Provisional title screen
|Release||Released as Banjo-Kazooie in 1998|
Project Dream (provisionally titled Dream: Land of Giants) was a cancelled action-adventure role-playing video game. Developed by Rare, the game was aimed for release on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), and later the Nintendo 64. The initial plot of the game revolved around a young boy, Edison, who has caused trouble with pirates led by Captain Blackeye. Project Dream was redeveloped as Banjo-Kazooie and released for the Nintendo 64 in 1998.
Details regarding the game's storyline are scarce, and there were few screenshots released of the game for several years. The story revolved around a boy named Edison, his dog named Dinger and his parrot named Billy, who wielded a wooden sword. Edison had caused trouble for a group of pirates, who were the main antagonists of the game. The pirates, led by their leader, Captain Blackeye and his pet cockatoo named Cocktail and his dobermans named Phil and Ben, wanted to capture Edison, though the main base of the story is unclear. It is assumed that the remainder of the story follows Edison's adventure trying to end his troubles with the pirates.
There were a few main characters in the story who made it into Banjo-Kazooie, excluding Edison. The characters of Project Dream did include Banjo the bear himself, who was a secondary character in the game before Rare removed Edison and replaced Banjo as the main character. Captain Blackeye was removed when Rare redeveloped Project Dream into Banjo-Kazooie, although Blackeye himself makes an appearance in Banjo-Tooie, and even makes reference to his original use as a character, claiming he had a dream in which a bear that looked like Banjo took the spotlight from him.
There were also a few outlining minor characters in the game. Edison's girlfriend Madeleine was a character specified by Grant Kirkhope. Other characters specified by Kirkhope are Bully, Big Belly and Cockeye, for which he composed musical themes. Timmy the rabbit was later changed to the main character when Edison was removed. Tooty eventually appeared in Banjo-Kazooie, and a dog named Dinger was a secondary character. Gruntilda was initially a giant in the game and later changed into the main antagonist of Banjo-Kazooie, and Tiptup was going to be another secondary character. Kazooie was not to be featured as a main character in Project Dream; she was initially going to have an appearance as a baby bird found by a girl named Ella, who was Edison's younger sister and her rabbit friend named Timmy.
Development of the game began after the release and success of Rare's SNES title, Donkey Kong Country. Tim Stamper, Rare's founder who previously directed Donkey Kong Country, took overall control of Project Dream.
One specified reason why Project Dream was not completed was that it was considered too large for the SNES version, and was later converted to the Nintendo 64 to become a large 3D role-playing game. Initially, Project Dream was to feature an unconventional terrain system, but performance issues on the Nintendo 64 led to the abandonment of that approach. That technical setback, along with concerns about project's overall direction, led to the transformation of the project into what became Banjo-Kazooie.
On 22 December 2015, Rare uploaded a video to their YouTube channel where key people who worked on the game gave interviews and revealing beta gameplay footage of both the SNES and Nintendo 64 builds publicly for the first time. The project was tentatively titled "Dream: Land of Giants". The story was initially to have a fantasy/fairy tale theme and then turned into a pirate themed plot.
- "The Making of Banjo-Kazooie", Retro Gamer, pp. 19–25, 29 March 2007
- "Captain Blackeye". Grant Kirkhope. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
- "Bully - Project Dream". Grant Kirkhope. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
- "Cockeye". Grant Kirkhope. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
- Kirkhope, Grant. "Dream: The Game that Never Was". Grant Kirkhope. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
- "Project Dream (Grant Kirkhope)". Grant Kirkhope Music. Retrieved 13 February 2012.