Go on then, tell us what's on your mind...
might even respond if you'll go down the chippy.
Updated at meaningless intervals!

Your monthly/bi-monthly/
biannual delve into the murky
rectal chasm of reader mail.

AUGUST 21, 2002

Dear Scribes,

     I have a few stupid questions (and rants), not exactly intelligent or interesting, and mostly related to the eighth wonder of the world, Starfox Adventures, but I numbered them in order just for you!
     [1] Like everybody else, I'm looking forward to SFA. And since this is a Starfox game, was the development team planning on putting Starwolf in it (or at least mentioning them) at anytime in development? We all know they aren't dead... just seriously injured... last I checked.
     [2] Just checking if you still highlight Dinosaur Planet since you dropped it off the final title. I'm too lazy to look through your older letters. And speaking of which, will you ever put some of the old Dinosaur Planet movies (I saw the one you put on your site) and images somewhere on your site? Few websites still have the original images, yet are not easy to find.
     [3] Does sending fan art improve the chances of getting a letter printed in Scribes, especially if it's decent? Or perhaps you look through letters randomly and pluck out whatever your mouse pointer lands on...
     [4] I bought 4.6 kg of gummy bears and I think it was one of the best investments I've made in a long time.
     [6] I noticed some similarities between SFA and Jet Force Gemini. One of them is Prince Tricky, who seems to be a Floyd type character from the movies I've seen. Will he perform similar actions as Floyd, or will he be much more useful?
     [7] Is the Rareware HQ a friendly environment with sophisticated and professional individuals, or are there people there that just want to party while they work? Heh, have you ever seen how they run PC magazine offices? It's beautiful!
     That's about all I wanted to say, but I'm going to kick myself for not remembering something else only you could answer. Have a nice day reading all this rubbish! :)
     Your friend,

1) From the SFA team: "Starwolf decided to not get involved this time, they wanted to rest before any future missions commence..."
     2) It's no longer part of the name, so it doesn't get the green. I can't imagine DP images making a comeback unless the story behind the game ends up in the Limbo section.
     3) Believe me, a random selection of letters would be unintelligible. RPAs can improve your chances if done well/really badly. Wait, what am I saying?
     4) We understand your need to boast.
     5) ...hello?
     6) Yes, Tricky also hovers around your head and peppers your enemies with laser fire. Then explodes.
     7) I'll give them 'professional', but like every other workplace, Rare has its fair share of staff members who appear less than familiar with the word 'sophisticated' (or, indeed, 'party').

Burn Baby, Burn!

      Hi Feather Face, I just passed by the office today and lying on the desk of the recently deceased Duncan Botwood (don't worry, he died quite painfully) I discovered the newest additions to Rare's secret list of games:
     Perfect Park: An enjoyable stroll in the park is suddenly turned into a nightmare as CIA agents with bad haircuts decide to nuke you. Unfortunately the game is somewhat short but features really nice splatter effects.
     Violin-Clarinet: A classical take on the infamous Banjo series.
     Machette Wulf: Involves a haggard old man who attempts to stab a nasty wulf in the arse. See last sentence for Perfect Park.
     You are making these games. I can feel it. Surrender Fool, you cannot trace me.
     Cloak, the Shadow Warrior Monkey

Funny, I thought Duncan would have been able to spell 'machete'. Perhaps he died of shame when he noticed the appalling mistake.
     Let's not restart the comedy Perfect Dark rhymes, I'll only get ridiculed by smartarses having a go at my pronunciation again...

Dear 'Juicy',
     After braving the killer guard ducks of Twycross Manor, I bring to the attention of the public this.PD Zero! Unveiled! It's 'true'.
     The first picture of a brand spanking new cel-shaded next-gen Perfect Dark; codenamed Perfect Dark Zero. From the bits I've played of it, I'd like to assure fans that there are no Skedar, and yes - you can kill Elvis - in fact, killing Elvis is one of the objectives of the first level, as the Carrington Institute researchers discover he's actually the illegitimate child of Jar Jar Binks and a Jinjo, and he was the evil one all along setting the player up to kill the only thing standing in his way; the Skedar, in the first game.
     -Martin "Alf-Life" Badowsky

I can see that you've spent a lot of time on this, even if it is really bad, so I suppose I'd better print it. And at least you're not openly stalking Mr. Botwood this time.
     Was it the badly-pasted Xbox that you played the game on, or the GBA with the completely buggered perspective?


