Its name originates from "submarine" and "saru", a Japanese word that means "monkey".
Prior to the Lylat Wars, the Sarumarine was originally a research station. However, after Zoness was captured by Andross, the research station had also began to be used to cause pollution on Zoness under Andross' control, and began acting as a primary base for his army.
During the Lylat Wars, word was received to Cornerian intelligence that a base was on Zoness, a fact that also surprised General Pepper. Star Fox team then had to sneak into Zoness and start a bombing raid on the base, destroying the radar searchlight buoys to maintain cover. Unfortunately, the Sarumarine had managed to spot them halfway and waited for them at the end, even after all of the buoys were destroyed. It then attempted to sneak attack the Star Fox team and Katt Monroe by releasing explosive barrels and then revealed itself. After its snorkels were destroyed by the Star Fox team, it then attempted to fix any damages from the team (such as any detachments of the cannon/mine units) with its crane, although Star Fox managed to destroy the crane. Afterwards, it was eventually sunk by the Star Fox team.
The Sarumarine is equipped with massively thick hull armor that would deflect most (if not all) weaponry. Aside from its defensive capabilities, it had its own weapons which include a large chained macehead that erupts from the front of the machine at Fox's Arwing.
Also included are a supply of detonating barrels that erupt into a pillar of fire when they go off. These small barrels can float along the water's surface and can be seen scattered throughout the level as well. The barrels are deployed from two large attachments on either side of the Sarumarine.
The two large attachments are also capable of firing off iron spheres at Fox, but moreover of a distraction (or for the game's purpose of supplying the player with Smart Bombs).
The Sarumarine also has the ability to dive underwater to avoid the player. When this happens, a periscope comes up over the top of the water.
Additionally, the Sarumarine is capable of reattaching its lost barrel spewing compartments by means of a salvage crane it has on its back.
Finally, the ship is also capable of firing its own lasers. But since this weapon isn't used until the armor breaks off, it is unknown whether or not this weapon is capable of firing with the armor still on.
The Sarumarine, though it has impressive defense, like all weapons, has a fatal flaw in its design. The armor has openings in it where the exploding barrels are deployed from. Since these slots are necessary to release these barrels, this weakness cannot be avoided by the designer.
The exhaust pipes are also susceptible to Smart Bombs and can be blown off. When this happens, the vessel can no longer submerge.
If the periscope is destroyed with Smart Bombs while the Sarumarine is underwater, the pilot will continue to attack despite his loss of sight. After he says this, the Sarumarine will still attack, but its chain mace will be less accurate.
The salvage crane used to reattach the broken off compartments is also vulnerable and once taken care of, the Sarumarine can no longer replenish its defense.
Firing Smart Bombs into the openings breaks away the ship's armor from within until it finally becomes susceptible to normal laser fire. Of which, the ship can now be easily and quickly dispatched.
- Official Nintendo Player's Guide: Star Fox 64. Page 95.
- "I can't see anything. FIRE ANYWAY!" - Sarumarine Pilot, Star Fox 64
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