Miyamoto and Hayashi talk Star Fox Zero – story, GamePad, vehicles, more
Expanding gameplay with new vehicles
Re-enacting what was made more than 20 years ago
– One of the special features in Star Fox Zero is that Fox’s machine Arwing can transform, for example into a Walker which runs on ground.
– The above idea came from the elusive Star Fox 2, which was planned to be made for the SNES but was cancelled when the Nintendo 64 was coming. In that game, the plan was to make the machine so that it could transform into a robot when entering narrow places like inside enemy warships. But in Star Fox Zero, the player can press “A” to transform into the Walker at anytime, which works like what they envisioned in Star Fox 2.
– Scanning Fox’s amiibo will make the Arwing look like its SNES version. It can also transform to the robot which was designed for Star Fox 2, which they call “Walker FX”.
– They added this feature because they want to give incentives to people who bought the Super Smash Bros. Fox and Falco amiibo.
Transforming on top of battleships too
– The Walker looks like a bird, and the interviewer notes that when it’s descending down it’s like flapping its wings, which looks cute.
– The above point is because they also designed the Walker to look like a bird in Star Fox 2 as well.
– Arwing’s plamodel can also transform to Walker. They also planned to make an amiibo with transforming features, but since they had concerns with the strength on its joints, they ended up not releasing it for sale.
– Unlike Star Fox 64 where the Arwing could only fly, with it being able to transform anytime, it enables players to play through the game in a totally different way, for example landing the Walker on an enemy warship.
– Playing on land has an advantage of destroying targets much easier, but also a disadvantage where platforms will fall down, so the player will need to know when to transform back to the Arwing to prevent falling down from stage.
Also enjoying as an adventure game
– The usable vehicles in Star Fox Zero are the fighter Arwing, the tank Landmaster, and a new helicopter-type machine Gyrowing. The reason why they added the latter: since they’re making a game that moves in a 3D space, they want something that can move in a more relaxed fashion and stop mid-air.
– After they made Gyrowing, they also came up with the idea to make Direct-i, a cute-looking robot that can be dropped from the Gyrowing and accomplish tasks on the ground.
– Since there are two screens, they made it so that one of them shows from Direct-i’s point-of-view. Since it can look at the Gyrowing when looking upwards, they designed the stage compositions based on that.
– Since Direct-i is smaller, it can get into narrow places which the Gyrowing would be unable to. However, since the two are connected by a cable, Direct-i has a limited range of exploration.
– The planet Zones is where the Gyrowing is featured the most, but when using it, the game doesn’t feel like a shooting game, but instead an adventure game like The Legend of Zelda. It’s also because this planet has some peculiar gameplay.
– For example: an enemy that can only be destroyed by shooting an object above them and make it fall to them, or submarines which escape if the robot part is hit but will instead explode if the cannon is hit.
– There’s also a ‘Zones Shark Fishing’ mini-game where the Gyrowing uses Direct Eye as a lure. If a shark is successfully fished, the player gets five hit points.
A title that can’t be left behind
– Miyamoto worked as a producer and supervising director on this game, and his role is closer to a director. The last time he formally worked as a director was Super Mario 64 which was out 20 years ago. For 1998’s Zelda: Ocarina of Time, he worked almost like a director, but his formal title for that game was producer.
– The reason why he was given this role was probably because there was nobody else that could do it in his stead. Or perhaps because Star Fox is a title Miyamoto can’t leave behind.
– There are three directors for this game: Miyamoto, Hayashi and Yusuke Hashimoto from PlatinumGames.
– Hayashi went from being a player during the times of Star Fox 64 to director for Star Fox Zero. When he played Star Fox 64, he felt he could fly freely in the game. In this transition he learned that the buildings are to be placed in a certain way to allow for free flight.