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More informative than a murder suspect's pants drawer - that's Scribes. So write to us and get a really worthwhile answer. Ahem.

Dear Scribes,
I have to say before I begin, that Banjo-Kazooie is a great game, but there is one thing that I can't stand: those stupid Jinjos.
Cute?! CUTE?!!!! Obviously whoever said that has a wall full of ceramic cats and lawn gnomes. All they do is yell at you (and now and then whistle) to save their sorry butts. In the players guide, it says they are birds, so why don't they just fly away? And if they can't do that, they got feet! Dumb Birds... No wonder Mumbo wears that mask so we can't tell that he is as well a Jinjo just so I don't get the hidden PP7 in Clanker's Cavern and shoot his sorry hide... he dare turn me into a washine machine...
On a side note, howzabout you put Banjo and Bond in a game! Yeah, I can see it now, Banjo hunts down the Jinjos, puts them in a tennis ball machine (y'know the ones that shoot the tennis balls, duh) and Bond can use them as target practice before he goes out and ventilates Gruntilda. YEAH!!!
Anyhoo, I believe I have wasted a tidy sum of your precious few minutes. I'll let you explain to the children out there where you dirty rats put the PP7 (Hint: There is a secret chamber underneath Clanker's head). Keep the games on rolling!

You make a number of sensible points. No, hang on, I was looking at the wrong letter. (Comedy turn to camera.)
The Jinjos have been magically rooted to the spot by Gruntilda, don't you read the blurb, man? And here's what the artist responsible had to say in response to your other foul accusations:
"The Jinjos are not birds, they are Jinjos. One defining characteristic feature of the bird family, a feature that makes it stand out from other creatures such as mammals and reptiles, is WINGS. Now look at a Jinjo, it has a head, two legs and quite obviously two ARMS!
"And as for this crazy idea that Mumbo may share some common body parts with the Jinjos - what a load of nonsense, do you really think that the artist would be that cheap? :)"

Dear Scribes,
Do you guys like to torture your diehard fans on purpose?
As I type this, it has now been one year, 9 months, and 11 days since a new DKC game. I've had DKL III, sure, and Diddy Kong Racing and Banjo-Kazooie. But you've already said you were working on DKC64. Can't you at least show us one little screen shot? It can even be from the end credits, I don't care anymore! You've turned this once sane, perfectly healthy man, into a sobbering, little, pathetic, puddle of sorrow. Will it be 64DD compatiable? Will it star all four main Kongs? Will it be in 3-D or 2-D? You guys don't care about telling us, oh no.
I respect your decision to make it perfect. But you haven't even made an official announcement yet! When is the projected release date? You won't tell! As far as I can confirm, you just want to pull a Diddy Kong Racing on us, where you announce the game almost right before it's release. You said that you would put any worthwhile news on your website. Just tell us one, tiny little thing, besides the fact that it will be for the N64. Do it for your fans.

All we can say is that we'll show you the goods when we're ready. Yes, of course we want to get it as damn near perfect as we can, and no, we're not trying to annoy everyone by clinging onto it for so long. Just bear with us. Here's an amazing DKC64 fact to tide you over: Donkey Kong will be making a return to the limelight at last. You probably could have guessed that anyway, but, you know, you did ask. Oi! Stop spitting at me.

Say it ain't so! A friend of mine who claims to have inside info on games that aren't even released yet just told me that Perfect Dark won't be released in the US! I've been waiting so long for another game like Goldeneye (a first person shooter that is fun, but not too bloody) and now I'm hearing that it won't happen! Perfect Dark looks like a terrific game, and I have been really hyped up about it! PLEASE TELL ME THAT YOU ARE RELEASING IT IN THE US!

I'm sorry, but after a series of lengthy meetings to discuss the matter, Rare has finally decided to abandon the worthless US market, scale down European operations to the point of dormancy and focus all remaining resources on the substantially more lucrative Tristan da Cunha sector. You divot.

