning Tornado: Wolf's ship electrifies itself and he charges at opponents several times.
    • Pigma's Pigma Bomb: Pigma fires a cluster of bombs that home in on enemies.
    • Andrew's Plasma Shield: Andrew fires twin mines that will trap enemies in a net of electricity.
  • Meaningful Name: In the same vein as Area 6 from Star Fox 64, Star Fox Zero introduces Area 3 which, if visited during an Arcade Mode playthrough, will always be the third stage (and is the mandatory third stage during your first time playing the main game).
  • Mirror Boss: As usual, the Wolfen used by Star Wolf has similar abilities to the Arwing, even gaining a wolf-like "Hunter" mode, although they also have some attacks exclusive to them.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The Battle Begins short includes;
      • Slippy mentions a mission the team had on Sauria prior to the events depicted.
      • Peppy's crankier personality and constantly reprimanding his younger cohorts recalls how his character was depicted in Farewell, Beloved Falco. Additionally, the manga also depicted the team competitively playing a version of the original game in their downtime, as Falco does here.
      • Although Krystal herself does not appear in the game, in one of the crowd shots of Corneria, a blue-furred vixen, with a different appearance, yet wearing similar golden jewellery is shown in a red jacket and talking on a phone (she could possibly be another Cerinian).
      • The multi-legged mecha that Andross uses to attack Corneria, and specifically General Pepper's command tower, bare a slight resemblance to aparoids.
    • If the E3 demo is of any indication, some of the dialogue will be lifted straight from Star Fox 64 wholesale.
    • The Black Arwing can lock on to multiple targets, but takes more damage than usual. This is similar to Falco's ship in Star Fox Command, which could also lock on to multiple targets, but had little health. The color scheme is also reminiscent of Fara's Arwing from the Nintendo Power comic.
    • Katt now wears an earring on her left ear similar to the one worn by Miyu, a fellow feline from Star Fox 2.
    • As in Star Fox 64, after the credits is Fox's invoice for services rendered. This time around, Fox is charging ten times as much; 640 per kill.
    • The "Good Luck" voice clip is from Star Fox 64.
    • Sector Ω has the appearance of a Black Hole and is described as a ‘Space Graveyard’ - The Awesome Black Hole was described in the exact same way by General Pepper in the original game.
    • The Mother Strider boss fight in Fichina plays out very similarly to Katina's aparoid ship boss fight in Star Fox: Assault, even using the Landmaster to get on top.
    • Wolf's one-on-one rematch takes place on Fichina, complete with a time limit like in 64. The way to get to this stage is by investigating Star Wolf activity on Fortuna, which is the name Fichina was incorrectly given in the original 64 translation.
    • The final scene with the Star Fox team Riding into the Sunset is nearly identical to the scene in Star Fox 64, except that the scene with the team running on the ground alongside the Great Fox has them piloting their Arwings as Walkers before transforming and flying away.
    • The Androsa is piloted by Granga, the pilot of the mech boss in the normal route of Star Fox 64's Corneria stage. If the ship is destroyed successfully, his Last Words are once again "My emperor! I have failed you!".
  • Non-Standard Game Over: Some missions, especially those with a time limit, have failing conditions which can force you to restart the level:
    • In Sector β, the Granby ship is somewhat like a Load-Bearing Boss. If you don't leave the ship before General Pepper fires his cannon, you'll be blown to bits along with it.
    • In Sector γ, there are three Copperhead Missiles which need to be shot down before they reach a portal. If one of the missiles reaches the portal, ROB will sacrifice the Great Fox to stop it, forcing you to restart the level.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: Just like in Star Fox 64, the team takes a trip to Titania to save a teammate. Except this time, it's Peppy who needs saving, not Slippy.
  • Nostalgia Level: Some parts of Corneria are very similar in appearance to its Star Fox 64 incarnation. And a certain recurring boss returns again, bringing the boss theme from 64 with it.
    • Sector Beta is Star Fox 64 Nostalgia: The Level. We've got Bill, Katt, Venomian fleet vs Cornerian fleet a la Sector Y, the pilots of the Meteo Crusher and the Sarumarine as Venomian warship commanders, the Area 6 Commander captaining the Granby, and the first dogfight with Star Wolf.
  • Power Copying:
    • The Gyrowing is used once, and afterwards, the Direct-i's ability to hack computers is added to the Walker, rendering it obsolete.
    • In Fichina, the Landmaster gains the ability to transform and fly, much like the flying tank enemies in the level.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: After defeating Corneria's hidden boss:
    Caiman (Aquarosa Pilot): You beat us again?! I'm never gonna live this down...
    Fox: You got that right.
    [Aquarosa explodes]
  • Psycho Rangers: Much like the original Star Fox team, the original Star Wolf team of Wolf, Leon, Pigma, and Andrew returns as bosses. Here, you can fight them either separately or all together.
  • Ramming Always Works: The Wolfen has a new move where it glows red and tries to charge into the player at high speed repeatedly. Wolf calls this Lightning Tornado.
  • Recurring Riff: Part of the Main Theme from the original Star Fox (not to be confused with the series' theme used in Star Fox 64 onwards) can be heard mixed in several tracks, such as various stages and the level select screen.
  • Redemption Demotion: While the Gigarilla is powerful when it's on the player's side when it's back under Andross's control it's much more dangerous. When an ally, it's a lumbering giant that only swats enemies and crushes enemies but when it's a boss it shows abilities it didn't use when it was an ally. It can actually run fast and is far more mobile than its size would indicate, has rapid firing energy weapons in its hands and chest, and fires a barrage of heat seeking missiles from its back.
