TheSecondDimension frequently paints video game inspired paintings and sells them on Etsy. This original painting of Krystal is the only one of its kind. Not a print, but the actual original painting. TheSecondDimension used acrylic paints on a sketched canvas. The painting is 8 by 10 inches, and is ready to hang on a wall. The painting is available for about $37 dollars.
Cosplayer 天狐, which roughly translates to "Day Fox," joined a group of other cosplayers for a Star Fox Photoshoot on July 9th, 2017. (I'm going to use her Twitter name, Pipita, for the rest of the post.) There were cosplayers for Fox, Falco, Slippy, Wolf, Leon, and Panther in addition to Krystal. As far as I can tell, based on the other accounts, I think this is an all-female cosplay group who put this on. Work on the Human Krystal cosplay began on April 17th, 2017. It features a wig with ears, tail, jewelry, a jumpsuit, boots, and custom makeup. The cosplayers used prop pistols during the photoshoot, Krystal handling one for some photos. This was Pipita's first time working with a zentai suit for cosplay.
The photos in the gallery below are just a sample of all the photos. Other than photos by Pipita herself, there are photos by mnkr_03_ (the Fox cosplayer), runatandeath (probably the Panther cosplayer), tunekitinnkuru7 (the Wolf cosplayer). Check out the sources in the links below.
- Main Post
- More Photos of the Photoshoot - Includes behind the scenes photos
- Working on the wig and ears
- Working on the jumpsuit, tail, and jewelry
- Selfie and group photo
- Hanging out with Fox
- Close ups of Fox and Krystal
- Star Fox Team Group Shot
- Star Fox Team Group Shot 2
- Star Fox vs Star Wolf
- More Group Shots
- Photo Slideshow
- More Group Shots 2
- More Group Shots 3
- More Group Shots 4
Thanks to Ayano for the heads up.
Today, I have an update on the situation with the Mini Consoles.
First, on July 18th, 2017 (last month), Nintendo registered four trademark images with the European Union Intellectual Property Office. They registered an NES controller image, a SNES controller image, a Switch image, and a N64 controller image. Given the timing, contents, and descriptions, it lead the discoverer Rösti on NeoGAF to conclude that this is for the a forthcoming Nintendo 64 Classic, to be released in 2018 following the NES Classic from last year and the SNES Classic to be released later this year.
I think the conclusion he made is reasonable, given the track record we've seen so far. Now, just to add a cherry on top, remember how there was just no way Star Fox 2 would ever be released? Then, do you recall when it suddenly got a release date through the SNES Classic, even to Dylan Cuthbert's shock? Well, you know... there's another game related to Star Fox that never saw release... That's right! I'm talking about the Star Fox Demo for Virtual Boy! Just kidding, I'm talking about Dinosaur Planet. We don't actually know how far along Rare was with the game before it got transitioned to Star Fox Adventures, but we do know they had playable demos. It's a long shot, but could Nintendo do it again? Could Nintendo resurrect a long-thought-dead game from the grave? We'll see.
Alright, enough pie in the sky ideas. One thing is certain: if a N64 Classic get released, you can be certain that Star Fox 64 will be there. I think that's like the 14th release of that game, right? Then again, you should see how many times Ocarina of Time was released!
Next up, there is news of SNES Classic preorders opening in August for retailers across the country. When in August? No-one knows. Obviously, it'll be in the last half of the month since we haven't seen them open up yet. As soon as they are open, I expect to see most of them get gobbled up in the first few hours, if not minutes. The good news is that Nintendo will be producing tons more SNES Classics than they did with the NES Classic, since they know now just how popular it will be.
If you want to get real-time alerts, pricing, and availability of the SNES Classic as it gets nearer to release, check out the SNES Classic page on NowInStock.com. There are ways to get alerts to your phone in real time if you sign up with their instructions.
On that note, would you guys be interested in watching me, play through Star Fox and Star Fox 2 on livestream? As someone who has never played a single Star Fox 2 ROM, and only played a grand total of about 30 minutes of the original Star Fox, you will get a genuine first-time reaction from me, and also get to see me die a lot. I hear the controls are pretty tough. Interested?
