It's the stupid Rare letters page! Send us your mail! We'll release the PD push-button codes as a festive treat!

DECEMBER 24, 2003

Dear Scribes,
     Hi... long time reader, first time complainer.
     Why hasn't Bottles the Mole gotten his own action game? You know... "Hole Digger 8000", or sommat. Or even "Offer advice to cheeky game stars while secretly loathing them for edging you out of the starring role".
     That aside, I'd like to congratulate you all on a job well done. What am I on about? Grabbed by the Ghoulies. Fantastic gameplay, best graphics on the Xbox, and scads of hot, tied up girls. Besides, it's the first recorded instance of a game in which you can throw hamburgers at mummies, and I approve of that.
     However, there was one small disappointment... couldn't you have made Satan the last boss? I rather think I'd like to see Cooper, a 16 year old boy, beating the everloving crap out of the Prince of Lies with a hock of ham, or pool cue. Or the swordfish... Yes, the swordfish.
     Oh and one last thing... Cooper waded through a mansion full of monsters to save his girlfriend and all he got was a few hugs. I can understand if being in a haunted mansion didn't exactly put her in the mood, but she really owes him a little o' the good stuff, you know?
     Bob Averill
P.S. I'm serious about the Bottles game, don't think I'm not.

Rare Reply: I'd rate 'throwing toilet rolls at Death' higher on the list of good stuff than 'throwing hamburgers at mummies', but your point stands. Here's Ghoulies' team leader.
     "Bottles can’t see very well, which makes a starring role in most games unlikely. Unless it’s a game set in complete darkness. Which means you wouldn’t be able to see then.
     "As for Satan, I don’t think the ESRB (games rating board) would have been too impressed with ‘Old Father Nick’ making an appearance in an E rated game. The Baron was originally nasty and sinister, but that made him like every other video game boss in history. So we made him a complete imbecile who thinks he’s a plane instead. An obvious transition, really.
     "Again, the ESRB would have frowned upon anything more than a few hugs for Cooper, so I can’t possibly comment on what happened in the bushes further down the road…"

Dear Scribes,

     With the release of Banjo Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge, I have yet to take it out of my GBA. But this game has also led some questions into my mind, which I'm redirecting towards you.
     1.) Will there be a sequel to Banjo Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge? Like a Banjo Tooie: Grunty's Revenge?
     2.) In Spiller's Harbor in BK:GR, is the Mr. Drippy stand supposed to be a reference to Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds? The guy's name is Alfred P. Cock and he is being attacked by birds. Was this intentional or just a coincidence?
     3.) What are the Squits in that game supposed to be?
     Also, with GbtG being released soon, I'm sure you'll stun us once again with imaginative characters and gameplay.
     Dustin Demon

Rare Reply: Ghoulies has been out for ages, you fool! Don't try to tell me you sent this months ago and I'm just rubbish at doing Scribes. Er...
     Look! Over there! The GBA team!
     "1) It all depends on how well Grunty sells. So hopefully it will sell loads and we will get to do the sequel.
     "2) It is indeed, can't believe anyone other than the game's designer spotted that.
     "3) Poo. A bit of Banjo trivia: the mother was originally named Sloppy Squitter, but she never made it to the final version."

Dear Scribes,
     Longtime Rare fan, first time site-writing-in-person thingy. Basically I fell in love with your lot after Diddy Kong Racing and have hero-worshipped your software ever since blah blah blingy blingy. Small talk, yay! Now, tell me precisely what I want to know or I'll feed you to the cat.
     1) Am I the only person in the universe who still actually remembers DKR and would like to see a game based on DKR characters such as... come on, it's obvious... Timber?
     2) Are you planning such a game?
     3) Is there any reason why JFG is continually slagged off by fans and I thought it was one of the best games you've ever made?
     4) You're making JFG 2. Please for the love of God, if you're subjecting the world to It's Mr Pants, please tell me you're making JFG 2.
     5) The Banjo games were, quite frankly, marvellous. Like every other Rare fan with more than one active brain cell I think that a 3rd Banjo adventure for Xbox would be a very, VERY good move.
     Finished. I would have been more sarcastic, but I noticed your wily technique of completely humiliating anyone who tries to patronise you, which forced me to think otherwise. I've now cleverly managed to sidestep this lay-by and am still in your favour, of course. Bwa ha ha.
     The 5th Sheep

Rare Reply: 1) Well, yes, I would have said you were the only fan of Timber if we hadn't got a letter just this morning from another self-confessed boggle-eyed tiger enthusiast (see next letter).
     2) Why, do you think that'd be a good idea? Considering the number of moaning sods who've already made a big song and dance over our apparent stupidity in releasing a family-friendly title as our Xbox debut?
     3) Can't say I'd noticed it was continually slagged off. The only mails I get about it are the ones that say "please tell me you're making JFG 2".
     4) See?
     5) Another popular request. Don't take those comments from the last edition too seriously - this is Scribes, after all.
     And by the way, sarcasm is allowed (even encouraged) as long as it's accompanied by some questions which are DIFFERENT TO EVERYONE ELSE'S. Do you see?

Alrighty, Scribes.
     Right, I'm not going to send a pointlessly long letter, so I'll just get straight to the point: Do you guys have ANY IDEA when C:LU is coming out? I've been begging my video game retailers for information about any planned release date, and I've gotten everything from February 3rd to May 20th. If you don't tell me, I'll... I'll... I dunno. I'll probably email you again next Scribes.
PS- Will any of the DKR racers make their comeback in Banjo Pilot? Tiptup has achieved a cult status among some of us gamers (even though I'm much more of a Timber the Tiger fan).

Rare Reply: No. I haven't got any idea. The people on the team probably have, but they don't want to tell you. Probably because of your atrocious level of threat power. Anyway, it's the usual story: when we get closer to a date that we believe we can make, we'll let you know. In the meantime, ask the retailers if you like, but they're probably making up dates on the spot just to stop you coming back every ten minutes.

