Go on then, tell us what's on your mind...
We mayeven respond
from our mock-Tudor love grotto.
Updated aggravatingly infrequently!
Cyborg Turkeys Strike Back

Christmas Scribes,
Mistletoe and bad vibes,
RPAs and Mr. Pants jibes...

DECEMBER 22, 2000

Dear Scribes,

     1. Did the guy who did the voice of Jonathan do the voice of Grimshaw? And did, like, y'know, the guy who did the voice of Jonathan also do the voice of Max Danger? Oh, let's just get to the point. Who did the voice of Grimshaw? He deserves the recognition (although he may see it more as shame than recognition).
     2. Speaking of Grimshaw, why is he not in PD GBC?
     3. Stop pretending that you don't like Mr. Bean! It's starting to get annoying.
     4. Did you know that Rare has been in a movie? ...well, sort of. The late 80's movie, "The Wizard", is about this little kid who is a "wizard" at videogames that travels across America to get to some Nintendo contest where the winner wins $10,000. Anyway, he practices for the contest by mastering as many NES games as possible, and he's shown playing R.C. Pro Am!! (For about 3 seconds.) The climax of the movie is at the contest where Nintendo unveils SMB3 for the first time ever. He gets a higher score in the set amount of time more than anyone else, and wins the $10,000. I actually saw it in the theaters when it came out, sitting in the front row. Hey, at least it's not as awful as that Super Mario Bros movie.
     5. Don't worry Leigh, this painful letter is almost over. Now all that's left are the rubbish attachments. Yes, "attachments", as in "more than one attachment", or to be more precise, three attachments. Oh, shut up, I don't want to hear your complaining. The good news is that they're not more horrible Mr. Pants, Mr. Trout, or Mr. anything related MS Paint drawings, but rather 3 horrible wav files. The first one is the classic "Welcome to Hacker Central" line. I just think it should be available for everyone to download. The second is a humorous sound (keep in mind I consider Mr. Bean humorous) featuring the voice of Daniel Carrington. The last sound is taken from a promotional videotape Nintendo sent out to promote JFG and DK64. I'm sure you guys at Rare had nothing to do with this video, but I want you to witness the horror of the more infuriatingly annoying lines the host of the video constantly spouted throughout the video.
     Well, that's it. I was considering sending more rubbish attachments, but then I decided it would be morally wrong to subject you to any more of this stupid crap.

1. Well spotted indeed - all three (plus of course Elvis) were voiced by the same bloke. Of course, you don't really expect me to put a name to The Voice Of Grimshaw and subject the poor man to intense public victimisation for the rest of his life.
     2. I dunno. Why isn't Max Danger in PD N64?
     3. Alright, look, the first one was mildly amusing, but the novelty wore off fast.
     4. Can't say I've ever seen it, but I'll 'make sure' I 'jump at the chance' to do so in future.
     5. Couldn't agree more about the Hacker Central line, though Steve will probably hate me for it. Whoops missus! Etc. And yes, we got sent a whole load of copies of that promo tape, for some reason. We even watched it... and I've never seen so many people stay so utterly straight-faced for so long. That's Brits for you. Oh, and Blackadder's Christmas Carol, am I right?

To the PPSniper,
     After reading the story for Banjo-Tooie, I went back and played BK. Now, we all know that nearly everything Grunty says rhymes (I think I saw one line which didn't, in the start movie while she runs down the stairs). But, if you change the language, does everything still rhyme? Did you think of new phrases for Gruntilda to say that actually rhymed in the other languages, or did you just translate what you had in English, more then likely losing their ability to rhyme?

     -Ksi (formally known as Si)

You know what? Thinking about it, we're not actually sure whether the translated versions do rhyme any more. We just send the entire in-game text file over to NOE and let them reshape it into various European languages. A literal translation seems most likely: they often come back with questions over meaning, context etc., but not enough to suggest that they're rewording everything so that it still rhymes in the target language. Any European readers care to clarify?

Dear Ed,

     Just a very short note, since you're a busy man. Megamanxxx wrote in last Scribes with the erroneous observation:
     "The hovering crate, because it is essentially massless, would have no inertia. The reason why it would slow down with such inertia is due to air resistance."
     First of all, he has made the elementary grammatical error of using "the reason why" with "due to". Secondly, he has used "due to" with a noun, when grammatically he should have used "owing to". Thirdly, objects still have inertia even if they're hovering. Inertia is dependent on mass, and the crate still has mass - what Megamanxxx meant to say was that the crate had no weight.
     NASA's space rockets still possess mass and therefore inertia, even when in orbit around the earth. Therefore, Megamanxxx is quite clearly talking out of his b*ll*cks and knows sweet f*ckall about basic physics. Mind you, he was spot on about "sexy sexy sexy sexy Leigh Loveman". You devilish bewitching charmer you.
     BenjaminCJHu, Durham

We'll have less of your blatant homoeroticism, young man. Unless of course you're a misleadingly-named glamorous lady like Goldie Hawn in Private Benjamin, in which case, carry on. As for your continuation of the hovering crate argument, I couldn't care less - you two just go ahead and bicker over it until your lips fall off.

Remember David O'Connell's letter in the last Scribes? About Rare's games being unreasonably difficult? Look, I know it was a long time ago, but do try to keep up. Here's a selection of your responses...

