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Doubting anyone's gonna answer this but hey, I just re-bought the game for the first time since it came out, thought of this, and also I'm bored at work.
Somewhere I have (or had) a '98 or '99 issue of some magazine (Expert Gamer or Gamepro) with some preview shots of this game, and one has Donkey Kong with his gun drawn, recognizably standing on K. Rool's ship, I believe. The strange thing is that rather than the big wooden cartoony-looking coconut launcher, his gun is a realistic-looking double-barreled shotgun. Like the kind you'd see an old Southern guy holding on his lap in a rocking chair in a movie or something. It seemed really strange at the time, before I was aware the game-to-be would have a gun mechanic, and it still seems strange today. What's up with that? Anyone know anything about this? Is there anything out there about Rare initially intending to give the characters 'real' guns or something that got changed during development? Unlikely as it is (my first guess is placeholder graphic to amuse the programmers, maybe), I'm picturing the characters intensely blasting their way through something like the Saving Private Ryan level in Conker's Bad Fur Day and can't stop smiling.
I'm a fiddler crab! Why don't you shoot me? It's fiddler crab season!