Monday, November 29, 1999

Ask Uncle Tusk: November 29, 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).

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November 29, 1999

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Hello Uncle Tusk!

First of all I wanted to commend you on your new title Jet Force Gemini. I never expected this game to be so captivating and FUN!!!! :) I have been focused on your upcoming PERFECT DARK game and thought that JFG might be a nice interim game to keep me entertained... Well, as I said, it has been a real pleasure to play with one frustrating exception: At this point in time I have nearly completed the game and have retrieved all the spaceship parts and Tribals in all the levels with the exception of the Floyd mission on the SS Anubis.

I have tried this mission at least 50 times now and no matter how fast I seem to finish (best time 1:05:60 I never win anything more than a bronze medal. I did win a Silver medal on one attempt but since then I have bested that time yet only received the Bronze medal?

My question is probably obvious at this point... How the hell do you win the GOLD medal in this mission? What is the winning time to shoot for? The Players Guide says nothing about that. It seems that getting the ear plugs is a vital element to finishing the game yet at this point I feel I am in danger of giving up since I don't seem to be able to get through this level any faster than the best time above no matter how hard I try. Could there be a problem with my game cartridge or something? I consider myself to be resonably proficient at these high speed types of tasks (I beat the Mizar racing game (1st place) on my second attempt.)

Looking forward to your reply.

Thanks a million!



Rick Vartian

Uncle Tusk replies:
Is that a real name or a 'hip' pseudonym? And who are you trying to be "sincerer" than? Never mind. The SS Anubis Floyd mission is the one aspect of JFG that's bringing in the biggest deluge of mail from cack-handed gaming gibbons such as yourself, so I resigned myself to collaring that designer and making him spill the beans. The official word: you need to shoot for under one minute (using the reactor shortcut helps, in case some of you dunces didn't know it existed) to get Gold and the earplugs for our old mate Ivana... and yes, there is a story behind that name, but none of you would get it so I won't bother.

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Dear Uncle Tusk,

First of all, I'd like to say that Rare did a great job on Goldeneye 007, and it's a game with incredible replay value, and a multiplayer mode that stays fun.

I'd like to know a few things. I've heard rumors and stories, but could you please tell me if they're true? I know the game underwent serious changes, and that there are things in the game that don't seem to have a purpose now. The Dam is the level with the most questions, likely because it had the most changes.

Objective A: Destroy Military Truck, by getting the mines under the door of the guardhouse, near where we install the modem.

Objective B: Neutralize all Alarms (including the one on the island visible with the sniper rifle). You had to get a key from the Russian Commandant, and use the key to get to the boat, and cross the lake to the island. Once there, you could get a Magnum, and a Rocket Launcher.

PLEASE reply, or post the answers!

The Terrorist

Uncle Tusk replies:
You want an answer, do you? I'll get you an answer: as always, our GoldenEye/PD contact is only too happy to oblige. Just don't expect to like it.

"You're making this rubbish up. It's not even good quality rubbish. I have already spent too much of my life on this answer."

I told you.

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Dear Super-Tusk-Man,

It's me, the Non-Demonic DemonChild, Ready to tell you how right You are.

Yes, Identical Twins must have the same color Eyes. Identical Twins must also be the same Gender. Unless Vela's a Man or Juno is a woman, They're Fraternal Twins, Who Don't have to look the same.

On that subject, Juno is a Woman's Name. Juno was the Roman name for the Queen of the Gods. This said, Vela & Juno could be Identical Twin Sisters, Making Jason Hunt Right. Sorry.

Your Everlasting, Friggin' Bone Throwing, Web-Surfin', Non-P.S.-Writing, Arse Kickin', Non-Demonic RareFan,


Uncle Tusk replies:
Why Do you Capitalise random Words? Are you Funny In The head Or something? And Juno is actually named after a satellite, just as Vela and Lupus are named after constellations. Basically we got a big list of Stuff What's In Space and just picked some decent names out of it. Raw design excellence, that is. Oh yeah, cheers for sticking up for us and everything. Great.

