Go on then, tell us what's on your mind...
We may even respond from the 'condo' or 'parking lot'.
Updated with shocking irregularity!"Hey Frankie! Tell that <degenerates into stream-of-consciousness swearing>""

Looking for intellectual banter
and keen philosophical dissection?
Get out now while you still can.

OCTOBER 11, 2000

Dear Scribey-wibey-ding-dong,

     First, I apologize for not getting this out sooner, but the trauma combined with my insane recent schedule prohibited it. Regardless, onto the letter: What is up with you guys and floating AI constructs with huge eyes that switch sides to the good guys? Here I am playing PD, merrily wandering through the first few levels, and told I'm to rescue Dr Carroll (Caroll?). Fine, I think, at least it isn't some "Rar" spouting floating big-eyed AI... AAAHHHHHH!!! While I feel Floyd got shafted in the end, all said and done in JFG, why... WHY torture me with another one? I eagerly await BT (probably more than any other game in a long time) but will be disappointed, as well as permanently committed if there is yet another F-BE-AI in there...

Especially if it's got a bloke's voice and a lady's eyes. That's what I always find scariest about him. It. Anyway, at least nobody can say that we made Dr. Caroll arse-shaped.
     Just about everything in Banjo-Tooie has got a big pair of eyes stuck on the top, so I'd tread very carefully there if I were you...

Dear Scribes,

     It didn't take me long to come the conclusion that Perfect Dark is the best shooter I've ever played, but I would like to ask a few questions about it...
     Firstly, I am a bit frustrated by the health system in multiplayer. Unlike in Goldeneye when you had a brief amount of time between losing health, which gave you time to think, Perfect Dark seems to have gone in the opposite direction, when anything more powerful than a pistol can maul a player in less than 2 or 3 seconds. The hard or Perfectsims are masters of this and it can become very frustrating when a sim wipes the floor with you before you can even turn around. This leads to a situation where you haven't got a chance in hell unless you have the most powerful gun available and a shield, a bit like Turok really. I am aware that you can increase a player's health, but as you cannot do the same with simulants, this makes deathmatches unfair. Who decided to change the health format?
     2. Is there any plan to produce a sequel to Perfect Dark?
     3. I have completed all the guns in the firing range on gold and am still missing two classic guns. Do I have to find more guns in the one player game first?
     Adam, Leeds

Ah, joy. An opening for our designer friend already. Just as well he's so easy to bribe into spilling the answers.
     "1. The Hard and Perfect sims are designed to be difficult, and the Darksims are designed to be downright unfair. (Er... are you sure you want to say that? - Ed) They are stronger than you and faster than you, so obviously the tactics required to beat them are going to involve negating or bypassing their advantages. This does not necessarily involve big guns and shields... one of the most effective guns is a pistol.
     "As far as the Carrington Institute is concerned, this serves to educate agents in what to do when the odds are heavily against them. Few agents pass this test. Joanna is one of the successful agents.
     "2. I'm sure someone in the world must have a plan. We've had several by e-mail already.
     "3. You may also have to complete the multiplayer challenges (only one star is required in each) to unlock all of the weapons; without knowing how much of the game you have completed I can't really help as much as I'd like to."

Dear Scribes,

     Last year there was a children's contest to design a new toy at amazon.com. The winner can be seen in the following link:
     features/toy-quest/home.html (No longer active - Ed)
     Good for the winner, I say. Unfortunately, my dirty mind related this name to the survey taker we all know so well and it got me thinking: with all of Mr. Pants' naked rendezvous with the rather loose Mrs. Pie, could he too be referred to as Mr. "Itchy" Pants? I think the answer is clearly yes.
     I must admit that while I am happy for the young girl who came up with the doll, I find the toy for children disturbing and I believe the judges awarding it the top prize can claim their choice is earnest, all the while I know they must be laughing their heads off (as am I).

I'd even go so far as to say that 11-year-old Nadia Smith is also laughing her head off. I mean, look at some of those quotes: "Oh no! Here come some ants." "Hey, do you think you could help me out?" "Yeah, that's it!" What does he want us to do? Stick our hands down his pants?
     What's most scary of all is that Mr. Itchy Pants is now going to be made into a genuine shop shelf toy, which leads me to suspect that the judges didn't really think this through far enough before deciding to have a laugh with the winners. Mind, I'm just jealous because I didn't enter.

Meaningless, senseless, arseless Scribes,

      While playing Perfect Dark (the N64 version) on a lovely afternoon under the shade of a tree, I strolled around the Carrington Institute. All of the employees were doing what they usually did, saying what they usually said, standing where they usally stood, etc. However, when I calmly walked into Grimshaw's office (and after running in circles around him) he got steamed and said, "F*ck off or I'll clear your security clearance." Yes, I know that the game is rated M, but I had my Language Filter on at the time. I was appalled. And I was even more appalled when he pulled out a DY357-LX and popped me in the head. Can you tell me why this happened?
     Dinosaur Planet is on its way, and I know it's going to be eye candy. But my question is: how fast will the framerate be? Will it be Jet Force material, or will it be like BK's ever-so-gentle graphics? One thing that I've always admired Rare for was your graphics - but sometimes it appears that you have to sacrifice smooth gameplay for detailed environments. I'd also like to know how the idea for a prehistoric setting arose.
     And what about these Gameshark goons? Do you ever get tempted to throttle them by the neck and shove the ice key down their throats? And is Gameshark approved by Nintendo? You wouldn't think that a cheating and glitch device would ever be accepted by the video gaming industry.
     I've pretty much given up all hope in a Jet Force Gemini and Perfect Dark soundtrack CD. Nintendo clearly doesn't see musical genius at work here. I am convinced that Rare has the best music crew to ever hit a video game console. Keep up the terrific tunes!
     P.S. If I had included a Rubbish Picture Attachment, what would have been the chances of Scribage postage? What about a Rubbish Music Attachment?
     P.P.S. Never mind. I probably shouldn't say it; I think I'll quit while I'm ahead.

