Thursday, September 16, 1999

Scribes: September 16, 1999

Dear Scribes,

Do you think this is a joke, how can you pull a stunt like that. To prevent you from posting this letter and making fun of me: F**k Rareware, you no good stupid assholes you tosspots and suck me side ways. I bet you won't post this letter now.

I mean delaying something for couple of days is different than couple of months you should know that by now. As a gamer what am I supposed to do now. I mean I worked all summer to get all three Rare games and this is how you say thanks. I mean don't you respect your gamers.

I for one respected you till now but after what you announced at September 10 about PD I don't know what to think about you.
Dikran Moskofian

I have just found out that you have delayed Perfect Dark until April 2000 and I think that is the most absurd thing I have ever heard. Why not Donkey Kong, that game will sell better if it is delayed and not only that people don't give a f**k if you delay it. It has never been delayed, but JFG and Perfect Dark has. I don't care what you guys say because you guys all had plenty of time to finish the game. Also, JFG is coming out on my birthday in October and I swear to god that if you move that release date even one day, then I will come down there and beat the f**kin sh*t out of you.

P.S. I would also like to tell you that by moving it to April, then it will now have to compete with Zelda: Gaiden which comes out in March. Maybe you guys should learn how to run a business.

F**K YOU!!!!!!!!!!

How bad can that game be to be delayed 4 months? If I were you I would get in the witness protection program because there is going to be a lot of angry people out there so you should be careful.

Rare Says:

Ah, bless. But there's nothing we can say beyond what we've already said in The Outpost, i.e. we're sorry that it won't be released in time for Xmas, but we're not in the habit of letting anything go until it's geuinely finished. Quality games are what our reputation's built on, and we don't want to change that any more than we want to insult gamers by trying to sell them something less than they'd expected. It's a shame that you just won't look at it that way.

Dear Rare,

I thought I'd put fingers to keyboard to congratulate - yes, congratulate - you on having the balls to delay Perfect Dark.

It's a rare thing (bugger, dodgy pun) these days, integrity, and my cockles are most tangibly warmed to see that you'd rather finish the game properly than to cynically rush it out for Christmas and fill your coffers early.

I actually CAN wait for Perfect Dark to be released.

I'm sure you'll be getting a deluge of abusive mail from dullards for delaying it who haven't got the collective intelligence to realise that the longer wait will mean a better game. Ignore them. Put them to the back of your minds. They know not what they say.

I for one salute you on having the courage to delay it because I want the game to be the best it can. And I know you won't let me down, it'll be nothing less than the absolute dog's.

Tell those idiots that they're bang Alan Border, talking a load of Kate Moss and they should ram it up their Khybers.

Yours nuff-respectfully
Tim Wye

I might be the only one in the entire world, but I think it is okay that you delay Perfect Dark to April 2000. Just look at Zelda and Banjo. They are my favourite games of all time, and they were delayed several times. (Well, at least Zelda was...)

Everybody, hate me if you want to. I can take that. I do not want the team to rush the game just to get it out to the holiday season. I have heard that people will send Rarewhere hate mails, and I have only one thing to say about them: IDIOTS!!!!!!!!
Christian Berndalen

Rare Says:

So there are voices of reason out there, after all... or voices of patience, at the very least. We appreciate your understanding. Nobody's trying to deny that the whole thing's unfortunate, and we know that people were banking on PD for the holiday season - but it's not as if this leaves us offering nothing between now and the end of the year, after all, and we'd much rather deliver the full PD experience in a few months' time rather than hurrying it out now riddled with rough edges and missing options.

And with all that out of the way, it's back to Scribes business as usual. Strap yourselves in...

Dear Scribes,

In the Egyptian Temple where the enemy Baron Samedi is, was he ever in a James Bond movie or did you just make him up?

Also, in multiplayer mode in the scenarios, I saw The Living Daylights. Now, the scenarios You Only Live Twice, The Man With The Golden Gun, and License To Kill were all titles of James Bond movies. I just want to know if The Living Daylights was a movie or if it was something you made up also. Because my dad claims to have grown up and seen all of those James Bond movies, but through his whole years he has not seen/heard of a Baron Samedi or The Living Daylights before.

Rare Says:

What an excellent letter. Your dad must have stopped watching somewhere around 1973, when Baron Samedi popped up in
Live And Let Die: The Living Daylights didn't come along until 1987, when Timmy-Tim-Tims Dalton took on the Bond mantle. Just before Licence To Kill, actually, which you seem to recognise.
So I can only assume that you went to live in a nuclear bunker during the early 70s and didn't come out until the late 80s, in true crap sitcom pilot style.

