Wednesday, October 7, 1998

Scribes: October 7, 1998

Dear Scribes,

Alrighty, you wonderful Englishmen (or whatever you may be) who don't take their website seriously, I'm kind of looking forward to Jet Force Gemini, so I have two questions, one, will you actually, literally be able to "kick monster's faces off", or is this just one of your little sayings, like "dinkers" and "elastoplast"? Next, this one is more of a suggestion than a question. Ok, I noticed on one of the screenshots a gun and a number next to it. PLEASE DO NOT PUT AMMO IN THE GAME!! I've had my share of great games, and when I say this, I think I'm speaking for a lot of people... from what I understand, a great element of a game like this is total carnage. That doesn't mean blood and guts or anything, it simply means walking into a place and blowing everything in it up. The use of limited ammunition would somewhat hinder the ability to do this. To make it easier, just think of Contra 3, for SNES. So save some memory space, take out the little gun and ammo, and make the enemies a bit tougher. That was your only flaw in Banjo-Kazooie, but I won't get into that.

Well anyway, thanks for reading,
Jake Byrd
P.S. Mr. Pants kicks some serious arse.

Rare Says:

We certainly do take the web site seriously, you young pup - just not over-seriously, that's all. And when was the last time I threw 'Elastoplast' randomly into a sentence?

Precision fire in JFG certainly will allow you to separate parts of the aliens' anatomy. As for the ammo question, though, we can't help but suspect that the game would be a bit easy with infinite Death Splat Arse Detonation bombs in your possession at all times. Limited firepower on the bigger weapons is all part of the strategy, after all. Let's compromise - I'll pester the designer not to put a limit on bog-standard pistol ammo. How's that?

Dear Scribes,

Did you ever realize how much your games may hurt a child? You might teach 6 year olds, to roll off trees, trying to reach another! (As taught in Donkey Kong Country). Don't even get me started with Goldeneye, and an aim between one's eyes. Banjo's Beak-Barge move, will teach younger children to ram their heads into doors to open them. I also suppose in Twelve Tales: Conker 64, that he will be able to chuck acorns, or something like that at baddies. The new fad in my neighborhood will be acorn fights, of which, when they run out of nuts, they will start huckin' rocks at each other! DKR and the missiles... I'm glad I'm the only one in the neighborhood to get a copy!!! I have tested all of the above things, from tree rolling attempts to shooting missiles at subject 'A'. I have tested all these alone, in fear of being harmed, and yes, I'm subject 'A'. What are you laughing at? This is serious! It took me an hour of "Beak-Barging" into my bedroom last night! Oh, and I just can't WAIT to get started on testing Jet Force Gemini, and Perfect Dark! (Sarcastically)

Please, stop the violence! In the name of HUMANITY!!!!
Crazy Albert

Rare Says:

Hey - we can't help it if you're crap at the Beak Barge. It always works first time for us. Anyway, in the light of your brutally truthful arguments, we've decided to make our next project a flower-growing simulator called
Pansy. No guns, no explosions, no potentially dangerous athleticism. If Pansy doesn't make the world a better place, nothing will.

Dear Editor at Rareware dot com,

Hey man, let me just ask you something: if you guys are based in Britain, does that mean that Europe gets their hands on all your games first? My guess is that Europe gets their hands on your stuff first, along with all other PAL-using countries, including Australia (where i'm in), and then the US, coz making a US NTSC conversion would take some time, but the last country would be Japan, where linguistic translations would delay releases. Am I right?

If this is true, isn't that a kind of reversal of normal trends? ie. Japan usually gets stuff first, then the US, then Europe and the rest of the world. And so if this too is true, is it possible that you sometimes don't bother releasing stuff in Japan?

I was just wondering coz I think it's a bit weird that Japan would get stuff last (if at all). This thought occured to me because as I was playing Banjo Kazooie, I realised that all those Shakespearean-esque prose couplings you placed in there (cough, cough) would have to be translated into Japanese for the Japanese market. And that would take a lot of time for a translater to convert it from English to Japanese, minimising idiom-loss.