     I was reading an update of Scribes when I saw you say the following: "Not sure why we'd want to reuse music from one game to the next - wouldn't it be better to get the same musician back on the project and crank out some all-new 'best ever' tunes?"
     If you mean to say that none of the themes should be "re-mixed" or "arranged" for sequels, my answer is a most emphatic "NO!". When great music is composed, it becomes more than just "great music", it becomes part of nostalgia. It becomes part of the essence of that series. Imagine what Zelda would be like without the signature Zelda theme (in fact, Ocarina of Time did _not_ have the theme, which was missed by a great many people -- which is why it returned in Majora's Mask). What would Metroid be like? What about Perfect Dark 2? Moving to other fields, what about Star Wars without the several main themes it has?
     Also, I've found that, just because a musician has made great music once does not mean they are certain to make great music again. For example, while Banjo-Tooie was a better game than Banjo-Kazooie, little of its music was as memorable (or "hummable") as the music in its prequel. Music is so hard to get right that, if you guys stumble onto something truly great (e.g., the Perfect Dark theme, or what have you), you should hold on to it, mix it up, but don't throw it away in hopes of creating something else that _might_ be as good. Continuing the example of Star Wars: with the exception of Duel of the Fates, I don't think John Williams has done as good a job composing music for the new trilogy compared to his work on the classic trilogy.
     I really hope you guys put some of the music from PD1 into PD2 -- it would be a huge enhancement to the experience. It would remind me of how much fun I'd had playing PD1 even before I get into the storyline of PD2. It is a crucial component, and something that ties the components of a brand together into a whole.
     Thanks for listening to my rant :).

This calls for a counter-rant. And who better to bring it on than the musician you've just mortally insulted?
     "What do you mean Banjo-Kazooie was much better than Banjo-Tooie musically... that's it... outside now (and I'm nearly a black belt!!)
     "Seriously though, the Tooie music was quite a bit more complicated than the first game. I had twice the number of channels so I could have a lot more channel fading stuff going on (Witchyworld had a lot of different versions of the main theme going on as there were a lot of areas to the level). I also think that Tooie was a deeper game than BK and I wanted to write music that was maybe a little more heavyweight to accommodate more time being spent on larger levels. At the end of the day some people liked BK better and some people like BT better... I dunno, you can't please all of the people all of the time etc. etc.
     "I think it is good to carry main theme stuff across from one game to the sequel as it gives it that kind of familiarity and helps to recreate the feeling from the first game, but you have to write new music as well otherwise it would just get boring. Also nothing ever sounds quite as good as that first time you heard it... you always know what's going to come next.
     "Anyway, I was doing Banjo-Tooie, Donkey Kong 64 and Perfect Dark at the same time... I'm not as young and sprightly as I used to be!"

Hello whoever you are!

     I am writing to everyone in the world to find the answer to two questions. I'm starting with you to see if you know first, you knowledgeable son of a biscuit you!
     A) What the smackity bleep do the little colored stars mean in Perfect Dark's Multiplayer award screen? My friends and I get some sometimes but don't know why... I assume because we're all very special. But if that's the reason, shouldn't I get many more than them?
     And B) One time my chum JD and I were playing against some simulants and one was called AlBot. I'm sure it was actually A.I.Bot but we call him Al. So is there a way to get him back? We can't find him anymore. Can you name the Simulants somehow?? WE WANT ALBOT BACK!!
     Thank you very very very super much. Plus 10.
     PS. Knowledgeable son of a biscuit!

See how I reanimate the dead designer with some cheap-looking zombie virus just to answer your divvy questions:
     "a) The differently coloured stars are for different awards. Accuracy, Headshots, Kills, etc.
     "b) You can't rename the Simulants in PD. It was something we wanted to do but couldn't given the time available. Since the standard computer-controlled opponents all have the -Sim suffix (i.e. DarkSim, HardSim, MeatSim), I'd say you were making him up, or starting a particularly crap new internet rumour."
     Great! I managed to catch him before the decomposition affected his natural irritability.

Dear Scribes letter answerer,
     As for the first part of this letter, I know I've skipped one edition of Scribes, but you know what it is to be busy job-wise... you answer stupid letters, I wash dishes... sigh!
     Well anyhow, I must congratulate you on your shrewdness towards the Carrington clone I had as a math teacher, mentioning that he «looks like one of those teachers who only have one expression - that of mindless, indiscriminate rage». That was right on the spot! But it's not a year I survived with him as a teacher; it's two years. Yes, TWO! I still dunno how I made it, though... perhaps your games (Perfect Dark was often some relief).
     Now on to the more up-to-date part. I've seen the letter of someone demanding a mosaic of RPA's. With that in mind, I took roughly 90 minutes to go through all (seriously) the available Scribes editions. Unfortunately, due to the insufficient amount and diversity of the RPAs I ended up creating this, which concerns those demanding Mr. Pants clothing.
     This being said, I'm trying to think of something stupider to say, but I can't be arsed (yawn!), so I'll hope what's up there and what is attached will suffice.
     Good bye,

     Pat the Cat

You try to make me feel like I'm lucky not to have your job, then you send me Mr. Pants RPAs (nice hat, mind). Anyway, you wouldn't be able to wash dishes if you were a real cat. Something's definitely wrong with this picture - and I don't mean the RPA. Well, I do, but... never mind.
     Personally, I've never had a maths teacher who did anything to convince me that he/she shouldn't be run over.

