A spin-off of the Star Fox series of spaceflight combat games, Star Fox Adventures focuses on 3D exploration and combat similar to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, with some segments based on the series' traditional Arwing on-rails flight sequences.
Taking place eight years after the Lylat Wars, Adventures is set on a remote world at the edge of the Lylat star system known as Dinosaur Planet (which is inhabited by tribes of anthropomorphic creatures resembling real-life prehistoric animals and is somehow breaking apart). The game's prologue stars Krystal, a mysterious blue fox sent to investigate a distress call only to become trapped in a floating crystal after learning that the SharpClaw tribe, led by General Scales, is beginning their conquest against the other tribes. Players then begin the main campaign as legendary pilot Fox McCloud, who is contracted by General Pepper to investigate the planet. Armed with Krystal's magic staff and aided by Prince Tricky of the EarthWalker tribe, Fox must scour the planet, fight General Scales' forces, and find a way to keep the planet from exploding (which threatens the entire star system).
The game is known for its original development as the Nintendo 64 title Dinosaur Planet, which had no reference to Star Fox at all. Although few pieces of promotional content of the original exist, a development build of the game was leaked on Feburary 2021.
The gameplay mechanics of Star Fox Adventures have been compared to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, due to a number of gameplay similarities that both titles share. Unlike other Star Fox titles, the player character Fox McCloud is on foot for nearly the entire game, though Arwing sequences are used for traveling between different parts of the planet. Early on, Fox discovers a staff that belongs to Krystal and is encouraged to use it over his blaster. The staff can be used for attacking enemies with physical melee strikes, but is also used for firing magic attacks, such as ice, fire, or various others. As in Ocarina of Time, Fox cannot jump. Instead, he jumps automatically when the player runs toward an obstacle that he is capable of leaping over. He can also roll at the end of a fall to reduce the impact and avoid taking damage. Also like Ocarina of Time, Star Fox Adventures features a lock-on system, but while Ocarina of Time forces the player to manually lock-on, Fox locks onto his enemies automatically.
The game opens with a prologue that serves as the introduction of Krystal, a vixen who has received a distress call from the planet of Sauria. She lands in Krazoa Palace, and quickly learns that the planet has been captured by General Scales and his SharpClaws. A wounded dinosaur begs Krystal to collect all of the Krazoa Spirits in the palace, which supposedly can change the course of the war. After collecting the first one, she is pushed up into a floating crystal and trapped inside. She remains here for the majority of the game.
The game then transitions to the Great Fox, where it becomes apparent that the Star Fox team has fallen on hard times and seen little action as of late. Falco Lombardi has left the team, and the Great Fox is in need of repairs, which the team doesn't have the money to buy. Thus, when General Pepper contacts the team asking them to investigate Sauria, Fox jumps at the chance to help.
Upon arriving on Sauria, Fox meets with the queen of the Earthwalker tribe, who informs him that General Scales has stolen the planet's Spellstones from two Force Point Temples. As a result, Sauria is literally falling to pieces. To prevent the planet's destruction, Fox must restore the Spellstones, and the queen enlists the aid of her son, Prince Tricky to assist his efforts. However, after restoring the Spellstones, it becomes apparent that the Krazoa Spirits are also needed.
After collecting all but one of the Krazoa Spirits, Fox finds himself face to face with General Scales. Fox and the general prepare to fight when a mysterious voice commands General Scales to give up the Krazoa Spirit.
After taking all of the spirits to the Krazoa Palace, Krystal is freed. The spirits then all enter a Krazoa statue, who is revealed to be Dr. Andross, the Star Fox franchise's main antagonist. Fox flies after Andross in his Arwing. During the long battle, Falco Lombardi makes an entrance. He aids Fox in defeating Andross, and with their archenemy defeated once more, rejoins the team. The Krazoa spirits fly back to and restore the planet to its natural shape.
