Thursday, January 14, 1999

Ask Uncle Tusk: January 14, 1999

Dear Uncle Tusk,

Were the DKC 3 team fans of Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer?

When you beat KAOS for the second time and K.Rool comes onto the screen he says "My wife's going to kill me!"

Is this a reference to The Smell Of Reeves & Mortimer?
Marcus Finn

Uncle Tusk replies:
Not at all, no. In fact here's the designer responsible to properly refute your claims:

"Hi there, Greg Mitchell here. I'm sorry to say that that particular reference is just a pure coincidence, a very pure one indeed and has nothing to do with watching too much Vic and Bob. Oh no, what have I said! My wife's going to kill me, oh no no no no!"

Note for those not 'in the know': his name's not Greg Mitchell really. It's a joke. He also mentioned that you shouldn't go thinking there are any Fast Show references in the game either.

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

Before you throw this message in the recycle bin, may I ask a teeny-weenie question? The Cave of Spiral Mountain, the Secret of Sharkfood Island, the Great Ice Key of Freezeezy Peak, and the Secret in the Pyramid of Gobi's Valley I know about, but what of the Door Behind the Start Pad in Rusty Bucket Bay? Is that just decor, or a Banjo-Tooie secret? Or something so wonderfully secret you won't tell me?
Christie Shepherd

Uncle Tusk replies:

What do you "know" about the Cave of Spiral Mountain, exactly? I'm sure there are thousands of wild-eyed dribbling gamers out there who'd love to hear what you "know". And all I'd have to do is 'accidentally' let slip your email address...

But anyway - onto the designer. "I'm afraid the Rusty Bucket Bay door is just a piece of painted cardboard, as Grunty couldn't afford to fit a real door." So there you go. Interesting idea, though. No, not really.

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

"Info on DKR2? Nope. None at all. Mainly because we're not doing it."

So that whole cliff hanger ending, the "To Be Continued" fiasco was nothing but a bloody lie? Why can't you do a DKR2? Because you're too d@mn lazy? Because you're too busy making Perfect Dark? Let's take a look at the list of games you're making (as a company):

1: Donkey Kong Country 64

2: Twelve Tales: Conker 64

3: Conker's Pocket Tales

4: Banjo-Tooie

5: Jet Force Gemini

6: Perfect Dark

7: TIPTUP 64 (yes, you ARE making it)

8: And you may or may not have a minor role in Nintendo's upcoming Smash Brothers and Mario Party (if you supply the DK 3-D model like in Mario Kart 64)

While these may be mucho games in development for a "small" company like Rare, that's no excuse! You already promised us a sequel when the freakin game ended. DKR introduced us to characters like Banjo, Conker, and TIPTUP. Wizpig is still alive, plotting for his revenge, and you expect us to forget that? Stop doing PD if you have to! Viva DKR!

Uncle Tusk replies:
Just because it says 'To Be Continued' doesn't mean that the game in which it's continued has to be
DKR2, does it? Aren't we allowed to use our own characters in other games? Or what? Has someone passed a law against it since we last checked? Do you want your face kicked off?

And while you can definitely scrub that scabby little turtle from the list of games we're working on, you could also add one or two more... if only you knew what they were. Har har.

* * *

Hey Tusky Boy,

I read in your Tusk questions "The N64 incarnation of DKC would have arrived in shiny 3D, if only we hadn't been forced to CAN the project so that everyone involved could go and make tea and sandwiches for the Perfect Dark team."

Please tell me that by the phrase "can the project" means that Donkey Kong Country 64 is not being cancelled (did I mention that the DKC series are my fave games of all time) but merely put on hold. It would be totally stupid to not have a Donkey Kong Country game on the N64 because it was so popular on the Super NES. I and many people I know would much rather play a N64 version of the DKC dynasty. In short it would be bloody stupid to cancel DKC64.

Please hurry and reassure me that it is still going to come out before I have a panic attack.
An Australian Donkey Kong fanatic

Uncle Tusk replies:
I'm not surprised you didn't leave your real name. Does the total absence of other letters expressing the same concern tell you anything? Yes. That's right. I deleted them all, made up a load of new ones to fill the space then spent hours piecing together a fake DK64 screenshot just to keep your hopes intact. Duh.

