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Video Game / Star Fox Command

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Star Fox Command is the direct sequel to Star Fox: Assault, published on Nintendo DS in 2006. It was the last non-Video Game Remake title in the series to be released.
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At the end of the Lylat Wars, the planet Venom was put under strict quarantine. In the years since then, no one has set foot on it. Suddenly, a new military threat known as the Anglars - alien creatures native to the toxic seas on Venom - charged out of the planet's atmosphere, utterly devastating everything in their path and quickly subjugating the entire Lylat system.

After the events of Star Fox: Assault, Star Fox had disbanded. Each member was living a new life, and bringing them back together would be difficult. In addition, Fox had become concerned for Krystal's life, and decided to kick her off of Star Fox for her own protection. She took this very badly, and decided to join Star Wolf and begin a relationship with Panther to make Fox jealous for kicking her out.

Unlike the other games in the series, this game has Multiple Endings that are earned by following different possible story paths.

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Tropes featured:

  • Action Girl: By the end of one route, your team consists of Krystal, Katt Monroe, Lucy Hare, and Amanda, who get to defend planet Corneria. It leads to a big feast prepared for the guys while they're off on Venom.
  • Airborne Aircraft Carrier: The bases may count, though they are mostly stationary.
  • Amazon Brigade: One ending of the story results in a playable team consisting of Krystal, Katt, Lucy, and Amanda protecting their home while the guys are all attacking the enemy homeworld. Oddly for the usual approach to Multiple Endings, this squadron never becomes an official, separate squadron.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: Averted: all character graphics in the briefing scenes can appear from their left or their right side, but have two separate graphics for each side — not only do asymmetrical features always appear on the proper side, but the cell shading always appears to come from the same lighting angle even for characters that would otherwise appear symmetrical.
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  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: In some paths, the story shifts focus from one pilot to another, usually in a way that has some relevance to the plot. The only problem is that the game doesn't bother to explain why ROB and the Great Fox are suddenly commanded by someone else.
  • Anti-Rage Quitting: The now-defunct Nintendo WFC mode would show, in addition to your matches played, matches won, etc., a "Dropouts" counter, which increased every time you disconnected from a match (which caused the entire match to end for all players, by the way) for any reason.
  • Babies Ever After: Certain endings show the offspring of the team. Slippy and Amanda end up having at least six children (all unnamed) in Ending 7, while in Ending 2, Slippy's son ends up joining a possible future team composed of Fox and Krystal's son Marcus (the leader of said team), Peppy's granddaughter (presumably Lucy's daughter, father unknown), and elderly Falco.
  • Balance, Power, Skill, Gimmick: Fox is balanced with single lasers, single lock, and a medium boost meter, but may become the gimmick in story mode because he can upgrade either his lock or lasers depending on your route. Falco is a Fragile Speedster, having a huge boost meter and multi-lock but low HP; Slippy is a Mighty Glacier, having a lot of HP and Plasma Lasers, but no lock at all and a very short boost meter. Krystal is balanced like Fox, but with has twin lasers by default and no potential for upgrades.
  • Big Bad: The Anglar Emperor.
  • Big Damn Heroes: "Lucy and Krystal" sees Lucy almost have to fight alone against returning Anglar forces until Krystal, Katt, and Amanda show up to help.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Most of Command's endings fall here; Endings 1 and 5 are the only endings that seem truly happy, and even then, 1 hints at Dash's Start of Darkness and 5 involves some reflection on Peppy's dead wife. Every other ending involves at least one teammate being separated from the team (whether by choice or fate), except for ending 6, which more explicitly shows Dash going evil. The most depressing would probably be Ending 4, which shows Krystal becoming a pariah despite helping to save the universe and being rejected/shunned everywhere, until she becomes a lonely Bounty Hunter whom not even Fox recognizes when they cross paths years later. The accompanying ending melody aids the TearJerker feeling of these endings.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: In the Venom stages, some of the bases will only have one enemy ship piloted by an Anglar general: it functions as a mini-boss. There is no warning beforehand that this will happen, and the bases have no indication that they're inhabited by these mini-bosses, even in hindsight.
