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Ding dong merrily on
Scribes, in heaven the...
hang on, it's only April.

'Planet? What planet? I'm from DKR, mate.'
April 13, 2000

To those who were above an April Fools joke (or perhaps just couldn't be arsed working on a weekend),
I'm a regular purchaser of all things Rare, and have always loved what I got, unlike those divs who disliked Donkey Kong and even Jet Force Gemini (by the by, I'm from the land down under, and unlike that twit from Sydney, I knew div was an insult). Anyway, I'm simply writing to ask a few questions of the developers of Perfect Dark (honestly, I reckon the delays are simply due to the developers having to answer all these silly questions). Oh well, here goes...
1. Is it possible to use the Transfer Pak to play the GBC version of Perfect Dark on a TV, much like with Pokemon Stadium.
2. Apparently some of the staff of IGN64 make an appearance in the game (well, their faces do). Does this include the crazy German, Peer Schneider? Oh, and is Mister Pants a selectable multiplayer character? (I don't expect an answer to the second bit, I just felt like typing it).
3. When the original Goldeneye guns cheat is used in Perfect Dark, do they have secondary functions too?
4. How does the weapon selection work if you have more then eight weapons?
Ooops, gotta go. I'll bet I forgot to ask a question. Bugger it.
Connell Wood
PS Are those cheats on Nintendo's website for Goldeneye real? I haven't had time to check them... oh hang on, by the time this is posted, I'll have had time to... bugger.

Rare Says: You're right that I couldn't be arsed working on a weekend, even if I had dreamed up the most fantastically clever April Fool's gag of all time - which, obviously, I hadn't. But anyway.
1) The GB team says: "Er, probably not." You heard it here first!!!
2) Seems likely (but not his arse). I don't feel like answering the second bit.
3) No - that wouldn't be true to the weapons, now, would it?
4) You can cycle through the weapons as in Goldeneye, using the tap-A/hold-A-then-tap-Z system. The Quick-Menu shows your basic equipment to start with, the remaining slots filling up with any new stuff you find. Anything extra that can't be selected using either method will have to be selected via the inventory screen in the pause menu - but that won't be much, if anything. Happy?

Dear Scribes,
Hey! I *INVENTED* arse pancakes! Remember this little tid bit:
Mecha Mr. Ed can do something... bad to his arse... but I'll keep churning out the classics... see here we go right here:
"I'M EATING ARSE POTATOS BY THE MANY! WHOOSH!" See? See, right there! Will Mecha Mr. Arse steal that one too? Mecha Mr. Arse... hey... that's a good one!
-Crazy Albert
PS: How's this for rubbish picture attachments?

Rare Says: Looks like you've gone and lost the touch, Al - that's not a patch on your earlier work. Maybe you should concentrate on the rubbish picture attachments from now on. No, hang on, what am I saying?

Dear Scribes,
I thought I'd write in and ask some questions. Erm... Right... So here goes.
1. Would I be right in thinking there is more than a few Terry Pratchett fans among the Rare staff?
2. is the only web-site I've found on the net that's actually funny. Shocking. Could you perhaps start a Mr. Pants site and then all the AOL users could send their pictures and stupid-arse Gameshark 'iS TheIr A nUde joAAna diRk chEet foR goldENey pS ARsE!!!!11!1!!' comments to that site?
3. From a previous Scribes a concerned mother wrote in saying that it made her cringe when her kids sung 'He's a hell of a guy.' If I were you luv I'd be more concerned about them singing the poxy song in the first place.
4. Why is Tiny wearing a bobble hat? She lives on a tropical island doesn't she? She must be sweating her arse off. Especially with all that running and jumping.
5. In the beginning of DK64 K.Rool is talking in a perfectly clear voice doing his Dr Claw bit but when he's in the boxing ring he sounds like he's eating cotton wool. Why is this?
6. How about Rare does some kind of track and field game for the N64? With 4 people bashing away on controllers that could be great fun. And you being Rare maybe you could make it so that the Pole vault event isn't completely impossible?
7. Will you be unveiling any Dolphin developments soon? No I didn't think so.
8. Okay I have a controversial one. Do you think that Nintendo will have the Dolphin ready for the end of the year?

Rare Says: 1. Probably. But then again with the number of people working here we've probably got one or two Shania Twain fans as well, so it's not much of a revelation really.
2. But that's what I've done, man. Don't you see?
3. Fair point.
4. Because she's 'hip' and 'trendy', of course. Plus you never know what crazy adventures you're going to end up in when you're a monkey.
5. Because he's eating cotton wool, or he's got a gumshield in, or something. Yeah, that'll do.
6. The possibility did arise at one point... then went away again.
7. Arse.
8. See how I make it instantly less controversial by completely failing to answer it.

