Thursday, October 28, 1999

October X Snippets Special

Okay - so who's to blame for the poor Jimmy Saville impression? Now there's the way to confuse a million Americans....
Robert Iveson

Rare Says:

And they'll never even know what you're referring to. Superb.

Is Vela pronounced, "Vaala" "Vala" "Veela" or "Vela?" (I swear everytime my friends mention her they say it differently.)

Rare Says:

It's pronounced 'Vayla'. What spanner said it should be 'Vaala'?

at the back of edge magazine there pictures of inside your HQ and one of the pictures is a place with loads of chairs, is this place full at any time of the day. If not I'll sit there and you can talk to me if your stuck

stuart dobbs

Rare Says:

Do you mind if we just put that one on the back burner for now?

I had a dream I came to the Rareware headquarters and it was a big amusement park. But I could only go so far into it as there was a guy that looked like Jaws from the James Bond movies and a giant dog that would get me if I went too far.

Rare Says:

He looks more like Blofeld, but apart from that you're spot on.

For Papua New Guinea, James?

Rare Says:

I'm more of a Tristan da Cunha man, myself.

Unbelievable... I never thought you'd use a Red Dwarf quote like Kryten's "A small off-duty Czechoslovakian traffic warden" in an ALT tag...
Nicholas Killewald

Rare Says:

Did it spin your nipple nuts, sir? Did it?

Hello, I am POOKY P.J. I Love Rare games, I love Ken Lobb, I call him Klobbie. Do you have naughty, philthy pictures of him...
Pooky P.J.

Rare Says:

I'm going to pretend this never happened.

In her KI character profile, why does Orchid walk around and then say, "Mmmm"? Orchid saying "Mmmm" is very suggestive. Or is she saying "Mmmm" to Eyedol, the big 'n' hairy, two-headed muscley luv machine?

Mike "Skinnie Kong" Pelensky

Rare Says:

I'm going to pretend this never happened as well.

My name is Garry Haywood. Right now I am wearing tight leather pants.
Garry Haywood

Rare Says:

I wish I could pretend this never happened, but that's twice now.

If Banjo-Tooie takes any longer than another six months I'm going to send you an email full of swear words. Then I'll cry.
Tony Clough

Rare Says:

Emotional blackmail, eh? Is there nothing you people won't do?

To whom this may concern,

Rare Says:

...and that was the entire letter. Fantastic.

What did the characters from Jet Force Gemini look like before you made them look older?
C.J., the great videogame expert, Stewart

Rare Says:

Do you really,
really want an answer to that?

Hey! Your name is an anagram of "hail glove dye!" You fiend.
Aaron Goodier

Rare Says:

That's nothing compared to 'Gay Video Hell'.

You OBVIOUSLY stole your Snippets format from's DRC's! You plagiarists! Don't make me call my friends in the White House and have your shiny new office/barn nuked to hell.
Michael James Fagan

Rare Says:

No, I stole it from Your Sinclair's Small Print column. Ah! Ah!

Isn't it amazing that there is an invisible world all around us? I am speaking, of course, of the Invisible World of Scary Skeletons.

Rare Says:

You AOL people are really frightening me now.

I think that the puchment of perfect dark is the most stupid thing in world history. I think that with this Email you change the desicion of the puchment of PD.


Rare Says:

Puch off.

You know, Margaret, I often find that the best things in life have multiple handles for easy grabability. It's like the tale of the donkey and the rabid but cordial ferret.

Rare Says:

Why does this always happen just as I'm about to leave?

Scribes: October 28, 1999

Whoops. It's all too
easy to find alternatives
to updating Scribes.

'Capable of almost catastrophic destruction'

* * *

October 28, 1999

* * *

Floyd goes off his head

Dear Scribes,

Yes, we all had a good laugh putting scary Floyd at the top of the Scribes page. It took me a few hours of therapy to make it past the top of the page, ha ha Mr. Rare Man. But let's see who else is afraid of Floyd: Obviously, Floyd will remain evil and Mizar-like until JFG is released. Please see the attached clip scanned in from my local paper. People have gone as far to call Floyd a "Hurricane" of evil. His proplusion device has also been recorded as making winds up to 155 mph (312 hectacres per liter in metric). The Bahamas is in a state of emergency, and all of Florida has been evacuated. Floyd even went as far as to close down Disney World (similar to the Euro-Disney Empty Lot attraction near you) to make children unhappy. Also note the picture of Andrew Altee, knowing that Floyd likes to eat lifegaurds, and their stations. Also notice the quote, showing that residents can now only hope for divine intervention to save them from the "Rar"master.

The second page of the article (not scanned in), goes on to mention how Floyd's constant "Rar"ing (Floyd's "Rar" sounds something like a cross between Timber's "rAR" he makes when he gets passed and the Gruntling's "rarr" they make when they notice Bird/Bear hybrids) has caused many pets to run away in fear. It also mentioned that Rare was entering a strange promotion with Maytag, in the first ever promotion to cross the VideoGame-HomeRange barrier, with the Maytag Gemini (

Rare Says:

I've no idea who Maytag are, which is probably for the best if that serial killer on their homepage is anything to go by.

Anyway, this is clearly all a big jolly jape on Floyd's behalf - he wouldn't hurt a fly really. Blow an ant to bits, maybe, but flies are alright. I mean, look, Geoff Pearce clearly knows the score: old Floydie's just having a laugh, pelting the fun-loving Bahamians with overripe fruit produce in an attempt to liven up their day. And what Mrs. Minnis actually said was "Only dog can save us now", meaning Lupus had joined in the fun by taking sides with the capering island residents. It's really quite straightforward.

* * *

Hello Mad Bad Dangerous to know Rarepeople,

So, PD yet again delayed, eh? Who'd have thunk it? Still if the game's going to be half as kick-ass as your screenshots show, April's fine (for me at least). April 2000, April 2001, maybe even April 2002 if need be (although whether or not anyone would buy it in preference for a Dolphin game is dubious). Seriously, forget the words of your detractors, knockers, and jeerers... make the game immaculate. After all, if we wanted something vapid, poor quality, and instantly-gratifying, we'd never have bothered with your cheats in Goldeneye... or indeed with Goldeneye at all. (And we'd probably all be eating Pot Noodles.) One little question, though: will the release date for the PAL version still be the same as for NTSC? In other words, will those of us living in YOUR home country, whose taxes go to feed YOUR monarchy have to wait even longer than the USside Rare fans? Please do tell.

A general question - does anybody know what PD stands for in French? I heard it meant "gay" in terms of sexuality, but what words does it stand for? Whilst I was travelling back to the UK, I happened to stop at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, and the airport staff there seemed less than helpful when I asked them what "PD" stood for. Anybody have any clue?

I completed Goldeneye Cradle 00 yesterday using nothing but two Klobbs. It was very difficult, and I believe the amount of time I spent in something so abjectly pointless illustrates the massive NEED and YEARNING and LONGING that the public has for GOOD GAMES for their consoles such as the NINTENDO SIXTYFOUR especially those done by ENGLISH COMPANIES such as RAREWARE. As opposed to the "oh here's another PC conversion by A B or C yawnaminute". Oh yes and I froze the game after completing Aztec level in a weird way (I placed a load of mines on the rocket tailfin and the endscene never materialized). Obviously an intentional fault, yes?

Could any of you tell me what Joanna Dark's favorite dish is? She looks like a pasta person to me, but I'd be quite happy to hear that she likes soups too. Does she have British or American tastes? (In other words, does she like frankfurters and absolutely despise sausages?) Cumberland sausage? Yorkshire pudding for the lady, sirs? Perhaps even spotted dick?

Anyhow enough crude prandial innuendo and rantings for the moment. Just a reassurance note from your gulli...- er, loyal, PD fans that April for us is "just groovy baby, yeah!!". Seriously, take your time. We love you for it.
BenjaminCJHu, Durham
PS Where do Juno and Vela appear prior to JFG? I haven't been able to find any other mention of them on your website, but maybe that's just me.

Rare Says:

Hrrmmm. Can't help you with the PAL/NTSC release date thing, I'm afraid. We don't handle the distribution, so the ball's not in our court there, old boy.