Also, along the same theme, what happens in parts of Banjo Kazooie (and other games for that matter), where the text becomes a vital part of the game? eg. the bit where you have to spell words by banging letters on the floor. I mean, I remember in this BRILLIANT game you guys made in about 1986, R.C. Pro Am, for the NES, racers could upgrade their cars by collecting letters that would eventually spell NINTENDO. What happens there? I mean, if I had to smash floor tiles that had Japanese characters on them in a specific order, I'd be totally lost coz I'm too dumb read anything but Roman characters. So what do the Japanese do?

So basically:

1) What order do the countries come in in terms of first to last to receive Rare software? Do you sometimes just not bother with Japan?

2) How do you cater for non-Roman character based languages?
The Slut

Rare Says:

1) As NTSC is the nearest thing to a universal standard at the moment, developers (including us) program the games to NTSC standard and convert them to PAL, not vice versa. Hence the US and Japan getting them first, with the PAL conversions trotting along a month or so later once we've finished optimising them to run at full speed and full-screen.

2) We don't. English is spoken pretty extensively in Japan, so there's almost always some degree of English text in Japanese games. They don't mind putting up with our alphabet once in a while. They're nice like that.

Dear Rare-thing,

Interesting that you're packing up sales in the US, UK (and probably Japan as well, it's not worth the effort doing all that translation I expect) and concetrating on games solely for the Tristan da Cunha market. My ex headmaster (I left school "several" years ago now) went there on some half baked expedition type thing. Now I don't want to rain on your business plans and market analysis, but from what he told us about the place I can't help thinking that you're relying too heavily on the penguin population's ability to buy N64 games. Let me tell you straight, penguins don't buy N64 games. Ever.Practically everyone knows they're happy with their Atari Jaguars.
Tim Gilbert

Rare Says:

Now that's just a silly exaggeration. Some cunning research on my part has shown that there are definitely a few people on Tristan da Cunha - they grow potatoes and catch fish and that. Granted, the nearest N64 is probably a few thousand miles away, but we've always liked a challenge. Just you wait and see, we'll have that market cracked before the year's out.

Dear Scribes,

After reading the first sentence of your response to my last post (you know, the one about whether or not Perfect Dark was being released in the US) and crying constantly, I realized that there was a hint of sarcasm in the rest of your response (Ha Ha. As if you expected me to know where Tristan da Cunha was located.) I desperately reached for a dictionary when I saw that you called me a divot. Now, excuse my stupidity, but I am not familiar with the English term for divot. The only definition I could find was 'A piece of turf torn up by a golf club in striking a ball.' Okay, in other words, let me rephrase this question.

Select A or B for the following Question:

Is Perfect Dark coming out in the US?

A. Yes

B. No

Thankyou :)

- Just an ordinary teenage girl who happens to be a bit obsessed about a certain new game...

Rare Says:

That's a perfectly serviceable description of a divot. What's the problem? And if it's a straight answer you wanted all along, why didn't you just say so? The simple, honest truth is that you'd be misinformed to think that we were lying about Perfect Dark not being cancelled in the US.

Dear people at Rareware,

Is there any way to purchase the original version of Goldeneye? Some of my friends say that they have seen it and I just want to know if it is true.

I have one more question as well; the briefing on the Cradle stage says that "only Trevelyan and his personal body guard are unaccounted for." Who is this "personal body guard" and where can he be found? Is he only in the unreleased version, or is he well hidden?

Rare Says:

'Original version'? The version on the shop shelves is the 'original version' (unless your local shopkeeper is an incorrigible pirate). If it's the beta version you're on about, well, this isn't the PC development industry and we don't release beta versions - they're incomplete and riddled with bugs which get ironed out as they're dragged through our testing department. So we don't keep any beta versions because that's just a transitionary stage, like a book with only half the chapters printed and spelling mistakes all over the place. Or something.

And it's 'bodyguard' in the plural sense - i.e. all the soldiers on the level, Trevelyan's personal task force. So there (phhrrrrpp).

