It's the stupid Rare letters page! Send us your mail! It won't be relevant by the time we post it, but hey!

APRIL 3, 2003

Dear Scribes,
I need some new clothing, particularly t-shirts and a hooded sweatshirt. How is the Rarewear coming along? The sooner it launches the better off both of us will be. You will be making a nice profit off of clothing and be getting paid by your fans to advertise your games and I will be basking in my clothes with a feeling of superiority. Sounds like a steal to me anyday. I would be basking even more high-spirited if I had some Rare-underware.
Also, I would be extremely grateful if the Callisto NTG and the Complex were to make a triumphant return in the next edition of Perfect Dark. There has never been a better feeling than cowardly standing behind a stack of boxes and waiting for an opponent to enter the room and kill him with one well aimed high-impact shell through the boxes into his head and then immediately hearing the glorious phrase "What a ream!". That my friends was the sweet sound of victory.
If you do not respond to any of this then perhaps you could at least tell me what "NTG" (Callisto NTG) stands for because at a glance it looks somewhat racist. I mean no offense but would very much like an explanation. Please let me know what the correct meaning is and please do your best to keep the Callisto NTG in the next PD.

Rare Reply: Nothing like a good old-fashioned groundless racism allegation to start the day. Me, I'd ignore it - but our old PD designer pal is feeling slightly less Zen this morning.
"Couldn't you think of anything worthwhile to say? I can categorically state that 'NTG' is not an acronym for a racist epiphet. As far as my memory serves, it was something like the Neutrino-Tachyon Gun, which would be suitable for some kind of alien space gun (which is what it is). In this hyper-sensitive, legalistic world I would be extremely surprised to find anything along the lines you suggest making it through to point of sale. It will be in the next PD game as long as you hold your breath from now until the game comes out. (Handy tip - don't hold your breath.)"
Still no word on the 'Rarewear', but I'd be happy to spend 30 seconds scrawling Ramdozer onto a pair of cheap Y-fronts if you're offering to pay for the privilege.

Dear Leaky,
Having finally got a decent enough connection to download the Kameo promo movie I really only have one question... (besides my usual "are you doing another Captain Skyhawk?" barrage, which I shall spare you, for now). Will there by any MP3s of the music available any time soon? I mean, you let slip some SFA ones months before the game made it near our shelves, so maybe a little taster of Kameo might not go amiss?
Oh come on, please, I'll do anything, I'd even wash your feet... no wait... I'm not that obsessive, okay, I'd even buy you a pint down the local (provided you drink proper beer and not some daft Southern drink).
So far it sounds very much like a cross between a Disney film (that's a good thing, don't get me wrong) and the first Addams Family movie (the creepy fairytale music freaks me out a little).
But anyway I digress, please give us some MP3s, I ask only small favours of you, nothing horrendously big... unless you need to go and ask someone big and scary for the music.
Mike "MrChom" Chomyk, Liberator of the Free People's of Botavia, Generallissimo of the United Republic of Lower Lower Volta, currently exiled in Wales

Rare Reply: Yeah, we released some SFA ones early, and look what happened - they all bloody changed. So maybe we'll stick more closely to our original method this time, i.e. waiting until the game's out (or as good as) and the tunes finalised before letting 'em rip on the website. I'll make sure we get some eventually, though, as well as the ones for other games that were up there previously (with a bit of luck).
Also, if you're in Wales, chances are you're more Southern than we are, so you can keep your filthy drinking slander to yourself. Mine's a Pineapple Bacardi Breezer if you're going to the bar.

Dear Scribes,
PLEASE!!! Be careful what you say in Scribes. You said in your latest update, in reference to what titles Rare was working on, that your guess was as good as mine. Well, the response to that was a certain site posted that because you said that, that Rare was ONLY working on Kameo. Well, being a forumer, I was immediately beset by idiots and PS2 and GC fanboys saying that Rare was a terrible developer because they can only do one game at a time. Please, do not give me a week of hell again.

Rare Reply: Ah yes, that superb and reliable site that only ever prints concrete, proven information. I know the one. Honestly, if anyone believes that a developer the size of Rare would only be working on one game at a time, well... having lost all faith in humanity long ago, I suppose I wouldn't be surprised.
I still don't know the finer details of the company's future plans, but I do know that unless something goes violently, pig-stickingly wrong between now and E3, we'll certainly have more than just Kameo on show.

Scribe thing I... think I love you... (ba-na-na, baaaaawwwww!)
Now here's a thing; I was pawing through some of the old Dinosaur Planet artwork when I noticed this little number (attached). And very nice it is too. But - look closely at it for a second. Notice how, because it was scrawled on paper and has obviously been scanned, you can see the paper's texture in the background. Now, look around the middle and see the plain white patch where, I'm assuming, something's been erased. You do have to look quite closely. I swear I haven't done it myself, by the way.
It looks like the space a speech bubble from Tricky's mouth might have once sat. Can anyone at Rare tell me what used to be there? And while you're there, I've just noticed Sabre has a similar splodge near his head. I wouldn't ask normally, but it's late, I'm a waster, and it's either this or German homework. We could even have some sort of caption competition, if we could be arsed...
Alun 'Felix' McRae

Rare Reply: It previously said (in very small writing): "If you're reading this, it might be time to sit down and re-evaluate your hollow, inconsequential existence". Or at least that's my gut instinct. I'll ask the game's designer just to make sure.
"I think all it had in the speech bubble was '?' which is obviously very boring. The originals have all been filed away in a big cave somewhere so I can't check it. Maybe as you're so bored you can come up with captions for it and then NOT send them to us."