Dear Rareware Editor,

     I was looking at the past letters sent in to you regarding "Secret" Goldeneye levels in PD, and saw your responses. I'm not sure if you hear this very often, or at all, but I just like to say I believe you. It just irritates me to see the stupidity of some people calling you liars and then wanting the "codes" for the levels! It makes sense that you couldn't push the license of Goldeneye and insert them in there. Anyway, thanks for making such great games, and I hope to see more in the future.
     JJ McLaughlin

You'd think that a letter like this wouldn't stand out, considering all it contains is a sprinkling of common sense. The fact that it does stand out speaks for itself.
     I always think that people who use initials instead of their first names must have really awful names, but I can't think of two really bad ones beginning with 'J' that anyone in their right mind would put next to each other. Jonty Jehosephat? Jamiroquai Jarvis? Jeremiah Jinglebells?

Dear Scribbles,
     Thanks for posting my letter. I will thank you by making this letter's body short.
     Bread Eater
     P.S. I will make long post scripts however. First, J.K. Rowling screwed up the first Harry Potter book! In the Diagon Alley chapter, Hagrid tells Harry that Quidditch is like Muggle soccer! SOCCER!!! They are in London! It should be called football! Everyone in Europe calls it football, right? RIGHT???? JEEZ!!! (Sorry, had to get it out of my system.)
     P.P.S. I think now people will bother you more about the SFA save than the Perfect Dark push button codes.
     P.P.P.S. OK, so the last one wasn't long.
     P.P.P.P.S. They will also bother you about a JFG sequel. I will take this a step further. Why not make a Jet Force Taurus or a Jet Force Aquarius or something like that?
     P.P.P.P.P.S. I must bother you about Banjo-Threeie as well. MAYK IT NOW!!!!111!!1!!!1 eYE CAnT wATE ANY lOnGeR!!!111!!!1! (You put yourself into this. After all, Ms. Winkybunion promised it would come out.)
     P.P.P.P.P.P.S. My favorite cereal of all time is Honey Nut Chex.
     P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S. Must resist... can't... hold it... in... MR. PANTS!!!!!!!
     P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S. I think this is the most post scripts you have read on one letter. You now feel motivated to award me.

You're too kind.
     PS Yes. Must be another bit of grating Americanisation, like changing the word 'Philosopher' in case nobody understood it (don't blame me - true story).
     PPS No evidence of that so far, unfortunately.
     PPPS Longer than this one.
     PPPPS What, starring a cow and a man with a big vase?
     PPPPPS Hang on... you're calling me a fat witch.
     PPPPPPS Only because you've never tried Weetabix.
     PPPPPPPS You can't hold it in? Is he bursting out of your chest or something?
     PPPPPPPPS If you insist. I honour you with the very first Official Scribes 'Please Leave' Award.

Dear Rare,
     Er... look, I admit I'm embarrassed to ask this, but... I'm being poked in the ribs by a flippin' compass...
     What is the deal with the PD sequel? Is there going to be one?
     I have several classes of anxious children begging me to find out for them and children can be very persuasive, especially when you have 30 of them all yelling at once (and poking you with their compasses). This emotional and physical terrorism is actually all your fault... yeah... your fault. You b*st*rds.
     So tell me the answer NOW before a) I am forced to kill an entire generation of bottom set year 7, b) I am forced to kill an entire generation of Rare developers by getting you to spend half-an-hour with said generation of children or c) I kill myself (which seems more likely every day).
     This is me begging, which normally only happens on Thursday nights when I have to ask my lovely wife to let me go to my friends' house to play PERFECT BLOODY DARK. That's how serious things have become.
     So pleeaasse give me some information... or I swear I'll... I'll go and buy a chuffing X-Box.
     Mr. C, A School in Walsall
     P.S. I got the cheese thing. Very funny. Aha.

Fancy all that swearing and violence coming from a teacher. See, I told you what they were like. So much for role models.
     Not much to say here apart from the standard "when we're ready to make an announcement on possible extensions to the PD franchise, we'll do so"... not what you're really looking for, I know, but it's all I've got to offer. Anyway, even if we released a PD sequel tomorrow you'd still have to beg your wife for permission to go out and play it, so what's the big rush?
     Commiserations on living in Walsall, by the way. And being a teacher.

