A seminal Platformer series, created by Rare for the Nintendo 64 and fondly remembered by many children of the 90's, the Banjo-Kazooie series (sometimes simply referred to as the Banjo series) tells the tale of a lazy bear, his avian best friend, the nasty witch who likes messing with their lives, and lots and lots of shiny golden puzzle pieces. Traversing many strange and improbable worlds, the dauntless duo of Banjo the honey bear and Kazooie the breegull go about Saving the World, with the help of moleish mentors, cute bird-anteater... things, and a very liberal helping of British humour.Games in the series:
Banjo the bear, his little sister Tooty, and Banjo's loudmouthed best friend Kazooie live peacefully in the tranquil Spiral Mountain. However, the ugly, witch-shaped form of the witch Gruntilda's lair lurks overhead. Grunty sees that Tooty is the fairest in the land, and Grunty envies that beauty! She kidnaps Tooty and absconds to her lair. Now Banjo and Kazooie must brave the depths of her labyrinthine lair to save Banjo's sister.
Two years after Grunty's defeat (and subsequent imprisonment beneath a rock), her sisters Mingella and Blobbelda come with a fancy new tank to save her. Grunty's been beneath the rock for so long, she's only an animate skeleton. But her witchy sisters have a new machine that can suck the life energy out of anything, and they plan to use it to restore Gruntilda! Banjo and Kazooie once again set out to stop her, and prevent her from turning the whole world into a zombie wasteland!
A midquel that takes place between Kazooie and Tooie. Grunty's faithful sidekick Klungo builds her a Mecha-Grunty suit, and her spirit inhabits it from beneath the rock. With her evil magic, she kidnaps Kazooie, and flings Banjo into the past, attempting to stop him and Kazooie from ever meeting! Now Banjo (and Kazooie, once he's rescued her) must stop Gruntilda from destroying the past!
This Contested Sequel changed the game's mechanics from regular platformer to vehicle-based platformer. Set many years after their last adventure, Banjo and Kazooie have gotten fat and lazy from no adventures. Then, a strange, TV-headed spirit calling itself the Lord of Games shows up. He intends to have Banjo and Kazooie resolve their old issues with Gruntilda's skeletal head by... throwing them into a new video game. Well, whatever works, right?
Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Clanker's Cavern certainly seems to be a sewer of some description. It's full of pipes, anywho. Then there's the Clinker's Cavern sidequest in the second game where you shoot at... faecal blockages in the... air conditioning?
Added Alliterative Appeal: Mumbo's Mountain, Clanker's Cavern, and Mad Monster Mansion in Kazooie; Cloud Cuckooland, Witchy World, and the Golden Goliath in Tooie; and Trophy Thomas in Nuts and Bolts.
Abusive Parents: Mrs. Boggy seems to approve of Banjo beating her children, and is even seen giving Groggy a smack herself. Boggy himself is just extremely neglectful, abandoning his children at Christmas in order to go sledding instead of buying them presents.
Affably Evil: Weldar, politely asking you to stand still so he can kill you better and generally does things just because it's his job.
Aliens Are Bastards: In Tooie, you find a UFO in the bottom of a lagoon, power their ship back up for them, bring one of them back from the dead after a nasty fall, warm up one of their children stuck on a icy, high cliff, find another two alien kids encased in ice, one of which you had to bring back to life as well, and to top it all off, only for two Jiggies. After all that, the alien dad states he has to exterminate you for taking so long... only to decide not to do so because he's misplaced his laser.
Already Done for You: Unlocking Stop 'N' Swop in the XBLA version of Banjo-Kazooie (Only if you have a save file of Nuts & Bolts or the XBLA version of Banjo-Tooie on your 360's hard drive, however). Stop 'N' Swop involved ridiculously long cheat codes to unlock it in the original release.
Alternate History: The plot of Grunty's Revenge, which was originally supposed to take place in an alternate future from the one in Banjo-Tooie, though it was since changed to be set between the first two games. This would normally make it an Alternate Continuity, until the Timey-Wimey Ball rolls into town...
Always Night: Mad Monster Mansion and Freezeezy Peak in Banjo-Kazooie and Witchyworld in Banjo-Tooie. Bubblegloop Swamp has a pitch-black "sky", but it's not clear whether it's supposed to be night.
Ambiguously Gay: Jolly Roger. The menu in his... bar does not help matters.
And I Must Scream: At the end of the original game, Grunty is trapped underground by a boulder and somehow manages to survive being Buried Alive for two years. By the time she's freed in the opening of Tooie, her flesh has rotted away completely. And by the end of the second game, she's reduced to just a skull and eyeballs - and, yes, she's still alive and conscious. (The third game gives her a robot body, which she seemingly gets to keep, so things do improve for her. Sort of)
Animate Inanimate Object: So much so in the first game! If it didn't outright move and talk, it would have googly eyes slapped on it. Examples include: a totem pole, boulders, a leaky pail, acorns, musical notes, honeycombs, eggs, feathers, exploding mines, life preservers, oranges, trees, cauliflower, stone sphinxes, ice cubes, snowmen, cacti, cauldrons, cowl ventilators, onions, exploding boxes, flying broomsticks, treasure chests, beehive boxes, carrots, a toilet, golden jigsaw pieces, and a book of spells that flies by flapping its pages, just to name a few!
The first game takes it to logical extremes in the Freezeezy Peak level. The first time you fall into the water, it talks to you, warning you of how cold it is.
Art Evolution: The art subtly evolved through the first few games. In particular, between Kazooie and Tooie, Mumbo's look softened and became slightly friendlier when he ascended to the role of playable character. In Grunty's Revenge, all of the characters became slightly more cartoonish, with Klungo being the most apparent. But then, in Nuts and Bolts, the series underwent...
Art Shift: Nuts and Bolts has a far blockier style than the previous games, to the point where Banjo looks blockier on the Xbox 360 than he did on the Nintendo 64.
Ascended Extra: Klungo. In Kazooie, he only appeared in a cutscene at the beginning of the game and during the Game Over sequence, and Banjo and Kazooie never even meet him. In Tooie, he becomes a recurring boss and even gets some character development!
Mr. Fit. He begins simply as a throwaway character worth a single Jiggy in Tooie, and then evolves into part of the main cast in Nuts & Bolts.