As summer winds down, Ayano Harumaki has been posting a few more photos of her summer suit: a lighter, shorter-fur costume. She often wears this suit with a bikini, as she does this time. Earlier this month, Ayano posted about being under the weather. She hoped to return in September (though I'm not sure if she means returning to cosplaying, or returning to regular posting). For now, she's mostly been posting about one of her earlier cosplays: Mrs. Hudson. Best wishes to her as she recovers.
It's finally here! I've begun real work on bringing Star Fox Assault video content to you in glorious 4K. This video is a 4K remake of the Shot Difference Video from 2007, originally posted more than 10 years ago! In the Japanese version of Assault, the first encounter Aparoid shoots at Slippy. But in the English version, Krystal is the target of the attack. Not only is this version in 4K, it shows some interesting details in other parts of the scene. What details? Watch the video and find out! I think you'll find it amusing.
I'm going to attempt to bring one new Star Fox Assault cutscene to you per week until they're done. There are still a lot of things to consider:
- Text glitching with Dolphin - I found a way to fix it, but it causes glitches with pre-rendered cutscenes
- Wide-screen glitches - I'm still investigating
- Japanese animation differences - I will probably record both the English and Japanese versions of those scenes, and also make another set of videos where I combine the Japanese animation with the English dub and text
- 30fps in-game cutscenes - It seems that in Star Fox Assault, during the in-game cutscenes, the game switches to rendering duplicates every other frame, making the video effectively 30fps (lame)
- Pre-rendered cutscene size - The pre-rendered cutscenes are exactly 640 by 448 pixels. The quality will never get better than that. I'm thinking of uploading a 1 to 1 pixel version, as well as an upscaled version of each one
HBR102989 has made a human version of Krystal, with both Adventures and Assault outfits, for MMD. As far as I know, this MMD rig is not available for download yet, if it ever will be released. View the original post.
Back in February of 2017, bagel_of_time created this cool Krystal bust sculpture, which would go on to appear in what I assume is a local art show. Apparently there were some other photos of it, including work-in-progress shots, but I haven't been able to find them. Currently trying to contact the artist. You can view the original posting on Instagram.
The fourth and final in a set of posts comparing other franchises to the Star Fox universe in hopes of finding something that would satisfy us Star Fox fans in absence of an actual Star Fox anime.
Here we are. After a week of posts, we've reached what I consider THE closest thing to a Star Fox anime as we currently have. Swat Kats is an American cartoon that came out the same year as the original Star Fox, 1993. It's basically what might happen if you combined Star Fox and Batman.
The story goes like this: two hotshot pilots, T-Bone and Razor, get dishonorably discharged from the local military-police force, the Enforcers, after they disobeyed orders and accidentally caused millions in property damage to government property trying to stop a bad guy. They were stuck with a huge bill and basically told they'd never work in the industry again. But you see, dear reader, these two guys are the best of the best. They couldn't just sit around while citizens lost their lives and their city was destroyed. So, using their new position as junkyard owners, they cobbled together a next generation fighter jet from military grade hardware that had been thrown away. With this jet, other vehicles, and hand-made weapons gear, they became the Swat Kats: vigilantes who go above the law to fight crime that the Enforcers can't or won't.
As in Batman, the bad guy was not a single enemy or army, but rather many different rogues made up the antagonists of the series, each with their own motivations. Additionally, the authority figure, the Enforcers, represent a mild antagonist as well, since the Swat Kats are operating outside the law. Personally, I think having more bad guys is another thing Star Fox could use. We certainly need more and more interesting villains than Andross alone.