Greetings, fearsome gnome of the unknown!
      I'm going to get straight to the point, 'cos the usual 'you guys rule/rUlEz/ro><or/etc...!' is a bit... cliche, I feel. Sorry.
     1. In the last Scribes , you said that you couldn't do tours of the Rare offices 'cos each development area was off-limits to the other teams. Unfortunately for you, this got me thinking. Does this mean that the teams are fixed, or do the staff occasionally work with those than weren't on their last game? I'd like to work at Rare some day (who wouldn't?), and I'd like to know if I'd be stuck with the same people for the duration of my employment (assuming I get my degree, that is).
     2. Don't try and tell me that Banjo and Kazooie are 'just good friends'. You don't fool me, you know. I refuse to believe that if Banjo were to get 'jiggy' with another bear, Kazooie wouldn't feel jealous. I think she's probably getting ready for the 'I'd like to be more than friends' speech.
     Anyway, thanks for printing this (or, if you don't: sod you!).
     Stephen Cosgrove
     P.S. I apologise for the lack of an RPA, but I couldn't be A.R.S.E.d. And you'd probably have lost it anyway.
     P.P.S. See? No mention of PD push button codes, Mr. Pants, PDZero or... oh darn. So close!

Rare development teams are sort of fixed. People come and go as the manpower demands of each project vary, but the core of each team generally remains the same. Occasionally teams are split or reorganised after a game's finished and released, but not too often. Of course, with the length of time games take to develop these days, you're practically guaranteed at least a couple of years in the same company.
     I was just thinking what a nice sensible response this was, when I realised I still had to comment on your Banjo-Kazooie illicit romance theory. I think I might just have to pretend it never happened.

Dear Scribes,

     Hi, there. I wanted to ask you guys, frankly and honestly (meaning I'd like a frank and honest reply back), what you think sets you guys apart technically from the rest of the development community. I'm asking this, since I'm working in game development myself, but most of my co-workers are, while competent, lacking that "edge" that really differentiates the final product from the pre-alphas. I have some examples of things that have truly shocked me.
     1. For starters, the "Poo-boss" in Conker was really great. It was a unique touch that I've never seen anywhere else. To my knowledge no-one's used music as a factor in defeating a boss before (and that was one boss that actually rewarded those of us with a sense of time). Beyond the innovation aspect, the technological achievements of that scene sound-wise were awe-inspiring. What aren't we seeing? What went into that scene, that was never-before-seen technically? It sounds like the vocals are MP3, while the music is sample-based. How does one sync this perfectly on the N64?
     2. As far as graphics go, you guys have great artists, no doubt. But what really impresses me is how you always succeed in pushing the technical envelope technically, no matter what platform you're programming. You've been doing this since the NES! No doubt your programmers are great, but there must be something else. Proprietary API's? Totally rewritten OS? Or something we're not seeing. Please be as specific as you're allowed to.
     3. What do you guys think of developers spouting BS comments like "GC only has 24 megs of RAM, and that's even without the framebuffer taken out", etc. even though they're using crap like netimmerse for the sake of port:ability? Do you get offended by these slackers that say stuff like that, even though the glory of SFA is plain to see? What are they missing?
     I hope this gets posted. There's enough humour in Scribes as it is.
     Oh --- Pants. Someone told me I had to say that.
     /Doru from Sweden

Check out these Proper Answers from Qualified People. Yeah, that's right. One from BFD's musician, two from PD's lead programmer, none from me because frankly I just make stuff up as I go along.
     1) "The vocal parts of the verses to the tune are MP3 with embedded lip sync markers, the music is MIDI, the vocal arpeggios (the bit where you chuck the bog roll in his gob) are MIDI channels ready to fade up when the software engineer wants to make him sing. After each verse is cleared the tune jumps (on the first beat of the bar after checking the beat markers embedded in the MIDI file) to the next section. I think that's it."
     2) "We do tend to write as much of the code ourselves as possible. While this does take more work it allows us to have complete control and program in anything we want to. Everyone at Rare is always looking at how to improve on what's gone before and do new things in all the areas of graphics, audio, gameplay and programming. Every new console allows us to do things we've always wanted to do but never been able to before."
     3) "'GC only has 24 megs of RAM' is actually true - I mean I look at my PC and it has 1024 MB, and that's a big difference. But then we are used to pushing the available resources as hard as possible and squeezing in as much as we can. Every new generation of consoles actually makes it easier for us - those 24 MB are a luxury compared to the N64 and previous platforms. We are used to using lots of compression techniques and making the most of what's there, I guess."

Dear Scribes,

     Oh, Dear Joanna, How My Heart Longs For Thee,
     Thy Sweet Sight, Hath Cast A Spell On Me;
     Oh, My Sweet Love, How I Await Your Return,
     For We Shall Kick Ass Together;
     'Tis Be Truly What I Yearn.