Rare persons,

Since you posted my email on your website, I felt in only proper to reply. I already knew that the evil pirate bloke would be in Banjo-Tooie, he had to be, right? Otherwise why put his ugly chops in BK? Also, if he's not a "baddy" as such, in Banjo-Tooie, what does he do? I reckon the important link is Banjo-Kazooie<>Pirates, I've had this idea....

The whole setting for Banjo-Tooie is going to be another world altogether. I reckon the Rusty Bucket ship belongs to the Pirate-It does not belong to Grunty-All of the other levels aspire to, or are connected to her, or another character in the game (Clanker's Cavern-Grunty's rubbish bin..for example). I reckon Grunty sails the ship off and out of the flood barriers, in Rusty Bucket Bay, to another world. (Rusty Bucket Bay's
the only world where you can actually see out and beyond from.) Here then is the setting. Now it's up to the Pirate (who you don't actually control) Banjo, and Kazooie, first to get to this world-and then to get the ship back. I reckon B&K will originally get to this world by collecting the eggs for a character and finding a key for another character (obviously finding them from the original game-Banjo-Kazooie). On the way there, there'll be levels to complete, favours to pay back, and chores from characters to do. Then when they get there it'll be the usual assortment of levels until you find Gruntilda's family. It gets a bit speculative from here on... I reckon there'll be at least one of her relatives, most likely her "warlock" brother. I also think there'll definitely be a "lava world" as Goby spoke of one in Click Clock Wood. This also means that Goby will make a return-Who is by far, the greatest character in any video game. Ever.

This lot would be good, no? But the Pirate is very mysterious-my Food Tech GCSE exam was ruined because of him making me think about him! The bugger! Who knows, eh?
Thanks for your time,
Chris Todd

Rare Says:

What a lengthy hypothesis you have, my boy. Let's turn it over to the lead designer of the Banjo games and see how he rates it against the others he's seen in his time. Wahay!

"I'm afraid your revelations about *a**a*n B*a**e*e (his real name) are 'complete cobblers'. You'll have to wait a bit longer to find out about him, although I doubt whether he will be able to tell you much that makes sense..."

Dear Scribes,

You can't beat the Runway in under 25 minutes!?!?!?! You've got to be kidding. My best time is 29 SECONDS. No, I didn't use cheats or the Gameshark. I thought that time cheat was the easiest of all! Just run in the shed thing, grab the ignition key, perhaps shoot one of the cars, and then run to the plane and hit B (Note: sometimes the plane blows up. Just try again until it doesn't). Simple. Oh yeah, in case you all don't already know, you run about 1.5 times faster if you walk diagnoly by using the C buttons and the control stick
Greg G.

Rare Says:

Yes. I think you'll find that the author of that particular letter in the previous Scribes was, in fact, being ironic. Don't worry about it too much: it seems the concept of irony is one that runs 'diagnoly' to your confused mind.

Dear Rareware,

I write this to you in the belief that you read all your mail, even if you choose not to post it. I believe that I have more or less cracked the meanings of the word "Knackers", despite being uncultured, inelegant, and American. Here is my attempt:

"I'm KNACKERED. I have KNACKERED my KNACKERS on the KNACKER'S knockers."

I believe that accounts for all uses of the term, and hope that this may further enlighten my fellow countrymen. Good day to you.
F Quicksilver

PS I must say, however, that the Rare poet responsible for Grunthilda's truly despicable rhyming couplets deserves a hefty beating from the NYPD. Please tell me who he/she is so that I may place him/her naked into a cage and prod him/her ruthlessly with sticks.

Rare Says:

Instance 1: Knackered (adjective) = exhausted. Yup.
Instance 2: Knackered (verb, past tense) = damaged, caused to cease operation. Yup.
Instance 3: Knackers (noun, plural) = unclear what you intend it to mean, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.
Instance 4: Knacker (noun) = person who 'looks after' old and worn-out horses. Yup.

Well, sir, that's pretty comprehensive - but I'm afraid we still can't take the risk of dropping the 24-hour security screen in force around our Banjo couplet culprit. (And no, it's not me.)

Dear Scribes,

(Scene: A hot, stuffy lounge, where a lone figure slaves over a PC. Work is interrupted by an entering stranger, who says 'Rar!'.)

CHRIS: What's that, Floyd? Hunh? You say Leigh's in trouble? He's fallen down the abandoned mine!?

