It's the stupid Rare letters page! Send us your mail! It'll make the cold winter days seem... 'brighter'.

NOVEMBER 20, 2003

Dude... you scare me.
     Since the Nintendo 64 days I have read Scribes/Uncle Tusk regularly. And checked about once a month to see if there are any updates. Yet last night I had a dream, I was going to school and I saw a computer in the road and I went on it and saw that had a new Scribes update on it. So I began reading through and kept checking the watch to make sure I wasn't gonna be late.
     I woke up after with a feeling that Rareware has been updated. So later that day I saw it had been updated! OMG is this psychic or coincidence? Well good luck to you anyway, and please add more extras when you make a GBA conversion of DK2 and DK3 (<-- green text ^.^) since I have the SNES versions and need more of a reason to buy the handheld version then 2 dodgy minigames. Thanks.

...what? Sorry, as I write this I'm still suffering the concentration-destroying aftereffects of a Seagal/Van Damme (Half Past Dead/Derailed) double bill. Serves me right, I suppose.
The truth is, it's not psychic or coincidence - we've been watching you, and the tiny chip we sewed under your scalp has allowed us to exert control over your dreams. If you hadn't woken up when you did, you'd have been SPLATTERED BY A LORRY. That's what happens when you dis our quality dancing minigames.

Dear Scribes,
     First off, congratulations on Grabbed by the Ghoulies. It's so easy to get into and the presentation is slicker than George Clooney's hair. Even the wife likes it.
     However, it raises a couple of questions:
     1> How come the game action supports widescreen but the story book and the game menus don't?
     2> Is there any actual way to get a Game Over message (other than finishing it, I suppose)?
     On another subject, while I'm one of those who would love to see the return of KI, please can we have a collection of visually updated Ultimate games for Xbox a la Zelda on Gamecube. It's got to be worth it development time/money wise. Or, if you're feeling lazy, an official collection of the original code with a Spectrum/Amstrad emulator. We can live without the C64 titles.
     Yours truly,
     Ultimate/Rare fan who's old enough to know better

Even the wife likes it, eh? You should talk to Rich (see next letter).
     Right then: first of a whole load of actual team responses this edition! Amazing - it's almost like a proper letters page.
     "1) The game menus use 2D graphics and ‘would look stupid if stretched' according to one of our software types. Not much of an answer is it? (Well, I did ask him on a Monday morning.)
     "2) No, I don't think there is.
     "3) Fantastic idea, we'll start work on it immediately. Out of the 100 people that can remember these games, 10 are probably dead. Another 60 don't play games any more as they are old enough to know better. Out of the 30 remaining, half of these have already played the originals via dodgy emulators and don't want to see them again. 13 of the last 15 wouldn't be willing to pay more than about £1.99 for an update, leaving just you and me. I reckon I can stump up around £10 for the development costs, leaving you to fund the rest. Send us a blank cheque and we'll start tomorrow, OK?"

Hello/greetings/wotcha/guten tag/Hi* again,
     I was going to say hello fellas, but I wasn't sure if you were all male/blokes/chaps/lads*. Perhaps some of you are female/ladies/girls/chicks/bits-of-fluff/nice-pieces-of-chicken*. If so I apologise for the use of the terms chicks/bits-of-fluff/nice-pieces-of-chicken*. The thing is, I have never met/goneoutwith/sleptwith/married* any women who are remotely interested in computer games playing/design/graphics*. Even games with female main characters. Or cuddly bears and squirrels. I think that if you made a game with really cute/fluffy/cuddly/endearing* kittens which do NOT feel the need to blow the living bejesus out of each other with multi-millimetred blasters perhaps the gentler sex might take an interest.
     My wife has told/informed/instructed/ordered* me that a game involving afore-mentioned kittens talking/discussing/'sharing'/chatting with each about their feelings/emotions/relationships/daysatwork* might win a big audience with girlies.
     We could call the game Pussy-Cats/Meow/Fur/Kits/Whipped*.
     *Delete as appropriate.
P.S. SO, what you are saying then, in short, is that there are no Perfect Dark pushcodes?

I think you need to spend less time analysing market trends in relation to the eternal male/female dichotomy, and more time forcing your missus to play Conker. Or how about Banjo? That's not about blowing the living bejesus out of people/animals/things... well, not so often.
     PS Yes, that's what we're saying. Of course, we might just be SUTp1D L1ArZ!!!!1!!#!


     What is Banjo's next move? After the witch blew up Banjo's house, will he move? Will he fix it? Or take the role of the neighborly mooch and settle in with Bottles (like his wife will let that happen).
     And Kazooie needs to work out a little more to learn to fly without flight-pads, I see where she could use them WITH Banjo, but without it's slightly pointless, just there for the challenge I suppose?
     I'm 50/50 for Rare's games on XBox, I like to keep most games on ONE console, but the XBox department is boring, so a little pepper will do some good.
     Make sure to drop a snake in Banjo's bed to get his butt up and out the door sending us on some wild goose chase that we all love so much!

That's what we like to see, a nice concise email with a minimum of the space-devouring rambling our other correspondents seem to enjoy so much (and no bloody numbered lists either). As a reward, the head of the Banjo team would like to taunt you with the following reply:
     "Banjo has been partying hard since his last game, and is now a hopelessly overweight slob who regales anyone unfortunate enough to visit his badly repaired house with historically inaccurate details of his two ‘epic' struggles against Gruntilda. Kazooie has left him, his application to ‘Spiral View Retirement Home for Washed Up Video Game Characters' has been accepted and he looks forward to lengthy reminiscing chats with the Battletoads and the KI cast."

