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Banjo-Tooie devs say the game's darker tone was deliberate

A sequel with a darker tone

While Banjo-Kazooie was a bright and colorful 3D platformer, the follow-up was a bit more grim. Banjo-Tooie certainly had its bright spots and funny gags, but the overall tone was somewhat darker. That was all by design, according to ex-RARE dev Gregg Mayles. He shared some insight into the darker path in an interview with Nintendo Life.

"It was deliberate. We didn’t want to do the same thing again as the first game and we wanted to surprise players. I don’t think anyone would have expected us to kill off one of the main supporting characters and I can remember us laughing when we plotted Bottles’ downfall. There were some pretty dark and mature elements to the tone that we tried to balance out with our sense of humour, I think my favourite was when Bottles’ family was asking about him and Banjo had to pretend he didn’t know the mole was no more."

Banjo-Kazooie Mod Adds GoldenEye Level to the Game

We heard you like RARE games...

Both GoldenEye and Banjo-Kazooie are some of the most popular games on the N64, so why not cram them together into one great experience? That's exactly what the mod above does, as it takes the Dam level from GoldenEye and drops it into Banjo-Kazooie for a platforming experience! The mod looks ridiculously high quality, and the Dam level seems like it was made for 3D platforming and collecting!

Thanks to CM for the heads up!

Nintendo discusses early tests for Luigi in Super Mario 64, and how the title screen mini-game came to be

L was real 1996

When Nintendo originally started doing tests for Super Mario 64, they had an idea of having both Mario and Luigi getting in on the fun. As fans know all too well, that ended up not being possible. It's not for a lack of trying, though.

In an interview with the Guardian, Shigeru Miyamoto details why Luigi didn't make the cut for Mario's debut 3D adventure.

“When we tried running our experiments with 3D on a console, Mario was the only thing that moved. Of course there was no background, either. While we’d expected things to be limited, what we ended up with was even less than we anticipated. It was at that point that we gave up on having Mario and Luigi appear at the same time and decided instead to rework the gameplay.”

While fans might remember the lack of Luigi as a sore point, one standout moment for Super Mario 64 was the title screen. Not only did it introduce the world to 3D Mario, it also let players manipulate Mario in a way we'd never seen. Nintendo's Takashi Tezuka explained how that came to be.

“I wasn’t involved in the game design for Super Mario 64, but because it was 3D there were lots of things we were dealing with for the first time. While we were struggling with that, Mr Miyamoto said that he wanted to make it so that players could play outside of the game itself with the model of Mario’s head that a programmer made; letting them rotate it, or pull its nose.”

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity may have an Ocarina of Time Easter egg

Paying respects

Have we just found another secret reference to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time in Hyrule Warriors Age of Calamity? Check out our video and let us know what you think of the similarities between these two graveyards!

Yoiko X Super Mario 3D All-Stars (Super Mario 64)

The duo is back in action


Haven't had enough of the Yoiko comedy duo? Well you're in luck, as they're back with more Super Mario 3D All-Stars videos! Check out both clips above, which have the duo playing some Super Mario 64.

Grant Kirkhope working on a Banjo-Kazooie remix album

A real treat!

Grant Kirkhope was an integral part of Banjo-Kazooie, breathing life into the game with his amazing soundtrack. It just wouldn't be Banjo-Kazooie without his audio work, and now fans of the franchise will have a chance to experience that wonderful soundtrack in an all-new way.

Kirkhope has confirmed on Twitter that he's working on a remix album for Banjo-Kazooie. The album might not feature every song from Banjo-Kazooie, but it should include the greatest hits. When info on a release date and more are shared, we'll be sure to bring it to you.

Grant Kirkhope shares a remix of Banjo-Kazooie's Mad Monster Mansion theme for Halloween

Hopefully not TOO scary!

Grant Kirkhope, composer on Banjo-Kazooie, has returned to the franchise for a bit of Halloween fun. In the player above, you can hear a remixed version of Banjo-Kazooie's Mad Monster Mansion theme, which Kirkhope put together specifically for Halloween. It's a lot spookier than the original, and as you might guess, it's also much better quality in terms of instruments!

Grant Kirkhope says Donkey Kong 64's rap was always meant to be a joke, leaving him surprised when people didn't get it

Joke's on you

Donkey Kong 64 is remembered for a lot of reasons, but perhaps none moreso than the DK Rap. The tune is a big part of Nintendo history nowadays, and is great for a chuckle. When the game first launched, plenty of people found the song to be quite cringeworthy.

In an interview with GamesRadar, composer Grant Kirkhope opens up about the song, and reveals that it was always meant to be tongue-in-cheek.

"I thought everyone would get the joke but no one did. It was the first time I'd ever had anyone write something negative about my music. I'd been fortunate up until then - people liked my tunes most of the time - and it was supposed to be a joke track about monkeys rapping about bananas and grapes, so I felt a little bit hard done to. I thought everyone would get the joke but no one did... it was the first time I'd ever had anyone write something negative about my music.

I'm glad I wrote it. It's been a fun thing to have people take the mickey out of me for years about and, you know, my 17-year-old son and all of his mates know it. None of those guys were born when I did that and it's incredible that they know every word."

Fangamer adds Jinjo plushes and a Banjo-Kazooie tote bag to their store

Ga-HUH!

Modern-day RARE might not care much about making a new Banjo-Kazooie game, but the gang over at Fangamer is more than happy to make some new merch! The store has just added a selection of different Jinjo plushes, along with a Banjo-Kazooie tote bag. You even get yourself a bonus Jiggy keychain with purchase! You can grab both items here.

Fan-made interactive video features Super Mario 64's Jolly Roger Bay with a painting-like makeover

Mama mia!!

Want to see Super Mario 64 like you've never seen it before? The video above shows off the Jolly Roger Bay level, albeit with a complete visual makeover. Instead of the traditional visuals, a painting-like approach has been used, making for a rather gorgeous scene. Even better, you can rotate the camera while it floats through the landscape! Click and drag the viewpoint on PC/mobile, or just use your head to look around in VR!

Thanks to Theanine for the heads up!

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