FLOYD: No, you moron, but he's clearly pleading* for assistance in the latest issue of Scribes. It seems that a Mr. James Roberts is being overly cynical to him, and he's so weakened by pointless questions that he can't muster the resolve for a sarcastic response! We must come to his aid! Erm, I mean, rar!

CHRIS: You're right! Quick, let us construct a cunning e-mail, laced with wit and sophistication, with pertinent points to counter James's argument but with a dose of subtle humour to keep the masses entertained.

FLOYD: That, or we could steal his shoes. Rar!

READERS: Stop, we have tired of this trite prose! Get to the bloody point!

* * *

Sorry, getting a bit carried away there. Still, you said that comments on the content of Mr Roberts's letter were welcome, and I'm nothing if not obliging. Let's start by looking at the existing human women in Rare's games, shall we? If we can catch any of them in the act of simpering, we know that Mr Roberts's fears of stereotyping are justified:

NATALYA SIMONOVA: Starts off locked in a jail cell, requiring Bond to rescue her, upon which she blunders around blindly. Says "I'm scared" when shot at. Oh, sorry, that's the first half of the game. Upon being trained by Jack Wade, she learns how to use the Cougar Magnum, one of the most powerful weapons in the game and does most of the 'Jungle' level for Bond while he hides behind a tree with his wimpy PP7. Compare this
to the Natalya of the film - she never handles a gun, does she? She does climb up a satellite dish, admittedly, but it seems that Martin Hollis and co. have made Natalya less of a 'stereotypical Bond girl' than she was in the movie. Kudos to them, I say.

XENIA ONATOPP: Wears a leather outfit, but is bound by the constraints of the movie. Carries around an RCP-90 and a grenade launcher. Never simpers or bats her eyelids.

JOANNA DARK: Amazingly, a female character who is NOT blonde and stick-thin. Wears a sensible outfit, suited for the terrain and enivonments she encounters.

VELA: Vela IS A CARTOON. Some hints to this would be the huge, tiger-esque eyes and blue hair - she is not meant to look realistic, and therefore does not need to become an icon of 90's feminism. The three 'human' women can do that for her. If Vela was, and I quote, 'probably based on the demography of [the] target audience', don't you think that she would have been made to look realistically human?

Stereotyping of both men and women has been around in games since they first appeared. Rare, however, are one of the few companies to avoid the temptation of appealing to the youth demographic. Eidos (Lara Croft), Capcom (Chun Li), Midway (Sonya Blade) and even Nintendo (Peach, Zelda, Samus Aran) have all used 'disproportionally enhanced' women in their games, and men too - all fighting games feature blokes in their underwear with large muscles. Men just don't complain about it as much. Rare stands out as one of the shining examples of how women should be portrayed - independent and capable, without being shown as sexless. I suggest, therefore, that you think of Vela as a cartoon character, or a caricature of the the sorts of women that are usually portrayed in games such as this. Surely it would be more appropriate to complain to a company that is recognised as perpetuating the stereotype?

Sorry if I sound a bit harsh in this (long) letter, but it seems to me that attacking Rare for being stereotypical is like smashing up someone's BMW for starting WWII - a case of misplaced anger.


Chris Allcock
*Okay, so not pleading, but definitely asking nicely.

Rare Says:

Erm, I'm not sure about labelling the likes of Peach and Zelda "disproportionally enhanced". But that aside, old fruit, your staunch defence is not only welcome, but representative of all the feedback we've had on the matter. To be fair, Natalya and Xenia pretty much had to be shown as they were in the film, as you say, but the depiction of Joanna Dark (with her relatively subdued 'female charms') is all down to us. Like Vela,
she's not only a character central to her game but a strong, wilful heroine to boot: worth noting, because unless your morals are badly skewed, it's the behaviour of these characters that should count for as much as (if not more than) their superficial appearance.

And it's a good point about the scantily-clad
male characters, too. Anyone taking issue with KI's female fighters only has to look at Tusk to see the other side of the coin. To my knowledge, there hasn't been a single instance of irate females writing in to complain about any of our characters...

Dear Gimp Man They Probably Pull Out of a Cell Every Few Weeks to Answer These Letters:

"Meanwhile, we'll continue to abuse the system and make up completely original furry characters whenever we need them rather than pay out loyalties to any real furry people."

