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Did you know RARE's logo was based on a toilet paper roll?

How did I not see this?!

Well either I'm stupid, or plenty of people are in the same boat as me. Believe it or not, Rare's iconic logo seems to be based on a toilet paper roll! This was mentioned by former RARE developer/artist, Kevin Bayliss. When a fan took to Twitter to ask Kevin if he developed the logo, he answered with the following.

I did the Golden Toilet roll, on the blue background, and then the updated simpler ‘R’ logo which appeared years later.

Just to drive the point home, we included the RARE logo fading into a toilet paper roll in the intro of Conker: Live & Reloaded above. I even played that game, and still never made the connection between the two images. At best, I would have thought it a joke. I would have never realized that the logo seems to be inspired by a toilet paper roll!

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!

Was Sakurai telling a story about King K. Rool through Smash Bros. Ultimate trailers?

This is pretty interesting!


Okay, this is a pretty fantastic find, and it certainly seems like something Sakurai would do.

First up, we have the classic trophy description for King K. Rool, which ponders whether Donkey Kong and King K. Rool could have been friends at some point. What on earth could make King K. Rool actually change his heart and become friends with DK?

In one of the Smash Bros. Ultimate trailers, you see Joker from Persona 5 stealing the crown of King K. Rool. For those who don't know, Joker is part of a "group known as the Phantom Thieves of Hearts whose purpose is to explore the Metaverse, a metaphysical realm consisting of the physical manifestation of humanity's subconscious desires, in order to remove malevolent intent from people's hearts."

The most recent trailer to feature King K. Rool was the reveal of Banjo-Kazooie in Smash Bros. Ultimate. That trailer starts off with Diddy, Donkey, and King K. Rool all hanging out at DK's house. I did think it was pretty odd at the time that King would be hanging with Diddy and DK, but I chalked it up to Sakurai wanting all the RARE characters to hang out together.

Now with the info above, it seems there might have been more to it! Did Joker remove the malevolent intent from King K. Rool's heart?!

Crypt of the Necrodancer's guitarist and Grant Kirkhope team up for a Banjo-Kazooie metal tribute

Grunty grunge

FamilyJules is the man who shreds guitar on the Crypt of the Necrodancer soundtrack. Grant Kirkhope is responsible for the soundtrack to your childhood. The two have teamed up to provide an epic metal cover of the final battle theme in Banjo-Kazooie. Even if you're not into metal, you have to check out this video. It's a pretty fantastic collab.

Nintendo's Bill Trinen talks Banjo-Kazooie in Smash, Zelda: BotW2, Xbox, amiibo Support, and more

Bill! Bill! Bill!

We had the chance to sit down with Nintendo Treehouse's very own Bill Trinen to discuss Nintendo's E3 2019 and beyond! Including their relationship with Microsoft, Bill's history with Link's Awakening, the future of amiibo & Labo and much, much more!

- Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 is not DLC, it's a brand-new game, a direct-sequel to Breath of the Wild, and it's coming to Switch
- Link's Awakening is a good way for Zelda newcomers to ease into the franchise
- Link's Awakening has a few nuanced changes from the original, including things like streamlined controls
- Link's Awakening's Power Bracelet is now an ability, and not something you have to equip
- Link's Awakening now has bottles
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons' new elements and player freedom are part of why the game was pushed back
- Cadence of Hyrule is an extension of what Nintendo has always done, which is finding the right mix of gameplay/dev partner
- Nintendo and Microsoft is a 'great partnership'
- Microsoft is looking at their content and approach, and where they want their titles to be
- Bill doesn't know what else is to come from Microsoft and Nintendo, but he's excited for it
- Nintendo is glad to have Banjo and Kazooie in Smash Bros. Ultimate
- Grant Kirkhope will have more music in Smash Bros. Ultimate as well
- the dev team wanted to add co-op friend play to Super Mario Maker 2 before launch, but they've had to move it to post-launch
- 3DS is still an importance device for Nintendo, but they don't have any plans to announce additional games at the moment
- Dragon Quest IX did particularly well, as far as Nintendo's concerned
- Dragon Quest XI is one of the more approachable games in the series
- Nintendo thinks Dragon Quest's hero appearing in Smash should drive interest in what else is going on with the franchise
- Nintendo wanted to focus more on new elements in Super Mario Maker 2, rather than amiibo costumes/characters
- whether or not they come back to amiibo costumes/characters in the future remains to be seen
- news on titles with amiibo support is teased for tomorrow's Treehouse Direct
- Nintendo will continue to look into new amiibo for future games
- Nintendo has nothing to announce/in the works soon pertaining to more Nintendo Labo VR support

Grant Kirkhope goes into great detail on how he got involved with Banjo & Kazooie's appearance in Smash Bros. Ultimate, original character creator comments

Everyone is happy to see the duo back on Nintendo hardware

As we mentioned earlier, Grant Kirkhope handled the music for Banjo and Kazooie's reveal for Smash Bros. Ultimate. In an interview with VideogamesChronicle, Mr. Kirkhope elaborated on the whole topic. Apparently he worked on 12 different iterations of the tune before he got to what we heard in the trailer.