Scribes -- Great job on Grunty's Revenge!
     I am glad to say that I'm very impressed with Rare's newest Banjo game. Your team was able to do really good graphics and sound, and the game has a lot more depth than you'd expect from a GBA game. The game is awesome. If there's one thing I'd have to bitch about it's that it's a little short. It doesn't really matter, though, cuz I've loved every minute I've played. How does the rating system work? I got everything in the game and finished it as fast as I could, but I still got a 4/5 rating.
     P. Lickle
Canary Mary should be the final boss of Banjo Pilot. Also, is Mr. Pants just DKCC in disguise? Oh, and bring back Kirkhope to the Banjo series. Also, once your first 4 GBA games come out, is your GBA team done, or will they keep working? Thanks.

I suppose you want me to ask them, do you? Have you any idea how much work that involves? Tsk. [Painstakingly presses button to forward email]
     "To get the 5 Jiggy rating, you need to have all Jiggies/Notes/Honeycombs etc. and finish the game in under 2 hours 30 minutes (current record is 1 hour 20 mins).
     "Hopefully the GBA team will continue to produce games as long as the market is there, if not you'll find us selling The Big Issue in a city centre near you."

It's me again Scribes,
     I'm on a mission to weasel out more Conker info from you but unfortunately I can't think of many intelligent questions regarding Conker right now so I'll throw in some Ghoulies questions as well since I'm not sure what think of it currently. Maybe some info will help me reach a decision. Right now, let's just get the inevitable out of the way shall we?
     1) Just what is the music quality like in Live and Uncut? Will they be remixes of the originals or just newly synthesized versions of the original songs?
     2) I noticed you're redesigning the characters to make them look more Xbox-ish. (If that's even a word.) Might I ask if the weasels will have any dramatic changes or will they still be having their teeth clenched in the whole dang game again?
     3) Any word if there will be other little bonus extras other than unlockable characters? Like say oh I don't know, little cartoon shorts like the ones the old Conker site used to have? Maybe some new weapons for Multiplayer or a behind the scenes type thing?
     4) On to the Ghoulies questions. Any word on any type of Banjo references? I'd love to see Grunty have her picture posted up in Ghoulhaven Hall since she's so ghoulish herself.
     5) I noticed the Grim Reaper as an enemy in one of the screenshots. Just how do you beat back Death itself? You can't kill Death, can you?
     6) Any idea why the Ghoulies took Cooper's girlfriend in the first place? Aren't there any ghoulish girls to date in that mansion?
     That's everything I can think of. If I missed something then those DKVine guys who keep swamping you with E-Mails will probably ask it instead.

1) I'm reliably informed that everything (including the soundtrack) is being "revisited", which seems to mean treated like a brand new project rather than a quick port.
     2) It's a little-known fact that real weasels can't actually unclench their teeth, and are forced to live off a diet of soup and intravenous protein injections - the team was just striving to accurately represent the myriad wonders of nature. In other words, I don't know.
     3) No. No word, that is. Happy to help.
     4) If there's any team you can trust to sneak a few references to past glories in there somewhere, it's
the Banjo boys.
     5) Just because you can't kill him doesn't mean you shouldn't mash his face in with flowerpots or smack him to buggery with a toilet brush.
     6) Watch the intro and all will be revealed... it's an elaborate story with many levels of symbolism and allegory, but ultimately we feel that the subtle nuances they bring to the gameplay were worth the effort.

Hello Earthanoid!
     I just wanted to say that even though you might go through hundreds of e-mails, your designers working overtime to please the gaming community, just sit back and enjoy the fact that video games would never be the same without you. Tell everyone there to pat their back, unless one or two have had a bad sunburn from running on the coast dressed as Mr. Pants screaming "JESUS CHRIST, JUST WAIT UNTIL THE GAMES ARE RELEASED!" Which one of you guys was that?
     I have a couple RPAs for your genuine enjoyment. One is an obvious warning not to go swimming half-naked in a pool of nuclear waste, the other is just a nice thing to print out and remind yourself the essence of all things Rare. Truly Mr. Pants is the ultimate achievement, the ultimate representation of British Humor. I have a shot of becoming a Rare employee, once I get my Associates of Arts degree.
     I guess another thing that, although endlessly intriguing, are the many unanswered oddities in the games you guys have created. A tell-all book, or internet article would be the best. Listening to the Mayahem Temple music right now, loaded with that Rare quirkiness that few understand and many appreciate. Did this kiss too much ass? Err... well those 2 RPAs certaintly made up for the total lack of game questions. Huzzah!

Who says you need to make up for a total lack of game questions? It just means less work for me. But no, you have to spoil it by throwing in bloody RPAs. At least Pantszilla seems to have had some genuine effort put into it (I'd even go so far as to say that the 3D helicopters are almost convincing), but that one with the logo is criminal - for a start, we don't use that logo any more, and to add insult to injury you've drawn in excess flesh where Mr. Pants' legs meet his body. They're supposed to vanish directly into the pants, man! Everyone knows that!

Dear Scribe (or something...)
     Hey! I am so happy Rare decided to continue developing for the GBA! I actually traded my Xbox for a PS2 like a month before you guys went under Microsoft's wing. It's too bad too... you guys are gonna rock the 'box! Anyways, I have a few questions to ask, and if you wouldn't mind answering them it would be greatly appreciated!
     1- What's the status on Banjo Pilot? I haven't heard any news on it since it was changed from DK Pilot.
     2- My favorite games from you guys were the Donkey Kong Country series... seeing as you did help port the original DKC to the GBA, do you think there's a chance of seeing a DKC4 on the GBA???
     3- Any chance of a Conker game coming to the GBA? (Not counting Conker's Pocket Tales for GBC.) I mean, a REAL Conker game, with the humor and vulgarity the N64 version had. (One of the best platformers of all time, by the way.)
     4- Who exactly is Mr. Pants??? (Yes I know what he looks like, but WHO is he???)