     Not Skedar Nor Guards Will Conquer Us Now,
     Alone We Are Weak, Together We're Strong;
     Oh, How I Wonder, A Spy Stole my Heart,
     Took It Away, And Left Me Depart;
     Left Me In Tears To This Day.

     Oh, Sweet Joanna! Are These Tears Of Joy?
     I Rather Think Not, They Be Tears Of Pain;
     Wherever You Are, My Heart Is With Thee,
     Bringing thy sweet love, thy beauty,
     Thy mad shooting skillz to me.

     You bas@#$%@! You have made my life joyless and of no value. How can my life be fulfilled with meaningless schoolwork and useless internet pornography? Please, I beg you, announce its existence, so I may be at peace.
     Rene Sanchez

More PD0/PD2 demands? Tsk. All the same, I defy anyone to be unimpressed by this spectacular display of language-mangling. "Took It Away, And Left Me Depart"? Hope you have better luck with the pornography than I suspect you do with the schoolwork.

Dear Scribal Lord,
     In Alun MacRae's message in the July Scribes, when he could tear his attention away from Krystal's chest, M. MacRae waxed proud of his fondness for the supposedly scrumptious "Chocolate Squares" breakfast cereal.
     I don't know about you, but whenever I hear about a new consumer product, I rely on profane reviews by bristly, drug-sodden DJs in sordid underground webzines for my product "eval". So how my heart leapt to find a detailed dissection of this flayrah in SPINE Magazine, from a self-proclaimed expert in the cereal field, DJ Yoda.
     Find it here, complete with -- seriously -- video clips of this great man eating each cereal:
     Chocolate Squares is the third of several cereals reviewed in this fine piece, after Bugs 'n Mud and Cap'n Crunch.
     I have also attached the picture accompanying the article, which is actually made up of three small photos. Photo 1 shows a Chocolate Squares box, which features a crudely drawn anthropomorphic squirrel, sort of a fourth-grade rendition of Conker but with button eyes and a stupid hat. In the second, a C. S. box squats ominously above a helpless bowl, squeezing out Squares into the milk. The last photo shows the hideous face of a deformed freak (presumably DJ Yoda) resulting from Mornflake ingestion, the lessons of which are very clear.
     I've got to try these things. I'll bet they scour your colon like barbed wire.
     Josh Hartnett, American Heartthrob

I should probably point out that there's some dodgy language in there. Funny, though, and probably the only place you'll ever see a breakfast cereal described as "bling-bling" and "bad boy for life". Also a handy warning to never, ever try Bugs 'N' Mud (not that I would have anyway).
     A couple of things: surely the squirrel's pervy expression is more worrying than his stupid hat? And why is there a capital L in the middle of 'ChocoLate Squares'? How annoying is that?

Dear Pete,

     I've noticed whenever someone mentions a Rare made game in Scribes, such as GoldenEye or Perfect Dark, they're highlighted in that delightful green colour, as I'm sure you just did for the above. But if that very same person mentions a game we all know to be in production, say Perfect Dark 0, nothing!
     Well I have set about to correct this most heinous crime, with the aid of a little something called "HTML". Yes, using this "HTML" stuff, I will now proceed to say the name of the game we all know to be in production, but no one wants to admit to! Ok, here I go:
     Coming soon to a GameCube near you... <font color=#ff33ff>Perfect Dark 0</font>! HUZZA! And while I'm here, I'll just throw in <font color=#ff33ff>Conker's Other Bad Day</font>, <font color=#ff33ff>Krystal's Jiggly Safari</font> and <font color=#ff33ff>Anticipation 2: Yellow Shirt Guy Strikes Back</font>.
     And there you have it, a whole slew of exclusives named right in this letter! Unless of course you just showed the HTML code, in which case I would look pretty foolish...

     Gaming Eye

I'd just like to say that I was fully intending to show the HTML code and make you look foolish long before you suggested it. Because it'd be funny. But if it's any consolation, your cunning ploy did work for a while - Dreamweaver automatically absorbed the tags into the source code when I pasted your letter onto the page, leaving me to undo your filthy work and type the tags back in myself. You sod.

Dear Scribes,

     As an American, and a Texan at that, I have heard many times that British food is bland. Yes, I know this has nothing at all to do with Rare other than the country, but come on - this is Scribes. You should be thankful this isn't some letter from some boneheaded "bloke" (do Brits really use that word?) asking what Rare is up to and butchering the English language while they're at it. Anyway, I thought I'd ask someone who lives in England what the food is like there. And since you're probably a native Brit, ask a foreigner on his opinion of British fare if you can, seeing as how they'll have a different opinion on it than you. And don't weasel your way out of this by asking just any foreigner. Ask one who's actually somewhere in Twycross or thereabouts, meaning someone who's actually tasted British fare. Please.
     Oh, and one other thing - do they sell hot sauce in England?
     P.S. Rare rules!
     P.P.S. Although I seriously doubt it wil ever happen, I do think it would be interesting if Rare began working on PC games as well. Just a thought. Go ahead and use it to stir fansites into a frenzy.

