Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

This Unmade Star Fox Game Would Have Used Puppet-Inspired Graphics

A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for a popular game series, whether graphically or mechanically. Nintendo's "The Legend of Zelda" underwent stunning transformations in its 37 years of adventure games, jumping between art styles ranging from the charming CGI of "The Wind Waker" to the gritty realism of "Twilight Princess." Unfortunately, not all franchises, including the "Star Fox" games, have benefited from such treatment. While Nintendo has introduced significant shifts to the series before, like on-foot combat in "Star Fox: Assault" and action-adventure elements in "Star Fox Adventures," fans have wanted "Star Fox" to break out of its perceived slump for a while now (via VG247). "Star Fox Zero" was released as the latest game in the series in 2016, and it totally flopped despite the hype surrounding it. Little did everyone know until recently that a shut-down "Star Fox" game would have introduced a major coat of paint–or fur–to the series.


DidYouKnowGaming? posted a video covering its findings from an interview with a former game artist at Retro Studios, the creators behind "Metroid Prime," which just received the new remastered version fans had been begging for. In the interview, the artist shared and discussed a pitch document for a Wii U "Star Fox" game framed as a direct sequel to the Nintendo 64 classic. The twist: said artist reimagined Fox McCloud and company in a puppet aesthetic.

Star Fox Armada borrows from early artwork

Former Retro artist Eric Kozlowsky unveiled "Star Fox Armada" to the folks at DidYouKnowGaming, a game intended to keep the studio occupied following "Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze." The pitch never made it to Nintendo but certainly took a different spin–or barrel roll–on the series with its more realistic puppet portrayals of Fox, Slippy, Peppy, and Falco, borrowing directly from early marketing materials for the original "Star Fox" (via MobyGames). "Armada" also promised a notably different experience compared to how "Star Fox Zero" turned out.


Whereas "Zero" reimagined "Star Fox 64" and expanded upon it with new vehicles, "Kozlowsky envisioned "Armada" as a title that combined the mechanics of "64" with an open-world hub and online multiplayer. While "Zero" featured offline multiplayer co-op, the pitch document stressed "Armada" multiplayer as a pillar of gameplay. It detailed offline co-op, mission-based online co-op, and online dogfights where players duke it out amidst an armada of ships.

Kozlowsky also outlined how the game encouraged players to form their own intergalactic bands of mercenaries. "You and your friends have your own team like Star Lion, you know, and you're a lion character," the artist explained. "I was thinking of the Miiverse, and you could say like, 'oh man, Star Llama came and took me out, I'm putting up a bounty if anyone sees Star Llama.'"


Regrettably for fans of the series, neither "Star Fox Armada" nor any other "Star Fox" game has debuted since "Star Fox Zero."