Tuesday, July 6, 1999

Ask Uncle Tusk: July 6, 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).

Well, Tusky-Boy...

It looks like good ol' Fulgore must have finally knocked your ugly butt out, because you just have nothing to say. Or maybe... just maybe... you are spending your time DEMANDING a Killer Instinct 3!!! YES! I am certain that you are busting your barbarian butt, trying to get those useless programmers to develop a new addition to the best fighting series ever. Oh, I know they don't listen all the time, but I'm sure if you introduce your size 40 boot to their midsection, they'd probably see it your way. Don't fail me, Tusk. I don't tolerate failure.

Your adoring American fan,

Uncle Tusk replies:
Yeah, that must be it. That must be what I've been doing. Either that or I was waiting until I could scrape together enough coherent messages to make writing a column worthwhile, you bunch of semi-literate Neanderthal nonces. If I'd treated myself to delivering a sound kicking to every last person who sent in a stupid waste-of-time email since the last update, you'd probably never have seen me again. Now shut up and read.

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

Without being able to show presentation, I'd like to share a description of how you can divide the multiplayer screen in Goldeneye. (Listen up Robert Tugaoen.) It is very inexpensive, simple and you'll be kicking yourself for not thinking of it sooner. First, I must say that it's most easy to implement in multiplayer team mode. (Two against two.) Put the blue team on the left side of the screen and the red team on the right. Now, all you have to do is stand up a piece of cardboard at the center of the screen. If the cardboard extends three feet (about a metre) or more, it should be enough to create a blind spot to separate the teams. Sit accordingly and make sure you turn off the radar. This breathes new life into the game and soon you and your friends will be using more complex strategies and techniques. Do you want to be a sniper? Go ahead, no one can see where you are. Hide where ever you please. Mines? They won't be too sure about that either. They won't know your flag carrier has just led them into a mine field. Now you're getting the picture aren't you? So, what are you waiting for? Get a piece(s) of cardboard or buy some foamboard at the nearest office store. Use some bookends to stand them up, and voila, a whole new way to play. Ok, now the question. If you have any pull at Rare, could you make a suggestion to the Perfect Dark team to include a vertical split screen option and no radar? (Not as cheat options I hope.) It would be perfect for my foamboard.


Uncle Tusk replies:
You're all mental, you people. Turning your houses into army-level assault courses just for the sake of hiding from your equally unhinged acquaintances on a TV screen. Nevertheless, the mindlessly dedicated PD team are slaving away at trying to accommodate every last dribbling player as best they can: as the designer puts it, "Hopefully there should be enough options to satisfy the even most insane GoldenEye fans."

* * *

Hey Uncle Tusk, I have some questions for ya.

1) First get Goldeneye and start a multiplayer game. Now make both characters stand in front of each other. Now make one hit the other one just with his arms. Why the other one can't actually see his opponent's arms moving?

2) How come in DKR, TipTup says "watch out!" after you crash? Aren´t you supposed to say that before you crash?

3) How come in KI all the characters leave a hole in the sand of the same kind when they fall off the sky stage?

4) How come in KIG you can still see the character's shadow in the bridge level even when that part is not on the bridge?

5) Why did the first Spinal get killed? Was his movie "Dry as a bone" so bad???

6) I know you've been asked this a lot, but if I have an idea for a game, where can I send it to ya guys, if I could?

7) Why did ya guys bother including Krunch in DKR or at least giving him such an ugly acceleration, control.... he doesn't even seems to be one of the good guys! Was it to keep the A-Kremling-in-every-DK-game tradition?

8) Why dont you guys ask MIDWAY sometime to get both companies together and made a game called Mortal Kombat -vs- Killer Instinct? I love KI and I love MK too. Both together would be just Da Bomb.

9) Did ya found any mistakes in my English? My official language is Spanish, so you understand why... esta bien amigo? Bueno, gracias!

Bye guys, hasta la vista.
The Ch@ttin_b0y

Uncle Tusk replies:
1) The team's explanation is simple: "Bond strike with speed of angry cobra."

2) Yeah, but Tiptup's stupid. As if you didn't see that one coming.

