Star Fox 64 is an on-rails shooting game that was released on April 27, 1997, in Japan; July 1, 1997, for America; and then on October 20, 1997, in Europe and Australia for the Nintendo 64, although due to legal issues, it was named Lylat Wars to match the name of the star system in which they traverse. It was also later released onto the Wii's Virtual Console. This was the first Nintendo 64 game to support the Rumble Pak peripheral which came bundled with each copy of the game.
Following the events of the original Star Fox for the SNES, the story begins before the plot of the game. Years before, strange activity is spotted on the planet Venom, where the mad scientist Andross had been exiled. The original Star Fox, made up of James McCloud, Peppy Hare, and Pigma Dengar, is sent to investigate. However, once they arrived, Pigma betrays the team and allows James and Peppy to be captured by Andross. Peppy manages to barely escape by himself and returns to Corneria, the governing planet of the Lylat system, to tell James's son Fox his father's fate. Years later, Andross unleashes an attack across the Lylat system prompting Corneria to send the new Star Fox team, made up of Fox McCloud, Falco Lombardi, original member Peppy Hare, and Slippy Toad, to repel and investigate the attacks.
Along the way to Venom, the team will face their rivals, Star Wolf, which at the time consisted of Wolf O'Donnell, Leon Powalski, Pigma Dengar, and Andrew Oikonny, and must defeat them at least once. After completing six stages, Star Fox can now go to Venom and strike back at Andross. Depending on the route taken to Venom, the battle against Andross will vary. If the previous stage was Bolse (Easy), a false robotic Andross serves as the final boss. However, after the credits, Andross is heard laughing, implying that he is still alive. However, if the team went through Area 6 (Hard), Andross will reveal his true form after a fight with his head and hands: a floating brain and two eyes. After defeating the brain, James McCloud (It is debated whether or not it is a ghost) leads his son out the the imploding base. Returning to Cornelia as heroes, Star Fox is offered membership into the Cornerian army but refuse, saying that they prefer "doing things our own way." After the credits roll, the Great Fox and Star Fox are shown flying off into the skies.
After the credits, there is a bill from Star Fox to General Pepper which shows the number of enemies killed in the campaign multiplied by 64 resulting in the money due. If the price is under $70,000 (1093 enemies or fewer) General Pepper remarks, "This is one steep bill....but it's worth it." If the price is over $70,000 (1094 enemies or more) the general yells in shock "Whaaat?"
In Star Fox 64 you play as Fox McCloud, leader of a group of mercenaries for hire named Star Fox. In most stages you pilot a ship called an Arwing, though in some stages you pilot a submarine called the Blue Marine or a tank called the Land Master. You move Fox McCloud's vehicle using the analog stick to maneuver around the screen and using the A button to shoot incoming enemies with lasers.
Throughout the game, various power ups are available to help you accomplish each level. Silver rings would increase your health by a small increment. Gold rings, on the other hand, boosted your max heal by a significant portion if you managed to collect 3 of them on one stage, and if you collected an additional 3 after that, you would gain 1 extra life. Silver stars are the most valuable recovery item, since it recovers your health much more quickly.
The Smart Bomb is another power up that is used to blow up numerous amounts of enemies in a single shot. These are used with the B button. Laser upgrades are also available that increase the power of your laser. However, once you've upgraded your laser twice, it is fully powered up and cannot be further upgraded.
The game features a variety of alternate paths and endings depending on your choices made during the course of the game. Depending on if you accomplished a certain task on a mission, you will be give n an option to take an alternate route to Venom. The game has 2 distinct endings, one where you enter Venom via the satellite Bolse, and the other where you enter Venom by attacking Area 6 directly.
Fox McCloud The game's protagonist and the leader of the Star Fox team. He is the son of the legendary Arwing pilot James McCloud.
Peppy Hare Long-time friend of James McCloud. He is, by far, the most experienced Arwing flier and will continually give advice to the player as the game goes on, such as the weak points of certain enemies. He is the only original member of the only original member of the Star Fox team to continue to serve on the team after the betrayal at Venom.
Slippy Toad A childhood companion of Fox McCloud and slightly inexperienced in flying. He is usually the one to ask question or to "mess up" in flights. During boss fights, Slippy can reveal how much health the enemy has remaining.
Falco Lombardi A cocky, space-loving friend. He is very jealous of Fox McCloud as seen many times in the story line, making sarcastic remarks and trying to look very important. In certain sections of the game, saving Falco from enemies can open up paths leading to harder levels.
