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Canary Mary

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“Remember Canary Mary? Did you have fun racing her? How I laughed when I was setting up those levels. I'm still laughing”
L.O.G., Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts

Canary Mary, as her name suggests, is an avowedly insane canary, and a minor character in Banjo-Tooie, who is best known for her races, which are considered infamously difficult and frustrating. She is first encountered in Glitter Gulch Mine, where she is released from a toxic cave by Banjo and Kazooie. The player can race against her in a mine cart game to earn a Jiggy, and then another time for a Cheato Page. She reappears in Cloud Cuckooland, where she can once again be raced, but this time in a flying clockwork mouse rather than a mine cart. Following suit, winning this race a first time will earn the duo a Jiggy, and winning twice will earn them another Cheato Page.

Physical Characteristics

Canary Mary is an elderly canary woman with pale skin and a raspy voice. She has frazzled, spiky blond hair and a few sparse feathers on her arms that reflect her old age. Although her wings are visibly in bad shape, she still proves to be a spry, adept flier. She wears a somewhat short yellow dress and yellow shoes that match the color of her feathers. Unlike other birds, Canary Mary's beak is actually separate from her mouth. Despite her age she has youthful and energetic green eyes.

History

Canary Mary states that she was once used by miners to check the mines for poisonous gas. If she died, it was deemed unsafe. After discovering that she was slowly dying from the gas inside one of the caves, her masters abandoned her, and left her there to die.

Canary Mary is also a rather skilled technician, seeing as how she effortlessly and quickly repairs a mine cart and a robotic mouse for her races with the gang.

Games

Banjo-Tooie

CanaryMary

Canary Mary as seen in Glitter Gulch Mine in Banjo-Tooie.

“Well... no. You'd probably win and then I'd go hungry. See you around, fellow bird and bear buddy!”
Canary Mary, Banjo-Tooie

After being freed from her toxic prison by Banjo and Kazooie, Canary Mary states her wings need a stretch. She fixes the mine cart by the entrance of the mine and challenges the pair to a quick race for a bit of practice. By beating her a first time, Banjo and Kazooie win a Jiggy. She also awards the duo a Cheato Page if they manage to beat her again, although the second time around she flies faster having regained her composure and wing strength during the first race. Upon beating her a second time in Glitter Gulch Mine, She flies off, claiming that she'll soon fly high above the clouds.

True to her word, she meets the duo later on when they reach Cloud Cuckooland (given the player has beaten her in the first two races). Once again she can be raced for a Jiggy and a Cheato Page. These races are played out in a flying clockwork mouse rather than a mine cart and take place in the sky. These races are also noticeably harder and longer than the first two races, and are regarded by many fans to be amongst the hardest challenges in the game.

After her last defeat in Cloud Cuckooland, she flies home for her dinner: a worm sandwich and a bag of millet. Kazooie wishes to race her for that too, but Mary declines saying that they've already taken all of her possessions and would most likely win again, leaving her hungry.

Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts

Canary Mary does not appear in person, although she is directly referenced by L.O.G. in one of the loading screens, in which he scoffs at the player while recalling the difficulty of her races.

In addition her races are also mentioned in the Glitter Gulch Mine exhibit in Banjoland, where it is revealed that the button configuration for the races was intended to be different, but had to be changed because it began causing blisters on the beta testers' palms. This may suggest that the races were originally to be run by rotating the control stick. As the position which allows for the fastest rotation is placing one's palm on the control stick and rotating it as if rolling a ball of clay, this setup can (and did, in Mario Party) easily cause blisters on a gamer's hand.

Quotes

  • Kazooie: Hey, Banjo, it's that crazy canary woman again!
    Mary: That's me! Now how about another race?
    Banjo: But the handcart's still down in the mine...
    Mary: Don't worry. You can use this clockwork mouse I've found instead.
    Kazooie: Clockwork mouse? Are you mad?
    Mary: Oh yes. Go on, jump on board and press A as fast as you can to power the mouse along.
  • "Ready? 3... 2... 1... Go!"
  • Mary: You beat me again!
    Kazooie: Yep. The usual prize will suffice...
    Banjo: Don't be greedy, Kazooie. We won all her possessions in the mine.
    Mary: Oh no, you didn't! Look what I found up here...
  • "I also found another papery thing. Hop on the mouse if you want to try and win it..."
  • "Hop on the mouse to race again."
  • Mary: Did I lose?
    Kazooie: Sure did, lady. Now hand over that papery thing!
    Mary: My last possession... Well, that's it then. I reckon I'll be off for my dinner.
    Banjo: What are you having?
    Mary: A nice worm sandwich and a tasty bag of millet.
    Kazooie: Mmm... sounds good. How about a third race to let us try and win your dinner?
    Mary: Well... No. You'd probably win and then I'd go hungry. See you around, fellow bird and bear buddy!

Gallery

Trivia

  • Canary Mary is one of four characters (beside Banjo and Kazooie) to be featured in the backgrounds of the "Tooie's Splendid" Xbox Live Dashboard theme. The other characters include Chompasaurus, Mingy Jongo, and Mr. Patch. The theme was released on April 10th, 2009 and can be bought for 250 Microsoft Points.
  • Canary Mary is a reference to the fact that canaries were often used to check for gases in coal mines long ago, a tactic that was deemed cruel and ended in the late 1980s.
  • A recurring joke with Canary Mary is that her prizes are often wedged in less-than-desirable places, much to the disgust of Kazooie.

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