Last month, Donkey Kong 64 turned 20 years old. Since then, the development team behind the game has been doing the press rounds to celebrate the anniversary.
During a recent interview with Games Radar, one of the creative leads George Andreas recalled a horrifying moment when Rare was showing the game to Shigeru Miyamoto, Satoru Iwata and Howard Lincoln (Nintendo of America's chairman) at its new studio, and Donkey Kong pulled out a realistic-looking weapon:
We switched on the game, they saw the rap, and then I started running around as DK. I swung on some vines, collected bananas, and they were beginning to really smile. And then I pressed the button to pull out the gun. It wasn't a textured gun that you might expect but a realistic shotgun with bullets flying out and with horrifying sound effects.
Andreas said he "completely forgot" it was in there. Miyamoto wasn't impressed and took out some paper and drew the coconut gun:
You get so used to things being in development, even if it is a placeholder, and I completely forgot that it was in there. I'm shooting beavers, turned to my side, and see this look of horror on Miyamoto's face! Then he smiled and, taking some paper and a pencil, drew a coconut gun in front of us. It had leaves on it and he handed it to me. I looked at it and said 'Oh yeah, that's cool, we'll put that in' and the coconut gun was put in after that.
As out of place as the shotgun probably looked, cute and furry animals wielding weapons were standard in Rare's 2001 release, Conker's Bad Fur Day.
So, there you have it – Miyamoto designed the coconut gun in DK64. If you haven't read through it already, be sure to check out the Nintendo Life feature celebrating 20 years of Donkey Kong 64.