Dear Scribes,

     Hm... David O'Connell's little letter sounds like an excerpt from a page I thought we had turned long ago for the last time. A page from a more disturbing chapter in the Book of Scribes, a chapter entitled "Sean Williamson". Whether David O'Connell really is Sean Williamson masquerading under a new name, we'll never know, but what we do know is that it's really sad when a player can only complete the easiest level and then complains the game is too hard. No David, the game is built correctly. You completed the game on the "easy" level. You need "skills" to complete it on harder levels. If you were able to complete the "hard" level, it would need to be renamed to "easy", and medium to "extra-easy", and so on. The fact that the editor cut your letter off, and the part that got posted was still extremely long shows that you are much more skilled with a keyboard than a N64 controller. I suggest you stick to crossword puzzles.
     -A Quiet Observer

Dear Scribes,
     In reply to your question of, does Des have a point about games being too hard, I'd have to say yes. I don't mind a challenge in a game, really, I don't. It's just that your games are too hard. I have got far more enjoyment out of Zelda: OoT than any Rare game, same with Super Mario 64, even though they are a lot less challenging. I remember recently Miyamoto commenting on why his N64 games are easier than SNES or NES games. He said players could now get satisfaction from a game by seeing what happens next, getting a cutscene or story development that they just couldn't get during the 2D era of games. Back in those days, unless a game was challenging, no enjoyment could be reaped from it. I think Rare are yet to move on from these days. BTW, I don't think Rare quite understand the point of making a game challenging. There is no need to make completing the game challenging. As I've said, it is not challenging to complete Mario or Zelda, but it IS challenging to get all the Gold Skulltullas or 120 stars. I really don't care if this gets posted in Scribes, I just hope Rare take my ideas on board for the next generation of games.

Dear That Bloke From Rare,
     I read David O'Connell's letter about Rare games being too hard and just had to say - the fool! Most games these days are too easy - only Rare actually make games with any real challenge. Years ago, completing a game used to be an achievement but now it is something that you expect. (I'll stop there before I turn into Cranky Kong.) Anyway if the game is too hard you can always give up before the end (wimp), but if it is too easy then you can't just make it last longer.
     Anyway, I've wasted enough of your time. Bye.
     Yours Sincerely
     The Great And Invincible Zog, The planet Bipuloid

And what more proof do you want that it's impossible to please all of the people all of the time? Some people get stuck where others cruise through without batting an eyelid; some people want to spend months battling through to the end, while others want to be able to make it within hours. Where do you draw the line? All we can do is try to accommodate all levels of skill without compromising the overall game. We don't think we've done badly so far.

Dear Rare man/lady,

     Being a UK based devoloper, do you program your games with PAL or NTSC TV systems in mind first? I just wondered because Perfect Dark was out in the US before it was here. Which annoyed me, I mean I'm a loyal fan and I only live twenty miles from you development studio, so why do I have to wait ages longer than "The Americans" (who all live several thousand miles away from you). Would it be possible for me to just drive round and pick games up from you when they're finished? Thank you for your time.
     J. Stenhouse
     P.S. Mr. Pants looks cool; I think you should make a five mile high statue of him and put it on your roof so I could see it from my bedroom window.

NTSC. As the PD team kindly points out: "We don't make the cartridges. Nintendo make them. And they're based in the US and Japan..." Which is, of course, the very reason that you can't drive round and pick them up from us.
     PS Five miles? Then you'd only be able to see his legs, and it'd just look like we'd got two big lopsided trees sticking up through the roof.

Well heeeello, mr Rarey warey pants all squarey!

     What's the best way to get into Scribes, or any letters page? Is it by any chance a rubbish picture attachment? Maybe mentioning the word arse or pants? Mmm... I've forgotten what I was talking about. Ah yes. Quick wit or dry humor (don't make me laugh)? Or some kind of info that was never meant to be known about a game? Calisto MT ring any bells? Maybe it's a font that sounds just a teeny weeny like a well known gun from Perfect Dark? Hey, why does Mrs Pie not wear giant comedy knickers? And will there be an end to these totally unrelated questions? How many e-mails do you get a day? Why is water wet? And why are most of the people I know crap at games? You know it feels like I'm the only person in the world who has completed JFG? And to finish my letter...
     Psycho Dave

Allow me to finish it for you. To address some of your fine questions: attaching rubbish pictures and saying "arse" and/or "pants" isn't even a surefire way of getting into Scribes, let alone any other poor unsuspecting letters page. If you're suggesting that we nicked the name of the Callisto weapon from a font, maybe you should also think about hurling accusations at Galileo for discovering that particular moon of Jupiter 400 years ago, or any historian who dares to mention the nymph from ancient Greek myth. Mrs. Pie doesn't wear "giant comedy knickers" because that would make her Mrs. Knickers. Emails per day: well, it was 200+ when the site first launched, but these days we've got it down to anything between 20 and 100 depending on the time of year/what's currently hot on the site. Which is still far too many when most of them are of this calibre...

Dear Scribes,

     Not meaning to sound like one of the vast idiotic majority that pollute your pages on a regular basis (e.g. "my unkle wurks at rare and he has givven me da push button code for perfeckt head, and im not tellin any of you looza's what it iz!!!! WaReZ RuLeZ", Da Master) but I believe I have found something truly rotten in the state of Carrington. To set the scene, myself and three friends were playing a deathmatch on the Grid with ourselves (team Beatenseal) versus 5 sims (two hard Kazes and three normal Feuds) on one hit kills, first to 20. We decided beforehand that this would be an ideal situation to try out the new surround system and cranked the volume up to earth shattering proportions. 17 kills into the game (we, of course, were winning) and the sound started to glitch, the sound of a cyclone firing refused to go away even though no-one was firing it at the time. This carried on for a few more minutes when a burbling crackling noise started to accompany it. We finished the game and concerned that the noise was one of the speakers blowing, not the sound corrupting my friend went to reset the N64 to check if this was the case, imagine the surprise around the room then when the game in its best Exorcist style voice, screamed at us "Rest in peace"!!!. Now normally this could be explained away as a sound file from the game intruding into the combat simulator as the audio was corrupting at the time, but coming from a man who has got all the cheats, completed all the challenges and done all the levels (including co-op and the secrets) on Perfect Agent I know this line does not exist in the game. Please put my mind at ease as I love the game, I just don't want to have to bury it on holy land with a silver cross embedded in it...
     Karma Man

Calm down, you're not the target of sadistic poltergeists... probably. In fact congratulations! You've found some of the hidden speech - there are a few samples which got left on the cartridge even though they were never used in the final version. Here you've got "rest in peace", but there are others in there like "one for the body bag". Interesting, no? Anyway, you should be safe now that the cartridge has exercised its will to speak, and there should be no need to resort to an exorcism...