Loyalties?! Loyalties? Dear god, man. First you discriminate against furry people you know by claiming it would be stupid to base games on them, then you state IF you did make a game based on them you wouldn't pay royalties but what you call "loyalties." What exactly are these "loyalties" anyhow? I suppose you'd claim to be loyal to
them in some form or fashion and take care of them. Of course, due to your obvious dislike you'd probably just tie them out back to a tree when/if they're not cute anymore and only bother to feed them daily and maybe yell at them if they're being too loud. You know, sort've like some parents in the US do, except for the tying to the tree thing. Laws, you know. (Note: I'm a US citizen so I can knock my own country. Neener.) You had better be a bit more careful about what you say or else you may come to work (unless you already sleep there) and find a huge furry army waiting to beat you to death with your own shoes. Unless of course you just choke on all the fur they'll likely be shedding. Either way...

Rare Says:

Sigh. And I thought I was pretty adept at getting top mileage out of the occasional typo. Okay, okay, it's a fair cop, I'll come quietly (parp) etc.

Dear... person,

I'd like to warn you now that this letter won't contain as much irrelevant crap as you're used to, but don't let that put you off from getting someone to answer my questions.

1. Why are the Temple and Complex being included in PD's deathmatch? These were two of the worst levels from GoldenEye (I never do the random select just in case it came up with the Complex).

2. How does the pause menu work in PD? It's really annoying getting shot while Bond takes ages to look at his watch.

3. Why does Duncan Botwood look so evil in all his magazine photos?

3. I know there are going to be a lot of weapons in the game, but will there be lots of gadgets too?

4. How many levels will there be?

5. About the excellent create-a-player/GB Camera thing. Will altering character... characteristics change the way they play? For example, I've read you can change height, weight, skin colour, etc. But will fat characters move slowly/Black characters move fast/Asian characters be cleverer/White characters be... well... (uh-oh, I've gone too far).

Nhoj Senrab
PS Don't you think IGN's 'new look' is stupid.
PPS Isn't Donkey Kong just Mr Burns wearing his famed 'gorilla chest vest'.
PPPS What football team do you support? (You'd better answer carefully - i.e. lie if you really support Man Utd - as this could seriously affect whether the public buy Rare games or not.)
PPPPS Okay, I admit it, there was an average proportion of irrelevant crap.

Rare Says:

Right, let's get you some tetchy answers, 'Nhoj'.
"1. It depends on your personal favourite level. If you have no friends, I could understand you getting upset at the appearance of levels that are best played with more than one person.

"2. You press start, it pauses. There might be a bit of graphical movement, but that's it. Stop me if I'm getting too technical.

"3. I have embraced the dark side. Fear is my ally. One truth, one hate, etc.

"3. Yes. Is this one labelled 3 because the last one wasn't a proper question?

"4. Seventeenish. Possible bonus levelage aside (!!!)

"5. To some extent, yes. We're tinkering with that now.
"PS. I really don't care. Next-Gen's last facelift was more irritating.
"PPS. Uh....
"PPPS. I don't. But since my Fantasy Football goalie is De Goey, I'll have to say Chelsea. As long as my strikers don't score when they play Chelsea I'll be happy. Sort of.
"PPPPS. 'Average', you say. Hmmm. Do you always underestimate so much?"

Dear Scribes,

I've been a big fan of the old NES for years, and I still play it more than the Playstation and the Nintendo 64. Two of your games still amuse me today, to the point where I would rather give up my brain to science than to let these two games out of my collection... Pinbot and High Speed pinball. I enjoy playing these two games very much... no other pinball game can compare to the greatness of High Speed and Pinbot. I was wondering, with the Game Boy Color now taking the market by storm, and more developers re-releasing NES games for the Game Boy Color (Blaster Master, Super Mario Bros., 1942, Spy vs Spy, etc.), is there any chance of seeing High Speed and Pinbot remade for the Game Boy
Color? The Game Boy lacks good pinball games, with the only exception being Poke Mon Pinball. But Pinbot could beat the living crap outta Pikachu. Hopefully my email won't be lost amidst the pile of other emails crying and begging you to make more stuff, and that Rare will take this into consideration.

Chow, or Bonjour, or whatever...
Mark Handelman

Rare Says:

You're barking up a shaky tree there, old boy. Not only has the main man behind both Pinbot and High Speed long since vanished into the mists of ancient Rare history, but the games themselves, while fine and dandy for their day, aren't exactly top of our Recognisable Properties List. Then again (sound of Ambiguity Engine revving in the background) we like to cover all bases wherever possible, and as I said earlier, there's always hope. I could be proven humungously wrong in a few years' time. Who knows? Eh?