3) Extensive air pressure reduces each of the competitors' bodies to a uniform shape and size before impact.

4) Magic.

5) You mean the Spinal in KI1, or the original bloke who was resurrected as Spinal in KI2 and then again in KI1? The KI1 Spinal was hacked to bits by Thunder. Shows how hard
he was.

6) We can't do anything with it. Legal reasons. Plus the fact that we get sent enough game ideas every month to suffocate a decent-sized mammoth.

7) You've got to have a slow-and-steady heavyweight in there somewhere, haven't you? And yeah, using a Kremling reinforces the Diddy Kong link, or something.

8) Shut up, you slavering idiot.

9) No. I didn't found any.

* * *

Dear U.T.

Let me kiss butt a little by reminding you that Goldeneye is the best game ever, and everything I could think to put in PD seems like it will be implemented. Being a conosouier of video games, I realized something while ingaged in a vigorous battle with my friend. I unloaded 7 DD44 rounds into my opponent's chest, but only 2 registered. I realized that Bond couldn't keep up with my lighting fast trigger finger. My question to thee is as follows: will PD be able to keep up with my expert abilities? Thanx Tuskeroo.
Joe "my ego grows with every victory" Mogavero

Uncle Tusk replies:

Seeing as it's basically GoldenEye Central in here today, I may as well go off and find someone to smack about while the designer does all the hard work.

"A conosouier? Really? Gosh. You probably hit the gun he was holding; if you didn't, I have no idea what you did. Do you mean hits registered on your hapless friend? Or do you mean shots fired? If you press the trigger faster than the framerate, what you describe may well take place."

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

Not a question so much as nosy-Parker observations from a 007 freak:I've noticed that shooting people in the gun area does no identifiable damage - there's no change whatsoever on my life meter when my friend blasts me in the Klobb, for example. Why then do I re-pick-up Body armor if I walk over it again? Does it do minuscule damage, after all? If so, then why does the Golden Gun NOT kill a man when you brutally shoot him in the Klobb with it?

And once you've chewed that one over with some diamond teeth, why does any shot from any weapon SUCCESSFULLY kill a man when you shoot him in the Klobb with it, on License to Kill???

And who killed JFK while you're at it?

Thanks for your time and patience.
Benjamin CJ Hu, Durham
PS Oh yes is there something wrong with the game on Pyramid level? Baron Samedi first shoots Dostovei blasts at you, then ZMG Uzi blasts, and finally what are unmistakably Laser blasts. BUT he's clutching Dostoveis throughout! What's up? Were there some sneaky little corners cut in the coding???
PPS You've probably heard this one before as well, but was it intended that the astute 2.3 Domino player could kill Baron Samedi at the end-of-level cutscene for Pyramid? I get the impression that it wasn't, simply because once you do, the cutscene goes on forever until you cancel it by pushing buttons...
PPPS If I stand directly in front of Jaws, his twin AR33 Assault Rifles can't hit me, ever. However, mine hit him perfectly in the chest (or wherever). Another little oversight/noncorrectable fault?
PPPPS Why does Trevelyan sometimes blow himself up on Cradle level? I'm not complaining, but it doesn't seem much in character...
And finally
PPPPPS Can you put a more definite date on the release for what will doubtlessly be THE definitive Rare shootem, Perfect Dark? At least more definite than "Sometime this year, maybe perhaps sortof"?

Uncle Tusk replies:
"Not an answer so much as a world-weary observation from a game designer: I've noticed that the longer the game is out, the more weird and pointless the questions get.
"PS. No, merely demonstrating the flexibility of the code.
"PPS. Of course it wasn't, you arse.
"PPPS. His arms are longer than yours, but he isn't clever enough to realise it.
"PPPPS. Confucius say: man who drop grenade at feet, better know path to door is clear before letting go.
"PPPPPS. Sometime this December, maybe perhaps sortof."

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

"Row your ass": actually, the line from The Golden Child is "Paddle your ass". I know, I have no life, but that movie was really funny. Thanks.

Harry Cardillo Jr.

Uncle Tusk replies:
Oh, so you think you're clever, do you? Yeah, well... yeah, alright.