Dearwe Rarehaveware andno Scribespresident,

     In the October 11th edition of the Arses & Mr. Pants mailbag -- er, I mean, Scribes, one Njoinit complains that in JFG, the shadow of Juno's ship is directly under it, while the sun is behind it. Refusing to let the bandwagon leave without me jumping on it and causing absolute mindless -- and yet creative -- chaos, I have decided to join in the pointing out of atrocious violations of the laws of nature.
     The Skedar homeworld has 3 suns. Now, this in and of itself is not so bad. Many solar systems consist of binary stars, and I believe even triple stars (er... or not, I dunno). My problem is the fact that any life is existing on this planet, which realistically should have a surface temperature the equivalent of Britney Spears' body. And all three suns are out at the same time. Never mind the fact that Joanna Dark should be little more than a piece of cockroach-ridden KFC immediately after exiting the stolen Skedar ship, which inexplicably traveled from Earth to the Skedar homeworld in what would seem to have been a matter of hours at most.
     P.S. For a fun time, the next time you're in a crowded elevator (or an elevator with only one other person in it), say in a low, demonic voice: "I must find a more suitable host body." It's a great way to pick up chicks, trust me. They're just running away from me so they can get home and call me as soon as possible. I guess it only attracts the dumb ones though, because they always forget to ask me for my phone number...
     P.P.S.S. (The Post-Post Script-Script) AOL users aren't idiots, we're just stupid is all... Wait a sec...

Oh, I can't be arsed making anything up for this one. Time to get designertastic!
     "As you can see from the angle of the suns, it is early morning on the Skedar homeworld. This means that the temperatures are relatively low while still being as hot as the body of a starlet of your choice, say equivalent to midday on the summer solstice. And we never mentioned how long it took to get to the Skedar homeworld; obviously we weren't going to show the hours and days of boring yet 'believable' spaceflight. Face it sonny, I'm cleverer than you and I'm always going to have the time to work out an answer that makes you look stupid."

Dear lazy so and so's.
     I have been waiting for Scribes to update now for little under two months. Simply put, it is usually the highlight of my month. (I lead a sad life stuck on a chair that can just about support my weight).
     But I don't blame you for not updating Scribes. I know you have far too much work to do. I do have questions though (maybe they will be grametically correct enough not to get edited) (No, bad luck. - Ed)
     1. If you stand on your chair and look around can you see a coffee machine.
     2. In theroy (and only if you had to) how many people could fit around your monitor to look at, well, all the stuff you do.
     3. Why oh why do all my past letters insulting people not get printed (no really, they asked for it)?
     4. Did you know It died a year ago today? (I am still looking for his cousin, What, to tell him the news.)
     5. Do you think I use brackets too much?
     6. If you stand on your chair again and look at the coffee machine can you see someone who happens to be working on a Gamecube title (that's as far as I'll go with that)?
     7. Is true that the cheese in Perfect Dark actually represents your feet disorder?
     That's it and good n-arse

Hey, at least when we do update, we answer all the worthwhile questions...
     1. No. And my chair swivels so I'd probably fall off and knacker my printer.
     2. In... what? Oh, right, 'in theory'. Er, I dunno. We could probably get about 10 people in here at a squeeze. Why?
     3. They must have been a bit hopeless or I'd remember them.
     4. I bet that's buggered the next Addams Family movie then, eh?
     5. Probably. And if you're waiting for a 'funny' bracketed answer, you can keep waiting.
     6. I thought we'd already determined that I can't see a coffee machine. I could if I smashed a couple of walls down, mind - not that I'd want to, because coffee's minging.
     7. Not unless you've found some mushrooms as well.

Dear Scribes,

     I know that this column is not the usual place that one would expect to get an actual answer to a serious question about a Rare game, but I figured that I would give it a shot. So my question is, how did the designers of Goldeneye and Perfect Dark come up with the times needed to acquire the cheats?

You really want to know? Alright then, but it's not that exciting. They're worked out from collaboration between the testing departments of Rare and NOA, and the development team itself. But as the designer points out: "It should be noted that a near-final version of the game always helps before settling on fastest times. Otherwise you find yourself getting trapped by things that weren't there before and let down by things that aren't there and should be."

To all of Mr. Pants' Adoring Fans:

     Behold the power of Mr. Pants Snowboarding! I have supplied a rubbish picture attachment of Mr. Pants riding on his neon green snowboard, along with an even more rubbish title screen with Rareware logo. I know that Mr. Pants blends in with the snow, but that's why he wears red pants I would guess.

And we were doing so well. Still, at least it's Christmassy.

Dear Scribes,

     I found Mr. Pants two times in Banjo-Tooie! He's on Boggy's TV at Hailfire Peaks and in the stars of the Dodgem Dome Lobby at WitchyWorld. You made him very hard to find in Dodgem Dome. Besides, Mr. Pants is not a graphical feast that utilises all of Rare's artistic talent. I do think it was a pretty phat idea to put him in the game though. Thanks for putting so much time into making this game a great one.
     - NES Boy
     PS: Do I get anything for finding him?
     PPS: Mr. Pants' first name is still a mystery. What is it? Albert? Alfred? Joe? Charlie? Baggy? etc.

"Not a graphical feast"? How can you possibly say that in the face of all the evidence? It does make me laugh that they had to put my name in the credits just for using Mr. Pants, though.
     PS Yes - a lingering sense of euphoria.
     PPS None of the above.

Dear Scribey-thingamajig,
     In response to the email from SirNick5, when in the Carrington Institute Grimshaw does not say "F**k off" but says "Bug off", at least I hope...
     Anyway a strange thing that does happen is that if you are quick enough on Carrington Institute Defence to kill (yes kill) Grimshaw's Tech friend & then kill the guards, most, but not all of the time, Grimshaw will say "Thanks Joanna" in the voice of the Tech woman. Rare into swearing... no!! Rare into sex changes... mmmmm...
     Luke Brown

Grimshaw is a master of voice manipulation, as you should have realised by now. His natural voice is a mellifluous upper-class baritone, but he derives amusement from irritating and confusing people with that stupid nose-pinching whine and the occasional bit of cross-gender ventriloquism. It's obvious when you think about it.
     A parting observation from the designer: "Grimshaw does say 'bug off' rather than the more widely used 'f**k off', but then he's the kind of person who says 'trash' when a normal human would say 'p*ss about with'."

