When Shigeru Miyamoto introduced us to Star Fox Zero at Nintendo's pre-E3 event earlier this week, both he and game director Yugo Hayashi mentioned Star Fox 2 as one of the inspirations for the new title. The Walker vehicle from that 16-bit game, which was fully developed for the Super Nintendo but ultimately canceled, is making a return appearance in Star Fox Zero.
Hayashi even said that the developers looked at reference footage from Star Fox 2 to build Zero's version of the walker, an alternate bird-like form of the iconic Arwing.
"At that time, the 3D model was very simple," Miyamoto said. "Now we have a much more complicated model, so it was a lot of work."
Miyamoto joked that even though Star Fox 2 never came out, "I see it sometimes on the internet." A ROM for Star Fox 2 is easily available and playable in SNES emulators.
But don't expect Nintendo to release Star Fox 2 for its own Virtual Console platform, according to comments from Miyamoto.
"In my memory, I enjoyed [Star Fox 2] but I'm not sure I would release it," he said. "I'd rather have people play a new game."