Franky: Manky, Skanky, Wa- Dear Scribes,
Ok, check this out. I had a 43 year old lady co-worker come over for dinner over a year ago. The last time she played a video game was on Atari. While she was over I showed her Conker's Bad Fur Day on N64. She was into it so much she went out the next day and bought it and an N64. She was hooked. Now she is playing all kinds of games on the N64 years after they came out. Hey, they're new to her. Now she bugs me at least once every two weeks about when the next CBFD is coming out. All I can tell her is that if it does it will probably be on Xbox. Can I get any info on the next BFD so she will leave me alone? Like if it is even being thought of being made. I loved the game myself but I just want something to tell her to get her off my back.

Rare Reply: It doesn't matter how many different ways you phrase it or how bizarre the story you use to back up your request, the answer to the "is Game X coming out?" question will always be the same (at least until it's officially announced): maybe. Unless you're talking about sequels to Taboo or Anticipation, of course, which are slightly further down the priority ladder despite the demands of their small army of scary cultist fans.

Dear Scribes,
As a loyal Nintendo/Rare user I think you should let me in a little info. I'm not writing to whine about your divorce to Nintendo, although the promise of a Perfect Dark sequel was one of the reasons I bought the GameCube over Xbox. The question I have is whether or not the Perfect Dark sequel will still be out for GameCube (I wasn't sure what company retained the rights to that particular francise). I am hoping to see the title for my console soon, as you pushed it back to the impossibly far-away year of 2004 and I think all the GameCube users waiting in vain deserve an answer so we can cash-in our consoles for an Xbox. So let me know so I can get on with my life, a life devoid of Joanna Dark.
The Smallville Hero

Rare Reply: Come on, it's not as if we've left anyone hanging with regards to the series' future platform. We never made any promises about a sequel to PD during our brief span of GameCube development, and while we do retain the rights to the franchise, the fact that we're now a fully-fledged part of Microsoft Game Studios pretty much rules out the possibility of us bringing any titles to non-Xbox systems (bar GBA). Yes, I can see where you're coming from, but Rare didn't change systems just to spite you personally, you know.

Dear Scribes,
Big Fan. Youse all rule. Props to Brittania for populating my country. Now down to business.
In GoldenEye one of the face textures looks remarkably like Dwayne Dibley. My friends and I used to laugh at the coincidence until we tried the push-button code for more characters in multiplayer, and - sure enough - there was a character called Dwayne with the Dibley head and the tuxedo body. In all seriousness, was this face an intentional copy of Dwayne Dibley? I've been wanting to ask you this for years. I only know of Dwayne from Red Dwarf (when the Cat gets... but I'm sure you know) but I suspect he might be a reference to someone else.

Rare Reply: Let's consult our 'highly-placed insider sources', i.e. the designer of GoldenEye.
"The character artist on GoldenEye, a fan of Red Dwarf amongst other things, created a character head with gigantic buck teeth - hence 'Dwayne'. No actors were harmed (or photos thereof used) during the making of this head; I can say this with absolute certainty, because it was my face that was used as the base for 'Dwayne'. I pestered the artist to make a less deformed version of my face on another head, and I got one. Eventually."
Yeah - the Skedar in Perfect Dark. Hahaha. Haha. Hahahaha.

Dear Scribes,
I was one of the nuts that sent in an angry email... I have since seen the light and bought an Xbox. See, I got enough space when I annexed the neighbors' house, now I have somewhere to put the darn thing. But this isn't why I'm writing this...
So I'm reading the grossly overdue edition of Scribes and when I'm done I realize how bored I am. Just for the fun of it, I decide to check out the HTML source of the page because I'm really smart and I can do difficult things like that. So I'm reading through the source and there is reference to a picture named "kevin_spacey.gif." What the hell is Kevin Spacey doing in Scribes... I try to find the URL for the picture, no luck. Try and search for it in at google. Nothing. So I slap that mother into Microsoft FrontPage and start messing around with the HTML.
After a short while I find what I'm looking for. "kevin_spacey.gif" adds a small strip between the Send Message/Full Page View/Prev. Scribes buttons and the top of the white box. It's a spacer. You named a friggen spacer "kevin spacey." It better be a who finds it first contest, because that's far, far too lame to be a joke. And I don't care if I *did* waste time to figure it out. Free Time Vs Poor Humor, which is the bigger sin?

Rare Reply: I can't believe how many people have written in about this. It wasn't a joke or a contest - it was a filename that seemed logical at the time (and it was marginally better than going down the usual sweary route). Stop heckling me for stuff you were never even supposed to see, you heartless sods.
And hey, if you thought that edition of Scribes was grossly overdue...

