Go on then, tell us what's on your mind...
We may even respond out of unbridled masochism.
Updated at meaningless intervals!Brotherhood of the 'Wulf

Remember Lambert's words:
"You only have one life. If you
value it... read another page."

FEBRUARY 19, 2002

Dear Scribes,

     Hi, I just wanted to clear up the issue of Boggy the Bear's first name. I'm not sure if you are aware of this but in some countries their naming convention is different... When a man marries a woman the man's first name becomes the woman's last name. And the last name of any children of this couple is the man's first name. So if Boggy's family followed this naming convention that would make Boggy's first name Boggy and his wife's last name Boggy which would make her Mrs Boggy. Hope this cleared things up and if it didn't then it should make an interesting topic for conversation...
     Jonathan Johnston
     P.S. I guess I'm glad we don't use this naming convention in Australia.

That's a very good point. An even better point is that Boggy and his wife, being characters in an N64 game, don't have official citizenship of any real-world country at all. But I don't want to spoil everyone's fun by introducing cold logic to the situation.

Dear Scribes,

     I feel sorry for all those fools who write in and ask for push-button codes for Perfect Dark. Clearly, initiative is beyond them. The only reason why they could possibly want them is because (a) they cannot be bothered to obtain them the usual way, or (b) are too useless to obtain them the usual way.
     I admit that I put myself in the former camp, but I did find a unique way of obtaining 95% of them without going through the usual time-limit malarkey. So for the sake of Leigh Loveday and Duncan Botwood's sanity, I want to reveal my secret to you; the suckers still after the mythical (and non-existent) Perfect Dark push-button codes.
    Here's what you do. Put in an advert in the classified section or letters page of a computer games magazine/PD Internet forum, etc. In your advertisement, you tell the punters what you're after (in my case I asked for a N64 controller pack containing every level unlocked on all difficulties, including the 4 bonus levels). Use a spot of financial bribery in your advert (I used the sum of £30.00 in exchange for all levels unlocked), and then wait.
     If you're lucky, somebody will respond. You then do an exchange, a little bit of cash changes hands (don't tell the wife, girlfriend, parents, Inland Revenue, etc) for a controller pack with the levels / cheats you want. Fantastic! My bribery resulted in my receiving a controller pack containing every level on all difficulties (including the 4 bonus missions) unlocked, plus 95% of all cheats unlocked. I am missing a couple of classic weapons and the Farsight. But as I have the all-guns and full ammo cheats unlocked, I can automatically use those guns anyway.
     Envy me!
     Do what I suggest and then Duncan Botwood and Leigh Loveday can live in peace. Hurruah!
     Yours sincerely
     Mark Quested

Yes, er... 'hurruah'! Though it'd have been funnier if you'd said "you then do an exchange, a little bit of cash changes hands (don't tell the wife, girlfriend, parents, Inland Revenue, etc)... and after the sex you pay for the Controller Pak". No, it would have, trust me.
      Interesting method, though. Personally I think you got very lucky, but then again, for 30 quid I'd have replied to your ad myself - I'm absolutely crap at the game and wouldn't stand a chance in hell of getting all the levels open, but I'd be more than happy to take the money and run.

Dear Scribes,

     I get the distinct impression that the multiplayer elements of Goldeneye, PD, CBFD (and a few others) were designed by people not averse to camping (it's a DM term, so no tent jokes if you really don't know what I'm on about.) The characters move slowly (by comparison to other multiplayer games), R-button aiming means you have to stand still, in PD there is that screen-darkening thingy when you crouch three times and the FarSight gun (seriously, that is the most imbalanced weapon I have ever seen). So... did I guess right? Am I spouting complete gibberish? Is the term "camper" even known to you guys? Just wondering...
     PS. I was going to add in a whole bit on how insanely amazing the animations are in CBFD, how much I enjoyed every single aspect of PD and how fantastic BK and BT are, but... no wait, I just did. Never mind.

There now follows a substantial diatribe on the evils of camping, by our esteemed colleague Professor P. D. Designer:
     "Camping in multiplayer games will appear wherever the map has a blind corner. The only ways to eradicate it as far as I can see would be to:
     "1) Prevent the characters from stopping their forward motion;
     "2) Have every fight in a big room with no exits;
     "3) Educate gamers from birth with the belief that camping is bad.
     "The R-button aim is a trade off: for precision shots, you have to stop. This happens in real life too, which is why we felt comfortable putting it in. The Farsight mode is only activated when you aim, and there are certain restrictions in the way the sight operates, but nevertheless, if your friends are getting too good with it, can be removed from the weapon loadout for the level by getting a custom selection together.
     "No argument about the crouch function - this was a feature added specifically to hide a player's location from everyone else (as long as they weren't looking at where that player was before they crouched...)
     "Bottom line - A determined camper will always find a place to lurk. And when he does, I'll shoot him, because I'll have got there first."

