Go on then, tell us what's on your mind...
We may even respond if we can hold back the tears.
Updated at meaningless intervals!Kennel kindly provided by Hellhound Pets Inc.

I'm looking for something
and anything will do / So hey,
Scribes, it might as well be you...

MARCH 11, 2002

Dear Thaddeus Q. Scribington the Fifth,

     1. DK doesn't suck in SSBM like he did in the original Smash Brothers. Not that he's great this time around, but you can no longer use the "I only lost because I picked Donkey Kong" excuse.
     2. Will any of the Arwing levels in SFA have bosses?
     3. I'd like to thank Rare for giving Krystal even less clothes than the entire cast of DOA3 put together. So, will you, uh, be able to er... get the camera stuck in the wall when you run Krystal into the wall, like in JFG? Uh, I was only asking, uh... because it was a really... annoying bug in JFG, and I was, um, hoping that it would be fixed, or something, in SFA. Honest. Really. I'm serious. Or not.
     4. I've heard that Rare couldn't make another Battletoads game if you wanted to, because Tradewest owned the rights to them. And since Tradewest is no more (I think), the 'Toads are forever stuck in a videogame limbo, to be tormented for eternity for their many crimes and--erm, anyways, is this true, or is it just more Internet rumor nonsense?
     5. I think the box art for Anticipation borders on false advertizing. I mean, just look at it! The expressions on the people's faces make it look like the second coming of Christ, but no game could possibly be that much fun. Just look at the expression on the yellow shirt guy. He's probably thinking "I'm scared of the awesome power of Anticipation, yet I cannot look away from its terrifying beauty". In fact, I'm going to go out and buy it right now, and prove that it can't be that good. Okay, I've started playing it. Hmmm... okay, not bad. But what if I... hey, that's pretty cool... Oh. My. God. This is the best game I've ever played! Sorry I doubted you, Rare. Oh, and sorry yellow shirt guy, wherever you are.
     6. i hav rpoof rrare is makeing xbox and ps2 games!!!11 we no that rare sent a chrisstmas card and it said u were makeing games on teh xbox and ps2!!! i saw it on the intternet so everybody knows abotu it!!! i heard its cuz some guy at nintedo didnt like conker to have swearing and boobs so they didnt want rare as a second party company so rare is a third party company!! its true dont lie to us anymore!!!111 hahahaha nintendo suX0rs with its gay lunch box handle system with no rareh ahahaha!!!!1111

1) Plus the green version looks like he's wearing lipstick. On a comedy side note, Botwood has completely failed to get to grips with Kirby in SSBM. Hahaha.
     2) Designer says: "No. The goal of the Arwing levels is allow you to travel to different worlds."
     3) Designer also says: "The camera system is so good that nothing will ever go wrong, honest." Notice how we politely ignore your 'subtle' Krystal upskirt query. At least Vela was a human character, you perv.
     4) Old rights are funny things. You never know when they're going to revert. I'll have to check up on this one.
     5) You should have realised that such a powerful, timeless cover image wouldn't have been approved for general use without good reason. Actually, when I first started at Rare there was a big framed poster of Anticipation hanging over my desk, so I have come to know the Anticipation Gang intimately. Especially the one who looks like Bobby Ewing.
     6) F*XX0R!!#!1!

Hello Scribes.
     I assure you I'm a huge Rare fan, but is Scribes in any of the recent games? What game is Scribes originally from? Anyway, my real reason for writing is that I was wondering what you really feel about the PAL launch of the Cube. I live in America, so I don't know about the 60hz, and Scart cables and whatnot. Does that type of thing really show that Nintendo is interested in helping the gaming community, or is it more of a standard thing anyway?
     Eric Alberson

What? Game? Scribes? You mean the big gold feather? That's one of the items from Banjo-Kazooie/Tooie, but it's not called Scribes. Scribes is the name of the letters page. You know, the one you're reading. As for the European GC launch, as far as I'm concerned the bargain price alone would make it a triumph - anything else is a bonus.

Dear Scribes,

     I was playing Killer Instinct for the Super Nintendo, hunting down No Mercys and having no luck. I've looked online, but very few of the things posted work. I wanted to know if every character had 3 No Mercys (I already have 3 for Riptor), and if so, any tips on how to find them. I think the Killer Instinct fatalities are much better than the ones in Mortal Kombat.

As far as I can remember, only Riptor and Glacius had three and Glacius may have lost one of his in the SNES version - so you can probably stop looking. "Sounds about right to me," agrees a KI team member. And if you think that gives Riptor an unfair advantage, you might want to bear in mind that he's dead.