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Dear Uncle Tusk,

I recently purchased Jet Force Gemini and would appreciate your comments on the following:

I was cruising through the game without any problems until I had to go and find that bloke's pants from the top of the tree! To cut a long story short, I found the bridge and the correct tree and started to climb it only to find that on the third branch my character hits an invisible wall and will not jump any further up the tree... I have consulted various walkthroughs and guides and they all just state that you just jump up the tree... So my question is, to quote the cast of Eastenders, 'Woss goin on?' Since my N64 is functioning perfectly and I am not new to games, and since I am in the right place on the game and know what I need to do, I am left to conclude that this may be a bug in the software? So what are your comments?

Mucho appreciated...

Uncle Tusk replies:
Mr. Designer confirms what I thought: "The Pants are on one of the lower branches, and if they're not there then you've probably picked them up and they'll be in your inventory." Best have a look, then, and let me know when it's convenient for me to come round and thump you for wasting my time.

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Dear Mr. Tusk,

You have made me very paranoid after reading your response to the Diddy Conspiracy. The evidence proves that Diddy is a traitor. And you defended him. What does this say? I think we have another traitor, and his name is Tusk. Mr. Bored-Web-Surfer-who-decided-to-get-some-amusement-by-hearing-you-ramble-on
P.S. Eyedol's cooler! We should have Uncle Eyedol!

Uncle Tusk replies:
I've got more intelligence in my arse cheeks than Eyedol has in either of those stupid shrunken heads of his. And the only thing I'm really bothered about defending is my right to ignore hallucinating idiots such as yourself who spend their lives nurturing furry animal political conspiracy theories. Hang on, you're not George Orwell, are you?

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Dear Uncle Tusk,

I recently paid my eight year old cousin to play through JFG for me, but his mother took him home around the time he got to Mizar. Mizar is damned hard! Please help me, you're my last hope!
Sean Milliamson

Uncle Tusk replies:
Hah! You're not fooling anyone. There's nothing especially crap about saying Mizar's hard: if you were the real Williamson, you'd have been more likely to say "that first Soldier Drone is damned hard!" Out-crapping the real thing takes a bit more effort than that, son.

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Dear Uncle Tusk,

About 4 months ago, I wrote you a letter asking you a few questions. Well, I finally tore myself away from KI GOLD to read what you had to say. Now I don't expect you to remember it, after all it was about 4 months ago and being bashed around in the head during tournaments can really mess you up. So, here I try to refresh this a little:

1) In response to my question about about the A.I. in KI GOLD being a tad on the cheap side, you said I was a soft ponce. Well, I expected the characters of KI GOLD to be more of a soft ponce after all the blocking they did on the hardest level, and it's slightly disappointing when there's more blocking than fighting going on, don't you agree? I've broke more blood blisters than I care to count. Like an apple, after so many hits you eventually loosen up, usually bruised, but the A.I. can be incredible and block everything forever! Hell, that's what it's for, right?

2) In response to my question about the characters being out of balance, you said I was talking out of my "arse". I think my words would be a bit more flatulent sounding if that were the case. Why does Sabrewolf have a counter for every move I can do with Jago, Orchid, Your image or just about any other character except Sabrewolf? Try playing a match with my friend. You be, well, Tusk, and he can be Sabrewolf. He'll kick your ass, I guarantee it. Then I'll laugh you all way back to your cave. By the way, the rock-paper-scissors fighting system is a cool idea, but hard pressed to work on the N64. More blood blisters.

3) In response to my questions about KI3, you told me to stop and that it wasn't big or clever. Well, I missed something somewhere, because I was actually looking for some info on a game I would desperately like to see. I thought you could enlighten me, but like KI GOLD, you're not much more than a grumbling windbag on this particular subject. I won't ask again, ok? Still though, wipe the drool from lips as I imagine what it could be like... after all, isn't that what pansies do? Endure servitude to a soft ponce? You're a womanly figure of a man, and please forgive me for the grave comparison, ladies.

