Banjo-Kazooie is a 1998 3D platform game originally released for N64 by Rare and Nintendo. The game stars Banjo the bear and his friend Kazooie the breegull, who combine their natural abilities for a series of unique moves, as they attempt to rescue Banjo’s sister Tooty from villainous witch Gruntilda.
The game features nine unique worlds connected to a game hub. During their adventure, Banjo and Kazooie must collect Jiggies in order to progress through the hub and unlock new worlds. They will also uncover countless additional collectibles including Jinjos, Honeycombs and Mystery Eggs. The pair also upgrade their moves, unlocking the likes of Talon Trot, Shock Spring Jump and Wonderwing.
Banjo-Kazooie evolved from Project Dream, an isometric platformer conceived for Super Nintendo. The Banjo and Kazooie characters were in part named after former Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi’s grandchild Banjo and son Katsuhito.
The Banjo-Kazooie soundtrack features music by Grant Kirkhope. The game was designed by Gregg Mayles, with programming lead by Chris Sutherland, character art by Steve Mayles and Ed Bryan, and environment art by Steven Hurst.
In 2000 a sequel, Banjo-Tooie was released for Nintendo 64. Banjo-Kazooie was later released for Xbox 360 and Xbox One. In 2019, Banjo-Kazooie Smash Bros Ultimate DLC was released and series creator Masahiro Sakurai spoke of his satisfaction.
The creator of the Banjo-Kazooie characters has called for a remaster for Switch and Xbox in the vein of Activision’s Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy.
Writing in a VGC column, Steve Mayles argued that following the Smash Bros. furore, a remaster project could further prove there’s sufficient demand for a “no-expense-spared” new game in the Banjo-Kazooie series.
Activision’s Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, which updates all three original games in the platformer series, has sold more than 10 million copies.
“Now [Banjo and Kazooie] have returned in Smash [Bros. Ultimate], I’ve been surprised by the reception,” Mayles wrote.
Banjo-Kazooie in Smash Bros.
The eagerly anticipated Banjo-Kazooie DLC for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was released on Wednesday, September 4, 2019.
The Banjo-Kazooie Challenger Pack is available to buy individually for $5.99 USD / £5.39, or as part of the Fighters Pass.
Following the Nintendo Direct broadcast, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate director Masahiro Sakurai released a new Banjo-Kazooie DLC focused video, which revealed details on the fighters.
The Banjo-Kazooie DLC features a total of ten songs, seven of which are new arrangements.
The Banjo-Kazooie Smash Bros. songs include Main Theme, Spiral Mountain (by Grant Kirkhope), Mumbo’s Mountain, Treasure Trove Cove, Freezeezy Peak, Gobi’s Valley, Mad Monster Mansion, Vs. Klungo, Vs. Mr. Patch and Vs. Lord Woo Fak Fak.
Rare’s Diddy Kong Racing and Jet Force Gemini artist, Paul Cunningham was responsible for Banjo and Kazooie’s design in Smash Bros. Ultimate.