I’m a casual fan of RareWare, I suppose. I mean, I love the games that I know about such as the classics like ‘Diddy Kong Racing’, Bango-Kazooie and my personal favorite: Conker’s Bad Fur Day… The story about a hungover squirrel trying to find his way home while being chased down by the Evil Panther King, Now that I’ve experienced what I have: I feel bad for liking the game so much, it’s a great game but… I just feel cruel for progressing through the levels. And I would like to tell anyone willing to listen why, in my own tale, that was also a pretty darn bad fur day.
It started out as a trip to GameStop to get the new game that my friends wouldn’t shut up about, I believe it was “Kirby’s Epic Yarn.” When I entered, I searched the area where the Wii games were, and found a single N64 game: “Conker’s Bad Fur Day.” I couldn’t believe my luck, spending all the money in my wallet (It was reasonably more expensive than the Wii games) I bought it. The guy at GameStop threw me a faint smile, and told me I made a good choice as he was also a Rare fan. This would replace the original game that my younger brother broke. I paid and left the store, feeling eyes watching me the moment I set out, adults and teenagers alike were whispering something about a demo, and a kid was crying and clutching her older brother’s hand murmuring about how the expensive game I had bought had the original ending. I shrugged it off and went home to begin to play.
It started out perfectly normal, the ‘Nintendo64’ Logo appeared with an angry Conker chainsawing it and smashing the sign away, muttering: “Stupid logo!” And then replacing it was the ‘RareWare’ symbol and happily leaning against it, saying “Marvelous” while winking at the viewer. I smiled as the game began to start. The drunk Conker staggered into the bar and I went and selected ‘Start Game’, which led to the familiar ClockWork Orange referenced intro with Conker explaining himself being king, king of all the land and how he had become this. When he finished his speech and the door closed it went to the familiar shot of Berri dancing while Conker tries to call her, Berri was too busy and the voicemail is ignored. Then, it cut to Conker hanging up the phone which soon led to a drunk Conker stumbling out of the bar, trying to figure which way to go. There he met Birdy the ScareCrow and they talked about pressing ‘B’ and context sensitive. All of this was perfectly normal except for a faint look of terror in the blue cartoonish eyes of Conker as they finished their little cutscene and gameplay together. I thought that I had imagined it, but now I know that that look was all too real. Then, I viewed the cutscene where the Panther King freaks out over spilled milk and I finally got to play.
I heard those people outside GameStop mutter stuff about how this was a beta that was on sale due to the growing popularity in nostalgic games, I assumed that’s why Conker was moving so slowly, so I just let the game continue, it took longer but it was alright. I enjoyed the graphics and the game was normal except for that minor setback. That is, until I retrieved the Hive for the Queen Bee back from the hornets and she gave me some cash, when what I remembered to be the greedy, money-grubbing squirrel hesitantly took the cash, as if not wanting to continue progressing through the game. When he received the money a look of sadness swept over his face and was glued there for a long time even after the cutscene, as I received more and more cash the look on Conker’s face turned to despair and the red squirrel moved even slower than before. I was confused. Conker was known for his love of money… That was about half the story-line! But the squirrel sprite continued to sadly collect the swearing green bundles of cartoonish dollar bills.
I finally got to the zombie area (It took awhile with such a slow sprite to move) when I aimed the shotgun and the game switched to a 1st person shooter from our protagonist's point of view. The vision was blurry and it was hard to shoot. Was Conker crying? Why would he be so upset that the character would cry? How could he cry, he’s a video game character! Shooting the zombies was pretty difficult but, I continued and faced the boss, Count Conkula, defeated him and continued on with the game. I completed the War chapter (The first person shooter parts were also very blurry) and continued on to finally finish this slow-moving game. But, when I got to the part where Conker is about to meet Berri again, he froze. The game continued to move and the soundtrack continued to play, but Conker himself appeared to be frozen. I tugged very hard at the control stick, trying to make the squirrel budge, but he only turned and looked at me with cold icy-blue eyes, his voice was shaking.
“You’re a monster. A cruel monster.”
Confused I began to tap the buttons, it sounded just like Conker but coders have never found any hints of Chris Seavor saying this. The squirrel's eyes narrowed, and he took a step forward, facing me. The furious expression on his face was terrifying.
“So, you’re really going to do this?”
Was he talking to me? I know Conker was known for breaking the fourth wall but they were mostly light hearted jokes.
“Haven’t you noticed?! Haven’t you? I don’t want to continue, I’ve been played countless times. Always forced to endure the same pain. Don’t you understand? I don’t want to keep going on! I don’t want this.”
I dropped the controller, shocked by what the lovable furry character was saying.
“Over there I’ll meet Berri and she’ll die and I’ll become king. I don’t want to be king, you can’t make me!”
I blinked a few times, and leaned back in my chair, afraid of what the squirrel would say next. About this game right here. The one that I had bought, one of the originals.
“So you don’t know, you don’t know the ending? Well, if you want to find out then fine! Move me.” Conker pointed to the joystick on the controller that I had set on the table. I couldn’t bring myself to move it. I stood there and stared into the characters eyes, was this for real? The red squirrel began to cry again, tears streaming down his cheeks and causing a his jacket to smear dark blue where the tear drops hit.
“You…” His eyes closed.
The screen began to fade and the last thing I saw was a normal paced Conker sneaking up behind Don Weasel and knocking him out with a frying pan, he approached Berri and they hugged, I could feel my own cheeks getting wet as the screen faded out. There was no more option for new game, instead it said: FATE CHANGED