As many Nintendo fans from the N64 era already know, the foul-mouthed and filthy Conker's Bad Fur Day began life as a cutesy platformer before changing lanes and becoming an over-18-only affair full of innuendo, naughty words and wee.
Plenty of titbits related the game have come to light over the years and Chris Seavor - designer on the N64 game and voice of Conker himself - has even discussed the cancelled sequel. Recently, responding to a question via Twitter, Senior Software Engineer Chris Marlow gave us a little more context regarding the game's transition from twee platformer Twelve Tales to the foul-mouthed Fur Day we know and love.
Marlow worked as a programmer on the game (as well as providing the dulcet tones of The Great Mighty Poo) and in the video discusses a trip to E3 following two-and-a-half years work on Twelve Tales where the team realised on the show floor that their game would get lost in the crowd of colourful 3D platformers. Watch the video in the tweet below for the full story:
So, upon returning to Rare HQ Seavor was bought on as designer and on a whim the team added some machine guns to blast away the wasps in the first level. Studio head Tim Stamper saw this, found it hilarious and instructed them to "do more of that". So they did.
Despite seeing and hearing little from the foul-mouthed squirrel for many years, he still has the power to excite fans, as can be seen from the recent 'rebuild' of the game in Media Molecule's remarkable Dreams on PS4. As we recall, our sister site Push Square rather likes that game, and with Conker on board our interest is certainly piqued, too. Guess we'll wait for the inevitable Switch port.
Joke Alert! Joke Alert! That last comment was a hilarious jibe and not intended to insinuate Dreams is coming to Switch. Carry on.
That was such a wild one for me back in the day. Really loved the contrast and how different it was when compared to something like Glover.
I mean, would I play it today? Probably not, the whole crude and grotesque humor died with the 90s. Doubt I'd touch Boogerman for similar reasons.
Conker is timeless, the only thing that's changed is you, my friend! I think we all could use a full-bosomed flower in our lives from time to time.
@Paraka did it die or did we just grow up?
@ottospooky - Little bit of both, cause Nickelodeon used to be all about gross slimes and such, too. Now I hardly hear much from them anymore. And their slime schtick is isolated to a few awards shows and their logo.
As for games, name a popular "gross" game in recent time. It doesn't sell cause it's not interesting anymore.
Wish I could have played it back when it was originally released, though the M rating would most likely have kept my parents from getting it for me. First played this game on an emulator back in high school years later. It may have crude humor and be silly, but it is actually one of the more challenging 3D platformers. I recommend anyone try it out on Rare Replay, which is cheap and if you don't like it you can just play Banjo Kazooie on there instead.
@Sean161 - Its popularity, and subsequent response of less of them, seem to show a death of the theme of gross. Heard next to nothing of such in recent memory.
I mean, where is the games that are akin to flicking boogers and pissing on monsters cause you're drunk?
@Paraka I actually never played Conker because my parents were strict, it does look like this sort of humor died in the 90's...that being said I would love HD remakes of Boogerman and Earthworm Jim. If it was remastered, i'd probably get Conker.
Such a timeless comedy classic. The humor of Coker is so much more enduring than simple gross-out jokes that only work on 12 year olds. It's gloriously irreverent in every capacity, which never gets dated.
@magnumc500 - They attempted crowdfunding for new games, I think only EWJ got funded. Boogerman failed hard.
Very happy to hear this process. ^^
"... it's all a bit samey innit?"
"Let's put Seavor on it."
"Hey boys!! Time to F some S up!"
"What might Tim think tho... TIIIIIIM?"
"That's brilliant guys, keep going."
@Paraka I think you're focusing a little too much on the gross-out humor aspect. The fact that it's not a style of humor you see often in media these days is not evidence that it is somehow not funny anymore (which is clearly not the case considering people still like gross-out humor and that humor is subjective — there hasn't been a mysterious collective change in what people find funny in the last twenty years). This style of humor has not "died off", it has simply been offset with the rise of the internet (ie: YouTube) — people are simply consuming content elsewhere. The cause is not some imagined change in what people find entertaining (make a fart joke the next time you have the opportunity to entertain a young whippersnapper, you're guaranteed to get some laughs), rather it's a combination of many factors, not the least of which is the maturation of the internet and how it has affected creative industries, complemented by the rise of political correctness in the west that further influences how companies produce the media we consume (for the worse, by most measures).