Dear Scribbles,
I really loved the music that you released on your Web site for the previously named Dinosaur Planet a while ago. When I finally got a copy of Star Fox Adventures, those tunes were one of the main things I was looking (or shall I say 'listening') forward to when playing it. However, I was sadly disappointed. Only two of the seven tracks released actually appeared in the game: Galleon Battle and Cape Claw (formerly known as Discovery Falls). The biggest of the losses for me was the original music for Dark Ice Mines. I would just like to ask what happened that caused these fantastic tracks to not make it into the final version of the game. Unless this absence was the decision of Mr. Wise, then it would also seem as if it would be quite upsetting (if not downright crushing) for the composer himself. I shall be eagerly awaiting your response.
Stephen A. Barrow

Rare Reply: My response would be bugger all use, so let's ask Mr. Wise, shall we?
"I believe music provides an essential underscore to suggest and underpin the right mood for a particular area within a game. As the gameplay evolved and changed, so did the graphics along with the music.
"However much I may like a particular piece of music on its own merit, if I doesn't work within the context of the game, it is essentially unusable. Which is exactly what we found during the transition from Dinosaur Planet to Star Fox Adventures. Although we did intend to use a lot of the original Dinosaur Planet music, we found that in context, this just wasn't going to be possible. So new music was composed to better support the game as a whole. Which, as a composer of game music, I'm far happier about.
"Whilst I am obviously pleased and flattered to receive complimentary comments with regard to my work, it is the game experience as whole that ultimately matters the most. Star Fox Adventures really was a team effort, and the decision of what to include usually became apparent by which game elements worked best together."

Dear Scribes,
The last time I wrote to Rare, the reponse of my letter was posted in several gaming publications, both online and in print. However, I didn't get any recognition. Oh well, at least most people received a solid answer to the question (which concerned another KI). So let's see if I can get the same results here.
I know Rare receives a plethora of questions about Killer Instinct and Battletoads, so I'm going to try to keep this simple and unique. Basically, I know another KI will eventually release for the Xbox or the successor to the Xbox. I know Rare has a ton of ideas for the next KI and I'm not here to tell you who should and shouldn't be in the game, or if it should be 2D or 3D. All I ask is that the game feature online play whenever it happens to release. If Capcom can do it with Capcom vs. SNK 2: EO, I am confident that you guys can pull it off as well.
As for Battletoads, I was really just wondering if you retained the license or ever actually had the license. I know you've been asked this before, but nothing specific was ever said about it. Tradewest originally had the license and to my knowledge they no longer exist. So do you have the Battletoads license and is it possible we'll see it used sometime down the road?
Thank you for your time.
Bryan Dawson

Rare Reply: As far as I know Rare is free to make Battletoads games, but that's by no means the final word. It's always been a bit of a hazy one. And while we can't say there's anything currently in progress, the Killer Instinct/Battletoads double whammy on the most recent Pantsboard hasn't gone entirely unnoticed, and the constant stream of requests for new games does occasionally get looked at (i.e. by someone other than me).
Well, that was a bit noncommittal all round - I daresay there'll be no recognition for you this time either, big boy.

Hi there, Sexy Scribes (yes, I do mean that),
So, how's it been at the big M? Pretty cool, huh? Why, Microsoft is one of my favorite game-developers. One of the best games I ever played was Microsoft's Word. Then, the sequel - Microsoft's Excel, which, well... Excelled it. A brilliant piece of work, as you use the letters to shoot at enemies, and to explore the large, white enviroments you'd use the Spacebar to walk and the Tab to run. No better game has been made thus far.
Speaking along these lines, what games are you planning on releasing? I promise not to tell anyone! Let me guess... The Legend of Super Monkey Mario Banjo-Joanna Smash Bros. Goldeneye 64? You need to make more games with guns in them. And killing. And typing challenges. In fact, you guys should handle the reincarnation of Reader Rabbit, exclusive to the Xbox!
Arno, the almost omnivorous
PS. I didn't use numbers because I want to ruin your eyesight, you crazy old loon! Blasted colly-wagger! Old fart!
PPS. HAHAHAHA! I laugh at you because us fat lazy Americans don't have the PAL system. I must be smarter then you, mainly because I know the French word for hooker and chicken - poulet. D'oh!
PPPS. I watched this one neat movie called Lonesome Dove. In it, the Cowboys staged a raid against the Mexicans where they found two drunk Irishmen. Rescuing them while in pursuit from the Mexican ranchhands, the older Irish guy yelled "Woah, we barely made it through the seats of our bonnie wee arses that time!" I laughed so loudly, and nobody knew why. What a great inside joke!

Rare Reply: The Legend of Super Monkey Mario Banjo-Joanna Smash Bros. Goldeneye 64 is as nothing compared to the might of Perfect Killer Squirrel Pants Gemini Sabre Corps.
PS Judging by some of the spam I get, I'd imagine there are entire websites dedicated to 'colly-wagging'.
PPS Not as good as 'transatlantique' - the French word for both 'Transatlantic liner' and... 'deckchair'.
PPPS No it's not, it's really irritating. Since when have Irishmen said "bonnie wee" anything? You lot over there make such a big song and dance about St. Patrick's Day and yet you can't even differentiate between the Irish and Scots dialect. I tell you, it fair makes my blood boil (the noo).