The French meaning of PD? Let's ask Designer Boy: "Perfect Dark, I should hope. Anything else would be silly." Right. And, erm, Joanna's favourite food? "Oysters. Nah, only kidding. Curry."
PS They - oh, hang on, he wants to answer this one as well. Masochist.
"They're in GoldenEye; you have to put a load of mines on the rocket tailfin and destroy their ship, then they appear and hound you mercilessly for the rest of your existence."

* * *

Dear Scribes,

Having read some of the irrational musings of demented people in the previous Scribes [16/9/99], I feel the need to knock some common sense into these people.

1. Rareware is a business. Every business has a primary goal, and in Rare's case it's producing the best quality software possible. This goal is integral not only to the success of Rare but also Nintendo, who no doubt will be relying on the reputation of Perfect Dark to sell large quantities of their console. If Perfect Dark is released incomplete, the reputation of Rare AND Nintendo will be severely tarnished. Doesn't take a genius to work that out.

2. By releasing JFG, DK64, and PD in the same period, Rare's total sales *will* be reduced. Nintendo also needs a major product next year to compete with two brand new rival consoles. This may not be the reason for the delay, but it certainly makes a lot of sense.

3. Rare are working on a game that is theirs and theirs alone. They owe us nothing; in fact I would even suggest they owe us far less than some cynical game distributors who demand good money for absolute sh*te.

4. Asinine comments like 'I will come down there and beat the f**kin sh*t out of you' only give the local anti-games brigade something to use against us, and to be honest the thought of somebody like Mister 'suck me sideways' playing any sort of shooting game scares the crap out of me.

5. I can't believe I need to spell this one out, but here goes: Perfect Dark is just a game, people! Get over it! Go outside or something. I love games as much as anyone, and I would love to have played the complete PD this year, but I've the maturity to accept the fact that I don't have a God-given right to demand anything from Rare. It'll be ready when it's ready.


Adam D

Rare Says:

Fair comment. As we keep saying, we'd like to think that a few months' delay here and there will do far less damage to our reputation in the long run than chucking out a string of halfhearted, unfinished games. Your whole 'delay for strategic hardware reasons' theory is a bit off, though - we just don't think about it in those terms. PD needed more time to be the best it could be, end of story.

As for your last couple of points, they're good, but far be it from me to suggest that some people take their gaming way too seriously...

* * *

Dear Scribes,

Is it just me, or does Mrs. Pie look oddly French? What originally tipped me off was that the color of her pie is the same color as France! But here is the problem. The very French Mrs. Pie is speaking English. And she looks like a prostitute.
The Ponyboy
P.S. Tell Mrs. Pie that I would like some of HER pie, if you get my meaning. Wink. Wink.

Rare Says:

She looks French because my interpretation of a floppy chef's hat ended up looking more like a crap beret. I don't know where she's from. That's getting way too deep into the character for my liking.

* * *

Dear Scribes,

I think I've worked out the mystery pirate's name! If I am right it was a bit too easy, but if I'm wrong it's obvious that you set up the spelling and 'wildcards' to lead us off track. I think his real name is... Captain Blackeye, but it could of course be any of these too;

-Barmaln Boatlete (Rum-drinking, pub-dwelling, merry-time-having sea-dog)

-Wankarn Beacheze (Self-satisfied Hawaiian bum-of-a-pirate)

-Panzarn-Beakreke (Panzarn being the pirate and Beakreke being the disease ridden parrot in his booty bag)

I don't expect this to be publicly displayed because it could spoil the suspense for those who haven't worked it out, but a response of some form would be much appreciated.

Karri Billing (a.k.a. Stryk)

Rare Says:

Not leaving many stones unturned, are you? Mind, you did manage to avoid mention of Bahrain Beasteye the Arabian cyclops - not that that's in any way relevant, naturally. Or is it? Or... is it?

A commendable effort in general, anyway, though I hope you're not really expecting us to tell you whether or not you've hit the nail on the head. That'd be far too easy. We can get another couple of months out of this one yet, surely...

* * *

Dear Scribes,

A big congratulations to Nintendo's advertising department in the UK for getting the word arse into an Ad for the GameBoy in a magazine I read. Also Shadowman must get some sort of award for multiple uses of the wonderous arse word from the snake Jaunty. A round of applause to all concerned up there in Stockton on Tees. Setting the standard for the use of arse. Now that the gauntlet is down Rare must respond with a comedy character in Perfect Dark (you do have time after all) who says arse whenever they are hit. It could start a whole new trend...

Arsing Nintendo the new 128 bit machine. With Super Mario Arsination.
J. Edwards

Rare Says:

I saw the Game Boy one too. Not bad, eh? It's never anything less than a treat to see arse being spread. No, hang on - that didn't come out right.

* * *

Dear Scribes,

During my first year of college, in between actually going to classes and studying and such, my roommates and I played a good deal of 007 deathmatch in lieu of sleep. Everything was alright at first, but eventually, one of my roommates started to develop some unusual habits. For example, whenever someone would choose Natalia as their character, my roommate would sort of stalk her. He'd just follow her around, hiding behind boxes, lurking under the stairs, etc. He used to focus his camera on her calves and mutter under his breath, "Ooh, sexy legs," (he has a German accent, so it's even more disturbing than it may seem) just before shooting her in the head. Also, whenever he successfully killed any character -- male or female -- he would quickly run up to the dead body before it faded out and, pointing his camera towards the fresh carcass and pressing the down C button repeatedly, "hump" it. This isn't even the worst thing he did, but it's the only thing that's related to a Rare game, so that's the end of the letter.

P.S. My "friend" is not actually me, so don't go there.

Rare Says:

We do appreciate these little glimpses into the individual deathmatch traits of the hardcore (cough) GoldenEye player. It's also quite therapeutic in its own little way - no matter what happens, it seems there's always someone out there less emotionally stable than yourself. Bless you and your deeply disturbed acquaintances, sir.
PS. The designer says: "But I bet you stopped sleeping with him pretty soon after that, eh?"

* * *

Dear Scribes,

I am really excited about DK64. I remember when DKC first came out. I begged my parents to get it for me for Christmas and I did get it. I had so much fun with the side-scrolling action and I can't wait for the 3-D version. November seems like so far away now, but I think I'll make it. I have a few questions about the game though. Will the Deathmatch mode in DK64 be first or third-perspective? Also, will the Cast of DK64, in Deathmatch, only be able to use their specific weapons (i.e. Diddy has Peanut Pistols)? And last, will other characters be playable in Deathmatch like Kremlings or something?

Rare Says:

Right then, let's see. Straight from the DK64 designer's gob come the following revelations: multiplayer mode will be third-person
a la Jet Force, and while the main participants will be the five playable Kongs with their respective weapons, there'll definitely be a hidden Kremling contingent for the determined player to unearth. How does that grab you, buster?

* * *

Dear Scribes,

Your recent update gave me a fantastic idea for a game you should be developing - 'Scribe 64!' Sounds stupid I know, but hear me out (there's a new word for arse near the end, I promise).

One day, mild-mannered Mr Loveday is sitting in his Twycross office when out of the blue he realises that one of his correspondants has called him 'Lovelace'. Loveday's mind is already weakened by being constantly exposed to pointless requests, inane ramblings and dumb suggestions, and this one unforgivable event pushes him over the edge.

The game would be a First Person Shooter, but instead of using guns Loveday would 'shoot' sarcastic words and phrases. The villains would wander around like mindless zombies and would be called arseaols. They would boast unprecedented levels of Artificial Unintelligence and would have 36 animations for being confused and embarrassed.

It would be mission based like for example 'Sirslush is thought be be in hiding hatching evil plans for RareWorld domination.' Another mission would see Kat being kidnapped by a mad criminal genius called Fleab for his own twisted and sinister purposes. For this mission you would play as Sean Williamson and would have to rescue Kat. This mission would be tricky, because Sean Williamson would be hard to control. He would move very slowly and when you try to shoot at something he would usually miss.

The final mission would see Mr Pants personally deliver the first copy of Perfect Dark To Dikran (ha ha) Moskofian and the other impatient people who wrote in to insult you. Mr Pants would take the shiny new cartridge and shove it right up their jacksie (told you).

This would clearly be a massive game for Rare, in fact, come to think of it, you should scrap Perfect Dark completely and concentrate on releasing Scribe 64 as the true and rightful successor to Goldeneye. I hope you'll agree.