Dear Scribes,
The first time I played DKR I picked Tiptup and I still use him to this day. He is the greatest racer this world has ever known. I was happy to see that Tiptup was in Banjo-Kazooie as well, but, how could you make a game without him? right?
The other day, I when to the store and said to the clerk, "I would like to purchase 'Heaven and Shell: Tiptup 64' please." The clerk gave me a funny look and replied, "We don't carry will have to try another store." Now, anyone knows that if a store doesn't have all the BEST merchandise, it goes under, and since this store was still standing I figured I had the name wrong. "What about 'Slow and Steady 64'" I asked. "Look, pal." The clerk said, " All the games we have are in the glass case over there." He pointed to the N64 section. That was when I realized that Tiptup DIDN'T HAVE A GAME.
Now, Diddy has his own games and they count for Krunch, too. Banjo has his own game (obviously). Timber, Drumstick, T.T. and Pipsy all live on the Island so, DKR is THEIR game (even if it's called DIDDY KONG Racing). Conker has not one but TWO titles comming out. That leaves Tiptup and Bumper. I don't know WHERE Bumper came from and, frankly, I don't care.
I have a vision of Tiptup going on a wild adventure in which Tiptup learns not to be so clumsy and less frightened by things. I call it 'Tiptup Comes Out of his Shell' or 'One Shell of an Adventure: Tiptup 64'. Aided by his slow witted but well meaning brute of a friend TankTup (the giant living concert hall in BK) Tiptup must battle an evil Hare (the tortise and the Hare have been locked in mortal combat since the beginning of time) who has kidnapped Tiptup's choir. At the end, Tiptup dusts off his old kart for one last race, and this time, the Hare won't be caught sleeping.
Now, I admit I made some rash decisions before writing this letter. My original plan was to force you to make the game through Terrorism. (Another flash-back... Cue wavy lines)
My plan was ready and I ran from my house. I could not risk entering your HQ so I hid outside in the bushes. As I waited, I pondered just how sharp the edge of my T.V. remote control really was. I thought about touching the seemingly blunt, rounded off edge but could not, through fear that my fingertip would be sliced clear off. Suddenly, I heard someone exiting the building. The plan was to kill just one of the staff. That way, the rest could hire someone to replace him and make the game...or else. I leapt from my hideaway, trusty T.V. remote in hand, and unleashed handheld, plastic fury at the man before me. When I stopped, I saw that my prey had endured, unscathed by my blade. He was looking at me, perplexed, like I was an impossible to get glass key. 'DAMN!' I thought, 'He must be some kind of Super-Human!'. I should have thought of the possibility before. The makers of such fine games would have to be more that just your ordinary Johnny Lunchpail, Joe Blow or John Q. Public. With no options left, I fled from the scene, running like the wind back to my home. FOILED!
Now, I'm sure you don't remember this so I'll tell you why. You see, I live in Canada, not England, and since the attack took place within running distance from my home... It turned out I attacked a bakery, OK!?!
I will spare you the tale of how I tried to raise Tiptup-Awareness in my community by putting on a Tenage Mutant Ninja Turtles costume, spread bannanas and balloons all over a go-cart track, and challenged people to race. I learned a few things that day. Let me just say that:
1) Balloons float away.
2) Running over bananas hinders your speed, and doesn't increase it as you would like us to believe.
3) I sat on my remote and not only was I not impaled, but my pants didn't even rip. I now use it as a club, striking people with the battery filled end.
4) When you hit the gas as you hear 'GO!' you do not zip forward at high speed but run over and get stuck on the-guy-that-works-there-who-didn't-get-out-of-the-way-fast-enough.
So, after all my mis-adventures, I decided a letter would be the best course of action. Make no mistake, you WILL give Tiptup his rightly deserved game. I'm sure once people read this, EVERYONE will be chanting the name...."TIPTUP! TIPTUP! TIPTUP! TIPTUP!"
Thanks for your time,
Eric Rosenlund a.k.a. Beb

What is it about Tiptup that inspires such mindless devotion? I'd have voted Timber's mad staring eyes the most likely cause of brainwashing in DKR, if anything. And Tiptup does actually live on Timber's island with the rest of them - what other reason could there be for letting the clumsy, babbling idiot join in all the races?
Still, out of a nagging sense of fair play, I put the matter to DKR's designer and he had this to say: "There has been a huge demand for a new game starring Tip Tup which has been totally unexpected. Tip Tup will return, but not yet in a game of his own. Look out for the little fella in 1999."
Meanwhile, if any other readers have an opinion on what exactly it is that makes Tiptup such a favourite, we're always ready to feign a polite interest.

