Taking flight

When Rare was purchased by Microsoft many assumed that there would be no more titles from the famed UK developer on Nintendo formats, but such fears proved unfounded - Rare continued to release titles on both the Game Boy Advance and its successor, the Nintendo DS, although in recent years the games have admittedly dried up.

One such title was Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge, which arrived on the Game Boy Advance in 2003. While this release occurred after Rare had become a Microsoft studio, the game's history goes back to the period when the company was sill very much under Nintendo's wing - 1999, to be exact.

Then-titled Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Curse, the game was intended to launch on the Game Boy Color. The story featured some radical differences from the one that we'd eventually see in Grunty's Revenge, with more levels, enemies and transformations planned for the game. Another big change was that Kazooie was to be turned into an evil version of herself by the titular witch and would ride around in her backpack, just as she does with Banjo. The planned GBC version also lacks the time-travelling elements which were so prevalent in the GBA release.

Grunty's Curse was in production for a handful of months during 1999, with Rare's artists going as far as to start work on sprite designs. However, the project was put on ice until the GBA arrived, when it was rebooted as Grunty's Revenge. The GBC edition would have remained forgotten were it not for kindly Nintendo Life reader and former Rare staffer Kirk Johnston who kindly supplied us with design documents for the game. These were passed onto Unseen64 staffer and Nintendo Life contributor Liam Robertson, who has put together the following video highlighting the key facts regarding the title.

Would you have liked to have played the game on the GBC, or are you glad it got held back for the more impressive GBA release?