Few partnerships are as iconic as the one between Rare and Nintendo, or at least that was the case prior to their split back in 2002. Beloved franchises like Perfect Dark, Banjo-Kazooie, and Conker came into existence during the Rare’s tenure as a second-party developer for Nintendo, and it would appear that the latter company isn’t willing to forget just how much the former did for it during the Nintendo 64 era – or, at least, it would seem that way in a recently pointed out Hey! Pikmin easter egg.
As many fans know, Pikmin‘s protagonist Captain Olimar travels (and crashes) throughout the cosmos in search of treasure, many of which are giant references to real-world Nintendo products. Hey! Pikmin is no exception, as a cartridge of the Game Boy title Donkey Kong Land can be found laying in one of the levels of the game. While that’s nothing overly new for the series, it’s the name Olimar has assigned to the Rare-developed treasure that’s peeked the interest of gamers.
Namely, the fact that it is called the “Enduring Partnership.”
— Chad McCanna (@KremlingForce) July 31, 2017
While some gamers are claiming that this is a clear nod to Rare and Nintendo’s once fruitful relationship, it’s important to note that it’s also possible that the developers behind the game are referencing the “enduring partnership” of Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong or even that of Olimar and his Pikmin. Regardless, it’s clear that the studio responsible for Hey! Pikmin would have been well aware of who developed Donkey Kong Land – not to mention this descriptor would have gone through a number of different levels of approval – so it’s really not that much of a stretch.
Our review of Hey! Pikmin pointed out how the game provided a unique take on the 2D side-scroller genre, albeit a little simple in its overall design. Still, with nods to Nintendo’s past like this littered throughout, there’s a lot of fanfare for longtime followers of the company to appreciate.
Hey! Pikmin is now available on Nintendo 2DS and Nintendo 3DS consoles.