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Mini-Scribes: May 10, 2011

This is what you waited for, no rehearsals, no more stalling, Mini-Scribes
Have it tattooed on the inside of your pink and sleepy eyelids, Mini-Scribes…

Q: Ahoy there! I had some questions about the credits area of Banjo-Kazooie on XBLA. What exactly does ‘Moving N Shaking’ mean? It’s spoken by Gnawty the Beaver in the credits. Does it mean getting rid of the ‘N’ logo at the game startup maybe? Only logical explanation I got. By the way, thank you for releasing B-K, B-T, and PD on XBLA. So awesome! Love the nostalgia!
   Derek aka Firebomb 87

A: King of Banjo Mr. G. Mayles says: “‘Moving n’ shaking’ was an ‘hilarious’ category name for the credits, in the same way that the programmers were known as ‘keyboard tappers’ and the artists as ‘scribblers’. ‘Moving n’ shaking’ was the ‘bigwigs that sorted non-game stuff out’ category – like Tim, Joel and so on. The use of the ‘n’ was simply a ‘cool’ replacement for the word ‘and’.”

Q: So here we are again. Another year has (almost) passed and we nostalgic not-so-few are still wishing, nay, DEMANDING, you give us once and for all a decent sequel to Donkey Kong Country, and… wait… whoa. Did that really happen? Well, never mind. Don’t think even for a second that we will stop bugging you. Never. Jamais. Nie. Nunca. Mai. Not until we get GoldenEye 007 on W… what the… did the Lord Of Games get drunk or something?
   But still, I have to see the day you loonies decide to release a controller-free, motion sensing, casual-ish, even-those-that-think-Mr. Pants-is-an-underwear-brand-can-play game. Ha. That would be rid– oh. Holy Sabreman, this year was strange. Never saw all this coming. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Isn’t it?
   Well, all I have left to say is: A Very Merry Christmas To Everyone! Or whatever you celebrate. Or don’t celebrate. But let it be Very Merry. And of course, Best Wishes and Happy New Year. You people deserve some great Holidays, after all, it’s you who made the formula that endures in these games all these years later. Mine sure will be great. Barrel-blasting, banana-saving, tiki-bashing, nostalgia-reviving great.
   Timelessly yours,
   The Ghost Of Christmas Future Past (currently stuck in the present)
   PS Still waiting for Tomorrow Never Dies though.

A: What’s all this about Christmas? Why are you talking like it’s December when it’s clearly May? Are you insinuating that there’s a months-long backlog of Scribes questions that we dig into at will? Just as well, nobody asks us anything printable any more. Oh, and cheers, by the way. Though of course we can’t take the credit for the hard work done by Retro and Eurocom in this generation. Feel that Christmas spirit! Happy New Year, fellas! You know, for four and a half months ago.
   PS Current thinking is to make it a match-three puzzle game. Check back with us in another 14 years.

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Mini-Scribes: March 10, 2011

Let’s join forces, we’ve got our guns and horses
I know you’ve been burned, but Mini-Scribes is a lesson learned…

Q: Dear Scribes,
   I want to introduce my nephew to the wonderful world of Banjo-Kazooie. As he’s only ten months old, he’s a little bit too young for the games. I set about searching the internet for some kind of soft/plush toy but managed to find nothing. Did any Banjo-Kazooie soft toys exist at any point, and if so is there any way I can get my hands on one?
   Dean Jones

A: There were definitely plush toys at one point – at two points actually, once with Banjo and Mumbo Jumbo to support the original N64 Banjo games, and again featuring the Nuts & Bolts Banjo model a couple of years ago. Not sure whether the latter was widely released, and the Nintendo-licensed N64-era ones are relegated to the eBay circuit nowadays. If we had some gathering dust at the back of our tat cupboard, we’d send one your way… but nope. We did find some out-of-date, slightly runny Chewits if you want those instead.

Q: Dear Rare,
   Are there plans to make a new platformer/adventure game some time soon? Similar maybe to Conker and Banjo, but something new? That’d be cool beans.
   Alexander Van Broeck

A: Why do you hate Conker and Banjo so much, man? Suggesting we make a game that’s basically the same as the ones they were in, but refuse to let either of them be in it. So cold. Well, it’s all academic for now – with us ‘doing’ Kinect at the moment, we’re content to sit back and let other developers supply the required market share of platforming jiggerypokery.