Jolly Roger was the "primary" character of his level in Tooie, but it was still only one level, and he didn't have any impact on the game's overall plot. However, he was an unlockable character in Banjo-Pilot (with all the other characters being the series' staples) and was also upgraded to main cast in Nuts & Bolts, with his new disguise as the "Jolly Dodger."
Awesome Backpack: In Tooie, Banjo's backpack could carry things more than twice its size, function as a sleeping bag for quick healing, and even protect Banjo from hazardous environments like lava - as long as Kazooie wasn't in there.
And in Grunty's Revenge, when Kazooie picks up the Distress Ball, Banjo is seriously upset over her going missing. When the two of them reunite in the second world, their happiness at being together again is tangible. Awww.
Badass Adorable: One of Banjo's magical transformations is an adorable little green crocodile. Crocodile Banjo is also the only transformation in the game that has an attack, and it's a rather good one at that.
Bag of Spilling: Quite famously averted in Banjo-Tooie, where every move you had at the end of the last game carries over, aside from the mostly-useless Claw Swipe (replaced with another pecking attack by Kazooie). Nuts & Bolts used this, but justified it by showing that Banjo and Kazooie had gotten fat and out of shape over the years, thus forgetting how to perform their old moves. Because this is a Banjo-Kazooie game, this is frequently lampshaded every time one of the characters points out that an obstacle would have been much easier to clear using one of their old moves.
They even beg the resident Deus Est Machina to grant them their old moves back, Puppy-Dog Eyes and all, but he adamantly refuses because this is a game about vehicles. Then he finally relents at the end of the game, for a nice fat Sequel Hook for the fans that wanted a non-vehicle game.
Played straight in terms of the health and supply amounts in Banjo-Tooie, as they're reset to their starting carrying capacity from the first game, with one exception - due to the increased focus of flying (to the point where an entire boss fight revolves around it), the supply of feathers remains at 100 (which can be further doubled to 200).
Bayonet Ya: Kazooie can learn the Beak Bayonet for use in first-person areas (and the FPS deathmatch multiplayer mode). Or is it Banjo who's learning it, since he's the one who hauls her around to attack...?
Big, Thin, Short Trio: In Banjo-Tooie, Gruntilda is the Big, Mingella is the Thin, and Blobbelda is the Short.
Bigger on the Inside: Even before you factor in all the levels in Grunty's castle, that place is enormous in comparison to the outside. When you actually do factor in the levels, there has got to be either some kind of magical teleportation going on, or Grunty can fold three dimensional space like no-one's business.
Black Comedy: Quite a bit in Tooie. Bottles dies in the intro, yet his lingering spirit hovering over his charred body continues saying hilarious things. Jingaling is zombified, and continues to say hilarious things while lurching around the room trying to kill you. The Gray Jinjo family's epitaph: "Passed away tragically when their house was crushed by a giant tank." And you play hacky-sack with Grunty's severed (but still alive) head in the ending.
Blackout Basement: The Generator Cavern and the Power Hut Basement in Glitter Gulch Mine, and the Haunted Cavern in Witchyworld.
Blatant Lies: Occasionally Gruntilda will make remarks as you roam her lair. One of them is this:
Grunty: Tooty says she's fine with me, if you go home I'll set her free!
Embodied by Clanker, the garbage compactor. He resembles a shark made of scrap metal, and at first glance he seems to be a robot. Then you enter him, and find out that his interior shows remnants of organic material, crudely patched together with mechanical parts. The implication here is that he had once been a living creature, and was later reconstructed into a (fully sentient) waste disposal system. It doesn't stop here, though. The longer you think about it, the more you notice how many things are wrong with Clanker's anatomy. It is impossible to tell if Clanker is a whale or a shark, since he has both gills and a blow-hole (with a metal bolt in it). His gills are directly connected to his stomach. His body is filled with sharp, rapidly moving metal objects. His spine is located in his front, rather than his back. Weird parasitic tentacle creatures are growing out of his flesh. The list can probably be continued even further.
A promotional VHS distributed prior to the game's release shows a brief glimpse of a fully organic Clanker in place of the mechanical one. Assuming that most of the level design remained similar, this would mean that Gruntilda had a living, breathing sea animal chained to a giant anvil so that he couldn't surface, and that she was still using him as a garbage disposal. It continues when Clanker becomes part of the museum in Nuts and Bolts—and he's still alive. The most you see of him is his head, which has been bolted into the floor, with his very sad-looking eyes watching you, his flesh/machine parts are now a sickly green color, and we don't even know what happened to the rest of his body.
Bullet Seed: Kazooie's eggs already count as Abnormal Ammo, but the secret "Golden" eggs, found hidden in some areas, allow her to fire them very rapidly... and she'll have an unlimited supply, but only for a short period of time.
Buried Alive: The fate of Gruntilda at the end of the first game. She stays buried alive for 2 years until she the boulder is finally moved (no thanks to Klungo). Turns out, she's still alive! Despite the fact that her flesh has rotted away!
Butt Monkey: Quite a few. Kazooie seems to have it in for the universe. The universe retaliates by showing her no mercy. Gobi the camel is horribly abused by the main characters. Though, Bottles wins this one out. Killed, revived, and kicked out by his wife? Really?
Poor Klungo suffers this fate in Tooie, being repeatedly beaten by the main duo only to be sent back to Grunty and punished for failing.
Brain in a Jar: Grunty in Nuts & Bolts, who's actually a skull in a jar (which seems prone to falling out.)
By-the-Book Cop: At first, the Kickball Stadium Guard in Tooie fits this; he won't let the heroes in without a ticket, refuses to let them play as only a Stony can join, and is downright offended when they offer to bribe him . . . later subverted, though, when the guard lets the duo in when they are in Stony form, knowing full well who they are and that they are cheating.
Cain and Abel: In the original game, the witchy Grunty was at odds with the fairy godmother-esque Brentilda. Come Tooie, it seems that Brenty is probably the only good egg in that whole family, with Grunty and her other two sisters being every bit as repugnant.
Canon Discontinuity: Grunty's Revenge, while originally meant to be an alternate follow-up directly from the first game, has since become an interquel, set between Kazooie and Tooie. Despite this, it and Banjo Pilot are not acknowledged in Nuts & Bolts, which Microsoft identifies as the third game in the series.
As a side note, in the "L.O.G.'s Lost Challenges" DLC, Kazooie describes the amount of games in the series as being "at least three".