Dear Scribes,
     Lemmie get through all the annoying things first... arse, make a KI3, why is PD0 taking so long, can I have PD push codes, make -insert game here- Xbox exclusive, why did you leave Nintendo, can I have a free game. There, I think I covered most of them. Please feel free to add any I may have missed.
     Anyway, came by the site to read Scribes and check to see if there was any new PD0 and/or KI3 information (yes, I realize that KI3 is on the "annoying" list, but I'm still a loyal fan). I know this probably isn't necessary, but I wanted to just say that I'm glad you guys are taking the time to make the best game possible, and I'm certain the fruits of your labor will become evident once you finally release Perfect Dark Zero. Can't wait for it. :-)
     Also, I miss Uncle Tusk. Is there any way we can have his verbal-abusing, Chewit-eating, barbarian self answer some letters? Is he still in rehab? Umm... is Maya at home? Alone? Like right now?
     Anyway, keep up the good work, and I'm looking forward to the next edition of Scribes.

Rare Reply: Your common sense and lack of mindless seething vitriol is appreciated. You also provide the required mention of KI3 for this edition. And as it turns out, there's a specific reason for PD0's lengthy development:
     "We’re trying to figure out how many push button codes to include. We’re planning to include codes for making the character move around and shoot the gun… for example, the code of ‘up’ on the main stick moves the character ‘forward’, that sort of thing. You know. Special."
     As for Uncle Tusk, maybe I'll make more of an effort to track him down when we've got a few more Xbox/GBA games out and more "I haven't read the manual and require a kicking"-style gameplay questions coming in.

Dear Scribes,
     Please give us Banjo, Conker, PDark and stop with thing like ghoulies or kameo...The day who you join Microsoft was the most beautifull day of my life (cause until the release of Halo you were according to me the best team of this planet!!)You're game was allways so brillant( great sense of humor, great technics, simply genious) so what is this now? i wait for strong massive hudge game...and you give us ghoulies. Please make something for you're real fan....
     Sorry for my bad english i'm italian...

Rare Reply: You haven't actually played Ghoulies, have you? Anyway, the only reason I printed your letter was because you said 'hudge'.

Dear Scribes...
     Me and my buddy were playing another frustrating battle against them bloody Dark Simulants in Perfect Dark when I began to notice that the crossbow can only hold 69 bolts (arrows). I began to wonder why the number 69? All the other weapons held ammunition within the tens like the laptop gun held 800, and other weapons held 750, 300, 25, etc. So why 69! You guys are pervs and probably said "hey look 69... heh... haha..."
     Oh yeah one last thing... good job on PD and CBFD and all the other great games you guys have made.

Rare Reply: According to the team, "the one person who could possibly have answered your question definitively - the programmer responsible - has long since left the company; the reason why the crossbow has that many bolts will therefore have to remain a mystery. However, you do seem to have captured the tone of the sense of humour round here very accurately, so who knows?"

     No droning this time, straight to the catechism.
     1) Whilst playing CBFD, I (and I'm sure many others) have found a little tube-type thing containing a piece of chocolate, blocked off by a grate in the sh*te hole of the bull-pen. Was this a section that the team couldn't be bothered getting rid of, and will it be extended on in CL&U?
     2) I couldn't be bothered going down to the local shopping mall to check, as it would require effort, so has GbtG been released in Aussie-land yet? I'm looking forward to being part of the RareRevolution."I think I've found out what the funny smell is - look at all those Scribes readers."
     3) What's one little image with a quirky tag you've always wanted to post next to someone's message, but have never got the chance? For the hell of it, and for humour's sake, use it now.
     4) Are we still sending messages to Mr. Loveday? I've seen evidence which has led me to believe you're an impostor... or possibly someone who's filling in for him... *shrugs*
     5) Seeming as everyone dribbles on to you about the games they like, how about you tell us which games you prefer?
     6) Keeping with the theme, are you anticipating StarCraft: Ghost as much as me? It looks pretty good, eh?
     7) Can you send me a complimentary free Xbox for Xmas (pardon the 'coincidence')? I have to work a few more shifts to have enough moolah to purchase one, but I wanna get GbtG crankin'!!
     8) Hey, that's my chicken sandwich! *shakes fist menacingly*
     Well, OK, maybe that was droning, but have fun with my Qs anyway... oh, yeh, Merry Christmas, guys. Keep up the "good" work.
     Benn Charlton

Rare Reply: 1) "Probably, and probably not", is my uninformed guess.
     2) Should be out by now. The release date was pretty close to the Euro PAL release date.
     3) There you go. It's a shot from Druids, which is one of the worst films I've ever seen and totally undeserving of the publicity, but it does allow me to get a gratuitous picture of Christopher Lambert into Scribes. Cheers.

     4) What evidence is this, then? Why would anyone who wasn't me bother pretending that they were? It's hardly instant fame, is it?
     5) I'm hopelessly behind the times since having sprogs, but I do like me a bit of Final Fantasy. Best game ever: either Chaos or The Sentinel on the Speccy. Yeah, you can laugh.
     6) Er... I dunno. Probably?
     7) Oops - missed the Xmas post. No point sending it now, is there? I mean, 'Xbox for January' doesn't alliterate at all...
     8) Ah, that would explain why there aren't any crisps in it.

ust got a couple questions here,
     1. Is Mr. Pants a millionaire?
     2. You should make an N64 Printer so that I can print out 1 million dollars that I savagely and gruesomely earned in CBFD.
     3. Ask Mr. Pants if he wants to have a pillowfight.
     4. If you have high rhetoric ability, you would have noticed that the above question was not really a question. It was in fact a statement. As this one is. A statement, not a question. Remember.
     P.S. I climb trees for fun. You should make a tree climbing game called TreeClimbers. Yeah... I'll leave.

