(Redirected from Banjo kazooie)This article is about the Nintendo 64 game. For the series, see Banjo-Kazooie (series).

North American box art

Developer(s) Rare[show]
Publisher(s) Nintendo (N64)Microsoft Game Studios (Xbox 360)
Designer(s) Gregg Mayles
Artist(s) Steve Mayles
Composer(s) Grant Kirkhope
Series Banjo-Kazooie
Platform(s) Nintendo 64, Xbox Live Arcade
Release date(s) Nintendo 64[2]*NA June 30, 1998
  • EU July 17, 1998
  • AUS July 24, 1998

Xbox Live Arcade[3]

  • NA December 3, 2008
  • EU December 3, 2008
  • AUS December 3, 2008
Genre(s) Platforming, action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player

Banjo-Kazooie is a platform and action-adventure video game developed by Rare and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64. It was originally released for the Nintendo 64 in 1998. It was re-released as a downloadable game in 2008 for the Xbox Live Arcade.

Banjo-Kazooie is the first installment in the Banjo Kazooie series, which chronicles the titular characters' encounter with series antagonist Gruntilda. The game's story focuses on Banjo and Kazooie's efforts to stop Gruntilda's plans to switch her beauty with Banjo's sister Tooty, recover jigsaw pieces and various items. Banjo-Kazooie was initially developed as Project Dream and descended from the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

Banjo-Kazooie was a critical and commercial success, and went on to become one of the best-selling games for the Nintendo 64.[4][5]


[hide] *1 Gameplay

[edit] GameplayEdit

Banjo-Kazooie is a platform game in which the player controls the protagonists Banjo and Kazooie, who must rescue Banjo's sister Tooty and defeat the witch Gruntilda. The game is split up into nine non-linear levels in which the player must gather jigsaw pieces, or "Jiggies", to progress. Banjo and Kazooie are aided by Bottles, who teaches them new abilities, and Mumbo Jumbo, who uses magical powers to transform them into other creatures, such as a termite, pumpkin, bumble bee, walrus, or crocodile. The player is given a certain amount of lives, which have an energy bar. Whenever the player is attacked by an enemy, goes into a dangerous location such as sand, runs out of oxygen while in the water, or otherwise falls off-screen, their bar is gradually depleted and a life is lost.[6]

Banjo and Kazooie have the ability to climb, jump, roll into an enemy character, somersault, fly and perform a ground pound. Bottles can be found inside the worlds, and teach the player new moves throughout the game. Red feathers are used for the characters to fly via a pad. Blue eggs can be fired from Kazooie's back or beak. Gold feathers shield Banjo and Kazooie from all damages. All of these techniques can be used as offensive measures against enemies. Wading boots are used for hazardous terrain. Turbo trainers are running shoes used to increase the player's running speed.[7] The player can obtain three spellbooks from Gruntilda's book Cheato and use his codes to increase the maximum that can be carried. Extra honeycomb pieces are used to permanently increase Banjo and Kazooie's energy bar if six of the pieces can be found.[6]

The player progresses in the game by finding Jiggies, Musical Notes and Mumbo Tokens. Jiggies open doors to new worlds by collecting enough to complete the corresponding jigsaw puzzle. There are ten in each world; nine must be found through exploration or the completion of challenges and puzzles, and one is granted by finding all five Jinjos on each world. There are also 10 Jiggys in Gruntilda's Lair itself, making 100 total in the game. Banjo and Kazooie must find the appropriate number of musical notes before gaining access to a new room on the lair. There are 100 notes in each world, and 900 total in the game. Mumbo Tokens grant the player magical transformations at Mumbo's hut when the player collects a sufficient amount; there are a total of 115 tokens throughout the game.

The game uses Gruntilda's Lair as an overworld in which the player progresses. Individual levels are accessed through Gruntilda's Lair by collecting enough musical notes to open various doors. Levels in Banjo Kazooie contain a diverse selection of challenges and special items. Mumbo's skull is found in Mumbo's Mountain, featuring a transformation of Banjo into a giant termite; Bubblegloop Swamp, featuring a transformation of Banjo into an alligator; Freezeezy Peak, featuring a transformation of Banjo into a walrus; Mad Monster Mansion, featuring a transformation of Banjo into a pumpkin; and Click Clock Wood, featuring a transformation of Banjo into a bumblebee. Levels in Banjo Kazooie include (in the order that the player can access them):

