What is in a name…? That is something that many have thought about over the years, and when it comes to video game characters you might be surprised where their names come from. Mario was named after Mario Segali, Kirby was named after a lawyer who helped Nintendo out of a legal jam, and so on and so forth. But when it comes to the Star Fox team, they have many names, and each are both familiar yet unique. So how did the team come up with the names for the legendary crew?
In a chat with Q-Games, Dylan Cuthbert, who has served as a director and programmer for the franchise, revealed how the team got their names to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the series:
“So the characters in Star Fox, the design of them, came from – I mean the actual art came from Imamura-san, who was one of the main 2D artists at the time at Nintendo. Of course, with Miyamoto’s directions as well, to direct what kind of characters were going into the game.
And then they came to my desk – and 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 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.”
See? Not what you expected, right? But that’s sometimes how things work!