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

OK, I promise you won't have to bother a designer/programmer/janitor to answer this one. You mentioned something about what they say about people with big swords and that it was probably right. I hate to tell you, but what "they" say about people with big swords is that they have the swords to compensate for their "time and peanuts" if you get my drift. (If you don't, check out the Snippets and reply from one of the previous Scribes.) Oh yeah, when is Super Mario RPG 2 coming out? I feel some venting coming on...

Uncle Tusk replies:
Actually, the one I was thinking of was "People with big swords are much more inclined to hack the legs off cocky little AOL users." Surprising how much truth there is to some of these old proverbs.

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

Hi. I've been playing Banjo-Kazooie since October 10 and I've just gotten to the top of Grunty's Lair. I have gotten only to the point where she starts unstoppingly throwing meteors at me. Can you tell me how to defeat this ugly nasty hag who stole my sister Tooty?
A Banjo-Kazooie Lover

Uncle Tusk replies:
No. But unfortunately the designer can, which means I'm contractually obliged to pass on the information. Damn.

"Grunty does this fireball lobbing at various points during the fight, so I'll have to guess you've got to the bit where she hovers a long way behind the battlements. If that's the case, simply hop your scrawny butt up onto the battlements and egg her ugly face in!"

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

I've had Goldeneye 007 for a few months and due to my restricted time (man, that sux) on the comp/N64 I just have ONE level to beat on 00 Agent before I get the Egyptian Temple. It's that super-duper hard on called "Aztec Complex". This level is giving me some REAL problems on OO Agent. I can get as far as that big room with the four turrets and the Laser-Toting guys behind a bunch of crates (if I'm doing good). Then, I start having real problems. Got any tips/tricks for this area/level? I need some, and I REALLY want the All Guns code but can't get it cause I can't get Egyptian Temple. (Starts screaming something about rippin' of heads and some other more violent detail if he doesn't beat it soon.)

Thank you for your time,

Uncle Tusk replies:

You get restricted time on the N64? What are you, some kind of juvenile offender?

Ah, look, here's the designer. Let's collar him.

"Oh, all right. The dual control method is really useful, since it allows the player to slide out slowly from the ventilation pipe, hitting the roofguns just before they see the player. Conserve ammunition as much as possible, particularly the assault rifle ammo. It can shoot through objects (one object, rather), so you can, if you know roughly where your enemy is on screen, shoot through a stack of crates then pop out from behind them to check if he's still there. There are many approaches that work, so you just have to find one."

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

Seeing how that people all over the country are basking in the triumphant glory of discovering the Ice Key in Wozza's Cave in Freezeezy Peak in Banjo-Kazooie, don't you think you should delete that vile, contemptible lie in the Rumour Mill that unlocking the secrets is impossible? You can get the Ice Key via the Moon Jump code with the GameShark.

Uncle Tusk replies:
What we actually said was "...there is no genuine way of getting this key until Banjo-Tooie makes its appearance." No genuine way. See? It was more or less inevitable that some gibbon with a GameShark would end up hacking a way through to the secrets, but we don't count that as genuine since it hasn't been achieved in the way it was intended. Still, if that's the way you want to do it, fine - just bear in mind how much more satisfying it'd be to have some patience and follow the proper method when B-T's released.

A final word from the designer: "I'm sure we'll come up with some cunning plan to make the ice key useless if you cheated to get it. How about cartridge erasure? Ho ho."

* * *

Dear Tusk & any "Helpers" that may read this:

I have been a fan of Rare's games since the NES days. One of the games that sticks in my mind as being one of the best that's come from your genius heads was Wizards & Warriors--one point being the very "hum-able" soundtrack in the earlier levels. I was hoping when I got SNES that you would come out with another, but it's been years since then, and I'm pining for some more Wizards & Warriors action!

Is it possible that someday Rare will come out with another sequel to this series, or have you decided that it is dead? PLEASE say that the latter isn't so!!!