Dear Scribes,

     LousySpy said that most serieses have a divergent second game. This is, by all means, not true. I have three examples to counter his three:

     Ninja Gaiden:
     NG1 - Walk/climb through levels, stab stuff, use various powerups, kill insanely hard final boss. Excelent story, graphics.
     NG2 - See above. Can climb walls automatically, use more powerups.
     NG3 - Now THIS one is different. You can hang from ropes, the graphics are different, the story is crap, and it is, overall, a horrible sequel. Plus the bosses are pretty simple.

     Crash Bandicoot:
     Crash One - Walk in fixed direction, jump on things, spin other things. Choose levels from overworld map. Wear strange mask. Beat evil scientist person.
     Crash Two - See above. No map, hub world instead. Can perform bellyflop. Some same bosses. Add crazy little sister.
     Crash Three - See above. Can use bazooka. Some same bosses. Add evil talking mask.

     Mega Man X:
     X1 - Walk around, get powerups, shoot stuff, kill Sigma.
     X2 - See above.
     X3 - See above.

     And there's more where that came from. So, Rare was right in making the DKC games alike. Never doubt thyself, Rare, for you can do no wrong. Except Canary Mary - that was just plain wrong. Not to mention cruel.
     -CAP of Amazingness

He could still be right in saying that most - not all - series'es' have a divergent second game. It doesn't disprove anything by giving us three examples of games that don't. Not that I'm sticking up for him, of course, just playing Devil's advocate as usual...
     By the way, if we can do no wrong, where the hell did all this button code/face-mapping/Mature rating/site design/game delay hatemail come from?

Dear Scribes,

     I know this is not a forum or something like that (by the way, you guys should include one here) but I send this as a reply to someone called "LousySpy". Then, here goes:
     This guy said in a previous letter that you ruined the DKC trilogy because you didn't make the second part drastically different from the others. So we assume that every second part should be different to make a good trilogy. Well, this is true from a certain point of view (just see Indiana Jones movie trilogy or the games he mentioned: Mario, Zelda...). Usually, second parts are different, but that's not the only way to make a great trilogy/saga. DKC itself is the best example to prove what I'm saying.
     Every Donkey game shows, basically, the same structure. But I think that each sequel includes a lot of new stuff such as special moves, DK coins, a second ending and, of course, the Lost World.
     Anyway, in terms of story, DKC actually follows the rules this guy talked about. I mean, DKC2 is darker than the others. Kremland is not an exotic and beautiful place like DK island. Also, this time there isn't a big ape like Donkey or Kiddy. What's more, Diddy's Kong Quest is a very good and intelligent sequel because the plot is clearly based upon the classic Donkey Kong 2 game released 20 years ago (where Donkey was kidnapped by Mario just like K. Rool does in DKC2).
     So, I believe that DKC is a fantastic game trilogy and, nowadays, it still rules as one of the best projects ever made by Rareware. At least, that's my opinion.
     Burning Fox
     P.D. Sorry if you find any grammar mistake. I'm Spanish, so you know...

Don't mention the Forums. Thanks for sticking up for us, but I don't think Mr. LousySpy was seriously suggesting that we'd jinxed the DKC trilogy by not going a bit mental with the second game (retrospective sales figures would kind of nip that argument in the bud anyway, and we still get plenty of mail demanding another 2D iteration in the series, so the formula obviously worked). Interesting comebacks, though. Especially the DK2/DKC2 parallel. Intentional? God knows.

Dear Scribes,
     Well, yes. I have decided that Cassandra DeVries should be played by Joanna Lumley. Come on! Cassandra DeVries is Patsy Stone!
     Also, I think that Jonathan bears a striking resemblance to Justin Timberlake of *Nsync...
     And you could have Cold Feet and Friends' Helen Baxendale as Joanna. Or so they say.
     Curtis ^_^

Helen Baxendale? Noooo! She's all funny-looking. Also, you must never mention N*Sync within these pages again, and any fool can see that Jonathan should be played by Rutger Hauer. Good call on Cassandra, though.

