Today's visit to the promotional artwork archive takes us to the original Star Fox for the Super NES. Released in 1993 to show off the power of the Super FX chip, the game's characters are mainly window dressing to justify the existence of the arwing fighter ships. Fittingly enough, the promotional artwork created for the game focuses on these characters instead of the arwing itself, as the game was released during the great character mascot invasion of the early to mid-1990s. Polygonal ships couldn't sell games or spark the imagination as effectively as quartet of animal/human hybrid heroes. Let's take a quick trip to the planet Corneria and revisit some vintage artwork from the original Star Fox adventure.
The promotional artwork for the origial Star Fox skewed towards realistic depictions of animal/human characters which, frankly, I always found a bit creepy. Take note of Fox McCloud's exceptionally pointy ears that would later be de-emphasized in future games. These versions of Fox and wingman Falco Lombardi still give me bad flashbacks to the Rock-afire Explosion of Showbiz Pizza fame. I'm still waiting for them to burst out in anamatronic song and choreographed dance.
Our hero shot matched with arwings. What's the deal with the yellow and white squares on each character's jacket? Don't they remove tags in the Lylat System? Maybe they're showing off their radical Members Only gear. I hear that's a very exclusive club. The matching triangular belt buckles are a nice touch.
Peppy Hare's ears seem to grow longer in each successive image. I'll say it again; there's just something very unnerving about these versions of the characters. Perhaps it's the fact that they must all suffer from chronic ankle pain. Look at their stubby little feet for goodness sake! No wonder they spent all of their time inside vehicles during this phase of their development.
Does anyone else get a "character breakfast at Walt Disney World" vibe from this version of the Star Fox team? I keep waiting for Fox to pull off his own head to reveal a small human inside who is paid minimum wage to prance around and delight rude little children.
Wings should not have fingers!
Poor Peppy's ears are not ready for the digital television transition.
As for Slippy Toad, he's always been one of the more annoying characters on the team, but it's here that he's at his most grotesque (well, okay, there is one exception).
I'll leave you at what the original Star Fox game did best from a visual design point of view: arwings! Arwings that scream across the stars! Pay no attention that in this image they do not appear to be in motion or even outright capable of moving at all. These particular arwings do nothing but exist suspended in the outer layers of the atmosphere, it seems. Considering the primitive state of 3D gaming at the time, however, that's impressive enough.
(Images via Gamehiker)