An older, more experienced version of his son Fox McCloud James was the ultimate hero of the Lylat System. He was the original leader of the Star Fox team before his son took up the role. His team also included Peppy Hare his right hand man and Pigma Dengar. Being mercenaries, they were called to fly to Venom to check out recent activity out of the norm with a suspicion that Andross was up to his wicked old ways. On arrival, it was discovered that Pigma had betrayed the team to Andross and James was killed, Peppy barely making it out alive. He returned to Corneria, telling Fox of what had happened... so paved the way for the new Star Fox team. In the game, he bares an exact resemblance to his son with the exception of the "cool" sunglasses. It should be noted, however, that Fox is also seen wearing glasses in the speech scenes of Star Fox 64 when playing Expert Mode.
 Star Fox 64
James makes a spooky ghost appearance at the end of Star Fox 64 on Venom if you get there through Area 6. After destroying the Brain of Andross, he explodes in an attempt to wipe Fox out like his father before him. He may have very well succeeded if not for the timely intervention of the spirit of James, who guides his son back through the tunnels to escape. You see them both escape the tunnels but the James disappears leaving Fox to return to his team, knowing his father is proud of him.
 See Also
Related ThreadsStarfox 3:Return of James McCloud - last post by @ Aug 3, 2005
Character Profile: Fox McCloud - last post by @ Aug 15, 2014