Dear Scribes,
This is the second time I have written your institution, and have yet to recieve any reply about me being admitted into it. The flying elves are getting worse and just won't seem to leave me alone. Everyday I wake up, they pelt me with hordes and hordes of beanie babies (and I don't care what they say my ass looks nothing like an onion). I'm beginning to think the elves are in on it with my friends, cause every time I swat one down and show it to them they just say something like, "Yes, that is a fine looking one", and shortly after leave my house. Well anyway, I really could use those things I eat that make me feel happy (ya know, those oval shaped things you get at the drug store...I think they're made by Hostess). I still think Rarewear is a weird name for a mental institution.
Love always,
P.S. Why do the patients answer the email?

Dear Mr. O'Siris,
Further to your repeated correspondence of September 1998, I regret to inform you that your application to the Rareware Institute has been turned down. Your constant references to "flying elves" and "oval shaped things" have triggered a series of untimely
Yoshi's Story flashbacks amongst the patients, from which some have yet to recover. We hold you personally responsible for this incident and the lads are on their way round at this very moment with monkey wrenches and sticks.

Dear Scribes,
So when are you going to stop printing those letters written by people who hate us Americans with a vengeance (i.e. Sam Kirk). Gee we "lazy-assed" Americans don't make any good games, do we? We must suck. All we must do is sit on our lazy American bums and watch pointless TV programs. We don't make any good games at all. Ok, enough of the sarcasm. We (well, not me) do make good games. I will list just a few: Turok, WCW VS. NWO: World Tour, all three Star Wars games (Episodes 4, 5, 6) for SNES, SOTE, WWF Warzone, MK4, Twisted Metal 1 and 2, Colony Wars, Wipeout XL. The list goes on and on. Some upcoming good games by us stupid Americans: Turok 2, Rogue Squadron, Revenge, Rogue Trip, Vengeance, etc, etc etc... Well I hope the Anti-Americans can see that the American game industry doesn't suck at all, and we do in fact make great games. Thanks for listening,
Rick Coan

Mr. Sam Kirk is also American, as far as I could tell. Very PC. And it's the letters that actually have something to say that get printed, simple as that - there's no prejudice on our part. What do you want, a page full of people saying "Banjo's dead good" and me saying "Oh, cheers"? How riveting would that be?
Of course the games industry (in America as in any other part of the world) turns out some quality stuff to make up for the inevitable dross, or it would have collapsed in on itself years ago. Still, inflammatory letters are always welcome - you can't beat a good slanging match, even in text form.

Dear Scribes,
Ahhhh!!!! I hate you!!! You've spoiled life for me!!! I had so much fun playing Banjo that any other platform game just does NOT cut it in the least! What am I to do, play Spyro the Dragon? BOR-ING! So I just wanted to thank you for ruining the one little bright spot in an otherwise drab existence. "Thanks" she said sarcastically.
Jennifer Starling

Oh no! It's a letter saying "Banjo's dead good". How inconvenient. Er, we'll try to get Banjo-Tooie out as soon as possible without making it crap. Are you any relation to Joseph?
(PS Oh, cheers.)