Dear Scribes,
The entire staff of the Ape Research Society of England (ARSE) are indebted to you for unmasking Roderick Arbuthnaut as an American spy, based on his incorrect spelling of the word "armour." Following up on your tip, a constable caught Mr. Arbuthnaut contacting his American handlers on the wireless whilst hiding in the loo, shortly after elevenses. (Hardly cricket, I mean to say, what?) Mr. Arbuthnaut attempted to escape to the car park, but his mac got caught in the lift. We found his real name embroidered on his braces; it turns out he is none other than noted American spy Jethro "Swamp Bunny" Scuggs.
I realise that our organisation may now seem like a pretence. In our defence, let me stress our vigilance against Americanisation of any kind. Last month one of our staffers vocalised a final "r" and was beaten to death with crumpets. A cleaning woman who failed to correctly identify a photo of the Queen Mum was struck across the bum with a wicket. In our branch office in Edinburgh, a postman was suffocated with a haggis because (according to the official memo) he "wasnae mickle fond o' whiskey." Further infractions of this variety will continue to be harshly penalised.
I hope you agree that these measures legitimise our credentials. If you have additional concerns, don't hesitate to ring me. Yours is one of my favourite sites and I respect the ardour and fervour with which you approach your work. And now, if you will excuse me, I must go play football, a sport involving a spherical white ball with black pentagons which may not be touched with the arms or hands, and having nothing to do with brown leather ovoids.
Chauncey Rumsworth Biddlebury III, Chairman

Rare Says: I've yet to meet a Scotsman who used the word 'mickle' (though I did know one who used to say "Och aye, the noo" all the time), but that might just be down to my own inexperience - and the rest of your Britishisms are immaculate, so I have no choice but to take you at your word, sir. Feel free to contact us if you require an extension to your list of humorous regional insults with which to torment Mr. Scuggs into a full signed confession. Personally, I've always liked 'shunk'.

Me be here talking to me main man, the editor of Rareware to talk about this kicking game called Perfect Dark. Okay first thing Mr Editor, what be the reason for the M rating. Me thinks once it is Mature there be a lot of punani in it. So is there?
Me been looking at Cassandra and she been looking like a minger. What be the reason for that? Do you not think it be better to make her a fox to make her harder to kill.
Me be good at Goldeneye but me don't really get the storyline to PD. Me thinks it is Joanna's posse against Cassandra's posse. So this be a b*tch fight then?
Could you not have made Jo's t*ts bigger? Me thinks this would have been nicer to look at. Who be this minger Velvet Dark. Might this be her sister or the Dolphin followup. Me been looking at Conker's BFD also and that looks kicking also. Is there punani in that game? What be the rating for that and for PD in Ireland cos me be visiting there a lot. Is your posse arguing with the Nintendo posse cos that's what me been hearing? Is the reason because, pardon my French but you lot been making a lot of s*it games for kids with no punani cos Nintendo says so. Me be back for another interview soon. RESPECT!!!!
This better be in the Scribes me thinks.
Ali G/Adam Faughnan

Rare Says: The designer says: "Oh dear. The quality of this one is so good that I can't respond to it."
Okay, let's see... despite recent press appearances by the 'real' Joanna, you might be disappointed by the lack of both punani and, er, 'feminism' in PD itself - we're well aware of Mr. G's campaign for a category that guarantees such things. Conker's BFD (also looking at a Mature rating) might be more your style. PD certainly starts out as Joanna's posse vs. Cassandra's posse, yes, and if you think she's a minger you should see some of the non-human undesirables in the later levels. Us arguing with Nintendo? Only if they try to take over the swings in Langley Village, man.
Big up the Maian massive. Westside.

Hello Rare-Scribe people,
Since I have been a customer and purchaser of Rare games for several years now, I think it would only be appropriate if the following questions were clearly answered without any joking, humor, double talk, or ambiguous statements:
1. Are there any hidden levels or Lost World on DK64?
2. For curiosity sake, what was the original purpose for that peculiar pillar in the museum on Creepy Castle (where Tiny ports to)?
3. Why are there some tasks that, once accomplished, seem to have no benefits or rewards? Ex: finding all battle crowns and all regular, five colored bananas. This seems very un-Rare like; in most Rare games, all items served some purpose either to gameplay or for unlocking great secrets.
4. What on holy earth and sucky hell is the 'scroll of gameplay', which is mentioned in the game manual by Cranky? I strongly doubt that was some crap ass joke. Is it a hidden item in DK64, or something similar to the eggs and ice key in Banjo-Kazooie and will only be obtainable in a future sequel?
Please, I beg of you to answer these questions. Hundreds upon hundreds of Rare fans have been dying to get clear responses (very unlike those answered by Uncle Tusk and the Scribes-letter answerer guy) that cannot be interrupted any other way. I will offer my personal services (whatever those are I'll let you guys figure out) in exchange for these answers.