Dear Scribes,

     StarFox Adventures scenario:
     Slippy, bored of his duties decides to fiddle with the air conditioning. Fox meanwhile is preparing for a dinner date with the lovely Foxy McCormack. Before the dinner date Fox notices things on his body "stick out", so promptly leaves the room to cool down, unfortunately Slippy has broken the air con, and Fox is looking more and more like a blow dried hamster. In his embarrassment, Fox, legs it to his ship and launches, unfortunately Slippy has been fiddling with this too. Fox, sitting helpless in the now out of control ship, crashes on a planet, a planet full of, dun du daahhh, dinosaurs.
     Later on we discover that Fox is after some Hair Gel to resolve his fluffy appearance, and then the final battle is for control of the bottle of Head and Shoulders shampoo, which is a sacred artifact since dinosaurs don't have hair to wash.
     Come on, am I close. All those days of me rummaging through your rubbish in the Twycross rubbish dump can't have been worth nothing?

Close. However, I happen to I know that Twycross isn't big enough to have a rubbish dump, which is the only way of telling that you're making this up. Mind, it smells ten times worse than that in the summer when the farmers start spreading muck on the fields.
     Also, are you suggesting that Slippy is somehow incompetent?

Dear Scribes,

     OK, I was reading through some old Scribes today and I just realized something. Most letters involve people asking questions and you answering them. This is a great injustice to the world. I know, that's probably the "purpose" of Scribes and this is "not" an injustice at all, but I thought we could all use a change of pace. So for your response to this letter, I put before you this concept: YOU ask the questions. That's right, you ask questions while I and/or other readers can answer them. You can even use a numbered list. Not a numbered list of answers, mind, but a numbered list of questions!
     -Dolphins Can SUck it
     P.S. - I know, you're probably wondering which section to print this letter that you so adore in: Scribes or Snippets? Well I have a solution for you: you could give it its own section! You could call this new section "My Favorite Letters," "Letters That Are Less Letters Than Masterpieces," or the like. Or you could just stick it in Snippets, either way. (Note - No response to this P.S. is necessary, as you're supposed to be asking questions in your response. Sorry.)

I'm not sure this is going to work. The main drawback is that I can already predict with virtually 100% accuracy your answers to my questions, which are all along the lines of "Will you stop asking for button codes that don't exist?" and "Will you leave me alone?" (There's also "Will you send me free crisps and vodka?", but I suspect the answer's much the same for that one too.)

Dear Non-Americans,

     I'm a simple guy with simple needs, and I have compiled a short list of what I want you to bring to the Gamecube. And If I want it, you WILL make it.
     1. Banjo-Kazooie 3
     2. Conker's BFD 2
     3. StarFox Adventures (this can be checked off)
     4. Donkey Kong GC
     5. Super Trash Bros. (the All-Rare version of SSB)
     Now, we will go onto the real business. It's very good that you're bringing back StarFox in your Dinosaur Planet game that will make every single Xbox burst into flames, because they might as well; Xbox doesn't have Rare. The only complaint I have so far is that Falco is nowhere to be seen, so where is he? You better well bring him to the Gamecube in a lead role, or you've got some 'splainin' to do. Here are some suggestions for games to put the surly blue bird in:
     1. Falco-Banjo-Kazooie
     2. Super Falco Ball
     3. Perfect Falco
     4. Falco's Bad Plumage Day
     5. Super Falco Bros.
     6. Falco and Randy Johnson (title open to interpretation)
     A generic American fanboy who will rule you all someday

What about Falcoo, where Falco sits in the middle of the screen looking depressed, randomly giving out 'lucky numbers' and predicting your destiny? No? Why not? It's a less cruel fate than Falco-Banjo-Kazooie, which would presumably see him carrying both Banjo and Kazooie around on his back.
     Also, I have certain expectations when it comes to Scribes updates these days, which you've totally failed to fulfil by leaving both KI3 and Perfect Dark Zero (featuring face-mapping, a level editor and Osama bin Laden as the end boss) off your list.

Dear Scribes,

     Hi, firstly can I say love the games (I especially liked Jimmy Saville at end of Jet Force, surely this was purely for a UK audience?).
     I'm sure this question has been asked before but here goes anyway, having recently watched Independence Day on TV, it has become apparent that at least two of the backdrops to PD come straight from this film. The levels I am referring to are the Air Force One level (OK you could argue that the interior of Air Force One is the same, because, simply, that's what it looks like). But what about the labs where the friendly alien is held captive, identical to the labs where the nasty aliens are in Independence Day! I hope you find time to reply to this... as it would win a bet for me.
     Phil Yates

     PS: PD is good, but not as good as Goldeneye. Looking forward to something great on the Cube though. Cheers.

