Matt Bird writes all sorts of nonsense, but he dedicates a large chunk of his time to writing game walkthroughs.
As much as it's a game of high-flying combat and furry pilots bickering with one another, Star Fox is a franchise of choices. You can choose which path you take through each game—normally, anyway—and the experience can turn out quite different as a consequence. Star Fox Zero continues this trend with a large number of optional side missions that muck with the normal story and give you alternate routes to your final confrontation with mad-ape Andross. We'll explore how to unlock each route, and each mission beyond, in this article.
Battle Against Aquarosa
The first alternate mission that pops up in the game is the battle against Aquarosa.
Complete Sector Beta and Replay 'Enter Star Fox!'
This requires the ability to transform your Arwing into the Walker at will, a power you'll gain after completing Sector Beta. You can head back immediately, if you wish, but I recommend completing the game first—the bosses past this point are harder than the final boss, and you should have a solid appreciation for the controls.
- Once you can change, head back to Corneria and replay the first mission, 'Enter Star Fox!'.
- Proceed through the stage until you hit a relatively flat grassy plain, then watch the right side of the screen. There's a door on your right, and a Cornerian officer will babble at you briefly.
- Change into a Walker and look out for a prominent red button outside the door. Step on the button to open the door and access the alternate path.
Destroy the Laser Emitters
After a shooting gallery battle alongside the Cornerian ship you'll hit a teleporter, and Fox will be shot to a battle with Aquarosa, the alternate (and much more difficult) form of Corneria's first boss. To defeat it you need to destroy the nine laser emitters (six on the top of the ship, three initially submerged) within five minutes. This can be difficult, as Aquarosa periodically emits an enormous energy field that will knock you aside if you're in the way.
- Swoop in, destroy as many emitters as you can on your first few passes.
- Back off when the field rises.
- And then remain on the fringe to destroy the rest when Aquarosa pokes out of the water. It will begin using its energy field so often that getting close will no longer be an option.
Destroying Aquarosa will unlock two alternate paths. One leads to Zoness; the other leads to Area 03. Aquarosa itself will also appear on the map, and you can re-challenge the battle platform without having to fly through Corneria again.
Zoness and Area 03
Both of these missions will, if accessed via Aquarosa, turn out quite differently from your original play-through:
- In Zoness you'll need to play through the same stage again, though this time you'll be in your Arwing. Alternate between the Arwing and the Walker to zip through the stage and complete all of the tasks originally given to the Gyrowing. Remember - the Walker can hack into computer consoles in the same way as the Gyrowing, just with a more close-up touch.
- In Area 03 you'll have to pursue Andrew, the wannabe of Star Wolf, as he zips through the space colony. Again, this changes things up, and you'll spend most of the mission in the Arwing, zipping through tight corridors.
Note that you need to defeat Aquarosa twice in order to access both missions. You can't just beat it once and then jump to either mission at your leisure.
Beating Zoness a second time doesn't change your path through the game. Beating Area 03, however, unlocks a new mission: Asteroid Field. Asteroid Field is a rock-and-drone shooting gallery that provides an alternate path to Sector Beta. Protect the Great Fox at all costs.
Normally when playing through Titania you will be forced down into a deep ravine that will take you to the stage's boss. If you come through Titania with the Gravmaster upgrade equipped on your Landmaster, however, you can find an alternate route through the stage. Proceed until you see the deep ravine on your left, then trigger the Gravmaster transformation and stick to the right. Peppy will soon show up, and you'll find a portal out of the area. You must complete the Fichina mission before you can use the Gravmaster in other missions.
Going through the portal will take you to a battle against the Salvadora, an enormous, familiar-looking battleship. All you need to do is destroy the Salvadora's main guns within five minutes, which, though hectic, is also fairly easy. As a nifty change from the norm, Peppy gets to fly this mission rather than Fox. (Do a barrel roll!) Completing this mission will unlock the path to a brand-spanking-new planet, Fortuna.
The most striking of the alternate paths is one that takes you to an entirely new planet. Fortuna is located near Sector Beta, but a battle with Star Wolf in the region will send you to Titania instead. There are two ways to reach Fortuna:
- Defeat the Salvadora, as noted above.
- Defeat Wolf, the leader of Star Wolf, before he can damage Peppy's ship and end the Sector Beta battle. This requires some quick reactions, and, preferably, upgraded twin lasers to swiftly knock Wolf out of the fight.
Fortuna is a relatively straightforward level, and pits you against the enormous Monarch Dodora, a beast whose four blazing weak points aren't too difficult to spot. Lock on to each one and fire rather than trying to line up your shoots, and don't wander in front of it for too long, as it likes to breathe fire. Destroy its tail for a gold ring power up if you're in need of a health boost.
Star Wolf Battles
Upon completing the entirety of Star Fox Zero's normal missions, including the flight through Fortuna, you'll begin receiving notifications that Star Wolf is mucking about in two areas. This can happen in two places:
- In Sector Alpha. A short ways before you enter the enemy battle ship Pigma will show up, and if you lock onto his ship for a few seconds (ZL button) you'll jump to a battle against Pigma, Andrew, and two gun-toting battleships. Pigma and Andrew have better shields and additional abilities in this fight, making it harder than your average Star Wolf brawl. Defeating them will unlock another Asteroid Field mission called Great Fox, wherein you need to defeat the enormous Cosmic Dodora.
- On Fortuna. Not long after you save Katt from some pesky birds Wolf will swoop down and bark at you a few times. Lock onto his ship (ZL button) and Fox will follow him away from Fortuna and onto Fichina, where you'll engage in a one-on-one dogfight with the leader of Star Wolf. It's arguably the hardest battle in the game, and inarguably one of the best.
There don't seem to be set-in-stone triggers for unlocking these battles. Just keep completing other missions and opening alternate paths until they appear.