Rare Says: Oh, you people are no bloody fun. Sigh. Alright, at the risk of actually invoking these "personal services" and sparking off a comical 'Information for Sexual Favours' scandal, here's your answers:
1. Not as far as I know. Honest truth. Okay?
2. Sigh... it's really not important. Just be reassured that it serves no purpose now beyond looking interesting in a room that otherwise wouldn't look very interesting at all.
3. You
do have to collect the battle crowns for the full ending, along with very nearly everything else in the game - if we'd forced you to hunt down every single 'regular' banana on top of that, you'd just have whinged like you did about finding all the Tribals in Jet Force. Make your minds up, people.
4. It was a "crap ass joke" - and not mine, either, so you can bite back that indignant retort, sonny Jim.

Or Dear Scribes if you prefer,
This letter features such an amazing quantity of Arse, Mr Pants and Rare that you couldn't possibly not print it. Unless you don't want to. You see, whilst busy playing JFG instead of passing my A-Levels I couldn't help but wonder why you didn't put Mr Pants in as a single player character. As much as I love blasting the b**tard's head off it'd be more fun to, you know, be him.
And before you use the feeble excuse that there's actually 3 characters with their own special abilities, I've come up with a devious way round that, a plan more cunning than a fox that's just been promoted to Professor of Cunning at Oxford University.
3 different Mr Pants' (different coloured kecks of course) start the game. Red Pants has the ability to survive lava. This is because he wears asbestos pants so he just skims the surface, heat free. Blue Pants can survive underwater. He has a small oxygen tank hidden in that hat which sustains him. Green Pants is of course the best. He can fly/hover/glide (whichever you prefer) using only a curry and a lighter. I'm sure you can figure how that might work. But whereas Lupus would just stop abruptly (and annoyingly) Pants eventually loses containment and follows through. Oops. And of course, once all 3 Pants' meet up at Mizar's little triangly thing they combine to form, yep, you guessed it, Mr Pants: Oxygen hat and breathable asbestos Y-fronts, the deadliest force in the Universe.
Oh, and of course I pay immense homage to the undisputed Gods of the gaming world, and await with bated Z-trigger the imminent (right?) release of Perfect Dark, A Really Special Event (As Rare Stuns Everyone).
But why won't you make a bloody car game (you know, with cars, and speed)?
High Overlord Of Fake or Real Icons or Deities
PS: Will you buy my expansion pak off me so I can go out and buy DK64?

Rare Says: I felt a design brief of this calibre needed to be seen and analysed by the JFG designer himself...
"I like the cut of his gib. The lighter and arse trick would have the added danger of the infamous 'Bush Fire' which I witnessed nearly claiming the testicles of one of my mates."
He probably wasn't expecting me to actually quote him on that, but hey, the public have a right to know how the mind of a designer really works. Here's another excerpt:
"It's good to see you can spend two years on a game, cramming it with features, and the only thing people talk about is the bloody lunatic in the pants."
PS I'll swap you a chicken sandwich if you like.

Dear Scribes,
Michael Bailey

Rare Says: Obviously, this has to be one of my favourite mail messages of all time ("You'll be assassinated... but that's not a threat"). The fact that he's a blatant psychopath demanding we give him the chance to shoot his friends is just the icing on the cake. You'd present a very good case for hastily ditching the face-mapping option even if we hadn't already done so, Mr. Bailey...

Hey you stupid Rare dummies!
Why on Earth (or Jupiter for that matter) would you want some nasty bass? I could understand you wanting some big honking good bass, that is very often catered at expensive weddings but why you would like a big nasty fish is completely beyond me. Unless of course you meant bass as in base which would be really funny. Carry on.
P.S. Why does everybody (myself included) refer to the second person plural at the beginnings of their letters?

Rare Says: For the 99.8% of you who don't know what he's on about, "Can I get some nasty bass?" was one of the text ALT tags on the front page Rarewhere banner for a few days between updates. And as anyone with a passing knowledge of 80s pop could tell you (well, alright, perhaps not anyone), that was the first line spoken by Alexander O'Neal in his classic Fake. Ironically, the subsequent "bass" that Mr. O'Neal managed to "get" was by no means particularly "nasty". How fickle life is. I'll shut up now.
PS Sounds too much like an English exam question for my liking.