    • Something worth noting about the Gigarilla: it originally belonged to Andross's forces before Pepper managed to capture it. As Pepper mentions reprogramming the Gigarilla, hence the need for the Gyrowing, it's very likely that the Cornerian forces didn't have enough time to figure out what else it could do before the enemy came to reclaim it. That, or Andross had his forces outfit the Gigarilla with new weaponry and functionality in the interim.
  • Ret-Canon:
    • The members of Star Fox all have green-colored lenses added to their designs, which was first present in Fox and Falco's designs in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
    • Fox and Falco both have Reflectors on their belts, another part of their design that was introduced in Brawl.
  • Retraux: Scanning a Fox amiibo or getting all medals provides the Retro Arwing, which look and sounds like the ones from the original Star Fox on the SNES. Corneria's track is also replaced with its original one, and the Walker mode even changes into the design from Star Fox 2.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Is James McCloud truly dead or did he somehow survive his battle with Andross prior to the game's events? James McCloud's appearance in Venom, particularly during the last segment of the final battle with Andross seem to offer evidence that points in both directions. While it was likely an apparition crafted by Venom's Corridor of Illusion, Andross' final words seem to imply that James is still alive in some form.
    Andross: Curse you, James McCloud! Why won't you stay dead?
  • Ring World Planet: Area 3 is a "Stanford Torus" space colony.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: In the anime short, communication screens list Peppy Hare's name as "Peppy Hair", though it may just be a Visual Pun at the fact that he legitimately had Pepper's hair on him.
  • Running Gag: Caiman constantly in disbelief over the fact that Star Fox can take on Andross' forces no matter where they are.
  • Sandworm: The boss of Titania is the Scrapworm, a giant mechanical worm that lives in the vast sandy desert of the planet.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Wolfen's Hunter form takes inspiration from Zoids, of all things.
    • In the promotional animation, the travel magazine Slippy reads lists four of the planets from Milky Way Wishes in Kirby Super Star on the cover.
  • Shoot 'em Up: It's an "into-the-screen" shooter like many Star Fox games, though it occasionally switches to more "cinematic" viewpoints.
  • So Proud of You: When Fox decides to take one last charged shot at Andross, James McCloud gives Fox these parting words:
    James McCloud: You've become so strong, Fox.
  • Teleportation: The game has teleporters in the form of large holes in the sky that are used by Andross to transport his army. They can also be used by Fox to access alternate paths.
  • Tempting Fate: In The Battle Begins, Slippy boasts about how Corneria's defenses are so impenetrable that not even Andross would dare attack. Cue big-ass red ALERT screen.
  • That's No Moon!: In Zero, Venom is actually a Baby Planet-sized teleportation device, though it is unclear if Andross built it from the ground up or if he mechanized the planet beyond recognition, or if it was even originally part of the Lylat system or transported to it from an alternate dimension.
  • Time-Limit Boss: Some of the bosses on the alternate paths must be defeated within a time limit. It can trigger a Mission Failed or a life loss if you let the timer run out.
  • Timed Mission: Some of the missions on the alternate paths must be cleared within a limited time.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • The Attack Carrier. In the first two games, it was pathetically easy to take down and had virtually no way to harm Fox for a majority of the battle. In Zero, it's one of the last bosses and a very real threat for those who are not prepared.
    • Slippy, of all characters. He can bring up a boss's health meter almost instantly, he actively pursues his own enemies and manages to hold his own without getting into trouble in the process (usually), and most importantly, he's not responsible for the infamous Leeroy Jenkins moment from Star Fox 64, which is largely what led to him being The Load to begin with. Taken further in The Battle Begins where he comes up with a surprisingly clever plan to protect General Pepper from Andross' Strider Drones by infusing his missiles with Pepper's DNA, courtesy of Peppy's good luck charm, which had Pepper's fur.
    • Peppy usually requires as much assistance as the rest of the team. One secret mission has him soloing an entire fleet.
    • Caiman. Beginning in Star Fox 64 as a simple mook among many in the Venomian Fleet at Area 6, not only is he now a recurring foe, he even gets his own secret boss fight piloting the Aquarossa, one of the HARDEST bosses in the game. Not bad for a memetic mook.
  • Taking You with Me: As in Star Fox 64, Andross takes one last shot at killing Fox after being defeated. James McCloud swoops in with other ideas.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Falco is a lot less abrasive in the game compared to Star Fox 64. His wit is still going strong, though.
  • Transforming Mecha:
    • Originating from the formerly unreleased Star Fox 2, the Arwing can turn into a Walker. The Landmaster can also turn into the jet-powered Gravmaster.
    • As a counterpart to the Arwing's Walker mode, Star Wolf's Wolfen can transform into a ground-based mode, too. Theirs is wolf-shaped mecha called the Hunter.
  • Translation Convention: Averted regarding English: Unlike other continuities, when its heavily implied they are speaking in an alien language all the time, in this continuity it's implied, taking into account all the on-screen text in the The Battle Begins animated short, the language spoken in-universe is English, albeit's it's still played straight in Japanese and other languages.
  • Warm-Up Boss: The boss of Corneria is this in typical fashion.
    • Averted if you take the alternate route, and take on Aquarosa. It will take you apart unless you learn how to time your assault to avoid the pulse of its electromagnetic dome shield, AND dodge its Wave Motion Guns.
  • Wave Motion Gun: Carried by several of Andross' larger ships. Pepper's flagship has one large enough to destroy ships of similar size in Andross' fleet with a single shot, even the Granby.
  • Wham Line: A couple.
    • In Sector Ω, Slippy has this to say about the sudden warp zone swallowing up Venom:
    • Upon re-visiting Corneria, you're stopped from following General Pepper by one of Andross' weapons:
      Andross: Ah, ah, ah!
    • One of Andross' last lines confirms that this game's version of James is not a hallucination:
      Andross: Curse you, James McCloud! Why won't you stay dead?

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