Nintendo has revealed the genesis of one of its most beloved series, the animal-populated sci fi epic, Star Fox.
“Most of the sci-fi in Japan back then was robot anime, superheroes and monsters. But I wasn’t interested in doing the same thing,” legendary Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto explained in a new episode of Iwata Asks.
“I had been drawing animal characters for a long time, so I suggested animal characters. We were like, ‘But animal characters in a shooting game?’ and then ‘That’s precisely why it would have impact!’ and started thinking about which animals to use.”
Miyamoto commented that the many arches found in Star Fox made him think of the red torii gates seen at Japanese shrines, and particularly of the many-gated shrine to the god Inari, whose special messenger is a fox.
The game’s other characters were picked from well-known japanese folk stories and sayings, although the toad was based on a staff member who was particularly fond of amphibians.
Meanwhile, the game’s puppet-like animation was inspired by a love of shows like Thunderbirds, with the eventual hope that Star Fix would spawn its own series.
Star Fox’s distinctive vessel, the Arwing, was designed to use a minimum of polygons due to the technical limitations of the SNES, and named for its A shape.
Follow the link above to read the full Iwata Asks, which features some cute back and forth between English-born Q-Games founder Dylan Cuthbert and Miyamoto as well as plenty of insight into the franchise’s on-and-off development.
Star Fox 64 3D is due on 3DS in September.