Rare Says:

It's funny, because when I read back over my responses it never sounds to me like I've been particularly sarcastic - until someone writes in to get all indignant over it. Which means I must be even more of a vicious swine than I'd thought. Wahay!

Anyway, rest assured that if I had any part in the commissioning of new game concepts, this one would be high on the list - for the fantastic-sounding S. Williamson level more than anything else.

A special word from the eavesdropping PD designer: "That is possibly the best idea for a game I've ever heard. The only omissions were the 'beta-requesters', and maybe the 'mad stalkers' as well."

* * *

Dear Scribes,

I was wandering around Tawfret a little earlier and found an amazing artifact in the castle ruins! I ran down a hallway lined with pillars and torches, and there it was! An ancient inscription on the back wall that bares the likeness of the beloved Mr. Pants! Did the past inhabitants of planet Tawfret worship him as a god? Or was it the Drones, bored of waiting for the Jet Force team to arrive, who drew the underdressed surveyor on the wall with a sharp stone? Or was it the captive Tribals, who saw Mr. Pants as their last hope for rescue?
Cliff Campbell

Dear Rare,

I am struggling to keep my composure long enough to type well with my excitement over discovering your little secret. I'm probably not the first to say (I never am) "Did you really think you could hide this from me? WELL? Did you think I wouldn't find MR. PANTS?!?!" My first reaction happened to be AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. Then I thought, "Wow, I might be the first one to say something about this amazing discovery." Now you know that half the population of this planet will be thinking, "Why on earth is there a picture of a half-naked man on this game?" But I know, and you know, and YOU the reader know that it is the one and only MR. PANTS? And though I haven't seen Floyd say RAR yet, I am hoping that it was added at the last second...
Amanda Marie Schroeder, a.k.a Kablooie, evil twin of Kazooie
(Bwaa ha ha ha ha ha haaaaaaaaaaa!)

PS: Floyd looks like an arse with tail lights.

Rare Says:

Ah, you two don't know the half of it. Such is the sweet innocence of youth... I know there are plenty of dedicated headhunters out there who've already discovered Mr. Pants' very own game mode, but I'll keep quiet for now so as not to spoil the impact of one of the single best throwaway game features of all time. And it doesn't matter that about 90% of people playing the game will be totally confused when they stumble across it, because everyone reading this will understand, and at the end of the day you can't beat a good old-fashioned stupid in-joke, eh?

* * *


I have just seen the "HotNewz" promotional video from Nintendo, and I have just one thing to say.

Congratulations are in order for the man who brilliantly designed Donkey Kong's ass. It is so beautifully proportioned that it appears to have been molded by the hand of God himself. The supple shading and realistic animation have brought me to one conclusion- this is the finest ass in any videogame ever made.
Mike York

Rare Says:

You're obviously quite well-versed in the anal intricacies of the animal kingdom, which makes your educated praise all the more valuable. So for now we'll tactfully put aside the fact that you're obviously really strange as we thank you from the heart of our collective high-polygon bottom. Er, cheers then.

* * *

Dear Scribes,

Hi. I've just started at uni, and all of the drinking and stuff - great, eh? Anyway, I've met someone downstairs from my flat who is just AMAZING at Goldeneye - he has every cheat, every level and every mode, using the two joypad method. Why is it in life that when you think you are good at something (00 Agent Control), you find someone better than you? Anyway, I beat him on multiplayer. Heh heh heh.

My questions are the following:-

1. Will PD have the two joypad player method?

2. Isn't the hands-and-face-through-door bug really funny in Goldeneye?

3. Will PD multiplayer have a Licence to Kill option under a different name? Pretty pretty please!

4. Will PD be as tough as Goldeneye (a good thing)?

5. Why is that Banjo-Kazooie looks and sounds nice, but that the levels are too small and it's much too easy? Please tell me that Banjo-Tooie, Conker 64 and DK64 will all be much bigger and harder (oo-er).

Thanks for your time - I worship Rare. Without Rareware.Com, the world would be a much worse place. Cheers.

Rare Says:

Delegate! Delegate! Where's that designer? Aha.
"1. Yes.

"2. That depends on who you are.

"3. Yes, possibly something like 'Killing License'. Or maybe not.

"4. Yes, arguably tougher. But at least twice as good."

If it's sheer size you're after, DK64's your man. Monkey. Thing. Jet Force is pretty hefty too, and I'd imagine B-T's going to be a considerably larger beast than its predecessor. So you size freaks are pretty well catered for all round...

* * *

Dear Scribes,

I have written you because of the fact that you said, (in an earlier Scribes,) that titles in italics, (like Arseblots 64,) could be titles that you are working on. Could is the key word here. I have noticed, that every time you post Banjo-Tooie, it's in italics. Why? You've announced to everyone that you are, in fact, making Banjo-Tooie. So why do you hiddenly insist that you only might be working on it? This has been nagging me for months now, but I've been too lazy to sit on my knackered arse and write about it to you. Also, I have another word that I think most of you people would enjoy. It's 'w*nker'. This would be a... uh... Well, if I say it, I probably won't get posted, so... Um... I won't say it. But Leigh, you can tell them, 'cause you won't get in trouble for it.

From a very mental child,


Rare Says:

I think I probably would get in trouble, actually. As for the main point of your letter, Banjo-Tooie's clearly not in italics, look: Banjo-Tooie. Well, alright, it is in italics, but only because the rest of the paragraph is as well. But it's also bold, and has been since it was confirmed as a Rare game in production (or at least that's the theory - don't blame me if I've buggered it up in the past).

* * *

Dear Scribes,

Okay. I was fine and dandy, I came home, and logged onto Rarewhere. I saw that Donkey Kong 64 now had an official story! I ran around frantically for a few minutes, and sat down to read it. It's incredible. Finally, K. Rool gets revenge for the Kongs destroying Crocodile Isle twice! But wait! You've created a cast list for us! I read Donkey and Diddy's excerpts, drooling all over my keyboard. I get to Tiny.

Don't get her confused with big sister Dixie of DKC2 and 3 fame.

I just about vomited. How could you possibly conceive something so idiotic? Look: There is only one possibility for Tiny's species: Tamarin. Look at Tiny's eyes. They are separated. Dixie's eyes are connected. Tiny has very small ears, while Dixie has big ka-honker ears, trying to hide behind golden bead earrings. And finally, their size. Tiny is too small to be even considered as a monkey. Obviously, she has to be a smaller species, and a Tamarin would suit her quite nicely.

I read Lanky's little ditty, with no complaints. You even gave him four fingers like Mankey Kong in DKC, to prove the species stability.

But now, we're at Chunky. Oy.

Older brother to DKC3 co-star Kiddy...

Okay, there are so many things wrong with this, I don't know where to begin. Kiddy is a baboon. Chunky is not. Why? Chunky has four fingers. Kiddy has five. Same species do NOT have different numbers of digits! Might I suggest a Bonobo for Chunky's species? Obviously, it's the only one large enough, and still supporting his characteristics.

So you see, adding those relative thing-o's in the Cast List section was a big mistake on your part, Mr. Loveday, and I hope you correct it immediately.

Chad McCanna

Rare Says:

Hey pal, I just work with the material I'm given, know what I'm sayin'? And I hope you're not really as slippy in the head as you sound and this entire letter is just one big irony-tastic jape (though I doubt even that would have done anything to brighten the ugly, dead-eyed stares I got from the entire DK64 team while attempting to present them with your 'concerns').

* * *

Dear Scribes,

Here are two observations.

1. "Rareware" can be typed using only the left hand. Heck, it only uses 4 keys. I find this quite amazing.

2. You might want to take the "PD Delay Announcement" off of "Currently Hot". Trust me, it's certainly not hot news, that is, when it was annouced people didn't say "Wow! PD delayed! This will mean a better game in the long run! Hurrah for Rare!". It was a little more like "(Censored)!!! Those (Censored) (Censored) Brits! I will (Censored) bomb the (Censored)(Censored)(Censored) UK and (Censored) kill that annoying Conker the (Censored) Squirrel! (Censored)!"

