as we all know him today hasn't always been a foulmouthed and drunken
squirrel. Read on below to find out the history of our little beloved
squirrel and the people who worked on the original Bad Fur Day. Note
that this page may contain inaccurate information in some parts, and
will be corrected in future updates to this page. Some of the
information is from wikipedia, but slightly reworded to fit this
website. The page might be a bit messy in places,
but it should be understandable to most visitors.
The History of Conker:
Conker first appeared in Diddy Kong Racing, an racing title released for the Nintendo 64 gaming platform in 1997, starring Timber the Tiger, Banjo the Bear(the latter who went on to have his own game, Banjo-Kazooie), and a host of other characters, Conker being one of them. After DDR, Rare decided straight after completion of the latest Killer Instinct game that a title starring Conker the Squirrel were to be developed.
In the same year the resulting game emerged at E3, first known as Conker's Quest. Early screenshots suggested to many that it would be a platformer geared towards a younger audience. It was later renamed Twelve Tales Conker 64, and later videos showed that the game sure has progressed very smoothly and was almost done. During this period Conker the Squirrel already had dynamic expressions on his face. Berri the Chipmunk also had a similar expressions system.
The game was to feature cooperative play, with the adventure differing depending on the character you choose. Conker's would be more action based, while Berri's would be more strategy-based, always having a pet dino at her side that she would need to keep feeding. The health bar was measured as a acorn hanging on a tree instead of a chocolate bar like the final. Conker and Berri could even ride several vehicles to their advantage, and the multiplayer mode of the game was drastically different, if only a teeny bit similar to Bad Fur Day's Deathmatch mode.
But something went wrong during the road, as the game soon changed direction completely. It will be talked about further down this page. There was a similar title released for the Gameboy Color under the title Conker's Pocket Tales, but rather than just getting back your presents, you had to rescue Conker's girlfriend as well who had been kidnapped by the Evil Acorn during a surprise party held by Berri, just for Conker's birthday. Conker's Pocket Tales is like a downsized version of the original game that was to be. Reviews of it was a bit mixed, and many just gave the game an "Ok.".
Pics from the Conker's Quest/Twelve Tales period:
As development on TT went on however, Rare started to fear that the game would not look different enough from other titles, and the game instantly disappeared from the list of upcoming N64 games. But it does not end here. Just wait for the part coming after this...
The Conker 64 Dev Cart:
An cart once containing this version of Conker was rescued by a former Rare employee as it, along with a few other carts were ordered to be destroyed. However, this one is different from typical N64 prototypes as it was made for in-house use by Rare only, so nothing is left on the cart. It is completely clean of any data, so it is a bit of a disappointment that the TT data never survived, but at least the cart did. The cart cannot be booted though as it needed to be connected to a computer while being in the N64 in order to work, as the data was not permanently written to the cart, and would vanish when the game was turned off(this is called volatile storage). It simply emits a buzzing sound if inserted to a Nintendo 64. Pics of the cart below:
A different copy of this game are very likely to still exist, as someone under the name Nintendomad used to own it, but passed away at the age of 31. Who knows how he died, but it's likely that the cart is now bouncing around from collector to collector once again. The worst case would be that some guy in japan could get his hands on it, as any prototypes aquired by such persons are often never seen or heard from again. I hope that someone besides japanese gets his hands on it and dumps it so it won't get lost, as I always wanted to play this version since I first came to hear of it. Only thing we can do now is hope that it soon gets released for the all of us to enjoy.
Conker Being Retooled Into a Mature Game??!
During the middle of 2000, as the game was about to go into Quality Assurance and get it's 100% quality stamp, Chris Seavor, being inspired by elements of South Park, thought about revamping it's overall look and attitude in a adult manner in an attempt to differentiate it from other titles (such as Banjo Kazooie), and quickly made the dev team take the game, wipe it clean and start from scratch (sparing some data in the cartridge leftover from Twelve Tales, including remains from that game that ended up being unused), and in a few months time it quickly transformed into Conker's Bad Fur Day.
During it's development a change related to one of the weasel characters were made, such as Paulie wearing a outfit different to the other weasels of Don Weaso's mob party. Several guns also looked different to their final counterparts, and the multiplayer status bar also was different and at the middle of the screen instead of on respective players screens if playing with more than two people. Also in Heist, whenever someone snatches the moneybag, the indicator image showing the moneybag currently being in someones hands appears right in the middle of the status bar instead of at the top of the screen. Also, in the raptor arena, the sky was blue in earlier versions, as can be seen in the early pics below.