Dear Scribes,

I know that you are sick of hearing about Kazooie, Goldeneye, and Tiptup the nazi (at least you were a while ago, I've been reading the old Scribes since you never update!!) so in an attempt to spice it up a bit, I've decided to write you about... well, you know...

Who's the black private dick that's a sex machine to all the chicks? And who's the cat that won't cop out when there's danger all about? Shaft? Hell no! Bottles!

If I had one complaint about BK, it would be that there just wasn't enough Bottles. What BT needs more of than BK did is (you guessed it) Bottles. He'll be digging around everywhere -- popping out of walls, chimneys, fish heads, etc. -- giving Banjo and Kaz (I call her Kaz for short because it's shorter) new moves.
If we run out of moves for Bottles to teach us, he'll give us some clever little anecdotes or the latest headlines.

Of course with all this digging and popping and chatting, he'll most likely have an aneurysm, pull out an ax and chop everything ("WAH-KA!! WAH-KA!!") to pieces including our handsome duo. Now our damsel will be in eternal distress (unless she hangs herself or something), but who the hell cares?? We got a game full of Bottles, and we got to see him mutilate Kaz.

Rare Says:

Bottles as some sick and twisted in-game variation on the virtual pet theme? What a nasty idea. No, according to the man in the know on all things Banjo, you'll have cause for both celebration and commiseration when it comes to hot mole action in the sequel. Interpret that as you will, sir.

And another thing, put an 'e' on the end of 'ax' - there's clearly room for one.

Dear Scribes,

I was encouraged by a fellow 007 fanatic to browse your website not long ago. Having seen a fair number of other game developers' uninspired websites, my original impression was that Rareware would also follow suit and churn out endless reviews of existing games, previews of games in the making, and pessmistic "We want you!... as if" recruitment drives.

Well, everybody makes mistakes, and after my stint of repentant purification by way of flagellation with help from my bevy of vestal attendants, I've followed your web page, especially the Scribes and Uncle Tusk sections, with the greatest of interest over the past few months. The Scribes have provided me with great mirth, and, after I was able to read them whilst seated, have caused me to fall out of my chair laughing on more than one

However, there are a few questions that I would like to ask, and these concern the Scribes themselves. (Which means that perhaps I had better steer clear of Tusk for the moment.)

1. Who is the mastermind behind the witty retorts and barbed comments in Scribes? (In other words, who is the Ed?) From what I gather, and do laugh at me if I'm wrong as long as you later tell me the right answer afterwards, the venerable Ed is one "Leigh Lovelace" who is either expecting a child or has already acquired one recently. Also (having lived in England as well as America, and picked up the culture of neither) I do not know how to pronounce the name "Leigh" or, indeed, whether or not it is a male name, a female name, or an acceptably unisex name. Please do not take this as an intended affront - I mean this in all bewildered sincerity here.

The ribald quality of the sarcasm and irony at first made me think that a male Ed was at work here, whilst the exact wording of the sentences "Having a sprog" and "sprog #2 is on the way" suddenly reversed the argument. So which is it really? (There is a not insubstantial bet with a fellow Ouromov fan counting on the answer here...)

2. Any chance of including a profile list for frequent writers? I know it would mean more work for Ed, so perhaps the idea is doomed from the start, but a brief explanation of who "Leigh" is, who "Lovelace" is, who "Kat" is, and who the ubiquitous "Sean Williamson" is wouldn't go amiss. You could just pen a facetious line or two or each personality, perhaps with a few "first appearances" links to their letters in Tusk/Scribes. That way, those who write in most often (and therefore pester you most) would have an additional incentive to stop doing so. Just an idea. You could even include it in a website expansion: "Scribes Blacklist". Or "Rare's Most Bothersome Twunts".

3. Are Scribes and Tusk in actuality the same person? If Leigh is female, and Tusk is male *AT THE SAME TIME!* then that would really sicken me and put me off written intercourse with both as I'm afraid it would be just too kinky for words. Crying Game eat your heart out.

4. Any chance of doing a 3D shooter game based on the junky Bible Naked Lunch? At least then you'll be doing a Mature-rated game (and alienating half your audience in the process) that deserves the rating. As well as including my namesake - never a bad thing. Otherwise, keep up the great work. Thank you, "Ed".
Dr. A Benway

Rare Says:

Ahh, self-indulgence. Nothing like it. And it makes a change from people complaining that Scribes and Tusk aren't updated often enough, apparently failing to grasp the fundamental differences between your average developer's site and a daily news site. The buggers.

