It's the stupid Rare letters page! Send us your mail! You could read it right here in about six months' time!

OCTOBER 15, 2003

Dear Scribes,
     I'm all new to this "Scribes" stuff, but I figured out you'd at least answer me decently.
     1) Conker Live & Uncut WILL have the good ol' Conker's BFD with revamped graphics, RIGHT?! I KNOW that Banjo-Kazooie and the such are a little old while compared to the incoming games, but...
     2) It's been SUCH a LONG time since remnants of something-or-another of a jungle/forest level "Forest 2/Jungle 2" (Treasure Trove Cove being "beach", Freezeezy Peak being "Snow 1") and another snow level "Snow 2" were discovered on Banjo-Kazooie... Could you all ask whoever was the head programmer of B-K if these were originally projects or if those are simply rumors, pretty please with a cherry on top?
     3) For simple references, can anyone tell me what was the first name of Banjo-Kazooie? I know for a fact it was intended to be Banjo-Kazoo but it was rejected due to copyrights (or the such) and in the BETA pictures I dug up, it's on a cloud instead of in mid-air. I want to know the title of THAT BETA version, please.
     4) Did Banjo-Tooie have any kind of BETA name or was it simply Banjo-Tooie?
     5) Okay, now that both B-K and B-T are out, mind telling me who Blackeye (the seasick pirate who has portraits all over Mad Monster Mansion) is exactly? I've read so many rumors...
     6) Last but not least, are Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge and Banjo-Threeie going to be published? And if yes, will B-3 follow Banjo-Tooie or Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge?
     Sweetly Yours,
     Rare-Game Fangirl Neo

Rare Reply: 1) Good start: I can't answer you decently on this one, because while I'd assume that's the plan (and I've heard it's "looking very nice"), I haven't been able to find out for sure. However, I did get the Banjo team leader to chip on on your next questions, though that's certainly no guarantee of getting all the answers you wanted:
     "2) Not sure what she’s on about here. I think she’s probably crazy.
     "3) Banjo-Kazooie started off life as a completely different game called Dream. Dream originally had a human main character, which was then changed to a rabbit and finally Banjo the bear. Then Dream (with Banjo in it) changed to Banjo-Kazoo – the game as you know it. Copyright issues with ‘Kazoo’ then forced us to change it to ‘Kazooie’. Not as simple as you thought, huh?
     "4) No, it was Banjo-Tooie from the very start.
     "5) He was in Dream.
     "6) Grunty’s Revenge is already released! Regarding any more Banjo games, the bear is now out of shape and washed up from celebrating his second victory over Gruntilda – so wouldn’t be much use if the witch somehow made a comeback (hardly likely, as she was reduced to only a head)."

Dear Scribes,
     Owners of GCN and PS2 would love it if they could see one of their favorite games of the N64 out on all systems, hey I still play Conker's Bad Fur Day on N64 every week because I go to my G'ma's every Sunday for dinner and that’s the only system I have over there. I also play Perfect Dark frequently by the way, GREAT JOB on two of my TOP 10 favorite games of all time.
     Will Lawless

Rare Reply: Good name. Are you a wandering Wild West gunslinger? You should be.
     The thing is, you see, Rare is now a part of Microsoft Game Studios, who aren't in the habit of contributing games to non-Microsoft systems (GBA being an exception as MS doesn't compete in that field). So under current circumstances, GC or PS2 versions of Conker or any future Rare game are about as likely as Steven Seagal being able to vault a three-foot railing without the use of a stuntman.

Dear Scribes,
     I got a few questions about the games.
     1) I went through your Gamespot developer's section and found this game called Rise of Power. The game looked sweet, but it was only PC. I was wondering if this game will ever come out and if it is, will there be a Xbox version?
     2) Will you guys come out with Killer Instinct 3? The first two were one of the best fighting games and I need the third.
     3) Will we ever see Battletoads again?
     The "Whitey" Cracker

Rare Reply: 1) I can't find anything about that, but apparently we also did Big Strike Bowling for the PlayStation earlier this year, which is news to me.
     2) The first two combined were only one of the best fighting games? They can't have been that good, then. No news yet.
     3) Possibly.
Eventually. Maybe. Glad to be of assistance. I give your questions 2/10, and my answers 1½/10.

Hello Mr. Scribes Man,
     I've been having "barrels of fun" with your game, Donkey Kong Country for Game Boy Advance. I've completed both the main adventure and Hero mode, and now Cranky is challenging me to finish the game in 10 minutes! He's "gone bananas!" One might even say he's "gone ape!" From what I've resolved, I need to find a warp in every level to complete this task. The thing is, I've only found warps in Worlds 1 and 2. So, could you help a poor gamer out by telling me what I should do next?
     Also, the idea of a DKC2 and DKC3 is a great. Just make sure Wrinkly is dead! She died and she shouldn't come back! ...alive!

