Conker the Squirrel
|Conker the Squirrel|
Conker the Squirrel as he appears in Conker's Bad Fur Day
|First game||Diddy Kong Racing (1997)|
|Created by||Rare, Ltd.|
|Voiced by||Chris Seavor|
Conker the Squirrel is an anthropomorphic squirrel starring in various video games. The character was created by Rare. He first appeared alongside Diddy Kong of Nintendo's Donkey Kong series in Diddy Kong Racing. The character is stated to be 21 years of age and has an affinity for alcoholic beverages. Conker is voiced by Chris Seavor in Conker's Bad Fur Day, Conker: Live & Reloaded and Project Spark.
Conker was introduced to the world for the first time at E3 in 1997. His game, Conker's Quest, was presented by Rareware as another 3D platformer aimed at a young audience. Later the same year, this fact was confirmed with Conker's inclusion in Diddy Kong Racing, for the Nintendo 64, thus promoting his future games. In the spring of 1998, long after the initial release date, Conker's Quest was renamed as Twelve Tales: Conker 64. In 1999, Conker made his first solo debut in Conker's Pocket Tales for Game Boy Color.
Before its release, the Nintendo 64 game underwent a complete transformation due to criticism for Twelve Tales being considered "another kids game". So the game eventually was released in 2001 as Conker's Bad Fur Day, which had been almost entirely redesigned, now geared towards a mature audience and featuring sexual content, foul language, drug and alcohol usage, and excessive violence. The game suffered from relatively poor sales on account of it's release being close to the end of the N64's lifespan, but received a cult following with its unique brand of humor.
In 2005, a remake was released for the Xbox known as Conker: Live & Reloaded. This featured Bad Fur Day with vastly improved graphics and minor alterations to gameplay. Also included was a never-before-seen multiplayer adaptation that was available for use over Xbox Live.
After a cancelled sequel by Rare, Conker was brought back in the game Project Spark, once again voiced by Seavor. An episodic campaign for the game called Conker's Big Reunion, set 10 years after Bad Fur Day, was released on April 23.
When Conker was introduced in Diddy Kong Racing, he had no gloves (in art only), a blue vest, yellow cape, blue and yellow Converse All Stars shoes, and a flat-looking tail. This appearance was kept for Pocket Tales as well, but was changed in Bad Fur Day; Conker now had gloves, a blue zipper hoodie, and the same shoes, but with the Converse logo removed. In Live and Reloaded, he ditched the gloves (now using his bare hands) and had scruffier fur, giving him a somewhat unshaven appearance, and looked shorter and a tad stubbier. The single player portion of the game was where his appearance changed drastically; his blue hoodie outfit was now more detailed, with yellow patches and more zippers, and the most noticeable change was that he was now wearing green and yellow shorts (similar to Banjo's). In Project Spark, Conker's appearance is based on that of Conker's Bad Fur Day, albeit much more detailed.
Little is known of the character's origins or his early life. It is known that he had met and befriended Diddy Kong on his adventures prior to participating in races with Diddy and his friends, though he was never seen in the games preceding "Diddy Kong Racing" (Nintendo most likely severed all known connections between Diddy Kong and Conker, due to the Donkey Kong series being a family game, while Conker turned from a child-friendly character to a mature, inappropriate one). Always kind-hearted and polite, his parents brought him up strictly, teaching him to never touch alcohol, urinate in public or be materialistic (This is ironic, as he would do all of these things, often at once, during the events of Conker's Bad Fur Day). Although he broke these rules later in life, he still seems to retain an initially sweet personality to even the roughest of characters he meets, although he has lately developed the habit of whispering snide comments about them to himself while their backs are turned (Though he has made at least one insult right in front of the person.). Although Conker drinks, commits lewd conduct, and is very greedy, he hardly ever swears. Notably the only truly real swears he has uttered were "fellatio" (albeit out of context), "bitch" and "ass", although the latter two were stated in the context of movie parodies in which the characters from the original movies stated exactly the same lines. However, he speaks in a lisp combined with a sped-up voice.