Dear Scribes,

     As the younger brother of Paul 'IQ 164' Taylor, I feel it is my moral duty to take this opportunity to mock him. Now, I would like to begin by pointing out that Paul is in no position to complain about an options mode where you need to quit after death, as in multiplayer Goldeneye/Perfect Dark he has a reputation for resetting/turning off the N64 if he is losing. Which he always is. Now, I would not be overly surprised if you have received another email from my esteemed sibling already, as he will pursue any argument until everyone believes him to be either right or a moron, and if you choose to respond to it I beg you to please, please swear at him more. It's only what he deserves.
     -Mark 'hasn't-done-an-IQ-test' Taylor
     PS- If you, the PD team or indeed anybody else wishes to 'shove his head so far down his oesophagus he will appear to be a dwarf with round, hairy shoulders and a brown necklace', then you have my blessing and help wherever necessary.

Actually, he didn't bother coming back after that last one - you'll just have to continue mocking him in private. Probably for the best if we don't want Scribes to turn into a flame war (and I'm told we don't - dammit). Thanks for offering your dwarf-making services, though.

Dear cruel and unforgiving ice sculpture monster,

      I just checked out those SFA screens the other day, and wow are they ever purdy. I mean, the renders and the screenshots are identical, as far as I can see - Fox even has visible fur that appears to move in some sort of a realistic fashion. Still some questions, though, but in a "special" form with which to bring in the new year!
     10) What will the speech be like in SFA? Will there be text along with talking (like BFD) or pure high-quality voice acting?
     9) Will SFA use the same Z-targeting (although itíll be more like L-targeting on the GC) that the N64 Zeldas used?
     8) Will SFA support HDTV? (not that I can afford one or anything.)
     7) Does Fox ever get a different weapon than that spear?
     6) Will it be possible to play as any of the other StarFox team members in bonus missions or something?
     5) Can Fox swim, and if so, do fish have scales?
     4) Can Fox spear the aforementioned fish for use as food or weapons?
     3) Is it just me or is this list getting increasingly nonsensical?
     2) Is there a definitive release date for SFA yet?
     1) Does harm ever come to Slippy?
     Well, thatís pretty much it, except for the inevitable PSs. So bye now. You probably need another coffee break anyway...?

     ps- i f0und a nu screnshot 4 mr pantz GC it haz phur 2 itz kul i snt it 2 u hre it iss
     pps- i aslo fond te pefrect durk codez thier kewl but i wont tel u kuz i found thm so theyr al mine lol 1!!!1!!010!01!1!0!)!

I reckon I can offload this entire thing onto the SFA team. Let's see if they reply to my rashly forwarded email... aha! Result.
     "10. There's pure Rare-quality voice acting combined with text (though you can switch off the text if you wish).
     "9. SFA has Auto-targeting. No buttons required.
     "8. It does support the Progressive Scan mode.
     "7. It's not a spear, it's a staff.
     "6. This is information is on a need to know basis and you do not need to know.
     "5. Yes, he can swim.
     "4. Fish can only be used as weapons in Monty Python sketches.
     "3. You are really beginning to go on.
     "2. When it's ready.
     "1. He's staying up on the Great Fox for this adventure, so unless Rob the Robot decides to beat him up then he'll be fine. "
     There you go - an entire news story for Planet GameCube all wrapped up in a single handy letter. Come on Metts, admit it, you were thinking about it...

Dear Crazy British Man Who Apparently Does Nothing But Sit Around And Update Scribes, or (CBMWADNBSAAUS),

     I am aware that as a high-ranking and prestigious CBMWADNBSAAUS you have little time or tolerance from letters like me, but... Heh! It's not what you'd expect at all! No, it's not so much of an RPA as it is... an RMA! A Rubbish Music Attachment, as it's called. That's right, a quality remix by myself that combines two of the greatest songs ever written by your guy over there. You know, the one who writes the music. Anyway, it's an excellent rendition of Klungo's theme... in the style of Treasure Trove Cove! Who'd a thunk it!?!
     -Walrus McFish Sr., Composer Extraordinaire

I certainly wouldn't have 'thunk' it, but I got 'our guy' to have a listen anyway:
     "A good effort I'd say. All the notes and harmonies are correct... not bad at all. What's he trying to do... nick my job?"
     If all I did was sit around updating Scribes, I'd be a) working part-time and/or b) institutionalised.

To the legends at Rare,

     Hi, just one question. That's all. Cause I gotta take a p*ss.
     I heard that you guys may be making a sequel to Conker's BFD, and that you've trademarked the names "Conker's Other Bad Day" and "Grabbed by the Ghoulies". And if you are making a sequel to the best ever game on the N64 which I couldn't stop playing and therefore finished in four days, will it most likely be on the Gamecube? I sure hope so... that would kick serious ass!

Conker's Other Bad Day falls into the group of reported names that we might use at some point, like After Dark, A Shot In The Dark and all that lot. Nobody ever said that the Ghoulies one was in any way Conker-related...

