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Rare Ltd.
Founded 1985
Headquarters Twycross, Leicestershire, UK
Website www.rare.co.uk
Other Names
  • Ultimate Play the Game
  • Ashby Computers & Graphics
  • Rareware

Rare Ltd. was a British game developer founded by brothers Tim "D.J." and Chris "T.J." Stamper. They started the company with the name "Ultimate Play the Game", then "Ashby Computers & Graphics", and then Rare. The company was made famous due to their Donkey Kong Country, Battletoads, and Perfect Dark games as well as GoldenEye 007 (N64). While they primarily developed games for Nintendo's consoles, they also made the Battletoads arcade game. During the fierce competition between Nintendo and Sega, Rare outsourced some of their games to Japanese companies to keep a strong friendship with Nintendo. When the company was developing NES titles, they usually handled arcade or computer game conversions, but also developed some original titles of their own.

During their NES, Game Boy and SNES development, they rarely put staff credits in their games. According to one of the game developers, this was due to the company getting many calls offering the staff jobs since they put credits in some of their games, so they stopped putting credits in completely in order to stop that. However, in some of their NES games, they put in high score screens with the game developers' names or initials. Some of these games include Ivan "Ironman" Stewart's Super Off-Road, Danny Sullivan's Indy Heat, and High Speed. The company would later be better about credits, listing the developers' first initials with their last name.

During their NES development, only 5 of Rare's 40+ games had credits; Cobra Triangle, Double Dare, Pinbot, Solar Jetman, and WWF Wrestlemania. Rare developed more NES games than any other third party developer.

On September 24, 2002, Rare was acquired by Microsoft and their new focus has been making games exclusively for Microsoft platforms.


Music Development


Chris Stamper wrote a sound driver and David Wise wrote the music in hexadecimal. The sound driver was later updated by Mark Betteridge and he did sound effects for the games.


The earlier versions of the company's SNES sound driver were written by Mark Betteridge, using a custom Music Macro Language. The driver was later updated some time around 1995 by Phil Wattis.

Audio Personnel

Picture Gallery