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Overview

Mirage Dragon. [cutscene]

After the success that was Star Fox, Nintendo continued to do research and development on the innovative Super FX micro chip technology they pioneered that was created in 1993 to make a game like Star Fox possible. Games like Vortex and even Stunt Race FX saw an improved version of the Super FX chip, but there was never a drastic change in the technology.

That was the case until Nintendo and the Super FX Team developed the Super FX 2 chip, capable of rendering approximately 1000 polygons per second over a considerable draw distance. This technology would be used on Star Fox 2, a game that had the potential to change the way space shooters were developed. That game was Star Fox 2.which never actually saw the light of day. The game was canceled due to the upcoming release of the Nintendo 64, according to Dylan Cuthbert, one of the game's programmers.

Features originating in Star Fox 2 were later implemented in future games in the Star Fox franchise. The new aiming mode, which gave players complete control over where a shot was being fired, was included as "all-range mode" in Star Fox 64, while the strategy features of the game can be found in Star Fox Command.

Story

After Andross' defeat on the planet of Venom he managed to escape with his life. Though the Lylat System is in a state of peace, it will not last for long. Andross, bitter from his miserable defeat, toils to create a new invasion army. An army of fighters, carriers, bio-genetically engineered creatures, and team made up of four mercenary pilots. Andross wastes no time in rallying his invasion army and waging total war on every world of the Lylat system. Planet after planet falls under Andross' control until Corneria is the one world yet to be conquered. Just when all hope seems to be lost, the Cornerians fight back with Fox McCloud and the Star Fox team at the forefront of it all. With new ships, weapons, and allies, the ultimate fight for Corneria and all of the Lylat System begins!

Gameplay

Star Fox 2's gameplay is similar in style to its predecessor, with several refinements and changes. Aside from having three different difficulty modes that have a steady graduation of difficulty, the game has a non-linear style of play that allows players to tackle certain missions out of order. Another change that stands as huge departure from the structure of Star Fox is the combination of multiple genres of game styles. Star Fox 2, at its core, is a 3D space shooter as well as a real-time strategy game. To navigate from one mission to another the player must guide their ships to a mission area which could be anything from a cluster of fighters, missiles, or carriers to oppressed planets and so on and so forth. There are many boss fights in Star Fox 2, but they don't necessarily happen at the end of a level like other common conventions would dictate. The boss fights count as totally separate missions that chase down the player's ship on the map.

Another aspect introduced in Star Fox 2 is the real-time clock system. Before the player makes a choice on where to move (done by moving a cursor about the system map), time stands still. However, if the player is moving or is currently in a mission, the clock starts ticking. While the player is in the heat of battle anything can happen on the world map and to Corneria. When the game is paused a small version of the map shows on the screen and updates itself dynamically to give the player a chance to see if Corneria is in immediate danger or not. There may be occurrences where Corneria will be attacked by one of Andross' forces. When that happens Corneria will accumulate damage shown as a percentage. If that percentage reaches 100%, then Andross succeeds in conquering Corneria and the game ends.

The battle system is original compared to the first Star Fox. Rather than flying through a mission area in an "on rails" format, The player has full 360 degree maneuverability of his/her ship in the mission area which has distinct boundaries indicated on the minimap located on the upper right hand side of the player's heads up display. Other notable features pertaining to the HUD include an enemy target count, the shield display, the boost meter, the score, the time counter, and the special weapon display. In battle there are three modes of attacks consisting of the wing blasters, special weapons, and the homing charged shot. The player is able to, while holding the fire button down, lock onto an enemy and unleash a charged laser shot at it to inflict a significant amount of damage. Managing boost is no longer in issue in the final test beta of Star Fox 2, but barrel rolls are still an essential mechanic for deflecting enemy fire.

Transforming into the mech walker is important for certain portions of a missionStar

Star Fox 2 adds two new characters, as well as the concept of pilots using different ship types (as opposed to solely Arwings in the first game). Miyu, a lynx, and FayeFay, a poodle, both join the Star Fox team and both make up the elite pilots of the Light Fighter class that is incredibly fast, but , which boasts a higher speed stat, but has lower shields and meagre meager fire power. Peppy Hare and Slippy Toad return as the pilots of the Heavy Bomber class that , which has the most fire power and the heaviest shields, but is very slow slower and has low manoeuvrabilitymaneuverability. Fox McCloud and Falco Lombardi are the pilots of the Arwing Fighter class that is the default average-in-all-areas craft. The Great Fox, a high capacity fighter carrier, houses these ships and has a tremendous amount of firepower, but cannot be piloted by the player.