The intro of the game seems to be mostly the same, with the exception of "Conker's" being absent from the game's title. There's many more differences which just cannot be listed here, and all these little details were altered before the game went out in stores. Advertising barely got word out of the game, and said adverts and promotionals for the game were limited to late-night TV and Playboy in the US (advertising was apparantly far less restrictive in other parts of the world), and it didn't help Rare at all with promoting the new game. Reviewers in the gaming media gave the game positive reviews, mainly praising it's graphics and sounds, which many found to be superior to any other N64 title previously released.
The game was eventually released in the US on March 5 2001 and in Europe on April 6 2001. During it's release, the game sold worse than expected, mainly due to it's rather high price, and being released late during the N64's lifetime, and as the media was starting to shift their focus on the back-then newly announced Gamecube console. All this made the game's sales suffer, and Nintendo began losing faith in Rare. In the end Rare was sold to Microsoft, for which company they now are developing games for.
Some content was cut from the game, including a parody cutscene with Pikachu from Pokémon that they had to cut at the request of Nintendo(his tail remains intact in the game ROM). Further discoveries gives evidence that the game was in the process of being localized to other countries of europe(and Japan even), and speech bubbles were going to be toggle-able but even these features were dropped, possibly due to time constraints.
Chris however stated in a interview with Gamikia that "pretty much 99.9% of the game remained". Nevertheless, Conker has proven to be a favorite amongst many, earning a cult following, and spawning several fansites dedicated to him, including this website you now are viewing.
Pics from the game depicting the differences in early versions:
After the release of Bad Fur Day, Rare was about to make a direct sequel to the original called Conker: Getting Medieval(or Conker's Other Bad Day). For which platform it was going to be developed for remains a bit of a mystery, but the storyline for the game would continue where the original left off, dealing with Conker's unsuccessful tenure as a king. He spends all the money he earned from the previous game on beer, parties and hookers, only ending with him being thrown into prison. Conker is then faced with the prospect of execution and the game starts with his escape, ball and chain attached, from the castles highest tower. Aside from the story, not much info about this sequel has ever leaked. Instead of finishing the game, Rare remade Conker's bad Fur Day for Xbox, with an completely reworked multiplayer feature capable of being played online over Xbox Live against others(support ended on april 2010, thus no more Conkering online).
Conker Live and Uncut??
In 2002 an trailer with various Rare characters appeared online after Rare had been aquired by Microsoft, Conker also being featured in it. His design has changed very little by then, apart from the clothes he now wears, and that he has also ditched his white gloves. Sometime later another Conker game was being worked on by Rare, simply known as Conker Live and uncut, and would've featured an uncensored single player experience. This was later changed at the behest of microsoft, and the game was renamed Conker Live and Reloaded and released on the Xbox in 2005 to the disappointment of many, in particular as the single player remake was even more censored. Even minor obscenities such as the word "Shit" was censored and also bleeped out. The Great Mighty Poo track also got affected by this, and the game faced some criticism from fans because of this. After this game was released, at some point Chris Seavor, the creator of Conker, was eventually fired from Rare for unknown reasons.
Pics from the Rare Sequence video:
Conker Through the Years:
As with every videogame character, Conker has gone through a lot of visual changes over the years. Below is an general description of Conker's evolution, both in personality and pshysical appearance.
Diddy Kong Racing(N64)
Conker was first introduced in Diddy Kong Racing, one of Rare first N64 titles, with the intent on giving any of the racers an possibility of having their own games during the N64's lifetime(and future games maybe). Conker was as depicted in the following video below quite young here, and eventually came to have his own games. He wore a blue shirt with a yellow cape on back, and had a rather "girly" voice(despite him being voiced by Seavor).
Twelve Tales: Conker 64/Pre-BFD
In Twelve Tales, Conker's appearance had changed slightly, now being less bulky. He still weared his blue shirt and yellow cape. He had at his disposal an arsenal of various useful moves, like drilling under ground and coming up from another spot, barrel rolling(which later became reused in Bad Fur Day, with minor alterations), using a glider to soar through the skies, and many others. He still was a child during this period. He had to recover his presents, which was stolen by the Evil Acorn and hid across several locations and worlds. Video below:
Note: In the part where after Conker jumps over some gaps in the cave, you can clearly see that the door knob's texture is glitched.
Conker's Bad Fur Day
Aside from his new appearance in Bad Fur Day, Conker has changed in both personality and attitude, as well as now wearing a blue jacket and white gloves. Conker's moves also have been rather simplified, now possessing a frying pan which he can whack foes with(mostly for comedy effect). Conker's only goal in life is to get home to Berri(going to bed being in mind), but things take an unexpectedly bad turn when he gets himself so drunk that he wanders the direction opposite to where it actually would lead home. Conker is in this game an foulmouthed and drunk squirrel, and curses bad things behind the back of someone. Other than that, he always approaches new characters in an positive manner and really wants to help others out(only if getting something in return), but doesn't quite manage it well.
