Banjo-Kazooie

aka: Banjo Kazoo, Banjo to Kazooie no Daibōken, Dream
Moby ID: 3583
Nintendo 64 Specs
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Description official descriptions

Banjo-Kazooie's fairy tale back story is reminiscent of Snow White's. A gnarled, ugly witch named Gruntilda asks her magical cauldron who is the fairest of them all. Of course, the pot's answer doesn't please the hag: he singles out Banjo's sister, Tooty. When Tooty turns up missing, Banjo and his birdie buddy Kazooie set out to find her.

The worlds in Banjo-Kazooie are vast, and contain a variety of items to collect. Musical Notes, Puzzle Pieces ("Jiggies"), Mumbo Tokens, and Jinjoes are just some of the swag that Banjo must stuff in his backpack to complete his adventure. While some of the necessary items are simply stashed off the beaten path, others will require puzzle solving skills to turn up.

Spellings

  • バンジョーとカズーイの大冒険 - Japanese spelling

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Credits (Nintendo 64 version)

61 People (55 developers, 6 thanks) · View all

Chief of Ideas (Project Leader and Lead Game Designer)
Other Ideas (Additional Game Design)
Chief Keyboard Tapper (Lead Software Engineer)
Deputy Keyboard Tappers (Senior Software Engineers)
Keyboard Tappers (Software Engineers)
Other Keyboard Tapping (Additional Software Engineering)
Chief Scribbler (Art Director and Lead Character Artist)
Cartoony Bits and More Scribbling (Character Artist and Animator)
Scene Crayoner (Background and Layout Artist)
More Sketching (Technical Artist)
Other Doodling (Additional Art)
Big Noise Maker (Music composed and performed by)
Chief Free Player (Head of Rare QA)
Rare Free Players (Rare Testing Team)
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 88% (based on 58 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 124 ratings with 5 reviews)

The Bear and Bird

The Good
What an excellent game this has been. Set in Banjo-kazooie's fictional world, Banjo's sister, Tootie, has been captured by Grunthilda, the evil witch, who plans to steal her beauty. Now Banjo must rescue her or little sister is gonna be one angry bear!

This game is similar to Super Mario 64, in that you must go to 9 worlds in Grunty's deep, dark lair to collect jigsaw pieces (jiggies) to make new worlds appear. Musical notes can be collected to open up new doors in the lair. Tons of other collectables are set off the beaten path such as mumbo tokens, jinzos, and feathers, which all help you to get more jiggies and musical notes. Kazooie, the sarcastic bird in your backpack, is a memorable character and can help a number of different ways.

Like Super Mario 64 as well, Banjo-kazooie is mainly so superb because of its varying challenges and enemies. Levels are designed to open, and all of the jiggies can be gotten in any order. The first levels you mainly go in order, getting a handful of notes and jiggies to get to the next level. However, about halfway through the game, more levels become open to the player, leaving you to choose which levels to play.

Levels can vary as much as a cheerful beach, to a haunted mansion. Enemies very according to the level, and are very appropriate for whatever level they are in.

Not all of the jiggies are required to complete the game, but those who do get rewarded nicely, MUCH nicer than you did in Super Mario 64. This adds much more motivation to gameplay.

Graphics are excellent, and much thought was put in to game and level design. Character designs and details are well-made. Sound is done just as well. Sound effects are good, and the music is appropriate for each level.

The enemy AI is typical for a platform/ adventure. Goons with a typical AI are met throughout the game, however, newer enemies with a more indirect approach for killing you have been added since Super Mario 64. There are typically no level bosses (since the levels are open), but bosses that guard jiggies that must be defeated in a certain way. Other than that, the game has memorable characters that recur throughout the game.

Banjo-kazzoie is a great game that leads up to an excellent final boss at the top of the grunty's lair.

The Bad
Unfortunately, old habits die hard. The storyline continues not to stray from "get enough x to rescue y person". However, the added subquests and recurring characters in worlds seem to make up for the lack of twists in the plot (think Super Mario 64).

Other than that, collecting can get very annoying. Jiggies do not have to be recollected when you die, but musical notes do. This is very annyong, especially on levels you absolutely hate.



The Bottom Line
Banjo-kazooie is the sequel to Super Mario 64. With memorable characters and varying gameplay, this game is a must-buy for anyone with an Nintendo 64

Nintendo 64 · by Matt Neuteboom (976) · 2005

You don't have an N64?? Oh I'm so sorry....

The Good
If you don't have an N64 than you have missed out on possibly the best video game ever made. Enter Banjo-Kazooie...Tooty Banjo's sister is running through the field when Gruntilda the witch jealous of her good looks kidnapped her and devises a plan to transfer Tooty's beauty into her own body. Banjo the bear and Kazooie the bird (who stays in Banjo's backpack throughout the game) begin their quest into Gruntilda's lair.

The graphics in this game are fantastic. This is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful N64 games (just behind Banjo-Tooie and Conkers Bad Fur day). Everything is magnificently detailed and colourful. Mario's Controls were too cold, Goldeneye's controls were to hot, Banjo-Kazooie's controls are juuuuuust right. People say the controls are too complicated but trust me they are fine. The baddies and bosses are all hilarious (Gruntilda's side kick rings a bell) and almost everything in this game is "alive" in the sense that they have eyes and talk!

This game is very long lasting taking about 6 hours non-100% and about 9-12 hours 100% percent. I'm one of the people who have gone the 100% route MANY times and it is very satisfying. As a hard-core B-K fan I have taken the speed challenge (and passed) and I suggest anyone who is serious enough takes it too. http://db.gamefaqs.com/console/n64/file/banjo_kazooie_speed.txt

The variety of things to do in this game is awesome. You can fly, swim, climb, shoot, everything! But don't worry Bottles The Mole is always in his little hole to teach you everything along the way.

