Nintendo released a special animated short for Star Fox Zero just before the game’s release. The short, titled ‘The Battle Begins’ was created by the animators of Attack on Titan in cooperation with the legendary Shigeru Miyamoto. Nintendo has recently posted an article on the game’s website which takes us behind the scenes of the project:
Hello everyone! We hope you got to watch our recent animated short, Star Fox™ Zero – The Battle Begins! This short was created as a collaboration between Production I.G, (Attack on Titan), WIT STUDIO, and Nintendo’s own Star Fox development team.
In this article, we want to explain how the short was created, and how we brought to life the Star Fox team, led by Fox McCloud, as they move and fight, both inside and outside the cockpit.
3D CG ANIMATION
When you think of animation, you probably imagine a series of images, drawn one at a time, which are then joined together to make characters move. In this short, though, Fox and the other main characters were animated with 3D CG models to make their movements look more realistic.
These were the original models we used. You can see they have a very 3DCG feel to them!
We made some modifications to these models, such as changing the surface textures and lighting, so that they fit in nicely with the 2D environments even though they are actually 3D models.
Here’s what they looked like after the adjustments—they have more of an anime look to them now, right?
We also made similar adjustments to the CG models for the ships, like the Arwings and Great Fox, to give them the same kind of anime look as the characters.
The great thing about using CG models for the ships was that we were able to move them and the camera around freely in a 3D space. This is how we were able to shoot the gripping air-battle scene between the Arwings and enemy ships.
EVERYDAY LIFE ON THE GREAT FOX
This short also depicts the everyday lives of Fox and his team as they relax on the Great Fox, the Star Fox team’s mother ship. In the Star Fox Zero game, you never get to see inside the Great Fox, which is why we included the living space in this short.
We also added a number of small details for a richer depiction of the characters. You can see an example of this with Peppy—the oldest member of the Star Fox team—and his treasured keepsake.
RELEASED IN SIX LANGUAGES
Star Fox Zero – The Battle Begins is available in six languages (Japanese, English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish), so it can be enjoyed by fans across the world. The script was first written in Japanese, and then translated based on the characters’ personalities by the same localization teams involved in the game.
You can see all six versions below—it’s really interesting to see Fox and his team talking in so many different languages!
TIE IN WITH THE FIRST STAGE OF THE GAME
Star Fox Zero – The Battle Begins was made to commemorate the launch of Star Fox Zero for the Wii U™ console. The story ties in to the battle on Corneria, the first stage of the game, so those of you who watch the short can enjoy the game even more. The battle with the enemy battle ship, Androsa, towards the end of the short should also serve as a guide for the battle in the game too.
If you haven’t watched Star Fox Zero – The Battle Begins yet, we hope you will!
Having been introduced to video games at the age of 3 via a Nintendo 64, A.K has grown up in the culture. A fan of simulators and racers, with a soft spot for Nintendo! But, he has a great respect for the entire video game world and enjoys watching it all expand as a whole.