Go on then, tell us what's on your mind...
We may even respond through all the snot and phlegm.
Updated at meaningless intervals!Kameo. Don't mention the jiggle.

Scribes is the wellspring from
which you flow.
When it is gone,
you will have never been

MAY 20, 2002

Dear: Demented Golden Theather Thingy.

     A few things really, questions and the like, here goes.
     I. How in the bloody hell are your eyes attached? And since when do feathers on Banjo-Kazooie/Tooie have eyes anyway.
     II. In response to the letter by HMB about your games making save slots on memory packs. I have only noticed this with Perfect Dark and it is slightly annoying yes.
     III. WHEN (not if but WHEN) you make a sequel to Jet Force Gemini let's have Mr. Pants as a multiplayer character. (I know you're making it, I infiltrated your HQ and spied out your computers.)
     IV. Tell everyone to shut up about Perfect Dark 2, you haven't even confirmed it yet. Also punch anyone who asks for push button codes to PD in the face for me, if they're too crap to earn the cheats themselves then get an Action Replay.
     V. Chris Mahoney has a good point, even though I thought of the idea before reading his letter, let's have a multi player level of Rare HQ in Perfect Dark 2.
     VI. The Phantom in Goldeneye was my favourite gun, will we ever see it again. Like in PD2 perhaps. (What was that I was saying in Q4, oh well.)
     VII. Are we going to get Starfox Adventures at the same time as America or do we have to come second place again?
     VIII. I have wanted a racing game / GTA 3 alike game, that goes around the area where I live for years (Isle Of Wight) you'll make it won't you, there's good chaps.
     IX. Following the tradition you seem to be developing in your games with killing characters off. Bottles, Berri, Trent Easton, Cassandra DeVries, Floyd, Dr. Caroll, to name but a few, are my hopes of the severe, bloody, painful, long and hilarious death of Slippy any nearer to coming true.
     X. I just completed CBFD and my bloody game locked up, damn you people, lol.
     Richard Long
     P.S I bought my N64 solely for Goldeneye, great game.
     P.P.S A.R.S.E stands for Absolutely Reliable Slippy Exterminator. (It better bloody do anyway.)
     P.P.S Velvet is far more attractive than her sister, let's have a 3D mock up of her too.

     1) Don't talk to me as if I'm the giant feather. That's too freaky. And everything in the Banjo games has eyes - if you think you've spotted something that hasn't, it's just your mind playing tricks.
     2) In that case, I'm going to cry because the PD team lied to me.
     3) Mr. Pants will be a globetrotting superstar with neither the time nor the inclination for petty cameo roles by the time we ever get around to a Jet Force sequel.
     4) I'll be sure to refer them all to you. In fact, I'll tell them: "You must defeat Richard Long to stand a chance."
     5) I can't remember what his point was. Wait, was that it? Oh.
     6) Shut up. You must defeat yourself to stand a chance.
     7) Where are you from? The Isle of Wight? My God, people live there? If you're lucky you'll get it in time for Xmas 2009.
     8) Super Isle of Wight Racing... yes, we'll get right on it.
     9) Look at all those spoilers! You heartless swine!
     10) Well done.

Dear Scribes,
     I admit it to the world, I am a Frogist. In our previous exchange you implied that I thought Slippy was somehow incompetent, but a guy doesn't get the name Slippy without earning it through misdeeds and, well being a Frog. Sure, Frogism is wrong, but when you look into your heart you know that Frogs aren't equal to Homosapiens, are they? On retrospect most of the "Fox Crew" are rodents or vermin of some kind, all you need is Roland Rat and some Pigeons from Pigeon Street and you'll have the full set. I digress. SAY NO TO FROGS.
     P.S. I think I am meant to ask a Rare game related question so.... Battletoads, why do they get their own game when Slippy doesn't, are you Frogist too, you and your buddies all hang out with Toad at Toad Hall, but not Slippy in his engineering pond. I think it is a case of institutionalised Frogism in the gaming industry. Tut tut tut.

Slippy's a toad, hence the name Slippy Toad, instantly rendering all accusations of Frogism irrelevant. And his name doesn't necessarily mean 'clumsy and inept'. Maybe he's called Slippy in reference to his amazing burglary and police-avoidance skills, or something. Like Peppy could be called Peppy because he's full of 'pep' considering his age or because he's hopelessly addicted to snorting pepper. Can we move on yet?