Car Fu: In Nuts & Bolts, this was an option. It was of varying effectiveness depending on what you put on your vehicle.
In Witchyworld in Banjo-Tooie, you can have Wumba turn you into an armored van, which also gives you invincibility while transformed.
Cats Are Mean: Piddles the Cat in Nuts & Bolts. Justified in that Grunty's first action was to kick Piddles sky high.
The Moggies in Tooie's Mayahem Temple stage are cats. And all they do is try to hit you with their clubs.
Just by the by, "moggy" is a British slang term for "cat", generally implying a mongrel.
Cephalothorax: The Glowbos, which are basically just heads with legs.
Chekhov's Classroom: It's not a lecture, but Brentilda in the original game tells you a bunch of trivia regarding her sister when you talk to her. Remember those bits of trivia, as they will come into play during the Grunty's Furnace Fun quiz. The correct bits of trivia are chosen at random for each playthrough, too, so you can't cheat (unless you skip the Grunty questions with jokers).
Chekhov's Gunman: In Banjo-Kazooie. The Jinjos seem to be not much more than distressed NPCs for you to collect. But at the end of the game, they turn out to be crucial in turning the tide against Gruntilda, and the final blow is delivered by the mighty Jinjonator.
Also, in Banjo-Tooie, the leader of the Jinjos gives you your first Jiggy (for free, no less) and opens the way to the first world. (Then he gets zombified.)
It even comes with a few Saving Christmas challenges, such as rescuing Christmas lights from being eaten, and collecting Christmas presents for sad children.
Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Banjo's sister Tooty, the Damsel in Distress whose kidnapping drove the plot of the first game, is nowhere to be seen in Tooie, except as a missing person on a giant milk carton in Cloud Cuckooland, and in a picture in Banjo's house (it is one of the few things in the house that wasn't completely destroyed). Hacking the game cartridge and early beta screens shows that at some point she was intended to be in the game, but no explanation for her disappearance has been offered aside from Rare's explanation that she was hauled off by the "Rubbish Video Game Characters Police". She's vaguely referenced in Nuts & Bolts, such as for a store named "Tooty Fruity" and a joke about scrapped levels including "Tooty Land".
Gruntilda's nicer sister Brentilda also vanished after the first game, aside from a portrait of her appearing in Pawno's Emporium. Her sisters don't even mention her.
The HAG 1 from Banjo-Tooie has this as a form of attack.
Several mini-games from the Grunty Industries world in Banjo-Tooie will leak a suffocating gas if you botch them.
Deadly Rotary Fan: Clanker's belly contains rapidly-moving fans with serrated blades, while the Rusty Bucket is fitted with deadly propellors.
They return in Tooie as part of the pipelines leading from Jolly Roger's Lagoon to Grunty Industries and Glitter Gulch Mine. The only way past them is to freeze them with Ice Eggs and if you hit them with Grenade Eggs while they're frozen you can destroy them for good.
Banjo starts to do it in Nuts & Bolts as well. He's lived with Kazooie for years, so it's no wonder he picked it up.
Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Starting with Banjo-Tooie, you have infinite lives, plus the note score was removed (which was later added to the Live Arcade port of the original game), meaning you don't have to collect them in one go.
Deletion As Punishment: Talk to Bottles enough times and he'll eventually threaten to delete your save data. If you use one too many cheat codes, Grunty actually will delete your save data.
Denied Food as Punishment: Inverted. After Kazooie fires the Big-O-Blaster's blowback input on Bottles to revive him, Bottles rushes home after realizing that he's late for dinner, and that Mrs. Bottles will kill him for it. He arrives home, and he is stuck at the table with a very burned meal of what is apparently fish and chips while his wife, beating the roller on her hand, is telling him that it won't matter how burned it is, as he is still going to eat it, dismissing Bottles' excuse that Gruntilda killed him and he was just brought to life until after King Jingaling and Klungo arrive to back him up and celebrate.
Determinator: What does Gruntilda do after the events of Tooie when her defeat leaves her waaay out in the Isle O' Hags on the top of her tower as nothing but a skull? She spends eight years hopping all the way back to Spiral Mountain to challenge the heroes once again.
In the Rusty Bucket Bay level, there is a picture of the original pink-furred brunette version of Berri from the aborted Twelve Tales: Conker 64 (who did appear as a damsel in distress in Conker's Pocket Tales). This Easter Egg only appears in the original N64 version; it's a picture of Conker in the XBLA version.
Captain Blackeye was the villain of the original "Project Dream", a game about a boy trying to rescue his girlfriend from pirates. The game was eventually completely overhauled into the game that became Banjo-Kazooie (also called "Dream" early in development). This has not stopped Blackeye from showing up in the series anyway. Portraits of Blackeye appeared in Banjo-Kazooie in several parts of the game (most notably Mad Monster Mansion), though he was otherwise absent. He appeared in person in Banjo-Tooie as a sea-sick captain in the bar at Jolly Roger's Lagoon, raving about how he had a dream in which he had his own game, but a bear that looks like Banjo stole his glory. Blackeye's final cameo to date appears in Nuts & Bolts, as a wanted poster on the front of the Boot-In-A-Box part. A building in Showdown town is named "Blackeye's Boat Hire".
The character that morphed into Tooty during Dream's development was originally a woman named Piccolo that was Banjo's girlfriend. Tooty is shown playing a piccolo in the opening to Banjo-Kazooie.
The eighth world in Banjo-Kazooie, Rusty Bucket Bay, is this due to water that makes you drown on the surface. There are also difficult-to-get Jiggies like the one behind the ship's propellers, the one inside the engine room, and the one guarded by the boss.
Mr. Vile in Bubblegloop Swamp is, for many first-time players, the first time the game provides a spike in the challenge; prior to this, most Jiggies are pretty straightforward or out in the open, and then you run into this guy who forces you through not one, not two, but three challenges with increasing difficulty for a single Jiggy.
Disproportionate Retribution: Think about it for a second. Grunty kidnapped Banjo's sister; did she really think he wouldn't come after her? She forces him to undertake a huge, dangerous quest and fight for his very survival, sending minion after minion to attack him relentlessly, all the while threatening him with bodily harm and outright demanding that he come up and face her, all because he's being a good big brother. Then, in the final fight that she herself pretty much begged for, it's not even Banjo and Kazooie who deliver the finishing blow, it's the Jinjonator who takes her down. And she doesn't even die! And for THAT, she murders Bottles, burns down Banjo's house, wipes out an entire Jinjo population (literally, to the point of extinction, although that may have been the fault of her sisters, as they were the ones who drove the vehicle to Spiral Mountain to revive her), and terrorizes the whole Isle o' Hags? I mean, yeah, she's an evil witch, but still... holy crap.
