Retro Vault: Sonic 3, Mario: The Lost Levels, Lemmings

Plus: Conker's Bad Fur Day and an awesome 1991 Nintendo training video

Retro Vault is our regular weekly feature in which we dive into gaming's past and share five classic nuggets of retro nostalgia. If you missed last week's Retro Vault you can read it here.


March 2001 - Conker's Bad Fur Day

At the E3 Expo in 1997, Rare announced that it was working on a 3D platformer starring a little squirrel called Conker. Originally named Conker's Quest, early screenshots and footage showed a game that looked so cute and saccharine that it would likely need a health warning for diabetics on the box.

In late 1997 Conker made his debut as a playable character in Rare's Nintendo 64 racing game, Diddy Kong Racing, alongside another future Rare star, Banjo. Shortly afterwards Conker's Quest was renamed Twelve Tales: Conker 64, and then... nothing.

After concern that Conker's game would be dismissed as yet another cuddly, child-friendly platformer, Rare scrapped Twelve Tales and essentially started from scratch, creating a game designed for a more mature audience.

The result was Conker's Bad Fur Day, a game packed with foul language, tasteless humour, numerous movie parodies (A Clockwork Orange, Reservoir Dogs and Saving Private Ryan were among those spoofed) and a giant talking poo. It was a surprisingly shocking title for its time, especially on the Nintendo 64, and was a huge critical success as a result.

When Rare moved to Microsoft the game was re-released on the Xbox as Conker: Live And Reloaded, complete with Xbox Live multiplayer. Ironically though, despite Nintendo's more family-friendly image, the Xbox version was censored more than the Nintendo 64 original.

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