The Iwata Asks series has proven itself to be an invaluable resource for behind the scenes info and anecdotes for all things related to Nintendo. But the latest installment, which centers on Star Fox 64 3D and everything leading up, might be the best read yet.

Regarding the initial SNES offering, it's revealed that producer Shigeru Miyamoto and programmer Dylan Cuthbert, the prodigy who came to Japan at the age of 18, basically taught each other's language while working together. Also, aside from efforts to avoid popular science fiction conventions, the lead was made a fox because the prototype contained scenes of flying through arches, which reminded Miyamoto of Shinto shrines and their close association with foxes from Japanese folk tales. The local little league baseball team, the Inari Foxes, was also a source of inspiration.

Even the game's cover, the photograph of puppets, is explained. Inspired by his love for the old British show Thunderbirds, Miyamoto hoped one day for his creations to be included in their cast. Star Fox 2 is discussed as well; the reason given for its cancellation was purely timing. Due to developmental delays, the eventual release window was far too close to the N64's, so some wondered if consumers would spend the money on a game with a special (and expensive) polygonal chip when a dedicated system was right around the corner. Though much of what they did in that title laid the groundwork for the N64 installment.

Regarding its expanded up scope and scale, which included a stronger emphasis on drama, script writer Mitsuhiro Takano mentions how difficult it was entering the project in the midst of development, especially when he was expecting a far lighter tone, based upon the original's. Furthermore, explaining how to play the game was just as important as advancing the story. Yet to avoid dialogue that was too expository and stilted, Shigesato Itoi (best known for the Mother) series was consulted. His primary criticism was dialogue that didn't feel appropriate for sci-fi epic, but instead a historical drama.

The entire conversation can be read here. Unfortunately the one question I've always had left remains unanswered: why hasn't the original been released on the Wii's Virtual Console yet?