Go on then, tell us what's on your mind...
We might even respond
if... if... if we want to.
Updated when there's nothing better to do!Who's afraid of the handheld 'Wulf?

Two Scribes within the
space of a month? Is that
sensible? Is it even legal?

NOVEMBER 30, 2001

Dear Scribes,

     With its European release looming, I have some Gamecube related questions for you. And also some non-Gamecube related questions, however, none of which mention Arse, Mr. Pants or Perfect Dark 2.
     1) Will you be doing any more Tepid Seats with Gamecube and GBA development teams?
     2) In Donkey Kong Racing will you also be able to ride other animals other than those shown in the opening demo such as walruses/penguins etc. in a snow world or a Triceratops/T-Rex in a Dino World? There is however the obvious problem with Penguins; they melt if you leave them out in the sun.
     3) Will there be an option to turn on and off the tilt function in Diddy Kong Pilot as I don't want to look like a nonce tilting it all the time?
     4) What is a good time for completing Jet Force Gemini? Is just under 9 hours OK? I need to ask you since all of my mates are crap.
     5) In Conkerís BFD, when the Mighty Poo 'flushes' are his lines a parody of the Wicked Witch of the West melting in The Wizard of Oz?
     You say there are no push button codes for Perfect Dark. However I know how to get the Invincibility cheat and this should help all those moroÖ err people who want the push button cheats. You simply press C-up, R+D-down, hold C-up C-Right and press Z, L+D-down, hold L and R, move the analogue stick right and press START. These must all be entered within a quarter of a second of each other, although if you place the controller near a strong magnetic field, such as a speaker, it slows the electron flow and you have about one second to enter each step. It might not always work so lots of attempts are necessary.
     I leave you with some famous words of Ali G. "Give a man a compilation tape and he will dance for a night. Teach a man to scratch and he will be dancing for generations."

1) Yes. Eventually. Probably.
     2) Hear this: "We are most definitely, certainly, 100% guaranteed to not include even the faintest whiff of bloody dinosaurs in this game. As for the melting thing... perhaps we should include rideable Minstrels to avoid such chocolatey disasters."
     3) As far as I know, there always has been...
     4) That must make me crap as well, because I haven't got a clue.
     5) If you consider 'using some of the same words' a 'parody', I suppose so.
     Disclaimer: Rare cannot be held responsible for idiots, spivs and arsewits knackering their N64s/controllers/PD cartridges by attempting any stupid, obviously made-up and potentially damaging methods of attaining the mythical PD button codes. It's sad that I even think this disclaimer is necessary, but we've already had a few people filling in the merchandise suggestion form then writing again a few days later, demanding to know why they haven't 'received' their 'order'.

Dear All-knowing Scribes,

      I've been an avid Rareware fan since the beginning. Well...almost the beginning. I didn't quite get in on the Ultimate games for the Speccy, however I've had a Nintendo since the days of Captain Skyhawk (one of my favs) and before. You must answer me these questions three.
     1) Was Robin Beanland composing music for Rare in the 8-bit days? If so, what games? I'm a long time fan of his work as well. He kicks arse. Having already asked my second question here is the third.
     3) I noticed one day that Orchid from KI bears a startling resemblance to Bjork. Yes, Bjork the singer. Then I realized another connection between the two. B. Orchid rolls off the tongue a lot like Bjork... Now it may just be me, but can you confirm whether or not the artists had Bjork in mind when creating Orchid?
     Almost as dark as you

Ah, more numbers...
     1/2) Nope, Killer Instinct was the venerable Mr. B's first game at Rare.
     3) Oh, stop it. Orchid looks nothing like Björk, though it's commonly accepted that Björk looks like a piglet.
     According to KI's designer: "No resemblance. We wanted to call the character just Orchid, but this was trademarked. We then named her after a nightclub we used to go to - the Black Orchid. Sad but true."