“In about January this year I received a message from Davide Soliani, the creative director on Mario Rabbids, who said Nintendo were asking for my contact information. He said, ‘can I pass it on to them?’ and I was like, ‘too f***ing right!’ I think it was Nintendo’s idea that they wanted the original composer. This had been going on long before they talked to me and they must have been talking to Rare at the back end of last year. A couple of days went by and I eventually got an email from Nintendo saying that they had a piece of music they’d like my assistance on and that they really loved what I did with the Princess Peach theme in Mario Rabbids. That was it.

So my brain was going mad trying to work out what it could be. I did quickly wonder if it could be Banjo in Smash Bros., but then I thought it couldn’t be that because they always use their own Japanese composers to remix the tunes for that game. They never get the actual composers: even David Wise didn’t get to do his Donkey Kong stuff for K Rool, which I didn’t understand.
So I thought it couldn’t be that. I wondered whether it might be Rabbid Peach as a playable character in Smash, or something like that.

I think it was Nintendo’s idea that they wanted the original composer. This had been going on long before they talked to me and they must have been talking to Rare at the back end of last year. I started thinking what the most recognisable Banjo-Kazooie tune would be. I went through a few different ideas like Mad Monster Mansion, Freezeezy Peak or Treasure Trove Cove, but eventually settled on Spiral Mountain. I thought that would be the most recognisable of all of them. I didn’t actually know the Banjo stage in the game was Spiral Mountain, so it was pretty handy when I found out I’d accidentally matched the tune with the stage. Maybe they should’ve told me at the start!”

When I have to redo any of my own stuff, like in Yooka-Laylee which was very much Banjo style, I don’t want to do it almost. I’m not great at going back to old stuff – I usually end up making it worse! But once I started it, it was great fun. But I had to get it right for the fans. Nintendo Japan also asked me to weave in some references to other Banjo levels, so I put in bits of melody from other tunes. It’s up to the fans to spot them!

I think it is significant that Banjo is back on a Nintendo system. They were born on Nintendo consoles. I feel that their home is with Nintendo, but that’s just my personal opinion and I think the fans definitely agree.”

Kirkhope isn't the only one pleased to see Banjo and Kazooie popping up in Smash. Steve Mayles, the character designer of the duo, was quite happy about the reveal.

“It’s wonderful to see Banjo and Kazooie return after 11 years in gaming wilderness, and back to their spiritual home on a Nintendo console no less. I’m really pleased for all the passionate Banjo fans who never lost faith that their heroes would one day come back! The duo are a great fit for Smash Ultimate – I can’t wait to make them Rat-a-tat-Rap Sonic in the face. Take that hedgehog boy!”

Chris Sutherland, lead programmer on the Banjo-Kazooie games, shared the same sentiment.

“It was a surprise to me, but I know many people have been asking for this – it is great to see the bear and bird back in action! Guhuh!”

Amazon Germany adds a listing for Banjo-Kazooie on Switch

What?!

Okay, what in the HELL is going on here? Banjo and Kazooie joining Smash Bros. Ultimate was all I needed to be happy for the day, but here I am talking about something else related to the dynamic duo. We can't explain it at all, but Amazon Germany now has a listing on their website for Banjo Kazooie on Switch. No screens, art, or details...just a generic listing. I'm guessing it's a mistake, but how in the world does this stuff happen?!

Thanks to OperationGamer17 for the heads up!

UPDATE - Amazon Germany has responded to the situation...and their response confuses even more.

"Hi Dustin, stay tuned for more Info! We don't have anything on BanjoKazooie at the moment but just keep eye on the website for a little bit :) Greetings"

Thanks to Bellboy for the heads up!

Microsoft's Phil Spencer reveals how Banjo and Kazooie got added to Smash Bros. Ultimate, RARE comments as well

Guh-huh!

Banjo-Kazooie are coming to Smash Bros. Ultimate. It's actually happening, but how did it all come together? Xbox boss Phil Spencer explained to Kotaku.

“The ‘how’ is not actually that interesting. Obviously we’re one of the biggest third-party publishers on Switch, so we have great relationships with their third-party team. And you’ve seen the ambition they’ve had with every character that’s ever been in Smash and even more. So it was just kind of part of the partnership relationship we have with them. There wasn’t anything kind of CEO-to-CEO that had to happen. People have asked me on social [media]—I’m sure you’ve seen that—over many years: ‘Would I welcome having Banjo in Smash?’ and I’ve always been open to that.

“The licensing relationships between the two companies, they’re there and are kind of ongoing. The reason it’s not some interesting, deep conversation is because with us owning Rare and the history between those two things, there are a lot of conversations over the years about, ‘Hey, we want to do “X” is that okay? I think it’s cool that Banjo is going to be in Smash.”

RARE also shared a comment about the reveal on their Twitter account, which reads as follows.

You asked. We listened. Nintendo were listening too, and we were happy to work with our old friends to make this one a reality.

Donkey Kong Country's First Level Recreated in Banjo-Kazooie

Donkey Kazooie

The modding community continues to come up with all sorts of crazy ideas for game mods, and the latest combines two of RARE's greatest. Someone has taken the first Donkey Kong Country level and recreated it in Banjo-Kazooie. The end result is pretty damn impressive, and makes me want to go back and play both of these games!

Thanks to cm30 for the heads up!

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