Dear Scribes,

You asked 9/25/98 (25/9/98) what makes Tiptup such a popular character and why he inspires such mindless devotion. I believe it has something to do with reaching your goals. Tiptup began as a whiney, pathetic, little turtle with the unmistakable voice of Paul "Pee-wee" Reubans. And yet even though he was a coward, even though we was clumsy, he survived DKR, and helped the others out greatly. He went from being a loser to being a hero. Then apparently he found out Wizpig destroyed his house or something so he moved to Bubble Gloop Swamp. Then the little unattractive guy went through puberty, and got a macho voice, and a muscular enormous build. So the immortal story of Tiptup is that even the most pathetic person can be successful. It brings a tear to my eye every time I think of it....

So, yes, Tiptup should get his own game. It would finally silence his legions of fans' endless complaining. And it would mean profits for you guys.

Rare Says:

Yeah - it'd be particularly good if he co-starred with a giant eagle, because then he could get dropped onto a boulder from a great height and explode everywhere.

Dear Scribes,

You guys suck! You deny everything! I should put my foot so far up your arse that you'll have to use the jaws of life to get it out! You won't admit to KI3, Goldeneye 2, and Tiptup 64! I know what really happned with the next Bond game, you guys couldn't snag the rights to even make the game! Now you guys are trying to snag the rights for next year's Bond film. Hehehehehehehehehe. I know just about everything! I'm just like Santa Claus, I'm the monster under your bed, I'm an American FBI agent! (hehe) I know everything that you do. Hehe. Take a look in my eye, you know I'm telling the truth.

Also Banjo got shot yesterday by Kazooie in my home, yes there were gunshots and egg yolk all over the wall, but some people think that it was Bond that shot Banjo, because birds can't hold guns but, police detectives are checking it out. I do not know who shot Banjo because I was not home.

Well good luck in the future, I'll be watching...... hahahahahahaha.

Rare Says:

Let me get this straight - would we 'not suck' if we didn't deny things, even if they were a load of made-up old tat? And how can you emphatically state that "Banjo got shot by Kazooie yesterday" then admit that you don't really know who shot him because you weren't there? It's all circumstantial, as far as I can tell. Can you prove she wasn't framed? How do you know it wasn't suicide?


I've just been reading NMS and they said that PD is going to have a two player co-operative mode, is this true and if so who's the other character?

How about making a game of Robot Wars, where you get to make crap remote control cars covered in even more crap, and just get to slowly bump into each other and watch Jeremy Clarkson ponce around in the background trying to take the p*ss out of the contestants but completely failing.

And why the hell does averyone like Tip Tup so much, everyone can see that Krunch is the best.

Has anyone there thought about putting Mr. Pants in PD as a secret Deathmatch character 'cos that'll be coo-el.

Anyway I can't really be arsed to write anything else.
J Dean

Rare Says:

Despite what's being said, the co-op mode isn't a fact just yet. There's a wish list of features for PD (just as there was for GoldenEye), and try as the team might to squeeze it all in, there just ain't no guarantees. As the designer puts it: "We can't confirm that it will go in because it might come out before the game is released, due to it not being right. And then we'd end up looking stupid. A 3D Canasta sub-game is also on the wish list."

Oh, and Krunch is a baddie. Therefore you have the psychological profile of a serial killer.

Dear Scribes,

I'll begin this letter by saying that Rare is the second best game developer in the business. Nintendo's first, you guys second, and Sega's third. You guys are awesome!!!!!

But something is bothering me. I understand that you guys are getting more popular and getting bigger. Therefore, Rare is expanding. Since gamers and Nintendo want more Rare games, you guys gonna develop more games. Same thing happened to Squaresoft, and they SUCK now. Square is still a good company (and they are one of the top ten developers in the world), but they're no longer the mighty Squaresoft that I remembered. The games just aren't as good as they used to be. Remember the good 'ol 16-bit days when Square concentrated on making a few games per year and produced classics like FF3 and Chrono Trigger? Now they're making a dozen of games per year and the quality of those games went down hill. I can spend the entire letter bitching about Final Fantasy VII but I won't. It seems like they concentrate too much on visual graphic and storytelling, and totally forgotten about the most important aspect of gaming experience-GAMEPLAY (fun and replay value). And it looks like they're doing it again with FF8 (the game looks like an epic about Barbie and Ken). So please don't turn yourselves into another Squaresoft because I see some similarities between the two companies. Please continue to bring us N64 owners high quality games with great gameplays like Goldeneye and BK! Don't lose focus like Squaresoft did.