Well, let's see. "The 'Air Force One' level is modelled on the 'Air Force One' aircraft of 'being Air Force One' fame that appeared in the film 'Air Force One' (or at least, the interior is) so that's not really correct. If you're making an 'Air Force One' level and you don't have direct access to the real thing you'll look at the film that has the most instances of 'Air Force One', and we guessed that 'Air Force One' might well be the film we were looking for.
     "As for the Area 51 labs, I can (sort of) see what you mean about the long hallway leading up to the containment area (it looks like the area where Bill Pullman sacks the whinging git in ID4, with all the artifacts in it), but the containment area itself... hmm..."
     You could have at least told us which side you were on in the bet so that we could make fun of you or your mate as appropriate.

Dear Dinosauric Hunk of Crap;

     First of all, I'd like to say that you're far friendlier than Tusk, so I apologize for the aformentioned "Hunk of Crap" introduction. But I needed an intro anyways.
     In any case, In February's update on Scribes, I read one of your responses. It read, "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?"
     After seeing that, I can only guess how many Americans laughed at you. Alpha-bits is a Cereal with Letter-shapes. It also comes in a marshmallow edition.
     That left you vulnerable to some American Ridicule, Scribey boy. Just wanted to point that out, and no, I didn't laugh at you, considering that I'm not American. I'm Canadian. Blah-hah.

     PS. Do you like Bacon Bits, or Croutons? I like one of them, and I think that anyone who likes the other is an inbred b*ll*ck-sucking b*st*rd.

You're just bitter because you get rubbish like 'Alpha-Bits' instead of proper cereal like Frosted Shreddies, Ricicles and the almighty Weetabix. Also, in my deeply limited gastronomic experience, croutons are just lumps in soup and I can't see how they'd pose any particular threat to bacon, so once again your foreign cuisine trash talk is wasted on me.

Dear Scribes,

     I noticed your hilarious captions on the many pictures of this site. Now I'd hate to steal the fun from you, but what if you were to hold some "Caption Contest" for the visitors of this site. Pick a picture and let us try and make a hilarious caption for it. The winner will have his/her caption on that picture and that picture somewhere on the site, or 6.5 billion dollars; whatever is more convenient. As if you weren't busy enough. Though this will probably be deleted, but I tried to contact you anyway; don't ask why.
     No particular closing,

The very first Win Stuff was a caption competition, and while it did turn up the odd gem, the vast majority of entries were hernia-inducingly poor. I'm not in too much of a rush to relive that trauma. However, if you've got a caption (I assume you mean the ALT text for the various images) that's genuinely worth taking the time to send in, go ahead and if it's funnier than the existing one (quite likely) and I can be arsed (not so likely), I'll replace it.

Dear Scribes,
     You made fun of my name last year in November, and I've finally gotten round to saying something witless:
     You debauchering tagnuts! How dare you lace the grand name of Utar with swear-laden text and other such crude oddity! May the gods strike you down!
     Anyway, I finally finished playing Conker's BFD after about... hmm... three or four months. It was very entertaining, but not really as mature as I heard it to be. I mean, it's not unlike the rubbish we have in the movies these days, and even yesterdays, like Billy Elliot and The Matrix. You should consider lowering the Mature rating to 4 in Britain, and 6 in America.
     Speaking of movies, you should do a parody of The Crucible in a future game because I hate both the book and the movie. In fact, one of the squirrels should have been a Tediz spy. Wouldn't that have been the greatest thing?
     Finally, I need to learn how to speak Tedizsh. A beginner's lexicon would be invaluable.

Utar Saints! U-U-U-Utar Saints! Sorry, I can't think of anything else.
     Surely parodies of The Crucible would be understood by about 0.3% of players? Not exactly pop culture, is it? Still, if you feel like doing a 5000-word essay on the many parallels between the story of a schoolboy who becomes a dancer by overcoming prejudice and peer pressure and the story of a squirrel who becomes a king by overcoming murderous stuffed toys and a giant faeces monster, I'd be only too happy to read it.