Right. I've got a selection of viewpoints for you from our obliging international workforce.
     First, the German opinion: "British food is very simple. Sometimes, I think, it doesn't go much further than heating the ingredients."
     To which a representative of Denmark feels obliged to add: "Stay away from mushy peas."
     And finally, direct from Rare Miami, a bona fide educated US viewpoint: "I wouldn’t say as a general rule that food in England is bland, however if the writer is referring to a traditional English meal… I'm not a fan myself. It's something about Oxtail Soup, Spotted Dick, etc. that scares the heck out of me!" He does, however, add: "I've had some lovely meals in England, particularly in London and even so in some restaurants in the Midlands." But then he also adds: "I suspect your average Texan would not be thrilled with European portion sizes" - going on to describe a Texan BBQ in truly disturbing detail, right down to the "big mound of baked beans laced with sugar and pork parts".

Dear Scribes,

      Today I have several Goldeneye questions for you:
     1. Why aren't there any downloads for Goldeneye on its Archives page? I enjoyed the elevator music extensively. Please put an MP3 of it on your site, will you?
     2. Where does Bond shoot the tank shells from when I turn on All Guns?
     3. What's the blue trapdoor for in the Dam level?
     That will be all. No mentioning of posteriors here.

Reminds me of that bit in Highlander where they chuck him out of the village. "There'll be no mentioning of posteriors here today! We'll banish him!"
     Anyway. I'll just pass these on to the designer.
     "Oh. Good.
     "1) Legal issues with licensed games are often complex - GoldenEye is too complex to resolve easily enough to put MP3s on the website.
     "2) The same vector that most other guns are shot from, you horrible oik.
     "3) To stop you falling down a hole and out of the level like you deserve."

Dear Scribes,
     Obviously there aren't enough Mr. Pants pictures to make a collage that forms a larger Mr. Pants, as someone requested on your site... but... well, I run a Super Mario fansite, and as such I have many many tiny thumbnails of Mario characters, and I couldn't get this absurd proposal out of my head! I had to fudge a few things and I had to repeat most of the images many times over, but here it is: Mr. Pants made up entirely of Mario characters.
     I tried to make the low resolution image a good size to see both Mr. Pants and the details in the images he's made up of, but it's not easy. So I also made a high resolution image that includes a before and after picture showing the doodle I modelled this after.
     The image contains around 800 smaller images, 300 of which are unique. The greatest density of unique pictures can be found in the sun, the clouds, and Mr. Pants' hat and pants. Here are four things that I especially like about it:
     1. He's winking!
     2. He's got Goombas for fingertips.
     3. There is a screaming Cheep-Cheep in the center of his pants.
     4. I gave him a gold "medallion" when I didn't know what else to do with that horrible picture from Super Mario Land.
     I see now as I read Scribes that the person who wrote in wanted a wallpaper. Well, these aren't shaped right, but he can darn well make his own wallpaper with them! In conclusion, I have some advice for anyone else thinking of making one of these things: Don't. Have a nice day!
     -David Mitchell
     P.S. My apologies for cramming your mailbox with these large pictures.
     P.P.S. May I suggest you label these "SPA" for "Satisfactory Picture Attachment"? Or perhaps you can think of another S-word that describes them better! Heh heh.

People genuinely 'taking up' the 'challenge'... I suppose I should have seen it coming. Though I doubt any quantity of mind-altering drugs could have helped me to see this particular mentalist variation coming. Er, "well done".
     Another couple of things I like about it:
     1) He's got Lakitu for a bellybutton.
     2) It gives me hope that one day you'll actually be able to buy pants like that.

Dear jackarse Scribe writer,

     Damnit, what the hell is wrong with you people? We all want Falco so damn well give us Falco. Name his game Falcon Fury If you don't their will be a revolt and people will start sending you stupid, meaningless, idiotic, time-wasting, long, boring, rambling, drawn out letters, in Scribes that surely don't exist now on the same level.
     P.S. - I know you said you won't show your picture in Scribes but can you give me a photo of you as I need a new picture for my dartboard. Caution: This is not advisable as I will, in all likeliness post it out all over the internet while subtitled: Wanted! Osama Bin Laden.
     P.P.S. - Notice I there is no numbers as a result of the lack there of any well structured queries/threats/thought/ideology. (Notice I said queries not questions (it was that or inquisitions)... I am diverse as you can see so I can be hired as your assistant thesaurus boy or take you job!)
     - Scribby (your distant cousin, remember?)