I have noticed several things in Rare games. Things, I'm sure, you wish not to be noticed. However, they're there, hidden. Rare's move to Xbox is a conspiracy. Perfect Dark was a big revealer. On the jet bike's dashboard there are many green lines coming together to form a green X! Plus, in the second Area 51 level, the place which Agent Jonathan has marked to destroy with the hover crate is none other than... an X! Mysteriously, these are both found in the first and second Area 51 levels... What connections does Microsoft have with Area 51?...
Star Fox Adventures. First jet bike race. End of the course. Two collapsed trees come together in the shape of a X! Plus General Scales, at the beginning of the game, says to Krystal "I wanna get me an Xbox!" True, it isn't sub-titled that way, but who knows what he's saying under all that Dino Talk garble?
That's all I can think of now, but I know there is more out there... hiding... waiting. Who knows how long it will be before different clues start re-appearing? Be careful Rare; I'm on to you...

Rare Reply: Yes, obviously we have reason to be scared, because we don't think anyone's noticed the fact that we've already become part of Microsoft and started developing for the Xbox. Lordy! Rumbled, etc. Oh, and "under all that Dino Talk garble" General Scales is actually doing his best Tommy Cooper impression.

Dear Scribes - worse than three Hitlers,
Hate you sob, boohoo etc, you OWE me and my choice of consoles, I hereby refuse to ever buy one of your games again (ignoring the fact I don't have the necessary hardware, this is a MORAL issue), none of your games are going to sell more than ten copies, traitors and backstabbers *wailing and gnashing of teeth* Worst Game Company Ever!
I wonder if it's occured to any of your new blood-enemies, particularly those going on about loyalty and the like, that Rare was largely responsible for the N64 even attaining 'contender' status in the last round of console wars. Rare is and was the only company attached to Nintendo that was capable of making games of the parent company's calibre and, as it turned out, capable of exceeding Nintendo benchmarks.
Rare is one of perhaps three game companies whose product can inspire the buying of the entire system necessary to play it (think Elite on the BBC micro! Whoop!). I'm about to de-mothball my N64 in order to give CBFD a whirl.
This, I think, is the real source of all the vitriol aimed your way recently. What no-one wants to say is that you've made them seriously consider buying/wanting an Xbox. For those whose income/parents leave them firmly in the 'want' zone, this feeling is easily translated into anger. For we older gamers, (specifically, me) the conflicted emotion of wanting and being able to afford one yet not being able to justify it (like buying shares in RJ Reynolds or BabySealClub PLC) results in long-winded, pseudo-analytical letters.
Thanks for your time.
Kat (pre DKC Scriber)

Rare Reply: Unfortunately I had to axe a lot of the long-winded pseudo-analysis in order to fit any other letters on the page, but thanks for the sentiment - especially valuable coming from a true Scribes veteran. Assuming you're the same one, that is.
We do understand that the platform switch could be frustrating for Rare fans who followed us through the N64 years and recently upgraded to a GameCube, but as we said last time, if you want to carry on playing Rare games then it's not that difficult to find a way - we're just on another platform, not in another universe entirely...

Dear Scribes,
I just brought the new GamesMaster magazine and in it there was a small section that stated you had decided to stop developing games for the Game Boy Advance. Please tell me this isn't true because I think that the Banjo-Kazooie games on the N64 were excellent and I was really looking forward to playing Grunty's Revenge, but if this news is true this obviously won't be happening. Though the article did say that you were now developing Sabre Wulf for the Xbox, if so, are you also going to make a Banjo-Kazooie game on the Xbox too as this would be excellent (because Banjo-Tooie has to be in my top 3 games of all time!). In other words I would definitely like to see a Banjo-Kazooie game on the Xbox.
Yours sincerely,
Stephen Cross

Rare Reply: We have various Game Boy Advance titles both completed and in progress. Grunty's Revenge and others are still on course for release, though we don't have any dates for you as yet. There - that should clear things up and give print mags another eighth of a page of HARD NEWS.

Hello, you guys at Rare,
I just have a few questions for you to answer or pass on to others who can.
First of all, about SFA's Dino language. It was nice of you to put the cipher in the manual so we can translate, but there are some pronunciation questions, primarily about the letter "x". How is it pronounced? I tried listening to the cutscenes, but can't pin down anything definite. Can you badger the Star Fox team into posting a general pronunciation guide? Second, after your new platform realignment (which IS justifiable, but still disappointing that I would have to get a new system in order to play your games), are characters created by you, but in a game of a reserved license still yours? I.E. Krystal was your character, but in a Star Fox game, which is Nintendo's. Star Fox is now off limits to you, but is Krystal? I think she is still yours, for the same reason that Conker is still yours, but he debuted in DKR. Am I right?
Thanks for your time,
Andrew Renard

Rare Reply: One for the team, then - just doing what the man said, boss.
"We've consulted the only living Dino Speech specialist on Earth and the answer to your first question is as follows:
"If 'x' appears at the front of a word it's pronounced as 'cuts'.
"If 'x' appears in the middle of a word it's pronounced as 'ee'.
"But then he might be talking tosh.
"Krystal's gone to pastures new and with a fond farewell, we wish her every happiness in everything she does."

'Aaarrgh!' 'Thank you very much.' Dear Scribes,
Look, I've gone crazy. I need to see something, ANYTHING, related to Perfect Dark Zero. And I'm not talking about the quick renders that were thrown together 2 years ago, I'm looking for screen shots, a box art, specs, anything! I've gone crazy, I really have. It's been almost 3 years since Perfect Dark came out. I've ripped apart the game 100%. I've seen everything - like the little ? on the grate, the inaccessible areas in multiplayer levels - and I really want to see the PD plot continue, soon pleaassee. Think of it this way - Halo (even though you did not create the game) came out in November of 2001 and we will see a sequel for it by Christmas. Perfect Dark came out in May of 2000, and we have no clue when we will see it. Please quench our curious minds and tell us something!

