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EXCLUSIVE: RFDB Interview With First Person To Complete Rare Replay, KongQuest

EXCLUSIVE: RFDB Interview With First Person To Complete Rare Replay, KongQuest

So Rare Replay has almost been out for 2 weeks now and someone has already achieved 100% completion of the game! Yep, that is right and it was done in 10 days! The Xbox user KongQuest is the first person to reach Rank 30 in Rare Replay as well as unlock every achievement in the game. We got a chance to interview KongQuest to ask him a little bit about himself, his passion for Rare and how he did it!

If you are struggling at all to rank up you should definitely give the interview a read just for that as KongQuest gives some really good tips for a few of the games in Rare Replay. Can never hurt to hear from someone who mastered the game themselves right?

RFDB:  Hello KongQuest, thank you so much for taking the time for this interview.

Guessing by your gamertag I am going to go out on a limb and assume you have been a Rare for some time now? What was your first Rare game and what is your favorite Rare game and why?

dkc2KQ: Yes, for starters, my gamertag KongQuest, is indeed a reference to one of Rare’s, or better yet, one of gaming’s finest quality titles, Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest. I chose this name on Xbox Live well over 10 years ago because of this reference and a clever play on words – Kong, Conquest, etc. I actually own the gamertag ‘Kazooie’ as well, due to being around on XBL since the beginning. My first Rare game, I would say it was either DKC1 or DKC2 were the first Rare games I had discovered. I, possibly like most others, had Rare’s games become some of my favorite gaming experiences during the SNES and early N64 eras and cherished them ever since. It was at this point in history that these hit games would be recognized as some of gaming’s greatest titles. These were the games that mostly defined the N64 era for me, and simply had to play them all as they came out. It was a time where Nintendo Power and Player’s Guides were a must (no internet), and some very genuine game experiences that can’t really be felt these days. As for a favorite Rare game, that is a hard question! I’m leaning towards either Banjo-Kazooie, Tooie, Donkey Kong 64, DKC2, or Jet Force Gemini as these were all the most enjoyable for me back then. If I had to choose, I’d say DKC2 as the musical score, level themes/environments, visual graphics, platforming gameplay are all superb. I have some fond memories of this fantastic game, and is something I can really stand behind in name as I believe the game is flawless. I’m sure we’re all more than familiar with this title, but all I can say in short words is that it’s absolutely gorgeous, and a timeless masterpiece.

RFDB: So what caught our attention was you being the first person to reach rank 30 in Rare Replay! That is quite the feat! And in just 10 days as well. When you purchased Rare Replay did you go in thinking you were going to try to be the first to reach 100%?

KQ: No, I never thought I had a chance or predicted I would be the first to finish all of this game’s achievements. The opportunity was definitely there for others to overtake my lead in Rare Replay. I had never even played Perfect Dark Zero before! I must also point out that there was some kind of broken street date in Europe, and a gamertag tracking site said that over 700 people were already playing Rare Replay a week early! I started on the official release of August 4th (then finished August 14th). I didn’t play for nearly as long as others would think, I’m probably just more familiar with these titles, like Blast Corps, to get it done fast, and multiple games cleared in a single sitting.

Anyway, Rare Replay was unveiled recently at E3 2015 as one of the main Xbox showstoppers and was certainly a shocking surprise to see. I recall something was mentioned hinting to this prior by Rare to announce something at E3 that will please fans of the old games, or something in that manner was said. Even with that hint, this was an unexpected surprise, and I immediately knew – they’re gonna make us complete all of the Xbox 360’s games achievements to complete Rare Replay! Was I the only one with this thought to prepare?

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As it turned out, you only needed 75% gamerscore in each of the 9 Xbox 360 titles to get all the milestones/stamps for each game in order to reach 330 stamps and unlock the Stampers Forever achievement. I didn’t know this fact until the actual release date when I first played, checking out the menus.

When Yooka-Laylee was first unveiled around May 1st 2015, I had already decided just from that, that it’s time I got the rest of my needed achievements in all of the Rare affiliated titles.

I could tell from the promising potential of Yooka-Laylee that this was the long-awaited return to 3D platformer or buddy-duo type games that I loved so much during the N64 era. So right after that day of Yooka-Laylee being first shown, I became a backer of the project, and figured I should start Jetpac Refuelled’s achievements already.. and completed it less than a day later. I did start/play all of these 360 games back when they all came out nearly a decade ago – I wouldn’t consider myself to be much of a Rare fan if I only first played these games in 2015. But Rare Replay is here now, and it’s never too late to discover Rare’s games for the first time! I feel the in-game video featurettes really do it justice of explaining what Rare is, to those new and unfamiliar.

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RFDB: Do you usually 100% games? If so, what have been some other hard games on Xbox to get 100% of the achievements for?

KQ: Well, yes. I typically always go for 100% achievements. At some point in mid-2010, I decided on my own to take my achievement gaming to a serious level and complete every single current game’s achievements to 100% before moving on to the next. I’ve done this for over 5 years straight now and have never left out a single achievement as incomplete to date. Some other hard games or series would be some hack&slash games like Devil May Cry, fighting games with their combo trials, shoot-em-ups or other genre type games that commonly have 1CC/No death achievements , and many other games on XBLA/360.

