Wednesday, August 25, 1999

Scribes: August 25, 1999

To Scribes-

Why does K. Rool want the banana horde? You never explained this in any of the Kong games, and it is a mystery that I would like to be solved. Also, why did you not include Dixie Kong in your game Donkey Kong 64? Everywhere I go for information on the game, it says NOTHING about Dixie Kong. You should at LEAST include her as a bonus character.

Also, could you tell me some of the really stupid ideas about accessing the secret areas in Banjo-Kazooie? I haven't seen ANY of them, and the only rumour I've heard is that you press a bunch of buttons to access them. Nothing funny. A bunch of stupid ideas is what I need to crack me up.
Klonto 007

Rare Says:

Start the day with a spot of healthy delegation, I always say. Over to the B-K designer, then:

"K. Rool wants the banana horde because DK will starve and die without it, enabling the crafty croc to occupy the gorilla's cosy treehouse pad. He might also want it as he likes bananas, who knows?

"Dixie tried to launch an unsuccessful singing career after her stardom in DKC3, but her first single 'Bananas Are A Girl's Best Friend' sunk without trace. Down on her luck, she is reduced to promoting this year's Twycross Annual Parade & Gala to earn 'a few bob'.

"I'm sorry, I can't remember any of the stupid ideas to access B-K's secret areas, only that theywere pretty stupid."

Dear Leaky Little Loveday Lad,

Recently, I have been patrolling the un-tamed streets of TwigCross (the Twycross of the bizzarro world) under the assumed identity of a sponge named Harry, so as not to startle the inhabitants (consisting mainly of reptiles and extinct amphibious dogs) and have noticed several distinct things. Firstly, everyone in the bizzarro world's TwigCross gets free access to 'FrequentWare' (the bizzarro image of Rare) and play every beta version they have. The bizarro's own 'Dean Kane Kong 64' is set to come out in their equivalent of November (I haven't had time to study the months), but theirs is FULLY politically correct! Nothing like your own horrid image of reality. Also, your disgraced team will never get DK64 done in mere 'years' with the vast amount of errors I have so graciously pinned down for you. Here, have another pageful of points you must correct in a game so riddled with incompetence that even Marco's Pole is shocked. Anyway, secondly, everyone in the bizzarro world seems to hate and despise 'FrequentWare'! Their web site used to get many rude remarks about one of their characters, Topdown the tortoise and the game they released last year, 'Balalayka-Slidewhistlee' didn't sell well at all. Anyway, I shall continue to catalogue my discoveries in the mysterious bizzarro world and keep you up to date on my findings. Also, what does 'documentation' mean? That's what it says you did in the credits of Diddy Kong Racing (which I observed in comparison to 'Georgie Kong Jogging'). I must know to conduct my studies. Thank you.
-BILL (who no longer writes for Blab Magazine, but is delving deep into the mysteries of the bizzarro world)
PS Right, right... Knackers... right...
PPS We're your friend to the family car.
PPPS Alas poor Eurik... I knew him well (not in the biblical sense, mind...)

[Missing RPA: dkcomments2.jpg "DK64 Politically Corrected, Again"]

Rare Says:

Once more, our unstable perspective on life is exposed and we are bathed in ritual humiliation. Apart from the bit about a 'continulumn'. What's one of those when it's at home, eh? Anyway, enough political correctness, so-called 'Bill'. Leave us with
some dignity, curse you.

Oh, and 'documentation' = 'manual'. Pay attention, sonny Jim.
PS Arse biscuits.
PPS Comes with two front airbags as standard.
PPPS Alas poor Yorick, I spelt him correctly.

Dearest Scribes,

A single question has bothered me lately like a cricket in my underpants. Rare churns out over-achieving creatures by the fistful. What becomes of our most endearing video game friends after their proverbial 15 minutes? (The unlucky ones ineligible for a follow-on assignment.) Perhaps they are whisked off to a 'Reality Engine' retirement home with an all-you-care-to-eat buffet filled with stars, bananas and coins? Or maybe a petting zoo specifically for retired video game creatures? Er, probably not, as petting a virtual hairless creature with skin resembling plastic is hardly comforting. If Tootie didn't make the cut for Banjo-Tooie, please tell her I have a warm place in my heart and home for her.

Rare Says:

I'm so glad you stopped at "heart and home". Anything else would have been, frankly, inappropriate on this family site where we all love and care for one another in a deep but strictly platonic manner. There haven't actually been that many Rare leading men/women/things consigned to obscurity after a single appearance - and even for those few, there's always hope. Our brains could seize up or something, forcing us to to trawl the archives for all eternity.

Dear People who are so mean that they work for a company that will deny gamers under 17 years of age the chance to play the best game ever,

According to the ESRB's official site:

Titles rated "Mature (M)" have content suitable for persons ages 17 and older. These products may include more intense violence or language than products in the Teen category. In addition, these titles may also include mature sexual themes.

According to this I have compiled the following of possible reasons for PD getting an M rating:

1. Joanna has a curse-fest.

2. Rare adds buckets of blood. (See Player's Pulse from Nintendo Power Volume No. 110)

3. Rare takes away Joanna's clothes (")

I sympathize w/ Mark Willard as I am in the same predicament.

PLEASE, for the sake of younger gamers who enjoyed GoldenEye. Take Nintendo's advice and censor some of this.
-Jim Robbins

Rare Says:

The time has come... for a comedy hook to slip around the PD designer's neck and drag him on from stage left. Witness his elaboration:

"1. No, this doesn't happen, I assure you. No murfurn hoes in this game...

"2. I wouldn't call it 'buckets', but there is a bit of blood when you shoot someone now; not enough in itself to cause a rating boost...

"3. In yer dreams."

But at the end of the day, PD has never been anything other than a mature-themed game, so we don't have a problem with the censors' rating - especially with the media spotlight trained on the industry of late. Official PD team word: "Sorry, but that's how it is, and it's unlikely to change before the game is released."

Hello Rare,

I've been a dedicated fan of this site since the beginning (still kicking like a big cow, eh?) and the Scribes section has turned into a whole other animal. I mean, we even have romance springing in here! This is one of a few times I've written to you, but you must hear me on this, friend... WINKY HAS TO BE IN DK64!!!! I mean, we're talking a difference in sales, a spike in the sales of systems! You have to face it: Winky made DKC the mind-boggling game it was. Without that frog (and perhaps the sheer musical genius of D. Wise and his Rare synthesizers) DKC would be a forgotten game about some 800 pound gorilla. And bananas and such. I mean sure, it had real gameplay, but the dense video game consumer public wouldn't have noticed THAT! You can't expect much out of the average player these days... And plus... I bet you Winky will become a cult favorite, just like Tip Tup, except Winky's cooler! He's got style! And he keeps his mouth *shut*. Therefore you won't have to go pay someone to plod into a recording booth and say "Argh!" "Ugh!" "Whooaaa!" "Thanks Fox I thought they..." ...wait nevermind. Well you understand what I'm trying to say.