Rare Reply: According to the DKC GBA conversion team, "this was just Cranky being sarcastic, I don't think it is really possible - or maybe it is, who knows?"
     You want a decomposing voodoo zombie Wrinkly? Why? Don't you think we horrified people enough by viciously killing off the poor hairy pensioner in the first place?

Dear Scribes,
     Well, I haven't written in for a while, since Kameo has been proceeding at Rare Full Speed (which, don't get me wrong, is a GOOD thing), but after seeing this newest news item, I came by, checked for any sign of Floyd, and decided to ask you this:
     IT'S MR PANTS?!?!?
     That is all.

Rare Reply: Yes. Were those exclamation marks brought on by excitement or spasms of bone-deep revulsion?

Golden Feather Dude,
     You guys make great games. You rock. I was going to dump on the audio aspects of your last two games, but forget that. I just got questions. Here they are, in chronological, not numbered, order. It may seem numbered, but it truly isn’t. Your eyes deceive you. It’s an *illusion.*
     DKC) It’s another sound effects-related thing. Being a huge fan of the arcade Cruis’n and KI series (but never getting to play either), I came up with this WILD and crazy theory based on the fact that the sound effect for Glacius’s Liquidize and Uppercut move is the same as the effects for changing the camera in the Cruis’n games. It’s not a common one, you realize. I know that a Midway audio programmer worked on the sound system for KI while designing the SFX on Cruis’n USA. Is this how the similar sounds came to be? And if I am right, do I deserve a clean kick in the nuts?
     DKC2) The RPA of Diddy and Banjo’s console biases tells it all. Wait, that’s not a question…
     DKC3) What was the worst bug that your QA team ever found in a recent (1994-present) game? I’m especially curious if it made the graphics or sound go screwy.
     DKC4) Will Ghoulies have any multiplayer modes, like your last bunch of N64 efforts?
     DKC5) Do you think you’ll ever do a sports game again? ‘Cuz Winning Run kicked a$$.
     DKC6) Which license would be your favorite in the world to tackle, provided it wasn’t James Bond?
     DKC7) Did you notice that some of these chronologically arranged titles I’m using for the numbers don’t exist? I know, can you believe it???
     I guess that’s all, so continue with your crazy Xbox productions. And put Toots in Ghoulies with a speaking role.
     Crazy Devotion,
     JetDogQuarter circle forwards, kick - camera change! No, wait...

Rare Reply: Your unorthodox numbering method looks doubly untidy now that I've had to make some of them green and italicise the rest. I hope you're happy.
     1) I could try to make up something clever here, but the simple fact is that I've asked the musician, he doesn't know what you're talking about and neither of us can be arsed playing Cruis'n USA to find out.
     2) RPAs including characters that don't belong to us any more? qUIcK prES teH DELetE# kEY!!!!~!1
     3) Hah - you just want us to pick one out so that you can say it's not as good as the one you found that made the graphics and sound go screwy, don't you? No dice, chum.
     4) 'Fraid not. Why, did you want to wait till this time next year to play it?
     5) Dunno. There's been talk of a 'realistic' racing game at various times over the last couple of hardware generations, so that'd probably be the most likely candidate if it ever did happen (and if you class that as a sport).
     6) Personally I think we could knock out a fantastic 3D action game based on the film version of Shaun Hutson's Slugs. But that's just me. Rare as a whole isn't all that big on licences, especially not godawful 80s B-movie horror licenses, so it probably doesn't apply.
     7) Yes. And yes.

Dear Scribes,
     Just out of curiosity, is there a secret level in DK64? There's been one in every other Donkey Kong game, so why not now? Also, in Angry Aztec, when you're walking in the tunnel that leads you to the place where the big tower is, one of the panels on the wall is unusually different to all the others. You can't see the bricks as well on it and it's brighter. It has been driving me nuts since 1999. Please tell me what is up with that?

Rare Reply: When I asked the DK64 team about a Lost World just after the game was released, the answer I got was "it's up your bottom". When I asked an ex-team member just now, the answer had progressed to something far more intriguing: "it's up the beaver's bottom". Hope that helps. Oh, and any panel discrepancies in the Angry Aztec tunnels are down to something our artists call 'texturing'.

