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

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

Posted Fri, 23 Nov 2012 | 10:30 GMT 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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Interesting read. CBFD was my second favorite game on the N64, it did local multiplayer superbly.


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- Conker's Other Bad Day (story was completed and some level design)

- Perfect Dark: Core (more mature than previous installation)

- Urchin (new IP, Fable style game)

- Ordinary Joe (new IP, survival horror)

- Kameo 2 (also more mature than previous installation)

Chris worked on these five games and not one of them was completed thanks to Microsoft's (and later Rare's to some extend) management...

*sheds manly tear*

Oh well, thanks for sharing that awesome interview.

Conker had a adult themes? Where!?

After reading the article it seems that Microsoft wasn't the real villain after all. Rare was coming up with great ideas, but they were taking so long to get there. That other studios both inside and outside of Microsoft were beating them to the market. You can understand why Microsoft wouldn't want genre overload. Just about every concept that was mentioned in the article seems to have been something that somebody else had already done, or worse something that everybody else was doing at the time.

You can't blame Microsoft for not wanting another exclusive shooter franchise, or a franchise that would actually compete with Fable, or another survival horror game when they already have half a dozen on the platform. Hell you can see why they wouldn't want a nature simulator. When both Sony and Nintendo had very similar games. It just goes to show you that there aren't rewards for being second. Had they gotten those ideas out sooner. Those games would have probably made it into the market. They could have been originators, but ended up being total overkill.

On a more positive note. It seems like they have a process of elimination going for them. Eventually they will find their core franchise, or they will find genres that nobody else is going to contest. I know it may seem like pure blasphemy to say it, but maybe Rares destiny to become the premier space shooter developer, or the developer that makes gritty role playing games for the Xbox.

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you can't read "Rare" and "profanity-packed" without thinking... Conker