Scribes - December 8, 2006
It's the stupid Rare letters page! Send us your mail! Stand tall like a man, headstrong like a horse!
Greetings and Salutations,
     Kameo's great fun, but I'd be interested to know if Kameo herself ever had any other combat moves besides her kickflip?
     Is there a designated Live Arcade development team at Rare? If you could release one legacy title from the Rare back catalogue to shiny all-singing, all-dancing life, which one would you pick, Banjo team?
     In a totally unrelated query, it would be cool to see a big Killer Instinct easter egg appear in an upcoming Rare game. Oh, yeah, query... Sorry, that time of the year, you know.
     For a game that's due for release in the first quarter of next year, there's scarce information available regarding your Diddy Kong Racing DS title. A good number of your portable, er, ports arrive sporting all-new content beyond that featured in the original version. But I wonder, will Future Funland be included in the DS game, at all?
     Thanks for your time,
You might think you can scupper me by directing questions to multiple teams and departments within a single email, but I'm one step ahead of you all the way, laughing boy.
     Kameo team: "A variety of combat moves (some more brutal than others) were trialled during the Xbox days, but ultimately it's Kameo's warriors that make the combat so distinctive and we didn't want to take away from that. What kinds of brutal moves, you ask? I'd tell you, but I wouldn't want to give you nightmares..."
     Banjo team: "It would have to be Mr. Pants. We spent ages creating those puzzles only for three people to actually appreciate them by purchasing the Game Boy Advance version. Maybe if we chucked a gun, some profanities and couple of Piñatas into it our sales might reach double figures."
     DKR team: "If you already know that we're going to put in lots of all-new content then why are you wasting our time asking? Yes, DKR is coming with lots of new content."
Opinion is split between 'so cute' and 'hypnotic Mephistophelean nightmare'
Dear Rare Ware/Banjo Team/Scribes/Blah Blah/etc,
     I was wondering if people from Rare had any involvement whatsoever in the Viva Piñata TV show. Or was it just 4Kids who made all of it? Also in the show the piñatas talk, however you stated previously that they don't talking the game. So... in the game are they able to understand each other? What do you mean by the show and game taking place on different parts of Piñata Island?
Grandpa Jenkins
"They don't talking the game"? "Blah"s and pauses all over the place? How old are you exactly, Grandpa? Maybe it's about time we imposed an upper age limit in here.
     Let's throw your question out to the Piñata team: "We've been involved with the TV show right from the start. We helped choose the leading characters and we read all the scripts to see that the show stays true to VP. Fortunately 4Kids 'got' the idea behind VP really quickly so this hasn't been too much of a chore. Plus we get a preview of all the cartoons before they are shown on TV (which is great)!
     "We've given 4Kids enough room to do what they do best, which is why the piñatas speak on TV but don't speak in the game. In the game piñatas are pretty independent, they move around the garden and interact and behave in a natural way. Some piñatas don't like others, some are a bit crazy, others are just plain disobedient but they don't really talk to each other.
     "Piñata Island is the home for everything piñata; Fergy, Franklin and Hudson live in one part, and in the game your garden is in another part."
To whom it may concern:
     I have a question about the game GoldenEye 007 for the Nintendo 64 and am wondering about the pronunciation of the weapon DD44 Dostovei. I realize this is quite trivial but I was just interested. Please forward this e-mail to someone who would be able to help me, as no other address was found on the site. Thank you very much.
     Nick Wiersum
You've ended up being forwarded to me, and I'm about to forward you on again to our multiplayer design droid, the Duncobot. For my part I suspect it's pronounced 'DD44 Dostovei', but I might be wrong.
     "You are quite correct, it is pronounced DD44 Dostovei. Phonetic help for the brainally under-excellent: Dee Dee / Fortee For / Doss Toe Vai (final syllable rhymes with 'eye', not 'gay' or 'fey', hopefully following East German pronunciation of 'ei' as 'eye', as in the word 'ein', meaning 'one', or 'eine', also meaning 'one')."