Hi and thanks for the wonderful games you provide us!

     I purchased Majora's Mask in the beginning of December and I happened to read the Nintendo advert brochure. Perfect Dark for N64 and GBC was advertised as well among other games but they both had the note "Not published in Germany". Do you know why? Just being curious.
     Thanks in advance for the answer.
     Constantinos Lapiotis, Athens, Greece

As far as we know, Germany has a list of 'restricted' products (books, games, films etc.) that contain violence towards human characters or realistic representations of conflict. It's a whole different situation to most other countries. Where there's scope for it, some games try to get around this by replacing human enemies with robots, zombies and the like, but it's not always feasible.

Dear Rare editor, here is my uncizilised opion.

     (Since you never read the letters, I tought I give it a chance anyway.)

     Oooooh, I just buyed my 7th Rare game today.
     It was quite good I have to say.
     Until I came across a part in the game.
     And it really made me insane.
     Because the man called him a Scandinavian freak
     And now it is justice that I seek.
     Just becuase am a Scandinavian dosn't mean im a freak.
     And it upset me and made me a tear leak
     Now im thinking sueing.
     And leave the Rare company in ruin.
     I never buy a rare again.
     Becuase I was insultet and crying.
     So I say that Rare sucks.
     And its true enough.

     Yeah, so it dosn't rime, and spelled terrybilly, so sue me!
     Jakob Schmidt, Scandinavian

What, do you think Trent Easton was looking out of the telly and speaking to you personally? This isn't Hey You, Trentachu, you know. The basic sci-fi icon of the tall, fair-haired Mr. Blonde figure is traditionally mistaken for Scandinavian by those who don't know any better, e.g. Mr. Easton (until this particular example turns off the cloaking, anyway). Here's - yep - the designer to elaborate...
     "Trent Easton was referring to the enigmatic Mr. Blonde, a figure that he had been unable to fully understand from the moment they first met, and who had been in control of the conspiracy for as long as it was in operation. Trent was upset by this because he wanted to be in control. Now everything has gone horribly wrong for him, Mr. Blonde's threats are less veiled, and he's afraid for his life. No evil conspirator is at their best under such circumstances.
     "Plus at least 10% of all Scandinavians I know cheat at Othello. And my girlfriend's cousins are Norwegian."

Dear Scribe Person Sir Ma'am:

     I am writing about the large amounts of large guts you put into your games. With the exception of GoldenEye and Perfect Dark... Do you have an obsession with big things eating little things? In Conker's Bad Fur Day are we going to see the little squirrel eaten by a gigantic Mr. Pants? Now, I don't particularly dislike these big-things-eat-little-things-especially-if-big-thing-resides-in-the-water scenarios, but... having Lupus fly out of that big bug's arse? That's going a bit far, don't you think?
     Also, I am giving Banjo-Tooie two very large thumbs up. And having the washing machine return, with the added benifit of tightie whities, excellent.
     I noticed a box in Grunty's factory... Twycross? Was this some shipment of material that didn't make it to your office? Like don't make Dr. Caroll a she-male? Thank you for you time.

How else was Lupus meant to get out? Believe us, we took no enjoyment from having to reproduce a big arse on the screen like that. Anyway, here's the official Banjo team view on your other bits and pieces:
     "I think you'll find it states in all video games characters' contracts that 'you shall be required to experience the inside of a digestive system at least once during your travels'. It's next to the clause that demands there is an ice or fire level of some sorts in there too.
     "The box in Grunty Industries contains the secret plans to Banjo-Onelessthanfouro, the next instalment of the series which features Loggo in Banjo's backpack and worlds so large that they require a cartridge... er, disk, each. Scheduled to appear 2010."

Dear All-Powerful Web-master of Scribes,
     This letter is regarding Adam Stanizewski. Is this fool for real?! Does he really think that he and his hacker friends (if they're even real) would know more than the people who work in the company and see most of the games in all their stages of development and who know about the press releases. These people are obviously so far away from Earth on the Planet Idiot that by the time the sun cinderizes the Earth to a crisp, they might have evolved into a sub-human (might).
     So once and for all, stop f**king around with stuff like "can I have the beta version of this" and "what does this one place that has absolutely no function except to be there do". I'm sure that most of the SubScribers (get it?) who have actually evolved past the Neanderthal state (and can stop finding the most out of the way unimportant things to ask about) will agree with me that Scribes is a place to put random Mr. Pants stuff and ask about games, not preach the word of omniscient "hackers" and their mindless drivel.
     I mean, I love reading the ongoing Mr. Pants, Mr. and Mrs. Pie, and Mr. (Insert Random Object Here) as much as the next person, but I do hate it when people have nothing better to do than play through a game until they find something that has no function and prattle on about it until the game designers feel so depressed, they retire and/or go mad.
     -Noddy the disgruntled sheep
     P.S. I know this probably isn't the best piece of writing that you've seen but after reading most of these letters, I feel that this letter is at least good enough to get posted on your praise-worthy site.
     P.P.S - In case you haven't noticed from my lack of non-intelligence, I too am a Brit, but sadly, I live in America, where I have to deal with these sort of people everyday.

"Noddy, the little man in his red and yellow car..." Ah, the wonders of parenthood, eh? I don't mind people writing in to ask about the more obscure aspects of our games, up to a point. It's only natural to question what you don't know. However, when they start hacking the games apart just for the sake of finding, say, an unused half-line of code with which to stake their claim on some frantic message board thread, it can get a bit tiresome. Of course, there are two sides to every story - see below...

