Best of friends

Banjo-Kazooie is one of Rare's most beloved properties, and while the series is now firmly entrenched on Microsoft hardware following the company's purchase of the famous British developer, Nintendo fans will always have a soft spot for the bear-and-bird duo thanks to the fact that they made their official début on the N64.

Over the past few days Rare's Gregg Mayles - one of the longest-serving staffers at the firm and the brother of ex-Rare artist and Playtonic co-founder Steve Mayles - has been tweeting various bits of design and concept art which show the genesis of the game.

Mayles reveals that in early design documents, the game was more like Donkey Kong Country and adopted a "semi-3D" perspective rather than full 3D. He also explains that Kazooie wasn't involved right at the beginning. The early focus was collecting fruit rather than musical notes, too.

Gregg Mayles is hard at work on Sea of Thieves, a new Rare title for the Xbox One. Rare is also preparing the release of Rare Replay, an Xbox One collection of its classic games, including Banjo-Kazooie.

Steve Mayles, on the other hand, has teamed together with a bunch of other ex-Rare staffers to recreate the old magic with Yooka-Laylee, which enjoyed an amazingly successful Kickstarter campaign and has been confirmed for Wii U.