To whom is not concerned,
     I'm on to you, you and all you English game developer types. You're trying to put me out of my job as an American game developer. You and your "Banjos" and your "Ghoulies", you're just trying to take up all of my time so that I can't concentrate on beating you to market with the next awesomely great nugget of 1337ness! Well, I won't stand for it! I challenge you to a duel: mano-a-mano-a-mano-a... or however many of you willy-warmer wearing w*nkers want to take me on. The contest: I challenge you to announce "Banjo Threeie" before I release "Teddy Bear and Robin" in November 2006. If you succeed, you will have the upper hand in the overly crowded Bear & Bird Buddy Quest genre. If you fail, babies will cry, and you don't want that do you?
     Just to ensure that this contest is fair, we will need an impartial judge. I would like to recommend we use the Marzipan MoneyMaker Man, a wonderfully sweet old codger with a coin in his arse. I doubt he knows much about games, so he can objectively see that you will be the clear winner of this "announce Banjo now" contest.
     If by some act of God, Buddha, Loveday or Krishna you have already announced Banjo Threeie before TB&R hits the market, I will concede the contest to you and let you post a picture of myself wearing a 15-second arse as a mask. It's a win-win situation for all involved (except the arse, who would be humiliated to be seen anywhere near me).
     I look forward to you wiping this silly grin off of my face by beating and humiliating me in this most important competition.
     Joe "Rumble Box PWNS Ghoulies" Bourrie
As you've probably gathered, this was sent just before we announced the next Banjo game at X06. Joe hasn't been back in touch since, which I take to mean he's hiding under an armchair and hoping we don't call him out on the 'arse mask' bet. Well, no dice, Joseph! Send us the goods pronto! We did as you asked, not a single baby cried in the making of the X06 trailer, and now it's time for you to make good on your promise. Don't make me publish your email address.
Dear Scribes,
     This has been bugging me for probably over five years: why don't Humba Wumba and Mumbo Jumbo like each other?
     Also, I just want to let you guys know that I firmly believe that the Banjo-Kazooie series is the most imaginative and fun game series of all time, and you guys totally deserved more IAAs.
     Will Bobbert
The designer and responsible party says: "It's hard to write entertaining dialogue when characters like each other, so it is far easier for them not to. If you don't believe that explanation, then maybe it's because they both think they are the best magically. Or how about they do like each other but are afraid to show it, so pretend not to like each other out of embarrassment? Tell you what - you choose a reason and let us know.
     "Anyway, thank you very much. Personally I'd forgo the IAAs and settle for more cash and world domination, where everyone is forced to speak in Banjo-mumble."
Hey Scribes!
     First, I experienced Kameo over 3 months ago, and though I only had a 3-4 hour session with it, I'm still hooked on the game (and listening constantly to the 7 free music tracks on your website). Kudos to the animators for creating a perfect flying animation for Kameo, which is the first thing that caught my interest. As an avid Nintendo fanboy, I was anticipating the Wii, but the lackluster launch titles and the prospect of a pointer-based Mario have me looking towards the 360 and Kameo.
     Anyways, To increase the chance of getting posted, I'm going to ask my question in reverse...
     ?063 xobx eht rof remroftalp d3 rehtona fo tnempoleved eht gniredisnoc eraR si ,oS It really makes the difference for those of us who love platforming, but don't like collect-a-thons or the prospect of Wii-point-to-win.
     ,daeha gnikniht
You can tell it's a relatively quiet period here at the moment, I've got people on the teams responding to these forwarded emails without so much as a sigh of resignation. Over to one of the Kameo boys:
     "Typing backwards? Pshaw. Everyone knows that WRITING ALL IN CAPS gets your question noticed as it's obviously much more important than everyone else's query.
     "While we're obviously delighted that you enjoyed Kameo and are looking to purchase a 360, I can't in good conscience pretend that Mario Galaxy was anything other than damn good fun when we managed to get a hold of it at E3. It's not as if the pointer's replacing Mario's ability to run and jump about, just increasing the ways in which you can interact with your surroundings.