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Mini-Scribes: February 11, 2011

In violent times, you shouldn’t have to sell your soul
In Mini-Scribes, they really really ought to know…

Q: Yo. Old-school Banjo fan here. I want jumping, Jiggies, Jinjos. Make the vehicles vanish and all that jazz you’ve been receiving, etc. Yeah, I want a new Banjo game that’s a you-know-what-er. I bet all that sounded like the stuff you get all the time. So I’m not gonna spend this letter bugging you guys about the possibility of a new Banjo platformer, even though I personally think the Xbox needs a traditional platforming mascot.
   Rather, I was wondering if you could shed some light on some of those concepts that were being kicked around before the vehicle idea for Nuts & Bolts was decided on. You know, the more traditional follow-up for Tooie. How far in the development process did you guys get with those ideas before they were scrapped? Any fun tidbits you could share about that?
   Merry Christmas, assuming you get this before Santa falls down the chimney faster than Banjo the pumpkin. If it’s after the 25th, happy new year. If it’s after that, er, happy Valentine’s Day? Maybe this letter will fall into the void that all those unsold Grabbed by the Ghoulies copies went to.
   Gregor Machenspiel

A: Marvellous name. Have you thought about being a supervillain? You could have a machete and a glockenspiel. You could even team up with Eda Torpeda from the last Mini-Scribes to form a crime-fighting duo and/or firm of solicitors. We would seriously consider using Machenspiel & Torpeda for any small claims/vigilante needs.
   What was your question again? Oh right. I don’t think it went very far down the brand new traditional platformer route – it wandered briefly down Banjo-Kazooie remake alley and stopped for a sandwich in Banjo vs. Grunty competitive collectathon plaza before thundering onto the motorway of game-altering vehicular twists behind the wheel of a mental flying car with ejector seats and a flamethrower.

Q: Sup Rare,
   I have a few things to ask if I may.
   1. After Kinect Sports, if you were to create a new IP, what would your preference in genre be?
   2. I’ve been playing some games made by a company called Twisted Pixel games and I always get sudden nostalgia when I play. Have you played any of their games and what do you think of them?
   3. Will Kinect Sports have an unlockable Banjo costume? I think fans of Rare would enjoy that.
   Thanks for listening, and I think it’s great that you’re developing Kinect games.

A: 1) That’s a big question, Jim-double-m. We’ve prototyped all manner of stuff over the years, the majority of which you will – melodramatically – never see. Everyone’s got an idea, but these days teams and budgets are so big it all comes down to greenlights and marketability. Plus if we just say “MMORPG” or “3D fighter” it will solidify into fact on the forums in about 45 minutes.
   2) Most of us here are keen gamers – personally I played a lot of ‘Splosion Man (we referred to it on Twitter back in the day as “kind of like DKC for people who’d rather blow stuff up than befriend an ostrich”) until being stopped short by my own bumbling gamer rage. Comic Jumper has also provided many of what the kids call ‘lols’.
   3) Haven’t heard anything, and that’d better not happen before a Mr. Pants costume anyway.

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Mini-Scribes: January 25, 2011

First Mini-Scribes of 2011! Happy New Year to you, almost a month in. Resolution for 2011: ensure Community page gets updated so that proper big old Scribes can come back at some point. Come on, let’s have some letters for it. Come on, you crazy mavericks.

Q: Hi Rare,
   Kameo is an excellent unique platformer for the 360 with a lot of variety. Will you guys please make a sequel for it?

A: Let’s start as we mean to go on. Kameo design alumnus Chris says: “Platformer?! *Cough, splutter!* We’re clearly a sprawling action-adventure across a lush fantasy environment. It says so on the box and everything. No sequel to announce right now, I’m afraid – not even a Kinect version where you can slap Ortho around a bit – but never say never!”

Q: 1. Is Battletoads or KI get a new game in series?
   2. Is new Battletoads be hard as hell like original for the NES? I like this game for its legendary difficulty. When i was young i was thinking that 3rt stage was impossible to beat but then i realize that this game becomes progressively harder each stage and have 12 stages. When i finally beat that game ahhh… feels good man.
   Eda Torpeda

A: Now that’s a name.
   1) Could happen. Isn’t happening right now, but could happen.
   2) Wait, you’re saying it’s happening? How come I haven’t heard about this? I hope it’s not as hard as the original, because people seem remarkably reluctant to let that one go even though all we did was ruin their childhoods and probably break a couple of hundred thousand controllers.