The main team characters are very different from each other. Though there are only two of them, they manage to have an interesting dynamic. T-Bone is the risk-taker strongman. His piloting skills are unmatched anywhere. While he puts on a tough exterior, he cares deeply about his aircraft and his partner. Razor, on the other hand, is the more technical, logical partner. He created the advanced aircraft and weapons they use. He lacks self-confidence as much as T-Bone seems to exude it, and he's a martial arts expert. At this point I should mention that there is only one aircraft. Razor is the weapons and radar officer, not the main pilot. T-Bone is the main pilot most of the time. But they can both pilot very effectively, and share time on the ground in various capacities. Their hero work requires them to leave their aircraft, the Turbokat, frequently to engage in hand to hand combat, among other things.
All of the city's residents, including our heroes, are anthro cats. It feels very Star Fox in that way. The only thing that really detracts from its similarity to Star Fox is that they don't pilot separate ships.
The timing of Swat Kats release couldn't have been worse. It was launched during the 90s moral panic over violence in cartoons. The creators knew this, and released the show quietly, never promoting it directly. As a result, though it had a slow start, the series managed to get two complete seasons broadcast before the meddlers noticed this new "hyper violent" show for kids. The complaints about violence in cartoons was ultimately the reason why the show was cancelled.
I happened upon a few episodes of the show back when I was a kid in middle school by chance. Their quiet launch of the show was so quiet, I didn't even know it was on until it was already in re-runs and soon to be cancelled. It's one of the great cartoons from the 90s that I most regret missing...
BUT NOT FOR LONG! The Swat Kats Complete Series on DVD is available from Amazon, and mine will be arriving in a couple days. Even knowing how dated it will look, I will be enthusiastically watching this show for the first time very soon. Should you watch this show? Yes! Absolutely!
In another interesting development, the original creators managed to retain the rights to the property. Thanks to a successful Kickstarter, the show is getting a reboot! (Maybe!) They were able to get enough funding to create a series bible, new scripts, character designs, concept art, and test animations. These materials should be more than enough to convince an animation studio to take up the project for production and broadcast. That is, if they approve of the idea. It really comes down to whether or not any studio thinks the property is worth it. Personally, I think they have a very good chance. You can follow their progress on their YouTube channel.
Did you guys watch Swat Kats? What did you think? Is it the most similar show to Star Fox, or did I miss one that you think was closer? Now that we're finished with my suggestions, feel free to add your own. I saw recommendations for Cowboy Bebop, Defensor 5, and one of Star Fox's original motivations, Thunderbirds. What else is out there? I imagine there are probably a couple of Japanese animes that have a Star Fox-like premise, though I don't know which they might be.
The third in a set of posts comparing other franchises to the Star Fox universe in hopes of finding something that would satisfy us Star Fox fans in absence of an actual Star Fox anime.
In this computer-animated show from the late 2000s, the planet is full of mountaintop kingdoms, where the valleys below are all but uninhabitable. The characters instead fly around with skimmers, motorcycle-airplane hybrids that can transform back and forth. Ship to ship combat is done with energy weapons, energy swords, and hand-to-hand combat by LITERALLY JUMPING ONTO THE OPPONENT'S SHIP IN MIDAIR to fight them. There are numerous races beyond humans, each with different affinities and cultures. The show is about half action/mission, and half slice-of-life.
When you think about the structural elements of a show like Storm Hawks, it's hard to imagine that it WASN'T inspired by Star Fox. Let's break down the similarities:
- There was an elite team of heroes who tried to stop a threat, but were betrayed by one of their own resulting in the loss of the team (just as Pigma betrayed James)
- A descendant of that elite team forms a new squad, and, though lacking experience, manage to become saviors in their own right (just as Fox descended from James, and made a new Star Fox team)
- The squad consists of a four-man team of pilots with individual aircraft (like the Arwing pilots of Star Fox)
- The squad's aircraft are housed and supplemented with a larger command ship that acts as their home base, and is flown by an eccentric character (like the Great Fox and ROB)
- Each squad-mate brings unique skills, like leadership and technical skill, which also influence their piloting skills (Fox is a leader, Slippy is the tech guy)
- They have a mandate to stop the evil bad guys, but as such a small, unknown squad, they are only called upon as a last resort ("It's about time you showed up, Fox! You're the only hope for our world." - General Pepper)
- They travel to many different locations with wildly different environments and local wildlife (like the planets of Lylat)
- Their primary energy source and technology systems are based on energy crystals (It's a stretch, but, you know the gems in Star Fox Adventures?)