Rare Reply: 1) I'm sure he will be when his game's released and all prior GBA sales records are obliterated.
     2) Yeah - and if we made the ink cartridges expensive enough, we could actually make you lose money on the whole process, just for a laugh.
     3) Only after the game's out, and only if the pillows are stuffed with £50 notes, and only if he can cackle maniacally the whole time.
     4) But the answer's a question?
     PS That's asking for trouble - you just know we'd end up calling it something like Trunk Gropers or Squirrels Chewed My Nuts.

ear Scribes,
     Great job with all the quality games under your belt. I imagine that eventually you will come out with a racing game, as I am sure it would sell quite well and be very popular. I was just wondering if an upcoming racing game is probable or not? If so, I would like to suggest the following characters, who would not be automatics, be included since they would add much to the appeal of the game:
     Captain Blackeye, Canary Mary, Captain Blubber, Gobi, and Boggy.
     I think Captain Blackeye would make a great archenemy to Banjo in addition to Grunty. But all of the characters add value to the Banjo franchise.

Rare Reply: Why would an upcoming racing game automatically be Banjo-related? There's Banjo Pilot, yeah, but you already know about that one. So don't bet your house on an Xbox Banjo racer. Of course, that's not to say Captain Blubber wouldn't be very welcome as a guest star in any franchise racer, though if he didn't have a vehicle he'd be a bit rubbish - whereas Gobi would be rubbish if he did have to drive a vehicle. You haven't thought this through properly, have you?

Dear b*st*rds who told me to change my name to Arse because it would fit well with my last name,
     I know I've been on Scribes 3 or 4 times, and you should give the space to someone who sent an email that was clever and/or entertaining in some way instead of me... but c'mon!
     1. Can you answer emails in Flash like Strong Bad does? I think it would be funny because we could all hear you speak with an English accent, which us North Americans find amusing. :) Also, we could hear you groan when you get a bad one, like those other e-mails you get... you know, the ones that aren't sent by me.
     2. Remember back in the good old days when all the e-mails you got was sent by fools who didn't have any relevant and/or coherent questions to ask? Do you miss those days?
     3. Will Kameo make a Cameo in any other Xbox games? Seems natural to me...
     4. According to Rare's site, Conker Live and Uncut will have never-before-seen weapons, which leads me to the question: what could these weapons be? My running theory is that they have something to do with shooting crappy cereal such as Wheatabix at enemies, forcing them to eat it and making them succumb to the poison inside. If you don't tell me what the weapons are, I'll assume I'm right on the Wheatabix assumption.
     5. What up with Grabbed by the Ghoulies? As of my writing this, if you average all of its review scores it is the 186th best game on the XBox. Is this because the reviewers are bad, the XBox has a lot of great games, you suck, or a combination of these?
     Ugh, that's enough. If you think I've wasted a lot of your time, keep in mind I wasted more of my own. :(
     Greg "Arse" Head (b*st*rds)

Rare Reply: 1) British accent, Arse, British accent. Anyway, no. That would be a terrible error.
     2) In some ways, Arse, it's as if they're still with us.
     3) She's not in any other currently-in-development games, as far as I know. Your best bet is probably to wait for the Kameo team's next project. Wait a minute, Arse - their current project isn't even out yet! Stop making me talk rubbish!
     4) We'll have less of the Weetabix-bashing, thank you very much (and you can get the spelling right while you're at it). You'll see the new stuff when the team's ready to spill and not before, Arse.
     5) To be honest, Arse, I feel it was just treated more harshly than it deserved because it was Rare's First Big Xbox Project, and it wasn't exactly what the critics were clamouring for (i.e. Banjo, Conker or PD - basically, something tried and tested). It's by no means a bad game, you nonce, just an unknown quantity at a time when such things are easily criticised. We weren't completely unaware of that beforehand, but it was the first game we had ready for release following the acquisition, so frankly, tough titty.

ear chaps,
     I know that you're probably getting sick of reading my rubbish (there should be a law against this sort of thing. I mean, come on.), but I have a few things in PD that may spark your interest (or severely p**s off the game's developers), but 'ere goes.
     First, if you'll notice in the opening cinematic for Attack Ship - Covert Assault (which, if you access it in the 'Cinema' menu, I believe, is titled Snatched!), our lovely Ms. De Vries runs outside the cell, shuts the door, then screams. As soon as you start playing, however, you see her run around the deck, and (if you are fast enough to catch her) she screams, gets slapped in the head by a Skedar and dies. Why would she scream, then scream again, then get killed????
     And also, I can't get Trent's (bloody) Magnum cheat. I keep on dying, horribly murdered by the dD troops and the Blonde Skedar ba... bad people. Any tips (hey, at least I'm not asking for the damn push-button codes, right?)?
     And thirdly, knocking out Elvis and punching him to death with Hurricane Fists and hearing the poor bugga go "aheaa! Agruubbababa!" is quite a hoot. Thanks for making it possible.
     Your friend,
     Mr. Lord, Esq.

Rare Reply: Just in time: I was starting to get tired of the PD designer's undignified pawing and pleading for more questions to answer.
     "1) Presumably she experienced two things that made her scream. I was unaware of the law allowing only one scream per murder victim. Imagine the pressure! Not only are you about to be murdered, but you’ve got to get your scream right too.
     "2) Measure twice, cut once.
     "3) I obviously can’t see why anyone would ever want to punch Elvis to death."
     Also with regard to the third one, are you sure you're not thinking of Toadsworth in Super Mario Sunshine when you spray him with water? (Obviously not when you punch him to death - there's not so much of that kind of thing in the Mario games.)

     Hello, I just bought Grabbed By The Ghoulies and the whole family loves it. I am so glad to see you good folks are still making the best games out there. I have only one question... although in a few parts. How can I get my hands on the entire music from the game? Is there an unlockable feature in it somehow like DKC?? If not could you please consider making a soundtrack on CD PLEASE??!!! My wife and I got married on Halloween as it is our favorite holiday and I have quite a collection of related music and such. It would be great to have all the music from the game to play when trick-or-treaters are coming around! Even if you guys could send me a copy of it somehow. Please!! I would very much appreciate it.
     Joseph Heer

Rare Reply: You scary people. It's generally the publisher/distributor that makes the decision on things like soundtrack CDs: I don't think MS did one for Ghoulies, and it's a bit late to be hoping that they'll change their minds, but at least there's the growing selection of MP3s on the Ghoulies Downloads page to ease your frustration a bit. I'll see if I can pester any more out of the relevant people.

ey Leigh!
     I'm sending in three RPAs which illustrate the best times I was able to get on three of your games. I really don't expect them to be the fastest times possible (far from it), but I'm curious to find out where I stand between crap, average, and awesome, especially compared to your tester gods, or even yourself. That is, if you even bother to achieve good times on the games your company makes.
     Yours truly,
     Jean-Marc Goulet
     P.S.: Sorry for the shoddy image quality, as they were taken with a webcam and it's as far as I could move it without moving the computer along with it.

