How an RPG about a boy and his dog became Banjo-Kazooie

Rare is a studio with a ton of classic games in its history - just look at Rare Replay (opens in new tab) for Xbox One. Of those games, few are as beloved as N64 3D platformer Banjo-Kazooie. And why wouldn't people love it? It's a cute cartoon bear and bird in a fantasy land out to stop a witch! Well, except for when it used to be a serious RPG for the SNES, focusing on a boy, his dog, and a quest to stop pirates from conquering the world with an airship. For the first time ever, you can see how such a monumental change occurred.

That game was known as Dream: The Land of Giants. It expanded on the groundwork laid by Rare's work on Donkey Kong Country, creating highly-detailed character models and isometric environments that were cutting edge (at the time). However, with the N64 just around the corner, development shifted to that platform, and Rare began developing a 3D version. This change in perspective also inspired the team to abandon the fantasy setting and focus on the pirate theme. If that sounds familiar, you're probably thinking of the Rare game announced at E3, Sea of Thieves.

A SNES prototype that went on to be the origin for two games? I'd say Rare is living the Dream.

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Sam is a former News Editor here at GamesRadar. His expert words have appeared on many of the web's well-known gaming sites, including Joystiq, Penny Arcade, Destructoid, and G4 Media, among others. Sam has a serious soft spot for MOBAs, MMOs, and emo music. Forever a farm boy, forever a '90s kid.