- Even their name is similar: Storm Hawks, Star Fox
The similarities extend to some of the characters, too. There's Aerrow, the leader, who is more or less exactly like Fox McCloud. Always trying to do the right thing and keep his team moving towards the goal. Piper is a technical genius, but struggles a bit as a pilot. She also happens to be the wise character most of the time, being the voice of reason within the team, as Peppy is for Star Fox. Dark Ace, the betrayer, is very similar to Wolf. He follows orders from the big bad, but he is much more personally interested in defeating his rival, Aerrow. Master Cyclonis, the main antagonist, is shown to be very technically skilled and spends most of her time manipulating her armies from behind the scenes. Yet, she's not above taking care of situations personally if she deems it necessary. She's very much like Andross in that way.
But not all the characters match up very well. Finn is a cocky marksman, although the running gag is that he almost never hits anything, which kind of defeats the point of his character. It just leaves a cocky self-important guy who isn't actually living up to his own claims. While Falco is cocky, he's at least competent. Finn is clearly the main gag character. Junko, the final member of the squad's main pilots, is referred to as the strongman. He's the muscle and has a heart of gold, but is easily tricked or distracted. Now Stork, the helmsman of the the Great Fox-like Carrier, is probably the most interesting character in the entire series. While he isn't similar to any Star Fox characters, he steals most of the scenes he is in, because of his amusing levels of paranoia and pessimism. In a world of overly optimistic and bright-eyed people, he's the lone person who says "We're doomed!" the second things look like they might end badly (and usually before that too).
On top of all of that, the main characters, including most of the bad guys, are in their late teens and early twenties. They are portrayed more often than not as being short-sighted and overly emotional for what should be a very serious war-time situation. And that's when they're doing legitimate military missions. The other episodes are more slice-of-life, and are the same sort of rehashed morality plays you've seen everywhere else where one character makes an obvious mistake, and the audience learns a lesson about why that choice was a Bad Idea™. Even the height of Falco's pettiness, when he left the team prior to Star Fox Adventures, was not up to scale with the sort of ill-advised, inter-teammate interactions that happen almost every episode.
It's a real shame. Storm Hawks was overly silly as a whole. And this is coming from a guy who plays video games about foxes in spaceships shooting giant monkey heads. You see, Storm Hawks has a fantastic lore and setting. The characters have a lot of potential, as does the show. Unfortunately, the series creator barely scratched the surface. At first, in seems like this is going to be a serious show, where battles are won and lost within a larger war that our heroes are barely able to withstand. And there are some episodes in this series that are really good! Overall, however, the incompetence of the villains, the choices that defy common sense, and the lack of maturity often displayed by the main characters make for a show that is only really entertaining for much younger audiences.
Nothing great is accomplished, and the characters don't really progress. It seems this show, like most other American cartoons until recently, was trying to make each episode stand on its own. This was a common practice for all TV until recently, actually. Statistically, most people will watch an episode during reruns, not during the initial release. For a long time, it was thought by producers that audiences would become overly confused when seeing the episodes out of order. To prevent this, most TV shows simply made sure that each episode never really changed the status quo, so the audience would never feel lost. As a bonus, episodes could be swapped around and few would be the wiser. Thankfully, in more recent times, it's been discovered that audiences would much rather be a little confused than to have a show with no consequences or character development. If Storm Hawks had been made today, we might have gotten a better show.
Long story short, I personally recommend that Star Fox fans watch a few episodes of Storm Hawks, in spite of its flaws. Preferably watch the better episodes. I complain so much about the show because I care about it. It really is SO CLOSE to being really good!
Where can you watch the show? Well, there are DVDs, but they are mostly out of print (low popularity?) and are very expensive. I also know that the show has been posted to a ton of different streaming websites of... questionable legality.
