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"Do a barrel roll!"
—Peppy Hare, Star Fox 64
Star Fox 64 was the most successful game in Star FOX franchise, published on the Nintendo 64 in 1997. It was the Continuity Reboot of the Star FOX franchise, which had previously started with Star FOX on Super NES in 1993. 64 recycled and expanded upon many elements of the 1993 game's story.
Star Fox 64 was followed by sequel media:
Star Fox 64 3D is a Video Game Remake of Star Fox 64 for Nintendo 3DS developed by Q Games, which previously developed Star Fox Command. Also recently received a college theater adaptation titled Barrel Rolls and Broken Dreams.
- Actually a Doombot: Taking the Easy Route to defeat Andross. Instead of going One-Winged Angel...
- All There in the Manual: Several bits of information are only found in the Nintendo Player's Guide. Before the bosses' names gained Boss Subtitles in the remake, the guide gave their names, including, as pointed out below, pointing out that the name Granga refers to the pilot of the mech fought during the standard boss fight on Corneria (i.e. if Falco doesn't lead the team to the Attack Carrier instead) rather than the mech itself as with most other fights against manned weapons, including the aforementioned Attack Carrier. The same guide also had an interview with Shigeru Miyamoto himself regarding the series.
- Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: Bolse is extremely colorful in the original version until the force field generators making the light that reflects off the satellite's surface are destroyed. However, this element was removed in Star Fox 64 3D; the surface of the satellite appears silver/gray constantly in it.
- Amusing Injuries / Electronic Eyes: When you face Star Wolf again on Venom, they reappear with new ships and somewhat altered looks; Leon gets a scouter over his right eye, Pigma's eyes turn purple, Andrew gets a huge replacement for BOTH his eyes so they now look like an electronic pet's, and Wolf... gets band-aids.
- Artifact Title: The remake's title still contains "64" even though the Nintendo 3DS is a 32-bit system.
- Artificial Brilliance: The dogfights with Star Wolf are quite brutal affairs, especially the final one on Venom (the hard way), where they are very clever and are easily the hardest fight in the game. The enemies will follow you around, but won't always fall for the simple tricks that work on easier enemies, and if you let one of your allies get shot down, you get double teamed in a very, very unpleasant way.
- The Asteroid Thicket: Meteo.
- Attack Its Weak Point: Most boss battles amount to this. Peppy Hare tells Fox what those weak points are.
- Backup From Otherworld: James' rescue in the true ending may or may not be this.
- Battleship Raid: Multiple.
- Katina, where you battle a Indedendence Day-esque mothership and try to stop it from blowing up a Cornerian base.
- Macbeth, where you attack a heavily defended train and try to crash it into a supply depot.
- Bolse, where you attack a massive defense satellite protecting Venom.
- Inverted with Sector Z, where you have to defend the Great FOX from Andross' forces.
- Sector Y and Area 6, where you tear through the Venomian Fleet. The latter is even more intense, as the enemy is literally throwing everything they have at you to keep you away from Venom.
- Big Damn Fire Exit: After you defeat the True Final Boss, you must fly through the maze you entered to reach him in reverse order. You must constantly boost throughout this or you will be consumed by the fire chasing you.
- Big No: Either Peppy, Falco, or Slippy shout this when Fox is taken down in the English version (in the Japanese version, it was Scream My Name instead).
- Big "What?": Do well enough, and this will be General Pepper's reaction to the team's bill for their services.
- Blind Idiot Translation: Fichina was mistranslated as Fortuna in the original English translation, causing confusion as to why a lush jungle planet's name is now used for one covered in ice. Later games corrected this, with Assault containing the both Fortuna and Fichina and Command making the correction more obvious by having the Lylat System laid out similarly to how it was in 64. The Nintendo 3DS remake translates Fichina's name correctly, however.
- Boring Return Journey: After Andross is defeated, Fox and co. evidently just set a course for Corneria and fly there slowly.
- Boss Subtitles: The 3DS remake adds these to each boss. Mechbeth's appears right when it appears, which is actually before the last few track switches, so its subtitle is seen even if the train it's tied to is crashed by Fox.