  1. Mumbo's Mountain - features include a small pond with a bridge, slippery mountain sides. A giant gorilla who hurls oranges at the player, a bull with a nose ring who repeatedly charges after the player, and a massive termite mound which is only accessible after Banjo visits Mumbo to be transformed into a termite. Enemies include purple goblins and termites.
  2. Treasure Trove Cove - The enemies in this level include Snacker the shark, giant crabs, and treasure chests with sharp teeth. Distinguishing features include a central lighthouse, a beached pirate ship, an enormous hermit crab who tries to pinch the player in his claws, a massive sandcastle in which players can press letters to activate cheat codes, and the Sharkfood Island, containing the Mystery Pink Stop 'N' Swop Egg.
  3. Clanker's Cavern - a dark lake inhabited by a massive mechanical shark named Clanker. Much of the time in this level is spent underwater. Some enemies are mutated crabs similar to those encountered in Treasure Trove Cove. Players can enter Clanker's belly through his blowhole, gills, or missing teeth to obtain several Jiggies, Jinjos and notes.
  4. Bubblegloop Swamp - a lush marshland featuring dangerous swamps and high treetops. The player must battle enemies such as alligators and piranhas who chews up anyone who's not an alligator who enters the swamp. Key features include a giant wooden maze, a huge alligator sculpture that the player can enter only after being transformed by Mumbo, and the debut of the wading boots, which are used to safely venture across the swamps without being harmed by the piranhas.
  5. Freezeezy Peak - a giant snowman with a spiral scarf leading up it. The journey is marked by giant snowmen who hurl snowballs at the player. Freezeezy Peak features a cave with a glass wall through which the player can view the mysterious Ice Key, part of the Stop 'N' Swop aspect of the game. Other landmarks include a Christmas tree, ponds with freezing cold water, and a sled hill on which players can race against a polar bear named Boggy.
  6. Gobi's Valley - a hot valley that looks like Egypt, despite the name "Gobi", which is a desert in China. The level features several pyramids into which the player can venture, beds of quicksand, a flying carpet, and massive mummy hands which attempts to squash the player. Landmarks are Jinxy, the main pyramid, and a desert door containing the Mystery Blue Stop 'N' Swop Egg. Gobi the camel can also be met here who is repeatedly Beak Busted by the player.
  7. Mad Monster Mansion - A haunted mansion and its surrounding grounds. The house features two floors in addition to a cellar where the Mystery Cyan Stop 'N' Swop Egg can be found, along with the Mystery Green Stop 'N' Swop Egg. In the church hall, a ghostly hand plays an organ, appearing to have no body attached. On the upper floor, the player can win a Jiggy by entering a toilet as a pumpkin. Enemies include gravestones that come to life if the player comes too close to them, ghosts, and skeletons who can only die from the Wonderwing. Mad Monster Mansion is the only world to reveal two Mystery Stop 'N' Swop Eggs.
  8. Rusty Bucket Bay - a cargo ship in a small body of water. This level features the return of Snacker, who continues to chase the player when Banjo enters a caged in part of the murky water. Features include a dolphin pinned by the anchor of the ship, an engine room with dozens of pitfalls sending Banjo to his death, and a crane holding a caged Jiggy. Enemies are goblin sailors, fume hoods which activate if the player comes too close to them, and Boss Boom Box, a huge box that splits into smaller boxes when hit. Here the Mystery Red Stop 'N' Swop Egg can be found.
  9. Click Clock Wood - a forest which can be entered during each of the four seasons of the year. Features include a massive beehive and the home of a squirrel named Nabnut who is gobbling a large pile of acorns and asks Banjo to go get more for winter. The Mystery Yellow Stop 'N' Swop Egg is found in Nabnut's house during the winter. Events in previous "seasons" affect later seasons, like caring for the baby eagle (and the vine tree) starting in the spring and continuing through summer and fall will eventually result in a reward.

Each of the nine worlds in the game also features a button with Gruntilda's face printed on it, called a Witch Switch. When activated, these switches trigger events in Gruntilda's Lair that allow the player to obtain a Jiggy.

[edit] Stop 'N' SwopEdit

Main article: Stop 'N' SwopStop 'N' Swop is a special feature in Banjo-Kazooie that remains incomplete in the Nintendo 64 version of the game. Six coloured eggs and a key made of ice were discovered in Banjo-Kazooie that would be viewable in a menu titled "Stop 'N' Swop". In an ending sequence of the N64 version of Banjo-Kazooie, Mumbo Jumbo would state that secret areas would be accessible via a link with the sequel, Banjo-Tooie. Stop 'N' Swop was never realized in Banjo-Tooie, but three of the coloured eggs, along with the Ice Key, are hidden around the Banjo-Tooie overworld, contained within Banjo-Kazooie Nintendo 64 Game Paks. All seven of the special items can, however, be collected in Banjo-Kazooie using in-game cheat codes, but serve no purpose. The Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) version of Banjo-Kazooie features "reinstated" Stop 'N' Swop connectivity, allowing the player to collect the items for use in Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts. The XBLA version of Banjo-Tooie also implements the "original plan" for Stop 'N' Swop[8] with the added bonus of including Stop 'N' Swop II.

