James McCloud is a video game character that has made appearances in many different Nintendo games. Characters like Link and Mario have achieved the same thing, but the curious thing about this one is that he transcends genres and franchises. There is a character named James McCloud in both the F-Zero series and the StarFox series, which are both on the Nintendo platforms. Seems kind of careless of Nintendo to make two characters with the same name, doesn't it? It could be possible that these two McClouds are actually the same man. (Gasp!)

Starfox version:
In this franchise, you play as Fox McCloud, fearless Arwing pilot and enemy of Andross. Now this part is tricky: our hero is an anthropomorphic fox, and his father James is entirely human. If Fox's mother were a vixen, then any offspring of James and her would be half human, half fox. This seems unlikely, but possible (at least in the Nintendo world). Also, James McCloud was apparently killed, but this was only reported by one witness. James has however, been missing from his son's life ever since his disappearance.

F-Zero version:
As many know, the F-Zero games take place sometime in the 26th century, when the whole galaxy is obsessed in high-speed hovercraft racing. The vehicles can reach velocities of around 2000 km/h. James McCloud appears in many different F-Zero games, always as a human, and always with the same car: the Little Wyvern. His character profile states that his racecar is a modified version of his former spacecraft. It also looks very much like it could have been an Arwing once. Before he started racing, he was part of a team of pilots called the Galaxy Dogs, which is where the uniform he wears comes from. The uniform is very similar to what Fox McCloud wears, and the fox and dog are closely related.

There is a sound theory evident when all this information is brought together. To accept that both James McClouds are the same person, we have to declare the following facts to be true.

  • Fox's father did not die on the Venom planet mission
  • it is somehow possible for a human to father an animal or half-animal.
  • his pilot team was once called the Galaxy Dogs instead of Star Fox

If all these are true, we can hammer together a makeshift conspiracy theory. As the story goes, after James went to Venom to kill Andross with his teammates Peppy Hare and Pigma, he was completely outnumbered by the opposing forces. They were captured, Pigma switched sides, and Peppy escaped. When Peppy arrived back in Lylat, he told everyone James had died. For some reason, James manages to escape but never returns to his home. He takes his (probably destroyed) Arwing to Port Town, the capital city of F-Zero racing, and enters the Grand Prix. His former craft is repaired and transformed into a hover car, and somehow never manages to tell his son he is alive. Perhaps he is hiding from Andross and the StarWolf team.

An interesting sidenote: James McCloud is not the only link between F-Zero and StarFox. There is also a racer named Dr. Stewart who, like Fox McCloud, took over the job of his father when he died. His father's vehicle was called the Golden Fox. There is no Dr. Stewart mentioned in the StarFox games, however.

Information gathered from:
F-Zero X Instruction Booklet