Former RARE dev says RARE IP returning to Nintendo with Smash Bros. Ultimate was 'significant, but inevitable'

A Smashing idea

Nintendo fans lost their collective mind seeing Banjo and Kazooie officially revealed for Smash Bros. Ultimate. It was a move many dreamed of, but few thought could actually happen. Former RARE dev Chris Seavor knows it's important as well, and in an interview with with VideogamesChronicle, he reveals that he thought RARE's characters making their way back to Nintendo was inevitable.

“It is significant, very significant but it was also inevitable. You only have to look at the reaction to Banjo’s appearing in Smash to see that this was purely a fan driven thing, and fans are if nothing else a noisy and belligerent bunch. I mean, it’s an abbreviation of ‘Fanatic’ after all. Whether they’ll be as loud about the other IP’s including Conker is up for debate… I’d say not likely.”

What could the future hold for RARE's IP on Nintendo platforms? Now that we've had the Banja-Kazooie reveal, it makes you think anything is possible! Perhaps Conker has more of a shot than Seavor thinks. I'd like to hope so, at least.

Banjo-Kazooie tribute created using over 43k dominoes


I don't get how this person lives in this home. With all these dominoes all over the place, how do they move around?! Doors closing, people walking, and other usual day-to-day stuff would have me beyond paranoid! One tiny vibration and a whole day's work could be ruined!

Banjo-Kazooie composer not sure a new entry in the series will ever happen

Fans continue to hold out hope

Banjo and Kazooie are coming to Smash Bros. Ultimate, and fans couldn't be happier. The reveal of the duo for Smash Bros. Ultimate may very well be the biggest reaction the Smash community has ever let loose with, showing just how popular the bear and bird are to this day. You would think that would lock-in development of a true sequel, right? Original Banjo-Kazooie composer Grant Kirkhope isn't so sure.

In an interview with VideoGamesChronicle, Mr. Kirkhope talks about the likelihood of a sequel, the reaction from Smash Bros. fans, and how a sequel could come together. Check out his full response below.

“My honest opinion is I don’t know if they’ll ever be a new Banjo. It’s easy to go, ‘look at these numbers’, but it might be a drop in the ocean for Xbox. Is there a market for it? I just don’t know. I would think that Rare probably doesn’t have the appetite for it. They’re super busy with Sea of Thieves and that’s a gigantic game: it’s going to take the whole studio to keep making content for that.

Maybe the E3 reception has made Microsoft think about it, but the trouble is, if I say anything more definitive than that then the fans will think I’m in the know! When really, I’m just a composer. I have no connection to that decision what-so-ever. Gregg Mayles and Tim Stamper are the real inventors of Banjo… I’m just the most visible on social media.

They (Nintendo) were surprised by how crazy it went. The E3 reveal seemed to be gigantic. When I was speaking to Nintendo back at their booth at E3, they were all saying it was a bigger reaction than they’re normally used to for Smash. So Nintendo did recognize that it was a big deal. They were surprised. And we all were: it was such a huge release for all those fans who’ve been waiting so long for a new game.

Rare need to find somebody like that who gets the game, who really loves it, gets the humour, comes up with a great plot and then kicks on. They would need to find an external studio who really cares about the project and wants to do it, like they did with Killer Instinct and also similar to how Ubisoft Milan did a great job with Mario + Rabbids.”

29-year RARE team member/artist on Jet Force Gemini/Diddy Kong Racing helped with Banjo-Kazooie's Smash Bros. Ultimate design

He's done a fantastic job

RARE recently shared a blog about all the content they were involved with at this year's E3, and not surprisingly, the talk of the town is Banjo and Kazooie heading to Smash Bros. Ultimate. In one part of the blog, we learn that Paul Cunningham, a 29-year employee of RARE who handled art on Diddy Kong Racing and Jet Force Gemini, was a key person involved with Banjo and Kazooie's Smash Bros. Ultimate design.

What cards we are, because as you undoubtedly know if you've read this far, there was also a Nintendo Direct where it was announced that Banjo and Kazooie would be joining the roster in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. That's right – we have been listening, as have the folks at Nintendo, and it was a very proud moment for us finally NOT to have to keep this a secret any more and share the glorious news far and wide.

Banjo and Kazooie's inclusion gave us an opportunity for a fantastic partnership with our old friends at Nintendo, and as the bear and bird appeared with Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong and King K. Rool in the reveal trailer it was a joy to see just how warmly the news was received. It's been a tightly kept secret but we've been collaborating closely with the Smash team on this crossover since last year, on everything from movesets to musical choices – and while a core group of folks at Rare worked on this, we have to give a special shout out to our own Paul Cunningham who has been our point man on getting everything about Banjo and Kazooie's appearance just right. Your favourite duo are in very safe (albeit fighty) hands and we honestly cannot wait for everyone to get their game on in the incredible Smash universe.

Mod makes Banjo-Kazooie playable characters in a portion of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

Ganon doesn't stand a chance

With Banjo-Kazooie being added to Smash Bros. Ultimate, the world is once again talking about the dynamic duo. Banjo and Kazooie will be mixing it up with the likes of Zelda, Link, and Ganon in the battle for fighter supremacy. Turns out that's not the only way to get your Banjo-Kazooie x Zelda fix! A new mod includes the bear and bird in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker!

No, you can't play the full game with the pairing, but you can at least get a taste of what it would be like. This may be one hell of a weird combination, but I'll be damned if I wouldn't love to play a whole game like this!

Banjo-Kazooie's original artist surprised Nintendo didn't make any design tweaks for the duo's Smash Bros. Ultimate inclusion

You can't beat the classics

Banjo-Kazooie heading to Smash Bros. Ultimate was some of the biggest news to come out of E3 2019. Seeing the duo return to a Nintendo platform was wonderful, but also getting a look at their designs was just as wonderful. Nintendo stayed very true to original creator Steve Mayles' design, and in an interview with Shesez, Mayles reveals that he couldn't be more pleased.