- Cave Behind the Falls: If Falco survives Corneria and the player passes through all the stone arches, then Falco finds one that leads to Corneria's main boss.
- Catastrophic Countdown: During the Fichina mission, Slippy notices several enemy craft leaving the captured base. ROB 64 informs the team that the enemy planted a bomb in the base, and before Fox can defuse it, he must deal with an attack by Star Wolf. If you take long enough in defeating them, you'll notice the base starting to spark and billow forth a few small explosions.
- Combat Tentacles: The Gorgon.
- Continuing Is Painful: If you die, your laser reverts to the single laser and your bomb stock is reset to three. This can lead to Unstable Equilibrium if you end up having to restart without a powered-up laser or a large reserve of bombs on a stage where having them is important, e.g. some of the later stages in Expert Mode.
- Continuity Reboot
- Cool Shades: Twice. Fox wears them as a reward for playing in Expert Mode, resulting in him looking an awful lot like his father James (at least as he appeared in the flashback in the game's opening sequence), and the ghost (or whatever) of James McCloud himself wears them while helping you escape Andross's lair.
- Creepy Monotone: Spyborg.
- Critical Annoyance: If you're low on health, you will hear constant beeping, and you will hear loud and increasingly shrill beeps if you take damage.
- Disney Death: In the Downer Ending for Katina, Bill is apparently killed along with the rest of the Cornerian Army. The next mission, he shows up to provide backup, to Fox's surprise.
- Downer Ending: If you take the "easy" route (i.e. going to Venom from Bolse instead of Area 6) and kill the Andross-bot at the end of the game, the Great Fox flies off into the cloudy sunset... which promptly morphs into Andross's cackling face. In the remake, this doesn't happen right then. Instead, after the credits specific to that version are shown after the game shows the original version's credits, Andross, now animated in 3D, is in the background of the screen that shows one's final score.
- Some levels can end this way if you don't meet the objective. For example, Katina may end with Saucerer wiping out the military base and the Cornerian Army and Sector Z can end with the Great Fox getting damaged by a Copperhead missile. (The latter of the two examples for individual missions ends up with the player getting the above-mentioned Downer Ending for the game itself, as successfully fending off the Copperhead missiles takes the player to Area 6 while failing leads to Bolse.)
- Enemy Chatter: Area 6 starts with one of Andross's commanders, Caiman, reporting that there are "no problems," only for him to be proven wrong when the Star Fox team shoots down one of his ships. Within the level itself, you hear the enemy commanders organize the defenses you're in the middle of breaking through. As you get further along in the level, decimating their forces, they become increasingly desperate and horrified.
- Epic Flail: When he's nearly destroyed, the boss of Zoness, the Sarumarine, its pilot will try to use a gigantic ball and chain in his last effort to destroy you. On Expert mode, it's essentially a One-Hit Kill.
- Enter Eponymous: The title of the Corneria level is "Enter Star Fox". Similarly, the title of the Fichina level is "Enter Star Wolf".
- Evil Is Visceral: Andross becomes a giant brain in his final stage.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Bolse's full name is Bolse Defense Outpost. Along with Area 6, it defends Venom's airspace, and it apparently is an outpost for Venom troops as enemy fighters do come from within the satellite in retaliation to the destruction of the satellite's shield.
- Fake Difficulty: Expert Mode turns your wings into brittle flaps of plastic. If you bump into any solid object, your wings are gone. Not only will the Arwing drift uncontrollably, but your laser is reverted to the weak single green laser.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: If you look closely in the background after beating Andross on the Hard Path, you'll see a shooting star before it fades to the end credits. It can be believed that the star was James McCloud.
- Game Breaking Bug: After beating Star Wolf on the Hard Path at Venom, if you're in just the right position and facing just the right angle after defeating them, you'll circle around the entrance indefinitely since your ship doesn't have a tight enough turning radius to reach it.
