Thursday, April 29, 1999

Scribes: April 29, 1999

Dear Scribes,

I figure Nintendo should just give up and re-christen the system "That Thing Rare Makes Games For." But then that would be conceding something to a foreign (British no less) company, and I don't really want that. Still, everything Rare touches is gold, and you guys are part of the reason Nintendo is still a competitor. No matter what genre you guys try your hand at, it turns out like perfection, which brings me to my main request. Nintendo needs Rare, Nintendo needs RPGs to compete in Japan, figure it out for yourselves. You guys have something like 200 plus developers, so I'm sure you could spare a handful of them for an RPG. It'd be really easy, too. Just look at Quest64, then develop a healthy hatred for it, and you're on your way. You can even satiate that outlandish fetish and make the main hero a fluffy woodland creature. I wouldn't mind that much. I have three other requests, then I'll leave you alone. First, I want Rare to continue expending in employment and business, to the point where they get can get sued for gajillions and still go on like it was nothing. Second, I want Tiptup to run his communist regime the way Marx meant it to be. And finally, my last request is for all you stupid Brits to cut down on the usage of 'u' in words like 'color.' That's c-o-l-o-r, not c-o-l-o-u-r. See? It's easier the American way. And speaking of American speech, my favorite slang word that probably won't be allowed to be posted is c*ck-kn*ck.

And since apparently this is a prerequisite for seeing my letter in Scribes, I'll say it now: arse.

Rare Says:

I never thought I'd see the day, but the number of people gratuitously saying "arse" to get their letters printed is slowly forcing the comedy value out of it. Maybe the time's come to move on and start promoting "knackers".

All I can say about RPGs is that we may well delve into that sinister world one day, along with many other genres. And it's true, a fluffy animal in the leading role wouldn't be a massive surprise. (On a side note, we're actually a fair way from the 200 employee mark yet, and it's not as if the 160 or so that we do have are just twiddling their thumbs waiting to be assigned to a project.)

We'll only stop putting 'u's in words when you start pronouncing 'nuclear' properly.

Dear Scribes,

Have you given any thought to using the RAM pack for BT? We would then be able to see Kazooie's constantly moving mouth in all of its hi-res glory.

Moving on to something serious, does Mumbo have an arse? We know Kazooie does cause the eggs have to come out of somewhere, but what about the shaman? I mean he doesn't have a bathroom, so I assume he does not have an arse. We must all know the truth about the shaman!
Nintendarse (you must answer my questions because you are nestled within me. Hahahahaha!)

Rare Says:

No comment at the moment regarding the RAM Pak, though thanks for reminding us about it. As for Mumbo not having an arse - he has a mouth, doesn't he? This, therefore, must be reciprocated at the other end. He doesn't have a bathroom because his chair actually doubles up as a special commode. Ever wondered why he waves his stick about in an agitated fashion while he's apparently resting? That's the first demonstration of constipation in a videogame right there.

Dear Scribes,

I enjoy your page - in fact the whole Rare website - as often as your updates allow. Absurdly small font on the letters page though. Eyestrain is the price I must pay to absorb the ravings of your other readers.

The only Rare game I don't own is KI as, quite frankly, it looks like a bunch of arse (American readers (Seppos) note: contextually correct use of the word 'arse'). The rumoured KI-3d sounds interesting though. If anyone can make Tekken 3 look like... well, Fighters Destiny ($100 down the drain) it's you special, special people.

I only recently looked all the way around your site, and so only recently discovered that Rare used to be Ultimate and was responsible for such C-64 classics as Blackwyche, Sabre Wulf and Nightshade. I think I still own these, stored on high-quality 'magnetic audio tape' (MAT). Many are the hot meals I enjoyed while waiting for these games to load. While reading through your Retro bit, I actually thought y'all might be the creators of the visionary Jet Set Willy series, but no. Any leftover members from that team at Rare? Or have they all been put out to erm, 'stud' at Killingfruitcakes Home for the Bewildered?

Anyhow, the main reason I'm writing is not to hassle you about PD or JFG (the second one sounds much more interesting), but in an attempt to get some correspondence from that DRIBBLING MORON, that GERBIL INSERTING SIMPLETON, that SUBLITERATE HUMAN SKETCH COMEDY who asked for the copy of TND that he feels you owe him. Upon reading Scribes 1/4/99 I became quite jealous at Packerac's chance to lock horns with an intellect of that calibre. So, Gibber-Boy, if you haven't already boycotted (and ign64, where they also LAUGH AT YOU), please feel free to write and share your thoughts and feelings with me. It's a lonely electronic world out there, and I want YOU to be my friend.

Kat (
PS - I simply adore the image of Diddy Kong 'rummaging around in his arse'. There's other things that caged monkeys habitually and compulsively concentrate on. Perhaps we could see a threatened Diddy whip it out and... oh, forget it.
PPS - This just occurred to me. The Seppos writing in with their poor and gratuitous use of the word 'arse' probably don't know how to pronounce it. In the UK, Ireland and Australia, we don't have the hugely overstressed 'r' that is a feature of most American accents. We say shaahk, paahk and daahk instead of shaRk paRk and daRk. So someone really should explain to them that to sound 'authentically Brit' they should say aahse, not aRse. Happy posing!
PPPS - seppo = septic tank = rhyming slang

Rare Says:

The font's not particularly tiny from where I'm standing. Still, most browsers feature entertainingly obscure menu bar options for increasing the size if you're having real trouble. The blue background doesn't help, I know, but it's corporate colours and all that.

Jet Set Willy? Not us, mate, unless one of our staffers is a heavily-disguised Matthew Smith. Mind, that would explain where he's been for the last 15 years. We certainly do still have a few bods from the Ultimate era here, most notably the Stampers themselves...