     "Of course, Mario's not out at launch and Kameo's available right now, so you can grab a copy this side of the holidays - and a spiffy new 360 to play it on, of course - without suffering any hasty-plumber-abandonment issues further down the line. Can't say fairer than that."
Dear Scribes,
     Conker: Live and Reloaded (which I've played at my friend's house) is inferior to the N64 version (I'm sure you've heard it all before) but I'd still say it's one of the best games on Xbox. Also, I have a few questions regarding that game.
     1) I noticed some lines were rerecorded, like the lines that explain the controls and the lines for the new scenes. Were they done by Chris Seavor? Because it doesn't sound like the old Conker. Same for the gargoyle's new lines.
     2) Why did you remove Don Weazo's theme during the beginning of the Heist chapter, when you walk up to the bank? The whole scene seemed dull and lifeless without the creepy music playing in the background.
     3) Originally you had Conker playing a GBA SP in the game. Now it's some Xbox styled handheld. Why the change?
     4) Can I make an MP3 request? It's from the N64 Conker. It's the song that plays during the Sergeant's speech at the end of the It's War chapter. It also plays when you meet Rodent at the Windmill. Live and Reloaded had a similar (but not the same) theme that you have on the site called The Horror, The Horror. Could you please upload the N64 one?
     5) Er, can I throw in a random question about the DKC3 soundtrack? Can you tell me which songs were done by David Wise and which were done by Eveline Fischer?
     Well, that's all. I would've said more, but if it's too long, I doubt it'll make Scribes. Actually, I'm starting to doubt it'll make Scribes anyway. Ah well... keep up the great work.
Mister Beanland is here to respond to your incessant moaning.
     "1) Yes, they were done by Chris... he got them as close as he could to the vocal quality years earlier.
     "2) That's because it should've been there... but it's only audio, right?" He's also passed the Don Weaso theme along for me to upload. Conker Downloads page, check it out, shamon!
     "3) Probably enforced by Legal, have you seen information retrieval from the film Brazil?
     "4) The one in Live & Reloaded is the same theme only it's better coz it's got live instruments and all that... innit?"
     5) I'm sure we've done this one before - from what I remember, it was pretty much all Eveline apart from "Title Page and two others I can't remember" by Dave. Unless you mean the more recent handheld version, which was completely rescored by Mr. Wise.
Dear Rare,
     Love the new website design. It's nice and bright.
     I've been looking through your downloads section and have seen that you don't have the Perfect Dark (N64) music on the MP3 listing. It's a shame as I really want to play PDZ to the old soundtrack - that thing rocked! Guitar solos, electric organs everywhere, alienish screaming. (Where were the aliens in PDZ?)
     So cool. Anyway, just a suggestion that you put the original Perfect Dark soundtrack on.
For starters, we don't actually have the original PD N64 soundtrack online. I'll look into it. If you're asking us to put it online and add it to the MP3 player attachment, well, it's true that we can pretty much put any of the available tracks on there, but the fact that the window only displays two titles at a time made us baulk at adding the whole lot and ending up with a list that scrolls forever. So sticking to the Xbox 360 stuff seemed like the most sensible course of action. The aliens in PDZ were disguised as furniture.
Dear, dear, dear,
     First of all, Viva Piñata, really a piece of wonderful wondrous wonderfulness. Not since I got isometric lines burned onto my retina by Sim City 2000 have I sat so engrossed in a game. Well done chaps and chapesses!
     On a similar point, well done you all for allowing us to peek into your world of genius. I've just watched your feature on Eurogamer TV and it was a thrill to finally see behind your magnetically sealed doors. One thing does intrigue me though: for what purpose does Ryan Stevenson use his Amiga 500, tucked on his desk next to his posh pooter? Does he like to smash out a game of Lemmings betwixt scribblings?
     Also, can we have more Piñata MP3s please, Kirk?
     Thanks thanks thanks,
     The Reverend Chucky Norriseses (Ho!)
