Star Fox Developer Reveals How he Named Each Pilot

The members of Nintendo’s Star Fox team are some of the most memorable in gaming. Characters like Fox McCloud, Peppy Hare, and Slippy Toad have become iconic over the last 30 years, and a big part of their appeal can be attributed to their names. After Takaya Imamura came up with the individual designs, Dylan Cuthbert was the one tasked with naming those three characters (Falco Lombardi’s name had already been decided). In honor of the 30th anniversary of the original Star Fox, Cuthbert released a special anniversary video on YouTube, where he went into detail about how he came up with names for each pilot.

“I’m not sure why they came to me, but maybe they wanted good sounding, English names for these characters. And they had one design, one name already decided, which was Falco Lombardi. And the other three, they were like, ‘Well, this is a fox. This is a hare.’ You know, ‘and this is a frog or a toad.’ And they said, ‘Well… what can we call it?’ And I kind of looked at them, and I looked at the characters they’d drawn, these really nice little sketches. And I said, ‘okay, well… I think Fox needs to have a cool sounding name, and he flies in a spacecraft, so… McCloud sounds pretty good, let’s give him McCloud.’ And for the other two, I kind of looked at them and I just kind of laughed because the names just came into my mind and I said, ‘Okay, we’ll call this guy Slippy because he looks a bit slippery. And this guy looks old, but he looks like he’s got lots of energy. Let’s call him Peppy.’ And that’s where the names came from. And they stuck. So it was a pretty fun moment in the development of the game.”

In 2001, Cuthbert went on to found Q-Games, but that did not mark the end of his association with the Star Fox franchise! In 2006, Q-Games co-developed Star Fox Command on the Nintendo DS, and again in 2011 on Star Fox 64 3D for the 3DS. Unfortunately, the Star Fox franchise hasn’t had a new entry since 2016, despite strong demand from fans; perhaps Cuthbert and company will get another chance to work on the series again in the future! For now, fans will just have to settle for games like Star Fox, Star Fox 2, and Star Fox 64, which are available to Nintendo Switch Online subscribers.

Are you a fan of the Star Fox series? Do you think these were good names for the game’s pilots? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter and on Hive at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!


[H/T: Nintendo Everything]

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