Dear King Jeff's furry pendulous Scribal Totem,

     "Ni hao!" Salutations from China, a country that Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft all seem to dislike for some reason. Can't think why - maybe a gift of some of that blatantly pirate software would cheer them up...
     I have in this letter two points to raise. The first is just a general-interest question about your FPS games. Both Goldeneye and Perfect Dark focussed fairly heavily on the performance of the weapons your character used, and both games drew (to some extent) from real-world weapons for models. My question is: how deeply did your staff members research this? Did you actually go to shooting ranges to determine their performance (as the makers of Ghost in the Shell claim to have done)? Or did you just base the guns on the real-world shapes, and then fill in the other specs for yourselves? This is of interest to me, because prior to playing your games, I never had any interest in ballistics - but now I have an interest (albeit mature and responsible, kiddies) towards firearms and how they are designed.
     Okay, second point. I was sorting out my N64 Controller Pak memory cartridges yesterday, and it seems like all my Pak-saving Rare games had an annoying little habit: each time I turned the game on, the game would automatically write slots to the Controller Pak if there was enough space to do so. This is done without asking for the player's confirmation, so technically it's nonconsensual, and given the children-heavy demographics of Nintendo's fanbase it's probably underage as well. From a legal standpoint that makes it well dodgy.
     None of my other games do this automatically (they ask you first), so I assume it's something specific to Rare.
     Could you change this for GameCube? If so, then would you change this for GameCube? It would be relief not to have to check my Paks before each and every session. Spoils the mood somewhat.
     All right, that's all for now. Goodbye. Farewell. "Wei renmin fu wu."

The team on the subject of gunnage: "We made interesting guns. We didn't go to any shooting ranges. Some were pistols, some were SMGs, some were assault rifles. A few (more in GoldenEye, less in PD) were modelled from real-life weapons; the GoldenEye guns were going to have their real-world names, but these were changed to avoid any possible legal comeback. See the GE/PD Rumour Mills for an almost identical response.
     "One notable difference between game ballistics and real-life ballistics is that real-life bullets don't tend to hit their targets instantaneously."
     And - why, Bing, you fool! - the GameCube doesn't even use Controller Paks. But I've made enquiries about the whole 'Rare games forcing open save slots' thing, and of the handful of games that use the Controller Pak at all instead of sticking solely to cartridge memory, it's only Blast Corps as far as we know that actively favours the Pak if available (the programmer says: "Back then I couldn't understand why people with free space on their Controller Pak would willingly choose to lose their save data"). So stop exaggerating, you scamp. All the same, I'm sure there'll be a more consistent policy for save data in future games.

Dear Scribes,

     i realy do not intend to critisize your games but the only games i was impressed are KI (coin up: fantastik game play but realistik like all the other fighting games)and DK(snes outstanding work) but come on most of the other stuff is just pixel exchange i mean its your good right to sell
     people for stupid its their money
     ...and now to the interesting stuff what would like to see is games that are more brutal bloodsheds...i mean not like golden ei
     (i know bond is a british hero nevertheless i dont like stuff with roots in the stoneage ) so like something similar to doom ....the best would be an ego hack and slay from 3rd perspecktive maybe killer instinct...........and what i finally wanted to know were is jagos ghost move in n64 is it lets say to much
     memory costing or did they just slept to long and fortgot to involve it .....and besides the AI is stupid
     and to not bore you more i quit with it....
     phsychos do rime a lot (huh??am i one) and then the blood splatters "ooh mr Wood wha couldn't you take care of your head now its cut off look at the mess my good t-shirt do you have to bleed that much..."
     damn i have to finish this letter my teacher is here again...
     gon vasques

Teacher? You mean you're actually receiving an education? The mind boggles.
     Rare is truly sorry for creating so much "pixel exchange". You make a valid point, and we've left your letter intact in terms of punctuation and structure to ensure that each and every one of our readers is able to appreciate its full weight. We wouldn't want our name to be sullied for all eternity when your philosophical journals are snatched up by a keen publisher.

To the notoriously stupid Scribes page thingeeôģ©(gmc),
     After many failed submissions and an attempt to be nice, which crashed and burned, Iíve hacked into the Rareware website using my L&&V HAX0RR SKILLZ, and discovered Duncan Botwood has in fact, his own website. Why was this kept from us? Here is an unaltered screenshot of the site with a brand new groundbreaking RPA, because I always wanted to do that. And no, I donít hate Mr. Botwood personally, but if he is responsible for that guy in the Carrington Institute hangar who screams at me @ 3:00 AM, Iím coming over to England with an Uzi.
     -Mister Enigma

If he had enough motivation to create his own site, that is undoubtedly what it would look like. Extra credit for "D Botwood died after lying down", which sounds like something from either a Spectrum text adventure or a particularly bad MUD.