A Fan Through the Ages,

Uncle Tusk replies:
Impossible to say. Twists of fate and circumstance and all that - plus it's not a decision we'd be qualified to make alone. In all honesty, a resurrection of the age-old W&W franchise isn't what you'd call likely and we certainly don't have one lined up at the moment, but nobody can say for sure. It's a pleasure to be on hand to provide you with such a solid answer.

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

My kids are begging me to buy Banjo-Tooie now. They promise to clean their rooms, feed the pets, study for school and reverse global warming. Any ideas on improving their patience?

Thank you! And your website is great.
Larry Gresham

Uncle Tusk replies:

Now you know I'm not the best person to ask. You know I'll just end up suggesting some terrible act of violence and really offending someone. I'd pass it on to Auntie Gertie, but she'd probably misinterpret the question and come up with a nonsensical response in that manner so beloved of comically hard-of-hearing characters the world over. Anyway, what's the problem? Your kids must realise that the game's not going to be out for a good while yet, so just let them slave away until then...

* * *

Uncle Tusk,

I'm a huge fan of yours, but I need help. In Goldeneye, in the Dam, in the building with the first alarm on it, what is the blue trap door for? I heard from a lot of people that Oddjob was in there. Is it true? Is Mayday in the game anywhere? Please tell me! Thank you for your time.
P.S. Could I get a pair of those underware?

Uncle Tusk replies:
All you have to do is collect the hidden Oddjob Tokens scattered throughout the game and the trapdoor will open, giving you access to the fabled
GoldenEye-Tooie mode where you get to slug it out with Oddjob, Mayday, Blofeld, Scaramanga, Blofeld's cat, all the other Bonds and Monica Lewinsky. Now shut up and read the Rumour Mill before you come round here asking the same old brainless questions.

P.S. Speak English. No, actually, just shut up.

* * *

Hello Tusky Boy,

I was reading one of my friend's magazines the other day and came across this picture...

I thought, "WHAT THE HELL, THAT'S DONKEY KONG 64!!" Then I read the little article underneath and it said that it is indeed a real shot from Donkey Kong 64 (working title). Now, I consider myself a skeptic (even though this shot came from Nintendo's own magazine) so I need to hear it straight from the horse's...err...barbarian's mouth. Is this a real shot of the game, and if so, why haven't you put it up on your site for all to enjoy instead of giving it to a magazine for only a select few to see?
Daniel McConnell

Uncle Tusk replies:
Taken care of. We've got it as well now (so yes, it is genuine). Just think of it as getting your first glimpse of the game via Nintendo a couple of weeks earlier than you would have otherwise.

As soon as the team hands over a logo, a few more saucy screenshots and some appropriately meaty chunks of info, we'll dish you up a full-sized preview.

* * *

Okay, "Uncle" Tusk-

I have the whole Banjo-Tooie thing figured out. As I have interpreted, Banjo has a secondary objective. He would have to collect what should be about 10 or so eggs, which will be various colors. The key in the ice cave would be used in conjunction with the eggs, possibly for for a secret ending, or a new area opening up (as in DKR's space base). Perhaps the eggs are imprisoned Jinjos, and once again you must free the blasted things.

Here's where I think these eggs will be located-

Mumbo's Mountain- Mumbo says "Mumbo egg found somewhere in ancient ruins, I not help you with this one"

Treasure Trove Cove- Sharkfood Island

Clanker's Cavern- That glowin' chunk of radioactive material looks special....

Bubblegloop Swamp- Ya, what about that alligator?

Freezeezy Peak- That snowman's gotta be worth somethin', also see the ice cave

Gobi's Valley- The door in the dune

Mad Monster Mansion- Two possible places are the steel barricaded wine barrel and the chest in the upstairs mansion

Rusty Bucket Bay- Probably in a warehouse or in the boat's smoke stack

Click Clock Wood- There's gonna be more at the top of that tree than meets
the eye.

My Predictions- I also know that the Fat Hag called Grunty will be back and er....... looking as witch-like as she ever was.....

Banjo hasn't gone through the whole lair, yet. There's plenty of room for expansions. Don't be surprised if some Dinosaur level shows up so Mumbo can cast his T-Rex spell. Also possibly a swimming level, and one situated in the sky (space?) and lastly some lava world. (What would BT be without Gobi?) A few of Banjo's buddies will show up as well. Banjo will learn some new moves, and probably improve his old ones. Kazooie will be there in all of her irritating glory.