Dear Scribes,
     Banjo Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge is but a few weeks away, so I guess it couldn't hurt to ask for a bit of confirmation on some basic things...
     Some sites, having operatives at ECTS, claim that the game takes place in an alternate reality, where Banjo-Tooie never happened. This, of course, was your contention in 2001. When the THQ thing came down last month, and you put up your BK:GR page, you stated it took place between BK and BT (at least, before she travels in time). So which is it? Does it happen with BT, or instead of it?
     Since GBTG is being done by the Banjo team, I'm guessing you all have Kirkhope doing the soundtrack. Hopefully, he'll lay a bit off the brass this time. The only future title whose musician I can't quite peg down (and would be polite to ask of) is Sabre Wulf. Who is doing its score?
     I'm rather disappointed about your decision to make a Mr. Pants game. Sure, I'll buy and, and likely love it to death. But Mr. Pants is more of a Scribes junky in-joke than a character everyone will "get". But then again, it's not my investment on the line.
     On a final note, I'd like to ask a yes-or-no question, which you only need to answer in the proffered format (this is to keep you from avoiding the question and launching out on a tirade about Chewits or something): Is It's Mr. Pants a retooled Donkey Kong Coconut Crackers?
     Peace out,

Rare Reply: The BK:GR scenario change question is one that may never be properly answered, as the game's lead designer is no longer around for us to ask. Which is a pain, as I was curious myself. But what I do know is that it was never intended to replace Banjo-Tooie in the timeline, just to be another possibility. Which is irrelevant now anyway, as they eventually settled on a "what happened between Kazooie and Tooie" setup instead.
     Kirkhope lay off the brass? In a haunted house game? You're having a laugh. And it's Big Boy Beanland on Sabre Wulf.
     I couldn't possibly answer such an impertinent It's Mr. Pants question, but then again I probably don't need to, do I?

Dear Mr. Scribes,
     You've probably been hounded by questions like this before, so a smart ass response is okay and to be expected. Any form of a response would be much appreciated. Anyways, Blast Corps is one of my favorite games of all time, and I would have an instant gasm the day I hear a sequel announcement, but I was wondering, since it was published by Nintendo, would they be responsible for making said game, or do you guys have the rights? Curious. Curious, indeed. And if you guys can make it, then what in the bleedin' name of all that was once good and holy are you waitin' for?! I thank you in advance for doing the right thing, whatever it may be.
     Beezer Squeezer

Rare Reply: It's a bit more convoluted than Nintendo automatically having the rights to all the games they published. They published the two N64 Banjo games and KI Gold, for instance, whereas we published Diddy Kong Racing, and the rights to that lot worked out the other way around. But anyway, Blast Corps is ours, as far as I know. I think what we're waiting for is an audience who'd buy more than 300 copies.

     I might very well be asking the obvious here, but do I detect a slight resemblance between Grabbed by the Ghoulies and the all time Ultimate classic Atic Atac? OK, so the story's a little different but the setting is so much the same! Therefore, if you don't mind, I will pretend it's the same house and relive all those childhood memories of fighting off nasties whilst searching for key sections before my turkey becomes nothing but bones! Oh the joy!
     Thanks guys,
     The Drunken Serf

Rare Reply: You've been reading CVG again. They're obsessed. Let's get the lead designer to respond to this allegation once and for all:
     "Well, the resemblance is uncanny I think everyone will agree. Both are set in a house. Both have a character you can control. Both have barrels with ‘1881’ on them. Both have, err… that’s about it."

Dear Mr. Scribes: Sir or Madam,
     I'm a big fan of exceptional video game music and am an aspiring composer myself, and that, as well as other things, makes me a huge fan of the work of your very own incredible composer, Mr. David Wise. (I think the music in DKC2 for instance is better than John Williams or anything else I've heard for that matter.)
     So, to show my appreciation, here is the fantastic and simply spiffing numbered list for your -- and Mr. Wise's -- enjoyment:
     1) Which of your compositions is your favourite and/or are you the most proud of?
     2) Is there anything you composed that you wished you had done differently after a game had already been released or there was no time to change it?
     3) Do you ever hum a melody while in the shower, whether you're making it up at the moment or an old one? I'm serious...
     4) How exactly do you compose (techniques, rituals, what you start with and end with in the process, and is a shower involved)?
     5) Did a game director ever tell you to change and/or reject one of your pieces?
     6) Is Nintendo allowed to use or remix anything you've composed in their own future Donkey Kong game(s)?
     7) What's the next game we can expect to hear your work in?
     Thanks a lot, and by the way I'm humming the ice level music from DKC2 right now even though I've sold my SNES and haven't heard it in almost two years!
     Infatuated With Dixie Kong

Rare Reply: Let's ask him, shall we? Rather than, say, pretending to be him, taking objection to your D. Wise shower fetish and subsequently calling you a dirty little (Leave it. - The Management)
     "1) The music for the water level in DKC.
     "2) Sometimes I look back and think I would do things a little differently now, but that only comes with the benefit of experience.
     "3) I never stop thinking about music.
     "4) I have no set techniques or methods. Ideas are usually inspired as a consequence of seeing or doing something else. For instance, being inspired by looking at the graphics for a particular level I’m working on would be the most immediate source of inspiration.
     "5) Yes. This is usually a very positive position to come from.
     "6) Yes. It is their licence. They have already used compositions in this way.
     "7) Hopefully, it will be - (Er, that game we haven't announced yet. - Ed).
     "Thank you for your kind and generous comments. I appreciate that."

