With Christmas fast approaching, Rare has given its fans a treat in the form of video footage of Dream, the fabled precursor to Banjo-Kazooie. We’ve never had a chance to see the game in action so it’s an exciting moment for those of you who have enjoyed Rare’s games on Nintendo platforms.
Documents leaked by a former Rare employee have revealed an undiscovered Banjo Kazooie title for the Game Boy Colour. It was titled Banjo Kazooie: Grunty’s Curse and would later turn into Banjo Kazooie: Grunty’s Revenge which was released on the Game Boy Advance in 2003. The game’s script and concept were written up in 1999 and featured an evil blue Kazooie, a changed Bottles, and various levels that didn’t feature in Banjo Kazooie: Grunty’s Revenge.
Rare designer Gregg Mayles has recently been divulging a treasure trove of information on his Twitter account. The latest revelation is that before Kazooie, Banjo had a dog as his companion. The dog’s name was Dinger the Dog and was designed by Steve Mayles. Another revelation is that Dinger the Dog was originally going to be in Dream before the project morphed into Banjo Kazooie.
The team over at PlayStation Access have had the opportunity to sit down and discuss the intriguing Yooka-Laylee with the team at Playtonic. There’s some lovely new footage showcased in the thirteen minute video, as well as plenty of questions regarding the game which is deemed as the spiritual successor to Banjo Kazooie. The team says that they want to retain what was so great about Banjo Kazooie back in the 90’s, but add a fresh new spin on it, which is really what the fans and backers want. Be sure to give the interview a watch, below.
This is nothing but a big rumour at present, but it’s certainly worth mentioning. Twitter user Jenny Pratt recently attended Wondercon and mentioned that she had heard rumours that the Disney team behind Wreck it Ralph were interested in making an animated movie based on Banjo Kazooie. The team at Disney are apparently hoping to have the movie out around 2018/2019. We know that Phil Spencer has talked about utilising Rare’s IP so this would be a good start. Who knows?
If there’s one title that has gotten everyone talking it’s Project Ukulele which is described as the spiritual successor to the beloved Banjo Kazooie. Playtonic has announced that the game will helped along by a Kickstarter campaign, which will go live soon. The game lacks an actual title and we have yet to see the two main protagonists. Playtonic says this is on purpose as seeing the two characters would give away how the game will play. Here’s what they had to say to Eurogamer.
“We honestly weren’t expecting as big a reaction as we got,” Price, a veteran of British studio Rare, said. “We’ve had tons and tons of emails – a massive fan response. But it’s good – we want that pressure, we’re really happy with that reception.
“Up until a few weeks ago [Kickstarter] wasn’t really on our radar, but since we’ve had such a massive response from people – we’re thinking that the game has to become a lot bigger, a lot broader, we want to do a lot more with it now to make people happy.”
“We’re still sending stupid ideas to each other, and thinking about how much to push the fact that this is a spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie,” Price said, when asked about potential names. “We’re coming up with different puns… we’ll get there in the end. Apparently the name Halo 5 is taken.”
“If we needed, we could make the game with a few hundred thousand pounds, but if we can go beyond that we will scale up the game and add features as fans want from us. We could do the game comfortably on £400,000, but if we had more to spend we could, for example, hire a proper QA team rather than beta testing it.
“And as for ourselves,” Price adds, “we’re not taking the best wages in our career right now – we’ve all come down in wages and we’re in a tiny office – it’s cold in the morning and too hot in the afternoon with all the computers on. But it’s kind of how we like it – it’s reminiscent of the early days at Rare in the barn there, in this place that was never supposed to be a development studio but was just a building next to a farmhouse.”
“We’re almost starting a pre-Kickstarter Kickstarter campaign,” Price continued. “We don’t want to force tiers and stretch goals on fans, we’d love to hear if people would like to voice characters, if people want to have early access to the game, perhaps – and this is just a pipe dream – if we can have a boxed N64 copy of the game to really play off the game’s nostalgic feel. So it’s about finding out what people want from us from the Kickstarter campaign and then creating it with that in mind.
“And out of about 500 emails we receive every week, probably about 499 of them are shouting Wii U! Wii U! As a games fan, I’ve been a Nintendo fanboy since the NES days. Most of are fans are Nintendo fans as well. So while we can’t confirm what platforms we will be on – some of that is beyond our control – but we are developing on Unity and we don’t want to leave anyone out. And we’d try to ship simultaneously to make the biggest splash possible when the game comes out.”
We’ve all been waiting for a glimpse of the spiritual successor to Banjo Kazooie and it seems as though it will all be revealed fairly soon. The team of ex-Rare developers who have formed PlayTonic Games will give everyone a look at their new project on Saturday at 4pm during a presentation entitled ‘A rare reunion: Rebirth of the 3d platformer’. This will all take place during EGX Rezzed which kicks off on March 12th,
“It was the fans of our past work who inspired the creation of Playtonic, so we’re delighted to be able to showcase our vision to them in person at EGX Rezzed – as well as a few cheeky details of our game!”