Why Did Nintendo Cancel Star Fox 2?

By Spencer . March 28, 2010 . 1:48am


Nintendo hyped up Star Fox 2 and the leaked beta shows the game was near completion. Actually, Dylan Cuthbert, developer and now founder of Q Games, says it was “fully completed.” So, why didn’t it come out?


Cuthbert sheds some light on the situation.


Star Fox 2 was fully completed. I was lead programmer and whilst Giles made Stunt Race FX, myself and the rest of the original Star Fox team (i.e.. Nintendo’s artists and designers) expanded Star Fox into a full 3d shooting game. We used state-of-the-art technology such as arbitrary plane clipping (which has only been seen recently in such games as Crash Bandicoot 2 & 3) to create some rather spectacular effects. (for the time)


The reason for non-release was the then impending Nintendo 64, which of course was intended to be released a lot sooner than it actually was. Miyamoto-san decided he wanted to have a clean break between 3D games on the SNES and 3D games on the new superior 64 bit system. In retrospect, he could have released Star Fox 2 and there would have been over a year and a half before the N64 came out. But hindsight is always 20/20.


Star Fox 64 incorporated a lot of the newer ideas we created in Star Fox 2 but it didn’t, in my view, take the genre a full step forward. Star Fox 2 really was a different direction of gameplay.


This quote was captured from an excellent Star Fox 2 retrospective written by SNES Central, which archived it from Emulatorium. Check out the article for a more detailed history of the game and analysis on the various prototypes.

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  • Wow, an old friend of mine was right on the money

    If looks like it was for the best. Walker mode looked kind of fun (and creepy), but I’m glad they switched it out for an actual tank in SF64.

  • It would make sense to release this on Virtual Console. Kind of like Sin & Punishment (which was released in Japan originally, but hey…details). Doubt they’ll ever do it though.

    I love reading about old development stories. There’s so much to learn from all this stuff.

    • thaKingRocka

      i’d actually buy it if they were to release it on VC.

    • fallen

      I totally agree. I thought the entire point of digital distribution is to enable publishers to take more risks.

  • Soma

    Very interesting. It is a shame that Star Fox 2 was never released, but at least there was Star Fox 64. SF64 has been my favorite Star Fox game so far. The series just hasn’t been as good since, in my opinion.

    • This sounds really odd, but I can’t keep up with Star Fox 64 any more. I don’t know if it’s that the game doesn’t hold up as well or if it’s that I’m just used to “cleaner” presentations and maybe more refined controls. Somehow, I tend to enjoy Star Fox Command on the DS much more now. Almost everyone I know dislikes that game though. :(

      P.S: Love the new avatar. :P

      • Soma

        SF64 was one of the first N64 games I owned and my brother and I played that game until we had medals on every planet on every difficulty. I suppose that’s why it remains to be my favorite. I have very fond memories of the game.
        However, I agree with the presentation and refined controls. Tried playing it again a couple of years ago and found it very difficult to control. :P
        I haven’t played Star Fox Command yet. Though I really want to, the price continues to detract me. I have a really hard time paying more than $20 for a DS game these days.

        Also, thanks! Just watched episode 12 last night. :D
        It was good, but I don’t think it was as epic as episode 11.

  • There’s always the ROM plus English translation from AGTP to hunt down. I’ve seen plenty of people play it.

    • I was going to say… I thought this was old news… Star Fox 2 has been out there for quite a few years…

      • The beta of it was huge for a long time, but they’ve since got it to run a full 60 frames and get it all in English…

        …but this was back in 2007 at least. I know AGTP was stoked when they got the patch out for it. I will say the game is great, however. Definitely something you should look up if you’ve never taken the chance…and if you can’t do that then do a simple YouTube for a playthrough of it.

  • I want to play

  • StealthKnight

    I always hate it when potential good games don’t get released for what ever reason. Some of them seem creative, unique, or different what has ever been made before and still is. I always wish their was a way to play them to enjoy what the developers wanted to sell.

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