Dear Scribes,

     By answering the following questions you will allow me to assist you in achieving self-actualisation.
     Who's responsible for naming the Attack Ship intro "Snatched"? Was it you, Mr Loveday? Were you the one?
     Cast your mind eye back to the PD intro: Joanna responds to Carrington with the line "Are they all expendable?" Now cast your mind back to the original PD intro: Joanna responds to Carrington with the line "Perfect, who can I shoot?" Now let me pose the question: Why was this line changed? What other dialogue was censored?
     Do Elvis and Joanna have hot alien sex? At the end of Area 51 Elvis's insistence on only two passengers boarding his craft suggests that he wants to be alone with Jo. Later in the game Elvis and Jo seem to share a certain intimance. I know you'll likely reply with a non-answer; referring me to my own devices. Please, don't leave me to my own devices. Please, anything but that.
     I loved the battle between Lupus and those two Insectoids. How would you like to make me a whole game like this?
     Have you considered changing Rare's motto to "Rare: games made for anal-retentives, by anal-retentives!" And I intend that with the best of meanings.
     Alex Hutton

1. Nowt to do with me, pal. What are you trying to say? We'll have some official answers for the other two:
     "2. Changed due to line being crap, fault and remedy both designer's.
     "3. No, not even cold alien sex. Elvis' insistence on two people is due to there being enough room for one pilot in the chair in the craft, and one cramped passenger on the floor under the chair. He's happy enough with Jonathan being there, which should make you wonder."
     We get more than enough people complaining about the 'impossibility' of the Mechantids battle without offering the poor saps an entire game based on it, thanks. Nice motto, though.

Dear "Gay Video Hell", no hang on, I think I have my letters mixed up...

     Oh dear, that one cracks me up every time...
     Aaaanyway... I thought I'd just write and ask about After-Dark... you see, my brother's girlfriend's cousin's friend's dad works at Nintendo, and I got the Beta version through email. Wow! This game looks awesome! And I spotted in one of the character menus... could it be true? - a Mr. Pants character!!! Yay! Does this mean that there could be other Rareware characters in it? Maybe you could ask 'Bot' Botwood if he could put in Mr. Trout... hmm... there's an idea.
     Next... on an entirely different note, why did we not see the mug of Leighus Lovedayus in Perfect Dark. I'm sure many of your fans would have loved to have the chance of shooting on your fizzog. Wait... no, that didn't come out right.
     And one more question... was the voice of Joanna and Cassandra the same person, because I only saw one female in the credits for voice acting... or could it be true that you carried your talents of the "voice of Vela" over to PD? Oh and was that "This is intolerable, it's... it's, unprofessional!" speech done by Duncan B, because looking back at those N64 Magazine pics, that's how I would imagine him to speak... saying "Room" as "Rum"... of course, posh git. :D
     -Martin Badowsky/Alf-Life
     PS. Why doesn't Tusk get credit for the HTML code, if you aren't, in fact, him? Eh? Eh?!
     PPS. I was "flicking through" (honest) Nintendo Official Magazine when I caught sight of the Uncle Tusk column... 'twas funny, but not nearly as clever/evil as the Rarewhere Column "he" writes...
     PPPS. Garry Haywood asked me to give this back to you... it's your favourite pair of pink panties, he said. That is all.

There are two females in the voice acting credits, i.e. the two who did Joanna and Cassandra. One of them was also the 'voice' of Vela ('voice' as in 'series of grunts'), yes. I did actually 'model' a suitable grimace for potential enemy guard face-pastage, but it must have been one of those that didn't make it. Probably for the best - you lot are all psychos anyway. And Botters says: "This man is consuming too much of something. Sugar, caffeine, drugs... No, that wasn't me doing that voice, I'm much more common."
     PS Tusk hands me all his responses scrawled in blood on a big flap of alligator skin and I have to type it up for him.
     PPS That's because they have to tone them down. You know - for kids.
     PPPS They're not pink, they're lavender! What do you take me for, some kind of perv?

     Being as witty and clever as I am, I put up www.tightredundies.com for good ol' Mr. Pants himself. If this doesn't get my letter posted, I don't know what will. On another note, I love you.
     P.S. I love you too.

Just in case anyone's a bit confused (by the relevance of this, not by life in general), Mr. Benco here has set out to create a sister site to the frankly barmy Nintendo-produced www.tightyellowshorts.com. It goes without saying that this one's going to be more popular, bearing the likeness of the infinitely more charismatic celebrity.

Dear Scribes,

     I have but one question: Who was the pervert who stood up in the middle of one of those Rareware-type meetings of yours and said, with a majestic shout, "Let's name the frog Winky!!"? I know I don't particularly enjoy saying "See the Winky over there? Go ride it." to my friends, nor do they prefer hearing it. Winky's Walkway? I mean come on, the jiggling Vela was enough, now we hafta deal with penis frogs?
     ~Magical hat swindler

Hey, 'winky' might be a euphemism where you come from, but we're not all so dirty-minded. Let's get an original DKC team member to sort this out before it escalates into a national scandal:
     "Winky was so named because he had (at the time in 1993) really cool winking eyes. He's also got a massive c-" (No he hasn't. - Ed)

Dear Scribes,

     Well the N64 era is drawing to a close. It still amazes me every time I browse the current selection games for the last cartridge-based Nintendo system. I think back to the beginning and how every time a game was released it was a very special event; there were so few titles to begin with. I recall long periods of being faced with the choice of only two or three games – Fortunately, though; we were blessed with a few quality titles that still stand up as the best of the system. One, which comes to mind, is Blast Corps.
     Make no mistake; I purchased this title out of sheer desperation. Mario had been played through in drunker fervor to 120 stars of completion and Pilot Wings had reached pure monotony. I bought Blast Corps simply because it looked to be the only new thing under the sun. Still, what surprises me to this day is the utter brilliance of this title. To me this game is still one of the best on the system; One of the best on any system, really. The simple charm of smashing buildings cannot, in my opinion, be matched by any pure genre title. To this day I still pop the cartridge in occasionally to remind myself of what a good Nintendo experience is all about; solid gameplay, depth and quality play control.
     To my dismay a sequel has never surfaced. Perhaps this can be attributed to the seemingly underground status of this title. Even friends of mine who claim to be Rare fanatics have rarely played or purchased this title. It's a true shame. As for the gaming press on which so many of us hard-core fanatics rely so heavily; well, they gave it the limited due any simple game receives when a system first launches. I read Blast Corps being dismissed as a blurry puzzle title that only hinted at the hidden powers of the N64 – something that would just as easily been at home on the Playstation. Sad. Sad because if this game had launched later with that latter perspective kept clearly in mind... well, maybe those in charge of guiding our wallets would have called more attention to such a solid game.
     So I say to anyone who's forgotten about Blast Corps; please do yourself a favor; pick it up and play it. Play it to death. Even if you've played it before and didn't care for it – try it one more time. It still manages to be about the most fun I've ever garnered from a single cartridge. It's the closest thing to original since Mario was dropped into the Mushroom Kingdom.
     Thanks for listening,