Dear Mr Risks his life asking the PD production team stupid questions,
     I have a question about GE. I was reading NGC and they had the making of Goldeneye. In one bit the designer said his favourite bit was blowing up guards on the cradle. It showed a picture of Bond detonating remote mines, but he was wearing a dinner jacket! I was very arseboggled at this, but I have come to the conclusion that this is on the GE beta version, where you can play in a dinner jacket in all levels! I have also discovered that on the beta version there is an option to play as Mr Pants! This turns Natalya into Sally Pie, Trevelyan into Mr Pie, Ourumov into Mr Trout and Xenia into Mr Sky!
     And no email from me would be complete without an RPA! So I've got one here to do with the BK Pants cheat - but Mr Pants has forgotten his thermals!
     Nabnuts the annoying squirrel

Congratulations again - that is indeed dreadful. Your lack of artistry knows no bounds.
    Tragically GoldenEye was released before Mr. Pants really 'shot' to 'fame', so there's no way he'd be in there. Mind, standard logic doesn't work on the sort of people who'd go looking for him. I'd imagine the NGC pictures were taken on a development version of the game, but not one that necessarily still exists. Let's just check that:
     "The pictures were taken during development, using the devkit options for screen-grabbing bugs and suchlike. The level wasn't finished at the time." Ha.

Dear Scribes,

     On the December 20, 2001 edition of Scribes, you responded to a type-error with the following:
     "Who the hell's Magus? Is this some twisted Gemini Trigger dream you've had? Or did you just mean to say Jeff? Easy mistake to make..."
     I wish to comment that this so-called "twisted dream" would in fact be the best game ever! Also let it be known you, good sir, have just set aflame thousands of Square/Rare partnership rumors. Can you just tell me one PD push button code? No? Ok, I guess I'll be going now.
     -Johann Rodriguez Tozoikschy IV Jr.

You what? Mention a game/character from another company in the same breath as a Rare game and it immediately becomes fuel for wild merger speculation? Actually, yeah, I can believe that.
     Anyway, Chrono Trigger was nothing compared to the Spectrum version of... er... Rambo.

Dear Scribes,

     After returning from "exploring" and reading your response to my previous entry, I have to say your arrogance is severely misplaced. In ever said Perfect Dark was a game you merely watched, I said it merely lacked certain "game"elements that should have been more interactive. Perfect Dark is one of the best action games ever made that is why it surprised me to simply watch characters say "g'bye" through cinema scenes. I simply said that gamers want to play games not just watch them as an overall statement to the wannabe movie elements that many current games are littered with.
     I have nothing against movie-like games I just want equal time gaming. Your example of atmosphere over action is severely flawed. Why after all the game trying to stop you would Cassandra suddenly help Joanna? Desperation? Just because she's cornered now, Cassandra, a villain with endless means wants to give up? Sadly, a typical quick fix movie cliche ends up in an almost perfect game. I don't even remember how Cassandra betrayed the Skedar. (Must be my memory again.) I just hope, as many others do (check message boards) that gamers get some gaming justice in the next instalment. Oh and by the way, you're right about action/boss battles getting in the way of a story's atmosphere, those final battles at the end of Metal Gear Solid really, really pulled me out of the story. (My arrogance has been placed.)
     Thanks again,
     The Illustrious Mr. Coco Leblanche

     P.S. How about letting the dragon explode, not as a proximity mine, you already have those, but explode when a guard or players 2-4 pick it up and pull the trigger in the next Perfect Dark game? Sneaky eh? My neighbors don't like me sneaky, oh well.
     P.S. P.S. Why don't the lazer weapons vaporize enemies like in Sci-fi films? Please, make it so.

Our designer chum got a bit shirty (again) at this one, so I've had to make use of my unique Coronation Street Censorship System to render his answer printable.
     "Your arrogance has been placed... in the bin, I think you'll find. What the [Jack Duckworth] is equal time gaming?
     "Cassandra no longer has endless means, you [Kevin Webster]. She has been captured by the Skedar and REMOVED FROM EARTH (which is why she's in that spaceship-thingy). The only reason the Skedar used her was that she had a huge network of resources ON EARTH. Cassandra has been betrayed so she gets one over on her betrayers by letting loose the one person who can actually make a difference - Joanna.
     "Stick to playing [Audrey Roberts] Tetris if you can't get your [Fred Elliott] head round that."

Dear Scribe-answerer-type Pokťmon & other Rare guys...

     You guys screwed up the trend! I can't believe it! Every great videogame trilogy must have the 2nd game be drastically different from the others, while the third must have improvements over the first while playing very similarly.

     Super Mario Bros. 1 - Jump on stuff to kill it, get big, throw fireballs, get coins, kill Bowser, die.
     SMB 2 - Jump on stuff to get in position to pick it up, chuck it at other stuff to kill it, kill Wart, die.
     SMB 3 - see SMB 1, add flight through the assistance of a raccoon's ass, holding objects, and the ability to walk left.

