YMMV / Banjo-Kazooie


  • Author's Saving Throw: With Stop 'n' Swop rendered impractical, but hints about it already dropped, Rare couldn't just ignore it. The solution was to add Banjo-Kazooie Cartridge enemies into Banjo-Tooie that drop the promised items when defeated. Also, when the XBLA versions were released, Stop 'n' Swop was re-added (with the massive delay lampshaded to hell and back) and Stop n' Swop 2 taking its place.
  • Audience-Alienating Premise: A big reason why Nuts & Bolts tanked in sales. Many old time fans were either furious or simply turned off by the fact that they were getting a new Banjo-Kazooie game after years of waiting, only for the art style and platforming of the original games to be completely thrown out for a borderline In-Name-Only vehicle based follow up. And the game's nostalgic factor and unorthodox gameplay had no appeal to a newer audience, especially since the audience in question was now part of the largely adult aimed Xbox 360 crowd instead of the more family oriented Nintendo crowd the original games aimed for, thus ensuring the game would flop.
  • Awesome Music: Now with its own page.
  • Best Boss Ever:
    • While it's kind of easy if you know what you're doing, the Final Battle with Gruntilda in the first game is, in the opinions of some, how a truly epic Final Boss should be.
    • Most bosses in Banjo-Tooie qualify. From Mr. Patch, to Weldar, to Chilly Billy/Willy... but the best one has to be the Hag 1 controlled by Grunty. Not only is it very hard, but like the Final Battle in Banjo-Kazooie, the Hag 1 battle tests your skills to the fullest, and is accompanied by Awesome Music.
  • Breather Boss:
    • As exasperating as Rusty Bucket Bay can be, Boss Boom Box is an incredibly easy boss who can be taken down in seconds by just spamming the Wonder Wing on him.
    • Old King Coal's MO is roaming around the arena with brief pauses to heat up the room to make 90% of the arena hazardous while the fumes drain your oxygen. The catch? You're perfectly safe in the higher platforms set across the arena and he is VERY susceptible to being sniped by eggs. The other catch is that he'll stop heating the room before your oxygen bar deplets. Shoot him with Ice Eggs or Grenade Eggs, and he especially becomes a complete joke. To add insult to injury, he's the boss of the same level that gives you the Bill Drill, required to save Banjo's fish, which doubles your oxygen meter, utterly trivializing this boss.
  • Breather Level:
    • Click Clock Wood in the first game is a refreshing change of pace from the madness of Rusty Bucket Bay.
    • Mingy Jongo and Canary Mary notwithstanding, Cloud Cuckooland in Tooie is nowhere near as confusing or difficult as the previous two levels.
  • Contested Sequel: Nuts & Bolts for radically changing the formula of the game, to the point it is In-Name-Only to the other games.
  • Critical Dissonance: While critics gave mixed to positive reviews to Nuts & Bolts, fans of the series have bashed the game for not being the advertised big comeback for Banjo Kazooie they had in mind (though this has gotten better - see Vindicated by History below).
  • Designated Hero: Parodied somewhat with Kazooie, especially in Tooie. Before the game even starts, she's shamelessly cheating at cards with Mumbo and Bottles, then spends the game constantly snarking and demanding jiggies from characters in trouble before letting Banjo rescue them. One of Banjo's recurring lines is a shocked "Kazooie!!!"
  • Designated Villain: Conga, in the first game. Whereas other foes in the series either try and kill the pair over a Jiggy, one of Kazooie's usual insults, or for not handing over a pizza they don't actually have, he just chucks oranges at 'em for trespassing in his home. And unlike most bosses, three Jiggies involve causing his misfortune instead of one: there's one for making him attack the orange tiles, another one for stealing an orange and giving it to Chimpy nearby, who helps them out by raising a stump, getting them to where they can attack him with eggs for the third Jiggy.
  • Disappointing Last Level: Cauldron Keep, the final world of Banjo-Tooie, is a very small level with no jiggies, and it only serves to host the climatic quiz show and final boss.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
  • Mumbo Jumbo from the first game. Started out as a weird shaman with an unexplained romantic history with Gruntilda who turned up in a handful of levels. In the second game, he became a playable character.
  • Jolly Roger, making him (along with Mr. Fit) one of the few minor characters to return for Nuts & Bolts with an expanded role.