And I also want to comment on the recent drama, unfolding before the Scribes' very eyes!: "...and hurried down to Snippets with a warm feeling in my breast." Kat, dear, you talk like this and *not* expect our pal Flea to fall hopelessly in love? You'd have to be off your trolley to not accept this guy with open arms! I don't think you'll find a guy as dedicated as him. And isn't that what every girl wants? I just think you're confused, and the warm feelings in your breast are clouding your good judgement. But I feel for you, friend.

Cheers, Keep up the Kicking,

Rare Says:

Sorry to disappoint you, my good man, what with you being such a fine upstanding long-term follower of Rarewhere's humble stupidity, but I don't believe Mr. Winky (possible first name Tinky) is scheduled to put in an appearance in DK64. Still, if it dies on its arse in terms of sales figures, we'll know where we went wrong. Out of interest, what does Winky have that Expresso doesn't?

You're all going to look a bit weird if Kat turns out to be some strapping great 7 foot rugby player with a skull tattoo on his forehead.

Dear Ed,

P.S. Look, not only have I managed to include many P.S.'s, but I also discluded the body of my letter.
P.P.S. When is Twelve Tales: Conker 64 going to be released?
P.P.P.S. Why is Twelve Tales taking so long to be released? Wait, let me guess. The whole Rare staff has been too busy working on PD, JFG, DK64, and Mr. Pants 64. Am I right?
P.P.P.P.S. When is Banjo-Tooie going to be released?
A.R.S.E. I got tired of typing all those damned P's, so I invented a new P.S. (A.R.S.E.=Another Really Short Exposition)

Rare Says:

PS Yes, very impressive indeed.
PPS Ah, you think that posing pertinent questions in PS format is somehow more likely to get you a serious answer? Not ruddy likely.
PPPS No, it's undergoing redesign shenanigans, as we've said before. Hang on - that's sort of a serious answer. I take it back.
PPPPS Fish and chips.
ARSE Don't give people ideas, man.

Dear Scribes,

What the heck happened to Floyd? In all the screenshots he appears to be a cute little blue guy with a big smile, and then the new wallpaper comes out, and it looks like Floyd is going to eat ya! "Rar!" says Floyd now, "Rar!"

[Arscribes note: This is what he's talking about.]

Rare Says:

He does, too. Look, he's doing it up there at the top of the page. "Rar!", he's saying. "Rar!" Does it frighten you? Well, if you'd read up on Mr. Floyd you'd know that he started life in Mizar's troops, so the slightly scary appearance is obviously a remnant of those dark times. Look, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

Dear Scribes,

Mathematically speaking, using the equation found in the July 19 issue of Scribes, the fact I am not an AOL user means I can abuse you as much as I like and , punc'tuate?! as. badly as I want as the value for AOL = 0, and as punctuation and abuse level are multiplied by this number, and everything multiplied by 0 is 0, my abuse and punctuation don't count. So I will call you a silly fool and get away with it and my chances of this letter being printed does not diminish.

Oh, and in the letter below, you make another mistake by saying KAOS isn't a cyborg, but he is coz Donkey (and presumably Diddy) Kong is/are stuck inside and controlling, and they're both as organic as a computer generation can be.

So I'll say ner and finish.
A Mooing Cow

Rare Says:

Up your arse, Mooing Cow. KAOS wasn't a cyborg - he was just a robot with some monkeys in. Very different story.

Last month's scary equation was provided by our very own GE/PD designer, so let's turn your 'findings' over to him for further analysis:

"Extrapolating from your 'discovery', we would find that there is a certain observation implied by the equation: if you are not an AOL user it is most likely possible that your use of multiple punctuation is in context/ironic, therefore that particular part of your slate is wiped clean. Similarly, if you are an AOL user who knows how to punctuate at a lower frequency rate, there stands a chance that you have something interesting to say. Now go away."

Dear Scribes,

I'm a bit confused on some of the issues surrounding dynastic succession in the Donkey Kong games. If Cranky Kong was the original Donkey Kong, and the current Donkey Kong is his son, is the current DK the same infant gorilla who starred in Donkey Kong Junior? I have also seen references to DK being Cranky's grandson -- in that case, what became of the heroic Donkey Kong Jr.? Did he vanish mysteriously in order to provide a plot cliche for one of his son's future adventures?

Perhaps most confusing of are the events of the often-overlooked Donkey Kong III. To recap, Donkey Kong, Duke of Gloucester, usurps the throne after the death of King Mario VI, after murdering his nephews with vicious barrellings. However, he is betrayed by Lord Stanley, his chamberlain, who pumps his arse full of bug spray at the Battle of Bosworth Field, giving rise to the famous cry, "A frog! A frog! My kingdom for a frog!" However, since there are no animal crates to be found, the villainous ape meets his end.

I have also heard it rumored that Diddy is, in fact, the lost Dauphin, and therefore related in some manner to Nintendo's next console.
Roderick Arbuthnot - Specialist in Simian Drama, Ape Research Society of England (A.R.S.E.)
Rare Says:

You're being far too highbrow for the likes of our readership. You also share the disconcerting Winky fetish that seems to be emerging from the woodwork at this late stage, I see. As far as I know, 'our' DK is the son of Cranky, which does indeed make him the original DK Jr. all grown up: so if you see Cranky referred to as DK's granddad anywhere, just cover your eyes and hum loudly until it goes away.

Dear Scribes 'Editor,'

I was reading through the Scribes archive, and was appalled at some of the things I found. First of all, in the most recent copy of Scribes, you yourself said:

"And how can you be so sure that we don't base our game characters on people we actually know? Apart from the ones with fur, obviously. That'd be stupid."

You're obviously saying it would be stupid to base game characters on people that you know who have fur, which is blatantly discriminatory. I'm not familiar with the exact discrimination laws in the United Kingdom, but I'm sure the courts would be none too happy to hear about your stance on game characters and fur. I'm willing to forget all of this in exchange for a beta copy of the Mr. Pants RPG you're developing.

In a quick read-through of the archives I gathered that you gave up on the James Bond movie license because it was too restrictive, and instead went with the Beastmaster license for Perfect Dar. Not to belittle the fine acting skills of Marc Singer, but did you ever wonder why the Beastmaster people are willing to let you take more liberties? Maybe you thought the original was alright, but have you ever seen Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time or Beastmaster 3: The Eye of Braxus? The answer is in them. They're atrocious, and I'm sure they thought any change would be a change for the better.

Is there any truth to the spurious rumor that Perfect Dar(k?) will have a Multi-player weapon that causes the screen to flicker at an appropriate rate to induce seizures in your opponents?
Brian Polis
P.S. I have all of the cheats for Goldeneye except the Runway. My best time is 25:17. Is there any advice the developers can give me on how anyone could get near 5 minutes on this?