Dear Rare,
Let me get right to the point. I think you guys have one of the best names for a fighting game in Killer Instinct, hands down. Immediately you think of an epic fighting tournament like Enter the Dragon. Now if you made a fighting game and gave it that special Rare touch, it would kick the living SH*T out of Tekken. I'm not talking about combo memorization here either, like the two previous Killer Instincts...
I am a videogame expert, one of the most talented around. If I dedicate myself to a game, I never come across anyone who can beat me. Why do I dedicate myself to certain games? Because they had serious depth and were very fun to play. The two games that come to mind are Street Fighter 2 Turbo, and F-Zero. Tekken 3 comes close, but I think the control is a little too "mechanical". Since Namco had three incarnations to make their game the way they want, I know you guys would need lots of time to develop a game like this.
Now think if you put your best team on a game such as this. It would be utterly magnificent. I know you guys are too busy right now to be working on a fighting game, but PLEASE let it be your next project. I know something like this would sell more than something like Jet Force Gemini. Don't get me wrong, it looks great, but what the hell is it all about? You guys already have a cool name in Killer Instinct, why wouldn't you want to put your time into something that would inevitably sell millions? Perhaps it's for the better, on the dawn of 256megabit carts, (maybe even 512, c'mon, I know you guys can do it!), and the RAM expansion pak. Yes, perhaps it's better that you do it now than before, because I know you use games like Jet Force Gemini to be the testing waters for new technologies and ideas you guys have. Why risk a new technology on a franchise, right?
I'm glad you guys are still with me. I have one more thing to say. I know you guys have some serious technical genius, probably rivaling Nintendo's, and so I must ask you why it seems so hard for a company to make a fighter for the N64? Is it just because these people are going half arse or what? (By the way, I actually do like to use that word.) Look at Dual Heroes and Konami's crap fighting game. (It's not even worth remembering the name!) I know Rare can one-up everybody by a considerable margin! Please make it so! Thank you for your time.
Cliff Hudson
p.s Hey, think about making Enter the Dragon, I know Namco put up a Bruce Lee wanna be in Tekken 3, but why no have the real deal? All the elements are there for a great fighter! Trust me on this one! (Goldeneye anyone?)

Once more, all I can do is reiterate: while we deny working on a fighting game at present, we've never said anything about refusing to consider it in times ahead. There may well come a day in the not-too-distant future when we get working on KI3, or a brand new beat-'em-up franchise, or whatever. But the serious lack of decent 3D fighters on the N64 should tell you something about how difficult it is to get the balance right in this type of game - it's more to do with the fundamental trickiness of the genre than it is to do with lacklustre developers. But enough off-topic poncey verbosity, I'll just leave it at that: we haven't said we won't do another fighting game. And you never know.

Rarewhere People:
Speak English!... American English, that is. You thought you had this cleared up, right? Well, words like "risqué" and "poncey" make no sense in your .com and .net sites here in the U.S., and my dad says that I shouldn't know about that "Maya joke" on /recent/games/ki2. Your jokes aren't that understandable anyway.
Mike Pelensky

While 'poncey' might well be a steaming great Britism, 'risqué' is a perfectly acceptable word in any dialect: some of my thesaurus' alternatives are 'spicy', 'ribald' and 'indelicate'. I wouldn't worry about not understanding the jokes - they're all crap anyway.

Dear Scribes,
Why is there no violence in Goldeneye? Who made, or forced, the decision to leave out blood (and brains and bone)? Nintendo got heavy slagging from the industry press some years ago when they refused to allow the SNES conversion of Mortal Kombat to have any red stuff in it, despite the fact that the other conversions all had lashings of gore. Was it a Nintendo decision, or did the Rare designers just wimp out of their own accord? Resident Evil sold extremely well despite, or more precisely, because of, its high gore content. Is Goldeneye another example of the fact that many games companies don't seem to want to cater for the needs of a more mature audience who can handle more adult themes and content?
Why do the dead bodies rez out after a few seconds? I've read something somewhere about how the game would eventually stop if they didn't, but I don't understand why that should be so. Surely, if they're in the game, the game has to handle the data for them regardless of whether they're moving or not? Obviously, on some of the instant respawn levels, like the end of the Facility once you've talked with Trevelyan, it would make things tricky as the corridor would soon be hip-deep in dead soldiers. But that'd be cool. Plant a few remote mines, shoot 30 or 40 soldiers as they round the corner, then detonate the mines under the pile of corpses and wait for the rain of body parts... We're not all 12. We don't all want to play Super Mario.
Pihkaljar (