Rare Reply: I'm not going to ask questions about your tightly fixed webcam position. It's every man's prerogative to earn a bit of extra cash any way he can. Instead, let's move right along and run this past a committee of highly-trained Rare testers, shall we?
     "Well, in the first picture he has set a crap time for Banjo-Tooie.
     "The second picture shows a better than average time for Banjo-Kazooie.
     "The third picture shows a great time for DKC3."
     So there you go.

Dear Scribes,
     You should get your game making people to make a game where the people at Rare are trying to make a game, and they start programming the bad guy so he’s the baddest guy ever, and make him really smart, and give him uber AI, and then he gets too smart, and takes over your mainframes, and starts merging all your games, and then the bad guy traps all the good guys from the games in like, things, and then starts getting all the bad guys out, and starts amassing an army of all the characters from your games, and he starts building, within the game, a machine that will allow him and his minions to get out into the real world, and take over it, and like, kill people and do bad stuff, but then one of your scientist guys comes out with a helmet that allows someone to take control of a video game character through their thought patterns, but all the good guys are trapped in the game so there’s no one to control, but then you realise that you’ve still got Mr Pants stored on your laptop, so you hook your laptop up to the network, and then you go in and take control of him, but you find out that you can’t kill the bad guy, whose name can be Thomas, as Mr Pants because he’s 2 dimensional, so you have to save one of the other characters first, and then you go and rescue Banjo, and then you turn into Banjo and go through DataDyne and rescue Joanna Dark and this keeps going and you go through all your games and rescue other characters, like Conker, and Tusk, and the Battletoads, and you could have got Donkey Kong, but now you can’t because he’s licensed to Nintendo, but anyway, so you keep moving through the game, changing into different characters for different situations, and you eventually get to the end to fight Thomas, but throughout the game you find evidence that maybe Thomas’s uberintelligence wasn’t an accident, and that someone sabotaged the game to make him really smart, and in the end you find out that it was Yellow Shirt Guy from Anticipation, and that he did it as revenge for being ridiculed in Scribes for the past few years, and I think it would be the coolest game ever!
     Michael, aka TalkieToaster

Rare Reply: That sounds great. And now you're going to make those people who skim-read Scribes for highlighted game titles think that you've written all that about Anticipation. Especially if I say Anticipation again for no reason.
     Why would being 2D prevent you from killing someone? What kind of logic is that? Are you saying you wouldn't be able to achieve adequate suspension of disbelief if we put Mr. Pants in a GTA-style M-rated crime caper?

ear Scribes,
     Is there any way to wipe a save game on Blast Corps? I've got a second hand copy, and the b*st*rd who had it previously has fairly comprehensively completed the game. I want to start again from scratch, but can't find any option to wipe the slate clean.
     I've got the same problem with Advance Wars on the GBA, but not having programmed that I understand if you can't help.
     Concerned of Glasgow
     PS: I have a friend who has always referred to the gun in Goldeneye as a DOSTOVEL, despite the fact it is clearly called a DOSTOVEI. Any and all insults, reprimands, threats or general abuse you could send his way would be much appreciated. His name is Mangan.
eVRey1 L0vEs TEh# BAkCLsaSh!!!!]!1

Rare Reply:      This old chestnut again? Standard N64 Controller Pak wipe procedure, cunningly modified by BC programmer to apply to the cartridge save data: hold down Start as you switch the machine on. Voila. Now it's only fair that we give GE's designer the opportunity to slag off your friend (er, and you).
     "I’ll avoid the obvious reply 'Mangan? Minging, more like', and go instead for 'yU0 aR£ B0hT tEh \ / \ /r0Ng!!!1!1 gNu is T3h d0E5t3sT1viLLL10n!!1!1!!!1!!1!!1! n00bz SUX0r!!!!', which is ultimately more satisfying to write since it insults and annoys both of you at the same time as being utterly incorrect."

Dear Scribes,
     When last you replied to one of my letters, you advised me that I should "spend less time analysing market trends in relation to the eternal male/female dichotomy, and more time forcing your missus to play Conker". Subsequently, I spent some considerable time devoting myself to this task.
     As a (I believe direct) result I have a frank non-union fracture of the left humerus, a severe concussion, 16 stitches in my head and a number of lesser cuts and bruises. "How come?" you may well ask.
     My wife first resisted my attempts to cajole her into the games room, but relented after I refused to do the ironing and washing up until she did. She quickly, to both our surprises, became addicted. So, one day while I was up the ladder cleaning the windows, the wife was in the spare room playing Conker. Suddenly, without warning, she screamed a string of unrepeatable obscenities and threw the controller at the window, which I was on the other side of cleaning. The controller bounced harmlessly off the window but I was so surprised that I fell off the ladder, sustaining the injuries described above.
     I had to have 5 weeks off work and have had surgery to pin my arm together. I am receiving counselling for Post Traumatic Stress and I need a further bone graft operation.
     I have consulted a solicitor but it looks like I can't sue you, or, it turns out, my wife. However, I know where you live and as soon as I am better, I'll be round with a baseball bat, pliers, blowtorch and Gimp Suit. I suggest you get PD0 finished before that happens.

     PS. My wife has since apologised and has completed Conker.
     PPS. Not really.
     PPPS. Look, I made it all up to get sympathy. I had those injuries but it was a motorbike accident really.
     PPPPS. Sorry.