The Bad
Are you fuing kidding me? This is Banjo-Kazooie! Well ok let me think. This seems like a kids game but I guarantee its not. Although I fully beat it at 8 years old I suggest it for 10 and up.

The Bottom Line**
The must have for N64 (along with Goldeneye, Banjo-Tooie, Mario 64 and Conker) This is super cheap by now so I highly recommend you buy this. Hell this game is so good it would be worth picking up the whole console just for it.

Nintendo 64 · by MegaMegaMan (2257) · 2004

Not ONLY for younger players.

The Good
I guess you could say that Banjo-Kazooie is a game for only younger players. But I disagree with that since I am 17 and I still play it (thought some might consider 17 young.) The game is just extremely addictive because you can go through the game and beat it without getting everything. Or you can do what I do and go back and try and complete the game 100%. And if you tried to bet the game 100% the n you would realise that Banjo-Kazooie is a bit to hard for all the younger players.

The graphics for Banjo-Kazooie are pretty much what you would expect from a Rareware game. They are the same kind of half-cartoonish graphics that are in other Rareware games such as Donkey Kong. I don’t think that there was any jumping or bugs in the game (though there rarely is on a console game.)

The sound for Banjo-Kazooie was probably the reason that some people thought that it was a game only for young children. The music for each level was well selected and it helped create the atmosphere, which was hoped for in that level.

The game play for Banjo-Kazooie was very good. Going through the game the first time was fun and then you could go back and try and complete the game 100% and if you did that you got quite few hours of game play out of the game. The idea of having to find moves was good so that the moves didn’t get old and all through the game you were finding out new moves.

The Bad
The game got boring quite quickly with some people because all that you had to do was find things. You had to find all the Jinjos to get a puzzle piece and you had to find all the puzzle pieces to beat the level, and to get new moves you just had to find the right amount of musical notes. So it got quite tiresome after playing for a while and just doing the same things over and over again but with a different backdrop.

The cartoony graphics is all I have to complain about with the game. Maybe if they had not made the graphics so child like then it would have appealed to a more broad range of players.

Again with the sound they made it a bit childish and when then characters spoke they didn’t even bother putting speech in. Instead they just had the character make one sound over and over again while the writing appeared on the screen (you will know what I a talking about if you have played the game.)

The only thing that is wrong with the game play in Banjo-Kazooie is that some of the moves are annoying to do and it gets tiring after doing them over and over again

The Bottom Line
Banjo-Kazooie is an entertaining game for the whole family (even if that sounds a bit corny.) Its a great game and you should be able to see that because I had to think of pitiful things to say that was bad about it. So in short its a great game for all age groups.

Nintendo 64 · by Horny-Bullant (49) · 2003

[ View all 5 player reviews ]

Trivia

1001 Video Games

Banjo-Kazooie appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Development

  • Back when Banjo-Kazooie was still Dream, in its initial stages it began life on the SNES, using the next generation of Donkey Kong Country style pre-rendered graphics.
  • Banjo-Kazooie had quite a few different main characters before settling on the Honey Bear in the blinding yellow shorts. Originally, back when the game was still Dream, it starred a young boy with a wooden sword and a pet dog. The young boy was then replaced with a rabbit with a dog. Who was then replaced with a bear and a dog. And then finally, Banjo and Kazooie.
  • During development, sixteen worlds were planned. However, it was decided that it would take too long to achieve this and they were cut down to nine worlds. Some worlds were joined with others in Banjo-Kazooie, while others provided inspiration for worlds in Banjo-Tooie.

Banjo-Tooie

When Banjo-Kazooie was being designed, it was planned to connect with its future sequel. Special, secret items were shown to be hidden during the game's ending. The way players would be able to access the items would be by pulling out one cart out of the console while the system was on, and then quickly inserting the cart you wanted to transfer the items to. Dubbed Stop 'n' Swop, the original concept had to be terminated. According to an MTV Multiplayer 2008 interview with Rare lead software engineer Salvatore Fileccia:

...the reason Nintendo soured on the idea was because of revisions to the N64 circuitry. Older versions of the system would have given gamers a full 10 seconds to remove the Kazooie cartridge and insert the Tooie one. Newer iterations of the N64 would have given gamers just one second.

References

  • "Twycross England" is written on the back of the boat in Rusty Bucket Bay - which happens to be where Rare headquarters is located in real life.
  • At one part in the game Mumbo Jumbo claims he is saving the T-Rex for the next game. A T-Rex was indeed playable in the games sequel Banjo-Tooie.

Xbox 360 version

When ported to the Xbox 360 the Nintendo logo was removed, however Banjo still appears to be playing a Game Boy in the third save slot.

Awards

  • Game Informer
    • August 2001 (Issue #100) - #71 in the "Top 100 Games of All Time" poll
  • Retro Gamer
    • Issue 37 - #16 in the "Top 25 Platformers of All Time" poll

Information also contributed by atadota, BenK and MegaMegaMan

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Chris Martin.

Nintendo Switch added by Kam1Kaz3NL77. Xbox Cloud Gaming added by Sciere. Xbox 360 added by Ben K. Xbox One added by MAT.

Additional contributors: PCGamer77, Joshua J. Slone, gamewarrior, Ben K, DreinIX, Patrick Bregger, Starbuck the Third, FatherJack.

Game added April 3, 2001. Last modified May 31, 2024.