Hi Scribes,
     I would like to praise you on your succesful efforts to outdo yourselves time and time again, let's just hope it stays that way. Anyway I am getting sick and tired of all these people who keep requesting Killer Instinct to make a comeback - why the hell should a company with all the talent of Rareware make a fighting game, this doesn't allow much innovation when compared to what you do with genres such as Goldeneye which everybody agrees is a masterpiece and Banjo. Stay away from Killer Instinct and carry on helping the Xbox reach new areas of its target audience, we already have some amazing fighters.

Rare Reply: Do you? I'll take your word for it. That doesn't change the fact that we still get requests for a KI revival on a daily basis - I'm printing the one that displays the opposite viewpoint out of sheer perversity. And because I'm getting sick of saying "well, it might happen, you never know".

Fizzle dizzle on my televizzle dawg! Fo sheezee deezee off the heezee!
     Some questions for you (and then a nice poem).
     1) If you were to make a Banjo for Xbox, would you make them more "mature" for the worldwide gaming market and give them pistols and AK-47s? How about making Kazooie a hooker and Banjo her pimp, going around makin' moolah shwing shwing? Bottles being their "boss"? It would sell in today's market. No joke.
     2) How do you feel about Nintendo's lagging behind in the console war?
     3) Is there a possibility that Bill Gates can be a playable (and shootable) character in PD0?
     4) You can't call it Banjo Threeie. That's retarded. What are some alternative names?
     5) Is Mr. Pants more popular than arse now? I've been reading this site since the N64 days! How can this be?"You earned how much? Honey, don't waste my time!" *whack*
     And now... Ahem...
     [Lengthy, libellous poem snipped - Ed]
     Goodbye, Mr. Loveday,
     The Return of the Rhyming Anon

Rare Reply: Sadly your poem had to go, and not just for reasons of length. Though I do have to mention the bit that went "Gates approached the president of Nintendo / Just like a Mafia boss in a mass innuendo" as being particularly special.
     1) You're probably right. But I think we're supposed to be taking on the role of Xbox Family Entertainer.
     2) I feel it's being blown out of all proportion, to be honest.
     4) How about B4nj0-Thr3313? Or my personal favourite, Bumjob-Throatie. (Note: not actual official names under consideration.)
     5) "The N64 days" did last until 2001, you know, it's hardly aeons ago. And comparing Mr. Pants and arse is like comparing apples and oranges. Or maybe a pear and two peaches.

Dear Scribes,
     I have a request to make, regarding Conker: Live And Uncut. While I realize my plea will likely go unanswered (curse you!) I was hoping you guys would include a cameo from the Evil Acorn of Conker's Pocket Tales. Seeing Ole EA in full 3D glory would bring tears to my eyes. I consider him to be the coolest enemy of all time, bar none. Who else would be so dastardly as to ruin someone's birthday party, where Conker was gonna get some make-out time with Berri? I'm sure all those presents weren't "toys" eh? Nothing could be more fitting than to pump lead into that inconsiderate nutsack (ha, get it?) in Live And Uncut's multiplayer mode.
     Yours Truly,
     That N.A.W.B

Rare Reply: Request duly noted, as is the likelihood - nay, inevitability - of it never happening. But having said that, the GBA team's view on the subject is this: "the Evil Acorn will return one day soon, and take over the world. Awha Ha Ha!"

Dear Scribes,
     Ok, Ok, I have a great idea for you. Surely you are sick of people demanding push-button codes that don't exist. Right? So what you do is make a game that has secret push-button codes, and then a year or so after the release, when all the nuts are breathing down your necks for the codes, you actually release them. But here's the surprise ending: when they thumb in the codes and wait for cheats and free pie, what they actually get is a message on screen proclaiming "YOU ARE A DIRTY FUDGE MONKEY!!!" That person would then get all sad and die. Wouldn't that be the greatest?
     Thank me later,
     Some guy from Nepo

Rare Reply: That is actually a fantastic idea. You people don't know how lucky you are that I don't get much say in the development side of things.