It's also hinted in the instruction manual that it wasn't even Tooty that she was interested in surpassing in terms of the beauty department, but her sister Brentilda, and all Tooty's looks were to her was an excuse to finally use the machine that would allow her to grant this goal.
Bottles also qualifies very early in the game when you say you know the moves and try to ask for help. After asking five times, Bottles gets increasing ticked off, to the point, by the fifth time, he tries to erase your game pak.
Distress Ball: Kazooie, in the very beginning of Grunty's Revenge.
Dropped a Bridge on Him: Gruntilda's sisters are rather unceremoniously smashed by weights as punishment for losing to Banjo in the Tower of Tragedy Quiz.
Dumb Is Good: Banjo. Boy howdy, Banjo. He seems to have smartened up a bit in Nuts & Bolts. He did a bit in Tooie as well, though that could be due to having to make a lot of the dialogue shared by either character if they're Split Up.
The first game was also going to feature more levels, but they didn't make it due to time constraints. One of those, Mount Fire Eyes, was reused as the fire side of Hailfire Peaks in Tooie, and Fungus Forest, another of those unused levels, is not only featured on a picture in Banjo's house, but also made it into Donkey Kong 64 as Fungi Forest.
Edible Bludgeon: Some of the enemies in Cloud Cuckooland use sausages and candy canes as weapons.
Embarrassing Middle Name: Gruntilda Winkybunion is randomly given one in the first game for use in the Pop Quiz at the end. Also, in Tooie, it is revealed that she has an embarrassing last name, which Banjo and Kazooie poke fun at her about.
Enter Solution Here: Even if you already know all of Cheato's codes in Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie, you still can't use them until you've earned them. Rusty Bucket Bay also has a puzzle where you need to use a code written on the side of the ship, though you don't have to seek it out like with Cheato.
By using the Internet (or just plain luck), you can find out that you can still use the cheats if you enter "CHEATO" in then the cheat backwards, rendering the poor book useless. Of course, you won't know the cheats unless you collected them all or have Internet access, meaning he can still be useful.
Even Evil Has Standards: Grunty's Code Vengeance is a sign that she hates when the player tries to cheat using codes not already learned from Cheeto, and threatens to erase the Game Pak if the player doesn't stop. She doesn't actually delete the whole pak, but the file you've been playing when putting the cheat will be gone.
Grunty: Stop this cheating, Grunty says, or your Game Pak I'll erase! [player disregards warning] You didn't listen, I'm amazed, so now your Game Pak is erased!
The Gruntbots from Nuts & Bolts may be mindless mooks trying to destroy you, but even they wouldn't be so impolite as to interrupt you while you're speaking to someone.
Grunty enjoys cuddling a loogie-filled handkerchief in bed, wearing streaky brown undies, and blowing bubbles out of her butt at parties, but when the heroic duo venture into a talking toilet to collect a Jiggy from Mad Monster Mansion's septic tank, that's where she draws the line!
Grunty: I can't believe you went in there, wash your hands now, filthy bear!
And in an "Even Jerkasses Have Standards" moment, at one point in Tooie, Kazooie has to hatch a baby pterodactyl egg. One of them is so fat, it can't fly. Her father asks if Kazooie can't just shoot it with a grenade egg, causing Kazooie to immediately chastise him for his heartlessness. (He's joking, mostly, and says later he'll try to come up with an exercise program for her).
Everything Fades: Averted with dropped items in the first game. Don't need that honeycomb piece yet? You can come back to it any time as long as you haven't left the level. Played straight with Mooks though.
Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Played with in Banjo-Kazooie, when Mumbo was going to turn the duo into an awesome Tyrannosaurus Rex transformation, but then decided it was too good for the game and would save it for the next one. Played straight then in Tooie with the appearance of the aforementioned T-Rex transformation, as well as Terrydactyland.
Everything Trying to Kill You: Just the tip of the iceberg: cauliflower, amusement park workers, life buoys, beehives in the second game (without bees), paper-craft goblins that swat at you with candy canes, flowers, and sausages, or bloodthirsty shovels.
Evil Laugh: Gruntilda has a pretty impressive one, especially when you hit the "Save and Quit" option in Banjo-Kazooie.
She also laughs evilly constantly during the final boss battle.
And, the first game works an evil laugh into the beginning of the "Grunty's Lair" theme and all its variants, which restarts every time the music loops back to the beginning.
Every other minor enemy has one as well; Sir Slushes, Grublins, and Tee-Hees from the first game and Dragundas and Hotheads from the second in particular.
This is especially so in the intro to Nuts & Bolts; a New Character Ex Machina appears to help Banjo, Kazooie, and Grunty "settle their differences," by... throwing them into a new video game.
In fact, L.O.G. initially tosses them into a minigame in which the point is to collect more pointless objects than your opponent. Naturally, this scene unlocks an Achievement called "Pointless Collector."
Eye Poke: Repeated eye-poking is the method needed to defeat a giant hermit crab in Treasure Trove Cove.
All the main games have a literal final exam right before the final battle, at that...
Fire, Ice, Lightning: In Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge, you have Fire, Ice, and Battery eggs. In Banjo-Tooie, you only have Fire and Ice—the other two "special" egg types are bombs.
Fishing Minigame: Grunty's Revenge has several, albeit with a very... Banjo-esque twist sometimes. There's your usual fishing, and then there's fishing for sheep...
Floating Platforms: Not that common in the series, but examples include the vicinity of the treehouse in Click Clock Wood from Banjo-Kazooie (seriously, there's planks of wood just floating there) and any of Cloud Cuckooland from Banjo-Tooie. Even the mountain in the middle of the level appears to be floating.
In the Icicle Grotto in Tooie. You can shoot some of them off of the ceiling and they stop in midair.
Flunky Boss: Several in the second game. Terry periodically summons "Mucoids" — small, slimey enemies — and Weldar populates his battlefield with nut-and-bolt enemies from elsewhere in the level.