We'd probably try to sneak some comedy random swearing along those lines into all our games if we thought we'd ever get away with it. Not likely, though: the testing departments at NOA, NOE and NCL tend to find things we didn't even know were there. Well, that's what we tell them, anyway.
     Dinosaur Planet isn't prehistoric, man, it's just set on a different planet where there are still dinosaurs. Do you see? Impossible to tell how the framerate will turn out, it's one of those things that's tweaked right up until the last minute of development...
     I'm reliably informed that Nintendo are beavering away on a Perfect Dark soundtrack CD as we speak, though whether it's for selling through the Nintendo Power catalogue, sending out to subscribers or simply taunting you with from afar, I have no idea.

Dear Scribes,

     Since my last letter didn't get printed, I thought I might have went a little overboard (a RPA of Mr. Pants 64 and too many arseisms) so now I'll be serious. When you answered the question about Ghost in the Shell and Perfect Dark, it seems like someone at Rare is very knowlegeable about the anime. Is it you, or one of your co-workers, perhaps? Or did you take what little free time you had and did your homework about it so you sounded impressive? What is your favorite anime (if you have one)? I was trying to think of a cool witty way to put arse in this letter, but I guess I lack that skill. (Should I be sad or rejoicing?)
     Thanks for your time,
     PS: If pants are underwear and trousers are pants, then what are trousers called in England? Isn't it overalls? Maybe not. America: Making the English language more confusing than necessary since 1776.

Not my doing, guv. I'm not averse to a bit of anime, but I fell asleep half an hour into Ghost in the Shell so that detailed response can be safely attributed to our PD designer chum. He says this:
     "If you call 'being knowledgeable', 'watching the film a couple of times and remembering what went on' then yes, there are people here who fit the bill. It's actually quite hard to find creative people here who don't at least acknowledge the genre. All time favourite anime: Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, AKA Battle of the Planets. Sing the theme tune now!! SING IT!!!"
     PS Trousers, you fool.

Dear Scribes,

     Having belatedly purchased Perfect Dark, imagine my joy at hearing Daniel Carrington's bristly burr and learning that the future fate of mankind rests in the hands of that most capable human subspecies: the Scot. How about a prequel called Perfect Scot, detailing young Daniel's adventures as he mows down armies of pasty Britons with specialised weaponry including Caber Launchers, Sniper Bagpipes, Laser Sporrans, and of course, Timed Haggis, Remote Haggis, and Proximity Haggis.
     Donald Dewar

Not to mention, of course, the K-Bomb - a highly classified weapon located within the kilt which can cause temporary blindness when, er, 'triggered'. We'll be sure to suggest all this to the man who is The Voice Of Daniel Carrington, because I'm sure he'll never tire of the sporran and caber references as long as he lives.

Dearest Scribes,

     I was just wondering; would it be funnier if Tripedox were out there somewhere, having a smashing good time playing Perfect Dark, or if he were the only one who wasn't?
     Anyway, you said that the story of Mr. Pants and Mrs. Pie was getting more and more Shakespearean as time went on. Shakespeare was quite a character, wasn't he? I wish Shakespeare had written a play about them...
     ...except then, of course, they either would have ended up dead, which would cause me great grief, or married, which would make me quite nauseous. Well, I suppose we can't have everything. Perhaps Shakespeare was never meant to wander the marble halls of Rare...
     Sincerely yours,
     Eggnog Joe (defender of truth, friend to children, etc.)

I bet Tripedox is having an absolutely spiffing time playing PD - even more so if he's wearing the pastel pink My Little Pony tutu and ballet shoes he got for his birthday.
     Part of the tragedy of Mr. Pants and Mrs. Pie is that they can't get married, at least not until that brute Mr. Pie finds out what's going on and demands a divorce. But that, along with basically every other aspect of the Pants mythos, is something I never intended to even contemplate. When will you people let it go? Eh?

Dear Scribes,

     I just got a recent wave of nostalgia for classic Rare games, so I fished up as much info as I could on Snake, Rattle 'n' Roll. And let me tell you, I REALLY wish that you guys had made a SNES version (or even better, a GBC version)! I can remember clearly what the game was like to play, and I think that with an expanded world (and hopefully at least a password option), it would make a great N64 game! Mainly, what I'm trying to say is this: I'm asking if there are any plans whatsoever for an upcoming SRNR game, on any system. And if there aren't any plans, I'm encouraging you to give it some thought. I mean, as a previous owner of the NES and that very game, I have to say I give it a rating of 9.5 out of 10! The graphics are superb, the play control is very well fitted, it's a large, challenging, and most importantly hysterical game! I honestly didn't think that the old 8-bit NES system could do so well with the graphics, and the sound was a miracle too! The only reason I didn't give it full 10/10 rating was because there weren't any save options at all. But I think that the N64 would be perfect for game--Just take a look at the graphics of Harvest Moon 64 for a perfect example of the sort of scale you could make. But, the bottom line is this--as a loyal fan of Rare games, I'd be willing to grovel if you would come out with some sort of new SRNR game. (Heck, maybe the upcoming Game Boy Advance would be a suitable system for a sequel!)
     David Jasinski
     P.S. When I finish the game, it says
     Hippety hip,
     Hippety hop
     Rattle 'n' Roll are at the top.
     See you soon
     Now, does that mean that you made a sequel called "Snakes in Space," or what?