There are many reasons why you'll probably never get a job resembling mine in any way, not least the one involving Post Scripts and why they should come after the main body of the letter. I fear that a sentence beginning "Notice I there is no numbers" would also give prospective employers cause for concern.
     I think Captain Falcon should be given first shot at the Falcon Fury name, though to be honest he might prefer to go for Falcon Fairy.

Dear Scribes of Rareware, the best thing to come out of England for over a century (insult or compliment? Your choice),

      Cheers! You guys actually published my E-mail? I must say you have pretty low standards!
     Anyway, I just wanted to say that my name is truly Greg Head, and that I have ALL the platinums in Blast Corps (thanks for completely wasting my summer a few years ago).
     Now for questions... questions... it's a shame your games always end out perfect or I'd have to ask more... have you guys ever considering making a full-fledged party game (Mario Party style)? It's unneeded as of now, with Mario Party 4 on the way, but since your games take about 4 to 6 years to make, if you get started now, that would be jolly good.
     -- Greg Head

Except of course we might have a completely different stable of characters in six years' time. There was no Banjo, Kazooie, Conker, Jo Dark, Juno, Vela or Lupus this time six years ago, for instance - it would have ended up as Glacius playing Twister with Funky Kong or something, which just... no, hang on, that would have been brilliant.
     Are you saying that you didn't find the Blast Corps platinum payoff totally satisfactory? (We still laugh about that.)

Dear I've Been Workin' On The Railroad All The Leigh Loveday,
     I wouldn't have written this, but you implied that I had made up that cartoon show featuring some B-list videogame characters. You have insulted my honor, dear sir, and I'm here to defend it! You'll find proof that this, er, classic children's show existed at this link here:
     You have no idea how many websites I had to scour just to find the title of this show, perhaps indicating the quality of the show right there. Anyway, the show was called Video Power, but it was actually a cartoon show/ game show. Genius. The cartoon segment that I referred to in my last letter was called "The Power Team". From what little info I was able to find, it had Max Force from Narc, Tyrone from Arch Rivals, Kwirk the tomato, Bigfoot the truck, and Kuros from Ironsword. The bad guys were the druglords from Narc. Sounds like a real winner, doesn't it?
     Apparently, those were all from Acclaim published games, thus explaining the odd cast of characters. Had this show come out today featuring Acclaim published characters, it would probably star Turok, the cube from Zoocube, Vexx, Iggy, and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.
     As I said, it wasn't strictly a cartoon, as they had a game show segment. I don't remember that part as well, but my searching did uncover a funny little write-up about it here:
     The question begs to be asked: was the cartoon filler material for the game show, or was the game show filler for the cartoon? That's one for the ages.
     It must fill you with pride knowing that a few Rare characters were in a cartoon nobody remembers, doesn't it? Oh, and, "rambled on", did I? Hrmph!

Yes, and thanks also to Dave ("whoever came up with the most points would don a velcro body suit and run through a maze of video games/systems"), Josh Savage ("blindly threw a bunch of very strange game characters together in situations that I hesitate to label 'plots'"), PolarBoy ("the show featured him sitting in a chair and telling people things about video games, specifically Super Mario Bros. 3, Chip & Dale Rescue Rangers, and Little Nemo in Dreamland") and Roger Smith ("I don't remember the name of the show but who cares") for pointing out the same thing and building up a rather too clear picture of the programme. The Video Power part sounds like the UK's fondly-remembered GamesMaster, only ten times worse, and with fewer references to pants. I don't think I can trust myself to comment on the Power Team part.

Dear Scribes,

     Urkel was talking about "The Power Team", I believe. I won't say anything further, because I'm not English, and therefore shall probably be mocked by exponential increments as my Scribes letter increases in length.
     Oh, heck, I must say it: the new (relatively) art of Sabrewulf shows him to be blue, exactly like Krystal. I've been informed by a Rare fan that obviously knows everything (because he's a fan) that the Sabrewulf of old was never that color. Has the new artist just been daydreaming and hybridizing the two? More importantly, wouldn't that slow down Sabrewulf's chase and cause the beast to leave two dragging trails wherever it goes?
     Please have nightmares.

Jeffrey J. Wulfston, Esq.A Sabre Wulf team representative kindly supplies: "The original Sabrewulf was blue, I think your friend is colour-blind." He's right, too - look here. So unless your friend is Sabreman, ignore him. And even if he is Sabreman, he's still wrong.