Dear Scribes,

     I wasn't going to bother sending a message, because my messages never get answered. But I thought Iíd try anyway, because Iím still clenching on a small trace hope. I have a few things to ask, so Iíll cut the chit chat and get straight to it:
     1. StarFox Adventures looks excellent, but I was wondering about the game play. Now I know that it has elements of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, but on one of the screen shots (an in game shot), there's a few items displayed at the top of the screen, which gives me the impression the game has more RPG elements than I originally thought. Are they for powering the transformable staff, or purely items you use to unlock things, or something else?
     2. Also about StarFox Adventures, when using the transformable staff and... well... transforming into other creatures (or whatever). How is the different form used, in combat situations, or solving puzzles, platforming sections, or all sorts of different tasks.
     3. This is about the issue of game length, games in general are getting shorter. Sony is even starting to ask companies developing for PS2 to make their games shorter and try to make better graphics. I like long games, and normally when Iíve completed a game, I feel it wasn't long enough. I don't want games to be made long deliberately, because then they can become repetitive and boring after a while. I was just wondering your take on this, generally your games are quite long (JFG) apart from some, like Conkerís BFD (which is an excellent game, just a little short). Would you put graphics before game length (I realize this may be a difficult question to answer, because there's probably different opinions within the company).
     The last thing I want to say, MAKE A SEQUEL TO JET FORCE GEMINI, it's one of my favorite games, I want a sequel to that game more than any other game.
     P.S. Like the new site layout.

Numbers again? Still, I can fob these off on the SFA design team:
     1) "Yes, the game does have RPG elements. However, Fox, being the all-action hero he is, does tend to get himself in more scrapes than your average game character. He uses his various skills to great effect, whether RPGing it with the best of them, or tearing around in his Arwing."
     2) "The StarFox Adventures team thought the Sharpclaw was such a good-looking bloke that it would be a crime not to let the player take control of him. As the game has developed, so have his uses, but we don't want to spoil any surprises until you get to play it yourselves."
     3) "Gameplay is the most important factor. Yes, it has to look nice, and with the hardware at our disposal it would be rude if it looked anything but great. As for length... mmm... it really isn't that important, it's what you do with it that counts. If a game keeps suprising you with enjoyable gameplay from beginning to end then the developers have done their job."

Dear Scribes,

     Hello there. How's Betsy? Good to hear. Anyway, I've got a few random questions that have really been bothering me. If you can answer them to the best of your ability, that's great! So alright, answer me this:
     1) How nice that the woman in a bikini from Conker's Bad Fur Day is on the Download section. And I thank you for that ;) But anyway, I have noticed that she, and the woman at the end of Banjo-Kazooie, although they do not look alike, they have the same... well... attributes. Are we being hinted as to what the graphic artists kinda... look for? Tall, blonde women who happen to be, well, you know... large. Heh.
     2) What the heck is up with the "Pooland" song? Every second you hear "thhhp". I know it fits the theme of the world, but what did you do to get those sounds? They seem a little more authentic than someone just going up to a mic and making the sounds from his mouth.
     3) Can you guys release the FULL version Banjo-Tooie theme song? (With the horn-type sound instead of the Kazoo.) I really want it. It sounds way better than the Banjo-Kazooie theme.
     Well, that's all I can think of. I was gonna ask if you watch any soap operas. But I thought I'd ask Rare-based questions. I really hope you answer this (even if you decide not to put it in the Scribes). I'm a fan of all your games. Well, the ones I've played. They're all great! Keep up the good work. You should make a Banjo section called Bearware ;) Anyway, see ya later.
     -The Gold Jinjo

More numbers!!! Terrific.
     1) Oh, they're not fussy. All they ask is that the ladies look like they'd have trouble walking.
     2) Conker muso says: "For the most part they're library SFX except for one that Chris did into the rather expensive German microphone we have."
    3) Erm... probably not, seeing as Mr. Kirkhope hasn't got his N64 dev kit any more. I shall rap the inconsiderate ruffian across the knuckles on your behalf.
     As for soaps, I don't get time to watch any these days, but I vividly remember Tom dropping dead in Home & Away. Poor old Pippa, eh? She was so shocked, she morphed into a completely different woman.

Dear Scribes,

     Guess what today is...? After 3 years of playing Bond, it has finally been done. I have beaten Goldeneye. The break came yesterday when the Caverns and then Control and then the Cradle fell. After a year of not beating any levels, I beat three in one day. I was on fire. Then today I finished all three of the Egyptians. What a great day. It's been my life's work trying to beat that game, there's almost a religion in itself. Granted, I didn't play everyday since I pre-ordered it in 1998, but not more than a month or two would go by without me trying again. It outlasted other games as well, including Perfect Dark (which I beat more easily). Now I never have to play again, I still will though... Thankyou for such a great game.
     -Dan Cole, Troy, MI

Dear Scribes,
     I have been hacking away at Blast Corps platinum times since March of 1997 and was told "you can stop now" after finishing the game today, September 18 2001. After 3.5 years of attempting the "impossible" I think that I deserve a t-shirt or something for my loyal efforts. If nothing else, at least tell me I did a good job.
     ~Zach Hazen

Lock up your daughters! It's Jack Flash and Lightning Strike!
     Sorry, sorry. Good job. Anyway, I never managed to unlock Egyptian and my Platinum total stands at a proud 0, so feel free to retort with something nice and scathing. Perhaps I should try Mr. Cole's unusual tactic of setting himself on fire before starting a game. How does that work, then? Increased reaction speed or something?