Dear Scribes,

     OK-I couldn't find anywhere else to put this, so... In Perfect Dark, Joanna's boss is named Daniel Carrington. Now... this is sorta out on a limb BUT... Is one of the designers of the game a Pierce Brosnan fan? Because PD is a sequel to Goldeneye, and Goldeneye was a PB Bond movie. Well, in one of PB's previous roles, as Remington Steele, Effram Zimbalist Jr appeared a lot as a character named Daniel Chalmers. And Daniel Carrington bares a rather close resemblance to Effram Zimbalist Jr. Same voice even. Coincidence? I think not, but was this done on purpose, or just an inside joke for overly-obssesed fans?
     Sinead O'Byrne

"Out on a limb," observes the designer, "and also sawing at the branch while bouncing up and down. The voice came from one of our Scottish programmers here at Rare who was reportedly 'going for a bit of a Connery', so you've just managed to mortally offend him while making yourself look a bit too sad."
     In other words: pure coincidence. The team clearly have no idea who Efrem Zimbalist Jr is, and personally I'd be convinced you'd just made him up if I hadn't just found him on the IMDb (and he looks nothing like Daniel Carrington, you nutcase).

Dear Scribes,
     It's time, isn't it, to see what award-worthy films Rare Studios has produced this year:

A Rare nite at the BAFTAs (TM)

     Josh Hartnett, American heartthrob

     P.S. In the 28 August 1998 Scribes, 'Cybrtruffl' wrote in and suggested: "So why don't you just take your fluffy, cute, well-thought-out games and just drip them in all the blood, gore, skin, women, and bad language that my poor eyes can stand." I think you just better admit right now that we owe Conker's BFD to the unsung Mr. Cybrtruffl.

Top filmage, and I can't disagree with you on the Josh Hartnett overexposure case. Describing his eyebrows as "soulful" makes me think that you're obsessed with him in a way that's entirely wrong, however.
     PS Ironically, it probably was around that time that Conker changed direction. Ironic because Mr. Cybrtruffl was actually being ironic too, if not downright sarcastic. The scamp.

Hey Scribes,

     Would you be so courteous as to answer my letter? No? Well then how's about if I press this gun to your head?? Ha ha ha! Here it is... um, no wait... Dang! Left it in my other coat's pocket. Well, in that case, it wouldn't kill you to answer my letter, 'specially since I've sent it real early after the last mailbag. May 8th, that is. Here goes, then. Oh, by the way, I don't feel right not using numbers, so here they are. Sorry.
     1. Surely you've noticed that many levels in Blast Corps are bloody near impossible? Could you set up a sort of strategy guide thingy for the whole, near-impossible game--for the racing and Pac-Man levels, at least? Because most walkthroughs on the Web really suck when it comes to strategy on those whacked levels. Sure, I've got the tricky racing controls mastered, despite the lack of the convenient behind-the-car view. But many levels still seem downright weird. For example: In Cooter Creek, I try taking 'short-cuts' beside the road, but the grass will slow you down too. So whaddaya say?
     2. Me very angry. Me hungry. Me want flesh. Or at least, a widescreen mode in Star Fox Adventures that DOES NOT require a widescreen TV and crap. It's rather annoying to see these demanding new 16:9 modes in games like Donkey Kong 64 and Rogue Leader and not have a widescreen TV. (Like most gamers' parents are going to shell out an extra $900+ for a fancy television.) I, personally, don't mind the letterbox modes so terribly, so it would still be much appreciated if you could be bothered to put a letterbox mode in SFA as well as a special widescreen mode. Thank ye kindly.
     3. Blast Corps team, thanks for getting the DKR group to do your art in JFG and Mickey. No offense, but Amber and the lot look like they came from the Vault of Scrapped Hairless Chunky Kong Designs. [shudder]
     4. Be thankful I didn't call you "Jibey Scribes" like last year.
     5. In God's name, which team is making Kameo??
     6. Mr. Pants. Gawd, I couldn't resist.

1) Probably couldn't, no. None of us can really remember. Mind, we didn't have much of an idea five years ago either.
     2) I asked the team leader, who declared: "All the cutscenes in the game will display in letterbox mode when you play on 4:3 TV to give them that extra cinematic feel, is that enough for you? Of course it does look great in 16:9 so why don't you stop being a tightarse and go out and buy a new TV?"
     3) Amber looks like a bald Chunky Kong? Where are you getting this stuff from?
     4) Yeah, because that really hurt my feelings.
     5) The Kameo team. Do you see? But most of them worked on DK64 before that.
     6) As Gandalf would say, "there are few who can."

Dear the ever so scrumptuous Leigh,

     Look! A Mr. Pants wallpaper-type-thing! I got bored last night, and I decided that there was no other way to spend two hours than to create a wallpaper featuring my favourite obese stick figure and his pals. Right. Well, so long for now, ol' chum!
     P.S. I don't know why I didn't think of this during the "RareWare Merchandise Contest," but why not create Mr. Pants BOXERS? They would be red and feature pictures of Mr. Pants performing random poses! And Mr. Pants lunchboxes! Or Mr. Pants PANTS! Oh, the irony.

