As Starfox 64 3D approaches, take a look at the franchise’s evolution

“‘It’s the universe you’ve been longing for…’ Oh, that stinks. Don’t write that down.”

– Shigeru Miyamoto

That quote provides a typically fun, good-natured moment in the Starfox-centered “Iwata Asks” feature on Nintendo’s website. It’s been available since the beginning of August, but as the release of Starfox 64 3D draws near, now’s a great time to take the trip behind the scenes. These round-table game-creator interviews provide amazing backstage glimpses of Nintendo’s creative process. If you have any interest at all in game design or the company’s history, you definitely should check the columns out.

The feature is illustrated with video clips and art (such as Takaya Imamura’s original concept sketch seen above) from various points in the franchise’s history. And along the way, you’ll find enlightenment, too:

Why a fox, a hare, a falcon and a toad?  Who created the immortal line, “Do a barrel roll?” Why was Starfox 2 for SNES canceled? Why do the characters’ mouths move like hyperactive nutcrackers? Why do some folks hate inverted controls?

And why does Miyamoto feel the new gyro-sensor option provides the best Starfox experience to date? This section–and its answers–has me counting the days till September 9th. I love the news that, during gameplay, players can switch back and forth between gyro and thumbpad controls instantly, anytime.

And, by the way, it seems everyone at Nintendo agrees that the future of the Starfox franchise rides on the sales of Starfox 64 3D. I know there might be some Nintendo fans (and Infendo staff) who’d love to see Fox McCloud barrel-roll straight into a meteor, but I cling to the belief that a great, true sequel to Starfox 64 is possible. So get out there and pre-order! Barrel-roll! Now! (Please!)