Make up some rubbish or ask the team... make up some rubbish or ask the team... hmmm. [Flips coin] I'll ask the team.
     "1) Banjo Pilot is coming along nicely, I think you will be quite suprised by the changes since it was DKP.
     "2) It would be cool to do another DKC sequel, but that's up to Nintendo, not us.
     "3) I don't think Conker would suit the Game Boy Advance market too well, but you never know."
     4) He used to be our survey man. Don't go looking for significance that isn't there.

Dear Scribes,
     Well it's good to see you guys are still making video games, and for our beloved Xbox to boot. Although there was a part of me that was saddened when I heard of your lifelong union with Nintendo being broken, but I guess life goes on.
     The GE/PD games are the 2 greatest FPS games of all time. I had endless amounts of fun on those games, but there is only one problem, the key word is HAD. I stopped playing those games for 2 reasons, first our old and faithful friend the N64 is long past its prime and it's just not a whole lot of fun playing games with broken joysticks (and Nintendo isn't going to make N64 controllers anymore). The other reason is that there was only one problem with PD, it was ahead of its time. You guys designed the game to use every ounce of the N64's potential and even the expansion memory pack. And the end result was breathtaking, until you get in the heat of battle and the N64 starts lagging and the frame rate plummets and your eyes start hurting.
     So what to do about these issues? Well since you guys are obviously in the business of resurrecting the greats on GBA, why not pull a Rockstar and spitshine GE and PD, crank up the resolution and framerate, toss in some extra goodies, package them up together and sell them for a low price for the Xbox. This move would not only show the world that you can make a FPS that is better than Halo, it would also let you see PD in all her glimmering beauty in the way you visioned her back in the day. And with the unbreakable Xbox Controller S, we could play the greats for hours upon hours.
     I understand that there are probably lots of legal rights issues with this idea but if all else fails I could just cut you guys a check for a couple hundred bucks and you could send me my own copy under the table like. So anyway I'm pretty stoked about the new titles coming out for Xbox and I hope you can once again show the world that you set the standard for video games.
     Matt Mace

"A couple hundred bucks" should cover development for about five minutes, give or take. Unfortunately I can't guarantee we could finish the conversion in that time. Let's see, can I trust GE/PD's designer to be tactful with the rest of the answers?
     "There's a pretty tricky legal situation over titles developed by Rare but published by Nintendo, let alone those which were made under licence, and especially those made under a licence which had been acquired from Eon/Danjaq by Nintendo and then given to Rare for Rare to make prior to being given back to Nintendo for publication while under the watchful eye of Eon/Danjaq. The situation with Perfect Dark is a little simpler, since Rare developed and published it. All this is a bit moot, since:
     "a) The rights to the GoldenEye title are already signed out to another publisher - EA, if memory serves, and;
     "b) We'd all just rather move on. There'd be substantial work involved in rejigging an N64 title for the Xbox - so much work, in fact, that we'd be better off making one from scratch. Who wants to keep making the same game over and over anyway? Don't answer that."

Dear Scribes,
     It's my first time on Scribes and I'd like to say congratulations for all of your success over the years. Thanks to all of your tremendous games, you are my favorite gaming company. I can't wait to get my hands on Grabbed by the Ghoulies. Here are my questions...
     (1) Any rough idea when Kameo will hit retail?
     (2) Same question for Conker.
     Those are my only questions as I don't want to take up all of your time. Seriously, thanks for making great games and I look forward to what the future holds for you.
     Jarrod Nichol

You're so polite I'm reluctant to point out that your questions are the WORST QUESTIONS EVER, but they are. You must know of our violent allergy to release dates. So here's an equally pointless answer: 2004.

Dear Scribes,
     I've got to squash the rumours about how Timothy Dalton was responsible for the removal of Goldeneye's All Bonds cheat. I am perfectly aware that you will keep your smirking little lips buttoned about the real reason why till Judgement Day (of course, if you do tell me, I promise not to spill the beans), but I need to know that whether he threatened a lawsuit and was the sole cause of its removal. I personally don't care about the bloody cheat, I just need a bit of ammunition for this flame war.
     Sorry to waste your time,

     "I certainly don't remember any such mode... at one time we had several different Bond actors' faces in the game, and the player would have been able to select which incarnation of Bond they would like to play as during the single player game, possibly after completing the game once; there would have been a corresponding photo on the player file. This was removed from the game following a request from an Eon executive (I think it was Eon - it was a long time ago) who said that they would prefer to have only the current Bond's likeness - meaning Pierce Brosnan - rather than the whole lot.
     "It was a shame to remove the faces, but we were required to do it, and to be fair we half-expected to have to do it, since the production company would have had to pay royalties to all of the actors featured in the game. But as for an 'All Bonds' mode... there was no mode planned at any stage of the development.
     "Definitive Statement: as far as my experience of the situation went, Timothy Dalton had nothing to do with it, and no lawsuits to do with him or any other Bond actor were ever mentioned.
     "Flame War? Over this?"

Dear Scribes,
     Just curious, but if and when Conker: Live and Uncut is released, will there be *any* plans to have some merchandise made? Y'know, like T-shirts, bumper stickers, and--more in demand by myself and a few other Conker fans--plushies (small beanbags, more likely) of the little, blue swearshirted red squirrel, hopefully? I know quite a few people (OVER the age of 17, by the way...) who'd buy a Conker plush. Hell, you could even do it as a game preorder giveaway. =)
     Jade Gryphon

That'd be Microsoft's department, not ours. Maybe I could put in a - hang on, what do you mean "if and when"?

Dear Mr. Loveday,
     I'm writing concerning the history of Grim Reapers in your games. I'd like to know why a new one has been hired on for the role in Grabbed By The Ghoulies, over poor old Gregg's head? He has the ability to carry out the Duty on Xbox just as well as he managed on the N64, so long as cats aren't involved. His extensive knowledge of reaping would even serve him in a Duel to the Death (ha ha!) against the new guy, as this RPA shows.
     Stephen Cosgrove
     P.S. I know it's different artists and all, but Gregg really does rock.