Dear chaps,
     I'm in a muddle. Is there any way to get onto the hoverbike in Perfect Dark 64???? I've heard of one way to do it, but the buggas told me to hold down all the C-buttons, A and B, Z, Control Stick-left, blah blah blah. If you're not of the persuasion to tell me, that's fine. But I HAVE TO BLOODY KNOW! DON'T YOU GET IT?
     Sorry for the burst, comrades. But please, if you can, please tell me. It would enhance my gaming experience plus help convince me not to trade in my N64 and all my games.
     Sincerely yours,
     Mr. Lord, Esq.

Rare Reply: Never fear: genial Uncle Dunc is on hand to help. Not that you'll have any idea who he is, seeing as you don't even know what the game's called.
     "Approach the Hoverbike from the side (I can't remember if it works from other directions) and double tap the B button. You will now be on the bike. This is something you'd know about if you'd done the vehicle training in the Carrington Institute Hangar, you... no, no, must be calm...
     "Mysteriously, if Jo is holding double guns, she will still be able to steer the bike."

To the Scribes... Dude... yeh, that'll do,
     I'm bored out of my skull, so I thought I'd try and get a message to ya before you update again. Firstly, congrats to whomever is working on Conker. I had a quick gander at the pics and it looks pretty frocking sweet at the moment. Also, can't wait for Kameo, PD0, blahblahblahblah... just thought I'd throw that in coz all the cool kids are doing it, nowadays.
     Anyway, time to use my shoddy stream-of-consciousness skills and come up with something:
     Eine- Can we expect vehicles, apart from turrets, in Conker's Online Adventure? I noticed a chopper whilst I was browsing the pics, and it didn't get my hopes up, but I thought I'd ask anyway.
     Zwei- I'm an Aussie, so, naturally, I despise Steve Irwin as much as humanly possible. Do you think you could include a feature in one of your future games that allows... no, requires the player to gruesomely dispose of as many Steve Irwins as possible? I'm sure you would enjoy it too, Leigh, as you've so publicly professed your hate for him.
     Drei- Something that just hit me that I feel like asking for no apparent reason, how long did it take to make CBFD? That's stream-of-consciousness for you.
     Vier- Has Unkie Tusk gotten over his absinthe addiction yet or is he still in that rehabilitation clinic?
     Fünf- I'm not asking for a release date or trying to be intentionally annoying, but I just thought I'd state that I'm looking forward to seeing Riptor on the XBox at some point, even if it isn't in a KI game. He remains one of my fav characters, aside from Spinal.
     Sechs- If I owned a donkey, and named him Steve, how much money would be in my bank account by the year 2013?
     Oh well, that be it. Hopefully you answer so I've got something to do while I'm not doing anything at Uni.
     Benn Charlton

     PS. Pass on a quick "ello" to Mr Beanland for me, again, no real point, just for the hell of it.

Rare Reply: What? You reckon all the cool kids are going "blahblahblahblah"? I must be more out of touch than I thought.
    1) Heh. "I noticed a chopper". Erm, if you define 'turrets' as vehicles, I daresay you'll find plenty of other vehicles in Live & Uncut to keep you happy, like 'hills', 'doors' and 'buildings'.
     2) I don't hate him. He confuses me, but I don't hate him. Anyway, we've already got a character associated with dubious shorts and unlikely animal encounters (and Banjo speaks more coherently too).
     3) Hard to say, after the transformation from Conker's Quest to Twelve Tales and then to BFD. You'd have to pin down exactly when one started and the other finished, then estimate how many man hours' worth of work was carried over from each version to the next. Which is a tactful way of saying I can't be bothered finding out.
     4) You're joking - Tusk uses absinthe to dilute his Ribena. It's the constant jibes about his deformed knees that aggravate his emotional problems.
     5) I should give you the email address of J.E. from a few messages back - I could only imagine the conversations you'd have. "MAKE KI3!!!" "NO! U SUCK!!!" "MAKE IT!!!!1" "SHUT UP!!?!1#"
     6) Depends how many replies you get to your 'farmyard enthusiast' personal ads.

Dear Scribes,
     I am a HUGE fan of Banjo-Kazooie. I was recently checking out your site to see if there were any updates. I was excited to see there was going to be a third Banjo game then realized that it was available for GBA. I have never used GBA or own any of the GBA stuff. Will the game be available for Nintendo 64? I really hope so.

Rare Reply: That'd not only be a violation of our agreement with Microsoft, but also a step back to a previous generation of hardware. So, erm... it's not likely. GBAs aren't really all that frightening, you know.