To be fair, while it's never been the most high-profile of N64 titles, BC has probably sold enough over the four years since its release to finally transcend "underground status". And the reviews at the time were pretty good, on the whole. But it does deserve better. Cynically speaking, I suppose it makes it easier to understand the whole 'wring every last drip of cash out of a franchise' mentality... as I said before, people are always going to question what they don't know.

Dear Scribes,

     I have a friend (no, this isn't one of those "I have a friend that said 'blah blah blah'") who thinks your games are bad because they're too "cute". Personally, I think your games qualify as gifts from God, maybe even higher. I was just wondering what I should say to him to make him shut his trap about your precious games being bad. Anyway, I have a few questions:
     1. When I click on the button that lets me write letters to you, I notice a can of paint and a brush. I was wondering where they are and what game they're in. At first I thought it was in Banjo-Tooie, but I checked all over the place for it and it wasn't to be found. I've found all 201 bananas in DK64, got 101 percent, but I couldn't find it. And I also beat Banjo-Kazooie, but I never saw it. Either I'm blind or it's in Conker's BFD. Maybe Banjo Threeie...
     2. I know I'll sound like a idiot saying this, but what's a PAL version of a game? I know, I know, you think I'm stupid. But please answer this!
     I also wanted to congratulate and thank you for Terrydactyland in Banjo-Tooie. I love transforming into the Daddy T-Rex, and it is fun to step on things and roar.
     This is basically all I have to say. Please stick this on a future Scribes.
     The Rare Game Expert

1. Why, that's dear old Ron and Reg from Conker's BFD. You wouldn't have much luck finding such a potty-mouthed pair of scamps in any Banjo or DK game.
     2. NTSC and PAL are two different international television standards. The US and Japan use NTSC, Europe and Australia use PAL, and never the twain shall meet. Obviously there's a bit more to it than that, but I can't be arsed checking up.
     So... which area are you an 'Expert' on, exactly?

Odelay Mr. Loveday (or Dear Scribes, if you prefer),

     Having recently completed Jet Force Gemini for the third time, I decided to surf the net for JFG related sites. Having done that, I've found some of the older screenshots from the beta stages of the game and other interesting things from the original version. In all three of the times I played through the game, I thought to myself while playing Vela's three stages before Mizar's Palace that Cerulean is a very easy stage. It's the only stage before Mizar's Palace that has only one branch, the Dune. If played correctly, a gamer will only have to go through this branch once, collecting all tribals the first time. There's no spaceship part there, again, the only of the stages in which there isn't other than the abandoned Spacestation.
     However, so many things before the game's release implies that there is much much more to this planet than the Dune. For example, there was a preview foldout poster in the April 1999 Volume 119 issue of Nintendo Power showing the original Vela holding a Tri-Rocket Launcher ahead of her snarling. Behind her are the pyramid type mounds and moon that form the background on the outside area of the Dune. She is on Cerulean on this poster. There is also an early screenshot that I've found showing Vela on the Dune branch with an eerily shaped city skyline in the background. This has obviously been deleted in the final version. However, all the backgrounds, textures, and colorings of the worlds are the same as the released version except this skyline. Also, in the gallery of promos for the game on your own website, there is a photo in which you titled Under Cover of Darkness in which the Jet Force team are hiding out beside water in which the pyramid mounds in the backdrop of the Dune are very nearby. They seem not made of dirt as they do in the background of the actual game but rather structures made by intelligent life.
     So, my question is (and for this, perhaps I should have mailed this to Uncle Tusk), but what happened to these cities? Why were they taken out of the game? And were they originally other branches to the Cerulean stage, other places to gather Tribals and for separate Jet Force members to go to? For the past few weeks now since I made these discoveries, I have wondered dearly what these branches must have been like.
     I hope you haven't answered this before where I haven't seen it.
     The Playstationh8er
     P.S. I noticed the females jiggling long before Professor Knütszach's letter last Scribes.

Seeing as the Jet Force designer has buggered off home for Xmas - an inevitable drawback of trying to knock together a big Scribes this late in the year - I'd better try to collar the artist myself... aha!
     "The Lost Cities of Cerulean - I can almost feel an overlong cartoon series coming on.
     "The Cerulean city belonged to a long forgotten alien culture with a technology far superior to our own. So superior, in fact, that they could cause it to vanish at will - leaving no trace that it had ever existed, except to the marginally insane members of our civilisation who constantly harped on about images they had once seen in a dark and secret corner of the universe that really would be best left alone.
     "Or, alternatively - we ran out of memory on the already vast Cerulean level, and the buildings glitched when viewed from a long distance."

Hi Dr. Scribes!

     My god! My arse is ablaze with the overwhelming joy of Banjo-Tooie! Somebody, please help me as I fear prolonged abuse of this kind (the anal pains caused by your foot up my arse) will permanently damage me! Oh, heavenly Scribe-master, bless us with your wisdom and love as you bash in our faces with an iron hammer of joy.
     Ah crap, the drugs are wearing off... well. Now I can seriously... well never mind. I'm going to go now... ACK! I'm upsidedown! See you in the morning hot stuff...
     Tony Nelson

I had no idea how to respond to this one, so I forwarded it to the Tooie team, and neither did they. So in spite of your obvious enthusiasm, I'm afraid we can't offer you any kind of witty or informative comeback. Except, perhaps, "you're a mentalist".