Dear Scribesy LaRue,

     How is life treating you? I mean, aside from the whole Scribes debacle. I was going to write this whilst downloading some Starfox Adventures movies, but I already have them! So I'll do a Rubbish Picture Attachment instead.
     So, I'm curious, are there any new games you might add to the Limbo page soon? I seem to recall a...
     ...oh my God! What's happening with this RPA? I really shouldn't be allowed to use a paint program at this time of night...
The picture Krystal thought she'd burned
     Anyway, I remember hearing a rumour that Rare was working on a racing game called Mini-Racers or something, and it would be really happening if we could see something of it eventually. If that game never existed, I apologize - at least I didn't ask for a Beta version of Goldeneye!
     You know, I don't get my logic in doing an RPA instead of downloading a movie. It made the writing go even slower, whereas the plan was to make the movie download go faster. On the bright side, drawing Slippy in nothing but briefs is unnervingly fun.

Ach! Two RPAs in as many letters! And one featuring animals in pants! You've got a nerve branding Scribes a "debacle" if this is your idea of highbrow entertainment. Just look at Peppy's face! He's even more disgusted than I am.
     I keep meaning to dig up and add more stuff to the Limbo section in the same way that I keep meaning to add more pictures to Rare Today, i.e. there's always something better to do. Plus it's hard to get enough info on cancelled games to make mentioning them worthwhile.
     Didn't the Mini Racers rumour get cleared up almost as soon as it began? As far as I know it ended up being another company's game that somehow got attributed to Rare. Can't remember if it ever came out, though.

Dear Scribes,

     Finally, I have come up with a Scribes question you must answer. Some of the adventure-type games for Gamecube so far have been, in my opinion, way too short. I beat Luigi's Mansion and Batman Vengeance way too quickly. So this leads me to wonder about the length of Star Fox Adventures. So, in conclusion, I would like you to tell me about your length. Thank you.

Other companies would never let you get away with these deeply personal questions. Well, Miyamoto himself mentioned in a recent interview that it's "...going to be a big game. Depending upon the player, the game could have a playing time which exceeds 100 hours. It's a very beautiful looking game and it makes me proud of the GameCube hardware itself." But we'll let you play it for yourself before we pin it down to any specific length. There'll always be someone who comes back and complains...

Dear Sir or Madam (Coz we don really know the trooth do we?),
     I am writing to inform you that on the 27th of April in the year 2005, I shall be coming to Twycross in the United Kingdom to examine your progress on the pre-production of Perfect Dark 3. Doubtless, your shoddy reputation for release dates could cause the release of Perfect Dark 2 to slip farther into the future, upsetting my entire schedule of appointments for the years following (yes, I have scheduled up until then). Hopefully you will keep the production on Perfect Dark 2 on course, allowing me to maintain some semblance of order in my schedule. In case you have not realized it already, I shall include my most important suggestion in this E-mail correspondence. To embetter the multiple player modes of the Perfect Dark games, I should insist upon a multiplayer level based upon your current headquarters complex. Thank you for your compliance, and I shall be sending further letters in the future to remind you of my coming arrival.
     Chris Mahoney

You went to all the trouble of crafting such an elaborately-themed email just to demand a multiplayer level based on our HQ? You shouldn't have bothered - most people just come straight out and ask, and they get ignored as well. Rooms and extensions and outbuildings get added to and removed from Rare HQ all the time, anyway. Be a bit confusing if you were trying to snipe at someone from one of them.


     I haven't written to Scribes since I was a young undergraduate with too much time on his hands. Something about Aeschylus, I think it was. Either way, I've barely looked at the site for months. Too much bickering over arses and asses for my delicate eye. Sorry. Not that I'm suggesting you should be bothered by my absence or anything, I just thought I'd say it by way of an introduction that has already gone on longer than it needed to and which contains so much rambling wordage it clearly illustrates that I have too much time on my hands again.
     Anyway. Sorry if this has already been ranted over.
     That Japanese box art for PD.
     I hope that woman on the sofa is the model they hired to promo the game.
     I hope it's not a CGI.
     Because I've just put that pic on my desktop. Replacing Alyssa Milano, as it happens.
     And to replace a beautiful actress with a non-existent digital manifestation of male fantasy is not just misguided, it's positively disturbing.
     But then, so's my paragraphing.
     I used to be able to write you know.
     Funny thing, life.
     Dave Fev.

Pretty sure it was a real Japanese lady, yes. Though what difference it makes when you can't even tell, I don't know.
     Was the Alyssa Milano pic a publicity shot from Double Dragon, starring Mark Dacascos and Robert Patrick in simultaneous fits of lunacy? Yes it was, go on, you're not fooling anyone.