Conker Live & Reloaded
In this game Conker is just the same person as he were in BFD, but has been given an drastically different look. His fur is now more visible if not overgrown, the blue jacket changed as well, and his white gloves were removed. In Live & Reloaded he is fully aware of the single player campaign just being an remake of the original(if only having the training level changed which evoked questions in his mind, such as if the gargoyle was meant to fall off the bridge or not), including every else character around. He in the end gets to re-experience something that had already happened in the original game; Berri being killed by Don Weaso, which doesn't make him any happier for sure.
After Live & Reloaded
After the game that came to be a failure of sorts to fans Conker had since never been heard of again, nor were there any new games being released. It could of been assumed that his days finally came to an end after his creator were fired from Rare. As of today, Conker has grown popular in pretty much many places around the world, even seeing a lot of fansites dedicated to him, even before and after the game was released, and earning a cult status.
In April 23 2015 Conker finally made his big return as an addon to Project Spark. His design in this game are based on his appearance from the original Conker's Bad Fur Day, but updated for the modern demographic.
In Conker's Big Reunion, Conker has accrued a pretty hefty bar tab at his favorite pub, the Cock and Plucker, and now he needs to pay it off so he can make it to the 10 year reunion he has planned with his friends. However, as soon as he's about to pay the tab, the Tediz plan on blowing the pub to pieces, which enrages him. After dousing the fuses of the dynamites and bombs, including saving Birdy from burning down in flames, Conker is finally able to have the reunion... or so he thinks. As Conker reaches the door he finds a note written by his friends, where in they state that Conker has done something veery, very unforgiveable, and they left him to have a reunion of their own, without telling him about where. Conker can't remember what he did to upset them, and with Birdy by his side(or distance), Conker sets out to locate where their reunion takes place... or something like that.
The game was cancelled on September 29 2015 after the announcement that Project Spark was going to be made completely free on October 5th, with Episode 1 being the only one for Conker's Big Reunion.
The People who worked on Conker's Bad Fur Day:
Below is a list of the people who made Conker a reality for many of us Conker fans and players.
People by Picture:
The creator and father of Conker. Chris Seavor intended to go to the movie industry, but ended up in a game development barn in the middle of nowhere. He took the role of designing one of the most complex, yet fun N64 games in history. His positions for the project include Additonal Graphics, Lead Designer, Screenplay Cutscenes, Voice Talent, and Project Leader. He voiced all the male characters in CBFD, except for The Great Mighty Poo who was voiced by Chris Marlow(see below).
Chris Marlow provided the voice of the most hilarious boss ever to exist in a video game, TGMPoo. His positions on the project were Additional Tasking Software, Technical Software Engineer, and Voice Talent.
Provided the voices for the female characters in the game, including Conker's girlfriend Berri. Her positions were 3D Animator And Cutscene Artist, and Voice Talent.
List of people as their names appear in the credits and their respective roles:
3D Animator and Cutscene Artist - Declan Doyle, Aisling Duddy, Louise Ridgeway
Additional Game Design - Mark Betteridge, Gregg Mayles, Don Murphy, David Rose, Tim Stamper
Additional Graphics - Andrew Betts, Don Murphy, Chris Seavor
Additional Tasking Software - Michael Currington, Chris Marlow, Tony Wong
Audio Software Engineer - Michael Currington
Background and Layout Artist - David Rose, Chris Seavor, Edward Sludden, Carl Tilley
Character Design - Don Murphy
Cutscene Artist - Andrew Betts
Gameplay Software Engineer - Mark Betteridge
Lead Artist - Don Murphy
Lead Designer - Chris Seavor
Multiplayer and Front End Software - Robert Harrison
Music - Robin Beanland
Project Leader and Game Design - Chris Seavor
Quality Assurance - Ross Bullimore, Matthew Carter, Justin Cook, Richard Cousins Andrew Kimberly, Luke Munton, Dale Murchie, David Parkinson, Gary Phelps, Gavin Price, Roger Smith, John Silke, Gareth Stevenson, Huw Ward, David Wong
Rare Support - Simon Farmer, Pete Cox, Doug Crouch, Mark Green, Leigh Loveday, Paul Mikell, Andrew Wilson
Screenplay Cutscenes - Robin Beanland, Chris Seavor
Sound Design and Recording - Robin Beanland
Task and Camera Software Engineer - Shawn Pile
Technical Software Engineer - Chris Marlow, Tony Wong
Visual Effects and Software Engineer - Andrew Davies
Voice Talent - Chris Marlow, Louise Ridgeway, Chris Seavor