Rare Says:

I don't think you can realistically say that Squaresoft 'suck'. But anyway, Rare's expansion is a gradual thing - it's not as if we're suddenly going to find ourselves with 50 programmers too many and start up a load of cacky back-burner games to get them off our hands for a while. Development teams are bigger now than they were a few years ago, obviously, but that's because today's technology demands more complicated games with standards of graphics and programming that take a lot more time to reach. It's gone from a one- or two-man team per game (as in the Ultimate days) to three or four times that number of people working on the graphics alone: so if we didn't expand, we'd either collapse or just end up slogging away at one game every two years or so with the temptation to rush it out just so that we could start work on something new. Expansion's a good thing, believe me.

Dear Scribes,

I read the letter about "lazy-assed" (or should it be lazy-arsed?) Americans making rubbish games in the September 25th Scribes. Sorry old chap, but it's true. The majority of American games ARE crap. Not only do they suck, they are also surrounded by loads of hype. Wheras Japanese or European companies are always striving for that different angle and trying to make the games great (GoldenEye wasn't a straight shooter, it had spy elements) and most of the time they have little hype, in Rare's case there's some light -heartedness when talking about games ("Stupid Hick Bear"). American companies are always looking to capitalise on the latest genre craze. Look at the number of C & C clones, or Doom clones (and I'm not referring to titles like 007 or SC that try to take the genre further).

I would disagree with your opinion of "great games" as you listed (MK4? Shadows? Please) but since it's all a matter of opinion I'll leave that alone. I'll just add that even you must see how rank Turok is, especially compared to GoldenEye. And by the way, Colony Wars and WipeOut XL were developed by Psygnosis. In Liverpool. Which is in England, not the US. Another little note is that Rogue Squadron IS being done in the US, by Factor 5. A GERMAN company.

There is no doubting that the US, Japan and Europe make some poor games. But if you look at it, the majority of great games come from Japan and Europe (Gran Turismo, Tekken, anything from Rare or Miyamoto, ISS98, Micro Machines V3) and the majority of poor games from the US (War Gods, Cruis'n USA, FIFA series, Myst). I'm sorry to crush your patriotic pride, but it's true.
Ravi Hiranand, The 64 Source

Rare Says:

I'm saying nothing. Carry on, you lot. Just warn me when someone starts throwing pans.

Dear Scribes,

Hello, it's another one of those lazy American gamers again with a smart ass comment for you. I recently read a letter saying that in Goldeneye, dismemberment would not be a good option because it does not truly represent the movie. Well, let's see. When you place a mine or bomb and it blows up, so do people. Just because it wasn't shown in the movie Goldeneye does not mean it is false. I didn't see about a trillion guards shooting James Bond in the movie. Yeah, there were a WHOLE lot at certain parts, but not as many as in the game. This would make you wrong. If you want to make a realistic game, you have yet to do it. Graphics were real, but I've never seen someone get shot one hundred times...and live to tell about it. By now you are probably saying, "Well, then the game would be boring if he died in a couple shots."...and you're right. Well, the game also would have been much more exciting if dismemberment was present. Let's get real here. If someone got shot in the head with a Cougar Magnum, it's lights out. The head is gone. Instead, a little blood stain is left, perhaps signifying that nothing ever happened. I'm rambling now, so I'll shut up. And another thing...I expect a reply yelling that realism in games adds tastelessness and all of that.

Thanks, and good bye.
Randall Mourning

Rare Says:

Let me just quickly collar the designer before he escapes...

"To reiterate: the level of violence in GoldenEye is comparable to the level of violence in the Bond films. If the game had had viscera and dismemberment at every turn, it would not have been a good or true representation or translation of GoldenEye or the characters in it. The game would not have been approved by the Bond Team, Rare, Nintendo or Eon for precisely those reasons. Just because it happens in other films doesn't mean it is pertinent to the Bond films.