Dear Scribes,
     I have decided I must speak. I’m going to tell you something that will make your life infinitely better. Please keep reading. This is about PD. It’s about Push Codes. If you’re still reading it’s not going to go how you think. Quite frankly I’m not interested in Perfect Dark Push Codes and I’m not asking for them if they did exist. I just want to clarify a few points. Why did Goldeneye have push codes and not Perfect Dark. Also I can’t help but feel you made a rod for your own back here. With Goldeneye you kept saying for ages that there were no push codes and then you eventually released them. With Perfect Dark you have for ages been saying there are no push codes. Can you spot the pattern here. It’s a bit like the boy who cried wolf. People think you are LYING. This is because you have LIED before. Naughty untruthful boys and girls are never trusted. Frankly I’m not interested in the codes but I still do think you are LYING. I sent an email before which you never answered which I feel will solved the problem. I will remind you of that solution now. You must straight away publish this official announcement on your website (that is it will be official when you announce it). When all your fans read this they will know you are telling the truth (or will never admit that you weren’t) as you would have your arse sued off... [Snip - Ed]

Rare Reply: I'd just like to clarify that I cut off Mr. Justin in mid-flow not because he was about to compromise us with his tricksy legal wranglings, but because he was MAKING MY HEAD HURT.
     Let's go over this again, in detail, with our GoldenEye/PD designer pal.
     "I love the fact that you think we can be sued for not confirming the lack of button codes when we’ve done just that several times over. Fraud is obtaining money (or gaining advantage) by deception, which would have been true if:
     a) we had charged money for the codes for PD and there were none in the game, which never happened.
     b) we had sold the game on the basis that there were codes in when there were not, which we never did.
     c) we had won awards or competitions for games with codes in when there were none in the game. This never happened.
     GoldenEye had codes because we were pressured into it; they went in at the final stages of the game and were at least partially to aid with testing and debugging. Certainly the team did not want them in there, and we purposefully made them long and random. The decision to release the codes towards the end of the game's life was made by Nintendo. Perfect Dark had no codes because we didn’t put any in, and the time is long past the point where, had there been any codes, they would have been released. Just because loads of people believe that there are push button codes for PD is not going to change the fact that there are none. On this occasion, children, Tinkerbell is dead."
     PS I thought the bit at the end where you said "please feel free to send me any free games as a thank you for solving your problems" was a nice touch.

Dear Rare,
     After completing SFA and developing a kind of withdrawal state, I dug out my old N64 along with the complete collection of Rare software. One thing that amazes me is that the not only do the games hold up well graphically compared to contemporary efforts from other software houses, but they are a pure joy to play. I still think the best game you have created is CBFD. The characterisation is unsurpassed in videogaming terms and I can only imagine that Nintendo pulled the reins on such development on Fox McCloud's character.
     I realise that your production rate has been about 2 games per year since the early days of N64 but it would be great if you could step that up with Microsoft's cash. My prediction list is:
     Sabre Man Racing
     Timber the Tiger 3D Adventure
     Killer Instinct 3 Online
     Banjo 3D Adventure

     I'll be surprised to see Blast Corps 2 or JFG 2.
     Keep up the great work,
     Jim Boyle

Rare Reply: Stepping up production isn't as simple as inserting 50p coins into the slots in programmers' heads, you know. And I don't think anyone really wanted to see Fox McCloud knocking back the lagers and wading through lakes of cack. But thanks for the predictions. They are, almost universally, miles off the mark, but it's nice to know you care enough to try.

Dear underachieving Xbox game studios developer,
     I have 2 words for you... well, actually, 4 numbers in sequence: 2006! Do you intend to wait till all Perfect Dark fans are septagenarians until you release it? Please tell me this news is false concerning PD0! I recently saw it on a reputable gaming news site that has NEVER in my experience posted false data. If the news item is true, you guys should be strung up by your toes and flogged. A game that's been "in development" for that many years is only doomed to fail. Unless it comes with a free nuclear-powered jetpack/assassin robot. And shoots fireballs out of its arse.
     Brendan Johns

Rare Reply: Not sure why or how this one popped out of the woodwork. Apparently the date came from a reputable source, but it certainly didn't originate from the PD0 team. At no time did we plan on waiting till 2006 to release the game. Of course, that's not to rule out the possibility of it ultimately taking that long (you know us), but no, we're not planning on it. The robot's a damn fine idea.

dearest raer blokes,
     my name is thomas , not dat u care but id like to ask sum quessies , firstly its gd to know dat THQ has decidecd to publish thses kick ass GBA games u got in the works , and i love the look of gbtg , its really original , and the gameplay looks good enuf to shag . neways id like to adress the creator of kameo firstly why is takin 4eva to port this game wen it was nearly dun on gc neways , then id like to say that it rulz dat ur not releasin pd zero atm , xbox alredy had halo 2 un half life , so we mite as well keep pd zero for laterz , im sure itl kick all anus neways. then id like to say that all those moanin bout conker not bein a true sequel is crap , it does introduce the main man to us xb owners , and it shows that rare have decided to start and enter the online community , it f*ckin rox in my books , and take a look at the graphics, brill eh?, i love rare , dey rok , now cud u plz give us sum release dates on the three xbox games, yer sure gbtg is out before end of year but wat bout kameo and conker wen wil u get ur fingers outta ur arse and gimmie sum dates , they must be nearly done , pretty plz??
     Tom Qmeister

Rare Reply: Reading this letter has been one of the most painful experiences of my life. At the risk of sounding like Uncle Tusk, here are some dates for you, as requested:
     20th October: I find out where you live.
     21st October: I arrive at your house, gain entry and commence beating you with items of your own furniture.
     14th November: Furniture supply exhausted. Time to go home.