Hey, I'm all for the PD delay (better game) but the only thing hot about the news would be the temperature of the gaming population's blood as it quickly began to boil. The DK screenshot was "hot", the JFG revamp was "hot", this just makes people angry.

Jesse Rimler

Rare Says:

1. It's not that amazing when you take into account that three letters from the second half of the word are a direct repetition of three letters from the first half of the word. Sorry to be so brutally scientific about it.

2. It's 'hot' in the sense of 'new and of some interest', not necessarily 'really good'. Which is why I never bother including Scribes updates under the 'Currently Hot' tag, as I could probably get taken to court for trying to claim that Scribes was ever 'of some interest', let alone 'really good'.

* * *

Dear Scribes,

Jet Force Gemini. Honestly at first I didn't like this game, I trashed it. What a Sean Williamson I was, let me tell you. This game is an enthralling, immaculate piece of art. If you are reading this and you have any doubts about getting this game, don't think twice. Get it now, after about 2 hours the genius unfolds. Rare has done it again and this game without a doubt will sit beside your Goldeneye and Banjo-Kazooie and porno movies with prestige. Thank you Rare. Thank you thank you thank you. Quality first always, I can't believe I ever thought you'd let us down. I was feeling quite low when I picked up this game but it's filled me with absolute gameplaying joy. By the way are you the voice of the girl in the game, Leigh Lovelace?
P.S. I can't wait for Honkey Kong64.

Rare Says:

Stop it. I was approached to do voice samples for Mr. Pants, but I didn't feel that I was worthy of even attempting to fill the big man's shoes. If he had any. Which he hasn't, because then he'd be Mr. Shoes. Oh God, no - you can get rid of that
Mr. Shoes 64 mock-up right now, okay?

Glad you liked Jet Force, anyway. It turned out pretty much as we'd hoped, so it's good to see the old trooper getting some positive word-of-mouth.
PS. Give us a chance to finish
Wan- (No. - The Management)

* * *

Dear Scribes,

Perfect Dark delayed ... Conker undergoing radical redesign ... no details whatsoever on Banjo-Tooie ... countless letters devoted to Game Name Theorem.

A little deduction swiftly reveals the connection. Here is a brief description of the reworked titles:

Conker Instinct: Woodland creatures with evil red eyes and bulging muscles fight to the death in the AcornTech Finals. Watch for the highly touted emotional range of the character's faces, which can display rage, hatred, fury, wrath, and berserk psychosis.

Perfect Tooty: Shadowy intelligence agency sends their deadliest cartoon bear-child to thwart the plans of sinister aliens. Let's just hope she doesn't conform to the exaggerated ursine stereotypes so common to today's videogames.

Banjo-Kadarkie: Character team of slow-witted bear with femme-fatale spy in his knapsack makes for unprecedented gameplay. Carries an "M" rating due to the rear egg-firing graphics.

One shudders to think what will become of these names on the Japanese market. Longtime readers may remember that the Japanese name for Banjo-Kazooie is Super Rural Twanging Device with Vibration Flute. Other examples of Japanese names for Rare games include:

Killer Instinct: Murderous Knowledge from Within

Goldeneye: Adventures of the British Espionage-Men

Diddy Kong Racing: Super Super Monkey Driver!

Donkey Kong 64: Fantastic Ape Trek

Jet Force Gemini: Turbo Twinstar Saga Story Quest

Blast Corps: Blast Corps
Mr. Porto, better known in the Land of the Rising Sun as Porto-san

Rare Says:

GoldenEye's designer notes that "it was actually called
Calm Down, Mr. Brosnan, but he didn't appear to be listening." Meanwhile, as you probably know by now, Jet Force will be going under the moniker of Star Twins in Japan - bit close to the bone there, weren't you?

* * *

Dear Scribes,

Most of the things that you say are always correct, but I can't help saying: "Of course there are 4 members of the Blast Corps team, and Amber IS one", plus she does have really annoying lines, but I hardly think HDudeMan has even a slightly remote possibility of a feasible conspiracy on his hands, or whatever he cares to lay it on.

Also that Nhoj bloke was worrying me until you replied back. Complex is to me, and my 3 mates' most bestest, favouritest level ever, because it's the most interesting, has four (I think) illusionary walls and is just more... COMPLEX than any of the others.
Paul Morris

Rare Says:

Sigh. I
know there are four members of the Blast Corps team. I was doing this thing called 'lying' in order to perpetuate a comical misunderstanding. It obviously worked, then.

* * *

Dear Scribes,

So. JFG, huh?

Dave and Barry, huh? What did these guys do to get a racing game named after them?

Just one Mizar token a play, too, huh? Obviously, American influence hasn't hit Mizar's domain, where the games cost a whole dollar to play. Geez.

So, no cage dancers at the Big Bug Fun Club, either? Makes sense, given the fact that these guys are spawned and there is no, how shall I put this, mojo going on, eh baby? Eh? Wink wink? Nudge nudge?

Where was I?

Anyhoo, JFG's dead good. Insert "Oh, cheers." here. This is why I keep coming back to you guys. You can take a serious war, saving planets, killing gross bugs, and then you pull a funky dance club out of your arse, and kick the hilarity up several notches.

'Kay. That's all I had to say. So, just go on home now. Go on.
Scott Zdankiewicz

Rare Says:

Oh, cheers. Who's Dave?

I'm sure we could have squeezed some nubile, gyrating Drone lasses into the Big Bug Fun Club if we'd really wanted to, but there was no sense in attracting more censorship than strictly necessary (I'm still bitter at having to tone down Diamond Geezer's authentic Cockney patter - "Sorry guv, I'll be needing a Lady Godiva before I can help you out" - and some of Fernando's more enthusiastic praise for the Specialist Magazine).

* * *

Dear Scribes,

Okay. I know that I (still) really am e-mailing you far too much, but I can't think of anyone else that this poem becomes even slightly relevant to. Yes, I was bored and so, having had the poem "The Green Eye of the Yellow God" running around in my head all night (cultural insommnia, such a pain) and having read one too many Scribes in one sitting, I had no choice but to combine the two to get the bloody thing out of my brain. So here it is. Sorry I couldn't think of a more original title.

The GoldenEye of the Yellow God

There's a secret Rare-built hideout to the north of Twycross Zoo,
There's an old, forgotten farmhouse near the town.
There's a bored, sarcastic Welshman who reads Scribes,
and does Tusk too,
And Kenneth Lobb forever gazes down.

He was known as SirSlush2 by the 'subs' at Khatmandu,
He was dafter than they felt inclined to tell,
But for all his foolish letters, he wanted to go one better,
Until Pipsy the mouse smiled on him as well.

She was nearly two-point-one, and plans had begun,
to celebrate her birthday with a ball,
He wrote to ask what present she would like from SirSlush2.
They met next day as he sat there in the park,
And jestingly she told him that nothing else would do
'cept for the beta of the new game, Perfect Dark.

The night before the dance, SirSlush2 seemed in a trance
They chafed him as he played with Pipsy's car.
But for once he failed to smile and he sat alone a while
Then went out into the dark beneath the stars.

He returned before the dawn, with his jeans and t-shirt torn,
A gash across his forehead dripping red.
He was sent to bed right away, and he slept throughout the day,
And a worried Pipsy sat beside his bed.

He awoke at last and asked, if they could send his PC through,
She brought it and he thanked her with a bark.
He bade her search the hard drive, saying 'that's from SirSlush2'
And she found the beta ROM of Perfect Dark.

She scolded SirSlush2, in the odd way that mice do,
Though both her eyes were strangely big and wet.
But she wouldn't take the ROM, and SirSlush2 was left struck dumb,
With the Rare game that he'd chanced his life to get.

When the ball was at its height, on that still and tropic night,
She thought of him, and hastened to his site.
As she crossed the Twycross square, she could hear the dreamy air
Of a waltz tune softly stealing through the night.

The door was opened wide, with silver moonlight shining through,
The place was wet and slippery where she trod.
An ugly knife lay buried in the head of SirSlush2,
T'was the vengeance of designer, D. Botwood.

There's a secret Rare-built hideout to the north of Twycross Zoo,
There's an old, forgotten farmhouse near the town.
There's a bored, sarcastic Welshman who reads Scribes,
and does Tusk too,
And Kenneth Lobb forever gazes down.

