From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Rare Ltd. (formerly known as Rareware from 1994 to 2003), was founded in 1985 by Chris and Tim Stamper as "Ultimate Play the Game". It was initially known for games like the Battletoads series, the Wizards & Warriors series and other games for NES and Game Boy systems.

In 1994, the company began experimenting with Silicon Graphics, which resulted in the Donkey Kong Country series, and the Killer Instinct series. By then, Rare became largely associated with Nintendo to the point of Nintendo purchasing a 49% stake in the studio. Under this partnership, Rare developed the Banjo-Kazooie series, Perfect Dark, Jet Force Gemini, Blast Corps, Goldeneye 007, Conker's Bad Fur Day (which was later remastered for the Xbox as Conker: Live and Reloaded), and other titles through the era, which were all released under the "Rareware" trademark name.

In September 2002, the company was acquired by Microsoft Game Studios (now "Xbox Game Studios") and began developing titles for their Xbox systems like Grabbed by the Ghoulies, Kameo: Elements of Power, and Viva Pinata. However, they still did titles for the Game Boy Advance like It's Mr. Pants (originally planned as Donkey Kong: Coconut Crackers) and Banjo Pilot (originally planned as Diddy Kong Pilot).

In 2007, the two co-founders left the company, and in 2010, the staff was heavily reduced and turned into exclusive development of Kinect titles for Xbox 360 and Xbox One until 2014, when they phased out Kinect production after the failure of Kinect Sports Rivals and the Kinect in general, and reshifted their focus to regular game development.

After the release of a compilation of Rare's past games for the Xbox One titled Rare Replay, the studio would go on to release the online game Sea of Thieves in 2018, and a new Battletoads game in 2020.

Rare (first era)

1st Logo (September 1988-June 1990)

Visuals: On the game's copyright screen is an angled rectangular shape with "RARE" in a futuristic font with a white outline around it. Next to it is "LTD." in small text.

Technique: A still, sprite-based graphic.

Audio: None.

Availability: Appears on Jeopardy! and its 25th Anniversary and Junior Editions, and Wheel of Fortune and its Family and Junior Editions for NES. However, the logo is not seen on other titles for NES and Game Boy.

2nd Logo (December 1990-January 14, 1994)

Visuals: There is the word "RARE" in a blue-pink gradient color with some stars on it.

Variants: Unknown.

Technique: A still, sprite-based graphic.

Audio: Unknown.

Availability: Seen on games from this era such as Digger T. Rock: The Legend of the Lost City, BattleToads for NES, Sega Genesis, Game Boy, Game Gear and Amiga, and Championship Pro-Arm for the Sega Genesis.


1st Logo (November 18, 1994-December 13, 1996, November 17, 2000)

Visuals: On a black background, green digital lines come in and draw a rounded bordered rectangle, which has a stylized "R" and "RAREWARE" underneath it. It flashes, turning the border and "R" gold and the inside of the rectangle a black-blue gradient color. The lines fade away, and the logo moves to the bottom-right corner as we see a shining sky blue CGI Nintendo logo fade in, with "PRESENTS" in Gill Sans font underneath.


  • On the SNES version of Killer Instinct, the logo appears zooming and spinning from the top-center corner and when it reaches the middle, the logo flashes. Then the logo zooms to the bottom-left corner and flashes again. Then we proceed into the game's title logo.
  • On Ken Griffey Jr.'s Winning Run, the logo appears filling in by a smoke-like effect. When the logo fully appears, the logo shines. Then the logo disappears via an iris-spotlight effect.
  • An 8-bit version of the logo described above can be seen on Donkey Kong Country for the GBC. Also, the Rare logo fades out, then the Nintendo logo fades in.
  • On Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble, Dixie Kong and Kiddy Kong are bouncing on the logo. Then the logo pushes them off when it reaches the center and sends them flying away. Then the logo zooms in as it fades out.
  • On Killer Instinct 2, light rays travel through showing the logo in its print style. After it's done, the logo flashes in pink.

Technique: Depends on the variant.

Audio: Depending on the variant:

  • On Donkey Kong Country, a 16-bit horn fanfare with 8 notes plays, followed by a crescendo of horn notes and drumroll, with the last horn note being held; reduced to 8-bit on the GBC version. Composed by David Wise.
  • On Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, a majestic-sounding synth horn fanfare plays throughout. Also composed by David Wise.
  • On Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble, only bouncing sounds play through the logo, while the game's title theme comes in near the end.
  • All of the other games have either the game's theme playing over, or complete silence.

Availability: First seen on Donkey Kong Country for SNES. It can also be seen on other Rare games through the era including Killer Instinct 1 and 2, the Donkey Kong Country trilogy and Ken Griffey Jr.'s Winning Run.

2nd Logo (November 1995-October 24, 2003)

Visuals: Over a black background is the Rareware logo from before, but it's subtly tweaked a bit, and it's shown spinning.


