- “Don't hesitate. When the time comes... just act!”
- —Wolf O'Donnell
Wolf O'Donnell is the leader of Star Wolf and rival of Fox McCloud. In parallel to Fox and his team, Wolf is also known to go by the name of Star Wolf. He was initially hired by Andross during the Lylat Wars to take down the Star Fox team, due to his dedication of proving he is as good a pilot as Fox (or even better), but ultimately failing. During the years between the end of the war and the beginning of the Aparoid Invasion, they hid in an illegal hideout called the Sargasso Space Zone, recruiting various criminals from all corners of the Lylat System who proudly named Wolf as Lord O'Donnell. His motives changed when the Aparoids invaded Corneria as he rescued Fox and aided Star Fox in their retaliation.
Not much is known about Wolf O'Donnell's early life other than he used to be the leader of a gang of space pirates, presumably the same pirates that duelled with the Cornerian army at Sector Z in a battle that left much space wreckage. It is also known that Wolf has been wanted by the Cornerian army for years, because of crimes such as larceny and treason. Before the Lylat Wars, team Star Fox and Star Wolf shared a long and bitter history with one another, despite mutual respect. It was believed that Wolf had somehow been involved in the apparent death of James McCloud, who was Fox's father. Following the ape's exile, when Andross offered Wolf money to lead a mercenary team against Fox McCloud and the Star Fox team, he jumped at the chance to see Fox fail. He teamed up with Pigma Dengar, Andross's nephew, Andrew Oikonny, and found the mysterious Leon Powalski in a rough bar on Venom. Wolf then sought to destroy Star Fox and protect Andross, so that he may be feared throughout the galaxy. When Wolf's team was hired by Andross to take down Star Fox, Wolf wanted nothing more than to fulfill these orders and prove himself to be as good, or better, than Fox McCloud.
Wolf and his team played a major role in the Lylat Wars, when Andross hired the squadron to take down Star Fox, supplying them with his "Wolfen" class star fighters.
During the bomb incident on the planet Fichina, Wolf was ordered by Andross to take down any form of rebellion by any means necessary – including the presence of Star Fox. Fox McCloud and his team arrived not too long after receiving orders from General Pepper to take care of the situation, disposing of Andross's forces without delay. Before being able to diffuse the bomb, Wolf and his team approached from the planet's skies to defend the base in which the bomb had been planted. Upon Star Wolf arriving, Wolf, in reference to the Star Fox team's discovery that the Fichina base was wired with a bomb, made clear he has no intention of letting the team diffuse the bomb. A long dogfight ensued to create a diversion from Fox accomplishing his mission. Star Wolf failed at delaying Star Fox, leading Wolf to seek revenge against Fox for his own personal reasons.
Star Wolf was then ordered to defend the satellite base Bolse and stop Fox from reaching his final destination. Upon arrival, Wolf told Fox that playtime was over. However, they failed again in another dogfight, this time suffering great injuries.
With one last chance, Wolf was gifted with the Wolfen II along with his other teammates to defend Venom from the Star Fox team's advancement into Andross's palace. Star Wolf appeared to have severe injuries before the battle, or life-support systems needed to pilot the advanced Wolfen II, or even both. The injuries were relatively minor, with Wolf himself simply necessitating a few bandages. When the team arrived seconds after Star Fox's arrival, Wolf told Fox to not get too cocky (alluding to Fox's eagerness to fight Andross). Wolf's ship and the rest of his teammate's ships were destroyed in a final fight with Fox and his friends. He had been defeated, thus failing Andross in his mission to destroy the Star Fox team.
Years after the death of Andross, during the events of the Plight of Sauria, Wolf took control of the hideout close to Katina and Fichina, known as the Sargasso Space Zone, earning him the rank of lord. The hideout was inhabited mostly by criminals, bounty hunters, and former members or traitors of Andross's Empire. In addition, Wolf himself had earlier kicked Pigma out of his team for wearing out his welcome with his greedy and distrustful nature, as well as Andrew for constant boasting and poor pilotage and hired the ace pilot Panther to take both their places. In addition he ordered his soldiers to shoot Pigma on sight should he dare come close to his hideout.
Wolf and his team were out while the hideout was infiltrated by the Star Fox team in their search for Pigma, but quickly returned after Fox destroyed the transfer gateways and gained control. Furious at their intrusion, Wolf and his team challenged the Star Fox team to a dogfight but he eventually decided to withdraw after losing, citing that Pigma was no longer on his team and departed from the hideout after vowing that he will defeat Fox one day.