Dear Scribes,
Hi, I'm a long time listener, first time caller. Well, I usually don't bother writing in because I'm sure you get enough crap from Yankees and p*ssed off children who want more "blood and gore" when they "blow their friends' faces off". Although you guys (and ladies) do deserve kudos for the rest of your lives, I always figured you got enough "Great job"s and "keep up the good work"s that you wouldn't need one more. However, reading your latest Scribes, I came across a letter that pulled me out of the apathy I've been so comfortable with. At first I thought it was sarcastic, so I wasn't going to mention it, but then I saw the author of the letter (and I use the term "author" VERY loosely) used AOL, and I thought 'Good Lord, this person is serious'. It was too much! I am of course writing about the letter from, stating that Rare did a bad job for making the main character of PD a girl, and not giving narrow-minded homophobic immature boys the option to play as a MAN, as if the characters in the videogame actually had genitals under their texture-mapping. Yes, I realize Ms. Dark does have breasts, but that's not the point. To be so put off by playing as a member of the opposite gender, that you would let it ruin your gaming experience, is the most ludicrous, stupidest thing I've ever heard.
My favorite part of his letter is when he says that it was a poor choice to make, because "playing as a girl is just too gay". Wow. Sadly, if this was a joke, there are people who are actually that ignorant. It astonishes me that there are men that are so insecure with their heterosexuality that they would refuse to play a game that portrays women in a positive manner. But at least they will look cool in front of their inbred, simple-minded friends. If I was a video game designer, nothing in the world would make me happier than learning that I was offending and excluding this demographic of people. If you can even call them people. Take pride in knowing that you will be losing the sales of what must be DOZENS of Southern, sexist, ignorant children. The rest of us, will enjoy your game to death. "Good Job" Rare, and of course "Keep up the good work".

Rare Says: Got quite a reaction, did Mr. Tripedox. But perhaps he'll find himself more inclined to play as Joanna now that he's had time to feast his eyes on some of that rendered artwork... and whether he does or not, let's hope he writes in again to counter your arguments with some more of that witty and entertaining misogynist banter.
Chalk up one more 'celebrity' for the Scribes Glossary/Memorable Contributors List, if anyone's actually bothering to do one...

Dear Scribes,
A few Perfect Dark related questions to tide me over to May, if you don't mind. There's a Dairy Milk in it for you...
1) What's the level of interactivity with objects in the game? For example, in the second level can we expect flushable toilets, working clocks and that great exploding soup/microwave combo from Half-Life, or does the game have more of a GoldenEye level of interaction?
2) Do the soldiers still stick their limbs through doors on occasion, or has this ability sadly been phased out through selective henchperson breeding?
3) Is it really possible to play as "Jo Dark's sister" in the co-op mode? If so, what's her name? Fairly? Slightly?
4) Where is the Datadyne building? England, America or somewhere else?
5) Has the revamped 'Felicity' (snigger) had the locked door unlocked to allow for the larger number of players, or are players still confined to the GoldenEye-accessible areas?
And that's it. Some nice, boring questions - hopefully nothing that comes from the bulging file marked "Top Secret" so you can tell me. And if you decide to pass this over to Mr. Botwood for the answers, please can you give him some sweets or something first? Frankly, he scares me...
Chris Allcock

Rare Says: He's just a big pussycat really. Come on, get over here and answer these. And I've told you before, stop licking your -
"1. No, because
Halflife has already done that. But you can expect other, different things. I'd say there will be a Perfect Dark level of interaction. Which would be sub-Shenmue. But then so is everything. Except for Shenmue.
"2. We like to think we've seen the last of that particular genetic strain.
"3. Yes, you can. Her name is a specific word that other people use to identify her.
"4. I think it's in Seattle. In spite of the Englishness of many of the bad guys.
"5. No. Yes. But there have been a few changes...
"Sweets? Heck no. Since my shameless plug for Enville Ale didn't work last time, I'll have to try it again."

Dear Scribes.
I know this must sound dreadfully pathetic but I'm stuck at a point in DK64.
You must be shocked that you've received a letter from someone who is not concerned with things like Mr. Pants' interesting relationships, but try to stay calm. I have completed all of DK64 except I am missing one thing. There is one fairy on DK Isle that I can't find. I'd really like to get back to staring at your website for hours waiting for your next release, but I can't until I find that fairy. I want to be able to cheat. Come on, I think I've earned it. I am aware that this will probably not be answered because I have not challenged Wrinkly Kong's sexuality, or urged the release of a game based solely on Pants. I'm not asking for much. Besides, shouldn't you reward the people who send in coherent letters?
Anonymous. (Can you blame me for wanting to be?)

Rare Says: Don't worry, there's plenty of other Pants-obsessed stupidity doing the rounds to make up for your shocking omission. As for rewarding the people who send in coherent letters, well, fair enough in theory, provided they send them to the right place. Do you see? Game question: Uncle Tusk. Do you see now?
Alright, alright. Fairies can be found in the Factory Hub, Forest Hub, on the island next to the Fairy Island and on top of K. Rool's Island. That's about as specific as I get.

Dear Scribes,
Hey! Thankyou for finally releasing the button-pressing codes that allow you to access all the cheats in Goldeneye without having to work for them. That's the kind of lazy thing I like. Of course that's presuming you did actually release them, 'cos I fail to see how anyone could 'accidentally' discover such bloody complicated codes.
Oh yeah, and how about this for Mr Pants' next step: a chocolate bar. Think about it: the wrapper could have a stunning underpant design, and think of the joy of unwrapping the pants to discover the mysterious brown stuff underneath. Yeah it's sick, but hey so are your 'specialist magazines' in JFG.
Love the monkey rap in DK64 too, though you could have made it so that the Kongs all said 'ARSE!' in unison when you press a button. It'd be worth buying the game just for that, and would attract Southpark fans no doubt.
'Til the next time, may the pants be with you.