Dear Scribes,

     I recently purchased a copy of Donkey Kong Country for the Game Boy Colour, and for the most part Iím impressed. Your genius programmers have managed (through the black arts, no doubt) to squeeze the original masterpiece into a tiny, portable gem. Now I understand that technological limitations prevented you from transferring every minute detail but you went too damn far with the "Torchlight Trouble" level. The game play experience just wasnít complete without the migraines induced by Squawks' flashlight. In the SNES version, whenever you turned around the screen would turn white for one frame, causing huge amounts of visual discomfort, especially if, like me, you have the habit of playing for days on end without a momentís rest. DKC for GBC is a great game but without this aspect, it feels... unfinished.
     Thanks anyway,
     Mr. Canadian Person
      P.S. Keep this in mind for the angler fish level in DKC 2 (should you ever re-release that).
      P.P.S. Why don't you set up some kind of online store? I want to waste my money on your wonderful promotional products.

Here's your explanation: "Unfortunately, due to technical limitations, and an extensive rider list from his agent, Squawk's part in Donkey Kong Country for Game Boy Color had to be reduced to a cameo appearance at the start of the Torchlight Trouble level. It's a shame that there weren't any angler fish in the first DKC game, because they were all extras."
     See how we started looking into merchandise possibilities just for you? Well, obviously it wasn't just for you, but we don't mind if you want to pretend.

Yo Scribes,

     These are a few things that have always bugged me about Perfect Dark. I'd like to know what's up with them. After you recesitate Elvis he says to Jonathon "You helped me earlier. Thank you." However, he never sees him during Maian SOS, and he can't possibly have seen him before that or after. Also about Jonathon, his last name seems to be Dark. This is confusing - are he and Joanna related? Or is Dark a generic last name for all CI agents? As well Air Force One crash lands on Victoria Island but it is constatly referred to as the Alaskan wilderness. As a Canadian I am offended. We are proud as a nation to have our own barren wilderness, thank you.
     Thanks in advance,
     >0+ Prince Mercury

I don't know why you're thanking us - you must be aware that I'm going to pass this over for the designer to answer in his usual less-than-comprehensive manner. Although this one's quite good by his standards, to be fair.
     "'You helped me earlier. Thank you.' is meant to imply that Elvis and Jonathan have met before - specifically, it was going to be in the Elvis bonus mission at the end where he was running around Area 51 armed only with his large head. Jonathan's apparently vital participation was nixed at the last minute following the realisation that it was, in fact, the last minute. This leaves, however, a fine piece of conspiracy theory type dialogue which serves to illustrate all the more that Joanna knows naaahthink compared to everyone else. So Elvis could have seen him, but didn't.
     "I don't ever actually remember referring to Victoria Island as the Alaskan wilderness, but if I did, well, that's because Canada gives it to Alaska in the future because Canada's nice like that, and hey! They didn't really need it anyway. It's a parallel world, a different future timeline, a fictional creation, and you're complaining that it's not like the world you know? Pshaw.
     "Not convinced by that clumsy explanation? Well, I should... hey, what's that over there? [ducks behind a handy desk]"
     Also, it's 'resuscitate'. And 'Jonathan'. Tsk.

Hello again Rare,

     Well, don't I feel big and clever, I've started off a huge great big debate about StarFox not being called StarFox in our humble land of PAL. Does this mean I've become a "Special-Elite-Member-of-Scribes" then? No, thought not.
     Anyway, I don't really want to add any fuel to the fire but I thought I'd reply to Marc Spectra's (didn't you guys used to make games for him or something? Lucky bloke, sorry, bad joke.) confusion over why it's known as StarWing over here. Surely it's because Fox and Co. fly "ArWings"? Thus making the title have a vague resemblance to the game. Well, I've always thought that - come on, it does make sense.
     Bye for now,
     PS, Did you see Byker Grove's finale today? I won't be able to sleep until I see the conclusion next year (I am a Geordie by the way so I have a special place in my heart for all things Byker Grove - no dissin' it man).
     PPS, StarFox 64 sounds too much like Star Wars? Nah, I don't believe that one, otherwise it wouldn't have been called StarFox in the USA either.
     PPPS, It's so obvious Falco will turn up in SFA:DP so why don't you admit it. Solo project [insert popular Ricky Tomlinson phrase here].

