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Banjo-Kazooie

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Banjo-Kazooie is the first game in the Banjo-Kazooie series. It was developed by Rareware and released in 1998 for the Nintendo 64 and celebrated its 10th Anniversary in 2008. In this game, Banjo and his friend Kazooie must save Banjo's sister Tooty from the evil witch Gruntilda before she steals Tooty's beauty. The game was followed by a sequel called Banjo-Tooie in 2000.

Plot

Spoiler Warning

The Story, from the game manual:

At last, the dirty green and blue smog was beginning to clear. Gruntilda stood at the topmost window of her Lair, grinning wickedly down on her latest world.

"Tiny creatures far below," she cackled, "which of you'll be first to go?"

The witch rubbed her hands in glee at the prospect of putting her favorite invention to good use. It was her pride and joy: a machine that could suck the physical beauty from its victims for Gruntilda to absorb like a sponge!

And it would certainly teach her cutesy sister Brentilda a lesson. How dare that interfering do-gooder inherit the family good looks and leave Gruntilda, well... slightly disadvantaged in that department?

Hah! Not any more, gloated the witch, picking her nose smugly. Not any more.

Turning back to the bubbling cauldron, Gruntilda began to cast the spell which would reassure her that she was, of course, the most wonderfully attractive creature in this bright new world...

Meanwhile, Tooty was skipping home through the sunny green fields of Spiral Mountain. As she reached the garden gate, a pair of blurry eyes that could only belong to her good friend Bottles popped up from a nearby molehill.

"Morning Tooty," he blinked, uncorking himself from the hole. "And what are your plans for this fine day?"

Tooty jumped up and down excitedly, remembering Banjo's promise. "Oh!", she squealed. "When my lazy brother gets out of bed, we're going on an adventure!"

"That's nice." Bottles squinted up into the sky. "Hang on, isn't that your brother up there?"

Tooty turned, and saw an odd shape swooping down towards them of high speed.

"No, that can't be Banjo," she said, frowning. "I wonder who it is...".

"Sweeter than me? Prettier than me? Impossible!"

Gruntilda was so furious at the cauldron's words that she could barely control her broomstick, screeching with the treetops.

"As cute as me, you stupid pot? For her own sake, I hope she's not!"

The witch sped recklessly on until her target finally came into view: staring up at her from a field far below was the innocent young Honey Bear she'd seen in the depths of that treacherous cauldron.

Gruntilda cackled. "I need those looks far more than she, and finally perfect I shall be!" she cried, and sent the broomstick into a steep dive.

Kazooie popped out of the backpack as noise erupted just outside the window.

"Banjo!" she squawked in alarm. "Banjo, wake up!"

The Honey Bear groaned and pulled a pillow over his head. "Aww, Kazooie, it's too early," come his muffled voice.

"This is no time to be lazy, furface!" trilled the Breegull, swinging anxiously to and fro. "We've got trouble!"

Banjo yawned, rolled over - and fell out of bed in surprise as Kazooie's struggles suddenly toppled both the backpack and its stand onto the floor with a crash.

At the same time a sudden gust of wind blew open the curtains, and beneath the peals of manic laughter fading into the distance, Banjo heard the helpless cries of a voice he recognized...

Tooty!

The bear gulped, realising that this was definitely going to be one of those days.

"Uh, Kazooie, what are you doing down there?" he said in confusion, grabbing the backpack as he bolted for the door.

"This is no time to be lazy - we've got trouble!"­


The evil witch of Spiral Mountain, Gruntilda, is inside her lair, asking her cauldron Dingpot questions about who is the 'nicest and fairest of them all', to which Dingpot reluctantly answers, "You are, mistress". She gloats over her "beauty", until Dingpot finally breaks his 'silence' and tells the witch that Tooty, another inhabitant of Spiral Mountain, is actually the prettiest and the fairest of them all. Grunty reacts angrily and decides to kidnap Tooty in order to steal her beauty. She grabs her broom and sets off immediately.

Meanwhile, Tooty is running around Spiral Mountain, when she is greeted by Bottles in front of Banjo's House. She eagerly tells Bottles that she is going on an adventure with her brother, Banjo. Inside the house, Banjo is sleeping soundly, with his breegull friend, Kazooie, sleeping in his backpack, which is hanging on a nearby coat rack. Tooty and Bottles are still talking, until Bottles spots Grunty in the distance, but confuses her for Banjo (due to his short-sightedness). Grunty immediately goes for Tooty, and a struggle ensues. Kazooie, eager for action and adventure, overhears the clamor outside as well as Bottles' cries for help and tries to wake Banjo up. Banjo and Kazooie leave their house, only to discover that Grunty has gone off and kidnapped Tooty! Bottles tells the bear and bird that they must venture to Gruntilda's Lair to rescue Tooty. Bottles offers to prepare the duo to fight Gruntilda by teaching them some basic moves and repairing the bridge leading to the lair's entrance. Banjo and Kazooie set off on an adventure into the lair to save Tooty.

Once inside the lair, Banjo and Kazooie find a Jiggy, which is used to open and unlock levels around the lair by completing Jigsaw Puzzle pictures. They soon find a painting that fits their first Jiggy, opening the first level of the lair, Mumbo's Mountain. Banjo and Kazooie enter the first world and find that their quest is not as easy as they had anticipated. They discover that they need to rescue Jinjos imprisoned by Grunty throughout each of the worlds as well as collect Musical Notes, which are needed to open up Note Doors, to progress through the deeper areas of Gruntilda's Lair. They also meet Mumbo Jumbo, a skull-faced shaman who offers his services to the bear and bird by transforming the adventurers into different animals with new abilities.

Banjo-Kazooie Start Theme
When window pops up click open and wait for the music tune to load.

