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Ex-Rare Staffer Explains How He Created A Profanity-Packed N64 Cult Classic

Posted by Damien McFerran

Chris Seavor spills the beans on Conker, the chances of Killer Instinct 3 and why he left Rare

Conker's Bad Fur Day is famous for its bad language, adult themes and profusion of poo, but it didn't start life as a mature-rated piece of software. Originally intended as a direct sequel to the cute and cuddly Game Boy Color title Conker's Pocket Tales, the game was started under the title Twelve Tails: Conker 64 and featured none of the adult themes that made the final version so infamous.

Chris Seavor - who left Rare last year - has spoken to our friends over at Eurogamer about the development of the game, its critical and commercial response and his time with the esteemed UK development studio, which is now part of the Microsoft family.

Regarding Conker, he said:

I did bits and bobs of work for this that and the other, and then we started doing Conker Twelve Tails, and then that all fell apart. I had an idea with that, so I took that, went to Chris and said, what about this? Let's make Conker a bit more mature and do something different with it? He said, great, go for it - not expecting much I imagine. Two years later we released it and it was critically acclaimed but not strong in sales, but there you go.

It was. It was quite a brave move I thought. I was surprised when they said yeah, okay. There are some bits in it where I look back now and I go, oh god, I don't know how we got away with that. I think Live & Reloaded [the sequel for the Xbox] was more dumbed down than the original Nintendo one, which is ironic.

I was quite happy with what it sold. But at the time other games at Rare were selling upwards of five, six million units, and you were being compared to that. So you get a game that sells a million, which by nowadays standards I'd say is pretty good, back then it was like, oh, it's only sold a million. Christ! We were up against stuff like Diddy Kong Racing, which sold immense amounts. Even Perfect Dark. So it got eclipsed a little bit. But the fan base was really strong. My name became associated with the character. Within that community it was quite a good thing.

Following the company's acquisition by Microsoft, Seavor found that his iconic creation was in contention for a remake, although he has mixed feelings about Conker: Live and Reloaded and admits he wishes he had done a proper sequel instead:

We did a few other prototypes that didn't come to much, and I did some graphics work on the side just within the company, because that's what I started doing, it wasn't design. And then Microsoft came along and said here's a load of money, we're going to do stuff now. And somehow we ended up doing Live & Reloaded. I'm still not sure how that happened. I'm still not sure that we shouldn't have done Conker 2. In fact I'm certain we should have done...it would have been a straight sequel. It would have been the day after or the week after. I designed quite a lot of it. The story is all done. That was all nailed.

The interview also touches upon another beloved Rare franchise - the fighting game Killer Instinct. Seavor is confident that a third game would find a receptive audience:

Killer Instinct, they've still got that. There's definitely a market for that game. XBLA for the original game, just tart it up a bit, stick some nice 3D graphics, keep the gameplay exactly the same. That would sell. I'm absolutely certain of it. But it's whether they'll just do it or not. I know what I'd do if I was in charge of the place, but I'm not. So we'll have to see where it's going.

You can read the full interview here - and you really should, it's an excellent read.

[via eurogamer.net]

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User Comments (24)

Bass_X0

#1

Bass_X0 said:

I wanted a Killer Instinct character to appear in the XBOX 360 version of Street Fighter X Tekken to replace the PS3 version's Cole.

Didn't happen.

DarkCoolEdge

#2

DarkCoolEdge said:

Conker 2! Too bad that Rare has the rights. If it ever happens (yeah, right) is not going to be in a Nintendo console :(

ajcismo

#3

ajcismo said:

I'd give a toe for any of these N64 RARE games to make it to a Ninty VC.

Taceus

#4

Taceus said:

They were my absolute fave Dev back in the day. I would love to see their games on VC. How I miss C-c-c-c-combo breaker! I can only dream.

Zombie_Barioth

#5

Zombie_Barioth said:

Some of my most played games growing up were from Rare, but unfortunately I never got to play Conker's Bad Furday.:(

Hes right about Killer Instinct making a comeback, just look at Double Dragon Neon or the HD remakes that have been coming out. Come to think of it, it kinda funny how they say history repeats itself and low and behold retro is back in style.

pinta_vodki

#6

pinta_vodki said:

Bad Fur Day is no doubt one of the best games on N64, right on par with Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time. I sometimes play it in an emulator on my PC, and it still has that charm.

Zach

#7

Zach said:

What a fun time in gaming it was to see Twelve Tails progress from a game about collecting scattered homecoming presents to what it ended up as. One of my favorites.

LittleIrves

#9

LittleIrves said:

A perfect arcade port of Killer Instinct on XBLA would make my 360 purchase worthwhile. And yes, a crazy HD KI3 would be nice, too. Make it happen, Rare!

CorbsAdmin

#12

Corbs said:

I still to this day love Conker's Bad Fur Day on N64. Would have been amazing to see a sequel to it. :D

SomeBitTripFan

#13

SomeBitTripFan said:

I'm expecting another "Nintendo should buy Rare" thread to come to the forums now. It's a shame Rare sold themselves to Microsoft though.

Urbanhispanic

#15

Urbanhispanic said:

Conker's Bad Fur Day was one of Rare's best titles. The reason why it didn't sell as well was because it was one of the last N64 titles to be released (early 2000.) The gaming world was moving onto the PS2 and word got out about the Gamecube so people gradually moved away from the gray console.

I STILL have the original CARTRIDGE, box and manual in perfect condition and loved playing it (even though it took me a long while to beat it.) I was surprised to hear Mr. Seavor mention Killer Instinct, which is due for a comeback.

Fuzzy

#16

Fuzzy said:

Spent so much time playing multiplayer in Conker back then. So fun.

Kisame83

#18

Kisame83 said:

Poor Conker...his move with Rare makes my in-universe geek mind spasm. He appeared in DKR, so he knows Diddy Kong. So in a roundabout way, he exists in the Donkey Kong Country 'verse. But he can never again grace a Nintendo console, while the DK crew will never appear on Xbox. He's a squirrel out of time :p

Henmii

#20

Henmii said:

A new or revamped Killer instinct won't happen, since Rareware is forced by Microsoft to create mindless sports/party games for eternity!!

TheAmazingRaccoon

#21

TheAmazingRaccoon said:

CBFD is my favourite N64 game. It was the perfect storm of insane ideas that made for such a great game. It was my first online purchase. The multiplayer was awesome too. I remember me and my friend playing the beach against the bots (both as squirrels and tediz) for so long we were able to beat it on the max setting. The tediz on the sniper rifle could shoot you in the air at that level so you had to run between shots.

It was a shame it created a craze of platformers with guns that didn't even come close to its awesomeness. Without that crude English humour, movie references and great mighty poo, there is no game that will be anywhere near it.

JebbyDeringer

#22

JebbyDeringer said:

Conker was a strange game. The gameplay was very random and broken up almost like a bunch of minigames slapped together but it was done so well and in a tight package with a story that somehow actually worked. It made the game have a more epic feel but I can see how it may have also been a turn off to some. It didn't have the fluidity of Banjo Kazooie or Mario 64 but it had so much variety, really interesting characters, and locations. To top it off it had fully recorded dialog which was quite uncommon outside of old school adventure games.

CaptainOlimar

#23

CaptainOlimar said:

I remember this place in Lakeland called Family Fun Center. A few years ago they had a cabinet for the original Killer Instinct. I had asked them about it to see how long they had it. Turns out they got in somewhere in 1999 but it eventually stopped working from its distinct age.

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