By Chris Allcock
(With apologies to J. Milton Hayes - and SirSlush2)

Still, as long as someone reads it and appreciates it before SirSlush2 tracks me down and butchers me horribly, I can die happy. Enjoy.

Chris Allcock
P.S. Ooh, ohh! I knew I had a question, as well. If Nintendo have their own in-house testers, when it comes to testing a game, doesn't that mean that copies of the ROM are flitting backwards and forwards overseas? Surely that would take a long time, and be a bit risky in terms of security? Or do you fly the whole of the 'Super Mario Club' over to Birmingham Airport, pack 'em all in a minibus and smuggle them all into Twycross?

Rare Says:

Very fine, sir. The amount of time and effort put into it is quite... disturbing. I'll refrain from posting the original for comparison just in case anyone gets arsey about it: there are plenty of other places to find it on the Web should any of you feel so inclined.

Now do one for
The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock. Go on.
PS. Cybernetically-enhanced carrier pigeons, mate. Salt of the earth. Don't know where we'd be without 'em.

* * *


This is getting way out of hand...

October X Snippets Special

Tuesday, October 12, 1999

Ask Uncle Tusk: October 12, 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).

* * *

October 12, 1999

* * *


Here are some fine questions for you to answer.

1: Will PD have a smooth framerate? This is extremely important to a game's playability and I don't care if you have to throw in the expansion pack. Give us a decent framerate! I know that JFG suffers from this problem.

2: Since we all know that you guys love StarWars, isn't it time you contacted Lucasarts and developed one? Come on, it would sell 100 million copies straight away?

3: What happened to your "older" characters? I mean Rare wouldn't have gotten to its position today if it weren't for the Battletoads for example. What happened to those frogs? We are many who wants them back. I mean nothing forces Rare to make ONLY cute platform games. And why not a Cobra Triangle game? (Think
WaveRace64 with speedboats, seamonsters, rockets and terrorists.) Snake Rattle 'n Roll had a bunch of fans too. And RC Pro Am is still one off my all time favourites.

4: Why did they make agent: Perfect Dark a girl? Not that I don't like it but why? Did you try to make some sort off Lara Croft clone or did you want to make something different than Bond? I know a lot off people would have preferred a Solid Snake kind off hero.

5: I liked the levels in Bond when Natalya and you cooperated like the jungle level. Will such things be in PD too? One off the greatest things about Starwing/Lylatwars is that you get the feeling that you belong to a team and that you help each other out. Imagine the other agent covering you while you run towards the enemy's hideout.

6: I would like to see more close combat weapons such as knifes and thin "strangling" lines for silent kills. Play "Tenchu" on Playstation to get the idea?

7: What kind off music will PD have? "Spy" music like Bond or perhaps classic like Starwars? I would prefer something like Bladerunner or The Fifth Element to give the game a more darker, epic feel. Since Joanna travels around the globe on a big adventure and unfolds a mystery off some sorts I think that would be suiting.

8: I love the sinister AI in Half-Life. I would like the enemys to sneak up on you and launch stealth attacks. I mean to always surprise the enemies can get a bit boring after a while.

Ok. Thanks for yer time.
Kid Cool.

Uncle Tusk replies:
And how many people call you 'Kid Cool', exactly? Wouldn't be just you, would it?

1. Enough people took issue with the framerate in GoldenEye to make the team prioritise it for PD. And as it happens JFG's framerate isn't half as bad as some wusses have made it out to be - it was certainly never considered a major problem here during development.

2. 100 million, eh? Fancy a job as an industry analyst, boy genius?

3. Nothing 'happened' to them. They're always there if we get really stuck.

4. That's because they have no imagination - believe me, I know how vicious women can be. By the way, the word is 'of'.

5. The scope of your imagination leaves me reeling.

6. You'd rather we ripped off someone else's game ideas than came up with our own?

7. 'Spy' music? With a sci-fi theme? That'd be ridiculous. Our idea of remixing a selection of classic Black Lace party numbers seemed far more appropriate.

8. Thanks for sharing. Now get out of here before I lamp you one.

* * *


My 7 year old son and I are stuck trying to defeat the swamp fiend. We can't appear to defeat him by shooting, hitting or stomping. Can you provide me information on how we can defeat this fiend?

Peter Overas

Uncle Tusk replies:
Being 7 years old is one excuse. What's yours? Look, it's simple: get your psychotic squirrel up close to the shadow that shows where the boss is lurking, dodge the hand as it breaks the surface, then quickly stomp it while it's out in the open and vulnerable. What could be simpler? Apart from you.

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

Firstly I'd like to say that I don't mind waiting for Perfect Dark to be released as I know that you usually delay games for a good reason that benefits the games player. Also releasing it in April is a killer move as there are never any good games out then so it will clean up. Ignore all the abusive mail (usually from Americans who wouldn't know English if you hit them over the head with a copy of Roget's Thesaurus) and just keep doing what you do best which is make great games.

Ok enough sucking up. I have a couple of questions about Donkey Kong 64.

1) The game is set to retail for £60 English sterling with the expansion pak. As I already have an expansion pak (an official Nintendo one) will the game also sell without one for people like myself for the normal £40?

2) I heard that when playing the game you will be able to unlock the original arcade version of the game so is this true, and if it is do you have to go back to the same place every time, or is a new menu available on the start screen?

Thanks for your time,
PS. When will we see some screenshots of someone who has mapped their face into Perfect Dark?
PPS. May I suggest that you be the first victim errr.... volunteer for this.

Uncle Tusk replies:
Fantastic logic there. Like releasing a decent game at any time of the year other than Xmas is just unheard of. Sigh.

1) Dunno. Not our area, mate. We just concentrate on getting the games finished while Nintendo handles the business side of things. So we'll all have to wait and see.

2) You have to go back to where you find the arcade machine, obviously. Otherwise it wouldn't fit in with the gritty realism prevalent throughout the rest of the game.
PS. How should I know? Waiting until the game's out would be a start.
PPS. May I suggest that you be the first volunteer to run into my fist.

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

As you can see, I'm really looking forward to when Perfect Dark comes out, and I want that game to be Perfect, and I know that you do not have the power to make things come true in PD (that, is the programmers job). So I want you to go and get someone from the Perfect Dark/Goldeneye team, and answer this questions (please, I beg you! This is my second letter to you, and you didn't reply on my first letter, and it would be very bad for you if you forgot this letter):

1. How many levels will there be in Perfect Dark? Will there be more or less levels than in Goldeneye? Will there be secret levels?

2. Can you make the Rare logo appear on some of the weapons and gadgets? It would make the game even better.

3. Is there some kind of a minigun in the game? Like the one in "The Matrix" movie?

4. Will there be a 3rd person view, like in "Metal Gear Solid" (it was for the PSX)? Can you make it so that the game changes to a 3rd person view when you are standing with your back against the wall, and there's a guard around the corner? And then, the game switches back to the 1st person view when you're running towards the guard! :)

5. Will there be secret spots on the levels? A secret room where Mr. Pants is sprayed on the wall would be pretty funny.

That's all folks, and please, answer this somewhere important. And just to keep this letter long, I've added an idea about how to make the jump feature available:

You see, when you are standing still, the "R" button on the controller is for aiming, right? And when you are running, the "R" button changes to be a jump button. How is that possible? You might ask, but since the game is released after the 3rd world war, you will have plenty of time to make this feature available. And remember, from Goldeneye, when you ran forward, the "R" button did slow you down when you pressed it, in Perfect Dark, you can jump with it! You can also jump sideways, instead of leaning around the corners like you did in Goldeneye. You run sideways either pressing Left-c or Right-c, and while holding one of the buttons, you press "R", and then you make a Tomb Raider style of jump sideways, and in the 1st person view, the whole screen will roll around! That would be awesome! And while jumping, it's easier to avoid being shot by guards, and the multiplayer would be as fun as well! But you will have the choice to have it on or off.

Well, I hope I gave you Rare people some ideas to make Perfect Dark better, and it's all up to you to print this letter, and show it to the Perfect Dark project manager.
0yvind Soroy, Norway

Uncle Tusk replies:
"You can have it on or off", eh? Always nice to be given the choice. But anyway. You do realise that should PD get delayed again, it'd be all your fault for expecting the designer to take time out from his furious schedule just to answer your petty demands? Honestly.