Sound play

The two continue progressing through the lair, gathering musical notes, Jiggies, and other collectibles along the way, as well as rescuing the Jinjos of each world. They also encounter Mumbo Jumbo and Bottles several times, who continue to help the heroes by transforming them and teaching them new moves, respectively. Banjo and Kazooie also get help from Gruntilda's nicer sister, Brentilda, who gossips interesting facts about her ugly sister.

After successfully surviving through all nine worlds in her lair, Banjo and Kazooie eventually reach Gruntilda but are forced to play her quiz show, Grunty's Furnace Fun. Thanks to the information provided by Brentilda's gossips, Banjo and Kazooie win Grunty's game and save Tooty. With Tooty rescued, they return home and celebrate with a barbecue. However, Tooty reminds our heroes that Grunty had escaped shortly after the game show and was still at large, plotting her wicked schemes.

Banjo and Kazooie make their way back up the lair until they finally reach the roof with a little help from Dingpot. On the roof, Gruntilda challenges them to a more direct confrontation and an epic battle ensues. But, with the help of the Jinjos they rescued in the various worlds of Gruntilda's Lair, Banjo and Kazooie defeat Gruntilda and ultimately knock her off her tower. She crashes into the ground, creating a crater of her shape, which is then covered by a large boulder that falls from the tower and traps her beneath it. Banjo and Kazooie finally take a well-deserved break at the beach, where the bear and bird and their friends anticipate a sequel, Banjo-Tooie. Meanwhile, Gruntilda, whose loyal minion Klungo is trying to rescue her, swears her revenge.

Main Characters

  • Banjo the Bear - A good hearted, well mannered and sweet natured honey-bear. He's always seen wearing bright yellow shorts and a blue packpack for carrying Kazooie around. As seen in the opening scene, he's an experienced banjo player, he cares a lot for his best friend and those in need and sometimes shares a bond or two with his little sister, Tooty. Unlike his sister, Banjo's not really into adventuring. Banjo first appeared in Diddy Kong Racing.
  • Kazooie the Breegull - A sassy, foulmouthed, wise-cracking red-crested Breegull and Banjo's best friend. She loves to insult people out of the blue which causes conflicts and fights, Kazooie loves to explore and go adventuring. She also plays a namesake instrument; in this case: the kazoo.
  • Gruntilda Winkybunion - The main antagonist, Gruntilda or Grunty for short is an evil and stereotypical Witch who sets out to capture Banjo's sister to steal her beauty. She always speaks in rhyme and also happens to own a broom that follows her when needed.
  • Tooty the Bear - Banjo's cheerful and younger sister. Tooty is somewhat a bit of an outgoing lass and loves adventuring, she's a bit cowardly but did vow that Banjo would come and save her from Grunty after being kidnapped.
  • Bottles the Mole
  • Mumbo Jumbo the Shaman
  • Brentilda Winkybunion
  • Klungo

Worlds

There are nine main worlds, one overworld/hub world, one starter world and three worlds that were unfinished so were not featured in the game. This comes to a total of eleven worlds featured in Banjo-Kazooie.

Main Worlds

Hub World

Starter World

Game Reaction

Banjo-Kazooie was highly successful when it was released, selling nearly two million copies in the United States. It also received the following reviews:

  • IGN: 9.6
  • GameSpot: 9.5
  • GameStats: 9.2
  • 1Up.com: 9.2
  • Metacritic: 23 of 25 (Based on 19 reviews)
  • Game Rankings: 91% (Based on 14 reviews)

Banjo-Kazooie (Xbox Live Arcade)

See main article: Banjo-Kazooie (Xbox Live Arcade)

Banjo-Kazooie was re-released on the Xbox 360 in late 2008. It currently costs 1200 Microsoft Points on the Xbox Live Marketplace. The game has also been inputted with various items that were originally found in Banjo-Kazooie and used in the new game Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts.

The game was updated with improved graphics and several new additional features:

  • Fully working Achievements.
  • Working Leaderboards that also show Online Worldwide Leaderboards.
  • All of the Nintendo references, including the Nintendo 64 logo, have been removed and some of the logos of Nintendo are replaced with Microsoft logos, although on the screen for the third save file, Banjo is still seen playing a Nintendo GameBoy.
  • Fully compatible with HD.
  • Many bug fixes from the original N64 version and glitches have been removed (for example, Musical Notes and Jinjos no longer regenerate; once collected, they are permanently saved).
  • A remade Main Menu (The three Save Files are still in the game).

Awards

At the 1999 Interactive Achievement Awards, Banjo-Kazooie won in the Console Action/Adventure and Art Direction categories, and was nominated for Console Adventure Game of the Year and Game of the Year. In an episode of Reviews On The Run, Banjo-Kazooie was ranked number 1 on the list of the "5 classic Rare games you should try", beating out Sabre Wulf, Conker's Bad Fur Day, and Kameo: Elements of Power, which were also running for the same award.

Music

The music from the game was composed by Grant Kirkhope. A CD Soundtrack was also available exclusively to Nintendo Power Subscribers and sold at Best Buy stores. Two additional tracks were included on the CD that Nintendo Power Subscribers received.

During an interview with OC Remix, Kirkhope had stated that Banjo-Kazooie was his favourite work he ever composed, he even got teary eyed when he saw the follow up Banjo-Tooie again after ten years.

Trivia

  • This was Grant Kirkhope's favorite game to work on, as stated in an interview with OCRemix.
  • Banjo-Kazooie is considered the most praised platformer on the N64, right next to Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
  • The xylophone that Mumbo was playing at the intro was the same xylophone in Candy Kong's Music Shop in Donkey Kong 64.

See also

Gallery

See also: Banjo-Kazooie/Gallery

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