Rare Says:

The world may not be advanced (read: paranoid) enough to have official Furrist laws as yet, but I'm sure they're in the pipeline. Meanwhile, we'll continue to abuse the system and make up completely original furry characters whenever we need them rather than pay out loyalties to any real furry people.

I'm not ashamed to admit that I've seen both the
Beastmaster sequels, and they are indeed a bunch of old arse. Wings Hauser, eh? Where's he these days? And why did nobody notice that skinny Candyman bloke popping up and pretending to be the huge bugger with the stick from the first film? Alright, I'll stop.
PS Afraid not - we can only manage around the half-hour mark ourselves.

Dear Scribes,

First of all, I'm disgusted at all the little GameShark huggers who have unlocked all of those OTHER secrets in Banjo-Kazooie. You know, the ones you didn't tell us about and were supposed to be a surprise. Well, thanks to them the surprise is ruined. I hope if they try using Banjo-Tooie it will indeed not work, or will cause both games to be forever ruined. Please, you guys must come up with a way to stop them! Reward the ones that waited!

Second of all, I'm disgusted at all the little bad review writers of Conker's Pocket Tales huggers who say the game is horrible. IGN Pocket gave the game a 4.0 rating (out of ten)! What's with that? Sure the damned Acorn People may knock the game down 0.5 points, but c'mon! I sat down with the game and couldn't stop playing when I first got my hands on it! Even when my house caught on fire; I was shot in the batch with a rifle, and my appendix bursted; I still couldn't stop playing! And the fun of beating the Game Boy version and then beating the GBC version makes the replay value double! It's way better than "Link's Dream" and "Pockemonsters" or whatever the hell those no name games are called. If you don't make a sequel to it, I will spring my new world order on the world, causing mass destruction from the countries of Canada to Chad! Fear me! FEAR ME!

Third of all, can't you put a limit on how many times DK appears in a non Rare game? Sure he's owned by Nintendo, but you guys remade him. While he's made cameos in fun games, it's getting ridiculous. Mario Chess? Mario Anal Probing? Mario's Fun With Transvestites? Tsk tsk.

Fourth of all, we're never really going to see Twelve Tales: Conker 64 are we? It's been more than two years since you first announced it. The only reason I think it's being delayed is because you needed more time to drop in subtle vulgar jokes. Just to throw everyone for a loop, you should make the ESRB give it an "Adult" rating. The game intro could involve Conker peeing on the naked corpse of Howard Lincoln.

Fifth of all, WHAT'S THE STORY OF DONKEY KONG 64!!??? TELL US!!!!!!! If it involves bananas or female heisting, you guys deserve to get your cans smashed.

Rare Says:

Ah, Slush, my good man. You've been quiet lately - well, there was one point where over a week went by without a single mail from you. We were beginning to think you were dead or something. Glad you liked CPT, anyway, and sorry to hear your appendix "bursted" while you were playing. Not an intentional side-effect, I assure you.

When it comes to Nintendo mascots, DK's been around at least as long as Mario so it's understable that he's going to be a staple fixture in these multi-character outings. What's the problem? Eh? You dissin' the monkey, boy?

Yes, you will see Twelve Tales eventually. Don't count out any possibilities. The current redesign is pretty radical, and I don't just mean that in the
Ninja Turtles sense.

I don't know about you, but my money's definitely on a large-scale banana theft in DK64.


I heard that you guys actually released a game once, is it true?

March, June, September, October - Here's some screen shots to get you excited, oh wait, think we'll delay again, oops, sorry about that, we're sure you understand... Well guess what Rare I don't, I respect your talents and professionalism and of course I'll buy JFG when it's released, but f_ck you guys are frustrating.

The only reason I haven't left Nintendo behind is Rare. I'm a programmer who can afford to buy a game if I want it, this year I have bought one. This does not make me happy. Especially considering I'm waiting on five from you, I assume Twelve Tales will star Conker's son?

Congratulations by the way on scheduling all of your games (along with everyone else's) on top of each, so that the enjoyment of one is bound to suffer as the next big thing is released.

Did you know people play games all year, not just at Christmas, astonishing yet true.

I guess what I'm saying is don't say anything until you're almost ready to release... you're pis_ing me off.
Mark Willis

Rare Says:

Sigh. If it upsets you that much, nobody's forcing you to wait - but no amount of hassle like this is going to make us release a game before it's properly finished. That's just how it is. Dismiss it if you like, but at the end of the day it'd be the public who ended up with less than they bargained for. Maybe if you saw the time sheet of one of the JFG or DK64 staffers at the moment, you'd realise just how damn hard we're working to get these games out. Thanks for your 'support'.

Dear Scribes,

I just recently found this site and its letters page for all the stupid and absurd questions and rants the visitors can think of about Rare, its games and this site. Well, I have one. In fact, I have several of them, but I'll spare you from a long letter and send others whenever I remember to (I can predict you'll make a sarcastic crack about this... Go ahead! I love it!). But enough blabbering already - my question:

In Banjo-Kazooie, there are these three characters: Tiptup, the turtle, Tanktup, the giant turtle, and Histup, Rubee's snake. All of these have their name ending with "-tup". Any particular reason for this? Was there a slight creativity problem, or is it because they are all reptiles?

What does "tup" mean, anyway? Another British slang word? Uh, I guess that was more than one question...
Panu Vihavainen

Rare Says:

Sarcastic cracks? Me? Not at all. I'll just make fun of your name instead. Why didn't you go back and put some work into the long-suffering
RoboCop franchise instead of wasting everyone's time and money on Starship Troopers, man?

Look, here's a Banjo designer fella to sort you out.

"The origin of Tiptup's name will be revealed soon... Tanktup has been out 'on the sauce', hence his name. Histup was out with Tanktup."

Reminds me of a joke, that. Giant turtle walks into a bar with a snake on his shoulder, says to the barman... er... ahh... no, sorry, it's gone.

Dear Scribes,

I've just sat down and read about 10 issues of Scribes back to back and now my brain hurts! I just want to throw into the pot a British slang word that no one's mentioned yet. Goolies! There, that felt better and it's a better word than knackers! Also, maybe you should be considering the phrase 'ring piece' now instead of arse as arse is getting rather passé at the moment.

Oh and the obligatory PD/DK64/B-T/JFG question...

Will you be releasing those games here in the UK first? Go on, I think you owe it to us...

PS Message to SirSlush2: "Fight the power Dude! You make me glad I'm English!"

Rare Says:

No way is goolies better than knackers, you 80s throwback. Tsk. The traditional response to the PAL question revolves around the extra time necessary to properly convert a game to the PAL format instead of just leaving it with whacking great borders and a fair old dollop of slowdown, but then again you just never know what's going to happen with some of those future releases, do you?