Rare Reply: It's still coming. It wasn't started immediately after the completion of PD, so it hasn't actually been in the works for three years (you're a bit off concerning the Halo sequel too), but it is still coming. That's all we can say. Nothing that's happened to the company in recent times has changed the fact that we're still Rare, and we still work in the same occasionally infuriating ways. You know that all the mystery will just make you enjoy the game more when it does come out. Yes it will. Stop complaining.

Dear Scribes,
I have taken painstaking efforts to produce the visual epitome of my tumultuous, suicidal mental state after Rare moved to Xbox (a system lacking the amount of vowels needed to suit my taste), in the form of Samus violating Mr. Pants with a rocket. This is attached. I would have made it more graphic, but snowmen get me too excited, and it is hard to draw with one hand busy. And now onto the questions, which is a completely pointless endeavor considering I have never and will never get onto your Scribes page anyway...
1) Is Rare ever going to make books like Blizzard does based on its games? I don't know how well that would work for Banjo-Kazooie, but Perfect Dark could have some pretty intense sub-stories in novel form. For example, Elvis' secret alliance with the Skedar King... it just so happens that he warps right outside the Skedar homeworld to save Joanna, yet supposedly never before knew where it was?
2) I am currently attempting to recreate Perfect Dark in TrueBASIC, and you shall ALL feel my wrath when it is complete! I will blackmail Rareware with the threat of releasing the coding for all to use with the free 15-minute TrueBASIC demo, and never again will anyone EVER buy a real copy of Perfect Dark again! Your sales will fall! Your stocks will crumple! You shall be in utter ruin! Go back to making games for GameCube and I shall halt my release date... for now. Of course, suppose this would all be rather foolish if you have Perfect Dark copyrighted... which you most assuredly do.. which would mean you could just sue me instead... damn.
3. I am Samus' wench.
4. Can I whore my body to the staff of Rareware for an Xbox and Kameo? I'll throw in a GameCube and Metroid Prime.
5. Can I whore my body to the staff of Rareware anyway?
Keith M. (aka Concubine of Samus)

Rare Reply: Why have you turned Mr. Pants into an evil Victorian landlord with tripods for arms and an anvil on his head? That truly is awful.
1) Possibly. I suppose it's a shade more likely now than it was before, as there's Xbox precedent (e.g. the Halo novels). And don't try to second-guess Elvis - he's a special magic alien.
2) Excellent realisation. Too bad it didn't come sooner. SECURITY!
3) Surely there's a separate word for 'male wench'?
4) No, but we might hire you to whore yourself to potential buyers in large retail outlets when we've got some games on the shelves.
5) Oh, alright - but keep it quiet.

Dear Scribes,
I know the Killer Instinct debate has been beaten to death. Tonight at a pool hall I glanced to the corner of the room and realized sitting there was the greatest fighting game of all time. I played all night instead of shooting pool. During my ripe young 15th year on this planet I opted to travel to the local arcade and spend all of what little money I had vegetating in front of the machine. This left me girlfriendless through highschool by the way. The pool hall owner is asking 800 dollars for this game. This will simply not do. Are there any plans whatsoever to remake a version of KI for the Xbox? I have been dying to own the true arcade translation of this game for years now. I don't own a Xbox, but would purchase one just for this game.

Rare Reply: Here we go again with the "maybe". I suppose this is what you can expect of Scribes during those times when we've announced basically bugger all in the way of upcoming games. Same story as ever here: the KI licence belongs to Rare, we may well make use of it in the coming years, etc. As an added bonus, here's some concept art of Spinal out on the town with Mr. Pants.

Dear Sexual Cheetahs,
You know what Scribes needs? A political rant! Above any other world news source, people turn to this letter column to understand what's happening on that big blue ball we all share. So I'm writing to you, oh gallant and noble Rarewarians, in a last ditch effort for peace on Earth.
Conker's Bad Fur Day... we all know it as a masterpiece that got no promotion and sank to the bottom of the discount boxes. It was such a wonderful game though, and surely its place in the universe has yet to be fulfilled. AND YET BE FULFILLED IT HAS! It's a commonly known fact that Mr. Bush likes to take a month-long vacation a few times a year. The question is, how will he spend his free time during the next one?
Here's the answer! You guys simply send him a Nintendo 64 and a complimentary copy of Conker's Bad Fur Day (non-PAL, of course), with the game saved up to the beginning of the "It's War!" chapter. Since the President apparently views foreign diplomacy as some sort of giant video game anyway, why not show him the horrors of war through one? Why, it's perfect! He'll get sucked into the game with all the "funny little animals" and then BAM! He'll be greeted with a squirrel massacre! Hopefully by the end of the chapter (where Conker's solemn speech about the horrors of war comes in), Mr. Bush will be so moved that he'll call off the invasion. He might even get a bonus message if he completes the game entirely and gets the morale about greed and appreciating the simpler things in life.
My friends, I still believe Conker's Bad Fur Day has a place in the universe, and perhaps I've found it. If this plan is succesful, you may also want to send him the Banjo-Kazooie games. Somehow I think the Banjo character would resonate with him very deeply.