4) About the old man in training mode, so you beat him silly, and that answers why he tolerates the other characters, but just who the hell is he? One of those fabled monks who locked Gargos away? The original dude who started the tournament in Ultratech? Some other pansy in your class whom you knew you could whip?

5) I see you stated that Jago's "...just as soft..." as me. Well, his ultra combo in both versions I played are far more brutal than yours. And when I pull one off, there's no regrets, just a feeling the job's been done. I guess to someone who continually screams "dah" or "rah" or some such nonsense during an entire match, it would appear soft. Until, that is, you experience it yourself... no emotion when winning a match. It's more brutal than anything you can come up with. Thanks for coming out, but you better go back to bed, that's where you're safest.

6) Why should I give Gargos a break? If he's been trapped for 2000 years, then Eyedol's been trapped even longer. Do the math... oops! Sorry! Math's a bit too complicated for you. Let me explain: If KI GOLD takes place before KI, then it was in the past. That's 2000 years for Gargos and 2000 years for Eyedol. Okay, when you actually look at the timeline, KI is in the future, so we add more years. Let's say, another 2000 years. Okay, so when you actually fight Gargos (the weak pansy) he's been trapped for 2000 years. When you actually fight Eyedol, he's been trapped for 2000 plus 2000 years, making that 4000 years! So shouldn't Eyedol have been weaker than Gargos? Figure it out. Looks like you're talking out of your "arse" now.

By the way, don't get me wrong, I enjoy many of RARE's titles on the N64 and some of the up and coming ones that are coming out. I still believe that KI GOLD is the most logical sequel to KI for home systems. It still has the best graphics, sound and fighting engine for any game on the N64 today. It is definitely one of the most enjoyed games as well as a prime frustration source for me.

But all in all, your character stinks. Sheer muscle, no speed or finesse. Definitely a no-brainer for people who are imagination-challenged. On top of it all, his Ultra just bites. You need a good skull cracking to see that there's more to the game than what his limitations are. Perhaps a good wind kick to the head would do the trick. Then again, your skull may even be too thick for that. I'd call on the spirit of the tiger, but uhh, well, you know what happened with that one.

I look forward to what you have to retaliate with. Enjoy.
Jeff C

Uncle Tusk replies:
1) Sorry for making the game challenging. If only you'd written in sooner, we could have squeezed in an AI-free 'Dunce Mode' at the last minute.

2) It helps to be able to spell Sabrewulf before you make a big show of kicking his "ass". Which is easy enough, as it happens - you just wazz on a tree beforehand, then kick the stupid sod's muzzle off when he can't resist running over to have a quick sniff.

3) I can't help having such beautifully rounded and imposing pecs. Can't you work out why I didn't have anything to tell you about
KI3? That's right, you cheeky chappie! There's no such thing. (Slap.)

4) Yeah, he's a monk. Probably. Yeah. I don't know, he seemed to have more idea of what he was doing than the rest of the idiots who turned up wanting their teeth kicked in, so we just humoured him.

5) No. Only nonces think that showing no emotion after totally pasting someone is 'cool'. It's far more natural to do the big muscle-flexing thing and go "Rar" (and I'm not talking little flying robots here).

6) I'm afraid it's still you with the chatty rectum. However, people are bound to spend ages mulling over your half-baked theory and hassling me with their own ludicrous suggestions, so I may have to kill you for starting something you're unable to finish.

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Dear Uncle Tusk,

All right, here's the deal. I've gotten all the Tribals, all the keys, all the spaceship parts (other than the stabilizer), and most of the weapons. Yet when I talk to King Jeff, he still says "Yes indeed! You're making real progress now. Just a few more pieces to go." I've looked at all the walkthroughs, read IGN's thing, and according to all of them, I should be done. What's wrong? Is my copy of the game defective?
PhReaKy D. MoNKeY

Uncle Tusk replies:
Are you absolutely sure you've got all the Tribals? Because it sounds as if that's where your problem lies. Either that or Jeff's gotten himself roaring drunk after that little faux pas on Tawfret and decided to take out his worldly frustrations by messing with your head. Which is fair enough, after all.