There was a sort of Game Boy conversion (Sneaky Snakes), as well as a version on the Mega Drive (Genesis to you American types). But although Snakes in Space was the planned NES sequel, hinted at during the finale of the original in a Banjo stylee, apparently the game never really sold well enough to warrant development on number two and so we went off to muck about with the Battletoads franchise instead.
     The resurrection of either of these series is always a possibility in the future, but for now we've got a whole lot more stuff to get on with. Don't worry, we'll keep you informed (as opposed to developing and releasing a new game without mentioning it to anyone, which far too many people seem to think is our preferred marketing strategy).

     I have sunk quite a bit of money into Rare games on the Nintendo 64. They are beautiful to look at and very polished, but I have a big gripe with Rare. Your games are much too hard. I am currently playing Jet Force Gemini and have come up against the two insectoid bosses with Lupus. I have spent at least 5 hours trying to get past them and I can't. I am no longer willing to invest any more time in the game even if there is great gameplay further on ahead. I have other games to play, and many other activities to use my spare time on. However it's annoying that I have been denied closure on this game. JFG brought this issue finally to a head as this is not the first Rare game that this has happened on.
     I am over thirty, and an avid game player since my early teens. I manage to complete many games but frequently not yours, I had spent over six hours on the final confrontation with the witch in Banjo Kazooie. I just couldn't win, if I couldn't do it in six, would another six make any difference? I was no longer interested enough to find out and gave up for good. I felt as a result I had thrown away the previous 50 hours of gaming I had put into Banjo. You are denying me the cherry on the cake, demanding too much work to go the last mile.
     I also had managed to complete GoldenEye on easy but after coming very close to giving up on the "Protecting Natalya" on easy level I had no further desire to play it at a more challenging level. Contrary to what some people might say when this happens I think that is a failure on Rare's part, not mine...
     David O'Connell

...and so on, and so on (for several pages).
     "Denied closure"? "Demanding too much work"? It's our fault because you've reached the limit of your skills? I'd say that's a very poor line of argument in anyone's books... what do you think, people? Does Des here have a point? For now, I'll leave the last word to your friendly neighbourhood GoldenEye designer:
     "The lack of a challenge is the most offensive thing you could find in a game. If you have reached your level of competence there are two options left to you. You can cheat. Or you can put the controller down, come back a little later with a fresh outlook, and try something different."

Dear Scribes,

     Please do not think I dislike these games because of this (which by the way I don't, these are possibly the best titles around and still coming) little complaint... but... I thought the inside of Clanker was a little nasty, I know it was supposed to be rust (I think) but still it was nasty looking. And now in Banjo-Tooie screen shots I see pictures of Banjo running inside someone's insides or something. I wish you could leave out these things. It really bugs me.
     P.S. The games still rock besides these things.

Wait until you find out what you've got to do in there. Arf arf. Anyway, come on, any 3D jobbie worth its salt these days has to have a stage set inside some freakishly oversized creature or another - it's all the rage. The giant worm thing on Eschebone in JFG, Jabu Jabu's Belly in Zelda, the big fish in DK64...

Dear Scribes,

     Here is the box art and first screenshot for the next game starring Mr. Pants - it's called Mr. Pants' Bad Pie Day and the story goes something like: Mr. Pie sent over a poisoned pie to Mr. Pants and made it look like a present from Mrs. Pie. The pie luckily didn't kill the resilient Mr. Pants, but in the time he was sick, Mr. Pie in all his anger took his wife to a secret hiding place. Mr. Pants knows he has to get his mistress back, so he goes in search of her. On the journey, while Mr. Pie was taking Mrs. Pie away, she was able to leave a trail of steaming hot pies as a path for Mr. Pants to follow. Mr. Pants must find all the pies spread across 9 landscapes, then defeat Mr. Pie in a final battle to win one for adultery.
     That's a deeper story than any Rare platformer to date I think.
     Tom, Director, Mr. Pants' Bad Pie Day

Rrrraoww! Put those claws away, tiger.
     Would Mr. Pants' Bad Pie Day be stuffed with the same amount of foul language and bloodshed as its rodent counterpart? I'm not too sure that would work out - it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up just listening to Mr. Pie's growls of "Blast" in Mr. Pants 2000.

Hello there Rare, my good fellow Englishmen,

     What's it like up in the Midlands right now? The weather I mean.
     Enough of that, I am writing to you about those stupid Americans who keep writing in about Mr. Pants. This is really irritating as they just drool on about Mr. Pants and his friends and relatives, send you Mr. Pants picture attachments and Mr. Pants songs. I mean how sad is this. Okay so most Americans are mad in the head but this is no excuse for their infantile actions. I hope you can do me a favour and lots of other people who want to read about games letters instead of fictional underwear men by not publishing their letters or if you do, put them on a special Mr. Pants letters page so we don't have to suffer. Cheers guys!
     Oliver Rea
     P.S. Out of interest, which do most of you shop at? Tesco's, Sainsburys, Asda or Safeways?...

Funny you should mention the weather, as we had a few stupidly hot weekends in the middle of September... alright, it's not that funny.
     I think you'll find that Scribes basically is the "special Mr. Pants letters page". I can't be held responsible for the toss that people send in, and I certainly can't be arsed splitting Scribes in two when I've barely got time to update Scribes, Tusk and the Forums every couple of months as it is.
     PS Depends which is nearest. Me, I alternate between Sainsbury's and Asda, spurning all loyalty schemes in my chaotic quest for variety.