Fox McCloud is back to investigate the planet of Sauria. Unfortunately, Fox can't use his trusty blaster this time around, but nonetheless, Fox is still resourceful. He utilizes Krystal's staff, learning magic attacks and more. Unlike with previous Star Fox games, Fox is operating without the rest of his team this mission. They are still there, but they can only assist Fox from the Great Fox.
Krystal's past is a mystery to everyone. She could be from a completely different system, although it is never clearly stated where she is from. What is known is that she is from the destroyed planet of Cerinia and is investigating the murder of her parents. In the opening sequence of Star Fox Adventures, Krystal is answering a distress call originating on Sauria. Despite some great skill with her staff, she is quickly defeated at the hands of General Scales. She later becomes Fox's love interest; this is hinted at during the ending of Star Fox Adventures and during a mission in Star Fox Assault, but they develop a real relationship in Star Fox Command. Krystal is capable of speaking Dino; a fictional language created for the game.
Slippy Toad is the engineer for the Star Fox team. His inventions come in handy for Fox during the course of the game, with such inventions as R.O.B. 64 and a translator for the Dino language. Slippy can provide hints at any time during gameplay, triggered by the player asking. However, many players find him quite irritating.
Peppy Hare has aged since his last appearance; he is now 49 years old. He is now in charge of mission status and tactical information. By contacting him during gameplay, the player can save, change options, etc. He is an essential part to the team.
General Scales is a major antagonist of Star Fox Adventures. He terrorizes Sauria by stealing the Spellstones and Krazoa Spirits. He is also the ruler of the SharpClaw race, which follows his every command. However, he is not the primary antagonist. He is merely a pawn being used by Andross.
Prince Tricky is the son of the King and Queen Earthwalkers. To follow commands, Fox must feed Tricky mushrooms. These mushrooms then count as a "power meter" so that Tricky can follow commands, such as breathing fire or even menial tasks such as fetching a ball. Tricky can attack using his abilities, but it is complicated, as the player must simultaneously fight and select the command. Tricky ends up appearing in later games as well, including an appearance in Star Fox Assault.
Falco Lombardi, despite his large popularity, doesn't appear in the game until the final battle with Dr. Andross. Falco also appears in the ending cutscene, rejoining the Star Fox team. He aids Fox by dropping power-ups for use during the final battle. He is rendered differently than in his previous incarnations; he now has a more black, mercenary feel, and he has sunglasses. It is notable that his feathers received no rendering, while other characters' fur and scales were rendered.
There are eight dinosaur tribes that range from good to evil. RedEye and SharpClaw are the only truly evil tribes; the rest are generally benign.
Star Fox Adventures began its long and storied development history as a Nintendo 64 game called Dinosaur Planet. During an interview with Shigeru Miyamoto at E3, he joked that the hero of Dinosaur Planet bore a resemblance to Star Fox's own Fox McCloud, and suggested in jest that Rare make a Star Fox game instead. Rumors had been circulating at E3 that Nintendo was shopping around for a team willing to make a new Star Fox game, either for the Nintendo 64 or the upcoming Nintendo Gamecube. Not long after that E3 comment, Rare and Nintendo penned a deal to convert Dinosaur Planet in to "Star Fox Adventures: Dinosaur Planet".
Not all of the team at Rare was willing to make the change, however. Nintendo's often vague (but strict) guidelines regarding the Star Fox universe and canon meant a vast majority of the characters and storyline of Dinosaur Planet had to be heavily reworked or removed entirely, which did not sit well with those who had spent months crafting the game's original world and plot. As the game (now renamed simply to "Star Fox Adventures") neared its release date, rumors began to crop up regarding strife between Rare and Nintendo. The founders of Rare, the Stamper Brothers, had been known to sell stake in the company to Nintendo in order to drum up additional development funds, and by the time work was underway with Star Fox Adventures, Nintendo owned 49% of Rare - just 2% shy of owning a controlling portion of the company. Once again needing money in order to finish Star Fox Adventures, the Stampers offered to sell the entire company to Nintendo, but at a price Nintendo was not comfortable paying, and they were told to find other buyers.