I've seen most of the episodes, but I haven't seen the end of the final season (the second season). I don't know how it turns out. Did it end on a cliffhanger as so many cancelled shows do? Or did they give it a real climax? I guess I'll find out, because in spite of it's flaws, I'm still going to finish watching this show. What about you? Did you ever see Storm Hawks on TV? I managed to catch a few episodes back when it was originally airing, and it was interesting enough to me for a second look. Do you like the show? What would you change? Do you think Star Fox could learn from this show, and what could Storm Hawks learn from Star Fox?
The second in a set of posts comparing other franchises to the Star Fox universe in hopes of finding something that would satisfy us Star Fox fans in absence of an actual Star Fox anime.
Guardians of the Galaxy, as a series, came out of virtually nowhere relative to the much bigger names in the Marvel universe like Iron Man, Spiderman, Hulk, Thor, and so on. But, when it hit the movie scene in 2014, it was a surprise hit of good, rambunctious fun. It is an action movie to the core, with just enough character development to make the audience care, without turning it into a drama. Also, this film series has a bright, optimistic view of the future, but only on some planets. Other planets show a more "meh" future, where crime and back-room deals are the norm.
Peter Quill, who would later give himself the title Star Lord, is kidnapped from Earth as a young boy. He is forced to make his way in the universe without the guidance of family or anything familiar. As a result, he becomes a thief and misfit who makes a (small) name for himself carrying out heists while cherishing his few surviving relics from his home planet. He eventually ends up meeting a bunch of other misfits and together, they form a loose friendship and save the galaxy together.
Though many Marvel movies, as well as the Firefly series mentioned before, have jokes and humorous moments within them, Guardians of the Galaxy stands out as being a lot more silly and low-key. Even though there is a big bad villain trying to take over and the whole galaxy is at stake, these characters are of relatively low seriousness. They are easily distracted and fight amongst themselves. Yet, their unique skills and a whole lot of luck manages to allow them to secure victories, in spite of the odds.
The action takes place on multiple planets, in the atmosphere, and in space. Some planets are Metroid-style wastelands while others are full of huge cities. The fighting is hand to hand, weapon-based, and a fair bit of ship-to-ship. Unlike Star Fox, all the characters are primarily working within one ship, like in Firefly. At one point, however, there is a military air force that they coordinate with in a way strikingly similar to Star Fox's occasional assistance to the Cornerian Defense Force. But it's not all fighting. There's also a slight vibe of a heist movie at one point, which is fitting, given the criminal nature of most of the cast. It's a wonder why the Star Fox team doesn't more often explore the idea of covertly stealing plans from Andross or undermining his schemes, rather than directly stopping him by force.
Rocket, the genetically modified, talking raccoon, bears special discussion. While other movies have had talking animals or anthros before, I think this might be one of the first big productions when the talking animal is not the gag character or treated special in any way. Other characters regard him with no more interest than they do any of the other aliens and freaks that are so common in this series. With a few modifications, Rocket is probably the best case scenario when it comes to serious, furry characters upon which photorealistic Star Fox characters might be based. Rocket is more animal-like than human, but in terms of his writing, personality, and rendering, he's just like a Star Fox character might be. Not that I think photorealism is best for the Star Fox series, Rocket at least shows it could be done effectively.
Guardians of the Galaxy is already popular enough to warrant a sequel, which was released in 2017, just a few months ago. It doesn't look like its popularity is going down, and with Marvel's connected universe system of making movies in play, we'll probably see the characters making additional appearances in other Marvel movies in the near future.
Guardians of the Galaxy can be bought on DVD, Blu-ray, and digitally just about everywhere. And hey! The sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, had it's digital release distribution yesterday (DVD/Blu-ray release is not until August 22nd). I actually only saw the first Guardians of the Galaxy recently, and I haven't yet seen Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Was it any good? What do you guys think of the movies? Do you think Star Fox could gain from their more crazed antics, or do you want something more serious? What about Rocket? Good character? Good model for Star Fox characters in film?