Dear Scribes,
     Would you be so kind as to answer this stuff? Probably not I know, but please make the effort. Or I'll beat you up.
     1. Any idea what age certificate Conker's BFD is going to get?
     2. Are you going to do another GoldenEye or Perfect Dark thing?
     3. I read in a magazine that the bad guy in Dino Planet is called Ganon. Is this true? If so, where did your imagination go?!
     4. I found, on the web, some music files for Banjo Tooie - one was called 'Weldar' and another was 'Mayahem Temple'. Are these authentic?
     5. For Banjo Tooie is Gruntilda still the villain or have you come up with someone else? How about a psychopathic carrot?
     6. Thanks a lot.
     This stuff is for a fanzine I write, see, so this stuff'll definitely get printed.
     Mike The Freak

1. How many guesses do you want? I mean, really?
     2. 'Thing'? What, a game? If you mean an FPS, I can honestly say I don't know. Which means it's probably not public information yet.
     3. Don't talk rubbish. That wouldn't be so much 'lacking imagination' as 'insisting on being sued'.
     4. Erm, yes. Because they're the ones you can download from our own Banjo-Tooie page.
     5. Gruntilda and her cronies - there were enough psychopathic carrot larks to be had in Spiral Mountain training.
     6. Hey, always a pleasure to ultimately give out very little information.

Dear Friend Citizen Scribe,

     Greetings and salutations to the Rare Ltd. staff, and in particular to you, Leigh Loveday! I have enjoyed Rare's top-notch software for quite some time now (as a matter of fact, I traded in my Playstation for a Nintendo 64 back when Goldeneye first reared its head, and I've never looked back!), and Rareware.com is currently my favourite site on the internet. Rare is, without a solitary doubt, Nintendo's greatest asset in the battle against Sony and Sega.
     Now, onto my question: why so much Sean Williamson-bashing? I think it's unfair and mean to grind the poor lad into the dirt on a daily basis: first of all, he can't be so terribly crap at Goldeneye as he's made out to be by so many, especially being that he's (allegedly, I admit) gotten all of the other codes in the game; secondly, he was, for the most part, more polite than the general tedious sweary bunch you and Tusk accrue messages from; thirdly, he was probably a loyal Rare fan (probably slightly mental in his support, judging that he visited Rare and wrote in in the first place), and it isn't awfully nice of Rare's staffers to smash up their company's loyal fans; fourthly (is that even a word? Fourthly... fourthly...) (Blah blah blah. - Ed)
There, I've defended the poor bugger long enough. Not that I really should have spoken up for the big waster when he didn't have the self-interest to do it for himself, but I digress: you don't care and I'm sick of typing.
     Williamson-defendingly yours,
     Jarvis Warner Harrison III (esq)
     P.S. By the by, that picture of Fulgore in the Killer Instinct Gallery (the one where he's holding Spinal's skull) is quite funny--it looks like he's auditioning for Hamlet (alas poor Yorick, and all that rot)! That would be tremendous; I can see it now...
     Act Five Scene II: Hamlet and Laertes are fencing; Laertes lightly wounds Hamlet. Hamlet, incensed, performs... you guessed it... Ultimate Combo! 10 hits! 57 percent damage. The queen suddenly dies, telling Hamlet with her last breath that she was poisoned. Laertes, fading fast, implicates Claudius. An enraged Hamlet strides towards Claudius. The British ambassador, Jago, arrives, just as Hamlet tears Claudius in half. They fight, and Jago uses cheap long-distance attacks to finish Hamlet off. Hamlet gasps out his parting words to Horatio, just before Fortinbras (played by Tusk) storms the castle with his men, kicks Jago's grotty face off, and conquers Denmark for once and for all.
     Heh heh heh... that would be pretty good... or not. Well, it would be a damned better revision of 'Hamlet' than bloody 'Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead', eh?

Don't blame us for the Williamson thing. It's you lot that keep on writing in and sparking it all off again. Besides, as you say, if he's really that bothered (or indeed still bothering to check the site at all), he'd have spoken up by now. And anyway, at the end of the day it's all in good spirits, Bing, old boy. If he wrote in and asked us to stop, we'd stop. No, really.
     I think you've just alienated about 98.5% of the Scribes readership with your extensive paraphrasing of Mr. Shakespeare, too. Though I have to admit your version would have made all those half-arsed essays on themes of guilt and stuff a fair bit easier (guilt not being such a big issue for the likes of Fulgore and Uncle Tusk, I wouldn't have thought).

Dear Mr. Scribes Sir,

     I would eat up a bunch of webspace with praises for the shooter-of-shooters Perfect Dark until the scroll tab became as thin as a dime, but there are probably plenty more people with nothing better to do who have already filled that position.
     Anyway, I'd like to bring up The Pond Punk. It sure seems like such a big place to have such little significance. But considering there's what looks like a conference table in it, and that the limo is parked just outside, I was just wondering if The Pond Punk was the first intended place to hold the "conspirators' meeting"? This would make an interesting story. Or... it could be stupid and inane. Either way, let's hear it!
     Tim Latshaw (RoboCT@yahoo.com)

My money's on stupid and inane. Let's find out:
     "The 'conference table' is used for certain kinds of 'meeting' between 'businesspersons' and 'clients'. If they have any 'personal business' that arises from their 'meeting', they take their 'concerns' over to one of the other tables, where they can 'work things out' in private. If you catch my drift. So, stupid and inane, then."