Two weeks after Star Fox Adventures hit retail, Nintendo and Rare announced that they would be parting ways; Microsoft had bought the entire company, including the 49% Nintendo owned.
The Original Dinosaur Planet
Members of the Star Fox Online forums discovered that a decent portion of the original Dinosaur Planet script is still contained within Star Fox Adventures. A file on the Star Fox Adventures disc called GAMETEXT.bin contains all of the text ever used in the entire game, both for the Nintendo 64 version of Dinosaur Planet and the GameCube version of Star Fox Adventures. Though not entirely complete, many scenes from Dinosaur Planet's storyline remain fully intact.
Dinosaur Planet's plot involved the war between a dragon-like race called "Kamerians", and the Krazoa. The Kamerians had existed on Dinosaur Planet for centuries, and were originally worshiped as Gods by the lesser species. The Kamerians created the powerful and dangerous Spellstones. According to the Krazoa, the Kamerians intended to use the Spellstones to destroy Dinosaur Planet, and a war began between the two species over their creation. Though, to the player, the Krazoa are introduced as "Peace Spirits" that bring life to the planet, characters throughout the game hint that they have a more sinister purpose. A boss in Star Fox Adventures described simply as a "Mutant" was originally named "Drakor", a key character to Dinosaur Planet's storyline, and General Scales' father. Before fighting Drakor in Dinosaur Planet, he would relay a key piece of dialog to the player: "Do not believe everything the Krazoa have told you. We Kamerians did not start the Great War." He declares that defeating the Krazoa Spirits is the key to destroying Dinosaur Planet, and that there is no task more important to him.
In Dinosaur Planet, players controlled one of two characters: Sabre, a wolf boy who lived on Dinosaur Planet all his life, or Krystal, a feline girl who was orphaned on the planet after her home world was destroyed. Both Sabre and Krystal were raised by a wizard named Randorn, who used to know Sabre's father. When playing as Sabre, the player would be tasked with collecting the Spellstones. When playing as Krystal, the player would instead collect Krazoa Spirits. Switching between Sabre and Krystal could be done at any time by talking to the Swapstone (later renamed the Warpstone for Star Fox Adventures). Sabre would be accompanied by Prince Tricky, and Krystal would be accompanied by Tricky's brother, Rocky (though later on, Krystal would be instead paired up with Princess Kyte of the Cloudrunner Tribe).
It would eventually be revealed that by joining all Krazoa Spirits together at the Krazoa Shrine (originally called "Warlock Mountain" in Dinosaur Planet) they would form the ultimate weapon in the galaxy. Not enough of the Dinosaur Planet script remains to describe what happens after that.
- "Bafomdads", items used to bring Fox back to life after dying, are a jumbled way of saying "Back from Dead".
- In Dinosaur Planet, Bafomdads were called "Dusters".
- Warlock Mountain, Golden Plains, Golden Plains Shrine, Diamond Bay, Discovery Falls, Swapstone Hollow and Willow Grove are all names of locations that are present in GAMETEXT.bin and were either changed or are not present in the final game.
- Tricky was to have extra commands: DISTRACT, which distracted SharpClaw guards from certain locations, and RIDE, which apparently allowed Fox to ride Tricky. In addition, the STAY command was originally named GUARD, which explains why Tricky takes a defensive position and growls when Fox tells him to stay.
- A Cinema Viewer, Big Head Mode, and Giant Head Mode were to be unlocked via Cheat Coins, but never were implemented.
- In addition to listing where the player was when they saved, Save Files were to have descriptions of recent plot events tied to them.
- The Final Krazoa Spirit test was cut, known as "The Test of Sacrifice". It's save file description simply says "Would you put yourself before your friends?"
- As the game was being converted to a Star Fox title, Falco was intended to show up earlier in the storyline. He would bail Fox out in the Walled City, after he unexpectedly encounters General Scales.
- Fox originally offered Krystal a position to join the Star Fox team, but Krystal would only agree to if Fox gave her a kiss. Dialog for this scene was recorded and exists on the Star Fox Adventures disc, but is not used.