The invasion of the Aparoids ruined Wolf's plans in taking down Fox by forcing him to put his personal vendetta aside and teaming with his nemesis in order to survive. When the Aparoids ambushed Fox on top of the Persimmon's Building in Corneria City, Wolf rescued him, but denied doing so by claiming Fox jumped onto his ship's wing at the right time. Fox did jump, but to escape danger. Admitting later that he did save Fox, he proclaimed that the real reason he did so was so that he could finish him off himself later. Wolf also advised Fox after a battle against an infected General Pepper that, should the time come where he has to come to a tough decision, quote, "Fox let me give you one piece of advice. Don't hesitate, when the time comes, just act."
Wolf and the other members of Star Wolf later arrived to aid the Star Fox team in eliminating the missile threat poised against the Beltino Orbital Gate, thus ensuring that Beltino bought enough time to create the Aparoid vaccine. They later followed Star Fox to the Aparoid Homeworld secretly, only making their presence known as the surviving members of Star Fox travelled down the planetary tunnels.
In the final battle against the Aparoid Queen, Wolf and his team sacrificed themselves as a distraction towards several Aparoids for a long enough time for Fox to stop the invasion for good. His earlier advice also proved to be a great turning point for Fox, as he acted upon that advice to succeed in the mission when they were plagued with telepathic thoughts of the Aparoid Queen composing of Pigma, Pepper, Peppy, ROB 64 and even James McCloud. After the Aparoid Queen and her brethren's defeat, Fox tells his team that he thinks Star Wolf probably survived as well.
After the defeat of the Aparoid Queen and the ultimate destruction of the Aparoid Homeworld, Wolf returned to his old ways and became a wanted fugitive by the Cornerian Army, placing a heavy bounty on his team's head, with his own being the highest at $30,000.00. During the Anglar Blitz, Wolf showed a grudging respect towards Fox and helped the Star Fox team, and even expressed guilt after cheating Star Fox out of victory in one final mission. Despite this, he maintained his rivalry with both Fox and his team, however remaining neutral during their fight against the Anglar Empire.
When the Anglar Emperor was defeated, Wolf and his team returned to the site of their rival's victory. Wolf angrily scolded Fox for stealing his prey, claiming that his chances of clearing the bounty on his head had been spoiled. Fox then revealed that he intended to take the bounty off himself after much pleading from Krystal.
In one storyline, Fox seeks out Wolf's piloting skills and intends to ally with him against the Anglars. Wolf agrees but only on monetary conditions and makes it clear to Fox that "We're not friends, and we never will be". ROB 64 is unsure about the chances of Wolf's total loyalty, while Falco is infuriated at the thought of siding with him. Fox, Falco and Wolf eventually cooperate and defeat the Solar Satellite, while gaining the terraforming device created by Andross. Wolf later takes the device and makes off with it for his own in attempts to clear the bounty off his team.
But in one similar ending, Star Wolf assaulted and defeated the Anglar forces and the Emperor himself, leaving Star Fox in the dust. People all over Lylat talked about Wolf and his courageous crew and the Cornerian Army threw a huge celebration for the team. Then General Peppy rewarded them by taking the bounties off Star Wolf's heads and even paying them a bit for destroying the Anglars. This points to the idea that Star Wolf may have wanted to instead do the thing that would give them fame, not money.
Lylat Wars Comic
Wolf appears in the Lylat Wars Comic with the rest of Star Wolf. His role is much smaller compared to Pigma and Andrew. Star Wolf first appear when they ambush the Star Fox team at the Asteroid Belt, but piloting superiority beats Wolf's team back with Fox hot on Pigma's tail for his treason towards his old team. Wolf intervenes the chase to let Pigma escape, and threatens to send Fox to see his father, to which Fox concludes the rumors surrounding Wolf's involvement with the mystery over James McCloud's fate.
Pigma and Andrew later make another attempt to take down Star Fox over Solar in revenge for their humiliation towards Andross. But they acted without Wolf's approval or knowledge, infuriating him, to which he then expels them from the team for disobedience and opens fire on them. Wolf explains that Fox is his rival and that their grudge has not yet been satisfied. This act of saving Fox's life to continue their conflict predates the famous event that occurred years later in Star Fox: Assault.
- Wolf's statement: "Can't let you do that, Star Fox," has become an Internet phenomenon over time. Websites such as Halolz post images of Wolf photoshopped into other images.
