Mayles began his career as designer of the Battletoads series and the Donkey Kong Country series, and was one of the creators of the character Diddy Kong. After his work on DKC, he came up with an idea about an action-adventure game influenced by his recent work on the series. The project was greenlit for release first on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and then on the Nintendo 64. Codenamed Project Dream, the game was about a boy who went up on a magical adventure to a pirate island. The concept was scrapped, and the hero was changed to bear based on one from Diddy Kong Racing with a backpack, with the latter winnowed by Mayles's trip to Japan. There went the critically acclaimed Banjo-Kazooie series.