DK Vine: Honourable Mentions: 2B: Dinosaur Planet (Star Fox) Precursors (Main Games)

2B: Dinosaur Planet (Star Fox) Precursors (Main Games)

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Star Fox (1993, SNES)

What is it?  
The PAL boxart looks much better. Because I said so.

Also known as Starwing in PAL territories, this early 3D space shooter broke technical ground on the Super Nintendo thanks to an on-board chip developed by Dylan Cuthbert's company Argonaut for this game: the Super FX chip. Inspired by the likes of Starglider and Argonaut's previous game X for Game Boy, Star Fox added to the formula a colourful cast of anthropomorphic animals. Perhaps due to the additional specialised hardware in the cartridge, the original game has never been made available on any subsequent platform. There was also a promotional version made for competition events; unlike the DKC competition cart, this had some unique content, with three simple stages.

Forgive my juvenile behaviour, but try examining this picture with the idea that Fox just broke wind. Silent but deadly.
Space! The final undiscovered frontier country voyage home.
This place was the dinosaur planet before it was cool.


Why is it mentionable?

For our purposes, there's not much to mention. The established dynamic here is the basis for several games in the series, but in fact DK Vine doesn't much care for those games. We prefer the ones that break the formula! Or something. Introducing the Lylat System and its inhabitants is probably important though. The use of black holes for warping reality and possible dimensional travel, established here, is important for several of our fanwanks, especially the question of how Tricky later came to reside on Timber's Island. Perhaps most significant to us, though, is the planet Fortuna, which is described as "the Dinosaur Planet"(!). It's home to lush greenery and calm oceans, but has fallen prey to Andross's meddling with the local fauna. Sound familiar? It's actually a coincidence but, you know, weird, innit? Star Fox 64 does sort of overwrite this game in the canon, but that's not to say it can't contribute details in an "alternate retelling" sort of way.

More info:

Scan of the game's manual
Star Fox Wiki's general information about the game
Reed's comprehensive Reedview of the game on the forum
Information on the Competition and the unique cartridge involved



Star Fox Game Watch (1993, Nelsonic Game Watch)

What is it?  
The gameplay looks thrilling, sure, but my favourite part is the dorkily-drawn characters in the margins. Yes dorkily is a word.

One of the few non-Mario-related watches produced as part of Nintendo's collaboration with Nelsonic, the Star Fox Game Watch presents a very simplified version of a Corneria-like level from the original game. Apparently it was initially released as part of a Corn Flakes promotion (alongside an exclusive mini-comic featuring Benimaru Itoh art!), but later got a retail release in a different form factor, which was packaged with earbuds for maximum awkwardness.



Why is it mentionable?

It's a basic recreation of part of a stage from Star Fox. So it's not any more relevant than that game is to the DKU, in that it illustrates part of Fox and his team's first major recorded assignment. However, it is more-or-less retconned along with the SNES game by Star Fox 64, which is the game that forms the basis for the stories of the proper DKU Star Fox games. Not that there was much to retcon about this watch.

More info:

General information about the game (bottom paragraph)
Some photos of the packaging
• Close-up pictures of the two releases of the watch: this one and this one
Site with some information on the cereal box promotionVideo comparing the two models, and showing them in action



Star Fox 2 (Aborted 1995, SNES)

What is it?

An intended follow-up to the successful first game, this sequel was ambitious in scope and design, with strategy-like gameplay systems, free-roaming levels, transforming Arwings, and multiple selectable characters. If this sounds familiar, it's because concepts from it were mined for use in later games, especially Star Fox 64, Command, and Zero. Dylan Cuthbert has stated that the game was essentially complete, but cancelled at the last minute. The impending launch of the N64 was the reason, but then that was delayed. Forgive the editorialising, but what a cock-up from the visionary tosspots at Nintendo. Several alpha and beta ROMs are apparently available on the Internet.