Sorry - looks like the "huge great big debate" has already ended. While it's been confirmed that the copyright on StarFox couldn't be obtained in the UK, there's no solid word on the reasons behind the StarWing/Lylat Wars names. Mind, I'd never actually made the Starwing/Arwing connection before. Guh-huh. I wonder if NOE did at the time...
     Byker Grove? Howay, man - have you 'stotted' your 'heed' recently or something?


     Hello goodly sir, I'm back with more all-too-serious questions for your none-too-serious letters page.
     1. When can we expect to learn more about Kameo? E3 2002 is an awful long time away...
     2. Same as previous question, replace "Kameo" with "Donkey Kong Racing".
     3. I love the Arwing level included in the SpaceWorld and Cube Club demo versions of StarFox Adventures, but it's a tad short. Does the one I played represent a real level from the game, or was it just thrown together to show the flying mechanics?
     4. Why was Diddy Kong Pilot delayed until March? WHYYYYYY???
     5. When are you going to make the trek to E3? I want to see the cosmic singularity explosion-type event that will occur when you and Seanbaby and Brandon DeHart are simultaneously in the same room. Then I can die happy... actually, I'll probably die right then and there.
     Jonathan Metts

1 & 2) E3 2001 was basically a sneak peek at some of Rare's big projects for the next couple of years, just to reassure everyone that we're hard at work on next-gen stuff. Following that, most of our upcoming behemoths went back into hiding. So don't expect to see much (if anything) before the next E3...
     3) Team quote: "Thrown together you say? As we speak, three tooled-up gorillas are speeding towards your house in an unmarked car to give you a lesson in banana-related punishment. Seriously though, the level you will have played was an unfinished test version of one of the many ArWing levels in the game."
     4) Well... because it sort of wasn't, y'know... finished.
     5) If I ever do get to E3, I'll try to remember to make your last living moments happy ones by giving DeHart a big lick on the face.

Well how diddly and a jar of mustard to you, sir.

     No, no solvents my friend, just my usual self. As it happens I have a few questions. Original. Certainly not. In the hope of comedy... I doubt it, but, who cares, here they are.
     1. Are you sure there is no monkey in Train on GoldenEye?
     2. Which lazy nubbins did the end sequence for BFD; why the hell make it so 'gay-cheap-American-film' esque?
     3. Do you ever get bits of roast beef stuck in your teeth?
     4. Can we have a JFG sequel? I have never even seen the original, but it seems a requirement now to say the same damn thing to get your letter on this site.
     5. PD push button codes... see above.
     6. Why did you decide to let THQ in on BFD, £60 for God's sake? Surely even a game of that social-life-consuming goodness doesn't deserve a price tag that belongs to Elton John's florist.
     7. I imagine Mr. Editor Blokey to be a fairly stout, short, pot-bellied bloke with stubble. How far off the mark am I?
     Your friend in need,
     Simon Hanzl
     P.S- When I find my sense of humour I may write again.
     P.P.S- Never attempt to open your old N64 game carts. They are a real bitch to put back.
     P.P.P.S- No real reason, but having a PPPS makes it look so much neater. 3 is a nice round number to finish on.

Enough. Numbered. Lists. What did I do wrong? Did I murder someone without realising it? Or what?
     1. Not that we know of, but those Secret Cloaked Traitor Ghost Beta Monkeys are always looking for opportunities to sneak into our games.
     2. Couldn't possibly comment, not being an expert in the field of inexpensive homosexual US porn.
     3. No - I only eat junkfood.
     4. Hard to disagree with your reasoning in the face of current evidence.
     5. But I wouldn't go that far.
     6. Better than no PAL release at all, so stop moaning.
     7. Miles on every count, but still not far enough to goad me into posting a picture to disprove it.