  • Chili Billi and Chilly Willy are one of the most popular bosses from Tooie. For one thing, they're two boss fights instead of one. Said boss fights are also quite enjoyable. They have some of the most impressive visual effects on the N64. Also, THEY'RE GIANT FREAKING DRAGONS.
  • Mr. Patch is probably the other most popular boss in the series. He's the second biggest enemy in the series, losing only to Stomponadon, with his arena alone being larger than the entire first world of Banjo-Kazooie. He's also fought entirely from the air. To top it all off, he's hilarious. These factors have all made him very beloved.
  • Despite the level he appears in being widely considered one of the hardest levels of the game, Weldar from Tooie has quite a few fans and fanart, due in part to his design, his Punch Clock Villain status, and providing quite a few funny lines.
  • Even Better Sequel: For many, Banjo-Tooie was a significant improvement over the original, expanding on the formula by dramatically increasing the world size, adding more bosses, and making Jiggies harder to find, removing the limited lives and changing the system for collecting Notes (along with what they do), making the game more challenging while simultaneously removing the more unfair difficulty aspects. The development team said in an interview that they prefer the original game in the long run for its simplicity, though.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Grunty becomes really beautiful when she absorbs Tooty's youth in the first game-over sequence.
  • Game Breaker: The Fallproof and Honeyback Cheato Codes in Tooie. Once you unlock them by giving Cheato enough pages, the game and any remaining boss fights become a breeze, as Banjo and Kazooie will take no damage from falls (aside from falling into a bottomless pit) with the former code, and the latter code makes it so that Banjo is constantly regenerating his health, making him nigh unkillable.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • Most of the enemies in the original game are reasonably easy to defeat, but the giant snowmen known as Sir Slush are incredibly annoying in that they can only be killed while you're in the air (and require a special maneuver that's easy to bungle) but still present a danger while you're on the ground.
    • And those ghosts in Mad Monster Mansion. No golden feathers? You're screwed.
    • The Hotheads in Banjo-Tooie like to swoop in on their flying carpets at inopportune moments, often knocking unfortunate players off ledges, and their airborne nature makes them difficult to hit. Their annoying laugh just adds insult to injury.
    • Also from Tooie, the Minjos. While there is a surefire way to tell when a Jinjo is actually a Minjo, (fire an egg at 'em: it'll pass right through the Jinjo but hurt the Minjo) it's a bit of a pain to go through the process with every one you come across, and if you decide not to bother, they'll be an even bigger pain thanks to their speed, aggression, and resilience.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • The first games "Reverse Bee Adventure" glitch, which allows you to take your bee transformation in Click Clock Wood outside of the levels bounds. It breaks the game wide open. The only catch is that the glitch is extremely hard to pull off, and it can only be done once per save file.
    • In Tooie, Banjo can double-jump when he's going solo by swinging his backpack in mid-air and then jumping again. This move allows for minor Sequence Breaking by reaching otherwise inaccessible platforms without outside help.
    • Because of how hitboxes were coded in this game, it is possible to stun-lock Mingy Jongo with Dragon Kazooie's fire breath simply by never letting go of the button when it connects.
    • In Nuts & Bolts, there's an exploit that allows for decent Sequence Breaking in Showdown Town when used properly. Basically, put an item in the Trolly (preferably something square), stand on the item, and use the wrench on the trolly. It allows the ability to fly past various obstacles that require trolly upgrades to pass normally, allowing access to many crates before the first world. Just make sure to move forward every so often to continue flight, and enter the vehicle when (crash) landing to avoid damage
    • There exists a glitch in the first game which makes the infamous propeller room Jiggy from Rusty Bucket Bay, widely regarded as the most difficult in the entire game, much easier to obtain.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Nuts & Bolts has multiple lines of dialogue predicting the game would do poorly. It did indeed, to the extent that it killed any chance of another game being made and caused Rareware to be retooled into making Kinect games.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Nuts & Bolts also had the Lord of Games make a few disparaging remarks about how no one would like the old designs and gameplay of the previous titles, thus turning everything into a vehicle-focused game for his amusement. Yooka-Laylee, a Spiritual Successor to Banjo-Kazooie, and its large amounts of support show otherwise, perhaps in part due to what Nuts & Bolts did (with a Take That! to Nuts & Bolts in that project).