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Mini-Scribes: December 22, 2010

In the suburbs, I
I learned to drive, and you told me we’d never survive
Grab your Mini-Scribes, we’re leaving…

Q: Alright Rare, you’ve made my arms hurt, my legs hurt, my chest feels funny and my shoulders ache! After I play, I need to rest for 3 grueling days!! But I will master Kinect Sports just to prove that you cannot boss me around!
   Umm… A question… Hmmm… In the game Kinect Sports, which sport or mini-game is the office favorite?
   Cheers Big Ears!
   Marek Wozniak

A: Let’s see who’s around to tackle this so close to Xmas… aha! Football/Soccer designer Shaun.
   “Well, seeing as I’m the one replying I’m obviously going to go for one of the footy ones! To be honest though, Super Saver was one of the first parts of the game to really get a competitive feel going round the barn.
   “One memory is me committing a ‘slightly’ unbalanced version. Mr. Neill Harrison, being the competitive young thing that he is, wouldn’t let it beat him. 1000 saves later (taking all of half an hour), the game was beaten… as was Neill.”

Q: I believe there is a travesty taking place. It would seem that every posh new fighting game has numerous colourful ultra combos used to make them stand out from the crowd. But lest we forget, it was you blokes who truly created the “ULTRAAAH!” combos… and therefore must be rewarded for it with millions of XBLA download “profits”.
   So with that in mind, would it be at all possible to text the chaps over at 4J Studios for a bit of the old… “remake remake” for KI?
   Matt Saroni

A: Not that simple, June Sarpong. Nowadays everything needs to be weighed up, pitched, justified, budgeted, forecast and so on. It’s understandable – the games market has grown to become so crowded and competitive, the right opportunity is more precious than ever – but it does mean we’re not in a position to accommodate every KI3 (or JFG2, or Other Bad Fur Day, or Banjo platformer) request that comes in. Not that we ever were, but now WITH BELLS ON. It won’t stop the requests, and far be it from us to frown upon your enthusiasm for games we created, but a lot of people seem to think we’re refusing to play ball out of simple stubbornness.

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Mini-Scribes: December 8, 2010

Come to me, cover me, hold me
Together we’ll break this Mini-Scribes…

Q: 2 Questions,
   1 How soon is soon? On the website when you hit games…
   2 Can you let anything loose about some new platformers, perhaps some shooters or even a race game?
   Will Litmaath

A: Is this a Litmaath test? Hahaha. #chemistryjoke Oh hang on, this isn’t Twitter.
   1) Soonish. We’re slowly filling in the sections when we get time between all the other boisterous shenanigans that go on around here.
   2) Does it have to be factual, provable and related to Rare? If not, we can sort you out with something, no trouble.

Q: Hello Rare, i have 2 questions for you..
   i’m a big fan of perfect dark and kameo elements of power, so my question is, will be they come a sequel? i wait 5 years for a new game :( only viva pinata become a sequel, this is very sad..
   i have see kinect sports, this is great. but i hope you make sequels of the classic games … i cant believe that is only the game, they developed are for 2 years :(
   Kameo Elements of Power was great, and only the best Jump and Run Game on Next Gen Consoles, perfect dark the best Shooter Game on the xbox 360.. so we want more classic games please :(
   i hope you answered …
   Harun Aydin

A: We did answered – we are answer right now. Kinect Sports needed almost the entire Rare workforce to get behind it because it’s new technology and there are so many variables, plus we built this thing from the ground up to take advantage of Kinect rather than just bolting wavy-hand functionality onto something that already existed. If there are to be sequels to the likes of Kameo or PD, they’ll come further down the line as we’re currently all about the specialised Kinect projects. I hope I don’t have to look back on this in a few years’ time when we’ve rushed out Kinect Kameo with awkward gesture transformations. Spin around on the spot to turn into 40 Below! No.