  • In 1997, the "TM" symbol was added to the top-right of the logo.
  • In the logo's early days, the inside part was plain blue and the border was thinner. This version was used on Killer Instinct: Gold and Blast Corps.
  • On Killer Instinct Gold, the logo appears filling in through smoke like the Ken Griffey Jr's Winning Run variant from the previous logo. Then the logo rotates away to the right. Under the logo is a copyright notice.
  • On Blast Corps, the logo zooms in and spins the whole time.
  • On Goldeneye 007, the logo fades in spinning.
  • On Diddy Kong Racing, the logo spins against a sky background as the camera pans up from below.
  • On Banjo-Kazooie, the logo pops up without spinning, after the N64 logo walks past. A Buzzbomb that had flown past the N64 earlier now flies towards the screen and crashes headfirst into it, causing the logo to fall forward and the Buzzbomb to fall backwards.
  • On Donkey Kong 64, the logo zooms in spinning. Plus, there are a few shines traveling through.
  • On Perfect Dark, the logo appears and disappears via a spotlight-like transition and is rotating backwards.
  • For Conker's Bad Fur Day, the Nintendo 64 logo is seen in a dark room with a light above it until Conker (voiced by Chris Seavor) appears and cuts the logo in half with a chainsaw and says "Stupid logo!" while he throws them away, and then he says "That's better". He then pulls the Rareware logo out of his pocket, rubs his finger on the "R" making it shine, and says "Marvelous!" as he leans on the logo and winks at the camera, while a circle closes on his face Looney Tunes-style.
  • On Jet Force Gemini and Mickey's Speedway USA, the logo is in its CGI style and there are sparkle effects. On the former, a copyright notice is under the logo. On the latter, two cars fly by the logo, causing a ripple effect. This variant also appears on the prototype version of Diddy Kong Pilot for GBA.
  • On the prototype of the unreleased Dinosaur Planet, the logo appears still on the left of the opening screen with "R A R E W A R E" in spaced-out text below it.
  • There is a still artwork version of the logo that appeared on Star Fox Adventures.
  • On the Game Boy Advance version of Donkey Kong Country, the logo takes place on a jungle background and the logo is in a gray stone style. Plus, the pieces of the logo fly in to form the logo. Then the logo fades away.
  • There are many other variants of this logo.

Technique: Depends on the variant.

Audio: The opening theme of the game. Sometimes none.

Audio Variant: Diddy Kong Racing uses a stock sound effect nicknamed the "Diddy laugh" as a reference to its usage on said game.

Availability: Appears on Rareware games for Nintendo 64 through the era such as Blast Corps, Goldeneye 007, and Donkey Kong 64, among others. The still version appears on Star Fox Adventures for Nintendo GameCube. It also appears on Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge and Donkey Kong Country for Game Boy Advance.

Rare (second era)

1st Logo (October 21, 2003-December 11, 2008)

Visuals: There is the same "R" shape from before, except this time, it has a gradient effect and lacks the bordered rectangle. Under it is the word "RARE" and there's a "TM" trademark symbol on the top-left of the logo.

Variants: Depending on each game, there is a different variant of the logo:

  • Grabbed By The Ghoulies: The logo is revealed on a blue book as dust is blown off of it. The book opens to show the Ultimate Play the Game logo, along with cover arts of Jetpac and Banjo-Tooie on the pages then blows away to reveal the Microsoft Game Studios logo.
  • Donkey Kong Country 2 (GBA): The logo is hoisted up on a blue flag with the backdrop of a pirate ship.
  • Donkey Kong Country 3 (GBA): The logo is seen through scuba goggles. Bubbles and small fish pass by the logo, before a submarine comes and destroys the logo.
  • It's Mr. Pants: The logo is in a crude sketch style (and appears as if it was cut out of a sheet of paper) on a sky background, with a pair of red pants on the top of the "R". The logo wiggles around (similar to the style of Ed, Edd n Eddy). Mr. Pants welcomes you and says 'Smile Baby' can be seen below.
  • Jetpak: Refueled: The logo slowly zooms in on a black background.
  • Conker: Live & Reloaded: The logo cross-fades into a toilet paper roll inside the bathroom that closely resembles the logo.
  • Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts: A car (in reference to the game's prominent vehicle customization mechanic) resembling the Rare logo and driven by the titular Banjo drives onto the screen, backing up a bit before coming to a halt. Kazooie pops out of Banjo's backpack and the two jump out of the vehicle, leaving a plush version of them in place. Banjo runs off the screen, and the car crossfades to the Rare logo.
  • Kameo: Elements of Power: On a black background, screenshots from various Rare games fall down the screen. They flash into a white line, which zooms out to form the "R" sliding from the right, as the text and trademark symbol slide in from the left. The logo shines, with a light going from left to right on the background. The logo then slides to the right and slowly fades out.
  • Perfect Dark Zero: We start on an early times arcade game (which is footage from the game Jetpac), where a white sprite man on a jetpack moves shooting and collecting things. The arcade game shifts and goes off to the left and we see the highly pixelated man flying and shooting above the swinging Rare logo. After a few seconds, he disappears and the Rare logo sets solidly in place. The man then flies to the left, bringing the glowing "RARE" name with him. This variant was done by HEROmation.
  • Viva Piñata: Either a piñata horse or fudgehog or a horstachio is hanging on a wire against the wall, confused. A wand appears, driving the horse/fudgehog into anxious panic, and striking it into pieces, which fall to the ground with sweets and the "R" (a third variant has the "R" spinning around then just drops, along with the sweets). Other in-game animals pass and collect the sweets, leaving the shards to pop out. The word "RARE" pops in under the single remaining fragment - the golden letter.
  • Viva Piñata: Trouble In Paradise: On a white background, the entire screen is filled with piñata animals, zooming out to reveal them stacked in the shape of the Rare logo.
  • Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie: Similarly to the Rare logo from the original games, but shown in a 2D sprite. As a result, the N64 logo has been removed to avoid copyright infringement with Nintendo. On the former game, a Buzzbomb is more visible, due to the 3D model of the previous logo being invisible.
  • Goldeneye 007 (Unreleased 2007 Xbox Live Arcade port): Similarly to the Rare logo from the original game, a 3D version of the logo fades in spinning.
  • Perfect Dark (Xbox Live Arcade port): Similarly to the Rare logo from the original game, but without the fade-in and fade-out effect.
  • Diddy Kong Racing and Viva Piñata: Pocket Paradise (DS): Both games only featured the logo without the text.