[edit] PlotEdit

Banjo-Kazooie series fictional chronology

Diddy Kong Racing Banjo-Kazooie Grunty's Revenge Banjo-Tooie Nuts & Bolts

[edit] CharactersEdit

The protagonists of the story and the player characters are Banjo, a honey bear who must save his sister Tooty, and Kazooie, a red-crested breegull who is always kept in Banjo's backpack. The main antagonist is Gruntilda, a witch who thinks that she is the most beautiful person of all and is now motivated to kidnap Tooty. Banjo's sister is Tooty, a female bear who is about to have her beauty transferred to Gruntilda. Helping Banjo and Kazooie is Bottles, a mole who teaches moves and has scattered around the worlds that the two encounter; Mumbo Jumbo, a shaman who was once Gruntilda's teacher and can change Banjo's forms at various points in the game; and Brentilda, Gruntilda's sister.[9]

[edit] StoryEdit

Banjo-Kazooie is set on Spiral Mountain, where the evil witch Gruntilda has set up her mountain lair. With the help of her henchman Klungo, Gruntilda creates a machine, which they plan to transfer a person's level of beauty to another.[10] However, she learns from her cauldron Dingpot that the most beautiful girl of all is a bear named Tooty.[11] Gruntilda flies off to Banjo's house with her broomstick and abducts Tooty.[12] Kazooie wakes Banjo up in response to the kidnapping.[13] Banjo and Kazooie learn from Bottles the mole that Tooty was taken to the lair and suggests that they need training to get up to the lair.[14] After collecting items, Banjo and Kazooie enter the lair.

At the top of the tower, Gruntilda intends to use the machine to swap her level of beauty with Tooty.[15] After Banjo and Kazooie collect the first Jiggy, they are told that they must fill in the picture's missing spaces with the Jiggys to open nine worlds.[16] In each world, they can collect up to ten jigsaw pieces, or "Jiggys", which can be used to unlock more worlds. The two also collects musical note, when they are told that if they collect the required notes out of 100 on each world, they can open the note doors to progress deeper into the lair.[17] They also collect small creatures named Jinjos, who state if they are to collect all the Jinjos (five in each world), they reward the two with a Jiggy.[18]

By the time most of the musical notes and Jiggies are gathered, Banjo and Kazooie face Gruntilda in a trivia game show named "Grunty's Furnace Fun". The game presents questions and challenges related to certain aspects of the game. After going through several game boards, the two win the game and Gruntilda flees.[19] Reunited with Tooty, Banjo and Kazooie return home and celebrate with their friends with a barbecue. However, Tooty reminds everyone that Gruntilda has fled and tells Banjo and Kazooie to defeat her.[20] Banjo and Kazooie return to Gruntilda's lair and use Dingpot to get to the top of the tower, where they confront the witch. Gruntilda attacks Banjo and Kazooie with her broom and energy blasts, but they summon five giant Jinjos and destroys Gruntilda's broom. Banjo and Kazooie use a giant Jinjo robot called the Jinjonator to send Gruntilda to her demise.[21] Banjo and Kazooie return to their home and visit a beach with their friends, anticipating their next game. The game ends with Gruntilda swearing revenge against Banjo and Kazooie while Klungo tries to move the boulder covering her.[22]

[edit] DevelopmentEdit

Banjo-Kazooie was originally known by the project name Dream for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The project starred a boy named Edison, who owned a wooden sword and got into trouble with a group of pirates led by Captain Blackeye. Dream was also scheduled to include a rabbit that looked like a man, a dopey dog, and a bear that became Banjo.[23] After its code was transferred to the Nintendo 64, it was shown at the 1997 E3 as Banjo-Kazooie.

The game received a significant amount of hype partly due to being marketed as the game that would be to the N64 what Donkey Kong Country was to the SNES in terms of an advancement in graphics. It was originally supposed to be released as Nintendo of America's big holiday game for 1997 with a Taco Bell toy promotion lined up, but Rare needed to delay it several months. Diddy Kong Racing took its place and features Banjo as a playable character.

Instead of dialogue, the characters make limited speech-like sounds when they talk, which are a looping of voice-like sounds. This choice was made due to memory limitations on Nintendo 64 cartridges. Rare considered using fully voiced dialogue for the Xbox 360 game Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, but ultimately retained the older style as it felt that the games had become known for it.[24]

[edit] MusicEdit

The music in Banjo-Kazooie was composed by Grant Kirkhope and is an example of an interactive soundtrack. The themes heard in the game dynamically change style to reflect the environment and dangers to the characters.[25] For example, whenever the main characters submerge in any body of water, the music changes into a Harp arrangement of the main world theme for an aquatic ambiance. The musical theme for Gruntilda's Lair takes on a different arrangement to reflect the level entrance the player is near, such as taking on music box instrumental style near the ice level entrance, or organ near the haunted mansion. The music gradually fades from one style to the next without pause, while the overall composition loops continuously.

