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.
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.
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.
"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.
August 2001 (Issue #100) - #71 in the "Top 100 Games of All Time" poll
Issue 37 - #16 in the "Top 25 Platformers of All Time" poll