Rare Says: We didn't release the codes, actually - someone found them. It only took about three years as well. Bless. We weren't in any hurry to release them as we knew they'd prevent people from playing the game as it was meant to be played and getting the satisfaction of earning the cheats themselves, but I suppose if there are people out there still struggling with Invisibility or whatever after all this time then they need all the help they can get. Cue mail from several dozen 'S. Milliamson' variants asking how you enter the button codes without a keyboard.
I don't know what you're trying to say about the Specialist Magazine, but everybody knows it's just a quarterly subscribers' publication detailing general fluctuations in the mining industry. Cough.

Dear Mr. "British" (for lack of a better name),
I have 2 issues to attend to, Apes & Swearing:
Swearing: It seems that everyone is (or was) really concerned about DK64's use of the word HELL! in an E rated game. So what. Space Station Silicon Valley (if anyone still remembers that game) had a daring but relatively unnoticed use of the word DAMN! (Intro to farm level).
Apes: This one's got a crappy picture. I have discovered the true Kong family tree. At the top of the tree was Oldy & his wife Doc. They had 4 children; Donkey (Cranky), Silky (Wrinkly), Norman (Quirky), & Myrny. Cranky and Wrinkly had 3 kids; Donkey, Funky, and Ugly. Donkey is currently single. Both Funky and Ugly are single parents (I don't know the name of Funky's Ex-Partner). Ugly's son is Diddy (Diddy is actually Donkey's illegitimate son). Funky's sons are Kiddy & Chunky (Funky denies this because he is a Catholic priest). Quirky & Myrny had 1 daughter; Candy. Candy has 2 daughters; Dixie & Tiny (More of Donkey's doing). Lanky De L'Arbe is a French vagrant who was accepted by the Kongs (did you think you could hide his Au Revoir?). Swanky was a Con-man who was reported dead 3 weeks ago in a skiing accident (Benny & Bjorn cut the lift cord). He had no real relationship to the Kongs.

Rare Says: Ooo. What's worse - damn or hell? Or are neither of them particularly offensive? No, surely it couldn't be that simple. Then what would people complain about?
You're right about the crappy picture, but I've come to expect no less. In fact the whole picture submission thing has taken on a strangely postmodern edge, so it's not as disturbing as it once was. Even the in-depth analysis of Kong genealogy is veering towards the ironic, but I have to admit that's still as disturbing as ever. In fact the whole Lanky De L'Arbe tangent made me want to cry.

I have a request to make concerning released games. We all know about the lag that exists between the NTSC release of a game, and its usually subsequent PAL release. However, are all your games actually inherently NTSC-programmed from the word go? In other words, is the NTSC- or PAL-ness of a game something that is decided upon early in the game's production sequence, or later?
I ask this because it always seems to take a long time to convert an NTSC game to PAL properly. (There are always unscrupulous developers who seem ready to put out a huge-bordered shoddy PAL conversion, but you don't seem to number amongst them, thankfully enough.) If the difference is decided early on in the process of gamesmaking, then perhaps it's understandable that there is such a significant delay. However, if it's just down to a factory or hardware production spec and not an inherent facet of coding, then couldn't you make your games a bit more PAL-friendly with regards to release dates?
And finally, I would like to make a plea for you not to answer any Scribes or Tusk letters on your webpage about games that have been released States-side but not yet in PAL territories. I noticed that it happened a little with JFG, with many bewildered Americans writing in and providing spoilers and answers so that their cousinly Brits never had the chance to become similarily bewildered... Many people visit your site for its humor [sic] and not just to post/receive answers to problems. Please consider their anticipation for games yet to be released in their homelands, and withhold "sensitive information" and secrets in them until a global release has been achieved.
Thanking you in advance,
Dr Benway
PS Any comment on the earthly incarnation of Joanna Dark at Vegas? No? None at all? Not even to reconsider what you said a few Scribes ago (concerning believable female characters) about Joanna's "relatively subdued 'female charms'"?

Rare Says: It's always NTSC. That's the nearest thing there is to a worldwide standard... whoa. Déja vu. Where were you the last time I explained this, man? Games are programmed for NTSC then converted to PAL afterwards, if the developer's not too sick of the game to spend another couple of months fiddling with it. Glad you noticed we tend to make the effort, you rascal.
Spoilers of games not yet on universal release: point taken. I'll bear it in mind.
PS Come on - they
are relatively subdued compared to some of the other tragically exaggerated female characters doing the rounds.

