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Edson is the main protagonist of the cancelled Rareware RPG Dream: Land of Giants, which would eventually become Banjo-Kazooie. He is a young adventurer who goes on a seafaring journey to fight Captain Blackeye and his gang of pirates.

History[]

Edson was originally the main character in Dream, which started out on the Super NES as a 2D RPG featuring pre-rendered graphics, much like the Donkey Kong Country games. After a few months of development, it was determined that the game was too big for the SNES, so it was moved to the newly released Nintendo 64. Dream was now a 3D RPG with environments created by stretching out the polygons of the level geometry to create complex landscapes, however the N64 didn't have the processing power needed to maintain such environments at a steady frame rate.

Seeing the development of Conker's Twelve Tales (which later became Conker's Bad Fur Day) well underway, Dream was remade into a platformer, with some of the RPG elements kept in. Eventually, Edson was deemed "too generic", so Rare then experimented with the idea of having one of the woodland creatures, that were originally secondary characters, become the main character. One of these characters would eventually become Banjo. After seeing early footage of Super Mario 64, Dream was fully scrapped and Banjo-Kazooie was developed from that point on.

Appearance[]

Edson had two different designs throughout the development of Project Dream as a result of the switch between console generations.

His 3D model made for the sprites of the Super NES had him with a mostly red, green and yellow colour scheme. His trousers, undershirt, and hair shared the same shades of red, his short sleeved jacked and fingerless gloves shared the same shades of green, and his headband and belt shared the same shades of yellow. This was most likely done to take advantage of how the sprites of the SNES had a limited colour palette.

His face has a very noticeable 'anime' style to it, with very large eyes and long thick eyebrows. This was no doubt to have these features be easily visible on the low resolution sprites of the SNES. The same thing was done for his belt buckle, which is noticeably quite large for his overall size.

His Nintendo 64 era render model retains the light green short sleeved jacket, but he now has a black undershirt. His trousers have become a more orangish red, and he now has a black belt with a much smaller and simpler silver buckle. He no longer has his fingerless gloves, and instead has leather cuffs on his wrists. His hair is more of a reddish-brown, and his headband is now blue.

He always had turquoise eyes, and his leather boots with folded tops remained the same on both of his render models and N64 models. The only design aspects to be removed entirely with the late N64 model were his leather cuffs, headband, and his trousers with small belts to secure the bottoms of the legs, which became shorts. These in fact look very similar to Banjo's shorts, so are possibly linked to the eventual design of his.

Trivia[]

  • Before Steve Mayles posted photos of printouts of Edson's render model on Twitter in February 2016, the only known image of Edson's render model was published in Edge magazine October 2010, issue 219. It was part of an article that looked back at 25 years of Rare games, and included with Edson's render, was early concept art depicting the opening cutscene of Banjo-Kazooie where Gruntilda kidnaps Tooty. This concept art has her early name 'Piccalo', which appears to possibly be an unintentional misspelling of the actual instrument name of 'Piccolo'.
  • The first look at Edson's N64 game model was shown in Retro Gamer magazine issue 36 from April 2007. Despite the caption saying it was a 'very early shot' of Project Dream, Edson appears to no longer have many aspects of his initial N64 design. A video published by the Rare Ltd Youtube channel in December 2015, looking at the development of Project Dream, shows what looks to actually be a very early build of the N64 version of the game. In this video, Edson resembles his N64 era render model design much more than the screenshot shown in the magazine does, not only that, but the environment seems less refined, with visual glitches on the buildings where the ground is displayed partially over them, rather than under them. This issue is not present in the screenshot of the build featured in the magazine. Edson also has the previously mentioned shorts that look close to the design of Banjo's shorts, therefore it seems far more likely that the magazine screenshot is from late in development, rather than early.
  • The belt buckle of Edson's N64 era render model would eventually go on to be reused for Banjo's render model. There is concept art showing Banjo wearing Edson's folded top boots and belt, with shorts similar to the late N64 model, so this was likely planned from before Banjo's render model was made.

Gallery[]

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