Dear strange individual:

There seems to be some manner of dispute over what Clanker is. A cyborg? A magic robot? A frankenfish? Well... I'm not exactly certain myself, and I've examined the problem inside and out, as it were. Let's look at the facts. Clanker is obviously part mechanical and part organic, so there's the cyborg bit right there. But beyond that... well, he has gills, sharp teeth, and a vertical tailfin, and is structured generally very much like a shark, but he has a blowhole through which he can breathe air, after the manner of cetaceans (marine mammals; whales and dolphins and the like). An unresolvable paradox? Perhaps not. I offer this theory: Clanker started out as either a fairly standard, if overlarge, shark, or perhaps several sharks, whose remains were surgically combined into one. (I would further theorize that he could be an abominably altered Lord Jabu-Jabu from Zelda 64, if not for the fact that Jabu-Jabu's tail structure is quite different from Clanker's.) The fact that he required such extensive cybermechanical augmentation suggests the latter; simply modifying his digestive system to process refuse wouldn't have required that much machinery. A respiratory system, fully mechanical in nature or perhaps harvested from an unfortunate whale, was installed so the organic bits could continue to recieve oxygen even when the water was choked with bio-hazardous debris (banana peels, regurgitation, half-eaten Arse bacon, Sega games, etc). Probably some immune system augmentation was done, so the general filthiness of the surroundings didn't result in constant severe illness. A reanimation spell courtesy of Gruntilda brought the whole business to life. Why she bothered with all this when she could have bought an industrial trash compactor is beyond me; obviously she simply wanted to torture the poor shark. (Maybe he has something to do with Snacker? Possibly Gruntilda has an entire pack of sharks in her unwilling thrall? I can just see it--Banjo-Tooie: Liberty Of The Sharks. Now there's a game idea. Much better than Tiptup 64.) I have seen a cyborg created in this manner (although for a much different purpose), and it was quite efficient, although the reanimation spell had the unintended side effect of putting the souls which formerly inhabited the dead bodies into the one new cyborg body. If Clanker was created from more than one shark, he most likely suffers from something resembling multiple personality disorder, which wouldn't help matters for our unfortunate cyber-shark.
~Wilek Nereus
P.S.: At the risk of destroying the credibility that I have so meticulously attempted to establish in the above treatise, I will state my opinion that Proximity Arsebolts is actually a rather interesting title for a game, or at least something in a game. A weapon, a level, something.
P.P.S.: Oh, and Arse.

Rare Says:

From what I could gather, Clanker actually started life in the development process as a bona fide whale, becoming more of a 'whark' as time passed and bits and pieces such as fins and the vertical tail were bolted on. So there you go - we've covered up any semblance of anatomical inaccuracy by simply labelling him 'a bit of both'. Ingenious, no? (We might be on shakier ground when it comes to explaining the mechanical bits, mind.)

Dear Scribes,

Congratulations. Rare is, in my view, the best third-party manufacturer of console games, period. Innovative, interesting and always fun to play. My modest collection of N64 games includes every title made by Rare.

I was quite disappointed with the recent announcement relating to the revised characters in Jet Force Gemini. In my view, the "new look" of Vela is patronizing to men, insulting to women and offensive to everyone. The decision to portray Vela with disproportionately enhanced breasts, a wafer-thin body and short, tight skirt sadly perpetuates the objectification of women, and young girls in particular. She's a child, for Christ's sake.

I realize that the decision was probably based on the demography of your target audience. But it's still quite disappointing to see a company renowned for its standard of excellence release a character that is so cliché (haven't we seen her a thousand times before?) and derogatory. Surely, you can set a better example and help mitigate the Neanderthal treatment of women.

I can't wait for Donkey Kong.
James Roberts

Rare Says:

Clearly you're joking. Clearly nobody in their right mind would accuse the cannon-toting, death-defying heroine Vela of being "patronising" in a time when you can't move for far more artificially promiscuous and incapable 'damsels in distress' wailing at every turn. She's not "a child", and it's frankly ridiculous that you're taking issue with her now when she wore exactly the same uniform in her previous, younger incarnation. "Disproportionally enhanced breasts"? Excuse me? The character has been aged. These things happen. And you should really try playing the game before leaping to conclusions about our motives. In the meantime, comments from the rest of our readership on the validity of Mr. Roberts' claims are welcome, though they'll no doubt be dismissed as the rantings of naive children...

Annwyl yr ysgribl,

Dwi'm meddwl mae Americanwrau ydy penbwl mawr.... beth? Oh right no Welsh, better stop using my dictionary then. Shame the closest I could get for Scribes was scribble but it's accurate enough really.

Hurrah for references to The Mary Whitehouse Experience. Milky Milky. Oh the hysterics. But see that game where you run around aimlessly for hours on end?


And you shoot lots of pointless enemies who'll turn up again any time soon just to annoy you?

I see them.

And all that blood that comes out when you shoot them with the hilariously oversized weapon?

I am aware of that phenomenon.

Well that's your favourite game that is, you wanted that for Christmas, oh yum Turok you say mmm mmm mmmmm.

Shut up, shut up! See that GoldenEye?

I have partaken in said game before now.

Umm, it's quite good really isn't it?

Just wondering if there's going to be any Banjo-Tooie news any time soon. It'd be nice to see some screenshots, or haven't you managed to do the superb graphics the ending spoke of yet? I ask because I went back to the original yesterday in order to find some tips to give my friend about beating Grunty, she being quite hard and all. Tragically I'd saved it after completion so I just got the end sequence (including Mumbo's irritatingly wobbly hand holding the picture). Luckily I had a saved game where I could go fight Grunty, alas I got beaten when I reached the big Jinjo. Drat the hardness of it all. Someone must have been in a bad mood when they made the last section of the fight with Grunty. I know, let's give them a few tiny seconds to fire accurately and repeatedly. Ho hoho, that'll teach them to persevere through the game.

Will there be any special levels like the last one whose name escapes me, where the level changes according to season, I really like it. And you shall answer this not any designer person because they never give any good answers and your lies will do nicely.

Also what suffix or prefix will Nintendo's next console have so they can stick it on every other game. Super Mario DVD perhaps? Mario Kart Ultra? Pilotwings Brand Spanking New And Far Too Powerful With Some Flashy Lights? Cheese Flavoured Metroid.
J. Edwards
Oh and you better be working on Head Over Heels 64 or else there'll be trouble. (Despite you not owning the licence so working on it will also cause trouble... mwahahahahahaha.)

Rare Says:

Cheese Flavoured Metroid, eh? Like it. Who wouldn't go for a prefix like that?

Surely it's reasonable enough to make a game's final boss damned hard. If you've made it that far, it's unlikely that you'll be too cack-handed to stand a fighting chance, after all. Banjo-Tooie isn't due out until next year, and seeing as people are going to complain whether we give out info and shots right now or keep it all to ourselves until the release date's practically upon us, we may as well just start dishing it out when we feel the time's right. Be patient, darlings.

You see that Gruntilda? That's your Mum, that is.

Dear Scribes,

Sorry but I have a GoldenEye question. No, keep reading! Don't delete this message! Please! Nooooo!


