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Star Fox 64 is a Nintendo 64 iteration of the Star Fox franchise (known as Lylat Wars in Europe). Since Star Fox was one of the few Super NES titles to use Super FX chip technology for 3D play, the N64 sequel had a leg up on competing franchises in terms of experience with 3D mechanics.
The game is noted for being the first to introduce support for the Rumble Pak.
Andross, seeking control of the Lylat system, declares war on the Lylat System. So Fox McCloud and his wingmates Peppy Hare, Slippy Toad and Falco Lombardi take off towards Andross's home base planet of Venom to stop the crazy ape. Along the way they use help from their friends General Pepper, Bill Grey, Katt Monroe, and ROB 64. They also encounter resistance from recurring opponents in Star Wolf - Wolf O'Donnell, Pigma Dengar, Leon Powalski, and Andrew Oikonny (nephew of Andross), pretty much evil-twin counterparts to Fox, Peppy, Falco and Slippy respectively.
Through in-game speech, the game delves slightly into the lore of Star Fox - the original Star Fox team being James McCloud (Fox's father), Pigma, and Peppy. Peppy mentions Fox's father repeatedly ("Your father would be proud!," and Pigma brings the topic of the old team up occasionally in Star Wolf fights. James himself makes a cameo in the final portion of the game, escaping from Venom.
The game always starts in Corneria and ends in Venom, with five other planets (stages) in between, but there are various selections for these planets - and even two versions of Venom - depending on reactions to certain events, and sometimes simple choices as to where to go.
There are two "modes" for the Arwing - Corridor Mode, which is traditional Star Fox-style level progression, the Arwing being forced along as the player shoots things; and All-Range Mode, typically used for large skirmishes or boss battles, which allows the Arwing to turn around and fly freeform in a 3D arena. SF64 also introduced the Landmaster tank and Blue-Marine submarine, although the tank had only two levels to use it in, and the sub only one. Each craft can fire lasers (which can be upgraded with pickups in a level) and smart bombs, with the Blue-Marine having infinite homing missiles.
In single-player mode, the player controls Fox, his three wingmen controlled by AI. They have their own life bars, and in addition to occasionally helping out by intercepting enemy craft or piling on a large enemy ship, will frequently ask for help in scripted events - usually being pursued by a boss or by three or four enemy craft at once. When a wingman runs out of health, he has to go back to the ship for repairs and ducks out of the next mission, so it's in the best interests of the player to save the frog, despite himself.
There are three kinds of VS. Mode multiplayer: Point Match, Battle Royal, and Time Battle, all playable by two to four players. Point Matches are played until any person has acquired the pre-set number of points, gained from killing other players. Battle Royal is a once-and-done deal, and the winner is the last anthropomorph standing. Time Battle is a timed enemy skirmish, the contest being who can rack up the most kills in the time limit (with extra points for killing players). In two of the three VS. Mode maps, players can choose from Arwing, Landmaster, or on-foot with a big bazooka if they have unlocked the latter two options by gaining medals in the single-player game. The third map, which is in a debris field in space, does not allow tanks or bazookas.
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|Star Fox series|
|Star Fox | Star Fox 2 (cancelled) | Star Fox 64 | Star Fox Adventures | Star Fox: Assault | Star Fox Command|
|Star Fox | Fox McCloud | Falco Lombardi | Slippy Toad | Peppy Hare | James McCloud | Krystal | ROB 64|
|Star Wolf| Wolf O'Donnell | Leon Powalski | Panther Caroso|
|Andross | Pigma Dengar | Andrew Oikonny | Aparoids|
|General Pepper | Prince Tricky | Arwing | Wolfen | Great Fox | Landmaster | Blue-Marine | Lylat | Corneria | Venom | Sauria|