I'm afraid you might not have much luck making the desired contact with your new friend - sounds like he's had a lobotomy since we last spoke, judging by the next letter.

Dear Scribes,

I am sorry. I was the guy who yelled at the other guy about TND. I didn't mean it. Honest. I'm sorry about insulting you guys too, (sob) I love you guys. I really do (sob).

Rare Says:

That's really touching, man. Unfortunately, Kat still thinks you're an idiot. So you can either try to wriggle your way into his heart with declarations of your new-found Bohemian pacifism, or you can call him all the badly-spelt names under the sun - it's up to you. As long as you don't mind us listening in.

Dear Scribes,

Hey I was just on IGN64 and there was a question about whether PD's "real time raytracing" really is. They stated that it would be almost impossible on the N64 hardware and suggested it is merely "realtime rayCASTING". I wanted to know what you had to say about it. And PLEASE update your site more often!!! We need a few more crumbs to drool over while we wait for PD, JFG, DK64, and the mystery games. Scruptious!
Christopher Barreto

Rare Says:

"Scruptious"? Fair enough. Here's the designer with a conclusive response to this mystery:

"Due to the high processor demands of real-time ray-tracing we have had to abandon the procedure in favour of the less processor-intensive 'false-time ray-doodling'. Unfortunately this means we will also have to abandon our RT2 logo. Bummer, eh?"

Dear Scribes,

Is it true you will be making games for the Dreamcast? If so will you also be making games for the so called Playstation 2? Is Perfect Dark going to be cancelled for the N64. Will you stop making games for Nintendo? Man that would SUCK! But at the same time you would be making more games altogether, that would be GREAT. RARE RULES!!!!!!

Rare Says:

I fear you've been caught up in all manner of crazy April Fool japery, my friend. We're not about to do any of these things (er, except make games in general). But thanks for your close approximation of concern.

Dear Scribes,

I recall when I'd have a good laugh at what you would name your picture files for those of us who are too lazy to wait for the damn things to load... "Rarewhere: Not responsible for that fishy smell"... now that was funny. But what's this? "Rarewhere: We gonna row yo' ass! Till it bleeds!" ASS? My GOD, have you actually made a mistake when you meant ARSE? You'd better change it quick, or your reputation will be ruined forever!
Jinxy 777
P.S. I wonder what SirSlush2 will have to say in the next edition of Scribes?

Rare Says:

As if I'd accidentally type 'ass' instead of 'arse' - just not natural, is it? I had to remain faithful to the original quote, that's all. Can't really picture Eddie Murphy saying "arse", anyway...

PS Let's have a look, shall we?

Dear Scribes,

What is the present state of the pants industry in your Donkey Kong Country games? Both Donkey Kong and Diddy never wear pants. Neither does Dixie Kong and Cranky Kong. But for some reason Funky Kong always wears pants. And Swanky Kong wore no pants in DKC2, but in DKC3, he wore the pants! Apparently pants are not required in basic society for the video game community of Donkey Kong and pals, but can be worn if desired. But if so few apes wear pants, how can a pants maker stay in business on DK Island? They would surely go bankrupt by the end of their first year. Do the apes import the pants from somewhere else? And if so, what do they export in exchange for the pants? Please respond, because frankly, this has been bugging me.

Rare Says:

Last month, Diddy's faeces: this month, Swanky's pants. You're a sick man, Slush. But while I'm here I suppose I may as well have a 'crack' at it (ho ho).

For a start, Funky's a 'wicked' surfer 'dude' so by default he always has to be wearing stupid shorts. As for the others, I don't imagine they feel any particular everyday pant requirement. Wandering around semi-naked is a step up from most monkeys, really. Swanky was on tour in DKC3, so he probably threw a pair of pants on just in case he bumped into anyone of a more sensitive species. Dunno where the modest Kong clan pant supply actually comes from, though: perhaps they get them from the Kremlings in return for sending some of the less immediately useful members of their family over to work as slaves. You know, Thicky Kong, Dribbly Kong, Seanwilliamson Kong, all that lot.

Dear Scribes,

" could be argued that Kazooie actually used her feet to flip eggs out of the backpack..."

Right, 'cos you know, when you flip eggs with your feet you get that distinct butt-trumpet sound. Or maybe Kazooie was making the sound by putting her hand, err, wing under her arm, err, wing-pit, and flapping, right? Or maybe it was the friction of the egg sliding against the material of the backpack while it was being flipped out, right? Honestly, man, look what you're doing to the poor people who read your page... feeding them lies! All lies! Just to protect your image! Wait, Bill Clinton runs my country. What the hell am I saying? Well, either way, own up to Kazooie's arse cannon! YOU KNOW IT'S TRUE, BOY!

Rare Says:

I admit nothing. How do you know Banjo's backpack isn't made from a particularly rough, raspy type of cloth? How do you know Kazooie's trimmed her toenails (er, talons, whatever) during the last few months? So many factors, man. There's no call for your crude snap judgements about arse cannons.

Dear Scribes,

I was playing DKR and I thought about the name Drumstick. I'm assuming that Drumstick had parents, so why did they name him Drumstick? That's like naming a cow "Beef", or a pig "Bacon", or a lamb "Veal". I mean, why would you name your son or daughter on a food he may one day become. Also, a frog with a rooster frill or whatever is not possible.

But anyways, back to the naming issue. You wouldn't name a bull "Leather Arse" or anything would you? Now there are some examples of animals which actually wanted to be eaten, such as Charlie the Tuna, but he wasn't called "Tuna-nuna-casserole" or anything. Now I admit, maybe you Brits like calling your pets by the food they'll become, like naming your cute pet dog "Horse Meat" but Americans name our animals human names, because we're humane. Thank you.

