Foxes are known as crafty, clever, and cunning creatures. The sly animals are frequently depicted as thieves or con-artists in the west, and Japanese mythology paints them in a similar light. It's not uncommon for foxes to be portrayed as intelligent beings who play tricks on humans for their own amusement. At the same time, foxes are often bestowed with magical powers (like shapeshifting) that increase with their age and wisdom. With so many tropes to draw from, it's not overly surprising that foxes are so prevalent in video games. This list aims to recognize gaming's most iconic foxes.
After being abandoned as a child and forced to grow up on the streets as a young boy, Hans developed a love of killing and found employ as an assassin. He gained notoriety under the name Fox – which was fitting given his ability to transform into a half-human, half-fox creature known as a zoanthrope. Hans had an unhealthy obsession with beauty and an equally troubling disdain for everything else. Ironically, he disliked his own zoanthrope side and considered his fox-based form to be ugly. His self-hatred reached critical mass after he killed his long-lost mother in a random act of violence. This event sent Hans into a downward spiral and he was never seen again after the first Bloody Roar game. Fighting game fans looking to play as a cross-dressing fox wearing short cut-offs will just have to make due with Poison from Street Fighter.
Animal Crossing Series
Redd is a shifty merchant who deals in rare furniture, sculptures, and paintings. Some of the items he sells will inevitably be revealed to be forgeries, but this should be expected when you purchase products on the black market. If you buy world-famous paintings from a place called Crazy Redd's, then you pretty much forfeit your right to complain. In Animal Crossing: Wild World, villagers have to be invited to his store and are forced to pay a fee when they buy their first item. His business practices are even shadier than Tom Nook's! To his credit, Redd stocks his store regularly and carries items that cannot be found elsewhere. This is probably how he stays in business despite his high prices. In all fairness, some of his products are the real deal. It's not every day that you find authentic Da Vinci paintings in a tent!
The Fox from Persona 4 stands out on this list for how normal she is. She's basically the only one on this list that could pass for an actual fox. Although she's only a supporting character, the Fox plays an important role and helps with investigations. She makes her home outside of Tatsuhime Shrine and implores players to fulfill wishes that are written on leaves by the shrine's visitors. As more wishes are fulfilled, the shrine attracts more visitors and the dilapidated state of the area is eventually improved. Distinctive scars on her face and body suggest that she's seen her fair share of battles, but the Fox has a peaceful personality and generally takes a passive role. She can be found in random areas and dungeons throughout Persona 4 and helps out by healing players. Needless to say, it's always nice to see her face.
League of Legends
As a fox who roamed the woods of southern Ionia, Ahri dreamt of becoming human and felt a strange connection to the magical world around her. Following a large-scale battle that left a wake of wounded warriors, her dream became a reality. By absorbing the life essence of one of the dying soldiers, Ahri was able to take the form of a human. She knew that the transformation was not complete, however, and continued to consume the lives of humans in order to finish her evolution. She did her best to adapt to human customs and used her profound beauty and seductive charms to manipulate men into a false sense of security. After developing a sense of guilt and remorse, Ahri accepted an invitation into the League of Legends at the prospect of obtaining her humanity without weighing down her conscience.
In Japanese folklore, Kitsune are mystical fox spirits who have up to nine tails. Ninetales is based on this concept, and each of its tails is said to be imbued with its own unique power. Legend has it that Ninetales came into being when nine noble wizards possessing sacred powers merged into one. It's uncertain whether or not these stories are true, but it's clear that Ninetales are exceedingly intelligent. The ancient creatures can live for a millennium and are able to understand human speech. Despite their reputations as majestic beings with wondrous energy, Ninetales are equally well-known for their vengeful and vindictive sides. Their glowing red eyes allow them to gain control of their opponents, and any attempts to grab their tails will supposedly result in a 1000-year curse. That sounds perfectly reasonable to me.
Namco × Capcom
Xiaomu was first introduced in Namco × Capcom before appearing in other crossover titles like Project X-Zone and the Super Robot Wars series. (Thus far, she's appeared exclusively in crossover games.) You'd never guess by looking at her, but Xiaomu is a 765-year-old Sage Fox and a member of a secret organization assigned to investigate fluxes in space and time. Despite her age, she looks and acts more like a typical teenage girl. She could accurately be described as flirty and immature, but her loose and unfettered personality is not a license to take her lightly. The vulpine warrior arms herself with a mystic sword and a pair of pistols, and she has centuries of experience to boot. She also has a number of magical attacks at her disposal, but that sort of comes with the territory when you're a fox spirit.
Muramasa: The Demon Blade
Yuzuhura is a Kitsune who is able to assume a human form. She is seldom seen in her original fox form, but I'm certainly not complaining. Yuzuhura helps guide an amnesiac swordsman named Kitsuke through his journey by providing information about various locations and people that he encounters along the way. She can be found at any of the game's shrines (which act as save points) and periodically shows up in hot springs. When she's not providing Kitsuke with invaluable info, she often teases him or asks him to perform unseemly tasks like washing her back. It's all in good fun, however, and Yuzuhura even helps Kitsuke gain the attention of a lovely warrior princess that he's smitten with. Yuzuhura is one of two fox spirits in Muramasa, but her fellow fox has a nasty jealous side and an unfortunate tendency to ramble.
Sly Cooper Series
Inspector Carmelita Montoya Fox is a member of INTERPOL and a forth generation member of law enforcement. She studied at the Sleuth Academy and later graduated from the Police Academy with honors. Regardless of whether she's chasing down murderers or jaywalkers, she is steadfast in her belief that lawbreakers must be brought in. Her devotion to her work is admirable, but her view of justice is very rigid and she often has to struggle to keep her temper in check. She boasts impressive acrobatic skills and is shown to be an excellent combatant capable of matching even Sly Cooper in agility and speed. Although Carmelita is in constant pursuit of the Cooper Gang, she respects Sly and his associates. Carmelita and Sly Cooper even develop romantic feelings for one another despite falling on opposite sides of the law.
Sonic the Hedgehog Series
Better known as Tails, Miles Prower (say it out loud) is Sonic the Hedgehog's best friend and sidekick. He's every bit as fast as Sonic is and has the added benefit of being able to propel himself through the sky by spinning his two tails around like a helicopter. His two tails initially made him the target of bullying, but his friendship with Sonic helped him build confidence and find his courage. Since making his first appearance in Sonic 2, Tails has appeared in nearly every game in the Sonic series and has even starred in a number of his own spinoffs. Tails is a mechanical genius and has an unusually high IQ. When he's not using his tails as makeshift helicopter blades, he sometimes takes to the skies in a biplane. Tails is worthy of his spot on this list for achieving the near-impossible task of being a Sonic character that people actually like.
The aptly named Fox McCloud is known as one the best pilots in the galaxy. He leads a group of mercenaries collectively known as StarFox, but the team aims to uphold justice rather than flying exclusively for financial gain. An aggressive fighter who is always at the forefront of his team's attack, Fox is respected for his fantastic flying and his ability to make quick decisions. This is paramount to his team's success, as Fox frequently has to save his wingmen from enemy fire. Although he's primarily known as a pilot, Fox can also handle himself outside the confines of his star fighter. In StarFox Adventures, for instance, he saves a planet of dinosaurs with the assistance of a magical staff and a mysterious vixen named Krystal. He also happens to be one of the quickest and most nimble character in the Smash Bros. series.