Andross The main antagonist and the one who is responsible for James McCloud's death, who is now attempting to take over the Lylat system. He lives on the planet Venom and thinks that he should rule the entire system.
Wolf O'Donnell The leader of the Star Wolf team, and the main rival for Fox McCloud. The team flies in the Wolfen, a ship considered roughly equal to that of the Arwing. He will attempt to shoot down Fox when fighting with Star Fox.
Pigma Dengar A former member of the Star Fox team, who betrayed his team to Andross. He has since joined the Star Wolf. He will pursue Peppy Hare during an encounter with Star Wolf.
Leon Powalski A very sly, cold, and devious pilot that is part of the Star Wolf Team. During any encounter with Star Wolf, he will chase after Falco.
Andrew Oikonny The nephew of Andross and a member of the Star Wolf team. He stays on Slippy's tail during encounters with Star Wolf.
James McCloud Fox McCloud's father, and the original leader of the Star Fox team. Andross tortured him after Pigma's betrayal, and is assumed dead. He (or his spirit) helped Fox escape the collapsing ruins of Venom when Andross' true form was deafeated.
Katt Monroe She likes to flirt with Falco, and she has a crush on him. She is found on the planet Zoness, and will help you on Macbeth or Sector Z depending on what path is taken.
Bill Grey The cheif officer of the Bulldog and Husky Squadrons on Corneria. Fox met him in the Cornerian Flight Academy, and they have been friends ever since. You'll meet Bill on planet Katina, and will assist you on Solar or Sector X depening on which path is taken.
There are multiple vehicles used by fox and his team during the game and these include:
Great Fox The team's mother ship and staging area. The player never controls Great Fox, but each mission ends with the team returning to the ship.
Arwing The Arwing is the main vehicle of choice the characters pilot, with its upgradable lasers, Smart Bombs and Barrel Rolls. In Star Fox 64 it also has the ability to fire a homing shot by centering the trigger on a target and holding down A until the targeting reticule flashes red of the target. The plane also gains the ability to do a somersault and a full 180 degree corkscrew-turn when fighting in "All-Range Mode", which usually referred to boss fights.
Landmaster The Landmaster is a tank that debuts in Star Fox 64. Only used on the planets Macbeth and Titania, the Landmaster is a powerful land vehicle. Like the Arwing, it is able to do a barrel roll, fire smart bombs, and lock on to its targets. In addition, it can hover for a moment and boost.
Blue Marine The Blue Marine is a submarine that Star Fox has used only in Star Fox 64, and even then only on Aquas. The Blue Marine is unique among the other vehicles because it's B-Bomb equivalent, torpedoes, have unlimited ammunition. This is mainly because the sea floor is extremely dark and the torpedoes provide light for a few seconds after they explode. The blue marine has slight resemblance to Great Fox, although it is much smaller.
Corneria Corneria is the first level of the game and the direction in which you beat the level decides which path you take through the galaxy. This is not permanent path though, and any "Mission Completes" instead of "Mission Accomplished" will bump you down to a lower path vice versa. The first path ends with fighting a humanoid Robot (blue path) and the second option is unlocked by saving Falco, who then shows you a giant ship behind a waterfall, which sends you on the red path.
Blue Path (Easy)
Meteo The team flies through an asteroid field, fighting enemies along the way. The blue path can be continued by fighting a giant ship at the end of the level, or jump to the yellow path by flying through a series of boost rings, warping the team to Katina.
Fichina A base with a biomb in that Star Fox must defuse. The team must defeat Star Wolf within the time limit to succeed. Successfull defeating Star Wolf within the limit takes the team to Solar.
Sector X The player fights "Andross's Secret Weapon". If Slippy is killed by the boss, the player must deviate back to the blue path to save him. If Slippy survives, the team travels to Macbeth.
Titania Fox uses the Landmaster to take out enemies oh his way to save Slippy from a plant monster. There is no alternate path.
Bolse The final stage of the "easy" routes before Venom. The player must destroy the station by shooting the yellow outcroppings on the generator. If they haven't fought Star Wolf already, they will encounter them here.
Yellow Path (Medium)
Katina Players try to save the military base on Katina from the enemy army by killing their forces and then eventually by destroying their mother ship and preventing it from destroying the base. Fox meets his old friend Bill, now a member of the Cornerian Army, on this planet. The level is a homage to the film Independence Day. Failing to save the base bumps the player to Sector X.