Ok, I guess this letter hasn't been deleted. Good. Now answer this:

I've played GoldenEye with a new GameShark (aka Action Replay) code lately, and I've been able to see some objects that you can't usually see in the game. I saw a phone, a fire extinguisher and an alarm with two bells. Hum, I guess you know the question? No? Argh. I just want to know where these objects were used (in what levels), and what was their utility.

I don't really think you can answer this question without giving an aimless reply, so please, ask a programmer who worked on GoldenEye about it. Then I will stop sending you questions related to GoldenEye. Good deal? No. But answer anyways.
-- Oddjob

Rare Says:

The designer, he no like no GameShark.

"I refer you instead to any of the past letters that have the words 'GoldenEye' and 'Gameshark' in them. If you just paraphrase the answer I'm sure it'll work out the same as if I wasted more of my time on your letter."

Dear Scribble De dumm dumm dumps,

French isn't as bad as French-Canadian. There, I said it, now my mother is going to punish me.

Well, well, well. "" is stealing my "Game Name Theorem." I don't like that. I don't like that one bit. Punish him, I will.

I've decided to sell The Stocwaldd Trilogy in a box set.


Bohegkt: Return to Stocwaldd and

Retro Cindervat: The Aftermath

Neat huh? Look for a special Cameo from everyone's favorite half-naked survey-man.

I find it hard to believe that no one has commented on my name yet.
-Amanda Marie Schroeder, a.k.a Kablooie, evil twin of Kazooie (Bwaa ha ha ha ha ha haaaaaaaaaaa!)
PS: The laughter is part of the name.
PPS: Banjo, Kazooie, and Gruntilda are dancing on my wall.
PPPS: If you sold a blow-up doll of Joanna Dark with every copy of PD, I bet you'd sell more.
Rare Says:

Don't you go infringing on Mr. Pants' copyrights, now. He's all booked up with celebrity cameos for the foreseeable future. I'll have a word with him about the whole
Stocwaldd gig.
PS Sorry.
PPS Throw a shoe at them, then, like they do in the cartoons.
PPPS Actually we were planning to do that for Banjo-Tooie
(No we weren't. - The Management)


I heard that Conker 64 keeps getting delayed because you're making the game into a porno starring Bob Sagot, any truth to this?

Rare Says:

There might be. If we knew who Bob Sagot was. Should we?

I eat with a spoon. Knives and forks are dangerous and should be banned from society.

Rare Says:

Then again, Tusk can do some pretty nasty things with a spoon.

Somewhere in RareWhere (I don't remember where), you said that all JFG characters, exept Floyd, are star names. King Jeff? I've never heard of the King Jeff star or even the Jeff star. What's going on?!

Rare Says:

Never heard of the Jeff Star? I find that hard to believe...

Is there an easy way to get Invincibility?

Rare Says:

Don't get philosophical on me. This isn't the time or the place.

Who? Who is Brian Boitano? Where the hell were you in 1988? Brian Boitano happens to be the 1988 Olympic Gold Medalist for men's figure skating.

Rare Says:

Oh. Clearly I was somewhere more interesting in 1988.

If Perfect Dark has someone as stupid as Natalya in it I'm not getting the game!
David Trinh
Rare Says:

Consider yourself on James Roberts' blacklist, Cro-Magnon scum.

Just to let you know, I have a small arse! It looks like this: (_)_), only bigger!

Rare Says:

But that's already huge! You malformed sideshow freak.

Jorjon the magic frito denies all 6 counts of manslaughter.
The curious latino hair follicle

Rare Says:

Whoa. That's definitely one too many Snippets for me...

Thursday, August 19, 1999

Ask Uncle Tusk: August 19, 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).

* * *

August 19, 1999

* * *

Dear Mr. Tusk,

Three questions, but first I must thank you for the humor. Helps the work day flow a little smoother once I read one of your irregular updates. Beauty of a site I must say, keeps the salivation flowing.

So the questions. In PD, is the game going to keep track of any player stats? Example, you paste your face onto one of the heads in the game, will it keep track of wins and losses, accuracy, how many people this character plays against on average, etc? Will it do this for single player as well? Like keep track of head shots, all that jazz.

That's it. Have a good one Tusk.

Uncle Tusk replies:
What humour? I just threaten stupid people with violence. I suppose it's fundamentally amusing in a primeval kind of way, but when I think about stuff like that my head hurts. Let's drag the designer in to respond to your ramblings.

"Those players who like rubbing salt in the wounds of former friends will probably like the stats setup for PD. Nuff said."

* * *

Hullo Tusk!

(Or was it Rust? I say that cause you were gone so long that you were a little rusty and you forgot which letters to put in the thing. (That means you forgot to put my letters in. Shame Shame!))

Oh YES, quite. Like you were actually (and I quote) "trying to scrape up enough editorials to write a decent column." You lying scum! You were sittin' around with yer finger up yer butt while we just sit here pining away... You! Taking a vacation? Tsk, tsk, tsk. If you want my presence you'll have to do better than that! (Trust me. You want my presence... I guess...) That's right. I've seen that you've been on vacation. Boring!

You could be sitting here talking to me! Fun.

Anyways. Here's a couple of things you need to fix. Or answer. Hmm? Why do you need to fix them you say? Don't ask that. The only answer you'll get, is that you're an fur-wearing-ugly-butt so you've gotta do what I say. Hmph!

1. Why don't you people learn to spell?!! You always write "perusing" instead of "persuing," the correct spelling. An' don't even try to pull that, "It's a U.K. spelling," on me. Even if it was, it'd still be incorrect! Ha! I'm so mean... (Wait, look who I'm talking to...)

2. What in hell is a "get"?!!

3. Will Banjo-Tooie be out THIS year? Or perhaps you shouldn't answer that. Or perhaps by my saying that, you won't answer! What am I doing?! (That obviously means answer it, or you won't be the only one welding a knife.)

4. Why don't you update this site more often? You look retarded. (I guess I kinda answered that by saying you were on vacation, huh?)

5. And um... "knackers?" Please don't tell me that it means a woman's... you know...

Hey! Blame that McCalls guy! I didn't read everything, so...

Write me back. Restore my faith in you.

Uncle Tusk replies:
1. We're very sorry for misspelling a word that exists only in your own head.

2. Like a git, but not as bad. Not applicable in your case, git.

3. It was never going to be out this year. Git.

4. Git.

5. Yes, that's what it means. "You've got great knackers" is a fantastic chat-up line.

I'd rather you didn't have any faith in me, if it lessens the chances of you ever writing in again.

* * *

Mr. Tusk.

You kick any and all that oppose you in the ass. You astound us with your cool, dry witty humor. No one can stop you, but you already know all of this. So my question for you is how do you relax after a long day of ass-kicking? Do you throw back a few tall cold ones, or do you just sit and stare at your reflection on your sword, or do you not rest at all and spend your extra time answering stupid questions like this one?

Oh yeah by the way, where's Killer Instinct 3 and are you still in it or are you banned as to give the other competitors a fair chance.