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All hail Tusk!

Okay, I'm stuck in mission number... 3 in Perfect Dark. I always turn that corner about half way through the level and there are about 6... soldiers waiting for me. Normally, I could handle that but I'm running low on... ammo for my, uh... gun. So, how do I get out.
Matt Plunk

Uncle Tusk replies:
I'm tempted to offer a completely serious response just to see how many "were did taht mat pulnk guy get a coppy off pd!!!1!" letters turn up over the next few days, but I just know it'd stop being funny after the first couple of hundred.

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Dear Uncle Tusk,

All right, I know I'm horribly old-fashioned but I cannot find the second secret barrel in the Tundra Blunda level of the Blackforest Plateau World of Donkey Kong Land III. Please help; I'm losing my sanity!

Uncle Tusk replies:
Astonishingly, the team responsible not only remembers the bit you're talking about but is even prepared to answer you, in spite of that telling email address:

"First secret barrel is found just to the left of your start postion, use Dixie to spin across the gap. The second barrel is found before the halfway point. When you come across the first Knick-Knack, jump on him and then spin across (with Dixie) to the left - if you do this correctly you will hit a hidden barrel."

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Hey, Tusk -

Let's skip the formalities. ^_^ I have two questions I need answering, both about Jet Force Gemini.

1 - Okay, I've beaten the game and collected 300 Ant Heads to get all the useless (but) cool cheats. Are there any REAL, USEFUL cheats like Invincibility and All Weapons, etc like there was in GoldenEye? Or am I just popping those poor Tribals for their heads for nothing? Hehehe...

2 - WHERE can I get a Jet Force Gemini soundtrack?! I'm a BIG game music fan, and there is almost NO good N64 music at all besides JFG's. The BEST music is on the PSX with Final Fantasy VII and VIII and what not, but I've fallen in love with JFG's music and I must have it. Where can I get it and how much does it cost?!

Oh yeah, and one more thing - I'd just like to tell the JFG Team that they did a great job on the game, but that I will forever condemn their very souls for making ANYONE fight the final Mizar. That electric attack is just not right. ;)

Uncle Tusk replies:
1) Rainbow Blood isn't useful? Better keep hammering away at those Tribal heads for the amazing KI-crossover 'Tribals into Eyedols' cheat, then, hadn't you? Yes, of course I'm lying, you spanner.

2) The publishing of a soundtrack depends on demand. Basically everyone agrees with you that it's one of our best efforts to date, but production and merchandising is entirely Nintendo's 'bag'. We'll keep you posted.

As for Mizar's electric attack, the JFG team thrive on that sort of thing... a bunch of vicious sods after my own heart.

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Dear Uncle Tusk,

So is this new Mickey's Racing Adventure game the Gran Turismo killer we've heard about for so long? With 5 cars available, you've got a ways to catch up, but earning money to upgrade the vehicles is a nice feature. I also like the multi-genre action!

On a personal note, Mr. Tusk, how do you feel knowing that this got made and KI3 hasn't?

Affectionately yours,

Uncle Tusk replies:
Fine by me. The more time passes with no sign of
KI3, the more outrage blossoms in the camp of the unreasoning KI fanatics and the more amusement I derive from it. Let's see what the MRA team have to say about your incisive comments:

"Yes it is the best racing game with Mickey Mouse in. So it could be a
Gran Turismo killer. If that game had Mickey in as well."

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Cher Oncle Tusk,

In regards to the question about Vela's clothing, I do think your answer was a bit disingenuous. Juno is a female name, after all, and this "twins" nonsense is just a transparent charade. They're obviously a lesbian couple, with Juno preferring a more butch role and Vela a more femme role (but still with big guns!), and dressing accordingly. And it's not like Juno's body armor does all that great a job of masking "his" breasts.

Excellent game, by the way.