Alright, I'll get on the Kirk's case about more MP3s, you ruddy vultures. Maybe he could do us some kind of twisted 30-minute romance dance megamix. Or not. In the meantime, here's Ryan with an official explanation: "Actually it's Will's desk and I was just crashing there for the interview as mine is now surrounded by super secret Banjo pics. So over to Will for the answer..." Oh.
     Lead programmer Will says: "They’ve either got good eyesight or made a very good guess. The two discs laying on the Amiga are indeed Lemmings. I played a good few levels to maintain my sanity whilst waiting for VP to get through certification. I’ve noticed a few Amiga vs. Atari ST comments on other forums following the release of those pictures so I think I should state that there’s a couple of Atari STs in my office as well. And two BBC Micros, a Atari 2600, a Binatone Pong machine, a Sinclair ZX80 and of course a 48K Sinclair Spectrum - a misspent youth. More recent machines include several Xbox 360 devkits, an original Xbox, a couple of SNESes, a PS2, GameCube and N64."
     It's a bit good, that Piñata, isn't it? And don't call me a prostitute again.
Dear Scribbies!
     The new site layout looks awesome, much better than the old one. This is my 3rd attempt at sending you a Scribes mail, as the past two times you never updated the Scribes page!
     Yesterday I decided to go retro and after playing 30 mins of GoldenEye on the N64 my Dad took over to play on Diddy Kong Racing - he's pleased because he's just unlocked the Adventure 2 mode, but displeased because he can't get the hang of all the mirrored tracks...
     Loved PDZ on my 360. I think the online player is good, but it's not as good as the original Perfect Dark on N64.
     I hope to be coming to work for you when I leave school to be a concept artist or games designer (I'm in the last year of highschool, then I'll do 2 years at sixth form, then I'll try to get into Rare).
     Can't wait for Viva Piñata to come out, and Banjo on the 360 too (when's it going to be released?).
     David H
     P.S. Please include my letter :D
Alright, but only because you begged and showed absolutely no remorse in whoring out your dignity.
     Glad you like the new site. I think you'd have a hard time trying to argue that the old one looked better, but naturally there are always people willing to try. Piñata should be out just about everywhere by now, but no release date for Banjo just yet (I can pull one out of mid-air if you like, wouldn't be the first time). And don't forget to get your Dad a DS for Xmas so that he's all set up for the new and improved DKR - should be interesting to see how he copes with the new-fangled touch-screen technology if he has an emotional breakdown over a few mirrored tracks.
2 thorn b bak l8r c u then ok thx
Dear Scribes,
     How on earth are you meant to get an "A" ranking on Forgotten Forest, everyone is struggling with it ever since u realesed that patch that stops u from goin back. Plz could you at least make it a bit easier in the next update? Cheers.
     Ryan Hardy
     P.S. Kameo rocks, here's hoping for Kameo 2.
Nasty text message speak! I'm not sure you deserve a straight answer. But seeing as someone from the team has already answered it for you, what the hell. OK THX L8R M8
     "As with all of the A-rankings, the key lies in building up high Brutal, Frenzy and Flawless multipliers. If you haven't already, take the time to teach your Elemental Warriors their advanced techniques and consider using a Crystal Eye to augment your play-style. And be less crap, obviously.
     "The trick where you went backwards through the level to nab extra kills wasn't actually known about when the score rankings were determined - the route back was actually closed off to sort out an issue in Co-Op play. It was only when people started complaining that we even learned of the trick's existence...
     "Suffice to say 15,000,000 for your 'A' rank is quite possible without backtracking - if we made it easier now, we'd just incur the wrath of everyone who'd managed to snare the achievement the old-fashioned way."
Congratulations on the new site.
