Later today, we'll be running an exclusive interview with Q-Games boss Dylan Cuthbert, a key figure in the history of the Star Fox series - he worked on the SNES original, its cancelled sequel, Star Fox Command and the 3DS port of Star Fox 64.
In our interview, Cuthbert reveals that a final, totally finished version of Star Fox 2 actually exists - and that he was able to play the game during the development of Star Fox Command:
Even after the decision was made we went ahead and completed it, taking it to be fully QA'd through Mario Club.
During development [of Star Fox Command] we received a copy of the mastered Star Fox 2 ROM to play, and it was quite a blast.
The many ROM images which exist on the web of Star Fox 2 are unfinished prototypes, and Cuthbert states that they are missing many elements which make the game complete. Even the ROMs that have been patched by industrious fans to remove bugs and pull together features that are spread across the various prototypes are - according to Cuthbert - a long way off what the final, mastered version is like.
Sadly, Cuthbert isn't hopeful that this edition of the game will ever see commercial distribution:
The legal problems regarding the now-defunct Argonaut Software are probably a nightmare. Never say never though! The fully complete Japanese ROM at least does exist.
We'd personally love to see Star Fox 2 on the Wii U Virtual Console - what about you? Post a comment below to tell us what you think, and keep an eye out for our full feature on the making of Star Fox 2, which goes live later today.