- Gone Horribly Wrong: The boss of Sector X is Spyborg, a robot superweapon created by Andross' forces that Turned Against Its Masters. When the Star Fox team arrives, the base is already in ruins after Spyborg's rampage.
- Green Hill Zone: Corneria.
- Grimy Water: The entire surface of Zoness, which is completely covered with water like the nearby planet of Aquas, only with even worse pollution.
- Guest Star Party Member: Bill and Katt help out the Star Fox team on Katina and Zoness, respectively. Once the levels are completed, they show up to help in the next level and their ship flies along with the Arwings during the end credits. Note that you can only get one of them on a single playthrough, as to reach Zoness, you must go to Aquas instead of Katina for the third level.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: The pilot of the Shogun at the end of Sector Y, who spends most of the battle yelling at the team when he's shot at.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: The well-deserved fate of the boss of Macbeth — he spends the whole level staying ahead of you with his annoying armed train, taunting you all the while, and concludes it with his secret flying weapon, chained right to the main engine. Fortunately, if you happen to trigger all 8 junction switches and the final switch, you can skip fighting the boss altogether and sit back and relax as the train goes speeding out of control into a factory, dragging the cocky engineer to his explosive doom.
- Humongous Mecha: Used in significant numbers by the enemy in Sector Y.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: "Only I have the brains to rule Lylat!" At this point, all of Andross that's left is his brain and eyes.
- Invisible Wall: Leaving the battlefield during all-range mode sections causes the Arwing to turn around automatically.
- I Surrender, Suckers: The pilot of the Meteo Crusher feigns surrender when half of his health is gone, then resumes his attacks. If Falco's there, he sees through the ruse.
- Keep the Reward: Subverted. Star Fox takes the reward, but denies the offer to formally join the Cornerian Army.
- Killer App: For the Nintendo 64. It had voice acting (the first on the N64) and controller vibration to mainstream consoles via the Rumble Pak.
- Leitmotif: The Star Fox and Star Wolf teams both have their own, as do Bill and Katt during their appearances. The teams' are significantly longer than the ones for individual characters. The music for Titania and Macbeth might as well be one for the Landmaster — it only plays on those planets with both being the only Landmaster levels.
- Lethal Lava Land: Solar, which is either a molten planet or the Lylat System's freaking sun, depending on what source you ask. Either way, nothing was expected to be able to survive the heat, but the bioweapon there, Vulcain, apparently didn't get the memo, and neither did the birds that serve as enemy fighters.
- Lighter and Softer: Compared to Star Fox and Star Fox 2, especially considering that downed wingmates are out of action for the rest of that mission and the next instead of Killed Off for Real. The series became Darker and Edgier again with Assault.
- Luck-Based Mission: Getting a gold medal in Sector Z can be this, since your wingmates also attack the Copperhead missiles. If one of them gets the final shot on the missile then you don't get any hits added onto your tally, even if you did 99% of the damage yourself.
- Maniac Monkeys: Andross and his nephew Andrew, as well as several of the former's troops.
- Meaningful Echo: "Never give up. Trust your instincts."
- Meaningful Name: Area 6 is the sixth area visited if a path with Bolse isn't taken instead.
- Mind Screw: After beating the True Final Boss, James appears and helps Fox escape the base as it collapses. Or is Fox hallucinating? Or is it James's ghost?
- Mirror Boss: Star Wolf.
- Money, Dear Boy: See The Stinger.
- Mook Horror Show: The Enemy Chatter in Area 6 shows them getting increasingly desperate.
Caiman: The last line has been breached!
- Musicalis Interruptus: If Star Wolf is fought on Bolse, which occurs if they weren't previously fought on Fichina (or if you did fight them and didn't manage to defeat them all - in which case only the ones you didn't take out show up), they appear after the satellite's force field generators are destroyed and their theme interrupts the boss music that starts up when the satellite's core is exposed and plays for the rest of the mission.
- No Name Given: Except for Granga and Caiman, most of Andross's troops aren't given a name. The former is one of the few vehicle-piloting foes whose boss fight uses the pilot's name instead of the vehicle's name, with this detail being pointed out in the guide for the Nintendo 64 version.