- Similarly, thanks to The Phantom Pain unveiling a one-eyed wolf dog named D.D. as a potential companion in TGS 2014, the internet meme for Wolf's famous statement was also included in an image of D.D.
- Though Wolf's "Can't let you do that, Star Fox," comes from Star Fox 64, most representations show him with his "assault" artwork, likely because no character artwork of Wolf in Star Fox 64 was ever released.
- In Star Fox 64, Wolf is the only AI to respond to maneuvers that the Arwing does. For example, if Wolf is chasing the player, and the player somersaults behind him, he may say "What the heck?!". In the remake, he gives more responses.
- The true nature of Wolf's "rivalry" with James McCloud remains one of the Star Fox series' biggest mysteries. Wolf's age during the events in Star Fox 64 was stated as 19 in the 1997 special issue of Nintendo Power, indicating that he must've been a young man when he knew James.
- Grant Goodeve, who voiced Wolf in Star Fox: Assault, and Rick May, who voiced Peppy Hare and Andross in Star Fox 64, both voice a character (the Engineer and Soldier classes, respectively) in the Valve game Team Fortress 2.
- Furthering this coincidence, the June 2014 TF2 short Expiration Date had both characters' actors replaced by Nolan North, the former due to Goodeve's absence, and the latter being a single line done because of Rick May's inability to perform it.
- His last name, O'Donnell, appears to be Irish in origin and may be a reference to the cultural phenomenon of Wolves in Ireland. Wolves are extinct in Ireland, but were important to their culture and are significant to Irish mythology.
- The fact that Wolf is a bounty hunter in Event Match 36 of Super Smash Bros. Brawl is exceptionally ironic considering that he himself was the subject of a bounty in Star Fox Command.
Names in Other Languages
|Japanese||ウルフ・オドネル (Urufu Odoneru) Wolf O'Donnell|
(スターウルフリーダー Star Wolf Leader)
|Chinese||沃爾夫・歐唐納 (Wòērfū Ōutángnà)|
|Korean||울프 오도넬 (Ulpeu Odonel)|
|Russian||Вольф О'Донелл (Volf O'Donell)|
- NINTENDO POWER Star Fox 64: Official Nintendo Player's Guide. Redmond, WA, Nintendo of America. 1997.
- Star Fox Assault; Instruction Booklet
|All Games||Wolf O'Donnell • Leon Powalski • Pigma Dengar • Andrew Oikonny|
|2005-2006||Panther Caroso • Krystal • Ruffian|
|Vehicles||Wolfen • Wolfen II • Hunter • Rainbow Delta • Black Rose • Pigma's ship|
|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|
|Main Characters||Fox McCloud • Falco Lombardi • Slippy Toad • Krystal • ROB 64 • Peppy Hare • Katt Monroe • Bill Grey • Lucy Hare • Amanda • Dash Bowman • James McCloud • Wolf O'Donnell • Leon Powalski • Panther Caroso • Anglar Emperor|
|Supporting Characters||Beltino Toad • Vivian Hare • Zako • Zazan • Zoldge • Octoman • Pigma Dengar • Andrew Oikonny • General Pepper • Andross|
|Bosses||ZaZanga 9 • Splitter • Devil Shark • Octopod • Biobrain • Star Wolf (Wolf, Panther and Leon) • Death Crab • Pigma Dengar • Solar Satellite • Killer Bee • Dune Worm • Monarch Dodora • Grunner • Arrow Head • Anglar Emperor|
|Enemies||Anglar Starfish • Elite Fighter|
|Locations||Corneria • Aquas • Asteroid Belt • Fichina • Katina • Sector X • Sector Y • Sector Z • Solar • Titania • Venom|
|Navigation||Plot • Missions • Gallery • Videos • Script|
|Main Characters||Fox McCloud • Falco Lombardi • Peppy Hare • Slippy Toad • Miyu • Fay • General Pepper • Andross|
|Bosses||Mirage Dragon • Tektron • Hunter Fantron • Space Blade • Algy • Pigma • Leon • Wolf • Andross|
|Enemies||Moth Glider • Planet Missile • Night Fang • Hal Bird • Skull Toad • Sky Kicker • Spread Missile • Brain Spoiler • Spiral Kite • Cannon Bomber • Prison Bow • Turtle Missile • Station Missile • The Spinners • Metal Boomerang|
|Locations||Corneria • Satellite Defense Platform • Titania • Meteor • Fortuna • Macbeth • Venom • Eladard • Battle Carrier • Secret Base • Astropolis •|
|Navigation||Plot • Missions • Gallery • Videos • Script|