But anyways, Drumstick is indeed a strange name for a chicken or in this case a rooster. Unless of course you were referring to the means of making a drum make a sound, the drum stick. But why would you name a chicken after part of an instrument? Maybe you meant that since drum sticks hit drums, drums are in bands, and some bands rock. So maybe you mean Drumstick rocks! (If you call something and say it rocks, that means it's cool, but if you don't understand the term cool, that means that it is, uhhhh...neato, yeah I guess). Well anyways, I just wanted to clarify this issue.

Rare Says:

And you've certainly done that. Meanwhile, I've been pestering the DKR designer for a list of suggestions compiled by the team during the naming process, and it turns out that Drumstick was the pick of a crop which also included Kluk, Winger, Pecky, Heggy, Gobble, Freerange, Bombay, Randolph, Otto and Chuck. So really you should count your blessings, don't you think?

Dear Almighty Scribes:

You have disappointed me, O Great Ones. You updated your Scribes Page and did not include me. I am trying to get on as many as possible. I am going for a record. I WILL be on more times than Sir Slush. I will. You cannot stop me. No, wait. Only you can come between me and my ultimate goal. He cannot stop me! **points to Eddie, the super cat** I am incomplete without my name amongst the the stars of Scribes. O Holy Rare! Accept me into your Scribes! I cherish you as one would a brand new shiny gold Zelda cartridge (which I have).
Amanda Schroeder, A.K.A Kablooie, evil twin of Kazooie
Rare Says:

Well, I do my best to present you with the most well-rounded selection of 'consumer viewpoints' possible every time I get the chance to update Scribes, and inevitably that means a spot of ruthless mailbox hacking. Those letters with something witty, interesting, original, controversial or amusingly stupid to say are more likely to make it into print: not that I'm pointing the finger at people whose mail hasn't appeared, just taking this opportunity to make a point to anyone planning to send in yet another petulant demand, question we're obviously not prepared to answer, etc. etc. etc.

Dear Scribes:

Okay, I didn't know where to ask this (obviously Uncle Tusk only does game related stuff hehe) so I think I will start off with a few sentences and then ask... I see you changed headquarters... I see also that it looks almost like (if not precisely) the drawing that I saw next to the old HQ... so answer me this :)

a. Were u getting cramped in that small modified place (old headquarters building)?

b. Are u comfy now in ur new surroundings?

c. Did u ever have to sleep in the old farmhouse that u were based in (and will any programmers, betatesters, etc. have to sleep in the new building) cuz of being so involved in game design and stuff?

d. So who/what is going on at the old farmhouse now that u all are gone?

I know these aren't the best things I could ask but hey... would you rather be arsed to hear about Tiptup, Kazooie secrets, or the silly Goldeneye stuff that never got used?
Rare Says:

Ouch! Ouch! Look at those 'trendy' spellings. Never mind, I'll turn a blind eye just this once...

a. Well, the car park was just about big enough for half the cars there, for a start.

b. Extremely comfy, thank you very much. Our chairs swivel and rock back and everything.

c. People did sometimes stay overnight at the old place when deadlines were looming, and I'm sure the same thing will happen here. The Blast Corps programmer who curled up around a Silicon Graphics Onyx to keep warm one winter's night is the best example I remember. Oh yes, he knows who he is.

d. Not much, really. The dogs and chickens are probably wondering why it's all gone so quiet.

While your efforts are appreciated, I'm afraid that the day I stop hearing about Tiptup, Kazooie secrets and the silly GoldenEye stuff that never got used is the day Satan starts skating to work.

Dear Scribes,

Usually, when someone makes a suggestion for a game, you give a response like "we have no current plans to make Stupid Idea 64." However, you absolutely denied the existence of any plans for a Beastmaster game. Now, I understand that you were making an obscure joke based on some poor sap's typo, but usually you would not have given such a clear answer. Are you feeling all right?
A concerned citizen

Rare Says:

Damn! You people don't miss anything. If only I'd thought of this in time for April 1st, I'm sure we could have roped in Marc Singer and a crap stuffed panther for some idiotic publicity shots.


You are making huge mistakes by releasing great games. Blast Corps, Goldeneye, and DKR have all set the standard too high. Quickly release a couple of horrid games to lower expectations (a game like Turok 2 should be crappy enough). Then when you release Perfect Dark people will be pleasantly surprised, even if the game is only average.

If school has taught me only one thing, it is that if you produce mediocre work from the get go, not much is expected from you and just a little extra effort will impress people. This philosophy has saved me countless hours of work in my lifetime. I suggest you try it.

On the rate Rare is going now, with your excellent track record and tons of Perfect Dark hype, the only way to satisfy people is to release the most perfect game ever created. The company Midway is using my advice. They release bad racers like the Cruis'n and Rush series, so when World Driver Championship
comes out it will look like a masterpiece by comparison.

Take heed.

Rare Says:

It's a strategy I've used myself in days gone by, I must admit, but the people here don't seem to want anything to do with it. Tsk. Thing is, at the risk of giving you an unexpected straight answer, a good reputation is particularly important in this industry. The minute we slip up and release a cack game, the Rare badge is going to lose the public trust associated with it - and following that, it'll take more than one well-received title to get it back. People are naturally suspicious, especially when they're making such an investment to buy a single game these days, so we can't be seen to faff about and not really have a clue what we're doing. Hence no solid release dates for anything until we're absolutely sure it's ready.

Dear Scribes,

First order of business: the only semiserious thing in my letter! I agree with John Fletcher. Look at Ultima Online!