Dear Scribes,
     Hello, I am an Australian and I pride myself on riding kangaroos and drinking beer, but enough on that. I just had to commend you on the technical and artistic masterpiece that is Star Fox Adventures. Very immpressive. Never before have I been so enthralled by fur and grass. Too bad about the "Test Of Fear" or as I like to call it the "Test of Absolute Pain, Misery and Frustration". Also the reflections in the water etc., they were very wrong and annoy me constantly. May I have an explanation? Anyway, keep this site going as it is the most enjoyable one from any developer I know. Maybe if they realised the benefits of humour?
     An Australian

Rare Reply: Is that your real name? I bet a lot of people have commented on the funny coincidence. Anyway, let's see how the SFA team dig their way out of this one:
     "Star Fox Adventures took place on a planet called Dinosaur Planet and not Earth. On said planet, water is not the same as on our own world, and so the reflections behaved correctly for that planet - though differently than what you are used to seeing."
     Look at that. Effortless.

Dear Scribes,
     I seem to remember reading that you write the Scribes page in HTML. Is that how it's done for the whole Rare website?
     Regardless, I hate frames. I think you should get rid of them... before I come down there and make you.
     Or at least fix it so Netscape 7.02 doesn't f up the scroll bar for the Scribes section. I'm beginning to think I have OCD cuz that really really bothers me.
     Anon I Mouse

Rare Reply: OCD? What, like in RoboCop? What's that got to do with anything?
     It's all done in Dreamweaver these days, pally. Though I sometimes wish it was still done in HTML, especially when I'm wading through the source code trying to fix things. And the frames aren't so bad - they do the job while being a lot less intrusive than most examples I've seen. So stop moaning. Especially about Netscape, which seems to introduce more incompatibility issues with each release just to get on my nerves.

Dear Scribes,
     I must say I wasn't overly impressed when the first promo material for Grabbed By The Ghoulies was released (sorry! I just didn't really much like the look of Cooper), but with some of the new footage I've seen since X03, I think I may be starting to come round. I quite like what looks to be a homage paid to Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, with the inclusion of the Grim Reaper, playing the air guitar. So I think I might be looking to pick that one up now, as for Kameo though I'm very much looking forward to her and Meepo's arrival!
     Anyway, time for the obligatory questions and comments!
     1. Being a native to the PAL format (instead of NTSC), and having an XBOX, I much prefer to play XBOX games in PAL 50, instead of PAL 60 as I feel that PAL 50 has superior image quality. This always can't be as fun as I would like due to games not having a very well done PAL mode in 50hz. With yourselves at Rare also being native to the PAL format, I hope you agree with me, and have made sure your games run quite well under 50hz.
     2. I've heard rumours of Kameo having a multiplayer split screen mode for up to 4 players. Any truth to this being included?
     3. With Conker: Live & Uncut, the multiplayer mode isn't just confined to those with XBOX Live is it? Those of us without it will still be able to play with a couple of friends around the TV, right?Voice not supplied by Chris Rea (if only we'd thought of it)
     That's it, I think! So I hope it's not too much trouble for you to answer those.
     Luke Peterson

Rare Reply: The Grim Reaper's accomplished air guitarmanship is just one of his many talents (his ability to raise the hairs on the back of your neck just by wheezing has to take first place).
     A couple of Kameo team responses:
     "1) Just for you, we’ll see what we can do.
     "2) We’ve been waiting for this one… no, the 'multiplayer split-screen' confusion was down to the way the X03 video was edited. Multiplayer probably won't feature, but you never know what could happen between now and release."
     3) I dunno. You'd think so, but it remains to be seen one way or the other, and the Conker boys' lips are sealed.

Dear Scribes,
     It's Mr. Pants? I actually saw those glorious words on my screen? My heart. It's beating like a jackhammer. I'll assume you are on the development team... being the creator of the man himself... this could very well be the greatest day in the history of man, yet the query remains: when will we hear more of this gift from God? When will our parched throats again drink the ambrosia of red briefs? The suspense is eating at me like a rabid wolverine. Oh. I suppose that's not metaphorical after all.
     Dave Roscoe

Rare Reply: I had minimal 'artistic input' back at the beginning - not much, don't worry, we've got proper artists doing all the important stuff. And I can't say for sure when you'll be able to get your hands on this box of life-enhancing panty goodness, but considering it's surely the most eagerly anticipated title on any platform, ever, no doubt THQ will be wanting to hurry it along.

