"Star Fox: Assault" is an action-shooter hybrid video game for the Nintendo GameCube developed by Namco and published by Nintendo. Additionally, it is the fourth released title in the Star Fox series. "Assault" was also available at Blockbuster and Hollywood Video stores starting February 1, 2005 as a promotion.
"Assault" returns the Star Fox series to its space-combat roots after the previous game in the series, "Star Fox Adventures", took a more action-adventure approach. Assault takes place one year after the events of "Adventures" and introduces a new enemy named the Aparoids, a race bent on the assimilation of the Lylat System into their collective mind.
- “ALL SHIPS, REPORT IN!
One year has passed since disaster was averted on Sauria, and Andross's armies have been almost eradicated... but now a new threat has risen from the darkness of space. The aparoids, creatures bent on assimilating all beasts and machines into their corrupted hive mind, are spreading relentlessly, and Team Star Fox is the only thing standing between them and the utter ruin of the Lylat system.”
- —Game's rear cover
"Star Fox: Assault" was first announced on May 8, 2002. It had a tentative release date of April 2003 for Japan, and would be developed by the same employees who worked on Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies at Namco. New information about the game didn't show up until a short video montage at 2003's E3 in Los Angeles, which showcased the game's first-person perspective. According to Electronic Gaming Monthly, the video was booed by viewers, and EGM itself said the video was "remarkably unimpressive".
During development, the game had three working titles: Star Fox Armada, Star Fox 2, and Star Fox. It eventually came to be known as "Star Fox: Assault". In 2003, the game was intended to be multiplayer oriented, and the ground missions of the game had a control scheme similar to the on-foot multiplayer mode in "Star Fox 64".
At 2004's E3, EGM, the same magazine that wrote poorly about it a year ago, wrote a follow-up that said the game looked "much better than... a year ago". "Assault" was scheduled for a November 2004 release, but was delayed to the beginning of 2005.
"Assault" uses middleware provided by the Japanese company CRI Middleware as a game engine. Yoshie Arakawa and Yoshinori Kanemoto provided "Assault" with a musical score and sound effects with the music performed by the Tokyo New City Orchestra. Most of the score pieces use themes from "Star Fox 64", composed by Koji Kondo and Hajime Wakai.
The gameplay of "Star Fox: Assault" is divided into three distinctive types. The player can either fly an Arwing (an aircraft), Landmaster (a tank), or perform certain tasks on foot. All three play types are available for multiplayer mode. The game follows a completely linear track as opposed to one the player chooses, unlike its predecessors "Star Fox" and "Star Fox 64".
Arwing missions in "Assault" are similar to those of the first two games in the series. The player flies in space or close to the ground and shoots down enemies. Some levels are on rails, while others allow full freedom of movement in a relatively small area. As in previous games, the wing mates of Fox, the main character, occasionally call for help when chased by enemies. Additionally, in some levels, the player has the ability to hop in and out of the Arwing at will.
While in the Landmaster, the player has complete freedom to move about the level. They are free to shoot or running over enemies as well as assist their wingmates when necessary. Playing on foot essentially turns the game into a third-person shooter — the player starts armed with the blaster, a type of gun, and can acquire a variety of other weapons, including but not limited to a machine gun and a homing launcher. In two shooting gallery levels, the player rides on the wing of an Arwing or a Wolfen fighter, shooting enemies on the ground and in the air with a plasma cannon.
As an added bonus, by collecting all silver medals throughout the game, the player can unlock a playable version of Xevious, a scrolling shooter arcade.
MultiplayerStar Fox: Assault features multiplayer with support for up to four players simultaneously. This mode starts off very limited, with only a few playable characters, weapons, items, and maps; but more can be unlocked by either playing a certain number of multiplayer games or achieving certain accomplishments in the main story. Players are able to fight on foot or in a vehicle (a Landmaster, Arwing, or Wolfen), though some stages prohibit certain modes of travel. Playable characters include the entire Star Fox team, with Peppy Hare and Wolf O'Donnell as unlockables.
