RAREware

Jonny Blastoff and the Kremling Armada (Rare) [PC – Cancelled]

Jonny Blastoff and the Kremling Armada is a cancelled point & click adventure game similar to Monkey Island that was in development by Rare for PC / Mac in the early ‘90s, before the team fully started working on Donkey Kong Country for Nintendo. The Kremlings, a race of anthropomorphic crocodilians that appear in the DK franchise, were originally conceived for this lost game and only later reused for DKC, becoming canon in the Donkey Kong world.

Gregg Mayles – Creative director at Rare and designer for the Battletoads and Donkey Kong Country series – is quite a fan of the piracy world and lore. Jonny Blastoff and the Kremling Armada was conceived as a game to fulfill his love for pirates and it would have been set in a series of islands with coconut palms, galleons and hidden treasures. This same tropical setting planned for Jonny Blastoff was later reused for Donkey Kong Country.

While Rare never officially announced this game to the public and no image from the prototype was ever released, in September 2015 Gregg shared some concept art on Twitter, showing off the original Kremlings designs that somehow resemble the Battletoads characters designs.

While no details about Jonny Blastoff’s gameplay were ever revealed we can imagine it would have been played like a traditional point & click adventure game, with many strange characters to interact with, items to retrieve, weird puzzles to resolve and Rare’s classic english humor.

After Donkey Kong Country Gregg Mayles and Rare worked on other piracy-inspired games such as the cancelled Project Dream for SNES (later Banjo & Kazooie for N64) and lately Sea of Thieves for Xbox One. 

Ordinary Joe (Rare Ltd) [Prototype – Xbox 360]

Ordinary Joe is a cancelled prototype for a new survival horror game, that was in early development for Xbox 360 at Rare LTD, designed by Chris Seavor. There are basically  no info about this project, apart from a short interview with Chris at  Rare FanDaBase:

As for projects finished or otherwise, well first there was Killer Instinct (called Brute Force for a time).. then Killer 2, Killer Gold, Twelve Tales, Bad Fur Day, Other Bad Day, Arc Angel, Getting Medieval, Urchin (really regret not pushing harder on this one), PD Core, and a small team prototype my last job as a designer called Ordinary Joe which despite the innocuous name was my take on the survival horror genre (nothing to do with Jo Dark) .

Also, in another interview at Eurogamer:

Chris Seavor: Yeah. We did some tech for it. It was all right. It was okay. But I knew at that point I was never going to get a team to finish this, so it was just a matter of time. I only worked on it for three or four months, and there were three of us in a corner with a big sign saying, keep out. I really enjoyed that period because we were just being really creative. Even though no-one else could give a s**t, we were being really creative and doing some really good stuff. It’s a pity no-one really seemed that bothered, certainly Microsoft, who were only interested in Banjo. That was fair enough I guess.

We hope that in the future someone that worked on this Ordinary Joe prototype could share some images or videos, to preserve the existence of the project. 

Arc Angel (Rare Ltd) [Xbox – Prototype]

Arc Angel is a cancelled futuristic racing game prototype that was in development in 2003 for the Xbox, by a team lead by Chris Seavor at Rare LTD. There are just a few info about this lost project as a nice article at Pure Rarity:

Chris said that for the record Conker 2 was never scrapped; he just didn’t want to do it at the time and that was how Arc Angel was conceived. A nice easy racing game, or so he thought. During the four months he headed it a fair amount of design was nailed down but it eventually proved to be too ambitious. Also, some team members left the company or moved to other projects leaving Arc Angel with a lack of resources. Eventually the game was cancelled and Chris was put on Quest as lead artist.

Some more info can be read in another article from the same site:

He told me Seavor was initially on Conker 2 but then moved onto a racing project which was cancelled. Supposedly he is now on something MMORPG. This was some really interesting stuff but I wanted to find out more about it so I asked Tony Wong as well. He hadn’t heard about the racer but confirmed that the Conker team has been disbanded. As for the MMORPG, he said he couldn’t comment on it since it was not official.

I remembered a post in the FatBabies forums about Nintendo cancelling a futuristic racer and asked Martin if this was the same game. He told me it was the Rare management — not Nintendo — that had cancelled it and that it probably was futuristic. He explained that Nintendo always leave people alone if they produce good work.

Sadly there are no preserved images or videos about Arc Angel. If you know someone that worked on this prototype, please let  us know! We would love to save some screens in the archive. 

Banjo-Karting [Xbox 360 – Prototype]

Banjo-Karting (also known as The Fast and The Furriest, as it was called in RareReplay’s unlockable video, even if it was the name of an older Rare prototype) was a game prototype for Xbox 360, started by Rare Ltd. just before Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts was finished in late 2008. The prototype took advantage of classic Banjo-Kazooie characters and built upon the racing parts of Nuts and Bolts. With Rare’s shift to Kinect projects only, this prototype was cancelled.

One of the cars created specifically for this prototype later made it into the Xbox 360 version of Sonic & Sega Allstar Racing.

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