Kirkhope stated that late in the development of Banjo-Kazooie, Chris Stamper had expressed his dislike of the pieces written for Mumbo's Mountain and Treasure Trove Cove, causing Kirkhope to quickly change them. The original version of the music for Mumbo’s Mountain remains in the game and can be heard inside the termite hill of that world. The music for Treasure Trove Cove originally "had a sort of Beach Boys 'Wipe out' middle section to it".[26]

The soundtrack album of Banjo-Kazooie was released by Nintendo of America on a limited edition Compact Disc. This CD was sold exclusively at Best Buy stores and the Nintendo Power Catalog with two additional tracks.

4 unused songs were later found in Rare's lost files, titled Mumbo's Raindance, Advent, Click Clock Wood (Winter) Beta, and Click Clock Wood ( Summer) Beta.

[edit] Xbox Live ArcadeEdit

It was announced at Microsoft's E3 2008 press conference that Banjo-Kazooie would be made available for download on Xbox Live Arcade in the future.[27] This version would feature increased screen resolution and minor graphical refinements.[28] On its website, Rare revealed that the port would be handled by 4J Studios. The game was released on Xbox Live Arcade on 3 December 2008 for 1,200 Microsoft Points.[29] It was also released as a preorder bonus for Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts on 12 November 2008.[30]

Properties of Nintendo have been removed throughout the game. For example, the animated Nintendo 64 logo is absent from the opening sequence, while the Nintendo company logo on Mumbo's xylophone in the introduction was replaced by the Microsoft Game Studios logo. The Game Boy that Banjo plays in the file select menu remains, but the Game Boy start up sound heard when the file is highlighted is removed. Characters who have appeared in other Nintendo-published games are unchanged, including Bubblegloop Swamp's Tiptup and Click Clock Wood's Gnawty the Beaver.

Among new adjustments made to the game is the ability to permanently collect musical notes. Individual notes are saved on collection, whereas the original Banjo-Kazooie only saved the highest score. Bottle's hidden jigsaw puzzle game features sequences showing areas from different levels. On the game's release, if the player completed a puzzle showing notes from a level, a glitch occurred where those notes were permanently removed from the level before they could be collected. The sandcastle cheat codes from the N64 version that begin with the word CHEAT were retained. However, using such cheats will disable the autosave function, as well as leaderboards and achievements.

[edit] ReceptionEdit

[edit] ReviewsEdit

[hide] Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 93%[31]
Metacritic 77 of 100 (2008 Xbox), 92 of 100 (1998 Nintendo)[32]
Review scores
Publication Score
Allgame [33]
GamePro 5 of 5[34]
GameSpot 9.5 of 10[35]
IGN 9.6 of 10[25]
GameStats 9.2 of 10[36]

Banjo-Kazooie received overwhelming critical praise upon release. It received aggregate scores of 93% from GameRankings,[31] and 92/100 from Metacritic.[32] The game was mostly praised for its graphics, humor, and gameplay.

GamePro stated that the game is "A more complex, more fluid, and more attractive game than its plumber predecessor Super Mario 64. It’s sure to have even the staunchest N64 critics raising their eyebrows."[34] IGN stated that the game "Features the best graphics we've seen on the console, it one-ups Mario 64 in terms of gameplay, it sounds astounding and it may just be the most clever title we've ever played."[25] GameSpot stated: "Graphically, Banjo-Kazooie takes it to another level. The game maintains the look and feel of Mario 64, but instead of flat, shaded polygons, BK uses a lot of textures."[35] Electric Playground stated: "The finest, most polished, most complex and satisfying action-adventure videogame I've ever played...It blew me away because I was still swept up by its fairy tale-light, Disney-esque, bogusness, in spite of all my resistance."[37] Total Video Games stated: "It's hard to say how impressed we'll be with future Marios after this one. For now Banjo has the nod with detailed, 3D graphics, crisp sound, beautfiul[sic] control and the best gameplay seen on the N64. Excellent job Rare and Nintendo."[38]

[edit] AwardsEdit

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.[39]

IGN editor Cam Shea ranked the Xbox Live Arcade version seventh on his top 10 list of Xbox Live Arcade games. He stated that while not perfect, it was a landmark title for a reason.[40]

On an episode of Reviews on the Run, Banjo-Kazooie was number 1 on their list of the "5 classic Rare games you should try"; it beat out Sabre Wulf, Conker's Bad Fur Day, and Kameo: Elements of Power, which were also running for the same award.

[edit] SalesEdit

Banjo-Kazooie was highly successful at the time of its release, selling nearly two million copies in the United States.[4]

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