Dear Scribes,

     I was looking throught past editions of the 'Tepid Seat' (of which I would enjoy more editions...) and was struck by a comment made by one of the Jet Force Gemini/Blast Corps team members in response to question #9. There was mentioned a glaring omission in the game that was called "Super Secret Bovine Bonus" and was left out of Blast Corps because the artists didn't want to spend all their time drawing cows. Also mentioned in the article was that there was a tribute to this lost treasure somewhere on this website, that to the best of his knowledge, nobody had found yet... I believe that I have found the secret tribute to that legendary Bovine Bonus level.
     After hours of fruitlessly searching the site for some graphical tribute to the great Bovine I noticed something that I and countless others had overlooked. Posted on the Blast Corps page is a list of all the names that had been considered for the title to that great game. I had glanced at these before, but never really read them. I believe that the tribute he made reference to was one of the titles:
     Bull Team
     This was the obvious choice because everybody knows that a Bull is a male cow and there are no (that I've found anyway) other references to cows on your site. The only other title that came remotely close was "The Big One" but that only makes sense if you were referring to a large cow. Now if it had been The Bovine One... but that would have been too obvious.
     Please tell the Jet Force Gemini/Blast Corps team that somebody has found the tribute to the Super Secret Bovine Bonus and is eagerly looking forward to playing it in a sequel (after they make a sequel to the absolutely fantastic Jet Force Gemini). Unless of course I'm completely off the mark and have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about, which is highly likely. Then just tell me to go back to searching the website and I'll eventually turn up something on that Bovine Bonus.

To give you the full credit you deserve, I don't think anyone has been this far off the mark in the history of the world, ever. The biggest drawback in your reasoning is the assumption of some kind of subtlety on my part, which isn't exactly present in spades, as you'll see for yourself if you hit this link (which would have led to a competition page bearing the heading 'Super Secret Bovine Bonus' in big letters. - Ed).
     The original method of finding this little beauty? Why, simply by clicking on the dot between Recent and Affairs in the top banner of the main KI Gold page. No reason. It was either that or sticking an invisible pixel somewhere on the page and adding a link to it. I know, I'm so childish. Sorry.

Dear Leigh beloved,
     I do hate to submit a complaint, but I felt that the severity of the crime justified the pomposity of the letter.
     In JFG - the level where you run along some kind of wide wall (fairly early in the game) against the beautifully coloured evensong backdrop - there is a physical incongruity. Others may have noticed it, too.
     In the sequence where we see Juno's ship descend to a landing pad (a sequence I've watched many times, because I'm a bit crap at this game), the sun is in the background. Quite clearly. And yet the shadow from Juno's ship is directly underneath it as it lands. Unforgivable.
     I've been back through the first level, killing every single Tribal, and if you don't amend your slapdash ways, I'll keep going.
     OK - spanking over. Don't stop producing games because of this email, please. I'd feel awful.
     Still, in every way
     Njoinit (regularly)

It's an alien planet with two suns, but you never see one of them. Even when you look directly overhead. That'll be it. No, hang on: it's not a shadow, it's scorched earth from the landing jets. Or it might just be a big hole. Or Juno's personal caviar supply falling through a rupture in the cargo hold. Oh, go on, damn you - just kill the poxy Tribals, see if I care.

Dear Scribes,

     Huge fan, major inspiration, true masters of your craft, etc.
     The .MP3 music for Conker's Bad Fur Day is clearly beyond anything I've heard previous on the N64. It still sounds clearly synthesized (in trumpet solos, etc.), but seems to have too broad of a instrument selection (string tremolos and plucks, expressive trumpet stabs, large collection of poo noises, etc.).
     It's beautiful work, but it's SO good that it makes me curious since even your most recent music efforts on Banjo Tooie pale (on a technical level). (Well, and a little bit on a melodic level, you and your bloody bouncy xylos! ;))
     So, my question: are you guys actually doing the BFD music the old fashioned sound-chip way (a craft practiced all the way back to my C64 hero Rob Hubbard), or are you composing the music with your big fancy equipment, and then digitizing and compressing the entire finished track and dropping it in a cart?
     Very curious! Thanks!
     Cabel Sasser

After repeated attempts to question a musician and actually remember to write down what he said, I can now assure you that it's all still done the 'old-fashioned way'. To get any kind of interaction with the tunes, you can't just slot them whole into the cartridge - and anyway, there's just a bit more storage space to play around with than there was in the C64 days...
     By the way, I hope you realise that with a name like that you were born to follow in the wake of tinkly instrumentalists like Jan Hammer and Harold Faltermeyer.

Dear Scribes,

     Some people have no imagination. When are you making Banjo-Threeie... blah blah blah...
     Let's face facts, guys. The name's Banjo-Kazoothree. Ok, so that's even worse than Tooie, but still...
     You do realise that I know you are working on Killer Instinct 3. In the past Rare have said that they won't consider a sequel until they think they can make a title that seriously improves on the currently overcrowded market, or something like that. They never denied it, did they? Who's to say that they don't think they can make a title that seriously improves on the currently overcrowded market now? BTW was Jay an AOL user (actually, I'm British and don't get this joke)? He simply must be to display such a high level of intelligence. I mean, when he asked you what your favourite non-Rare N64 game was, he instinctively knew that you'd have trouble understanding what he meant, so he gave you an example, Mario Kart.

     P.S. (Look, I'm sorry) Have you seen that Budweiser advert, where they all scream whazzuuuuuuuup! down the phone. It's brilliant! Please make a game based on this.

We never planned a whole series of Banjo games with humorously numerical titles, you know. Tooie just fit, so we used it. If there was another game to follow, there's no guarantee that it'd have 'three' crowbarred into the name somewhere. And as for the KI3 thing, let me give you a straight answer: if you know we're making it, even though we're not, does that mean that we are anyway? For you to actually know something then it has to be an established fact, yes? So who's to say that your knowledge carries any less weight than our own? Keep at it: you might confuse the laws of existence and will KI3 into being.
     (Contemplates starting rumour about Mario Kart 64 actually being developed by Rare... weighs up potential outcome... hastily scraps idea.)
     PS Okay. Yes. It'll be brilliant, varied and still entirely relevant in the year 2003.