     Castlevania - Side scroller, whip stuff to kill it, get hearts from candles to use special items.
     CV 2 - Movement in all directions, whip stuff to kill it, use hearts collected from defeated enemies as currency (that's kinda gross...), game has RPG elements such as conversing with other characters & experience-type schtick.
     CV 3 - See CV 1.

     Legend of Zelda - Top-down view, collect money that comes out of dead enemies & use it to buy new items, find various objects to open the final level.
     Zelda 2 - Side view (for important parts), find needed items in caves & temples, RPG elements such as conversing with other characters & experience-type schtick, conquer temples to open the final temple.
     Zelda 3 - see Zelda 1, add conversing with other characters.

     Then you came along & did this:
     DKC - Control monkeys, collect bananas, defeat Kremlings, make efficient use of animal buddies.
     DKC 2 - see DKC 1, add helicoptery hovery ponytail move.
     DKC 3 - see DKC 2, add vehicle use to access new areas.

     As you can see, DKC 2 didn't have any drastic changes over the first in the series meaning you messed up. Either that or DKC is a terrible game trilogy, and I believe the latter to be false.
     - LousySpy

We can only apologise. However, another related observation of history is that these divergent second outings almost always end up being looked upon as a weak link in the series, whereas Rare, by sticking to its guns and refining the formula for DKC2, ultimately created a stronger and more popular game than its predecessor (judging by the mail we get, at least). So maybe we weren't so much failing to follow the established process as avoiding it by design. Didn't think of that, did you? Eh?

Dear Scribes,

     I was playing BT one day, and I eventually wanted to see something I remembered in DK64. Well, I listened to the rap (which, by the way, I think is actually BETTER in SSBM) and thought 'A DK rap? Why not a BK rap?'. And then I decided to make a rap for the beginning on BT. So here ya go!

That... is absolutely... appalling. I'm sorry. I know this isn't Uncle Tusk and you don't come here expecting abuse, but that really is nasty. "Brease"? "Ep A Louge"?

I need guidance, oh great master of the Scribes!
     What am I to do? I sit here frantically trying to do my Programming assignment for hand-in tomorrow, but I find myself strangely distracted and uninterested.
     I was wondering how your collection of esteemed and highly talented programmers manage to remain sane (?) and focused enough to complete their daily routines. I don't believe it's possible - although they get paid for it and I don't (I may have answered my own question there). Tell me how they do it!
     On another, more Rare's games related note, when the blinkin' Nora is SabreWulf meant to be coming out? I want to bask in the semi-nostalgic feeling of playing a resurrected Spectrum game and yet you tease us with snippets of info, pictures and videos but you don't tell us when it's coming out.
     You make me cry. Or perhaps it's this programming, I don't know.
     Bye again
     PS. Will SabreWulf GBA hook up to the Spectrum version? Now that would be impressive... Sorry, that was pitiful.

Expecting the worst, I put the question to a veteran Rare lead programmer and was astonished to find some valid points in his response:
     "Every two hours I perform yoga stretches while drinking herbal tea and whistling the national anthem. If you find this too difficult to start with then try whistling Yellow Submarine instead.
     "But it also really helps when you know that the programming you are doing is for something you really want to do and really has to get done. If we don't do our programming then the games we want to make just won't get made. Sure some bits of programming are tedious and boring, but others are great fun - and I bet that programming for games has more fun bits that most other sorts of programming. Getting paid might help too..."
     As for Sabre Wulf, it's basically good to go so it's just a matter of finding a convenient gap in the manufacturing schedule. You won't be disappointed, by the way (over the quality of the game, not the Spectrum link-up).

Greetings gents,

     I believe I've unraveled the mystery behind said A.R.S.E. mode. I'm pretty sure you're referring to Andy Rooney's Squeamish Expungery mode. A pointless circular diatribe is enough to unseat any beast, even that incredibly difficult Mizar from that non-Starfox antbashing adventure. Just think, not only will Rob be able to stay in the ship and execute his new role, the potential for a mind numbingly fun multiplayer game is obvious. I call it "Rob vs Slippy, unspeakable pain". Happy new year.

I had to use a search engine to look up Andy Rooney, so by the time the reference made sense to us it wouldn't have been funny any more even if it had been the most hilarious thing ever in the first place. But seeing as you intimated extreme violence towards Slippy, I'll print your letter anyway.

Hey guys,

     Just wanted to give you my thoughts on the so-called deciphered A.R.S.E. mode given to Rob in the new Starfox game, so here they are:
     A-bominable R-obotic S-ecurity E-nforcer
     A-rticualte R-hetorical S-olution E-xpositor
     A-bsolutely R-elentless S-cum E-liminator
     A-tomatic R-evved S-aur E-xecutioner
     Great idea to add to the game! (Maybe a secret hidden character, or a skin over Fox as a reward for winning the game. May add great replay!)

Hang on - they're sensible suggestions. You didn't swear, say anything pointless or fail to understand the question. Not from these parts, are you, Jim?
     The SFA team are unsatisfied and command me to leave the A.R.S.E. competition open, so the mysterious prize goes unclaimed for now...

