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Monday Mysteries: Whatever Happened to James McCloud?
What if I told you that Star Fox and F-Zero have more in common with one another than simply being two beloved franchises that Nintendo has sorely neglected over the last several years? Beyond that tragic connection, one they share with the likes of Earthbound and Metroid, the familiar planets and stars of the Lylat System and F-Zero Grand Prix have a common denominator.
I know one of them is basically a furry with sweet shades while the other is a dude with bad hair and a sweet pair of shades, but I’m convinced they’re the same person. What’s that you say? An issue of Nintendo Power confirmed that “It’s just one of the fun things the developers decided to put into F-Zero GX,” so that means I’m just full of it? Well official Nintendo materials also stated that The Koopalings were Bowser’s kids and now as far as the House of Mario is concerned, they’re just his subordinates.
The point I’m getting at is that Nintendo sometimes play around with their continuity and previous stances on standing series’ lore. Ask our Nintendo section editor Martine her feelings about the official The Legend of Zelda timeline. I’m sure she’ll be happy to tell you how it doesn’t make any sense. Anyway, back to the matter at hand. So how did dear old Papa McCloud go from fox who walks like a man to man whose hair looks like fox ears?
We know that Pigma betrayed James during a scouting mission on the Planet Venom, we never actually see him die at the hands of the traitorous swine or Andross. While James was presumed dead by most of the Cornerian Fleet, what if he actually managed to escape like Peppy did? In the original Star Fox, players can gain access to a secret level in the Asteroid Belt stage by shooting a series of orange colored asteroids, followed by a strange asteroid with a grinning face. Doing so, takes them to the Black Hole level. At the beginning of the level, General Pepper tells Fox that the area is a spaceship graveyard, but more importantly tells Fox it’s “where your father vanished.”
So, say that James entered this black hole and was hurtled into another dimension. During the shift between worlds, maybe something happened to alter James’s genetic structure and when he was finally freed from the black hole, he ended up as a human in another dimension, or possibly even a parallel world.
Want more proof? In the F-Zero games, James’s ship the Little Wyvern bears a striking resemblance to the Arwings from Star Fox. In addition to looking similar, the two space crafts also share some other connections. Both are created by a company known as Space Dynamics, a company that was founded by Slippy Toad’s father in the Star Fox universe. Additionally, both the Little Wyvern and the Arwings utilize a component known as a G-Diffuser.
While we could delve into other materials like the old Star Fox comics that appeared in Nintendo Power or the anime F-Zero: GP Legend, but the info in the games does enough to support the theory without the need for non-canonical materials. Be it an Easter egg for fans or a plausible theory linking Nintendo universes, it makes for an interesting topic. Who knows, maybe we’ll see some kind of crossover title between these two long-dormant franchises in the years to come.
Meanwhile, I’ll just be searching for the meaning. The Meaning of Truth!