Former Rare games coder and Nyamyam co-founder Phil Tossell has claimed that Nintendo were once “quite envious” of Rare’s technical ability and artistic design within their hit games. After becoming a second-party developer for Nintendo in the early ’90s, Rare had success with Donkey Kong Country, Conker’s Bad Fur Day and Starfox Adventures to name but a few, though it was Banjo-Kazooie that really kicked up a storm on the N64.
According to a RetroGamer interview, Phil Tossell, while working at Rare, said Shigeru Miyamoto often visited the studio regularly and heard a startling rumour that Nintendo revised their textures on Zelda after seeing Rare’s game development.
“Nintendo were often quite envious of us. I got the feeling they thought our games were technically and artistically superior to theirs. Miyamoto would visit regularly and I heard a rumor they redid all of the textures on Zelda after they’d seen our work on Banjo-Kazooie because our game looked better!”