Flying Books: Cheato, the big book of cheat codes, hovers in place while flapping his pages.
Follow the Leader: The first game was basically a riff on the Super Mario 64 formula — albeit a pretty frickin' good one. Nuts & Bolts took a sly dig at this.
The very first Jiggy Banjo and Kazooie collect in the first game, right at the entrance of Gruntilda's Lair, tells them that the objective of it and the other Jiggies in the game is to open new levels. Good thing that Jiggy was instantly available, and that the first world only requires one.
In Tooie, the heroes get the first Jiggy from Jingaling after making the promise of rescuing the missing Jinjos. It's both an example for the Jinjo rescue task, and for the quest for the Jiggies in general.
Frothy Mugs of Water: Played with. The tavern in Jolly Roger's Lagoon sells ginger beer, which is a soft drink similar to ginger ale, but generally with a stronger taste. However, that doesn't prevent one of the customers from being a "seasick" pirate, complete with water cure.
Fun with Acronyms: One of Banjo-Kazooie's "Disinformation Central" rumors is about about Gruntilda going back in time with her giant T.I.T (Time Interfering Truck). Here's the link. There's also the Big O' Blaster from Tooie.
Fun with Flushing: In the first game, after turning the pair into a pumpkin, you can go into a haunted house through a window and then flush yourself down the toilet to reach a secret room where you'll find a Jiggie.
Game-Breaking Bug: Downplayed in a glitch in Terrydactyland in Tooie (It doesn't break the game, but it forces you to reset it). As a big T-Rex, two of the things you can do are scare away a guy blocking the entrance to a cave, and press a switch to temporarily open a cage containing a Jinjo. Get unlucky enough to scare the guy away just as the timer for the cage runs off, and when the short cutscene indicating you the cage has closed again is over, you won't be able to move and will have to reset the game.
Game Within a Game: Remember when Klungo went off to "make ssstupid games" after being defeated for the last time in Banjo-Tooie? In Nuts & Bolts, Klungo has indeed made his own game, Hero Klungo Sssaves Teh World, which is a playable mini-game. It is basically a poor man's Super Mario Bros..
Gag Penis: Invoked subtly with Mr. Patch, an anthropomorphic blow-up doll boss whose blow-up port is located on his crotch. It reminds one a lot of a scrotum and comes undone when he's defeated, adding a long...tube to go along with the bulge.
Got Me Doing It: In the first game, Bottles and Kazooie's constant name-calling leads to Banjo accidentally calling Kazooie "Chicken Legs" upon unlocking the ability to collect the Wading Boots.
Gotta Catch 'Em All: Jiggies and notes are the main collectibles in the games, but Jinjos, empty honeycombs, Cheato pages, Mumbo tokens, and other items appear everywhere. 100% Completion can be a pain in this series.
Green Aesop: Subtle, but appears in all three main games. In Kazooie, the oily water in Rusty Bucket Bay is so polluted, it makes you drown while swimming on the surface! (You drown twice as fast when you swim underwater.) In Tooie, Grunty Industries has completely ravaged the environment and the nearby quagmire with its toxic runoff and smog. Finally, in Nuts & Bolts Gruntilda plans to take the duo's beloved Spiral Mountain and turn it into a polluted industrial resort, and the point of beating her (and the game) is to stop that from happening.
Green Hill Zone: Spiral Mountain, Mumbo's Mountain, Mayahem Temple, and Cliff Farm.
Hello, Nurse!: Believe it or not, Gruntilda◊ in the "game over" cutscene from Banjo-Kazooie. Almost makes you not care about rescuing Tooty. Almost.
Also in the artwork◊ for the "Hero Klungo Sssavesss Teh Universsse" minigame in Nuts & Bolts.
Unsurprising, as that would appear to be Phillip M Jackson's work. It's entirely possible the man's head would explode if he tried to draw an ugly woman.
Humba Wumba, let's just say huba huba.
Hornet Hole: Parts of Click Clock Wood in the first game and Cloudcuckooland in Tooie.
HP to One: Getting crushed in Banjo-Tooie, with a brief period of Mercy Invincibility before it's possible to get crushed a second time and killed. This serves as part of two puzzles, where Banjo must go solo and use the Snooze Pack move to recover between these hits.
Hub Level: Gruntilda's Lair in Banjo-Kazooie, Isle O' Hags in Banjo-Tooie, Spiral Mountain in Grunty's Revenge, and Showdown Town in Nuts & Bolts.
I Am Big Boned: Gruntilda's appearance in Tooie is a dig at this trope while playing it straight at the same time: even reduced to a skeleton, she still has a really wide load.
Idle Animation: Kazooie pecking Banjo on the head, which itself had two variations: Idle once, and Kazooie pecks Banjo and giggles before returning to the backpack. Continue to idle long enough, and Kazooie will peck Banjo again, but then Banjo catches her by the neck and throttles her a bit. Revenge is sweet, no?
In Tooie when they split up, Banjo pulls up his shorts, while Kazooie seems to peck at the ground eating; also, Mumbo's idle animation is playing with his shaman stick by tossing it into the air and catching it when it falls back down.
Implacable Witch: Grunty survives falling off her tower, getting decomposed after two years, getting blown up in HAG 1, her now-disembodied head being the kickball for Banjo and friends, getting back to Spiral Mountain with just that head (which takes eight years), being attacked repeatedly in vehicles, and finally getting her vehicle blown up in her battle against Banjo and Kazooie. In the end, Grunty, who couldn't be killed off, ended up spending the rest of her days working in a video game factory.
Intercontinuity Crossover: Sabreman's cameo in Banjo-Tooie. And the fact that Diddy Kong Racing implies that the Donkey Kong Country universe is the same as the Banjo universe, which would, in a roundabout way, imply that the Banjo and Mario universes are one and the same. Also, because of "Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games", it may be connected to Sonic's world (depending on how canon that game is considered).
Kill Steal: In Nuts & Bolts, L.O.G. actually does pause the game to 'steal the kill' from the heroes by sending Gruntilda to work in his video game company.
Kill the Ones You Love: Happens in Tooie. In the final section of the game, Gruntilda hosts a quiz show with her too sisters and contestants, along with you. When a contestant loses, they get a 50 Ton weight is dropped on them, presumably killing them. It is stated several times that Gruntilda doesn't like her sisters all that much.