Rare Reply: An excellent cautionary tale on the perils of blackmail, controller rage and careless use of ladders - completely ruined by your admission that it was all a big fraud. Just think of the suffering you could have prevented if you'd stuck to your original story. But since it's Xmas and everything, we hope you get well soon anyway (and learn how to steer a motorbike properly, you spanner).

Dear Rareware,
     I was just wondering if you guys had a 'personal' attachment to the characters you lost. Does the DKC team look at what Nintendo has done with Diddy and cry, smile, or feel indifferent? Does it hurt to see him with four extra phalanges, or do you guys really not give a care?
     Anon Y. Mous
     P.S.: Why don't you guys ever acknowledge your employee of the month? (See attachment.)

Rare Reply:Obviously I can't speak for Diddy's originators, but one thing Nintendo's always done is looked after its mascots, so I'm sure most (if not all) of us are confident in his safe-keeping and wouldn't be that bothered about anything short of a total character U-turn that sees him become a hard-drinking, chain-smoking granny-basher. Mind, come to think of it we'd probably just laugh at that as well.

Hi Scribes,
     How's things? Cool. Right, smalltalk over. Firstly may I express my disappointment Nintendo Xbox blah blah blah. Not a lot of disappointment, obviously, and I can't say that I saw it as an injustice when you made games for the N64 and not the Saturn so, yeah, whatever. I'll probably buy an Xbox when you eventually get around to releasing some games (do you realise that most companies would disappear up their own orifices if they didn't produce any products (alliteration intended) for nigh on 12 months? Yes, I know you don't care but come on, wouldn't look great as a graph (again, intended), would it?). Anyway, minor point and only a slight diversion from smalltalk. My real question goes like this:-
     Does the Game Boy Player for Gamecube pose any legal grey area for yourselves, with respect to your exclusivity contract with Microsoft, in that the software you produce can now be played on a rival console i.e. the public can now purchase Rare software for use on Nintendo Gamecube without ever owning the handheld GBA? Obviously a disclaimer, either within your business contract or on the software packaging, could possibly see you in the clear on this matter or possibly not. If this does appear to be a loophole in your contract is there any chance of porting your Xbox titles over to Gamecube format and streaming them down onto gert big feck-away GB cartridges, thus enabling them to be played, via the GB Player, on Nintendo's home console?
     Just a thought. Another one being "The name Banjo Pilot is a bit shat, wouldn't it sound better being called Aero-Banjo, or Duelling Banjos or Fly Fat Ass, Fly?". Still, I expect THQ have already paid some greasy post-grad art student to cobble together the packaging by now (or maybe not, after all it has only been a couple of years since you announced it), so it's a case of 'too little, too late'. Right, I'm off now so if you need someone to look over legal contracts in the future (not that I've studied Law or anything - I draw pictures for a livings but I'd quite fancy a go) or need a cunning linguist just pick up the phone, realise you don't have my telephone number, replace the handset and give us an email. Always happy to help.
     All the best,
     John Scott

Rare Reply: Neither myself nor the GBA team can see any legal issues arising from the Game Boy Player - after all, Nintendo developed and released it concurrent with THQ bringing our games to the GBA, and Microsoft were obviously aware of the whole THQ deal, so the crossover possibility can't have been completely missed. The fact remains that we're making games intended for play on the GBA. So no GC ports streamed to GB cartridges for you, pal, no matter how "gert big" or "feck-away".
     However, what excited the GBA bunch most about your letter was the possibility of retitling Banjo Pilot to Duelling Banjos, thus allowing for the possibility of "some kind of pig-sh*gging bonus game".

     I've been living under a cardboard box the past year or so. It's actually quite comfortable, and I made brething holes in it, although people say that I don't get enough oxygen through it, and it effects my brain. I like cheese.
     Anyway, I know you would have been asked this a lot of times, but is Perfect Dark Zero still in development? Like I said, being stuck in a box, I don't know a lot about what's being going on in the world of videogames.
     The new Conker game looks very good, even though I havn't seen any pictures yet.
     I'll shut up now, I've had my moment,
     That Guy Who Lives In A Box

Rare Reply: The lack of oxygen has played merry hell with your spelling gland. Yes, yes, yes, PD0 is on its way. Is there some dedicated message board somewhere full of people determined to believe that it's not? More importantly, are you the lead singer of Living In A Box? That'd be funny.

Dear Scribes,
     I have been reading Scribes for many years have and also following the company’s every move, wondering about lists concerning the teams and their faiths, reading long lost, forgotten and hidden (a la Rare) interviews and trying to find pictures of people working at Rare. Upon recent research I cannot find a single picture of anybody at Rare, except for some guy with a curious name tag standing in front of a DP booth. Due to this secrecy I have gone on a quest for obtaining any pictures of Rare’s “developers”, so why is it that there are none on your web site and is it a coincidence that Valve’s web site has only blurred out black-and-white pictures of all members of the original Half-Life team? (In no way am I suggesting that another company can rival your mysterious flair.) Why are you so liberated in your ideas of staff photo recognition? IS THERE SOMETHING WE SHOULD NOT SEE? I hereby make a request for a picture of the composer of the Banjo-Team.
     Commenting on your most epic video game and my favorite game of all time Banjo-Tooie, I would like to share my appreciation to the Banjo-Team, having developed this most-awesome hardcore video game which is seemingly targeted at experienced gamers who have finished Banjo-Kazooie (which I finished 9 times), great fans of Rare’s music, unseen-graphic-effects and long-time hardcore Rare devotees. It has the greatest video game music ever, and I still listen to the tunes every week at least and the cast of characters is gigantic. You (the Banjo-Team) have changed to making easily accessible, easy to play-games that allows players to have simple, straightforward fun, but I am forever grateful because BT was a grand benchmark achievement in console video game epic adventures. What is the team’s reply to that?
     Wilhelm Magnús Alexandersson Olbrich

Rare Reply: I'm sure Grant will be really excited to hear that he's got fans requesting a photo, until I tell him they're all blokes. And there are so many hilarious photos of Grant that I could post here. But I won't.
     Rare's always had this secrecy thing going, everything focused on the company as a whole rather than individual contributors and so on, which must be some kind of holdover from the days when the staff was in the single digits, as Ultimate had much the same reputation way back in the mid-80s. So it's not just because all the photos we've got of ourselves show us standing in the garden in our pants or cavorting around in a blonde frightwig and prosthetic arse. That's just Grant.