Dear Scribes,
I have made up a new game for you to try, then to laugh at. Try to identify these Rare Games from the music at the very beginning (yes I do have better things to do with my time):
a) Du, de-doo de doo de do dedoo, dedoo dedoo de doo de-de-da-doo, da-doo dada doo, dide dididee dadoo, dede didi de dee di daa doo.
b) (Nnnnnnn... d-dhhh-drr-dhh-dhhhh nnnnnnn... mmmmmmmm... rrrrrrrrrr...) du de de derr, de du di da da derr derr, du di dada, de du di da da DERR, di doo di dada derr, dii da dada derr n - n - n -n-n-n-n-n-n-n-n-nerr...
c) (De de da derr) k-k-k-k (de de da drr) Dyaa-huh, Doohoohoohoohoohooh DA! Diddliddliddlidllidlliddliddliddlidll-deh dh da deh deh deh da deh de de, Diddliddliddlidllidlliddliddliddlidl- deh d-de da deh dee da deh- de! di- dee dee di da ddlleddleddledlleh - diddliddlid-da de deh de diddliddlid (etc...)
d) Herew-herew-Here we go! So they're finally here, performing for you: if you know the words, you can join in too! Put your hands together if you wanna clap as we take you through this monkey rap, HUH! D-K, Donkey Kong (etc)...
e) D-d-der, de dee-da derr, d-d-der, de dee-da derr, de deh der da de derr da, du di der da... mm-ba du di der da, mm-ba du di der da, mm-ba du di der da, mm-ba du di der da... de de derr, di du da dee, dudi der, didu da dee, didi du-da-der, didi du-da-derr, di derr di, di du derr di.
Paul 'IQ 164' Taylor
PS. Why hasn't Uncle Tusk updated in four months? Is his slow update rate on the website somehow linked to his slow update rate in Killer Instinct Gold?
PPS. Why don't they just call the Dolphin the 'Nintendo Rare'? It might as well be.
PPPS. Oh, sorry, answers! a) is Diddy Kong Racing (N64 1997), b) is Jet Force Gemini (N64 1999), c) is Banjo-Kazooie (N64 1998), d) is (hmmm...) Donkey Kong 64 (N64 1999) and e) is Donkey Kong Country (SNES 1994).

Rare Says: Damn, I thought a) was something by The Police and b) was from a Dutch 'arthouse' film I saw the other day. Never mind, thanks for your 'selfless' 'entertainment' of our 'discerning' 'readers' anyway.
PS He has now. Twice. Pay attention, man! It's almost as if you wrote this before... oh.
PPS Because it sounds stupid.

Dear Scribes,
Upon reading your latest instalment of Scribes, I see this:
"...but 'Bilston' and 'Walsall' are there for all to see. 'Low Hill' and 'Heath Town' didn't quite make it into the final version."
Finally! Some of the finest areas in the Black Country get a mention on your hallowed pages. But then I thought to myself, surely such 'Aladdin's Caves' of the region, such as 'Low Hill' and 'Heath Town' are not known all over the country? (For those of you not in the know, Heath Town is a delightful little fishing village, with friendly locals and an unrivalled nightlife.)
Why, they are our best kept secret! So there must be an insider over at Rare HQ, methinks! So if there is some individual there from sunny Wolverhampton, I'd just like to say 'up the Wolves', or something similar.
Yours Sincerely,
Mr. Gorganzolaupyourholandroundthebend

Rare Says: For all his sins, our GoldenEye/PD designer fella hails from sunny Wolves. And he loves the area. Look:
"Heath Town is a charming and unspoilt holiday destination for all the family. I can't recommend it highly enough. To see those fishermen smiling and singing as they sit there, at work on their nets, makes the heart glad. Low Hill, on the other hand, is so depressing it could easily be the original home of the blues."

Dear Scribes,
Hi, I've just heard that you guys might be releasing PD on June 30th in the UK. I live in Australia, does that mean we'll get the June 30th kick in the ass too? If so, I think that it's really pathetic. There has to be a line you can't cross, you've already delayed it so much it IS hurting your business integrity. I know you want it to be perfect and if this is printed (which I doubt with the content) you'll just give it a quick witted response so that the reader forgets about my point, but, this is a business you're running isn't it? Like you decided to remove the face-mapping so it won't hurt sales and create controversy, try doing the same when deciding whether or not it will be delayed again...

Rare Says: Sigh. It's not being delayed again. It's in production. PAL releases are almost always a few weeks later than NTSC releases (see Dr. Benway's letter) - it's nothing to do with any extra delay on our part. I've no idea when PD will be released in Australia, because as I've said time and time again, we don't have any part in that side of things. Once a game's finished, approved and converted, that's basically the end of our involvement and the various international arms of Nintendo take over for the wacky production/publicity/merchandising shenanigans to follow. So calm yourself down, 'J'.

Dear Scribes,
I'm really sorry about this, but it was 2:30 AM and the words just kept dropping right in like so many Skittles off a rainbow...

Here you go, to the tune of "You Can Call Me Al" by Paul Simon.

