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Conker's Pocket Tales

Conker Pocket tales.jpg

Developer: Rare
Publisher: Rare
Programmer: Richard Brough
Designer: Gary Richards, Gareth Jones
Composer: Eveline Fischer, Robin Beanland
Release dates: June 8, 1999 (NA)
July 2, 1999 (EU)
Genre: Platformer, action
Modes: Single player
Ratings: ESRB: E
System: Game Boy Color, Game Boy compatibility
Media: 8 megabyte cartridge
Input: None

Conker's Pocket Tales is a Game Boy Color video game developed by Rare with Game Boy support. It is the second game to feature Conker, the first being Diddy Kong Racing. Unlike its successor Conker's Bad Fur Day, Conker's Pocket Tales appeal was meant to be spread to a younger audience as well.

Plot

The game starts out with Conker and Berri at Conker's birthday party, but just as he is about to blow out the candles on his cake, his friend Berri is kidnapped by the Evil Acorn. The rest of the game is Conker solving puzzles and finding items to assist him on his journey.

The game ends when Conker rescues Berri from the Catacombs, getting his presents back along the way, and the Evil Acorn getting blasted out of the atmosphere by his own bomb, which was planted in said Catacombs. Conker, Berri, and all of the friends that Conker made throughout his quest gather together for a new birthday party for Conker, and Conker and Berri appear to live happily ever after, in direct contrast to Conker's Bad Fur Day.

History

The game is lighthearted in nature and designed to appeal to younger gamers. It was intended to serve as a precursor to the planned Nintendo 64 title Twelve Tales: Conker 64, however it ultimately ended up being massively re-tooled into Conker's Bad Fur Day, an "adult" title featuring profanity, graphic violence and toilet humor. Conker's Pocket Tales can thus be seen as somewhat of an oddity in the Conker series, as it represents an intended direction for the series which has since been abandoned.

Differences between versions

The HUD (head-up display) differences.

The introduction sequence only present in the Game Boy version.

There are a few differences if the game is played on a Game Boy compared to the Game Boy Color. With the exception of the loss or gain of color and slightly different graphics, here are the noticeable changes:

  • The control scheme is changed for some actions and abilities:
    • On the Game Boy version, pressing the Select button while in pause mode will toggle the inventory between presents/invitations and other items. On the Game Boy Color version, pressing the Select button while in pause mode brings up the game save screen.
    • On the Game Boy version, while in the water, the A button is used to dive and the B button is used to increase Conker's speed. On the Game Boy Color version, while in the water, the Select button is used to dive while the B button is used to increase Conker's swimming speed.
  • Saving on the Game Boy version is done via rotating S symbols that Conker will come across during his adventure, so called save points. However, games can only be saved on one of the two versions at a time.
  • The HUD (head-up display) on the Game Boy version has the energy bar and the ammunition at the bottom of the screen while it is at the top of the screen in the Game Boy Color version.
  • On the Game Boy version, the introduction sequence has a close-up of Conker's face while he is looking at a butterfly; a sequence that is not present in the Game Boy Color version.
  • The layout of the maps is also different between the two versions.

Reception

Publication Score
GameRankings 55%
AllGame 3/5
GameBoy Station 4/10
Game Informer 4.5/10
IGN 6/10
N64 Magazine 5/5
Nintendo Power 7.5/10
Planet Game Boy 5/5

Conker's Pocket Tales has received mixed to average reviews from critics. On Game Rankings the game has a 55% ranking based on four reviews. All Game gave it a score of 3 out of 5 and compared the gameplay to The Legend of Zelda on NES, while GameBoy Station ranked it lower with a score of 4 out of 10. The critic at Game Informer was mostly negative in the published review, commenting that it was a "dreadful game starring an annoying little squirrel." While the design of the game was deemed "noble and interesting", the gameplay and plot was panned. Nintendo Power and IGN were more positive in their reviews of Conker's Pocket Tales, with the latter saying that while the game is fun it is not a masterpiece. The game was described as being targeted solely at kids and the gameplay was deemed to be simple and the music to be on the corny side. Despite this, the critic at IGN said that "Conker's Pocket Tales isn't complex, but it is amusing. Rare is constantly making games that have good gameplay, and this is not exempt despite its cliche tone and overdone premise."

Cover

A promotional image, later slightly altered and used for the cover.

The cover of Conker's Pocket Tales shows Conker aiming with his Slingshot, while there are Evil Acorns, flowers and a Windmill seen around him. This image is derived from artwork from the cancelled Twelve Tales: Conker 64, that was in development at the time of this game's release. Of all things shown on the cover of Conker's Pocket Tales it is only Conker, the Slingshot and the Windmill (though with a different look) that actually makes appearances in the game. Many of these things would later make appearances in Conker's Bad Fur Day but the Evil Acorns were ultimately scrapped.

Soundtrack

The soundtrack for Conker's Pocket Tales was composed by Eveline Fischer and Robin Beanland. No official soundtrack has been released but at least two versions of the songs from the game have been compiled.

The song "Minigame" was re-used in Conker's Bad Fur Day in a slightly different version, under the title "The Old Chap". The song had previously been planned to be part of the Twelve Tales: Conker 64 soundtrack, which is also true for the song "The Catacombs", but they were instead released in Conker's Pocket Tales. Also, the intro to the song "Minigame" was re-used in Conker's Bad Fur Day in a slightly different version, as an intro to "War". The song "Willow Woods" was also planned to be part of the Twelve Tales: Conker 64 soundtrack, as the song "Windmill Area".

Version 1

  1. "Opening Theme" (00:07)
  2. "Willow Woods" (03:00)
  3. "Woodland Waltz" (01:11)
  4. "Making a Name for Conker" (01:35)
  5. "Just Visiting" (02:00)
  6. "The Evil Acorn's Antics" (02:37)
  7. "The Party is Over" (00:07)
  8. "The Evil Acorn's Anthem" (01:34)
  9. "Conversing with Conker" (01:27)
  10. "Conker's Minigame Melody" (01:57)
  11. "Minigame Lost" (00:05)
  12. "Minigame Conquered" (00:05)
  13. "Invite and Conquer" (00:04)
  14. "All Presents Accounted for" (00:07)
  15. "Conker Idles About" (00:54)
  16. "The Dusty Trail to Vultureville" (03:02)

Version 2

  1. "Just Visiting" (01:13)
  2. "Conversational Skills" (00:46)
  3. "Willow Woods" (01:30)
  4. "Vultureville" (01:44)
  5. "Krow Keep" (02:10)
  6. "Mako Island" (01:23)
  7. "Claw Swamp" (01:36)
  8. "Aztec Temple" (01:16)
  9. "Minigame" (01:06)
  10. "Inventory Freakdown" (01:11)
  11. "The Catacombs" (01:50)
  12. "Boss Battle - Evil Acorn's Homies" (01:24)
  13. "Final Battle - Evil Acorn, Smelly Bastard" (01:34)
  14. "Game Over - Sleeping with the Fishes" (01:26)

Locations

Enemies

Bosses

Gallery

Box art and cartridges

Nintendo Power

Screenshots

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