  • Boss-Only Level: As said above, some bases in the Venom stages have a mini-boss as the only enemy at all.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: At the start of the game, team Star Fox consists of only Fox and ROB 64. As the game progresses more characters join up, (and in some scenarios Fox is no longer part of the group,) but because of the Choose Your Own Adventure mission progression, which characters join your group varies from one playthrough to the next.
  • Call-Back: While Fox uses an updated version of the traditional Arwing design and the other active members of Star Fox have acquired their own individualized Arwing designs, in routes where Peppy joins the fight, he is still using the Arwing design that appeared in Star Fox Assault.
  • Choose Your Own Adventure: Between missions the player is given choices about what to do next, and the choices made affect the characters that join the group and the direction the plot moves, eventually leading to one of ten different endings.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The Lylat system should look familiar to anyone who's played Star Fox 64, as that is where the locations come from, though a few are missing from 64. (With Bolse and Area 6, their absence is explained by the fact that they were artificial structures made to protect Andross's base, which was destroyed.)
    • Both stages with a Star Wolf boss battle take place on Fichina, the same planet where they can make their earliest appearance in 64.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Several of Command's branches follow characters other than Fox. Characters that benefit include Falco, Slippy, the whole of Star Wolf, and newcomer Lucy.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: So, Fox kicked Krystal off the team because he feared for her safety? Krystal's response to this was to join Star Wolf and elaborate a plan that would destroy Fox's heart, his career, and set him up to die fighting against Pigma. Even Wolf felt sorry for him after going through with it.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: If you fight the Monarch Dodora as Dash, "the ghost of Andross" will demand the boss stop fighting his grandson. Should Dash beat it, Andross expresses pride at his skill.
  • Fog of War: You can scribble a bit of it away with the stylus, but it grows back in after the end of a turn.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Because the need to protect The Great Fox from missiles is a core part of the Turn-Based Strategy gameplay, it is present in all branches of the story, even when this doesn't make sense or would require it to be in two places at once. All story segments between levels take place onboard the Great Fox, and ROB 64 is always present and participant in these scenes.
  • GPS Evidence: In Command, ROB is able to pinpoint Venom as the origin point of the Anglar army... because their ships are made out of a noncorroding metal, which means they can function in Venom's caustic seas. Kind of a leap of logic.
    • Unless you notice that, in the opening blurb, the Anglar Emperor had already declared that he and his army were from the Venom sea. Fox must not be able to get cable news aboard the Great Fox.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: One of the first branches is simply "I wonder what Falco is up to?", which immediately shifts over to Falco's point of view, and continues in a linear path as Falco has his own set of adventures, leading him to a battle with Pigma. Unfortunately, this doesn't intersect with the main plot at all, which causes him much grief when he realizes he missed out on all the fun and glory.
  • Happily Married: Fox and Krystal are this in one of the endings, and have one child. Slippy and Amanda end up like this in most of the endings, and have a whole lotta children. From what little we are told about Vivian - Peppy's deceased wife - suggests that they also fit the trope when she was alive.
  • Hero of Another Story: In a few endings, the player's fighters don't take down the Anglars themselves; instead, Star Wolf and/or the Star Fox members you don't follow do it.
    • Speaking of Star Wolf, the route leading to ending 3 has Krystal reveal that they managed to destroy the Anglar headquarters on Venom (although the Emperor survived and acts as the Final Boss).
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Fox's concern over Krystal's safety is what causes him to kick her off Star Fox prior to the events of the game. She doesn't take it well.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Fox's Arwing is well balanced across speed, shields, and firepower.
  • Legacy Character: The game actually features three generations of the McCloud family in one. Fox is, of course, the main character, but James also makes a brief appearance, and one of the endings features Marcus, the son of Fox and Krystal, leading a future Star Fox team. Said team is also made up of Slippy's son (one of many children according to another ending) and Peppy's granddaughter, with Falco seemingly taking the same role that Peppy used to as team mentor.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Solar, which had previously been implied to be a star, appears now as a lava planet with some landmass.
  • Mana Meter: Once again there is a "boost meter" which slowly regenerates over time. This time it's not only used for braking and speed-boosting, but is also consumed by the laser-deflecting barrel roll.