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

I noticed that in the level select screen of Blast Corps, when the moon revolves about 13 times around the earth, the sun revolves one time around the earth. This is just like in reality. So I wonder if the other planets also behave realistically? This would be a nice little detail of the game. Could you just ask someone of the

BC team about this? If this is true, my second question is, if there is an ex-astrophysicist in this team who has too much time left over to implement such things...

Uncle Tusk replies:
The man responsible claims that he "just happened" to find a reference book about planetary orbits on his desk at the time he was programming the select screen, so he decided hey, let's go wild and make them act realistically. Most of them, anyway - if he'd set them up all properly then you'd only catch sight of some of them every few years. Which would be stupid.

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

Hello me again. I was most upset at the fact that you did not reply to my well informed questions. Unlike most people my questions were based in reality and not concerned with crazed chefs with knives running around in Goldeneye. So here goes again, perhaps you will look fondly upon this poor fan and answer my questions.

1. Where is Banjo-Tooie? We've heard whispers but what about screen shots or at least some bit of info on it. Why would you hold out upon your loyal fans.

2. Who in the hell is Sniffles... I really want to know where that one came from.

3. Any plans for a RPG game of a serious nature unlike Super Mario RPG (good game but a little on the silly side).

4. Is Banjo-Kazooie going to be able to attach itself to Banjo-Tooie like Sega's Sonic and Knuckles games did a while back. You said you had to go back and forth between the two...

5. Would you Shag Austin Powers now, or later :)???? (Yeah baby...)?

6. I would like to voice concern over the possible future of PD multiplayer mode. I was very disappointed with Turok II's solution to the multiplayer problem (Tiny levels). Granted they are fast, what's the point when two seconds later you're dead cause your opponent is two feet away from you. I hope PD is fast and huge as far as multiplayer goes. I would hate to be gyped by a lousy multiplayer. Goldeneye rocked but is just too slow with four people, it needs to be faster.

Thanks Tusky and remember please respond.

Uncle Tusk replies:
1. There's a difference between spitefully "holding out" as you suggest and simply "waiting until we've got some really good stuff to show you", idiot child.

2. He's my lickle cutesy puddy tat, awwww. (Looks around quickly.) Leave it! It's none of your damn business.

3. Hang on, I'll just get my Secret Development Files out and tell you everything... oh, wait a minute! What am I doing? You almost got me there. (Sigh.)

4. I can see you people still mindlessly droning this question months after Banjo-Tooie's release.

5. Or, more accurately, "no baby".

6. The designer says "Don't worry - we removed multiplayer mode completely so that your sensibilities weren't offended." Now look what you've done - putting a stop to everyone else's fun just to satisfy your own selfish whims. You disgusting lowlife.

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

I think you should go beat the hell out of the Gaming Bastard at IGN64. He's trying to be you so hard it hurts, and he's really doing a crappy job of it. Hmm...? A gaming question? I don't really have one. I just got Unlimited Ammo after being stuck there for months, it'll only be a matter of time before I get to the Temple. Heh heh. Oh, here we go: How do you get the green smelly thing off the Jiggy (I just wrote Jiggly... I've been playing too much Pokémon) in Banjo-Kazooie?
BTW, how would you pronounce that?

Uncle Tusk replies:
'Penis'. What are you talking about, "green smelly thing"? You fool. Just goes to show that Mr. Bastard's got the right attitude. Trying to deal with you people in a polite and considered manner only builds up stress which is ultimately released in a savage bout of violence, so it's best for everyone if we just point out your stupidity right from the start. We can always kick your face off later if need be.

* * *


1. I see that you're including Gameboy Camera support -- very cool. However, will the 'faces' be stored in a database that can be accessed by the one player game? How ace would it be to run into a guard who looked just like your brother? He sure as hell wouldn't be receiving any mercy!

2. Will the mines stick to people, like the plastic explosive in Metal Gear Solid? That would be cool as well.

3. Last of all, I noticed in a video of the multiplayer mode, when a character is unarmed, they don't 'slap.' It looked like they were trying to grab their opponent. Is this what was going on? Or was it just a very weak looking punch?