Dear Scribes,

     The old Perfect Dark rumour mill is in full swing and I can't resist writing to you with an awkward question (parp!). Telepathically, I can hear you moan and call out for Duncan Botwood! (Perv. - Ed)
     A sequel to Perfect Dark (N64 and GBC versions) has yet to be officially announced by yourselves, although I am sure you know of all the rumours that are circulating. But Fireworks Entertainment and Goodman Rosen Productions have announced that they have got the TV and Filim rights to Perfect Dark.
     What's the latest on the Goodman Rosen/ Fireworks TV and/or filim projects? Have the Stampers sold the rights? Is a filim/TV programme in production? I am quite excited by the possibility of a filim and/or TV programme.
     Tell all! Or is the project strictly still private and confidential? I am dying to know more. Can you say more or have you been forced to take a Rareware vow of silence?
     Mark Quested
     P.S. What does RPA mean? Call me stupid, but I have no idea. The only thing I can think of is "really poor attachment", and you will be pleased to hear that I have not included any; I thought that reading this email would be painful enough!

I don't think we're expecting to be heavily consulted, if you know what I mean. Think the DKC animated series.
     Designer Boy says: "TV project - 'your guess' is literally 'as good as ours'. Taking a vow of silence would mean we couldn't swear at people."
     PS Rubbish Picture Attachment. It's been too long since we heard from anyone innocent enough not to know that...

Dear Scribes,

     ok,I have another question dealing wit PD.well why is it you people didn't allow the charachters the ability to jumpbecause that would have helped alot don't you think?And why is ti when your punching your friends don't see you puching and when you have a knife on slash modeyour friends don't see the knife rapidly moving or when you're throwin tha knife your charachter doesn't make any movement resembling the knife leaving the hand when your friends are looking.And why is it that the computer charachters can do martial arts on Co-op or single but you can't on multi,now thats not fare.And one more,whay can't your friend can't see you relodeing,now that would be tight.Besides that the games real tight.and I appolagize about that mail I sent you,cuz I got p*ssed when you put me on that snippets thing.
     from Chris

In spite of... everything, you've actually got a proper answer from the team. If you can't think of a suitable way to demonstrate your gratitude, may I suggest that you never write to us again?
     "Jumping - There was no need for a jump button. There was no room for a jump button. Jumping would not have added to the game at all; in first-person shooting games where the main character can jump it seems that:
     "a) designers include gratuitous jumping sections in the backgrounds to provide a break from the shooting action;
     "b) the jump button is mainly used in situations where the character ought to climb, were it real life;
     "c) no-one has yet realised that jumping in a first-person view is hugely uncomfortable - it involves a large amount of faith, and if you don't have a quicksave/quickload button in a PC stylee, then you're buggered.
     "Punching, Slashing, Throwing, Martial Arts, Reloading - there is a limited amount of memory on the N64 with which to run a multiplayer game. There wasn't enough space for the animations required, and so they were left out.
     "Other people like to celebrate getting in Snippets too, perhaps getting tight and p*ssed, no need to appolagize, that's fare enough, etc."

Dear Scribes,

     I can't believe Captain Skyhawk did so poorly! That game was incredible! It blew my mind that one game could include so many varied elements but still tie them together logically. I can still hear some of the annoying (-ly charming) sound effects in my head. Docking with the space station, though, I hated that... it was always either really easy or stupidly tough depending on my coordination that day...
     Still, I know for a fact that in the USA, we had TV commercials for Captain Skyhawk, which was still relatively rare back in the day, so it surprises me even more that it did so poorly. Anyway, I just wanted to be the fourth person to write in about the game (but hopefully the number's higher than that now), because rest assured, that little game found a great deal of love in at least one household.
     - T Reiley

Ah, bless. But we're still on four people, I'm afraid. Feel free to construct a massive, comprehensive Captain Skyhawk fansite - you could amuse yourself by sending in furious demands for a GameCube remake every couple of days! What a lovely thought.
     Stupidly tough space station docking... now there's something to trigger those Elite flashbacks. And was there really TV advertising for games way back in the Dark Ages of the late 80s?