Rare, my dear old things,

     Tally-ho, pip-pip and Bernard's your uncle.
     A quick question relating to widescreen issues. Are your Gamecube games being designed with widescreen tellies in mind ? It's been absolutely wizard playing DK64, JFG and PD in widescreen and I'll be cock-a-hoop if you tell me you're going to carry on this scrumptious tradition, particularly if they're done anamorphically.
     In addition to this - and this may sound a silly question - could you tell me if anamorphic-encoding puts higher demands on the system than letter-boxing ? I assume it would as it means processing a wider vista at full vertical resolution (unlike letter-boxing which, or course, has a reduced height), but I just wondered. Maths isn't my strong point, so I can't work it out for myself.
     Signed with a flourish,

I posed these little beasts to a long-serving Rare programmer, who reckoned that all our games should be designed for widescreen (and if not then "the programmers should be shot").
     He also agreed with your analysis of system demands: "The letter-boxed version is drawing the same number of polygons but covering less area (smaller number of pixels) - the black bars for the letter-boxing take up the rest of the area but they are really quick to draw."

Dear Scribes,

     It appears that for some people getting their letter printed is a matter of life and death. To help out said desperate people I have a short list of ideas that will help their chances.
     1. Leave subtle hints that make it known that your letter won't be printed. Ex. "I know you're not going to print this." Now that's subtle.
     2. Always include something related to video games and Rare. Ex. "The new Star Fox looks great. Just look at that fur!".
     3. Finally you must make a comment for which to leave room for an insult in the reply. Ex. "Is Perfect Dark based on a true story because I think I saw something like it on The X-files?"
     With these three simple tips I'm sure you be rolling in the satisfaction of having your letter printed.
     With deepest sympathies,
     nayR yhtraCcM
     P.S. Seriously, I love that fur!

1) Well, maybe I'll print it just to show you a thing or two! Yeah! That'll learn ya!
     2) Hey, thanks!
     3) Ha ha! You idiot!
     There you go. But it does work much better when people are being unintentionally useless.
     On a serious note, I just try to print a mishmash of stuff, some relevant, some not. There are no rules. As I've said many a time, the main sticking points for getting a letter printed are a) asking a question/making a comment that's been asked/made countless times before and you just couldn't be arsed to check, and b) asking a question that we're obviously not going to answer, e.g. about a game that hasn't even been announced yet. And even if you've got a pretty straightforward game question, it's not always easy to get the answers if I don't have them myself. So there you go.


Further interpretations of Rob the Robot's fictional A.R.S.E. mode,
as trumpeted in the previous two editions...

Hail oh mighty Scriber of the Uberlords of UK game development!! My suggestion for the A.R.S.E mode for Rob is, Amazing Rapid Slippy Eviscerator (that frog deserves it).

Just a quick note, I think that A.R.S.E stands for: 'Are Rectal Speculums Edible.' I think that would make a lot of sense, and I think that Rob should try a Rectal Spectrum on Star Fox's Slippy the Toad.
Sir WooBarb of Custard

It came to me in a dream:
Android Rob v.s Slippy, Eejit
Eejit being Slippy's first name. There could be a special arena where Slippy goes on a rampage due to finding out he's the gayest toad in the world and ROB has to stop him using a haddock somehow.
David Quinn

My ideas about the A.R.S.E. mode are thus:
Air/Region Security Evaluator
Aerial Region Safety Ensurance
ARwing SElector
Alarm Restricted Safe Escape
Answer/Response System for Emergencies and finally:
Arwing Response Sent via Encryption
I hope you and the boys over at Twycross (that's where you are, righto?) enjoy my clever ideas. If you use any of them, I would like my secret prize drenched in sweet and sour sauce and tied with a length of telephone wire the exact length of the circumference of Mr. Pants. That is all.
Brent "Opty" Campbell

Rob's A.R.S.E mode stands for Apprehensive Religious Studies Expert. Don't ask me what it does.
John Kendall

Possible means of the revolutionary Rob the Robotís A.R.S.E mode areÖ
Automatic Radar Seeking Explosives
All Range-(mode) Sight Engaged (throwback from Lylat Wars)
ALERT: Really Scary Enemy
ALERT: Really Super (game) Ending (like we find out that this is Robís A.R.S.E mode at the end of the gameÖ)
Activate Rear Seat Ejector (ties in with the actual acronymÖ)
Paul Moran a.k.a giant_frying_pan a.k.a Paul Moran