Dear Mr. Loveday,
     In the last Scribes edition, Dogadon asked why you guys didn't have stupid self-indulgent Sonic Team-style names. You said it was way too complicated for the likes of you. But you're a dirty stinking no-good liar! I recently played and beat the arcade version of Battletoads, and noticed that at the start of the credits, it says "Team Battletoads". So you guys DO have team names! Well, did have team names. Well, at least one team name. Anyway... What do you have to say for yourself? And it's a shame that Team Battletoads is no more. :(
     Also playing that very same game, I noticed that Pimple's real name is in fact George Pie. What the...? Does that make him Mrs. Pie's husband? I'm confused!
     I miss the 'Toads so much. I'd love to see you bring them back on GBA. And just because games are becoming easier by the second, doesn't mean you have to follow that trend! If you ever make a new 'Toads game, it better be as hard as the old ones! I'm still trying to finish that last stage in Battlemaniacs. Cursed rat! Is it required for Rare testers to be able to beat all the Battletoads games in existence? It should!
     Yours truly,
     Jean-Marc Goulet

Rare Reply: Appearing in the same Scribes twice? Madness.
     'Team Battletoads' wasn't a proper division name like Sonic Team or Team Ninja, it was just a load of people grouped together for easy identification purposes by the game they were working on. Like we still sometimes call the Ghoulies bunch 'the Banjo team', even though they've finished a completely unrelated game since then and have started work on their next one. So ner.
     And your Mr. Pie question raises too many disturbing consistency issues for me to safely address.

     I am happy that you now belong to Microsoft... hahahahahaha (evil laugh)... sorry about that. Anyways, I am looking forward for RAREWARE games and especially Conker's LIVE & UNCUT because I never played it.
     I would actually like to see a new Banjo Kazooie game on Xbox. But I assume you guys and girls at RAREWARE are busy with many titles such as Kameo, Conker's, and possibly Perfect Dark 0.
     If you are busy, can you make me happy? Can you at least port both Banjo-Kazooie 1 & 2 (or Banjo-Kazooie & Tooie) for the Xbox? It would be 2 great games in one package. Think about it, other people who have never played Banjo-Kazooie will play it on Xbox. I did play Banjo-Kazooie 1 but I never passed it because I stopped playing it and I never played Banjo-Tooie. And maybe RARE can even update the game by a little bit I guess. I would really like to see this 2 games on Xbox even if it had few improvements. That would keep me busy from waiting for Banjo-Threeie or Banjo-Kazooie 3. Please make this gamer happy.
     Chris Escobar

Rare Reply: "Why do you want Banjo 1 & 2 on X-Box when you never finished the first one and didn’t even play the second?" is the team's entirely reasonable response. Also, "we can’t possibly refer to Banjo 3 as Banjo-Threeie now (if we were ever to do it) as everyone is calling it this. We would need to come up with a new name - something even weirder so people can send us nice e-mails saying the name is ‘crap’ and ‘gay’ like last time."

ear Rare,
     I was very disappointed the other day when those damned websites updated their release date schedules and Kameo was in fact NOT coming out December 2nd 2003. Not only was the delay saddening to me, I was traumatised and unable to work for several days when I read the new release date of September 2004; 10 months later! Please send me money for the days I did not work. Also, why hasn't Microsoft whipped you and forced you to rush-release an incomplete game so that I may be happy. Isn't my happiness more important than the quality of your games?
     On another unrelated irrelevant note, please include Bobob the Shaved Rat as an 1337 unlockable character who 'pwns' everyone in Conker Live and Uncut (so that I may sue you for using my copyrighted character and profit for years to come off royalty checks from your hard work). Below I have included a comic which proves without a doubt that including the character would triple the amount of games sold.
     Bobob the Shaved Rat

Rare Reply: Blimey, we're traumatising everyone this month. Did we actually say September 2004? I don't remember that. In fact I don't think we said December 2nd 2003 either. As previously touched upon, we don't tend to pin down a date until we're fairly confident that we can make it (and then arguably we don't anyway), so that's what you get for believing "those damned websites".
Your low-resolution comic strip is much appreciated in helping to fill out our RPA quotient for the month, but ultimately about as convincing as the green-screen effects in Van Damme's Derailed (must get this damn film out of my head).

ear Ghostscriber,
     First of all, thank you very much for uploading all the MP3s. It's a shame I can't just let this be it, but I am asking for more. After all, it was you who kept promising "more downloads coming soon" for some 16.74 months. On the DK64 page, for instance. Now, please don't bother bashing on me. I do know about DK64 slash Nintendo slash licensing. (Though I'm curious whether they actually own the music, too.) I'm just asking you to at least resurrect the JFG/BK/BT/CBFD-soundtracks. Those were the finest pieces of game music ever, and Jeremy Soule and Koji Kondo would instantly die of envy once they learned about them.
     Secondly, I'd appreciate to learn who was responsible for the very first Kameo trailer, cause it was highestly-sophisticatedly mind-blowing. The second one was crappy and the most recent one is nice, but that very first one was a masterpiece. From the cut to the music to -- well, just believe it. I would like to know if the name of its maker is missing in the engraving on my golden Rare altar inside my golden Rare shrine.
     Lastly, I do realize my little loveletter won't make it into Scribes (onto the Scribes page that is), unless I include a crappy RPA or a bulleted list of dumb questions, so please find a crappy RPA attached. If you'd prefer to have the bulleted list of dumb questions instead, please do not hesitate to let me know.
     Season's greetings,

Rare Reply: You won't be getting any DK64 MP3s any time soon, miladdo. It'd be pretty stupid of us to start dishing out downloads for titles we no longer own rather than maintaining the tactful hands-off approach. All the other ones you mentioned should be ripe for reinstatement as soon as I get time to reconstruct the old game pages, though.
     If you mean the X02 Kameo trailer with the beasties doing the haka, then it was us who produced that one (can't pin it down to one person, practically the whole team plus a few other staffers chipped in). We also did the X03 one here - you know, the one that led to all the comedy 'split-screen multiplayer' confusion.
     Hmmm. Mr. Pants looks surprisingly good in shades. That Grand Theft Panto game seems like a better prospect by the minute.