Which brings up the second order of business: What's Great Britain like? (I realize that the United Kingdom has come in and bumped the name Britain off at this point in time, but for humor's sake, who cares.) I was playing Ultima Online the other day, and while being eaten by the same giant spider for about the 200th time in a row I started wondering if there really WERE giant spiders in Britain. Or dragons. Or orcs. Or big scary daemons. Or guys named FrEd_DA_ KiLLaH standing outside the general store cussing you out for no reason every time you go in. I suspect the second-to-last is true, because they bear a resemblance to you. For dinner does the Rare staff head out into the forest surrounding your shiny new house and butcher a wild cow and roast it over an open fire? Does it increase your camping, cooking, and intelligence rating?
PS I probably made a mistake in English history, but that's OK 'cause I'm a "stupid American".

Rare Says:

The bit about FrEd_DA_ KiLLaH is fairly close to the truth, but apart from that, can't say I've ever experienced much of what you say. Sometimes I think the people who work in our video rental shops are orcs, but I've never been able to prove it.

For dinner, the Rare staff actually head down to the exclusive on-site Rare restaurant to be wined and dined like lords, though of course the kitchen staff may well have been out butchering cows in the forest immediately beforehand for all we know.

Dear Scribes,
I was very disappointed when you posted my letter in the Snippets which contained the phrase: "Given that God is infinite, and that the universe is also infinite... Would you like some toast?" This was an obvious reference to the episode "White Hole" of Red Dwarf, the BBC 2 Comedy series. You missed said reference, and this is inexcusable! It is the best show that ever lived. I've lost all respect for you Brits.
The Man Who Loves The Fishes 'Cause They're So Delicious
P.S.- Do you guys call it a W.C., a bathroom, or a toilet?

Rare Says:

I think you'll find I knew exactly what you were talking about, which is why I responded with the 14lb lump hammer reference - a reference which appears to have gone straight over your head, sir. I hope you're suitably ashamed.

PS We call it the bog, as everyone should.

Dear Rare,

Have you guys considered implementing some kind of create-a-player-mode in PD? I'll fly over from Norway and be your slave if you do. Also, it would be incredibly cool if you put Banjo or Conker somewhere in there as secret characters or something. Then I could blow them all to hell with limpet mines or rocket launchers. I don't think I'd ever leave my TV room again if you guys inserted these two things into PD. I wouldn't even mind waiting another year for the game if the time was used to implement these features... Rare, I salute you...
Rudi Aase

Rare Says:

You have possibly the greatest name of all time. And to reward you for the hours of amusement it's given me, I'm going to nag the designer to come up with a response.

"We're sorry, but we already have all the Norwegian slaves we have room for. You'll have to come up with something else we don't have. How about a giant tapestry?"

Yeah, that'd be good, a massive self-portrait so that we can have... an enormous Aase... hanging up in Reception (wipes tears of mirth from eyes).

Dear Scribes,

Although it's only mid-April, it seems likely (despite all of the "rumors" flying around) that Rare will only release one game this year (JFG). I know you could respond with something similar to your home page which lists several games you claim will be coming out in 1999, but I'm sure most of us feel they will NEVER come out. The video game industry in general is notorious for making promises they have no intention of keeping, but to your credit... you don't give firm release dates. But don't you give your programmers deadlines to work towards? Is there any incentive to finish a project on time?

More power to you if you can survive on GoldenEye and Banjo-Kazooie revenue for an entire year, but how about throwing some honest information by way of the public? Which games will be coming out this year for sure and which won't? Screenshots are nothing more than a pleasant siren's call which gets us sailors all worked up just to find out we've waited for a pile of rocks (or broken promises in this case). I'm not feeling the love here...
I know, I know... it's business.
Rare Says:

As I said in response to an earlier letter, it's only "business" in the sense that we don't want anyone to feel let down by a Rare game, which is why we keep on plugging away until it's truly finished rather than prematurely specifying a date then feeling obliged to release something that's nowhere near as good as it could (and should) have been. We know that the lack of a solid date can wind people up when they're really looking forward to getting their hands on a particular game, but at the end of the day - hey! - we do it for you.

So we can't offer you the final word on which games will be coming out this year, because we just don't know yet (and by the way, we never claimed that all those listed on the front page would be out in 1999 - we wouldn't mind having something to release next year as well).

Greetings Space Cadet,

So how's your big swanky new building then? I do hope that there are enough car parking spaces for everyone at Rare (especially Uncle Tusk, not a good idea to get him upset), and that you have a nice view (to inspire the diligent Rare staff, and so that you can continue plane spotting). I noticed that you also have a big outdoor pool right next to the building. I am looking forward to the photos of the Rare staff diving out of the windows on those long hot summer nights into the water below.

Now I'm only going to say this once, no running in the corridors (esp. with scissors) and don't put your sticky fingerprints on the nice clean walls. Also, if you need to go to the toilet, then raise your hand and ask your supervisor for permission. Right, that's the rules sorted out. Now remember, you're here to have fun, so enjoy yourselves.

Also, can we please stop this whole (educational but tedious) British/American/Australian language shenanigans. There are far more worthless topics that could be discussed on the Scribes page.

Are you putting the Perfect Dark E3 video on your website or will we have to make do with small scans in EDGE magazine as usual? That is if they are able to smuggle their undercover surveillance equipment into the show without being detected by the burly security guards. I suggest disguising their cameras/video gear as a half-naked Japanese woman from the Namco Ridge Racer stand.

Are journalists still banned from your HQ? The last time I saw a Rare interview was when EDGE was invited to come and see Goldeneye. Why are you so shy? I expect to see Uncle Tusk at E3 displaying Rare's wares, what with your hectic 99 line up. Just make sure he keeps his weapon under control.