RFDB: About how many of the 30 games had you played before?

KQ: I’ve already played all of the N64 games in the pre-Gamecube years. I’ve played most of the 360 titles when they first released, Perfect Dark in March 2010, Banjo-Kazooie when it was given early with purchase of Nuts&Bolts in 2008, and so on. Possibly like many others, I first played Jetpac through the unlockable game in DK64. What I haven’t seen until now, due to some being pretty dated and obscure, or simply before my time, is Lunar Jetman, Atic Attack, Underwurlde, Knight Lore, Gunfright, Slalom, R.C. PRO-AM I and II, and Cobra triangle. Perfect Dark Zero as well. All others I own or played prior to Rare Replay.

RFDB: Do you think that helped a lot in completing the game so quickly?

KQ: Absolutely, if not for playing these 360 titles already, Rare Replay would be a couple months longer of an effort. I strategized completing Rare Replay a month in advance mainly by going back to just one incomplete demon from the past, Kameo’s 50/50 achievements. Another extreme all-out difficulty achievement list, involving A-ranking single player, co-op missions, A-rank time attacks that pretty much mandates another player to occasionally slow down time for you to ever get A-ranks, and much more. Not to mention the unmotivating zero gamerscore DLC achievements, although very satisfying to get.

Perfect Dark Zero is possibly the trickiest to even get 75% in. However, I confirmed you can get a doable 755G by completing all of the multiplayer achievements, and beating the game on SOLO Agent, then another playthrough on CO-OP Secret Agent. That’s enough to reach 75% for all 10 of Rare Replay’s PDZ milestones. So what I actually did was, on August 7th, I started PDZ and grinded the MP kill achievements, then you will reach the most tedious ones: play 1000 darkops/play 1000 deathmatch achievements which can be IDLE boosted. Yes, I was actually able to work on these at the same time I working my way through Blast Corps, Grabbed by the Ghoulies, etc. Playing on Xbox One, setup idle PDZ matches on Xbox 360. Perfect Dark Zero’s final stamp was my 330th and final stamp needed to complete Rare Replay.

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RFDB: What game in the collection gave you the most trouble? Any stamps or achievements in particular that were really challenging for you?

KQ: Not including any 360 games, Battletoads ‘Beyond the impossible’: Complete a loop of the Turbo Tunnel Infinite, was the individual most challenging achievement. After a lot practice of consistently getting to the 2:00 mark, the rapid wall transitions of moving up and down were extremely luck-based for me. It may be due to the speed of it starting out slow, then increasing to the fastest a few seconds later, affecting the speed of the player’s inputs. That’s the one impossible-to-overcome section until it soon loops again at around 2:20 for success. The playlists and snapshots were surprisingly more doable for me than I was expecting. Most game’s snapshots can be fully completed in 10-20 minutes, or less. Then some of the full games like Knight’s Lore and Solar Jetman can take over 8 hours.
I would say the 360 games are all the hardest in the collection, Kameo 50/50, Perfect Dark 200G, Perfect Zero 1000G, Jetpac Refeulled 200G, are the most to worry about, if the player wishes to do so to full completion.

Jet Force Gemini may be the hardest, even impossible, if you try to fight Mizar without enough homing-missile/tri-rockets capacity upgrades as Juno. If you steal them with the other characters, you may find this boss impossible to defeat. At this last boss, you fight Mizar ONLY as Juno and not the others, so he needs as many ammo upgrades as possible to be able to beat this battle. You’ll want, if possible to get 50 ammo for homing missile and 50 for tri-rockets. If only have about… 5, the fight may be impossible.

RFDB: Do you have any tips to other Rare Replay players on these achievements/stamps?

KQ: Certainly, I can recall a few tips off the top off my head that will certainly help out others. This section gives me the chance to contribute back some of my better findings to other fans of Rare/Rare Replay.

-Jetpac: You can hold down to hover in place. You can quickly return fuel pods to the rocket by walking them into it, instead of dropping them down to it.

-Atic Atack, Sabre Wulf, Underwurlde, Knight’s Lore, and Solar Jetman: Absolutely mandatory to find a map to follow on the web, otherwise you’ll get lost quickly and waste time. They are maze/labyrinth style games, after all.

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Sabrewulf World Map

-Solar Jetman: Again, with use of maps for the 12 planets, it helps with this game tremendously. Tow items to the warpholes to collect them rather than all the way back to motherbase each time. Experiment with certain purchasable items and see what is good to have. I remember using Momentum killer a little bit as well as some others. Early on, it is critical to find a couple of the ship’s equipments on the first or second levels that allow for better thrust controlling.

-Jet Force Gemini: You can enjoy this game worry-free, at your own pace, by simply keeping in mind to get at least bronze in all Floyd missions, then continuing on to reach Mizar and complete the final Floyd mission shortly after. Thanks to Rare themselves for clearing this all up, by the way. Do not settle with Merit ranks, it will not count. Another tip is what I wrote about above, collecting the ammo upgrades as Juno to be able to beat Mizar more easily. This feature is hidden away a bit: A second controller will allow another person to fire infinitely as Floyd! Use modern controls and you will have better movement control and evasiveness.