David Carlton

Uncle Tusk replies:
I see a new 'theory' has implanted itself into the consciousness of a nation. Great. And what role does Lupus play in all this, dare I ask? No, don't tell me - he's a Jinjo.

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Hi Uncle Tusk,

I've been playing Goldeneye: 007 for a little while and I had a question about multiplayer. It has come to my attention that for some reason I can't play anything BUT the basic levels in 4 player mode while in 2 and 3 player mode I can. My friends tell me there's something wrong with my game and they can. Should I be worried about some glitch in my game or are they mistaken? I haven't seen them play the extended levels in 4 player mode but they tell me it can be done. Please get back to me :)

Jeffrey "JohannesK" Santos

Uncle Tusk replies:
Designer Boy says: "You are quite rightly suspicious of your friends. They are lying to you. Your cart is working correctly - you should not be able to access all of the levels in 4-player. This is due to us locking off the levels that were too slow when four people were running around shooting at each other. However, I recommend that you tell your friends that you HAVE been able to do this. Affect an eager and believeable manner while telling them. Then sit back and watch the fun. Resist the temptation to change your story at all costs."

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Dearest Rare,

My question concerns Jet Force Gemini. I purchased this great game a few weeks ago and played through it to its fullest extent... I think. Anyway, I am now in the process of handing over the reigns to a friend but I can't seem to erase the stored data! All of the cheats and bonus levels and even the opening title screen stay even after you erase all of your game data! Is there a anyway to erase it?!?! I'm sure it's possible but if it isn't I think that this is a definite game flaw. If someone wanted to take part in the whole experience that is Jet Force Gemini it would certainly detract from the overall game if the cheats are already unlocked. Please help me if you can! Or if anyone else knows how to do it contact me at Thank you!


Uncle Tusk replies:
Nope, don't think you can erase the secret stuff once it's been unlocked. I don't know, the team work hard to provide you with an easy way of showing off your gaming prowess to any slack-jawed hippy acquaintance that happens to wander in as you fire up the game, and all you can do is complain. Get your friend to buy his own copy if he's that bothered, the tightarsed get.

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Hello Tusk,

I felt the need to write you tonight simply because I had a few interesting questions to ask and because I have something to apologize for. First, the apology: on behalf of the literate American public, I apologize for the hundreds upon hundreds of illiterate, know-nothing American Rare video game patrons who feel the need to write in. I'm sorry that they try to use British humor. I'm sorry that they ask idiotic questions about beta copies of Goldeneye and especially the very, VERY dumb questions about watching James Bond movies after playing through the game using nothing but the secret explosive toe weapons that require a Game Shark to get. I apologize for pathetic Goldeneye players who feel the need to write in and brag how they beat this level or that level and can kill all their friends and such. I apologize that you still get so much mail about Goldeneye in general. (I'm sure you're sick of that by now... If you're not quite tired of it, however, I apologize for apologizing for that.) I apologize about everything that you have to put up with from some citizens of this country, including claiming that words with unique British spellings are mispelled... I know that all of this incites you to violence, but rest assured: they'll all be dealt with once I assume control. Heh heh heh.

Anyway, on to my questions. Enjoy.

1) Perfect Dark has been delayed. I don't mind. The upcoming Turok: Rage Wars has a feature that I am rather intrigued by: statistic tracking in the multiplayer mode. Once I heard of it, I began to wonder what my stats would look like in Goldeneye had it had a lifetime stat-tracking option. (You surely didn't think you could get a letter that DIDN'T mention Goldeneye, did you?) In all seriousness, and not intending to brag, but I would probably be around 1,000-1500 kills to 15-25 deaths. (Yes, if you think about it, my total number of kills seems rather low, but my friends [and several strangers who I have played] refuse to play against me again once I deal them quick 30-1 or 30-0 defeats...) Although I admittedly am not a programmer (yet), it seems simple to implement an option that keeps track of basic stats such as kills, deaths, favorite stage and weapon, and the like. Is there a slim chance that this option (or something similar) may be implemented?

