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.
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.
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!)
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.
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 rareware.com (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.
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
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.
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).
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.
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!
"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?"
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!!!!!!
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.
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!
P.S. I wonder what SirSlush2 will have to say in the next edition of Scribes?
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?
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.
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.
"...it 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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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?
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.
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
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.
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.
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".
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.
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?
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.
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...
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).
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.
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).
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.
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 http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Arcade/7208/pants3d.gif. Thanks. Oh, and I am looking foward to the releases of DK64, CQ64, and B-T.
[Missing RPA: pants3d.gif "Pants 3D"]
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.
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
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...
Um, I think it was the 'pheromones' one. Pretty tame. Sorry.
ARSE PANCAKES!!!!!! YUM! Toasted please.
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
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
My God, it's like something out of Highlander.
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.
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.
If only I could believe that.