Just think of all the other things you could have done in those two hours. And plenty of other people suggested Mr. Pants pants, though I reckon they should come with an inflatable Mr. Pants actually wearing them so that you'd have to squeeze in alongside him. Double the fun, etc.

Dear Scribes...
     Morning. Since it's my birthday and I can't be arsed to work hard, thought I'd dream up some irreverent questions for you. Better number them, I suppose.
     1) Do you guys have any idea what happened to RareNet? Dan was funny, even if he did upset some people with that receptionist valentine.
     2) One thing about PD multiplayer that a lot of mates complain about - if you're dazed (tranquilised and / or punched) and then die, when you are respawned into the level you still can't see. Was that intentional, or did it slip through?
     3) One of the best things Rare does is to gradually release game information over a period of time. For example, the PD rumour mill was worth the wait. In the spirit of that policy, does the PD designer have a list of player statistic targets that he's willing to share with us? I'm at level 2, but with over 1000 in each medal category I'm not sure where the final point is. Do you have to cover 2000km, for example?
     4) Thanks for the continued delays on the GC software. It implies that things are being improved all the time. What happened to Donkey Kong Racing, though? No news in ages... was DK shot for being so bloody slow in DK64?
     I know games in design / development are rarely confirmed by Rare until the day after they're released, but if anyone is contemplating a JFG sequel, please promise some of the same levels / music will return - Rith Essa and SS Anubis, for example. Best music in any game.
     I know it was Tusk that recently mentioned Miami Vice, not Scribes, but I'm watching repeats of it on NZ TV at the moment, and it still rules. Tubbs was a funny name.
     Steve Smith

1) I think they just stopped being arsed, though it appears they may be arsed again sometime in the near future. In the meantime, I wish people would stop writing in asking me to update RareNet.
     2) I shall make the appropriate inquiries on your behalf. "Intentional; though contentious within the team at the time, it got into the final game."
     3) You've got the medals sorted, but a loooong way to go in terms of distance.
     4) That's enough sarcasm, you young rascal. As for Donkey Kong Racing, you'll see soon enough...
     Not sure why we'd want to reuse music from one game to the next - wouldn't it be better to get the same musician back on the project and crank out some all-new "best ever" tunes?

     Miami Vice is certainly better than Nash Bridges, but then again so's Poltergeist: The Legacy.

Hello Mr. Rare representative guy,

     We all know that it's difficult for western game development companies to make successful games in Japan, so I would like to know what is Rare's most successful Japanese release to date, and why do you think it was successful?
     Sorry for the lack of stupidity, I know you guys like to make fun of the mentally challenged.
     Thanks for your time:
     Dominic Sieli

There's no need to apologise, don't be so Sieli. Haha. Rare's biggest Japanese success to date? Most likely the original DKC, partly because shooters such as GoldenEye and PD are more suited to Western tastes and partly because the Japanese love their iconic gaming characters as much as anyone. Look: sensible answer.

Dear Scribes,

      Another numbered list here. You know, because it gives us the best chance of getting any information in a neat, organized way. If you actually answer them, that is. But hey, if Squaresoft can make games for Nintendo and Sega can make F-Zero games anything is possible, right?
     1. Did you purposely base Sabre Wulf's cast off of 70's-80's cartoons? I mean, with names like "Dr. Dolittle-Goode" and "Wesley Snaps" (who looks like Abe Lincoln for some reason I may never know) it really seems like it. If so, you should take note that every 70's-80's villain had to meet up with the Harlem Globetrotters at least once in their career. It's along the same lines as the Snow World requirement for adventurers. Besides, a minigame where the Globetrotters go up against the Sabrewulf and Dr. Dolittle-Goode in a basketball match would make it the best game EVER.
     2. This question won't be nearly as long, so don't worry. All I want to know is whether Sabreman still makes that "Click-clook" noise when he runs. I love that noise, it's just so pleasing to the ears. Among other things.
     3. The reason the next Perfect Dark won't come along until 2004 is because the designer spends more time answering stupid Scribe letters than he does working on the game, isn't it? People should stop asking for button codes or the game may be cancelled before it's even officially announced!
     4. I like to believe that somewhere within the bowels of PopStar, Kirby has a collection of heads from those he decapitated (with his cutter and sword attacks, see). But if he decapitated the big stupid floating head from Zombie Nation, would the big stupid floating head actually be decapitated, or... [Stop rambling, man - Ed.] Basically what I'm asking is whether you believe Kameo will make it out by the end of the year.
     5. Perfect Dark. I don't think I mentioned it enough times to get this letter posted. Perfect Dark. Mr. Pants Perfect Dark. Perfect Dark. Button Codes. Mr. Pants. Arse Mr. Pants Perfect Dark Mrs. Pie.

