Tripod Fighters are a series of triple pod-shaped starfighters, manufactured in the weapons labs on Macbeth and utilised by the Venomian Army during the Lylat Wars.
Hence the name, these fighters are triple polygonal-pod shaped space craft that resemble the Butterfly Fighters, but are not to be confused with them.
- “You've already encountered Tripods on other missions, but you'll find larger numbers of the flying foes on Macbeth. That's because Tripods are manufactured here. These newest versions are equipped with Andross's latest aerial combat computers. Shoot them down before they lock onto your Arwing.”
- —Official Nintendo Power Player's Guide, pg 77
Lock on fast fighters
- “Clouds of Tripod and Dragon Fighters cover this section of the track. Tripods fly low and slow, so it's easy to knock them out with a single shot, but the Dragon Fighters are fast and tough to follow. Lock on the Dragon Fighters and let your Landmaster's tracking system go to work. While it's tempting to completely clear the skies with several Smart Bombs, save them for the large clusters of enemies. Destroying fighter groups with a single bomb will quickly boost your overall score.”
- —Official Nintendo Power Player's Guide, pg 78
- “Stay high along this stretch. You'll have fighters ahead of you, and Tripods will be coming in low from behind.”
- —Official Nintendo Power Player's Guide, pg 108
Tripod Fighters are armed with laser cannons which shoot cyan plasma bursts rather than beams. They seem to resort to using surprise attacks, evident by their sudden appearances should the Arwing take a flight path through Corneria City's shattered buildings or under bridges, or the canyons of Corneria's sea or Venom's plains. Tripods tend to fly low and slowly, making them easy to target and take out clusters with charged laser bolts for racking up bonus Hit points, but in Expert Mode they are more aggressive and tend to attack in a level's positions that they wouldn't have done so in the Main Game.
In the games
Star Fox 64/3D
Arriving instantly at Corneria City, the Tripods were present at the battles of Corneria, Macbeth, Titania and Venom, making these fighters among the most widely used of all the Venomian arsenal. In the case of Macbeth, they were also in large supply due to the planet being the place they were manufactured at, plus they were fitted with a new improved aerial combat computer.
Tripod Fighters also appear in the game's Training Mode.
Star Fox Zero
Tripods reappear in Star Fox Zero, under the name Butterfly Fighters, acting exactly like before where they resort to overwhelming numbers.
In the Manga
Tripod Fighters appear in the Lylat Wars Comic, where they attack Fox McCloud at Corneria City and tail him, causing Peppy Hare to shoot them down and save him. More Tripods attack Slippy Toad, who performs a Barrel Roll at Peppy's advice to lose them.
- Tripod Fighters appear on the Star Fox 64 3D box art. They shoot laser beams instead of bursts.
- More Tripods appear when playing Expert Mode, which is evident for most enemies during the harder gameplay.
- Tripods are only encountered on planets, with the exception of the Training mode.
- NINTENDO POWER Star Fox 64: Official Nintendo Player's Guide. Redmond, WA, Nintendo of America. 1997.