Dear Scribes,
     I was reliving the joyful moments in Banjo-Tooie, flying around as Kazooie, talking to toilets, etc. etc. when it hit me like a herd of rushing turtles! What makes a game worth hours of your time and replay value? Being able to have your best friend/sister/dog join you! Think about it, Banjo-Kazooie would be a perfect co-op game. Any game can pit you on another person, but very few are co-op, and I find them the gem of the pile. One player could be Banjo and the other Kazooie, and forget the split pads (except for 1 player mode) and replace with the touch of a button, but a lot of people would fight about "who will be Kazooie" because she's faster and just cooler, so Banjo would need some help... maybe only 'he' would be able to transform into washing machines and that sort of stuff.
     I think it would be an excellent addition to the value, and would most likely lead to new challenges. The Banjo team is probably running out of challenge ideas after the first and second title. (I know the Mario Party crew are running out of mini-game ideas.)
     Shannon Robertson

Rare Reply: "What cheek!" sputters the Banjo team leader. "We never run out of ideas, just ‘creatively recycle’ them for the benefit of the players so they feel ‘familiar’ with them.
     "Co-op sounds like fun but would be a lot of hard work. If we ever start the next Banjo game we’ll give you a shout and maybe you and your mates can come and write the software for us? It’s too hard for the Banjo team, as we only like simpleton mini-games and half-baked quizzes. Or amazingly fantastic action-packed romps of sheer brilliance in Ghouly-filled haunted houses. Oh, did we mention that Grabbed by the Ghoulies is out soon? Why not visit your local store, buy five copies, tell your mates, etc. etc."


I lerned from that Perfect Dark Zero's release date is January 20th 2004 and Conker Live and Uncut is Febuary 1st 2004 how come Conker has a videoand Perfect Dark Zero dosent if Perfect Dark comes out first or its not the real release date.

Rare Reply: Such powers of deduction! They should start calling you SEnSiBLeMiKe53.

I noticed with my amazing intellect and willpower that some of the goblins in Grabbed by the Ghoulies look just like Jinjos. Good ole Jinjos, they may be small, but they're great in bed.
Po (not the Teletub-b*stard)

Rare Reply: They're Imps. Irritating in a way Jinjos can only dream of, especially the ones that hump your head.

I have a few questions/comments (for Perfect Dark Zero), all of which will probably be ignored.
Agent Smith

Rare Reply: Yep. Particularly the one requesting we "actually show what happens when you get grinded".

Star Fox Adventures' ex-subtitle, Dinosaur Planet, is an anagram of "Untold Arse Pain". Which is why you should have left it in. Also, "Star Fox Adventures: Dinosaur Planet" can be rearranged to form "Starfox Underpants: To Vail Nude Arse". Don't pretend that wasn't intentional.

Rare Reply: Was it Eschebone, Tawfret and Rith Essa that started all this?

I am a huge fan of all that is Rare... but where in the butt-sex is PERFECT DARK ZERO!?
Justan Lee

Rare Reply: 8/10 for unnecessarily vulgar turn of phrase. But still no release date.

Ok, I have a HUGE question that needs an answer. My little sister's friend "accidentally" erased my 33 1/2 hours of gameplay for Banjo Tooie. Is there any way of bringing it back? Please tell me that it's not gone forever. PLEASE!!!!

Rare Reply: IT'S GONE FOREVER! Those "little sisters' friends", eh? Only yesterday the dog ate our design for KI3.

Psssstttt…. I’ve got a proposition… My 1st unborn child for KILLER INSTINCT 3 exclusive on the XBOX. Act now and I’ll throw in the placenta.
Die Hard Killer Instinct Fan

Rare Reply: Thanks, but I've seen enough of that stuff to last a lifetime.

It's about time Mr. Pants gets a first name, moreso now than ever with his own game looming around the corner. How about the fitting name Justin Pants? By fitting I obviously mean his attraction to the opposite sex being on par with one certain Mr. Timberlake, or so I hear.
Jeton Grajqevci

Rare Reply: He doesn't look like a 'Justin'. Mind, neither does Justin Timberlake: he looks like a 'Cretin'.

I have no idea who's behind this; I just knew you'd appreciate it, though.
Mr Trout's Debut Album
Karl T.

Rare Reply: I think Mr. Trout are behind it. How disturbing. But hey - it's "the best new music in Utah"!

Fart... err... sorry.
PS. Fart