I think the Ghoulies role could only be properly filled by a scary Reaper. While Gregg undeniably has a lot of things going for him, it's hard to say he excels at gut-wrenching terror. On the other hand, of course, the Ghoulies Reaper probably isn't much cop at swearing, so it just depends on what qualities you want from your anthropomorphised soul harvester on any given day.
     Insider information from the Ghoulies team, however, suggests a different reason: "I'm afraid that Gregg's appearance in Conker turned him into a bit of a diva - demanding a solid silver scythe, new silk robe and a limitless amount of souls to claim. The new guy is much cheaper, willing to manage with a cheap floating movement and a nice little effect on his finger."

     Here's the deal. I have no life, I spend my days downloading movies and I read Scribes whenever it updates. Around 2 years ago, I sent a message to you, and you had actually posted it on your site, and replied to it. Although your reply contained witty insults directed at me, I was happy. Happy that someone acknowledged my existence, even if it was you. Happy that some new Rare fan could check out the archived editions of Scribes and say "lol omfg taht's a ufnny messsage@1" or, in other words, "Chico was here" (I'm Chico). Happy that I left a mark on that vast jungle mostly inhabited by freak shows which is also knows as the internet.
     Then you get approached by thin guys with glasses, ungodly smiles, and/or weird haircuts. And naturally, from what I hear from them, they'd rather eat Kameo's feces than be associated with Nintendo (conveniently ignoring their developing of GBA games, of course). So they tell you to scrap everything from your site, and build a new one. From scratch.
     So after seeing that conference about how much Microsoft and Rare sincerely love each other that made thousands of Nintendo fans bawl in their own vomit, I visit your site, wondering what could have possibly happened to it.
     All previous editions of Scribes were gone. Gone with the wind. Gone with the old Rare. Gone with Yamauchi.
     Not only can I not relate to you anymore, seeing as Nintendo has plugged a chip in my brain since childhood, but now, I hate you more than I hate Enrique Iglesias. And I really hate Enrique Iglesias. I won't ask you to post my message in the next edition of Scribes. I EXPECT you to post my message in the next edition of Scribes. You owe it to me. Xbox owners can have Conker and Kameo, but I can't leave without stamping with my Nintendo... stamp. Microsoft cannot take EVERYTHING from me, cos then life would be unfair, wouldn't it?
     On that note, I thank you, Rare. But next time you plan on being bought out by a console manufacturer, don't put a picture of your game on another console's packaging. It reduces the headaches.
PS : Please make all the "WHEN IS PERFECT DARK 0 COMING OUT WHEN IS CONKER COMING OUT WHEN IS KILLER INSTINCT COMING OUT IS IT COMING OUT SOON???????" comments go away... go back to your old, cranky self. You're not nearly as much of a b*st*rd as you were before. Maybe it's the recently filled up pockets, I don't know, but try harder.

Okay, so many misconceptions here I barely know where to start. Well, actually, I do. "Recently filled up pockets"? Allow me to provide a glimpse of the perspective you so dearly need: I'm still driving a crap 1989 Micra with the passenger side door falling off. When a company with 200 or so employees is sold, the profits from the sale are not evenly divided 200 ways. Don't know much about business, do you? We're all working for a living here just like everyone else.
      If I could make all the "when is..." mails go away at the flick of a switch, I would, but obviously it's not that simple. That's what people are sending in. Are we actively requesting that kind of mail? Are we knickers.
     Also, the site. At no time did Microsoft ask us, tell us or lean heavily on us to rebuild our site, or to remove anything from it. Taking down a lot of the Nintendo-owned stuff and refocusing on the Rare-owned properties and future games was a) a management decision, and b) common bloody sense. The older Scribes got left behind as a side-effect of this focus shift, and I wasn't about to complain because it had just taken me over a year to finish reformatting previous editions to the style of the last site. You can still find them archived on the web if you look hard enough (or at all).
     So there you go - consider your 'stamp' left, Chico. You didn't really need to cast so many aspersions in the process, but I suppose it's the end result that counts, eh?

hey rare team,
     i don't know what the hell has become of this page (tolets, bad poo jokes and rymes)
     anyway, i was playing jet force gemini and i was looking at the trees in goldwood. at the bottom of the trees is a open part and its full of wires. why did you's do that? everything in goldwood is basic old and rocky, but the trees are robotic! its not like king jeff and barry made some A.I trees to look better. anyway, please answer mr feather or whatever that pants guy is.
     from 'I FINISHED JET FORCE GEMINI IN 31:50!' (Nerdpower)

Still laughing at the irony of your opening sentence, I'll pass this one on to the artist responsible...
     "I thought it would have been obvious that masses of Mizar's nasty nano-bots consumed the once magnificent tree, and transformed the subjugated trunk into an evil underground factory for churning out infinite swarms of nasty flying robots hell-bent on the annihilation of Jet Force! How would you know that it was an evil underground factory if it didn't have shiny metallic walls, wires and flashy lights?"

Dear Scribes,
     Something has been bothering me for the longest time. I am a die-hard fan of his, and he has not made ANY appearances since 1997. Where the hell is T.T.? How can you neglect The Chronomaster, who holds all records of time in his hand? Have you left him to waste away walking in circles in Dino Domain, or perhaps doing the very same thing in Future Fun Land??? He was the TOP secret character in that game, for Lord's sakes! You can't let his fame go unwarranted. Please bring him back in another Rare game, if not as a star of a game, at least as a guide/menu guy. I spent so much time breaking his records in order to get him, and that adorable face and his little remarks/narrations have stuck with me forever since. Please don't let him die with the likes of some THING like Tiptup, and even HE got a spot in Banjo-Tooie! Please resurrect the undisputably GREATEST racer in DKR history. It would only help to make this Rareware fan and his siblings love and revere the company even more. Please heed my plead.
     Vaughn "K. Rool" Booker
     P.S. "Hi there, I'm T.T.!"

