Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Andross: The Disembodied Head from Hell

What happens when you take the 3D head of Mario from the title screen of Super Mario 64, then make it infinitely more ugly and frightening to children?  Why you get Andross from Star Fox 64 of course!

Separated at birth?

This freak final boss has been creeping us out since the days of the original Star Fox on Super Nintendo, but today we're only going to focus on his N64 incarnation.  Apparently Andross used to be a regular non-evil scientist on Corneria before (cliché alert!) he went mad with power and was banished from the planet.  What's interesting to note is that before being banished, Andross didn't have an enormous disembodied head, giving rise to questions about the nature of his experiments after leaving Corneria.  This is something that for some strange reason has always been fascinating to me, how and why did he lose the rest of his body and turn his head into the Death Star?

As if this weren't strange enough, the big bad head has two different forms you can battle, depending on the path you take through the game.  There's Robo-Andross, where you find out that the disembodied head you were fighting was just a giant robotic Andross:

Proof that Skynet has a sense of humor.
And then there's Scare-the-Hell-Out-of-Little-Kids-Andross, which is supposedly his true form: a giant floating brain with two eyeballs that can independently fly around.

Even if you were to accept that some kind of science experiment would let you live as a giant head, living as a giant talking brain with huge paddle-ball-ish eyes seems a bit far-fetched.  We were given no explanation as to how this happened, but to be honest we were all so shocked by this revelation that we probably wouldn't have listened to an explanation anyway.

On that note, I leave you to ponder what was going through the Nintendo devs' giant floating brains when they devised this final boss in Star Fox 64.


  1. I loved Starfox 64! wow good memories, I think I'm going to need a serious retro gaming day soon

  2. A retro gaming day sounds awesome! I spent so many hours on Star Fox 64, it had some surprisingly difficult levels, such a memorable game!

  3. It's trying to find all the secret routes. such a good game. good post