- The Obi-Wan: James. "Never give up. Trust your instincts."
- Opening Narration
- Pirate: The pilot of the Sarumarine talks like one (down to a "yar har har har" laugh when he uses a weapon) and is piloting a captured Cornerian ship, with the Boss Subtitle in the remake pointing out that the Sarumarine was illegally obtained.
- Precursor Heroes: The original Star Fox team: James, Peppy, and Pigma.
- Psycho Strings: Present in remake's version of the third boss theme (in the remake's sound test, this track is simply labeled "Boss Battle 3"). This particular track tends to be used for fights that there's an urgent need to win, such as when Saucerer threatens to destroy the base on Katina or Copperhead missles are headed for the Great Fox in Sector Z, though that isn't always the case, as with Bolse's core and the accompanying enemies (provided Star Wolf doesn't end up appearing; see above).
- Psycho for Hire: Leon and Pigma's intros. Both times during the Bolse level.
- Punny Name
- Mechbeth is a mechanical weapon fought on Macbeth.
- Pigma Dengar's last name is an Anglicized version of a sentence particle in the Kansai dialect of Japanese, which Pigma himself speaks with in the Japanese version (Dengar would be pronounced similarly to said sentence particle when spoken with a non-rhotic English accent). Shigeru Miyamoto, who worked on the game and pointed out the reason for the name in the Nintendo Power Player's Guide's interview with him, happens to be from Kansai himself and probably chose the name as sort of a dialectal in-joke.
- Sarumarine's was Lost in Translation as the guide didn't explain its name as with Pigma's last name, but is a combination of saru (monkey in Japanese; referring to the primate piloting it) and submarine.
- The Renfield: Granga is really dedicated to Andross.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Pretty much every one of Andross's pilots that isn't a primate is a reptile, with Star Wolf's Leon being one.
- Ribcage Ridge: In the Titania level.
- Same Language Dub: The 3DS remake has one for both the Japanese and English versions, as the ones for the original would sound too grainy on the new system. The Japanese version has a brand new cast, while the English version has the original cast reprising their roles from the N64 original, with a script that basically turns the dialogue into a parody of the original's dialogue.
- Scenery Gorn / Scenery Porn: Zoness in the Nintendo 3DS-remake. Sure, the water's extremely polluted, but damn, did they made it look pretty!
- Shifting Sand Land: Titania.
- Katina is basically Independence Day, down to the mothership's main weapon and weakspot and Bill Grey, who first appears in this level (and only appears in Solar or Sector X if the team gets there after successfully completing the mission on Katina for the former and unsuccessfully doing so in the latter's case), being named after General William Grey. A more subtle reference was made on Bolse, where Slippy is chasing one of the Bolse fighters while the force field is still up, and Slippy tells him that he has the enemy now, and then says "Those ships have shields, too!"
- Sector Y has Star Fox defend the armada against a squad of Gundam...including a red Shogun that is 3x faster than the ordinary models.
- Macbeth and Titania's names are references to characters from Shakespeare's works.
- After beating the True Final Boss, Fox escapes in his ship from the exploding base. Along the help from The Obi-Wan (maybe.)
- When you enter Meteo, the way the Great Fox enters the asteroid field, blasting asteroids out of its way, is very similar to The Empire Strikes Back. It's the same level where Peppy exclaims it's a trap, too.
- The Attack Carrier is back from the original Star Fox as the boss of Corneria.
- Spyborg is searching for "The Creator"
- Sigil Spam: Giant posters of General Pepper are everywhere, leading some to conclude that he's a Big Brother-esque military dictator. It's also shown on the Venomian Forces soldiers and bases, although in their case, the part of them being a Big Brother-esque military dictatorship is all but confirmed.
- Skippable Boss: The Mechbeth weapon tied to the supply train on Macbeth, which goes down if the train it's tied to does.
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Fichina.
- Smug Snake: The Meteor Crusher boss's lines are tinted with arrogance, and in the end, he yells that he "can't beieve (he) lost to this scum!"