Rare Reply: Good work, Slushton. No numbered lists, no "where is Game X" queries, not even any general abuse - and on top of all that, you've made some points liable to strike chords with other people and couched them in familiar Rare game terms. Good God, this place might just end up looking like a proper letters page yet.
(Note: if anyone out there is sad enough to be planning a response featuring the words 'inappropriate', 'outrage' or anything similar, why not make better use of the time in thinking of ways to be less tiresome and reactionary?)

Dear Scribes,
Xbox Perfect Dark sounds heavenly to me. Although Halo is clearly a stunning experience, I still rate at times Perfect Dark over Halo.
I'm not sure how players like to set up their FPS but if like me then you will turn both auto aim and sight off straight away. For the average player this will of course make for a more challenging game. But that's the beauty of both GoldenEye and Perfect Dark as this is an included option. My first point of concern then is that while I imagine both sight and auto aim option will be optional, will you still go to great lengths to make sure the angle of gun shown on screen points accurately to the bullet's destination? Other lesser FPS shooters require you to have the sight on at all times because you cannot gauge precisely enough where your bullets will end up. There are a lot of folks out here that prefer realistic style aiming. Failing to get this right will I'm sure alienate many of us.
My second point of concern is in how the combined X and Y axis will work together. GoldenEye and Perfect Dark demonstrated how beautifully FPS could work on a console pad. Aiming via analog is absolutely vital to my way of playing this genre and if Perfect Dark on Xbox proves to be as twitchy as the control in Halo and TimeSplitters is then I along with so many others will be gutted. This seems like such an obvious thing to me to get right but just about all FPS get it wrong apart from yourselves of course.
Fingers crossed then. It would be interesting to hear how you view my concern.
Many Thanks,
Adrian Harverson

Rare Reply: A rare response from a team deep in development on a current game! Don't say we never give you anything (except actual game information).
"Fear not! PD will have all the things you mention and more. We have kept the best things about the control and constantly strive to improve on the poorer parts. I'm sure you'll be happy with it."
So there you go. Concerns duly noted.

Dear Scribes,
At the recent annual trustees meeting of the Ape Research Society of England (A.R.S.E.), it was noted that for the first time since the founding of our organisation in 1836, none of our projects are ape-related in any way. A motion was passed to rename the Society.
Although final decision-making power in this matter rests with myself and our founder, Lord Haughbowtham, I feel it would be enlightening and entertaining to solicit the views of your readership. With this in mind, I am pleased to announce an open competition for the best new name. Our comptroller informs me that we cannot bear the expense of new stationery; therefore, the acronym for the renamed organisation must remain A.R.S.E. However, the component words of the acronym might be anything. The contest will therefore be dubbed "What's Inside the A.R.S.E.?"
The most creative entries will rewarded with valuable prizes, including stuffed apes from our Hall of Taxidermic Errors, research materials from the Vulpine Sexuality Project (shipped in discreet brown paper packaging), a jar of TossMaster© Caber Wax donated by the Edinburgh branch, and a dream date with Nigel Fotheringay-Blodgett.
I await the response of the public with great anticipation.
Chauncey Rumsworth Biddlebury III, Chairman, The Organisation Formerly Known as the Ape Research Society of England (A.R.S.E.)

Rare Reply: Hang on, we've done this before when we hilariously called for graphic explanations of ROB the Robot's ARSE mode. Stop stealing our ideas, Biddlebury. Besides, there's still DKC GBA - what's that if not ape-related?
Anyway, monkeys are passé. Ferrets are the new monkeys. Or possibly stoats.

Hi, there at Rare!
I've been a fan of your games since my first videogame (DKR). And now I have a question about your last (pity) Nintendo game Star Fox Adventures. A simple quastion, easily answered. How I get 100% in the game and is it possible anyway?
Please remail me as quick as possible.
Stefan Zwölfer

Rare Reply: It's not quite "please contest me fast", but we'll make the effort anyway. Well - sort of.
"The only way to get 100% is to finish the game and then, after you have defeated the boss, return to the front end and bring up the save slot. When it displays the percentage finished on the save slot, take a non-permanent marker and write 100% on the screen (NOTE: Rare does not condone the possible knackering of your TV screen by doing this, so don't). Does that answer your quastion?"

Grunty eyes the stairs with disgust, cursing her Dalek bits Hullo gawgeous!
I must say I was disappointed that you fabulous folks abandoned development for GameCube, but I can live with it. And I can't tell you how warm and fuzzy I felt inside when I heard that you had not abandoned Grunty's Revenge and the other Game Boy projects. Good for you.
Now, on to business. SFA. I saved my game just before I released the final Krazoa Spirit, then proceeded to finish the last boss like a stale Twinkie. Now I go to open my file, it says I still have 95%, and I'm stuck at the Krazoa Palace. I try to take off, nothing happens. I am trapped and all I can do is fight the final boss over and over... and ooooooverrrrrrrrr... I would like to run free on the planet once again, but I am trapped in my majestic prison, forced to fly on the wind lifts and vaporize jellyfish till my thumbs fall off. Please tell me I'm an unobservant moron and am completely missing the exit, even with my big gooey cartoon eyes. Help me...
Quill, King of the Porcupines
P.S. How did Fox know Krystal's name? Nobody ever told him until he met that CloudRunner, and Fox was surprised that he knew Krystal... hmmm...