     Oy, continually arse muttering, lazy, hangovered bams at Scribes, 'tis me again...
     I was originally going to write to you about the turgid state of affairs the world is in at the moment but then I was playing Diddy Kong Racing at a friend's house and realised something that could change my life.
     It was the first time I had played the game in about a year because previously after completing Adventure 1 and 2 I sold DKR for about £4 at the local shop, CA Games back in the days I owned the game.
     Anyway, I'd forgotten the music in the game was so bloody fantastic! Every track has a superb catchy tune to it that burrows its way into your head like a bullet from an RCP-120.
     So all I ask is that you make some DKR MP3s... and you make them now! If you don't I will lose all faith in you and never rush out to buy one of your titles again so there!
     Stuart Gillies, Glasgow
     PS What concoction of narcotics were you on when you created Taj, he is the most arsebrained character I have ever come across. Remove him from Donkey Kong Racing or whatever it'll be called or I'll end up chopping off my fingers with a kitchen knife and washing my hands in vinegar, you have been warned.

What is a 'bam'? Pray tell. I must not remain ignorant to regional slang.
     Despite your deeply upsetting comments about Taj and thoughtless, penny-pinching abandonment of your own personal copy of the game, I've pestered the musician to come up with a nice selection of DKR MP3s for haphazard distribution across the site. However, there's still the rest of the JFG and Conker stash to clear out before we dig into any other games, so you'll have to wait a bit. All in good time, my boy.

Dear Scribes,

     Why is it that Taj the Genie refers to every character as 'Freddy'? He distinctly says "FREDDY! Hello there - this is for you." Does he have an identity crisis? Perhaps a disturbing experience as a child involving Freddy Kreuger movies?
     Thanking you for your kind assistance,
     Aussie Ben

What is this, Random Taj Accusation Week?
     Nevertheless, I've spent precious time and effort negotiating a deal with my ex-DKR team contacts for a final answer on this controversial issue, and here it is:
     "What is this fool talking about?"

Dear Scribes,

     I'm certainly not holding my breath waiting for a sequel to Snake Rattle 'n' Roll (a true sequel, not a standard side-scroller like Sneaky Snakes), but considering that it's easily one of my favorite NES games ever, I'd like to know whether you (meaning Rare in general; I'm not sure whether you were even working at Rare at the time this game was made) had ever considered making another version of Snake Rattle 'n' Roll.
     And I'm taking a wild guess here, but is the Blast Corps/Jet Force Gemini team the one working on Kameo? I'm guessing they are, if for no other reason than because of the size of Kameo's breasts. I'm not really a fan of overly-large breasts, but Vela's had a nice jiggle to them, so if it's the same animator working on Kameo's, then I feel they're in good hands. And any imagery of a pair of hands cupping Kameo's large, jiggly breasts is a product of your sex-obsessed mind, not mine. Or maybe both, but not mine exclusively, at any rate.
     Josh Townzen

More breast letters? Sigh. No, the Kameo team consists more of DK64 veterans than grizzled Jet Force squaddies. Popular misconception: the JFG team wasn't identical to the Blast Corps team. It just had a few of the same people (including the designer), along with quite a few drafted in from DKR and elsewhere. People invariably move around between (and during) projects.
     As for a Snake Rattle 'n' Roll revival, you can take your standard response of "we might do, maybe, at some point" and be happy with it, you scamp.

Mr/Mrs Wonderful Editor of Scribes,

     Thank you for posting my letter, even if you did think that the text was so obviously fake. Hey, I was using MSPAINT! And it certainly wasn't as bad as Robopants. But... I did get this shot of the process of getting the brief-wearing survey man as a playable character in BK! All you need to do is this. Go to my house. Then when you go to Boggy's house, you'll see my picture here! Boggy will tell you that he saw Mr Pants and you can play as Mr Pants!
     I also have an important question. How did Mr Pants come to be, and how did he become so popular? I thought it began with the Games Factory game, but it didn't... so...
     And a note for those who hate the new look. How many games munufacturers' websites let you write to them? How many have amazing witty responses? Even though most is awful pictures, they still go on! That's rare quality from Rareware - THE PEOPLE THAT CARE!
     Thanks again!
     Nabnuts, Click Clock Wood, Grunty's Lair, N. Ireland

My God, that picture's even worse. No wonder Boggy's got his head in his hands. What's happened to the RPAs lately? How come people have stopped sending them in? I don't want to be seen as taking a pro-RPA stance by any means, but if this is what we have to put up with when people lose interest... then by all means, let's rekindle that joyous spark of rubbishness.
     And for the umpteenth time, Mr. Pants sprung into grisly life when I couldn't get an actual artist to render me a nice picture of a popular Rare character in a pose relevant to the Survey page, so I did one myself. Things spiralled hideously out of control from that point on. Perhaps more than you know...

