Nintendo's Japanese release schedule shows Banjo-Kazooie and Blast Corps hitting the Wii U Virtual Console today

RARE finds

UPDATE - Nintendo has updated their calendar, and both listings have vanished. It doesn't appear Nintendo has given a reason for the removal, or an explanation as to why the titles were listed in the first place. You can find our original post below.


Here's an extremely odd one for you. Nintendo's official release calendar in Japan shows that the Wii U is getting two Virtual Console titles today, and both are quite notable.

According to the listing, Banjo-Kazooie and Blast Corps are seeing release. Both titles are appropriately listed as coming from Microsoft Japan as well. The calendar shows two separate listings, but the links for each game spit out a 404 message when you click through. Whether the calendar is completely wrong or the info got out earlier than anticipated is anyone's guess.

Dixie Kong creator shares new artwork to celebrate 25 years of Donkey Kong Country 2

25 years and only getting better

It was 25 years ago that Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest hit the SNES. That special occasion is being celebrated by Steve Mayles, former RARE character artist and creator of Dixie Kong. Mayles put together a new piece of art as a tribute to the game, which you can see above.

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!

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


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.

A new Banjo-Kazooie or Conker game is up to RARE, says Head of Xbox

How about it, RARE?

Wouldn't it be nice to see a brand-new Banjo-Kazooie game, or perhaps a new Conker? With the relationship that Microsoft and Nintendo have, there'd at least be some chance those titles would see release on Nintendo hardware. So what's stopping these games from happening? According to a Kotaku interview with Xbox boss Phil Spencer, the decision to create those games is completely up to RARE.

"I leave it up to the studios in terms of the things that they want to go work on. I have a lot of respect for Rare and the work that they do. They do like building new things, and they’ve seen success with Sea of Thieves. I think they’re really excited about Everwild. But also the response to Battletoads was nice. And I think [partner studio] Dlala did a good job with the game. And so I think it’s just always a balance. My inbox is full of: ‘Let every studio do new [intellectual property].’"

Obviously a new installment for these franchises isn't out of the question, but it doesn't seem like anything is going on right now. Perhaps fans need to speak up a bit more and let RARE know they want to see their classic IP return!

Check out the boxes for the upcoming Terry, Banjo-Kazooie, and Byleth amiibo

The three amiibo

The Terry, Banjo-Kazooie, and Byleth amiibo aren't coming out until sometime in Fall 2021, but that doesn't mean we can't spend a bit of time drooling over them now. Nintendo has shared the boxes for each of the amiibo, which you can see above. Now the question is, do you keep your amiibo in-box, open them up for use/display, or buy two so you can display one set and use the other?!

Thanks to Andreslop24 for the heads up!


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