  • Jerkass Woobie: Gobi quite clearly establishes himself as a selfish bastard in his second appearance, where he greedily hoards water from a tree that even he can see is clearly dying. It's made even worse by the fact that this spot is actually surrounded by water, meaning that Gobi would be easily able to replenish his supply after helping the tree. Everything that happens to him after that is just desserts.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Any mention of Nuts & Bolts online and on YouTube usually provokes someone into quoting JonTron's "CARS?!" or his infamous reaction to how the teaser matched the final product:
    JonTron: "Well, I don't know about you but I don't see any CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARS!!!!!"
    • AND IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII....HOLY SHIT!!!! WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU-I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU DID THIS TO ME, GOD DAMMIT HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?!?!?!?
  • Moral Event Horizon: If her plan to suck out the island's life-force wasn't bad enough, Gruntilda crosses the line when she kills her own sisters for losing the Tower of Tragedy Quiz Game Show.
  • Most Annoying Sound:
    • The Hotheads' laugh in Tooie.
    • Players who use the Talon Trot often may get annoyed with the noises Kazooie makes every step.
    • Washing Machine Banjo's wheels squeak like crazy every time he moves. Every. Time.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • The choir accompanying the appearance of a Jiggy.
    • From both Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie, "Jinjo!" whenever a Jinjo is rescued.
  • Polished Port: The XBLA ports of the first two games have massively less slowdown, crisply upscaled HD resolution support, and bring back Stop 'n' Swop (as well as a Stop 'n' Swop 2 that may befall the same fate as its predecessor). However...
  • Porting Disaster: ...the Rare Replay version of Nuts & Bolts runs worse than the Xbox 360 original.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: In Kazooie, Banjo's claw swipes were a very weak attack everyone used and disliked, because it was easy to use even by accident. For Tooie, the devs took a good, hard look at the controls, cut the claws altogether and gave its move spot to the rat-a-tat rap instead (replaced by the fire breath attack when Kazooie is turned into a dragon), and there was much rejoicing.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Canary Mary. This bird and her races are reviled by many players to this day for the rage they induced. See That One Sidequest below.
    • The Lord of Games from Nuts & Bolts, for shamelessly dissing one of the greatest features in the past two games (via his "Collect-a-thon"), and radically changing the formula of the game himself. Essentially, in universe, he's singlehandedly responsible for absolutely everything BK fans hate about the game. In-universe, he's also responsible for all of those one sidequests in the other games, including Canary Mary above which he personally scoffs at the player for. This may very well be an intentional Hate Sink Gone Horribly Right.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: The Beak Bomb, mainly in the first game. In theory, it's a cool idea to give Kazooie a flying attack, but in practice it's very hard to aim it right, and the games wonky flying controls and the small targets you aim for (such as the hats of the Sir Slush enemies in Freezeezy Peak and 'Click Clock Wood) do not help with this.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: As time has passed, Tooie gradually became an example of this. Fans often cite Tooie's ambitious, complex, interconnected levels as more of a negative than a positive, comparing them unfavorably to the original game's more simplistic, but dense levels. This goes in hand with the popular sentiment that the prevalence of Wide Open Sandbox games are becoming a tired, overused trend in the modern industry.
  • Slow-Paced Beginning: Banjo-Tooie has an opening act that takes at minimum a half hour to complete before you can enter Mayahem Temple due to the prolonged length of the cutscenes, but skipping them trims down the length significantly.
  • So Okay, It's Average: The basic response to the GBA games.
  • Squick:
    • Everything Brentilda tells you about Grunty in the first game. The hag's pretty much built on Squick.
    • Receiving both prizes from Canary Mary. The Jiggy was stuck under her wing for days, and the Cheato page was wedged in... somewhere. Kazooie is rightfully disgusted when Mary tells them where they've been.
  • Stuck in Their Shadow: Banjo-Kazooie is a little weird about this. Ask anyone who the star is, and they'll say it's Banjo, even though the titles of three out of five games also include his partner Kazooie. The second game, Banjo-Tooie, opts for a silly title pun instead of recognizing the second lead's name (it's even lampshaded by Kazooie herself at the end of the first game), and Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge mentions her name even though she isn't available at the start.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The beginning of the Gruntilda's Lair theme sounds a lot like "The Teddy Bear's Picnic".