Miyu and Fay are new additions, and at some point Fara Phoenix from the Nintendo Power comic was going to appear as a pilot. With that established love interest for Fox, would we have ever gotten Krystal? Yeah probably, because Dinosaur Planet development etc.
Different pilots have differently shaped Arwings, much like Command. Peppy and Slippy use ones shaped like a frog, presumably thanks to Beltino Toad's massively inflated ego.
The strategy map portion of the game. You have to intercept battleships and missiles, and visit bases and planets. The only new planet is Eladard, a seemingly highly industrialised ringed planet.

Space combat, and the first appearance of All-Range Mode.
Forgive the garbled text, probably something to do with the ROM being unfinished and all that.


Why is it mentionable?

It builds on the original, and was cannibalised for ideas for 64, but in terms of DKU relevance... the new female additions to the team foreshadow Krystal in Assault perhaps? Andross is cemented as the main villain of the series, a role that is important to Adventures' plot, and carries repercussions into Command? Star Wolf is introduced, whose rivalry with the Star Fox team affect events in Assault and Command? Since it was cancelled, and the series basically rebooted anyway for the 64, nothing from this game explicitly carries forward, unfortunately.

More info:

Star Fox Wiki's general information about the game
Reed's comprehensive not-Reedview on another forum



Star Fox 64 (1997, Nintendo 64)

What is it?  
The PAL boxart may not look better in this case, but I wanted to show off the PAL logo which I prefer. You got a problem with that? Whats'a matter you?

Known to our pals in PAL as Lylat Wars, this highly popular early 64 title rebooted the series (which at that point was only one real game) without the direct involvement of Argonaut and Dylan Cuthbert. It follows basically the same formula as Star Fox, except that Fox's father is implied to be "dead" rather than "missing in a black hole", and with a different set of planets and locations. It was also the first 64 game to support the Rumble Pak, fact fans!

Lylat Wars? More like Lylat Jaws! Look at Slippy's polygonal chin!
Lylat System? More like High-Fat system! Cornerians too busy with their fad diets to repel an invasion!
Corneria? More like Snorneria! This game's so boring, am I right? Is this thing on? Did I use that joke already?


Why is it mentionable?

This game can be considered more important than the previous for the DKU, since Star Fox Adventures and its sequels follow the same continuity (which was rebooted here), contributing elements such as the Great Fox, ROB 64, and Star Wolf. The Great Fox is especially important in Adventures and Assault as the team's base of operations, not to mention being the main motivator for their initial involvement in the former's plot (its run-down condition led them to take the Sauria job so they could afford its upkeep). It also introduces several new planets that are revisited in Assault and Command. Finally, although Slippy's father Beltino has his first game appearance in Assault (thus granting him DKU POWERS), he is actually first mentioned in promotional material for this game.

More info:

Scan of the game's manual
Star Fox Wiki's general information about the game
Nintendo UK's page for the Virtual Console re-release on Wii U



Star Fox 64 3D (2011, Nintendo 3DS)

What is it?  
Look who made the cut for the box art. Slippy's not such a screwup after all.

A simple remake of, oh, which game was it again? The content is mostly unchanged, but the graphics have been improved and the voicework re-recorded. Unnecessary gyro controls have been tacked on (early 3DS game coming through). The multiplayer mode has also been revamped with new maps and powerups.

Q-Games is the company founded by Dylan Cuthbert, so it turned out that he got to work on Star Fox 64 after all.
Is Solar one of Lylat's suns or is it some kind of molten planet? Write your answers on a postcard and send them to YOUR MUM!
Despite upgraded textures and models, the 3DS's low resolution makes it all look jaggy. Is that ironic? Hey Alanis, how ironic is that exactly?


Why is it mentionable?

The only noticeable change to this port that affects the DKU in any way was the changing of one of Falco's lines from "Hey, Einstein! I'm on your side!" to "Hey, genius! I'm on your side!". This reference to an Earth historical figure was the source of much fanon, and the port thus makes its setting more ambiguous in relation to our Earth. Still, it can't be denied that Tricky the EarthWalker from off of Star Fox Adventures came to our planet, no matter how much "The Man" tries to hush it up. IN YOUR FACE, "MAN".

More info:

Star Fox Wiki's general information about the game (including a list of changes from the original)
Nintendo UK's page for the game




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