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Is There Actually An Official Star Fox 2 Cartridge?

Star Fox 2 remains one of the rarest games in Nintendo history, even though it was bundled with the SNES Classic system. For collectors who want a physical copy of the game, there's little hope for securing a cartridge of the space shooter, unless your name is Dylan Cuthbert.


Cuthbert worked on the original Star Fox game and held the title of lead programmer for Star Fox 2. In an interview with Emulatorium, Cuthbert stated that Star Fox 2, while fully finished, didn't get published because Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto wanted to make a "clean break" between the SNES and the Nintendo 64, which promised superior graphics and completely 3D gameplay. However, Cuthbert notes, there would have been a year and a half between the proposed release of Star Fox 2 and the N64.

Another related reason for that "clean break" was the issue of comparison between systems. Since Sony's PlayStation had already been released, any 3D game on the SNES would immediately be compared to the cleaner 3D graphics of Sony's system. Cuthbert stated, "'I could understand the reasoning — the PlayStation and Saturn had come out and were obviously superior." Ultimately, Nintendo agreed and cancelled Star Fox 2.


One official cartridge to rule them all

Later in his career, after working with Sony, Cuthbert returned to Nintendo to develop Star Fox Command for the Nintendo DS. While preparing for Star Fox Command, Cuthbert received the only official cartridge version of Star Fox 2 to use as inspiration for the newer game. In Nintendo Life, Cuthbert described playing the cartridge as "quite a blast." He also noted that many of the ideas from Star Fox 2 appeared in Star Fox Command, although developers were encouraged to creatively use the dual screens of the DS.


Almost 22 years after Star Fox 2's proposed release, Nintendo released it on the SNES Classic system, providing extra incentive for gamers to pick up the new console. In his official review of Star Fox 2, The Verge author Andrew Webster explains that while the visuals of Star Fox 2 are sometimes confusing, he's "glad it exists." Regardless of how it holds up against today's games, Star Fox 2 is a historical curiosity.

While the release of Star Fox 2 on the Nintendo Switch Online SNES platform started as just a rumor, gamers can now play the unreleased Star Fox game on the Switch.