     By not following the herd and using a vertical frame instead of the widescreen friendly landscape format, your designer has retained 'negative' space (giving the site a uniquely premium feel) thus allowing the fonts to be so bleedin' small us old buggers (who actually bought and played Atic Atac etc.) get a headache within a few minutes. A cunning ploy to 'harvest' anybody over 39 and 11 months (in a 'Logan's Run' Stylee) from your purchasing demographic ('What's coming out soon?' 'I dunno looks like Bongo Three Me - maybe it's a new rhythm game??'). Anyway as long as somebody is working on making Conker 360 compatible I don't care. Or releasing GoldenEye on the Wii.
     John H
Now hold your horses, we should at least give our designer Jon the opportunity to justify his artsy-fartsy ideas. I haven't really got much of an excuse for not doing so, considering I share an office with him. Let's see what he has to say.
     "I also bought and played Atic Atac back in the day, but thank Xenu my eyesight is still intact. The font size we finally settled on was a compromise between style and function and was not intended as a form of perverse ageism. But I enjoyed the reference to Logan's Run - a fine movie with thought-provoking ideas."
     We may look into darkening the text to increase the contrast at some point, if that's any help, but sizing it up would basically break everything. So keep squinting, old fella.
Fo Shizzle yo crazy mofo's.
     After getting 46/50 Achievements on PDZ (only 1000 DM/DO/players infected and rounds survived to go!) I treated myself to the bonus disk I got WAAAY back on the midnight release of the 360. After viewing all of the concept art 'n' shiz I found some things out.
     1) I realised why it took you so long to make the game... YOU'RE NOT DOING ANYTHING! I mean, in most of the development photos, you guys are like... playing pool... and sitting outside drinking some warm beverage!
     ...(I want to work for you, looks like fun =] )
     2) Why oh why did you not use some of the other designs for Jo Dark? They are so immense! Like the one where she has black hair and in a black cat suit? See, that shiz is awesome. Plus it would have tied in more with the original, as if I recall properly, she has black hair in that?
     Also, why does she have a nautical star tattoo on her neck in PDZ and not PD. And don't gimme any lame excuses like the N64 didn't have the capabilities, it's surely only a little pic...
     Love you! Mwah!
     Jack Valentine
I knew there'd be aspersions cast over those photos as soon as I saw them, but you have to admit they're a bit more interesting than endless pictures of unshaven, broken-looking men in dim offices late at night, zombie-like in the glare of debug screens. Let's get Duncan's take on the whole thing.
     "1) Not doing anything! Hahahaha! Not a thing! Haha! Hahahaha! Notice how we aren't beating you to death! How lazy we must be! Ahahahaha!
     "2) I think you're referring to an early concept drawing for Mai-Hem. And (lowers voice to a conspiratorial whisper) girls can dye their hair! No, really!
     "Tattoo) Nautical? What makes it nautical? It's more Lovecraftian* than it is nautical. And it's not Lovecraftian.
     " *Seal of the elder gods.**
     " **Five-pointed lump of soapstone with curious symbols and glyphs on it (although not on all examples).***
     " ***What? If I wasn't a geek, I wouldn't be in this industry."
     I don't like the new site too much: I can't navigate it!
     It requires Flash and other 21st century techo browser stuff I don't like.
     Please make it non-evil and allow toned-down browsers to see your website please?
     Please be more like Google "don't be evil" and less like Microsoft "resistance is futile"..
"Calm down there," soothes Jon, "it's only Flash and not the Devil himself after all. It's easy to download Flash and will make your electric intra-world a more fulfilling place. Once the shock of moving images and exciting interaction has subsided you might in time grow to love it.
     "And please don't call us (and more specifically me) evil, you don't know me and Xenu loves all of us!"
     Note: I'm fairly sure he's not serious about the whole Xenu thing.
Hey you! The Scribey guys,
     I must say that I'm interested in Viva Piñata a lot now. Not quite enough to warrant an Xbox 360, but maybe when the system gets a feasible price drop, we'll talk. Still waiting for Banjo-ThreeSixty but until then, I've got a dumb question about Viva Piñata's voice acting. It's not gonna have the same 4Kids actors that the TV show is going to have, is it? Mind you, that WOULD be unlikely as you have to fly them all the way out to Twycross plus I didn't exactly hear any of their likenesses in the promotional videos released throughout E3, but since the recent Sonic games are using their characters' respective 4Kids TV show voices lately, I'd thought I'd go ahead and ask anyways, regardless of how stupid I might sound. Frankly, I'd rather you NOT use them. The last thing I need to hear is a Mousemallow that sounds like Sanji from One Piece. (Tiny mice with Brooklyn accents are wrong!)