Solar The star of the Lylat System; Solar is a ball of molten lava. Players slowly lose health throughout the level due to the heat and therefore must continually pick up power ups. Flying close to or touching the lave caused additional harm to the Arwing. The boss is a lava monster who is known as the "Enemy Bio Weapon". There is no alternative path.
Macbetth Macbeth is the hub Andross's war effort, and the player's goal is to destroy a train full of Andross's weapons. They can either do this by shooting 8 switches (and then one final activation switch) that will set the train on a collision course with a building. Doing this will move you to the red path's Area 6. If you miss the switches, you must fight the conductor's flying robot that is tethered to the train. Defeating the robot will jump you to the blue path's Bolse.
Red Path (Hard)
Sector Y Players are asked to help fight a battle. Throughout the level, they must fight three Gundam-like robots. Destroying over a hundred enemies will give the player access to Aquas, while destroying under a hundred bumps the player to Katina.
Aquas Fox heads underwater to destroy an enemy clam monster/bio weapon. This is the only level so far in the franchise where the Blue Marine is used. There is no alternate path.
Zoness Players must fight through the planet, which is covered with toxic liquid, in order to destroy a pirate-like boss (who shoots cannon balls) at the end of the level. Katt, an old friend of Falco's, helps them team on this mission. Touching the polluted sea will damage the Arwing. In order proceed to Secotr Z, the player must destroy all the searchlights. Failure to do so bumps the player to Macbeth.
Sector Z The team must defend Great Fox from six missiles while flying through Sector Z. If all the missiles are stopped, the player stay on the red path to Area 6. If one hits Great Fox, the Great Fox will be heavily damaged and you head to Bolse on the blue path.
Area 6 The player fight through three fleets, all of which are preparing to strike at the heart of the system, in order to get to Venom.
VenomRoute 1 (Blue Path)
The player must fight through a swarm of enemies and a temple boss before destroying Andross's face and hands. Once this is done, it is revealed that you are really fighting a robot and must destroy the robotic under-skeleton as well. Once this is done, the game is over, though it's heavily implied that Andross is still alive.
Route 2 (Red Path)
The player begins the stage at the end of Venom 1, and must fight an upgraded Star Wolf and their new ships without the aid of lock-on or B-Bombs. After this, they head through a maze without the assistance of their team in order to fight Andross and his true form; his brain. One his brain is destroyed, Andross tries to take the player down with him by bringing down the entire structure around them. At this point, Fox's father (it is debated whether he is a ghost or not) shows Fox the way out. After escaping, Fox's father disappears and the game is over.
On each stage, there is a high score that must be beaten in order to earn a medal for that specific course. If all of the medals were obtained, it would unlock a new expert difficulty mode to the main storyline. This mode is identical to the original game, except the difficulty has been increased significantly. If all of the medals were obtained in the expert mode of the game, a new title screen would be unlocked.
In addition, you can unlock different multiplayer options by obtaining medals. If you obtain the Venom medal in normal mode, you can unlock the ability to play as a Landmaster. Likewise, if you obtain the Venom medal in expert mode, you unlock the ability to play on foot in the multi-player mode.
Star Fox 64 contains a 4-player multi-player mode that feature all-range mode. Players have to eliminate other players in order to win. Unlike the main game, there is only one Smart Bomb and one Laser Upgrade available for each course. Players use an Arwing to fight, but later can get the option of choosing to go in a Land Master or on foot once they unlock medals in the main game.
There are three different matches available to play:
Point Match- Where the first one to five kills wins
Battle Royal- Last one standing wins
Time Trial- To see how many enemy fighters you can shoot down within a time limit
The soundtrack has 39 tracks featured on one CD that is 64 minutes and 49 seconds long, and it was released on October 17, 1997 in Japan. This CD is composed by Koji Kondo and Hajime Wakai.
- V.S. Select
- Start Demo 1
- Start Demo 2
- Fortuna and Sector Z
- Sector Y and Solar
- Sector X
- Titania and Macbeth
- Area 6
- Venom Demo
- Route To Boss
- Star Wolf's Theme
- Boss A
- Boss B
- Boss C
- Andruf Brain
- Versus (One By One)
- Bill's Theme
- Cat's Theme
- Mission Accomplished
- Mission Failed
- Player Down
- Game Over
- All Clear
- Staff Credits
Star Fox 64 was the second top selling game in 1997. In the Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition of 2009, Star Fox 64 is considered to be the 45th best video game of all time.
Gamers have taken some of the lines from this game and turned them into internet memes. Two of these phrases are " Do a barrel roll" and " can't let you do that Star Fox".