Lethal Lava Land: Grunty's Furnace Fun and half of Hailfire Peaks. In the GBA titles, we have Freezing Furnace (which is basically Hailfire Peaks in Eternal Engine flavor), and Steamy Vents in Banjo-Pilot, which is exclusive to that game.
The Mumbo Token in the water-logged pyramid in Gobi's Valley (once you drain the water, it's gone) and the Amaze-O-Gaze Goggles (once you beat the Tower of Tragedy Quiz, you are locked out of Bottles' House and can't get in). Subject to debate are the grille that connects the Mad Monster Mansion and Rusty Bucket Bay puzzles (though it's not commonly seen and mistaken for a dead end; can also be broken with a cheat code), and the track "Sad Jinjo Houses" in the jukebox.
On the XBLA, completing the Bottles Bonus Puzzles before completing Mad Monster Mansion and Click Clock Wood can make some of the notes in those levels impossible to collect. This was fixed in an update from Xbox Live.
Messy Pig: Inverted with the pigs in Tooie, who want you to clean up the mess in their swimming hole. Played straight in Nuts & Bolts with Pikelet, and to a lesser extent the the many generic pig characters in Showdown Town.
Metroidvania: Tooie mixes this with 3D platforming. At first, levels can only be accessed through the Hub Level, but one by one the levels can be interconnected by discovering shortcuts, alternate paths, and the like.
Mid-Battle Tea Break: During the heated final battle of Banjo-Tooie, Grunty will sometimes give a surprise quiz question, using weaker or stronger attacks based on correct answers.
Mini-Game Credits: The ending credits of Grunty's Revenge send you down a slide to collect tokens. The tokens let you replay minigames at the arcade machine in Spiller's Harbor.
Mood Motif: Several of the remixes of the series' Leitmotifs are scored for instruments intended to convey a particular mood. For example, when we see the overweight, lazy Banjo and Kazooie at the beginning of Nuts & Bolts, the title screen music from the original game is played at about one-eighth of its original speed and scored for tubas and Harmon muted ("wah-wah" muted) trumpet.
Nuts & Bolts includes numerous shout-outs to other Rare games. One level is nothing but game boxes that reference fictional sequels to classic games such as Killer Instinct and Battletoads.
There's been many a Shout-Out to other Rare games since the beginning: as well as Sabreman's appearance in Tooie, there are plenty of subtler ones, such as posters of characters from Conkers Bad Fur Day and Jet Force Gemini, Mr. Pants being worked in anywhere he'll fit, and a toy Donkey Kong.
Never Say "Die": Played straight in Kazooie, but averted in Tooie, where Bottles is killed in the intro, and other characters make direct references to death; King Jingaling becomes a zombie after his life energy is drained, Roysten says he'll die if he doesn't get to water, and Mingella and Blobbelda are crushed by weights in Tower of Tragedy.
The original teaser for the third game showed what would appear to be new key and weedwhacker moves for Kazooie, implying that the game was more like its predecessors. Apparently, this was the original plan for the game before it got scrapped.
The trailer for the XBLA release of Tooie showed the long-absent Bottles' Revenge, though it didn't appear in this release after all.
Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Grunty seems to be more guilty of this trope with each subsequent game. In Banjo-Tooie she's a Zombie Witch, in Grunty's Revenge she's a Ghost Robot Witch, and to top it off, in Nuts & Bolts not only is she by default by this point a Robot Zombie Witch, but during the final fight, she attacks the heroes on a Pirate Galleon, making her, briefly, a Pirate Zombie Robot Witch.
No Fair Cheating: There are three kinds of "Cheats" in the original: "Cheats" which are just item capacity upgrades, which you get from Cheato anyway, "Infinite Item" cheats which give you unlimited Feathers/Eggs/air/whatever, and special "Bypass" cheats that let you get through parts of Grunty's Lair. But be warned—using more than two of the "bypass"-style cheats will result in Grunty deleting the offending save file. It was a nasty surprise to any players who had seen Bottles' threats of this beforehand and and assumed Grunty's would play out the same, only to be met with an empty save upon restarting the game...
And then there's the "Special Items" cheats, which relate to the above-mentioned Stop 'N Swop.
Nostalgia Level: Nuts & Bolts's Banjo Land is a mishmash of levels from previous games.
Odd Couple: The eponymous duo. Banjo is very lazy and easygoing, Kazooie... not so much.
Offscreen Teleportation: Brentilda appears in no less than 10 different locations throughout Gruntilda's Lair, and you never see her move from any of them. Perhaps justified, since she's some sort of fairy god mother.
In the eighth level of the first game, the propellers in the lower end of the ship's stern can kill the characters instantly upon contact. They can only be disabled for a limited time, and it's the reason why getting the Jiggy behind them is called That One Sidequest.
Also in the first game, but in the last level, the eponymous characters play a quiz game. Failing to answer a question on the green-eyed skull tiles will send them to the lava automatically, and they will die.
In Banjo-Tooie, the characters are crushed by a ton of iron if they lose during any of the three rounds of the Tower of Tragedy minigame.
Opposites Attract: Although Banjo and Kazooie are complete opposites in terms of personality, they seem to get along pretty well.
Our Founder: The giant statue of Gruntilda in the depths of her lair.
Oxygenated Underwater Bubbles: One area in Clanker's Cavern has a huge pit you need to swim into, but it's very, very deep. A friendly fish named Gloop appears down there who spits out oxygenated bubbles
Public Domain Soundtrack: The theme of Grunty's Lair is actually a particularly eerie remix of "Teddy Bears' Picnic" (appropriate, since Banjo is a bear). That doesn't make it any less fitting, though.
A Pupil of Mine Until She Turned to Evil: Gruntilda to Mumbo, though this isn't mentioned much; it's really only in the manual of the first game and a few easily-missable comments Mumbo makes when you first meet him.
Purely Aesthetic Era: In a world with Game Boys, Nintendo 64s, widescreen television and amusement parks, not to mention the BFG pointed at the Isle O' Hags in the second game, in Banjo-Kazooie there are pirates (in the traditional yo-ho sense) hunting treasure. Banjo-Tooie has what looks like a Gold Rush-era gem mine. Then there's Terrydactyland. Without even going into upset palaeontologists, the dinosaur land has a train station with bone tracks (which connects to a factory and the aforementioned mine and theme park) and a sidequest there involves getting fast food for cavemen. Another involves retrieving a Mayincatecpriceless relic thing from another caveman tribe. Rule of Funny is in full effect here.