1) Your dreams could come true! The Sabre Wulf team cries: "The Globetrotters are actually unlockable, to find them you must complete the game within a couple of weeks and stick it up your-"
     2) "Instead of the 'Click-clook' sound we came up with this completely original concept of footsteps. Each time your foot hits the floor a sound effect will play, clever eh!"
     3) Pay attention: the designer that I traditionally rope in to answer PD questions is now working on something else entirely, so bang goes that theory.
     4) I believe in miracles, I believe I can fly and I believe in life after love, but I've no bloody idea whether or not Kameo will make it out by the end of the year.
     5) Surely you mean Perfect Dark Zero? The original PD was a hot topic last year, man - where have you been?

Dear Scribes,
     I just love listening to the sweet JFG downloads! I have been waiting so patiently now that Ichor and Mizar's Palace are out there is just a few more that I can think of... Like the Rith Essa Mine? (Also the Water Ruin Island, but I know you already knew all that.) And that Disco beat that you can listen to in the "Big bug fun club."
     Perfect Dark has some sweet music too. Ever considering putting MP3s in the downloads? Soundtracks such as "Alien Conflict" "Maian Tears" "Datadyne Central" "end credits" just to name a few. Keep up the good work on the website and the video games!
     BJ Walker

Both the Water Ruin and a funkadelic Disco Mix are lined up for release as MP3 downloads soon enough. I'll look into the Mine, and PD stuff may also be forthcoming at some point. Are we good to you or what? Eh?

Eh Eh Em...

     Just thought I'd write a peom for all the people at Rare because you have made my life so much happier with your terrific games.

     DK romps all over the 64,
     While many of us gamers are screaming for more.
     Battletoads was cool, but now it has gone,
     Rash, Zitz and Pimple sure were da bomb.
     Joanna was hot and sexy we agree,
     Conker was rude, but cool to me.
     Thank you Rare, Goldeneye was first rate,
     Great games are rare, Rare games are great.

     Thank you,

Thanks! Better a heartwarming sentiment with godawful execution than vice versa, I always say.

Buenos diablos, el Scribo!,

     I apologise for the lack of an RPA, but I don't have that much time on my hands. Or any ability with Photoshop whatsoever. Not that that's necessary, as some of the more recent offerings have proved...
     Meanwhile, back at the point I'm trying to make, I'm just dropping a line to ask a few pointless, and probably ill-informed, questions about anime references in your games...
     !) Is Cranky Kong supposed to look like Aramaki, the Head of Police Section 9 from "Ghost in the Shell"? 'Cos there is DEFINITELY a similarity there, even if only in their suspicious facial hair...
     ")The Panther King in Conker's Bad Fur Day. When he speaks, it's possible (if one is equipped with "ears") to hear what, presumably, is a panther growling behind his words. This is not at all dissimilar to an effect used for the Gods of the Forest in "Princess Mononoke", the excellent Studio Ghibli animated movie. Was that intentional, or just a complete coincidence?
     And now - the obligatory "RaRe rUlEz" sentences: Wow - you guys are the greatest! I can't wait for Star Fox Adventures, Saber Wulf, Donkey Kong Racing, the possibly made-up Perfect Dark Zero, and all the other great games coming out in the near (or more likely distant) future.
     Paul Cosgrove

Ach! Look at you, Americanising the spelling of Sabre Wulf. That's his name, you can't change it - just like we couldn't change the Pearl 'Harbor' movie posters because that's what you went and called the place.
     1) I doubt very much that it was intentional, though after having a squint at a few pics I have to admit you're right about the dodgy facial hair.
     2) That background effect was intentional, though it's nothing to do with Princess Mononoke. Nice bit of growls-shaped-to-syllables action, all the same.
     And what do you mean, Photoshop? I just assume these RPAs are done in Paint - it's more disturbing by far to think that something as high-end as Photoshop could take any part in the process...