I know the feeling - those freak 'close your eyes and Franklin Fizzlybear is Michelangelo from the Turtles' moments. I don't know if it is actually the same actor, I just know I keep wanting Franklin to batter someone with his nunchucks.
     Justin from the VP team clarifies: "4Kids have supplied some voice acting work in the game, but since our piñatas don't speak they will be voices that are new to you."
     Some good ones in there too. I think the unhinged Tinker should get some kind of award. And while we're on the subject, where's the fanmail for our very own Louise from all the teenage boys swooning over Leafos' Irish lilt? I know you're out there.
Hey Loveday-San~
     There's been a shortage of letters again from my end, so time to make up for that, full-force!!!!!! (Probably an empty threat, but don't mind that.) I've only got one question, and it's probably quite late, seeing as Kameo came out this time last year, but how the heck did you manage to get Romi Paku to do the Japanese voice of Kameo??? She's only about one of my favourite Japanese voice actors, so I was rather impressed when I found you'd gotten her to do the voice acting! Has working with Microsoft given you a better range of voice actors? (No offense meant towards Nintendo, of course.)
     Well, just wondering. Once again, props to RARE for a job well done! ^^
     ~*BK GiRL*~
I'll let the Kameo team handle this one while I try to decide whether it's just slightly weird or unacceptably weird to have a favourite foreign language voice actor.
     "Prior to our debut on the Xbox 360 our character voices were ably performed by long-suffering Rare staff, lured into the recording studio with a trail of biscuits. As such, I doubt Nintendo will take offence but our feelings have been SHATTERED FOREVER. You're so cruel.
     "Getting Romi Paku to voice Kameo in the Japanese version was indeed a coup; the MGS Japan team worked hard to secure her and other talented VAs (or seiyuu, if you prefer) as part of an ongoing commitment to Japan - no biscuit traps necessary.
     "That's not to say we didn't get our share of talent for the English language releases, of course - UK fans can spot Naoko Mori (Mai-Hem in PDZ) gallivanting around Wales in Torchwood, for example."
     You learn something new every day. Which one's she, the pterodactyl?
     You're going to resolve that nail-biting "TO BE CONTINUED..." in Diddy Kong Racing in the DS version, aren't you. I've got ten bucks that say Wizpig will get hit by a school bus, and fifty that say he'll get hit by some kind of general moving vehicle (perhaps a shopping trolley, or that flying Roysten barbecue that we talked about).
     Oh, no charge for any of this, it's my gift to you.
     You must find 8 from each level and WIN!,
     Ben Kosmina
     PS Twenty AU Dollars is only worth about eight quid. Sorry. But keep it in mind anyway.
Needless to say I immediately started doctoring a photo to go with this response, depicting a drunken Mr. Pants at the Cannes Film Festival being sick on Sir Ian McKellen's jacket, but I soon realised that the decription was funnier than the actual picture was shaping up to be. And I didn't fancy being dragged through the courts by the owner of the photo/Sir Ian McKellen/both.
     I don't have a proper response to your question, but I did ask a couple of people on the team and heard nothing back - take that as you will. It could either be down to development crunch time or some kind of GLOBAL PIG BOSS COVER-UP.
Dear Rarepeoples,
     Is there any chance of hearing the release of some sort of orchestrated compliation album of selected songs from the soundtracks to your games? I've always had this fantasy of hearing the theme to Gruntilda's Lair from Banjo-Kazooie performed by a full orchestra and a man hitting a coconut with a fish. Not to mention all of the other great songs put out in various games from you guys over the years. The Banjo series just particularly sticks out in my mind as having some of my favorite game music of all time.