2) Do you all play video games other than the ones you're working on? What are some of the Rare staff's favorite games?

2a) Do you all like multiplayer games? How often do spontaneous bouts of Super Smash Bros., Mario Party, BattleTanx, and (heaven forbid) Goldeneye crop up when you're away from the office? What are some of your favorite multiplayer games?

3) Is there any chance that, without me coming to work for Rare, I could ever get to play a few multiplayer bouts of Goldeneye (or perhaps, Perfect Dark) against Rare staffers? I'd just like to see how badly I'd get my rear end kicked by the programmers and everyone even though I'm probably rather good at multiplayer, considering my record...

4) Uncle Tusk, you stated in October 12's "Ask Uncle Tusk" that you have never received a good letter. What exactly would a good letter be like? I wish to know so that at some point in the future I can send you a good letter. (Give me a serious answer, please.)

Well, thank you for taking the time to read all of my questions. Hopefully they will see the light of day sometime in the "Ask Uncle Tusk" section and come complete with a shiny new set of answers attached to them.

Uncle Tusk replies:
Seeing as you mentioned PD, I think I can justify badgering the PD designer into answering most of this lot. And even if I can't, I don't care. Just bear in mind these are his personal answers.

"1) Yup.

"2) Yup. Favourites include
FF7, FF8, Halflife, Metal Gear Solid, GranTurismo...

"2a) Yup. Frequently.
EAW, Freespace, Red Alert, SSB..." (And elsewhere in the company, rowdy multiplayer clashes in Smash Bros., Mario Party and even the odd manky wrestling effort aren't totally unheard of.)

"3) Yup, though because it relies on you entering the social circle of a 'Rare Staffer' (tricky because many of us don't have what you'd call big social lives), the chance is actually so miniscule it can't be measured. So nope, then."

4) You can't send me a good letter. Just seeing the stupid, badly-spelt subject headings piled up in my mailbox every morning sends me straight into a filthy mood, so you don't stand a chance of starting off on a good footing. Who ever said the world was fair, fat boy?

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Dear Uncle Tusk,

I am having trouble in JFG. First of all, the "secret" levels that I have accessed are Water Ruin (which is beautiful I might add), Gem Quarry, and Walkway. Puh-Lees tell me if there are others, and how to get them. Also, where do you get the earplugs? Thank you and I would really appreciate it if you responded to me ASAP, for I am not the patient type. =)

Adam Cohen

Uncle Tusk replies:
You'll learn to be patient if you don't want your ears torn off. Here's an answer from the
JFG designer:

"The only other 'secret' levels are the Spacestation and the Asteroid, I'm not going to tempt the inevitable derision of explaining the existence of new areas on old levels... 'moan, moan, tedious backtracking... moan, moan...' etc."

You can reach the Spacestation from Goldwood and the Asteroid from Mizar's Palace, while the earplugs come with a Gold award from the SS Anubis Floyd mission - piece of cake, that one.

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

I've decided that all of this taunting of "mutant kitty" and "radioactive catastrophe" has got to stop. It's hurt my feelings and I'm not sure what to do. I'm coming home for some TLC and have a present for you. I've brought Tiptup and Cranky Kong! They are in a plastic baggie right now, and want to get out. Be careful when you hug me though, because you might turn yellow with magenta polka dots and would have to go to the hospital. Then Tiptup and Cranky Kong would need to host your column.

Your beloved Kitty,

Uncle Tusk replies:
That would be... unfortunate. Better chuck them in the river on your way past. But hang on, Sniffles - has all this radioactive business done anything for your mucus problems and moulting? If not, you can bloody well stay away from here because I'm not having a mangy 200-foot snot monster coming and dropping five-stone fleas all over the living room carpet. Why don't you go and stay with Auntie Gertie for a while? She's off her head anyway, so it wouldn't seem particularly out of the ordinary to her. I'll bring you round a nice bag of shark heads when Maya's not looking. Promise.

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