Continuing the ARSE contest then? The possibilities scare me... and the ideas for a prize are endless! I'd like to have my (real) name in the credits if my ARSE reference were to make it into the game. So would many other people I bet.
For the one that has an idea:
Alright, Release Something Expendable
Rare games almost ALWAYS have a training sorta thing in the beginning. So what better way to practice combat skills than be put up against holo-foes, a la the Grid training center in the Carrington Institute?
And the others:
A Rareware Scribe's Editorial
Andy Really Sounds Effeminate (no offense for those named Andy)
Another Representative Sues Enron
All Robs Shall Explode
A Royal Somebody Expires
Against Really Stupid Enemies
Fun isn't it? Hope I win... ::crosses fingers::

I've done it, I've finally done it! Yes that's right I've thought of an absolutely hilarious meaning to your A.R.S.E. mode acronym. Do you want it, ok. It's obviously got to be Amorous Robot Sexes Everything - ie when activated Rob 64 (I doubt he's still called that, is he?) becomes like a randy puppy and humps everything in sight.

I can't really be arsed writing a coherent letter, but as there may be a prize going, I feel it is my duty to suggest some sensible and some not-so-sensible suggestions for this mode:
-Abnormally Rancid Slipper Extraction (Rob's been cooped up in Starfox in dressing gown and slippers and he's got a bit smelly)
-A Rumour of Starfox Edam (a line of cheese in your merchandise range) -Anal Rententives Smell Eggy (just an observation)
-Astral Robot Superfluous to Echelon (that's why he's cooped up in Starfox in a dressing gown and slippers)
-Arse Represents Stupid Expletives (very bored now)
-Absolutely Ridiculous Starfox Expansion (extra levels in day-glo?)

A winner is you, Mr. 'Nick'! There were a lot more suggestions than this and quite frankly I was getting sick of them, so I demanded the SFA design team choose a winner this time out: verily they have spoken, and all that's left to do is think of a suitable prize (I knew they didn't really have anything in mind, the rascals). We'll work out a nice signed render or something. Now I don't want to hear anything else about ARSE! (Note: obviously this does not apply to the standard lower-case 'arse'.)

I wonder if this fanciful letter contains enough surreality? I sincerely hope fish.
His Royale Highnesse Thikieoe the Prince of Winchesterlande

Q: What's red and invisible? A: No tomatoes.

I found some Orchid hentai online. Do I win a prize?
PS "Orchid" is also Greek for knacker (sing).

You forfeit your prize by having looked for Orchid hentai.

Thanks for sending me that Beta Copy of the Mr. Pants shirt. Iíve even attached a picture so you can see how great it looks. Iím sure it will sell really well.
Alfonso Chacon

And he spent $25 sending me one of my own. What a star.

will pokemon come on game cube?
Jurgen Franck

I don't know, but your choice of phrase is amusing.

In his upcoming game (upcoming considering you update Scribes within the next 5 years) Sabreman should drink Gin instead of tea. His catch phrase could be "I slay better when I've had a few!"

He doesn't slay at all any more, the dribbly old fool...

sLipPiE t0De r0XX0rs UR b0XX0rs!!!1!!1!

He's just desperate to get out of the pink ones he's wearing in that RPA.

Have you considered naming the next Banjo game Threeo-Kazooie? or even Kanjo-Bazooie? I find both of these names hilarious and any name derived from them would also be.
Colonel Mustard

If those are hilarious, we can pretty much call it what we like.

You know how everyone who emails Scribes always writes ARSE? Well, can I singlehandedly change that standard to SH*TE?
Silent Bob

No, because tragically it wouldn't survive uncensored.

I've just seen us win the women's curling final, and I thought it would make a great videogame. You could call it Diddy Kong Curling!!!!!
Jason Hutchin

Not even jokes about curling deserve five exclamation marks.

Just thought Iíd show you guys what Donkey Kong Racing SHOULD look like. You know, realistic like.
Gaming Eye

Thuh... thuh... thanks?

So I recommend BC some of my game-friends, but they gave up before it going interesting. I guess it's because BC is a little struct for beginners at the early stage.
Satoshi Hasegawa

If only you weren't Japanese, I'd laugh at your English.

make a game
Martin Thorne

Okay, thanks. Have you considered a career in the industry?

Will there be a sequal to Jet Force Gemini, if not, you are all obviously the most repugnant, distastful, nauseating, revolting, wicked, malevolence (not sure what this one means), evil, immoral bacteria on the face of this earth (neaded the thesaurus for that one).

To be honest, you probably 'neaded' a dictionary even more.

Stuff KI3Ö I want Killer Instinct 4!!!
Paul Moran

You wouldn't say that if you'd seen the latest version of KI3... oh no!