What is this low-quality Australian soap The Young Doctors? I must have missed that. Is it better than The Flying Doctors? What about Blue Heelers? Hmmm... you crazy cats seem to have a worryingly extensive knowledge of crap daytime TV. I bet you're all big Sunset Beach fans. No wonder your games are in production for so long, you're all too busy waiting for the end credits to finish.

Right I've wasted enough of your time now (don't want you to miss out on the Sunset Beach omnibus).
D Grant

Rare Says:

Sunset Beach is definitely an achievement of some kind. I only wish I could bring myself to watch it on purpose, rather than accidentally catching traumatic 5-second glimpses while channel-hopping.

We are behaving ourselves in our new home, don't worry: everyone's been very good since the first day of belting around like schoolkids trying to see every last inch of the place in as little time as possible. And I'll be watching with great interest if anyone tries to dive from their window into the 'lake' when summer rolls around, as they'll more than likely break their neck.

Hopefully we'll be able to sort something out in the near future with regard to video clips, but don't quote me on that. No, really, don't. I'll punch you.

Dear Scribes,

Hey. A while ago, you addressed the topic of a Mr. Pants 64. You also said that he had a stubbornly two dimensional look. Well, I have broken free of this, and made a 3-D picture of Mr. Pants. It is, of course, Crap, but I hope it gives you a feel for what Mr. Pants could look like. Go to Thanks. Oh, and I am looking foward to the releases of DK64, CQ64, and B-T.
Chad McCanna
[Missing RPA: pants3d.gif "Pants 3D"]
Rare Says:

It's a brave effort, and you've done well with his fingers and the general misshapen nature of his body - but wait! What's that on his head? A soldier's helmet? It's supposed to be a bowler hat, man, anyone can see that! And the Y's missing from his quality Y-fronts! What kind of sick joke is this? Why would you want to take away the poor, helpless fool's
raison d'etre? Let this stand as proof that meddling with forces you don't understand will always result in tragedy.


Make Perfect Dark perfect. Or something almost like perfect, like a small kitten, perhaps.
Jacob berg

Rare Says:

Right: we'll slap a $50 sticker on a kitten and see if it sells.

I have two questions for you: 1: Are you guys full of beans? 2: Does anybody ever ask you a really stupid question?
Jabu Jabu's Brunch

Rare Says:

1: Well, the DK64 block usually smells funny. 2: As if.

Alright, Ed. I have a bet that your MoneyPenny quip was either the one with the 'spelunking' episode or the 'Spetznaz' bit. I'm right, aren't I?... you sick...
Ross Shannon

Rare Says:

Um, I think it was the 'pheromones' one. Pretty tame. Sorry.

ARSE PANCAKES!!!!!! YUM! Toasted please.
Crazy Albert

Rare Says:

No! They'll lose that delicious fleshy tenderness!

Hey Loveday, is it true those members of the Goldeneye team left because you exposed your arse to them everytime they walked past your office?
Kazi Arif Anwar

Rare Says:

Yes. Yes, it is. We didn't want to put that in a press release.

HELLO, I'm Jeff and I live in Spain... But I'm French.
F, B, Seb, J F, ROUZE

Rare Says:

My God, it's like something out of

Congratulations for winning the 'National Turkey Cult's 1999 Best In Bed Award'. It must have been really exciting to run up there and slip on all the spilled slushees on the stage while singing a song about your arse. Very nice performance.
Chris Johnson!

Rare Says:

Well, you know, it's not gentlemanly to prepare a speech...

I only have one thing to say -- there will never be another group like *N Sync.

Rare Says:

If only I could believe that.

Friday, April 16, 1999

Ask Uncle Tusk: April 16, 1999

Ask Uncle Tusk

Okay, so he might look like a mindless heavyweight killing machine with a penchant for extreme violence. You're just going to judge him by that, are you? Just going to assume he doesn't have a sensitive bone in his body? Well, how do you know he's not just a big kitten underneath all that berserker rage and brutality?

Maybe all he really wants to do is help people face up to their everyday Rare gaming problems, offer them a shoulder to cry on when they're trapped by a time limit or pleading for power-ups. So go on, ask him, he won't bite (and we'll pay for the damage if he does).

Dear Uncle Tusk,

Hey Tusk are you dead? It has been more than a month. I have some questions. When can I steal, I mean get a beta copy of GE from you dummys at Rarewhere? If you are from England and ass is arse then why on the main page did I see "it will hurt your ass till it bleeds"? Can I have money?
Wayne Thompson

Uncle Tusk replies:
Row your ass". Get it right - you're just making it sound filthy. It was actually a quote from sporadically amusing Eddie Murphy film The Golden Child, so I'm told. No, I'm not dead, I just like to stall writing this column for as long as possible because people like you give me a headache. There is no 'Beta GoldenEye'. Please shut up about it. I'm asking nicely - next time I'll be asking with the assistance of a monkey wrench. You can "have money" if you're still capable of requesting it after that, 'Wayne'.

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

Hello there... I'm gonna take a guess at the 2 unmentioned games that you haven't told the gaming public, that your company is secretly working on.


Since Rare is now making "cutesy" games like Conker's Quest, why not "RE-INTRODUCE" BATTLETOADS (the famous arcade game). I know that a lot of people would love to see it reincarnated on the N64 console. What do you think?????

Uncle Tusk replies:
I think you need to cut down on the multiple punctuation and random capital letters, you hyperactive baboon. How's Battletoads "cutesy", anyway? Oh, and congratulations on the startling inaccuracy of your guesswork.

* * *

G'day Tusk,

You P C C L D (ie: Phat Cracking Chicken Licking Dude).
I have a question about Perfect Dark, and if you be sarcastic, smart, or plain old foolish I will have no other option other than to kick your un-decorated "arse" (Dammit).

