Overnight, Nintendo unleashed the SNES Classic Mini which is due to release in September (no concrete Australian details yet). It was an expected announcement but what caught most gamers off guard was the fact that it will include a high-profile game that’s never been released before.
Starfox 2 was due to be released in 1995 but was cancelled due to the impeding release of the Nintendo 64. Nintendo believed that it would be a disservice to the future of Star Fox knowing that they could produce a much more complex Star Fox game on the Nintendo 64. It’s speculated that the main reason for not releasing the title was due to the fact that the PlayStation 1 could produce much better graphics.
Amazingly, the game was fully completed as the Lead Programmer documented. In-fact, it was done so far in advance that Nintendo could have apparently released the game more than 18 months before the Nintendo 64 released. In 2015, a fully mastered ROM was surfaced and in 2017 was released with an English patch.
Star Fox 2 was different to the original game in quite a few ways. It allowed gamers to move their ships around freely around the map screen instead of on a linear path (like the original game). It also had a two-player split screen “duel mode”.
It’s quite amazing that Nintendo decided to release the game on the upcoming SNES Classic Mini confirming that the game was completed to a standard that they were happy with (but obviously not at that time).
They stated in their press release:
Even for super fans who have played all of these games multiple times, the inclusion of the never-before-released Star Fox 2 game will offer them something entirely new to enjoy – if they can unlock it by proving their skills in the original Star Fox game. (Well, they only have to complete the first level – we didn’t want to make it too hard!)