Each character has a skillset and each skill is ranked with stars. Health is how much health the character has; a character with high health like Slippy can take more hits than a character with low health like Falco. Speed is how quickly the character can travel while running, and also influences how far they can roll to either side; characters with high speed cover more ground in a shorter time, allowing them to escape firefights more easily. Jump is how high the character jumps; characters who jump high, like Slippy or Peppy, can reach plateaus and other elevated areas more easily than others. Arwing, Landmaster, and Pilot skill determines how quickly the reticle targets an enemy while flying an Arwing, driving a Landmaster, or running on foot, respectively. Additionally, some characters have special abilities. Krystal, for example, respawns with 2 Barrier Spheres instead of just 1, and Slippy's Blaster charges twice as fast as normal.
Multiplayer mode offers several stages for playing, including stages from the single-player mode, "Simple Maps" (which look like they're made of building blocks), and other new maps. There are also several modes for play available, which can force a certain weapon (sniper, rocket launcher, etc.) or change the style of play (capture the crown, etc.). Also, there are a few customizable options, such as turning radar on/off, turning special weapons on/off, and turning Demon Launches on/off.
Multiplayer has a number of items and weapons, most of which are taken directly from the single-player mode. There are also special unlockable weapons such as the Demon Sniper and Demon Launcher (dubbed "The Loser Gun" by the gaming community, because one gets it when one is losing) which have the ability to kill in one hit. In addition, there are a couple special items such as jet packs (which give a player on foot a hovering ability similar to Landmaster's hover), and the "Stealth Suit", which can make the player invisible for a short period of time.
- Peppy Hare: Play 15 times in VS Mode.
- Wolf O'Donnell: Finish the story mode with no member of Star Fox lost in any mission (All Ally medals).
- Survivor Mode: Finish the Story Mode
- Missile Launcher Bout: Play 10 times in VS Mode
- Booster Packs & Launcher Tilt: Play 230 times in VS Mode
- Booster Packs Brawl: Play 110 times in VS Mode
- Crown Capture: Play 30 times in VS Mode
- Sure Shot Scuffle: Play 50 times in VS Mode
Weapons for VS Mode
- Missile Launcher: Play 5 times
- Demon Sniper: Get all 50 Special Flags
- Gatling Gun: Play 20 times
- Fireburst Pod: Play 75 times
- Booster Pack: Play 90 times
- Predator Rockets: Play 170 times
- Cluster Bombs: Play 200 times
- Wolfen: Play 150 times
- Katina Outpost: Finish the level "Katina: Frontier Base"
- Inner Sargasso Hideout: Finish "Sargasso Space Zone: Hostilities Revisited"
- Fichina: Finish "Fichina: Into The Storm"
- Sauria: Finish "Sauria: Reunion"
- Corneria City: Finish "Corneria: War Comes Home"
- Orbital Gate: Finish "Orbital Gate: Incoming"
- Aparoid City: Finish "Aparoid Homeworld: Breaching The Defenses"
- Titania: Play 40 times in VS
- Simple Map 4: Play 60 times in VS
- Zoness Sea Base: Play 130 times in VS
- Simple Map 5: Play 260 times in VS
- Special Items (on/off): Play 5 times in VS
- Xevious: Get all silver medals in story mode
Weapons and Items
There are several types of weapons: long range, short range, cannons, etc.
- Blaster: Short range weapon. It can be charged, and is able to destroy large sized enemies when fully charged.
- Machine Gun: Medium range rapid fire weapon. Can kill multiple enemies (1-5) at once.
- Grenade: Throw weapon. Perfect for clearing a room full of enemies.
- Sniper Rifle: Long range weapon. Its shooting power can blow up enemies in one shot. Used as a long range weapon, every enemy (size doesn't matter) will be destoyed in one shot.
- Homing Launcher: Long and short range weapon. Being a very powerful weapon, it can shoot down airships, and destroy tanks (ex. Landmaster).
- Gatling Gun: Short range weapon. Resembling the Machine Gun, it can kill multiple enemies.
- Plasma Cannon: Medium range weapon. Great shot power.
