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Nintendo's Star Fox inspired by... Thunderbirds?!

Miyamoto reveals surprising influences

In its latest 'Iwata Asks', Nintendo has delved into the ideas behind its beloved flight combat/rail shooter title Star Fox - and its influences are surprisingly close to home.


Quizzed on the decision to use anthropomorphic animals as characters in the game, Nintendo think-tank Shigeru Miyamoto replied by saying "most of the sci-fi in Japan back then was robot anime, superheroes and monsters" and that he "wasn't interested in doing the same thing".

According to Miyamoto he'd been drawing animal characters for a while and the team decided to use them since they would seem so out of place in a shooting game and therefore would be memorable.

"I had been drawing animal characters for a long time, so I suggested animal characters to Imamura-san. He was surprised," he explained. "We were like, 'But animal characters in a shooting game?' and then 'That's precisely why it would have impact!'

Speaking about the Super Famicom version, which used puppets for its box art, Miyamoto revealed he "always loved English puppet drama, like the Thunderbirds".

Apparently the father of Mario liked Thunderbirds so much that he "imagined Star Fox selling a lot and the company that produced Thunderbirds coming all the way from England for negotiations to adapt it into a puppet drama". It's a shame it never happened, Miyamoto-san.

Star Fox 64 is making its way to the 3DS next month. Cast your eyes on this five minute gameplay video to see how it's shaping up.