After "Diddy Kong Racing", in the story of Conker's Pocket Tales, he had his next adventure retrieving birthday presents from evil acorns. One day, he met a girl known as Berri, and the two quickly became a couple. Berri was originally depicted as a little, cute brown anthropomorphic chipmunk, but was later changed into a tall, curvaceous, buxom pika girl with a valley girl-like personality and grey fur. In Live and Reloaded, Berri's ditzy traits still remain, but she is also depicted as a porn star, or prostitute of sorts, judging by various references in the remake. Conker and Berri developed an apparently strong relationship as boyfriend and girlfriend, as they soon began living together. Berri began to get frustrated with Conker's habit of constantly staying out late at a bar with his friends, until one fateful night, he never returned to his home.
A very drunk Conker stumbled out in the opposite direction of his home, thus arriving at a completely foreign world, the Fairy Panther Kingdom, which he believed only existed in fairy tales, when he awoke. A series of very bizarre and unfortunate events ensued, until he ultimately found himself reunited with Berri, as well as with a horde of money. He was about to leave with Berri when suddenly she was betrayed and murdered by a mafia boss, Don Weaso, eliminating one of his few true loves in the world. At the defeat of the evil Panther King, the people of the world all gathered at a throne room, pushed Conker onto the throne, shoved a crown on his head, and declared him the king. Although Conker had all the money and land in the world, he came to the realization that he didn't want it, and that his only true reason of living was killed before his very eyes.
Conker remained living unhappily as king of this strange world, when one night, his habits came back to him, and he found himself stumbling from the Cock and Plucker Bar, only going the other direction, opposite to the one that lead him to the horrible chain of events. This implies that he ends up going to yet another unusual world, or perhaps, back home, although this has never been further explained.
According to an interview with Chris Seavor, there was going to be a sequel, Conker's Other Bad Fur Day, and Conker had been dethroned, imprisoned, and awaiting execution due to spending the entire royal treasury on beer, parties, and hookers. He then escapes with a ball-and-chain restraint locked on him. The entire plotline was already created, but due to Microsoft not asking for a Conker Sequel, the game production was shelved.
In Conker's Bad Fur Day, Conker has ten prominent weapons: a pair of MP5-like machine guns (MP5K model,), a shotgun, a set of throwing knives, a bazooka, a frying pan, a sling shot, a baseball bat with nails in it, a chainsaw (in the opening credits), a flamethrower and urine. In the opening of Conker's Bad Fur Day, he cut up the Nintendo 64 emblem and replaced it with the Rare logo.
In an Xbox commercial, he was shown with Banjo (Banjo-Kazooie), Joanna Dark and Kameo. Despite meeting Banjo in Diddy Kong Racing, he doesn't seem to remember him. Conker seems to have a hobby of cutting up logos with chainsaws and replacing them with the "Rare" logo, probably suggesting a twisted patriotism for the company.
In the aforementioned commercial, he used a chainsaw to change the word "Xbox" into Rare. His future, both as a franchise and a character, remained uncertain until June 2014, where he was announced to appear in the game Project Spark.
|This section requires expansion. (January 2014)|
Rare listed Conker as the fifth Rare's video game character who most improved with age. In 2009, Conker was ranked at the fourth place on GameDaily's "Top 25 Anti-Heroes" list, with they stating "[h]e may not look like an anti-hero, but that's what makes Conker stand out from the rest." IGN listed the "Ten Best Things About Conker: Live and Reloaded", saying "[i]n the end, the reason we love Conker: Live and Reloaded so much is because of the big man himself", and also cited the "[e]veryone's favorite boozy squirrel" among the "Gaming's Most Notorious Anti-Heroes", adding he is "cool". In his appearance in Conker: Live and Reloaded, he was called by GameSpy as "[c]uter than ever", and Dave Kosak said it "makes it all the funnier when he pukes or looks over his shoulder and blurts out a stream of beeped-out expletives."
- Conker: Were your parents related? Like, before they were married? Franky: Right! That's it. I is gonna give you a whupping! Here we go!"
- Ben (June 22, 2011). "Top 5 Rare Characters Who Improved With Age". Rare. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
- "Top 25 Anti-Heroes". GameDaily. p. 23. Archived from the original on April 27, 2009. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
- Goldstein, Hilary (November 18, 2004). "Ten Best Things About Conker: Live and Reloaded". IGN. p. 4. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
- "Gaming's Most Notorious Anti-Heroes". IGN. March 5, 2012. p. 2. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
- Kosak, Dave (April 21, 2005). "Conker: Live and Reloaded Hands-On". GameSpy. Retrieved July 26, 2013.