"Dear Notastalker," begins Grant, because he's thoughtful like that, "I don't know about the old tunes but we may choose to use full orchestra on the next Banjo game."
     And if that goes ahead, I'll make sure due consideration is given to the coconut/fish approach. Hopefully extending to a bonus DVD where you can actually watch the man do it, and he's got mad staring eyes and he's wearing smudged clown make-up.
Dear object of my love,
     I can't believe I forgot to e-mail my thanks to you guys for finally announcing Banjo-Kazooie 3. Better late than never, I suppose. Just as I promised, I am now saving for an Xbox 360 solely for the purpose of owning the next adventure of my favorite bear and bird. If Microsoft ever doubted their decision to buy you guys from Nintendo, they should take a small bit of comfort in knowing that there's at least one person out there who is buying their system because of their purchase. While I'm at it, I think I'll pick up the other five Rare games I missed out on (never owned an Xbox). But enough with the gushing. Onto some questions.
     - Have you guys decided on a name yet? In other words, which of these titles will turn orange on the Scribes page: Banko-Kazooie 3, Banjo-Threeie, Banjo-Kazoothree, Banjo-360, or BK 3: Mr. Pants Edition.
     - Can we expect to hear more news about BK3 by next E3?
     - Will it be released within the next decade?
     - And finally, will Jolly Roger be making a flamboyant return?
     Forever young,
     Rage Trebonius Bat
I think you've got your answer regarding the name of the game. But just in case you're still not sure, here's a selection of standard non-answers from the head of the team to keep you going.
     1) "Banko is quite a good name, although we haven't ruled out Banjo-Threesixtie or Grand Theft Banjo either."
     2) "Depends if there will be an E3, when it will be or whether Banjo will be there. Actually, in the absence of a vastly expensive, crowded, freeloading industry showcase, we were thinking of starting our own show, called the T3 - touring the local gaming hotspots of Twycross, Tamworth and Thringstone to demonstrate the game to chain-smoking truants, single mums and OAPs."
     3) "So you're saying you want to see the game somewhere between 2010 and 2020? I think even we can manage that."
     4) "Yes he will, hopefully in an expanded role that doesn't involve camp bartending."
"You have a WOMAN'S legs!"
Dear oh mightiest of gamecrafters,
     I recently went to the great expense of buying an Xbox 360 so that I could finally get my hands on Perfect Dark Zero and would like to congratulate you all on a fine 7 years work. But after playing deathmatch for a while I became increasingly perturbed by one honking great flaw holding back an otherwise brilliant game. You can't turn off the blasted body armor in multiplayer, it slows everything down to a crawl and makes headshots almost pointless. Is there any chance that the ultra-brilliant PD0 team there could take 5 minutes out of their day to make a mod that adds "turn off body armor" to the game options? Pretty please.
Adam Rogers
"Seven years?!" protests D-Bot. "Stop messing with our heads, man. And if you want to turn off body armour, make a custom weapon set up without it in."
     There you go. Give my regards to your dad Ted (and Dusty Bin if he's around), and pat yourself on the back for unabashed use of the adjective 'honking'. There's one that doesn't get the airtime it deserves.
Dear Scribes,
     Rapchamp Warrior Soul
I think it would be unwise to expect a coherent answer from Duncan on that one. You should probably leave before he even gets here. Use the back door, which may or may not lead you into a corridor where a man in a rubbish demon costume chases you into a pond like in Takeshi's Castle. Two obscure gameshow references on the trot!
Dear Rarenaks,
     My spirits soared when you mentioned at this E3 that Diddy Kong Racing was to be ported to DS, only to plummet when I heard that Banjo and Conker wouldn't be in it. So now, I have one thing to ask you: who made you do it? Sure, I can understand Conker, having been in an M-Rated game and all, but why Banjo? Was it the Big M, or the Big N who forced you to do this (so I know who's throat I'm fantasizing about ripping out)? And also, does this mean that the DKU is no more, that is, the shared universe of DK, Banjo and Conker (key word being "shared" there)? Please answer this and my other E-Mail or I swear that I'll be crying for months. So please, just answer the letter.