- Missile Launcher (for vs. mode only ): Long range weapon. Used for shooting down airships and pilots. The user is able to control the direction of the missile. This weapon should be used when the user is in a safe, hidden place that is hard to be hit in, as the player is vulnerable while they are controlling the missile.
- Barrier Sphere: When used, it protects its user from damage for a short time.
- First Aid Kit (3 types): Restores HP. Every type restores the user's HP by different amounts depending on the size of the kit. There are Green, White, and Yellow Health kits, green restores 25%, white 50%, and yellow 100%.
- Shield Ring (2 types): Restores Arwing or Landmaster HP.
- Powerup Item (2 types): Powers up Arwing or Landmaster lasers.
- Sensor Bomb: Proximity mine-type explosive that must be placed on the ground to be activated.
- Smart Bomb: Always hits its target when locked on. Used only by Arwings.
- 1up Item: By taking this item, the user gets a new life.
- Stealth Suit: Gives the user temporary invisibility.
"Star Fox: Assault" was the least critically accepted addition to the series. It received an average score of 71% on Game Rankings. Some complaints were aimed at the control scheme during on-foot portions; IGN worded the complaint as "ground missions suffering from sloppy control". GameSpot noted that the multiplayer portion of the game has little lasting value, an annoyance that IGN felt as well. IGN went on to say the design was too simplistic. However, IGN noted that being able to switch between the Arwing and Landmaster at will was a "welcome addition". In Electronic Gaming Monthly, two of the reviewers gave it an 8.0 out of 10. Kevin Gifford said that "the game is aimed less at the Mario club and more toward the hardcore crowd". EGM also noted that "Assault" had an epic feel, helped by a great soundtrack.
The game sold well enough for it to be included in Nintendo's Player's Choice line in North America, which also included "Star Fox 64" and "Star Fox Adventures".
References in later games
- “And what about when you risked your life to fight the Aparoids? ”
- —Slippy Toad
"Star Fox Command" is the sequel to "Assault". The game takes place around 2-3 years after the events of the Aparoid war. The multiple endings have made the continuity of "Command" currently unspecified.
Several aspects of Star Fox: Assault are included in "Super Smash Bros. Brawl". Several character designs are used as the template for their trophies. In-game music tracks were included. For the hidden Star Fox character "taunt" conversations, voice actors Jim Walker, Alesia Glidewell, and Michael McAuliffe reprised their roles. Dex Manley also returned as a voice actor, although his character ROB from Star Fox: Assault, did not take part in any conversations. In Fox's case, his Japanese voice actor in the game, Kenji Nojima, replaces Shinobu Satōchi (who previously voiced Fox in-battle in both Japanese and English in the prior games) as of Brawl.
In the 3DS rerelease of Star Fox 64, the Training Mode has changed into a wire-framed simulated environment, which may be based on the V.S simple maps from Assault. The Cornerian Army's logo from Assault appears in the game where it replaces the generic Corneria poster and naming in the ending cinema.
In the fourth Super Smash Bros game, the events of Mission 8 are recreated in the new Orbital Gate stage. Also, one of Dex Manley's ROB quotes was reused in the stage's hidden "Smash taunts" which originated from the same mission. Many trophies in both games take their artwork styles from Assault's character artwork if they had none or did not appear in Star Fox 64 3D.
ROB's design in "Zero" combines his looks from "Star Fox 64 3D" and "Assault".
A type of collectable Medal, closely resembles the Ally Medals obtained in "Assault".
The official site has the user trying to locate data crystals to repair the Great Fox's Security Data Core. The player has to find seven throughout via various maps (more specifically, Fortuna, Katina, Sargasso Space Zone, Fichina, the Asteroid Belt, Sauria, and Corneria). Although the player can visit the orbital gate via the map, the data crystal cannot be collected there, due to it sustaining irreparable damage. Each of the crystals contained data on various enemies in the game. More specifically, the bios for Andrew Oikonny, Wolf O'Donnell, Leon Powalsky, Panther Caroso, and Pigma Dengar, as well as some data on the aparoids. Entering the site as well as accessing each of the maps treats the player to a video of the area, and also supplies data on the area and data on the characters and vehicles. The Armory supplies details about Star Fox's weapons, including videos in some cases, and the Training Room gives details about the game's versus mode.
