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Published on Feb 18, 2008
Fox McCloud (フォックス・マクラウド, Fokkusu Makuraudo?) is an anthropomorphic video game character from the Star Fox series. He was created by Shigeru Miyamoto and designed by Takaya Imamura. As his name implies, he is a red fox and the main player character of the series. In each game the player controls Fox, either on the ground or in his Arwing. He is the leader of the Star Fox team, and is joined by his wingmates on various missions. In the English release of Star Fox 64, he was voiced by Mike West. In both the Japanese release of Star Fox 64 and Super Smash Bros. series, Fox's voices were done by Shinobu Satouchi. For English dialogue of Super Smash Bros. Melee and Star Fox Adventures, Fox's voice was done by Rare's Steve Malpass. In Star Fox: Assault, his voice was done by Jim Walker in the English release and by Kenji Nojima in the Japanese release. Nojima reprised his role for Super Smash Bros. Brawl, leading to the possibility that Walker might do the same.
In 1992, Argonaut Games and Nintendo collaborated to produce a 3D space shooter for the Super Nintendo, provisionally titled 'SnesGlider'. The development team, led by Shigeru Miyamoto, redesigned what had been a tech demo into a rail shooter, with Nintendo designing the game and Argonaut handling the technical aspects.
However, without a story, it lacked incentives to play beyond flying and shooting. Miyamoto sketched out a fictional universe, but couldn't decide on a natural hero to convey a sense of an epic space battle. Names under consideration included Star Wolf, Star Sheep, Star Fox, Star Sparrow and Star Hawk. Miyamoto finally settled on having a fox as the main character after visiting Fushimi Inari-taisha in Kyoto, the head shrine of Inari, a Japanese kami associated with foxes. Inari is protrayed as being able to fly, and its shrines, particularly the one in Kyoto, are surrounded by red arches (torii), giving Miyamoto the idea of a fox that could fly through arches.
Fox's face was modeled after Inari's, and always wears a red "scarf" around his neck, like the statue, with the exception of his design from Star Fox: Assault. Fox's personality is modelled after Miyamoto's, with the name 'Fox McCloud' being suggested by Dylan Cuthbert, one of the Argonaut team.
In the original Star Fox, Fox wears an orange suit with a flight jacket and metallic boots, along with a communication device on his head. In Star Fox 64, he wears a green suit and his jacket sleeves are rolled up to his elbows. In Super Smash Bros. and its sequel, Melee, Fox appears as he did in Star Fox 64. In Star Fox Adventures, he has a white vest instead of a jacket, his headgear is replaced with a device on his wrist, and wears a knee pad on his left leg. He also wears a large backpack for carrying items, such as Krystal's Staff and the CloudRunner Flute. In Star Fox: Assault, his appearance changes drastically. He wears a green and red jumpsuit, a white vest, pads on his knees and shoulders, and his boots are red and black instead of gray. As in Adventures, his communication device is on his wrist. In Star Fox Command, Fox has gone back to his Star Fox 64 attire, but without his sleeves rolled up. In the upcoming Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Fox has a similar appearance of his Star Fox 64 and Command designs. Although Nintendo has not officially cited Fox's height in a game manual, Nintendo Power released a card featuring Fox, which stated his height, during Star Fox 64, to be 5'8", his weight to be 155 lbs, and his age to be 18. If Logic is followed, Fox's age would be 26 in Adventures (as Adventures takes place 8 years after Star Fox 64, according to the game manual), 27 in Assault (the game manual stated 1 year had passed since the conclusion of Adventures), and 29-30 in Command. In the 1993 Nintendo Power Star Fox comic, Fox had a romantic relationship with Fara Phoenix. While slightly ambiguous, it is obvious that they held mutual affections for each other, by the way they flirt and hold each other on several occasions throughout the comics. Still, the comics are considered non-canon, since Star Fox 64 replaced the original SNES Star Fox title.
Other appearances: Fox has small cameos in other games, notably Stunt Race FX, where a portrait of him can be found in track-side billboards. In F-Zero X and GX, a character named James McCloud is a playable racer, bearing the name of Fox's father. He has a similar appearance to Fox, with his hair looking like ears, and wears sunglasses as well.