Dear Scribey people,
     The other night, I was playing Perfectsims, and they were getting a bit easy, so I thought about this place, and how some people were saying that Darksims were better. I put in 3 or 4 Darksims with random weapons on random levels (one hit kills, of course), and started a game. During this whole game, they were nearly perfect. The Darksims would fire pretty much as soon as it was possible to kill me, and were 100% accurate. I came second or third or something, and was shocked, because in times before, Darksims were easy.
     So I decided to keep playing against Darksims, in the next game, they were near perfect again, but I beat them. Over the next few games, they got worse. I don't know why, but their reaction time was up to a second (or two) slower than before, and their accuracy was much worse. I've played about 30 games since then vs 3 Darksims, they were really easy, and my last one, which I played just a few minutes ago was ridiculously easy vs 8 Darksims.
     What's up with this? They're near perfect one time, then Normalsims the next.
     I have a theory. The theory goes like this:
     Sims have a scale of difficulty, perhaps on a scale of 1 - 100. The difficulty of each sim is random, but the level of sim you choose restricts the difficulty. I believe it goes something like this -
     Meatsim: 0 - 20
     EasySim: 20 - 40
     NormalSim: 40 - 60
     Hardsim: 60 - 80
     Perfectsim: 80 - 100
     Darksim: 70 - 100
     Does that make sense? Perhaps the Darksims have a bigger scale of randomness, therefore they can sometimes seem as bad as hardsims? I've always thought there was a random element in the difficulty, I just thought I'd type it out and get your impressions.
     Now my question is - Is this a correct assumption that there's a random level of difficulty? If so, what are the exact levels that each sim can reach? There's been a few cases where people have reported Hardsims beating Darksims too.
     Now, before you go pressing that delete button or start writing up your response on the off-chance that this will be posted on the site, PLEASE take this seriously and not just give me the run around, make fun of me, and ignore me like some others from http://www.ninten.com/f thought you would. Thanks.
     - Karl

Right then. This could be a big one.
     Lead programmer: "From what I can remember the difference between DarkSims and PerfectSims is very small - the DarkSims cheat (a little!) I think they move a little faster, do a little more damage, and whenever they respawn after a death they start with a shield without having to pick one up.
     "There isn't a variation of difficulty for each sim like you suggest, but due to random factors in the game it is possible for a type of sim to appear easier or harder between games. I'm also wondering whether when you play against multiple sims if you have put them all on the same side (ie against you) or whether they are also fighting amongst themselves - this would make a difference to the difficulty.
     "It may sound odd, but having more sims on the opposite team may not necessarily make it harder - the team that has less people on actually has more targets available for them to shoot at - this seems to make more difference with quick or 1 hit kills. If you really want to make it harder add good sims to the enemy team and then also add some easier sims to your team (who you will probably have to protect...)"
     Designer: "Uh... yeah, yeah, er (cough) that's what I thought too, yeah... [uneasy silence]
     "My theory is that you got better as you played them (if you found PerfectSims easy, it sounds quite likely). Another explanation would be that too many DarkSims clog the cart up with evil so they end up going slower. [another uneasy silence]
     "Easy way to try it out - start a game with just Simulants - one of each difficulty, if possible. Set the game limit to 100 kills (if possible), one-hit-kills, and pistols only. Repeat about five or ten times, making a note of the kill stats. Average them out and that might provide a reasonable assessment of the relative skill levels of the Simulants..."

Greetings From Cincinnati-

     While I won't debase myself by asking stupid questions about specific games you may or may not have in development, I am curious to know about how many games you usually have in development at any given time. Of these games, how many is the public aware of, and what goes into your decisions on when to let us in on the secrets? Would a box of Twinkies sent FedEx succeed in prying loose some of these secrets? Doubtful, but worth a try... I enjoy your games immensely- keep up the good work.

It varies, but there are almost always one or two (or three) games underway that the public doesn't know about, simply because they're too early to announce. There's no point shouting about every single game title we think of until there's a decent amount of game there to back it up and to prove that the project is actually heading somewhere. Keep your Twinkies - there's a vending machine full of Yorkies and Double Deckers just downstairs.

Dear LousySpy, by way of Scribes,

     Hey, I was just being a smartass as well. I don't doubt that many games have a different second installment, I just felt like screwing around. In fact, I can think of many games that follow those lines. The point is, sorry. Hey, you started an argument in Scribes, I think you should be proud. Oh, by the way, I was the guy who ranted about MMX and Ninja Gaiden. I just can't remember what name I used. I've been printed in a lot of issues of Scribes. In fact, last time, I got in under the guise of Mixi the Shape-shifting Moblin, which is a subtle plug for my Zelda fanfiction. I also sent two more letters that night, one about Ken Lobb, I think, and the other about Excalibur and Opera singers. Those, unfortunately, were not stupid enough to be printed. Who knows, maybe this is.
     -Phil, the Prince of Insufficient Light

It's not that stupid, and I'm only printing it so that I can say "right, that's that sorted out, no hard feelings, this isn't a personal ads page so shut up now and let's talk about something slightly more interesting".