And there was me thinking the Mr. Pants fanboys were a bit 'keen'.
     Much as I'd like to say that we no longer have any control over T.T. and therefore can't be held responsible for the unlikelihood of him ever coming back, it turns out we do still own the rights to most of Diddy Kong Racing after all (minus Diddy and Krunch, obviously), so bang goes that excuse. All the same, my advice would be to prepare for the worst by coming to terms with your fixation, moving on, and most crucially of all cutting out the impressions - they're really starting to scare people.

     What's the deal with Tawfret, Eschebone and Rith Essa?
     I'm a huge JFG fan but, I don't get it.
     I put the words in a word descrambler on the internet and nothing came up.
     I spent a good portion of my life playing that game, I deserve to know.
     P.S. If it's too offensive just e-mail the response!

Well, I don't find it offensive, but that's not saying much. Whether or not the lack of response from a family-friendly internet descrambler should be taken as meaningful is up to you...

Dear Mr. Loveday,
     Upon replaying of Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie, I suddenly became aware of the fact that Rareware has clearly modelled Gruntilda around my grandmother, yet she has not received any royalty fees.
     My suspicions first arose upon entering Gruntilda's lair in Banjo-Kazooie and hearing an echoed cackle to the effect of: "Ee hee hee hee hee hee!", which is the exact same cackle my grandmother emitted when she used to put me to bed and turn out the lights. When Gruntilda began to speak, my suspicions were confirmed as the series of grunts and screeches were definitely those that I am used to whenever she watches Countdown. Also, when I saw the Game Over sequence and the screen faded to black, Gruntilda laughed hysterically, not unsimilar to my grandmother when she wins down at the local bingo.
     Appearance-wise, Gruntilda also bears a striking resemblance to my grandmother. In Banjo-Kazooie, Gruntilda wears black, is covered with warts and appears quite plump. This itself bears more than a canny resemblance, but I am simply shocked at how much Gruntilda changed in order to become an even closer image of my grandmother, in Banjo-Tooie. And to add insult to injury, it appears Klungo was based off my poor old grandfather, constantly receiving beatings and verbal abuse in his efforts to assist and please his mistress.
     As if this was not enough, it appears that Gruntilda's intentions seem to be the same as my grandmother's, in that she rather enjoys kidnapping young girls and allegedly trying to "steal their youth" by practising black magic. Bless her soul.
     I implore that if/when Grunty's Revenge is released, you please refrain from featuring Gruntilda telling people to stay off her lawn, knitting jumpers that are too big, shrieking that Death is coming for her, and drinking gin excessively. Otherwise, the similarities will simply be too close, and Rareware may find themselves facing legal action.
     Thank you.

"Please accept our heartfelt apologies with respect to your grandparent's condition," says a humble Banjo team, "but any resemblance to living people is purely coincidental, blah, blah, blah.
     "Do you realise just how much work we've already put into one of the levels where you sink a bottle of Gordon's, take up your knitting needles and ‘knit one, purl one' against the lawn trespassing prophecy of doom? Now we're going to have to start again and slap a delay of 7.48 years on the next Banjo game. We hope you're happy…"

Dear Scribes,
     With all the requests for games that flood into your mailbag, I felt it was my responsibility to request one of - what I feel is - your most underappreciated games. That is, Diddy Kong Racing. I absolutely loved that game on Nintendo 64. At first, many people saw it as a shallow kids' game, but it had so much depth and diversity once you spent a little time with it. I don't care what the reviews said, it was and is a much better game than Mario Kart 64. The multiplayer easily was and the single player just had so much more variety and the hub world helped connect the game together rather than treating it as a whole lot of disjointed races selected from a menu.
     I know you've lost a few of the characters you used in the game, but you guys are imaginative, I'm sure you can come up with a few original critters. And then just call it Rare Racing or something.
     But I'll be honest, DKR is my second most wanted Rare game. The first, of course, is Perfect Dark Zero. Now, I know you get millions of letters asking for something... anything... a mere scrap of information, but I think you should finally open your eyes and look at the following you have with this game. Just an announcement alone would push the excitement into overdrive. Right now I'm hearing people saying "It was more hyped on Gamecube". Don't let that happen guys. Just look at Valve's recent announcement of Half Life 2. We all knew it was coming, but the announcement came out of nowhere and now it's at the top of everyone's most wanted lists. Ahead of games that have spent years building hype. You, too, have the power to do that, so why not use it. Give us an announcement.
     We've been paying for your games for years, we deserve this!

Yep - and Half-Life 2 has been delayed. Really, we are aware of the following that GoldenEye and PD built up, but it's no good pushing for information until we feel it's ready to show in a state where nobody can be disappointed, and where you won't have to wait years to actually play it. You know it's coming, and you know we'll lift the lid when the time is right - at the end of the day, that's what's important.
     As for a sequel to DKR, like you said, a couple of the major characters are out of our jurisdiction these days, so rather than attempt to do a straight sequel we might as well go for something with a different licence and a bunch of different characters... oh, hang on.

     How's it all hanging down in the ol' Rareware office?! Got a question which I was gonna post to your lads up at Recruitment, but thought it'd pee 'em off so it's now directed to YOU!...
     The soundtracks to all your games are pretty ace (who can forget the Goldeneye lift music?!?), and I was wondering who composes all this? Do you have someone in your dungeons slaving away on it or do you commission different peoples to compose for peanuts whilst being slapped round the chops with a 20lb fish? I'm a composer you see, and be it in a dungeon or whatever, I'd like to hold my head up high one day and say, "I composed the soundtrack to Mr. Pants - the greatest game ever released by Rare for the Xbox".
     Richard Roseblade

     P.S. You MUST have some fit ladies working in that place, give 'em my email so I can twist their arm (electronically) and they can get me a job at Rare once I'm out of this mental institution.

