James McCloud is the leader of the flight squad Galaxy Dogs. According to F-Zero GX, he is 32 and had his combat plane converted into an F-ZERO machine in order to compete in the Grand Prix. During peacetime there is very little work available, so McCloud has entered his second race in an attempt to take home the big prize money. He is motivated to become the new champion by thoughts of his wife and young son, both of whom need his support.
James and Star Fox
His appearance is startlingly similar to the character of the same name (the long-deceased father of protagonist Fox McCloud) in the series Star Fox, with a similar jumpsuit, jacket, white headstripe (only in F-Zero GX and GP Legend), shades, and markings. Even his vehicle is similar in appearance to an Arwing. He is the leader of the space patrol unit, Galaxy Dogs, which is a parody of Star Fox. According to Nintendo Power, "It's just one of the fun things the developers decided to put into F-Zero GX". They also stated "As similar in looks as they are, Fox and James McCloud don't have any connection".
However, in episode 33 of F-Zero GP Legend, James McCloud's partner named O'Donnell was mentioned, referencing the surname of Wolf O'Donnell, rival of Fox McCloud and leader of the Star Wolf squadron. In the DS game Star Fox Command, one of the endings is about Fox and Falco entering their machines into a race very similar to F-Zero called the G-Zero Grand Prix. James McCloud also appears in Star Fox Command where he battles the Anglar emperor.
Super Smash Bros.
In the Wii U iteration, he appears as a trophy based on his GX appearance
An F-Zero racer, and also the leader of the mercenary unit Galaxy Dog. His machine, the Little Wyvern, is a modified fighter craft. Since times are peaceful and there aren't many military jobs, he's decided to take upracing in pursuit of the prize money. He shares his name (and shades) with Fox's father from the Star Fox series.