Dear Cheese-Head tu-tu lady swinging large non-domestic appliance,

     So I was hanging out, you know, jammin' on the Cube and I was thinking (yes that annoying little thought processing thing, something you don't do often). Since the humorous yet time-wasting hypnotic DK Rap was such a hit, will you have one in perhaps DKR or SFA? That would be rich, watching Tricky, Krystal, Fox, and even General Scales endearing in miscellaneous activities. Oh well.
     1.) While waiting for SFA I've composed a small song for those long nights out. You'll find it attached to my e-mail. Send your critiques to the office of J. Thron, Lord of the Gamecube.
     2.) Please enlighten me on the ability to play with Prince Tricky in SFA. I mean, throwing a ball and having Tricky retrieve it is by no means play, It's work! Are you supposed to throw the ball into various obstacles just to have Tricky exert sweat, or is it some sorta distraction? Please explain.
     3.) I think Pac-Man is based on a true story.
     4.) Is Prince Tricky supposed to be a rapper? I mean the whole artist formerly known as Prince biz? Nevermind.
     Salutations mortal,
     Cloak, Shadow Warrior Monkey

1) Not bad. At least it sort of scans and rhymes, unlike that B-K Rap we had a while back.
     2) The team's cryptic response is: "Think - Customise..." And don't ask me to explain that, because I haven't got a clue what it means either.
     3) A story about a big fat man eating punctuation?
     4) Yes. In the final game he'll demand you refer to him as 'P. Ticky'.

Dear Scribes,

     Although the latest delay in the release of Starfox Adventures is likely to cause consternation among our study subjects, recent surveys have indicated that the level of angst would be significantly reduced if you were to indicate which of the following added features are responsible for the delay:

     Real-time fur rendering with particle-effect lice
     Japanese-style Krystal dating simulator
     Camera link to allow for face-mapping of actual foxes, frogs, triceratopses, etc.
     New arch-enemy character: General Pants
FPS mini-game: Resident Slippy
     Foaming-at-the-mouth graphics for hidden Rabid Peppy character
     Upgrading Arwing stages to Arsewing stages
     Anything involving scantily clad, anthropomorphic fox-women

     Your prompt response is appreciated.
     Nigel Fotheringay-Blodgett
     Associate Director, Vulpine Sexuality Project, Ape Research Society of England (A.R.S.E.)

The team teases: "All of the above, though the main cause of delay is having to answer worthless questions such as yours. And stop going on about the ARSE mode, it's yesterday's news..."
     Tempting as it is to bodge some graphical evidence of the Arwings in full-on, pert-cheeked Arsewing form, I doubt Nintendo would find it all that funny.

Insert stupid title here...
     This is just a minor bit of information, but I'm started to get annoyed with the continual use of the phrase "Fox-woman" by random people in the May edition of Scribes. The correct term, and better sounding as well, is vixen. Yes, this does apply to anthros (short for anthropomorphic to those not in the know) , as well as non-morfic foxes. Although, I would have thought if that guy knew the word "vulpine", they'd know "vixen" as well, but...
     Thanks for your time, and I'll be waiting to see what insults I'll generate this time.
     ~Andrew Renard

"With your sad expectation of an insult, I feel the need to agree with your argument reference vixen and not insult you at all, you sad *@?<"
     That's the SFA designer angle. But believe it or not, just about everyone knows what a female fox is called. Maybe that particular word wasn't used because we weren't sure it was appropriate. How can anybody realistically claim that "this does apply to anthros"? Know a lot of real-life fox-women, do you?

Dear Freddie Mercury from Anticipation (not to be confused with the mysterious "Freddy" Taj keeps mumbling about),
     Right then - as seems to be a wacky trend, companies are putting some of their older games as playable extras in their more modern games (yourself included - see DK64 and Jetpac), perhaps we could expect to see Anticipation in its original format. I know that it's highly unlikely that we shall see a remake of it (although, I'm playing the game more and more and it's becoming an increasingly alluring party game - what the hell is UP with this game?), but could you at least do us all a favour and expose us to the joy that is Anticipation in an upcoming GameCube game? And keep in the four player mode, too. That will make for some positively insane fun. Oh! And we'd need a picture of the box art for the title screen, of course. Can't do without that.
     Look, it's not MY fault I'm asking for this. The game's bloody addictive. We could have easily avoided this if more PAL versions were made, you know. I'm looking on the horror that is eBay and I can't find a single copy. I have to mooch at my friend's house. Before you know it, I'll be asking for a fully autographed poster of the Anticipation gang. Whatever happened to them, anyway? Did you just pick the scariest people you could find off the street and get them to pose? I tell you, the guy with the glasses is bloody SCARY.
     But nothing beats the true terror of Yellow Shirt Guy.
     "Aussie" Ben Kosmina
     PS Right, I hate doing post scripts, but still... I'll bet you didn't know that the Anticipation theme even has its own remix made at http://remix.overclocked.org! Or perhaps you did. Well, it does.