Never mind just "someone" - we have several people slaving away in our dungeons. Game development long ago reached a level where an in-house music department became pretty much mandatory. Ours has about eight people. And no, that's not necessarily one per game, before all you list-making conspiracy theorists start up again...
     Your ambitions are noble. Just leave out the "released by Rare for the Xbox" bit for maximum accuracy.

Dear Scribes,
     An English test I did not pass, but this rhyme shall kick your ass,

     There is a game company - it goes by the name of Rare, They bring us great games, like that of a bird and bear.
     They work hours on end, night after night, Exhausting themselves, to bring us the crap we delight!
     Lo and behold, Nintendo is no more, To Xbox have they moved (for the better, I'm sure).
     So now I shall sulk, for my father is tight - “No need for an Xbox ‘cause PC's are right!”
     A few questions I have to ask of you, Just read ‘em, and try not to spew...

     1. Tell me now, oh dear Rareware - Shall you continue the adventures of a bird and bear?
     They need continuation - they do indeed! So make us a game with great graphics and high speed!
     You have moved from the big N to the big X, So will the rumoured Banjo-Threeie be next?
     Yoda said that “Produce it you might not.” Tell me you will, or my brain shall rot.

     2. And what about that dear old game - The one where you blow up Drones (it wasn't lame!)
     JFG I would like to see once more, But don't make Mizar such a bore!
     Lupus was fun - yes indeed, But more guns are what I need.
     How about one that always lasts - When times get desperate, rocket with your a$$!

     3. CBFD was a jewel, And Tediz blasting was so cool!
     Gregg the Grim Reaper truly rules, And the way he swears makes me drool.
     But my favourite moment was the time, When Chucky Poo sang and rhymed!
     His song sure kicks nuts, So will it be on Live & Uncut?

     Ponder on this thought, oh dear Rare, Though I know you don't really care.
     ‘Tis time to go now - I'm bringing this rhyme to a close, For my snot is runny, and I must blow my nose!
     I'm giving up rhyming and going to bed, ‘Cause it's too hard, and I must rest my head.
     So long for now, my dear Rareware, ‘Cause my rhyming SUCKS... So there!

     Poo to you,

Now Rhyming Anon's really going to sulk over the hacking of his poem last time. And I bet you want me to answer in crappy verse as well, don't you? Unngh.
     1) Banjo the series is a shining Rare jewel - if you think it's abandoned, you're some kind of tool.
         But when we return there, let's hope the name alters, 'cos Banjo-Threeie sucks the Rock of Gibraltar.
     2) Another Gemini fanboy, I see, requesting an answer that isn't "maybe".
         But that's my best offer, and face it, it's true - Banjo's more likely, and so's Time Lord 2.

     3) The whole of BFD should reappear, including the Overlord of Diarrhoea.
         So those are your answers, I know they're all poo - next time you can bloody well ask something new.

Dear Scribes,
     Hey! I just had a simple question really quick. Banjo Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge is supposed to be after Banjo-Tooie. So does this mean all the Banjo games are going to the GBA? Because, I bought an Xbox for two reasons: One Halo, Two Because Rareware went to Xbox? I want to see a Xbox Banjo Game! So please email me an answer.
     Thanks, your Loyal Fan,
     Dustin Payne
     (Please Refrain from all Pain in the Butt jokes!)

The word from the GBA team: "Banjo Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge is a spin-off adventure. There will be more Banjo titles to come, Banjo Pilot being one of them."
     Also, Grunty's Revenge is set after Banjo-Kazooie and before Banjo-Tooie. So the latest episode in the series, chronologically speaking, was on the N64 - which doesn't tie it down to any platform. Who knows where it could go from here? Maybe the Phantom (ah, I never get tired of that one).

     I just like to say that your are a bunch T*ts. Why oh why did you a british company release your new games in a the US first? Its bad enough that they get three Concordes, when they tried to ban it flying in their country in the first place. (Sorry Want a bit off topic then) So explain to me why you released grabbed by the goulies in the US first? Along with your GBA games. If you can give me a decent answer for once then maybe i shalll not be so mad. If it is Microsoft is making you release the games over there first tell them if they release some games over here first like Halo 2 then we shall be even. Do not ignore me. You stupid fools have your address on your site. So to cut a long story short release your games first over here in England not the US. Otherwise your are all a bunch of goat monkeys that should just move to the US. As no self respecting developer would let its game released in a terratorie (spelling) other than its own first. ALSO ITS AUTUM NOT BLOODY FALLL!!!!!!!!!!
     Bob (the Man)
     (Post this on scribes as in about a week i shall for get my password and i will not be able to check my email.)

We take great offence at the suggestion that our are a bunch T*ts (snigger).
     Rare's Xbox games are published by Microsoft Game Studios. MGS is based in America. PAL conversions need to be optimised and translated into various languages.
Nevertheless, you'll notice that it was only a month between the US and European release dates for Grabbed by the Ghoulies, which is a damn sight quicker than the industry average and demonstrates Microsoft's steady progression towards universal release dates. That's something they're aiming for, and hopefully it's something we'll see come to fruition in the not-too-distant future.
     Still, way to give the Brits a bad name in public, 'Bob'.