1. Will Perfect Dark have a better frame rate than Goldeneye, not that I'm complaining, just that very "few" levels had a sluggish movement and got annoying sometimes, especially when you're trying to get perfect scores! (head and arse shots) he he...

2. Will it use the 4mb Expansion pak?

3. I know what you'se did last summer....
David Giles

Uncle Tusk replies:
You're clearly an idiot. I'm going to have to fob this one off on the GoldenEye designer.

"1. No. We got frightened when it was too fast so we made it slower until it reached a speed we could cope with.

"2. See reply in March 30 Scribes with reference to unseemly violence/personal appearances at Manor Park.

"3. Who, me? Or Tusk? Or Leigh? If you mean me, then news of my glandular fever must have got further than I thought."

* * *

Hey there Tusk,

Congrats on your move to the new Rare HQ. Anyway, I was just writing to ask if the Perfect Dark team has spent any time on the multiplayer levels for PD. If so, will there be any sniper spots for us to sit in, because my one complaint is that there weren't a lot of places you could snipe from without having people run up behind you. Now granted that was probably on purpose, but it would be nice to have a few. Ugh, so long to wait for PD... Hey, when will you guys let out more information on Perfect Dark, you know something to get us through the long cold nights (I live in Minnesota, we're freezing our arses off). Hmmm... That's it, thanks!


Uncle Tusk replies:
"At least one of the multiplayer backgrounds will be specifically designed for sniper rifles. At least one will also be designed for the weapon which is even better..."

The designer started waggling his eyebrows when he got to that last bit. I don't know what that's supposed to mean. Maybe he's working on a gun made of hair?

* * *

Dear Mr. Uncle,

I recently read the Tepid Seat and now I have a question about Jet Force Gemini, plus some others.

1) Is Tiptup the hidden character in JFG?

2) What is your favorite game (besides KI)?

3) Are you always sharpening an axe when answering cries for help?

4) Why aren't you in an asylum? I mean, you need anger management or something. Plus you dress weird. And your name is weird. And you carry around an unsheathed sword. Have you accepted your problem? Are you seeking help?


Uncle Tusk replies:
1) Now, come on. That'd be far too obvious.

2) Well, at the moment I'd have to say
KI3, which is definitely in production here, of course. There's no sense in denying it any longer. Every last person on the Rare staff, whether they're a programmer, gardener or cleaner, is currently working 23 hours a day to get it finished: and every other screenshot, preview and render on the site is part of the whole shameful cover-up.

3) Not always, no. It's just that I seem to find much more use for hand-held weapons when answering my mailbag.

4) It's not me who needs help. You try dealing with some of the gibbering fatheads who write in every day and then come and talk to me about 'anger management'...

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

In DKR I have beaten the game in Adventure mode, and got 47 gold balloons. When I go to the screen where the options are: Adventure, Adventure two and Tracks, I click Adventure two, and enter a new screen. Here I can click on three different files. One with 47, one with 27 and one with 10 balloons, but when I try to click one of these files, only an ugly sound comes. I can't click on any of the three files. If you know why I can't play Adventure two, please tell me.

Scott Conradi

Uncle Tusk replies:
According to DKR's Man in the Know, it's because Adventure Two works as an separate game and automatically tries to save to a new slot when you first start playing. But if you've already got three saved games from Adventure One, it can't do that. So go back to Adventure One, empty one of the save slots, then give Adventure Two another try. That ought to sort you out. Er... thicky.

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

My name is Mark Eslick. I need help! My brother has Zelda and Zelda Guide book. In the back of the book there is a lot of cheats for Banjo-Kazooie and I wanted to know if you could send me some papers how to find all the spell books (Cheato). I found "BLUEEGGS", "REDFEATHERS", AND "GOLDFEATHERS". If you could send me some maps of where the other spell books are I will be glad.

Mark Eslick

Uncle Tusk replies:
You won't be getting any gladness from me, pal, because I'm not sending you any damn maps. Do you know why? No, it's not just because you're a gibbon - it's not even because you've forwarded this letter to me so many times that I'd be more inclined to kick your head in. No, the main reason is this: there aren't any other Cheato locations. As any other person who's ever played Banjo-Kazooie could have told you. The rest of the codes are either combinations of those three or secret ones that we released ages ago. Now sod off.

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

Just a few Killer Instinct-related questions...

1. Did you REALLY marry Maya at the end of KI2? If so, how's the marriage going?

2. I was just reading through the "Uncle Tusk" archives when I came across a letter about Jago's spirit move in KI2. Well, since it concerned KI (and Jago *sigh*), I had to read on. One line from your reply stood out from the rest: "It's a Jago-only thing - only a big wuss like him would bother with that sort of rubbish, and he wasn't even given the chance in KI Gold." "Big wuss"?! Why speak that way about Jago? What has he ever done to you to deserve that sort of treatment? Some sort of rivalry going on between you two?

3. Does Jago have any romantic interests?

4. If not, is he looking for a girlfriend?

Thank you for your time, Uncle Tusk! ^_^
~K (Jago's #1 female fan)
PS - I think you're very handsome as well, but since you might be married... I don't want to make Maya mad or anything.

Uncle Tusk replies:
1. Yes I did, though I don't like to talk about it much. Maya's been working on her kicks, and her idea of 'protection of privacy' usually leaves me unable to sit down for a week.

2. Rivalry? Not particularly. I just didn't think anyone saw him as anything other than a big wuss.

3. I wouldn't like to comment - not that I'm too polite or anything, just that some of the rumours I've heard are too unsavoury to print here...