Dear Scribes,

     It's been some 15 months after you have wished me to undertake the search of American slang. While I do uphold the fact that there really isn't any amazing and interesting slang, there is one word that does stand out. This word is "like". It has so many meanings and uses that it just boggles the mind. I mean, like, it's really, like, an interesting word. It's, like, always used and, like, everyone I know, like, uses it. "Y'know" is also used to complement it, 'cause it's, like, y'know, another word. If you think I'm embellishing this, you have obviously never heard it unleashed in a shopping mall located in the middle of an American suburb. It's hellish, I tell you. Hellish.
     There are a few things I have questions about:
     1. In my letter last March, 1999 (long ago, eh?), you said "Time's not much of an excuse. You don't see us dissin' around medieval slang, do you?". Well the answer is yes. I looked up the word "arse" when I had too much time on my hands and found the following:
     arse (ärs), n. [ME. ers, ars;...]...
     Now, I thought this was interesting. The ME. stood for something so I looked it up in the beginning of the dictionary and it said: Middle English. Now, Middle English was spoken during the Medieval Ages. So you ARE dissin' around Medieval English, you just don't know it. What do you have to say for yourself?
     2. I have to add a comment regarding the picture of the average American. You see, one of the items on the list was singing the American anthem. It's quite sad to report that about 95% of the American population does not know the anthem past the first four lines. I'd also be quick to point out that the anthem was actually written by an Englishman, Francis Scott Key. I've always said that the anthem SHOULD be "America, the beautiful". At least a larger amount of people know the lyrics.
     3. With the dawn of next-generation consoles nearing there is an important question that comes up. In the beginning of videogame developing, it could take only a few days or weeks (?) to make a decent game. With the NES and the SNES, development time was stretched longer for greater detail and gameplay. When 3D games spawned, development time was easily increased fourfold (I'm talking out of me ass here because I'm just guessing about the length of development time). With these new fancy systems that promise even more detail, larger worlds, longer gameplay, more polygons, increased usage of dynamic lighting, etc., how long do Rare programmers expect to finish a game? Perfect Dark has taken some 3 years to make, I can only dream of how long it will take to program a game with all of these new elements.
     Well, I've taken enough of your time.
     Signed with the utmost sincerity,
     Matt Carvalho

1. I'm sure it was around, like, long before that. They may credit the first recognisable form of 'arse' to Middle English, but I know in my heart that you could have found some big unwashed neanderthal wandering around during the Stone Age muttering "Arrghse" under his breath as he clubbed the nearest brontosaurus to death (and other comedy prehistoric misconceptions).
     2. Yes. Either that or U Can't Touch This by MC Hammer.
     3. As far as I know we're not planning on tripling development times just yet. We'll set out with similar schedules to the N64 offerings and see how it goes from there. No point trying to make estimates like that until you've gone through the process at least once...

Dear Scribes (look, there's no stupid comment),
     I'd like to say that Perfect Dark is incredible and I love it, but I have a few problems with it.
     1. My first problem with PD is that their hands are still block shaped! BT and DK64 don't have block hands, so why do the characters in PD have to have oddly shaped hands?!
     2. I was playing in slow motion with a rocket launcher and I decided to run into the fire after firing my rocket. My question is this: why does Joanna sound like she's being 'pleasured' or is 'pleasuring' herself? Try it. You'll hear her moan and groan, but it doesn't sound like she's in any pain at all.
     3. My next problem is with Daniel Carrington. I walk into his office and I decide to kneel down in front of him (don't ask me why, maybe it's because I'm perverted) and then he says, "I wish you wouldn't do that Joanna. It really worries me." Now this just seem a little TOO realistic for my liking. And then he goes and scratches his arse and then his crotch. Right in front of me! This is hardly the behaviour of the head of a highly advanced spy agency. This leads me to believe that there's something going on between Carrington and Joanna. Something very personal, if you know what I mean. Wink, wink. Maybe this is why Joanna moans and groans when walking into fire.
     If you answer these questions, I would be deeply grateful.

There's far too much opportunity for filth in some of these answers. Better turn them over to the designer before I disgrace myself.
     "1. They could have had really lovely hands but then the rest of their bodies would have been block shaped.
     "2. Cries of pain would only sound like cries of pleasure to a dangerously deluded homicidal maniac.
     "3. He actually says 'Don't do that Joanna; it worries me.' Which of course puts a different complexion on the whole question, and renders your point moot. No, really."

Dear Scribes,

     Ok, a series of pointless questions which make no sense coming right up.
     1. Why do the pictures of Joanna Dark look nothing like the Jo in the game?
     2. I remember someone (Tusk I think) saying that DK Junior is Donkey Kong before he grew up. How come they are both in Mario Tennis then?
     3. How did you come to be working at Rare? You didn't just turn up on their doorstep one day saying you wanted to write manuals, did you?
     Ok, it's a short series but at least it's less annoying.

1. Which pictures? The renders? They were tailored to the real-life model who represented Jo at trade shows and the like, and of course she wasn't hired until well after Jo was actually created, so the differences to the original in-game look couldn't be helped.
     2. Why are you asking me? What if I asked you how a ghost can hold a tennis racket, eh?
     3. Well, sort of. But I did take the precaution of officially applying for a job doing that sort of thing first, which helped.

Dear Scribes,

     Looking at the Banjo-Tooie story, I was quite surprised to see that in the game, Bottles is rather violently killed. This made me think for a moment. Rare seems to be killing good people in their games lately, like Wrinkly Kong and others. Do the people over there just start to feel an intense hatred for some of the characters after a while? Or what? It seems like Wrinkly didn't really die for any reason at all other than that she was old.
     Also, why on earth does Bottles' family live in Jinjo Village? Do you have any idea of what ridiculous rumors THAT will start? I'm really starting to think that Bottles has it really hard.