Dear chaps,
     Thank you so much for answering my hoverbike question. Back to my unstated point, I've got a few twisted ideas for use in PD0 (the game that may convince me to waste my money, I mean, buy an Xbox), so here they are:
     1. Having good old Mr. Carrington as a playable character whom you can throw off cliffs.
     2. Elvis spawning a 2nd head.
     3. Being able to hit Cassandra de Vries with a train multiple times (although she did, to my delight, die in the first PD).
     4. Dismembering Grimshaw until he shuts up OR moves to the Equator, and finally
     5. Ms. Dark stripping naked then running around with knives and screaming.
     Oh, I almost forgot 6. Trent Easton comes back to life and replaces Carrington as head of the Institute.
     Any comments are appreciated (and no I will not ask you to release the nonexistent pushbutton codes for PD. Personally, I find such things coarse and vulgar, though I do love playing Air Force One Antiterrorism w/cheats and crashing the bloody plane). By the way, I traded Goldeneye for Tony Hawk 1, which I will trade if I can't beat the confounded Phoenix level.
     Your friend,
     Mr. Lord

     P.S. Classic weapons kick major arse! Also three cheers for Foster!

You've scored another response from PD's designer! Two in a row, Mr. Lord! This one's even less civilised!
     "All excellent suggestions which we will definitely take on board. Thank you very much for taking the time to send them in. Really. Also, it's entirely up to you what you do with your copy of GoldenEye, you apparently soulless bast-" (Thanks for that - Ed).

Dear Scribes,
     I can't help but grin the most delightfully evil grin ever. Here I am playing Grabbed by the Ghoulies, and what do I find? A Killer Instinct 3 art box. Are you guys serious this time? Are you finally gonna give the KI fanbase what it's been desperately crying for since KI2? Is Killer Instinct 3 coming!? If it is, it's about time. Nothing, I repeat, nothing compares to KI. I don't care about playing Conker again with pretty graphics, nor do I want another generic FPS starring Ms. Dark. It's time for Fulgore and Co. to return and show today's pansy fighters what a fighting game is all about.

I suppose those young rascals on the Ghoulies team think that's funny. Let's see:
     "Who knows? Maybe it was just a cruel joke that builds up false hope in avid KI fans like you or maybe it means KI is in production right now! What do you think?"

To Mr Scribe Man,
     As you know Grabbed by the Ghoulies has just been released and I must say it is a great game. However I am puzzled with one little bit. On a white board I've seen a homework assignment. It says: 1) Collect Secret Eggs, 2) Collect Ice Key, 3) Activate Secret Level. However in GBTG I haven't been able to find any secret eggs or an Ice Key. So here are my Questions:
     1) Where do I get those secret Items?
     2) What is the theme of this secret level? (Forest-like, snowy, etc...)
     3) What are those pictures with the homework assignment of?
     Gaming Master 2000

I suppose they think that's funny as well.

Dear Scribes,
     I have completed Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge with all the collectibles, yet I still see a 'transparent Jiggy' in my score in the 'Excellent' ending screen. Why is this?
     On a related note, I was surprised to see a lack of advertising for Grunty's Revenge. Who is in charge of the ads? I feel that this game could see much more if more people knew about it, and I would dread seeing your other GameBoy Advance projects drop because of this lack of advertising.
     ?????? ????

"Complete the game in in less than 2 hrs 30 mins for the last Jiggy," suggests the team. "THQ are publishing the game, so the advertising is up to them." And GBA stuff doesn't usually get the kind of advertising reserved for the major next-gen console titles, so we can't say we've noticed any major publicity shortcomings.

You CANNOT be serious! (Conker only on Xbox?!)
     You MUST make a PS2 version as well! An Xbox-only release is an injustice!
     Us PS2 gamers - we gave them BOTH of our Grand Theft Auto games. The little they could do is give US the new Conker game! Whatever second game you choose to balance out the trade, I could care less.
     Come on!!! There will be riots in the streets if this goes on!
     If not extra multi-player stuff, then AT LEAST the original game remake part... I dreamed of this happening for a long time... now my dream's off on a system I don't even play, and won't even buy?! F**k that!
     Go multi-platform with this one, please!
     Andrew Laurenson

Look - which part of "Microsoft Game Studios subsidiary" are you not getting? We never used to attract all this when we were publishing stuff on Nintendo platforms, and we weren't even owned by Nintendo so versions on other formats would technically have been possible (if not actually plausible) back then. Did you complain about all our games being on N64 and not PlayStation at the time? Actually, yeah, you sound like you probably did.

Dear Scribes,
     Having just picked up Rare's newest title, Grabbed By The Ghoulies, and having a great time with it, I have just a couple of queries:
     1. I've read in a few reviews where they've criticized the game for being linear. As it's been put together by the Banjo team, I'm guessing this is a deliberate move to make things more simple and straightforward compared to those games. Would I be right in saying this?
     2. In the Ghoulies manual credits, there is list of voice actors for the characters but doesn't say who did which voices, as it did in the Starfox credits. This is really annoying! Me and my friend Tom reckon there must be some doubling up on voices as there are fewer actors than chracters. We think we can tell which characters are voiced by the same actor, but it would be nice to put names to each one so we can see for sure. We reckon for definite that Steve Malpass, who was Fox McCloud is also Cooper and at least one other character.
     George & Tom

Steve also does 'Voice of Welsh Peasant', but not in any actual games.
     1) That's the fella: less sprawl, more focus. As the team put it, "you'd be just about as right as possible. Ghoulies was always supposed to be an easily accessible, easy to play game that allows players to have simple, straightforward fun without having to worry about getting lost in a huge house by going the wrong way."
      2) The GbtG team are very liberated in their ideas of recognition under staff credits, hence the generalised listing.
A bit of clarification for you, though: "Tom and you are right again! Most of the voices were done by a handful of people - most of whom were on the team. We did actually manage to get a few new ‘talents' involved, but most of it was down to the old regulars. ‘McCloud' Malpass was indeed Cooper, but also look out for Cooper's artist as the Mummy and our musician as just about everything else (as usual)."

