Welcome to the Banjo Kazooie thread, which I was conscripted against my will to create, so I don't wanna hear any bitching
Banjo-Koozie is a platforming franchise made by Rare, which started with the N64 title â€œBanjo-Kazooieâ€ released in 1998. It follows the adventures of a honey bear named Banjo and a â€œred-crested breegullâ€ bird named Kazooie, who hangs out in Banjoâ€™s backpack. Together they fight against the evil, rhyming witch Gruntilda in her various schemes to make peoples lives terrible. The series started out as a 3D platformer on the N64, reminiscent - some would say clone - of Super Mario 64.
In these games, Banjo and Kazooie worked together, and sometimes apart, to perform special moves to complete tasks in order to collect the coveted Jiggies: golden Jigsaw pieces that are pretty much equivalent to stars from Super Mario 64. They also collect musical notes, honeycomb pieces, Jinjos, Mumbo tokens, Cheato pages, glowbos, and numerous powerups to aid their fight: Yes, this is an oldschool collect-a-thon.
Along the way they work with a colorful cast of characters who aid the duo in various ways, from transforming them into animals and objects, to teaching them new moves or otherwise performing other tasks.
After the second game, Banjo-Tooie in 2000, Rare was sold to Microsoft and the series disappeared for 8 years (Aside from a couple of GBA games) until 2008 and the release of Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts. N&B is a departure from BKâ€™s collect-a-thon platforming roots. In it, you are stripped of your variety of moves and given a magical wrench in which to use to build a myriad of vehicles, lego-style, to accomplish many, many tasks and collect Jiggies, musical notes and vehicle parts. Okay, so itâ€™s STILL a collect-a-thon.
The series is notable for itâ€™s inclusion of Rareâ€™s trademark humor, and itâ€™s dynamic music: wherein the instruments behind a given tune will change depending on a location, so in, say, Treasure Trove Cove, you'll hear a nice tropical tune, but it'll shift to a more naval tune as you approach the Pirate Ship, all the while being the same tune.
Finally, the series has probably one of the most frothed after secret feature in a game, ever: The fabled Stop 'n Swop system.
STOP 'N' SWAP
Originally in 1998, when you beat Banjo-Kazooie with all 100 jiggies, Mumbo would reveal the existence of secrets in the game that the player couldn't reach, including some mysterious eggs and an ice key, and that these things would be used in the sequel, Banjo-Tooie. This caused no small amount of rumor and conversation about what they did and how the transfer between the two games would work. However, the feature never materialized, and in Banjo-Tooie, players acquired the secrets by beating them out of Banjo-Kazooie carts that was hopping around the gameworld.
Eventually, after much haxoring and admittances from Rare, it was revealed that special codes, which would have been given out in BT, would unlock the Eggs and Key in BK. The player would gather the eggs (six in all, not just two like was shown) and key, and then after they were collected, the player would shut off their N64, and switch cartaiges from BK to BT, at which point BT would read the code left by BK in the N64â€™s ram and unlock the items in BT. However a running change to the N64 hardware made it so the system would only keep the data for less than a second rather than the 10 or more it would before, making it nearly impossible to swap the games fast enough. The feature was scrapped and became the stuff of internet legend for 8 years.
However, thanks to modern technology, the Stop â€˜n Swap feature will be getting brought back not once, but TWICE!. First as a connectivity feature between the XBLA port of BK and Nuts and Bolts (unlocking special novelty vehicle parts in N&B), and then as a connectivity feature between BK and an upcoming XBLA port of BT.
Banjo-Kazooie ($15 on Live Arcade)
Originally released in 1998 for the N64, Banjo-Kazooie set the setting and characters in motion. After Grunty kidnaps Banjoâ€™s sister in order to steal her beauty, Banjo and Kazooie embark on a journey into Gruntildaâ€™s lair and the various worlds contained within. Bottles the Mole aids the duo by teaching them new moves, and Mumbo Jumbo the shaman helps by transforming the duo into various creatures. This help is needed, because the pair need Jiggies to complete the puzzles to open up new worlds, and musical notes to open up doors blocking their way. After fighting their way through the 9 unique worlds and Gruntildaâ€™s lair, the player it met with board game trivia challenge where they are quizzed on everything from random trivia from the game, to special trivia given out by hidden NPCâ€™s, to identifying sounds, music and pictures from the game, to retrying boss fights and puzzles. After beating the triva game, the duo fights Grunty, and eventually knocks her down her tower, where after impacting into the ground, she is buried under a boulder. Even her loyal minion Klungo is unable to free her.
