In the waning years of the Super NES, Nintendo went into production on a sequel to Star Fox, with bigger and grander ambitions than the original, powered by the Super FX2 chip. But the game never came out, being cancelled at the eleventh hour. Now the website Nintendo Life has scored an exclusive interview with Dylan Cuthbert, programmer for Argonaut Software, which made the original Star Fox and its original sequel. Here are the most interesting revelations gathered from that conversation….
Star Fox 2 would have changed the direction of the series Instead of running on rails, Star Fox 2 would have been a completely open-world shooter, and not only that, enemies and other elements would be randomly generated, making every playthrough different. There was even experimentation with platform stages at one point. “The series was never intended to be limited to linear 3D scrolling stages, and [Miyamoto] will often say that the only reason they did that was to get the best speed and performance out of the Super FX Chip.”
Fan theories about why the game was cancelled are correct “It was the summer of 1995 and the PlayStation and Saturn were suddenly doing very well in Japan,” recalls Cuthbert. “I think that caught Nintendo off-guard. The decision was made because they didn’t want the old-gen 3D going up against the much better 3D of the next generation, side-by-side. The rivalry between Sony and Nintendo was very fresh and strong back then because of the whole SNES CD-ROM affair.”
The finished game is far better than any of the leaked ROMs suggest “There are a few ROMs on the net in various conditions,” he states. “But the ones I checked out are all old and they don’t have the randomizing Rogue-like stuff working or all the encounters in place, so you don’t really get the feel of the game we were making.”
The actual finished version will never be released, if Cuthbert is correct “The legal problems regarding the now-defunct Argonaut Software are probably a nightmare,” Cuthbert laments. “Never say never though! The fully complete Japanese ROM at least does exist.”
Read the full interview at Nintendo Life.