No, I'm not a double agent that infiltrated Rare. I used some common sense and analyzed the way the big R answered questions.

Roar AKA William Huszar
P.S. How did you get that name? There were no animals in Ancient England with tusks, except the Boar. (Tusk the mighty pig hunter?) And don't you dare associate me with the common lot of thinkers who make assumptions without a darn clue. I am stronger than you, my name is cooler than yours, and your sword is no more than picnic ware compared to my blade.

Uncle Tusk replies:
Yeah, I bet everyone calls you 'Roar'. I bet you can't walk down the street for fear of being swamped by scantily-clad teenage girls screaming "Roar! Roar! Let us lick the dirt from your shoes, Roar!" I'm almost tempted to envy such a fevered mind.

Here's what the B-K/B-T designer had to say about your 'cunning deductions':

"Some of what you say is true. Some isn't. I'm not saying which, though. Ha ha ha ha. Anyway, you can pass the time with our new puzzle game spin-off,
Banjo-Looie: Banjo must find Loggo the blocked toilet before he overflows and soils Tooty's new carpet. Should be finished in a few weeks."

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

I cannot access the DKC3 codes because has an error in their code bank. I've tried telling them, but they don't listen...hell! I've even given them the codes I can remember!! Please publish this! I can't remember the code to get 105%!

Uncle Tusk replies:
We've covered this at least twice before, inattentive gibbon. Check the July 7 edition. TUFST is the code for the hardest game mode that allows you to reach 105%, HARDR for a slightly less mental version and a possible 104%. MUSIC and COLOR are worth trying, too, as is ARSES, which replaces Dixie and Kiddy's heads with giant buttocks. Possibly.

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

I was looking through the a magazine when I saw a picture of you and Turok hugging and kissing each other. Is it true that you 2 are long lost brothers or do you 2 march in the parade (you know THE parade).
Wayne Thompson

Uncle Tusk replies:

Just because your name's Wayne, there's no need to go round questioning the sexuality of other people.

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

Goldeneye 007 Bunker Level - Agent

When we get into the Bunker stage - we don't seem to have a camera to take a picture of the board with or a datathief - what are we doing wrong?

Uncle Tusk replies:
Not paying much attention to your inventory, probably. Press start to go into pause mode, go right one page, then scroll down the list until either of the two items is highlighted and press fire to select that item. Press start to return to the game and fire to use the item. If you already knew that but the items aren't in your inventory, you've only got yourselves to blame. Couldn't say why, but you have.

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

In Diddy Kong Racing, I have earned T.T. and Drumstick, beaten Adventure 2 with all gold medals, and I have mastered the record times. So, what was left to do? WELL, you people over at Rare need not come up with some 50-course attachment for hardcore DKR players, for I have made up a somewhat interesting mode of play!

This 'game' I have made up is a version of hide-and-seek. You get two players, and have one person hide somewhere while the other person waits. Then, the 'seeker' tries to find the person who was hiding. I tried this with my friend, and we got a KICK out of this. You British coffee sippers can pull out that million seller racing game once more and try it. You'll either thank me or sue me, but the former is preferred.
Stephen Hilber
P.S. The top three courses are Star City, Jungle Falls, and Windmill Plains. In the first two, you can actually go onto the skyscrapers and grassy cliffs!

Uncle Tusk replies:
Not bad. Other popular variations you could try are Ram Pipsy Into The Wall mode, Destroy Pipsy With Heavy Weaponry mode, and that old multiplayer favourite, Whoever Picks Pipsy Gets Beaten Up mode. All big crowd-pleasers, so I'm told.

Anyone else care to share their own quirky little twists on an otherwise-exhausted Rare product? As you can imagine, I'd be absolutely over the moon to receive them. Mmmm, yes.