While on a mission in which the player is fighting to liberate a planet, the player may encounter some parts that require the Arwing (or ship of choice) to be transformed into a mech walker. The mech walker is capable of traversing the mission at the player’s own pace and has an aiming assistance feature.

Beta Versions

The early beta for

Prerelease Versions

There exist two known prerelease versions of Star Fox 2

feature a centralized 360 degree head-to-head multiplayer

Star Fox 2, like many other games before it, underwent lots of testing. There were two major stages in the production of Star Fox 2.

The first beta has pretty clunky menus which is indicative of it being a test beta. There is very help in the form of the English language in this beta. In this version the main focus is two player competitive multi-player as well as bug fixing. There are many different sound and video menus that are used for testing various video modes and sound types. However, the true beauty of this version is the competitive multi-player. Both players can choose one of several characters, choose a level and get right into the action. Once in the game, multitude of useful features is obvious. Both players have their own equal share of some pretty useful features and mechanics. There is the presence of a mini map showing the locations of structures, enemies, and items within the mission area. Missiles are used in the place of the Nova Bombs and using too much boost will have negative

The final build of Star Fox 2

repercussions on the player’s ship. With full 360 degree movement being a new aspect to Star Fox 2 there is an altimeter on the left side of the screen which accurately adjusts to the slightest changes in altitude. Issues with this mode include profuse occurrences freezing, glitching, and crashing.

The second beta takes very little from the first beta. The focus still lies on full 360 degree movement and flight, but there is a complete

One of the early beta's test missions.

removal of the two player mode seen in the first beta. This version tackles a whole new aspect of Star Fox 2: a full-fledged campaign mode. Rather than moving along a set mission path the campaign mode offers non linear play and much more structure toward entering and exiting levels. On top of that this beta version offers much more control for both the ships and mech walker classes. One of the more important aspects of this version is that there is a proper cohesive storyline with many interesting characters both new and old.

Here is a video showing the ambitious Head-to-Head Multiplayer mode in action:

[Provided by The Solid State Gamer] Work in Progress: Star fox 2 (Multiplayer Beta)

Reasons for Cancellation

Character, ship and control scheme select screen

There are many reason and/or theories as to why Star Fox 2 was cancelled. Regardless as to why it was cancelled, the fact remains that the game was complete at the time that it was cancelled. All the bugs had been worked out and Star Fox 2 already had a high level of polish to it and the ROMs for the game can be illicitly downloaded and then run on emulators despite the game never being released.

As many theories as there to why this title never made it as a final release, most popular theories centralize under the proof that Star Fox 2’s development overlapped with the development of the Ultra 64 project which ended up becoming the Nintendo 64 system. This all happened in 1995; just one year before the Nintendo 64 launch in the North America territory. One theory suggests that Nintendo pulled the plug on the project in fear that Star Fox 2 would have fared poorly in the market because it was a 16-Bit title and its crude 3D graphics would pale in comparison to those of the far more powerful Nintendo 64's. Another theory suggests Star Fox 2 was cancelled so that Nintendo could have an idea for a “next generation” Star Fox title to use as exclusive ammunition to get Nintendo far ahead of its competition. Both of these popular theories are plausible seeing that so many ideas concerning both game play and story elements used in Star Fox 64 (the next installment of the series) have their origins in Star Fox 2. However, no one absolutely knows for sure the exact reason as to why it never came out.

Posthumous Implementations

In the wake of Star Fox 2’s cancellation there have been a few sequels and newer installments in the Star Fox series; some have been more successful than others. Star Fox 2’s 360 degree movement is used in Star Fox 64 as all-range mode, and in Star Fox Assault. It is also used in Star Fox Command which also adopts Star Fox 2’s entire real-time strategy system. Later installments in the series borrow from the fiction of the original Star Fox and adopt the fiction of the unreleased sequel to it, though unfortunately some of the original characters created for Star Fox 2, such as new pilots Faye and Miyu, have never seen the light of day in a real Star Fox release, while the Star Wolf team have gone on to become very popular characters in the franchise

There exist two known prerelease versions of Star Fox 2 in a readily available format. These are both playable in both an emulated format, as well as on actual Super Nintendo hardware.

The first prerelease version is an alpha version, known for its two player competitive multiplayer. In the multiplayer mode, both players can choose one of several characters, as well as a level, and then face off.

The second and more complete version is considered to be in the late beta stage. It is largely a complete game, containing minor bugs, debug menus, several unfinished features, and the removal of the multiplayer mode found in the alpha version. The game has since been touched up by fans, removing the glitches, debug menus, unfinished features, and translating Japanese text into English, rendering the game completely playable from beginning to end.