I doubt that anyone involved with the development of Anticipation back in 1988 would have believed in its potential as a cult classic almost 15 years down the line.
     I'd put out a request for anyone who knows the whereabouts of the legendary cover models to get in touch, but I just know that the next morning would see my mailbox full of "Hi, I'm Randy the Yellow Shirt Guy, now working as a male prostitute in Ohio" buffoonery.

Dear Sir Scribe,

     First of all, congratulations on remaining so moderately witty in the face of reasonable idiocy. Now that you are dazzled with my politeness, you will feel most inclined to answer my questions. And don't try to skirt round the edges and give me rubbish for answers, like you do with most stupid people.
     1) I expect this is often asked, or it was before you got fed up of answering - was that a real sample of Jimmy Saville at the end of JFG, or did you think you were being funny?
     2) How do you ever get any work done if you spend all day answering my questions? Oh, wait a minute, that's your whole job, isn't it?
     3) What language do Rare Programmers use? I reckon you should all use Delphi, like me. Admittedly, I have nothing to show for my insane tinkering, but you might.
     4) Bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia!
     5) What with me being a bit of a programmer and all, I come up with the odd game now and then. I had one idea, which I reckon you should use. If you give me lots of money and some new shoes I'll tell you what it is.
     6) Make sure you all celebrate 'National Blooby Weasel Day' on June 18th.
     7) I really don't know why I bother numbering these anymore.
     Well, that's me done with.

1) We remain entirely convinced to this day that we were being funny.
     2) What, just answering your questions? I'd have packed that in for something more rewarding years ago...
     3) See next letter. Convenient, eh?
     4) No. I'm keeping it now, because you've been cheeky.
     5) Well, if you put it like that... what kind of shoes?
     6) A bit of half-arsed research turns up the fact that June 18th is Paul McCartney's birthday - are you calling Paul McCartney a 'blooby weasel'?
     7) Predictably enough, I don't know why I'm still bothering to answer them.

Dear Scribes,
     I've written in before regarding general programming queries, and I'd just like to ask a few additional questions. I'm curious, what education do most of Rare's programmers have? Have they taken a four-year programming degree of some kind? Currently, I'm enrolled in a Computer Science (programming, essentially) four-year Bachelor's degree and I'm wondering if this is sufficient and/or standard in the videogaming industry. You sometimes hear of stories where people just kind of "fall" into the videogaming industry due to some lucky contact or whatnot... I imagine this would be much more difficult in the line of programming, since it's such a strict and precise field. Some formal education must almost be mandatory...?
     Additionally, I had asked the question about what languages are actually used in real-world applications, and I received the response that I should be learning C or C++ and Assembly language. With the recent upgrades to Gamecube (and GBA), has this changed much? Is C++ becoming a much more dominant language? Or do each languages still have their distinct usages? Thanks for bothering your programmers with my quick questions (I'm sure you get a kick out of bugging them anyway).
     - Infil

Not true. How dare you even suggest that my selfless quest for answers is fuelled even partly by small-minded sadism. Here's a big cheese programmer type.
     "I'd still suggest C & C++ as the most useful to know. Most of our code is in C but it is still good to know object oriented techniques. Assembler can be useful but it's going to be specific to whatever platform you're coding on - if you want to program low level optimised routines then get some experience in it.
     "Most recent programmers joining Rare have a degree in computer science, although alternatives like a degree in maths are also good so long as you know how to program. Basically if you're a good programmer with the right attitude then we would consider employing you. Good A-level and degree results just help to make people stand out when going through a load of CVs.
     "And yes he does get a kick out of bugging us. :)"