Uncle Tusk replies:
It's been a while since my last "long day of ass-kicking". I try to make my own entertainment, but there's just not a lot happening in the old head-smacking department since those tournaments started to dry up. Makes me sort of wish that there really was a
KI3 in the works. Still, having Maya around keeps me on my toes: particularly when she does that thing of leaping out screaming from behind doors and trying to snap my neck for no apparent reason. Bit disturbing, that one.

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

I am stuck (for about 2-3 weeks now) in a large house/castle. I have found the torch and am now at a room with 2 "spiders" and a locked door. Can't find anywhere else to go, so figure I need to unlock the door. Decided I needed to kill the "spiders", but have found no way to do that either...

I would really appreciate hearing from you if you have any suggestions.

Betty Brown

Uncle Tusk replies:
Including the title of a game somewhere in your mail usually helps. Sounds like it could be Conker's Pocket Tales, but nobody here can remember the bit you're talking about, so it's just as likely that you're one of these cack-spouting lunatics we seem to attract. If not, look for a switch. Switches open doors. You must have missed one in your rush to appear thick in front of thousands of people.

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

In response to Nick's question from your last update, the character in the instruction book of GE is Sean Connery. I know because I have a Gameshark that lets you see pictures of all the other Bonds. If you look on the opposite page you can see him playing multiplayer. On the same page is another fault in the booklet: It says 'Handicap' where 'health' should be. It made me think, exactly how long before releasing the game did you make the book? Anyway, I have a cool idea for you arses at Rare. Why don't you re-release Goldeneye? Add another level (citadel), get all the copyright stuff sorted out, include all Bonds, Dam island, motorbike, silo stuff etc. and it will sell another gazillion copies. I would buy it again! Bet you didn't think of that, eh?! You could spend all the time you wanted on it to get all the copyright stuff done so it wouldn't be a huge hassle. I expect the only problem would be convincing the GE team to take up the development again. Give it a thought please.

See ya.

Uncle Tusk replies:
How long before releasing the game do we sort out the manual? "Long enough for a word to change," says the designer. In fact, long enough for half the game to change, usually. It's just one of those things. Let's get the rest of your rubbish answered:

"You'd buy it again? You'd be the only person who would. And you'd have to buy a gazillion copies, too. We all heard you say that. I hope you've got a fat wallet.

"The amount of time I want to spend on another GoldenEye game would be 'none'; 'copyright stuff' is *always* a huge hassle regardless of the amount of time spent on it; the only problem would be convincing the GE team? And Nintendo, and Eon, and Rare, and..."

* * *

Dear fat boy (yeah you Tusky),

Firstly how come you never show any of my mail? Please would you, my friends would be real jelouse.

Secondly, any info on Banjo-tooie and Perfect Dark? When will they be released?

Thirdly, is it true Castlevania 4, is out in Japan?

Last but not least, I keep asking you this, have Rare any plans for a Zelda type RPG?

Thank you! You a real busha (that means a cool person in Bradford).
Andrew Lisle, Bradford
PS Your not a fatboy I was angry and didnt mean it. Hope I didnt hurt your feelings.

Uncle Tusk replies:
How 'jelouse' do you think your friends will be when I nip round to administer an exclusive plank-based beating? Somehow I expect they'll start laughing. Your questions are, naturally, those of an idiot, except for the
Castlevania one, which is so relevant it hurts. Please never write again.

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

Actually, Eddie Murphy did say "Row his ass" before saying "Paddle his ass." In other words, you were both correct, but I am the king!!!!!!!!!!

Uncle Tusk replies:
You'll look even more stupid than most of the people on this page if you're wrong, but quite honestly I can't be bothered to check.

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

First of all, I hope that you don't mind a letter that expects a serious answer.

Second, I was wondering if those working on creating Perfect Dark have gotten a chance to enjoy some first person shooters developed by other companies. Two in particular that I hope they have had a chance to at least view, or better yet, play are Half-Life and Rainbow Six. The former I think deserves attention because it involves excellent AI, but did not have enemies which sit around. Stationary enemies I believe inhibits the challenge of GE in a number of areas, and while I do not think that all of PD's characters should be zooming around like that, I think at least some of them should. Do not get me wrong, I think that stationary enemies gave GE a very unique flavor at times, but I really think that versitility in this area would add to PD immensely. As for R6, there is no specific aspect that I think PD should borrow, but I think that since it also features realistic weapons that it should observed for a sense of contrast. (Another such game would be Action Quake II).

I was also wondering if anyone on the PD team has had a chance to view or review any John Woo movies. The reason that I bring this up is a couple days ago I was fooling around on the Facility level when I came across the labs with glass doors and large windows. This reminded me of the scene near the end of Hard Boiled in which there is a major showdown with people jumping through similar windows to get to cover, dodge bullets, etc. This event reminded me of an I idea I had a while back. PD will not feature a jump button (and I am completely in favor of this) but what if players automatically jumped over low objects when they ran towards them? I think that this would add a new strategical element to both multiplayer and single player games without making the game's controls any more complex.

Finally I would like to thank you for your time.

Uncle Tusk replies:
Let's put these to the team. Oi! Did you play any other first-person shooters? "Uh, yes..."

Right. And did you watch any John Woo films? "Uh, yes..."

I think that just about covers it. By the way, what would be the point of having 'low objects' in the game if you automatically jumped over them all the time? Surely they might as well just not be there? Nutcase.

* * *

Dear Uncle,

It's been a while since I've checked on your column. Part of me cannot believe the continual onslaught of ignorance. Part of me can: I think I go to school with half of them. Anyway, if you haven't already, check out You see uncle, there is hope! Of course, there's also napalm.
Nephew Jeremy

Uncle Tusk replies:
I prefer good old-fashioned hand-to-hand combat, myself. Much more satisfying to punch out the lights of each and every gibbering dunce in turn than to use one of these new-fangled nancy weapons to wipe them all out in one go without even touching them.

* * *

Hey You,

I'm not gonna address a total stranger as "uncle", so maybe a simple "HEY YOU!" will suffice.

What is it that keeps people from realizing that Rare is too busy and too undermanned to work a sequel to a game that had (barely) moderate success in the market? The only reason KI Gold did as well as it did was the fact that it was the strongest contender in a limited (very limited) market. The Nintendo 64 still has a serious lack of fighting games, and (I bite my tongue as a I say it) KI Gold is still probably the best on the system. Don't get me wrong, the game is fun and has a high replay value, the two most important factors in a game. However, the game lacked the spark of imagination and advancement that other fighting games were showing at the same time. The 2 1/2-D look of KI Gold was (I think) obnoxious at times and the characters held no size scale constant. Had it been a straight up 2D fighter, it'd probably kicked some serious butt, but unfortunately, the game just isn't worthy (for the time being) for another incantation. I'm just saying all this though so you wonderful people will be able to put all your focus on Jet Force Gemini (already got mine reserved, guys...) and Perfect Dark. All I ask, is that all you little, whining punks who do nothing but gripe about there being no KI3 in the works: SHUT UP! Not to sound treacherous, but the KI series just can't hold a finger to titles like Tekken 3 (arcade only, PSX version sucked...) and Soul Calibur (although I must admit that KI was a bit more challenging than both of those...). I think Rare has truly found their niche and they are filling it well with titles like Goldeneye (still the best first-person game of all time, although PD just might change that, I hope...), Banjo Kazooie, Jet Force Gemini and Perfect Dark. Maybe you guys were never meant to make the world's greatest fighting game, but that's okay. Who needs fighting games if we're all completely enveloped by games like PD or JFG? Although a completely original fighting title might be cool from you guys, you're busy enough as it is and I don't want you distracted from your masterpieces!

