Never give up. Trust your instincts.
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James McCloud was a legendary and astonishing pilot who became the founder and leader of the legendary Star Fox Team, a mercenary-for-hire squadron in the Lylat System. James was talented in terms of fighting, piloting, and adventuring. He was well known for holding an unwavering loyalty to his friends. After his apparent and supposed death, James was later succeeded as leader of Star Fox by his only son, Fox McCloud. Fox McCloud was a cadet at the Cornerian Defense Army Academy when he heard the news that his father, James McCloud, had met a violent end at the hands of the twisted genius, Andross. The senior McCloud had been betrayed by his own wingman, Pigma Dengar, and delivered into a deadly trap from which there was seemingly no escape. Only James's wingman, Peppy Hare, managed to limp home in his badly damaged starfighter. As the only survivor of the original Star Fox Team, Peppy insisted that the young Fox take on the leadership of the group and form a new team of pilots. Thrust into the leadership role that he wasn't prepared for, Fox recruited the hot-tempered Falco Lombardi and the mechanical genius Slippy Toad to make up the new Star Fox Team in his father's honor.


James brought up his only son Fox with a keen interest from Peppy Hare, with both providing the young McCloud with valuable teachings to never give up and trust in his own instincts when the time came. As an ace pilot and avid adventurer, James originally served in the Cornerian Army alongside his greatest friend Peppy and worked under orders from their superior officer and also friend General Pepper, before James and Peppy decided to start up a much more independent elite commando unit of mercenaries-for-hire, known as the Star Fox team, initially working on a freelance basis, although it the team was strictly motivated only to accept missions that served to uphold justice, and not financial gain. The team also consisted of a fellow expert pilot Pigma Dengar, who proved himself to be a very cunning teammate for the team, as he always seemed to be well ahead of the curve. In the course of their duties, James and Star Fox traveled the length and breadth of the Lylat system, pursuing jobs and settling disputes. The team earned overflowing wealth to the point that James decided to upgrade the team's headquarters and purchased a unique mothership under exclusive contract from Space Dynamics called the Great Fox, which was so expensive that James took an 80-year loan from a bank to finance the construction. It was designed under James' specifications as a multi-purposed flagship to transport the trio across the system faster and more efficiently.

James and Peppy, betrayed by Pigma and ambushed by Andross' forces.

Five years after the disgraced Dr. Andross was excommunicated from Corneria, the scientists from the observation station informed General Pepper about reports of strange bio-weaponry activity detected on Venom - a barren, inhospitable, and desolate planet on the far edge of the Lylat System. These reports worried General Pepper as he knew Venom was where the evil mad scientist Andross had been exiled to for treason it just a few years before, so for the safety of the entire Lylat System, he hired the now legendary Star Fox team to go on a vital scouting mission to Venom and determine the cause of the strange activity.

Upon their arrival, the Arwing crew learned too late that Andross's forces were lying in wait for them all along, as Pigma was actually a double agent all along and had been bribed him with the promise of immense riches by his new master Andross, leading James and Peppy into a deadly trap and were immediately captured by Andross without any chance of escaping to tell the tale. The Star Wolf leader Wolf O'Donnell was also suspected to have been involved in James' disappearance as well.

Peppy soon managed to barely escape captivity on his own, and flew his damaged Arwing back to Corneria. When he returned, he informed General Pepper and James' son, Fox, of what happened to James, Pigma, and himself during the failed scouting mission. While it is unknown what exactly happened to the missing James, he was declared dead. Upon hearing this, Fox couldn't bring himself to believe that his father was truly gone, but nevertheless vowed to get revenge on Andross for murdering his father and bring the traitorous Pigma to justice.

After Peppy returned and delivered the news of James' fate to Fox and General Pepper, Fox decided to follow in his father's footsteps and resume leadership of Star Fox. Even though Peppy was older than all the other Star Fox Team members, he declined the leadership role and insisted that the younger Fox McCloud take over the team after Fox's father was slain by Andross. Using both the Great Fox and ROB 64, a robotic pilot purchased by James for the team but never given the chance to be utilized, Fox recruited Peppy, Slippy Toad, and Falco Lombardi to fight together and defend peace wherever it was threatened, thus creating a new Star Fox Team to be formed. General Pepper, still feeling guilty of sending his old friend James to his doom, decided to take responsibility of his son Fox's career. Pigma Dengar succeeded at his mission, got paid a huge sum of money, and instead joined Star Wolf, a rival mercenary-for-hire group. However, he was kicked out due to his incredible greed and distrustful nature after the Lylat Wars. He was later assimilated by the Aparoids and was apparently destroyed by Fox. The Aparoid Queen later used James McCloud's likeness to attempt to trick Fox into surrendering. However, it ironically exposed her deception due to "James" telling Fox to effectively give up, something Fox knew full well his father would never tell him to do. In most "Command" endings, Star Fox remains together and may even have a new generation.

The legacy that James McCloud left behind is one that the citizens of the Lylat System are indebted to, but the ultimate fate of James was never revealed. Most believe that he was executed at the hands of Andross, imprisoned, or even brainwashed.


  • Wolf's advice to Fox "Don't hesitate, when the time comes, just act!" is a spin on James and Peppy's own catchphrase, hinting another connection between the implied history of their rivalry.

Names in Other Languages

Language Name
Japanese (ジェームズ・マクラウド, Jēmuzu Makuraudo)