Conker's Pocket Tales

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Conker's Pocket Tales
Conker's Pocket Tales.jpg
Developer(s) Rareware
Publisher(s) Rareware
Programmer(s) Richard Brough
Designer(s) Gary Richards, Gareth Jones
Composer(s) Eveline Fischer, Robin Beanland
Release date North America:
June 8, 1999[1]
Europe: August 1999
Australia: 1999
Genre Platformer
Age ratings ESRB: Everyone
System Game Boy
Game Boy Color

Conker's Pocket Tales is a Game Boy Color video game starring Conker, released in North America and Europe in 1999. The cartridge is dual-format, and can therefore run on the original Game Boy, with some differences.

Conker's Pocket Tales is the first game in the Conker series, and the only game in the franchise made for a family-friendly audience. Twelve Tales: Conker 64 was meant to be another family friendly title, but was ultimately cancelled and remade into the adult-oriented title, Conker's Bad Fur Day.

Gameplay[edit]

The game is played from a top-down perspective, with Conker exploring large environments in an attempt to find all his stolen Presents. By collecting a certain number of Presents in each area and defeating the boss, Conker is able to move to the next area. In addition to standard running and jumping, Conker can perform a mid-air ground-pounding attack that can hit buttons to solve puzzles. Conker also has the ability to dig in patches of soft dirt, emerging at another predetermined patch to reach inaccessible areas. He also uses a Slingshot to fire Conkers at enemies or to hit distant switches. Puzzles can also be solved by pushing blocks into grooves in the floor.

The layout and some events differ between original Game Boy and Color units. On the Game Boy Color, the game can be saved at any time, but for the original Game Boy saving is only possible at certain save points. Conker's Pocket Tales cannot have a save file for both original and Color units simultaneously. Attempting to play the game between the handhelds will warn the user of a save data erasure. The save data must be erased if the player desires to play the game on another platform. This warning is also included in the game's manual.

Plot[edit]

Evil Acorn bashes Conker's birthday.

The game starts out with Conker and his girlfriend Berri at his birthday party, but as he is about to blow out the candles on his cake, the Evil Acorn bursts out and kidnaps Berri. Conker goes on a journey to rescue her; he has to solve puzzles and find items to assist him. He also receives assistance from various Acorn People, such as the Forest Guardian.

The ending shows Conker rescuing Berri from the Catacombs and getting every Present back along the way. The Evil Acorn is blasted into outer space from a bomb that he planted in said location, and he vows revenge on Conker. Conker, Berri, and the supporting characters gather together to throw a new birthday party for Conker. The game ends happily, in direct contrast to the ending of Conker's Bad Fur Day.

History[edit]

Conker's Pocket Tales was created to accompany the release of the Nintendo 64 title Twelve Tales: Conker 64, however it ultimately ended up being massively re-tooled into Conker's Bad Fur Day, a Mature title featuring profanity, violence and toilet humor. Conker's Pocket Tales is a unique title in the Conker franchise, and represents an intended direction for the series which has been abandoned.

Although Twelve Tales was cancelled, some of its content was reused for Conker's Pocket Tales. Most of the game's soundtrack consists of 8-bit compositions of Twelve Tales' music. Some collectible items such as Acorns and Conkers were also originally in Twelve Tales.

Locations[edit]

Enemies[edit]

Bosses[edit]

Sub-games[edit]

Conker's Pocket Tales features nine mini-games, which are known as sub-games.[2] The sub-games either involve simple tasks such as target practice or Conker competing against his doppelganger, Honker.

Cover[edit]

The originating artwork for Conker's Pocket Tales's box art.

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 slightly altered from official artwork originating from Twelve Tales: Conker 64, which was developed at around the same time as Conker's Pocket Tales.

Differences between versions[edit]

The title screen that only appears on original Game Boy units.
Main article: Conker's Pocket Tales/Version differences

There are many differences from when Conker's Pocket Tales is played on Game Boy and Game Boy Color units including some major ones. The story and objectives remain mostly remain the same. The player can only use one save file per

  • In the Game Boy version, the title screen shows Conker's eyes following a butterfly. When played on a Game Boy Color, it just shows the exterior of Conker's House.
  • The Game Boy version has an HUD screen that display's Conker's Life Bar (represented by Acorns) at the bottom-left and the number of collected Conkers at the bottom-right. In the Game Boy Color release, a small icon of either displays at the top when Conker collects either item.
  • Many of the animations in the Game Boy Color version are not on original Game Boy units, especially during opening scenes. The opening scene where Evil Acorn kidnaps Berri was mostly unanimated in the Game Boy version. The scene of Conker crying as a result is not present on original Game Boys.
  • The pause menu appears on the bottom HUD for Game Boy units. The player can press Select to toggle between the number collected Presents and Invitations to items he has collected, such as a Slingshot. The Game Boy Color has a different Pause menu displayed on another screen.
  • In the Game Boy version, the A button allows Conker to dive, whereas the B button increases his speed. The buttons were respectively changed to Select and B when played on the Game Boy Color.
  • The text from dialogue screens occupy less space on Game Boys than on the Game Boy Color.
  • Every map looks different between both versions.
  • On Game Boy units, Conker can save the game by walking into a rotating S symbol. These were removed in the Game Boy Color version, because the player can automatically save from the Pause menu by pressing Select.
  • In the Game Boy Color version, the Game Over screen shows Conker crying beside a Game Over title. For original units, this is a static background with a book showing Conker crying on the left page and the text "Game Over" on the right page.

Reception[edit]

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

Conker's Pocket Tales has received mixed to average reviews from critics. On GameRankings the game has an 55% ranking based on four reviews. AllGame gave the game a score of 3 out of 5, comparing the gameplay to the NES title The Legend of Zelda, 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 stating that the game is fun but is not a masterpiece. The game was described as being targeted solely at kids, and the gameplay was deemed too simple. The music was described as corny. 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 cliché tone and overdone premise."

In an overwhelmingly popular review from Planet Game Boy magazine on their second issue, the publication praised the game's size and included minigames, stating that Pocket Tales is "a real grower" and that its lengthy lifespan of 20 hours "will fly by".

Gallery[edit]

For this subject's image gallery, see Conker's Pocket Tales/gallery.

References[edit]

  1. Conker's Pocket Tales - Pocket IGN (Wayback Machine)
  2. Conker's Pocket Tales instruction booklet, page 14
Conker's Pocket Tales
Protagonists ConkerBerri
Acorn People BlacksmithDustyForest GuardianForest WongSheriffSmithyTedUndertakerVulture Culture
Enemies AntBatBlobBuzzsawCactusChairChasing PlantCrabCrowFishFlying SwordFlytrapMushroomSharkSnakeSpiderTumbleweedToy MouseWolf
Antagonists HsstameanSol and LuxoWaldorfHonkerSwamp FiendSiegfriedEvil Acorn
Worlds Willow WoodsVulture VilleKrow KeepMako IslandsClaw SwampAztec TempleCatacombs
Items AcornConkerInviteKeyMaskPickaxePresentSawSecret PresentSlingshotTorch
Moves DiggingJumpingPunchingPushingRunningStompingSwimmingWalking
Puzzles Block puzzleSwitch puzzle