Falco Lombardi is an expert pilot in the Star Fox franchise. He is a friend of the main protaganist, Fox McCloud. During the lull between Star Fox 64 and Star Fox Adventures Falco leaves the Star Fox team because he is bored and needs a new challenge. He arrives to assist Fox at the end of Star Fox Adventures, providing the one key item (the Nova Bomb) needed to beat Andross.
Throughout the Star Fox series, Fox and Falco have had a friendly rivalry going. It’s not uncommon for them to exchange good natured jabs at each other. There is some contention on who is the better pilot, Falco or Fox. According to the manual for the original SNES Star Fox he is billed as the better pilot, though he won’t actually come out and admit it. Despite this rivalry, the two have come to each other’s aid on numerous occasions. During Star Fox Assault Falco provides an improvised mobile gun platform for Fox using his Arwing during the Fichina level.
Falco is also a playable character in the Super Smash Bros. franchise, first appearing in Melee and returning in Brawl, in which Slippy Toad demonstrates the grudge he has against Falco by contacting rival fighter Solid Snake to give him tips on fighting Falco.
- Falco’s original surname is Rambaldi, named by Shigeru Miyamoto after Carlo Rambaldi, the Italian SFX artist responsible for designing the titular character from the film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. However, while translating the Star Fox 64 player’s guide from Japanese to English, Nintendo Power writer Paul Shinoda mistranslated the name and Lombardi has been accepted as canon in the west ever since.