Hello Loveday,
     Here I am on one of those Rare occasions (lame pun intended) where I have nothing to do besides randomly scribbling in Adobe Photoshop. I bring to you PANTS PANTS REVOLUTION. Also known as PPR.
     *clears throat* Before I go, I have a question to ask of you: tell me, what is Queen Mary’s Funeral? I was watching the end cut-scene form Conker’s BFD before realising to my shock and horror that there was no such funeral in the game. I live in Australia, therefore having to put up with the PAL version of the game. Was it too graphic to be included in the game?
     Enough of my useless ranting,

Rare Reply: Hand-drawn RPA madness! Saints preserve us.
     Queen Mary's Funeral is the name of a depressing piece of music
by Henry Purcell, as I'm sure you know, you cork-hatted, wallaby-chasing young scamp. The one used in the 'Conker the King' scenes. Like this.

Dear Scribes,
     No pre-pubescent salivations and salutations from this 36 year old gamer I'm afraid. But I do want to say a big thank you to all the team at Rare for Ghoulies. Yes yes, I've been playing Rare games since those heady days of the C64, and you guys are the greatest and I just can't wait until more of your stuff comes out, and are you going to do a Banjo for the Xbox and if so when do you think it will be out and... Hold on - I'm doing it aren't I? I've slipped back about 25 years...
     Seriously, I was starting to miss the "Rare polish" and was going through some serious withdrawals. You guys in particular as well as Naughty Dog and Insomniac are the only mob making games worth playing (although Prince of Persia SOT was pretty good). Anyway, Ghoulies was the reason I was looking for to keep my Xbox and it came just in time. Mind you, now we're at the harder end of the game the "c" word is flowing fairly freely in the Taylor household.Santa baby, scare the living sh*t out of me...
     So, have a good Xmas and a happy New Year. Please pass on my thanks and praises to the team. Yeah right, like you're just going to get up and wander around the office saying "there's a rugby-nancy tosser from down-under who wants to say thanks for Ghoulies".
     Have a good one.

Rare Reply: I'm afraid the last bloke beat you to the Aussie stereotypes, so I'll just have to do what you said and meekly pass on your thanks to the team. Or at least the two or three of them who still haven't gone home for Xmas.
     You've got me intrigued by the "c" word: it can't be the one I immediately suspected, as the game never gets hard enough to warrant that kind of talk, unless you're a natural filthmonger. You should have tried playing some of the proper 'untamed' versions in the last few weeks of development, before the difficulty was toned down... now they sparked the invention of some brand new compound swearwords, let me tell you.

Dear Scribes,
     Well hello again. After scanning through the latest Scribes, I noticed a few interesting things, and it started on the very first letter:
     1. First of all, you spelled "dis" wrong. The correct "letterage" is D-I-S-S, two S's my friend. So I guess that proves the great and power Mr. Loveday is in fact human and can spell a damn word wrong... even if it is a slang word.
     2. I noticed that Grabbed By The Ghoulies had been mentioned as an Xbox game, and I thought this was quite peculi... oh yeah. Never mind. (Mutters in a disgruntled fashion and moves on.)
     3. In order to make the Scribes a "Scribes", you threw in a crap RPA that not only had Mr. Pants, but also had Mr. Pants saying "arse" next to the Rare logo. This is a great day for Scribes, RPAs, and Rare altogether: some kid threw together an RPA that pretty much sums up the entire Rareware Corporation. A fat, half-naked guy in a bad hat leaning on the company logo and saying a word that has been used millions of times by stupid authors of letters to Scribes. In short, this is the ultimate RPA. Congratulations, Cyberen, you "lucky" person, you.
     Well, that's it, I suppose. I'm off to go work on a funky bassline that can accompany ChibiChu's rhyme... I could make millions!
     Happy Holidays, your chum,
     The Rare Game Expert

Rare Reply: You could make millions... of enemies!
     1) It's an abbreviation of 'disrespect'. So unless you've got written certification of this claim of yours from the hip-talking street homies who originally coined the term, I suggest you keep a tight rein on that disrespectful tone, you scruffy oik.
     2) teH fUNnEY!!!#!1 Actually, no: 2/10.
     3) And it's a veritable Mr. Pants RPA fiesta this time around. Just like the glory days of Scribes - which, like Viz, isn't as funny as it used to be. And doesn't even contain as much swearing (despite my best efforts).

Dear Scribes,
     Speaking from a purely personal view, I reckon you guys need to sort yourself out and do an update of Blast Corps for the ‘cube. There are just not enough Heavy Machinery Save The World From Nuclear Disaster games on the market right now so I reckon your niche awaits. So there you go. Get on with it.
     What are you doing still reading this? You know what you have to do.
     Then we can talk about JetPac
     Alex Trowers

Rare Reply: I thought your name was 'Alex Trowsers' at first. Sadly, the reality wasn't half as funny. Have you thought about changing it?
     Blast Corps update = unlikely. GameCube version = currently impossible. Put the two together, and you have...

ear Scribes,
     Right now it is December 14, 2003, so that means by the time Scribes is updated it will be sometime in March, 2005. I will assume It's Mr. Pants has been out for some time now and has been a commercial and critical success. So I am wondering when can we expect a sequel? Will it be for the Xbox or GBA? On an unrelated note, do you like pirates? What about this picture of Mr. Pants as a pirate?