Dear Trained Letter Reading Monkeys,

     Well, your last response was completely useful. Which makes me wonder why you bothered posting it at all. Here's my Round 2 of questions and comments.
     1. Did you hear they're making US $20 bills some fruity color pink now? Since you have fruity pink and purple colored money down there in England, how do you suggest us money grubbing Americans cope?
     2. I nearly bought a used copy of CBFD at a store today for $10. But then I thought, no. Rare deserves a cut on a larger sum of money. So I'm gonna go buy a new copy later for like $30. You can thank me later.
     3. I have this kickass concept for a game. You're a bad mouth, talking, shooting squirrel. You've already had this one adventure making comedic sendups of movies where your girlfriend dies. But this game comes later. I'd explain more, but you obviously know where this is going. If you're astute, you may also notice I don't even OWN the original Conker. Yet I clamor for a sequel. I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHY! It could be a terrible, god awful game for all I know. Yet I want more! The gaming masses have brainwashed me Scribes! Help! Please, for the love of God, help me!
     4. Now, in Star Fox Adventures, and CBFD, you have talking animals. Blast Corps and Jet Force Gemini I've never actually played. Nor Killer Instinct or Killer Instinct Gold. Perhaps Diddy Kong Racing is nifty. Perfect Dark and Goldeneye are first person shooters. Kameo looks neat. And Sabrewulf for the GBA involves an old man. I'm going absolutely nowhere with this, I just wanted to get as much green text in this paragraph as possible, when you highlight the names of games. :-)
     5. And now I will ask a real question. Maybe even one you're allowed to answer in Scribes. Ahem. In Star Fox Adventures, will the laser on Fox's staff actually damage enemies, or is it just used for puzzle solving etc... It's just that it seems kind of pointless to use a staff when you've got a gun attached to it. Thank you.
     Teh Hobo

1) Easy - make sure credibility is restored by having a porn star from a bygone age on the back (ours is Sir Edward Elgar).
     2) We will. You're still a mug, though.
     3) Don't even try to fight it. You'll be swearing about PD button codes and making huge Mr. Pants mosaics out of fruity pink banknote thumbnails before you know it.
     4) Yeah, I really appreciate the extra 20 seconds' work... smelly.
     5) Not even super-special magic staff lasers last forever, you know. Still, I'm reliably informed by the team that while it's charged, "the laser on Fox's staff will damage enemies (it's a class 1 laser product). If the laser doesn't work he can always poke them in the eye with it."

I never owned an NES system, but my Buddy had one and I couldn't get enough of R.C. Pro-Am. I see a lot of similarities between it and Diddy Kong Racing.
{|(8-(|) (   (<
Thomas G. Peter

ASCII chimps! Of course! I knew Scribes was missing something.

dude, what's up? hey, who's my favorite message reply guy? well, it's not you! haha!

Kyle Shubert

Hurtful swine.

Does you choose the name Tooty for Banjo's sister because she farts a lot?
Lazy Canadian Joe

No, we chose it so stupid people would confuse it with 'Tooie'.

I was really bored, so after reading through the last Scribes, I made this. Couldn't really find a tileset that had pants as a predominating theme though unfortunately, but there you go.
Jason Newell

Wow. You must have been almost as bored as David Mitchell.

When will you release the push-button codes for X the Ball?

When someone plays it.

Pipsy should show up in a future Conker adventure. Swearing and stinking of cheap booze.

That's an improvement on her vile crack habit in DKR.

Thanks for your comments on my Stick Fighter "game"; I'm hard at work on the sequel, which will include 6 all-new attacks including a spin-kick! I will not have the fighter swearing in Japanese unless someone sends me the .wav files to do it, since the very concept is just too strange for me to actually put effort into.
- Alexander Farris

What's so strange? I'll swear if someone else can translate.

I was reading Scribes and the images in the sidebar began to disapear one by one. Is this the result of ghosts?

Yes. Goust enemeis. i aM n0~t mae#K1gn tEhm UP!!1!

Why do you always put people who make spelling mistakes into your Snippets bit of the page? It is just a cheap way to get in?
William Byrne
P.S. I realy like Rsare!

Ha ha! Look, you've - wait a minute.

In the new update of Atic Atac can you make the serf's nose a bit smaller?

No. Big nose or no nose. That's 8-bit pixels for you.

is there some way i could sleep my way to the top of rare. im a man, so im REALLY hoping that you are a mostly female staff. ive always wanted to work for you guys.
-the most loyal scribes reader (not really) ever
ps dont laugh at me

Why would we laugh? Come on over, hot stuff.

RARE is in caps (duh). Does it stand for something, like PS2 stands for Pot Smoker 2?

Yes! Hang on, no. It's not even in caps. Shut up.

I'd just like to point out that Chocolate Squares are watertight, and as such the chocolate within the wheaty parcel never seeps into the milk. Ever.
Alun 'Felix' MacRae

What about the 'lacerating the roof of your mouth' problem?

Hi, I am in pain wondering when PD0 is coming out. I look everywhere, no info. I ask everywhere, no info. WHEN IS PD0 COMING OUT AND I NEED PICS TO SETTLE ME DOWN! Thank You.

I thought you were saying 'POO' at first... I laughed for ages.