That about sums it up, then. For those of you who actually know the lyrics to the song, this is quite funny. If you don't, you can easily look it up. It's my favorite song, and I went through the whole thing without saying arse. Yippee.
Yours and all that,
Scott Zdankiewicz

Rare Says: I hope you're not expecting me to thank you for this. Fair enough, it works quite nicely, but you're only encouraging people... well, those few reading this who are old/cultured enough to have heard of Paul Simon in the first place.

Dear Company That Makes Great Games Consistently But Does Not Update Their Letters Column Often,
I was playing the Aztec level of GoldenEye (great job on that game, guys, I hope PD is way better though, as several flaws are there, nonetheless) when I noticed some glaringly wrong features about the shuttle. First off, the fuel tank was colored white, while it should always be a rusty red, and the orange parts of the "wings" are just wrong. They never paint the rocket components, since it takes so much fuel to just get up into space, and they don't need the extra weight from the paint. And the other possibility is that the technicians in GoldenEye used a different material, which would be stupid because it would be either too expensive, or unable to contain the liquid oxygen and other fuel components that power the rockets. Second, if something goes wrong, the fuel in the rocket could explode with the force of an Atom Bomb, so they would never, ever put anything required for launching rockets as close to the launch pad as you did. Third, the rocket is just floating there! No cables, no launch pad, no nothing! That thing weighs hundreds of tonnes and is hundreds of metres tall! There's no way it could just float there. Fourth, when the rocket launches, it gives of a huge amount of heat! There are always powerful water cannons at the pad spraying hundreds of litres of water to keep the exhaust from melting everything around it! Bond would be incinerated! Now in exchange for all that information, I require that you repay me with some information of your own.
1. Where exactly is the chemistry set on top of the ducting in the Gas Plant?
2. When, if ever, does Floyd go "Hur" or "Rar"?
3. Why does Bond change his weapon to double lasers when you are using the All Guns cheat and you are using the tank weapon and get out of the tank?
You must respond to this letter, as there are no p.s.'s, no attached pictures, the word metres is spelled correctly, and if you don't we will all know that you don't want to hear about the shuttle and just want to sweep this one under the carpet.
The Rambler

Rare Says: I could either waste a few minutes trying to think of a clever comeback to your various points, or I could just wait until the GoldenEye designer comes over for lunchtime Smash Bros. and hassle him relentlessly until he gives in. Not much of a choice, really....
"Firstly: The paint scheme on the shuttle is down to Hugo Drax, who never really seemed to give a toss about expense, being a Bond villain and all.
"Secondly: There's no danger at all, the force of the takeoff goes into the meeting room and incinerates the board. No problem.
"Thirdly: No, there are supports there. Try harder to see them.
"Fourth: All of the building materials were carefully chosen for their resistance to heat, and of course Bond is so cool, etc.
"...Or, 'it's a game'."
As for the rest, I think you'll find it's pretty straightforward. Let me demonstrate:
1) In the room with the ducting.
2) I wasn't aware that he went "Hur". He occasionally goes "Rar" in the twisted minds of Scribes readers.
3) Presumably because getting out of the tank involves the tank weapon being reset... to double lasers.

Dear Scribes,
Here is a true story. When I was about six, I was walking around minding my own business, when all of a sudden I felt like I 'did something' in my pants. To my surprise, it happened to be a two cent coin. I actually crapped out money. Thinking I was special, I went around the school grounds bragging about it, and showing everyone the slightly mangled coin. To this day, I still don't know how it got there.
Gnomish Van Boggart, Lord of the forest folk
P.S. I also shoved a Smarty up my nose once.

Rare Says: Ah, you knew there was no way I'd be able to let this one pass. Damn you.
PS It's not quite the same, is it?

Pants Through The Ages Dear Scribes,
Well, after another boring rainy day of unemployment, I finally snapped and brought to life an idea that had been stuck in the back of my head for a few weeks, and now I'm passing the result on for others to suffer through! I present to you the DEFINITIVE 3D Mr. Pants! And with this you get the whole history! From Prehistoric Pants to Present Pants to Phuture Pants!
You guys whoop arse! I'm droolingly awaiting PD... I'm broke, but if I learned anything from rampaging GoldenEye on 00 Agent, I'm sure I'll be able to get a cartridge from a local store without taking more than a couple of shots... I can rest assured they'll stop looking for me when I get to my house and the cinematic scene cuts in, right? Right?? :)
Now to help get this posted... ugh, this is shameless... ARSE! There, I've said it! Now I'm off like a prom dress!

Rare Says: Too... much... Pants...