4. Why are you asking me? Do you think he's got his eye on Maya or something? Well, I'm sure she can look after herself - if he goes anywhere near her, he'll be staggering away with his voice boosted to an octave well beyond the range of human hearing.

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

Sean Williamson:

4:13??? 4:13??? 4 BLOODY 13???

I would understand if you missed the time limit by a few seconds... I would have shook my head in bewilderment if you missed the limit by over a minute... but a time of 4:13? What the hell are you doing in the level?

People like PAUL... they only come at night (or the net) eh? WHO IS THAT GULLIBLE? I have never met ANYONE who would take some kid's claims of playing Goldeneye 2 (or any other obvious lie) SERIOUSLY.

And another thing... (this is more relevant to the Mailbag but...) WHY are these bloody Americans trying to use BRITISH WORDS? It really annoys me when I read "arse", "b*ll*cks", whatever, written from some American. Face it, you USA'ers, you're stuck with a stupid boring culture and "hilarious oddball comedy" such as Friends and Ally McBeal. (I admit Duckman and The Simpsons are rather amusing however.) Watch THE FAST SHOW!

Uncle Tusk replies:
I'm not saying I know anything about contemporary TV comedy, obviously, that'd just be anachronistic, but apparently none of the stuff you've mentioned is particularly amusing. Whatever happened to other social pursuits such as, well, fighting? Come on, there's nothing funnier than tying some big bruiser's legs round his neck, swinging him round by his hair and throwing him off the roof of a very tall building.

We've been awaiting a response from Sean Williamson, but it seems that he's recently become too crap to even operate a keyboard.

* * *

Dear errr..."Uncle Tusk",

Such wit and verve you have! And such vocabulary too! Why... when I played Killer Instinct Gold on my N64, I could've sworn the only words you spoke were dah-dah-DAAAAAAAH! Unless of course, you're not the REAL Uncle Tusk. (hmmmm...)

Anyway, on with my cry for help, Uncle Tusk (IF, that is indeed your real name). A few days ago, a friend of mine mentioned the possibility of playing Goldeneye Multiplayer with each player viewing his own screen. When I asked him how such a concept is possible, he mentioned that little electronic "trick" where you have a bunch of TVs showing different parts of a larger picture, and when connected, they seem to create a "Giant TV".

I seem to recall such a display in a trendy clothing shop years ago and was wondering if such a thing would be possible. (i.e. dividing the picture of Goldeneye into four separate parts and giving each individual player their own "screen"-so to speak). Because, after all, It sucks when your opponents know how much health you have left.

Uuuhhh... thanks and shtuff,
Robert Tugaoen

Uncle Tusk replies:
The designer says: "Smack the cart against the wall a few times. Almost certain to work. If it doesn't, hold the cart against the wall and then smack your head against the cart. Or buy a signal separator thingy."

I think we need to add a disclaimer here. If you do actually try any of these things and knacker your cartridge as a result, don't even think about trying to pin the blame on us. It's your own fault for being unbearably dense, and I don't want to get any notches in my sword from repeated contact with your stupid head.

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

Will you be coming out with Banjo-Tooie? If you are please tell me.

Uncle Tusk replies:

Coming out? Let me get this straight - you're asking me if I intend to use the publicity generated by the release of Banjo-Tooie to get more media coverage for the announcement of my homosexuality? Well, let me tell you - even if I do, it's none of your business. Ducky.

* * *

Alright Uncle Tusk?

Having accessed everything possible in Goldeneye, I was wondering if it was possible to achieve a time of under 40 seconds on the Dam level, Agent difficulty? You see, in various magazines, I have seen names of people that have achieved times of around 38 seconds. I've only managed 59 seconds, using the trick which allows you to strafe faster. Would they be using a Game Genie/Action Replay, or is it actually possible in the game?

Also, what was the point of the cheat system, if you can only use them on levels that you have already finished? Admittadly, some of the cheats are cool in multi-player, but that's about it. The only other use for them, seems to be debugging. Where glitches seem to appear mostly when various combinations of cheats are activated? How about a cheat system where one cheat must be gained, to be used in another level, helping you in accessing another cheat?

Finally, who does the translating of games into Japanese at Rare? I know Dan Owsen at NOA, does the translating for NCL's games, but what about Rare? You see, I'm taking japanese lessons at the moment and was wondering if a talent like that would be useful (or changing Japanese text into english). A reply on your site would be appreciated.
Andrew Mills

Uncle Tusk replies:
Definitely another one for the masochistically helpful GE designer...

"I've just done the Dam on easy in 36 seconds. So nur. But that was using the 'fast' cheat. Anything under a minute unaided is nothing to sniff at.

"The point of the cheat system is to inspire the player to go through the levels acquiring cheats by beating the time limits. The reason that you cannot progress through the game by using cheats is because the game doesn't work that way. You earn them and you then use them on the levels you have already played to prevent them from becoming old quite as quickly. If you could use one cheat to complete all of the levels then how satisfying would that have been? Would people still be playing the game after a year and a half? Would people still be playing it after the half an hour it would take to play the game to the conclusion? If you think so then you're wrong, and you owe me a pint now I can drink again after the glandular fever (qv).

"Japanese translation is done by actual real actual Japanese people. Reason being they tend to be better at it. Our genuine Japanese translators are supplied fresh from NCL and NOA, so emigrate to either of those countries and apply for a job at the relevant corporation. After you've bought me that pint. Enville Ale, for preference."

* * *

Hi Uncle Tusk,

On the link to the new games section there is a chicken in a plane!! What game is this character from he seems very similar to the chicken in the cartoon, about a bunch of farm animals, all I can remember is one of the animals is called Orson!!

Is this some game in the works?

Or am I completely wrong and he's just from an older game I haven't seen b4??