Put on a Bus: Tooty and Brentilda from Kazooie, Honey B. from Tooieshe did appear in the Midquel though. Tooty's disappearance is even lampshaded in both Tooie and Nuts & Bolts.
Racing Minigame: Boggy the polar bear, Canary Mary... Not to mention much of Nuts & Bolts.
Rain Dance: Done by Mumbo in Banjo-Tooie's Cloudcuckooland.
Recurring Riff: Tons of it. The main title song and the Grunty's Lair song are the two themes that get remixed the most throughout the series.
In fact, practically every level theme in the games had remixes that played when you traveled to different areas, including the respective games' Hub World.
The soundtrack for Nuts & Bolts is made up of virtually nothing but orchestrated remixes of previous Banjo-Kazooie songs, and bits of tracks from otherRaregames. Not that anyone's complaining...
Red Oni, Blue Oni: Kazooie is the aggressive Type A, Banjo is her level-headed foil. When they get the Split Up ability and have to learn solo moves, Banjo starts out with no attack (despite being a friggen bear), gains only a slow nigh-useless one, and most of his skills are defensive or passive in nature — Kazooie starts with her entire egg arsenal intact, moves really fast, and gets a melee attack that goes off quickly and hits everything around her. And learns to hatch eggs.
Replay Mode: Tooie allows the player to replay the plot-critical cutscenes, the boss battles and the minigames. Notably, the minigames that are unlocked will also be available for multiplayer, and an exclusive hidden cutscene awaits in this mode for the player who collects all Jiggies in the main game.
Retcon: In the original game's manual, it was said that Gruntilda was Mumbo-Jumbo's pupil, and that she turned his head into a horrible metal mask when she turned evil. (Mumbo alludes to their past in the Game Over screen.) However, come the later games, it seems that Mumbo's head has just always been that way and Gruntilda got her learnings elsewhere.
The Rival: Mumbo Jumbo and Humba Wumba both claim to be "Best Shaman in Game" in Tooie, much to the chagrin of the other. However, it seems that they've settled their rivalry in the 8 years leading to Nuts & Bolts.
Nuts & Bolts has some references to Grabbed by the Ghoulies being a commercial failure (namely a trashcan filled to the brim with copies of it) and admits that the bird and bear don't have as many games as "that Italian gentleman".
"Easy to make boat, add floaters and propellers. Heavier vehicles need more floaters, or boat sink like this game at retail." Yeah. About that...
Viva Piņata doesn't get off the hook, either. You find its game disk in the Logbox 720 stage of Nuts & Bolts, and around the edge of the disk is printed, "Winner, best game no-one played. Sequel now available."
As seen by Gruntilda in the final battle after you've rescued Tooty, in possible reference to her being unable to restore her beauty.
"What was that, you got me now, you've really angered this old cow!"
Sequel Escalation: Banjo-Tooie is basically the first game plus more of everything. There are more characters (because Banjo and Kazooie can split up and Mumbo is playable), more moves and abilities, far bigger worlds to explore, far more collectibles to find and enough content to be one of the biggest games on the system.
Sequel Hook: At the end of every game. Kazooie has Mumbo pop out of a tree and show pictures of the infamous Stop 'n' Swop items, saying that you would find out what they were for in Banjo-Tooie. At the end of Tooie, Gruntilda threatens "Just wait until Banjo-Threeie!" (Threeie, of course, was never made, though it was the working title of the project that became Nuts and Bolts.) Grunty's Revenge has Banjo about to call Bottles and Mumbo over for a game of cards, setting up for Tooie. As for Nuts & Bolts? Kazooie asks L.O.G. to give them their old moves back, saying they might need them for the next game. L.O.G. does so, though warning them that the next game may not happen. Gruntilda, of course, threatens "Just wait until the game I make!" while working in L.O.G.'s video game factory. The XBLA release of Tooie includes an as-yet unexplained Stop 'N' Swop II feature, promising to be used in a future title.
Severed Head Sports: At the end of Banjo-Tooie, Banjo and Kazooie, along with Mumbo, Humba, and Jamjars, go back to the scene of the final battle, and play with Grunty's skeletal head (which has been detached from her body) like it was a ball. See for yourself.
Also in Tooie, on the top of the large slide in the Inferno there is a picture of a large face which resembles Bowser's head.
In the first game, Grunty and her sister Brentilda are very reminiscent of The Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda. Likewise, her other sisters Mingella and Blobbelda were similar to the witches in Macbeth, and Grunty's overall characterization in the first game was similar to the Evil Queen in "Snow White".
In Nuts 'N Bolts, the background music for the loading screens is the same as the pause music from Battletoads.
Shovelware: In Nuts & Bolts, the loser of the competition will be forced to make these for L.O.G.
Shown Their Work: Weldar has poor eyesight, and is a blowtorch. Having to look at his flame all the time is what causes his Near Sighted-ness, which is exactly why people wear protective gear in real life.
An Easter EggMini-Game in the original would give you several cheat codes that changed Banjo's appearance, ranging from giving him a giant head to making his body long and skinny. The final one turned him into a washing machine.
You could also occasionally be accidentally turned into a washing machine via standard use of Mumbo.
You could also perform a cheat that went like this: Skip being transformed in Mumbo's Mountain, complete all of Bottle's puzzles, and enter the Washing Machine code on the Sandcastle floor, and then go back to Mumbo's Mountain, and the transformation would be free, not requiring a single Mumbo Token at all.
Skippable Boss: If you aren't going for 100% Completion, the regular level bosses in both the first and second games are entirely unnecessary to fight since you don't need all of the Jiggies to get to the end. The exception is Old King Coal in Banjo-Tooie, since he not only guards a Jiggy, but also the Chuffy Train, which provides internal access to Grunty Industries, and there the characters have to learn a move that is vital to access the last level.
Sound Off: Jamjars describes new moves using cadences.
Speaking Simlish: So iconic of the series, it's so famous, in fact, they decided to keep it in Nuts & Bolts. A Rare Scribes column even joked about how horrible the reaction to actual talking would be if the reaction to driving cars was any indication.
In Tooie, Banjo learns the Snooze Pack move, which lets him take a catnap in his backpack to restore health. Thus making his pack a literal Nap Sack, or Sleeping Bag.