If the answers to the first 2 questions are no, then you should change it so that those features are in the finished product, 'cos I say so! That's enough for now. See Ya!

Thomas G Raffel

Uncle Tusk replies:
Time for more of Designer Boy's endearingly insubstantial replies, I think.

"1. There are a few ideas we have for the camera, but we'll have to wait and see if they all get implemented.

"2. It is quite possible that they either will or will not stick to people.

"3. No, they weren't trying to grab anyone. They were just holding their arm out without holding a gun at the same time.

"Not if I see you first."

* * *

Dear giant sword-welding madman,

In your last amazing segment, you mentioned Orson's Farm, a cartoon with a farm and an animal named Orson. I have no question, but just wanted to add that in the USA, it is known as US Acres. It was a comic strip created by Jim Davis, who is most famous for his lazy-cat strip Garfield. It ran from, I believe, 1985-1989, and was featured on the Saturday morning cartoon Garfield and Friends throughout its entire run.

Ryan Mead

Uncle Tusk replies:
Don't tell me - you have a healthy social life and like to abseil and bungee jump when not organising cocktail parties for your intellectual friends.
US Acres, my arse. That's just stupid - I don't care if it's true. Orson's Farm makes much more sense.

* * *


My name is Nick I'm 14/m/Australia. OK now I dunno if this is just a printing error or what but it's killing me. In the instruction booklet (Goldeneye) under the multiplayer section pg 21 you show a picture of the character select screen. On the 2nd player's character select (or the bottom) they have Ourumov selected then to his left is Boris. Then you can half see my mystery man! On Ourumov's right is our old friend 006, BUT on the game Xenia is before Ourumov and Boris is on his right! So who's the mystery man on the left? On the game it's 006. The mystery man is holding a gun. On the game the only 2 characters showing their gun is Bond and Xenia. I don't think it's Bond because Bond holds his gun much higher. And I don't think it is Xenia.


Thanx 4 your time

Uncle Tusk replies:
We can't "AWNSER" anything because we don't know what you're dribbling on about. "But you should count yourself lucky that your love life is active enough for you to have a 'mystery man', duckie," adds the GE designer helpfully.

* * *

Err, Excuse me,

While perusing the train station on Goldeneye, could I have spied the Immortal "Dusty Bin" on the side of one of the containers? Or was I experiencing nostalgia from the not-too-distant past.

Uncle Tusk replies:

Oh my! You could be right! Let's ask the team for confirmation:

"No. While there are various pieces of graffiti dotted about, a grand total of none of them star 'Dusty Bin'. You sad daft get."

Perhaps not then, eh?

* * *

Yo, Tusk Guy!

Answer these for me. Okay? Good.

01. When will Banjo-Tooie® come out?

02. Is there a way to get to the pink and purple eggs in Banjo-Kazooie® without getting Banjo-Tooie®?

03. Do you know that I got the ice key in Banjo-Kazooie®?

04. Do you care that I got the ice key in Banjo-Kazooie®?

05. Do you know that I got the ice key without Banjo-Tooie®?

06. Am I annoying you?

07. May I have $50 for when Banjo-Tooie® comes out?

08. Will there be a Banjo-Threeie®?

09. What is the ice key for?

10. What is in Gnawty's home during summer?

11. What are the pink and purple eggs for?
P. S. I am not related to Sean Williamson.

P. S. S. Reply A. S. A. P.

Uncle Tusk replies:
I don't know. Not officially. Apparently. Not even remotely. Obviously. Try harder. Die screaming. I don't know. Not getting yet. Gnawty's smell. Shoving up your arse.

PS Even that doesn't make up for the rest of the letter.

PPS It's 'PPS', not 'PSS', you thick get.

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

I was just wondering if the enemies would interact with each other in Perfect Dark more than they did in Goldeneye. In Goldeneye, enemies were not aware of gunfire by anyone other than yourself (resulting in them getting shot by each other, but not injured), they continued running even if they ran into another game character, and whereas you could not, they could shoot right through each other as soon as they were dead. If the baddies worked more as a team, it would not only make the game more realistic, but also more challenging.