     I am kinda new to the Rare Ware thing, and the only reason I checked out your website is b/c Microsoft bought you guys out. That and Grabbed by the Ghoulies looks pretty good. All this talk about Banjo and Kazooie or some such, PD0, push button codes, Mr. Pants, and the such. There seems to be a lot of inside jokes and references to the little known. So, is there anyway we newcomers, XBox owners, can get a run down on what the fudge you are talking about? You guys make the site look readable and understandable, and that says a lot. Thanx.
     Rare Newcomer

Don't be so... hang on, I suppose it's a valid concern. Alright then.
      Banjo and Kazooie: appeared in Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie on N64, plus Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge on GBA. Stars of one of Rare's biggest franchises. One's a thick bear, the other's a smartarse bird who lives in his rucksack. No, really.
     PD0: upcoming sequel to Perfect Dark,
star vehicle of Ms. Joanna Dark and one of Rare's most acclaimed N64 titles, which was itself a kind of spiritual sequel to GoldenEye.
     Push-button codes: non-existent method of obtaining cheats in Perfect Dark, which some misguided zealots continue to store faith in because they're too rubbish to get them the proper way.
     Mr. Pants: badly-drawn fat stick man (wearing pants - the UK version) originally used as a placeholder graphic for the site survey page. He stuck. Now things have escalated/deteriorated to the point where he's been given his own game. Deal with it.
     Is that all of them? I'm disappointed that you couldn't find more obscure references and in-jokes than that. If you think of any more, don't be a Williamson - please contest me fast!

HI i would just like to know if Grabbed by the Ghoulies is a sequel to the zombies ate my neighbors. Because they have alot in common.

I can think of at least one reasonable point of comparison, and it begins with a Z.

It's Mr. Pants! It's Mr. Pants! Ahhh seeing that in green will make my day!
Paul Moran

Oh no! I've hilariously mixed up the hex codes for green and pink, etc.

Do you guys go to Twycross Zoo for inspiration? Is it true that they have a bear in hotpants with a blue rucksack there? Can we tell what games you're releasing by looking for which animals have been sponsored by Rare? Should we call the (a)RS(e)PCA?

Sadly the zoo's humanoid bears were all killed by Warwickshire's indigenous gun-toting squirrels.

Why don't the development teams at Rareware have stupid self-indulgent Sonic Team-style names, like "Team Banjo" or "Team Mickey Mouse's Speedway USA"?

That's way too complicated for the likes of us.

Ghoulies... The characters look great! The gameplay looks more fun than a barrel of crap-flinging monkeys! I love it! I want to throw cheeseburgers at zombies! I want to extinguish Fire Imps! I want to have an Xbox! I want to rule the world! EVERYbody wants to rule the world! i Am iN XtAC!!!11 !1

"I'll fight anyone who doesn't like Ghoulies," Roland Orzabal from Tears For Fears didn't say yesterday.

Why is Mr. Pants so annoying?! Kill him! It would be a much better world without him!
The Disastermaster

That's probably true, but killing him off would take effort.

on conker live and uncut will you be able to create your teddy are squrille
Blue Blur

Thank you for your interest in Rare!!!

I can't wait for Conker: Live and Uncut, but there's one thing that bothers me: you don't have any pictures of the revamped 1-player mode! Could you be so kind as to post a picture of it? Preferably a picture of the zombie-shooting scene with better graphics?
Stu Pidname

Always a pleasure to be of assistance: here.

You are in England yes? Can you say hi to David Blaine for me?! I think he is a man!!!!
Hank D

Oh sorry, you said "say hi to" - I thought you said "throw bricks at". Not to worry, eh?

I've noticed that in the stores that BKGR has not got the "only on Gameboy Advance" thing on it. Is it a mistake or is it on some other system? If it is on another system, WHAT IS IT ON!!!!!
Zert X!

The team's US copy has the GBA message. Maybe it's a European thing. Maybe you're mad.

His name shouldn't be Justin Pants because of his alluring physique, but rather because he's just in pants. Just in Pants. Justin Pants!!! WHOOO!!!!!

Yes, I got that, but Timberlake still looks like he hasn't got two brain cells to rub together.

Please develope Donkey Kong Country and Diddy's Kong Quest games (SNES platform) for PC.

Thank you for your interest in Rare!!!

In one of your up-coming games could you include a character who is a Pot-bellied Pig, who is also a masochist?
Mr. Trousers

Look out for The Adventures of Self-Inflicted Snorty, hitting stores near you NEVER.

After visiting your website day after day, my dreams finally came true: the return of MP3s! The songs' subliminal messages keep tempting me to finally give into buying an X-Box. Now I've got to ask for more... MORE!

We'll see. At least you're asking and not demanding, which is always a novelty.

Is it me or does the "Once upon on a time" MP3 from Kameo sound oddly familiar to the opening of Edward Scissorhands theme? Yeah I know this isnt going to make Scribes, just wanted a opinion from someone at RARE.

"It uses a celeste (like a vibraphone) as does Edward Scissorhands, Harry Potter, etc. The tune is nothing like it."

My sister would like to know why Mr. Blonde from PD wears a white trench coat. I'd like to know why the dD Snipers in PD are wearing purple. In broad daylight.

"Trenchcoats on Scandinavians = classically conspiratorial; purple snipers = woman in charge of corporation. What?"


I was quoting the website, my polygamist friend. Take it up with Mr. Trout's record company.

Is it true that a secret orginisation in Rare are looking for ways to avoid the xbox contract and make their games multi format? If you don't tell me    i'll     i'll     well i dont know what i'll do but you've still got to tell me
The B.F.G (banjo. for. gamecube and other games)

dANM YUO /F0r RUEn1Ng OUr ,AMaZZ1gn sErcRET pLAnN!!!!!#!!1 !!!!   !!     1

My name is Garry Haywood. I have promised to play a game of Grabbed By The Ghoulies with my closest friends very soon. Before your version is released, in fact.
Garry Haywood

Hurrah for unnecessarily revived in-jokes! Those Xbox newcomers will be so pleased...