This exchange between Kazooie and Scrotty houses an easily-missed pun:
Scrotty: Look at my eldest, Scrat. He's very sickly and needs a doctor urgently. Kazooie:Which doctor? Scrotty: I don't care. Any doctor will do.
Strange Syntax Speaker: Talk like Yoda, Cheato does. And Mingella and Blobbelda so do. It comes across as imitating Grunty's own awkward syntax (used to allow for her rhymes), but without the rhymes.
Stock Dinosaurs: Diplodocus and Styracosaurus appear in Terrydactyland, as well as two baddies based on Stegosaurus and Pteranodon. Terry is a generic "pterodactyl", Chompasaurus appears to be an Elasmosaurus, and Stomponadon is a theropod of some kind judging by his feet. Banjo's transformation in this world is a Tyrannosaurus rex.
Stylistic Suck: "Hero Klungo Sssavesss Teh World" in Nuts & Bolts, which is hilariously awful. You play as Klungo, who is literally carrying the world, as he automatically runs from left to right, only allowing you to jump at one fixed, unchanging height. To his credit, there are some very tricky timing puzzles centered around making the best use of that jump. The box art reflects this.
Super Drowning Skills: In Grunty's Revenge, most of Banjo's transformations — all but the octopus — can't swim. You'll die instantly if you touch the water as one of them.
Super Not-Drowning Skills: Many of the transformations in the Nintendo 64 games. Some are justified (Walrus, Crocodile, Stone Statue, inanimate objects); others, like the Termite, not so much. Although notably, the bee in Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie will just fly back up again when it approaches water.
Humba Wumba takes a bit of a pop not only at the Gamer Chick character in the second level, but almost actively calls out the Frag Dolls, with her own all-girl clan, the "Hag Trolls". Banjo comments that he can "smell cynicism".
Tempting Fate: The aftermath of the "Tower of Tragedy Quiz" in Banjo-Tooie:
Banjo: Right! C'mon, Kazooie, let's go and see where that door that's just opened leads to. Kazooie: Do you reckon that's the end of the game? Banjo: I doubt it. We've not had the credits yet. Kazooie: That's true. Okay, let's go! (Banjo enters the doorway... roll credits!)
That Poor Cat: In the first game's file select screen, selecting the first file will occasionally cause Banjo and Kazooie to get flung out the window. Cue cat noises.
The Unreveal: In the XBLA version of Banjo-Tooie, if you have all of the Stop-and-Swop items unlocked in Banjo-Kazooie, you finally get to find out what's inside those eggs! It's a bunch Xbox Live stuff at first, as well as a few new moves, but the last one contains...STOP-AND-SWOP II! Goddamn it, Rare... Stop-and-Swop II comes complete with eggs of the bronze, silver, and gold varieties, each found in the Banjo-Kazooie cartridge enemies that originally housed the blue and pink eggs and the ice key in the N64 release.
Theme Naming: The moles are all named for various slang words for the thick glasses they sport (see Animal Stereotypes), such as Bottles, Jamjars, Speccy (possibly a reference to the ZX Spectrum computer too), and Goggles. Several other characters are musically themed; see Musical Theme Naming above.
Undying Loyalty: At the start of Tooie, you see that Klungo has been trying to push that boulder off Grunty for two years.
Unexpected Gameplay Change: The Breegull Blaster move in Tooie, which turns the game into a first-person shooter with Kazooie as the gun. Interestingly, as it was by the same people, the levels for these stages were copied from the multiplayer mode of GoldenEye, just with a different paint job.
Useless Item: The last set of six empty honeycomb pieces in Banjo-Kazooie do nothing. If you collected all previous sets, your energy bar is already maxed out (in terms of available units) and the last set is good only for 100% completion. This was fixed in Tooie, wherein the sets of empty honeycomb pieces aren't uniform in size, meaning there are actually more pieces to find but the same amount of energy updates, and every honeycomb piece counts.
Variable Mix: Every overworld and level. Ever. But for starters, every level with an appreciable amount of water has an underwater version in the form of a muted harp.
Victory Pose: Every time you collect a Jiggy (and open a note door) in Banjo-Kazooie. Removed in Tooie, possibly due to the open-endedness and all the transformations that would need such an animation.
Video Game Cruelty Potential: The ending of Banjo-Tooie. The heroes have just defeated the witch, how do they decide to celebrate? They take the Big Bad's helpless severed head and start kicking it around like a soccer ball, all while talking about how much fun this is over the sounds of the witch screaming in pain.
Video Game Flight: Kazooie can fly, but only with Red Feathers (unless you only need to make a short flight), and you can only launch from Flight Pads. And in some levels, getting up to them is a hassle in and of itself.
Vitriolic Best Buds: You'd be forgiven for wondering why Banjo and Kazooie hang out in the first place, given that there are times when it seems like Banjo's only around to prevent Kazooie from chewing everyone out. Then again, given the way they react when separated in Tooie ("Don't leave me here, Banjo! It's lonely without you..."), maybe there's something there after all.
Then there's the fact that Banjo constantly uses Kazooie as everything from a gun to a bat...
Voice of the Legion: The Jinjonator at the end of Banjo-Kazooie, which booms "Jiiin-joooo!" when it's released from its stone prison.
Warp Whistle: The colour-coded cauldrons in Banjo-Kazooie's Hub Level, Grunty's Lair, the silo network in the Isle of Hags in Tooie, and the teleport pads in Showdown Town in Nuts & Bolts.
Also, the teleport pads inside worlds in Tooie.
We Can Rule Together: "You side with Banjo, but change tack; imagine you on Grunty's back!" Luckily there's no option to do this, as Kazooie at her most Jerkass-ness might consider it.
Weirdness Censor: For starters, the Skivvies in Grunty Industries don't seem to bat an eyelash at a sentient washing machine with shorts and a backpack. But then, nearly everything seems to be sentient in Banjo's world, but that still doesn't make the shorts any less weird.
What Happened to the Mouse?: Tooty. The whole point of the first game was to rescue her from Gruntilda's clutches. Then, from Tooie on, everyone seems to pretty much have forgotten she existed (though her disappearance is lampshaded in Tooie).
When All You Have Is a Hammer: Parodied ludicrously when Banjo is turned into a washing machine in Tooie, which goes on to be possibly the most useful transformation in the game.
White Sheep: Brentilda, when you look at how the rest of her siblings turned out.