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

First off I just want to say that GoldenEye 007 is the best damn game ever! Secondly I want to ask a question about Perfect Dark, actually a couple questions. First question is about the format the game will be put in. Are the missions going to be put into a storyboard format like GoldenEye's was? That was the best thing about GoldenEye, that you could easily so to any mission you wanted. Second question is are the levels going to be short like GoldenEye's or are they going to be huge. Everyone keeps praising Turok2 for the levels, but I'll have to say that they are not very good, for 1 reason, they're just too long. GoldenEye's levels let you have more objectives and were much more fun because of their short length. I really hope Perfect Dark includes most of GoldenEye's unbeatable traits and I also hope, for RARE's sake and everyone's, that Perfect Dark surpasses GoldenEye's high standard.

Uncle Tusk replies:
The designer seemed a bit distant by the time he'd ploughed all the way through to this question. The only response I could get out of him was "The game will be in C90 ferrous tape format." If it's any consolation, the PD team have a pretty good grasp of the most popular GoldenEye features and the most widely-requested new additions, so I don't think you've got too much to worry about. Apart from your parents, that is, who appear to have named you SPZERO414.

* * *

Oiled and Raincoated Uncle Tusk,

It seems quite likely that you were just messing with wee JasonW's head in your Octr 23 column/hatefest. Or perhaps you were planting seeds of absurd rumours so that you may later denounce them with scorn.

If, on the other hand, there really IS a secret driving technique to greatly increase speed in DKR, d'you think you could see your way to passing it on?

Many thanks for spot-on games and the ever-amusing image of your tusky frame kicking the face off some spotty little prannet.

Uncle Tusk replies:
Glad to be of service. Here's the DKR man.

"There is a technique that can be used but it is a mystery as to whether or notit will work all the time. It involves tapping the A Button in a rhythmicfashion. The longer you do this, the faster and faster you go, allowing you to create some ridiculous times. It was in a version before the final version wasreleased, but I'm not too sure that it's in the version everyone has bought."

Now he tells me.

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

Just a question about Blast Corps. I'm nowhere near any (obviously made-up by dreaded gloaters) Platinum awards, but have a problem on 2 levels where I need to do the "Secret Z-button blow up trick thing". The problem is that I have a PAL system here in New Zealand, and this trick doesn't work (all the hint places say "It doesn't work" and I can vouch for their integrity having tried it over and over and....)

Is there another way to blow up the end building on Oyster Harbour, and the head statue on... uh, that other level that I need to do it on????

John E Cash
PS Many thanks to Rare for their great work. As well as Sabre Wulf, Lunar Jetman and Alien-8 (dang this age thing) Goldeneye rocks, although I find it hard to believe that anyone could complete the silo stage in under 8 minutes without dying (I've been trying for about a month!) let alone any of those other made up time based cheats (more gloaters again). Oh yeah, and having hired and played Banjo, I think it will be a must buy too! (But please stop releasing any new games until a) I am a better game player, b) I win the lotto, or c) You have new games for release.)

PPS Does Louise Stamper still work there? I remember in the glory days of the early 80's a photo of her in C&VG accepting an award, and all of us spotty faced pubescent boys thought she had a smashing blouse on (vertical blue stripes). (In fact I think I've still got the picture back home, if you want to use it as a texture map for the Perfect Dark heroine!!!!! :-) )

Uncle Tusk replies:
Of course there's another way to solve your Blast Corps problems, monkey-boy. The Z button thing's just there to ease the pain of the hopelessly incompetent. To blow the building at the end of Oyster Harbour you need to use the barges as bridges to find a TNT crate on one of the islands, and the whole stone head thing in Ebony Coast is another TNT-based little stinker (you'll need to make good use of the train for that one).

Louise certainly is still here, and says she'll run off a year 2000 pictorial calendar if the demand's high enough. She might even wear that "smashing blouse".

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

1. Who said that Citadel in another language means Cradel?? Damn they are stupid. It means Like a fort or something like that.

2. Were you supposed to find the bunge in the Dam Level?

3. Can I buy an upgrade for Goldeneye so I can have all that sh*t from the Beta Version?

4. Why did you change the shape of the Soviet. It looks gay in the final version.

Uncle Tusk replies:
I see no need to comment on any of your 'questions'. They pretty much speak for themselves. Besides, reading your mail even once has left the designer deeply depressed and I'm not about to push him over the edge by actually trying to make him respond to any of it.

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