Rare Reply: Back to the SFA team for more valuable insight/barely-restrained abuse:
"Sorry Jon Boy, but you're stuck forever unless you go back and play the game again. Once you reach Krazoa Palace and save, you are locked here. The only way to be able to explore the planet would have been to save at Walled City after you said goodbye to Tricky and before you get in the Arwing to go to Krazoa Palace. These things just happen, you know...
"PS If you look at the Krystal model very closely you might, just might be able to see that she has a name tag on a part of her clothing which Fox was able to read and gain this valuable information. Or maybe this is just a pack of lies and he just knew it, alright! These questions just keep getting worse and worse..."

Hello Rareware!
I loved Star Fox Adventures! There are only five things that bugged me:
1. Dragon Rock was too short. Some of the tasks were too obvious.
2. Sometimes the camera would somehow 'connect' with Tricky and mess up the game by putting Tricky in the camera view, or making him disappear until a cut scene happened or I restarted the game.
3. What were all those question mark things behind the world map for?
4. Why on the back mission stats thing was there a space for another Tricky power but never anything to fill it?
5. Why in the beginning did it mention something about Krystal's parents and that she "thinks she may be getting closer to finding out about their death"?
Thanks for reading a letter from a fan of your Nintendo days.
Joe Calidonna
P.S. The switch to Xbox may have upset many people, but they can sit back and enjoy the many quality games that we loved in the past from the best game developers in the world.

Rare Reply: More for the Star Fox bunch! They love it, I can tell.
"This feels like being back at school...
"1. Here's a gem of info that no-one off the team knew until now. Dragon Rock was a lot bigger (almost twice the size) than it appears in the final game, but due to approaching deadlines, it had to be cut and trimmed. So 'too obvious?'... tsk."
2. That's not a question. Mind, neither was the last one. And hey - who didn't 'connect' with Tricky?
"3. Those 'Question Mark Things' are maps that you haven't yet purchased from the Shopkeeper. Tight arse.
"4. You haven't bought Tricky's ball. You really are quite tight aren't you? Do you have Scottish ancestry?
"5. Yes, Krystal's looking for an answer to her parents' death. Why? Why do bears shi...
"P.S. God bless you, your family and anyone who's ever met you."

Dearest of the Dear Scribes,
Here is my RPA of a fifteen-second arse. When you see it, you'll swear it only took me about seven seconds, but I did use the remaining time to touch it up a little. Wait, did I just say I touched up my arse? Guess I'll be using a fake name at the end of this letter then. The arsePA's that I saw on your letters page gave me a reason to write a slightly longer message than I originally intended, I was originally just sending you this email to say that, well, SFA is a wee bitty naff, isn't it? Go on, you can admit it, it's a bit on the shtinky side.
Prince Albert, Monaco

Rare Reply: I forgive your dissent in the light of this beautiful RPA. No, wait.

Dear Scribes,
Well, I'm aware that you have moved on from the big N to the big M, but I have some questions from a game from your previous life with Nintendo. This game is Perfect Dark. I was wondering if you could explain a few things to me.
The first question is why there is a "?" on that grate in the Warehouse Combat Simulator level and what was it meant for.
Another question I have is why Cassandra de Vries' Key Code necklace on Perfect Agent Attack Ship: Covert Assault is described "Cassandra De Vries' replacement necklace. Username: CDV780322 Password: 18M0ZYM8ND185."
It has also come to my attention that on Air Force One: Antiterrorism, where square holes are found above the Piano, and below some bunk beds. Why were these placed there?
My next question has to do with the observatory on the fourth level: Carrington Villa: Hostage One. Why was this placed there. My theory is that you were supposed to kill the rooftop snipers from there in the early stages of the game, but it was taken out. Why was this there?
I have also discovered a secret "Skedar" level accessible with the InterAct Gameshark device. By using this code you can select a normal Solo Mission, but be sent to the Skedar Combat Simulator level, where you start with a Falcon 2, CMP-150, AR-34, and Reaper. In this level are Maians that kill the human guards around this level. There are no objectives, nor any apparent way to beat this level. My last question is what is this level, and why is it in the game.
I hope you take time off of your busy schedule to respond. If I sent this to a place in RARE that can't answer my questions, could you please re-direct it to someone who can?
Thank you for your time!
Long time fan,
Jason Plonka

Rare Reply: Okay, Mr. Plonka... what? Who's laughing?
Here you go, it's PD designer boy come to politely offer you the traditional verbal roughing-up. En garde.
"If we answered that question, then it would stop being a question. The question mark would then be bereft of the central reason for its existence. Surely you wouldn't be so cruel. Even if you are, I'm not. Next question.
"Did you play the first level? At all? Did you pay any attention when you did? One of the items you collect is Cassandra DeVries' necklace. It acts as a key to gain access to the labs in the basement. If you have taken it, then she needs a new one, especially if she's going to show the decorators around the mess you made of the walls after you got Doctor Caroll out. The username and password were the secret access codes for a promotional website, which I think has been closed by now (Or never happened in the first place. - Ed). Next question.
"Stuff. Next question.
"To make a bit of the level look pretty. You were supposed to protect the negotiator from the firing squad from there; and you would have been able to pick the snipers off the roof of the Villa from there if the game hadn't run at 5 fps while you were trying to do so. So the view was closed off. But there is a secret beta cartridge with the open view available on that level. It runs on the Xbox, too. Price? <sticks little finger into corner of mouth> One billion dollars! Mwuhahahahahah! Mwuhahahahahah! No, not really. Next question.
"The level is not in the game, so I will not answer any questions about it. YOU caused the level to appear by using the Gameshark. YOU therefore are the originator of the level. Let me ask YOU a question: was it as satisfying as the other levels in the game? I suspect it wasn't. If you go messing around with the game, you get what you deserve, which is an imperfect gaming experience. Play it properly. And don't come crying to us when you find broken things that aren't in the main game. Anyone who reads Scribes on a regular basis knows the kind of answers those questions receive."
That's told you. Now onto the Snippets...