Dear Blimey,

     First off, let me state I am a British-man. Boy do I love watching Rowan Atkinson on the telley. O! those damn Yanks and their bloody "elevators" and "flashlights"... I hope this proves my British nature, which will allow me to continue with my query.
     1. Give me the push button codes for Perfect Dark. Since I am one of your fellow countrymen after all, I'm sure you don't care if I know about them...
     2. While you're at it, I demand the beta version of Goldeneye.
     3. And finally, I'm not British, you crab-limbed oaf! I fooled your arse big time on this one, and I will be quite delighted after I receive these fine products...
     Yours not-so Truly,
     Wallace P. Flannery Jr. Gottfried W. Libenetz and Quincy-Barton Millsflier III
     P.S. I hope you enjoy my RPA as it is a picture of MR. PANTS.
     P.S.S. Fooled you again! There is no attachment to this email! You are quite gullible if I do say so myself, Miester Loveday...

You almost had me there, you trickster. If only you'd kept a lid on the unseemly gloating until you had the answer you wanted...
     No, actually, come to think of it, the answer you got would still have been the same as the one everyone else gets (or at least contained a similar level of stupefied, red-faced swearing).
     PS Oh, fantastic!
     PPS Damn you.

Dear Scribes,

     Why have the designers at Rare decided to set the handheld Banjo game in an "alternate reality" rather than continue the existing story? It seems that with all the effort it takes to create a game, it is such a waste to not have the game set in the same world. Do the designers have a solid reason for making this decision?

Of course they do! Well, they might. I'll ask.
     "Yes we do. It opens up new avenues for us to makes things more interesting for people who have played the Banjo games before, while not excluding people with a Game Boy Advance (who may not have had the pleasure of playing the previous Banjo titles on the N64, and wouldn't know the story behind the games)."
     Consider yourself told, boy.

Dear rancid, sticky, purple, mite-ridden, fungus-pinching, bed-wetting, armpit-sniffing, drywall-chewing, sewage-spewing maggots who lick spark plugs and glue cheese to their eyeballs (AKA Scribes),

      B-K: GR! B-K: GR! Yay for Rare! I love you! I love Banjo-Kazooie! I love Banjo-Tooie! I will love Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge! I will buy it the day it comes out! Nay, the very second it arrives at Target! All right, enough of the Rare-worship. Thank you for making B-K: GR. Looks very cool.
     A few quick SFA questions for ya.
     1) What do you call that giant insect-y dinosaur thing with four legs, two arms and six claws on its head in the movie?
     2) How will the dialog be? The original concept was, as I recall, that the characters would speak and you would hold down R to see the text. Will that stay the same?
     3) we amerikuns is not sutpid??///??/??
     4) What is the green dino talking about when it says to the wimpy little bird, "For the last time, surrender your fortress!"? Any bird that small could never build a decent fortress.
     I hope you will be able to deliver your usual witty, vague replies to my tiresome questions. If not, I will personally come to Twycross and smack you soundly with a large wet fish. Thank you for your time.
     - Quill, ruler of the porcupine planet Foopulania. Formerly known as the Unconquerable Foop
     PS: Please make a game called Ninja Porcupines 2000: Revenge of the Squids of Death. We would really appreciate it.
     PPS: KI Advance: think of the possibilities!
     PPPS: Mr. Pants is cool! 3-D RPAs rock! I sent one with my letter. What do you think?

I think we should move hastily on to getting the designers' answers to your questions (even if they did come in the form of a Numbered List). You may also wish to forget what I said earlier about sending in more RPAs. I've changed my mind.
     1) "Christened Nigel, he soon changed his name to Garganchua, The Death Bringer, thinking it more fitting of his size."
     2) "Our R 'n' D department have sweated blood developing a new system that will actually allow the player to hear the characters' voices inside their heads. This feature of course may not make it to the final product. Alternatively: Yes, the characters will still speak, although subtitles will be available."
     3) "There are always exceptions to the rule."
     4) "The wimpy little bird that you refer to is the Queen of the tribe, and I mean that in the Royal sense. See, us Brits have a long-standing history involving what we refer to as a 'Monarchy'... try to keep up...
     "Any true 'Monarch' will not dirty their hands with menial tasks that can be subsequently handed down to their people or 'peasants' such as building large fortresses. In keeping with tradition, our 'wimpy little bird' decreed that a fortress should be built. A fortress so strong that it would withstand attacks from the unfortunate, ugly, smelly inhabitants of the Planet Foopulania. That's history that is..."