"1) Somewhere around 17; work it out for yourself; play it and find out.

"2) Hard to see how, exactly.

"3) No, but there is one like in the
Predator movie. Or maybe there isn't.

"4) No. If we wanted to make the game intentionally confusing, we'd have the controls flip around at random moments.

"5) It's been done before..."
(No it hasn't. Shush. - Tusk)

"Get away with your jumping ideas. A gentleman walks wherever he goes. I can tell that you're one of those foreign types."

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

I'll keep this short and to the point. First, Will the multiplayer drones in Perfect Dark be smarter than the ones in single player? Have the ability to circle strafe intelligently, work in groups, etc..

Second, will the drones view be shown on the screen, so there will still be a split screen? If so, that would really hurt.

And Jim the Evil Postman and WallEye both suck. 1:21 and 1:15 are slow. I got 1:05 and world record is 1:04, both with proof, no cheats.
P.S. Sean Williamson sucks.
P.P.S. Rareware rules!!

Uncle Tusk replies:
Oi! There's no getting away just yet, Designer Boy.

"1) No, they'll stand around dribbling, requesting beta GoldenEye cartridges until they're blown limb from limb by large explosions. We found this mode strangely satisfying.

"2) No.
"P.S. But he doesn't do it very well. Allegedly.
"P.P.S. I'll pass that one on to merchandising."

'Rareware rocks' would have been better. Particularly for pelting at idiots' heads.

* * *

Dear Uncle who I never visit,

1. Recently, it was hinted that Mr. Pants would make an appearance in JFG... What evil have you unleashed?

2. I think it was a good idea to delay PD, but what do you do, Tusk, to people who just won't stop whining about it?

3. Have you ever gotten a letter that DOESN'T contain the word "arse"?

4. Do you get "The Simpsons" on T.V. over there in Britain? (God help you if you don't know who the Simpsons are.)

Urkel (Paul Genge)
PS. Should I assume that Mr. Pants' last name is "Pants"? If so, then what's his first name?
PPS. I forgot to say "arse"... wait, no I didn't.
PPPS. I DO think that having people with names like 'Funkatator' write in is likely to prompt a sudden screenshot explosion from the Banjo-Tooie team.
PPPPS. Why do so many people send in letters to you that have a "PS"?

Uncle Tusk replies:
1. Don't blame me. Things just got out of control.

2. I ignore them, because they smell of urine and I'm above that kind of petty squabbling.

3. Not a good one, no. Mind, I've never got a good letter.

4. I would imagine even Lichtenstein gets that one.

PS. As if I'd tell you. That's the stuff competitions are made of.
PPS. Great. Thanks.
PPPS. You're clearly wrong, and stupid.
PPPPS. Because they think that by irritating me they may earn themselves a colourful description of whatever physical punishment I intend to exercise on their loathsome hides. And to be fair, they're usually right.

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

Now, I don't mean to be a knit-picker, but I have a few knits about the JFG team that I feel simply must be picked:

1. Juno has full body armor and a helmet. Vela has a short skirt, short sleeves, and no helmet. Wouldn't this make her more vulnerable in battle? And don't tell me she doesn't need a helmet because she's more 'headstrong'.

2. If those bootlaces of theirs are as high-tech as they look, then why do they come undone so easily? Or were Juno and Vela just careless when buckling them?

3. If Juno and Vela are twins, then how come their eyes aren't the same color?

I was planning on buying this game, but unless you can sufficiently clear up these apparent inconsistencies, I'm afraid I will have no choice but to... err... buy it anyway.
Jason Hunt
P.S. Oh, and one more question: Is Vela's hair naturally blue or does she diet?

Uncle Tusk replies:

1. How do you know she hasn't got titanium legs?

2. They're both far too hard to worry about that sort of thing.

3. I don't believe all pairs of twins necessarily have the same colour eyes, though I'm sure there's some smug pleb out there somewhere who'll be only too pleased to correct me on that score and earn him/herself a sound kicking into the bargain.
PS. Hey, you're the one who's obsessed with the length of her skirt, not me.

* * *

Hej Uncle Tusk,

I took the liberty to use a Swedish phrase instead of the common "Dear" and "Hi" phrases that you Britts use. Now to the point. I have a question about GoldenEye or rather a required confirmation about a "thing" in GoldenEye. Again to the point. In the Dam level when you are about to jump from the platform you should use your Sniper Rifle with maximum zoom and look at the mountain or the peak/top on the right side of you and move your sight up or down, you should then see that the mountain follows your movements. If you do this at the side of the mountain you can clearly see that a straight edge appears between the moving mountain and the "ordinary" mountains. But if you move too much up in the sky the mountain won't continue to follow you. Is it supposed to be like this or is it just a "programmers mistake"?

Would be happy to get an answer!
Martin Enmark

Uncle Tusk replies:
Is this all you have to do with your time? I mean, really? Let's see how the designer responds to being dragged away from the hectic last leg of PD's development to answer this most uncompromisingly useless of questions:

"What do you think? Do mountains normally do that sort of thing?"

Quite restrained really, bless him.

* * *

Dear Mr. Tusk:

Since I unlocked all the multiplayer characters in Goldeneye a couple years ago, I have always chosen Scientist #2. No particular reason, I just always have. Now my friends won't let me play as Scientist #2, because they say it's shorter than the rest. I thought just Oddjob, Moonraker Elite #2, and Rosika were short. Can you give me a listing from shortest to tallest of all the players?

Thank you,
Bryan Chastain

Uncle Tusk replies:
No. I can ask the designer, but I wouldn't hold out much hope there either:

"If you experimented with setting up games, standing the characters together, then making a table of relative heights and consulting it whenever such disputes occurred, then you would get a far greater sense of achievement than if you simply read this reply to find your answer, partially because of pride in the work involved, and partially because I'm not going to tell you."

* * *

Hello... Tusk. It's been a long time... brother of mine.

Before you gasp, yes, I am Turok, your biological brother. I may be a polygon from Iguana and you from Rare, but you can't deny the truth. I am your brother.

Before you attempt to bash me, please realize that your sword is nothing compared to my Tek Arrows. And I can shove your head so far up your arse that you can't see the light of day. And I hunt dinosaurs, while you remain just killing humans.

But I'm not here to brag, I just wanted to tell you that the biannual family barbeque is coming up, and we are having an alligator wrestling contest, if you'd like to come. You can bring Maya, too.Besides, we have to see each other eventually, don't we????

Uncle Tusk replies:

You're not my brother. No brother of mine would ever use AOL. And no self-respecting alligator would lower itself to the consumption of AOL users either, which makes the whole alligator-wrestling gig a bit redundant. Thanks, but I think we'll pass. Though I might send Auntie Gertie round to bore you rigid with that story about the time she killed six T-Rex with a cocktail stick.

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

Can you please tell me the storyline of Banjo-Tooie. I think your website is awesome! I am about to pee in my pants waiting for Banjo-Tooie. I think this is going to be a legacy pair of video games!

Uncle Tusk replies:
No, go on, pee in your pants. Then we'll tell you the storyline, once we've all stopped laughing.

* * *

Hello Mr. Tusk. Blimey. Limey.

I enjoy these "Brit" words. I use them sparingly, but with great pinache. Also, I find Rare's games positively "tittlating". By this I mean I have an unusual and life-interrupting attraction to GoldenEye. So naturally, I am very interested in a little title by the name of Perfect Dark. So what's my question? Will I beg you to tell my the TRUE release date? Will I ask a question possibly answered on up to 300 other occasions? No. I have a question I nont yet seen asked. And, hopefully, you will answer it. If this involves the belittling of my sentence structure, home land and/or personal hygiene, so be it. But I must know. In 007, the wake up spots in multiplayer were not random. So, my evil hearted friend went ahead and memorized the order. FUN. While in direct skill I might have the edge, he wins 80% of the time because just I press start, I hear the wonderful music, and my screen fills with blood. Oh freaking JOY. Seriously, Perfect Dark, random wake up spots? Yes? No? Please God? Thank you for your time and ability to tear up some of the less intelligent questions that come your way. Now, I must go and see if I can remember if it's bathroom then, chemical plant, or the other way around.