1. It's pronounced 'Lee', but not spelt that way because such a thing would just be common and vulgar. As you've observed, it's such a fantastic name that even girls have started nicking it for their own personal use. I hope you put your money on me being a bloke. Call me 'Lovelace' again and you die.

2. What defines a 'frequent writer'? How many times between Scribes updates do they have to write in order to qualify? Does the ratio of letters printed to hastily-deleted rambling crap have any bearing on it? Too tricksy a matter, sir. Though 'twunts' is a fine word. We used to have 'twange' back where I come from, which is a similarly heady cocktail of sweariness.

3. I don't think there are any steroids in the world that could make the idea of Tusk being a woman seem feasible.

4. You don't think PD will warrant the rating? Why would we go for it if we thought it was avoidable? Anyway, there's always JFG to satisfy your bizarre insect-hallucination urges.

Dear great editor of the chaos,

It has come to my attention that all the Nintendo 64 games seem to have a united error. This error is when you see all kinds of stuff going through walls and floors, and defying the basic laws of physics. In Zelda, the horses in Lon Lon Ranch get stuck half way in the fences. In Goldeneye, all kinds of things: guns, heads, arms, even feet, would go through walls and doors, scaring the hell out of the person on the other
side. Well, no more!

Send a memo, Mr. Editor: I nickname this error the TGT3SN Error (Things Going Through Things They Should Not Error). Every game from now on, or at least made by Rare, should be worked on until body parts aren't in two rooms at once. I don't care how long it takes! Forget the due dates! There, now, tell everyone at Rare! Come on, get up! Go tell them, I'll wait...

The entire cast of THE AFRICAN QUEEN

Rare Says:

You may start to care how long it takes when you give some consideration to the fact that it'd probably take forever. Though you wouldn't be around to witness it, as a bunch of haggard, wild-eyed PD team members and our entire Testing department would be around to kill you after a couple of weeks.
PS You're not wrong.

Dear Scribes,

Curse ye! I screeched Curse ye, I did! Why, oh why, did you put that woman in the Blast Corps map! It's Amber, but you've mutated her! Her voice is too squeaky! And she keeps saying, "Time to get movin'! Time to get movin'!" Is she telling me to jump on my treadmill and exercise my dear, dear arse till it bleeds? It sounds like Amber made a cameo appearance in an amusing, if not stupid episode of the Pokemon anime where Team Rocket makes everyones' voices stupidly high-pitched! Yeah, that's it! Amber makes a cameo in that episode! She goes into the van full of voice gas, makes her voice high, then goes back to Rare and records the idiotic voice sample on the map! I knew it! I'm on to you!

Rare Says:

What are you talking about? What voice? Who's Amber? There are only three members of the Blast Corps team, and none of them are called Amber, nooooo no no. Has this 'voice' been telling you to do anything more specific than "get movin'"? If and when it does so, you should report immediately to your local sanitarium.

Dear Scribes,

This is not about the KI thing. I just want to tell you, I have gotten the BETA version of Mumbo's Mountain. It's really grassy and stuff. At first, I thought it was a brand new Jungle level!!! But I found out it was the Mumbo's Mountain level. I have also gotten all the eggs and keys. Just wanted to inform you of that. I think I have also gotten everything so I will not be needing Banjo-Tooie.

Rare Says:

Another truly excellent letter. You spoil us. Thing is, you see, we've had the wacky idea of making Banjo-Tooie a game in itself as well as a means of accessing its predecessor's secrets... yeah, we know, it's wild and crazy and it might not work, but we're nothing if not enterprising.

Dear Scribes,

I just got a lame video in the mail from "Nintendo Power" that featured around four homoerotic individuals who liked to talk about two of your upcoming games in a disturbing manner...

Anyway, I found that if you hit the mute button they are taken care of quite nicely. And after I did that I discovered the JFG and DK64 footage. Both games look great, but the obvious winner is DK64 for 10 reasons. No offense to JFG's team, as I'm still going to buy the game along with several firearms, but DK64 has it topped. Here's why:

10: Obvious farting by Lanky Kong. Excellent.

9: K. Rool has finally gone back to his "Kingliness". Excellent.

8: An Expansion Pak comes with it. Great for us who were to lazy to buy it the first time around. Excellent.

7: Gongs. Like in those old Bruce Lee movies. Excellent.

6: The DK Rap. Surely will make the majority of game players out there mad. Excellent.

5: Minecarts. One of 9 essential vitamins in all video games. Excellent.

4: The DK on Donkey Kong's tie is backwards on the back part of his tie just like in Mario Party, Super Smash Bros., and Mario Golf. This will surely boost the game sales up an extra 8 million copies.