  • Multiple Endings: No less than nine.
    • 1 — Fox and Krystal — Fox and Krystal get back together, and Amanda joins the Star Fox team. Dash takes over Venom and begins the process of terraforming the planet.
    • 2 — Goodbye, Fox — With the Lylat system saved, Star Fox disbands and Fox retires to a quiet life with Krystal. Their son Marcus follows in Fox's footsteps and eventually forms a new Star Fox with Slippy's son, Peppy's granddaughter, and Falco Lombardi.
    • 3 — The Anglar Emperor — Krystal abandons Fox to rejoin Star Wolf and be with Panther. This is the ending the player is forced to reach on their first playthrough.
    • 4 — Star Wolf Returns — Star Wolf saves the Lylat system and are hailed as heroes. However, Krystal becomes a pariah due to her abandonment of Star Fox and flees to another galaxy, where she changes her name to Kursed and becomes a bounty hunter. When she encounters Fox again, he doesn't recognize her.
    • 5 — Lucy and Krystal — The ladies save Lylat. Peppy and Lucy bond over memories of Lucy's mother, and Krystal confesses her love to Fox and rejoins Star Fox.
    • 6 — Dash Makes a Choice — Dash forges a new empire on Venom. Several years later, he succumbs to corruption and declares war on Corneria like his grandfather before him.
    • 7 — Slippy's Resolve — Slippy retires to Aquas with Amanda and becomes a family man. He regales his children with tales of his days in Star Fox, and wonders if they are still fighting the good fight in his old age.
    • 8 — Pigma's Revenge — Falco, consumed by jealousy after Fox defeats the Anglar without him, forms a new mercenary squadron named Star Falco along with Katt and Dash.
    • 9 — The Curse of Pigma — Despondent after Star Wolf takes both Krystal and the love of the Lylat system from him, Fox takes up Falco's advice to become G-Zero racers. Their time as part of Star Fox eventually fades to a distant memory.
  • Old Soldier: Peppy is still quite capable of flying an Arwing despite his age.
  • Operation: Jealousy: Why Krystal joins up with Star Wolf and begins a relationship with Panther to get back at Fox for kicking her off Star Fox.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: The game starts with Star Fox more or less disbanded with Fox on his own and a good amount of the plot involves getting the band back together in different ways.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Lucy, Peppy's daughter, is introduced. You would think that she would have been mentioned in previous games...
    • Same with Dash Bowman. Aside from Andrew Oikonny, the previous games never implied that Andross had any other family, and certainly not children or grandchildren of his own.
  • Remixed Level: The first level changes whenever you visit the level again.
  • Reused Character Design: Octoman from F-Zero appears as a boss. The Octoman here has pretty much nothing in common with the original, being loud, delusional, and violent while his counterpart was shy, intelligent, and friendly. Even the name itself is a misnomer, as he has only half as many limbs, which is pointed out in one of the paths.
  • Secret Character: James.
  • Sequential Boss: In each of the Venom missions, the boss is the Arrow Head, the Anglar Emperor's ship—although unlike when its fought in the Asteroid Belt, the Emperor survives his ship's destruction and a fight against him personally ensues.
  • Speaking Simlish: And you can make your own!
  • Start of Darkness: The "Dash Makes A Choice" ending shows Dash make Venom a lush and prosperous world—to the point where, years later, he declares its supremacy over Corneria and a war soon follows.
  • Story Branching: After completing the game once and receiving a relatively mundane ending (The third ending), the game unlocks alternate story paths the player may select after completing each mission — these progress through different areas (with different party members), branching and interleaving to yield a total of nine distinct Multiple Endings.
  • Timed Mission: The game has a timer for combat in general (fuel) and a turn limit for each mission.
  • Turn-Based Strategy, Real Time Combat: Gameplay is divided into a "movement phase", where the player positions the fighters around the overworld for engaging enemies or refueling their ships, and a "combat phase", which plays like your standard all-range mode Star Fox mission. While this game is said to borrow the idea of a strategy element from Star Fox 2, the actual gameplay is utterly different in practice: Star Fox 2 has NO Fog of War, and also uses a Real-Time Strategy instead of any turn based system.
  • Underwater Ruins: Venom has these.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Which planet/area fulfills this role depends on which ending you're gunning for—though it's worth noting that each of the 4 missions that take place at Venom are ending missions.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Star Wolf, the very first boss the player will ever encounter (due to them being locked on that path for their first playthrough). It's a 3-against-1 fight that, unlike the first Star Wolf fight in 64, cannot be skipped.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Of the four Anglar generals, Zoldge is strangely not present for a rematch on Venom.
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