Mike "I mean really, random wake up spots, how hard could it be?" Velonas

Uncle Tusk replies:
Your effortless 'pinache' 'tittlates' me to the point where I feel obliged to force a response out of GoldenEye's designer:

"They were not supposed to work in a sequence in GoldenEye, but they appear to do so. This will not be the case in Perfect Dark."

* * *

Hey Tusk,

How dumb do you think your readers are? Surely, it's quite obvious that not everyone who writes to you is a scholar, but at the same time, we're not all idiots either. In your August 19th edition of Ask Uncle Tusk, you stated that Banjo-Tooie was never scheduled to be released in 1999. Hah! Don't make me laugh... oh wait, you already did. Anyway, Banjo-Tooie most certainly WAS scheduled for a 1999 release. If you think I'm going to hunt through your site for an old edition of Ask Uncle Tusk or Scribes just to prove you wrong, well... you're absolutely right. I have no life at all and I found this link to a Scribes in which it is said that Banjo-Tooie is set for, and I quote "its heartily generalised target zone of 4th quarter '99." The word "its" refers to Banjo-Tooie's. And before you ask, yes, that was the way that the word generalized was spelled in the response. Kind of ironic, since you guys always make fun of other people's spelling errors!

Here is the link. Just scroll down to the 14th letter, which starts off with the words "I'm sooooooooooooooooooo sorry," sent in by Amanda Schroeder.

Hey, you're Rare! You don't need to lie to get better publicity! Come on, put this on your site! What, no guts?

Uncle Tusk replies:
Alright, so maybe I should have said "hasn't been scheduled for 1999 for quite some time". As you say, you'd have to be pretty anal to go hunting through the entire Scribes/Tusk archive just to prove me wrong. At least I'm not so ignorant as to pass off any non-Americanised spellings as incorrect and invalid. Not quite as clever as we'd like to think, are we, fathead?

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

Maybe we have been too hard on Sean Williamson. Maybe he's playing with an unnecessary self-imposed handicap. Perhaps we could pass along a few helpful suggestions to make sure he gets the best time he can.

1) Make sure the TV is on while you play the level. I can't stress how much of a difference this one makes.

2) Make sure there is nothing blocking your vision of the screen, like, say, a blindfold.

3) Judging from your best time, it might be helpful to note that your controller needs to be plugged in during the first 3 minutes of gameplay. Those three minutes are the most important ones. (Also note that if you use a 2 controller setup, it helps to have both plugged in.)

4) Make sure you are not heavily anesthetised while playing, as this slows your reflexes. All general anesthetics should be avoided, as well as local anesthetics in the hands.

5) The control stick is analog. This means that if you push it all the way forward, you move faster. You need to move faster than the slowest pace to beat 4:13.

6) The B button opens doors. That's the green one that says 'B' on it. Once you have this 'trick' down, you don't have to wait for the soldiers to open the doors before you can go through.

And a final level specific tip:

7) You need to break the window to leave. While in real life, you might, for all I know, routinely put your fist through plate glass windows, in this game, you have to shoot the window (multiple times--don't just shoot it once and wait three minutes for it to break).

By following these helpful suggestions, Mr. Williamson could easily get times under 2 minutes in the Archives that are still crap.

From the desk of the Head of the Society for More Effective Goldeneyeing

Uncle Tusk replies:
That's very sporting of you. Unfortunately, it seems Mr. Williamson either gave up on this fine site some time ago or simply changed his name to avoid being humiliated for his dazzling crapness. Should that be the case, we eagerly anticipate a hopeless letter from someone called 'Sean Milliamson'.

* * *

Dear Mr. Felicity Tusk,

I am at my wits' end. I have walked across my entire town, scouring every shop and floor for the elusive Blast Corps and yet there seem to be absolutely no copies left... not even in Woolworths! What's going on? Has the £15-brand-new price tag caused a national shortage of the little badgers?

Since then I have been gasping for Rare... and even went so far as to purchase Conker's Pocket Tales. Tell me... what the hell is going on in that game? I walk around, acorns tell me where to go, I solve some simple puzzle and more acorns tell me where to go, I complete the game... and so on (or maybe not). It just isn't your style.

And because of CPT, may your letters be filled with a nonsensical 6 year old's plea to 'ComPleat Domkey kong Cuntry for teh SENS'. That was a curse, y'know.

Yours uncontrollably,
Greg of the Gravy

Uncle Tusk replies:

So even though it's "simple", you still don't know "what the hell is going on"? Pleb. Blast Corps is bound to be more difficult to find these days than it was on release years ago, simply because the production runs have long since stopped. Try the second-hand shops. Then write in asking how to delete the saved game on the cartridge, no doubt. Sigh.

* * *

Hey, Tusk.

I just noticed in the "Rare Today" section of this webpage, it describes Rare's facilities:

"Featuring fully landscaped grounds, a state-of-the-art internal climate management system and, vitally, much more free space to house the ever-increasing body of staff..."

So, how much does do the bodies of the staff increase on average? I mean, sitting around staring at a computer screen and coming up with game concepts (overheard: "Two squirrels! YES! THAT will catch the attention of today's serious gamer!") does not require much physical activity... how much does the staff size increase, in terms of S-M-L-XL-XXL?

Ah, I couldn't resist.

Uncle Tusk replies:
I bet you couldn't, you comedy genius. And keep that two squirrels thing to yourself, alright? We're not announcing it until next year.

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

Hello to you, "my old soup spoon, my old silver tureen... my old elephant TUSK, my little green baize card table..." in the words of some (hopefully not forgotten) British writer.

Having nothing else to do until Perfect Dark comes out, I'm playing your most pants game to date, Blast Corps. And I am stuck on every mission that requires the use of the Sideswipe.

Not that I expect you to reply to that (that would be very boring indeed) but just to justify me sending you this letter. In fact, the real reason I sent you this letter is somewhat more devious: in the past, I once sent you a letter that didn't include any questions about tips for games - and you printed it! Customer service eat your heart out. So, now I'm banking on that fact in the hopes that you'll print this letter as well for your rapidly dwindling readership.

Oh all right, I'm lying. I really want to know how to do a few unusual things in Goldeneye: I'd like to be able to rip off Bond's arm and use it as a club, I'd like to be able to open the missile silo roof in the Silo mission, and I'd like to be able to activate the cheat for extra players (I got one code from the web, but it was a dud and didn't work). All of these are mentioned in the Rumour Mill for Goldeneye, and I don't know how to do them.

I'm probably sounding very ambitious in expecting you to answer these yourself, so why not just make a snide comment, post this letter up, and also include for the record that I'm happy to receive emails from other more accomplished Goldeneye players? Go on, and remember that I'm marking your response for wit, sarcasm, and vitriol.

Seriously though, anybody else out there care to enlighten me? My email address is always ready to receive. (Except Thursday evenings, when I'm out for sensuous massage and power tarot card readings.)
CdVile (

PS If this gets printed, I will A) not believe it and probably have a baby, and B) take back everything I ever said about men who wear poncey Y-fronts such as yourself.
PPS "There is a green hill far away / Without a city wall. / Where Badge-man shot at Jay-Eff-Kay / Atop a Grassy Knoll."

Uncle Tusk replies:
Even though only thick people still don't know how to get the extra GoldenEye characters, I'm not sure whether we've actually tackled it here before, so I'll indulge you. Thicky.

Get onto the character select screen, highlight the character furthest to the right (either Mishkin or Moonraker Elite, depending on whether or not you've earned the previous lot of extra characters), and enter the following:

1) Hold L & R shoulder buttons and tap C Left.

2) Hold L shoulder button and tap C Up.

3) Hold L & R shoulder buttons and tap D-Pad left.

4) Hold L shoulder button and tap D-Pad right.

5) Hold R shoulder button and tap D-Pad down.

6) Hold L & R shoulder buttons and tap C Left.

7) Hold L shoulder button and tap C Up.

8) Hold L & R shoulder buttons and tap D-Pad right.

9) Hold L & R shoulder buttons and tap C Down.

10) Hold L shoulder button and tap D-Pad down.

There you go. A load of Rare staffers and otherwise unused characters for you to slaughter in multiplayer. For all your other questions, just follow the Game Help link from the GoldenEye page and if you don't find what you're after within five minutes, let me know and I'll come round to bounce your head off the floor a few times.