  • That One Boss:
    • If you don't manage to get used to the airborne shooting controls, Mr. Patch will murder you.
    • Weldar, the boss battle of Grunty Industries. While it only takes six Grenade Eggs to bring him down, he has a very powerful attack at his disposal that can deplete Banjo's life energy to just one honeycomb, and also electrifies the floor in the second half of the fight, making it much harder to outrun his stomp attack, while also giving you far less time to shoot an egg into his mouth.
    • Mingy Jongo in Tooie is equipped with a homing attack that can quickly whittle down your health, and he loves to teleport out of harms way. As he takes damage his attacks and teleportation severely intensify, until his attacks are almost making 90-degree turns to catch you, ensuring that you will miss your chance at hitting him and have to go through another attack cycle.
  • That One Level:
    • Fans like Clanker just fine, but Clanker's Cavern is a tiny, three-room level with hardly any content that required a lot of swimming around. And getting to it involved two mildly difficult jumps in a row. At least it avoids most common sewer level pitfalls in the process.
    • Rusty Bucket Bay, mainly due to the engine room, which has annoying to avoid propellers and gears. It's also all above a Bottomless Pit, and thanks to the musical notes being record-based (changed in the XBLA port), you will lose all your notes if you don't anticipate how annoying this room will be. There's also a switch Jiggy, where you need to race across all the treachery and make it to the boat's motors under a strict time limit. General consensus is that it's best to get this room over with first and then tackle the rest of the level.
    • Click Clock Wood can be this to amateur players. It's the longest level in the entire first game, so if you slip up or miss any notes and come back later, you'll have to waste a lot of time getting them all back. Not helping is that the lions share of the level is set very high up in the air and commands precision platforming, so one wrong step will send you flying all the way down to the bottom. And it's also home to one of the most elusive and easy to miss Jiggies in the game. The Xbox Live port mitigates the note collecting part, thankfully.
    • Grunty Industries in Tooie. It's by far the most complex level in the entire game, even though it's only the sixth out of eight. Banjo and Kazooie have to do a lot of searching around and messing with puzzle elements to make a dent out of that level's defenses. In addition, Humba's Washing Machine spell is the worst out of all her transformation spells: it's hard to control, it's hard to shoot with, and it squeaks loudly every time it moves.
    • Hailfire Peaks would've probably been a fine level by itself if the fire side wasn't a literal hell to navigate through. The paths are narrow, the enemies are annoying and lava covers 80% of the level.
    • Also from Tooie, Terrydactyland due to its large size and having that painfully long sidequest with the Stegosauruses.
  • That One Sidequest:
    • The Mr. Vile challenge in Bubblegloop Swamp, due to his Rubber Band AI making his eating competition much harder than it needs to be.
    • The Stegosaurus family sidequest in Terrydactyland is one of the most exasperating fetch quests in Banjo-Tooie, requiring the use of the Chuffy Train to bring back a member from Witchyworld and to take another to Isle O' Hags so Mumbo can heal him, and will push your patience to its limits; and since it's still one sidequest, the reward is only one Jiggy (even Kazooie complains that it's not sufficiently rewarding).
    • Canary Mary's Cloudcuckooland race in Banjo-Tooie, also due to exploiting some nasty Rubber Band AI. The fourth (but thankfully optional) race for a Cheato Page makes it even harder by introducing some nasty Fake Difficulty—no matter how fast you go near the end, Mary will always get a quick burst of speed that at least allows her to catch up to you, or in worst case shoot ahead of you, so you have to time your use of speed near the end with absolutely perfection in order to best the last race. This also doubles as a Guide Dang It, since most players didn't even realize that you aren't supposed to button mash in the later races against her, unlike how you could beat her in Glitter Gulch Mine.