Good luck as your deadlines near,
PS Take all my suggestions in my survey answers seriously... especially the Joanna Dark swimsuit spread...;)

Uncle Tusk replies:
Now you're asking for it. You've lined yourself up for such a comically infuriated KI devotee backlash that there's not much point in me bothering to come up with any threats of my own.

Yes, we are just a bit busy at the moment, with enough titles on the boil to basically ensure that KI doesn't get another look in before our N64 development draws to a close. You never know what'll happen on future systems, though, and I'll certainly be keeping an eye on the possibility of a KI continuation (because otherwise I'm bound to get replaced by bloody Tiptup or Loggo or something one of these days).

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

Just got a few questions about Perfect Dark for you. (Who'd have thought. - Uncle Tusk)

Firstly I read in a magazine that you could lock on to enemies using c-right, surely this removes either the ability to strafe or the ability to lean while aiming, so how does this work?

Are you going to be able to accurately add colour to the deathmatch characters' faces when pasted from the Game Boy Camera, considering it uses black and white images.

Will the deathmatch bots use crates etc. to provide cover and work together as a team, co-ordinating attacks and covering each other?

William Nicholls
P.S Can you please print a picture of the new Sniper Rifle (not the FarSight).
P.P.S Please include a Surface One style sniping level in deathmatch, the Facility and a mp level editor or random level generator like F-Zero X.

Uncle Tusk replies:
Nice one. More stuff to be fobbed off on the sarcasm-free zone that is the PD designer:

"1. When using a particular weapon it does, yes. Perhaps you should go back and read the article again, but slower this time.

"2. No, we just thought we'd bang any old crap in because we know people will buy the game anyway.

"3. Ideally yes. But we can't promise that they won't run around screaming because the guns scare them or something. Tch! Actors, etc.

"PS No.
"PPS It's already in, it's already in, no and no."

* * *


Although near 50 I enjoy games, especially those for CGB and especially on those long plane flights. However some games are particularly frustrating. Quest for Camelot for example requires you to beat the two final bosses sequentially with no break and this even for my mutant 15 year old has proved impossible. Conker did not at first appear this way and was very enjoyable right up to the islands and the races there-in. Neither I nor the 15 year old seem to be able to beat them and thus though humiliating I must ask for help. I have not gotten past either the long jump nor the hurdles. I hope you can help and it is not simply a matter of having reflexes and timing beyond human.

Thanks in advance,
David Ginley

Uncle Tusk replies:
"Beyond human"? I think you mean "beyond hopeless", you cack-handed divot. "Near 50" referred to the number of vodkas you had before playing, did it? How can you
not be able to complete these games? I cry tears of bitter despair for your appalling lack of competence. Hope that helped in some way.

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

Tell us the story of Banjo-Tooie again... Really, what's the deal with Banjo-Tooie. I've just got Back-into-Banjo and saw the pictures again. In Nintendo Power they always tell the patient subscriber what cames are coming out in the next season, the one after that, and future. They haven't said a single thing about Banjo-Tooie! I know you guys have been busy with Jet Force Gemini
(Looks really cool!) and stuff like that, but what about poor Banjo and Kazooie. They seemed happy that they would be in another game, and yet you neglect them for other games. Please give me the scoop on Banjo.


Uncle Tusk replies:
What 'scoop'? It's coming out next year, and we've got at least three other games lined up before then. Is it so outrageous that we're trying to promote those first? Just as soon as the B-T mob are ready to flaunt their first screenshots or game details, we'll post them. At the moment they've still got their heads down beavering away, and I sincerely doubt that having people with names like 'Funkatator' write in is likely to prompt a sudden screenshot explosion from them.

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

Played GOLDENEYE, got through all the levels on each Agent level. All (including the AZTEC level) except THE CRADLE OO. What is the point of this level? It is painfully frustrating. No skill is required, no matter how hard I try I get whipped. Walking up the walkway from the starting point sees me getting hammered to half health. These black costumed b*st*rds don't miss. The level is pointless and I feel it is the only let down in the game. Make sure PERFECT DARK uses strategy, skill and stealth rather than impossible enemies that get harder to kill on each level. When I shoot a man in the face with an UZI I expect him to die. FYI I erased the cartridge, two nights ago. I'd had enough and decided the EGYPT level was a toss anyway. Stand on squares to stop the guns from opening, really how Indiana Jones can you get. Any tips on beating this stupid level would be appreciated.

Whingeing Aussie

Uncle Tusk replies:
Stop being so USELESS. You wouldn't have any TROUBLE with GOLDENEYE if you weren't such a limp-wristed BABOON. Here's the DESIGNER.

"Indiana Jones never did that. And we all know it's you, Mr. Lazenby, so stop trying to pull the wool.

"If you are really having so much trouble, try tilting backwards as you run up the walkway so that the lockon has an easier time of it. As soon as you see the gun twitch, start shooting, and don't let up until it returns to the zero position. If you want to collect the armour near the start, be quick about it or you'll get slaughtered. It's supposed to be a hard level. However, many thousands of people worldwide have managed to do it, so it is not impossible. The problem seems to be in your mind. Let go your conscious self.

"Incidentally, the cartridge told us it erased itself anyway because you were so crap. Mr. Williamson's influence extends around the globe, I see."

* * *

Dear Uncle Tusk,

Interesting set up for you, after KI Gold. It's funny to read your responses to things that people post. So here is my effort to match up to them.

1) In previous dated "Uncle Tusks", you mention that KI3 is in development and there was no more need hide it from people. Well, I see nothing on the site for KI3 in development, and some info might prove far more cool than I can imagine. Can you help in arranging this?

2) KI Gold was to have taken place before KI1. So who's the old man in the training mode? Why is he so passive against the multitude of characters, most of which look far more evil and deadly than what he's been used to in his own time? Will train anybody, anywhere, anytime...

3) In KI1, the characters were all pretty much balanced. If you learned one, you could move on to the next charcter and learn them, and get just as good with each one. In KI Gold, the weights are shifted, and one character's strengths have turned to weaknesses. Sabrewolf, in KI1, was a mediocre character that turned evil in KI Gold. A good player could make use of him in the first, but a good player becomes undefeated in the second. Even the rock-paper-scissors battle system did nothing for this. Why did the engine progress this way?

