In the mid-90s, Nintendo created – and never released – a direct sequel to the original “Star Fox” Super Nintendo game.
It was named simply “Star Fox 2,” and it’s about to come out for the first time over 20 years later.
Since nobody has a Super Nintendo anymore, this game is coming out in an especially strange way: through a brand new game console.
On September 29, Nintendo plans to release the Super NES Classic Edition, an $80 miniature Super Nintendo console. It doesn’t play original SNES cartridges, and it’s significantly reduced in size from the original SNES, but it’s essentially a tiny SNES console that can plug into your modern high-definition television.
It’s through this console, alongside 20 other SNES games, that “Star Fox 2” will finally become available. Weirder still: You’ll have to complete the first level of the original “Star Fox” (also included in the Super NES Classic Edition) in order to gain access to “Star Fox 2.” Sure!
So, why is Nintendo finally releasing “Star Fox 2” over 20 years later? Outside of offering it as an extreme form of fan service, it’s not clear – we’ve asked for more details and haven’t heard back as of publishing.
What we do know is why the game was canned so many years ago (it was supposed to launch in 1995). Here’s the game’s creative lead, game developer Dylan Cuthbert, speaking to Kotaku about the game back in 2011:
“‘The thinking was that if Nintendo released another 3D game on the Super Nintendo,’ said Cuthbert, ‘then it would be compared with the PlayStation 1, and the quality was completely different.’ [Nintendo creative lead Shigeru Miyamoto] came and told the team that the completed game would not be released. ‘Star Fox 2 was disappointing but I could understand the reasoning – the PlayStation and Saturn had come out and were obviously superior to the SuperFX chip,’ said Cuthbert. ‘Considering the rivalry between Sony and Nintendo I could see exactly where they were coming from.'”
Over the past two decades, various unfinished, untranslated versions of “Star Fox 2” have leaked out – some folks have even gone so far as to fix bugs with those versions, and translate the game into English from its original Japanese.
Nintendo, however, is releasing the finalized form of the game for the first time ever when the Super NES Classic Edition launches on September 29.