    • The Pot O'Gold challenge, also from Cloudcukooland. What makes that challenge so hard is that if you want to win the Jiggy you have to hit 90 targets in only 45 seconds. You have to be INCREDIBLY lucky to be able to hit that many targets in such a short amount of time.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Replacing most of Banjo's moves with vehicles in Nuts & Bolts pretty swiftly divided the fanbase. The final game has been received positively, but wasn't too successful in terms of sales. Some detractors point out there's nothing wrong with the game mechanics themselves, in fact they're rather fun, it's the fact previous Banjo-Kazooie titles have nothing in common with them. This overlaps with They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot, as they feel the concept of two rivals building all manners of custom vehicles and competing against each other in huge levels sounds like a great game, just not suitable for a proper Banjo-Kazooie game.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Mingella and Blobbelda's roles can be summed as rescuing Gruntilda at the very beginning of the game and then participating in the Tower of Tragedy Quiz at the very end (where they get crushed to death no less).
    • Some think playable Mumbo is underutilized in Tooie. He is mostly used to open paths for Banjo and Kazooie to get through, and he has no Jiggies to collect besides a single one from the first world.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Stop 'n' Swop. Technically not their fault, as changes to the N64's hardware in later models made what Rare was originally planning to do with it impossible (they had planned to have the players shut off the console and switch cartridges, as the N64 originally held memory within its RAM for 30 seconds after being turned off; however, newer models drastically reduced that time, to the point where it would have been impossible to use the mechanic on a newer console). However, after all the endless speculating the (admittedly cool) sequel hooks at the end of Banjo Kazooie prompted, the cop-out Banjo Tooie had to use felt distinctly forced and was definitely a let-down.
    • Banjo-Tooie's Downer Ending. Banjo-Kazooie had a rather elaborate Game Over screen, where Gruntilda succeeds in stealing Tooty's beauty. Tooie doesn't have any cutscene of this kind, showing the outcome of Grunty succeeding in her plots to drain the life force of the entire island for her own ends.
  • Ugly Cute: If you get a Game Over, Tooty's beauty-stolen form is surprisingly cute, seeing as how her cuteness was swapped by Grunty's hideousness.
  • Unwinnable by Insanity: As Washing Machine Banjo, it's possible to trap yourself in Grunty Industries (specifically at the bottom of the Air Conditioning Plant).
  • Values Dissonance: Some North Americans might take offense to Rare (a British company) designing Humba Wumba as an extremely stereotypical Native American. It's worth noting that in Nuts & Bolts, made under the supervision of American Microsoft, Rare drastically changed her design to be much less stereotypical. That said it's unlikely only North Americans would think of her as stereotypical.
  • Vindicated by History: Downplayed. When it first came out Nuts & Bolts was near-universally reviled by Rare fans (especially JonTron) for drastically differing from the gameplay of the previous two games (although professional critics were a little more charitable). Admitting that you liked it even a little bit would get you accused of Fandom Heresy and cause major Internet Backdraft. However, as a result of what happened to Rare because of this game's failure (being forced to make generic Kinect shovelware), many fans have begun to reconsider their thoughts of the new gameplay, conceding that, despite being different from classic Banjo-Kazooie, it is still fun, unique, and creative, just like the games that made Rare so great back in the good old days. However, there is still a noticeable amount of backlash towards the changes to this day. Overall many nowadays consider it a good game, just not an appropriate Banjo-Kazooie game.
  • The Woobie:
    • Gobi, a camel who just wants to find some water and a quiet place to rest, is constantly suffering abuse from our eponymous heroes and Gruntilda's mooks for some reason or another. By the time you see him locked up and put on display in a freak attraction at an amusement park in Banjo-Tooie and see that he's grown a very large gray beard, you can't help but want to cry for his constant misfortune despite the fact that it's necessary in order to progress.
    • King Jingaling also counts. The poor guy loses all of his subjects thanks to a giant tank that runs over part of his kingdom (one entire family of his subjects is killed in this way) and his reward for pointing Banjo and Kazooie in the right direction and giving them a Jiggy is to be zombified.
    • Klungo is an unrepentant villain who makes it clear that he doesn't regret anything he did while working for Grunty, but the sheer amount of abuse she put him through makes you feel more than a little sorry for the big guy.
    • Clanker is a pitiful blend of Gentle Giant and Body Horror. He's obviously a very intelligent creature and probably used to be a regular whale before being gutted and encased in machinery. And in spite of his solitary confinement in his cavern, which would drive pretty much anyone completely insane, upon seeing Banjo swim in he simply offers a friendly welcome. And asks if Banjo could please raise him to water level. He's spent this whole time alone and imprisoned in a derelict cyborg body, unable to so much as breathe comfortably.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/BanjoKazooie