The SNES was to get Star Fox 2, a game that made use of a version of the Super FX chip with expanded memory, called the Super FX Chip 2. Shigeru Miyamoto and Q-Games' Dylan Cuthbert discussed the project, which went on to become Star Fox 64, in an edition of Iwata Asks.
"Yeah. We had quite a script for Star Fox 2 and had it running, with robots morphing and running, and attempted an all-range mode in which you could fly a full 360 degrees," said Miyamoto. "We expanded the Super FX chip's memory to make something called Super FX Chip 2."
"That became the basis for Star Fox 64. For Star Fox 2, we had really pressed the boundaries, like by having Arwing fly around a full 360 degrees, flying to one extreme and then back again," he added.
Dylan Cuthbert commented on the time it took to develop the Super FX Chip 2, and Miyamoto revealed how other companies were pulling ahead in terms of polygon graphics.
"And other companies' game consoles were using polygons all over the place, so we didn't think we could catch up even if we stuck this expensive chip in the cartridge, so we rethought it," Miyamoto said.
The game eventually turned into Star Fox 64 for the Nintendo 64.
"It started shaping up in a number of ways as soon as we began developing Star Fox 64," said Miyamoto, "like with it being a shooting game even as various characters show up and you talk with them in an unfolding drama, and like how you have teammates, and if one of them gets done in by an opponent and drops out, it syncs perfectly with the game."
Star Fox 64 3D, the 3D remake of the N64 classic, is due for release on the 3DS on September 9.