To Sir Scribe-a-lot,
     Just to wrap up my thoughts on one of them Scribe lists because I enjoy wasting time as there is no way this is going to be posted...
     Numbered for your (in?)convenience:
     1. Rob's A.R.S.E. mode means Another Retarded Scribes Email, as you know you'll get tons of 'em. If I get a small prize, howsabout emailing me telling me I've been posted if it were to happen? I'm too lazy/preoccupied/forgetful/unconscious to check Scribes as much as I'd like to.
     2. Call me an American (which I am) but HAL's remix of the Donkey Kong Rap sounds like Terrance and Phillip's song remix from the South Park movie. Except for the profanity, for some reason HAL changed "This Kong's one hell of a guy" to "This Kong's one heck of a guy" even though the game is rated T.
     3. Speaking of ratings and such, do you think it is ironic that Grand Theft Auto 3 has been banned from Australia, a country founded by convicts?
     4. Tell them lazy asses who want MP3s that there's nothing a Nintendo and a microphone can't fix, or you can at least go online for it ::listens to the Gregg the Grim Reaper scene found on Kazaa months ago::
     Thanky. Any postings will be VERY greatly appreciated.

     PS: This one time, I dropped my box of Alpha-Bits, and the letters said that Sir Edmund Hillary takes over Ethiopia and you must stop him as Mr Pants in Perfect Dark 2! So its gotsa be true!

1) Best attempt yet, but still no cigar.
     2) Yeah, we noticed. We sat around eagerly, listening like expectant schoolboys, then shouted "cop-out!" when the familiar 'profanity' failed to rear its ugly head.
     3) They're a bit touchy about that kind of slur, you know. Good point though.
     4) But they're not official, you dirty pirate scum. Plus they're often crappy quality and/or tend to get cut off in mid-flow.
    What are Alpha-Bits? Are they like Alphabites, i.e. crunchy golden potato letters that make a fine meal when served with inexpensive fish fingers and Bob the Builder pasta shapes? (Apparently.)

Dear Scribes,

     I hope you can answer this question since I've heard people on certain web site claim PD Zero is going to be cel-shaded.
     I am now used to the fact that Zelda sports this new look but please tell me this isn't the case for PD Zero.
     I'm a huge fan of everything Rare (except KI). Also please tell me that all the horrible delays are going to be a thing of the past. I'm cautiously optimistic that this issue is now fixed.
     Btw... I would appreciate it if you guys put out about 5 games per year ;)
     Mucho thanks,

I quote from the previous edition of Scribes: "We haven't even announced any kind of sequel to Perfect Dark yet, let alone confirmed the ludicrously rampant third-person rumour." To this I can now add "...or the completely out-of-the-blue cel-shading rumour."
     We'd quite like to put out five games a year as well, but unfortunately we're not in 1983 any more, Toto.

Howdy Scribes,

     Yes, it seems there is a time for for life, a time for death, a time to eat, a time to stop eating, a time to fart, a time to hold it, a time to give few details, and a time to elaborate. Today, I deem it is time to elaborate. Yes. Goodie. Here I go, spewing some more rubbish (but true) facts about Area 51.
     The base, as Mark said, does not have an official name that is known to the public, but it has been called Area 51, Dreamland, Watertown, the Dark Side of the Moon, the Ranch, Paradise Ranch, the Box, and the Container. Groom Lake and Groom Dry Lake are not actual names for the base, but rather for the dry lake bed on which it is situated. And yes, Mark is right that Area 51 is within the Nellis Bombing and Gunnery Range. It does not appear to be an alien housing facility of any sort, but rather as an aircraft development facility. Area 51, since its construction in 1955, has played parts in the development of the U-2 spy plane, the SR-71 "Blackbird", the F-117 stealth fighter, and two other planes that are currently classified.
     Within Area 51, there is a long 6-mile runway, twice the length of the runway required for the landing of the Space Shuttle, which have led some to believe that there are craft landing at very high speeds. This may explain the strange craft that have been seen frequently above Rachel and the Tikaboo Valley in the area of the secret base.
     Now on to some other crap.
     1. How did Facility get changed to Felicity? (At least in my version of PD.) I never thought a GoldenEye level could be so joyful.
     2. Chew on this beautiful Mr. Pants RPA I've attached!
     3. Never give explosive weaponry to small children or Simulants.
     4. When are you releasing "Mrs. Boggie's Pro Skater"?
     5. I just wanted to say that the Farsight is the coolest weapon ever! Except when your opponent has it.
     6. "That crate... it really doesn't like being shot."
     7. I have at last finished Donkey Kong with 201 golden bananas and everything! Now, that's said.
     Well, I believe I hear me mum calling me to finish my chicken noodle soup. Ta ta for now, until our next close encounter (of the third kind).
     With well wishes and plenty of cheese to go around,
     The Big D

1) The name changed to avoid direct links to GoldenEye and any subsequent legal issues. Bits of the level itself changed because... er... the team felt like it, I suppose.
     2) I'd love to, but I tend to dump all the Mr. Pants pictures into a specific folder and now I can't remember which one's yours.
     3) Trust me, small children can make an effective weapon out of pretty much anything.
     4) Most people seemed to think that her limited animation in Banjo-Tooie was already a bit much. Putting her on a skateboard and getting her to 'pull ollies' would be just asking for trouble.
     5/6/7) Er, okay.
     If all updates to this site suddenly stop, you'll know that our scarily obsessive readers have gone into a bit too much detail about Area 51. Or I've been run over, or something.