It's also worth mentioning that the nineties happened to be a golden age of creativity in many ways, with then-smaller and up-and-coming companies like Nickelodeon expanding their cartoon catalogue by allowing creators incredible creative leniency in the content they produced (see Ren & Stimpy, Rocko's Modern Life), which made for timeless classics people still enjoy to this day. Classic episodes of Rugrats and Hey Arnold for example are renowned for tackling subjects like child psychology and therapy stigma, Jewish tradition, the Vietnam war, and the importance of Veteran's Day, all of which are topics that wouldn't fly in the corporate PC world we now live in because too many loud people have gradually developed an inability to handle foreign subject matter and sue to avoid it, hence the reluctance of media companies to produce content with a pair. As with most things, people will hardly know they like something if it isn't being made in the first place.
As for what content is being made today, industries have adapted to compete in a content-rich age in which only the companies with the largest, most consistent base make an impact. Companies are becoming larger and more corporate, and their products feature content that is increasingly produced and screened to simultaneously appeal to everyone while taking care to avoid offending even the smallest demographic. Not to say that people don't still laugh at irreverent humor, there is always a market for it in every schoolyard and college dorm. I'd add that there is more to Conker than gross-out humor; it's more akin to a South Park-style IP than a Nickelodeon IP in how it lampoons classic pop culture.
@Menardi - I don't think I am dismissing the reasons for it. There is a myriad of reasons behind the birth and death of themes and genres all the time.
Sure there is means to access such mediums in a broader definition, but you hardly hear about those. YouTube or otherwise, I've seen a rise of uncomfortable perspective type videos, but that humor back simply isn't there like it used to. Just like slapstick, it faded for the next major thing.
This isn't me lamenting on those times, just observation of the theme overall, it's dead. Just like 3D platformers and JRPGs experienced death going into the 00s. Will it surge back? Maybe, but society hasn't taking a liking to such currently.
But for your early Nick cartoons: I'd gladly trade Gumball style humor or any of the "soft unabrasive" art styles for anything akin to Rugrats again. Not just on nostalgia, as you said, it took perspectives that are otherwise shallow acknowledgements these days.
@Menardi Hey Arnold is beautiful art. It taught children morals all the while being funny.
@Paraka I appreciate your input. I would disagree that niches like these have "died" in the internet age, rather they are amplified and discussed more today than they were then, which is one positive thing about living in these times. The reason why you "hardly hear" about media with a proverbial edge these days is simply due to the internet's huge impact on our media consumption culture. In the nineties and earlier, everyone had the same limited number of channels and consoles, so you watched the same shows and played the same games as everyone else, which made for a more communal exchange of ideas and a greater sense of what was popular. Today, there is a niche for literally everything you can imagine available on thousands of websites, and we're taking our conversations online more today than we were two decades ago, making it so that we all consume content separately and lose that sense of community. Content like Conker is just as popular today as it was then, the only difference is that you have to look for it among millions of other pieces of content that are available to you at any time. I would also disagree that JRPGs ever "died", I'm pretty sure they have been more or less consistently popular over the past twenty years.
@Bobb Such a classic show. I die a little inside every time I check the Shows page on the Nickelodeon website and don't see it or the numerous other classics listed. No wonder companies are producing group-tested filler content these days, they're probably being run by guys with kids who are growing up watching "The Loud House". Appallingly, half of the shows they feature now aren't even original Nick IPs (Lego City Adventures, TMNT, Power Rangers, Alvin & The Chipmunks, Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader starring John Cena). Such a shame they've been prioritizing this sort of thing over the great original content they own the rights to.
Wasn’t this Nintendo 64’s last big game? I regretted not buying it when it came out, but got a chance to play it a couple years ago on the Xbox One. Controls made for a frustrating experience for me.
Oh man. When this game came out, I couldn't get enough of it. I would buy this game if they ported it to Switch.