- Sphere of Destruction: The 64 version depicts most boss explosions as this.
- Spider Tank: Some of these appear on Titania.
- Spin to Deflect Stuff: "Do a barrel roll!".
- The Stinger: After the credits and ranking in at the end of the game, cut to an invoice for services rendered - and General Pepper's reaction to the bill, which varies depending on how many bogies you shot down throughout the game. If you have about 900 to 1,200 kills, he will remark that it's expensive but worthwhile, but if you have over 1,200 points, he will give a Big "What?".
- Additionally, the invoice charges $64 for each kill.
- Suddenly Voiced: This was the first game to have voice acting, with the exception of the tutor in Training Mode, who wasn't voiced in the original version. He finally got a voice actor in Star Fox 64 3D. Turns out that he sounds like the manly-yet-sensitive offspring of Barry White and Tychus Findlay.
- Super Title 64 Advance: Especially in the remake, since it has the 64 from the original and the 3D commonly found in the titles of Nintendo 3DS games. That and, as mentioned above, the remake's system is actually 32-bit.
- Tactical Suicide Boss: The Shogun's greatest strength is that it's small and manuverable, and therefore difficult to hit. Every so often, it flies over to the nearby ship and shoots at you while more or less standing in one place.
- Taking You with Me: Andross at the end of the red path, word for word.
Andross: If I go down, I'm taking you with me!
- Tempting Fate: Caiman reports a lack of problems in the vicinity in the intro for Area 6, only for Star Fox to shoot down one of his ships upon entry.
- That Makes Me Feel Angry: The boss of Sector Y, who is already easily angered, has a tendency to say, "You're making me mad!" in the 3DS version.
- This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: Before the fight against Andross, Fox breaks off from the others to settle things himself.
- True Companions
- 2-D Space: Sector Z is pretexted entirely on the Great Fox's inability to fly around a debris field or turn 90 degrees to the right.
- Under the Sea: Aquas.
- Unflinching Walk: Mechbeth's ending if you kill the boss correctly. The Landmaster calmly strolls away from what's left of the supply depot as it explodes.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can shoot down your own allies and force them to retire in the original version, but the remake's easy mode limits the amount of damage they can receive from friendly fire, thus making it impossible for anyone other than an enemy to actually shoot them down. However, this is quite easy to do to Bill's troops on Katina in either version (though this doesn't apply to Bill himself in the easy mode), and Bill doesn't hesitate to let Fox know if he shoots down an ally.
- Villainous Breakdown: Most bosses upon their defeat.
- Warmup Boss: Regardless of which path you take, the end of Corneria has an easy boss at the end. Granga can be taken down in a few seconds if you're good enough. At the other route, the Aircraft Carrier, which is a Call Back to the first Star Fox game, can easily be shot down in no time.
- Wasted Song
- Venom, despite being the location of two levels, only has its level music actually play on the path from Bolse. When going there from Area 6, a fight with Star Wolf happens as soon as Star Fox reaches the surface (during which the former's own music plays), after which Fox heads for Andross. In contrast, on both paths, the music that plays during Fox's solo portions in which he heads for and confronts Andross or at least a robotic decoy that looks like him is the same.
- The first two boss themes have sped-up versions that play at the climax of a few battles that use them. These versions aren't used for every battle that uses the normal version, and aren't in the sound test (which only has the regular versions). The first boss theme itself may also count depending on which levels are visited, since most of its uses are on the easy (blue) path (Corneria's hard (red) path boss uses the second one) aside from Sarumarine using it on Zoness on the hard path.
- We've Got Company: Invoked by Falco after the energy field disappears on Bolse.
- Who Are You?
Aircraft Carrier Pilot: Who are you guys!?
- You Owe Me:
- The alternate ending in Katina if you don't kill any Red Shirts.
- Katt to Falco at the end of Sector Z.
- Well, unless the people proposing the existence of the star Nemesis turn out to be right. Incidentally, Nemesis is often thought to be a red dwarf star (which the guide for the original version of Star Fox 64 says Solar is), which is smaller and not as hot as the Sun