Banjo-Tooie ($15 on Live Arcade)
Originally released in 2000, also for the N64, this chapter has Grunty returning from her defeat in the first title: dead but not out, she is rescued by her sisters. She then devises a plan to harvest life force from the world to regenerate her skeletal form. After the death of Bottles the Mole, Banjo and Kazooie set out to defeat the Witch once again. This time the pair can split up to access new, individual moves, and Mumbo Jumbo hops out of his Skull house to aid the duo by performing various feats of Magic. In his place in the transformation department is another shaman named Humba Wumba; and teaching the pair new moves in Bottlesâ€™ brother, the militant mole Sgt. Jamjars (who, unlike his brother, charges the team musical notes for the new moves.) Banjo and Kazooie make their way through the Ilse â€˜O Hags and the 8 worlds contained within it. A feature not seen in the original is the massive interconnectivity between the worlds; youâ€™ll often be moving between the worlds without even visiting the overworld, as objectives require do a thing in one world to access it in another. (Thereâ€™s even a train that travels between several of the worlds). After crushing Klungo enough times that he decides to stop henching, the game again ends with a trivia competition, followed by a boss fight with Grunty. After her defeat, she winds up as nothing more than a skeletal head being used as a hacky-sack. And just in case you didn't see it above, the XBLA release includes the long awaiting, true blue, Stop â€˜n Swap connection between Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie.
Originally Diddy Kong Racing, after Rare was sold to Microsoft, the title was rebranded with Rare characters. Not much to note about this.
Banjo-Kazooie: Gruntyâ€™s Revenge
The franchises only 2D platforming adventure, Gruntyâ€™s Revenge was made by THQ and released for the GBA in 2001. It revolved around a bizarre plot to say the least. In-between BK and BT, Klungo builds a Mecha-Grunty for Grunty to possess as a ghost, she then kidnaps Kazooie and travels back in time to prevent Banjo and Kazooie from ever meeting, and therefore never combining forces to defeat her in Banjo-Kazooie. Got all that? Mumbo sends Banjo back in time to rescue Kazooie and stop Grunty. Banjo is aided by past Mumbo (who does transformations) and a distant relative of Bottles, named Bozzeye, who teaches new moves. Banjo rescues Kazooie, travels between the games 5 worlds, and defeats Mecha-Grunty. Grunty is banished back to her body under the boulder, so she sends Klungo off to get her sisters and Banjo/Kazooie decides to invite Bottles and Mumbo over for a card game.
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts ($25-$30 at Amazon.com)
8 years passâ€¦.
Banjo and Kazooie have grown fat and lazy, having no more adventures to do, but Gruntyâ€™s skeletal head interrupts their retirement, forcing the obese duo and get ready to battle their skull adversary. Before hilarity can ensure, the LORD OF GAMES (who is the creator of all video games) interrupts their fight. Giving Banjo and Kazooie back their fit forms, and giving Gruntilda a mechanical body and a ferocious housecat, he enlists the Bear, Bird and Witch into a new competition, with the winner taking Banjoâ€™s home of Spiral Mountain. Stripping the duo of all the moves they learned in the previous games, L.O.G. makes the new rules clear: vehicles are the new order of the day. Giving Kazooie a magic wrench with which to assemble these new vehicles, the pair mast battle Grunty and accomplish a multitude of tasks and challenges across Showdown Town and the five worlds, in order to return to Spiral Mountain and defeat Gruntilda once again.
L.O.G.â€™s Lost Challenges (400 points on Xbox Live)
Hungry for more nuts? (And bolts?) Nuts and Bolts DLC: New challenges, new multiplayer game modes, new achievements and a new Klungo arcade game.