Dear Huggable Rareware taunter,
     I am thoroughly enjoying the GBC update of DKC. Timing is a little different in some places, but you have really captured the game's essence. I have one small complaint. On the minigame "Wanted," I can't see any difference between the green and brown Kremlings. For you see, like 1 out of every 20 males, I am red-green colorblind. Ironically, you did a good job of making the red ones 'orangy.' But a less famous effect of the red-green color blindness (at least with me) is trouble between green and brown. You can't change it now, but I hope you pay attention to this and try to avoid this problem in the future. This better not have anything to do with the new lost world... I've found everything (again), but only have 81%. Am I gonna need a friend to beat "Wanted" for me?! THIS IS DRIVING ME ARSEY!!!!

Apparently the team did think about colour-blindness and made sure that Funky Fishing was devoid of such problems, but with the similarity in colours necessary to up the challenge on the Wanted game...
     "Still," says a team spokesman, "I'm glad it's become a way of making new friends, and the more colour-blind people who get their friends to play DKC on GBC, the better, I say. We shouldn't have this kind of problem on the Game Boy Advance, unless we do it on purpose to make money off the backs of poor chromatically-challenged players."

Dear Scribe,

     i'v heard that in Perfect Dark there is a "goust enimei". is that true? and if not why did i die when i had left a multi play game on over night with no other players and sims? when i woke up the screen said "press start"

"There is no 'goust enimei' (Ghost Enemy?) in Perfect Dark, and the reason the multiplayer game finished was probably due to the timer running out. To give a better answer I'd have to see what you've done to the settings, and I think I'd rather not."
     That's what the designer said, rubbing his temples as the familiar bi-monthly Scribes Migraine began to set in. But still there was more...

Dear Mr. Editor person,

     I have been surfing the net recently and I have found rumours of a certain ghost in Perfect Dark (N64). One of these things was of one individual who was playing on the Chicago level. He was going down into the Pond Punk bar when he heard screams. He got down the stairs and the doors were open (which they usually aren't). He went inside and found three dead bodies on the floor with crossbow bolts in them. He was just about to run like f**k when all of a sudden, he too was shot with a crossbow and died instantly.
     Other reports on this ghost are that he is the ghost of none other than James Bond 007, who is seeking out revenge on Joanna for taking his place in the limelight. Are these rumours, sightings and reports true. If they are please tell me because it is scaring the sh*t out of me.

Having asked around a few people on the team to get quotes on this, I've got responses ranging from "Why would James Bond use a crossbow? Jesus." to the cruelly ambiguous "Yes, there may well be a ghost in PD - when you see it, you'll know who..."
    So take your pick, squire. Me, I know naaaathing.

Hey ho!

     After a Speccy discussion on a forum my mind drifted back to the old skool days of gaming, when a game cost 5.99 until Sabre Wulf came along at 9.99 ;)
     Anyway, I was a huge fan of the Ultimate games in my younger days, especially Sabreman. I didn't know what happened to Mire Mare, until I stumbled across the Limbo section on the site.
     So the BIG question is, why has there been no update of Sabreman? I would love to see the reappearance of one of the first true heroes of gaming. I know a lot of 25+ year old gamers would be happy!

A lot of 25+ year old gamers... in the UK. Which isn't all that many in the global scheme of things, let's face it. Nevertheless, you may have already spotted the cameo appearance by our old lycanthropic friend in Banjo-Tooie - okay, so it's not exactly a brand new outing as such, but at least it goes to show that we haven't forgotten our roots...

Dear Strange Inflatable Wobbly Thingy,
     Wowsers! I must congratulate you on Spiffy Masterpiece Game (A.K.A. Banjo-Tooie). Even better than DK64, in my opinion. Just a few question thingos:
     1. What the Conker happened with the B-K secrets? All we do to get them is find some bouncing cartridges? What happened to the mysterious B-K connection, eh?
     2. Sob... Why did you make Humba Wumba so darn sexy? Those huge jubblies, those long strands of hair she brushes, her big eyes, WHY?
     3. Why is it that when Mumbo gets set to go, he tightens his skirt-thingo and pulls the Glowbo bag and wand from his arse? It disturbs me greatly.
     Cheers on your perverse little masterpiece. Hope to see more like it.
     Yours truly,
     Behonkiss (My brothers' personal substitute for arse)

Another buck all too easily passed to a Banjo spokesman...
     "1. Oh, err... how about 'no comment or I'll get the sack?'
     "2. Because this is the only contact with women that our graphic artists get.
     "3. He keeps his wand and bag 'up his arse' to prevent other jealous magicians from robbing it. Think about it, would you really want to wield a stick covered in poo?"

Dear Scribes Person\God,

     I have a number of interesting observations about several prominent (dare I add stupendous as well...) Rare games.
     1. Jet Force Gemini - I have noticed that during the final Mizar scene, using "rainbow blood", Mizar has spontaneously bled while flying away from me. Could this imply that perhaps Mizar (I'm not going to tell who Mizar really is, for those of you who are not good enough to get to him) is female and is having his\her\its pe- (No, stop it. - Ed)? Something to think about while trying to go to sleep.
     2. Perfect Dark - The people in Carrington Institute are not scratching their crotches! They are checking their fly! When you look at someone for a while without saying anything what are you going to do? Check to see if your fly is up!! Though I don't know if people in the future have flies or not...
     3. Donkey Kong - Where exactly does Lanky pull his Grape Shooter out from?
     4. Thank you for (hopefully) posting my letter! My letter didn't even say "arse" once! OOPS! No P.S. either!

     Flick "Magic Doorknob" Montana (!)

1. That's not blood, it's... sherbet. You've shot a hole in Mizar's bag of sherbet. You vicious sod.
     2. The designer clarifies: "They are scratching their crotches. They are also checking their flies. You can in most cases do both at once."
     3. Probably the same place that Mumbo keeps his wand.
     4. No problem. Though your quality porn star name did help sway my judgement.