Dear Scribes,

     Are there any plans to produce a Perfect Dark movie? I think the story in Perfect Dark would translate great to a blockbuster live-action movie using some great CG animations to fill in the blanks on aliens, environments, and vehicles. I just loved watching the cut-scenes from Perfect Dark, and wished they and the gameplay would be expanded out to a movie. I already have a great idea for a cast...
     Claudia Black (Farscape fame) as Joanna Dark
     John Rhys-Davies (Sliders and Indiana Jones fame) as Daniel Carrington
     Vin Diesel (Pitchblack fame) or Roger Cross (First Wave fame) as the guy in trenchcoat Skedar alien
     Michael Biehn (Terminator fame) as Jonathan
     Sebastian Spence (First Wave fame) as Trent Easton
     Denise Crosby (ST:TNG fame) as Cassandra De Vries
     Thanks for the time,

Genius. Here's a brief exchange which followed your email...
     Designer: "I love the bit: 'Sebastian Spence (First Wave fame)'."
     Me: "I love the bit: 'Öfame'."
     That's not to say that even if we did have a massive amount of input into the film/TV franchise (congratulations on missing the announcement completely) that we'd only cast big-name actors, but on the other hand we'd like someone who's made it beyond the realms of obscure sci-fi programming. Michael Biehn, star though he is, would be far too old to play Jonathan, and I happen to know that the team wouldn't accept anyone but Christopher Lambert for the part of Mr. Blonde (although I might be lying through my teeth there).
     Come on then, I know you lot are just itching to send in your own suggestions...

Dear Scribes, and hello from your fellow Little Englander.

     Just a couple of really simple kweschuns please!
     First off. From the back.
     Z) I noticed in Banjo-Tooie and JFG that there is some proper English spelling and some American spelling. Why is this? Is it to please people both sides of the pond? Personally, as you are English, I'd rather see it all in proper English!
     Y) Why do you continually refer to the series involving that fox as the Starfox series? As you are English, you should stand up and call it the Starwing series. The Yanks can surely understand it, unless they're too stupid.
     PS. X) Mr Pants! (No, not the PSX :) ) There, that fitted well, didn't it!
     PPS W) Don't you think the word "gotten" is horrible? I never use it as I believe it's obsolete. And verbs ending in -ize are annoying. It's -ise people!
     PPPS V) I have been with Rare since the Ultimate days of the BBC. I had Sabre Wulf, Knight Lore, Alien 8, Jet Pac (autofire version as well, I believe!) Atic Atac and Nightshade. Sadly I did not have Lunar Jetman, but there are some very good BBC emulators and software. I hope this makes me "worthy" of getting this letter printed!
     PPPPS U) Never knock the BBC. It was a great computer. I hate it when people always mention the Spectrum and always forget the Beeb. A fantastic computer, I've still got one upstairs, although I usually emulate it instead on Beebem. And the really new special one.
     PPPPPS. T) As a wonderful English company, do Rare have any clout when it comes to standing up for our rights? I firmly believe that America should NOT get stuff before us, and cheaper too. Can Rare get together and lobby Nintendo for equal rights here? We should have got the Gamecube last November, and delays for games are unacceptable too. Especially with the huge price hikes. What is Rare's position on this?

Z) Probably because we made an attempt to Americanise it for the biggest market and missed one or two things, not being American. Don't call me English.
     Y) You did it again.
     X) Well, of course - Mr. Pants fits well into any situation.
     W) It probably is a few centuries out of date, but there's life in the cheeky little scamp yet.
     V) The last thing you have to do to get into Scribes is prove your credentials - look at the state of the Snippets, for God's sake.
     U) The Beeb was a school computer. Sorry, but it was. People who had one at home wanted a Spectrum but were betrayed by well-meaning parents.
     T) We should have gotten the GameCube last November. Rare's position is that we can't do a hell of a lot about it except fully optimise our PAL versions so that Euro gamers don't lose out in that respect, at least...