Q: I barely noticed that most of the cheats for Bad Fur Day are dirty words, hilarious. Huh when I was 8 I was tellin my friend the cheats. I feel dirty now. :) Thanks to you guys I know call some of my friends Wellytops or Chocolate Star Fish. Peace and Good Day.
   Nathan M

A: BFD designer Mr. Seavor is suitably gratified: “I knew Conker would have some cultural impact, however small.”

Blast from the Past: November 30, 2001

Q: Why is it that Taj the Genie refers to every character as ‘Freddy’? He distinctly says “FREDDY! Hello there – this is for you.” Does he have an identity crisis? Perhaps a disturbing experience as a child involving Freddy Kreuger movies?
   Thanking you for your kind assistance,
   Aussie Ben

A: What is this, Random Taj Accusation Week?
   Nevertheless, I’ve spent precious time and effort negotiating a deal with my ex-DKR team contacts for a final answer on this controversial issue, and here it is:
   “What is this fool talking about?”

Got a question for Scribes/Mini-Scribes? Kick it over. We reserve the right to meet it head-on with a spectacular diving save or watch with a blank expression as it rebounds off the crossbar. Why not go crazy and ask us something we could be in a position to answer – that might work.


Mini-Scribes: November 23, 2010

We don’t need another hero
We don’t need to know the way home
All we want is life beyond the Mini-Scribes…

Q: Dear Banjo-Makers,
   It seems Rare has moved on from 3D platformers and on to the more popular and current genres out there (OMGOSH FPS!!!1111thenumberone11111!!11!!!!!11!!!1!), but you know, I’m okay with that, as Spongebob Squarepants would say, it is nature’s way. With that said do you guys still support the genre as fans? The few 3D platformers coming out now are generally on the Wii (Epic Mickey for example, I mean come on! You guys made Mickey’s Speedway USA! Which now that I think about it is odd because you’re stationed in the UK, but still if anyone should have got to make a Mickey platformer it’s Rareware!) but do you still enjoy the genre at your leisure?
   Micro Moose

A: Naturally – we’re all still gamers, we all have our own tastes irrespective of what we’re working on. It’s fair to say that we can appreciate the likes of Super Mario Galaxy 2 as much as the next man/woman/Toad. After the experimental aspects of Nuts & Bolts, it was just assumed rather than stated that we’d ‘abandoned’ pure platformers. In truth anything is still fair game, but as we’re prioritising Kinect at this point in time we need to think about things that work best in that area. That’s how we landed on Kinect Sports, and that’s how we’ll whittle down the options to work out what comes next.

Q: Wizards and Warriors. One of the best games developed by Rare in the day. Bring it back. Bring it back right.
   Erik M Heckman

A: How do we know if we’re bringing it back right? What if we inadvertently bring it back wrong? You know – like Flatliners. It’s just too risky, man.

Q: Are there any possibilities for a PC version of Nuts & Bolts? I’m a longtime Banjo fan and I don’t want to dish out $250 for just one game.
   Kalen Hodge

A: Not very likely at this stage. Viva Piñata made it, but it was a much better fit for the PC market at the time. Still, look on the bright side, once you’ve got a 360 you can also download the tarted-up versions of Kazooie and Tooie. And Jetpac Refuelled while you’re there – might as well. Then go back and pick up Kameo and Ghoulies and Viva Piñata. See? Practically paid for itself already.

Blast from the Past: May 5, 2004

Q: I’ve had Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie for quite some time now. But there are a couple of questions I’ve wanted to know:
   1. Where did Tooty run off to?
   2. Does Klungo have any children?
   3. Banjo and Tooty live in the same house, but Banjo is seen sleeping in one bed, does Tooty sleep with Mr. Goldfish or in the fireplace?
   Should we expect a return of Tooty in the next and rumored “BANJO-THREEIE” or will she be changed into a sexy woman in Conker: Live & Uncut for Conker to oogle his acorns at?

A: Thrown crazily out to the Banjo team:
   “1) She went to pick Collywobbles, Bawls and Toppers. I bet you’re none the wiser now, are you?
   “2) In the absence of horrendously ugly, hunchbacked female minions – no.
   “3) Err, we didn’t really think Banjo’s house through too well, did we? I know, let’s say there are a number of secret bedrooms hidden behind the fireplace, where Banjo, Kazooie and Tooty have a ROOM EACH. The front room is just for show for the benefit of the players.
   “Why would a squirrel be interested in eyeing up a bear? That’s sick, that is.”