4) Why is the A.I. in KI Gold so damn cheap? It stops being fun and just gets frustrating.

5) Why is Gargos easier to beat than Eyedol? I was surprised to find that Fulgore was tougher than Gargos was. Long live Eyedol!

6) What about those endings? Did Thunder ever find his brother? Did he need to? Did Jago ever hit that "higher plane of existence" he was looking for? Did Glacius really make it home? Did Cinder ever get cured? Did he really need to? Did Orchid ever get over that awful breast disease that made all her enemies die from sight of them?

Thanks for the info,
Jeff C

Uncle Tusk replies:
1) Stop it. Really. It's not big and it's not clever.

2) The truth is, old Spinal was so nervous about performing his feeble moves in front of that old fella that I took pity on him for once, escorted the doddering old fool round the back and belted him across the back of the head until he was so dizzy he couldn't see straight. Improved everyone's chances at the end of the day.

3) You really are talking out of your arse now.

4) No, it's great. You're just a soft ponce.

5) Gargos was a bit rusty after 2000 years. Give him a break, eh?

6) Thunder's brother Eagle was dead, Jago's just as soft as you and I never did understand all that mysticism tosh he used to spout, Glacius killed Cinder and buggered off home, and Orchid... well, I've never seen it for myself so I'm not sure what's going on in there.

* * *

Dear Daddy,

Well, the world is going great, I don't understand why everyone is always shooting at me. You probably noticed that I know coherent English now. I thought that was pretty cool. I also know a bit of Swahili now. Habari, bwana! It was all thanks to those nice men in the Falkland Islands. Ah, well. I suppose I'll head on to Africa next and see those Swahili people, or something. Maybe they won't drop big booming things on me. Tell Mommy to
send more money, I'm runnin' a bit short and they don't always take credit there. Where is Mommy, anyway? Last I heard, she was in America with that guy, DJ Combo was it? Wait, did you know about that? Ah, well. I gotta stop writing now. Things are having a habit of melting when I get too close to them for a while.

Your faithful kitty,

Uncle Tusk replies:
Aww, that's nice. He's such a good boy. Much more endearing when he's not here to infest my boots with his fleas and leave snot trails all over the furniture. Yeah, Maya gets these little notes from that Combo guy all the time asking if she's available to join him at his gym for a good workout - poor fool's obviously past it and needs all the training he can get. She must really put him through his paces, too, because she always seems exhausted when she gets back at around 3am. Bless her.

* * *

Yo, Tusk dude,

I have some questions about Jet Force Gemini. Is the cooperative mode three-player (for all three characters)? Are there gonna be any battle modes?

This game is looking really cool and it's a sure buy! I also loved Zelda 64! Congratulations, Tusk! I still haven't found all 100 Skulltulas you so masterfully hid there.
P.S. I bet you're really p*ssed off right now.

Uncle Tusk replies:
Not at all. Intentional stupidity I can tolerate. The JFG co-operative mode is actually 64-player, hence the game coming bundled with a 16-way plug for each controller port. Battle modes, however, are widely renowned as a stupid idea, and seeing as nobody bothered with the ones in GoldenEye we just decided to forget about it. Hope that 'answers' your 'questions'.

* * *

Dear fist-thumpin', arse-kickin', sword-wieldin' (I know, Ryan Mead, don't tell me), warpaint-wearin', big boot thumpin', rippley-muscled Unkie Tusk,

How's thangs? Everyone givin' ya the big-arse sprinkled donut at lunchbreak? No? Beat 'em up for me, will ya? (Those no-good Nazi b*st*rds)... uh, I mean... AHEM. How's life treatin' ya, Tusky boy? I know times are rough now, but soon you'll get that big promotion someday!! Anyways, to the question: How's thangs lookin' for Perfect Dark? I'm betting you won't answer this one straight, but I'll try anyways. I haven't heard anything about the available views on it. On the whole crapload of screenshots I've seen, some shots were of Joanna Dark in 3rd person perspective, and on others, they looked like the best game ever, GoldenEye. You know, the 1st person shooter look, wit da gun out in front. Here's the crappy question: can you have the traditional GoldenEye look, AND have that outstanding 3rd person view, too? Or are all those 3rd person pics just of cinema scenes? Hey, if ya put this one in the site, I'll pay ya 100 bucks-rats!! Someone's already offered that already... How about-crap. I'm babbling. Sorry, Mister Tusk, sir, I did not mean to offend you. No, please! Don't raise the whuppin' stick!! No! ARGH!!!!
P.S. This is to Jim the Evil Postman. You SUCK man!!! That's the best you can do??!! 1:21??!! Oh my god, he really DOES suck!!! Try to beat 1:15, my good man! WithOUT any cheats!!! MWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!!! AND I have proof of that, so there!!! And yes, Sean Williamson sucks. I'll agree with ya there.

P.P.S. Tusky boy, if you don't print this, you'll NEVER HEAR THE END OF ME AGAIN!!!!!!!!!! (cue evil music)

Uncle Tusk replies:
'Big-arse sprinkled donut'? What are you talking about? What's your first language? In fact, what are your second, third and fourth languages, you jabbering mental case? I daresay I'd have to crack out a whole crateload of 'whuppin' sticks' to stand any chance of beating some sense into you. Let's see if PD's designer has any more luck trying to decipher your idiot babble.

"Those tricky '3rd-person screenshots' were in actual fact stills from the cutscenes, as even the Duke of Edinburgh would have figured out after a few false starts.
"PS We only have evidence of Sean Williamson's crapness on one level. He may well be the best player in the world on every other level, but this one particular level is his Achilles heel, the one thing he cannot do. Whereas you have two things you cannot do: communicating normally and not appearing like a idiot.
"PPS I think somehow we will."

* * *

Dear U.T.,

I'd just like to say that Banjo-Kazooie has one of the best soundtracks I've ever heard in a game. I've seen some midi versions of some songs floating around on the web, and I've heard about the CD, too, but I still haven't been able to find one song: It's the tune from Rusty Bucket Bay, when you go inside the smoke-stack and into the engine room, with all the machinery. It's got a spooky quality that I can't get enough of.

Anyways, if anyone knows where I can find a midi version (or any other version), or just some info about the song, I'd be glad.

Uncle Tusk replies:
Quiet, everyone, quiet! It's a non-GoldenEye/PD question. Let's get a response from the Banjo musician before anyone notices:

"At last, recognition for my pain and suffering as a sensitive artiste etc. etc.

"Errr... the inspiration behind the aforementioned piece was... Errrmmm... I can't remember actually. I think I was trying to write something that sounded mechanical and sort of oily as well. It's not on the CD because there just wasn't enough room for all the Banjo tunes as they totalled well over 74 minutes (the limit on a CD).

"Ahh... the smell of oil on big cogs, there's nothing like it!"