A reply would be greatly appreciated,
Chris (your game loving counterpart from downunder)

Uncle Tusk replies:
A farm? With an animal called Orson? My colleagues suggest that you may possibly be thinking of
Orson's Farm. The chicken in the plane is called Drumstick, and he's from a game which revolves around a broadly similar theme of animals racing around in high-speed vehicles. It's called Diddy Kong Racing. I wouldn't surprised if you hadn't heard of it, we've only got several hundred mentions of it around the site and it's only sold a modest few million copies so far. Now stand still - I need to line up this sledgehammer with your head.

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

I for one would like to PRAISE the amount of difficulty and frustration that comes with mastering Goldeneye. For all those wanna-be James Bonds out there, giving us the codes and the 007 mode to master is how we distinguish people like you, a barbarian among barbarians, from little girls who cry about how hard 00 Agent mode is and how they can't beat the Facility in 2:05. Perfect Dark should be exactly the same... Agent mode for the little girls and 00 Agent for people like Tusk. And I'd also like to mention that those hated codes, those idiotic absurdities that can be easily sidestepped with the Girly Man's GameShark, is the best innovation in gaming history. When you try to beat a code... you become James Bond. James Bond doesn't walk around like a little girl systematically killing every bad guy the easiest way possible so he can safety walk around. NO!!! James Bond is one crazy motherfu***r!!!! He's resourceful!!! And he has style. Wanna be like James Bond? Just imagine when you're playing Goldeneye these simple rules and you too can be just like 007:

Ever see James Bond get shot? No, so if you do, you have to start over (you heard me, unless you have body armor and then it doesn't really count)

Use every weapon in your arsenal, even if you don't have to.

If your accuracy is below 50%, do the level over.

Every code (except the Facility and the Archives) should be beaten by at least 30 seconds (and don't forget not to get shot).

You must have at least 5 head shots at the end of every level (preferably 10).

You must catch at least 3 guns of bad guys IN MID AIR every level.

All your friends, upon watching you play, should have a sudden urge to get some popcorn and put on some 3-D glasses.

You must have every code.

You must be able to beat the Facility, the Silo, and the Archives on 007 mode with no codes and enemy reaction and accuracy at 100%.

Are you writing this down all you Goldeneye fans who thought beating the Egypt level on 00 Agent was enough? If you are able to do all those things, you are a true Goldeneye master. If not, keep practicing. Perfect Dark is just around the corner.


Uncle Tusk replies:
"It's nice to know that people still know how to adapt and have fun with the formats of games," said the designer as he edged towards the door nervously.

Personally, I don't see the point when the only reward you could possibly hope to get is the appreciation of Mr. Anal who sends these things in.

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

I need some help on DK3, there is this code you type in 'WATER' and you are supposed to get 85 coins, but you have to go behind the waterfall to get them, well my question is what waterfall do you go behind to get them... could you please tell me EXACTLY where to go to get them? And Funky Kong is supposed to be making this awesome vehicle for me but I need like 41 DK coins just to get it, is there any way to make it easier... And what is the vehicle? THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THE HELP!
P.S. I went over to a friend's house and played Golden Eye on N64 it was the best game I ever played in my life [I am trying to save up enough money to get a 64 and that game]... Oh and is there any chance of a sequel and I don't mean Perfect Dark all my friends said it would be awesome and they would buy it just because how good Golden Eye was...

Uncle Tusk replies:
Stop blabbering, man. You're making a fool of yourself. Look, here's some sage words from the DKC3 designer to (hopefully) shut you up.

"Start a new game and enter the code WATER in your name, now when you start the game properly and Dixie jumps into the lake and climbs up onto the island, come straight back out and jump back into that lake. Now swim to the top left area where you will see the waterfall that you need to go for your 85 coins, after a little test of skill of course...

"As for the DK coins, sorry matey, you're going to have to find them all yourself, although Nintendo Power's guide will tell you where - you big potential cheat!"

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

In the March 4th edition of Ask Uncle Tusk, a guy called Nate was angry that you couldn't completely kill Baron Samedi in the Egyptian Temple level of GoldenEye 007. If it helps ease his pain, I have a solution.

Right before you enter the final room to kill him (the room with the giant silver pillar), switch your controller setting to 2.3 Domino. Walk into the room and dispose of the Baron. When the ending sequence kicks in and Samedi is standing there laughing at you, press the Z button on the 2nd controller. Who's laughing now?
Jim the Evil Postman
PS - Ha, ha, ha! Sean Williamson sucks! I can't help but wonder what his best time for the Facility is on 00 Agent. BTW, I doubt anyone can beat my record for it. My best time is a whopping 1:21.

Dear Uncle Tusk,

Believe it or not, it's entirely possible to do exactly what Nate suggested; kill Baron Samedi as he's standing there laughing in the end sequence! If you set the controls to Domino (It's the one that has you firing with the Z Button on the Second Controller) a strange glitch occurs. Since the end cinema sequences only are affected by the first controller, you can still use the second controller! Thus, if you end the level while still using the Domino settings, and have the Golden Gun in your hand, you'll still be able to fire. The gun won't show up, but you will hear a gun noise, and see the mark it makes on the wall, or if you wait and fire while Baron Samedi's standing there laughing, you'll shoot him, making him go into a death sequence and die! After that, all you see is a shot of the temple that was behind Samedi, but then, the cool part was watching Samedi laugh, then suddenly just keel over anyway! (Plus the fact that you can kill Samedi 4 times in one level.) If you don't believe me, try it for yourself.
Mr. Graves

Uncle Tusk replies:
"Well, damn. I liked the trail of mines idea that someone had."

So says the designer, who's not usually quite so violent. Perhaps I've fed him one too many witless reader questions this month.