Got a question for Scribes/Mini-Scribes? Throw it over. We reserve the right to catch it one-handed in a devastating display of cool, or swear and refuse to answer when it hits us in the face. Chances of publication are better if your question breaks new ground in the field of not asking us the same thing for the 700th time.


Mini-Scribes: October 14, 2010

Mini-Scribes calling, yes I was there too / And you know what they said, well some of it was true
Mini-Scribes calling at the top of the dial / And after all this, won’t you give us a smile?

Q: Please give us a new release soon! I’ve just been playing Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts nonstop, and at writing moment I’m downloading the two original N64 games (Banjo-Kazooie & Banjo-Tooie) from XBLM. Oh, and I have Viva Piñata: Trouble In Paradise ordered and waiting for its delivery. But it’s been 2 years since you released something new, if you don’t count your XBLM releases (which I don’t, evil as I am). I want a true platformer a lá Banjo-Kazooie released for the 360, and soon! Or even a Nuts & Bolts 2.
   Thank you for doing as I tell you, I expect a release within 2 months or so.
   Much Love,
   Chris from Sweden

A: Oh, Chris from Sweden! Not one of those other manky Chrises. For you, Swedish Chris, we will do our best to get a game out within two months. Kinect Sports, I mean. For anything else, you might have to wait a bit… maybe a bit longer. But all those other excellent Rare games should keep you going, and in purchasing them you may have generated enough royalties to buy us a packet of crisps. Nice one.

Q: I have 2 Qeustions 1. Are you going to make another Banjo-Kazooie title fore de DS like you made Banjo-Kazooie Grunty’s Revenge?? 2. Cane you make a Banjo-Kazooie Remake on the DS??
   Robin Schuurman

A: Banjo-3DSie confirmed! Although by confirmed I do mean 100% utterly speculative. We haven’t done much in the handheld ‘space’ since DKR DS and Pocket Paradise – could we dip our toes in again at some point? Possibly. 3DS? Not for me to say. Bandai WonderSwan? No.

Q: Why is it so hard to find a used copy of Conker: Live & Reloaded? I remember back in 2005-2006 it was freakin’ everywhere in stores (I didn’t buy it cause my friend had it) and now a couple of years later it’s impossible to find in the used bin, I still find Grabbed by the Ghoulies (which is also an awesome game). I really wish you would make Reloaded for Games on Demand (the best Xbox Original).
   Mikael Ruhtenberg

A: It’s not that hard to find – just checked eBay and it’s full of copies. Not dirt cheap, but still less than full whack. We don’t control what gets added to Games on Demand, and it seems to be more focused on downloadable versions of 360 games nowadays, so hunting down a physical copy is still your best bet. Make sure it comes with the award-winning (sort of, not really) manual!
   Conker overlord Mr. Seavor says: “TBH, I’d have thought there’d be loads of CL+Rs around? BFD is the tough one to find (they still go for a premium on eBay)… You can have my copy for a tenner.”
   PS Please don’t really send us a tenner.

Blast from the Past: February 19, 2002

Q: I hope you can answer this question since I’ve heard people on certain web site claim PD Zero is going to be cel-shaded. I am now used to the fact that Zelda sports this new look but please tell me this isn’t the case for PD Zero.
   I’m a huge fan of everything Rare (except KI). Also please tell me that all the horrible delays are going to be a thing of the past. I’m cautiously optimistic that this issue is now fixed.
   Btw… I would appreciate it if you guys put out about 5 games per year 😉
   Mucho thanks,

A: I quote from the previous edition of Scribes: “We haven’t even announced any kind of sequel to Perfect Dark yet, let alone confirmed the ludicrously rampant third-person rumour.” To this I can now add “…or the completely out-of-the-blue cel-shading rumour.”
   We’d like to put out five games a year as well, but unfortunately we’re not in 1983 any more, Toto.

Got a question for Scribes/Mini-Scribes? Send it over. We reserve the right to respond with startling clarity or deliberate evasiveness, or both, or neither. Make it a shimmering, thought-provoking gem of a question and you’re more likely to be ‘featured’.