     Your's truly,
     Thomas Johnson
What's with the apostrophe in 'yours', Johnson? And the schoolboy misspelling of 'whose'? Don't you know I hate that? Who sent you here to torment me?
     Response from the DS team: "Yes, it probably was one of the big letters! But with so much extra goodness in it will you really miss them? You can design your own tracks to race on, you know. AWESOMELY AWESOME. Being able to cry for months sounds AWESOME." Oh God, not this again.
Dear Scribes,
     I recently saw the new Banjo-Kazooie trailer and became outraged.
     While Banjo does look stupid, that's not the point. The trailer seems to be a bit lacking, in the Chuffy department to be exact. Where is Chuffy? Where is the most awesome train that's controlled by a coal monster living inside its boiler? Chuffy is so awesome that Banjo can summon it just by looking at a sign in a far away train station and then he puts dinosaurs in its boxcar. Chuffy is so great that it was randomly tipped over in Glitter Gulch Mine because it felt that it needed to test its passengers. This game needs Chuffy.
     Vic Viper
I don't disagree, but then again I also think it needs more Mr. Pants and King Jeff, and the team would probably shove Mr. Ribs in there given the slightest provocation, so where do you draw the line before it stops being a game and becomes a series of mentalist cameos?
      The head of the team says: "I think we exhausted every Chuffy idea we could possibly come up with, although I have to agree with you that the 'Boiler Boss' was great. To appease the lack of a decent answer and further Chuffy promises, I'll let you in on a little insider knowledge. Old King Coal (the aforementioned Boiler Boss) was the only boss we had working in the 'Bottles' Revenge' mode before it was dropped (official reason was we ran out of time to debug it, it did work rather well). The second player could take control of the boss and simply hide in a corner, then when Banjo came looking for him, simply run off and hide in another corner until Banjo's air ran out. It was hilarious for the player controlling Coaly, but somewhat annoying for Banjo."
  Hey, how come Babs isn't in any of the main wallpapers for Grabbed by the Ghoulies? Is it because you guys at Rare don't love Babs? Can we at least get a render of her?
FOR GOD'S SAKE. Everyone loves Babs. She's just not really... you know... presentation material.
  Why in your game list doesn't appears Star Fox Assault?
Peter LVP
I'm just guessing here, you understand, but it's probably because this isn't Namco's website.
  D34R 5CR!B35, Wh3n w!ll ! B 4bL3 70 Pl4Y 7H3 N3W B4Nj0-K4Z00!3?
7H3 1337
It was physically and spiritually draining just to read that, let alone reply in the same 'style'.
  the spectater mode PDZ is great but happened to kill tv. will ever be a simple character or level creater available for download(actually thhat's a bit too much to ask for). Not critising just asking.
Jesus. See above.
  Bridge Assault MP3! At bloody last! What took you so long? And why on Earth wasn't it on the soundtrack in the first place?!
Martin "Alf-Life" Badowsky
Kids these days - is that your idea of gratitude, you back-talking young whelp?
  I can't seem to find Ask Uncle Tusk anywhere. I guess you must still be tweaking that part of the site.
Matt from Melbourne
We can't ask him anything if we can't find him, and I'm starting to think he doesn't want to be found.
  Well, bugger me rotten - Garry Haywood's returned to Scribes! And it looks like he's off his meds again. What's next, he's got an enlarged goldeneye? Serves him right.
Just wait till DKR comes out and he starts talking about tailgating monkeys.
  When is the great Microsoft publicity machine going to kick in and advertise Piñata?
Tim Cohen
As soon as it's released, I suppose... oh.
  Spill the beans, what's the favored Piñata species in the Lovepants office?
Rico Taco
I used to be a Cocoadile fancier but these days I'm all about the Jameleons, baby. Brrt! Brrt!
Scribes - December 8, 2006