Games that Never Were: Conker’s Other Bad Day

People who have ever finished Conker’s Bad Fur Day for the Nintendo 64 (or the updated Conker: Live and Reloaded for the Xbox) may remember the rather sad ending. Conker the squirrel had become king, but with his girlfriend Berri dead and his subjects consisting of people that he hated, he was not happy at all. He ended up going to the pub to drown his sorrows, ultimately staggering outside in a drunken state in the middle of a stormy night. He walked off in the opposite direction than he did at the start of the game, indicating that a sequel could come along. Nine years after the game’s release, the sequel still has not materialized, and thus, Conker’s further adventures remain untold.
That is not to say that a follow up to Conker’s Bad Fur Day has never been planned or even considered, because as it turned out, Rare was planning on bringing the squirrel back and giving him another bad day. The game, entitled Conker’s Other Bad Day and sometimes sporting the subtitle Getting Medieval, was supposed to continue the adult-oriented escapades of Conker and likely sport many of the Mature-rated features that made the first game a popular, if somewhat controversial, masterpiece. This is the sequel that fans are clamoring for, but has never shown up. What would this game have included, and might Conker yet receive the comeback that he deserves?

In the game, King Conker was on a new adventure to try and somehow save Berri, though she had been killed in the first game. The story was that as king, he would use up all the treasury money on such things as alcohol and parties until he winds up in jail and is slated to be executed. He would start his new adventure by escaping from prison, complete with a ball and chain attached to his leg. Beyond that, not much is known about the game, although it would follow in its’ predecessor’s footsteps by including a lot of new movie references. Presumably, there would still be plenty of violence, strong language, and other features that made the first game so popular.

It is not known what system Conker’s Other Bad Day would have ultimately landed on, though plans for it were in the works soon after the first game came out. Presumably, it was initially planned for the Nintendo Gamecube, with the Nintendo 64 on its way out by the time Bad Fur Day was released. When Rare left for Microsoft, the company was still planning on bringing Conker back, perhaps for either the Xbox or Xbox 360. Instead, we ended up with Conker: Live and Reloaded, a graphically-enhanced port of Conker’s first adventure. Development of Conker’s Other Bad Day was halted by Microsoft, who apparently did not wish to release another Conker game at the moment. For now, Rare is planning on porting Perfect Dark to the Xbox Live Arcade, making a Natal game designed as their answer to Wii Fit, and supposedly working on other projects. It is not known whether or not one of those projects is the long-awaited Conker sequel, whether it is the way it was intended to be or something entirely different.

Fans have been wanting a true sequel to Conker for years, and I know I would have wanted to check it out myself. I felt that Conker’s Bad Fur Day was a fitting exit to Rare’s Nintendo 64 days as well as their last great game. Therefore, a sequel would surely have become an instant classic. It would have been filled with possibilities: new areas, new and returning characters, new jokes, new movie references…in short, more of the same, but improved. Conker has been waiting far too long to have another adventure, and it is high time that the fans’ prayers for a real sequel are answered.

It could be worse…Rare could have made it so that Conker would never return. As I understand it, the first game originally ended with a scene in which a sobbing Conker goes to the pub’s bathroom and commits suicide by shooting himself in the head. Since this ending did not make a sequel possible, it was changed to the ending mentioned at the start of the article. Setting up a game for a potential sequel is a good idea as long as the sequel is released. However, since it has not yet come along, we find ourselves still wondering what happened to Conker after he staggered out of the pub yet again. If for whatever reason the series never comes back, then perhaps Rare should have went with the original ending, and put poor Conker out of his misery, since he is surely depressed even nine years after becoming king and waiting for a chance to set things right again.

Conker’s Other Bad Day is yet another Rare game that many fans, myself included, would have wanted to play, but we may never get the chance to do so. With Rare under Microsoft’s control and the company itself in decline, it needs a Conker sequel to prove itself worthy to people who feel that Rare is not the wonderful company it used to be. There may still be a chance that Microsoft will give in and give Conker the sequel that he deserves. Nine years is quite a long time to wait for a new adventure. Let’s hope that when Rare’s future projects are announced, a new Conker game will be among them, and that he will finally get the chance to reunite with Berri and live the life of a normal squirrel once again.