Qin ai de bian ji, (Chinese: "Dearly beloved Editor"),

     Three Saturdays ago, a Beijing policeman deftly fractured my elbow, and my arm's currently in a sling - hence the slow typing. Still, the doctors reckon I'll be okay as long as I get some rest, though this will be tricky given my vigorous international relations with my (female) Oral Chinese teacher.
     Further to casting suggestions for Perfect Dark the film. Joanna Lumley would indeed make a good Cassandra - for Jo Dark, however, we'd have to look to Kate Beckinsale, the winsome petite star of Shooting Fish. She even has the short hair and the posh Cockney secretary accent! For Dr Carrington, we could look to Rip Torn, following his convincing role as Agent Zed (boss of the Men in Black organization). Morgan Freeman would make a good African-American US President, and Lauren Holly (Bruce Lee's wife in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story) is a dead ringer for Velvet Dark. Rutger Hauer is the quintessential Mr Blond ("Attack Ships on fire" and "Cetans glittering in the dark"), just as Hugh Grant would make a suitably tall and floppy-haired Jonathan Dark. The only casting problem is Trent Easton, who would have to be played by an irritating airhead actor with a grating voice and a punchably twuntish supercilious attitude. And where in all of Hollywood could we find that sort of person? I'm sure you agree.
     The whole thing would have to be done by George Lucas, as his most recent films prove beyond a doubt that he is fully capable of handling a well-established genre without ruining it through superficial storylining, poor directing, and over-reliance on special effects.
     Finally, I have tried experiments of my own and empirically deduced that Perfect Dark does indeed write savegame notes to memory paks without being asked to do so. In the light of your response to my previous email, in which you claimed that only Blast Corps evinced this behavior, I have formed a complex equation and upon solving it, found the result to be congruent to "ner".
     Yours very slowly,

     Hu Man Bing, professional pedagogue-ophile

Mmm. Kate Beckinsale could work as JD, in a coquettish, period drama kind of way. However, Morgan Freeman has already done the African-American US President thing, Rutger Hauer's too much of a bloater these days to pull off the 'imposing Nordic thug' look, and Rip Torn will always be Maax the big bad priest in Beastmaster to me. And the less said about Hugh Grant as Jonathan, the better. That's almost as bad as the Keanu Reeves suggestion.
     Send in more ideas, kids! I have great fun bluntly dismissing them all.
     Save game data: I'll see your "ner" and raise you "bugger".

Happy 4th Birthday, Rarewhere!
     This year, I made your present all by myself, just like last year (remember Neo Pants)? It's my impression of what the newly confirmed Jet Fork Gemini will be (see May 3, 2002 Scribes), including everyone's favorite fork from Conker. Of course he's been upgraded, and as the hero must have a few more attacks than just the arse-poke.
     Hopefully that will get me a response. Now for the questions:
     Uno) I've noticed Rare has been quiet for a while. Have you decided to adopt my strategy of "don't announce anything until it's 99% done"? It would save a lot of heartache on your fans' part, because, let's face it, software is never completed on schedule.
     Zwei) If you're recruiting with a target of 250 in mind, how many are you at currently? Ever consider letting people work off-site? My wife can't stand cold.
     San) What do you use Java for? Are you planning another update to the site? Might I suggest some Rare-quality flash games? You could try paying off the person who does www.orisinal.com. He seems to have a lot of talent, though apparently he likes Brisk. Blech.
     Ta ta until next year,


Awww, bless. You're the only person that remembered, and that includes me.
     1) We're being quiet because we're always quiet. If we seem quieter than usual, it's because anything we say at the moment is going to be picked to bits by press and public alike.
     2) Cold? Hey, we've got internal climate control! It even works sometimes! And no, if you want to work at Rare you'll have to come and muck about in Twycross with the rest of us.
     3) Change the site design again? Pfff! You'll be waiting another few years for that, matey...

I WANT TO EAT SOMETHING AND I DONT KNOW HOW!!! PLEASE HELP ME, I NEED TO KNOW HOW TO EAT!!! PLEASE!!!! OR I WILL DIE!! PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! JUST TELL ME HOW TO EAT! also how do you get a note on banjo-kazooie?
aaa aaaaaa

I might as well ignore this one - you must be dead by now.

I am trying to locate a stand up figure of Julia Roberts - Please advise as to where they can be purchased and how much!

Um... a site with some connection to Julia Roberts?

Hi! My name is Najib, I'm a french boy. I would like to say you " You are video game BOSS ! "

Which one? Mizar? Wizpig? K. Rool? Some compliment.

Isn't the m*therf**ker a squirrel? Shouldn't he climb trees? I thought the coolest thing was going to be when I pressed Z to make Conker crawl, and then crawl up a tree, but NOOOooooOOoooo, the f**k's got to walk everywhere! So keep that in mind next time you're making a squirrel who can't climb a f**king tree!

Thanks for your input!!!

You may think it's clever to hide the word 'arse' in ALT-tags in the archives, but it isn't. (It would be much cleverer to hide it in alpha-layers of TIFF images).

Yeah, and I'd probably do that as well if I knew how.

I think that you should use the attached drawring (had to type it like a New Yorkian would say it) as your new logo. It's pretty good eh? I personally like the 2 "eyes" the most. Thanks,

The daring, unconventional 'E' is my favourite bit.