Rare Reply: Everyone likes pirates. Especially the Banjo/Ghoulies team, who even found a way to crowbar them into the haunted house scenario. But we'll have to save the hearty cutthroat image for when we've finished toying with the current concept of Mr. Pants as gritty urban gang war poster boy.

ear Whatever-the-hell-you-are-while-reading-this (probably p*ssed) Scribes,
     I have a query directed solely to the SFA design team:
     What, on average, is the amount of polygons the graphics engine in Star Fox Adventures pulling off? My guess is somewhere close to 10 million polygons/second, if not more (particularly the Wind Palace Krystal is kept in).
     Also, did bump mapping in any way draw from the polygon performance of the GameCube hardware? What was your hardest fight with the GameCube hardware to achieve a certain graphical effect, and how did you overcome it? And how in the hell did you get the realtime reflection/refraction water effects going? My guess is through careful manipulation of several texture layers, but at any rate, they are incredibly beautiful.
     This I’d like to know as I’m thinking of studying the hardware for my own future development purposes, and for the record, Grabbed by the Ghoulies kicks arse (yeah, I said it) - lame Puffy voice-over commercials be damned.

Rare Reply: Look, look - proper answers from an actual artist. Bet you weren't expecting that.
     Polygons: "Depends really, in some areas like Thorntail Hollow it’s close to maxing out the GameCube mainly because of the grass, fur, water and all the plant life, but ironically Krazoa Palace (that’s the Wind Palace) is not that expensive. Actual polygons per second? Chose one of the following: A) I’m not going to tell you. B) All of them. C) I can’t remember but it's really pushing the GameCube."
     Bump mapping: "Yes."
     Hardest fight: "We had to be very careful about polygon fill rate, particularly with translucent particle effects for smoke, fire, heat haze etc. Frame rate versus effects was often an issue. The water and projected texture effects (light beams that cast on the player) were also quite hard to do. How did we overcome the problems? Lots of mucking around with the hardware, coffee and head scratching, other than that it’s far too technical for Scribes - or maybe I just can’t be bothered to explain."
     Water effects: "The water is indeed several texture layers, one reflection, one refraction and colouring. I’m glad you like them, now I’m off for a swim down at Cape Claw."

Dear Mr. Loveday,

     It's always times like this I become slightly nostalgic, longing for the old days, the way the holidays used to be - playing Rare's latest release until one in the morning before passing out with an egg-nog moustache and the promise of a blindingly painful headache the next day.
     Then realized that this is indeed still how I spend the holiday season, and how I spend most of my Friday nights as well. Realizing something else, I wondered why I was naked from the waist down why there were empty Kikkoman soy sauce bottles scattered about the floor. What I'm really trying to say is, God bless us. Every one.
     Dave Roscoe
     PS: Blessing does not apply to new Xbox crew. For them, I have a very special holiday gift: an endless stream of highly esoteric jokes. Arse pancakes, Chewits, radioactive kittens taking over the world.

Rare Reply: Three isn't exactly endless, and most of those were Ask Uncle Tusk references. Still, 8/10 for use of the word 'esoteric'.
     And a Merry Xmas to all you happy, skipping tykes out there. May nobody belt you in the face with a toaster like that fairy does to Bill Murray in Scrooged, and I hope Santa delivers you all a big throbbing - oh damn, I always forget there's still Snippets to plough through before I can upload this bugger and go home...



Rare Reply: Thanks for an image I'd rather not have taken with me into the Xmas break.

Hello. I am a loyal fan of Rare. I own all the N64 games. But the only next-gen system I have access to is a Gamecube, and all your new games are on X-Box. Which brings me to my question-

Rare Reply: That's a statement! Not a question! See, you can't say I haven't learned anything today.

Just thought I'd also send this letter for Snippets. I don't know if you crazy blokes get this program but GameSauce recently made Grabbed by the Ghoulies a recommend for their show and gave it an 8/10 overall. You've yet to put a foot wrong in their book, so keep up the good work.

Rare Reply: 'GameSauce'? You're clearly making that up... but in a good way, I suppose.

No-one has brought this up yet, so I might as well, since he's returned: Switching the initials of "Garry Haywood" gets you "Harry Gaywood". Which would certainly explain a lot. Such as his penchant for tight leather pants.
Adam Eastwood

Rare Reply: So? 'Edam Aastwood' explains a lot too, such as... er... your love of distinctive Dutch cheese.

My name is Garry Haywood and right now my friends and I are huddled around playing 4-player Grabbed By The Ghoulies.
Garry Haywood

Rare Reply: Tell us when you've finished and we'll send you a preview copy of Trunk Gropers.

Olpus Bonzo

Rare Reply: What? Did you just hear half a joke?


Rare Reply: 'Cheat Cheats'? Cheats to make typing in cheats easier? GENIUS.

"But as for an 'All Bonds' mode... there was no mode planned at any stage of the development."
You're telling me I played Aztec Temple on the hardest bloody mode without cheats about 300 times for nothing? AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. I suppose you're going to tell me that there's no *making out on the beach with Natalya* level either. TCH. Game Developers....

Rare Reply: Ah, now we never said that...

i hope PD0 is released this year as so many xbox games have been delayed it is getting annoying but grabbed by the ghoulies looks great at first i thought it was rubbish but now i really like it . Also i look forward to xbox kart with halo characters etc

Rare Reply: Released this year? There's only a week left, man. Don't want much, do you?

In Goldeneye how come none of the characters you meet ever blink? MAAAAAAAAD.
A Large Mango

Rare Reply: It's our subtle homage to the psychological horror genre.

Hello, I would just like to state that joO SuxZoRsZsz. I would also like to let you all know that Perfect Dark Zero better come out within 3 hours, or else I will destroy all of Rare!!!!! MUAWHAWHAHWHAHWHAHWHHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Rare Reply: You don't end a violent threat like that with 'Sincerely', as if it was a letter to your bank manager.

I was watching the news, and surprise surprise Mr. Touchy Michael Jackson was being arrested, but as I kept changing the channel I saw someone else had been arrested. Can you get everyone's favorite drunken uncle Mr. Pants to explain his side of the story?

Rare Reply: He says they weren't policemen, they were BAD ELVES. Happy Xmas from the Rare vigilantes!