Greetings, o dudiest of dudes!
     I have a scribbled a Scribe to put your way, concerning your upcoming Starfox Adventures epic. Or rather it's more of a worry and a concern. I am a HUUUUUUGE Nintendophile and I don't take kindly to their most treasured franchises being farmed out to other companies, even if they are as able and universally well-respected as yourselves (pause to remove tongue from butt). My concern is the voice of Fox McCloud himself and whether it will be any good. I've played Super Smash Bros Melee on Gamecube to oblivion and heard Foxy's voice in a cut scene in the one player mode and it sounds spot on dandy. The credits er, credit the cut-scene voice to a Steve Malpass. But when you shoot his name there is no menton of which company this mysterious person belongs to, as it does when you shoot many of the other names in the credits. Will Steve Malpass be doing the voice of Sir Foxalot in Starfox Adventures? (He should do as I will be relieved.) If so, who is he? Is he a professional voice actor guy? Does he work for you guys or Nintendo or HAL? Does he do other voices too? Please answer this mystery. The relief of many a Starfox fan is at stake!

Professional! Pfff! Steve-o says: "Why thank you, sir! Yes I am also the voice of Fox in StarFox Adventures. As for Smash Bros Melee, Nintendo wanted Fox in Smashy to sound the same as Fox in SFA so we recorded some lines for Fox's cut-scenes and sent them over, although the in-game fighting sounds in Smashy are done by somebody else. I'm not a 'professional voice actor guy' but a game designer - I sort of fell into the voice thing. All the voices in Rare's games are provided by those employees willing to babble away authentically in the recording studio for your aural pleasure. Most of the Fox McCloud speech for StarFox Adventures is now done and I hope it will live up to the majority of Fox fans' expectations - I certainly did my best!"
     On the other hand, the SFA team says: "We've no idea who Steve Malpass is."

To the Guys and Gals of No Man's Heath,
     Having finally found the time (and inclination) to buy myself one of those PC things, I have thought of nothing better to do with my time than to constantly e-hassle you with my e-queries about getting a job at that little place we all know as Rareware. You're probably going to get pretty e-narked with me actually, with my constant, unfeasible requests of 'ask designer this' or 'make artist send me that' or, my personal favourite, 'prod busy-looking person hard in the ribs and say "Oi, sunshine!"' Just thought I'd best warn you. For now, I'll see if you stoney, corporate types are willing to answer my questions, which are so probing you'll feel like you're having a colonic irrigation.
     1. Retro Studios and the fact that they're (Um, probably shouldn't say that. - Ed). Quick post-pub chuckle or genuine concern? And, should the Metroid project go belly-up (which, let's face it, is pretty likely), what do you think the chances are that Nintendo will lumber you jolly grumpsters with the game?
     2. How on earth did you get that level of detail onto the character models in Starfox Adventures? I know GameCube is packing a fair amount of power, but picking out individual blades of fur... if I fall off my chair in that fashion again, I'm suing for damages, job prospect or no job prospect. Also, has the Dinosaur Planet subtitle been ditched? I know I'm in a distinct minority, but I'm still a little disappointed the N64 version was canned, and just a smidgen of a memento of what might have been would cheer me up that little bit. (This is also a subtle hint asking you to e-mail me some of those old blue pen sketches. They were really good - give my regards to the artist.)
     3. How's the Perfect Dark film coming along? Does the plot run closely to that of the game(s), and is it shaping up well?
     4. It's said that having command over the industry-standard Maya tool is pretty handy for getting into the games industry - would I be right in thinking, though, that I'd need some sort of finance-evacuating graphics workstation in order to run it? And could you also recommend any programming/graphical rendering tools that will run on my humble Pentium 4, not cost me an arm-and-a-leg, and be a decent starting point for a coder with my level of experience (ie, none).
     Finally, if I'm going to be a bit of a 'regular' (eurch) then I'd best run to the convention of what goes on here. Here goes then:
     Ooh. That felt good.
     Alun MacRae

No Man's Heath is a good six or seven miles away, man. Though I did have to go looking for a garage there the other week. It was like being in Jeepers Creepers.
     1) Slim to non-existent, I'd say, for any number of reasons.
     2) I'll check with the team about putting some of the (still relevant) sketches back up. Yes, we've dropped the subtitle, though that doesn't mean you should rule out the possibility of ever seeing it again. On the other hand, that doesn't mean it's a brand new game currently in development, either. Sigh. Everything's so complicated with you people...
     3) Don't know, don't know and don't know. As previously mentioned, we're not really 'in the loop'.
Maya experience is definitely useful but most companies realise that it's not so easy to get hold of outside the industry, which is why it's seen as more of an advantage than a requirement. It may be possible to get hold of a demo version, however, which would definitely be worth your while. According to our esteemed hardware blokes, a Pentium 4 is fine as long as you've got a damn good Graphics Adapter and a whole load of memory. Failing that, just use the best software that you can afford - it's the talent and imagination on display that really counts.
     Good arse, sir.


Dear Mr. Scribes- No, Skribes- Yes, Scribes-

     I'm not talking about PD, but do you have any plans for a first person shooter on the N64? Some companies coming out with another Bond game (God, next to Goldeneye, they look stupid), but I trust you guys more on that genre. If so, when? No, maybe you shouldn't, I'd die from the suspense.
     - Your Arse (No wait, that's mine)


"We have plans for as many N64 shooting games as arseholes have teeth."
     There's your designer response. Why anyone thinks we're still working on N64 games, I don't know. But please don't tell anyone the PUS BUTON CODE, it's a SEKERT.