3: Either Cranky got drunk and is wearing a Chinese food take out box on his head, or he has become the new Pope. Excellent.

2: BEAVERS! Hmmm... let me call them Gnawtys.

1: And Candy Kong is finally back. And is it just me or did you boost her up a size? Someone's going to lose an eye. Watch out kiddies.

So there you have it. Come 2001 when the new millennium starts, DK64 will be regarded as the game of the millennium, and no other possible game will ever be able to beat it... except DK64 2 or DK-Dolphin.

And no, the year 2000 ISN'T the start of the 21st century. But feel free to get drunk on New Year's Eve anyway.

Rare Says:

Do you think the K in K. Rool stands for Kevin? I often wonder. Usually when I'm being driven to distraction by the DK Rap, yes.

Cranky is neither drunk nor a religious impostor, as either state would be inappropriate to a family game. We've got no problem with the endless beaver parade, though.

And don't you go trying to start some scientific debate on the true beginning of the 21st century as an afterthought, you young hooligan.

Rare people,

I was playing my favourite game in the world happily with three friends the other day.

Stuck in our niche world of four players, no sight on screen, no auto aim, no ammo on screen, no radar, -10 health, pistols, always playing the same characters (so that grudges and in-game personalities can build)... when my flatmate, who is not part of our closed Goldeneye shrine of friends, suggested turbo mode, paintball on, with proximity mines on normal health. While I was stunned at the thought of not playing the
'default' rules I thought it couldn't hurt too much, so turbo mode (and all that other stuff) it was.

Needless to say, it was Goldeneye, so we had fun even if the game didn't have that same edge that it does when we play with pistols.

But it got me wondering about the ability to run the game so fast, when without turbo mode on, we still experience 'slow-down'.

Can you tell me how it is that we can enjoy the game at twice the speed, and yet when playing normal speed, the Nintendo still struggles sometimes....? We had a few guesses at things like just taking every second frame out of the game so that it ran faster, but didn't put any more processing on the Nintendo, but it would be cool if you could explain what you do to run the game fast, and why that ability can't somehow be used to remove slow down from the game in normal speed...


Rare Says:

It's quite simple, really. You're assuming that Turbo mode speeds up the entire game, aren't you? Ohhhh no. I know these things. Because I've, er, just asked the designer.

"All that happens in Turbo mode is the characters run faster. Nothing else is different. Clearly you've been bumping into walls too much to pay attention to the subtle nuances of the game around you."

To the almighty and powerful Rarewhere Scribes:

First off, let me suck up and state that you (Rare Ltd.) are programming gods. I can honestly admit that every game since Cobra Triangle I have loved and played constantly to the point where I am almost partially coherent (even that Rare/Coin-it Wheel of Fortune NES game that serves as an obtusely visible skeleton
in your closet...). And speaking of skeletons, is Spinal's skull gain move (away + quick punch) the only reason why he doesn't have a parry (stun) block?

Anyhow, is there a Killer Instinct 2 soundtrack available anywhere to order? The in-game sounds and music are so "crunk" (African-American slang for good), that it is definitely CD material, just like the original Killer Cuts CD by you fine fellows. And if there is such a disc, how might I obtain it? If there is
a way to order a KI2 SDK or purchase from a hidden retailer somewhere in the world I would greatly appreciate that information. By the way, BK, DKC, and Perfect Dark sound files also are exceptional work. I wonder if...?

...end transmission...

Rare Says:

I'm reliably informed that there was a soundtrack CD released for Killer Instinct Gold, if not for KI2 itself. As for getting hold of it, though, phooo... it's a fair bet that it featured in the Nintendo Power catalogue at the time, but if Nintendo don't have any left lurking in a warehouse corner somewhere, you're just going to have to go prowling the second-hand circuit, I'm afraid...

Dear Scribes,

Is Jo Dark really a woman underneath all that slinky clothing? One of Jo's relatives, a certain "D Dark" from one of the Street Fighters, had me absolutely convinced that 'she' was a woman. 'She' had soft blond hair, lashy eyes, a long, exciting whip, and a face that, though partially obscured by a gasmask, was very feminine indeed. Imagine my surprise when I finished the game with D Dark, and discovered, with the removal of certain items of clothing, that 'she' was a man! Too disturbingly close to The Crying Game, that one. Or Trainspotters.

So please confirm that your devilish cronies at Rare aren't putting in a "stalk-wilter" cheat to reveal Jo in all his effulgent glory, nor working to provide poor Joanna with her very own "~Uiru" (pronunciation as per Uncle Tusk, 6th July).

