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ONM Remembered – #25

“I called him this because…”


from Official Nintendo Magazine issue 91 (April 2000)

Did you know that three of the characters in Banjo-Tooie were named not by Rare, but by members of the British public through a contest in Official Nintendo Magazine? Now you do!

“This coal monster’s name will be revealed in next month’s NOM.”


from Official Nintendo Magazine issue 94 (July 2000)

For the longest time, issue 94 was the only issue I could find that had this information, and it was easily the worst of the bunch – it didn’t say who named who, it wasn’t the actual contest to let people enter, it was little more than a reminder that this happened. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find any info on this on the internet at all. There’s one mention on Chris P. Bacon’s entry on the Banjo-Kazooie Wikia, citing one “Rai Butera” as the man behind his name, but that’s all the info available. You’d think someone would have mentioned it!

“We had loads of crap names for this hero.”


from Official Nintendo Magazine issue 95 (August 2000)

And finally, here’s the genuine article. In ONM Issue 95, three people were chosen as winners, and won a free copy of Banjo-Tooie, as well as signed artwork from the game.
For posterity: Chris P. Bacon, the photographing pig, was named by Simon Turk from Tunbridge Wells.
Bullion Bill, the prospector fox, was named by Kyle Hudspeth from Rotherham.
And Old King Coal’s name is credited to Jeremy Craggs from Milton Keynes.

It’s not much to write home about, but it’s an intriguing little bit of trivia. Sadly, for all their contributions (where would the Banjo franchise be without Bullion Bill?!?), the three weren’t given a credit in the finished product. What a con! How can these three exploit their bragging rights if the game itself won’t back them up? It should be on billboards, man.
Personally, I’d like to know where this Rai Butera came from. Is it someone who capitalised on the lack of evidence and claimed he named the porky person? Was there another contest I don’t know about? At this point, I’m not exactly fussed. I’m pretty content with the answers I’ve got.