Look what you've done now. The designer's been wanting to address this alarmingly common criticism for some time now, and you've just given him the opportunity. Taste his wrath, sir:
"The level of violence in Goldeneye is comparable to the level of violence in the Bond films. This means that dismemberment is not ever-present, and is confined to set-piece scenes that either serve to reinforce the evil nature of the central villain and/or his henchmen, or to provide the audience with a sense of justice in seeing the same thing happen to the central villain later in the film.
Resident Evil is not tied to any particular zombie flick, though it is clearly influenced by them. In such films, gore is more commonplace; it is moderated by the fantasy context of the genre. Re-animated corpses are not normal sights in the world of James Bond. If the game had been as violent as a zombie horror film, it would not have been a good representation or translation of GoldenEye or the characters in it, and in the eyes of the team it would have been wimping out to have simply added to an increasingly stagnant first-person shooter genre. It was far more risky to have the maturity of stealth and thinking your way through replacing the immaturity of gore and dismemberment as the core of the game. What, by the way, is specifically adult about demanding that your games have outrageous amounts of guts to be worth playing?
"The dead bodies fade out because if they did not, you would have to draw more polygons than the machine could handle to maintain the framerate, and as a result it would spend more time thinking about what to draw on the screen than actually drawing it. 'Respawning' means that once dead, the soldier is replaced by a spontaneously generated live copy; emphasis on the word 'generated'. It means that the soldiers are not hiding around the corner until their numbers are called, but are not actually there at all until they are created by the death of another soldier.
Super Mario would benefit you enormously as it would sublimate your violent anti-social tendencies and give you a respect and appreciation of genuine gameplay which you appear to lack."

Dear Scribes,
In BK, in the begining when Banjo first meets Bottles, he acts like he doesn't know who that mole is. But, the funny thing is, if you go to Banjo's extremely small house you see a picture of Bottles over his fireplace. My guess: either the program guys aren't the brightest apples in the bunch, or Banjo is stalking Bottles. Which is it?
Rick Coan (again)

Come on, it's never been much of a secret that Banjo fell off the stupid tree at an early age. And Bottles, kind and sensitive soul that he is, always tries to take the bear's comical slow-wittedness into consideration when talking to him.

Dear Scribes,
I looked in your Rare Life section and saw that picture of your current farmhouse building. And I gotta say yeah right, on my screen it ain't even two inches tall. How could you stuff a couple hundred programmers inside that little bitty building. Now, on globes and maps I've seen pictures of Britain that I could snugly fit under my thumbnail, but come on. What race of little people could possibly live over there? I apparently could squish all of you at once with one nice thwack (technical term, don't feel bad if you don't understand what it means) from my Goldeneye cartridge. And surrounded by water no less! One tiny wave and you all drown. And that future building of yours, it's even smaller. Longer, yes, but much smaller. Not good planning. I hope you take into consideration the many normal sized gamers out here and build a big wall so you don't get blown away by someone breathing hard. Then where would we get our games you inconsiderate b*****ds?
Thanks fer your time,
-Skippy (don't let that large S in my name fall on any of your most gifted programmers.)

As it happens, we're finding the shoemaking business much more rewarding than the games business these days anyway. And what you can't make out from the artist's impression is that our new building is situated in a cluster of daisies at the bottom of a daydreaming child's garden, well protected from the grasp of cynical older children and hard-hearted disbelieving adults.

You know what I did? In Candy's Save place in DKC, I turned DK around when Candy blows a kiss, so she is kissing his butt! Hahaha!
Chad M.

What did I do to deserve this job?

It says in IGN64 that there is a Shakespere code in B-K. Being both a Shakesphere and a B-K fan, I want to know if it is true.
Nir Rothenberg

Yes: go to the sandcastle and type in M-R-G-U-L-L-I-B-L-E.

I was just wondering when you guys are releasing Office 99? Please update the Thesaurus as I couldn't find an alternative for "gumption".
Marjorie Tindall

I admire your finely-tuned surrealism. Or are you just dense?

Is that blue guy really gay, or is this some kind of Brit joke?
Tom Horst

Somebody please tell me what this man's talking about.

If you were on a desert island with Kazooie and starving, how would you like her cooked?

I'd keep her alive to play with my (No. - The Management)

Why does there even have to be a character in the survey section?
Michael C. Miller

A good point, which will only depress me if I think about it.

What does arsed mean?

I can't be bothered to tell you.

August 28, 1998
July 24, 1998
June 23, 1998
June 2, 1998

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