Dear Miyamoto: We Miss OUR Star Fox

By Jamie Love - April 5th, 2009

Missing Star Fox

The weekend is a notoriously slow couple of days for gaming news. So it wasn’t surprising that when G4 posted their interview with Q Games President Dylan Cuthbert on Friday – which managed to steer the conversation toward the Star Fox franchise he helped create – that the choice quote found good traction across the Internet;

G4: Oh! People are going to love that quote. (laughs) I have to ask you, why do you think it was always difficult for developers when Fox got out of the Arwing. Fox is a pilot, but they’d always get him out of…like the tank, the tank was cool, but it still felt like an Arwing – Why do you think people wanted to take him out of being a pilot and have him run around on foot?

Cuthbert: I think that’s all Miyamoto. Whenever I speak to Miyamoto about Star Fox, he says it’s not meant to be just a flying, sci-fi shooting game. It’s meant to be anything we want to think up. But the core fans don’t want that, but Miyamoto doesn’t really care about that. He wants to make what he wants to make, so he just goes ahead and gets it done.

Still, there’s nothing particularly scandalous about the statement. The only shocking element is the rarity with which a respected designer will speak to and confirm suspicions many of us had already assumed on our own.

In fact, if you dig around, you might find this neglected GeoCities site that appears to have at one time been put together by Cuthbert. A brief but entertaining biography there includes another choice quote;

Worked on and finished Starfox 2 for a year and a half or so, but apparently N64 was just around the corner and Miyamoto no longer wanted to show 3d in its poor SNES state of affairs, so it was filed away and is still lying in some dark dank corner of Nintendo. Of course, N64 was delayed for over a year after that and there was actually plenty of time for people to “forget” the pathetic (relatively speaking) quality of SNES 3D.

Certainly every large developer has ideas that go forward and those that don’t, with mistakes made along the way. But I’m really left wondering about how so many decisions are specifically attributed to Miyamoto. Most companies also have several different directions under different leads. But the story of Nintendo, successful or not, might one day prove to be as much about Miyamoto as the magical and solitary genius we imagine him to be, as he is the primary bottleneck that has kept just as many developments from taking place.

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    5 responses so far:
  2. Posted on Apr 6, 2009

    sad sad sad. The best parts of Starfox Gamecube were when you were in the AirWing. It’s always sad to hear ideas that people want shut down.

  3. Posted on Apr 6, 2009

    @Wolfkin – you know the funny part is I’ll be the first to bitch about wanting something new. But on the cube, I just wanted a graphically superior Starfox 64.

  4. Posted on Apr 6, 2009

    I agree with both of you. On the other hand, I actually quite liked Starfox Command on the DS. Have either of you checked that out? It was more Advance Wars meets Starfox 64 Boss Fights.

  5. Posted on Apr 6, 2009

    @Shaun – I did enjoy that game quite a bit – and to no surprise Cuthbert worked on it.

  6. Posted on Apr 6, 2009

    There you go!

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