"When referring to gunshot wounds, there are two types of wounds. Entry wounds are the small, neat holes where the bullet enters the body. Exit wounds are the large nasty holes that show the general area that the bullet left the body. From the viewpoint of the person firing the gun, all that is visible is the entry wound. If you have ever been in such a position yourself and have witnessed a different effect, please inform your local police, who I'm sure will be interested. The effect you describe is not one I have ever seen happen in a Bond film.

"Quite to the contrary, I would reply that realism in games tends to moderate violence. That got you, eh?"

Dear Scribes,

Stop working on your Killer stinks and your mortal wombats and your No Brain Athletes and your Whacky Wham Wrestling and start working on good games such as Perfect Dark and especially BANJO-TOOIE! I want to buy that game before I'm to old to enjoy it!

Rare Says:

What? You want us to stop working on
No Brain Athletes? How did you find out about that, anyway? (Oh, and oddly enough we have actually started work on Banjo-Tooie and Perfect Dark - hence the official announcements some time ago.)

Dear Mister Scribes,

I've got some suggestions for possible games that you might like to try using:

1. South Park UK: Pip's Revenge. Pip gets so p*ssed off with everyone teasing him that he throws lethal dodgeballs at them. Unfortunately, there's lots of bad guys in his way.

2. Bill The Sausage Man. Bill The Sausage Man, everyone's favourite Sausage Man, battles through his meat-hating world and finally meets Fat Tub Of Lard.

3. Banjo And Kazooie Make Toast. When Gruntilda is reincarnated as a piece of bread, it's up to Banjo and Kazooie to get her before she gets away (even though bread doesn't have any legs or wings) then put her into a toaster and watch her burn in toaster hell.

4. Dr. Fegg's Nintendo Book Of Knowledge. Based on the book, Dr Fegg's Nasty Book Of Knowledge. Fight your way through the Maze For People Who Don't Like To Get Confused! Battle the West Bromwich Fighting Haddock! Rip up the book of The Nasty Babysitter! And eat the Self-Eating Welsh Rarebit before it eats itself!

5. Snumpy Chumpy Goes For A Walk. Snumpy Chumpy walks around in a circle before he dies.

Take my suggestions or else.....Snumpy Chumpy will die nastily! From the banana second from the left in the third group of bananas on Everfrost Peak on Diddy Kong Racing (only on the copy that someone owns in a red-brick house in Middlesex, when they are playing as Drumstick on Adventure Two)

Rare Says:

It was, of course,
Snumpy Chumpy Goes For A Walk that got your letter printed. As a rule we don't accept game design ideas from outside the company, but with Snumpy Chumpy we feel we've got a potential system-seller on our hands. Such disarming simplicity! Such a revolutionary control setup! Such incalculable replay value! And best of all, it'll only take about half an hour to make.

Dear Scribes@Rareware:

I am an avid fan of your games (all the way back to Cobra Triangle for the NES), and I would just like to know if you would ever revive the BattleToads franchise. The original series was great, and I can't help but wonder how awesome a BattleToads game would be on the Nintendo 64. Even if they're just forced to appear as cameos in DKC, Banjo, or Konker titles, please revive them.

Rare Says:

What can we say? It might well happen one day. We're free to make a 64-bit
Battletoads game if we want to, but at the moment we're all booked up with other projects. I know you thrive on this corporate ambiguity.

I'm not sure a bunch of slap-happy amphibian thugs would fit well into the happy, smiley world of DK or Conker - though Wizpig
does bear a certain resemblance to the Toads' old enemies...