Dear guys with the site that makes my eyes feel funny,
I write presenting my opinion on a few 'current events' in Rareland.
1) The removal of the face mapping feature in Perfect Dark:
I personally think it'd PREVENT school violence. Think of it, you could take pictures of everyone in your class and then shoot them all in a 'virtual classroom'. It's perfect! The cart is a lot cheaper than an automatic weapon and all the rage is outleted! It's a given in any game with innocents that the player is gonna go out and slaughter everyone at LEAST once (Half-Life, etc), ESPECIALLY if there's a level editor where you can set up all kinds of fun stuff... ;D I mean, you released Blast Corps and no one was worried that some goth kid would swing a giant dumptruck into his school, so what's the big deal?
2) The arse issue:
Yes, arse is great. And Mecha Mr Ed is correct, creating confabulations with it IS entertaining. (I laughed more when you mentioned arsepancakes in the response than when he mentioned them originally). Adjectives would be a good use. (Arse-erific, Arsetastic, Arsetabular, etc.)
3) The DK rap:
You got some heat from using the word hell. So what? Language is in constant flux. Hell today doesn't necessarily denote a negative connotation. Hell, I use 'sucks' to say something's poor quality, not exactly what my parents think it means ;).
4) Mario Party II:
Ok, I bought Mario Party 2, and damn, Donkey Kong looks really stupid. I don't know why, just his face is all... dumb looking. Especially his eyes. He's the most Ass-ified version I've seen thus far.
5) Mr. Pants and Jetpak:
Ok, Jetpak kicks ass. The first time I beat it, I just sat there shooting the comets till I beat the score. Then I actually played it and was shocked at how fun it was. I've always stayed away from games with no point/ending/goal, but this one... well... it's excellent. Another thing that people seem to love is Mr. Pants and this Mrs. Pie character. So hell, why not have a crossover success and release a JetPants game in Perfect Dark?
BTW, Please forgive me for my incorrect assumption that Tiny and Chunky were related. I DID read the manual (funny as always) and now see the error in my argument. One last thing, do you guys develop PC games also or strictly console. Just wondering from a game dev's POV. Adding to that, I hope you're more faithful than the sluttish whore SquareSoft who cheated on Nintendo with that ugly PSX guy. Ohh! He has more gaaaames! Pshhh! Slut! ;D Keep up the good work.
X.Mod.2 >> or that monkey post guy...

Rare Says: 1. "Because not every house in America has a dump truck in a drawer somewhere," as PD's designer points out. And the cathartic aspect of games is just one of many possible arguments in their favour that people who know nothing about them choose to dismiss out of hand.
2. Adjectives, verbs, compound nouns, similes, you name it, we've done it...
3. It wouldn't surprise me at all if people started claiming that 'sucks' is a filthy swearword and everyone who uses it will go straight to Hell. Oh no! Hell! *starts writing angry letter*
4. What about when he does that freakish taunt/shrug/head dance thing in
Smash Bros.?
5. Of course Jetpac (with a 'c', man) is excellent. It's the first game I bought for my Spectrum back in 1983, and along with many others of my generation I have happy memories of the game that can do without being tarnished by the shoddy insertion of a stick man in his pants.


On behalf of Garry Haywood, we wish to respectfully request you henceforth slow down on your excessive use of his services. You're not his only client, you know.
-The Garry Haywood Fanclub

Rare Says: And does he become this obsessive over all his clients?

Was it just coincidence that Chunky looks like Tommy Cooper?
Mandy Seville

Rare Says: Not so much 'coincidence' as 'hallucination'.

What the #*&% is in Mr. Pants' pants. Whatever it is, it must be uncomfortable. I know that I couldn't have something in my snids and be somewhere in public with nothing else on beside my snids and bob my head around. What a freak!

Rare Says: 'Snids'?

I bet that you guys delayed Perfect Dark to be even better than before. So I can't wait until it comes out.

Rare Says: Delay it to make it better, you say? What a bizarre idea.

See, now me, I think Joanna Dark sizzles with all the fiery beauty of a grey Brixton afternoon.
Scott Zdankiewicz

Rare Says: You obviously haven't seen the TV ad yet...

You wouldn't get sued for The Bear Witch Project... I know, cuz there's a porn on pay-per-view right now called The Bare Wench Project. I tried to watch it scrambled, it didn't seem very good, but I could laugh about the name for seconds on end.

Rare Says: You're an easily-pleased man.

My name is Garry Haywood. Right now I'm wearing nothing but my tight, leather pants... on my head.
-Garry Haywood

Rare Says: Go away! You've got other clients! I don't want your 'services'!

Swing your pants! Hey dumbbutts,what's the pillar for in dk64.Don't telll me anything like its a bugger all or anything like that,oh also,dont just say youl give me ans accurate response cause response my ass!

Rare Says: Wh... what?

Hello, there. I was so enthralled by Mr. Pants' exotic head motions that I couldn't resist giving him a whole new dance to call his own. Have fun.
Phat-head Entertainment

Rare Says: Now that's impressive (disclaimer: by my standards only).

Previous Scribes
February 21, 2000
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March 1, 1999
February 11, 1999
December 24, 1998
December 1, 1998
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September 25, 1998
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