Technique: Depends on the variant.

Audio: Depends on the variant. The Kameo: Elements of Power variant features an orchestrated fanfare that syncs with the animation.

Availability: It first appeared on Grabbed by the Ghoulies for Xbox and it's seen on Rare games through the era. It also appears on Donkey Kong Country 2 and 3 for Game Boy Advance and Diddy Kong Racing and Viva Piñata: Pocket Paradise on Nintendo DS as well.

2nd Logo (November 4, 2010-April 11, 2014)

Visuals: The sequence starts by zooming through many 3D black-and-white shapes (in varying color tints as described below) in a white environment. Then one shape lights up, and the screen zooms to it. Then we see the word "Rare" next to a 2D shape with the "R" trademark from the previous logos in white in it, which is formed by some of the 3D shapes morphing into each other.


  • On Kinect Sports (which has the logo described above), the shapes and colors vary each time you play the game. For example, these shapes are:
    • Green, orange, purple or magenta circle
    • Green, orange, purple or magenta diamond
    • Orange or purple hexagon
    • Green or magenta octagon
  • On Kinect Sports: Season Two, a live-action sequence is used. In the same white environment, an American football falls from the top and bounces to the floor, followed by a tennis ball, a baseball, a golfball, a football, a bowling ball, a beach ball and an Eight-ball. All of a sudden, many copies of these balls fall from the top and bounce off each other. Then, a tennis ball with the magenta octagon Rare logo on it and a baseball with the BigPark logo on it roll to the foreground and fade out, leaving only the logos on a white background.
  • On Kinect Sports Rivals, the logo is still on a white background.

Technique: Depends on the game.

Audio: Depending on each game:

  • Kinect Sports: Whooshes followed by a bling note when the shape lights up, then a reverse whoosh sound and a synth piano note when the shapes morph together, accompanied by subtle twinkle sounds. Two faint piano notes are heard near the end.
  • Kinect Sports: Season Two: Corresponding sound effects for the balls falling and bouncing, then an uprising synth note and many subtle bling notes when the two balls roll in.
  • On Kinect Sports Rivals, the logo is silent.

Availability: It only appeared on three games: Kinect Sports and Kinect Sports: Season Two for the Xbox 360 and Kinect Sports Rivals for the Xbox One.

3rd Logo (June 15, 2015-)

Visuals: There is the "R" shape from the previous logos (excluding the 2010 logo), with some blue filling on the left. The word "RARE" is on the bottom and is spaced-out.


  • On Rare Replay (a compilation of Rare's past games for the Xbox One), the paper cutout logo flops in from the top piece-by-piece on a cloudy night background, with each piece held on thin rope. The camera then pans down to the opening sequence.
  • In the intro for Sea of Thieves, the logo is displayed twice. Firstly, a rough steel version is seen on a black background, followed by the Xbox Game Studios (Microsoft Studios in the original launch version) logo. Secondly, the opening cutsecene features a brown paint version fading in on a treasure map, with "Rare" in a script font.
  • On the "X019" and "Eternals" trailers for Everwild, a transparent version of the logo is used (with the filling of the "R" being a bit dimmer), which emits light from itself. The "X019" trailer shows an orange-tinted hill inside, populated with creatures from the game, while the "Eternals" trailer shows a forest (here, the "R" is jagged on its edges). The "Directors' Commentary" video for said trailers describes the logo as "a window to another world".

Technique: Depends on the variant.

Audio: The opening theme of the game/trailer.

Availability: First seen on Rare Replay for the Xbox One, and has since appeared on Sea of Thieves and (so far) trailers for Everwild.

Ultimate Play the Game
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