Chris Thompson

Uncle Tusk replies:
I can't help but suspect that the designer's reached that point of one question too many...

"The enemies will be able to react better to combat situations by holding a series of encounter groups and group therapy sessions; group hugs have also been motion-captured, and there will be a designated 'care individual' on every level that they can take their worries to in times of need."

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

I need some help. How many red secret presents, and invites, are there? I've got 23 invites, and 16 red presents. And I've got all 48 blue presents, and my rating is Birthday Bonanza or something. The game said when I tried to get in the sea shell shaped hole right in front of my house (only 2 of them in the woodlands), that I should try to get a higher rating. So please tell me, (without any of your rude jokes) the total of how many red secret gifts, and the total of how many invites there are. Thanks!

Diane L. Vlassis

Uncle Tusk replies:
Now then, let's see. 48 blue presents - nice solid number. 16 red presents - nice solid number. 23 invites - you're clearly in need of some vigorous sledgehammer therapy if you can't see what's going on here.

* * *

Dear All-Knowing Tusk,

I've been hearing a lot lately about all the great Rare games that are in development. Each one seems to be better than the last. Here is some snippets of text that I remember from traversing the internet:

Banjo-Tooie will make Banjo-Kazooie look like crap.

If you thought Banjo-Kazooie was the height of N64's graphics then you haven't seen JFG.

Donkey Kong 64 looked better than most Dreamcast games at E3.

Donkey Kong's characters were so well rendered with so many polygons that they looked real.

Perfect Dark is Goldeneye on some serious steroids.

Perfect Dark's graphics were so good they made me want to cry.

All this hype and talk has left me wondering: Which game will look the best? Which one will be the next game that makes everyone ohhh and ahhh and drool so bad that they line up at 3am to buy it?

I suspect that DK will edge out the others but you never know...
PS. What is the context of knackers? Here is my feeble attempt: Joanna Dark unlike Lara Croft will have normal-sized knackers.

Uncle Tusk replies:
You left out the following:

Donkey Kong 64 will feature a sub-game that cures cancer.

Anyone who plays Jet Force Gemini will live until they're 300.

Vigorous rubbing of the Perfect Dark cartridge grants three wishes of the player's choice.

PS. A most amusing effort, though it couldn't possibly be any less accurate.

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

Could you please put the designer of GE on the chair where you are sitted? I have a question for him.

What's the best way to get the cheat in the Caverns level? I've tried it many times and my best time is 11:12! (Hey! You must admit I'm not as crap as Sean Williamson...at least.) So, please help me. That's the only cheat I'm missing (with the train but in some more tries I'll get this one.) Thank you!

Martin Pilon-Tremblay

Uncle Tusk replies:
Oi! Designer! Look, it's the last one. Sit here and think 'helpful'.

"Be fast at the start. Run past guards rather than stopping to shoot them. Concentrate on the objectives. Be better. See? I was helpful. And I didn't laugh at the name, either."

* * *

Mr. "Uncle" Tusk:

Several months ago a Katherine Bree, on behalf of the Falkland Island museum, submitted a mutated cat named "Sniffles" to our incarceration facility. Raving on something about promised fish heads, your cat started numerous fights, and was scheduled for lethal injection.

After maliciously slashing the man who was to give the injection, Sniffles was to be put in our state of the art electric chair. However, the humongous voltage has only furthered his mutation, enlarging him to a height of 200 feet and enabling him to escape. The former cat has also grown extra limbs, and developed telepathic power.

Sniffles has now been classified a global threat, and will be mercilessly fired at from the collective militia of the world if not subdued within 48 hours. We beg for your help.
Mr. Sam Armstrong, Head of the Alcatraz Incarceration Facility

Uncle Tusk replies:
The little scamp, he's always doing things like this. But he doesn't mean anything by it, you know, it's all one big happy game to him. He's just a kitten at heart. I'll just dig out his cute little mousey toy and industrial strength super-absorbent tissue pack and pop round to fetch him... hopefully in time to lock him in the shed before Maya gets back from shopping. Oh, hang on, 200 feet? Give me half an hour - I might have to build a new shed.

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