In 1992, Nintendo and Argonaut Software collaborated to produce a 3D space shooter for the Super NES, provisionally titled 'SnesGlider'. The development team, led by Shigeru Miyamoto, redesigned what had been a tech demo into a rail shooter, with Nintendo designing the game and Argonaut handling the programming aspects. However, without a story, it lacked any incentive to play beyond flying and shooting. Miyamoto sketched out a universe, but could not decide on a natural hero to convey a sense of an epic space saga. Names under consideration included "Star Wolf", "Star Sheep", "Star Fox", "Star Sparrow", and "Star Hawk". Miyamoto finally settled on having a fox as the main character after visiting Fushimi Inari-taisha in Kyoto , the head shrine of Inari, a Japanese kami associated with foxes. Inari is portrayed as being able to fly, and its shrines, particularly the one in Kyoto, are surrounded by red arches (torii), giving Miyamoto the idea of a fox that could fly through arches. Fox's face was modeled after Inari's, and usually wears a "red turtleneck" or "red scarf" around his neck, like the statue. Fox McCloud's personality is heavily based on Shigeru Miyamoto's own personality, with the surname 'McCloud' being suggested by Dylan Cuthbert, one of Argonaut's programmers. Cuthbert stated on a Reddit Ask me Anything that the name is a reference to Connor MacLeod of Highlander with a different "spacey" spelling used.
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