Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong Country developer Rare is currently working on the Xbox One and PC pirate adventure Sea of Thieves, but it almost made a completely different pirate adventure nearly two decades ago with a game called Dream: Land of Giants.
Revealed in a new official video, Rare designer Gregg Mayles, artist Ed Bryan, and engineer Paul Machacek take us back through the production of Dream, a title that would later be radically altered into Banjo-Kazooie.
Originally slated to be a fairy-tale inspired RPG for the SNES, Dream was going to adapt the Donkey Kong Country technology to an isometric action-adventure. The game would star Edson, a boy with a sword, and his pet dog Dinger. The baddies were going to be anthropomorphised lizard sky pirates with floating ships.
Rare then decided to move the project onto N64 and make it a 3D game. The developer spent about 16 months working on it in this capacity and experimented with different lead characters like a bunny and then a familiar-looking bear.
Once Rare decided to make Banjo the main character it opted for a side-on 3D platformer where the character could move in and out of the foreground, but it mostly followed a linear 2D trajectory. But once Super Mario 64 came out Rare decided to scrap this and make a more open 3D world instead. 16 months later, Banjo-Kazooie was born.