Dear Scribes,

     You may remember me from the last Scribes, specifically the Survival Mode letter. Well, after reading your reply I felt it necessary to write again.
     As irrational argument protocol dictates, I shall now enter Phase II by getting all pedantic about the minutiae of semantics in your reply;
     Regarding your quit-after-one-death method, you claim that it "sounds like a cobbled together survival mode to me, and I never claimed it would be anything else." Excuse me, but what you claimed was that "you can cobble one together from the options." FROM THE OPTIONS. I hardly think counting how many times you've died and then quitting in accordance counts as use of the options. Why didn't you just put no limits in and let people count the time and kills themselves?
     And as for your closing comments, well, I expect that kind of language from Uncle Tusk, but frankly, I'm disappointed in you.
     Kind regards,
     Paul 'me again' Taylor

Actually, that particular response was the highlight of the last edition of Scribes, if the appreciative mail we've been getting is anything to go by. Don't blame me for Botwood's filthy temper.
     I'll let him explain it in his own words: "It was cobbled together. From the options. I did it myself to test it. It worked. Pis-" Er, have to stop you there, old boy.

Dear Scribes,
     Hey, this one's for Paul 'IQ 164' Taylor, from the November Scribes. Who do you think you're kidding? You should know that Rare always finds a way to mould a reasonable explanation for any stupid question, and in this case they were right the first time when they said you can form a survival mode. You really proved yourself to be the idiot there. The only reason I'm bothering to write this is because I use up most of my time forming Perfect Dark setups, and strangely the one in the Rareware response requires you to stop/start the game every time. So, I decided to go out and help the needy by creating this one, originally called 'survival mode'.

     Survival Mode
     Type: Combat
     Level: Any, Fortress and Complex work well
     Weapons: Any, but powerful ones make your dodging stories more credible
     Simulants: 8 HardSims or higher
     Limits: 10 minutes, or none
     Variations: All simulants on same team against you

     If you want to have a 10 minute limit, keep a record of how many times you died, and then try and get a lower score, see? If you think your IQ can handle it, try it without radar, or maybe even fast motion. There, that wasn't so hard, was it?
Brok (aka Mr. Boring... or was it Mr. Dull? meh)

I don't know, everyone's got their own ideas of what a Survival Mode actually entails. Before all this kicked off, I would have assumed it to be a sort of infinite-enemies-attacking-you-until-you-die type thing, but what do I know? Come on kids, send them in! RMIs (Rubbish Mode Interpretations): they're the new RPAs.

Dear Mister Updater of Scribes,
     Last time you gave us two big renderings: One of a Tedi and the other one was a Combat Squirrel. Could you please release big piccys of Berri and all sorts of Joannas? There are so many renderings of Joanna, but most of them are very small. Please give us big things to play with.
     Thanks for putting that in,


Thanks for putting what in? The crude innuendo? Always a pleasure.
     I've stuck at least one Large Joanna into Scribes by request in the past, but here's another one anyway. Oh, and here's the only picture of Berri that I can find. Will that do you? Will it? Eh? Are you happy now? Dirty boy.

You work in Warks eh? If Harts is near Hants, is Warks near, ahem, Wa*ks?

Just imagine the house prices in Wa*kshire.

Do you ever think that some day, you may just crack? One day, you'll just sit up from the daily toil, grab all the office supplies within reach, and run far far away. You future income would be from selling Rare office supply bundles on ebay.
-Schroe, needing more sleep and less late night enlightenment

I'm afraid I'd starve before resorting to eBay...

What do you feed your game creators? Some sort of brain empowering super drug or poridige?
Daniel "SyKo" Garrett

It's the poridige. You've got us. Sorry, poridige-haters.

Rare should make an adult game about that sexy, hot, busty, banana loving girl Candy Kong. She is so sexy I would just live to lick her hot luscious body...
Greg Evershed

I had to suffer nine more sentences of this. It got worse.


Er, yes? No? As long as you lovet soo a jop, who cares?

Are you annoyed at my seemingly endless barrage of questions?

Which ones are those? Oh, right - the ones I deleted.

With the idea of merchandise around I would like to say that all those memorable characters for your games better show up in action figure form, such as Elvis from Perfect Dark. Would action figures of game designers be a bad idea?
Some lazy guy who had nothing better to do

Yes - they wouldn't do anything. Ahaha! *gets fired*