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Dinosaur Planet concept art revealed, Timber from Diddy Kong Racing was originally set to be the star

Timber gets the shaft again!

The secrets behind Dinosaur Planet keep coming! Just a few days back, a prototype version of the N64 build was leaked online, bringing us tons of gameplay footage. Today, we find out that another RARE character almost landed the starring role!

In a feature on VGC, former RARE dev Kev Bayliss reveals that Timber from Diddy Kong Racing was actually going to be the lead in the game. This is the second time Timber was meant to be the star character, as he was originally going to front Diddy Kong Racing. Once again Timber got the shaft though, as RARE went with a wolf character, and then transitioned to Fox McCloud.

Accord to Bayliss, Timber would have appeared as a time-travelling tiger with a rucksack, fingerless gloves, a baseball cap and a small dinosaur for a sidekick.

Along with that, Bayliss also shared a bunch of concept art from the original pitch for Dinosaur Planet/StarFox Adventures. You can see the gallery of art here.

Dinosaur Planet, RARE's cancelled N64 game that became StarFox Adventures, leaks online

A RARE piece of history

Back in the later days of the N64, RARE was working on an original title for the platform called Dinosaur Planet. That release was eventually cancelled, and RARE took what they had and reworked it into StarFox Adventures for the GameCube. Many have wondered just how far along that N64 version, and now we know, thanks to a new leak.

A playable build of Dinosaur Planet on the N64 has been leaked online, courtesy of the video game preservationists at Forest of Illusion. This build of the game comes from December 2000, two years before the game made its jump over to the GameCube. This build of the game was purchased from a private game collector in Sweden.

This version of the game isn't perfect, but it's good enough to run on actual N64 hardware, albeit with some issues. You can see gameplay footage from today's leak in the video above.

Thanks to CM30 and Enigmaxtreme for the heads up!

Youtooz releasing official Banjo-Kazooie figurines

A figurine that doesn't break the bank

Youtooz has revealed that they're working on a new Banjo-Kazooie figurine, and it's set to launch on Feb. 26th, 2021. The figurine is just $30, and you can read the official description for it below.

Banjo and Kazooie are always getting swept up in adventures, whether it’s making music or stopping Grunty in her tracks. Standing 4.5 inches tall, this detailed collectible features Banjo in his classic yellow shorts and blue backpack (with pal Kazooie bursting out), ready to pluck up a tune on the banjo from his game’s memorable intro. The window box is illustrated to show Banjo and Kazooie’s home, using elements from the franchise. This collectible ships in a matte, embossed, protective outer sleeve.

Check out more pictures here

UPDATE - Turns out Tooty and Bottles are getting their own figurines on the same day!

The 2007 Xbox Live Arcade remake of GoldenEye was cancelled for many reasons, not just issues with Nintendo

No, mr. Bond...I expect you to die!

Discussion surrounding the never-released 2007 Xbox Live Arcade remake of GoldenEye has been swirling once again, as a full playthrough of the game has made its way to YouTube. Fans of the classic game have been going back-and-forth on why the title never saw release, and most believe Nintendo to be the biggest hurdle that was never vaulted. The truth is a lot more complex than that.

Those familiar with the situation have pointed to a bigger source of issues for the remake's release. It was actually the Bond license holders, MGM and Eon Productions, that caused the headaches. Despite the success of GoldenEye on the N64, the Bond license holders weren't happy with many things that were showcased in the game. Blood, Bond fighting other good guys in multiplayer, the killing of civilians, and so on. Following the release of GoldenEye on the N64, the rights holders were much more restrictive with their rules.

RARE even tried to release the GoldenEye remake as part of RARE Replay years later, but once again, both MGM and Eon Productions caused problems. By this time, Nintendo had almost nothing to do with the original GoldenEye release, as all their rights and deals had long since expired.

Full playthrough of the cancelled 2007 Xbox Live Arcade remake of GoldenEye surfaces

Building a Bond

At one point in time, RARE's N64 classic GoldenEye was getting a full-on remake. Then, because of business dealings and other behind-the-scenes negotiations, the project was dead in the water. The sad part is that the project itself was nearing completion. While it may have never seen a public release, those who work to preserve game history have come upon a content-complete build of the game.