“I think it’s very true to the original concept. I was surprised that they hadn’t made any tweaks, because with the K. Rool model they gave him a bit of a nip and tuck and he came out looking as good as he’s ever looked But with Banjo they seem to have been very careful to make sure that he looks almost exactly the same as the N64 promotional model that I did, which is a great honour for me.”

If Mayles was brought in on the project, would he have taken a bit of a different design approach to the duo?

“If I was doing it I would’ve made a few changes, but I can completely understand why they copied the N64 model, because that is the model the fans love. If they made too many changes, you’d have people saying, ‘it doesn’t look like Banjo anymore!’”

If you want to hear a lot more from Mayles, make sure to check out the full video interview below.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Sakurai talks the Hero, Banjo-Kazooie and more

PushDustIn, known from Source Gaming and his freelance translation work, has pieced together details from the latest Sakurai column. It goes in-depth about how the Hero and Banjo-Kazooie joined Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and his feelings on console wars. If you like these details, be sure to follow PushDustIn on Twitter for more awesome stuff!

Sakurai column 582 titled, "The Hero Joins the Battle! Banjo and Kazooie also Join the Battle!"
- Hero and Banjo and Kazooie are the 2nd and 3rd packs for Smash Ultimate's DLC. Players who purchase the Fighters Pass will be able to play as them in addition to Joker, and the characters in Packs 4 and 5
- there is a lot that Sakurai wants to talk about. However, he will detail their mechanics in the future. For now, he wants to focus on how Hero and Banjo and Kazooie got into Smash

Hero from Dragon Quest
- the day has finally come when Sakurai could work on Dragon Quest. Thinking about Dragon Quest, Sakurai wanted to include the legendary Command Prompt
- Sakurai decided that the command window would appear and have random spells and attacks that could be chosen. Then he decided to add a MP system as well
- there is actually a restriction on which DQ protagonists can fight with each other, but Smash was given special permission. (DQ VIII was a request from Western fans)
- reviewing the history of the DQ series, Sakurai felt nervous about including such a legendary series. He decided that the Final Smash would have past characters from DQ to showcase the series
- the decision to add voice acting was made afterwards. At the start of development, it was planned to have The Hero silent as typical in DQ. However, with DQ XI S SE added voice actor so the plans were changed. So other Heros will have voice actors and they will be announced later

- BK were incredibly request by fans in the West for a long time. Even after King K. Rool and Ridley, requests were still coming in
- Sakurai states this it was difficult for them to join Smash. While Banjo and Kazooie was originally an N64 game, and their inclusion should've been a natural one, they are now owned by Microsoft
- in the early 2000s, Rare was sold to Microsoft, and Banjo's games came out on the Xbox 360. Microsoft and Nintendo are rivals in the console space. It's usually thought that you shouldn't help our your rivals
- however, this time they were able to get the character quite easily. Sakurai would also like to thank Rare for their assistance as well. Thanks to them, Sakurai was able to satisfy many fan's requests

- this is Sakurai's personal opinion but he doesn't really care for console wars. No matter what kind of consoles come out, if there are enjoyable games, Sakurai will always respect that
- Sakurai ends the column stating that there are a lot of companies involved with Smash. He notes that his work is truly special. He wants to please all the fans of the original games so he will continue to work hard

Smash Bros. Ultimate - Banjo-Kazooie reveal trailer analysis

This Fall, Banjo-Kazooie finally return to a Nintendo platform thanks to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate! We take a closer look at their reveal trailer and discover more about Spiral Mountain, references to their games, and what abilities from Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie they'll be using. All this and more in our latest Super Smash Bros. analysis!

Banjo-Kazooie's original character designer talks about the surreal moment of seeing the characters revealed for Smash Bros. Ultimate

Awesome and strange at the same time, he says

Steve Mayles, the character designer for Banjo-Kazooie, and Grant Kirkhope, composer for Banjo-Kazooie, are both ecstatic to see the bear and bird in Smash Bros. Ultimate. The duo talked to our friend Shesez in the video feature above, and shared tons of excited words about the characters' reveal for the game. Check out some snippets from the interview below.

Steve Mayles: “I just couldn’t take it in. I had to watch the reveal later in the day about 10 or 20 times just to take in everything that was going on. It was just really surreal. It’s just surreal to see these characters I made 20, well more than 20 years ago in some cases, and they’re back in high resolution looking as I originally created them. It’s just strange but awesome at the same time.”

Grant Kirkhope: “It was absolutely perfect, Nintendo did a fantastic job. It ticked all the boxes. It was nostalgic and it touched the heartstrings — I was crying along with everyone else while I was watching it. I didn’t really expect people to go that crazy. When you see someone totally lose it with happiness, like in some of those fan videos, it really touches your heart because everyone connects on that human level. To see people crying and laughing at the same time – I was the same – I think those things are once in a lifetime.”

Thanks to Dondom95 for the heads up!

Professional wrestler Cody Rhodes applauds the reveal of Banjo-Kazooie for Smash Bros. Ultimate

Cody's got some good taste

As we've said in the past, professional wrestler Cody Rhodes is a big Nintendo fan. He loves Zelda in particular, but has shown interest in all of Nintendo's franchises over the years. Today he took to Twitter to share the following tweet about Smash Bros. Ultimate.

The reveal of Banjo-Kazooie for Smash Bros. Ultimate is one of those moments that will go down in gaming history. It was a reveal that so many wanted, but none were sure it could ever happen. The pure joy that reveal brought is something that'll stick with people for years to come.

Thanks to MrThee for the heads up!


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