The original Starfox may lack the non-linearity of future games in the series, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities to travel off-road, so to speak. Two areas of uncharted space lie in wait for expert pilots, complete with their own surprises – And I’m about to tell you how to find them…
First up, is the Black Hole – A space graveyard of sorts, which also acts as a shortcut warp to other areas of the game. To find this dense gravitational field, you’ll need to choose the Level 1 route at the very beginning of the game, and play up to the second area, the Asteroid Belt.
A short while after beginning the level, you’ll encounter rotating rows of grey asteroids, revolving around a red one. You must fly into the path of the red asteroid, almost as if you were trying to crash into it – But before you do so, you must destroy this red asteroid and fly into the path it once occupied. Two more asteroid rows will follow, where you must go through the exact same process. Immediately after shooting through the third red asteroid, a smiling asteroid will appear.
Destroying this smirking mass of rock will make The Awesome Black Hole appear – Fly into it, and you’ll be warped to this unusual level.
What makes this level useful is it can warp you to three different levels, by flying into further Black Holes. The hole you encounter will warp you to Sector Y on the Level 2 path. The second hole will take you straight to Level 3’s Sector Z, and the final Black Hole will take you straight to Venom. Flying past all three Black Holes will loop this level until you fly into one of the three warps.
The second hidden stage is even weirder and serves no real gameplay purpose whatsoever, for reasons you’ll see in a minute. This time you’ll need to choose the Level 3 route, finish Corneria and reach the Asteroid Field once more. During this level, you’ll see some asteroids much larger than the usual spherical rocks, and you’ll have to blow up the second of these giant asteroids, which you’ll see on the right-hand side. This will call a mysterious space bird that’ll fly around the screen for a bit before swooping towards your Arwing – You need to fly directly into its chest, where you’ll be warped Out of This Dimension.
In this surreal level, you’ll find yourself in a dizzying environment of weirdness that is borderline nausea-inducing and contained only one type of enemy – Paper planes that attack you. Get to the end of this dimension and you’ll come face to face with one of the largest and toughest enemies in the game – A giant, working slot machines.
It’s this one armed bandit that stands between you and the end of the level. You’ll need to fire at the lever to start the reels rolling. Sometimes you’ll be able to fire the triangles under each reel to hold them, and your goal is to get three “7”s in a row. You might get lucky and do this quickly, or it might take a while, but you might get an Andross which will make the Slot Machine fire lasers and missiles. Or, you may get other combinations that cause it to spit out coins that heal your Arwing.
If you have the luck or the patience, you’ll cause the machine to self-destruct. But this does not signal the end of the level, rather the credits for the game will play. Following this, a message stating The End will appear, but jumbled up until you shoot each letter until it tumbles the right way up, and if you can spell The End correctly, the letters will jumble up again – Basically, this level cannot be finished and you will need to reset the game and start from the beginning again.
So there you have it – Starfox’s two hidden levels, and how to find them. Check out my Starfox review if you haven’t already done so, and I’ll see you around. Goodbye