Dear fellow Pants-ites,
     Shame on you for not printing my last letter! Wow, it sure felt good to get that off my chest! But there are far more important matters at hand, and we must not dilly-dally! Last night, being the couch potato that I am, I settled down on the sofa with a can of Arse Cola and a box of Chewits, and turned on the news. I was shocked to find none other than Mr. Pants featured in the top story! I am not making this up! A certain Linda Tripp apparently found video footage of Mr. Pants sh*gging Mrs. Trout! Sleeping with your arch-enemy's wife, can you imagine? And you must not forget that she is a fish (shudder). I hate to imagine the expression on Mrs. Pie's face when she finds out about this. I'm sure Mr. Trout will be furious as well. No doubt he'll be off on another killing spree. Oh, you don't believe me? Well that's just fine, as I've got photographic evidence! But be warned, it's a little... er... graphic.
     David Noonan

Not as graphic as I'd feared, fortunately. Congratulations on your restraint. Anyway, I don't suppose any of this matters now that Mr. Trout has topped himself... Mrs. Pie might be a bit upset, I suppose, but at least there are no vengeful vigilante fish stalking the streets of Mr. Pants' hometown... or are there? Or... are there? Or ARE there?

Dear Purveyors of Cows that stare deep into your soul,
     I have noticed a trend in your Game Boy games as of late is to include a cow. I was playing DKC GBC today (as you do), and as I was going through one of the bonus parts of Slipslide Ride when I noticed a cow on the wall. A cow was also in Conker, and I saw it as graffiti in PD GBC. Could this be attributed to the comment about the cows being "motionless, forever staring into your soul" from some critic of Conker? Is this now a trademark of your Rareware GBC team? Does it really matter at all?
     When is Tribals Gold and Silver coming out? I've been waiting for months!
     Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to go watch Neighbours after Patsy has robbed Lou blind: why didn't he listen to Michelle? Why?
     From your greatest admirer,
     Charles Fenwick III, The Highly Esteemed Monkey With A British Accent (HEMWABA)
     PS. Don't you think it's great that even if you don't publish this, you still had to read it anyway? That makes me feel all good inside!
     PPS. Death to Bucky! (Yes, I started the idea of "Tribals- gotta save 'em all" and have been published here many a time before, but almost always under different names)

There is indeed a history to this misshapen beast, as explained by a key member of Rare's GBC team:
     "The cow was first put in Conker - it started off as a joke idea, but it got drawn by the artists and put in. After receiving reviews of Conker, we noticed that some of the magazines had picked up on it so we decided to hide it within each new game from then on. It's also hidden in Mickey's Racing Adventure and in the upcoming Mickey's Speedway USA. See if you can find them."
     I look forward to seeing the 'Rare Cow FAQ' pop up on game help sites in the near future. Go on, you've got nothing else to do over the holidays...

Dear Present-Laden Letter Guy Leigh:
     I hope I get this to you in time for the Christmas Scribes, as it wouldn't quite fit with the Scribes update after Christmas (ie, Late August). *cough* Here goes.

     'Twas the night before Chrimbo...

     -Amanda Marie Schroeder, a.k.a ¡Kablooie!, evil twin of Kazooie (Bwaa ha ha ha ha ha haaaaaaaaaaa!)

Very fine. And on that note, I wish you all a very merry Xmas and head off into... the Snippets. Oh, arse.

Hey, will you print this in Snippets?? It's my lifelong dream.

'Easily pleased' doesn't even begin to describe it.

Since it hasn't been used yet, I'll say it now: Arsity arse arse arse.
The Phantom

Always best to cover as many bases as possible, I suppose...

What is your opinion on pd2 on gamecube?

Haven't played that one. Who makes it?

I am french and I am sorry for my very bad English. I want to know when do you make a new version of Killer Instinct. If yes, in N64 or in NGC. Thank you and I speak English like a spanish Cow (!?!)

Well, I wouldn't know. About the cow or KI. Mr. Pants... Cereal?

Since Snippets is now the official Pants RPA dumping ground, I thought I'd send you this creation of mine (which probably caused the letter to which I originally attached it not to be printed).
-Karl T.

Yeah... thanks. Not very festive though, is it?

do you have a recipe for meth
Max Willoughby

Ssh! I've got a special email address for 'business transactions'.

Is Wil allowed to watch Gundam Wing, or does he only make the tea?
Jack, Shotley Bridge

We've got him on a steady diet of Nintendo promotional videos.

Bottles' corpse scares me. Those cold hard eyes. Eeek. That wasn't a question, so have fun trying to respond to it.

Nah, I'll just bung it in Snippets and forget about it.

I have a question of global importance. "Who has ever ran through the levels in Goldeneye or Perfect Dark in their dreams?" It is like a freaky Freddy Krueger/The Beach like experience.
Richie McKee

Not that you'd know, because it only happens to nutters, right?

Ok, here it is. It might take a while to download on a slow modem, but enjoy. Yes, I'm a sick little man, but it only took about 5 minutes to make.

Your obsession is a bit sick, yes. But well done anyway.

because my tv has corrupted sound so in BK when you rescue a jinjo it sounds like its saying "bimbo".that made me laugh ....for a bit
King Kong

Yeah, but you try to chat up ladies with your DK impression.

This is a snippet, E-mail will ship it, all the way to Twycross
If it is not printed, I will be hinted, to kill poor Mr. Pants.


That's fab! Apart from the shocking grammar and absence of rhyme.

How do you deal with AOL users so calmly? I view them more as an unwitting group of cyberterrorists.

If only I could isolate that demographic so easily...

why is there a picture of a wooden bridge on the joungle mission select? in the joungle level there is a rope saspended bridge.

Whot ore you touking aboat, you bag idiout?

Where can I find Jet Force Gemini porn?

Just run Vela into the camera. It's easy.

tell me when Dinosaur Planet is coming now you f****er
Rune Olav Nilsen

Who are you calling a Frogger?

I heard that Saddam Hussein was making a cameo appearance in Banjo-Tooie as someone who sold anthrax. Is this true?

Yes! Alright, no. Hang on, you're in Snippets twice. That's sick.

Your Unseen University Bursar comment has made you a God among men.
Peace out,

Lord of the Pants

Run Scribes for a couple of years and you'd identify with him too...