- The game script will mostly remain the same in each of the 10 Missions. However, depending on the chosen rank, some dialogue will be changed. For instance: In Mission 9's Silver rank, entering the Arwing to destroy the Hatchers underneath the city will trigger Peppy to say "Fox, Falco, Slippy, Krystal... I'm proud to fight alongside you...", which hints that Peppy will make his sacrifice. However, in the Gold rank, this is changed to Peppy admitting that the Great Fox is under attack from Aparoids and Fox tells him not to do anything reckless.
- The English voice actress for Krystal, Alesia Glidewell, is also known for having her face used as the facemap of Chell in Valve's Portal and Portal 2.
- The English voice actor for Wolf O' Donnell, Grant Goodeve, is also known for his voice acting role as The Engineer in Valve's Team Fortress 2.
- The official site for the game (before it was taken down) featured the names of the various character's species, although they were not of the standard animal names.
- When Assault was initially announced by Nintendo and Namco, it was also rumored that an arcade game was under development. However, the arcade game was never heard about again in the public.
- The music heard throughout the game are mostly tracks from Star Fox 64 redone in a higher-quality - heavy orchestral remix of familiar tracks. No Star Fox Adventures music is reused despite the Walled City returning, which may have to do with Rare copyright, or to fit with the developer change. The first five seconds of Star Fox 64's Game Over theme was conducted but not used in the final release, leading to a silent Game Over.
- Ironically, on the official website (before it was taken down), the Navigation Room was designed after Star Fox Adventures Great Fox, rather than the Great Fox represented in Assault.
- Despite being a T-Rated game, Star Fox Assault doesn't use any of the ESRB traits asides from the slightly fantasy violence.
- If the player jumps off a ledge to their doom (like on Sauria and/or the Aparoid Homeworld) after fully completing the mission, it will continue to show Fox falling instead of having him emerge back on the ground, owing to the mission technically being complete by that point.
Names in Other Languages
|Japanese||(スターフォックス アサルト, Sutā Fokkusu Asaruto)|
- Star Fox: Assault
- Star Fox: Assault (Instruction Booklet)
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl
- Official website (defunct as it now redirects to Nintendo's main portal, although it can still be accessed via backup on Star Fox Online)
- Backup of official website on Star Fox Online.
- Official Japanese website (still operational)
- IMDb profile
|Super Smash Bros. Series|
|Other||Cameos • Virtual Boy • Arcade • Wii • Dinosaur Planet (game)|
|Main Characters||Fox McCloud • Falco Lombardi • Slippy Toad • Krystal • Peppy Hare • ROB 64 • General Pepper • Beltino Toad • Andrew Oikonny • Pigma Dengar • Wolf O'Donnell • Leon Powalski • Panther Caroso • Tricky|
|Bosses||Oikonny's flagship • Winged Aparoid • Aparoid Ship • Star Wolf (Wolf, Leon and Panther) • Cylindrical Aparoid • Aparoid Pigma • Aparoid Missile • Aparoid Queen|
|Enemies||Rock Gunner • Star Warrior • Venomian Carrier • Venomian Light Tank • Venomian Heavy Tank • Venomian Heavy Assault Mech • Sargasso Battleship Aparoid Crawler • Aparoid Minitank • Purple Aparoid • Aparoid hatcher • Spherical Tank Aparoid • Aparoid Flyer • Aparoid Stinger • Aparoid Mortar • Aparoid Roller • Silver Aparoid • Beetle Aparoid • Bloated Aparoid|
|Locations||Fortuna • Katina • Sargasso Space Zone • Fichina • Asteroid Belt • Sauria • Corneria • Orbital Gate • Aparoid Homeworld • Titania • Zoness|
|Navigation||Plot • Missions • Gallery • Videos • Script|