Please, you MUST tell me! "Help me Editor-of-rareware, you're my only hope!"
Princess Goodie
PS "She sounds like she needs help" -- Luke Skywalker.
PPS "Rare can have a profound effect on the weak-minded" -- Obi Wan Kenobi.

Rare Says:

I don't know why you're making this out to be an obvious cause for concern - no other
Street Fighter
player in the world has ever mistaken D. Dark for a woman, you loon. You must have had a heart attack at the end of
Metroid. Granted the PD team are trying to squeeze in quite an imaginative background story, but they haven't yet sunk to revealing Ms. Dark as a big butch bloke... or at least not until you started putting ideas into their heads.

Dear Scribes,

I've read every Scribes and Ask Uncle Tusk and Secret Goldeneye Codes Monthly you've put on the site but for some reason I seemed to have missed the original version of Mr. Pants. I thought I saw a 3D version once upon a time or something but I don't remember. Any chance you could show a picture?
- Mag
PS Did you draw Mr. Pants?
PPS I'm going to buy Perfect Dark, Donkey Kong 64, Jet Force Gemini, and a Gameboy Camera. Happy?
PPPS In order to add the required word into my letter, insert it preceded by " of his " before the first
question mark.

Rare Says:

The Original Pant Performance

Here's the original Mr. Pants. Not drastically different from the current one, really. But it's worth taking this opportunity to remind you all of the majesty of his debut pose, just in case you catch sight of it somewhere else over the next few months. Never know, do you, eh? Eh?

PS Might have. Who's asking?
PPS What, only one of each?
PPPS A picture of his required? Never heard it called that before, etc.

Dear Scribes,
P.P.P.P.S. Is the Conker redesign going to be as wild as the JFG one? Cause man, that blows my
P.P.P.S. Hey, you might as well admit it: you're addicted to love.
P.P.S. British slang seems to be dominating more and more of Scribes with each go-round. I fear that in five years' time, Scribes will be nothing more than a bunch of words I don't recognize, filling page after page. I also fear that Banjo-Tooie will not have been released yet.
P.S. Why do Diddie and Dixie hang around with Cranky? If DK is Cranky's son, fine, but why do the other two apparent nonrelatives put up with the vile mistreatment Cranky throws their way? I wouldn't.
T Reiley
Anyway, in my attempt to be "clever" and "offbeat", as you can see, I wrote this message backwards, with the PS's first. Never mind that it renders the "post"-script meaningless. Nor that it seems pointless and petty. Perhaps I will become an Internet legend? Maybe this sort of thing will be "hip" with the "gen-x" population?

Rare Says:

P.P.P.P.S. Are you being... sar-car-stic?
P.P.P.S. That was on my crap 80s compilation tape on the drive in to work this morning. Spooky.
P.P.S. What are you saying - Scribes is still vaguely coherent? That's libellous, man.
P.S. Diddy's DK's nephew, I think, and Dixie's Diddy's, er, 'friend'. They're all linked in some bizarre way or another. Anyway, they're probably plotting to get Cranky institutionalised as we speak.

Dear Scribes,

Why, hello. In the past, people have sent you some screenshots of what appears to be your next big game. I am referring, of course, to Arse 64. Recently, one of your not-so-secretive 3D artists sent me a promotional render of what is shaping up to be the biggest game of whatever year it's released! The graphics are crisp, the gun isn't overbearingly big, and the main character looks ready to kick some arse. That, or I could have created the picture in a fit of post-Midnight Hour delirium. Either way, it would be a great game, as long as Tiptup and/or a great army of cheese were included.

The Latest Arse 64

Chad McCanna
P.S. I do not need to devote a post script to the word "arse" to get my letter into Scribes, because my letter is entirely about arse anyway!
P.P.S. You'd better have Squitter in DK64. Why? Well, he's the second coolest animal buddy for starters (Winky being the first, of course). Second, can't you just see those web attacks and platforms in 3-D. Ahh, bliss.
P.P.P.S. And for all you kids out there, "knackers" might seem "cool" and "in" at the moment, but nothing will ever be as captivating as "arse".

Rare Says:

It never stops, does it? For as long as the words 'arse' and 'pants' exist, and as long as idiots like me remain particularly receptive to them, there'll be people making
Arse 64, Pants 64 and whatever twisted combinations of the two they can dream up. But no Knackers 64, strangely. Perhaps you're right about the more endearing nature of 'arse'. Hmmm...


September X Snippets Special

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