     When will Diddy Kong Pilot for GBA be available?
     www.rare.co.uk says "20:02 2002" but no other site in the whole WWW mentions any date other than the year 2002.
     Will the game be available tomorrow, as your article suggests?


Er, no. That's not what the article suggests. Read the relevant part of the text again: "That's an incoming GBA cartridge at two minutes past eight, Red Leader. Do you see? 20:02. 2002." 20:02 as in the time, not the day/month. Yes, it was a really laboured way of linking dogfights to the year 2002, but that's all it was, and we're still not getting any more specific than that. Sorry.

Dear Citizen Of The Country That Gave Us Elton John,

     In the spirit of my trenu
lous (not a real word) ground-breaking tradition, I am hereby presenting to you this multi-faceted Scribes entry in Roman Numeral List form.
     I) In your December 20th edition of Scribes, you pose the seemingly rhetorical question, "How many people are going to sit through 40-50 hours of the world's most boring, unoriginal FPS?" And I answer, "However many bought Halo, which is apparently a sizeable number."
     II) Call it Banjo-Kazoothree, dammit. It deserves at least that much. Banjo-Threeie sounds contrived, derivative, and indicative of the naming skills of a retarded chimpanzee. Wait, you haven't even formally announced this game, have you?
     III) I have found button codes for Invincibility and All Weapons in Perfect Dark, but I will only give them to people who send requests to my personal e-mail address at pillsbury.com. (I'm assuming nobody's going to be stupid enough to do this. - Ed) Nothin' says lovin' like codes from the oven... of Pillsbury.
     IV) Speaking of Pillsbury, I just bought some of their ready-to-bake cookies, and on the front of the package they have the picture of the Dough Boy clutching one of the cookies, and the words "Serving Suggestion". If I desire to follow through on this suggestion, must I create a small boy made out of white dough who giggles upon depression of his navel?
     V) Time Lord is fantastic. Of all the classics that need revitalization, this is at least #618 on the list. There's just something about tiny dragons dropping bowling balls on my head that makes me feel all squishy. And don't forget fighting the Frito Bandito in the Wild West! Good times, good times.
     VI) One more thing. Nintendo needs to fight Microsoft by going into the PC productivity market. As their finest second-party, I hereby charge you to create the ultimate in espionage-based word processing, Word Perfect Dark. This would be the best way of ensuring beautiful words such as "tagnut" and "mepsipax" are not triggered by a spell checker, since they are, quite obviously, actual words.
     I hope you publish this, or else I'll step on this rabbit! I will, oh yes, I will!
     NintenJoe Becht

Yeah, sorry about Elton John.
     I) How can you say that when it's up for Outstanding Achievement in Game Design at the AIAS awards?
     II) I think that was the point. And no, we haven't, you caught yourself just in time there.
     III) You shouldn't say things like that when you know Scribes has a large following of suggestible halfwits.
     IV) It'd be rude not to, after all the trouble they've taken to bring a freaky anthropomorphic twist to the standard dough experience.
     V) I've just dropped my headache tablet between the second and third rows of my keyboard and I can't get it out again.
     VI) It still won't come out.

I was looking at your website and I'm wondering are those pictures of japanease super smash melee real.I heard that they would have different caracters and if that picture is real why did you leave kiddy out
Mary Lewis

Sadly, you're not the only one who thought it was real.

Is there some way you could sneak Osama bin Ladenís face into the next Perfect Dark game? Because Iíd love to pump some hot lead into that madmanís (small) brain (and other small parts of his anatomy). Assume!

You're not the only one who's suggested this, either.

I'm American, yet I enjoy "Are you Being Served?" What does that make me?
-Lucky Luigi

The only living American John Inman fan. Congratulations.

Exactly who was it on the DK team that did that 'Weeeellllll Doooone!' you get when you finish bonus games? This voice is evil. Leigh, please hunt this person down and make them feel the pain, as I have felt!
-Ug Master

Feel for the team - he talks like that all the time.

I've been looking all over the internet for the story of Banjo-Threeie. I was wondering if you could get it for me straight from the guide book?
Paddy A.

No, keep looking. Report back to us now and again.

What if someone is talking about the Nintendo Star Foxes and you get mistaken and put the Star Fox letters in green? See what happens when you release a game with the same character in the title?
The Rare Game Expert

It's okay - I sacrifice goats to the Typography Oracle.

I bought Conker ages ago... And on the box it has THQ's logo, but in the opening, and (I think) closing credits there is no mention of them, sooo... What exactly did they do? Were they involved, or did they sneak their logo onto the box?

They're sort of entitled to, they handled the PAL version.

Please print my letter, for I want to brag to my friend. Thanks... I hope.
The guy next door

Snippets offers bragging rights? Surely not?

Why does Fox move his rear so much when he's running? Are you adding another mysterious tweak to the Starfox stories?
Cory Hunt

Like I said... SexFox Adventures.