Official Nintendo Magazine

Log in to access exclusive Nintendo content, win prizes and post on our forums. Not a member yet? Join for free

Star Fox: The original design

Miyamoto reveals the origins of Fox McCloud and crew

Nintendo revealed the original Star Fox artwork during a fascinating Iwata Asks discussion.

Click to view larger image
As you can see, Tayaka Imamura's sketch shows Fox McCloud, Slippy Toad, Peppy Hare and Falco Lombardi, the animals who would become the stars of the series.

During the discussion, Miyamoto spoke of how he came up with the idea of using animal characters in a shooting game.

"Most of the sci-fi in Japan back then was robot anime, superheroes and monsters. But I wasn't interested in doing the same thing, " said Miyamoto. "I had been drawing animal characters for a long time, so I suggested animal characters to Imamura-san. He was surprised."

He went onto explain the inspiration behind Fox McCloud. "Star Fox has a lot of scenes in which the fighter goes through arches, which reminds one of the gates at Shinto shrines called torii. And torii made me think of the thousands of such gates at Fushimi Inari Taisha. In a prototype, there were lots of scenes like going through there. And when you think of Fushimi Inari, you think of foxes.

"Fushimi Inari Taisha is about a 15-minute walk from our former head office, and there used to be a boys' baseball team in the area called the Inari Foxes. I thought, "Foxes! Now that's cool!"

If you look at the artwork you'll spot a torii by Fox McCloud's feet.

So that's Fox but what about the rest of the crew?

Mitsuhiro Takano who worked on script and character dialogue for Star Fox 64 picks up the story. "I heard directly from Imamura-san that he drew upon Japanese folk tales. That's how he decided on Peppy the hare and Falco the pheasant.

As for Slippy Toad, Miyamoto said: "That is a bit unusual. (laughs) I remember when Imamura-san was drawing that picture, I said, "A toad might be all right, too. There was a staff member who used a toad like a personal mascot, always writing "ribbit, ribbit" and such on memos."

Later on, Miyamoto also commented that Yoshi was also inspired by a member of staff.

Star Fox 64 3D will be released for 3DS next month. You can read the first Star Fox 64 3D review in the new issue of Official Nintendo Magazine.


13 comments so far...
Add a comment

  1. ChipsNGravy Wednesday 3rd Aug 2011 at 11:47

    I've only just realised that Falco is a Pheasant. :oops:

  2. ledreppe Wednesday 3rd Aug 2011 at 12:07

    I've only just realised that Falco is a Pheasant. :oops:

    Funny that, would never have guessed he was a pheasant. Looking forward to getting this game next month.

  3. FireHawk Wednesday 3rd Aug 2011 at 12:40

    Falco is a pheasant? I guess he does look like one in the face, but you wouldn't think him to be a pheasant considering his name.

  4. Super Andre Wednesday 3rd Aug 2011 at 12:40


  5. MistaChristopher Wednesday 3rd Aug 2011 at 13:05

    Nice info here! It's amazing what inspiration there is too everything

  6. SonictheHedgehog Wednesday 3rd Aug 2011 at 14:11

    hm I always thought Falco was a Falcon...hmm haha :) day 1 buy for me I've done so with every starfox game (aside from starwing) hope it sells well so the series is reborn, I still think Miyamoto is depending on this too much, he will only focus on starfox if people buy a over a decade old remake that alot of people already have. Don't get me wrong it looks like a fantastic game and looks beautiful on the 3ds but I would expect Shigsy to make that kind of statement for a brand new game in the series. Heres hoping Starfox continues to barrel roll on to the Wii U and beyond :wink:

  7. shy guy 64 Wednesday 3rd Aug 2011 at 16:29


  8. Mmmyeah Wednesday 3rd Aug 2011 at 17:40

    I've only just realised that Falco is a Pheasant. :oops:

    it seems that everyone did. i wouldn't be surprised if falco is called something different in japan maybe something pheasant related, and the english translators called him falco not knowing he is supposed to be a pheasant, meaning that most people quite fairly presume he is some sort of colourful falcon.

    looking at him now, his head does look pheasant like.

  9. Missile T Dog Wednesday 3rd Aug 2011 at 21:39

    wow falco is a pheasant! It all makes sense once you look really closely. It must make a nice change for the pheasant to be doing the shooting :wink:

  10. CraigEmberson Thursday 4th Aug 2011 at 00:59

    Nope his name is the same in Japanese ???????????,
    which is transliterated into "Faruko Ranbarudi" (romanized) "ru" can be an L or R. There is no singular M in japanese so it is replaced with an N - and then the K in "ko" is a replacement for C as there isn't a singular C in the language... Therefore his name is Falco Lambardi.

  11. light_goose Thursday 4th Aug 2011 at 16:14

    I swear pheasants are brown... anyways, it's always nice hearing where these people get their inspiration from =]

  12. ChipsNGravy Friday 5th Aug 2011 at 08:56

    ...I don't know why I never clicked on he was a Pheasant, now it's been said it seems pretty obvious he's not a Falcon. But with a name like 'Falco' I never bothered to question his facial colours and always just plumped for him being a Falcon.

    It doesn't help that Captain Falcon from F-Zero also sports red and blue colours. Actually, that's kinda a coincidence... are Japanese Falcon's red and blue or something?

  13. gamebox2d Friday 5th Aug 2011 at 09:55

    Do the Japanese even have Pheasants? I heard that the Japanese were being sold sheep as strange dog breeds because they'd never seen a sheep before. Let alone a Pheasant.

    Looks like a Parakeet to me.

Register or log in to commment
Add a comment
Nintendo Co., Ltd. is the owner of certain copyright which subsists and trade marks and other intellectual property rights in certain content, characters, artwork, logos, scripts and representations used in this publication. All rights are expressly recognised and they are used by Future Publishing Limited under licence © 2006 Nintendo Co., Ltd. All rights reserved. "Nintendo", "International Nintendo Licensed Product" "Nintendo DS", "Nintendo DS Lite", "Nintendo DSi", "Nintendo 3DS", "Nintendo DSi XL", "Nintendo 3DS XL", "Wii" and "Wii U" and the associated logos are the trademarks of Nintendo Co. Ltd. All rights reserved.