A Rare Treat for Christmas - Official Dream Footage Finally Unveiled

While Banjo-Kazooie became one of the most beloved platformer titles to date, its origins were still deep under wraps. At some point, we were told that Banjo-Kazooie started out life developed under the name Dream, which starred a young boy named Edison and was intended to be an RPG using the pre-rendered 3D ACM graphics scheme that was used for games like Donkey Kong Country and Killer Instinct. The game was eventually retooled in favor of the Banjo-Kazooie we know today and released for the N64, but for the longest time, the reasons why the game was reworked - and evidence of these mysterious prototypes - remained under the surface, with only a single screenshot to confirm its credibility.

With the advent of the ongoing Rare Revealed, however, we began receiving glimpses of unreleased, unseen projects, such as the multiplayer-oriented Conker title, Conker: Gettin' Medieval. Rare's latest entry into the episodic behind-the-scenes series finally gives us our first in-depth look at the unreleased Dream project, and boy, it's a sight to behold.

Gregg Mayles, Ed Bryan, and Paul Machacek provided a gold mine of information regarding the early stages of the game. The game ran in an isometric, free-movement style in contrast to the strictly 2D gameplay of the Donkey Kong series and drew inspiration from RPGs and point-and-click adventure games.

Edison, the main character whose appearance was rather muddled in the previous screenshot, is shown off in full, spiky-haired detail alongside his canine sidekick Dinger and a couple of programmed enemies and obstacles, although sadly, there were no visible traces of the pirate antagonists, which were confirmed by Mayles to have been "the main bad guys" and whose drive to "[build] a pirate ship that could fly" using a mythical material called "Floaty" would have served as the main story element to Dream.

Eventually, the jump was made to the Nintendo 64 for development, where the fairy-tale tone of the game was changed in favor of a more mature, pirate-themed overworld and Edison's character was retooled before it was finalized with Banjo. At one point, Edison's design was said to have been changed into a rabbit, a decision that Ed Bryan regrets the team didn't go through with.

Once the project grew, the game was again reworked into what looks like a hybrid of Donkey Kong Country's 2D mechanics, the isometric elements of Dream, and modern Banjo-Kazooie gameplay all in one. There's plenty of interesting content to gawk at in this build, including different food sprites, unique enemy designs and previously-unseen animations from Banjo. The level even bears a slight resemblance to the beta picture of Fungus Forest that can be seen in Banjo's home.

As an extra juicy bonus, the development team was kind enough to show off some brand-new footage of some of the beta levels used for testing the game, including Giant's Lair and early builds of Mumbo's Mountain and Spiral Mountain.

As Gregg Mayles hinted at in the video, there's some slight irony in that the studio is retreading the pirate aesthetic with the recently-announced Xbox One title Sea of Thieves on the horizon. Perhaps we might just see some nods to Dream reflected in the new IP.

Another link to 'Rare Revealed: A Rare Look at Dream'
Discuss the Dream showcase on the forums!
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