It's no more than a few days ago I remembered Conker and realized that it would be a perfect Switch port.
And here you are, stopming all over my innocent (not really) dreams...
I’d love this for switch
@Kriven Agreed! They may own the rights to TMNT, but it is not an original Nickelodeon production, as it was already an established IP long before they acquired it. I would say TMNT is no more a Nick IP than Doug is a Disney IP.
@Paraka read Nestalgia’s comment. This wasn’t just the average gross-out humour, but had an underlying intelligence and wit that transcended that genre. That’s why it’s still held in such high regard and is so beloved. Maybe you have to be British to fully appreciate that - it’s decidedly British humour.
Anyone here comparing this to nickelodeon is a sure sign that they absolutely don’t understand BFD’s humour in the slightest.
Inevitable Switch port? Could Rare Replay be coming to the Switch?
I loved the richness and variety on BFD. Such a fun game and surprisingly fun multiplayer too. I would like to see more developers playing with the genre the way the pre-Microsoft Rare did. I don't think the genre is dead, as Mario Odyssey will show. It's just that development hasn't really gone that route anymore.
@outsider83 The N64 version is creatively impressive from the visuals, lighting, animation to the sound design and multiple gameplay types, it is masterful - like a full real time shadow all the time still isn't even standard to this day, but the off side to all this is not really the framerate, but it is the uber punishing difficulty in that Conker dies so easily - literally a few hits or a fall is enough to end him, and the fall animations just went on too long. Some platforms are barely reachable meaning pixel perfect jumping in 3D and the Conker team annoyingly missed out in the free flowing character movement of Banjo Tooie and Mario 64 were moves would just flow without stopping momentum. Too many of conkers moves resulted in him pausing, the pan was torture, having to stop and hit each time, put it away, get it out...! Still a classic!
@outsider83 Yep. After this the N64 was pretty much dead.
In fact unless I'm forgetting something SFA/Dinosaur Planet was the next and last Rareware game on a Nintendo home console.
I wish it would have stayed cute and fun. Conker is just a vulgar game. It could have been so much better. I guess we will never know what could have been.
@Menardi This. I always saw Conker as the video game equivalent of Family Guy or South Park (I'd actually say it's slightly closer to the former with how much it likes cramming in random pop culture references). Shame that there isn't an IP like that around now, we could really use one. I can think of a pretty funny idea for a level.
@outsider83 Well, Twelve Tales I think started development around 1998. Or at least was announced then.
Conker was the last "new" big game released in 2001. Depends on if you want to count Animal Crossing as a "big" N64 game, since it technically released there first but only in Japan (I hear the GameCube version released the following year internationally was a port).
I remember after the following Christmas, not even being able to find new N64 games or consoles in stores (aside from the copy of Quake II sitting alone on a shelf at Best Buy). So, that was dead. Not sure who was even selling that Tony Hawk game released in 2002 that is said to be the final official game. Probably just GameStop/EB.
A lot of this talk about the way things have progressed over the years makes it standout how this is a type of game that we rarely see these days. If we ever get anything like this it would only come from an indie developer, and then you get games with more of a retro vibe. It honestly shows off how the creative aspect of gaming has really been shelved in favor of predictable trends and safe directions. To me this honestly has a lot to do with why I have been slowly losing interest in new games over the years. Everything now a days is so corporate and centered around milking "whales" with predatory practices, and so many games are devoid of any real connection because of it. Everything is centered around a competitive gaming balance with "fun" hardly ever being a word that comes up.
Games like this just remind me of a simpler time when gaming didn't have to be serious business, back when it was just about having a good time and not taking things so seriously. To me that is what gaming was all about.
I was resisting this game for the longest time due to the vulgar nature of it. I didn't think such a filthy game belonged on a Nintendo console. That is until i actually caved and played it. Then i discovered the brilliance of it all! It's like Banjo kazooie on crack!
Fun fact! This game was rereleased on Xbox and funnily enough was censored. Every bad word was bleeped basically butchering it despite the improved graphics. The N64 version is the superior uncensored version. Who's the kiddy console now?
If you haven't played it you simply should or at the very least google the great mighty poo song!
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