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As reported by VGC, Banjo-Kazooie’s name has ties to former Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi.

Yamauchi has a grandson called Banjo Yamauchi. His son is named Katsuhito Yamauchi, otherwise known as ‘Katsuhi’ for short. When they’re combined, you get ‘Banjo-Katsuhi’. That sounds a whole lot like Banjo-Kazooie, doesn’t it?

Series creator Greg Mayles says that the part about ‘Banjo’ is spot on while composer Grant Kirkhope says the story is true:

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate just wrapped its first Fighters Pass. Undoubtedly, one of the highlights was the inclusion of Banjo-Kazooie. Nintendo ended up working with Microsoft and Rare, which wasn’t always the likeliest collaboration.

In an interview with GamesIndustry, Rare head Craig Duncan spoke about how Banjo-Kazooie ended up in the game. Duncan told the site:

Donkey Kong is able to use the Coconut Cannon – otherwise known as the coconut gun – in Donkey Kong 64. However, Rare initially had a completely different weapon mind. Originally, Donkey Kong was intended to use a realistic shotgun.

During an interview with GamesRadar, creative director George Andreas spoke about showing off the gun to Shigeru Miyamoto, late Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, and former Nintendo of America chairman Howard Lincoln. It turns out that Miyamoto was horrified but what he saw. In its place, he felt that the coconut gun would be a much better fit for the game. Rare ended up adopting that idea for the final release.

Yesterday, Rare published a blog post covering all of the news related to the game developer at E3 2019. For Nintendo fans, one of the biggest announcements made was the reveal of Banjo-Kazooie for Smash Bros. Ultimate as a DLC character.

Rare says it was working with Nintendo “since last year, on everything from movesets to musical choices”. Paul Cunningham was also specifically mentioned as “our point man on getting everything about Banjo and Kazooie’s appearance just right.” Cunningham is Rare’s lead marketing artist and has been with the company since 1995.

Here’s the full excerpt from Rare about Smash Bros.:

MEL Magazine has a huge article up looking back on GoldenEye 007. Lead environment artist Karl Hilton, gameplay / engine programmer Mark Edmonds, and developer David Doak were brought in for the retrospective piece.

The interview has a number of highlights, some of which we have below. There’s talk about toning down the violence with Nintendo being concerned about the amount of killing, how using Oddjob is cheating in their view, and huge success including Nintendo being unable to keep up with the initial demand.

Gregg Mayles left a big mark on the Donkey Kong Country series. He served as a designer on the series, and created the likes of Diddy Kong and King K. Rool.

With King K. Rool having been announced for Smash Bros. Ultimate a few days ago, Mayles is taking a trip down memory lane. It turns out that Donkey Kong Country was going to be called Monkey Mayhem, and King K. Rool’s initial name was Kommander.

Did you know that Rare once had a Battletoads game in the works for Game Boy? Former Rare staffer Paul Machacek revealed that information to RareFanDaBase, who said that it was a spinoff of an arcade name of the same name. Despite being totally finished, it was cancelled due to the arcade title underperforming.

Often during a game’s creation, developers have to scrap various elements. It could be due to a lack of time, or a completely different reason.

In the case of GoldenEye 007, Rare originally intended to have four different Bonds included. Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, and Pierce Brosnan would have all been playable in the end. Unfortunately, this was left on the cutting room floor, though some elements were left behind in the original code and files.

Rare split from Nintendo many years ago, but the company is nonetheless an integral part of the big N’s history. Some of the most memorable titles came from the studio. Without Rare, we wouldn’t have Donkey Kong Country, GoldenEye 007, Banjo-Kazooie, and many other classics.

A new book from Dark Horse will let you take a trip down memory lane. Rare Treasures, tentatively slated for the end of August, will contain “the history and highlights of the iconic studio Rare, from birth to present day”. It’ll come with art, commentary, and new insights from the team, and more.



Donkey Kong 64 has been around for nearly two decades. Nintendo published the 3D platformer way back on November 22, 1999. 17 years later, a new secret has been found within the game.

Speedrunner Isotarge discovered a new coin in Fungi Forest. Previously, it went undetected in tall grass. Players can obtain rainbow coins once a slam attack is performed on dirt piles, but Isotarge came across a new pile in Fungi Forest.

As Kotaku explains:

“Isotarge first noticed something was amiss after looking at how the game formats its save data. They were looking at the flags in Fungi Forest and noticing that the information for the rainbow coin was incomplete. They used analysis tools to shoot right to the dirt patch and discover the coin.”

So Donkey Kong 64 doesn’t have 976 coins to collect as once though. Instead, there are actually 977 coins in the game.