Sorry to have to break this to you, but people do actually die for no real reason other than being old. Anyway, the mole isn't beyond hope, you know. Witch technology can be a marvellous thing.
     ...And don't expect me to elaborate on your comment about how "hard" Bottles "has it".

Dear Scribes,

     Hey, I got a question about PD for ya. I have been wondering what the fastest possible for each level is. I have been going for record times ever since GE came out. I truly believe that the league that I am with, the PD Elite, has many maxed out times for each level. Although many can be optimized, many times that we got probably passed your standards of the "fastest" time possible. So, if you can, post the fastest times possible for each level for each difficulty. Thanks a lot.
     ~Chris Rayola~

One for the team to oblige you with, I think. Or not.
     "Why do we have to do it when you are? Why shouldn't we preserve the air of mystery? Actually, all of our times are, ooh, say, five seconds faster than all of yours. Really. They are. Except for that mission three time, which is a good three minutes and seventeen seconds faster than yours. Get to it! Slack gits."

Dear... erm, Scribes,
     I think you should all know that Pschnell's letter in the previous Scribes was wrong about Banjo-Tooie's name in Japan. The full Japanese name is "Banjo to Kazooie no Daibouken 2" (Banjo and Kazooie's Great Adventure 2).
     Now, I ask you, where did that guy get "Banjo-Tsugi" from? Does he really live in Japan? What does he know about Japanese gaming? (For that matter, what do any of us know about Japanese gaming)? If he really does live in Japan, he either needs to bone up on his reading skills, or start taking Japanese lessons. I don't know how to speak Japanese, and yet I knew it's real Japanese name, just like I knew that Perfect Dark is going to be called "Red and Black" in Japan...
     uebu saafua san (Mr. Web Surfer)

...Ah, except it's not any more, is it? You'll notice I didn't use bold text for Banjo-Tsugi because I didn't think it was the actual name, but now I'm also forced to turn down your application for membership of the elite Bold Club because this appalling PD slip-up leads me to doubt the integrity of your own sources. Tch. Honestly.

Dear Annoyed, Bored, Tired, Underappreciated, Overworked Scribes Editor:
     First, I'd like to say that the secret to the P key in Mr. Pants 2000 isn't a secret anymore. In level one, Mr Pants's underwear turns pink with one press. In level three, you get a sound effect. "Hello!" In level four, a little arsed-up beetle from the Mario games runs by. And in the credits, the music becomes softer. Second, @llan a.k.a. Bacardiboy does not have a high score. I managed a 134960 and attached an arse picture to prove it. Also, Cussing Snake didn't make a long enough game. Work on it, and it might become a lot better. One level is arse. I can't believe it's so large in size for such a... erm... short game. Yeah, short. Good save...
     Sean (If you couldn't guess from the picture)
     P.S. This letter hasn't got any of that P.S... Oh sh*t.

Please don't start sending in your high scores. Have pity. I'm sure there's someone out there who'd be only too willing to kick off some kind of Mr. Pants 2000 Elite Webring given half the chance.
     Still no sign of Return To Mr. Pants World just yet - we can only trust in C. Snake's dedication to the cause...
     PS That's enough "Look, no PS - whoops missus" gags.

Dear Scribes,

     Yes, it is I, the one and only Mr. Trout. You're probably wondering why I haven't been slaughtering any Mr. Pants lately. Well, I've lost. My empire has crumbled and my loyal fanatics have dispersed. Only I and a few followers remain. So, in my penthouse, I am writing this final message as Mr. Trout. I wish I could have equalled Mr. Pants and his so-called greatness, but the Pants have it! And I wish I could've amounted to more in life... too bad I wasn't real or alive to begin with...
     Mr. Trout
     P.S. Only one last question: Which one's better, the British version of Whose Line Is It Anyway? with Clive Anderson, or the American version with Drew Carey? This has bewildered me since childhood... so, what's the verdict?

Much as I despair of the endless deluded rantings and attachments, it's clear that there is no outclassing the man that is Pants in the popularity stakes. As Sean Connery almost once said: "You cannot die, Mr. Pants... accept it."
     PS Clive Anderson's not funny, but he's still better than Drew Carey. Plus we get all the decent performers from the US version anyway, so my vote goes (with a complete lack of predictability) to the British version. Rest in peace, Fish Boy.

Dear sexy sexy sexy sexy Leigh Loveman,

     Roy Wall was wrong. The hovering crate, because it is essentially massless, would have no inertia. The reason why it would slow down with such inertia is due to air resistance. And what that hanger should have said is that is an essentially "frictionless" crate as well, because it doesn't have to come in contact with the ground.
     P.S. I too, love Mr. Trout.

I know you're only trying to help, but after an opening line like that I can only insist that you never write in again.
     PS Too late - he's dead.