[Arscribes note: since the “Game Help” link on the Goldeneye page just leads to the Gamefaqs page on Goldeneye, here it is, if you’re at all interested.]

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Dear Uncle Tusk,

The other day we had small visitors to the house. The two year old flushed the plastic freshener (that's attached to the rim of the toilet) down the toilet. Since than the toilet is blocked. I've tried everything from sticking rods down to trying to flush it out with buckets of water. Can you suggest anything?

Kind regards,
Orla Richardson

Uncle Tusk replies:
Just sticking any old pole down the toilet's no good - if you don't have a handy five-foot broadsword readily available, as every household should, I'm afraid your only remaining course of action is to destroy your entire house with a wrecking ball, scour the smoking rubble for the offending item, then rebuild everything from scratch using only wallpaper paste and a box of plasters (sorry, 'band-aid').

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Hiya Rare Legends...

('cept Tusk - Jago should answer these questions... Or Sabrewulf?!)

S.H is right - B-K does have a great soundtrack. We should be able to order the soundtrack CD off your site. And other promotional things. Where can I obtain the B-K soundtrack? I want it. No, really. Also, who thought up Mr. Pants? Why isn't he starring in a game? Mr Pants Racing? The Legend of Pants?

Super Pants 64? Pants Party? Perfect Pants? OK, I'll take my medication.

Just a couple of quick questions.

1. Any clues WHATSOEVER as to Banjo-Tooie's release date other than the "next year" you'll undoubtedly give me? (Early/Late next year perhaps???)

2. Perfect Dark's multiplayer had better be better than GE's. There'll be death and destruction all around if it isn't. (You'd be used to that!!!) So, is it? (BE honest.)

Oh, and by the way, Betty Brown's stupid question (AUT August 19) about not being able to get through the door was most likely (I'd bet my life on it) Zelda. Which isn't even a Rare game (Why not? We want a Rare RPG. Just not starring Loggo or some furry thing.) It sounds like a room inside the Deku Tree, and what
she has to do is light up a torch using a Deku Stick.Huge Goldeneye / Future Perfect Dark Fan

Uncle Tusk replies:
1. I'm saying nothing - the last thing I want is another bunch of idiots writing in at the beginning of January to say "Oooh, you promised us Banjo-Tooie would be out by now, ooh, I hate you etc."

2. Dunno. But I can't shake the nagging suspicion that if anyone knows how to improve on GoldenEye's multiplayer, it's likely to be the Perfect Dark team. "And Erik Estrada from
CHiPs," adds the designer unnecessarily.

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My sweet Uncle Tusk,

First off, you guys have a grrrrreat site man! Anywho, my question deals with Rare beyond its N64 days. I'm sitting here, pondering of what spectacular eye-candy a Killer Instinct game woud look like on the Dolphin. I mean, it makes TOO much sense that RARE needs a visually arousing incredible game as their debut title for the Dolphin. I believe that the planets are aligned for Killer Instinct 3 to be RARE's debut title for next year. Why you ask? well, it would seem logical to me that RARE would need a game that would have an already established fanbase, and seeing how DK is coming out late this year, and

Banjo-Tooie is coming out next year... I don't see why RARE doesn't get ambitious and go for the gold... er, go for the 3.

What do you think about this? Do you think we'll see a sequel to an already established RARE franchise as their debut title for the Dolphin... Battletoads? R.C. ProAm? Or will RARE be pulling a newborn rabbit out of its ass? Thanx for attempting to answer.

Peace, Love, and Trilinear Mip-Map Interpolation,
Tony "the" Nyger

Uncle Tusk replies:
I wouldn't put money on Battletoads or RC Pro-Am, but you're obviously going to see some of the established Rare characters and franchises carried over. Naming no names, because I haven't got any names to name - and if you don't believe that, I'll be more than happy to enforce it with violence.

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Dear Uncle Tusk,

I would just like to make you aware of a conspiracy that exists at Rare. It has come to my attention that Diddy Kong is inherently evil. I will present you with the most obvious proof first. This proof directly ties Diddy Kong to the communist party.

As I am sure you have noticed, Diddy wears nothing but red clothes. You might see this and say, "So, many people wear red clothes." However, I would direct you to the fact that Diddy has a star on the front of his shirt! Red... star, star... red, need I say more. The subtlety with which he shows his loyalty to his red brothers clearly proves his skill as a double agent for the KGB, which in fact is not dead as certain people would have us believe.

Let's think about the nature of the plot line for Donkey Kong Country 2. If you read the manual it implies that Donkey was kidnapped by the Kremlings (communist spies working out of the Kremlin). I find this very fact somewhat implausible. Donkey Kong pretty much single handedly defeated the Kremlings in the first game. Now all of a sudden he is easily captured by them. I don't buy this. Here is what I think happened. Diddy and Donkey were relaxing on a beach one day. Diddy most likely sent some type of a signal to his Kremling co-horts indicating the plot about to occur. Diddy then drugged the banana cocktail Donkey was most likely drinking, incapacitating the great gorilla. The amount of the drug that must have been used had to have been very large, given the massive bulk of Donkey. For Donkey not to notice that his entire drink was essentially a drug, had to have taken much experimentation and testing. Therefore I have come to the conclusion that Diddy had been in fact planning this for quite some time, no doubt with the help of his red Kremling comrades. With Donkey out of the way he has no problem taking over the game in his name and stealing all of the limelight for himself!

Something else I would like to point out is the tie that Donkey Kong wears. A tie has always been for me the traditional symbol, of hard work and capitalism. Diddy with his red... star shirt was without a doubt very jealous of his tie and therefore wanted revenge.

Finally, if all of the other proof did not convince you then this final piece of information will certainly open your eyes to the conspiracy. I bring to your attention the Donkey Kong family. If you will notice all of the members of the Kong family are Gorillas... except for Donkey's nephew Diddy! Clearly there is a great deal of brainwashing going on. The Communist conspiracy has brainwashed the entire Kong family in an attempt to allow Diddy to infiltrate this family. With all of this evidence I hope you can clearly see the conspiracy that has been going on for quite some time now. I would like to therefore respectfully request that Diddy Kong be removed from Donkey Kong 64 once and for all ending a communist conspiracy to overthrow our very way of life. Thank You.

Respectfully Yours,
Uncle Darth
P.S. I would recommend that you all go out now and put on tin foil hats. I don't think you're ready for the mind controlling tactics of the Battletoads yet! Just heed my warning!

Uncle Tusk replies:
Hey - I hardly ever bother wearing anything more than these furry pants and boots. Does that make me the Antichrist? I'm sure you could link it all together one way or another.

If you read the DKC2 storyline, you'll see that Diddy was off somewhere with Dixie when DK vanished, whereas Cranky had no such alibi - in fact he's seen to launch an unprovoked walking stick attack on DK not long before the big ape gets himself captured, making him... hang on. Am I really trying to defend a chimp against charges of communism? I wish I'd known this job would be so damn freaky before I took it.

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Dear Uncle Tusk,

Is it true that there is a mission after Egyption on Goldeneye??? I've read that it's called Eiffel Tower and you chase Mayday and she parachutes off a building. You also can watch the movie Thunderball right from the cartridge. Is this true??????????

The way to get this mission is you have to beat every mission again using ONLY the weapon you start with, which is impossible on Archives because you have to use a gun to destroy the windows and on Control Room you have to use mines for the mainframes. If you beat all the missions with only the weapon you start with, you then put the aimer over Egyption on the mission select screen and restart the console, then you have a choice to watch Thunderball and play Eiffel Tower. If you beat Eiffel Tower, you then get a mission called Woods, with Oddjob......IS THIS TRUE???????????? PLEASE answer!!!

I must know!!! And is there a mission simply called "Cuba"? Not Jungle, Cuba. I have a Gameshark code that when you select any mission with the code on, it goes to the objectives screen, but there's nothing there except the location of the mission, the name of the mission and it then freezes, what's that about? I've actually tried this, so something must be going on.......Thanx!!!

Uncle Tusk replies:
Please - don't thank me. You have nothing to thank me for. In fact thanking me is positively perverse, considering I'm on my way round to ram a filing cabinet up your arse.