The Three sectors of Starfox 3D

Starfox 3D is a re-release of the original Lylat wars (or Starfox64) game for Nintendo 64. Flying through space, the player controls a futuristic fighter ship called an Arwing, which is a bit like an X-wing from Star Wars. I like the arwing’s design. The armored structures next to the wings are a good look for a fighter ship. The ship also made an unofficial appearance in Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of time.

Fox McCloud is the main character, and the story of the game follows him and his team defeating and overcoming the various plans of an evil empire trying to seize control of the Lylat system. Within the system are a series of three gas clouds in the shape of the last three letters of the English Alphabet. Since I had the chance to play through the game on the Nintendo 3DS, I thought I would investigate these three nebulae and report back on the game play.

Sector Z

This was unfortunately my least favorite of the three because it is essentially an escort mission. Sector Z has a long history of battles, and there are debris of broken battleships drifting through the region. This perhaps made it the ideal place for an ambush against the large, and slower moving Great Fox ship: a carrier vessel that houses Fox McCloud’s arwings. Unlike the other levels in the game, Sector Z begins in “All range mode” where the player is able to pilot the Arwing in a large arena-like area. The opposite mode is “corridor flight” where the Arwing flies down a fixed path, which the player cannot deviate from.

The goal of Sector Z is to protect the Great Fox from six “Copper head” missiles that are slowly flying toward the carrier ship. Considering Fox has four other teammates to help him – three wing-men and one guest – this surprise attack is not particularly difficult to repel.

Sector Y

Ever since I played Lylat wars in the late 1990s, I remember Sector Y as a difficult level, which required significant flying and targeting skills to complete. The challenge is to destroy 100 enemies to progress further down the more difficult but more rewarding of the three pathways through the Lylat system. The alternatives are the Medium and Easy paths, which have less challenging or less interesting missions.

What makes this level interesting is that it is essentially Fox’s team versus and entire fleet of enemies. In addition, the enemy employs several battle suits that serve the same function as a Gundam (Art by shinigami117) despite the fact that they have a completely different design.

Sector X

This Sector is interesting because the final boss, the Spyborg, is unusual. It’s design has several references: its head is shaped like Nintendo 64, and it’s communication avatar, which is normally a portrait of the characters face, is a glowing red eye similar to Hal from 2001: a space odyssey. The Spyborg apparently developed a fault in its programming, and destroyed the base around it. It could have been infected with a virus, similar to what happened to Evangelion Unit 3.0.

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