Dear Scribes,

     I am a frequent user on the message boards at GameFAQs, and it turns out that there ARE in fact, push button codes for Perfect Dark. Someone known on the boards as "Laserflame" (iaserflame@aol.com) has hacked the game using a Gameshark to access the codes to get extra teams in the combat sim. Also, somehow he managed to convert the GS code into a pushbutton code. Unfortunately, no one but him knows what they are. Why? Because he has been PAID OFF to keep a lid on things by someone from Rare. You probably know all this, since someone from Rare paid him off. Now, my question. Why pay him off? You waited this long to release codes for Goldeneye, and now no one cares. Plus, the new teams code won't exactly affect the gameplay and replay value such as an invincibility cheat would. Everyone wants the extra teams code, but "Laserflame" has been silenced for FOUR MONTHS. FOUR MONTHS?!?! Why? Why keep it quiet?
     -Adam Stanizewski

You're serious, aren't you? You're really serious... you people never fail to amaze me. Rare says there are no button codes in PD. Some stranger on a message board who doesn't use his real name and can't actually offer any kind of proof says that there are, and you fall over yourselves to believe every word. He's probably laughing himself stupid (well, more stupid) as we speak. I know, let's get the PD designer's take on it - after all, he's probably the one who paid him off in the first place, right? Right?
     "'Unfortunately, no one but him knows what they are. Why?' I'd suggest you ask him. We hereby release him from any vows he has made to Rare, legal or otherwise. Tell the world, Mr. Laserflame. Sing your song to the waiting masses."

Dear whatever your name might happen to be, I really don't know,

     I have been trying for well-nigh 6 months now to defeat that Mizar at the end of Jet Force Gemini, shooting at that thingie on his backside when he turns around, and am at the moment no closer to defeating him ("whooping his arse", one might say, if one were that sort of person) than when I began. I began thinking, "Hmmm...". I thought this several times until I put a thought into words, which went, "Have you tried anything besides the homing missiles, tri-rockets, and machine gun? You do have a rather large arsenal, there, several weapons more than those you've used."
     So I tried some more, and realized, "What weapon is useless in any other situation? What has no other practical usage, and may very well be the answer to your problem?" The answer, of course, is the fish food. Granted, I haven't been able to properly test this theory, as I could not get the fish food to actually connect with Mizar at any point. But I am now on the trail!
     ~ Dibple
     P.S. (as seems to be the fashion): Yes, this letter was rather silly and obviously a joke, but you have to admit, it was entertaining to read*. And isn't that really why all the letters are here? Obviously not more than half dozen make any coherent sense, but they are usually quite fun to read, with all the witty remarks and that sort of thing. Ta. *Unless you do not find this sort of humor entertaining. But some people do. Of course some people find all sorts of things entertaining, so that was not at all a good defense.

Nice attempt at a disclaimer there, but you're not fooling anyone - we can tell you were hoping I'd go along with it and accidentally give something away, so that you could confirm once and for all whether you're on the right track. Well, I'm saying nothing. Go for it! Fish him to death! Let us know how you get on.
     Actually the Fish Food very nearly had some kind of genuine purpose forced upon it at the last minute, as more and more people played the game and boggled at its comedy uselessness:
     "So what do you do with this?"
     "You feed the fish with it."
     "Yes, but... why?"
     "Why?! Because they'd die if you didn't!"
     "Yes, but... but..."
     Fortunately they seemed to realise that sometimes, at the end of the day, stuff just needs to be stuff.

I'll beat everyone to the punch on this one (because nobody asked) and ask, nay, BEG of you, DON'T make a separate RPA page! We would all be much worse off because of it.
-Nicholas Killewald

It'd take more than someone asking to make me stoop so low.

I sexually desire Tooty. Can you confirm whether or not she'll be in Banjo-Tooie?
Peter J Hader

I don't think she is, and frankly it's just as well.

Could I turn into a monkey if I try real hard?

Don't we all wish evolution was so straightforward...

What Nationality in Goldeneye is the Second Monraker Elite in Multi Player Because we are Convinced she is a Little Scottish Woman.

You just go on believing that if it makes you happy, bless you.

In Perfect Dark the cheat Team Heads Only is a mystery to people. Maybe you should tell us what it does so we can have fun with it. If you can't tell what a cheat does, it is not much of a cheat.

Team Heads. Only. Team Heads Only. The Team. Their Heads. Only.

Is it true that there's a secret ending on JFG where Juno **** with *** Lupus' *** ***** *** soft and fluffy *** *** ******* and all that squidgy stuff **** *** ********* all pink and wobbly?
Jared Ashe

Sorry, no. The *** ********* is green, not pink.

Those, erm 'Dark' Sims. Tw*ts, they are. Not much of a question, but I thought I'd just show my appreciation.
The Man Who Prays Too Much

And few descriptions are more appreciative than 'tw*t', eh?

what happend to mr. paints?

I don't know. Maybe he became an interior decorator?

You silly arse, do you take any of our letters seriously?

Sometimes, you know, it's really, really difficult...

EXCLUSIVE!! MR PANTS IS A SLOB AT HOME! See attachment for 'evidence'.

'Boy boobs'?

I don't know if my girlfriend is seeing any one else she has a past record of it.

Well, I was miles away. No, I swear.

I am worried that you won't be able to get to work and make banjo tooie as there are no condoms left.

Condoms are used as fuel on your planet?

i want u at rare 2 give me a job as a games tester. i can't take no for an answer. thanks
Anthony Valmont

This is hands down the best job application we've ever had.

I have a friend who owns a baritone, and whenever he takes it out I put the case on my back and say "I... am... Batman!!". Then he stares at me.

He's probably thinking he's not worthy of your fab friendship.

I think the third Stamper's name is Julio.
The Great King Andrew of the Isle of Pantsburg, America

It should be, but unfortunately it's not...

i have snake rattle & roll for the nes but i don't have a manuel. could you tell me where to find one?
Penney Major

Have you tried Fawlty Towers? Ahaha! Do you see?

i hav lyv futej uv Mr. Pants un a dyit. this is wut i saw.

Snippets: the new Mr. Pants RPA dumping ground! Fantastic.

most say that involvement with video games causes the destruction of the gamers social life .well id like to say that i got my current girlfriend by doing an impersonation of donkey kong.so there
King Kong

I just hope you're not expecting me to back you up on that one...