have you gone bust? my mate says you have.
James Kelly

Rare Reply: Tell your mate he's got an arse for a brain.

I just took a Viagra and am having serious trouble with my printer cartridge. Or am I on the wrong board?
Danny "DK" Keaton

Rare Reply: There's always one, isn't there? (Mind, it worked.)

C'mon, post all of those letters from Nintendo jingos cursing you for going from the little purple console to the big black one! I wanna read 'em! ESPECIALLY the ones comparing you to the Taliban! Their Montagues/Capulets view of the entire game industry is a comedy gold mine!
TB Tabby

Rare Reply: The first 2000 or so, maybe. After that it starts to grate.

As I have pointed out to my friends, the new pics of Joanna make her look like Wolverine on estrogen!

Rare Reply: Yes, it'll be the CLAWS, MASK and PERMANENT SNARL that do it.

Is it me, or does Jo Dark look like Halle Berry in that 'shooting while in crab-position' render?
Martin "Alf-Life" Badowsky

Rare Reply: No, but more so than bloody Wolverine.

hey, do you want to cyber or not?!

Rare Reply: I was intentionally leaving it ambiguous.

Quite frankly I couldn't give two flying arses which platform you choose to drop your nuggets of pure gaming gold on. I moved with you from the Speccy to the NES to the SNES to the N64 and now, guess what, I'm getting an Xbox. Lead on McPants!

Rare Reply: Two flying arses? We're not worthy.

man what is up with all those kameo posts I wanna hear about the new perfect dark please just any thing on it i have to know perfect dark is my life i used to get up every morning and play the villa stage for breakfast.

Rare Reply: That's because you're an UNBALANCED MENTALIST.

Reading your site updates section, I was just struck by how apt it is that on the bar at the top of my Internet Explorer window, it says: "Rare: Site Updates".

Rare Reply: Coming soon: Scribes, one word per day!

In response to Shigeru Miyamoto's recent appearance in London, you should set up a deckchair in Oxford Street, and hold a placard saying "Mr Pants' Dad". People would flock in their MILLIONS with RPA printouts for you to sign. Oh yes they would.
Alun 'Felix' MacRae

Rare Reply: I'll try it in the heart of bustling Twycross, see how it goes from there.

Finally picked up Conker's BFD in a junk shop in Southampton. Best game ever. Can we have a competition for the title of the next Conker game? I propose Conker's XXX-Box.

Rare Reply: I propose Conker: Sh*t F**k P*ss B*ll*cks B*st*rd.

Hey Rare, I just thought I might bring up a little game that some people may not know you created. A little something called Jeopardy. If you don't want the word to get out, then send money.
Mr. Know

Rare Reply: Oh no! And we had it hidden away in plain view on our Timeline.

|) 0   '/ 0 |_|   |> /-\ 5 + 3   3 \/ 3 |2 '/   |\/| 3 5 5 /-\ 9 3   '/ 0 |_|   |2 3 ( 3 1 \/ 3   0 |\|   5 ( |2 1 8 3 5 ?
Bobob the shaved rat

Rare Reply: |) 0 |\| ' +   8 3   5 0   8 |_ 0 0 |) '/   5 + |_| |> 1 |).

I need to see it in glorious type once again, I need to say it, and feel the way the word rolls off my tongue like one of those free lollipops they give you at the bank for being a good little boy (preferably lime)... arse-pancakes.
Dave Roscoe

Rare Reply: I thought we'd graduated to arse croissants?

hi-YAAAH!!! im going to kill you all!
Colin Boswell

Rare Reply: If I'm to die, sir, it'll not be at the hands of someone called Colin.

No Mr Arse this time, I'm afraid. I was just wondering: are the Kremlings associated with the Kremlin in any way? Because this would mean they're communist, which could open up all sorts of possibilities...
P.S. Is there a gibbon, howler monkey or pygmy in the Kong family?

Rare Reply: In the same way that Stalin was associated with starlings. PS Probably.

what happen with Killer Instinct 3? If you are thinking of extracting this game, extract it for xbox and do it with many blood and gore......

Rare Reply: "What happen?" "Somebody set up us the blood and gore."

If it took you more than one whole year to make Star Fox Adventures, how do you plan on releasing 5 in two years?

Rare Reply: A clever little trick called 'concurrent development'.

Here's an RPA of Mr. Pants wearing a fur coat, eating bacon, and getting ready to cut down a tree. Take that you damned environmentalist hippies!

Rare Reply: This kind of behaviour can only have a detrimental effect on his fans - just look.