Dear Scribes,

Recently, I got the game Banjo-Kazooie. I enjoyed playing it and when I made it to Click Clock Woods, I hatched the baby eagle. Well, I thought nothing about it, but I did find the baby eagle a bit cute (being a bird lover) and fed it worms. When winter came, I assumed that when I went the nest (since everything else in the world was dead.... *sniff* you killed my pretty flower!) that the eagle would be gone and there would just be a jiggy. To my surprise, however, a beautiful adult eagle was in the nest. I loved the design of it. I was amazed at what a lovely job the programmers did for it. The eagle gave me the jiggy and flew off. I felt a sense of accomplishment. But, however, everytime I return to Click Clock Woods, the nest is empty. The beautiful eagle is gone. Click Clock Woods felt so empty after that. Of course, I got to see the eagle again once I beat the gameshow (and a dolphin.... did I mention I am also a dolphin freak?... whom I quickly freed when I discovered it under the ship in Rusty Bucket Bay..... by the way, what ever happened to that dolphin? The Bay is surrounded with no way to get out. Where could it have possibly gone to?).

Well, I decided why not put a picture of that eagle on my webpage, so I went off searching for screenshots. Unfortunately, I found none. All I have been able to find is a screenshot of the baby eagle. You wouldn't happen to have a picture of that eagle hidden away somewhere, would you?

Rare Says:

Here you go. I just happened to have it on hand. It's not very big, and it's the adult version of Eyrie rather than the squawking sprog, but it's better than a kick up the arse, eh?


Keep up the good work in using proper English on your webpage. I dont know whether I'm the first to say so, but I know what "gumption", "arsed" and "poncey" mean.

My next present your webpage in Cockney rhyming slang. But that'll be all for now as I'm cream crackered and so after a cup of Rosie Lee I'm going to Bedford.
The man from Del Monte (The Del Monte which is strangely near Birmingham)
Rare Says:

Up the apples and pears, you mean? 'Going to Bedford' isn't very good rhyming slang. What's it mean? Something to do with Robert Redford?

Anyway, look out for the next episode of Scribes - brought to you in a hideously exaggerated phonetic version of the Welsh accent.

Dear Scribes,

Tiptup, just say that name over and over. It inspires one to go to a local go-cart track and scream your bloody spleens out as you pretend to shoot rockets at the other bewildered racers. Please make a new game with Tiptup, I need to satisfy my turtle-racing needs, I've already gotten banned from all the "Putt-Putts" within a 200 mile radius of my home. So I beg you, make a Tiptup game. Call it: Tiptup goes to Shell. One of those mindless shooters that go platinum everytime. Or if you want a female companion, put that hot Pipsy in the game and call it Tiptanic. A romantic adventure game of that ill-fated trip. So unlike our U.S gov. please listen to the people.
Will Gordy, Devoted Tiptup the Turtle Fan
P.S. Make it under $50 too.

Rare Says:

Tiptanic, eh? Sounds like a winner to me. Not that I'd want to see Pipsy lying naked on a sofa for any length of time. One thing, though: why do your Tiptup impressions involve a lot of screaming and excessive violence? I thought he was supposed to be the endearingly clumsy and reluctant one. Do you know something we don't, or are you just sick in the head?


Why are you so sarcastic? And what is this racing game you are supposedly making?

Rare Says:

I think you've answered your own question there.

Sometimes, in Goldeneye, when you shoot an enemy in the butt, he acts like he's trying to shake the bullet outta his ass! ISN'T THAT LOVELY?!
Rare Says:

There's a definite trend of AOL users emerging...

Tooty better have an active role in Banjo-Tooie aka. Naked Tooty code.
Ken Lumb

Rare Says:

Now stop it, man. There are limits.

I was just curious, if you take Prozac and Riddelin at the same time, will you be teleported to a world where time and peanuts can not coexist?
The One-Tentacled Chicken

Rare Says:

What? Tiny penis? Why, you - oh. Sorry.

The only thing that bothers me are the rumors going around that you guys are going to make a Spice Girl game for the N64.
Joshua Janoski

Rare Says:

They'd bother us as well if you hadn't just made them up.

Banjo has an unusually small house. He must be poor. What's his job?

Rare Says:

He's a village idiot. Er, it's a very small village.

How do you be Gruntilda? I've heard a lot of rumours.....

Rare Says:

I bet you have, and they're all cobblers as well.


Rare Says:

Because you've misjudged today's medication.

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