If you want to see what the revamp would have looked like, you can't get any better than the video above. It's a full run-through of the game, showcasing all the missions you know and love. What a shame this one never made it to market.

Thanks to Andreslop24 for the heads up!

New cheat code discovered in Donkey Kong 64 over 20 years after its release

A RARE find!

Even thought Donkey Kong 64 came out over 20 years ago, people are still poking around in the game to see what they can find. This has led to the discovery of a never-before-seen cheat code.

The code allows players to gain access to a level with a lower level of Golden Bananas than normally required. Here are the lowered numbers after the code is entered.

Angry Aztec – 3 Golden Bananas (Diddy)
Frantic Factory – 10 Golden Bananas (Tiny)
Gloomy Galleon – 20 Golden Bananas (Lanky)
Fungi Forest – 35 Golden Bananas (Chunky)
Crystal Caves – 50 Golden Bananas (DK)
Creepy Castle – 65 Golden Bananas (Lanky)

You can see the code in action via the video above. If you want to see the step-by-step process on how to try the code for yourself, you can read the full details here.

RARE's Stop 'N' Swop feature was also planned for Donkey Kong 64, but was removed due to technical issues

Too RARE of an idea

RARE fans will no doubt remember the much-trumpeted Stop 'N' Swop feature from Banjo-Kazooie. The original plan was for the feature to be used in Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie in order to unlock new content between the games. Unfortunately, Nintendo squashed the idea before Banjo-Tooie came out, as the method to activate it was deemed too volatile.

RARE still had plans to include the Stop 'N' Swop feature in other games as well, including Donkey Kong 64. RARE actually sent out details to Nintendo on the feature, and Nintendo responded with a letter explaining why the idea wasn't really feasible. Nintendo found that it could cause problems with hardware, and wouldn't even work with all versions of the N64.

Nintendo also recommended that RARE find another way to make these features work, such as passwords that could be shared between games. RARE obviously didn't follow through with that idea, leaving Banjo-Kazooie's content and other plans for Stop 'N' Swop left to die.

Former RARE artist shows off the original sketches for Donkey Kong Country characters

Creating a classic

We're all familiar with the world of Donkey Kong Country nowadays, but the series' birth on the SNES was quite a surprise. Nintendo and RARE worked together to give the Donkey Kong franchise a complete makeover, and that meant brand-new designs for the classic character.

In the video above, former RARE artist Kev Bayliss goes through a series of sketches that are straight from the Donkey Kong Country days. You get to see the designs for Donkey Kong, Rambi, the Kremlings, and much more. It's pretty interesting to see how things went from rough pencil sketches to 3D CD models!

GoldenEye 007 mod adds in Mario and Peach's Castle from Super Mario 64

ToMario never dies

Super Mario 64 and GoldenEye are two of the most iconic games from the N64, and both are looked back on quite fondly. Feeling nostalgic for these games? Why not play both of them at once?! It's possible, thanks to a mod from StupidMarioBros1Fan.

StupidMarioBros1Fan took GoldenEye 007 and completely reworked it to make Mario the star. In the video above, you can see Mario taking on the role of Bond as he works his way through Peach's Castle from Super Mario 64.

Arcade1up reveals cabinet with Killer Instinct 1 and 2, Battletoads, and Battletoads & Double Dragon

Pretty much irresistible for retro Nintendo fans

While Nintendo and RARE split long ago, the history between the two will live on forever. To this day, we still see reasons to remember RARE, like new Donkey Kong Country games, and the inclusion of Banjo and Kazooie in Smash Bros. Ultimate. For those who love to relive the RARE nostalgia, another fantastic option is on the way.

Arcade1up has revealed a slew of new cabinets, and one of them is a RARE fan's dream come true. This cabinet is decorated with Killer Instinct art, but there's more hiding in there than that. Packed inside is Killer Instinct 1 and 2, the arcade version of Battletoads, and Battletoads & Double Dragon. All classic titles/franchises that fans of the NES, SNES, and N64 will remember quite fondly. It even includes online multiplayer!

We don't have info on pricing or release date just yet, but we'll be sure to bring you those details when they become available.

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