-Blast Corps: Don’t try the bonus 4-lap race missions (for gold medal times) with the default vehicles. Later on, you can find a black van vehicle that is the best to use for race missions.

-Perfect Dark: This is one I have some serious history with. Crowning Glory (Leaderboard crowns) is one of my most proud accomplishments on the system. I actually overkilled this 200G, and went for the elusive 201.00% game completion. This unlocks the Elvis gamerpic. It’s been over 5 and a half years, but I remember this game takes some serious commitment, and mastery. Always move in sideways to move faster than usual when going for Agent, Special Agent, Perfect Agent level speedruns.

-Grabbed by the Ghoulies: Some enemies are carrying a melee weapon (the Baron included), they can do some serious damage if hit by this. A simple method is to approach them by getting close and backing up, have them attack and miss, then immediately punch combo them to drop their weapon. Another tip is that some rooms are very confusing to solve and a simple solution may be to void the challenge restrictions, bait the Grim Reaper into killing a couple problematic/invincible enemies.

-Kameo: For reaching A-rank score requirements, the setup to doom troll activation areas is key. Try to never get hit, especially never be burned by fire, and maintain the Brutal, Carnage, and Frenzy multipliers as high as possible. In about one spot per chapter, you will want to trigger warrior focus to activate many doom troll spawns (only when multipliers are high). Good ways to activate this focus is Major Ruin’s Hyper Cyclone, Pummel Weed’s Jab Combos, and 40 below’s quake attack. The majority of score accumulation comes from killing these finite, doom troll spawns. This can almost guarantee A-ranks most of the time. Sometimes you’ll need to have 15 million points for an A rank, and end up with 400 million. They are doable, but a lot of preparation is needed for Kameo.
The other high difficulty section of Kameo is A-ranking time attack stages. Already mentioned before, these will require full co-operation and communication with a partner. There are specific times to learn when the second player is able to trigger a warrior focus/time slowdown.

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-Banjo-Kazooie Nuts & Bolts: Don’t remember this one too well after many years, but there are ‘super-tier’ items for your vehicle that can make the very difficult DLC, ‘Log’s Lost Challenges’, much easier.

-Viva Pinata: Trouble In Paradise: While there are two achievements for using the vision camera 1&10 times, I recommend using this feature 100+ times to play the game efficiently. Some of the later factory requests will task you with getting a difficult to obtain species, wildcard color variant, wearing certain accessories, knowing a trick, having a certain romance building, etc. You can just scan a card online to do these things much more quickly. However, most card scans are finite and limited to 1 use each for your garden.

RFDB: Being a Rare fan and an achievement hunter you had to really appreciate the achievement names. Do you have a couple favorites?

KQ: Can’t really think of much right now without checking. One achievement in Jet Force Gemini was pretty interesting though, ‘Jetman’s Day Off’: Find all of the ship parts over time. In Jet Force Gemini near the end of the game you are tasked with collecting all of the 12 ship parts to reach Asteroid/Mizar. This is a reference to Solar Jetman, where Jetman’s main objective is to collect 12 ship parts (pretty sure) from the planets to assemble the Golden Warpship and beat the game.

RFDB: Now in speaking with you, I also learned that you have a Rare memorabilia collection? How did that start? What is your favorite piece in your collection?

KQ: I never went out of my way to collect these, this is simply my Rare-affiliated collection from the early 90’s up to now. These were simply some of the best games of their times, and had them back then when they were all new. I did go out of my way to find these new Rare Replay items (Rare Ltd. E3 2015 Pin, three Rare Replay foam hands, SDCC Rare Replay character-montage poster is probably my most favorite, was expensive too). Also in the image is noticeably a giant Jet Force Gemini store poster and 4-foot tall Diddy Kong Racing standee. Some things I forgot to include in the shot were a few games, etc.

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RFDB: What is it about Rare that makes you really passionate about their games?

KQ: There is a certain magic and vibe to the games, that can’t be found in other games, that is more than just googly eyes, or humor. It’s a level of unmatched quality and special charm that bring fun to the experiences in a unique way. These were the games to have grown up with in our childhoods. The ones that come to mind when thinking of N64.
In the future from Rare, I’m hoping for more of anything really, prequels/sequels/spinoffs/spiritual successors to some of our favorites. Probably more specifically, 3D-platformer collectathons, and games added to Rare Replay (idea that has a lot of support).

RFDB: Thank you so much for doing this interview with us! It was a pleasure getting to share with the community one of the biggest Rare fans and their hardwork!

KG: No problem, and by no means do I claim to the only fan or the biggest fan of Rare. These are the games and experiences for everyone to enjoy and I couldn’t be more glad for Rare how successful this must have been for them. Perfect marketing, product, support, it’s a win for everyone. I hope other developers follow suit with this amazing collection. It’s been great, and thanks!

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